President Trump touts US economic recovery, warns Joe Biden will crater stocks

William Arsn

This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” August 24, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, Bill, very, very much.

Well, that plasma relief that has been talked about by the White House is one of the reasons stocks were jumping today. We’re going to get into that in a second.

The president speaking right now in North Carolina. The Republican Convention has formally kicked off. And rare is it that the nominee intended plans to speak every single day of the convention, so no surprise appearance by and on Thursday and Thursday only, the big event, of course, when the president accepts that nomination at the White House, with a follow-up of fireworks.

John Roberts following all these fast-moving developments for you, as “Your World” kicks off. It’s about 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto, and this is “Your World,” and in a political world at that, to kick things off with John Roberts.

Hey, John.


It’s always tradition during a week of convention for a party that the candidate is out there doing all sorts of campaign events, kind of on a road to the convention, and that big acceptance speech on Thursday night.

Things a lot different this year with coronavirus, and President Trump tried to show he’s a lot different than Joe Biden as well. Joe Biden was at home in Wilmington, Delaware, all last week while the president was out, and the president doing sort of a road to the convention, if you will, culminating with his big speech on Thursday.

I’m just outside the Mellon Auditorium in downtown Washington, which is where Donald Trump Jr., South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Nikki Haley and others will be speaking tonight.

The theme tonight is “The Land of Promise.” The president will be sort of highlighting the accomplishments that he had his administration had been making over the past three-and-a-half years, as he sees them.

The president earlier today dropping into the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, thanking people for coming out and nominating him, because it was right in the middle of the nomination process. The president also taking a swing at North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for not allowing the Republican National Committee to hold a full convention there in the Queen Said.

Listen to what the president said.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I just want to thank the people of North Carolina, because, to be honest with you, I felt an obligation to be here. You have a governor who’s in a total shutdown mood.

I guarantee you, on November 4, it’ll all open up.


TRUMP: You know, these Democrat governors, they love shutdown until after the election is over, because they want to make our numbers look as bad as possible.


ROBERTS: The Trump campaign today releasing what President Trump’s agenda would be for a second term, including jobs, creating 10 million new jobs in 10 months, creating a million new small businesses, cutting taxes, and as well as signing new trade deals.

The president also wants to return to normal next year by eradicating coronavirus, bring back a million manufacturing jobs through ending our reliance on China, health care reform, school choice for every child under the heading of education reform, defend the police, and illegal immigration and an America-first foreign policy.

In Charlotte today, the president again warning about mass unsolicited mail-in voting, continuing his warnings that it could rig the election.

Listen here.


TRUMP: Eighty million mail-in ballots that they’re working on, sending them out to people that didn’t ask for them. They didn’t ask. They just get them. And it’s not fair and it’s not right.

You have to watch, because bad things happened last time with the spying on our campaign. And this time they are trying to do it with the whole post office scam.


ROBERTS: The president warning that the Democrats are trying to use coronavirus to steal the election.

Neil, we’re going to hear from the president a lot more today. He’s got that Farmers to Families Food Box event that’s going on right now in North Carolina.

And then he’s got two appearances at the convention tonight. One appearance will be with first responders in the coronavirus crisis, and then one of the other events is going to be the president meeting with hostages from places like North Korea and Iran who have been brought home during the Trump administration.

So, unlike his rival, Joe Biden, Neil, the president showing that he is getting out there and doing things during his convention, not just sitting back and waiting for his big convention speech on Thursday — Neil.

CAVUTO: Absolutely, and many speeches after that.

John, the zinger he had toward the Democratic North Carolina governor about limiting what the Republicans can do, the irony, of course, is there were the same limitations in the alternate site of Jacksonville, Florida, that ultimately prompted the same COVID-19 distancing concerns and the rest.

That’s run by a Republican governor.

ROBERTS: It is, yes. It’s run by a Republican governor and the city is run by a Republican mayor.

And the president took a look at the situation as it was unfolding in Florida and said, this is not the time to be having a big event like that. But if he has an opportunity to bash a Democratic governor, he’s going to take it.

CAVUTO: And he took it.

ROBERTS: He did.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much, my friend, John Roberts, on all of that.

