No 10 says Trump suggestion disinfectant can treat coronavirus ‘not being looked at here’

Household brands Dettol and Lysol warn public in ‘no circumstances’ should products be used as treatment

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Friday 24 April 2020 14:18
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Trump suggests injecting disinfectant could treat coronavirus

Downing Street has dismissed Donald Trump’s suggestion that injections of disinfectant could treat coronavirus, saying “it’s not something that’s being looked at here”.

The US president triggered a fierce backlash from the medical community when he said it would be “interesting to check” whether administering cleaning products intravenously could be used as a treatment for Covid-19.

Household brands Dettol and Lysol issued a statement warning the public that in ”no circumstances” should their brands be used to treat coronavirus.

Asked if any work was being done in UK on using disinfectant as a treatment, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said: “No, it’s not something that’s being looked at here.”

Pressed on whether it was responsible for Mr Trump to make such comments, the spokesperson said: “We can only speak for the UK’s response.

“In relation to disinfectant, I am certainly not aware that it is anything that has been recommended. Our approach is being driven by UK science and medical advice.”

Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, later told the daily Downing Street press conference: "I wouldn't have a specific message to Donald Trump, I'd have a specific message to anybody who suggested they should be injecting anything into their bodies.

"I mean, clearly we would not support, from a medical professional perspective, it is really important that people use appropriate treatments that are evidence based and tested.​"

Mr Trump made the comments during a White House press briefing on coronavirus on Thursday.

Addressing one of his advisors, he said: “I see that disinfectant, where it 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?

“Because you see, it gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors with… so it sounds interesting to me.”

Hours later, disinfectant manufacturer RB, which produces Dettol and Lysol, urged the public not to try the method.

The company issued a statement saying: “Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus.

“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).”

William Bryan, of the US Department of Homeland Security science and technology unit, also said American health officials were not considering such treatment.

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