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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  July 19, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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correspondent alex marquardt kicks off our coverage this hour. >> reporter: an unprecedented global coalition of u.s. allies joining together today publicly warning china about their aggressive cyberattacks. the u.s., european union, nato, and others accusing china of destabilizing behavior, calling them out for malicious attacks that have cost governments and companies billions of dollars. >> we are actually elevating and taking steps to not only speak out publicly, but certainly take action as it relates to problematic cyber activities from china. >> reporter: chinese hacking is well-documented. but the administration accused chinese intelligence of using criminal contract hackers who engaged in hansonom ware attacks, cyber enabled extortion, crypto jacking and rank theft from victims around the world. >> this is how you change the chinese and their way of thinking. it's a good first step. it sends a powerful message to beijing. of course there will have to be
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follow-up. >> reporter: these state-backed hackers have enriched themselves in the course of their attacks and have demanded millions in ransom payments including a large ransom request to an unnamed u.s. company. china was also formerly accused of orchestrating the massive hack earlier this year of microsoft exchange, which impacted tens of thousands of computers and networks around the world. the biden administration says it has raised these actions directly with the chinese government. >> together with our allies, together with our partners we're not ruling out any additional actions to hold the prc accountable. >> reporter: the justice department unsealed an indictment of four chinese nationals for an espionage campaign to hack into the computer systems of dozens of victim companies, universities, and government entities. prosecutors revealed various ways that stolen secrets were passed including being embedded in photos of a koala and donald trump. those charged allegedly worked for china's ministry of state
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security. >> it's a message to those that are involved in the mss that going forward we will charge you, we will make it public, and times change. >> reporter: now despite this forceful international condemnation of china, there was nothing concrete in the way of punishment that was announced today. it is naming and shaming, which can be effective. but aside from those indictments by the doj there was nothing punitive like the sanctions we have seen leveled before at russia. the biden administration is hoping that this united international message will get china to reconsider, and if they don't, they say, china could face more action, jake? >> alex marquardt, thanks so much. joining us now to discuss, seth jones, he's a senior vice president at the center for strategic and international studies and also the author of the upcoming book "three dangerous men: russia, china, iran, and the rise of irregular warfare." seth, thanks so much for joining us. when president biden talked today about this and said that
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the chinese government is not carrying out these hacks but they're protecting bad actors, possibly even accommodating them, do you think the chinese government is actually ordering the attacks? >> it's not clear entirely if they're ordering them. if you look at the indictment that the department of justice put out, they identified very specifically that the four individuals that are being charged worked for a front company that worked directly with the mss, chinese intellection. so there is a direct connection to a front company between the chinese intelligence and some of these hackers. that's more than just an indirect relationship. that's a direct one. >> so that means that the chinese government should be held responsible, you think? >> absolutely. the chinese should be held responsible. i think they should be punished for this. i think that's what we're not seeing right now is the administration is willing to name and shame, but not take any more specific actions, particularly ones that the chinese may feel some pain because of. >> let me talk about that for a
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second. name and shame, does the chinese government feel shame when the united states says these four individuals are being used by the chinese government to attack us? are they embarrassed about that? >> i mean, it's probably not ideal, but the issue is that the u.s. has done this many times. it did it after the equifax indictment in 2020. it identified a number of pla hackers. so these were government officials doing it. but we see the chinese continue to do it, the russians are continuing to do it. so naming and shaming at the end of the day does not work. what is helpful about this, though, is that this was done in coordination with nato and the european union. so this is a bit more of a multilateral effort. that's a helpful step. >> a lot of times when a foreign government is accused of something like this, whether it's russia or china, you hear people say, especially outside of the united states, oh, like the u.s. doesn't do this kind of thing, too. what does the united states do? do we sanction or approve or allow anything like this as the
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russians and the chinese do to us? do we participate in any way? >> every government in the world conducts espionage. the difference in this case is that there is a direct relationship in many cases between chinese intelligence services and chinese companies that are receiving this. this is what people need to understand. these aren't just organizations in the u.s. and companies that are being hacked. the information that is coming out of them is then given to chinese companies to compete with the u.s. and other companies. that's nothing like what we see in the u.s. or the west. in fact, quite the opposite where the u.s. intelligence services actually have quite a difficult relationship with companies. >> and what do you think, your opinion, would be the most effective way to deal with russia and china conducting or at least accommodating these cyberattacks on american companies and the american government? what should we be doing? >> there are a couple of things. one is the information that's given to chinese companies to
