Trump backtracks on bleach injection treatment claim
US president says claim was made sarcastically amid mass ridicule prompted by potentially deadly suggestion
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump rolled back on his Friday's claim that a possible treatment for coronavirus could be to inject infected patients with disinfectants after his misguided suggestion garnered widespread ridicule.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he was being "sarcastic" when he made the claim during Thursday evening's nightly press briefing.
"I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters just like you, just to see what would happen," he said. "I was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands, and it would make things much better."
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The US president suggested on Thursday a wide array of unorthodox coronavirus treatments, including somehow blasting the inside of the human body with ultraviolet light and injecting the infected individuals with disinfectants.
"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? Cause you see, it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors with that, but it sounds interesting to me," he said.
"And so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful," he added.
Bleach and other disinfectants are dangerous and toxic, and should not be ingested in any manner.
"Please do not ingest or inject disinfectant," Dr John Shields, an orthopaedic surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, pleaded on Twitter shortly after the president made the suggestion during nationally-televised remarks. "I feel like one should not have to say this."
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On Friday, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Lysol and Dettol's parent company, issued a statement urging consumers not to ingest their products "due to recent speculation and social media activity."
"As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)," it said. "We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts. For this and other myth-busting facts, please visit Covid-19facts.com."