In the meantime, we are focusing on Joe Biden. He picks and chooses his venues. Some call it a rope-a-dope or play-it-safe strategy. But in an interview on ABC, he did spell out his tax plan and who he is targeting. Take a look.

All right, you will have to take my word for it. He is targeting those who earn more than $400,000 a year. He also wants to raise the corporate tax from 21 percent right now to 28 percent.

A lot of Trump folks have been saying, though, that he is actually widening that by removing some exemptions and other — lifting some regulation relief that the president, this president, has orchestrated, that it’s actually going to ensnare many, many more people than that.

Anyway, Jacqui Heinrich on what she is hearing right now about the Biden folks in reaction to all of that — Jacqui.


Well, the former Vice President Joe Biden has promised only to raise taxes on people making more than $400,000 a year. But an analysis by the Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation predict it would result in increased taxes for every income group.

The analysis calls it an indirect effect of increased corporate taxes. Middle-income taxpayers making between $52,000 and $93,000 a year would experience an average increase of about 0.4 percent, or around $260.

The bottom quintile, households making less than $26,000 a year, would see an average tax increase of about 0.2 percent, or $30 a year. Now, by contrast, the top 1 percent of wage earners would see an increase of about 17 percent, an average of nearly $300,000 a year.

And, in total, almost 93 percent of the increases would be shared by the top quintile of earners. Now, we have asked the Biden campaign for their response. We are waiting for them to get back to us.

Today, the former vice president is at his Rehoboth Beach house. It’s also where he spent this past weekend. But the campaign is pumping out virtual counterprogramming. They’re hoping to benefit from another significant endorsement they got today.

Former Republican Congressman Jeff Flake joining two dozen other former GOP lawmakers supporting Biden for president. Listen.


FORMER SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-AZ: What kind of president talks like that? What kind of American leader undermines confidence in the elections in his own country as part of his strategy to hold power?

This is extraordinarily dangerous to a free society, and it stands to inflict lasting damage to our democracy.


HEINRICH: Now, Republicans say their convention will strike an optimistic tone after what they call the DNC grievance-fest.

But Democrats think that might be a tall order for the commander in chief who has presided over the pandemic and economic crisis that’s happening right now.

That’s the latest from the Biden camp — Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: Jacqui Heinrich.

Thank you very, very much, Jacqui.

A peek at the corner of Wall and Broad today. The president was arguing that what the markets have been doing, they will keep doing, given his leadership, the S&P and Nasdaq both hitting records today.

Of course, they were records on Friday. They followed that with big gains today. And look at the Dow, up more than 378 points. That puts it within about 4 percent of a record itself. All the major averages have come back mightily from their March lows, anywhere from 52 to close to 60 percent.

So, are the markets telling us something?

Let’s get a read from Kat Timpf, the Fox News contributor, “Sincerely Kat” host. We have also got Gianno Caldwell, the bestselling author, Fox News political analyst, and, last, but not least, Charlie Gasparino.

Charlie, the argument that the president was raising in remarks earlier in Charlotte was that: This is happening under my watch. We are coming back from the throes of the virus hit under my watch, almost 10 million jobs gained in the last three months. We’re on fire. You might as well douse that if the other guy gets in.

What do you think of the strategy?

CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: You know, he’s on the strongest ground saying that.

I mean, Donald Trump has said some — verbally made some obviously incorrect statements regarding the coronavirus, when it was going to end, how it was going to end. His support of hydroxychloroquine is questionable.

On the economic policy, he’s done — his administration has done a great job. I mean, they did the exact opposite of what Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt did before the Great Depression that led to the Great Depression. They didn’t — they put immense pressure on Powell, Jerome Powell, the Fed chairman, to cut rates.

He stimulated the economy. He cut — he tried to cut taxes. I mean, he did everything that he was supposed to do economically. And the country has benefited from this mightily. He’s on very strong grounds economically.

And I will say this. If you look at Joe Biden’s tax plan, yes, most of it aims at people making $400,000 a year, but guess what? People who make $300,000 a year buy stocks. And he wants to raise capital gains taxes. He wants — he would hurt the market.

