Some of Fox News Channel’s most popular anchors and hosts are expected to get coronavirus tests after attending this week’s presidential debate, according to two people familiar with the matter, the result of the disclosure that President Donald Trump and Melania Trump have gone into quarantine following testing positive.
Sean Hannity, Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are among the on-air personnel believed to be getting tested, as well as Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace. Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox Corporation, the network’s parent, will also get tested, according to one of these people. He was present at the debate as well.
Some of these people are getting tested after interacting with Wallace following his moderation of the debate, these people said, not because they were near President Trump. And John Roberts, a Fox News Washington correspondent, is getting tested after attending press events at the White House. “We are taking all necessary precautions, including testing, to ensure the safety of our anchors, reporters and staff who attended the presidential commission debate in Cleveland or were in the proximity of the White House within the last week,” one of the people said.
Trump surprised many early Friday when he disclosed he and the First Lady had tested positive for coronavirus just hours after Bloomberg News revealed Hope Hicks, a prominent Trump aide was exposed to it. Hicks recently served in a top communications role at Fox Corporation between White House stints.
Other news operations are also following safety and health precautions. NBC News and MSNBC personnel who may have covered the recent debate or President Trump’s recent unveiling of a new Supreme Court nominee at the White House “are following contact tracing guidelines as set forth by the CDC and the NBCUniversal Medical team and some employees will be self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement from the NBCUniversal-owned media operations”
Wallace addressed the issue directly on Fox News Friday. “I’m only going to tell you what my doctor is telling me, but it does raise some questions about the timeline because I’m going to have to get a test. I’m in a, in a uniquely vulnerable circle. The three people on the stage for an extended period were the president and the vice president and me all without masks,” he said. “And my doctor is telling me that I shouldn’t get a test today because it takes five days for the virus to load up enough. And that I could have a test.”
Fox Corp. and Fox News declined to make executives available for comment. The testing of the cable outlet’s personnel was previously reported by The New York Times.