Drew Pinsky once again attacks America’s morally corrupt media
Two weeks ago, Dr. Drew Pinsky was sounding an alarm. Unlike the media, though, he wasn’t shouting "We're all going to die!" Instead, Pinsky sounded an alarm about the corrupt, uninformed, morally reprehensible American press, which was intentionally creating a panic.
A few days ago, Dr. Drew was back, this time on the Washington Examiner’s Examining Politics podcast, with Larry O’Connor hosting. And once again, Dr. Drew was complaining in powerful terms about how terrible the media's coronavirus coverage is and about the profound disservice it's doing to America.
While he refuses to speculate about the media’s motives in stoking panic, Dr. Drew wants as many people as possible to know that what the media says is wrong; that the current disease, while definitely serious, is not worse than the H1N1 flu season America survived in 2009-2010; and that common-sense behavior will see America through this flu too.
The following audio is just a little longer than 6 minutes, with Dr. Drew speaking fluidly and intelligently on a topic that can be frightening and confusing. If you have the time, make sure to listen because everything he says is important.
If you don’t have the time, the transcript is below, although it’s not as good reading it as it is listening to an impassioned Dr. Drew.
"Stop listening to journalists. They don't know what they're talking about."@DrDrew went on with @LarryOConnor slamming the media for drumming up panic surrounding the coronavirus, urging Americans to listen to Dr. Fauci and the @CDCgov. pic.twitter.com/omd3CKXrBn— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 14, 2020
Dr. Drew: I don’t claim to know what’s motivating the media but, my God, their reporting is absolutely reprehensible. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are creating a panic that is far worse than the viral outbreak. The bottom line, everybody, is listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the CDC, do what he tells you, and go about your business. That’s the story.
There’s not one doctor I’ve spoken to that disagrees with me. Not one. I ran into an agreement with Dr. Oz last night. He was saying the same thing. We’re all telling you the same thing: Stop listening to journalists. They don’t know what they’re talking about.
Listen to the CDC, listen to Anthony Fauci, and do not listen to anybody else. This is the job of those people. They’re highly trained professionals. They know what they’re doing. Just follow their directions.
You know, I saw a CNN reporter this morning talking to an infectious disease doctor from Vanderbilt, very fine infectious disease doctor but I wanted to scream at him, “Tell these people to stop! Tell the press to stop.
They went, “Oh, my God, what about the testing? We don’t have testing!”
And the doctor just simply, calmly went, “No, no. We have private and public testing. We’re rolling it out. We have the same as other countries.”
“Oh, but we don’t, we don’t!”
Shut up! We do.
And by the way, you don’t test people willy-nilly. The way medical tests are done is you have criteria for the test, doctors determine that criteria, you apply the test.
Testing randomly is called a screening test but then that’s no longer a diagnostic test. You do diagnostic tests when the index of suspicion of the illness is high. Otherwise, you don’t test.
If you have an index of suspicion that is moderate, you tell people to stay home. That’s it.
It’s awful that people get sick. I know. I got H1N1. It sucked. I treated people with it. It was awful. And we have another awful virus circulating around now. And by the way, if you combine corona and influenza this year, it’s still just a moderate flu season. It’s not even a severe flu season.
So all these horror stories about a lack of ventilators and hospital beds being full, that is total B.S. Total B.S.
Do not be alarmed by the word “pandemic.” which the CNN reporter seemed to discover this morning. Let me translate for you the word “pandemic.” “Pandemic” is a, is a technical term that means (a) a new virus; (b) widespread.
Do you think we have that? Yes, we do.
Can you name for me the last pandemic? Well, we had one about ten years ago. It was the H1N1 and, oh my God, did the world come to an end then?
I actually got H1N1. It was brutal. I don’t like the fact that people have to get sick. But we are biological beings and we have these viral outbreaks and we’re in one now. We don’t have treatments. We don’t have vaccines yet, though we will. In the meantime, we have containment and contain it we will. Period.
Wash your hands. Get your flu shot. That should be the story. Wash your hands, get your flu shots. Every sentence should end with that. Because you’re way, orders of magnitude more likely to die of the flu than the coronavirus.
We have 18,000 dead from the flu, 280,000 hospitalized so far in this country. We have 26 dead from coronavirus [now it’s 48]. Which should you be more concerned about? Tell me that. Just do the math.
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. You should be, essentially, staying home for a while. You shouldn’t be going to public events. You should do some social distancing. For a couple of weeks, until this thing blows over. And that’s it.
The rest of us? Go about your business. I’m traveling all over the country this week and the planes are full, the airports are full, people are wearing masks, foolishly.
Why is anybody listening to anybody else? This is a medical problem. Did you [the media] hop into the H1N1 epidemic? Were you guys all involved with that? Were you criticizing the CDC and the government during the H1N1 epidemic? That one was worse.
Where were you guys? We couldn’t have done it without you. Oh, wait a minute. We did fine. You don’t even remember it.
Listen, the story should be, “The World Health Organization and the CDC and the equivalent agencies in the various countries across the world should be taking a bow. We should be tipping our hats to them for doing an extraordinary job.
We have a new illness. We identified it. We know the epidemiology. We created a test for it. We don’t yet have a vaccine and a treatment, but it’s underway and, in the meantime, we are containing it. They should take a bow. We should be tipping our hates to them.
Could things have been done faster? Always. Always. That’s the way medicine is. We contemplate. We think. We try to do no harm before we jump in. This is like saying, “The surgeon took too long doing the operation. The surgery worked out great but I wish he’d been, you know, not spent the last two hours thinking about the risks and benefits of that surgery.”
This is insanity. This is a level of insanity that has me angry. This is not, the medical profession is fine with it. Well, yeah, yeah, a little bit faster would’ve been good, a little more private sector involvement would’ve been good. Yeah.
Larry O’Connor: In a few weeks, this is going to phase out. Is that just because there is a flu season and you expect the COVID-19 to, sort of, follow the same timeline as your typical flue season?
Dr. Drew: I don’t expect it. I guarantee it. Viruses have a life. They come on, they grow, they plateau and they go away. There’s a time chorus to the life cycle of every influenza, every viral outbreak. And we are in the uptick right now, we are about to hit the plateau, we will contain, and then it will start to die out. It hates heat, it hates humidity, and it will go away.
If this gets into the homeless population. . . . Well, if the government would like to spend some of that $8 billion, why don’t they go and take care of the most vulnerable population we have in the country, which are people who are immunocompromised, living in concentrated environments, not vaccinated, with no sanitation.
We have 60,000 of them in Los Angeles. If this gets into that population, I will sing a different tune.
Larry O’Connor: But Dr. Drew, I just saw the governor of California take to his Twitter feed and give everyone instructions about how to properly wash their hands. That should solve the problem there in the homeless population, right?
Dr. Drew: Oh, yeah. That’ll be the end of it. We got no problem. There, they, they’re washing their hands in the LA river with all the excrement and urine and blood that pours off our streets. That should be perfect.