Skip to main content

tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  December 21, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

3:00 pm
>> dana: armadillos and ant eaters. >> jesse: same thing like netherlands and holland the same thing. >> dagen: i don't have time. 10 seconds left. >> dana: blame me. >> dagen: one more thing. >> jesse: february 1st, that's the day we are free from the pandemic. right, bret? >> greg: you got it. >> bret: exactly. i will wait for san diego, go ahead. all right. >> dagen: no. >> jesse: no, you go. >> bret: all right. we will see you guys. good evening. i'm bret baier. breaking tonight, president biden says americans can feel comfortable celebrating christmas and the holidays with family and friends if they are fully vaccinated. including a booster shot. today the president outlined his plan to respond to the latest surge in coronavirus cases. this one sparked by the new omicron variant. he says the nation is not trowrnght early days of the
3:01 pm
pandemic because it is better prepared. critics say the administration should have been better prepared by now on testing. on antiviral pills and therapeutics. and on calming an anxious country. we will talk with the director of the cdc dr. rochelle walensky about all of this and she will answer some of your questions in just a few moments. we have fox team coverage tonight january than serrie in atlanta with the latest on what the omicron variant is doing around the country. the white house correspondent jacqui heinrich starts us off live though on the white house north lawn with the second holiday season directly affected by the pandemic. good evening, jacqui. >> good evening, bret. omicron is spreading everywhere even in air force one. the president tested negative after being exposed on friday. the president is not telling vaccinated people they have to stay home for the holidays. >> the country's covid landscape looks a lot different than it did in july. >> today we are closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.
3:02 pm
>> i know you are tired. i really mean this. and i know you are frustrated. we all want this to be over. we're still in it. >> the president insists there is no reason to panic as long as you are vaccinated. a much different message than the world health organization is sharing ahead of holiday gatherings. >> it's better to cancel now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and grieve later. >> if you are vaccinated, then follow the precautions that we all know well. you should feel comfortable celebrating christmas and the holidays as you planned it. >> biden's only warning is to the unvaccinated. >> you have good reason to be concerned. you are at a high of high risk of getting sick. >> he is reconsidering his travel ban. >> will you reverse the travel ban now that omicron is so prevalent in the us u.s. >> i'm considering reversing it i will talk to my team in the next couple days. >> as are the h. hits sports teams, broadway and restaurants and schools.
3:03 pm
the president insists this isn't march of 2020. >> that's what i keep getting asked. the answer is absolutely no. >> the white house is certain preparing like it's march of 2020. sending a thousand military medical personnel to overwhelmed hospital. fema surge teams six states prepositioning splice like ventilators across the country and for the first time sending home rapid tests to anyone who wants one. something the white house appeared to discount only two weeks ago. >> then what happens if every american has one test? how much does that cost and then what happens after that? >> jen psaki admitting regret. >> and should i have included that additional context again in that answer? yes, going back i wish i would have done that. >> the shift in gears won't produce at home tests before the holidays. pushing the white house to emphasize more local testing they are making available at sites like we saw early in the pandemic. >> and administration has faced some criticism that they have focused entirely on vaccines and mandates which the president defended today and too little on ramping up testing and getting
3:04 pm
therapeutics out. jen psaki said that once therapeutics and antivirals are approved there will be greater emphasis on that but vaccines are still the best defense, bret. >> bret: jacqui heinrich on the north lawn. the centers for disease control says omicron three out of every new 4. unvaccinated #-z man in texas is the first recordedsed death in the omicron strain in the u.s. correspondent jonathan serrie has the latest tonight from atlanta. >> we just had our first omicron related death texas say unvaccinated with underlying conditions. most cases have been mild. concern about omicron's rapid spread and resistance to existing vaccines which now require boosters to offer comfortable levels of protection. >> delta seems to go through like wildfire in certain states
3:05 pm
and a lot of it has to do with the unvaccinated. unfortunately, with omicron, being unboosted almost is equivalent to being unvaccinated. >> with holiday gatherings approaching, many americans are waiting in long lines at test sites around the country. >> we are going to get run test even got in line. >> federal health officials say omicron is now responsible for three quarters of new covid cases nationwide one yards of 90% in the southeast, south central. pacific northwest, industrial midwest and new york city area. sources tell fox 5 new york the new year's eve ball drop in times square will likely have reduced capacity today mayor bill de blasio announced $100 incentive for everyone getting boosted by the end of the year. >> biggest booster program in the united states of america. i want to see new yorkers respond. >> in the new york suburb of mt. vernon, school officials
