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ICYMI: Rubio on Fox and Friends
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox & Friends to discuss the success of Operation Warp Speed, the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, labor shortages, and infrastructure. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On the federal government’s role in preventing future cyberattacks:
“The first [thing we need] is mandatory reporting; in the case of the pipeline, obviously that’s not something that they could necessarily cover up because you could see the disruption, but there are plenty of businesses out there who get hit with ransomware attacks and never report it… So for those critical industries there has to be reporting requirements where they tell us when they’ve been attacked.
“I think that there should be minimum requirements for key infrastructure in this country [to] have in place to defend itself, and I think there has to be a singular agency — we don’t have to create a new one, but someone who is in charge of the immediate response to it — and is constantly updating everybody about the latest and greatest technologies available to help prevent against this sort of attack.”
On how to respond to the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack:
“First of all, you have to attribute who [to respond] to; in many cases these are just criminal groups that are out there doing this… What you’ll find is that a lot of the people involved in this are either cyber actors that once worked for the Russian Federation or have links to the Russian Federation, and in some ways — for example, for North Korea — it’s part of how they generate revenue for the government. So I do think there has to be some level of attribution that we’re pretty clear about and so that people understand it.
“But I think we also have to have better awareness… I think we’re going to see more cases of [cyberattacks], and I think some could be life-threatening if it happens to a hospital system or an airline, or pharmaceutical companies.”
On the current labor shortage and increased unemployment benefits:
“I’m not calling anybody lazy; I do call people logical, and the logic tells you that if you’re going to make almost as much or even more in some cases not working than working, you’re going to do that until such time as that no longer exists.
“I saw a sign yesterday at a coffee shop in Miami that said, ‘Due to the labor crisis we are understaffed.’ Everyone is telling us this. And I hear these reports, ‘Well, it’s because people are afraid, their kids can’t go back to school’ — schools have been open in Florida since September… You can walk into a CVS or a Walgreens and get a vaccine now.
“So [the] bottom line is simple…what employees are telling the employer is when my unemployment runs out, then I’ll come back to work. I’m going to make more or I can make almost as much not working, and I can make some money on the side and not have to report it for tax purposes. Again, I’m not calling anybody lazy. This is a logical, numbers-based decision that some people have made. I’m not saying it’s the only factor, but it’s real. It’s small businesses that are telling us they cannot fill job openings.”
On the success of Operation Warp Speed:
“This vaccine… is a good example of how industrial policy, targeted industrial policy, can work. Operation Warp Speed will go down in history as one of the greatest successes in American history. It is the government partnering with the private sector to take existing research and repurpose it and massively produce a vaccine… We’ve done vaccines by far better than any nation on the planet, and it’s one of the reasons why you’re starting to see more and more things get back to normal. But it’s a good example of how a targeted partnership with the government and the private sector can help serve the common good.”
“You can say anything you want about the early days and the shutdowns and masks and everything; people have their opinions on that. What is indisputable is [that] we now have three approved vaccines, we should have a fourth pretty soon. Most countries barely have one, if any, and [ours] were developed [in] basically less than a year, within nine or ten months of this virus emerging. That’s an historic achievement. It would have been impossible anywhere else in the world and it’s a reminder of why we have to have industrial capacity. Thank God we can make vaccines in this country, because if we couldn’t make them we’d be begging some other country to make it for us, and they’d take the lion’s share of that production away.”
On the possibility of Republicans and Democrats striking a deal on the infrastructure bill:
“We shouldn’t spend a dollar more than we need to; we should invest sufficiently in the things that we need: roads, bridges, and infrastructure. There’s widespread support for that. Roads and bridges and infrastructure is not a partisan issue — at least it doesn’t have to be. So I think there will be a deal. I don’t know, because it’s so hyper-partisan up here. Do I think there can be a deal that’s good for the country? I absolutely believe there can be and I hope today’s the beginning of that. We’ll find out.”
“At the end of the day, it’s [about] what does it cost to build the roads and bridges we need, and that’s what we pass. But you don’t add a bunch of stuff to it that has nothing to do with roads and bridges and infrastructure, which is what [Democrats have] been trying to do in their initial proposal.”