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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  March 14, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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welcome to the place where the aroma of authenticity turns into the scent of home. where cacique inspires you to add your own flair. and the warmth of friends and family is in every bite. cacique. your auténtico awaits. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live. today on the show, president biden has signed into law a $1.9 trillion relief package that will deliver aid to america's poorest. but the economic world is asking
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the goldilocks question. is it too big, too small or just the right size? i'll talk to two of the world's most foremost economists, larry summers and paul krugman. then what is the quad? president biden met with the leaders of japan, india and australia, a new bloc focused on deterring china. will it work? i'll talk to an expert. and the biotech revolution brought us covid-19 vaccines more swift than anyone thought possible. it's given us the ability to edit genes to cure diseases and the innovations on the horizon are even more extraordinary. i will ask walter isackson to
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describe what's next. but first, here's my take. within hours of being inaugurated, president biden began to roll back donald trump's most egregious migration policies, which biden called a stain on our natural conscience. he outlined an ambitious proposal for comprehensive reform, including a battle for citizenship living and working in america. literally hundreds of other rules, regulations and fees put in place by trump all designed to make it harder for foreigners at every stage of the process for tourists or immigrants to enter or stay in the united states. unfortunately, all these vital efforts could be undermined by
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decisions that are producing a new immigration process on america's southern border. in recent years, hundreds of thousands of central americans have tried to enter the united states to ask for asylum. the trump administration initially used cruel tactics, including separating children from their parents and putting them in cages. but eventually arrived at a practical policy. it stopped taking in asylum seekers at the southern border and forced them to wait in mexico for cases to be resolved and made people seek asylum in a neighboring country rather than the united states. now biden has overturned those policies, and that combined with with a generous approach to migration has brought double the
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amount of unaccompanied minors than in 2020. officials at the border are already overwhelmed. there has been a particular surge of unaccompanied children, pro biden making an exception to them. we now have to find ways to house 4,000 migrant children and we're even looking at an army base. the asylum system is out of control. the concept of asylum dates back to world war ii when the united states created a separate bath to legal status for those who perceived illegal prosecution. it was a refusal to take in jews in the 1930s.
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usually it was extreme discrimination, but the vast majority of people entering the southern border are really traditional migrants fleeing poverty and violence. this is a sad situation, but it does not justify giving them special consideration above others around the world who seek to come to the united states for similar reasons but go through the normal process. trump already smells blood. having been elected in 2016 in some large measure because of fears about illegal immigration, he's already attacking biden on this issue. it dominated his speech at cpac last month where he said, with his usual hyperbole -- >> joe biden has let a massive flood of immigrants into our country the likes of which we've never seen before. >> last week he made another statement claiming these people were criminals and covid carriers. the tragedy is that this border crisis, and trump's demagoguery
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around it could interrupt the system. there is a much larger group that include skills the united states needs as well as those entering to reunite with their families. thanks to trump's policies, these immigrants and would-be immigrants now face a more hostile environment than at any point since the united states ended quotas in 1965. you can see it in the numbers. with pandemic restrictions on top of everything else, immigration in the united states has plunged to levels not seen in four decades. some of the world's best and brightest are now choosing to go to more hospitable countries, to canada, to britain, to australia. without immigration, the united states faces a dire future. it means less people, and less
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young people, which limits growth in our country. let's get started. >> i believe this historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving middle class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance. >> that was president biden in the oval office on thursday just before signing the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill into law. it was passed, it should be noted, without a single republican vote despite polls showing it had support of somewhere around two-thirds of all americans. to help us make sense of it all are two of the world's most distinguished economists.
