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Germ theory denialism is alive and well – and taking the nuance out of scientific debate

By Caitjan Gainty, Senior Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, King's College London
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Back in February 2019, when the pandemic was still far from most people thoughts, the Fox News programme Fox & Friends aired a segment in which contributor Pete Hegseth revealed he had not washed his hands in ten years. Far from being appalled, the show’s hosts burst out laughing.

As it turns out, Hegseth’s poor hand hygiene was not so novel. According to the World Health Organization, only 19% of the pre-COVID world washed…


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