Climate change alarmists see hope in coronavirus

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," March 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: All right, I'm Laura Ingraham. This is "The Ingraham Angle" from Washington tonight.

We've been telling you, for days, about a new drug that could drastically change the trajectory of the Coronavirus, maybe even get us out of our houses sooner, and it looks like people are finally listening.

Plus, new fears, this has not been reported, of cardiac complications associated with the disease. See, people think it's just respiratory, where I'm going to talk to an expert on the short- and long-term effects of this.

And the Senate's new aid package could put some money in your pocket. But is that the best way to steady the economy amid this outbreak? Steve Moore is here on that, the dangers of this Stimulus plan.

Also ahead, there are some on the Left who seem to be happy about the Coronavirus. Who are they? Well maybe happy. They're happy about the effect maybe, not to the people, but to the climate. Climate activists, they're thrilled. I'll explain why, later on in the show.

But first, moments ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordering everyone in the State to stay at home, and it's called a Stay Safe order or something.

Jeff Paul in the West Coast Newsroom has all the details. Jeff?

JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and this is just coming down the wire here. It's officially called a "Stay at Home" order. And essentially, the - the idea here is to keep people from mingling, from being out together, and doing things that aren't absolutely necessary.

Now, under this order, which goes into effect tonight, things that will stay open are essentials like gas stations, pharmacy, grocery stores, things that provide food, banks, Laundromat, laundry service.

Things that might not be able to do under this order, especially here in the City of L.A., because Mayor Garcetti announced something similar, a little bit earlier today, really, you shouldn't be going to work, here in L.A., unless it's one of these essential services, and really shouldn't be out visiting anybody at a hospital right now because that could put you further at risk.

One other thing that the Governor announced on this was that hospitalizations could surge, so that's part of it. They're worried about how the impact of this virus could have on hospitals, could surge up to 19,500 patients, which is well beyond capacity. Again, this is a developing story. And we'll - we'll keep our eyes on it right now, Laura, back to you.

INGRAHAM: Jeff, thanks so much. That was absolutely a drastic order. But it looks like they're going to be locked down for some time in California. Thanks so much.

"Persistence, not politics," that's the focus of tonight's Angle.

Now, it can get really depressing, I know it, watching and reading all the Coronavirus coverage. I mean I'm one of them. It gets depressing after a while.

Well the numbers around the world are still increasing, 240,000 people infected, over 9,800 dead. The elderly are living in fear.

Families are wondering when the heck their lives are ever going to be normal again. And without their school routines, take it from me, I'm living with this, many children are anxious, parents, just a little stressed.

A restaurateur, and neighbor, a dear, dear man, a friend of mine had to let go 300 employees today. Some of these folks have been with him for 20 years. He was heartbroken.

It just seems like a never-ending stream of bad news. But, but there are important signs of hope. Light, you could see it. Look closely, it's at the end of the tunnel.

Companies in the United States, and elsewhere, are stepping up and retooling their operations to turn out medical supplies, hand sanitizers, ventilators, and more help for all of us to fight this Coronavirus.

More people, and this is really good, are getting tested every day. Between March 2nd and March 14th, 10.4 million lab tests were put into the healthcare system, 45,000 people have been tested through the CDC, remember, I was complaining about the CDC, well 45,000, 63,000 have already been tested by commercial labs, 20,000 tests already resolved. Hundreds of thousands more are coming in the next week.

Look, the President wanted results. He's impatient for results, and he got them. And he got them when Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, pushed for the private sector to take this up, along with a massive deregulatory push.


BRETT GIROIR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: We're very effectively transitioning to large-scale testing by leveraging all components of our American healthcare system.

The FDA has made available a number of options for supplies, different swabs, different reagents.

We are standing on 47 sites in 12 states.


INGRAHAM: And here's some other promising news about COVID-19's mortality rate.

Now check this out. "Using a slew of public and previously published information, a group of researchers estimated the probability of dying after developing symptoms of COVID-19 in Wuhan, was 1.4 percent."

