By Victoria Gill-Gomez
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has informed state residents that the shelter in place order will be alleviated May 1 in order to gradually reopen the economy. While 15 states in total plan to make this shift as well, all eyes and ears are held on President Donald Trump to take further precautions. This prompts me to believe that we should all spend more time away from one another as America is not out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19.
Trump mentioned in last Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing disinfectants power over the virus and asked – as reported by The Washington Post – “is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
Medical professionals stormed social media to refute the president’s comment, after which Trump himself responded that his original statement was supposed to be taken sarcastically. However, what about this global situation is a laughing matter? Sure, there are a lot of memes, but when it comes to life and death and the words of a world leader, this should not be taken lightly.
“I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” Trump said, reported by The Washington Post.
My main reason as to why we should not open up the states quite yet is due to desperation and ignorance. Since Trump’s comment, many poison control centers, including those in Maryland, have had a spike in calls that have reported illnesses related to ingestion of cleaning products and disinfectants.
“When misinformation comes out, or you just say something that pops in your head, it does send a wrong message,” Hogan said on ABC’s This Week. “We had hundreds of calls come into 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.”
According to WABE radio on April 27, Georgia has also experienced a 20% rise in exposure calls relating to disinfectants, mainly due to inhalation. Many of these calls are coming from children. Can we acknowledge that individuals should not be ingesting nor injecting cleaning products? If the Tide Pod trend was a bust, why must people do extraordinary things if provoked?
Lysol even came out on their official Twitter to restate their usage guidelines “due to recent speculation and social media activity.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump, as reported by ABC News, “repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing.”
He continues to diminish their work and the needs of the people. Not only would this go against the oath medical providers take to serve all people, but he has recently put the transgender community in danger by outwardly stating that their care is optional during this health crisis. He denies service on the basis of prejudice. Instead of playing with the idea of bleach and UV light, how about President Trump provides more tests, protective equipment, and trust to these front-line professionals?
How about we do not start opening state borders just due to the fact that we are not disciplined enough to minimize harm to others, let alone ourselves?