tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business December 4, 2021 10:30am-11:00am EST
dr. ben carson, and senator john kennedy, all live sunday morning on fox news at 10:00. plus right here on fox business, start smart every week day from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. eastern for mornings with maria right here on fox business. we hope you will start your week days with us. that will do it for us for this weekend. thank you very much for being with me. have a great rest of your weekend. i will see you again next time. this week on the "wall street journal" at large, the omicron variant, yes, it sounds like the title of a science fiction movie or stephen king novel, and to witness the reaction of our political leaders this week, you would think it was indeed some alien germ that had been put at the tip of a meteor headed for earth. our politicians will use this
again to tighten our freedoms. we will talk to scott atlas. the supreme court is hearing the most important abortion case of the generation. will we see a major precedent overturned? plus the smash and grabs continuing in california. how progressives have made that state a paradise for criminals. hello and welcome. we will have a financial panelist liz peek and real clear politics tom devin. omicron is the 15th letter of the greek alphabet. it is also the latest name give ton the mutation of the covid -- given to the mutation of the covid virus. it is an anagram of the word mo ronnic which is fitting because that seems to be the right way to describe the response of so many people to the news last week that the variant which was discovered in south africa has begun circulating around the world. >> the federal government needs to require vaccines, including booster shots for everyone in america by january 1st.
>> i see lockdowns. i see those for the unvaccinated. >> i think we may indeed be in for a phase of many more masks, much more social distancing. >> and of course we got this moronic -- sorry omicron reaction from the president of the united states. >> this new variant is a cause for concern, but not a cause for panic. >> well, thank you very much, mr. president. please do let us know when the right response to anything is in fact panic, blind irrational hair on fire panic. it wasn't panic of course when president trump imposed the travel ban on some african countries back in 2020 after an outbreak of covid there. now, that wasn't panic. that was apparently racist and xenophobic. as joe biden said back then quote this new african ban is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the united states. it is a disgrace. we can't let him succeed. but this week apparently it's not racist and xenophobic because president biden imposed a ban travel to the u.s. from similar number of african
countries. on thursday the president followed this up with a whole slew of new restrictions. mask mandate on public transport was extended till next march. new testing rules were imposed for all travelers to the u.s., that applies whether you have had the vaccine or not, even though the administration at the same time tells us that vaccines are the key to combatting this new strain. >> all in bound international travelers must test within one day of departure, regardless of their vaccination status or nationality. >> now, of course no one should take any new outbreak of this deadly virus lightly, and it seems to be true that the omicron variant has particular characteristics including multiple mutations in its spike protein that could make it a particular risk. but this reaction from the u.s. is overreaction from the u.s. and other governments is both extreme and premature. we have no idea yet how severe this variant may be. all cases reported so far have been mild, including a number of cases we have seen here in the
united states. its arrival could in fact be promising news, a kind of evolutionary progress in the virus that makes it more transmissible but less severe, meaning that more of us will develop immunity to the virus quickly. the much larger problem here of course is that every development in this new two-year-old pandemic is immediately seized on by our progressive overlords to tighten their grip on the way we live. lockdowns, mask orders, travel restrictions, vaccine mandates, it's very much the modern left's play book. we, the rulers know better and will tell you, everybody else, how to behave. what's really pernicious coming from so called progressives is this seems to inflict greatest harm on the poorest and most disadvantaged in society. the highly educated elites, bankers, silicon valley nerds, journalists, even teachers can stay home and continue to get paid while the government and federal reserve pump money into the economy to goose their 401(k)'s. but those who have to show up for work in factories,
restaurants, hospitality, often on low wages they get hit the hardest. in fact what we have seen in the last year, people stopped spending and those workers risk once again losing their jobs. how much longer are we going to keep on doing this? every time a new variant comes along, there are at least eight more greek letters to get to. are we going to submit to the tyranny of fear that's ruled us over the last two years? are we going to acknowledge the inevitable that this virus is with us and may be with us forever? it is endemic. we need to find ways to live with it as we live with other threats, protecting the vulnerable, yes, while letting the rest of us live and work and have fun as normal human beings. that's not going to happen if our leaders get their way. maybe if they carry on like this, perhaps they won't be our leaders for much longer. let's talk about with this recent recipient of the 2021 freedom fighter year of the award dr. scott atlas, author of
a new book a plague upon our house, about his time advising the white house during the pandemic. that's coming out on december 7th. let's start with omicron. this is the latest variant. are we just going to do this every single time there's a new variant now, every time this comes out, we're going to all go back into our bunkers and live like this or is thereome way we can escape from this? >> you outlined it quite well actually. this is what is expected. when you have a virus causing a pandemic, anyone in medical school who has taken, you know, first year immunology understands that the virus is then during the pandemic -- viruses ultimately mutate. typically they are less lethal. with these mutations they become less lethal. we saw that in the previous
