US President Donald Trump has said he can’t imagine why Americans are asking about drinking disinfectant after he speculated it could help cleanse the body of the coronavirus.
During a press briefing last week, the president speculated whether people with COVID-19 could be injected with disinfectant, as it is effective when killing germs on surfaces.
“And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” he asked.
“Because you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
Trump then went on to claim those comments were intended to be “sarcastic” and said the daily press briefings about the pandemic were “not worth the time and effort” after fierce scrutiny from the media and experts.
“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately,” he tweeted.
However, he did face the press today at the White House, and this time he was questioned by a reporter about Maryland’s Governor saying there had been “hundreds” of calls within the state asking if ingesting disinfectants would combat the coronavirus.
“I can’t imagine why,” Trump said, cutting off the reporter.
The reporter then asked if the president would take any responsibility.
“No, I don’t,” he replied, continuing to say he “can’t imagine”.
Trump on reports of spikes of disinfectant use: "I can't imagine why...I can't imagine that." pic.twitter.com/dSSJZhFo69— Axios (@axios) April 27, 2020
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan told CBS on Sunday night hundreds of people had called into an emergency hotline asking about injecting or ingesting disinfectants.
Governor Hogan, a Republican, has been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN.
“I think it's critical that the President of the United States, when people are really scared and in the middle of this worldwide pandemic, that in these press conferences that we really get the facts out there,” Governor Hogan said.
“And unfortunately, some of the messaging has not been great.”
Trump’s “sarcastic” questions were quickly slammed as “dangerous” as he was ridiculed online.
Whether his questions were intended on being sarcastic or not, his comments on Thursday prompted Reckitt Benckiser, the company which makes Lysol and Dettol, to make a statement regarding ingesting or injecting their products.
“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),” the statement said.
“As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”
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