Trump’s mus­ing on dis­in­fec­tants prompts of­fi­cials to is­sue warning

Pres­i­dent also sug­gested ex­po­sure to sun­light could help treat virus

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Canada & World - DEB RIECH­MANN AND AAMER MAD­HANI

WASHINGTON—Don’t in­ject dis­in­fec­tants, health of­fi­cials leapt to warn on Fri­day, re­act­ing to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s comment that dis­in­fec­tants per­haps could be in­jected or in­gested to fight COVID-19. His sug­ges­tion 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.

Trump said Fri­day that he’d been speak­ing sar­cas­ti­cally, but a tran­script of his re­marks sug­gested other­wise.

The govern­ment also cau­tioned the coun­try against the idea. The sur­geon gen­eral’s of­fice tweeted: “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’s com­ments on dis­in­fec­tants came af­ter Wil­liam Bryan, who leads the sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy direc­torate at the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, spoke at the White House brief­ing Thurs­day about how re­searchers are testing the ef­fect of dis­in­fec­tants on virus­laden saliva and res­pi­ra­tory flu­ids in the lab­o­ra­tory. They kill the virus very quickly, he said. Bryan said in­jec­tions weren’t part of the dis­in­fec­tant re­search.

Trump told re­porters on Fri­day: “I was ask­ing the ques­tion sar­cas­ti­cally to re­porters like you just to see what would hap­pen.”

This is what he said a day ear­lier: “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.”

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

Bryan said 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.

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.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has of­ten talked up prospects for new ther­a­pies in the fight against COVID-19.

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