This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, THE "TODAY" SHOW)
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: I would tell members of my family — and I have — I would not go anywhere in confined places now. It is not that it's going to Mexico. It's, you are in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. If you are out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that's one thing. If you're a closed aircraft or closed container...
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST OF MSNBC'S "TODAY" SHOW : Right.
BIDEN: ... or closed car, or closed classroom, it is a different thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, my next guest says, the airlines have enough trouble without the vice president warning people to avoid flying.
Frank Lorenzo, the former CEO of Continental Airlines.
Frank, you heard that and said, uh-oh, right?
FRANK LORENZO, FORMER CEO, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Yes, I did say uh- oh.
It really struck me as — as overreaction. This is not to say this is not a very serious issue. It clearly is. And I am not going to be walking into people coughing or, you know, showing obvious signs, if I can, to avoid it.
But, having said that, I am getting on a plane on Monday. And, to tell you the truth, I like to think I am pretty careful. And I have not really given it much — much thought. The fact is that I think that the concept of germs going around airplanes is overdone. We live in germs.
CAVUTO: But it's sort of a captive environment. Isn't that what the vice president was saying?
LORENZO: It is a captive — it is a captive environment.
CAVUTO: So, you wouldn't tell your family, Frank, as the vice president seemed to be intimating what he would tell his, that, you know, if I had my druthers, stay off a plane?
LORENZO: I certainly would not. And, like I say, I eat my own cooking. And I'm getting on an airplane on Monday.
CAVUTO: Commercial jet?
LORENZO: On a commercial — on a commercial plane. I don't have — I don't...
CAVUTO: No, the reason why I mention is that, you know, the president — the vice president has gotten a tough rap on this. But a lot of people are saying, you know, if I don't have to fly, I am not going to fly. If I can avoid a confined environment, I'm going to avoid a confined environment.
What do you make of it?
LORENZO: Well, you know, we — we — we have to balance our risks.
If you — if you — if somebody does not want to take that very tiny risk, that is their issue. If they can put off what they're doing, that's their issue. But, for the average person, travel is important. And we live with — we live with a balance of risks.
And I think the risk of getting on an airplane and contracting that, I have been flying continuously for many, many, many years. And I have had - - I have had a number of colds. But I can attribute nothing ever to something I have gotten on board an airplane.
CAVUTO: All right.
Frank, just to interrupt you just a second, what you're seeing on the right portion of your screen, folks, we're awaiting a press conference from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Now, the transportation secretary is there, no doubt, to address the vice president's remarks about never flying again and taking coach wagons everywhere.
CAVUTO: He didn't say the coach wagon part, but he might — might as well have.
CAVUTO: But what do you do to calm people down, that it's OK to fly, it's — you know, they're even saying some of these incidents occurred with people who visiting shopping malls. Avoid shopping malls.
What do you make of just the terror that is — that is happening...
LORENZO: Well, you certainly can help it by the vice president not getting on nationwide television, or worldwide television, for that matter, and — and saying he didn't want his children flying. That would certainly be a good way to start.
CAVUTO: Did the airline industry sense, look, we're just coming out of what had been a bad period, and now we could — revisiting, something we didn't plan on that is going to be much worse?
LORENZO: Well, I have not spoken to airline friends today. So, I can't really speak for today or even the last couple...
CAVUTO: But I imagine they share your view.
LORENZO: But I'm — well, I'm sure they share — they share the view.
LORENZO: And they also share the concern about this overhyping of a risk. There is a concern. We have to be aware of it. It is a serious medical issue.
CAVUTO: Real quickly, what about those countries, Peru and others, not accepting planes from Mexico?
LORENZO: Again, that doesn't — that still does not protect you from — from people who have traveled, who have come around. I mean, that doesn't fully, fully insulate. I don't — I don't buy that. I think that's — that is creating the impression to the people that, you know, we are really protecting you against this — this monster.
CAVUTO: All right.
Frank Lorenzo, very good seeing you.
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