Coronavirus: Disinfectant firm warns after Trump comments

Posted by News Express | 25 April 2020 | 1,074 times

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•US President Trump

A leading disinfectant producer has issued a strong warning not to use its products on the human body after Donald Trump suggested they could potentially be used to treat coronavirus.

Reckitt Benckiser said “under no circumstance” should its products be injected or ingested.

On Friday, Mr Trump said his comments during Thursday’s coronavirus taskforce briefing had been made “sarcastically”.

Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.

Even external exposure can be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

Mr Trump’s comments have been heavily criticised by doctors and have generated a huge online response. They have provoked hundreds of thousands of comments and caused well-known cleaning brands to trend on social media.

Reckitt Benckiser, which owns brands including Lysol, Dettol, Vanish and Cillit Bang, said its products should not be administered “through injection, ingestion or any other route”.

“Our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information,” the company said in a statement.

During Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, an official presented the results of US government research that indicated coronavirus appeared to weaken faster when exposed to sunlight and heat.

The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes, and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even more quickly.

Mr Trump then hypothesised about the possibility of using a “tremendous ultraviolet” or “just very powerful light” on or even inside the body as a potential treatment.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute,” he said. “And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?

“Because you see it gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number on them, so it’d be interesting to check that,” he said.

In a statement on Friday morning, the White House press secretary said the president had “repeatedly” told Americans to consult doctors about coronavirus treatment.

“Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines,” Kayleigh McEnany said.

However, the White House statement did not make any reference to the comments being sarcasm.

On Friday afternoon, Mr Trump told journalists: “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.”

The president’s comments have dominated social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit since Thursday night. Many compared his idea to a dangerous viral trend in 2018 where people ate Tide laundry detergent pods.

The Maryland governor’s office said the state's emergency management agency issued an alert warning against injecting or ingesting disinfectants after receiving more than 100 calls to a hotline. (BBC)


Source: News Express

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