Nearly 24 hours after President Donald Trump suggested injecting humans with disinfectant as a possible treatment for coronavirus, his comments continued to cause great concern among health professionals.
Trump earlier on Friday said that he was being sarcastic when, at Thursday’s briefing, he listened to research on how disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces and then suggesting testing to see if it would work on humans. He asked it there was “a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control sent out a warning about using household cleaners and disinfectants. “Household cleaners and disinfectants can cause health problems when not used properly. Follow the instructions on the product label to ensure safe and effective use,” the CDC said.
But other medical professionals were incredulous that Trump even broached the idea of using a poisonous chemical in the human body. Most household products are labeled clearly about not ingesting them.
The alarm isn’t just that people would try the disinfectants out, but that their human use was even treated as a serious matter to put through the rigors of testing.
“It is a matter of life and death,” CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said on the network Friday. “…There are some things that we know and there are not true as well. I think I was really struck by the fact that they were talking about disinfectants or possible ingesting or injecting these disinfectants. They said, well, look, why don’t we just study it? It was presented as a very reasonable thing. Why don’t you just study it? That’s crazy. It is just lunacy because everyone knows this is dangerous, and in order to study it, what you are suggesting is that you would knowingly give some people these disinfectants in their body…You would definitively harm people. We don’t need a study to show that.”
He said that what “frightened me beyond the obvious” is that sometimes “these things are presented that are reasonable. We will just study it and get some answers. No.”
In the wake of Trump’s remarks, the state of Maryland’s Emergency Management posted a warning against the use of disinfectants. Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said that they decided to post the notice “after receiving more than 100 calls to our hotline.”