US President Donald Trump claimed that his comment about injecting disinfectant into the human body to treat those with the coronavirus was a 'sarcastic' suggestion, and laughed that mainstream media and health experts had quickly reported that the president of the United States had advised the injections to treat the disease. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump denied recommending or suggesting the use of disinfectant to cure COVID-19 patients.
"I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen", Trump told reporters.
Health experts around the world quickly posted statements urging people to avoid injecting themselves with disinfectant.
The incident occurred on Thursday during coronavirus a White House Task Force briefing, in which officials had presented the results of a government study which said that the coronavirus appears to weaken quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat, and that bleach and isopropyl alcohol, when used on surfaces, could kill the virus within minutes. During the briefing, Trump suggested that the same approach could be used inside the human body.
Trump's remark caused widespread criticism in mass media and the health care sector. The US president has claimed that his comment about injecting disinfectant into the human body was sarcasm, although many maintain that the president was in earnest when he suggested using bleach as a cure for the coronavirus.
Trump telling reporters he was just being "sarcastic" yesterday when he suggested that people could inject themselves with disinfectant as a treatment for coronavirus. per TV pool reporter @weijia (note: in the video it did not appear he was being sarcastic)— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 24, 2020
The development comes as the death toll from the coronavirus in the United States has topped 50,000, according to data collated by the Johns Hopkins University. Despite that the US has the highest death toll from the disease and the largest number of cases, over 880,000, the mortality rate - at 5.7 percent for those infected - remains lower than in most European countries.
In Italy, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths, the mortality rate for those who become infected is 13.4 percent.