This is a rush transcript from “Your World with Neil Cavuto” December 28, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EDWARD LAWRENCE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You are looking live at Nashville, where
we are learning more about what the suspected bomber was telling his
neighbors prior to the blast and what investigators are doing right now to
determine the motive, as a new video released showing the moments leading
up to the massive explosion.
Welcome, everyone. I’m Edward Lawrence, in for Neil Cavuto, and this is
Mike Tobin is in Nashville. Let’s get right to Mike.
Mike, tell us what’s the latest going on there?
MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As far as a motive goes, there’s an
unnamed investigator being quoted right now saying one of the avenues they
are traveling as far as determining a motive is that Anthony Warner was
paranoid about 5G technology.
Something investigators have said on the record is that the late father of
Anthony Warner worked for AT&T. Now, you know that the truck was parked
outside of the AT&T building. Investigators say it’s not necessarily wrong
to make that connection, but this stage of the game, it’s too early, and
making that connection is speculative.
Meantime, there’s dramatic video from the scene, with a police officer
standing in the area of the blast. He later said that he heard a voice, in
fact, the voice of God tell him to go check on a fellow officer. When he
checks on that fellow officer and leaves that particular location, you see,
when the blast goes off, that area is just showered with debris.
Now the identification has been made through DNA analysis of material and
cars that belong to Anthony Warner. And they made that positive
identification, Anthony Warner, 63 years old from Antioch, about 10 miles
outside of Nashville.
Neighbors out there have been interviewed. One neighbor told the Associated
Press that Warner told him before the blast that Nashville and the world
would never be able to forget him. Other neighbors said that he was
reclusive, that he kept to himself.
As the investigation goes, one of the things that investigators are trying
to determine is, what exactly was the material in the bomb? Ultimately,
they will look into, how did he get it? But investigators don’t know what
made that bomb yet. The evidence from the scene is being analyzed in
They’re also looking back at the past criminal record of Anthony Warner.
And all that has turned up right now is a rather minor marijuana charge
from back in 1979 — back to you.
LAWRENCE: Yes, Mike, that is unbelievable video of the officer just
walking away seconds before that blast off.
Thank you, Mike Tobin in Nashville.
TOBIN: You got it.
LAWRENCE: Well, the suspected bomber, Anthony Warner, flew under the radar
when he carried out this bombing attack. It has local and federal law
enforcement trying to figure out how to stop something like this in the
Joining me now is former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker.
Chris, the last time we spoke, 1999 in Charlotte, I remember you told me
that motive was very important to figuring out what is going on and how to
attack or stop a further attack.
So, in this, does it really matter what the motive is now that the bomber
is gone, or is this something that they need to find out?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, it matters from the
perspective of whether there’s going to be another attack, if it were
terrorism, international or domestic terrorism.
Now that has basically been ruled out — or it hasn’t — at least
international terrorism — you want to know motive, mainly to see if you
can prevent these types of things. The Behavioral Science Unit at FBI’s
Quantico, FBI Academy at Quantico, studies this type of thing, looking for
motive looking for early warning signs and signals.
And many of these people are flashing red. And your best opportunity to
identify them and prevent the act is the people that surround them, their
social network. Sometimes, people call in and, sometimes, they don’t.
Sometimes, people just don’t flash those signals. And it appears, in this
case, there was that one innocuous statement that the world would not
forget him. Sounds to me like a very elaborate suicide where he wanted to
be noticed on the way out.
And you heard Mike say that his dad worked at AT&T,that — possibly that
building there. Are these avenues that the FBI will go down when
investigating this? What kind of things will they uncover or do they look
SWECKER: Well, if he’s a social media person, of course, they will look at
everything associated with any postings. They will look at his e-mails, his
texts, his communications of any kind.
They will probe his social network, his family, and talk to everybody he
has — that are in his orbit to see if he has any ideology or has
articulated anything that would help us understand what happened here.
And that’s happening — that doesn’t happen right away, particularly with
the cell phone carriers, with the Internet carriers and that sort of thing.
You have to serve court orders. It takes a little while for them to comply.
And this is stored messages. So, that takes a few more days.
So, it may — it may be a few days yet before we know.
LAWRENCE: And the damage is just unbelievable from these explosions, these
pictures that we’re seeing here. How does somebody get enough material to
build something like this that can cause that kind of destruction, and go
under the radar doing it?
