After receiving significant scrutiny for his remarks made on Fox News Wednesday night, Dr. Mehmet Oz has issued a follow-up statement. His original comment was prompted by him suggesting that schools should potentially reopen, citing that a "two to three percent" fatality rate would be an acceptable trade regarding the increased risk it would entail. Hours later on Thursday, the host of The Dr. Oz Show posted a clip to twitter addressing the controversy.
"I've realized my comments and risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention," Oz explained. "I misspoke. As a heart surgeon, I spent my career fighting to save lives in the operating room by minimizing risks. At the same time, I'm being asked constantly 'How will we be able to get people back to our normal lives?'"
I’ve realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention. I misspoke. pic.twitter.com/Kq1utwiCjR— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 16, 2020
"To do that, one of the important steps will be figuring out how we get our children safely back to school," Oz continued. "We know for many kids, school is a place of security, nutrition and learning that is missing right now. These are issue we are all wrestling with, and I will continue looking for solutions to beat this virus."
The video was issued in an attempt to clarify his earlier remarks on the cable news network, where he recommended the U.S. "start with things that are really critical to the nation, that we think we might be able to open without getting into trouble. I tell you, schools are a very appetizing opportunity."
After pointing out the "two to three percent" morality rate, added, Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but to get every child into a school where they're safely being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives, with a theoretical risk on the backside, that might be a tradeoff some folks would consider."
Given Oz's significant platform as both a medical doctor, talk show host and frequent talk show guest, the seemingly callous remarks rubbed several people the wrong way. Particularly since Oz has previously offered up some useful advice on navigating the pandemic, including encouraging the use of face masks and pleading with people to stop shaking hands before it was deemed both a pandemic and a national emergency.