President Donald Trump wrongly suggested at a press briefing on Thursday that disinfectant might be able to clean the insides of people infected with the coronavirus.
Manufacturers have warned people not to inject themselves with disinfectant after Trump falsely suggested it might cure the coronavirus
A leading manufacturer of cleaning products has issued an urgent statement warning its customers not to attempt to inject themselves with disinfectants “under any circumstances” after President Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that doing so might be useful in treating COVID-19.
Trump suggested at a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday that because disinfectant can kill the virus on external surfaces, perhaps it could be used internally to treat coronavirus patients.
“I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” he said. “One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” he said. “So it’d be interesting to check that.”
He added: “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”
Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Lysol and Dettol, said “under no circumstance” should its products be injected or ingested.
President Trump faces a backlash over his comments at a briefing on Thursday.
Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.
Even external exposure can be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.
Mr Trump’s comments have been heavily criticised by doctors and have generated a huge online response.
They have provoked hundreds of thousands of comments and caused well-known cleaning brands to trend on social media.
Reckitt Benckiser, which also owns the brands Vanish and Cillit Bang, said its products should not be administered “through injection, ingestion or any other route”.
“Our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.
“Inhaling chlorine bleach would be absolutely the worst thing for the lungs,” pulmonologist John Balmes told Bloomberg News . “The airway and lungs are not made to be exposed to even an aerosol of disinfectant.
“Not even a low dilution of bleach or isopropyl alcohol is safe. It’s a totally ridiculous concept.”
This is not the first time that Mr Trump’s medical advice has generated controversy and criticism.
He has previously hyped a malaria medication, hydroxychloroquin, despite a lack of clinical evidence it helps treat Covid-19 and some concerns it can even be detrimental.