Gov. Mike DeWine on call to postpone Ohio's primary election, Trump administration's support in COVID-19 fight

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 16, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: So today, the President met with the nation's governors and shortly after he came out to face reporters with a new timeline.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the new normal until (inaudible).

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We'll see what happens. But they think August, could be July, could be longer than that.


MACCALLUM: Summer. Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum in New York, and this is "The Story."

President Trump at the White House short time ago telling people that we will need an all-in effort over the next 15 days to try to hit a speed bump in the transmission of the virus. We need everyone on board. He also lowered the number to 10 people for gatherings. That number had previously been 50. Several states are setting curfews, some of those are going to go into effect tonight. So, we'll see how that works out. We're going to take you there live, as the restaurants in New York get ready for a big hiatus.

Dr. Deborah Birx who serves as the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force laid down the law for those in their 20s who seem to be the group least likely to understand the magnitude of the virus and their role.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: They are the core group that will stop this virus. They're the group that communicate successfully, independent of picking up a phone. They intuitively know how to contact each other without being in large social gatherings.


MACCALLUM: So, this as the number of cases in the United States reached over 4100. All the angles covered for you tonight on this story, Justin Lessler from the Hopkins University School of Public Health with some unique insight into what is being worked on tonight that could be a future solving of this problem.

Plus, Senator Rick Scott of Florida, his state set for big primary tomorrow night. I mean that's what we would all be doing tomorrow night looking at the returns from these four states, Arizona, which now says they will go on with their process, Illinois and Ohio. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine just called for the postponement of his state's primary. The President reacted this way.


TRUMP: I'd leave that up to the states. It's a big thing postponing an election. I think to me that really goes to the heart of what we're all about. They have lots of room and a lot of the electoral places and I think that they will do it very well. But I think postponing is unnecessary.


MACCALLUM: Governor Mike DeWine joins me now. Governor, thank you very much for being here. Obviously, a big primary is scheduled for tomorrow night including your state of Ohio. What is the plan and where do you think this is - when do you think you will be able to have it, if it does get postponed?

MIKE DEWINE, GOVERNOR OF OHIO: Well, let me explain why we did it. The CDC came out with recommendations about 50 people. That was a change, of course the President later on - it was 10. We cannot conduct an election in Ohio with 50 or 10.

Their thing is that we were hearing from a lot of people, we're hearing from people over the age of 65, people who - women who are pregnant, people who had compromised health and they were telling us look, this is a tough choice. Are we supposed to - you know on the one hand we're being told to stay home and take care of ourselves? And yet we want to exercise our constitutional rights. And so that was something that we wanted to enable people to be able to do both.

And so, we have asked the court to set the date of June 2nd. Everyone who has already voted. They've already voted. That's fine. They hold on to their votes. They're not counted. What we proposed to the court is that people will have the opportunity to - between now and June 2nd to do absentee ballots. They give - they have the opportunity to do that for a long period of time.

And then on June 2nd, if people - anybody who has not actually voted before then by absentee they'll have the opportunity to go to the polls. So, we think it makes sense. It preserves people's constitutional rights. We think it's consistent with the federal guidelines. It certainly is consistent you know when the President's talking about 10 people be in a room, that's consistent with that.

MACCALLUM: Yes, absolutely.

DEWINE: As well. We just don't want to send mixed signals. I mean on the one hand we're saying, we look at the news this morning and a lot of the news was, people 65 and older which we agree with should avoid contact with other people as much as humanly possible, should stay home as much as humanly possible.

On the other hand, we're saying hey, it's OK, you need to go vote. And so, those conflicting signals, we need to speak in Ohio as one voice and I think look, the President's right. Every state has to look at where they are, what their situation is. I know other states are holding elections and that's fine. They judge what the facts are.

You know governors, we had about an hour and a half conference with the President today on the phone and it was great. The President listens. The Vice President listened. We had the opportunity to say things and they conveyed a lot of information to us, so I thought it was a very, very helpful thing.

MACCALLUM: I want to ask you about that. And it's certainly understandable. I mean I think a lot of people, especially older people are going to feel a lot more comfortable if they can fill out an absentee ballot at this point. It's a primary and obviously all those delegates have to be in, I think by June 20th. So, you need to get that process done. But I think that seems like an option that a lot of people are going to feel more comfortable with.

This is the President today on another topic with regard to ventilators, because one of the biggest concerns obviously is whether or not we have enough equipment because we've seen what has happened in Italy and it's frightening to see people making choices over who can and who can't get a ventilator. And here's what he said about states going to their own - their own resources for this. Watch this.


TRUMP: If they're able to get ventilators, respirators, if they're able to get certain things without having to go through the longer process of federal government. We have stockpiles now where we're ordering tremendous numbers of ventilators, respirators, masks and they're ordered. If they can get them directly, it's always going to be faster if they can get them directly if they need them. And I've given them authorization to order directly.


MACCALLUM: You know I'm curious what your response is because some of the President's critics responded to that saying you know that he basically said, all right, well states you know you're on your own, but that doesn't sound like what he said there.

DEWINE: No, that's not what he said at all. Look that was not the message that he conveyed to us today. Look, they've been - this White House has been exceedingly cooperative with us. We asked for a waiver for example when we canceled school, when we basically said, school has to be remote, we didn't cancel it, but we said it has to be remote. But we had a question about how about those kids who rely on that for lunch and some for breakfast. And the White House within 24 hours gave us a waiver, so we could take that food out and schools can make their own decision.

How they distribute it, some are doing it by literally taking it to houses. We got other schools that are putting in different locations where kids can come and get it. So, look, they've been very cooperative. Vice President has been super as well. So, it's a good relationship and so we appreciate that.

Look, what we're trying to do and the decision we made today, we've made other days. And there's been tough, tough decisions, but we're trying to be to the point where we do not run out of the equipment and we don't run out of respirators. We don't want to be like Italy. So, we've got to spread this out, flatten that curve. We don't want to go straight up like that. What we're seeing on TV and what you all are reporting is just tragic and we're trying to avoid that. We think we can.

MACCALLUM: What do you think of Dr. Birx's message to 20 somethings out there who obviously can't - they think they're invincible right and they're out having fun and gathering. And how do you get the message through to them, because they could be carriers and not realize it, right?

DEWINE: No, you're spot on. You know many times they can be carriers. And Fran and I have 24 grandkids. We have a number of them who are in their 20s. And so, look I remember when I was in my 20's. I thought I was invincible never--


DEWINE: Nothing could happen to me. But the message we've got to get to them is look, you now have to take care of yourself. You have to take care of your grandmother who you might go over to see, you have to take care of a total stranger who you know let's say you're out and you're at a bar and one of the reasons we had to close the bars is we saw so many pictures of kids coming together, not just kids but all ages. And we said look, worry about yourself, worry about your family, but also worry about a stranger.

Let's say, you go out, then you have dinner with your girlfriend, your girlfriend goes home. She sees your grandma. Grandma gets it. I mean it just goes on and on and on and so, we're just pleading with our 20 year - something year old.

MACCALLUM: We all are. Yes. I've got a couple of them at home here too now.

DEWINE: Just hold back.

MACCALLUM: Talk to me a little bit about this lockdown issue. Was there any debate - there was some back and forth between Governor Cuomo of New York and the President over whether or not there should be federally imposed lockdown on the country. Was there a debate about that today on that call and what can you tell us about that?

DEWINE: Look, there was a rumor that I kept getting last night. People kept texting me last night that the President was going to order this lockdown. There was nothing that President indicated, or the Vice President indicated today that I heard at all that would indicate that.

Look, I think you take this one step at a time. You know the states I think have done a very good job. This is our responsibility as governors to monitor the situation and decide what we have to close.

This whole idea of separation that the President is talking about is absolutely spot on and that's the message we've got to convey to everybody.

MACCALLUM: I'm sorry to interrupt. But just to clarify, was there a push back from any of the governors on the call today? Challenging the federal government's response?

DEWINE: On what?

MACCALLUM: On the issue of a lockdown, on anything, on anything. What you know when you were all on that call today, were there contentious moments?

DEWINE: Look, it was - no, I mean - look, people were very candid as I think the President want them to be and as the Vice President want them to be. But there was no contentious moments. No. People were candid. They were trying to describe what their situation was. And I think the President and the Vice President appreciated that and it was a good exchange.

MACCALLUM: All right. Governor DeWine, good luck to you in Ohio. And good luck with the process of getting that primary done. And we thank you very much for being with us tonight. Our best to everybody in your home state. Thank you, sir.

DEWINE: Thank you very much.

MACCALLUM: Breaking right now, multiple news outlets are reporting that actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been released from the Australian hospital where they were both being treated after testing positive for Coronavirus. The couple is now reportedly being quarantined there so that is good news. We see a lot of recovery in the folks who are diagnosed with this and that is just really important I think to continue to point out here.

Meanwhile, despite the unease that we are all experiencing as this thing spreads, there are some promising signs on the horizon when it comes to managing this pandemic. So far 15 states across the country have opened drive-through testing sites. This allows people to get tested without exposing themselves to a doctor's office or to anybody else who might have it. There's also an experimental vaccine that was given to the very first volunteer today, a brave woman in Washington State. So, here's the President talking about that earlier today. Watch this.


TRUMP: I'm also pleased to report today that a vaccine candidate has begun the Phase 1 clinical trial. This is one of the fastest vaccine development launches in history, not even close. We're also racing to develop antiviral therapies and other treatments and we've had some promising results. Early results were promising.


MACCALLUM: You know, Justin Lessler, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Thank you very much for being with us, Justin.

So, a couple of things I want to ask you about.


MACCALLUM: First of all, this woman who you know bravely said, this is something that I am able to do, and I want to do it. She became sort of the first test person to try this vaccine. What are your thoughts on that?

LESSLER: I mean well, one, kudos to her. The vaccine is certainly the thing that could change the game the most in this. We need to get up to a certain level of immunity in the population, to be protected from the virus over the long-term. All of these blunt measures now like lockdowns and shutdowns and school closures are very important for flattening the curve and keeping our number of cases under the capacity of the ICUs and the hospitals in general.

But only through building up immunity do we truly beat this virus over the long-term and vaccines are the key to that. There's two ways to get immune, get infected or get vaccinated. And I think most of us would prefer to get vaccinated.

MACCALLUM: Yes, but obviously that is a longer process. They usually test these on animals first. In this case they're going directly to human trials. Right.

LESSLER: Yes, I mean it's a bold move. I think I understand why they're doing it. It is hopefully, ends up being the right move and gets us the vaccine sooner. But you know it carries with it a lot of risk. And I hope they're proceeding cautiously.

MACCALLUM: Yes. We all hope so. And again, we thank the people who have volunteered to be part of that trial. I think it's an amazing action on their part as everybody is sort of looking for something that they can do to be helpful here.

The other thing that caught my eye is the use of potential malarial drugs, malaria drugs and also HIV drugs that has been discussed in some places in China and also in Australia where they're testing these and they claim in Australia that they have had some success with chloroquine which is an old anti-malarial drug I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. And then also an HIV suppression drug. What do you think about that?

LESSLER: Yes, I mean it's interesting that chloroquine is coming back. You know it was once the front-line treatment for malaria as you say and I think the drugs, if they work, have two advantages. The obvious one is people who are really sick, we can treat them, and we can hopefully speed their recovery, keep them out of the ICUs and keep them from dying most importantly.

But also, if the drugs have a prophylactic effect, they can also be used to potentially stem the spread of the epidemic itself. You know when we did a lot of pandemic planning for influenza back in the mid-2000s, one of the things people focused on a lot was how you could use drugs prophylactically to stop spread.

For instance, we know that for this virus and most viruses' households are a real epicenter of spread. In a study we conducted in Southern China, it looked like around six or seven times more likely to get infected, if you were a household member of somebody who was infected, then if you were a different - another kind of close contact.

So, you could envision if we had a drug that was widely available, didn't have many side effects of giving that to the family members of people who were infected to stop - help stop the spread. So, it can both be a treatment but also be a tool to control the viral epidemic.

MACCALLUM: Are we trying to use these drugs here or should we be trying to use these drugs here in that situation where a family member has it and prophylactically giving it to the other members of the family.

LESSLER: I mean if they're proven to work, we should. I think it's too early to tell. You know most of the evidence I've seen thus far has been anecdotal. I know there are several more formal trials happening and I think it's really important to have the results of those because we all - well it's important to use something that works as quickly as possible, it's also important not to fool ourselves. We're having an effect that when we don't and use resources that could go to something that could have a real impact on something that is effectively snake oil.

So, those early trials of the drug are incredibly important. And I really look forward to seeing the results of them.

MACCALLUM: Yes. In terms of your concerns about our capacity to take care of those who are ill, there was a suggestion that perhaps we should use, the Army Corps of Engineers just started setting up some of these facilities that we'll be ready to take overflow. And we saw those hospitals that seem to go up overnight in China. Is that something that you recommend?

LESSLER: Certainly, we need a capacity. I am not a clinician. I studied the transmission of diseases, so I don't really know if those facilities can be at the level they need to or not, but if they can, you know every little bit helps.

MACCALLUM: So, in terms of transmission, before I let you go, just one last question. What is your biggest concern you see how - and I think it's pretty remarkable actually? We see these kids going into bars which obviously has to stop, and I think they're basically shutting down across the country.

But outside of that part of the population, I think people have been remarkably up for this you know remarkably understanding that OK we're all staying home. We're not getting together. This is what we're doing. I find the transition to be good so far. Do you think that it will work?

LESSLER: I have been really impressed and I'm really hopeful it will work. I think I was not expecting people to be as up for it as they have. I think when Italy went under lockdown, I think that had a big impact on everybody's thinking, it wasn't just China, it wasn't just one place messing up. This could happen anywhere.

Switzerland's under lockdown now too.


LESSLER: So, I think that had a big effect. I think the telling thing is can we do it for as long as it needs to be done. Wuhan, they're going on three months in lockdown. We never let things get as bad here as they got there, or I hope we haven't in which case maybe we've avoided having to be in lockdown for that long or be doing major social distancing for that long. But you know, I think we have to not just do it, not just be game to start it. We've got to begin to continue.

MACCALLUM: No, you're right. We're only on like day two or something like that and we're going to have to come up with some creative ways. But I think Americans are very resilient and very committed in tough times and I think we're going to be surprised by what we see. Justin Lessler, thank you. Good to see you tonight. Thanks so much.

LESSLER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: An Ohio judge has just ruled on Governor DeWine's Wise call to postpone tomorrow's primary. We're going to have a breaking update on that. Also, still ahead, Senator Rick Scott still in self-quarantine on what's being done ahead of his state's big primary night, tomorrow night folks, which we're going to be following as well. Also, Andy Pozner stops by to talk about American businesses and how they can handle the impact. Some good advice from him coming up.


MACCALLUM: All right. Big primary night tomorrow night. And as we have been following this, we now can tell you that a judge in Ohio has rejected the motion that we just spoke with the governor there about. They will not postpone Ohio's presidential primary tomorrow. The governor who appeared here as I said just moments ago was pushing to delay it into early June over concerns about Coronavirus.

The elections will proceed in Ohio tomorrow as they will also in Arizona and in Illinois and also in Florida. So, we'll see what that does to turnout and whether or not enough people got in those early ballots. We're going to talk about that coming up in a moment with Karl Rove and Chris Hahn.

Also tonight, French President Emmanuel Macron declaring a health war today, announcing a 15-day lockdown of his country as the European Union prepares to close their borders to all non-essential travel to deal with a global pandemic that has now caused more deaths outside of China than inside. Robert Gray has THE STORY for us from our West Coast Newsroom tonight. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT GRAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi Martha. That's right. Looking outside the U.S. today marking the biggest jump in Coronavirus fatalities in Europe to-date. France, Italy and Spain remain the hardest hit nations, all three recording their highest death tolls from the pandemic.

Now this contributing to put that total number of COVID-19 deaths outside of China as you mentioned above. Those inside the nation for the first time. The global death toll now exceeding 7000. China accounting for more than 3000 deaths out of 81,000 reported cases in that nation in a population of 1.4 billion.

Now Italy has more than 2100 deaths now in a nation of 62 million. France, a lower rate with nearly 150 deaths with 67 million residents. Spain at more than 300 deaths out of some 50 million people. Now France's 15-day lockdown period, one of several imposed in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron saying it's unprecedented in peace time. Other nations imposing these including Germany, Ireland and the Czech Republic. These new measures aimed at curtailing movement and social gatherings. Spain had already enacted measures.

Now we should note the number of people recovering from the virus also increasing now above 78,000 so far mostly in China. But health officials back here at home they're looking at South Korea as a model that nation of 51 million has recorded just 75 deaths.


DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We are at a critical inflection point in this country. People, we are where Italy was two weeks ago in terms of our numbers and we have a choice to make as a nation, do we want to go the direction of South Korea and really be aggressive and lower our mortality rates or do we want to go the direction of Italy. And when you look at the projections, there's every chance that we could be Italy. But there's every hope that we will be South Korea.


GRAY: And Dr. Adams again reemphasizing the need to social distance. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. And clean your surfaces. Martha, back to you.

MACCALLUM: Thank you very much, Robert Gray. So, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders set to face off in primaries in four states tomorrow. And after some calls to postpone those contests, Florida says, they are moving forward. We know Ohio is now as well. Senator Rick Scott is here on that. Plus, Karl Rove and Chris Hahn on the most bizarre twist in election history we have seen in a longtime folks. As an election year meets COVID- 19. Next.



GOV. RON DESANTIS, R-FLA.: The health officials say given the nature of this primary, given kind of the way you go in and do one most of the time for most counties, it can be done safely.


MACCALLUM: OK. Governor Ron DeSantis insisting that it's safer for Florida voters to head to the polls tomorrow, despite more than 150 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida.

Biden and Sanders who have both shifted their campaigns toward virtual events will also square off in Arizona, Illinois, and now Ohio as well despite the Governor Mike DeWine who we spoke with earlier pressing to delay it.

Florida Senator Rick Scott joins me now. He has been self-quarantine for days after he has come in contact with Brazil's president whose aide tested positive for coronavirus. Senator, good to see you tonight. Thank you for being with us. And first of all, how are you doing and how much longer will you be self-quarantined?

SEN. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: This is my eighth day, and I've never taken my temperature as much of taken it the last few. I say that 97.5 pretty consistently so I don't have a fever and that's the most -- that's the first thing that happened.


SCOTT: So, it's not the most fun thing to do, I like my family and I like the people I work with so I'd like to be out on hospital. I'm calling on mayors, I'm calling on hospital assistants, doctors, I'm calling sheriffs police departments just to make sure they have all the resources they need.

MACCALLUM: Yes. You know, just a personal question first, you know, we're at the very beginning of this and we've been asked now to stay put like you have for 15 days, you know, in a very hard-core way in order to kind of give us a little bit of a breather here. How do you think Americans are going to do with this over the long term?

SCOTT: I think Americans will show up. And look, we've got --we've got to do some extreme things here because you're right, you're just talking about it we're going to the path of South Korea or we're going to the path of Italy.

And I think we're going to the path of South Korea because we are going -- we have to get this testing up this week. And we need to be able to do rapid test. We've got to secure our borders. I think that's going to happen.

Our governors have got to figure out how they can make sure we get social distancing as way better than the federal government. We got -- we've got to take care of our health care workers so we've got to have this protected gear and we've got to figure out how do we get more of it, how do we protect and gosh, why are we -- why was anybody price gouging. Our attorney general has to show up and stop that.

MACCALLUM: Yes. How -- how do you feel Florida is doing in terms of equipment that's needed and swabs and protected gear and all that. I think a lot of Americans are surprised that we, you know, that some places don't have what they need.

SCOTT: Well, it depends on where you are. And we -- health care is a local locally delivered system. So, our local health care systems with our local county health departments with our physician groups, they all have to get together and figure out what can they produce that maybe they don't have.


SCOTT: Is there equipment that we can put to work that's being used for something else. So, we've got to -- we've got to be very great at entry level, local, state and federal we've got to waive regulations to take care of our -- those regulations might make sense at a different time but we're in a crisis.


SCOTT: And we all have to do this together, and it's your personal responsibility to figure this out. The federal government cannot solve every problem. We've got to have our families, our churches, our mayors, our communities, we all have to get together on this and solve this problem. This is a local problem right now, it's a local health care delivery system.

MACCALLUM: I hear you. Very quickly, so do you think it is the right decision to go ahead and hold the primary tomorrow? You feel safe about that?

SCOTT: Well, you can, you know, Martha, in Florida you can vote early and you can by absentee.


SCOTT: And we have locally elected supervisor election, so if you have a concern call your supervisor election and say how are you keeping me safe?

MACCALLUM: OK. Senator Scott, thank you. Great to talk to talk to you tonight.

SCOTT: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Thank you for being here.

SCOTT: Take care.

MACCALLUM: So here now, Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, and Chris Hahn, former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer, and a syndicated radio host. Great to have both of you with us. Thank you for being here.


MACCALLUM: So, let's starting with this, which is from Senator Schumer, talking about getting this thing done in terms of what can be done at the congressional level. Watch this and I want to get your response to this, Chris Hahn.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: It was my preference to keep the Senate in session over the weekend so that we could have passed this bill already. But Leader McConnell regrettably and almost inexplicably decided to send everyone home and then call them back today. Many members on my side of the aisle were extremely upset.


MACCALLUM: Quick take on that, Chris, and then Karl.

HAHN: Yes, I don't understand why McConnell sent them home, I really don't. I mean, this is a national crisis and everybody worked over the weekend. McConnell should have the Senate in over the weekend. The House passed the bill on Friday, they could have worked out their differences with the House and have this pass and signed by the president by now.

Instead, we are still bickering over parts of this bill and now we are going to have to call 435 members of the House of Representatives back from all over the country. So, I don't understand and I think McConnell --


HAHN: -- has some explaining to do there why he sent them all.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask Karl. Karl, your take on that?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the House didn't pass a bill. They passed a bill but not the bill, they had to bring them back up and make corrections to it. They haven't yet passed that bill so that the Senate can take out the corrected version.

Sometimes, when you move too fast, you make mistakes. The House made mistakes on Friday, they acknowledged them over the weekend, they have yet to pass the bill that the Senate will take up. Better to get the bill done right out of the House.

What would happen if the Senate had been there on Saturday and voted on it? It would have taken them until Sunday to vote given the rules, they would have then had to go back and pass the bill a second time because the House screwed up. The House will finish its business hopefully as soon as possible and then the Senate will take it to --


MACCALLUM: All right. I want to ask you about the -- I want to ask about what's going to happen tomorrow night, but hold --


HAHN: t's funny though, Karl. Can I just put one point here, Martha?

MACCALLUM: Super quick.

HAHN: Karl and I both worked in government right after 9/11 and we work together. I worked in the Senate for Senator Schumer. You worked for George Bush. We worked, everybody came together and we got done what needed to get done. That needs to happen now and I'm not going to blame anybody but I am --


MACCALLUM: No, let's not blame anybody.

HAHN: I am dubious on this kind of --


MACCALLUM: Let's get it done. I think all Americans agree, let's get it done. I mean, it's ridiculous. Let's move on.

ROVE: Yes. Chris, with all due respect, we never had to pass a bill in 24 hours like they did and pass through the Senate. This is the normal course of matter, the House moved too quickly, the Senate gets it done. We -- this serves no purpose whatsoever --

MACCALLUM: All right.

ROVE: -- to engage in the kind of needless bipartisanship that Senator Schumer did.

HAHN: Yes.

MACCALLUM: All right. So, let's hope that they can both move on for the good of the American people in this situation.

I want to ask you both about this primary tomorrow night and the decision to go ahead with the votes and whether or not you agree with that. Chris?

HAHN: Yes, look, I mean, we can't cancel elections in this country. My only reference point is 9/11. And here in New York, we were having a primary and we canceled it that day because of the great uncertainty over what was going on in the country.

They were held two weeks later and they are overwhelming turnout. I think postponing elections is bad for the republic. I think we've got to go through with the elections so we've got to find ways to make sure that when people vote they could do so safely and without jeopardizing their health.

MACCALLUM: It sounds like that's what's going to happen.


HAHN: But hopefully people will come out. I do believe turnout will be down.

MACCALLUM: You know, it's interesting because when you take a look at the question of turnout, Karl, everybody is sort of turning to this virtual experiences, and you have to be concerned I guess from, first of all, I should say, with regard to tomorrow night, do you think that older voters won't show up or do you think they've already voted, Karl. Are you concerned about what the impact on the outcome?

ROVE: Well, I think there will be an impact on the outcome, but I realize, just like Ohio you could cast -- you could request your absentee ballot on January first.


ROVE: You could vote for the last 90 days. You had the last four weeks where you could show up in early votes. So, a lot of people do that. In Texas we traditionally have 50 or 60 percent of the vote cast early. And I suspect that will be the case tomorrow as well in Ohio and some of these other states.

HAHN: That's right.

ROVE: But the turnout will be down because people will not want to come out and put their health at risk.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let me just tell you both that apparently there's an agreement on the House bill and it will move to the Senate tomorrow so we're going to keep everybody posted on that.

I just think the impact of all this, you know, when you can't do sort of your frontline campaign and be in diners, and be in, you know --


MACCALLUM: -- walking up and down the streets. There's a difference. There's an absolute impact on this election. Here's a look at the first crack at the virtual town hall. And we're not -- we're not picking on Joe Biden here. This is -- this is something that's going to take a lot of adjustment. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the things I would like to raise is that we have to deal with this on a national basis.

Maureen? Maureen, are you there?

I'm sorry, this is such a disjointed effort here because of the connection.


MACCALLUM: Something to smooth out there, Chris --

HAHN: Yes.

MACCALLUM: -- because we all get good at the virtual campaign.

HAHN: It's going to be a surreal couple of months for all of us. I'm praying for everybody's health whether you agree with me or disagree with me, and I'm praying that these candidates can reach voters --


HAHN: -- and people can make their choices and not have to live in fear. And God bless America.

MACCALLUM: Agree. And Karl, I mean, July and August we heard today, we're looking at a possibility of not having conventions. I mean, I would assume. Do you that -- am I right?

ROVE: Well, let's wait and see, but it is funny, we're back to where we were like in the 1810s, in the 1820s, and 1830s when presidential elections were conducted, you know, across the country largely invisible because we didn't have the telegraph that tie together for instantaneous news.

HAHN: Yes.

ROVE: Obviously, we didn't have radio and TV and so forth. But it's what happens at the local level and what local officials and local party leaders are able to do to stir up enthusiasm and make issues that matter at the local level that's going to matter for the next couple of months and shaping the following election.

MACCALLUM: A lot ahead. Right now, you've got a poll that shows Bernie -- Biden leading Bernie Sanders two to one across the country and a --

HAHN: Yes.

MACCALLUM: -- and a big night of voting, a lot of it hopefully already baked in the cake for tomorrow night. Chris Hahn and Karl Rove, good to see you both. Thank you very much.

HAHN: Nice to see you.

MACCALLUM: So, another brutal day on Wall Street. How did this all turn around so fast and how to right the shift in the coming weeks and months. Andy Puzder says there is hope for small businesses in America, next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the U.S. economy heading into a recession?

TRUMP: Well, it may be, we're not thinking in terms of recession, we're thinking in terms of the virus.



MACCALLUM: A lot of pain on Wall Street today as the Dow recorded its worst one day point drop in history. Down nearly it was down -- well, how much the Dow down the other day. Yes, almost 3,000 points.

President Trump acknowledged that this new norm could last into August and that the United States could be headed towards a recession due to this virus.

Meanwhile, small businesses are having a very difficult time. Restaurants, bars, fitness facilities, retail stores in cities all across the country are going to be shut down for a period of time.

Here is White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: The president is still very keen, so am I on the payroll tax holiday out to the end of the year. That is the subject of discussion. The payroll tax holiday is a very powerful weapon. It allows businesses and workers to keep more of what they earn and it will provide a lot of cash flow and liquidity.

These measures will I think will help mitigate the economic risks and challenges in front of this.


MACCALLUM: All right. Joining me now, Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants and author of the "Capitalist Comeback." A lot of McDonald's shutting down. You know, this is obviously brutal for these businesses. They can only deliver in a lot of cases these restaurants, Andy. So how do they weather the storm?

ANDY PUZDER, FORMER CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS: Well, I think, number one, I think restaurants are in a little of shape than a lot of the other businesses because you have got delivery, you've now got third party delivery with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash.


PUZDER: You can do curb service and for fast-food restaurants, you've got drive-through service. So, restaurants may be able to weather this a little better than -- but like a fitness place, you know, a gym or someplace that was doing fitness training where you really can't, there's no way to do that other than human contact.

So, what's happening to American businesses right now, small businesses, it's really a tragedy. The government stepped up. President Trump stepped up with $50 billion in SBA loans, but SBA loans aren't easy to get historically. I'm hoping they'll eliminate a lot of the hassles of SBA loans.

There's also things that individuals can do. Look, we shouldn't depend on government for all of this. I've got an article coming out in the next couple of days. It's been suggestion that we have a small business Saturday where we go out and we buy gift certificates online for the local businesses we want to support.

The job creators' network is collecting suggestions from small businesses as to how they can be helpful the So, we need to do things as a society, as a community and the government needs to help the small businesses and quickly.

MACCALLUM: Yes. In terms of the big picture for the economy and what happened over the weekend with the Fed easing, here's Gerry Baker of the Wall Street Journal, here's what he had to say. Watch this.


GERARD BAKER, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I am picking up from a lot of people in the market is a kind of, a little bit of disappointment of the Fed that maybe this wasn't the time to do that. That when there is this much uncertainty when the market is still going to be very volatile and very likely to go down, this is kind of like throwing, throwing your ammunition away.


MACCALLUM: Yes. Did they sort of use the last arrow in the quiver and is that what panic the market today?

PUZDER: I think the market did get -- I think Gerry was right. I will also say. I think we've gotten to a point where it's not -- it's not so much whether the government does financial engineering.

I mean, that's important. The government needs to go all it can to bring this recession, potential recession to an end to bring this crisis to an end.

But I think people now are generally just scared of the virus. Until we get some optimistic news either that the number of cases is going down, the number of new cases, that people are recovering, that we've got therapeutics that work, maybe that we've got a vaccine, until we get that kind of optimistic news I don't know that the financial engineer (Ph) is going to help as much as it would have, you know, two or three, four months ago --


MACCALLUM: Right. No, it's so true.

PUZDER: -- as we were trying to address an economic issue.

MACCALLUM: I mean, so much of this is psychology and confidence --


PUZDER: Yes. But I'll tell you what.

MACCALLUM: -- and that's going to take a while.

PUZDER: When that hits the optimism, when this optimism hits and small businesses will be at the forefront of this, I think the company will come -- the economy will come roaring back. But we've got to get some of the optimism out there.

MACCALLUM: Well, we've got to hang in there and be strong.

PUZDER: Yes, we do.

MACCALLUM: Andy, thank you very much. Andy Puzder, good to have you with us.

PUZDER: My pleasure. Good to be here.

MACCALLUM: So, let's bring in senior correspondent Rick Leventhal live in Lower Manhattan where minutes from now something completely bizarre is going to happen. Restaurants in Manhattan will be closed and they will have takeout and delivery orders only. Rick, what does it look like out there?

RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Right. It looks quiet, it looks like if it wasn't dark, like an early Sunday morning. I mean, a dramatic set of circumstances here, Martha, that affects not just bar and restaurant owners but also all the people who work in those bars and restaurants not just here in Manhattan but across the tri-state area and across the country.

Fifteen minutes from now you will not be able to sit down in a any bar or restaurant in the city and order a drink or anything to eat. As you said, you can get takeout and you can get delivery but you cannot sit down in a restaurant in Manhattan and there are thousands of them, and order food or a drink.

It is a remarkable set of circumstances here in Manhattan and it also will affect beyond, movie theaters, gyms, casinos, other so-called non-essential businesses will close. Supermarkets and gas stations and drugstores and others will be allowed to stay open. The governor says that people should have a wartime mentality about this.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: We're here in public service and that's what we are doing at the time when you desperately need public service. You join the military. You know when they need you. When there's a war. And that's when they need you. And this is a war against coronavirus.


LEVENTHAL: At least 16 states in Puerto Rico will be closing bars and restaurants for eat in dining. California hasn't officially done it yet but the governor is asking the bars and the nightclubs and the wineries to close and the restaurants to focus on takeout.

Other states include Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, on and on, most of them will be shutting down by midnight tonight for at least two weeks.

And this is devastating for people like Raymond Azzi who own a couple of restaurants here in Manhattan. And Raymond, can you survive this?

RAYMOND AZZI, RESTAURANT OWNER: Hopefully we survive. We have a solid business here. We have three restaurants next to each other and I feel worried and concern for my employees, of course. We employ over 16 employees here. And 15 minutes like you said, we're going to close and turn into delivery business.

LEVENTHAL: Yes. You're going to do takeout and carry out.

AZZI: Yes, tomorrow.

LEVENTHAL: And delivery.

AZZI: Exactly.

LEVENTHAL: But you don't know if you can survive.

AZZI: Well, we, again, we have a solid business here. And where for other New Yorkers for my colleagues in this business, for other businesses, independent operators, I feel bad for them. We don't know what's going to happen but we will do our best, and you know, we'll have to manage.

LEVENTHAL: Well, we wish you the best of luck, Raymond. Thank you very much.

There are a lot of people in this situation, Martha, who aren't quite sure how long this is going to last or what kind of impact it will have on their bottom line.

MACCALLUM: Well, everybody in New York has got to rally and order a lot of takeout, and a lot of delivery to keep --

LEVENTHAL: It's true.

MACCALLUM: -- their local places there. Thank you very much, Rick.

So THE STORY continues right after this. Stay with us.


MACCALLUM: Back to Fox News alert with a little bit of good news. Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson released from the hospital in Australia. They are being treated after testing positive for coronavirus last week. They are going to head to a nearby home and they will remain in quarantine for the next several days.

Hanks and Wilson are below the vulnerable 65 and older age group. But today, Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force said that we need to rally around Americans that Hanks has championed in many film projects.


DEBORAH BIRX, COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: I think we've always heard about the greatest generation; we're protecting the greatest generation right now and the children of the greatest generation.


MACCALLUM: So, many Americans are going out of their way to make sure that their older parents and grandparents don't get exposed to the virus. It hasn't been easy and it hasn't been fun. But if you need help pulling it off here's Max Brooks, son of 93-year-old comedy legend Mel Brooks on how they are making this work at their house.


MAX BROOKS, ACTOR: If I get the coronavirus, I'll probably be OK. But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner who could give it to Dick Van Dyke and before I know it, I've wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends. When it comes to coronavirus, I have to think about who I can infect and so should you.


MACCALLUM: A good message. And for those of you who are sick and tired of washing your hands already, tonight show host Jimmy Fallon try to make it fun again.

All right. You get the idea, right? So that is the story of Monday, March 16th, 2020. Hang in there, everybody. Long haul, but we can do it. As always, the story continues. We're going to see you back here tomorrow night at seven. Take care, everybody. Be well. Have a good night.

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