Celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky said the “media should be ashamed of themselves” for creating “panic” around the coronavirus outbreak.
Pinsky said journalists created “a panic that is far worse than the viral outbreak” during his interview on the Washington Examiner’s podcast Examining Politics, which was hosted by Larry O’Connor.
“I don’t claim to know what’s motivating the media, but my God, their reporting is absolutely reprehensible,” Pinsky said.
The celebrity doctor urged people to listen and heed Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Do what he tells you and go about your business. That’s the story. Do not be alarmed by the word ‘pandemic,’” he said.
He did add that the virus should be approached differently by older people and smokers.
“If you are over the age of 70, maybe the age of 75, particularly if you have any chronic medical conditions and if you are a smoker over 50, you should be behaving differently than the rest of us,” Pinsky said.
“The rest of us? Go about your business,” he said. “Wash your hands, get your flu shot. That should be the story. Because you are way more likely, orders of magnitude, more likely to die of the flu than the coronavirus.”
Pinsky previously said the media was stoking the flames of coronavirus “panic” in the United States, and the industry should “be held accountable,” during an interview with CBS.
“What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed, that people’s lives are being upended, not by the virus, but by the panic,” Pinsky said last week. “The panic must stop. And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”
So far, there have been 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the U.S. The death toll is up to 31.
“We will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now,” Fauci told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. “How much worse they get will depend on our ability to do two things, to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it’s going to get worse.”