White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday downplayed President Donald Trump's suggestion that sunlight or disinfectant could be injected into people who have the COVID-19 virus.
During an interview on CNN, host Jake Tapper asked about the dangerous remarks that the president made at a press briefing on Thursday.
"What should the American people know about disinfectants and the human body?" Tapper said.
"Well, first," Birx began. "That was a dialog he was having between the DHS scientists and himself for information he had received and he was discussing. When he turned to me, I made it clear and he understood it was not as a treatment."
"I get it," Tapper countered. "And I understand the importance of that study that the DHS official was discussing from the lab in Maryland... but that's what the president was musing about. He was talking about ways to take that science and somehow turn it into injecting UV or disinfectants into the human body, which as you know -- especially with disinfectants -- can be lethal and the CDC had to issue a statement, Lysol had to issue a statement."
"You're taking a generous approach to this when it comes to President Trump musing aloud," he continued. "But this is potentially dangerous. I mean, poison control centers got calls from people and they had to issue statements."
"As a doctor, doesn't that bother you?" the CNN host pressed.
"It bothers me that 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 protect one another," Birx replied. "Sometimes 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."
"I think I've answered that question," she added. "I think the president made it clear that physicians had to study this. I think I've made it clear that this was a musing. I want us to move on to be able to get information to the American people."
"I would agree with that," Tapper remarked. "I would say that I think the source of the misinformation is not the news media on this."