Dr. Phil (Not A Doctor) Talking Some Fake Shutdown Bullsh*t

Laura Ingraham is anxious for the economy to reopen — probably because she misses dining out at her favorite restaurant on gourmet baby souls. Actual respected medical professionals think we should proceed with caution, which is synonymous with ignoring anything Donald Trump says, but Ingraham invited Phil McGraw (no honorific because I'm petty AF) to share his homespun, non-accredited advice on the psychological toll the lockdowns are having on Americans.

McGraw is not licensed to practice psychology, but Ingraham doesn't care about people's emotional states. She just wants the “Trump economy" humming again. She'll accept any pseudoscience mumbo-jumbo that'll convince people to leave the house.

MCGRAW: This is invisible. I can't show you an X-ray of depression. I can't show you an X-ray of anxiety.

No, he can't. He's not just speaking metaphorically. He has no hospital privileges because he's not a real doctor.

MCGRAW: The longer this lockdown goes on the more vulnerable people get and it's like there's a tipping point. There's a point at which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it will actually create more destruction and actually more death across time than the actual virus will itself.

McGraw is very certain about the facts he's pulled out of his unlicensed rectum. “The cure can't be worse than the disease" is a common refrain from stupid people who are impatient with COVID-19 mitigation efforts. This is the level of intellect that wonders why anyone would ever submit to chemotherapy. It's painful. Your hair falls out. Why would you do this to yourself? Yes, chemo sucks, but aggressive cancer doesn't just go away if you refuse to treat it.

MCGRAW: Two hundred and fifty people a year die from poverty.

Bwah-ha-ha. No, that's an absurdly low figure that McGraw must've gotten from Paul Ryan's Big Book of Ayn Rand Economic Gibberish. He probably meant to say 250,000, which is more in line with recent studies. His argument, I guess, is that the lockdowns are costing people jobs, which is no different from killing them. However, Congress has passed relief packages aimed at keeping people afloat financially during the crisis. They aren't perfect. The government should and probably will do more, but this is still a ridiculously out of context comparison.

McGraw conceded that the lockdown measures aren't in place for giggles but because people are dying from the coronavirus. Then he appeared to consult prepared notes off-screen, so what he said next wasn't just extemporaneous nonsense.

MCGRAW: The fact of the matter is we have people dying, 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents.

Last year, 38,000 Americans died in car crashes, which was a 2 percent drop from 2018. That's slightly different from the coronavirus's death tolls, which have grown exponentially in just a few months. Thursday, 4,591 Americans were reported to have died from the virus, which is almost double Wednesday's already grim figure.

Matt Walsh with the Daily Wire is also obsessed with the “we don't ban cars!' argument, and conservatives in general have used automobile accidents as a convenient go-to when arguing against gun safety laws. What's missed here is that driving is already heavily regulated, and if for some reason, a car caused every vehicle it passed on the highway to suddenly explode two weeks later, we hope they would issue a recall.

McGraw correctly stated that 480,000 people die a year from cigarettes, which is probably why smoking is banned in most public places. You can't just slip outside for a COVID break at work, and it's not like people's clothes and breath stink of COVID so you can try to avoid them. As Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently discovered, asymptomatic people spread the virus. Imagine if a schoolteacher died of lung cancer because her seemingly healthy student lived in a home with a smoker.

He also claimed 360,000 people died in swimming pools, which is bullshit, but again, if your grandmother randomly drowned after visiting you because you swam a few laps at a hotel while at a work conference, we'd reconsider swimming pools.

MCGRAW: We don't shut the country down for that!

No, we don't shut down the country for stupid, made-up reasons.

MCGRAW: But yet we are doing it for this and the fallout is going to last for years because people's lives are being destroyed. ... You actually destroy more lives than you do by letting them go out and protect themselves and opt in to their lives to fight for what they believe in.

Businesses absolutely will not thrive in an environment when people rightly fear dying from an infectious disease if they leave the house or gather in large numbers. Americans trust Dr. Anthony Fauci more than fake TV doctors.

Sweet Christ. I love Oprah Winfrey but she gave a national platform to McGraw and pseudoscience peddler Mehmet Oz. Both of these fools are a threat to public health.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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