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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 7, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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president biden putting in full-court press, arguing that corporate tax cuts are necessary
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to pay for it but saying he is open to negotiations on tax rates. also, president biden planning to announce that he is taking his first executive action on guns in the wake of the deadly mass shootings last month in atlanta and boulder. and the derek chauvin murder trial in police use of force, that chauvin used deadly force by kneeling on george floyd's tech when it was no longer necessary. that floyd was on the ground, hand cuffed and not resisting. i want to bring in my guests. good evening to you both. john, let's start with you. the president is really tuning out the noise, pushing ahead on guns, infrastructure, speeding up vaccinations. while the gop goes all in on trump and the culture wars. is this just the way it is now? biden is on his own, getting things done and the gop is talking about things are
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irrelevant? >> i think it is a snap shot of how it is. this is consistent with the joe biden campaign. he did not overindex twitter talk. he focused on where the real votes were. you have some polarization in congress where you have the republican party dispro disproportionately dominated. where being a troll is a siphon success rather than getting anything done. biden is betting on his proposals are popular with republican voters. there's all this talk of bipartisan support but we haven't seen any evidence of it. there is a risk of blowback. in. at least he's going big and trying to get things done, betting those actions will help him cobble together a majority. >> that's really, being a troll is a sign of success and that's what's happening on the right right now. rather than actually working for
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their constituents and the american people. i had this conversation just now with charlie and gloria borger about senator joe manchin out with his new op-ed saying that he will not vote to weaken the filibuster. does this mean no voting rights act? >> yeah. that very well could be the outcome. and i think the idea that, you know, that somehow we should be trying to find more comity and keep the filibuster because what charlie was saying, the more extreme sides, right? are the ones that want to get rid of the filibuster. and i have a lot of respect for charlie but do i respectfully disagree with the idea that the extremes in the democratic party and the extremes in the republican party have anything to do with each other. the extremes in the democratic party want voting rights.
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the extremes in the democratic party want single payer health care. they want to have health insurance for everybody. so these are not really highly problematic views. they may be views that people disagree with. but they're not the same times of things that republicans want to do. for example, republicans want to make it so people can't vote. certain people can't vote. so it is harder for black people to vote. so make it harder for anyone in the democratic party can vote. so it's not really an apples to apples comparison in my mind. so if i was joe biden, i would support getting rid of the filibuster. >> it was just what you were saying. talking about restricting people from voting. i was looking at the top election official in mississippi saying it was dangerous to have college students voting because they may be woke. well --
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>> doesn't really work that way. >> that's not how it works. he actually believes that is a real defense. he thinks it is right. that's the problem -- >> he's saying the quiet part out loud. because they're claiming that is not what this is about. like they're not trying to, they're not trying to keep anybody from voting. they're trying protect people from fraud. he's saying the real reason which is, we don't want people voting. like we actually, that's actually with we're doing. >> but it is also a measure of the right wing ecosystem where an elected official does stay quiet part out loud. >> john, john, john, john. john. they actually, he believes that what he is saying is right. it's not like he's hiding it. he thinks his logic is correct. that it is okay to do it. and there are many people who
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feel that yeah. of course. we can't have that happen. they don't understand, no, that's not the way it works. it is not like he said something by accident. that's what he thinks. he thinks it's right. >> up with hundred%. and this is what we're confronting. this is about arguments being percolated in an echo chamber. we had a fellow on yesterday about the insurrection at the capitol. this was not about economic resentment. this was about white identity politics. fear of demographic change. the great replacement theory. stuff that has been prom gated on the far right and that's what we're can you be fronting which is why it is difficult to have a debate based on common facts. we have to keep on trying to do it. and i will say in defense of joe manchin. he said he think there's could be bipartisan support for elements of the voting rights act. that is a big if.
