Usually straitlaced and solemn in his delivery of up-to-the-minute health advice, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer stifled giggles when asked about US President Donald Trump’s latest suggested treatments for coronavirus.
- Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectant to cure coronavirus
- Brendan Murphy has warned against the method
- The United States has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world
Flanked by doctors in the White House’s press briefing room, Mr Trump cited US Government research suggesting coronavirus could be killed off more quickly when exposed to sunlight, heat and humidity, and is destroyed altogether when hit by disinfectants.
“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that has not been checked but you’re going to test it,” he said turning to some of the medical professionals present at the press conference.
“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.
“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.”
Across the other side of the Pacific, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, was asked for his clinical advice on such a novel treatment.
“I would caution against the injection of disinfection [sic]!” he said as he visibly stifled a laugh.
“They could be quite toxic to people.”
Professor Murphy, somewhat diplomatically, placed some caveats around his response.
“I wasn’t privy to [Mr Trump’s] comments, so I want to be very careful about commenting on something that I didn’t hear myself.
“And ultraviolet light — I don’t know the context in which he said it, so I really would need to study it before I could comment, thank you.”
Australia’s infection rate is considerably lower than in many other countries, including the United States.
Professor Murphy was asked whether Australian authorities believed the nation had seen the worst of the coronavirus outbreak, and whether they could ever foresee circumstances when the number of cases skyrocketed in a similar way to what has been seen in Europe and the US.
“We have never been in that situation and we have no intention of being in that situation,” he said.
“I can’t be 100 per cent sure, we don’t know everything about this virus.
“But I can tell you we’re going to be as prepared as we can to prevent that happening.”
Additional reporting from wires
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