Lysol Warns Against Drinking Disinfectants After Trump's Bizarre Coronavirus Rant

Mock body bags placed by protesters are lined up in front of the Trump International Hotel on April 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Mock body bags placed by protesters are lined up in front of the Trump International Hotel on April 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Getty Images

Reckitt Benckiser, the British company that makes cleaning products like Lysol and Dettol, issued a statement Friday morning warning consumers against ingesting or injecting disinfectants. The company said it needed to issue the advice after “recent speculation” about using disinfectants to treat the new coronavirus. And if you saw the news from the White House last night, you know why the maker of Lysol would have to do such a stupid thing.

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The so-called “recent speculation” wasn’t from some random idiot who thought he should drink bleach. It was from America’s most powerful idiot, President Donald Trump—the same guy who has sole launch authority over a stockpile of nuclear weapons that could destroy all life on Earth within about 30 minutes.

Trump held his daily covid-19 briefing yesterday, just as he has for weeks, ranting and raving about things that he’s completely unqualified to talk about. But last evening’s briefing was particularly unhinged, especially when the president started talking about possible treatments for the disease that has so far sickened over 869,000 Americans and killed 49,963, as of Friday morning.

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“I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said on Thursday about ways that you could treat covid-19. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

Reckitt Benckiser, which also makes products like Clearsil and Air Wick, issued a statement on Friday morning warning that President Trump’s ideas were really bad, without naming the president directly (emphasis in the original):

Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

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. Please read the label and safety information.

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President Trump is clearly using his daily press conferences as free TV exposure and actually makes viewers less informed about America’s coronavirus crisis with his bizarre bouts of verbal diarrhea. According to the New York Times, Trump looks forward to the briefings, though he only “rarely” participates in the task force meetings that happen just before the cameras go on.

From the New York Times:

He is often seeing the final version of the day’s main talking points that aides have prepared for him for the first time although aides said he makes tweaks with a Sharpie just before he reads them live. He hastily plows through them, usually in a monotone, in order to get to the question-and-answer bullying session with reporters that he relishes.

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International media on the other side of the world seemed to have a good time with President Trump’s idiotic statements overnight, even among people who are typically supporters. For instance, far right TV commentator Chris Kenny on Sky News Australia laughed at Trump and said that while he usually agrees with the president, he should probably leave the medical advice to the experts.

Australia’s Nine News also poked fun at Trump’s comments, calling him “Doctor Donald” and contrasting his advice with “the real doctors and nurses” who are fighting the disease.

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Chinese state TV channel CGTN played ominous music underneath its clip of Trump giving bad medical advice, followed up with screenshots of tweets calling the president dumb.

Trump told Americans that before he became president, the entire world was laughing at the U.S., which wasn’t entirely true. But they’re certainly laughing now.

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Update, 9:34 a.m. ET: Deadspin warned us on February 16, 2017.

Illustration for article titled Lysol Warns Against Drinking Disinfectants After Trumps Bizarre Coronavirus Rant
Screenshot: Deadspin
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Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

Well, at least the people who listen to him won’t be around to vote in November.