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- Fox News has previously downplayed the coronavirus.
- Hosts on “The Five” said sick days are unnecessary.
- “I don’t think that you necessarily should have, like, the six sick days every year,” one host said.
Fox News hosts are sick and tired of employees calling out of work for not feeling well.
On Friday’s episode of “The Five,” Fox News hosts expressed their disdain for employees using sick days.
The conversation appeared in line with the channel’s previous downplaying of the coronavirus. For instance, the company made a habit of misinforming and lessening the impact of the coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic; and it previously published work that argues against paid sick leave — a move many unions are fighting for.
On Friday, according to one of the hosts, who does not appear as a regular on the show, “If you’re feeling sick don’t do this: two in five employees will sniffle and cough around the office just to prove to their coworkers that they’re actually under the weather.”
Martha MacCallum, who filled in for host Dana Perino, responded: “I’m not big on sick days. I don’t think that you necessarily should have, like, the six sick days every year.”
“Then people say, ‘Oh, I’m taking a sick day tomorrow!’ which I think is really bogus,” MacCallum added. “I don’t know. So we just come in and cough all over each other and push through. I mean, that’s the way we work.”
Host Jesse Watters, a regular host on the show, said he “never” takes off when he’s sick, “especially” since he appears “on TV.”
Greg Gutfeld, another regular who has also hosted his own TV shows, had brought up the concept of people calling in sick with a “sick voice.”
“Just say you’re sick. But don’t put the sick voice on because it makes you, like, [cringe],” he said at the table.
Fox and its viewers don’t seem entirely forgiving of employees that put their health first, however. An immunocompromised and pro-vaccine Fox host, anchor Neil Cavuto, almost died from COVID-19 and still received death threats over his support of the vaccine.
The Washington Post also cited a study from researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich that said “Fox News is reducing COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the United States, with no evidence of the other major networks having any effect.”
“[T]here is an association between areas with higher Fox News viewership and lower vaccinations,” the study said, adding that “media emphasis on minority viewpoints against scientific consensus is linked to vaccination hesitancy.”
Well over a million people in the US have died from the coronavirus.
Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.