FULL EPISODE: Dr. Tom Frieden talks COVID surge; both parties cover Pres. Trump’s refusal to concede

FULL EPISODE: Dr. Tom Frieden talks COVID surge; both parties cover Pres. Trump’s refusal to concede
Dr. Tom Frieden talks COVID surge; both parties cover Pres. Trump’s refusal to concede

Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), and Tom Frieden, former CDC Director and President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives for Gray TV’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, November 15, 2020.

Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill told Van Susteren she had not yet decided whether to support Nancy Pelosi in her bid to hold onto the House speakership. “I’m still looking at what my vote is going to do and how it’s going to be best for New Jersey,” she said.

When asked whether President Trump should concede, former and newly-elect GOP Congressman Issa said: “For President Trump, seeing real corruption in the process, real fraud in the process, to want his day in court would only seem reasonable.”

Issa predicted that Mr. Trump would not run again in 2024 but added “I think he will always be on the ballot because he has permanently changed the Republican party,”

Tom Frieden, who served as director of the CDC under President Barack Obama, said that as coronavirus cases continue to rise, “We’re seeing the likelihood of hospitals in many parts of the country become severely stretched ... and the inevitability that we’re going to have to close more parts of our society.”

Frieden added: “This magical thinking about the virus going away, or somehow we’re going to reach herd immunity and it’ll just stop, this has been very, very harmful.”

11/15/20 Dr. Tom Frieden talks COVID surge; both parties cover Pres. Trump’s refusal to concede

Interview highlights are below.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill highlights

On whether she will vote for Speaker Pelosi

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

I haven’t decided who I’ll be voting for ...

Greta Van Susteren

That wasn’t a quick yes.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

I’m still looking at what my vote is going to do and how it’s going to be best for New Jersey.

On President Trump contesting the election

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

If you’re simply bringing a case for political reasons, which I sense is going on in many of these cases, and especially if you’re the president of the United States, that to me is really troubling because this president for many, many months has been undermining our democratic elections.

On why Democrats lost seats in the House

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

I think many people on both sides of that polling did not capture what was going on in the country….

My grandfather served in World War II. He was a bomber pilot. He came home. He got a good job on the factory floor of General Motors. So that’s really what I attribute to lifting my family, the post-depression family, out of poverty and into the middle class. So when you’re talking about the Midwest labor and the lack of support there, it’s kind of shocking to me. My grandfather would be rolling over in his grave. So we somehow are not communicating with everyone.

On whether Democrats would defund the police

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

I think we certainly have to have conversations around mental health issues, substance abuse issues, homelessness, but I don’t think the majority of people in my caucus want to defund the police.

On COVID cases spiking in New Jersey

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)

A lot of it seems to be due to private gatherings, people coming together. So we’re just really trying to get the word out to continue to be cautious. Make sure if you’re gathering for the holidays, you follow protocols so that you don’t get other people sick, you don’t add to the spread.

Rep. Darrell Issa highlights

On whether President Trump should concede

Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.)

I remember that the vice president of the United States didn’t concede, and for 36 days, all the way to the U.S. Supreme court, he argued that the state of Florida should have to count differently than their law said. And it wasn’t until the Supreme Court, once and for all said, no, that he conceded. For President Trump, seeing real corruption in the process, real fraud in the process, to want his day in court would only seem reasonable.

On whether he thinks President Trump will run again in 2024

Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.)

No, I don’t. But I think that he will always be on the ballot because he has permanently changed the Republican party.

On whether Speaker Pelosi will keep her job

Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.)

I don’t expect her to stay long. I really believe that AOC and people like that have the knives out and her days are numbered. But having said that, the progressives that have taken over the Democratic party represent the new faces of the party and the new face of the Republican party has to be a sharp contrast. And I think we are.

On working with President-elect Biden

Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.)

I have worked with the then Vice President Biden. We did the reauthorizations of Violence Against Women Act. We did the Data Act and he was quite supportive and we were able to pass both of those on a bipartisan basis. Our job in Washington is to be a contrast, but not a contradiction.

On the Covid stimulus

Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-Ca.)

One way or the other, the moment I’m sworn in, I’m going to be on the floor demanding that the $133 billion of PPP money that is literally still there, but simply ran out of authorization time, be immediately put back to work. And then let’s roll up our sleeves and talk about this trillion, trillion and a half dollar program and figure out how we can honestly do what needs to be done and not turn it into a pork program.

Tom Frieden highlights

On the current surge in COVID cases

Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director

Well, unfortunately, we’re heading up toward 2000 deaths a day. We’re seeing the likelihood of hospitals in many parts of the country become severely stretched and possibly overwhelmed, and the inevitability that we’re going to have to close more parts of our society.

On how Biden’s administration will handle COVID differently than Trump’s

Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director

We’re already hearing very encouraging signs from the incoming administration, and I would point to the three fundamental aspects of this. First, getting organized. We have lacked in this country an organized response to COVID with federal leadership from day one. Second, clear, honest communication. Tell it like it is, be straight with people.

On misinformation during the Trump administration

Greta Van Susteren

Do you not think Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx were candid and honest, saying things they knew at the time, and they’ve continued to inform us as they have? I mean, has there been misinformation come out of the administration?

Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director

I think the biggest is just the absence. We haven’t seen the world’s experts in control of respiratory viruses speak since February 25, when Nancy Messonnier told it like it is, that we’re going to see severe disruption to our lives, it’s going to spread in our communities and we need to get ready for it. From that moment on, the CDC was silenced.

The vaccine, great as it may be, is not going to change things for months. So communicate, organize, and third, base decisions on science. There’s still so much we’re learning about the virus, and the more we learn it together, the more we work together, the more we’ll get through it safely with a preserved economy.

This magical thinking about the virus going away, or somehow we’re going to reach herd immunity and it’ll just stop, this has been very, very harmful. The fact is that it’s a tough virus to fight, but if we fight together, we can get the upper hand."

On the Pfizer vaccine

Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director

Well, this is very encouraging news. I don’t think any of us expected a vaccine to be in the 90% range. Flu vaccines are 30 to 60% effective. Now, there’s still a lot we don’t know. We don’t know how long that protection will last. We haven’t seen the actual data. We don’t know if they will be safe. We don’t know if they’ll be effective in elderly people. We don’t know that they’ll be able to be manufactured and distributed effectively.

But it is encouraging, and it gives us hope that through 2021 we will see the rollout of vaccination programs. And if the vaccine holds up as safe and effective, that will really help us get to the new normal sooner and safer.

I think we are looking at many months into 2021 in the rollout of the vaccine, and it’s not going to be quick or simple. It’s a two dose series. The Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at extreme, low temperatures, the storage of it is very complex, getting communities to understand and accept it, getting healthcare workers to understand how it should be given, all of these are huge challenges that we’re going to have to work through.

On COVID treatments

Greta Van Susteren

It seems that the two leading treatments right now are Regeneron, which is what the president got, I think in the first few days, to reduce the viral load. And now Eli Lilly has another one, and I think former Governor Christie had that one to reduce the viral load.

Do they both do essentially the same? Am I correct, that the design is to reduce the viral load, much like Tamiflu with the flu?

Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director

Well, they’re a little different. These are what are called antibodies, and they, in theory, should work early in the infection. If we can get them to people very early on before their own body has made antibodies, then that might counteract the virus. The evidence that they work is still pretty weak, it’s not clear, but the theory that they may is pretty strong. So we hope they’ll be helpful early on in infection. But getting it to people early on means if you’re sick, isolate immediately and get tested quickly, so that if you are at high-risk, you might be able to get some of these antibody treatments.

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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