Major Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity spent weeks assuring viewers that the novel coronavirus wasn’t a serious threat. In recent weeks, however, they have shifted to a different narrative, acknowledging that the virus is dangerous but giving President Donald Trump credit for taking action and criticizing Democrats’ lack of action — even though many Democrats, in fact, warned the pubic first.
But according to The Daily Beast, even as there is no clear end to the crisis in sight, and even as the U.S. crosses 13,000 deaths, many Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying the virus, either telling viewers it wasn’t as bad as advertised and urging the president to end public safety measures against it.
“Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump’s decisions and stances have seemingly been influenced by the unofficial advisers he treasures most: Fox News primetime hosts,” wrote editor Justin Baragona. “And in recent days, it seems, the president has been receiving his newest coronavirus intel briefing from Fox News. This time, they say, the pandemic is over and it’s time to move on.”
“Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” said Fox host Tucker Carlson. “That was the concern. It happens in other countries, it’s not happening here. Thank God for that.” He also criticized experts for having to revise down coronavirus death projections slightly, saying, “Before we go ahead and alter our lives and our country forever, it is fair to ask about the numbers, their numbers, the ones we acted on the first time, that turned out to be completely wrong. How did they screw that up so thoroughly?”
On Tuesday, Fox commentator Brit Hume criticized the way deaths are classified, “Dr. Birx said tonight during the briefing at the White House that all deaths from anyone who died with coronavirus is counted as if the person died from coronavirus. Now, we all know that isn’t true,” he said. “And if everybody is being automatically classified, if they’re found to have COVID-19, as a COVID-19 death, we’re going to get a very large number of deaths that way and we’re probably not going to have an accurate count of what the real death total is.”
Meanwhile, Hannity, who himself was one of the biggest voices claiming coronavirus was exaggerated by the media and Democrats to hurt Trump, asked the president that night when he was going to send people back to work, telling him the “cure can’t be worse than the problem.” And Laura Ingraham blasted the nation’s top medical experts, saying “we don’t vote for doctors” and claiming the revisions to coronavirus projections should “make us less willing to rely on the same experts to help determine when and how we should reopen our economy.”
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