We've written before about the dangers of TV doctors. Dr. Oz recommends things no ethical surgeon would.Dr. Phil has held people captive in locked rooms. We haven't written anything as bad yet about Dr. Drew, but he helped birth Celebrity Rehab into the world, so he's still pretty trash. All three men have peddled some extremely dangerous misinformation in regards to the coronavirus, and listening to them in the wake of our current pandemic has proved particularly costly.
As of this moment, the death toll from Coronavirus stands at 42,560 in the United States and 169.986 worldwide, and those numbers are going to keep rising. But Dr. Drew played down the pandemic, continually comparing it to the flu. Here's his supercut of stupidity:
Then there's Dr. Phil, a man without a medical license (which renders the "Dr." moniker as useful as Dr. Pepper) who went on Laura Ingraham's show and suggested we never start social distancing in the first place. He didn't offer an alternative plan to avoid the thousands if not millions of deaths the coronavirus would cause without social distancing, but we assume that, based on his past behavior, it would involve locking every infected person in his studio.
Finally, we have Dr. Oz, who has pushed dubious studies about hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malaria drug that may or may not actually be effective in treating COVID-19, but the point is there has been limited testing, so it's downright irresponsible to go on TV and suggest every start popping a little "oxy-chlo" as the kids probably aren't calling it. It's also unclear whether President Trump learned about hydroxychloroquine from Dr. Oz specifically, or if they are just involved in the dumbest game of "chicken or the egg" imaginable, but either way, marketing of the drug as a cure has produced deadly results.
It's a sad reality that celebrity influence has a measurable impact on our health practices. But in the middle of this pandemic, when your fate can rest on not just your actions, but the actions of those around you as well, shouldn't we have stricter guidelines for who can go on TV and call themselves a doctor and begin offering medical advice? Shouldn't we look at the death toll and think, "Hey, remember when Dr. Phil thought that Barbie dolls might make boys gay? We need him to give his honest opinions right now." or "Oh shit, the US death toll is now at 42,897! Quick, someone ask Dr. Oz if we should open schools!"
Top Image: Harpo Productions