• President Donald Trump said he was being sarcastic “to see what would happen” when he suggested on live TV that injections of household disinfectants might be a treatment for coronavirus.
  • “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute — one minute — and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” Trump said on Thursday. “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.”
  • Doctors, scientists, and industry leaders subsequently put out multiple statements warning against using disinfectants to treat health issues.
  • The Maryland Emergency Management Agency also posted an alert on Twitter Friday saying it had “received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and #COVID19.”
  • “Under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” the agency said.
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President Donald Trump said on Friday he was being sarcastic when he suggested on live TV that injections of household disinfectants might be a treatment for coronavirus.

Trump said he made the comments “sarcastically” to “reporters just like you to see what would happen.”

“Now disinfectant for doing this maybe on the hands would work,” Trump added. “And I was asking the question of the gentleman who was there yesterday, Bill, because when they say that something will last three or four hours, or six hours, but when the sun is out, or if they use disinfectant, it goes away in less than a minute. Did you hear about this yesterday?”

“But I was asking a sarcastic, and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside,” he said. “But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands. That would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.”

Trump has previously walked back controversial or bizarre statements and called them sarcastic. He did so after he thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for cutting US diplomatic staff in Russia and after he looked up at the sky to declare he was “the chosen one.”

Here’s what Trump said Thursday during his press conference:

“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute — one minute — and 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 you’re going to have to use medical doctors with — but it sounds interesting to me.”

Scientists, healthcare professionals, and industry leaders came out with warnings against using household cleaners as an antiviral treatment after Trump’s comments.

“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 a statement from Reckitt Benckiser, the British company that manufactures Lysol. The statement cited “recent speculation and social media activity.”

“As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines,” the statement added. “Please read the label and safety information.”

The American Cleaning Institute also put out a press release Friday “in response to speculation about the use of disinfectants in or on one’s body.”

“Disinfectants are meant to kill germs or viruses on hard surfaces,” the statement said. “Under no circumstances should they ever be used on one’s skin, ingested or injected internally. We remind everyone to please use all hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting products as directed in order to ensure safe, effective and intended use of those products.”

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency also posted an alert on Twitter Friday saying it had “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,” the tweet said.

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