tv Inside Politics With John King CNN April 27, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
are trying to combat covid. >> a very sad example of the misinformation that is being spewed out there. leyla, thank you very much for spotlighting it and bringing it to us. thank you for joining us at this hour. i'm kate bolduan. john king picks up our coverage right now. ♪ hello, everybody, and welcome to "inside politics," i'm john king in washington, thank you so much for sharing your day with us. big covid news is moments away. the president's medical team gives a coronavirus briefing and we are told it is ready to say that americans who are fully vaccinated under most circumstances do not need a mask when outdoors. the shift in the government's guidance comes at a potential tipping point. cases are down again. but so is the pace of covid-19 vaccinations. the president himself will address the pandemic this afternoon. and again we are told he will emphasize that getting a vaccine
means getting back to normal sooner. there's also some big political news today, new census numbers mean seven house seats will soon change states and the shifts benefit republicans. house republican retreat designed as a unity meeting is instead exposing the party's sharp divide over donald trump and the insurrection. and as president biden nears the 100-day mark there's word today of a white house plan to target rich tax evaders. the white house says giving the irs $80 billion for this crackdown will bring in some $ $700 billion to help pay for biden initiatives. let's bring in kaitlan collins at the white house. >> reporter: this is significant news, we're hearing first from the cdc director announcing these changes, this new guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. and then in a little bit we'll see president biden himself talking about it as well and tying it, of course, to his entire covid-19 strategy. of course he was the one who put that 100-day mask guidance in
place when he took office. he couldn't require it but he was saying if people would wear a mask for 100 days they would be taking steps in the right direction. so expect him to reflect on that messaging since it's day 98 of his first 100 days in office. and so i think what you're really going to hear are a few different measures from the cdc director in a few moments. but what really people have been asking about and has become a pretty big question for people who are fully vaccinated is why they are still wearing a mask outside. and if that's still necessary. so we don't know what the final language of this guidance is going to look like, john, but we expect it to be along those lines, lessening the restrictions and the guidelines. the question will be whether or not states follow suit since so many of them still have outdoor mask restrictions in place. that's the thing to look for, but i really think overall what you're trying to see the administration tie this to is that if you are vaccinated, you
can return to a more normal lifestyle. that's not a message that's been clear from the administration. it was a big question on earlier guidance from vaccinated people and where that really stood and how clear that was. but i do think it's something they are trying to make clearer now that you are starting to see, we are getting to this point where vaccine hesitancy is becoming the concern, not people who are trying to get a vaccine and can't get one. now the concern is people who aren't interested in getting a vaccine, or don't want to get one right now. and the hhs secretary was on cbs earlier today, and he directly made it clear, saying if you are vaccinated, you do get to return to a more normal lifestyle. but if not, he was saying that you're not only still posing a danger to other people, you're still in danger yourself. so it was in trying to encourage people to get vaccinated in that manner. we'll see if the rest of the health team, the advisers we're about to hear from, cdc director dr. anthony fauci as well and see what their message is about this new guidance and how it changes lifestyle for people who are fully vaccinated at this point. >> we'll be listening in moments, kaitlan collins live at
the white house, appreciate it. it's an interesting message, get back to normal, get in line, get your shot. let's go through the numbers as we look where we are right now. if you look at the case timeline cases are down, 47,691 new infections yesterday, great from the horrific winter peak, averaging 55,000, that was above 70,000 not that long ago. the case count is down. the experts will tell you above 40,000 is still too high. they want to cut that in half and more and shut it down. that is some progress over the last couple of weeks. if you look at the pace of vaccines, progress here, remember we peaked on april 10th, 4.6 million, the pace of people getting vaccines, though, this is the hesitancy issue. some of it is access. the pace now down to 2.7 million vaccines, new shots a day, 2.7 million. that is down. it was above 3 million here and the peak day there approaching five. if you look at this by states, where you live in the country, you want your state to be
darker, 36% in new mexico, fully vaccinated. 35% in south dakota, 36% up here in maine. again, talk about this almost every day, the weaker states down in the southeast mississippi, 22% alabama, georgia 22%. utah 22%. approaching 96 million americans fully vaccinated. take a look at this vaccine snapshot. 29% of the population is fully vaccinated. among adults 18 and older it's 37% fully vaccinated. among those on the older end of the spectrum, 65 and older, nearly 70% have been fully vaccinated. at this point let's bring in our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta into the conversation. when you look at these percentages, 37% of adults fully vaccinated. 68%, almost 70% of those 65 or older, this is a statement about the vaccine rollout, are we ready for significant changes because of these numbers? >> yeah.