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but biden talks about unity. and i'm not trying on diminish the hurdle here but there is a question of leading with example. the greatest difficulty is that you have a disfrom portionate influence on the right wing of the republican party that is not dealing with a common set of facts. >> this is a political strategy for the right. for the republicans. they don't have anything else to run on other than dr. seuss and mrs. potato head being canceled. the fact is a lot of the voters do support a lot of the things joe biden is doing. so what they have to do, they have to focus on things and inundate their voters with this so-called cancel culture stuff because that's what's going to get them riled up. if the voters were hearing about the things joe biden was doing that they support, that would be
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a real problem for them. so that's -- >> when i speak to people who are not necessarily liberal, they do know what joe biden is doing. and this whole idea about him as this dawdling person who has no idea what they're doing. they're not buying it. and that's the danger. that's why they're scrambling and panicking. people really aren't buying it. it is not sticking. i've got to run. >> that's why they're inundating this white grievance politics. >> i have someone very special waiting. not that you are not special. i love you guys. i'll see you soon. president biden pushing back against criticism from republicans that he is taking liberties with the definition of infrastructure including things like job training and funning for child and elder care. >> we need to start seeing infrastructure through its effect on the lives of working people in america. what is the foundation today that they need to carve out
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their place in the middle class? but to automatically say that the only thing this infrastructure, a highway, a bridge, whatever, that's not rational. it really isn't. >> joining me now to discuss, energy secretary jennifer granholm. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> you bet. glad to be on. >> let's talk about this. the president is calling this a jobs and infrastructure bill. this includes parts of the american economic and physical infrastructure like housing, schools, water, electric cars, high speed internet. the question is, why go so big? >> because the moment is big. we are way behind. we are watching our economic competitors eat us for lunch and we need to capture the lead and not let our economic competitors
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steal away our sectors, best us in research and development, so we're going big because the moment requires it. >> so secretary, these are things american people don't usually think of. they think of roads and bridges. senator gillibrand saying, childcare is infrastructure, care giving is infrastructure. republicans are mocking that, a utility. if you put them aside, do the american people believe that belongs in an infrastructure package? >> this is called the american jobs plan. if you look at the poll from the morning consult just this morning, 64% of republicans believe that we should be investing in caring for our elderly through this infrastructure, infrastructure and jobs bill. the numbers of republicans who believe that infrastructure is, every day republicans, i'm talking about. who believe that 42 from is the
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scaffolding of our lives. and these are the jobs of the future. so this is a bill that is for jobs and people all across the country. on friday, georgetown put out a study that said the jobs that will be created in this bill will require a high school degree but not, but you don't have to have a college degree to have these jobs. these are jobs that will be necessary to build the scaffolding of america. >> let's talk more about the plan, okay? it includes an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. biden defending that today. i want you to listen to that. >> 28%, we still have lower corporate rates than any time between world war ii and 2017. it will generate over $1 trillion in taxes over 15 years.
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i'm not trying to punish anybody but i'm sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced. >> there are some democratic senators that think this increase is too steep. he said he is open to compromise. will the biden administration meet in the middle on that number? >> well, they did meet in the middle. this is where the 28% came from. it was 35%. then dropped to 21%. and now it's back right in the middle. he has said, he knows that there will be compromise. he's put out a plan. it is not the last word. he is inviting input. what he really wants to see is a tax structure that is fair. when it was dropped to 21% and 91 of the fortunate 500 companies still paid zero taxes because they had all this, the loopholes and moving taxes, moving assets offshore.
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that's not fair. he wants to have a tax structure that is fair so that the couple who is a nurse and a teacher don't have to pay more than amazon. and even jeff bezos came out today and said, amazon should be taxed. there should be a corporate tax rate that has corporations paying their fair share. >> so here's what the white house is highlighting today that trump's open former national economic adviser gary cohen, this was back in june 2020. a 28% rate is a good thing. look at this. >> i'm actually okay at 28%. the level we got to in our tax plan on the corporate side was actually a bit lower than i thought we needed to go. i always thought there was a compromise rate in the mid 20s that made sense. >> all right. mid 20s, that made sense.
