Fox News host Shepard Smith scolded his network and other news colleagues on Wednesday, calling on them to stop inflaming fears of a “widespread panic” concerning potential Ebola cases in the U.S.
“We don’t have an outbreak,” Smith said. “We have two sick people from one dying man. And the rest of this should stop, because it’s not productive. And it’s not worth ratings, and it’s not worth politics, and we all need to stop it.”
Smith’s criticism appeared to be sparked by a report from correspondent Doug McKelway concerning Amber Vinson, the Texas health worker who was diagnosed with the virus after allegedly traveling with a fever of 99.5 degrees.
“The National Institute of Health says that that constitutes a fever,” McKelway said, before making a tremendous gaffe. “Although it is below the threshold for Obama — for Ebola fever of 100.4 degrees. That shouldn’t raise any more doubts in their minds, Shep, but it is, as you’re seeing from widespread panic across the country.”
“Oh my God,” Smith replied. “Doug, I appreciate it. But I think we both know there’s no widespread panic across the country. But I think we know that, and I think we know that if there is ‘widespread panic,’ it’s not based in fact, and it’s not based in reason.”
Smith’s commentary stands in sharp contrast to remarks by several of his colleagues and comes on the heels of a disagreement between two other hosts. Earlier this week, O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly called for Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden to resign, an assessment Greta Van Susteren slammed as being “dead wrong.”
Watch footage of Smith’s remarks, as posted online on Wednesday, below.