SWECKER: Well, we know, of course, in Oklahoma — the Oklahoma City
bombing, it was fertilizer.
And fertilizer is a very volatile component. There are other components you
can get over the counter and accumulate over time. I have heard it — I
have heard some bomb experts say that this was a fuel-based bomb. That may
or may not be true.
But, in that case, fuel is easy to get your hands on. And I don’t want to
give away any secrets here, but there are ways to mix fuel and other
components and get a pretty big blast.
LAWRENCE: So, how does the FBI go about finding these — the sort of lone
You — the Centennial Park bombing in 1996, the…
LAWRENCE: Eric Rudolph wasn’t arrested until 2003 on this.
So, how do you go about finding these lone wolf-type people?
SWECKER: Well, the FBI can’t camp out in everybody’s living room.
They now are a point where they can do certain searches in social media,
where postings might be some indication, particularly when it comes to
terrorism, terrorist acts.
But, really, they’re dependent on tips and leads when it comes to the lone
wolf that isn’t driven by some sort of domestic or international terrorism-
So, this type of act, you look back at Las Vegas, we never learned the
motive for that killing of 58 people. The FBI closed the case in January
2019 without knowing why he knocked — he killed 58 people.
LAWRENCE: Chris Swecker, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for
It took just seconds for The Melting Pot restaurant in Nashville to be
devastated by the blast, as seen here on surveillance video footage.
The historic building, as you can see, was fully gutted, along with the
Rodizio Grill next door.
Carla Rosenthal is the owner, or co-owner, of The Melting Pot. She joins me
And, Carla, thank God nobody was inside, no cleaning crew was inside. Have
you been able to look at the damage here?
CARLA ROSENTHAL, CO-OWNER, THE MELTING POT: No, actually, we haven’t.
We went down yesterday with the hopes that we’d be able to go inside or
attempt to go inside to try to see if we can collect some important papers,
valuables, things of that nature. And, right now, that building, it’s
They say that they were just trying to find some loss pets in there
yesterday, and windows were still collapsing. So, as of right now, it’s not
looking like we will ever be able to go back to our — our restaurants
You know, 41 businesses have been damaged or saw damage related to this,
LAWRENCE: Is there any timetable as to when you can rebuild?
And that’s — that’s what is probably the hardest part of this right now,
is, we have 120, 130 members of two different restaurant staffs that we’d
like to be able to tell them what is in their future, what is in our
future. And, as of right now, that whole section of the block may very well
have to be condemned because of the structural instability of those.
Those buildings were 165 years old, pre-Civil War, so they didn’t have the
support built into them to allow something…
LAWRENCE: So, 130 — yes, so, Carla 130 people rely on you, rely on your
restaurant in order to pay the bills.
LAWRENCE: In — March 3, Nashville went through a tornado, downtown
tornado. You had the shutdown in the pandemic and then now restrictions on
what you can do with your dining.
I mean, what how do you go forward with them? How do you tell your
employees what’s next?
ROSENTHAL: Well, we — we’re having to make those decisions now.
We can’t look out very long-term right now. There’s a lot of questions to
be answered, insurance things to figure out, find out from the owners of
the building. We lease those two spaces. So, the owners also have a role in
this, because they have to decide what they’re going to do once they are
So, for now, we are trying to relay as much information as we can to our
staffs. We have been so grateful that some other franchisees have set up
two GoFundMe pages for our staff. We’re hoping that that money can help
supplement what we want to try to be able to do for them.
That money is not for owners. It is for our staffs. And it will go to them.
And, right now, that’s been the only thing about this that I have any
control is to try and do what we can for people who have worked for us for
anywhere from two to 20-something years.
ROSENTHAL: So — it’s — it’s tough.
LAWRENCE: Carla, I really appreciate that.
I mean, that is just heartbreaking, the pictures that you see there.
Best of luck to you, your employees. We’re going to catch back up with you
and see how this goes as this happens.
Now, president-elect Joe Biden just discussing the bombing, as he was
briefed by his national security advisers.
Jacqui Heinrich is in Wilmington, Delaware, live with the latest — Jacqui.
JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Edward, the president-elect began
his remarks by praising the first responders in Nashville, saying their
bravery likely saved lives. And he said law enforcement is working around
the clock to determine motive and intent.
He called the bombing a reminder of the destructive power of an individual.
And then he quickly moved on to the details of his briefing by national
security advisers and foreign policy advisers, laying out how he says the
Trump administration has left the country exposed.
Biden said, we’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack
into multiple government agencies, which several officials, but not
President Trump, have expressed confidence Russia is responsible for.
And he said much of the work ahead is in determining how to respond to
those types of cyber-intrusions, calling it an area where Republicans and
He was also briefed on strategic challenges ahead in dealing with China and
the need to modernize defense priorities. But Biden said, in this period of
transition, there’s been obstruction at the Office of Management and Budget
and at the Department of Defense. He said his team needs full visibility
into the budget planning under way at DOD and other agencies in order to
avoid a window of confusion that adversaries could exploit and said the
political leadership of the DOD has obstructed the transition’s efforts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: The truth is, many of the agencies that
are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage. Many of them
have been hollowed out in personnel, capacity and in morale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEINRICH: Now, Biden noted his team’s work came amid other obstacles,
including COVID protocols and the delayed ascertainment.
But he summed it up by saying, right now, his team just is not getting the
information it needs from the outgoing administration and in key national
security areas. And he called it nothing short of irresponsible — Edward.
LAWRENCE: Yes, Jackie, he was talking about dark days ahead before. Now
he’s talking about obstruction. Sounds a little — a little bit bitter.
But, yes, the transition is going forward, as you said.
Thank you very much live in Wilmington, Delaware, Jacqui. Appreciate it.
And you’re looking live at Capitol Hill, where they are talking about a
bigger check in the mail directly to you. The House is getting set to vote
on those $2,000 stimulus checks the president is calling for, but there’s
another vote the White House is paying even closer attention to.
The latest from Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill next.
LAWRENCE: And two big votes coming up in the House, and the White House is
watching both of them very closely.
So is FOX’s Chad Pergram. He’s digging deeper into both of these votes.
Chad, tell me about them.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon,
Well, the House of Representatives right now is debating this brand-new
bill to provide $2,000 in direct stimulus checks. So, this was President
Trump’s demand. Keep in mind, that was not in the bill that he signed
yesterday, only $600 in direct payments in that bill.
Most Republicans opposed anything above $600 or outright opposed any direct
payments. They generally view that as too expensive, including Mo Brooks, a
Republican of Alabama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Someone’s got to show me how we’re going to pay for
it. I mean, how far before we ultimately go into a debilitating insolvency
and bankruptcy that’s going to do great damage to our country?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Now, the comments of Brooks reflect the angst of many Republicans
over direct payments, certainly $2,000.
So, the question tonight is, how many Republicans are suddenly willing to
align with President Trump? Now, the House rushed this bill to the floor.
And in exchange for the quick turnaround, you need a two-thirds vote to
pass the bill. Now, it’s unclear if they have the votes or if this will go
anywhere in the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): Unfortunately, we don’t have the Republicans
Today, I am telling Donald Trump, don’t just talk about it. Act. These
Senate Republicans have followed you through thick and thin. Get them now
to act and support the $2,000 checks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Now, also tonight, there will be an attempt to override President
Trump’s veto of the defense bill. That needs a two-thirds vote as well.
There were 335 yeas on the final version of the defense bill. That’s well
above the two-thirds marker there. The question tonight is, will
Republicans vote to sustain the veto? President Trump has never had a veto
And, Edward, there have only been 111 successful veto overrides in U.S.
history — back to you.
And he would make history. Yes, we will have to see how many Republicans
are back for that vote, how many will be here. And the voting, if I’m not
mistaken, Chad, just quickly, starts in the 5:00 hour, right?
PERGRAM: Probably a little bit after that. Timing on Capitol Hill is not
exactly Swiss. And keep in mind that it does take longer to conduct these
roll call votes now because of the pandemic.
They bring the members into the chamber in waves. So, it takes a lot
longer, usually about an hour for every roll call vote.
LAWRENCE: Thanks, Chad. Appreciate it live on Capitol Hill.
Now, my next guest, how will he be voting?
Tennessee Republican Senator Chuck Fleischmann — or Congressman Chuck
Fleischmann is now joining us.
So, question is, how will you be voting?
REP. CHUCK FLEISCHMANN (R-TN): Well, thank you.
I’m still taking calls from my constituents and listening. I can give you
some input as to where I was. Clearly, I voted for the NDAA bill when it
was originally on the floor.
However, the president has raised many valid concerns with that. These are
legitimate, bona fide concerns. But, traditionally, I have always voted
with the troops to support this bill. But I’m getting calls from my
In regard to the COVID relief package, I want to personally thank the
president for signing the bill last night. I think that was the right thing
to do to bring much-needed relief to millions of Americans.
The question will be is whether or not, regardless of what the House does
tonight, whether or not the Senate will even be in a position, because of
time and circumstances, to even take this up. So, it could potentially be a
moot vote tonight.
LAWRENCE: Yes. So, I mean, so this could possibly be a show.
The president is asking, at least on this $2,000 — the vote on those
$2,000 stimulus checks, he’s saying, make this vote, give $2,000 to the
people, but then cut somewhere else, so we’re not increasing the spending
in the bill.
Do you think the House speaker would even do that? Or she is just trying to
lump this on top?
FLEISCHMANN: She is not going to do that. You’re absolutely right.
All of the wasteful spending, unfortunately, is going to stay in the
bill.And because of time and other constraints, that will not be removed.
So, I think she wants her cake and eat it too, and to try to put in —
Republicans in a potentially embarrassing situation.
That will not happen. I think the American people know that our process
needs reform, our budgetary process needs reform. We have got to get our
deficits and our national debt under control.
These payments that are being made, this relief that is being given is not
only on taxpayer dollars, but it’s on borrowed dollars. We are mortgaging
the future of our future generations with national debt. We have got to be
cognizant of that.
I think Americans are. We’re going through some very difficult positions.
But I will say this. All of the parties involved are here and are working.
I do again want to personally thank the president for his hard efforts on
LAWRENCE: Well, Congressman, I want…
FLEISCHMANN: Yes, sir.
LAWRENCE: Before we go — we’re quickly running out of time. Before we go,
I wanted to ask you about Nashville.
You represent the Eastern part of Tennessee here, Eastern and a little bit
south of Chattanooga, partly in your district. You have felt the impact of
this in your district in outages for the 911 systems, as well as Internet,
critical Internet infrastructure.
Are you concerned at all about that, how one center could be taken offline,
and it affects an entire region?
FLEISCHMANN: I’m glad you raise that.
Yes, I’m from East Tennessee, but I know this area of Nashville very well.
It’s our state capital. It’s a beautiful area. And I’m saddened by what
But you have hit on something that I have talked about a long time ago. We
need to make sure not only that we protect our grid from a software
cybersecurity standpoint, but we have got to have physical protection for
our grid. And there’s been a lot of talk about that out there.
Maybe now we will focus in a very bipartisan way on making sure that we
physically protect our grid, because, as you said, when this building was
knocked out, it had a ripple effect not only across the state, but across
LAWRENCE: So, do you believe, quickly, is this going to make that
difference? Is it going to push the needle to get some of those
FLEISCHMANN: I think so.
Actually, we have been working, in my capacity as homeland security ranking
member on Appropriations, to work to secure the physical side of the grid
What I mean by that specifically is to make sure that those structures
which would house this critical infrastructure would be protected as well.
Utilities need it. We saw that the private sector needed it the other day
in Nashville. So, maybe this will be an awakening for us as legislators to
make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
LAWRENCE: Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, I appreciate your time. Thank you
So, does the president’s relief bill signing have these Republicans
breathing a sigh of relief? Lee Carter on that next.
LAWRENCE: From COVID relief to candidate relief.
Will the stimulus bill signing help Republicans in Georgia who want to get
winning? Lee Carter on what she’s seeing next.
LAWRENCE: President Donald Trump headed down to Georgia on the eve of the
election one week from today.
FOX News correspondent Steve Harrigan is in Atlanta with the latest on this
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That’s right, Edward.
Early voting here in Georgia has already begun now. More than 2.1 million
people vote. It’s really at a record pace. For these two run-off elections,
the pace of voting is equal to roughly the general election back in
November. That is pretty much unheard of when it comes to run-off
It shows the level of interest here in Georgia. It’s interesting too where
people are voting. Turnout is high in six Democrat congressional districts.
It’s low so far in the northwestern part of the state of Georgia. That is
rural Republican territory.
And, as you mentioned, President Trump coming to Georgia. That’s exactly
where he will go a week from today to try and drive that Republican rural
turnout to the polls. The money spent is really almost hard to fathom here
in Georgia on these two races, more than $340 million in the past two
months alone raised by these four candidates.
The two Democrats, Ossoff and Warnock, each over $100 million raised,
Perdue with $68 million, Loeffler with $64 million. So, when you turn on
the TV here, you see one political ad after another. And the attacks are
getting sharper and sharper.
As you mentioned, Election Day here for those two run-offs January 5. That
will determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years. But
party leaders already warning, these are two such hotly disputed races,
there could be weeks of delay in determining who actually won these two
run-off races — Edward, back to you.
LAWRENCE: Oh, Steve, we could have more of this. That’s great.
LAWRENCE: What impact could the House vote on bigger stimulus checks have
on the people in Georgia voting in the run-off election?
So, let’s ask Republican pollster Lee Carter.
So, Lee, will it matter?
LEE CARTER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I think it does matter.
When all of this was starting, and Trump was saying, you know what, this is
enough money, $2,000, I’m going to walk away from this deal, I thought, oh,
no, this is really bad. We can’t have this.
Then you start talking to people, and what do people hear right now? That
the Republican Party and Donald Trump is the party that wants to fight for
more money for the American people. He wants to fight to get money back in
the pockets of people. He wants to fight to expose the pork spending and
all of that.
LAWRENCE: I have got it.
CARTER: And so I think this is going to have an impact on the American
people and the people of Georgia.
And so we’re talking about 1.4 million people have turned in mail-in
ballots already; 750,000 of those have been returned; 5,300 people voted
electronically and 1.4 million have voted early. That’s 2.1 million people
in Georgia who have basically voted.
So, is it too little too late for the Republicans down there or somebody
trying to move the needle?
CARTER: It’s not too late, because what we learned in the November
election is that Democrats are the ones who are more likely to vote in
advance. Republicans are still like — more likely to go to the polls on
So, it’s definitely not too late. And I think we’re going to see a similar
kind of trajectory here. Republicans are going to go the day of. And the
big question is, are Republicans going to go out and vote?
A lot of people are concerned because 50 percent of Republicans right now
believe that the election, and there was voter fraud, enough so that it
should have had a different result.
And when you have that, do you feel like you’re going to go to the polls
and make sure your vote counts? I believe that the messaging right now, the
messaging that is very much about every vote counting, the messaging that’s
out there about saying this is — this is really important to the economy,
we’re going to fight for you, then I think that’s going to be enough to
help get over the edge.
This is such a tight race. When you look at it, polling has this less than
a one-point race in both of them. And a Democrat has not won a Senate seat
Georgia in 20 years. And so the Republicans have to be out there with their
message. They have to be out who’s strong.
They’re not getting the same kind of fund-raising that the Democrats are.
So they’re going to have to make people believe that their vote is going to
count and that the Republican Party is the one that’s going to fight for
I also think the messaging around…
LAWRENCE: So, Lee, these checks then that are going to be in the mail,
we’re learning now that they would go out as early as this week.
So some people in Georgia may actually get these checks in the mail or in
direct deposit this week, as they’re processing through these $600 direct
payments after the president signed it.
So, people see more money in their in their account, could then that move
CARTER: I think it very well could.
And I think that the idea that the Republicans are out there saying that
it’s not enough, that they want to do more for the American people, when
people see that they’re going to get $600, and that the Republicans are the
party that want to fight for more, I think that is going to play to their –
– to the Republicans’ advantage.
But, really, the job right now is to make sure that — for the Republican
Party, that people believe that their votes are going to count, that
they’re going to get out there, and it matters, because there’s a lot of
disenfranchisement out there.
And I think that the other thing that’s really important is that
Republicans who have gotten disgusted with the idea that there’s voter
fraud, I think they need to get out there and vote as well. And ,for them,
it’s much more about making sure that there’s a balance in government and
that we can’t just go too far in one direction.
So, it’s — in some ways, we have got to have a number of different
strategies out there on how to get people motivated to vote. But I think
that this stimulus is ultimately going to be something that is going to
help people lean Republican.
LAWRENCE: Lee, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
CARTER: Thank you.
LAWRENCE: Voter turnout, that is going to be the key.
Now, officials warning that a new strain of COVID-19 found in the U.K. is
likely already here in the U.S. What does that mean for the vaccine rollout
LAWRENCE: Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Admiral Brett
Giroir saying today that the new strain of COVID-19 found in the U.K. is
likely already present here in the U.S.
FOX’s Bryan Llenas is in New York City investigating what this means on the
vaccine front — Bryan.
BRYAN LLENAS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Edward.
Well, look, starting today, all travelers from the United Kingdom,
including Americans, that travel into the U.S. must provide a negative
coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure. This new restriction is a
response to the new variant of COVID-19 that is more contagious than the
original virus. And it is spreading in the U.K.
Now, Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of Health and Human
Services, said this about the new strain and whether or not it’s in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADM. BRETT GIROIR, U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:
We don’t have proof that it’s here, but we do suspect that it is likely
here, given the global interconnectiveness.
We have no evidence that it’s more serious. In other words, if you get it,
it’s not more serious, no more likelihood of getting in the hospital or
dying. And we still believe — don’t have absolute proof, but we have very
good evidence and good belief that the vaccines will still be effective.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LLENAS: Very good evidence that the vaccines will still be effective.
AstraZeneca says its vaccine is effective against the new strain and could
be authorized for use in the United Kingdom this week and distributed as
soon as next week.
Back in the U.S., so far, 11.5 million vaccines have been distributed
nationwide, and more than 2.1 million doses have been administered. By
June, they say, the admiral says that anybody who wants a vaccine can get a
We are currently under the CDC’s phase 1-A of the vaccination rollout.
Hospital, health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care
facilities are receiving the vaccine first. Next, they will those aged 75
and older or front-line essential workers like first responders and public
transit workers, followed by those aged 65 or older, and all other
essential workers, like construction and bank tellers.
That group is also going to include people that have high-risk medical
conditions and are of any age.
Now, look, the bottom line, Edward, though, is that these are CDC
recommendations. By the end — at the end of the day, it’s up to the
individual states that determine how they want to roll out this vaccine.
For instance, in Florida, and in Texas, age is more important than your
occupation — Ed.
LAWRENCE: Thanks, Bryan. Yes, important that most of us get it for that
I appreciate it, Bryan Llenas in New York City.
So, let’s find out how prepared we are for this new strain.
I want to ask internal medicine physician Shoshana Ungerleider.
Now, do you feel like that strain is already here?
DR. SHOSHANA UNGERLEIDER, SUTTER HEALTH: I think it’s extremely likely at
this point that the new coronavirus variant is present in the United
As we have heard, this variant has a — has a handful of mutations in its
genetic code. And some of these alter the viruses spike protein, which
allows it to bind and then infect cells. It does appear as though these
alterations potentially make the virus spread more easily, which is
But in order to know the degree to which it’s here in the U.S., what we
need to do is genetic sequencing of many samples, which we haven’t been
doing. And I do want to point out that there is no evidence that the new
variant of the virus is more deadly. And we do believe that the current
vaccines should still be effective against it.
And the really good news…
LAWRENCE: Yes, and those two — yes, Doctor, those two points are very
Moderna has actually already come out and said that they believe their
vaccine is effective against this new strain. And they’re going to start
doing tests to prove that that is the fact.
The fact, though, that this has mutated already, is that the concern for
UNGERLEIDER: Well, I think it’s first important to point out that all
viruses mutate and change over time. This is normal. This is expected.
But we absolutely need to do better at understanding any and all changes to
this coronavirus and any — and the potential impacts that — and we’re way
behind as a country. The U.S. ranks 43rd worldwide in sequencing to check
for coronavirus variants.
And in order for us to know whether or the degree probably to which this
variant is here, and then adjust our strategies to cope, we need to be
looking for it and testing effectively, which we are not yet doing.
And I will also say the more problematic issue right now is that we’re
currently in the midst of a surge upon a surge here. We have already run
out of front-line health care workers. Many hospitals have run out of beds
So, if this new variant of the virus does spread much more quickly, as it
appears to, and people require medical care more so, we simply don’t have
enough hands and beds and supplies to go around. So I’m extremely concerned
So, with this new strain, does it give any clues, have you heard any clues
as to whether this vaccination will work for a long period of time? Or is
this something we’re going to get every year, like the flu?
UNGERLEIDER: It’s — we’re not sure yet, right?
So, we’re learning more and more every day about this new variant. Again,
viruses do mutate over time. And this is to be expected. If it is in fact
true that the current vaccines are effective against it, which we believe
that they are, as new variations on the virus do occur over time, we very
well may need to have yearly vaccinations that are updated, much like how
we do with the flu shot.
LAWRENCE: Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, I really appreciate your help. Thank
you for the time on that very scary issue.
Stocks breathing a sigh of relief, with President Donald Trump signing that
COVID relief bill into law, more records today also in the stock market.
We will uncover if there’s more to come in 2021.
LAWRENCE: A really big day to finish off the last week of the year, stocks
closing at new records today, as that COVID relief package is now law.
With one week left in a big year for your money, people on Main Street are
hoping they can expect the same kind of rebound as Wall Street in 2021.
So, let’s get the read from Dani Hughes — she’s the president of San Blas
Securities — and Scott Martin from Kingsview Wealth Management.
Thank you, both of you, for joining us.
Dani, ladies first. Let’s start with you.
Where do you see Main Street coming in here, as this rally towards the end
of the year happening, with the record closes in the markets?
DANI HUGHES, SAN BLAS SECURITIES: Sure.
Well, Santa certainly has not disappointed. The Santa rally has been
phenomenal, the S&P up actually about 16.7 percent on a total return basis
year to date. Main Street, though, unfortunately, being left far behind,
having to wait at least nine months for the stimulus bill to be signed into
And we won’t see any checks from that probably until next year. But I do
think that investors over the long haul will be very, very happy about
2021, because we’re going to continue to see that same positivity in the
IPO markets, the stock markets. I think ESG will do very well and
financials. That’s what we’re looking forward to in 2021.
LAWRENCE: So, Scott, we had 22 million people unemployed at the height of
the shutdown. Now there’s nine million people unemployed, obviously, a big
rebound. But that’s a lot of hardship out there.
We have now a new stimulus coming into the economy. Where do you —
consumers have been driving this, Scott, so where do you see the consumer,
and will they continue to spend as they have in the past?
SCOTT MARTIN, FOX BUSINESS CONTRIBUTOR: They will Edward, but in fits and
And like you talked about with employment, we’re only halfway back to where
we were in the job losses that we experienced because of COVID. So, we do
still have some work to go.
With respect to consumer spending and, frankly, business spending too,
which is a big part of the economy, business investment, it’s going to be
choppy. It’s going to be spotty. There are going to be fits and starts.
I don’t believe this is the last stimulus package, by the way, that we’re
going to see as it relates to COVID. So, as this one kind of permeates
throughout society, there’s probably another one behind it.
And then, by then, hopefully, my friends, we have got the vaccine
permeation going on, too, and then that’s when the economy can reopen and
start to act like it used to.
LAWRENCE: So, Dani, do you see these stimulus checks, and do you see this
money that’s being approved now, is that, what, are we talking in six
months it’s going to help and then the back half of the year is sort of
uncertain, or is this going to last throughout the whole year?
HUGHES: It’s anybody’s guess, really, Edward.
And, unfortunately, it’s something that we really don’t know. And I
wouldn’t even want to guess. However, I will say that the wait that
investors — or the people, the families of America had to have over this
last nine months has actually put us really far behind globally in terms of
So, I really would like to see our Biden administration turn it up a notch,
if they can, to get things through Congress a lot faster, so that we can
remain competitive and can get back on track a lot sooner.
LAWRENCE: And so, Scott, quickly, with the last 30 seconds or so, people
are looking at their 401(k)s. They’re liking what they see there in the
Should they shift anything in the next six months or year? Or should they
just leave the way — things the way they are?
MARTIN: Definitely keep putting money into the 401(k). Max it out if you
can. Certainly max out to the match that maybe some of your companies
provide you, because that’s kind of like free money, as free as it’s really
going to get, Edward.
But also expect volatility coming into the beginning of the year, and
certainly into maybe more of a midyear type of situation, as the vaccine
gets through society, as we see maybe some disappointing economic numbers
after we see an initial boost or two with the stimulus coming through.
So, just expect volatility, expect more of the same, but I expect an up
year next year in stocks.
