Trump Slammed for Touting Dangerous New Virus Treatments After Favored Drug Is Discredited
Mainlining disinfectants. Blasting the body with ultraviolet light—from the inside. President Donald Trump turned again Thursday to pushing tenuous findings during the coronavirus pandemic, touting an “emerging result” from the Department of Homeland Security that suggested sunlight and heat can weaken the spread of coronavirus.
But by the end of Thursday’s coronavirus task force briefing, questions over the findings had caused Trump to lash out at a reporter and go on the defensive after he suggested a range of bizarre—and downright dangerous—possible treatments based off the announcement.
Bill Bryan, who leads the science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, presented an “emerging result” from departmental research that suggested UV light, heat and humidity are detrimental to COVID-19.
“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,” Bryan said.
However, Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and a Daily Beast contributor, was quick to challenge the presentation during a subsequent appearance on MSNBC.
“Everything that this scientist talked about from Homeland Security was basically incoherent, nonsensical, not really supported by evidence and really quite contrary to a lot of things we do know,” Redlener said.
Trump’s has shared concerning medical advice during the pandemic, like placing a major emphasis on the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus symptoms. But his fiery push for the untested drug has subsided in recent days, after government-funded research undercut Trump’s longed-for panacea.
According to Bryan’s presentation, higher temperatures, humidity and sunlight were found to be “detrimental to SARS-CoV-2 in saliva droplets” either on surfaces or through the air.
A second slide said heat and humidity, either indoors and outdoors, “suppresses COVID-19,” and that “sunlight impedes virus transmission.” It also said that bleach and isopropyl alcohol “work to kill the virus” on surfaces in around five minutes and 30 seconds respectively.