Live

Watch CBSN Live

Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on October 10, 2021

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Rep. Adam Schiff, (D) California, Author, "Midnight in Washington"
  • Fiona Hill, Former National Security Council Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs
  • Mary C. Daly, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA Commissioner
  • Chris Krebs, CBS News Cybersecurity Expert and Analyst, Partner, Krebs Stamos Group, Former Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Anthony Salvanto, CBS News Elections & Surveys Director  

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm Margaret Brennan in Washington. And this week on FACE THE NATION, the challenges facing America continue to grow as Democrats in Washington's window of opportunity to make bold changes continues to narrow. After yet another cringeworthy display of partisan politics over the nation's ability to pay its bills, a disappointing jobs report. Growing fears about inflation and supply-chain problems and sharpening battle lines on the vaccine, President Biden continues to be upbeat yet realistic.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Things in Washington, as you all know, are awfully noisy. Turn on the news and every conversation is a confrontation. Every disagreement is a crisis. We're making consistent, steady progress though.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But time is of the essence because this is in the President's rear-view mirror.

DONALD TRUMP: Our nation's comeback begins in November 2022 when we're going to reclaim the House and we're going to reclaim the United States Senate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll have fresh insights into what Americans are thinking in our new CBS news poll. Then we'll ask St. Francisco FED President Mary Daly what's slowing our jobs recovery. With the Pfizer vaccine for children between 5 and 11 nearing FDA fast-track approval, we'll get an update on how soon that shot could be available from former FDA commissioner and Pfizer board member Doctor Scott Gottlieb.

Plus, a closer look at disinformation, misinformation, and their threat to democracy. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's new book is "Midnight in Washington."

Former Trump administration Russia expert Fiona Hill has just written, "There Is Nothing For You Here."

Rounding out our conversations, CBS News cybersecurity expert and analyst Chris Krebs.

It's all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. After last week's disappointing jobs report and the latest round of budget battles on Capitol Hill, we are reminded yet again that covid continues to be the biggest drag on our economic recovery. We begin with CBS News Senior National Correspondent Mark Strassmann in Atlanta this morning.

(Begin VT)

WOMAN #1: (Expletive Deleted) people.

WOMAN #2: Hey, can you watch your language? You, there are around kids.

MARK STRASSMANN (CBS News Senior National Correspondent): More than a moment, short of a disorder, COVID America has functioning anxiety, day after day, living with this lingering virus.

CROWD (in unison): We will not comply. We will not comply.

MARK STRASSMANN: Upset, uncertain, on edge, frustrated other people who ironically feel the same way won't come to their senses.

MAN: We want to end this pandemic. We're all exhausted by it.

MARK STRASSMANN: Including most vaccinated Americans. Our new CBS poll found 56% of them said they were at risk because of the unvaccinated. The virus with no end in sight has killed more than 700,000 Americans. There is some hope, cases now declining in 32 states.

WOMAN #3: One, two, three.

MARK STRASSMANN: And Pfizer is hoping its vaccine for kids, ages 5 to 11, gets emergency approval by the end of the month. Not a moment too soon as the Delta variant remains pitiless. Our relationship status with America's economy also complicated, cash-happy consumers want to spend, but too often the message in stores: We're out of that. Empty grocery shelves in North Carolina, food shortages for school. And yet off the coast of Southern California a half million shipping containers wait for unloading. Even good news seems to come with a catch. Take America's new jobless rate: Less than 5%. Fewer than 200,000 new jobs were created last month, a major disappointment.

Even with millions of openings, employers can't find good help these days or any help. Millions of jobless people now stay home. Why risk working and catching COVID, especially for mediocre money.

WOMAN #4: What do we want?

CROWD (in unison): (INDISTINCT).

WOMAN #4: When do we want it?

CROWD (in unison): Now.

MARK STRASSMANN: At Buffalo's Mercy Hospital, this strike has drifted into its second week. Hundreds of health care workers demanding more staffing and better pay. They are stressed and they've had it. Sound familiar?

(End VT)

MARK STRASSMANN: More pandemic stress is on its way for private employers. Osha is still working on issuing emergency guidance for mandatory vaccinations and testing for any company that employs at least a hundred people. At least 24 states have promised to fight it. Margaret?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark, thank you. We want to take a look at America's views on some of those challenges facing the country, and particularly how President Biden is handling them. Our CBS News poll out today indicates that the President's approval rating is at 50%. It has stabilized following the chaotic Afghanistan pullout, and is underpinned by positive views on handling the COVID outbreak and distribution. But Americans' view of the economy has steadily decreased since this summer. Less than 40% now think it's in good shape. Joining us now is CBS News Director of Elections and Surveys Anthony Salvanto. Good morning to you, Anthony.

