The legacy media have long ago stopped even pretending to report the facts. Especially when it concerns President Donald Trump.

One of the big Trump stories this week is the media’s claim that Trump advocated injecting bleach to treat COVID-19.

The legacy media are blatantly lying in defiance of all the facts – which anyone who actually bothers can easily check for themselves. The transcript of the briefing in question is available in full, online.

What’s critical is the background to Trump’s remarks. Firstly, Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the DHS, Bill Bryan delivered a presentation on studies of the effect of various agents in neutralising the SARS-CoV-2 virus, especially indoors, where it thrives. Bryan particularly emphasised that sunlight, and humid and hotter temperatures were proving effective at shortening the half-life of the virus.

It was here that Bryan first introduced the critical phrase: “inject”, saying “inject summer — the sunlight into that”. Bryan then talked about testing the airborne virus. He described the setup as like “a five-gallon Home Depot bucket” and “suspend[ing] it [the virus] in the air inside” and “hitting” it with various sterilising agents.

This is the crucial background to Trump’s remarks. A scientific advisor is talking about the virus surviving best indoors, testing the airborne virus inside a drum – and the word “inject” has been introduced. Bryan then talks about disinfectants, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, etc., and their efficacy in killing the virus on surfaces.

So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very 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.

Note that Trump hasn’t “advocated” anything. He’s asked a question: as it turns out, not a bad one. Just three days before the White House briefing, Associated Press announced that pharmaceutical company Aytu BioScience had entered into a licensing deal with Cedars-Sinai hospital for its “Healight” technology – which aims to treat COVID-19 by using a catheter to bring UV light inside the body. The lungs specifically.

If only there was some way of getting the UV light inside the body. Image: Aytu Bioscience. The BFD.

This is the all-important context for Trump’s question. The technology may be a bust, it may not. But the president was entirely right to ask the question.

Trump then moves on to his next question:

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. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with.

This is admittedly confusing stuff. Trump has an ADHD-like ability to jump from topic to topic in a bewildering way. But it seems clear, here, that he is referring to Bryan’s other remarks testing the virus inside and “injecting” agents to sterilise it.

But again, he has not advocated anything. He has asked a question: in the context of Bryan’s presentation, a reasonable one.

The idea that Trump was talking about injecting bleach into people is quickly demolished when a journalist asks about literally that.

Q: The President mentioned the idea of cleaners, like bleach and isopropyl alcohol you mentioned. There’s no scenario that that could be injected into a person, is there?

THE PRESIDENT: It wouldn’t be through injection. We’re talking about through almost a cleaning, sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work. But it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.

Here, Trump states unambiguously that he’s not talking about injecting people with disinfectant. He reiterates that he was talking about sterilising an area.

Trump later defended his remarks as “sarcastic”, which indeed seems strange. Although it is true that at various times during the briefing he certainly takes swipes at the media, saying things like, “I’m the President and you’re fake news,” and “CNN is fake news. Don’t talk to me”. So even Trump’s “sarcasm” statement may well be true. Or perhaps he simply felt on the defensive.

In which case he needed only asserted the easily verifiable facts: He at no time advocated injecting people with bleach or disinfectant.

The media are lying. Again.

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