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trump's guy said he was okay with 28%. manchin said he doesn't want to raise it past 25%. do you think you can get him to budge? >> i think that there's room for compromise. that's what the president has said. he wants it to be paid for. if other people have ideas about how to get it paid for, he is totally willing to listen. what he doesn't want to do is do nothing. inaction is not an option. there is a sense of urgency because the moment is urgent. we're still 9 million jobs short of where we were when the pandemic began. we want everyone to know, republicans and democrats, that we want to hear their ideas and to compromise. >> i sat with you and watched you encourage people to go vote over, during the 2020 election. your home state of michigan, one of the 47 states with
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restrictive new voting laws have been introduced. it's putting more pressure on democrats to pass the for the people act. is voting too port to let this stand in the way? >> well, you know, i'm speaking as secretary of energy in this interview. if i took off that hat and my hat as a human being, voting is so utterly important. the president has said that as well. he thinks these voting laws being passed, not just in michigan but georgia and other states is undemocratic, unamerican. we can be let that stand. he'll have to answer himself about the filibuster. he's been reluctant to abolish the filibuster but this is so utterly important. in michigan part of the bill package that is being passed and they're going to now take to the people as a voting measure, which i don't think the people
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will buy, means that local clerks can't pay for return postage. it is ridiculous how many steps are being put in the way. >> if anyone knows michigan politics, you know. you're the former governor. >> right, right. and i don't think michigan citizens, if they're presented with a petition drive. there is no way the governor gretchen whitmer would seibel this package of bills. they'll have to take to it petition and get over 300,000 signatures to do it. my guess is when it comes on the ballot, citizens won't make it harder for themselves to vote. it just won't happen. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your time. >> you bet. so derek chauvin is the one on trial. if you listen to how george floyd is being portrayed, you might think he is on trial instead of being the victim. next, a view of the trial through the lens of american
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history and racial injustice toward black people, and specifically black men. >> they're going on blame everybody and everything except derek chaunvin. we can't be distracted to try to distract us from what really happened. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ comfort in the extreme. ♪ the lincoln family of luxury suvs.
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so derek chauvin's murder trying testifying the exofficer used deadly force by kneeling on george floyd's neck. when it was not necessary. now we all know that we saw it on video. white police officer putting his weight on the neck of a black man who was on the ground, hand cuffed and not resisting. that's when force should have ended but it didn't. for a black man it is difficult to watch what happened. we have seen it time and time again. black men abused at the hands of law enforcement and society. i want to bring in now political
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commentators. he's also the author of the sword and the shield. the revolutionary lives of malcolm x and martin luther king jr. i had this discussion actually, chris and i were talking about it, i think it was at breakfast the other day. we were talking about the derek chauvin trial. whether it should be the george floyd trial. some people think it should be the george floyd trial because he is a household name and it brings attention to it. but it is the derek chauvin trial. the defense kept trying to focus on it floyd's drug use, trying to get a witness to say he ate too many will drugs. practically naming the man who died. what does that say to you? >> we have a long history in manager of turning victims into criminals. and we think about whether it is
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walter scott recently, whether we think about the death of denzel dowell i am a 1st, 1967, who really inspired the black panthers party to put out the first black panther newspaper in rich mohammad, california. we think about the death, there is a consistent pattern of police criminalizing certainly black bodies, black women and men, this idea of black men being violent. always being aggressive. rodney king 30 years ago was beaten down. they said he was as strong as a bear. it took those four officers to beat him down. and this was before the acquittal verdict in 1992. in some ways, we've seen this with michael brown, with so many different black men. in tulsa, oklahoma, or south carolina or north carolina or in ferguson, missouri, or even freddy gray. this idea he had to be in
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baltimore chained. so there's a long and consistent pattern. i think what is different about this time is the outpouring of grief and the mourning because of george floyd. this was day eight of the trial. by day three we saw the six kids, the teenagers, the 9-year-old. we saw genevieve, the emt firefighter who was just in tears. the mma fighter derek who was just in tears over the loss of this black man, this human being. this 6'6" gentle giant. this person who might have been battling drug addiction but just like whites battling opioid addiction are getting their problems medicalized and getting some humanitarian treatment. he was not accord that had opportunity. black men in this country never get second chances. white folks get 50 and a hundred chances and we all need those
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second chances. so there's a long history of doing it. and i think the derek chauvin defense is this defense of really criminalizing black bodies. >> i want you to listen. this is one of the witnesses and what she had to say. she's under age so she's off camera. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad. i look at my brothers, i look at my cousins, my uncles, because they are all black. i have a black father. i have a black brother. i have black friends. and i look at that and i look at how that could have been one of them. >> so listen, she broke down. she's seen this happen before. we all have. a lot of witnesses have broken down on the stand. people are just exhausted seeing this happen to black bodies over and over.
