This is a rush transcript of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on September 22, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is a messy sausage-making process. He's rolling up his sleeves. He's welcoming them to the Oval Office. He will have some COVID-safe snacks, whatever may happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You know, I know something about making sausage, especially hot and spicy Italian sausage.
And I think what she is saying, what the White House spokesperson is saying is that they are coming along, it's a messy process, and it's closer to seeing, well, some conclusion.
Now, we're already getting signs of that from Nancy Pelosi, who just a few short minutes ago, was saying, we are on scheduled for a bipartisan bill on Monday.
We're going to get in the details of what that could mean.
In the meantime, we are tracking all these developments because of so many meetings that the president has had.
Just to give you an indication of who he has already met with, stands to meet in a busy day of back-and-forth to try to rally Democrats around a single approach to all of this to keep the government lights on, to delay, suspend the government ceiling deadline, also to get that reconciliation package, get a budget sort of wedged in there, get the bipartisan infrastructure measure done, move a step closer to getting the $3.5 trillion infrastructure measure done, that's not Italian sausage, my friends.
That's like one link after another that relies on everything falling into place and eventually in a nice little bun, so they can eat it all on your dime.
CAVUTO: Did I explain that OK? I don't know if I did, but I'm getting hungry explaining it.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto and this is YOUR WORLD.
We're going to be getting a Democratic and Republican view of what is sorting out on Capitol Hill with Emanuel Cleaver, the Democratic Missouri congressman, what he makes of all of this. We're also going to talk to North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis where all of this goes right now.
Republicans, of course, are not for linking any of this with pushing the debt ceiling further back here. They're open to that maybe on a stand-alone case, but, as things stand out, none of the stuff that they're talking about presently.
Let's go to Hillary Vaughn, who has been keeping close track of all of this and where we stand -- Hillary.
HILLARY VAUGHN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Neil.
Well, we knew that the bipartisan infrastructure agreement and the $3.5 trillion social spending package were on a collision course in terms of what gets voted on and passed first. But now the wheels are coming off entirely, because House Republican leadership is now within their members, urging them to vote no on the bipartisan infrastructure deal because they think it's clear the two are linked.
And now 11 Senate Democrats are telling their colleagues in the House to hold their vote on the bipartisan deal until the budget bill gets passed first and heads to the president's desk. So there is a lot at stake for President Biden's Build Back Better agenda, with progressives and moderates at war with each other.
He is trying to get everyone on the same page today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Who needs to give here, the progressive Democrats or the moderate Democrats?
PSAKI: Sometimes, there's need for compromise from every ends, but he will know more after these discussions today and the coming days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHN: President Biden met earlier with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Chuck Schumer. He also has two separate meetings scheduled with moderate and progressive lawmakers in both the House and the Senate, including the Progressive Caucus chair, Pramila Jayapal, and Problem Solvers Caucus co- chair Josh Gottheimer, who, up until this afternoon, were still very much at odds with each other over which piece of legislation should get a vote first.
But it is all hands on deck here on Capitol Hill as well, as White House comms director Kate Bedingfield is talking to the House Democrats as well.
And, as you mentioned at the top, Neil, we did get an update from Speaker Pelosi out of that meeting with President Biden.
She says they are still on track for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Monday. She didn't want to go into details on what that meant for a vote on the reconciliation package. But she did say that they are on track and moving forward with that.
And she also made a point to say that all is calm, they are good, and they are making progress in the right direction, perhaps trying to counter this narrative that there is an ongoing war raging between progressives and moderates in the Democratic Party -- Neil.
CAVUTO: It may just me need, Hillary, but I think it's an insult to those who make sausage that this is anything like that. It seems a lot messier, but that could be me.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much. Great reporting, as usual, my friend, Hillary Vaughn on that.
Well, if we take the speaker at her word, that does mean possibly that they are on schedule for a vote on this bipartisan -- this is the infrastructure-only measure that had support among 19 Republican senators.
They wanted that stand-alone measure without anything linked to it or pegged to it. So, if that's what the speaker is talking about, that would probably be closer to their wishes and probably a welcome development for my next guest, the Democrat Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri.
