Loyal viewers who tune into Fox & Friends every morning for advice on how to live their lives won’t know what to think after Thursday morning’s broadcast. On a show that rarely features dissent, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade sent some seriously mixed messages about the COVID-19 vaccine.
During a “report” on the dire situation in Arkansas, Doocy stressed that 20 percent of those hospitalized due to coronavirus complications are children. Though his facts may have been off—nearly 19 percent of active cases in the state are currently among children under 18 and among hospitalized children, 20 percent are under 12 according to Arkansas Secretary of Health Jose Romero—he used those scary numbers to urge those watching to get vaccinated.
“If your kids are over 12, you probably ought to get the shot,” Doocy said, with a bit of hesitation, perhaps anticipating what he would hear back from the man who recently said it’s not the government’s job to “protect anybody” from anything.
“Right. Or see a doctor and decide what you want to do. That’s who usually people go to for medical advice, doctors,” Kilmeade added. When Doocy pointed out that he, like most Americans, did not consult their doctor before getting a vaccine, Kilmeade shot back, “That’s your decision, but I don’t think anchors should be recommending medical advice.”
“Yeah, I agree,” their co-host Ainsley Earhardt, who expressed “shock” at the notion that kids could even contract COVID-19 five months into the pandemic after taking Donald Trump at his word that they were “almost immune.” She later seemed genuinely confused about New York’s new vaccine mandate for indoor dining, wondering aloud whether she will be able to take her five-year-old out to eat. “They do have outside eating, are we allowed to sit out there?” she asked. “Or I can’t go to a restaurant at all with her?”
But Doocy stood his ground, saying that since “a lot of people have been tuning into this show for 25 years to see what we think about different things,” he feels totally comfortable telling them, “if you have the opportunity, take the shot.”
That advice echoes the message in a short PSA that Doocy appears in on Fox urging viewers to get the vaccine. He is one of the few personalities on the network to speak out strongly in favor of vaccinations—and not immediately walk it back like his colleague Sean Hannity.