i think so, john. people have often thought about this idea of getting to community immunity as the final destination. but we knew that along the way, as increasingly the vaccination numbers happened there would be gradations of lifting some of the recommendations. so that's part of what we're going to hear today and it shouldn't be surprising in terms of some of the stuff kaitlan was talking about, what people are going to be able to do now that they're vaccinated, especially outdoors. couple things i want to show you. first of all, when you look overall at the death rates you just mentioned this, we are at a low now, the lowest sort of seven-day average over the last nine months now. we knew that as we started to increasingly vaccinate people deaths would come down first because we're vaccinating the most vulnerable, at a higher pace, hospitalizations coming down a little bit but they should come down even more and then ultimately cases. it's almost backwards.
we think of cases, hospitalizations, deaths, because of the vaccinations you've got to look at this backwards. when it comes to hesitancy, there's a nuance here as well. we can see what's happening in terms of people getting their second shots or their first shots. we know now that people showing up for their second shots seems to be increasing overall, outpacing a little bit what we're seeing in the first shots. like you have there, john. >> it's interesting when you see, this is the daily rates. 2 million people getting one dose back here, now that's down a little bit. people are still getting shots but not at the pace they were sometime ago. that's one place to look at it obviously here. you're going to hear in this briefing, you heard it from mr. becerra, the hhs secretary this morning, you've got to get a shot, get back to normal, get your vaccine. let's look at the current cdc guidelines. as of right now, you can visit others -- if you're fully vaccinated indoors without a mask, you're fine as long as you're all fully vaccinated. pick one unvaccinated friend or
neighbor, somebody, go to one unvaccinated household if you can limit it to that if you're vaccinated, avoid quarantine after travel if you're vaccinated but the cdc says you should not visit people with severe risk indoors without masks or attend large gatherings. what is your sense of -- as more -- as a higher percentage gets vaccinated what can you loosen up a little bit? >> the things in the shouldn't column probably are going to mostly stay in the shouldn't column for now. i think there's two areas there's really going to focus on. one is just being outside. we know that if you look at the numbers of new cases, fewer than 10% of them are actually coming from outdoor viral transfer. we know the risk of viral transmission is much higher indoors. the idea that if you're vaccinated you probably don't need to wear a mask outside. especially if you're with members of your own household. that's -- that part is, i think, we've known that for some time and i think the recommendations are going to sort of reflect that. i think a big question as well has been outdoor dining.
a lot of people now, the weather is getting nicer, can you go to an outdoor restaurant, you're vaccinated. people you're going with outside your household are vaccinated, what's the cdc going to say about that? and even within health care settings, what is going to be allowable within health care settings, these are areas we're certainly looking for. you just showed a map for a second, john, of the country as a whole and this is going to be the caveat, i think, the big caveat, viral transmission in the red spots, you know, the caveat you're going to hear, no surprise, basically is this, do you live in an area where if you come in contact with other people you are likely to breathe in their air and they are likely to be carrying the virus, the more likely that scenario is in those red spots there on the map, the less likely the recommendations are going to, you know, be loosened as much there. eventually it will happen. but that's going to be slower there. >> when you look at this map, it implies, you know, if you're in these yellow areas you're pretty safe. if you're in these red areas, requires personal responsibility.
am i vaccinated, okay, but where am i going, who am i with, what are the circumstances, all that, the government can tell you so much, but this is a personal responsibility of understanding your current circumstances. right? >> absolutely, that's the thing and some of this is going to be, frankly, common sense. these recommendations are just that, recommendations. in some places you see people being -- loosening the recommendations on their own despite what the state or the county or the city is saying. in other places it's the other way around, you've had places, john, where mask mandates have been lifted, and there's still a lot of mask adherence, if people pay attention and this sort of information that you're showing is readily available to people, figure out what the viral transmission is in your area. if it's still spiking high, again you're going to get there. but i don't think you're going to be there yet. we'll see what the new recommendations are nationally. for everybody this is a local decision. >> this is one map, sanjay, that
gives you a sense of it depends where you live. sometimes even within a state it depends where you live within a state. that's one way to look at it. let's take a look at it this way. this is a map of vaccine hesitancy, government data, the darker the shading, this is america divided by counties. i often look at counties in terms of red and blue. that's how we do elections but if you look at the counties now, the darker the county is, the higher percentage of people who are hesitant to get a vaccine, people not coming out. i can tole you, looking at this, and it's pretty common sense, look at the deepest red down here, look at the deepest red out there, that is rural america and it is largely republican america. >> this is one of these things, having reported on so many different outbreaks, you know, for a couple decades now, how strictly this sort of breaks down, you know, by party. you know, it's pretty striking. you see what the hesitancy is among republicans versus democrats. it's considerably higher. you know, 150, 160% higher among republicans. so that's going to be an area of
