A number of poison control centers have reported a rise in calls. This was after President Trump suggested that injecting disinfectants might be a possible treatment for the coronavirus.
In a White House coronavirus task force briefing held on Thursday, the president “appeared to suggest that light and disinfectants might have the potential to treat the coronavirus,” reported Fox News.
“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute,” Trump said. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or … or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number, so it will be interesting to check that. So that you're going to have to use medical doctors. But it sounds, it sounds interesting to me.”
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) April 25, 2020
Trump’s remarks alarmed medical professionals around the world.
Reckitt Benckiser Group, the makers of Lysol, gave a warning. He said: “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, 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). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”
The president said he was being “sarcastic” on Friday. However, Fox News pointed out that the president was “soberly addressing health experts on the coronavirus task force, urging them to launch a study” during the press conference.
The Emergency Management Agency in Maryland received over 100 calls asking about the president’s suggestion. Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MDMEMA) then posted on Twitter: “ALERT🚨: We have received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and #COVID19. This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.”
An Unneeded Plea
Washington State’s Emergency Management Division issued a similar statement on Twitter. They said: “Please don't eat tide pods or inject yourself with any kind of disinfectant. If you do need help with #COVID19 issues, we have lots of resources at https://coronavirus.wa.gov/. Just don't make a bad situation worse.”
The Daily News reported that an “unusually high number of New Yorkers” reached out to city health authorities. They did so over fears that they ingested bleach or other cleaners. This happened “in the 18 hours that followed President Trump’s bogus claim that injecting such products could cure coronavirus.”
According to a spokesman, the Poison Control Center managed a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants. This number was only for between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday.
“That’s more than double during same period in 2019, per health dept. Thankfully no hospitalizations or deaths,” Anna Sanders, a reporter for the New York Daily News, said in a tweet.
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