Doctors and medical experts worldwide are loudly denouncing President Donald Trump for suggesting that injecting disinfectant into the human body can cure COVID-19.
On Thursday at the White House coronavirus press briefing, Trump proposed the idea that injecting disinfectant may kill the COVID-19 coronavirus. Trump also made the inference that a heat source inside the human body could kill severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.
In front of a national TV audience, Trump declared an “injection” of a disinfectant into a person infected by SARS-CoV-2 can be a treatment for the virus. He didn’t specify which disinfectant he had in mind, however.
“I see the disinfectant where it knocks it [coronavirus] out in a minute,” said Trump, addressing William Bryan, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under secretary for Science and Technology.
“One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets on the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.”
He also declared a very powerful light or ultraviolet light (UV) inside the human body may also kill the virus. Overexposure to UV light is known to cause cancer.
“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too.”
Trump made these wild remarks after Bryan mentioned the ability of disinfectants like bleach to kill SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces. This official gave a presentation on research his team conducted, claiming to show the coronavirus doesn’t live long in warmer and more humid temperatures in defense of Trump’s claims about this made in February.
“The virus dies quickest in sunlight,” claimed Bryan.
Bryan’s remarks also led Trump to wonder out loud if one can bring the light “inside the body.” Trump’s dangerous claims about injecting disinfectant and using a powerful light source were immediately assailed by doctors.
One of these doctors, Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert, said any amount of bleach or isopropyl alcohol or any kind of common household cleaner is inappropriate for ingestion even in small amounts. Dr. Gupta said even small ingested amounts are deadly.
“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous,” Dr. Gupta told NBC News. “It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves.”
“It’s exceptionally dangerous,” said Dr. Gupta about Trump touting bleach as a COVID-19 cure. “There’s people who hang on to every word of the president.”
Another physician, Dr. Kashif Mahmood, an internist in Oklahoma City, said that 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.”
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said, “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.”
Former vice president Joe Biden and the putative presidential nominee of the Democratic Party took this chance to assail Trump on another festering COVID-19 issue. He tweeted: “Here’s an idea, Mr. President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals.”
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