President Donald Trump's suggestion that ultraviolet light and injections of disinfectant could be a possible treatment for the coronavirus left one scientist in shock. Watching Friday's daily press briefing from home, the scientist, in a video shared to Twitter, could be seen repeatedly saying "no," face palming, and releasing several exasperated sighs.
"What? No. No. It will blow apart your DNA. It will overwhelm the mutation-fixing enzymes. Cause cancer. No! No, no, no, no. The bacteria will be fine, but you'll be dead of cancer," the man in the video can be heard saying before releasing a series of heavy sighs. "God no, no. This is what we use to trick cancer because there’s nothing else that you can do."
Watch a scientist react to Trump’s remarks about using light to fight coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/9cmv0oCGir— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) April 23, 2020
The man's strong reaction came in response to comments the president made regarding potential treatments for the coronavirus. After an official presented the results of U.S. government research indicating coronavirus appeared to weaken faster when exposed to sunlight and heat and that bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes, the president offered his own suggestions.
"Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous ultraviolet or just very powerful light," he said. "And I think you said that hasn't been checked but you are going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you could do either through the skin or in some other way. I think you said that you are going to test that, too."
"And then I saw the disinfectant, where knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning," the president continued. "As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."0comments
The remarks, which came the same week that a new report released by the CDC found a surge in calls to poison control centers regarding exposure to household cleaners and disinfectants amid the pandemic, immediately drew strong responses from medical professionals. Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert, told NBC News that the notion "is irresponsible, and it's dangerous," explaining that "any amount of bleach or isopropyl alcohol or any kind of common household cleaner is inappropriate for ingestion even in small amounts."
In its own statement, which did not mention the president’s comments but was released just hours later, Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of Lysol, said that "under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body." The statement added that "our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines."