Fox News host Tucker Carlson was forced to undergo emergency surgery for his back on Wednesday morning before returning to do his nightly cable news show that evening.
According to The Washington Examiner, Fox News didn’t give specifics on the surgery, but Vice reported that Carlson was in a good deal of pain on Tuesday because of some unspecified incident that took place on Monday.
“Tucker Carlson had emergency back surgery yesterday and did the show anyway. He thanks all those who tuned in and watched closely,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.
The top-viewed Tucker Carlson Tonight host told crew members from his show that his experience with pain has caused him to have a more personal understanding of the opioid crisis in America today:
“That was one of the most intense experiences of my life,” Carlson said. “They hit me up, they told me this morning, with such a huge dose of Dilaudid, which is more powerful than morphine, when I got there, that I had trouble breathing. Scared the s*** out of me.
“Didn’t have any effect at all. And then all night, I lay there, the nurse finally upped my dosage of Dilaudid to the point where every eight minutes I hit it and it was like getting shot. Just like, bam, feel it hit me, and it didn’t touch the pain.”
Carlson reportedly told his co-workers that his experience with the drug propofol made him want to avoid taking any opioid ever again:
“I just thought that was the most interesting f***ing thing that had ever happened to me. It wasn’t even that I survived it. It wasn’t even about me — it was about what it does to people,” Carlson said according to a recording.
“It explains so much of what we see around us. Just the lack of dignity. And that weird drive you have to be like, ‘That’s not in the right order. It should be this way.’ You know? It inculcates this not caring.”