Nicola Sturgeon has rebuked Donald Trump for suggesting disinfectant could be injected as a possible cure for coronavirus.
Scotland’s First Minister warned “it is a very, very bad idea and extremely dangerous” after the US president said “it would be interesting to check” whether it could combat the virus.
Reacting to his comments, Sturgeon said world leaders now have a “greater than ever” responsibility when giving advice and cautioned against repeating things they have “perhaps completely misunderstood”.
She said: “It is clearly not the case that ingesting disinfectant in any way shape or form is a good idea. It is a very, very bad idea and extremely dangerous.”
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, she said: “I’m really keen that we have an open discussion with the public and that politicians – unusually perhaps – are prepared to admit things they don’t know as well as share the thinking on the things that we do know and are trying to work through.
“But the responsibility on leaders is not to stand up at a public platform and repeat things that you have perhaps half heard and perhaps completely misunderstood, and present that to the public in a way that the public might act on and that could be dangerous.
“None of us are perfect. And we will all make mistakes in this but I think we all have to remember that very serious responsibility when we’re giving advice to the public. It must be good advice, informed by the best science.”
National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch expressed confidence in Scotland’s decision-makers and said he would never need to tell them that injecting or consuming disinfectant was a bad idea.
“I can be absolutely certain that I don’t need to advise the present First Minister that injecting disinfectant into your body will be no help for coronavirus,” he said.
“I can categorically say – and it is genuinely a serious point at times of non-coronavirus and coronavirus – that disinfectant is for surfaces, not for bodies.”
Disinfectant manufacturer RB, the company behind the Dettol and Lysol brands, has similarly urged people not to try the method.
The company issued a statement, which 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).”