Biden mocks Trump over disinfectant remark; Trump says he was being sarcastic
Joe Biden mocked President Trump’s suggestion earlier this year that people might inject disinfectants to prevent COVID-19 in one of the testier moments of a nasty debate on Tuesday, to which Trump protested he was being sarcastic.
The exchange took place during a discussion about the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.
“This is the same man who told you by Easter this would be gone away, by the warm weather it would be gone miraculously like a miracle,” Biden said, suggesting Trump could not be trusted. “And by the way maybe you can inject some bleach in your arm and that would take care of it.”
“That was said sarcastically and you know that,” Trump responded immediately. “That was said sarcastically.”
Trump had offered the remark about disinfectant during an April 24 White House briefing. It caused enough of a stir — and negative headlines — that the White House discontinued briefings for weeks afterward.
Trump was commenting after another official, Bill Bryant of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), talked about research his team from the DHS science and technology division had done on the extent to which the virus lived in warmer weather. Bryant said the virus “dies quickest in sunlight.”
Trump then asked if light could be brought into the body.
“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing,” Trump said at the April 24 briefing. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too.”
He then said: “I see the disinfectant that 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? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
Trump’s comments were seen as a bad gaffe, and public health experts worried they could also lead people to try to ingest disinfectant.