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make them more competitive, there should be a lot of thought about do we sanction specific companies that are receiving directly working with chinese intelligence services? i think there needs to be thought about do we conduct some actions against chinese consulates, the trump administration shut down the consulate in houston. we want to take further action. do we enact additional sanctions against chinese government agencies or individuals because of this? those are at least some initial steps that you could take. >> what about the idea of an offensive attack? i asked a congressman of this over the last year. i'm not expressing support for it. but if the united states were to do something to turn off the lights in a chinese city for an hour, just to say don't play with us, would that be effective? >> i think the target becomes important here. i think the u.s. would have to do something on the offensive cyber side that is proportional. so if it's going to conduct an offensive attack, i would stick to the government, the pla, the
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ministry of state security. government agencies. i wouldn't impact the chinese population. that's bound to have a rally around the flag effect and maybe incite the chinese population against the u.s. >> in your new book, you argue that while the u.s. is focused on building up military-strength rivals such as russia and china are more focused on other kinds of attacks. cyberattacks, propaganda, disinformation. is the united states in any way prepared to deal with those threats from the chinese and the russians and iranians and north koreans as well? >> i don't think so. i think particularly when you look at the u.s. department of defense, a lot of the focus on the war games are a big conventional fight with the chinese over taiwan. and i think what these actions really show is where the chinese are coming after us is not an invasion of taiwan. where they're coming after the u.s. is on an economic side, the broader espionage side.
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they took islands in the south china sea not by sending warships in. they sent in boats to create dirt. and they built -- they did it overnight. so that's asymmetric or irregular activities. and we're still thinking like the inter-german border or the battle of midway. it's not where the chinese are coming from. >> seth jones, thank you so much and good luck with the new book. "three dangerous men," it's out in september. the rise in covid cases. coming up next, cnn's rare access inside a hospital where doctors are struggling to keep up. plus, the regret one woman wants the whole world to here. flames headed right for their homes and only minutes to escape. we're live out west in the united states where wildfires are just getting worse.
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in our health lead, there is a rise of new covid cases in every single state in the united states. and 97% of the covid patients in the hospital right now are unvaccinated individuals. let's bring in cnn's leyla santiago. you got rare access inside. you even spoke to a covid patient. what did she have to say? >> reporter: she has a warning for everyone, jake. where this patient was, we visited that area today. the nurse told me last week they had one patient. this week every single room is filled with covid patients.
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some have two patients. the hospital telling us that they have seen numbers double in just the last week, and there is clear concern and a lot of frustration. so let's start with the concern. the director of infection prevention tells me that they are seeing cases rise very fast that is being driven by the highly contagious delta variant. if they continue the way they are going now, it'll just be a matter of days before they reach capacity and have staffing shortages not just because of burnout but also because of unvaccinated staff. now, as far as the frustration goes, i can really see that coming from the nurses who said they felt like they were in the clear, and now they're going right back to some of those peak numbers that they saw earlier in the pandemic. a lot of those patients, as you mentioned, are unvaccinated. 90% unvaccinated. i had a chance to speak to one
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of them. we spoke through a glass window and over the phone. her name is deborah wells, 65 years old. here's what she said. >> no taste, no smell, no nothing. couldn't eat. and i could barely sleep because i was coughing so bad. it's the worst feeling. >> what would you tell someone who's not vaccinated right now? >> get vaccinated as soon as possible. because as soon as i get out of here and get well, i'm going to get vaccinated. >> reporter: she was very blunt, jake, in saying that she felt like she was going to die. and while we were here, jake, this afternoon, we learned this hospital did have one person die while we were visiting that
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covid ward. the one thing that every single person said to us, people need to get vaccinated. >> all right, leyla, thanks so much. let's stay in florida and bring you the chief medical officer of jackson memorial hospital in miami. last week there were 66 covid patients in your hospitals. i'm told today more than 135, that's a doubling, more than a doubling. what's driving this now? >> as has been mentioned, jake, it's really the unvaccinated, about 95% of the patients in our hospital are unvaccinated. and that's really what's driving the increase in volume. >> why are they not vaccinated? are they resistant? are they hesitant? have they just not been able to put it into their schedules? do you have any read on that? >> i think the answer, jake, is sort of all of the above. people have hesitancy around the vaccine. people have different beliefs.
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obviously when they come to us, our primary concern is making sure we take great care of them and making sure that we get them well. i think we are kind of asking them if they have any questions that we can help answer about the vaccine, to encourage them to get the vaccine. but i think that the reasons people don't get vaccinate ready a little bit all over the map. we're trying to educate them to encourage them it's not too late. >> what's your message to those who are unvaccinated? >> it's not too late to get your vaccine. there are people who we're seeing who had the infection and they think they might still have some immunity. we have seen that immunity wane. you should still go get your vaccine. it's never too late to get your vaccine. and i think we are seeing this surge because of it's almost a pandemic of the unvaccinated is what we're seeing. and so not too late to get your vaccine, go and get it as soon as possible. >> president biden has singled out facebook as one of the main sources of misinformation, lies
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about the vaccine. has that been a problem for you in florida? >> you know, i think people get their information from a variety of places. i think, you know, there are things that we know for a fact work and they've been proven to decrease these surges. wearing your mask, getting vaccinated, hand washing, social distancing, all those things work. and so if we're going to help manage this peak again, i think we're going to have to do those things again, which are going to help keep the surge down and help shorten that surge and get us back to normal as soon as we can. >> the governor of florida, ron desantis, has been celebrating how florida has responded to the pandemic with a bunch of, well, a slogan that says something like don't fauci my florida, freedom versus fauciism, et cetera. i'm wondering what you make of that. >> um, i think there's always an
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opportunity. we're having the surge again for a reason. again, i'll go back to the answer that we know there are things that work. they have been proven to work, they are scientifically proven. those are the things that we have to go back to, to help keep everyone well and keep people out of the hospital. everyone wants to get back to normal, but we have to do the things that we know are heright and that starts with getting a vaccine. >> does that send a message, do you fear, that might be part of the reason why a lot of people are turning away from science and health officials? >> i think it's certainly a possibility. the disinformation is always a concern. and it is just that, it's incorrect information. i think when we listen to
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scientists and we listen to research that's been done and we look at the object of scientific evidence of what works and doesn't work, it helps inform the right thing that we should do. >> go ahead, i'm sorry. >> no, it's just that we know that these vaccines work, and we know that your risk from the vaccine is lower than your risk of getting covid. those are the reasons why it makes sense to get the vaccine. >> american academy of pediatrics released new guidance suggesting that everyone over the age of 2 should wear masks in schools, including staff. do you support that recommendation? >> i know that there are people who are vaccinated. i do support that recommendation. there are people who are vaccinated who still wear their mask. when i'm around others i'm vaccinated, i wear my mask because i know it's the right thing to do and i know it's going to help prevent any sort of infection so i would support that because it just helps keep us safer. >> doctor, thank you so much and
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good luck with the important work you and your staff are doing to protect the good citizens of florida. president biden today walking back his accusation the website such as facebook are, quote, killing people. what biden says he really meant. that's next.
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that somehow i'm saying facebook is killing people that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine. that's what i meant. >> i love this idea that somehow they took the impression that i was saying facebook are killing people. the reason facebook took biden's remarks as an accusation is because last friday quite specifically the president said this. >> what's your message to platforms like facebook? >> they're killing people. >> pretty clear there. facebook punched back this weekend saying that facebook is not responsible for the fact that biden was not able to reach the july 4th vaccination goal. joining us now is tia mitchell, washington correspondent, cnn political analysts and commentators. what a great crew we have here. beyond the heated rhetoric, what
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has the white house done when it comes to regulating facebook or regulating social media to take away false health information? >> it's a great place to start this because regardless of the president walking back these comments today or even the comment on friday, i was there when he said that they are killing people. that is really almost the exclamation point of what has been weeks of building tension between this administration and facebook. our reporting has shown that the administration in meetings with facebook officials, officials at facebook have tried to get some sort of data to try and find out just how much is what is facebook doing to push back on this misinformation, how far does the misinformation go as well. and they weren't able to get that data. and even in those meetings you had facebook officials saying, in turn, well, wait a minute, what exactly are you doing here to really combat this misinformation as well? so the comments that we've heard both today and friday is just coming after boiling frustration.
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those meetings also involving the surgeon general as well and dr. murphy. you saw the frustration from him as well both on thursday and over the weekend when he came back at some of facebook's comments. >> fauci told jim acosta over the weekend that if there had been social media and some of the other networks on cable during the polio vaccine and the dr. jonas saulks fight that we never would've eradicated polio. >> i think what social media has shown us is it's not misinformation and disinformation, it's the lack of a consistent message. it's all this different opinions that of course we see on our feed, and that is what feeds to the hesitancy because you've got people who can cherry-pick who they trust and who they listen to, and some of these people are listening to people who are discouraging getting vaccinated. >> yeah. i personally have discomfort when any white house starts talking about what private companies should allow in terms
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of information. but this is a problem. >> it certainly is. and i think government censoring social media is a huge problem. but what we've seen more than anything is this shows that facebook and social media, for all intents and purposes, are the de facto public square. this is where people go to talk and share information. the key here, and i think what the administration should focus more on, is educating people on the factual information, making sure we get proper information out there, and spreading it that way. and i will say this. hats off to them because words matter but actions matter more. and i do applaud the administration for the way they've handled this from the beginning through the campaign with wearing masks and social distancing and showing people by example, but i think going after facebook which is spreading information that a lot of people do is not the way to go about doing it. >> but call agtension to the people that did spread this misinformation, i think that's important too. >> and there's this group that put out a study that more than
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60% of the vaccine misinformation is from 12 people, one of them robert kennedy jr. who has been an anti-vax propagandist for years now. would it help if the white house were instead of to call out facebook or to at least also call out the individuals, or does that just give them a bigger platform? >> i wouldn't recommend calling out the individuals, but i do think facebook, twitter, all those social media platforms have a responsibility to stop disinformation. the vaccine is just one example of disinformation on facebook. around the census and the citizenship question, around critical race theory, there are like ten people pushing out these disinformation campaigns on these issues. and facebook historically when i was in my advocacy world has not taken these issues seriously and said, oh, we're just -- we want to protect the first amendment, but what about protecting people's lives, what about protecting democracy? they have continued to falter.
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and civil rights groups, progressive groups and now the administration is calling them to task. >> one of the complications of this, for example, it was not long ago that i think facebook was taking down posts about the lab leak theory that it actually came from a lab in china, the virus. those were considered disinformation, misinformation. and it turns out that's now considered a credible theory. it's not definitively proven but it's a credible theory. so i think one of the problems the first amendment absolutists rightly bring up is yesterday it's misinformation, today it's consensus. >> right, the same thing about masks and when you wear them and how you wear them. and i think, like ashley said, this is a way bigger issue than just about vaccinations. and we have seen congress grappling with it. how do you regulate these social media companies that have become our public square, that have become the way we communicate with each other? and how do you determine what's in bounds, how do you determine
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what's free speech and a way for us to debate the topics, and what crosses the line to becoming harmful? and i don't think there are any easy answers. >> and i think congress is taking steps in that direction, looking at section 230 of the communications act where the social media platforms are just that, they're platforms for free speech, for people to speak freely, as opposed to cnn and news outlets that are publishers, that do need to be factua factually accurate and do need to be held accountable. so i don't think we need government to tell what and what not to put on, but there does need to be responsibility among all people to put out factual information. >> and who gets to make that decision. one of the reasons why you don't have the ftc involving itself or the fcc involving itself in a lot of these decisions is the whole idea of, like, who makes
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that decision, who makes that decision because you might be -- not you, but a viewer might be happy with biden appointing that commission. but then guess what, president palin gets to approve that commission to, and vice versa. >> we saw a glimpse of how heated that conversation can be. when they said that 12 people on facebook are responsible for 65% of the addition information on that platform when jen psaki went out and said that, you saw that the white house was immediately met with backlash and people raising concerns and questioning, well, wait a minute, what do you mean that you're flagging these posts to facebook? how far does that go? so, that just gives even a glimpse of how kind of charged this topic can be and how delicate the balance is between managing one's first amendment rights, but also ensuring that messaging and speech that may undermine public speech doesn't
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go unpunished. >> facebook has principles that many advocates advocated for. and so often they don't even follow their own principles. right now we find information that is up there about the election or the big lie that had it been a little closer to an actual election, they would be taking it down and they're not. so they like to play both sides of the fence. it is very dangerous, and i think that we have, as advocates, have to continue to hold them accountable and congress needs to act on this. >> and i just want to say, facebook and these social media platforms, you know, their business is letting people -- they want engagement. and so unfortunately some of these misinformed or, you know, provocative posts are what creates the engagement. so that creates a business model for them that makes them perhaps more resistant to regulation or oversight. >> and this is an old lesson that we know from politics and also from journalism, which is, hate sells, anger sells. >> oh, sure. and the problem that we have
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with social media is that a lie can get all the way around the world before the truth can put its pants on. so we have these, quote, credible news outlets also reporting it. and by then it is out there, it's in the public square, people are talking about it. and it really just needs to get back to individual responsibility to put out factual information. >> this was so fedgreat, this i the first time we've had four panelists on set since the pandemic talking about something like this. so i want to do a little round robin. it's officially trump book summer. three books all with wild revelations. let's go around the table. will these books change any trump supporters' minds on trump? will they do any of these books in any of these horrific stories about donald trump, especially the last days of his presidency to effect the 2024 election cycle? >> trump's base knew there was chaos and confusion in the white house. this isn't going to change that.
