Trump: My Disinfectant Comments Were Sarcastic

Says he asked about bizarre coronavirus treatment 'just to see what would happen'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2020 9:32 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2020 1:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – All kinds of headlines about bleach and disinfectants were floating around Friday, all stemming from President Trump's coronavirus briefing on Thursday. After science adviser William Bryan talked about how UV rays and disinfectants such as bleach and isopropyl alcohol seemed to work against COVID-19 in the lab, Trump mused about applying the findings to human subjects. That set off a huge uproar, with health experts emphatically warning people against home remedies. Now, however, Trump said he was just being sarcastic. Coverage, including the original comments:

  • New comments: "I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen," Trump told reporters in an Oval Office Friday, reports the Hill. Critics including Brett Baier of Fox News said it didn't seem like Trump was being sarcastic at the time.
  • How this started: At Thursday's briefing, Bryan talked about treatments under study in the lab, and he noted that UV rays seem to shorten the virus' life, per the transcript at Rev.com. Bryan added that in these lab experiments, "bleach will kill the virus in five minutes (and) isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds."
  • Trump's original comments: After Bryan spoke, the president took to the microphone. (Watch here.) "Supposedly when we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said 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, right? And then 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, so it’d be interesting to check that so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me."

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