Dr. Drew is clarifying some mystifying comments he made about why he's "hoping for COVID."
On Dec. 28, he shared on Twitter that he'd had a fever for three days and was getting tested for the flu and COVID-19. The internist, whose full name is Drew Pinsky, confused fans when he wrote, "Goodtimes. Wishing for Covid since this virus is not fun. Stay well, wear a mask!"
When a Twitter user questioned the statement and called him an "a--hole," Dr. Drew replied, "Hoping for COVID so I achieve immunity and can go back out to take care of COVID patients without risking getting sick and taking up another hospital bed."
After officially testing positive, he then posted a nine-minute "Covid update" video on Instagram to answer questions and explain what he really meant.
"I put out on Twitter that I was thankful to get or wishing for a COVID positive test," he said. "If I did not have COVID, I had acute lymphocytic leukemia, which I did not want to have, because that's the only thing that would do what was happening to me."
The podcast host and television star continued, "So COVID would explain the whole thing nicely. And we have so many good treatments now for COVID, so I was hoping for that. And I look forward to the immunity on the other side of this."
He added that he has been carefully quarantined away from his wife for about five days, and admitted the disease was not pleasant. "COVID's no fun. I don't recommend it," he told viewers. "It was miserable."
Dr. Drew also said he's thankful he got sick now instead of at the beginning of the pandemic in March, saying, "Man, am I glad to get this now and not earlier," citing some medication options he's hopeful about, including an antibody infusion.
Since his diagnosis, critics have revisited Dr. Drew's past comments on the seriousness of COVID-19. One Twitter user shared a video compilation of clips from February and March of the doctor comparing the virus to the flu. In the video, Dr. Drew said it's "way less serious" and "less dangerous" than the flu, and purported it to be "a press-induced panic," adding, "I am angry about it."
He also said it was a "mistake" to cancel sporting events and called it "ridiculous" to encourage New Yorkers to avoid trains.
"The old white guy TV docs who say stupid selfish s--t should yes... walk that s--t right back... to your lazy boys and sit your stupid a--es down in your living rooms on your golf courses where you live," the actress said. "Tired out of touch old fools don't get me started today."
The three men faced public backlash for making unfounded claims about the coronavirus, despite not being infectious disease experts, as E! News noted at the time.
Dr. Drew apologized in April for his claims, saying, "I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong,"
See his latest video about his illness above.