Donald Trump Claims He Was Being 'Sarcastic' When He Suggested Disinfectant As A Coronavirus Treatment

The president said he made the comments to "see what would happen".
US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday
US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday
OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images

Donald Trump has said he was being ‘sarcastic’ when he suggested disinfectant as a treatment for coronavirus.

Insisting he was testing the media with his comments, the president told reporters on Friday: “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen”.

Referring to research that has found isopropyl alcohol is more effective than bleach at killing the virus, he told the press conference: “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute.

“One minute! And is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Is there a way we can do something like that by 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.”

Trump’s comments saw the company that manufactures Dettol release an extraordinary statement urging people not to inject or inject disinfectants in a bid to cure coronavirus.

The warning from parent company RB read: “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.”

Meanwhile, England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries also slapped down the president’s thoughts on the potential ‘treatment’.

“I wouldn’t have a specific message to Donald Trump,” she said at Number 10′s daily coronavirus press conference on Friday. “I’d have a specific message to anybody who suggested they should be injecting anything into their bodies.

“Clearly we would not support from a medical professional perspective – it is really important that people use appropriate treatments that are evidence-based and tested.”

She added: “Certainly nobody should be injecting anything and we should be using evidence-based and properly trialled treatments that we know will be safe.”

When he was repeatedly pressed about his disinfectants on Friday, Trump said he was not encouraging people to ingest disinfectant.

Health professionals have been encouraging people for some time to wash their hands thoroughly with soap or to use hand sanitiser to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I do think that disinfectant on the hands could have a very good effect,” he said.

“Sun and heat, and humidity wipe it out. And this is from tests - they’ve been doing these tests for ... a number of months. And the result - so then I said, ‘Well, how do we do it inside the body or even outside the body with the hands and disinfectant I think would work.’”