Donald Trump suggested on Thursday that medical experts should somehow try to find a way to inject light or disinfectants into the human body as a means to kill the coronavirus — methods that are either not possible or potentially fatal.
At Trump’s daily White House coronavirus press briefing, William Bryan, a science and technology official from the Department of Homeland Security, spoke about the effects of sunlight and household disinfectants like bleach and isopropyl alcohol on the virus present in saliva on surfaces and in the air.
Appearing on the podium after Bryan, Trump openly wondered whether it would be possible to “hit the body with a tremendous” amount of light or have an “injection” of disinfectant as a way to kill the virus.
“Supposing 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,” Trump said, turning toward Bryan. “And 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? Like injection inside or almost a cleaning because, you see, it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number in the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”
“You’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me,” the president added.
Though Trump didn’t specify which kind of disinfectant, bleach and isopropyl alcohol can be poisonous to the human body if injected or ingested. UV radiation can also cause irritation to the skin, and the CDC does not recommend using a UV lamp to disinfect hands.
Later, Trump also turned to Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, and asked that she speak to doctors to “see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure” the virus.
“Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor, but I’m, like, a person that has a good you know what,” Trump said, pointing to his head.
Trump then asked Birx if she’d ever heard of such a means of killing a virus inside the body. “Not as a treatment,” Birx replied.