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Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly resumed his longtime position as the center of controversy Thursday as he defended comments he made on Sean Hannity’s radio show concerning the coronavirus.
“The far left wants chaos and carnage so President Trump will lose re-election. They are not interested in facts and will try to punish people who provide perspective,” O’Reilly wrote on his website.
O’Reilly led off his statement with facts supporting his contention that many people who have been hospitalized for — and died of — COVID-19 were already in poor health.
“On April 1, the CDC reported that 73 percent of all Americans hospitalized for COVID have a preexisting health condition that made them vulnerable for the contagion. That lines up with a study out of China that states less than one percent of virus fatalities occur in folks with no health problems,” O’Reilly wrote.
A CDC report published March 31 concluded that, “[p]ersons in the United States with underlying health conditions appear to be at higher risk for more severe COVID-19, consistent with findings from other countries.”
O’Reilly said he was attacked for speaking the facts.
“In a discussion yesterday with Sean Hannity, I stated those things. Almost immediately, the vile, far-left hate site Media Matters smeared my analysis as ‘macabre.’”
Media Matters had posted a clip of the segment on its website.
The conversation captured in the clip began with Hannity asking, “I want life back to normal, can you fix that in a simple way?”
Do you think there is anything wrong with Bill O’Reilly’s comments?
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After some chitchat, O’Reilly offered his take on the virus.
“We’re making little steps. Bernie Sanders, you know, he’s — he’s gone, that’s really good for everybody,” O’Reilly said.
“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 U.S.A. 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 then warned, “you’re going to get hammered for that.”
“Well, I don’t care,” O’Reilly replied. “I mean, a simple man tells the truth.”
O’Reilly’s comments became a battleground on Twitter.
Bill O’Reilly added, “I don’t want to sound callous about that.”
Too late. https://t.co/9hbvXqjD01
— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) April 8, 2020
Oh really @BillOReilly? Do you want to tell that to the families of all of the first responders and health care workers who are dying. Look it up, they were young and healthy. Keep making your ignorant and hurtful comments. America will not forget.https://t.co/1gCIiHSPDv
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) April 9, 2020
Bill O’Reilly says that most Coronavirus victims were “on their last legs anyway.”
What a horrible person.
— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) April 9, 2020
“Another website, Mediaite, picked up the propaganda and added to it implying Spain and Italy have better health systems than the USA. Sure they do. That’s why the virus death rate in those countries is ten times higher than what we have in America,” O’Reilly wrote on his website.
He also pleaded his case on Twitter.
More far left propaganda. The virus death rate for folks WITHOUT preexisting conditions is below one percent. With health problems much, much higher. I pointed that out and the nuts objected, also claiming the health systems in Italy and Spain are better than USA. Bull.
— Bill O’Reilly (@BillOReilly) April 9, 2020
“The pandemic is extremely deadly but not the Black Plague. It will be defeated but panic is not part of the solution. I flagged the virus on January 22 and have reported honestly on it ever since. But I also understand what Media Matters and their hateful friends are up to,” he wrote.
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