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A top Trump administration official spoke during Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing regarding a government study that has found that exposing the coronavirus to the conditions experienced outdoors during an average spring or summer day — i.e., sunlight, high temperature and high humidity — sharply cuts the virus’s half-life.
“[O]ur most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air,” William Bryan, the acting head of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, said.
“We’ve seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favorable to the virus.”
To demonstrate this, he pointed reporters to the following slide:
“The virus dies inside in 90 minutes…in the sun it dies in 90 seconds.”
— Joel Schipper (@JSchipperWDRB) April 23, 2020
“[T]he virus is dying at a much more rapid pace just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity,” Bryan continued, pointing to the results seen in lines one through three.
But once UV rays from sunlight are added into the mix, the virus’s half-life drops even further: “If you look at the fourth line … [you have] the same effects on line two of 70 to 75 degrees with 80% humidity on the surface … but now you inject the sun, the half-life goes from six hours to two minutes.”
In conclusion, he continued, “the virus in droplets of saliva survives best in indoors and dry conditions … [and] the virus dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight.”
Listen to his full statement below, and take note also of what he said later during the briefing about studies involving disinfectants.
What these findings appear to suggest is that the last thing the American people need to do during the coronavirus pandemic is remain cooped up indoors.
Moreover, these findings aren’t in a void. Earlier Thursday morning, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, MD, drew the public’s attention to another study — this one out of China, which admittedly hasn’t demonstrated trustworthy behavior — showing that out of 318 outbreaks of the coronavirus in the communist nation, only one “occurred out-of-doors,” whereas the rest occurred “in home or public transport.”
New: Study of 318 outbreaks in China found transmission occurred out-of-doors in only one, involving just 2 cases. Most occurred in home or public transport. Raises key chance for states to move services outdoors (religious, gym classes, restaurants, etc). https://t.co/Isg5DGxRWa pic.twitter.com/Z5n1b52h8V
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) April 23, 2020
These findings stand in stark contrast to the pseudoscience that has been pushed by the mainstream media at times.
“Fact check: Sunlight does not kill the new coronavirus,” a headline from a USA Today story published on March 5th reads.
The story took issue with viral remarks posted to a holistic health blog that had advocated for combating the virus by going outdoors.
“In my opinion, keeping the beaches closed and having people quarantined inside their homes is a bad decision,” blog post author David Friedman reportedly wrote.
“Getting more sunshine is a proactive step we can all take at protecting ourselves from the current coronavirus outbreak. Instead of staying quarantined inside your house, go outside on your back deck and soak up some virus destroying sunshine!”
Despite multiple sets of evidence now showing that Friedman had a point, at the time USA Today rated Friedman’s remarks as false by citing counter-data from the discredited World Health Organization.
One member of the left-wing press reshared the false fact-check early Thursday evening in apparent contradiction of Bryan’s remarks:
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) April 23, 2020
Fox News host Laura Ingraham sounded off, asking why people are being shooed off beaches:
Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
Staying indoors is NOT the best course. Maybe Hawaii should stop kicking people off beaches sitting in front of their own homes!
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 23, 2020
Dovetailing back to Thursday’s briefing, President Donald Trump seemed interested in finding ways to combat the coronavirus by directly exposing it to sunlight or disinfectants.
“A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting … supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way?” he asked.
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in 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’d be interesting to check that so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.”
This casual, off-the-cuff brainstorming triggered another round of recriminations from the media, which for some reason mistook his brainstorming for him telling the American people to inject themselves with sunlight and disinfectant:
This is the moment when a public servant should stand up and say “no, you are an incredibly stupid and dangerous imbecile; shining a light inside the body is impossible and injecting yourself with disinfectant will kill you.” Then expect to need a new job. #DrBirx https://t.co/a62q6zYtqo
— Piers Linney (@pierslinney) April 24, 2020
President Trump suggested that disinfectants could be explored as a possible treatment for COVID-19 infections — an extremely dangerous proposition that could kill people, medical experts stress. https://t.co/EhVPOZmugW
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 24, 2020
This is just plain nuts. Leaders have a duty to protect their citizens, not float unproven quack cures when people are afraid. To even suggest injecting disinfectant as an instant cure is just dangerous. When will Republicans step in to stop this madness? pic.twitter.com/ceqIA3dyYJ
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) April 24, 2020
This is the same dishonest, bad-faith garbage the media pulled when a known Trump hater consumed fish tank cleaner that contained hydroxychloroquine and then proceeded to blame the president for her own stupidity.
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