I know, Congressman -- and welcome to you. It's always good having you.
CAVUTO: You had been concerned that all of this back-and-forth, what's linked, what isn't linked, could doom the one thing you wanted to see voted on and approved. And that's the infrastructure package, right?
Are you heartened by these latest developments?
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): Well, it is my belief that Democrats are not going to be reckless, to the point where they would do damage to what everybody has embraced in -- at least in the Democratic Party. And that is the Build Back Better concept.
I mean, I think it would be really dumb if we sacked our own quarterback.
And so I'm hoping that we are going to be able to get this thing worked out. I think this is going to have to be a moment of flexibility, where people are willing to fight for everything they can get, and then accept some of the things that they didn't want.
And that's that -- democracy demands compromise. And I think we're going to have to certainly compromise inside the Democratic Caucus.
CAVUTO: So, some of the progressives in your party, sir, are not keen on if this is a delinking going on with this infrastructure-only measure and some of the other things they want pushed, including the much larger so- called human infrastructure package, which could explain all the people on the revolving door.
A Blue Dog Democrat meets with the president, of course. Then we hear from someone of that progressive caucus, who gets a chance as well. So, the president's meeting with them all to keep them all on the same page. But the progressives are not on the page you just mentioned.
Do you worry about that?
CLEAVER: Well, yes, I wouldn't be honest and truthful if I said I didn't worry about it.
But I do think that -- that it's not an easy road for us to get to legislative success. But I do believe there is a road. And I think that -- I think that people who are veterans in this process understand that nobody gets everything they want in this -- in this system.
And the sausage-making is ugly, I can tell you, because I have seen it up close.
CLEAVER: And nobody -- in fact, I wouldn't -- I have a 6-year-old grandson. I don't want him to see it. It's ugly and messy. Democracy is ugly and messy.
But I do think we're going to be able to get something together eventually.
Unfortunately, as you know -- you have seen this stuff over the years -- compromises and things get worked out at the last minute. I don't know why, but that soon -- seems to be something that's uniquely Washington.
CAVUTO: So, when you look at where we're going, if this does get a vote on Monday, and then we have to move on -- or the progressives certainly want to move on. They don't like this all delinked, as you said.
But on the larger package, the $3.5 trillion package, and all the tax hikes and the initiatives, is it your sense that it has to be pared down? A lot of your moderate colleagues -- maybe you're in that camp as well -- have said, $3.5 trillion, way too much. We have indicated that Joe Manchin in the Senate similarly says, way too much, maybe half that.
Where are you?
CLEAVER: Well, I think that there are some individuals who are going to have outside -- outsized influence over the process.
And the two senators, obviously, are a part of that outsized influence group. And so I think that's going to happen.
CAVUTO: You're talking about Kyrsten Sinema, your Democratic colleague who is in the Senate from Arizona, and Joe Manchin.
CLEAVER: Yes. Yes, thank you.
The reality is that I would prefer the 3.5, but I'm realistic enough, and I have been around long enough, and I think I'm open-minded enough that I can work with individuals with whom I might have some disagreement.
But I think that it's in the best interests of the United States of America that we handle many of these issues, particularly these infrastructure issues that could impact the next generation of Americans.
And so I'm interested in doing that. The polling data suggests that the public is with -- is behind it. And I am -- the whole -- this whole new deal of going on about the progressives and so forth is kind of interesting, because I'm not sure what credentials one needs to be progressive or to be moderate.
Hopefully, everybody's just thoughtful and looking for a way to make things happen.
CAVUTO: You're a good man. And you will try to be a calming figure throughout all of this. So, we appreciate that.
Congressman, be well. We will see what happens, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri encouraged by these latest developments.
Fair and balanced, let's go to Republican North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis whether he is as well.
Senator, if that is true -- and we were touching on it, this notion you had a stand-alone vote on this infrastructure only measure that had bipartisan support. Would you be pleased with that?
SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Well, I think it's a start.
I was a part of the negotiation, the Republican senators that worked with Democrats, to put together the $550 billion package. I think it's a start.
But what is a nonstarter is the $3.5 billion -- $3.5 trillion package that they're still talking about. And I think that Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer have their own challenges to get to that number. They also have the looming debt ceiling that they have to deal with, and they can deal with alone.
Now, the president was -- or scheduled to meet -- I don't know if all of these meetings that have concluded -- but between Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. He was going to meet with the Progressive Caucus chair, a top Blue Dog Democrat chairwoman, one of the more moderate members, a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, the chair there, all Democrats, all Democrats, not a single Republican.
What do you think of that?
TILLIS: Well, you just you just heard Congressman Cleaver say, you know, democracy is about compromise. And then he finished the sentence by saying within the Democratic Conference.
There is no bipartisanship going on right now in terms of what the needs are for businesses for recovering from COVID. Chuck Schumer proved that when he passed a $1.9 trillion package in January. And now they want us to suspend the debt ceiling, so that the sky's the limit in terms of what more they're going to spend.
They have got a dynamic in their conference in the House they have to deal with. They have got a dynamic of their conference in the Senate that they have to deal with. And, like -- I agree with you. This is an insult to sausage-makers to say this is making sausage. They have got serious challenges that they need to deal with.
CAVUTO: So, Senator, when the Democrats come back at you, not you specifically, sir, but Republicans, say, well, you're fine ones to talk about not wanting to raise the debt ceiling, when, in fact, we did that when Donald Trump was president -- in fact, they go back to say this has been done 78 times since 1960, 49 times under Republican presidents, 29 times under Democratic presidents.
You're -- you have been there long enough to know that there's a bit of truth to the fact that we always get to this brinksmanship, but somehow the ceiling is raised or the deadline is pushed back and we survive.
Are Republicans the ones being intransigent here? How do you answer what they're saying, that you are?
TILLIS: You can only be intransigent when you determine the outcome.
And Chuck Schumer doesn't need a single Republican vote to raise the debt ceiling. Chuck Schumer doesn't want to raise the debt ceiling, because the way he has to do it this time, he has to set a top-line number. He can't just suspend it, as the House wants to do, until December of 2022.
He has to be honest with the American people and say, this is how much more money I want to spend, and, by implication, this is how much more money I'm going to tax you in the process.
That's the real problem here. Chuck Schumer can do his job. I have voted for the increase in the debt limit.
CAVUTO: So, if nothing was linked -- so, if nothing was linked, Senator -- I understand what you're saying.
But, just to be clear, if nothing was linked, and if it's a stand-alone measure, that, you would be OK with?
TILLIS: In terms of raising the debt ceiling?
In terms of funding the government? Yes. If you delink raising the debt ceiling, and you want to continue to fund the government and avoid a shutdown, which Chuck Schumer can do without a single Republican vote, I'd be happy to have that discussion.
We have to look at every single one of these compromises in the past. I remember, in 2017, there were a lot of compromises, and there were several bitter pills that I had to swallow to vote for increasing the debt ceiling.
TILLIS: Chuck Schumer is not even reaching out to negotiate with us. It's a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. And he has to take responsibility for increasing the debt limit.
CAVUTO: All right, because you will be startled to hear they say it's a take-it-or-leave it attitude with Republicans.
But, one way or the other, maybe we will see this all sorted out.
Senator Thom Tillis, sir, thank you very much. Good catching up with you .
TILLIS: Thank you, Neil. Good to see you.
CAVUTO: All right, you might have noticed those big numbers in the green in the corner of your screen, the Dow storming back today.
Had nothing to do with the soap opera around whether we're going to get anything done in Washington, at least in Congress. It had everything to do with the Federal Reserve and some very supportive comments that Jerome Powell made today from some folks who were worried that he could have rained on a parade here.
Susan Li has more -- Susan.
SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Right, Neil.
So the Federal Reserve delivered pretty much what Wall Street had anticipated, no surprises, which is what stock markets like. So, interest rates were kept on hold close to zero, but hinting that they will be cutting back on stimulus pretty soon, reducing that $120 billion and monthly bond purchases. Most economists expect that to start some time in November.
Now, the Fed is still predicting a pretty strong year of growth this year, with GDP at close to 6 percent. That would be the best year for the U.S.
economy since the middle of the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was still in office, but that fast pace of growth will come with higher prices, so the Fed predicting inflation to hit above 4 percent this year, which is double their inflation target of 2 percent.
However, it's all just temporary or transitory, with the Central Bank forecasting prices to come down next year and 2023.
But not everyone thinks it will be that easy or that smooth. Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan's influential CEO, warning that inflation could get so high next year that the Federal Reserve might have to jam on the brakes, pull out liquidity, and then you're going to see a huge reaction, meaning a big stock market sell-off.
Now, Dimon says he's not predicting that, but it is possible that that just might happen. Now, in the meantime, the great IPO run continues with Toast soaring over 60 percent in his New York debut. The company provides payment systems to restaurants.
And also, oh, by the way, Neil, a block from here a $432 million Mega Millions winning ticket was sold. And, no, that was not me, unfortunately.
CAVUTO: Well, I guess I will see you tomorrow at work.
CAVUTO: Susan Li, could you imagine if Varney won this thing? He would out like a puff of smoke.
LI: No, he would be...
LI: ... the taxes.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much.
Oh, please. He would be complaining about that.
Thank you, Susan very, very much.
Well, another positive development today, we and the French settled our differences, the president of the United States talking to his counterpart in France. Everything's OK. Well, a little bit here and there, but more after this.
CAVUTO: All right, they finally had their chat, that is, the president of France, the president of the United States. You know what the kerfuffle was over.
Let's see if everything is all smoothed over now.
Peter Doocy at the White House with more on that -- Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wait and see, Neil.
But what we know for now is that President Biden did phone France to try to smooth things over with the French leader, who is still sore that the U.S.
is trying to counter China by giving nuclear-powered submarines to the U.K.
and Australia and not to Paris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PSAKI: He acknowledged that there could have been greater consultation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: There you go. The president has not spent a moment worrying about the scene from yesterday, where the British prime minister allowed two members of the British press corps to ask Biden questions, as Biden handlers left American reporters out in the cold, drowning out the USA Q&A with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: Too much yelling. Don't know what he said. And there were no chances to ask him anything today.
But at today's press briefing, a lot more questions about the humanitarian crisis at the border than we have had in recent days. And it's not clear how much of a frame of reference President Biden actually has about what is going on in Del Rio.
I asked Jen Psaki, the press secretary, at one point if President Biden has ever been to the Southern border, and she asked, "In his life?" And I said yes, because we did spend a couple hours this morning looking. We cannot find any record of him going as president, vice president, candidate, senator, concerned citizen.
She wanted to know what the deal was. And I pointed out that the president does go to visit areas where people are in need, like after a hurricane or after a wildfire. But he has not visited Del Rio. I asked why that was going to be. And she said that the events in Del Rio right now are just the result of a broken immigration system -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Wow. That's going to come back to bite him. Let's see where we go on that. Thank you very, very much, Peter Doocy.
All of this in the whirlwind of these developments almost concurrently, if you think about it, certainly dinged the president's approval ratings, but no more so expressed than in a Gallup poll that's just out that shows his approval rating and said a new low as president of 43 percent. His vice president isn't doing much better, approval rating there of 49 percent for her.
Kaylee McGhee White with The Washington Examiner here with us.
Kaylee, much of this is just coming right after the collapse in Afghanistan, so no doubt the administration's argument will be that was the worst of it, and we're already climbing out of it. Is that your sense from the people you talk to?
KAYLEE MCGHEE WHITE, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: No, it's not.
And a lot of it really does depend on what happens in Afghanistan over the next several months, especially heading up into the 2022 midterm campaign season. The fact is, there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan. We don't know if the U.S. is going to get them out. We don't know if they're in the process of getting out. We don't know what the Taliban is going to do.
I mean, there are so many unanswered questions here that really are going to affect the way Americans view Biden's handling of this. We already know it was a crisis, but it still remains to be determined how he's going to see this through to the end.
CAVUTO: Do you get a sense too then the White House is worried about not just national polls, but particularly in battleground states? Iowa typically get that reputation, a state that Democrats have won a national level a couple of times now.
And, there, his approval rating is at 31 percent. It's very low with independents as well. So something isn't resonating, and the White House obviously pivoting to other subjects, but every time it does pivot, it creates more confusion on the whole booster shot thing and what's happening at the border.
It can't get out of its own way.
MCGHEE WHITE: Absolutely.
And battleground states are very important. And the polls coming out of Iowa and other battleground states in the days ahead will really determine how the Democratic Party looks at its chances moving into 2022.
But, more importantly, the Iowa poll is really an indication a larger trend that we're seeing right now, which is that, nationwide, Biden's approval ratings are collapsing. And a lot of that has to do with Afghanistan. A lot of it has to do with the border crisis, his failure to get control of the coronavirus pandemic as states continue to reimpose restrictions.
Voters are looking at this and they're saying, OK, the president has not kept his promises. Is he capable of doing the job? Is this administration really up for the task? And that will -- that will affect the Democratic Party's chances as we move into 2022.
CAVUTO: We shall see.
All right, Kaylee McGhee White of The Washington Examiner.
Great seeing you again, Kaylee.
In the meantime here, you know by now that the autopsy on Gabby Petito proved that it was homicide. What we're still waiting on, with details of that autopsy, is exactly how she died -- after this.
CAVUTO: Now it's the turn of the CDC to weigh in on what the FDA already did last week as to whether we need booster shots, a third shot, if you will.
The FDA said, yes, for just some. Still waiting to hear what the CDC says -
- after this.
CAVUTO: We are expecting more detailed results from that autopsy on Gabby Petito, maybe to finally answer some questions as to maybe how she was killed.
Phil Keating has the latest now from Venice, Florida -- Phil.
PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those toxicology and forensic testing still being done up there in Wyoming right now, but here down in Florida, day four is soon to wrap up of this exhaustive search, using 60 search teams -- search members of teams.
And that includes dive teams, as well as technicians with side sonar, which can detect large objects underneath the water, as well as cadaver dogs all coming through thousands of acres behind me here in this nature reserve.
But the person of interest they are looking for has yet to be discovered.
That's 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, wanted for questioning in the now- confirmed death of his fiancee, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. So far, no evidence of Laundrie has turned up. Searchers are also using ATVs and high- water vehicles, as the terrain is rough, swampy and much underwater, plenty of alligators and snakes as well, including very dangerous water moccasins.
Brian Laundrie had been living in North Port with his parents and his fiancee. The Teton County, Wyoming, coroner confirmed late yesterday that the body found Sunday is in fact Petito, concluding the manner of death is homicide. She and Laundrie had been on a cross-country road trip visiting the country's national parks.
In August, Moab, Utah, police questioned the young couple after someone dialed 911 to report a guy was slapping a girl in the face. But when they were pulled over, that is something that Gabby Petito denied happen, saying her fiance, Brian Laundrie, just pushed or grabbed her face.
On Monday, the FBI and North Port police executed a search warrant at the Laundrie family house, taking out multiple boxes of potential evidence, things like computers, hard drives and cell phones. And keep in mind, three weeks ago, when their son returned by himself in the white van that they had left North Port a few months ago to go on that cross-country road trip, there was no Gabby Petito.
How that was explained to his parents, nobody knows. But when police wanted to ask him questions, they hired an attorney and haven't spoken since -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Phil, thank you for that, Phil Keating.
Let's go to Mark Eiglarsh, a criminal defense attorney, on all of this.
Mark, just finding Brian Laundrie has proven an impossible mission of life.
But I'm wondering, with these autopsy results, what you, as a lawyer, look for. We certainly know she was murdered. Obviously, they want to get details on maybe how that happened. But it's painstaking, to put it mildly.
What do you as a lawyer look at?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely.
Well, first, I'm looking for payment before I ever do a doggone thing for the guy. But if you're asking me -- and I wouldn't represent him. But if you're asking me what his lawyers are looking for, any reasonable hypothesis of innocence, meaning, what are the damages to her body? Let's find out everything.
And now let's carve some scenario that could scream innocence if the client were to advance that theory. So they have the benefit of seeing what the evidence is, assuming he's ever stripped of his liberty, found, arrested, and then see exactly what they could say happened that maybe exonerates their client.
CAVUTO: But they also have to find evidence that can't prove he had anything to do with it, that she was violently killed. We don't know any of the details.
If there's nothing that clearly links him, then what do you do?
EIGLARSH: Well, first the defenses doesn't have to prove anything. They could literally sit there in court.
And all this presupposes that he's arrested, and all this presupposes that he didn't kill himself. And this all presupposes that he's sitting in a court of law. They can literally kick their feet up, play chess if they want. They don't have to prove anything.
But you're absolutely right. The state has the burden of proof to show that he committed the offense. If nothing ties him to it, OK, he walks free.
We're already hearing a lot of things that suggest that he was likely the person who did this and most likely probably the person who did this to her.
CAVUTO: So, in this search to find him, and the family claiming that they did not know where he was or could account for how he left, or even, to this day, where he still made they are hiding out, if there's any such possibility, then what?
What is their culpability?
EIGLARSH: Well, I have said already publicly that I understand why parents make decisions that benefit their own children.
I hope I'm never in that predicament. I don't know what I would do.
EIGLARSH: That said, they made a choice here. And if they knew that he had done something nefarious and in any way aided, abetted him, then I'm all in favor of them being charged for it.
They have done a huge disservice, again, assuming they knew, and helped him in any way, to both the family of Gabby Petito, to the law enforcement community, to all of us by not being forthright. That's the choice. And there's a penalty to pay for that.
CAVUTO: Mark Eiglarsh, we will what happens here. Still waiting for those more detailed autopsy results.
Mark, thank you very, very much.
EIGLARSH: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Also want to keep you up on another big news development today.
We're still awaiting word from the CDC how it will go on this whole vaccine booster push, whether you need a third shot, a second one, if you have had J&J's, although that is not part of this booster shot possibility. This is a Pfizer booster shot.
The FDA said only those who might need it, like the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. We will get the read here whether the CDC agrees with that -- after this.
CAVUTO: So, even if you have already been vaccinated, do you need another shot, a booster shot, a third shot, considering that the one that Pfizer is offering is built on the two prior vaccinations that are out there?
The CDC is now weighing that. The FDA has already decided, really, the only folks who might need this would be those who have compromised immune systems, or the elderly, or both.
We're going to get the read from Bryan Llenas right now as we wait to hear what the CDC has to say -- Bryan.
BRYAN LLENAS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, look, right now, the CDC's advisory committee is discussing who will be eligible for a third Pfizer
COVID-19 vaccine shot. And they will also decide when these booster shots would be administered.
The CDC panel of doctors and experts will also meet tomorrow and are expected to decide on the COVID-19 booster policy in this country. But the CDC has to wait for the Food and Drug Administration to sign off on its advisory committee's recommendation first.
On Friday, an FDA advisory committee of experts overwhelmingly voted against booster shots for everyone over the age of 16, instead voting unanimously to recommend a third booster shot just for those over the age of 65 and for those regardless of age who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms like the immunocompromised.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: And I think what the U.S.
regulators want to do is make the boosters initially available for an older population, who can probably derive more benefit from the shots because they're at higher risk from COVID, and continue to collect safety information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LLENAS: Yes, the CDC's panel of experts today discussed data from Israel, where third doses of Pfizer have been administered to 2.8 million people since July.
The data suggests a third shot works to drop the risk of severe illness and is safe.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. KEIPP TALBOT, VAST CHAIR: Sixty years of ages. Rates of reported this systemic, local, neurologic, allergic and other reactions were substantially lower after dose three than after doses one or two.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LLENAS: Yes, the U.S. is facing criticism, Neil, for planning to offer additional shots, as other parts of the globe are still waiting for their first dose.
And President Biden said today the U.S. will buy 1.1 billion doses of Pfizer to donate to the rest of the world. And, by the way, the same process for Pfizer is the type of process we're going to need for Moderna, as well as the J&J vaccine -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Got it. Thank you.
So, to my friend Dr. Bob Lahita, who always helps me out understanding this stuff.
Doctor, do we need a booster shot?
DR. BOB LAHITA, ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: I don't know, Neil, whether the general public needs a booster shot.
But I do agree with the FDA's ruling on over 65 and those who are immunocompromised. It's a little bit embarrassing with the fact that a good portion of our population, some 75 percent, or maybe more or less, slightly less, perhaps, have not even gotten their first injection.
LAHITA: So, here we are talking about three injections for people who probably don't need it.
CAVUTO: You know, Doctor, I'm wondering.
You mention the many who have not yet gotten vaccinated, first shot or not.
And does news like this and confusion like this, but to the administration, the FDA, and maybe the CDC, reinforce their doubts and say, I'm not going to get vaccinated, I just don't see the reason?
LAHITA: Yes, it does stimulate complacency.
And it really -- we want people to believe in the vaccine, that the vaccine helps people. I'm seeing a lot of social media about breakthrough infections and all sorts of things, scaring people, making people say, well, why should I get the vaccine? It's not going to do me any good anyhow.
LAHITA: That's wrong.
This is a vaccine that protects people's lives. It protects your loved ones. It prevents you from spreading the disease. So, it's really, really important, Neil.
CAVUTO: Do kids need to get vaccinated, those as young as 5 to 11? A couple of companies have been kicking that around.
LAHITA: Yes, that's important, because kids are back in school.
It's very hard to have kids wear masks, as we spoke of in the past. It's also hard to keep kids apart. So they're going to play with each other. And if a parent is infected and infects a child, that child will infect the other children.
Vaccines and children go back to polio and influenza. And that's a population that we have always protected. And it's a myth to think that children don't get infected. They do. About 20 percent of children who get COVID wind up in the hospital. And that's a serious number, Neil.
CAVUTO: Got it.
Dr. Bob Lahita, very good seeing you again. I appreciate it.
All right, in the meantime here, we're keeping you abreast of what's going on, on our border right now, the debate over whether Joe Biden has ever been there notwithstanding, what's happening there that now is getting worrisome.
CAVUTO: All right, the situation at the border out of control.
Reports that the administration will be addressing that, as the president was saying yesterday to the United Nations they will.
But my next guest has his doubts, given what he's been dealing with, Lieutenant Chris Olivarez, who is the Department -- Texas Department of Public Safety.
Lieutenant, let's first talk about the promise the president made to get on top of this, to deal with the problem. I'm paraphrasing here. Do you believe that?
LT. CHRISTOPHER OLIVAREZ, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Well, Neil, thanks for having me.
So, we have been talking about this since this crisis started early in the year, and nothing has been done by this administration. It's a failure on their part to secure the border. And that's why the state of Texas has stepped in.
Governor Abbott has stepped in. He launched Operation Lone Star, which is a initiative deploying state resources to the Southern border to secure the border. And with this current situation that took place this past week in Del Rio, we deployed hundreds, hundreds of troopers to this area. And we were able to contain this area from any other surges that were taking place.
And right now, we have the situation, we have this area contained.
CAVUTO: So, Lieutenant, when you hear the only thing that I see where the administration has promised action is on not your men exactly, but those on horseback who were trying to gather Haitians who had come into the country trying to cross the border.
That, they want to investigate. What did you think of that?
OLIVAREZ: Well, Neil, they're taking that out of context.
I spoke to those agents on horseback. I have been here ever since Saturday here in Del Rio, I spoke to those agents. Those are hardworking agents, and they do not need to be criticized for now, especially in this time of crisis.
They need the support from the federal government. They're not getting the support. This is a clear example of why the morale is low and there's no support from the federal government, to criticize these agents for doing their job.
CAVUTO: Yes, and I understand from another one of your men or those who try to do what you do and just maintain some sort of order is that horseback is the only option in some of these areas.
Having said that, did it surprise you that that is what the administration is interested in investigating for the time being, not the other things that have made this an uncontrollable situation?
OLIVAREZ: Right. And it didn't, Neil.
Of course, we have been seeing this from case to case throughout this year.
And that's why the morale is low with some of our border agents. But they continue to work hard. And we're continuing to show support, and we're here to provide support for them. And this situation here could have been contained. It could have been under control from the beginning of this year.
But the administration has failed to do its part to secure the border. So we stepped in. The state of Texas step in and we are securing the border at this time by containing this area.
And since then, Neil, there has not been any groups of migrants coming across this area here by the International Bridge in Del Rio.
CAVUTO: Very, very quickly, Lieutenant, we do know that a judge had recently ruled to flip this idea that you couldn't adjudicate these cases in the United States, rather than go to Mexico.
So, right now, the call is not to have them dealt with in the United States, but in Mexico. But that is still happening, and where they go to the U.S. and it's settled there, ignoring this judge's order.
What do you make of that?
OLIVAREZ: Well, it is, Neil.
And that's why we -- that's why this occurred this past week, when you had almost 15,000 migrants surge the border. It was out of control. And if we didn't respond, if our DPS troopers did not respond, it would have been catastrophic.
But that just goes to show you that the administration right now is not securing the border. And that is why Governor Abbott has launched this operation to secure the border. He has met with local officials. He has met with law enforcement to find out what the concerns are and find solutions.
OLIVAREZ: And that's what we're doing right now.
But the federal government does need to step in, needs to support their agents.
CAVUTO: All right, Lieutenant, thank you very much, Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety, just trying to get a handle on a situation that's exploding.
We will have a lot more when we come back, including another problem for you for the holidays, getting the presents you want, because you're not the only one having problems. So is Santa.
CAVUTO: You know, it's not just a chip shortage.
If you are looking for toys or games, even basic supplies, there's a big backup. And right now, it could threaten whatever you were planning to have under the tree. Santa is upset about this too.
Hitha Herzog to the rescue.
Hitha, what's going on?
HITHA HERZOG, RETAIL WATCHER: Neil, I hate to break it to you, but it's not just the bicycles and the toys. It's also the processed meat and cheeses that I know you love every holiday season.
CAVUTO: Whoa, whoa, whoa, the processed meats and cheeses?
HERZOG: Yes. This is affecting every...
CAVUTO: This interview is over, Hitha.
CAVUTO: Go ahead.
HERZOG: This is affecting every sector of every -- for every retailer.
And part of the problem is this, these ports. You're having -- you have about 70 ships off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach, waiting to be docked, so that these cargoes, these shipment supplies can be delivered to the retailers. That's just not happening.
CAVUTO: Why? Why are they backed up and not able to unload? Is it just volume of traffic or what?
HERZOG: It's traffic. It's volume. It's a labor shortage.
We had FedEx just report out earnings Tuesday. They were saying that 65 percent of their fulfillment center in Oregon is staffed. I mean, it's not at capacity. And while they're going to be hiring for holiday to the tune of 90,000 people, you're still seeing this labor shortage.
So they can't get the labor in fast enough. There's traffic. It's just -- I hate this term, but it's a perfect storm of just supply chain shock.
CAVUTO: And, as you have been reporting, it's not that the consumer isn't pent up to spend. They have been spending and they are optimistic enough to keep doing so.
But now they might have trouble finding the stuff they want to buy.
I was talking to Leslie Ghize. She is an analyst over at TOBE TDG. And she was saying that the hoarding of toilet paper isn't anything like we're going to see what it for the holiday season. We're going to see a lot of people jumping ship. They're going to start their shopping early, as early as next week, just to get those gifts under the tree.
CAVUTO: Are you saying that there's going to be a toilet paper shortage as well?
HERZOG: We're talking toilet paper. We're talking bikes. We're talking, I mean, anything that you can think of.
It's not just these microchips that are literally in everything.
CAVUTO: No mas, Hitha. No mas, no mas.
All right. Man, oh, man.
HERZOG: When you think about anything...
CAVUTO: Got it.
All right, the processed meat thing was bad enough, but now toilet paper.
Brace yourself, America. We have been through worse.
"THE FIVE" is coming up. That will do it here. Bye-Bye.
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