3:06 pm
announced all students will return to virtual learning on wednesday. superintendent kenneth hamilton explains i have been very reluctant to close schools but given the current trends and covid cases it would be risky not to do so. >> and today the census bureau released estimates that the u.s. population grew by only one tenth of 1% between july 2020 and july 2021. this is the lowest growth rate in our nation's history. officials say not only did covid claim lives but the pandemic reduced immigration and also discouraged many people from having children right now, brett, back to you. >> bret: we are joined tonight by the director for the centers of disease control and prevention dr. rochelle walensky. doctor, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me back, bret. good evening. >> bret: good evening. we have a lot of questions. a lot of viewers' questions as well that i will play for you. i want to start with when did
3:07 pm
you realize, did you know that omicron was going to spread this quickly. obviously you had south africa in november. when did you realize it was going to be this. >> things are moving quickly i know people have concerned. so maybe we will step back and reiterate. we are now seeing omicron in 73% in our projections of what we have right now. and some areas of the country as you noted the areas are 90% omicron. but this case, this speed by which omicron has been, you know, transmitting has been seen and mirrored in many other countries. so we have been watching this carefully. we anticipated this. this is what we have been preparing for. there have been doubling times of this virus in other countries that have had the virus before us in one and a half to three day range. so this is exactly what we anticipated and it is why the president has been moving forward and today announced a
3:08 pm
three prong plan to increase support and surge capacity in hospitals to increase access to free tests. and to make sure that there is increased capacity for both vaccinations and for boots. boosts. i think it's probably. >> bret: go ahead. finish your thought. >> yeah, i was going to say importantly, i really do want to say we are in a very different position now than we were just a year ago because now we have the science. we have the tools that we need to cam bat. that means getting vaccinated and boosted and practicing prevention measures we have been talking about and vaccinated and boosted people that includes wearing a mask in public indoor settings. >> bret: there is a lot of concern about testing people can't get testing i know what the president said today and what's going to be implemented in the first of the year about the 500 million tests. here is the president back in
3:09 pm
december of last year and the president today. take a listen. >> we need to scale up testing. so anyone who needs one can get a test. after 10 months of the pandemic, we still don't have enough testing. it's a travesty. >> covid is spreading so rapidly if you noticed. happened almost overnight. i don't think anybody anticipated this was as rapidly spreading as it did. >> bret: now, doctor, you said that you were prepared. and you did anticipate omicron spreading as rapidly as it did. if that's the case, why wasn't testing ramped up from december of 2020 if it was a travesty back then, why isn't it a travesty now? >> so, let me just be clear that when we learned about omicron at the end of november, and we started seeing what was happening in other countries that is when we anticipated how
3:10 pm
quickly it could in fact transmit. but, let me say we recognize that there is a huge demand right now. not only just in the united states but around the world for tests and the government is taking action and we recognize we have more work to do. so, as you note, the president announced $3 billion to rapid test and 500 million rapid tests soon-to-be available. but also we have 20,000 free pcr testing sites and as we speak we are setting up new federal testing sites in areas where there is increased demand right now. >> bret: right. and i hear you. but here is admiral injury roar about that very fact. take a listen. >> at the end of the trump administration between november and december we did 180 million free test. only reason we are in such a problem right now is that the biden administration did not invest in testing between january and september, this just didn't hit us. remember, in september, with delta there were testing short targets and they failed to meet the mark on improving the
3:11 pm
industry to provide the tests that people need. >> just in the last year 13 fda authorized rapid test 8 of them on the market. those rapid tests we are relying on now to increase the testing supply. we have done an extraordinary amount in increasing the testing supply just in the last year. and, again, huge demand here in the united states and also around the world. >> bret: okay. this is bobby from tennessee. she has a question. take a listen, please. >> it seems like we have a lot of concern about cases that is to be expected. we keep hearing it's very, very mild symptoms. so, i would like to see a little more of that addressed and how concerned should would he be, thanks?
