Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs engaged in a lengthy debate with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto over mandatory masking requirements and the fight against COVID-19.
The Thursday “Your World with Neil Cavuto” debate came as more southern and western states, including Texas, issue mandatory masking orders as an attempt to curb recent coronavirus spikes.
“I have to tell you I’m reticent to believe that if masks work so well then why is L.A. spiking and surging with COVID cases where they’ve had a mandatory mask regulation in effect for seven weeks now,” Biggs said, responding to Cavuto’s question about whether masks should be required. “There is no empirical evidence that that is the case.”
After the Fox News anchor interrupted and insisted that many “were ignoring” the Los Angelas mask order, Biggs pointed to “over 90 studies” that all point to the n95 as the only one that actually “has any efficacy.”
When Biggs criticized White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci’s various positions on the mask issue, Cavuto cited Arizona’s current spike in cases.
“You have hospitalizations and ICU bed use, the highest of this crisis,” Cavuto said. “Your people are listening to you and you’re saying we can ease up?”
The Arizona congressman accused Cavuto of “cherry-picking” his data points.
“I’m not cherry-picking anything!” Cavuto exclaimed. “I’m telling you about the ICU bed uses. I’m telling you about the hospital bed uses. I’m not saying the whole state is a disaster, you right now have the nation’s highest case load.”
“If you let me respond I will refute every one of those data points,” said Biggs. “We have the highest number perhaps on a per capita basis of new cases. Those are mostly coming to age 20-44 brackets. We have also had over the past few weeks a reduction in hospitalizations by almost 100%, from 11.5%, down to 5.6 today. If you also take a look at the fatality rates, we have moved from over 4%, just about 30 days ago now to right now at 2%. We have seen that transpire. If you take a look at the 5,300 people that had been discharged from hospitals in the last 30 days and you look at the last eight days, what you would see is every day we’ve had an increase in the number of discharges. We have actually had a reduction in the last two days in the ICU bed usage.”
Cavuto pointed to the hospital bed usage rate approaching 90%, a “record high.”
The two then debated whether Trump’s task force had outlived its use.
“What I’m saying is, the task force may not be necessary anymore and what I’m saying is Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx have undermined what this president is trying to do,” Biggs insisted.
The segment ended with Biggs attempting to give “the full picture” of hospital bed usage but Cavuto running out of time. (RELATED: ‘I Think We Should Largely Be Left Free’: Rand Paul Sounds Off On Schools, Lockdowns, And Mandatory Masking)
On Wednesday, Fox News medical analyst Dr. Marc Siegel explained the surge in hospitalizations in Texas as mostly being made up of people “getting the elective surgeries they need – cancer operations, heart disease operations, hernia operations” they hadn’t been able to receive during the COVID lockdowns.