At a White House press conference this week about the Coronavirus response, President Donald Trump ludicrously suggested that disinfectants could be used inside the body as treatments for the disease that has swept the nation and world. There is nothing in terms of tangible evidence that would suggest that ingesting disinfectants would have anything but an immediately negative effect on patients’ health. Following Trump’s suggestion to look into the supposed possibility otherwise, medical professionals including both a current and former public health official for the Trump administration have denounced the president’s reckless incompetence.
Rather than focusing on getting local jurisdictions the kind of material support that they need to effectively combat the Coronavirus, Trump is focusing his time on these outrageous, maniacal musings, as if he thinks he’s some kind of super genius on account of his last name or something.
Scott Gottlieb, the Trump administration’s former FDA Commissioner, countered during a CNBC appearance:
‘I think we need to speak very clearly that there’s no circumstance under which you should take a disinfectant or inject a disinfectant for the treatment of anything, and certainly not for the treatment of coronavirus. There’s absolutely no circumstance under which that’s appropriate and it can cause death and very adverse outcomes.’
Following Trump’s commentary and the ensuing social media firestorm, Reckitt Benckiser — the company that makes Lysol — actually issued their own public statement admonishing against internal usage of their products. They insisted in that statement that consumers should always read safety labels included on packages for their products. In an ideal world, the president would not need to be reminded of that.
— Janey Godley (@JaneyGodley) April 24, 2020
Current FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn agreed with CNN medical contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta when pressed about the ludicrousness of Trump’s suggestion to look into the supposed possibility of internal usage of disinfectants against the Coronavirus.
‘I think we should be clear though that… the idea of injecting disinfectant, those questions may be getting asked but there’s absolutely no merit to them, that doesn’t need to be studied, you can already say that that doesn’t work, right?’
‘That is exactly what a patient would say to a doctor and that would be the answer of the medical experts.’
And separately, he admitted in the same interview:
‘I certainly wouldn’t recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant.’
And outside government, New York City ER physician Dr. Craig Spencer commented:
‘Instead of being asked about how we improve our #COVID19 response in the coming months, doctors are being asked to comment on why people shouldn’t drink things like bleach or isopropyl alcohol. This has to stop. This is the problem.’
Well, it’s started.
Instead of being asked about how we improve our #COVID19 response in the coming months, doctors are being asked to comment on why people shouldn’t drink things like bleach or isopropyl alcohol.
This has to stop.
This is the problem.
This has to stop.
— Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) April 24, 2020
Trump originally suggested the possible usage of disinfectants as Coronavirus treatment after an administration official presented information about the substances’ effect on the virus outside of the body. Throughout the crisis, Trump has made a slew of similarly entirely unsubstantiated public claims. For example, he’s previously touted anti-malaria drugs as supposedly a good option to pursue with the Coronavirus, but in a recent study, virus patients who took the drugs actually died at a higher rate than those who did not.
🚨BREAKING: @US_FDA now warns that people should NOT take #chloroquine or #hydroxychloroquine—hawked by @realDonaldTrump—to treat #COVID19 outside a hospital or clinical trial, citing reports of “serious heart rhythm problems.”
As I warned 5 WEEKS ago.🤬https://t.co/bE14P4RKOz
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) April 24, 2020