Father Sirico: What goes on in churches is less intimate than a tattoo parlor

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto" May 22, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, Trace, thank you very, very much.

We are looking at America now on the road, maybe not in the numbers you would think, given everything that has been happening with sheltering and all that, a lot fewer sheltering right now, and a lot more on the roads.

We're also looking at Seaside Heights in New Jersey, where, well, of course, it's raining, as luck would have it, when people can finally get to the beach.

But they're happy to be back there.

Alex Hogan right down on the West Side Highway on all the traffic that they have to deal with -- Alex.

ALEX HOGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, there's so little traffic expected on these roads that AAA didn't even bother putting out its annual Memorial Day travel forecast.

Compare that to last year, when 43 million Americans took to the streets for the unofficial start to summer. So, even though these roads are more empty, it doesn't mean that they're not dangerous.

According to the National Safety Council, in March, driving decreased by 18 percent, but deaths per mile increased by 14 percent. Cameras across the country are spotting drivers racing and running red lights. Last month, speed cameras caught 40 percent more drivers flying at least 20 miles per hour faster than the limit.

The feds say speeding causes about one-third of deaths on the road.


PAM SHADEL, GOVERNORS HIGHWAY SAFETY ASSOCIATION: We have had reports of speeds anywhere from 117 to 163 miles an hour on stretches of roadway.

So, very reckless, very dangerous behavior.


HOGAN: So far, during the pandemic, New York, California, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas lead the country as the states with the deadliest driving, seeing an increase of more than 20 deaths in March alone.


LORRAINE MARTIN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL: It's really important that we see this as kind of a canary in the coal mine, take this March data and say, we have got to do something different.


HOGAN: The weather forecast in the Northeast isn't as nice as some people have been hoping for, but those venturing outside here in New York City, beaches are open, but still closed for swimming.

And in New Jersey, summer kickoff parties are ago, the governor now announcing that 25 people can meet up outside. That is up from 10 people.

Meantime, police across the country will be out this weekend with extra patrols, more checkpoints, and also using social media campaigns to encourage safe driving -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Alex Hogan, thank you very, very much.

So, maybe not so much the rain a factor in New York, but certainly throughout much of New Jersey right now, as beaches open. In fact, all 50 states, in one way, shape or form, are continuing reopening processes.

We're going to speak to the Alaska governor in just a little later in the show. His state now is completely open, back to exactly what it was before any restrictions were put in place. Other states could quickly follow. More on than that later.

Just focusing on what's going on right now in Dallas, Texas, where bars are now open, and some -- some mitigation that's eased certainly for stores in that area as well.

Jonathan Hunt has the latest right now on restrictions being lifted across the country. He joins us from Los Angeles -- Jonathan.


Millions of Americans are going to enjoy a lot more entertainment options this Memorial Day weekend than they have been able to the past few months.

From Alabama to Oregon from Michigan to Texas, 22 states are adding new reopening measures today, covering an alphabet soup of activities from arcades to zoos. Let's start in Kentucky, where you will be able to get some of the country's finest barbecue while sitting in a restaurant again, although all dine-in restaurants will be limited to 33 percent capacity.

Texas also serves a mighty fine barbecue, and restaurants there can now open at 50 percent capacity. And you can wash down the food with a drink at a bar, restricted to 25 percent capacity, and then go bowling, where the alleys will also top out at 25 percent.

In South Carolina, various tourist attractions can reopen. So if a ride on the Myrtle Beach ferris wheel will lift your spirits this weekend, you're in luck.

In Ohio, there will be horse racing with no spectators. In Kansas, arcades and trampoline parks are among the venues now allowed to open. And you can get your animal fix in Iowa, where aquariums and zoos can open their doors.

And if exercise is your thing, Indiana is allowing tennis courts, basketball courts, community pools, and gyms to reopen.

Here in L.A., Neil, gyms remain firmly closed, which at least spares me the effort of thinking up my daily excuse for not going to the gym -- Neil.


CAVUTO: Jonathan, thank you very, very much, Jonathan Hunt.

You will be happy to know, Jonathan, that much of the French Quarter in New Orleans is opening up, so a lot of good places to eat there, including the Cafe Du Monde.

That, of course, is a well-established and favorite target for tourists and locals alike.

Right now, we have Jay Roman, the president of Cafe Du Monde, with us right now.

Jay, you must be a happy camper today.

JAY ROMAN, PRESIDENT, CAFE DU MONDE: Can't tell you how happy we are.

After eight weeks of hibernation, to be able to come back to life is an exciting day.

CAVUTO: What kind of restrictions are in place? I imagine you still have distancing measures to stick to. Explain what you have to do.

ROMAN: Well, in our case, we are at 25 percent capacity, which means our tables are spread 10 feet apart.

And we have six-foot lane markers for people to wait to get in line as -- to come into the restaurant, where, of course, all employees are wearing gloves. We have guys walking around sanitizing everything that doesn't move.

And -- but it's -- at least it's a start.

CAVUTO: Now, what's the plan? They start with 25 percent. Then, after, what is it, 14 days, they will increase that? What's the plan?

ROMAN: Exactly.

June 1 is the next target date for us. And, as you know, New Orleans went from being one of the worst states to -- one of the worst cities in the country to being one of the better ones. So, what we're doing is working. And if it continues to work, as they -- as it's doing now, then, on June 1, we will go to a 50 percent capacity, which will give especially the local restaurants a chance to increase the number of seats they have.

CAVUTO: You know, Jay, how did you hang on this long, going through all of this?

Of course, you have probably one of the most popular restaurants in all in New Orleans. Now, so you had that reputation to fall back on. But it doesn't do you much good when you can't open up. So what did -- how did you -- how did you weather all of that?

ROMAN: You know, we had some experience a few years ago with Hurricane Katrina.


ROMAN: We are a restaurant that's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We close 36 hours for Christmas.

So, when Katrina came along, and we were closed from August to October, we -- it kind of gave us a playbook for this go-around. I thought I would never see it again in my career. But here we are.

So, fortunately, this time, nobody's sitting on their roof. Nobody's waiting for somebody to come get them from floodwaters. Everybody's in air conditioning. But, just like we did then, you have just got to get started. And the city will come back to life a little bit at a time.

CAVUTO: You know, obviously, there aren't going to be too many visiting. So, your traffic, I imagine, is largely locals who worship the place and you and what you have.

What's some of the more popular items they have been ordering?

ROMAN: Well, I mean, again, our basic beignet is our food -- our one and only food product. So, everybody, of course, gets that. And then we have a selection of coffees people can get to go along with it.

But I can tell you that we have had somebody here answering the phone 24 hours a day through this -- through the last eight weeks. And, as of the last two weeks, we are getting more and more phone calls from people that are saying, I'm coming to New Orleans from out of town, and I'm just trying to do my homework to find out who's open.

So that's an encouraging sign for us.

CAVUTO: What do you notice about traffic at other places around there?

Obviously, it's a slow go getting everything reopened. But are you seeing this drawing more traffic into the city?

ROMAN: We have been down here for the entire eight weeks in our office across the street from the cafe.

And for many, many weeks, you came down, and there was just nobody here. And then, a few weeks ago, you saw all the kids with their cap and gowns coming back to take pictures in front of all the French -- the French Market, in front of Jackson Square, in front of the cathedral.

So, you have started to see life slowly return. And, as of the last few days, even more traffic is starting to occur. You see people walking around in families. You see bicyclists on the weekend.

So, life is starting to return a little bit down here.

CAVUTO: I'm very happy to hear that. I know you had to weather a lot.

Jay Roman, thank you very, very much, the president of Cafe Du Monde.

We have a lot more coming up here.

Before we key you in on what's happening in other states, including the Alaska governor, who completely reopened up his state, he's coming up.

At the corner of Wall and Broad, we finished a very, very strong week. A little bumpy rides today, but up 3 percent for all the major market averages here, based on the belief here that they're optimistic things will pick up.

We also have the latest on what the president is planning to do to open up places of worship. He has already told the governors, do it, or else. But do they have to do it, or else?

After this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now.



CAVUTO: All right, open for business, the president saying that houses of worship can go ahead and open up to their congregations.

Now, the devil in the details is whether governors go along with that. The president says, if any of them call to complain, he will override them.

But this is raising a lot of issues whether he can do what he's saying he wants to do.

Let's go to John Roberts at the White House.

John, this takes effect this weekend, right?

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The president wants it to happen as soon as possible in some cases. As we will hear from Dr. Birx in just a moment, it may not be possible.

But the president has heard the call from people of faith saying, why are certain businesses open, but churches are still closed?

And as a partner piece with what the president said a little bit earlier on today, the Centers for Disease Control has just come out with new guidelines for pastors, imams and rabbis to put in place here as they reopen their doors, use of cloth face coverings for staff and congregants, promote social distancing in services, consider holding services outdoors, add additional services to weekly schedule to pare down the number of people that would be at any one particular service, suspending or decreasing choir and congregants singing, limit sharing of frequently touched objects, and consider electronic collection boxes.

But what the president did today -- we knew that these CDC guidelines, Neil, were coming out. But what the president really did today was throw down a gauntlet to the nation's governors, in particular the ones who have been reluctant about allowing churches and other houses of worship to get going again, to say, I want this done and I want it done now, or else.

Listen here.


TRUMP: Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship.

It's not right. So I'm correcting this injustice. Allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors.


ROBERTS: It's not quite clear what the president's constitutional authority would be to override the governors.

I mean, certainly, the president holds the federal purse strings and could threaten, as he did Michigan's governor, with withholding certain funds, I don't think he wants it to get to that point.

I think, really, he wants just to make the point that he believes that, if you're going to open a liquor store, and if you're going to open something else, then the churches should be open as well.

But Dr. Deborah Birx saying that, in some areas, where coronavirus is still at a fairly high pace, you might want to delay just a little bit not go this weekend. Listen to what she said.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: People that have significant comorbidities, we want them protected. I know those houses of worship want to protect them.

And so really ensuring that maybe items -- maybe they can't go this week. If there's high number of COVID cases, maybe they wait another week, but there is a way to social distance, like you are here, in places of worship.


ROBERTS: Now, certainly, a lot of people who go to church, who attend houses of worship, tend to be older. And the church that I used to go to in Atlanta was full of beautiful young people, young men and women.

They had a lot of youth groups, so there were a lot of young people who went to that church. But this also comes out at the same time that a CDC morbidity and mortality weekly report details a case that happened in Arkansas back at the beginning of March, Neil, in which one person infected 35 people at a church.

Three of them died. And then, subsequently, there were 26 community infections that followed that, and another person died. So you had a total of 61 infections and four people dead. That was before people started wearing masks, staying six feet apart.

CAVUTO: Right.

ROBERTS: So it's not likely that would happen again. But it's a lesson in what can happen if you don't do it right, Neil.

CAVUTO: Got it, my friend. Thank you very, very much, John Roberts at the White House.

I want to go to Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute.

It's very good to have you, Father.


CAVUTO: How are you going to handle this, this weekend? You have got the president of the United States saying, you should reopen.

And not -- you haven't been doing masses, and I understand that. But now that people can fill those pews, what are you going to do?

SIRICO: Well, Catholic priests -- let's just talk about that first -- are under two levels of authority.


SIRICO: The first and the most serious for me, at least, is my bishop.

And our bishop has said we will open next week. The bishop in Minnesota, the bishops of Minnesota, have defied their governor and are opening the churches, as far as I understand, this weekend.

But let me say that long before the CDC recommendations came out, those are all of the things that we have been planning to do. We're increasing the number of masses. We have two special risk masses that will be particularly attended to.

We're having people come in one way and go out another. They're signing up before they come. We have alternate pews. We're not using our hymnals. All those kinds of things that are being recommended are already in place.

I mean, it's not as though churches are not social organizations who have their own set of concerns and knowledge of what's going on.

So -- and let me also say this, not that I have ever been in a tattoo parlor, but I have a suspicion that what goes on in my church is a lot less intimate than a tattoo parlor.

CAVUTO: All right, we would hope so.

But let me ask you a little, Father, about how you...


CAVUTO: ... enforce then distancing provisions, crowd control. I know you mentioned that people will go in one entrance, out another. I get all of that.

But this will obviously be strictly enforced. I wonder how it's going to be enforced.

SIRICO: Well, we have a limit of 25 percent of the capacity of our church.

