Trump suggests injecting disinfectant to treat coronavirus

Donald Trump used a daily coronavirus briefing to suggest disinfectants and UV light could be used to treat the virus.

During a White House press briefing, Donald Trump appeared to give quite unorthodox suggestions about using disinfectant or sunlight to treat the coronavirus.

After widespread disbelief at his comments and after a backlash from doctors and health professionals, he is now backtracking and claims he was being sarcastic.

“Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it,” Trump said at the briefing.

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

Public health officials have rushed to issue urgent warnings to Americans about the dangers of ingesting disinfectants.

During a later briefing, Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike reported a significant increase in calls to poison control, including someone who tried using a detergent-based solution like a sinus rinse and another person who gargled with a bleach and mouthwash mixture in an effort to kill germs. 

“Injecting, ingesting, snorting household cleaners is dangerous,” Ezike warned. “It is not advised and can be deadly.”

Trump blamed the media and reporters for misunderstanding him throughout the briefing.

In one tweet, he seemed to question the value of holding White House press briefings, saying they are “not worth the time & effort” if the media is going to just ask “nothing but hostile questions”.

In a subsequent tweet, he tried to rewrite the narrative about his own early scepticism about the origins and potential spread of COVID-19.

“I never said the pandemic was a Hoax! Who would say such a thing?” Trump tweeted on Saturday. 

“I said that the Do Nothing Democrats, together with their Mainstream Media partners, are the Hoax. They have been called out & embarrassed on this, even admitting they were wrong, but continue to spread the lie!” 

During a Friday bill-signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Trump insisted he had made the comments about sunlight and injecting disinfectants sarcastically to reporters, even though his delivery during the briefing seemed to have no hint of sarcasm.