As the United States discussed ways to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of doctors were interviewed, including Dr. Phil McGraw.

Dr. Phil appeared on Fox News Thursday and he expressed his dismay at the shutdowns because of the virus when there are so many other causes of death.

The TV host and doctor spoke how the issues people face in lockdown, like depression, will “actually cause more destruction and more death across time than the virus itself.”

He then listed the number of deaths in the United States from automobile accidents, cigarettes, and swimming pools — “but we don’t shut the country down for that.”

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Dr. Phil added, “Yet we are doing it for [coronavirus].”

“The fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are going to be destroyed,” he continued.

On Friday, Dr. Phil hosted a livestream where he clarified his comments in order to be “really clear and really transparent.”

“My position last night intended to be the same thing I have been saying in these chats,” he stated. “I am concerned about the determination of mental and physical health can be substantial while being in prolonged quarantine while also worrying about being infected from a dreaded virus in the midst of a crashing economy, lost jobs and an inability to even feed your family.”

Dr. Phil expressed that the effects of depression, loneliness and more can “last of years.”

“We need to be looking to safely, responsibly, follow the science and get back to our lives as soon as possible,” he added.

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It didn’t take long for Dr. Phil to feel the backlash, with many comparing his comments to that of Dr. Oz who, earlier in the day, suggested schools reopen because there’s “only” a two per cent mortality rate.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.