Dr. Anthony Fauci says it will be weeks before we see effect of efforts to combat coronavirus

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," March 17, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: I'm Laura Ingraham, this is "The Ingraham Angle" from Washington tonight, coming up my Angle is going to reveal what we still don't know about the coronavirus. Why are there so many unanswered questions at this point? Dr. Anthony Fauci is here from the White House coronavirus task force with some answers.

And you have heard the left's claim that Trump got rid of the pandemic response office, I'm sure you've heard that. Well, tonight we have someone who led that very office and he says the left as usual is lying.

Plus the Trump administration has a third stimulus package in the works, where the heck is all those money coming from? Congressman Devin Nunes and Lee Zeldin are here to talk about it. Also we may be facing an imminent nightmare scenario at the border a lot of people aren't talking about this because of this outbreak.

We are going to explain how things are unfolding there tonight and how it could be happening there in a really bad way in the coming weeks? And don't forget that there are 2020 primaries, I just mentioned as to Sean, three states have primaries, polls that closing just moments ago in Arizona, we are going to bring you all the race calls as they come in.

But first, the Coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. and across the globe. For the latest on this outbreak, let's go to the Fox News West Coast Correspondent Jeff Paul who is live tonight in L.A. Jeff?

JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Laura it's now confirmed, all 50 states in the U.S. have cases of the Coronavirus. Up until now, West Virginia was the lone state without a case. Officials there saying it was only a matter of time. And with that we're hearing the Governor of Nevada has ordered all nonessential businesses statewide to close for a month.

All casinos and gaming operations will shut down effective at midnight. If so many businesses closing, President Trump is now trying to slow the impact of the Coronavirus. The Trump Administration is expected to put forward a nearly $850 billion emergency economic stimulus proposal.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: If we do this right, our country and the world frankly but our can be rolling again pretty quickly. One day we will be standing possibly our peer will say well, we won.


PAUL: Meanwhile in New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio urged New Yorkers to prepare for the possibility of a shelter in place order, this could happen within days. Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed back on the idea stating that it would need state approval. Mayor Bill De Blasio wants city and state officials to make a decision in the next 48 hours.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-NYC: In terms of the economic dislocation, I think it's fair to say we are going to quickly surpass anything we saw in the great recession and the only measure the only comparison will be the great depression.


PAUL: In Chicago, the air traffic control towers at midway airport have temporarily been closed down after three technicians tested positive for the Coronavirus. The airport though is open and operations will continue though at a reduced rate. Laura?

INGRAHAM: Jeff thanks so much for that tonight. What we still don't know, that's the focus of tonight's Angle. Beyond the massive health implications, the Wuhan pandemic has upended our lives it has thrown our economy into a complete tailspin. Let's face it.

What's worth quickly reviewing what we know and what we still don't know about the current outbreak? Now for starters, we know that COVID-19 is the latest Coronavirus to infect and kill people across the globe.

We know what happened with other Coronavirus outbreaks. In November 2002, SARS - or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was discovered in Southern China. It affected more than 8,000 people worldwide and had a death rate of 10 percent. No one died in the U.S. and it was largely over by July of 2003.

The first case of MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome occurred in Jordan in April 2012. First thought it was from Saudi Arabia then whistling back to Jordan. It spread believed it or not through contact with camels and close person-to-person interaction such as caring for an infected person.

Now more than 2400 were affected globally with over 850 deaths, only two cases were ever found here. Both in health care providers who had traveled to Saudi Arabia. The case fatality rate was approximately 35 percent.

Well, then of course there is the newest viral beast COVID-19. So far, these are the stats the virus is in more than 150 countries and territories with nearly 200,000 infected, nearly an 8,000 deaths.

In the U.S., we are just now ramping up testing thank goodness and so far we have nearly 6300 infections and 105 deaths. We know that most of the victims are elderly or otherwise infirm individuals.

But there are many important questions about this virus that remain and the answers are going to tell us whether the mediation actions we have taken you know all the sheltering in place, what we're doing now were right or wrong? Too much or too little.

Number one, the true mortality rate as "The Guardian" reported today "We don't yet know how dangerous the new Coronavirus is and we won't know until more data comes in. Estimates range from below 1 percent to over 14 percent among seniors or the medically compromised".

Now here in the U.S. it seems that the more we test, the lower the mortality rate that makes everyone feel a little better doesn't it? Well, that graph tells the story.

Number two, contagiousness. People are terrified they're going to get the disease by just walking by someone on the street or in the grocery store, going out to get milk and by sitting next to someone in the doctor's office for just 5 minutes.

But Dr. Richard Martin Melo and Infectious Disease Specialist at Yale New Haven said there's still so much to learn about how this pathogen is transmitted between individuals. Data is needed not only to better understand when those become ill shed the virus but also which body fluids contain the virus and how those may contaminate surfaces and even the air surrounding them?

There was also an important study conducted by Stanford Researcher on the confirmed instance of the virus spreading person-to-person in the U.S. It was a woman in her 60s who returned to the U.S. from China in mid-January of her 372 trace contacts, a study published in the Lancet found that they have only detected transmission of the specific name of the disease, that is the Coronavirus we are talking about in a single household contact with frequent prolonged interactions with the indexed patient.

That's interesting out of 372 contacts only one person who basically lived with her, her husband got it. Number three, why some people get sick and some don't. We don't know why some of those have infected experience only mild cold like symptoms that resolve on their own, while a significant minority of those infected may have serious symptoms that lead to pneumonia and even death. Now one theory is that the severity of symptoms is linked to the strength of a person's general immune system but that's just one possible explanation.

Number four. Patient zero? We still don't know who the first patient was who contracted the virus in China. Now that's a key fact that a lot of researchers say is essential to the analysis of this disease.

Now we first heard that it was like late December, then it was December 1st and now reports to it all the way back to November 17th. This means that the Coronavirus started spreading for weeks before the first cases were officially reported by China and that brings me to the question number five, trusting the Chinese.

As soon as word got out about this new potentially deadly virus, the CCP began to crack down on journalists for doing their job. For example "The New York Times" reported in January that when a group of Hong Kong journalists went to the Wuhan hospital that took in most Coronavirus patients, the police detained them for a few hours.

They were then asked to delete their TV footage and hand in their phones and cameras for inspection. Today, China announced that it was expelling American journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

They cited ideological bias against China, fake news made in the name of press freedom and breaches of ethics in journalism. China's motivation here folks is obvious, it further allows them to deprive us and of their own people of real information, accurate information on what the heck is going on and what happened originally with this Coronavirus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I regret China's decision today to further foreclose the world's ability to conduct prepress operations which would be really good for the Chinese people. In these incredibly challenging global times, were more information, more transparency are what will save lives.


INGRAHAM: And speaking of saving lives, we still don't know what the fate is of the two citizen journalists who disappeared last month after questioning the government's response to the virus, they are just gone.

Question number six, China's relationship with the WHO Remember China is Co-Founder of the World Health Organization and it provides an enormous amount of funding to it, they are now the second largest donor after United States.

But somehow they seem to be pulling all the strings. CNN is reporting the WHO's praise of China's response have led critics to question a relationship between the two entities. Perhaps one of the most overt examples of China's sway over the WHO is its success in blocking Taiwan's access to that body, a position that could have very real consequences for the Taiwanese people if the virus takes hold there.

So when you hear of officials here or journalists even, commentators lauding the Chinese containment of the virus, take that all with a very large grain of salt. Remember, while we are wise to heed expert advice from trusted U.S. sources during this time we should also remember that there is a lot we do not know and a lot of information coming from China that we can't frankly trust. That's the ANGLE.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH: As you are trying to implement your interference with the virus, you may not realize that you're actually interfering and let me say wait a minute it's still going up, what's going on?

You've done nothing but you don't know whether it would do this versus that. It probably would be several weeks and may be longer before we know whether we are having an effect.


INGRAHAM: Joining me now is the point man for the U.S. government's effort to fight the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci he is also Director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. All right, Dr. Fauci, it's great to see you, you are working around the clock.

First of all we just want to thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of the American people, I know it's an anxious nation and it's a worried nation. But when they heard you mention several weeks before we know whether this social distancing we are all in our houses and businesses are closing does that mean we're going to be behind closed doors for several weeks? Is that what you are saying there?

FAUCI: No, I didn't mean that at all Laura. When I was saying the question here, the person who questioned me wanted to know when we would have an absolute idea of what the effect would be. And I can tell you, I mean just projecting about what we know, what containment of mitigation does, we almost certainly are having an effect right now as we speak.

The degree of the effect and how it's going to impact on that curve will likely take several weeks. That doesn't mean we need to be in the situation we are right now but as we said we put these mitigation strategies in for a 15 day. We'll likely extend it beyond that but we really do re-evaluate it on a day by day basis.

INGRAHAM: Yes, I mean parents across the country obviously dealing with children at home and some of them out of work it's hard to see after a few days how after fifteen days people are going to be able to hold it together but maybe everyone is just spoiled.

Dr. Fauci, another point about how contagious this virus is, in looking at some of the patient zero studies and specifically one done by Lancet which I just highlighted in Angle. It says that actually the patient zero in the state of Illinois only infected one person out of the 372 people she came into contact with which kind of begs the question, if that's the case, are people really getting the right information about how close you have to stand someone?

Or if you walk by someone on the street that is infected, should you be worried about getting it? Because it seems like in some of the studies that I've read to, it really is close continuous contact.

FAUCI: Well, yes. I mean, obviously Laura there is low, medium, and high risk. If you have an individual that you are actually in physical contact with who was actively ill, coughing, you are at a high risk. If you're at an individual who you have just casual contact with who is sick, that might be a medium risk. If someone is asymptomatic but infected and you walk into a room or you just talk to them for a few minutes, that's a very low risk.

So we have to be careful we don't just bundle them all in one, there are relative risks depending upon the exposure. And I think it could be a little bit misleading to say one person had contact with these many individuals and he only infected one.

You know that same person who would be in a room in close contact if he was symptomatic, could infect two or three and that's where you get that number that people have been talking about. So we have to be careful we don't get misled to be too complacent, nor misled to feel that there is a higher risk than there is.

INGRAHAM: And Dr. Fauci another question, viewers keep emailing into me is, if we know that the elderly and immune-suppressed are the most vulnerable to the higher mortality rates especially, then why lock down healthy people and young people? They all want to go out tonight same patties there they're obviously most of them are not thankfully.

But why not socially distance the most at risk population instead of what we are doing now? I didn't have a good answer to it when I keep getting asked that.

FAUCI: Well, you know it's an obvious good question. So, first of all as we said in the guidelines yesterday, it's important if you are a person that you just described, that person should essentially hunker down and self isolate. The problem with saying everybody else can go and do whatever they want to do is they get infected it becomes inevitable that they will be at a risk.

They will risk the individuals who are vulnerable because first of all it's almost impossible to have complete lack of any contact with an individual but also you've got to be careful. Just because the vast majority of individuals who are young and healthy don't get seriously ill, some do.

So I think as I kind of pleaded at the press conference today, we depend on the young people to both protect themselves but also to assume the responsibility of protecting the vulnerable ones. It's a two part component, it isn't just sequester and isolate to those who are at risk, it's to get the rest of the population to kind of shield them by not getting infected themselves and inadvertently affecting those individuals.

INGRAHAM: But don't you think like the flu as these moves forward in our population - I mean eventually most of us are going to be infected with this virus, correct?

FAUCI: No that is not the case at all--

INGRAHAM: It isn't, okay. We have to correct that because I have read that in so many reputable places that eventually like the flu, we will all get it in some way and it will change over time. Just like other types of Coronavirus either ended or changed over time but flu everyone gets.

FAUCI: That's not the case, this is a brand-new virus. We don't know how it's going to act Laura. It might, it hit us and then essentially could disappear the way SARS did. It is so infectious that I doubt it's going to be a one off. It's likely it may cycle but we can't say that now. Sooner or later, everyone's going to get infected that is not a true statement.

INGRAHAM: So what it potentially cycle back in the fall and then we would have to go into another period of small businesses going out of business, people going into lockdown? I mean, it's hard to see that our country can keep going through this and basically you know taking a third of the value of the U.S. economy every time China is sloppy with the handling of a virus.

FAUCI: Well, there are two things about that, I don't think that we are going to have to go through the same thing as we are going through now, several things will be different. A certain segment of the population will have been infected so you get some degree of background immunity, probably not enough to protect the whole population by any means.

By that time, we will have already completed some of the trials on a variety of therapies. We don't know if they work now. Some of them might, if they do we'll make them available. Remember I said the vaccine would be available within the year to a year and a half; we're right now in the first phase one trial.

Hopefully we'll get enough information to be able to have that available. So a lot of things can change, and be available next season that we didn't have for us right now.

INGRAHAM: Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine rest of the year I mean all of these different anti-viral have been shown fairly promising in some of the early trials, some of them in end trials are those the type of anti-viral for the treatment not the vaccine that you all are looking at?

FAUCI: 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. There's a lot of buzz out there on the internet on the social media about that.

INGRAHAM: Oh, there have been studies--

FAUCI: Well, you know those studies some of them were not controlled. But what we're going to do Secretary Azar, the Secretary of HHS has asked me at NIH, Bob Red Field at CDC, Steve Hahn at FDA to take a look at all that data, analyze it and make some decision what the best way forward. More clinical trials, now we'll see, but we're going to look at that data very seriously.

INGRAHAM: Dr. Fauci, thank you so much for joining us tonight, we really appreciate it. Parents and workers and people who are worried about their family really want all the information they can get, thanks so much.

FAUCI: Good to be with you Laura.

INGRAHAM: And for weeks, the left has tried to undermine President Trump by spreading fear and panic about his handling of the Coronavirus. Well that includes this talking point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The National Security Council used to have a global health team specifically to deal with pandemics like this. President Trump shut it down years ago.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN, D-OHIO: He got rid of the White House's entire global health security team two years ago.

JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For some reason I still remember President Trump eliminated that at all, eliminate that office two years ago.


INGRAHAM: Everything you just heard was a lie. And here's the proof. In this op-ed by Former NSC Official Tim Morrison, he says no the White House didn't dissolve its pandemic response office. I was there because I let the very directorate assigned to that mission.

For a year and then I handed off to another official who still holds the post. I know the charge is specious. Tim Morrison who is now a senior fellow at the Great Hudson Institute joins us now, Tim it's great to see you tonight. Do we know from whom this false claim initially originated? Was it your predecessor?

TIM MORRISON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBER: No I can't say exactly where it originated from but I think it's an unfortunate claim that distracts us from where we need to be paying attention.

INGRAHAM: Well, what do the American people need to know about this Tim, given the fact that they have heard other lies told about the Trump Administration and it's response and they get repeated and repeated. What do we have to know about the office as it exists now because we do know the NSC has been drastically cut in the number of staffers which I think is really smart frankly from the Obama, the Bush, to the Obama, to now?

MORRISON: Well, I think the thing that the American people need to know is that there are some of the leading disease specialists, some of the leading bio-workers specialists in the country if not the world, at their desks, they were there yesterday they probably there tonight watching us and they are going to be there tomorrow.

And they should know that they have the very best talent available to get ahead of this crisis that anyone anywhere in the world has. And you just had one of the leading experts on your show immediately before me. The best people are working on this. If anybody can get a hold of this, the United States can.

INGRAHAM: And Tim the amazing thing is that they are actually also saying that Tony Fauci doesn't really have any power. I've read that before - he has no power and Trump doesn't listen to him which Fauci himself has just said that's ridiculous, we are in constant communication, the entire team with the President, obviously the Vice President running it. But that is just another example of how they are trying to smear this effort.

I also want to share something with you Tim, this was the Former Obama Administration Official I think who started this all. She claimed her position was done away with, watch.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You were a Senior Director for Global Health at the National Security Council under President Obama through President Trump until they eliminated the position.

BETH CAMERON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE GLOBAL SECURITY EXPERT: Well we have gotten more ahead of this the office has still been intact? I think absolutely. During the Obama Administration, during the Ebola crisis in 2014, a day did not go by when the President or the National Security Advisor didn't ask how we are doing on rapid tests. What are we not thinking about? Where are we with personal protective equipment? I think we would've been able to get ahead.


INGRAHAM: Tim, what's your response to that?

MORRISON: Well, in my time at the NSC, we drafted for the President of the National Bio Defense Strategy, we drafted for the President an Executive Order to modernize how we handle annual influenza which kills tens of thousands of Americans every year?

And we have a fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, probably the toughest place on earth we've ever had to deal with an epidemic like that. There was a constant demand signal from the President a constant demand signal from Ambassador Bolton.

And frankly I think we should all be proud of the effort that the United States led to conquer Ebola in the Congo, which we did. This is a different kind of epidemic. When we dealt with Ebola in the Congo, we had a government that cooperated with us. We all know that is not the case with the Communist Party of China.

They are hiding information from us, they are selling this information, we've seen this playbook from them before. They want us to fear each other, and they want us to distrust each other. They want to undermine our faith in our government.

We can get a handle on this virus, listen to Dr. Fauci, listen to Dr. Redfield, listen to the President, the time will come to figure out what we could have done better but I really hope we all stand together and figure out how we can conquer this disease as quickly as possible.

INGRAHAM: And Tim what's amazing is that a lot of the journalists as they see their own colleagues being expelled from China are still so willing to take the Chinese line on this, on how it started? Where it started? Whether or not they were forthcoming? And as far as I can tell, we still don't have individual American researchers in there, on their own able to observe what's happening in China.

MORRISON: That's exactly right, the Chinese even today are using their WeChat which is essentially the Chinese Communist version of WhatsApp, they are using it to deny information from their people to censor information from their people.

This is a monumentally corrupt illegitimate and insecure government. They do everything they can to hide information from us. We saw this in 2003 as you showed it in the opening of your show and we're seeing it today, they are hiding information from us, they're hiding information from their people.

We need to understand what it means to live in a world where the Chinese Communist Party controls our access to basic medicine, controls our telecommunication systems--

INGRAHAM: That's got to end Tim. I mean, they're influence in the WHO, and the W.H.O's they are just hand in glove with whatever China says we're going to bow down. It's ridiculous and the President should call it the Wuhan virus or the Chinese virus or the foreign virus if they're trying to smear our people and our government with having created it and it's accurate just like we called it the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome that was defining it as originating in the Middle East.

Tim, thank you for clarifying this for us tonight. Thank you so much. Great to see you.

MORRISON: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: And coming up, the White House unveiled a massive stimulus package today but what's in it? And will it work? Congressman Devin Nunes and Lee Zeldin will break it all down when we return.


INGRAHAM: Polls closing in a few moments, and just a few moments ago in Arizona, which is one of the three states with Democratic primaries tonight. Voters in Florida and Illinois also cast their ballots today.

For the latest updates let's check in with Shannon Bream, host of "Fox News @ Night." Shannon, tell us.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Laura, good to see you.

OK, so yes, Arizona, Florida, and Illinois all closed. In Arizona where the polls closed at 10:00 p.m. eastern, The Fox News Decision Desk is seeing former Vice President Joe Biden with an early lead against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but we are ready to make a call just yet. But our team on the decision desk can project Biden will beat Sanders in Florida. That is a big prize there, 219 delegates. We are also projecting that Biden will take Illinois, which had 155 delegates up for grabs. Polls in those two states closed a couple hours ago.

So Ohio, you know, had a primary today. They postponed it, so there's not going to be a call there. It's booted into June like some other states are doing as well. But thanks to victories on Super Tuesdays one, two, and now three, Biden enjoys a healthy lead in delegates necessary to win the nomination. Can he be stopped? Laura, back to you.

INGRAHAM: Shannon, thanks so much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been talk about $1,000 checks to every American. Would you support that go into everyone, or would you support some sort of income restriction on who gets a check?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think we are going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible. That may not be an accurate way of doing it, because obviously some people shouldn't be getting checks for $1,000, and we will have a pretty good idea by the end of the day what we are going to be doing.


INGRAHAM: So is sending Americans unrestricted cash really the best way to deal with this crisis? Maybe, maybe not. But it's being considered as part of the White House's proposal for a -- are you sitting down -- $1 trillion stimulus package. And that reportedly may include $250 billion more for direct payments to Americans.

So is this is something Republicans on Capitol Hill can actually support? Joining me now or two GOP congressman, Devin Nunes and Lee Zeldin. Congressman Nunes, let's start with you. That is a gargantuan price tag. And Congressman, I keep thinking about where this problem originated in China, and everyone who I talked to is getting more and more infuriated that our economy is being hobbled, and Americans are being completely upended in their lives because of what China did. But now we have to spend our way out of this, is that where we are?

REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: So this is the issue, right, and I heard you talking to Dr. Fauci. You're asking very important questions about where do we stand with the status and what data do we have of the people in the United States that are getting sick, because in China, we can't trust any of the numbers. We still don't have good data as to who's getting sick, what are the symptoms of the people who are getting sick, and what are the best ways to treat it? And that is the travesty here.

So as we move forward, the question in the macro sense, if we keep people laid off, OK, which we're not right at the beginning of this, and really it's going to depend, Laura, on whether this goes two weeks, a month, or two months. And I think that's how you have to look at it, and then how do you make that people have enough to provide for their families for the basic necessities. And that's what we have to look at.

INGRAHAM: Congressman Zeldin, there's been a lot of back and forth over this deal with the payroll tax. And there are a lot of conservatives pushing payroll tax cuts, and they just decided they aren't going to go to that. The money has to go right to people really fast. What is your take on that?

REP. LEE ZELDIN, R-N.Y., HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: For one, I look at it, when you give someone $1,000 back in a situation like this, you are giving people money that essentially they paid to the federal government. So it's one thing to be engaging in wasteful spending where you're starting to see subsidies and money spent on pork and pet projects. I'm concerned about our nation's debt. I'm concerned about our nation's deficit. I also want to see that all of the Americans from coast-to-coast who are going to be going through tough times not really of their own doing, the coronavirus hitting our country, government engaging in policies that might be closing down restaurants and schools and bars, and people --

INGRAHAM: We know that's all happening. We know that's happening, Congressman, we know that's happening, and it is terrific. But the question is the medicine for the economic collapse, there is concern that the medicine is going to kill the economy, or kill the patient, meaning that's going to do more -- I'm just throwing that out because I think we have to ask these questions now and actually know what is in these bills before they are passed through Congress. And a lot of people I'm talking to on Capitol Hill said they haven't even been able to read the legislation. There is no legislation, obviously, because six people are writing it behind closed doors.

ZELDIN: The devil --

INGRAHAM: The devil is in the details, correct?

ZELDIN: Correct. It's going to be important to see that that product looks like. We all should have the opportunity to read the bill. I'm not expecting that the final product is going to be one that is perfection. I don't know if I can set the standard on that. You and I have been watching this for too long, and Congressman Nunes as well. But we don't want to see wasteful spending, and we can't afford to misfire on this bullet. If you're going to spend $1 trillion, if that's going to be the cost of this bill --

INGRAHAM: That's just the beginning.

ZELDIN: -- and it doesn't work, and it doesn't work, you don't just have like another $1 trillion. You can't keep going back to that.

INGRAHAM: Moreover, Congressman Nunes, every time China plays loosey- goosey with a pathogen, we cannot shut down our economy. We can't allow this to keep happening to the American people. I'm talking to families out in Gaithersburg, Maryland, today. They don't know what they are going to do. And these are good, strong people. But they work in the restaurant business, and they are like this is painful. We're not going to survive this if this goes on for several weeks to June or May. These businesses aren't going to be able to survive.

NUNES: One of the things that I have been harping on the last few days since I have been back here on the ground in California is the hoarding and the lines of the grocery stores. And up until today, we still had a lot of restaurants that were open, and they could have met some of those needs for people that needed food. Now just on my way here to do this show, Laura, most of the restaurants are shuttered in my area. And so this is not a good situation at all, and people are going to be hurt.

And that's why I go back to what I said -- everything really rests on where are we at with the data of the people who are getting sick. Two weeks I think we can handle. But if it starts to go longer than that and we don't have good data and analysis --

INGRAHAM: It's not going to hold.

NUNES: -- of the people that are getting sick and how to treat them, then we are going to have bigger problems.

INGRAHAM: Do either of you think that the country is going to be able to stay behind closed doors until May 15th, as Dr. Emanuel was saying? This could be May 15th or June 1st. This is not going to work. That can't be our answer to this.

