President Donald Trump said on Monday that he is not responsible for any increase in the number of people using disinfectants inappropriately after last week dangerously suggesting that ingesting it could be used as a treatment for coronaviruses.
When asked about the increase at a White House press conference, Trump said, “I can’t imagine why.”
When asked if he had any responsibility for the woodpecker, Trump replied, “No, I don’t. “
Last week, Trump incorrectly suggested at a White House coronavirus briefing that ingestion of disinfectants or sunlight could possibly be used to treat patients with coronavirus.
A Department of Homeland Security official discussed experiences where disinfectants such as bleach and isopropyl alcohol quickly killed the virus on non-porous surfaces. Trump then considered whether disinfectants could be used to treat the virus in humans – asking if there was “a way to do something like that, by injecting inside or almost cleaning it up.”
This prompted cleaning companies and state health officials to issue warnings about the dangers of their ingestion. A day after Trump’s statement, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a reminder on the correct use of household disinfectants.
Trump later wrongly claimed that he was sarcastic and urged officials to examine the effects of the disinfectant on his hands – not by ingestion or injection.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, said on Sunday that his state had answered hundreds of calls from people across his state asking if injecting or ingesting disinfectants was an effective way to combat against the coronavirus.
“I think it is essential that the President of the United States, when people are really scared and in the midst of this global pandemic, that in these press conferences we really get the facts out,” Hogan told Margaret Brennan on CBS. “” Facing the nation. “
Illinois also said it had seen a significant increase in calls for poison control following the president’s statement. Illinois director of public health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the calls included one person using a detergent solution for sinus flushing and another person gargling with a mixture of bleach and mouthwash to kill germs.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.