Fox News’ Pete Hegseth Cheers People Defying Stay-at-Home Orders

The “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host encouraged viewers to “put freedom before fear”

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Fox News’ Pete Hegseth Thursday celebrated the “courage” of those defying “ridiculous” stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He urged afternoon Fox News viewers to “put freedom before fear,” then said, “There’s a lot of anxiety. There’s a lot of misinformation. The experts have been telling us hundreds of thousands of people are going to die. Now that we’re learning more, herd immunity is our friend. Healthy people getting out there, they’re going to have to have some courage.”

The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published work on herd immunity relating to the coronavirus but cautioned against widespread or intentional infection. The school urged people to seek immunity through vaccination. It encouraged “continued physical distancing for an extended period.” Even with social-distancing measures being taken throughout the United States as businesses have closed down and some states have mandated residents stay home, almost 75,000 Americans have died.

The “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host went on, saying, “We’ve seen courage. We’re going to talk about it later. In Texas, where people are defying ridiculous orders, that takes courage. That’s not easy.”

Hegseth — who famously said in 2019 that he hadn’t washed his hands in a decade and “germs are not a real thing” — compared the defiance to the “American spirit,” but added, “I am hearing from people all across the country. Not everyone is in New York City or New Jersey. Most people are ready to go and raring to go and if you don’t want to get out, stay home. That is your choice.”

After making the comments about germs not being “real” in 2019, Hegseth tweeted that it was “obvious” he was joking.

There have been several protests against stay-at-home orders, notably in Michigan, and there is increasing discussion of how businesses can reopen and the American economy can restart. Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity addressed protesters on his show earlier this week, too, but warned them to stop demonstrating while armed with guns, saying it hurts their message.