Elisabeth Hasselbeck Returns to ‘The View’ and Tangles With Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin

ABC’s The View welcomed former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the show today as a guest panelist. Taking a seat next to moderator Whoopi Goldberg, Hasselbeck joined Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain at the table and didn’t waste any time giving her opinion on the latest headlines.

Almost immediately following the panel taking their seats, they addressed the fact that they were taping the daytime program without a studio audience due to precautions on the coronavirus outbreak, which quickly sparked a debate between Hasselbeck, Behar, and Hostin.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "Fox and Friends"
Elisabeth Hasselbeck | Noam Galai/Getty Images

Hasselbeck’s ‘view’ of her firing

Hasselbeck served as a panelist on The View from 2003 to 2013. Known as the co-host with conservative leanings, Hasselbeck was often outnumbered by her liberal colleagues at the table. When the network decided to steer the show away from politics in 2013, Hasselbeck and Behar were fired.

“When I looked up, not one but two male figures stood there — the producer of The View and an ABC executive. ‘We would like to speak with you about something,’ one of them said,” Hasselbeck wrote in her 2019 book Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom. “They told me they were not renewing my contract… they were replacing me.”

Hasselbeck’s last day on The View was in July 2013, announcing she was headed to Fox News’ Fox & Friends. The talk show personality may have had the last laugh – years later Hasselbeck was asked to take her seat back on the daytime talk show. She declined the offer but has come back as a guest co-host.

Behar debates with Hasselbeck

After acknowledging the “unprecedented” lack of a studio audience due to health concerns over the coronavirus, Behar joked about “taking a bath in Purell,” according to ET Canada. The conversation prompted Hasselbeck to share her opinion on the crisis and how it’s being handled by the Trump administration.

“Yes, we take precautions, we’re gonna Purell, pray that God’s got us in our tomorrows, we pray that this coronavirus is extinguished, that it stops in its tracks,” the former co-host said. “I also think we shouldn’t be in a state of panic because what we’re doing — and taking cues from our president — is taking early, strong bold actions to keep this at bay as much as we possibly can right now. We’re still on the front end of this. I feel comfortable and confident because of strong leadership.”

The praise of President Trump quickly provoked a response from Behar, asking where she saw “strong leadership.” “[Trump] has told us nothing of importance,” Behar countered. Hasselbeck stood her ground with Behar and raised some points to back up what she was saying.

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“What do you mean by that? He’s actually proposing a middle class tax halt right now,” Hasselbeck commented. “He’s doing a lot of things to help people who might have to stay home for work, talking about insurance packages. I think there’s some great things happening.”

Hostin jumps in with her ‘view’

Listening to the back-and-forth, Hostin voiced her disagreement reminding Hasselbeck that with school closings, many parents who can’t afford childcare will be forced to stay home from work without pay. “Totally a great point,” the former panelist agreed. 

Hostin also brought up the lack of available testing. “I think when you look at the response, Elisabeth, from this administration, it really hasn’t been good,” Hostin said. “I don’t think we’ve seen real leadership, we don’t even have real testing.”

After Behar backed up Hostin’s point and added that the President hasn’t gotten tested, the former Fox & Friends star asked Behar if she’d been tested for coronavirus. Behar reminded Hasselbeck that there are currently no test kits available to the general public.

Despite the pushback from Behar and Hostin, Hasselbeck maintained her assertion that the current measures being taken are sufficient. “These early actions by the president on travel restrictions, etcetera, I do believe long term will help our country,” she said. “We have [an economic] buffer over time that can absorb this. I do think our leadership right now is pointing us to say hey, this is not a panic situation. This is a precautionary situation, use Purell, wash our hands, we’re gonna be okay guys!”

Again, Hostin countered her statements. “How can it not be a panic situation when you have people dying from this?” she asked Hasselbeck. 

Attempting to conclude the conversation on a positive note, Hasselbeck stressed the importance of kindness to each other. “Find a way to love somebody and hug them in a way that we can,” she said. “Because we need our hearts and our heads to be cared for as well. I think we’re in a state where we can love each other well during this also.” 

While Hasselbeck’s closing statements didn’t prompt a consensus on the conversation, the panel moved on to other news of the day.