Inject disinfectant? Trump’s medical claims baffle nation
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by Sebastian Smith
Top White House coronavirus advisor Deborah Birx shrank in horror and around the nation comedians sharpened their pens: President Donald Trump had just asked if virus victims couldn’t be injected with disinfectant.
Even as a new poll shows most Americans wish the former real estate magnate would leave science to the experts, Trump on Thursday evening hit a new high in the annals of amateur presidential doctoring.
Encouraged by tentative findings that summer weather may dampen the novel coronavirus, Trump used his daily live national press briefing to ask whether light could become a medical treatment.
“Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” Trump said. “Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.”
Birx and another government medical expert looked on warily. The president wasn’t finished.
“Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks (the virus) 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.”
Birx winced and turned her eyes from the president to the floor.
Trump sought to walk back his comments Friday saying he’d been talking “sarcastically” to the journalists, but in fact he was clearly addressing the government officials and there was no sign of sarcasm in his tone.
After 24 hours of controversy, the president attended a short media briefing Friday evening but left without taking any questions — a rarity. (AFP)