Byron York: Biden administration sending 'weird' message on COVID

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCORA: Portiamo il nostro pannello, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at “Il federalista,” Amy Walter, national editor for theCook Political Report,” and Byron York, chief political correspondent ofThe Washington Examiner.

Amy, lasciami iniziare con te, the White House sees a lot of opportunity here, and they see this pitch kind of taking hold. People do enjoy getting money.

The question is how these plays in the long term.

AMY WALTER, NATIONAL EDITOR, “COOK POLITICAL REPORT”: Bene, that is the question, Bret, perché, if you look just where the polls are today, asking people in a vacuum, do you want to see more money for roads? Sicuro. Do you want to see more money for healthcare, for being able to pay for daycare, all those things? People are generally supportive of that, and they are generally supportive of the idea that taxing corporations and rich Americans is the way to pay for it. They like that.

Così, ancora, in the abstract, that’s what the Biden administration is counting on, that the individual pieces are almost more important than the sum of its parts. Voter like this so much that they are going to be willing to accept it.

The other thing that the Biden administration is counting on is that Americans, because of the pandemic, but also in part because we had a previous president who was willing to spend money both on stimulus checks and other spending priorities, Americans are much more willing to accept government support. They seethis is what the Biden administration believes that Americans are now more willing and want to see more government intervention in their lives. E, ancora, there have been some polls out to suggest that people are more open to the idea of more government spending.

Ma, al tuo punto, Bret, it’s one thing to see it in a poll. The other thing is going to see how it plays out over time. Democrats hoping, they can say, Guarda, we put money in your pocket. We are putting things in place.

BAIER: Byron, she makes a couple, Amy does, great points. Repubblicani, ovviamente, the last administration, didn’t focus on deficit or debt. We have mentioned that numerous times. But is this supercharging an already recovering economy, and do people kind of get that?

BYRON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, “THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER”: Bene, it’s not just needed. And the president is sending out an incredible mixed message about the state of the United States today. He spends a lot of his time, he did it in his speech the other night, talking about the United States is in such a crisis, such a crisis that it needs these multi- trillion dollars measures to, citazione, rebuild. He said the economy is in the worst crisis since the Great Depression, which is just simply not true.

And at the same time, I got yesterday an email, fundraising email from the Democratic National Committee talking about a, citazione, Biden boom. And you just heard the president say that things are going better. And this is before money from the American Rescue Plan has gotten out the door, and it’s before either House of Congress has even thought about the American Jobs Plan.

Così, on the one hand the president says we are in a terrible crisis, we need to literally rebuild the country. D'altra parte, the political arm of his party is saying we’re in this great Biden boom. It makes no sense at all.

BAIER: He does have echoes, and even in the speech the other night, of FDR, the New Deal, Mollie. Questo è, percentage-wise, as you start adding up the dollars, even greater than that. E di nuovo, to the point where I came out of the soundbite, even the first stimulusI’m not talking the one that just passed most recentlythe one before that in the Trump administration hasn’t fully gone out the door, and all the projects have not been realized.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, “IL FEDERALISTA”: And regardless of what you think of FDR’s presidency, it’s worth remembering that he was elected in a huge landslide, not what we had with Biden which came down to 42,000 votes in three states. He was given just astronomical advantage in the Senate in his party, and in the House I think they had a 200 seat majority.

People were really looking for something radical when they elected FDR.

That’s not the state now where the Senate is divided and the House has like a six-seat majority for Democrats.

It’s one thing to embrace government spending when you are truly in a global pandemic that has shut down the economy. It’s entirely another when the economy has been suffering for a year and is coming out of it, sì, but there is not the need associated with it. It’s a really radical proposal without a political consensus behind it, and I think that’s going to cause just massive problems for the Democrats down the line. They might believe what the media claim about Biden’s branding image, that he is this unifier and he is moderate. People are seeing the actual policies coming through, and they are seeing self-inflicted chaos of tearing down borders.

This radical spending, sì, era — Republicans weren’t good on spending even before the pandemic, but we have already spent so much money, and just some real aggression in the culture war, really divisive stuff for someone who claimed he was going to be a unifier of the country.