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paul krugman won the 2008 nobel peace prize. he is now columnist of the "new york times". and he worked under president obama. what i am struck by i think in my adult lifetime this is the first fiscal policy where benefits go primarily to the poor. >> yeah, this is definitely -- i can't think of anything like this. maybe you have to go back to the new deal to see anything like this. we really don't have a fiscal expansion on this scale, a spending expansion on this scale. you have to go back to the korean war to find anything of this magnitude, and of course that was about a war and this one, the benefits are concentrated in the bottom half,
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and to an important extent, the bottom half of the distribution. >> larry, you have dealt with the politics of this kind of thing, both under the obama and clinton years, and i'm thinking of the obama stimulus which got not a single republican vote. what do you think the calculus of republicans is here? two-thirds of the country seems to approve it. what's going on? >> i'm not going to try to speak for republicans, fareed. look, there is a historic achievement in reducing child poverty in this fiscal stimulus. its cost is about 7% of the total. the concern about this bill is that its sheer scale relative -- the economy needs a lot of energy, but if you put too much water in the bathtub, it starts to overflow. and as i look at this bill,
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we're just trying to pour too much water in, and i wish it were actually true that even a third of the money was going to people who were in poverty. most of it is not. most of it is going to the middle of the population, and it's going in one-shot transfers, not in things that are ultimately going to build and strengthen the economy. that's why as much as i admire the effort, as much as i admire the progress against poverty, i am worried that the sheer scale is going to crowd out our doing what we need to do to compete with china, to build back better the president's principal aspiration, and i'm very worried this will lead to difficulty down the road as inflation picks up and the fed has to respond.
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>> paul, you know, you have described this as different from a stimulus, more like wartime spending. i was wondering how you would respond to that, which is it was the wartime spending of the vietnam war, at least the conventional wisdom holds, that led to the runaway administration of the 1970s. >> first of all, there were a lot of other things that happened to lead to that inflation, and it also took many years of sustained irresponsible policy to get us to the stagnation of the '70s. the closest analogy would be the korean war which did lead to inflation for one year, but not sustained inflation, so it
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turned out to not be a big problem, and i think there are reasons to think this won't be nearly on that scale. for what it's worth, there are people who are actually in the business of making forecasts who think this is a big bill, and there is a lot of stimulus, even if it's mostly about stimulus, but it's not something that will cause a massive overheating. i could be wrong, larry could be right, but the consensus is not raising alarm bells about this bill. ly. >> i'm not so sure, paul. if current trends continue, it will have risen more than any quarter in this century except for 1980. markets are sending a clear signal of concern. second, you cut things off in the fourth quarter. if we've got an economy that is rapidly growing and above potential, the inflation could
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well materialize in 2022. third, look at -- look carefully at the magnitude of this stimulus. we are talking about something that's on the order of 14% of gdp, and people like you, people like me, most economists until very recently thought that when you had a dollar of stimulus, it added about a dollar or more to gdp, and if that works out any time in the next two or three years, we're going to have a problem, which is what markets are recognizing. >> so, paul, let me ask you just about the size, because it's not just this bill, right? if you add the two previous bills that were passed under the trump administration, we're at something like 30% of gdp? is there some point at which you would get word? >> all i can say is, look, if this was designed as a stimulus,
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if this had been designed to get maximum bang for buck, then we would be getting numbers that might be a concern, but it wasn't. and my take on it is that biden is going to be in a position to say, hey, look, we've got a blooming economy, a bunch of you have gotten checks, government can do lots of good, and then he'll be in a strong political position to do what needs to be done to invest in the future. larry's view is it's going to be, inflation has taken off, oh, my god, big sggovernment is a villain, biden is a reinca reincarnation. that's not what my numbers think are going to happen, it's not what the forecasters think is going to happen. this is a done deal, so now we're going to see what really
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happens. next on "gps," does this new law represent the most important piece of domestic policy legislation since the new deal or the war on poverty? the debate continues when we come back. get paid ♪ ♪ and all that glitters is gold ♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's. with any handcrafted burger. visible is wireless that doesn't play games. it's powered by verizon for as little as $25 a month. but it gets crazier. bring a friend every month and get every month for $5. boom! 12 months of $5 wireless. visible, wireless that gets better with friends.
