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'Real Housewives' star says she regrets calling pandemic 'God's way of thinning the herd'
Kelly Dodd, a cast member of "The Real Housewives of Orange County," expressed remorse on Wednesday for saying earlier this year that the coronavirus pandemic was "God's way of thinning the herd."
Dodd appeared virtually on "Watch What Happens Lives With Andy Cohen" and was questioned about her comment back in April.
"At the time, it was a question - like, 'Why are all these people dying? ... Why [do] pandemics happen like this? Is it God's way of thinning the herd?' " the reality star said. "It was a stupid thing for me to say. It was insensitive and I apologize if I hurt or offended anybody cause that wasn't really my intention.
"I got freaked out about it and in hindsight, it was the stupidest thing I've ever said," she added.
The Bravo personality faced backlash for the now-deleted comment she made in response to criticism for flying, People reported at the time.
"If non-essential workers keep traveling back and forth like you, it will last longer," one social media user wrote after Dodd posted on Instagram picture about traveling back to California from New York.
"If it's dangerous why are the airlines still flying?" Dodd wrote back. "You think I want to fly? I had to get back, how is that elitist? People are so judge mental it's sick!"
"Do you know how many people died from the H1N1, the swine flu or SARS?" Dodd continued, writing, "It's 25% get your facts straight you are only hearing numbers not the reality! It's God's way of thinning the herd! If you are vulnerable or compromised stay inside. If you don't protect others by wearings masks and gloves keep your distance and don't go out if you are ill!! It's common sense!"
She later issued an apology on her Instagram story.
"What I meant was, do these pandemics happen because it's God's way? I'm not God, I'm not insensitive, I feel bad for all the families that lost loved ones and I do think we should all stay home and protect everybody," Dodd said. "That's not what I meant and I want to apologize to anyone that got offended, okay? I'm sorry."
Cohen also pressed her about statements she made in May when she bragged on social media about seeing patrons not wearing face masks, saying on Instagram "no one is wearing masks in Orange County ... because nobody is dying here of the virus."
Dodd was asked to acknowledge that mask usage helps stem the spread of virus, especially after her mother was admitted to the intensive care unit following a coronavirus diagnosis last month.
"Well at first I was misinformed," she said. "You guys have to realize this was, like back in January when this happened. I was misinformed. I didn't realize not wearing a mask - I hate it. I'm claustrophobic. I can't stand wearing a mask and now I understand the science behind it and I'm ready, willing and able to wear a mask and I know that it's important."
The U.S. saw its highest single-day coronavirus death toll to date on Wednesday with 3,157. The number was 20 percent higher than the previous single-day high of 2,603 on April 15, and brings the total U.S. death toll to 273,799, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.