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Dr. Craig Spencer tested positive for the Ebola virus on Thursday in New York City, and cable networks have broken in to cover.
Spencer, now quarantined at Bellevue Hospital, returned from treating people in Guinea on Oct. 14, The New York Times reported. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged calm during a press conference held shortly before 10 p.m. ET. The leaders emphasized that it was unlikely even those who came in contact with the doctor would be effected by the virus.
On CNN, Anderson Cooper anchored coverage, speaking by phone with Sanjay Gupta, calling the response from healthcare professionals “phenomenal.” Cooper spoke about the rarity of Ebola, noting that at least in the U.S., you are unlikely to be infected unless you are a healthcare professional who has been treating someone with the virus. CNN continued coverage into the night with Don Lemon anchoring.
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On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow said New York officials are attempting to track down everyone who the doctor may have come in contact with. Chris Hayes continued to cover the story following the mayor and governor’s press conference.
Fox News Channel continued to play The O’Reilly Factor, with a scrolling alert at the bottom of the screen providing updates on the case. But during his tip of the day, Bill O’Reilly offered words of calm. Later, Sean Hannity asked a rhetorical question: Why wasn’t Spencer quarantined earlier, as he’d treated patients in a high-risk area.
“Overall, ‘the only thing you have to fear is fear itself,’ as FDR once said. Here’s a tip: Life is tough enough, without you creating far-fetched disasters for yourself,” O’Reilly said. “If you preoccupy yourself with a lot of doom, you’re going to miss out on a lot of happiness.”
Fox News then went live with Megyn Kelly‘s The Kelly File at 9 p.m. ET, Hannity at 10 p.m. and The Kelly File, live again at 11 p.m.
Oct. 24, 12:58 p.m. This story has been updated with more details about Fox News’ coverage Thursday night.
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