'Fox News Sunday' on May 30, 2021

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Shannon Bream, in for Chris Wallace. 

The White House struggling to strike a bipartisan deal on infrastructure 

with Senate Republicans, after abandoning its Memorial Day deadline. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We can’t afford to fall 

any further behind. Now it’s a time to build the foundation that we’ve 

laid. 

BREAM (voice-over): Talks at the crossroads as President Biden reaches for 

top legislative priority. But the administration and Republican senators 

remain far apart over the size and scope of the investment and how to pay 

for it. 

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV):  We believe that this counteroffer 

delivers on what President Biden told us in the Oval Office that way. 

BREAM:  We’ll speak with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, one the 

cabinet members pitching the president’s proposal. 

Then, get reaction from West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the 

lead Republican negotiating with the White House.

Plus, the Biden administration calling for intelligence officials to 

investigate whether COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab.

KARINE JEAN-PIRRE, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY:  We will continue to 

press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based 

international investigation.

BREAM:  We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the fresh look into the origins of 

the pandemic. 

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BREAM (on camera): Hello again and happy Memorial Day from FOX News in 

Washington. 

The White House criticizing Senate Republicans’ counteroffer for a 

bipartisan deal on infrastructure but negotiations remain alive. President 

Biden inviting members for another round of talks this week as the sides 

are a trillion dollars apart.

Meanwhile, Mr. Biden released his first budget proposal on Friday as many 

Americans hit road for the holiday weekend. The $ 6 trillion proposal 

includes money for education, research, broadband and healthcare, the 

highest amount of federal spending since World War II. 

In the moment, we’ll discuss the prospects for compromise with the 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and lead GOP negotiator, Senator 

Shelley Moore Capito. 

But, first, let’s turn to Mark Meredith traveling with the president in 

Wilmington, Delaware — Mark. 

MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Shannon, President Biden’s budget 

proposals are generating a lot of mixed reactions. Democrats, they appeared 

thrilled with what they’ve seen so far, while Republicans are outraged 

saying these ideas could bankrupt the country. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MEREDITH (voice-over): President Biden’s budget calls for massive new 

spending, including $ 2.3 trillion on infrastructure, a proposal already 

being hotly debated, $ 1.8 trillion to boost and expand safety net programs, 

and another one and half trillion in discretionary spending. 

BRIAN DEESE, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR:  It’s just the president’s 

core economic plan, long-term investments that will increase the productive 

capacity of our economy. 

MEREDITH:  It also calls for funding Democratic priorities from $ 36 billion 

to fight climate change, $ 2 billion to address gun violence, and $ 30 

billion to expand housing assistance.

For Republicans, it’s a nonstarter.

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): This kind of spending will ensure that everybody 

is paying more for their houses, their rent, their groceries, you name it. 

Prices will go up. 

MEREDITH:  The White House insists with increased taxes on the wealthy and 

corporations, its spending plan would be paid for eventually. Republicans 

reject the premise, arguing rising inflation is already a warning sign the 

economy is in trouble. 

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS):  Inflation occurs when you are throwing too 

many dollars at too few goods and that’s exactly what’s happening. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MEREDITH (on camera): On Friday, the Labor Department is going to release 

the latest jobs report and this could be a big indicator about where 

America’s economy is heading into the summer months. It can also have a big 

impact on those infrastructure negotiations with the White House and Senate 

Republicans still appearing fairly far apart on a final deal — Shannon.

BREAM:  Mark Meredith, reporting from Wilmington, Delaware. Mark, thank 

you. 

Joining us now, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Secretary, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”. 

PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY:  Thank you. Nice to be back with 

you. 

BREAM:  Let’s start with reaction to the president’s $ 6 trillion budget 

proposal. The AP says it comes out under this infrastructure. It says this 

year’s projected deficit would set a new record $ 3.7 trillion. The national 

debt will soon breach $ 30 trillion. As a result, the government must borrow 

roughly 50 cents of every dollar it spends this year and next. 

Even a number of the Obama and Biden administration, Larry Summers, who was 

the director of the National Economic Council, has a warning. 

It starts off this way: We are printing money. We are creating government 

bonds. We are borrowing on an unprecedented scale. 

He goes on to say that the dollar is at risk, inflation is now potentially 

going to skyrocket. 

Is Larry Summers wrong, Mr. Secretary? 

BUTTIGIEG:  This is a responsible budget and, importantly, all of the 

proposals for spending and investment in this budget are paid for. It’s one 

of the reasons why if you look into the out years the deficit actually 

starts going down. 

But you can’t get something for nothing. And in the near term we know that 

we need to make major investments in our roads and bridges, in our 

education, in our health. We can’t afford not to do these things because 

for decades, frankly, we’ve been disinvesting. We’ve been cutting in the 

things that make America strong. 

The president is looking around the world, seeing how other countries are 

not hesitating to invest in their future, and we’re watching America fall 

behind. Just look at infrastructure, we’re not even in the top 10 anymore. 

And we can’t allow that to continue. 

So yes, this is a bold budget with major investments in the American people 

but it’s also a responsible one because the president has put forward how 

to pay for every penny of it in the long term. 

BREAM:  What about the critics who say, all right, the payment plans that 

we’re talking about, the things that we’re going to invest in are over an 

eight year window but paying for it extends actually over a 15 year window 

so people are going to be paying for it long after President Biden is 

president. 

