Fox News host Pete Hegseth made a quip about never washing his hands Monday that was so widely covered that it has made global headlines.
The President himself is a self-described "clean hands freak", writing in his 1997 book The Art of the Comeback: "I happen to be a clean hands freak".
So he did just that while speaking with co-hosts Ed Henry and Jedediah Bila. "Really, I don't really wash my hands ever", Hegseth stated on Sunday's episode of the show, possibly as his cohosts anticipated chugging bottles of Purell. "I can't see them, therefore they're not real". That is when he admitted, "I don't think I've washed my hands for 10 years".
"The next thing that will happen they are going to be calling my biology professor at Princeton (and ask) 'When Pete was a student in your class, did he believe germs were real?' So dumb".
Hegseth, who served with the national guard in Iraq during his 11-year military career, said he didn't see any issue with eating the pizza before backing up his statement with his personal stance.
"My 2019 resolution is to say things on-air that I say off-air".
"So you're becoming immune to all the bacteria", Bila replied.
"My dad has that theory too", Bila told him. "Twitter really has come full circle".
He elaborated in an interview with USA Today. "The Country is doing well (as is my health!)", he wrote on Twitter. He also said he supported drinking from hosepipes and riding bikes without a helmet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dedicates several pages of its website to hand-washing, underscoring its importance in preventing the spread of germs.
The delightful advice goes on to state: "A single gram of human faeces-which is about the weight of a paper clip-can contain one trillion germs".
You might think this would be Hegseth's chance to back off and call the whole thing a joke gone awry or a television gaffe.