Trump Says Remarks on Disinfectant Were Sarcastic

April 24, 2020 Updated: April 24, 2020

President Donald Trump said Friday that his remarks about whether scientists should expose the body to disinfectants as a potential COVID-19 treatment were sarcastic.

“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” Trump told reporters on Friday. Trump added that he was asking experts “whether or not sun [sunlight] can help us … sun has a massive impact negatively on this [virus]” during Thursday’s news briefing.

“I do think disinfectant on the hands could have a very good effect,” he said.

The president making a reference to comments he made during his White House briefing when a Department of Homeland Security undersecretary revealed that the virus deteriorates more quickly when subjected to heat, humidity, and ultraviolet rays from the sun.

“So, 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,” Trump said on Thursday. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside of 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.”

“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,” Trump continued. “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.”

The president later noted in the press conference that “it wouldn’t be through injection” but “almost a cleaning, sterilization of an area.”

The manufacturer of Lysol on Friday morning issued a warning and said people should not inject or ingest their products.

“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 statement read. “We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts. For this and other myth-busting facts, please visit Covid-19facts.com.”

Earlier on Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the president “has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing.”

“Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines,” she added.