This is a rush transcript of "Fox News Sunday" on August 15, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


More U.S. troops are sent to evacuate American diplomats and thousands of 

Afghans as the Taliban enters the capital city of Kabul. 


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN:  We're deeply concerned about the trends 

and where it's going. 

WALLACE (voice-over): Now, 4,000 troops are sent back to Afghanistan just 

weeks before the U.S. plans to end its longest war -- as the situation on 

the ground unravels and critics blast President Biden's execution of his 


MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  We were going to get our soldiers 

back and we were going to make sure that this kind of thing that you're 

seeing happening today could not happen. 

WALLACE:  We'll ask former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo what it means for 

American security and our standing in the world. 

Then -- 

CROWD:  No more masks!

WALLACE: Tempers flare over mask mandates in schools as the nation's 

students had back to the classroom and COVID cases rise among kids. 

And questions about the effectiveness of vaccines over time raise the 

prospect of boosters. We'll talk with the director of the NIH, Dr. Francis 

Collins, about the latest wave and how many of us will need a third shot. 

And a U.N. report on climate change declares code red for humanity. We'll 

ask our Sunday panel about the dire warnings and what's at stake if we 

don't act quickly. 

All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday." 


WALLACE (voice-over): And hello again from FOX News in Washington. 

We begin with breaking news on two fronts. In Afghanistan, President Biden 

boosting deployment from 3,000, now to 4,000 troops as Afghan government 

and security forces collapse under a Taliban advance. Insurgents taking 

control of more than 30 percent -- 30, rather, of the country's 34 

provinces and a lightning offensive over the past ten days. Taliban 

fighters now reaching the outskirts of Kabul, where the evacuation of U.S. 

embassy staff has begun. 

And in Haiti, a powerful magnitude 7.2 quake has killed hundreds of people 

with the death toll rising just as a tropical storm closes in. In a moment, 

we'll speak with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who oversaw the 

Trump administration's peace agreement with the Taliban.

But, first, let's bring in Kevin Corke at the White House with the latest 

on both Haiti and Afghanistan -- Kevin. 

KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, with President Ghani set to 

relinquish power in Afghanistan and the Taliban now on the march in Kabul, 

the U.S.'s precarious presence in Afghanistan is facing the all too real 

prospect of an ignominious end and a dangerous one as well. 


CORKE (voice-over): President Biden huddled with his senior national 

security advisors this week, mapping out an updated exit strategy from the 

war-torn nation. This is the Taliban has continued its march him, seizing 

increasingly large swaths of the countryside without much resistance, 

finally reaching the streets of Kabul today. 

Afghan officials say Taliban negotiators are headed to the palace today to 

discuss transfer of the city, something Biden previously said was not a 

foregone conclusion. 

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The Afghan troops have 300,000 

well-equipped, as well-equipped as any army in the world and an air force, 

against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable. 

CORKE:  Near the embassy in Kabul, Chinook helicopters landing to help 

evacuate personnel as diplomats urgently destroy sensitive documents. 

Afghan officials say troops have surrendered Bagram airbase to the Taliban, 

which houses 5,000 inmates, increasingly Kabul international airport is the 

only way in for U.S. troops and the only way out for anyone looking to 


Meanwhile, half a world away, Haiti is once again in the throes of disaster 

with desperate searches on going to find the living trapped in rubble 

following a devastating 7.2 earthquake Saturday that is killed or than 

hundred there. 


CORKE (on camera): Chris, that impoverished country is still trying to 

claw its way back from a similar powerful earthquake some 11 years ago and 

is now doing so without a head of state as its president was assassinated 

there last month -- Chris. 

WALLACE:  Kevin Corke reporting from the White House -- Kevin, thank you. 

And joining us now, former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. 

Mr. Secretary, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday".

MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  Chris, thanks for having me on 

this morning. 

WALLACE:  How dire is the situation in Afghanistan as we talk today? Is a 

full Taliban takeover of the country now inevitable? 

POMPEO:  Well, Chris, it certainly looks like it. It looks like the Biden 

demonstration has just failed in its execution of its own plan. It looks 

like they are now trying to get folks out. 

This reminds me of when we have seen previous administrations allow 

embassies to be overrun. It's starting to feel that way. It also looks like 

there's a bit of panic having to reinsert soldiers to get them out. The 

plan should have been, much like we had, was that we would have an orderly 

conditions-based way to think about how to draw down our forces there. We 

actually delivered on that promise. 

I hope we get these folks out. I hope they will bring the airpower. They 

should go crush these Taliban who are surrounding Kabul. We can do it with 

American airpower. 

We should put pressure on them. We should put -- inflict cost and pain on 

them. We shouldn't be begging them to spare the lives of Americans. We 

should be imposing costs on the Taliban until they allow us to execute our 

plan in Afghanistan. 

