U.S. surgeon common on fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine improvement: ‘Security has not been compromised’

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This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday” November 29, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Bret Baier, in for Chris Wallace.

President Trump declares coronavirus vaccines could come as soon as next
week as the pandemic reshapes Americans’ given holidays.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We are rounding the curve.
The vaccines are being delivered literally. It will start next week and the
week after.

BAIER (voice-over):  A promising timeline, but questions persist about who
will get it first, how effective it will be, and scrutiny arises over one
of the top contenders.

We’ll ask U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, what we can expect
heading into the New Year.

Then — how are tough guidelines on social gatherings impacting families,
and restrictions on restaurants and retail impacting the nation’s small
businesses?

We’ll discuss with Governors Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Phil Murphy of
New Jersey.

Plus —

REPORTER:  If the Electoral College does elect President-elect Joe Biden,
are you not going to leave this building?

TRUMP:  Just so — certainly I will.

BAIER:  President Trump still not conceding while Biden introduces his
national security team.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT:  We cannot meet these challenges with old
thinking and unchanged habits.

BAIER:  We’ll ask our Sunday panel how the picks preview the incoming
administration’s policies.

And our Power Player of the Week, Chris once again dances with turkeys.

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAIER (on camera):  And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

This holiday weekend, the coronavirus continues to ravage American families
with experts raising concerns that testing disruptions over Thanksgiving
will give people the false impression the spread has slowed.

Meanwhile, promising news of vaccine development raises the question “who
should get it first”?

In a moment, we’ll speak with U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams.

But first, let’s get the latest on the Biden transition from Jacqui
Heinrich in Wilmington, Delaware — Jacqui.

JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Good morning, Bret.

Foregoing Thanksgiving on Nantucket, President-elect Joe Biden opted for a
scaled-down dinner in Delaware, urging Americans to keep making sacrifices
as work continues battling a virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN:  We might not be able to join our hands around a table with our
loved ones, but we can come together as a nation.

HEINRICH (voice-over):  Transition 46 is at work this holiday weekend.

BIDEN:  We might not be able to join our hands around the table with our
loved ones, but we can come together as a nation.

HEINRICH:  Transition 46 is at work this holiday weekend, announcing three
new advisors to the coronavirus task —

BIDEN:  We might not be able to join our hands around the table with our
loved ones, but we can come together as a nation.

HEINRICH:  Transition 46 is at work this holiday weekend, announcing three
new — 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEINRICH (on camera):  Apologize, we apologize for that technical error,
Bret.

Congress is bracing for Biden’s national coronavirus strategy. Republicans
have largely resisted more big spending, but both parties agree that more
funding is needed, especially as Pfizer’s vaccine sits on the verge of
approval and United Airlines is already positioning charter flights to get
it ready for quick distribution — Bret.

BAIER:  All right, Jacqui, thank you.

Joining us now, U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams.

Dr. Adams, thanks for being here.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL:  Thank you for having me, Bret, and
thank you to the American people who kept it small and smart this
Thanksgiving. Millions of people did the right thing.

And for those who did travel and those who did attend large gatherings, we
want you to know it’s not too late to take measures to slow the spread of
this virus. You can still isolate. You can still get tested in three to
five days. You can still take measures that have been proven to help us
prevent cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

BAIER:  Well, speaking of that, new cases Friday surpassed 205,000, and
that was breaking a record set the week before. Hospitalizations were at
record levels in a number of states including Oregon, Washington, Indiana,
and Pennsylvania.

So I guess the question is, is this what a dark winter looks like or do you
forecast that this is going to get worse in coming weeks?

ADAMS:  Well, I want to be straight with the American people. It’s going to
get worse over the next several weeks, but the actions that we take in the
next several days will determine how bad it is or whether or not we
continue to flatten our curve.

And right before Thanksgiving, we actually saw cases start to plateau in
many states that have been aggressively mitigating and as I mentioned,
there are steps you can take right now.

But I also want people to know there’s hope. We are mere weeks away from
starting to vaccinate the vulnerable and we can significantly protect
people who are at risk for this virus. So hang on just a little bit longer,
understand that the science out there has never been stronger to support
the wearing of masks.

You shouldn’t have to have a mandate to do the right thing to protect your
neighbor, to keep schools open. Make sure you’re watching your distance and
make sure, again, if you’ve been in the gathering of more than ten people
without your mask on over the last several days, please get tested in the
next three to five days.

BAIER:  I want to talk about the vaccines, the therapeutics, in just a
second. But what do you think looking back now was the biggest mistake the
administration, health experts made since this pandemic started?

ADAMS:  Well, that is a great question and there are many different things
that we could have done differently. This virus has been challenging. I
wish that again this hadn’t been superimposed on top of an election. I wish
that we had been able to come together as a nation and really talk about
the science instead of the politics, and that’s on all sides. That’s all
around.

