NEW YORK — Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto strongly urged viewers on Monday not to follow the example of President Donald Trump, who revealed that he is taking a malaria drug to protect against the coronavirus.
Trump said he has been taking the drug hydroxychloroquine for about a week and a half. The president, and some Fox News personalities, had earlier promoted the drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19, but the government has warned of potentially fatal side effects.
Cavuto, who has multiple sclerosis and other health issues, called Trump’s admission stunning. He warned viewers in vulnerable health that they could face serious consequences if they followed the president’s example.
“This is a leap that that should not be taken casually by those watching at home or assuming, well, the president of the United States says it’s OK,” Cavuto said.
He said he was saying it “not to make a political point here, but a life and death point. Be very, very careful.”
Cavuto’s words carry weight because Fox News is the network of choice for many of the president’s supporters. Earlier this spring, the network was initially reluctant to criticize Trump following a news conference where he suggested injections of disinfectant could potentially help coronavirus victims.
Mr. Trump responded on his Twitter feed, retweeting six posts by other people criticizing Mr. Cavuto as, among other things, an “idiot, an “a—hole” and someone who engages in “#Fearporn.”
He then retweeted a seventh critical post and lamented what he sees as Fox News Channel going liberal.
Fox News “is no longer the same. We miss the great Roger Ailes. You have more anti-Trump people, by far, than ever before. Looking for a new outlet!” he wrote.
• Victor Morton contributed to this report.