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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 19, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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tonight house gop leader kevin mccarthy naming five republicans to be members of the select committee that will investigate the deadly january 6th insurrection. we'll break it down in just a moment. also new cases of covid-19 on the rise all over the country, up 66% over the past week. hospitalizations and deaths on the rise. all fueled by the aggressive delta variant. president biden pleading with americans who are not vaccinated to get their shots. the president also walking back his accusation that facebook is killing people by allowing covid misinformation on its platform but still keeping you want
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pressure on social media platforms to control the misinformation. i want to bring in congressional correspondent ryan nobles, joining us now from the capitol. ryan, good evening to you. let's talk about kevin mccarthy's announcement, that the five republicans he's naming on the january 6 select committee, he has named them. tell us about his picks. >> reporter: there's a couple of things that jump out to you, don, when you see this list. it's five men, five white men that have all been named by kevin mccarthy to this group, something that the democrats members of the select committee pointed out to us today. they're all five conservative republicans who sport former president donald trump. some more than others. jim banks, he's going to serve as the ranking member of this panel for the republicans. he chairs the republican study committee, a conservative group of republican members. he along with jim jordan of ohio and troy nehls of texas were three of the republicans who voted to object to the election results on january 6, which of
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course precipitated everything that happened on that date. the other two are kelly armstrong of north dakota and then rodney davis of illinois, who was one of the 35 republicans who actually voted to create that independent bipartisan commission that was eventually blocked by republicans in the united states senate. what's interesting about this group is that they are definitely a group of people who are going to go in there and be loyal to kevin mccarthy and by extension, likely be loyal to the former president donald trump. and jordan in particular talked to us today, one of the first things he said was he was worried this committee was going to be all about donald trump. it kind of gives you an indication of what his thinking is as it relates to all of this. the other thing we should point out too, don, is house speaker nancy pelosi, because of this whole process and because republicans blocked that independent commission that was supposed to be an equal number of republicans and democrats, pelosi has the final say as to whether or not these five men will actually serve on the
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celebrity committee, a resolution that was passed by the house says that she has a veto power. she hasn't signaled tonight whether or not she plans to use that veto power. that could end up being a bigger problem for her, republicans could fund raise off it if she chose to kick one of them off. but it shows democrats are going to control this process. bennie thompson, the chair of the committee, has worked with republicans as chair of the homeland security committee. he told me he will work hard to enforce the rules and make sure this committee sticks to their intended goals and that is finding answers as to what happened on january 6. they'll go wherever they need, that could ultimately mean calling someone who is on the committee to come forward as a witness, including jim jordan, kevin mccarthy, or even donald trump. >> and there we go. thank you very much, ryan nobles, i appreciate that.
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kirstin powers and former republican congressman denver riggleman, good evening to both of you. denver, what do you think of mccarthy's picks for this select committee, are you surprised he actually chose two people who voted to certify the election results? >> i was pleasantly surprised. i think there's a good faith effort with kelly and rodney, i know them very well, they're very good people. i have a feeling kelly's background is legal, recordny has -- rodney has been there a long time. i wasn't surprised about jim jordan being chosen either. it won't be completely nonpartisan, i do believe there will be phone calls back and
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forth to marb-a-lago. >> kirstin, you know i -- i think it's really hard to deny what happened on january 6. even with the jim jordans there, it just makes them look bad, it's not a good narrative for them to try to pretend that january 6 didn't happen. even if jim jordan is there and people who tried to not certify the election, i think it just shows them for who they are, i don't know if you agree with that, but that's my thinking. >> to the point you were having with chris earlier about whether or not this is sort of blowing up in democrats' face because you have a jim jordan on the committee, i'm more inclined to think about it the way you do, which is this has to be investigated. of course the ideal would have been to have a 9/11 style
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commission. that was not an option because of the republicans. so this is what they're left with. i do think they have to try to do the best that they can. this will be heavily weighted under the control of not just democrats but people like liz cheney who are being a little more honest about what happened and not just carrying water for one party or the other in the case of jim jordan. he will be carrying water for donald trump. he alone is one of the most disruptive members of congress, and will do as much as he possibly can to hijack this and be theatrical. >> i don't think that helps them in this situation, kirsten, it makes them look worse, especially if he carries on his antics and you see it publicly. >> it looks worse for certain people. obviously it gins up the republican base but i think it doesn't look great to people who are more in the middle or more moderate suburban type voters. so yeah, i agree with you on
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that. >> i think it counteracts what they're trying to do with this whole fake critical race theory narrative by trying to win back, you know, the suburban white women and men and, you know, educated people, because people see through -- i think people see through what happened on january 6. denver, we're hearing tonight marjorie taylor greene was given a 12-hour twitterer ban for violating their covid misinformation policies. she sent two tweets about vaccines in the past day that they labeled as misleading. misinformation is actually killing americans. do these suspensions work or does it just capitalize on the story line that democrats are taking away free speech from conservatives or trump supporters? >> don, you already took my thunder on the last part of the question. there we go. this is a fundraising activity for marjorie taylor greene. a lot of people aren't looking at twitter that she's talking to right now so she can put out a