But what I want people to know is moving forward, again, the science has
never been stronger in terms of what we can do — simple, powerful
measures. And wearing a mask is an instrument of freedom. It actually will
let my kids go to school, it will protect my mother — and you and I talked
about this before the interview. My mother is in the hospital right now.

I want people to understand that if cases and hospitalizations continue to
go up, not only will it hurt our ability to care for COVID patients, but if
someone is having a baby, they may not be able to get a bed. If someone is
having a heart attack or potential stroke like my mother, they may not be
able to get a bed.

Your actions have consequences and if you do the right thing, then it will
bridge us to a vaccine. So hopeful, so hopeful that we can get to that
vaccine with as few lives lost as possible.

BAIER:  Yeah, you tweeted out last week that the CDC and others now
estimate that 50 percent or even more of the infections that are around the
country are transmitted from people who are not exhibiting symptoms.
Obviously, that was not what was believed at the beginning of this
pandemic.

ADAMS:  Absolutely, and I’m so glad you brought that up because again,
masks have become politicized but I want people to understand that in the
beginning, we did not think based on her experience with any other
respiratory virus that we would have this high degree of asymptomatic
spread. That means people spreading it who look fine, who feel fine, who
don’t have a fever.

We now know that over 50 percent of people according to the CDC who are
spreading this virus in the community look and feel fine. That’s why we
want you to know that household gatherings, they’ve been super-spreader
events. They’ve been opportunities that have led to viral spread, and it’s
why we need everyone to continue to be cautious. That’s why we need you to
think about what you did over the holidays.

If you traveled, if you — if you were in a gathering with a mask off, with
people outside of your household, you can take steps now to prevent you
being in asymptomatic spreader and let turning into community spread. Still
a chance for us to flatten this curve, get to a vaccine.

BAIER:  Wouldn’t you say that testing was one of the mistakes at the
beginning?

And even now, you do have testing all over the country, but it is sometimes
tough. I talked to many family members who are trying to get the fast test
in order to go feel safe at Thanksgiving dinner and it was three to five
hours wait. It was — maybe you didn’t get the fast test. It was two to
three days.

Hasn’t that been a vulnerability in how we as a country have dealt with
this?

ADAMS:  Well, I certainly believe testing has been a challenge, but I want
people to know that we are now over 160 million tests. We’ve tested more
than anyone else in the world.

I don’t want to say that that’s a reason to pat us on the back but I want
people to know testing is available. And one of the things we are trying to
help people understand, particularly public health officials, is that you
can use these new antigen tests which return results in 15, 20 minutes.
They are just as effective at practically understanding who can spread the
virus as the PCR test.

And so, we want them to aggressively use these tests so that people can get
a quick answer and they know whether or not to isolate or to quarantine.

BAIER:  All right. You talked about the vaccines. Tell people where the
optimism, the reality is as far as timing and when the average American
could get a vaccine.

ADAMS:  I personally am incredibly optimistic. December 10th is when Pfizer
will be submitting its EUA. That’s the plan. December 18th is when Moderna
is scheduled to submit its EUA. That’s the plan for Moderna.

And within 28 to 48 hours after submitting their EUA, we from a federal
perspective have promised and have set everything up so that we can quickly
review those EUAs and hopefully start sending out vaccines again within 24
to 48 hours.

Our plan is to start by protecting the vulnerable. Older people,
particularly in long-term care facilities, we want to immunize for impact
with the recognition that we will have 40 million doses of the vaccine by
the end of this year and that won’t be enough for the whole country.

If you’re part of the public, I want you to understand it will probably be
end of first quarter, beginning of second quarter next year before you can
get a vaccine, but you can go to https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org&d=DwICAg&c=cnx1hdOQtepEQkpermZGwQ&r=VkbVq-YonEbBIwUJaIvKV3SgloMTL-0dr1cdxo8ZLD8&m=aUkg9M4alA2UUeBFnnXws_zhtUcP1j6fwa18H_8u8LE&s=8ZS1f8NAuLuR9TG26AlM9MuiiWpuYIImSnhXpKmi0wA&e= , sign up
for a study and you could be — you could get a vaccine in just a few days
to weeks if you sign up for a study and understand that our strategy that
we are telling governors and states is to think about the vulnerable. If we
protect them, then we can slow the spread of this disease and lower loss of
life until everyone can get a vaccine, again end of first quarter into
second quarter next year.

BAIER:  And if the FDA moves forward with authorization, people should be
comfortable that it’s safe?

ADAMS:  Well, let me be clear. I have been working with all of these
companies. I’ve been following along closely. I’m a doctor and when they
tell me I can get a vaccine, I will be first in line to get a vaccine
because that’s how safe I think this vaccine will be.

I want people to understand, safety has not been compromised. Efficacy has
not been compromised. What we’ve done is really thrown a lot of money at
this problem to lower the risk for companies and we’ve moved them to the
front of the line in terms of evaluation so their applications are sitting
on a desk.

We decreased the amount of time that is wasted in the process without
compromising safety or review or efficacy and at 90 to 95 percent — or 90
to 95 percent efficacy, what I would hate is if we had a vaccine that could
end this pandemic and people actually didn’t get it, wouldn’t end this
pandemic.

This vaccine will have more people who have been tested than any other
vaccine in history at the point of authorization. About 5,000 people are
normally enrolled in vaccine trials. These trials have 30,000 to 60,000
people.

So I feel confident it’s safe. I will get a vaccine when they tell me I can
get a vaccine.

BAIER:  Dr. Adams, I want to leave with this. This is an image that went
viral in recent days and it’s very powerful. It’s an ICU doctor embracing a
COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving Day. This was from Houston.

Dr. Joseph Baron, a doctor on his 252nd straight day of work at United
Memorial Medical Center in Houston.

And you can see it’s a powerful image. There are thousands of doctors and
nurses out there like the doctor on the front lines of this pandemic and
they, as you’ve talked about, are really the true heroes throughout all
this time.

ADAMS:  Exactly, and I want to thank Dr. Christine Kiminskos (ph), who’s
actually the resident physician who is taking care of my mother in the
hospital right now. She called me right before I went on the air to tell me
that my mother was doing okay.

Doctors, nurses, they need you, the American people, to take small, simple
measures that will protect them and get us to a vaccine.

And I also know you’ve got the New Jersey governor coming on. Please tell
him I said thank you. His wife and I have been working on maternal health,
another thing that we have seen people really not pay attention to during
this pandemic.

Seven hundred women died during a time of child — around the time of
childbirth every year. Two-thirds are preventable and we’ll be having a
call to action coming out of the next few days.

So remember, this pandemic is affecting us in many different ways but our
front-line workers really need us to do our part.

BAIER:  Dr. Adams, we appreciate your time. Thank you for that time during
these busy days and best of luck with your family.

ADAMS:  Thank you.

BAIER:  Up next, we’ll talk with two governors about the tough decisions
they are making to deal with the surge in new COVID cases in the midst of
this holiday season.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER:  This week, millions of Americans experienced a Thanksgiving like no
other with heightened restrictions put in place by governors across the
country in response to spikes in coronavirus cases.

Joining me now from Little Rock, is Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Vice
Chair of the National Governors Association.

Governor, welcome to “FOX News Sunday”.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR):  Thank you, Bret. It is good to be with you
today.

BAIER:  You know, Arkansas has been dealing with this. And where do you
think your state is? Just in hospitalizations as of last week, Friday, it
surpassed 1,000 for the first time in your state. A tough number, where are
you?

HUTCHINSON:  Well, the hospitalizations is the great concern and that is a
record number of COVID patients that we’ve had hospitalized, it hopefully
will stabilize.

We have a hospital group that’s working with me very closely to make sure
that we continue to have adequate hospital space for both COVID patients,
which is really a minority of those that are in the hospital as well as
caring for all the other healthcare needs that we have.

During the last three weeks since we’ve had this most recent spike, the
people of Arkansas are taking this extraordinarily seriously. I think we
had a very subdued Thanksgiving. We’re very thankful but at the same time,
people understand the risk of large gatherings and the importance of social
distancing.

We’re trying to take the approach that we want to make sure that our
guidelines are followed, we’ve increased our enforcement efforts, we’ve
worked with our hospitals to make sure that we have space there.

We’re not trying to shut down businesses that are doing a good job, we
still have some limitations in spacing in our restaurants and gyms, those
are important to be enforced.

But we realize that you can really increase problems across the board if
you start shutting down businesses, putting people unemployed as we go into
the Christmas season.

BAIER:  You mentioned enforcement. You have a statewide mask mandate.
You’ve had some doctors write you a letter saying they would really like
you to enforce that. It states that it could result in a $500 fine. Are you
doing that on the mask mandate front?

HUTCHINSON:  Well, in terms of our restaurants, our regulated industries,
we have inspections, we’re enforcing the mask mandate, the spacing
requirements as well.

In terms of the general population, we have to rely upon our local law
enforcement and that’s a gap because there’s a lot of hesitancy about going
out and arresting someone for not having a mask on. And so there’s a
warning that’s given.

We’re working with our municipal officials to increase that education part
of it and the compliance efforts on the mask.

Everybody knows what needs to be done and we have that mandate in Arkansas,
the vast majority are following that. We’ve put in millions of dollars into
an ad campaign, stressing the science behind — the reason we need to do
that.

I think that’s the right approach but we’re always looking  for more ways
to strengthen that compliance and make it better.

BAIER:  On the flip side, you have made clear and you just did, that there
will be no shutdown of businesses again.

HUTCHINSON:  Well, I don’t know if you ever say never. But that’s the last
thing that we want to do and particularly shutting down a business that has
worked hard for the last eight months to comply with public health
directive and they have safe positions within their restaurant and they
have no cases coming out of it.

And so, that to me to is just fundamentally wrong to say you’re out of
business now and that your workers are unemployed particularly whenever
there’s not any Cares Act relief package anymore.

That money has been allocated, we’ve tried to help our small businesses but
we’re not able to compensate someone for their loss of a job, for their
loss of an income and shutting down a business.

So we want to be smart about it. And so we did put 11:00 pm curfew on bars
and restaurants trying to break up the late night crowds but at the same
time, we don’t want to overly restrict our businesses that are doing a good
job out there because that just makes the problem worse.

BAIER:  Should Arkansas students be back in school physically as opposed to
virtually?

HUTCHINSON:  I’ll tell you a story. I just know of a couple that are both
working and the school had to go virtual. And so what do you do with the
children when both children are working? They had him stay over at a
friend’s house and the child was positive within days because of the
friend.

And so the important thing is that the school is a safe environment, we
have the option to go virtual and to pivot there based upon local decisions
and local cases.

But to say carte blanche, we’re going to close our schools, we’re not going
to have the in-classroom instruction as an option would really have some
adverse consequences that we don’t need and are not necessary.

And so we want to be able to keep those open with the option to pivot to
virtual based upon local circumstances but we want to minimize that effort
when we can. Going to school is very important.

On the higher education side, as our students come back we want them to get
tested. We want them to — if they’ve been in a hot zone or they’ve been
among people that are not protected to make sure they isolate or they get
tested as they come back.

BAIER:  I want to turn for a minute to the election. President Trump,
Governor, as you know has not conceded the election, he continues to say
that it was stolen. Computer experts within his own administration have
pushed back on that. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARA TRUMP, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT:  There has been so much fraud
that we have uncovered as a campaign. And listen, people need to know going
forward, it’s not just about right now.

We need to know that every election we hold in the United States of America
is fair and legal and every legitimate vote gets counted.

60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT SCOTT PELLEY:  “It was the most secure in American
history. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes
or changed votes or was in any way compromised.”

CHRIS KREBS, FMR. DIRECTOR OF CYBERSECURITY & INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY: 
Yes, I stand by that. The American people should have 100 percent
confidence in their vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER:  So, Governor, have you seen anything that suggests that there is
evidence that the president could prevail in overturning the election that
has already been certified in a number of key states?

HUTCHINSON:  Most importantly, the courts have not seen any evidence of
such extensive fraud that they have to change a result. Scores of courts
have looked at that.

And so that’s why the General Service Administration recognized Vice
President Biden as president elect.

He is president elect, we need to work on that transition. I applaud
President Trump for initiating that transition and making sure that that is
happening.

The worst thing that could happen is that we do not have a smooth hand-off
when it comes to our vaccine distribution plans, our Warp Speed and that
takes that transition to start now, and I’m grateful that it has.

But I do think whenever you look at the elections, it would be good after
the fact that we have a bipartisan review as to what’s best practices
because this is going to come up again as to how handle absentee votes,
what’s the best way to protect the integrity of those votes to give people
confidence.

And that’s not to say everything was fraudulent in this election, it just
says that we need to learn from each other, all the 50 states, into what we
have done and how we can do it better. And to give people confidence that
is so important in our democracy.

BAIER:  So you think the president should officially concede?

HUTCHINSON:  Well, I understand the legal reason why he should not because
has some appeals that are going. So I recognize that.

But beyond that, it’s President Elect Biden, we’re working with the
transition. That is where we are. We expect him to be sworn in in January,
even though there’s going to be some continued reviews which I respect.

And it’s not that important — the transition is what is important, the
words of President Trump are not quite as significant.

But the actions are important in helping in this transition to make sure
that President Elect Biden is ready to go on January 20th.

BAIER:  Governor Hutchinson, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

HUTCHINSON:  Thank you, Bret.

BAIER:  Joining us now, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Governor, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ):  Good to be back, Bret. Thanks for having me.

BAIER:  Governor, in New Jersey, as of Friday, the seven day rolling
average of COVID-19 cases in your state was up to about 4,200. That’s the
highest to date, up 213 percent from last month.

What is working and not working in New Jersey?

MURPHY:  Yes, this is — we’re in the fight right now, Bret, there’s just
no question about it.

The great news is there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines in
particular. But for the next two or three months, we’re in — we’re in the
fight of our lives. There’s a lot of private setting transmission going on.
So where we can strategically surgically get at transmission, we do that.

So we closed our restaurants indoors at 10:00. We lowered indoor limits to
ten persons. We beg people to have a somber, respectful, small
Thanksgiving. And I want to give a shout out to New Jerseyans because I
think overwhelmingly that’s what happened.

But there’s a lot of fatigue out there, Bret. There’s a lot of private
transmission. The weather is cold, so folks are doing what they were doing
three months ago outside, they’re doing it inside, and that — that
cocktail, when you add that — when you add to that the holiday season,
we’re in — we’re in for a rough ride here.

BAIER:  You know, you have not ruled out a statewide shutdown like you did
in the spring. Why is that? I mean you hear the WHO saying it’s the last
possible resort considering the economic impact of that. You heard Dr.
Anthony Fauci say something similar. But yet you’re saying it’s possible in
your state?

MURPHY:  I’m not sure I’d say possible, Bret, but it has to stay on the
table. Governor Hutchinson, I think, had a similar answer to that. And you
hate like heck to even have to consider that. And — and God willing we
won’t have to.

I’ll tell you what would really make a difference here, a big federal
stimulus sooner than later with a lifeline to small businesses,
restaurants, folks who are unemployed. That would be a game changer. Not
just in their lives and in their prospects, but it gives us more degrees of
freedom in terms of dealing with the virus.

So it’s on the table in terms of a shutdown. I don’t anticipate it and I
sure as heck don’t want to go that route. But, boy, federal stimulus would
give us a lot more ammunition to do a lot more things right now.

BAIER:  So have you reached out to Democratic leaders in Congress to say,
hey, we need to get this done even — even if it’s short of what they’re
asking for and have passed in the House?

MURPHY:  Yes, I mean we — well, we do all the time, in fact. Our own
delegation, I’ve been on with Speaker Pelosi regularly, Minority Leader
Schumer. I’ve said this before, Bret, I don’t think history will penalize
us for — for overshooting here. If you’re unemployed since the spring, if
you’ve got a restaurant or a small business or if you’re like we are with a
state budget or a local budget and you’re trying to employ as many
frontline workers as possible, my view is, let’s not argue on the margins.
Let’s make a big statement right now that’s good for blue states, red
states, it’s good for the Trump administration, it’s good for the incoming
Biden administration. It’s good for America.

BAIER:  New Jersey’s had a statewide mask mandate since July, yet your
numbers, as we talked about, have gone up exponentially in recent weeks.

So what’s happening? Is it not working? Are people not doing it? Are you
not enforcing it?

MURPHY:  Yes, we’ve — we’ve had one on the inside since even well before
that. We were one of the first states in America to have the indoor mask
requirement. And that is overwhelmingly adhered to.

Outdoors, folks largely are doing the right thing. I don’t think that’s
where the transmission is coming from, although we’ve reduced outdoor
gathering limits effective tomorrow. I think most of this, Bret, is on the
inside. And I do think it’s folks letting their hair down. And they’re
fatigued. Who the heck could blame them?

New Jersians did the unthinkable in the spring, we crushed a curve that was
overwhelming. I have every confidence we can do it again. But I would just
beg folks, particularly in the holiday season, particularly before we get
to a vaccine, don’t let your hair down, keep your guard up and remember, in
particular, intergenerational spread from an asymptomatic, healthy young
person to grandma and grandpa, that is our biggest fear.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You know, the Trump administration has been
touting Operation Warp Speed and the — the speed at which these vaccines
are coming online very soon, therapeutics as well. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We now have phase three
data on three vaccines, three more vaccines in active study. Five
therapeutics now are authorized or approved by the FDA to help people
suffering from COVID. So much is already here. So much is on the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: So do you, Governor, give credit to the Trump administration for
where we are on that front?

MURPHY: I do. Period. I was on privately with Vice President Pence just
before Thanksgiving and said so. We’re on calls regularly with the White
House. We’ve got one tomorrow. In addition to Secretary Azar, you’ve got
the likes of Tony Fauci, General Gus Perna, New Jersey’s own, whose
overseeing the distribution. Stephen Hahn, others. I also give the private
sector players a lot of credit and I give decades of investment in public
health a lot of credit.

Having said that, we’re not in the end zone yet. This is incredibly
complex. I’m gratified that at long last the GSA has allowed both teams to
begin to coordinate. I bemoaned that it took as long as it did, but they
are now. But there’s a lot of complexity ahead of us in distribution,
federal support. This is going to be a very historic path that we’re on.
Again, I give them credit for the progress we’ve made, but we’ve got a
distance yet to travel and the more we could be coordinated — I think the
other piece, Bret, is the more the president-elect and the president are
speaking from the same playbook, the more confidence folks will have in
taking that vaccine. My confidence is very, very high. We need to make sure
that’s the case in the — in the public at large.

BAIER: Well, good luck.

Governor Murphy, we appreciate your time. Have a good one.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me, Bret.

BAIER: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the politics
behind who will be first in line for any coronavirus vaccine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Coming up, President-elect Joe Biden makes his first round of
cabinet picks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT FOR THE UNITED STATES: The team meets this
moment, this team behind me, they embody my core beliefs that America is
strongest when it works with its allies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: We’ll ask our Sunday panel with the emerging team means to U.S.
policy here and abroad.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The good news is, there’s
been significant record-breaking progress made recently in developing a
vaccine. And several of these vaccines look extraordinarily effective.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don’t let him take credit for
the vaccines, because the vaccines were me and I pushed people harder than
they’ve ever been pushed before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: President Trump wanting credit for any coronavirus vaccine at the
Biden administration makes its way to the White House.

It’s time now for our Sunday group.

Jason Riley of “The Wall Street Journal,” Susan Page of “USA Today” and Fox
News political analyst Juan Williams.

Susan, we were talking with the governors there about the success of
Operation Warp Speed. The logistics of figuring out how to get these
vaccines to various places and how to deal with it is still, as Governor
Murphy said, a big hurdle.

SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”: That’s right. And you have two separate problems.
You have to decide who gets it first. There will be a lot of people very
interested in being in the first group or the second group to get the
vaccine.

You also have to convince people who are reluctant to take it, which is a
separate problem. But as I think Governor Murphy said, this is one issue on
which President-elect Biden and President Trump agree, that the vaccine is
safe, that it’s been safely developed. And that should be, I think, a big
help in convincing Americans who may be reluctant about vaccines to get
this one, Bret.

BAIER: There is still, Jason, a big fear of shutdowns. And while these
governors say they don’t plan on it, it’s definitely possible, especially
in the case of Governor Murphy, who talked about a couple of times
publicly. There is this pandemic fatigue out there, especially when it
comes to businesses.

JASON RILEY, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sure,
Bret. I think talk of a shutdown is just crazy talk at this point. I mean
we lost more than 20 million jobs during the first shutdown. We saw
depression era unemployment rates. The idea that we would want to return to
that. You know, third quarter economic growth was record-breaking, more
than 30 percent. The fourth quarter is off to a very good start. You see
optimism among investors in the stock market. Why we are even talking about
a shutdown I think is just ridiculous. And we — you’re right about the
fatigue as well among people — COVID fatigue, as they call it, and we saw
more holiday travel than I think a lot of people were expecting and that
reflects the COVID fatigue.

But it also, I think, reflects the fact that people see these elected
officials not following their own public health edicts. And people say to
themselves, well, you know, I look at Governor Newsom out in California, I
look at Andrew Cuomo in New York, I look at the — the mayor of Denver and
they don’t seem to be following what they’re telling us to do. I — you
know, I think all those elected officials take this seriously. They’re just
weighing the risks and taking precautions and saying, you know, if I get
it, I’ll be OK. We know better now how to treat it. We’ve got a vaccine
around the corner. Trust the American people to make those same decisions.

And, of course, the Supreme Court has now told us that just because there’s
a pandemic doesn’t mean our civil liberties can be — can be suspended. So
I think people are taking that in mind too.

BAIER: Yes, that, Juan, dealing with religious groups suing for some of the
state guidelines that prevented their — their services.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: That’s right. And so what you
saw was a 5-4 decision with the newest justice, Amy Coney Barrett, casting
the deciding vote. So I’m thinking she may even wrote the opinions
suggesting that in New York specifically that you cannot put a limit on
what goes on in terms of religious gatherings, the synagogues and the
churches.

And I think that people there — you know, the reason it was such a close
decision, 5-4, is because, you know, you have to take into consideration,
we’re in the middle of a public health crisis. So, you know, the — it
becomes a matter of weighing one side versus the other. I mean we clearly
have a right to gather in terms of religious practices. But at the same
time, you have to take into consideration the spreading of something that
could cost — cost us dearly in terms of human life, which is, of course,
you know, in all religions sacrosanct.

BAIER: Susan, the question now is the synergy, if there is one, between the
incoming administration and the current administration on dealing with
this. The GSA has, obviously, authorized this move forward on transition,
but specifically on — on the logistics here when it comes to COVID.

PAGE: That’s right. And I thought it was interesting that Governor
Hutchinson, who is, of course, a Republican, told you earlier in the show
that, number one, Joe Biden is president-elect. He also said that the words
that President Trump is saying, whether he’ll concede or not, matter less
than the actual coordination in the transition process. And thank goodness
that has begun. We had the — we had President-elect Biden appoint new
members to his coronavirus task force and you see the two groups meeting
together on this huge logistical challenge.

You know, this is really going to be like on a war footing to disturb these
millions of vaccines, some of them requiring very special handling in these
super cool temperatures and disturbing them across the country as quickly
as — as possible. You know, we — we’re going into this long, cold, dark
winter of the coronavirus, so it makes it especially important that the
outgoing administration and the incoming one manage to work together on
this.

BAIER: But, Jason, it’s also some of the public statement that have been
made by like governors like Andrew Cuomo, who raised questions about the
vaccine. I mean getting people to actually take the vaccine, even if you
have the logistics to get it to all of the states, is another big
challenge.

RILEY: It is a big challenge, and it’s not just, you know, Governor Cuomo.
You heard it from the incoming Biden administration officials. People like
Kamala Harris questioning whether they will trust this vaccine. People are
listening to this and I think that’s very irresponsible. I think, you know,
we need enough people to take this. We need people to trust it. And we
don’t need these elected officials, you know, taking pot shots at the Trump
administration at the expense of public health. So I think that’s — that’s
very irresponsible.

BAIER: All right, panel, we’ll have to take a break here.

When we come back, Joe Biden forges ahead with transition plans and
prepares to announce more members of his cabinet. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: So, if — if the Electoral College does elect President-elect Joe
Biden, are you not going to leave this building?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just so you — certainly I
will. Certainly I will. And you know that. But I think that there will be a
lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of
things. Massive fraud has been found.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: President Trump making clear after talking to troops overseas on
Thanksgiving that while he’s in no mood to concede, he’ll leave the White
House if the Electoral College elects Joe Biden.

We’re back with our panel now.

Juan, these legal challenges are continuing. One by one we have not seen
judges, you know, signoff or buy into the arguments made by the Trump legal
team, but they are continuing.

Meantime, you have this upcoming runoff in Georgia. Two Senate seats that
really hangs in the balance, the control of the U.S. Senate. And there is a
concern among some that because of the efforts to call the election a fraud
or completely stolen, that’s going to hurt Republicans getting to the polls
down here.

Here is Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, taking questions from people in
which they’re saying, why should we vote, it’s already done.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIR, RNC: It’s not decided. This is the key.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you know?

MCDANIEL: It’s not decided. First of all, David Purdue still has 100,000
vote total — lead over Jon Ossoff right now with the — with the —

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s not decided, people.

MCDANIEL: With the certification. So if you lose your faith and you don’t
vote and people walk away, that — that will decide it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: So, Juan, what about this? I mean is it a big issue for Republicans
down there?

WILLIAMS: Right. And it starts here in Washington, Bret. I mean, clearly,
this is the message that President Trump has been putting out, that you
shouldn’t have faith in the — in the voting system, that it’s corrupt
somehow or that there was massive fraud.

I was — you know, I’m disappointed when I hear him say, as we saw in that
clip, just this week that he has evidence of massive fraud. We have not
seen any evidence of massive fraud or fraud even at a level that would
change significant numbers of votes and impact the outcome of the election.

But he continues to perpetrate this notion and I think it particularly
takes hold with his base and the Republican Party. And as you can see from
what Ronna McDaniel was having to deal with there, it could impact what
happens in Georgia.

Now, the president has indicated this week that he might go down to Georgia
to campaign, but again, how does he speak to this idea that he has driven
so deeply into the Republican mind that there’s something wrong with the
voting system, with the very practice of democracy in our country and in
Georgia — I think it’s a big problem for the Republicans now.

BAIER: Jason, on that legal front, the hope, according to the Trump legal
team, is that this goes all the way to the Supreme Court. They also hope
the state legislatures step in and say they don’t think that this election
was fair, therefore the electors can’t be seated. There’s a bill in
Pennsylvania moving forward earlier this week to do just that. It seems
like a long shot in the biggest of terms, but where do you think this
stands?

RILEY: Well, I think it’s a very big long shot, Bret. I think what you have
to keep in mind is, in some of these states, where Trump has asked for a
recount, it’s turned out that he lost by even more than we originally
thought. And in other states you have Trump-appointed judges writing
decisions that — that — that say that these claims have no validity. And
— and — and even if they’re not Trump appointed judges, other Republican
appointed judges are joining those decisions. So Trump isn’t just losing
these court cases, he’s losing them quite thoroughly. In each case, he
isn’t coming close to winning over these judges. So at this point it
remains a longshot.

I think he — a much better use of his time would be to go down to Georgia
and — and tell people what is in the balance here if — if — if Democrats
control both the House and the Senate and the presidency. I think that
would be the best thing he could do for the country right now.

BAIER: And the question is, Susan, whether that helps in Georgia, get out
the vote, because that is what Republicans are most concerned about. Should
they lose control of the U.S. Senate, it’s a different ball game for an
administration that would control all three branches.

PAGE: Oh, no kidding. A Senate with 50 Republicans is very different from a
Senate with 51 Republicans. It makes all the difference for Republicans’
ability to shape who President-elect Biden can appoint two key jobs, what
kind of relief package for coronavirus might finally get through the
Congress, whether major proposals that we’ve seen pass the House and get
stalled in the Senate might have a chance of going through. It is a
different world in Washington depending on who wins these two seats in
Georgia.

You’d assume that Republicans would be favored because Republicans hold
every statewide office in Georgia and yet that’s not the case. These are
very competitive elections in part because of some legal problems that —
some ethics investigations that the two Republican incumbents are facing on
stock trade. This is a big deal. So you can tell how concerned Republicans
are, although you don’t really see that reflected as a top priority at the
moment I think of President Trump.

BAIER: I said three branches there, I met the two chambers in Congress and
the administration and the White House, if that happened in control.

Finally, Juan, here is the president-elect talking to Lester Holt about
what this process has been like as far as his transition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, ABC NEWS: Any harm from this delay in terms of your ability to
do what you want starting day one?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, look, it’s a slow
start, but it’s starting. And there’s two months left to go. So I’m feeling
good about the ability to be able to get up to speed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: What do you think his choices have said so far?

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, remember, I think many people see him as having
campaigned, Bret, to bring government back to boring and normal. And I
think so far that’s what we’ve seen in terms of his reaction to President
Trump’s intransigence, difficulty in approving of the transition process.

But I think I’ve been keeping an eye more on the cabinet appointments. And,
again, the appointment have been middle-of-the-road. They are appointments
that I think, for the most part, even a Republican majority, a Senate could
approve those nominees. I’m keeping an eye on the attorney general whose
yet to be — that person has yet to be named. But if you’re looking at
people like Xavier Becerra, now attorney general of California, Sally
Yates, the former deputy, if you’re looking at people like Amy Klobuchar
even, the former senator, I think you’re looking at a more aggressive
approach.

On the other hand, if you look at people like Doug Jones or Merrick
Garland, I think more pragmatic.

BAIER: And may be easier to get through a Republican-controlled Senate. We
will see.

Panel, thank you. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” Chris, once again, dances with
turkeys.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BAIER: Here’s a holiday riddle we ask every Thanksgiving, who founded a
huge tech company, created a successful cosmetic business and now raises
turkeys like the Native Americans did?

Once again, here’s Chris Wallace with our “Power Player of the Week.”

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDY LERNER, OWNER, AYRSHIRE FARM: Farm with the land. Farm with the
seasons. Know your soil. Know your rainfall. Know your — know your
weather. Know your animals.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR (voice over): Sandy Lerner is talking about
sustainable farming, raising livestock and growing vegetables without the
chemicals that are so common in what she calls factory farming.

Just days before Thanksgiving, she took me out to see, and, yes, to dance,
with her 1,300 turkeys. Heritage breeds that trace back to the Indians.

LERNER: Come on, raise your arms, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!

WALLACE: Lerner is mistress of Ayrshire Farm, 800 acres in Upperville,
Virginia. But as interesting as her business is how she got here.

She grew up on a farm in California, making enough from raising cattle to
send herself to college.

LERNER: What I learned was to love work. I’m really happiest when I’m
engaged in — in working and thinking and — and striving.

WALLACE: She got into computers. In 1984, she and her then husband started
Cisco Systems that found a way to link networks of computers, the
foundation of the Internet.

But six years later, venture capital people were running Cisco.

WALLACE (on camera): How do you get fired from a company that you started?

LERNER: We just basically got taken to the cleaners. And part of that was,
if you don’t have an employment contract. I got fired by the same guy who
fired Steve Jobs.

WALLACE (voice over): Lerner had a second act. She started a cosmetics
company called Urban Decay with edgy colors for women like her. And in
1996, she bought Ayrshire Farm.

LERNER: It’s historically been people who had disposable income who made
strides in farming. Look at George Washington or look at Thomas Jefferson.

You’re such a pretty girl because pretty is as pretty does.

WALLACE: She raises Shires, warhorses that go back centuries, Scotch
highland cattle, and those turkeys, which she says taste better because of
the lives they lead.

WALLACE (on camera): How much is an Ayrshire turkey cost as compared to
what I’d get in the grocery store?

LERNER: Well, our turkeys are expensive. They’re between — I think they’re
running this year about $160 to $200.

WALLACE (voice over): At those prices there are questions about how to make
this kind of farming profitable. But while Lerner is determined to run a
sound business, it’s not just about the bottom line. There’s a 40 room
mansion on the farm.

WALLACE (on camera): What’s it like living their?

LERNER: I don’t know.

WALLACE: What do you mean?

LERNER: I live in a little log cabin and I love it.

WALLACE: Do you think you’re a bit eccentric?

LERNER: I am now that I’m rich. I used to just be weird.

WALLACE (voice over): And so, just days before Thanksgiving, Sandy Lerner
and I danced with the turkeys. She grew up on a family farm and she wants
to see those values live on.

LERNER: I’m a cowgirl. I can tell what cows are thinking. It’s very much my
success as a farmer, which is what George Washington was. He — he wanted
to be a really good farmer. And I think I’ve — I’ve been a — I’ve become
a good farmer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BAIER: Can never get enough of Chris Wallace dancing with turkeys.

Sandy typically sells and donates hundreds of her turkeys ahead of
Thanksgiving, but, sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, her farm did not
raise any this year.

And that’s it for today. I’ll see you tomorrow for “SPECIAL REPORT,” 6:00
p.m. Eastern on Fox News Channel.

Chris will be back next week and see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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