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After unexplained absence, Fox News’s Neil Cavuto tells viewers his second bout with covid landed him in ICU

Fox News host Neil Cavuto announced on his show “Your World” on Feb. 21 that he has been recovering from a covid hospitalization. (Richard Drew/AP)
4 min

For weeks, Fox News host Neil Cavuto was off-screen, and his viewers didn’t really know why.

Until Monday, when Cavuto, who was back in the studio, revealed the cause of his absence: He had tested positive for the coronavirus — again.

Only this time, the virus had sent him to the intensive care unit and nearly killed him, Cavuto told his Fox Business audience. Cavuto has said he is fully vaccinated.

“I did get covid again — but a far, far more serious strand, what doctors call covid pneumonia,” the “Your World” host said. “It landed me in intensive care for quite a while, and it really was touch and go.”

Cavuto, who is immunocompromised, has publicly advocated for vaccines ever since he was infected with the virus in the fall. On Monday, he once again gave credit to the vaccines for his recovery and debunked conspiracy theories that it was the jab that got him sick.

“The vaccine didn’t cause that,” said Cavuto, 63. “… My very compromised immune system did.”

Cavuto, a cancer survivor, was diagnosed in 1997 with multiple sclerosis, a disease that can cause nerve damage, and he underwent open-heart surgery in 2016.

“I’m among the vulnerable 3 percent or so of the population that cannot sustain the full benefits of a vaccine,” he told viewers. “But let me be clear, doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here.”

Cavuto did not immediately respond to messages from The Washington Post late Monday.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto makes vaccine plea after breakthrough case: ‘Take the political speaking points and toss them’

Cavuto is among the Fox News hosts and commentators who have recommended that viewers get a vaccine. But not all of his colleagues and network commentators share his views.

Host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly cast doubt on the efficacy of the vaccines and spoken out against vaccination requirements. “Almost 4,000 people died after getting the covid vaccines,” he said in May, citing self-reported data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in a way experts say is misleading.

Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren sided with Carlson. “I personally will not get the covid vaccine, and I personally will not be forced to get it,” she said on her Fox Nation streaming show in April. “If you want to get it, by all means, please do. If you want to wear one, two or five masks while driving or walking alone, by all means, please do.”

Fox News viewers are getting mixed messages about whether to take the coronavirus vaccine

Masks have also been a contentious topic at the network. In February 2021, Fox News aired a 30-second public service announcement urging viewers to “keep up the fight against covid.”

“Wear a mask. Distance where possible,” Fox News host Dana Perino told viewers.

But other top figures have challenged those precautions. Lahren has referred to masks as “face diapers” and called government mask mandates a “tyranny.” Host Laura Ingraham tweeted that “there is zero hard evidence of benefit” from mask-wearing. (An abundance of peer-reviewed journals show masks do curb the spread of the coronavirus.)

In October, days after announcing he had tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time, Cavuto urged his viewers to schedule a vaccine appointment if they hadn’t already.

“Take the political speaking points and toss them for now,” Cavuto said on Fox’s “MediaBuzz.” “I’m begging you — toss them and think of what’s good, not only for yourself but for those around you.”

In a statement shared by the network at the time, Cavuto said his doctors told him he would have been in a “far more dire situation” had he not received the shot, adding, “I’m surviving this because I did.”

It is unclear when Cavuto tested positive for the coronavirus a second time, but on Monday, the host said his hospitalization was a harrowing experience.

“This was scary. How scary? I’m talking, Ponderosa suddenly out of the prime rib in the middle of the buffet line scary,” Cavuto said. “That’s how scary. No matter, I’m not here to debate vaccinations for you. Just to offer an explanation for me. I owed you that.”

Jeremy Barr contributed to this report.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

End of the public health emergency: The Biden administration ended the public health emergency for the coronavirus pandemic on May 11, just days after WHO said it would no longer classify the coronavirus pandemic as a public health emergency. Here’s what the end of the covid public health emergency means for you.

Tracking covid cases, deaths: Covid-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States last year with covid deaths dropping 47 percent between 2021 and 2022. See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world.

The latest on coronavirus boosters: The FDA cleared the way for people who are at least 65 or immune-compromised to receive a second updated booster shot for the coronavirus. Here’s who should get the second covid booster and when.

New covid variant: A new coronavirus subvariant, XBB. 1.16, has been designated as a “variant under monitoring” by the World Health Organization. The latest omicron offshoot is particularly prevalent in India. Here’s what you need to know about Arcturus.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

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