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fundraising email or go digital and say the far left is cancelling me. if we talk about disingenuous or misleading information, i don't think marjorie taylor greene would ever be on twitter. we should be looking at the disinformation pathway of why january 6 happened. i do believe there's going to be a lot of hyperbole and disinformation. marjorie plays into that. twitter is a fundraising tool for her, not going on twitter and saying give me money, but using twitter as a foil, it's just something she does very well. here's the thing, she capital isis on stupidity brilliantly because she believes it. and that's just something she's very good at. >> that was a generous way of putting it. there is a more direct way, but
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go on. >> when i heard it in the back of my head, it came out worse than i thought, a little more brutal. twitter is a great thing for her fundraising because she's going to make money. >> i hope the heads of the social media companies are listening. they're doing it on purpose, if you give them a light sentence or kick them off temporarily, it only helps them. kirsten, i'll give you the last word. >> think about how different our world would have been if they had banned donald trump a long time ago. they give these people too much leeway. and there's certainly an argument for banning her altogether. the republicans do not care about free speech. critical race theory is a perfect example of it. critical race theory in quotes because they misuse it. they are dictating what government employees are allowed to say. they are dictating what people are allowed to teach. so they do not believe in free speech. and besides that, there are
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limits to free speech and everybody knows that. there are some things you cannot say. and there are some things in the society where you do cross a line. i would certainly argue that marjorie taylor greene has crossed that line a hundred times. >> do you want to share what you texted me, or no? >> sure. yeah. about critical race theory, why republicans are doing it? >> yeah. >> yeah, it's a political strategy, first and foremost, as you and aoc were talking about. it's not just because they don't want children or people in general to learn about antiracism or to really learn the truth about mlk. it's because they don't want anybody to learn the real history of america. they don't want white kids to learn the real history of white people. so that's the most important part of it. it's not -- because they're not teaching actual critical race
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theory. critical race theory as a legal theory, you learn it in law school, you don't teach it to a child. what they're doing is trying to give children and give students an accurate history lesson. i mean, don, i didn't even know about black wall street until last year. i'm an educated person, right? and i didn't know about indigenous children being taken away from their families and not allowed to speak their own language. this was institutionalized in this country. so again, i'm a person who is interested in these issues, so there's so much basic information that people are not getting in school. that's what people are trying to do. they're just trying to teach history. they're just trying to tell the truth. >> thank you both, i appreciate it. i want to turn to andy slavitt now, he's the former white house senior adviser for
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covid response and the author of "preventible: the inside story of how selfishness doomed the u.s. coronavirus response." the rise in covid cases and what's happening with this variant, andy slavitt, thank you so much, i appreciate you joining us. we were getting really close to a normal summer, but now these cases are up 145% from just two weeks ago. hospitalizations and deaths also up, but almost all of those people are unvaccinated, andy slavitt. is this the toll that this misinformation we're seeing, especially what's coming from the right media, is that's what's happening here? >> this is the unvaccinated pandemic. i think that's the theme of 2021. we learned something interesting. it's so profound, sometimes i can't even believe it. but of all the people that aren't vaccinated, we now know from the data that two-thirds of them believe one of five
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provably false statements about the vaccine. and so that tells us that there are at least in part, if not in full, influence of things that aren't true that they're hearing from people. i would like to think that happens innocently but you and i both know, don, a lot of it is perpetrated by a machine that says we have to stop this thing from being successful for whatever reason. >> give me some of the five. >> that the covid vaccine itself will give you covid. that's one . so, you know, and the other four can all be found in a survey done by kaiser family foundation. and we can play those, we can
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get you those for you to show. but they're all provably false. they're all things that have no basis in truth. they're all things that sound kind of believable. so people will take them on face value. but more than that, they will promote them in social media algorithms because they sound like maybe they could be true and they plant just enough doubt. >> there's some kernel of truth or something that could seem legitimate. i hear all the time when people give me false staptements or misinformation, i'll say, where did you hear that, they'll say facebook, twitter, some form of social media and also right wing media as well. this is an example of what's happening on fox. >> if you didn't get a vaccination, that's your choice. and if you did, like i did, and they did, and maybe you did,
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then you should not wear a mask. and if you want to go cliff diving this weekend, you don't have to check with me. it seems a little dangerous but i'm not going to judge you. if you put yourself in danger, if you feel this is something not for you, don't do it, but don't affect my life. >> 99% of the people dying from covid are unvaccinated. >> that's their choice. >> they don't want to die. the administration and the government is saying, we need the mask mandate to protect the unvaccinated. >> that's not their job. it's not their job to protect anybody. >> okay. so go ahead. listen, it's not just about you and your choices, you can infect others, including unvaccinated children, and protecting the american children, that's the white house's job, right? >> yeah, i mean, this is much simpler than that discussion would lead people to believe. if we were sitting here without
