TV doctor of Oprah fame Mehmet Ozhas caused outrage after suggesting that the loss of children's life to coronavirus would be "tradeoff" worth risking.
Oz, who is a television doctor and trained cardiothoracic surgeon, best known for his stint on the Oprah Winfrey Show, appeared on Fox News' Hannity and raised eyebrows after suggesting that some would be willing to take a risk of losing two to three per cent of the population would be a "tradeoff some folks would consider".
Speaking to Sean Hannity, he said:
Schools are a very appetising opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3 per cent, in terms of total mortality. Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but…t hat might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.
DR OZ: "Schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of sch… https://t.co/j208vgdW4M
Some people estimated that if the US were willing to go through with this, it could approximately result in somewhere between 6.5 million to 11.5 million deaths, assuming the stat meant a flat 2-3 per cent of the total population, although the specifics of what he actually meant are unclear.
Understandably, people were not impressed and #FireDrOz (he has his own show on Sony television), soon began to trend on Twitter.
@atrupar That's 6.5 million to 11.5 million dead Americans
The outrage has led to Oz offering an apology for his comments on Fox, claiming that he "misspoke". In a short Twitter video he said:
I realise that my comments on the risks around the opening of 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 operation room by minimising risks. At the same time, I'm being asked constantly 'how will we be able to get people back to their normal lives?' To do that one of the important steps will be to figure out how we get our children safely back to school.
We know for many kids that schools are a place for nutrition and learning which is missing right now. These are issue we are all wrestling with and I will continue to look for solutions to beat this virus.
I’ve realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intent… https://t.co/XOXRpSqKWS
Oz's practices have also come under scrutiny with the British Medical Journal publishing a report in 2014 which stated that many of the recommendations that he would make on his shows contained no medical evidence or contradicted actual research and evidence.