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all it takes is the slightest push in just the right place and that will be the tipping point that changes everything. ♪ ♪ we are back with paul krugman and larry summers talking about the $1.9 trillion relief bill that became law on thursday. larry, do you worry that the infrastructure bill will not happen because in a sense -- biden has used up all his political capital for this one? >> i think we used up a lot of economic space and political space, but particularly economic
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space, on this bill. it just defies belief that you can commit $2 trillion to a program that contains no public investment and not have less capacity for public investment than if you had not made a commitment of that magnitude. i just don't find it plausible. and i think we're taking very substantial risks. it would have been much better to have talked about large sums like this but to have talked about things that would help us compete with the chinese, to talk about things that would help us prepare children for the 21st century, that would help us save the planet rather than what we've done here, which is make transfer payments in virtually every direction. and yes, when we do that to the
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poorest people, that is exactly right. but some of the transfer payments we've made, i think, are quite misguided. for example, i believe strongly in unemployment insurance, but i do not believe in a program where the majority of unemployment insurance recipients are getting considerably more money than they got when they were working. i think full insurance is enough, insurance past that point is too much. that, in a way, is emblematic is why i'm concerned about what this program is going to do to the economy. >> paul, i wanted to ask you, there was an interesting column by steve pearlstein, the "washington post" economic columnist, i think it was his final column. he's a pretty straightforward liberal, but he said, i worry a lot about a new liberal
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orthodoxy that says deficits don't matter, it pays for themselves, and it sounds like the view you have, that tax cuts pay for themselves. can one borrow unendingly? are you not worried? >> is it possible to have a spending program that is too big? the things larry worry might happen as a result of this plan, are those things that can happen? definitely. i'm okay with 1.9 trillion, but if someone had come along and said, let's do 4 trillion this year, then i would say, that's inflationary. that's too far. but the really important thing, i think, if we're trying to think about this future is that this is a short-term, this is a crisis response, it is a rescue
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plan. it's very front loaded. >> larry, you get the final word. >> here's the irony, fareed. there is a lot that's good in this program. but i think its advocates try to have it both ways. on the one hand when a concern about inflation is raised, they explain that it's mostly temporary and transient and just a relief program and really just a special one-year thing. on the other hand, most of the time they're explaining how it's the most fundamental revolution in american policy since the new deal. and you can't really have it both ways. you can either have long-term transformation, or you can have temporary action. what i would have liked to see more is a program of this scale or larger that was paid for and was focused on investment and
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contained the necessary relief. this program goes vastly beyond, as my unemployment insurance example illustrates, what was necessary to provide relief, and it doesn't -- with the exception of the child care, anti-poverty thing which is really important, it doesn't really do much that either represents an improvement on social investment, poverty or the revolutionary adjustment in our country. i think that's what we'll look back on and regret, not that we did something, but that we weren't more calibrated and careful in the design that we did. >> we'll watch what happens and perhaps have the two of you back to do a midterm analysis. thanks very much, paul krugman
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and larry summers. >> thank you. next on "gps," china is worried that biden might be forming an exclusive clique with the leaders of nations he met with on friday. what is this all about? we'll tell you in a moment. ...with this. when kids won't eat dinner, potato pay them to. ore-ida. win at mealtime. you packed a record 1.1 trillion transistors into this chip. i invested in invesco qqq. a fund that invests in the innovators of the nasdaq 100, like you. become an agent of innovation with invesco qqq. ♪
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the quad, and their collective focus is countering china. at the end of this week, secretary of state blinken and adviser solomon will meet with their chinese counterparts face to face for the first time in alaska. joining me now to talk about results and expectations is susan horton. she was acting secretary of state for east asia pacific affairs under secretary of state rex tillerson. good afternoon. let me ask you, they have had a coalition for a while. it appears that india is taking a much more active role and at a higher level. does this signal that india has finally decided to join a kind of explicitly anti-chinese or countering chinese camp? >> i think it's interesting, fareed, that india has finally stepped up and shown more willingness to engage with this so-called quad grouping of countries. it's been reluctant in the past
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to join with the group because of its pretty explicit symbolism against china. i think now, of course, with the border clashes that we saw between india and china, they have stepped up, and i also think there is more wherewithall for this group to cooperate on things that are substantive going forward. >> one of the things that has happened in an awkward bit of timing, the quad talks a great deal about democracy, about being free and open. this week you have had two major international institutions, freedom house and the v-dem institute in sweden, downgrade india to a non-democracy to partly free or electoral
