Fox News host who never washes hands encourages viewers to go out and get the coronavirus
Pete Hegseth (Fox News)

A Fox News host infamous for claiming he hasn't washed his hands in a decade urged viewers to go out and get infected by the deadly coronavirus.

Pete Hegseth applauded Americans who were defying stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the highly communicable COVID-19, which is significantly more deadly than the flu.

"I don't love the 'warrior' talk, but I do think you are going to need that kind of ethos and that spirit to put freedom before fear," Hegseth said. "Listen, there's a lot of anxiety, a lot of of misinformation. The experts have been telling us, hundreds of thousands of people are going to die."

More than 74,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 so far, but Hegseth -- who last year claimed he never washed his hands because "germs aren't real" -- urged viewers to go about their daily lives without fear of the virus.

"Now that we are learning more, herd immunity is our friend," Hegseth said. "Healthy people getting out there are going to have to have some courage. We've see courage, we'll talk about it later, in Texas, where people are defying ridiculous orders. That takes courage, that's not easy. So I think that spirit, too, it's American spirit, frankly, is in full supply and ready to go."

"If some of our experts and some of our leaders would just get out of their way, they are drunk on power," he added. "It's time to open up. That's my sense."