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'Fox and Friends' host Pete Hegseth: Germs ‘not a real thing,’ hasn’t washed hands in 10 years

Weird flex, but okay.

Weird flex, but okay. Fox and Friends

On Sunday, Fox and Friends Weekend host and Minneapolitan Pete Hegseth turned to the camera and did his whole city proud by saying something controversial and incredibly brave.

“As I told you, my 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years.”

His co-hosts began to laugh uproariously, and, belatedly, someone off-camera emitted a loud, low groan.

“Really,” Hegseth insisted as his co-hosts slapped their knees. “I don’t really wash my hands, ever.”

They continued to laugh, even as Hegseth’s face remained deadpan serious. One co-host, smiling, exclaimed, “Someone help me,” almost as though she was providing an adequate button on which to end this conversation. But Hegseth wasn’t done.

“I inoculate myself,” he insisted. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them, therefore they’re not real.”

“So, you’re becoming immune to all the bacteria,” his co-host suggested, helpfully.

“Exactly,” he said. “I can’t get sick.”

Here’s that clip, snagged by The Daily Mail:

There were some on Twitter who found this full-throated denial of the benefits of hand-washing a little… concerning. But at least one Twitter user, Smittymhs, applauded Hegseth’s bold admission with a tweet of his own.

“I’m with you on hand washing. I’m almost 70 and haven’t had a cold or flu in years. Our bodies need some germs to learn how to fight them. Too many germofobes [sic] out there.”

Hegseth retweeted the proclamation and punctuated it with a tagline: #DontWash.

On Monday morning, a USA Today piece came out reviewing the #DontWash incident and assuring its readers that, yes, washing your hands is incredibly important, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “highly recommends” Hegseth, you, and I do so.

You might think this would be Hegseth’s chance to back off and call the whole thing a joke gone awry or a television gaffe. Instead, he retweeted the story on Monday morning with this caption:

“To paraphrase the President from an hour ago: The Media is so self righteous and ANGRY! Loosen up and have some fun. The Country is doing well (as is my health!)”

He added: “P.S. I also support drinking from garden hoses & riding bikes w/o a helmet. Cue outrage…”

Finally, about a minute later, Hegseth retweeted a commenter, Chris Hayes, speculating that he was “pretty clearly joking” on Sunday.

“When even @chrislhayes can see the obvious… Twitter really has come full circle,” he said.

Other examples of Hegseth’s television bravery include insisting it’s “hard” to find English-speakers in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and accidentally hitting a man with an axe during a June 2015 Fox News segment.