This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 10, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I think it was the ultimate test, not bad. Gary, thank you very much. Again, you can see, folks, DOW up 1,100 points, one of the biggest point gains in history. "THE FIVE" is next.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino, along with Katie Pavlich, Juan Williams, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld. It is 5:00 in New York City, and this is THE FIVE. Joe Biden curses out a blue collar worker in Michigan while voters head to the polls for Super Tuesday 2.0. That video coming up later, but first, 352 delegates in six states are up for grabs tonight.
Joe Biden with a big opportunity to build what could be an insurmountable delegate lead against Bernie Sanders in the fight for the Democratic nomination. And while the former vice president surges. His campaign is cutting down on the length of his speeches after another round of gaffes. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to unite this party and unite this country. The folks want to nominate a Democrat, a life-long Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat. Join us. We cannot get -- re-elect -- we cannot win this re-election -- excuse me. We can only re- elect Donald Trump. If in fact, we get engaged in this circular firing squad.
Together, I think we can win back the House -- we're going to keep the House. Increase it. And flip the Senate. We talked about that. We're going to win back the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: While Bernie Sanders is shying away from directly attacking Biden over his campaign slip-ups, he is saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When give I speech, often it is 45 minutes or an hour, OK? Because there are a lot of challenges that the country faces, and I have got to talk about them. You know, I think Joe was somewhere -- where was he, I don't know, Michigan or someplace else the other day? And he spoke for seven minutes. I don't know how you say anything other than, you know, minimal discussion in seven minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: So both of the candidates have cancelled their events for tonight, citing Coronavirus as a concern. They're going to be in Ohio. That's where the voting will take place next week when there's another Super Tuesday. Katie, what about this Biden and Bernie thing about how long their speeches are?
KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, I think that he has a point, Bernie Sanders, in the sense that -- look, we're trying to talk about deep issues or trying to determine why we're different from each other, why voters should vote for us based on our policies. And it's very difficult in seven minutes to lay out your entire platform as a moderate Democrat and distinguishing yourself from someone like Bernie Sanders.
Now, whether Bernie Sanders is saying anything new, meaning how is he actually going to pay for things and getting into the details of what his policy proposals really mean for Americans is a different story. But Joe Biden being taken off the campaign trail, in the sense of being limited in his time, is not a good look when he's trying to make the argument that he's the one who can beat President Trump who can speak for hours on end without stopping and without a teleprompter.
PERINO: Juan, do you think that much ado about nothing? And also, what do you think about tonight? Because four years ago, Bernie Sanders had a very good night in these particular states, especially Michigan, Missouri, Washington State. But tonight, Biden is in the lead in some places, and certainly on Bernie Sanders' heels.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, on the whole business about the attacks on his competence, I just -- I find it offensive. I'm a little stunned. But I see that this is President Trump's, you know, line of attack against Joe Biden of late. And I just think --
PERINO: What about Biden -- I mean Bernie Sanders going after --
WILLIAMS: No. In fact, last night, Bret and Martha, at the town hall, asked him about it. And he said he wouldn't do it. And I think that some of his own backers, Dana, have been critical of him for not really taking down his opponents, including Joe Biden. But he's not buying in. And I think most Democrats -- not only do they see it as Joe Biden that they have known forever and ever and is sort of charming and authentic and Uncle Joe and all that.
But I think, secondly, they see this as sort of base, personal politics, that, you know --
PERINO: What about the results for tonight?
WILLIAMS: But tonight, I think -- look, if you were a betting lady, you would say oh, boy, I'll put all my money -- all my chips on Joe Biden, except for western states. So if you're looking at Idaho and Washington, I think it's in Idaho that you -- that Biden is up, but within the margin of error in Washington. Sanders is up, but again, within the margin of error.
Everywhere else, we're looking at Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and then there's one exception. But those are clearly, heavily, right now all the polls show for Joe Biden. The one exception I was going to say is there's something, you know, for people out of the country, Democrats abroad. And at the moment, that seems to be on Sanders' side. They could have voted early. But it's not significant in terms of the delegate allotment.
PERINO: The one thing, Jesse, is that Hillary Clinton did really badly four years ago in these states. And she constantly comes back out and she talks about her books and the documentaries and shows she's in the people's consciousness, Joe Biden already doing better than Hillary Clinton.
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: I mean, but at least, Hillary's staff didn't hide her. They're already hiding Biden. He should be fresh by now. This guy is in the home stretch in October. He's going to have to do two to three events a day. He's going to have to do debate prep, fund raisers, TV interviews. And the guy's already winded. He's saying things like AR-15.
He's running for the Senate -- AR-14, that he's confusing family members. He doesn't know if he's in Iowa or if he's in Ohio. This is not good. And now, he's negotiating with the Sanders team so he gets to sit for the debate. They don't want him standing for two hours one-on-one. They want him to sit. So they made Donald Trump take a cognitive test, because he tweeted fake news after midnight a few times.
And he passed with flying colors. They're talking about the 25th Amendment, you know, pulling the hook on him. Joe's brain should be fair game. And that's the bottom line. And Bernie Sanders, he needs to go for the jugular. Because to act like something is all right there, that's not good enough. He did it with Hillary with her e-mails. We don't care about your damn e- mails, Hillary.
And he's doing it again. It's like a guy, a boxer in the late rounds. He's down on all the judge's score cards. He needs a knockout. And he's still dancing around, jabbing. Bernie has got to hit him on stamina. He has got to hit him on the gaffes. He has got to hit him on family corruption. He has to go hard, because if he doesn't do something big to change the trajectory of the race, it's over.
PERINO: And I'm going to have -- I have a little prediction. I think that if Biden does really well tonight, that he will move to say he doesn't need to debate Sunday at all, regarding sitting or standing.
WILLIAMS: I don't think he has to choice. I think he has to do it.
WILLIAMS: -- in response to what Jesse just said. I think that Joe Biden's secret was on TV and had an extensive interview last night.
WATTERS: I didn't see that.
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS HOST: GUTFELD: No, I'm good. Let's just go to break.
PERINO: Look, it happens to me all the time.
GUTFELD: New nickname, new nickname, Hiding Biden. There you go. That sticks. Look, last week was Super Tuesday, this week, Stuper Tuesday. You have a choice between a man who has been wrong his entire life on the core issues of our time, or a decent guy who is experiencing easily identifiable cognitive decline. You might find that offensive, but it is accurate.
One is a socialist who has been wrong and one is experiencing cognitive decline. It is there for everybody to see. The solution for this is you're going to support Joe Biden, because he still wears the comfy sweater of American capitalism, not the failed hair shirt of socialism. So what are you counting on? Joe Biden's VP choice, which will be Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar who will inherit the office in probably a year.
If Biden wins, they will be president. So here's the greatest analogy you'll hear today. For a Democrat, this election is like buying a house, not for the structure, but for the land. Because if Joe wins, you're going to tear down the house, but you still get the lot, in which you erect the Kamala Harris or the Amy Klobuchar presidency. You're welcome.
PERINO: You heard it here. You heard it here. And Cory Booker is out there.
PERINO: He's out there. He's enthusiastic. VP choices are really important this time, Katie?
PAVLICH: Especially if Joe Biden is the nominee, absolutely. And it's going to interesting to look at how Democrats demand a far left candidate to be the vice president, so that the Bernie wing of the party is somehow represented, and whether, you know, moderate Democrats are going to get out and vote for someone like that with that person on the ticket is going to be the question.
I think we should pick up on what you brought up about the debate on Sunday potentially being cancelled. The Biden team is going to have to do a risk assessment here. And this would be the first time that Joe Biden is on stage by himself. He doesn't have the other candidates to shield him from having to make lengthy statements --
PERINO: -- delegate lead. But why do you think, Juan that he has to debate?
WILLIAMS: I don't there's any question. It would be playing to exactly the kind of, you know, offensive thinking that is so prevalent now as a result of the president's behavior.
PERINO: But if you want to win --
GUTFELD: -- the behavior began on your side.
WILLIAMS: By the way, I think that people have said things like this about President Trump. And I have never engaged in such chat. I don't think anybody --
GUTFELD: -- and his stability --
WILLIAMS: -- of Joe Biden --
GUTFELD: -- you read his mind everyday. You knew what he was thinking.
WILLIAMS: Look, tonight you have a situation where, as Dana pointed out, Sanders won Michigan in 16 -- it's a 70 percent white electorate. Heavy -- I think a third of the electorate is white, non-college educated. These are Sanders voters in other states. And if he doesn't do something here, there's just -- it's almost like, you know, the rest of the party is going to be pretty quiet.
PERINO: We had something else to bring to you. There was a very nice moment at the White House just moments ago. President Trump presenting the Medal of Freedom to retired four-star Army General Jack Keane for his service to the country. It's the nation's highest civilian honor. General Keane, of course, as you know him well, he's a Fox News Senior Strategic Analyst.
It was wonderful to see that moment there for him. Coming up next on THE FIVE, Democrats have been quick to attack the president over the Coronavirus. But would their plans to stop it be any better? Hear Greg's take on that next.
GUTFELD: You just groaned. If you want to see the deadly impact of the progressive mind, watch Bernie from last night's Fox News town hall. There he said he wouldn't have shutdown our borders to protect Americans from disease, you know, because that would be racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you had to, would you close down the borders?
SANDERS: No. I mean, what you don't want to do right now -- we have a president who has a propagated, a xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiment, from before he was elected. What we need to do is have the scientists take a hard look at what we need to do. There are communities where the virus is spreading. What does that mean? It may mean self-quarantining. It may be not having public assemblies.
But let's not go back to the same old thing. Isn't it interesting that a president who has been demagoguing and demonizing immigrants the first thing that he can think about is closing down the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Imagine how clueless you have got to be to say that, as other countries endure chaos due to virus spread from one travel hub to the next. Here you have a leading Democrat saying that preventing such spread would be racist against Chinese and Italians, somehow. Italians locked themselves down, you idiot. You've heard the phrase fiddling while Rome burned.
Bernie has got his head up his ass while his hair burns, safety first, Bernie. Even for a leftist, Bernie is behind the times. By now, those who call Trump racist for blocking travel have already changed their tune to a new smear, because it worked. Now, it's he didn't do it fast enough. It exposes their punitive politics as the designation of oppressor versus oppressed creates suspicion in all relationships.
Black, white, gay, straight, male, female, undermining cooperation in community, which prevents action to reduce death. How can you expect to fight any threat, be it or a virus or world war, if your leader wants you to fight each other? Funny how Bernie thought it was so noble to say how he'd make a vaccine free once it was available. I say why not make it available now?
As if things magically appear before the socialist takes control of distribution, take it from me, when a scientist makes a drug that helps the world, a socialist will call him a bigot for taking so long and then smoke it. If we listen to Bernie, Katie, we would be screwed. Because the border action bought time for us to spread out the -- whatever the emergency, the urgent hospital prep and actually make some mistakes.
PAVLICH: Well, you know, how we're being lectured about common sense. Well, shutting down borders during something that is becoming a pandemic is a common sense thing to do. The president did it relatively soon as soon as we knew what China was telling us about the virus in January. He was criticized for doing so. You cannot, as a Democrat or anybody running for office.
Be an advocate for open borders, were you're just allowing thousands of people to come into country un-vetted and then be taken seriously as a candidate for president who should be in charge, who can do a better job than President Trump and his administration has been doing so far. Bernie Sanders talks about scientists.
Everyday, the vice president has been standing up in front of the country and the world with a number of scientists and doctors who have been talking about this disease. And the other thing is now the media is gaslighting everybody, because we call it a Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus. They're saying that that is now racist, which in return allows China to get away with not having any accountability for the way this thing happened.
Oh, can't talk about how this is China's fault because that would be racist, which gives the Communist Party a pass for censoring information, for not getting us the DNA code of the virus soon enough so we can start working on a vaccine, and figuring out how fast it's going to spread, etcetera, etcetera. So this idea that we can't talk about the facts because they're racist now apparently.
It came from China. It's a Chinese virus. We need to deal with it. And also saying that not shutting down borders, but also I should be in charge of preventing the spread of this is just ridiculous and shouldn't be taken seriously.
GUTFELD: At least, the governor of California, Gavin Newsome, actually admitted that what is being done by Trump is essentially good. I think we have this tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a private conversation, but he said we're going to do the right thing and you have my support, all of our support, logistically and otherwise. He said everything that I could have hoped for. And we had a very long conversation. And every single thing he said, they followed through on. Every single thing, his administration, and it starts at the top, including the vice president has been consistent with the expectation that we repatriate these passengers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: It's refreshing, Dana, to see some kind of unity among people who are from different political groups.
PERINO: Well, also because -- so we have a federalist system, which means that the state and local governments, they're on the frontlines. So they have to coordinate with the federal government. And if you're Gavin Newsome, you want to fight with President Trump or do you want to get what you need in order to help the people of your state.
I mean, they have -- your economy and all of those things. And I think that when things get this serious and you're doing public health crisis, you can set politics aside if you want to. And in fact, I think also even Governor Inslee of Washington State has backed off of his criticism because they realize that we're all in this together. It's not partisan.
And the public health workers themselves have said that the travel ban from China was actually very helpful, because it have them the time that they needed to prepare. So we -- actually, I think that President Trump could have gone further, right? He could have said no one from South Korea, no one from Iran, initially. But he -- they were prudent and they waited.
And now, it could turn out that it was too late or something, like -- somebody might make that argument. But this is a fast-moving situation. And when you're -- you have the burden of leadership, which means you're going to get criticized, but I think the facts will end up telling the full story.
GUTFELD: Yeah. Jesse, it is -- Bernie does have the luxury of his decisions not mattering.
WATTERS: You can't trust Bernie Sanders. You're talking about Bernie Sanders. It's like an arsonist as your fire chief. You don't want someone that starts fires. You want someone that puts them out. You're talking about an international health scare, and he wants to take away everyone's' healthcare? He wants to vaporize the health insurance industry?
He wants to lock up pharmaceutical executives who are now racing towards finding a vaccine. If you want to open borders during an international pandemic, that's crazy talk. If tightening the borders saves lives, that's a smart thing. That's not racist. It's all rational. Italy did it. They're not racist. They're trying to get a grip on this thing.
When Trump was shutting down the borders and flights from China, the Democrats were impeaching him and they were calling him racist. They have been briefing Congress for two months about this since December. They've been going out forming taskforce. They've pushing forth with new vaccines, quarantines, everything on TV every single day. What do the Democrats want to do differently?
I don't know. I heard Joe answer that on MSNBC last night. Two-minute answer, no clue what his plan was. I had to watch it twice. I still don't know.
GUTFELD: Well, you know, Juan --
GUTFELD: Juan, I seem to remember you questioning whether the travel ban was worth while.
WILLIAMS: I do. I still think -- first of all, it's not shutting down our borders. I hear you guys saying that. There's a different between containment, which is someplace like Italy, and someone who is saying I'm going to keep everybody out because I'm worried they're going to bring the disease here. The fact is the disease is already here.
Our issue is no longer about somehow containment. As the surgeon general said yesterday, it's about mitigating the impact of the fact that -- and trying to slow its spread. We have a situation here in New York. They're now containing an area up in New Rochelle. That's not about shutting down. It's trying to contain the spread. That's very different.
So you have a situation where, you know, we had Ebola come in. And then Obama was asked to shut down the borders. And all, of course, the reaction there said -- oh yeah, shut down the borders. Shut down the borders. The medical experts said no. In fact, that would be ineffective and make it more likely that Ebola would spread.
GUTFELD: -- shut it down fast enough.
WILLIAMS: -- the fact is that he -- that President Trump knew about this but, was engaged -- it's not going to a big deal. We still hear the same thing.
PAVLICH: Juan, that's so unfair for you to say that. It's not true.
WILLIAMS: And of course --
GUTFELD: That was after he shut it down.
WILLIAMS: -- that he has sacrificed all his credibility on this issue, because he's engaged in happy thoughts. We're going to have a vaccine in a few weeks.
PAVLICH: -- to freak out and panic? Should that be what he says, like, yeah, we're all going to be in trouble.
WILLIAMS: -- you want somebody to calm you down.
WILLIAMS: -- but lying and misinformation, he's just not good at sort of calming us. He's exciting us.
WATTERS: What's the Democrats' plan, Juan?
WILLIAMS: I think the Democrats' plan is to rely on the scientists.
WATTERS: -- so Trump is not relying on the scientists.
WILLIAMS: Oh, you know what? Not a problem, go to work.
GUTFELD: You shut down the border, which was --
WILLIAMS: He shut down the Chinese border.
GUTFELD: All right. All right, Joe Biden curses out a voter after being confronted about his second amendment plan. Don't miss it, next.
WATTERS: Super Tuesday polls close in just a few couple of hours from now. And Joe Biden's embarrassing himself on the campaign trail again. Here he is actually swearing at a blue collar factory in Michigan after being called out over his gun control plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are actively trying to end the Second Amendment.
BIDEN: You're full of (Inaudible). Hold on. Shush, shush, I support the Second Amendment. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. They're going to take you AR-14's away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not OK, all right?
BIDEN: Don't tell me that, pal. I'm going to go outside with you in a minute.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're working for me, man.
BIDEN: I'm not working for you. Give me a break, man. Don't be such a horse's (Inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: Wow, Greg. I guess his staff was trying to control him, but he shushed them.
GUTFELD: Was that a female staffer? Shushing a female staffer is a sexist. Sexist, I tell you. I don't know. I can't -- this is going to be a fun time. You know what, he gets mad, he gets cranky. He's like me when I'm hungry all the time. Look, Biden's message is not the party's message. His messages vote for me and I will replace Trump. The party messages vote for Biden and Kamala, or Amy will replace him. Trust me.
WATTERS: You know what, he also lied about not wanting to go after people's guns here. He is admitting it. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make something clear. I'm going to guarantee you this is not the last you'll see of this guy. You're going to take care of the gun problem with me. You're going to be the one who leads this effort. I'm counting on you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So to gun owners out there who say well, a Biden administration means they're going to come from my guns.
BIDEN: Bingo. You're right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: All right, so Katie, either he lied or he didn't remember what he said two months ago.
PAVLICH: I don't think Joe Biden would be able to define assault weapons. I'm not sure he knows exactly what his policy would be. But you can look at the people who have endorsed him. Beto, who he said would be in charge of his gun policy, has repeatedly called for the confiscation of constitutionally protected ownership of firearms.
WATTERS: Door to door.
PAVLICH: Door to door by force from the government coming to you and demanding that if you don't turn it in, you will go to prison. Michael Bloomberg has endorsed Joe Biden who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on gun control efforts all around the country to curtail Second Amendment rights. And it's really interesting to watch Joe Biden in this setting, because these are the kinds of voters that Democrats have to win back, to win places like Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
And they're going to have a very hard time reconciling this woke attitude of gun confiscation to a group of guys like that. There's 50 people standing around them. They all probably feel very similar about the Second Amendment. And also then trying to win back blue-collar workers. It's like putting a square peg in a round hole. This is not going to work. So you can't be for gun confiscation in a crowd like that, a blue-collar workers in the Midwest and think that you're going to win their vote back, especially when President Trump has provided economic policies that they like.
WATTERS: Juan, what if Trump went up to a voter and told him he was full of -- and then told them let's -- you know, let's take this outside?
WILLIAMS: I think you guys would applaud.
WATTERS: Oh, really?
WILLIAMS: Yes. Because you say, hey, you know what, that's Donald Trump. He's being direct. He's being real. You know --
WATTERS: He's being real rude. What do you think about Joe doing that though?
WILLIAMS: I thought, you know what, he's a straight shooter. And by the way, I don't think --
WATTERS: Just not with an AR-15.
WILLIAMS: What you guys are saying is so wrong. Joe Biden, in all those interviews you just saw, said that what he wants to do is not come and confiscate or take away anyone's gun. Governor Whitmer of Michigan just said yesterday --
WATTERS: Didn't he just said that Anderson Cooper?
WILLIAMS: Hang on. No, that's not what he said. What he said was --
WATTERS: He said bingo.
WILLIAMS: -- assault weapons, weapons that pose a threat in terms mass murders of this country which we have a problem with.
PAVLICH: So handgun is fine?
WILLIAMS: But here -- let me finish this point.
WATTERS: Real quick.
WILLIAMS: Because I think that when you think about what Katie was talking about, some strong NRA backer, they weren't going to vote for a Democrat anyway. His stand, Biden's stand is forceful. It helps him with Democrats who say, you deliver a strong message, Joe. You come through strong, I didn't see any dilly-dallying or mental incapacity. No, all of a sudden --
WATTERS: No, AR-14.
WILLIAMS: But I must say, I must say --
WATTERS: Did he get that right?
WILLIAMS: Today, I must say, at this table, I now understand that Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee the way these guys are going after Biden.
WATTERS: He might not make it to be the nominee.
WILLIAMS: Yes, that's your wishful thinking.
WATTERS: What do you think, Dana?
PERINO: Well, I think on the gun thing, it's very interesting that Bernie Sanders used to actually have a pretty nuanced view. He was a supporter of gun rights and that sort of set him apart in the Senate. And I don't exactly know when it changed, but as the party move further left, he moved with them.
And so now that's pretty much party orthodoxy is that the position that Joe Biden is saying that he has now is the one that he thinks can get him to the finish line with for the Democratic nomination. Now, how does that play in a general election? Now for suburban women? Maybe it's better but for those blue-collar workers that were Obama-Trump voters, I don't know that necessarily helps them, get them back.
WATTERS: Maybe he called the guy dog, pony soldier.
GUTFELD: A key to that point. A key difference between -- because you guys were talking about Trump and Biden. I can't recall a single instance of Trump actually aggressively going after individual -- every single one of Joe's tips are with a person, the dog -- when he's talking to somebody, it's going after a person. Trump goes after groups, fake news, the media, that kind of stuff.
WATTERS: Yes, he snaps pretty quickly. All right, we're awaiting another Coronavirus Task Force briefings. Stay with THE FIVE for the latest on the outbreak.
WILLIAMS: Any moment now, we're going to be getting an update on the coronavirus from the task force at the White House. Here's President Trump commenting on the outbreak earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're prepared and we're doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. Consumers are so powerful in our country with what we've done with tax cuts and regulation cuts and all of those things. The consumer has never been in a better position than they are right now. So a lot of good things are going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: The Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread throughout the United States. There are now more than 730 confirmed cases. The number of deaths now at 27. And officials in New York State announcing they're setting up a containment zone in a community outside of New York. All schools and here I'm quoting, "major gathering places" within a one-mile radius will be shut down for two weeks.
So I guess the question begins with you know, do you agree with containment zones, Jesse?
WATTERS: Well, if the officials believe that a containment zone is effective, I support that. I think we're still learning a lot about the virus. For instance, Matt Gaetz, congressman, was at CPAC the other day, shook hands and took a selfie with a guy who was infected with Coronavirus. He just got tested, and he tested negative. That's a pretty good indication about how contagious it is and who's at risk. It doesn't mean, you know, we know everything, but we're learning a lot more.
In terms of what Congress can do, they can only do so much. Because if the consumer doesn't go to dinner, and the consumer stays inside the house, and the worker doesn't have to go to work, they're told to work from home, the Congress can't make people go outside and spend money. So they're limited in what they can do.
They could do the payroll tax, they could do the loans, they can waive the co-pays if you get tested, but that's not the silver bullet. But looking back at what the left has been saying about what we really need to fear. What have they been saying? What is the existential threat? Global warming, how does that look right now? Global warming is the number one threat to human civilization. It just seems silly at a moment like this when you have a pandemic, you have terrorism, and you have the over-reliance on the Chinese that are really threatening this country.
WILLIAMS: All right, so Dana, the President was up on Capitol Hill today talking with the Republican conference at lunch. They're trying to come up with some kind of economic plan, thinking about a stimulus are going to be a lot of industries that need help in the aftermath of this. But he doesn't have any specific plan yet, except for what Jesse was talking about that payroll tax.
PERINO: The payroll tax.
WILLIAMS: But it's a payroll tax cut, by the way, that would only go to November when he's up for reelection.
PERINO: Well, we don't know all the details, but I do think -- here's the thing, though. So they're trying to figure out a way how do you get ahead of it because you know that this is going to have an economic impact. So there are a few things you could do.
The payroll tax cut, at least, allows you to have more of a broad base support for people rather than picking winners and losers. But if they get into this thing of we're going to help the oil industry but we're not going to help the cruise ship industry. And maybe hotels but not -- but however it all works out, I think they're showing that that there's willing.
But look, in Washington D.C., it's not hard to pass a stimulus bill. Everyone is always open for business if you want to spend more money. But in this case, they might really need to in order to do that. But the other thing is, if you look at like -- forget China for a second, but South Korea.
People are traveling from China to South Korea. Their numbers went up, up, up, up up. What did South Korea do? They had all of these things like canceling big events, social distancing, closing schools, all of that has led to them, if you look at the charts now, their numbers have gone way down. So there's some things that we can do. Early and aggressive action is really important.
WILLIAMS: So Greg, when I was just listening to the president there, I thought, there he goes again. I mean, this is a president who at a time of crisis should project calm and trust.
Fox News alert. Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force now holding a briefing at the White House. Let's listen in.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: Good afternoon we just completed today's meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. And I couldn't be more proud of the efforts of the men and women standing behind me or all of those standing behind them.
President Trump said from early on that this would be a whole of government approach. And today gives evidence of the fact that it is also a whole of America's approach. We're bringing the full resources of the federal government and the full resources of this great economy and our great business sector to bear in protecting the American people and protecting American families.
A few updates from today. As we continue to expand testing availability across the country, testing is now available at all state labs. By the end of this week, there will be more than four million more tests made available in jurisdictions around the country. One million are already in place, thanks to the good work of our top commercial labs that the President Trump brought together yesterday.
LabCorp and Quest are in the process now of distributing and marketing coronavirus tests all across America. And we're working with state local officials to ensure that that happens as rapidly as possible. But as the testing is expanding, we wanted to make sure the American people knew that testing was available to them and that cost would not be a barrier.
Today, President Trump assembled the top health insurance executives in America and as we announced earlier today, all of our major health insurance companies have now joined with Medicare and Medicaid and agreed to waive all co-pays, cover the cost of all treatment for those who contract the coronavirus. They've committed to no surprise billing and they've committed to encourage telemedicine.
It was a year ago that Medicaid actually expanded to pay for telemedicine. Medicare pays for telemedicine. So now for seniors who may think that they are either at risk or have contracted the disease, they can get medical advice without having to go to the doctor or go to an emergency room.
I know I speak for President Trump when I say how grateful we are to see our health insurance industry step forward to meet this need for that, that no American should be concerned about being able to pay for or for the cost of a coronavirus test if they deem and their doctor deems it to be appropriate and necessary.
The President also went to Capitol Hill today to meet with members of the United States Senate Republican caucus. There he talked about an economic package, including a call -- he's calling for payroll tax relief. And I think most important to the President's heart, we want to make sure that hourly workers, hard-working blue-collar Americans that may not have paid family leave today, that small and medium-sized businesses in America would be afforded the resources to provide paid leave so that no one would feel that they have to go to work if they might be infected or if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.
We had a good reception on Capitol Hill. Our legislative teams have fanned out. We're going to be working with Republican and Democrat leadership to move an economic package. Larry Kudlow will be reflecting on that in just a few moments.
We also talked about what are known as N-95 masks and we're working -- Senator Deb Fischer and others have important legislation that would extend temporary liability protections so that masks that are made for industrial use could be sold the hospital to ensure that our healthcare workers are properly protected and outfitted. And we're grateful for growing bipartisan support for that measure, and we're going to be working earnestly with Republicans and Democrats to move a reform that would make more N-95 masks available.
I'm also pleased to report that we did receive this afternoon a comprehensive proposal from the cruise line industry. A proposal that include includes advanced screening, improving medical services on ships, providing for airlift evacuation and land-based care at the expense of the cruise lines for anyone that might be not only infected with the coronavirus, but with any serious illness.
We'll be reviewing that in the next 24 hours. The President's objective is for us to make the cruise lines safer even as we worked with the cruise lines to ensure that no one in our particularly vulnerable population is going out on a cruise in the near future.
I'm going to recognize Dr. Fauci to talk about where we are and Dr. Birx will give us some research that she's done on the scope. We'll have other updates. But let me say once again, this is a whole of government approach. And from early on, President Trump has insisted that our -- that our government at the federal level, all of our partners at the state level work in concert to protect the American people.
And as we stand here today, the risks to the average American of contracting the coronavirus remains low. But we're absolutely determined to give every American the tools and the information that they need to protect themselves, their families, their workplace, their schools, and we're going to work together. We're going to work together to see our way through this and working with leaders in both parties in Congress, working with leaders at the state level all across this nation. I'm confident we will.
With that, Dr. Tony Fauci for an update on the status.
ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Just to give you a very brief sketch of what we do every day. The case has continued to increase globally. We're paying particular attention to the cases in Europe, in Italy, and France in which we're starting to see that up at the same time, as the relative number of new cases come down from China. What we're seeing in Europe is that Europe is in that upslope.
So that's something that is expected. That's the way these kinds of outbreaks go. This is not a surprise to anybody. If you look at the history of infectious diseases outbreaks. In the United States, we continue to have new cases. As of this morning, there were 712 I believe, with 27 deaths, guaranteed by the time of this evening that's going to be up and there'll be several more, and tomorrow there'll be several more.
So we realize that this is something obviously, that we've been saying all along, that we're taking very seriously. Now the question is, what are we going to do about that. And there are a number of things that one can do in order to blunt it. If you look at the curves of outbreaks, you know, they go big peaks and they come down, what we need to do is flatten that down. That would have less people infected. That would ultimately have less deaths.
You do that by trying to interfere with the natural flow of the outbreak. So what we're saying today, is that although we keep coming in and saying appropriately, that as a nation, the risk is relatively low, there are parts of the country right now that are having community spread in which the risk there is clearly a bit more than that.
And you know, the places. You know, Washington State, California, New York, and Florida. But what I want to talk to you about today, just for a moment or two is that we would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago. That it doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case, you have to start taking seriously what you can do now, that if and when the infections will come, and they will come, sorry to say, sad to say they will.
But when you're dealing with an infectious disease, you know, we always have that metaphor that people talk about that Wayne Gretzky, you know, he doesn't go where the puck is, he's going where the puck is going to be. Well, we want to be where the infection is going to be as well as where it is.
So what we have here, if you can see that here -- it's here -- is that if you go to coronavirus.gov, remember when Dr. Birx yesterday mentioned some of the things that we put together, these are really simple, keeping the workplace safe, keeping the home safe, keeping the school safe, and keeping commercial establishment safe. This should be universal for the country. Everyone should be doing that. Whether you live in a zone that has community spread or not.
When you have community spread, you are obviously going to ratchet up the kinds of mitigations that you have. But at a minimum, this is the minimum that we should be doing. So everybody should say, all hands on deck. This is what we need to do. So I'll stop there and later, I'll be happy to answer questions.
PENCE: Thank you, Dr. Fauci.
DEBORAH BIRX, CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, and thank you, Dr. Fauci, for that clarity. We continue to monitor the situation across the country and across the globe. And we are very fortunate between Dr. Fauci and I, we have long-term contracts out there in many of these countries that are experiencing current outbreaks.
We continue to review all the scientific literature to look for insights and to really determine who's at the greatest risk. And that's why we've talked to you about people with immunodeficiencies at any age, people with medical conditions and the elderly and how important it is for all of us to take these precautions in the household to protect others.
Because we have circulating flu and other respiratory diseases at this time. We all have to act like all of those diseases, any respiratory disease can be transmitted to others. And as we said yesterday, we're hoping that decreases all the respiratory disease we're experiencing.
Finally, we got new reports out of China who had nine pregnant women during an acute COVID infection, and all nine were infected. Both -- and they delivered while they were infected, and all nine babies were healthy and the mothers are healthy. So we continue to look for data like that to be reassuring to the American public, at the same time ensuring that every single person is participating in this response to this virus and taking those precautions that we should be taking every day.
If we start doing this today, we will be ready next year for any of our respiratory diseases because I think we'll be able to show that these simple household, simple work, simple schools, simple business, approaches across the country can change all of our respiratory diseases. So we thank you for getting the message out. We thank you for the participating and ensuring in your households and on households around America, that we're protecting all of those who need our support right now.
PENCE: Excellent. Thank you Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci. And this information is available at coronavirus.gov. And, as we said, we can't say often enough, the risks of contracting the coronavirus to the average American remains low. But for senior citizens with serious underlying chronic health conditions, the potential for serious consequences is very real.
And make no mistake about it, by practicing these habits in your home, in your school, and your business, you're not only protecting your health, but you're also protecting those that are most vulnerable. With that, for an update on our -- the progress that President Trump made today with our health insurance companies, I'd like to recognize Seema Verma.
SEEMA VERMA, ADMINISTRATOR, CMS: As the Vice President said, we had a terrific meeting with the insurance companies, a real example of a public- private partnership where they agreed to waive co-pays for testing, not do any surprise billing, and also cover the costs of the COVID virus- associated costs.
The other things that they did is they asked the president for more flexibility in Medicare Advantage plans. And the President agreed to do that. And so today, we issued guidance to our Medicare Advantage plans that not only can they waive the costs for the test, but they can also go further to removing prior authorization requirements, they can waive prescription refill limits, they can allow for mail delivery of prescription drugs, and expand more access to telehealth services if they weren't offering that in their plan.
Also at CMS, we continue to work with healthcare providers around infection control practices. We met with home health agencies, and also hospitals. And today we issued guidance to dialysis facilities as well as home health agencies around infection control.
PENCE: There's been a great deal of attention about the Grand Princess and HHS working with the Coast Guard with the Department of Defense is currently working through disembarking American passengers returning foreign nationals to their country. And I wanted to ask the secretaries to speak and update us on the progress.
ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: So with regard to the Grand Princess, I wanted to first express our appreciation to Governor Newsome, to the mayor of Oakland, the people of Oakland, the longshoremen, the stevedores who have helped with bringing it in and clearing the clearing the dock area so that we can do all of our operations there.
We've got Admiral Abel here with us today who's been leading the Coast Guard effort, and then Deputy Secretary Biegun from State has done incredible work with our foreign partners to help with the repatriation of their nationals who are on board the ship. As of our data that I've got is as of noon Pacific time today, so this will have increased quite substantially since my last update.
But as of noon Pacific, we had 548 individuals who have been offloaded from the ship. 228 Canadians are already back in Canada, flown there I believe was overnight. 171 Californians were taken by the government of California and are now at Travis Air Base. 26 individuals were sick and they're being -- they're being treated for various -- it could be from the novel coronavirus, it could also just be -- we had some frail individuals who are sick that needed treatment.
Our goal is to get all of the citizens of California off today to be in the care of the -- of the California State government as well as to get the U.K. citizens off today so that they could be repatriated to the United Kingdom. We continue to work with other countries on all of those maneuvers. We will have non-California residents who will be in transport to the bases at Dobbins and at Lackland today, we hope or tonight.
So everything is progressing. It seems to be progressing well. We're using the highest isolation quarantine procedures, medical screenings possible to ensure the safety of not just the passengers but also of the local communities and all of the healthcare workers and others, emergency responders are helping. So thanks to all of our partners for this -- their help with this very complex operation.
PENCE: Good report. And let me echo the Secretary's appreciation to Governor Gavin Newsom state of California, city of Oakland. It has literally been a seamless partnership. Everyone on that ship will be tested, isolated, and quarantined as appropriate and provided with treatment.
The crew on the ship other than those who were ill will be quarantined on the ship offshore. But it really represented the kind of partnership and cooperation from every level of government that every American I know is grateful to see. With that, on the economic front, Larry Kudlow.
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Thank you, sir. Yesterday, in a meeting in the Oval, the President acknowledging there going to be challenges on the health and economic side. He mentioned that he intended to bring the full power of the federal government to deal with these challenges.
And accordingly, as Vice President said, up at the Republican Senate luncheon today, and he mentioned it. In this room yesterday, President Trump has unveiled his proposals, strong proposals for a temporary payroll tax cut holiday, which I think he would prefer to last through the end of the year.
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