The White House amended its transcript Friday of President Donald Trump’s highly controversial Thursday press briefing, clarifying that health adviser Dr. Deborah Birx had said sunlight and heat are not a treatment for COVID-19.
The transcript change followed Trump’s comments Thursday that it would be “interesting to check” if an “injection” of disinfectant might be used to battle the disease. He also suggested that sunlight or ultraviolet light and heat could be used to battle the coronavirus.
“Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful — light ... suppose you brought the light inside the body?” The president mused. Moments later, he asked Birx: “Deborah, have you ever heard of that? That heat and the light, relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?”
It was clear from the video of the press conference that Birx had responded, “Not as a treatment.” Initially, the transcript had her saying: “That is a treatment” before the language was corrected.
Trump responded: “I think it’s a great thing to look at. I mean, you know. OK?”
Birx became a Twitter favorite Friday for the look on her face as Trump expressed his ideas Thursday.
She later defended Trump, however, telling Fox News in a clip from a longer interview airing Saturday that the president was still “digesting” new information about COVID-19. “When he gets new information, he likes to talk that through out loud and really have that dialogue, and so that’s what dialogue he was having,” she said.
Health experts have since warned that ingesting or injecting disinfectants is toxic and can be fatal. “Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” RB, the company that manufactures disinfectant Lysol, stated.
Following the uproar over Trump’s comments concerning disinfectants, he insisted Friday he made the comments “sarcastically to reporters ... to see what would happen.”
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