This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," March 9, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
The Chinese coronavirus epidemic turns out to be just that -- an epidemic.
There's no denying that now.
According to the official count, this country has recorded more than 500 cases of the virus and suffered at least 24 deaths. The real number is without question far higher than that, soon we will have a better sense of just how much higher.
By then, this epidemic will have caused economic damage whose effects may dog us for years. People you know will get sick, some may die. This is real.
That's the point of this script, to tell you that. Though we will be forgiven if the whole thing snuck up on you as if from nowhere.
An obscure virus arising from a meat market in Eastern China to sicken American citizens in Oregon, in New Hampshire, in Illinois, in Midtown Manhattan. It sounds ridiculous.
None of our leaders helped us to take it seriously. On the left, you've heard them tell you that the real worry is that you might use the wrong word to describe what's happening to the country.
It's racist, they are telling you to blame the most racist nation in the world for the spread of this virus. Right?
Meanwhile, if we are being honest, the other side has not been especially helpful either. People you trust, people you probably voted for have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem.
It's just partisan politics, they say. Calm down. In the end, this is just like the flu and people die from that every year. Coronavirus will pass and when it does, we will feel foolish for worrying about it. That's their position.
No doubt these people have good intentions as they say this, many of them anyway. They may not know any better. Maybe they're just not paying attention or maybe they believe they're serving some higher cause by shading reality.
Nobody wants to be manipulated by a corrupt media establishment, and it is corrupt. And there's an election coming up. Best not to say anything that might help the other side. We get it.
But they're wrong. The Chinese coronavirus is a major event. It will affect your life. And by the way, it's definitely not just the flu.
In a typical year, the flu in this country has a mortality rate of about one in a thousand. The overall death rate for this virus, by contrast, is as high as 3.4 percent. That's 34 times deadlier.
But even that number masks the true effects because the mortality is not distributed evenly. For those aged 70 to 79, the death rate is about eight percent. Those over 80 is nearly 15 percent.
Death rates are also higher for those with diabetes, respiratory ailments or heart conditions. That's a lot of people.
So what will things look like once the epidemic matures in America? Well, for answers, consider what's happening in Italy.
Italy is an authoritarian like China and it is not backward like Iran. It is a modern developed Western country. In many ways like our country.
As of tonight, coronavirus has brought Italy to a standstill. The Prime Minister suspended all travel throughout the country, unless it's for work, health or emergencies.
All museums and archaeological sites are closed. All public gatherings have been banned. Sporting events are now canceled entirely for the first time since the Second World War.
In effect, the entire country is locked down tonight. Over the weekend, prisoners rioted causing several deaths.
Italy is now suffering almost a hundred casualties, people who've died every day from the virus. It's far worse than here, but the only difference likely is time.
Early evidence suggests it takes about six days for the number of coronavirus cases to double. If that trend holds here in the United States, it will be just a few weeks until we are where Italy is now.
In a few months, if nothing stops the virus, there will be millions of cases here.
This is bad more than simply for physical health. The Dow Jones average fell more than 2,000 points today. That's a decline of more than seven and a half percent. It was the market's worst day since the 2008 Financial Crisis. It was the fourth worst day since the Great Depression.
Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm is predicting a global recession due to this epidemic and very low growth, if any here in the United States.
If a recession does hit, it will not be so simple to fight it. The usual stimulus efforts, tax cuts and lower rates won't reopen factories that have shut down to contain a virus. We won't get people to eat at closed restaurants or shop in closed malls or attend cancelled sporting events.
We're going to have a demand problem in this economy, and that's a big deal.
In other words, our country is likely to experience a painful period we are powerless to stop. None of this is justification to panic, you shouldn't panic. In crisis, it is more important than ever to be calm.
But staying calm is not the same as remaining complacent. It does not mean assuring people that everything will be fine. We don't know that.
Instead, it is better to tell the truth. That is always the surest sign of strength.
As they level with us, our leaders ought to prepare the public for what may come next. If a recession is coming, we need to save money for the possible effect of that. If travel restrictions are coming, we should know that, too.
Already, the nonstop Acela Train Service between New York and Washington, which is critical to a lot of people has been suspended.
The Indian Wells tennis tournament in California, one of the largest in the world has been canceled for this year.
The March Madness basketball tournament is supposed to start in a couple of weeks, but it could be held in front of empty stands or postponed or canceled as well.
In the end, you may be given the option to work from home, but eventually, you may be ordered to do that. You should know.
We should also focus on preparing our healthcare system for the worst. The time of containing coronavirus with widespread testing and individual quarantines, blocking the borders are useful, but that time is over. There are too many cases here now. We cannot stop this epidemic. We can only limit the damage that it does.
Now, it's also the time to start looking ahead to the future. Think about what it would mean to face a deadlier version of coronavirus. It's not unimaginable. It's very easy to imagine. Are we ready for that? We are not ready now. We ought to be.
One of the first things we can do to prepare ourselves is break our dependence on China for essential medical supplies.
Last week, China's official news service published a piece gloating that the country has brought coronavirus under control. The story claims the rest of the world should apologize to China for criticizing the country over the virus and then drops this not very subtle warning, "If China retaliates against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing a travel ban on the United States, it will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States."
"If China announces that its drugs are for domestic use and bans exports, the United States will fall into the hell of a new coronavirus epidemic."
In other words, they're threatening to kill us, and that's not an empty threat. We really are that dependent on China for masks and medical equipment, for basic medicines, for pharmaceuticals of all kinds.
It is shocking to wake up one morning and find ourselves in this supine position, dependent on a country that hates us.
The people who did it, who made us this dependent on a hostile foreign power, deserve to be punished for what they did. That won't happen probably, but at least we can try to fix the damage they caused and there's a lot of it.
The Chinese coronavirus will get worse, its effects will be far more disruptive than they are right now. That is not a guess, it is inevitable no matter what they're telling you.
Let's hope everyone stops lying about that and soon.
Dr. Marc Siegel is a Fox Medical contributor. He's been following the virus on this program from the very beginning of January. He joins us tonight with an update on the latest.
Dr. Siegel, thanks so much for joining us. Where are we tonight in this epidemic?
DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tucker, as you just said, we've moved on past a time of trying to individualize cases and separate them out and we are well aware that this virus is spreading throughout communities around the world.
And we're using a technique now called cocooning where we identify people who are most at risk -- the elderly, the severely ill -- who really can die from this virus because a pretty large percentage of them have died from it, and we're trying to limit the spread through communities.
That's why you're seeing what's happening in Italy right now, where the whole country is under a kind of quarantine, where people can't go out at night, where they can't go to sporting events.
The purpose of that is to limit spread of the virus. But guess what? That's a very primitive attempt that may not work. It may help a little, it may not work. It shows that the horse is already out of the barn.
Here in New York, they are talking about closing the subway down. Imagine what that's going to do, Tucker with 4.5 million people using that subway every day.
And heroes are down there right now every day, every 72 hours completely disinfecting every subway car.
At the heart of this in the United States, though, is a problem that we didn't see in South Korea, which is we still don't have the testing.
It was announced over the weekend that we were going to be able to test and I'll tell you why I want a test. You are right, and you said this right at the beginning.
I know that there's many thousands of cases. I know that. But if I can identify which cases there are, then the virus spreads even more in the absence of a vaccine, and I can't believe that after all of these announcements, I called all over the country today, and I can't find these tests. They're still only in the health departments, and that's a two or three-day delay.
And another thing, and I'm not trying to scare people out there, you could test negative and a few days later, test positive. People think, oh, I've got a negative test. But it may be before you have symptoms.
This can spread without having symptoms, and that your tests could still be negative. So even when we get the millions of tests we need, it's not going to stop or staunch the flow of this.
But what we are trying to do --
CARLSON: But, may I just pause you right there, just to clarify for our viewers, I don't think you're calling for the testing of 320 million people. You're saying that people who believe they may have been exposed to the virus, need to know whether or not they have it and you can't find tests for those people.
CARLSON: Is that what you're saying?
SIEGEL: Not only can I test the people who I think have been exposed, but I can test the people who have characteristic symptoms that I want to make sure they don't have coronavirus before I let them back out in the community.
Somebody comes to me with a cough, with shortness of breath, with fever, I think they may have the coronavirus.
Our university is now saying don't go to the doctor with those symptoms.
Well, I want to at least be able to test them, again, goal to decrease the amount of virus spreading in the community. That's the public health -- the only public health measure we have left here.
You're absolutely right. We're going to see disruptions throughout the United States from this virus, but also from the fear that sets in and I'm not confident that people aren't going to panic from this.
CARLSON: I agree with that. I think people's anxiety certainly would be assuaged to some extent if they felt like, you know, the system was working, but I think people don't feel that way.
SIEGEL: We have to know what the results are.
CARLSON: Dr. Siegel, thank you.
SIEGEL: Absolutely. Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: That's exactly right. No matter what else happens with coronavirus, a key part of our response is going to have to be, must be, making the United States less dependent upon Chinese imports for critical goods, particularly pharmaceuticals and medical technology.
How can we do that? Senator Marco Rubio represents the State of Florida. He thought deeply about this question, not just in the age of coronavirus but before, and he joins us tonight.
Senator, thanks so much for coming on. How did we -- I think everyone agrees -- everyone who knows what the facts are, 96 percent of all antibiotics are made in China, who hears those facts is horrified by them.
How do we fix it?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Well, first of all, let me just congratulate you, your monologue, I haven't heard every monologue you've ever given. I can't imagine you gave a more important one or a more honest one than the one you gave a few minutes ago and I want to thank you for doing that. People need to hear that message.
RUBIO: On the issue of the supply chain. Look, we warned about this a year ago. In fact, a few years ago, in the same province, Wuhan Province, there was an explosion, and there was a worldwide shortage of antibiotics.
So I think it begins by informing people to the challenge we face. The way we address it is a couple of things. Number one is, we've got create demand for domestic production of these basic active ingredients and/or diversify our supply chain, so it's not coming out of one province in one country that as you pointed out last week, through the official newspaper of the Communist Party threatened to cut us off and kill Americans by cutting us off of these basic ingredients that are used in the medicine.
And that's what we know, just on the ingredient piece. There are other developed medicines that may come from another country, not China, but their active ingredients are also from there.
So we've got to create demand. Number one. You know, the Department of Defense should have to be required to build a stockpile of essential medicines. We should bring back the buy American preferences in the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration, all of that creates demands for domestic production. And part of it is actually requiring pharmaceuticals to tell us how much of the active -- how many -- what percentage of the ingredients in your medicine comes from overseas, particularly from China?
We are -- we believe the estimate is right. We think it can be higher. We don't actually know how high that percentage is because that right requirement is not embedded in every pharmaceutical company's profile.
CARLSON: Well, even -- it just struck me -- even the disclosure requirements seem missing. I mean, if you're taking pharmaceuticals, you're very likely taking pharmaceuticals with Chinese ingredients, but you don't know it. Why is that not evident on the bottle?
RUBIO: Well, again, the theory around here for a long time, as you well know was, don't worry, we're going to open up to China and capitalism is going to change China. And instead, it's China that's changed capitalism and weaponized it.
And we gave away these industries within two or three years of becoming of the most favored nation status, we had multiple closings of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the United States, because they were driven to China because it was cheaper to do it there. This is particularly true by the way in generics.
The overwhelming majority of Americans are taking generics for whatever drug they're using that's now no longer on patent. The majority almost entirely the active ingredients are coming from China.
So this is not just the threat with coronavirus. We're talking about high blood pressure and other essential medicines that people take, that could be -- we could have a shortage even if it's not deliberate. That's the other point.
We know production has stopped, and right now we're going through inventory. At some point, there could be a medical shortage of critical drugs in this country, because the place where the ingredients are made hasn't been working for a couple months.
CARLSON: It's unbelievable. The whole reason life expectancy has gone up in last hundred years, 70 years, antibiotics and they control all of them.
So yes -- Senator, great to see you tonight. Thank you for pushing on this so hard.
RUBIO: Yes, absolutely. Thank you.
CARLSON: The news media was happy to pound on Joe Biden for all of 2019, they enjoyed it. Now, they're doing everything they can to protect him because they're party people. They'll do whatever the party tells them to do, in case you haven't noticed.
Also Piers Morgan here tonight with new information with the collapse of the State of California, a poignant segment you want to watch.
CARLSON: In the last few days, Senator Cory Booker and Kamala Harris both endorsed Joe Biden for President. They had no shortage of effusive praise for Joe Biden. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden, for President of the United States.
We need a leader who really does care about the people and who can therefore unify the people, and I believe Joe can do that.
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J., FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our divisions as a country is our weakness. We need the candidate that can best unify all of us and that is Joe Biden.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now people who just got here from Botswana or Malaysia or who don't speak English may have been impressed by those endorsements, but for those of us with a VCR or a DVR, it didn't quite make sense.
It was less than a year ago that Cory Booker was whining that Biden would be a disastrous nominee who would divide the party. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: There's a lot of people who are concerned about Joe Biden's ability to carry the ball all the way across the line without fumbling, and I think that Castro has some really legitimate concerns.
There was a lot of moments where a number of us were looking at us who were on stage, when he tends to go on sometimes at one point, he's talking about people in communities like mine listening to record players.
But there are definitely moments where you listen to Joe Biden and you just wonder --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So what did Cory Booker just say? You know exactly what he just said. He said, Joe Biden is senile. He's totally out of it. He can't carry the ball because he's too old. He's not capable of being president. That's what he just said in that tape.
Kamala Harris, meanwhile, said that Biden was a racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: I'm going to now direct this at Vice President Biden.
I do not believe you are a racist, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California, who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So she's for busing now. Actually, she's not for busing, no one was ever for busing. Everyone hated busing, particularly black parents, but whatever.
She was still calling Biden a racist. I'm not calling you racist, racist.
So what happened? He was senile. He was a bigot, and now, he must be President.
Well, the answer of course is, it was all a sham. Harris never really meant it, like most claims of racism you hear in politics, it was totally fake and totally transactional.
Mark Steyn is an author and columnist. He joins us tonight. So why not just say in their endorsements, look, the guy' is senile, and he's a bigot, but I'm for him anyway.
MARK STEYN, AUTHOR AND COLUMNIST: Yes, that's basically what they're signing on to. The little girl on the bus, as Senator Harris described herself, is now on Joe Biden's bus and whether that's a school district anyone wants to be driven to remains to be seen.
It's one where as Cory Booker pointed out, Crazy Uncle Joe when he's not sniffing your hair is sneaking into your bedroom and putting record players on all night in which to indoctrinate you.
The fact is, he's actually gotten worse since Cory Booker said that. What we're seeing is something quite extraordinary. His rival presidential candidates are basically now signing on to a dead husk of a candidate in the interests of so-called unity.
I take it they've all been promised the vice presidential slot. Amy Klobuchar gave it away today, but I think Kamala and Cory have been promised it to. And God knows if anybody could use seven or eight vice presidential running mates, it's Joe Biden.
But we're seeing something extraordinary here. You know, Trump was the anti-conventional candidate. He had no minders. He was all candidate and no minders.
This campaign now is all minders, and no candidate. He has got all of these, so-called surrogates now who have endorsed him, but they're endorsing something that isn't there.
And the question then becomes, who is there that they're planning on actually running this show? It's the weirdest presidential selection that has been seen in modern times?
CARLSON: Well, they're all home health aides and no nurses in effect. I mean, is there anything that Kamala Harris won't say? When they said to her look, Kamala Harris, you've got to endorse the guy. Do you think she even said oh, but I called him a racist? I can't. Because now racism doesn't matter. I mean, or did she forgot -- did she forget that she even said that?
STEYN: No, racism is just a bit of chitchat on one side of the political divide. So that as you know, if you're the Governor of Virginia and you're capering around in blackface, what the hell, that was just a youthful indiscretion.
It's a youthful indiscretion when Justin Trudeau is doing it in early middle age. And then on the other side, these things destroy your career.
So we live in an age where every morning, you wake up and people with 50- year careers are being vaporized. And then and then on the other side, on the Democratic side, if it's one of your own, hey, you racist, you supported busing. That's just a little bit of light social chitchat before you start promising everybody Medicare-for-All or open borders.
CARLSON: Exactly. Charlie Rose must be wondering how he can get back in the game tonight, I would think. Mark Steyn, great to see you. Thank you.
STEYN: Thanks a lot, Tucker.
CARLSON: So it's not a partisan point to make. It's an obvious point to make if you watch television that Biden is not as sharp as he once was even a few years ago.
Every week brings more evidence. This is from last weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So folks, you want to nominate a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud democrat a Biden-Obama Democrat, join us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now that Biden is the establishment pick for President though, the establishment is protecting him. The D.N.C. just announced new rules to keep Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard out of the debate and according to POLITICO, debate moderator CNN also proposed having the candidates take questions from the audience while seated instead of standing at a podium and taking questions from a moderator.
Meanwhile, journalists are trying to make the discussion -- any discussion of Biden's health -- off limits. One CNN political analyst recently suggested that all discussions are collusion between Trump supporters and Bernie Sanders -- a conspiracy. Maybe Putin gave them the talking points.
Glenn Greenwald has been following this from the beginning. He co-founded "The Intercept." We're happy to have him on tonight. Glenn, thanks so much for joining us. So why isn't it -- and I hope I'd be honest to say this enough about -- to say this about any candidate, why isn't it a legitimate topic of discussion, a candidate's mental condition? In this case, Joe Biden's? Why should journalists shut that down?
GLEN GREENWALD, CO-FOUNDER, THE INTERCEPT: It's obviously not just a legitimate, but a necessary topic. You're talking about the person who is going to be in charge of the largest and most dangerous nuclear arsenal, somebody who is responsible for the future health of the planet, somebody who is responsible for the welfare of hundreds of millions of Americans, as well as countless numbers of people in other countries that the United States affects.
And more importantly, for Democratic voters according to them, the only thing that they care about in their vernacular is removing the orange racist, fascist, dictator from power. That's what they say is the only priority of theirs is electability.
So to have somebody that Democrats themselves have spent an entire year saying it doesn't come from me or the Sanders camp, or Trump or the Kremlin, it's Democrats on MSNBC and other propaganda outlets of the D.N.C.
spending a year saying is somebody in serious, visible cognitive decline.
To have that person that goes against Trump and perhaps ends up in the Oval Office, it is incredibly reckless to try and put that off limits when everyone can see it right before their own eyes.
CARLSON: So what is the effect on the electorate, when people who are supposed to be informing you are so transparently misleading you? What is -
- what does the public make of the media at that point?
GREENWALD: Well, so a couple of things. I mean, one is, you know, as somebody who began focusing on Joe Biden just a couple of weeks ago in earnest. when you know, remember his campaign was left for dead when he had a fourth place finish in Iowa and then a fifth place finish in New Hampshire, his funders were fleeing and then suddenly it all turned around with a phone call or two, Barack Obama got the Democratic Party with extraordinary obedience almost creepy-like discipline to snap into line behind him.
He became the consolidated frontrunner. People began paying attention and I began writing and others did to, wait a minute, there's something seriously wrong with his cognitive faculties. That's a big deal for electability and for governing.
And a lot of D.N.C. operatives and their allies in the media began saying, this is disgusting. It's a low blow, how dare you talk about it?
And then you go back and you see, they're the ones who originated the narrative for the last year -- Cory Booker and Julian Castro and Tim Ryan, the Congressman from Ohio and all kinds of MSNBC commentators spent a year saying that. Now, they're pretending that it's some kind of joint coordinated script.
And I think when people really start paying attention in earnest, when they start paying attention to the presidential debates in the fall, and then the interviews that he is going to have to subject himself to that he hasn't yet so far the rigorous difficult ones that millions of people haven't yet clicked into, and they see what is really kind of tragic that we've all seen in our elderly relatives, and that we fear for ourselves.
And they realized the media never talked about it, they're going to be angry. They're going to wonder why the media didn't tell them about this.
CARLSON: It's totally -- it's totally true, and it is sad, and I thank you for reminding us of that. Because it is. It's a human thing. It may happen to all of us and it's poignant and I hope we don't seem like we're taking glee in it. Maybe we are, we shouldn't.
Anyway, Glenn, great to see you. Thank you.
GREENWALD: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: The new Hillary Clinton documentary is out, you don't have to watch it. We've got the best bits right here for you next.
Plus Piers Morgan here to assess the implosion of the State of California, the biggest state in our country. It matters. We'll be right back.
CARLSON: The new Hillary Clinton documentary is out and it has a lot to say about Bernie Sanders, about her e-mail investigation and some juicy topics.
Chief breaking news correspondent, Trace Gallagher is here with the highlights. It's a film he's watched again and again. Good to see you, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF BREAKING NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You too, Tucker. It remains crystal clear that Hillary Clinton believes that she would be the President today if not for the F.B.I. reopening her e-mail investigation one week before the election.
Clinton says she considered publicly blasting then F.B.I. Director James Comey, but her team advised her against it.
Now three and a half years later, she thinks maybe she should have called him out.
The entire documentary has a theme of the Clintons blaming others. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am the most investigated innocent person in America, and they just -- you know, they are just -- see that's why -- that's why this is not just politics. It's deep cultural stuff.
And anyway, I want to -- I do want to talk to you about all of that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, me too.
CLINTON: Okay. Anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.
CLINTON: Clunk-clunk. Here we go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Meantime, it's no secret that Hillary Clinton is not exactly a big Bernie Sanders fan, but talk about not pulling any punches. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Honestly, Bernie just drove me crazy. He was in Congress for years -- years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him. Nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done. He was a career politician. He had he did not work until he was like 41. And then he got elected to something.
It was all just baloney, and I feel so bad that, you know people got sucked into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: If you weren't counting, that was 10 negative comments in 23 seconds, and the documentary takes a deep dive into the former President's affair with Monica Lewinsky and how it nearly destroyed his family.
Here's Bill Clinton talking about marriage counseling. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But it was necessary. She deserved it.
Chelsea deserved it and I needed it.
I was so grateful that she thought we had still had enough to stick it out.
God knows the burden she paid for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: He says he also feels terrible that Monica Lewinsky's life was unfairly defined by that affair -- Tucker.
CARLSON: Amazing. Remarkable how much he has aged. She seems the same.
Trace Gallagher, thanks so much for that great assessment.
America's current coronavirus outbreak is centered on the State of Washington, and of course California. Notably those two states have some of the country's largest homeless encampments.
Already health officials are warning that the homeless could be especially prone to coronavirus infection and of course, if they're prone to getting coronavirus, they are prone to spreading it, too.
A homeless fueled coronavirus epidemic could just be the latest sign of collapse of the State of California, a place that already has this country's highest poverty rate, and of course, the Middle Class that's rapidly fleeing to Nevada and Idaho.
Piers Morgan is editor-at-large at dailymail.com. We recently spoke to him about the homelessness problem in California and more broadly, the state's decline. Here's the conversation.
CARLSON: So you're in LA a lot. Tell us, do you think that people who run LA care about the people, the citizens who live there not just in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, but in the rest of the city? Do they care?
PIERS MORGAN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, DAILYMAIL.COM: Well, that's a really pertinent question because, you know, for example, I come in -- I have a house in Beverly Hills, it is lovely.
You know, you walk around, the sun shines. The palm trees are everywhere.
There's no liter or garbage on the street. Everything gets cleaned very quickly. There's very little crime. It feels very safe. It feels very prosperous and surrounded by very wealthy, successful people. And that's fine.
You know, that's why when Mayor Bloomberg comes to town, I'm sure he meets with like-minded people, celebrities and tycoons and business people, all of whom have multimillion dollar fortunes and gated communities and they see a very different side of Los Angeles to a lot of people.
And when you get in your car, and you begin to drive a few miles away from Bel Air, away from Beverly Hills, you get to what I would say is the real Los Angeles and it's a place that is, as you say, is now riddled with poverty, shocking homelessness.
And these things aren't getting better, despite all the rhetoric from the progressive new governor. They're getting worse.
You're seeing worst poverty, worst homelessness. You're seeing a very progressive rhetoric being put out about how to deal with these things and very little action.
I'll give you one example. You know, Governor Newsom when he was running, he said, look, I'm going to build three and a half million new housing units to cure the housing crisis.
Great words. And so what happened in his first year? He has been in power a year. Well, the number of housing units that were being built actually fell year-on-year from a hundred twenty odd thousand to a hundred and ten thousand, something like that.
That's a catastrophic failure to deliver on his promises, yet the same, Governor Newsom is the guy who said, I'm the anti-Trump guy. I'm everything he doesn't stand for.
Well, Donald Trump made a number of promises about the economy for the nation of America and many of them he has delivered on. Gavin Newsom has come in, made a lot of promises about stuff with the economy and housing and poverty in California, and he singularly failed to deliver.
So if being the anti-Trump guy that might make all the woke crowd in Los Angeles cheer in San Francisco, and so on, but it's not helping the people that really need the help.
So I think unfortunately, it's a lot of promises, a lot of hot air and a lot of stuff that isn't being delivered on.
CARLSON: So let me just ask you very quickly, a sociological questions, since you're there, a lot of you have dinner with people, do people who live in your neighborhood have a sense of what's happening outside the west side of LA?
MORGAN: Not particularly, I think unless you go and find it, you're not going to see it. And I think it's a shock when you do come across it. I certainly found a shock.
And I think, the smaller crowd in LA though, they are definitely beginning to move, I think at a much softer place with Donald Trump.
When he first came along as a candidate and then won the presidency, being in Los Angeles, if you even admitted to liking Trump, which I do, he is a personal friend of mine was -- you know, you might as well have strung itself up, frankly. The hatred was just visceral.
Interestingly, he came to LA and he was pretty well-received. The number of supporters out there, I would say outnumbered from what I saw the number of protesters. That's indicative of the mindset that I'm getting, which is people are beginning to soften to Trump because they realize their own State of California, their own City of Los Angeles or San Francisco, are actually falling apart at the seams in many areas.
And they are beginning to realize that all of these anti-Trump bombast they're being exposed to morning, noon and night actually is being used to hide the reality of what the anti-Trump governor and the local mayor are failing to do themselves.
So I think there's a sort of reality check amongst people who are not -- in answer to your original question -- exposed too much reality. But they are now being made more aware I think by outside forces, that what is going on in California is in many parts, an utter disgrace.
I think it shames America when you go and see this state of homelessness in Los Angeles. It is a desperate state of affairs and you can talk all the progressive stuff you like.
We've had all this in Britain recently, Tucker, with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who he promised like Gavin Newsom, you know, billions and billions of expenditure on all the progressive agenda stuff you can imagine.
And of course, nobody really believed he could deliver it. And he was deemed unelectable and you're now seeing on the national stage in America, Bernie Sanders, big firebrand socialist, very Jeremy Corbyn-like in his agenda, and once again, promising the earth rather like Gavin Newsom here in LA in California, but nobody really is buying into it because they think they can't deliver.
MORGAN: And I think that helps Trump because Trump, whether you'd like him or not, is delivering on a number of the things that he promised to deliver on.
That's what people want. I don't care if you'd like a guy or not who is in office, they just have to deliver what they promised.
CARLSON: Ultimately, it's about reality. Piers Morgan, sometimes people from away see our country more clearly, I think and you're in that category.
Great to see you tonight. Thank you.
MORGAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, the news media ought to be giving you useful information about coronavirus, but instead they're denouncing people as, you could guess, racist for describing where the disease comes from. That's next.
CARLSON: Well, early in the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, Joe Biden fretted that the disease, bad; fretting about the disease possibly worse; indeed, it might be racism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: You know, we have right now a crisis with the coronavirus emanating from China.
In moments like this, this is where the credibility of a President is most needed as he explains what we should and should not do. This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria, xenophobia -- hysterical xenophobia to -
- and fear mongering to lead the way instead of science.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Xenophobia? People are dying of a plague and your concern is xenophobia? But of course Biden's reaction is naturally the preferred one for everyone in the media class.
All of a sudden over the weekend, Congressman Paul Gosar now says he and his staff are self-quarantining after they were possibly exposed to the coronavirus.
Gosar described the coronavirus as "The Wuhan virus," which is of course a perfectly accurate term since it emanated from Wuhan, China.
But in response, an outrage, Chris Hayes on MSNBC tweeted this, "Just astoundingly gross to call it the Wuhan virus." Somebody called Molly Jong- Fast of "The Daily Beast" chipped in quote, "It's racism."
That's our whole oov right there. It's racism. Then David Gura of NBC News said that "FYI: Calling the COVID19t he Wuhan virus is racist."
Notice that none of them explained or even tried to explain why that would be racist. What was racist about it? It's just racist. Shut up, they explained.
People are infected with a deadly virus, but our pampered media class obsesses over what? You know, punishing people for calling it what it is, for calling a virus from Wuhan, China the Wuhan virus. These people should never have power of any kind.
Mollie Hemingway is the Senior Editor over at "The Federalist." We're happy to have her on tonight. Mollie, what does it tell you that in the middle of what is literally an epidemic, shutting down parts of the country, people are most upset that someone out there is describing this as the Wuhan virus. What did we learn from that?
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR OVER AT "THE FEDERALIST": Right. Possibly people should be more worried about this virus spreading and how it can affect vulnerable populations than accurately describing it by the region that it came from.
It's actually very common to name things after the regions that they originate in or that they are believed to have originated. And it's not necessarily a statement about people in Lyme, Connecticut that we have Lyme disease that is named because of the geographical link there, or Ebola or Zika, any of these things, and coronavirus is something that is already present.
So explaining that this is different than the typical coronavirus or its particular strain is helpful for people and there's nothing wrong.
It's also true, though, that people don't want -- China doesn't want people identifying it with China. And a lot of people in the left also don't want China to be identified with this virus. And that's a problem because China's reaction to this, particularly originally, in the first few months of this spreading had a lot to do with how it became such a problem.
Their authoritarian, totalitarian, you know, communist system made it so that people accurately talking about this was punished and they were not doing the kinds of things that would have been helpful at the outbreak.
And so it is important that we understand that China's role here is part of the reason why we're having a global pandemic.
CARLSON: But what's so interesting, and the deepest irony of all is that maybe after North Korea, China is the most racist country in the world.
It's literally an ethno state run by Han Chinese that puts ethnic minorities in concentration camps.
It is an ethnically defined country. That's what they think of themselves.
No one ever mentions that. Why?
HEMINGWAY: Sure, but I think more importantly, they are -- you know, it's a communist system. They have very serious problems with not -- you know, the doctor who first sounded the alarm here was punished horribly for doing this.
Yes, they also have -- they're not known for their racial justice, shall we say.
CARLSON: But it's just funny. I mean, you think that the media are so on guard for any deviation from the -- you know, from the orders, and yet they ignore the fact that their favorite country is literally an ethno state.
It's just the ironies never cease.
Mollie, thank you for making sense of this. Appreciate it.
CARLSON: Well, Twitter and Facebook and Google -- social media -- will be major battlegrounds in the 2016 election, maybe the battleground. Already, they are intervening against the Trump campaign.
The story you may not know enough about. That's next.
CARLSON: Big Tech is determined to take a more active role in this year's election. Facebook is taking down Trump campaign ads after Democrats complained they were misleading.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, a short video of Joe Biden retweeted by the President became the first Twitter video ever to be marked as "manipulated media."
What's going on here? We think, you know.
Harmeet Dhillon is an attorney and adviser to the Trump campaign and someone who's deeply, deeply versed in the ways of Big Tech. She joins us tonight. Harmeet, thanks so much for coming on. So --
HARMEET DHILLON, ATTORNEY: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: So is what is happening here what seems to be happening here?
DHILLON: Absolutely. What you're seeing here is Big Tech giving a big assist to one side at the expense of free speech and transparency.
And to be clear, Tucker, they know that the President utilized this media to communicate with voters directly in 2016 and win, and they're not going to let it happen again as easily as it did before.
And so meanwhile, Americans have become inured York to this censorship and the government is doing nothing about it. So we have a real problem on our hands.
CARLSON: I don't understand how monopolies which shouldn't be allowed to operate any way under current law are allowed to subvert our election way more profoundly than Putin ever considered doing. And the Congress just sits there, part of it controlled by the Republicans and does nothing.
Explain that to me.
DHILLON: Yes, absolutely right. The problem here, Tucker, as you've covered on your show many times is that politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths. And I mean, politicians in both parties.
They take cash from the Big Tech companies -- Google, Twitter and Facebook.
The lobbyist hordes are descending and welcome in Capitol Hill at all times. And many of the staffers on Capitol Hill and even in the White House are interested in that revolving door that gets them a big salary, triple what they're earning now or more when they leave government, and so that is a confluence of factors.
Meanwhile, the F.E.C. has not caught up with this new technology, and there are no rules governing what looks to me and you like an in-kind contribution from these companies to these campaigns and at a great expense to our democracy.
You know, one side is allowed to use effective ads and mock our President; the other side is labeled as manipulating speech when in fact we're simply showing the words of Joe Biden which are really deeply troubling.
And so, you know, and this goes much deeper, Tucker, when you look at the coronavirus, Zero Hedge was a website that was showing the truth about that and its origins in China. It's now been banned from Twitter.
And so there are very sinister implications of allowing these companies to manipulate and show exactly -- and choose exactly what speech we can see as Americans.
CARLSON: Yes, I mean, if this continues, Republicans will control precisely nothing ever again.
CARLSON: And so this is like, in some ways, maybe their last chance to level the playing field and to let free speech live and they're doing literally nothing and we're speaking to you, Senator Lee of Utah and a lot of people like you.
It's really distressing. Harmeet, you've done more than any lawyer I know of on this subject. So thank you very much.
DHILLON: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: That's about it for us tonight. We're out of time, unfortunately.
Tune in tomorrow night and every weeknight at 8:00 p.m. The show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink. The show that will tell you the truth.
Have a wonderful night with the ones you love. We're going to turn it over to the great Sean Hannity who is standing by New York City to take the reins for the hour.
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