US President Donald Trump has said he was being sarcastic when he raised the possibility of using disinfectant inside people’s bodies to fight coronavirus, in an attempt to walk back comments that alarmed medical professionals worldwide.

Mr Trump said in a news briefing on Friday (AEST) that scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of coronavirus patients might help treat COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

At an Oval Office event a day later, Mr Trump sought to walk back those comments while also seeming to continue to advance his theory that disinfectants and sunlight might ultimately help within the body.

“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” he told journalists.

His remarks on Friday, directed at Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the President’s coronavirus taskforce, and William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, did not come across as sarcastic.

Mr Trump began by suggesting “we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light” before moving on to talk about disinfectants.

“Right, and then I see the disinfectant, 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, ’cause you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.”

Pressed repeatedly about the issue this morning, Mr Trump said he was not encouraging people to ingest disinfectant.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency said it had received several calls about disinfectant use and COVID-19.

“This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” it said in a tweet.

Source : ABC News

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