Secretary Pompeo on China's coronavirus 'disinformation campaign': They put countless lives at risk

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity."

Tonight, buckle up, we have a lot of ground to cover.

We track multiple breaking stories tonight, and coming up, we will have a very serious message for China's hostile dictatorship. Also, their lies, propaganda, their months-long cover-up is now causing death and destruction and carnage all over the world. They're now hurting this country and other countries.

Now, some, by the way, also tonight, we'll cover these people in the media mob unwittingly doing the bidding of China, spreading propaganda and, of course, blaming Trump and FOX News for murder, and even yours truly for the spread of all of this.

These comments are so insane, inappropriate, over-the-top, out of line. We will call out the mob's despicable coverage.

First, tonight, though, like every night, we want to start with facts that will help you and your family stay safe and secure without the fear, hysteria, and panic that others are peddling.

Clearly, the U.S. response to this pandemic is unlike anything we have ever witnessed or ever seen.

And today, the president invoked what is known as the Defense Production Act. Now, this is a move that will massively ramp up the production and the distribution of very important medical supplies, ventilators, respirators. This will include 500 million new N95 masks.

The president also dispatched earlier today two Navy hospital ships, one to the East Coast, one to the West Coast. The Pentagon is now preparing mobile medical units to be deployed all over the country as they are needed, if they are needed.

Meanwhile, America's brilliant medical researchers, scientists, doctors, health care workers, they have been working around the clock as usual. Not just on a vaccine, but also treatments that will mitigate or even prevent the contraction of the virus, or the effects of the virus if you do get it.

Hours ago, the president gave us a little preview of what we can expect tomorrow. This is getting interesting.

Take a look.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Tomorrow, we're having a -- what I think will be a very interesting news conference. And I think you know what that's all about. So we'll see.

The FDA will be -- they've been working very, very hard, and I appreciate what they're doing, and I think we have some very interesting things that will be brought up tomorrow at the news conference. It will be set up around I think at around 11:00 or so. But we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.


HANNITY: It's a pretty exciting news. Our medical A-team is here tonight. We're going to examine what the possibilities are here.

There are now multiple antiviral medications being studied. Many have been tested. One that was previously used against Ebola. One anti-malaria medication developed decades ago showing a lot of promise. It has been used in the course of this particular coronavirus outbreak.

And, of course, we do expect in the short term that the confirmed cases will dramatically increase. We've been preparing you for that.

But again, if we all follow the rules laid out by the president's task force, they're not that difficult, were going to be helping every American, especially the most vulnerable. The elderly, with underlying medical conditions, compromised immune systems.

In the meantime, we look forward to the coming announcement from the president and the FDA tomorrow.

Without a doubt, we're the greatest country on Earth. Got to remember that. Yes, we will get through this. We've been through tough times and we always prevail.

And as the president tweeted tonight, strong, united -- yes, we'll prevail.

Moments ago, he posted this message to the American people. Let's take a look.


TRUMP: I want to thank all Americans for pulling together, for coming together, for doing what they have to do. It's been incredible. It's been inspirational. All over the world, they're watching.

And, of course, you've heard it a thousand times -- wash your hands, good hygiene, all of that. But social distancing, keep away. It's going to have no place to go.

And I just want to thank you. As president, I want to thank you for the incredible job you're all doing. The spirit in our country like never before, we are really -- we pulled together as a unit, we've pulled together as a country. We will prevail together. We love the USA.


HANNITY: This is an all-hands-on-deck moment and we're seeing the greatness of the American people on display every day, at every level. Once we beat back the virus, China must be held accountable. Their hostile government cares more about optics than the lives of not only their own citizens, but the world community.

This massive cover-up and the critical early stages of this disease, frankly, unforgivable. It is an indisputable fact that China lied. People all over the world suffering and dying as a result of these lies.

Axios really put together what is a comprehensive timeline that you need to see.

We'll start on December 10th, 2019, last year. That's when one of first known coronavirus patients becomes ill.

Then on December 27th, Wuhan health officials determined a new type of coronavirus was spreading. Three days later, on social media, top director at the Wuhan central hospital tried to warn the public about this dangerous new disease and how it was spreading from person to person. She was subsequently reprimanded and censored.

Then on January 1st, eight other doctors who posted information about the disease online were called in for questioning, also censored.

And January 7th, the president of China became directly involved in the response.

January 11th, the Wuhan health commission insisted there were no new cases, which we now know is a blatant lie.

January 14th, World Health Organization at this late date tweeting, quote, Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human to human transmission of the virus. Really?

And get this -- four days later, China hosted its annual Lunar New Year banquet. Guess where? In the city of Wuhan, where tens of thousands of people got together for a potluck supper.

It wasn't until January 20th that China admitted the disease can spread from person to person. The first person that we know had corona in America arrived on January 21st. Ten days later, the president's travel ban, the single best decision made to date by any country. He gave us time, saved countless thousands of Americans from contracting the virus, and likely many deaths.

