LONDON: Doctors and health experts advised people not to drink or inject disinfectant on Friday, following a suggestion by US President Donald Trump that scientists investigate injecting the cleaning agent into the body as a way to treat COVID-19.
“(This is an) absolutely dangerous crazy suggestion,” said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia.
“You may not die of COVID-19 after injecting disinfectant, but only because you may already be dead from the injection.”
Trump said Thursday at his daily media conference that scientists would investigate whether injecting light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the new coronavirus could help them clear the disease.
“Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?,” he said. “It would be interesting to check that.”
Parastou Donyai, director of pharmacy practice and University of Reading professor of social and cognitive pharmacy, said Trump’s remarks were surprising and unscientific. He said people concerned about the latest coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that it triggers should seek support from a professional doctor or pharmacist, and “do not take baseless and off-the-cuff statements as actual advice.”
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at University of California at Berkeley and former U.S. Labor Secretary, added on Twitter: “Trump’s briefings are actively endangering the public’s health. Please don’t drink disinfectant”.
Reading’s Donyai said Trump’s earlier remarks have already been related to people delivering drugs or other items themselves in ways that rendered them poisonous.
“We have already seen people mistakenly poisoning themselves by taking chloroquine when their hopes were raised by unscientific comments,” he said.
Reckitt Benckiser, which produces Dettol and Lysol household disinfectants, released a statement Friday advising people not to ingest or inject their goods.