Trish Regan, who was pulled from her prime-time slot on Fox Business Network after calling the coronavirus an “impeachment scam,” will not be returning to the channel.
Fox Business — the sister channel of Fox News — issued a statement Friday saying it has parted ways with the host, who had been with the channel since 2015.
“We thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the coronavirus crisis,” the company said.
Regan, 47, also acknowledged her departure.
“I have enjoyed my time at Fox and now intend to focus on my family during these troubled times,” she said in a statement. “I am grateful to my incredible team at Fox Business and for the many opportunities the network has provided me. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career.”
Regan had been a staunch supporter of President Trump on her nightly prime-time opinion program. But her tenure was apparently doomed by her March 9 commentary in which she said described the coronavirus as a scam being used by the Democrats in attempt to politically damage the president.
Regan’s remarks occurred after other Fox News opinion hosts had shifted away from downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic. She was pulled off the air after her March 13 telecast. The company called it a “hiatus” so that Fox Business Network resources could be used to cover the volatile stock market during the day.
Fox News — which has seen its viewership surge during the crisis — has been under fire for some of the commentary it has aired on the issue, but Regan is the first host on any network to lose a job over it.
While Fox News has covered the crisis thoroughly and has frequently interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, some of its conservative opinion hosts initially downplayed the severity of the outbreak and have taken contrarian views on how to combat the novel coronavirus.
Fox News Channel host Steve Hilton said on his Sunday program that a prolonged economic shutdown imposed to curtail the spread of the virus risks more damage than the pandemic itself. “You know that famous phrase the cure is the worst than the disease?” he said. “That’s what we’re hurtling toward...poverty kills.”
Trump and other conservative commentators adapted Hilton’s points during the week, with the president even suggesting to Fox News that the country could reopen for business on Easter, which is April 12.
Fox News opinion hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have also been pushing the use of two antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as treatment for the coronavirus. Fauci has called the drugs’ effectiveness in treating virus “anecdotal.”