So, Scott, thank you. I appreciate it. Don’t be afraid as the market goes
up and down is the message that I’m hearing here.
I appreciate it, both of you. Thank you very much for your time.
So, can indoor dining save lives? Well, that’s what some New York City
restaurant owners are claiming. And now they’re suing.
LAWRENCE: A group of New York City restaurant owners filing a new lawsuit
against Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to
reopen indoor dining, claiming indoor dining actually saves lives.
They claim people are less likely to spread the virus in restaurants than
they are inside apartments, which is where the ban is forcing people to
So, we have now called both the governor and the mayor, and have yet to
hear back for a request to interview them.
But we are joined now by Jay Mallios — James Mallios, who owns Amali
restaurant in New York City. He is not part of the lawsuit, but has a very
interesting perspective on this.
So, James, is this a message that could work?
JAMES MALLIOS, OWNER, AMALI: You know, I think that the — this is —
class-action lawsuits, I can say as a former attorney, are great for
lawyers. That’s who class-action lawsuits are great for.
Really, it’s a distraction, I think, to some level, from the real issue,
which is the absolute nonsensical regulations that are being passed by the
state and the city, in the case of New York, that have zero correlation to
safety, that is a distraction from government’s failure to do the only
thing that saves lives, which is to trace, contact trace, test people,
vaccinate, and quarantine.
And by distracting us and slaughtering an industry and half-a-million jobs
in the process, and making everyone look at something else, it’s just,
honestly, bordering on criminal.
And I think the only thing that will get them to pay attention is to
remember that we have three times the number — the number of people
working in our industry than the UFT. If they’re scared of unions, they
would be really scared when they’re putting half-a-million-dollar — half-
a-million people out of work, because they would then start thinking about
their jobs, the way we’re thinking about our jobs.
LAWRENCE: And by the time this goes through the courts, the point will be
moot. The vaccine will be out. It’ll be sometime next year.
So, when you talk about opening these restaurants, this lawsuit, though, is
shining a light and using the information that the mayor has been pointing
to: We’re following the science.
Well, the science says that indoor dining so far is not the reason that
we’re seeing a spike in cases there. So, it’s sort of using the science
against them, at least in a message.
And I have said before on this show, Edward, that I think that the Equal
Protection Clause of the Constitution has a very important part to play in
this discussion. And that — I do think that that is a value-add from that
from the class action lawsuit.
But, sadly, whatever — whatever merits it may have will be too little too
LAWRENCE: Do you feel like — is there an — there’s an election,
obviously, and these are elected leaders. Do you feel like there’s going to
be a groundswell then in the next election, saying, hey, remember when you
did this to us?
MALLIOS: Oh, I don’t think it. I know it.
I will tell you that most of my time for the past of November and December
was spent doing two things, first, fighting the city of New York for
regulations that asked us to put supposedly exploding propane tanks into
cars because they thought that was a good idea, that we should put
something that could explode, conceivably, that is in every garage in
America into an actually larger bomb.
That was the first thing I spent most of my time was fighting that and
parking regulations for outside dining. And the second was working to
volunteer for Zach Iscol’s campaign for mayor, because I know he cares
about small business.
And I know other friends of mine in this business are similarly working on
other campaigns for people who actually care about small business in New
York and care about the people whose jobs are affected by this.
LAWRENCE: So, James, with the last 30 seconds…
MALLIOS: There’s a reckoning.
LAWRENCE: We have — we have — yes, we have 30 seconds left in the show
So, I just wanted to ask you. The PPP program is going to be re-upped, $300
billion. Is it too little too late, or is this just much-needed?
MALLIOS: You know, when I say reckoning, I just — it’s just so upsetting
to be fighting for jobs and families of your colleagues. So, forgive me if
I got angry.
It’s late. But we will — of course, we will — of course, we will take it.
But whether it’ll work, I don’t know.
MALLIOS: And I don’t think it will — it won’t be enough.
LAWRENCE: Your jobs — right, your job, your lifeline is on — it’s not
just you. It’s the employees that rely on you.
James Mallios, I really appreciate your time on this. This is something we
will continue to be following here on “Your World Cavuto.”
Well, thank you for joining us today. “THE FIVE” is coming up next.
It’s important to get out to vote if you are in Georgia. That’s coming up.
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