Trump Disinfectant Comments Trigger Manufacturers to Warn People Against Injecting Themselves With Cleaning Products

The manufacturer of Dettol and an organization representing cleaning product producers have warned people not to inject disinfectant products into their bodies after President Donald Trump appeared to suggest using that method to treat coronavirus patients at a briefing on Thursday.

Reckitt Benckiser said in a statement published Friday that its products should "under no circumstances" be injected into people's bodies.

It also warned that its products should only be "used as intended" and advised people to always "read the label and safety information" on its products.

"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 (SARS-CoV-2)," Reckitt Benckiser said in its statement.

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President Donald Trump at Coronavirus Briefing
President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in the White House on April 23, 2020, in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"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).

"As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information."

The company issued its statement after Trump asked whether injections of "disinfectant" could be used to treat patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, sparking widespread reaction on social media.

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The American Cleaning Institute, an industry organization representing companies in the cleaning product sector, released a statement saying: "Disinfectants are meant to kill germs or viruses on hard surfaces. Under no circumstances should they ever be used on one's skin, ingested or injected internally.

"We remind everyone to please use all hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting products as directed in order to ensure safe, effective and intended use of those products."

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the commander-in-chief said: "Then I see the 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.

"It will be interesting to check that, so you're going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me."

Newsweek has contacted the White House and disinfectant manufacturers for comment. This article will be updated with any responses.

In a statement released Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: "President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday's briefing. Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines."

Reacting to President Trump's remarks at yesterday's briefing, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted: "Imagine how much more efficient and useful these briefings would be if the actual medical experts didn't have to keep walking back @realDonaldTrump's inane ramblings."

"This is not just insane, it's also incredibly dangerous," the British broadcaster Piers Morgan also posted. "If Americans now die from injecting themselves with disinfectant, their deaths will be solely on President @realDonaldTrump. He needs to stop airing these absurd & reckless theories - NOW."

At the time of writing, the #disinfectant hashtag is also number one in the U.S. Twitter trending charts.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

This article was updated to clarify the language in the intro, and include new statements from the White House Press Secretary and American Cleaning Institute. The headline was also been changed to reflect updates to the story.

Trump Disinfectant Comments Trigger Manufacturers to Warn People Against Injecting Themselves With Cleaning Products | U.S.