President Trump on Friday said he was being sarcastic when he mused a day earlier about the effects injecting disinfectant could have on combating the coronavirus.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you to see what would happen,” the president said at an oval office bill signing ceremony.
He said he was asking “a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside,” he said. “But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better.”
Mr. Trump said “of course” he’s not encouraging Americans to inject disinfectants.
He said he was asking his medical experts to look into the effect of disinfectant on the hands on the coronavirus.
“You use it when you’re doing your hands — whether it’s washing your hands or disinfectant on your hands, it’s very good,” he said. “Interior-wise, it [was] said sarcastically. It was put in the form of a question to a group of extraordinarily hostile people — namely, the fake news media.”
He also said he was asking experts to look into the effect of sunlight on the virus.
“Maybe there’s something there. I’m not a doctor,” he said. “They have to work with the doctors, but maybe there is something to light and the human body and helping people that are dying, OK?”
Earlier Friday, the White House said the media was taking Mr. Trump out of context and running with negative headlines about his remarks.
The Thursday comments prompted medical experts and the parent company of Lysol to warn the public not to inject disinfectants or bleach.
“I see the disinfectant, where it 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,” the president had said Thursday. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with.”
The president had also made a separate point on potentially hitting the body with ultraviolet light.
William Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security had said direct sunlight and higher temperatures have had destabilizing effects on the virus and that there were tests being conducted on the effects of disinfectants on the virus.