NYC Poison Control Center Records Spike In Bleach, Lysol Exposures After Trump’s Remarks

In the 18 hours following President Trump’s dangerous suggestion that injecting bleach or other household disinfectants into the body might cure people of the novel coronavirus, New York Daily News reporter Anna Sanders revealed that the New York City Poison Control Center received 30 calls about exposure to bleach and other household cleaning products.

Emergency agencies across the country have reported receiving a barrage of calls from Americans wondering whether they should follow Trump’s disinfectant suggestion.

“Do NOT ingest or inject Lysol or any other disinfectant as a treatment for #COVID19. Household disinfectants are poisonous and can cause serious harm or even death if swallowed or injected,” the New York City Department of Health tweeted.

A spokesman for the New York City’s Poison Control Center, a sub-agency of the Health Department, told the Daily News that it “managed 30 cases involving residents who had been exposed to bleach or other household cleaners in the period between Trump’s Thursday comments and Friday at 3 p.m. Nine of the cases specifically involved exposure to Lysol.”

“In the 18 hours prior to 3 PM, the NYC Poison Control Center managed 9 cases specifically about exposure to Lysol, 10 cases specifically about bleach and 11 cases about exposures to other household cleaners,” Sanders reported. “During the same 18 hour period in 2019, the center managed 2 cases pertaining to bleach, with a total of 13 cases regarding a household product and no products specifically ‘Lysol.’”

According to Sanders, none of the reported cases were fatal and it wasn’t clear if any of the people exposed had directly acted on Trump’s suggestion.

The NYC Department of Health’s website warns: “Do not ingest or inject Lysol or any other disinfectant as a treatment for COVID-19. Household disinfectants are poisonous and can cause serious harm or even death if swallowed or injected. Also, do not use products or medicines promoted as ‘anti-COVID-19’ unless approved by your health care provider. Some unapproved products have led to serious illness and death. The Poison Control Center can answer your questions about the safe use of products, medicines and other poisons.”

The jump in exposures comes hours after Trump’s dangerous remarks about disinfectants.

“Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” an excited Trump said during the White House daily briefing on Thursday. “And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but we’re going to test it?” he added, turning to William N. Bryan, the head of science at the Department of Homeland Security. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, either through the skin or some other way.”

“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?” Trump asked. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”


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