Carlson made the comment to British broadcaster and former Brexit Party politician Nigel Farage on his Fox Nation streaming service show, “Tucker Carlson Today.” The two were discussing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent three nights in an intensive care unit last year after testing positive for COVID-19.
“So somebody who knows him told me ― and I’d be interested in getting your take on this ― that getting COVID emasculated him, it changed him, it feminized him, it weakened him as a man,” Carlson said.
“Well, I think he was very seriously ill,” Farage replied. “One of the things we have learned from COVID is people who are 50, 60, 70, 80 pounds overweight tend to have fared very badly.”
Carlson interrupted to return to his original theme: suggesting that becoming sick from the highly transmissible coronavirus is a sign of weakness and, therefore, of femininity.
“But the virus itself,” Carlson said. “This is true ― does tend to take away the life force in some people, I notice. I mean, it does feminize people. No one ever says that, but it’s true.”
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) December 8, 2021
After recovering from COVID-19 in April 2020, Johnson appeared sobered by the experience, emphasizing the need to take the virus seriously and launching a subsequent anti-obesity campaign.
Carlson has a long history of making sexist and misogynistic remarks. Earlier this year, he similarly equated femininity with weakness, saying pregnant women serving in the armed forces were “making a mockery of the U.S. military.”
“While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military, as Joe Biden says, needs to become more feminine — whatever feminine means anymore, since men and women no longer exist,” he said.
And in 2019, the liberal watchdog Media Matters unearthed a series of comments Carlson made from 2006 to 2011 on talk radio with shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge. It included Carlson describing women as “extremely primitive” and “like dogs.”
He also said that it “gets women going” when men argue with them.
“If you’re talking to a feminist,” he said in 2006, “and she’s given you, ‘Well, men really need to be more sensitive,’ no, actually, men don’t need to be more sensitive. You just need to be quiet and kind of do what you’re told.”
He singled out a number of women directly, including calling pop star Britney Spears and TV personality Paris Hilton “two of the biggest white whores in America.”
When the comments resurfaced in 2019, Carlson refused to apologize.
Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday’s remarks.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.