Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth says he doesn’t wash his hands.
Hegseth, 38, made the shocking admission on Sunday’s episode, sending viewers into a frenzy.
“My 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air,” Hegseth began. “I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years.”
“I don’t really wash my hands ever. I inoculate myself. Germs are just not a real thing. I can’t see them, therefore they are not real,” Hegseth added.
While his co-hosts couldn’t contain their laughter, viewers didn’t find the admission funny.
“Ewwww Pete Hegseth, stay the hell away from me,” one social media user tweeted.
“Is there a ten-year-old available to enlighten Hegseth on this subject?” another viewer wrote.
“I wonder if @PeteHegseth would be cool with restaurant workers preparing his food after deliberately not washing their hands?” a different social media user expressed.
However, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that Hegseth was only joking.
He also implied he was just goofing around when MSNBC correspondent Chris Hayes tweeted, “he’s…. pretty clearly joking?”
“When even @chrislhayes can see the obvious… Twitter really has come full circle,” Hegseth wrote on Twitter.
Hegseth further explained the joke during an interview with USA Today.
“We’re on a show and we have fun and we banter and I’m like, eh, ‘you know, maybe I haven’t washed my hands for 10 years,’” Hegseth told the outlet.
Hegseth went on to explain that his joke was also made to get people to lighten up.
“My half-hearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life,” Hegseth told USA Today.
“I take care of myself and all that, but don’t obsess over everything all the time.”
As more backlash pours in Hegseth says he’s “sitting back and literally watching my [Twitter] feed and laughing.”
“It’s ridiculous to me because of how people take literal and serious things and their heads explode. It’s ridiculous,” Hegseth told USA Today.
RELATED: Hand Sanitizer Is Better Than Soap and Water at Preventing Sickness in Children: New Study
Joke or not, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is vital in the prevention of illnesses and the spread of infections.
“People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick,” the CDC says.
“Removing germs through hand washing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.”
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