Fox News host says he was joking about not washing hands in 10 years


Some things might be better left unsaid. Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story.

Fox News host Pete Hegseth says all the handwringing on Twitter about the fact he doesn’t wash his hands was much ado about nothing.

On Fox and Friends Sunday morning, Hegseth told his co-hosts, Ed Henry and Jedediah Bila, that he didn’t believe in the sanitary activity. The admission was prompted by Bila calling out Hegseth for eating leftover day-old pizza on the set.

“My 2019 resolution is to say things on-air that I say off-air,” Hegseth said to his co-hosts. “‘I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years.”

As Henry and Bila laughed at this proclamation, Hegseth doubled down: “I inoculate myself,” he said. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them; therefore, they’re not real.”

However, Fox News spokesperson Jaclyn Giuliano told USA TODAY that Hegseth “was joking,” pointing to a Twitter chain between Hegseth and MSNBC host Chris Hayes.

Hayes replied to a video of Hegseth’s comments by saying “he’s….pretty clearly joking?” Hegseth retweeted Hayes’s post, adding, “When even @chrislhayes can see the obvious…Twitter really has come full circle.”

Previously, Hegseth commented on Twitter about hand washing. Following a tweet by user @smittymhs’s defending the Fox News host, Hegseth retweeted the post, adding “#DontWash.”

USA TODAY requested an interview with Hegseth and will update the story when we speak with him.

Though Hegseth’s joked about washing his hands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not consider it a laughing matter. As the nation’s health protection agency notes, 1 gram of human feces, which is about the weight of a paper clip, can contain 1 trillion germs.

The CDC states that the routine washing of hands with soap and clean, running water is crucial in battling against sickness and the spread of diseases.

If you stop washing your hands, it will have an effect on your health and the health of others around you, according to Jamin Brahmbhatt, a physician at Orlando Health.

“Washing your hands is the easiest way to protect yourself and others from spreading bugs that can live on your hands,” Brahmbhatt previously told USA TODAY. “We can get germs on our hands by touching other parts of our body, sneezing or coughing, touching other people or things like animals or meat.”

Follow USA TODAY intern Ben Tobin on Twitter: @TobinBen

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