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>> people are exhausted. we have this addiction to kind of this black death porn in this country, for lack of a better term. where we see these images, these videos of black men being abused by police over and over again. and the country, we can't divert our eyes. he was right. i'll add just one more layer of how we talk about criminality. when you think about tamir rice, he was a 12-year-old boy playing in the park. and another personal was selling cds. eric gardner was selling cigarettes. walter scott had unpaid child support. george floyd passed a counterfeit $20 bill that he didn't even know was counterfeit. none of these crimes are death penalty crimes. however, they rise tom level when you have a black man in particular interacting with law
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enforcement. and you have to ask why. you asked an interesting question at the top in conversations you were having with chris. and my response would be, we have to call it what it is. this is trial of derek chauvin. what the criminal defense attorney is trying to do, i am one, trying the put george floyd on trial. and you're starting to see that clash. it is this reasonable fear of the black man. whether or not it is the witnesses that he tried to make angry and aggressive last week when he was crossing them, or the jurors, that these black bodies are big, violent,heimer sexualized, they're drug users, they cannot be contained unless i put my knee on their neck. so that's what we're watching on display. even at the end of the trial, this is something my little boy stokley will have to grow up and deal with in this country that we love. >> i love speaking to you guys.
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i think that one of the most important things is when you said, when you have issues, especially around opioid use and heroin use in this country. if you're a white male, it is medicalized. we must help our brothers and sisters. we must take the stigma off. when it is a black man, it is criminalized. his girlfriend spoke about the issues they were having. no one wants those issues but how many people do you know every day in your job who you walk by every day, may have had a back issue or a leg issue or some sort of pain and got hooked on opiates. it happens. it's not a good thing. but have some empathy for everyone in this society and not just the people who are like you. gentlemen, i have to go. i really appreciate you. thanks so much. be well. >> thank you. >> i talked about this. when he mentioned the sort of snuff films that we have, right?
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these sort of killing porn that we have for black bodies in the news, how much we should air or how much we shouldn't. it is in my new book. it is called this is a fire. what i say about racism. i hope you check it out now. i believe it will help facilitate these conversations. >> so they say it is people expressing political opinions. does this look like that to you? the revisionist history coming out -- the conservative media coming out. versus what really went down january 6th.
