Fox News host said COVID-19 diagnosis could help Trump in the election: “He himself will be a metaphor for the recovery of the country”

At the same time, Steve Hilton accuses Trump’s critics of “reveling” in news and saying it’s “some kind of payback for the president's policies” on the virus

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Citation From the October 2, 2020, edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co.

STEVE HILTON (FOX NEWS HOST): I can see a much more optimistic scenario than some have been talking about this morning after we had the news, which is this — given President Trump's resilience, we can see that every day, think about what he's been through, given the fact that he'll have the best medical care in the world, and most important given the data — we're always told to look at the data — the overwhelming probability here, based on the data, is that the president and the first lady make a strong and quick recovery. Because that's what happens to most people who get this, even those in the higher risk category, most of them make a quick recovery.

And so, even though today we're asking questions like, will this hurt him in the election — because it will put coronavirus at the top of the news agenda and so on — here's another way of looking at it. By making a quick recovery, he himself will be a metaphor for the recovery of the country.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): Interesting, interesting.

HILTON: We can get through this, we can come back. And actually the election is still 30 days away, and there's time for the story to radically change in the president's favor, even after the news we saw last night.

STUART VARNEY: Well, Steve, am I right in saying that when Boris Johnson came down with it, the British rallied around their leader, and he got what might be called the sympathy vote — that could happen here, do you think?

HILTON: I think it could. But I think that given that we've already have seen on other cable news channels — and on social media as well — revolting, ghoulish reaction to this, from pundits. People like Carl Bernstein, for example, I saw last night, who is considered to be one of the greatest journalists in American history, reveling in this news, seeing it as some kind of payback for the president's policies — even though as I've set out constantly on my show, if you look at what the president did, the actions he took, he took it seriously right from the start.

Given that you're seeing those reactions — I'm not even going to say some of the things you're seeing in Twitter, people can look at my Twitter and see because I've been retweeting, I'm not going to say on air the things that people are saying. I don't expect any kind of sympathy for the president or the first lady, sadly, given the way that the anti-Trump media have just constantly found this hatred against him for the last three or four years. I don't see that changing, even though he's got this today.

But I don't think he cares about that. I think he wants to get back to work, I think he's incredibly resilient. And I think you can see this turn around in the next couple of weeks, in a quite interesting direction. But you know, we don't know that. I'm just basing that on the data.


HILTON: Remember, all these people tell us to listen to the data.

VARNEY: Yeah, they do.