‘Your World’ on coronavirus herd immunity, crime surge, Bitcoin sell-off

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This is a rush transcript from “Your World with Neil Cavuto” June 8, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How about some good news to kick off things,
like herd immunity happening in a lot of parts of this country, including
in San Francisco, where close to eight out of 10 residents older than 12
years old have already had at least one vaccination shot?

It reads similarly in other cities, like Philadelphia, 67.4 percent have
been vaccinated, in Denver, close to 70 percent, in San Diego, north of 65
percent, and, in New York City, more than 52 percent.

Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto. And this is “Your World.”

And FOX on top of vaccinations that are surprisingly robust across a
country that is rapidly leading the world in finally putting a spike in
this horrific, horrific disease.

Now, the implications of all of this are being weighed in the medical
community, as well as the political community, as to how much longer term
this means we get to, well, herd immunity, if we even need to get to that,
technically, at the rate we’re going.

Let’s go to Claudia Cowan following all of this in San Francisco —


Well, that’s right. The City by the Bay is on the cusp of herd immunity,
which means that the coronavirus is having trouble finding new hosts. The
city is reporting that nearly 80 percent of teens and adults have been
vaccinated with at least one dose against COVID-19, while 68 percent are
fully vaccinated.

The number of new cases is the lowest since the city shut down in March of
2020. And no one has died of COVID in over a month. San Francisco pushed
people to get the shot while infections hospitalizations and death rates
were low. Officials believe that made a world of difference.

While there is some debate over what exactly constitutes herd immunity, one
expert says the numbers here are among the best in the country.


places, like in the Bay Area, that are up to 76, 77 percent. So, we are
doing great in terms of high vaccination rates, high immunity, low cases,
low hospitalizations, low deaths, low test positivity rate.


COWAN: But with unknown surrounding virus variants, some business owners
are playing it safe.

The owner of this restaurant says the staff will continue to mask up and
tables will remain safely distanced for now.


GEORGE CHEN, OWNER, CHINA LIVE RESTAURANT: I think, just because we are
the highest vaccinated city major cities in the country, I think, that
doesn’t mean that everything’s back to normal.


COWAN: Maybe not, but herd immunity means that kids and others who haven’t
been vaccinated will be indirectly protected by those who are immune.

And that is good news as California prepares to reopen its economy one week
from today — Neil.

CAVUTO: Claudia, thank you very, very much.

Well, to put this in perspective right now, some states are seeing such
marked improvement in cases that they stopped reporting cases. Florida and
Alabama will discontinue daily COVID data reporting.

The read on all this with Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting CDC

Doctor, good to have you.

What do you make of this move on so many now having been vaccinated, in the
case of San Francisco, some 70-plus percent who’ve had at least one shot?
What do you make of that?

PREVENTION: Well, Neil, it’s encouraging to see numbers moving in the
right direction. So that means the number of people vaccinated going up and
the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths going down.

I always urge caution, though, in focusing on large national numbers.
You’re focusing on city numbers, which is really good. I’m here in the
state of New Jersey, where, overall, 63 percent of adults are vaccinated.

The town I’m in, Princeton, it’s 68 percent. But right next door, Trenton,
New Jersey, it’s 34 percent. And so it’s really important for people to
know, what are the rates in their community? Because you may see overall a
state is doing really, really well, but what matters is your community.

And what we see are that there are pockets of people where the vaccination
rates are actually quite low. And that means that they are more vulnerable
to the introduction of new strains of variants and of this — the strains
that are circulating in the United States.

CAVUTO: Now, will that population, the one in four roughly nationally,
Doctor, who have no intention of getting a vaccination shot, for a variety
of reasons, or don’t see the need to — many are young and feel they’re
indestructible — is the danger in that subset of the population, to that
subset of the population?

BESSER: Well, the problem, Neil, is, it’s not limited to that population.

And so I would hold off on declaring victory on COVID. I’m excited about
the direction of the numbers. But if young people decide not to get
vaccinated, young people don’t stick with young people. Last summer, we saw
a lot of young people spreading it to older people.

Thankfully, the vaccination rates for people who are elderly are quite
high. So, hopefully, it won’t have the same — the same burden, but it will
have some spread.

Black and Latino vaccination rates are lower. The vaccination rates among
conservatives are lower. In rural communities, it’s lower. Some have to do
with barriers to vaccination, and some have to do with people’s decision
and — that they don’t want to get vaccinated.

But I’m encouraged that, as more and more people know, people, friends and
family members, that, slowly, those numbers in each group are creeping up.
There’s hardcore in each group that will never — never say yes to
vaccination. But if you can make it as easy as possible for people who are
on the fence, that will take us far down the road towards the protection we
want to see in every community.

CAVUTO: In the meantime, we are honoring nationally — and depending on
what city or state you’re in, Doctor, people have different views on this
subject — but on mask-wearing, and the honor system seems to be the case
here, that most are taking at your word that you have been vaccinated if
you dispense with the mask, others who wear them that they have not.

How do you think that’s going?

BESSER: Well, it’s a challenge.

The challenge I see is that, for so many people, we have gotten comfortable
wearing a mask. And it’s going to take people a little while to come down
from that and say, OK, if you’re fully vaccinated, you are protected and
the science said you don’t need to wear a mask.

So I’m really excited. I go outside without my mask. I go to the store
without a mask, but I keep it in my pocket. If I go into a grocery store
and just about everyone’s wearing a mask in there, I know the vaccine rate
is very high in my town, but I will throw the mask on just to make people
around me more comfortable, recognizing it’s going to take a little time
for people to come down for that.

For those who aren’t vaccinated, wearing a mask is a good way to increase
your protection. That’s a — that’s a safe thing to do.

CAVUTO: Doctor, thank you very much, Dr. Richard Besser, the former acting
CDC director.

Some developments on Capitol Hill to tell you about today. The CEO of the
Colonial Pipeline was in town to testify on Capitol Hill. Of course, he
paid that ransom to those individuals who were shutting down his company,
said he had no other choice, apologize for it.

Hillary Vaughn with more on how it all went down.

Hey, Hillary.


Well, even though the U.S. government says it is a bad idea to pay a ransom
to hackers, because it only encourages hackers to target more companies, a
source familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussion between Colonial
Pipeline and government officials tells me that government officials did
not tell Colonial not to pay the ransom before they did.

And Colonial’s CEO today is defending its decision, saying they’re a
private company, it was their call to make, and it was the fastest way to
get the pipeline back online.


SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): Their official position is, you shouldn’t pay
ransoms. And yet they didn’t communicate that to you, as far as you know?

JOSEPH BLOUNT, CEO, COLONIAL PIPELINE: Ranking Member Portman, of course,
I was not in that conversation. I can’t confirm or deny that.

PORTMAN: So, you knew what their advice was going to be, even if they
didn’t provide it that day?

BLOUNT: Yes, sir, we did.


VAUGHN: Even though the FBI was able to help Colonial recover some of the
ransom, over $2 million in Bitcoin, Colonial’s systems even today have not
recovered 100 percent from the attack.


SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI): Well, after you paid the ransom and received the
key to unlock your systems, did that actually fix all of the problems?

BLOUNT: I think what a lot of people don’t realize about cyberattacks and
the repercussions of a cyberattack is, it takes months and months and
months. This week, we’re bringing back online seven finance systems that we
haven’t had since the morning of May 7.


VAUGHN: And, Neil, Colonial says they’re being vigilant to make sure
they’re shoring up their cyber defenses in case of a future attack.

But one of the best ways to defend themselves against a future attack might
be the old-fashioned way. Blount told lawmakers today they’re looking at
being able to operate the pipeline completely manually.

But one tiny problem with that, Neil, is that he told lawmakers today a lot
of the workers that actually know how to do that, how to operate a pipeline
before tech took over have actually retired — Neil.

CAVUTO: Wow. That’s a problem.

Hillary Vaughn, thank you very, very much.

One other startling development is this whole Colonial Pipeline mess is how
they were able to retrieve so much of that ransom by going through the
Bitcoin database. In other words, they found it. This isn’t an area where
people can hide money and never get the word out, one of the big reasons
why Bitcoin was down today.

CAVUTO: We’re going to talk to a Wall Street pro who says that and some
news from the IRS and wanting to have some sway over Bitcoin is what really
walloped the cryptocurrency.

We’re on that.

We are also on Kamala Harris, the vice president, now in Mexico today,
indicating that she thinks, at least this time, a trip to the border might
not be necessary, although she is telling those who do want to go to the
border, simply do not come.

But there are progressives within her own party who say, that was a mistake
— after this.


CAVUTO: All right, Vice President Kamala Harris in Mexico today, after
visiting Guatemala yesterday, where remarks and suggestions to those who
want to get to the border, do not come, have been attacked on both sides,
Republicans who say she wasn’t strong enough and within her own party
progressives who say that she’s bending to those same conservatives.

Peter Doocy at the White House with more.

Hey, Peter.

president’s trip to the region to address the causes of — the root causes
of migration from Central America to the Southern border is about to end
without a trip to the border.


the border before. I will go again.

But when I’m in Guatemala, dealing with root causes, I think we should have
a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala.


DOOCY: But she has not been to the border as vice president.


HARRIS: We have been to the border.

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: You haven’t been to the border.

HARRIS: And I haven’t been to Europe.


HARRIS: I don’t understand the point that you’re making.


DOOCY: The vice president believes talking to world leaders is a better
way to stop the surge of migrants to the border than going and seeing
things for herself. And it’s notable that she said today she will go there
at some point, since she dismissed the importance of a trip like that just


DOOCY: A trip to the border yesterday as a grand gesture. Why?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, Peter, again, I think our
her focus of this trip is on meeting with leaders, having a discussion
about how to address corruption, how to address the root causes, how to
work together to address humanitarian challenges in these countries.

That’s exactly what she’s doing on the ground, and I’m sure she will report
back to the president when she returns.


DOOCY: Republican lawmakers are very critical of the Biden administration
this issue of immigration, but so is progressive Congresswoman Alexandria

She does not like that the vice president’s message in Central America to
potential asylum seekers is, do not come. Ocasio-Cortez says seeking asylum
at the border is a 100 percent legal way to try to get into the country.
Jen Psaki was asked about that today. And she said, of course it is —

CAVUTO: Peter Doocy, thank you.

To Tiana Lowe of The Washington Examiner. We have Nick Adams with us, the
GOP strategist, and Kristen Hawn, the Democratic strategist.

Kristen, why not go to the border? Why not just see for yourself what’s
going on there? I mean, you’re in Mexico. You can go stop on the way just
to see what the heck’s going on, what all the fuss is about?

KRISTEN HAWN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think it’s a little bit of a
distraction. I mean, she was the attorney general and senator from the
largest border state in the country.

I think she understands the challenges, the extreme challenges we face at
the border. And because of that, what she’s focusing on…

CAVUTO: They’re more than a distraction, right — right, Kristen? They’re
more than a distraction. To the people in that region, it’s a hell of a lot
more than a distraction, right?

HAWN: Oh, it is.

And that’s why the secretary of homeland security and Susan Rice and other
people have gone down there. But I think really addressing what she’s
trying to do and addressing the root causes, she’s talking about people
don’t want to leave their families and their homes, but they’re — they’re
being forced to because of the situations down there.

So, really addressing the corruption, talking about security measures, and
economic development with those with those leaders, world leaders, is the
right thing to be doing. So I think it’s a little bit much being made out
of this right now, because if you don’t address the root causes, then this
is never — this crisis is never going to stop.

CAVUTO: All right, well, I get addressing the root causes, Nick, but I
also get what’s happening at that border right now and the thousands of
migrant minors who have now spread out across pretty much the entire
country as we grapple with this problem.

I mean, isn’t it insulting to Americans that this is not even happening or
not acknowledging that it’s even happening?

beyond insulting, Neil. It’s actually quite incredible that the vice
president of the United States, when faced with the border situation that
we have right now, a creation of her administration, that she has not
bothered to go down there.

She’s been to Guatemala. She’s now in Mexico. She’s been everywhere but the
border. And she seems to have a greater affinity for people from other
countries. She seems to be more interested in the perspectives of those
people, rather than spending time in the United States of America, speaking
to regular, everyday, ordinary Americans who are worried about their
safety, who are worried about what’s going on, on the border, and
particularly those people that live around those areas.

It is absolutely disgusting and unpatriotic. And, quite frankly, she should
stay in Mexico if she doesn’t want to spend time on the border.

CAVUTO: You know, Tiana, you can look at this and say, all right, but
she’s not trying to inflame the situation. Her presence there would only
incite wrath, well, it’s about time, Madam Vice President, you’re here.

I get that. But by the same token, Tiana, I know that, as a presidential
candidate, and certainly as a senator, this was a key issue for her. And
the treatment, particularly of migrant minors, was a big issue for her.

But it’s its operation, like, I don’t know, crickets now. And that’s what
sort of alarms me. If it was a big issue then, under the prior president,
when we had these kind of run-ups, why isn’t it now?

