Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is facing backlash after he suggested that people who have from the coronavirus "were on their last legs anyway." O'Reilly made the controversial remarks during a Wednesday appearance on Sean Hannity's radio show, immediately sparking criticism on social media.
"We're making little steps. Bernie Sanders, you know, he's gone. That’s really good for everybody. The projections that you just mentioned are down to 60,000. I don’t think it will be that high. 13,000 dead now in the USA," O'Reilly said when asked when he thought Americans could return to their normal lives, according to Newsweek. "Many people who are dying, both here and around the world, were on their last legs anyway, and I don't want to sound callous about that."
"You're going to see the Centers for Disease Control, at the end of all this, say this percentage of people who died from the virus, also had other things that killed them," he added.
The comments immediately sparked swift backlash on social media as the global pandemic continues to spread. By Thursday morning, a Johns Hopkins database had recorded more than 1.5 million confirmed cases globally, with deaths surpassing 89,000.
Keep scrolling to see how social media reacted to O'Reilly's remarks.
"Bill O'Reilly says many COVID victims were 'on their last legs' anyway," wrote one person. "First, how ghoulish for a 'pro-life,' 'all lives matter' guy, and Second, its a good time to remember that Bill O'Reilly once choked & dragged his wife down the stairs bc he's a violent a–hole..."
I was going to make a Bill O’Reilly joke but Bill O’Reilly is a joke.— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) April 9, 2020
"Bill O'Reilly thinks it’s ok if someone dies from covid as long as they're 'on their last legs' and 'damaged,'" reacted somebody else. "How does someone become such an absolute a–hole?!"
"Just imagine having a mind, heart and soul to think this way and say this out loud," tweeted one person.
"Anyone who would say that the people who have died from [COVID-19] were on their last legs anyway doesn’t have a heart, let alone a soul," commented another. "Bill O'Reilly has managed to make Donald Trump look like a decent person."
"Bill O'Reilly should be taken off the air," wrote somebody else. "He should be shut up in a soundproof isolation chamber for the rest of his life."
"Bill O'Reilly is callous when it comes to older people dying from Covid-19 saying they are on their last legs & he doesn't care," commented another person. "What has he to say about a 2 month old, a 17 year old, an 18 yr old, a 48 year old nurse, etc?"
Bill O’Reilly says that most Coronavirus victims were “on their last legs anyway.”
What a horrible person.— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) April 9, 2020
"A one year old died 20s 30s, 40s, 60s, 70s otherwise health died from Covid19 and by the way bill," echoed somebody else. "O'Reilly looks lik he's on his last leg."
"What companies think it's a good idea to associate with this through advertising during this show?" asked one person. "I can't even begin to imagine people’' pain and suffering [COVID-19]."
"This 'man' wouldn't recognize decency if it flew right up his nose," added somebody else. "I don't care if they're 46, 16, or 86, they shouldn't be dying because this country's 'leader' couldn't be bothered to work even just a little bit to keep Americans alive."
"OK, who's the prankster that let Bill O'Reilly out of his podcast closet," questioned another. "Certainly not the time, in more ways than one."
"How dare he!" slammed one person, who recounted how the pandemic has affected their own life. "The COVID victim I knew had beaten cancer and was full of life, doing well. But he volunteered at a Hospital. He went from just fine to sick to dead in about 3 weeks. It was a shock to the family."
Those dying are mums, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, sons & daughters. They are our doctors, nurses, health professionals working tirelessly to save lives. O’Reilly is the king of douch— Dame Rose(@🏠) (@gultencimen) April 9, 2020
"I hope every single person who has lost a loved one who wasn’t 'on their last legs' to Covid-19 sends that person's photo & story directly to this pus filled ghoul," slammed another person.
"Tragedy often unites humanity. But you have to be human first," tweeted another. "My best friend's dad died from Covid-19. The was the rock of the family."
"I knew two people who died of [COVID-19] in the last few days," wrote somebody else. "I hadn't seen one of them in many years so I can't speak to her medical state pre-COVID19, but the guy who died was alive and kicking a few months ago - hardly on his 'last legs.'"
"It's very insensitive for Bill O’Reilly to talk about anyone that way," added one person. “The people he’s referring to are someone’s grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter and should be treated with respect.”
Later that afternoon and into Thursday morning, O'Reilly came to his own defense in several tweets, in which he stood by his remarks in spite of the criticism they have received.
"More far left propaganda," he wrote in one tweet. "The virus death rate for folks WITHOUT preexisting conditions is below one percent. With health problems much, much higher. I pointed that out and the nuts objected, also claiming the health systems in Italy and Spain are better than USA. Bull."
"The pandemic is extremely deadly but not the Black Plague," he added in a tweet shared early Thursday morning. "Far-left wants chaos and carnage so President Trump will lose re-election. They are not interested in facts and will try to punish people who provide perspective."