A leading disinfectant company urged people not to inject themselves with its products, hours after Trump said it might kill the coronavirus inside the human body

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Products produced by Reckitt Benckiser: Vanish, Finish, Dettol and Harpic. Reuters
  • The maker of Dettol and Lysol said on Friday that people should not inject themselves with disinfectant to try to kill the coronavirus.
  • At a coronavirus press briefing on Thursday night, President Donald Trump mused about whether injecting oneself with disinfectant could kill the virus, given that disinfectant can kill the virus on external surfaces.
  • “I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said. “One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”
  • Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Dettol, Lysol, and Harpic, said in a statement that “under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”
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A leading manufacturer of cleaning products on Friday warned people not to inject themselves with disinfectant, which is toxic, hours after President Donald Trump floated the notion that doing so might kill the novel coronavirus.

“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),” Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Dettol, Lysol, and Harpic, said in a statement published on Friday.

“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).”

“We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public-health experts,” it added.

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President Donald Trump with Vice President Mike Pence during a coronavirus press briefing on Thursday. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The statement came just over 12 hours after Trump suggested that because disinfectant could kill the coronavirus on external surfaces, perhaps the same would happen if people put disinfectant into their body.

Speaking at a White House coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Trump rhetorically asked Dr. Deborah Birx, who helps oversee the White House coronavirus response, whether it could work inside the human body.

“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?” he said, turning to face Birx. “So it’d be interesting to check that.”

“I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

Trump also floated on the idea of shining ultraviolet light inside the body to kill the virus, since US federal researchers had conducted early tests that found sunlight could kill the virus.

“Suppose that we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” Trump said.

“Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.”