Dr. Saphier: We have to rethink the way we take care of ourselves

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 29, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recover. This is really quite important.

What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.


NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, if Dr. Fauci is impressed, apparently, all of Wall Street got impressed.

The latest news now is, the president has a powwow with key industry CEOs on the right of your screen, an enormous run-up at the corner of Wall and Broad on prospects for this Gilead Sciences drug that just might offer some positive developments for those afflicted right now with the coronavirus.

Too early to tell. This much is clear. A lot of folks are very optimistic on what they're hearing.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is YOUR WORLD.

Now, the significance of this cannot be lost on folks here, Dr. Fauci among those saying that some of the early reads we're getting on it is, is that it could be a potential, again, a potential treatment for the virus.

Now, there are other companies competing for the same honors of either getting a vaccine or an outright treatment going, and a lot sooner than many thought was possible.

Let's go to the White House right now, John Roberts, where the president is meeting with key industry CEOs on this and many other developments -- John.


This was a drug that was pretty promising coming over from Europe. And it seems as though that early promise has been realized. I mean, take a look at the fact that, this morning, we got the news that the economy contracted by nearly 5 percent. And then the Dow Jones is up more than 500 points today.

Somebody is feeling good about something. The president continues his conversations with people about how to reopen the country, meeting with a small group of industry leaders.

Among those people that the president is meeting with in the Dining Room right now is Josh Bolten, who is the president and CEO of the Business Roundtable, Walt Ehmer, who's been on television for the last couple of days because Waffle House has reopened its dining room with strict social distancing. Matt Maddox, who's the CEO of Wynn Resorts, is here, Chris Nassetta, the president and CEO of Hilton, and Chris Reynolds, who's the chief administrative officer of manufacturer and corporate resources of Toyota, representing the automobile industry.

Now, some positive news from the scientific community that may aid in that reopening process, promising results, as you pointed out at the top, from a large study of the new antiviral drug remdesivir in treating coronavirus.

In people who are being treated in the hospital remdesivir reduced recovery time to an average 11 days, compared to 15 days. The results were significant enough that Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease led that study, said that they felt the moral obligation to make remdesivir available to the placebo control group.

Here's what Fauci said about the study:


FAUCI: It is a very important proof concept, because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.

We think it's really opening the door to the fact that we now have the capability of treating.


ROBERTS: The president was in the Oval Office there with the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards.

The president enthusiastic about the early results of the remdesivir trials, and that this appears to be the first effective front-line treatment for coronavirus, as governors begin the process of reopening.

Listen here.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a beginning. It means you build on it. I love that as a building block. Just as a building block, I love that.

But, certainly, it's a -- it's a positive. It's a very positive event from that standpoint. And we're going to be very careful as we open.


ROBERTS: Now, part of the president's strategy about reopening, Neil, is that, as people get back to work, obviously, you're going to have brushfires or hot spots to pop up here and there.

You want to have the ability to put those out as quickly as possible. What you really want to have in place is, you want to have a lot of testing to identify the hot spots. And then it would be great to have something to treat those new cases as they come up.

Well, if the results today hold true, remdesivir could be a very powerful part of that strategy -- Neil.

CAVUTO: John Roberts, thank you very, very much. We will be going back to the White House shortly, when we get some tape coming back from there, assuming that they will be talking to reporters here.

In the meantime, at the corner of Wall and Broad, this was enough to just get the attention off that awful first-quarter GDP report. It was expected to be bad. And it was. The second quarter is expected to be a lot worse, and it likely will be.

But, right now, Wall Street is focusing ahead to what they think will be a better third quarter and a lot better fourth quarter. Then there's the issue of the Federal Reserve saying today that they are at the ready to do anything and everything possible, save sending interest rates much lower than they are, because, well, they're about zero percent right now.

Ashley Webster digesting all of this with an update on where we ended the day -- Ashley.

ASHLEY WEBSTER, FOX NEWS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we ended up at very high, Neil.

But I want to get back to the gross domestic product. It was indeed gross, contracting 4.8 percent in the first quarter. But I'm going to try and throw you a bone here. When you consider the fourth quarter of 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, that's when we saw GDP contract 8.4 percent.

So that was much worse. But, that said, one disturbing factor in this latest report in this quarter was that consumer spending, Neil, in the first quarter dropped sharply, 7.6 percent. And that is a sign of really ominous things to come, because consumer spending is close to 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

In fact, if you look at those economic forecasts -- and you said this quarter is expected to be worse -- if you look at some of the projections, they range from minus 20 percent to minus 45 percent. Can you imagine this economy contracting by 45 percent?

And ,by the way, we will get the latest unemployment claims numbers tomorrow, where the jobless rate in April could hit 19 percent. Very hard to predict how the economy and how fast it can rebound, when you get economic data like that.

But the thing that gave the markets cheer today, absolutely no doubt, was what John Roberts was just talking about, the remdesivir, the antiviral medicine that's created by Gilead Sciences. Gilead itself, the stock finishing up today 5.5 percent, but it gave a nice boost to the rest of the market that's focusing on the partial reopening of the U.S. economy and the fact that we may have a treatment through this remdesivir.

We will have to wait and see. Finally, the S&P up more than 13 percent, and on track -- we have the last day tomorrow, but on track for the S&P to have its best month in 45 years.

And all the major indexes, Neil, are closing at their highest levels since early March. So, the economy has a long way to go, but the markets, which are future-looking, seem a lot more bullish. And we should take some cheer from that.

CAVUTO: Indeed, we should.

Ashley, thank you very, very much.

As Ashley was pointing out, things were looking good in the quarter, until really the last couple of weeks of the quarter, of course, when, around the first week of March, the second week of March, everything hit the fan, with the coronavirus and these stoppages.

Keep in mind that the quarter we're in right now represents 95 percent of Americans who have been sheltered. That means 95 percent of our GDP has been sheltered. So it can't help but get a little better as more and more go back to work.

The Dow again up about 532 points on the day.

Now, we told you about remdesivir and, of course, all the attention right now being paid attention to with this drug and whether it gets and deserves the attention it is getting.

Let's get the read right now for Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a pulmonologist in New York City, much, much more.

Doctor, very good to have you back with us.

Dr. Fauci seems to like some of the early indications coming out of this study. I'm just wondering whether you agree and why it's suddenly gone reverse from earlier studies that didn't look as promising.

DR. QANTA AHMED, PULMONOLOGIST: I saw that. And Dr. Fauci certainly looks very excited, doesn't he?

It's very difficult to say, because the actual hard data is not visible to any of us. I want to know who these patients were, how sick they were, where they were, were they were on room air, were they are oxygen?

What I can tell you is, there's a much more important publication today in The Lancet, which is publishing the Chinese data that was partially leaked by the WHO, conducting a study on remdesivir on very specific patients, which didn't show a significant benefit.

My guess is that remdesivir -- remdesivir will emerge to be effective as an antiviral in some patients. I do not believe that it is going to be of use in the critically ill.

Now, we have been allowed to use remdesivir in my ICU on a compassionate basis, which we have used rarely, and we did at the very beginning of the pandemic. And we didn't see an improvement in outcome in almost every patient we used.

In the Chinese data that's leaked -- and I would like to see this in the study Dr. Fauci was speaking about that is much bigger and is probably statistically powered -- patients were also allowed to receive at the same time steroids, at the same time interferon, and at the same time another antiviral drug.

So, I would like to know the details to see how they can specify the benefits to the Gilead Sciences drug.

I'm kind of taken aback that Dr. Fauci has made such an emphatic statement so early. We have to remember, all of us are desperate for a solution. And we have to remember Dr. Fauci was at the cutting front of the AIDS pandemic. And he's quite right to make the analogy to AZT.

CAVUTO: Right.

AHMED: So, some of that is very well-phrased by Dr. Fauci. But we need more information.

And I am not buying Gilead Sciences, the stock today.

CAVUTO: So, Doctor, if you can help me with this, as you often do, it doesn't even have to be a cure, as much as it can be in addressing HIV in the 1980s.

I don't believe we have actually had a cure for AIDS, per se, but enough treatment and improvements of treatment that you don't die from it.

So, I -- is that the distinction here, that this might not be the magic bullet, but it could stave off the progression of the virus? Or explain it to me.

AHMED: No, I would say -- I'm not an AIDS expert, but I would say that we have been able to conquer AIDS, such that people can live with HIV infection.

They are prevented from developing AIDS because the antiretrovirals are so powerful, and we can eliminate the viral burden in their bloodstream. It is very true to say that Gilead Sciences has created remdesivir, which is a broad-spectrum antiviral. And it eliminates the virus and prevents viral replication in mouse models. That's very clearly seen.

It probably reduces viral burden in some coronavirus patients, which is why there may be a treatment benefit seen early in the study Dr. Fauci referred to.

But it's not just the viral load that's making people sick. It's their immune response and the immune storm that's triggered. That's why an antiretroviral is -- alone is never going to be enough for a hospitalized patient.

But it may be very effective for people that are walking around with minor symptoms.

The other thing I want to say is, coronavirus in most patients, we already know today, gets better almost with no symptoms or with very mild symptoms. So, we really need targeted therapy to help people that are sickened by it -- that's very important -- and targeted therapy to make people that are well less contagious.

So, there's more to this than meets the eye.

CAVUTO: Understood, Doctor. Thank you very, very much for that.

As the doctor I were speaking here, I want to alert you on some key earnings reports that the market was looking at, another reason for them to be optimistic, because Microsoft stock is up after-hours another 2 percent. We're also seeing Facebook shares surge 6 percent, better-than-expected numbers out of both companies, in Microsoft's case, a surprising 15 percent spurt in revenues.

That's a sign that two American behemoths are doing just fine, thank you.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, just want to let you know, we have passed the 60,000 death count in the United States right now, specifically, 60,207 deaths in the U.S. due to coronavirus, with better than one million cases in this country.

That was largely expected. Again, when you hit these sort of seminal numbers, 60,000, one million, people obviously remember that.

But our testing is dramatically going up. And these are said to be very encouraging signs. And that is the cue that a lot of governors are taking as they slowly, but surely reopen their states, albeit on a staggered basis.

That's certainly the case they're taking right now in the state of Arkansas.

That state's Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, with us right now out of Little Rock.

Governor, very good to have you.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): Neil, it's great to be with you.

And it was good to hear your show and some of the good news that you're reporting. So, I hope that continues.

CAVUTO: Now, you can update me, Governor.

I know you are eventually planning restaurants, eventually theaters down the road. You did push a couple of them back a little bit. Could you update me?

HUTCHINSON: That's right.

And just to refresh you, of course, we were not a shelter-in-place state.

CAVUTO: Right.

HUTCHINSON: A lot of our retail businesses stayed open.

And so we were trying to control it, and I think we successfully did, without closing everything down. But now that we have passed our peak, it looks like we're on the way down, we're looking at the restaurants that we did close. We opened those up today for May 11 for in-service dining.

Now, that's different from May 4. We targeted May 4 as a day that we would lift some of these restrictions. We postponed that a little bit longer to give us a little bit more data, but also to give the restaurants time, because we put in some rather strict requirements on -- on masks and on their cleansing and on their protective equipment that they need, health guidelines.

And we want to give them time to put all that in place to train their employees. And we also created a fund that we hope will be approved that will allow them to get grants to help them cover some of those expenses.

And so we're opening up our in-service dining by one-third capacity on May 11. And then, hopefully, we will move quickly to a larger capacity if we're successful.

CAVUTO: I noticed the original plan had you, I think tomorrow, Governor, opening up gyms and recreational facilities, albeit with some distancing measures in effect, after that, beauty salons and barbershops, and ultimately places of worship, larger venues.

Is that timetable still on?

HUTCHINSON: That timetable that you are referring to are dates that we are going to announce.

So, tomorrow, we're going to talk about gyms and announce when they can open. We're going to talk about places of worship next Monday.


HUTCHINSON: And so we're taking a very measured and careful and phased-in approach to reopening some of these.

Some of these, we will put off further. Some, we will be able to open up quicker.

CAVUTO: All right.

HUTCHINSON: And we're really looking at -- the benefit of phasing them in is that, if we have a flare-up somewhere...

CAVUTO: Got it.

HUTCHINSON: ... we know what might be responsible, and it allows us to turn it back easier.

CAVUTO: Understood.

I hate to interrupt you, Governor -- the president of the United States now with some of those key industry CEOs now at the White House.


TRUMP: And it should have never happened.

This plague should never have happened. It could have been stopped. But people chose not to stop it. And it's a very sad thing for the world, 184 countries, at least.

But it's a great honor to have you with us, friends of mine, who have been truly great business leaders and are great business leaders. And you're opening up your company again, too, if you think about it, right?

You're sort of doing a reopening. But they're great companies, and they will do very well, hopefully better than ever before. And that's what we're seeing. We're seeing tremendous pent-up demand. And it's a beautiful thing to see.

So it's wonderful to have America industry leaders -- and that's what you are, true leaders -- to the White House. You have been here before, all of you. And we have talked about it in different times.

We have built the greatest economy in the history of the world. And nobody even disputes that. And, one day, they walk in, they say, sir, we're going to have to close it up until we get rid of this hidden enemy, this terrible scourge.

And that's what we did. And we did the right thing. We did an incredible job. We worked with the governments. We worked with states all over the country. We had no ventilators or very few from previous administrations. And we became the king of ventilators.

We have thousands and thousands of ventilators. We're now helping other countries with ventilators. We had old-fashioned tests that didn't work. They were really obsolete. They didn't work. They were broken.

And we ended up -- the testing has been incredible now, and to a level that nobody's seen. I got a call from President Moon of South Korea. He said, congratulations. Your testing was just -- nobody's ever seen anything like we're doing.

We have tested more than all countries put together, and millions of tests, and the highest-quality tests. But it's great to be with you.

We're joined by Matt Maddox of Wynn Resorts, Chris Reynolds of Toyota, Chris Nassetta of Hilton, Josh Bolten of the Business Roundtable, Walt Ehmer World of Waffle House.

And thanks to Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Secretary Eugene Scalia. That Scalia has very good genes. Where is Scalia? He has very good genes, that guy, I'll tell you, Scalia. He's got the Scalia genes, right? We all know what that means.

We mourn -- and I have to say this so strongly -- we mourn every life tragically lost to the invisible enemy. And we're heartened that the worst of the pain and suffering is going to be behind us. We think we really have crossed a big boundary and much better days are ahead.

And I often say, I see the light at the end of the tunnel very strongly. This demand is going to be incredible. I think next year is going to be an incredible year for our economy. I think the fourth quarter is going to be really, really good.

Kevin, we were talking about that before. You maybe will say something. And we're going to be in a transition quarter next quarter, the third quarter. And I think we will do very, very nicely there from an economic standpoint.

But, thanks to the devotion of the American people, the number of new cases continues to decline. The United States has now conducted nearly six million tests, far more than any other nation, as I said, so many -- so many tests. And so much has been learned about what we're fighting.

And if it does rear up a little bit in the fall, or even a lot, we will be able to put it out. We will put out the embers and we will put out the flames.

Two weeks ago, we released guidelines to give states a real strong indication of what we want and how we want it done. And we have really had a good relationship with the states. Mike Pence has worked very, very hard with the task force. He's headed the task force so importantly, with a great group of people

And it's been -- it's just been incredible, what's taken place over a very short period of time, including the gowns and all of the surgical equipment and the safety equipment and masks. People don't talk about masks anymore. That's the other thing. They're not talking about...

CAVUTO: We are going to continue monitoring this.

The president is meeting with heads of Waffle House, Wynn Resorts Hilton, Toyota, at least the chief administrator at Toyota. If anything comes out of that, of course, we will pass it along to you.

In the meantime, we're keeping abreast of these other developments about still more stimulus being considered.

You might recall, when we had Mitch McConnell here, the Senate majority leader, yesterday, he was open to more aid for the states, but with a key proviso that a lot of Democrats don't like: limited liability for companies.

In other words, if they were to reopen for business, and workers there were to encounter the coronavirus, that they would like to be shielded, at least in that sense, from any lawsuits or action.

Now, Nancy Pelosi has said that's not going to happen. Such a tort sort of protection for companies wasn't something she had considered when it was coming to aid for states.

Let's get the read on all of this from North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis, kind enough to join us now.

Senator, what do you make of this? It was an olive branch, or at least an offer, that the Senate majority leader made. Democrats seem to have, by and large, rejected it. What do you think?

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Well, I think Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are back to their muscle memory for not really trying to work together, while the president and Leader McConnell and Republicans in the Senate are trying to come up with solutions.

Look, we -- we have got to recognize that a response to some of the changes we need to make in the CARES Act, making sure that we're being responsive to businesses, and continuing to focus on health care.

And I think Pelosi seems to be focused on political games.

CAVUTO: Their argument is, I think, Senator, we heard the Democrats say that, if you give liability protection to a lot of companies, they might not do the things that they have been promising to do, you know, masks for workers, adequate distancing provisions, and they might sort of drop their guard a little bit, knowing that they're almost bulletproof, that no one can sue them.

What do you think of that?

TILLIS: I think that's a paper tiger.

Look, the -- the requirement is to follow the CDC guidelines. If you have a business establishment that flagrantly ignores the guidelines, they're going to be subject to liability.

What Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer need to know is, a lot of businesses, including a lot of businesses in the food supply chain, will shut down if their liability is the sky is the limit.

We have got an entire cottage industries of trial lawyers that are already thinking about strategies that they're going to use. We passed liability protections after 9/11.

If we don't do it here, then they are directly responsible for shutting down businesses that are essential businesses that are critical to the recovery.

CAVUTO: In the meantime, Senator, one other point Mitch McConnell was raising with me is this notion of infrastructure. He does not seem to be keen on it, wants to shut down the talk, even though the president has mentioned it.

I don't know how you feel about that. But he just feels, for the time being, infrastructure not happening. What do you think?

TILLIS: I think he's right.

And I think he's just being practical. Neil, you know -- and you know my background as being -- try to be fiscally conservative. We have passed a $2.7 trillion plus economic stabilization package. We need to fully program that.

I'd love to talk about the infrastructure practice -- or proposal that the president put together in a prior State of the Union address. There are a lot of other things that we need to focus on.

But, today, we need to focus on speeding the economic recovery, fully programming the money that was put into the CARES Act and the supplemental appropriation, and getting people back to work, and keeping them healthy every step of the way.

CAVUTO: Do you worry, though, right now that, because of the cautious, staggered nature of returning people to work -- I'm not quite sure how it's going to progress in North Carolina, sir -- but that it won't be a V-shaped recovery, that it will be a recovery just the same?

The president has more or less acknowledged the quarter we're in is going to be awful. His economic advisers, though, seem to point to a slight improvement in the third quarter, almost off to the races in the fourth quarter, and a great 2021.

Where are you this?

TILLIS: I think that that's likely to happen.

It's one of the reasons why we have to go back into the CARES Act and maybe rethink some of the covered periods for the Paycheck Protection Program. We have got to accelerate the rollout of the Main Street Lending Act. We have got to see how the economic stimulus affects economic activity. All that's going to be tied to reopening of portions of the economy across the country and possibly even in North Carolina.

But I do think that the second quarter is nothing but a recovery quarter. I mean, it's going to be flat. There's no V to this recovery. This is the flat part of it.

I do believe, if we take the right steps, we get businesses back online, that we can see the green shoots in the third quarter, and then I do believe a very clear trajectory for a recovery in the fourth quarter and for 2021.

CAVUTO: Are you open to still more of this Paycheck Protection Program spending?

We're told, Senator, that almost all the funds allotted are more than accounted for, given the over-the-top demand, I guess isn't too surprising. Some of your colleagues have talked about the possibility of maybe a third tranche of this, which could, I guess, conceivably bring for that program alone over a trillion dollars.

How do you feel about that?

TILLIS: I think, when we get back -- we're going back next week to Washington. The Senate will be reconvening.

I think we have to have a discussion about maybe -- first off, I do know, in this second tranche, the supplemental appropriation, it looks like the loan values have gone down, so more businesses will be able to get it.

I believe that some people that got the first tranche are now, when they're looking at the attestations, whether or not they fully comply with the requirements of the program, I think we will see some inflow, some people deciding to opt out of the paycheck protection plan.

They may go down another path, either with a private lender or with other SBA loan programs. And we need to net all that out. And that's exactly what we're going to do next week.

But then -- then you get into covered businesses. You get into the time period. The eight-week time period doesn't really work for certain industries, like restaurants and hotels, because where -- they're going to lag the recovery. They could get the loan possibly now, but not really put it into operation for some period of time down the road, depending upon where their particular geography starts recovering business activity.

These are the sorts of things that we need to be talking about next week, and putting together proposals. And I do believe that that proposal has to have liability protections in it.

CAVUTO: All right, we will watch it closely.

Senator Tillis, good health to you and your constituents, your family.

Thank you very, very much, Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

TILLIS: Thank you, Neil. Stay healthy.

CAVUTO: By the way, the senator did refer to -- you too, my friend -- that the Senate is going to return to Washington next week. The House of Representatives will not.

More after this.


CAVUTO: The president still meeting with business leaders at the White House.

An interesting development from the vice president, saying that we're already up to one million tests a day -- a week, I should say -- and we will soon be up to two million, and optimism that the tests will accelerate from there -- after this.


CAVUTO: I'm reading Dr. Nicole Saphier's book "Make America Healthy Again," as I'm eating a pizza.

I'm so glad that the doctor wasn't here to witness that, because she rails against this sort of behavior. I'm actually ground zero, the type of person she's addressing, when she talks, Americans are notoriously unhealthy. We eat too much. We drink too much. And we sit too much.

I was doing all three as I was wrapping up her book.

Dr. Saphier, very good to have you. Normally, we're talking about what's going on right now and all this. But, actually, a lot of the stuff you address in your book kind of gets back to what we're dealing with the virus, that a lot of the people most vulnerable are the obese or those who have health issues that are sometimes beyond their control.

But you're saying we have got to rethink the way we take care of ourselves. What did you mean by that?


And, by the way, I happen to love pizza, and I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine every now and then. But my bottom line is, everything in moderation. I'm far from a wellness expert, and my book is not a self-help book whatsoever, as you probably know.

But the bottom line is, we have people on the left and right and everywhere in between clamoring for what should be the next health policy. And the crux of the issue is, nothing is going to work as long as our system is continuously overrun by chronic illness.

We already spend over a trillion dollars a year in direct health care costs for chronic disease. And the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, any -- all of that, about 80 percent of that could potentially be prevented through lifestyle changes.

So, unless we actually focus on the demand side of the equation, no health care policy in the world is actually going to work.

CAVUTO: Yes, and no amount of money.

You have a lot of interesting statistics that you present in a very readable way that I think, back in 1960, we were spending about 5 percent of our GDP on health care-related matters. And now it's closing in on 18 percent. What happened?

SAPHIER: Well, it's multiple variables that went into that. You had intrusion from the government. You also had the growing of the Goliath health insurance companies.

But the bottom line is, we have amazing technology, amazing innovation. All of a sudden, we're curing childhood leukemias, and, yes, those cures are expensive, but it's because it takes a lot of money and time to actually develop such technology and innovation.

And so wouldn't it be great if we could just focus our resources on them to make sure that everyone that needs it has access to it, instead of having an overutilized system with illnesses that could potentially have been prevented?

Because, unfortunately, we're spending more money on illnesses that maybe we could have prevented if people actually just started changing some of their lifestyle behaviors.

CAVUTO: I'm just wondering where -- this kind of fits into the current coronavirus debate.

And, obviously, there's been a great deal of attention to this Gilead Sciences drug that might, might offer some hope for people. But we tend to cling to this kind of stuff to get us through something, when it might be a ways off.

What do you think about that?

SAPHIER: Well, here's the thing.

COVID-19 has rendered as vulnerable in two ways. We have a chronic illness problem. Over 60 percent of adult Americans have at least one preexisting condition, whether they're overweight, whether they have high blood pressure. You name it, they have it.

And with COVID-19, over 94 percent of the people who died in New York had at least one preexisting condition. So not only does it make our immune systems weaker, and not able to fight off the virus, but, look, we had to make a makeshift hospital in Central Park.

We had hospital beds. We had to bring in Navy ships, because our hospital system was already overrun with medical illness.


SAPHIER: So if we could actually focus on the illness that could have potentially been preventable, then we would have been much more prepared for COVID-19.

And, yes, the remdesivir trial is excellent, optimistic news right now. It's not the end-all/be-all. I still err with caution. I don't actually know what the outcome benefit of it will be. But, yes, it is shown that it is potentially going to shorten the length of someone being ill and maybe decrease the viral load.

I mean, that's great things. These are -- these are things that we saw with HIV, which now as I talk about in my book, if you would have thought a couple decades ago that we would be now where we are with HIV, I mean, I would have never believed it.

So the bottom line is, our -- we are so great at research. Our scientists are top-notch, but we need those resources, or, otherwise, the prices of everything are going to continue to go up.

So we, as Americans, as individuals, actually have some control, and by living healthier lives individually, collectively, as a nation, we will actually lower the cost of care and increase access to health care for everyone.

CAVUTO: In the meantime, do you think we will have a spike in cases as people slowly return to work? Do we have to adjust to that reality? How do you see it?

SAPHIER: Well, I do think that you're going to see some spikes in certain areas of the country. I think it's going to be very different.

It's going to depend on how they're going to go about reopening. I think that we do need some instruction. Take the meat processing plants, for example. President Trump, using the Defense Protection Act, is saying that we need to keep them open because they're critical to the infrastructure during this national emergency.

But the bottom line is, they may not know how to open up. They may need some more direction on what to do, maybe to be wearing PPE. Maybe they need a negative test before going in. They need some sort of implementation of social distancing.

So, with those sort of guidelines, it's really about education. And that's what my book talks about a lot. If you provide people with facts, facts over fear is how you're going to get anyone through anything.

And if people really understand how this virus can move, and what they can do to protect themselves and their family, their employees, and they institute those certain measures, I think we will decrease the amount of spikes that we see.

CAVUTO: All right, I just have a problem with eat everything in moderation, Doctor. If you guys could come up with a new strategy on that, I think you would be onto something.

But it really is a very good book. It's very good. Makes you think, "Make America Healthy Again."

But still, Doctor, I'm relieved that this is a remote interview, and I don't have to hold my stomach in the entire time.


CAVUTO: I highly recommend this book. It's very commonsense, and she spells it out for it, because these are alarming statistics that have just ballooned over just the last few decades.

We have a lot more. We're monitoring the president now meeting with these big-time CEOs and heads of industry, also planning to get a read here on the slow return of Americans to work.

Stay with us. You're watching "Your World."


CAVUTO: You might have caught that little dig by North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, who was telling me the Senate is returning to Washington next week. The House is not, an abundance of caution, Nancy Pelosi saying, to protect workers there, as well as the congress men and women involved.

They will return at a later date. I don't believe they have given a firm date on that.

But Mike Emanuel knows this stuff far better than I.

Mike, it is interesting here that, if something has to be done next week, either on follow-up stimulus or the like, it's going to be hard when only one body is in there, right?


And you have got both parties really talking past one another at this point, disagreement about whether they should be in session or not. You had Steny Hoyer, the majority leader in the House, who's from Maryland, a hard- hit area, saying, you know what, after further review, we're going to hold off.

I'm told a number of chiefs of staff of House offices reached out to Hoyer's lawyers office and said, we don't think we're ready to go back in. We don't think it's safe. There are a lot of concerns about that.

Then you have got Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, who says, it is time to get back to work. McConnell clearly of the opinion that the American people are going through this pandemic right now. They want to see their elected leaders working on the issues of the day, and so the Senate will be back.

There are a lot of questions about how logistically, of course, it will all work, when you have got 100 members of the United States Senate, their staff and, other auxiliary people around Capitol Hill. Some questions about how much they will be on the floor, how they may stagger appearances on the floor.

There's also talk that the senators go in and have lunch together, so do they move them around and space them out into larger spaces, essentially? So, still a lot to be worked out.

But, bottom line, some lawmakers are asking McConnell, what assurances do we have that it'll be safe to come back to work? But we do expect to see the Senate here next week, the House, TBD. And we will see how it all works out -- Neil.

CAVUTO: His idea would be -- that is, Mitch McConnell -- to offer liability protection in exchange for still more stimulus or aid to the states.

How is that going down?

EMANUEL: Well, we have seen that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, did a briefing with reporters a short time ago. She said that they wouldn't be inclined to support such legislation.

You have got people like Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who say, look, there are a lot of people on the front lines of this fight who are doing everything possible to save lives. They shouldn't be dealing with what he calls ambulance chasers, people who are looking to sue, sue, sue.

And so he's offered something that McConnell clearly finds appealing. The House of Representatives and the Senate Democratic leadership is not so keen on it. So it's not entirely clear that will go anywhere, but McConnell negotiating on your show, clearly hoping to get something about these kind of legal protections worked into the next legislation that goes through both the House and the Senate -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Thank you, Mike, very, very much. Great job, as always, my friend, Mike Emanuel, in Washington.

And, by the way, we're also keeping an eye on what companies are announcing after the bell, Microsoft and Facebook both out with earnings and revenues that beat expectations here.

What's interesting in both cases is, their revenues are still going well in this coronavirus environment. And, in Facebook's case, their advertising revenues are going well. That just seems like it doesn't make sense.

But, for them, it's making a lot of dollars and cents -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, that meeting still going on at the White House right now, the president meeting with industry leaders and a couple of members of his health care task force. The vice president is there.

One of the interesting developments out of this is, the president's obviously optimistic that some of these promising developments have been things we have been waiting for, not just what we hear out of Gilead Sciences and whether it has a drug that might be able to deal with the coronavirus, but that the arc is improving and the testing is improving.

The vice president saying up to one million tests right now manageable every week. Could soon be up to two million tests, and up we go.

We need to see a lot more of that. But all of this combined today to just provide some hope to the financial markets, up smartly. And to sort of grease that, after the bell, we heard from Microsoft and Facebook. They'd already warned that things would be tough, but they weren't apparently as tough as we thought they would be and even the companies hinted they would be.

Both stocks are up after-hours. But Facebook is interesting, in and of itself, because it's advertising revenue surprised on the upside.

Heather Zumarraga follows developments like, the Vision 4 Fund Distributors vice president much more, an uncanny read of the markets.

Heather, you're hearing all of this, and you got to think that maybe our worst-case scenario for stocks was overstated. I mean, we have climbed steadily from those 18000 lows on the Dow of a few weeks ago to now north of 24000. But what do you make of this?

HEATHER ZUMARRAGA, FINANCIAL ANALYST: Well, we're now 15 percent from the highs.

And as you rightfully pointed out, after the bell today, getting earnings from big-tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook, showing promising -- promising results, saying that if you are fortunate to have kept your job and be working from home right now, you are using technology.

Facebook having 1.73 billion active engaged users. You may be one of them, Neil. And they're also -- they have increased their revenue, despite their ad revenue coming from small and medium-sized businesses, like the retail giants and restaurants that have not been doing well.

They're still giving Facebook those ad dollars right now.

CAVUTO: As we look back at, if we can, Sam, take a peek at what's happening at the White House right now, this meeting, these constant updates and gatherings with the CEOs and sectors of the economy, the casino industry, the drug industry, the oil guys, this is a pattern for this president, where he wants to hear from them all.

I'm just wondering what they tell him. I mean, are they telegraphing this is going to be a slow recovery? Some of them are victims of the states they're in. And so it depends on what the governor is doing in that state to let their people go back to work.

But how do you read all this?

ZUMARRAGA: Of course.

Just like all politics is local, the coronavirus is local, so, on a local level, different CEOs and different industries. Of course, the big tech titans, like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and even Amazon, are faring this storm, this pandemic, pretty well right now.

So I think that President Trump and the administration are right to think we might have V-shaped recovery. Whether we do or not, I think it's best to have an optimistic tone in these extremely dire consequences economically that we have seen.

CAVUTO: As you're speaking, it's Labor Secretary Scalia who is speaking right now.

And he has already telegraphed, when I spoke to him, I believe last week, that these jobless claims will continue rocketing along. Tomorrow, we get the latest out. We could be closing in, when all is said and done, to 30 million Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits over just the last six months.

What do you envision in terms of the unemployment rate? I have heard figures go as high as 14 percent, 15 percent. We could take a run at the old Depression high of 24.9 percent. It's whatever sticks on the wall, I guess. But where are you on that?

ZUMARRAGA: Well, if you look at estimates across the board, 20 percent seems pretty conservative estimate. We're at 26 million Americans unemployed right now.

As you noted, that equates to about 16 percent unemployment rate. So that is just heartbreaking. That's devastating. But I think phase two of the Paycheck Protection Program is -- if you weren't getting a loan around -- in the first round, or phase one, you are hopefully getting approved for that loan now.

People like the L.A. Lakers, Harvard, Potbelly's, Ruth's Chris, who don't really -- some would argue, do not need that money, are giving that money back. Hopefully, it's getting into the right hands. And the program is being effectively used at this time by those that mean -- need it most to keep Americans employed over the next two to three months, let's say, until we get our treatment and a vaccine, which we will hear more about, Gilead's remdesivir, in a few minutes.

CAVUTO: Yes, that could be a game-changer for everything.

Thank you very much, Heather Zumarraga.

ZUMARRAGA: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: And to indicate more of what we're saying, Tesla is out after the bell with its first profit here. No one was expecting that, the stock also jumping after-hours, along with the likes of Facebook and Microsoft.

So, while, by and large, the market environment looking at the economy might surprise you, because they seem to be going two separate ways, these are some of the stalwarts of the equity America, if you will, who are saying, yes, things are tough, but they could be a hell of a lot tougher.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: All right, more states are indicating this capacity, what they are going to require as they slowly open up restaurants and theaters, that sort of thing.

In Tennessee, it is going to be 50 percent capacity, in Wisconsin, about 25 to 50 percent, depending on the establishment. Ditto Ohio and Alabama, as they all plan on getting back in business, but slowly, tentatively.

That will do it.

Here is "THE FIVE."

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