COVID-19: Trump suggests injecting people with disinfectant

Donald Trump has suggested that injecting people with disinfectant or blasting light under their skin could help treat coronavirus.

The President of the United States offered the dangerous and unscientific theories at a White House briefing Thursday where a top government official said studies showed a combination of UV light and warmer temperatures could kill Covid-19 particles within minutes.

Trump said: ‘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 out, but you’re going to test it.’

The president, who has no scientific qualifications, continued: ‘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 said you’re going to test that too.

‘And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside, or almost a cleaning.

‘As you see, it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.’ He has since been condemned over worries people will follow his advice and potentially cause themselves serious harm.

Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate boss William Bryan said Thursday that bleach and concentrated alcohol solutions can both kill coronavirus. Both liquids are only intended to remove Covid-19 from surfaces, and are highly dangerous to ingest.

White House coronavirus coordinator Dr Deborah Birx also tried to highlight issues with President Trump’s theory, by saying that exposure to sunlight could help people suffering from fever, but that techniques to get UV light under the skin have yet to be invented.

Bryan shared new findings from research with the prestigious Johns Hopkins University showing that coronavirus particles can die within 90 seconds if exposed to direct sunlight when temperatures are over 70f (21c). But Bryan cautioned against ignoring current social distancing measures, and said surfaces which are in the shade can still harbor coronavirus, even during warmer weather.

Vice President Mike Pence says the US government is now hopeful the current pandemic, which has infected 870,000 Americans and killed 50,000, will subside as the weather warms up. He said the coronavirus task force will use any respite during the warmer months to prepare for a possible resurgence of Covid-19 when temperatures begin to fall again in winter.

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