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Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said President Donald Trump understands that disinfectant isn’t a treatment for Covid-19.
“It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” Birx told CNN’s “State of the Union,” in one of three interviews on Sunday. “I think I’ve made it clear that this was a musing” on Trump’s part.
The president on Friday said he had “sarcastically” suggested Americans be injected with disinfectant, following his briefing room riff from the day before about the possibility of fighting coronavirus with chemical disinfectant or sunlight.
The comment prompted doctors and manufacturers of cleaning products to issue statements; poison hotlines in states including Maryland, New York and Illinois reported an increase in inquiries. Trump’s press secretary said the media had taken his comments out of context.
The U.S. is likely to reach 1 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the next few days. Deaths exceed 54,000 so far. In both cases those are the world’s highest totals.
The hoopla around Trump’s “musing” distracts from an important study about the effects on sunlight and disinfectants on coronavirus, Birx said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who rapped Trump on Friday for dispensing advice with “no relationship to science, fact, evidence, data or appropriate ways to proceed,” had her own take on the disinfectant advice.
“You know what they call that?” the California Democrat said on CNN. “They call that embalming.”
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