Don’t inject disinfectant: Blunt pushback on Trump musing

President Donald Trump’s comment that disinfectants perhaps could be injected or ingested to fight COVID-19 received heavy pushback from health and other officials Friday and even prompted the maker of Lysol to warn its product should never be used internally.

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 12:38 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s comment that disinfectants perhaps could be injected or ingested to fight COVID-19 received heavy pushback from health and other officials Friday and even prompted the maker of Lysol to warn its product should never be used internally.

“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),” said the statement from Reckitt Benckiser, parent company of the maker of Lysol and Dettol.

The White House claimed Trump’s comment was misrepresented, but the government also leapt in to caution the nation.

The Surgeon General’s office tweeted Friday: “A reminder to all Americans- PLEASE always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/ medication to yourself or a loved one. Your safety is paramount, and doctors and nurses are have years of training to recommend what’s safe and effective.”

Trump noted Thursday that researchers were looking at the effects of disinfectants on the virus and wondered aloud if they could be injected into people, saying the virus “does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

The White House accused the media of taking Trump’s comments out of context.

“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.”

Trump has acknowledged several times that he’s “not a doctor,” but has previously suggested various ideas for fighting the novel coronavirus. Earlier, he repeatedly promoting the drug hydroxychloroquine, saying such drugs could be a potential “game changer” in the fight against the virus.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration warned that people should not take chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 outside of a hospital or formal clinical trial, citing reports of “serious heart rhythm problems.”

Trump’s comments on disinfectants came after William Bryan, who leads the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, spoke at the Thursday briefing about how researchers are testing the effect of disinfectants on virus-laden saliva and respiratory fluids in the laboratory. They kill the virus very quickly, he said.

“And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” Trump said. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds -- it sounds interesting to me.”

Bryan said injections weren’t part of the disinfectant research.

The president has often talked up prospects for new therapies and has offered rosy timelines for the development of a vaccine as he encourages states to move to reopen their economies.

On Thursday, the White House also pitched “emerging” research on the benefits of sunlight and humidity in diminishing the threat of the virus.

Past studies have not found good evidence that the warmer temperatures and higher humidity of spring and summer will help tamp down the spread of the virus.

But Bryan said at a White House briefing Thursday 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. He said scientists have seen a similar effect from higher temperatures and humidity. A biocontainment lab in Maryland has been conducting testing on the virus since February, Bryan said.

“The virus is dying at a much more rapid pace just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity,” Bryan said.

Trump was asked if it was dangerous to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat, considering that so many people have died in Florida.

“I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that’s great,” Trump replied, adding, “It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man.”

“I’m here to present ideas, because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good, and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned,” the president said.

Bryan stressed that the emerging results of the light and heat studies do not replace social distancing recommendations.

Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak
Earlier in the month, scientific advisers told the White House there’s no good evidence yet that the heat and humidity of summer will rein in the virus without continued public health measures.

Researchers convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine analyzed studies done so far to test virus survival under different laboratory conditions as well as tracking where and how COVID-19 has spread so far.

“Given that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not be assumed,” the researchers wrote earlier in April in response to questions from the White House Office of Science and Technology.

In addition, the report cited the global lack of immunity to the new virus and concluded, “If there is an effect of temperature and humidity on transmission, it may not be as apparent as with other respiratory viruses for which there is at least some preexisting partial immunity.”

The report noted that during 10 previous flu pandemics, regardless of what season they started, all had a peak second wave about six months after the virus first emerged.

In March, Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief. said, “We have to assume that the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread, and it’s a false hope to say yes, it will just disappear in the summertime like influenza.”

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1407929

Reported Deaths: 25834
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook56116810553
DuPage933531321
Will777131042
Lake689761025
Kane59918816
Winnebago34589523
Madison32075533
St. Clair29670526
McHenry29452299
Peoria23620346
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Sangamon19474245
McLean18765194
Tazewell17406308
Rock Island15345329
Kankakee14715224
Kendall13432100
LaSalle12904253
Macon11121214
DeKalb10235122
Vermilion10162154
Adams9386128
Williamson7963138
Whiteside7241174
Boone691180
Ogle627584
Grundy603379
Clinton585893
Coles5838101
Knox5712157
Jackson537465
Henry512970
Macoupin493389
Livingston493192
Woodford490783
Stephenson487286
Effingham480474
Franklin478178
Marion4686117
Jefferson4613123
Monroe447894
Randolph427687
Lee422554
Morgan410092
Fulton409659
Logan404665
Christian392575
Bureau384187
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Iroquois326668
Perry326661
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McDonough302651
Jersey276652
Saline267557
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Union244141
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Crawford216826
Bond211524
Cass209527
Carroll204337
Pike197153
Ford192050
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Warren186250
Wayne185953
Jo Daviess183324
Richland179640
Edgar178942
White176426
Washington167625
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De Witt160629
Piatt154914
Clay152943
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Mercer151334
Wabash145212
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Cumberland130919
Menard126912
Jasper116818
Marshall109519
Hamilton87816
Schuyler8067
Brown8006
Pulaski7337
Stark65625
Edwards62012
Calhoun5352
Henderson53414
Scott5011
Putnam4933
Alexander48511
Gallatin4774
Hardin39412
Pope3384
Unassigned582432
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 764448

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1049701803
Lake567981029
Allen42685698
St. Joseph37253568
Hamilton37131426
Elkhart29699470
Tippecanoe23347230
Vanderburgh23106404
Porter19538327
Johnson18755391
Hendricks18012321
Madison13463345
Clark13450198
Vigo12789255
LaPorte12533224
Monroe12494178
Delaware11100198
Howard10612237
Kosciusko9736123
Hancock8707149
Bartholomew8235157
Warrick8031157
Floyd7975181
Grant7337181
Wayne7222201
Boone7145105
Morgan6886142
Marshall6323116
Dubois6267118
Cass6083111
Dearborn598578
Noble595790
Henry5939111
Jackson514677
Shelby509097
Lawrence4901127
Gibson460696
Montgomery454492
Clinton453555
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Harrison450576
Whitley414745
Huntington411781
Steuben409560
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Jasper399455
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Putnam383762
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Jefferson340486
White338954
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Wells302281
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Fayette285864
Posey280435
Scott278058
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Clay273048
Washington252437
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Jennings238149
Spencer237531
Fountain233750
Starke229859
Owen221059
Sullivan219043
Fulton207645
Jay202832
Carroll196522
Orange190556
Perry189139
Vermillion179644
Rush177027
Franklin171635
Tipton171547
Parke153616
Pike141234
Blackford137832
Pulaski122948
Newton122436
Benton109215
Brown105743
Crawford105116
Martin92515
Warren87615
Switzerland8308
Union73510
Ohio58211
Unassigned0428