Trump disinfectant: Dettol maker warns against injecting product as coronavirus ‘cure’

24 April 2020, 13:41

Donald Trump was ridiculed after suggesting disinfectant as a possible covid-19 cure
Donald Trump was ridiculed after suggesting disinfectant as a possible covid-19 cure. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

The manufacturer of Dettol has been forced to issue a statement telling people not to inject or ingest their products to try and beat coronavirus after Donald Trump suggested it could be a possible treatment.

The US president found himself at the centre of a major backlash from the global medical community today and was the subject of mockery by people around the world after he suggested injecting disinfectant might be a viable Covid-19 treatment.

At a White House press briefing last night, the president also appeared to suggest irradiating patients’ bodies with UV light could be used as a treatment for the deadly virus.

Today, Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of Dettol and Lysol, issued a statement warning people not to inject their products.

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The statement says: “Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance 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.

"We have a responsibility in providing customers 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”

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The President was talking about using light as a treatment for Covid-19 when he asked if it would be possible to use disinfectant "by injection inside or almost a cleaning," before clarifying he wasn't a doctor.

Mr Trump said: "So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous - whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light," the president said, turning to Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, "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 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," the president continued.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said. “One minute! And is there a way we can do something, by an 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 with, but it sounds interesting to me.”

Pointing to his head, Mr Trump went on: "I'm not a doctor. But I'm, like, a person that has a good you-know-what."

Pulmonologist Dr Vin Gupta told NBC News: "This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it's dangerous.

"It's a common method that people utilise when they want to kill themselves."

Speaking to CNN, Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn, who is also a member of the White House coronavirus task force said: "I certainly wouldn't recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant."

Dr Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner, agreed that nobody should be ingesting bleach or other disinfectants.

"I don't think there's any need to hedge on that," she said. "Do not try these things at home, and follow your doctor's advice and follow good public health guidance."