Fox News hosts have for weeks claimed the coronavirus threat was exaggerated and part of a conspiracy to discredit Trump.
But on Monday there were signs that hosts were belatedly taking the threat seriously, after President Donald Trump declared the illness a national emergency.
“I didn’t take the social distancing that seriously Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I went out to dinner here in the city,” host Jesse Watters told viewers Monday. “And I woke up this morning I realized that was not the right move. I am no longer going out to dinner.”
Last Friday Sean Hannity also described the pandemic as a “crisis” and praised Trump for measures to “stem the tide of the coronavirus.”
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After weeks of echoing President Donald Trump’s optimistic assurances that the impact of the coronavirus on the US would likely be minimal, Fox News hosts are now admitting that the pandemic might be a pretty big deal after all.
Trump’s supporters at the right-leaning network had initially backed the president’s previous attempts to downplay the public-health crisis, accusing the media and Democrats of exaggerating the disease’s impact to damage Trump’s presidency.
On Friday, the president declared the coronavirus a national emergency. And by Monday, the network’s top hosts had shifted their tone as well.
On Monday afternoon’s edition of “The Five,” host Jesse Watters said the gravity of the situation had finally hit home after the weekend.
“I went to visit my mom this weekend and she made me wear gloves to come inside her house. She is suspicious that I might have coronavirus,” the Fox News host said. “I wore the gloves all afternoon in the house. That’s what it is.”
“I didn’t take the social distancing that seriously Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I went out to dinner here in the city,” he said.
“And I woke up this morning I realized that was not the right move. I am no longer going out to dinner.”
As recently as Sunday, Watters had projected a more optimistic view of the coronavirus, telling his show “Watters’ World”: “Be vigilant, don’t be scared, remain calm and clean — America is the greatest country on earth. We’ve beaten more dangerous things than this… and we’ll do it again.”
“Be vigilant, don’t be scared, remain calm and clean – America is the greatest country on earth. We’ve beaten more dangerous things than this…and we’ll do it again.” @JesseBWatters #WattersWords pic.twitter.com/ggolQEQUQk
— Watters’ World (@WattersWorld) March 15, 2020
Weeks ago Watters was also accused of using the crisis to make xenophobic jokes about Chinese people, saying on air: “I’ll tell you why it started in China … Because they have these markets where they are eating raw bats and snakes” prompting laughter from his co-hosts.
On March 3, he also said he would use the power of “positive thinking” to beat the virus if he got infected.
“I’m not afraid of the coronavirus and no one else should …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics