Fox Business presenter Liz Claman had revealed that she is self-quarantining after coming into contact with a colleague who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The 56-year-old made a brief appearance on her show, Claman Countdown, on Monday afternoon to tell viewers that she was six days into her self-isolation, saying: “Miss you guys.”
She is the latest Fox personality to put herself into quarantine. Charles Payne informed viewers last week that he was self-isolating, and Lou Dobbs chose to stay in quarantine after contact with a diagnosed employee.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace sent an email to staff saying: “As we have said from day one of this crisis, the health and safety of our employees and their families is our number one concern.
“We have led a daily internal executive task force on the Coronavirus since late February with several doctors and have been preparing for this outcome.”
This sentiment, expressing early action and serious recognition of the impact of Covid-19, contradicts a series of statements made on the network since the disease emerged.
At the start of March, several Fox News hosts dismissed the threat of Covid-19, sometimes referring to the pandemic as a “hoax.”
“This scaring the living hell out of people: I see it, again as let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax,” Sean Hannity said on a March 9 show.
Fox business host Trish Regan said that media coverage of the virus was “yet another attempt to impeach the president.”
Days after Ms Regan’s comments, there was an increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths, and more states were closing non-essential businesses and limiting capacity in public spaces. After her comment, Ms Regan was no longer present for broadcast. On-air personalities stopped referring to the pandemic as a hoax.
“Take the following crucial precautions over the next couple of weeks,” said Mr Hannity on his show last week. “Do it why? Because we love our grandmothers, our grandfathers, our older moms and dads. They are the most vulnerable. They are the most at risk.”
However, several Fox segments still do not reflect Covid-19 coverage on other news networks.
“You know, that famous phrase: The cure is worse than the disease?” said Fox News weekend host Steve Hilton on Sunday.
This language was mirrored in a Tweet Mr Trump sent out also on Sunday: “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
More than 600 people have died from the virus in the US, and at least 14,641 have died globally, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other public health officials are warning against ending containment in favor of re-starting the economy, according to the Washington Post.
“We are getting more and more information that someone can transmit even when they are asymptomatic,” said Dr Fauci in an interview with CNN. “So in order to protect oneself, society and particularly vulnerable people, we’ve really got to adhere to the physical separation.”
On Monday, Fox News started pushing for a return of the labor force.
Notably, Mr Hannity also expressed unsubstantiated claims of a Covid-19 cure. During an interview with Mike Pence, he read a letter from a “doctor from the New York area” that recommended an unapproved remedy that included hydroxychloroquine, which is used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of Malaria.
This segment of Mr Hannity’s show seems to refer back to comments made by Mr Trump, who incorrectly announced that hydroxychloroquine had been fast-tracked to approval by the FDA as a cure for Covid-19 in a White House press briefing on March 19.
On Tuesday, NBC reported that an Arizona man died after drinking chloroquine phosphate. Mr Trump has also asserted that chloroquine is a “game changer” against Covid-19. Members of his own administration have denied these claims.