Dr. Phil Compared Coronavirus Deaths To Car Accidents & SWIMMING POOL Drownings?! Really, Dude??
Another day, another controversial TV doctor taking heat for questionable comments about coronavirus!
This time, the controversy is centered on longtime TV doc Dr. Phil McGraw, who appeared Thursday night on Laura Ingraham‘s Fox News show. Calling into the program via Skype, the popular personality spoke about the balance between COVID-19-related quarantines and re-opening the economy to get America back to work.
Some of McGraw’s comments were sensible — in the second half of the interview, for example, he fielded questions about how Americans can stay mentally sharp and psychologically healthy while stuck indoors during extended quarantine periods. But it was what he said straight off the top of the interview that has eyebrows raised across the country…
When Ingraham raised the prospect about opening up the country again to kickstart the economy, the longtime TV host (who doesn’t have an MD, by the way; his degree is a PhD in clinical psychology) went off the deep end. He started (below):
“This is invisible. I can’t show you an x-ray of depression, and I can’t show you an x-ray of anxiety. But the fact of the matter is the longer this lockdown goes on, the more vulnerable people can get, and there’s a tipping point. There’s a point at which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it’ll actually create more destruction and death across time than the virus will itself.”
But it was in his next comment that McGraw swung for the fences, equating coronavirus deaths and the spread of a global pandemic to car accidents and… swimming pool deaths? No, seriously, here’s the full quote:
“The poverty line is getting such that more and more people are going to fall below that because the economy is crashing around us. And they’re doing that because people are dying from the coronavirus, and I get that. But look, the fact of the matter is 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 people a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut down the country for that, but yet we’re doing it for this? And the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are being destroyed.”
OK, **first off** we checked and according to the CDC‘s own website (HERE), there are not 360,000 swimming pool deaths per year! There are about 3,600 in any given years! So Dr. Phil was just one hundred times off in his little “claim” there. Second, and more importantly, car accident deaths and accidental drownings are not contagious, and so they do not potentially spread exponentially just by us all of being around each other. How is this hard to understand?!
Also, and more to the point, WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH YOU, MAN?! Just like Dr. Oz a day ago, how come these TV doctors can’t seem to go five seconds without coming across as callous and out-of-touch as can be?! Didn’t these people take an oath to “first, do no harm”???
You can watch Dr. Phil’s full segment here, BTW:
Predictably (and thankfully), we’re far from the only ones calling out these irresponsible comments this morning.
Twitter commenters were out in full force arguing against both TV docs on Friday, with one writing (below):
“It would be a gift to the world and would probably save a lot of lives if Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz never made another television appearance for the rest of eternity.”
And another adding:
“I will NEVER watch @DrPhil again. How could I? How could I ever trust his judgment again after downplaying #COVID-19? How could he not know that difference between car accidents, smoking deaths and #Coronavirus are they are NOT CONTAGIOUS?”
Another person hilariously noted Dr. Phil’s role in promoting Bhad Bhabie‘s eventual rise to fame, tweeting:
“Dr Phil’s apology video had better feature ‘cash me outside’ girl or it’s a nonstarter.”
Jokes aside, though, Dr. Phil’s comments here leave a LOT to be desired, don’t they, Perezcious readers?! What’s your reaction to his appearance on Ingraham’s show? Sound OFF with your opinions down in the comments (below)…
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