Kelly Dodd is expressing remorse over an "insensitive" comment she made earlier this year, when she said that the coronavirus pandemic was "God's way of thinning the herd."
The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 45, appeared on Wednesday's episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, admitting that she "regret(s)" saying what she did.
"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?' " said Dodd, 47, about the comment she made back in April on Instagram. "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."
"At first," the Bravo star went on, she was "misinformed" about the virus, saying, "You guys have to realize this was back in January when this happened and I was misinformed."
"I'm claustrophobic and I can't stand wearing a mask — and now I understand the science behind it and I am ready, willing and able to wear a mask," she said. "And I know it's important, because I don't want to get sick and I don't want to get others sick. I'm just a human being; I make mistakes."
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The reality star's brother, Eric Meza, revealed last month on social media that their mother, Bobbi Meza, had contracted the virus.
"Prayers for my mother she has COVID-19," her brother wrote in an Instagram post, also adding that the 71-year-old woman had been hospitalized.
As for Dodd, "My mom and I are estranged right now," she told WWHL host Andy Cohen on Wednesday's episode. "I found out she had COVID and [was in the] ICU — my older brother didn't even know, either — through Instagram. So my brother [Eric] put that out there. He couldn't even call me or my [older] brother to tell us that my mom was in the ICU with COVID."
"I ended up talking to her at Thanksgiving and she is doing fine. She's at home," the star added.
Dodd's "thinning the herd" comment, which stems from the idea of removing genetically weaker animals from a group, came about after she posted a photo from an airplane and was criticized by a fan for traveling back to California from New York, where husband Rick Leventhal — a Fox News Channel senior correspondent — was based.
"Do you know how many people died from the H1N1, the swine flu or SARS?" Dodd replied, in part. "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 wearing masks and gloves keep your distance and don't go out if you are ill!! It's common sense!"
She later explained that she didn't mean what she said at all. In a series of videos posted to her Instagram Story, Dodd shared, "I want to give a public apology."
"When I wrote that it's 'God's way of thinning the herd' that's not what I meant," she explained at the time. "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. That's not what I meant and I want to apologize to anyone that got offended, okay? I'm sorry."
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