WH cleans up transcript of Dr. Birx appearing to endorse idea of treating COVID-19 with UV rays


The White House put out a corrected transcript of the Thursday evening coronavirus task force briefing Friday morning with just one revision to a comment that initially made it seem Dr. Deborah Birx was touting heat and the light as a treatment for coronavirus.

During the briefing, Donald Trump urged that sunlight and heat and light in general could be used to treat COVID-19, and at one point turned to Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, to ask her to weigh in.

‘Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light, relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?’ Trump asked Birx.

The initial transcript, sent just after 10:00 p.m. Thursday night read: ‘That is a treatment.’

While the initial transcript showed that Birx agreed with the president’s claims, the corrected version, sent out before 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, struck out the words ‘that is’ and replaced it with the word ‘not.’

Now it reads what she actually said in response to Trump’s question: ‘Not as a treatment.’

The White House put out a revised version of the transcript of Thursday night’s press briefing after the original appeared to show Dr. Deborah Birx (left) agreeing with Donald Trump that heat and light could be used as a treatment for coronavirus

In the first version, sent around 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, The White House claimed Birx said "That is a treatment" when Trump asked about using heat and light

In the first version, sent around 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, The White House claimed Birx said ‘That is a treatment’ when Trump asked about using heat and light

But the corrected version, sent out before 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, correctly reflected that she said to the question: 'Not as a treatment'

But the corrected version, sent out before 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, correctly reflected that she said to the question: ‘Not as a treatment’

Trump asserted during the briefing that based on a new study that UV rays and other forms of heat and light could be used to treat the virus

Trump asserted during the briefing that based on a new study that UV rays and other forms of heat and light could be used to treat the virus

As Trump made the claims, Birx was sitting at the side of the briefing room, appearing to hold back giving any reaction

As Trump made the claims, Birx was sitting at the side of the briefing room, appearing to hold back giving any reaction 

‘I mean, certainly fever is a good thing,’ she continued at the briefing. ‘When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But not as – I’ve not seen heat or –’

She then appeared to be cut of by the president, who said, ‘I think it’s a great thing to look at.’

The comments came as a reporter asked Trump about the notion that going out into heat and humidity is good to combat the virus.

‘Here we go,’ the president groaned. ‘The new headline is: ‘Trump Asks People to go Outside. That’s Dangerous.’ Here we go. Same old group. You ready? I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that’s great.’

‘I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure,’ Trump said. ‘And maybe you can, maybe you can’t. Again, I say, maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor. But I’m like a person that has a good you know what.’

The reporter urged the president to clarify, claiming people don’t want to hear about ‘rumors’ during the White House briefings.

‘I’m the President and you’re fake news,’ he pushed back.

The president's claims Homeland Security senior science and technology advisor William Bryan shared a 'study' on using light and heat to treat COVID-19. Here he shares a graphic on 'best practices' called for moving activities outside, and noted that heat and humidity hurt the virus

The president’s claims Homeland Security senior science and technology advisor William Bryan shared a ‘study’ on using light and heat to treat COVID-19. Here he shares a graphic on ‘best practices’ called for moving activities outside, and noted that heat and humidity hurt the virus

Trump brought up the potential of treating coronavirus with ultra-violet light rays at his Thursday briefing.

‘Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light? And I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it,’ the president directed to Homeland Security senior science and technology advisor William Bryan.

‘And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting,’ he continued.

The comments came after Bryan delivered a report claiming that ultraviolet rays and heat have a potent impact on the pathogen. The ‘study,’ however, was not peer-reviewed and therefore is not a fully-fledged piece of research.

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