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Trish Regan. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Fox Business announced Friday that the cable news network "parted ways" with anchor Trish Regan, after she called the novel coronavirus a "scam" on-air March 9.

The big picture: Conservative commentators, including syndicated radio personality Rush Limbaugh and Fox News' Sean Hannity, have come under fire for minimizing the threat of COVID-19. "For two crucial weeks in late February and early March, powerful Fox hosts talked about the “real” story of the coronavirus: It was a Democratic- and media-led plot against President Donald J. Trump," The New York Times writes.

  • Meanwhile, Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation, was focused on the $440 million acquisition of streaming company Tubi. He failed to "to pry its most important voices away from their embrace of the president’s early line: that the virus was not a big threat in the United States," per the Times.

Now, the network's leadership is trying to reel its hosts in to mitigate the spread of misinformation.

"The decision by Fox Business to remove Ms. Regan’s show took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise: Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network," the Times wrote.

Context: Regan's show "Trish Regan Primetime" aired during Fox Business' 8 p.m. hour through March 13. The network initially said the show was on hiatus because of "the demands of the evolving pandemic crisis coverage," The Wall Street Journal writes.

What they're saying:

  • Fox Business, per a statement: “FOX Business has parted ways with Trish Regan - we thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the Coronavirus crisis.”
  • Regan released a statement via the network saying, “I have enjoyed my time at FOX and now intend to focus on my family during these troubled times. I am grateful to my incredible team at FOX Business and for the many opportunities the network has provided me. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career.”

What to watch: Fox Business replaced Regan’s time slot with general-interest programming.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to characterize Rush Limbaugh as a syndicated radio personality; he is not a Fox News personality.

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.