Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host who left the network in 2017 amid a sexual harassment scandal, said in an interview with former colleague Sean Hannity that coronavirus victims “were on their last legs anyway,” according to audio posted online by Media Matters.
The transcript is below:
SEAN HANNITY: I want life back to normal, can you fix that in a simple way?
BILL O’REILLY: Oh man I wish I could, you know?
HANNITY: Oh, me too.
O’REILLY: But we’re making little steps. Bernie Sanders, you know, he’s — he’s gone, that’s really good for everybody. The projections that you just mentioned are down to 60,000, I don’t think it will be that high. 13,000 dead now in the USA. Many people who are dying, both here and around the world, were on their last legs anyway, and I don’t want to sound callous about that.
HANNITY: You’re gonna get — hold on, you’re going to get hammered for that.
O’REILLY: Well, I don’t care. I mean, a simple man tells the truth.
O’Reilly’s comments are misleading; a recent report from the Washington Post points out that hundreds of people under the age of 50 have died from the virus.
“The risk appears to rise with every decade of age. The Post found at least 45 deaths among people in their 20s, at least 190 deaths among people in their 30s, and at least 413 deaths among people in their 40s,” according to the report.
Nearly 15,000 Americans have died from the novel coronavirus since the first death was reported on February 29.