US President Donald Trump truly outdid himself this week, after suggesting that household disinfectant products might be worth exploring as a cure for COVID-19. At a press briefing on Thursday, he told a room full of stunned reporters:
“I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, 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 it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that out.”
Even Piers Morgan called the idea “batshit crazy” and potentially dangerous, and Trump has since unfollowed him on Twitter.
UPDATE: President @realDonaldTrump has unfollowed me on Twitter, hours after I wrote this @DailyMail column: pic.twitter.com/uRncON3Up7— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 25, 2020
The President later tried to play his remarks off as “sarcasm”, although they seem pretty characteristic of him at this point. In fact, satirical news website The Onion predicted this situation several weeks ago.
Back on March 25, they ran an article about a fictional consumer buying one of every cleaning product just in case Donald Trump announced any of them to be a coronavirus cure.
Man Just Buying One Of Every Cleaning Product In Case Trump Announces It’s Coronavirus Cure https://t.co/3bKatQGz04 pic.twitter.com/0kkhWzjl98— The Onion (@TheOnion) March 25, 2020
“I got toilet bowl cleaner, carpet cleaner, Swiffer WetJet refills – you name it – just so me and my family will be ready if the President announces one of these things can treat Chinese virus,” said the fictional Wyoming man.
So there you have it, folks. The Onion is an actual, factual news source now. Who knows what they will predict next?
Following Trump’s Thursday press briefing, the company that makes Dettol and Lysol released a statement urging people to follow directions on the label and not to drink or inject them.
While you’d hope that would be enough, there are now reports that New York’s Poison Control Centre has experienced a spike in calls about exposure to household cleaners.
The New York Daily News says that health authorities in the city “managed a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday.”
That’s up from 13 cases in the same time period last year.
Now, it’s entirely possible and indeed probably likely that the rise in calls to Poison Control has absolutely nothing to do with Trump’s remarks.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so many more people are likely to be using disinfectant products this year, meaning more accidental exposures are occurring.
I’d like to think that nobody would actually be fucking stupid enough to take a swig of Lysol as an act of patriotic duty, but I guess we can’t entirely rule that out. What a time to be alive.
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