It was exactly one year ago Friday when then-President Donald Trump delivered what may have been the wildest few moments in presidential history.
As the nation battled the coronavirus pandemic, Trump went on television and delivered what could only be described as medical improv. He said government scientists would be testing “very powerful light” inside the body to kill the virus, as well as disinfectant taken “by injection” which would be “almost a cleaning.”
Trump later claimed he was being “sarcastic,” despite the fact that he made the remarks during a nationally televised news conference in the middle of a pandemic. However, his comments were followed by a rise in accidental poisonings involving disinfectants such as bleach, something Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was not at the news conference, later admitted he was worried would happen.
“I just said, ‘Oh, my goodness gracious,’” Fauci said on CNN in January. “I could just see what’s going to happen: You’re going to have people who hear that from the president and they’re going to start doing dangerous and foolish things.”
Trump, however, denied any responsibility:
Trump’s comments caused the makers of Lysol to warn “that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion or any other route.”
The moment also blew up on social media, became instant fodder for the late-night shows and made a sensation out of comic Sarah Cooper:
One year later, Twitter users still couldn’t believe it happened:
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- Find all that and more on our coronavirus hub page.