President Trump’s suggestion that an injection of disinfectant could help combat the coronavirus prompted warnings on Friday from health officials across the country, as well as the makers of Clorox and Lysol and even several Fox News personalities, the New York Times reported.
Injecting bleach or highly concentrated rubbing alcohol “causes massive organ damage and the blood cells in the body to basically burst,” Dr. Diane P. Calello, the medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, said in an interview. “It can definitely be a fatal event.”
The White House spent much of the day trying to walk back Mr. Trump’s remarks, which he made at Thursday’s press briefing. “Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines,” said Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary.
But the president later undermined her argument when he told journalists he “was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.” Now, Mr. Trump’s advisers are encouraging him to skip the daily briefings or field fewer questions from the reporters.
Here’s what else is happening in the U.S.:
- Mr. Trump’s decision to suspend family-based immigration because of the coronavirus is the beginning of a broader strategy to reduce the flow of foreigners into the United States, Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s immigration adviser, told a group of conservatives, according to an audio recording of the conference call obtained by The Times.
- The president on Friday signed the $484 billion relief bill into law, replenishing a fund for small businesses and providing money for hospitals and testing. The Congressional Budget Office said it expects the federal budget deficit to hit $3.7 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, which would be its largest size as a share of the economy since World War II.
- Georgia, Alaska and Oklahoma began reopening businesses on Friday, though the relaxed rules varied. Georgia recommended that salon owners perform temperature checks. Alaska allowed limited in-store shopping, while Oklahoma reopened its state parks.
- Reopening the country will require antibody testing, which is now being subjected to its own tests. Scientists compared 14 of them, and the news wasn’t good. Only one test delivered no false positives — and just two others did well 99 percent of the time.
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