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Hannity blasts criticism of Fox News: 'I have taken this seriously'

Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTrump calls Fox 'disappointing' for airing Obama speech Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE is pushing back against the criticism of his show and network's coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, blasting a group of journalism professors and journalists over their letter this week.

"Go to my web site and you'll see irrefutable evidence that I have taken this seriously way before most in the media did," Hannity told Newsweek. "I warned in January that it was dangerous because it was highly contagious, but some people were asymptomatic, so it would spread quickly."

He also said that he had never called the virus "a hoax."

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"They just go with their narrative. I never called it a 'hoax.' I said it was a hoax for them to be using it as a bludgeon on Trump. And they are. [Rep.] Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCIA impeachment whistleblower forced to live under surveillance due to threats: report In our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox MORE and [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 MORE are talking about an investigation. Now? In the middle of a pandemic?" he said.

The letter from the journalism professors called the network's coverage of the outbreak "a danger to public health" and mentioned several Fox News hosts by name, including Hannity.

Hannity stood by his assessment that Democrats and the media were initially trying to use COVID-19 to "bludgeon" President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE.

"Many of them did. We are in the middle of the huge pandemic and where's the Democrat saying, 'You know, I didn't agree with the travel ban at the time, but it was the right decision.' Politics trumps truth in their world," Hannity said.

The letter cited a recent Pew Research poll in which 79 percent of Fox News viewers reported that they believed the media had overstated the potency of the virus. When asked about the results of the poll, Hannity said his viewers could be possibly less afraid of the virus because he tells them "what the president is doing every day" and interviews physicians "who express hope for a treatment."