Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, but it’s hard to say we didn’t see this coming after the president ruminated out loud a few days ago on the usefulness of injecting disinfectant into the body as a kind of “cleaning” to get rid of the coronavirus.
Poison Centers across the country are now reporting that emergency calls to them have risen.
In New York City, the calls spiked in the 18 hour period immediately after the President’s insane and essentially suicidal recommendation was broadcast on Thursday.
According to NY Daily News:
An unusually high number of New Yorkers contacted city health authorities over fears that they had ingested bleach or other household cleaners in the 18 hours that followed President Trump’s bogus claim that injecting such products could cure coronavirus, the Daily News has learned. The Poison Control Center, a subagency of the city’s Health Department, managed a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, a spokesman said.
The last few days of calls are more than double the number the NYC Poison Center says it received during the same period last year. What’s more, many of the cases were “specifically about exposure to Lysol, 10 cases specifically about bleach and 11 cases about exposures to other household cleaners,” a NYC Health Department spokesperson told NPR News.
Similar reports are coming from other parts of the country.
“There has been a significant increase in calls to the Illinois Poison Control Center in association with exposure to cleaning agents (since Thursday),” the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Ngozi Ezike said to reporters on Saturday.
From NBC 5 Chicago:
“Ezike cited several examples of what residents have reported doing in recent days, including use of a detergent solution for a sinus rinse and gargling with a mixture of bleach and mouthwash. The doctor advised Illinois residents not to try home remedies to cure or treat the virus, including those that “involve ingesting cleaners or disinfectants.”
This predictable yet depressing consequence of the president’s latest unhinged comments illustrates the multiple risks the American public is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the head of the country is a man who clearly doesn’t care about the repercussions of what he says outside of its ability to ingrain his power, enrich his wallet or make him immune from responsibility.
What’s also devastating, not to mention dangerous, is the continuing unwillingness from any “adults in the room” to stop Trump’s idiotic ideas from infecting a gullible public desperate for national leadership during this crisis.
While acknowledging the role of personal responsibility—since adults of sound mind should already know not to gargle with BLEACH—it is still incredible that the president of the United States continues to be given a daily platform for promoting things that are objectively dangerous to people’s health in the midst of a public health emergency.
Then again, some people in the media—like this MSNBC analyst—seem to find the dystopia we’re living in “exciting”:
Though Trump has since tried to walk back his remarks by claiming they were sarcastic, they weren’t funny either.
Please consider passing along this message to anyone who may be considering taking medical advice from a president with no background in medicine (or much of anything else except grifting):
Don’t do it.