Yesterday, Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil had
interesting appalling takes on the country being shutdown due to COVID-19. Oz said the U.S. should consider re-opening schools because children need to be educated and fed. The tradeoff would be a 2-3% mortality rate; he argued that it’s risk worth taking. Phil declared that “45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools,” and we don’t shut down the country for that. He also claimed that unless the country is re-opened quickly, more people will fall below the poverty line. What he doesn’t understand is that even if people are able to make ends meet, there is a chance they won’t be able to for long because they could die.
Quick fact check: as per the Centers for Disease Control, 3,536 people died from drowning annually from 2005 to 2014. Some of these deaths occurred in other bodies of water, not just in swimming pools.
Both doctors are successful talk show hosts, with Dr. Oz promoting products based on pseudoscience, and Dr. Phil basically hosting a censored version of Jerry Springer. That’s where their similarities end. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, so I can understand why news outlets want his opinion. He’s an actual medical doctor, which is all the more reason why he should have known better than to suggest risking a part of our population so kids can go back to school. School is still in session online.
Dr. Phil, on the other hand, was never a medical doctor. He was a clinical psychologist but had his license revoked due to some legal disputes. Which is why for the life of me, I can’t understand why would Fox news go to him for a second opinion when Dr. Fauci and other reputable doctors have explicitly advised against lifting restrictions. My best guess is they want someone who the public trusts and who is also conservative. Who’s narrative will match the network’s values as well as those of their viewers. This is disappointing considering Fox was always criticizing the liberal media of “politicizing” COVID-19, and yet here they are doing the same thing.
The problem with Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil (and other TV doctors), is that their egos cloud their judgement. They have made more money on TV than they probably would in a lifetime of being a doctor. They live in a bubble where people will believe anything they say, whether it be about bogus products or family therapy. They profit off of people’s ignorance and desperation, or their need for entertainment. If they can con people on their shows, why not on Fox news? Spreading false information for money and fame has become a part of who TV doctors are. After all, they don’t really want to be doctors. If they did, they would be working as doctors and not as talk show hosts.
There needs to be some sort of consequences for their unfounded comments. Dr. Phil should be taken off the air. Sure, the show is entertaining but we can survive without it. As for Dr. Oz, he should be taken off the air, he should never be allowed on TV again, and he should have his license revoked. We trust doctors with our lives (literally), and nobody should be forced to trust a doctor who clearly has no regard for human life. And no, I don’t care how much you love his show.