Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said his state saw a surge in phone calls asking if it was safe to ingest cleaning products after a controversial statement from Donald Trump wondering whether this might be a treatment for coronavirus.
Hogan spoke out against Trump's message on Sunday, saying during an appearance on ABC's This Week that Trump is sending "a wrong message" to Americans. As Newsweek reported, Hogan said many residents in the state wondered if it was safe to ingest Clorox bleach or alcohol cleaning products, as Trump suggested during a Thursday daily press briefing on the response to the coronavirus.
Trump came under widespread criticism for the comment, with a number of public health experts speaking out and warning people not to take the advice as it could be dangerous or potentially fatal to inject or ingest cleaning products. Trump later walked back the comments, claiming that he was just being sarcastic and retweeting the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to only use cleaning products in a way that their instructions intend.
During his appearance on Sunday, Hogan said that it is imperative for the president to stick to the facts since his daily press briefings reach such a wide audience.
"Well, look I think it's really important, this has been important to me since day one, about communicating very clearly on the facts," Hogan said.
"Because people listen to these press conferences. They listen when the governor holds a press conference and they certainly pay attention when the president of the United States is standing there giving a press conference about something as serious as this worldwide pandemic."Maryland was not the only state to see a rise in interest on household cleaning products after Trump's statement. As The Inquisitr reported, New York City saw a sharp rise in calls to poison control about ingesting cleaning products in the hours after the comments.
Some members of Trump's administration have continued to address the controversy, including top expert Dr. Deborah Birx. Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Birx said it bothers her that Trump's comments about disinfectant continued to make the news, saying the controversy was taking away from the important messaging that needs to reach the American people. Birx had previously defended Trump by claiming he was not intending to give medical advice but was instead working through the information he had recently learned.