Fox Hosts Suggest COVID Variants Are Being Made up by Democrats

The hosts of Fox & Friends on Saturday suggested that new variants of the coronavirus were being made up by Democrats.

Rachel Campos-Duffy, Pete Hegseth and Will Cain discussed the possibility that the U.S. could impose fresh lockdowns amid growing alarm about the Omicron variant that was recently identified by researchers in South Africa.

"We're toying around with the ideas of potential lockdowns once again," Cain said. "We're toying around with the idea of shutting down an economy which created this crisis... you cannot shut down an economy and expect it to come raring back."

Campos-Duffy then brought up Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, describing him as "potentially our new president in 2024, or so the Democrats want."

Buttigieg "has said we can't fix the supply chain problem until the pandemic is over, until Covid is over," Campos-Duffy said. "And now we see these new variants. So that's the answer, is more lockdowns, more lockdowns, more fear and therefore he doesn't have to do his job of fixing the supply chain because we'll just keep this whole thing going."

"Always a new variant," Cain said.

Hegseth then claimed that a new variant would emerge every couple of years, implying they would be timed to coincide with election years. "You can count on a variant about every October, every two years," he said.

Cain told Hegseth: "Yep, you're probably right. However, they could speed up. The variants could come more quickly."

Hegseth then mimicked a person on a phone call, saying: "We're gonna need a new variant here."

Some on social media condemned the conspiracy theory, while others pushed the idea that Democrats were using variants to gain an advantage in elections.

"Here comes the MEV - the Midterm Election Variant!" Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson tweeted. "They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election - but we're not going to let them!"

But Mike Sington said Fox had created a "conspiracy theory out of thin air that the Democrats are making up new COVID variants." He added: "Of course they offer no evidence."

Actor George Takei urged people to be wary of misinformation and to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

"If you are scared of the new Omicron variant, get your booster right away and stay masked up indoors while in public places," Takei tweeted. "If you think Omicron is a Democratic hoax, then I don't know what to say other than to try turning off Fox News and OANN."

Political commentator Brian Taylor Cohen added: "Notice how the same people attacking Biden and saying there will "aLwAyS Be AnOtHeR VaRiAnT" are the same ones pushing vaccine skepticism that creates an opening for these variants in the first place. Their goal is prolonging this pandemic to use as a weapon against Democrats."

Cases involving the Omicron variant have been confirmed on multiple continents, with the U.K., Germany, Italy, Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong all reporting cases in recent days.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, has said he would not be surprised if the variant was already in the U.S. "We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility ... it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over," Fauci said.

The White House and Fox have been contacted for comment.

US President Joe Biden answers reporters' questions
US President Joe Biden answers reporters' questions about the new Covid-19 variant after lunch with his family in Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 26, 2021 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images