Martha MacCallum on lessons learned from the 'greatest generation'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," March 4, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is this a leap for the former veep?

You are looking live at Los Angeles, where 2020 Democrat Joe Biden is about to speak, as Michael Bloomberg officially bows out of the presidential race, throwing his support to Biden.

And Joe ain't the only one surging. Look at stocks. Some are calling this the Biden buy. Whatever the fact is, we are up 1,171 points today, just today, Wall Street betting that if a Democrat were to beat President Trump, Biden's policies that would be better than, well, at least those of Bernie Sanders for the markets.

They might be getting ahead of themselves, but here's where we stand.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. And say it is so, Joe.

Given up for dead, Joe Biden the front and center front-runner right now.

We have got you covered with our Alex Hogan in New York, where Michael Bloomberg has just folded his wallet, and FOX Business' Deirdre Bolton on the candidate who is now off to the races.

We begin with Alex -- Alex.

ALEX HOGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, after 100 days on the campaign trail, visiting 23 states and 73 cities, Michael Bloomberg is officially out of the race.

The former mayor of New York City saying that, again, he is pulling out, the data simply wasn't there. Instead, he will throw all of his weight behind Joe Biden. And again, since the beginning, he says his message has remained the same.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you remember, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump.

And, today, I am leaving the race for the same reason, to defeat Donald Trump, because staying in would make it more difficult to achieve that goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOGAN: The former mayor and founder of his multibillion-dollar company centered his three-month campaign around climate change and gun safety, a cause that he donated a lot of his own money to over the years.

On the campaign trail, he also spent out other Democratic candidates with his fortune. President Trump today calling that wasted money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look what a billion dollars did. He won nothing. I mean, he got so few delegates. It's incredible. He made a fool out of himself, to be honest with you, and it's -- he's not too happy about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOGAN: Bloomberg actually spent $500 million. Still, the campaign saying that Super Tuesday's numbers proved he's not a viable nominee.

Votes show roughly two out of 10 seniors supported him in each state, except Minnesota and Massachusetts. He also picked up 15 percent of the moderate votes in more of each states, complicating Biden's to victory.

The 78-year-old is the 23rd Democratic nominee to drop out of race, and he's just the latest to endorse the former V.P., who surprised many critics in a sweeping win of states different votes, of course, on Super Tuesday yesterday.

In the eight-minute speech that he gave here behind me, he emotionally addressed hi supporters, saying that these past few months have been some of the most inspiring of his life -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much.

In the meantime, Biden does have the delegate edge, but, truth be told, it really isn't much of one. This thing is close, very, very close.

To Deirdre Bolton on the delegate math that few are following, not how many delegates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have, but the fact they only have about a quarter of the total delegates they're still going to need -- Deirdre.

DEIRDRE BOLTON, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that is exactly right, Neil.

So it's still early, some pretty big contests to come. So here's where we stand right now. We all know 1,991 delegates needed to win. You're going to see on your screens on the exact breakdown, so, Biden 566, Sanders at 501, and you can see, heavily trailing, Warren and then, as we know, Bloomberg has stepped out.

Now, Florida and Michigan is yet to come, arguably the next most important contests. In Michigan, Sanders scooped Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and then President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by the narrowest of margins, 0.23 percent in the general election.

Now, as we go and move forward to Florida, you will see, of course, that we know President Obama carried it twice, narrowly, perhaps the most purple state in the nation, we could say. And then President Trump flipping the state narrowly in 2016, beating Hillary Clinton by just a little bit more than 1 percent.

One takeaway, though, Neil from last night, Democratic voters may not be as focused on Medicare for all as a single issue, because, otherwise, Senator Sanders would have won more delegates. Sanders wants everyone to have the same insurance plan provided by the government. Private insurance plans under his Medicare for all would be prohibited.

That may be too extreme for many Democrats because we saw -- we can -- saw it on the chart -- Biden won more votes last night. The markets' reaction also showing relief today, UnitedHealth's best performance in more than a decade, Cigna, Anthem both higher as well with big gains, health care by far the biggest contributor to the S&P 500 today.

Neil, so there does seem to be a little bit of relief in this rally that Biden at least for the moment is in the pole position, but, as you alluded to, much more to go now -- Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: Boy, you can get whiplash following this thing.

Deirdre, thank you very, very much.

BOLTON: Sure.

CAVUTO: Well, they're already calling it the Biden bounce, stocks and particularly health care stocks, jumping, because Biden is deemed less of a threat to investors than Bernie Sanders would be.

That's kind of like hard left meets hard really crazy left. Fact is, though, both men would raise taxes, likely raise hell for companies too. So it depends what your cup of tea is.

So is all of this celebration in order?

Democratic strategist David Burstein, FOX News contributor Deneen Borelli, and The New York Post's Kelly Jane Torrance.

Deneen, what do you think of that, that maybe the markets are anticipating something that would, if a Joe Biden got elected, mean the end of a president who was been the wind at their back, strong markets, strong economy? Biden might be a better alternative. But these market guys might be getting ahead of themselves.

DENEEN BORELLI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Biden is not a moderate, Neil.

Listen, you have Bernie Sanders, who was on the express train to socialism, and Joe Biden is on the local train to socialism. He's talking about free stuff. He's talking about taxing the rich, the wealthy, the Wall Street corporations and families.

CAVUTO: It's not as much, right? That's the idea.

BORELLI: But it's still higher taxes.

CAVUTO: Yes.

BORELLI: And so they should be concerned about that. And I don't think it's a reflection of Biden. If anything, it's with President Trump going up against Biden and his flawed policies.

CAVUTO: I'm just wondering, Kelly Jane, whether -- we can always get ahead of ourselves attributing a market run-up or downdraft to something like this, but the fact of the matter is, the Street likes making money.

I have always said these guys aren't red or blue. They're green. They love money. They have made a lot of money under this president, just as they made a lot of money under Bill Clinton, didn't want to see him go.

So isn't the notion that, even if it's a more moderating Joe Biden vs., let's say, Bernie Sanders, you know, they could be heading for some stormy waters?

KELLY JANE TORRANCE, NEW YORK POST: Yes, I think Deneen is right in pointing that out.

Hillary Clinton back in 2016 proposed $1.4 trillion over a decade in new taxes. Joe Biden is proposing $3.4 billion, half of which, $1.7 trillion -- billion.

CAVUTO: Trillion.

TORRANCE: Trillion -- sorry -- trillion, trillion.

(CROSSTALK)

TORRANCE: I know, I keep -- sorry, trillion -- half of which, $1.7 trillion, he would put towards a Green New Deal.

And this isn't just money, of course, where we have got to raise these taxes, but it's also some of his ideas would kill jobs. Joe Biden is not as bad on, say, fracking as Bernie Sanders, but I think he is going to be pushed by his party to get tougher, and that would mean killing jobs in places like Pennsylvania.

So, yes, the idea is, he's not as crazy as Bernie Sanders, but it's not just about Joe Biden. It's also about where his party is pushing him. I mean, keep in mind, Bernie Sanders pushed Hillary Clinton to the left in 2016. And the party really has stayed there ever since.

CAVUTO: Well, bottom line, whether it's Biden or Sanders, the party seems to sense we have a better shot of this with Joe Biden than Bernie Sanders.

Do agree with that sentiment?

DAVID BURSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think it's interesting because both Sanders and Biden have two very different paths by which they would run.

I think that the challenge with Sanders is, there's a chance he could lose very badly. With someone like Biden, the chance that he could lose very badly, I think, is less. And losing very badly would mean dragging down down-ballot cases.

And that's one of the things that people have become more and more focused on. When you talk to the Democrats who are elected in congressional districts who got the House to the majority, and the people who got -- are in close Senate races coming up, they would much rather be running with someone like Joe Biden than someone like Bernie Sanders.

The president's going to whoever runs a socialist, as Deneen just previewed over here.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

BURSTEIN: And -- but -- so that's not -- that shouldn't be the issue.

But the reality is, I think Biden will have a better shot countering those arguments than Bernie Sanders will.

CAVUTO: But you could argue, Deneen, that Biden is not nearly as effective a debater as Bernie Sanders is.

BURSTEIN: That's true.

CAVUTO: He's sharper, he's faster, that is, Bernie Sanders. And so this view that Sanders would be a sure loser, that might be a bit premature, too.

BORELLI: But you have the establishment Democrats who are rallying around Biden now.

You had Klobuchar drop out. Buttigieg dropped out. You have the individuals -- James Carville -- I forgot his name. He's even telling Sanders to drop out of the race. So you have the establishment rallying around Biden.

Biden is being propped up -- and I have used this line before -- like El Cid, OK? He's bumbling on the campaign trail.

CAVUTO: I have heard "Weekend at Bernie's."

(CROSSTALK)

BORELLI: That one, too. That one, too.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Where does that go, that whole argument?

TORRANCE: I mean, I started to wonder, is someone paying in the -- paying Elizabeth Warren off to keep her in? Because she -- I think the idea is, she's bleeding votes from Bernie Sanders as well.

But, yes, no, it's -- I always say careful what you wish for.

CAVUTO: Absolutely.

TORRANCE: A lot of people were hoping for a Bernie Sanders win, thinking - - Republicans, that is, and other people who like this great economy, which is a lot of independents as well, hoping for a Bernie Sanders win, because he will be easier to beat than Joe Biden.

Well, not necessarily. It's, again -- remember Jonathan Chait, a liberal, hoping for Donald Trump to win the nomination, because he thought he would be easy.

CAVUTO: Yes, you got to be careful.

I can remember Carter votes hoping it was Ronald Reagan in 1980, because they could squish him like a bug. So, we have learned from history that be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

But what is your sense of who has the inside track?

BURSTEIN: Well, look, the challenge -- I'm a math guy. So I look at the data in this, right?

So the reality is, as these two candidates now really -- I mean, Warren is in there. I don't think she will last very long. But Biden has a lead that will be hard for Bernie to catch.

This was the big day that we just had, right, where you could really kind of get ahead

CAVUTO: But they're dead-even right now.

(CROSSTALK)

TORRANCE: Well, they're not dead-even. They're 90 delegates apart.

So either -- Bernie needs to have some routs of Biden. And it's hard to see that coming up in the states that are ahead. There are some more Southern states coming up. Biden, I think, is going to continue to do well there.

CAVUTO: OK.

And we have to watch very, very closely, by the way, how this whole coronavirus sorts out.

Five new cases now in connection with it around New York -- yes, New York - - after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: All right, you will be looking soon at the House floor right now in the United States Capitol, where they are going to take up this bipartisan funding package to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Chad Pergram has the latest from Capitol Hill -- Chad.

CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Neil.

Well, even when there's agreement, there's not an agreement. The sides can't agree exactly on how much this spending bill on coronavirus will cost.

If you talk to Richard Shelby, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from Alabama, he will tell you it's $7.7 billion. If you talk to Nita Lowey, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, she will tell you it's $8.3 billion.

One of the big issues here is how this impacts local communities. Washington state has been hit very hard by coronavirus, 39 confirmed cases there.

Listen to Suzan DelBene, a Democratic congresswoman from Washington state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. SUZAN DELBENE (D-WA): ... is to provide resources for our local public health agencies. They have consumed a lot of resources.

And being able to not only give them resources going forward, but to backfill what they have spent, is critically important. And that's part of what this legislation will do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: And, as DelBene says, the bill allocates about a billion dollars to help state and local governments wrestle with the disease; $3 billion could go toward the development of a vaccine.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified today they are still a year to a year-and-a-half away from having a vaccine ready.

The hope is to advance this measure through the Senate tomorrow. The vote in the House of Representatives will start here in about five or 10 minutes. Note that all funds are new money. They're not allocating new -- they're not reallocating money and there are not offsets.

Even fiscal hawks, like GOP Republican Congress -- Senator John Kennedy are OK with it. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): We need to do it.

I mean, we need -- look, I'm very conservative when it comes to taxpayer money. But this is not a time to be cheap. We need to get this done. We need to get it done this week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: Now, Mike Pence, the vice president, just briefed Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives about the coronavirus response.

And Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said -- quote -- "The vice president clearly wanted us to communicate to our constituents that we need to communicate as much information as possible, so that there's not going to be a panic" -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Chad, thank you very, very much.

My next guest recently out of quarantine himself after helping China fight the virus.

Dr. Ian Lipkin with us right now, coming to us via Skype.

Doctor, thank you for taking the time. How are you doing right now?

DR. W. IAN LIPKIN, DIRECTOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR INFECTION AND IMMUNITY: I'm fine. Good to meet you.

CAVUTO: Same here.

What have you noticed or what -- get a sense of this virus? We hear it mutating into a couple of different strands. I don't know what the case is, but what can you best describe it as right now?

LIPKIN: Well, this virus is highly transmissible.

It's one of the most transmissible viruses that I have ever studied. That said, it's not associated with a lot of disease. That's not to say that there won't be people who will become very ill with this virus.

But, thus far, the case fatality rate is fairly low. We're being quoted figures as high as 3.5 percent by WHO and others, but that doesn't take into account those people who become infected and have only mild disease or no disease and never come to medical attention and never receive a diagnosis.

If I had to guess, I would say that the actual mortality rate is going to be far under 1 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Go ahead, Doctor. Continue. Continue. I'm sorry.

LIPKIN: I'm just saying very bad, obviously, for many people, but, in seasonal flu every year, we lose 20,000 to 40,000 people in the United States.

CAVUTO: And with the seasonal flu, Doctor, is that -- does that have a mortality rate in the 1 percent range? Or how would you describe?

LIPKIN: It's less. It's like a 10th of 1 percent.

CAVUTO: OK.

LIPKIN: And I think this is going to be fairly similar.

We won't know that number until we get data a couple of months out where we can look at people who've been infected, but have not shown signs of disease.

CAVUTO: And are there quite a few like that, you suspect?

LIPKIN: I think the vast majority are like that.

So the emphasis right now is on trying to develop ways in which we can figure out who's infected, how we can prevent infections with vaccines, and developing drugs to treat those people who are showing signs of disease.

CAVUTO: Doctor, as I'm speaking to you, we're getting some bulletins coming out of Washington state at this nursing facility that had nine deaths recorded here, and that not everyone at that facility has yet been tested.

Are you surprised by that?

LIPKIN: That they haven't been tested or that it's appeared in a nursing facility?

CAVUTO: That they haven't been tested.

LIPKIN: I think the latter is -- yes, that they haven't been tested.

Well, it's -- this is a new virus. People just developed these tests. They have to be optimized. They have to be validated. And there's a shortage, I think, of the tools that are required to figure out who's infected.

This will turn around quite rapidly, because there's been a big investment recently in trying to ensure that those tests are available. The fact that this has occurred in the nursing home is not surprising to me, however, because these are people who are quite vulnerable.

CAVUTO: All right.

LIPKIN: Most people in the prime of life who don't have other medical conditions are going to come through this quite well.

I think this is an important message to get out to your listeners.

CAVUTO: I appreciate that, Doctor.

And we appreciate all your sacrifice you're doing to get to the bottom of it.

Be well, sir.

LIPKIN: Thank you. Cheers.

CAVUTO: All right.

In the meantime, I know we're in the middle of an election, but the nation's also in the middle of this crisis. News flash to the president and some of those who want to be president. Yap less, do more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For sleepy Joe, he doesn't even know where he is, what he's doing.

Crazy Bernie is going to go crazy, crazy.

JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Once he's gone, the days of white supremacist hate group having a friend in the White House will be over.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A president who is a pathological liar.

TRUMP: I was killing her with the Pocahontas.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Remember, I said I have more Indian blood in me than she does, and I have none.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can't just have a guy who believes in magic as the president of the United States. It's a real problem.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I don't think he even believes in that.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

WARREN: Oh, come on. The things he says about himself, he must believe in magic.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: All right, I know it's an election year, but forget about speak softly, carry a big stick.

How about try not to speak at all, or limit your words to issues that matter, not cheap partisan attacks that do not?

The coronavirus is scary enough. But do finger-pointing politicians risk making it even scarier, or showing that the country's distracted?

Think the Greatest Generation. Think about taking on a World War and a Depression at the same time, quietly, bravely, without fanfare and without fanning the flames.

Martha MacCallum hearkens back to such a time in her moving bestseller "Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima."

But it's not just a story about her uncle. That's impressive enough. It's a story about a generation that still is really speaking to us, and reminding us we are greater than our fears and more than our fights.

Be warned, though, as I have said before about Martha's book, read it and learn, but go into it with a big old box of tissues.

She joins us right now.

Martha, good to see you.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Great to see you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Obviously, this was an act of love.

When you and I chatted on FOX Business, which, Martha, if you don't get, you should demand...

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: But one of the things that came up in this is that you had a personal connection to a hero, and you had heard about your uncle growing up, but, as you were just telling me during the break, it was through the years that you started appreciating the gravity of what he put on the line.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

I mean, when I look back on it, I feel like this story was kind of reaching out to me for a long time, and that I needed to go through the process of writing this book to learn about Harry Gray, to learn about these men.

And I remember my mother saying to us when we were little, oh, my favorite cousin was killed at Iwo Jima. And when you're a kid, you think, where is that? What does that even mean? How is it relevant to me?

But I do remember at one point saying to her, so, wait, Harry was 18 years old, and he was killed at Iwo Jima in his first day ever heading to the front line.

And it just really moved me when I read the letters that he wrote. And what you were talking about in the beginning, I think, is one of the things that just grabs me so much to these stories, is just the humility of these men, the fact that they put something else before themselves all the time.

And the way that they wrote their letters was -- you know, Harry would write letters home saying , we built a foxhole, it's really secure, mom, so don't worry about me. There's mortars flying over my head right now, but there's -- there's plenty of chow and it's surprisingly good.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

MACCALLUM: So, he was always trying to put, like...

CAVUTO: But he didn't complain.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: He didn't go -- if that were me, I would be saying, the food stinks, and I can't believe it, you know?

MACCALLUM: Yes. No, this is not a generation of whiners.

CAVUTO: Yes.

MACCALLUM: I mean, their whole point in writing these letters home was to put those folks at home at ease. Don't worry about me. It's almost over. Everything's OK.

Dominick Grossi, who's another young man who's featured in the book, a great story, he was the recipient of the Navy Cross, was in a horrific battle, the one in which he was given the Navy Cross for.

CAVUTO: Right.

MACCALLUM: And he writes home afterwards and says, been moving around a bit the past few days, but now I just had my first hot meal, an egg and biscuit sandwich, in several days.

During those several days, he was involved in hand-to-hand combat with bayonet against Japanese resistance up the side of a cliff. They got pushed back down. They went back up three times, and eventually broke the resistance on that ridge.

And that was a major turning point in the Battle of Iwo Jima. And he writes home, just had a great egg and biscuit sandwich, and I have been moving around a bit for the past few days. Didn't want them to worry.

CAVUTO: You know what dawned on me, and not only his letters, and how ahead of his years he was.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

CAVUTO: Just like a teenager, like I said.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

CAVUTO: And he's in this epic battle, and it's almost the end of World War II.

MACCALLUM: That's right.

CAVUTO: He was just months away from being out of there and back home with everybody. It didn't happen.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

CAVUTO: And I'm just wondering, like, you read that. And there's so many probably just like him who, without even thinking or worrying, that you were relaying to how much he wanted to join after Pearl Harbor and to fight the battle.

MACCALLUM: Sure. It's every -- all the young men did, really.

CAVUTO: And you think about many today, would just say, is Canada -- is there a way to get to Canada?

MACCALLUM: Yes.

CAVUTO: That was unheard of.

MACCALLUM: Yes.

No, it was. I mean, and even these men now, I was just with 51 of them on Saturday night in Arlington at the 75th commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima. And still it's just very selfless. They say, look, I'm not a hero, I got to come home. It's guys like Harry who left everything there.

I mean, you talk about giving everything I mean, everything, right?

CAVUTO: Everything is right.

MACCALLUM: Life isn't over. No wife, no children, no nothing. You know, the line of that family tree stops with that person.

And I think we have to ask questions about that person in all of our families and what they gave up to serve. But they all talk about it wasn't about me, it wasn't -- it was just -- I was just there. I just got lucky. I just got to come home.

But most of them say they never thought -- once they got there and they saw what they were getting into, they all -- a lot of patriotism and wanted to serve. Most of them said, I never thought I'd make it off that island.

CAVUTO: Just quiet dignity. Not a one of them could have become a television anchor, but...

MACCALLUM: Kind of like the presidential candidates that you just showed.

CAVUTO: I mean, just greatness. And I love how -- and I urge, for those of you who haven't had a chance to read it or get it, I urge you to do that, because she weaves this personal story with what was going on concurrently in the world.

But it's that connection. And you named your youngest son after him.

MACCALLUM: I did, yes. He's Harry.

CAVUTO: He lives on.

MACCALLUM: He does, exactly.

CAVUTO: All right, something to think about when we all start throwing names and accusations at each other, that we are bigger than that. And I think Martha reminds us, it's kind of in our DNA.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

CAVUTO: We will have more after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, this one has them stumped in New York, five new cases, coronavirus cases, all tracing back to connection with one individual.

We're on it and what it means -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: South Korea right now reportedly running out of hospital beds, with the number of coronavirus cases running up.

My next guest searching for a cure, GeoVax CEO David Dodd with us right now.

David, thank you for taking the time.

DAVID DODD, CEO, GEOVAX: You're welcome.

CAVUTO: Where do you think this stands? I mean, people get alarmed when they hear more countries, more cases. It started out of China. It's now extended to close to 70 countries. South Korea's getting to be particularly problematic and increasing exponentially there.

How do you define where this stands, compared to other viral outbreaks?

DODD: Well, first of all, I'm not a public health expert.

You had a very good one on earlier and all. But the dynamics behind this COVID-19, or this coronavirus...

CAVUTO: Right.

DODD: ... continue to evolve. And it's raising more questions than providing answers and all.

So, what we're trying to do and other companies such as ours is trying to develop an effective prevention, a vaccine, while others are working on, how do we treat people with existing antiviral drugs?

It appears that it's going to continue to more broadly evolve. More than likely, it may be an ongoing type of situation, where we will see periodic outbreaks of the coronavirus, or there will be a need to have an effective vaccine, as opposed to SARS, which disappeared.

CAVUTO: Right.

DODD: So, that's how we're focused on.

But our energies, quite frankly, are focused less on the epidemiology and what's happening, and more on what's going on in the lab. How soon can we advance a candidate to testing?

CAVUTO: Now, where does that stand? I know some of these vaccines can take up to a year or more. I know they're trying to speed this process up, but there's only so much you can do.

What does your gut today about how close we are to something like that?

DODD: Well, we certainly are not extremely close, because, right now, there have been some announcements of some advancing into initial human trials of some vaccine candidates and all.

My suspicion is that they won't work. Those were modeled after the SARS vaccine candidates, which never worked.

CAVUTO: Right.

DODD: They all failed and all.

So, we can learn a lot from SARS and MERS, because they're similar to this coronavirus. Approximately, about 70 percent of the genetic structure is the same. So we can learn a lot from it. But we have to go through some phase, some level of animal testing.

The question would be, how quickly can we do that and with what models that can then enable us to move to human testing and all. At that point, I am certain that the regulatory authorities will work with industry and with developers to use -- under emergency use authorization, to be able to structure protocols that will enable us to go through that type of evaluation much faster than normal.

And I would think it would be -- it can be shortened from beyond the year- and-a-half, maybe closer to a year. But time will tell.

CAVUTO: A lot of authorities are warning people about avoiding large public events, basketball games. They have even talked about March Madness, and still playing the games, but with no people in the stands. Sounds a little crazy.

They have already delayed the James Bond movie that was supposed to be out next month until the fall.

But you're hearing more and more of this kind of stuff. Is that warranted? Or does it freak people out even more?

DODD: Well, I think, as -- just as an individual, I think it raises more concerns that probably are warranted.

But I think taking good precautions such as that, canceling of studies abroad programs and these other things, probably do make sense.

CAVUTO: Yes.

DODD: You hate to think of counseling -- canceling certain sporting events, major events, March Madness, as you mentioned, and all.

But, ultimately, there will be steps taken. Some will go too far. Some may not be far enough. But we have to be very cautious about this, because we don't know the dynamics of the -- of the infectious threat.

CAVUTO: All right, we will follow it closely.

David, good luck on working on this.

DODD: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I think a whole world is watching you guys very closely.

David Dodd, the GeoVax CEO.

CAVUTO: By the way, leaders in the House and Senate very, very close to finalizing this $8 billion deal on coronavirus funding.

So, it is providing all the monies necessary. The big question is, how exactly will it be implemented and how quickly?

After this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: A tax cut to fight the coronavirus?

The president saying the Congress should pass a middle-income payroll tax cut as the virus potentially threatens the economy.

Does the House Ways and Means committee ranking member, Texas Republican Congressman Kevin Brady, agree with that?

He joins us right now.

Congressman, what do you think of that idea? Payroll tax cut?

REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX): Hi, Neil. How are you?

So, look, that's one of these mixed types of ideas. One, certainly, three to six months from now, we will see our small- and medium-sized businesses that may have some capital-type issues because of this health care challenge. We don't know that yet.

So, at that point, I think a payroll tax could actually help inject some cash flow to both consumers and them. On the other hand, it doesn't change behavior. When it's been used as stimulus before, it really hasn't achieved that.  And so I think maybe my best advice, just in totality, is, one, let's get the diagnosis right in the economy as we watch what happens on the supply chains, which industries are affected, how it affects those small and medium-sized businesses.

Secondly, though, I think one thing has become very clear. Right in the president's, I think, book here is, we need a medicines made in America strategy, where we take a look at our regulations and tax code to see what we can do to drive more of the medical development and manufacturing back here to the United States, not just for the medicines themselves, but the technologies, the treatments, the equipment that goes with it, yes.

CAVUTO: No, you're right about that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Seventy percent of those medicines and all come from China.

BRADY: Yes.

CAVUTO: But it's curious. It sounds like you would part with the president on this particular type of tax cut, that it's not needed right now? Is that it?

(CROSSTALK)

BRADY: Well, too early.

CAVUTO: Got it.

BRADY: I guess I would say let's diagnose the economy a little clearer here, because it still is in flux.

We have had, as you know, 10 of these major health challenges the last three decades. There is some familiarity with them. Let's give the chance to look at this.

The other thing, I do think we look at moving manufacturing of medicines back. We can look at a lower business rate to bring those manufacturing plants here. I think we should be muscling up a research and development tax credit anyway to become a lot more innovative.

And I think we ought to be making...

CAVUTO: But that's a tough sell in a Democratic House right now, right?

BRADY: Yes, I don't know.

Right now, I think we -- everyone sees we're vulnerable because we haven't done this part of innovation here at home.

CAVUTO: Yes.

I'm just wondering what you make of this back-and-forth right now, because the Federal Reserve has already gone ahead and cut interest rates a half-a- point, a delayed response, but a response.

But there isn't much wiggle room they have.

BRADY: Yes.

CAVUTO: There doesn't seem to be much of an appetite, certainly from Democrats, for the type of tax cuts you're envisioning and the president might want to see.

So I'm just wondering if we just have to wait this out to see the impact and what it would be. What do you think?

BRADY: So, I think there -- I think there is an opportunity to address the risks we have aware of where our medicine is produced and developed.

CAVUTO: Right.

BRADY: I think that is -- could be a bipartisan one.

Secondly, I was a little puzzled by the Fed action, from the standpoint of, this is a health challenge. Rate cuts help restore markets and financial stability. We don't have a systemic financial threat at this point.

Plus, you want them to have those arrows in the quiver, if that ever does occur. And so -- yes.

CAVUTO: I just think, Congressman, it was a wasted move.

I'm not -- I'm not saying...

(CROSSTALK)

BRADY: Yes, it felt that way.

CAVUTO: I get that.

But I'm just wondering whether the president and others around him and see something that maybe we don't, that there's going to be more of a drag on the economy with this coronavirus, and potentially problems for Republicans in the fall because of it.

Do you share that?

BRADY: Yes, so too early to tell.

CAVUTO: Right.

BRADY: I hate to keep coming back to that, but I think it is little too early to tell.

I was -- I just came out of a coronavirus briefing, probably the best I have seen in all my years in Congress, led by the vice president. But I was awfully encouraged and impressed by just the response on the immediacy of this, how fast they are accelerating the tests out to the state and local areas, what they're doing on vaccine development and antivirals.

There's more that needs to be done. But this is a -- this is an awfully good response.

CAVUTO: All right. We will see what happens.

Congressman, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very, very much.

BRADY: Thank you, sir.

CAVUTO: I want to take you to Los Angeles right now.

Joe Biden has just shown up at an event. He is obviously the big beneficiary of some very, very big wins last night on Super Tuesday, and the backing of Michael Bloomberg now. And that money, whether through a PAC or what have you, is going to be a very big boon to his campaign.

We're on that after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: Well, it wasn't that Bernie Sanders' voters didn't show up on Super Tuesday, just that more Joe Biden voters did to make it, for them, at least, an even more Super Tuesday.

Now, usually reliable younger Bernie backers might have been fired up, but fewer actually turned out. And that made a big difference for Joe Biden. Should it be a big worry then for Donald Trump?

To GOP pollster Lee Carter on why sleepy Joe maybe anything but.

It's interesting. You and I were talking about it last night on FOX Business' coverage, which, if you don't get -- well, of course, you get it, and you demanded it.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: But that he is not to be taken lightly.

LEE CARTER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: He is not.

Now, conventional wisdom in this election is already going out the window. It happened in 2016.

CAVUTO: Big time.

CARTER: We have got something else different going on here.

I have always said that you don't vote against, you vote for. And so anybody that's an against vote is likely not going to win. That's not what we're seeing right now. Democrats are going out to vote against Donald Trump, because we know that most people are -- I mean, we had record turnout in these states.

We had 1.3 million in Virginia, when only one million went out in 2008 for Obama.

CAVUTO: Wow.

CARTER: You have got huge record turnout happening for people who went, and they weren't even certain who they were going to vote for.

So it's not that they're enthusiastically supporting Biden. They're enthusiastically going and saying, we need to vote for someone who is going to beat Donald Trump.

So, something very different is going on here. And I think that...

CAVUTO: And they view him as having, Biden, the best shot at doing that?

CARTER: Yes.

And the reason for that is because of the surge in South Carolina, because of the promise that he can bring the African-American vote. They felt that he was going to be the most electable one.

CAVUTO: Right.

CARTER: And there's sort of this like sleepy underlying feeling that Joe is -- Joe Biden is somebody that they like, even though he's not performing the way he could.

The endorsements that he got really, really helped him. If you look at exit polling, when people said the reason that they voted for him in the last minute was because of his surge in South Carolina and because of those endorsements.

When you look at what happened in Minnesota, 55 percent of voters decided in the last minute to vote for Joe Biden because of the endorsement of Amy Klobuchar.

She definitely should get a thank you call. She did get a thank you call from...

CAVUTO: Right. Well, Clyburn should be on that list.

CARTER: Right.

CAVUTO: I'm just wondering, though. I mean, he went from having one no contests to in a period of 72 hours 11 on them, including the 10 primaries yesterday and, of course, picking up South Carolina.

So he's changed the math on that, but he's still the same guy, right? He's still the same candidate who has the flubs and everything else. But we were talking to a number of these Democratic backers and those who like Joe Biden and said, we don't care about the flubs. We don't care about confusing his sister and wife and all that, that's actually endearing.

What do you make of it?

(LAUGHTER)

CARTER: Listen, we have a president who made plenty of flubs, and people supported him.

CAVUTO: Right.

CARTER: Once people decide that they're going to support somebody, they're willing to forgive them or give them the benefit of the doubt.

I think one of the things that we're seeing right now is a lot of Democrats were skeptical, do they trust Joe Biden? Is he going to be up to the job? A lot of people said they weren't sure. And that's why he didn't do so well.

I think some of these endorsements are really giving him the credibility, like Ted Kennedy gave Obama back in the day.

CAVUTO: Yes. No, that was crucial.

CARTER: And it was really, really important to say, I'm not so sure about this person. Now I see it's going to be OK.

And once I have decided it's OK, well, I'm going to close my eyes to anything else and just say it's going to be OK.

CAVUTO: How important, though, are the debates then going forward?

We're getting ahead of ourselves here, but I think, in -- Bernie Sanders is a very good debater, very fast on his feet, doesn't flub nearly as often as Joe Biden.

CARTER: Yes.

CAVUTO: I'm not meaning to disparage one over the other.

But he's not -- he's not sealed the deal yet. The two of them are almost even in total delegates.

CARTER: Right.

CAVUTO: They're both the quarter of the way there. That means they're three-quarters not the way there. So how do you see this sorting out?

CARTER: OK, there's six more debates.

CAVUTO: Wow.

CARTER: I mean, that's kind of hard to imagine right now that there are six more debates.

And Joe Biden, his bar is, he's done no harm. That's a good debate for Joe Biden. And you know what? Bernie Sanders ended up relatively unscathed. So we're going to see these guys going head to head.

Elizabeth Warren hasn't dropped out, and she is a tough debater. So the question is, who is she going to go after? Without...

CAVUTO: Well, the Biden folks want her to stay in the race right?

CARTER: Well, she's able to deliver a tough punch, so I would want -- I would want her to stay in the race if I were Joe Biden.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What if she tries to take out both of the guys, though? She's very good at it.

CARTER: She is very good at it, but her math really doesn't add up.

CAVUTO: Yes.

CARTER: I think she's been hoping for a brokering -- a brokered convention.

CAVUTO: How does that look to you right now?

CARTER: I don't think that's likely.

I think that once you get that kind of momentum and that kind of a surge -- we should know more after next Tuesday. Certainly, we will know more after next Tuesday. If Biden has good Tuesday next Tuesday, then we're going to see him to be the likely candidate.

And Elizabeth Warren is hopefully going to be jockeying for something, maybe his vice president. Who knows if she's going to try to -- if they're going to try to pick up all sides and please all sides of the aisle.

I think that the question right now, are Bernie's supporters going to get really energized? Because what they might be seeing right now is getting really ticked off, saying the establishment is against us, really working against us. They lined this whole thing up, so that Biden could be the -- a coronation, rather than the voice of the people.

CAVUTO: Right.

CARTER: If they get fired up, then all bets are off again.

So I think we have to -- we have to take this with a -- some kind of caution.

CAVUTO: Yes.

CARTER: But I do think that Biden really has a boost.

And from the voters that I'm talking to, the Democrats that I'm talking to, they're really getting in line and feeling like this is their best bet to win in November.

CAVUTO: Yes, you can clearly see it's changed like 180 degrees over just the last few days. So we will see what happens.

Lee, thank you again. Great job, as always.

CARTER: Any time.

CAVUTO: In the meantime, when you get coronavirus, but the experts can't figure out exactly how.

Some New York cases that have a lot of people wondering, what the?

After this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: New York is reporting five new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 11.

What's interesting about these latest cases is a common weird theme.

Our David Lee Miller has more on that -- David Lee.

DAVID LEE MILLER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, that's right.

Eleven New York City area residents have now tested positive for the virus, among them, a 50-year-old lawyer who's reported in stable condition at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on the city's West Side.

What's noteworthy here is that he is believed to have infected as many as nine other people. As a precaution, two schools where the infected lawyer's kids attend to class have temporarily shut down, as well as a synagogue where the family attended services.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says research and investigation prevent the virus from spreading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Whenever you find a case, it's about containment and doing the best you can to keep the circle as tight as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: Authorities in Placer County, California, which is just north of Sacramento, today announced the state's first fatality caused by the coronavirus.

The elderly victim is believed to have been exposed to the virus while on a cruise to Mexico. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County has declared a state of emergency, because six other individuals have now tested positive for the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus is three times more deadly than the flu. At least 10 virus-related deaths in the U.S. are linked to a nursing home in Seattle. An employee at nearby Amazon headquarters also tested positive.

And President Trump and Vice President Pence met today with airline executives to discuss what they're doing to better protect passengers and managing the impact in airline travel. And among the things they talked about, improved cleaning procedures to better contain the virus.

And that's an idea, Neil, that they're applying here in New York City as well. They are better cleaning the New York City subway cars, disinfecting them. Some New Yorkers would argue perhaps that's long overdue -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, for a variety of other reasons.

David Lee Miller, thank you very, very much, my friend.

Before we leave, just a final look at the corner of Wall and Broad, where the Dow Jones industrials, even with all of these concerns, at least the fear that it's not going to get much worse, or they hope, had the Dow up about 1,173 points, now back over 27000.

Here comes "THE FIVE."

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