Fox News had a bit of a hot mic mishap during its coverage of Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, with Chris Wallace seemingly mocking Brit Hume on air for trying to act like the situation with COVID-19 in the U.S. isn’t as bad as “the media” is making it seem.
The hot mic moment came shortly after the inauguration ceremony concluded, as the Fox News panel discussed Biden’s speech — which drew raves from the crew. But then Hume attempted to throw in some comments that indicated he doesn’t think Biden’s job will be as hard as people think.
Hume’s comments came in response to anchor Martha MacCallum saying that “this is an enormous mantle of responsibility that has now been lain on Joe Biden’s shoulders.”
“The president, you know, did talk about what a crisis we’re in. We’ve got crises in the environment, we got the COVID crisis and all the rest of that. I think, however, for all the talk about that — the media are full of this talk — the situation is one more friendly to Biden than he might have imagined. For example COVID. Everybody wants to say that the COVID crisis is getting worse, and certainly the numbers suggest that, but we have a vaccine. And we believe and have every reason to believe it works,” Hume declared.
“There’s some serious distribution issues that I suspect will be fairly quickly resolved. And that is what we’ve hoped for from the beginning, that there would be a vaccine. We never thought we’d have one as soon as now. And we thought it’d be way into next year, maybe beyond, before we got one. So that’s one big problem that is well on the way to solution that he faces. And look around the world. We’ve seen some kind of baby steps, but important ones, toward a new way–”
At that point, Hume, whose mic had been cutting out a bit already, went silent due apparently to some technical difficulty. And it was in that brief moment of silence that you can hear Chris Wallace faintly in the background.
While it’s tough to tell with 100% confidence what Wallace said, it sounded very much like: “Really? 100,000 people dying?”
Currently, more than 123,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, and that is likely what Wallace is referring to here. Thought it’s possible that he said 400,000 instead and we just couldn’t hear the “four,” and that would of course refer to the death toll.
While you might be able to debate the quote itself, there’s not much room for discussion about Wallace’s tone, which is clearly derisive.
You can judge for yourself in the clip embedded up at the top of this article.