U.S. official says heat and sunlight act as disinfection for COVID-19. The coronavirus appears to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight, heat and humidity, and a U.S. official said on Thursday in a potential sign that the pandemic could become less contagious in summer months.
Watch: Heat and Sunlight to Beat off COVID-19
At Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, the U.S. president discussed new government research on how the virus reacts to different temperatures, climates and surfaces. “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said. “One minute! And is there a way we can do something, by an 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.” Dr Deborah Birx, the task force response coordinator, remained silent.
But social media erupted in hilarity and outrage at the president, who has a record of defying science and also floated the idea of treating patients’ bodies with ultraviolet (UV) light. Several doctors warned the public against injecting disinfectant or using UV light.
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Georgia and South Carolina are allowing some businesses to reopen this week. In essence, a move that health authorities say could lead to more deaths because they do not have enough tests to assess how many people are infected. Trump’s administration says states should wait until they have proof that infection rates have dropped steadily for two weeks. Trump said Americans might need to maintain social distancing into early summer, even though some states were showing signs of progress.
Trump has encouraged protests against social-distancing restrictions in some states. But he criticized Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican, for moving too quickly.”I want the people in Georgia to be safe, and I don’t want this thing to flare up because you’re deciding to do something that is not in the guidelines,” he said. Trump said researchers should try to apply their findings to coronavirus patients by inserting light or disinfectant into their bodies.“Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?” he said. “It would be interesting to check that.”