This is a rush transcript from ” Special Report with Bret Baier ,” July 19, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)SEN. RAND PAUL, (R-KY): Knowing it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: If you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments, that were given in the annual reports, that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible. It is molecularly –PAUL: No one is saying those viruses caused it. No one is saying those viruses caused the pandemic. What we are alleging is that gain of function research was going on in that lab, and NIH funded it.FAUCI: You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals.PAUL: And it could have been.FAUCI: And if anybody is lying here, Senator, it is you.(END VIDEO CLIP)BAIER: Well, that went on for a while on Capitol Hill, talking about the origins of the coronavirus, which, by the way, more officials, including Biden administration officials, are starting to believe that it could have come from that Wuhan lab, whether an accident or otherwise.Let’s bring in our panel, former education secretary Bill Bennett, Juan Williams is a FOX News analyst, and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. Bill, your thoughts on that exchange and where we are here?BILL BENNETT, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: Well, heated and candid. That wasn’t staged, that’s for real, because these are real issues. I’m not a scientist. I can’t really tell you whether this is gain of function or not. But I can tell you there was a lot of equivocation last year, and a lot of mistakes, and a lot of stumbling. And I think this is most important now as we are looking at the Delta variant, and people are saying one thing or another. Let’s be careful, because these mistakes were made last year. Let’s not make them again. Let’s be very cautious.I think you are going to see public health officials at least trying to be more honest and more cautious and more reserved in their predictions. It bears watching. But obviously, prices are to be paid for what happened last year, the deaths of so many people and so many mistakes.BAIER: This hearing was originally scheduled to be about masks and going forward, the Delta variant and school requirements as well. Juan, take a listen to this, and I will have you react on the other side.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should the COVID vaccine be on a list like that, that’s required for children to be in school?DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: I would not be surprised that in the future this is something that would be seriously considered, depending upon how we handle the outbreak.DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: It is my priority to get our children back to school for safe, in-person learning. We continue to recommend that schools recommend layered prevention strategies to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and encourage vaccination for those who are eligible. Masks continue to be a critical part of these layered prevention strategies.(END VIDEO CLIP)BAIER: It doesn’t sound, Juan, that we are heading in the same direction that we were. It sounds like we are heading backwards as we get ready for another school year.JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: It does. Bret, the thing is we don’t have vaccines for children under 12 right now. And it doesn’t look like we will have it in September. It looks more like an end of the year arrival. But the point of this all is that, you know what, if it’s going to give us a level of protection, we will want to have children vaccinated.And I think the lesson from the last few days, from what we have seen in terms of the renewal of the spread of the virus, is that everyone needs to get vaccinated. This is now about the people’s choice, not politics. And the people are going to decide whether or not we get the schools open effectively, whether or not we all get back to the office after Labor Day, whether or not we can keep this economic recovery roaring. I think that’s it. And 99 percent of the people dying are unvaccinated. That’s not a matter of politics. That’s a matter of fact. And we all have to take that to heart.And I think particularly, we have to say, unlike what we saw between Dr. Fauci and Dr. Paul, and I will take the virus specialist over the ophthalmologist when it comes to COVID, but we have to say let’s forget the politics. This is not a matter of defiance. Too much we see right now it’s red state areas where the virus has a foothold. We need to get in there and figure out how to counter that negative reality.BAIER: I guess, Juan, there are a lot of people say no matter what happens, whether the politics are Democrats or Republicans, that we should as a country figure out what happened in the origins of the coronavirus and try to get to the bottom of it. And it seems like there is some reluctance to that.Ari, I want to get to you weigh in on this interesting thing with the Texas Democrats in leaving Austin. They come here. There are some of them who are COVID positive. There are now other cases of people that they’ve talked to on Capitol Hill or at the White House, COVID positive. Take a listen to the Q and A at the White House.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Is there any concern that this trip that was intended to advocate for voting rights is now a super spreader event in Washington, D.C.?JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That’s not a characterization we are making from here. We certainly understand there will be breakthrough cases.DOOCY: Now that COVID-19 after contact with those Democrats has reached the White House, what is your message for these Texas Democrats?PSAKI: Our message continues to be, thanks for standing up for voting rights, and the rights of Americans to have their voices heard at the voting booth, and we appreciate their efforts in that regard.(END VIDEO CLIP)BAIER: Ari, I just wonder what looking through the prism of what the coverage might be, if this was Republicans supporting a Trump initiative and the same thing happened.ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes. And, of course, it was team Biden that did regularly refer to Trump events, particularly the Rose Garden ceremony with Amy Coney Barrett, as a super spreader event. So they are willing to say that when the super spreading is done by another party, as opposed to rising up and saying COVID is COVID it doesn’t matter what party you are or who you are.As for the Texas legislature, it’s hard to imagine, Bret, a bigger self- designed failure. They fled their jobs. They left their workplace. They came to Washington to alarm people for a cause, and it’s all backfired and be gotten them sick. And they are not going to be able to get out their message anymore. And when they get back to Texas, they will get arrested.So if you wanted to design an event that failed, this is how you do it. And I just — the only good thing about this, it’s a reminder to everybody that even if you have been vaccinated, that you can still get COVID, and that means the people who aren’t vaccinated need to get vaccinated because you won’t get sick and you won’t go to the hospital. And that’s the only protection you can really have.BAIER: All right, when we come back, tomorrow’s headlines with you guys, the panel.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)BAIER: Finally tonight, a look at tomorrow’s headlines with the panel. Ari, we’ll start with you.FLEISCHER: Mine has to be COVID fears rises. And when you look at baseballs players who are getting COVID, famous people, Olympians, people at the White House, and of course those Texas legislators, it’s a reminder to everybody, get your shots so that way you can minimize it and make it like the cold if you do get it.BAIER: Yes, even the Tokyo Olympics could be in jeopardy, we’re told, as we reported earlier. Juan, now to you.WILLIAMS: Tom Brady, at the White House today to celebrate the Super Bowl with the Buccaneers and President Biden. And Brady and Biden, they agreed. They agreed that a lot of people didn’t expect them to win, and a 40 percent still don’t think they won.BAIER: I heard that joke. Bill, wrap it up for us.BENNETT: President Biden recommends masking and vaccination as a way of preventing inflation. He’s got one tool in the box, use it. Quick second headline — billionaires are useful. Branson and Bezos proved that today, especially over 70 billionaires.BAIER: There you go. They can always get it done. All right, guys, thank you.Tomorrow on SPECIAL REPORT, we’ll check in on possible changes for the U.S. Supreme Court, including the future of the oldest serving justice. We’ll bring you there.Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That’s it for the SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and still unafraid. “FOX NEWS PRIMETIME,” have you seen this show, this week hosted by Brian Kilmeade, it’s pretty good. It starts right now. Brian?

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