Celebrity addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky has issued an apology after comparing COVID-19 to the flu and downplaying the response to the pandemic as “press induced panic.” Pinsky, who is an internist, posted a video on Twitter this past weekend to let his fans know that his earlier comments about the coronavirus were “wrong” and “incorrect.”
“I was part of a chorus that was saying that, and we were wrong, and I want to apologize for that,” said Pinsky. “I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong.”
— Dr Drew (@drdrew) April 5, 2020
Throughout the month of February – and as late as mid-March – the former host of Celebrity Rehab faced some backlash when he said in numerous videos that he posted on social media that COVID-19 was “way less serious than influenza.” He also advised people who are sick to stay home, while everyone else should “go about their business.”
Pinsky said he was “very angry” about what he viewed as fear-mongering from the media and politicians, and added that the chance of dying from coronavirus was lower than being “hit by an asteroid.” But now, the 61-year-old physician has drastically changed his tune.
Pinsky told his fans in his apology that infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci – the head of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force – should be the “North Star” during this pandemic, as he was Pinsky’s “guiding star” during the AIDS epidemic.
“What I also said was: follow the CDC’s recommendation, follow Dr. Fauci’s recommendation. They will keep us safe. And I thought that when the government started taking more aggressive measures, we should all sign on,” explained Pinsky.
Anytime anybody tries to avoid conversation or debate by virtue of their qualifications, like a Women’s Studies professor did with me the other day, show them this video of genuine Medical Doctor, Dr. Drew Pinsky, talking about #COVID2019.
Diplomas do not always equal expertise. pic.twitter.com/UItUyxYNxN
— Steve Cox (@RealSteveCox) April 4, 2020
He went on to say that we have a collective responsibility to do so, and he is doing what he is supposed to do. Pinsky revealed that he now wears a mask when he goes outside, and that has “paid dividends.” He reiterated that the simple act helps improve the situation and flatten the curve, and he is delighted to be a part of it.
In New York City, the death count related to COVID-19 passed the 2,400 mark on Sunday, and now more than 80 percent of the United States is under some kind of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order.
Worldwide, more than a million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly 68,000 people have died.