TIANA LOWE, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: So here’s what we do know.

From April of last year to April of this year, border encounters increased
by nearly 1000 percent. And, historically speaking, contrary to what Biden
said, the real peak begins now, not in April, but heading into the hot, hot

And look, there’s a grain of truth to what AOC and the left say about there
being other root causes, with things like climate change. Yes, climate
change is slightly impacting it. Yes, regime instability as a result of the
cold war is impacting this.

But if you’re looking at why these numbers changed on a dime, it was
because the Biden/Harris administration decided to revoke a number of
diplomatic agreements, such as safe third country agreements with the
Northern Triangle countries and remain in Mexico, and that has incentivized
trafficking, coyotes all traveling up to the border.

Look, if Kamala wants to tell Guatemalan migrants who are currently facing
the threat of racial persecution, which is something that we know is
prevalent because of the history of the Guatemalan genocide, that they can
seek asylum in Mexico, yes, they can, and they should. But it would be a
fool’s errand and, quite frankly, unethical for her to say, come up if you
do not have legitimate claim to seek asylum in America.

It’s a dangerous trek. And the reason why we have this backlog of asylum
claims is because you have a lot of people who are coming just for more
economic opportunity. And you know what? If you want to come to America
that way, you don’t seek asylum.

CAVUTO: And you can understand that. No, you can understand the economic

But, Kristen, the one thing that comes to mind when — I saw her meeting
with the president of Guatemala himself, of course, not exactly unrelated
to some of these issues of corruption, what have you. And we’re hinting or
teasing or dangling the possibility of more aid.

Do you really believe that that is going to make a difference, especially
that it will get to all the right people to mitigate all the Guatemalans
who go north and get to the border? Because something tells me those same
individuals won’t be getting any of this money, any of this aid, any of
this help.

HAWN: yes, I mean, I think that you have to have very strict oversight of
any of this money. And I know, that’s always an issue with government
programs, so making sure that you have the right oversight, that it’s going
to the right place.

But I think that it’s a two-pronged approach. You have to deal with the
border crisis in the United States. But, if we don’t — if we don’t help
these people in these countries establish themselves and create situations
where they can live, live comfortably and be healthy where they are…

CAVUTO: We don’t. We don’t have a good track record on that, with
Republican or Democratic presidents.

HAWN: Right, but I think that you can’t ignore — you can’t ignore that…


CAVUTO: Nick, but that’s the problem. That’s the problem. We don’t have a
good record.

ADAMS: Neil, it is.

Well, I will tell you right now, I mean, all this talk about climate change
and these root causes, the reason why we have got a problem on the Southern
border right now is because the Biden administration has displayed
weakness. They have shown that there’s going to be a reward if you come to
America the wrong way, if you come illegally.

And the reason why this wasn’t a problem in the last four years was because
there was a very clear message. You come to America the wrong way, you
don’t get to stay. Now they’re testing our resolve, because weaknesses
provocative. That’s the problem. That’s how we solve it. Get tough.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, to be fair, it was a problem now and then the last
four years. So we don’t want to mitigate…

ADAMS: Well, no, nothing like now.


CAVUTO: … one over the other.

Well, nothing like now is right.


CAVUTO: But to say that it didn’t exist at all in last four years would
probably be a stretch.

But we will watch this very, very closely, guys. I do appreciate your time.

ADAMS: I love you, Neil.


CAVUTO: In the meantime, now, on this side of the border and taking a look
at what’s going on in New York, where seven out of 10 voters polled said,
you know what? We need more police, not fewer police.

The fallout in a crucial mayoral race — after this.


CAVUTO: More than seven out of 10 New Yorkers say crime is the number one
issue for them and will weigh heavily on who they vote for mayor.

A former police commissioner from the Big Apple who says, finally — after


CAVUTO: All right, given the rocketing crime in New York, this shouldn’t
be a shocker, but it did raise some eyebrows in this typically liberal
town, where 72 percent of those polled say crime is a big issue and wanting
more police to deal with that crime is an even bigger issue.

Bill Bratton is the former NYPD commissioner, served in that same role in

Commissioner, very good to see you.

This is probably just what you want to hear, because it is just what this
city needs, someone there who’s going to focus on crime, right?

it’s a great awakening. It’s not what I want to hear. I’d much rather hear
about crime going down. But reality is, it is not. And it’s not likely to
go down anytime soon, not just here in New York, but throughout the

Most major cities are reporting significant increases, some historic
increases. And nowhere does it seem to be in decline at the moment, seems
to be on the incline. It’s certainly shaking up the mayor’s race here in
New York.

Only one candidate wanted to talk about crime about a month or two ago. Now
they have all been forced to address it. And it’s really shaking up the New
York mayor’s race.

CAVUTO: You know, if that does emerge as the number one issue, and the
number one candidate to address that is a former 20-year-plus veteran of
the police department, that alone tells you something, because it occurs on
the same day we have heard from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, warning and
preparing New Yorkers for more crime, a lot more crime, in what could be a
very violent summer.

It’s almost as if the mayor has given up. Can’t he do more now to deal with

BRATTON: Well, the challenge for Mr. de Blasio, who I worked for three
years, ’14 to ’16, where we had a crime going down every year, is to try
and reverse what will end up being a negative legacy in the crime area,
after a great stat.

And that challenge is going to be very difficult with a demoralized police
force, with significant cuts in monies and services for the police
department, with a political race under way, the mayor’s race, where
everybody is running away from his endorsement, because they don’t want to
be tainted with issues that he is now being painted with.

CAVUTO: Right.

BRATTON: It’s going to be an interesting race going forward.

I noticed the poll that New York One Spectrum did that Maya Wiley, for
example, who had been moving ahead, and had received earlier this week the
endorsement of AOC, that endorsement actually ended up with her dropping in
the polls.

So that is really something to watch here in New York City, that the super
liberal city that we are, that people are so afraid of crime that they are
starting to take a serious look at the candidates as to who might best be

Maya and several of the others who were talking about getting rid of 2,000,
3,000 more cops, taking another billion, $2 billion out of the budget of
the NYPD, after already taking a billion dollars away, I think they’re
hearing from the public at large they want to refund the police (AUDIO GAP)
the police.

CAVUTO: Commissioner, we will see what happens.

It’s still early, but these are, I meant to say, encouraging them to react
to what are very discouraging numbers that we’re getting on homicides that
are running at a close to triple-digit rate over last year and other
violent crimes that are also markedly rocketing.

BRATTON: If you look at the…

CAVUTO: So, we will keep an eye on it, Commissioner.

Go ahead. Finish that thought, sir.


BRATTON: No, I was going to say, if you look at those numbers that — up
until the last year or so, overall homicides were down 90 percent in the
city, overall crime down 80 percent.

The good news is, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. As I talk about in
my book, the book basically comes at a number of different issues. But one
of them is the idea that the reform that everybody is looking for, that we
were doing that in New York, and doing it so successfully that crime was
continuing to go down, summonses, citations, arrests, number of young men,
typically minority men, going off to prison and jail reduced dramatically.

And New York up until about ’19 was really leading the way with its
neighborhood policing initiative, that we had effectively solved the

CAVUTO: All right.

BRATTON: And I was a lot of times quoted as saying I did not think crime
would ever go up in New York City again.

What I underestimated was the wizards in Albany, the New York legislature,
and the governor, for that matter, in terms of signing the bills that they
are putting forth.

They actually have new bills this week that are going to be even more
problematic than the original criminal justice reform bills. And this is
echoed somewhat around the country in some of our leading cities, San
Francisco, Baltimore, many other cities that basically still don’t get it,
that — in terms of reform is necessary, but, basically, don’t throw the
baby out with the bathwater.

CAVUTO: All right.

Yes, and they have done that, and demolished the rest of the bathroom and
while they’re at it.

BRATTON: Exactly.


CAVUTO: Commissioner Bratton, thank you very much.

BRATTON: And didn’t replace it with anything that works.

CAVUTO: Very good seeing you.

BRATTON: That’s why it’s all backed up.

CAVUTO: Exactly.

All right, thank you, sir.

In the meantime here, you remember Bitcoin, its big allure? It’s still out
there, but it’s sunk mightily. And a lot of it had to do with what was
going on with that ransom that Colonial Pipeline had to pay.

Turns out that they did trace a lot of that dough and get it back. Now,
that’s good news, right? Why, if you’re a Bitcoin enthusiast, that could
also be bad news.

We will explore and explain after this.


CAVUTO: All right, they might be debating the price of a lot of these
programs, including infrastructure on Capitol Hill, but no one as yet has
been able to chip away at the $6 trillion budget to come.

What to make of it all and the clash over all of this spending with Jacqui
Heinrich, who joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Jackie, what’s the latest?


I do have a little bit of breaking news off the top. I have just been able
to confirm that those infrastructure talks between that group of GOP
senators and the White House have officially broken down. I’m told the
president walks away with a view that these talks were completed in good

But moving on to the spending and this hearing on the Hill, the big price
tag that really came into play with the infrastructure tax and then also in
this hearing is just the amount of spending that this president wants to

You can ask pretty much any Republican on the Hill about the $6 trillion
spending proposal, the budget proposal from this White House, and you’re
going to hear two words. You’re going to hear debt and inflation. We knew
that was going to be a major theme of today’s hearing with the deputy
budget director, Shalanda Young.

But Republican senator Lindsey Graham also drilled down in this hearing on
the enhanced federal unemployment benefits, with those 20-plus states no
longer taking the extra $300 a week, saying that it’s deterring people from
going back to work. Young said that she hasn’t met Americans who don’t want
to work.

And the White House has historically defended these benefits as a critical
lifeline. They have also asserted that the benefits are not the primary
driver of a labor shortage, while touting progress in the jobs reports.

But Graham said even before the hearing that this budget request was dead
on arrival.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Over a 10-year period, it increases $5
trillion in additional spending, on top of what we already spent, $5
trillion over 10 years. It raises taxes to $3.6 trillion.

What does that mean for everybody working out there? This budget will come
to your neighborhood soon. There’s just not enough 1 percenters to bear all
the load of this.


HEINRICH: So Republicans are unhappy with this spending proposal.

But it’s not just them. Progressives have also said that it doesn’t go far
enough. Civil rights activists really pushing for action on student debt
cancellation, saying that’s a big — a big, important factor in advancing
racial equity — Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you for that, Jacqui Heinrich in Washington.

Speaking of Washington, as if Bitcoin wasn’t having a tough enough time
already, when it found out that the feds certainly were able to trace that
Bitcoin ransom that Colonial Pipeline had paid to hackers who had somehow
crept into the network and all but shut down the pipeline.

So that is deemed to be good news, right, I mean, at least that they got a
lot of the money back? But a lot of people who invest in Bitcoin and
believe in Bitcoin like it’s untraceability factor. Then the coup de grace
was this comment from the IRS commissioner over all of this. Take a look.


PORTMAN: Do you feel that the IRS has the necessary authority to issue
appropriate regulations?

CHARLES RETTIG, IRS COMMISSIONER: I think we need congressional authority.
We get challenged. As you’re aware, we get challenged frequently. And to
have a clear dictate from Congress and the authority of us to collect that
information, it’s critical.


CAVUTO: All right, I think, for my friend Gary Kaltbaum, who follows the
business world better than most anybody I know, that’s what they call a
one-two punch, Gary

What do you make of that?

GARY KALTBAUM, FOX BUSINESS CONTRIBUTOR: And most definitely will affect

Look, if you ever get in the mail something that says Internal Revenue
Service, you head for the hills. And


KALTBAUM: And I think that’s what’s going on right now.

And, Neil, it’s not just the U.S. China is cracking down in a big way,
shutting down anybody who goes on their social media talking about Bitcoin.
Denmark, in the last day, came out and stated over two-thirds of the
transactions are not being taxed correctly, so they’re cracking down.

So this is somewhat of a worldwide phenomenon. And when you have an asset
class where there’s no earnings and no sales, and you also have a lot of
leverage in it — and we’re finding that out now — who knows where this is
going to go to the downside?

The only good thing I can say is, it’s already had a big drop, and maybe it
can bounce here. But there are a lot of things, a confluence of things at
this juncture that do not help the situation.

CAVUTO: What about flipping it around, Gary, that all this could be good
for Bitcoin, that it gives it some street cred, if regulators are
respectful enough of its import and force that they want to keep an eye on
it, just as they would other investments that bear watching, commodities,
metals, you name it? What do you think?

KALTBAUM: Look, anything’s possible.

When regulators get involved, and you get more of these funds out there,
price is all about what somebody is willing to pay on a higher basis. And
if more and more people come in and get excited, and decide to pay up, yes,
price can go up.

But my big warning — and I have been telling you this for a while —
there’s 2,000 of these coins. If that doesn’t define something akin to a
bubble, I do not know. And the last crash took up most of these things down
90 percent. And we now we have a revival here, but I just worry. I just
worry about the leverage that’s out there still.

CAVUTO: Gary Kaltbaum, thanks, I think, depending on your Bitcoin
perspective of viewers.


CAVUTO: We will follow it very, very closely.

All right, well, McDonald’s was facing a labor shortage, right, and some
problems, and then the issue of paying kids so much just to get them to
work there. Then it did something, modernized. A lot of restaurants,
they’re going big time. Why do you think that is?

After this.


CAVUTO: All right, well, McDonald’s testing a fully automated drive-
through, right down to when you’re picking up your food.

Susan Li says there’s a reason for that — Susan Li.


So the future of fast food looks to be robotic. The world’s largest fast
food chain, McDonald’s, assessing fully automated drive-throughs in 10
locations in Chicago, using artificial intelligence. It’s 85 percent
accurate, and it will take 80 percent of the orders.

But it’s still going to take a few years before you see them in your local
Golden Arches. You have CEO Chris Kempczinski saying: “Do I think in five
years from now, you’re going to see a voice in the drive-through? I do. But
I don’t think this is going to be something that happens in the next year
or so.”

A big leap, he says going, from 10 restaurants to 14,000 across the
country, which might take a while.

Now, automation, though, might help McDonald’s bring down their labor
costs. They just raised wages last month. Pay starts now at 11 bucks an
hour for regular staff, up to 20 bucks for managers. Now, former McDonald’s
CEO Ed Rensi says that a push for a $15 minimum wage is going to “force the
costs of labor up, which means it’s going to force management to find
alternatives, which means they’re going to lose jobs. And technology is
always cheaper than people.”

Now, it’s not just McDonald’s. You have Domino’s testing out a self-driving
delivery van made by Nuro. You might see them across Houston. In New York’s
Times Square, you have Taco Bell opening up a mostly kiosk-based branch.
And White Castle is among the first in the fast food industry testing out
Flippy, which is the robotic fry cook, in 10 of its locations.

And just this year, you had the world’s largest consultancy firm, McKinsey,
predicting that 45 million Americans — that’s roughly a quarter of the
work force — could lose their jobs to robots by the end of this decade,
Neil. Those are some pretty staggering numbers.

CAVUTO: Well, those are staggering.

Susan Li, thank you very, very much.

Susan Li, of course, a star on FNC and FBN, which brings me to my next
guest, Charles Payne. His show “Making Money” at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on
FOX Business is a must-watch, comes right after me.

So, I’m kind of like his ZZ Top, his warmup act.


CAVUTO: Charles, good to see you, my friend.

What do you make of this, Charles? I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised
that restaurants are now trying to find a way around these rocketing labor
costs, and automation might be the way to do it.


Some of this stuff was happening naturally, but I think it really is
beginning to speed up a lot. This morning, we heard from the National
Federation of Small Businesses, and the numbers from them were just
staggering; 57 percent of these business owners said they could find few or
no qualified applicants; 48 percent have job openings.

In other words, these jobs are ready. They need people to come fill them.
And 27 percent are looking for more workers. That’s a higher number than we
have seen in a long time.

You put all of this together, and you’re a business owner, particularly a
small business owner, you don’t know how you’re going to compete.
Conversely, when it comes to the larger businesses, particularly
manufacturing, they’re already telegraphing they’re going to spend more
money on what they call capital expenditures, technology and equipment,
software. Those things, you’re going to see huge.

And it’s been going on for a while, but I’m really concerned that they
really are speeding this up. The technology of course, has gotten a lot
better. You pull into a McDonald’s, you make the order. By the time you get
to the window the food is almost ready and it’s hot. And it’s — listen,
it’s a tough one, Neil, because some people have priced themselves out of
the labor market.

And some people want to work, but I don’t think our education system is
such that we’re producing the sort of workers — and you don’t need a
college degree. The CEO of IBM, she coined it very well. Said that it’s not
a white-collar job or a blue-collar job. It’s a new-collar job.

So there are so many opportunities out there. We learned today 9.3 million
jobs are open his country right now. It’s by far a record, and we have got
to find a way to match people with those jobs at reasonable wages for
everyone, for them and for businesses, particularly small business.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much, my friend, Charles Payne,
following that.

PAYNE: You got it.

CAVUTO: Of course, you catch him, “Making Money” on FOX Business Network
2:00 p.m. Eastern time. His is the only show on the network that has in its
title “Making Money,” so he’s required to make you money.

Me, I can just talk in broad, general terms. He actually delivers the


CAVUTO: All right, by the way, we are learning right now that Senator
Capito on ending the infrastructure negotiations with Republicans, she
says: “I spoke with the president this afternoon. He ended our
infrastructure negotiations. As Republicans, we believe in our nation’s
infrastructure, which is why our negotiating team consistently worked in
good faith with the president. We were optimistic that we could reach a
bipartisan agreement for the sake of the country.”

Just sort of rocketing ahead here, that has not happened. Those talks have
officially broken down.

We will have more after this.



conservative agenda about our taxation being pro-business, and, of course,
always, always trying to make sure about spending.

That’s something we kept on. We kept our message. And I guess it resonated
with our great city.


CAVUTO: All right, a Republican who won by a couple of 100 votes in
McAllen, Texas, a big border town. It’s a big deal. They’re still sort of
going through this. And the Democratic candidate has not yet conceded.

But the fact of the matter is, this guy won in a district that Hillary
Clinton had won by better than 40 points in 2016 over Donald Trump and that
Joe Biden had won by about 20 points over Donald Trump in the last

Kelly Jane Torrance on the significance of all this, of course, Kelly with
The New York Post.

Kelly Jane, what do you think?

KELLY JANE TORRANCE, NEW YORK POST: Yes, you know, this is fascinating,
Neil, for so many reasons.

Donald Trump actually gained a lot in the Hispanic vote in 2020, I think at
least about a 10 percent higher share of the electorate than he had in
2016. And a lot of people have been wondering, can the Republicans keep
that now that Trump is pretty much gone?

And the answer, I think, is yes. This shows it. McAllen hasn’t had a
Republican mayor in over two decades, and the city is 85 percent Hispanic.

CAVUTO: Yes. Now, what’s interesting, we’re no stranger to what’s been
happening at the border.

And it cuts anyone’s way here, that whether you’re white, American,
Hispanic, what have you, you’re upset, you’re anxious, you’re getting
nervous. And you reflect that in your vote in this case.

TORRANCE: Yes, I think that a lot of the reasons that Republicans did
increase their share of the Hispanic vote still applies.

But, again, Biden won Hidalgo County by 17 points, much lower than Hillary
Clinton’s 50. But, again, he won.

CAVUTO: Right.

TORRANCE: So what changed between now — between November now? And what
changed, of course, is the border crisis.

People at the border towns, they see the coyotes, the human smugglers, who
are leaving children alone. They see drugs coming through. They see all of
the problems that low to no border security leaves. They are the ones
experiencing — we here in New York and people in D.C., we can watch the
pictures, read the articles, but they are living it.

And the fact that they decided to vote against the Democrats, I think, says
a lot. And it shows also that Hispanics are not necessarily for illegal
immigration. A lot of them came here legally, of course. They have done —
they have stood in line. They have they have done what they had to do. And
they’re not happy about people just coming in willy-nilly.

They want law and order, like a lot of other groups in this country. And I
think that’s one reason that we saw them increase the GOP share in 2020,
was, again, law and order. They saw rioting in the streets.


TORRANCE: A lot of them left their countries because of that. And now
they’re here in America.

CAVUTO: Kelly Jane — I’m sorry — I’m wondering, to your point, whether
this translates beyond just border Hispanics, that this might have some
traction nationally.

I’m wondering how you see this playing out nationally.

TORRANCE: Well, that’s a great question, Neil. And that’s a harder


TORRANCE: I do think that a lot of people, the Hispanic community
throughout the country, communicate with each other about what’s going on.

But keep in mind that one of the reasons Republicans, I think, gained with
Hispanics was, there was a record low unemployment started in September
2019 of 3.9 percent Hispanic unemployment. That’s a record. And it’s

And I think that Hispanics appreciated that. They’re hardworking, like many
immigrants. And they want to keep their money. And they see that President
Biden and his administration is looking to tax growth, tax jobs. They’re —
I think they’re going to be open to the Republican message for quite some

CAVUTO: Well, it bears watching to your point, Kelly Jane.

Great catching up with you. Thank you very, very much.

Before I go here and throw to “The Five” here, just some news that you
probably expected, that the negotiations between Republicans and the White
House have broken off right now on infrastructure.

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia saying she’s disappointed by that,
but maybe this could be a negotiating tactic. Who knows? But, for now,
those talks have stopped. What happens? Who knows?

Here’s “The Five.”

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