Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus response task force, told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday morning that it "bothers" her that the 24-hour news cycle is still talking about the president's comment about injecting cleaning fluid into coronavirus patients.
"I think we're missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another," Birx said. "I think as a scientist and public health official and researcher, sometimes I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night."
The president said his comment was sarcastic.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: I understand the importance of that study that the DHS official was discussing from the lab in Maryland about the effect of sunlight on having or, even more effectively, the life of coronavirus, the effect of disinfectants on nonporous solids, like doorknobs.
But that's not what the president was musing about. He was talking to about ways to take that science and somehow turn it into injecting U.V. light or disinfectants into the human body, which, as you know, especially with disinfectants, can be lethal.
And the CDC had to issue a statement. Lysol had to issue a statement.
I understand that you're taking a generous approach to this when it comes to President Trump musing aloud. But this is potentially dangerous. I mean, poison control centers got calls from people, and they had to issue statements saying, do not internally use disinfectants.
As a doctor, doesn't that bother you that you have to even spend any time discussing this?
DR. DEBORAH BIRX: Well, I think it bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we're missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing, as an American people, to continue to protect one another.
And we should be having that dialogue about asymptomatics. We should be having that dialogue about this unique clotting that we're seeing.
And we're the first country that really had young people to this degree. Italy and Europe is about 8 years older than us, as a median age. So, this is the first experience of this virus in an open society, where we really can understand what's happening to every different age group.
These are the things that we should be talking about and focusing on.
So, I think, as a -- as a scientist and a public health official and a researcher, sometimes, I worry that we don't get the information to the American people that they need, when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night.
So, I think I have answered that question. I think the president made it clear that physicians had to study this. I think I have made it clear that this was a musing, as you -- as you described.
But I want us to move on to be able to get information to the American people that can help them protect each other and also help them understand how devastating this virus is to different age groups and different symptoms and different comorbidities.
TAPPER: Well, I would agree with that.
I would say that I think the source of the misinformation is not the news media on this.
But, Dr. Deborah Birx, we appreciate your -- your coming here and taking our questions.
And best of luck with your job. God bless you.