Last week, President Donald Trump floated the idea of injecting disinfectants like bleach and isopropyl alcohol as a way to combat the novel coronavirus. Over the weekend, numerous states reported that they'd had an increase in calls to poison control centers, and one man in Kansas drank a cleaning product.
The Witchita Eagle says that health authorities in Kansas saw a 40 percent increase in cleaning chemical cases over the weekend after Trump made the controversial comments.
"A fellow over the weekend who drank a product because of the advice he'd received," announced Lee Norman, the state health officer in Kansas.
While he didn't expand on where the advice came from, his comments echo those by other state leaders in Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, and New York who say that calls to their health hotlines have increased with callers asking specifically about exposure to household cleaners after the president said experts should look into internal use of disinfectants.
"Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" Trump suggested during the White House coronavirus press conference. "Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that," he added.
Later in the press conference, he suggested that injections weren't on the table.
Health leaders have been working to counteract Trump's musings, with numerous doctors taking to social media to warn people against ingesting household cleaning products. Lysol, a company that manufactures disinfectants and cleaning products, also issued a statement along with the EPA and U.S. Surgeon General's office to remind people to talk to their doctor before starting any new treatment for COVID-19.
Experts say that ingesting disinfectants could be dangerous and even deadly. Norman says that they're working in Kansas to get the word out.
"We're doing what we can to counter-message against that kind of remedy," he said.
Trump walked back on his comments recently, saying that he meant them sarcastically as a way to test reporters. When he was later asked if he felt any responsibility for the increase in disinfectant cases after his comments, he said that he didn't, as The Inquisitr previously reported."No, I don't. No, I can't imagine. I can't imagine that," he stated.
Since the press conference, Trump has only held one other White House meeting, and it was shorter than usual. He also left without the customary period for questions from reporters. Previously, the press conferences were held on a near-daily basis.
Trump has said that he doesn't think the pressers are worth the time or effort any longer.