Now, by the way, at that point, it was too late. COVID-19 had already spread to South Korea. A day later, the first case confirmed here. That's the 21st. I'm just talking about.

Probably already multiple cases in Italy, which we now have discovered had direct flights from Wuhan, that province, and a large Chinese population working in their textile industry.

For weeks, China could have sounded the alarm. Instead, they lied, they tried to cover it up, and they had massive potluck celebrations at the epicenter of this disease. And now, China's government, now, they're spreading baseless conspiracy theories, blaming the U.S. military for the spread of the disease. There are even proliferating and insane talking point that using the word China or Wuhan virus to describe the Wuhan virus is racist.

And, of course, many social justice warriors in the media mob, not particularly concerned that much about health. No, they want political correctness, even at a time like this, unwittingly echoing what is a Chinese propaganda talking point. Take a look.


REPORTER: China and others have criticized you for using the phrase "Chinese virus." How do you go about that? Are you going to continue to use that phrase? It creates a stick man.

REPORTER: Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese-Americans in this country? Why do you keep using this?

TRUMP: Because it comes from China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do have people in the Asian-American community whose lives are at risks and for the president to call it a Chinese virus, or a foreign virus, that is just not -- it's so dangerous and not a good thing to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a virus that came from the territory of China, but came from bats. This is a bat virus, not a China virus. It doesn't speak Chinese.


HANNITY: And today, the president had a clear message for those who seem more worried about identity politics than actual truth. Take a look.


REPORTER: Why do you keep using this?

TRUMP: Because it comes from China.

REPORTER: It sounds racist.

TRUMP: It is not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that's why. It comes from China. It would be accurate.

Please, John. I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point, maybe they've stopped now, it was caused by American soldiers.

That can't happen. It's not going to happen, not as long as I'm president. It comes from China.


HANNITY: Times of uncertainty, facts do matter. This virus did start in China, the Wuhan province, and it's not the first disease to be named after a location. For example, Ebola. That's named after a river in Africa. And there's the Spanish flu, and then the Middle Eastern respiratory system known as MERS, and we can go on and on.

Ultimately, the facts are clear. The Chinese government tried to cover it up. Recently, they kicked out all American -- well, I have to say so-called because I don't exactly trust fake news. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, but I do want them there. And now, because of China's actions, thousands around the world are dead, millions others are suffering, and China must be held accountable.

Here with a lot more on this and so much more, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Secretary, great to see you. Thank you for being with us.

You actually brought in Chinese representatives to your office on this very topic of blaming the U.S. military and other issues. Can you bring us inside that conversation?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Sean, thanks for having me on tonight.

We did, in fact, call in the Chinese ambassador and I spoke to my counterpart in China a couple days back. This disinformation campaign which began when we began to call out this -- this risk that was created not only for the Chinese people but now, we can see people all across the world, where (ph) the Chinese government knew about this risk, had identified it, they were the first to know, and they wasted valuable days at the front end, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to leave Wuhan, to go to places like Italy, that's now suffering so badly.

They tried to suppress this information. We talked about the means by which they did it. Instead of trying to actually do the work to suppress the virus, which is what the world demanded, and the Chinese Communist Party didn't get it right and put countless lives at risk as a result of that.

HANNITY: Mr. Secretary, are you -- do you believe now that the information, which could be valuable to the rest of the world, we -- we can get information that would be helpful at this point. Do you believe that information is accurate that they're sending over now?

POMPEO: This is one of the most important questions, Sean. We have had an incredibly difficult time getting professional medical people in. You'll recall early on, we offered to have America's finest experts to travel there to assist them, to assist the World Health Organization. We weren't permitted in.

These are the kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party has done that had put the world and the world's people at risk. They haven't been sufficiently transparent, and the risk, Sean, that you find, where if we don't get this right, if we don't get to the bottom of this, is this could -- this could be something that's repeatable, maybe not in this form, maybe not on this way, but transparency matters.

That's why when we see them forcing journalists out, when we see people who've been talking about this, Chinese citizens who have been talking about this no longer having access to the Internet, no longer able to speak openly and freely, there's risks, there's questions.

And it's important, as a -- America's most senior diplomat, we have an obligation to try and help make sure that we get this information from the Chinese Communist Party so we can help our medical professors (ph) here -- professionals here in the United States get this right and save lives for Americans and for people all across the world.

HANNITY: Mr. Secretary, we've known each other for many years. I think if my memory serves me well, I think you graduated -- you graduated one in your class at Harvard. I'm not sure, I'm pretty sure you're right up there.

If the Chinese had early on come to you and said, hey, we have a problem, how quickly would you have acted to mobilize America's best, greatest medical researchers, scientists, the Dr. Faucis of the world, to immediately assist them in whatever problem they were having?

