Fox Business has parted ways with host Trish Regan, who was heavily criticized earlier this month for calling coronavirus an “impeachment hoax” against Donald Trump.
The network announced its decision on Friday. “Fox Business has parted ways with Trish Regan — we thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
The network also provided a statement from Regan herself. “I have enjoyed my time at FOX and now intend to focus on my family during these troubled times,” she said. “I am grateful to my incredible team at Fox Business and for the many opportunities the network has provided me. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career.”
Regan’s show had been on hiatus since March 13, which she alleged was due to the network taking “prudent steps to limit staffing levels” during the pandemic. The network said it would continue with that reduced schedule in order to “allocate staff resources” to covering coronavirus.
Regan is far from the only Fox host to controversially downplay coronavirus concerns, but she may have been the least viable from a business perspective. Sean Hannity, for example, called the virus a “new hoax” on March 9 — the same day as Regan’s comments. (Now, under scrutiny, he and other hosts are pretending they never said anything of the sort.)
However, as the New York Times pointed out in its coverage of Regan’s departure, Hannity has a far bigger audience.
HANNITY, March 9: “This scaring the living hell out of people — I see it, again, as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”
HANNITY, March 18: “By the way, this program has always taken the coronavirus seriously. We’ve never called the virus a hoax.” pic.twitter.com/yLKpojA7BI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 19, 2020
Of course coronavirus is not a hoax of any kind, and Fox News’s coverage to that effect has misinformed millions of viewers, many of whom are at particular risk themselves. Now the network appears to be taking the virus more seriously, but it’s already done some damage: Multiple polls show that Fox News viewers are much less likely to be worried about coronavirus than those who favor other outlets.
UPDATE: March 28, 2020, 2:59 p.m. ET This story has been updated with a statement from Fox on behalf of Trish Regan.
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