This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 5, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump warns of dark days ahead, as his top health advisors revise their guidelines, and concerns mount over the spread of the coronavirus.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE COORDINATOR: The next two weeks are extraordinarily important.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The CDC is recommending that Americans wear a basic cloth or a fabric mask.
WALLACE: The new guidance coming as millions of Americans self isolate. Millions of jobs vanish, and those on the front lines report critical shortages.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, the CDC has abandoned us. The government has abandoned us. Our hospitals have abandoned us.
WALLACE: We'll talk with Surgeon General Jerome Adams about how the Trump administration is handling the crisis and how long it will last.
Then, Bill Gates, who has spent billions on public health and warned the world five years ago.
BILL GATES, CO-FOUNDER, MICROSOFT: If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus.
WALLACE: We'll ask Gates what the U.S. and the world need to do now.
And governors fight over medical supplies.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It's like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator.
WALLACE: We'll ask Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer about the impact on her state and skyrocketing unemployment there.
Plus, our Sunday panel on the clash between Congress and the White House over how the $2 trillion in aid is spent.
And finding ways to stay connected and lift spirits through song.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
There are now more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus here in the U.S. And deaths from a virus increased by more than 1,300 in just the last 24 hours.
But President Trump says the country must prepare for even worse with this warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of deaths, unfortunately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Here are the latest developments. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia now issuing stay-at-home orders, and new guidance from the CDC encouraging people to wear a face mask outside even though President Trump says he won't.
In a moment, we'll speak with the surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams.
But first, let's bring Mark Meredith, reporting from the White House, with the latest from the front lines -- Mark.
MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the president's task force says it's focused on places like Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans, cities where COVID-19 cases are on the rise. And the president is ordering at least 1,000 medical personnel to New York to fight the virus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day when I go to work, I feel like a sheep going to slaughter.
MEREDITH: America's medical community faces a grim reality as the coronavirus spreads nationwide, many fear there's not enough equipment, staff, or supplies to save lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are demanding from this hospital the protections that we need.
MEREDITH: New York's governor says he's shifting resources to help hospitals most in need.
CUOMO: I'm not going to let people die because we didn't redistribute ventilators. The National Guard are going to be deployed to pick up these ventilators, which are all across the state, and deploy them to places where we need them.
MEREDITH: In New York state alone, at least 3,500 people have died and the president says the worst is yet to come.
TRUMP: We are getting to the point where it's going to really be some very bad numbers.
MEREDITH: The government is increasing its supply of hydroxychloroquine, a drug normally used to treat malaria. But health experts stress there's no guarantee the drug will save lives.
TIFFANY PINCKNEY, FORMER COVID-19 PATIENT: It is definitely overwhelming to know that in my blood, there may be answers.
MEREDITH: People once infected are now helping researchers test treatments. The FDA is examining the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat the sick.
MEREDITH: The CDC is now urging Americans to use a cloth face mask while out on the public, but the president said on Friday, Chris, he does not plan to use one himself -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mark Meredith reporting from the White House -- Mark, thanks.
WALLACE: And joining us now, the U.S. surgeon general, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams. Dr. Adams, the U.S. is now reporting 30,000 new cases a day, and I want to put up a chart that shows the curve of cases in Italy and China, which have leveled up and are now going down, and the curve on the far right there, here in the U.S., which is still in the early ages, and still headed up sharply. Given the course of the disease in China and Italy and that we are weeks and months behind them, how bad is this epidemic going to be in America and how long will it last? DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, it's tragically fitting that we're talking at the beginning of Holy Week because this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized. It's going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that. But I also want them to understand that the public, along with the state and the federal government, have a power to change the trajectory of this epidemic. You mentioned Italy and Spain, they had a very, very hard time and they're still having a hard time, but they seem to have reached their peak and are coming back down on the other side. And you say weeks, months behind, I would actually push back a little bit. When you look at their trajectory, from about a month ago is when they really started to lean into their aggressive mitigation efforts, their really aggressive mitigation efforts. And so, I want Americans to understand that, as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days. We're seeing Washington, actually, where this started, doing a much better job. California's trajectory has leveled off. And so there is hope. But we've got to all do our part. WALLACE: Let's talk about mitigation, because the president's top health advisers, including you, say the most important thing we can do, all of us, is to stay at home. And yet there are still nine states -- there are still nine states with millions of Americans that still have not issued stay-at- home orders. President Trump was asked about that this week. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: I (inaudible) talk to the governors. The governors know what they're doing. They've been doing a great job. I guess we're close to 90 percent anyway. And states that we're talking about are not in jeopardy. No, I would leave it to the governors. (END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: But, Dr. Adams, the coronavirus is not a state issue. It doesn't follow or respect state borders. Dr. Fauci says he believes that there should be a national stay-at-home order. Is he wrong? ADAMS: Well, Chris, it's important to understand that most people across the country are doing the right thing. Over 90 percent of the country is staying at home. And a good proportion, more than average, are staying at home even in those nine states. But the last time you and I talked, it was about opioids. People don't know, but I've run a state department of health. I've been involved in health for years. And diseases don't respect state lines, but we live in a country where we have a system of federalism. And when it comes to opioids, states have different rules and regulations and laws regarding treatment, regarding syringe service programs, as you and I have talked about. I actually put out a report on tobacco cessation earlier this year. And we know that states have different laws there. And more people will die, even in the worst projections, from cigarette smoking in this country than are going to die from -- from coronavirus this year. And so we always are struggling with truing to get information out to guide people that we know will help them be healthy with states' rights. But it's why we put out these three days to stop the spread guidelines. These are essentially our national stay-at-home order. And we're working with governors to figure out their needs, their desires. One more important point. The nine states that haven't yet done shelter-in- place orders are states that actually produce a large amount of our food. So they're struggling with issues concerning what -- how they can provide for the rest of the country to be able to stay at home. But right now, my -- what I would say to those governors is, if you can't give us a month, give us what you can. Give us a week. Give us whatever you can to stay at home during this particularly tough time when we're going to be hitting our peak over the next -- next seven to 10 days. WALLACE: But, Doctor -- but, Dr. Adams, there's a big difference between opioids and cigarettes, which are something that people decide to use or not to use, and the coronavirus, which people catch. It's not an individual choice. And, you know, when President Trump says that he's a wartime president, during World War II, FDR didn't say, "Well, it's up to each state to decide what to do." He mobilized the nation. Again, why not a national stay-at-home order? The coronavirus doesn't recognize states' rights, so does the federal analogy really work here? ADAMS: Well, Chris, I know we could go forever in coronavirus time, but I would remind people that it was just a week ago when the idea of a federal quarantine for the New York City area was being floated, and Governor Cuomo said that would be like declaring war on the state. The governors are intensely protective of their right, and rightly so, to be able to decide what's best for their states. And we're going to do everything we can as scientists and as physicians, as medical professionals, to help them understand what we think the right thing is for them to do. And so I just want everyone to know that, from a national perspective, the surgeon general was saying, no matter where you are, stay at home. At least give us a week or two, if you can. We want you to do it for 30 days, but even in those nine states, give us what you can so we can get this peak and start to come down on the other side. WALLACE: Dr. Adams, for days President Trump has been talking about hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for people with the coronavirus. But yesterday in his briefing he took it even further. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: What do you have to lose? In some cases, they're in bad shape. What do you have to lose? I may take it. And I'll have to ask my doctors about that. But I may take it. (END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Dr. Adams, as the nation's top public health official, are you comfortable with people taking an unproven, untested drug, even people who don't actually have the virus? ADAMS: Well, here's what we've advised the president, and here's what I've heard him say consistently. When people are in a tragic situation where they -- they're in the hospital or a loved one's in the hospital with COVID-19, we want them to be able to have a conversation with their health care provider about everything that they could possibly do to save their life. There are some accounts, some stories out there regarding hydroxychloroquine helping. And we know it's been available for years. So we feel a little bit better regarding its safety than we do about a completely novel drug, even though this is being used at much higher dosages. And so we just want to be able to facilitate physicians and patients having that conversation. That's what I tell people. That's what I've heard the president tell people. WALLACE: Finally, and I've got about a minute left here, Dr. Adams. The CDC now recommends that people use face coverings in public. And in fact, your CDC video, in which you show people how to make a mask themselves that they can wear. But President Trump was clear that he is not going to be following that guidance. Take a look here, sir. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know. Somehow I don't see it for myself. (END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Does that statement by the president send a mixed message about taking this recommendation seriously? ADAMS: Well, if you look at the CDC guidelines, they actually emphasize that, number one, they're voluntary. And, number two, and the most important part of this is they're not a substitute for social distancing. I was at the White House yesterday. I'm going there immediately after this. And the White House doctors and Secret Service are taking pains to make sure everyone is social distancing in regards to the president and the vice president and each other. And so the president is making a choice that's appropriate for him. What I want Americans to know is, if you're going out in public and you're going to be closer than six feet to other people, you can use a cloth facial covering. And here's mine that I made, very easy to use. And it protects you from me. We want people to understand, you're wearing this not to protect yourself. You're using it to protect your neighbor. And that's what this week is going to be all about, people staying at home to protect their neighbor, people wearing cloth facial coverings if they have to go our in public, to protect their neighbor. This is going to be a test of our resolve. It's going to be the test of our lives. But I am confident that we can come out on the other side, based on the data and based on what I know about the American people. WALLACE: Dr. Adams, thank you. Thanks for your time during these very busy days. Please come back, sir. ADAMS: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, Bill Gates, who has spent billions on public health and who warned the world five years ago about the threat from a pandemic.
WALLACE: I want to play a clip for you that's been viewed more than 26 million times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GATES: If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: That was Bill Gates back in 2015, five years ago, warning about precisely the kind of threat we're all facing right now.
Since then, Gates has been doing everything he can to prevent a pandemic. Two months ago, the Gates Foundation committed $100 million to fight the coronavirus.
Earlier, I sat down with Bill Gates to discuss what we need to do now.
WALLACE: Bill, it took four months to reach half a million cases around the world and just seven days to add another half-million cases. So how dangerous, how fearsome is this virus? And how do you see this epidemic playing out in the U.S.?
GATES: Well, this is a nightmare scenario because human to human transmissible respiratory viruses can grow exponentially, and, you know, if we had kept on going to work, traveling like we were, you know, that curve would never bend until you have the majority of the people infected and then a massive number seeking hospital care and lots and lots of death.
So, you know, we had to use quarantine, which is an old thing back from the days of the plague as our primary tool. Fortunately, if we use that well enough, we should towards the end of this month start to see those numbers level off and then if we continue country-wide and we're testing the right people to understand what's going on, which is not the case yet, those numbers will start to go down, and then we can look at some degree of opening back up.
WALLACE: President Trump's top health advisors are talking about somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths over the next two months. Does that sound about right to you in terms of the lethality and the length of the outbreak here in the U.S.?
GATES: Well, if we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with the death number well short of that. It's very important that those numbers are out there because a lot of people are still thinking, hey, this is like normal, not waking up every day to a completely new reality.
And so, I was very glad that those models are out there. You know, Dr. Fauci is doing a very good job of saying the numbers are what count here.
And, you know, the various models that we and Imperial University do, show that without is dramatic behavior change, you could even get worse than that. But I do think if we get the testing fixed, we get all 50 states involved, we'll be below that. Of course, we'll pay a huge economic price in order to achieve that.
WALLACE: You say that if we do everything right now in terms of testing and shutting the country down, that we should have only one wave of this virus. Why are you so confident? Because a lot of people aren't so sure that we're not going to have a recurrence when we get another flu season next fall.
GATES: Well, we don't know how seasonal this virus is. You know, it would probably be good for the northern hemisphere if the force of infection goes down when we get into spring and summer and, you know, give us some time to get both the drugs and advance the vaccine. It is fair to say things won't go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we've gotten out to basically the entire world.
And so, you know, the best people at the foundation were all about high- volume vaccines and are working with many, many manufacturers not only on the safety net, but getting that billions of dose capacity. And so like China, there will be a partial opening up, which some jobs will resume, school will resume, but we'll have to be very, very careful not to have the rebound until the vaccine comes.
WALLACE: Now, you talk about the foundation. All the way back on February 5th, the Gates Foundation committed $100 million to fight this virus. But you point out the fact that the -- our government, like a lot of other governments, was very slow to respond, really another two months, we might have lost.
How much did that cost us in terms of the spread of this disease, that one or two months that we lost?
GATES: Well, there are countries like Taiwan, who are exemplary. Saw the problem and really got the testing, community-wide testing done very well. They prioritize who got tested and so they won't either have the disease burden or the economic effect that other countries will have.
China, by late January, had taken it seriously -- and so, their ability to get the cases come down has been dramatic. South Korea has done that.
And so, there are lessons that we're learning from and, you know, we're all in this together. We've got to get rid of coronavirus from the entire world. You know, the U.S., we can see how tough it is here, likely, it will be even worse in the developing countries who as yet don't have nearly as many cases.
WALLACE: How do you think the federal and the state governments are responding now, and would you prefer to see it all being handled on a national level, whether it's stay-at-home orders or testing or the supply chain? Would you prefer to see this all being handled on a national centralized level rather than state-by-state?
GATES: Well, when you have finite resources, you need to allocate them to where there is the most. Certainly, the -- because people move around the country, we have to have the shutdown or else you'll have exponential growth that will spread back into other parts of the country.
In terms of testing, people have gotten confused and think it's just about numbers. The key is that you have a response to the test in less than 24 hours. And that you're prioritizing the right people. And so although the numbers are going up, we're not yet focusing in on that, you know, medical personnel or somebody who's keeping the electronic network or the food distribution working and being able to save somebody who test very quickly test their contacts.
And so, you know, I do think, you know, that allocation, prioritization of testing will be a key tactic for us to get into good shape.
WALLACE: And at that needs to be done at a national level, not a state level?
GATES: That's right. I mean, you have some states that it just happens a number of PCR machines in that state are very few and you wouldn't think, hey, that's the way they should be done. Also, the outbreak, you know, is bigger in some areas, and so therefore, that drives the testing demand -- likewise, the ventilator demand.
I mean, this is all very ad hoc because we never did a full-blown simulation. There were a few things done, but it's not like war where we do war games all the time, we have people standing by, resources standing by in a dramatic level. You know, we're kind of figuring this out as we go, which, you know, people are rising to the occasion and, you know, it's fantastic to see that, but, you know, every day, we can see that case number is still going up.
WALLACE: When you gave that famous TED talk five years ago, you laid out a lot of the things that were starting to do now, like research and development on new tests and R&D on vaccines. But so many countries around the world, including the U.S. back in 2015, largely ignored your warnings. Why do you think that was?
GATES: Well, there's -- it's hard to put money into something where you don't know if it's going to happen. We do for fires because, you know, we've seen that over time. We do for war, in fact, $600 billion a year.
In that case, what would have been required, you know, is nothing like that. The ability to make a test super quickly, the ability to know a library of drugs that would work for this, an ability to have the vaccine very quickly. I am sure after this, which is just such a gigantic impact, that we will put that money in. But between 2015 and 2020, less than 5 percent of what should have been done was done.
But people didn't get that this is the biggest single threat that could disrupt our way of life, which, you know, even having predicted that as a risk, I'm really stunned at how, you know, tough it is to go through this. You know, the medical cost, the economic cost, the psychological cost. Everybody's lives have been completely upended and that's not just the United States, it's almost the entire world.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you personally about that. Bill and Melinda Gates, I think it's fair to say, are not your typical American family, but how has this virus, this epidemic, how is it upended your life? And how personally are you dealing with and processing what we are going through now?
GATES: Well, I'm, you know, a lot more isolated. The meetings are our on a software, Microsoft teams. You know, even friends that I would normally go see, you know, we're doing videoconferencing, which seems a bit unusual.
You know, there's a lot of anxiety about, you know, how far does this go. We have employees of the foundation who feel a bit isolate, you know, because there just in our apartment, some with their kids there feel it's very crowded.
So how do we help people deal with this? You know, a lot of people are rising to the occasion, but, you know, for me, you know, my life is just completely different. I wake up every morning and think is this real or was it something I had a nightmare about?
WALLACE: And like all the rest of us -- I mean, do you get scared sometimes? And if so, about what?
GATES: Well, this isn't the worst case. That is the 1 percent or so case fatality rate when your medical system is not overloaded. If this was smallpox, that would be like 30 percent. So, this is super, super bad, but, you know, we will eventually get a vaccine.
Even before then, if we do the right things, we'll be able to open up significant parts of the economy and -- you know, so, once you're in the crisis, you're just doing your best to deal with it. I'm sure, you know, once we get past this we will look back, understand what we could have done differently, and make sure that we're not letting it happen again, particularly because it could be even worse in terms of the fatality rate.
WALLACE: Bill Gates, next time you give one of these speeches -- I hope, I trust people will listen. Thank you so much.
GATES: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, the nation's governors hunt for life-saving equipment as coronavirus cases spike in their states. We'll sit down with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, that's next.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Coming up, we'll talk with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about the toll of the coronavirus on her state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): We know that we are in for a tough three, four, five, six weeks. We are far from out of the emergency that we find ourselves in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask Whitmer what her state needs most, next.
WALLACE: While the New York City area is now getting hit hardest by the coronavirus, one of the big questions is what sections of this country will get hammered next.
Joining us now is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose state is showing a lot of warning signs.
Governor, let's start by putting up the latest numbers from Michigan. More than 14,000 cases of the virus now in your state. That's the third most of any state in the country. And 540 deaths. And somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of those are in the Detroit area.
We keep hearing that Detroit is going to be the next hot spot. How badly do you expect to get hit there and for how long?
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): Well, what we do know is that it's growing exponentially. And we're seeing that it is not -- it doesn't discriminate based on city lines, state line, party line. This is something that is aggressively growing in all age groups all across our most populous part of the state, which is southeast Michigan.
We know that we've got hospitals that are already at capacity. We don't have enough personal protection equipment. And that's precisely what my call to action has been, to stay home. I executed that order almost two weeks ago. We're asking people to stay home and do their part and we're asking everyone to chip in to help us get more PPE for our front line responders.
WALLACE: So let me pick up on that last point. How close is your health care system, especially in the southeast part of the state, around Detroit, how close is it to getting overwhelmed? How close are you to the edge in tests and ventilators and personal protective equipment?
WHITMER: Yes, so, you know, we don't have enough tests. And I know that's not unique to Michigan. It is an issue across the country.
In order to really have a handle on how many people have had Covid-19 and how prevalent it is, we really need to do -- be doing much more robust testing.
Right now we've got a number of hospitals that are already at capacity. We're setting up an off-site field hospital at TCF, working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the vice president, who's been very helpful and we're really grateful for that. But we know right now that we are going day-to-day-to-day in on terms of having the N95 masks, gowns, gloves for our front line. And that's, I think, where we're spending so much of our energy trying to get more out of the stockpile, trying to contract with anyone where we can get these materials have Michigan businesses ramping up production.
WALLACE: President Trump says that the federal government, the national stockpile, is the second line of defense, that it's basically up to the states to prepare for these emergencies.
Here he is on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The states should be building. We're a backup. We're not an orderly clerk, we're a backup. And we've done an unbelievable job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And the feds, the president said yesterday, just sent 300 ventilators to Michigan. So does the president have a point about where the prime responsibility here lies?
WHITMER: Well, let me start with this. I'm grateful for the help that we've gotten. The 300 ventilators will save 300 lives, maybe 600 if we can use one vent for two people, like doctors are working on here in Michigan.
But I will say this, not having a national strategy where there is one policy for the country as opposed to a patchwork based on whomever the governor is, is something that I think is creating a more porous situation where Covid-19 will go longer and more people will get sick and -- and, sadly, more lives may get lost. And that's precisely why I think we all have to do our jobs.
We are not one another's enemy. The enemy is Covid-19. And it has to be all hands on deck, from the federal level, to the state level, to the local level. And that's precisely what we're trying to do because Covid-19, as I said, doesn't discriminate on party line or state line, and that's why we have to have a national strategy and we all have to be working on the same team.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on that in a second. But, first of all, I want to ask you about another aspect of this crisis, and that is the economic crisis. Michigan is getting hit hard in that side, too. And 311,000 people filed for new unemployment claims just this last week. If this goes on, the staying at home, businesses closed down, if it goes on through April, if it goes on into May, how close is your state to economic collapse?
WHITMER: Well, I mean, there's no question this is -- we'll all going to have economic suffering because of Covid-19. That's not unique to one part of the country or another.
But what I can say is that the longer we're combating this, the harder it's going to be on our economy. And that's why we've acted swiftly and aggressively to have a policy that hopefully shortens the amount of time that we're confronting Covid-19, lessons the number of people that get sick and it lessens the number of fatalities.
But we need that kind of a response in a -- in a broader sense across the country because the longer this goes on, the harder it's going to be on all of our economies.
I do have a lot of people that are out of work now. A lot of businesses that may not open yet, again. And all these decisions weigh heavily on me. But, at the end of the day, I know I've got to listen to the epidemiologists and the scientists and the brilliant minds who can tell us what the trajectory looks like. And the shorter we make it, the better for our health and the better for our economy.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on something you said earlier, talking about the patchwork national response. You and President Trump have had a dust-up over his policies in the last few weeks.
Here's some of the things that you have said about him.
You've called the president's policies -- excuse me -- "patchwork," "inconsistent," and "lackadaisical."
And, not surprisingly, he's fired back at you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All she does is -- she has no idea what's going on and all she does is say, oh, it's the federal government's fault. And we've taken such great care of Michigan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You -- he has also called you "Governor Half Whitmer." Now, you say you don't want to waste time on fighting with the president, but you have been critical, saying that things like testing, like stay-at-home orders, like use of the Defense Production Act, it has to be done more on a national level than on a state-by-state basis.
WHITMER: I think that's true and I think that's a fair analysis. None of the comments that I've made have been a personal attack in nature. I don't do that kind of thing. I got elected in a state that voted for President Trump or 2016 and then voted overwhelmingly for me. I won by almost ten points in 2018.
I don't wage those kind of political attacks. What I do, though, is I speak truth to power. And the fact of the matter is, it's not a national patchwork policy, it's patchwork because we're leaving it to the governors. If we had a national strategy, I think it would be better for us in the long run. And that is just, I think, an analysis of the science and the facts and what's going on across our country. And I think that -- you know, that's a fair thing to observe.
I've spoken with the president. I've spoken with the vice president many times, the Army Corps, FEMA, and we're grateful for any federal partnership we can get. I'm doing my job. And part of my job is telling people what I've learned, what I think we can do better, and what we are going to continue to do to protect people.
WALLACE: I've got -- and I don't want to spend a lot of time on this. I've only got -- I've got less than a minute. But it -- Joe Biden now says that you're on his short list of possible running mates. Is there some politics being played here, both you towards the president and the president towards you?
WHITMER: You know, not on my part. I can just tell you this, I didn't ask to be thrust into the national spotlight. I, you know, don't -- don't like attacks, frankly. But at the end of the day, my job -- I've been on this job for 15 months. My job is to do everything I can do to protect the 10 million people in Michigan. That means locking arms with everyone who is going to be an ally and welcoming all people that want to be helpful. And that's where we're asking for help, nationally.
Michigan is a hot spot. We need assistance. And I'm grateful for any partnership at the federal level or any partnerships with businesses that want to help out because we desperately need PPE. Lives on the line here.
WALLACE: Governor Whitmer, thank you. Thanks for joining us. We wish you and your state of Michigan all the best in the coming days.
Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the huge federal response to the epidemic and the political battle over how those trillions of your dollars will be spent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's called a House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt and in the end the people doing the witch hunt have been losing and they've been losing by a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting up a new oversight committee which President Trump promptly dismissed as more partisan politics.
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
Former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, and Guy Benson of Fox News Radio.
Congressman Chaffetz, what's wrong with Speaker Pelosi setting up a committee on the coronavirus? Congress has passed $2 trillion in taxpayer money to throw at, to hopefully respond to the virus. Doesn't some congressional oversight make sense?
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND FORMER CONGRESSMAN (R-UT): Well, there should be congressional oversight, but there already is an oversight committee. I used to chair it. There are also other committees, like financial services and others.
This seems premature. It seems like an aggressive move, if you will, to give some additional powers before they've been able to even execute and start on this. And I remind people that the 9/11 Commission, I think, started something like a year after 9/11 actually happened.
So, yes to oversight, but we already have an oversight committee. It's the second-largest committee and all of Congress and it spends nearly $10 million and yet Pelosi wants to have another committee already. It doesn't make sense.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, Speaker Pelosi said the other day, as President Trump fiddles, Americans are dying. And one could argue that Washington was so caught up in February with the impeachment trial that that slowed the response to the coronavirus. So can you understand why President Trump wouldn't exactly welcome a congressional committee -- another congressional committee set up by Nancy Pelosi?
JANE HARMAN, DIRECTOR, WILSON CENTER AND FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN (D-CA): I suppose I can understand it. But what's important is that the $2 trillion rescue package, which blows a hole for generations in our deficit and debt, be managed properly. And that's what she's trying to do. Yes, there is an oversight committee chaired by Carolyn Maloney, who was elected to Congress when I was in 1992 and she's very able, but Pelosi's trying to focus on a way to tunnel all the brain cells on this one problem. Whether she'll succeed, I don't know, but it is important that there be oversight. $500 billion in this $2 trillion bill are managed by the Treasury Department and they may go to cronies.
HARMAN: Hopefully they won't, but as Pelosi says, where there's a lot of money there can be a lot of mischief. And it matters that this money get out fast and it get to the people who need it.
And just one more point, Chris, the blame game is not helpful. This virus isn't targeting us about -- by our political registration, just as terrorism doesn't. And there was a terror attack in France today, five people were killed or wounded by some crazy guy carrying a knife and we better be watching what's going on in the world at the same time as we are making this relief package work.
WALLACE: Well, we -- let's talk about some of the subjects. I just mentioned impeachment. And speaking of that, late Friday, President Trump notified Congress that he is firing Michael Atkinson, who is the former -- now-former inspector general of the intelligence community. And yesterday President Trump left no doubt about why he did it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He took this terrible, inaccurate whistle-blower report, right, and he brought it to Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Guy, I guess it was just a matter of time before President Trump fired Atkinson, wasn't it?
GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM and "THE GUY BENSON SHOW": Definitely. This was not a surprising development. It was also announced and deployed in the middle of this crisis, so I think under other circumstances, it would probably be the biggest story in Washington this weekend. Instead, it's sort of getting short shrift.
I think it's interesting because your seeing predictable responses mostly along party lines, but not completely. Senator Susan Collins from Maine has been critical of the decision. The inspector general from the DOJ, Michael Horowitz, also critical of this decision, although it's interesting that we're talking about inspector's general broadly to the previous topic on the panel, in addition to having the House Oversight Committee already in existence, there are also inspectors general to oversee the $2 trillion in the response of the administration. Part of the reason why I think Congressman Chaffetz is right, this smells a bit of politics.
WALLACE: Well, speaking of politics, let's talk about the presidential election, because primaries are being moved back, the Democratic Convention has now been moved from July until August at the earliest and there is talk about whether there could be changes because of the November election if this goes on, whether there might need to be more or exclusively mail-in voting.
President Trump was asked about at this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Know because I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting. I think people should vote with I.D. -- voter I.D. It shouldn't be mail-in voting. It should be, you go to a booth and you probably display yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman Chaffetz, you know that there are going to be some Democrats, and certainly Joe Biden, who appears now that he's going to be the Democratic nominee, who are going to accuse the president and Republicans of voter suppression there.
CHAFFETZ: Well, that's not true. Donald Trump is exactly right. Voter -- all -- submission of this via mail is -- is just ripe for fraud and abuse. Nancy Pelosi introduced HR-1. It was her first bill of the 116 Congress. And I remind people that Mitch McConnell said that this was purely a power grab. She wants to nationalize these elections.
I do believe that you should present yourself and identification to be able to vote. And there's a way to pull that off and start working on now. No doubt elections are going to be different, but you should authenticate the vote. That's what you have to do. And when you go to mail-in ballots, you can authenticate it to the same degree you could if you present yourself in person.
HARMAN: Yes. Yes. Can I respond?
WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, your thoughts about mail-in voting?
HARMAN: Couldn't disagree more. I come from California, 40 million voters statewide mail voting. I've done it myself since leaving Congress because I'm basically based in Washington, where I run the Wilson Center, still proud to be up California resident.
Oregon, Washington have this. You could do it in spots in the high-density cities. There are seven months between now and the election. States better get on it.
And the other point to mention is that although Jason is right, that by the Constitution, states regulate the time and manner of elections. The national government, through the Department of Health and -- the DHS has been helping states manage cyber intrusions in their voting systems and states are taking the help. So the federal government could be very helpful here. And we need to have a fair and free election, not just for president, but for a third of the Senate and the entire House.
WALLACE: Guy, you get the final comment and less than a minute, your thoughts about mail-in voting? I mean it does go on in a lot of states around the country. What if we were to go more exclusively to that if social distancing is still an issue come November?
BENSON: Well, I think ballot harvesting is one of the concerns here when it comes to election integrity. I'm in favor of contingency planning. I think we haven't seen that in Congress were members still can't vote remotely in the middle of an emergency. I think that's nuts, frankly. So looking ahead to November, yes, let's be careful, let's think about this potentially as a one-time solution for some states, but it should not be dictated top down from Washington and there should be real safeguards on fraud.
WALLACE: I have a feeling this is a debate that's going to continue, but not today.
Thank you, panel.
HARMAN: Thank you.
WALLACE: See you next Sunday.
Up next, millions of us have been put in isolation, but that doesn't mean we're alone. So many are taking to the Internet to make music and to lift spirits. And we'll show you when we come right back.
WALLACE: America together. It's about getting through this crisis and looking out for each other. So where we usually bring you our "Power Player of the Week," we're instead going to start telling you stories of people reaching out in these challenging times.
WALLACE (voice over): It starts with a single note. Then, more notes. Then voices. Then, more voices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Somewhere over the rainbow.
WALLACE: Musicians around the world reaching out to keep us connected.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): What the world needs now, is love sweet love.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I saw Emeline (ph). I'll do that.
WALLACE: Making Saturday night into request night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Don't want to walk away from Emeline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Play him for the weekend. OK. All right, it goes like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Oh, (INAUDIBLE) young, but I'm not that (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: Making any night a dance party.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Gonna get through this. We'll all get through. Yes, we'll get back --
WALLACE: While people at home cope and share their own works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I hate (ph) toilet paper, toilet paper, toilet paper. (INAUDIBLE) toilet paper. It's my shirona (ph).
WALLACE: Reminding us to stay home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother you're stayin' inside, stayin' inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Home till the virus dies out. Home, till the groceries run out. Home, till the wine's all drunk, we're stuck at our houses.
WALLACE: And helping us feel a little bit better about being stuck there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Well, I know where I'm going to be. I'm going to be here stuck inside this house with you.
WALLACE: Each week, single notes, in our own symphony.
WALLACE: And keep those videos coming.
Now, this program note.
Tune into Fox News Channel tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern for a special hour called "America Together." Stories showcasing communities coming together in these challenging times.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you right back here next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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