Even as doctors and scientists around the world work to find a vaccine or cure for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump Thursday suggested some pretty unusual solutions. Trump said absorbing sunlight and injecting disinfectants might help fight the virus that has killed over 1.9 lakh people worldwide.
During his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House, Trump touted new research from his Department of Homeland Security that suggested sunlight, heat and humidity could kill the virus. This despite top health officials not confirming the findings or performing any relevant studies on these subjects.
“There’s been a rumour that — you know, a very nice rumour — that you go outside in the sun or you have heat and it does have an effect on other viruses,” Trump said. Then he turned to his coronavirus task force coordinator Dr Deborah Birx and asked her “to speak to the medical doctors to see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure, you know, if you could.”
After hearing presentation President Trump suggests irradiating people’s bodies with UV light or injecting them with bleach or alcohol to deal with COVID19. pic.twitter.com/cohkLyyl9G
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 23, 2020
“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light,” Trump said before the members of the press. “And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way and I think you said you’re going to test that too.”
Dr Birx spoke instead of how getting a fever was a good sign that the body was reacting to the virus.
Here is Dr. Birx’s reaction when President Trump asks his science advisor to study using UV light on the human body and injecting disinfectant to fight the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/MVno5X7JMA
— Daniel Lewis (@Daniel_Lewis3) April 24, 2020
After Bill Bryan, the acting undersecretary of science and technology for the Department of Homeland Security, talked about experiments in which, he said, disinfectants like bleach and isopropyl alcohol quickly killed the virus, Trump wondered aloud if disinfectants could be used as a treatment, asking whether there is “a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning.”
When pressed further by reporters about his claims, Trump termed some of the questions ‘fake news’.
“I certainly wouldn’t recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant,” says FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, responding to President Trump suggesting the use of a disinfectant that can kill a Covid-19 infection “by injection inside.” #CNNTownHall https://t.co/IlD9ZOfPy7 pic.twitter.com/jpFttUrZZE
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 24, 2020
Many experts weighed in his opinion and warned people that there are several countries in the tropics with high temperature that are also seeing a rapid spread of the virus and there’s no evidence heat will slow its spread.
His claims created a huge buzz on social media and many people asked the US president to keep his medical advice to himself.
Information presented at WH Press briefing should not be considered evidence of virus slowing or seasonality. Just look at what’s happening now in Ecuador
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) April 23, 2020
Trump is absolutely wrong and irresponsible to suggest that sunlight or heat can treat people with the coronavirus. Many older individuals, who are vulnerable to heat stroke and dehydration, may die listening to his advice. Sunlight and heat can decontaminate surfaces not people.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 23, 2020
Donald Trump is talking about somehow putting sunlight inside the body so it can magically kill coronavirus… and my head just exploded.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) April 23, 2020
Watch a scientist react to Trump’s remarks about using light to fight coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/9cmv0oCGir
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) April 23, 2020
First Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine as a possible miracle cure. Now he wants people to inject a magic disinfectant and stand in the sun. Maybe he should let the scientists and the health professionals lead the way instead of pushing potentially deadly medical advice. https://t.co/qgL8qZYu8f
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 23, 2020
Ah, I see — Trump wasn’t stupid for staring into thateclipse.
He was soaking up the sun’s disinfecting power to rid his body of any viruses. pic.twitter.com/op7RuzNQ81
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 23, 2020
Just released: Revolutionary new masks Trump is recommending are able to combine light and bleaching, defeating the coronavirus from the inside.#Sunlight#Clorox #TrumpPressBriefing pic.twitter.com/dHDHC4YoiD
— Sean Ryan (@seanryan4) April 24, 2020
Why would Donald Trump suggest that people inject themselves with disinfectant? pic.twitter.com/guFHcGEqty
— The Tweetwit 🆘 (@TheTweetwit) April 23, 2020
This one little segment should be enough to have him removed from office. If our nation hadn’t been hijacked by hate, stupidity and anti-science. It’s like an SNL skit, but it’s really happening, he’s saying it. And she sits there nodding.
— Jim W (@victorehusky) April 23, 2020
Thoughts and prayers for whoever has to explain to Trump why we can’t inject people with bleach.
— Matt Rogers (@Politidope) April 23, 2020
Calm down, Trump just suggested injecting people with bleach, it’s not like he said anything really dangerous like when Michelle Obama suggested that kids should eat vegetables.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) April 24, 2020
Obama wanted you to have health insurance…Trump wants you to drink bleach.
The difference between both parties summed up. #Clorox
— Vic 🍩 (@vicsepulveda) April 24, 2020
I know Trump wants to make American whiter, but telling people to drink bleach is beyond the pale. @realDonaldTrump
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) April 24, 2020
So, after another disastrous trump briefing, there will be folks chugging Tide Pods, injecting bleach, and holding protests for their rights as Americans to do so.
Thoughts and prayers.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) April 23, 2020
The last time Trump tried to solve a problem with a tanning bed and some bleach: pic.twitter.com/HHnKsrQNqj
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) April 24, 2020
It’s not the first time Trump has made public claims about the sun’s healing powers. During a campaign rally in New Hampshire in February, he had said, “You know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. Hope that’s true.”