BUTTIGIEG:  Well, that’s part of responsible budgeting. You make sure you 

create permanent revenue even when you’re proposing temporary spending. 

What we know is we need to make a lot of these investments upfront in the 

same way that a responsible business or family might take out a longer term 

loan in order to fund an immediate home improvement or investment in a 

business. 

America needs to make sure we’re investing in the roads and bridges. We 

can’t say, well, 15 years from now we’re going to get around to that, or 20 

years from now maybe we’ll start doing something to build up our education 

and that (ph) and make sure the Americans can go to community college free 

of charge. We’ve got to do these kinds of things right away so that we can 

collect the benefits of that in our lives, not just in dollars and cents 

terms, in the years to come. 

But again, all you’ve got to do to pay for this is for corporations and 

wealthy Americans to pay their fair share. Not a crazy high tax level, not 

even as high as the tax levels have been for most of my life. 

We’re talking about resetting the corporate tax rate to what it was under 

George W. Bush. If we do these kinds of things, it’s paid for over the long 

run and we can start enjoying the benefits as a country right away.   

BREAM:   Even President Obama warned about raising the corporate tax rate. 

In his 2015 economic report he said this:  “All else equal, a higher 

effective marginal rate for businesses will tend to reduce the level of 

investment, and a lower effective marginal rate will tend to encourage 

additional projects and a larger capital stock. Increases in the capital 

available for each worker’s use boosts productivity, wages, and output.” 

He had cautioned as well about doing that.   

BUTTIGIEG:   Well, the very first words in those comments were “all else 

equal,” and unfortunately, all else is not equal right now. A lot of 

companies don’t pay the so-called “sticker rate,” as a matter of fact, we 

have many corporations recently make billions of dollars in profits and pay 

zero, zero in taxes. And the American people know that that doesn’t make 

sense. And I think it’s one of the reasons why among Americans there is 

remarkable bipartisan support for the tax polices of this administration. 

Republicans, independents, and Democrats see that, you know, a lot of 

corporations aren’t paying their fair share when small businesses and 

families are. And so when we’re talking about how to fund infrastructure 

investments or how to pay for the president’s budget, we believe that the 

time has come to be paying their fair share. 

And, again, not a high rate. I mean, most of my lifetime the corporate tax 

rate has been 35. We’re saying it ought to be 28. So lower than it has been 

most of our lifetime, but enough to get the job done so that we can get 

deficits under control and, most importantly, make the investments that are 

going to be required for America to thrive.   

BREAM:   You talk about everyone paying their fair share. It’s a popular 

talking point. The president has talked many times about the fact that he 

doesn’t want to raise taxes and he won’t on people who are making less than 

$ 400,000 a year. But even The New York Times, poring through the budget 

proposal, says that’s not actually true. 

Jim Tankersley writing this, he says:  “The documents forecast that Mr. 

Biden and Congress will allow tax cuts for low and middle income Americans, 

signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in 2017, to expire as 

scheduled in 2025.” So doesn’t that practically actually translate into a 

real-world tax hike for people?   

BUTTIGIEG:   Well, that’s a forecast and a set of assumptions about 

something that is years away and we’ll see what the policy choices are at 

that time. But right now, in this moment, we have a decision to make. What 

are we going to do with tax rates right now? And the president is saying, 

let’s not charge middle class Americans more. 

Middle class Americans are paying enough right now, in the president’s 

view. Let’s make sure that corporations and the wealthy are paying their 

fair share. And we believe that’s going to raise the kind of revenue that 

we need in order to fund the proposals that the president has put forward. 

Again, you look at something like the American Jobs Plan, the 

infrastructure vision that the president has put out, the entire thing is 

paid for across 15 years by the — by year 16 deficits going down and he 

does it without asking one penny from the middle class.   

BREAM:   But if this budget proposal, the $ 6 trillion budget proposal, 

which encompasses those things, actually lets those tax rates expire, that 

tax cut expire, and it’s premised on that being part of the funding for 

this plan, isn’t that — doesn’t it equate to a tax hike on people making 

less than $ 400,000 a year? 

BUTTIGIEG:   You know, I feel like there are some politicians hoping to 

have a hypothetical debate about decisions Congress will make in 2025 to 

get out of the real debate we’re having in 2021 about what tax policy ought 

to be right now. The president is saying that we’ve got to make sure 

corporations and wealthy pay their fair share. The American people agree 

with him. And we think it’s time to get that done.   

BREAM:   So, negotiations continue this morning on the infrastructure 

package but one of the biggest items — the biggest item is $ 400 billion 

for home health care or long term care. NPR described it this way, because 

services can include home visits from nurses or occupational therapists, 

assistance with personal care, such as eating or bathing, help from case 

managers, attendance at adult daycare centers, help with cooking, cleaning, 

and other chores, transportation, and home repairs and modification. 

Mr. Secretary, those are all good things. We all think those are laudable 

goals but they don’t line up with probably the definition of infrastructure 

that most average Americans would think of. 

BUTTIGIEG:  Look, if you have a different category you’d like to put it in, 

that’s fine. We should still do it and we should do it as part of the 

American Jobs Plan. We think of it as infrastructure because infrastructure 

is the foundation that lets people participate in the economy. 

And, as so many people watching this program know, when you’re taking care 

of a loved one, doing some of those things because you don’t have the right 

kind of care structure to look after them and you can’t even get a job 

because you’re in this elder care situation, because somehow we’re one of 

the only developed countries that doesn’t take care of this, that’s holding 

you back the same way it holds you back if you don’t have a road or bridge 

to get to where you want to go. 

