House Speaker Nancy Pelosi falsely claimed during her weekly press conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday that President Donald Trump told people this week to “inject Lysol” into their “lungs.”
During her press conference, Pelosi claimed [emphasis added], “The President is asking people to inject Lysol into their lungs, and Mitch is saying that states should go bankrupt. It’s a clear, visible, within 24 hours, of how the Republicans reject science and reject governance.”
Nancy Pelosi falsely claims that President Trump wants people to "inject lysol into their lungs," using it to say Republicans "reject governance." pic.twitter.com/MJF1KLftgR
— MRCTV.org (@mrctv) April 24, 2020
Pelosi later said at the end of the press conference [emphasis added], “We had some support in the Senate on the Republican side, but the White House – and they tell me it came right from the President: no money for the Post Office. Instead, inject Lysol into your lungs as we shut down the states.”
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi falsely claimed that President Donald Trump told people to “inject Lysol into your lungs” pic.twitter.com/JLsRHJf7P0
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 25, 2020
Both of Pelosi’s statements are false.
During the press conference, Bill Bryan, Under Secretary for Science and Technology at DHS, talked about the effects of sunlight, heat, humidity, and certain disinfectants on the half-life of the coronavirus.
“We’ve tested bleach, we’ve tested isopropyl alcohol on the virus, specifically in saliva or in respiratory fluids, and I can tell you that bleach will kill the virus in five minutes,” Bryan said. “Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds, and that’s with no manipulation, no rubbing. Just bring it on and leaving it go. You rub it and it goes away even faster.”
Immediately following these remarks, Trump said:
So, I’m going to ask Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposing when we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too. Sounds interesting. And 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? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that – you’re going to have to use medical doctors with – but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.
A few moments later, ABC News reporter Jon Karl asked Bryan, “The president mentioned the idea of a cleaner, bleach and isopropyl alcohol emerging. There’s no scenario where that could be injected into a person, is there?”
“No, I’m here to talk about the finds that we had in the study,” Bryan responded. “We don’t do that within that lab at our labs.”
Trump then clarified his remarks: “It wouldn’t be through injections, you’re talking about almost a cleaning and sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work, but it certainly has a big affect if it’s on a stationary object.”
Lysol was never mentioned anywhere during the press conference and Trump never told anyone to inject themselves with anything.
So how did Lysol come into the mix?
Reckitt Benckiser Group, the company that makes Lysol, issued a statement before Pelosi’s press conference that stated:
Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
As a global leader in health and hygiene products, 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.
We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts.
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