It was the joke heard ’round the world.
Fox News host Pete Hegseth made a quip about never washing his hands Monday that was so widely covered that it has made international headlines.
Here’s what went down.
On Sunday’s “Fox and Friends,” hosts Ed Henry, Jedediah Bila and Hegseth were all joking about Hegseth eating old pizza on set.
“My 2019 resolution is to say things on-air that I say off-air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years,” he said as his co-hosts laughed. “I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them; therefore, they’re not real.”
The internet exploded, spawning headlines that the Princeton and Harvard-educated Hegseth doesn’t believe in germs.
The Fox News host continued the joke on his Twitter before facetiously setting the record straight.
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) February 10, 2019
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) February 11, 2019
He elaborated in an interview with USA Today.
“We’re on a show and we have fun and we banter and I’m like, eh, you know, maybe I haven’t washed my hands for 10 years,” he said. “If you look at Ed and Jedediah’s reaction, they are laughing like we are (on) every show.”
“My half-hearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life,” he added. “I take care of myself and all that, but I don’t obsess over everything all the time.”