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

Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks 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 SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton MORE and [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' 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 TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address 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."