At his nightly news conference/free-association shit show on Thursday, Donald Trump—president of the United States, failed casino owner, and self-proclaimed very stable genius—suggested that injecting disinfectants into COVID-19 patients could perhaps cure them. 

Yep, he said it, swear to God: “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? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

Here’s the video: 

YouTube video

OK, so we all know this is a phenomenally stupid idea, right? It’s so stupid, in fact, that you won’t even find research on what happens when you drink bleach to “cleanse the body,” says N.C. State toxicology professor Scott Belcher, because, well, duh. Disinfectants and household cleaners, whether injected or ingested, are highly toxic to the body. 

“Serious irritation and pain would result, and yes, you could die,” Belcher says in an email. 

Let’s do the science: Disinfectants are a sort of molecular bulldozer breaking down everything in their path. But unlike antiviral or antibacterial drugs, Belcher says, they don’t target what’s attacking the body. 

“The chemicals work as disinfectants because they disrupt the cellular and molecular components of bacteria and viruses,” Belcher says. “They will do the same to human cells—at the high concentrations used in household products, these chemicals will destroy the molecular structure of every cell they interact with and will not distinguish between your cells and a virus.”

And that idea about injecting a little bleach into our lungs? “Absurd,” Belcher says. “Disinfecting chemicals are poison. Injecting or drinking strong chemicals such as bleach, isopropyl alcohol, or even soap is dangerous. Read the warning labels, use common sense, and never, ever intentionally put these poisonous substances in your body.”

Pretty much the entire medical and hygienic world spent the morning dunking on the president. 

The manufacturer of Lysol: “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion, or any other route).”

Harvard Toxicology: “Please don’t inject bleach or drink disinfectant. Bleach injections cause hemolysis (where your red blood cells that carry OXYGEN break apart) and cause liver damage, and many disinfectants can cause dangerous burns or bleeding in your stomach. This tweet IS medical advice.”

Mark McClellan, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration who now runs the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy: “Yeah. I think that’s definitely not a good idea,” he said during a Q&A with reporters on Friday. 

The moral of the story is, don’t take medical advice (or anything advice) from a guy who spent weeks hocking hydroxychloroquine as the Greatest Drug Ever until a study showed it really, really wasn’t.

Also, don’t drink bleach.

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One reply on “Raleigh Toxicology Expert Says Injecting Disinfectants Might Fix Your COVID-19 Problem (But Only By Killing You)”

  1. For years I have stated that Donald Trump lives inside a bubble…
    A psuedo-Reality of his own making, where he firmly believes himself to be that ‘very stable genius’ with ‘good science instincts’ .
    This bubble is constantly being reinforced by family, sycophants and assorted hangers-on, resulting in Trump`s firm belief in his self-proclaimed ‘great and unmatched wisdom’.
    Donald Trump lives in an egomaniac`s paradise where self-aggrandizing delusions are applauded and parroted back to him.
    That would be fine if he had just stayed comfortably in his ivory tower, playing CEO games, or posturing before cameras on (so-called) Reality Shows.
    Unfortunately, we are now seeing the painful reality of a man who apparently is not aware that caustic cleaning chemicals are if anything, even more TOXIC than his own venal, grasping nature and obnoxious personality.
    Trump: “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? .. so it would be interesting to check that.”
    It may seem amazing that any normal adult person would NOT know the results of ingesting POISON.
    It may seem amazing that ANYONE could be that stupid.
    But consider: Donald Trump has lived his entire life in a cushy bubble …a bubble of wealth and privilege where it is a sure bet that HE never had to PERSONALLY clean a bathroom, wash a dish, or do the simple, everyday manual effort of CLEANING ANYTHING using a common household cleanser…a disinfectant.
    That being the case, why would he know anything about these products?
    Simple as it sounds, Donald Trump is quite likely as ignorant about basic aspects of daily life as the average person is to the concept of being WEALTHY.
    That is a dangerous bubble for the President Of the United States to be living in…
    it is even more dangerous for all of U.S.

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