Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth made a truly extraordinary remark on Sunday's program that has Twitter in a frenzy of shock, disbelief and disgust; the US Army veteran claims he hasn't washed his hands in a decade.
Bacteria that can be spread by unwashed hands include salmonella and E coli. "Germs are not a real thing". I don't think I've washed my hands for 10 years. "I can't see them, therefore they're not real".
"My 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air", Hegseth added. And by using the depressingly enormous platform that is Fox News to share this misinformation, he's put us all in a position where we're actually having to have a conversation about the reality of germs and the importance of washing your hands, like we're all back in preschool-preschool in the year 1870.
Another reader, Jean Di Francis, noted how selfish Mr Hegseth's lack of sanitation is: "As a person taking prescribed immune suppressing drugs, I deplore Mr Hegseth's lack of hand washing because I'm very susceptible to the germs he carries and leaves wherever he touches".
When Bila and fellow co-host Ed Henry laughed at him he reaffirmed: "I inoculate myself".
Hegseth's thinking is at-odds with science which has long confirmed that germs, and microbes live nearly everywhere: on food, animals, and plants, in the air, and in soil and water and on people's hands.
"Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others", the CDC advises. Both adults and children should be regularly and routinely vaccinated, according to health professionals.
The declaration didn't go over well with folks who commented on Hegseth's Twitter timeline, some with this hashtag: #WashYourHands. 'That's disgusting!' said another.