NUNES: I'm optimistic. I'm very optimistic. I think there's a good chance we could get through this in the next couple of weeks and for sure by Easter, because we will have a handle on who's getting sick and how to treat them. And that's what I'm really focused on now.

INGRAHAM: Congressman Zeldin, this is --

ZELDIN: And I think as far as --

INGRAHAM: Hold on, hold on. I've I got to get to this, because I mentioned this in my Angle, I've got to get Zeldin in on this. So China, where this whole thing started, is now kicking our journalists out of their country. And when they're not doing that, they are actually saying that we created this virus. Here's what the government said today "In response to the U.S. slashing the staff size of Chinese media in the U.S., which is expulsion in all but name, China demands that journalists of U.S. citizenship working with "The Times," "The Journal," and "The Washington Post" hand back there press cards within ten calendar days. They will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People's Republic of China."

So they are saying you started it, basically, Congressman Zeldin. And my question is, when will the media finally stop parroting Beijing's propaganda after this happens to their own journalists?

ZELDIN: They need to do it right now. This is propaganda. It is a lie. My background is in the military, I still serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. It is offensive to see the Chinese government, this communist party, blaming the United States military for bringing it to China. Obviously, that's not true. Comparing the people who are essentially operatives of the Communist Party in China who serve here in the U.S., some had to leave, to journalists from some of these American media outlets, that's apples and oranges. And you don't see two different value systems. You don't see the United States government removing people from "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal" and these others. The president isn't -- you still have a seat inside the press room for Jim Acosta and some of these other personalities who are there and harassing and aren't honestly reporting in many situations. It's two different value systems.

INGRAHAM: That's not China. I think back to Nunes' comment, you can't trust what China is saying about how this virus is transmitted or the treatment. France and Spain, countries that are doing real research, and U.S. researchers that are doing great research about treatments and antivirals that seem like they are amazing, and I hope they get fast tracked. But trusting China in all this? Every time the president says the great work of China, my head blows off my shoulders.

But we rely on them for antibiotics so we can't offend China. But this whole situation with China has got to be reexamined. And we shouldn't be shuttering in place. China should be shuttering in place tonight, OK. So that's my word. Gentlemen, that's enough of my rant. Thanks so much for coming on. We appreciate it.

And coming up, we are facing a nightmare scenario at our border on top of everything else. And the media, they are just doing their best to ignore it. We break down exactly what needs to happen to stop it. Border Patrol Union head Brandon Judd reacts. You don't want to miss it.


INGRAHAM: While we focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be ignoring a major crisis that's looming on the border. Last year, the Trump administration implemented a policy, we talked about it a lot on THE ANGLE, requiring asylum-seekers to return to Mexico as they awaited trial if they came in in between ports of entry. A pair of injunctions were issued by Obama judicial appointees, and that attempted, and of course it didn't attempt to, it blocked the Trump asylum rule. Those injunctions were upheld by the Ninth Circuit.

Then last week, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the injunctions, meaning asylees will have to stay in Mexico to await their immigration trials. But as the global pandemic spreads, Mexico is going to face its own internal pressures, and cooperation could start breaking down. The president was asked about the situation at the border today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you considering closing the U.S. land borders?

TRUMP: I don't want to say that, but we are discussing things with Canada, and we're discussing things with Mexico. The relationship is outstanding with both, outstand. We just signed our deal, the USMCA, and the relationship is very strong.


INGRAHAM: Let's hope they remain so, but it's not beyond conception that literally thousands will rush into Mexico and then try to get into the United States seeking medical care in the wake of this pandemic, and of course free medical care, because when they come here, they get free care. So Mexico may well have to, finally, and they should do this, seal its southern border. They have to seal it shut to stop the flow of aliens traveling north.

During the Supreme Court arguments last week, the solicitor general argued that if the Trump asylum policy were suddenly stopped, some 25,000 individuals sent to Mexico would rush immediately to the United States, and that is even before factoring in the pandemic. Each day about 1,500 people currently cross the southern border outside of the normal border entry points, and that number is going to skyrocket as this crisis goes on.

