“ ‘Many people who are dying, both here and around the world were on their last legs anyway, and I don’t want to sound callous about that.’ ”
That’s former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly explaining on Sean Hannity’s radio show why he believes the coronavirus pandemic is being overblown.
“The [U.S. death toll] projections that you just mentioned are down to 60,000, I don’t think it will be that high — 13,000 dead now in the USA,” O’Reilly added.
Hannity’s response? “You’re going to get hammered for that,” he said, before doing his best to soften the blow by helping O’Reilly clarify exactly what he meant.
Listen to the clip:
After the interview, Hannity’s prediction quickly came true. O’Reilly, no stranger to controversy, definitely was hammered on Twitter TWTR, -0.32% , where he was a top-trending topic.
Tweets like these were stacking up:
Amid the backlash, O’Reilly took to social media to defend himself:
As far as the latest numbers, there are now 461,437 cases in the U.S. with 16,478 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, the death toll is approaching 96,000.