Richard Drew / AP
Fox News presenter Neil Cavuto has battled several health issues over the years, including stage 4 cancer, open heart surgery, multiple sclerosis and, currently, COVID-19. Now some of his viewers are sending him death threats – because he encouraged them to get the vaccine for their own safety.
The host of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” announced last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated. In recent days, he has both credited the vaccine with probably saving his life and used his platform to encourage others to roll up their sleeves.
In an interview with “MediaBuzz” on Sunday – his first since announcing his diagnosis – Cavuto acknowledged that vaccination mandates have become highly politicized, but urged viewers to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities, in especially immunocompromised people like him.
“It’s not about left or right, it’s not about who is conservative or liberal; the last time I checked, everyone, regardless of their political belief, accepts that.” , Cavuto said. “Take the political arguments and throw them away for now, I beg you. Throw them away and think about what’s good, not just for yourself but for those around you.”
Some of his Fox colleagues have expressed similar views, although the network has been a constant source of criticism over vaccine and mask requirements (despite its own company policies).
Notably, Cavuto’s comments have only come on the network’s media review show and the shows it hosts, not prime-time shows like “Fox & Friends.” A Fox News spokesperson confirmed he discussed viewers’ reactions to “Your World” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast”.
He focused on the numbers …
Cavuto noted that even though cases are down from their delta-fueled push, the United States is still losing some 3,000 people a day. The virus has killed more than 5 million people worldwide and nearly 800,000 in the United States, he added.
The figures prove that fully vaccinated people have a better chance of surviving the virus, he added, and that countries with the lowest vaccination rates have the highest number of new cases.
Cavuto, who said his wife tested positive shortly after him, stressed that vaccination is not a matter of politics but of safety. He implored people to think about “the big picture” and consider the welfare of their most vulnerable neighbors and relatives, such as an older woman wearing a triple mask at the grocery store or an immunocompromised coworker.
“Whatever your take on warrants – and I understand nobody likes being ordered to do it – but in the end if you can get the shot and think about something else and think about what this is. could mean to them and their ability to survive from something like this, we will all be better off, ”he said.
Cavuto predicted his plea would get him “in trouble,” saying he expected viewer emails to be rude.
… And read the e-mails of viewers on the air
He was right. And he brought some of those messages with him when he returned to the airwaves on Tuesday.
Cavuto broadcast from a distance from his home as he continued his recovery, telling Fox Business that he still had problems breathing, concentrating, and a loss of taste and smell. But he drew attention to the emails and tweets from readers, which he had a production assistant read on air.
Some thanked him and defended him for clearly expressing his position, while others appreciated it less.
“I admire your remarkable strength through so much adversity, but let me give you some advice,” it read. “Shut up and take advantage of the fact that you’re not dead. For now.”
Later, on his own show, Cavuto reviewed more posts from viewers with the help of actor Dion Baia. On the more negative end of the spectrum, one asked him to “pound the sand” and mind his own business.
“Clearly you lost weight with all of this stuff. Good for you,” one viewer wrote. “But I’m not happy with less of you. I don’t want ‘any’ of you. I want you to go. Dead. Caput. Done. Understand it?”
Cavuto heeded the comments and reiterated that he just wanted more unvaccinated people to receive the jab to help end the pandemic.
This story originally appeared on the Morning edition live blog.