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Dr. Fauci Warns "You Should Not Do" This

The President’s chief medical advisor hopes you don’t “start doing dangerous and foolish things.”
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Doctor Anthony Fauci

Of all the dangerous misinformation circulating last year about how to stop the coronavirus, one came straight from the top, and still has Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shaking his head with worry. “Absolutely, this is not what you want to do,” Fauci told CNN’s Erin Burnett last night. Read on for his full warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Warns of Inhaling or Ingesting Disinfectants

At one point last year, then-President Donald Trump suggested disinfectant could kill the virus in your lungs. “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute,” he said at a press conference, addressing scientists and Dr. Deborah Birx of the Coronavirus Task Force. “And 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, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”

“I just said, Oh my goodness gracious. I could just see what's going to happen,” says Dr. Fauci when asked of the remarks. Fauci was not in attendance at the time. “You're going to have people who hear that from the president. And they're going to start doing dangerous and foolish things”—in fact, calls to poison control rose after Trump’s remarks, with the CDC describing “a sharp increase in calls to poison centers related to exposures to cleaners and disinfectants…”

“Which is the reason why immediately those of us who were not there, said, this is something you should not do. Be very explicit. The CDC came out, I think the next day and put in one of their publications: 'Do not do this.'” 

The CDC, describing “knowledge gaps,” said “COVID-19 prevention messages should continue to emphasize evidence-based, safe practices such as frequent hand hygiene and frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces. These messages should include specific recommendations for the safe use of cleaners and disinfectants, including the importance of reading and following label instructions….”

“I got asked on a number of shows, certainly on CNN. And I said, absolutely, this is not what you want to do,” said Dr. Fauci.

Birx, for her part, had her reputation sullied after the incident, because she did not refute Trump forcefully. “Some people felt you became an apologist for President Trump,” CBS’ Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation told her in an interview that aired Sunday. “They look at that moment in the briefing room, you know the one I'm talking about, when he came out and he talked about injecting bleach and you were sitting there and he looked at you and he asked about ultraviolet light and heat —”

“He was not speaking to me,” answered Birx. “He was speaking to the DHS scientist that was two seats over from me that entire time. When he finally turned to me and said, is it a, could this be a treatment? I said, ‘not a treatment.’ You can look at the transcripts. ‘Not a treatment.’ That dialogue was between the president of the United States and a DHS scientist.”

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic

The CDC advises that, when it comes to disinfectants, you always read instructions, wear protective gear and do not mix chemicals. Obviously, do not ingest or inhale them. And follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.