Is Dr. Oz's coronavirus advice irresponsible? | The Tylt

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Is Dr. Oz's coronavirus advice irresponsible?
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One of the wildest claims made by Dr. Oz is one that is not even medical—here he's advocating for reopening schools because he sees a 2-3% fatality rate as acceptable. Not only is that a wildly irresponsible and malicious statement, but it also a fundamental misreading of the study Oz cites. 

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Ultimately, this latest statement is only the latest in a career of spreading pseudoscientific ideas. 

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A more generous interpretation of Dr. Oz's statement is that he suggested opening schools would only increase the total number of deaths by 2 to 3%. This would be orders of magnitude fewer people dying than what people are accusing him of saying.  He is not suggesting that opening schools would be worth it because it would only result in the deaths of 2 to 3% of the total population. 

The article he mentions from The Lancet points to how some countries did not close schools but were able to control outbreaks effectively. This suggests that there are ways to reopen schools without catastrophe. Students are missing out on critical education and resources.

A systematic review by Russell Viner and colleagues, published on April 6, assessed findings from 16 studies looking at the effects of school closures on coronavirus outbreaks in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They found limited benefit on slowing the spread of the virus, and the authors stress that closures must be considered within the wider context of loss of essential workers due to childcare demands, restrictions in learning, socialising, and physical activity for pupils, and the substantial risks to the most vulnerable children, including those in low-income settings. Following school closures amidst the west African Ebola epidemic, rates of child labour, neglect, sexual abuse, and adolescent pregnancies spiked, and many children never returned to school.
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Dr. Oz has faced criticism like this before. Here's how he replied when fellow medical professionals called for him to be fired from Columbia University. 

"I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves," Oz said in a statement released through a representative of The Dr. Oz Show. "We provide multiple points of view, including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest. That doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts."

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