Now, that's - it's still not - not great. We don't want anyone to die. But that's at least 50 percent lower as a mortality rate than has been previously reported in many different outlets. Now, let's hope that number holds over time, and especially as more people are tested worldwide, even those who are asymptomatic.

But perhaps the best news of all is about a drug I brought to your attention on Monday night. Now, at first, it kind of seemed to me, I'm a little skeptical, all that, it seemed too good to be true. But the results in France, in China, and beyond, have been nothing short of impressive.


INGRAHAM: What if there's already a cheap and widely available medication that's on the market to treat the virus? Well, according to a new study, there is such a drug. It's called Chloroquine.

All of these different antivirals have been shown fairly promising in some of the early trials, some of them in vitro. Are those the types of antivirals for the treatment, not the vaccine that you all are looking at?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Right. Yes, we have to be careful, Laura, that we don't assume something works based on an anecdotal report that's not controlled. And I refer specifically to Hydroxychloroquine.

ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Laura, you've been great about calling attention to this drug.

President Trump is absolutely adamant that we leave no stone unturned in bringing therapies, cures, vaccines, to the American people.


INGRAHAM: Well The Angle's persistence paid off because today President Trump made this announcement.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: A drug called Chloroquine, and some people would add to it "Hydroxy," Hydroxychloroquine.

It is known as a Malaria drug, and it's been around for a long time, and it's very powerful.

It's shown very encouraging, very, very encouraging early results. And we're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.


INGRAHAM: Now, after this happened, the drug company Bayer donated 3 million of the pills - of this particular drug to the Trump Administration. Now, although the FDA still has not approved the drug for use as a treatment for COVID-19, doctors here can still prescribe it.


STEPHEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER OF FOOD AND DRUGS: That's a drug that the President has directed us to take a closer look at, as to whether an expanded-use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients.

And again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial, a large, pragmatic clinical trial, to actually gather that information and answer the question that needs to be answered and - asked and answered.


INGRAHAM: Well I have a feeling and given the fact that most of the country is locked down right now that a controlled study of, I don't know, 2,000 patients could be organized pretty quickly, given what's at stake here.

I'll happily volunteer. If you're looking for volunteers, OK, I'll volunteer.

The FDA - FDA needs to hop onto this pronto. It looks like they are. That's great news.

Now, seeing the President snap his team into action, and in the process, harnessing the full power of the government, all of the government, the private sector, and our citizens, who are doing great acts of selflessness during this entire crisis, it gives all of us hope in this really difficult time.

As we've done with polio, and the measles, and so much else, we'll find the answers we need. We've beaten diseases in the past, and we'll do it again. And that's The Angle.

So, how beneficial is Hydroxychloroquine? My next guest says doctors are already using this treatment in the United States successfully. Joining me now is Dr. William Grace, Oncologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Grace, great to see you tonight. How big a deal would approving Chloroquine for the Coronavirus be?

DR. WILLIAM GRACE, LENOX HILL ONCOLOGIST: Well it's - everybody is using it now off-label. We have a surge of Coronavirus-19 patients in throughout the Metropolitan area of New York. And the problem is these patients are coming in quite sick.

And when they get to a very difficult respiratory status, the doctors are using Hydroxychloroquine with or without a drug called Zithromax or Azithromycin, and that's showing tremendous activity. And we have not had a death in our Hospital. We have probably close to a 100 patients, and not had any deaths.

But I've talked to many of my colleagues at other hospitals in New York, and they also are using Hydroxychloroquine, although the supplies are running down. So, any kind of supplements to those supplies would be much appreciated.

INGRAHAM: Now, Dr. Grace, when you heard the President today mention this, and then he, you know, he maybe got a little hesitant of the FDA approve - well the FDA hasn't approved. But just so everyone understands tonight, that doesn't mean doctors can't use the drug in - in medical settings.

As you just said, it's already being used, correct?

GRACE: Yes. In the - in the trenches, we're all using it, especially for desperately ill people.




GRACE: We're not using it on everybody. But we're using it on those people who show major respiratory compromise.

