McGraw, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology, compared COVID-19 deaths to those from car crashes, cigarettes, and swimming pool accidents while arguing against the lockdowns that have impacted the nation's economy in wake of the pandemic. While attempting to make a point that the country isn't shutdown for those other deaths, McGraw incorrectly stated that 360,000 people die a year from swimming pool accidents. According to the CDC, "an average of 3,536" people die from "unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States." Which, I'm sure you gathered, is much less that 360,000.
"250 people a year die from poverty," McGraw said during the interview. "And 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." The talk show host continued, "I get that, but look, the fact of the matter is we have people dying, 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down 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."
Dr. Phil appears on Laura Ingraham and says we don’t shut the country down for automobile deaths, cigarette related deaths, and swimming pool deaths pic.twitter.com/q8KCgLLClY— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) April 17, 2020
Needless to say, people were not amused with many pointing out that dying in a car crash is not contagious. Others took the opportunity to highlight the fact that Dr. Phil is far from qualified to opine about a global pandemic on national television.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER DR PHIL IS NOT A DOCTOR. HES A TALKING WALRUS THAT OPRAH MET IN A FOGHORN LEGHORN CARTOON & DECIDED TO PUT ON TV AS A JOKE— DVS (@DVSblast) April 17, 2020
Fun Fact: Dr. Phil is not a medical doctor. He has a PhD in clinical psychology, but he currently has no license to practice psychology in any state. So not only is he not qualified to give medical advice, he technically isn’t qualified to give it in his own profession. G’night! https://t.co/s8YxSqJMdh— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) April 17, 2020
This statement from Dr. Phil is stupid. None of the things he mentions is contagious.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 17, 2020
Also, the case fatality rate of #COVID19 is over 4% in US. If 4% of people who routinely went swimming would die & 15% would end up in the hospital, I guarantee Dr. Phil would not go swimming. https://t.co/UmOx7QBtkH
Dr. Phil voluntarily relinquished his medical license after several run ins with Texas medical regulations. He is currently licensed to practice in zero (0) states. https://t.co/ye0GpD2Ami— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) April 17, 2020
I once caught a car crash from my best friend, who already had car crash and didn’t tell me and we went and shared popcorn at Every Which Way But Loose and then I got car crash bad and Dr. Phil isn’t a medical doctor or an economist. https://t.co/8jHt2ZyZGp— Ben Mankiewicz (@BenMank77) April 17, 2020
McGraw hasn't been the only person making questionable comments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders that have been issued in an attempt to combat the disease's spread. TV personality Dr. Oz met backlash after saying reopening schools "may only cost us 2 to 3 percent in terms of total mortality." The pseudoscience promoter, who was citing medical journal the Lancet, went on, "You know, any life is a life lost but to get every child back into a school where they're safely being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives with a theoretical risk on the backside might be a tradeoff some folks would consider." Before Dr. Oz made the comments about reopening schools "only" costing the deaths of "2 to 3 percent" of children, he disturbingly used the phrase "a very appetizing opportunity."
*Only 2-3% of kids will die if schools re-open*— 𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙣 🎡 (@JamaIAdamsEra) April 16, 2020
Dr Oz: pic.twitter.com/aduiLaKeof
Dr. Phil has a doctorate in psychology.He is not a virologist.— Meredith (@meralee727) April 17, 2020
Dr. Drew is a licensed internist&an addiction medicine specialist.Also, he is not a virologist.
Dr. Oz is a licensed cardiothoracic surgeon. He is also not a virologist.
Dr. Pepper is a tasty soda& not a virologist