The media has been lining up to dunk on Fox News, giddily blaming Fox for the rising Coronavirus death toll. Their logic seems to go something like this; Fox News hosts downplayed the threat of the Coronavirus – – old people watch Fox News – – therefore, every old person who has contracted the virus did so because they trusted Fox News!
It’s probably a fool’s errand to try to push back on this narrative, but since I’m stuck in the house, I figured I’d give it a shot.
You’ve probably already seen this video of Tucker Carlson and Senator Tom Cotton ringing the alarm about the Coronavirus way back on January 28th.
But, did you know that Tucker wasn’t the only, nor was he the first Fox News host to discuss the dangers of the Coronavirus?
Way back on January 20th, Neil Cavuto brought on Dr. Janette Neshewiat, an emergency medical physician to discuss the Coronavirus. Neither one of them downplayed the threat. Watch for yourself.
Transcript via Grabien (emphasis added)
> Neil: Ahead of the Chinese new year, health officials are grappling with a new virus that is apparently killed at least three people and infected 200 and China. Millions of people traveling from the holiday. From that neck of the woods it is a very big holiday at that. Now to the threat of an outbreak. How big is that? Doctor, when I hear what I’m getting from the Chinese, I am automatically suspicious. Are they telling us the truth? What do you know about the so-called 200 who have gotten this? What is the real deal?
>Dr. Nesheiwat: I think so. I don’t think they want to remake of what happened a few years ago when we saw SARS and also MERS. What is happening is there is this new strain of what is called the Coronavirus. Typically, this is just a virus that causes a common cold, sniffles, headache, congestion that sort of thing, but some of those strains can be more serious, more deadly. This is the third strain that has been found to cause viral pneumonia which has killed three people. They are taking precautions to inform the community, inform the public. They are also checking patients before they get on flights to make sure they are not running a fever and testing them for this virus so it doesn’t spread to other parts of the world and other parts of the country.
> Neil: Bu it is in the case of this one south Korean woman who was athletic and young and she died, heading to Korea, so I’m beginning to wonder now whether the genie is out of the bottle here.
>Dr. Nesheiwat: Yes, it is in Wuhan, China, Shanghai, Beijing, so we are taking precautions. This is nothing to panic about. Most of the time it is self-limited virus, most people do find. But for some people if they have a weakened immune system or it just attacks them in a certain way it can cause severe repertory infection, pneumonia, and I could be life threatening. It’s affected, they say about 200 people that are known but about 1700 is a number they’ve estimated that are underreported. If you have any symptoms, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, see your doctor. But they are takin precautions, working with the CDC to ensure the safety of other countries and other passengers, and even here in the United States, JFK, L.A., and San Francisco airports are screening passengers coming in from that part of the world, checking for temperatures, taking a history. Asking them where they have been, where they are coming in from and asking for any signs and symptoms. Even if they say they don’t have any symptoms, we are giving them information on who they can contact if they develop any symptoms. It can take up to a couple weeks later until you have any symptoms potentially.
> Neil: You might be carrying it, but it the incubation hasn’t started and that could be delayed. In that interim, people are traveling and flying all over the place, and that is the risk of spreading. What is basic advice for folks that are hearing this now to protect yourself? As you said, there is no vaccine available for the time being. What do you do?
>Dr. Nesheiwat: Some of the important things to do are common basic things. Keep your hands washed and cleaned. Avoid sick contacts. If you are going to that part of the world, wear a mask. And don’t do any unnecessary traveling.
> Neil: Does this travel by air doctor? In other words, it can carry from one person to another just by air?
>Dr. Nesheiwat: Yes, if someone is coughing and sneezing, potentially you could catch it. Also, they found it to be linked to a local animal seafood market in Wuhan, China. They believe that this strain was animal to human. And potentially can spread to other humans from coughing and sneezing and that sort of thing. Just take common sense precautions. Stay away from sick people. Keep your hands washed and clean. Make sure you are up-to-date with your immunizations. That is very important. Of course stay warm, stay hydrated, that sort of thing.
> Neil: Good advice all, Dr Nesheiwat always good seeing an emergency medicine physician join us with some good helpful pointers just to be on the safe side.
So, weeks before the other networks were even paying attention to the Coronavirus, Cavuto brought on a doctor to discuss the virus, and the ways that Americans could go about protecting themselves. You’ll notice the advice Dr. Nesheiwat gives is the same advice we’ve been hearing from medical experts in recent weeks. She even recommended wearing masks long before the CDC did.