President Donald Trump claims he was simply testing the media when he suggested injecting people with disinfectant can kill off the novel coronavirus.
“I was asking sarcastically to reporters just like you to see what would happen,” he said early Friday afternoon.
The news comes after the President made the suggestion after the Department of Homeland Security acting undersecretary for science and technology William N. Bryan reports that the coronavirus did not do well in sunlight, heat, or humidity.
In his statement, the President said, “I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? … It would be interesting to check that.”
The President also thought aloud, “Suppose you can bring the light inside the body.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany clarified that Trump suggests that Americans should consult their doctors and slams journalists for taking the President’s comments out of context.
“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing,” McEnany said.
Trump also insisted that he was thinking about using disinfectant on hands and not inside the body.
“I do think disinfectant on the hands could have a very good effect,” he answered when asked about his earlier comment.
The President’s comments earned a rebuttal from doctors, lawmakers and Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Lysol and Dettol, as they strongly dissuade consuming or injecting disinfectants into the body.
A statement issued by Reckitt Benckiser said, “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).”
Director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, Craig Spencer, told reporters, “My concern is that people will die. People will think this is a good idea.”
“This is not willy-nilly, off-the-cuff, maybe-this-will-work advice. This is dangerous,” he added.