Dr. Mehmet Oz, the syndicated TV doc whom Fox News has recently leaned on for coronavirus expertise, said Thursday morning that he believes doctors now feel that the “worry and panic” over the disease will be “worse than the actual coronavirus.”
With U.S. deaths from the pandemic now topping a thousand, Dr. Oz appeared on Fox & Friends and expressed hope that a medication could soon be found to provide treatment and prevention of the disease, specifically pointing to hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has touted as a “game changer.”
Co-host Steve Doocy, meanwhile, noted that as the pandemic spreads across the country and more and more people are subjected to social-distancing restrictions, anxiety may settle in.
“What sort of advice would you have for people who are feeling anxious and frustrated right now?” Doocy asked. “They don’t have coronavirus, they’re just worried.”
“Oftentimes, they think they have coronavirus because they’re so anxious about it,” the celebrity doctor replied. “So every small little symptom, you know, they don’t quite smell as well this morning as they did yesterday. They think they have it. They have a little cough, little belly ache.”
Dr. Oz went on to say that he didn’t want to “downplay these issues because they may actually have coronavirus” but that a “panic attack is devastating, and it is a physical problem.”
Noting that panic attacks can cause palpitations and the feeling like the “world is closing in around you,” Dr. Oz then said that doctors may be more concerned about that than the disease itself.
“And these symptoms can cause all kind of detrimental effects, which is why I think a lot of doctors now are feeling that the worry and the panic about coronavirus is going to be worse than the actual coronavirus for them,” he declared. “And if we can sort of balance that out—for the first few months we were all saying, 'Guys, wake up, this is a problem.'”
“Now the medical community is saying, ‘Let’s step it back for a second. You’re going to be fine.’ If you look at the survival numbers—if you’re under the age of 20, we don’t have a death yet,” he concluded. “There are very few above that until you get into the 50s. So it’s a pretty safe virus for the majority of Americans. The panic you’re experiencing is only going to pull you away from the calmness you need to succeed.”
As of publication, per Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 69,246 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States, resulting in 1,046 deaths, including a 17-year-old teenager in New Orleans.