focus and if we don't get to this herd immunity, 75% of the country roughly being inoculated, this is going to draw out the process even longer. >> i want to focus on these numbers. you mentioned them, this is stunning when you look at it. i understand political divides in the country, life should not be a political issue. safety of your community and your family should not be a political issue. 80%, 79% of democrats say they're willing or they've already received their covid vaccine, only 46%, fewer than half of republicans say give it to me or i already got it. you see this, if you add up to 35% of republicans who say they'll only get it, sanjay, if they're required to do it or they definitely will not get it and another 19% say wait and see, that is more than half of republicans who are hesitant to use one word. >> and that's going to be a big challenge in terms of actually getting to that point where we feel like enough of the country is protected. you now are hearing as a result when i talk to scientists and
trial investigators about this, they say, look, now we realize that we're going to need to go to 12 to 15-year-olds. if you say 12 and older in this country represent 85% of the population. so maybe we need to go to 12-year-olds. but then even then you find that still, if 20% across the board of the country is hesitant and about half of parents right now say they'd be willing to get their kids vaccinated, you realize that you have to go even younger, which john is why they're now starting the trial in 7-year-old and up. so you see sort of the pattern here. how deep and how young do we have to go in order to possibly make enough people not only eligible, but going to go ahead and get the vaccine. >> let me posit a question to you about this, half of republicans say probably not or hell no when it comes to getting a covid vaccine, more than half of republicans say that. some republicans get their information from other sources. they might have lived through a
four-year presidential administration where the president constantly questioned science and constantly questioned the government or they might watch another network in primetime where one of its anchors last night said if you see a child outside wearing a mask, threaten to call social services on that child's parents. he went on to say this. >> the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate, ask politely but firmly, would you please take off your mask? science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it, your mask is making me uncomfortable. we should do that, and we should keep doing it until wearing a mask outside is roughly as socially accepted as lighting a marlboro in an elevator. >> helpful or not? >> not at all. i mean, it's wrong. it's not helpful, and it's probably dangerous. i mean, the idea that he's equating this with cigarette smoking is just ludicrous. i mean, people are wearing masks because they don't want to continue to be a source of the
spread of the coronavirus. we're still tens of thousands of people becoming newly infected every day, hundreds of people still dying. yes, the numbers are getting better, but the longer we keep hearing terrible, dangerous rhetoric like that, the longer this is going to take. how many more people will need to become infected, hospitalized and die? one thing to be clear about, the issue if you're vaccinated the idea that you are far less likely to get sick. that's great. i mean, these are really protective vaccines, i mean, up to 95% protective. but could the virus still be something that is in your body and that you could potentially still spread to others? yes. that's the issue. is that more likely to happen if there's a lot of virus that's in the air? yes. that's why in these red places in the country where you see the viral transmissions high, that's the concern. let me punctuate it further. objective data is important.
when we get to the point where we're below 10,000 cases per day, that's an arbitrary number, but when you get below that number that's when you feel like we're no longer just trying to mitigate this pandemic. we can actually contain it. we can get our arms and hands around this thing and start to feel like we have it contained. until then we are going to continue to play catch-up. we've been playing catch-up for 14, 15 months now. we'll continue to play catch-up. and i'm optimistic about how things look. but john, they called the end game in india just a month ago in march and now they're at over 300,000 new cases per day. i'm not -- i hope that doesn't happen here. again, i'm optimistic that it won't. that's exactly the scenario we're trying to avoid. and masks, even more than vaccines, at least in the short run, can be really effective. masks can protect you against the variants, can protect you from potentially spreading whether the virus is a variant or the more commonly circulating virus. what he said is dangerous. i think he knows that and he's
contradicted himself. i've heard him say the exact opposite in the past. >> also runs counter to the idea that i believe the conservative movement that individuals should be able to make their own choices. if you want to wear a mask, you should be able to wear a mask. we could argue the science of the other side another time. 47,000. that's progress. i've been at this a long time, looking at these numbers, it would be great to have you here the day we're at 10,000 or below and i hope that day is in the near future. we're standing by for new briefing from the white house covid team and it's starting right now. let's go to it. our press briefing calls from three days per week on monday, wednesday and friday, going forward, to twice per week on tuesdays and fridays. as we enter the next phase of our covid-19 response transparency with you is vital and you'll continue to see this transparency in a variety of formats. we will continue to bring you updates on our progress, the public health messages, and the stories behind the science,
health equity and our efforts to improve confidence in and access to vaccines and of course continue to take your questions. joining me today are dr. walensky and dr. fauci. i will turn to them after i provide an update on some key areas of interest. we had a call today as we do every tuesday with all of the governors. the call we had just now was led by jeff zientz and health and medical experts. on today's call we thanked the governors for their leadership to date, which has helped us to deliver he's the one shot to now more than 54% of all adults in the country. we also outlined the path forward as we move into the next phase for vaccination program where everyone 16 and over is eligible to get vaccinated. of particular interest on the call was a discussion on how to
