Fox News host Juan Williams has tested positive for the coronavirus. Williams, a veteran Fox News personality who co-hosts the popular afternoon talk show The Five, received a positive test result on Thursday, The New York Times, citing two people who were briefed on his condition, was the first to report. He is currently isolating.
At this time, it is unclear how Williams contracted the virus. The Times reports that he had went on vacation in mid-November and returned to the Fox News studio on Monday, where he was tested for COVID-19. On Thursday, he received a positive test result. Just a day earlier, the journalist had been at Fox News’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters to tape a live episode of The Five. He was on set with several of his co-hosts, including Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld, though they practiced social distancing and were separated by approximately seven feet. Williams did not appear on the Thursday episode of the Fox News talk show, and his fellow hosts appeared virtually.
Williams confirmed his positive diagnosis to the Daily Beast, telling the outlet that he is experiencing symptoms of the virus. Williams said that while he is "not great," he is "not dying or anything." He admitted that he is "worried about myself and my family" and said that his "wife doesn’t want me to come back to the house right now. On lots of levels it's concerning."
"I'm just worried about my health and my family at this juncture," he added. "You have to guard against vagrant dark thoughts. The thing is what can do for you until things get bad?"
Fox News has so far declined to comment on Williams' diagnosis, citing employee privacy and confidentiality of health records. The outlet did, however, provide a network statement confirming that the network "will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our staff, including broadcasting The Five via home studios for the foreseeable future."
"Since the start of the pandemic, FOX News Media has implemented strict company-wide protocols adhering to all CDC and state guidelines, including regular testing of all in-studio, on-air personalities, mask mandates and daily health assessments for all employees entering the building," the statement added.
Like many other talk shows, The Five had temporarily moved to a virtual format at the start of the pandemic as coronavirus-related lockdowns were enacted. The co-hosts returned to the studio for the first time since mid-March in September. Williams joined Fox News in 1997 and began co-hosting The Five in 2017.