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Friday, April 24, 2020
Lysol Warns Against Injecting Disinfectant After Trump Presser
The British company that makes Lysol warned Friday that its disinfectant products should not be taken internally. The warning was made necessary by President Trump’s comments at the Coronavirus press briefing on Thursday.
In a statement, Reckitt Benckiser said, “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance [ephasis theirs] should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”
The company cited “recent speculation and social media activity” as the reason for the warning. That speculation can be traced to Donald Trump.
Because there is disagreement over what the president said, here is a transcription of his remarks. You can watch the video here:
“… 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. 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’d be interesting to check that. So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds, it sounds interesting to me.”
– Donald Trump
There are a couple of truths here. The first is that the president was obviously winging it. He was rambling on a subject about which he knows very little. That’s not good territory for Trump.
A second truth is that the president definitely did suggest that medical doctors consider the possibility of injecting disinfectant into the lungs of COVID-19 patients. It’s likely that President Trump did not intend to suggest taking cleaning products internally, but that is, in fact, what he did. It is disturbing to consider that the president of the United States could even consider injecting disinfectant into the lungs to be a serious possibility.
A third truth is that if Joe Biden has said anything as remotely as outlandish as what the president said, the clip would be a Trump campaign ad by now with Trump supporters chortling over Biden’s alleged dementia. Both candidates seem to have cognitive problems and both sides love to point out the splinter in the other’s eye while ignoring the plank in their own.
The inane nature of the president’s rambling is underscored by a second video that focuses on Dr. Birx’s face as President Trump speaks. Some enterprising person added the backdrop of the theme from Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
It is possible that a Friday morning tweet from the Surgeon General warning people “talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment” also stemmed from the president’s comments.
The controversy over disinfecting the lungs is just one more reason why Trump’s daily briefings are doing more harm than good, both to the president’s reelection hopes and to the fight against COVID-19. The nation would be better served if President Trump simply stepped aside and let Drs. Birx and Fauci, Surgeon General Adams, and Vice President Pence talk to the country.
President Trump deserves to be ridiculed for his statement. It betrays an utter lack of preparation on his part. An utter lack of preparation that could get people killed.
As David French wrote last weekend, the evangelical right – and the Republican Party as a whole – have given up on making basic competence a requirement. As a result, our president has to be fact-checked by companies that make household cleaners.