On Thursday, President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectants into people infected with the coronavirus to “clean” the lungs. Now, Twitter has named Trump the “Tide Pods” president over his crazy idea.
“And then I saw the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” the president said during his White House press briefing. “As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
Bill Bryan, an undersecretary of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, clarified that that wasn’t possible and said, “We don’t do that within that lab, at our labs.”
However, Trump replied: “maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work.”
The president also floated the idea of treating patients with “light inside the body.”
Trump’s comments came after Bryan had been discussing a new federal study that touted sunlight and household disinfectants as being effective in killing the novel coronavirus on surfaces or in the air.
Soon after Trump’s comments about injections, cleaners such as Lysol, Clorox and Tide Pods, a reference to a dangerous online challenge where teens put laundry pods in their mouth, started trending on Twitter.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, tweeted: “UV light? Injecting disinfectant? Here’s an idea, Mr. President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals.”
The Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division pleaded, “Please don’t eat tide pods or inject yourself with any kind of disinfectant” and to not “make a bad situation worse.”
Many doctors also tweeted stern warnings against taking the president’s medical advice.
Check out some of the highlights:
UV light? Injecting disinfectant?
Here’s an idea, Mr. President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals. https://t.co/Zv4Mfs2Z4a
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 24, 2020
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. https://t.co/YcZXJXfSxu
— Kashif Mahmood (@kashmood) April 23, 2020
Clorox, Tide Pods, and Lysol will kill the coronavirus. No question about it. But if you are infected, then the coronavirus is inside your cells. If you use any of those disinfectants to kill the coronavirus within your own cells, then you’ll die right along with the coronavirus.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 24, 2020
Never did I anticipate wondering why Clorox is trending. pic.twitter.com/L5LzqaFPth
— Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH (@DrJSPotter) April 24, 2020
"Let them eat Clorox" https://t.co/Pk1YDPSPSE
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) April 23, 2020
Trump has touted unproven treatments for COVID-19 before, including calling hydroxychloroquine a potential “game changer.” However, multiple studies have found that it was dangerous at high doses.