POMPEO: Sean, I didn't quite graduate first in my class. I was a -- I was a good enough student. But make no mistake about it --


HANNITY: It was first (ph) or second I think, one or two. I know it's up there.


POMPEO: We -- we would have responded immediately. Indeed, we did.

All -- all of the experts from all across -- both from the government and from the private sector wanted access to all of the information about the structure of this virus, all the information that would have permitted us not only to start on mitigation and cures and vaccines, but also allowed (ph) us to identify the way that this virus spreads and to begin to take the actions that could have kept this virus in a place where unfortunately we've not been able to keep it so far.

HANNITY: Let me ask you -- I read comments that you made about the Iranians. You know, I'm not a big fan of Iran, or Russia, or China. But putting that aside, it would be helpful if we could help them.

I want to ask you about that, and I keep hearing about these kids on a mission trip, and Americans on a mission trip that are locked down in Peru and I believe your office has been active in trying to get them home safely.

POMPEO: So, let me take the second one first.

The State Department is doing everything we can to protect American citizens all across the world. We know of students that are in Peru, some other travelers that are there as well. There are other countries too where those countries have shut down their airports, we are working to try and solve problems for each of those American citizens.

And we've just learned about them over the last couple of days, it will take us some amount of time. But know that President Trump has made clear that we're going to do everything we can to get every American home safely.


POMPEO: As for Iran, the same true for North Korea, these are countries that we have deep differences with. And we are working diligently to create better conditions for their people and part of that is to make sure that we're available to provide humanitarian assistance when we can.

And so, we have offered to both the North Koreans, as well as to the Iranian people, humanitarian assistance, and we've offered to facilitate humanitarian assistance coming into those countries from U.N. organizations, from other countries as well. We'll keep doing that, it's the right thing to do in a time of crisis.

HANNITY: All right. Mr. Secretary, Mike Pompeo, thank you as always for being with us. Important issues. We appreciate the time.

Yes, we did rebuild Europe, we beat back the forces of, let's see, fascism, Nazism, Imperial Japan, Tojo's Japan, communism, you name it, radical Islamism -- yes, we lead the world and we help advance the human condition. That's who we are and that's what we do.

Here now to explain how the Navy is dispatching those hospital ships, our own Trace Gallagher -- Trace.


The U.S. Navy ship Comfort will head to New York harbor. The USNS Mercy which is now off the coast of San Diego will be used to help out hospitals along the West Coast. President Trump says that both ships will be launched and ready by next week.

Now, these are the largest hospital ships in the world. Each one has 1,000 hospital beds but they won't be used to treat COVID-19 patients, at least not in the beginning. Instead they will be used to help trauma patients were normal hospitals fill up.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says hospitals being at capacity is inevitable. He points out that New York has 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds, but within 45 days, in a worst-case scenario, there could be 110,000 people hospitalized with 370,000 needing ICU.

We should note that -- 37,000 rather. We should note, at Rikers Island, we are learning both an inmate and a corrections officer have tested positive for coronavirus. This facility holds thousands of inmates.

And finally we should note that the Westchester County, the man that's called patient zero, the 50-year-old lawyer, linked to the spread of the virus in New Rochelle which led to that containment zone is now out of his medically induced coma, and he said to be recovering -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Trace. As always, great coverage. You've been great anchoring as well, I watched you the other night for a couple of hours, amazing work. Thank you.

GALLAGHER: Thank you.

HANNITY: Joining us now, Bill Hemmer with the latest coronavirus facts, figures. Again, we want truth, information, facts without fear.

Bill, what do you got?

BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Sean, good evening to you. A lot of numbers have been showing you this global map throughout the week here. It just updated a moment ago, 9:04 East Coast Time.

So, this is where we are based on the Johns Hopkins University global map, 216,000 cases confirmed around the world, Sean, 8,700 deaths. This is an impressive number here, 83,000 were covered so far. We want that number to go much higher.

A moment ago, you mentioned Italy. There was a stunning headline that came out of Italy today. At the moment they're dealing with about 36,000 cases. They've had nearly 3,000 people die so far in the headline from Italy today, they have the highest death rate in a single day to date. More than 470 Italians lost their lives there today.

On this map over here, Sean, I want to show you where we are tonight here in the United States. As of about five hours ago, this is our number of cases, 7,374. Just watch that number. I will take you back and show you where we were two weeks ago, at 129. Again, tonight, more than 7,000.

New York state has the most, 2,480 cases. Washington state, about 1,000. In California, 718 after that.

And again, two weeks ago, I show you, New York was at six. Tonight, we are at more than 2,400.

You hear the medical officials tell you that you want to be like South Korea. The South Korean model and now, unfortunately, like the Italian model. I will show you why that is here on this graph behind me.

This yellow line is Italy. It's going not due north but pretty close to it. The blue line is South Korea. You see how that levels off here? We are the green line down here just coming off the baseline and trending toward the marker in South Korea.

Again, you want to be near that blue line and that's the reason why you see this all hands on deck across the country.

Sean, back to you. We'll see where it is tomorrow.

HANNITY: All right. Bill Hemmer, we do expect a dramatic increase as the testing continues. Hopefully, in the weeks ahead, then leveling off in a dramatic decrease, as we have seen in other countries. Bill, thank you.

As the president calls for a unified response to this ongoing pandemic, well, it's business as usual, sadly, for many in the media mob, but predictable. Actually have one conspiracy TV, MSDNC, state-run television for Democratic socialists.

A legal analyst suggesting that President Trump was guilty of negligent homicide because of his coronavirus response. Oh, you mean the first case in America, January 21st? Oh, he called for the ban January 31st, 10 days later. He was called a xenophobe and fearmongering by quid pro quo Dr. Joe.

This is beyond a disgrace. MSNBC news, are you proud of yourself? Segment Joy Reid's -- well, pretty despicable comments on her show. Not by her, by a guest, suggesting that children of Trump supporters are a threat to your children. And FOX News kills people, for decades, for a long time.

Fake news CNN actually blaming the president for nationwide toilet paper hoarding. "Reuters" article reporting a fake story that the president sought a monopoly on coronavirus vaccine. Others blaming FOX News for the coronavirus.

One commentator, oh, Joe Lockhart, former presidential press secretary, tweeting, quote: When this is all over, we will properly examine what was done right and what was done wrong. I hope we can have an honest national conversation about the toxic effects of FOX News.

And, by the way, we have printed what we said on TV and radio. It's all up on Take a look.

They were to saying the same things. They were politicizing it. The hysteria, the lies, just like the last three years, never-ending, nonstop. Sad but true. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The greatest impediment to responsibly addressing this health crisis is Donald Trump's own ego.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There been a lot of people giving false information out there, including President Trump, and including a lot of conservative pundits and a lot of people on a different channel talking about how this is just like the flu.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fox News has been getting people killed for years. Their programming is to vilify, stir hatred and paranoia, and if they're going to -- you know, if it's a pandemic as a backdrop, then they're going to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More people are sick in America tonight because Donald Trump is president. More people are dead and dying in America tonight because Donald Trump is president.


HANNITY: We've been getting people killed for years, I had no idea I was doing that.

You know what, if it wasn't so serious, it was pretty sick and you could probably laugh at, nothing to laugh at here. By the way, this program has always taken the coronavirus seriously and we have never called the virus a hoax. We call what they're doing, trying to bludgeon the president outcome of their politicizing of this virus -- well, predictable, despicable, repulsive, all of the above.

Look at this list put together by John Nolte -- media lied about the president's comments on ventilators, the media lied about the fake news about a nationwide curfew, they lied about Trump shutting down the CDC's pandemic department, and I could go on and on.

All the lies they've told in the last three years accumulated. One of the ever going to say they're sorry, change, admit they are wrong?

We were right on this program. The I.G. report vindicated our reporting. They were pushing Russia, Russia, Russia, four investigations later, nothing. Ukraine, Ukraine, but they ignore quid and pro and quo Joe and zero experience Hunter. Yes, you're not getting a billion dollars unless you fire the prosecutor investigating my zero experience son, they never touch that.

Hillary's dirty dossier, no. FISA, premeditated fraud, abuse, nothing. They were fermenting hysteria for political gain. We're calling for calm, but we were calling them out and we will continue to call them out., the timeline is there, all the appropriate tape and we have a lot more new waves coming. Stay tuned.

Now, you'll see, by the way, we praised the president's bold move. A single one biggest thing that was done to protect the American people here.

January 21st, the first person identified with coronavirus in America. Ten days later, January 31st, the president's travel ban from China followed by the quarantine. We rightly praised that decision. We'll never be able to calculate that decision and how many Americans in fact were in many ways saved from contracting the virus. We praised all of that. And anyway -- and also the quarantines.

Meanwhile, during the very same day, the president took emergency action, what did Joe Biden take? The policy was hysterical, fearmongering. We've got the tape to prove it.


JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In moments like this, this is where a credibility of a president is most needed, as he explains what we should and do should not do. This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria, xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to -- and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.


HANNITY: Oh, fearmongering, hysteria, xenophobic. That one decision bought us so much time, saved us countless thousands of Americans from being exposed to this. Unbelievable.

To date, Joe still opposes the travel ban. He's not alone. February 4th, World Health Organization, they slam to the president's travel ban. They complained it could have the effect of increasing fear and stigma. How about keeping Americans healthy again?

Remember, this is the head of the World Health Organization. They tweeted out Chinese lies on January 14th. Coronavirus can't be transmitted person- to-person. A lot of good the health organization does. They did no good.

Tonight, we have to ask, what's going on at that organization?

Anyway, joining us now with reaction to all this, FOX News contributors Jason Chaffetz, Tammy Bruce, and from the Hudson Institute, Michael Pillsbury.

Michael, you're a particular expert on these things involving China. What can you tell us?

MICHAEL PILLSBURY, HUDSON INSTITUTE CHINESE STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Well, I think in recent days, the Chinese have placed a new bet. They want Joe Biden to become president. That helps explain a lot of what they are doing. They've kind of begun to demonize President Trump.

They didn't do that the first three years. They respected him, they admired him, and they made concessions to him in the trade talks, but now this idea that President Trump has botched -- words the Chinese are using -- he's botched the handling of the virus, this is being spread all over the world by China.

They have a lot to hide themselves. They are very nervous about reporters coming to find out about their so-called wildlife, wet markets. That's where the virus is a shed from live animals to others. It's probably how it got started. They didn't want that to come out.

So it's a surprise to me. I thought the Chinese were going to stick with President Trump all the way through, or at least be neutral in our election. It now looks like they're placing their bet on Joe Biden.

HANNITY: All right. Jason Chaffetz, a lot of issues here that, you know, putting aside China's role in this, and we've got a lot of ground to cover here involving that. This is beyond corrupt, what they've done. They've hurt the entire world with their actions, their lies, their propaganda.

Yes, there's whole of the media thing going on. What we've seen for three long years, and that is, oh, well, it's the Trump virus. If you are feeling awful, blame Trump early on. "New York Times," Trump's Katrina. Oh, Trump's Chernobyl. Oh, Trump's, whatever they can use to bludgeon the president.

Why is it that we've now gone through three years of this? When did these liars in the media, those with agendas that have propagandized and ripped people -- ramped them up into hysteria time and time again, only to be proven wrong time and time again. When do we get at some point some accountability from them?

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it can only come from the American people. I think the American people see through these lies. And it is really disgusting to think that they care more about how the president calls it a Chinese virus or a Wuhan virus as opposed to what the president did, because when it was not politically correct to shut down those traveling from China into the United States, the president did that. Nobody can even point to Wuhan on the map in that media room that you see, the Brady Room, they could even point to it on the map and yet they were criticizing him.

This is what I love about Donald Trump, he takes bold, decisive action. We have 450 airports, we have 2.2 million travelers, the Democrats have always prohibited us from having an entry-exit program in this country and Donald Trump has tried to locked on the southern border, help us on the northern border and implement that travel ban.

And the Democrats and these media talking heads have thwarted that every single step of the way and I think the American people will realize that.

HANNITY: Let's talk about the political correctness, Tammy. You've got Marburg virus named after Germany in 1967. Norovirus named after Norwalk, Ohio, after an outbreak. Zika, Japanese encephalitis, German measles, Spanish flu, and I could go on and on.

And this seems to be the major focus of people when the real focus ought to be, OK, is every American going to do their part, follow the task force's recommendations, the president's recommendations for this 15-day period and try and help prevent others from contracting this customer

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, everything the president has done has made it very clear. That we are on war footing and we've got people in the White House in front of the commander-in-chief, the leader of the free world, the main one organizing the pushback on this invisible enemy, and that's all they think about, kind of moving the Chinese rhetoric, the Chinese argument, and the reason the Chinese are upset about this is because they must be held to account, and they know that if they can obscure this in the minds of people around the world, that maybe they will escape being held to account.

The fact of the matter is very first victims of this were the Chinese people, were the Chinese individuals who then flew off to enjoy vacations around the world. They have been dying. We do not know how many have died in China. So, they must be held accountable, even just for the nature of what's been going on in their own country regarding this, let alone what has been, of course, moved across the world.

But for the American people to facilitate this tells you how corrupt the left has become, and how bitter and really destructive operating with hate for years. And, by the way, they've been telling the American people for years, the American media, that Donald Trump cannot be trusted, and now they wonder why young people aren't following certain requests and orders involved with this letter issued by the White House.

You see with the media can do when it comes to the negative impact of how we are supposed to operate as a country. So, yes, the American people will be the ones to make a determination about who will be rewarded for their behaviors. This is Donald Trump's finest hour, and he will prevail. But we've really got to hunker down and reject the people who promote this kind of awful approach and negativity.

HANNITY: Tammy, Jason, Michael, thank you all.

Now, as the president mentioned earlier today, we expect an announcement, a major announcement, major news tomorrow from the president and the FDA in their efforts to combat this growing pandemic.

Here to explain that and much more is the host of "No Agenda with Lara Logan", that's on We call it facts without fear. Lara Logan is with us.

This could possibly be a very huge development.

LARA LOGAN, HOST OF "NO AGENDA WITH LARA LOGAN" ON FOX NATION: Thank you, Sean. Yes, it could be. We will learn more from the president tomorrow, as you said.

Tonight, nearly 8,000 Americans are infected with the coronavirus. The death toll as of today stands at 118 and all of this taking place as Congress and the White House continue to move ahead on a series of aggressive aid packages which are really designed to help the American worker.

Health officials are continuing to work at a rapid pace, they say, to combat the virus with new research and developments, and that is what the president teased earlier today when he said there would be some major news coming from the FDA. Take a look.


TRUMP: I've asked the FDA to cut through the red tape and reduce regulatory barriers. We are looking at some very exciting things. Some things that are happening are quite exciting. And we're going to be doing that either later today or tomorrow, fairly early tomorrow.


LOGAN: Well, much of the virus, much of the focus, Sean, has been on protecting the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions from becoming infected.

What the White House is now warning about his younger healthy Americans. They want them to know that they may also be at more risk than many of them think.

Listen to what Dr. Deborah Birx had to say at the White House briefing earlier today.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in the ICUs. It may have been that the millennial generation, our largest generation, our future generation that will carry us through for the next multiple decades, there may be disproportional number of infections among that group. And so, even if it's a rare occurrence, it may be seen more frequently in that group.


LOGAN: Those comments come as health officials continue to urge Americans to avoid large groups and practice what's been called social distancing. It's part of the effort to stop the spread -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Lara Logan, thank you for that. Facts without fear.

Joining us now with more reaction, Baylor College of Medicine professor, Dr. Peter Hotez, is with us, along with former White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson. And he's a brain surgeon in his own right, Dr. Peter Constantino, is with us.

Thank you all.

Dr. Hotez, let me go to you. You've been making it very fascinating, interesting comments. I don't -- I'm not a doctor and I will not play one on TV, but you keep hearing about this malaria drug that has shown previously with SARS, which corona one, if you will, a corona-live virus that they've had a lot of success with, chloroquine phosphate, also talk about an Ebola drug that is showing some impact and other drugs that perhaps the president will be talking about tomorrow with the FDA I would assume rapidly moving forward with the process.

What can you tell us? Should we put hope in this? Some are saying, it would act almost like a prophylactic, protect people from getting it, or if they have, studies have shown that, in fact, it will reduce the symptoms more quickly and less hospitalization time.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, MD, TX CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: Yes, I mean, I think, Sean, first of all, thanks for having me. I think what you are going to see in coming months is you're going to see the full horsepower of American science applied to this epidemic in the way of new vaccines, new drugs, new diagnostics, new innovative approaches. I mean, this is where America shines, big, audacious goals in the area of science coming out of our research universities and institutes.

So, we've developed a vaccine that we're hoping to move into clinical trials over the next few weeks. There will be several other vaccines, but vaccines are going to take a while. That's probably at least a year, year and a half away, according to Dr. Fauci, and I think he's right. Maybe longer.

But there's still a lot we can do right now, and one of them is new antiviral drugs, which the timelines could be a lot quicker.

And you mentioned chloroquine, there's some promising data coming out of my colleague, (INAUDIBLE) who is out of southern France. And that could be potentially exciting if it holds up.

And there's two reasons I'm interested by it. One, the drug itself can show to inhibit virus replication in the test tube. That doesn't mean it works and the person. But it also has some anti-inflammatory effects. So, those two combined to make it a very intriguing drug, and there are some preliminary data.

So, we'll see how that moves along over the coming weeks in clinical trials. So, that's what I'm looking at. You mentioned some of the other antiviral drugs and also bringing on some antibodies, isolated from recovered patients and using that as a therapy.


HOTEZ: And even those prophylactics for our first responders.

So, you're going to see a lot of things coming through, and again, this is -- this is where America is great.

HANNITY: Dr. Jackson, I mean, other antiviral drugs, for example, that were used with HIV or in this case, chloroquine, which we were talking about, a drug that was discovered many decades ago, used for malaria, others that have shown promise.

What do you expect tomorrow in terms of what possible announcement the FDA will make with the president?

DR. RONNY JACKSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: Well, I think, Sean, you know, he's just going to -- the president has freed up a lot of money right now with the declaration of an emergency, he's freed up billions and billions of dollars that he can be used to jump into the private sector so that these companies can go out and they can afford to find these drugs that we're looking for.

I think the good news here is what the president is going to say is that he got rid of a lot of those regulations and standard operating procedures that make it difficult to push drugs out. We're going to focus on drugs that are already out there, that are being used for other diseases. That's going to really expedite things, because these drugs are -- most of them have already been proven safe in humans, so it's just going to be a matter of time and the ones that work and not having to prove they are safe for human consumption.

So I think that's going to be a big part of it, and I think there's a lot of drugs out there on the horizon right now, there's a lot of companies that are out there looking at it and we're going to find something good, we're going to find something that works.

HANNITY: Yes. Dr. Constantino, you are actually a real brain surgeon. I'm not a brain surgeon.

So let me ask you some of the more simple things the president's task force is asking all Americans to do, you made a comment to me recently that there are only a few places the virus can human body and if we follow these simple, basic, yet fundamental and profound rules, it will have a profound effect.

PETER CONSTANTINO, MD, LENOX HILL OTOLARYNGOLOGY DEPARTMENT CHAIR: Absolutely. And, you know, dovetailing upon what your previous expert said, I think it is very, very promising going forward that we don't just have one possible solution to this virus relative to controlling it and those who contracted it, but we have multiple possible solutions in the forms of drugs, antibodies, plasma therapy.

So, it's very important that until we get those, which I think will be coming online at a relatively short period of time to compare to what it would normally take, that we do those things to try and keep each other from getting this virus. When I say each other, not just ourselves.

And if you look at the human body from a practical standpoint, there is a five doorways where this virus gets in and they're all located in your head. And as a head neck surgeon, the reality of it is, if you keep it out of your eyes come out of your nostrils and out of your mouth, you're not going to get the virus. It doesn't come through your skin.

And people of had a lot of misconceptions about masks. The surgical masks do almost nothing. They are actually designed to keep bacteria in to surgeons and keep it from getting to their patients. The N95 and N100 masks are very effective but not in ubiquitous supply and we need them for our health care workers.

But we can do things relative to our.

HANNITY: Dr. Pete, let me ask you this, one of the things Dr. Fauci said to me on a radio interview this week as never before in history have we been able to get the sequence of a virus and get to its underlying foundation as quickly as this one. It used to take years. They have done in two months.


JACKSON: Yes, I think, Sean, I think this is going to -- yes, go ahead, I'm sorry.


CONSTANTINO: No, go right ahead.

HANNITY: Somebody go. Pete, first.

JACKSON: I was going to say, I think that this is -- sorry.

HANNITY: All right, if I go we are in trouble. I'm not used to dead air. We are running out of time.

Listen, all of you, we have the greatest doctors in the world, the greatest medical researchers, the greatest medical health workers, thank you all of you for what you do every day. And you throw yourself literally right in front of harm's way every day. America owes you a debt of gratitude.

All right, when we come back, a lot of breaking news today. The Senate passing the needed coronavirus response bill. We will explain how this will be helping American.

Also, an admonition, Senator Tom Cotton holding not only China accountable, you in Congress, don't waste our money. This is not the time for your pet projects. Every dollar goes to workers and businesses that are directly impacted by this disease. It's not a time to play games. Clean bills, please. We'll hold you accountable, straight ahead.


HANNITY: All right. As we continue, if you are an American citizen who is hurting because of coronavirus and the emergency through no fault of your own in any way, help is rightly on the way. The Senate today passed a major House coronavirus bill.

And the Trump administration, they are looking at even bigger measures, including up to $1 trillion emergency aid package that would include two rounds of checks for, keyword, qualifying Americans. Those that deserve it need this money.

Now, this is serious money we're talking about and we will be there for our fellow Americans. This is something that could happen to any of us.

So, why is more than a billion dollars earmarked for other countries? The coronavirus supplemental bill passed earlier this month, why? This is now the time to take care of American needs, American workers, American industries. And all that money doesn't mean we can let China, by the way, off the hook.

Joining us now with more on this, front and center on this issue with more, Senator Tom Cotton.

Senator, let's first start with the money. Why are we spending hundreds of millions of dollars on international relief efforts? International, you know, committees, when we -- really, the American worker needs help. Industries need help. We -- all of this should be going to them.

Can we pass bills just to help them first?

SEN. TOM COTTON, R-ARK: Well, Sean, we shouldn't be spending that money in that fashion, we should be spending it on our own people and our own businesses. One reason we are is that Nancy Pelosi wrote those first two bills. But we're putting an end to that now.

The Senate is now taking a lead to pass the next legislation that will come in the days ahead. That will be focused very directly on workers who have been displaced by this terrible China virus, and on the businesses who are going to struggle to make ends meet and keep workers on their payrolls for the next two, four, six weeks as we get through the worst of this.

So, we're going to be working very hard in the days ahead to make sure that the legislation, which no doubt will have a big price tag because of the scale the crisis our country faces will be focused directly on all the affected workers and their families and businesses in this country.

HANNITY: These are restaurant workers. These are people -- you know, that literally live paycheck to paycheck. They need the right amount of money going directly to them so they can pay their mortgages, pay their rent, pay their car payments, keep their kids in school when they get back to school. Very, very important.

And then we have big industries like the airline industry. This is not a fault of theirs. And the cruise line industry, restaurant industry all across the country is now suffering as a result of this.

Are you confident that those folks (ph) will get those moneys?


COTTON: Yes, that's right, Sean. And we just learned unfortunately that the big three automakers are shutting down all of their production in the United States as well. Unfortunately, as the scale of this challenge grows, I don't think we're going to see any unaffected industries. Every industry is going to be affected.

What we want to make sure do is that businesses can get access to cash they need to keep their workers on their payroll, and then get back on their feet on the back side of this crisis. In the meantime, those workers have the ability to put food on the table at the end of the week and pay the bills at the end of the month.

HANNITY: Very quickly, you had strong comments on China in the 20 seconds we have left.

COTTON: Yes, China unleashed this plague on the world and China has to be held accountable. That's why I'm introducing legislation that will say we're no longer going to buy our basic pharmaceuticals from China. There will be a total ban on buying, the Department of Defense, the V.A., Medicare, Medicaid and so forth, and we're going to have incentives for manufacturers to start making those medicines right here in America once again.

It's too grave a threat to let our health rest on Chinese drugs.

HANNITY: Senator, this is so crucial what you're fighting for here. Let's make it here, let's incentivize companies to manufacture here going forward. Very important.

Thank you for your work, Senator. Thanks for being with us.

During a time our nation should be coming together, many on the left, they can't help themselves. It's a hate-Trump every second, minute, hour of the day, and hate his family. It's pathetic. We'll show you, next.


HANNITY: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some on the left using the crisis as an opportunity to bash the entire Trump family. Congresswoman Omar facing criticism after she took to Twitter bashing Ivanka Trump.

Here now, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich, Congressman Matt Gaetz with us.

You know, Katie, so, OK, we're going to go through this 15-day period as a country. We're doing it because we really don't want older people, a massive amount of people get this virus, they're going to be around those people that would die for from this virus, those with underlying conditions, those with compromised immune systems.

Play games, make fun of it, have a good weekend with your family, have a family dinner.


HANNITY: Really? We're going to criticize that? Are we that -- are we that demented in our thinking and political in our thinking?

PAVLICH: Well, I don't think that we are, but when you look at some of the things that these celebrities and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has said, you have to really question what their motive is and whether or not they're actually being productive.

We are in this all together as Americans, and they do have big platforms to do a lot of good. Instead of being angry and vitriolic towards people who they clearly hate, they could be holding, I don't know, the Chinese communist party of China accountable for what they've done to the rest of the world. They could be tweeting about how -- the good things people are doing, upholding people's spirits.

But instead, they're going after these petty attacks and doing things that are unproductive with the platforms that they have.

And for Ilhan Omar, especially to be doing this as a member of Congress who should be working on this, maybe her efforts should be geared toward something else that is productive and helpful to the country, not just the leftist cause that fuels their anger towards the Trump a administration and members of their family.

HANNITY: You know, Congressman Gaetz, you actually went to the quarantine period which, by the way, might be good in the end for you because I know you so well. Keep you out of trouble for a few days.


PAVLICH: Take the phone away.

HANNITY: Exactly, take the phone away, no swiping left, no swiping right. You got to watch out for this poor guy.

But in all seriousness, I read some horrible things said about you at the time, wishing horrible things on you.

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA.: Yes, the coronavirus is not a wedge issue and I would certainly want to take this time to extend my heart to my colleague, Mario Diaz-Balart, who just got diagnosed with coronavirus and certainly hope he has a rapid recovery.

If I were Ilhan Omar, I certainly wouldn't be making comments about other people destroying families.


GAETZ: But if you check the scorecard, you can see that the president's policies actually resulted in reduced human trafficking on the border because we actually got tough. That's not worth responding to. What certainly is is what Senator Cotton said about the relief package coming to Congress and it's my hope that we do not reward companies that are owned in part by China or Chinese companies.

Some of these hospitality and casino and other companies have Chinese ownership and U.S. taxpayers --

PAVLICH: And Hollywood.

GAETZ: -- shouldn't go to bail out China. Absolutely.

PAVLICH: And Hollywood does as well, let's not forget that. All the Chinese influence in that town.

HANNITY: Very important points both of you are making.

GAETZ: Absolutely.

HANNITY: All right. We are glad Matt is healthy, we are. Watch out everybody else. Just kidding.

All right. When we come back -- this is insane. We've got all these spring breakers. They're not taking coronavirus seriously. I have a message for them, next.


HANNITY: Unfortunately, tonight, spring breakers are continuing to defy the order of health officials, packing the beaches, partying like there is no tomorrow. Like this guy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying. I've been waiting -- we've been waiting for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we've had this planned, two or three months. We're having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.


HANNITY: Whatever -- OK, here's the problem: I know you are excited, spring break, you want to have fun. I want you to have fun. That's all fine.

It isn't about them. It is about everyone else.

All right, by the way, we're out of time. We are late by 10 seconds, so rare for me. I'm so sorry. I apologize. It's so wrong for me.

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