After Bill Bryan, who leads the Department of Homeland Security's science and technology division, discussed how warmer and more humid temperatures act as a deterrent for the virus, Trump wondered how to bring light “inside the body,” reports NBC.
"The virus dies quickest in sunlight,” Bryan said.
"So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it's ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn't been checked because of the testing," Trump said. "And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you're going to test that, too."
As the 73-year-old commander-in-chief unfortunately babbles on, physician and White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx can be seen letting her disapproval of Trump’s message read all over her face.
After suggesting ultraviolet rays, Trump then proposed injecting disinfectant into COVID-19 patients.
"I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that," the former reality television host said.
All the while, Birx can be seen, via an alternate camera angle, pursing her lips and blinking quickly. She then appears to sigh deeply before staring at the floor. As Trump is finishing his remarks, she takes one more glance at 45 before seemingly rolling her eyes. Naturally, Twitter got a hold of the moment.
Here is Dr. Birx's reaction when President Trump asks his science advisor to study using UV light on the human body and injecting disinfectant to fight the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/MVno5X7JMA
— Daniel Lewis (@Daniel_Lewis3) April 24, 2020
Trump then asks Birx if she had ever heard of using "the heat and the light" to treat the coronavirus.
Initial transcriptions of the briefing had reported Birx as responding "that is a treatment," reports USA Today, but she actually denied hearing that hypothesis.
"Not as a treatment," Birx said, according to Business Insider. "I mean, certainly, fever is a good thing. When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But I've not seen heat or light."
The video, which now has over 12 million views, sparked a bit of laughter in a high-stress time. While we don't know exactly what went through her mind, we could take a few solid guesses — and Twitter sure did.
"Dr. Birx, blink if you're in trouble."
Dr. Birx: pic.twitter.com/ko9ekusJa2
— ????????????????ì???????????? ☆ (@Jennicide) April 24, 2020
It was at this moment she realized she had sold her soul.. pic.twitter.com/RGk9rib1aE
— ???????????? Carin ???????????? (@abadnfluenz) April 24, 2020
That moment you realize that Drano Don is dissolving all you've worked for…
— Milenaac (@milenaac) April 24, 2020
Yup that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation
— EJL (@EJL1984) April 24, 2020
you can almost see Dr Birx's soul leaving her body pic.twitter.com/iqtMTxVNLB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 24, 2020
Others saw the video and condemned Birx, who is the U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, for not interrupting the president and immediately denouncing his remarks.
Everyone posting videos of Dr. Birx looking horrified at trump telling Americans to injest #disinfectant should also at the same time condemn her silence in refusing to rebuke trump at that moment..She instead said NOTHING
She gets no fucking sympathy from me..
— ABlackWomanWhoDontGiveAF*ck (@battletested5) April 24, 2020
No I don't feel bad for Birx or Fauci. Nobody is holding a gun to their heads. If they broke away they'd be on top of every news broadcast in the world.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 24, 2020
But not mortified enough to speak up. She sits there and bites her tongue.
— Your Plus One ???? ❤ ???????? (@MsJMoTill) April 24, 2020
Many also took to Twitter to express their utter disbelief over the nation's top elected official suggesting disinfectant as a cure for a deadly virus.
This how you gonna be when that Lysol moving through ya veins pic.twitter.com/kqamGloZM3
— YAMS CASINO (@Yamscasino) April 24, 2020
i will never get over injecting bleach. it is the wildest thing i have ever heard from a public official. it is two steps away from some jim jones shit.
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) April 24, 2020
Can household disenfectants kill you if you put them inside your body? On the one hand, absolutely yes, on the other, a republican said something different so we have to represent it as a matter of controversy.
— Adam Serwer???? (@AdamSerwer) April 24, 2020
Not in my wildest, darkest imagination could I have ever imagined, in fact or fiction, a president suggesting injecting disinfectants, household cleaning products, as a pandemic curative.
— roxane gay (@rgay) April 24, 2020
After the briefing, health officials immediately urged people to not ingest disinfectant.
“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous," said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert. "It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves."
Lysol even had to jump in by issuing a statement cautioning consumers not to use their product as an antibiotic.
"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," a spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, said in a statement to NBC News. “As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”