This is a rush transcript from “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” August 11, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you Martha. Well you know, inflation continues to take a bite out of us to play off that that sharp pain (ph) here in the latest period running away at about a 5.5 percent clip in case you are counting. It is hitting almost everything you are buying in July alone year over year increases the likes of which we have not seen in decades. Gasoline up about 42 percent, airfares 19 percent, hotels more than 24 percent, car rentals north of 73 percent. It’s the trend that is not the consumers’ friend.
Welcome everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto. And this is YOUR WORLD. And what to make of a world where price increases are proving a little bit more than just transitory. They’re sticking around a while. We’ve got you covered from all angles, including the White House response to all of this.
But we’re also going to be hearing from Lydia who had an appliance store, the very real price hikes that she is seeing up close and personal as Steve Harrigan at a supermarket in Atlanta. But we — to begin with Lydia in Montclair, New Jersey, where if you’re going into an appliance store, much like you are, if you’re going in a grocery store, you’re going to pay through the nodes (ph). Lydia?
LYDIA HU, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Neal, some of the price increases that we’re seeing are upwards of 20 percent to 30 percent. Like you mentioned, the consumer price index shows that consumers are paying on average about 5.4 percent for all goods this year over last year that is on par with what we saw last month as well showing that that inflation is still very hot. One thing to point out is that the monthly increase did slow to half a percent down from nine tenths of a percent in June, which is when we saw the highest monthly increase since August of 2008.
Now if we take apart the data a little bit, take a look at this because it gives us an idea of exactly what is costing consumers more, where it’s hurting them the most televisions, they’re up almost 10 percent now over a year ago. Appliances that you mentioned, fridges and ovens up 12.3 percent. Laundry equipment like washers and dryers up almost 18 percent. We had a chance to talk to some folks today about where they’re noticing and how they’re feeling the pinch in the wallet. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m shocked with what I see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do feel like they’re going up just because of the state that we’re in with COVID. And hopefully we’re going to bounce back from that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HU: Now, according to the AAA, a gallon of regular gas costs on average of $3.19 today, that’s up from $2.17 since last year. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that increased to be 43 percent nationally and that jump in gas prices. Neil, it’s attracting the attention from the White House today. President Biden saying that the administration is going to take action. They are calling on production cuts of oil that were made internationally to be reversed now. And they’re also calling on the FTC to investigate the domestic gasoline industry to make sure that there’s no anti-competitive behavior involved that could be potentially, they say, driving gas prices. Neil.
CAVUTO: Yes, but oil goes up. It’s inevitable, the gasoline goes up and there might not be any cabal behind that. Lydia, thank you very, very much. Lydia Hu.
Now some food for thought. The food you like to eat is going up, up, up in a way as well. Steve Harrigan following all of those developments right now in Atlanta. Hi Steve.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Neil, when it comes to food prices, it’s going up the quickest when it comes to meat, poultry, and eggs. And when you talk to people in supermarkets, many say these rising prices are forcing them to change their shopping habits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely, it has increase. I mean, it’s ridiculous, really is. That — basically back every week, that was like, not a problem. But now is just, the prices are just so outrageous. I can’t afford it. So, you know, I get what I can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Besides the orders, they’re getting a little bit smaller, you know, since the past years came up, usually I will see people order five packs a week or so but now it probably goes down to about two pack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are spending more money probably looking at other options, i.e., you know, online opportunities or even Costco, Sam’s Club going at the club, pack route (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIGAN: Neil, one quick example. I spoke to a woman today who said two weeks ago she bought 18 eggs for $4.09. Today that price was $4.49. She was not happy about it. Neil?
CAVUTO: I could well understand. Steve, thank you very much. Steve Harrigan outside a Kroger in Atlanta, Georgia.
In the meantime here, you’re noticing when you go to any store these days, the former CEO of Walmart with us right now, Bill Simon, on how long that will likely last. Bill, it’s good to have you. Walmart shoppers are seeing it as well. I know you guys try to hold the line on that sort of thing, but there’s only so much you can control. This looks like it could get out of control. Where do you see it going?
