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Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been under relentless, heavy criticism, and when things came to a head last Friday – for the umpteenth time in recent weeks, it seems – the President decided to call off White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings for a few days, before belatedly taking to the podium again.
Mr. Trump’s return to daily press briefings comes after he made controversial remarks about looking into the merit of injecting disinfectant into the system as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The next day, taking questions during an Oval Office session, Trump claimed his remarks were ‘sarcastic’ and directed facetiously at reporters. “That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters,” Trump said.
Whether his comments were sarcastic or not – a subject that has been debated to exhaustion over the weekend by political media analysts on both sides of the political corridor – the fallout has been quite significant, with the cleaning industry scrambling to issue warnings about human use of their products and politicians in the United States and the world over distancing themselves from Trump’s comments.
The upshot of Trump’s remarks prompted a near-unanimous response from the cleaning industry as a whole, with a flurry of statements being issued to the public, warning against the use of hygiene products for anything but their intended purpose and in line with usage guidelines.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement, saying “Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products.”
The American Cleaning Institute (ACI), which represents manufacturers and developers of cleaning products, published a statement, saying “Disinfectants are meant to kill germs or viruses on hard surfaces. Under no circumstances should they ever be used on one’s skin, ingested or injected internally.”
The ACI further reiterated, “We remind everyone to please use all hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting products as directed in order to ensure safe, effective and intended use of those products.”
The manufacturer of Lysol, a widely-used cleaning product and disinfectant spray, issued a statement against the use of their hygiene product.
In a statement to NBC news, a spokesperson for the Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser (RB) said, ‘As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan claimed “hundreds” of calls were fielded by his office from citizens inquiring about the use of cleaning products as a treatment or protection against COVID-19.
The U.S Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, even felt impelled to tweet a warning, urging people to ‘PLEASE always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/ medication to yourself or a loved one.”
Hilary Clinton, wading into the conversation on social media, tweeted, ‘please don’t poison yourself because Donald Trump thinks it could be a good idea.’
As the coronavirus pandemic ramps up across the United States, it’s easy to forget that it is an election year. Before the year is out, Americans will be voting for the next president of the United States. Donald Trump is seeking a second term in office.
The universal rebuke of Donald Trump’s comments regarding the use of disinfectants curiously hasn’t hurt ‘the Donald’ in political betting markets, at least not if the current serving of political odds were any indication.
Donald Trump is at 10/11 with most sports betting shops, while presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden is currently tipped at 5/4. Granted the market for the next president of the United States is relatively narrow but bookmakers seem to give Donald Trump the nod over the Democratic party nominee favorite Joe Biden.
Do the bookies have it right? Only time will tell. Only the public can decide who gets the keys to the White House when they vote in November. It’s worth pointing out though that this is not the first time Donald Trump has been at the vanguard of controversy, bobbling on the swell like Laird Hamilton, who virtually invented the modern form of big-wave riding two decades ago, looking for the perfect wave to ride out to shore. And, judging by form, it’s not the last time either.
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Additional Editor’s Note: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/betting_odds/2020_president/