CLAY: We are joined by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who was on with us a couple of months ago. Senator, I appreciate you taking the time to join the show, and I want to start with this question for you. I got asked and we’ve been debating a little bit, how does covid ever end, when we seem to have a process now in place that presumes covid zero, which is impossible to ever reach? When do masks disappear? When do great majorities of the rest of the country just get it get back to normal? How does this plane ever land? How does covid normalcy ever return to the country?
SEN. JOHNSON: Well, I think most Americans want it to end as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there’s so many people in power that seem to want it to go on forever.
SEN. JOHNSON: You know, the Spanish flu took couple years. You have that pandemic filter through the global population; then people moved on. I’m concerned that this is one disease that we picked out and said, “We can’t allow it to spread,” even though very early on in the pandemic you had epidemiologists saying, “You can’t really prevent people from getting infected.”
What you can do is you can flatten the curve so we don’t overwhelm the health care systems. That was kind of barring the development of an effective vaccine, which could limit the number of infections. I’m not sure this one will because now variants are emerging that seem to be defeating the vaccine. You take a look at numbers out of Israel. You take a look at numbers out of the U.K.
I wish we had numbers in the U.S., but our CDC, FDA, NIH are not being transparent. I’m not sure they’re being forthright. I’m not sure they’re being completely honest with the American public, and that’s unfortunate. So, we have to look to other countries to see what their experience is.
And, unfortunately — this is very unfortunate. It doesn’t look like the vaccine’s holding up very well against Delta. The most recent technical brief by Public Health England shows that overall in 2021, 70% of deaths were in partially or fully vaccinated individuals, 30% on the unvaxxed. The most recent time, August 2nd to September 21st, it’s about 74% in fully vaccinated verses 26% in the unvaxxed. So, again, that’s unfortunate. I wish, I hope — God, I wish — the vaccines were 100% effective, 100% safe, but it doesn’t appear they are.
BUCK: Senator Johnson, it’s Buck. We have, what, 1.3 million apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s people that have crossed into the U.S. in violation of federal law. We had, what, over 6,000 per day for the last two months. And yet we’re being told by Secretary Mayorkas that they’re working on it, the border is not open, and this is just a “challenge.”
How are they trying to meet this challenge? What is the federal government doing other than, it seems — at least to some of us who have observed this problem as closely as we can — making it a smoother process for people to game the immigration system once they’ve entered illegally?
SEN. JOHNSON: So we had the secretary before my committee today and the first question I asked him is, “You repeatedly said, Mr. Secretary, that the border is closed. Do you honestly believe that?” I had my chart up there showing an incredible spike since the Biden administration took office and he stuck to it. He said, “Yeah, it’s closed,” but he said they’re executing their plan.
I mean, isn’t that great news. Unfortunately, it is their plan, and their plan is for open borders! So I guess that’s truthful. They’re executing the plan. Their plan was to open up our borders, and it’s working — and you’re exactly right. You know, when they say they’re improving the situation, they’re improving the processing.
We were down there months ago with 18 Republican senators. I was shocked to hear the CBP’s direction was to process and disperse within eight hours. They weren’t testing for covid. Right now, I think it’s still NGO groups that are doing the testing. I don’t think CBP has the capabilities of doing it. So, again, we’re locking down. We’re making all these mandates for vaccines.
But, boy, if you come to the southern border, you’re pretty well home free — and of course, in the hearing today, I just asked him, “Of the 1.3 million apprehensions, how many people have they dispersed into America?” He said, “Well, Senator, I don’t have those… I don’t have those numbers for that.”
“What do you mean, you don’t have those numbers? You obviously must have those numbers; you’re just not telling us. Now, how can you come to a hearing that you know we’re gonna be asking those questions, and you come completely unprepared?” I was… I was more than a little ticked off.
CLAY: Senator Johnson, you’re also having to deal with the budget and infrastructure and everything else that’s going on in addition to all the other chaos out there. What are you hearing about what Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema might be willing to accede to in terms of a Biden budget? Do you think it happens this year? How does infrastructure end up playing out? What are you hearing as it pertains to these major pieces of legislation?
SEN. JOHNSON: Well, the good news is seems like Democrats are having some real troubles. I think Joe Manchin either in an op-ed or publicly has said that he’ll only agree to about one to one or $1.5 trillion. Of course, Bernie — the Bernie budget — says it’s $3.5 trillion, but we know it’s more like $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion ’cause they’re creating new entitlements, but the only score them for a few years.
And we all know as Ronald Reagan said, “The closest thing to eternal life on this earth is a government program.” So they’re being very dishonest in their scoring of these things. But the AOCs of the world, they’re not gonna be satisfied unless they get the full Bernie budget. They’re not even really happen with that.
It doesn’t mortgage our kids’ future enough for AOC and Bernie Sanders. But we’ll just see whether it’s gonna be budget gimmickry that they lower the score. For example, rather than score new entitlement five years, maybe they just peel it back to one, knowing that once you grant new entitlement, it just never goes away. So I don’t know how this ends. I hope they don’t get what they want because it’s gonna be devastating for our children’s future.
BUCK: We’re speaking to Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. And, Senator, the Biden administration has had a rough go of it on the foreign policy front for the last… Well, you could say from the beginning, but certainly for the last couple of months, given the situation Afghanistan and the recent revelation that there was an air strike that was supposed to stop a mass casualty terror attack, but actually the air strike killed 10 civilians including seven children.
The media is not putting much focus on that. After the Biden administration’s remarks — or Joe Biden’s remarks, I should say — at the U.N. General Assembly this morning, do you think that we’re just heading for a replay of all the approaches, the failed approaches of the Obama administration over eight years when it comes to America’s role in the world?
SEN. JOHNSON: Yeah. I have to unfortunately answer “yes.” I’m reminded of Robert Gates, Obama’s defense secretary, who said that Vice President Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy decision for the last 40 years. And of course, President Obama famously said behind the scenes “do not underestimate,” Vice President Biden’s “ability to F things up,” and that’s exactly what he’s doing.
It’s incredibly incompetent what they’re doing, right? Just saying it’s due to incompetence is being kind to them! This is their policy. I mean, they wanted open borders. We’re getting it. And what we’re seeing is we’re going to seeing the chaos ensuing from their policy decisions. This was what they want.
They wanted to surrender from Afghanistan. They wanted to pull out incredibly quick against all the advice from so many people, even on a bipartisan basis in the Senate. There would have been support for leaving, you know, Special Operations Forces there to support the Afghan security forces and keep the Taliban at bay. But nope!
He was gonna do it his way — and of course his way has been a disaster, a bunch of rolling disasters. That is the hallmark of this administration. So I wish there was a bright future here over the next three and a half years, but I am highly concerned and so are a growing number of Americans as well. Millions are concerned about what’s happening.
CLAY: Senator Johnson, I asked you to start this interview, “How do we get back to normalcy?” I will say last night in Green Bay, Wisconsin, having the Packers playing in front of a full house for the first time since the covid mess began, seeing all the Wisconsin Badger fans in your home state jumping around for the opening game against Penn State and how that went viral…
Are a lot of people in America, football fans in particular, just saying, “We’re over it; the best way to get back to normal is by living our normal lives”? When I see hundreds of thousands of fans packed closely together without masks celebrating and enjoying football games, I feel like that’s the best version of America that we can have right now relative to this difference between blue state and red state. Millions of college football and NFL fans going to games seem to be, in many ways, leading us back to normalcy.
SEN. JOHNSON: No, I think after the huge surge late last year, we came down out of that. The pandemic was kind of waning before the vaccinations began. Now we have the new surge. But, you know, most people kind of look back over the last nine months to a year and said, “Well, I survived it.”
I know a lot of people that had it and many of them just had sniffles for a couple days or lost their smell and regained it. So, again, there are tens, probably more than a hundred million Americans that got covid and survived. And so they’re just looking at the reality situation. They have natural immunity.
They realize because now we have science telling us it’s 27 times more effective than the vaccine. So people are just ignoring the inconsistent advice from the federal health agencies, because they realize they haven’t been honest with us, they hadn’t been transparent. So people have just decided, listen.
This is… You know, covid’s gonna be around. We’re gonna have to live with it, whether you had it or didn’t have it. You know, I had it. I was asymptomatic, and we’ve never really explained why 40 to 50% of people had asymptomatic covid. Was it because we already had natural immunity to a similar type of coronavirus?
And, again, natural immunity is so good that it even recognize this new one, maybe a new one that was manmade? Again, so many unanswered questions, so many things that do not make sense, like, why not early treatment? I think you guys know, I’ve been banging my head against the wall on that one since literally March of 2020.
And we just cannot get the health agencies to seriously take up the case whether it’s ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine. I can’t remember… I can’t pronounce all these names. There is a cornucopia of available generic drugs that can be employed. But the CDC has no interest in it. The NIH guidelines to this day basically are saying, “If you get tested for covid, go home, isolate yourself, be afraid. If you get so sick, come in the hospital and, hey, we’ll pump you full of Remdesivir.” This is madness what’s happening.
BUCK: Senator Ron Johnson, thank you so much for being with us, sir. We appreciate it.
SEN. JOHNSON: Have a great day. Stay well.
CLAY: Thank you.