Trump ‘can’t imagine why’ US disinfectant calls spiked
President Donald Trump has said he “can’t imagine why” US hotline calls about disinfectant have risen after he suggested injecting the substance to treat coronavirus.
The governors of Michigan and Maryland on Sunday blamed the president for the spike in such calls.
Following heavy criticism from medical professionals, Mr Trump said his remarks were made sarcastically.
Disinfectants are hazardous substances and can be poisonous if ingested.
The state of Maryland’s emergency hotline had received hundreds of calls in recent days seeking guidance about Mr Trump’s comments.
“I can’t imagine why,” the president said, moving quickly on. “I can’t imagine that.”
When asked whether he took responsibility at all for the increase in calls, Mr Trump replied: “No, I don’t.”
Meanwhile, more US states are beginning to lift lockdown orders even as US leaders say social distancing guidelines will be necessary throughout the summer.
But governors warn that life will not quickly return to normal, and that restrictions will remain in some places to keep the virus from resurging.
US saw its largest single-day spike in cases on Friday.
But the infection rate has dropped significantly in several hotspots, including New York, the US epicentre.
Public health experts warn that lifting restrictions too soon could cause a second wave of infections. The decision to end mandatory orders comes as over 26m Americans seek unemployment protection, and the jobless rate climbs to around 16% of the population.