CONSERVATIVE broadcaster Bill O’Reilly sparked outrage after saying many of those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic were "on their last legs anyway".
He said: "Many people who are dying, both here and around the world, were on their last legs anyway.
"And I don’t want to sound callous about that.'"
Hannity quickly said: “You’re gonna get hammered for that.”
“I don’t care,” O’Reilly then replied. “A simple man tells the truth.”
"You mean people that have underlying conditions and that have compromise immune systems, any virus would’ve…" Hannity said.
"Yes," O’Reilly - who now runs his own independent news broadcast - then said.
A CDC study released this week of nearly 1,500 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 showed 90 per cent of them had at least one underlying medical condition like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
However during a press briefing Wednesday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said while the virus makes existing conditions worse, people aren’t dying from those underlying medical issues.
Hannity and O'Reilly were speaking as the US death toll soared past the 16,000 mark.
O’Reilly then claimed hard-hit Spain and Italy saw higher death rates than the US because of their government-run health care systems.
"Somebody can break this to Bernie Sanders, number one, they have socialized medicine which is not nearly as good as our private system," O’Reilly said.
However, O'Reilly later defended himself on the platform.
‘The pandemic is extremely deadly but not the Black Plague,’ he tweeted.
‘Far-left wants chaos and carnage so President Trump will lose re-election.
'They are not interested in facts and will try to punish people who provide perspective.’
O'Reilly tweeted hours before Donald Trump revealed he is aiming to reopen parts of the US by May 1 - and predicts there will be fewer than 100,000 deaths.
The president also ruled out the option of mass coronavirus testing at his daily press conference on Thursday.
Trump discussed his optimism in the country fighting the pandemic, just hours after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed that America would reopen next month.
When asked on CNBC on Thursday morning if he believes the country could be open for business in the month of May, Mnuchin answered "I do."
During his press conference today, the president also spoke about his prediction that there will be less deaths than expected.
Speaking at the White House, he said: "You are looking at a much lower level than the level of, I hope the level of 100,000."
But despite the lower death rate, Trump admitted that he has ruled out the option of mass coronavirus testing across the country.
When quizzed about the option of mass testing, Trump said: "We want to have it and we're going to see if we have it.
"Do you need it? No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes.
"We're talking about 325 million people and that's not gonna happen, as you can imagine, and it would never happen with anyone else, either."
He continued: "Other countries do it, but they do it in a limited form. We'll probably be the leader of the pack."
The president then went on to suggest that there would be "massive testing" in "certain areas" of America.
Trump also echoed Mnuchin's confidence - and described that the country would have a "big bounce" back economically.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be opening up — you could call it opening — very, very, very, very soon, I hope,” he said.
"I think our country from an economic standpoint, we have tremendous stimulus plans.
"I think what's going to happen, we will have a big bounce rather than a small bounce.
"And we will have succeeded in many ways.
"And, also from an economic standpoint, this is taking a tremendous toll mentally on a lot of people.
"I think we are going to open up strong, open up very successfully, and even more successfully than before."
Mnuchin's new estimated date is the first to emerge since Trump said he wanted to reopen the country by Easter.
However, shortly after the president declared he was extending the social distancing guidelines to April 30.
A senior White House official told Axios that there is a big internal push for May 1, because that's the end of the administration's "30 Days to Slow the Spread."
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has made a similar prediction, saying on Monday the economy can "snapback" from the damage done by the coronavirus in the next four to eight weeks.
He told White House reporters: "I still believe, given our assistance package and hope and maybe prayer that we're at a four to eight week period, we can get a pretty good snapback, a good snapback. That's my hope."
TRAGIC LOSSTeen who inspired medicinal CBD oil for rare treatment 'dies of coronavirus'
CORONA KILLINGParents shot ‘execution-style’ after kicking out daughter & lover over virus
SCARY TALE OF NEW YORKNY has more virus cases than any COUNTRY with 160k infected, 7k dead
'CHINA' INVADES WHITE HOUSETrump grills reporter & asks ‘do you work for China?’
MuM'S LOVEMum desperate to comfort nurse daughter throws BLANKET over her so they can hug
'BURNING ALIVE'Dad disfigured by horrific burns after pouring gas onto grill at party
The news comes as the US death toll currently stands at 16,267.
The number of confirmed cases in the country has now soared to at least 454,304.
However, 24,962 people have recovered from the deadly disease.
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.