At a briefing on April 24, US President Donald Trump claimed that the light of day could kill the coronavirus.
Trump’s statement quickly spread in the Armenian media as well.
In particular, Hraparak.am, Tert.am and a number of other websites wrote that Trump said: “On the condition that we subject our body to the effects of ultraviolet radiation or simply very strong light… If we can make that light appear inside our body through the skin or in some other way, it will destroy the coronavirus in a minute.”
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to follow in the footsteps of the controversial statement by the US President.
What did Trump really say? Responses in the press
These and other statements made by Donald Trump on April 24 were not unequivocally accepted by the public and the media. However, it is worth noting that a number of media outlets, including Armenian ones, have published Trump’s statement, cutting it out of context. The point is that Donald Trump did not actually announce that the virus would be killed by the light of the sun, but offered to test the hypothesis.
“I want you to talk to the doctors and find out if light and heat can be used for treatment,” the US President said. However, this small detail has been left out by a number of media outlets. It is noteworthy that Tert.am did not take Trump’s statement from the source, but translated it from the Russian RIA Novosti, in fact disseminating information cut from the context.
Nevertheless, Trump’s statement caused a number of critical articles in the international press. For instance, the New York Times presented the president’s words without distorting them. At the same time, however, they noted that it is dangerous to consider the light of day as a means of treatment, as Trump puts forward unconfirmed hypotheses.
Will the sun rays kill the virus?
Donald Trump is not the first to put forward this hypothesis. Back in February, information was spread on the Internet that the coronavirus was not heat-resistant and would be destroyed at a temperature of 27-28 degrees Celsius. The World Health Organization, however, reminded that previous types of coronavirus were actually heat-resistant. The SARS virus, for example, dies at a temperature of 56 degrees. The WHO also stated that “it does not matter how sunny or hot the weather is,” it does not affect the new type of coronavirus.
One of the main reasons for the spread of this hypothesis was that a number of viruses are sensitive to heat and light. However, the possible effect of sun rays on the new type of coronavirus has not been confirmed.
On the other hand, the assumptions that sun heat may prevent the spread of coronavirus have been refuted by various laboratory tests. For example, the University of Ex-Marseille in France has found that the virus can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 60 degrees Celsius. Temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius are dangerous for the human body and higher temperatures can be even fatal. That is, even if strong rays can kill the coronavirus, they can have other harmful effects.
UV rays are harmful for humans
The other hypothesis put forward by Donald Trump was to remove the virus from the human body by means of ultraviolet light in laboratory conditions instead of the natural rays of the sun. There is some evidence that viruses on different surfaces can be killed by UV rays. However, there is no evidence that these viruses can be killed inside the body.
In addition, strong radiation can cause damage to the human body. The American Cancer Society writes that the human body receives the crucial vitamin D from UV rays, but advises to supplement the lack of this vitamin through food or food supplements. According to the organization, UV rays can lead to skin cancer. At the same time, the long-term effects of ultraviolet radiation can have a detrimental effect on the human immune system. Thus, the hypothesis put forward by US President Donald Trump that the light of the sun can destroy a new type of coronavirus has no justification or proof. Moreover, this method of treatment can be harmful for the human body. It should be reminded that earlier we talked about other myths and hypotheses about the coronavirus infection, in particular about the “healing” properties of hot water and ginger, as well as the alleged harmful effects of 5G networks.