A doctor has warned that people should not be using bleach to protect themselves from coronavirus after Donald Trump suggested disinfectant could be injected to kill the virus.
Trump’s bizarre comments have also been criticised by Oldham council leader Sean Fielding who said that the US President would not be able to open a bottle of bleach as they had ‘childproof caps’.
President Trump was speaking at a briefing on Thursday when he hypothesised about using ultraviolet light or disinfectant injected inside the body as a potential treatment for Covid-19.
He has since faced a backlash from medical professionals warning about the dangers of his remarks, which could have fatal results.
Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested, and even external exposure can be dangerous to the skin, eyes and respiratory system.
Oldham’s chief clinical officer Dr John Patterson strongly warned residents against listening to the president’s suggestions around disinfectants.
“Bleach is a very dangerous substance,” he said.
“If you inhale bleach it will do much more damage to your lungs than a mild case of Covid, if you put it on your skin it will do much more damage to yourself.
“There are all sorts of ways of keeping your hands clean, hot water and soap is as good as anything.
“Vitamin D is very good and very protective in this condition but absolutely avoid bleach please.
“We would encourage all of our population to seek professional help if they have symptoms that are giving them concern.”
President Trump had also suggested the possibility of using a ‘tremendous ultraviolet’ or ‘just very powerful light’ on or even inside the body as a potential treatment.
Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation that damages the skin.
Coun Fielding told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it was ‘incredibly irresponsible’ for people in power to make comments that jeopardised people’s lives or health.
Until recently, such theories have been confined to the ‘more crazy parts of the internet or the kind of people that when you go into a pub you don’t sit next to them’, Coun Fielding said.
“But unfortunately we’ve seen some of these people getting elected to positions of responsibility.
“I think they underestimate that they are now leaders and people do accept what they say, often because they see that they are in a position of authority and with that carries some automatic trust.
“When people are saying ridiculous things like that who are in those positions, people do take notice and it is incredibly dangerous and incredibly irresponsible.”
He added: “Perhaps the one saving grace of Donald Trump’s comments yesterday is that bleach comes in bottles with childproof caps on.
“So fortunately neither Donald Trump nor the people that are likely to take his advice seriously will be able to get the lids off in order to carry through what he is recommending.”