Celebrity psychologist Phil McGraw is facing a wave of criticism after he claimed on Fox News that the statewide shutdowns due to the coronavirus are more deadly than the virus itself.
Mr. McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday to discuss how anxiety and depression are affecting Americans as they isolate themselves in their homes.
“This is invisible,” he said. “I can’t show you an X-ray of depression, I can’t show you an X-ray of anxiety, but the fact of the matter is, the longer this lockdown goes on, the more vulnerable people get.
“And it’s like there’s a tipping point,” he continued. “There’s a point at which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it will actually create more destruction and actually more death across time than the actual virus will itself.”
Mr. McGraw compared deaths from the coronavirus to automobile deaths, smoking-related deaths and swimming pool deaths, “but we don’t shut the country down for that,” he argued.
“The fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are being destroyed,” he said.
“People that suffer from loneliness, they become 29 percent more likely to have coronary artery disease, 32 percent more likely to have strokes or die, 40 percent more likely to have dementia if they’re in that age group,” he continued. “So it’s not just that it’s psychological. Their bodies actually start breaking down.
“So we think we’re protecting people’s lives by keeping them locked up,” he said. “You keep them locked up long enough, there’s a paradoxical effect. You actually destroy more lives than you do by letting them go out and protect themselves and opt into their lives to fight for what they believe in.”