By Chris York
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The president of the United States stood before his nation yesterday and suggested injecting disinfectant into people could help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Referring to research that has found isopropyl alcohol is more effective than bleach at killing the virus, Donald Trump said: “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, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?
“Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”
Senior US officials immediately clarified that there were no plans to inject disinfectant into Americans and experts lambasted the idea wholesale.
Berkeley professor Robert Reich said the president was “actively endangering the public’s health”.
Trump’s briefings are actively endangering the public’s health.
Boycott the propaganda. Listen to the experts. And please don’t drink disinfectant. https://t.co/gRRn3sQ04T
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) April 23, 2020
The remarkable comments came during a press briefing on Thursday where the White House also pitched “emerging” research on the benefits of sunlight and humidity in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Past studies have not found good evidence that the warmer temperatures and higher humidity of spring and summer will help diminish the spread of the virus.
But William Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security said that there are “emerging results” from new research that suggest solar light has a powerful effect in killing the virus on surfaces and in the air.
Dr. Birx’s reaction here is quite, quite beautiful (light is now a cure). But why on earth is nobody around Trump, part of the administration or adjacent, just taking one for the team & hugely calling him out. It’s like they’ve all got Stockholm syndrome. pic.twitter.com/cOfIc4J9Ux
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) April 24, 2020
He said scientists have seen a similar effect from higher temperatures and humidity.
“The virus is dying at a much more rapid pace just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity,” Bryan said.
However, he stressed that the emerging results of the light and heat studies do not replace social distancing recommendations.