WALLACE:  There are a lot of questions here. Let me start with the one that 

I think is most important to the American homeland. If -- I guess we should 

say when the Taliban takes over, what does it mean for U.S. national 

security? Can we, as the Biden administration promises, from over the 

horizon deal with a terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland from inside 


POMPEO:  Well, Chris, this is one of the most important questions, it 

depends on a couple of things. The first is the context for American 

security policy. So think about what's happening. The Taliban are 

aggressive and they are fearless because we have an administration that has 

refused to adopt a deterrence model, the one that President Trump and I 

had, right (ph)?

We've had Iranian rockets landed in Israel. We've handed the pipeline back 

to the Russians, right? We've allowed the Chinese to castigate our senior 

leadership in Anchorage and now we're letting the Taliban to run free and 

wild all around Afghanistan. 

They have to understand that there's in an administration with a backbone 

and a seriousness to execute on the things that matter and protect and 

defend America. 

So this gets to the larger challenge, what -- what will the Taliban believe 

that the Americans are prepared to do if they begin to play footsie with al 

Qaeda or let ISIS begin to grow in Afghanistan? If it's like the Carter 

administration and the Obama administration and now what appears to be the 

first seven months of the Biden demonstration, the Taliban will feel free 

to do this. 

I can assure you. Were I still the secretary of state or the commander in 

chief like President Trump, the Taliban would have understood that there 

were real costs to pay if there were plots against the United States of 

America from that place. Qassem Soleimani learned that lesson, and the 

Taliban would have learned it as well. 

WALLACE:  President Biden released a statement yesterday in which in effect 

he blamed President Trump and your administration for the deal that you 

made with the Taliban back in 2020 which resulted in a promise at that time 

that President Trump had stayed in office to pull all troops out by this 

past May. 

I want to read you some of what President Biden said in his statement. 

When I became president, I faced a choice, follow through on the deal or 

ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in 

another country's civil conflict.

Mr. Secretary, what do you think of President Biden's attempt here to blame 

-- to pain all the blame for what's transpired in these last few weeks on 

the deal he says he, quote, inherited, from President Trump and from you? 

POMPEO:  If the risks weren't so serious, Chris, it would be pathetic. I 

wouldn't have let my 10-year old son get away from this kind of pathetic 

blame-shifting. He should be less focused on trying to blame this on 

someone else than to solving the problem of making sure that we protect and 

defend American security. 

Chris, it's worth noting this did not happen on our watch. We reduced our 

forces significantly and the Taliban didn't advance on capitals all across 

Afghanistan. So it's just a plain old fact that this is happening under the 

Biden administration's leadership now almost a quarter of our way into his 

first term, this is -- this is not the way leaders lead by pointing 


We had a bad deal. We inherited the JCPOA. We got out of it. We secured 

America from the risk of Iran. 

We inherited a horrible deal in Syria where ISIS controlled real estate the 

size of Great Britain. We crushed them. 

Every president confronts confer challenges. This president confronted a 

challenge in Afghanistan. He has utterly failed to protect the American 

people from this challenge. 

WALLACE:  But I have to say, it isn't just President Biden who says this. 

When we announced that you are going to be a guest on this program, a 

former top military commander in Afghanistan and a current top Republican 

member of Congress, both talked about the deal that the Trump 

administration and you negotiated back in 2020 with the Taliban to pull out 

all U.S. forces. 

Here was President Trump when he was in office. 


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT:  Basically, we're policeman right now and 

we're not supposed to be policeman. We've been there -- we've been there 

for 19 years in Afghanistan. It's ridiculous. 


WALLACE:  Critics say that for the U.S. to cut a deal with the Taliban 

without the Afghan government even in the room was hugely demoralizing and 

led inevitably to where we are today. 

POMPEO:  Yeah, Chris, that's just simple he not true. Go read the deal. Go 

read the conditions that were built into the deal. I was in the room. I was 

at the center of working to deliver that. 

The Afghans were in the room. We had the Afghans all in the room for the 

same time in 20 years we had Afghan leaders. Not just a corrupt leader, 

Ghani. I mean, think about President Ghani, he's been all this time 

lobbying Washington, D.C., Republicans and military leaders, the same folks 

you probably just talked about. 

If he had spent that time building up friends and coalitions and working 

with the Taliban himself, we could have gotten to reconciliation. Instead 

he took money for his own good and then came to Washington to lobby for 

more American money, billions of dollars. He spent more time in Washington 

than he did talking to his own people. 

We negotiated a deal that performed a basis for the conditions-based 

withdrawal for American soldiers. I'm proud of the work that we did there. 

We brought a lot of young kids home. We saved a lot of American lives. 

We were working diligently to deliver on the president's two missions, to 

get our young people home, to reduce the risk of the United States from 

having our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines there in Afghanistan, and 

second, to create the conditions where we could make sure that a terror 

attack on the United States did not happen from there. 

