On April 25th, 2020, President Trump said, "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."
Four days before this statement, on April 21st, Aytu Bioscience produced a press release about this very idea, that light could potentially treat COVID-19 inside the body. Aytu Bioscience attempts to develop novel technologies to treat disease. In this case, they have developed a product called, Healight. According to the promotional video, Healight uses UV radiation to destroy viruses in the airway.
The problem is that this is unproven to work in the body. UV light, like disinfectant, works great on surfaces, inside the body is a different story. Assuming it does work, there are risks associated with this and a mechanical problem that makes it useless. First, as the virus is inside cells and not sitting on a surface, this would mean exposure times would be longer. This would basically cause internal sunburn killing healthy and infected tissues. This would lead to more inflammation as healing factors would attempt to come to the rescue to repair the damage. Inflammation is not what you wish to increase if already compromised with COVID-19.
Mechanically, it's a single tube that inserts deep into the trachea. It does not go into the bronchus, the small bronchioles, or the tiny alveoli where the biggest damage is being done (see image here). As gas exchange is impeded by fluid build-up in the alveoli, it is difficult to see how a patient could benefit from this technology.
There have been attempts to remove ads and information about this product by social media and through news outlets. This was taken as evidence, by some, as some conspiracy to hide the truth. It's not. It's being responsible. Once again, the President is touting treatments that don't work because he fails to understand basic anatomy and science.
* Notice the disclaimer in the video still. 😒
For a more detailed story on this product visit: Respectful Insolence Blog.