US President Donald Trump has been blasted by the medical community after suggesting research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.
He also appeared to suggest irradiating patients’ bodies with UV light.
During Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, presented the results of US government research that indicated Coronavirus appeared to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat.
The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even more quickly.
While noting the research should be treated with caution, Donald Trump suggested further research in that area.
“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous – whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” the president said, turning to Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, “and I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it.
“And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside of the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting,” the president continued.
“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?
“So it’d be interesting to check that.”
Pointing to his head, Mr Trump added: “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”
He turned again to Dr Birx and asked if she had ever heard of using “the heat and the light” to treat coronavirus.
“Not as a treatment,” Dr Birx said. “I mean, certainly, fever is a good thing, when you have a fever it helps your body respond. But I’ve not seen heat or light.”
“I think it’s a great thing to look at,” Trump said.
Social media users reacted to Trump’s suggestion with outrage.
Also, several doctors warned the public against injecting disinfectant or using UV light. They warned the president’s idea could have fatal results.
Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former labor secretary, tweeted: “Trump’s briefings are actively endangering the public’s health. Boycott the propaganda. Listen to the experts. And please don’t drink disinfectant.”
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, added: “It is incomprehensible to me that a moron like this holds the highest office in the land and that there exist people stupid enough to think this is OK. I can’t believe that in 2020 I have to caution anyone listening to the president that injecting disinfectant could kill you.”
Pulmonologist Dr Vin Gupta told NBC News : “This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous.
“It’s a common method that people utilise when they want to kill themselves.”
Kashif Mahmood, a doctor in Charleston, West Virginia, tweeted : “As a physician, I can’t recommend injecting disinfectant into the lungs or using UV radiation inside the body to treat Covid-19.
“Don’t take medical advice from Trump.”
John Balmes, a pulmonologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, warned that even breathing fumes from bleach could cause severe health problems.
Trump has previously come under fire for hyping hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, as a therapy for the Coronavirus.
Below is a video of Trump suggesting injecting patients with disinfectant.
“The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs” — Trump seems to suggests that injecting disinfectant inside people could be a treatment for the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/amis9Rphsm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 23, 2020