"There's no health risk": Fox Newsers dismiss public health advice amid dangerous wildfire smoke
By Tatyana Tandanpolie,2023-06-08
Fox News host and guests dismissed public health advisories on the hazardous smog engulfing New York City and other parts of the northeast, echoing the network's previous dismissals of health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosts including Jeanine Pirro, Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity downplayed the health impacts of the haze and mocked official guidance for the public to wear masks when going outside in the smog that's projected to last for days.
"While Americans choke on the smoke, the far left smells an opportunity," Pirro said before moving to criticize Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., for her Wednesday tweet advocating for the Green New Deal.
"She says that we must, quote, 'Adapt our food systems, energy grids, infrastructure, and healthcare to prepare for what's to come,'" the co-host of "The Five" jeered, adding to the network's legacy of peddling climate disinformation. "Other Democrats are pumping up climate hysteria and bringing back, you guessed it, mask insanity."
Watters acknowledged the smog enough to complain about it during "Jesse Watters Primetime," taking a jab at President Joe Biden in the process.
"Half the country can't go outside or breathe fresh air because of our stupid neighbors up north, and the president hasn't said a single word about it because we don't have a real president," he said. "Other politicians went on TV and told us to quarantine like the good old days."
After running a clip of New York Mayor Eric Adams encouraging residents to stay indoors and mask up, Watters continued.
"Covid: stay home, wear a mask. Smoke bomb: stay home, wear a mask. Elections: stay home, wear a mask. Nuke strike: stay home, wear a mask. The government is prepared for anything," he mocked.
Hannity during his primetime segment expressed confusion over reports that others complained of struggling to breathe in the smoke cloud because he wasn't having difficulty.
"I'm like, 'I'm walking in the same place you're walking in and I don't feel a thing.' And I'm trying to understand. I work out regularly. So, I think I'm relatively in tune with my body," he explained of his position.
"I think if I was having difficulty breathing I would notice, but these are young people saying this. Are they all snowflakes?" he asked Fox contributor Charly Arnolt.
"I think people just like to make a big deal out of nothing," she replied. "You know, we talk about people playing the victim card. This is just one reason for people to start complaining again."
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Fellow anchor Laura Ingraham brought on Steve Milloy, a former Fox News commentator and lawyer, who claimed that "there's no health risk" to the smog and that research done on groups who would be most sensitive to the smoke found "not a cough or a wheeze from any of them."
"We have this kind of air in India and China all the time, no public health emergency," he continued.
Ingraham then asked Milloy if he's ever noticed that CNN reporter Bill Weir's climate coverage never mentions China's contribution to the world's air pollution "at the top," to which Milloy responds that the smog in New York is like "clean air in China."
"This doesn't kill anybody, this doesn't make anybody cough, this is not a health event," he said of the wildfire smoke, asserting that it is natural and not a result of climate change.
Ingraham accused other media personalities who cover climate of enjoying the moment as an opportunity to wear masks again before asking Milloy if the particulate matter, fine pollutants that can cause a host of health issues after entering the body, in the haze is a health concern.
"No, particulate matter is very fine soot," he said.
"Well, you don't want to be breathing that in all day," Ingraham interjected before he continued.
"They're just carbon particles," he replied, continuing to minimize the damage they can cause. "They're innocuous."
"This is total junk science," he added.