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After her colleagues dismissed the pandemic, 'Fox & Friends' weekend co-host contracts the coronavirus

Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

NEW YORK -- "Fox and Friends" weekend co-host Jedediah Bila is the latest TV news personality to test positive for COVID-19.

Bila, 41, told her Instagram and Twitter followers Thursday that she is home recovering from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. She said she and her husband have both tested positive but their infant son, born in November, is not sick.

"I'm very much on the mend, so please don't worry," she said in the post.

Bila is the first Fox News personality known to be suffering from COVID-19. She last appeared on "Fox & Friends" on March 29.

Bila typically sits alongside co-host Pete Hegseth, who was among the network's early and most vocal skeptics on the seriousness of the coronavirus.

During a March 8 "Fox & Friends Weekend" segment on the coronavirus, Hegseth said, "The more I learn about this, the less there is to worry about."

By mid-March, Fox News hosts and commentators shifted away from doubting the severity of the pandemic, after receiving heavy criticism for supporting President Donald Trump's claim that it was a "hoax" his Democratic Party opponents were using against him.

One Fox Business Network host, Trish Regan, was cut from the prime time lineup after she delivered a segment that described the unfolding crisis as an "impeachment hoax."

Fox News has also equipped the vast majority of its staff to work from home in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. The channel has also put its on-air talent in public service announcements promoting social distancing and made a $1 million joint donation with Facebook to Feeding America's COVID-19 relief fund.

 

This week, Fox News management distributed thermometers and facial coverings to all essential employees still reporting to the company headquarters in midtown Manhattan.

But Fox News prime time hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have continued to clamor for the reopening of the economy and have pushed for wider distribution of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, even though evidence of its effectiveness is anecdotal.

Three TV news professionals have died from COVID-19 since mid-March, the latest being Tony Greer, a longtime camera operator for ABC's "Good Morning America." Larry Edgeworth, an NBC News audio technician, died on March 19. Maria Mercader, a veteran producer and executive for CBS News, died on March 29.

CNN has two on-air personalities who have contracted the virus -- Chris Cuomo, who is continuing to do his prime-time program while in isolation at his Long Island, N.Y., home, and afternoon anchor Brooke Baldwin.

(c)2020 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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