U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday, April 23, called on Americans to “enjoy the sun” after William Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security said at a White House briefing that there are “emerging results” from new research that suggest solar light has a powerful effect in killing Coronavirus on surfaces and in the air.
The White House pitched on the benefits of sunlight and humidity in diminishing the threat of the coronavirus as President Donald Trump encourages US states to move to reopen their economies.
Past studies have not found good evidence that the warmer temperatures and higher humidity of spring and summer will help curb the spread of Coronavirus.
However, William Bryan said new research shows Coronavirus is dying faster due to exposure to sunlight.
Bryan said a biocontainment lab in Maryland has been conducting testing on the virus since February and that scientists have seen a similar effect from higher temperatures and humidity.
“The virus is dying at a much more rapid pace just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity,” Bryan said.
Bryan said having more knowledge about this could help governors when making decisions about how and when to open their state economies. However, he stressed that the emerging results of the light and heat studies do not replace social distancing recommendations.
Trump, who has consistently looked for hopeful news about containing the virus, was asked if it was dangerous to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat, considering that so many people have died in Florida.
“I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that’s great,” Trump replied, adding, “It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man.”
“I’m here to present ideas, because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good, and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned,” the president said.
Earlier in the month, scientific advisers told the White House there’s no good evidence yet that the heat and humidity of summer will curb the spread of the virus without continued public health measures. They explained that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread.