Biden Said During 2024 Presidential Debate Trump Once Suggested Injecting Disinfectant Could Be COVID-19 Treatment. Here's the Truth

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump once said, with regard to possible medical treatments for COVID-19: "And then I see the disinfectant, where it 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."


Rating: Correct Attribution
Rating: Correct Attribution

During the first presidential debate of the 2024 presidential cycle, U.S. President Joe Biden referenced a claim that has repeatedly been spread regarding former President Donald Trump and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We had an economy that was in free fall," Biden said during his opening remarks on June 27. "The pandemic was so badly handled. Many people were dying. All he said was it's not that serious, just inject a little bleach in your arm. You'll be all right."

The claim has spread since April 2020, when Trump's remarks during a White House press briefing spread online. Publications like Politico reported Trump suggested injecting bleach. Biden himself has also repeated the claim, with PolitiFact fact-checking comments he made about it in March 2024.

We previously fact-checked the claim, where we found Trump had discussed injecting "disinfectant" to fight COVID-19. Here's the official White House transcript of Trump's remarks (emphasis added) from April 2020:

TRUMP: ...And then I see the disinfectant, where it 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 in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you're going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.

Trump said he was "asking a question sarcastically" to reporters "just to see what would happen" the day after the press briefing. The Trump campaign has continuously sated what he said was taken out of context, telling PolitiFact what Biden said in March 2024 was "more misinformation and lies."

RB, the maker of Lysol, issued a statement after Trump made his remarks that said disinfectants could not be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

To get more fact-checks of what Biden and Trump said during the debate, you can find our fact-checking of what happened — which we covered in real time — here.


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O'Kane, Caitlin. "Lysol Maker Warns against Injecting and Drinking Disinfectants as a Coronavirus Treatment." CBS News. 24 Apr. 2020,

"Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing." Trump White House Archives, 23 April 2020, Accessed 28 June 2024.

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