Dozens call hotlines about ingesting bleach after Trump hints it may cure virus – The Sun

MORE than 100 people have made emergency calls to Maryland state’s hotline questioning the use of disinfectant to cure coronavirus.

The spike in calls comes after President Trump suggested injecting patients with "disinfectant" and blasting them with UV light could be used to treat COVID-19.

Maryland emergency officials were forced to publicly warn state residents not to inject or ingest disinfectant following Trump’s incorrect claims.

Taking to Twitter, Maryland Emergency Management Agency wrote: “We have received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and Covid-19.”

“This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.”

Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration, added: “We decided to take the step of posting this alert after receiving more than 100 calls to our hotline.”

There have been similar concerns in New York City where health authorities have reported an “unusually high” number of people contacting them in the wake of President Trump's claims.

The New York Poison Control Center took 30 calls between Thursday at 9pm and Friday at 3pm.

New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot tweeted on Friday: “To be clear, disinfectants are not intended for ingestion either by mouth, by ears, by breathing them in any way, shape or form.”

Mr Barbot added: “Doing so can put people at great risk.”

Many of the concerned residents were asking about using household detergents in the wake of Trump’s White House briefing on Thursday, where the President spoke of a study that showed UV light and disinfectants could both kill the virus on surfaces.

Earlier in the briefing, medical experts had presented evidence from Homeland Security that the virus weakens when exposed to sunlight and heat.

The study also showed that bleach and isopropyl alcohol killed the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids in a matter of minutes.

The president suggested that coronavirus patients could be injected with disinfectants – which are extremely harmful to humans – or exposed to different  types of light.

"Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light?" he asked Department of Homeland Security official William Bryan.

"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."

Trump continued: "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. As you can see, it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs."

He later asked Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, to look into the suggestion in an awkward exchange.

"I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there's any way that you can apply light and heat to a cure," he said.

"I'm not a doctor. I am a person that has a good [head].

"Deborah have you ever heard of that?"

Dr Birx replied: "Not as a treatment."

Footage from another point in the briefing showed Dr Birx looking towards Bryan and then awkwardly at the ground as the president spoke.

Trump immediately drew criticism from medical professionals, who took to social media to point out the flaws in his comments.

Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former secretary of labor, tweeted: “Trump’s briefings are actively endangering the public’s health.

"Boycott the propaganda. Listen to the experts. And please don’t drink disinfectant.”

Physician Daniel Summers wrote: "I am reasonably certain you don’t need a medical degree to suss this out, but in case you need to hear it from a professional: things that are safe and effective outside the body are not necessarily so inside it.

"The inside and outside of your body are different in many ways."

Dr. Kashif Mahmood added: "As a physician, I can't recommend injecting disinfectant into the lungs or using UV radiation inside the body to treat COVID-19.

"Don't take medical advice from Trump."

Following the briefing, #Dettol trended on Twitter as many users mocked Trump's comments.

Dettol and Lysol later released a statement begging people not to inject themselves with its products.

On Friday, Donald Trump defended his claims by saying he was being “sarcastic” when asking government officials to study the idea injecting disinfectants as a possible cure for coronavirus.

The President said he wasn't being serious when he asked his coronavirus task force coordinator and another official to study the proposal.

He also added he simply joking with reporters who questioned the incorrect claims at the White House briefing – only to later say government scientists were already working on the idea.

Trump said: “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.”

There have been 923,812 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, and at least 52,097 deaths.

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