b best help college students get themselves vaccinated. this is a topic of keen interest, to governors because many students who are getting the moderna or pfizer two-dose vaccine might need to get their second shot at the location where they reside during the summer. often in another state. we at the federal government strongly support the work of states to focus on helping students to at least begin the vaccination process during the remaining school year? college students lead lives that make physical isolation somehow a little more challenging. i say this with the knowledge of having one, a college student that is, as well as a recent graduate now in his 20s. and a vaccine seems like the best way not to battle their impulse to socialize. so we are very supportive of states in their effort to improve access and make it even easier for their students to get
their shots. to do our part we share with governors that we'll be ensuring that pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program do not have residency requirements in place so that students who do return home can get their second dose in that home state. now, in fact, most pharmacies administering shots will now offer anyone a second dose regardless of where they got their first. seems like a good opportunity to remind you to get your second shot if it's your time and if you haven't. we also discussed this week's vaccine clallocation on the cal. this week nearly 30 million doses will go out across channels with the vast majority going to states, tribes and territories. and we reminded governors that the federal government stands ready to help states put shots
into arms as quickly as possible, and we continue to conduct one on one sessions with their teams each day throughout the week. i want to turn to the global situation and briefly address the recent covid-19 surge in india. first of all we stand with the country of india during this very trying and tragic surge. over the weekend we shared that we are working to deploy resources and supplies, including therapeutics, rapid testing kits, ventilators, ppe and raw materials that are needed to manufacture vaccines in india. and cdc, which has a long history of working with and in india on public health measures will be deploying a strike team to the country to support the public health efforts there. we are committed to helping india through this difficult
time. in addition yesterday we announced that given the strong portfolio of approved, highly effective and safe vaccines here in the united states we are looking at the options to share astrazeneca vaccines with other countries as they become available. this should amount to around 60 million doses or so over the next two months. the astrazeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, and approved in many parts of the world. since it is not approved for use in the u.s., we do not need to use the astrazeneca vaccine here during the next few months. we have sufficient supply of vaccines from pfizer, moderna and johnson & johnson to accommodate our needs in the u.s. in closing, before i hand it over to dr. walensky, vaccines are now broadly available, accessible, and are located
within five miles of 90% of americans. if you are 16 or above and have not been vaccinated, the scenes around the world should help convince you that now is the time. your risk from being unvaccinated is too high. please make an appointment today. and with that, i will turn it to dr. walensky. >> thank you and grood afternoo. i'm so glad to be back with you all again today. let's begin with an overview of the data. yesterday cdc reported over 34,600 cases of covid-19. our seven-day average is just over 54,400 cases per day and this represents a really hopeful decline of about 21% from our prior seven-day average. the seven-day average of hospital admissions is just over 5,100. again, a positive sign with a decrease of about 9% from the previous seven-day period.
and the seven-day average of daily deaths also declined about -- to about 660 per day, a decrease of about 6%. each day more and more americans are rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated, and likely contributing to these very positive trends. we regularly share with you the benefits of vaccination. the efficacy in preventing infection and the decreases we see in hospitalizations and deaths. these are incredibly important benefits of vaccination, and there are so many more. i know that the quarantine and shutdowns throughout the pandemic have been exhausting. i know that we all miss the things that we used to do before the pandemic and i know that we all want to get back to doing those things that we love and soon. today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before. over the past year we have spent a lot of time telling americans
what they cannot do, what they should not do. today i'm going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated. again, as a reminder the cdc defines fully vaccinated as 14 days after your second dose of a pfizer or moderna vaccine, or 14 days after your single dose of a j&j vaccine. today cdc is updating our recommendations for fully vaccinated people and providing guiding principles and sample activities to give people who are fully vaccinated a way to assess their own risk for covid-19, and determine what situations are safe. if you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you than those who are not yet fully vaccinated. this guidance will help you, your family, and your neighbors make decisions based on the latest science and allow you to safely get back to things you love to do. i am optimistic that people will
use this information to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and to protect others, and i hope will encourage people to get fully vaccinated. there are many situations where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, particularly if they are outdoors, as shown by the graphic on the right. if you are fully vaccinated, and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, or dying at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, the science shows if you are vaccinated you can do so safely, unmasked. on the cdc website we have posted examples of numerous outdoor activities that are safe to do without a mask if you are fully vaccinated. generally for vaccinated people outdoor activities without a mask are safe.
however, we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as packed stadiums and concerts, where there is decreased ability to maintain physical distance, and where many unvaccinated people may also be present. we will continue to recommend this until widespread vaccination is achieved. now let's talk about what you can do indoors. here again we have unvaccinated people and their risk on the left where nothing has changed. risk is indicated, and masking is required. we then show the markedly decreased risk for vaccinated people on the right. given what we know about covid-19 vaccines and their efficacy, it is also safe for those who are fully vaccinated to return to the activities they love doing inside while wearing a mask. the guiding principles we release today, and the
illustrative examples compare the safety of several activities if you are vaccinated, or not. and the difference is clear. as we gather more and more data on the real world efficacy of vaccines, we know that masked, fully vaccinated people, can safely attend worship services inside, go to an indoor restaurant or bar, and even participate in an indoor exercise class. although these vaccines are extremely effective, we know that the virus spreads very well indoors. until more people are vaccinated and while we still have more than 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection. the examples today show that when you are fully vaccinated, you can return to many activities safely, and most of them outdoors and unmasked, and begin to get back to normal. and the more people who are vaccinated, the more steps we can take towards spending time
with people we love doing the things we love to enjoy. i hope this message is encouraging for you. it shows just how powerful these vaccines are, in our efforts to end this pandemic. and why we are asking everyone to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. the science is clear, the covid-19 vaccines have been through many transparent, rigorous processes that continue to prove they are safe and effective. if you haven't already, please get vaccinated. in some communities you can find walk-up venues who have advanced appointments, or where appointments aren't even necessary. to see more details about what we released today, including the evidence and science behind these recommendations, and to learn more about the activities you can safely do when you are fully vaccinated, please go to cdc.gov. thank you, and i'll now turn things over to dr. fauci.
>> thank you very much, dr. walensky. i'd like to spend the next couple of minutes talking about the subject of variants and the role of vaccination in protecting against variants. can i have the first slide, please? so we're going to look at evidence from clinical trials, and when they're not available, from laboratory studies as well as real world experience to indicate a degree of protection against variants of interest or concern, next slide. here is a list, very familiar to you, of a number of the variants that are in play throughout the world and in the united states. next slide. so let's go quickly through them, and make one or two comments to inform where we are. first, the b.1.1.7, the original uk variant, which now has assumed dominance in the united states. next slide. it is very clear now that this particular variant is covered
very well by the mrna vaccines as well as by the astrazeneca, novavax and others as shown by data from israel on the right in which the dominant 1.1.7 predominates there. as you can see as the vaccine doses increase, the cases come down. similarly in the united kingdom, using other vaccines, you see the same situation. this is good news since this is the dominant variant. next slide. the next slide is the one that's the most problematic, the south african variant which is certainly not dominant here, but is in south africa and other locations throughout the world. next slide. the data we have i presented at a former conference. as you can see the j&j is 64% efficacious. the novavax -- the caveat here
is still a very small study. but note, the j&j, that even though it was 64% effective in south african study, there were virtually no deaths or hospitalizations. so although the efficacy went down for moderate disease it was good protection against serious disease. next slide. then we have the p.1, the one that is right now ravaging brazil. next slide. we know from studies now that there's variable protection in real world effectiveness, namely things that were not done necessarily in a clinical trial.
in brazil it was 50% effective after a single dose. they went on to a second dose and that stayed at approximately 50%. this was under the condition where 75% of the cases were p.1. rather similar results from chile, a little bit better with 67% effective versus symptomatic disease, 14 days after the second dose. next slide. now turning to the united states, the california variant 429/427. here we have in vitro data. we take the antibodies induced by vaccines, in this case mrna and we determine their ability to neutralize the given variants in the test tube. as you can see there's a slight to modest loss here of about two
to threefold. this is not likely going to be relevant from a clinical standpoint since there's a considerable cushion in the antibodies produced by this vaccine. and then we have the 526, originally in new york and spreading in certain areas in the new york city metropolitan area. here, too, we rely on in vitro data with a moderate loss, about three to five times of neutralizing activity from the mrna. again, this is still within the cushion that you would see protected since the antibodies induced by this vaccine are considerably high. then finally, next slide, we have the troublesome india 617. next slide. now, this is something we're still gaining data from on a daily basis.
