Twitter names Trump the 'Tide Pods' president after he suggests disinfectant injections
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WASHINGTON – After President Donald Trump wondered Thursday about possibly injecting disinfectants into people infected with the coronavirus, "Tide Pods" and other household cleaners began trending on Twitter. But many doctors also tweeted stern warnings against taking the president's medical advice.
"And then I saw the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning," the president said during his White House press briefing. "As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
Afterwards, Bill Bryan, an undersecretary of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, clarified that that wasn't possible and said, "We don't do that within that lab, at our labs."
However, Trump replied: "maybe it works, maybe it doesn't work."
Trump's comments came after Bryan had been discussing a new federal study that touted sunlight and household disinfectants as being effective in killing the novel coronavirus on surfaces or in the air.
Soon after Trump's comments about injections, cleaners such as Lysol, Clorox and Tide Pods, a reference to a dangerous online challenge where teens put laundry pods in their mouth, started trending on Twitter.
Trump did not specify the kind of disinfectant in his comments Thursday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, tweeted: "UV light? Injecting disinfectant? Here’s an idea, Mr. President: more tests. Now. And protective equipment for actual medical professionals."
The Washington Military Department's Emergency Management Division pleaded, "Please don't eat tide pods or inject yourself with any kind of disinfectant" and to not "make a bad situation worse."
Food and Drug Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn was asked about such methods during a CNN town hall following Trump's comments. He responded, “I certainly wouldn't recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant."
The FDA warns against ingesting disinfectants, saying consumption of “products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration."
The president also floated the idea of treating patients with "light inside the body."
Trump has touted unproven treatments for COVID-19 before, including calling hydroxychloroquine a potential "game changer." However, multiple studies have found that it was dangerous at high doses.