INGRAHAM: OK. And so, with this controlled study, we'll see both the effects of Hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic, a preventive, and as a treatment, correct?

GRACE: Yes. There are people out in the West Coast who are looking at it in people who are virus-positive, but don't show many of the symptoms, and they're looking for the clearance of the virus by this drug.

We think it works in two ways. As you know, the death rate goes up, as the age goes up.

And what I think is that the more mature your immune response, the more likely you are to have a, what we call, a cytokine storm, which means that people with viral pneumonias die because their lungs fill up with fluids, largely from an immune response.

And this drug works, not only inhibiting virus replication, but also inhibits the immune response, so you don't get the tremendous amount of inflammation. That's why the drug is also used in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

INGRAHAM: There - apparently, there's - WHO, the World Health Organization has organized a study called Solidarity, and it includes 10 countries, Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, and a bunch more, so they're - they're doing a global study on this, and it's already underway.

So, we should be able to get answers on this pretty quickly. That could be a game-changer if what you're seeing, what your - your colleagues are seeing in Lenox Hill pans out, because what they're seeing in China and France is stunning - are stunning results with this drug.

GRACE: That's true. And I'm hoping that what will happen, the data will come down quickly. We'll get everybody on Hydroxychloroquine, go back to work, and put the nation back together again.

INGRAHAM: Now, that would be nice. That's - that's what we're trying to get to because America doesn't want to stay behind closed doors.

Dr. Grace, before we let you go, people talk about the mortality rate. And that's been confusing because of the denominator.

GRACE: Exactly.

INGRAHAM: As people say, we don't - we have to know what the real denominator is. Explain that.

GRACE: Well we don't have enough test kits.

And we didn't have them here largely because the CDC tried to internalize, and make the test kits all part of their program, rather than having it throughout the entire private sector. And we're paying a price for that.

And now, once we have enough test kits out, and get the public private sectors producing these kits, we'll have - be able to get that denominator down pat.

INGRAHAM: And that means the mortality rate invariably will go down because a lot of those asymptomatic people will test positive, correct?

GRACE: Exactly. Exactly.

INGRAHAM: I should have stayed in Med. I should have stayed in pre-Med, Dr. Grace. I got out of that really quick. This is more - this is so fascinating to me.

Thank you so much for what you did to explain it. It's complicated stuff. You made it really easy to understand. Dr. Grace, thanks so much.

GRACE: Good to talk to you, Laura. Have a good night.

INGRAHAM: All right.

And remember the other day, or the other night, when I said there's still a lot we don't know about this virus. Well we're now learning something else about it, and it's something quite troubling, The Coronavirus is associated with heart complications.

Joining me now is Dr. Michael Orlov, Cardiologist at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston.

Doctor, how is the Coronavirus associated with heart problems, and what are you seeing with all of the Chinese research that's coming out, just on that aspect of it?

DR. MICHAEL ORLOV, ST. ELIZABETH'S MEDICAL CENTER: Well Laura, this is fascinating problem because the initial data from China showed that the effect of Coronavirus on the heart is relatively small, so it was seen in about 8 percent of patients, who had severe, severe cardiac problems. And lesser - lesser cardiac problems were observed a little bit more frequently.

However, that data may be changing coming out of Italy and Europe where we hear more alarming results that cardiac complications may be more common. And also, in the cases in the United States, we see late complications on the heart.

So, this is alarming. This is unknown. We don't have the data. The data is coming. But when something is unknown, and alarming, that obviously creates fear. So, we need the data to clarify that, and alleviate the fears, and that will probably clear the path to go forward.

However, having said that, cardiac complications are also very complex, and require complex treatment, and complex devices, to help to support the body while it's fighting the virus, and those devices are in relatively short supply. We need to be prepared to be quickly equipped with them, mobilize those--

INGRAHAM: Heart, lung machines.

ORLOV: --heart, lung machines, exactly, to support the body. And we don't know how many of those we need.

INGRAHAM: Dr. Orlov?

ORLOV: So, that's a problem.

INGRAHAM: Another - another point that has been raised is the President's response today, where he specifically mentions this drug that you and I have talked about, Hydroxychloroquine, talked about it with Dr. Grace, it's already being used.

And one patient was described as Lazarus getting up after - after he was - he was like on death's door. And they started getting a protocol of Hydroxychloroquine at Lenox Hill, and it suddenly like Lazarus, up from the grave. I mean that's an actual case.

But that having been said, people are criticizing the Administration for this. Watch.



I don't care who the President is whether it's - this is not a political issue and, you know, there's no President that should be out there talking about the efficacy of a medication in a serious crisis like this.

What difference does it make what a political leader is saying about a particular medicine?



INGRAHAM: Do you agree with that? I mean the President shouldn't mention any promising drug because, heaven knows, we don't need any hope these days?

ORLOV: Yes. I think the promise should be made from the highest podium. I - I disagree with that.

And a promising drug should be quickly tested and checked. There are some minor possibilities of cardiac complications with Hydroxychloroquine. But it can be monitored. And if this is a miracle drug, it should be quickly disseminated, and made available.

My concern is that Hydroxychloroquine is supposedly manufactured only by one producer. And we need to make, if it's effective, we need to make it quickly available, like many, many other things that are lacking, that are missing.

I was going to bring up some simple things because simple things work. And miracle drugs are perfect. But we just need to do simple measures like public gatherings, people should observe that. That's very important.

Also, personal protective equipment, need to be made available. In the frontlines, we don't have enough. This is just missing again because the manufacturing is done elsewhere. It's overseas.

And we don't have enough masks, enough other protective equipment. It should be made available quickly along with a miracle drug.

INGRAHAM: Dr. Orlov--

ORLOV: This would be life-saving.

INGRAHAM: Dr. Orlov, it's great to see you tonight.

And I know there's a lot of government red tape that the President has already cut.

And there's a lot of hospital red tape, because hospitals have gotten, you know, these big conglomerates. It's not the, you know, small community, lot of these are really big. And I know you've been urging for a lot of the hospital red tape to be cut, to get these supplies in as well.

So, thank you so much, Dr. Orlov. It's great to see you tonight.

ORLOV: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: And coming up, Senate Republicans have a plan to fix the economy, they say, but it is really, really expensive. What can Trump do to ensure that these Stimulus packages don't end up backfiring? Steve Moore weighs in, next.



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY.: It is critical that we move swiftly and boldly to begin to stabilize our economy, preserve Americans' jobs, get money to workers and families, and keep up our fight on the health front.

That is exactly what our proposal will do.

These are not ordinary policies. This is no ordinary time.

Senate Republicans want to put cash in the hands of the American people.


INGRAHAM: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today proposing a third Coronavirus economic aid package. Now, his plan will likely cost more than $1 trillion. It includes sending checks out to every American, up to $1,200 per person.

Now, relief is needed, we all know that, because many Americans are already filing for unemployment benefits, a looming recession, some say it's already here.

The Labor Department is reporting now that 280,000 people lost their jobs in the last week. At this rate, we could stand to lose over 1 million jobs, I can't even say that, it's so heartbreaking, just over the next month. And experts are predicting job losses could total 3.5 million by the summer.

We better get going on these antivirals.

McConnell's bill also earmarks over $350 billion for loans to businesses, which he insists is not a bailout to the special interests. He's carving out nearly $60 billion just for the airline industry. Do they need taxpayer support? Even if it's a loan, is that better?

And remember, this bill still needs to get through a Democrat-controlled House. But they do say they're all working together.

So, if their last Coronavirus bill is any guide, they're going to try to fill McConnell's plan in the House with all sorts of little goody - goody grab bags, a Christmas tree, put their ornaments on it and giveaways to their friends.

But there's also another risk, and it's something that endangered our economic recovery during the Great Depression.

Joining me now is Amity Shlaes, Chairman of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, Author of "Great Society," and Steve Moore, Senior Economic Adviser to Trump 2016 Campaign, and Author of "Trumponomics."

Amity, I told everybody you're going to come back tonight, OK, because you were - you were telling us last night, and I rudely cut you off that we should avoid doing the things that FDR did in the 30s that hurt our recovery. What were you referring to, specifically?

AMITY SHLAES, CALVIN COOLIDGE PRESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION: Yes. I wasn't too happy to hear Senator McConnell say "No ordinary time" because that is a reference to the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt, which is what we did in the 1930s.

And what President Roosevelt did, as lovable as and inspiring as it was, prolonged the Great Depression. It put the adjective "Great" into the phrase because we had unemployment for 10 percent (ph). Think of that in contrast to now, and our Dow did not come back the whole decade.

Imagine if we told ourselves now the Dow will never get back to where it was three weeks ago. And so, we're really in the rocking chair, you know. That's awfully disconcerting. And bottom line, what happened was the government intervened too much.

INGRAHAM: Steve Moore, look, people are desperate, and they're looking at these jobless claims. It is - it is just a month ago we're the strongest economy in the world, strongest economy in decades.

And now, here we are, shuttered in place, or whatever we're calling it, "Safe space, safe distancing," and people are out of work, can't go anywhere, can't do anything, can't spend money on anything.

What is the rest pathway, Steve? And is - are they on the right track?

STEVE MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER TRUMP 2016, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION ECONOMIST: Well, you know, I'm sort of frustrated with - with this whole Stimulus idea because Stimulus has never worked. In fact, I have a piece in The Wall Street Journal on Saturday with the title "Stimulus never works."

Amity is right about what happened in the 1930s. By the way, there's a whole mythology about how wonderful the New Deal was because the Left wrote the history books, and that's what everybody learns.

But Amity is exactly right. It didn't work in the 1930s. We had double- digit unemployment throughout Franklin Roosevelt's Presidency.

And then, of course, we tried this, as you recall, you know, Laura, back in '90 - 2009, when Barack Obama was President. Remember, Laura, the shovel- ready projects, and the $830 billion we were going to spend, which was going to spring the economy back to life?

And - and remember, by the way, Joe Biden had, remember, his Summer of Recovery. It never happened. It was the worst recovery from a recession we've had, going back to the Great Depression. Even by Obama's own numbers, the economy would have been better, and would have healed faster if we had not spent any of that money.

So, my first advice to Donald Trump is, don't do what we did in 2009, under Obama, because it didn't work. And - and, by the way, if he puts in place policies that actually hurt the economy, and some of these policies would, you know, you're talking about President Joe Biden, he's got to have a growth plan.

Laffer and I and - and Steve Forbes and I have talked about the idea of suspending the payroll tax for the rest of the year to give businesses an incentive to hire more workers because it would be a tax cut for every one of the 26 million small businesses in the country.

INGRAHAM: But what if people don't have any money? But Steve, what if people have no money to spend? I mean--

MOORE: Well, look, we have what we have--

INGRAHAM: What do - what do people do?

MOORE: We have programs already for people, for example, who've lost their job, unemployment insurance. You know, it's we had - I had dinner tonight with my seventh and eighth grade stepsons.

And I asked them, what do you think about the idea of the government just giving $1,000 to everyone? And The first one said, why would anybody work if the government is going to give you free money? And the second one said, wouldn't that be inflationary? If a seventh and eighth grader can figure that out, why can't members of Congress?

INGRAHAM: I'm still getting my kids to try to do their basic math facts. That's pretty good.

MOORE: It's not complicated, right. Economics is not complicated.

INGRAHAM: Amity, but you know the pressure people are under to say, OK, we have got to come together. We have just got to work together, we have to do something. So it's always the people who are asking the questions and always vilified. If you ask us a question about a lockdown or write an editorial, as they did in "The Journal" today, basically saying rethinking the coronavirus shutdown, you are vilified. This is "Wall Street Journal" editorial board opinion piece, saying what if this is wrong?

