Trump suggests ingesting or injecting disinfectants could help cure coronavirus; Experts reject the idea
President Donald Trump has questioned whether injecting people with disinfectants could help treat the coronavirus. The Reality Check team has been looking into both of these issues.
He said during their briefing;
“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. 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.”
Trump suggested injecting patients with disinfectants might help treat coronavirus.
Using a disinfectant can kill viruses on surfaces, but this is crucially only about infected objects and surfaces – not about what happens once the virus is inside your body.
Not only does consuming or injecting disinfectant risk poisoning and death, but it’s also not even likely to be effective.
Doctors have appealed to people not to ingest or inject disinfectant, as there are concerns people will think this is a good idea and die.
“Injecting bleach or disinfectant at the dose required to neutralize viruses in the circulating blood would likely result in significant, irreversible harm and probably a very unpleasant death,” says Rob Chilcott, professor of toxicology at the University of Hertfordshire.”
He adds that it would also “not have much effect on viral particles within the cells”.
Reckitt Benckiser, a leading manufacturer of disinfectant products including Lysol and Dettol, has issued a statement in response to the president’s comments.
It said: “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).”
Mr. Trump has subsequently defended his comment claiming “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters.”
Doctors are however rejecting the idea floated by President Trump that research should be done into whether chemical disinfectants could be injected into human bodies as a potential coronavirus treatment.