(UPDATE: 4/17/20 at 3:00 P.M.): Dr. Phil eventually apologized for his comments about coronavirus. “I didn’t like my choice of words. I apologize for that. Know this, I’m concerned about you. That’s my Number 1 concern here. If you don’t like my words, hit the eject button on those. But don’t ever think i’m not concerned about you. That’s what I’m concerned about. And I know that the longer we stay in quarantine the more psychological damage we have. That’s why I continue to do these shows…Depression, anxiety, loneliness, those things create problems. What I want us to do – all of us – is 100 percent follow the guidelines. One hundred percent support doing this together. Self-isolation, being alone together is an altruistic act, because by isolating, we’re helping everybody. And, when we do get the greenlight…we’re gonna follow the science and that’s what I want us to follow the science… I think private sector, might have done this as effectively. I don’t know. But, we are where we are. Let’s follow the guidelines. Let’s follow the science. And, when it’s time to go out, if the science says wear a mask to work, wear a mask to work. If the science says, work for home, but be able to go out some, then let’s do whatever the science says. Let’s follow that, but take care of yourselves. Take care of others.”
Dr. Phil McGraw has everybody talking after his Fox News interview about the coronavirus on April 16. During the interview, Phil, who is a psychologist, not a medical doctor, wondered why the country is taking the coronavirus more seriously than car accidents and drowning. He also claimed that all of the shutdowns from the coronavirus are worse than the actual disease itself. “There’s a point in which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it will actually create more destruction and more death across time than the actual virus itself,” Dr. Phil claimed. “The poverty line is getting such that more people are going to fall below that because the economy is crashing around us.”
However, it was when he compared dying from the coronavirus to other major causes of death in the United States that people really got frustrated. “The fact of the matter is — 450,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools [Editor’s Note: It is not confirmed that these numbers are accurate],” he claimed. “But we don’t shut the country down for that. But we’re doing it for this? The fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are going to be destroyed.”
Of course, people began immediately pointing out on Twitter that car accidents and swimming pool incidents are not the same as coronavirus….because they’re not contagious. “Someone needs to explain to Dr. Phil that a deadly disease is different to automobile deaths, cigarette-related deaths and swimming pool deaths,” someone wrote, while another person sarcastically added, “Yeah I remember that one time I caught the cigarette flu from another person. Dr. Phil, it’s a good thing your level of stupidity isn’t contagious.”
Dr Phil says national lockdowns will cause more death than the coronavirus, adding that we don't quarantine the country for cigarette-related deaths pic.twitter.com/EOLJSDArQd
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) April 17, 2020
Several other people also made sure to point out that Dr. Phil is not a medical doctor — rather, he is a clinical psychologist, who is not even currently licensed to practice in any state. “Since he has no medical expertise, feel free to give this zero credence,” one person tweeted. Watch the video of Dr. Phil’s claims above.