This is a rush transcript of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on February 10, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SANDRA SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Consumer prices surging 7.5 percent last month, highest in 40 years. And Americans are feeling it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I’m seeing prices increase. I use my charge and keep track of it. I think it’s up 10, 15 percent over the last several months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you see the signs, help wanted $18 an hour at In-N-Out Burger. So I think it’s filtering down to a lot of things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it’s hard on businesses, it’s hard on consumers, and it’s just a tough time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: You name it, chances are you’re paying a lot more for it, from gasoline and heating fuel to everyday items. Americans are dealing with runaway inflation with no end in sight.
Those inflation fears hitting stocks, the Dow diving today about 526 points.
Welcome, everyone. I’m Sandra Smith, in for Neil Cavuto, and this is “Your World.”
Claudia Cowan is at a supermarket in Mill Valley, California, where shoppers there are not mincing words.
CLAUDIA COWAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon to you as well, Sandra.
Consumers are seeing higher prices, but not only that, in many cases, lower inventory at markets like this one in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. Inflation soared over the past year to a new 40-year high, the Labor Department says consumer prices, as you mentioned, jumping 7.5 percent last month compared to January of 2021, the steepest year-over-year increase since February of 1982, fueled by shortages of supplies and workers, low interest rates, robust consumer spending, and more spending out of Washington, D.C., on COVID relief and that big infrastructure bill.
Inflation is costing Americans $250 a month. And that was before today’s hotter-than-expected report, wiping out any pay raises and forcing some shoppers to cut back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen higher prices in like just the basic things like bread and milk and yogurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re just more careful as to what we buy and make sure we consume what we purchase.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a little painful. And maybe I have reduced in some areas, but not the wine and not the fresh produce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of our suppliers are shorting us on 10 to 20 percent of our orders. So we’re talking about hundreds of cases every week of product that we’re not getting, and staple items.
We can’t get distilled water. I can’t get cereals, things like that they’re always on the shelf. We haven’t been able to get lately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COWAN: This morning at the White House, President Biden was sympathetic and he promised some relief. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know food prices are up, and we’re working to bring them down.
As I said, I grew up in a family where the price at the pump went up, you felt it. And I understand. But these things are necessities. We’re working to bring down prices where there are not totally what families, in fact, have to pay now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COWAN: So, how much more are families having to pay now?
Well, compared to 12 months ago, take a look at some of the figures that we were able to find here. Meat and eggs are up over 13 percent, poultry up almost 10 percent, milk up 6.8 percent, bread up just under 6 percent, and coffee, wow, up 8.6 percent.
Consumers also paying a whopping 40 percent more for gas and 10 percent more for electricity. Just sticker shock, Sandra, across the board putting a lot more pressure on consumers — back to you.
SMITH: OK, Claudia Cowan reporting from California for us.
Claudia, thank you.
So, how much longer can Americans put up with all this?
Former Walmart USA CEO Bill Simon is with me now.
Bill, great to see you.
So how much longer can the consumer hang on here? Definitely, inflation is outpacing wage growth, great that wages are up. But if all that extra money that you’re earning is going to your grocery bill or your gasoline tank, it doesn’t do anybody any good.
BILL SIMON, FORMER WALMART CEO: No, you’re exactly right.
And the consumer has been remarkably resilient through the last two years of pandemic and system shock and shutdown. And I think they have reached the end. They’re looking at the utter shock of walking into an American supermarket and seeing empty shelves at prices that really, really hurt not only the pocketbook, but the sort of the family and the psyche of the Americans.
And I think they’re about to the breaking point. I also don’t believe that we have seen the end of it. Prices are continuing to go up. Component and input prices haven’t been fully priced in yet. And so I think we’re going to see this all the way through the year.
SMITH: And I was just talking to my good friend Larry Kudlow, who suggested that there is no end in sight.
Based on current policies and lack of strategy, it appears prices — look at that spike towards the end of the chart, I mean, years of inflation, and just recently in the past year, that significant spike.
And in real dollars, this is quite remarkable, Bill. The Wall Street Journal decided to tally it up, because people are feeling it. And they wanted to know just exactly how much the American family is getting hit by this.
The Wall Street Journal today said that the average U.S. household is spending an additional $276 this month because of that spike in inflation. That is real pain for the average American family.
SIMON: Oh, yes, you’re not kidding.
I mean, that really hurts. You will see that when the retail sales reports come out. You will see that when you start feeling about this — the confidence in the right/wrong direction of the economy.
The resilience of the consumer, when they see an end in sight, is always there. But, right now, we have got this interconnected tangle of problems. We’re not going to solve inflation until we solve supply chain issues. We’re not going to solve supply chain until we solve the labor issue. And then untangling those and knowing where to start without any real policy direction or any guidance or leadership on a federal level is going to be very difficult.
SMITH: Bill, final question to you on this.
You have observed a lot of consumer behavior, having led Walmart. And we do see a consumer that is rather resilient. And we haven’t really seen demand wane just yet in the face of these higher prices. But there is a change in behavior when you see historically high inflation.
People go towards generic products. They look for alternatives, cheaper products. Shed some light on that for us as to how the behavior of the average American consumer will change in the face of this inflation.
You see the consumer make changes and choices to keep their lifestyle going as long as they can. They make changes in protein, beef to chicken. And they change pack sizes. They shop at different locations. They change up some of their habits.
But where we are today, there’s very little relief in some of those changes, because the component costs of everything have increased. When fuel rises at the rate that it’s risen, the fuel component of every product that we that we consume is impacted by that.
So I think that resilience — and that’s why it’s going to be challenged in the current — kind of current operation here, because there’s really no relief point. Beef isn’t cheaper. The increase in beef isn’t cheaper than the increase in chicken.
And we just heard that bacon and coffee are on the rise too. And so you can’t even get a breakfast now. There’s really nowhere to go.
SMITH: Yes. I mean, you wake up and you can’t enjoy that start to your day because you know you’re paying so much more for it. It is a real thing. And it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
Bill Simon, former Walmart U.S. CEO, thank you.
SIMON: You bet.
SMITH: All right, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who blocked the president’s social spending bill because of the inflation threat, saying this today:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): This inflation is real. It’s harming people.
It’s 7.5 percent. That’s a tax. And it continues to increase. It’s not decreasing. So, the feds have to step up to the plate and do something. The administration has to do — we all have to work together right now to get our financial house in order. If not, it’s going to be absolutely horrible what it’s going to do the American economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: That was Senator Manchin saying spending — says spending more now would throw fuel on the inflation fire.
I think our next guest would agree with that.
Texas Republican Congressman Kevin Brady, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is joining us now.
Great to see you, sir. It’s been a while since we have had a chance to catch up.
REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX): It has.
SMITH: But some really interesting, interesting observations there from Senator Manchin. This is real. This is harming people. This is the ultimate tax.
He’s pleading with the president to do something. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says you got to do something now, and, especially politically speaking, we’re in a midterm election year, and there will be consequences.
BRADY: Yes, at this point, Joe Manchin is doing his share to try to stop inflation.
As you know, and you laid out some of the costs, but our estimates are that, because of inflation this year, and more Americans are getting pushed into higher tax brackets because their wages going up, together, higher prices and higher costs cost an average family almost $5,000 last year.
That’s a huge amount. And that hits Senator Manchin’s folks, families even worse. And what worries me is, I do think consumer price inflation goes up even higher. All those high housing costs, whether it’s in rents or in the cost your home, isn’t even reflected yet.
We’re seeing wage inflation accelerating in America. And, Sandra, my worry is that we’re either on the verge of or already in a wage-price spiral. Those are so damaging. It always ends badly for workers and small businesses and the U.S. economy.
And the president not only doesn’t recognize it. He’s still pushing for the Build Back Better plan that will make inflation and the worker shortage even worse. So, as long as Senator Manchin keeps blocking that, frankly, he will be doing his job in helping us try to get control on these rising prices.
SMITH: To your point, he said it today. Build Back Better, that’s the solution to all these high prices. So, spending leads to higher prices. And now it seems the solution is to spend more. That’s remarkable.
And I last week spoke to Brian Deese, economic adviser to the president, also Jared Bernstein. And it does appear that that is the strategy. They’re telling the American people that that is the solution, to spend more, Build Back Better.
Brian Deese did, however — and Larry Kudlow gave him credit for this earlier — he did talk about how important is that the Fed maintains its independence. So the fed’s next move is going to be key.
But as far as making matters worse, if we continue to spend more, what is the impact of that? What does inflation look like a year out?
BRADY: Yes, so I think it’s going to be rougher than now.
And I think it’s not just the government spending. In Build Back Better, there are crippling tax hikes that will slow investment in the U.S., including into the plants and investment in the technologies that can help us work through the supply chain problem.
They also have several programs that together actually discourage Americans from reconnecting to work. And as long as we can’t find people to man the production lines, assemble the products and deliver them, you’re going to see inflation continuing to increase.
And so it’s not just the spending. It’s the labor shortage, and it’s the inflation that goes with it. That is so damaging.
BRADY: And I — for the life of me, I don’t understand how the president isn’t clued in to how damaging this is.
SMITH: Voters might clue him in.
BRADY: Yes, ma’am.
SMITH: Every time I do a segment on inflation, it appears.
I get text messages. I get — from friends and family. I get Twitter messages from viewers, who say, I just got my heating bill. And it’s sky- high. It’s taking a lot of people off-guard when they see that, gasoline prices up for a 29th straight day.
The White House refuses to say they have a strategy of increasing oil production in this country. What harm is there in that, considering we’re already paying sky-high gas prices?
BRADY: Yes, not only do they not have a strategy to increase production. They’re damaging and depressing production here in America, while encouraging foreign countries to do more and sell more into the United States, frankly, oil and gas that is produced much less cleaner than here in America.
And so, look, I think the Fed is directly responsible for inflation. I think the White House is definitely responsible for inflation. And if they maintain this attack and restriction on American-made energy, energy prices that affect everybody, every American, every small business, the economy certainly is going to continue to rise.
SMITH: All right, Congressman, I really appreciate you coming on. Thank you very much.
BRADY: Good to see you, Sandra. Thank you.
SMITH: All right, we will stay on it.
Meanwhile, one more quick look at the corner of Wall and Broad, stocks selling off on that inflation report, as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hits 2 percent for the first time in nearly three years. So, everybody’s watching for the Fed’s next move. We will keep watching.
With prices spiking, the president’s poll numbers are plunging. Lee Carter on why his party should be worrying.
And yet another blue state governor lifting mask mandates today. Meet the guy behind this billboard in Times Square, wondering when the White House will do the same.
Plus, Russia launching war games less than 200 miles from Ukraine’s capital. Is this cover for something more sinister?
SMITH: Read them and weep?
President Biden’s approval rating dropping to 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics average. That’s down nearly 15 points in the past year.
Juxtapose it with inflation, his numbers going down as inflation keeps going up. How much of this will impact the midterm elections?
The read from GOP pollster Lee Carter.
Lee, great to see you.
So what impact will this have?
LEE CARTER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Great to see you.
Listen, I think the fact that his polling numbers have dropped so dramatically, especially among independents — it’s more than 30 points in a year with independents. And that signals to me that he’s got significant problems. The Democrats are going to have significant problems going into the midterms.
And the Republicans really have a moment to capitalize on it. I think the Biden administration is finally getting the memo, though, that people are more concerned about the economy than they ever — than they have been in years, because he spent a lot of time trying to tell us it’s actually the strongest economy we have ever had, inflation’s temporary, there’s really nothing I can do about it, today announcing a plan.
It’s a Biden/Harris plan to address these things. And he says he knows it’s an issue and he’s got these actions in place. So, I think he’s trying to shift the narrative. I’m not sure it’s going to work, though.
SMITH: You know, I have noticed more folks from the White House being deployed to talk about the current situation, especially around jobs numbers and inflation data.
And I had the opportunity to talk to Jared Bernstein and Brian Deese, economic advisers to the president, just last week. So it appears they’re trying to get out there, but is it going to help if they’re not explaining to voters a specific strategy to get this inflation down?
CARTER: Yes, I think that’s the big question, because he still is insisting that this is going to be temporary, although, in the announcement from the White House today, he says that he’s going to be taking action now, and he understands that it’s a really big issue.
And I think that he’s trying to talk about things in a way that’s relatable for folks. He’s talking about he’s going to fight to lower kitchen table costs. He’s going today to have a speech about lowering prescription drug costs. He’s going to try and lay out this plan and say that he’s going to make things better.
The problem is, he often comes across as very defensive. Rather than saying, this is what I’m going to do, here’s three things that are going to make it better, and you’re going to feel it, he starts to say, look, this is the best economy we have ever had. Jobs are this.
This is — like, we’re at an all-time high. And he comes across as he’s trying to — defensive. And the truth of the American people is they’re more pessimistic about the economy than they have been since 1977. It doesn’t help him to make the case on how the economy is actually good. He needs to come across much more saying, I understand, and I feel your pain, and I’m here to address it.
And I’m just not sure that he’s going to be able to carry that through.
SMITH: To your point — no, it’s a great point. And it’s one thing if he comes out and acknowledges that inflation, which he has.
It’s another thing to sympathize with the average American family that, according to The Wall Street Journal, is now shelling out an extra 270 bucks this month because of these inflation woes. So, perhaps, I know this is painful, I know it’s hard, and we’re going to get a grip on it, would help.
I think he’s really got to touch on saying, I understand where you’re coming from, and I’m going to do something about it, not saying that things are better than they have ever been and this is going to be temporary. He’s got to shift the narrative if he wants to have a chance. I mean, the whole Democratic Party does in this moment.
SMITH: I think your point too about shifting the language from fighting inflation to lowering costs for hardworking families and lowering kitchen table costs, because that’s really what this is, right?
Fighting inflation can go over people’s head, but when they go home and open their mail, and they see their home heating bill, or they go to the store, and they look at the receipt, and they see how much more they’re paying today vs. last week vs. last month vs. last year, that, as I keep saying, is real tangible stuff for the American people.
All right, so midterms, I think the big question is also, Lee — and I keep asking a lot of economists this — the big prediction is going to be, where’s inflation going to come, come Election Day? That is going to be a big question.
Larry Kudlow just suggested to me that it’s going to — there’s no end in sight. It’s going to keep on going up; 55 percent of CEOs say they believe it’s going to continue well into next year.
CARTER: And I think the American people feel like there’s no end in sight either.
And so I think that the people’s attitudes right now, they’re hunkering down. They’re concerned. We’re seeing housing prices soar. Some people are able to capitalize on that, but a lot of people, it’s hurting.
And so, overall, I don’t think that people are feeling very optimistic. And I’m not sure that there’s going to be enough time between now and Election Day to really make people feel terribly different, terribly optimistic.
SMITH: Especially with forecasts for gasoline to rise to above $4 as a national average by Memorial Day, when a lot of folks pack up their cars and drive their families on family vacations.
SMITH: Lee Carter, great to see you. Thank you very much.
CARTER: Great to see you.
CARTER: Thank you.
SMITH: Are war games cover for all out-war? What Russia is up to now.
And did these trucker protests just slam the brakes on something that will get both sides talking?
SMITH: Congress getting closer to banning lawmakers from trading stocks, but there could be a catch. We have got the details.
And the big game coming with some big grocery bills. How you can save on your Super Bowl party.
Back in 60 seconds.
SMITH: Russian troops arriving in Belarus for military exercises, which is only about 140 miles from the Ukraine capital of Kyiv.
That’s where you will find FOX’s Lucas Tomlinson. He’s got the very latest.
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS PENTAGON PRODUCER: Hey, Sandra.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says this is the most tense time in Europe since the Cold War.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is probably the most dangerous moment, I would say, in the course of the next few days in what is the biggest security crisis that Europe has faced for decades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOMLINSON: Russia’s top general has flown to Belarus to personally oversee the exercises.
The U.S. military’s top general spoke to his Belarusian counterpart earlier today to — quote — “reduce chances of miscalculation.” There’s over 30,000 Russian troops in Belarus right now.
He also spoke to his British and Canadian counterparts. Since 1999, Russia has seen NATO expand closer to its borders. Russian President Putin says he feel threatened. Russian warships now also in the Black Sea. Ukraine’s defense minister says Russia has now — quote — “blocked the waters offshore” ahead of planned missile tests, amphibious warships like this loaded with troops, tanks and other armored units.
The Russians aren’t the only ones on the move, Sandra. American B-52 bombers arrived in England earlier today, the U.S. Air Force also announcing it’s sending F-15s to Poland to help bolster NATO defenses.
Earlier today, I spoke to the former head of U.S. Army Europe. He says do not expect an all-out invasion by Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. BEN HODGES (RET.), FORMER U.S. ARMY EUROPE COMMANDER: What the Russians are doing is like a boa constrictor that is continuing to squeeze Ukraine.
But I don’t anticipate an all-out assault with these red arrows that we have been seeing pictures in newspapers, red arrows coming in from every direction simultaneously. I don’t know that the Russians have the assets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOMLINSON: General Hodges says he expects a Russian invasion to come from the sea, where the coastline is not well-defended. This assessment is at odds with the Pentagon — Sandra.
SMITH: Lucas Tomlinson reporting from Kyiv for us.
Lucas, thank you.
I spoke with Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton earlier on “America Reports,” who says Russia is using these war games for cover. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): I think those military drills in Belarus, Sandra, are nothing but a cover for a likely invasion. And I think they tell us that they’re — since they’re starting so soon, that we could be down to a matter of days, not weeks, for that potential invasion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: What does our next guest think?
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis joins us now.
Colonel, thank you, and welcome.
Do you agree with that, that we could be days, weeks away from this invasion?
LT. COL. BOB MAGINNIS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, if Putin makes that decision.
However, what I’m looking at in Belarus with 30,000 troops, Sandra, is, essentially, it doesn’t make a lot of sense if it’s just an exercise.
Keep in mind, they had an exercise this past September, a major one. And to have another one now doesn’t follow the logic. Plus, they brought in some of their most sophisticated weapons, Su-35s, S-400 air defense systems and the Iskander, which is a nuclear-capable intermediary ballistic missile.
So they’re sending a number of messages, not only to the Ukrainians, but also to NATO. And, meanwhile, of course, the president or the chancellor of Germany, Scholz, has indicated that NATO is united.
Well, we will have to wait and see. We heard certainly what Prime Minister Johnson said, that it is a dangerous time. And any mistake here could result in some very bad outcomes.
SMITH: Is going about diplomacy to try to prevent Vladimir Putin from attacking still an option, do you believe?
MAGINNIS: Well, today in Berlin, you have the Germans, the French, the Russians, as well as the Ukrainians discussing the possibility of defusing what’s going on.
Now, President Macron was in Russia the other day. He was in Ukraine the other day as well. He discussed with those leaders perhaps something like making it similar to what we did or they did with Finland, neutralizing the country, so that it won’t become part of NATO. But, at the same time, it’s basically going to bend to what Moscow wants.
That might be a diplomatic outcome. But that doesn’t jibe with the Minsk accords of 2015 that both sides negotiated. And also keep in mind, back in 1994, under President Clinton, we had an agreement that, if the Ukrainians gave up their nuclear weapons to Moscow, then the West would prevent Moscow from taking advantage of Kyiv.
That doesn’t appear to be the case. But, at this point, Sandra, we find that the tanks, the personnel have left their motor pools, especially to the east. They’re in exercises in Belarus. As your reporter indicated, the ships have already gone through the Bosphorus. They are south of Odessa.
The stage is set if Putin decides to pull the trigger. And if he does, it will be something in concert with what he came to agreement with this past weekend with President Xi when he was in Beijing just before the Olympics.
SMITH: Maybe he’s already made up his mind.
MAGINNIS: Well, that’s quite possible.
All the back-and-forth between the leaders, Mr. Biden, Mr. Scholz, Macron, and Zelensky in Ukraine, he may have calculated, much like in 2014, after the Sochi Olympics, that he could go in and annex a part of Eastern Ukraine, which is quite possible, and then make that the buffer that he is saying to NATO that he needs.
But that would be just the first and probably not the last move on his part.
SMITH: It really struck me that, according to U.S. military and intelligence, this new assessment revealed that the Russian military could take nine different routes into Ukraine in a full-scale invasion, really something to watch.
We will see where this all goes next.
Colonel, really appreciate you joining us. Thank you, sir.
MAGINNIS: Thanks, Sandra.
SMITH: OK, Nevada joining New York and other blue states lifting those mask mandates. Now the guy behind this billboard in Times Square wants to know why the White House won’t do the same.
And the trucker standoff prompting something that could bring talks on — Molly.
MOLLY LINE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the Freedom Convoy continues. And there are big concerns about what it could mean for trade and supply chains across the country.
More on that coming up.
SMITH: To those protests in Canada.
Detroit-based automakers forced to scale back production as that bridge blockade is keeping traffic backed up. Could it be the impact on the auto industry that fuels talks to end the stalemate?
FOX News correspondent Molly Line is with us. She is live in Ottawa, Ontario. She’s got the latest from there.
LINE: Yes, well from Parliament Hill, the trucks still remain here on site firmly placed.
Police reporting that about 10 of them have left core of the city center, but the vast majority of protesters and truckers that are protesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandates remain in place.
And, as you mentioned, the Ambassador Bridge, this is another very significant scene in the effort that is under way by these truckers, the bridge there shut down, snarling traffic, which accounts for 25, roughly, percent of the trade between the U.S. and Canada, spanning from Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, where the mayor expressed fears for long-term economic damage, particularly regarding the auto industry, where plants are being heavily affected, including the Ford plant in Windsor forced to shut down production.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW DILKENS, MAYOR OF WINDSOR, ONTARIO: We have a lot of healing to do as a result of the pandemic. And it’s time for that healing to begin.
And, in Windsor, that healing can only start once the Ambassador Bridge reopens to international traffic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LINE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. leaders are raising supply chain concerns, while Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issuing a simple message to Canadian authorities: Reopen traffic on the bridge, noting automotive, manufacturing and agricultural businesses are feeling the effects.
Similar convoy protests have started revving up around the world, from France to New Zealand, and rumblings of a potential trucker convoy in the United States are taking form on the Internet. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesperson tells FOX the agency is — quote — “tracking reports of potential convoy that may be planning to travel to several U.S. cities. We have not observed specific calls for violence.”
But here on the ground, they remain in place at Parliament Hill and also at that very major bridge crossing — Sandra.
SMITH: Molly Line reporting live from Ontario for us, thank you.
And as those protests persist there, a growing number of Democratic states here are scrambling to lift mask mandates. What impact will all this have on the midterm elections?
Joining us now, Job Creators Network CEO Alfredo Ortiz and Democratic strategist Kristen Hawn.
Welcome to both of you.
ALFREDO ORTIZ, JOB CREATORS NETWORK: Thank you.
SMITH: Obviously, this is a debate that is happening all over this country right now.
Alfredo, as more states are now dropping these requirements, you are urging the White House to do the same with this new billboard in Times Square. Explain.
ORTIZ: Yes, Joe, timing to axe the mask. We really need to stop this.
And even his — in Delaware, his hometown state, Sandra, is really pulling these restrictions away. So, the dominoes are falling. Democratic governors one by one are starting to see the writing on the walls, and they’re all giving up on these mask mandates, and rightfully so.
It is extremely unpopular with Americans across the country, and, frankly, extremely unpopular mask mandates in schools. So, Joe Biden has the power to lift the federal mandate across all federal facilities. He has the power to lift the mandates in the air, public transportation, et cetera. I think it’s time for him for him to really do this.
SMITH: Kristen, Admiral Giroir was talking to Martha last hour. And it struck me, when she asked about the CDC and their guidance, whether or not that is still respected, based on now the fact that some of these Democratic-led states are rolling back these mask mandates, while the CDC and the White House are still urging them, he said it gives the appearance of them following, not leading.
KRISTEN HAWN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think it’s the — it’s a shame that the pandemic has been politicized the extent that it has.
Of course, nobody likes wearing masks. I mean, it’s — and we’re getting tired of it, despite — in addition to all the hundreds of thousands of people who have, unfortunately died.
It needs to be a scientific-based decision. And I think a lot of these governors are taking a look at, OK, we had a spike with the latest Omicron variant, and those numbers are coming down. And so now it’s responsible, go to school, lift a mask mandate, and it’s just a part of moving forward, which everybody wants to do.
SMITH: But are they leading or are they following?
And I will ask you, Alfredo, because right here in New York, kids are still required to wear masks in school. Dr. Siegel joined us during “America Reports” to say her decision was the opposite of what should have happened. She lifted the mask mandate on businesses. He said, if anything, keep it on for the businesses, and let these kids get back into the classroom, see their teachers’ faces, let them express themselves.
Because, if anywhere, he said, what we have learned during this pandemic is that in the classroom is where we see the lowest spread.
ORTIZ: Yes, that’s absolutely, Sandra, true.
I mean, when you look at the — excuse me — the social impact it has had on our children in our schools, it is devastating to think about that. And to think that Randi Weingarten, I believe, came out today and said, sure, we will go ahead and support lifting the mask mandates off our schools as soon as we get to zero transmission.
Zero transmission, Sandra?
SMITH: Yes, she it Tuesday, yes.
ORTIZ: I mean, come on. This is ridiculous.
When will it stop? And it is a shame that it has been politicized, but it was politicized by the Democrats to start with.
SMITH: And, Kristen, by the way, she said that while she was sitting on a TV set with TV anchors, and they all had their masks off.
I mean, if anything, can you please stand in solidarity with these kids? I mean, these kids are in the classroom eight hours a day wearing their masks, but yet those that are telling them to do so take them off so that they can be better understood and heard.
Case in point, Stacey Abrams in her apology for taking her mask in often a classroom filled with kids who were required to wear them, she said, well, I wanted to make sure that they could understand me.
We get it. But let the kids be understood and let them hear from their teachers.
HAWN: Yes, I think it’s time.
I mean, we have — just like everything else with this, we have learned so much about the science and how this impacts people over the course of the past two years. And we now know that the cases are dropping, the kids are being impacted, and it’s time for them to be able to communicate.
It’s also helpful that, hopefully, we’re going to have vaccines available for even the youngest children, which is helpful in helping them get back to a normal life and normal school life.
SMITH: And just we want them to thrive. We don’t want them just surviving, right?
But anyway, I always end by saying we love our teachers, we love our classrooms, our students, these schools. We want people to feel safe.
And, as Admiral Giroir said, let the — say that they could still wear the mask. Many kids might still choose to, many teachers as well, but just give them the choice.
SMITH: Great to have you both. Thank you for the discussion.
ORTIZ: Thanks, Sandra.
HAWN: Thank you.
SMITH: All right, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifting her stance on a stock trading ban for lawmakers, but with a catch — Aishah.
AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Sandra. That’s right.
Speaker Pelosi, the tide was too strong for her. She had to bow to her conference eventually. But she says, if she has to face a ban on stock trading, then so should everybody else in government.
More on that coming up.
SMITH: All right, well, Nancy Pelosi seems like she’s now open to some sort of stock trading ban for members of Congress, but with a condition.
FOX News correspondent Aishah Hasnie is live on that for us.
HASNIE: Hey there, Sandra.
Leave it to Speaker Pelosi to start a major conversation about government like this. Basically, she’s saying, look, if Congress has to face a ban on stock trading, then so should every other branch of government. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It has to be government-wide.
The third branch of government, the judiciary, has no reporting. The Supreme Court has no disclosure. It has no reporting of stock transactions. And it makes important decisions every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASNIE: And she’s right about. The judicial branch currently does not have a ban on stock trading. The executive branch essentially bans stock trading for Cabinet members and appointees.
And, finally, members of Congress, there is no ban, but they have to report their trading under the 2012 STOCK . That’s to prevent any conflicts of interests.
And, clearly, though, Sandra, it’s not working, because, according to recent media reports, at least 55 members of Congress violated that law and were slapped with fines. So, right now, we have got a number of bipartisan proposals in both the House and Senate. And there reportedly is some pushback from a couple of Democrats, who don’t like this idea.
And there’s also questions about whether lower- to middle-class Americans might be discouraged from serving in government if they can’t build a nest egg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): We want to make sure that those who come with business experience and have had success, that they aren’t disincentivized from coming here.
On the other hand, you don’t want to make it such that a member of Congress can become wealthy because of insider information they might have on the trading of individual stocks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASNIE: But, Sandra, there is overwhelming bipartisan support for some kind of ban. And this is coming together pretty fast — Sandra.
SMITH: Hey, Aishah Hasnie, reporting live on Capitol Hill for us.
Aishah, thank you.
And, by the way, coming up, we will have — Saturday morning, Senator Daines will be telling us more about his bill to ban stock trading in Congress, and — on “Cavuto Live” this Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. You will not want to miss that.
And are you dreading a trip to the supermarket ahead of the Super Bowl?
The Krazy Coupon Lady is here to help you score some deals to cut down on the pain.
SMITH: Well, here we go, just three days out from Super Bowl Sunday.
And those price hikes are taking a bite out of shoppers as they get ready for those parties.
Madison Alworth is here to break it all down for us — Madison.
MADISON ALWORTH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sandra, Super Bowl parties this Sunday are set to be the most expensive ones we have seen in 40 years. Inflation has officially hit 7.5 percent. And food is one of the big contributing factors.
Some of your Super Bowl favorites, they’re way up. Non-alcoholic beverages are up 5 percent, meats up over 13 percent. So expect to pay more for your burger. And poultry, that’s up over 9 percent.
And then, within those categories, certain items have skyrocketed. Chicken wings, for example, they’re up 53 percent in cost compared to last year.
Places like Dan and John’s Wings, you guys know that this is happening, you have heard that price increase. What have you guys had to do to adjust what you’re charging customers and what has the reaction been like?
JOHN HENNINGER, DAN AND JOHN’S WINGS: Yes, we have actually had to raise our prices significantly just to accommodate for our costs that’s been going up.
ALWORTH: And what have customers been saying about this increase cost?
HENNINGER: Yes, so we have some backlash, but most are pretty understanding.
ALWORTH: OK, thank you so much, John.
Most understanding because we’re seeing it across the board. Their 50 set of wings used to be $65, this year, $100. But here’s the thing, Sandra. Demand is still way up. They prepared 50,000 wings for this Sunday, and they’re almost all sold out.
We love our wings and we love our football — Sandra.
SMITH: Spicy or mild, I guess, is the only question then, Madison. Thank you.
And if you’re hosting a big bash for the big game, you’re going to want some deals to keep those grocery bills from sacking you.
who better to ask then Heather Wheeler, The Krazy Coupon Lady?
OK, so, Heather, thanks for joining us. We have got a bunch of things to go through. So give us some tips.
HEATHER WHEELER, THE KRAZY COUPON LADY: Yes.
SMITH: How can we save some cash at the grocery?
WHEELER: OK, so one of the biggest things is to be willing to shop at different stores.
Instead of heading to the same grocery store you always go to, think about other stores that you might not. So, drugstores actually have really good sales around the Super Bowl. You can get booze, you can get some liquor at CVS right now for 63 percent off with a store promotion and a rebate app. So that’s a good one.
Another thing you can do is actually look at store brands, instead of name brands. This is the best time of year, actually, to buy all that snacky food. All of your stores are going to be running really good promotions on both name brand and store.
So, just when you get to the aisle, let’s say, for chips, just compare those prices and make sure that maybe the store brand isn’t cheaper right now.
SMITH: Yes, go ahead.
WHEELER: Another thing that a lot of people don’t think about is, you can actually use coupons with clearance items.
And so you’re going to see — like, on the endcaps, you will notice a lot of clearance, things that are still good to buy and use, but that the stores are trying to clear out. And so look for produce, especially if you’re shopping for the Super Bowl and you know you’re going to be using it the same day or the next day. Look for produce on clearance and even meat.
It’s one of my favorite ways to save on meat right now is to go to your butcher, ask if they have any markdowns. Again, this is stuff you can still use. But then you’re getting your burgers for 20, 30 percent off.
SMITH: That — those are all great tips.
And I always say, wherever you’re shopping, go to the store’s Web site to see if they have any bar code scans that would help you out at the register as well to take those prices down.
WHEELER: Yes. Most…
SMITH: I have got — I have only got five seconds. Go ahead.
WHEELER: All right, thanks so much.
Yes, the Ibotta app is another good one.
SMITH: Oh, yes.
WHEELER: They have like six freebies right now that you can get for the Super Bowl.
SMITH: These are all great tips.
SMITH: Thanks so much, and have a great Super Bowl Sunday.
WHEELER: Yes, thank you.
SMITH: And that will do it for us.
Thank you so much for watching. Remember to catch me and John Roberts on “America Reports” Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Thanks for joining us here on “Your World.” I’m Sandra Smith, in for Neil Cavuto.
And “The Five” starts now.
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