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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 8, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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designed to put you in control. with real-time notifications and a week of uninterrupted recording. all powered by reliable, secure wifi from xfinity. gotta respect his determination. it's easy and affordable to get started. get self protection for $10 a month. president biden putting in full-court press, arguing that corporate tax cuts are necessary to ehelp pay for it, but saying he is open to negotiations on tax rates. also, president biden planning
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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. an expert witness in the police use of force training testifying that covid -- excuse me, that chauvin used deadly force by kneeling on george floyd's neck when it was no longer necessary. that floyd was on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting. i want to bring in cnn political analysts john avlon and kirsten powers. good evening to you and thanks for joining. 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 irrelevant? >> i think it is a snap shot of the way our politics are. remember, i think this is
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consistent with the way joe biden campaigned. he did not overindex twitter talk. he focused on where the real votes were in the democratic primary. you have some polarization in congress where you have the republican party disproportionately dominated. where folks are playing to the fox news crowd, where being a troll is a sign of success rather than getting things 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. so he is moving forward alone. there is risk of blowback in that, but at least he is going big and trying to get things done, betting that those actions will help them hymn cobble together a ma skrort in the long run. >> well thank you. >> being a troll is a sign of success. and that is exactly what is happening on the right right now, rather than actually working for their constituents and for the american people. i had this conversation just now
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with charlie dent and gloria borger, about joe manchin, kirsten, that he will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. does this essentially 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. the extremes in the democratic party want single payer health care.
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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 types of things that republicans want to do, for example, republicans want the make it so people can't vote, certain people can't vote, at least. they want the make it so it's 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 just did this thing on a top election official in mississippi basically saying that it was dangerous to have college students voting because they may be woke. well -- >> yeah. >> it doesn't really work that way. >> that's not how it works.
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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. what we're dealing with is white identity politics here. >> john, john, john, john. john. >> go on. >> 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 feel that yeah. of course. we can't have that happen. they don't understand, no, that's not the way it works.
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it is not like he said something by accident. that's what he thinks. he thinks it's right. >> 100%. and i think this is what we're confronting, right? this is about white identity politics and arguments being percolated in an echo chamber that don't have any common facts behind them. a professor did a study about the folks arrested at 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. this is all stuff that's been propagated on the far right, and this is what we've been confronting which is why it's 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. but biden talks about unity.
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and i'm not trying on diminish the hurdle we're dealing with here, but there is a question of leading with example. the greatest difficulty is that you have a disproportionate influence on the right wing of the republican party that is not dealing with a common set of facts in this country. and we're going to have to find a way to break through that. >> 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. because the fact is a lot of the voters do support a lot of the things that 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 a real problem for them.
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>> but kerstin, i do think they are. when i speak to people who are not necessarily liberal, they do know about 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 other kind of white grievance politics. >> i have someone very special waiting. not that you are not special. >> oh! >> i love you, though. thank you, guys. i'll see you soon. 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 funding 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 their place in the middle class?
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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 bill includes parts of the american economic and physical infrastructure like housing, schools, water, electric cars, high speed internet. the question is, and i know you're hearing it, 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 steal away our sectors, best us
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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. when they think about infrastructure. they think of roads and bridges. senator gillibrand saying, paid leave is infrastructure. child care 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 infrastructure is the scaffolding of our lives. and these are the jobs of the future. so this is a bill that is for
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addresses people who need jobs in all pockets of the country, all kinds of people, all kinds of jobs. actually on friday, georgetown put out a study that said that 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 are going to 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. i'm not trying to punish anybody but i'm sick and tired of
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ordinary people being fleeced. >> there are some democratic senators that think this increase is too steep. the president says that 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. because the rate used to be 35%. then it was dropped to 21%. and now it's back right in the middle. however, he has said he knows that there will be compromise. he knows -- 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 the tax rate was dropped to 21% and 91 of the fortune 500 companies still paid zero taxes because they had all this -- the loopholes and moving taxes off -- moving assets offshore, that's not fair. he wants to have a tax structure
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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 own former national economic adviser gary cohn said. 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. trump's guy said he was okay with 28%. manchin said he doesn't want to raise it past 25%.
