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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  July 9, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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put pressure on russia. the question is he's putting pressure on him in this phone call. what does that look like when it comes to an operational standpoint? >> john kerry going to moscow to talk about climate issues. that's the first biden administration official to go to moscow. it's complicated and important and timely. thank you for your time today. ana cabrera picks up right now. >> hello. happy friday. i'm anna ka brar ya in new york. thank you for being with us. today the cdc issuing new guidance for the large scale return of kids to classrooms. and medical experts and regulators on defense after pfizer sparked new vaccine booster confusion. it comes as there's a critical inflection point. pfizer saying it's seeing waning immunity and believes a third
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shot may give people protection. the company did not provide the data to back it up. the cdc and fda responding with not so fast informal we'll address the confusion from. but here is what's clear. vaccines work. and they are saving lives. need proof? take what we learned out of maryland. 127 people died there from covid in june. none of them were vaccinated. cnn's elizabeth cohen joins us. what are we learning about why pfizer put out this statement on boosters? >> i'm going to start with, actually, why people think it's crazy that pfizer put out this statement on boosters. it really is the numbers that you just showed. there is so much data showing that these vaccines work. pfizer did not put out any new data. they said we're going to ask for approval for this booster. it would be a third shot, the same as the first two but a third shot. and we think that immunity is
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waning. lots of criticism that when you're trying to get a third of the country to be vaccinated, that's how many people have not taken -- availed themselves of a vaccine. a third of the country has not been vaccinated. why are you telling them it's waning? that will make them not want the vaccine more. again, lots of criticism of pfizer this morning. they did point to some israeli day that came out earlier this week. that data shows the vaccine works great at preventing severe disease. in the midst of all this, the fda and cdc put out a joint statement which i will tell you having done this many decades, hardly ever happens. americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. it couldn't be more clear. it also in some ways kind of disagrees with what pfizer is saying for the fda so come out and say something that disagrees with the pharmaceutical company, that also is extraordinarily rare. this is an odd situation. the bottom line if you don't want to follow all the back and
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forth of this mess, the bottom line is people do not need a booster. there is one exception if you're immune compromised. for example, you're an organ transplant recipient and taking immune suppression drugs. a third shot might help you. there are studies on this now. for the vast majority of people, there's no reason to be getting a third shot. >> right. one shot enough not. two shots the sweet spot as far as the data. >> let's talk about the cdc school guidelines. it's hard to believe in some places schools start up in a few weeks. my kids don't go back until september. what do we need to know? >> the cdc is saying it's a priority for kids to be in school. and certain safety precautions need to be taken. let's look at what they're saying. they say if at your school if not everyone is vaccinated, you should practice physical distancing if possible. also if you yourself are not vaccinated whether you're a student or a teacher or staff,
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you should be wearing a mask indoors. and also, the cdc suggests that schools offer weekly testing for unvaccinated people. so that's interesting. that's sort of a screening tool to make sure you're not having many outbreaks. if covid numbers are low, then children maybe don't need to be screened. for most parts of the country, screening is recommended. >> elizabeth, good to have you with us. happy friday. thank you. with us, a primary care physician in public health specialist. doctor, good to see you. i want to give a little more information about the cdc guidance for schools. the agency is recommending unvaccinated people over the age of two wear a mask when they are in indoors. they also say physical distancing should be practiced in schools where not everyone is vaccinated, but students should not be excluded from in person learning to maintain physical dischancing. so my question is if schools don't require masks and some students aren't eligible to be
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vaccinated, are those younger kids safe? >> yeah. listen, let's clear up some confusion going into the weekend here. first of all, i want to be clear. i think we can absolutely open schools in the pandemic. i have the same feeling at the beginning of the pandemic. i have it now, now that we have vaccines and thing are getting better. the community transmission will be different in different states. if you're in a green state where the vaccination rates are high and covid transmission is low, it's safe to open schools and you could be relaxed about the mask guidelines. but in a state where i loif in georgia where the vaccination rate is below 40%, absolutely unvaccinated kids and teachers that are unvaccinated need to be masked. there needs to also be testing done frequently. my biggest concern is in the states where the vaccination rates are low, those are also the states where they're going to have a lot of relaxed guidelines regarding masks and
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not mandating masks. so if you can mandate masks, and you follow the guidelines of social distancing and frequent testing, we can definitely open schools safely. >> and what i'm hearing is to parents who are listening, if your child is not vaccinated, make sure they are wearing a mask inside. let's talk about the booster debate. where do you stand on this? >> i think we're panicking about the booster shot. let me tell you why. just like you said in the opening, 99.2 % by the way, of people who died in the month of june from covid were unvaccinated. if that's not an incentive to show people that vaccines work, i don't know what is. also we don't talk enough about these t-cells and b-cells. these helper cells that also help us fight covid. so it's not just the about it anti-bodies. i think that even if the
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antibodies wane, we know it happens even in people who had prior covid, i think that the vaccines will actually last for a full year. the most important thing is if you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated. that is what's going to protect you against these contagious strains. >> so why would pfizer think a booster was needed and the cdc not? >> well, you know, i definitely am thankful to pfizer for the vaccines they have given. in fact, over half of the adults in america have gotten the pfizer shots. we know these mrna vaccines work well. but pfizer is a pharmaceutical company. they're looking at their best interests. i don't think it's a bad thing. we need to let pfizer present the data as an emergency use authorization for the third booster, but let's pore over the data. let's look at what pfizer has. let's look at clinical data. laboratory data. i think if anything at all, it might be the immune know
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compromised, and the elderly that might need booster shots. but we don't need to worry about that just yet. >> let's talk about this proposal from senator rand paul who wants to prevent the airlines from requiring masks on board on the plane. your reaction? >> shocked. extremely upset. i think that would absolutely be the wrong thing to do at a time when the delta strain is taking a stronghold in every state in the u.s. more than 50% of the cases now will be the strain from delta. and if you know it's more con tangs, if people are traveling, one of the most reassuring aspects of travel is the fact that we know that masks have to be worn in these congested terminals and on planes. can i tell you right now, even if we don't have studies, hundreds and thousands of people are prevented from getting infected on planes and in
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airports because of the mandate of masks. that would absolutely be a wrong idea. we must keep the mandates of masking, especially for travel. >> we know travel is on the rise. big time. doctor, it's good to have you with us. thank you so much for spending time with us on this friday. >> thank you. right now not even half the country is fully vaccinated. and understanding the divide might be as simple as looking at two maps. cnn politics reporter and editor at large is here to break it down for us. chris, take it away. >> all right. this first map, we should be pretty familiar with. i'm going to use my capacity. we know this is how the country looked for the last bunch of years. you have this year, all republican. the coasts, democratic. more votes on the coasts. we know this map. remember this map. i'm going to take that away so you can remember that map. okay. now i want to show you current vaccination rate by state. okay. now, this map goes through all
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the percentages. as you can see broadly, you know, i'm going to do this and give you a hint of what's to come. as you can see broadly, that looks pretty similar to what i did on the other map. but let me erase it. now that's that map. now let's put them side by side. it is remarkable the overlay here. look at this. again, look at this. that and this. it is language an exact replica of one another. these maps look exactly the same. they've just different colors. what does that tell us? well, it tells us that vaccination rates are almost entirely predicted by what state went for trump or went for biden. it's not just that. it's also how heavily the state went for biden or trump in vaccination rates. let's take two states, very democratic. in 20 20 vermont, bernie
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sanders' home state, biden won 66% of the vote. the exact same number, 66% are fully vaccinated in vermont. same thing with minnesota. more of a swing state. 52%. 52 % fully vaccinated. now, it's not exact in every state. it's not whatever biden got in that number equals the percent fully vaccinated, but it's close. the flip side is also two. republican states in idaho, trump won with 64 -- i didn't press my thing. hold on, trump won with 64% of the vote. what's 100 minus 64? i'll do the math. it's 36. so the people who did not vote for trump, this is not a direct overlay. right? but the people who didn't vote for trump, which is about 36% in a state like idaho, who voted for biden, 36 % fully vaccinated. hm. okay. same basic thing here.
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this is oklahoma. trump wins overwhelmingly, 65 %. only 39% fully vaccinated. the more trumpy the state, the less likely significant vaccine nations. the more heavily biden won the state, the more likely vaccinations. the simple conclusion. vaccines have become like almost everything else, a political football in a political tell. they don't have to be. it's a public health issue. >> exactly. >> covid doesn't care if you're a republican or libertarian, independent, whatever. unfortunately, as these maps show, let's go back to this one, the side by side, excuse me. it shows you our red/blue divide is an aqua and light green divide, but it's the same divide. >> and we don't want that to be. covid doesn't pick parties? >> it shouldn't be. >> that's fascinating. you really just put it out there. it's eye popping to see the p
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percentages line up the way they do. now to another deadly crisis that's impacting millions of americans. a massive heat emergency. that's forcing a large section of the country to conserve power and water. how hot, how dire would it get? that's ahead. plus the nation's largest gathering of conservatives kicking off today. if you're looking for a sign that republicans are turning away from trump and the nonstop election lies, you won't find it there. ahead, what their agenda reveals. and a new twist in the mysterious twist in the assassination of haiti's president. two americans in the long list of suspects. stay with us.
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stifling heat is gripping much of the western u.s. right now. the threat of a record breaking heat wave has more than 30 million people on alert. in california residents are being asked to conserve power and water. temperatures could surpass 130 degrees in death valley. the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was 134 degrees. that was in 1913. in las vegas, temperatures are expected to reach a record high of 118 degrees. cnn is live in nevada where the highest level heat risk has been issued in much of the state and across the southwest. this dangerous heat is making the historic drought conditions even worse and it's escalating the threat for wildfires. >> yeah. it absolutely is doing all of those things. and look, it's only 10:18 in the morning and already about 105
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degrees. and it's going to get a lot worse. both in terms of the weather and of the drought. the severe drought that's impacting the western part of the united states includes this area where i am right now. officials here in lake immmead telling me every day they're having to record a new low in water levels and you can easily see it behind me. you see the high water mark. that's what just shows you why starting in august they believe that they're going to have a shortage in water. it looks like a bathtub ring all over lake mead. they say that if there is a shortage, then places like las vegas, or arizona are going to have to get less water from this reservoir next year. and overall, about 25 million people depend on this water. that's more than the population in the state of florida. and it's not just the water. it's also the electricity that's generated here. it's also the high fire danger and of course people's health. you saw what happened in the pacific northwest. the death toll there continues
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to increase. it's now at about 200 when you're talking about washington state and oregon. and it could keep climbing. many people here are used to these kinds of temperatures. but the concern for officials in las vegas, for example, is that there are plenty of tourists here that at many times don't know how to deal with the temperatures so they say they're going to be ready for a number of emergency calls. they're hoping to avoid a similar situation to that of the pacific northwest. >> they're dangerous conditions you're experiencing there. i don't know how you got that report out without breaking a sweat. thank you for your reporting from lake mead, nevada. heat isn't the only thing gripping the nation. gas prices are at a 7-year high. the national average is now $3.a gallon. the spike in prices has nothing to do with politics. pete monoteen joins us now. help us understand why many americans are paying so much at
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the pump. >> you mentioned the national average. 3.14 a gallon. it's higher in so many places across the country. $3.49 here in maryland. the average is ticking up and up. $2.18 only a year ago. so many factors at play here. demand is brisk for driving right now. and gas buddy reports after july 4th weekend, it was the busiest tuesday for fillups since 2019 before the pandemic. also a bit of a supply issue. opec failed to secure a deal that would increase gasoline production and elsa is impacting crude deliveries and also impacting production in the southeast. but triple a reports that's not stopping people from getting out even though it anticipates that gas will be 3.25 later this summer. >> well, gasoline prices are
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going to stay above $3. probably 3.20 range the rest of the summer. people don't let that get in the way of getting on vacation. they'll budget or do more free activities but they're taking the vacation this year. >> remember the national average is just the average. in california the average is around $4.30. a lot of people still swallowing that cost and the white house says it is monitoring the situation. although, it says this is really an issue about oil prices and not about politics. >> pete in maryland. thank you. any moment now president biden set to deliver remarks on the economy. he signs a new executive order. he says it will reduce the price we pay for prescription drugs. for the internet. for flights. and more. details ahead.
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the biggest party of the year for conservatives is underway for a second time this year. i'm talking about cpac. the conservative political action conference. the theme at this gathering in
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dallas is america uncancelled. and former president trump is once again the headliner, making it clear he remains in control of the party. his son speaks today. stephen miller will address the crowd and also arizona ooze groechb. . continuing the right to drum beat of the big lie. let's bring in amanda carpenter. this is the gathering of the party's power elite. what does it tell you that a key focus at this conference is, quote, how to collect evidence of voter fraud? >> yeah. it tells you the 2020 election never ended for them. to this day donald trump and midwest of his supporters refuse to acknowledge the idea that joe biden won the election. and so -- i'm worried about this. and frankly, i feel like the
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democrats aren't alarmed enough about these sustained determined efforts on the trumpian right to attack the voting system. i mean, there is a direct line between donald trump's big election lie, the insurrection, and the ongoing attack on voting rights that's happening all over the country. i mean, my goodness, in arizona they're collecting evidence. right? they are seizing the ballot machines to audit elections that have been already audited by professionals, sacrificing voter privacy along the way, damaging election equipment and no one seems to be able to stop it. just a few agitators were able to subpoena machines and hand them off to a fly by night outfit no one has heard of and no one can stop it. i don't feel like people are taking this threat seriously enough. meanwhile, every single day trump and his lawyers and his team and his activists are planning a rerun of this in 2022 and 2024. >> well, i think democrats are
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taking this seriously. it's republicans who aren't taking it seriously that are enabling some of the efforts to continue. they're the ones who are passing the lawshen they have the majority in state legislatures. they're the ones in the senate who wouldn't even debate a voting rights bill when all democrats were on board. but i know you're trying to do something about this. you just launched republicans four voting rights. that pushes back on republican efforts to restrict voting. you're going against the majority of lawmakers in both federal level and state level in your party right now. how do you plan to fight this? >> well, i think it's very easy. i think for too long the fringe radicals in this party have taken control, because there's too many good people pushed out. when you talk to people about what happened over the last six months and how that big election lie led to the insurrection and now they're coming after your vote, republican votes, i mean, i work with people who last december were advocating going to the state legislators to
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cancel votes. those are lines that should not be crossed. i think it's easy to talk to regular -- not professional republicans in washington. but people who vote republican on the ground and say don't you think something is wrong with this? i talk to people in rural areas who vote by mail all the time. never saw anything wrong with it. and they're being told there's something wrong with the system and maybe you did something bad you talk to members of the military who vote by mail. they keep attacking the system and we had a chance to move on from this after trump lost the election. we're not -- they're not moving on. but there's many republicans who look at this and say i want my vote to count. we have a basic principle of democracy in this country. every american that meets the legal requirements gets to vote but the vote gets to count. and that's what we saw attempted to be taken away on january 6th when people stormed the capitol to try to take away those votes
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and overturn the election. >> i want to ask you about the new reporting we have about kevin mccarthy's approach to members of his caucus. the most extreme members, people like marjorie taylor greene, they haven't faced any consequences from mccarthy. we're told he believes keeping folks like that in the fold rather than excommunicating them is a better long-term strategy for keeping them in check. do you agree? >> mccarthy is a weak republican leader. and that's why i think these fights while we may look like we're going to win right now, i think the republicans that have a smarter, better way can retake the party at some point. mccarthy only deroives his powe as a proxy from trump. boehner was knocked off, paul ryan. and kevin mccarthy barely has a hold on things. when we pushes out people like liz cheney who represent a
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smart, considerate pragmatic approach to republican politics, and elevates people, he's making the party much weaker. and he shows that because he can't even discipline people for hanging out with white supremacists and making -- invoking the holocaust in the most inappropriate ways. >> amanda, good to have you here. thank you for being with us. >> thanks. the death toll in the surfside, florida condo collapse jumped dramatically today. what we are learning ant the victims and the effort to make sure this never happens again. next.
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try disposable, thin sheets. today the staggering death toll in surfside is rising as crews recover for victims in the rubble. 78 people are now confirmed dead. 62 others unaccounted for. now 15 days after nearly half the condos that came crashing down. rosa flores is there for us. rosa, you wrapped a tour inside the sister building. before we talk about that, talk to us about the latest on the recovery operation. >> reporter: you know, the mayor
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put it like this. she says that the magnitude of this tragedy just continues to grow. the death toll increasing by 14 overnight for a total of 78. and officials here are very concerned about the mental health of the first responders. i can tell you i talked to one yesterday who says it's finding children that is the most difficult for them. they have resources on the scene to help them in the short-term. long-term help will also be needed. according to the fire chief in certain areas of the friday where they're search, they are down to the second and the fifth floors. and ana, this other portion is a little difficult to talk about, but according to the mayor, because they are finding more bodies now, they're actually asking the broward county medical examiner to help. >> so sad. we know earlier this week they removed about 5 million pounds of material from that rubble pile. let's talk about the tour now. you got to go inside the towers
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on the north with an engineer. what did you see and learn? >> this engineer, he is the one that's hired by the city of surfside to investigate to figure out what happened. his name is allen killshiemer. very experienced. he can't go to the site where the collapse actually happened until the search and recovery is over. where he's doing his work is at champlain towers north, the sister building. so he is taking core samples of the concrete and he showed us around. he's already taken core samples of the concrete in the garage. we went around this building with him as he took core samples from different apartment buildings. they're careful. they use ground penetrating radar so they take the samples of the actual cob crete without disturbing the rebar, the reinforcing steel that holds the building up, of course. he says that what's going to happen next is the core samples, this material that -- and this
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investigation, all of these samples are going to be analyzed. they're also going to be compared to samples from the actual collapse site once he has access to it. and, of course, one of the first questions that i asked is if he has seen anything, anything so far that is of worry. take a listen. >> allen, have you seen anything that has worried you yet? >> no, ma'am. but i can't see through concrete, and i can't get compressors to the through the concrete. that's why the gpr and compress sor strength to the concrete is important for me to understand. >> and ana, of course everybody wants to know what caused this collapse. i asked him do you feel confident that you will find out, and he says yes. he's confident that he will figure it out at some point, but he does say it probably won't be one thing. it will probably be a combination of things. >> rosa flores there in
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surfside, florida. stay strong j my friend. thank you for your reporting. now to georgia. police are a major step closer to some answers in a triple homicide case at a country club. golf pro gene stiller is among the victims. the this happened saturday outside atlanta. and we're learning there is a suspect in custody. let's bring in cnn's ryan young following this story. >> reporter: first, i want to say this. police haven't shared a motive yet. they haven't answered a lot of questions on the crime yet. in terms of trying to figure out why we're here, that's not been answered. they have a suspect in custody. that's brian roaden. he was arrested and of course, he's charged and going to have his first court appearance later tonight. but so far so many people in the community are sort of breathing a sigh of relief because they're happy this murder suspect is off the streets. i want to tell you this. there were two other men that were killed in the back of that car as well. there are so many questions about this case. but listen to the chief responding to one of my
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questions last night when i asked him about the community's concerns about how this investigation was going on. >> reporter: >> i realize some members of the community felt frustration. they felt like they had limited information. i respect that feeling. from the perspective that i'm at, i knew we had a mission to come to a successful conclusion of this, and provide a form of justice to the family. and the successful arrest and prosecution was our highest priority and that's what we were focusing on. >> yeah. the police had a lot going on here, and especially using outside agencies to help them as well with tracking this down. something that also piqued our interest, there's a timeline where the suspect was arrested and charged with five different traffic violations on the fourth, including a dui. he was released on the sixth. you have all this conversation about him getting pulled over in less than 12 hours after the
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fact of the shooting. not sure if police developed him as a suspect at that point when he was arrested for that dui. but then once he was released, he was picked up about 25 miles away from where the shooting happened. so many questions about this case. as soon as we learn more about the motive, we'll share it with you. >> ryan young in atlanta. thank you. in haiti, two american citizens are now among 17 suspects arrested in the assassination of the country's president. authorities there say the armed group was made up of, quote, professional killers. more than two dozen in all. the attackers reportedly include retired members of the colombian military. a nationwide man hunt is underway for at least eight more suspects. cnn's matt rivers is in port-au-prince for us. matt? >> reporter: let me describe the scene as where we are right now. this is one of the areas where some of the shootouts with governments say took place between security forces here. an army police joint operation and also some suspects.
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some of which were in this car behind me that you can see to my left. there's bullet holes scattered throughout the vehicle. and obviously caught fire after. bullet holes in the building behind me. there's shell casings of the different weaponry all over this area. this is one of the shootouts that ended up killing several suspects. let me give you the numbers we have in the government. mainly coming from a press conference that was giving here in port-au-prince last night. 17 different suspects have been detained so far. at least three have been killed during shootouts like in this area where we are right now. and eight people at least at this point remain at large. of all the suspects that we have heard about from the government, 6 26 of the 28 are colombian nationals. six of them have previous experience with the colombian military. the remaining two suspects are haitian-americans. that's about what we know for so far.
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the motive of all this, how they managed to get into the presidential residency is what we're here to find out and hopefully we'll have answers for you soon. >> mauft, thank you. any minute we'll hear from president biden on his plan to make the u.s. economy more competitive. we've talking about lower prices on items americans care about the most. details just ahead.
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not good morning, which my remarks say here, but -- good afternoon. we're in the midst of a historic economic recovery, and because our successful vaccination program strategy has been working, and the immediate relief through the american rescue plan has brought back our economy from the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, america's now on track. we're now on track for the highest economic growth in 40 years and one of the highest growth records on record. we designed our economic strategy to be durable through the ups and downs that come with recovery. there are ups and downs. that's why the american rescue plan was designed to help people not just all at once but over the course of a full year. so, we can continue supporting families, small businesses, state and local budgets to help them weather those ups and downs, and now that the economy
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is back on track, we're making progress on the second phase of our strategy, ensuring long-term growth. that's what my build back better agenda, including my american family plan and the bipartisan infrastructure agreement we reached last month, that's what they're all about, long-term. but to keep our country moving, we have to take another step as well. and i know you're all tired of hearing me during the campaign and since i'm elected president talk about it. and that's bringing fair competition back to the economy. that's why today i'm going to be as signing shortly the executive order promoting competition, to lower prices, increase wages, and to take another critical step toward an economy that works for everybody. the heart of american capitalism is a simple idea. open and fair competition. that means that if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have to up their game.
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better prices and services, new ideas and products that competition keeps the economy moving and keeps it growing. fair competition is why capitalism has been the world's greatest force of prosperity and growth. by the same token, competitive economy means companies must do everything they do to compete for workers. offering higher wages, more flexible hours, better benefits, but what we've seen over the past few decades is less competition and more concentration that holds our economy back. we see it in big agriculture, big tech, in big pharma. list goes on. rather than competing for consumers, they are consuming their competitors. rather than competing for workers, they're finding ways to gain the upper hand on labor. and too often, the government has actually made it harder for
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new companies to break in and compete. look at what that means for family budgets. take prescription drugs. just a handful of companies control the market for many vital medicines, giving them leverage over everyone else to charge whatever they want. as a result, americans pay two and a half times more for prescription drugs than in any other leading country, and nearly one in four americans struggles to afford their medication. another example. hearing aids. right now, if you need a hearing aid, you can't just walk into a pharmacy and pick one up over the counter. you have to get it from a doctor or a specialist. not only does that make getting hearing aids inconvenient, it makes them considerably more expensive. and it makes it harder for new companies to compete, innovate, and sell hearing aids at lower prices. as a result, a pair of hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars. that's a big reason why just one
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in seven americans with hearing loss actually use a hearing aid. another example. internet services. there are more than 65 million americans live in a place with only one high-speed internet provider. research shows when you have a limited internet operation, you pay up to five times more on average than families in places with more choices. that's what a lack of competition does. it raises the prices you pay. that's not just consumers getting hurt. big ag is putting the squeeze on farmers, small and family farms, first-time farmers like veterans coming home and black and latino and indigenous farmers, they're seeing price hikes for seed, lopsided contracts, shrinking profits and growing debt. lack of competition hurts workers as well. in many communities, there are only a handful of employers left
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competing for workers. think of company towns across appalachia and other parts of the country where one big corporation runs the show. when corporations have that kind of leverage over workers, it pushes down -- it pushes down advertised wages by up to 17%. as competition decreases, businesses don't feel the pressure to innovate or invest in their workforce. that hurts working families and hurts our economy. all told, between rising prices and lowering wages, lack of competition costs the median american household $5,000 a year. look, i'm a proud capitalist. i spent most of my career representing the corporate state of delaware. i know america can't succeed unless american business succeeds. let me be very clear. capitalism without competition isn't capitalism.
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it's exploitation. without healthy competition, big players can change and charge whatever they want, and treat you however they want. and for too many americans, that means accepting a bad deal for things that can't go -- you can't go without. so, we know we've got a problem, a major problem. we also have an incredible opportunity. we can bring back more competition to more of the country, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses get in the game. helping workers get a better deal, helping families save money every month. good news is, we've done it before. in the early 1900s, president teddy roosevelt saw an economy dominated by giants like standard oil and jpmorgan's railroads. he took them on. and he won. he gave the little guy a fighting chance. decades later, during the great
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depression, his cousin, franklin roosevelt, saw a wave of corporate mergers that wiped out scores of small businesses, crushing competition and innovation. so, he ramped up antitrust enforcement, eightfold, in just two years, saving families billions in today's dollars and helping set the course for sustained economic growth after world war ii. he also called for an economic bill of rights, including, quote, the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies, end of quote. between them, the two roosevelts established an american tradition, an antitrust tradition is how we ensure that our economy isn't about people working for capitalism. it's about capitalism working for people. but over time, we've lost the fundamental american idea that true capitalism depends on fair and open competition.
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40 years ago, we chose the wrong path, in my view. following the misguided philosophy of people like robert bork and pull back on enforcing laws to promote competition. we are now 40 years into the experiment of letting giant corporations accumulate more and more power. and what have we gotten from it? less growth, weakened investment, fewer small businesses. too many americans who feel left behind. too many people who are poorer than their parents. i believe the experiment failed. we have to get back to an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. the executive order i'm soon going to be signing commits the federal government to full and aggressive enforcement of our antitrust laws. no more tolerance for abusive actions by monopolies, no more bad mergers that lead to mass layoffs, higher prices, fewer options for workers and consumers alike.
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my executive order includes 72 specific actions. i expect the federal agencies, and they know this, to help restore competition. so that we have lower prices, higher wages, more money, more options and more convenience for the american people. today, i want to focus on three specific actions. first, the fda, the food and drug administration, they're going to work with states and tribes to safely import prescription drugs from canada. that's just one of many actions in the executive order that will lower prescription drug prices. second, the fda is going to issue rules so that hearing aids can be sold over-the-counter. that's something the last administration was supposed to have done but didn't do. we're going to get it done. after these rules go into effect, a pair of hearing aids could cost hundreds of dollars, not thousands.
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and you'll be able to pick them up at your local drugstore. third, we're going to approve competition for workers. i've talked a lot about noncompete agreements, contracts that say you can't take another job in your field even if you get a better deal. i made a speech, i was just reminiscing with my staff, back in 2018 at the brookings institution, where i talked about the noncompete clauses that were just, i found to be absolutely ridiculous but how prevalent they were throughout industries. at least one in three businesses require their workers to sign a noncompete agreement. these aren't just high-paid executives who are assigned to hold secret formulas for coca-cola so pepsi can't get their hands on it. the recent study found one in five workers without a college education is subject to noncompete agreements.
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they're construction workers, hotel workers, disproportionately women and women of color. think of the 26-year-old employee at a company. she's a star worker, but she isn't being treated right. she's underpaid, passed over for promotions. competitor across the street knows it, wants to bring her in at a higher wage, and she can't do it. her company threatens legal action over a noncompete clause she had to sign in order to get hired in the first place. she can't afford a lawyer for help. she's locked in. imagine if you're in her shoes. you'd feel powerless. disrespected. bullied. trapped. that's not right. workers should be free to take a better job if someone offers it. if your employer wants to keep you, he or she should have to make it worth your while to stay. that's the kind of competition that leads to better wages and greater dignit


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