(NEW YORK) — Physicist and TV personality Neil deGrasse Tyson is on the defensive, after his comment about this weekend’s deadly shootings was deemed “cold” — and worse.
In response to the shooting in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH, deGrasse tweeted, “In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings. On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…500 to Medical errors, 300 to the Flu, 250 to Suicide, 200 to Car Accidents, 40 to Homicide via Handgun.”
He added, “Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.”
“Cold take, Neil,” more than one person said.
“For an astrophysicist, you are alarmingly stupid,” commented another.
In response to scores of similar comments, deGrasse posted an apology — albeit one which many also believed was lacking in empathy.
“My intent was to offer objectively true information that might help shape conversations and reactions to preventable ways we die,” the scientist said on Facebook Monday.
“Where I miscalculated was that I genuinely believed the Tweet would be helpful to anyone trying to save lives in America,” he added. “What I learned from the range of reactions is that for many people, some information — my Tweet in particular — can be true but unhelpful, especially at a time when many people are either still in shock, or trying to heal — or both.”
Among those who flamed the apology was one woman who noted, “Good grief, man. I honestly think THIS makes it worse. Way to not apologize for your original tweet. *rolls eyes*”
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