US President Donald Trump has been lambasted by the medical profession after suggesting research into whether coronavirus could be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.
He also seemed to propose irradiating patients’ bodies with UV light, a thought dismissed by a doctor at the briefing. Another of his officials had moments earlier said sunlight and disinfectant were known to kill the infection.
Disinfectants are hazardous substances and may be poisonous if ingested. Even external exposure are often dangerous to the skin, eyes, and systema respiratorium.
What did President Trump say?
During Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, a politician presented the results folks government research that indicated coronavirus seemed to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and warmth.
The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropanol could kill it even more quickly. William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, outlined the findings at the press conference.
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While noting the research should be treated with caution, Mr. Trump suggested further research therein area.
“So, supposing we hit the body with an incredible – whether it’s ultraviolet or simply very powerful light,” the president said, turning to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, “and I feel you said that hasn’t been checked but you are going to check it.
“And then I said, supposing you brought the sunshine inside the body, which you’ll do either through the skin or in another way. and that I think you said you are going to check that too. Sounds interesting,” the president continued.”And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it call at a moment. One minute. And is there how we will do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?
“So it would be interesting to see that.”
Pointing to his head, Mr. Trump went on: “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, an individual that features a good you-know-what.”
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He turned again to Dr. Birx and asked if she had ever heard of using “the heat and therefore the light” to treat coronavirus.
“Not as a treatment,” Dr. Birx said. “I mean, certainly, fever may be a good thing, once you have a fever it helps your body respond. But I’ve not seen heat or light.”
“I think it is a great point to seem at,” Mr. Trump said.
A journalist at the briefing questioned whether Mr. Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks could spread dangerous disinformation to Americans. What’s the reaction been to Trump’s comments?
Doctors warned the president’s idea could have fatal results.
Pulmonologist Dr. Vin Gupta told NBC News: “This notion of injecting or ingesting any sort of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous.
“It’s a standard method that folks utilize once they want to kill themselves.”
Kashif Mahmood, a doctor in Charleston, West Virginia, tweeted: “As a physician, I can not recommend injecting disinfectant into the lungs or using UV radiation inside the body to treat COVID-19.
“Don’t take medical advice from Trump.”
John Balmes, a pulmonologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, warned that even breathing fumes from bleach could cause severe health problems.
He told Bloomberg News: “Inhaling chlorine bleach would be absolutely the worst thing for the lungs. The airway and lungs aren’t made to be exposed to even an aerosol of disinfectant.
“Not even a coffee dilution of bleach or isopropanol is safe. it is a totally ridiculous concept.”
Mr. Trump has previously hyped a malaria medication, hydroxychloroquine, as a possible treatment for coronavirus, though he has stopped touting that drug recently.
This week a study of coronavirus patients during a US government-run hospital for military veterans found more deaths among those treated with hydroxychloroquine than those treated with standard care.
Reacting to the president’s remarks on Thursday evening, Joe Biden, his likely Democratic challenger in November’s White House election, tweeted: “UV light? Injecting disinfectant? Here’s a thought, Mr. President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals.
“What’s the US government’s advice?
Only in the week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to take care of cleaning products as sales of household disinfectants soar amid the pandemic.
“Calls to poison centers increased sharply at the start of March 2020 for exposures to both cleaners and disinfectants,” found the agency’s weekly morbidity and mortality report.
The US Food and Drug Administration has warned against ingesting disinfectants, citing the sale of bogus miracle cures that contain bleach and purport to treat everything from autism to Aids and hepatitis.
The agency’s website says: “The FDA has received reports of consumers who have suffered from severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low vital sign caused by dehydration, and acute liver failure after drinking these products.”
Last week a federal judge secured a short-lived injunction against one organization, referred to as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, for marketing a product like industrial bleach as a remedy for coronavirus.