North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (R) talks with Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson about the current time table of reopening the Tar Heel State amid Coronavirus. Saying “We have to start laying the groundwork for a safe restart of our economy” & that wide spread testing will be “Helpful” in controlling the virus now and “Critical for the next wave that we expect in November or December.” Tillis also called out his Democratic colleagues for their silence on the sexual misconduct allegation facing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Calling out the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats by saying, “You’ve got to go through the due process. But for them to just dispense with it out of hand just suggest to me that there they are. They have different sets of principles for different sets of political situations. And I find it disgusting.”
Guy Benson: Final hour here on the show today on this Wednesday. Thank you for listening. Still to come, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Also curious, Christine, you don’t want to miss that guy Benson show dot com is our Web site. Guy Benson Show dot com. The podcast is free every day. Joining us now is U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, up for reelection in 2020. He serves on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Senate. Welcome back to the show, Senator.
Sen. Tillis: Thank you, guy. Appreciate being here.
Guy Benson: I want to start with your state of North Carolina and the current status of the virus in your state and also the reopening process in your state. It’s governed now by a Democrat Governor Cooper. What are your thoughts on the path to recovery for the Tar Heel State?
Sen. Tillis: I think we have to start laying the groundwork for a safe restart of our economy, which we have had about 10000 cases and about 300 reported over the last 24 hours. But the evidence suggests we’re reaching the peak of the curve. I think that we need to work with the counties and regions across the state, use the best health care information available and start safely opening up businesses that conform to the CDC. COVA task force guidelines. But really get to a point to where we all know that they they care package in the supplemental appropriation can only go so far. And we have to make sure that the economy starts ramping up. Businesses are ramping up. People go back to their jobs. That’s going to be the long term solution to the economic damage they covered, created.
Guy Benson: And the longer that that economic trouble persists, the more pain and I think the deeper the hole is going to get. But as you point out, if there’s going to be a change, it has to be done safely. So that’s sort of a prudential judgment about what’s the pace here that is appropriate. We saw the White House task force in there, gating criteria, three phases. Do you think that that’s basically overall the right approach to striking the balance?
Sen.Tillis: I do. I think that a part of what we have to do is look at innovations and technology that may actually take the reported cases and the risks to another level. I was just on the phone with the North Carolina based company that has a lot of relationships across the country that have technology that can start predicting any potential needs for the hospitals. Seven days before that need actually occurs. If you match up that information with the supply chain, with the PPD and everything that may follow, and then you work with the communities to open up the business, I think that’s the way you can do it on a very, very tailored, focused basis.
Guy Benson: Do you think the testing is where it needs to be yet? Are we still a ways off from that?
Sen. Tillis: Well, testing is ramping up here in North Carolina. We’ve had a couple of companies get FDA approval for the antibody testing. We’ve got LabCorp now who’s had a couple of FDA approvals for rapid tests, even an in-home test that once a manufacturer to scale, you can you could see broad based testing. That’s going to be helpful for this first wave of the virus. But it’s going to be critical for the next wave that we expect in November or December. We think that that wave crest at a much more manageable level. But we have to understand that we’ve got next year and then the following season likely have a vaccine. All those testing is going to give us an idea of what part of the country and what populations are most vulnerable. So we can be a lot more surgical in our response. And we were able to beat this first round.
Guy Benson: We had Senator McConnell on this show on Monday and a few of your colleagues here yesterday. It does seem like the next jumping off point for a political debate about Cauvin 19. Relief from Congress will be how to make states and localities at least partially whole based on all the money that they’re being forced to spend related to the pandemic. And the concern among many conservatives and myself included in this pocket, is that some of these states that have been poorly run and that had all sorts of fiscal problems long before anyone had ever heard of coronavirus, might try to use this opportunity to get some federal largesse and patch some budget holes that they’ve been creating for themselves for years. And I wonder how you think this should be approached where people and states and cities get maybe what they need to get on coronavirus, but not a penny more?
Sen. Tillis: I think that you can bet at the answer in the final part of your question there. We will go back and take a look at well-documented cases for the costs of the response, potentially the cause of some of the revenues in this year based on closures. But you’re absolutely right. And this is very personal to me. God, I don’t know if you followed the time that I was speaker of the House in North Carolina back before I joined the Senate. But we inherited a fiscal mess, a structural deficit, three billion dollar debt to the federal government for unemployment insurance. When we when cobh it hit North Carolina, we had over a billion dollars in the rainy day fund after having spent about a billion dollars for the past hurricane response. And we went from a three billion dollar debt to the federal government to a plus three billion dollar surplus and our unemployment fund. I don’t believe people in North Carolina who work with us to get that that sound footing should be sending money to other states that have problems with our finances long before we even knew what COVA 19 was.
Guy Benson: So let me just jump in, because I just I just want to say this because, Senator, I lived before I moved here to the D.C. area. I lived four years in Chicago, in Illinois. And Illinois is infamous. The pension system is completely broken. The policymakers in that state are completely unwilling to do anything about it. They, in fact, won’t. It’s almost embeded that they can’t do anything about it because the unions run the state. It is a basket case. It has been for a long time. They’ve had their finances downgraded in terms of their credit rating. In North Carolina, it’s a very different story. It’s the opposite side of that coin. You guys made the difficult decisions. Did the responsible things in. If I were a North Carolina citizen and taxpayer, the last thing I would want to do is have all of the hard work that you just laid out, sort of go out the window and Washington say, well, good for you, Pat on the head. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to throw a bunch of money at places like Illinois because it’s a grab bag all of a sudden with money flowing because there’s a crisis that really would sit not well with me.
Sen. Tillis: Well, I agree. I mean, I’ve got a little bit of a track record on this. Back when Puerto Rico was in trouble, we wanted to help the Puerto Rican people. But Puerto Rico mismanage their finances and they were asking for a bailout. They ultimately got some. I voted against that because I felt like I would help them out if. Saw elected officials with the backbone to make the tough decisions that are in the best interest of their citizens that were a lot of North Carolinians. You know, I came in second Republican speaker in 100 hundred years and there was a muscle memory around spend more, tax more, destroy the economy. Before I came in as speaker and I had to go to the people of North Carolina, explain why we were doing it. And I think everyone now is very, very thankful that we did it, because, frankly, if we’d stayed on the same trajectory that we were on in 2010, we would have been in Illinois or in New Jersey are one of the some of these other states that have just not managed within their means. And that’s why North Carolina would let every state’s impacted. The North Carolina is among one of the best states position to come out of this. And I might add. Take advantage of the opportunity for the mistakes that China made and not sharing information with us. The manufacturing opportunities, some of the onshore. And that’s without doubt going to happen. I believe North Carolina is going to be well positioned because we created that framework some eight years ago.
Guy Benson: Senator, since you mentioned China and invoked that situation, what in your opinion is at least one or two of the ways that you think China should be held accountable for the cover up that you just discussed?
Sen. Tillis: Well, first off, I think China is going to be held accountable if we didn’t pass a single bill. I think that private companies are going to reformulate their global supply chains, are going to take a look at that fully burdened cause to respond during this crisis and probably make a decision to bring back of it some some of that onshore to the United States. I think they’re going to look at more friendly, more trustworthy jurisdictions, our partners and our allies in the Pacific Rim and elsewhere. Then we’re going to turn to China, say China. Why did you why did you take the doctor who first suspected that you had a deadly virus in your community and quiet down? He ultimately died. He tried to send a message out to doctors in one province saying where it can cover your face. We’ve got something going around this community. We don’t know what it is. So they shut down the very person. That was an early warning for, though maybe they already knew about it and they were keeping it quiet to begin with. We’ve got to figure out where the virus came from. We’ve got to figure out exactly what timeline they started withholding information. We’ve got to convince the American people and convince businesses that the level of dependance that we have on China for producing pharmaceuticals, protective equipment, medical devices has to change. And I believe that it will change.
Guy Benson: Senator, last question. This has to do with a very separate subject. It has been very fascinating to me to watch what’s happening right now with this allegation against Joe Biden. And you were in the Senate. You had a front row seat to the massive firestorm over Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation process to the Supreme Court, where it seemed like almost the entirety of the Democratic Party, almost the entirety of the media. The news media had a very different standard, let’s say, in terms of who should be believed and how and why versus how they’re treating this serious allegation against the former vise president as we’re learning actually some more corroborating evidence, at least contemporaneous evidence that’s backing up this woman’s story. Tara Reid, since you lived through as a senator, the Kavanaugh Circus, and you’re watching many of your colleagues on the other side who were very vocal, high decibel, preening about believing women. Now, all of a sudden, they are either swiveling completely or ducking their heads down and saying nothing. What’s your response to that?
Sen. Tillis: I mean, it’s they were they are duplicitous. They always have been. They’re holding up. Brett Kavanaugh, who was proven not to have any meaningful allegations that should go forward. They put that man through a disgusting process that I’ll never forget. And then I Haryono, one of the people on the committee, always talk about what we’ve got to be evenhanded and look on both sides. Kamala Harris, I think maybe her silence is based in part on her wanting to be a vise presidential pick. I don’t know, but I can see that these people are they’ve kind of set that moral high ground that they they pretended to have with Brett Kavanaugh and set it aside for Joe. But I think it’s wrong. We need to get to the facts. I am going to go about this and say you’ve got to have corroborating evidence. You’ve got to go through the due process. But for them to just dispense with it out of hand just suggest to me that there they are. They have different sets of principles for different sets of political situations. And I find it disgusting.
Guy Benson Yeah. And the moral high ground, which I actually would argue was never the moral high ground, I think was actually a very dangerous standard. Not only have they surrendered it and abandoned it. They’re trying to pretend like they never occupied it. And I think that that revisionism. It’s not like this happened 20 years ago. Senator, this happened two years ago. We all were less than two years ago. We remember it. We lived through it. So what you just said, I think, resonates with me. And I think it might resonate with some voters in your state of North Carolina. I think that continues to be a legacy. The Cavin en masse, especially now with what we’re seeing with Biden, that leaves a very bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths. And just listening to you talking about it again, sort of gets me fired up and and raises my ire just a little bit. Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, up in 2020, hard fought election coming, really important race. Senator, we appreciate your time.
Sen. Tillis: Thank you, guy. Have a great afternoon.
Guy Benson: You, too. The rest of the happy hour on the guy Benson’s show is still to come. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.