Now, the president does have some options here. The National Emergencies Act gives him the ability to declare an emergency at the border. This is separate, by the way, from what is happening now with the other provisions that he's taking for HHS. There are a lot of different emergency powers he can enact, but he can actually order the border better sealed and these policies to be in place to protect the health of Americans and border agents.

So what impact could a prolonged pandemic have on our ability to maintain order and safety at the border? And what should we do next? For answers, we turn to Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council and a current Border Patrol agent who has been working on the front lines for 22 years.

Brandon, I want to remind everybody, OK, that last year, the Trump administration pushed an executive order that would have prevented individuals from coming into the United States and claiming asylum in between regular border entry points. That makes sense, right? We don't want people to be able to walk across, or swim across the Rio Grande, as we saw when we were in Del Rio, and then claim asylum, because that just causes all sorts of problems. And of course, it was enjoined, as I mentioned, by federal judges all appointed by Obama. It was enjoined, meaning, guess what, now we have to fight this in court. How deleterious were those series of injunctions to the effort to get this border under control?

BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: It was horrible, those injunctions, when you look at what we are currently facing, this pandemic that we face, but not just the pandemic. All you have to do is go back to the crisis and smugglers bringing in children for sex trafficking and every other of the illegal acts that they make.

For judges to enjoin the migrant protection protocols, a groundbreaking deal that any of President Trump's predecessors would have loved to have had, cooperation, finally cooperation from Mexico. And to have two judges enjoin that agreement, it was horrendous for the country, it's horrendous for border security, and it's horrendous for the safety of the American people.

INGRAHAM: So in enacting a different part of the National Emergencies Act, and using -- there are all sorts of different aspects of that act -- but using not to shut the border down to that -- and I'm not talking about regular points of entry, because we can still screen people, cargo can come through as long as it's checked in the usual course. But this would be important for the president to be able to do because I foresee this, Brandon, that as time goes on with the crush we are seeing in Mexico right now, this could put the health of our Border Patrol agents in jeopardy and further work toward a collapse of our health care system, especially in California and Texas and Arizona and Florida. That's what we have to prevent.

JUDD: Absolutely, and if you look at Border Patrol agents getting sick with a coronavirus, it's going to spread from there. We have families, we have children that interact in the communities. Our Border Patrol agents --

INGRAHAM: I think we just lost Brandon now. Did we lose him?

JUDD: Hello?

INGRAHAM: Did we lose Brandon. I can't hear him. If Brandon can hear me, you were making great points.

JUDD: Yes. Laura, I can --

INGRAHAM: Let me just say about -- think about this. It is insane, when we are asking Americans to shelter in place that we don't do everything in our power to close irregular points of entry -- that means walking across the border, claiming asylum -- it's insane that we don't use all of our powers to protect our citizens, our hospitals, our health care infrastructure. We don't have enough respirators for American citizens let alone for people coming across the country from other -- border from other countries. Brandon, can you hear me now?

JUDD: Yes, Laura, I've got you.

INGRAHAM: This is why Skype is so much fun. I can't hear him. Brandon, can you hear me?

JUDD: Yes, I can hear you.

INGRAHAM: That's live TV. This is what happens. Brandon, thank you, sorry we didn't get to hear everything you said. But that is food for thought. I want everyone to think about that tonight, what we can do to keep Americans safe and our health care system not any more overburdened than it already is.

And when we come back, we promised we were going to save this other tidbit from Dr. Fauci. He's going to tell us what the biggest, in his mind, what the biggest unknown is still with the coronavirus. Stay there.


INGRAHAM: I told you some of what we don't know about the coronavirus in my ANGLE, but here's what Dr. Anthony Fauci told me is his biggest unknown about it.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES:  I think the biggest unknown right now is the fact that since it is new, we don't know -- and it relates to the question you just asked me, Laura, what is going to happen with it ultimately? We saw it did this and down in China. It's starting to do it now in Korea. We need to get through this by the mitigation and containment recommendations and guidelines that we make. What we don't know is what's going to happen next year. Is it going to disappear or is it going to come back in a milder form, which I think likely would happen if it does come back? But right now, we don't have an answer to that question.


INGRAHAM: Well, I want to say that given all the heartache and the difficulty and health challenges and loss that our country has faced over the last just several days. We need to pray as a country and be strong as a family and American family.

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