Fox News host Jesse Watters shredded former top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci during a segment on “The Five” on Wednesday as talk of implementing new COVID restrictions like masking and social distancing increase as a new variant of the virus spreads.
As the panel swung it over to him, Watters said Democrats do not want a return of COVID because, in his view, the mandates they backed throughout the 2020 campaign likely were not politically popular enough to help them.
He then turned his attention to Fauci, who he compared to a former NFL quarterback who continues to be in the limelight.
“Fauci’s like Tony Romo. He retires and then shows up every Sunday to give color commentary,” Watters said, noting Fauci’s regular TV appearances now that the virus is prevalent again. “Do what everybody else does — retire and go fishing and shut the heck up, Tony!”
Watters continued: “His studio at home is probably better than [fellow Fox News host Sean] Hannity’s. He’s on constantly. Now, if I were an honest legacy media reporter, I would propose that Fauci would be in a supermax prison. This guy booted the pandemic so royally … you know, there’s countries in Africa that didn’t have a single COVID death?
“What he did to this country by shutting everything down — the economy, the schools, it destroyed a generations education. It was the largest wealth transfer of all time. A million people died! And Joe Biden became president? All of those things happened because of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and that’s how he should be looked at historically,” Watters continued. “Not as some guy you invite on to tell us what to do.”
“So are you saying he’s the most evil man alive?” co-host Greg Gutfeld jabbed.
“He’s up there,” Watters added.
Fox News appears to be rebounding after suffering a loss of more than a million viewers per day following the network’s decision in April to take star host Tucker Carlson off the air.
The network revamped its prime-time lineup, handing Carlson’s old slot to Watters while moving Laura Ingraham to an earlier slot along with Gutfeld and keeping Hannity at 9 p.m. where he’s been for decades.
According to the August cable news TV ratings, the decisions appear to be paying off: Both Watters and Gutfeld are dominating their slots over rivals at MSNBC and CNN, and it’s not close as Fox, in general, begins to retake the offensive the cable news wars.
Watters ended July with the top two rated shows on cable news in terms of total viewers: “The Five” and “Jesse Watters Prime Time.” Gutfeld, meanwhile, came in third place overall with his show Gutfeld! at 10 p.m. bringing in 1.983 million total viewers; he is also a co-host of “The Five.”
A press release from Fox said:
FNC’s 5 PM/ET roundtable program The Five which has been number one in viewership for seven consecutive quarters, continued its streak with both categories, securing 2,591,000 viewers and 254,000 with A25-54. Evening newscast Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights, 6 PM/ET) averaged 1,743,000 million viewers and 164,000 in the 25-54 demo.
FNC’s new weekday primetime lineup which debuted on Monday, July 17th, beat the cable news competition across the board with viewers and the younger A25-54 demo. From 7-11 PM/ET, FNC averaged 2,160,000 viewers and 211,000 in A25-54, sweeping CNN and MSNBC in all categories, winning combined in total viewers and more than tripling CNN in overall viewership.
Finishing the month as the highest-rated primetime lineup in all of cable, FNC is the only cable network to average over 1.5 million viewers in primetime. Notably, the new primetime lineup increased FNC’s share of the cable news audience versus the prior month from 41% to 48% in total viewers and from 34% to 42% with A25-54.