WaPo: Administration scrambles to stop people from injecting disinfectants

Commentary/News with a Twist

As the administration scrambled to contain the Trump “drink disinfectant” advice (I think that’s called an “unforced error” in tennis…oh, wait, Trump’s a golfer, maybe he should get a “mulligan.” But I digress.), among the administration’s admonitions were these:

  • FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on CNN, “I certainly wouldn’t recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant.” 
  • The Environmental Protection Agency advised people never to “ingest disinfectant products.” 
  • And finally, ever the risk taker when it comes to contradicting Trump, Surgeon General Jerome Adams implored followers on Twitter to “PLEASE always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/medication to yourself or a loved one.”

Now, based on Adams’ advice, imagine if you will, this call between a health provider and his patient:

Doctor: Hello, this is Dr. Kildaire.

Patient: Oh thank goodness I got you Doc, I’m very worried.

Doctor: Well, Clem, tell me what’s worrying you

Patient: Frankly Doc, my coughing is unstoppable, I have a temperature of 103.7 and shortness of breath. What should I do?

Doctor: Well it sounds like you might have Covid-19. Have you taken anything for it?

Patient: Well, I just heard some things from President Trump. You know Doc, I’m an avid supporter, as are most of us down here in Monroeville. Well, he suggested injecting Lysol into my body but dang if I don’t have a needle, so I was just going to drink some Clorox, another of the remedies he suggested. And then I asked my wife Thelma to go down to the storm cellar and bring up the sunlamp we have and aim it my chest to, ya know, burn the darn thing out. What do you think, Doc?

Doctor: Let me tell, as a physician down here in Decatur and a big-time Trump man myself, I think that’s very sound advice. I only have two cautions. Don’t use store-brand bleach, only Clorox. I remember years ago they advertised that Clorox was purer than the store brands. And on the sunlamp, just make sure Thelma turns it off when your chest turns about the color of Trump’s face. You can use one of the many Trump pictures you must have around the house as a guide.

Patient: Thanks, Doc. We’ll get right on it.

Doctor: My pleasure. Give me a call in a few days and let me know how it’s working. And, Clem, there’s a pretty good possibility that we won’t ever talk again so let me say now, God Bless You…And God Bless these here United States!

Full disclosure — back in my advertising days, Clorox was one of my biggest clients. Of course in those days we only talked about the fact that “Nothing gets clothes whiter than Clorox Liquid Bleach.” Man, did we miss a big opportunity.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

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