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Trump says disinfectant comments were sarcasm

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

US President Donald Trump says his comments suggesting people can ingest or inject disinfectant to fight COVID-19 was an attempt at sarcasm.

US President Donald Trump says his comments suggesting people can ingest or inject disinfectant to fight COVID-19 was an attempt at sarcasm.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday, Trump insisted his comments were misconstrued.

"I was asking the question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen," Trump said.

President Donald Trump speaks after signing a coronavirus aid package to direct funds to small businesses, hospitals, and testing, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Washington

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Friday attacked President Trump for his comments, saying: "Clearly and sadly, this President is not listening to medical experts and I don't know which ones he is listening to, if any".

Trump's sarcasm claims come as the maker of Dettol and Lysol put out a statement urging customers not to consume its cleaning products, following Trump's comments.

Reckitt Benckiser, a British company, released a global warning overnight that human consumption of disinfectant products was dangerous, issuing its statement following "recent speculation and social media activity."

"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)," the company said in a statement.

RB, which sells in markets around the world, said its products should only be "used as intended and in line with usage guidelines".

"We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts," the company said.

Lysol products

The statement followed remarks from President Trump on Thursday on the use of disinfectants.

Speaking from the White House podium, the president of the United States said it could be "interesting to check it out".

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"I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute," Mr Trump said.

"And is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? It would be interesting to check that.

Donald Trump has suggested injecting disinfectant could cure coronavirus.

"That you're gonna have to use medical doctors with."

Injecting disinfectant into the human body could very likely be fatal.

Department of Homeland Security science chief Bill Bryan backed away from the president's suggestion.

"We don't do that within our lab," Mr Bryan said.

Deborah Birx sits in the White House press briefing room as the president suggests sunlight and disinfectant as potential coronavirus cures.Coronavirus: Trump suggests injecting disinfectant to kill COVID-19

Mr Trump interjected: "Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't."

Australia's Chief Health Officer Brendan Murphy told reporters not to take the presidency's advice.

"I would caution against the injection of disinfectants," Dr Murphy said.

"They could be quite toxic to people."

After hearing reports that coronavirus dies within minutes on surfaces in direct sunlight, Mr Trump suggested it as a method of treating patients.

"Supposing you brought the light inside the body - either through the skin or some other way," he said.

"It'd be interesting to check that. You'd have to use medical doctors."

Coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, herself a medical doctor, had to dismiss the president's suggestion.

In late February Donald Trump likened the coronavirus to 'the sniffles'.

"Not as a treatment," Dr Birx said.

Mr Trump called upon her to see if his theory could work.

"Maybe you can. Maybe you can't. I'm not a doctor. But I'm a person that has a good you-know-what," the president said.

Mr Trump hit out at a reporter who questioned his approach.

"Respectfully, sir, you're the president and people tuning into the briefings, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do," The Washington Post's Philip Rucker said.

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"They're not looking for rumour."

The coronavirus as seen under a microscope.

The president replied: "Hey Phil. I'm the president and you're fake news."

Mr Trump also pointed out that the US coronavirus outbreaks appear to be worse in states that do not support him politically.

"It is interesting the states that are having trouble are blue," he said.

"The states that seem to have the problem happen to be Democrat."

Later in the press conference he dismissed reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un being gravely ill as "fake".

- Reported with CNN

Source: 9News

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