BILL SIMON, FMR. WALMART U.S. PRESIDENT & CEO: Yes, Neil, good to be with you. It’s getting serious and the most concerning thing of all the data that Walmart crunches the highest correlation to consumers response hit is always gas prices. A gas prices are such a reflection of where we are in the economy. And as gas prices go up year on year, and as the report just told us 42 percent year on year, that really puts a dent in the consumer as well. And so far, through everything, the COVID and everything we’ve been through in the last year, the consumer has remained remarkably resilient. But as gas prices and food prices are particularly start to go up, I think we’re going to see a reaction from the consumer.
CAVUTO: You know, I’m just wondering, in your days running the world’s largest retailer, how did you notice consumers behaved in an environment like that? In other words, when prices do go up, it’s one thing if one set or area prices go up, it’s quite another when virtually all key categories go up. But how did they pivot?
SIMON: Well, they change their protein. So they go from beef to chicken to cheeses, and things are different ways. And depending on where the prices are, they change their buying frequencies and their buying patterns to compensate for it. They’re remarkably smart and very capable.
SIMON: And they do this very, very slight price changes and react to it.
CAVUTO: You know, I’m curious, though, you know, in the latest government statistics, it’s interesting, Bill, that, by and large, we’ve seen wages go up. In fact, they were going up at a pretty smart rate, 4 percent year over year, not bad. But, unfortunately, the things they’re buying are going up at a 5.5 percent clip (ph). So they’re losing money on this. That’s not a good combination.
SIMON: Yes, I mean, a couple years ago, we were seeing wages go up 2 percent or 3 percent but prices were only going up 1 percent. And any other consumers (ph) was making out. I think the wild card and all this, Neil, is the amount of money that’s been flowing from the government straight to the consumer. And, you know, I think that’s kept them buying (ph) through the early stages of this inflation. But when that money runs out, or inflation outstrips that, that funding from the government I think there’s going to be a day of reckoning. And hopefully by then prices will have begun to moderate.
CAVUTO: What do you think in your gut, do you think they will moderate? Everyone says it’s transitory. I’ve been alive long enough. I know I don’t look it to remember 200 inflationary spirals. They didn’t end anytime soon. In other words, they drag on a while, that’s the history on inflation. What do you think here?
SIMON: I’ll tell you what really concerns me, it’s oil prices, because there’s oil — oil prices impact the entire economy. One of the reasons that food prices are increasing is because the transportation component, obviously, oil of the food prices have gone up. And if government policy and activity, it hasn’t — it’s going to allow us to become as competitive as we were, say, two years ago, in generating our own oil and driving the global prices of oil down. I think that could be with us for a while. Hopefully, that will change.
And maybe there’s some, you know, faster adaptation to use of less gas and electric cars. I still see that being 10 or 12, 15 years away before it has any meaningful impact on it. So I think in less (ph), we can get fuel prices, oil prices in line, gas prices back down. It could be with us for a while.
CAVUTO: Bill Simon, thank you. I thank my friend. Bill Simon, the former head of Walmart.
Lee Carter, GOP pollster extraordinary with us right now. You know, the history again on this as we keep saying, Lee, is that inflation tends to stick around a while. It began with oil, it’s extended to pretty much everything else. But the President today indicating that the trend is the friend that things will stabilize, that all this new government spending is going to put money in people’s pockets. What we’ve discovered is you better be careful what you wish for because that extra money also has come with it bringing extra inflation. So where is this going?
LEE CARTER, GOP POLLSTER: Well, I think it’s a really interesting moment because conventional wisdom isn’t applying for folks right now. About 64 percent of Americans are buying the President’s message that this inflation is temporary. More than 70 percent Americans are reporting that they’re feeling the impact of inflation in their pocketbooks right now. A lot of people are concerned about the economy overall. We’re seeing a big increase in the concern about the economy. But it’s different depending where you sit.
So Democrats, by and large, are saying I’m not concerned about inflation. Less than 20 percent of them say that that’s one of the biggest problems facing America today. And when you look at Independence Republicans, they view the world very differently. They’re saying, more than 30 percent of them are saying that that is — the inflation is, in fact, the number one issue facing America. So, we’re really divided on how we see this. I think Democrats right now tend to be more optimistic.
CAVUTO: But we all go to the same stores, right? I’m sorry, Lee, but they all go to the same stores, whether you’re Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, you’re going to notice like, hey, bacon, it’s doubled in price, but maybe, you know, some, you know, aren’t too keen on bacon, and they might buy cheaper alternatives like get that. But the point is, you know, it’s hard to ignore this. It’s a real issue. Now, it might be a short lived one, although it’s past the short live (ph), shelf life.
I’m just wondering if this continues, and people notice, regardless of their income range, that their increases in what they make, is just being burnt up in what they’re spending, then it could be a different story.
CARTER: I think that’s right. If it’s an extended story, right now, people are just starting to notice that we’re seeing over the last two months, the increase in the rise, and people being aware of it. Now more than 70 percent of people feel it, 80 percent of people are concerned about their health care costs. This is really starting to feel like it’s something. The question people have is how long it’s going to last. Republicans and Independents are a little bit more concerned about it. Democrats are willing to let it slide.
If we’re going to see it starting to, you know, sort of drag on now, people are going to start to see it through the holidays into early next year, throughout the winter, I think it’s become a much bigger issue for Democrats. But at the same time, I think a lot of people are optimistic about the spending programs about infrastructure, and about the social programs. More than half of Americans think that that’s actually going to help us move things forward.
And so Republicans have a real challenge, because it’s not enough for people to feel like things aren’t good. They’re going to have to have a solution, they’re going to have to have something that makes people feel that the Republicans are going to be the party of the future. They’re going to be the party that makes things better.
Right now, it feels a little bit like Republicans are the party that’s just saying no, and that’s not necessarily a good place to be. I think they’re going to have to have a story, plus these feelings of people saying, you know, what, this isn’t working for us. And so, Republicans have some work to do over the next few months.
CAVUTO: Yes. And you got to wonder, too, I mean, someone’s going to be very right or someone’s going to be very wrong. Democrats are placing their bets on a $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package, on top of this $1 trillion actual infrastructure package, even though it is no actual infrastructure. But they’re looking at that and saying, all right, that’s going to produce a boon for the economy that will carry us right through the midterm elections and will profit off and considerably. Republicans counter and say, no, by the end, whatever gains you’re talking about will be eaten up by the higher prices of everything. So someone’s going to be fatally mistaken on this.
CARTER: Yes. And I think that the people that we really need to be focused on right now are those independent voters, those people who could go either way on this right now. And independents, by and large, are behaving more like Republicans. When you look at how they view inflation, when you look at how they view infrastructure, when you look at how they view the economy. Right now, they’re leaning more Republican, and that’s going to be problem for the Democrats come the midterms, but the Republicans are really going to have to have a story as to why these independents are going to move to their side.
Right now, it can’t be enough that they have the same sentiment, it’s got to be enough for them. It’s — they’re going to have to come to a place that they say, you know what, I want to vote Republicans because they’re the party that’s going to do something to fix the problems I see in front of me. And right now, Republicans aren’t quite —
CAVUTO: Got it.
CARTER: — there yet.
CAVUTO: Yes, I hear you. Lee, thank you very, very much.
To Lee’s point, if you’re looking separately at the markets, if they’re worried about this, how often I say this, they have a funny way of showing it. The Dow and the S&P race to new records today. NASDAQ wasn’t following suit. But again, the market’s view of this has always been this too shall pass. In other words, the rate of increase is beginning to slow. They argument maybe this short live thing sticks. Hard to say but right now, they don’t appear to be too worried about this at the corner of wall and broad. That could change, these guys are not Nostradamus, but we’re following that.
And there is a new sheriff coming to town in New York. You probably heard about the lieutenant governor who will be the first female governor of the State of New York in history. What she had to say or more importantly not say about the guy she is replacing in 13 days, after this.
CAVUTO: If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned to stave off getting impeached, we’re going to have a very shortly hey, democratic New York State Assemblyman who begs to differ, still wants to pursue an impeachment battle against the outgoing Governor, even when he is long gone. More than that in a second. First to Bryan Llenas on how the Cuomo successor is getting ready for 13 days from now. Bryan?
BRYAN LLENAS, FOX NEW CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon. Well, Governor Cuomo’s replacement Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and soon to be the first female Governor of New York did hold her first press conference today. She didn’t want to get into whether or not she would pardon Governor Cuomo and she didn’t want to talk about impeachment. But she did say ultimately that, look, they were never close, so she distanced herself from him. And she also said that anyone who was implicated in last week’s damning state attorney general report on Cuomo’s harassment will be out of the job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK GOVERNOR: And his named, who is named as anything, doing anything unethical and report will remain in my administration. No one will ever describe my administration as a toxic work environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LLENAS: Governor Cuomo is currently under multiple criminal investigations. The Albany Sheriff is looking into misdemeanor charges for groping. The FBI is investigating his alleged cover up of nursing home COVID-19 deaths. The New York Attorney General is investigating whether he misuse state resources to write his $5 million pandemic memoir. All of this and more is being looked into by the ongoing state Assembly’s impeachment investigation. The question is, will impeachment still move and go forward? Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS ABINANTI (D), NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: Whether that conclusion is articles of impeachment, whether that conclusion is just a report, whether that conclusion comes back and says the Governor did something wrong here but nothing wrong here, that’s — I think the public and the Assembly deserve a report from us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LLENAS: Republicans in the Judiciary Committee they released a statement reinforcing their commitment to completing the investigation, “We intend to hold Governor Andrew Cuomo accountable on behalf of his victims, including the 15,000 innocent lives lost in nursing homes”. Whether or not this will lead to articles of impeachment will be in the hands of the Democratic majority here in the state Assembly. And meanwhile, The White House says they plan on calling and the President plans on speaking to the new governor in the coming days. Neil?
CAVUTO: Bryan, thank you very much for that. Bryan Llenas.
Angelo Santabarbara is one of those power brokers in Albany who has that take don’t give up on the impeachment issue yet just because the Governor is going to resign. The Democratic Assemblyman kind enough to join us right now. So where are you on this, Assemblyman? The Governor’s going, presumably to avoid an impeachment battle, but you’re not giving up on impeachment. Could you explain?
ANGELO SANTABARBARA (D), NEW YORK ASSEMBLYMAN: Well, we were all surprised by the Governor’s resignation. He had been so defiant that we were not expecting a resignation. But given the fact that he did resign, we have to believe that he determined that it may have been his only option at this point. He could certainly count votes. He knows — he knew that an impeachment means that he just — he would have — he would not have much support in the Assembly or the Senate. If this went to trial, I challenge you to find a single vote in the Senate that was against impeachment, you’re probably not going to find one. And I think he knew that as well.
And this resignation, of course, you know, in typical, Governor Cuomo fashion has this 14-day waiting period, which is unheard of that we have to put up with him for the next two weeks. But having said that, the Assembly Judiciary Committee can still move forward with their investigation, and they should and we can still move forward with impeachment proceedings. The A.G.’s report covered the sexual harassment charges, but the Judiciary Committee is looking at a lot more than that. As you just heard, looking at the nursing home deaths, looking at the improper use of COVID testing for family and friends in his inner circle, looking at the book deal, a lot more that we are looking at, they should be looked at, they should continue this report, they planned on wrapping it up very shortly here, they should do that. And they should present it to the full body and make their recommendation.
We need to decide if we’re going to move forward with impeachment. We should not let the Governor’s resignation decide what we’re going to do next. We should decide what the next steps are based on their findings.
CAVUTO: So that means it’s possible that impeachment proceedings could begin after the Governor steps down. Now that is an important distinction for the Governor, should he ever entertain running for the office he once had, it seems unlikely. But if he were impeached, he couldn’t, right?
SANTABARBARA: Well, with his resignation, what we have now is — with his resignation, the state is able to move forward. We’re able to get back to the important work that we have to do at the state Capitol. And by his own words, yesterday, he has been and continues to be a distraction. Now he’s going to be a distraction for the next 14 days as well.
But having said that, the impeachment investigation, one of the things we can do going forward is we need accountability, we need to decide what next the steps are there. There are a number of investigations going forward, including criminal investigations. And the — as we saw, there may be may be others that have yet to come forward. That’s the other part of this. So it’s very important that we complete this work. It’s very important that we hold him accountable for his actions.
He tried to minimize his actions. We didn’t hear an apology during — when he announced his resignation. He blamed his actions on generational differences. He claimed he didn’t know where the line was redrawn on sexual harassment, when in fact, he’s the one that redrew those lines. He’s the one that champion those sexual harassment laws. And he’s acting like it was something he didn’t know about.
So, we have more work to do, but it’s in — the Judiciary Committee’s report will be important to determine what those next steps are and how we hold this Governor accountable. Should that be impeachment? It should be one of those options that should be on the table for sure.
CAVUTO: All right, Assemblyman please keep us posted on that. Appreciate you taking the time.
Meanwhile, we’re going to take a quick break here. I’m going to take you to the border right now where migrants — just in case you had this notion that things are stabilizing, they’re telling video that says just the opposite. The thing isn’t stabilizing. It’s worsening.
CAVUTO: You see these migrants old streaming and I want you to meet the Texas Sheriff who released this video to show the administration doesn’t quite have all of this figured out, not even close, after this.
CAVUTO: You know, when it comes to covering what’s happening at the border, it’s so easy to politicize this. We really try very hard here to avoid that sort of thing. Hence my being the nerdy or advanced I just follow the numbers. The numbers are booming at the border here.
So when my next guest heard that they weren’t booming, that things actually were stabilizing there, he took it upon himself to grab a video camera and see for the world just as he sees every day for himself how this streaming migrants across the border continues and, in fact, escalate. The Sheriff joins me right now. Brad Coe, that Kinney County, Texas Sheriff.
Sheriff, thank you. And also thank you for this video because I think it does remind people we are a long way from over this. In fact, we’re still knee-deep in this, aren’t we?
BRAD COE, KINNEY COUNTY, TX SHERIFF: Well, thanks for taking your time to kind of interview or investigate this. But if you’re seeing those videos and those videos were taken just three days ago. We —
CAVUTO: Well —
COE: — I might get videos like that day in and day out from various ranchers throughout the county. There’s no end in sight.
CAVUTO: So tell me, what are we looking at, Sheriff? The video that you provided from a few days ago, and like I said, this is a daily occurrence. You just took the time to say, you know what, I’m going to shoot this for myself. But what do we see?
COE: Well, the first half of this video, there’s group — there’s about 18 adult males walking in a single file, which they normally do to kind of hide their — the number of tracks plus they’ve got somebody there that’s leaving them. For years, that’s the way they’ve always traveled because they end up walk through the thick brush and it’s easier to walk in single file down there side by side.
And the second video was the second group that stopped at a water trough, on one of the local ranches to put up their water jugs so that they could continue north.
CAVUTO: Now they see you and your men and women, they’re not hiding from you guys, right? I mean, they’re just doing what they’re doing, oftentimes in front of you guys, right?
COE: Well, the ones that are walking that you see in the video, they’re trying — they’re not wanting to be caught. They know Border Patrol is tied up with their processing. The Border Patrol is completely overwhelmed. So it’s not uncommon for them to walk in early morning hours while it’s cool and kind of what we just call brush up.
COE: They sit under the tree and kind of hide from aircraft during the heat of the day and they walk again at night.
CAVUTO: What do you notice in the last few days, even weeks, Sheriff, that we should be aware of? If you could reach the President of the United States or the powers that be, about what you’re experiencing every day, what would you tell them? What would you warn them?
COE: That they need to secure the border. We need to get back boots on the ground. We are seeing an influx of Cubans in our area which we have never seen before. In the past week, we’ve apprehended 20 Cubans ourselves turning over the Border Patrol. Several of them we have prosecuted or we have filed charges on for criminal trespass.
CAVUTO: So, how do you handle that? You’re short staffed, your men and women are spread all over the place dealing with everything from migrant minors, and adjudicating all that. How do you juggle this?
COE: Well, we take one minute at a time. Of course with the new COVID stuff going through, we’re taking extra precautions. Over the past weekend, we — everybody’s working 12 and 16-hour shifts. We’ve got Texas department and public safety helping us. They’re doing a lot of legwork for us.
We’re just booking them in to our jail and then send them off to another county awaiting prosecution. We did fix — in the past eight days we’ve done a little almost 60 for criminal trespass. Then a smaller jail, I’ve got a staff of six full time deputies and six full time jailer. And we’re working 12-hour shifts to try to get ahead of this.
CAVUTO: What’s remarkable to me, Sheriff, to your point is they hardly seem intimidated or, you know, concerned about all the eyes that might be watching them, the guys who might be following them. They don’t seem very frightened.
COE: At this point in time, they’re not.
COE: Like when we caught the Cubans the other night, they demanded that we take them to the Border Patrol station, because they could not be arrested by any other authority. And they knew Border Patrol Puerto is going to process them and possibly cut them loose. And when we explained to them that they were criminal trespassing and they were going to jail, they said that’s impossible. We’re Cubans. You can’t put us in jail. And right now I’ve got 12 Cubans in jail.
CAVUTO: Incredible. Incredible. Sheriff, thanks for doing this and relaying that.
You know, so often folks, we look at this through the lens of whether you’re a Conservative or a Liberal, a Democrat, or a Republican. What the Sheriff is dealing with are sheer numbers. They are overwhelming, and they’re not getting any less so.
All right, in the meantime, taking a look at a storm that is stirring on Florida’s coasts, and worrying those who thought that maybe this hurricane season would be a calm one. Newsflash, not likely.
CAVUTO: You know we started the hurricane season out with this whole, this frenetic storm activity and then things kind of stabilized. And while I should have listened to Rick Reichmuth, who was saying, you know, we’re a long way from the hurricane season being done. And along comes this Tropical Storm Fred barreling up to the Dominican Republican and points north what it seems now including the state of Florida. Rick, what are we looking at here?
RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, you said if we got to the five named storms faster than we ever had, and that was on the heels of last year, which we had the most active season we’ve ever had, we do expect this year to be active. Even though we’ve had about a 30-day stretch without really any tropical development across the Atlantic. All of that is changing right as we’re getting into kind of the meaty part of hurricane season, which is from now until about six weeks from now, it’s when the bulk of our activity happens.
So, this is a look at the radar picture. There’s Puerto Rico, this is radar out of Puerto Rico looks like it’s not as big of a deal right now. But that’s just because that radar now getting — little extending out a little bit too far from Puerto Rico as a storm is now just in towards the Dominican Republic area.
I want to point out. So here’s our tropical models. These are all of the different model suggestions of the track of the storm. You get the idea, a very general sense of agreement of pulling off towards the Northwest and then moving somewhere across the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s the point where we’re going to watch to see if there’s any maybe strengthening.
Now, this is a forecast radar. It’s just one models depiction of what it thinks the storm will look like. This goes in towards Friday morning. The storm not really well organized, and that’s because it’s got a lot of mountain territory to get over through Dominican Republic into Haiti. It’s Hispaniola, is what we call that island. A lot of big mountains there that will rip it apart.
And then we’re also going to see this storm likely track right along the coast of Cuba. So the official track out of the National Hurricane Center, you get the idea right here, center of it, maybe hugging right along the coast a little bit inland. If that happens, even more destruction from the center of the storm. But then we are going to see this likely out across parts of the Eastern areas of the Gulf, more time across water there, would potentially give it the chance to strengthen at this point. Best guess is maybe into a strong tropical storm, eventually making some sort of a landfall around the panhandle of Florida. But you notice the eastern side of this track could be impacting some sort of the center of it interacting with the west coast of Florida.
One last thing, Neil, I want to show you these are our sea surface temperatures, at least the anomalies where we are departure from typical temperatures. Right there across parts of the Eastern Gulf, temps a little bit below average. And that’s where the center of this storm goes. That maybe helps us out a little bit for the strengthening, maybe inhibiting strengthening of the storm as it’s in towards Eastern Gulf.
Nonetheless, we know we’re going to get a lot of moisture from the storm, especially across parts of Florida and maybe eventually in towards the southern Appalachians as well could cause some flooding there. Neil?
CAVUTO: Rick, thank you very much. Rick Reichmuth, on all of that,
REICHMUTH: You bet.
CAVUTO: By the way, as Rick was wrapping up there, we’re hearing from the Education Secretary of the United States, Miguel Cardona, now supporting vaccine mandates. He’s stressing it’s safe. He says that the President will be challenging some of these governor mask mandates here those who are resisting them. I think that’s what he mean. The read from Richard Besser, the former Acting CDC Director who worries if we’re not careful, if we’re not careful, a COVID spikes could, could lead to school closures this fall, after this.
CAVUTO: OK, the soldier up for whatever reason, personally otherwise, does not want to be vaccinated, what happens?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Well, a member of the military who wants to claim a religious exemption can certainly do that, there’s a process for that. It’s not, you know, it’s not a blanket check. I mean, you’ve got to go through a process to get that approved. Troops who have a pre-existing medical conditions or on the vise (ph) of their physician might not have to take the vaccine. But if you’re just objecting because you’re objecting, once it’s become mandatory, that’s a lawful order. And our expectation is that you’re going to obey that order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: So what if you don’t obey that order? From the Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby, the hopes that bridge won’t be crossed, but if it does, and if it gets to be a problem among some military members, then what do you do? Lucas Tomlinson following all of this from the Pentagon. Lucas?
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, there’s no plans to throw anybody in the brig right now. But I followed up on your questions with John Kirby just a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRBY: There’ll be a case by case basis, Lucas, it’s not like the department’s going to have some sort of blanket disciplinary policy.
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TOMLINSON: The Pentagon already has a list of 17 vaccines that some service members required to get before deploying. The COVID vaccine would be number 18. Kirby says there’s a possible religious exemption for any mandatory vaccine and COVID would be no exception. Kirby says there’s been no military wide policy refusing any vaccine polio, smallpox or even the flu shot.
As far as the services go, Neil, the Navy’s in the lead. 74 percent of sailors are already vaccinated against the coronavirus. 64 percent of the Air Force has received the jab, nearly 60 percent of Marines, but only half the U.S. Army.
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KIRBY: If an individual doesn’t want to take the vaccine, that we’re going to provide them some counseling, both from a medical perspective access to docs and access to leaders in their chain of command so that they fully understand the implication that repercussions to them if they don’t take the vaccine.
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TOMLINSON: Former National Security Adviser John Bolton says George Washington inoculated the entire Continental Army against the smallpox disease and says the U.S. Army needs to do the same thing today against COVID. Neil?
CAVUTO: You know, I remember covering George Washington doing that, Lucas, and so thank you for reminding me that.
TOMLINSON: I tried to get video.
CAVUTO: Thank you. Yes, it’s exacerbating (ph). Yes, it was a charcoal etchings. That was the best we could do.
Lucas Tomlinson, great job on that.
So this trend toward really making vaccinations a requirement is going way beyond the U.S. military. You’ve heard of more and more companies that are demanding this, school systems that are calling for this and just today, the New York Stock Exchange announcing it’s going to require vaccinations for everyone who wants to get on the trading floor on February (ph) 13th and beyond.
Let’s go to Richard Besser, the former Acting CDC Director to get his take on all of this. Richard, it’s always good having you. As you heard the Education Secretary today was musing about vaccine mandates that they would be advisable, they would also be probably necessary if they could be proven to be safe. What do you make of all this, this push toward requirements for vaccines?
RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING CDC DIRECTOR: Yes, you know, Neil, I’m a general pediatrician. And so the idea of required vaccinations is something that’s been part of my life, my entire career. I think there are settings where requiring vaccination makes a lot of sense. You know, for our offices, we’re reopening our offices after Labor Day and only staff who are fully vaccinated can work in the building. Others will need to work remotely.
For a school setting where you have teachers and staff who may be at increased risk of having severe disease, you have children for whom vaccines aren’t yet available, I think considering requiring vaccination is something that should be on the table. My hope is that more people will reach out to their own health care providers, explore this, get their questions answered and make the decision to get vaccinated. But I do think there are settings, in particular, healthcare settings, where requiring vaccination is the right thing to do.
CAVUTO: You know, when you talk about the virus, Doctor, carries some weight obviously given who you are, and that certainly in the role of the CDC director in the past, so when you talk about your worries about, you know, a COVID crisis wasn’t the word but enough that would warrant potential school closures and the like, what were you seeing, what are you saying?
BESSER: Yes. So, you know, I think it’s terrific that we are getting children back in school learning this fall. It’s important for their educational progression, for their social, emotional, physical well-being. And schools are taking a layered approach to preventing COVID with improved ventilation and separating desks, and in many schools doing testing and wearing masks. The thing is, Neil, that this strain, the Delta variant is so much more contagious.
Last year, there was an approach of cohorting, which is going to be used this year as well, where you’re going to try and keep children contained within particular classes. With a strain that this contagious, I worry that when it’s introduced into one classroom, it’s going to be very hard to keep it contained to one classroom and say, OK, that class will be working — will be attending school remotely. I think we’re going to end up seeing more schools that have to shut down for short periods, and then reopen as they’re able to contain COVID. It’s a very different situation in terms of the virus we’re facing this school year to what we faced last school year.
CAVUTO: Well, if you’re right, I mean, that would be disastrous, right? I mean, so I’m wondering, as difficult as it is, for parents to grapple with the idea, their kids are going to have to wear masks pretty much most anywhere in this country, they counter and say, what are the odds that might kid could be a carrier anyway for the virus or be vulnerable to the virus in the first place, you say?
BESSER: Yes. I say this is a reason why masks are so important to wear. It provides some protection to your child, but it helps protect other children from yours. If your child happened to be carrying it, it helps protect staff and teachers. Some of whom may have immune conditions for which the vaccine doesn’t give them as much protection. It’s part of what we do to help protect each other.
You know, if each person had a sign on them that said, I’m carrying the virus or I’m infected with the virus would be different thing, but so many people can carry this virus and spread this virus who don’t even know it. Masks are an important part of the prevention.
CAVUTO: Richard Besser, thank you very much. The former Acting CDC Director, very good seeing you again.
BESSER: Thank you.
CAVUTO: All right. In the meantime, everyone, Ken Langone was here, the Home Depot, co-founder, billionaire. He says he’s happy paying more in taxes, maybe even a lot more in taxes, maybe even recommend a global corporate tax just as the President wants. But before he commits to that, he wants to see spending that makes sense and that he’s not pissing his money away. Remember this?
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KEN LANGONE, HOME DEPOT CO-FOUNDER: What are we getting for our money now? Let’s hold people accountable for results.
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LANGONE: What about throw more money at the schools. What about — what are we getting for our money now? Let’s hold people accountable for results. In business, we do that every day. Every single — Neil, I am not opposed to paying more — pay more taxes. Please make sure you don’t blow it off.
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CAVUTO: All right, Ken Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, one of the richest guys on the planet. He says he’s happy to pay more taxes. But this $3.5 trillion so-called human infrastructure plan isn’t enticing in to fork over more for that sort of thing.
Charlie Gasparino is with us right now. Tell me, what do you think of what Ken is saying effectively and pretty much kind of universally. Don’t pay for stuff that isn’t going to work. That’s what he’s saying. And he argues a lot of this spending isn’t going to work.
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: And I always ever noticed that all these billionaires always say they don’t mind pay more taxes. They’ve already made their money. I mean, and I think —
GASPARINO: — this is kind of what he’s getting at. You know, taxes always trickle down really to entrepreneurs and people that own small businesses. It’s not the billionaires who get their money based on capital gains, which is taxed at a lower rate. But here’s the bottom line, he makes — the point he makes is very valid. Look at what’s in this package. Look at what we’re spending money on.
And by the way, I know you had the last guest on talking about masks, the pandemic is coming to an end. I mean, the vaccines do work. You know, if you noticed people that are getting sick generally do not get the vaccines, things are opening up. That is the stimulus package.
CAVUTO: Yes, but they only — you know, a lot more need to do that, right?
CAVUTO: They’re close to (INAUDIBLE), there are a lot of other folks.
CAVUTO: You know, obviously the street sees passes I get that.
CAVUTO: But, you know, when I heard the President say today on this $3.5 trillion package that it’s all paid for a night crunch the numbers what we know of them, Charlie, it’s not even remotely paying for.
GASPARINO: Yes, it’s not setting (ph) close.
CAVUTO: Even if you hit guys like you up to the hilt, that’s not going to pay the freight, right?
GASPARINO: Yes, there’s not enough people like me, and there’s just not enough people to pay for this. The other thing is, did you see the inflation print? We still have inflation looks like it’s still here and it’s —
GASPARINO: — not going away. It’s not transitory. So think about this, we got an economy opening up because the pandemic largely is waning because people are getting vaccinated. And guess what? They’re just throwing another $3.5 trillion at it. This is going to hurt — by the way, inflation is attacks on average people, not on you, Neil Cavuto —
CAVUTO: So you see it sticking around a while. You’re in the camp that says it’s going to stick around a while.
GASPARINO: Oh yes. Well, look, they’re spending the money. They’re making sure it sticks around by just throwing money at a problem that doesn’t exist. The economy is doing pretty well, right?
CAVUTO: Do you think this package gets through? We have only a few seconds. Do you think this package gets through? It would have to rely on just democratic votes. I don’t think that’s a (INAUDIBLE).
GASPARINO: I bet Joe Manchin folds. He’s not a reliable in fiscal conservatives, but hopefully hope springs eternal.
CAVUTO: Yes, you never know. He’s already spoke about this. He’s not a fan but you’re quite right. When push comes to shove he generally —
GASPARINO: He always give (ph).
CAVUTO: — votes with the Democrats.
All right, thank you. Charlie Gasparino, the Star Fox Business. If you don’t get it, you should demand it. But probably you do get it so you don’t have to demand it. You can just say, I already have it. I’m so lucky. Here’s “THE FIVE”.
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