Buck Tests Positive for Covid, Broadcasts from Quarantine

CLAY: We begin with breaking news inside of the show. Last week, I tested positive for what we believe is the Omicron version of covid. This week — appearing live from his Manhattan apartment after testing positive yesterday — Buck Sexton. How do you feel?

BUCK: I’m all right, man. People could hear yesterday — and hi, everybody. People could hear yesterday my voice was a little off, particularly in the podcast of the Buck Sexton Show in the morning. (chuckles) I had to restart it a few times. And then I realized. Let me just tell you the thought process here, Clay, ’cause I think it’s instructive. I wake up and I think to myself, “Oh, man I’ve got a cold, I think. I’m not sure yet.”

And I go into the office and I’m like, “Hmm. I feel kind of funky.” If it wasn’t the era of covid, I would have just been like, “Drink some tea. Man up. You’ll be all right! Don’t cough on anybody.” But because it’s covid, of course, it hits me as I sit down and do the show. “Oh, gosh. I gotta go get a covid test, don’t I?” and sure enough it comes back positive right away.

Now I’m sitting here in quarantine until Friday, and I gotta tell you, the good news for me so far is that having had covid twice — not once, but twice — and after being forced to get a shot, I’ve noticed a pattern here, Clay. I get the virus and then the state — or in this case the city — of New York, forces me to get a shot for that virus after I’ve had it and have natural immunity, and I think that’s probably gonna happen again. Now that I’ve had Omicron, they’re probably gonna make me get an Omicron booster in March as if we’re all idiots and can’t actually make any decisions for ourselves.

CLAY: When did you first have covid? Because I first had covid in November of 2020. I think I had the Alpha version of covid then. No real issues. It was a day maybe that I felt a little bit icky back in November of 2020 and then last week I had covid — and I would say, again, it was a light cold for me. I’m assuming it’s the Omicron version.

Some people out there like, “You don’t know what the official variant you got was ’cause they don’t test for it.” Yeah, right, 98% or 99% of people are testing positive for Omicron when they actually analyze the specific variant. So given the fact that I already had covid before I think it’s probably Omicron, the statistics would be. So you had it for the first time when?

BUCK: I had covid — and some of the audience might remember, ’cause I was off radio for a few days — in March, I think, of 2021.

CLAY: So you made it a full year after things broke out the first time?

BUCK: Yeah. I lasted a year without getting covid, and I was the anti-mask bandit in my building, and everyone was complaining, and I’m like, “Well, somehow I’m fine walking around here.” And it also reminds me, too, all the times I’ve had to mask up on planes in recent months and do all this stupidity? Okay, I got sick anyway. What was that really all about? Everybody I know is getting sick with covid in New York. Everybody right now.

CLAY: Yes, and we should also mention, we’ve got an event, I think now, still scheduled — Ali can let me know if anything’s changed — in Fort Myers. So the other reason you wanted to get tested is because now that I’ve already got through it and I’ve quarantined and everything else, in theory, I’m still going to be at this Fort Myers event that we’re doing in Florida. But you wanted to make sure that if you had covid you weren’t traveling and going to that event, right?

BUCK: I was right on the edge of what the quarantine guidelines are.

CLAY: Right.

BUCK: And there’s a difference I think between out of quarantine and going and shaking hands with a few hundred people. So, yeah, we wanted to be sure. But it’s just amazing how much the psychology around all this stuff has changed because I’m sitting here right now and I’ve been telling my friends, “It seems like wimpycron. It’s a fraction of the original,” having had both the original strains… (chuckling)

CLAY: The original strain, yeah. You got covid remix now.

BUCK: You know, original Pepsi, original Coke. I had the original covid. And that was rough. That was really a shock to the system for me for a solid week and now I’m sitting here, I got I guess the Omicron variant and people keep saying it’s milder. I wouldn’t miss… If this were 2019, Clay, and I felt like this, I would be in the studio. I would not miss a moment of work. I’d just trying to stay away from people in close contact because I would think I had a cold. That’s it.

CLAY: Yeah. It’s amazing how society has completely, fundamentally altered, ’cause we do get that question, “Why did you decide to get tested?” Last week I got tested. I didn’t get tested the first time. I found out I had covid officially ’cause of the antibody test I did later. But I wanted to know for sure whether I had covid so I could talk about it on the radio.

And for you, we’ve got an event scheduled this weekend so you’re like, “Well, if I feel like I’ve got a cold given how prevalent it is in New York City…” The Omicron variant has swept through the entirety of New York City; you wanted to make sure whether or not you had it too. It is kind of crazy that, given the fact that it feels like a light cold.

If you had had a cold, you’d be like, “Okay. It’s just a cold. I’m not positive for Omicron and/or covid,” and so you would just have continued with your life. But now we’ve created this entire world where if you’ve got covid, “Oh, my gosh!” You immediately change your behavior, and you’re in the apartment right now doing your show from there.

