People Thought They Could Treat Covid-19 with Bleach

President Donald Trump drinking a glass of bleach
Artwork by Anthony Faust
President Donald Trump drinking a glass of bleach

On April 23, 2020, President Trump took to the podium of the White House Briefing room. He had just heard Bill Bryan, head of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security speak about virus half-lives, moving activities to outdoors, and the effectiveness of bleach, sunlight, and alcohol as disinfectants to kill the virus.

When President Trump came back to the podium, he added:

“A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be totally interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light—and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too. It sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. 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 would be interesting to check that.”

With that dumbfounding (and completely serious) statement, we witnessed the single highest level of misinformation of the pandemic. The very next day, amid a flurry of backlash and ridicule, President Trump retracted his proposal for scientists to test the injection of disinfectants and claimed he was being sarcastic. He wasn’t.

After the briefing, several doctors spoke out against the President Trump’s comments, deeming them irresponsible and extremely dangerous and they urgently cautioned the public about the severe consequences of consuming corrosive substances. The FDA put out a warning against using bleach as a treatment for COVID-19.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers said their bleach poisoning calls were up 38% and disinfectant poisoning calls were up 200% from the previous year. As it turns out, people don’t need much convincing, and are quite capable of astonishing levels of stupidity.

"This book will make you laugh and feel ALL the feelings."

Five star rating

"One of the most delightful reads of this year! I highly recommend."

Five star rating

"A great coffee table book. Easy to pick up read."

Five star rating

"Great coffee table conversation starter."

Five star rating

"Funny and fun to read. What a fun way to put the pandemic in perspective."

Five star rating

Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

Tony signature