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Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 50,000



Australia’s chief medical officer has warned against following Donald Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectant or ultraviolet light as a cure for coronavirus. During a press conference in Canberra on Friday, Brendan Murphy said he would “caution against the injection of disinfectants” and said they could be “toxic to people.”

Trump had earlier suggested injecting people with disinfectant or light to fight off COVID-19, after a Department of Homeland Security official presented studies showing that ultraviolet rays may be effective at killing the virus on surfaces and in the air.

Australia has so far avoided the high coronavirus death toll of other countries, with only 78 deaths, largely as a result of tough restrictions on movement that have brought public life to a standstill. Read more

— Alicia Vrajlal

Trump Ponders Whether Light Or Disinfectant Injections Can ‘Cure’ Coronavirus — 4/23/20, 10:15 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump suggested injecting people with disinfectant or light to fight off COVID-19 after a senior Department of Homeland Security official presented studies showing that ultraviolet rays may be effective at killing the coronavirus on surfaces.

At the daily pandemic press briefing on Thursday, Bill Bryan said that experiments have shown the virus does not survive well in sunlight, warm temperatures or humidity. Trump then began proposing his own solutions.

“Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that it hasn’t been checked and you’re going to test it,” the president said. “Suppose you can bring the light inside the body.”

“Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute,” Trump continued. “Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? … It would be interesting to check that.”

Bryan, who is the senior official performing the duties of undersecretary for science and technology at Homeland Security, had given a presentation on experiments testing how solar light affects the coronavirus on surfaces and in the air. Higher temperatures and humidity may kill the virus more quickly, he said.

He also warned that “it would be irresponsible for us to say that we feel that the summer is going to totally kill the virus. … That’s not the case.”

Bryan added that these new observations about the virus’s interactions with light should not be taken as a reason to ignore the guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other health officials on the coronavirus task force were wary of Trump’s suggestions about using light to kill the virus.

When Trump asked whether sunlight and heat could “cure” the virus, task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said no.

“Not as a treatment,” Birx told the president. “Certainly, fever is a good thing. When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But not as … I’m not seeing heat or light as …”

Trump interjected, saying it would be “a great thing to look at.”

Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, acknowledged that warmer weather does affect other viruses, but he warned that it wasn’t likely to end the pandemic. Other leading infectious disease experts, including professionals at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, gave a similar warning this month

— Carla H. Russo

 

For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.



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