White House attacks media for reporting Trump's idea to inject disinfectant

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Donald Trump said Thursday he wanted to look into disinfectant being used on people with COVID-19 'by injection inside or almost a cleaning.'

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempted on Friday to blame the press for Donald Trump's suggestion that the coronavirus could be treated by injecting disinfectant.

In a press statement, McEnany scolded the media for reporting on Trump's Thursday COVID-19 briefing.

"President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday's briefing," she wrote. "Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines."

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But the news outlets accurately reported what Trump said.

Trump made the claim on live television that disinfectants quickly kill the virus. After suggesting that perhaps the coronavirus could be killed by hitting "the body with a tremendous ... ultraviolet or very powerful light," he said:

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. 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. So, that, you're going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds interesting to me.

Though Trump did acknowledge that doctors would have to determine whether injecting deadly disinfectants was an effective treatment, he has repeatedly undermined doctors and medical science throughout the pandemic.

In February, after Nancy Messonnier, head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, said the government should prepare for a coronavirus pandemic in the United States that might cause "severe" disruption, a "furious" Trump threatened to fire her, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. At the time, Trump was claiming the virus was "very much under control."

Without evidence, Trump repeatedly accused health care workers of stealing medical equipment last month.

"When you go from 10,000 masks to 300,000 masks," Trump said, "there's something going on."

This allegation that did not sit well with the head of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

"[New York's healthcare workers] deserve better than their president suggesting that [Personal Protective Equipment] is 'going out the back door' of New York hospitals," he responded in a March 29 statement.

Earlier this month, Trump retweeted a former Republican congressional candidate who said it was "Time to #FireFauci," after the nation's top epidemiologist acknowledged that Trump's slow response to the pandemic cost lives. "I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on April 12. "Obviously, no one is going to deny that."

On Sunday, CDC Director Robert Redfield predicted that "the assault of the virus on our nation next winter" might "actually be more difficult than the one we just went through." Trump claimed Redfield had been "misquoted," though the CDC head acknowledged the quote's accuracy.

This week, Trump's administration demoted the head of the agency tasked with developing a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Rick Bright. Bright claimed he was punished for demanding stringent testing of a "potentially dangerous" anti-malarial medication Trump touted as a "miracle" cure for COVID-19.

Though public health experts have consistently said continued social distancing is necessary to curb the coronavirus' spread, Trump has repeatedly pushed for them to end quickly.

"If it were up to the doctors, they may say let's keep it shut down," he admitted last month. "You know, we can't do that and you can't do that with the country, especially the number one economy anywhere in the world by far. Number one economy in the world. You can't do that."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.