On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Jake Tapper grilled Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the Trump Administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Donald Trump’s remarks suggesting that UV rays or injecting disinfectant could be an effective treatment against coronavirus. Birx did not denounce Trump’s remarks, but criticized the media.
Said Tapper: “I understand the importance of that study that the DHS official was discussing, from the lab in Maryland about the effect of sunlight on having or even, more effectively, the life of coronavirus. The effect of disinfectants on non-porous solids like doorknobs. But that’s not what the president was musing about. He was talking about ways to take that science and somehow turn it into injecting UV light or disinfectants into the human body, which as you know, especially with disinfectants, can be lethal. And the CDC had to issue a statement, Lysol had to issue a statement. I understand that you’re taking a generous approach to this when it comes to President Trump musing aloud, but this is potentially dangerous. Poison control centers got calls from people and they had to issue statements saying do not internally use disinfectants.
As a doctor does that bother you that you even have to spend any time discussing this?
“I think it bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” Birx replied. “Because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to do as American people to continue to protect one another, and we should be having that dialogue.”
Birx also criticized the media on FOX News Saturday rather than denounce her boss.
Said Birx: “I think the media is very slicey and dicey about how they put sentences together in order to create headlines. We know, from millennials and other studies, that some people may only read the headlines and if there’s not a graphic, they’re not going to look any further than that. We have to be responsible about our headlines. I think often the reporting may be accurate in paragraph three, four, and five, but I’m not sure how many people actually get to paragraph three, four and five. And I think the responsibility that the press has is to really ensure that the headlines reflect the science and data that is in their piece itself.”