At the White House, the top scientist at the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday outlined new research showing the novel coronavirus suffers from exposure to warm and humid conditions and from high levels of ultraviolet light. The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, suggest the coronavirus may become less contagious during summer months. President Trump seized on the news at Thursday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing.
President Donald Trump: “So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do, either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that, too. Sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”
In response, the maker of Lysol disinfectants issued a stern warning that “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route.)” Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York’s Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital, responded on Twitter, “Instead of being asked about how we improve our #COVID19 response in the coming months, doctors are being asked to comment on why people shouldn’t drink things like bleach or isopropyl alcohol. This has to stop.”
President Trump also said Thursday he disagreed with his top coronavirus task force scientist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, that the U.S. needs to significantly ramp up testing. Public health experts say a vast expansion of both diagnostic and serology tests is needed before any states can safely begin reopening their economies.