Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky, widely known as Dr. Drew, has issued an apology for a series of statements he made downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, even suggesting that it was nothing more than “press-induced panic,” Time reports.
Dr. Drew’s apology came after he faced intense scrutiny following the circulation of a video on Twitter that pieced together clips from a series of appearances he made over a two-month timeframe. The now-viral video collects clips of Dr. Drew on his online show “Ask Dr. Drew,” his podcast “Dr. Drew After Dark,” and other media appearances. Throughout the video, he repeatedly suggests that the deadly virus would not be as bad as the flu. At one point, he even appallingly says that the probability of dying of coronavirus was less than being hit by an asteroid.
“I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong,” the doctor admitted in a video posted over the weekend.
Dr. Drew also noted in his apology that he, like many others in past months, was “part of a chorus” that was equally comparing the coronavirus to the flu. He claims that he didn’t fully understand the grimness of the deadly virus and had been guided primarily by looking at the number of influenza cases. Dr. Drew was also sure to point out that during most of his appearances, he directed viewers toward the guidance of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that deaths related to the coronavirus could surpass 100,000 in the United States if stern action is not taken.
During an appearance on KTLA-TV that aired March 2nd, Dr. Drew said that he was angry about the “press-induced panic” caused by the disease. Later in the month, while in New York, he noted that subways were much less crowded because city officials had said to avoid riding the trains.
Now, he has changed his tune.