Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Doctors implore people to ignore Trump's idea of injecting disinfectant to treat COVID-19

After President Trump discussed the possibility of injecting disinfectant into the lungs of people with coronavirus, doctors immediately began condemning his remarks, calling them "exceptionally dangerous."

During Thursday's coronavirus briefing, a Homeland Security Department official mentioned research regarding the coronavirus and the effect light has on killing it. Trump then shared a few of his own ideas, one of them involving hitting the body with a "tremendous" amount of ultraviolet or "very powerful light." Disinfectants like bleach can "knock" the coronavirus out "in a minute," Trump said, wondering aloud if there is "a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning, because you can see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it'd be interesting to check that. So, you're going to have to use medical doctors with it, but it sounds interesting to me."

When not used properly, disinfectants are dangerous, said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and NBC News contributor. "Any amount of bleach or isopropyl alcohol or any kind of common household cleaner is inappropriate for ingestion even in small amounts. Small amounts are deadly," he continued, adding that the idea of "injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it's dangerous. It's a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves."

Online, several doctors agreed with Gupta, and it wasn't just physicians speaking out:

For several weeks, Trump touted the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, to fight COVID-19. In March, an Arizona man died and his wife became extremely ill after they ingested aquarium additive containing chloroquine phosphate, with the woman saying they heard Trump talk about the potential benefits of chloroquine during a televised briefing. Trump's cavalier remarks on medications and treatment are "exceptionally dangerous," Gupta said. "There's people who hang on to every word of the president." Catherine Garcia