BUCK: I’d be so curious to see what the actual data would be on whether or not Omicron is, for people who have had any strain of covid before. So if you have some natural immunity that you’ve built up to this type of virus in general, how much more or less dangerous than the common cold is this really? I mean that honestly. Look, covid-19 was clearly… I mean, is worse than a common flu, is worse than a common cold.

Omicron, for a while the data showed nobody was dying from this. Well, what’s fascinating is — and I feel like you have to look at the data now with a lot of skepticism because we know a lot of people are in the hospital weren’t supposed to be. I would want to know, so are all these people — ’cause right now the average I think the 14-day rolling average according to the New York Times is about 1,800 deaths a day right now.

So are those all Omicron deaths, or is that from the 5 or 10% that’s still Delta that’s out there? I feel like we can’t know, Clay. But I can tell everybody right now sitting here doing this show, I’m right in the middle of it, right? I’m in the peak of Omicron. At least I hope that’s where I am ’cause it’s not that bad. I just feel like there’s stuff that we don’t know yet or there’s stuff that isn’t reflected in the data.

And if we’re not willing to basically bulldoze through Omicron and go back to normal life, I feel like we’re now all prisoners of respiratory-virus season hysteria for the rest of our lives. That’s my concern. If this is too scary for people to handle and go about normal life? Yeah, sure. Get shots if you’re at risk, et cetera. But, Clay, if this is too scary, everything is too scary.

CLAY: I think that’s why the integral question going forward has to be, how does this all end? Because to your point, it’s almost impossible for Omicron based on all the data that we’ve seen so far… I had it, you had it, you have it right now, and so we’ve experienced what we believe is exactly what this virus does to your body and the answer is for most people it’s not very significant in terms of its impact.

And that’s, by the way, whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated because one of the usual blue-check moves — if you are a hard-core blue check, Buck, you would have said — “I’ve got Omicron but it’s not impacting me at all because I was vaccinated,” right? But we know that your Johnson & Johnson vaccine… (laughing) Sorry to laugh, but your Johnson & Johnson vaccine legitimately has no protection against Omicron — and, by the way, so does everybody out there’s Pfizer vaccine. So it is a really interesting question of, when do we get back in some way to some form of normalcy? If this variant doesn’t do it, I don’t know what is going to do it for people.

BUCK: So, as we know, the fourth shot of the covid vaccine has been administered in a clinically significant level and number of people in Israel already, and the most recent Israeli data… We keep looking at the Israeli data ’cause they keep very close, precise numbers.

CLAY: They’re ahead of us.

BUCK: Unlike in this country where it’s Fauci going, “I don’t know. Let’s take a guess,” in Israel they actually pay attention to the numbers very closely. Even the U.K., as we’ve discussed, is better than we are. But the fourth shot of the covid vaccine is not enough to prevent widespread Omicron infection. Still. So you’re still getting sick even after —

CLAY: Four shots!

BUCK: — four shots, everybody, and that’s not four shots of it bootleg J&J vaccine that I got specifically because I knew that this was all a farce and I just had to go through the motions or else he was gonna be barred from everything. I couldn’t go into an office building. I can’t do anything in New York without a shot, Clay. It’s insane what they’ve done to people here. But now after four shots you’re still gonna get sick?

That’s what the Israelis are telling people now. To Berenson’s point when we had him on last week, if they’re not separating out those who are so old and so sick that they can’t get the vaccine from those who are younger and are choosing to be unvaccinated, that dramatically undermines the takeaway of the actual data set of what vaccination really means for people in terms of protection.

Remember, it all hangs on, “Oh, it will keep you from hospitalization and death.” Okay, but how much in? How much of that is people…? How many people under 50 are going unvaccinated and are actually dying from covid of any kind whatsoever? I would like to see that data. What percentage of the unvaccinated who die are going through cancer treatment and can’t get the vaccine?

CLAY: That’s the key.

BUCK: Those are the numbers we need to have.

CLAY: What we’re suddenly getting — and we’ll play that audio for you from Israel about the fourth shot failing when we come back in the next break here in a moment. But that’s the data that we’re starting to get just a pinprick of, Buck. For instance, in New York Governor Hochul suddenly saw the light of day and we played CNN suddenly seeing the light of day over this too and they were saying wait a minute.

A lot of people who are hospitalized and testing positive for covid are there for totally unconnected to covid reasons. In other words, if you got into a traffic accident and you needed to be hospitalized because of that traffic accident and you test positive — you go in to have a baby, you test positive — and you’re treated as a covid hospitalization even though you’re in ancillary covid hospitalization because the only reason you’re there is for another reason. But, Buck, to your point, if you have awful cancer stage and you are near death and you are in a hospice and you test positive for covid during that process, then you are counted as a covid death. So all of these numbers to me seem to be substantially out of whack.