US President Donald Trump has openly mused about the potential health benefits of injecting coronavirus patients with disinfectant, continuing his worrying pattern of spouting unproven and potentially harmful methods of combating the pandemic.

Speaking at a White House press briefing today, Trump rumbled off some thoughts about the virus-smashing power of light and its potential use as a treatment for coronavirus, before launching right into that disinfectant talk.

“I see the disinfectant knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said, eyeing the cameras as they snapped into life.

“And is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside, or almost a cleaning.”

Trump said his proposal “Sounds interesting to me.”

While certain kinds of UV light have been proven to kill coronavirus, one expert told BBC that specialists subjecting patients to those rays would “literally be frying people.” So, that’s off the table.

As for disinfectants: Well, they do a bang up job of killing or disabling harmful microbes, but can also wreck whatever cells you want to survive. This is why commercially-available disinfectants warn you not to scull the bottle.

While that’s common knowledge, it appears Trump has, effectively, proposed a demented Tide Pod challenge for patients without access to adequate medical advice.

That’s very concerning, given his other suggestions.

Last month, Trump suggested the drug hydroxychloroquine could serve as a potential cure for coronavirus.

One Arizona man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, an additive used in fishtank cleaner..

His wife, who survived her own dose of the substance, told NBC News “Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.”

The National Center for Disease Control was moved to remind punters that the World Health Organisation has not rubber-stamped chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

Once again, for the people at the back: Don’t inject yourself with disinfectant, and, where possible, take your medical advice from someone who isn’t currently the President of the United States.


If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

And please remember to wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and keep at least 1.5 metres between you and those around you.
Image: Drew Angerer / Getty Images