But, look, if somebody has a different view on the categories, that’s fine. 

That’s a philosophical debate that I don’t think is as important as — 

(CROSSTALK) 

BREAM:  — but that’s not roads and bridges — 

BUTTIGIEG:  — in doing this — 

BREAM:  I mean, that’s something that — 

(CROSSTALK) 

BUTTIGIEG:  — do it now. 

BREAM:  It is a good thing but it doesn’t meet (ph) with what average 

people think of ports (ph), even water, lead pipes, repairing those things. 

There’s a lot agreement between Democrats and Republicans on those things. 

But where do you actually draw the line? What’s not infrastructure? 

BUTTIGIEG:  This is called the American Jobs Plan because it contains a 

number of measures that are going to help Americans not only get jobs but 

thrive in our country today. And this is part of it. 

We think these things fit together. And of course, it’s not unusual in 

legislation to take a number of different elements that are part of a 

related theme and move them at the same time because Americans can’t wait 

for us to resolve the dorm room debate over which policies belong in which 

categories. They want us to just get it done. 

It’s why the president’s Jobs Plan is so overwhelmingly popular among the 

American people. Now we’re trying to get Washington to catch up and to 

actually do something. 

BREAM:  Well, when you start to poll them about how to pay for it and what 

actually infrastructure means, those numbers change. We’re going to discuss 

that coming up. 

Secretary Buttigieg, thank you for your time. Thanks for coming in today. 

Always great to talk to you. 

BUTTIGIEG:  Thanks for having me. Great. 

BREAM:  Reaction from the top Republican negotiator, Senator Shelley Moore 

Capito, next.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  Now for more on Senate Republicans’ counteroffer to President Biden 

on infrastructure, joining us from West Virginia, the lead Republican 

negotiator, Senator Shelley Moore Capito.

Senator, great to have you with us this morning. 

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV):  Thank you, Shannon. Good to be on. 

Thanks.

BREAM:  So, let me ask you this. Where do we stand with negotiations this 

morning? 

I know you’ve been talking with the president. There’s been some public 

speculation about who is really calling the shots. Even Senator Mark 

Warner, a Democrat, saying, I’ve had my calls returned quickly, I’m talking 

with the legislative team, but even I’m not really sure who’s making the 

decisions. 

What’s your impression and where do things stand this morning? 

CAPITO:  Well, I think the president is making the decisions. And when we 

went to the Oval Office, six of us, to talk about a bipartisan 

infrastructure package, the president basically tasked us to come back with 

something close to $ 1 trillion in areas and the scope that we as 

Republicans feel constitutes infrastructure. Also, we could — we could 

spread it over an eight-year period of time.

And that’s exactly what we have done. And we’ve got a great basis for this 

because we just passed a surface transportation bill unanimously out of my 

committee with Senator Carper as the chairman. And so I think we are 

building those blocks towards — towards a really good, solid 

infrastructure package that has bipartisan support. 

So, we’re responding to what the president has said. He told me on the 

phone just the day before yesterday, let’s get this done. And I think that 

means that he has — his heart is in us. We have had some back and forth 

with his staff to sort of pull back a little bit, but I think we’re 

smoothing out those edges. 

BREAM:  I’m going to play something that your Democratic colleague, Senator 

Elizabeth Warren, had to say in response to the GOP’s $ 928 billion 

counteroffer. Here’s her take.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA):  I don’t really think this is a serious 

counteroffer. We were in a crisis before the pandemic hit. It only got 

worse during the pandemic. This is our chance to expand our idea of what 

infrastructure means. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  A couple of sticking points there. One of them is the most basic, 

is about the understanding of what infrastructure is. Secretary Pete 

Buttigieg says it should be all-encompassing because if people can’t work, 

they can’t travel the roads, they can’t use infrastructure. 

How do you guys define this? Can you get to some middle ground on that? 

CAPITO:  Well, we disagree on the definition of infrastructure and we’ve 

been working with the president to bring it back to the physical core idea 

of infrastructure that we’ve worked so well on in the past. Whether that’s 

road and bridges, waterways, ports, lead pipes, transit, airports, and also 

the new infrastructure which we must have everywhere, a broadband. Those 

are great categories I think that we can work together on. 

You know, I think it is so easy to say, let’s throw everything in — and I 

think that’s what the president did initially. Human infrastructure, social 

infrastructure, great things to talk about, things that we need to address 

— daycare, senior care, all those items. But that’s not what we consider 

physical infrastructure on modernizing our transportation system to meet 

the — you know, the next century challenges, and that’s where I think we 

need to concentrate our effort at this point. 

BREAM:  “The Washington Post” did a fact-check on this, about Republicans’ 

claims that only 5 percent to 7 percent of the Biden plan is, quote, real 

infrastructure. He gave three out of four possible Pinocchios on that, 

saying this: To say that Biden’s plan would devote only 5 percent to 7 

percent of its $ 2.3 trillion cost — and it’s moved since then — toward 

real infrastructure, is highly misleading, the kind of talking point that 

tries to erase recent history and parts of the English language as a battle 

begins to heat up in Congress. 

What’s accurate about where you are now in getting to those core terms? 

CAPITO:  Well, the president has $ 400 billion for the care economy, the 

ones we were talking about — elder care, daycare and those things. As I 

said, great things to talk about, but not part of a core physical 

infrastructure package. 

He also had a large section in there on research and development and 

manufacturing, something that’s not considered initially as infrastructure. 

But we’re working that bill right now in the Senate floor, the Endless 

Frontier Act. And so, we’re going to have bipartisan agreement there.

He has a part of his plan that is incentives for buying electric vehicles. 

You know, that — building out the infrastructure for electric vehicles, 

charging stations, we have that on our plan. But vouchers to purchase the 

automobiles and other things, that I think is something we need to discuss 

at a different time. 

And these are hundreds of billions of dollars in his plan. We just think we 

would be better off if we just looked at a core, solid definition that is 

traditionally thought of as infrastructure and move that to the next 

modernization to where we are the best and most technological superior 

infrastructure in the world. 

BREAM:  So, working on the definition of infrastructure, the deadline is 

now blown and continues to loom on this, but also how to pay for it. 

Democrats say that it makes sense to roll that cuts for corporate taxes. 

You know, I tried to press the secretary on whether this is also going to 

mean rolling back taxes on individuals which at the corporate point, he 

said there are billions of dollars in corporate profits that are going 

untaxed. 

Here’s what Senator Dick Durbin had to say about the plan. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): They don’t want to touch the wealthiest and the 

big corporations who receive a generous tax break under the Trump tax plan. 

But they haven’t come up with an alternative. And so, I hope they’ll join 

us in a responsible effort. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  So, are tax increases a red line for the GOP whether we’re talking 

about corporations or individual? 

CAPITO:  The tax cuts of 2017 led to the most booming economy that we had 

pre-pandemic. Here in Virginia, wages up, more diversity in the workforce, 

more people working. It was working in terms of spreading out the economic 

growth all throughout all sectors of our economy. 

So, we’re — I’m not going to vote to overturn those, but I can tell you, 

we do have a plan. We have put over the course of the last year and a half, 

trillions of dollars into COVID relief and much of that is unspent. We say 

reprogram that.

The administration has already reprogrammed about $ 2.5 billion into Health 

and Human Services to help with migrant children. So we know they’re not 

opposed to reprogramming COVID dollars and rescue dollars. 

Let’s take a lot of those dollars, for instance, the unemployment that 

states are no longer extending into $ 300. Let’s take those dollars and 

devote them to something that’s core infrastructure. That is part of our 

plan as well. 

We also have user fees in there, because there’s no reason that folks who 

have electric cars or hybrids, who used the roads, there’s no reason that 

they shouldn’t — because they don’t buy gasoline, don’t pay gas tax, which 

is traditional resource to pay for those, but there’s no reason why they 

shouldn’t participate. 

So, we have laid out the ways to pay for this, and I think it doesn’t 

involve raising our taxes. We all know when you raise taxes in one place, 

it’s felt everywhere. And with the stagnation of our economy, we saw slow 

job growth last month, let’s make sure that we get everything reopen and 

the economy fully going full steam. 

BREAM:  So, the vast majority of your proposal does include hundreds of 

billions of dollars, you all say unspent COVID funds. 

Here’s what the White House said about that when Press Secretary Jen Psaki 

was asking — asked about it. She said: Here’s why that would be difficult 

to be a key mechanism. Ninety-five percent of it is already allocated 

somewhere else.

So, Democrats say that means you really only bringing about $ 250 billion in 

new spending to the table. It’s trillions apart from where the White House 

started. 

So, does it represent real compromise? 

CAPITO:  I think we can get to real compromise, absolutely, because we’re 

both still in the game. I think the president told me himself that let’s 

get this done. 

We realize this is not easy. I think we bring every idea that’s on the 

table into the negotiations to see how we can achieve this and get it 

across the threshold. 

But I think it’s interesting that the spokes — the president’s 

spokesperson said everything has been allocated. It hasn’t gone out the 

door. We have hundreds of billions of dollars that could be reprogrammed 

toward something as core as infrastructure, and I think that’s what we 

should be looking at rather than put — you know, force-feeding into 

certain categories where really it’s not part of COVID, it’s not a part of 

a rescue package. It’s dollars that were way over-allocated that still have 

yet to be spent. 

BREAM:  You know at the heart of the matter, Democrats may not need your 

votes for this. There is a push from the progressive left of the party to 

do another reconciliation package and just to — not get too wonky, but 

what it means essentially is they wouldn’t need a single Republican vote to 

get this across the finish line. That’s what they did with the last almost 

$ 2 trillion COVID relief bill. 

What — or what’s your assessment of where a cutoff will be there will be 

no more negotiations and Democrats potentially go that route without you? 

CAPITO:  You know, the Democrats and the president can go that route right 

now. And there’s a reason that they aren’t, and I think that’s because they 

are seeing that through our committee work, with our surface transportation 

bill, with our water and wastewater bill that we passed several months ago, 

$ 35 billion, that we’re working this through the system, Endless Frontier 

on the cusp of being passed in terms of our competitiveness with China. 

And I think there is a hunger for bipartisanship. The president stood on 

the Capitol steps and said he’s the resident of everybody, represents 

Republicans and Democrats. He has expressed to me and to our group numerous 

times his desire to work with us and to negotiate a package. I think that’s 

what we see and, in fact, we are inching towards one another. 

I understand there’s a deadline here. I understand at some point, if we 

don’t get there, it — but it won’t be for trying. It won’t be because we 

didn’t try. 

And it’s worth it. It’s worth it to show this country we can work together. 

We can reach compromise for the good of everybody. 

BREAM:  And I think the American people are cheering for you all. 

So, Senator, thank you for joining us. We’ll follow the negotiations.

CAPITO:  Thanks, Shannon.

BREAM:  Up next, the Biden administration orders a closer review into the 

origins of COVID-19, as U.S. intelligence takes another look at the lab 

leak theory. We’re going to ask our Sunday panel about the science, the 

politics and the bias surrounding the debate.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  Coming up, renewed focus on theory COVID-19 may have originated in 

a lab.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS 

DISEASES:  Because we don’t know 100 percent what the origin is, it’s 

imperative that we look and we do an investigation. That’s how we feel 

right now. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the shifting focus.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Why did you dismiss the lab leak theory as — as 

credible? 

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I 

have always said that the high likelihood is that this is a naturally 

occurrence. I didn’t dismiss anything. 

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: I agree with 

him that it is most likely that this is a virus that arose naturally, but 

we cannot exclude the possibility of some kind of a lab accident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, 

director of the National Institutes of Health, getting grilled this week 

over the potential origins of COVID-19. 

It’s time now for our Sunday group. Former Republican Congressman Jason 

Chaffetz, pollster and Fox News contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson, and 

Fox News political analyst Juan Williams. 

Great to see you all on this Sunday morning. 

SO what we heard there from Dr. Fauci is that he thinks the other theory is 

more viable, but he says he didn’t dismiss the leak theory. Here’s what he 

said in “National Geographic.” They had an exclusive interview with him in 

May 2020. He did talk about the other theory about this being natural. They 

characterized the rest of the conversation saying this, based on the 

scientific evidence, he also doesn’t entertain an alternate theory that 

someone found the coronavirus in the wild, brought it into a lab and then 

it accidentally escaped. 

Jason, a lot of folks shifting their perspective on potential theories, 

whether they’re viable, whether they should get you silenced or muted or 

not. Now we’re allowed to talk about it. Why? 

JASON CHAFFETZ, FORMER CONGRESSMAN (R-UT) AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, 

ultimately, I want to get to the truth, but it’s — it’s disappointing that 

they didn’t look at it — this more seriously a year ago. President Trump 

was saying that this was a possibility. Senator Cotton was saying that that 

was a possibility. I’m guessing that the intelligence services were 

suggesting that this might be a possibility. But I’m glad that the 

Democrats, albeit a year later, are finally coming to the game and the 

realization that we really don’t know and we better darn well find out so 

that it never, ever happens again. 

And there has been a lack of cooperation from China. There’s been a lack of 

cooperation and trust really in the World Health Organization. And that’s 

problematic. 

BREAM: I want to play something from David Asher. He was the lead State 

Department investigator on this. I’ve talked with him about what they were 

trying to do in getting to the origins. He explains what their mission was 

on and — and what they were finding according to him. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID ASHER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Despite the claims of our 

scientific community, there was almost no evidence that supported a natural 

zoonotic, you know, evolution or source of COVID-19. 

The data disproportionately stacked up as we investigated that it was 

coming out of a lab or some supernatural source. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: And, Juan, those as we talked about a year ago, if you made that 

suggestion, your posts were edited on social media, were banned. There was 

plenty of information that there could have been numerous different 

theories. Why so quick to shut that one down and why now, the media a year 

later saying, OK, it’s viable? 

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think “The Wall Street 

Journal” reported that some people got sick at that lab I think it’s in 

November of 2019. No, we don’t know if they got COVID or they got the flu, 

Shannon, but what we know now is that there were some people who were sent 

to the hospital from that lab. And we also know that the military was 

involved in experiments at that lab, raising the possibility of bio 

weapons. 

But the Trump administration never was able to find a smoking gun or 

produce it publicly in any case. So the urgency, you know, when Dr. Fauci 

was speaking in May of last year, was about stopping the spread of the 

disease here in the United States and cutting down on the death rate. We 

were in the midst of a pandemic. So, I think, at that point, you know, kind 

of this theory or that theory was very much secondary to what we had to 

deal with as the American people, what the administration had to deal with. 

And, of course, there’s politics involved here. I think there were lots of 

people in the Trump administration who wanted to distract from the poor job 

that the Trump administration was doing with the virus in the United States 

by saying, hey, the Chinese are the problem. And the Chinese, even in terms 

of investigation, they’re just bad actors. I mean these people can’t be 

trusted. You know, if you tell the truth over there, you could end up in 

jail. So there’s lots of politics involved in this.

BREAM: Or worse.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

BREAM: Yes, OK.

So now the push is on. There seems to be some agreement, We have to get to 

the bottom of this for numerous reasons. And, Jason, as you said, because 

if this surfaces again, to prevent it or to be able to deal with things 

moving forward. 

Here’s what Andy Slavitt, who has been a special advisor to President 

Biden, especially on this coronavirus issue, said about investigating this 

week. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY SLAVITT, SENIOR ADVISER, CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE TEAM: We need to get to 

the bottom of this and we need a completely transparent process from China. 

We need the WHO to assist in that matter. We don’t feel like we have that 

now. We need to get to the bottom of this, whatever the answer may be. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: So there’s been praise from the WHO. There’s been scorn for the WHO. 

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which tracks and has been fighting on this 

coronavirus question, said this, ten ways the WHO catastrophically failed 

the world. One of them they said is this, the WHO panel, which was sent to 

China to investigate the origins of COVID-19 was not entirely independent. 

