Trump widely criticised for suggesting patients could receive injections of disinfectant as COVID-19 cure

pharmafile | April 24, 2020 | News story | Medical Communications COVID-19, coronavirus 

President Donald Trump stunned the medical community by suggesting disinfectant and UV light could be used to treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

On Thursday evening’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, Trump said: “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? 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.”

Later in the conference, William Bryan, the acting homeland security under Secretary for Science and Technology said that they had found that solar light has a “powerful effect” on killing the virus in both surfaces and in the air.

This led Trump to ask Bryan: “So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light and I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you’re going to test that too?”

Experts have questioned both Trump and Bryan for their comments, saying that they are dangerous. Robert Reich, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkely and a former Labor Secretary, said that Trump’s briefings are “actively endangering the public’s health” and “please don’t drink disinfectant.”

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, also commented on the White House press briefing, saying that he “can’t believe that in 2020 I have to caution anyone listening to the president that injecting disinfectant could kill you.”

Dr Irwin Redlener, the director of the Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, also questioned Bryan’s appearance saying that: “Everything that this scientist talked about from homeland security was basically incoherent, nonsensical, not really supported by evidence and really quite contrary to a lot of things that we do know about some of the things he was saying.” He also added it was “jaw-dropping” that Trump suggested injecting disinfectant into the human body.

Trump has already come under scrutiny for promoting the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, which has led to heart problems and death in clinical studies testing its effectiveness in coronavirus patients.

Conor Kavanagh

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