tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News February 25, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
gulf of mexico. there were pulled from frigid waters last week, they couldn't swim, their bodies began to freeze. but the temperatures are back in the 70s and the turtles are back in the water. >> jesse: all right. i think bret baier is interviewing the turtles tonight on "special report." mitch mcconnell with bret baier. could you ask mitch mcconnell a question for us? i want to get his answer on mr. potato head going genderless? i want to see what he thinks about that, ask him that. >> bret: what happened to mrs. potato head, right? [laughter] she now also genderless? >> greg: she disappeared on a hiking trip. to be when you have any other questions for senator mcconnell? >> jesse: you don't like the genderless thing? >> bret: i think it's okay. anything else?
>> bret: cuomo, i'd ask him about cuomo. >> bret: okay. we will see if we can get there. good evening, welcome to washington i'm bret baier, breaking tonight in a few minutes i will speak exclusively with senator minority leader mitch mcconnell in his first television interview since december and comes on the date the biden administration civil rights a vaccination milestone and the massive stimulus package. fox team coverage peter doocy, leads us off on the north line. good evening. >> i asked president biden whatever happened to his promise from seven weeks ago that relief checks were going to go out the door if democrats could flip the senate. he did not answer as he tried to keep us focused on what has happened, the country's 50 million covid-19 vaccination. >> we are halfway there. >> halfway to 100 million vaccines by tomorrow he could be halfway to congressional approval $1.9 trillion american
rescue plan. the house plans and up or down vote without much input from republicans. >> let me ask a rhetorical question. will you have me cut? republicans have been trying to answer that for days. >> the money in this bill won't even get to the schools till next year 95% of it. it's almost like they want to force schools to stay close to. >> have a dozen republicans met in the oval office wednesday but stuck to supply change. >> they say that the rescue package never came up. why not? the president said that he made it a top priority. talked about with a urgency and i'm just curious. it's become the meeting was about climate change, executive order. >> there hoping to put a $15 minimum wage in the package if senate rules allowed to. >> we are waiting for the conclusion of the parliamentarian view on whether
or not we will raise the minimum wage should be included and can be included in a should say in the american rescue plan. >> senators don't know the ruling on rules is coming. >> we're on pins and needles. >> if rules won't allow the minimum wage increase and this bill, speaker pelosi will not stop trying. >> we are very pleased with the case that has been made. we will pass, we will pass a minimum wage bill. we must pass a minimum wage bill. >> surrounded by celebratory signage about the 50 million vaccines distributed, president biden wants people to know that more shots is a mean less articles. >> stay socially distance and for god sake, god's sake, wear masks. >> the president spoke today ahead of the release of any intel reports about the murder
of american journalist in saudi arabia. the white house readout of of the call doesn't mention him about an hour ago i asked the president if it's a good call. and he said, yes. >> bret: peter, is there any sense of there will be anything public around the issue or the saudis as far as the report when it comes out? >> they're telling us, bret, it will come from the director of national intelligence. we expect we will hear from may be the committee, the relevant committees on capitol hill. as for tomorrow, the president focuses to be on a trip to texas not only to survey the damage from the winter storm but to visit the mass vaccination side. if it comes declassified, we might not hear anything until next week. >> bret: okay, peter thank you. of money at the root of the debate about what goes into the covid relief package and there is a new focus on the traditional use of the earmark.
the allocation of funds very specific purpose essentially designed for lawmakers to bring home the bacon for consistory c. now, may be coming back into fashion. a correspondent rich edson looks at power of the person washington. >> a washington practice with many names. congressionally directed spending, member designated local high priority projects. earmarks, pork. whatever they are called, they're making a comeback. >> nancy pelosi is going to get her title to nowhere and chuck schumer is going to get his bridge to nowhere from new york to canada. >> when republicans assumed control of the house in 2011, they dropped earmarks. defines a specific spending projects or tax proposals that benefit the state, city, congressional district. >> it became a gateway drug for higher federal spending. >> as they appear on their way back to congressional spending
bills, some republicans say they will still oppose them. >> we're going to fight the earmarks because what it does it will lead to corruption and lead to entitlement of the leadership and reduce the power of the members. >> they will institute reforms and push transparency. they have yet to release the proposal. house majority leader says "i've talked to a lot of republicans who i actually expect are going to be requesting earmarks for their districts." some republicans say in banning earmarks, congress has ceded its constitutional spending power to the executive branch. >> it just hasn't been the people who decided from the time of the constitution was written until about a decade ago. >> and a divided, proponents say earmarks could break red locks. >> the process, it depends upon them getting paid and overcoming entrenched differences.
it's hard to do if there is nothing to take. >> the chairman of the house transportation committee is pushing earmarks to help has a massive spending infrastructure bill that democrats are planning in the spring. bret. >> bret: rich, thank you. how's republicans opposing nancy pelosi's plan for special commission to settled the capitol uprising jra six. it democrats would have a unfair advantage on the panel. congressional correspondent chad pergram breaks it down for us tonight. >> demanding equal representation, the board investing capitol riots, the early draft of the plan could tilt the panel 7-4 in favor of democrats. >> speaker pelosi is doing it wrong. >> former new jersey governor led the 9/11 commission. if he says equal representation is crucial for credibility. >> it will not be bipartisan. don't do it.
speaker pelosi allies may support the commission favoring democrats. >> not prepared to say 7-4 splits unfair, based on who is actually part of the commission. to speak at the house and senate are divided nearly 50/50, the 7-4 split would award 64% of the power to one side. democrats fear republicans could use the panel with equal weight to conspiracy theories about the riots. it's an leader mitch mcconnell could deploy. the commission would address a wave of leftist violence last summer. >> which terrible heavier does, which terrible behavior does not deserve scrutiny. >> i'm disappointed in what i heard the minority leader yesterday. it says on spoke that he was taking a page out of the book out of senator johnson. >> that's a reference to g.o.p.
congressman ron johnson who said he didn't see armed insurrection of the capitol. >> will do more than anything to have it be bipartisan as he appointed it would be well received by the american people. >> when pressed by fox, if bipartisan meant equal representation, pelosi did not respond. bret. >> bret: chad pergram live on the hill, thanks. let's talk about more with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. if senator, welcome back to "special report." >> hey, bret. >> bret: i want to talk about the covid relief bill. this was president biden earlier this afternoon about the bill. take a listen. >> critics say the plans too big, that it costs too much. let me ask them a rhetorical question. what would you have me cut? what would you have me cut out? >> bret: what would you have him cut, senator?
>> that's a good question. first of all, the minimum wage is a belong in there. we say it will cost 1.4 million jobs we would lose. and second, $350 billion for a bailout to poorly run states. clearly, not necessary. with regard to the school funding that they added, by the way the school funding that we were providing has not yet spent out in the bill we passed a couple months ago. but of the school funding that they added 5% of used this year, i thought this was supposed to be a package about covid relief? this is wildly more expensive, bret, than the country needs at this particular time because the vaccines are rolling out, shots are getting into arms, the economy is getting better and better.
i think, my ten moderate republicans went down to see the president suggested that they could justify about five or $600 billion. this is to trillian, to put it in context, that's what we spent at the height of the pandemic last april. wildly too expensive and full of democratic asks they want to take advantage of. if under the name of covid relief. >> bret: do you expect to lose any republicans on the bill? >> i certainly hope not. we didn't lose any on the first round which was budget, which makes possible the second round of budget reconciliation we expect to get over from the house. >> bret: do you think democrats are positioning, possibly not only with covid, but other bills to try to use reconciliation? the process by which they only
need 50 plus one? >> they are, and they'll probably try to do one more. in it, you can anticipate all your taxes going out. business taxes going up, which would be bad for the economy. individual taxes going out. these guys live to raise taxes and no matter what they call the next package, you can anticipate it will have a very significant tax increase for the american people. >> bret: senator, back under president bush 43, you're a proponent of earmarks. right now, should congress reinstate earmarks and restore the spending authority that essentially went to the executive branch? >> i think they're very unpopular among republicans. i think we are very unenthusiastic, and some republicans who are interested in that -- let's call it congressional district spending, it doesn't enjoy much support among republicans or the senate.
>> bret: you switched your thinking about it. you are a proponent before. >> i represent the entire conference and i can tell the overwhelming majority of republican conference in the senate is not in favor of going back to earmarks. i'm assuming those people even if the democrats crafted so they are permitted, will not be asking for them. >> bret: i want to talk about nominees. specifically, neera tanden. why do you want to hold the g.o.p. line on the omb director nominee neera tanden? >> she is excessively. partisan. if she tweeted frequently, we are accustomed to that these days. but she took shots at everybody. she's taken offensive shots at almost all my members. you think of people in charge of omb as being being honest brokers that you can talk to. she has been so partisan that she's generated opposition from
even the most moderate members like senator collins, romney who are looking for opportunities to be cooperation with the and administration. it's an example of the fact that the president has chosen a very progressive beginning, the chief of staff on msnbc said with regard to the covid package, the most progressive legislation in the generation. the president decided not to be a centrist and therefore he should not expect much republican support for these kind of initiatives. >> bret: you know, democrats .2 trump nominees like ric grenell who is a prolific partisan tweeter who did not have a problem getting through the vote. if by critics of the hold up say republicans did not even address some of president trump's tweets that dealt specifically with people. >> i a lot of my members chose not to comment on the presence
daily tweeting, i was among them. we concluded it was not a constructive use of our time. >> bret: you don't think that there's a difference there as far as holding one side accountable or not? >> well, i think when it comes to being confirmed, your record is before the senate. the senates and the personal business, unlike the house. and so when members come up for confirmation, their whole record is before us. in this day and age, tweeting as part of your record. >> bret: we are just 12 days, senator, since your blistering speech on the senate floor about former president trump. here's a piece of that. >> he did not do his job. he didn't take steps so federal law could be be faithfully executed. and order restored.
no. instead, according to public reports he watched television happily. happily. as the chaos unfolded. >> bret: sorry to interrupt you with your speech they are, what are you saying? >> my point is what happened in the past is not something relevant now. we are moving forward. we've got a new administration that's a very left-wing administration and we need to make sure the american people understand that this is not what republicans stand for. i want to say this about the president, having chosen the progressive root, he certainly made it a lot easier for me to unify my members and opposition. >> bret: you're talking about president biden, but the reason it's relevant and obviously i'm sure you read the statements from the former president saying the republican party will never
be respected like senator mitch mcconnell at the home. the dedication to business as usual, status quo policies with their lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, personality has a rather driven him from majority leader to minority leader. if it goes on very specifically and when you read that what was your reaction? >> the republican party's in good shape. we elected 50 republican senators when everybody was predicted we're going to lose the senate. we flipped to go, picked up a governor. at the republican party had a very good day. sorry we lost the white house but the republican party demonstrated this is a 50/50 nation and we are very competitive. it will be competitive again then '22. >> bret: do you blame the former president for losing two georgia senate seats? >> i don't have any further observations to make about that.
we're looking forward. >> bret: let me ask you this -- trying to hold the senate. ahead of the biggest speech, should the former president be speaking at cpac this weekend? >> i don't have any advice about when he should speak or where he --what he should say. >> bret: is there a civil war in the g.o.p.? >> no, if you're looking at the real civil war, look at the democrats. the progressives making it extremely difficult for speaker pelosi to operate given the narrow margin she has in the house. i think that biden and administration is making it easier for us to get together and i think we unified and opposition to this new administration exit extremely progressive approach. president biden made it quite easy for us to get together. >> bret: there will be a lot
of talk this weekend about 2024 and whether the former president is going to get in that mix. here's what senator romney said about that. >> well, will president trump continue to play well do mike rowe? i think he will but i'm not sure about his family members whether they intend to do that. but i expect he will continue to play the role. i don't know if you're running 2024 but if he does, i'm pretty sure he will win the nomination. >> bret: when you agree with that? >> there's a lot to happen between now and '24. i've got four members i think that are planning on running for president plus governors and others. there is no income bent, should be a wide-open race and fun for you all to cover. >> bret: if the president was the party's nominee, would you support him? >> the nominee of the party, absolutely. >> bret: i would ask you a couple more thing, the 9/11 style commission that
nancy pelosi was talking about for generator six, when you send on the floor was specific. you voted to acquit but there's of the investigation into what happens if there that day. are you for or against it? >> for or against investigate and? some committees have been hearing on the very subject this week. i'm hoping for a 9/11 type commission, but it's got to be even like the 9/11 commission was. to do a outside commission review of the events of january 6th, he needs to be structured similar to the 9/11 commission. you might have noticed that the chairs of the 9/11 commission have already come out against nancy pelosi's approach to this because it's not balanced. that one was balanced. hamilton, tom kane who shared the outside commission after 9/11. even refused to go on the sunday
shows except together. it was a totally bipartisan act and that's when needed in order to have credibility attached to the final report. that kind of commission i am open to and to close to what the speaker is proposing. >> bret: senator, 30 seconds left, but what would you say to trump reporters who read the president's statements about you and concerned about the future of the g.o.p.? >> i would say everybody who's inclined to support our right of the senate republican party, let's focus on winning the house and the senate in '22. that will set up the next nominee for president, whoever it may be. it will be the best chance to be victorious. >> bret: senator, i always have more questions for you and i wish i had more time but we appreciate your time on "special report." >> thanks a lot. >> bret: up next, federal
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even the questions swirling over nursing home deaths in new york, the scathing and very public accusation of sexual harassment from a former staff member. >> to cheapen more ridicule the pain a woman suffers from a sexual impact is discussing. sexist, and disgusting. >> andrew cuomo in september 2018 talking about allegations about brett kavanaugh. not only being accused of sexual harassment but also hypocrisy by republicans. >> the allegations against you are more credible than the phone he once made against brett kavanaugh. of >> a day after of unwanted kissing and touching and they online essay, andrew cuomo has still not directly answer questions. his office has called the claim
simply false. today, his former secretary and friend of 30 years defended him too. >> i've never seen anything of the like of what she is described. >> pressure mounting on democrats to speak out. it today, and, new york democratic senator kirsten gillibrand was killed by reporters by reporters. >> obviously, the allegations are serious and deeply co a right to come forward and be heard and have allegations be investigated. governor cuomo has a right to be heard. >> she later admitted. >> i have not read her allegations or heard her media posts. >> president biden once called andrew, the gold standard in covid-19 response. today, the white house, and mary bill de blasio was more straightforward.
>> these allegations are disturbing. we need a full and independent investigation. >> tonight, a spokesperson for democratic senate majority leader chuck schumer released a statement which reads in part that any credible allegation should be thoroughly investigated. bret. >> bret: more with the panel on this. what's her community and when can we spike to hear from that? fox 11 in los angeles, to french bulldogs belonging to entertainer lady gaga are abducted. at last night near sunset boulevard in hollywood, the employee walking the dogs was shot once and is expected to survive. the pop stars offering a half million dollar reward for the safe return of her dogs. no question asked she said. fox 41 with confusion about the fate of mr. potato head, and mrs. potato head.
rhode island-based toy maker hasbro is dropping the salutation in favor of a gender-neutral name. responding to controversy, says that the characters will exist about the branding on the box will change. a live look at fox 29 in philadelphia, big story there tonight. at 105-year-old woman in new jersey nursing home beats covid. she had mild symptoms in the low grade fever, she says prayer and reasons of gin. that's the live look outside the beltway from "special report." we will be right back. ♪ ♪
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the leaders of the texas electrical greater taking heavy criticism against the nine over the blackouts that left 4 million customers without electricity and heat during a deadly winter freeze. the head of a major energy corporation said during public hearings today power was cut to energy plants that could have generated more electricity. 40 people in texas died as a result of the storm. if the republicans holding their first significant gathering since the november election orlando. senator mcconnell the conservative political action conference cpac will feature an address someday by former president donald trump. brutal day for investors on wall street. at that dow lost 560, s&p 500 dropped 96, the nasdaq fell 479. tech lost today. pfizer in the meantime saying that studying whether a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine would be part of a strategy to guard against mutated versions of covid.
also tonight, dr. anthony fauci urging americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible with a single dose instead of waiting for the effective two dose shots from pfizer or munter or not. aimed at achieving what's called a herd immunity. it tonight, correspondent gillian turner examines what it means and now how it may affect you and your family. >> herd immunity occurs when enough people in a population can resistance to a violence than a epidemic cannot grow. it may be achieved in two ways. vaccinated americans, according to the latest scientific estimate, or a majority of americans getting covid recovering, developing antibodies. the exact herd immunity in america isn't yet know since the virus is relatively new. it related to the official numbers showcasing nationwide dropping dramatically over the
past six weeks. over 70%, despite this, dr. anthony fauci has declined to give a timeline. >> rather than thinking about declaring victory and saying we have herd immunity and were are in good shape, we have to keep pushing because this thing could bounce back. >> dr. scott disagrees. >> it's not 40 or 50% with a population, you don't have herd immunity but enough immunity in the population that it doesn't transfer. i think if we get into the warm weather and vaccinate more of the population and endure the fact that a least a third of americans have it, i think that infection levels will come down dramatically. >> some doctors insist we may be closer. >> it cannot be explained by increased vaccinations kicking in and can't be explained by sudden change in behavior. this is herd immunity.
>> scientists and doctors disagree whether herd immunity is possible in the u.s. some say no one knows whether the covid infections yield long-term immunity in anyone because it's only been around for one year. bret. >> bret: gillian, thank you. what happened to the first cloned sheep? we will tell you. fishermen say that their catchers are safe despite the oil spill. more than 90% of israel's 120-mile mediterranean coastline was covered in an estimated 1,000 tons of black tar from the oil spill earlier this month. u.s. officials in china are asking local authorities to refrain from intrusive covid-19 test for diplomats in the country. the state department said it never agreed to in all swab
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>> bret: and tonight's whatever happened to segment, cloning. it's not just the stuff of science fiction anymore, showing us what happened to the first cloned sheep and what is happening right now. >> in 1986 as sheep named dolly became the first successful clone of a mammal, and she wasn't the last.
>> dogs, cats, cows, more sheep. you know, the noah's ark of animals. >> while groundbreaking, cloning never proved to be as successful as breeding, but gave way to a new branch of stem cell research. also now being used to save animals from extinction. a scientist just clone the first u.s. endangered species, this black footed ferret is a genetic copy of an animal that died 30 years ago. cloning may one day even resurrect the extinct, and japan dr. kane neil moto transported the cell of a 28000-year-old woolly mammoth into mouse embryos and witnessed biological activity. >> but you know, reviving an animal is far away. it's very big goal. >> a goal dr. george church at harvard university might reach first. he is using the gene editing tool crisper to cut and paste
mammoth dna into elephant cells. >> you can take the best features from a number of different elephants both in the past and the present to create the diversity that way you need. >> the fears about cloning and crisper persists in 2019, a chinese scientist was jealous to let jailed for editing three human babies. but scientists believe dolly's contribution far outweighed the risk. through trials underway right now for what could be her greatest gift, organ transplant from pigs. >> there is a possibility at making better enhanced organs, that to me by far is the most exciting application of cloning. >> right now human cloning is only legal in states like california, which is why some scientists want washington to pass a federal ban. >> bret: thank you. up next the panel reacts to my
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the party's nominee, would you support him? >> the nominee of the party, absolutely. >> bret: senator mitch mcconnell talking about president trump ahead of the speech sunday, 12 days after senator mcconnell gave a blistering speech on the senate floor about president trump's complicity essentially in the january 6th capital riot, what he did not do afterwards, let's bring in the panel, byron york, chief political correspondent, susan page at "usa today," and trey cardi lament -- trey gowdy, former councilman of south carolina. your thoughts on what you took away from it. >> he did not want to talk about donald trump or repeat his criticism when you asked him about his criticism as you note just made less than two weeks ago, he pivoted to criticizing president biden, not the president you were asking about and denied for the republican party, we just have to look at what is going to be expected of
former president trump to say at cpac whether there is a civil war and the party, because to a lot of us it looks like there is one. >> bret: yes, i thought it was interesting too, it sets up cpac and the speech that is going to be sunday, a lot of eyeballs looking at that, but clearly there is a rift, the liz cheney mitch mcconnell side of the party, your thoughts of where that stands tonight? >> well, there was a rift when i was they are. we just were meant to look back in the majority. we used to just like to fight when we were the majority, and i would like to fight all the time, and the reason, it's important to say the reason, you are going to get a lot more media time, a lot more print time, and funder is a lot better attacking other republicans than you ever will attacking nancy pelosi, so understand the frustration of kevin mccarthy, mitch mcconnell, the house reaching in 2022, and there is a chance to take the senate in 2022, but there are lots of republicans that are much more interested in raising their own
profile, and you can get a lot more famous criticizing your own team then you will criticizing the democrats. >> bret: but whether you can win elections as a party doing that is really in doubt, byron. >> well, a couple of things, i thought it was kind of amazing when you said the republican party really good shape. in shape for a party that just lost the house in the senate, but clearly the big news was, i mean, you asked him every which way about trump and did not want to talk about it. but at the end when you asked him if trump where the presidential nominee, would you support him, and mitch mcconnell said yes, absolutely i would support the nominee of the republican party, and that is including if it is donald trump. and it has not even been two weeks since mitch mcconnell basically came out and said that trump was guilty of impeachable offenses except that
mitch mcconnell did not believe that it was constitutional to impeach a former president. so it's rather extraordinary. and i think it will be really big news that mitch mcconnell has come out and said he would support trump if he were the nominee. >> bret: susan, also about neera tanden, the omb director for president biden in trouble as far as votes for confirmation. in asking that, i talked about democrats and some journalist pointing to the confirmation of ric grenell, former ambassador to germany, a partisan tweeter, definitely since i have heard from him who said find one tweet where i attack a senator directly, senators that were going to vote for me, and so make that clarification, but clearly he lobbed some rhetorical bombs on twitter and did not have a problem with confirmation. the bigger point was they are going to hold the line, it seems, the g.o.p. is on that nomination. >> pretty impressive, that number one you got this
interview with mitch mcconnell who has not done interviews lately, and ric grenell is going to tweet you or send you a message about what was said in real time, so you know, kudos to "special report" for that, but he did not want to talk about trump, that mitch mcconnell made it clear that there is a firm line against joe biden that goes to his nominee for budget director who is not entirely, there is still a narrow path for the wing of confirmation, but it is narrow. >> bret: and mcconnell also said that he thinks they are going to try, democrats will to use reconciliation at least one other time, so much for the effort of bipartisanship when it comes to president biden in his administration. >> yeah, bret, i don't know what is in joe biden's heart, but his face would not allow them to do it, this is the same joe biden, he said mike pence was a decent guy, which is hardly an effusive
complement to say someone is a decent guy, and he got criticized for it. also look, i don't know what's in the guy's heart, but i know that even if he wanted to moderate, they would not let him do it. >> bret: byron, last word. >> i think it became the theme of the interview, i'm sure that mitch mcconnell went into the interview wanting to make the point that the president has lurched to the left and that republicans will oppose virtually everything he is doing at this point, so he is kind of this messes with the idea that joe biden is his old centrist colleague and they can make deals together, he seems to be positioning the president or trying to position the president as a leftists and republicans can stand united against everything he wants to do. >> bret: panel, thank you. we will call an audible, we have some breaking news. after the break we will give you some breaking news, foreign policy from syria. and we will check in about what we know about an air strike there right now. stay with us. ♪ ♪
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>> bret: break into as senior u.s. official saying that the u.s. military has carried out at a single air strike against a single location inside syria used by iranian black went back backed officials. senior correspondent on top of it, at the pentagon paired what's the latest question marks because the senior u.s. official tells me that president biden signed off on the attack that was one air strike in syria that is used by multiple iranian backed militias. there were multiple facilities that were hit, i am told that it was a response and a designed to deter the kind of rocket attacks we have seen against the u.s. greenstone targeting the u.s. embassy in iraq and one u.s. contractor is dead as well as five injured, so this is the latest that we are hearing. it is one air strike, we do not
expect any more tonight. back to you. >> bret: we will follow the latest. thank you for the breaking news as the administration gets an iranian deal started, that's it for this "special report," fair, balanced, and still unafraid. "fox news primetime" hosted this week by katie pavlich starts right now. hi, katie. >> katie: thank you, bret. good evening, welcome to "fox news primetime," i am katie pavlich. tonight the ban plays on, sort of. florida high school students returning to school and ban practice being ordered to play their instruments while zipped up inside tiny tents. just when you thought it was hard enough to play the tuba. this is actually happening, this is life and what has become a permanent pandemic, the left calls it our new normal where we ignore the science in favor of putting on a show. it is possible to quantify whether these kids are significantly safer playing their instruments from inside a tent, but one thing