Fox News host loses job months after coming to work visibly ill during coronavirus pandemic

·3 min read
Fox News personality Heather Childers arrives at Trump Tower, 16 December, 2016 in New York City: (Getty Images)
Fox News personality Heather Childers arrives at Trump Tower, 16 December, 2016 in New York City: (Getty Images)

Fox News has parted ways with Fox and Friends First host Heather Childers, months after she was criticised for coming to work visibly ill.

A spokesperson for Fox News told The Independent on Thursday: “Fox News and Heather Childers have parted ways. We wish her all the best,” but did not elaborate further.

Childers, who had been at the network since 2010, was taken off the show in March after colleagues became concerned about her working while seemingly ill amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She first appeared unwell while hosting her hour at 4am on 18 March and visited a doctor after the show when colleagues became concerned that she may have contracted Covid-19, according to CNN.

Childers was told she was fine, so returned to the show the following morning, but still seemed to be ill while hosting her hour, and did not return to host it again.

During late February and early March, Fox News hosts were criticised for appearing to downplay the seriousness of Covid-19.

However, by mid to late March, hosts were social distancing on all their programmes and their coverage became more serious, as states all across the country began to take measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Andrew Cuomo, who is the governor of New York, where the Fox News studios are based, declared a state of emergency on 7 March as the area became the US epicentre for the outbreak.

During the week that Childers seemed ill while working, Fox News implemented measures that allowed people to work from home and limited the number of people allowed in their studios, according to CNN.

On 31 March, Childers, who had not returned to work since 19 March, tweeted that she had to look at the rundown daily to see if she was going to be working and confirmed that she had tested negative for coronavirus.

“Last day I was on I mentioned I had gone to a dr to make sure I had no fever or cough of concern after coughing & sneezing on air. Never went to work feeling sick,” she wrote.

“I sent those results showing no temp or cough. Was then told Covid-19 test would most helpful. Negative,” Childers added.

By April, Childers was starting to tweet more about her absence and on 6 April wrote that she had tested negative for Covid-19 twice and asked president Donald Trump to help her get back to work.

“I’d love to go back to work @realDonaldTrump,” she tweeted. “But the antibody tests only show positive if you have had the virus. I’ve had two negative Covid-19 tests results & no symptoms.”

Childers added: “Can I go back to work?”

Despite her pleas, Childers did not return to Fox News and had removed all references to the network on her social media profiles by July.

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