Are these two Fox News hosts breaking the company’s rules on vaccines in New York?
Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy bragged on Sunday morning that she and co-host Pete Hegseth are not vaccinated, despite the network’s parent company requiring all New York employees provide proof of vaccination to work in person.
Sunday morning’s statement, which on the face of it appears to place the two on-air personalities in violation of company and city policy, came as they attempted to brush off President Joe Biden’s joke on the vaccine hypocrisy of the network.
At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Sunday night, the president garnered perhaps his biggest laughs of the evening when he swept the conservative network, pointing out that to attend the event everyone had to prove that he had his COVID-19 vaccines.
“Everyone had to prove they were fully vaccinated and boosted,” he joked. “So if you’re at home watching this and wondering how to do this, just contact your favorite Fox News reporter, they’re all here, vaccinated and boosted, all of them.”
While the president was clear he was only talking about the Fox News stars in attendance at the dinner, he was also clearly attacking the anti-vax mandate positions taken by many of the network’s hosts and commentators.
On Sunday morning, Campos-Duffy wanted to remind the president that despite the network’s parent company, Fox Corp., which recently boasted that more than 90% of its workforce had been vaccinated, no everything Fox News employees took the hit.
“They tried to make a big deal. The event said you had to be vaccinated to attend,” she said on Fox and friends weekend. “I know, because I was invited and didn’t go for many reasons, but this was one of them.”
The Morning co-host added, “They tried to call Fox News and say ‘Look! Fox News is all vaccinated!’ No that’s not true!”
Pointing to Hegseth, who was sitting on the couch next to her, she noted that the two were “unvaccinated”. She went on to say that “we allow people to choose” and as a result, she found Biden’s joke “so ironic.” (Again, the president was simply referring to the Fox News staff present at the dinner.)
The irony, however, seems to be that Fox Corp. announced in December that all company employees in New York would have to comply with the city’s mandate that all office workers provide proof of vaccinations by the end of that month.
“All New York workers who do in-person work in an office, including Fox employees, must present proof that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
— Fox News memo
“All New York workers performing in-person office work, including Fox employees, must show proof that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” reads company memo.
The memo also said Fox staffers would not be able to submit a negative COVID-19 test in order to skip the vaccination requirement. The company already had strict vaccination protocols in place for all of its posted employees, requiring them to either provide their vaccination status or undergo daily coronavirus testing.
At present, New York City still has in place their workplace vaccination requirements. “New York workers who perform in-person work or interact with the public as part of their business must show proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccine,” the directive states. “Companies cannot allow any unvaccinated worker to work in their workplace.”
At the same time, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced at the end of March that it was rescinding the city’s vaccine requirements for all athletes and entertainers in the city. (Visiting players and performers had previously been exempt.) It’s possible this is the loophole these Fox News hosts are using to avoid the city workers’ mandate.
Additionally, the city provides exceptions for those requesting “reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons,” adding that “companies must record the basis for the accommodation and retain supporting documentation in accordance with the guidelines below.”
A Fox News spokesperson told The Daily Beast that the network previously said it was fully compliant with New York City’s COVID-19 policies.
Campos-Duffy and Hegseth, both fierce critics of COVID-19 vaccines, previously noted on air that they were unvaccinated. In November, weeks before the company announced its policy in New York, Campos-Duffy touted on air that she and Hegseth had received no shots.
In addition, in February, Mediaite ran a piece wondering how Hegseth was hosting in the studio at the Fox News New York site, despite apparently admitting he was unvaccinated. At the time, Fox News declined to comment on how the host appeared to circumvent the company’s own policies, confidentially citing private employee health issues.