Dr. Phil, while appearing on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, implied that the shutdowns were an overreaction:
The fact of the matter is, we have … 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 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.
He later walked backcomparisons between coronavirus deaths and fatalities from cars, pools, and cigarettes, saying, “I get that they are not contagious, so they are probably not good examples.”
And Dr. Oz landed himself in hot water for an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. He talked about reopening schools, which he said “may only cost us 2 to 3%, in terms of total mortality.”
Much like Dr. Phil, he later released a statement saying he “misspoke”:
Well, in case you didn’t know, both Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz started their careers on Oprah’s talk show, and she currently produces their spinoff shows. And although Oprah has done a lot of good in response to this pandemic, she’s been noticeably silent on the controversial remarks Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz have made about it.
So last week, Seth MacFarlane called out Oprah in a tweet, saying that “the use of her platform to amplify the voices of dubious characters rather than legitimate scientists has been a disservice.” He then urged her to respond:
And in an interview with Vice released today, MacFarlane doubled down on his criticisms of Oprah.
“Oprah has spent her career doing a lot of altruistic things … and has really, in many ways, used her platform for good,” he said. “The exception to that is the elevation of these purveyors of pseudoscience.”
“People like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, all the way back to Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vax movement,” he said. (Oprah invited Jenny McCarthy onto her show in 2007, where she falsely claimed that vaccines cause autism.)
“And it’s a strange dichotomy that I think a lot of people, particularly right now, are having trouble reconciling,” MacFarlane added.
“You know, this person who has done all this positive work for the world, and yet somehow has gotten caught up in this web of junk science on many occasions,” he concluded.
Oprah has yet to respond to Dr. Phil’s and Dr. Oz’s controversial remarks, or to MacFarlane’s criticisms.
You can check out the full interview clip from Vice below: