President Donald Trump said he was being "sarcastic" to reporters just to see what would happen when he spoke about using injections of disinfectant to fight the coronavirus at Thursday's White House coronavirus task force briefing. The president told reporters his thinking came from the affect disinfectant has on the coronavirus at a signing event for the latest virus relief bill on Friday.
"I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen," Trump said today.
The president said disinfectant has been unbelievable when applied to surfaces and it made him think, "how do we do it inside the body or even outside the body with the hands? And disinfectant, I think would work."
"I was asking a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters. Okay?" Trump said when asked to clarify.
Trump lashed out at Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason for asking him to clarify that he is not encouraging Americans to inject disinfectant. Trump said the theory was only spoken "interior wise" and called the "fake news media" a group of "extraordinarily hostile people."
AYESHA RASCOE, NPR: Mr. President, can you clarify your comments about injections of disinfectant? They were quite provocative.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen. Now, disinfectant for doing this maybe on the hands would work. And I was asking the question of the gentleman who was there yesterday, Bill, because when they say that something will last three, or four hours, or six hours, but if the sun is out or if they use disinfectant, it goes away in less than a minute. Did you hear about this yesterday? But I was asking a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters. Okay?
RASCOE: But you were asking your medical experts to look into it.
TRUMP: No, no, no.
RASCOE: Were you being sarcastic with them?
TRUMP: To look into whether or not sun and disinfectant on the hands, but whether or not sun can help us because he came in yesterday and he said they’ve done a big study. This is a study. This isn’t where he hasn’t done it. This is where they’ve come in with a final report that sun has a massive impact negatively on this virus. In other words, it does not live well with humidity and it doesn’t live well with sun, sunlight, heat. It doesn’t live well with heat, and sun, and disinfectant. And that’s what I brought out, and I thought it was clear. Okay, anything else?
Trump faces off with Jeff Mason:
JEFF MASON, REUTERS: Mr. President, just to follow up on the comments from yesterday, you said you were being sarcastic, but some people may have misunderstood you. Do you want to just clarify?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think I did.
MASON: Do you want to just clarify for Americans that you don’t want people doing that?
TRUMP: Yeah, I do think the disinfectant on the hands could have a very good effect. Now, Bill is going back to check that in the laboratory. It’s an amazing laboratory, by the way. It’s amazing the work they do. So he’s going to check because a hard surface, this is a hard surface, I guess maybe depending on whose hands you’re talking about, but this is a hard surface, and the disinfectant has an unbelievable, it wipes it out. You saw it. Sun, and heat, and humidity wipe it out. And this is from tests. They’ve been doing these tests for a number of months and the result… So then I said, “Well, how do we do it inside the body or even outside the body with the hands? And disinfectant, I think would work. He thinks it would work. But you use it when you’re doing your hands. I guess that’s one of the reasons they say wash your hands, but whether it’s washing your hands or disinfectant on your hands, it’s very good.”
So they’re going to start looking at that. And there is a way of if light, if sun, sun itself, that sun has a tremendous impact on it. It kills it like in one minute. It goes from, what was it, hours to like one minute it’s dead. So I said, “You got to go back and look.” But I’d like them now to look as it pertains to the human body. Not just sitting on a railing or sitting on a wall. I’d like them to look as it pertains, because maybe there’s something there. I’m not a doctor. They have to work with the doctors, but maybe there is something to light, and the human body, and helping people that are dying. Okay?
MASON: But just to clarify that, sir, you’re not encouraging Americans to inject disinfectant?
TRUMP: No, of course not. Interior wise, it was said sarcastically. It was put in the form of a question to a group of extraordinarily hostile people, namely the fake news media. Okay? So-
MASON: Some doctors felt they needed to clarify that after your comment.
TRUMP: Well, of course. All they had to do was see. You know the way it was asked, I was looking at you.
MASON: No, sir. I wasn’t here yesterday.
TRUMP: I know. I know.