The media is not to blame here, but they can do more to stop the spread of dangerous misinformation coming from the president. He just implied a treatment for COVID is to drink bleach.
The President of the United States just implied Americans could drink bleach and disinfectant as a treatment against COVID-19. The press should stop airing him at press briefings.
When Trump makes statements like this, it is not sarcasm. It’s not wishful thinking. Even labeling it as misinformation doesn’t seem to grasp its severity. What Trump said is a perfect example of his uncontrollable urge to spew whatever thoughts come to him or to follow a train of thought wherever it leads. To Trump, it would be great if something as simple as sunlight could end the pandemic nightmare we’re living in. Could you drink bleach? I’ve heard that kills the virus on surfaces…could we try it in human beings? Deborah, won’t you look into that?
The problem is, against an enemy like the coronavirus that doesn’t respond to his tweets, bullying, or scare tactics, wishful thinking doesn’t work. His words have real consequences that are worse than a few nasty replies on twitter.
Lysol and Clorox had to issue statements imploring customers not to ingest their products.
In Maryland, perhaps the scariest example of all, the Emergency Management Agency had to post this tweet stating that residents should not inject, ingest, or in any conceivable way consume bleach or disinfectant products. This was after they had received over 100 calls from residents inquiring about the efficacy of doing such a thing.
Trump is a liar, there is no question about that. But what is alarming with this pandemic is that his lies are creating the most dangerous consequences. It is cause and effect in its simplest form.
First, the president suggested that Americans could use bleach to kill the coronavirus inside their bodies; then people started calling places like the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to inquire about its validity. Trump’s words caused people to not only think about injecting potentially deadly chemicals but actively call a hotline to ask if that would work.
This is black and white. When the president speaks, many in the nation listen. The media should stop rolling the cameras every single time he comes to the podium. Whether he is reading off statements or talking off the cuff they should cut the tape. When he tries to answer questions for Anthony Fauci or Deborah Birx they should cut the tape and then resume rolling once he leaves.
The argument that he is the president and we need to air what he says does not play. In normal times, when it’s a normal president then yes it’s important to know what our chief executive says. But these are not normal times and this is not a normal president.
Do I think the media are to blame for absolutely anything, no. Do I think they will stop airing Trump, no. Do I think reporters are doing their best to hold Trump accountable, I do.
If one person dies from drinking bleach that is on Trump. They heard him say it on the news.