variants. the cases were very high, but the number of deaths were not as high as the same ratio originally. so now we're seeing something, and even a doctor in south africa has said this is inexplicable the reaction because this variant has not even caused as far as i know even one single hospitalization. this is not just premature. it is really a repetition of the incredibly arbitrary and inexplicable policies by government and by public health leaders who apparently don't know what they are talking about because they keep doing arbitrary things that's contrary to known science. >> doctor, you worked in the white house, of course alongside dr. fauci, in particular, who is still there. you have written a book about the experience. dr. fauci told us this week that he represents science. so we have to obey his commands, presumably since science is infallible. what did you make of that? >> well, that's not what i saw in my experience on the task
force. i was there for three and a half months, became sitting in and advising the president at the beginning of august. what i saw were government bureaucrats. doctors fauci and birx who was head of the task force, you know, were 40 year bureaucrats in their position. i came in as a health policy scholar, after 10 plus years, full time in health policy, 25 years in medical science, i brought in the scientific papers, with the data from all over the world. i actually brought in experts who were doing the research to visit the president. all i got in the task force meetings was an accusation that i was an outlier. they wanted the lockdowns. birx and fauci recommended the restrictions and lockdowns that were done and widely implemented throughout the nation. their lockdowns failed to stop the spread of the infection. they failed to stop the elderly from dying. they destroyed millions of people as you pointed out,
particularly low income and poor people. this is really a country that is off the rails with this. >> dr. atlas, what should we do? should we treat this now as endemic and live our lives as normal maybe protecting the vulnerable? very briefly, what should we do? >> as i outlined in the book, i was sold out on amazon, you have to go to barnes & noble. basically this is expected. the variants will come. we can't repeat the same ineffective measures that are not just ineffective but destructive. we have to target the protection of the elderly and make sure the elderly are vaccinated and 99.9% of the people in the u.s. over 65 are vaccinated. >> right. >> and so we need to realize we can live with this virus. it's not high risk for the people who are not at high risk, and the high risk people are the people with elderly and people with multiple comorbidities. it is a sin to think that
children are a high risk when they are healthy. it is an abuse of the public trust to start closing schools. requiring masks in schools for children. there's no science to support that. it's defying logic and common sense. this will not end by the way by a decree from the cdc. this has to come from the people. >> doctor, we have to go. you laid that out very well in the book. i hope people read it. it is a terrific read. my thanks to the doctor. joe biden of course promised he was going to shut down the virus. it's fair to say he hasn't. we will talk about that and the other challenges facing the administration with our panel. (vo) t-mobile for business helps small business owners prosper during their most important time of year. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device, we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities,
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added in november, below expectations. however, the unemployment rate did fall to 4.2% as more people return to the workforce. but any kind of this incipient recovery would be at risk if we have more government mandates and travel restrictions that curb spending and further damage consumer and business confidence. the new variant could also deal yet another blow to struggling supply chains that have helped spark inflation. let's talk with our panel. fox news contributor liz peek and reel clear politics co founder and president, thank you both for joining us. -- real clear politics co founder and president, thank you for joining us. liz, let me start with you. unemployment did fall. payroll numbers disapointing. people coming back to the workforce. it is a fragile recovery. as the government is so intent on lockdowns, mandates, orders like this, it is only going to raise more doubts and damage confidence further, isn't it? >> what's amazing to me is that consumer sentiment is as bad as it is when the economy is doing pretty well actually.
we are looking at a fourth quarter gdp real number of maybe 6 or 7 percent. that's huge. yet people are very pessimistic. why? because first of all, the virus. i mean, as you point out, the virus has not been shut down. it continues to sort of go over our economy. i don't think this disappointing jobs number which was only half of what was expected reflects the omicron variant. i think that perhaps will show up in the next month. i don't know. but i think it's more the fear that the government is doing this open shut, open shut, make everybody really anxious. these travel restrictions that they were talking about, they weren't as onerous as the ones they were contemplating where american citizens come home and have to quarantine for a week, but it is still kind of a reminder that we're working not on science. we're working on fear because this does not appear to be a very dangerous variant. >> tom bevin, biden said repeatedly during the campaign of course last year that he was going to shut down the virus. we now know that more people
have died this year of covid than died last year. now we've got this new variant. what's the political fallout here as he continues to fail to deal with this problem that he promised he would fix? >> well, it's a continued lack of trust and confidence in his leadership in his administration. when he started and took office, his handling of covid was his strongest suit, by far, while his approval rating was in the sort of, you know, 50s, his handling of covid was over 60. now, he is at 42, low 42 in our real clear politics average and his handling of covid while it's still his best issue in terms of when you look at things like economy, immigration, and the like he's under 50%. about 46, 47 percent there. the public has lost trust. i don't know if that's something -- even though he's trying to reboot and reset, i'm not sure that the public is going to go along with that.
>> we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, the next section, we're going to talk about one of the other big news stories of the week which was the supreme court hearing on a case that could potentially overturn roe v. wade. we will look at the politics of that next. stay with us. ♪♪ care. it has the power to change the way we see things. ♪♪ it inspires us to go further. ♪♪ it has our back. and goes out of its way to help. ♪♪ when you start with care, you get a different kind of bank. truist. born to care.
this week the supreme court heard oral arguments in the mississippi abortion case dobbs versus jackson women's health. the first major direct challenge to roe v. wade in almost 30 years. >> when you get to the liability standard, we share that standard with the peoples republic of china and north korea. >> what constitutional right protects the right to abortion? >> you say the existing framework accommodates that's
your word both the interest of the pregnant woman and the interest of the fetus. you can't accommodate both interests. you have to pick. >> of course we only heard questions and responses this week from the lawyers. we don't know how this is going to go. but it's possible of course that the court could strike down roe v. wade. what might be the implications of this? let's ask our panel. tom bevin, to you first here, we don't know, you can't really read all that much from just listening to this. we don't know the court's decision until next june probably, but it did sound especially from what chief justice was saying they are trying to find the way to sort of thread the needle here so that they may uphold the mississippi law, which is a 15-week limit, and as we heard chief justice roberts say that's not out of line with international standards, while perhaps not striking down all of roe v. wade in a way that would allow states to ban abortion. what's your sense about how this may play out? >> i think that sounds about
right. it's certainly seemed like the conservative justices were open to the idea of revisiting the issues surrounding both roe and [inaudible]. whether they decide to strike it down remains to be seen. i think this is a situation too where this has been one of those issues where the public has -- attitudes on abortion really haven't changed. people who are in favor have stayed in favor. people against abortions have stayed against abortions. i'm not sure -- while the left is portraying this as this will mark some sort of, you know, historic moment in the country that will be, you know, throw us back 100 years or whatever, i'm not sure public attitudes will change that much. this won't be as much of a political bombshell as many people are making it out to be. >> liz, democrats do seem to be eager to play up this issue. they think if the court strikes down roe v. wade, they think that would be unpopular, and they plan to kind of label republicans as being anti-women and anti-choice next year. how do you think that will play
out? >> i think this will give them fodder for that. i think we saw in the virginia election, some movement back of college educated towards republicans. there were good issues and reasons for that. crt in schools and things that really became hot potatoes. this is going to be a hot potato. whether it's right or wrong, and i agree that there won't be any mammoth change in the way abortion can be accessed in most states, but the left for the next many months is going to be telling women be scared, you are about to lose your abortion rights. they will make in a big issue almost no matter what the supreme court does. i think it is a real problem for republicans. >> and tom, just briefly, we are already seeing some reaction from progressives in the discussion this week, saying things like majority of justices appointed by a president who didn't win a majority of the popular vote, some kind of suggestion out there that maybe we'll be back to the suggest of court packing, maybe major changes to the way in which the
supreme court -- the supreme court nominees are selected. do you expect to see that if this does goes against the way the progressives like, that we'll see a wholesale review of the court? >> i don't, only because democrats don't have the majority in congress to facilitate any of that, and it looks like republicans, given where things are, the republicans maybe in control of one or both chambers of congress next year, so i suspect while this commission is going to present its findings to president biden at some point soon, i doubt given the composition of the current congress that anything will come of it. >> thanks. coming up smash-and-grab looters have targeted stores across the united states in recent weeks. how much more damage will progressive policies do? we will take that up.
major cities across the u.s. are falling victim to organized retail looting. los angeles police recently arrested 14 suspects in connection with 11 smash-and-grab robberies. all 14 suspects are now back on the street. the white house press secretary blamed the spike in crime on the pandemic and said the president is working to crack down on crime. let's take that up with our panel. liz, we have seen those pictures in san francisco. we've seen them of stores boarded up. it seems to be accepted almost as routine now that people are just going to have their stores looted. how did we get here? >> let's be clear. this has nothing to do with
covid. it has everything to do with dumbed down law enforcement in major blue cities across the country. this is unacceptable. when we're talking about inflation being a tax on the working poor in america, this is a tax. all these companies that are being robbed and ripped off day after day in these big cities are going to raise their prices to compensate for that. who is going to be hurt by that? i mean this is really -- if you google looting, it is third world countries where looting takes place. not the united states. >> i'm old enough to remember back in the 70s and 80s when we had similar crime waves. democrats paid the price there politically because people held them responsible rightly for their policies. it seems to be the same way again. do you think the democrats will pay a political price for this? >> absolutely i think they will because of this is happening in blue cities. i live in chicago. it is happening here. it is reaching into the suburbs, not just the theft and the looting, but also violent crime, gun crime, homicides. we broke a thousand homicides, the largest number since 94 here in chicago.
that's happening in other cities around the country as well. when that reaches suburban voters that are swing voters that's where democrat wills pay the price. >> we have to go. thank you very much to our panel. we will be back here next week. thank you very much for joining us. ♪ ♪ welcome to barron's roundtable where we get behind the headlines and prepare you for the week ahead. coming up, billionaire investor responds for the first time to his controversial remarks on china. and later, whether you're a buyer or a seller, the housing market is red hot. should you make a move? but we begin as always with what we think are the three most important things investors ought to be