I tell you, 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 percent, in terms of total mortality.’
YES… That was Dr. Mehmet Oz speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News on Wednesday night about how getting students back into schools could help America get its “mojo back.”
Well, Dr. Oz is getting slammed on social media from viewers who have interpreted the Dr. as saying that up to 3% of children dying is an acceptable trade-off for reopening schools — although that isn’t exactly what he said.
DR OZ: “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 … that might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/aifMeKTsIv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2020
This started trending on Twitter “Only 2-3%,” “Dr. Oz” and “Lancet” to trend on Twitter on Thursday. Oz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The April 8 Lancet article he was referring to reported that, “Recent modeling studies of COVID-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only 2-4% of deaths, much less than other social distancing interventions.” That’s overall public deaths, not children’s deaths — still a tragedy, of course, and translating to thousands of American lives lost. That includes parents and children, friends and family. At least 138,487 people have already died from the coronavirus worldwide, including more than 30,000 in the U.S.
Dr. Oz conceded that, “any life is a life lost,” his remarks about the “trade-off” in reopening schools at the risk of exposing more people to the coronavirus still struck many as some pretty insensitive math.