President Donald Trump claimed his comments about injecting disinfectants inside the body as a treatment for COVID-19 were sarcastic. During Thursday's press conference, Trump wondered aloud if it was possible to treat someone with the disease through an "injection" of disinfectant, even though ingesting cleaning supplies is dangerous. Other government agencies scrambled to remind people not to ingest disinfectant, and even Lysol warned about the dangers of its products when used in the body.
"I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters just like you, just to see what would happen," Trump said Friday after signing the new coronavirus aid package, reports NBC News. "I was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands, and it would make things much better."
However, Trump appeared to seriously question using disinfectant or a powerful light to treat the coronavirus. He was talking about it in the form of a question, but was directed towards William Bryan of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security at the briefing. He also asked Dr. Deborah Brix, a member of the White House's pandemic response team, about using light and heat, but she said that could not be used as a "treatment" for the virus.
"And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute," Trump said during Thursday's briefing. "And 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 would be interesting to check that. So, that, you're going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds, it sounds interesting to me. So, we'll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute."
Later, Trump began speculating about using "light and heat to cure" those infected with the virus. "You know? If you could?" Trump continued. "And maybe you can, maybe you can't. Again, I say maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor. But I'm a person that has a good… You know what. Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?"
"Not as a treatment," Brix replied. "I mean, certainly fever is a good thing. When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But, I've not seen heat or light as a [treatment]."
"I think that's a great thing to look at. Okay?" Trump added. Next, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker said people who watch the president's daily briefings for information, not rumors. Trump responded to Rucker by calling him "fake news" and a "total faker."
Trump has a history of saying his comments are "sarcastic" after being asked about them. Back in August 2016, before becoming president, Trump said he was being sarcastic when he claimed President Barack Obama founded ISIS. Just last year, he told a CPAC audience he was being sarcastic when he asked the Russian government to intervene in the 2016 elections.