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Good morning, Margret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony, time and again we hear it is the virus that determines the direction of the economy. So, with that in mind, what are Americans telling you about whether or not they're willing to vaccinate their children when it becomes available for 5 to 11 year olds?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, not everybody would. And I think that sets up one of the key numbers to track as we go forward in the next phase of fighting this pandemic. You've got just over a third who say immediately yes they would. You've got almost as many who immediately say no they would not. And then you've got folks in the middle who are maybes. I should add that there is a strong connection between whether the parents themselves are vaccinated and whether they would get their kids, 5 to 11, vaccinated. That's a majority of vaccinated parents who would, and it's a majority of unvaccinated parents who say they would not. We've been tracking this in our polling, in this and throughout the year. It's a mixture of very personal reasons, but also some that have a political tinge to it. So there are folks, the majority of them unvaccinated, who say they're worried about the side effects for themselves. But there is also a majority that say they don't trust the government. Some who are skeptical that they don't think that the vaccine works.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So given all of that, what are Americans telling you about what they're willing to do right now when it comes to going out and spending?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Yeah. And this is so important for the economy going forward. First of all, as the holiday season approaches, people are thinking about who they're going to visit, who they gather with, right? There's a quarter of folks who tell us that this holiday season they're only going to gather with other vaccinated people, that they're vaccinated. And there are some who think it will be a mixture of gathering both vaxxed and unvaxxed. But there is a third who say they're not sure or they won't check. Maybe that's an awkward conversation to have. Maybe they don't know how to raise it. So that's something to watch in terms of behavior and how people go out and who they hang out with. Then there is the economy in terms of where people go and spend money. Well, for the vaccinated people, they say they'd would be more comfortable if they knew there were vaccine requirements to, for example, get on a plane, go to a restaurant, even go back to their workplace. And that's the majority of people, so that economic impact could be pretty strong if they feel comfortable. Maybe that puts more pressure on businesses to put those kinds of requirements in place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony, President Biden said that it was the virus impacting the jobs and hiring, but also said that if his spending packages are passed, that it will help to alleviate all of this. How is his effort to get this passed resonating?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, first and foremost, a lot of people say they don't know what's in the proposal. In fact, it's only one in ten that thinks they feel they-- they know a lot of the specifics. Then we went and we tested individual items in this, and what we learned was that people are more familiar with the potential costs and the spending aspects in dollar figures than they are with any of the particular policies that might end up in it. So, have a look at this: you've got a majority of people who say they've heard something about that it might be 3.5 trillion in spending. You've got a majority of people who say they've heard something about potential tax increases for higher-income people. But that really outweighs the number of people who've heard about things like lowering Medicare drug prices or Medicare coverage being expanded to dental and eye and hearing. Now, there is good news for Democrats in this, too, even though there is this lack of knowledge, and that is that those pol-- those policy proposals are popular in principle. Where does that all leave you, though? Well, there aren't a majority of people who feel like this bill right now would help them and their family or help the economy. That's part of that disconnect and that lack of awareness, and this is going to be, I think, the big measure to watch going forward. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony, thank you.

We go now to California Democrat Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he is also on the panel investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. And the author of a new book, "Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could." We'll get into all of that shortly. But, Congressman, I want to start on the economy. You just heard the public doesn't really know what's in this massive spending bill Democrats are trying to muscle through along party lines. Isn't this a significant problem for the party?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-California/Chair, Intelligence Committee/Author, "Midnight in Washington"/@RepAdamSchiff): I can't quarrel with any of the polling results. I think I hear the same thing that not enough Americans know what's in this bill, but when they find out they really applaud what's in it, in particular, expanding Medicare to cover hearing and dental and vision care, lowering prescription drug prices, expanding family and paid medical leave, as well as childcare and lifting children out of poverty. So the provisions of the bill are hugely popular, but there's been so much fixation on what's the number that the House and Senate are going to agree to, what's the number that Democrats can come together on? I do think this is a very short-lived problem. We're going to get both of these bills passed. They're going to be enormously important to the economy. And once we do, we're not going to make the mistake I think we did with the Affordable Care Act. We're going to go out and we're going to promote this and let people know how it's directly impacting them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But don't Democrats need to get ahead of that messaging now? I mean, you have unified control. This is going-- you need to show you can govern.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, that's exactly right. And-- and we do. And one thing that I think President Biden has been pitch perfect on that all of us need to amplify is, this is, you know, first and foremost about helping Americans get through this awful pandemic and helping their families cope and survive economically. But it is also key to the pro-democracy agenda that we have, and that is we have to show that our democracy can deliver.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but that's the challenge is when you're doing it only on party lines, it once again looks to people at home like, they can't get along, Washington's not working again.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, look, we have a Republican Party that is now an autocratic cult around Donald Trump. It is not interested in governing. It's not interested in even maintaining the-- the solvency and the credit worthiness of the country. And we have to recognize that they're not interested in governing. And so, we're going to govern, we're going to have to do it. And if we have to do it with our own votes, we will do that. But we need to show that democracy delivers, that it can help people put food on the table, that it can address these huge disparities in income.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: There's so much reason why our democracy is at this fragile point right now, and we need to foremost deliver on the economy, but also on-- on voting rights and stop these efforts to disenfranchise people.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You just made an incredible statement about an autocratic cult. This is one of the themes in your book. You aren't often compared to conservative writers like Robert Kagan, but you come to basically the same conclusion he just did in a very widely read essay where he says essentially that it's the Republican Party that is trying to lay the groundwork to challenge the next few elections. You say preparing the battlefield for the struggle to overturn the election, should they regain majorities in Congress, they might be successful. You're saying we're on the cusp of a constitutional crisis?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Yes. And this is really why I wrote the book because I want it to sound the alarm that our democracy is hanging by a thread right now. As a member of the January 6th committee, you know, I have to acknowledge there may be another violent attack on the Capitol, but what is even more pressing a threat is what we see Republicans doing around the country taking this big lie about the last election and running with it. And I wanted to tell the story in this book about how-- how does that happen, how in four short years does our democracy become so threatened? And one of the terrible realizations for me is that so many of the people I worked with across the aisle, who I admired and respected because I believe that they believed what they were saying, turned out not to believe it at all. That the only thing that they cared about was the maintenance of their power or position.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: And I want to show people how that happens, how-- how people start by making small compromises of their morality and their values and their ideology and end up completely capitulating because one of the things we discovered in-- in the impeachment trial, but really both trials is that there's nothing wrong about our Constitution. The provisions are brilliant. But unless they're animated by people who-- who give content to their oath that-- that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --understand the importance of right and wrong, none of it works. And right now, we saw Grassley in Iowa yesterday, unable to condemn the President's effort to-- to get the Justice Department to overturn the election. Scalise this morning, another Republican leader--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --unable to acknowledge that the election wasn't stolen. It's these personal capitulations that are putting our country at risk.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And-- and that's a shift from where Senator Grassley, who accepted the President-- former President's endorsement, was right after the events of January 6th. But I want to come back to where you lay blame because you say it's "we, the country who made Donald Trump possible. We-- he would not have been able to batter and break so many of our Democratic norms had we not let him, had we not been capable of endless rationalization, had we not forgotten why we came to office in the first place…" What responsibility do you think Democrats have for damaging the faith of the country, as well?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Look, I think Democrats have been defending our democracy for the last five years. We have put up a valiant fight for the heart and soul of this country, so I really can't lay the blame at the Democratic Party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You don't take any responsibility.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, look, I-- as I acknowledge in my book, there are lots of things I could have done differently or better. But at the end of the day, one of our two great parties has completely abandoned its ideology. It has made itself an anti-truth, anti-Democratic cult of the former President, and the responsibility is on that party to once again become a party of ideas. And there are some hopeful signs.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: And-- and one of the-- the things I want to emphasize in the book, too, is there are also some great profiles in courage that emerge from this period. One of them you're going to have on your show later today, Fiona Hill. But Marie Yovanovitch and Alexander Vindman, people like Dan Coats--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --you know, Republicans like Dan Coats, who-- who did their duty, defended--

MARGARET BRENNAN: The former--

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --the intelligence community wouldn't carry out the President's big lies. And we need to be inspired by those examples because we all have a role to play right now in the preservation of this democracy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Before I let you go, I need to ask you about the January 6th committee. When will you get hold of the documents that the White House has said they're okay with Congress taking the Trump era documents?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, very soon, I hope, and I--

MARGARET BRENNAN: What are you looking for?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --I applaud the Biden administration for not asserting executive privilege, not trying to, because it's protecting its own prerogative, deprive the American people of the full facts. So--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --hats off to the administration. We should, I think, get those documents soon because the sitting President has the primary say in executive privilege. We also want to make sure that these witnesses come in and testify--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --and we are prepared to go forward and urge the Justice Department to criminally prosecute--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --anyone who does not do their lawful duty.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will watch that carefully. Congressman, thank you for your time today.

We'll be back in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We're going to look now at the economy. Mary Daly is president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. Good morning to you.

MARY DALY: Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is job growth stalling?

MARY DALY (President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco/@marydalyecon): It is a volatile period we're in right now, COVID is not behind us, so I don't expect the job market to just be continuous. It is going to have these ups and downs, especially with the Delta variant. So, I think it's too soon to say it's stalling, but certainly we're seeing the pain of COVID, and the pain of the Delta variant impact the labor market.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But do you think you underestimated Delta's impact?

MARY DALY: Well, I always expected Delta to take a toll, just not put us into another recession, and we're seeing that toll. We're seeing this disrupt families, disrupt schooling, disrupt people's ability to get to work and feel safe about it. And you're-- you see this in the monthly data, but you also see it in-- in any community you walk around. Delta has-- has taken a toll. But it hasn't yet derailed us, and I-- and I don't have a different view than I had on it when we first started. It's going to be hard and as goes COVID, so goes the economy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, women are driving this decline. If you look at the numbers, last month, twenty-six thousand jobs lost, more than men. Women are taking themselves out of the market. The participation rate is down. Black women in particular are suffering. What is behind these losses? And when do we reach the point where the damage is long term?

MARY DALY: Well, it's way too early to say the damage is long term, but we have to recognize that women, in particular women with children who are caring for elderly parents or caring for anyone, they're under siege. They've been at this since COVID came to our shores and now they're dealing with this. We thought school might save it, right? People would go back to school; kids would go back to school and women could take a deep breath. But what we see is that when a kid gets COVID because they're not yet vaccinated and not able to get vaccinated, the classrooms are quarantined. A friend of mine has a business herself, her husband has a business. She has a kid who gets quarantined. Now she's got to home school one kid. And send the other kid to school. That is hard. And ultimately, it's exhausting and women withdraw and say, I need to take care of my family. And when we're past COVID, we'll get through this. So I know they're all out there saying, let's get vaccinated and let's get this COVID thing completely behind us.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Since the beginning of the pandemic, U.S. taxpayers have pumped about six trillion dollars into trying to stabilize the economy through some of these congressional packages. Our CBS News poll, I want to show you two things here: sixty percent of those polled think the President is not doing enough to combat inflation and forty-six percent think that his new social spending plan would hurt inflation. In other words, it would push up the prices they pay. Should Americans be concerned?

MARY DALY: Well, right now, Americans are feeling it in their pocketbooks. Everyone's feeling the rising prices for energy, food, basic services, and that's painful because they-- they aren't-- we aren't used to seeing it. It's-- it's eye popping in some categories. And of course, that's challenging, especially for low and moderate-income families who were-- they spend most of their money on food and energy. So, this is really hard. And it's also really directly related to COVID. It's related to the supply bottlenecks, to the disruptions. That we can't get in the global economy people fully back to work. We can't in the U.S. get people fully back to work. We have these really anxious to get out there and spend consumers--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

MARY DALY: --hitting the wall of supply constraints and of course, the prices are going to-- to rise. But I don't see this as a long-term phenomena. And the issue again comes back to, if we can get through COVID, we'll get back to the normal conditions where we're more used to and the ones we all want.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you don't see the spending-- the emergency spending as inflationary?

MARY DALY: Well, any time you spend, it's going to add additional pressure to the demand that's going on in the economy. So the-- the key is if the spending that we do as consumers is coupled with the expansion of supply, then we're going to be fine. But if it-- if we continue to have supply bottlenecks and we keep spending, then we're going to have more inflation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. Well, I-- I was pointing there to the President and the flak he might take based on our poll. But I want to ask you, since you are out in California, we mentioned all those ships off the coast, container ships unable to come to ports in Los Angeles, in Long Beach. How will these kind of delays impact holiday spending?

MARY DALY: Well, right now we see consumers trying to get out early and spend their money to get their goods before they run out. What I really see happening is that people are going to have longer wait times. If you're trying to buy something for the holidays, people are buying it now and they're being told oftentimes they can't get it until after the holiday has passed. So there are going to be delays. There are going to be continued bottlenecks. There's probably going to be some pressure on holiday item prices, and we're going to have to continue to get through that. The key again, is just get more supply to the labor market, to the goods market so that we can get through this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Mary Daly, thank you for your analysis and for joining us today. We'll be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Don't go away. Doctor Scott Gottlieb is coming up next. And he's got an update on when the Pfizer vaccine might be available for children under twelve. Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including a look at Facebook under fire and misinformation on social media.

If you're not able to watch the full FACE THE NATION, you can set your DVR or we're available on demand. Plus, you can watch us through our CBS or Paramount Plus app. Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We go now to former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb, who also sits on the board of Pfizer and is the author of "Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID 19 Crushed US and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic." Doctor, Pfizer applied for emergency approval for children ages 5 to 11 to be able to get a vaccine. Is it reasonable to assume that by Thanksgiving, we could see children fully vaccinated?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D. (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): I think that's certainly reasonable in terms of when this would be available. FDA is meeting October 26th, their advisory committee to discuss this application. Assuming that they authorize the use of the vaccine, CDC's Advisory Committee is going to meet on November 2nd and 3rd and make a final decision about who should be eligible for the vaccine. And assuming both of those events go well, and you get a positive recommendation out of both the FDA and CDC, this should be available almost immediately after the CDC makes a final recommendation and be available in pharmacies and perhaps pediatricians' offices as well. Pfizer plans to ship this vaccine in smaller vials and also smaller trays that could make it more accessible to more pediatric-- pediatric practices.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's interesting, so perhaps more readily available than when the adults went through the process. According to the poll that we started our program with today, more than a third of parents say they will vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds right away. A quarter of them will wait and see. I'm wondering what that says to you and what you would be looking for in the language from the CDC when they explain this to the public?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Yeah, look, I was actually encouraged by the results of that survey, there's a lot of parents like me that as soon as the vaccines available for their children are going to go out and get their kids vaccinated, that see the benefits of vaccination. There's a lot of-- parents that still have a lot of questions around vaccination. I think for them, they should have a conversation with their pediatrician to try to get comfortable with the idea of vaccinating kids. We now have the opportunity by the availability of this vaccine to more fully vanquish this virus and protect a broader swath of the population in terms of what CDC is likely to do. I think the question is whether or not they're going to say that this vaccine should be used in kids ages 5 to 11 or may be used in kids ages 5 to 11 and then perhaps innumerate kids who are at higher risk for whom a strong consideration should be made about deploying the vaccine. I think CDC is likely to take a very cautious approach in children ages 5 to 11, in part because they're at less risk from COVID, in part because this is a new vaccine. We're still collecting data about it and it's a novel virus. And so, there's still some things we don't know. But I think there's a lot of information available. It certainly makes me confident about vaccinating my kids. And for those parents are still have a lot of questions. I would urge them to have a discussion with their pediatrician about the pros and cons of vaccination.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And this is a third of the size of the-- of the dose given to adults. Correct?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: That's right. And for younger kids, kids ages six months to four years, which is still in development, it's going to be even a smaller dose, one tenth the dose that's used in adults.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, parents of young kids like me will still have to wait. That's an update on the timeline there that you just gave us. Is it going to be more difficult to get approval for the smaller-- the smallest of children for the infants? I mean, are we looking really far down the line?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Not really far down the line, I think there is some indication based on the experience with this vaccine where FDA asked for additional information, as well as some feedback that Pfizer has gotten from the agency, that the clinical trials in kids ages six months to two years and then two years to four years. So, it's two different trials, could be a little bit larger and a little bit longer in terms of the follow up period that's required and that could push it into 2022. Previously, we had talked about trying to have that data available before the end of this year, which could have prompted an authorization, perhaps by the end of the year, at least in kids ages two to four. I think it's more likely that it slips into the first quarter of next year, at the very least, but not too far into next year. Ultimately, this is going to be discussed at the advisory committee that FDA has on the 26th. So, a final recommendation about how large those trials need to be and how long the follow up period needs to be is going to be made at that point. I think, look, the agency has been moving cautiously here, but you know, with speed recognizing the importance of getting a vaccine available for children. I think ultimately, if we can derive more information, it gives more people confidence about using this vaccine and puts CDC in a better position to make a more confident recommendation. Ultimately, the public health is going to be served better by that, even if it means that it ends up slipping a month or two. So that might be the outcome here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you've said previously on this program that eventually you do think that the COVID vaccine will be added to the-- the list of requirements for kids to walk into the school room. The CDC puts it together, governors are the ones who mandate what your children need to be vaccinated with. When do you expect it to be mandated for elementary school children?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Yeah, look, I think it's a very long way off. Certainly, CDC is going to look at children ages 12 to 17 differently than 5 to 11 and the older kids, the high school kids and middle school kids, do seem to get into trouble more with COVID. It's harder to control in those settings, so that's going to be considered separately. But even that's, I think, a multi-year effort. I don't think that it's going to happen any time soon. CDC is going to want to see the post-pandemic experience, how much virus is going to be circulating after the pandemic and how much of a risk it poses to children. They're also going to want to collect a lot more long-term data in kids. And so, you know, twelve to seventeen could be a couple of years away, perhaps a little longer. I think five to eleven is even longer than that. You're going to want to get more experience in those children. And that's barring anything unexpected. I mean, if we do get a new variant and this becomes very hard to control in children, if we get something that is causing more problems in kids, you could see an earlier decision. But given our current trajectory, where we are, that we are starting to get control of this virus, I think that CDC is going to act very cautiously. And just final point on this, if you look historically at past vaccines, the time between when they're licensed and when CDC incorporates them into the childhood immunization schedule is a multi-year effort. HPV was first licensed in 2006 and wasn't recommended until 2016. Hepatitis A was first licensed in 1995 and wasn't recommended until 2000. So, you've seen it be a multi-year effort between when these things get licensed initially and when CDC ultimately puts them into the recommended schedule for children.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you told us that the youngest of kids won't likely have a vaccine by the time we gather at Christmas time. Something that caught my eye this week was the Biden administration's announcement. A billion dollars that they're announcing in at-home testing. Is that the practical plan for people over the next few weeks? Do they need to go out and buy at-home tests to know whether they can get together with their loved ones?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Yeah, I do think so. Look, I think every household should have a supply of at-home tests, that's what they're doing in the U.K. and for people who are priced out of the market, these tests are not cheap. I think the government can be doing a lot more to subsidize the availability of those tests, perhaps distributing them, for example, in the Medicaid program. It looks to be what the Biden administration is aiming to do. I think when you're gathering around the holidays, you have to assess the circumstances. If you have younger kids who are unvaccinated with older relatives who are vaccinated, but still could be vulnerable from a breakthrough infection, using testing--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: --to try to protect that setting, I think, makes a lot of sense. That's certainly what I try to do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Doctor Gottlieb, thank you for the advice.

We'll be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Last week, a former Facebook employee told lawmakers that the company knew its products were harmful to children and teens, stoked political division and spread disinformation. To help explain it all, we now go to CBS News cybersecurity analyst Chris Krebs. Good morning to you.

CHRIS KREBS (CBS News Cybersecurity Expert and Analyst/@C_C_Krebs/Partner, Krebs Stamos Group): Morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What I thought was so interesting about this whistleblower is how clearly she communicated some things that are frankly often misunderstood or just too opaque. And one of the things that she highlighted was that social media is complicit, frankly, in knowingly allowing their platforms to be used this way. Under current law, internet companies are exempt from liability for what's posted on their platforms. Should that be reformed?

CHRIS KREBS: Oh, absolutely. I think there were three takeaways that I had, at least, from her testimony and then the 60 MINUTES piece last week. First was yes, in fact, she was very well prepared and-- and was very articulate in the way she communicated the issues. The second is that effectively what we're talking about, Facebook and others, are data monopolies. They-- they control the information, and they control what's released and available to the public. And-- and the third piece, as you point out, the Communications Decency Act of 19-- what is it '96 or '97, Section 230 that provides immunity to these data companies, these tech platforms and others needs to be reformed and that the algorithms and the-- the advertisements and the other ways that the companies generate revenue should-- should very likely be-- those protections should be stripped away.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, one of the things that she described was how outrage generates more engagement, that it is literally embedded in the technology to feed the extremes and continue to feed them. Who takes on a bigger role to try to offset some of that?

CHRIS KREBS: Well, when you step back and you look at whether it's disinformation, misinformation or just online discourse, you have to split it up into a supply and demand problem as I see it. On the demand side, there is still a significant amount of, you know, interest in uptake for a lot of the rage that you-- that you mentioned. But the platforms, as you know, as we've been talking about, have, you know, they-- they generate revenue, they get more engagement for them is a good thing. And those are the sorts of things that-- that we need to-- we need to take a harder look at. But as I had already mentioned, the biggest issue here is that we do not have enough insight and information around these algorithms and what drives the-- the sprawl of information. And so, yeah, I've likened it to we're-- we're in a post-Enron moment where we don't have enough visibility, there's not enough transparency. And so, we're going to need some equivalent of Sarbanes-Oxley that requires these platforms to provide access to security researchers, to journalists, to regulators. And yes, regulation is absolutely-- should be on the table for Congress. And I think this is one of those few areas right now where we have an opportunity for bipartisan engagement.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And-- and it's interesting because an AP poll done recently shows that there is recognition that misinformation is a problem and there is bipartisan support. It's just kind of figuring out how to do it that's the challenge. You know, one of the other places that I know you've looked at that there is some misinformation is on TV, on cable news. And there was a report done by Reuters this week saying that the network AT&T helped build a far-right channel. AT&T denied this, that they had no financial interest in this. But how significant do you think these other platforms are in spreading information that is manipulative?

CHRIS KREBS: I think that's got to be part of the conversation, the online platforms, because today we might be talking about social media platform-- platforms. You know, tomorrow who knows what the technology is going to be. And so, we really have to think through the legal frameworks that provide the-- the, you know, the unfettered opportunities out there to-- to spread inform-- misinformation. But to the-- the point about AT&T and OAN and whether in fact that is true, it is in a-- you know, it's in court documents, but it's-- that's why it's so important for researchers and journalists to have access so the market can make decisions. With imperfect information, we make imperfect decisions. But this allows the market to vote with their dollars and, you know, I'm probably switching off AT&T personally to another wireless carrier. So, these are the sorts of, and this is the sort of information we need more broadly so that the market can make decisions and that we can make informed sound policy going forward.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, talking about politics, you ran the rumor control site for the 2020 election in your previous role when you were within Homeland Security. What you said and the work you did on that is one of the reasons why President Trump fired you. Last night, he again stood at a rally in Iowa and called for the complete overhaul of our election systems. These calls are not going away. Do you think that there is an active effort underway to undermine elections as Congressman Schiff started off our program saying?

CHRIS KREBS: Without question, it's happening at four different levels. Both state legislatures and state elected officials, some of the folks running for secretary of state in Arizona and Georgia, but we're also seeing it in the U.S. Congress. The minority whip was on Fox News this morning with Chris Wallace, and he was talking about how the-- the election was-- was effectively stolen. He will not admit that Biden won-- that President Biden won fair and square. And so, what we're seeing is-- as Congressman Schiff mentioned, is this constant erosion of confidence in the elect-- the electoral system. And it is ultimately anti-Democratic and we're-- we're frankly in a death spiral as I see it. And, you know, two years, four years at the ballot box isn't good enough, and there have to be other accountability measures for those that are going to continue to proliferate these lies.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's an incredible statement. You're a lifelong Republican, and-- and you are acknowledging and pointing to leadership encouraging some of these things. How is that possible that this continues to happen?

CHRIS KREBS: I mean, it's-- it's base-- it's captured by the base, right? I mean, they're-- they're afraid to speak up because they're afraid the former President is going to try too primary them. And then the other piece is that they've activated and lost control of their-- their voting base, the people that are going to put him in power. And they know that if they go against the former President that not only will he speak out against them, but they're going to-- you know, they're going to start seeing people show up at their town hall. I mean, you've actually seen Republican members of Congress stop holding town halls because they've over activated their base and it's gotten out of control. And so the-- again, this is a death spiral. They've lost control and they don't have the ability to-- to rein it back in.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Chris Krebs, thank you very much for your analysis, though you've given me some heartburn. Thank you. It's always good to talk to you.

We will be back in a moment.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to bring in another former Trump White House adviser, Fiona Hill. She was the senior director at the National Security Council and a key witness in President Trump's first impeachment trial in 2019. Her new book is called "There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century." Good morning to you.

FIONA HILL (Former NSC Senior Director for European & Russian Affairs/Author, "There is Nothing For You Here"): Morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that title comes from something that your father, a coal miner in the north of England, told you when you were coming of age. And I wonder what you would say looking at this country to some coming of age right now, is there anything for them here?

FIONA HILL: Well, I think it's the question that everyone's asking themselves, right? I mean, this could be taken as even a political observation. A lot of people are feeling somewhat alienated from, you know, the politics, as we've been hearing through the segments. But there's also in so many parts of the United States, a lot of questions that people are having about their education and their educational future, particularly with COVID and all of the economic problems that we're seeing everything you've been covering in all of the segments. People wondering how they're going to get a job. Are they going to be able to make a better life-- a life for themselves than their parents had, which is always the expectation in America. I mean, I think that's the whole premise that the country's been--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

FIONA HILL: --based on is the idea that your children, your grandchildren, will live better than you. And I think that that's the big issue we're grappling with right now is whether that's still possible.

MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the things that I think is interesting is that you were an intelligence analyst, so you can apply that eye, that critical eye to this country, just like you would a foreign country. So when you apply it to the United States right now, you use terms like "the politics of cultural despair," "fertile ground for populist politics." How dangerous is this moment?

FIONA HILL: I think this dangerous-- the moment is incredibly dangerous. I mean, we are in a dangerous moment. People are talking about a prospective constitutional crisis, we're already in it. I mean, I was listening very attentively to what Chris Krebs was saying, somebody who I worked with extremely closely. And when Chris had to basically call out domestic threats to the election, during the 2020 presidential election, it should have been obvious to everyone. He was the Department of Homeland Security. His whole job was to push back against external threats, not against domestic actors who were trying to undermine the integrity of the election or to cast a doubt on it. When he had to speak out in public in the way that he did, it should have been an alarm bell to anyone watching.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you had the National Security eye as well. When you look at the politics of the moment, that you describe as dangerous, do you see a difference between populism on the right and populism on the left? Do you see them as equally potentially threatening?

FIONA HILL: Unfortunately, I'm seeing the populism on the right is the most threatening at the moment. The populism on the left contributes to the overall atmosphere of polarization, you know, but very sadly, it's on the right that we're seeing the main threats. It's actors on the right, not just in Congress and in the Senate, you know, places where you'd actually expect people to be upholding their oath of office to the Constitution and to the people, but it's actors on that right who are also basically calling for violence against fellow Americans and at all times are talking down the integrity of the election system. And of course, we've just had the rally that President Trump conducted in Iowa, clearly prepping for his return to the presidency, a presidency he says that he's never left because he's saying that the election was stolen away from him and you know, in the poll of the rally, about eighty-five percent of his speech at the rally was all about the stealing of the election. I mean, basically perpetrating a lie.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, and that's exactly why I've been asking that is the groundwork being laid question, because certainly that seemed to be the message here. You know, in the book Peril, Robert Costa--

FIONA HILL: Mm-Hm.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --and Bob Woodward wrote, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, at the end of it, is quoted as comparing the January 6th, siege of the Capitol, to The Great Dress Rehearsal. You're a Russia analyst,--

FIONA HILL: Exactly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --you know immediately what that phrase is, which is what Lenin called an uprising that preceded the revolution. I read that and I said, "Dear God."

FIONA HILL: Yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean, he, the general, is saying that this is a precursor potentially to further violence? Is this overstating things in a historical sense?

FIONA HILL: He's not overstating it at all because-- I mean, we all saw in real time what happened on January 6th at the Capitol building, and General Milley was absolutely right. Any student of history, but any observer of even American politics over the last decade-- I mean, when have we seen something like this before? We haven't. Not in our lifetimes. We've seen episodes, you know, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement and of course, during Vietnam, where there were protests. But storming the Capitol building of the United States? I mean, this is exactly the thing that you think of in historical revolutions. Storming the Bastille during the French Revolution, storming the Winter Palace during the Russian Revolution that General Milley was alluding to. And as he was saying, we've seen many historical episodes where there is violence, people discount it. They think that this is just a passing occurrence. You know, Vice President Pence has been downplaying it, even though he would have been targeted. He was targeted. They wanted to lynch him. And then, you know, people sweeping this away, saying nothing happened here. And the next time around, you get the real thing where people actually do seize those major buildings. And I said that also in the book that this was, in effect, a dress rehearsal for something that could be happening near term in 2022, 2024. We've got election cycles here that will heighten the tensions. And once people start talking about violence, once the threshold is crossed, we're in a danger zone.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But there are so many people who will look at the investigation Chairman Schiff is working on and say that's just politics, that's just political messaging. They'll look at the violence-- I've heard people tell me this on Capitol Hill and just say, "That's a riot. A few crazy people." Not the precursor or a-- a dry run of a coup, as the general put it, in the terms of that you are right now. I mean, how do you respond to people saying you're overreacting essentially?

FIONA HILL: Well, people are saying that because they don't have any personal experience of these kinds of events. But I can certainly tell you as an immigrant, as somebody who came to the United States in 1989 against the backdrop of the crumbling of the Berlin Wall and the backdrop of the end of the Cold War, I also know immigrants, you know, like myself who came from war zones, who came from places like the former Yugoslavia or places like, you know, Sri Lanka, which is being pulled apart by civil war and conflict. Afghanistan, Syria, you know, you name it. All of the people that I know who are immigrants are looking around and saying, can't people see this? We've come from war torn societies. All of the hallmarks are here. So perhaps, you know, Americans should talk to some of their neighbors who've come from somewhere else--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

FIONA HILL: --and who came to the United States to flee just this kind of occurrence and have them tell them what their personal experience was.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. All right. Fiona Hill, thank you for your analysis. We'll be back.

FIONA HILL: Thank you.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.