Fox News host Sean Hannity reacted to the news of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis by touting the ineffective COVID-19 therapeutic hydroxychloroquine, claiming the nation is on the “back end” of the pandemic, and boasting that the president’s partial China travel restriction saved millions of Americans lives.
The world stopped late Thursday night after it was revealed that the president and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, which has killed over 200,000 Americans. The news came as close White House aide Hope Hicks also tested positive for the disease.
Cable news networks scrambled to cover the bombshell news, especially Fox News, which was airing a repeat of Hannity at the time. Shortly after 1 a.m. ET, a substitute anchor was rushed on-air and Hannity himself called into the network to discuss the president’s illness.
Earlier in the evening, the close Trump confidante had conducted a phone interview with the president, which featured Trump noting that he was waiting on his COVID-19 test results following Hicks coming up positive.
“It’s unfortunate, obviously for him, his family, everybody that works with the White House,” Hannity said. “I know there will be probably those that want to politicize something like this as quickly as possible, which is sad but predictable. But our hopes, our thoughts, our prayers are obviously with the First Lady and the president that they have a speedy recovery.”
Despite half the nation experiencing spikes in coronavirus cases and daily deaths still averaging around a thousand, the Fox News star insisted that “we are on the back end of it, which is the good news.” After parroting the president’s optimism that an effective coronavirus vaccine will be ready very soon, he then mentioned hydroxychloroquine.
“The president mentioned tonight this new therapeutic I forget the name of it off the top of my head,” Hannity declared. “Everything from Remdesivir to hydroxychloroquine with the azithromycin and zinc and others, we now have more information than we’ve ever had. And people make those decisions in consultation with their doctors.”
The president had begun touting the unproven anti-malarial medication as a “miracle” coronavirus cure in the spring and after many of his favorite Fox News hosts—including Hannity—began promoting it on air. At one point, even after numerous studies and trials showed it provided little to no benefit in treating coronavirus, the president revealed he was taking the drug as a preventative.
Hannity, meanwhile, wrapped up his call by praising the president for implementing a partial travel ban on China in late-January to stem the spread of the virus, all while blasting former Vice President Joe Biden for supposedly criticizing that decision. (Besides the 207,000 American deaths, the United States now has over 7 million confirmed cases.)
“Everything is going to be viewed through the prism of politics,” he concluded. “I would argue the health of everybody comes first. The president is strong, he is healthy, he is fit, he takes no medications that have bee made public that I’m aware of and I don’t think he takes any. I think that he’s probably a good candidate with therapeutics to make a quick speedy recovery and we pray for that.”