but the most recent data was looking at convalescent -- of covid-19 cases in people who received the vaccine used in india. it was found to neutralize the 617 variant. so despite the real difficulty that we're seeing in india, vaccination could be a very, very important anti dote against this. so i'll stop there with the final statement. the one thing you can gather from everything i've said, that it's very important to get vaccinated. so as dr. walensky said, even when you're talking about variants indoors, outdoors, get vaccinated, and you will certainly have a degree of protection. i'll hand it back to you, andy. >> thank you. okay, let's go to questions. >> thanks, andy, and i know a lot of people have questions today. please keep your question to one question. go to aaron billups at spectrum
news. >> thank you for taking me question. can you guys explain the science behind the guidance change at this moment? is the understanding that there are enough americans fully vaccinated to sufficiently slow the spread of coronavirus outdoors, that the likelihood of transmission outdoors is very low? and what about pockets of the country that have not yet reached national levels of vaccination, should the guidance be different for areas with lower vaccination rates? >> dr. walensky. >> thank you, there's increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors. less than 10% of documented transmission in many studies have occurred outdoors. we also know that there's almost a 20 fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting than the outdoor setting. that, coupled with the fact that we now have 37% of people over the age of 18 fully vaccinated and the fact that our case rates are coming down motivated our change in guidance. as noted this is the third time
we've changed our guidance for fully vaccinated people. as more people get vaccinated and as case rates continue to come down we will come up with further updates. >> next question. >> kaitlan collins, cnn. >> thank you very much. my question given this new guidance should states that have outdoor mask requirements change those to reflect this new guidance? is that your advice for those states and those governors? >> what we're saying is states that have mask requirements outdoors if people are vaccinated we no longer feel that the vaccinated people require masks outdoors. to the extent those are consistent. i do want to sort of convey this outdoor large public venues, such as concerts, stadiums and things like that, and a lot of that is the inability to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated. and to say that in those settings when you have those --
that density, we really do worry about protecting the unvaccinated people. >> next question. atlanta journal constitution. >> hi, i'd like to go back to the question about -- for states that do not have yet the national rate that are below average should there be different guidance for us? i'm calling from georgia. >> i think the general guidance is to ensure that people start getting vaccinated. we do know that if you are vaccinated it is safe to be outdoors without masks. >> next question. >> kristen welker, nbc. >> hi, everyone, thank you so much. firstly, can you address if the
risk of being outdoors is so low why doesn't this guidance apply to everyone? and secondly, while rates of vaccine hesitancy are dropping you still have about four in ten americans who say maybe or no, they're not going to get the vaccine. how do you deal with that hesitancy? are there any new strategies you're looking forward? >> dr. walensky. >> you know, we still believe as people are in small gatherings, medium size gatherings, when they are unvaccinated you're at risk, you have people who are at risk of severe disease so we do believe in those settings masks should still occur. certainly any activity is less risky when you have more ventilation, more space between people, more people wearing masks, if they're unvaccinated. but again i'd go back to the primary principles of being outdoors in general, and wearing masks until outdoors until you have a vaccine.
the second question was confidence? >> vaccine hesitancy, that vaccine hesitancy numbers are dropping but that it's still significant. i just had a conversation with someone yesterday who said they weren't going to get the vaccine, i said why, this person said because i need more information. how do you get to those people who are still skeptical? >> yeah, we're spending an extraordinary amount of effort through our community core in doing this outreach. we knew we were going to first vaccinate everybody who was rolling up their sleeves immediately and then wanting it and then we were going to have to do the work of meeting people where they are, understanding their reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated, and really explaining, is it about the science, is it that you felt that the science was too fast? we believe and know that the science moved quickly, we've enrolled 100,000 people in these trials and the science stood on the shoulders of years and years of work before to be able to deliver these vaccines. dr. fauci has previously talked
about that, and people are worried about the side effects. we can convey the data of over 200 million vaccine doses delivered and the safety and the scrutiny of that safety. so we really need to meet people where they are and understand why they might be hesitant, and then give them the information that combats that hesitancy. >> you've been listening to a very important briefing, this is president biden's covid-19 team. dr. walensky speaking there. i want to bring in dr. sanjay gupta in. i want to get into this particular guidance in a minute but i want to hold up this chart for viewers to see. this is what they're saying. if you look at the green, on the one side, on your right, my left, that is for fully vaccinated americans, green means good to go. if you look at the other side you have different safety levels
and concerns for americans not vaccinated. we can get into the specifics here but the main message they were trying to send is get a vaccine and you can get back to normal. >> sanjay, i'm going to jump in, and while i do -- >> can you hear me okay? >> now we've got sanjay's audio. >> apologies. yeah, you see the graphic, i don't know if we can pull that up full, but the prevailing message was, look, you get a vaccine and there's lots of things you can do you couldn't do before. some of this was more than i think we expected in terms of basically saying if you're vaccinated you can resume these activities. these are the indoor activities and you can see it's all green as long as you're wearing a mask. the other graphic, i think, john, the top half of what you showed was the outdoor activities, and they basically say in those situations, you don't need to wear a mask at all unless basically you're at a