AMITY SHLAES, CALVIN COOLIDGE PRESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION: Laura, there are answers to our economic problems that are much more dramatic and useful than what the administration is proposing or the Senate is proposing. You say you can't say things, and you are absolutely correct. An example, what if we cut the capital gains tax by half and forget about the surcharge, just go from 20 to 10? What if we talked about that? You would instantly be attacked for helping the rich. But every economist, including all the way over on the left among the Marxists, knows that if you cut the capital gains tax rate by half, then international investment would raise our stock market tomorrow. It is just that they don't dare say it. The Republicans act like Democrats in elections. And it's unfortunate. There are many more steps to growth we could take, we just have to be a little bit braver than we are currently being. The Republican Party is almost indistinguishable, unfortunately, from the Democratic Party. I work on Calvin Coolidge, and he had a completely different vision, let me say.


MOORE: OK, look, I think this is a very dangerous situation. I just heard a report what they are doing in California, basically lockdown the whole state, telling people they can't leave their homes without government permission. This is a very dangerous, almost Orwellian situation we are in right now.

And I happen to agree with that "Wall Street Journal" editorial. If this goes on where we have people locked down, they can't go to work --

INGRAHAM: Social unrest.

MOORE: -- for more than three week, you are talking about economic damage that would be in the trillions of dollars. And we have to ask this question, is it worth trillions of dollars of losses? Think of human suffering in terms of the lost income, the lost life savings, is that worth it to deal with this? It is a question worth asking because I'm starting to think maybe we should get people back to work as fast as we can.

INGRAHAM: It's a question of, if you are locked down for months and you can't go anywhere, you can't talk to anybody. You can't really see anyone close up. You can't -- a friend of mine said that is not America.

MOORE: It's not.

INGRAHAM: If we are here in two months and we can't leave our homes, that is not really America. So people are beginning to already ask that question and we haven't even got through a week of this. So imagine three weeks or four weeks or five weeks. I think it's good to ask questions and do smart things and common sense. Guys, great to see you tonight, thanks so much.

MOORE: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: And up next, the coronavirus is making everyone miserable except for -- well, sort of. Climate activists are happy about one part of it. We are going to tell you why before a rational environmentalist responds. Don't go away.


INGRAHAM: Shutting down entire industries and then forcing people to stay behind closed doors is terrible for the economy, for our mental well-being and our standard of living. That must be why climate change activists are celebrating. Leftist cheerleaders at CNN write "There's an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus -- the planet." USA Today asks "Could the coronavirus actually be saving lives in some parts of the world because of reduced pollution?"

And here is what the architect of the U.N. Paris Accord had to say, "One thing that I think is actually very positive, if we really sustained several months of reduced travel, we may realize that we don't have to travel as much. Can this have actual behavioral change impacts? Maybe, and let us hope."

Joining me now is Mike Shellenberger, president of Environmental Progress. Mike, emissions are down, but people are getting pretty miserable and economies are in free fall. So is this really their vision of what a healthy society looks like?

MIKE SHELLENBERGER, PRESIDENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS: Unfortunately for some of our antihuman environmental brothers and sisters, I think this is a model for the kind of future they'd like to live. But I think it is not a model that most people want to live.

And the thing we forget is that carbon emissions peaked in the United States over a decade and a half ago. They have actually declined by 35 percent when you look at the emissions from electricity production, mostly thanks to the fracking, natural gas revolution. So if you are looking for a model for how to deal with claimant change, how to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment, you want a lot of economic growth and prosperity. That's what brings us cleaner forms of energy.

INGRAHAM: Christiane Amanpour over at CNN tonight was -- well, she wanted to remind us of the silver lining.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: If there is a silver lining to this crisis, it's visible in the skies above China. The dramatic slowdown in manufacturing and driving has caused a reduction in carbon emissions. We have all seen these NASA satellite images which show the improvement in China's air quality.


