"If I did not have COVID, I had acute lymphocytic leukemia, which I did not want to have," Dr. Drew told his followers

By Claudia Harmata
December 31, 2020 12:19 PM
Jason Mendez/Getty Images
| Credit: Jason Mendez/Getty Images

Dr. Drew Pinsky is clarifying his previous comments about wanting to receive a positive COVID test.

On Tuesday, the radio and TV personality — who was diagnosed with the coronavirus the same day —shared a video on Instagram, further explaining some tweets he shared about "wishing for a COVID positive test" before he knew he had the virus after several fans criticized him for the "insensitive" comments.

"I put out on Twitter that I was thankful to get or wishing for a COVID positive test, because I had this terrible acute febrile illness," Pinsky, 62, said in the video. "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."

"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.

On Monday, Pinsky tweeted, "After three days of fever and the Zelenko protocol plus steroids, feeling better and getting another test for flu and Covid! Goodtimes. Wishing for Covid since this virus is not fun. Stay well, wear a mask!"

After the tweet, several users responded, some calling him an "a------."

"I beg your pardon. 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," Pinsky replied to one fan.

He later added, "I only need a few months of immunity to protect the patients and avoid getting sick and me occupying a hospital bed. After a few months, I can then get the vaccine if there is any question about my immune status."

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This isn't the first time Pinsky garnered controversy for comments he made about the coronavirus outbreak. During a TV interview in March, he called the pandemic "a press-induced panic" and compared the virus to the common flu.

"Way less serious than influenza — that should be the headline," he said at the time during the interview with KTLA-TV.

A month later, as the illness spread rapidly across the world, he apologized for his earlier comments.

"My early comments about equating coronavirus and influenza were wrong," he said in a video shared on YouTube and social media. "They were incorrect. I was part of a chorus that was saying that, and we were wrong. And I want to apologize for that."

As Pinsky confirmed that he had tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, he said in his video that "Covid is no fun."

"I don't recommend it," he added. "But I'm through the viral phase and took a lot of good medication... man I'm glad to get this now and not earlier in the course when we didn't have so much to do."

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