The US president says he cannot imagine why there has been an increase in state emergency hotlines receiving calls about ingesting disinfectants to cure COVID-19.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump has responded to the backlash he received after suggesting the ingestion of disinfectants could knock the novel coronavirus out in one minute, claiming his fatal medical hypothesis was “sarcastic.”
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” Trump said in his defense during an oval office event on April 25.
During a press briefing on April 23, the president boasted knowledge about the virus’s inability to survive light, heat, and disinfectants. There was no indication that his comments were meant to come across as anything but serious.
After suggesting doctors try using a “very powerful light” to kill the virus in patients, Trump said, “I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute!”
“And is there a way we can do something, by an 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,” Trump continued. “So, that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”
Since Trump’s broadcasted interest in discovering what might kill the virus, state emergency services have been overwhelmed by questions regarding the president’s misinformation.
There have been multiple reports of people in critical condition after swallowing bleach or other cleaning products in hopes that they will resist COVID-19 infection. In Iran, where there are 9,472 confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 700 people reportedly died after ingesting toxic methanol in an attempt to kill the virus.
Trump only briefly responded to reporters questioning whether or not he takes any responsibility for the hundreds of calls flooding multiple US state emergency hotlines.
“No, I don’t,” the president stated. He even expressed being puzzled by the situation, saying, “I can’t imagine why. I can’t imagine that.”
Medical professionals and state emergency services responded to Trump’s initial statement by sending out emergency alerts and postings informing the public that ingesting or injecting disinfectants can be deadly and such chemical cleaners should never be used as a means for treating COVID-19 or any other virus.
The US is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting more than one million confirmed cases, 56,634 deaths, and 114,000 recoveries.
Trump has been criticized for spreading false information and for his slow response to the rapid unfolding of the virus in the US; however, the president has repeatedly commented on the “great job” he and his administration are doing to handle the pandemic.