'Germs are not a real thing'

However the stance is not reflected by public health organisations

"Really, I don't really wash my hands ever", Hegseth continued, prompting laughter from his co-hosts.

Prompting Bila to say: "Someone help me".

He went on to claim that because he can't see germs, they must not be real.

Speaking on Fox and Friends, Hegseth said the infectious micro-organisms did not exist because they could not be seen with the naked eye. "I don't think I've washed my hands for 10 years", Hegseth said, inexplicably. "Therefore the're not real", Hegseth said.

Plenty of teachers also mocked his claims with one joking that he'd learn about germs if he spent anytime in a children's classroom: 'Spend some time as a teacher in a kindergarten class, trust me, you'll wash your hands!'

BIlah asked laughing: "So you're becoming immune to all the bacteria?"

The entire exchange was prompted by Bila acknowledging that Hegseth was eating day-old pizza that had been left on the "Fox & Friends" set overnight, according to Raw Story.

"Exactly! I can't get sick", Hegseth replied. "My dad has this theory, too".

Some, however, pointed out that Hegseth was likely just stirring the pot.

Then he apologized for "grossing" out viewers. Take Fox News' Pete Hegseth for example.

In repsonse to someone who shared his sentiment on Twitter, Hesgeth used the hashtag #DontWash, before following up with a second tweet sharing a USA Today article about the on-air admission and writing: "To paraphrase the President from an hour ago: The Media is so self-righteous and ANGRY!" Hegseth served with the US Army in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and may well have maintained a stricter hygiene regimen while on duty before returning to a somewhat less sanitary life as a civilian.

According to a CDC fact sheet, "studies have shown that handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu".

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