At a time when Fox News executives are building up their legal representation in anticipation of lawsuits regarding their early coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, one of their more popular primetime hosts is doing all she can to undermine doctors who are trying to stem the deadly tide of COVID-19 related deaths.
According to an examination by the Daily Beast's Maxwell Tani, Fox News hosts have dialed back their skepticism over the health crisis that has brought the country to a standstill and claimed over 16,000 lives, but that hasn't stopped nighttime host Laura Ingraham from blazing her own trail of questioning health officials and arguing for Americans to go back to work despite health concerns.
As Tani writes, "Laura Ingraham wants you to have the unrestricted freedom to spread or die from the coronavirus," before adding, "Few personalities have approached the global pandemic with as little concern as Ingraham, the longtime conservative pundit with a coveted primetime Fox News spot and one of the most-viewed shows on the network. In front of an audience of millions every evening, Ingraham has displayed a commitment to dismissing concerns about the virus, mocking advice from doctors she disagrees with, and waving away the importance of coronavirus deaths."
Noting that Ingraham has become one of the biggest proponents demanding a “reopening” of the economy at the start of next month, the author points out her advice butts up against advice from health officials who have stated unequivocally that it is way too early.
"Late last month, she railed against doctors, saying they should not dictate government health policy and arguing that opening up the economy was more important than the life-saving measures medical professionals had recommended," Tani wrote before quoting Ingraham as saying, "You got to imagine the policymakers at some point will hear from the people who are suffering with these job losses in these businesses and say, you know, ‘We have lives as well, and we have to somehow preserve them.’”
According to the report, "Ingraham did identify the obvious—the projections and advice from public health officials have occasionally shifted. But rather than approaching the topic cautiously on her show, or evaluate how our own drastic measures have curtailed the spread of the virus, she has impatiently drawn the conclusion that any number of deaths below a catastrophic 100,000 is a sign that experts ought to be ignored in favor of a robust economic return (when that, too, seems highly unlikely)."
"Indeed, there has been a theme for Ingraham. Loss of life, overcrowded hospitals, and an unnecessarily prolonged pandemic are of seemingly little concern," Tani wrote. "Instead, the virus has been just another excuse to beat up on the show’s recurring punching bags: media and Democrats. In early March, Ingraham compared virus fears from both groups to impeachment and the special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying such concerns were merely attempts to 'stoke panic' and undermine Trump. At the time, she didn’t have much to say about actual coronavirus deaths, but she did have plenty to say about an imaginary universe in which Hillary Clinton was president and the virus would have been a 'nightmare.'”
Beyond her attacks on Democrats, that have long been a staple of her show, Ingraham has also gone after doctors who have appeared in television urging extreme caution.
"Instead of reflecting on her potentially life-threatening advice, Ingraham has only doubled down and, in recent days, settled on a new bogeyman for her audience: egghead doctors with their cautious statements, models, projections, and warnings about the virus," the reports states. "Despite medical experts like Dr. Fauci urging Fox News hosts to be 'careful' when touting hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure, Ingraham has taken up the mantle of the drug’s most public booster, at one point privately urging the president to promote it."
Case in point, "On Monday afternoon, former Harvard Medical professor and renowned HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. William Haseltine complained to Ingraham’s colleague Dana Perino that it is 'irresponsible' and 'sad to me that people were promoting that drug' which, 'at very best… will have a very mild effect on changing the course of the disease, if it has any effect at all,'" Tani write.
However, as he notes, Ingraham -- who does not have a medical degree fired back with Beast reporting, " In return, on her Tuesday show, Ingraham mocked the doctor, calling his logic 'disgusting.' The Fox primetime star further ranted against medical experts who have preached caution on miracle cures, claiming that their objections are “merely partisan attacks in disguise.'"
"In Ingraham’s mind, any doctor who disagrees with her is merely trying to attack President Trump," Tani adds before reporting that Ingraham dismissed the doctor with a glib: "I see right through their motives.”
You can read more here (subscription required).