INGRAHAM: CNN, though, it was PBS and it was Monday, but you get the point. So they are showing a lot of these satellite images, and it is Italy before and after. I think of Italy the people before and after, fewer people after coronavirus, but again, some of the most extreme elements of the environmental lobbyist, and I'm a conservationist, I'm an outdoors person, everybody know that. I was hiking today with my kids, I love the outdoors. I hate people who litter, but they actually seem to be happier the less we are doing. The less we are out doing, traveling, seeing the world. They don't really want us to see the world.

SHELLENBERGER: Yes, I think that is really sad. I think what you see with a lot of people that are celebrating this moment, and I see it online, some people saying that humans are the virus, and that the virus is eliminating the human cancer on the earth. I think that is a very minority view, it's a very dark view.

I think the truth is that economic growth and lifting people out of poverty has been the most important way to reduce air pollution, to reduce humankind's negative impacts on the natural environment. The truth is that air pollution has been in decline in the United States since the late 1960s. Carbon emissions, obviously, peaked over a decade and a half ago. In Europe, carbon emissions peaked in the 70s.

The good news is that the switch to natural gas and nuclear means that it's unlikely that temperatures are going to get very high. It is probably going to peak under three degrees temperature increase since preindustrial times. So I think this current situation is a terrible example to use for what it means to protect the environment.

INGRAHAM: Ron Klain, who used to work for Obama, a top White House official, said that the virus and climate change were somehow linked. Watch.


RON KLAIN, FORMER OBAMA EBOLA RESPONSE COORDINATOR: There is one more thing we can do to reduce the risk of spread from animals to humans, and that's combat climate change. Climate change is driving this problem to some extent. Climate change has a lot, a lot, a lot of bad effects. One we don't think about very often is its effect as a driver of these epidemics. But it certainly is making this risk on this go up as a plan they.


INGRAHAM: Have you heard anything about that? The wet markets and the eating bats or other animals or whatever the heck they did to have this virus become such a global problem is climate change? I'm not following that.

SHELLENBERGER: There's always an argument to be made that you could worsen some disease epidemics with warmer temperatures, but the fact of the matter is, nobody thinks climate change caused the 1918 flu which killed 50 million to 100 million people. I haven't heard many people claiming that there is any causal connection. But what you said is exactly right. Who would have thought that the wet live markets in China would be a major source of global chaos, of this economic challenges we're going to be having of mass death. But that is the reality, and experts have been warning against Chinese markets, those live markets where the animals are on top of each other. They're very unsanitary. We have been worrying about those for two decades now.

So I think one of the thing that ought to come out of this is that there ought to be some effort internationally to make sure that countries get rid of those markets which are breeding grounds for dangerous viruses like these, and help countries move towards more modern meat production and consumption.

INGRAHAM: Thank you so much, Mike, great to see you tonight.

And coming up, a prisoner at Rikers Island has contracted the coronavirus. Wait until you see Bill de Blasio responded to that one. But more importantly, what do prison guards think about letting inmates run free. We'll tell you, next.


INGRAHAM: This is a Fox News alert. California Governor Gavin Newsom ordering everyone in the state to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Fox's Jeff Paul is live from our West Coast Newsroom with all the details. Jeff?

JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Laura, this is a major step by officials here in California to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It's a decision that will impact the lives of the 40 million people who call this state home. The order is mandating residents to remain in their homes and stop their social interactions. Governor Gavin Newsom stating one of his biggest concerns at the moment, hospitals becoming overrun with the sick.

The state projects more than 25 million people in California will be infected with the coronavirus over an eight-week period. And in a letter to President Trump, Gavin Newsom has requested the deployment of the U.S. Navy's Mercy hospital to the Port of Los Angeles to help those who might get sick.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): A state as large as ours, a nation-state, is many parts. But at the end of the day we are one body. There's a mutuality and there's a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home. That directive goes into force and effect this evening, and we were confident, we are confident that the people of the state of California will abide by it and do the right thing. They'll meet this moment, they'll step up.


PAUL: Essential services will still operate. These include things like grocery stores, media outlets, gas stations, banks, hardware stores, home repair professionals, and laundromats. Restaurants can stay open if they prepare food for delivery or carry out, but the big push is for people to stay away from each other and only be out if necessary. Laura?

