“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said Friday that celebrity doctors Dr. Phil McGraw and Dr. Mehmet Oz are spreading “propaganda” for President Donald Trump by downplaying the threat of the coronavirus on public health.
“Lives are going to be lost because of the propaganda that is being spewed out there. And it really has started the past couple of days by … Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz and so many other people,” Scarborough said on his MSNBC program.
“The problem is, they both have huge followings, huge audiences who listen to their every word. And they know better. Both of those guys know better. They’re not dumb guys. So what are they up to? That’s the question,” panelist Will Geist asked. (RELATED: Dr. Oz Talks Healthcare And Coronavirus)
“Something with Trump. Maybe a job,” suggested co-host Mika Brzezinski.
Trump has established an economic task force to assess the reopening the American economy and says he is optimistic about doing so by May 1. He says he will make a decision about that date “shortly,” although it will be the “biggest” one of his life.
Scarborough played clips of both doctors suggesting it was time to reopen the economy and that even if fatalities occurred as a result of that decision it would be justifiable.
In a Fox News guest appearance, Dr. Phil states, “The fact of the matter is, we have people dying, 45,000 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?” (RELATED: Ben Carson: If We Wait For COVID-19 Virus To Be Completely Gone Before Reopening, ‘Our Economy Will Be Gone Also’)
A clip of Dr. Oz from Thursday night’s “Hannity” on Fox News, shows him calling the reopening of schools “a very appetizing opportunity” even if it costs up to “2% to 3% of total mortality.”
Oz has apologized for making that comment, saying he “misspoke.”
“If something doesn’t make sense, like, there’s a reason it doesn’t make sense. There’s something going on,” Scarborough said. “Here we have the president saying he is [Italian dictator Benito] Mussolini a couple days ago.”
“At the same time, you have TV doctors, ‘Oh, we have to get back to work.’ Are they trying to set up governors, like in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania … Are they trying to take the blame off of Donald Trump? He still doesn’t have testing down. We still can’t safely reopen the government,” Scarborough said.
“What the hell is going on? I guess they’re real doctors. I’ve never seen their certificates … Maybe we can get evidence today that they’re real doctors. But nobody is this ignorant.”