The manufacturer of Dettol and Cillit Bang has warned people not to inject disinfectant products into their bodies after President Donald Trump appeared to suggest using that method to treat coronavirus patients at a briefing on Thursday.
Reckitt Benckiser said in a statement published Friday that its products should “under no circumstances” be injected into people’s bodies.
It also warned that its products should only be “used as intended” and advised people to always “read the label and safety information” on its products.
“Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2),” Reckitt Benckiser said in its statement.
“We must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).
“As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”
The company issued its statement after Trump asked whether injections of “disinfectant” could be used to treat patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, sparking widespread reaction on social media.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the commander-in-chief said: “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.
“It will be interesting to check that, so you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me.”
Newsweek has contacted the White House and disinfectant manufacturers for comment. This article will be updated with any responses.
Reacting to President Trump’s remarks at yesterday’s briefing, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted: “Imagine how much more efficient and useful these briefings would be if the actual medical experts didn’t have to keep walking back @realDonaldTrump’s inane ramblings.”
“This is not just insane, it’s also incredibly dangerous,” the British broadcaster Piers Morgan also posted. “If Americans now die from injecting themselves with disinfectant, their deaths will be solely on President @realDonaldTrump. He needs to stop airing these absurd & reckless theories – NOW.”
At the time of writing, the #disinfectant hashtag is also number on in the U.S. Twitter trending charts.