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tonight ten democratic members of the house who were in the chamber when insurrectionists stormed the comment on january 6th, the suit accuses the two men of conspiring with the proud boys and the oath keepers to incite the mob. but trump and his staunch supporters increasingly down playing the deadly violence trying to whitewash the actions of the pro trump mob. >> riot denialism is moving from bad to worse. >> he me andiered through hallways. >> he down played it even putting the word insurrection in scare quotes and mocking people for taking it so seriously. >> anthony faces seven years in prison. >> excusing this oklahoma man's
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conduct without even mentioning the charges. in this case, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building without lawful authority. according to the top rated host on fox news, the rioters were just there for a stroll. this is what tucker is whitewashing. yet here's how he framed the chaos. >> when a group of sad disenfranchised people who have been left out of the modern economy -- >> wait. hit pause. this was not a grm tour or a lobbying trip. here's what carlson said the rioters are being prosecuted for. >> expressing their political opinions in public. >> they are actually being prosecuted for everything from violent entry to assault to conspiracy. but right now there is a concerted effort to bury the pro trump mob down the memory hole. >> it was zero threat right from the start. >> former president trump has
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led the revisionist history charge. >> look. they went in. they shouldn't have done it. some of them went in and they're hugging and kissing the police and the guards. >> trump was condemned for those comments. >> they are telling that lie so their political project can go on. >> and it's becoming a conviction on the trump led right. >> quote/unquote insurrection, terror threat that doesn't actually exist. >> they are bemoaning it, saying it is an overreaction and other people are being let off easy. >> on a scale for black lives matter, this was nothing. >> it seems they want to be tough on crime except crimes committed by the maga tribe. >> i mean, brian, great reporting. it unbelievable. also with me, phillip mudd, a
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counter terrorism official. this has really gone off the rails. i have to know why fox does this. i'll ask but this right after this break.
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deadly capitol insurrection. >> they didn't have guns but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas. they talk about the constitution and something called their rights. some of them made openly seditious claims. they insist that had the last election was not entirely fair. >> back with me now, brine and phillip. okay. here's a question. a steady stream of revisionism coming from fox propaganda channel. how has this gotten so off the rails? why are we doing this? >> three months ago, that was shapeful and seditious. it is too embarrassing to be real. it must be disproven. it must be shown to be not real. they have to come up with narratives to dismiss it, to move. on because the reality is too painful to bear. most americans want these prosecutions, most americans want the truth to come out. most americans want to know how coordinated was this?
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how many of a conspiracy was there? that reality is too dark and ugly for the right wing media. so they're trying to bury it. >> it did happen though. we saw it happen. officered were attacked and beaten. one died. as someone who spent his life in law enforcement, what do you think when you hear this kind of whitewashing and denial? >> well, i wouldn't look at this in isolation. in some ways, it didn't happen. i've spent 30 years, 35 years of my career watching extremism. let me take you into a mind set that's pretty simple. in high school you had clicks of people who thought somebody else was the other. they were the in crowd. i saw the same thing among extrem extremists. they get inside a closed world and persuade each other that they are right and the other is wrong soefrl fast forward to january 6. what do we see?
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it is the same thing. it is not white supremacists, not simply people who favor donald trump. it is extremists like we've seen since the beginning of time. they get in a closed circle. they persuade each other on the internet, which is an accelerant in this case, that they're right. and that's what you get at the end of the day. people in a closed click and can't get another idea inside their minds. >> but aid professor on who did the research on the people there. and he said the bulk were just average citizens. they didn't blng to extreme. i groups and they have been somehow co-opted into believing this is real. are you saying that's not real? phillip? >> you mentioned the word group. i'm not suggesting they have to be part of a group. i'm sailing when they're on a chat room, reading cuban. they don't have to be part of a grb. >> here's the thing. it is working. those viewers believe the big lie. they believe this revisionist
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history about the insurrection. that's the power of this kind of disinformation. it is dangerous. and i cannot believe that they're actually doing this. it is so dangerous. >> i think it is important that most people, if sane minds understand what is going on when former president trump releases these statements talk about the election being rigged, he is trying on continue the white lash. this is something that, i have always thought, that was in the past. that was in january. it's over now. but it's not over in maga media. it is still alive to this day. john boehner with a become coming out speaks out against this. where was over january 6th? there's a lag of leadership in the republican party that's allowing this to fester. >> i can't believe how it is so dangerous and i cannot believe that they're doing it. sinful. thank you so much. i appreciate both of you.
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some colleges and universities are requiring vaccines before students can return. a fight is brewing over having to provide proof. more next. aliens are real, alright. there's just too much evidence. kill weeds not the lawn with roundup for lawns products.
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♪ forget what your smoking-hot moms and teachers say, just remember my motto. if you ain't first... you're last! woo-hoo! as millions of americans get their covid vaccinations, a new, social issue is popping up. should those, who are vaccinated, present proof using a so-called vaccine passport to get -- to go to a restaurant? or a theater? or to get on a plane?