concert or something like that where you're going to be next to people for long periods of time, you know, and maybe not able to physically distance. so this is a significant change, go out to eat, go to outdoor dining establishments with members of other households. this is a significant -- this is going to feel like a significant change, i think. >> let's stick with that. if you guys could put up the outdoor one again. i want to get at what they're trying to do here. it's important public health messaging, look on the right side of your screen, green light, you're good to go, attending a small outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends, no mask. attend a small outdoor gathering with unvaccinated people, no mask. dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, no mask. now look on the other side, though, less safe, red for that crowded outdoor event, less safe, yellow. for dining in an outdoor restaurant with friends. essentially saying you want to start going out to restaurants, you want to go to a sporting
event, get a vaccine. it's a kick, sanjay. >> it really is. i mean, i think for a long time, and i put myself in this category, i thought, look, the incentive should be enough to basically say you get a vaccine, and it could save your life. 95% protective against getting severely ill or dying. what we're hearing now is, okay, yes, the vaccines are good at saving your life. now we're getting to tell you what you get to do with that life. increasingly. that's what the graphics reflect. two things jumped out at me. the overall tone is, look, high risk, medium risk, low risk, it's less sort of absolutely can't do this, absolutely can do this, the other thing, john, we talked about before the briefing, you'll remember, is a question that came up from a few of the reporters, are different areas of the country different? where i live, for example, you have lots of viral transmission, should that be a different criteria compared to places where there's lower
transmission? a s rochelle walensky was asked that and said our message is go get vaccinated. she said it really should be different in places where there's areas considered red zones versus blue zones, i thought that was important as well. we're going to hear from other epidemiologists, how they analyze that data. but that was an important point, i thought. >> i think it was critical. i think we have our chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins with us to join the conversation. to that point, kaitlan, sanjay lives in georgia, 22% of the people are fully vaccinated. in maine, it's 34%. dr. birx traveled the country telling people where red zones were. we're not getting involved in politics anymore, picking fights with governors or state health directors.
you want your life back, get a vaccine. >> reporter: that seemed to be a broader direction from the cdc director. that's why i asked her about states that have strict outdoor mask requirements in place and where those, they feel, should be changed because of this new guidance. the cdc doesn't actually determine what those states are doing but it's up to the states to follow the cdc guidance given we are getting this new guidance today. the question was, should these states that have these outdoor pretty much blanket mask requirements change those, and dr. walensky seemed to be saying, yes, that these states they feel they do not need to have strict requirements in place for fully vaccinated people, don't need to be wearing a mask outdoors. she kauged that with a caveat saying if it's a crowded setting, such as an outdoor concert or something like that, that she does still think those people need to be masked to protect those not fully vaccinated yet. but i do think when you walk away from this there are going to be questions of whether or not the cdc is being too
cautious. that's a question some people have raised. when you've talked to health advisers, federal health officials, they say the cdc guidance, they never want to have to go back on it. they never want to have to go -- feel like they got too far out there and have to go back on it. that's a factor they consider when they put out new guidance like today for fully vaccinated people. i think that's something for people to keep in mind as they are reading through this list of activities the cdc is now saying you can do with no mask if you're outside and fully vaccinated. it's the way that they're considering when they actually put these in place is not just considering the science of what that's linigoing to look like. putting more restrictions in place based on conversations we've had with a lot of these officials. >> very important point and very important briefing today. kaitlan collins, thank you. big political story next, new census numbers are changing america's political map, yes, just in time for the 2022
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new census numbers are in and they mean big changes to america's political map, first glance, these shifts could help republicans both in the 2022 midterms and perhaps in the 2024 presidential election. take a look. number one, the census main job is to track population growth in the united states of america. these states, the brown, states that lost population the most, the green states that gained population the most. that is just looking at it from a where's the population growing and shrinking. now let's look at it from another job the census bureau has which is helping states with reapportionment and redistricting. where are the house districts across the united states. current balance of power. 218 democrats, 212 republicans. that's the current state of play in the united states congress. well, guess what? these seven states, because of those population shifts are losing house seats, each of them is losing a seat, new york, pennsylvania, west virginia,
ohio, michigan, illinois and california. seven states lose seats, six states are gaining seats. only six because texas gets two because of the population shift there, north carolina, florida, texas, colorado, montana and oregon gaining seats now. this is a political process, and republicans control the process completely in five of these states, notably florida, texas and montana, states that are gaining seats is republicans who control drawing the lines. democrats do control the process in new york, illinois, colorado, california and oregon, gains for the democrats in california and colorado, excuse me, and oregon declines, they get to draw the lines, what democrats will try to do is draw districts that hurt republicans. let's bring into the conversation right now, with na nathan gonzales, and also the commercial editor of the "new york times."
nathan, i want to bring up the pl balance of power. the state of the races now, these changes, the first instinct, this is complicated. but first instinct this gives republicans a few seats like that. >> you have to wait and see with the actual maps getting drawn. there are four key states that we're watching when it comes to redistricting. texas, florida that you mentioned as well as georgia and north carolina. and in each of places republicans are in control and a big question is whether -- how far or how aggressive republicans want to be because it's not just about the 2022 elections, you want to try to draw a map that's going to survive the decade. coming into this announcement, i think the shift was -- we identified correctly the shift, that the movement was going to be from the east in the upper midwest to the south and to the west. but it was not as dramatic as we thought. the pre-announcement estimates had texas gaining three seats, florida gaining two seats, arizona gaining a single seat and arizona didn't end up
gaining a seat at all. so what we knew, the house majority was on the line before this announcement, republicans need to gain just five seats. and then it's certainly on the line after this announcement. >> and julie, first and foremost, the impact on the midterms. i want to skip ahead a little bit to see what the the potential impact down the line here, states that are gaining, north carolina also gains an electoral vote in the process, so does florida. texas would gain two. from presidential politics standpoint right now in a close presidential election these changes, at least now, democrats say we're going to make, you know, texas more competitive, they're going to win texas some day, north carolina back in 2008, but as of today, if we are replaying you the 2016 or 2020 again advantage republicans. >> right, as you said overall, if on paper right now it looks like there is a slight advantage for the republicans not just in the congressional races but clearly in terms of presidential electoral politics but a lot
will depend as you said and nathan said on what these states choose to do, how aggressive they are in the legislature and court challenges, there's a lot of data that will affect how the redrawing of districts works that comes out in the fall. we don't know what that's going to be yet and in some places, places like new york and illinois, places where republicans may lose some seats, democrats may also end up having to defend more competitive districts for their folks who are now conservative leading districts that could grow more conservative so it's kind of a mixed bag. it's pretty hard to game out how this is going to all shake out, particularly as you look past 2022. but no question, the democrats are going to have to figure out how to strategize around trying to preserve some of their footholds in some of the more competitive areas. >> now, nathan, this becomes the work of people who draw lines, lawyers get involved in the
states where people have control. but i know you're fascinated but one of the things. i'm looking at the house map here but new york would not have lost a seat except for 89, 89, if 89 more people would have raised their hands. looking at the process, what else jumps out. >> democrats are in control of the process in new york, republicans could lose the house seat. what people need to know is we are delayed in the process. what happened yesterday should have happened at the end of december and what we're -- the data we should have gotten in september, states are wrestling with timelines, having to delay primaries and filing deadlines. it's going to just get a lot more messy, john. >> another thing that jumps out, julie davis, it looks like there was a lot of complaints about undercounting hispanic latino votes, that's an area of intense focus. >> it is. and, you know, we're not going to have the ethnic breakdown data for some time, but that is something that you need to look
at, places like arizona, as you mentioned, the results were not as bad as some democrats had feared. they thought that there was going -- that things were worse for them. the reason why may end up being that hispanics did respond in lower numbers, there's always something of an undercount among hispanic residents in the census. but that may have been more pronounced during the trump administration when there was very aggressive attempts to try to have a citizenship question be on the census and try to intimidate people so that they would not respond. if that did happen, that could help explain some of why the results are not as we expected them to be. >> so nathan, if you just scratch it out on a napkin, it's plus three for republicans, if you think about seats, that's on a napkin. things can change. they have to draw the lines. this is why it gets so complicated. let me get to the question.
if you went back a few months, republicans thought we could take back the house based on the census data. is this as good for them as they thought or is the work harder? >> well, i think it's a little harder in a way that texas, where they control, they have one less seat than they expected to be -- to draw florida, there's one less seat they're able to draw, and so -- but i was shaking my head because there are so many factors involved, what's the political environment, how popular is president biden and the democratic majorities, so much that goes into the cycle more than redistricting. >> there is so much. the bottom line, julie, the lawyers and map drawers get at it. the political climate depends on the president's approval rating in the midterm. >> absolutely. we'll have to see what the environment is like after a very eventful couple of years, legislation moving and issues cropping up and you don't know
how that's going to play into what we're seeing here. it is the case that it would be very difficult to imagine that just these redrawing of lines that this is going to cause will sway the makeup of the house in 2022. it's going to be about the cycle. >> nathan gonzales, julie davis, thank you for your time. we'll see you tomorrow. ana cabrera picks up right now. ♪ hello, and thanks for being with me on this tuesday, i'm ana cabrera in new york. if you are fully vaccinate and had still don't know what you can and cannot do. today a little more clarity. the cdc now saying it is safe for vaccinated people to go unmasked outdoors for many activities, like exercising or meeting up with a small group. but when indoors, the cdc says keep the masks on, vaccinated or not, cdc director dr. rochelle