Apr 24, 2020 - Health

Lysol maker refutes Trump's suggestion that disinfectants may treat coronavirus

Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of disinfectants Lysol and Dettol, released a statement Friday that its products cannot be injected or ingested to combat coronavirus after President Trump suggested the possibility during Thursday's task force briefing.

What Trump said: "I see the disinfectant that 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 inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."

  • RB's response: "As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines."

The state of play: Doctors took to social media to quickly warn people against ingesting or using disinfectants as a treatment, the Washington Post reports.

  • Craig Spencer, the director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told the Post: "My concern is that people will die. People will think this is a good idea."

The big picture: Trump has also repeatedly suggested hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, can be used to combat the coronavirus, but there is no definitive scientific evidence regarding its efficacy.

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