Media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky apologized Saturday for his past comments comparing coronavirus to influenza, or the flu, saying he “got it wrong.”
“My early comments about equating coronavirus with influenza were wrong. They were incorrect. I was part of a chorus that was saying that. And we were wrong. And I want to apologize for that,” Dr. Drew said in a Periscope video shared to his Twitter Saturday. “I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong.”
Pinsky was criticized for a video dating back to early February that is circulating the web in which he downplays the coronavirus, saying it was a “press induced panic” and that it was far less dangerous than the flu. He also says in the video that your chances of dying from coronavirus are lower than being “hit by an asteroid.”
Pinsky said in Saturday’s video that where he went wrong in comparing coronavirus to the flu was in looking at numbers alone rather than looking at the severity of the illness. He added that he has since consistently told viewers to listen to the CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In the last several days, Pinsky said he has made media appearances to amend his previous statements, and he is further practicing the CDC’s “aggressive” recommendations for social distancing.
“I did not, thank goodness, get Dr. Fauci wrong, and when he made it clear that this was not a usual influenza, that it was significantly worse, I adjusted course. And if you notice, I’ve been doing about two hours of media today backing, changing my perspective in such a way to sign on for the aggressive measures we are taking,” Pinsky said.
“What I also said was follow the CDC’s recommendation; follow Dr. Fauci’s recommendation. They will keep us safe. And I thought that when the government started taking more aggressive measures, we should all sign on. We have a collective responsibility to do so. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I wear a mask outside now. And it’s paid dividends. It is improving. It is flattening the curve. And I’m delighted to be a part of that. I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Pinsky concluded by saying that he will also do his part on the front lines in fighting the illness and has signed up to work with the New York and Los Angeles Health Corps to work with first responders.
“My heart and soul is with New York City, which is where I spend a lot of my time, and I will find a way back there if they need me. If they need me on the front line, I will go,” the doctor said.
Watch Pinsky’s Periscope broadcast below:
— Dr. Drew (@drdrew) April 4, 2020