BAIER: The border crisis, ovviamente, Amy, still a big issue, and of the polls, as we talk about polls, that is one where President Biden is upside down. Here he is on NBC again with the question of crisis on the border.


MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: Ci sono 22,000 unaccompanied children in our country right now. That’s a record. That sounds to most folks like crisis.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: Bene, Guarda, it’s way down now. We have now gotten control.

It is getting urgent action now. Per esempio, un mese fa, we had thousands of young kids in custody in places they shouldn’t be and controlled by the Border Patrol. We have now cut that down dramatically.


BAIER: Bene, in those facilities, but other facilities are way up dramatically. E, Amy, you hear that soundbite, and you think this could come back, we have gotten it under control, if it’s not under control. I also note that a number of states there are now aired commercialsthere are commercials airing to back up the Biden administration on the border.

WALTER: Destra. There is no doubt that this is a huge political liability, even among Democrats there is not unified support for the president around this issue of immigration. They are seeing many of the similar images. Ma, anche, credo, they are frustrated that the administration hasn’t gone far enough. Some liberals want to see more from this administration on the issue of immigration.

And this is the big challenge, destra, that every president has faced, which is coming up with a solution to what we know is cyclical. We have seen this movement on the border now for years, especially of young people coming up.

And coming to a solution for it that brings the parties together is seemingly impossible.

BAIER: Byron, l'ultima parola su questo.

YORK: Bene — Mi scusi — ascolta, what the president has been saying, saying it’s not a crisis, not a crisis. The most important thing here is the United States is not doing anything to try to stop people from crossing the border illegally. The Biden administration is frantically trying to house and feed and care for the people who are coming across, but sending the message that if you do come illegally into the United States, Puoi restare. And that is a message that everybody in the northern triangle countries and others are hearing.

BAIER: And that the border wall is not going to be finished, even the holes that they have the stuff there on the border. So we’ll follow this story.

Avanti il ​​prossimo, the Friday Lightning Round, John Durham, talk about that, India travel restrictions, Winners and Losers.



JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: There is no wall high enough to keep any virus out. And our own vaccine supply, as it grows to meet our needs, and we’re meeting them, will become an arsenal for vaccines for other countries, just as America is an arsenal for democracy for the world.



BAIER: President Biden speaking this week. This as his administration announced a travel ban from India as that country deals with the coronavirus. The Biden campaign back in February of last year insisted that this was not about the China travel ban, but he did tweet the day after the Trump administration implemented the China travel ban, “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science, not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fearmongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.Next tweet, March 12th, “Un muro non fermerà il coronavirus,”

as you he heard in that speech this week. “Vietare tutti i viaggi dall'Europa o da qualsiasi altra parte del mondo non lo fermerà. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet, e abbiamo bisogno di un piano per combatterlo.” Now there is a ban on travel for India.

We’re back with the panel. Mollie?

HEMINGWAY: It’s just interesting how much the Biden administration has just followed through with what the Trump administration has done in dealing with coronavirus since a big part of the campaign was to claim that Trump wasn’t doing a good job. Operation Warp Speed obviously got the vaccine up.

It was already up to a million doses being put in the arms on the day of the inauguration, and it’s just continued very well. And even the other good thing that the Trump administration did, which was instituting a travel ban which Biden hated, they are now following through on that too.

Whether it’s with China or other things, they seem to just be following Trump’s lead.

BAIER: Mixed messaging on the coronavirus, on COVID-19, il CDC. We have seen this along the way. Ascolta.


JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Going to the park with their family, dining and socializing with their friends outside, and many more outdoor activities without needing to wear a mask.

ADM. BRETT GIROIR, FORMER COVID-19 TESTING COORDINATOR: There are so many mixed messages out there. If you are around vaccinated people, you should not wear a mask.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: I’m looking for my mask. I’m in trouble.


BAIER: Amy, there is something about the outdoor mask and the announcement, it just hasn’t taken, and people are picking up on it.

WALTER: sì, it’s very confusing, and I think for a lot of people it’s been a year now, and they are kind of taking things into their own hands, especially those who have been vaccinated. Le buone notizie, ancora, we have more people now than ever vaccinated. So hopefully, regardless of what kind of messages are coming forward, we have more and more people who are safe from actually getting COVID or spreading COVID.

BAIER: sì. And Byron

WALTER: Not spreading it, but getting really sick.

BAIER: Byron, there are people writing stories in D.C. saying that there are Democrats who feel like they don’t need to wear a mask outside but they do want to do it because they don’t want to be called a Republican.


YORK: There is a lot of theater around masks, political theater around masks now. But the Biden administration is sending this weird message, which is get your vaccine, get your vaccine. And people think if I get vaccinated then I can’t get it, and then says keep wearing a mask. So there’s no surprise that people are confused about this.

BAIER: Mollie, John Durham, we saw the report by Kevin saying it’s still in process. There is a lot of frustration up on Capitol Hill about how long it’s taken. Your thoughts on that?

HEMINGWAY: Bene, this Russia collusion hoax was a lie that was deployed by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. It affected the 2016 elezione, it affected the outcome of the 2018 election as the FBI weaponized it and continued to spread that lie. It affected the 2020 elezione. So we’ve hadbecause nobody has been held accountable, ancora. So more than anything, what needs to happen is accountability, ma anche, justice delayed is not a good situation for this country.

BAIER: Ma, Byron, we haven’t seen big investigations kind of deliver in recent years. And there is probably a lot of people saying it’s not going to happen this time.

YORK: Bene, Devin Nunes says he still expects something. That’s what I hear, pure. But it’s not going to be comprehensive. We have to piece together what we know about this from the House Intelligence Committee, from the inspector general, now from Durham. There is not going to be any big encyclopedic guide to what the Justice Department and FBI did in this case.

BAIER: We will get out the whiteboards, ancora, when it all comes together.

Pannello, grazie. Make it a great weekend.

Quando torniamo, notableNotable Quotables.


BAIER: Finalmente stasera, it’s Friday. You know what that means — “Notable Quotables.


MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: I want us to destroy the system to keep putting us in situations like this.

MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: Our profession is dying. Our community is suffering, and there’s not going to be anybody left to take this job.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTE DEGLI STATI UNITI: If you’re vaccinated, you can do more things more safely both outdoors as well as indoors.

MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: While I was briefing President Trump, Kerry was briefing Zarif.

MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: We might as well be in East Berlin before the wall fell.

This is tactics only known in a dictatorship.

MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: He certainly doesn’t want to my path down into a 36- month sentence.

TREY GOWDY, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA REPRESENTATIVE: We should ban all forms of torture, that includes calculus and trigonometry.


BAIER: They told me there’d be no math.

OFFERTA: And we’re going to fight this virus with equity.

JEN PSAKI, SEGRETARIO STAMPA DELLA CASA BIANCA: He’s not talking about solving bipartisanship in this zip code here.

OFFERTA: Take a close look at it. We have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues America.

SUO. TIM SCOTT, (R-SC): L'America non è un paese razzista.

SUO. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC): If I ever hear that Joe Biden’s a moderate again, I’m going to throw up.

MASCHIO NON IDENTIFICATO: He used the word “crisi” credo 10 times in his talk last night but never once with reference to the border.

BAIER: Tutto ok, inglese, there is a big full moon, it looks almost orange outside tonight. What does that mean for us?

SCOTT: Good night, and God bless the United States of America.


BAIER: One week in Washington.

Monday on SPECIAL REPORT, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee vow to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks that left U.S. personnel in Cuba with traumatic brain injuries. We’ll bring you that story.

This weekend on FOX NEWS SUNDAY Chris Wallace will interview Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, plus Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy.

Grazie per averci invitato a casa tua stasera. That is it for this SPECIAL REPORT, giusto, equilibrato, and unafraid. Make it a great weekend. FOX NEWS PRIMETIME hosted by Tammy Bruce starts right now. Hey, Tammy.

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