Neil DeGrasse Tyson Apologizes for His ‘True but Unhelpful’ Tweet That Downplayed the Casualties in the El Paso and Dayton Mass Shootings

File-This May 13, 2019, file photo shows Neil Degrasse Tyson attending the 23rd annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. DeGrasse Tyson learned the hard way that pointing out truths is not always helpful. The astrophysicist and author apologized Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, for a Sunday tweet in which he noted more people died in less attention-getting ways in the same two-day period as two mass shootings.
(Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP, File)

Neil deGrasse Tyson has apologized for his tweet that downplayed the impact of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left 29 people dead.

On Sunday, Tyson 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.’

The 60-year-old wrapped up in saying: ‘Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.’

He immediately received backlash over the comments and on Monday the  astrophysicist issued an apology on Facebook.

‘My intent was to offer objectively true information that might help shape conversations and reactions to preventable ways we die. Where I miscalculated was that I genuinely believed the Tweet would be helpful to anyone trying to save lives in America,’ Tyson wrote.

He went on to say that what he ‘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’.

‘So if you are one of those people, I apologize for not knowing in advance what effect my Tweet could have on you. I am therefore thankful for the candor and depth of critical reactions shared in my Twitter feed.

‘As an educator, I personally value knowing with precision and accuracy what reaction anything that I say (or write) will instill in my audience, and I got this one wrong,’ he concluded.

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Source: Daily Mail