October 1, 2020

WVU suspends in-person classes amid COVID-19 surge

This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” September 8, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: President Trump just wrapping up his speech in the battleground state of Florida, where he just extended a ban on oil drilling off the Florida coast, this as the race continues to tighten, the president and Joe Biden now tied at 48 percent apiece in Florida among likely voters in a new NBC/Marist poll.

We are also watching Wall Street, the Dow taking a hit, as the battle over stimulus drags on, diving over 600 points a day, the tech-heavy Nasdaq also getting hit very hard, more than 4 percent, the fourth — the third straight session in a row, plunging 4 percent, now in correction territory.

We have got a lot more and markets coming up.

Welcome, everyone. I’m Charles Payne, in for Neil Cavuto, and this is YOUR WORLD.

Phil Keating is in Jupiter, Florida, with more on the president’s message to voters — Phil.

PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Charles.

President Trump’s motorcade should be pulling into the West Palm Beach International Airport just about right now. He spoke at the historic Jupiter Lighthouse for about 25 minutes today, claiming the torch of environmentalism.

Air Force One, sometime this hour, we expect, will then fly to North Carolina for a campaign event in Winston-Salem. The White House is touting its budget proposal on environmental protection and conservation, specifically a $250 million infrastructure construction plan to fund on an annual basis the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

Over the past several years, there have been debilitating and marine-life killing algae blooms on the St. Johns River, as well as in Fort Myers on the Caloosahatchee River, each one triggered directly from massive water releases from Lake Okeechobee and all of the agricultural fertilizers that end up being flushed out to both sides of the state.

And the president today actually made some news here regarding offshore drilling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In a few moments, I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic Coast, as well as the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEATING: Also today, the Department of Interior is touting its record on eliminating species from the Endangered Species Act, saying, since 2017, 11 species, including the Hawaiian goose and the manatee, have been removed from that list.

However, of course, Democratic lawmakers on the state and local level here in Florida today welcomed the president with a scathing press release, saying, his environmental record is disastrous, and he’s being disingenuous for claiming it isn’t — back to you, Charles.

PAYNE: Phil, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign, well, they have been hitting the president hard as well over his coronavirus response. Joe Biden and the president will both be campaigning in Michigan this week.

Jacqui Heinrich is in Wilmington, Delaware, with more — Jacqui.

JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Afternoon, Charles.

Well, today, there are no in-person events, but the Biden campaign is still responding to President Trump out in Florida today, telling Floridians ahead of the president’s event not to expect a plan from President Trump on how to overcome the virus or put Floridians back to work.

Biden wrote: “With more than 11,000 deaths, 600,000 cases, and 3.6 million workers across the state who have filed for unemployment benefits since March, it is clear that Floridians have been hurt by President Trump’s inability to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

Upcoming travel signals a pretty major shift in campaign strategy post- Labor Day. Yesterday, Biden and Harris split up to tackle two swing states, and they’re back in the air tomorrow. Biden will be heading to battleground Michigan. Thursday, Harris is heading to Florida.

Former President Barack Obama is also getting more involved, tweeting this conversation with Senator Harris today:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I work out every morning, regardless of how much sleep I have had. It’s just the best way to start the day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEINRICH: The Biden campaign also put out two new ads today as part of this week’s $47 million ad blitz across nine battleground states.

Biden’s big spending comes amid reports that the Trump campaign is hitting a cash crunch, President Trump today saying that he will spend his own money if he has to — Charles.

PAYNE: Jacqui, thank you very much.

With just 56 days ago to the election, the battle for these battleground states is now in high gear. So, how are things shaking out in states like Florida, where the race is now a tossup?

With me now, RealClearPolitics’ Susan Crabtree.

Susan, 48-48. The polls, I’m not always interested in the numbers, but the direction, I think, is something that informs us. And it does feel like right now President Trump has that momentum going for him.

SUSAN CRABTREE, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, yes, Joe Biden still has a sizable lead in the RealClearPolitics average nationally.

But in the battlegrounds, that’s where it really matters, and the race is significantly tightening in all eight battleground states. We see it within the margin of error, all under five points, in all eight states.

And if you — it’s interesting, if you look at what the Biden campaign is saying, that they want to — where they’re targeting Georgia and Arizona and Texas. That’s what they’re saying, but what are they doing? They’re going to — they’re traveling to Minnesota, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

These are the key battlegrounds. And, as you saw today, with the NBC/Marist poll, like you mentioned, Charles, 48 to 48 percent, a dead heat in Florida. And that’s why we see both President Trump there today and then Kamala Harris traveling there this week as well.

PAYNE: Right.

CRABTREE: I think the most significant thing about that NBC poll is the Hispanic vote.

And that is really key, obviously, in Florida. And you have Trump besting Biden with the Hispanic, Latino voters 46 to 50 percent. And he has 50 percent. And it’s pretty significant.

PAYNE: Yes. Here’s the thing, though. It is significant, but I read an article in The Miami Herald where they’re worried because the Hispanic vote — listen, Hillary Clinton got the majority of it, but we know the Cuban voters typically lean Republican. Many of them like President Trump.

And it’s hard to turn out. I think it’s the ability to get these voters to actually come out and vote is where the sticky part is. And President Trump today, with this environmental move, he’s kind of keeping the Biden campaign off their focus, I think, and sort of off-kilter a little bit.

And the door-to-door effort, I think, could be one of the deciding factors that’s not getting a lot of publicity.

CRABTREE: Yes, I think the — with this COVID time, I think it’s completely unprecedented.

And the mail-in voting is going to be key across the country. You have more mail-in voting than we have ever seen before, and a lot of distrust in The Postal Service as well, so, both of those factors, really unprecedented situation.

But you still see — I mean, that is so significant with the Latino voters in Florida, whereas Hillary Clinton, back in 2016, she led with Latino voters 62-35 percent for Trump, and Trump still managed to pull off a win there with 120,000 votes, very, very slim one in Florida.

PAYNE: Right. Right.

CRABTREE: And Florida is extremely key for him. He has to win Florida with its 29 electoral votes.

PAYNE: Absolutely.

Susan, thank you very much. It’s 56 days, but it feels like we’re going to be talking about this every day. You can feel the anxiety out there.

Meanwhile, D.C. stimulus talks are stalling, Wall Street obviously selling, with the Nasdaq now in correction territory. That means it’s down 10 percent from the recent high. So, is Main Street worrying?

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAYNE: The Senate is back in action today.

And Senate Republicans are trying to get a new relief bill going, this as the Nasdaq has collapsed in just three sessions into correction territory.

I want to go to FOX’s Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill with the very latest — Chad.

CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Charles.

Well, the Senate Republicans, they have struggled all summer long to try to get 51 Republican senators to coalesce around a coronavirus bill. We don’t know that they have it just yet.

But there’s going to be a procedural vote on this bill that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, released today. That’s going to be on Thursday. And, basically, what McConnell is doing here, he is daring Senate Democrats to vote against this bill.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Maybe they will bring back their Goldilocks act and say, our multi-hundred-billion-dollar proposal is too small or too skinny, even though Democrats just passed a piecemeal bill for The Postal Service.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERGRAM: Now, this bill cost $300 billion. That’s cheap, considering they were discussing more than $1 trillion a few days ago.

It includes liability reform tied to coronavirus and an extra $300 in cash each week for those off the job.

Now, Democrats don’t like this bill at all. In fact, Patrick Leahy, Democratic senator from Vermont, was just on the Senate floor a few moments ago. And he described this bill as — quote — “anemic.”

Keep in mind that this bill is really designed by the Senate Republican leadership to give Republicans who are facing competitive reelection bids in swing states air cover to show, Charles, that they can vote for something on coronavirus this fall.

Somebody else who is in cycle this fall who has to show that he’s fighting to deal with coronavirus is Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader — back to you.

PAYNE: Chad, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, Wall Street, it keeps reeling, as Washington keeps getting nowhere with COVID relief, the Nasdaq, as I mentioned, now in correction territory.

I want to bring in market watcher Kathryn Rooney Vera on whether or not investors are going to get any relief from this sell-off.

You know, Kathryn Rooney Vera, it is intriguing that the Congress and Washington, D.C., they do seem to pay attention when the market starts to collapse, don’t they?

KATHRYN ROONEY VERA, BULLTICK CAPITAL MARKETS HOLDINGS: Yes, that’s a real problem for them. And that gets some — that gets them going. Let’s just say it that way.

Certainly, there is going to be some form of stimulus in the pipeline. It’s very unlikely that consumption levels can maintain themselves at the current pace, Charles, with slightly under 10 percent unemployment.

Heretofore, consumption has been largely based on government stimuli, for better or for worse. And I suspect that more is in the very near-term pipeline.

PAYNE: So, then, what do you make of it, though? Because they started off $2 trillion apart.

And now we have got this so-called skinny bill, which I know may appease certain folks who are in elections right now and other conservatives who are worried about debt and deficits. But, by the same token, can you realistically say to the country, hey, we want to have enough money for more small businesses, to help schools reopen, to take care of liabilities?

I don’t know if they’re going in the right direction, and the clock is ticking.

ROONEY VERA: Well, Charles, we’re still trying to digest $2.7 trillion of stimulus as a reaction to COVID.

And we’re in de facto a V-shaped recovery. So, if we’re to debate whether or not a stimulus is actually required, I think that’s a very, very credible debate.

But we’re not, unfortunately. Both Republicans and Democrats are — instead of debating the irresponsibility of our fiscal status, we’re talking about not if we should, but the magnitude of the next stimulus bill. We haven’t even digested the first one.

PAYNE: Well, to your point earlier, though, we would not have had consumption if it wasn’t for the stimulus bill.

I mean, I think that’s pretty obvious…

ROONEY VERA: Yes.

PAYNE: … that people wouldn’t have spent money if they didn’t know checks were coming, if they didn’t know relief was coming.

Now that people know it’s not coming, they’re going to be probably sitting on — our savings rate is the third highest level it’s ever been. So, if people start to sit on the meager amounts of money they already have, and everyone starts to pull back as we go into the winter, I’m not sure how that’s a positive recipe for the economy.

ROONEY VERA: But what at cost — at what cost, Charles?

And I think this gets into a bit of an ideological debate, but there is a phenomenon called crowding out of the private sector by the government sector. And you have another thing called creative destruction.

So I do believe we need to let the free markets work. And there’s one statistic that I always turn to, Charles. And that’s that 30 percent of personal income now comes from government benefits. Is that a place that we want to be in the United States?

Is that the direction that we want to continue to turn? And right now, consumption has been primarily, as you mentioned, driven by stimuli, when, more likely than not, it should be run by the private sector and the government reducing itself in size, rather than augmenting its size.

PAYNE: Yes. No, no, it’s a tough one.

If it wasn’t for this one — once-in-every-hundred-year plague and this forced government lockdown, I might be in lockstep with you.

(LAUGHTER)

PAYNE: But, on this one, I think Congress is making a mistake. And I think people with jobs are underestimating how painful it is for people whose job went out of business.

Like, your business you worked at does not exist anymore, and an economist is telling you to toughen up, don’t worry about it, the free market is there.

It’s not. My business is gone. It’s not. They won’t let me open the restaurant. There is no real free enterprise or free markets when you have so much more and so many of these outside exogenous factors. And that’s what worries me, is that Congress is going to let this thing get a lot worse, and then they’re going to pass something that’s really going to make the fiscal conservatives upset.

ROONEY VERA: But don’t you think then, Charles, that we shouldn’t be subsidizing the major conglomerates?

The Federal Reserve is buying in the secondary market bonds from Apple and from GE — from GM. These are subsidized national champions. We see this in the emerging markets.

So, my contention is, corporate socialism isn’t something that we want to dabble with. So, I agree that we need to have some improvement with regard to enhancing refinancing to small and medium businesses. But that hasn’t been the case. It’s been to the benefit of the major conglomerates.

PAYNE: Yes. Yes. That’s been a side issue that — it’s sincere. And I think a lot of it had to do with the urgency factor of getting this stuff out there. But the clock is ticking.

Kathryn Rooney Vera, always a pleasure.

ROONEY VERA: Thank you, Charles.

PAYNE: Meanwhile, folks, eight weeks out, President Trump says he will step in with his own campaign cash, if he has to.

The fallout from that is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAYNE: Talk about indigestion.

Forget about making reservations at your favorite New York restaurant. A new survey showing more than half of restaurants across the state could be gone for good. That means never coming back.

We will be back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have much more money than we had last time going into the last two months, I think double and triple. But if we needed any more, I would put it up personally, like I did in the primaries last time.

In the 2016 primaries, I put up a lot of money. If I have to, I will do it here. But we don’t have to, because we have double and maybe even triple what we had a number of years ago, four years ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAYNE: President Trump considering putting some of his own money into the 2020 race. How big of a deal is that?

Let’s ask Democratic strategist Jenna Arnold, Axios reporter Stef Kight, and GOP strategist Joseph Pinion.

Joe, Joseph, what do you think? Is that a sign of desperation or a sign of his commitment to winning?

JOSEPH PINION, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think it’s a sign of his commitment to say that he’s in this to the end.

But I also think it’s a psychic nod and a wink to that donor class. I think, when you take someone out to dinner, no one ever really wants to reach into their pocket and spend their own money. And even billionaires running for president don’t want to spend their own money when they’re running for president.

But I think it’s a message to those other billionaires and to also those grassroots supporters that say that, hey, give until it hurts. We’re in for the fight of our lives right now.

PAYNE: You know, Jenna, it’s interesting.

For years, Democrats used to complain about the money Republicans had. And now the Democrats seem to be the ones who are awash in cash. What difference will it make with the outcome?

JENNA ARNOLD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I mean, I assume that it will ultimately have a significant impact in terms of on-air and online buys targeting swing voters.

So, heading into the final months, it’s a bit — it’s a significant flag that the Democrats are doing so well, and Trump is signaling to his community that he needs help.

PAYNE: And, Stef, of course, if you go back to the prior election, Hillary Clinton significantly spent more money than then candidate Trump. And we saw what the results were.

Is it more about organization these days, commitment from volunteers than it is about absolute cash?

STEF KIGHT, AXIOS: I mean, cash is always going to be important.

And you’re right that, in 2016, Hillary Clinton raised far more — far more funds than Donald Trump did. And it’s interesting, because, going into 2020, it was looking like Donald Trump really would have had the edge when it comes to cash flow, when it comes to having the money and resources available to really go hard this election cycle.

So, it is significant that he’s now saying that he would consider putting his own money into it. And the fact that, while he is committed to winning, it also does show that Democrats have had — made quite some progress over the past few months in raising funds, that Biden had a significant haul in August, record-setting numbers of funds coming in.

So, while money isn’t the only thing that matters these days, and being able to use social media and other tactics that maybe aren’t as expensive…

PAYNE: Right.

KIGHT: … money is still going to be a significant factor here.

PAYNE: And, to be clear, Biden just recently — the Biden/Harris ticket just recently started to push hard, whereas President Trump has been raising a lot of money.

Both sides — we’re going to shatter all records. We know that.

I want to kind of switch gears here because of what’s happening in these major cities across the United States, President Trump and Joe Biden both addressing these protests over the past week.

Now, in Rochester, New York just saw — Rochester, New York, just recently, just a few moments ago, the police chief there resigned, this in the wake of these uprisings over the death of Daniel Prude.

And, Joe, he took the entire command team. They’re all gone. The mayor says she has no idea who’s in charge. I mean, we’re seeing just pure anarchy.

And so how does this impact the election, Joe?

PINION: I mean, look, we’re clearly a nation in pain.

But we have to remind ourselves that retribution is not justice. Vengeance is not atonement. And when people like John Lewis are talking about getting into good trouble, good trouble is not mirroring the type of intimidation tactics that black people took to the streets and took to lunch counters to try to drive out of society.

So, you cannot in any way think that you’re going to mirror the ugliness you seek to cure the world of and think that you’re going to build the future that we all deserve.

So, I think, right now, President Trump is leaning into the fact that you can expect more of this if you were to elect a Biden and Harris ticket. And I think the reality is, as I have said many times, that every time a business burns, a new Trump supporter is born.

But now I think every time a family has to flee a restaurant in terror, you’re dealing with the fact that those never-Trumpers might find themselves running back into the warm embrace of Donald Trump.

PAYNE: Jenna, it feels like Joe Biden’s having a difficult time, because he’s walking his thin line.

He wants to say he’s for law and order. He also has been really reluctant to critique some of the violence that we’re seeing, and many Democrats saying, hey, there was some survey taken of some sort of evidence that only 7 percent of these things were violent.

I mean, that’s a big number, right? We’re talking about dozens and dozens of instances where either Molotov cocktails are thrown or even issues where — that Joe just referenced — where people are having a dinner and they’re chased out of the restaurant and humiliated.

I mean, aren’t you concerned about that?

ARNOLD: I think the outstanding question that we all need to stay very disciplined in asking is, why are all of these protests happening to begin with?

Martin Luther King did — gracefully explained that peace is not the absence of tension, but it’s the presence of justice. Folks that are taking to the streets are infuriated, not just about the amount of people who consistently have their lives taken away from them at the hands of law enforcement and systematic violence, but whose voice just continue to be neglected by those who have been put in power.

So I think the real outstanding question is, are these people being heard? Are they being responded to? And, yes, I don’t condone, as a Quaker, any sort of violence, be it at a glass window or any sort of aggravated verbal violence, but I think it’s a reflection of all of the cracks in the system, be it in Rochester or Portland.

PAYNE: Right.

ARNOLD: I think anything that falls under the law and order umbrella needs to be examined with a very, very big magnifying glass.

PAYNE: You know, do I have time for Stef?

I’m sorry. Sorry. We got to leave it there.

Listen, real quick, Stef, listen, that answer is what infuriates me. I know 57 years personally of the frustrations that black people are dealing with. I just don’t know that chasing people out of restaurants or violence is — I think that muffles the message, which, by the way, is resonating, if you let it resonate.

KIGHT: Absolutely.

I think there are a lot of American voters who agree with you and who see the violence in some of these cities and see the destruction. And that is going to influence their vote in November. They are watching that. And we’re seeing in the polls that more and more Americans are saying that law and order and the unrest that we’re seeing in these cities is going to be a significant factor for them in November.

And we have seen both sides take advantage of this. We have seen Donald Trump continue to tout law and order. And we have also seen Joe Biden come out and say that he does not support…

PAYNE: Yes. All right, well, it’s really an amazing time in this country.

And thank you all very much for this panel.

In the meantime, we’re going to talk about partying in a pandemic. Another major university suspends in classes — in-person classes, this as it would like to keep its students and kids safer on campus and send them home. But is that the right answer?

We have got a top doctor who does have the answers next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAYNE: Class dismissed.

West Virginia University putting a temporary hold on in-person classes, after a slew of outbreaks and fears that partying over the weekend will cause even more.

So, is this the right move, to keep students on campus, instead of sending them home?

Joining me now, Johns Hopkins University Physician Dr. Marty Makary.

Dr. Makary, all these universities seem to be grappling with this. Some people believe that, while the cases are high, there have been zero hospitalizations and that sending students home may be an overreaction.

What do you think is the right course here?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, I agree, Charles, we don’t want infected students in our airports, sharing bathrooms with limited ventilation in ride-share services, going through the TSA and traveling. It’s just not a good idea. It’s not good for public health.

It creates more vectors of transmission. So, dispersing 500 kids back into the United States through modes of — multiple modes of transportation is bad for public health. And at the University of West Virginia, there’s now 500 students after just a week of classes that are positive, and the positivity rate has gone from 1 to 14 percent.

So, we need to address it, but they need to stay put. They need to find a place where they can quarantine. And they need to not travel, until their symptoms resolve. And, of course, in the interim, if they get very sick, that’s when they go straight to a doctor or an emergency room.

PAYNE: Yes, I mean, we see sort of like the NBA thing with the bubble, if you will.

I mean, I guess these campuses are going to become de facto bubbles, and maybe also experiments in herd immunity of sorts.

MAKARY: It’s amazing.

The schools are doing a tremendous job, not just grade schools and high schools, but colleges, in putting all the precautionary measures in place. But all of that falls apart, Charles, with the off-campus parties.

And we’re seeing the spread primarily in the older age group. It’s not from the classroom itself. And if you look at the age distribution of the transmission, it’s not grade schools. It’s not even the early part of junior high schools. It’s the off-campus congregate settings.

So I think schools need to recognize people that have COVID-19, they’re not — it’s not leprosy in biblical times. You don’t just shoo them away. You have got a responsibility to the community.

PAYNE: Yes. And I guess, if we’re going to be realistic, they’re just not going to stop partying. Perhaps there’s a way to keep them on campus.

But they’re just — I just don’t know how you stop them, if they’re allowed to leave campus, from partying.

MAKARY: Well, schools have traditionally had one heavy lever, and that is to kick somebody out of school.

It’s time maybe for them to not just scatter parties, but to create some accountability and say, look, we’re serious. For the time being, we don’t want people gathering in these congregate settings.

Most students are doing the right thing. They’re making tremendous personal sacrifices.

PAYNE: Right.

MAKARY: But it’s a small group that ruins it for the larger student body.

PAYNE: Well, sir, always appreciate your invaluable insight. Thank you very much.

In the meantime, while the school situation remains fluid here, across the pond and in the United Kingdom, students are returning to class for the first time in months.

FOX’s Benjamin Hall has the latest from London.

BENJAMIN HALL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, Charles.

There’s an overwhelming consensus here that there’s more risk to keep children out of school than it is to send them back. And so we have seen 99.7 percent of schools here in the U.K. return to class.

There are precautions in place. There are the bubbles set up to make sure that year groups don’t overlap. There are start times staggered. And in those COVID hot spots in the U.K., high school kids will have to wear masks in communal areas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: But not in the classroom, because that’s clearly nonsensical. You can’t teach with face coverings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HALL: It is widely accepted that coronavirus poses a very small risk to children.

But most experts agree, overwhelmingly, that if children don’t return to school, there will be widespread long-term negative to learning and psychological health.

Nine out of 10 parents say they feel safe sending their children back. But, as you know, Charles, this is not only about education. It’s about the economy. If you get the children back, you can get their parents back into the work force.

And that, at least here in the U.K., has been a major issue — Charles.

PAYNE: Benjamin Hall, thank you very much.

And with politics getting injected into the race for the COVID-19 vaccine, several major drug companies doing something to make sure that the public feels safe.

We will explain next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Biden and his very liberal running mate should immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric.

JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He’s said so many things that aren’t true, I’m worried, if we do have a really good vaccine, people are going to be reluctant to take it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAYNE: As the coronavirus becomes a 2020 election issue, a group of drug company CEOs are pledging that their COVID-19 vaccines will follow the full regulatory path.

With me now is former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan.

Mark, the need — I think it’s really intriguing that four competing companies all in the race for the COVID-19 vaccine thought they had to join together to reassure the public that this is going to be a safe and effective manner that’s always been part of the FDA process.

I mean, are you surprised that they — that it’s come to this?

DR. MARK MCCLELLAN, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: Well, Charles, this is a very important time for the country. And the vaccines are critical to effectively emerging from the pandemic.

So, here we are, just a couple of months before the election, a lot of rhetoric. And I think what you’re seeing from the companies, you’re also going to see from other people. Former FDA commissioners, like me, have all been saying the same thing.

The FDA has a very good process in place that they intend to apply here to make sure the vaccines that are approved for use are safe and effective for the people who are getting them. And that’s really important, so that Americans can have confidence to use the vaccines and get us out of the pandemic.

PAYNE: The FDA process, in and of itself, has been criticized by many for a long time.

It’s the toughest in the world. It takes a long time. You can spend billions of dollars. You got phase one, phase two, phase three, new drug application. And then you only get to sell the drug before — a few years before they rip you off with the generic version.

So, with this Operation Warp Speed,rMD-BO_ has it truncated the process without taking away the integrity of the process?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s truncated the process.

And I know, when you — when people hear words like Operation Warp Speed, they think of something going fast, maybe too fast for safety.

But, Charles, what’s really happened with the vaccine process is that several things that usually happen one after the other are happening at the same time, thanks in part because FDA has laid out some very clear expectations that they want to see a vaccine that is shown to significantly reduce COVID and its severity in a large number of patients before it can be used.

So, they put out that guidance. The National Institutes of Health, working with the companies, have set up some very large clinical trials, 30,000 people or more. They’re enrolling very fast. A number those are under way. More are starting the next month for at least six vaccines over the next few months. That’s unprecedented.

And also unprecedented is, at the same time, the government is going in jointly with the manufacturers on these vaccines to commit to a large-scale supply, tens, hundreds of millions of doses that will be ready to go when or soon after the vaccines are actually approved, when they meet those FDA safety standards.

Normally, all those things happen one after the other, with a lot of uncertainty. Because this is COVID, they’re all happening at the same time. So, it’s not cutting corners, as much as it’s doing things that used to be done sequentially all at the same time.

PAYNE: OK.

I’m thrilled you cleared that up, because I was not — I wasn’t sure until now. Ironically, it makes me feel better about this. But we do have a large swathe of the population, at least a third of Americans, who say they won’t take it.

Whose job is it, whose responsibility is it, the government, drug companies, to sort of reassure the public that this is something worth doing? Because there are a lot of skeptics out there.

MCCLELLAN: Well, there are a lot of skeptics out there.

Even before COVID, there are a lot of people who are skeptical of vaccines, even though FDA’s track record on vaccines is one of a very high level of safety and one that should deserve a lot of confidence.

So, this is another challenge for all of us, Charles, who are involved in this, people like you who are talking to the American public every day, the FDA getting out a very clear understanding to the public of all of these steps that they’re going through to make sure vaccines are safe and effective before they’re used, as well as other experts, medical professionals.

I understand that people have a lot of questions because of the political environment we’re in now. But it’s very important to look at the facts and look at what FDA is actually doing to make sure that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective.

And I think, if we support the FDA in doing what they are expert and very well prepared to do, people should have confidence in the vaccine. It’s still going to be a big effort to communicate to the American public about what’s gone into vaccine development and how and why they should make decisions to use the vaccines.

PAYNE: All right, sir.

Well, you’re right. It’s going to be a big uphill battle, but we appreciate you coming on. And you certainly helped me out a lot today. I appreciate it.

In the meantime, folks, you are looking live at New York City. Your table? Still not ready.

And, according to a new survey, your favorite restaurant could actually be making its last call for good.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAYNE: Point, click, clean.

The next big tech trend during COVID-19 could be a big game-changer for businesses across the country.

To Jeff Flock in Vernon Hills, Illinois, with the very latest — Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: Disinfecting, Charles, people as they enter various venues in this disinfection booth.

Right now, I’m getting about as disinfected as I can be. This is atomized disinfectant here. I’m also getting ozone now coming down from the ceiling of this, as well as what they call far-UVC, ultraviolet light, doesn’t hurt you, but does kill the virus.

Got the people here who have developed it, the president and CEO of the company developing this.

Can you run me through this, Jason, if you would? I’m going to give you the microphone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

FLOCK: I will stand here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

So, obviously, you put your face in front of the silhouette. It read your temperature, and now it’s giving you an approval to enter into the device.

FLOCK: I can go in here. Now, I go in. What do I do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, raise your arms. And you want to take about a six- to-eight-second turn.

So, this way, you’re avoiding any shadowing, so the light can disinfect you. And you have — as you mentioned, you have got that ozone above you at three parts per million. You have got far-UVC, which is 99.97 percent effective, and atomized disinfectant.

FLOCK: Now, just to be clear, this isn’t curing coronavirus.

What this is doing is keeping any of the virus that’s on my hands and on my person in any way from coming into an already sanitized location.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we make front-line-of-defense products.

Companies are going to spend a lot of money disinfecting their — their companies, and that costs a lot of money. But, as soon as you open up the door, the real threat is the people. They’re dragging in that RNA.

FLOCK: Gotcha.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there needs to be technology and devices to prevent…

(CROSSTALK)

FLOCK: This is already in use extensively in the UAE, Charles.

Overseas countries have been early adopters on this.

Dina (ph), tell me. In the U.S., you have some folks that have already purchased and are operating these.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we do.

We have over at the Las Vegas Venetian globe shop. And then we’re also installing them at SeatGeek Stadium here in Bridgeview.

FLOCK: And you have got now universities also, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, quite a few of the different districts have been talking to us readily.

I think, with this, it’ll help close quite a few of those deals.

(LAUGHTER)

FLOCK: Sorry.

And, again, Charles, this is disinfectant, I can get this on me. This is not — this is ingestible, FDA-approved, as well as the light, as well as the ozone.

Anything you can do to try and make the environment safer, I think, is going to be a positive out there — Charles.

PAYNE: Oh, yes, safety is the word. That’s for sure.

Jeff Flock, thank you very much.

And from cleaning up to getting cleaned out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You also know that, when we opened indoor dining in Upstate New York, we had issues. When we opened indoor dining, we had clusters in Upstate New York.

This is not without risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAYNE: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talking about the dangers of reopening indoor dining, this with a new survey showing that nearly two- thirds of New York state restaurants could close for good if they don’t get another round of COVID-19 economic relief.

Let’s get the read on this from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

Laura, I got to say, I’m reading where your county in Long Island has been really aggressive, where New York state, particularly New York City, has not. And you have put out some ads. You have talked about taste Nassau today, dine where it’s fine in Long Island. All seem to be deliberate shots at New York City, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio saying, hey, you know, we’re letting at least 50 percent — our restaurants open, at least 50 percent of them.

Why do you feel it’s so much safer? And what do you think the economic consequences are going to be?

LAURA CURRAN, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK, EXECUTIVE: Hi, Charles. It’s wonderful to be with you again.

And I’m very happy to talk about our fabulous restaurants in Nassau County. So, we’re the first county on Long Island just to the side of New York City. And we want to encourage people to come for much more than pizza and bagels.

We have got fabulous restaurants. We do have indoor dining, 50 percent capacity. And this is really important. It’s important to give people a chance to go out, share a meal with family, with friends, with loved ones.

And it’s also important because it keeps a lot of people working. We need to get this economy going again. I have been an advocate for businesses to reopen and to reopen safely.

And I think our numbers have shown (INAUDIBLE) hospitalization (INAUDIBLE). We have been opening now (INAUDIBLE) reopened more than 100 days. And in that 100 days, our rates have only gone down.

So, I think we’re going to do what we can (INAUDIBLE) and do it safely.

PAYNE: No, it’s a beacon, actually, for a lot of folks in New York City, particularly these restaurant owners.

I had a restaurant owner on my show last week. And she’s desperate. All of them are saying, we’re OK. We have got the sidewalk thing working for us, the pickup stuff, the takeout stuff, but without the ability to go indoors, particularly as it gets cooler, we’re going to go out of business.

I mean, you must speak with the governor. I’m sure you have conversations with Bill de Blasio. Do they ask you about the success that you’re experiencing? And, obviously, from the first moment that this occurred, you took a more pro-business approach toward all of this.

CURRAN: You know, I visited a lot, I visited malls, I visited gyms, I visited bowling alleys and advocated for their safe reopening.

I just did a big tour of movie theaters and saw all of the protocols, independent small movie theaters, big chains, looking at the protocols that they have in place.

And I’m confident that, when they can reopen, they can do it safely. That’s the key. We’re proving that we can do it. We need the economy to come back strong. We need to get that revenue going, getting people working, keeping them working.

It’s very important for all of us. People say, we’re all in this together. Our businesses are a very important part of that.

PAYNE: Have you had a chance, though, to speak with the governor about this at all? Has he asked about your success and maybe using it as something of a template for the rest of the state?

CURRAN: Sure. We speak with our partners at the state all of the time, advocating for businesses to be able to open in a commonsense way. We always get a good reception.

And this is an ongoing process. I think everyone, whatever their municipality or their responsibilities are, want to keep people safe. That’s my goal too. My goal is also to show that we can reopen and reopen in a way that is safe.

We all know those commonsense protocols, the mask, the social distancing. We know they work. We know they’re simple. And we know that we can be nimble and readjust things.

PAYNE: I feel like this is a matter of trust, that you trust businesses to do the right thing, that you trust all of these other folks to do the right thing.

And it’s proven out. You have given them the green light. They’re doing it. Your cases have gone down. People have kept their jobs. And everyone’s moving out of New York City to Nassau County.

Thank you very much, Laura.

CURRAN: Thank you.

PAYNE: Meanwhile, folks, President Trump heading to North Carolina for a rally today, Joe Biden hitting the battleground state of Michigan tomorrow. Folks, the race is heating up, with only eight weeks left.

Neil will be back tomorrow.

You can also, though, catch me 2:00 p.m. Eastern on the FOX Business Network.

Big day for the markets, hammered the last three days. You must check us out, the Nasdaq in correction territory.

Meanwhile, “THE FIVE” starts right now.

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