3:12 pm
>> bret: this is about the severity. nick has a similar question on twitter why are we so worried about case case to hospital ratio. all i read from omicron is it's not severe. same kind of question, doctor. >> yeah. really important questions. we still more and more studies continue to come in every single day about the severity of omicron and we continue to learn more we know with increased cases we have boom severe disease. we are watching both the severity as well as the number of cases. we do need to still keep track of cases because they are a leading indicator. we know that our hospitals get several weeks after our cases start to rise. we need to keep a good line of sight on both. let me just reiterate what we do know about this virus, about this variant specifically is that if you are vaccinated and if you are boosted, you have a much lower rate of ending up as a severe case or ending up as a fatality.
3:13 pm
>> bret: just to be clear, you have one fatality listed as omicron and what about hospitalizations linked to omicron do you have a sense. >> certainly my hearts go out to the family of this case, the fatality that we learned of yesterday in texas, and we are still learning more about that case. what i can tell you right now is the vast majority of people who are in the hospital right now are unvaccinated. and so we are learning -- there still continue to be people in the hospital from our delta surge, of course, and we are following what the severity and what is happening with the omicron variant as well. what i can also tell you in countries that have had a surge before us, we're in close touch with them. they are starting to report lessee ventilator and we are, you know, looking at how we can apply the lessons that they have learned, the science that they have learned on the back drop that they have and how it may be applied here in the united
3:14 pm
states. >> bret: i guess there are questions, doctor, about the overall number, the 800,000 deaths tied to covid one way or another. whether it's delta one from only chron or the original covid-19. with all of those folks and co-morbidities, do you have it broken down pretty well? >> we can tell you some of the demographics with regard to ages and a lot of this working very closely with our state and local jurisdiction whose data we rely on to bring it in to the cdc so we can compile it together and look at it at the national level but certainly what we are continuing to learn is people who who have severe disease who are in the hospital are more likely to be older patients, more likely to have co-morbidities and certainly more likely to be unvaccinated. right now i can tell you data updated just on friday has demonstrated that there is a 20 times increased risk of death associated with code if you are
3:15 pm
unvaccinated compared do if you are vaccinated and boosted. >> bret: okay. just a couple more quickly. this is lori ann who writes why won't they talk about natural immunity? every other country takes into account natural immunity. why don't we? >> you know, we have -- that's a really good question. and we have learned a lot about natural immunity and we at centers for disease control have recently released a scientific brief to demonstrate all we know about natural immunity. what we can tell you with omicron, even with natural immunity is that there is increased risk of reinfection with omicron if you have been previously infected compared to the prior variant. so even those with natural immunity, we are recommending that you get vaccinated and get boosted. and really what this is telling us, what omicron is telling us with a variant that has this many mutations we need a really high level of immunity and that means getting yourself maximally
3:16 pm
vaccinated. >> bret: but you have had omicron and you get through it, which most people are, does that provide immunity for delta or vice versa? >> yeah. really important. we're starting to look at the studies now in the lab. that will try and inform the question of the cross reactive protection of delta to omicron and the fact of omicron to delta and those studies are just emerging right now. we do know that there is less cross protection from prior variants to omicron and the studies of whether omicron will protect you from other variants, those studies are just emerging. and then, of course, the studies that are going to happen at the population level in the clinical situation are still emerging right now. >> bret: okay. last one. this is dave joyce. he has a question about masks in schools. >> you have consistently cited one study in arizona as justification for mask mandates
3:17 pm
in schools. yet, there is report not guilty atlantic that says that the study is deeply flawed. will you follow the science and stop relying on faulty study and end mask mandates for children in schools? >> bret: your response? >> um, you know, there have been study after study not only in this country but in other countries that have demonstrated that our layered prevention straus strategies, including masks in schools are able to keep our schools safely open. what i would say now is that we have the capacity with vaccines available now to children above the age of 5 that we would encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. importantly, we want to be able to keep our schools open and the best way to do that is to use those layered prevention strategies and that includes not only vaccinating our children and our adults but also to continue to mask certainly in the context of the type very transmissible omicron variant. >> bret: and you have studies about the detective triments of
3:18 pm
lockdowns and shut downs both physically, mentally already? right? >> those studies are underway. we have seen certainly the challenges associated with pandemic mental health and our challenges and our public health workers and our healthcare workers, in our children over the last year and a half. we understand the deep -- the deep challenges associated with what this pandemic has done. >> bret: dr. walensky we really appreciate you coming on and would love to have you back to answer more viewer questions. >> thanks for having me, bret. >> bret: okay. stocks rebounded today. the dow surged 561. the s&p 500 gained 81. the nasdaq jumped 360 today. up next, president biden holds out hope for his build back better agenda. ♪ >> i want to get things done. i still think it's a possibility. if we don't pass build back better, we're in trouble because
3:19 pm
it's going to grow the economy. ♪ (vo) nowadays, business can happen anywhere, anytime. with verizon business unlimited plans, you can get 5g, truly unlimited data, and more hotspot data. so you can run a bakery from the blue line. ha! cupcake. or collaborate with clients from the concourse. and to get your team geared up with the good stuff, book a one-on-one tech check with a business expert. woo! visit us in store or book an appointment to save time and money. because every business deserves better. and with plans as low as $30, better costs less than you think. when i say better, you say business. better! (crowd) business! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
3:20 pm
experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event.
3:21 pm
a must in your medicine cabinet! less sick days! cold coming on? zicam is the #1 cold shortening brand! highly recommend it! zifans love zicam's unique zinc formula. it shortens colds! zicam. zinc that cold!
3:22 pm
>> bret: west virginia democratic senator joe manchin's refusal to support president biden progressive tax and social
3:23 pm
spending program in feeding tremendous criticism and bitterness among his colleagues on capitol hill tonight as they try to find a way forward. today president biden says he still thinks there is a possibility of getting his build back better agenda done or at least some of it congressional correspondent aishah hasnie shows us tonight. >> senator manchin and i are going to get something done. >> president may be willing to keep working with senator jerome manchin after after manchin blew up tax l. spending plan. >> you can't enter into negotiations if you are not going to be a honest negotiator. >> he has never negotiated in good faith. >> squad members like ayanna pressley having an i told you so moment writing this is why i insisted on moving the infrastructure bill in tandem with the build back better act. she and others now calling for a senate vote immediately, even without manchin's yeas. >> we have got bring this bill
3:24 pm
to the floor. i think frankly, we look like fools to the american people when month after month after month quote, unquote, negotiations are ongoing. >> majority leader schumer is on board for an early new year's vote which would allow democrats take part and force democrats up for re-election in purple states to go on the record. >> i find this very dangerous. democrats need to unite and they need to be in the business of flipping red seats to blue not blue seats to bluer. >> meantime progressives like aoc are putting the pressure on the president tweeting biden needs to lean on his executive authority now. he has been delaying and unutilizing it so far. referencing climate and student debt as options. all this talk as the man who started it all goes quiet. not a peep yet on whether manchin will join his democratic colleagues tonight on a conference call about the fate of the bill he killed.
3:25 pm
>> i give joe a lot of credit. the amount of abuse and flack he has taken from some of his colleagues from the left wing all over america. >> bret, a very important reminder for folks at home, build back better is still going through the senate rules process which could strip out huge chunks and drastically alter the size and scope of this bill, which may wind up frustrating those progressives even more. bret? >> bret: aishah hasnie live on capitol hill. aishah, thanks. up next, what exactly is the pentagon doing to address what it considers a rise in extremism in the u.s. military and is it constitutional? we'll take a look, follow up, first, here is what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. wsvn as a brawl breaks out miami airport. several travelers threw punches, at least police officer was involved. take a look at this. two men were taken into custody. airport employees said an unruly passenger took the keys to an employee's golf cart and would
3:26 pm
not let that worker leave. khon in honolulu as the health department there confirmed 8 navy fuel tanks at one facility had not been inspected for more than 20 years. navy says it is fighting an emergency order that it suspend all activity at the red hill storage facility until it has determined how petroleum got into the water system, how it's affecting folks there. and this is a live look at orlando from fox 35 our affiliate there. one of the big stories there tonight spacex launches christmas gifts, goodies and supplies to the international space station. the dragon capsule was loaded with 6500 pounds of gear for the station's seven astronauts. seven minutes later the booster landed upright on the ocean platform. it's the 100th successful rocket landing for that company. that is tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
3:27 pm
♪ christmas music ♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ if your dry eye symptoms keep coming back, what?! no! over the counter eye drops typically work by lubricating the eyes and may provide temporary relief. xiidra works differently, targeting inflammation that can cause dry eye disease. it can provide lasting relief. xiidra is the only fda-approved non-steroid eye drop specifically for the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. one drop in each eye, twice a day. don't use if you are allergic to xiidra. common side effects include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision when applied to the eye, and unusual taste sensation. don't touch container tip to your eye or any surface. after using xiidra wait 15 minutes before reinserting contacts.
3:28 pm
♪♪♪ this holiday, ask your doctor about xiidra. umph!
3:29 pm
3:30 pm
>> are you ready to start a great career? ask your doctor about xiidra. >> safelite is now hiring. >> you will love your job. >> there's room to grow... >> ...and lots of opportunities. >> so, what are you waiting for? >> apply now... >> ...and make a difference. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ >> man, i love that song! . >> bret: tonight we take a closer look pentagon's new guidelines for what it considers extremism in the national military. here is correspondent jennifer griffin. >> the 21-page report on handling protests extremists and
3:31 pm
criminal gang activities armed forces recommends the defense department revise recruiting screening and transition materials and strengthening vetting and insider threat program. some republicans fear this is a political witch-hunt designed to trample the first amendment rights of the troops. >> i do worry about what this department of defense with joe biden as the commander-in-chief might do to try to influence the opinions of conservatives in the military. at the same time, when you sign up for our military, you sign away some of your first amendment rights. you sign up to defend the country. you don't stein up to become tiktok influencer or social media star. >> not disqualified from membership in a group like the kkk social media policies likes posts that call for violence, discrimination or the overthrow of the government. >> this isn't about political leanings or partisan inclination. it's about activity. it's about prohibited extremist
3:32 pm
activity. >> pentagon would not give a breakdown of the 100 extremists identified during the past year out of more than 2 million active duty service members. >> were they all members of sort of groups that you might consider white supremacist groups or were there also some who may have been present at a black lives matter protest. what are the types of activities that you saw. >> these were individuals that were substantiated allegations of participating in extremist activity. >> it's not the first time the pentagon has been asked to address extreme if its ranks. the trump administration presented a report to congress months before january 6th how to better screen recruits with ties to domestic extremism following several high profile cases of active duty troops being involved with neo nazi and white supremacist groups like the adam
3:33 pm
waffin. bret? >> bret: jennifer at the pentagon, thank you. the border crisis is not just affecting the southwestern u.s. along those border states. the legal immigration is surging right now in the state of florida. correspondent phil keating has the story tonight from south florida. >> here they come. >> another beach day like this. a boat comes towards shore full of illegal migrants who jump into the surf aiming to blame into florida. the latest right in front of beach goers this weekend in fort lauderdale. nine foreigners taken into custody. 10 days ago in jupiter same thing, 26 men and women startling adults and kids alike, all now likely to be sent right back from where they came. clearly this is not just happening along the rio grande in texas, just on a smaller scale. often coming via paid off human smugglers, many of the boats full of desperate people crossing the florida straits into the keys or the state's east coast they're interdicted out at sea by the coast guard.
3:34 pm
>> do not take to the sea. that's the bottom line message. illegal and unsafe operations on the sea absolutely are dangerous. they are not worth the risk. >> the coast guard and customs and border protection are seeing a surge in this migration flow. coast guard numbers show interdictss are up 1600 percent. 400 cuba train addictions last fiscal year 838. the year before that just 49. right after wet foot, dry foot ended. the year before that was nearly 1500. haitians are fleeing gang, lawlessness, kings and a country in political chaos. cubans have their own reason. >> the pandemic. the economy, the social unrest. the lack of human rights. the lack of food. people wanting a better future. >> former president obama ended wet foot dry foot in 2017. the policy meant that if the cuban was caught out at sea they
3:35 pm
would automatically be sent back. if they made it to land and the sand they could stay and pursue residency. bret? >> bret: phil keating in south florida. >> thanks. former president trump says he will host a news conference on january 6th. one year after the capitol riot. the former president says he will discuss the events of that day, which many lawmakers on the january 6th committee blame him for. the news conference will be at his resort, mar-a-lago in palm beach, florida. you were next,. >> beijing has made clear that it intends to harvest cutting edge american innovation to underwrite its military modernization. >> bret: a harvard professor with ties to china is on trial. looks pretty bad... try this robitussin honey. the real honey you love... plus the powerful cough relief you need. mind if i root through your trash?
3:36 pm
now get powerful relief with robitussin elderberry. thinkorswim® by td ameritrade is more than a trading platform. it's an entire trading experience. with innovation that lets you customize interfaces, charts and orders to your style of trading. personalized education to expand your perspective. and a dedicated trade desk of expert-level support. that will push you to be even better. and just might change how you trade—forever. because once you experience thinkorswim® by td ameritrade
3:37 pm
♪♪♪ there's no going back. ♪ ♪ 'tis the season to break tradition in a cadillac. don't just put on a light show—be the light show. make your nights anything but silent. and ride in a sleigh that really slays. because in a cadillac, tradition is yours to define. so visit a cadillac showroom, and start celebrating today. ♪ ♪
3:38 pm
people with moderate to severe psoriasis, or psoriatic arthritis, are rethinking the choices they make like the splash they create the way they exaggerate the surprises they initiate.
3:39 pm
otezla. it's a choice you can make. otezla is not an injection or a cream it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. >> bret: jurors weigh the case
3:40 pm
of the suburban minneapolis employer shot and killed a black motorist. they have now asked the judge what to do if they cannot reach a verdict. the judge just told the jurors to continue working. the jury has been deliberating the past two days. former brooklyn center officer kim potter charged with first and second degree manslaughter in the death of daunte wright. a harvard university professor is on trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators about his ties to china. the case is seen as major odessa for the u.s. effort to prevent china from stealing american technology. here is senior national correspondent rich edson. >> chair of harvard university's chemistry department and an expert in cutting edge science. his research group received millions in grants from the pentagon, doctor charles lieber, also worked for a chinese university for $50,000 a month. and more than $150,000 in living expenses. federal prosecutors say he hid key details of this arrangement from harvard.
3:41 pm
the department of defense, and the irs. >> failure to disclose foreign affiliations and foreign funding can pose serious threats to national security. >> lieber's ongoing trial is a major test for a justice department initiative to thwart the chinese government's efforts to steal american technology and sensitive research. prosecutors say the national institutes of health and the pentagon gave lieber's research group at harvard $15 million in grants, which required him to disclose money from foreign governments. the "boston globe" reports when the fbi arrested him, lieber said the wuhan university of technology had paid him only travel costs. when shown his contract with the university, lieber then admitted to traveling from wuhan to boston with bags of cash, tens of thousands of dollars he never declared. >> what we're observing here is one of the most significant and comprehensive penetrations of the united states in terms of
3:42 pm
our technology and our intelligence by a foreign power in our history. >> lieber's attorney say the scientist was careless a workaholic and the government does not have evidence like bank records and documents to convict him. this month the foundation for defense of democracy, an american think tank, released a report detailing dozens of american universities tied to chinese schools that support china's military. bret? >> bret: we'll follow it, rich, thanks. news from the nhl. national hockey league players will not participate in the winter olympics. the league reportedly withdrew from the games after the regular season schedule was disrupted by coronavirus outbreaks and announcement. official announcement is expected tomorrow. up next, the president's plan to deal with the coronavirus surge. the omicron variant. >> the cdc's director's interview here and the president's impromptu news conference with the panel. ♪ illions of germs zapped in seconds.
3:43 pm
the face of clean. the face of whoa! some are of intensity, others joy. all are of... various: ahhh... listerine. feel the whoa! priceline works with top hotels to sell their unsold rooms, saving you up to 60%. ah, yes. the parental delegation? you should stay with us. it's no trouble. it's no trouble for him. fine, don't stay with us. i didn't really ask to... okay. ♪♪ the only thing a disaster can't destroy is hope. ♪♪ donate now at redcross.org ♪♪ ♪♪
3:44 pm
♪♪ ♪♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event.
3:45 pm
3:46 pm
♪ >> we should all be concerned about omicron but not panicked. if you are fully vaccinated and especially if you got your booster shot, because omicron spreads easily, especially among the unvaccinated. it's critically important that we know who is infected. that means we need more testing.
3:47 pm
on that score we are now where we should be. >> i don't think anybody anticipated that this was going to be as rapidly spreading as it did. >> two years in, there is no reason for my patients to have to wait hours to get tested. >> this pace, the speed by which omicron has been, you know, transmitting has been seen and mirrored in many other countries and so we have been watching this carefully. we anticipated this. this is what we have been preparing for. >> bret: so there they were preparing for it or not preparing for it not sure. but the testing issue is a big issue. so are therapeutics. katie pavlich, ben domenech and amy cook political report. your thoughts on the cdc director and what you heard from the president today.
3:48 pm
>> well, bret, it seems like the biden administration is getting eaten alive by bureaucracy. and if you look at the way that they came into office. they decided to make a political point by denying and rejecting every sing dwell policy position that the trump administration took, including operation warp speed and the way that they handled the pandemic. here we are 12 months later, after president joe biden said that the testing shortage was a travesty and you have a back up in testing. you have a shortage of treatments for the virus if you are to get it even if you are vaccinated people can't get the booster shot on time like the administration has been telling for weeks now. the messaging again from the cdc director is very unclear when it comes to whether they were prepared for this. the timeline shows they knew about this variant six weeks ago and yet only today the president comes out to talk about how they are going to ramp up testing
3:49 pm
there administration was given operation warp speed on a silver platter they decided to make it political and therefore rejected it. not just bad politics it's bad policy. now they are seeing the ramifications of that without having their own plan to have this private/federal partnership to getting tests out to people and sending people tests in the mail is another bureaucratic way of doing this. >> bret: amy, clearly, joe biden won in large parted because he said he was going to get the coronavirus under control. he wasn't donald trump and he was going to do it differently. for the political threats that this administration faces, whether it was afghanistan or crime or the border or the economy and inflation, really how he handles coronavirus is the biggest, isn't it? >> well, how he handles coronavirus is the biggest bass because it also impacts what the economy does and how people view his handling of the economy. i mean, the interesting thing when you look at the polling right now is it is true opinions
3:50 pm
about joe biden's handling of coronavirus have dropped and dropped pretty significantly since the beginning of the year. but they are still above water. they are still in the 50-plus percent approval rating range. that certainly is a lot better than, say, where president trump was at the end of his tenure on this issue where he is really deeply under water now is the economy. of course, it's almost impossible to separate the two of these. the more that people feel panicked or anxious about the coronavirus, the less likely they are to go out to spend money, to do the things that we know spur the economy. i think what's also really important was the issue of the schools, the president made it really clear today that schools should not be closing, but that goes back to the point about testing. and this becomes to me the biggest challenges. it's not simply, you know, can
3:51 pm
you get a test either by at a free place or get one in the mail, it's how can you get consistent testing for students for schools so that they don't have to shut down or have students learn remotely if someone whether staff member or a student becomes infected with the virus. >> bret: right. i mean, ben, that's the question. you know, i played that soundbite with joe biden in december of 2020 saying it's a travesty we don't have the testing necessary 10 months later and now fast forward to today, he said nobody saw omicron coming even though the cdc director said they were prepared. >> you know, i realize that the bureaucrats are going to spin this and maintain that they were prepared but i think a lot of questions should be asked as was even being asked today in this impromptu press conference the president said he wasn't supposed to be doing by testing wasn't ramped up earlier there
3:52 pm
has been a clamor for inexpensive, wildly available at home testing that people can do in order to know whether they have the possibility of infecting others around them. that is something that absolutely should have been ramped up from the beginning. i think it's a failure now of both administrations that did didn't happen earlier. look, i actually like some of what the president had to say today. particularly when he said that he would shouldn't panic about this. i hear a lot of panic on cable news. but i didn't hear it from the president today. and when he said as amy cited about schools needing to remain open. that's going to create some tension with those who are in the panicky community on his left flank. i do think that the significant failure that i think happened once again with these remarks is treating those who are unvaccinated for whatever reason that they're, as if they are part of some outgroup, that they're the others that they ought to be blamed for the situation that we're in today, even though we see every day the
3:53 pm
news about one person after another who is fully vaccinated, even those who have boosters who are nonetheless being diagnosed as actually testing positive for this new widespread variant which i think we can be very grateful for it seems to be not as deadly as others. those are all things that i think the president has an opportunity to unite the country on to this point he hasn't been able to do that and i think it would really take a significant change in direction in the new year for him to be able to accomplish that. >> bret: i think it's also interesting, katie, how data is hard to come by, it seems. that our own data in the u.s., through the cdc is hard to come by. we are relying on israel and other studies but, yet, findings the data about natural immunity, finding the data about other things is coming according to the director. >> katie: your question, bret, about natural immunity and your question about breaking down the data in terms of who is at most
3:54 pm
risk for the new variant in terms of the elderly possibly or what kind of preconditions or underlying conditions people may have so people can assess their own risk about how serious they need to be -- seriously they need to be concerned about this exact variant. and the cdc director didn't really have any answers for that the bottom line is there are studies from israel there are studies from the u.k. about natural immunity. we have documentation data from south africa saying that this variant is mild for vaccinated, unvaccinated. yet, here in the united states, you have the cdc director and others getting caught up in this idea that if it didn't come from their own lab and their bureaucratic process that they're not using it as scientific data to move forward as a country living with the virus. >> bret: clearly they are pushing the vaccine and the booster and they have the data that says that it's much less severe or you don't get it if you have all three of those. that was the messaging from the president and the cdc director. panel, thanks a lot. merry christmas, happy holidays.
3:55 pm
when we come back, tuesday tweets. ♪
3:56 pm
it's the season of smiling. and at aspen dental, we make it easy to gift yourself the smile you deserve. new patients, start today with a full exam and x-rays, with no obligation. if you don't have insurance, it's free. plus everyone saves 20% on their treatment plan with flexible payment solutions for every budget. we're here making smiles shine bright so you can start the new year feelin' alright. call 1-800-aspendental or book today at aspendental.com (vo) subaru and our retailers believe in giving back. that's why, in difficult times, we provided
3:57 pm
one hundred and fifty million meals to feeding america. and now through the subaru share the love event, we're helping even more. by the end of this year, subaru will have donated over two hundred and twenty five million dollars to charity. this is what it means to be more than a car company. this is what it means to be subaru.
3:58 pm
(vo) nowadays, business can happen anywhere, anytime. with verizon business unlimitede plans, you can get 5g, truly unlimited data, and more hotspot data. so you can run a bakery from the blue line. ha! cupcake. or collaborate with clients from the concourse. and to get your team geared up with the good stuff, book a one-on-one tech check with a business expert. woo! visit us in store or book an appointment
3:59 pm
to save time and money. because every business deserves better. and with plans as low as $30, better costs less than you think. when i say better, you say business. better! (crowd) business! >> bret: time for tuesday's tweets. 2010. how many americans are still stuck in afghanistan? we don't really know. the administration says less than a couple dozen. remember they said there were 100 there. and they pulled out 900 in recent weeks so we don't know but we are staying on that story. >> tyler how long does it take to you write a book. first history book three years. now a year and a half. i have a great team. i was some news about that soon. hi breath, i love the show. would love the challenging part being a news anchor. stay be up to date with everything. our biggest challenge and i have an amazing team that works on "special report" the biggest
4:00 pm
challenge is fitting it all in. and last any new year's resolutions you would like to share with us. i will take the feedback off and drop lbs. election year does it for me. leaving california in droves. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that's it for "special report" fair, balanced and unafraid. a guy who is always staying in shape always with it "fox news primetime" host brian kilmeade this week. start right now. >> brian: thanks for not bringing up golf and that i am terrible at and you are not. you are great. thanks, bret. great job. and i look forward to your next history book. welcome to "primetime," i'm brian kilmeade. we waited all day for joe biden's address to the nation to find out what restrictions we would face for the coming holiday and the coming winter the good news is -- >> another question that folks are asking is with regoing back to march 2020. not this last march 2021, but march 2020 when the pandemic first

76 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on