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do you think you can get him to budge? >> i think that there's room for compromise. s in there, don. i mean, 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 about this as well because the moment is urgent. we're still 9 million jobs short of where we were when the pandemic began. we're not going to wait around, but we do want everybody to know, republicans and democrats that we want to hear their ideas and we want to compromise. >> listen, i sat with you and watched you encourage people to go vote during the 2020 election. your home state of michigan, one of the 47 states with restrictive new voting laws have been introduced. it's putting more pressure on democrats to pass the for the
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people act. is voting too important to let this filibuster stand in the way of it? >> 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 that are being passed, not just in michigan, but as you have highlighted in georgia and other states is undemocratic, it's un-american. we cannot let that stand. obviously the president will have to answer for himself about the filibuster. he has been reluctant to abolish the filibuster, but this is so utterly important for our nation. 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 will buy, means that local clerks can't pay for return postage.
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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. which is how we'll have to get around it, because there is no way that the governor gretchen whitmer would sign this package of bills, they'll have to take it to petition and get over 300,000 sig dhoers 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. >> secretary, thank you so much. i appreciate your time. >> you bet. you bet. thanks, don. 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 history and racial injustice toward black people, and specifically black men. >> they're going on blame
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everybody and everything except derek chauvin. we can't be distracted to try to by these innuendos and these allegations to try to distract us from what really happened.
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so derek chauvin's murder trial an expert in police force testifying the ex--officer 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. because 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 commentator bakari sellers and history professor and also the
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author of sword and the shield. the revolutionary lives of malcolm x and martin luther king jr. gentlemen, it's such a pleasure to have both of you on. thank you very much. 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 drugs, practically blaming the man who died. what does that say to you? >> well, don, we have a long history in america of turning victims into criminals. and we think about whether it is walter scott recently, whether we think about the death of denzel dow well on april 1st,
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1967 who really inspired the black panther party to put out the first black panther newspaper in richmond, california. we think about the death, there in the news again because of "judas and the black messiah", 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. we've seen this with so many black men, whether it's in tulsa, oklahoma or south carolina or north carolina or in ferguson, missouri, or even freddie gray. this idea he had to be in baltimore chained. so there's a long and consistent pattern here. i think what is different about
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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 drug addiction, are getting their problems medicalize and getting some humanitarian treatment. he wasn't accorded that opportunity. >> right. >> black men in this country never get second chances. white folks get 50 and a hundred chances and we all need those 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
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bodies. >> bakari, 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. but listen, please. >> 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. in this trial, consumed with guilt and trauma. people are just exhausted seeing this happen to black bodies over and over. >> people are exhausted. we have this addiction to kind of this black death porn in this country, for lack of a better term.
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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. p piniel was right, though. i'll add just one more layer of how we talk about criminality and the black body. when you think about tamir rice, he was a 12-year-old boy playing in the park. alton sterling was selling bootleg cds. eric gardner was selling loosy 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 to that level join a black man in particular interacting with law 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
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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 whether or not it was george floyd, he is trying to get in the jurors minds that these black bodies are big, violent, hyper sexualized, they cannot be contained unless i put my knee in their neck. that is what we're watching in this trial. 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. >> listen, i love speaking to you guys. i think that one of the most important things is when you said, when you have issues, especially around opioid use and
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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. >> thank you. >> by the way, i talk about this. when bakari mentioned about these sort of snuff films that we have, right. these sort of killing porn that we have for black bodies in the
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news and what we should do with it, and how much we should air it or how much we shouldn't or if we should air it all. 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. we'll talk about that next. s a : nothing kills more germs on more surfaces than lysol spray. it's a simple fact: it even kills the covid-19 virus. science supports these simple facts. there's only one true lysol. lysol. what it takes to protect.
