There were some contentions at the Whitehouse on Thursday, during the US COVID-19 presidential task force briefing. The reason for this was largely centered on President Trump’s suggestion of the use of disinfectants and ultraviolet light, for the treatment of the coronavirus disease. According to the president, patients could possibly recover from the disease, if they are administered with an injection dose of disinfectant, as well as been subjected to intense ultraviolet light.
Trump had raised these suggestions, after listening to findings presented by William Bryan- a researcher at the US Department of Homeland security. Bryan’s presentation reveals that viruses on certain surfaces and in common aerosols were destroyed, after exposure to such things as heat, sunlight, humidity, as well as bleach and isopropyl alcohol disinfectants.
Reactions trail Trump’s optimism on light and disinfectant therapies for COVID-19
Although he acknowledged Bryan’s assertions that the light treatment methods have not been tried in humans, Trump showed readiness to have it tested as soon as possible. According to him, the means of achieving this would be passing ultraviolet light or a strong light of any other source, through the skin of patients. He also went further to suggest that any other means of passing the lights through the body- asides the skin, would be welcomed.
However, it was quite obvious that none of the medical experts on the presidential task force team welcomed the president’s idea. But then, just after making his suggestions on the use of ultraviolet light, Trump went further to discuss the possibility of using disinfectants to knock down the coronavirus in humans.
While still referring to the presentation by Bryan, the president seemed to be sure that the same results could be replicated in patients suffering from the virus. Note that Trump had also mentioned how these proposed disinfectants were observed to have killed viruses on surfaces and aerosols, in just one minute. The president inferred that a disinfectant injection could possibly be used for some sort of cleansing therapy- most especially for somewhere like the lungs where the virus multiplies rapidly.
Note that President Trump had once made comments suggesting that springtime temperatures could possibly eliminate the virus. He, therefore, relied on Bryan’s findings as some sort of confirmation to that hypothesis. The president also reaffirmed his opinion on the possible therapeutic use of Remdesivir and Chloroquine for the virus. This he said was true, since there were no recent scientific findings discrediting the claims.
When questioned directly by journalists in attendance on the intended use of light and disinfectants in patients, Bryan explained that he was not buying into the president’s experimental ideas, either. Note that the researcher had tested the effect of light and disinfectants on the virus, at laboratory temperatures of between 70°F to 95°F. This is in fact, different from what is obtainable in humans, where the normal body temperature is put at 98.6°F.
Also reacting to a direct question from Trump, Deborah Birx- one of the members on the task force team, gave no significant assurances on the possibility of using light as a treatment for the coronavirus. Now, although the president continually insisted on all of the theories been rumors, he however still showed great optimism for the ideas. He called on doctors to look into the possibilities of adopting all of the factors, in bringing up a cure.
However, even while the press briefing was still ongoing, quite a number of medical experts had already taken to Twitter to sound some warning. They all advised against the use of disinfectant and other cleaning agents, in the fight against the virus.