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the biden administration's saying there will not be a federal program, like this. and some state governors are now signing executive orders, banning vaccine passports. here's cnn's randi kaye. >> reporter: at rocko's tequila bar in delray beach, florida, customers are returning. the owner has been vaccinated, and would like others to do the same. but he is not in favor of requiring it at his restaurants, for staff and customers. for him, it's about freedom of choice. >> requiring people to have a vaccination card, to come into the restaurant. or a vaccination app or a passport, i think, it infringes on their rights. >> reporter: that tracks with florida governor, ron desantis's view. it's part of why he issued an executive order banning vaccine passports in the state of florida. desantis has dismissed vaccine passports, in the same way he did many, other measures during the pandemic. like, mask mandates and
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lockdowns. all, in the name of protecting rights, and in this case, privacy. >> do you think you get more business? or see more business, if a vaccine was required here? >> i think, quite the opposite. if -- if we required it, that would be a perception of that we are trying to govern them. >> reporter: desantis argues that vaccine passports reduce individual freedom, and would create two classes of citizens, based on vaccination. according to the executive order, businesses here, in florida, are prohibited from requiring customers to provide documentation certifying a covid-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery. in order to gain access to that business. >> desantis's order puts him at odds, with those who believe they are included in the order. and are planning for, or at least considering, requiring a vaccine passport. like, the center for the performing arts in tampa. >> it's really critical, to our reopening. and eventually, to get us to
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100% capacity. >> ceo judy says she is surprised by, and disappointed with, the governor's decision. >> if you think about mass-gathering places, like theaters and stadiums and arenas. we are sitting right next to each other. so, it becomes really important to have a vaccine program as an option for our -- for our guests and for our artists. >> at nova southeastern university in ft. lauderdale, proof of covid-19 vaccination was going to be mandatory for staff and students, come the fall semester. but when i alerted the university's ceo to the governor's executive order, banning vaccine passports. >> i will change whatever is necessary to comply with the law, and to the governor's executive order. >> reporter: the popular, south beach wine-and-food festival may, also, now have to change its plans to require proof of a vaccine. or a negative-covid test to enter next month's event. >> we'll be, constantly,
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re-evaluating, up until the last second. but for now, this is the plan we have in place and the plan that i hope stays in place. >> reporter: back at rocko's tacos, rocko says he doesn't think a vaccine passport would make his restaurant any safer than it already is. >> people make a choice, and people need to make, hopefully, a choice that they are not going to put other people at risk. >> reporter: and, don, the concern is that banning these vaccine passports and the attitude against them could actually cause an increase in vaccine hesitancy. you may recall, that poll from last month, from npr, pbs, and marist, showing about 47% of the people who supported donald trump were against getting the vaccine. so, there is concern that that attitude could delay, or maybe even prevent us here, in the u.s., from reaching herd immunity. so, as more and more republicans here, in florida, we are seeing it with our governor and the governor in texas. come out against these vaccine passports. and make it a wedge issue with the democrats, we could actually see a spike in vaccine
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hesitancy, don. >> randi kaye, thank you, randi, i appreciate your reporting. and thank you, everyone, for watching. our coverage continues. now, simparica trio simplifies protection. ticks and fleas? see ya! heartworm disease? no way! simparica trio is the first chewable that delivers all this protection. and simparica trio is demonstrated safe for puppies. it's simple: go with simparica trio. this drug class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including seizures; use with caution in dogs with a history of these disorders.
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good evening. another significant day in the derek-chauvin murder trial. another turbulent day for what appears to be the defense's attempt to suggest that george floyd was killed by the drugs in his system, or anything but officer chauvin's knee on his neck. some damage to that theory came when a key piece of testimony for the defense was completely turned around, just a short time later, by the prosecution. now, again, tonight, a lot to talk about with our legal and forensic team. but first, cnn's o

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