In a press briefing on April 23, US President Donald Trump suggested that injecting disinfectants might protect one from novel coronavirus. Not only was the suggestion scientifically incorrect but extremely dangerous as well. Now, data released by American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has established that bleach and disinfectant poisoning in America spiked since Trump's comment on the issue.

Donald Trump
Instagram grab/ Donald Trump

Although cases of bleach and disinfectant poisoning were witnessed from January-March, cases sky-rocketed in April. Cases of disinfectant poisoning increased in January, February and March by 5.2 percent, 17.1 percent and 93.6 percent respectively, as compared to the same period, last year. The same increased by a staggering 121.6 percent in April. From May 1 to 10, cases increased by 68.5 percent, compared to the same period last year, according to the AAPCC data.

Cases of poisoning by bleach also saw an upward trend since the outbreak of novel coronavirus. As compared to 2019, such cases increased by 6.6 percent, 1.23 percent and 59.1 percent in the months of January, February and March, respectively, as compared to the same period last year. The same increased by 77 percent in April. From May 1 to 10, cases increased by 51.2 percent, as per the AAPCC data.

Donald Trump's comments on disinfectants and bleach

At the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 23, William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, presented the findings of a US government research that suggested that novel coronavirus appears to weaken when exposed to sunlight, heat and humidity. It also concluded that bleach could kill the virus in five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could do the same in 30 seconds.

In response, President Trump suggested the same approach, but through injection in human body. "And 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?", he said then.

After intense ridicule and criticism, he backtracked from his comments and said they were meant to be "sarcastic".