A woman whose husband died after drinking fish tank cleaner and who later blamed Trump for suggesting it as a cure for the coronavirus is now being investigated by homicide detectives over the incident, suggesting there’s more to the story than a couple who were allegedly duped into self-medicating with deadly chemicals.
“My advice: don’t believe anything that the President says and his people because they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Lenius, a registered Democrat, said at the time.
Wanda Lenius told NBC News after she was hospitalized and her husband, Gary, died from drinking the toxic substance, which contained chloroquine. At the time, the president had suggested that hydroxychloroquine, when used medicinally, had shown some hope of combatting the disease.
Lenius said she’d found the tank cleaner and noticed it contained chloroquine, telling her husband they should ingest it to protect themselves against COVID-19 as a “spur of the moment thing.” The pair each reportedly took a teaspoon of cleaner mixed with some soda water, killing Gary and landing Wanda in the hospital. The story was widely circulated as proof that Trump had been suggesting dangerous and false cures for the coronavirus -- despite the fact that he had never suggested, much less said outright, that anyone should be downing aquarium cleaner.
But after speaking with some of Gary’s friends, the Washington Free Beacon noted that the 68-year-old man was a retired engineer and considered very intelligent by those who knew him, who insisted it “just doesn't make any sense” that Gary Lenius would have willingly ingested fish tank cleaner on a whim.
It was later revealed – though not widely reported by news networks – that the woman and her husband had been having problems for some time, and had even been paid a visit by local police at least once over a domestic dispute.
Now, investigators have opened up the case but are declining to give details, with homicide detective Teresa Van Galder telling the Washington Free Beacon, “As this is an active investigation, I cannot go into any details at this time regarding the case.”