Donald Trump Press Briefing: US President suggests injecting disinfectant inside people
It comes as American deaths from the virus topped 50,000, with infections reaching 890,000 – verging on one third of all known cases across the world.
Mr Trump made the comments as he took to the podium at a White House press briefing after a presentation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Just before the President’s claims, William Bryan, Chief Scientist at the DHS, told reporters that research into Covid-19 had confirmed “the powerful effect solar light appears to have on killing the virus on both surfaces and in the air.
“We see a similar effect with both temperature & humidity,” he added, saying that increasing both factors “is unfavourable for the virus."
He also said that many simple household cleaning products were effective at killing the virus on surfaces.
“Very powerful light”
When Mr Bryan took his seat, the President told reporters: “I’m going to ask Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world which I find to be very interesting.
Turning to look at Mr Bryan, Trump asked: “So supposing we hit the body with tremendous...er...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 were gonna test that too.
In response, Mr Bryan told the President: “We’ll get the right folks who could.”
“Almost a cleaning”
“Sounds interesting,” Trump went on, ”then 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 because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs so it will be interesting to check that - so you’re going to have to use medical doctors,” he told Mr Bryan, “but it sounds interesting to me, so we’ll see.”
“But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful,” the President continued.
Later on, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, took to the podium and was asked if she had ever heard of light being used in medicine.
“Not as a treatment,” she replied.
When a reporter tried to ask follow up questions, Mr Trump interjected: "I'm the president and you're fake news.”
“We had some results that perhaps aren’t so good”
Asked by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker why he had “stopped promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure” for Covid-19, the President said: “I haven’t at all. I haven’t at all. What are you saying?”
Earlier this month, Mr Trump touted the drug, designed to treat certain types of malaria, as “a very strong, powerful medicine”, claiming it could be an effective therapy for coronavirus.
But a recent study of the drug in US Military hospitals showed that nearly a third of veterans with coronavirus died when treated with hydroxychoroquine - a significantly higher rate than patients who received the standard treatment.
“We’ll see what happens,” Mr Trump told Mr Rucker, “We’ve had a lot of very good results, and we had some results that perhaps aren’t so good, I don’t know, I just read about one, but I also read many times good.
“So I haven’t at all. And it’s great - for malaria, for lupus, for other things, and we’ll see what it is.”
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