Researchers worldwide are working on treatment options and vaccines against the corona virus. US President Donald Trump speaks out with his own – at least unusual – ideas.
US President Donald Trump caused a stir with idiosyncratic ideas for possible therapeutic approaches against the corona virus. At a press conference on Thursday evening (local time) at the White House, the US President encouraged researchers to examine ways to inject disinfectants directly into people. He also pondered options to bring strong light “into the body” to treat corona infections. This caused ridicule, for example in the ranks of the Democrats.
Bleach as an anti-corona agent?
Trump took the speech of a government expert as an opportunity for his unusual proposals. The latter previously explained that bleaching and disinfectants quickly killed the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen, for example on dry metallic surfaces such as a door handle. Trump referred to it and said, “Is there a way we could do something like that – by spraying or almost cleaning … would be interesting to check.” That should of course be left to doctors. “But it sounds interesting to me.” According to experts, soap, disinfectants and bleaches can reliably kill the virus when used externally – i.e. when washing hands or cleaning. So far, however, there are no proven drugs or techniques that can eliminate the pathogen in infected patients.
Light as a solution?
The government expert had also said that the pathogen’s lifespan is dramatically reduced when exposed to direct sunlight. Trump also used this to speculate about possible therapeutic approaches. “Let’s say we treat the body with an enormous amount, either ultraviolet or simply strong light,” said Trump. “Let’s say you could bring light into your body, which you can do through the skin or in some other way.” Researchers probably also wanted to examine this possibility. “It’s pretty formidable.” He advised people to enjoy the sun. “And if that has an effect, that’s great.”
Trump mocked his proposals. His likely challenger in the November presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden, wrote on Twitter: “UV light? Inject disinfectant?” Trump should rather worry about more corona testing and protective gear for actual health care workers.
Progress in the fight against the virus
In absolute terms, the United States is hardest hit internationally by the corona pandemic: by Thursday evening (local time), according to researchers at the University of Johns Hopkins, there were more than 860,000 confirmed infections with the novel corona virus in the United States. Around 50,000 people have been killed in the US as a result of the epidemic. However, the US government is now seeing progress in containing the epidemic in the United States.
There are promising signs of progress, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said at the White House press conference. “We believe that we could do much better as a nation by early summer – with much of this coronavirus epidemic behind us.” Infection numbers declined in many places in the country, as did the number of people who would need to be hospitalized for an infection. Measures to contain the epidemic would have to be continued first. Trump also spoke of great progress. However, he also warned that all citizens must remain vigilant and maintain social distance.
The troubled economy
The corona crisis has hit the US economy hard. Public life is largely paralyzed. Many shops and businesses are closed. As a result of the pandemic, more than 26 million people lost their jobs within five weeks. Congress had already approved a $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package in March to support the economy. Further stimulus packages were launched on Thursday evening (local time): After the US Senate, the House of Representatives also overwhelmingly passed another stimulus package worth $ 484 billion. Among other things, this is to increase an existing loan program for small and medium-sized companies by around $ 320 billion – with the aim of limiting the rise in unemployment.