This is a rush transcript from "Life, Liberty & Levin," March 22, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello America, Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin."
Mr. Vice President. Thank you for having us.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Thank you, Mark, welcome to the White House.
LEVIN: And thank you for everything you're doing. You're the head of the Taskforce the President has set up. Can you give us an example how it works just on a given day, your task force and what kind of members you have on this Taskforce?
PENCE: Well, the President assembled the White House Coronavirus Taskforce very early in the process to organize what he said was a whole of government approach.
But as the American people have witnessed and been a part of, it's really become a whole of America approach. We're working with governments at every level. State and local leaders were in continuous contact.
But we've assembled the very best health experts. We brought together our top agencies that all deal with health issues and security issues and financial issues, everything in the way the coronavirus is impacting the American people.
And we meet every day in the Situation Room. That's where we start. We listen to what the status is from the health experts at this point, with some 10,000 cases at the time that we're speaking. Nearly, half of those cases are in three American counties. And so we've been focusing resources on those areas to really come alongside state and local leaders that are responding to the coronavirus giving them the support they need.
But our focus every day is to ensure that the President has the broadest range of policy options, because one thing the American people know about President Donald Trump is he never hesitates to make a decision.
In fact, it's so important to say that had the President not suspended all travel from China on January 31st, if he hadn't issued travel advisories for portions of Italy and South Korea and began screening all travelers from all airports in those countries back to the United States now more than six weeks ago, now recently ended all traveled from Europe, the U.K. and Ireland.
The truth is, we'd be in a very different place. But the Coronavirus Taskforce's job is to bring together the best health minds, the best leaders of our agency, get the counsel from people that are on the ground and give the President policy choices.
And all along the way, the President has been demonstrating that he'll always put the health and safety of America first.
LEVIN: You know, I speak as one citizen. Don't I and the American people have a right to be angry with the regime in China for covering up this virus, for really missing its doctors, missing some of its journalists, if I can put it that way, keeping American experts from going to Wuhan to see what was taking place? Don't Americans have a right to be angry with the Chinese government?
PENCE: Well, the President has been very clear that it would have been better if we'd known more sooner. But the truth is that compared to previous outbreaks in China, there's been a much greater degree of transparency on this and we were able to send a team of our health experts in the middle of February to look at the raw data, to understand what's been happening in China.
And, we will continue to work on a basis of cooperation, and I would never begrudge Americans feeling the way they feel about any issue, particularly one of such magnitude to our families and to our communities.
But what I can tell you is this is a President that has told member, when he tapped me now three and a half weeks ago to lead the White House coronavirus Task Force said we just need to bring the best of America at the Federal level, at the state level, and maybe most importantly, with private industry to respond to this virus and to make sure that we're doing everything in our power to lessen the impact and the spread of the coronavirus on the American people.
And most especially, that Americans know that while the risk of serious illness to the average American is quite low, the risk of serious outcomes to seniors with chronic underlying health conditions or anyone with an immunodeficiency is very real.
And so every one of us should be putting into practice the President's 15 days to slow the spread recommendation.
LEVIN: Where can the public find that?
PENCE: At coronavirus.gov. This very straightforward list of recommendations about social distancing, about not eating in restaurants and bars, but using the drive-thru or pickup and delivery service, avoiding gatherings over this period of time of more than 10 people.
Certainly, it's about making sure that fewer Americans contract the coronavirus, but we recognize that most people that contract the coronavirus will either have flu-like symptoms or in many cases, no symptoms at all.
But this is about not just protecting your health and the health of your family. It's about making sure that you don't inadvertently expose someone who would be quite vulnerable.
Again, seniors with serious underlying health conditions, or anyone with an immunodeficiency. It represents the possibility of serious consequences.
So we are asking every American to put into practice the President's guidelines because we really believe -- and Dr. Tony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx -- the top experts in the world on Infectious Disease, tell us, Mark that we are we are at the beginning point of this epidemic in America.
And if all of us will do these things now, we believe that we can significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus in America, which would spare millions of Americans enduring the virus and it would save lives.
LEVIN: Let me ask you a tough question about the economy. You're a conservative. I'm a conservative. Lots of money being talked about out there. Trillion dollar package, broken up in various ways, heard the Treasury Secretary talk about up to $3,000.00 or more a family in one shot, then a second shot.
I heard Chuck Schumer on Capitol Hill, of course, it's not enough for the left and the Democrats have all kinds of plans. They talk about universal healthcare and so forth.
Here's my concern. I understand that this is a temporary situation, that it is a historically bad situation. How can we reassure Americans out there who like our economic system, who don't think the Federal government should be subsidizing everyone and backing everyone and love our Constitution? That we'll get back to normalcy once this is done.
I understand you and the President. But there's another party out there and there's another agenda out there potentially.
PENCE: Well, I think they can look at the first two Bills the President has now signed into law with great encouragement.
You know, I served in Congress for 12 years and, you know, usually extraneous issues and agendas come to bear. But I will tell you, on our first Bill, making sure that all of our Federal and state agencies have resources, Republicans and Democrats really came together and really focused on what was necessary to respond to the coronavirus.
The Bill the President passed this week extending paid family leave particularly to hourly workers and blue collar Americans, making coronavirus testing free for every American again was very focused at the point of the need.
And, and I remain confident that as we go forward, that same spirit, as President Trump said will continue to dominate our legislative efforts.
The President, though is -- President recognizes the unique burden that this is placing on working families, on businesses, especially small businesses, and we want to do whatever it takes to help working families and businesses large and small, some of our critical industries weather the coronavirus.
But when we come out of the end of it, Mark, we just know this economy is going to come roaring back. Our economy had been stronger than ever before, and all the fundamentals are still there, and the President and I and all of our economic team are convinced that it will be there, first, for working families who through no fault of their own suddenly find themselves worried about missing a paycheck.
If we make sure and provide our healthcare providers with the resources and the American people the guidance to deal with the coronavirus.
If we backstop our major industries so that they know whether it be airlines or whether it be our hotels and resorts or whether it be even the cruise line industry that they all know that they'll be able to weather this storm, that once we come through it, I know we'll be more prosperous than ever before and these temporary measures to deal with this unprecedented epidemic in our country, I believe will be seen as having been the right thing to do.
LEVIN: You know, you are governor. Governors are in charge of the healthcare systems in their state. Three dozen states at least. They have a system in place where you have to certify the hospital beds if they want to have more beds.
If they want to build more hospitals. They want MRI machines or CT machine. All that comes through the Governor's Office. He has to approve all of these things.
When it comes to residents, future doctors, particularly related to Medicare; Congress, sets the limit on how many residents there can be related to Medicare funding.
And I hear some Governor's saying we need more beds. We need more of this. We need more of that. And I'm just saying, okay, go get them because they have the legal authority to do it.
Do you see what's going on now, with this virus sort of modernizing or waking up governors in particular and changing our system of healthcare -- which is the greatest -- but sort of bringing it into this century under you and the President of the United States?
PENCE: Well, I have to tell you, I think the fact that I have been a governor was one of the main reasons that President Trump asked me to lead the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, Mark.
Because I knew from personal experience in the State of Indiana, what happens when an infectious disease emerges? One of the first Middle East Respiratory cases in the country came to Northwest Indiana when I was governor and I saw the way our frontline healthcare workers surged forward. I saw the way our state health team came around it.
We worked with law enforcement. We did the contact tracing. We provided the care and the treatment.
And the Federal government came in and gave us all the guidance we needed from the C.D.C. and ultimately helped us with resources to backfill what the State of Indiana had done.
My experience there taught me what most Americans know is that, it is our local health officials. It's our state governors and our governments there in the lead in confronting health challenges in our communities.
And that's why the President just this last week, stood up a famous National Response Center, because we want all 50 states to know that we're going to follow the FEMA model.
The President declared a national emergency. He signed what you understand to be the Stafford Act, and now with FEMA in the lead, we're going to operate in a way where our response to the coronavirus is going to be locally executed, state managed and federally supported.
We've been in continuous contact with governors, spoke on conference calls to all of our nation's governors in states and territories this week, and I will tell you that while there have been governors that have been expressing needs publicly, I couldn't be more impressed with the leadership that we have seen, particularly in states that have been impacted greatly by the coronavirus today.
And I also couldn't be more impressed with the truly bipartisan spirit. I mean President Trump has forged a seamless partnership with our governors who in ordinary political times, we have our differences, but the President has made it very, very clear, we're all in this together.
We've been working closely with our governors. We've been listening to their needs, empowering them and encouraging them to reach out to their healthcare providers and into their supply lines to meet those needs. And we'll continue to work.
That's what the President called a whole of government approach from early on. It wasn't just the whole of the Federal government. But it is taking in the fact that the state governments are in the lead, our local healthcare providers are on the front line, and making sure along with private industry that we're bringing all of the strength of America to respond to the coronavirus.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Mr. Vice President, let me ask you a question. You must be very impressed with the private sector, with these experts in the Federal government, with our federalism system, with our capitalism system, with Americanism. All the elements of our society which are not centralized.
You're the Taskforce Chief. You must see all these different pieces, people doing their part without some Svengali telling them exactly what to do.
And here's something else I noticed, Mr. Vice President. That our President is respectful of boundaries, that he has respect for the Constitution. He has been -- he was criticized for being a dictator. And now many of the same people criticize him, and they don't want him to be a dictator. And he, I think is much more prudential.
He is saying no, I'm going to do everything I can. But we're not going to break glasses around here. Do I have that about right?
PENCE: Well, I think what you have right is that America is up to the task, and they have a President who knows that. Not that there aren't challenges ahead, Mark, there are.
And there's heartache ahead. I mean, as we continue to roll out testing by the by the tens of thousands more tests done every day, we will learn of more cases. And sadly, we'll learn have more loss of life.
But President Trump from very early on has understood that the American people would come together around our response and that our state and local officials, our incredible health experts at the Federal level, now empowering the American people, we will find our way through this.
And I hear about the way people are responding all across the country. And I must tell you, I'm inspired, but I'm not surprised. I mean, we're Americans after all.
We're people that that embrace personal responsibility, and we look after our neighbors, but to hear to hear the stories of how people who are not only putting their own health and their family's health first, but how they're looking after the most vulnerable, how they have been willing to embrace the guidelines the President has put forward, understanding who is most at risk of the coronavirus.
And maybe -- and I don't know that it has gotten enough attention to see the way American businesses are responding. It has truly been inspiring.
I mean, the President had this call on construction firms around the country to donate industrial masks to hospitals because the President had changed the law this week that allowed industrial masks to be used by our healthcare workers. That opened up a floodgate of new medical protective equipment, so our healthcare workers can provide care to people with the coronavirus and still keep themselves and their families safe.
And we're hearing stories in the first 24 hours of construction companies around America that are literally emptying their supply houses, delivering crates of medical masks to their local hospital.
But one industry after another, whether it be the health insurance industry that agreed at the President's request to waive all copays on coronavirus, whether it be the nursing home industry that rose up and immediately embraced all new guidelines that we directed them, have been communicating to seniors and their nursing homes or long term care, whether it be the willing spirit of one industry after another, to make sure that we have the supply lines open.
To hear the grocery stores that we spoke to just in the last week, say that our supply for food is the best in the world and that system is all working and the grocery stores has said however long this takes, your local grocery store will stay open.
I mean, Americans understandably, we are anxious and some people were buying a large amount of food and household goods, but we're seeing that change around the country because people understand now that our grocery stores and all their hard working employees have said, we're keeping the doors open all the way through the coronavirus.
And many grocery stores, recognizing that seniors are the most vulnerable among us in many cases, now how hours for seniors to come and shop so they don't have to mix with the broader population.
I mean, these are the things that the American people are doing without being asked and as the President and I speak literally every day with healthcare leaders and providers, I had great meeting with doctors and nurses earlier this week, as we speak to industry leaders, I couldn't be more proud to be an American, to see the way the American people and American businesses are rising to the challenge.
And I know we'll get through this, as the President says, we'll get through this together.
LEVIN: I want to thank you. I want to thank the President of the United States. As one citizen, I think you're doing a terrific job. And God bless you, Mr. Vice President.
PENCE: Thank you, Mark.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
ASHLEY STROHMIER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Live from "America's News Headquarters," I'm Ashley Strohmier.
A proposed $1.5 trillion economic rescue package to help Americans cope with the coronavirus outbreak is stuck on Capitol Hill for now.
Earlier tonight, a procedural vote on this stimulus failed in the Senate. Negotiations between the House and the Senate will resume tomorrow.
Democrats argue that the Republican plan is tilted toward corporations rather than workers and healthcare providers.
And the coronavirus spreading throughout the world, the total number of infected now more than 330,000 with about 98,000 recovered.
Tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Harris Faulkner will host a Fox News Special, "America versus Virus" offering insight into what a worst case scenario for flu pandemic might look like and what we can do to stop it. I'm Ashley Strohmier. Now back to "Life, Liberty & Levin."
LEVIN: Dr. Anthony Fauci, how are you, sir?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Very well. Thank you.
LEVIN: Little busy, I see.
FAUCI: Yes, pretty much so.
LEVIN: Can you give us a little bit of your background? You've been doing this a very long time. I'm not that old. But I remember seeing you all the time whenever there's some horrific disease, there you are on TV.
FAUCI: Well, I've been Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for almost 36 years, but I've been at the N.I.H. from the time I first came after my medical training in New York City, Internal Medicine, I did an Infectious Diseases fellowship at the N.I.H. in 1968 to 1971.
And then I went back for a year in New York City to do medical -- extensive medical training -- and then I came back, and I've been here ever since. So it's about 50 years.
LEVIN: So you've seen some pretty nasty viruses, some pretty nasty illnesses. Have you ever seen anything like this?
FAUCI: You know, all the outbreaks that I've been involved with that go all the way back from HIV-AIDS, which when you look at the impact of that, over time, it started sort of like not very well noticed back in the early 1980s, and it was a lot under the radar screen because people were infected and didn't know it. They weren't obviously ill.
And then you get to today, where you have, you know, historically one of the most impactful outbreaks in the history of civilization.
That's different than the here. We've had Ebola. We've had the anthrax attacks. We've had Chikungunya, we've had the threat of the chicken pre- pandemic flu, the bird flu, the H5N1. We've had Ebola. We've had Zika.
This is different, because this really is very much the unknown of what is going to happen and what you see unfold isn't particularly encouraging.
If you look at what's happened in China. If you look at what's happened in South Korea, and now currently in Europe, you know, you're having a very serious situation that potentially involves everyone in the world and everyone in the United States.
When we had Ebola, I mean, there was a lot of publicity and a lot of concern about Ebola. But the nature of how Ebola spreads, is that it would never really have ever been a massive outbreak in the United States.
Because with Ebola, you have to be in very close contact with someone who is very ill, obviously ill, and you have to be in touch with what's called body fluids.
So even though it's a scary disease, there was really no chance there would be a major outbreak, maybe a couple of patients that we saw.
This disease is different because it's a respiratory illness. It's an illness that spread rapidly from person to person, and it has a substantial degree of morbidity and mortality.
For example, if you use as a benchmark, you compare it with seasonal flu, which we have every year and we get used to it as much illness and death that it causes, you're kind of used to it, you know, it comes every single year. The mortality of that is 0.1 percent.
The mortality of this infection in China and in Korea was about two to three percent.
Now, I think the ultimate mortality when we find out that many people are infected, but don't get noticed because their infection is asymptomatic, it will probably be less than two to three percent.
But whatever it is, it's going to be much higher than the kinds of things that we've experienced. So for that reason, it is clearly, clearly different.
LEVIN: Well, let me ask you a question, putting the statistics aside. I get the flu last year, then I get this virus this year. For me as an individual putting aside how it spreads and all the rest of it, what's the difference?
FAUCI: Well, the difference is the potential for killing you and the potential for putting you in a situation where you would require very intensive medical care.
Now, influenza is similar in some respects to coronavirus, in that the people who have complications when they get infected are generally the elderly, and particularly those who have underlying conditions, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or people who are on chemotherapy for underlying conditions, like cancer or autoimmune diseases. They have very heavily weighted towards the serious consequences.
The difference between influenza and this besides the fact that the morbidity of this and mortality is much greater than influenza, is that for reasons that we don't understand, this particular virus doesn't really do very much bad things to kids, children.
Children seem to do very, very well. Now, every once in a while, you're going to get a one-off where a young person or a child gets seriously ill and maybe even dies.
But for the most part, children do very well. But I think if you just want to be sort of plain and simple about it, it's a much more serious disease than classical influenza.
LEVIN: Except for healthy people tend to do okay in the end, correct?
FAUCI: Yes, if you look at again, every day and every week that goes by, we learn more and more. Initially, our store of knowledge came predominantly from China. Then when South Korea and Japan and other Asian countries got infected, we looked at what happened there.
Now we have a lot of data from Europe because Italy and France and the European countries, and now we're starting to accumulate thousands of patients in our own country. So as the weeks go by, we learn more and more.
But if you look at the display of the ages of people who get into trouble, without a doubt, if you're a young, healthy person, you might get infected, you might feel ill, but the overwhelming possibility is that you're going to spontaneously recover without any specific kind of medical intervention.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: This virus looks for opportunities.
LEVIN: And if you have a weakness, whether a result of age, or poor immunity, or whatever it is, that's where it becomes more dangerous. But for the general population that is generally healthy, it is not necessarily a morbidity issue, correct?
FAUCI: It's not a morbidity issue, but the reason why we insist that everybody take precautions about getting infected because even though for a younger person, that person may not have a high chance of morbidity and mortality, that person can easily get infected as well as anybody else.
And as part of the goal and the mission of addressing this outbreak is to A, prevent infections in anybody and everybody, but also to protect the vulnerable, the people who if they get infected, they have a much poorer outcome.
And unfortunately, young people who may feel that they're invulnerable. I know when I was young, I kind of felt that I was invulnerable. Well, first of all, you're not invulnerable, but certainly you're much less likely to get into trouble, but you could then pass the virus inadvertently to an elderly person, maybe your grandfather and grandmother, to a sick relative who may have chemotherapy.
And even though you're saying, well, you know, I'm not going to get sick, I'm going to do fine. I feel as a physician and as a public health person, that you have a societal responsibility to protect yourself from getting infected for two reasons.
One, you don't want to get sick, even though it's a mild to moderate illness. And two, you really want to protect the vulnerable people in society.
LEVIN: I think that's right. I'm just trying to point out that these statistics that people are getting panicky, and that it might be increased over the flu and so forth. It's really certain populations in particular, the behavior you know, that's right, people need to behave in a way that they don't make relatives, friends and others strangers sick.
Let me ask you this. I keep hearing we don't have enough beds. We don't have enough ventilators. We don't have enough respirators. And I did a little research, you can straighten me out if I'm wrong.
We have what's called these CON Laws in 36 states in the District of Columbia. These are Certificate of Need Laws, where the governors, the states decide how many ICU beds there are going to be. How many hospitals are going to be? Whether a hospital can build another wing -- all goes through these state regulatory processes.
When you have a bed, a bed is not useful unless you have a ventilator or a respirator, and of course, you need doctors and nurses. Then I look at this doctor issue, again, just as a pedestrian.
You have Medicare-funded residency slots that are set by Congress. So Congress is setting many of these residency slots. The states are determining how many beds there are.
And so at these press conferences, you and the President and others are asked, what are you going to do about the beds? What are you going to do about respirators and so forth?
Isn't this virus showing some of the gaps in our system? And isn't the response to it when we look back actually going to help fix some of that perhaps?
FAUCI: Yes. Well, you know, you've asked a good, but complicated question. So first of all, everything that you just asked me about is, as we speak, almost being directly addressed by the President and the Vice President in their discussions at the meetings in our Taskforce, and at the innumerable press conferences that we have.
First of all, what can the Federal government do? As you can see, the President has over the last few days has called upon the Department of Defense to supply millions and millions and millions of mask respirators. Many, many, many more ventilators that we have.
They're bringing in beds with regard to the naval ships that now will be deployed. They're providing financial assistance for people who are going to be in difficulty because of the virus.
But the other thing that was stressed and stressed very clearly, the second point you made, and that is -- this is something that needs to be implemented and is the responsibility of the states and the local.
So sometimes they don't even realize that they have the resources and it's up to them to make the decisions about implementation. But the Federal government does, it went out there, they clearly are not enough. They are willing and able to help.
But the actual on the ground implementation of it is at the local and state level. That's the reason why the President has met and I've been on telephone calls with him with the governors more than once to try and get them to appreciate that is it within their reach and within their power to make these kinds of decisions to see if resources can be properly distributed.
That's not saying that we'll always have enough for everyone, and that's the reason why he is calling on the people in the industry to rev up, to make some of these things, to fill -- to backfill the Strategic National Stockpile.
You know, because we have 12,700, ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile, we have tens of millions of respirator masks. Once you send them out to those who need it, you have to backfill, and those are the kind of things they're doing.
Bottom line, everything you just said now is being very intensively addressed, both by the President and the Vice President and the administration and the Taskforce, as well as at the local level.
LEVIN: The only reason I mentioned it, is because I watch these press conferences with the governors, and I watched the Governor of New York say we need more beds and I said, well, why don't you go get them? Because under the these CON Laws, the Certificate of Need Laws and the first state to have it was New York in the 1960s. They limit the number of beds for whatever reason, they limit the expansion of facilities and not just that, MRIs, CTs, other devices.
I am only mentioning this so the American people understand, you sitting here can't snap your finger and then all of a sudden there's more beds and the President of the United States can snap his finger.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Dr. Fauci, let me ask you a question. You've been doing this a long time. Have you ever seen this big of a coordinated response by an administration to such a threat? A health threat?
FAUCI: Well, we've never had a threat like this and the coordinated response has been, there are a number of adjectives to describe it. Impressive, I think is one of them.
I mean, we're talking about all-hands on-deck is that I, as one of many people on a team, I'm not the only person, since the beginning that we even recognized what this was. I have been devoting almost full time on this -- almost full time.
I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the Taskforce. I'm connected by phone throughout the day and into the night and when I say night, I'm talking twelve, one, two in the morning. I'm not the only one. There's a whole group of us that are doing that. It's every single day.
So I can't imagine that that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more. I mean, obviously, we're fighting a formidable enemy -- this virus. This virus is a serious issue here.
Take a look at what it's done to China, to Europe, to South Korea. It is serious and our response is aimed, and I know you've heard that many, many times, and this is true. I mean, I deal with viruses my entire career.
When you have an outbreak virus, if you leave it to its own devices, it will peak up and then come back down. What we learned from China, that letting it peak up is really bad, because it can do some serious damage. So we are focused now, like a laser on doing whatever we can, and there are two or three things that deserve to be mentioned -- to make this peak actually be a mound, which means you're going to have suffering, you're going to have illness, you're going to have death. But it's not going to be the maximum that the virus can do.
A couple of ways to do that. The first was, as we say, all the time, the very timely decision on the part of the President to shut off travel from China, because we saw that there was this possibility of people coming in and seeding in the country. We did it early.
And as it turned out, there were relatively few cases in the big picture of things that came in from China. Unfortunately, for our colleagues, and many of whom are my friends and people I've trained actually in Medicine, in European countries, they didn't do that. And they got hit really hard and are being hit really hard. The first thing.
Second thing, when the infection burden shifted from China to Europe, we did the same thing with Europe. We shut off travel from Europe, which again was another safeguard to prevent influx from without in.
The other way you do it is by containment and mitigation. And now everybody knows what the word mitigation means because it's the things that we're doing. No crowds, work from home. Don't go to places that you can be susceptible. Ten people in a room, not 50 and a hundred people. Stay away from theatres.
Take the elderly people who are susceptible and have them do self- isolation. Stay out of bars, stay out of restaurants.
If you're in an area where there's a lot of coronavirus activity, close the bars, close the restaurants. That's heavy duty mitigation.
So I think with all of those things going on at the same time, I believe we will -- we're already doing it, but you just can't notice it yet because you have the dynamics of the virus going up. We're trying to put it down. You're not really sure quantitatively what you're doing, but you can be actually certain that we're having an impact on it.
LEVIN: We'll be right back.
LEVIN: You are impressed, every day, 20 hours a day of what's taking place. How about the private sector? Are you impressed with their reaction?
FAUCI: Well, I'm impressed with the fact that when the President called the private sector into the Cabinet Room and into the Roosevelt Room and said we need to step up that that allowed us to have a lot more bandwidth if you want to call it that.
I mean, particularly with the idea of what we were stalling early on a bit with the testing, they said, okay, we need high throughput testing, we need the companies that make it to get it out there and can implement that.
And to their credit, the company stepped to the plate. So that's the reason why we are seeing and we'll be seeing quite soon, a major escalation in the ability to be doing testing.
LEVIN: There is this statement put up, some in the press, some in the opposition party of the President, that the President doesn't follow the science. Is the President following the science?
FAUCI: Every single time that I -- and when I say every day, it's like almost every day. It's not like once a month. We are in the in the Taskforce meeting. There are several of us, myself included. I'm not the only one that's a scientist or a public health person. There are other people who have other responsibilities, so we get a good sampling of expertise that you need and it's led by the Vice President, Secretary Azar is there as the Secretary of H.H.S.
And we talk about every aspect and we make all of our decisions and recommendations that are based on the science. I have never in that room had a situation where I said, scientifically, this is the right thing to do it and they said, don't do it. Or scientifically, this is the wrong thing to do and they did it anyway.
Then we get up and we present it to the President. And he asks a lot of questions. That's his nature. He is constantly asking the question, and I never, in the multiple times that I've done that, where I said, for scientific reasons, we really should do this that he hasn't said let's do it.
Or when he's decided -- not decided -- when he suggests, why don't we do this? And I say, no, that's really not a good idea from a scientific standpoint. He has never overruled me.
LEVIN: All right. Well, keep up the great work. Let everybody that you work with know that the American people are very thankful you're out there and we will continue to watch and God bless you.
FAUCI: Thank you very much. Good to be with you.
LEVIN: Thank you.
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