Experts yesterday dismissed as reckless and irresponsible US President Donald Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectant to treat patients with Covid-19 as global death toll crossed 190,000.
“Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside (the body)?”, Trumps asked at his daily briefing Thursday, having said that disinfectant knocks out the virus “in a minute”.
“Because, you see, it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs,” Trump continued, apparently referring to disinfectant. “So it would be interesting to check that out.”
In interviews and on social networks, doctors and others dismissed Trump’s idea out-of-hand.
“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible, and it’s dangerous,” Vin Gupta, pulmonologist and global health expert told NBC News.
“It’s a common method that people utilise when they want to kill themselves.”
Walter Shaub, former director of the US Office of Government Ethics, said Trump’s daily briefings are doing more harm than good.
“As a public service, please stop airing these coronavirus briefings, they are endangering lives,” he tweeted. “And please do not drink or inject disinfectant.”
The bizarre suggestion came as, in a briefing at the White House, scientists said they had found that the virus was quickly destroyed by sunlight, raising hopes that the pandemic could ease as the northern hemisphere summer approaches.
It prompted Trump to suggest researchers investigate whether it would be possible to inject light and disinfectant into the body to cure the disease — comments that raised eyebrows among medical professionals.
Meanwhile, Muslims across the world began marking the holy month of Ramadan under unprecedented coronavirus lockdowns yesterday as the US added another half a trillion dollars to an economic support package and Europe groped towards its own huge rescue plan.
The economic devastation wreaked by lockdowns that have half the planet indoors is huge, with the world facing its worst downturn since the Great Depression.
US lawmakers covered their faces with masks and voted in small groups to approve a $483 billion stimulus plan, on top of the $2.2 trillion package already enacted.
The money will back small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy and hard-pressed hospitals as the American economy reels, with more than 26 million people losing their jobs since the pandemic hit.
In Europe, leaders haggled by video conference over their own package that could top one trillion euros, as the European Central Bank chief warned of the risk of “acting too little, too late”.
The 27-nation European Union agreed to ask the bloc’s executive arm to come up with a rescue plan by May 6, sources told AFP.
The crucial economic discussions come as parts of Europe slowly loosen restrictions after progress on reducing the number of new infections.
But experts have warned of a possible second wave of cases, and authorities are ramping up their capacity to deal with it in Germany — where curbs on public life have been eased recently.