I think the real question with Biden, if he gets elected, and the Republicans keep the Senate, I don’t think you’re going to see a massive sell-off. But if Biden gets elected, and the Democrats take the Senate, well, you’re going to have to start rejiggering your portfolios.

You’re going to have to sell some stocks. You’re going to have to do things. And that will tank the markets. I think that’s almost a given in the short run. That doesn’t mean the markets won’t come back. Obviously, the economy could improve, we could get out of the pandemic, all that positive stuff, and could be — could help the markets.

But, man, let me tell you something. He gets elected with Democrats in the Senate, there’s going to be some selling going on.

CAVUTO: You know, Kat, stepping back from the way the president is handling this right now, normally, the other party sort of lays low, the one is having a convention.

This president, of course, did not last week, while the Democrats were gathering to visit battleground states. Once again, during his own convention, he’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, speaking up the importance of this selection.

So, every day, he’s going to be kind of in-your-face and sending a signal that he’s going to work a lot harder than Joe Biden for this job and to hang on to this job. How does that resonate?

KATHERINE TIMPF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it depends on how much he can stick to message, particularly when it comes to the economy.

President Trump, 48 percent approval rating on the economy, according to Gallup, for this month. Now, yes, that’s lower than the 63 percent in January, but it’s higher than either Obama or Bush had when they were up for reelection.

And I’m sure some of that could be about these jobs numbers we have referenced or the stock market, but I think, for a lot of Americans, people start see this election as less between Trump and Biden and more between socialism vs. capitalism.

And I think that’s the case for many Americans on both sides of the aisle. And I think that it would be really, really a strong strategy for Trump to sort of focus on that, because that way, if that message becomes more powerful, then people wouldn’t have to necessarily like President Trump himself to — rather, just like capitalism as a system in order to be prompted to vote for him or motivated to vote for him.

CAVUTO: Gianno, does it register when the president was saying, I believe his exact words, the markets are indeed are a leading indicator for good things to come?

Do you — do you agree with that? Democrats have criticized him, oh, you’re talking a rich guy’s game anyway. Who’s really in these markets? But he does consistently pound them and dovetails it with strong economic numbers. What do you think?

GIANNO CALDWELL, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, you can say that it’s a rich guy’s game, but I know guys with regular 401(k) who that said they have made over $100,000 in one year since Trump was in office, and we’re talking about regular people.

So, people will certainly say, hey, I will do better under Trump. And if you’re thinking about the convention this week, I think people — or, rather, the RNC should really be focusing on messaging to these swing states.

I’m talking about Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In 2019, Arizona was the number two state in terms of job growth. And this year, January, Florida was number three in terms of job growth.

And he needs to message specifically to these states, because this is where the battleground truly is. And for President Trump, someone who I personally believe has never stopped running for president since he won in 2016, you have seen it through all of his events, you see, while he in North Carolina right now, a swing state in which he really needs, he has a true opportunity to rally the American people around something that they can all agree upon.

And that’s that Donald Trump is a job creation machine. And that’s the message that the American people should take, because coronavirus is bad. Of course it is. People are dying, 100 percent. But poverty kills too.

And that’s a message that people really, really understand and resonates with the American people.

CAVUTO: And he is pounding it.

Guys, thank you very much.

He’s also pounding this vaccine treatment right now. We have been following the president’s remarks in North Carolina, where he is very confident, says that a vaccine will be available by the end of the year. It could be even sooner.

Of course, he granted — and the FDA, more to the point, granted emergency authorization of this COVID-19 plasma treatment that takes plasma out of those who have survived COVID-19 and beaten it, puts it into the blood of those who are now just diagnosed with COVID-19.

It’s had very, very strong results. Again, the read from the health and human services secretary, just talking with Bill Hemmer, is that it did reduce deaths by up to 33 percent.

So, the hope is, by rushing that right now, some say a little too early, but with proven results, that this will add to the mix of possible vaccines that could be out as soon as the end of the year. And with a number of strong doses to force the issue, they have, at least in that particular case, planned for at least 100 million such doses between this and other companies that are trying to lead the clock to get the vaccine out to everybody.

In the meantime, on top of the political storm and the real storm that’s going on swirling around the Gulf, two tropical storms concurrently targeting everywhere from the coastlines of Texas, to Alabama, Louisiana.

And it is not done. In fact, the one-two punch could be the most severe we have seen in recent hurricane history.

Stay with us.


CAVUTO: Two tropical storms bearing on the Gulf of Mexico right now at the same time. Tell me the last time that has happened.

I will make it easy for you, not in decades. But the concern right now is that Marco, which is a tropical storm, could hit landfall today, later today in Louisiana, could accelerate to a hurricane, Laura expected to follow right behind, strengthen into a major hurricane within the next 24 hours.

Bryan Llenas following all of this from a very vulnerable New Orleans right — Bryan.


This is Lake Pontchartrain, just north of downtown New Orleans, and, frankly, the water hitting up against the shore. This is as bad as it has gotten all day.

Tropical Storm Marco weakening significantly overnight from Category 1 hurricane status. It whipped the Panhandle of Florida today with rain and wind. But it’s expected to actually weaken even more to a tropical depression tonight as it makes landfall over Louisiana.

So, while Louisiana will not be hit by two hurricanes back to back within a 48-hour period, there is still the prospect of a major hurricane, Tropical Storm Laura forecasted to hit the border of Texas and Louisiana.

People are preparing for that to happen perhaps on Wednesday night. The storm could hit as a major Category 3 hurricane. We spoke to some people who are preparing for the storm.


GAYLE SMITH, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: Be prepared, but don’t sit there and worry, because what’s going to happen is going to happen. And then we just help each other afterwards if something does happen.


LLENAS: Again, the forecast, Neil, is to hit as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday night between Texas and Louisiana. And it could be a Category 3 – – Neil.

CAVUTO: Man, oh, man,

Bryan Llenas, thank you very much.

Adam Klotz has been following both of these. He joins us right now.

Adam, what are we looking at here?

ADAM KLOTZ, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Neil, yes, we still have two tropical systems that could cause a little bit of a problem. Particularly, Laura is going to be the one to really focus on.

But I do want to begin with what’s happening with Tropical Storm Marco. We did see a lot of the rain continuing to fall across the Florida Panhandle right now, the center of circulation closer to Louisiana. But that hasn’t been where the rain and the wind really have been.

Now, the system will continue to drag off towards the west, pulling some of that rain behind it. This ultimately isn’t going to be the really bad of the two storms. It’s going to be the second punch that we need to pay attention to, currently winds of 60 miles an hour. It’s a tropical storm.

It’s going to run its way up into the Gulf of Mexico. That’s where it’s going to hit some really warm water and have an opportunity to intensify over the next 24 to 48 hours, jumping up to a Category 1 storm, then a Category 2 storm, a strong one at that, winds at 105 miles an hour, and, with those winds, probably a more of a rainmaker also than we’re currently seeing with Marco.

This is the rain that’s going to be on the ground from now until then, maybe an inch of rain, most of that coming from Marco. But then you begin to see Laura running up, and this one having an opportunity to bring areas where as much as a foot of rain. Eight to six inches is going to be a lot more widespread.

Still time, Neil, as I toss it back to you, to see where exactly this will go, but it’s certainly going to be the bigger of the two storm systems, so we will be watching it.

CAVUTO: Adam Klotz, thank you very much, my friend.

All right, to the FEMA administrator, Pete Gaynor, joining us right now.

Administrator, thank you for taking the time. I imagine you’re slightly busy.

How do you prepare for not one, but two pretty serious storms, back to back, one right on top of the other?


We have never had this circumstance before in recent history, not in my memory. So, we’re taking all the precautions that we normally take in any hurricane season. This hurricane season is a little special, because we have to think about COVID in everything we do.

The president approved emergency declarations for Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to enable those governors to take emergency protective actions to protect their populations.

So we’re doing the — we’re doing all the things that we normally do. We have a little bit of time built in for Laura. And I just want to be clear, and I think your last reporter said, Laura will not be the same storm as Marco. We want to make that perfectly clear.

CAVUTO: So, what does that mean? I mean, it’s a different fish, right?


Well, so, Marco, there’s some rain, and there’s some surge, but it will quickly weaken.

CAVUTO: Right.

GAYNOR: And then you’re going to have Laura, which will come across potentially as a Cat 2, maybe even a Cat 3. So you’re going to have, again, excessive rain surge, winds, all those things that Marco did not have.

So, I mentioned today, if you’re down in those states that will be impacted by either of these storms, take the time now, prepare yourself and your family for the worst case.

CAVUTO: No one has yet recommended evacuations, Administrator.

That’s built more on winds and the dangerous conditions like that, but maybe a nod to the reality of people not endangering themselves or, for example, in this COVID world, going to shelters. That could be problematic, in and of itself.

So, how do you play that?

GAYNOR: Well, first of all, heed the directions of your local and state emergency managers, county emergency managers, parish emergency managers. They know best about what actions to take. Should you need to evacuate, they will give those instructions.

So, what I can say to everyone that is in threat of either one of these two storms is, tune in, make sure you are aware of the news, the forecast. You can hear what your local emergency managers, your local elected officials are saying, so you can put yourself in the best possible position to keep yourself and your family safe when it counts.

CAVUTO: Administrator, thank you very much for joining us.

GAYNOR: You’re welcome.

CAVUTO: Good luck. I know you’re probably not getting a whole lot of sleep.

The FEMA administrator, Pete Gaynor, on all of that.

We will be tracking both storms on Fox, so you can count on that. But everyone in harm’s way, just recognize what’s obviously coming your way.

Obviously, we’re at day one of the Republican Convention right now, a very, very different president opting, as the nominee of his party, not to sort of play peekaboo with the press, but to show up every day in the press’ face.

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and the energy secretary of the United States, on the wisdom, in this virtual time of conventions, of really getting in everyone’s face, and how it could pay off for the president.


CAVUTO: The president just wrapped up an event in Mills River, North Carolina, in which he committed a billion dollars to a food-for-farmers program that will help those hit directly by COVID-19.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, well, it might be virtual, but unlike the Democratic Convention last week, the president wants to make this as personal and in- your-face as possible.

And he plans every day to make his presence known, wrapping up on Thursday with an address from the White House, combined with fireworks right by the Washington Monument.

Rick Perry joins us right now, the former energy secretary of the United States, of course, the longest serving governor of the beautiful state of Texas, taking the time to join us.

Governor, Secretary, great to have you.


CAVUTO: You know, it’s a little weird with the virtual thing. The president, Republicans are making the most of it today.

What do you think of the way it’s kicking off right now? The president has been pounding these themes about the economy, the direction of the economy, things improving since the virus, even reminding people who might be thinking of voting for his opponent in your state of Texas to think twice: This is the anti-fracking party. This is the party that wants to raise taxes.

So, he’s not wasting a nanosecond pounding that home. What do you think?

PERRY: And he’s the greatest folks person that we have in the party. So, it’s absolutely appropriate for this president, who is an unprecedented president in unprecedented times to be doing some very unprecedented ways.

So, it is — I think it’s heartening, from my perspective, to have a president who loves his country. You can see it in everything that he does, when he talks to people, when he talks about making America great again, when he talks about defending the police.

And, on the other side, I guess their motto should be open borders and closed schools, because that’s what we’re seeing out of them, then when you get into the darker moments of what the Democrats are all about right now, with the riots, with the absolute destruction that Antifa — and we didn’t hear a word about that, the best I could tell, from the Democrats during their convention.

The Democrat Party that I saw on TV vs. — or during their convention vs. what I see the Democrat Party supporting across the country, with defunding the police, with talking about coming after our guns, with raising taxes, with stopping the oil and gas industry, I mean, the American people are smarter than that.

They understand that the Democrats are trying…


CAVUTO: Then why do these polls, Governor — I’m just curious, why do these polls come out that show the race is tighter than you would think? It still has the president on top. I don’t want to dismiss that.

But Texas used to be considered like a gimme for Republicans. Is it changing? Is it — how do you look at it?

PERRY: Neil, I will share with you, since 2002, the media and those on the left had said, well, Texas is going back to be a Democrat state. We had this little — little foray with the Republicans, but we’re coming back to the Democrat Party that — historically.

That was the story every four years. Every four years, the media said oh, my God. Rick Perry, he’s going to be on his way out this time. Well, 14- plus years later, and now Greg Abbott winning overwhelmingly, with Hispanic votes, I might add, over 50 percent in his last reelection cycle.

So, it’s the same old story. I hope the Democrats come and spend a ton of money here, because they will get their hat handed to them again in Texas.

CAVUTO: The president — and we’re going to be exploring this a little bit more, Governor, Secretary — this mail-in voting issue, that he says you can almost guarantee it’s going to be a corrupt, fraudulent election.

Do you ever think, is he preparing people for that, for losing, and this is what he’s going to blame?

PERRY: I don’t think the president — losing is not on the president of mind at all.

What the president is doing is a clarion call, if you will, Paul Revere, if you will, about this broad mail-in voting. If you need to go vote absentee, and you need to get a ballot mailed to you, the states are set up to be able to take care of that and take care of it properly.

But this idea that we’re going to send ballots to everyone, I think the president is spot on with the fraud that could be and I think will occur if we let that happen.

CAVUTO: What if 80 million Americans said, you know what, I want a mail-in ballot? Regardless of what the state is saying, I want to a mail-in ballot because I don’t want to show up there with COVID-19 in person, so I would just feel safer?

Would you, would the president…


PERRY: Yes. Well, I want to drive 95 miles an hour. That’s a reason we have rules and regulations.

And people know what these rules and regulations are. And the fact is, if you — if you want to get an absentee ballot, you can. So, I think this is a — I think this is a ploy to be able to use some fraud in an election that the Democrats would like to steal, to appropriate.

CAVUTO: So, if 80 million Americans wanted an absentee ballot, let’s say, you would be OK with that?

PERRY: I think, if your state is set up that direction, it should be.

CAVUTO: All right.

PERRY: This is a state-by-state issue. This is not a federal issue.

CAVUTO: All right, got it.

Governor, very good chatting with you again. Be well.

PERRY: Neil, it’s always good to be with you.

CAVUTO: Rick Perry, the former governor — same here.

Former governor of Texas, certainly the former energy secretary, busy guy these days as well.

We’re going to explore that mail-in ballot issue a little bit more closely here, because, one way or the other, you’re going to see a system that’s going to be very, very different counting ballot this go-round.

Whether it’s mail-in absentee, very little in person, we’re told. That changes the dynamics a lot — after this.


CAVUTO: If mail-in ballots are so reliable, why were more than half-a- million in 23 states rejected in the 2020 primaries?

William La Jeunesse on that little wrinkle — William.

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Democrats are pushing mail-in voting. And everyone’s concerned about the post office.

Well, this study found a much bigger problem, not with fraud, but voter error and the actual ballots, like signatures not matching the driver’s license, no postmark, the ballots not mailed on time, the envelopes displaying a complete signature? No. Just initials. And is the ballot ripped or torn, therefore disqualified?

So, in this year’s primary, National Public Radio found 30 states rejected more than a half-a-million mail-in ballots as nonconforming because they arrived late or voter error.

Eight battleground states rejected 125,000 ballots. Wisconsin denied as many votes as President Trump’s margin of victory in 2016. Now, in New York’s primary, officials rejected 12,000 votes in a congressional race won by fewer than 4,000.


HANS VON SPAKOVSKY, FORMER FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSIONER: Not only have to sign it, but you have to fill in your name, your registered address. They may ask for the last four digits of your Social Security number, et cetera.

And if you don’t meet that compliance standard, your ballot is not going to get counted.


LA JEUNESSE: So, two problems.

First-time mail-in voters make innocent mistakes involving the envelope’s deadlines and signatures. And states which have existing rules don’t have the staff or training to handle the added volume.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuff can get lost. People go forge things. Mistakes can happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s going to be a complicated, difficult and challenging situation.


LA JEUNESSE: So, why is this fight so partisan?

Well, twice as many Democrats plan to vote by mail as Republicans, Neil, explaining why Democrats want to relax the rules and waive requirements, and Republicans don’t — Neil.

CAVUTO: William, thank you very much, William La Jeunesse on all of that.

Taking the plasma from someone who has beaten COVID-19, infuse it in someone who has just been diagnosed with COVID-19, and dramatic results that have cut death rates by a third.

Sounds like a no-brainer — the rush to get it out there and the controversy as well.


CAVUTO: All right, take the blood from someone who has beaten the coronavirus, give it to someone who has just been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and you’re off to the races.

Despite testing that critics say is not quite complete, to move so swiftly, the administration to the FDA doing just that. The president thinks it is well-warranted and well worth it.

Dr. Nicole Saphier, Fox News contributor, bestselling author, “Make America Healthy Again.”

Doctor, the administration is saying, we have nothing essentially to lose here. It is worth speeding this up. What do you think?


I mean, what they’re saying right now is, they’re putting forth the emergency authorization for the convalescent plasma. And, remember, plasma is the part of the blood that has those antibodies that we keep talking about that are hopefully going to treat COVID-19.

The reason this isn’t undergoing FDA approval right now is because there’s still much more research to be done. A big Mayo Clinic study of over 30,000 patients have shown that there may be some benefit of using convalescent plasma in hospitalized patients.

That being said, observational studies such as this, although it’s great it has showed that it’s safe, we have known that it’s safe, because we have been using convalescent plasma for nearly a century. But it did prove to be further safe when being treated for COVID-19.

But with observational studies, you’re not only looking at the true effect of the treatment, but also the patient selections or those who are given the medication.

What we really want to see are those randomized controlled prospective studies, because they really will tell us the efficacy of the treatment alone, getting rid of any bias that may be inserted in some of these observational data.

That being said, that’s why they are not seeking FDA approval right now, because we still need those studies. But the good news is, there does seem to be possibly some benefit with convalescent plasma when used in very specific settings for COVID-19.

CAVUTO: Now, the fear is, it gets people’s hopes up that this is the magic bullet that people been waiting for.

I told you about the market response going into this, and that the things were up on the belief that this is the start of something good by the end of the year. Do you buy that?

SAPHIER: Neil, for months, I have been saying there will be no magic bullet when it comes to COVID-19.

It’s going to take an arsenal of treatments, and potentially a vaccine eventually, plus social distancing measures, that will get us through this pandemic. There will not be a magic medication that will be the end-all/be- all of COVID-19.

We already know at this point remdesivir, dexamethasone, possibly convalescent plasma, as well as many others that are continuously being research, adding those all together, with taking the knowledge that we have from the virus causing COVID-19, we are saving more lives.

I do think that is possible that convalescent plasma may save some more lives. I think it opens the door to further studies of convalescent plasma, as well as monoclonal antibodies.

CAVUTO: Right.

SAPHIER: But also, Neil, one of the problems with convalescent plasma is, it depends on the plasma, the serum from those who have already been infected.

So, I implore you, if you have recovered from COVID-19, if you have those antibodies, please donate now, for this may be a potential treatment for many more.

CAVUTO: Dr. Saphier, thank you very, very much.

SAPHIER: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Another doctor with a slightly different view on this, Dr. William Schaffner, the Vanderbilt University Department of Health policy professor of preventive medicine.

Doctor, very good having you. Thank you for taking the time.

This has been rush forward, granted emergency use, I guess, much like remdesivir. What do you think of that?

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, DEPARTMENT OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE CHAIRMAN, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: Well, actually, I think my views are very, very similar to those just expressed.

But I think it was a bit rushed. I would have liked to have seen an external advisory committee review these data. They were reviewed only internally, as far as we know.

And, of course, Neil, I would have liked so much of COVID to have been presented to the public by professionals, rather than politicians. If a politician presents something, it begins to have a political cast, rather than a medical or public health cast.

And I don’t think that that’s a good thing. As was just said, we need prospective controlled clinical trials to give us the final answers.

It does look good. It does look optimistic, but we don’t have the final data yet.

CAVUTO: Doctor, I have been noticing — you follow these numbers far more closely than I — that, for eight days running now, the number of new cases in this country has been running under 50,000.

Some of the hardest-hit states seem to be arcing into lower numbers as well. You never like to leap on this stuff, Doctor, but are you encouraged by these developments?

SCHAFFNER: I am. And I have my fingers crossed.

But, generally speaking, although we seem to be making some progress, this is still over much of this country, unfortunately, a virus that’s still out of control. And that includes my own state of Tennessee.

CAVUTO: All right, Dr. Schaffner, thank you very much, sir. We will see what happens.

I mean, hope springs eternal, but fingers crossed is not a bad idea.


CAVUTO: You’re doing that, and you’re a genius. If you’re doing the finger-crossed thing, then, darn it, so am I.


CAVUTO: Thank you, Doctor, very, very much. Very good having you.

You have been hearing about all these schools that are starting virtually. When it comes to colleges and universities, like Michigan State, for example, they’re still charging the same tuition for the privilege of learning online.

I want you to meet the student that said, you know what, that’s not right – – next.


CAVUTO: All right, learning virtually, but, when it comes to tuition, paying, well identically.

And Tyler Weisner over at Michigan State, a senior there, was saying, enough already. I should be getting a cut in the tuition, because it’s not the same experience. And he’s pressing his case to lower tuition there for all the virtual classes.

Joins us right now.

Tyler, very good to have you.


CAVUTO: What reaction have you gotten from the university?

WEISNER: The university, I reached out to every single financial department that I could find, starting with the financial aid office.

And they kind of pushed me off, said oh, we don’t do anything with that. We can’t — we can’t alter the tuition or anything.

I was pushed on to student accounts, and then they pushed me on to the provost. So, I ended up speaking with the provost. He kind of just said, yes, sorry, we — there’s nothing I can do about it. We’re all struggling right now, kind of just deal with it sort of thing.

So, after that, I went and started a petition on And I think, last I checked, it’s at 980 signatures of people supporting lowering the tuition because everything is online.


WEISNER: And the biggest part of the college experience is just not education, but it’s also that experience with all of your classmates and being on campus in the atmosphere with all those new people and making those connections.

And that’s completely lost being online. So, I just don’t think that the value proposition is quite the same being completely online.

CAVUTO: Yes, so, you need to be personally together, being in person. I get that.

Now, a number of university and colleges that have cut prices are those, for example, that cut prices for room and board, because, obviously, there aren’t students there.

Now, in your case, Michigan is going to say, much as Harvard was telling students, look, you’re still getting the experience of learning this stuff, yes, it’s a little different, but it’s no cheaper for us to be doing this, so we can’t charge less for this.

What do you say to that?

WEISNER: Well, from students that I have been speaking to, a lot of people are kind of questioning that.

I’m sure that they could justify it in some sense, but it’d be great if they could release some sort of price breakdown and kind of show students, like, look, this is what we’re actually investing in all this technology here and there, this is what we have to pay for, and this is why it’s so expensive, to show us, maybe this is how we can justify this.

But, right now, it’s — we’re kind of just left in the dark. And they just said, here, pay it.

Specifically at Michigan State, I know a lot of students were really upset because, two days after our tuition bill was due, that’s when they sent out the e-mails that, all right, nobody’s coming to campus this year. Everybody’s got to stay home and everything’s going online.


WEISNER: And that’s not just — I don’t think they just pulled the rug for — like, that was their plan.

But seeing UNC and CMU having big spikes in the first week or two has really kind of put them in a corner, but that really upset a lot of students, I know.

CAVUTO: All right, well, best of luck with this. You’re a brave young man.

WEISNER: Thank you.

CAVUTO: But, obviously, you got a lot of support from a lot of fellow students. So, we will follow it closely, Tyler. If you can keep us posted, love to have you back on to get the latest.

So thank you, Tyler.

By the way, we did reach out, are reaching out to Michigan State, get their take on all of this, but the traditional one has been, look, it’s no less expensive for us to do virtual classes, sometimes even more. That was at least Harvard’s argument.

And, of course, Harvard said, you get the Harvard experience. All right, whoop-de-doo-dah, you get the Harvard experience. But, anyway, it is what it is.

Also, we’re learning that Delta is going ahead and furloughing 1,941 pilots on October 1. They were trying to work out an agreement. Apparently, that fell through. So, those pilots are going on October 1.

Here comes “The Five.”


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