(NY DAILY NEWS) – President Trump on Friday walked back his suggestion that coronavirus patients could cure themselves by injecting disinfectants into their lungs, claiming he floated the outrageous proposal “sarcastically” just to “see what would happen.”
Facing pushback from disinfectant producers and Democrats, Trump said his Thursday injection spiel was made in jest as a way to poke fun at “the fake news.”
“I said it sarcastically,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “It was put in the form of a question to a group of extraordinary hostile people, namely the fake news media.”
The president added, “I was asking the question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen.”
Despite Trump’s eyebrow-raising explanation, he actually directed his wild claims about disinfectants to William Bryan, a top-ranking science official at the Department of Homeland Security, during Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing at the White House.
“I see the disinfectant, which knocks it out in a minute, 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 so it’d be interesting to check that … It sounds interesting to me,” Trump said, turning to Bryan, who sat stone-faced on his right alongside Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.
At no point during the injection tirade did Trump smile, laugh or otherwise indicate that he was supposedly cracking a joke.
In fact, Trump’s disinfectant blather came as part of a lengthier coronavirus rant, in which he also suggested curing the infection by bringing ultraviolet light “inside the body.”
“Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do, either through the skin or in some other way and I think you said you’re going to test that too — sounds interesting,” Trump said.
Trump even quizzed Birx if UV could be a coronavirus cure.
“Not as a treatment,” she deadpanned.
Excessive UV light exposure can cause cancer. While some research suggests coronavirus particles die off faster in direct sunlight, there’s no absolutely no evidence to suggest that somehow bringing UV rays inside your body could cure the infection.
Ingesting disinfectants such as bleach, meanwhile, is lethal.