New York City saw a rise in patients who had ingested household cleaning products after Donald Trump’s controversial comments about “injecting” disinfectants to cure the coronavirus, with nearly three times as many calls to the city’s poison control center in a few hours after the comments were made.
As the New York Daily News reported, the city’s poison control hotline saw a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants during an 18-hour period following Trump’s press conference in which he floated the idea of injecting or ingesting dangerous disinfectants. The report noted the numbers were nearly three times higher than the same 18-hour period last year, and some of the cases appeared directly connected to Trump’s controversial and later retracted advice.
“Moreover, out of the cases reported between Thursday and Friday, nine were specifically about possible exposure to Lysol,” the report noted. “Ten were in regards to bleach and 11 about household cleaners in general, the spokesman said.”
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump later claimed that he was joking when he suggested that coronavirus patients inject disinfectants. The remark had drawn immediate pushback from medical experts and makers of household cleaning products, urging people not to attempt injecting them or ingesting them, which could lead to serious side effects or even death.
Trump’s claim that he was joking came under scrutiny as well, with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto calling on Trump to more forcefully apologize for the comments seen by many as dangerous.
“The president was not joking in his remarks yesterday when he discussed injecting people with disinfectant,” Cavuto said, via The Hill. “He might be dialing that back today. I don’t know why he just didn’t say, ‘I screwed up, I got it wrong, that wasn’t my intention.’ This is an important medical distinction.”
The report from the New York Daily News seemed to hint that at least some people may have taken the president seriously, though the report did not say there was any direct connection between the spike in calls to the city’s poison control center and the president’s comments.
Trump’s controversial medical advice has led to some serious medical situations in the past, including an Arizona man who died after taking a household variety of the drug chloroquine, which Trump had touted as a “game changer” in the fight against coronavirus. The man ingested a version used as an aquarium cleaner and fell seriously ill, later dying after being taken to a nearby hospital. His wife, who also ingested the chemical, fell seriously ill as well but survived her ordeal.