"Fox & Friends" co-hosts spar over vaccines: "I don't think anchors should be giving medical advice"

Fox News continues to struggle to put out a coherent message on COVID

Published August 5, 2021 2:27PM (EDT)

FOX & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
FOX & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

"Fox & Friends" co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade shared an awkward exchange Thursday morning while discussing the COVID vaccine and whether or not their viewers should heed their advice when it comes to getting the shot.

After noting that nearly 20% of Arkansas's hospitalized COVID patients are children, Doocy told viewers "If your kids are over 12, you probably ought to get the shot."

Kilmeade took exception to Doocy's comments, telling viewers "Or see a doctor and decide what you want to do. That's who people usually go to for medical advice: doctors."

Doocy pushed back, saying that he didn't see a doctor before he received his vaccine, which prompted Kilmeade to cast doubt on Doocy's medical credentials, saying "That's your decision, but I don't think anchors should be giving medical advice."

"But a lot of people have been tuning to the show for 25 years to see what we think about different things," Doocy replied. "I think if you have the opportunity, get the shot."

Kilmeade shot back, asking "But shouldn't you see a doctor to give you expertise about what they're seeing about a shot?" before Ainsley Earhardt brought up pregnant women who were hesitant to get the vaccine and how restaurants may choose to enforce vaccine mandates.


The standoff between Doocy and Kilmeade is demonstrative of Fox News' awkward messaging around the COVID vaccine and the factions that have formed at the network regarding the issue. Doocy has been consistent in his support for the vaccine, going as far as to record PSAs with fellow Fox host Harris Faulkner that encourage viewers to get their shots. Kilmeade's comments, meanwhile, seem to tacitly endorse Tucker Carlson's criticisms of pro-vaccination efforts from the cable news channel.

"Our leaders want us to shut up and not ask questions," Carlson said on a July segment of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," shortly after the PSAs aired. "There are a lot of people giving you medical advice on television and you should ignore them."

Meanwhile, Fox Corporation, Fox News's parent company, has reportedly implemented its own vaccine passport and requires unvaccinated employees to wear masks and socially distance while at work.

By Michael Lovito

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Ainsley Earhardt Brian Kilmeade Covid Fox News Steve Doocy Tucker Carlson Vaccine