HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO WIN AN ELECTION?

Well, if you’re Donald Trump, how about by the death of millions of people?

He’s marketed steaks and real estate, board games and vodka, but nothing the incorrigible salesman has tried to hawk measures up to his latest routine as he speculated on a possible new cure for Covid-19.

For most of his life as a pitchman, Trump has only had his own reputation on the line. But now, in the middle of a generational health crisis, lives are at stake.

In an eye-popping moment, Trump doubled down on his claim that sunlight and the festering humidity of high summer could purge the virus in his latest grab for a game-changer therapy.

Then, he asked aides on camera whether zapping patients with light or injecting disinfectant into the lungs to clean sick patients from inside could cure them of the disease.

“Maybe you can, maybe you can’t.  Again I say maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor.  I’m like a person who has a good you-know-what,” Trump said, pointing to his head.

That led the Reckitt Benckiser Group, which produces Lysol, to flatly announce on its website that “under no circumstance” should disinfectant be administered into the human body.  Washington State’s emergency management agency warned against eating Tide pods or injecting disinfectant, tweeting, “don’t make a bad situation worse.”

Trump’s comments made his extravagant claims for the unproven use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine seem peer-reviewed by comparison. And they were ironic, given rising criticism that he repeatedly discredits science that conflicts with his rosy claims the pandemic will soon be over.

Trump’s bizarre performance came as the horrible dilemma he faces between keeping the economy closed to halt the virus and getting people back to work became even more stark.

New data Thursday showed that 26 million Americans have lost their jobs in five weeks, reflecting the terrible human impact the current emergency can have even on people who don’t get sick. The number of US deaths moved towards 50,000 as the virus dug into more communities — even as a clutch of states laid plans to open back up.

Trump hits back amid critiques of his anti-science approach

Fact check: Trump wrongly suggests sunlight could help cure Coronovirus.

Fact check: The drug hydroxychloroquine, has zero benefit in treating Covid-19 but does weaken the heart, adding another possible cause of death.

The President spent little time at his daily briefing explaining his thinking on how he might safely pilot the nation out of this crisis, instead reaching for a new narrative more hopeful than the grim reality in his latest example of “miracle” thinking on how to beat the pandemic.

He called upon William Bryan, acting director of the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology directorate, to unveil research into the coronavirus’s susceptibility to heat and light.

Bryan presented data showing that in some circumstances sunlight can reduce the half-life of the virus on a surface or in the air from 18 hours to less than two minutes.

“That’s how much of an impact U.V. rays has on the virus,” Bryan said. He also spoke about how effective bleach and other disinfectants could be at eradicating the pathogen in areas that were not exposed to sunlight in interesting research that could help Americans understand how to clean surfaces.

But Trump, who appeared fascinated by the possibilities, posed a question of entirely different magnitude: “Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light … supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do, either through the skin or in some other way?” Trump asked, possibly thinking of an analogy to radiation treatment, which can be used to treat cancers.

Then the President pondered another idea: “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute.

“Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs?”

A few moments later, Trump asked Dr. Deborah Birx, a top member of his pandemic task force, whether heat and light could be combined as a cure for someone facing the cascade of Coronovirus complications including respiratory problems, cardiac issues and kidney failure that can be caused when the body tries to fight the virus and overreacts.

The veteran MD and internationally renowned public health expert — who was seated off to the side — appeared to struggle with how to respond.

“Not as a treatment … it’s a good thing when you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But … I’ve not seen heat for viruses.”

When Trump was subsequently asked why he was touting rumored cures and not medically proven science, the President reacted angrily, accusing the reporter of pushing fake news.

“I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas because we want ideas to get rid of this thing,” Trump said.

The surreal nature of the spectacle later prompted CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta to reflect on air: “This is sort of becoming President Trump’s traveling medicine show.”

“It always best to try to procedures and medicine on animals first.  So, how about Donald Trump.  He is an animal, a scavenger who feed on the carrion that other, braver, more intelligent animals risk their lives to kill.

 

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