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tonight ten democratic members of the house who were in the chamber when insurrectionists stormed the
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capitol on january 6 joining a civil lawsuit against donald trump and rudy giuliani. the suit accuses the two men of conspireing with the proud boys and the oath keepers to incite the mob. but trump and his staunch supporters in congress and the right wing media increasingly downplaying the deadly violence, trying to whitewash the actions of the pro-trump mob. here is chief media consultant brian stelter. >> reporter: riot denialism is moving from bad the worse. >> he meandered through the hallways. >> reporter: tucker carlson downplaying the 6th, even putting insurrection in air quotes and mocking people for taking so it seriously. >> anthony griffith faces seven years in prison. >> excusing this oklahoma man's conduct without even mentioning the charges. in this case, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building without lawful authority.
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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 show up at your office -- >> wait. let's hit pause there. this was not a group tour or a lobbying trip. >> stop the steal! >> reporter: 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 led the revisionist history charge. >> look. they went in. they shouldn't have done it. some of them went in and they're
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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, domestic terror threat that doesn't actually exist. >> reporter: instead of back in the blue, they are bemoaning the scale of the rioting, claim:00 it's an rover reaction 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 here with me phillip mud. he is a counterterrorism anti-terrorism official. brian, this has really gone off the rails. i got to know why fox does this. i'll ask you about this right after the break.
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we're back now. trump and his gop allies in congress -- thank you. staunch supporters in the right wing media trying to whitewash the 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
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seditious claims. they insisted, for example, that the last election was not entirely fair. >> back with me now, brian stelter and phillip mudd. 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 they doing this? >> well, what happened three months ago was shameful. it is seditious. it is too embarrassing to be real, thus it must be disproven. it must be shown to be not real. they have to come up with narratives to dismiss it, to deny the prosecution to move on. 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? 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. >> i mean, phil, look, it did
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happen, though. we saw it happen. officers were attack and beaten during the insurrection. 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. think back in high school. you had cliques of people. in high school you thought somebody else was the other, that they were the in crowd. i saw the same thing among extremists. in my world mostly islamic extremists. they get inside a closed world and persuade each other that they are right and the other is wrong. so fast forward to january 6. what do we see, don? 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.
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they persuade each other on the internet, for example, which is n 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 belong to extremist groups, and they had somehow been coopted into believing this is real. are you saying that's not so, 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 or reading qanon. >> got it. >> they don't have to be a part. >> brian, here's the thing. it's working, though. those viewers believe the big lie. they believe this revisionist 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.
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>> i think it is important that most people, if sane minds understand what is going on when former president trump releases these statements, talking about the election being rigged, me is trying to make sure the big lie remains alive and well. he is trying to 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, has a book coming out next week. he speaks out about this. he speaks against mob violence. where he was january 6? there is a lack 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. some colleges and universities are requiring vaccines before students can return. but a fight is brewing over having to provide proof. more next.
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>> reporter: at rocco's tequila bar in delray beach, florida, customers are returning. and with them talk of so-called vaccine passports. owner rocco mangale 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 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.
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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 this strass center for the performing arts in tampa. >> it's really critical to get us opening and performing to 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
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arenas, we're sitting right next to each other. so it becomes really important to have a vaccine program as an option for our guests and for our artists. >> reporter: at nova southeastern university in ft. lauderdale, proof of covid-19 vaccine 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 reevaluating up until the last second. but for now, this is the plan we have in place and the plan i hope stays in place. >> reporter: back at rocco's tacos, rocco says he doesn't
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think a 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 year from npr and maris showing about 47% of 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're seeing it with our governor and the governor in texas come out against these vaccine passports and making a wedge with the democrats, quo actually see a spike in vaccine hesitancy, don. >> randi kaye, thank you. i appreciate your reporting. and thank you, everyone, for watching. our coverage continues.
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rely on the experts at 1800petmeds for the same medications as the vet, but for less with fast free shipping. visit today. a lead investigator in the derek chauvin case changes his mind on the witness stand about what george floyd said moments before his death. the former speaker of the house, john boehner, lays the blame for the capitol insurrection firmly at the feet of donald trump. and joe biden overturns a trump-era policy. the u.s. will give more than $200 million in renewed financial support to the u.n.'s palestinian refugee agency. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world, i'


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