INGRAHAM: Jeff, wow, 25 million, he said, will be infected. I asked Anthony Fauci that the other night. I said the reports are that half of all Americans will get infected, and he kind of pooh-poohed that and said that is not right. So we are getting all sorts of projections here and making a lot of assumptions based on these projections. But Jeff, this is wild news. Thank you so much for this tonight, appreciate it.

PAUL: You bet.

INGRAHAM: And New York City has more than 3,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus which now includes an intimate at Rikers Island. So of course, Mayor de Blasio is using it as an excuse to do what, to release dozens of prisoners.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-N.Y.: The cases are being reviewed by the NYPD and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and as they reach agreement on an individual case, we start the process to release them. Forty inmates, 40 inmates have been put on a list. We are awaiting signoff depending on the case from the relevant district attorney and/or the state of New York.


INGRAHAM: Now, I do want to note that four corrections officers at Rikers have also tested positive for the coronavirus. Joining me now is Elias Husamudeen is president of the Corrections Officers Benevolent Association. Elias, it's great to see you tonight. Should we be letting these inmates out? Right now it's only 40, so what is wrong with that?

ELIAS HUSAMUDEEN, COBA PRESIDENT: Absolutely not. You cannot solve a public health crisis by creating a public safety crisis. I don't know who would think that that is a good idea. The best way to solve a public health crisis in the jails is by giving correctional officers the supplies and the tools and the things that we need to actually address this. And this is what we have been fighting for and asking city hall and asking the mayor to give us. We need supplies. We need gloves. We need masks. We need the things that we can use to actually keep the health problem inside of the jail and not have people running around the street creating a public safety issue. They are in jail for a reason.

INGRAHAM: Can you tell us anything about the level of supplies that you have and your officers have at Rikers Island?

HUSAMUDEEN: Currently what we have is not adequate. If we should have an epidemic, if this thing should break out, the supplies that we have won't last. So we have been asking, like so many other unions in the city, we need more masks. We have been asking for masks like this particular mask, which is a mask -- we have the letter N95 that everybody has, but those are only good for a eight hours. This particular mask that we're asking for has a five-year shelf life. It has filters that can be replaced, that can be cleaned, that can be used. So the reality is, what we have is not sufficient. It is not enough. But we had to fight with the city just to end visits to stop the outside from coming in. But Laura, who would think that you can solve a public health problem by putting people back in the streets?

INGRAHAM: Elias, this is happening not just in Rikers Island, though. There is a push to use the coronavirus to not make arrests, basically decriminalize criminal activity because it is just too much and it's too much stress on the system. There is a push to not deport criminal aliens in the United States in some quarters. Activist groups say no, we have to stop all deportations and all of our people should just be focused on the coronavirus.

HUSAMUDEEN: Currently, there is no need to. The inmate population in New York City is lower than it has been in decades. We have approximately about 5,400 inmates in our custody. And we have the ability right now to change the inmate-to-office ratio. We don't have to have one officer for every 50 inmates like we have right now. We have the ability to have 20 inmates for every one officer, 30 inmates for every two officers. So there is no need to release anybody. We don't have turnstile jumpers because they have already done their relief, right. So we don't have turnstile jumpers. We don't have marijuana smokers.

INGRAHAM: Just so people know, I just want to put this on the screen. Rikers is mostly murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and people convicted of grand larceny. So those are the majority of the folks at Rikers Island, don't need to be releasing any of those people anytime soon. Elias, thank you so much for being here tonight. We really appreciate it.

HUSAMUDEEN: Thank you, Laura, appreciate it.

INGRAHAM: Everybody stay right there. We'll be right back.


INGRAHAM: It's worth remembering that during the heat of the China lockdown in Wuhan, when they were locking down that whole area, America was in the middle of the impeachment fiasco. So the president and his White House were all tangled up in dealing with impeachment, and the Congress was tangled up in their impeachment mania. Think about that, just for a moment, get your head wrapped around that. Think about the consequences of having the wrong priorities.

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