Let's remember at least a lot of Catholic Churches are somewhat large. So, in our church, we can have...

CAVUTO: Right.

SIRICO: ... 150 people in that church, and very easily.

And also keep in mind that people come as families. And so those families have been living together. When they're in church, they're in their own pew. They're distant from other families, will receive communion in an orderly fashion.

You know, this is not the first time the church has confronted a pandemic. We have dealt with this over the ages. And I agree that it is important that we observe social distancing and the -- all of the sanitary procedures that need to be in place.

But to marginalize the churches, though it's not an essential institution, let's remember that religious organizations are the first of the first responders. When people needed food, they came to our church. We provided money for people and things like that.

So, the emotional support as well, the solidarity, the sense of hope. What do people need in our country, in our world right now? More than anything else, it's a sense of hope. We have to do it in a rational way. We have to do it in a way that respects the reality of this disease and its potential, but we have to do it.

CAVUTO: You know, a rabbi at -- a local rabbi had e-mailed me after my last broadcast saying to the effect, how am I going to tell people when they reach a certain number that you cannot come in?

How are you going to tell people, let's say, on Sunday or Saturday vigil mass, how are you going to tell them, all right, we're over the 25 percent, you have to step outside? What do you do?

SIRICO: Well, what we have done is, we have a sign-up genius.

People are signing up. The families are signing up. We will know how many people are coming. And we have also factored in people who will just show up at mass. So, we have done that.

This is not brain surgery.


CAVUTO: So, what happens? A lot of people show up very -- a lot of people show up late for a service, right?


CAVUTO: So, for those people, that's double jeopardy.

SIRICO: In your parish maybe.


SIRICO: No, I -- I think we just have to explain to people. They understand what's going on. It's not like they're immune to the whole thing.

CAVUTO: All right, Father, from your mouth to, well, let's see, parishioners and their ears.

Thank you very much. Best of luck this weekend, regardless.

SIRICO: Be safe. Be safe.

CAVUTO: All right, we have a lot more coming up, including how the states and the reopening process is going, including one state where everything's opened up, everything is back to the way it was, Alaska.

Its governor -- next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: You are looking live at Clearwater Beach, Florida. Beaches are reopened there. And the state continues its gradual reopening.

One state, though, is completely reopened. It's slightly north, I'd say a little northwest, of Florida. It's Alaska, big old state, bigger than most countries.

That state's governor joins us right now, Mike Dunleavy.

Governor, very good to have you back.

So, everything is open up now?


And I do want to say, Neil, we never closed our beaches. They were cold, and there was ice on...


CAVUTO: Yes. OK. That's good to know. A little cold.


DUNLEAVY: ... Alaska.

But everything is open.

CAVUTO: So, what made you do this? You're ahead of the cycle, obviously.

DUNLEAVY: Well, we have been very fortunate. We have the lowest numbers in the country.

As of this morning, we have 404 cases, zero hospitalizations today, no new deaths, a total of 10 deaths. And we have recovered 356 individuals. So, our numbers are very low. We have been watching this and managing this really well since we received that plane from Wuhan province with U.S. State Department families and officials back in January.

And what we promised the people -- and we can't -- this is very important. What we promised the people of Alaska is, we need your help to give us some time to build up our health care capacity. We have built that health care capacity up.

We -- we're keeping our promise with the people Alaska. Our businesses, our entities, our churches are open. We really never had a hard shutdown. We never really told people that they had to stay at home. We actually encouraged people to go out, recreate, but just stay six feet apart, wash your hands, et cetera.

And so we are -- we're in pretty good shape right now. We do anticipate our numbers will increase. Just it's going to happen, because our numbers are unusually low. But we believe that we are capable of dealing with this and managing this.

And that's what we have to all go into now, is a management phase in managing this virus.

CAVUTO: You know, I -- when you and I last talked, Governor, I mean, when people think of social distancing, they don't think that would ever be a worry in a state your size.

But, obviously, in the urban areas around Fairbanks and Anchorage, what have you, it could be.

You mentioned that you're expecting there will be a slight uptick in cases. That's happened in other states. Is there a level though, Governor, at which you say, all right, that -- that's a little more than we thought, or the pace -- the pace of positive cases that might give you pause? What would you do?

DUNLEAVY: Yes, no, very good. It could. It could.

And that's what we're looking at, are the metrics. If we see an uptick, if we see what we see as a spike or a surge that has the potential of overwhelming our health care system, then we will make the appropriate decisions on individual bases, meaning instead of a statewide rule change, we will probably look at a locale or an establishment, a venue.

We will try and isolate and find out what exactly happened on a small scale. But we're not going to close down the state. We think we can manage this.

But, again, we will deal with that on an individual basis.

CAVUTO: I'm just wondering.

A lot of people do not live in Alaska, but certainly want to visit, Governor. This is the time of year they entertain cruises and everything else, but not all cruises are operating now. And I'm wondering what the impact is going to be, even if delayed, on your state.

DUNLEAVY: Tremendous.

It's -- Neil, I have said and we said from the get-go, there are going to be two parts of this epidemic, this pandemic. One will be the health issue. We're managing that well. The other is going to be an economic issue.

And that's really where we need to spend more of our attention, is, how are we going to get our economies back up off the knees moving forward? How are we going to look to the future?

And so, in Alaska, tourism is huge. Cruise ships are huge. As you know, oil is big. And so these issues...

CAVUTO: Right.

DUNLEAVY: ... these sectors have been hit hard in the state of Alaska.

We're trying to work as quickly as possible, methodically as possible in using the best guidelines and the best data to try and get aspects of our tourism industry up and going. But there's no doubt it's going to be difficult.

CAVUTO: Well, you mention oil. That's something that's been coming back from its lows here. That's obviously a lifeblood for your state.

But, again, the delayed impact of that, I mean, between that, the cruise stuff, the tourism issue, underlying economy is sound in your state and a lot of people back to work -- that's obviously a good thing to come.

But how long do you think this process takes, the great unwinding, and the bang for the buck for the economy in Alaska that you would hope to get?

DUNLEAVY: I think it's going to take at least months.

CAVUTO: Really?

DUNLEAVY: To get back to where we were, it's probably going to take months. It could take a little longer.

But I think, as we watch this unfold, I think the impacts to the economy are going to be deeper than most people think. But the underlying -- underlying fundamentals of this country and the state of Alaska were really pretty sound before this happened.

So we're going to build upon that. We're going to look to the future. We're going to come out of this stronger. Alaska always does after earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. We always come out of these catastrophes stronger.

But it's going to take a little while.

CAVUTO: No, you always do. And I was just thinking, I mean, one issue after another, you have overcome it.

One thing I was thinking of, Governor, you were ahead of this in dealing with the Chinese officials who had come to the United States and elsewhere.

That could -- that's still going to be potentially an issue for you, right? I mean, if -- obviously, relations are pretty sour right now between our two countries, but travel will resume. And I'm wondering, are you leery of that?

DUNLEAVY: Well, we're -- we went from an unknown phase, and some were fearful.

Here in Alaska, we understand, to the best of our ability, this virus and how it works. And so we're in a phase of managing it and incorporating it into our daily lives.

There will be an increase in cases until there's a vaccination, until we have enough antivirals on hand. There will be an increase in cases. We're going to manage that.

But the devastation that we thought would come from the first surge of this virus has not materialized. That's a good thing. But the devastation to the economy, our social, our lives, we have to turn our attention to that, because what -- what people didn't understand, I believe, at first is, the ramifications there could be just as devastating in terms of job loss, depression, emotional and mental health issues.

And so we have to address the overall health of our states. And that includes the economy.

CAVUTO: Very good.

Governor, I wish you well. I wish your fine folks well. You have a beautiful state, visited it many, many times. And it's just stunning.

Governor Dunleavy, thank you. Be well. Be healthy.

DUNLEAVY: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right, we have a lot more.

By the way, another state that could follow Alaska quickly, Ohio. Mike DeWine, that state's governor, will be with me tomorrow on "Cavuto Live" 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, his view about what would obviously make him follow what's going on Alaska, completely open.

In the meantime, looking at New York City right now, and a number of small businesses that had had it. They see what's going on around the country, see what's happening in Alaska, see what's happening in Ohio, and say, you know what, what about us? Open up already -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, it might be OK for the president to say, worship as you will here, but from the New York City mayor, we're getting this statement, that: "We will continue to work closely with faith leaders to ensure people can safely worship and still follow health guidelines."



BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: It looks damn clear right now -- it's the first or second week in June -- to go into phase one. Again, that's manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail only for curbside pickup.

Those are the big standards. And then we will fill in a lot of blanks between now and then about how to do those things and how to approach them safely.

But I think it's going to be first or second week in June, unless, unless people get undisciplined and start to lose track of the standards and we start to see a resurgence.


CAVUTO: You could almost hear all of New York City's businesses with an apoplectic, are you kidding me?

The New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio digging in on dragging a shutdown out that they say, if it were linger much longer, particularly to when he wants to do this, the first, second, maybe third week of June, they could be done entirely.

New York Democratic Congressman Max Rose with us right now.

Congressman, what do you think of what the mayor is saying? This is still some weeks off?

REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): Yes, my friend. Thank you so much for having me.

Let's think about the small business owner right now, the guy who owns a shoe store, for instance, that, for months, has seen the liquor store open, OK? It's not as if the liquor store has some ability to hypnotize COVID before it comes into its stores and stop it, but the shoe store owner doesn't.

Let's be sensible. The mayor's comments at this point are coming off as if he is an elitist dilettante that does not understand the struggles of our small business owners.

We got -- we can do this responsibly, but we have to have that sense of urgency around the mom-and-pops that have dedicated their lives to their businesses.

I come from a long line of small business owners. And I understand, just as so many New Yorkers do, that when you own a small business, that's not a 9:00 to 5:00. It's your entire life, and they're watching their small businesses wither on the vine.

We have got to do something. Let's issue standards. Let's distribute PPE in a massive way. And let's start to get this thing open.

Our small business owners are incredibly smart, especially in New York City. And they understand that 25 percent occupancy rates, that's just the beginning. Times are still going to be really difficult.

But at least it's a start. And they're deserving of nothing less.

CAVUTO: You're also a United States congressman, so you can weigh in and maybe try to influence the mayor, because it does seem to be even stricter than some of the guidelines we're hearing from New York Governor Cuomo.

What is he looking at that others are not? I mean, even the incidents, the death rates, the hospitalizations, all are dramatically down in the city in all the boroughs. So what is he basing this on? Do you know?

ROSE: Well, look, I'm not going to start and say that we shouldn't be looking at science and we shouldn't be consulting metrics and trusted experts in this regard.

But I think that what he is not looking at, which is the critical thing, because we know he's looking at hospitalizations and this and that. But what he's not looking at is the potential for a continued economic nuclear bomb to go off each and every week in New York City as our small businesses, our mom-and -pops die.

OK, they -- their customers right now get to go to Target. Their customers get to go to Home Depot, to large supermarkets. And, nonetheless, they cannot go to the small businesses. It doesn't make sense.

And all we're asking for, all they are asking for is some sense of guidance and some sense of urgency that gives them resources and...


ROSE: ... for them to start to open.

CAVUTO: Well, they're not getting it -- they're not getting it from the mayor. They're not getting it from the mayor, Congressman. So, let me ask you this.

ROSE: No, they're not. And that's a problem. Neil...

CAVUTO: A lot of them are going to get tempted to do what some have already done. Some of them are already opening up.

So, I'm wondering, technically, they would be in violation of the mayor's orders and, by extension, the governor's orders.

For those who are going to feel tempted that, to hell with it, I'm going to open up, I'm going to allow sidewalk service, whatever you want, should they be penalized for doing that?

ROSE: No, look, my friend, I'm not going to come on your show and advocate for anyone to break the law or go against the mayor's guidance.

But what I am coming on here to say is that this mayor's leadership, at this point and his tone-deaf message to our small businesses is pitiful, and this city will be better off when he is no longer the mayor.

This is an enormous disappointment. And our businesses are going to suffer. Now, there are certain things, though, that the federal government can be doing as well.

I came out today arguing that the president of the United States should assert the Defense Production Act to push PPE down to our small businesses. We have to extend the PPP program past the eight-week deadline to 24 weeks. And we certainly have to get rid of this ridiculous 75/25 ratio, because, if you're a small business owner in New York City, look, your rent is sometimes 50 percent of your costs.

And we have to fix that...

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

ROSE: ... so that they can stay open.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you.

The president today was pushing to have the houses of worship open. I have talked to a rabbi and a priest on this issue, saying that they will obviously honor reasonable capacity requirements.

But then the mayor's people come out with a statement saying: "We will continue to work closely with faith leaders to ensure people can safely worship during these stressful times, but will not take any steps that could jeopardize New Yorkers' health."

ROSE: Yes.

CAVUTO: Well, the fact of the matter is, they have not been supporting large gatherings in churches.

So there's -- they have never been doing that. So, obviously, they're going to continue to honor what they have always been doing, which is not what the president says they should be doing.

Should you and do you have any problem with people of any faith, any house of worship once again returning to those places of faith, even honoring social distancing and other guidelines that we see in other states?

ROSE: Well, absolutely.

And, look, I don't think that this is a decision. Now, you look back three months or so, the president, I think actually correctly, noted that opening, closing should be decisions made according to decisions by governors.

This as well is a decision that cannot be made on a national basis, and has to be made in partnership with our faith-based leaders. If you look to many of the leading faith-based organizations and leaders in New York City, I think there is an overarching consensus that we are not yet at the point where we can begin an opening.

But what we should start to do is tell people when it will happen. We need -- I remember back to when I was in Army Ranger school. The worst thing your R.I.s could ever do to you was put you on a ruck march and tell you -- and not tell you when it was going to end. That was what you feared more than anything else.

And that's the place where most New Yorkers are in right now. They have been doing the right thing.

CAVUTO: All right.

ROSE: Their heads have been kept down, and they have saved lives.

Now they have to be told when times can get better.

CAVUTO: Well put.

Congressman, very good seeing you again. Be safe. Be well. Be healthy.

All right, Democratic Congressman Max Rose.

ROSE: Absolutely. The same to you and your family, my friend.

CAVUTO: All right. Be well.

All right, in the meantime here, we are efforting trying to get the mayor, de Blasio, to explain this procedure. We will you know let where that -- what comes of that.

In the meantime, we told you about beaches are starting to open up, pretty much across the country, the Northeast here in New York, New Jersey, for example. But there are a ton of restrictions.

So, I say you go buy a pool. I say you go buy a swimming pool right now, because a lot of people are, and it's making a big splash.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: All right, you're looking to live at Cape May, New Jersey, beautiful neck of the woods, beaches opening throughout the state here, kind of limited.

You can't go swimming much in the water, and then, when you are in the water, of course, when it's not raining or on the beach, you got to keep moving. They don't want you lounging around. And you got to respect social distances.

But -- but it's a start. But if that's such a hassle for you, have you ever considered buying a pool? Well, apparently, people have, because there's a huge surge in these sales.

And doesn't our Jeff Flock know it? He joins us out of Orland Park, Illinois -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: You are looking live, well, at -- I'm surrounded by pools.

And I might not be surrounded by pools for long, Neil, because there is this run on these pools, which is like the above-ground pool. Some people maybe turn their nose up at an above-ground pool, not now, because you can get these right away.

Bob Jones, American Sale is the company. You have got eight stores in Chicago.


FLOCK: You have been in business 60 years.

We're socially distanced as I talk to you.

JONES: Right.

FLOCK: But you're socially distanced with your customers. But it's booming.

JONES: It's booming.

People want to be home this summer. They know that's what's going to happen. And they're getting their patios ready.


I want to show you the use. There's all sorts of different sizes of these. This is kind of a medium-sized one here.

Joe, if you look off to the left there, maybe you see one of the larger above-ground pools. And these can go in the space of a day once you get it, and they're fairly easy to set up.

And I will tell you, right now, people are nesting at home. They're not going on vacation somewhere.

JONES: No, they're looking for things to do at home, and finding that they really enjoy it.


And in-ground pools too. Joe's climbing the ladder up there to show you an in-ground pool.

You can still get an in-ground pool too.

JONES: Yes, they're building it.

FLOCK: Construction is cool.

JONES: Yes, but those are big projects. Those take a long time to get done.


And hey, Joe, can you come on over here maybe? Oh, he's killing me. We -- I know we got to run here.

But, Neil, I want to leave you with something that I think is very cool, too. And you can get this right away. It's called an endless pool. It's one of those where you can exercise in it. It blows the water back at you.

I leave you with the picture of that. This might be something you might be interested in, sir.

CAVUTO: Unless it has a beer holder, no.

All right, thank you, Jeff. Have fun, but, obviously, that's a business that's far from going all wet.


CAVUTO: All right. All right. It's basic cable.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: Well, beaches are open in New Jersey. So, in Seaside Heights, even with the rain, there is that.

Unfortunately, businesses aren't so lucky. They're in the same pickle they have been in now for the better part of two months.

Jessica Walker is the owner of J. Walker Salon in beautiful Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Jessica, you still can open, can you?

JESSICA WALKER, OWNER, J. WALKER SALON: No.  Yes, and it's been very difficult for us to even sleep at night because it's been 24 years I have been building this business. And my staff and I, we're really suffering. And I think that it's been 10 weeks, and it's too long. It's time for the American people to be able to choose what business and where they want to frequent.

CAVUTO: You know, when you hear all the news about beaches opening, and it seems like everyone but you or small businesses have the same opportunity, it must get you furious.

WALKER: Oh, it's a dagger. It's a dagger right inside to hear that the public bathrooms are open, yet I can't have one or two clients in my business at a time.

There are safe and effective ways that we can open slowly and in stages. Our margins are already small across the industry of hair salons and stylists, for that matter. And it's going to be a very, very difficult road to get back up and to be able to climb back up that mountain that I have already had to conquer being in business for 24 years.

And now it's like, whoa, start all over again. And I feel very ignored. I think our industry has been ignored in this. And I think that there could be definitely ways to safely open. We're licensed to touch.

And I believe that we're going to be a part of the healing process for our communities.

CAVUTO: Well, no doubt.

I mean, if anyone misses anything, it's people who run salons, if people want haircuts or just want any of that. But you can't do that.

And I'm sure you look at this woman in Texas who opened after she couldn't. She was briefly hauled to jail before the governor got her out. Do you ever feel tempted, when you see issues like that?

There is the gym owner in, I think, Belmar, New Jersey, who is in the same situation. He wanted to stay open. They kept shutting him down. He opened up the next day. But, obviously you're dealing with the hassles of paying fines and everything else.

So, what do you do in the meantime?

WALKER: I'm really hoping and praying that the governor will give us his executive blessing and that we will be able to open in the next couple of days.

That's what I would like.

CAVUTO: But I don't know -- I don't hear signs of that. You might be more attuned to this than I am.

I mean, the governor seems to be sticking to this timetable that might put off something like yours for a while. You have already heard what's going on in New York City, where Mayor de Blasio is pushing things off weeks. I mean, you can't afford that, right?

WALKER: We can't afford that, no.

And to be honest with you, even when we go back, the capacity that we're going to be allowed to be at, it's almost going to be...

CAVUTO: Right.

WALKER: It's going to be so difficult to keep -- to keep open and to keep going as it is.

I don't know what that's going to look like. I'm willing to roll up my sleeves and, of course, get back in there. I haven't worked my whole life to lose everything that I have built.

We all have families. As stylists, we all have families. And a lot of us are bringing home money. And this is our purpose and our life to be able to help our stylists have their careers.

CAVUTO: Right.

WALKER: So, it's -- it's a tragedy all around for this whole country.

And we need to get the small businesses back open, up and running.

CAVUTO: Well, no, I -- yes.

WALKER: I think, after 10 weeks, we have protocols in place that can have us open safely and in stages.

CAVUTO: No, I know. I know very well. I know your shop very well. I know 25 percent capacity in a smaller shop is going to be tough, but it's better than nothing.

So, we will watch very, very closely.

Jessica, hang in there. My best to you and yours. I'm sure it's going to work out. I'm absolutely sure.

More after this.


CAVUTO: All right, the country's coming back, and we are coming back tomorrow, live again, 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.

We have got the Ohio governor, Mike DeWine. That could be the next state that fully reopens. We have also got the AstraZeneca CEO, Pascal Soriot, on that big $1.2 billion U.S. government commission, commitment to find, hopefully, some vaccine, Chad Wolf as well.

All of that tomorrow.

Here's "The Five."

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