Dr. Drew On Coronavirus: ‘Businesses Destroyed, Lives Upended — Not By Virus, But By Panic’

Southern California native Dr. Drew Pinsky wants people to calm down when it comes to the coronavirus hysteria.

Pinsky, who earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, has been extremely vocal in pushing back against coronavirus coverage and the conversation around the pandemic.

“A bad flu season is 80,000 dead, we have about 18,000 dead from influenza this year and 100 from corona,” said Pinsky in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Which should you be worried about, influenza or corona. 100 vs. 18,000, it’s not a trick question. Everything going on with everyone using Clorox wipes and get your flu shot, which should be the other message… that’s good. I have no problems with the behaviors. What I have a problem with is the panic and that businesses are getting destroyed and people’s lives are getting upended. Not by the virus, but by the panic.”

Dr. Drew was in New York to promote his role in the new movie “Final Kill,” which hits digital and video on demand on March 6. Pinsky plays a version of himself in the film and he’s made a point of emphasis throughout his career to use many different platforms to share his medical opinions.

“It’s a moderate flu season. If you put corona and the flu together, it’s still a moderate flu season,” said Pinksy. “Wash your hands, take precautions, do what you’re supposed to do. Get your flu shot. Having been a physician for almost 40 years, there’s certain things I just know. The homeless thing is something I talk a lot about. I know the homeless because they are my patients. When I saw excessive corona coverage in the press, I had to respond. The weird part on social media is that people are angry with me for trying to get them to see reality and calm down. I’m trying to help.”

Pinsky has worked with decades with the homeless and people suffering from addiction. Dr. Drew says his opinion of coronavirus could change if it spread to the homeless population in Los Angeles.

“The only thing I’ve adjusted is endorsing the behaviors and endorsing all the cleaning and disinfecting,” said Pinsky. “I wasn’t thinking when I first started talking that it would be a likely behavioral outcome, but it has been. Just among the homeless in Los Angeles, we have a problem with M-Avium, which is a nontuberculous AFB. It’s an epidemic and a serious problem. It’s going to infect people in the general community. Don’t hear anything about it. It’s much more dangerous than coronavirus. If corona gets into the homeless in Southern California, that will be a problem and that’s when I’ll change my tune.”

Dr. Drew was in New York to promote his role in the new movie “Final Kill,” which hits digital and video on demand on March 6. Pinsky plays a version of himself in the film and he’s made a point of emphasis throughout his career to use many different platforms to share his medical opinions.

“It’s a moderate flu season. If you put corona and the flu together, it’s still a moderate flu season,” said Pinksy. “Wash your hands, take precautions, do what you’re supposed to do. Get your flu shot. Having been a physician for almost 40 years, there’s certain things I just know. The homeless thing is something I talk a lot about. I know the homeless because they are my patients. When I saw excessive corona coverage in the press, I had to respond. The weird part on social media is that people are angry with me for trying to get them to see reality and calm down. I’m trying to help.”

Pinsky has worked with decades with the homeless and people suffering from addiction. Dr. Drew says his opinion of coronavirus could change if it spread to the homeless population in Los Angeles.

“The only thing I’ve adjusted is endorsing the behaviors and endorsing all the cleaning and disinfecting,” said Pinsky. “I wasn’t thinking when I first started talking that it would be a likely behavioral outcome, but it has been. Just among the homeless in Los Angeles, we have a problem with M-Avium, which is a nontuberculous AFB. It’s an epidemic and a serious problem. It’s going to infect people in the general community. Don’t hear anything about it. It’s much more dangerous than coronavirus. If corona gets into the homeless in Southern California, that will be a problem and that’s when I’ll change my tune.”

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