instead of asking coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci questions about testing, contagion, medical recommendations, etc., Sean Hannity only sought reassurance that Donald Trump is doing a heckuva job.
Hannity’s first question:
HANNITY: The travel ban and the quarantine that the president did within three weeks. Do you believe - was the fastest ever, do you believe it likely prevented thousands of Americans from contracting the virus and was a smart thing to do?
HANNITY: But it was unprecedented. You've never seen anything like it. I've never seen anything like it, right?
Fauci agreed yes, it was the right thing to do and no, he has not seen anything like it. But that’s because “the unique situation with China” was that “they were the sole source of that at first.”
However, Fauci also made it clear – which Hannity ignored – that a travel ban, alone, is not sufficient:
FAUCI: When you do a travel ban, whether or not you're really going to interfere with any aspect of an outbreak, because you might delay it, but what's going to happen is that you'll wind up having a big outbreak anyway. That's true. When you have multiple different countries at the same time who have outbreaks and you can't exclude the entire world.
Hannity blew right past that and on to Trump’s economic response, even though Fauci is a medical doctor, not an economist.
HANNITY: Well, the president was called xenophobic. We're in a political season, so everything has to be seen through that prism of politics. In 238 days, there's an election. But now, we have approved billions of dollars for every aspect of this. The president and his economic team have put aside -- putting aside money specifically for industries directly impacted, for hourly workers that are impacted. So, if they're not feeling well, they're not going to lose their job. There are no co-pays to get a test. That's fairly unprecedented, too. Did the president do the right thing in a timely manner on these issues?
The ever-diplomatic Fauci called that “an important decision” because “if a person is infected or exposed, they need to stay home.” To make that feasible, “they have to have some sort of safety net … and that's what we did,” he said.
Finally, Hannity got around to thinking about scared and sick Americans – but really as a way to suggest the pandemic is not much of a threat except to those about to die anyway:
HANNITY: I have one more very important question. So, is it -- so the average age mortality for corona is 80. So, if this virus is --
HANNITY: -- impacting people with compromised immune systems, underlying other medical conditions are the most vulnerable. What about the other 99 percent? If people got the virus, worst case scenario, how dangerous is it to them compared maybe to the regular virus -- regular flu?
Fauci made it clear the coronavirus is something to be taken much more seriously:
FAUCI: OK. So that's a good question. About 80 percent of the people who get infected will do well. They'll get sick. They're going to be uncomfortable. They're not going to feel well. But they're going to spontaneously recover. About 15 percent of them, according to the data from China, Korea, et cetera, that those are individuals that are going to get into trouble and the mortality in that group is very high.
But, Sean, to make sure your viewers get an accurate idea about what goes on, you mentioned seasonal flu. The mortality for seasonal flu is 0.1. The mortality for this is about 2, 2.5 percent. It's probably lower than that. It's probably closer to 1.
But even if it's 1, it's ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu. You got to make sure that people understand that.
But Hannity made no effort to make sure viewers understand that. He returned to trying to make Trump look good.
HANNITY: No, no, no. I think so. Now, are we doing everything possible that you would do up to this point?
Again, Fauci was diplomatic but he hardly gave Dear Leader the ringing endorsement Hannity obviously hoped for. Instead of asking for specifics on how the response might improve, Hannity ended the interview.
FAUCI: You know, I believe so. I mean, always, when you have an outbreak, there's a little bit of the fog of war associated with that. You're trying to do the right thing, you're trying to keep up with an evolving situation. But I think in the context --
HANNITY: All right.
FAUCI: -- of what we're being challenged with, I think everybody is doing really well.
HANNITY: All right. Dr. Fauci, you're a voice of reason. Thank you for being with us.
You can see Hannity’s priorities on display below, from the March 10, 2020 Hannity.