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Opinion America, please don’t put bleach inside yourself like the president says

I know this is a tough time. But this is not the way. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post)

This should go without saying, but: Please, America, don’t inject or put disinfectant inside yourself like the president talked about.

It is not good for you. Actually, it is bad. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” is just a metaphorical saying. Also, do not put a “light” “inside” yourself until we can figure out what the president is trying to say. For all we know, it could be a metaphor.

He is not a medical doctor, or any other kind of doctor. I know that when he gave this advice, he pointed to his head and said he had a great “you know what,” which we think was a reference to his brain, but that is not a medical degree. Again, all the remedies he was suggesting are bad. He said doctors were looking into them, at his suggestion, but we think that is because the doctors feel they have to say yes to him or they will be placed into a cornfield and not allowed to address the public.

Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants

He may be so totally, blissfully indifferent to what is coming out of his mouth at any given time (a true luxury) and possess such a delirious inability to grasp that any remark of his might have consequences on others’ lives (about which he does not care anyway) that he thinks he can just say this sort of thing and figure out later whether it is true. But we can tell you right now: It is not.

Again: Putting disinfectant inside your body is a bad idea! If he were the host of a singing show, people would demand that he no longer be after saying something like that. Please! This should be obvious to anyone who has given even a cursory glance to the side of a bleach bottle or other disinfectant, where it says not to drink it, because it is poison. I know it seems counterintuitive, but given the choice to listen to a plastic bottle or the president of the United States, I beg you: Listen to the plastic bottle.

President Trump's April 23 comments about treating coronavirus patients with disinfectant injections received backlash from the medical community. (Video: C-SPAN)

If the president told you to stare at an eclipse, would you do it? If the president told you to nuke a hurricane, would you? If the president suggested restaging the Chernobyl incident moment for moment, just in case this time it would give everyone superpowers, you wouldn’t, right?

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Never mind; do not answer that. Please, America, do not drink bleach.

I know this is a tough time. But this is not the way. Do not listen to him. Please, there are still people who love you, who are counting on you, who care whether you live or die. You can get out now, while there is time.

All of the beautiful fragile things that are good in America are the ones he has set about systematically dismantling, with the blithe confidence of a child conducting an operation: the immigrants who voluntarily seek our shores to live and work; the delicate system of precedents and assumptions of good faith that allow our country to function; the whole apparatus of government that is supposed to help a nation in times of disaster. He has sawed at all these branches as though he does not realize we are sitting on them and then looks confused every time we come crashing to the ground.

The nightmare of the Trump years is the nightmare of watching someone pour bleach onto a plant and not understand that he is killing it, and then not care that he is killing it. It is the nightmare of watching someone listen to the president, self-administer chloroquine and die. It is a president who does not know poison from medicine and is too ignorant to care that there is a difference.

Please, don’t inject bleach.

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Read more from Alexandra Petri:

You should be wearing more pants

Can I interest you in thousands of barrels of oil?

Powerless to help, Donald Trump worries about incompetent pandemic leadership

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Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: Vaccines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 12 and older get an updated coronavirus booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant circulating now. You’re eligible for the shot if it has been at least two months since your initial vaccine or your last booster. An initial vaccine series for children under 5, meanwhile, became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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