Ashamed over his remarks related to few kids dying due to coronavirus an acceptable 'trade-off' to reopening the schools, talk show host and Cardiac surgeon Dr Mehmet Oz, issued a public apology after facing public ire.
The United States, despite being under lockdown, has become the epicentre of global pandemic with over 678,000 confirmed cases and 34,641 deaths due to the deadly virus. A day ago, asserting that he has complete authority over everything, US President had hinted at the reopening of US, despite many believing it to be a risky move.
Dr Oz found reopening of schools and kids mortality, 'appetizing opportunity'
The, now infamous, TV doctor was speaking as a guest on Fox News' Hannity. Responding to the show's hostSean Hannity's question about how the economy might be jump-started, Oz replied: "First, we need our mojo back. Let's start with things that are really critical to the nation which we think we might be able to open without getting into a lot of trouble."
"Schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3%, in terms of total mortality. Any life is a life lost but to get every child back into a school where they are safely being educated, being fed, and making the most of their lives, with the theoretical risk on the back side, might be a tradeoff some folks would consider," said the host of The Dr Oz Show, on Sony Television.
The study which Oz cited maintained that the children, as compared to older people and those with underlying conditions, face statistically little risks from coronavirus. "Many children will suffer from a lack of access to school-provided social assistance, such as free lunches or clean water and washing facilities. Those engaged with school-facilitated health care, such as vaccinations and mental health services, may miss out on vital health provisions," the authors wrote in the study according to Daily Mail.
Social media boycotts Dr Oz, demand his removal
As soon as the clip of Dr Oz comment went viral, social media started trending with hashtag #FireDrOz, with many netizens demanding boycott the doctor.
Expressing his shock over Dr Oz comfort in the number of kids who would die, if infected, celebrity host Conan O'Brien tweeted: In retrospect, the Hunger Games had a lower child death rate than what Dr Oz is suggesting."
"So I want to know the names of the 2% of Dr. Oz's family that he is willing to sacrifice for the economy. His wife? One of his grandchildren? These percentages are real people!" tweeted a user.
Dr Oz issues a public apology on Twitter
After a huge backlash, Dr Oz finally posted an apology for his comments. In a video message posted on his twitter handle, he said: "I've realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention. I misspoke."
"As a heart surgeon, I spent my career fighting to save lives in the operating room by minimizing risks. At the same time, I'm being asked constantly, how will be able to get people back to their normal lives?" Oz continued.
"To do that, one of the important steps will be figuring out, how do we get our children safely back to school? We know for many kids, school is a place of security, nutrition and learning that is missing right now." These are issues we are all wrestling with and I will continue looking for solutions to beat this virus," he concluded his 37-second apology.