A recent report for The New York Times claims that Fox News host Tucker Carlson traveled to Mar-a-Lago and personally urged Donald Trump to take coronavirus more seriously. According to the piece, a person familiar with the conversation claimed that Carlson drove to the president’s Florida resort on Saturday, March 7, and spoke with the president directly about the pandemic.
The revelation comes as Fox News host Trish Regan was benched for downplaying the coronavirus and suggesting that Democrats are using the crisis to destroy Trump. Conversely, Carlson has been using his show to urge elected officials to take the virus more seriously.
“People you know will get sick; some may die,” he said.
After Trump’s recent announcement of a national emergency as COVID-19 continues to spread, Fox News reported that Carlson spoke of the coronavirus statistics in the U.S. and warned that things could potentially get worse.
“But there is reason tonight to believe this could be the beginning of something bigger. In Italy, another 250 people died. And just today was the worst day yet in Spain. Dozens are dying every day.”
Carlson pointed out the measures that other countries have taken to contain the virus, including Poland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic, all of which have closed themselves off from outside travelers.
Tucker Carlson pushing back against coronavirus coverage from those who "have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem."— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 10, 2020
"'It's just partisan politics,' they say. 'Calm down. In the end this is just like the flu.'
Carlson: "It's definitely not just the flu" pic.twitter.com/h7N20Pi2Bd
As Erik Wemple noted in a piece for The Washington Post, Carlson has avoided naming Trump and his White House for its purported failure to take the coronavirus seriously.
“People you trust — people you probably voted for — have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem,” Carlson said during one of his shows.
Wemple noted Carlson’s resistance to pointing fingers and suggested he isn’t the “fearsome and independent commentator” he sometimes appears to be.
“He could have named President Trump, spreader of false calm about coronavirus. He could have named Sean Hannity, his Fox News colleague who repeats what Trump says, and vice versa.”
Trump and his allies have taken criticism for their response to the coronavirus, which initially downplayed its severity. Although Trump now appears to be taking the situation more seriously, Carlson’s fellow Fox News host, Sean Hannity, who is reportedly a close adviser of Trump’s, echoed Regan and suggested that Democrats are using coronavirus to harm Trump’s chances at re-election.
Although Carlson has long had a friendly relationship with Trump, he has also been critical of some of his decisions. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Fox News host slammed Trump and the war hawks in the Washington establishment after the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.