Perhaps I’m being unreasonable and setting my standards impossibly high here, but I’m having a tough time talking myself out of the position that please do not ingest or inject disinfectants into your body for any reason is a thing we should have to tell most people, especially when one of those people is the President of the United States. That link does not go to an Onion article, I swear.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? pic.twitter.com/dx6yJVqnyF
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) April 23, 2020
After a presentation Thursday that touched on the disinfectants that can kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces and in the air, President Trump pondered whether those chemicals could be used to fight the virus inside the human body.
“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
The question, which Trump offered unprompted, immediately spurred doctors, lawmakers and the makers of Lysol to respond with incredulity and warnings against injecting or otherwise ingesting disinfectants, which are highly toxic.
“My concern is that people will die. People will think this is a good idea,” Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told The Washington Post. “This is not willy-nilly, off-the-cuff, maybe-this-will-work advice. This is dangerous.”
And yes, that bit about the Lysol people having to take time out of their busy schedule to say publicly please do not listen to your leader is also a thing that actually happened.
Trump’s remarks even prompted the maker of Lysol and Dettol to urge people not to ingest disinfectant as many essential household cleaning products trended on Twitter well into Friday morning.
“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 Reckitt Benckiser Group said in an email to The Post on Friday. “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.”
Pretty sure you lost most of the folks inclined to try this when you said “please read,” but good effort nonetheless.