Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Sunday that news coverage of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWH officials discuss HHS secretary replacement following criticism of pandemic response: WSJ Pentagon leaders at impasse about next steps for Capt. Brett Crozier: report Trump forgoes WH press briefing for the first time since Easter weekend MORE‘s comments about light, heat and disinfectants as potential treatments for the coronavirus is overshadowing important information the public needs.
Asked by CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperSchumer says he’s focused on job when asked about possible Ocasio-Cortez primary challenge Whitmer defends stay-at-home order: ‘We are seeing the curve start to flatten’ Business loan funds almost exhausted as Schumer, Mnuchin wrestle over deal MORE if Trump’s comments from the Thursday White House briefing bothered her, Birx said “I think it bothers me this is still in the news cycle.”
“Because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another,” Birx said.
“It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” Dr. Deborah Birx says about Pres. Trump’s disinfectant remarks. “I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/eu9n1jCVkO
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 26, 2020
Birx said the U.S. is the first country that has had young people diagnosed with COVID-19 to “this degree” and is the first society that can really “understand what’s happening” to different age groups.
“These are the things we should be focusing on. I think as a scientist and public health official and researcher, sometimes I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that we need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night,” she said.
Trump, during a White House briefing on Thursday asked a Department of Homeland Security official who was providing updates on research findings about the novel coronavirus, “So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside of 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.”
Trump also asked if there was a way to use disinfectants on the body “by injection inside or almost a cleaning.”
In response to Birx, Tapper on Sunday said “I think the source of misinformation is not the news media on this.”
Birx also said she she has “made it clear” that Trump’s statement “was a musing.”
Trump, however, undermined that defense by saying Friday he was being sarcastic when he made the comments.
In light of Trump’s comments, the manufacturer of Lysol, among other companies, issued a warning that its product should “under no circumstance” be administered to the human body although the statement did not refer to Trump in its warning.