Fact-Check: Trump Did Not Tell People To Inject Themselves With Disinfectants Or Drink Bleach

Some mainstream media outlets are reporting that President Trump encouraged Americans to drink or inject themselves with a chemical cleaning agent to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

CNN, USA Today, and the Washington Post were among companies that peddled the claim:

Even political candidates chimed in to dunk on the president:

But, of course, none of it was true.

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As the Daily Wire reports, however, Trump did not advise people to inject the disinfectants into the body. From the report:

Trump’s comments that sparked the misrepresentations came in response to DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Bill Bryan detailing some “striking” observations about what impacts the virus at a press briefing.

“Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air,” said Bryan. “We’ve seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favorable to the virus.” The virus has been demonstrated to die quickly on hard surfaces, like door handles and stainless steel, when they “inject” UV rays into the mix along with high temperatures and increased humidity.

“We’ve tested bleach, we’ve tested isopropyl alcohol on the virus, specifically in saliva or in respiratory fluids, and I can tell you that bleach will kill the virus in five minutes,” said Bryan. “Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds, and that’s with no manipulation, no rubbing. Just bring it on and leaving it go. You rub it and it goes away even faster. We’re also looking at other disinfectants, specifically looking at the COVID-19 virus in saliva.”

After Bryan’s comments, Trump then inquired further.

“So, I’m going to ask Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting,” the president started via the Daily Wire. “So, supposing when we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too?”

“Sounds interesting,” Trump continued. “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’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.”

Trump asked what Bryan and his team were working on and asked whether these things were being tested—but mainstream media had their minds set.

ABC News reporter Jon Karl asked Bryan, “The president mentioned the idea of a cleaner, bleach and isopropyl alcohol emerging. There’s no scenario where that could be injected into a person, is there?”

“No, I’m here to talk about the finds that we had in the study,” Bryan answered per the Daily Wire. “We don’t do that within that lab at our labs.”

Trump immediately clarified his comment: “It wouldn’t be through injections, you’re talking about almost a cleaning and sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work, but it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.”

Where’s the last quote in mainstream media’s coverage?