During an appearance on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show Thursday night, TV self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw downplayed the novel coronavirus death toll by comparing the contagious disease to the annual death totals from smoking and other activities. McGraw, who no longer holds any license to practice psychology, advocated for a quick reopening of the country by noting that people will die from poverty due to a crashing economy.
“And they’re doing that because people are dying from the coronavirus,” he proclaimed, before going on to describe deaths from non-communicable means. “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 are doing it for this and the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are being destroyed.”
McGraw is just the latest Oprah Winfrey celebrity doctor alum to suddenly be thrust forth as an expert by Fox News. Mehmet Oz, whom other doctors have labeled a “quack,” has been a ubiquitous presence on the network of late, repeatedly touting an unproven anti-malarial drug as a potential coronavirus cure.