WARNING: This story contains graphic language.
Howard Stern returned to his SiriusXM radio show on Monday after a week-long hiatus and shared his thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump raising the idea of disinfectant injections to fight the coronavirus.
“I would love it if Donald would get on TV and take an injection of Clorox and let’s see if his theory works,” Stern said to his listeners on Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
“Hold a big rally, say f–k this coronavirus, with all of his followers, and let them hug each other and kiss each other and have a big rally.”
Stern’s co-host, Robin Quivers, added: “A big cocktail of disinfectant.”
“Yeah. And all take disinfectant and all drop dead,” Stern responded.
He took a break from his disinfectant rant when a listener called into his radio show to politely urge Stern to stay away from political topics.
“I don’t recognize any of this as being Republican, I don’t recognize it as being anything political. I see it as insanity,” Stern said. “I don’t know what is going on there but I don’t have a good feeling.”
Stern also used his return to his show to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States.
“I am all in on Joe Biden,” Stern announced. “You see the wall that’s right next to you — I’ll vote for the wall over a guy who tells me that I should pour Clorox into my mouth. Listen, I think we are in deep s–t. I think we could have been ahead of this curve.”
Last Thursday, at a news briefing, Trump questioned whether injecting disinfectant could serve as a possible treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” Trump suggested. “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.”
Trump later claimed that he was speaking “sarcastically” to bait reporters, although video clearly shows he was speaking directly to his coronavirus advisers, who were sitting apart from media at the briefing.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you,” Trump said. “Disinfectant for doing this, maybe on the hands, would work. I was asking…when they use disinfectant, it goes away in less than a minute.”
Emergency hotlines in multiple states have reportedly received hundreds of calls from people asking about using disinfectant to counter the coronavirus after Trump openly wondered if it was a good idea.
The Republican governor of Maryland and the Democratic governor of Michigan say “hundreds” of people called state hotlines to ask about the idea, which Trump floated while attempting to guess a cure to COVID-19 last week.
Trump didn’t actually tell people to inject bleach — as many of his defenders have pointed out — but he did treat it as an idea worth legitimate investigation.
“I think when misinformation comes out or you just say something that pops into your head, it does send a wrong message,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
“We had hundreds of calls come in to our emergency hotline at our health department asking if it was right to ingest Clorox or alcohol cleaning products, whether that was going to help them fight the virus,” he said.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency also tweeted a reminder not to ingest or inject disinfectant under any circumstances on Friday amid a surge in calls.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
— With files from Global News’ Josh Elliott