The Maryland emergency hotline has received more than 100 calls from residents asking about the use of disinfectants, telling them that “under no circumstances” should they be used as treatment for the novel coronavirus.
The calls led the Maryland Emergency Medical Agency to post a tweet alerting residents not to ingest the harmful products.
“ALERT – We have received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and COVID-19. This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” the tweet said.
Mike Ricci, the communications director for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, retweeted the alert, writing “We decided to take the step of posting this alert after receiving more than 100 calls to our hotline.”
The inquiries into disinfectants came after President Donald Trump made comments at a press briefing Thursday regarding ongoing research into what kills the novel coronavirus. William Bryan, the undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, spoke at the president’s daily coronavirus press conference to inform the public of his team’s findings in combating COVID-19.
“Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect solar light appears to have on killing the virus on both surfaces and in the air,” Bryan said, adding that increasing temperatures and humidity are also “generally less favorable to the virus.”
“We’ve also tested disinfectants. We’ve tested bleach, we’ve tested isopropyl alcohol on the virus, specifically in saliva or in respiratory fluids. I can tell you that bleach will kill the virus in five minutes. Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds,” Bryan said.
The comments prompted Trump to ask Bryan to “check” for the possibility of injecting disinfectants to kill the virus within people who are infected.
“I see the disinfectant where it knocks [the virus] out in a minute. 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. It would be interesting to check that. So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me so we’ll see,” Trump said at the press conference.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Newsweek in a statement Friday that the press had “irresponsibly” taken the president’s comments out of context for “negative headlines.”
Later in the day at a signing ceremony for a congressional bill to again fund the Paycheck Protection Program, Trump said his question the previous day on injecting disinfectants was merely sarcasm.
“I was asking a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room,” Trump said. When a reporter asked whether he is encouraging Americans to ingest disinfectants, he said, “of course not.”
“Interior-wise it’s said sarcastically. It was put in the form of a question to a group of extraordinarily hostile people, namely the fake news media,” the president said.
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