Trump made the suggestion during a press briefing, but went on to claim he was being sarcastic.
It was the latest in a long line of bizarre and inaccurate comments made by the US president in the wake of the global pandemic, but it turns out Gervais was prepped for this well in advance.
In a resurfaced tweet ahead of the election in 2016, the After Life star wrote: “The fact that there are warnings like ‘Do not drink’ on bottles of bleach makes me realise that Donald Trump can become president.”
It was tennis pro Martina Navratilova who caused the tweet to pop up on people’s timelines. She responded: “Ricky – you were way ahead of the curve!!!”
Another tweeter called Gervais “a visionary”, while someone wrote: “This aged really well.”
Many derided Trump’s comments, with Trevor Noah stating: “Injecting disinfectants into your body? This is the problem when the dumbest person in the room thinks they’re the smartest person.”
New York health authorities have said there was a spike in possible bleach exposure cases in the 18 hours following Trump’s comments.
Other Trump officials and allies, though, tried to play down Trump’s misinformation. This included Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
“It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another,” she said.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies