- Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was worried that people would do “dangerous and foolish things” after former President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectants could be a treatment for COVID-19.
- After backlash, Trump later claimed he was being sarcastic in his remark.
- “I just said, ‘Oh my goodness gracious.’ I could just see what’s going to happen,” Fauci said when asked during a CNN interview on Monday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was that people would do “dangerous and foolish things” after former President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectant could treat coronavirus infections.
In April of last year, the former president made a comment during a press briefing suggesting scientists should research the effects of possibly injecting disinfectant to treat or cure COVID-19.
“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” Trump said during the briefing. “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.”
Health officials, doctors, scientists, and even a leading disinfectant company were quick to discourage the suggestion and tell people that it is incredibly dangerous to ingest or inject disinfectant. Trump later claimed that he was being sarcastic “to see what would happen.“
In an interview on Monday with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Fauci reflected on his thoughts during that moment, saying he was worried that the remark would make people do “dangerous and stupid things.”
“I just said, ‘Oh my goodness gracious.’ I could just see what’s going to happen,” Fauci said during the CNN interview.
“You’re going to have people who hear that from the president and they’re going to start doing dangerous and foolish things, which is the reason why, immediately, those of us who were not there said, ‘This is something you should not do,'” the infectious disease expert added. “Be very explicit. The CDC came out, I think, the next day and put in one of their publications, ‘Do not do this.'”
Fauci said the “combination of good information and bad information” led to some members of the public relying on the concept of “anecdotal” information, as opposed to science-driven. He said that’s why he took it upon himself to contradict incorrect information, even if it came from the former president, using the example of discouraging the use of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.
“I had to get up just to maintain by own integrity but also to be standing up for science that the data did not show what they were claiming,” Fauci said on CNN. “Anecdotes are okay to give you the spurring on to take a look at a science approach, but to be ruled by an anecdote is folly.”
Watch the full clip here:
—OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) January 26, 2021