Dr. Phil's Coronavirus Fox News Interview
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Dr. Phil's Coronavirus Fox News Interview occurred on April 16th, 2020. The interview spurred a backlash toward Dr. Phil following his remarks about the coronavirus in which he claimed that the government-enforced shutdowns were more dangerous than the virus. Many, including those in the medical community, denounced and criticized Dr. Phil's remarks, stating that they are false.
On April 16th, 2020, Dr. Phil McGraw, who has a Ph.D. in psychology but is not a medical doctor, appeared on the Fox News commentary series The Ingraham Angle. During his interview, he claimed that the lockdown could potentially be more dangerous than the virus. He said, "Forty-five thousand people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down for that. But yet we’re doing it for this?" However, 32,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents and 3,500 die in unintentional drownings per year.
We think we’re protecting people’s lives by keeping them locked up. You keep them locked up long enough, there’s a paradoxical effect, you actually destroy more lives than you do by letting them go out and protect themselves and opt into their lives to fight for what they believe in.
Following the interview, people began criticizing Dr. Phil for what they claim to be irresponsible and dangerous medical advice, which he is not licensed to deliver. Twitter  user @reeccamakkai tweeted, "Hi, I'm gonna tell you some stuff about Dr. Phil and save you a trip to Wikipedia. 1) He is not a medical doctor. He has a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas. 2) BUT, he is no longer licensed to practice in any state. 3) Why? Well…" The tweet received more than 30,000 likes and 10,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below, left).
Some began referring to McGraw as "Mr. Phil," highlighting his lack of credentials. The Washington Post's Dave Jorgenson tweeted, "Mr. Phil is not a doctor." The tweet received more than 14,000 likes and 980 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below, center).
Others criticized Oprah Winfrey for introducing Phil and Dr. Oz, who also had a widely-criticized Fox news interview earlier that week, to the public via her daytime talk show. Comedian Randy Rainbow tweeted a picture of the two of them and wrote, "Oprah, honey, I hope you kept the receipt." The tweet received more than 41,000 likes and 5,600 in less than 24 hours (shown below, right).
Blue Dr. Phil
Others joked about Dr. Phil's appearance on the program. McGraw appeared blue due to some reflection of light. Twitter user @kathrynw5 tweeted, "So uh, Dr. Phil needs to work on his lighting situation." The tweet received more than 15,000 likes and 1,500 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below, left). Twitter user @70Ceeks tweeted, "i’ll have what he’s having." The tweet received more than 10,000 likes and 1,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below, center). Throughout the day, others shared jokes about his appearance (example below, right).
Several Media outlets covered the interview, including MSN, Washington Post, Newsweek, NJ.com, Mediaite and more.
 Twitter – @rebeccamakkai's Tweet
 Twitter – @davejorgenson's Tweet
 Twitter – @RandyRainbow's Tweet
 Twitter – @kathrynw5's Tweet
 Twitter – @70Ceeks' Tweet
 MSN – Dr. Phil Claims Shutdowns Deadlier Than Coronavirus In Wild Fox News Appearance
 Washington Post – Let’s explore exactly why Dr. Phil’s coronavirus arguments are so obtuse
 Newsweek – DR. PHIL DEFENDS OPENING UP AMERICA, COMPARES CORONAVIRUS DEATH RATE TO CAR AND SWIMMING POOL ACCIDENTS
 NJ – Dr. Phil uses Fox News’ Laura Ingraham to rant against coronavirus shutdown
 Mediaite – Infectious Disease Hobbyist Dr. Phil Destroyed For Wild Coronavirus Appearance on Fox News
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Apr 17, 2020 at 02:15PM EDT
Apr 17, 2020 at 02:01PM EDT
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