6 Weeks After Trump’s Disinfectant Debacle, CDC Report Says Americans Doing All Kinds of Unsafeness with Bleach


Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday that around one in three adults have “used chemicals or disinfectants unsafely” in an attempt to protect themselves against the coronavirus, with some Americans even “using bleach on food products.”

In the report, the CDC claimed that phone calls “to poison centers regarding exposures to cleaners and disinfectants have increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Approximately one third of survey respondents engaged in nonrecommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, including using bleach on food products, applying household cleaning and disinfectant products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants,” the CDC reported.

Though the report noted that 60 percent of respondents “reported more frequent home cleaning or disinfection compared with that in preceding months,” 39 percent also “reported intentionally engaging in at least one high-risk practice not recommended by CDC for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

These “high-risk practices” included “application of bleach to food items (e.g., fruits and vegetables)” at 19 percent, “use of household cleaning and disinfectant products on hands or skin” at 18 percent, “misting the body with a cleaning or disinfectant spray at 10 percent, “inhalation of vapors from household cleaners or disinfectants” at 6 percent, and “drinking or gargling diluted bleach solutions, soapy water, and other cleaning and disinfectant solutions at 4 percent.

The CDC concluded that the survey “identified important knowledge gaps in the safe use of cleaners and disinfectants among U.S. adults,” and that coronavirus messaging moving forward “should include specific recommendations for the safe use of cleaners and disinfectants, including the importance of reading and following label instructions.”

During a White House press briefing in April, President Donald Trump floated the possibility of injecting bleach to kill the coronavirus.

“I see the disinfectant, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning,” he questioned. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.”

President Trump received heavy criticism for the comments, however he later claimed he was being “sarcastic.”

In April, radio host Howard Stern also said he “would love it” if President Trump and his supporters “all take disinfectant, and all drop dead.”

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: