Elisabeth Hasselbeck is defending herself after Meghan McCain accused her of spouting "dangerous" rhetoric about the coronavirus pandemic during Hasselbeck's March 11 appearance on "The View."
McCain's scathing critique of her former co-host came when she video called into the Wednesday, April 22, edition of "Watch What Happens Live." On the show, Andy Cohen asked McCain about Hasselbeck's seemingly prayer-centric response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 53,000 people in the U.S., according to an April 25, report from the New York Times' database.
McCain condemned Hasselbeck and implied she was "putting out misinformation" by saying, "I think we should pray" to stop the spread of COVID-19.
But Hasselbeck apparently wasn't about to let McCain have the last word.
In a long message directed at the TV personality on Instagram late on Friday, April 24, Hasselbeck asserted in a video that she doesn't "like to be misrepresented," then quizzed her young son on the importance of prayer in frightening situations.
She also had him confirm, in audio range of the camera, that their family has been dutifully washing their hands, using hand santizier and taking social distancing seriously "because mommy has auto-immune" issues including celiac disease and asthma.
In the accompanying caption, she wrote, "… we are all just trying to do our best, we should not be judging one another we should be in this together."
She also slammed McCain's interpretation of what she actually said that day on "The View," writing: "… Get your quotes right. I never said I had the power to pray covid away. The day at the view I came to visit y'all because our hometown had been slammed with a tornado and lives were lost and a school needed help and I was trying to get word out. Nyc was not even in social distancing yet. It was March 11th- it was before anyone was even quarantining."
Hasselbeck also wrote that her appearance came at a time when "your major was still encouraging visitors to Chinatown."
(Hasselbeck's Chinatown comment may have been sparked by the heated exchange she had with all of the "View" hosts after she praised President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the coronavirus the "Chinese virus," for his controversial handling of the pandemic.)
She added, "my quote was that I am going to pray and Purell," then doubled down on her prayer comments, saying, "PRAYER will ALWAYS be my FIRST RESPONSE AND MY BEST DEFENSE 🙏🏻💕," before suggesting the two "get back on the same side and be #inthistogether."
Hasselbeck's exact comments when she appeared on "The View," were: "There can be a fine line between what is taking precaution and what is panic."
She continued: "Yes, we're going to take precautions, we're going to Purell, pray that God's got us in our tomorrows, right? We pray that this coronavirus is extinguished, that it's stopped in its tracks. I think we should prepare. I think we should pray… I'm not going to let coronavirus rule me!"
While speaking to Cohen, who's tested positive for COVID-19, McCain elaborated on her issues with Hasselbeck's statements.
"I took this virus seriously from the very beginning and I thought a lot of this rhetoric was really dangerous and I think it's really, really unfortunate and dangerous that she said that," McCain explained.
"And I don't need to co-host with her again — and it's unfortunate, because I've been a huge fan for a long time and anyone who's screwing around with this virus and putting out certain misinformation, I don't really have a lot of time for right now," she added.