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Trump criticised after suggesting disinfectant as COVID-19 treatment

Trump criticised after suggesting disinfectant as COVID-19 treatment

US President Donald Trump has come under fire for suggesting research into whether Coronavirus might be treatable by injecting disinfectant into the body.

Doctors and medical experts have strongly warned against the unproven idea, saying it is 'irresponsible' and 'dangerous' and could kill people.

Speaking during Thursday's White House Coronavirus task force briefing, the US President also seemed to suggest exposing patients' bodies to UV lights.

The comments came after an official presented the results of US government research that had indicated that the COVID-19 virus appeared to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat, and that bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids.

William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate said that the research still needed to be tested and it should be treated with caution. However, Mr Trump suggested researchers apply the findings, saying;

"Right, and then I see the disinfectant, it knocks it out in a minute, one minute and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or or almost a cleaning, 'cause you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.

"So it will also be interesting to check that so you're gonna have to use medical doctors. But it sounds, it sounds interesting to me so we'll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it goes in and one minute, that's - that's pretty powerful."

While disinfectants can kill viruses on surfaces, they don't work inside the body. Consuming or injecting disinfectant into the body risks poisoning and death.

Speaking to NBC News, Pulmonologist Dr Vin Gupta said;

"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."

Challenging the President at the Press Briefing, Phil Rucker, one reporter from the Washington Post said, "Respectfully, sir, you're the president, and people tuning into the briefings, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do. They're not looking for rumours." 

Mr Trump responded;

"Hey Phil. I'm the president, and you're fake news. And know what I will say to you? I will say very nicely. I know you well. I know you well. Because I know the guy, I see what he writes. He's a total faker.

"Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready? It is just a suggestion, from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man."

The maker of Dettol has since said that its product should not be ingested "under any circumstances".

According to the latest figures, over 50,000 people are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the United States, with nearly 16,000 of these deaths being in New York alone.

 

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen (Public Domain)

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