Trump says suggesting injecting disinfectant to treat Covid-19 was sarcastic

Donald Trump has claimed his widely-derided remarks about injecting disinfectant to treat coronavirus were made sarcastically. Speaking at a White House round-table on Friday, the president said: ‘I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.

‘I was asking a sarcastic — and a very sarcastic question — to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.’

Trump’s excuse sparked raised eyebrows all-round, with even pro-Trump network Fox News expressing incredulity at his sarcasm claim. Anchor Bret Baier said: ‘It didn’t seem like it was coming off as sarcastic when he was talking and turning to Dr Birx on the side.’

The original remarks, made at a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday, saw an earnest-sounding Trump say: ‘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 out, but you’re going to test it.’

The president, who has no scientific qualifications, continued: ‘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.

‘And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks 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 see, it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.’

Trump’s remarks sparked instant condemnation from medical experts, with corporations including Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Lysol and Dettol, warning people not to ingest or inject their disinfectant products. So far, more than 50,000 Americans have died with Covid-19, with more than 900,000 now infected.

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