Fox News host Pete Hegseth said Sunday that he has not washed his hands in a decade because “germs are not a real thing,” Raw Story reports.
Hegseth made the statement live on air during a Fox & Friends episode. His co-host, Jedediah Bila, started a conversation about pizza — yesterday was National Pizza Day — explaining that Hegseth had been munching on old pizza while on the set.
“Pizza Hut lasts for a long time,” Hegseth said, prompting laughter from both of his co-hosts.
The Fox News host then explained that one of his 2019 resolutions was to say things on air that he says off air. He then proceeded to tell the viewership that he has not washed his hands in a decade.
“My 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years. Really, I don’t really wash my hands ever.”
Hegseth then proceeded to explain why he refuses to wash his hands. According to the Fox News host, since germs cannot be seen by the naked eye, they are not real. The fact that he does not wash his hands, he said, actually improves his health. According to Hegseth’s theory, not washing hands is actually healthy and boosts the immune system.
“I inoculate myself,” the host said. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them. Therefore, they’re not real,” he added.
Needless to say, Pete Hegseth is wrong.
Germs, and microbes live almost everywhere: on food, animals, and plants, in the air, and in soil and water, as per Mayo Clinic.
While most germs aren’t harmful, some are, since they’re constantly mutating in order to breach the human body’s immune system. The best way to stay disease free, according to experts, is to wash hands regularly, get vaccinations, and be careful with water and food.
Hand washing is the easiest and most effective way to protect oneself from germs, according to Mayo Clinic, and it is common knowledge that hands need to be washed after coughing or sneezing, after using the toilet, and before preparing food.
Vaccination is also useful for preventing certain diseases, since scientists develop vaccines as soon as they discover what causes a certain illness. Both adults and children should be regularly and routinely vaccinated, according to health professionals.
But according to Fox News host Pete Hegseth, who seems proud of the fact that he has “not washed” his hands in 10 years, not washing them is actually the most efficient way to defend oneself from germs — which are “not real,” according to Hegseth — and bacteria.
However, in a statement made to USA Today, Hegseth said he was joking when he made the comment, clarifying that the line was said to poke fun at those who are obsessed with germs.
“My half-hearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life. I take care of myself and all that, but I don’t obsess over everything all the time.”