The old saying “Desperate times call for desperate measures” can easily be applied in dark times like this but a concerning trend has people going as far as injecting or consuming cleaning products to try to stay safe from COVID-19.
This comes after President Trump was speaking to reporters on April 23 during his daily press briefing and asked, “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, because you see it get in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that [out], so you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see…”
According to Business Insider, New York City’s Poison Control Center reported 30 inquiries relating to bleach, Lysol and other household cleaners in an 18-hour period after Trump’s comments. This is not only New York either, as the Kansas Poison Control Center has also seen a 40 percent increase in cases about cleaning products. In addition, on April 30, it was reported that two men from Georgia drank cleaning products to fight the virus.
Although President Trump says that this was sarcasm, I think it shows that he needs to be more careful with what he says because of how much influence he has. As President of the United States, there are many people who have absolute faith in what Trump says and does, especially during this crisis where people are scared and just want to stay safe. This is just an incredibly dangerous message that he shouldn’t have said even if he was being sarcastic.
I do not think that President Trump is the only one to blame here, though, as people should absolutely know better than to consume these incredibly toxic products. I understand being scared, but sometimes it comes down to common sense. If any of these people actually looked at what is in these cleaning products, they would see that it should not be consumed in any way. If Trump wouldn’t do it, then neither should you.
In a scenario such as this, I believe that people should just listen to the professionals regarding these products, as many companies have strongly advocated against this. One example is the American Cleaning Institute who 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.”
Overall, Donald Trump is the President of the United States and not just some celebrity, so he needs to act like it. Whether these comments were sarcasm or genuine spitballing, it doesn’t matter because they were said and caused serious harm. A president isn’t expected to know everything so when he doesn’t know something, instead of just speaking and saying something that could look bad, he should refer to one of his colleagues that does know about the subject.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted at