Joe Biden asked Twitter users to not drink bleach—one day after President Trump suggested scientists investigate whether they could inject coronavirus patients with disinfectants as a treatment—in a tweet that received the most likes this week, according to data compiled by the social media tracking firm NewsWhip.
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but please don’t drink bleach,” Biden wrote on April 24.
As of Sunday morning, Biden’s tweet had racked up over 1.5 million likes and 323,000 retweets, and was the most liked from the previous week.
Trump made the suggestion to use disinfectants during a Thursday press briefing “by injection inside, or almost a cleaning.”
Biden’s plea for people not to drink bleach joined a chorus of criticism from medical experts, politicians and disinfectant manufacturers; Trump backtracked the same day Biden tweeted, saying his suggestion was “sarcastic.”
Dettol and Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser was forced to issue a strong warning telling people not to inject or drink disinfectant following Trump’s comments.
NewsWhip’s Twitter engagement data comes from its database of influential users, which tracks around 350,000 accounts.
“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible, and it’s dangerous. . . . It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves,” pulmonologist and NBC medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta told the network.
Trump made his suggestion after Bill Bryan, undersecretary for Science and Technology at the Director of Homeland Security, presented “emerging” findings on what could kill the coronavirus during the Thursday press briefing. According to the findings, increases in humidity and ultraviolet rays, as well as common disinfectants like bleach, kill the virus on nonporous surfaces and in the air faster. Bryan emphasized they were “ongoing” studies.
Calls to poison control centers reporting exposure to disinfectants have spiked across the country, and states like Maryland, Illinois and New York reported receiving more calls the day after Trump’s comments. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said April 20 that poison control center calls from January to March have increased 20% compared to the same period in 2019.
Hillary Clinton previously wrote one of Twitter’s most-liked tweets in a week—and it also told people not to listen to Trump on medical matters and coronavirus. “Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse,” Clinton wrote on March 24, one day after reports surfaced that Trump wanted to end social distancing—in defiance of recommendations from medical experts—in order to restart the economy.
Trump Suggests Injecting Coronavirus Patients With Light Or Disinfectants, Alarming Experts (Forbes)
Dettol And Lysol Maker Warns Against Drinking And Injecting Disinfectant After Trump Suggestion (Forbes)
After Storm Of Controversy, Trump Now Claims His Comments On Injecting Disinfectants Were ‘Sarcastic’ (Forbes)
Twitter’s Most Popular Tweet This Week: Hillary Trolls Trump’s Coronavirus Response (Forbes)
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