This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," March 20, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Good evening and welcome to TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT.
February 13th was a relatively quiet day on Wall Street. It's not going to be noted in any economics textbooks a hundred years from now. The Dow dropped about a hundred points. But just the day before, the Dow had reached an all-time high, so the loss didn't seem like a big deal. Overall, it was a calm steady week in the markets.
But for one investor in Washington, February 13th was packed with drama. Richard Burr is a Republican senator from North Carolina. Burr has no background in finance or investing. In fact, before being elected to Congress in 1994, Burr spent 17 years selling lawn mowers for a dealer in Winston, Salem.
But on February 13th of this year, Burr seemed to develop very strong feelings about the future of American equity markets. That day, he dumped up to $1.7 million in stocks in 33 separate transactions. Burr bought nothing that day. It was a flurry of selling -- sell, sell, sell -- essentially, it was a cash out. In fact, it was.
Two years ago, roll call estimated that Burr had a total net worth of about $1.7 million. In other words, that day in February, Richard Burr suddenly decided to sell virtually everything he owned.
Many people on Wall Street probably envy him now. Pretty savvy move. So what did Richard Burr, the former lawnmower salesman know that the financial experts did not know. Well, a lot it turns out.
Richard Burr is the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. On January 24th, he attended a closed-door briefing on the Chinese coronavirus. It was delivered by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the head of the C.D.C.
Apparently what Burr heard there spooked him. Within a short time, he acted decisively to save his family from financial harm. Unfortunately, He didn't tell the rest of us about it. In fact, he did just the opposite.
Burr hid what he knew about the coronavirus threat and then lied about it at length to the nation.
In a February 7th op-ed published on our website here at Fox, Burr wrote this, "The United States is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats like the coronavirus," Better prepared than ever? Burr knew that was a lie when he wrote it. Six days later, he dumped his entire portfolio.
By March 5th, a month later, coronavirus had become a full-blown crisis in Italy. Yet, Richard Burr was still falsely insisting that everything was fine. He issued a statement assuring America that, "We have a framework in place that has put us in a better position than any other country to respond to a public health threat like the coronavirus."
That was Burr's line in public. In private, he was panicked. On February 27th, before an audience at a closed speech in Washington, Burr compared coronavirus to the Spanish flu, a pandemic that killed close to a hundred million people.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC): There's one thing that I can tell you about this. It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It's probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: For a public servant, it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this. Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he has sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself.
Instead of sounding the alarm, alerting the country, goading the government into action as an ethical person would have done, Burr told easy lies that in the end may have killed people, and he wasn't alone in doing that.
Dianne Feinstein is a Democrat from California. She also sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. In late January and early February of this year, Feinstein dumped up to $6 million worth of stock. When confronted with this fact today, Feinstein dodged. She took the strikingly un-feminist position that selling the stock was her husband's decision to make and somehow she was not allowed to ask about it.
All of those confusing numbers. It's too much for a girl. Please.
At times this winter, Feinstein to her credit did issue press releases calling attention to the seriousness of coronavirus and again good for her. But all of her major public statements were political.
On February 4th, when every informed person in the U.S. government understood that the coronavirus was a very serious threat to the world, Feinstein spent her time giving a long speech on the Senate floor calling for Donald Trump's conviction in the impeachment trial.
And then there's Kelly Loeffler, a new Republican senator from Georgia. Financial disclosure form show that Loeffler sold up to $3.1 million in stock over three weeks after being privately briefed in the Senate on coronavirus. Loeffler's disclosure shows a total of 29 equities transactions, 27 of them were sales.
Some of the holding she shed were in energy, automotive, retail and airlines. One of her two purchases was a company called Citrix, which makes teleworking software -- that's a product suddenly in high demand.
So that story broke last night. All of these did. Unlike Richard Burr, Senator Loeffler has responded very aggressively and quickly and in some detail. She said that her holdings are managed by outside advisors. She has nothing directly to do with it and pointed to a financial disclosure that she says she received days after the transactions were made showing that they'd gone through. It got to her on February 16th.
We're happy to have Senator Loeffler join us tonight for more on the story. Welcome, Senator Loeffler, we appreciate you coming on.
SEN. KELLY LOEFFLER (R-GA): Thank you, Tucker. Thank you. Thank you. It's good to be here.
CARLSON: So you've been very clear, unlike Senator Burr as I said, who hasn't really explained how this happened, though, I think it's pretty evident. You said right away. I didn't know this happened. I had nothing to do with it. I learned it on February 16th.
So can you tell us tonight who made -- who specifically made this decision to sell these equities? And why do you think they made that decision?
LOEFFLER: Well, Tucker, let me start at the beginning. When I was appointed to the Senate, what I did is I spent time with lawyers making sure I understood not only SEC requirements around being in the Senate, because I come from the private sector. I have 20 years of experience in financial services.
LOEFFLER: But I also spent time making sure I understood the STOCK Act and the rules under the Senate Ethics Committee for how we perform our financial transactions. I decided that I was going to maintain the same posture that I had in the financial services industry, which was to have a third-party person that was -- a set of advisors -- that were fully charged and able to make these transactions on my own, so that I did not have to be involved in any of the decision making around these financial transactions, and that worked very well in the private sector.
It kept us from having to have concerns around insider trading. And that's what I maintained in the Senate and that has allowed me to be able to work hard for the American people and focus on the things that I came here to Washington to do.
CARLSON: Okay, I understand that. Let me just back up though and ask you, so there -- in the set of transactions that have become publicly available, there are 29. Twenty seven of them as we noted were sells or buy. It was a pretty strong market at the time. A lot of people weren't doing what you did and the stocks that were shed, some of them, not all, I mean, this is a mixed bag to some extent, but some of them were stocks that really got hammered.
So I'm just wondering, I'm not accusing you of anything, but I'm wondering, again, who made that? Who specifically made that decision for you? And on what basis do you think?
LOEFFLER: So Tucker, that would be the financial advisors that are charged with conducting trades in our portfolios, which we don't have a say over.
And, you know, I think the most important thing is that I am informed only after those trades are made. I have nothing, you know, in terms of a say in what buys and sells or executed. What that timing is, and I'm only advised after it happens almost concurrent with the public reporting that we do here.
CARLSON: Right. Okay, well, that makes sense. So you said you received notice of this. You got the list of the stocks had been sold and the two that were purchased on February 16th.
So not that long after that, so you knew -- I mean, wow, they're selling. They're selling a lot equities here.
I want to put on our screen for our viewers a video that you released after you learned this, and here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOEFFLER: The good news is the consumer is strong, the economy is strong. Jobs are growing.
Our President has done a fantastic job making sure that we're in the best position to manage through this situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So I wonder, I mean, you said you looked at this and you spent all those years in business and you notice that they're dumping retail, for example, a lot of people weren't doing that. I mean, some were, but most weren't.
And then you issued a video saying that the economy is totally fine. Do you in retrospect, think maybe you should have hinted that maybe it's not fine, obviously. I mean, just by your portfolio sheet you know that, right?
LOEFFLER: Well, look, Tucker, this situation has dramatically changed in the space of three months. I think none of us could have predicted where we would be today. And I think that's why it's important that I'm not involved in stock transactions.
I don't want to have to explain my actions three months ago that I don't need to take if I can have professionals --
CARLSON: Well, no, no. This wasn't -- hold on, I'm sorry, with respect to this, this wasn't three months ago. This was a month ago, February 16th or 17th when you received this sheet. Did it trip any bells for you?
I mean, you can read a balance sheet, obviously, it's what you did all of your life until recently. Did you think maybe this portends something ominous for the economy? Did that thought cross your mind?
LOEFFLER: Tucker, this is kind of normal course for managing portfolios. Some months you have buys and sells; some months, you have buys; some months you have sells. I trust the professionals that manage our portfolio.
I don't get involved there. I don't have a say. I don't want to have a say. I want to focus on my work for Georgians. We should be talking about coronavirus right now.
CARLSON: And I'm not -- I get it. I get it. Well, then, and I'm not -- again, I'm not accusing you of executing the trades yourself. It sounds like you didn't. I don't -- you know, I'm not saying that you did.
I'm just wondering about the broader question of assuring the public that the economy is fine and coronavirus can be managed when of course given your position, you know that that's not true. So I'm asking why you did that?
LOEFFLER: Tucker -- that's not true, Tucker. We just had unemployment reports that were strong. In fact, January unemployment, 80,000 additional workers were added to the payrolls once February was reported.
So we've created like 600,000 jobs this year. We have very strong numbers and heading into March, none of us knew where we would stand on March 20th.
We are where we are today. We need to turn our focus to the American people. People are hurting. They're wondering about their jobs. What's happening to their family? Thirty million kids are out of school. Five to seven million waiters, waitresses, line chefs are out of work. We need to find a way to address this problem.
CARLSON: Well, I'm very aware. No, no, we do show -- absolutely, and we do shows on it every night and we share your concern a hundred percent.
So your colleague, Richard Burr, do you think that he should be indicted for what he apparently did? Of course, it would be illegal to use information he obtained in the Senate to profit. He clearly did that. Should he be indicted for it? Should he resign?
LOEFFLER: Look, Tucker, I've been in the Senate 11 weeks. I spent a lot of time in advance getting my own situation set before I came to the Senate. I didn't advise my colleagues on how they manage their financial situations. I don't know what his situation is.
I can't speak for him and I won't speak for him. I think he's been very forthcoming in terms of saying that he is willing to step in front of the Senate Ethics Committee, and I applaud that.
CARLSON: Well, no, but I'm not asking you to give him financial advice, obviously, or to tell him what he should do next. I'm just wondering what you think should happen next.
Do you think that given what we know, and he has conceded that he made these trades himself at exactly the same time that he was assuring the public everything was fine, he lied. And you believe that going before the Senate Ethics Committee, I've been in Washington my whole life. I'm not even sure what that is. I know that nothing happens there. You think that's an adequate response?
LOEFFLER: Look, Tucker. I don't know what Senator Burr knew or knows. I can't predict what his state of mind will be in front of the Senate Ethics Committee, what it was when he made decisions about those trades, what information he had.
I know that, you know, many of our briefings were instantly out on Twitter. As soon as I walked out of the meeting, these were called closed meetings. They weren't classified, they were closed. But as soon as I got out, the information was already on Twitter. It is in the public domain.
CARLSON: Right. Well, but here you have -- and again, you don't need to speak for Richard Burr. But I just want to be clear for our audience, and I wouldn't ask you to, but he wrote an op-ed on our website saying, you know, everything -- we're good to go, everything is fine. You know, we're in good shape.
And then he gives this speech comparing coronavirus to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 that killed up to a hundred million people. So you have to think there's a massive disconnect between what he's saying in public and what he privately believes.
Is that a problem, if there are leaders on all sides, and I would say the same by the way of Dianne Feinstein who behaved disgracefully as well? I mean, is that a problem do you think?
LOEFFLER: Well, Tucker, it comes down to the timeline. This is a fast moving situation. And, you know, I think we have to lay it out and say, you know, what did we know and when and what did you say and when, and none of us believe today what we believed on February 1st.
February 1st, we were locked into impeachment. We were heading into the State of the Union. We were having the Prayer Breakfast. There are a million things going on in Washington. No one was locked down.
Other than President Trump had rightly said, we need to seal off the border from flights coming in from China because there were 24 deaths in the Wuhan province.
CARLSON: Amen. And I'm glad that he did that. I got a briefing from or I had a long conversation -- closed-door conversation with a government official, a very well informed government official on February 3rd. I checked my date book on it.
And he said to me, you know, millions of people ultimately could die of this and we went immediately on the air that night. I didn't say that I had spoken to someone about it, but we reported the substance of it, which is as scary as hell, no one is paying attention.
So I mean, it was it was out there and I guess it doesn't help anybody to sort of point fingers retroactively. But you want to think that your leaders are putting your interests before theirs, and I wonder if that's always happening?
LOEFFLER: Well, I think with President Trump at the helm, he is and our leaders are. You can see Dr. Fauci. You can see all the healthcare leaders, the economic leaders, they're putting us first.
Senator Burr has stepped forward and said he would be willing to step into the Senate Ethics process, and I think that's all we can do is go from there.
CARLSON: Right. Okay. Let me ask just one last question. Have you heard today? I mean, it's -- this is an editorial comment, but I can't control myself. It's hard to believe that Richard Burr, and I agree with him on most political issues, but it's not like I've got political bias here at all.
But do you think you can keep his Senate after this? I mean, what message would that send to the country?
LOEFFLER: Look, Tucker. I'm a political outsider. I'm here working to try to solve for coronavirus. I can't predict where political outcomes may evolve to, but I'm just telling you right now, I'm focused on working for the Georgia -- the State of Georgia and for the American people and making sure that we solve the coronavirus and letting this play out in the proper venue.
CARLSON: Okay, well, I appreciate it and I really do want government to be focused on solving this, so I appreciate that. Senator, thanks a lot for joining us tonight.
LOEFFLER: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Peter Schweizer has spent many years, in fact, probably done a more comprehensive job than anyone has ever done chronicling the corruption by the powerful in Washington. He is President of the Government Accountability Institute and author of "Profiles in Corruption." And boy is that an accurate title. He joins us tonight.
So, Peter, I just want to be clear. I don't have any long-standing vendetta against Senator Burr. He's a Republican. I generally vote Republican. I kind of agree with him on most things. Nothing personal. But this seems like flat out corruption. It seems immoral to me. Am I misreading this?
PETER SCHWEIZER, PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY INSTITUTE: No, there's no question in my mind. I mean, this is a slam dunk case of insider trading. If Richard Burr were the Vice Chairman or the Vice President of a large corporation, and he had a closed-door meeting where he heard that, you know, sales of the product, were going through the floor, and he sold at least half of his entire net worth in stock right after that briefing, it would be a slam dunk case of insider trading.
And the suggestion that this is going to go to the Senate Ethics Committee, Tucker. That would be like you and I getting into trouble and saying, we're going to let our family look into this. Nothing's going to come clear from the Senate Ethics Committee. It needs to be looked at by the Department of Justice. And frankly, I think he needs to resign and be prosecuted.
CARLSON: So there's an awful lot of insider trading in this country. Our public markets are not very transparent as you well know. This happens all the time. You've written books about it. God bless you for doing that.
But there's a moral component here where the guy knows the threat is bad enough that he is liquidating his portfolio and he is lying to the public and saying all is fine.
So I want to know specifically whose decision is it that he goes to the Senate Ethics Committee and doesn't resign or face prosecution. Who made that decision? We should know.
SCHWEIZER: Well, he is making that decision and the Senate leadership, in effect is making that decision.
SCHWEIZER: Here's the problem, Tucker. Here is the problem. The political class gets to make their own rules, and you know, in our history, there was this sense that you didn't want the Department of Justice, investigating and arresting senators because a President or the Executive Branch could use it to bully the Legislative Branch. We are well past that.
We're at the point where they are above the law. The rules don't apply. We have the STOCK Act. This is a clear violation of the STOCK Act. Is there going to be any legal action taken? Is the Senate going to ask him to resign? No.
That's why you've got to have outside accountability and the Department of Justice is clearly within its bounds to pursue this case.
CARLSON: So let me just use the words of Mitch McConnell, because that's what this is about, who is the Senate leader and could get this done right now if he wanted and chooses not to, and I don't normally go after Mitch McConnell because again, I basically agree with him, but this is wrong and he should fix this, I think.
Peter Schweizer, thank you for illuminating that.
SCHWEIZER: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Day by day, hour by hour, more coronavirus cases appear in this country. The virus is taking greater toll on American life. Chief breaking news correspondent, Trace Gallagher joins us to provide the latest numbers on what's happening tonight. Hey, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHIEF BREAKING NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tucker. Today, we saw the big jump and numbers we've been expecting.
The administration and health officials have said now for days when the testing goes way up, the number of cases will follow suit. And here it is. The United States now has more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases. That's an increase of over 5,500 from yesterday, easily the biggest single day rise yet and the U.S. now has 256 deaths. That's up 49 from yesterday, which of course is devastating for families across the country.
But if there's a silver lining, it's that the fatality rate is slowly ticking down. Last week, it was over 2.2 percent; right now, 1.3 percent, so more people are testing positive, but more people are surviving.
Of the 275,000 cases worldwide, almost 91,000 people so far have fully recovered and today, President Trump said they do not want every American tested. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want people that have a problem, that have a problem with -- they are sneezing, they are sniffling, they don't feel good, they have a temperature. There are a lot of different things, you know them better than I do. So really, we don't need them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And interesting, you'll recall the first U.S. case was in Washington State, it's also where the death toll is highest. But the University of Washington Virology Department which is closely tracking Washington State numbers is now seeing the curve there flatten, so overall U.S. numbers are rising, but the first state affected might be seeing a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Trace Gallagher. That's terrific. As always. Thank you, Trace.
While contending with the threat -- the physical threat -- of coronavirus is bad enough, now some cities are making life worse for normal people by releasing criminals into their neighborhoods, even accused murderers.
In other cities, it's becoming virtually impossible to buy a gun to protect yourself. It's not a good confluence of events.
Plus a malaria treatment is being investigated as a possible cure for coronavirus, certainly, treatment for coronavirus. There's promising evidence tonight -- not conclusive -- but it's worth knowing. We'll be right back.
CARLSON: Millions of Americans are anxious right now, thanks to being stuck inside and worrying about coronavirus, and yet weirdly at the same moment, the nation has not been more on edge in at least 20 years, some of our leaders have decided to make everything worse, exacerbate that fear by undermining the most basic kinds of law and order. This isn't theoretical stuff. This is very practical.
Earlier this week, we told you about how Philadelphia and other cities are no longer arresting people for crimes -- real crimes -- like theft, vandalism, burglary. They can break into your house and no one will get arrested.
Now in Cleveland, authorities have done one better. In the name of checking coronavirus, authorities there have released a man charged with murder facing a possible life sentence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Lundy pled guilty to child abuse charges after severely injuring his four-month-old child nearly 10 years ago.
Right before Lundy was released on probation last year, prosecutors say his son died because of the injuries Lundy inflicted in 2010.
According to court documents, the 41-year-old was allowed to post a $5,000.00 bond because of concerns over the coronavirus spreading to prisoners.
Though Lundy is charged with a violent crime, they don't believe that he is a risk to the community. Lundy is on an ankle monitor and living in a halfway house. He turned himself in in December so officials don't see him as a flight risk.
Lundy's trial is scheduled for July. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, in times like this, it goes without saying, for most people who know this intuitively, it's important to protect yourself if it comes right down to it, no one else will.
But in Washington, D.C. that is suddenly hard. In order to make buying a gun difficult, residents there can only get handguns by having them shipped to a lone gun dealer right outside the city and right now that dealer has stopped accepting handgun transfers. He says his transfer backlog has grown too long.
So if you need a handgun right now before things get worse, too bad for you.
Jason Rantz is a radio host in Seattle City, a city where law and order was declining even before the coronavirus hit. He joins us tonight. Jason, thanks so much for coming on. I'm transfixed by this syndrome I'm watching unfold where certain leaders are simultaneously making our communities more dangerous and clamping down on our ability to protect ourselves. What does that tell you?
JASON RANTZ, RADIO SHOW HOST: It tells you that they don't have their priorities in order at all. I think what's going on is, in a lot of ways, kind of what we expected, right?
I mean, in cities like Seattle, LA, San Francisco, New York, they're not really enforcing the law as it is, and so now all of a sudden, we're being told, hey, guess what? If you are charged with certain crimes, we're not going to book you now. Because, well, you know what? We don't want to deal with the coronavirus crisis in a jail cell.
Which I understand, but there are certainly ways to mitigate the effects that the coronavirus can have on bookings. We're seeing it all across the state. Luckily, not yet in Seattle, but I'm hearing it's going to happen starting next week where certain types of crimes, the ones that they say are non-serious or non-felonies.
But I'm sorry, we've got a prolific offender problem all across the country. And these are people who are again and again and again, committing crimes and now all of a sudden we're not going to throw them in jail. How about we mitigate the problems at the front end of it?
CARLSON: Well, it's just -- it seems -- look, I'm sure that there are people in jail, the elderly, who you know should get out. I mean, I'm not that draconian about this stuff. But it's just a matter of focus. It seems like all the attention is on the people who've broken the law, hurt other people or a threat to society, all the concern is for them. What about everybody else?
People huddling in their apartments, their homes with their kids, they don't know what's -- I mean, look, why would you make life worse for normal people? Seriously?
RANTZ: Yes, and it is that even worse just for the people who are -- those of us who choose not to break the law? It's also the cops because we're telling cops, hey, we care deeply about you.
RANTZ: We don't want to expose you to the coronavirus, and yet at the same time we're telling the entire world, hey, we're not going to book you for certain crimes. It seems like that's just a bad PR move.
CARLSON: Yes, well, they don't care about cops whatsoever. I mean, they all endorsed an activist group that chanted about how they're going to kill cops, Black Lives Matter. So like, you know, spare me. They don't care about cops, that's for sure.
Jason Rantz, it's great to see you. Thank you.
RANTZ: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, as part of its coronavirus efforts, administration announced today that is suspending most traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border. The President put it this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The northern border and the southern border, it is being treated -- they are both being treated equally. A lot of people say that they're not treated equally. Well, they are.
As we did with Canada, we are also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend non-essential travel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Ken Cuccinelli runs the Department of Homeland Security. He is the Acting Secretary. We're happy to have him join us tonight.
Mr. Secretary, thanks a lot for coming on. So why did the President announce this? What is the threat that he is trying to protect this country from?
KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Sure. So this is an extension of the aggressive containment efforts the President has ordered since January to try to keep more cases of the virus from coming into the country.
It's not a hermetically seal around the country, but it slows the ability of the virus to get into the country, so we can deal with the cases that are already here more effectively.
CARLSON: So if you had a like a serious outbreak of this disease in Mexico, and it doesn't seem like they're taking many precautions there, you -- and then you would have a financial crisis after that. You could get a wave of refugees across our southern border. Is that a concern?
CUCCINELLI: That is a concern. It is a very real concern and is difficult a time as we have had spotting cases in the United States called surveillance in the public health parlance, south of us, Mexico and all the way into South America, they have even less ability to identify the presence of the virus in their communities and less ability for their public health systems to treat it.
So as we see the cases rising in the countries that form the pipeline of illegal immigration into our country, it becomes a very serious concern to see exactly the scenario you described, Tucker, actually unfold.
And we're trying to stay ahead of it. You've seen the math just fly out of control with this virus. We don't want to wait until it's a problem. We haven't had a case of coronavirus in our detainee population yet. We've been very successful in that regard.
But we know that more and more, thousands of more cases are coming and we do not want a situation where our relative strength as a country and community from a public health standpoint actually attracts people up or that they try to take advantage of the fact that our people will get sick, too to try to cross the border so we've taken very aggressive steps to reduce the traffic on both borders and in cooperation with both of our neighbors.
CARLSON: And our healthcare system is already, you know, bursting at the seams. We can't afford foreign nationals using it at all. Mr. Secretary, I'm glad that you came tonight. Thank you.
CUCCINELLI: My pleasure, Tucker. Always good to be with you.
CARLSON: So can a malaria drug treat coronavirus? Some people say it can. It is not proven, but there is evidence tonight enough to be optimistic to some extent anyway, we will tell you what it is. We will be right back.
CARLSON: Well, on this program this week, we spent a couple of segments telling you about a drug called chloroquine. It's an antimalarial medication, it had been around a long time since the 30s actually and it has shown surprising promise for treatment of coronavirus. It's being investigated right now for that.
The President clearly hoping it's going to work. He had a testy exchange with a reporter earlier today about that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Nearly 200 dead 14,000 who are sick, millions, as you witness who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?
TRUMP: I'd say that you're a terrible reporter. That's what I'd say. I think it's a very nasty question, and I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people.
The American people are looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism. That's really bad reporting, and you want to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it. But who knows, I've been right a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So will it work? Everyone is hoping for that. Well, most people. Maybe not some news networks, but most people hope it'll work. Will it?
We're still finding that out. Evidence is still streaming and a lot of people are working on it. Some people are being treated with it even now. There are promising signs.
Dr. Roy Spencer, research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville recently observed that coronavirus is running rampant in pretty much every country where malaria has been eradicated.
But in places that still have malaria, like Sub Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, the disease is almost non-existent. Now, it could be luck, maybe its climate, it could be poor record keeping. But there's another possibility and it's a tantalizing one.
It's possible that in countries where malaria remains endemic, a large percentage of the population has taken antimalarial drugs in the past or is currently taking them and this is obstructing the spread of the virus.
If the connection is real, it is a reason for hope. We'll continue to update you on this and all promising treatments for coronavirus. We should be open to anything.
Well, by now everyone is aware that coronavirus is much deadlier for older people. But there's also data suggesting the virus is much more dangerous, much more dangerous for men than for women.
In Italy, more than 70 percent of coronavirus deaths so far have been among men. That's a very pronounced trend. What is causing it? We go to a man we trust and we think our viewers trust, Dr. Marc Siegel joins us tonight for answers.
Doctor, thanks for coming on.
DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: So this is a pretty big curve here, 70 percent of fatalities are men. Why do you think that is?
SIEGEL: Well, first of all, it's different in South Korea, but let me talk about Italy. In Italy we have about 40,000 cases and 3,400 deaths which is disturbing everyone because that's a large percentage of deaths.
Luckily, we're not seeing that percentage here -- yet. Sixty percent of the cases in Italy are men and 70 percent of the deaths.
Now, here in New York City where it's burgeoning, to give you an example, 5,000 cases, 60 percent men. Now why would that be? Here's an interesting idea.
A study in human genomics last year showed that the X chromosome is a lot of what gives you immunological response. Your immune system is tied to your X chromosome. Well, guess who has two X chromosomes? Women.
Women are known to have better immune systems, stronger immune systems than men. There's a lot of theories as to why. Are they exposed to germs earlier on going through childbirth? Builds a stronger immune system? A lot of these things factor in.
Another thing is men are more likely to be smokers and drink alcohol than women, and I will tell you, right now, I am concerned about cigarettes and vaping in this situation, so anything that affects your lungs, because the big thing that's killing people here is the pneumonia, and we've talked about it -- it comes from COVID-19 and an impaired lung puts you at risk.
CARLSON: I just still can't get past the fact there are genetic differences between men and women. That's not what they're telling me. But anyway, maybe we can discuss that later. Do you think that this is not an anomaly? You said though, at the outset, I just want to settle this quickly that we're not seeing the same phenomenon in South Korea.
SIEGEL: Yes, I don't know why that is. Women in South Korea live longer than men, and there may be that there's differences in how people socialize.
It has a lot to do with the same way you excellently covered the antiviral drug. You know, we're putting together epidemiological evidence. We don't have all the answers yet.
You know, the point you made about the malaria drug is fascinating. People are taking that over there.
Here, I wonder about the ways people socialize -- men versus women. Maybe South Korea has a different pattern. You know, maybe in Italy, there's a different pattern, but I'll tell you one thing, I do believe the human genomic study. I looked at it closely and I've always believed this.
I do think that women have stronger immune system. There's no question. They are definitely built stronger.
CARLSON: Yes, they live longer.
SIEGEL: Well, they have to get through childbirth, and I'm very -- and I believe it's a real phenomenon. And by the way, one other point, the virus itself may have a different way of affecting men than women. That's another thing.
As we study this virus under the electron microscope and in human tissue, we're going to figure that out. Maybe estrogen is protective here.
CARLSON: That's amazing. Really interesting. Doctor, thank you.
SIEGEL: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: So right now, Washington is still hammering out a plan to support Americans through this coronavirus shut down which is hurting an awful lot of people.
How will it work? Will you get a check in the mail? An actual check or will it be some kind of refund tax scheme you don't understand? We have the answers. We think we do, after the break.
CARLSON: The coronavirus originated in China. We still don't know exactly how or where. Anyone who tells you that's a settled question either is ignorant or is lying. We'll find out someday.
The Chinese Communist Party covered up the early cases, we know that. They silenced doctors. They lied about how quickly it was spreading. That is true.
It's also true that if China had been transparent, if they had been a decent nation, the virus never would have become as widespread and damaging as it has.
We need to repeat this every day and we will. Why? Because liars and propagandists want to prevent us from saying it. They want to hide the truth. Case in point.
Today, China's state propaganda outlet Xinhua News tweeted this and we're quoting, "It's a distraction tactic," talking about Trump. "Yes, it's racist, but he's doing it so people are talking about that instead of his lies and incompetence."
Okay. China chose this tactic well. It used the word racist and Americans shut down. Don't call me that. It sounds kind of familiar that line. Why does it sound familiar? Because it's exactly what our own leaders are saying.
Point two. Hillary Clinton recently tweeted this, "The President is turning to racist rhetoric to distract from his failures to take the coronavirus seriously early on, make test widely available and adequately prepare the country for a period of crisis. Don't fall for it." Another defense of China.
Television hosts have been happy to parrot the exact same line. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was China that came to the rescue as Italy shook sending medical personnel, nine pallets of ventilators, electrocardiograph and tens of thousands of masks all desperately needed by a healthcare system in crisis and appreciated by Italians stuck at home, singing China's praise.
Europe had few other options. Donald Trump's America First policy has seen a gradual worse of the Transatlantic Alliance over issues like climate change, trade, and most recently, over Trump's failure to consult Europe over the coronavirus travel ban.
With China now stepping into the global leadership role long abandoned by the American President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So remember the same people lecturing you here spent three years calling their political enemies puppets of the Russian government, people guilty of treason. And now these very same people eagerly repeat everything Beijing wants them to repeat, which only proves what we said from day one, whatever they're accusing you of, is exactly precisely to the letter, what they're doing themselves.
Congressional Republicans said they've got a plan to contain the economic harm, the obvious economic harm of our response to coronavirus. What exactly is that plan? Is it hard to understand a tax credit of some kind or is it a straightforward cash payment?
To help us understand what is coming we are joined by "After the Bell" host, Melissa Francis who is very good at this stuff. Melissa, thanks for coming on tonight.
MELISSA FRANCIS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: My pleasure.
CARLSON: So there's a ton of confusion, I'm sure you're hearing from a lot of people, am I getting a check or what is going to happen -- if you could tell us?
FRANCIS: Well, it turns out you're getting a direct deposit. If you paid your taxes in 2018 they're going to go based on that. Now this is, of course, the latest legislation as it's being written, it has to be signed by the President before it's official.
But based on your 2018 returns, they're going to look and for a single person who makes $75,000.00 or a married couple that has under $150,000.00, you will get two payments of $1,200.00 each. They're still talking about whether or not you get a child credit for $500.00 each.
But in essence, the way it's written right now, you don't have to do anything. It will appear in your bank account. You will get a direct deposit, especially if that's how you got your tax return last time around.
If for some reason that doesn't work. That's not how you paid or it bounces back, any of that, they will send you a check in the mail. They are looking for based on the timeline right now that the first payment will come in about three weeks.
Small businesses are getting loans. If you use that to pay your payroll or to pay your rent, you won't have to pay that back. It converts into a grant and finally, Tax Day has moved to July 15th. You don't have to file or pay until then and you don't have to pay a penalty. So some really big news there on money -- Tucker.
CARLSON: So just to be clear, you don't have to call 1-800 number. You don't have to apply for this. If you filed, the government will either use the routing number, I guess.
CARLSON: Or use the address on the filing.
CARLSON: To send it. You just sit back and collect the dough. That's it.
FRANCIS: You just sit back and it shows up in your mail.
CARLSON: Are you taxed on that money?
FRANCIS: I don't know. You know what? I asked that so many times today, and I didn't -- I don't think so. But I don't want to -- I don't I don't feel like I've got a straight answer on that. So I don't want to be on the hook.
And I was asking that because they were saying for people who have no tax liability in the past, they are getting a lower amount and everybody got mad.
What that means is that if you are a veteran on disability or you're on Social Security, and you don't have an income, you're still going to get like 600 bucks, just not 1,200 because you didn't pay taxes essentially in 2018. So that's pretty cool, right?
CARLSON: What is that? What is -- of course it is. I mean, people will be happy. What is the threshold above which you get nothing?
FRANCIS: $200,000.00 -- I'm glad you asked. $200,000.00 for a couple, $100,000.00 for an individual, and you won't get the $1,200.00 if you're between 75 and 100, or 150 and 200 if you're married. You don't get the full $1,200.00, you'll get a smaller amount by some calculation.
But again, this is how it's written today, and the President has to sign it next week. So there's always a chance for something to change between now and then.
CARLSON: Of course.
FRANCIS: So don't play a video of me later saying I lied. This is what the truth is right now.
CARLSON: It's Washington we know, but as of tonight. Melissa Francis, thank you for straightening that out for us.
FRANCIS: My pleasure.
CARLSON: Great to see you. Happy weekend.
FRANCIS: Yes, you too.
CARLSON: So you're likely to be stuck indoors throughout, what can you watch with your family at home this weekend? News you can use. Some actual tips from Kevin McCarthy. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Well, millions and millions, tens of millions maybe hundreds of millions of Americans are stuck inside this weekend waiting for this pandemic to pass, so why not watch a movie or maybe 10 of them?
Kevin McCarthy is a film critic. He joins us with his movie recommendations for the long weekend ahead. Kevin, it is great to see you tonight. You're probably stuck inside, too.
What should people consider watching? Oh my gosh. Look at that. It is good, you're with your dog. Good man.
KEVIN MCCARTHY, FILM CRITIC: I know. It's great to see you, too, Tucker. This has been a very interesting time for a lot of people. I'm actually working from home practicing social distancing.
I broadcast live here in the D.C. area on Fox 5, and I've been doing all my shots from in my basement just trying to practice social distancing. It's been a very interesting time.
And I think one of the most important things is keeping up routine. I'm getting up every morning, I'm still doing my routine, brushing my teeth making my coffee exactly how I would go into work.
And my parents, you know, my birthday is coming up this Sunday. My parents are in their 60s, and they're not even coming up to see me, so we're going to be doing video chats this weekend for birthdays.
But you talk about movies specifically. There's a lot of different kinds --
CARLSON: Can I -- is the shitzu going to be in the video chat?
MCCARTHY: He will be in the video chat and his name is Oscar and our dog Oscar -- so my wife and I, my wife rescued him a year ago and he is named after the Academy Awards. I'm actually going to put him down so I can concentrate on doing my live segment with you.
CARLSON: So you've got a minute. You've got a minute to tell me what the movies are.
MCCARTHY: Yes, so a lot of films are coming to video on demand including video release services. So today for example, "The Invisible Man" a Universal Pictures film. Also "The Hunt" and "Emma" are available via video on demand services on Tuesday. Harley Quinn's "Birds of Prey," Ben Affleck's movie "The Way Back" and films like "The Gentlemen" will also be available on demand.
Pixar announced today that their film "Onward" is available via video on demand services as well starting tonight at eight o'clock, so obviously past that point now.
A couple of films I want to mention, if you're looking for some family friendly films to sit around with your family, get your mind off things, think positive thoughts.
First I want to mention, "Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker." This is available on video on demand services now as well such as iTunes. You can find services like that "Frozen Two" was released early on Disney Plus. You can find that film as well via subscription.
I want to mention the movie "The Sandlot," one of my favorite baseball films of all time that's available on Netflix, also film -- so lots of great movies.
CARLSON: We will stop with the baseball film. Kevin McCarthy.
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