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[00:00:00]

I'm Sandra Smith. I'm right there. I'm Angel, Your Heart, and this is the Fox News rundown. Wednesday, August twenty sixth, twenty twenty, I'm Jared Halpern. The first family took center stage on night two of the Republican National Convention. We're going to be very involved in making sure that we elect not only a Republican majority in the Senate, but overtaking the Democrats in the House. I'm Jessica Rosenthal. Broader use of convalescent plasma has been approved by the FDA to help treat covid, even though there are some skeptics.

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We're in an unprecedented pandemic and President Trump is going to ensure that we get rid of any unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that stands in the way of saving lives.

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And I'm Geraldo Rivera. I've got the final word on the Fox News rundown. The people closest to President Trump made their case for giving him four more years. The second night of the Republican National Convention featured two of the president's adult children, daughter Tiffany Trump.

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We believe in equality of opportunity. We believe in freedom of thought and expression. Think what you want. Seek out the truth. And son Eric Trump. Every day my father fights for the American people, the forgotten man and woman of this country, the ones who embody the American spirit, which is unlike anything else in the world.

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The night was capped with a live Rose Garden speech from the first lady, Melania Trump, who opened her remarks, speaking about two of the biggest news stories in the nation right now, the coronavirus pandemic.

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I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy covid-19 swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one.

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And my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering in protest, sometimes turning violent about racial injustice like all of you have reflected on the racial unrest in our country.

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It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of part of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past.

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As has been the case for both nights of the Republican convention, President Trump had some surprise appearances as well Tuesday night, highlighting official actions as president in one video. President Trump granted a full presidential pardon to John Ponder, a convicted bank robber who after prison created a nonprofit hope for prisoners. President Trump called Ponder's story a beautiful testament to the power of redemption.

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We believe that each person is made by God for a purpose. I will continue to give all Americans, including former inmates, the best chance to build a new life and achieve their own American dream and a great American dream.

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It is later in the evening another White House event, a naturalization ceremony for five new U.S. citizens sworn in by the acting homeland security secretary Chad. Wolf.

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I take this obligation freely that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. So congratulations. You're now the president and using the event to praise legal immigration.

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You follow the rules. You obey the laws. You learned your history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity.

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Both events drew immediate criticism from some government watchdog groups who say using the White House for political purposes undermines the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from taking part in political activity while in government buildings or on official duty. It does not apply to the president or the vice president. But a House panel has already announced an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeii's participation in the convention Tuesday night.

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What you saw was the embodiment of America being a land of opportunity.

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Mark Lotter is the director of strategic communications for the Trump campaign. He joined me and Fox News radio political analyst Josh Cross.

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Our whether it was the president clearing the crime, obviously, of someone who has gone on to do so many great things that helped so many other people who are coming out of our of our prison system and then welcoming in new citizens to the United States. It just shows that we are that land of hope and opportunity, which we've been talking about for a while and is in direct contrast to the doom and gloom we saw for the Democrats last week.

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Can I ask about your response to some of the criticism that this was an inappropriate use of the office of the presidency to use these official events?

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You know, I think the American people are smart enough to to figure out that our president, regardless of party, are elected through a political system. And presidents have been using Air Force One of the backdrop for four decades now. And I think they're smart enough to realize that, you know, that when you see something like this as part of the Republican National Convention in the middle of a of an election season, that you see a politician who's making a case for himself to be re-elected.

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And obviously, from a technical standpoint, the Hatch Act doesn't apply to the president or the vice president. So. It's really just kind of Washington, you know, over reacting to just things that I don't believe most America really just cares about.

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Hey, Mark, I want to talk about the naturalization ceremony as well and the political goal of having that front and center tonight. You know, the Trump brand has largely been connected to, you know, building the wall, being tough on illegal immigration. You know, he's he's he's cut the number of refugees in his tenure that are coming to this country from other other countries. You know, that's been the Trump brand. This was a different side of Trump trying to show that he's compassionate to illegal immigrants.

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But, you know, what's the what's the political sweet spot? Which side of the president do you want to show to Republican and independent voters at this convention? Well, I think we want to show both, because I believe the president has been very consistent in in saying he supports both, that, yes, we have to stop illegal immigration, but that we are a country of immigrants and that for folks who are coming in and doing it the right way, waiting in line, going through that process, you know, that is something we have to have.

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And, you know, if you if you go back to obviously prior to covid, we had more job openings than we did unemployed people. And that wasn't going to stop. And the president was very clear saying we need more immigrants to come in and help still some of these positions, but we want the best. We want the brightest, regardless of where you come from. We just want you to make sure that you can come here and contribute to our country in a legal fashion.

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And I think that was, again, very much a a personification and embodiment of what the president has been saying for a while. But, you know, Mark, that there are parts members of this administration that haven't just talked about cracking down on illegal immigration. There have been proposals that have talked about cutting certain types of legal immigration. Is that is that no longer politically the message that that this convention wants to send to the country?

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Well, the president has been very clear and that he wants to overhaul our immigration system where we have an immigration system based on merit. And even in our legal immigration system, there are holes, there are loopholes, there are gaps where you have things where you are bringing in people who are not necessarily coming in based on what they can contribute to our country, but basically what their relation is to someone who may or may not even be here legally. So what the president has said is that he wants to follow the model of Canada, of Australia, of so many other countries that actually award their immigration process, their citizenship through merit.

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And so when we're welcoming new citizens like the president, I think he's celebrating the fact that we do have people. And you heard him highlight their stories about how they're adding to the fabric of America contributing and being productive members of society.

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One of the speakers that will speak on Wednesday night, night three of this convention is Joni Ernst, obviously the senator from Iowa who's facing a pretty tough re-election bid, if you look at the way that that race is shaping up. Mark, I'm curious, as this convention moves forward and as this campaign moves forward, what is the president's involvement in some of these down ballot races trying to keep control of the Senate, trying to win back the House?

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Well, I think you see the president very involved. Obviously, our campaign is focused on those battleground states that will put up 270. Things are looking very good right now. And in areas where we have a competitive Senate seat or we have competitive House races, you'll absolutely see the president involved. You've seen him involved in the primary throughout. But that's also where the vice president plays a key role. And I've been traveling a lot. Obviously, I traveled throughout 16 and 18 with the vice president and he'll go into many of those states as well at a congressional district level for a Senate seat that may or may not necessarily be in a state that we have to absolutely win or we already have.

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We believe we have secured to the statewide level. So this is where the team comes into play so much. We also have the Trump children that can go out there. But we're going to be very involved in making sure that we elect not only a Republican majority of the Senate, but overtaking the Democrats in the House.

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You mentioned the vice president. I know you know the vice president very well. Any preview about the remarks he'll make Wednesday night?

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Well, I think the vice president's going to do exactly what he has been doing already. We saw it in Wisconsin here just in the last couple of weeks in multiple trips to Wisconsin, where the vice president has highlighted Joe Biden and the Democrats failures in terms of their record, whether it's on on support of NAFTA, which Joe Biden voted for and his opposition to the USMC, those kinds of things that where we're actually starting to see the positive impacts of what the president has done.

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This is where the vice president has has been very much bringing the facts of the case, you'll also see the vice president's optimism. He's a very optimistic person who believes, like the president to the best of America is yet to come. Mark Lauder's, the director of strategic communications for the Trump campaign. Marc, appreciate the time. Good luck as this convention moves forward over the next two nights.

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Thank you for having me. This is Geraldo Rivera with the Fox News commentary coming up for Reno in stairwells. I'll tell you what guest Dana Perino of the five and Fox News political editor Chris Firewalled dissect the ins and outs of national politics.

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Subscribe and listen now by going to Fox News podcasts dot com, just a couple of days before President Trump announced that convalescent plasma would be used more broadly to treat those with the virus, he blasted the FDA on Twitter, saying the deep state at the FDA is making it too difficult to test vaccines and therapeutics and plotting to delay until after the election in November. Just days prior to that, there was a report out that some doctors at the National Institute of Health wanted to slow down on the broader use of convalescent plasma, saying the data wasn't strong enough.

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But Sunday afternoon, the president announced the FDA was giving an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma to be given to patients with covid to deliver treatments and vaccines to save lives were removing unnecessary barriers and delays not by cutting corners, but by marshaling the full power of the federal government.

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And FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn hinted there was no election motivated deep state delay because of the president's operation warp speed.

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We expect to have other new results and new options reaching patients as soon as this fall. Operation Warp Speed is supporting experimental therapeutics all the way through to manufacturing so that if they meet FDA's gold standard for safety and efficacy, they can begin reaching patients without a day wasted.

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John had said a recent study showed convalescent plasma reduced mortality by 35 percent. But critics have cast doubt on that study. And after he was accused of grossly exaggerating the benefits, Hahn admitted this week that he chose his words poorly. The study didn't have a control group. The study, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, did find some statistically significant benefit to convalescent plasma. It showed mortality for those getting plasma within three days of being diagnosed was eight point seven percent.

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But if someone was given the plasma after four or more days, mortality was eleven point nine percent. A similar percentage difference was found between those given plasma with higher rather than lower antibody levels, which is of note.

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When somebody gets covid and then recovers, their body has produced antibodies to the antigens in the virus. Those antibodies are present in your plasma. Alex Azar's the Health and Human Services Secretary.

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You can donate plasma in a way similar to donating blood at the American Red Cross or your local blood bank. And that plasma contains your antibodies and then those antibodies that plasma can be given to somebody who is suffering from covid. And what we have what we have done is made that available under President Trump's right to try initiative to over 70000 patients in the United States. And the FDA authorized its emergency use for people who are suffering from covid. So it can it can reduce the severity and reduce the likelihood of mortality for individuals.

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And we encourage anybody who has had Kobun and recovered to go to coronavirus dot gov to learn more about how they can donate or called the American Red Cross or their local blood bank.

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But talk to me about the successes that we've seen so far with those 70000 people, because it's you know, it has been reported, I believe, in The New York Times. They said National Institutes of Health director Dr. Collins and even Dr. Anthony Fauci had tried to intervene in a decision to allow convalescent plasma using the data just wasn't strong enough yet. Obviously, that that's changed because it's now been approved. But talk to me about what we do know about the successes, given the reports that some people like, you know, like Foushee and Collins have said, wait a second, maybe we shouldn't go there just yet.

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Well, what we did is we had this expanded access program under President Trump's leadership of right to try to make sure that people would have this convalescent plasma available. And we collected data on it. And importantly, what what what having that many people exposed to convalescent plasma did is we had everybody produces different levels of antibodies in their plasma. And so when when they donate, you could have somebody with a very high level of antibodies. We call that a high titer.

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Or you could have a donation. That was a low titer. And what this enabled us to do was to actually study the impact of higher levels of antibodies in the plasma. And it demonstrated clearly that the higher levels of antibodies administered to people who had not yet been put on any type of mechanical respiration, who were under age 80 and were given this within three days of being a. The hospital also earlier in their disease progression saw significant benefit. Now you still are we're still running the more traditional clinical trials where you test it against a placebo in a randomized controlled clinical trial.

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And that's the that's the kind of thing that we would do for a normal full on permanent license of the product. But this type of large scale statistical analysis showed that that you have a dose response, we call it the higher titer of antibodies leads to a better response. The earlier someone gets it, the better. We'll want to confirm all of that. As you know, NIH and FDA would like through the the randomized clinical trials, but for an emergency in this unprecedented pandemic, this is a very accepted type of treatment.

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And now it has the authorization from the FDA to go forward and all hospitals.

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Secretary, there have been plenty of headlines about how, you know, the FDA authorized this use of plasma under pressure. You know, the word pressure has been applied. And a lot of these headlines from the Trump administration and the president himself did tweet something about like the deep state at the FDA is making it difficult to get vaccines and therapeutics and that, you know, that they're hoping to delay everything until after the election, November 3rd. Can you comfortably say there is no pressure to approve plasma as a treatment?

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So the the we're in an unprecedented pandemic and President Trump is going to ensure that we get rid of any unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that stands in the way of saving lives. This convalescent plasma data came in over the course of the last week, was being analyzed by NIH and FDA and actually, as of Friday, were preparing rollout materials for an authorization on Sunday. So that was already well underway. This was, as we said, an independent determination by the Center for Biologics at the FDA, the career top official, as well as Commissioner Hahn, the commissioner of food and drugs.

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And the FDA is not delaying vaccines or therapeutics until after the election, right?

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No, but what what what the president is insisting on what I insist on is that we move as quickly as we can to meet the FDA's safety, efficacy and regulatory standards, whether it's therapeutics or vaccines. And that's really what's behind operation warp speed is how can we reduce any inefficiency, get rid of any unnecessary bureaucratic red tape to move with speed because people's lives are at risk here.

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This is a global, unprecedented pandemic and we have got to move as quickly as possible. Our normal timelines just can't hold. We've got to move fast. The president insists on that. But we're also going to insist that products, whether therapeutics or vaccines, meet the FDA standards of data and evidence to meet the regulatory requirements.

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So many have already been given convalescent plasma as part of a trial, including 68 year old Dennis Zemmour, who lives in a rural part of Pennsylvania. He has an underlying health condition that impacts his lungs. He got covid earlier this month. He says he was careful and has no idea how he got it.

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I started running a fever and I had night sweats like these three nights in a row or so. And I was run on one hundred and one and 102 fever. And I was dehydrating. I started getting shakes and dry seems to mean that I was really weak. I could tell I was getting dizzy and I knew I was getting dehydrated. So I told my fiancee, I said, you're going to have to take me to the hospital. So you are you're 68 years old, you have an underlying health condition having to do with your lungs, it sounds like.

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Yeah. How scared were you get?

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It scared me pretty good. I mean, what's the other health issues I had and I knew this the way it did. I mean, it went straight to my lungs right away, and I get a lot of anxiety out of it. I mean, when I went to the emergency room, they had nothing really set up or told the patients that they kind of put me in a small room by myself with some oxygen and they put of stuff on me to bring my dehydration back to normal so I can, you know, because I couldn't drink and actually put some fluids in me when I was laying in there, just kind of dawned on me that, yeah, I'm hoping that I'm going to get out of here.

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I mean, this you know, it scared me pretty good.

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Talk to me about the the course of treatment because you were given a number of things. And the reason we're talking to you is because one of the things you were given was convalescent plasma, but you were also given Ramdas severe. It sounds like you were given sort of a cocktail.

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Yeah. When they, they first came to me with a fever and disappear and said, you know, I guess it's still experimental. I don't know. But they asked if I wanted to try it and I said yes, I said I'll do, I want to try anything to get rid of this stuff. I mean, I didn't want to spend any more time in the hospital and I had to make sure they didn't. I don't want those to disappear.

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And then they said about the convalescent plasma. I said, yes. I said I. I had worked in the medical field as an EMT, you know, in my younger days back in the 70s and 80s. And I knew plasma was something that it's not really going to hurt you. There's nothing really in it other than antibodies. And I said, look, if that's if this is from a cold patient and they are experimenting with this to use their antibiotics to help someone, I said, yes, I'll try it.

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So I signed up for a study.

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So your previous sort of knowledge of what plasma even is, is what made you feel comfortable?

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Yes. Yes.

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Now that the FDA has approved the the the emergency use authorization to give people this more broadly, what do you think? Would you tell another covid patient, look, just just try this? I mean, do you think it's what did it for you or do you think it's the Ramdas very you just you don't know?

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Oh, I don't know. But like I said that once I heard that the person that they were pushing this and it was OK. Yeah. I would, I would tell anybody to. Yes. Go ahead and take the plasma. It is not going to hurt you. And I said if the antibodies in there help you at all, if it's worth the chance to take it. And I told them, I said once I get over this, I'm not sure how long they will let you go before you can donate plasma.

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But I told them I would also donate plasma back to them for a later date for someone else if they need it.

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Are you convinced that it helped in your case? I, I don't know. But I would say I mean, with my improvement as best as I did, I said it probably didn't help me.

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So I asked Dennis, since he's experienced covid how he feels about the politics of it all from his swing state. Perche, is he disappointed in the handling of the virus from either the president or Pennsylvania's Democratic governor or health officials?

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I don't think it's the politicians fault. I mean, there there's nothing. I mean, the president tried to shut the country down right away when he heard this was coming over. And I said the governor I mean, a lot of people don't like the way he's doing things, but do say it. It's all it's all political to slow things down. But I don't know. I don't really believe all that because this this is a serious disease. I mean, I said it to people that didn't get that second.

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I think it was nothing to it. But the people that really got sick on it, you ask them and they'll say, you know, there's a big difference here. I don't blame the politicians.

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I know it's the people need to do their own thing here. If you're not afraid of it, don't do what you want to do. And that's the one to take care of yourself.

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Interesting. Dennis Zamba, I'm so glad I got to speak to you. Thank you so much for your time and stay healthy. Thank you.

[00:24:58]

From the Fox News broadcast network, stay on top of the latest news and information from Fox News, listen and download the Fox News hourly update on your time, the trending stories you need any time you want to listen and download. Now, by going to Fox News podcasts, dotcom, subscribe to this podcast at Fox News podcasts dot com.

[00:25:17]

It's time for your Fox News commentary. Geraldo Rivera, what's on your mind?

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There are competing visions of America going on in the two political conventions. The Democrats last week seeing this more or less as a referendum over Donald Trump, especially his handling of the covid-19 crisis. Did he do all he could have as soon as he should have in dealing with the plague?

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Republicans this week see it as society's last chance this election to protect itself against urban violence and decay.

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Law and order.

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A black man was shot in the midst of all this. His name, Jacob Blak, and he survived surgery and is now in stable condition after being shot seven times in the back by cops in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Riots and arson followed as angry residents took the opportunity to loot and burn and scarred their city, shot by cops. Jacob get sympathy. Democratic leaders have yet to publicly show any victim of black on black violence, which is far more prominent.

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But that doesn't matter.

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This was a deeply troubling event in a thoughtful and understandably anguished statement following the back shooting of Jacob Blake by cops in Kenosha. LeBron James King James, the basketball superstar, said it shows why black people are terrified of police for black people right now, we think you are hunting us.

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Isn't that sad, ladies and gentlemen, that this has come to this?

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Far more black people may be shot by other black people than by cops, but that is no comfort. There's no denying that black men are treated much more negatively and have much more intensely negative experiences dealing with cops than white men do.

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I don't know why Jake Blake was shot in the back, but it's things we wish him.

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We wish the victims of all this violence a speedy recovery.

[00:27:17]

I'm Haroldswick, our reporting Fox News.

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You've been listening to the Fox News rundown, and I'll stay up to date by subscribing to this podcast and Fox News podcasts, Dotcom and for up to the minute news, go to Fox News dot com. Thinks the Perrino and Steigerwald, I'll tell you what, vodcast Dana Perino of the five and Fox News political editor Chris Steigerwald dissect the ins and outs of national politics. Subscribe and listen now by going to Fox News podcasts Duncombe.