Lysol maker warns against internal use of disinfectants after Trump comments

Lauren Egan and Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The manufacturer of Lysol, a disinfectant spray and cleaning product, issued a statement warning against any internal use after President Donald Trump suggested that people could get an "injection" of "the disinfectant that knocks (coronavirus) out in a minute."

"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)," a spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, said in a statement to NBC News.

"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," the statement continued, adding that the company believes it has a "responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts."

The Environmental Protection Agency also is reminding people to only use disinfectant on surfaces.

In a statement issued several hours before Trump spoke, the EPA said, "Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products."

The Trump administration's Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, also warned Americans, urging people to "always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/ medication to yourself or a loved one."

William Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security said at a White House briefing Thursday that "emerging results" from new research suggest solar light has a powerful effect in killing the virus on surfaces and in the air.

But, he said, there was no consideration of internal use of disinfectants.

Top Democrats slammed Trump for the comment.

And Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., a member of House Democratic leadership, tweeted Friday morning that "something is very wrong" with the president.

At the briefing, Trump also suggested that people could be treated with "ultraviolet or just a very powerful light" to kill the virus after Bryan's presentation showed that the virus might not live as long in warmer and more humid temperatures.

Trump then also mentioned an "injection" of "disinfectant" to deter the virus.

"I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute," the president said. "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 did not specify the kind of disinfectant.

Medical professionals were quick to dispute Trump's claims as "irresponsible" and "dangerous."

“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous," said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist, global health policy expert and an NBC News and MSNBC contributor.

"It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves," he added.

The White House claimed Friday morning that the media was mischaracterizing Trump's comments regarding coronavirus treatment.

"President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. "Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines."