tv State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash CNN July 18, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com pandemicic of the unvaccinated. covid cases rise in every single u.s. state as president biden pokes social media platforms for letting misinformation spread. >> the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated and they're killing people. >> can america turn things around? i'll speak to the u.s. surgeon general, dr. vivek murthy, next. and make or break, senate democrats set a deadline for key vote. the latest with the chief
republican negotiator of the deal, senator rob portman, who joins me exclusively, next. plus on the road. democrats go local to promote voting rights. >> there are many routes to success here. >> but roadblocks remain in the senate. so, how will anything change? i'll speak to the committee chair holding that hearing, senator amy klobuchar, ahead. hello, i'm dana bash in washington where the state of our union is seeing red. coronavirus cases are surging across the country once again, as the highly contagious delta variant spreads. all 50 states and washington, d.c. are now seeing a rise in cases. that's the first time that has happened since january. as many of us know by now, the covid vaccines are extraordinarily effective at preventing serious disease and 99% of those who are now dying of covid are unvaccinated.
this new wave did not have to happen. the united states is a country where the vaccine is readily available and free, yet less than half of the u.s. population is fully vaccinated against covid. and as vaccine hesitancy turns into vaccine hostility and health officials brace for more avoidable pain and death, some local leaders are encouraging, or in the case of l.a. county, mandating the use of masks indoors, regardless of use of vaccination status. the biden administration tries to tackle false information about the vaccines, president biden is saying flat out, he said it on friday, that social media platforms are killing people by allowing vaccine lies to spread. as the u.s. surgeon general took an extraordinary step of labeling vaccine misinformation, a series threat to public health. and joining me now is the u.s. surgeon general, dr. vivek murthy. thank you for joining me this morning. u.s. cases have tripled, tripled in the last three weeks.
we know that hospitalizations and deaths tend to follow, unless you're vaccinated. are you bracing for a rise in deaths from covid in the coming weeks? >> thanks, dana. i am worried about what is to come. we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated, in particular. and while if you are vaccinated, you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately that is not true if you are not vaccinated. we're seeing 99.5% of deaths right now from covid-19 in our country are happening among the unvaccinated. and so that's why it is so important that we take every measure possible to make sure people have the information they need about the vaccine, to make sure they have access to the vaccine and to help them get vaccinated as quickly as possible. it is our fastest, most effective way out of this pandemic, dana. >> former baltimore health commissioner dr. leana wen says the rise in cases can be traced
back to the cdc's abrupt decision to lift mask mandates for vaccinated individuals. your predecessor, jerome davis -- excuse me, jerome adams, called that action premature and should hit the reset button on that guidance. should you? was ending the mask guidance a mistake? >> well, dana, what's driving the rise of infections is actually the delta variant. this is the most highly transmissible virus that we -- variant of covid-19 we've seen to date. it is spreading quickly in the united states, as it did in the united kingdom and other countries as well, including india. that is what is driving the situation we're seeing on the ground right now. with that said, i think the cdc's guidance around mask was intended actually to give flexibility to individuals and to localities, recognizing that in this next phase of the pandemic, as we move into more of a local and regional response
based on people's vaccination rates and communities that that guidance around what to do with mitigation measures like masks could also be tailored locally. so when you see places like l.a. county and parts of the country, where you see counties making decisions about masks that are different than other counties that's okay. they're doing that based on what's happening in their community, vaccination rates and case counts. as far as individuals are concerned, there's a similar flexibility there. even though your risk of getting sick, especially seriously ill or transmitting the virus to someone else, if you're fully vaccinated, is low, there are some people who may decide to continue wearing masks. maybe they live in a community where there's a lot of virus. maybe they have unvaccinated people at home and want to be extra cautious. that's okay. cdc guidance gave flexibility to counties and individuals and that's why you see differences in what people are doing across the country. >> let me ask you personally. i know you have young children, who are too young to be
vaccinated. so you are vaccinated. do you wear a mask all the time because of that? >> well, that's a good question, dana. it depends on my setting. i do have two children at home who are unvaccinated because they're too young to be eligible yet for a vaccine. if i'm in an area where i think there may be a lot of folks who are unvaccinated, out of an abundance of caution i will wear my mask in indoor settings. i don't wear my mask when i'm outdoors. when i'm in settings with people who are fully vaccinated, i don't wear masks as well. that's based on my individual preference and where i spend time in the country where there is virus circulating. each of us need to make our own decisions based on our set of circumstances, based on what's happening in our neighborhood and county. >> we're hearing about vaccinated, against vaccinated individuals experiencing breakthrough infections. some examples, yankees/red sox
game was canceled because six vaccinated players caught the virus. three texas vaccinated democrats who met with top officials here in d.c. also infected. i understand the vaccine prevents series disease and death but what's your recommendation for the 16 0 million vaccinated americans? should we be living our lives any differently than we normally would? >> well, the good news, dana, is that not only is the vaccine highly effective at preventing severe infection, hospitalizations and deaths, but even if you do have a breakthrough infection, which again happens in a very small minority of people, it's likely to be mild or asymptomatic infection given, again, that the vaccines don't just prevent infection, but reduce the severity of breakthrough infections. my hope is that people will feel reassured by that. i'm certainly fully vaccinated and feel reassured by that data as well. it makes me feel comfortable in resuming activities i've missed
over the last year. with that said, if you're in a community where there is a lot of virus spread ing, some peopl may choose to be more cautious in terms of how they use masks and in terms of their engagements, and that's okay to do. we've got to realize getting back to, quote, unquote, normal, and to what life was like prepandemic will be a process. we're not all going to move at the same pace in terms of our comfort going back to the way things were, changing our mask practices or re-engaging in group settings. it will take time. what we've got to do is make sure that science is guide ing r process here. >> let's talk about the misinformation out there, about vaccines. you announced a new advisory this week to combat misinformation. specifically on social media. after president biden said social media is killing people, here is what a facebook official said to cnn in response. quote, in private exchanges, the
surgeon general has praised our work, including our efforts to inform people about covid-19. they knew what they were doing. the white house is looking for scapegoats for missing their vaccine goals. so, that facebook official is accusing you of saying one thing in public and another behind closed doors. is that accurate? >> well, i've been very consistent in what i have said to the technology companies and i've spoken with a number of them over the last many months. and my team has as well. what i have effectively said is when we see steps that are good, that are being taken, we should acknowledge those. there have been some positive steps take n by these technologies to promote accurate sources like the cdc and other medical sources. others have tried to reduce the prevalence of false sources and search results. what i've also said to them, publicly and private ly, is tha it's not enough.
that we are still seeing proliferation of misinformation online. and we know health misinformation harms people's health. it costs them their lives. i've seen that as a doctor over the year as people have struggled with health misinformation. health misinformation takes away our freedom and our power to make decisions for us and for our families. and that's a problem. and the platforms have to recognize they played a major role in the increase in speed and scale with which misinformation is spreading. >> what about the specific accusation that you're making facebook and other social media platforms a scapegoat? >> well, my concern, as surgeon general, has been consistent from the beginning. we saw misinformation flow ing around covid-19 from the beginning. and we raised those concerns to these companies. and i've spoken about my concerns about misinformation publicly numerous times over the last many months. my concern is that we're not seeing nearly enough progress
here. and that's one of the reasons i issued this advisory. it's not entirely about the tech companies. i issued this advisory to call the entire country to action. technology companies have an important role, particularly when it comes to being transparent with the public about how much misinformation is floeg in their sites. each of us has a decision that we make every time we post something on social media and i'm asking people to pause and to see is the source accurate? is it coming from a scientifically credible authority? if it's not or you're not sure, don't share. >> to that point, you said that disinformation coming from so-called bad actors is also to blame for this. i want our viewers to have an idea of disinformation being spread on the right. take a listen. >> there's nothing more anti-democratic, anti-freedom than pushing an experimental drug on americans against their will. >> the idea that you would force
people to take medicine they don't want or need, stla precedent for that in our lifetime? >> a vaccine, in a way, is generally going against nature. >> i wonder if that person has ever flown in an airplane, car or taken an advil. but besides that, president biden did accuse social media platforms of kill ing people. do you think conservative media, like fox news, are doing the same? are they killing people, too, with rhetoric you just heard? >> dana, i think all of us, including the media, including individuals, health professionals, have a responsibility to share the truth about health as science dictates, as science informs us. and, you know, unless we do that, unless we are honest about the consequences of our communication with people, unless we are rigorous about ensuring that what we communicate is actually sourced from science and not from an opinion on critical issues like
the vaccine, then we are going to ultimately put people at risk. and that is my great worry, dana. people all across our country, and i hear from folks all the time, who are struggling to make decisions about their health. after this very difficult year we've been through, people deserve to have access to accurate information. they deserve to hear that from their leaders, from the media. they deserve to see that on platforms online. they need that information to be able to make decisions to protect themselves and their families. that's the least we can do for them. and my worry is that all of this is misinformation that's floating around. it's having a real cost that can be measured and lives lost and that is just tragic. >> dr. murthy, before i let you go, on a different topic, senate majority leader chuck schumer introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. from a health perspective, do you support that? >> well, when it comes to marijuana, dana, we have to let
science guide us. we know that the science tells us there are some benefits for marijuana from a medical perspective, but there are also some harms that we have to consider. we have to put those together as we think about the right policy. now when it comes to decr decriminalization, i don't think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use. i don't think that serves anybody well. and so -- but i do think in terms of our push to marijuana i worry when we don't let science guide our process and policy making and as surgeon general, that's my role, to work with policymakers, the general public to help people understand what science tells us and to help fill those gaps with research and honest inquiry. >> dr. vivek murthy, thank you so much for joining us this morning. i appreciate it. >> thanks so much, dana. take care. >> and a critical week for president biden's agenda on issues that could chart the course for this country from the
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visit your local mercedes-benz dealer today for exceptional lease and financing offers. welcome back to "state of the union." i'm dana bash. it is a pivotal week for president biden with trillion of dollars and cornerstone of his agenda at steak. senate majority leader chuck schumer scheduling a test vote wednesday on two biden priorities, including as negotiator try to flush out
the details. joining me exclusively is the lead negotiator on the infrastructure deal, senator rob portman of ohio. thank you for joining me, senator i know you and your colleagues are working through the weekend to try to finalize this infrastructure bill. will it be ready by wednesday? >> we're still working on it. it's more important to get it right. we are still negotiating. in fact, last night i was negotiating some of the final details with the white house and later today we'll be having additional negotiations with the republicans and democrats who come together to put this bill into a track that's very unusual for washington. people are used to legislation being on the republican side or democrat side. this is a little confusing for people because it's actually 11 republicans and 11 democrats putting this together. chuck schumer, with all due respect, is not writing bill. nor is mitch mcconnell, by the way. so that's why we shouldn't have an arbitrary deadline of wednesday. we should bring the legislation forward when it's ready. it's incredibly important legislation. we have a situation in our
country where we do have cr crumbling infrastructure. it's hurting our efficiency, therefore our productivity, our competitiveness. china spends about three or four times more on infrastructure than we do, as an example. so, everybody knows that s every president in modern history has said $1.5 trillion proposal in his budget, significantly more than we're talking about. it's important we get it done. it's been talked about for years. yet it's got to be done in a thoughtful, bipartisan way. we don't want to rush this process or make mistakes. >> i want to ask you about the substance of it in a minute. you say that chuck schumer, the majority leader, is trying to give an arbitrary deadline. i covered lots of legislative battles in the senate. what he's saying is let's start debate. he's not saying let's have a final vote on a bill. what's wrong with that? >> start debate on what? we don't have a product yet. we won't have a product until we
can finish negotiations. this is a complex bill that involves several committees, lot of very tough issues because we've got to resolve them between us first. again, we're meeting today. 11 democrats, 11 republicans are working on this. we're moving as fast as we can. dana, think about it. when we came together with the general framework agreement, it was decided that we would then get into the details. we have had one week of legislative session since then for a bill that, as you indicated earlier, is over a ten-year period, over $1 trillion. over a five-year period, it's $175 billion. it makes historic investments in our infrastructure. we want to get it right. it's not too much to ask that we have the time to do that. i was on with the white house last night, negotiating the final details. we're still very much in that process. we'll push as hard as we can. we're working all weekend again and that's important. it's important to get it done
because it's an urgent matter. we ought not to have an arbitrary deadline forcing this process. we ought to be sure that we have the best product. >> let's talk about the sticking points that you're working through. one of the proposals is to improve irs enforcement of existing laws, which is estimated to increase revenue by up to $100 billion without raising tacks. a number of your republican colleagues, though, they are coming out against this approach. senator ted cruz called it a foolish and dangerous idea. so, is irs enforcement still part of your proposal or not? >> well, one reason it's not part of the proposal is we did have pushback. another reason is that we found out that the democrats were going to put a proposal into the reconciliation package, which was not just similar to the one we had, but with a lot more irs enforcement. so, that created quite a problem because the general agreement is that this is the bipartisan
negotiated infrastructure package and we will stick with that. and president biden, to his credit, said we will not be renegotiating these items in the reconciliation package. >> just to be clear -- >> the infrastructure package initially -- >> go ahead. >> originally, infrastructure package that president biden put forward was twice as big as ours in terms of core infrastructure. so, you know, they have different ideas on this. we have a bipartisan process here. it's a compromise between both sides. both sides make concessions. we want to stick with that. in terms of irs reform or tax gap, which was what was in the original proposal, that will no longer be in our proposal. it will be in the larger reconciliation bill, we're told. that's the two tracks here. infrastructure bill is separate from the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that is strictly a partisan exercise, more typical of washington, frankly. ours is unusual, and that's one reason you see this difference between what senator schumer wants to do in terms of --
>> if that's off the table. >> and the rest of the country. >> if that's off the table, how are you going to pay for the $1.2 trillion plan? >> well, that's one reason we're having initial meetings today and have mhad more meetings ove the past few days. one legislation called the medicare rebate rule which provides significant revenue. i've been on the phone with the budget office and joint committees over the weekend. it's important that it be paid for. it's also important to recognize this is about long-term investments in infrastructure, which is different than government spending for the social program as an example. this is spending that will be spent not next year. it won't be spent for the most part until the next five to ten years or more, and it goes into long-term assets which may last 50, 70 years. think of a bridge, port, ai
airport, waterways, infrastructure. part of this is very important. the broad band part of this. second because it's important for the economy to make these kind of expenditures, it will increase the economic growth of our country, therefore increase revenue. by more efficiency in our economy, higher productivity, tacks taxes will be coming back into the economy as a result of this. we take that into account, as we should. >> senator? >> i'm excited about that. it's about long-term growth. >> i want to ask you, but before i do, you just acknowledged a large bill that is working along with yours. are you comfortable with that now? >> i'm not comfortable with their legislation at all, $3.5 trillion. >> but linking the two? >> they are not linked and cannot be linked. to president biden's credit, he has said they are not linked. they're totally separate. >> okay.
>> ours is a bipartisan process. again it's about infrastructure only, which is a different kind of spending than what the democrats are talking about. theirs is a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, which means they only need 50 votes. ours requires 60. the theirs is spending on new social programs and huge tax increases. no, i'm not for that. i think it's a terrible day for our economy coming out of the pandemic. i hope that they're not successful. ours is on an entirely different track and everyone acknowledges that. >> let me ask you about covid. nearly all new cases, hospitalizations, deaths, are among unvaccinated americans. polls show nearly half of republicans, your fellow republicans, still don't intend to get the vaccine. i want to play a clip of something that happened last weekend at cpac's gathering. >> they were hoping, the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated. and it isn't happening, right?
[ cheers and applause ] >> younger people -- >> what you just heard there, people in the cpac audience celebrating the u.s. falling short of its vaccination goals. they're doing that, in part, because of misinformation coming from the right. do your fellow republicans need to stop questioning the vaccine and start pushing it instead? >> well, the vaccines are a miracle. it's amazing. by the way, president trump's administration that started this effort with operation warp speed. and it is something we should all celebrate. vaccines are safe. the vaccines are effective. as you know, dana, i was in one of the trials. i'm still in the trial. the j&j trial. i got my vaccine early to show my constituents that i trusted the vaccines, that they were safe and effective. and the numbers are overwhelming. if you have been vaccinated, you have a level of protection that, again, is troord. it really is maamazing how well
it's working. i applaud the trump administration, the researchers who worked overtime to prepare these vaccines. this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated by definition. surgeon general murthy just talked about that. the vast majority, 99% of those who are unfortunately dying now from this terrible pandemic are people who are not vaccinated. so, i do encourage people to get vaccinated. i don't think it ought to be something where, you know, we're going door to door and mandating it on people. we ought to be doing a much more effective and massive public media campaign, talking about the facts, giving people the scientific facts on this. and if so, i think we will be able to get that number up. by the way, about 60% of the adults in my state and nationwide have been vaccinated. we're on track. >> those are good numbers. >> to get to 70%, i hope. >> we have to end it here. i think the public media campaign is a great idea.
the problem is, the right-wing media putting out disinformation. hopefully, you can talk to them about maybe stopping some of that as well. thank you so much, senator rob portman. appreciate your time this morning. >> thanks, dana. thanks for having me on. senators taking the fight over voting rights to the road to hold a rare hearing outside of d.c. in a key battleground state. senator amy klobuchar on her strategy to pass voting rights next. it's the simple act of enjoying time with friends, knowing you understand your glucose levels. ♪ among my patients i often see them have teeth sensitivity as well as gum issues. does it worry me? absolutely. sensodyne sensitivity and gum gives us a dual action effect that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. there's no question it's something that i would recommend. (piano playing) here we go. ♪
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senate committee will hold its first meeting away from d.c. in georgia, suppress minority voters in that state. the chair of the rules committee amy klobuchar, joins us live from atlanta where she will be holding a voting rights town hall today with stacey abrams. you well know you still need 60 votes in the senate to get anything done. >> that's right. >> on anything. that includes voting rights when it comes to legislation, i should say. some democrats are still not willing to side step the filibuster on this issue. is your hearing in georgia going to change that? >> we've seen a concerted effort across the country, you know this, dana, over 400 bills introduced, 28 signed into law, including this really bad one in georgia, that not only denies voters water when they're standing in line, but also reduces the run-off time to 28 days. and guess what?
you have to register 29 days before. this is clearly a focus by the republicans in georgia on limiting people from voting. so we're doing this hearing, yes, to build pressure, to pass basic federal voting rights. that is the for the people act. the john lewis bill. you name it. if we were just to concede and say, okay, we have one vote. the republicans blocked it so we're taking our marbles and going home. that's not fair to the people of georgia. that's sure not fair to the people of texas. we're not giving up. there are many ways to proceed here, including the upcoming infrastructure packages that were just discuss ed with senatr portman. i'm happy to answer. i think we need a deadline that senator schumer set. we need to get going. election infrastructure could be in the democratic package. and that's part of the solution. the house is starting their hearings this fall on the john lewis act. we are moving on that bill. then we have a very aggressive
justice department. this is no longer bill barr's justice department. this is one that contains people like vanita gupta, kristen clark, ready to go and enforce these laws. >> senator, i want to follow up on something you just said. one way to pass the legislation you're talking about, voting rights legislation, with only 51 votes, is through a process known as reconciliation. and whip jim clyburn has been floating the idea to pass voting rights that way. are you saying you think senate ru rules would allow you to pass at least some of the voting rights proposals and provisions through reconciliation? >> that process, to be clear, is no substitute for the for the people act. it isn't. the for the people act is grounded in the constitution that says congress can set and alter federal rules for electrics. >> but if you can't get that done? >> if you can't -- what you can do with infrastructure, not in the bipartisan package, and i'm glad they're continuing to
negotiate and make progress. what you can do is put election infrastructure in there. you could tie it to certain things as incentives for states to do same day registration, to do the mail-in balloting. it is no substitute for putting the basic federal rights in place. what i'm saying is that you have to do all of these things at once. >> i want to ask about president biden. he gave a big speech pledging to do everything possible to push back on efforts to restrict voting rights. but, you know, he still hasn't supported calls from democrats, including yourself, to bypass the filibuster in order to pass the broad legislation that you're talking about. are you urging the president to change his stance? >> the president is going to make his own decisions. and he has done an incredible job pushing out the vaccines and building the support for these very important infrastructure packages to help people with child care and housing in the democratic package.
but what i think we should do, myself, having been here the last decade and seeing exactly what's going on, we need to abolish the filibuster. if you want to move on immigration reform and climate changes, the fires are going in the west. as we've seen record heat 120 degrees up in canada. i think we know what we need to do. that being said, i am here today on voting rights. and senator manchin has worked with me over the last few months on what is a very good package in terms of some basic federal voting rights commended by stacey abrams, barack obama. that's the first step. the second step will be to find a way to get this through. number one would be to get republicans. i personally don't think that's going to happen. the second thing is to say senator manchin has indicate d some interest in the standing filibuster. that is one way to do it. we could have it focused on voting rights only. so, we're continuing to work with him and many others to get
this done. but i'm here in georgia to tell people we're not giving up just because of some archaic rule in the senate that was set up for not good purposes and is once again blocking legislation that would help the people of this country. >> so since you're saying you don't think republicans are going to come on board, in your conversations with senator manchin, you do think it is possible to convince him that on just this issue of voting right s to sidestep the filibuster? >> it's not just my conversations. it's people like senator warnock, reverend warnock, who i'm about to see at his church. jon tester in montana. i think joe manchin listens and i'm not giving up. i'll leave it at that. i'm not giving up. >> new topic, senator.
i want you to hear what president biden said about social media giants and misinformation this week. >> they're killing people. i mean, it really -- look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. and they're kill ing people. >> do you think facebook should face consequences and should pacebook be broken up? >> social media has greatly contributed to this misinformation. there's no doubt. look at the numbers from the kaiser foundation. two-thirds of the people who have not gotten vaccinated say because they've gotten something off social media. come on. so i really appreciate president biden calling this out. and for months now, i've been taking on the dirty dozen, 12 people responsible for something like 60% of this misinformation. some of them have been taken off of their account. but there's more to do. i think we should also look at changing the liability standards when it comes to vaccine
misinformation. senator warner and i introduced a bill that would focus on discriminatory content and the like. when we have a public health crisis and people are dying every day, enough is enough. these are the richest companies in the world. they are, dana. there's absolutely no reason they shouldn't be able to monitor this better and take this crap off their platforms that's basically telling people, oh, hey, there's problems, when we know science proves there isn't. so i feel very strongly about this. because of the fact that you are literally seeing, as the surgeon general said, over -- that people who are vaccinated, they are the ones that aren't dying. people who aren't vaccinated are tragically dying. part of this is republicans standing up, like rob portman just did, commending the vaccines and asking people to get it. more republicans doing that and more people who maybe didn't even vote for joe biden standing
up and telling the truth. but it is also about the misinformation out there on the social media platforms. and breaking them up, part of this is that they gobbled up so many companies you don't even have the chance that other media platforms could do this on social media. i am a fan of using anti-trust to look back and see if they should divest assets to get true competition. >> supreme court justice steven breyer told my colleague joan biskupic officially this week that he has not made a decision on when he will retire from the court. so is justice breyer making a mistake by not retiring? >> i'm not going to speculate on his retirement. in your exclusive interview from cnn, it was very clear that he said two reasons. one is health that he would look at and, two, the court. when you look at the court, he
has to be concerned about the makeup. and you have to be concerned about how you get a justice on the court with all of the manipulation that mitch mcconnell has engaged in. so, that would lead me to say, sooner rather than later. he makes his own decision about if he's going to retire. if he's going to retire, it should be sooner rather than later if you are concerned about the court. what happens in the u.s. senate matters. >> senator amy klobuchar, thank you for joining me from georgia. appreciate it. >> thank you. a man who has spent his life fighting for voting and human rights died earlier this year. what it says about his legacy. that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. there's no question it's something that i would recommend. introducing aleve x. it's fast, powerful long-lasting relief
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yesterday marks one year since the death of civil rights icon congressman and good troublemaker john lewis. an anniversary commemorated by solemn remembrances and candlelight vigils. the navy even christened a new ship, the uss john lewis. a lot has happened in the year. donald trump lost the election, the former president's refusal to concede and red hetoric propagated what happened on the capitol. the 2020 election conspiracies are also prompting republican-led legislatures in dozens of states to move to limit voting access, the very access lewis repeatedly risked his life as a young man to fulfill. in 2018 i was privileged to join
john lewis on -- pilgramage back to selma, alabama. >> why is it so important to come back and to keep coming back every year? >> it is a must to come back. this is the place that gave us the voting rights act. made it possible for hundreds of thousands and millions of people to be able to participate in the democratic process. people in selma, all across alabama, in mississippi and other states that are south struggled and died for the right to vote. in selma, in 1965, only 2.1% of blacks were registered to vote. people were asked to count the
number of jelly beans in a jar. so we have to come back to remind people of the changes that we've made and changes we still must make. >> at that time back in 2018 mr. lewis was pushing to rework the 1965 voting rights act after the supreme court struck down a key part requiring states to get federal approval before changing their election laws. earlier this month the supreme court chipped away at a different part of that landmark voting rights act that lewis and so many others shed blood to achieve. in both decisions, the court said it is up to congress to rework the law. well, since 1965, reauthorizing voting rights protections has been a bipartisan endeavor. it was extended and amended by congress and signed by richard nixon, gerald ford, ronald reagan and george w. bush, all republican presidents, bipartisan efforts. that is the real history. the ball is firmly in your court, congress. we'll be right back. ay look like a regular movie night.
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