Fox News host Steve Hilton blasted “our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear” over the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday and warned that a recession due to shutdowns could be deadly.
Donald Trump seemed to be watching. Soon after the segment aired, the president fired off an all-caps tweet repeating some of Hilton’s talking points.
Hilton played a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, saying he was fine if people think the response to the virus was an overreaction.
“Well, that’s easy for him to say,” Hilton said. “He’ll still have a job at the end of this, whatever happens.”
“Our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear over this virus, they can afford an indefinite shutdown. Working Americans can’t, they’ll be crushed by it. You know that famous phrase, ‘The cure is worse than the disease?’ That is exactly the territory we are hurting towards.”
Hilton calculated that an economic shutdown in response to the virus would lead to a recession that could kill 1 million Americans.
“Poverty kills. Despair kills. This shutdown is deadly,” Hilton said. He then urged Trump to reassess the plan within 15 days. After that, it would be time to stop the shutdown while keeping in place bans on large gatherings and measures to protect the elderly.
Shortly after the segment aired, Trump tweeted:
On Twitter, critics trashed both Hilton and Trump: