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Donald Trump Thinks Injecting Bleach to Kill the Coronavirus Sounds “Interesting”


Donald Trump stands in front of a sign reading 'Best Practices for every American' during press briefing.

I can’t believe we’re having to say this but please, please, do not drink or inject yourself with bleach. That’s not advice we’d normally feel the need to give, but Donald Trump is choosing to suggest the practice as a possible treatment for COVID-19. So to be clear, consuming bleach will not kill the coronavirus, though it would likely kill you.

During his press briefing Thursday, Trump started speculating about some … unusual treatments.

“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous–whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” he mused, adding that Bill Bryan, the head of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, was planning to test this. “Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.”

“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, 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 would be interesting to check that.”

For some context, Trump’s comments came right after Bryan spoke and he did, in fact, discuss the effect of light and bleach on the virus … in “potentially contaminated indoor spaces” (emphasis mine because it’s a freaking important distinction).

Trump’s comments forced cleaning brands as well as the Surgeon General to offer statements asking people to please not do what he was suggesting.

I think you can see the exact moment Trump’s medical advisor Deborah Birx’s soul leaves her body during his ramblings.

The White House, by the way, had to revise their transcript to reflect the fact that when asked directly, Birx did not, in fact, agree with Trump that heat and light are not an effective treatment for the virus.

Trump is now claiming his comments were “sarcastic,” while his terrible press secretary says they were “taken out of context,” neither of which is true.

No, Trump wasn’t directly advising anyone to drink bleach. And he did specifically say that he’s not a medical professional and that he wants to see what they have to say about these things. Actually, his exact words were “I’m not a doctor. But I’m like a person that has a good you know what.” So there’s that.

But he did repeatedly say the idea–which he himself came up with–sounds “interesting.” And as we’ve been seeing with hydroxychloroquine, his heavy-handed speculation on possible medical treatments can have serious consequences.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.