PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 18
By Leo Haggerty

BAD DIAGNOSIS, DOCS

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

Now, I’m going to test your memory.  Do you remember The Three Stooges?  That’s right.  The slapstick trio of Moe Howard  and Larry Fine and Curly Howard that made almost 200 short subject films for Columbia Pictures in the 1930s and 1940s.

Well, I want to take you back many decades ago when the comedy team was one of the most popular comedy acts during that time period. That was the 1960s and, if you were alive then, I don’t have to remind you that The Stooges were the talk of the town.

I vividly recall an episode that the triad did where they played doctors and it was a scream.  The line that I will always remember was when they were trying to locate the boys. “Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard” became a part of the American lexicon for comedy performance.

Today, we are witnessing a rebirth of the comedic triumvirate in the medical profession.  Sadly, the three doctors are not trying to be funny but they have become a national joke.  Why, you ask?  Read on, my friends, and see why.

There are three physicians that have looked extremely foolish with their comments over when specific area of life in the United States should get back to normal.  The threesome are Dr. Phil McGraw and Dr. Mehmet Oz  along with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Let’s start with Dr. Phil.  On Fox News, he said on Thursday morning, “The fact of the matter is we have 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 from swimming pools and we don’t shut the country down for that, and yet we are doing it for this, and the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are going to be destroyed.”

McGraw tried to “walk back” those comments after a firestorm of criticism on social media.  Dr. Phil stated that he “probably used bad examples” in comparing the Coronavirus to those fatalities.

No kidding but too late there, doc.  The damage has already been done.

Even worse was the statement made by Dr. Oz.  Also appearing on Fox News, and I don’t know if that’s a common thread that leads to idiotic commentary, Dr. Oz  stated that, “Schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3%, in terms of total mortality. Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into a school where they are safely being educated, being fed and making the most out of their lives, with a theoretical risk on the backside, it might be a theoretical risk some folks will consider.”

After having time to mull over the severity of that outlandish opinion, Oz reversed course and said, “I’ve realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention. I misspoke.”

No confusion here, compadre. You just said that a 2% mortality rate of our most vulnerable resource, our school children, was acceptable.

Hey doc, being that I’ve been a school teacher for 44 years, let me let you in on a little secret.  A 2% mortality rate among school children is atrocious.  In fact, one needless loss of life is totally unacceptable when it can be prevented by simply waiting for COVID-19 to run its course.

Finally, several weeks ago, Dr. Drew Pinsky was forced to apologize.  Dr. Drew initially equating the coronavirus with the flu on his podcast and in other media appearances.  Again, that led to a tidal wave of ridicule on social media.

The good doctor retracted that statement in a hurry.  He confided that, “When Dr. Fauci made it clear that this was not a usual influenza, that it was significantly worse, I adjusted course.  The thing that I also said from the beginning was to follow the CDC recommendations, follow Dr. Fauci’s recommendations, they would keep us safe.”

A valiant attempt at sidestepping that one but, sorry, it won’t work.  You said it and, even though you tried to make amends, you have to own it.

Memo to the New Three Stooges.  Get your facts straight before you open your mouth.  That way, you can avoid swallowing you foot up to your knee.  That could be dangerous to your health.

Also, you surely won’t score a perfect 10 with the American people.  You found that out the hard way.