Press Secretary lashes out at media over light and disinfectant questions

Press Secretary lashes out at media over light and disinfectant questions

During a press gaggle, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters asking about President Trump’s light and disinfectant comments to find a new story.

Press Secretary lashes out at media over light and disinfectant questions

President Trump, in his White House coronavirus task force briefing Thursday, appeared to suggest that light and disinfectants might have the potential to treat the coronavirus — prompting a number of stories condemning the comments, others seeking to defend the president and a scathing tweet from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The comments even prompted a statement from Reckitt Benckiser Group, the makers of Lysol, warning against improper use of disinfectant products.

“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),” the company said. “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.”



On Friday, the White House hit back at the media’s coverage, with Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany saying in a statement: “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.”

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The president’s comments came after administration officials presented findings of a study that suggested increased heat, light and humidity in the summer could decrease the time it takes for the coronavirus to disperse on surfaces and in the air, and potentially slow the spread of the disease during the warmer months. They also said that isopropyl alcohol and bleach were highly effective in tests at killing the virus on surfaces — with bleach killing it in as few as five minutes and isopropyl alcohol doing so in just 30 seconds.

Press Secretary lashes out at media over light and disinfectant questions

Trump then launched into the comments that drew the harsh backlash, including one Washington Post headline that read, “Trump asked if disinfectants could be injected to kill coronavirus inside the body. Doctors answered: ‘People will die.’”

Here’s what Trump said in his briefing exchanges with his administration experts and reporters.

Initial comments

After Bill Bryan, the head of the science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, presented the findings of the federal government’s study on sunlight, humidity and temperature’s effect on the coronavirus — as well as various disinfectants on the virus when it is on surfaces — Trump reacted to the comments.

“Question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. 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,” Trump said, looking over to Bryan.


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