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hiptocracy. is this because they wanted them to be part of the anti-soviet camp? >> this does present a little bit of a problem for the quad members because they want to portray the organization a so-called diamond of democracies, as it's been called. but i think it's not exactly like the cold war because there are things the group can do together, and part of the impetus behind the quad, frankly, is an effort to get india to become more active in the east asia region, a bigger contributor to global public goods. so i think the quad can work on those issues. of course, india is a democracy even with problems. i think we can probably allow that a lot of countries have problems even though they are democracies, so these are potential things we can work around, but it shouldn't come to some kind of conflict overall
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with efforts of the group to work on issues that they spelled out in their meeting on friday, which are really about kind of transnational issues. so the public face of the quad wants to be about attacking these transnational issues, the pandemic, technology issues. the hidden issue is against china. i think they'll be able to make that balance going forward. >> we don't have a lot of time, but have you been struck by the fact that on china, the biden administration's policies seem more a continuation of donald trump's than a significant departure from them? >> it's not unexpected, i would say. they're kind of trying to assess where they want to go on china. we have this meeting coming up next week between don't i
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blinken and jake sullivan and their counterparts in china, and i think that will basically be an airing of frustrations for sure on both sides. what we've really got to do is restart diplomatic communication. president biden has talked about coming to china from a position of strength, and i think now that they've met with this quad grouping, tony blinken, of course, will be meeting in northeast asia, japan and korea before this meeting which is a good sequence to come to this meeting, and i think since there will be an airing of frustrations, what we need to do is look to a future road map or way of sitting down and looking at sort of the issues of problem areas and the issues of cooperation and working out how we're going to start up communication and actual practical work with china on some of these irritants that have been plaguing the relationship. and i think the biden
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administration is going to be able to make this shift. there are just so many issues on the plate, and a lot of them are very thorny, so it's taking some time to iron them out. but, of course, the relationship with china is going to continue to be quite contested and quite competitive, but i think the biden team is looking to balance that out a bit with constructive cooperation on areas that are really challenging and where we need china to be at least collaborating with the rest of the world. >> susan thornton, pleasure to have you on. thank you. >> thank you. when we come back, walter isackson on the next great scientific revolution.
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only nine months later, a british grandmother became the first person to get the pfizer vaccine outside clinical trials. the biotech revolution is the thing that let it move at breakneck speed. walter isackson sets his sights in "the code breaker." you talk about the three great scientific revolutions that have taken place, really, in the last 100 years. the first one, the quantum revolution where einstein and people like that help us understand what's underneath the atom. the second, the information revolution that helps us organize all information into bits and bytes. the third, the biotech
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revolution. explain what that means and will it be as far reaching as the first two? >> i think it will definitely be more far reaching than the first two, because it means we can code molecules. we can tell them, hey, spike the protein so we can have immunity in the coronavirus. or we can tell it to cut dna at this spot. and down the road we can say, hey, let's edit in some dna that we want so we can design our children to have certain traits that might make them healthier or safer, or go down a path we may not want to go down to harm our children in a way that hurts the species. it's a beautiful story of adventure.
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>> at the center of the story is really rna, the somewhat neglected sibling of dna. explain why rna, which is really the way human life began, the replication, why is it so important and maybe use covid-19 and the message to help explain to viewers. >> when jennifer was six years old, she got rna, which is the counterpart of dna. as you say, dna is the famous sibling, the one that gets on the magazine covers. but rna, like some of the famous siblings, is the one that does the real work. what rna does is it goes into the nucleus, gets genetic information and acts as a messenger to get to the outside
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cell. with that messenger function, it says, hey, build this follicle or this hormone. it really does all the work. that's how we put it to work in order to do the pfizer biontech and moderna vaccines. we had never seen these types of vaccines, but they just reprogrammed the rna and said, tell ourselves to build a tiny fragment of protein that the coronavirus has. that made it really safe and really fast, and ehere's the important thing. it means you can code it. if it becomes much different, you just type in a new code as if you were cutting and pasting a document or reprogramming a website. >> so in a sense what it has done is it's taken the making of
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vaccines which is kind of a artisemal virus and saying to the body, hey, this is what you should be looking for to fight the virus. >> exactly. that's why we call it messenger rna. and instead of taking six or seven years, you can do this by just typing in a new code. they did it within three and four weeks when pfizer biontech and moderna were working together on it. and this miracle rna can do two or three things. it can act as a messenger to
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say, build this protein. it can act as a guide where you attach it to an enzyme and say, cut the dna right here. we borrowed that from bacteria. they've been fighting viruses for more than a billion years, and there is so much more we can do to fight cancer, to fight genetic diseases and do detection technology so we'll have these home kits that use this crisper technology to say, no, you don't have coronavirus, you have strep throat. or you're eating the wrong type of yogurt, your gut bionome isn't acting very well. it will bring biology into our homes the way the personal computer brought microchips into our homes. >> a chinese doctor tried a very ambitious strategy with gene editing where he decided he was going to take a pair of twins and make sure they never got
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aids. what was wrong with that idea? >> what he did was he crossed a line that we've been reluctant to cross, because the edits i've talked about can stop sickle cell anemia, if you do it in reproductive cells, they become inheritable which means not only the patients have it, but it's passed down from generation to generation, and we've tried to draw the line until the chinese doctor did that. so people were appalled, but as you said, now that we've been hit with the coronavirus and people are saying, wait a minute, what's wrong with editing our species so we're less susceptible to viruses? it's interesting, especially with tony blinken and jake sullivan meeting with country leaders. they put that doctor in jail. they mate it so we don't do
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inheritable edit, and they're all working together nationally on rules of the road for gene editing. so when blirnnken and sullivan e there meeting with their counterparts, they'll have a whole list of things to fight about. scientific cooperation on gene editing should be at the top of that list. >> we've got 30 seconds, walter. i want you to give the last word to david in your book who had sickle cell anemia and was asked would he like his genes to be edited. tell us what he said. >> you know, it's a thought-provoking thing. he's doubled over with sickle cell, a 17-year-old boy named david sanchez, and they said, hey, we can cure it for future generations.
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he said, that's great. but maybe that should be up to the kid. they said why? >> sickle cell made me more compassionate. i had empathy for other people because i went through it. so when we start fiddling with the human race, we have to make sure we keep that compassion and empathy and we don't say, okay, we're going to end all adversity in society. i was so touched by that 17-year-old. i think he's the best b bioethicism in my book. >> walter isackson, always a pleasure to read anything you write. >> thank you. we'll be right back. better .
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and what in the world segment. this week marked a full year since many americans first went into lockdown. a year since our last saw the gps team in person. a year ago covid 189 was already well on its way to becoming the
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greatest public health emergency faced in decades. behind closed doors, another public health crisis was growing mostly unnoticed. the opioid epidemic. you remember it was one of the glaring problems in prepandemic america. well, it got much worse during covid. take a laook at this chart from the cdc. as we know, overdose deaths have been higher the past few years but the rate accelerated when covid-19 began sweeping the nation. unlike the virus, the opioid was not isolated to a few spots. these deaths have gone up in 40 states since lockdowns began. at one va hospital, overdose cases were reportedly up 1,000%. some places like san francisco where more people died last year from opioid overdoses than from
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covid-19. what in the world is going on? some of the causes may be obvious. according to harvard physician michael barnett, the pandemic was a perfect storm for se substance abuse, the lockdowns increased isolation and despair feelings. economic downturn is also proven exacerbate symptoms. often time people are using opioids alone. there are more sturl causes for the spike. lockdowns doesn't just trigger substance abuse. across the board, states have got budgets for social services, treatments centers, and medical training. in a september survey, 52% of community mental health
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organizations reported that demand for their services had increased but at the same time 26% have had to lay off staff and 54% have had to shut down programs. now trump's c.a.r.e.s. act marked 2020 and the covid relief bill biden signed this week allocated a few billion dollars for mental health and substance abuse programs but experts said it doesn't feel the gaping hole left by the recession. there are measures of hope. first, the new covid relief bill incentivized further expansion of medication, which the kaiser family foundation reports it was responsible for 40% of opioid addiction treatments. further, the medications to treat these addictions have become easier to access thanks to new restrictions and expanded tele health. many medical experts help the changes will last past the pandemic and even when life returns to normal, drug treatments will have shifted
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forever. but my worry is the new normal on the market has become an increased use of dependence and abuse of these dangerous drugs. it's one more of the deep and long lasting scars left by the pandemic and the lockdowns. thank you for being a part of my program this week. we'll see you next week. get 2 unlimited lines for only $70. and now get netflix on us with your plan. and this rate is fixed, you'll pay exactly $70 total. this month and every month. plus, switch today and get a free smartphone for each line. the best value and award-winning customer service. only at t-mobile. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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