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i'm encouraged by all the books, seeing the guardrails that he does have in place with different staff people that push back on a lot of the nonsense he put out. >> what do you think? >> not at all. they know who he is, they love him for it. i think what it will do is continue to keep elected officials on alert of what is possible and how fragile our democracy actually is and the steps they need to take to continue that. >> and we're already getting a bit more informed as these excerpts come out about how the origin of the big lie was so early on by people that were closest to the then president as well. rudy giuliani already on election night saying, well, just say we won. [ laughter ] >> just lie. >> and by the way, it suggests in the book that rudy, people around him thought he had had a couple glasses of wine when he came up with this theory. >> now, how much that goes to changing the minds of voters, i think you'll need reporting to show that. but already we're starting to see some information about just the planning that was in place
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when it came to an effort to undermine the results of the election. >> i just think these books are probably going to be cited in some of these court proceedings and investigations because it really starts to make the connection of what the former president was saying about the election and about january 6th. and it doesn't always line up with what has been, you know, some of his defenders, how they've explained his actions around it. >> imagine that. tia, thank you so much. thanks to this great panel. tune in wednesday for a cnn presidential town hall. president biden will join cnn's don lemon. coming up, prosecutors hope the prince sentence today for a capitol hill attacker would send a message loud and clear to anyone contemplating a sequel, but the judge, well, the judge had a message of his own. stay with us. their only friend? the open road. i have friends. [ chuckles ] well, he may have friends, but he rides alone. that's jeremy, right there!
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in our politics lead, what's the penalty for being part of a violent mob that sought to stop the counting of the electoral votes in the january 6th
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insurrection? eight months, eight months, that's how long an insurrectionist who got inside the u.s. senate chamber during the capitol riot will have to spend in prison. paul hodgkins pleaded guilty to a felony, specifically, obstructing congressional proceedings. prosecutors had asked for 18 months. cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider was at the courthouse for today's sentencing. tell us why this specific case is so important. >> reporter: this could really be a bellwether case for a lot of defendants. but this could serve as a real bellwether for those who don't have a criminal record or those who weren't violent or destructive. prosecutors wanted 18 months. they also wanted to set a standard for future sentencing. they said an 18-month sentence would sound a loud and clear message to other would-be rioters that if they are caught they will be held accountable.
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so the defense asked for probation, prosecution asked for 18 months. the judge here trying to find that middle ground with eight months, jake. >> what does it mean for the dozens if not hundreds of other insurrectionists whose prosecutions are in the pipeline? >> more than 500 capitol riot defendants. and the judge here really was cognisant of the fact that this sentence could really set a standard. so he denounced hodgkins actions but he also gave him credit for coming forward to plead guilty, also for the fact that he wasn't violent or destructive. so the judge saying this, he was staking a claim on the floor of the united states senate, not with the american flag but with the flag declaring his loyalty it a single individual over the entire nation. but i don't consider him to be a threat or see him as an evil person. the judge there making reference to the fact that hodgkins was carrying this giant red trump 2020 flag in addition to goggles, rubber gloves and rope. so that's why the prosecution said that he deserved that
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weightier sentence. hodgkins did speak out on his own behalf for about ten minutes. he also acknowledged that joe biden is the rightful president, he said he only came to washington, d.c. to serve a president he loved, former president donald trump. the judge here, though, giving him eight months but also 24 months after that supervised release. >> all right, jessica, thank you so much. coming up next, the accelerating evidence that scientists say will likely only get worse in the near future. plus, we're in california where people had just minutes to escape a wildfire headed right for their homes. stay with us.
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in our earth matters series today, a dangerous mix of heat and a lack of rain and the climate crisis is all to blame for this. what you are seeing on your screen. at least 80 active wild fires burning right now in the western united states. wild fires in california alone have scorched three times more land this year than all last year's record-breaking fire season. the tamarak fire is burning south of lake tahoe and is 0% contained according to the national interagency fire center. 0%. one man in that area told cnn he had only minutes to escape his home. >> if you have any time to grab some belongings? >> i was told don't worry about it. and then it was like, you have ten minutes.
