Dr. Oz: It May ‘Only Cost Us’ 2% To 3% More American Lives To Reopen Schools

Dr. Mehmet Oz sparked outrage online after he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he thinks “schools are a very appetizing opportunity” in the efforts to allow the U.S. to get our “mojo back” because “it may only cost us 2-3%, in terms of total mortality.”

“I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2-3%, in terms of total mortality,” explained Oz, referencing a percentage that suggests thousands could potentially die.

As of Thursday afternoon, there are more than 670,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and more than 34,000 deaths.

“Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into a school where they’re safely being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives, with the theoretical risk on the back side. That might be a tradeoff some folks would consider,” he argued.

The Lancet piece Oz was likely referencing was published last week and cites a U.K. study concluding that school closures in the U.K. “will reduce COVID-19 deaths by only 2-4%.”

As the HuffPost notes: “Oz’s interpretation of the study appears to suggest that the benefit of reducing overall projected coronavirus deaths by a small margin may not be comparable to the benefits of sending students back to school. However, according to modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, that small percentage added to the projected deaths accounts for thousands of lives being lost.”

Also on Thursday, Oz talked to “Fox & Friends” about Boston University closing down for the fall semester and how it “really bothered” him.

“I learned that Boston University canceled its fall semester. That really bothered me. How do you know right now in April ― before you even tried to reopen ― if you need to close down your school through the rest of this calendar year?” he said, adding that while he thinks they are “trying to do the right thing,” closing the school down “is not the right thing” for everyone.

“You’re hurting people that you’re responsible for,” he said. “I am a doctor. I want you to be safer ― I want you to err on the side of being overly cautious, but not at the expense of making decisions that don’t really serve us.”