Fox Business host Lou Dobbs is in self-quarantine after an employee of the network tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Lou is in self-quarantine tonight. We just learned that one of his team members has tested positive for COVID-19,” fill-in host David Asman said Friday, according to the Washington Examiner. “Lou feels well. He has no symptoms, but, out of an abundance of caution, he and his team are taking the necessary precautions.”
Dobbs is 74-years-old, so he is in an age group especially vulnerable to the virus.
Fox News alerted employees to the coronavirus case in a companywide memo on Friday.
“We wanted to inform you that we just learned less than an hour ago that one of our FOX Business colleagues on the 20th floor has tested positive for COVID-19. Friday, March 13th was the last day this employee was working in the office,” CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace wrote in the email.
“As soon as we learned of the test result, we mandated that this employee’s direct co-workers/team self-quarantine for 14 days since the last contact at the direction of our medical professionals. We are also doing a deep cleaning of all areas affected and will be continuing all of our aggressive sanitizing and disinfecting efforts throughout the entire building.”
"Lou is in self-quarantine. One of his team members tested positive." pic.twitter.com/g76axSyayX
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 20, 2020
The news came after Fox News has dedicated more timeslots to cover the markets amid the coronavirus.
“While FBN will remain committed to delivering up-to-the-minute breaking business news and analysis, our first priority is the health and safety of our employees,” Fox Business Network President Lauren Petterson said in a Friday statement. “This scaled-back schedule will ensure we continue to deliver critical information to our audience amidst this global pandemic and time of market volatility while helping to fight the further escalation of the coronavirus.”
The shuffle is part of an effort to reduce “the staff footprint” at its New York City headquarters, the network said.
Fox Business host Trish Regan announced last week her show is on a “hiatus,” which came after she delivered a blistering monologue about the Democrats weaponizing the coronavirus to attack the president.
We’ve reached a tipping point. The chorus of hate being leveled at #PresidentTrump is nearing a crescendo as #Dems blame him—and only him—for #coronavirus – a #virus that originated halfway around the world! This is yet another attempt to #impeach THE PRESIDENT. #TrishRegan pic.twitter.com/nU3P4zcONA
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) March 10, 2020
“Fox Business’s prime-time programs Trish Regan Primetime and Kennedy will both be on hiatus until further notice,” Fox said.
“Due to the demands of the evolving pandemic crisis coverage, we are deploying all resources from both shows for staffing needs during critical market hours.
“Fox Business will run long-form programming in prime time for the foreseeable future,” the network said.
The announcement came after Regan said on her show that coronavirus is being used by Democrats as “another attempt to impeach” the president.
Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery did not make any such controversial statements and her hiatus is related to the staffing needs of the network during the coronavirus crisis.
I want to let everyone know that Trish Regan Primetime is now on hiatus. FBN has taken prudent steps to limit staffing levels and is prioritizing its coverage during market hours. I fully support this decision — we all must to do our part to keep our colleagues safe. #TrishRegan
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) March 14, 2020
“I want to let everyone know that Trish Regan Primetime is now on hiatus. FBN has taken prudent steps to limit staffing levels and is prioritizing its coverage during market hours.
“I fully support this decision — we all must to do our part to keep our colleagues safe,” Regan said in a tweet.
Fox needs to start learning who its audience is and who they support. Decisions like this are not going to be popular.
Coronavirus is not a hoax. It is a public health crisis and it should be treated with seriousness.
That does not mean that the Democrats and the media are not using this as a hammer to hit Trump. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.