Trump leads the daily coronavirus task-force briefing at the White House in Washington.

Reuters

Maryland said its coronavirus hotline has received over 100 calls from people inquiring about President Trump’s recent musings about ingesting disinfectant as a treatment for COVID-19.

In Thursday evening’s White House coronavirus task-force briefing, Trump suggested without evidence that both UV lights and disinfectants directly injected into the body could treat COVID-19.

Trump’s comments were swiftly rebuked by doctors, who pointed out that ingesting chemical cleaner is incredibly dangerous and life-threatening, and manufacturers of household cleaning products such as Lysol.

The White House has offered contradictory explanations for Trump’s unscientific claims, with Trump claiming he was being “sarcastic” while his press secretary accused reporters of taking him out of context.

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Maryland said its coronavirus hotline has received over 100 calls from people inquiring about President Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that ingesting disinfectant could be a possible treatment for COVID-19.

The state’s Emergency Management Agency and Mike Ricci, the communications director for Gov. Larry Hogan, stressed on Twitter that ingesting or injecting disinfectant is dangerous and not an effective treatment for the virus after they had gotten numerous calls from people asking about it.

Washington state’s Emergency Management Division also implored people to not drink bleach or disinfectant on its Twitter account.

 

In Thursday evening’s White House coronavirus task-force briefing, Trump suggested without evidence that both UV lights and disinfectants directly injected into the body could treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re gonna test it,” Trump said after Bill Bryan, the head of the science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, discussed some research about how COVID-19 reacts to sunlight.

He added: “And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that.”

Trump’s comments were swiftly rebuked by both doctors, who pointed out that ingesting chemical cleaner is incredibly dangerous and life-threatening, and manufacturers of household cleaning products like Lysol, who urged people not to ingest or inject their products.

In the day following his remarks, the White House has offered contradictory explanations for Trump’s unscientific claims.

On Friday morning, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement claiming Trump had been taken out of context by the media, despite that he made them uninterrupted on television.

But while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday, Trump claimed he was being “sarcastic” and his comments were a joke.

“But I was asking a sarcastic, and a very sarcastic question, to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside,” Trump said. “But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands, that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.”

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