Dr. David Drew Pinsky — a well-known addiction medicine specialist known as Dr. Drew on television — pushed back hard on media reports saying Vice President Mike Pence, now leading the Coronavirus Task Force, improperly handled epidemics as governor of Indiana.
The Daily Blast Live spoke on the phone with Pinsky late last week and noted that Pence "mishandled the HIV epidemic in 2015 with the needle-exchange program which one study said actually contributed to more deaths."
'I don't know what the hell people are talking about'
"I don't know what they're talking about," Pinsky replied regarding reports about Pence. "We used to point at the way Indiana responded to the opiate of the HIV epidemic as the model for the country. I don't know what they're talking about. The only reason I felt comfortable with Pence as vice president was I was aware of his track record in Indiana in handling these serious problems, and they handled them better than most states did, almost any other states. So, I don't know what the hell people are talking about. That is fake news."
More from Pinsky:
Yes, it took everybody a while to respond properly to it, but they really took care of business in Indiana, so I have no idea what people are talking about. Whether Pence is the right person? Look, the right people are Anthony Fauci of the [Centers for Disease Control]. ... Dr. Fauci will tell you what's going on, when you need to worry … I worked with him on the HIV epidemic back in the 80s; that guy's been on top of infectious disease for 30 years. When there's a problem, he will let us know, and he's been saying exactly what I've been saying the whole way. Look to him, not me, and not even Vice President Pence; look at guys like Anthony Fauci whose responsibility is to contain these things.
Dr. Drew also 'furious' about media 'overreacting' to Coronavirus
Pinsky's comments about Pence came a few weeks after he told the Daily Blast Live he was "furious" at the media for "overreacting" to the Coronavirus.
“The press should not be reporting medical stories as though they know how to report it," he said on the show in early February. “If we have a pandemic, I won't know how to tell that we're actually having a pandemic because everything is an emergency. People that are infectious disease specialists, the CDC, the epidemiologist[s], need to take this very seriously. The press needs to shut up because you're more likely to die of influenza right now."
Dr. Drew doubles down
During the phone chat with the Daily Blast Live in which he defended Pence, Pinsky doubled down on his earlier comments about the media and the Coronavirus: "Let me frame it this way: We have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. Why is that not being reported? Why isn't the message, 'Get your flu shot'?"
He added that while the Coronavirus is "coming here" and that it will be "much more widespread than we knew," it also will be "much milder than we knew; the 1.7 percent fatality rate is going to fall. Where was the press during the Mediterranean Corona outbreak where the fatality rate was 41 percent? If they wanted to get crazed about something, why didn't they get crazed about MERS or SARS? This is an overblown press-created hysteria."
Dr. Drew also said the U.S. and other countries "are responding appropriately and very diligently. We're gonna contain this thing. We've already got a vaccine in study right now in human subjects. So, this thing is well in hand. President Trump is absolutely correct. He allocated $2.5 billion dollars for this. [U.S. Sen.] Chuck Schumer asked for $8 billion; my response is, 'Hey man, we've got a homeless problem in southern California and in Denver. Would you please give us some of that $8 billion and forget about the Coronavirus? We've got that taken care of.'"
Here's video of Pinsky's comments to the Daily Blast Live; his comments about Pence come after the 3:45 mark:
(H/T: The Daily Wire)