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get the heck out of here. i had just enough time to grab all my dirty laundry, right? it's like, okay, it's a tstart, but i got to go. >> raging flooding in europe, the extreme conditions in the u.s. and around the world are all a result of a worsening climate crisis, a crisis that needs a global response as bill weir reports. >> reporter: it is becoming more obvious by the year as humanity overheats earth at a terrifying rate, our plan net's atmosphere holds too much water in some places, not enough in the others. the first world are getting their first taste of what fossil fuel wealth could ultimately cost. there are so many fires burning out west, there is a huge shortage of planes used to fight them. there is so much dry vegetation to burn in part because of the megadraught covering 90% of the
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american west. scientists estimate it will take ten rainy years to refill reservoirs. >> it is a bad time to be a farmer, probably the worst year we have ever had. >> reporter: but while people from san diego to siberia have been praying for rain, western europe spent the week praying for it to stop. belgium, austria and germany are reeling under standing water and mud after some of the worst flash floods in memory. it is horrendous, angela merkel said after touring towns and lives crushed by water. >> reporter: when the eu released its ambitious climate plan last week, many saw germany's manufacturing base as a blocked progress. but now as elections near, politicians from the chancellor on down are calling for climate action.
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but what it would take to move american politicians? sadly, the data tells us we are about to find out. >> the last seven years have been the warmest in front and stand out in front of the record that preceded us. in fact, to me when i look at it, it's an acceleration we're seeing globally. >> is it safe to say, then, in a more alarming way, these were the coldest seven years for the rest of our lives? >> well, that's an interesting question. my line of work is not so much making predictions. we tend to look back. having said that, i don't expect ten years from now that we'll be cooler than we are today. if you're a betting person, it will be safe to assume we will be warmer in the future barring some major volcanic e reduction. >> reporter: which means that in addition to stopping the source
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of the problem to avoid cascading pain, we must brace for the pain that is already on the way. >> we just landed here in montana, near yellowstone a short while ago, and you couldn't see the mountains because of the smoke from four different states, including california, jake, where cal fire just announced the most staggering numbers. so far there has been over 5,200 wild fires in 2021 burning over 200,000 acres. that's five times more of california that has burned than last year's record wild fire season. >> climate change is real and it's here. bill weir keeping tabs on all of it for us. thanks so much. from the extreme conditions on earth to the curiosities of space. critics calling his big launch tomorrow a joyride for the super rich. stay with us. t!
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for our out of this world lead today, the latest installment of what's becoming a continuing series, billionaires in space. a little over a week after richard branson's rocket powered joyride, jeff bezos is preparing for launch tomorrow. kristin fisher is at the launch site in texas. kristin, how is it looking? >> reporter: well, once this thunderstorm passes, hopefully the weather will be all clear for this big launch 9:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow morning. and right now, all systems go for that launch in this remote stretch of desert in west texas.
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and this is a moment that jeff bezos and blue origin have been preparing for for 21 years, the first time that people will actually ride on top of one of those rockets. and these four kru crew memberse been training here for the last two days. tomorrow morning, they will be going up in the new shepherd reusable rocket systems. this means we will see not only a rocket launch, but a rocket landing, something that had never been done before until just a few years ago, which is when jeff bezos did that. elon musk followed suit a month later. fast forward a few years, and we saw this race between richard branson and jeff bezos. jeff bezos essentially said this morning in his couple of interviews that he gets the criticism. he understands why some people are upset that all these billionaires are going into space. he calls it just a joyride, but he says this is important for
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humanity in the grand scheme of things, and that's what this launch is all about tomorrow, jake. >> kristin fisher, thank you so much. good to see you. anderson cooper will lead the live coverage from texas tomorrow morning starting at 8:00 a.m. right here on cnn. you can follow me on facebook, inst instagram, twitter and the tiktok. our coverage continues. jim acosta is in "the situation room." happening now, as covid cases and deaths rise across the u.s., the stock market plunges with the dow tumbling more than 700 points. anxiety over the dangerous delta variant is also prompting a new warning for school children to mask up. we're tracking a widening covid outbreak ahead of the summer olympics. four u.s. athletes now testing positive just four days before the games begin. cnn is live in tokyo. and the first capitol rioter convicted of a felony is