• Maryland's emergency hotline got calls asking if consuming disinfectant will work for COVID-19
  • Trump made such a suggestion during a press briefing, which was negated by medical experts
  • Trump said that he was making a sarcastic suggestion

The Maryland Emergency Hotline is reminding the public not to ingest disinfectant after it received hundreds of calls asking if this could treat COVID-19.

The warning was issued after President Donald Trump made a comment during a press conference Thursday asking if someone could check if disinfectant could be injected in the body to clean out the virus.

Mike Ricci, Gov. Larry Hogan's communications director, said that they had to "take the step" in alerting the public after the surge of calls on their hotline. He re-shared a tweet from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MDMEMA).

"Under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route," the Twitter account posted.

Trump suggested that a disinfectant, along with a powerful light, might work to potentially treat COVID-19, which has now killed over 50,000 in the U.S.

"Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous light, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light," the president said. “Suppose you can bring the light inside the body. Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute,” he continued. "Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? It would be interesting to check that.”

Trump's comments drew criticisms from doctors and disinfectant manufacturers alike. During a CNN coronavirus town hall, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that such a "treatment" would not work as disinfectants are proven harmful if ingested.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said in an interview with CNBC that ingesting disinfectant will be fatal. Dr. Ryan Marino, a toxicologist from Cleveland's University Hospitals, said that he had seen the adverse effects of consuming disinfectants, and he had patients who died from it.

President Trump suggested that injecting or ingesting disinfectant might help kill the virus inside a COVID-19 patient's body. Mike Mozart/Flickr

Lysol, a commonly used household disinfectant, also issued a statement to highlight that their products must "only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines." The company also said that it has a “responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts.”

Following the reactions over Trump's statement, the president claimed that he made the suggestion "sarcastically" for the benefit of the reporters.

"I was asking a sarcastic — and a very sarcastic –– question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside," he said. "But it does kill it, and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters."