This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," March 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Stocks are up at the close on Wall Street, as the president tries to free up more drugs to combat the coronavirus, all this as he meets via video with governors, as they try to beef up the country's response to this pandemic.
Welcome, everyone. Good afternoon. I'm Maria Bartiromo, in this afternoon for Neil Cavuto. This is "Your World."
We are tracking all of it this afternoon with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with Republican Senator Rick Scott, on just how Washington is responding, Lieutenant General Russel Honore on how our leaders are leading, and the president of the New York Stock Exchange on floor traders who soon won't be trading on the floor, at least not in person.
First to John Roberts. He's at the White House, where they are trying to fast-track potential coronavirus prescription drugs -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Maria, good afternoon to you.
The president on his way back from FEMA at this moment after a teleconference with the nation's governors, as the State Department issued a new travel advisory for people who are either overseas or planning to go overseas, the State Department saying -- quote -- "U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the U.S., unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite period of time."
On Capitol Hill today, the Treasury secretary and other White House officials meeting with lawmakers about the phase three financial stimulus. One of the big components, checks to taxpayers. The way it looks like it might work, is $1,200 per adult up to $75,000 in yearly income, a smaller amount for those who make up the $99,000, and $500 per child.
In the daily coronavirus briefing this morning, the president optimistic that some treatments may be available soon, one of them from Gilead Pharmaceuticals called remdesivir, another an existing anti-malarial drug called hydroxychloroquine.
The president saying, if either one of those becomes available, it could really change the whole computation here. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine works, or any of the other things that they're looking at that are not quite as far out, but if they work, your numbers are going to come down very rapidly. So we will see what happens.
But there's a real chance that they might -- they might work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now, of course, yesterday, the president signing the Defense Production Act, which would allow him to guide companies into ramping up quickly inventories of much needed medical supplies.
But the president holding off on that for now, despite calls from the Democratic leadership that he needs to put that into action right now. I asked the president about that this morning. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: You enabled, I guess, is probably the best way to put it, the Defense production Act yesterday, but you didn't pull the trigger on it.
TRUMP: No, because we hope we're not going to need that.
Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work, and they are doing a lot of this work. And they are doing a lot of this work.
The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. We're not a shipping clerk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And we keep ticking down on the president's 15-day guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but indications from the surgeon general, Jerome Adams, today that 15 days may not be enough.
What does the president think? Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hope very soon. We will see. This is uncharted territory, as you know. We think we have ideas. It doesn't help to say what the idea is.
I would hope very soon. We're -- we pull together as a nation. People are, for the most part, doing what they're supposed to be doing. The social distancing is very interesting, a whole new term that has become a hot -- it's become somewhat of a hot term, but people are listening, and they're - - and they're really doing a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: So, will, at the end of the 15 days, the president's guidelines have to be renewed for another 15 days? No one really knows. And when asked about it, the president said, I will tell you that when we get to day 14 -- Maria.
BARTIROMO: Well, it's incredible, because this was a real market mover, John. Markets were down early on today, but then they picked up as the president talked about this fast-tracking of some drugs.
Fox Business' Susan Li is keeping track of that. And she's on that angle -- Susan.
SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Maria, a small recovery from the three-year lows that we saw on the stock market. And there is hope of a big economic stimulus plan and packets from the government, also the Federal Reserve injecting a trillion dollars or more overnight.
So are other global central banks over in Europe as well. So we had big tech today leading the way back, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft seeing some sizable gains, getting some bids today, and Amazon higher, despite reporting a first warehouse worker testing positive for COVID-19.
So, the coronavirus, yes, depressing stock market, but, really, it's the one two combo of a collapse in prices combined with a spread and a pandemic of coronavirus.
Today, though, take a look at this. We saw the biggest one-day jump in oil prices in history. And this is after President Trump said that the U.S. might be intervening, with Russia and Saudi Arabia cutting prices, and still pumping a lot of oil. Oil is still down over 60 percent on the year.
And, meantime, you heard President Trump saying that he will make chloroquine, a malaria drug, available for COVID-19 treatment. Well, generic drugmakers rallied on the back of this news, Teva, Mylan up in the session.
Gilead Sciences will produce results of its possible coronavirus vaccine called remdesivir next month. And as you see, we're seeing gains for Gilead Sciences.
Now, as for the broader U.S. economy, most investment banks are predicting a sharp decline in the U.S. economy contracting. J.P. Morgan says it'll shrink 14 percent from March to June. Bank of America, Maria, is looking for a 12 percent contraction, job losses of a million a month, and the jobless rate doubling.
And they say, in fact, Maria that the recession is already here.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And these numbers are so stark, 14 percent contraction.
You have got all hands on deck trying to reverse this trend that we are hearing so much about. Susan, thank you so much.
It is not just some potential new drugs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also putting all hands on deck, including stimulus. He spoke with me this morning on "Mornings With Maria" over on FOX Business. And he said they are working hard to get hundreds of billions of dollars into the hands of the American people, who have been hit hard by this crisis.
He's looking for that in a matter of weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: A second component -- and I refer to this as checks in the mail, but that's -- it's really money direct- deposited. Most people, we have all their information.
And the plan is $500 billion in two tranches. The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child. So, for a family of four, that's a $3,000 payment. As soon as Congress passes this, we'd get this out in three weeks.
And then, six weeks later, if the president still has a national emergency, we will deliver another $3,000. So that's a lot of money to hardworking Americans who are at home, no fault of theirs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: A lot of money, but will it be enough to get Americans back on their feet?
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott, who is self-isolating right now because of this virus, he joins me right now by telephone.
And, Senator, it's good to see you. Thank you very much.
First off, how are you doing? Are you showing any symptoms?
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): No.
Maria, I'm self-quarantined because I was around somebody with the president of Brazil that tested positive. So, to make sure I'm safe for everybody that I come in contact with, I self-quarantined last week. And I will finish next -- this coming Monday.
I take my temperature all the time. It's the first indication. And I have not a temperature the whole time.
So, what I have been doing since then...
SCOTT: ... is talking to mayors and state officials and police chiefs and sheriffs and hospitals.
I mean, I'm doing everything I can to move this process along. I think, Maria, you -- and I think you have talked a little bit, the biggest thing we can do, the biggest stimulus we can do, we got to figure out -- figure this out, keep people safe, get them a vaccine.
And so that's why we got these testing sites up now. We have got to self- quarantine and slow this down.
SCOTT: And then we got to do everything we can to rebuild this economy.
BARTIROMO: Yes, you're right, Senator. Yes, thank you for your leadership, to be doing all that you're doing at home, while you also self-isolate.
We're seeing really an incredible effort by government officials. And I know that the nation thanks you and all the leaders for doing that.
What do you make of the president's plan here? Secretary Mnuchin just talking with me earlier this morning, and we ran that sound bite, talking about the money that will go to people directly. He's talking about three weeks.
There's some debate about needing that money in three weeks, or should small business in particular get some relief now?
SCOTT: Here's I believe.
I believe, one, focus on the people that have been impacted, the hourly workers, the tip workers that right now have gotten impacted. So how do we help them? And how do we help our small businesses?
The first thing that we can do is get them a moratorium on their rent, their mortgage, the utilities, their taxes. That will put money -- that will keep money in their pocket, rather than something they have to spend right now, do it for our small businesses, do it for people making less than $75,000 a year.
And then focus on our existing unemployment system that all of our companies have paid into. Florida has $4 billion in the bank. How do we use that existing system to help all these individuals? Maybe we have to change the rule to say, if you got your hours cut a little bit, you still get it, or if your wages got cut some.
So what we want is, we want our businesses, all of our businesses that we can to stay in business as long as possible.
But you said yesterday that the federal government cannot solve every problem. And this is a sentiment that many people agree with you on, because you really need to see the American people not rely so much on government.
For example, Larry Kudlow had an idea that, if government is going to be using this money for bailouts to be sending out, then maybe the government should be taking stakes in certain companies.
What do you say to that?
SCOTT: Well, first off, if we're going to -- if the government's going to do a bailout, they clearly ought to get a return on it.
This is taxpayer money. But reality is exactly what you just said. We have got to help each other. Each family member has got to help other family members.
SCOTT: Their churches have to help each other.
Our -- all of our community, our local community, that's where everything gets done in this world. We have got to all step up and say, who's hurting? How do we help them? And how did -- the federal government can pay for things...
SCOTT: ... but that's not the key to this.
The key is helping each other.
BARTIROMO: Senator, it's good to see you. Thanks very much for joining us this morning -- this afternoon. Thank you.
SCOTT: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We will talk with you soon, Senator Rick Scott.
It is certainly quiet on the streets of New York today and all week. Quite so on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Come Monday, it will be a ghost town down on Wall Street, the NYSE shutting down floor operations over COVID-19.
What does that mean for your money? The president of the New York Stock Exchange is here next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: World War II, 9/11, and now COVID-19, major events forcing the New York Stock Exchange to close its floor trading.
And that is where we find ourselves today. That is the deal beginning Monday. But the exchange will be open for electronic trading.
So, how's it going to impact everyday investors?
Joining us right now to talk more about that, we talk with the president of the New York Stock Exchange, Stacey Cunningham.
Stacey, thanks very much for joining me once again.
This is a big deal, closing the trading floor for a period of time. What are your expectations?
STACEY CUNNINGHAM, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE: You know, it is a big deal, Maria.
We haven't closed the trading floor, as you mentioned -- there are few historic moments where the trading floor has been closed.
What's different about this time is that electronic trading will continue. So, that part of it is different. We run multiple markets. We run five equity exchanges, two options markets. Many of them trade fully electronically.
The New York Stock Exchange introduces the human judgment element on top of stock trading. That leads to dampening volatility during times of stress. And as we have seen lately, the markets have been pretty volatile.
CUNNINGHAM: So, we were hanging on to try and keep that extra added protection into the market.
But it got to a point where we just were concerned. We couldn't guarantee that people were going to be able to be protected, their health. So, while we're seeing how the virus unfolds and steps that we can continue to take, we're temporarily shifting to fully electronic, until we can get that -- have more clarity around that situation.
BARTIROMO: So, what are your expectations in terms of how long this lasts?
Stacey, when we spoke earlier this week on FOX Business on "Mornings With Maria," you said, look, if there's a situation where we need human interaction, where we need that extra buying or selling to balance out a trade, we have it here on the floor of the NYSE.
Are you worried that you will not have that component now with electronic trading only?
CUNNINGHAM: I do think we will see some added volatility.
I will give you an example. Last Friday, when the president announced that he was going to fill the oil reserves, it was just a few minutes before the closing auction. And we saw massive buy orders coming into the -- into the market right at that close.
The traders here on the floor were able to go solicit offsetting sell orders, so that they could dampen that volatility and reduce price swings.
CUNNINGHAM: And so that's an important function that they're able to deliver. When we go fully electronic, you don't see that same effect.
So, yes, I do think it's going to add to a little bit of -- additional volatility in an already volatile period of time. So that's concerning. From an operations perspective, I'm confident it'll work smoothly. So stocks will still open and close. Traders will still be able to send their interest in. And things will trade normally.
I just expect you're going to see additional volatility around the edges. And that's unfortunate, given how the markets are already dealing with so many price swings.
BARTIROMO: Stacey, let me move away from the operations of this, because we clearly understand why you're closing the trading floor for a temporary period of time.
You have got, what, a couple hundred people on the floor right now?
CUNNINGHAM: Yes, there are a few hundred people.
And I will say this is a very patriotic group, Maria.
CUNNINGHAM: So they're looking to come back as soon as possible.
CUNNINGHAM: They want to do their part, right?
BARTIROMO: Right. So...
CUNNINGHAM: And they understand the value and the service they provide to investors.
BARTIROMO: As we all do, and of course.
So, put that aside for a moment. I want to ask you something about sentiment, because you have been on the floor for years. Before you had this role of president, you were there in the trenches on the floor of the exchange.
What is your take on sentiment, particularly today? As the president started talking about vaccines, talking more about cures and about therapies to treat coronavirus, we saw the market change direction.
We saw the market actually trade up and finish up 188 points on the Dow Jones industrial average, about 1 percent. Do you feel a change in sentiment on the floor, because we have lost $7 trillion in market value?
I'm wondering where the sentiment goes now, Stacey.
CUNNINGHAM: Yes, I mean, markets react to uncertainty, as you know well, right?
And so what we have been trying to understand is, how is this virus pandemic going to continue to unfold? What's the long-term impact going to be on Americans in their everyday lives?
And I think what we're seeing is the government rising to the occasion to answer some of those questions. These are the things that they're going to do.
I have had the opportunity over the past couple of weeks to talk to the federal administration, to the Treasury Department, to the House Financial Services Committee, to our regulators, to local, city and state government.
CUNNINGHAM: And all of them are very focused on helping those in need.
And I think that you will see, through the stimulus package and the announcements that the president continues to make, there is a lot of interest in addressing the short-term pain on the economy.
CUNNINGHAM: And so that's where I think you're seeing market reaction.
It's a very -- it's a changing moment, very fluid. Every single day, we get new news, and people are reacting to that in real time.
Real quick, Stacey, do you want to see any other changes in terms of the regulations over financial services on the New York Stock Exchange?
Because the president's doing fast track at the FDA. Is there anything standing in the way in terms of creating a more effective trading situation for Wall Street that you would like to see from a regulatory standpoint, real quick?
CUNNINGHAM: Yes, one thing I will highlight, because it's been rumored a few times that there's talk of shutting the markets down to stop...
CUNNINGHAM: ... stop the market decline.
I have not had that conversation with any of those groups I talked about. They're not considering it at Treasury, at Congress, in any of those areas. And I think that that -- understanding that that's not the case would be -- actually be helpful to investor sentiment.
If people hear the market might be closed, they may be more inclined to sell, because they're afraid they won't be to -- in the future.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
CUNNINGHAM: So, I think hearing a clear statement, which we have heard from Secretary Mnuchin, we have heard from Chairman Clayton at the SEC...
BARTIROMO: Yes. Yes.
CUNNINGHAM: ... they have no plans to close the market. You're hearing it for me.
The markets are staying open.
CUNNINGHAM: We're not talking about closing the markets. We're not talking about shortening the trading day.
Repeating that message, I think, is really important for everyone to hear.
Stacey, thank you. We will see you soon. Appreciate it very much.
CUNNINGHAM: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Now to the scramble to contain -- thank you, Stacey.
To the scramble to contain this contagion, a massive undertaking, how is the president's task force doing?
Next up, stay with us on that. The joint task force commander during Hurricane Katrina, General Russel Honore, is next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: ... anything like this in history. There's never been. Nobody has ever seen anything like this.
But we're doing the right thing. We have to get rid of -- our big war is not a -- it's not a financial war. It's a war. And it's a medical war. We have to win this war. It's very important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: President Trump earlier today on the medical war we are facing against COVID-19.
Let's get the read right now on the White House response so far from the man who was at the center of the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Joining us right now, retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore.
And, General, good to see you this afternoon. Thanks very much for being here.
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: You have seen a lot in the way of responses. How would you grade the response so far? It feels like you're seeing a real coordinated effort among several institutions throughout the country.
What do you say?
HONORE: Yes, I think we're starting to get a handle on how this thing should work.
The White House should be about policy and tactics. But the real solution to this is going to be logistics. I think it was President Eisenhower who said, amateurs study tactics, what to do; professionals study logistics.
We got to get the logistics down. And, today, the president empowered the governors to use that money that's been put at FEMA, so they can draw on that money to buy what they need. The private sector has a lot of capacity to help solve some of these issues.
At the same time, FEMA has some rules that they need to employ to make sure that that money is used wisely. A week ago, you could buy an N95 for about $14. I see on the Internet now some of them are going for $95, $100.
And there's some state agent out there right now ordering a million masks at $80 apiece. We got to spend that money wisely, because that disaster capitalism will kick in and we will waste the money.
And that should be a concern to Congress. But I think the president has empowered the governors. They have got to do the right thing. That 25 percent payback should give them an incentive. If they do it right, the government may not collect that back.
But I think the president has empowered the right people in governors to order what they need. And now we have a mechanism. Last week, we didn't have a mechanism. That Stafford Act will put that money at the right place where every governor know how to deal with the FEMA regents to order with the need, or to order from the private sector, with immediate reimbursement from FEMA, and then that can be audited later.
But I think we're headed in the right direction. Right now, we need a need for speed and unleash the power of the private sector to help solve these problems.
BARTIROMO: General, you see the military getting involved as well in terms of makeshift hospitals. Do you want to see more military involvement?
As we see these numbers spike, there's a real worry about a strain on our health care system, not enough beds, for example. Can the military help out in that regard?
HONORE: Yes, we could put up tents.
But a tent, I lived in them for 37 years, three months and three days in the Army. They are very temporary. They're better with all the empty hospitals we got. What I tell the government and the folks, the governors, my advice to them, tell the military what you want, not how to do it.
We got great planners, we have got great logisticians, and we're very good at logistics. We supply stuff all around the world. One thing the government might do is lean a little bit more on that military logistics capacity we have for planning and distribution and supplies.
That's what we do 24/7 around the world. We got a great capacity. And we might need to ask the United States Northern Command to put one of those joint planning cells in up there, one with the White House and one with FEMA, to help them do the joint planning and logistic planning they need.
We got capacity in the military that can help with this. We just need to use it the right way.
BARTIROMO: And, as part of this medical war, the president is trying to get all hands on deck. Do you think that the money will go to the places that is -- are most in need?
I mean, he's trying to fast-track potential COVID-19 drugs. So we're going to be talking about that. In terms of business, is the money being used properly, as you see it right now?
HONORE: As of this time, because the money has been directed from the White House.
I reminded a colleague last night who was complaining about something that the White House don't run operations. They make decisions. It's up to the agencies that work for them to execute this.
HONORE: And, again, the president said that today. You governors got that. The White House is not a distribution center.
He reminded his own staff of that.
HONORE: That's what needs to happen.
As far as the disaster capitalism, everybody's got to be watching that, that we don't go into price-gouging, not just at the corner grocery store...
BARTIROMO: As you just said, sure.
HONORE: We got to make sure these big companies we are bringing in don't exceed the price.
Yes, General, it's great to get your insights this afternoon. Thank you, sir. And thank you for your service to our great country. We so appreciate it. (CROSSTALK)
BARTIROMO: As part of this medical war, the president is pressing the FDA to fast-track potential COVID-19 drugs.
Let's talk about what that means for the battle against this virus.
Joining us right now on the telephone is the former FDA Commissioner David Kessler.
Commissioner, it's good to see you. Thank you so much for weighing in here.
What's your take on this fast-track movement?
DAVID KESSLER, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: So, FDA has always has -- I did -- I was involved in AIDS.
When I started, there was one drug. It didn't work very well. We have the fast-track mechanism. By the time we left, there was more than a dozen. So I have lived this.
So, FDA has always had this fast-track mechanism, certainly for the last several decades. The real question is, we need the clinical data. That's the key. We need data from clinical trials that show that a drug works.
Mechanisms are there. We need the data.
BARTIROMO: So, give me the downside risk, then, Commissioner, because, obviously, these -- these regulations were in place for a reason.
When you blow off these regulations, you get the drug on the fast track, the worry is that perhaps there could be safety issues. Is that a concern?
KESSLER: I don't think you have to worry about FDA shortcutting the process.
KESSLER: I mean, no doubt that fast track means you're going to approve a drug based on less data, and there's always risks.
But the real key here is having the data. There's really two types of fast track. Most of the time, a company comes in and says, here's the data. Here's the clinical data. FDA reviews it, and then FDA puts it through a fast-track process.
KESSLER: What we really need is, have the agency -- and I know they're trying to do this -- take a proactive -- proactively go out and get the data and work with companies to get the data, and then review it.
Without the data...
KESSLER: ... we're not going to -- we're not going to be able to make decisions.
BARTIROMO: OK, so we need the clinical data. We will be watching that. This is a very important point that you make, Commissioner.
Thanks so much for weighing in this afternoon.
KESSLER: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We will see you soon. And we will certainly be watching that clinical data and this fast-track approach.
Could those packages being delivered to your door be a virus at your doorstep? Why one case of COVID-19 at an Amazon facility is raising new concerns -- right here next.
BARTIROMO: Breaking news right now, Mayor de Blasio speaking.
Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): ... what we need from our federal government and how crucial that is in the equation.
The city of New York is working constantly to protect our people. I know the state of New York City doing the same thing. And we are coordinated and we share goals and strategies.
But we all are waiting for federal help that still is not arriving. And that is the central challenge. And we have to talk bluntly about that, and I will today.
But to everyone who's dealing with this confusion and these challenges, I feel it, my family feels it, just like you. We're all trying to make sense of a new reality.
What I'm going to try and do every time I give you an update is tell you the blunt truth. And I'm trying to -- very hard to make sure I tell you what we exactly know. And when we're not sure about something, we need to be clear about that too.
It would be a mistake to tell you something certain if we're not certain. It would be a mistake to hold back things that you need to know. And it certainly would be a mistake to sugarcoat this very, very painful reality.
I think New Yorkers want real talk. I think New Yorkers like it straight. And we're going to do that.
So, I will be talking about several things today that are really painful and troubling. And I want everyone to understand that. I am not here to give you false reassurance. I have a lot of things I will say that should cause you to be confident about what we can do in this city, confident particularly in the fact that we have the finest health care institutions, the finest doctors and nurses, and all the people who work in our health care facilities, the lab techs, everyone who works in our facilities.
This is -- there's literally no place on Earth with a stronger and better health care sector than New York City, nowhere on Earth. And we are going to ask of our colleagues in health care so much in these coming weeks. They are already heroes.
But they're going to have to work in battlefield conditions. Their strength, their courage, their resilience are all going to be needed. We're all going to be depending on them, just like we depend every day, not only their work, but on our first responders and so many of our public servants.
Everyone is going to be needed. Everyone needs to answer the call. Everyone needs to step up for the good of everyone else.
But, despite my tremendous confidence in our people and our ability to serve them, I also have to be very clear about the extent of this crisis. It is unlike anything we have seen outside of wartime, with the possible exception of the Great Depression itself.
We can make obvious and powerful, painful parallels even to things like 9/11, the days and weeks after that. But this crisis is even more unknown in many ways, because we don't understand the exact trajectory we're on.
And we know it will reach very deep into our communities. That is not a reason to be hopeless, by any stretch, because, remember, every single piece of evidence we have continues to tell us that this is a disease that, for 80 percent of those infected, will have very little impact.
So I want people to think about this. I will tell you a lot of things that are tough and sobering. But I want you also to remember this side of the equation. There will be many New Yorkers who never get this disease. And there will be many New Yorkers who get this disease, approximately 80 percent who get it, and will feel very little and experienced very little.
But those 20 percent who will experience a much tougher time with this disease, people in particular who are older, and that means particularly folks over 50, and especially over 70, and it means those, of course, with those serious preexisting conditions we talk about so often, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and compromised immune system, for those people, particularly if they're over 50, we're worried.
And we need them to take extraordinary measures. We need you to take extraordinary measures. If you're in that category of people, we need you to live differently. And we need your families to adjust as well.
You're going to hear from Dr. Barbot in a few minutes, and she's going to talk to you, as the city's doctor, and give advice directly to New Yorkers in light of an ever-growing crisis.
But I heard from a friend in Brooklyn from the Midwood community just yesterday. And he said something I thought really captured it. He said, in a very tight-knit extended family, over decades and decades, it would have been unimaginable to keep his older parents away from their grandchildren.
But he said now he understands, because of coronavirus, his older parents, who have vulnerabilities of their own, they have to understand this is not the time to visit with their grandchildren, because we just can't run that risk.
It's time for getting on the phone to your loved ones. It's time for getting on FaceTime, but it's time to make adjustments that wouldn't have been imaginable in other situations, because we have never dealt with this situation before. This is literally unlike anything we have seen in our memory.
It will not be the same as the 1918 flu epidemic, because, for one thing, the health care capacity of the city and this nation are tremendously. Better public health ability, the information flow, it's night and day compared to 100 years ago.
But in terms of the extent, that's the only other parallel we can make in terms of recent health care history. It's going to be an epidemic, a pandemic that reaches deep into our communities. And we have got to be honest about that. We have got to make more changes in the way we live. And we got to do things we wouldn't normally do.
I also want to emphasize this is a crisis that has an end point. As I said, it will play out in unpredictable ways. It'll play out for a period of time. And that's what makes it different from some other things we have been through. It will go on for months, but it will not go on forever.
At some point in the coming months, this crisis will start to abate. And we will be able to start the work of getting our lives back to normal and getting our city back to all the things about it that we love so much.
But it will be months, so it will be a long battle. I don't think it serves anyone to be told, get ready for something easy. I think it is much better to tell people, get ready for something difficult and something that will go on for a long time, but also have confidence that we can get through it.
And that's what I truly believe. The numbers I will go over with you today are nothing short of staggering, but they are not just numbers. I will tell you statistics that I have trouble even conceiving of myself.
But I don't want you to think of them as statistics. I want you to think of them as your fellow New Yorkers. Every number means another person has been affected by this disease, another family. And that's what I feel watching a crisis that is really, really affecting the lives of our people and putting a lot of people in danger.
So I will tell you the honest truth. And I will go out of my way in the weeks ahead to always level with you, but I will also tell you what we can do. And that's a lot.
And I will be very honest about what we need our federal government to do, because I have to be clear with you. We alone, even if we're the greatest city in the world -- and we are -- we alone cannot solve this crisis.
And I need people to hear that, not to create fear, but to level with people. In the next few weeks, with the extraordinary resources of New York City, we will fight this battle no matter what. But, as we get into April, the farther we get into April, the more we will need the help of the federal government.
It must arrive in time. And there is time for that help to arrive. But if the federal government does not do all in its power immediately, it's as simple as this. There will be a lot more people who get sick who didn't need to get sick, and there will be people who die who didn't need to die. It's as simple as that.
So we need to act now. And I know our federal government has the capacity. We have the finest military in the world, the largest, by far, extraordinary resources. Unlike the city or the state -- and I always say it very bluntly -- the federal government literally prints money. They can create any credit line they want to save the lives of Americans.
But we're not seeing that, not even close, at this point. So, I will go into some very specific information now. And then you will hear from Dr. Barbot. And then we will open up to questions from the media. And we will be doing all this remotely. It's the first time we're doing it. And I want to just say to all my colleagues in the media, we will try and get it right, but it may be a little difficult the first time, but please bear with us as we try and perfect this new system.
This is something we will be having to do for quite a while to keep everyone safe.
I have given you a framework to think about this situation with. And I will be updating you regularly. But, again, it will not be all bad news. It often will be tough information to hear, but not all of it is bad, because, in the middle of this fight, we have the extraordinary heart and soul and spirit of New Yorkers.
And here's an example for you. Just on Tuesday, I put out a call to retired health care workers and those who work in private health care offices to come forward and join up to serve in the fight against coronavirus.
I asked people who have already given so much of their lives to others to step forward and come out of retirement. I asked people who are earning a living and are not obligated to join public service, I asked them to join, nonetheless, in the name of all New Yorkers.
That was Tuesday. Today, Thursday, as of today, 1,746 health care professionals have stepped forward to augment the ranks of those already serving at the front line in our hospitals and clinics. That's something all New Yorkers should be very, very proud of, and I am certain those numbers will grow.
This is going to be one of the most difficult moments in New York City history. I ask everyone who has health care training and who can help us to please step forward now. And anyone who's willing to volunteer, please go to NYC.gov/helpnownyc, NYC.gov/helpnownyc.
And I want to express my tremendous gratitude on behalf of 8.6 million New Yorkers, to all of you who have come forward and are ready to serve to protect all of us.
And what you are seeing from those retired health care workers and those private sector and health care workers, you're seeing in many other ways, the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues in our public hospitals and clinics and all those at the voluntary hospitals who are already doing so much, our first responders, the envy of the nation, all that they are doing to protect us.
Our social service workers, who are helping people through all of the challenges they're confronting now. Our sanitation workers, who are doing absolutely crucial work to keep the city clean while we encounter a health care crisis.
On Monday, I talked about a very valiant, noble group of workers...
BARTIROMO: Somewhat of a sobering press conference this afternoon from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, giving a COVID-19 update.
We're going to monitor this conference and bring the news as it develops.
Let's bring in FOX News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier right now.
And, Dr. Saphier, you're hearing what I'm hearing from de Blasio. It certainly feels like we're about to hear some significant numbers in terms of the spikes, the number of cases developed in New York right now. Your reaction to what we have heard just now?
DR. NICOLE SAPHIER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I agree.
I think it sounds like something pretty dramatic is coming. And it's true.
SAPHIER: We're expecting this.
We have really ramped up our testing, which is exactly what we needed to do. But now the reality is going to set in. We're going to see how many people are infected. And, also, I think we're going to hear what -- the toll this has taken on health care workers.
I do just want to say that there is some tiny bit light at the end of the tunnel right now. Two of the first people that tested positive in New York, it looks like one has completely recovered and one is near 100 percent recovered.
So, although we're still in the midst of this, and we're going to continue to see those numbers rise, it is good to also remember there are people recovering.
BARTIROMO: It's a great point. And I'm glad you brought us to an optimistic point, because the markets also saw some optimism today, trading up at the close, after the president talked about upcoming therapeutics and upcoming potential vaccines, using certain drugs that are on the market now for COVID-19.
What is your expectation in terms of some of those efforts?
SAPHIER: So, I think it's great that we already have some FDA-approved medications for -- like anti-malarial medications and utilized for other things that have proved safe to use in people, that they're showing some efficacy against COVID-19.
It's much easier to bring something that's already gone through FDA approval to try it with -- for something new, as opposed do a brand-new medication. And there's been a couple of studies that really gives some hope right now.
And I expect that this is going to continue on, and the more that we use this with, through the FDA and just through compassionate use, I think we're going to start being able to help those recovering, and our death numbers may be decreasing.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about the Amazon delivery packaging story.
We talked about this earlier on "Mornings With Maria" over on FOX Business, but everybody is concerned about how long this virus lives, lives in the air, lives on surfaces. Give us your take in terms of mail, money, getting a package.
You said you open your packages outside of your house.
SAPHIER: That's right.
I mean, it's funny, because, after I said that this morning with you, my mother actually texted me: Are you really doing that?
And I'm like, yes, I am.
SAPHIER: And I should have had someone take a picture because I opened up packages today, and that's exactly what I do. And this comes at the same time that an Amazon facility, one of the delivery facilities in Long Island, just reported their first positive case in a staff member.
They shut down the facilities to -- and sent everyone home with full pay to sanitize. But this study came back showing that there are viable particles on cardboard up to 24 hours.
Now, that's to say, it's very few particles left, but there are still particles up to 24 hours. And the important thing is, the way that I keep saying to everybody, to myself, to my family, let's just pretend everything right now has the virus on it. We have the virus, you have the virus, and most things you touch have the virus.
If you have that mentality, you're probably going to be doing some pretty good choices on how to not get infected and how to keep your family safe.
So I have been opening up my packages outside. I have actually been leaving the mail for a day in the mailbox, and I do open things outside. And then I throw things away outside in the outdoor trash cans. I come right in, I clean my hands, and I wipe everything down.
BARTIROMO: Yes, very smart.
And, Dr. Saphier, it's good to see you. We will be checking back, of course, as we continue our coverage here. We will see as soon, Nicole Saphier.
Wuhan, China, was once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, of course. Now they are claiming to have no new cases of this virus. Can we trust this information?
Joining us now to break down the very latest numbers from Wuhan, FOX's Bill Hemmer -- Bill.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS HOST: Hey, Maria. Good afternoon to you.
You -- we can have this debate as to what you trust out of China or not or when it actually started in China. Was it January? Was it December? Was it prior to that? '
Wuhan reported zero cases today. Around the world at the moment, Maria, as of 4:15 East Coast time, there are about 238,000 cases, total deaths 9,800, total recovered about 85,000.
I want you to look at this graphic right here. This is -- the yellow line here, countries outside of China. Over the past two months, the rate of increase is not going in the direction -- we want this yellow line, Maria, to start moving to the right. So we will watch that.
I want to show you another map over here. A lot of viewers, a lot of questions too on Twitter, e-mail, on Facebook. They want to know about the death rate here, based on these countries. China's got 1.2 billion people, Italy's got 60 million.
Here's what we did earlier today to crunch the numbers and give you a sense. And this is a grim statistic. It's a death rate. In Italy, among those who have contracted the virus, the death rate is greater than 8 percent. In Iran, it's 6 percent. In China, it's 4 percent.
Again, China's leveling off, as we reported for that past couple of days.
In the U.S. at the moment, Maria, we're at 1.4 percent, and South Korea is below us at 1 percent. They say we want to be around South Korea. Why is that?
What they did in South Korea was very effective. I will just show you this right here just to give you a different graph, so you can understand this. This is China. This is Italy. South Korea is the blue line. The U.S. is green below that.
We want to be the blue line in this big battle, Maria. And we will see over time if we can maintain that.
HEMMER: Back to you.
BARTIROMO: Wow, it is really moving fast.
Bill, thank you,
BARTIROMO: Bill Hemmer, checking the progress there and the numbers.
So, how can lawmakers be positive they can pass what's needed, when some of them are testing positive?
We're going to take a look at that when we come back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
We have got fast-moving information today. With two lawmakers now testing positive for COVID-19, is that a concern as they try to put together a relief package?
Let's talk more about this, ask my next guest, a member of Congress and a doctor himself. Joining us right now is Texas Republican Congressman Michael Burgess.
Congressman, it's always good to see you. Thanks very much for joining us.
How concerned are you that this actually has hit Congress right now, with your colleagues now testing positive?
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): Well, yes, of course, it was inevitable.
Certainly feel badly for the people that have been affected. Two are under quarantine, which means they're not ill, but they have voluntarily taken themselves out of circulation, which I think is the responsible thing to do.
BURGESS: Obviously, we do have -- we do have two members who have shown symptoms and tested positive after -- after they went to the physician with those -- with those symptoms.
That's, you know, no different from the rest of the population. I know there's a lot of discussion about whether or not we need to be present to vote. I think we do. I think that sends a terrible message to the country if we say we're going to vote on probably one of the biggest spending bills ever conceived, and we're going to phone it in?
But we will see what people decide about that. I know those are ongoing discussions right now.
Congressman, I know that we have only a couple of seconds here -- a couple of minutes. And we appreciate you joining us, even though this is an abbreviated interview, relative to our usual interviews.
BARTIROMO: I want to get your take on when we are going to see this fiscal stimulus. Tell me about the vote. I noticed that there are a couple of your colleagues on the Republican side who voted no because of the cost.
But tell me about that. When do you actually see the stimulus materializing?
BURGESS: Well, my understanding is, the Senate is supposed to vote on it today or tomorrow. This is the third bill.
The second bill has already passed, and then down to the White House for signature.
BURGESS: The third bill is supposed to pass the Senate today.
And then probably midweek next week, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, is when it will be available for the House to vote.
BARTIROMO: OK. Good.
BURGESS: It'll probably be a prolonged vote, not a 15-minute vote.
BARTIROMO: And that is...
BURGESS: But we need to be there.
BARTIROMO: We sure do.
Congressman, thank you very much.
BURGESS: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
New reports on a death that may shake the travel industry even more. TMZ is reporting a 34-year-old man has died from COVID-19 two weeks after visiting Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida.
We will be watching that, as well as the markets. Join me tomorrow on "Mornings with Maria," FOX Business, 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
Have a good day, everybody.
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