First Let’s Clear This Up: DO NOT DO THIS
Everyone reading this knows those silly, yet dangerous challenges that went around the internet (think, tide pod challenge). But was anyone expecting President Trump to join in on the internet memes & joke about using disinfectants?
Because although he claims he said this sarcastically, no president should say anything sarcastically during a televised address. Because the people watching it during a global pandemic are looking for insight from our leaders on how to keep themselves safe during these times. Many people simply don’t catch when sarcasm is being used, I love being sarcastic & watching his address gave me little to no insight on whether he was being sarcastic or not. When he said the deadly quote, he looked over at his advisors to seemingly gain confirmation or see whether his speech was headed on the right track.
What could this “sarcastic” joke cost us?
Quite a bit. We cannot expect the general American populace to make their own informed decisions, those who do, do. Those who don’t, may end up injecting bleach into themselves. Though no real data has been released relating to a surge of call concerning household cleaning product poisonings. State’s poison control centers are seeing an uptick in calls related to COVID-19, some of these about hazardous materials.
Can we trust the American people to think rationally?
Well consider that when the pandemic started, 30% of Americans thought COVID-19 had something to do with Corona Beer, no, we cannot expect them to think rationally. Which is why no sitting American president, especially during a pandemic, when viewership of his addresses are seen throughout homes, should speak sarcastically. Sarcasm is a luxury that President Trump cannot afford.
Let's take a look at his exact quote:
“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? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
From this, there is no way to take a 100% position that the President was speaking sarcastically. He posed this like a serious question he was asking the people in the room. But did he forget about the millions of average Americans that tune into this? Many of whom do not understand a lick of sarcasm? Can he be retrospectively saying that it was sarcasm just to save face?