Your mother’s favorite television psychologist has a rabid case of cabin fever and is at his wits end with this whole isolation racket.
Dr. Phil McGraw appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News Thursday night spoke about the long-term externalities of shutting the country outweighing the carnage from a global pandemic.
There isn’t a soul out there who would argue that stay-at-home orders are awful for the economy on both a micro and macro level, but Dr. Phil really sounds like a Mr. Phil when he spits out statistics that just aren’t accurate and conflating unrelated arguments.
“250 people a year die from poverty 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. I get that,” he said. ““But look, the fact that 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.”
A lot to digest here, but we’ll start with 300,000, not 250, people die each year from poverty and around 3,500 Americans, not 360,000, die annually from unintentional drownings, not just in swimming pools, according to CDC. And this is without even mentioning the fact that car crashes and drownings are not contagious.
Phil’s comments undermining the severity of the pandemic drew criticism from all corners of the internet, with many calling into question the entertainer’s character.
A wonky delivery from Dr. Phil, for sure. But we should be careful about throwing the baby out with the bath water here.
Considering the long-term negative effects of obscene unemployment and subsequent increase in depression and who knows what, it shouldn’t be considered immoral to consider a pragmatic approach over the “PEOPLE ARE DYING!” crowd. Corporations put a price tag on people all the time. I think everyone would just prefer this plan coming from a real doctor.