Dr. Phil begrudgingly apologizes for comparing coronavirus to swimming pool deaths

Dr. Phil is attempting some clean-up after generating outrage in a Fox News coronavirus segment, admitting he used "bad examples" and taking a sorry-if-you-were-offended approach.

TV host Phil McGraw on Thursday appeared on Laura Ingraham's Fox News show to speculate about why lockdown measures are being put in place during the coronavirus pandemic when "we don't shut the country down" for deaths from car accidents and swimming pools, wrongly claiming 360,000 people die in swimming pools in the United States every year.

After the segment drew outrage, McGraw, who isn't a medical doctor, on Friday said he does support social distancing measures amid the pandemic and walked back this comparison to other causes of deaths that are not contagious like the coronavirus.

"Last night, I said we as a society have chosen to live with certain controllable deadly risk every day: smoking, auto crashes, swimming," he said. "And yes, I know that those are not contagious. So probably bad examples. Probably bad examples. ... I probably could have used better examples about that."

He went on to say you can go ahead and "erase" these examples "if I offended people's sensibilities" and later added "if you didn't like my choice of words, I apologize for that."

This controversy came after TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz also came under fire for seeming to suggest on Fox News that reopening schools would be worth it even if it led to an increase in coronavirus fatalities. He later said he "misspoke."

More stories from theweek.com
A parade that killed thousands?
5 brutally funny cartoons about Dr. Fauci's Trump troubles
Is Trump dangerously strong or perilously weak?