A Fox News host told viewers live on air that he has not washed his hands in a decade because “germs are not a real thing”.
On the right-wing channel’s breakfast show, Fox And Friends, Pete Hegseth claimed germs don’t exist because they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
The presenter said he has improved his health since he stopped washing his hands because it is a way of “inoculating” himself.
The insanitary habit emerged after co-host Jedediah Bila revealed how Hegseth had been eating day-old pizza in the studio.
Hegseth hosts Fox And Friends, one of Donald Trump's favourite shows
In his defence, the presenter said: “Pizza Hut lasts for a long time.”
As a New Year’s resolution, Hegseth had vowed to say things on air that he would normally say off air.
It is unclear whether his viewers are grateful – and after his lack of handwashing emerged, he was described as “gross” and “disgusting” on Twitter.
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That is gross dont touch him…
— Nancy Perkins (@NancyPerkins20) February 10, 2019
I wonder if @PeteHegseth would be cool with restaurant workers preparing his food after deliberately not washing their hands?
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) February 10, 2019
Guidance from the NHS states that washing your hands protects against illnesses such as food poisoning, flu and diarrhoea.
It recommends that people should spend about 20 seconds washing their hands, or about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
The World Health Organisation has recently launched the Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign to encourage healthcare workers to take care of their hand hygiene.