We did it in the Philippines. We did it in Syria. We reduced terrorism risk 

all around the world. We would have done it in Afghanistan as well. 

WALLACE:  I just want to ask you one more question about your record 

though, sir. You were the first American secretary of state to ever meet 

with the Taliban and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the 

fight against terrorism. Here you are, sir. 


POMPEO:  The gentleman I met with agreed that they would break that 

relationship and that they would work alongside of us to destroy, deny 

resources to, and to have al Qaeda depart from that place. 


WALLACE:  Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret 

pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners, which they did, 

some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban? 

POMPEO:  Chris, you make peace with your enemies, the statement that I made 

that day was absolutely true. You can ask the military leaders on the 

ground. We did good work to crush al Qaeda. When we left office, there were 

fewer than 200 al Qaeda left and Afghanistan. 

Chris, we never trusted the Taliban. You can ask them yourselves. We made 

abundantly clear if they did not live up to that piece of paper, to the 

words that they had put on the ground, we weren't going to allow them to 

just walk away from any deal that they had struck, we were going to go 

crush them. We were going to impose real costs on them. We were going to 

let them take these provincial capitals. 

They understood that American power was going to come to their village, to 

their community, to their friends and family around him and we were going 

to make sure that they understood America wasn't going to allow Americans 

to be killed from this place. 

We didn't take the word of the Taliban. We watched their actions on the 

ground. When they did the right thing and they helped us against terror, 

that was all good. And when they didn't, we crush them. 

WALLACE:  Finally, and I want -- I got about two minutes here, sir. You 

graduated first in her class from West Point in 1986 and I'm sure you 

vividly remember that it was just a decade earlier in 1975 when the U.S. 

pulled out of Saigon and you saw U.S. diplomats, Vietnamese people who had 

been sided with us, clamoring on to helicopters on the embassy roof, which 

scarred our country and our military for years. 

What you think the fall of Afghanistan is going to say to our allies and to 

our enemies? And what you think it's going to mean for our image of 


POMPEO:  Chris, that's a very important question. I think weak American 

leadership always harms American security. So this is in the context of the 

Biden administration that has basically abandoned the global stage in favor 

of climate change. They've been focused on critical race theory while the 

embassy is at risk. That didn't happen during our four years. 

I do think there's a real risk here. I think our soldiers sailors, our 

junior enlisted soldiers have done amazing work along the way. But I think 

the senior military leadership that had 20 years to build out these 

coalition forces, the Afghan national security forces, has to fundamentally 

rethink the training that they've provided them, the weapons they provided 

them, how they were thinking strategically about handing this battle off to 

the Afghan people, and we had a president in Afghanistan who wasn't 

prepared to do the right thing for his own national security, for his own 


I think that political failure and that military failure is something that 

we're going to have to take a long, hard look at to make sure that we are 

always securing American freedom. 

WALLACE:  Secretary Pompeo, thank you. Thanks for your time this Sunday. 

Always good to talk with you, sir. 

POMPEO:  Yes, sir. 

WALLACE:  Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss Afghanistan 

and the dire warning this week for the future of our planet.



BIDEN:  The jury is still out. But the likelihood there is going to be the 

Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly 



WALLACE:  President Biden just over a month ago expressing confidence in 

the ability the Afghan military to stand up to the Taliban.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. Former RNC communications director 

Doug Heye, Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief the "Associated Press" and 

FOX News political analyst Juan Williams. 

Julie, I guess the big question is how could President Biden have so badly 

misjudged the strength and cohesion of the Afghan government and the Afghan 

security forces? And I know that the polls show that most Americans want 

the U.S. out of our longest war, but are they prepared at the White House 

for a real blowback when we begin to see those images -- horrific images -- 

about the Taliban is going to do inside Afghanistan? 


really remarkable I think how this story is shifting and changing on the 

Biden White House. You know, as late as Friday coming into this weekend, 

even after we saw the Taliban taking over a pretty significant swath of 

territory in Afghanistan, the Biden White House was really leaning into 

this idea that the public was with them, that politics on the war and 

shifted in the U.S. him and that was true. 

I think what we are actually dealing with right now are going to be bigger 

questions around, you know, was this intelligence failure? You know, how 

did we miss that the Taliban had this strength, that the Afghan security 

forces would fall so quickly, because as you said, this does not appear to 

have been the assessment of anyone in the U.S. government, that the 

withdrawal would lead to this kind of situation so quickly.

And I think there's real uncertainty about where the American people and 

the politics on this will stand if we all get to the end of today -- you 

know, not a point in the distant future, but the end of today and see that 

the Taliban has taken over Kabul and the Afghan government has fully 


WALLACE:  Doug, you know, there's quite a split inside the Republican Party 

about whether we should have stayed in Afghanistan or left buried. We need 

to point out it wasn't just President Biden who wanted to pull out, it was 

Donald Trump who set all of that in motion and wanted to pull out but as 

you heard, Secretary Pompeo say come his policy would have been different, 

wanted to pull out this last May. 

But when you see what's happened over the last week, we had -- we'd spent 

20 years and $80 billion building up the Afghan military and they collapse, 

they just run away from the Taliban. 

How can you justify investing more American blood and treasure? 


Republicans want to do -- and there is a real split -- part of the 

leadership would seem from Liz Cheney is talking about we can't abandon 

those people who have helped us on the ground at this very critical moment. 

And if we do abandon them, essentially the Afghan translators and so forth, 

we are condemning them to hell essentially.

And so the reality that we see on the ground here politically is -- you 

know, we talk so often, Chris, about whether or not America is a great 

nation and/or a good nation. Well, clearly, what we are seeing right now is 

not great and the question with Afghan translators is whether or not we're 


There's a lot of blame to go around. If you read Robert Draper's "To Start 

a War," which I picked up again last night, this goes back with many 

president now with follies. But this is now on Joe Biden, you can't just 

look backwards and blame Donald Trump. 

And one of the key messages in his campaign was Joe Biden had a team of 

professionals versus Donald Trump's Adams family and they weren't going to 

make these mistakes on the ground. 

This is where we are now. We need to see leadership and we need to see Joe 

Biden lead. 

WALLACE:  Well, of course, the question, Juan, is how can he lead? Because 

as we said at the beginning of the show, the Taliban is at the gates. They 

may give us a little time to get out and maybe to get some Afghan 

supporters out, but not the tens of thousands at this point, which gets to 

the basic question. 

As I mentioned to Secretary Pompeo, Joe Biden issued a statement yesterday 

that basically said I inherited this mess, blame President Trump for the 

deal he made. 

But when you see the horrific scenes we're going to see in the next days 

and weeks, there's no way around it, this is Joe Biden's defeat, isn't it? 


happening under Biden's watch and he's going to have to bear that 

responsibility and those horrific images are going to come from the media, 

no doubt. 

But I think this is less a matter of blame, Chris, then regret. I mean, 

don't forget, this was the forever war, and as you pointed out, the 

American people don't want to be there but also it was the forgotten war. 

Why was it forgotten? Because the goal 20 years ago when we got involved 

here was to stop the Taliban from allowing Afghanistan to be a base for 

terrorist activity. And that goal was accomplished. That was shut down. 

And then it became a matter of how do we maintain that, how do we keep the 

Taliban at bay? Well, that then enters into the whole notion of nation-

building and, you know what? The United States has spent trillions of 

dollars to prop up the Afghanistan government, to prop up their military, 

their police, training and all the rest, American lives, and money. 

And it hasn't worked. Why? Because of their -- you know, Ashraf Ghani, the 

president's own corruption, lack of competence. That's their issue. 

I don't think that's an American issue. The key for Biden is making sure 

that there is no further terrorist base ever established in Afghanistan. 

WALLACE:  Let's turn to another big story that week, that was the report 

from a panel of the United Nations, which talked about the weather extremes 

in the world getting even more extreme, so bad that the secretary general 

of the United Nations called it code red for humanity. 

Here was the reaction on the U.S. Senate floor to the report. 


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT):  Oregon is burning, California is burning, 

Greece is burning. There is a drought hitting virtually every country on 


SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY):  The Green New Deal is not about protecting the 

environment. It's about making big government even bigger. 


WALLACE:  Julie, the report says that the weather extremes are getting even 

more extreme and we all see it. In our homes, on TV, terrible forest fires 

broiling heat, storms, floods, and yet I think one of the things that's 

remarkable to me is here we are at the week, the report came out I think 

Monday, Washington, our leaders both on the right and left, basically moved 


PACE:  Absolutely. And, look, I think there's actually a linkage between 

what we are talking about here on climate and what we're talking about the 

Biden administration trying to do in Afghanistan. You know, when Biden 

looks at the biggest national security challenges facing the United States, 

facing the world, he looks at climate change as being top of that list. 

And so, part of the rationale for trying to get out of Afghanistan is that 

it's time to take U.S. attention away from a situation like that where, as 

we see, there's really no good end in sight and put more attention and 

things like climate change. Republicans will argue that is a mistake. But 

for Biden, he really does see climate as a place where we need to be 

focusing more sustained attention. But the challenge, as you saw over the 

last couple of days, is that as president you don't always get to pick your 

priorities, a lot of times they are really chosen for you. 

WALLACE:  And you have to deal with more than one crisis or catastrophe at 

a time. 

Panel, thank you. We'll take a break here. You'll see you all a little 


Up next, parents around the country increasingly at odds with each other 

and school boards over mask mandates. We'll discuss the truth about risks 

in the classroom with Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH. That's next.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Coronavirus cases, fueled by the delta 

variant, continue to surge, primarily among the unvaccinated as the FDA 

authorizes booster shots for some people and more employers are requiring 

vaccination as a condition for returning to work. 

Joining us now to discuss the latest guidance, the director of the National 

Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins. 

Dr. Collins, let's start with the latest figures on this fourth wave of the 

coronavirus. I want to put the stats up on the screen. The latest average 

of new cases is more than 129,000 new cases a day. That's up more than 700 

percent from the beginning of July. 

Assuming current trends of the spread of the virus and assuming the current 

level of vaccinations, how high could this wave get before it crests? How 

many new cases could we be seeing a day? 


we can't really predict that. All we can say is that this is going very 

steeply upward with no signs of having peeked out. So I will be surprised 

if we don't cross 200,000 cases a day in the next couple of weeks.

And that's heartbreaking considering we never thought we would be back in 

that space again. That was January, February. That shouldn't be August. But 

here we are with delta variant, which is so contagious, and this 

heartbreaking situation where 90 million people are still unvaccinated who 

are sitting ducks for this virus, and that's the mess we're in. We're in a 

world of hurt and it's a critical juncture to try to do everything we can 

to turn that around. 

WALLACE: We are also seeing a sharp rise in the number of pediatric cases, 

both unvaccinated kids and vaccinated kids who are getting COVID from this 

new delta variant. 

How bad could that spike in pediatric cases get? 

COLLINS: That's very worrisome. I think traditionally people kind of 

considered, well, you know, kids aren't going to get that sick with this. 

It more than 400 children have died of COVID-19. And right now we have 

almost 2,000 kids in the hospital, many of them in ICU, some of them under 

the age of four. So anybody who tries to tell you, well, don't worry about 

the kids, the virus won't really bother them, that's not the evidence. And 

especially with delta being so contagious, kids are very seriously at risk. 

And it's up to all of us to do everything we can to protect them, as well 

as we're trying to protective everybody else at the same time. 

WALLACE: You talk about protecting them. Seven states across the country 

have bans in place, bans against mandates for school masks, mask for these 

kids when they're in the schools, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is 

leading the charge. 

Here he was this week, sir. 


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): If you're coming after the rights of parents in 

Florida, I'm standing in your way. I'm not going to let you get away with 



WALLACE: How strong is the case that children in school should wear masks 

as a mitigation against delta? 

COLLINS: Chris, it's very strong. Go to the CDC website. You'll see more 

than a dozen publications showing that evidence. And already you can see in 

this country the schools that have started to open without mask 

requirements, outbreaks are happening. And what happens then? The kids are 

sent home for virtual learning, which is what we were trying to avoid. It's 

really unfortunate that politics and polarization have got in the way of a 

simple public health measure. 

This mask that I'm holding has somehow become a symbol that it never should 

have been. This is basically just a life-saving medical device. And somehow 

it's now being seen as an invasion of your personal liberty. We never 

should have gone there. It's heartbreaking for me as a person who's not a 

politician, I'm a scientist, I'm a public health person, I'm a doctor, to 

see how masks have gotten into this very strange place with parents and 

others shouting about it. We never should have allowed that to happen. 

WALLACE: I want to pick up on that because the board of education in 

Williamson County, Tennessee, near Nashville, held a meeting this week on 

the issue of mask mandates. And there were some parents in the group, 

including some -- some doctors who had kids in the school who were urging 

that everybody wear masks, that there be a mask mandate. And I want to play 

the -- the reaction, the scene in the parking lot after the meeting of the 

school board. 

Here they are. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are! 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We -- we know who you are! 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are! 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can leave freely, but we're going to find you and we 

know who you are!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are! You -- you -- you will never be 

allowed in public again! You will never be allowed -- you'll never be 

allowed in public again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know who you are!



WALLACE: As the head of the National Institutes of Health, as a person 

who's devoted your life to public health, what's your reaction, sir, when 

you see that? 

COLLINS: Well, it's devastating that we, in this country, the most advanced 

technological society on the planet, has somehow slipped into a space where 

the evidence and the basis for making decisions on facts has gotten pushed 

aside by politics, by social media conspiracies and by this incredible 

depth of anger and grievance that seems to be held by so many. Our future, 

as a nation, has got to revolve around coming away from that kind of 

approach to everything or I don't see how we're going to solve all of our 

society's problems, which are looming in front of us. 

If I have one thing I'm worried about, it's not just the epidemic of COVID-

19, it's the epidemic of misinformation, disinformation, distrust, that is 

tearing us apart. 

WALLACE: One of the big questions now, Dr. Collins, is whether or not all 

of us who got the vaccines in the first place are going to need a third 

shot, or a booster, whatever you want to call it, because of declining 

protection from the vaccine over time. 

Now, you and the CDC and all the top government scientists are saying, 

well, maybe sometime later this fall, maybe early next year. But, in Israel 

right now, they are giving the third shots to everybody over 60 and 

starting this week they're going to be giving the shot to everybody over 

50, which raises the question, do they know something we don't, sir? 

COLLINS: Well, we're looking very closely at their data, as well as our 


This is a tricky situation. First, let's point out that just on Friday 

CDC's advisory group, and the CDC director accepted it, approved a third 

shot for people who have immunocompromise, but that's a separate question. 

What about the rest of us? Again, we are looking at this data almost daily. 

Yet there is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane in its 

effectiveness over months. And delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal 

with. The combination of those two means we may need boosters, maybe 

beginning first with health care providers, as well as people in nursing 

homes, and then gradually moving forward. 

We have not made that decision yet because right now the data we have from 

the U.S. says people who are vaccinated are fully protected, even against 

delta. When you're talking about severe disease, you're not going to end up 

in the hospital if you have that vaccination.

And, of course, the big message right now this morning is, Chris, for the 

people who aren't vaccinated, this is the moment to absolutely get off the 

fence and take care of this because you are a sitting duck for this virus. 

It's looking for you. 

WALLACE: But you must know that there are people who did get vaccinated who 

are seeing -- and there have been some studies, as you say, it doesn't 

indicate people are going to get -- certainly be hospitalized or die, but 

that the protection from the vaccine is waning. And -- and as you know, 

some people have gone and gotten a third booster on their own in this 

country, you know, either lied about it or whatever. And, you know, if 

you're -- if you're looking at what's going on in Israel, which seems like 

a pretty safe and careful country, why shouldn't you say, well, if they're 

doing it, I'll do it? 

COLLINS: Well, in -- in fact that is the question we're asking closely. 

Remember, Israel had delta hit them sooner than it did us. So in a certain 

way the timetable we're looking at is stepped back a bit because of the 

spread of this virus. That's part of it. 

But also, we're a different kind of country with different situations. We 

are getting increasing amount of data from the U.S., especially the next 

couple of weeks. We're going to see a lot since delta really started 

hitting hard in July. And then we'll make a decision. 

And, again, I don't think it's right for people to jump the gun until we 

really have the evidence.

We're back to where we were a minute ago, Chris. We're a nation that's 

supposed to make decisions based on evidence. Let's try to apply that here 


WALLACE: Finally, Governor DeSantis blames President Trump for spreading 

COVID by letting so many people with COVID into the country illegally. Here 

was Governor DeSantis on that. 


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Whatever variants are around the world, they're 

coming across that southern border. And so he's not shutting down the 

virus, he's helping to facilitate it in our country. 


WALLACE: Your talk about dealing with the science, dealing with facts. I'm 

going to ask you about that. In parts of Texas, the positivity rate for 

COVID among some of the illegal migrants coming across the border is over 

10 percent. How responsible are they for spreading -- for this wave of 

COVID that is sweeping the country right now? 

COLLINS: Well, it's certainly a cause of concern. They have very 

significant masking requirements there but it is certainly possible. 

But, you know, let nobody try to say that's why the U.S. is in trouble. The 

rate of infection in Mexico is actually lower than it is right now in 

places like Texas and Louisiana and Florida. I think that's a bit of a 

distraction. We've got enough of a problem with her own citizens who have 

refused to roll up their sleeves. So maybe that would be a better thing to 

focus on if we're trying to end this. That -- that seemed like it was not 

going to get us where we need to be. It's an issue, but it's certainly not 

the cause of our current dilemma. 

WALLACE: Dr. Collins, thank you. Thanks for sharing part of her weekend 

with us. Always good to talk with you, sir. Please, come back. 

COLLINS: OK, Chris, I will. 

WALLACE: Coming up, we'll bring back our Sunday group to discuss the battle 

against COVID and a growing divide among House Democrats over the path 

forward for President Biden's domestic agenda. 



DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: To vaccinate everyone who can be 

vaccinated, vaccinating family members, if children cannot yet be 

vaccinated, and then to follow the mitigation strategies in our school, 

guidance, including masking in schools. 


WALLACE: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, this week, with guidance on how to 

keep schools safe in the new COVID wave as kids and teachers returned to 

the classroom. 

And we're back now with the panel. 

Julie, there's been a lot of talk inside the White House about getting even 

tougher about mandating vaccines, including the idea of cutting off federal 

funds to institutions, like nursing homes, that get some federal funds 

unless they make sure all of the people inside, at least the staff inside 

the homes are vaccinated. 

Where does that idea of using federal funds as a hammer, where does that 



still under discussion and I think that, you know, it -- it speaks to this 

straddle that the White House is -- is trying to -- to make here, which is, 

on the one hand they really believe that mandates -- that anything they can 

do to really pressure people to get the vaccine actually is -- is -- is 

working. If you look at the data, as more companies, as the federal 

government has -- has put mandates in place, you actually are seeing the 

number of vaccinations increase.

On the other hand, Biden knows that in -- in parts of the country, with 

really low vaccination rates, which tend to be more Republican leaning, you 

know, the idea of mandates in general, and the idea of anything being 

pushed by the Biden administration might make people more resistant. So 

it's a -- it's this really fine balance that they're trying to strike here 

between using ever lever that they have, pulling every lever that they have 

to try to force people to essentially get this vaccine without making it 

seem like Biden himself is actually forcing people to get the vaccine.

WALLACE: Juan, I -- I want to pick up on that because President Biden's 

poll numbers were doing very well in the spring when we were doing very 

well against COVID. And as the COVID numbers have risen and, you know, we 

just heard Dr. Collins say we could see more than 200,000 cases -- new 

cases a day before this wave ends, his poll numbers have begun to go down. 

How does he balance, on the one hand, the push for vaccines, the push to 

try to get this COVID wave under control, with, on the other hand, the 

fierce backlash we saw, for instance, in that Tennessee parking lot when 

people start talking about mandating vaccines or even mandating masks? 


American people, he's got to do what's right for the American people and 

protect us, Chris. I think that's the paramount issue here. 

You know, to me, if -- what's the basis for the backlash against Biden? The 

backlash should be against people who are ignoring clear medical guidance, 

clear medical facts about the dangers posed by coronavirus and somehow 

they've made getting vaccinated into a political issue. 

Again, there's lots of vaccine. You can go down to the drugstore right now 

and get vaccinated. So you'd have to say that it's a matter of people who 

have chosen to ignore this reality and instead made it a political issue or 

an act of personal defiance or focused on what they want or don't want to 

do or just indifferent. 

So, to me, that's where the backlash belongs. Biden's going to have to deal 

with it politically only by, again, asserting, you can get the vaccine. 

It's up to you. 

WALLACE: Doug, we have seen strong stands by some Republican governors, 

especially DeSantis in Florida and Abbott in Texas, against even mask 

mandates. Forget about vaccines. But now those are the states, two of the 

states, Texas and Florida, that are seeing the -- the biggest spike in 

COVID cases.

So how did they balance, on the one hand, their calls for personal freedom 

and their political stand on that with, on the other hand, the -- the 

growing public health concern in their backyards? 


former Director Collins was referring to as -- as to how this has all 

become a bigger part of the culture war. I think, for Republicans, they'd 

be best to focus on what are the incentives to get people to get vaccinated 

so that we can all go back to normal, as opposed to more punishments. 

But, Chris, this is also an opportunity for Congress to lead. And Congress 

has failed here. You know, last year, in October, and -- and last month I 

co-wrote two op-eds with Kendra Barkoff Lamy, who used to work for Joe 

Biden, calling for Congress first to mandate testing for anybody who would 

come in the Capitol. They failed to do that. Then last month, for vaccines 

for anybody who was going to enter the Capitol. They have failed to do 


I'm so proud that Mitch McConnell was putting his money where his mouth is 

and running ads in Kentucky, urging people to get vaccinated. But if 

Congress can't do the job that it needs to do for itself, it sends a bad 

message for the rest of the country and leaves those incentives on the 

table that need to be really implemented for -- for the American people. 

WALLACE: You know, we've talked so far today about Afghanistan, climate 

change, COVID. Pretty bleak stuff. But, in fact, we forget that this 

started out as a pretty good week and a big week for President Biden when 

the Senate passed his $1 trillion infrastructure package on a big, strong, 

bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate. 

Take a look at President Biden back a few days ago. 



infrastructure week, we're on the cusp of an infrastructure decade that I 

truly believe will transform America. 


WALLACE: But, Julie, now there's a sharp split among House Democrats -- the 

bill has passed the Senate, it's in the House -- a sharp split among House 

Democrats. You've got the moderates saying, look, this passed the Senate. 

It's a trillion dollars. It's bipartisan. Let's pass it now and get it to 

the president's desk. And then, on the other hand, the left wing of the 

party in the House saying, no, no, we're not going to vote on this, we're 

going to wait until we also get this $3 trillion plus spending bill. And 

that could take months. 

Where does that all stand now? 

PACE: This is -- was a very brief moment of celebration for the White House 

because this problem lingers now in the -- in the House where, you know, 

Nancy Pelosi can't really pick which side of her party she is going to try 

to appease here because she needs both. The Democrats' margin in the House 

is so narrow that she needs to hold the entire party together in order to 

get both of these pieces of legislation through. And so, you know, I -- I 

think ultimately Democrats want both of these bills so badly that they will 

find a way out of it, but getting there is really, really difficult. If the 

moderates are really squeamish about the big price tag and the progressives 

feel like this is their one chance to get something that big through and 

they want commitments that that -- they're not going to walk away -- 

Democrats are not going to walk away from that bigger piece of legislation. 

So Pelosi has a lot of navigating to do right now to keep this big tent 

party together. But I -- I do think ultimately the -- the impetus for 

Democrats to be able to get out of this year with both of these bills will 

likely be so strong that they will find a way. But it's -- it's going to be 

tense getting there. 

WALLACE: Yes, well, let's talk about how tense it is, Juan. Who does Nancy 

Pelosi, the speaker, need to worry about more at this point, the moderate 

Democrats -- and there were nine of them who sent a letter to the 

leadership this week who say, pass the infrastructure bill now, or the left 

wing, people like "the squad," who are saying, no, no, you've got to wait 

until the fall, you're going to have to get that whole reconciliation bill, 

$3 trillion in social spending, and then we'll vote for both? Who does she 

need to worry about more? 

WILLIAMS: Well, she's -- clearly President Biden and Speaker Pelosi are on 

the same page because they both say that they want to wait for the 

reconciliation and they're going to do it together. But -- but I would just 

advise you, Chris, to look back at Nancy Pelosi's track record here. After 

the '08 recession, people said, oh, she's split between moderates and far 

left on spending, on the stimulus. Then it came -- same issue about 

Obamacare. Then, you know, cap and trade. In every case, Pelosi has had 

success, a 100 batting average. One thousand batting average.

WALLACE: Yes, I was going to say, 100 gets you sent back to the minors. 

Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. 

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." He made an iconic speech six 

decades ago calling TV up vast wasteland. What does he think of it today?


WALLACE: It was 60 years ago this past May that the head of the Federal 

Communications Commission made a speech that started a national debate. As 

we first told you this spring, six decades later, he's still got strong 


Here's our "Power Player of the Week." 




U.S.:  I thought that we were wasting this extraordinary gift of 

technology, and we were not using it to its full potential. 

WALLACE (voice over): Newton Minow, President Kennedy's FCC chair, on why 

he challenged TV broadcasters in 1961. 

MINOW (May 9, 1961): Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station 

signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland. 

WALLACE: The phrase "vast wasteland" made headlines and struck a nerve. The 

producer of "Gillian's Island" even named the boat that wrecked on that 

three hour cruise the SS Minnow.

WALLACE (on camera): Were you surprised at the reaction? 

MINOW: I was shocked. I think it was because print media was jealous of 

television and they made a big fuss about it. 

WALLACE (voice over): It's just one of Minow's many brushes with history. 


WALLACE: Working for Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson in 1956, Minow 

came up with the idea for televised debates with President Eisenhower. 

MINOW: Adlai's political advisers thought it would be perceived as a 

gimmick and many of them thought Adlai would not do very well. So it was 

rejected and never even proposed. 

WALLACE: After Stevenson lost, Minow had some advice for a younger 

politician about the next election. 

MINOW: I said, Jack, I said, if you are still interested, you probably 

could get the vice presidential nomination next time. And Jack Kennedy 

looked at me and he said, vice president? Vice president? He said, I'm 

going to run for president. 

WALLACE: Kennedy won in no small part because of a televised debate with 

Richard Nixon. 

MINOW: By a funny coincidence, my college roommate --

SANDER VANOCUR: I'm Sander Vanocur.

MINOW: Sandy (ph) Vanocur turned out to be one of the questioners, one of 

the panelists.

WALLACE (on camera): You're kind of the Forest Gump of the second half of 

the 20th century, aren't you? 

MINOW: I pop up at very, very odd places. 

WALLACE (voice over): In 1988, Minow got his law firm to hire an summer 

intern from Harvard. 

MINOW: Barack came to work (INAUDIBLE) and his supervisor was a young 

woman, also a Harvard Law graduate, named Michelle Robinson. And one night 

Joe and I went to the movies and we ran into Michelle and Barack. They were 

out on their very first date. 

This is my favorite.

WALLACE: Now, at age 95, Minow is still a TV enthusiast. 

MINOW: What channel shall we watch or shall we just wallow in the vast 


WALLACE: And still a critic. 

WALLACE (on camera): Do you see a connection between having so many choices 

of television and the polarization in the country? 

MINOW: Yes, I do. And I particularly see it when we don't agree on facts. 

You must know the difference between a fact and an opinion. 

WALLACE: You have been at the center of so many key events and you have 

dealt with so many major figures in this country. 

As you look back on your life, what are your thoughts? 

MINOW: I'm so devoted to this country and been so fortunate to have been 

involved in so many important things and I -- I -- every day I say thank 

God for America. 


WALLACE: Minow says the goal for television should be to serve the public 

interest. Back in that 1961 speech, he said history will decide whether 

today's broadcasters employ their powerful voice to enrich the people or to 

debase them. 

Now, a personal note. 

Remember how at the start of school you had to write a paper about what you 

did on your summer vacation? Well, I spent the last few weeks having 

surgery and then recovering to remove a skin cancer from my nose. They 

caught it early and I'm fine, but, trust me, it's no fun. Please,, please 

take this seriously. When you go out, wear sunscreen, and be sure to get a 

regular skin check. 

And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next FOX NEWS 


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