President Donald Trump has thrown an unexpected and much appreciated lifeline to the 2020 Darwin Awards.

The well-known website which describes itself as  a “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it in a spectacular manner” was started in 1993 and has featured many incredible example of human stupidity. Past winners have elected to exit the mortal coil by pissing on live rails, posing for selfies on precipices and playing chicken with 800 tonne freight trains.

However, with the worldwide lockdown imposed to combat coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of potential Darwin nominees have been confined to their homes, greatly reducing their creative scope for self-destruction. Had the Herald bothered to contact Wendy Northcutt, curator of the awards, she probably would have told us, “It’s looking pretty grim for this year to be honest. Sure, many thousands or unfortunate souls have died from this horrible virus, but these were normal, decent people. There just aren’t enough total fucking dickheads playing on busy roads, headbutting trains or bungee jumping with steel cables. Unless they get back out there and start feeding themselves balls-first into heavy machinery soon, we may have to cancel this years awards through lack of interest. Yes, I mean the honourable mentions too.”

We imagine Ms Northcut would have continued, “President Trump has always tried hard to keep us afloat. His support base amongst the trigger-happy members of the NRA has produced a steady trickle of gun cleaning incidents; we always consider those for a nomination. More recently he kindly urged thousands of morons to take to the streets and protest the lockdown, but although many have risen to the call, it will be hard from us to distinguish the fuckwits from the innocent victims they help kill.”

But at a press conference yesterday, President Tide Pod surprised the world with the brilliant suggestion of injecting industrial strength disinfectant directly into the bodies of infected patients, a strategy so brilliant in that it will neutralise the virus by depriving it of a living host. Total eradication could be further guaranteed by scorching the lungs with artificial sunlight.

“That man’s a genius!” Northcutt didn’t actually say because we never spoke to her. “We’ve been saying for years that the human gene pool needs a little chlorine. Trump has listened and, well, come up trumps. After only hours the Emergency Medical Hotline in Maryland has received over 100 calls from potential nominees. It looks like this year could actually produce a bumper crop. Thank you, Mr President!”

The Herald has contacted a number of leading medical experts, cleaning product manufacturers and other clever bods for comment, and the response has been unanimous.

“Under no circumstances whatsoever should anyone consider injecting or ingesting cleaning products. Don’t even do it sarcastically. Put the fucking stuff down and leave it to the medical professionals to do their job!”

“And stay indoors!”