Africa: No, Injecting or Drinking Disinfectant is Not a Way to Cure the Coronavirus

United State President Donald Trump addresses a coronavirus update briefing on April 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
24 April 2020

Cape Town — United States President Donald Trump has suggested that people could receive injections of disinfectant to cure the coronavirus.

The Guardian reports that at the April 23 White House coronavirus task force briefing, Trump discussed new government research on how the virus reacts to different temperatures, climates and surfaces.

"And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute," he said. "One minute! And is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it'd be interesting to check that. So, that you're going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me."

The president also floated the idea of treating patients' bodies with ultraviolet (UV) light.

Do not try this at home!

Medical and public health experts have warned that the president's words should not be acted on.

US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says: "I certainly wouldn't recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant."

The BBC reports that pulmonologist Dr Vin Gupta told NBC News: "This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it's dangerous."

And Kashif Mahmood, a doctor in Charleston, West Virginia, tweeted: "As a physician, I can't recommend injecting disinfectant into the lungs or using UV radiation inside the body to treat Covid-19. Don't take medical advice from Trump."

Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former labor secretary, tweeted: "Trump's briefings are actively endangering the public's health. Boycott the propaganda. Listen to the experts. And please don't drink disinfectant."

Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted: "As a public service, please stop airing these coronavirus briefings. They are endangering lives. And please do not drink or inject disinfectant."

The World Health Organisation says that UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

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