Was Trump Asking a ‘Sarcastic Question’ When He Discussed Disinfectants at a Press Briefing?

President Trump made remarks about disinfectant and “cleaning” as a treatment for coronavirus during Thursday’s coronavirus task force briefing that led to disagreement about how to interpret what he said. Many in the media reported that Trump suggested injecting disinfectant into patients with coronavirus could be used as a treatment to kill the virus. Others denied he’d made the claim.

For the record, here’s the relevant part of the quote:

“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? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

On Friday, the president denied he was seriously suggesting injecting disinfectant, saying from the Oval Office, “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen. Now disinfectant or doing this maybe on the hands would work. I was asking the question of the gentleman who was there yesterday, Bill [Bryan], because when they say that something will last to three to four hours of six hours, but if sun is out, or if they use disinfectant, it goes away in less than a minute. Did you hear about this yesterday? But I was asking a sarcastic—a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside, but it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.”

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