It was selected in coordination with the Chinese government and included 

people who had clear conflicts of interest due to prior work with the Wuhan 

Institute of Virology.

Kristen, should we be depending on WHO at all to get to the bottom of this 

now?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS, “WASHINGTON EXAMINER” AND FOX 

NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: The WHO has an enormous credibility problem. And, 

unfortunately, over the last year, a number of experts in the scientific 

and public health fields have run into a credibility problem. And part of 

that is because a lot of these organizations and experts have been 

incapable of saying I don’t know. Uncertainty is very hard to communicate, 

especially early on and COVID when we don’t know where it’s coming from, 

when we’re not yet sure of how it’s transmitted. It’s OK at that point for 

scientists, experts to say, we don’t know. We think that you should be 

wearing masks. We think that you should be doing x, y, and z. We think it’s 

transmitted this way, but we don’t know, because then when you really do 

know, you have the credibility to come to people and say, we know where 

this virus came from. We know what you should be doing to prevent the 

spread of it. 

I think too early on there were too many experts who said, nope, we know 

exactly where this came from or, nope, we know exactly how this spreads and 

wound up being wrong and that means that now those same experts, when 

they’re asking us to do things like take vaccines that we know to be safe, 

there are large portions of the public that look at that and go, you know, 

I’m not sure I trust those experts. And that lack of credibility, both with 

experts here in the U.S. and especially experts around the world, is a huge 

problem for dealing with global health problems coming down the road. 

BREAM: And at the end of the day this all goes back to China, the lack of 

access, the danger to people there on the ground who would speak out and — 

and try to give truth to investigators. I talked to former Secretary of 

State Mike Pompeo about this, how we deal with China going forward on 

Friday night. Here’s what he told me. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This information is in the 

possession of the Chinese Communist Party and President Biden has a 

responsibility to raise this every time he talks with Xi Jinping. You know, 

Shannon, we’ve talked about this laboratory, this Wuhan Institute of 

Virology from which the Wuhan virus may well have escaped. The Chinese 

Communist Party knows the answer to that. President Biden has the 

responsibility to ask Xi Jinping and demand that he does this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Jason, are you confident he will? 

CHAFFETZ: That’s what he should do. Hasn’t happened yet. 

I think Secretary Pompeo is absolutely right. I think there was a lot of 

misdirection from China early on. It did not help that the Democrats were –

– were charging at Donald Trump when he tried to shut off the border and 

limit travel and call it all different things that weren’t true. 

It hasn’t been based on science from the beginning and I — I’ve got to 

tell you, we have to figure this out but it has to happen at the level of 

President Biden. He has to be the one pressing China and we haven’t seen 

that yet. 

BREAM: So we’re going into this first, quote/unquote, holiday weekend, the 

first one in a long time, without all of the COVID lockdown and mask 

mandates and things that we’ve had. 

“The New York Times” says this, the holiday weekend comes amid a national 

decline in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. All across the 

country, mask mandates are easing, restrictions are lifting and many states 

have gone back to business as usual. 

Juan, where do you assess that we are on this Memorial Day weekend when it 

comes to the fight against COVID?

WILLIAMS: Well, I’m feeling optimistic, Shannon. I went to a baseball game 

indoors last night. My team didn’t win, but so be it. 

But if you just stop and think about it, you know, our families, if you 

choose to get a vaccination, you have every reason to feel safe and 

vaccinations are available. You can even win the lottery be getting 

vaccinated. 

You think about where we are now compared to when President Biden took 

office. You know, infection rates are down 90 percent, death rates down 80 

percent. That’s incredible. I mean that — to me, that’s a real 

accomplishment for the American people to celebrate. 

The president had talked about July 4th at a point when we could get 

together. I think many families are together this weekend. And, again, I 

think we should understand that the United States has gone from lagging in 

terms of global — how other countries, western democracies, industrialized 

countries have handled COVID from lagging in that competition to now being 

a leader, an exemplar of how it can be done and even offering to help other 

countries in terms of getting the vaccine out to them. 

BREAM: Yes, and thanks to Operation Warp Speed, all of these things have 

been positive developments here and around the world. 

All right, panel, we’ve got to take a break. Kristen, we’ll start with you 

when we come back.

Up next, President Biden goes on offense against his economic critics, 

while Republicans are sounding the alarm over inflation.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The Biden economic plan is working. We 

had record job creation. We’re seeing record economic growth. We’re 

creating a new paradigm. 

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): Your wages never go up as fast as inflation is 

going up. We have got to stop this reckless spending.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: President Joe Biden and Republican Senator Rick Scott, very 

different takes on the U.S. state of the economy.

We’re back now with our panel.

Kristen, they clearly see things differently, the assessment of where we 

are and where we’re going.

ANDERSON: Well, there are three main themes that I see in polls around this 

issue. One is that many of the things included in Biden’s plan are 

generally popular on their own when not associated with a price tag. The 

second is that most of them are not viewed as infrastructure. Roads and 

bridges, airports, absolutely, but a lot of these other things that the 

Biden administration is trying to shoe-horn in under the label of 

infrastructure to make them more popular, it’s just — people aren’t buying 

it.

But most importantly, I think, is when you talk about the price tag of much 

of this, there really are concerns about inflation, which, not to date 

myself, but that’s something that I have — that voters have not really 

been concerned about during my lifetime. This is a problem that is 

relatively new going back over decades and decades and is caused by the 

type of government spending and the potential overheating of the economy 

coming out of this pandemic. 

So, on the one hand, it’s good that our economy is starting to try to come 

back, but if we’re just putting too much government money into the system, 

you’re going to have people seeing their cost of living go up and that’s a 

huge, huge problem. People know that when they’re going to the grocery 

store, when they’re going to the pump, things are costing more money. 

That’s inflation. It’s hitting people in their pocketbooks. And it’s a real 

problem the Biden administration needs to address. 

BREAM: Juan, you and I might be a little bit older than Kristen. I remember 

back to the ’70s and waiting in the gas lines and inflation worries. 

Interest rates on mortgages, all those kinds of things, hearing my parents 

whisper about that stuff and be very nervous and worried.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is predicting that President 

Biden is morphing in to President Carter, who was running the country 

during those times. 

What do you make of that assessment? 

WILLIAMS: I think that’s very political assessment, so I’ll leave it to 

him. 

But, you know, I think this economy is taking off and it’s taking off fast. 

It’s going from zero to 60. Obviously, we were shut down because of the 

pandemic and now we’re opening up in a big way. 

So when you have that kind of takeoff, Shannon, you’re going to have some 

turbulence. I mean, obviously, something like the used car market is very 

tight right now, hard to get a used car. Why? Because, you know, it was 

done away with pretty much during the pandemic. Lumber, housing, you know, 

a lot of the lumber mills had shut down. So you’re going to get things like 

that, some turbulence on takeoff. But if you talk to the mainstream 

economists in the country, they all say this is temporary. They don’t see 

inflation down the road as a major threat. 

You know, right now, this Memorial Day weekend, there’s high demand for 

gas. We didn’t have a lot of people drying around for the last year and 

then we had a Colonial Pipeline shutdown with the hack. 

So these things happen, but I’m not sure that they’re long term. You look 

at the stock market right now, you look at the price of Treasury bonds, 

inflation there is estimated like 1.5 percent over the next ten years. 

That’s not a problem. 

BREAM: Well, Jason, I talked to Secretary Buttigieg about this, about Larry 

Summers, who, as, again, I noted, under the Obama/Biden administration, he 

was the director of the White House National Economic Council. He was 

sounding a warning this week in a call that was released. He talked about 

the levels at which we’re borrowing. He was concerned about the impact on 

the dollar, the potential that it would trigger more inflation. He’s not a 

super conservative right-leaning guy. 

CHAFFETZ: The Biden administration is growing government. That’s where 

they’ve put all their marbles. If you look back ten years, the budget put 

forward by President Biden is more than 50 percent larger than it was just 

ten years ago. That’s growing government. 

And, remember, all the stimulus and infrastructure and all these other 

things they want to put on top of that. The number is stunning. They what 

they’re doing is growing government. And you have small businesses, and 

medium size and even large sides businesses competing against the 

government because the government has made it so rich not to go back to 

work. 

And so these things have got to reconcile. But I do not believe that the 

government is a sole source of how you create jobs. The American people 

create jobs, not government. And when it becomes so large, approaching 25 

percent of our gross domestic product, something has got to be put back in 

balance. It is far too big. 

BREAM: Well, they’re still having these negotiations now. We talk 

specifically about the infrastructure bill this morning. They’re still 

about $ 1 trillion apart at last check. This is something that Senator 

Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, had to say about this. He says, I fully 

understand the president’s instinctive desire for a bipartisan solution and 

that would be the best of all worlds, but it takes two to tango and so far 

they’ve refused to come to the dance floor. 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who was with us, would beg to differ on that, 

Kristen, but what about this conversation now that this may not be 

bipartisan? This may be like the last $ 2 trillion, roughly, bill that got 

passed, the COVID relief bill. Democrats could conceivably move ahead with 

trillions on infrastructure without a Republican vote, a single one.

ANDERSON: But if the Biden administration does move ahead without really 

seriously trying to court Republican buy-in on something this large, it’s 

going to undercut one of the core things that President Biden said when he 

was running for office and then when he took office, which is that he wants 

to be someone who will unify the country. 

I see in poll after poll that we are so divided as a nation that folks of 

two different parties look at one another and just can’t find many places 

where they get along. But the idea that we need to fix our nation’s roads 

and bridges is one of those areas where Republicans and Democrats tend to 

be on the same page. Even though the sticker price on a lot of this is 

pretty high, Republicans have actually said, let’s do even more for roads 

and bridges than the original Biden plan laid out because that kind of 

spending is going to be long-term investment for us. It’s not going to be 

the kind of spending that leads to inflation. Let’s get there. 

And so I think if the Biden administration does get pulled too far to the 

left, if the progress voices in the party are too loud and don’t allow for 

some kind of gradual, incremental work on this issue that does involve 

Republican buy-in, it would be a huge missed opportunity and a failure of 

the administration to carry out that one big promise to be a unifier.

BREAM: Yes, the progressives want this number to be much bigger, these 

spending numbers, and they, again, are pressing for move ahead through 

reconciliation if they have to so you don’t have to negotiate with 

Republicans. Some of them saying, just stop doing it, it’s wasting time. It 

doesn’t sound very bipartisan despite what the president has said about 

that.

Here’s how “The Wall Street Journal,” in an opinion piece, talked about 

this level of spending that we’re at, getting to World War II levels based 

on the president’s budget, saying this, federal spending in the World War 

II era allowed the United States to save western civilization by defeating 

Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. The Biden spending plan will subsidize 

daycare and electric cars among other political desires. Unclear is what 

the U.S. will do in the tragic event it has to found victory in a world war 

again. 

Juan. 

WILLIAMS: Well, I think we’ve got about three weeks. You know, I think 

Senator Capito, who you interviewed this morning, Shannon, is negotiating 

in good faith. She wants a deal. What you just heard from Kirsten Soltis 

Anderson is that the American people want this deal across political lines. 

Republicans and Democrats, these policies are popular. 

The difficulty here is how you pay for it. I think they’re — the 

Republicans are clearly all about user fee, gas taxes, tolls, price on 

electric vehicles, all that kind of thing. Democrats say they want to raise 

the taxes on the corporations and on the rich. And I think there’s a big 

divide there.

Now, the politics of this, very quickly, is, I think that there’s no 

indication from the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, that he is 

looking for a deal here. I think that he worries that this is — might be a 

popular plan but he’d rather not give the credit to Biden and he also wants 

Biden to have to deal with any political fallout that comes from a big 

price tag. And I think you have to look at it down the road. That — I mean 

this is politics. This is why we aren’t having a January 6th commission. 

That’s for (ph) politics and this is about politics. 

BREAM: Kristen, very quickly, before we have to go. To that point about, 

Juan — about polling, the administration has pointed to this quite a bit 

saying it’s bipartisan. Even if you don’t get a GOP vote, they say it polls 

well with Republicans. But as you’ve said, when you get into the nitty-

gritty about what it’s going to cost people, attitudes can often shift. 

CHAFFETZ: This is laughable and it’s a joke to suggest that it is paid for.

ANDERSON: You’re absolutely right. People would like to see —

BREAM: Let me ask Kristen to the polling point here.

ANDERSON: Sorry, go ahead.

CHAFFETZ: Sorry. Sorry.

ANDERSON: Sure. 

You — I think this is a piece of legislation that without the price tag 

people think is — is wonderful. That there are a lot of things in it that 

are great. But when you begin talking about spending tax dollars on it, it 

becomes less popular. When you begin testing out the different ways to get 

the money to pay for it, it becomes less popular. 

So, as always, the devil is in the details. 

BREAM: It is.

All right, thank you very much, panel, we’ll see you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Player” this Memorial Day weekend. A man whose made it 

his life’s work to honor veterans with these 24 musical notes.

(MERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: We first met him 12 years ago sharing the story of how he’s worked 

to insures all veterans receive a proper tribute. It’s become a Memorial 

Day tradition here. Once again, here’s Chris Wallace with the “Power Player 

of the Week.” 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM DAY, FOUNDER, BUGLES ACROSS AMERICA: When you’re playing it, it’s only 

24 notes, but it’s so meaningful to that family. 

WALLACE (voice over): Tom Day is talking about playing “Taps” at the 

funerals of military veterans, and he should know. 

He’s the founder and president of an organization called Bugles Across 

America. 

WALLACE: (on camera): All told, how many funerals have you done since you 

started Bugles Across America? 

DAY: At 200,000.

WALLACE: Really?

DAY: In ten years. Right.

WALLACE (voice over): It started back in 2000, when Congress gave every vet 

the right to a funeral with military honors, including two uniformed 

officers to present a flag and play “Taps.” The problem was, the military 

only had 500 bugler’s, so they sent someone to play a recorded “Taps” on a 

boom box or an electronic device inside a bugle. 

Tom Day, who played in the Marines in the ’50s, didn’t like it. 

DAY: I call it stolen dignity that these veterans can’t get live “Taps” 

when we are out there ready to perform live “Taps.” 

WALLACE: So he started his organization, recruiting 400 horn players within 

a year. 

DAY: Now we have 6,270 horn players. And we’re doing 2,200 funerals a 

month.

WALLACE: It’s become quite an operation that Day runs out of his basement 

near Chicago. Families can go on his website to ask for a bugler. A message 

is sent to every horn player within 100 miles of the funeral. Day gives 

away bugles and helps with uniforms. While he gets support from 

foundations, he runs a deficit every year. 

WALLACE (on camera): How do you make up for the shortfall? 

DAY: I kind of make it up myself. 

WALLACE: $ 15,000, $ 20,000 a year? 

DAY: Probably ten. You finish, you know, the last of the 24 notes, you put 

the horn down and the flag has been presented, then the family comes over. 

The kisses, the handshakes from these families, there is nothing — no 

amount of money could ever buy the feeling that I get from the family once 

I’ve finished the 24 notes. 

WALLACE (voice over): With soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus 

some 400 veterans of World War II dying every day, there is a flood of 

military funerals. Day says he wants to keep going until he dies, then 

leave his organization in solid shape to carry on. 

DAY: I want every family to have live “Taps” at that going away 

presentation of their veteran. And it kind of tells the Marines who are 

guarding the gates in heaven, live “Taps,” we’re going to let this veteran 

right in. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BREAM: What a beautiful, beautiful organization and effort. 

By the way, for those who are visiting Arlington National Cemetery this 

Memorial Day weekend, both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and President 

John F. Kennedy’s gravesite are now fully reopened to the public. 

God bless each of you who is remembering the loss of a loved one who died 

in service of our great country. 

That is it for us today. I’ll see you all this week on “FOX NEWS AT NIGHT” 

and Chris will see you right back here for next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

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