WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump mentioned on Friday that he was being sarcastic when he raised the opportunity of using disinfectant inside individuals’s bodies to combat the coronavirus, looking for to stroll again feedback that alarmed medical professionals worldwide.
Trump mentioned at a Thursday information briefing that scientists ought to discover whether or not inserting gentle or disinfectant into the bodies of coronavirus sufferers would possibly assist deal with COVID-19, the respiratory sickness brought on by the virus.
At an Oval Office occasion on Friday, Trump sought to stroll again these feedback whereas additionally seeming to proceed to advance his principle that disinfectants and daylight would possibly in the end assist inside the physique.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” he instructed journalists at an occasion within the Oval Office.
His remarks on Thursday, directed at Dr. Deborah Birx, who’s coordinating the president’s coronavirus process drive, and William Bryan, performing head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, didn’t come throughout as sarcastic.
Pressed repeatedly in regards to the challenge on Friday, Trump mentioned he was not encouraging individuals to ingest disinfectant.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency mentioned it had acquired a number of calls about disinfectant use and COVID-19. “This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” it mentioned in a tweet.
Health professionals have been encouraging individuals for a while to scrub their palms totally with cleaning soap or to make use of hand sanitizer to assist cease the unfold of the virus.
At the Thursday briefing, Bryan unveiled findings that the coronavirus seems to weaken extra shortly when uncovered to daylight, warmth and humidity. That message caught with Trump, who, whereas conceding that he’s not a physician, has used his metaphorical megaphone as president to speak up remedies and put a optimistic spin on his administration’s dealing with of the outbreak.
“I do think that disinfectant on the hands could have a very good effect,” he mentioned on Friday, persevering with with the theme.
“Sun and heat, and humidity wipe it out. And this is from tests – they’ve been doing these tests for … a number of months. And the result – so then I said, ‘Well, how do we do it inside the body or even outside the body with the hands and disinfectant I think would work.’”
Trump’s preliminary feedback in regards to the challenge raised issues that anxious individuals would possibly poison themselves whereas attempting to combat the virus, prompting a global refrain of docs and well being specialists to induce individuals to not drink or inject disinfectant.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Howard Goller and Jonathan Oatis