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a vaccine and we had this delta variant coming, and that's case that's happening in australia right now, we would be so hopeful that there would be some solution. if someone told us there would be a solution that would be 96% effect against something seriously going wrong, and it would be very, very well tolerated by just about everybody, we would say thank god, we would say what is political about that. that's exactly the kind of thing one hopes for, a combination of science, democrats, republicans, lots of people had their hands on it. to make this about something else, individual liberty, freedom, tyranny of government, whatever marjorie taylor greene wants to say on a given day, just confuses people. >> andy slavitt, thank you so much. >> thanks, don. let's continue on and talk about top pediatricians calling for everybody over the age of 2, vaccinated or not, to wear masks
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so the american academy of pediatrics recommending that everybody over the age of 2 should wear masks in schools. now, this applies to teachers and students, whether they have been vaccinated or not. i want to discuss now with a pediatrician and the co-developer of the conversation, a resource that brings together black and latino health care workers to answer questions about covid-19 vaccines and other health issues. we're so glad that she is here to answer questions for us this evening. thank you very much, doctor. >> thank you so much for having me. >> so this top pediatrics group calling for universal masking in schools for everyone above the age of 2, but at least nine states have laws prohibiting districts from requiring masks in classrooms. is this going to put children at risk? >> absolutely. the american academy of pediatrics is so courageous to
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take this stance right now, because what they know and what we all know is that kids under 12 don't even have the chance right now to be vaccinated, because they aren't eligible for an authorized vaccine. what that means is all the caregivers, adults, and kids above 12 around them have to probate them first by getting vaccinated and second, by masking and distance ing so they're not exposed to covid. >> the surgeon general, dr. vivek murthy, spoke to anderson tonight and had advice for vaccinated parents with unvaccinated children. take a look at this. >> i have two small children as well. they're 3 and 4. they're too young to get vaccinated. i'm worried about their health too. here is how i'm think about it. i know that if you're fully vaccinated like you and i are, our risk of both getting sick and transmitting it to our children is low. but if you're in an area where there's a lot of infection or if you're worried about that risk of transmission, then wearing a mask, especially indoor
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settings, when you go out, is the right thing to do. that's what i do. >> do you agree, doctor, that should vaccinated parents be masking up their children or masking up to protect their children? >> absolutely. and i think there's two critical reasons why. first, it's important for caregivers and parents to model for kids the behavior that will keep them safe while they're unfr unpro unprotected, because again, kids under 12 are unable to get vaccinated. second, it's important for caregivers and parents to mask even if they're vaccinated because there's a small chance they could contribute to transmission, which means they could be exposed to covid in their workplace, when they go out into public spaces, and they could bring that exposure into their home when they interact with their kids. wearing masks in public or in indoor settings helps limit the risk that parents would trantransmit it to other young kids. >> you spoke to more than 5,000 people in rural georgia last week.
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most were not vaccinated because of what you call legitimate and important questions. so what are the concerns, what are you hearing from people? >> yes, so we've been going across the country talking to folks about the importance of covid vaccination. the number one concerns that people have are really common, important ones, things about safety and about whether or not they might have side effects. people have heard of some of the side effects that are more severe from some of the covid vaccines and they're concerned about whether those side effects might affect them. so we just have honest conversations so that people know what to expect. >> do they go out and get vaccinated after your talk, do you find that? >> we do. we do find that some of the people who call will get vaccinated. we've been encouraged by folks who call in not just as individuals but entire families who are on the line, folks whose kids call in for their parents or parents calling in for their grandparents, asking questions
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as a group. that's important, because we want households to be vaccinated again. as a nation we've taken an individual approach to ending the pandemic. what we need to think about is the people who are likely to encounter each other. we encourage people to have these conversations with us as a household, as a family. >> doctor, thank you so much. the push for voting rights heating up. and senate democrats are taking their fight on the road. amy klobuchar is leading a key hearing in an atlanta, the first time her panel has had a field hearing in two decades. icy hot. ice works fast. heat makes it last. feel the power of contrast therapy, so you can rise from pain.
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a u.s. senate hearing today happening in georgia. you heard that right. the senate rules committee relocated to atlanta for the day to hear testimony about the new restrictive voting law in that state. the committee chair, senator amy klobuchar, joins me now. senator, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining me, i know it's been an extra busy day for you, having to travel. this is the first field hearing held by the rules committee in 20 years. i want to play some of what you heard from witnesses in georgia. here it is. >> one of my colleagues in the house, representative allen cowell, in a committee meeting said to somebody who was testifying, you're correct, it was found, meaning fraud, it's just in a lot of people's minds that there was. he actually said that in a committee meeting. it's really not there, it's just in a lot of people's minds that there was. so this legislation is based on
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things that are in the imagination in people's minds. >> after an hour and a half of standing outside, we made it inside the building, finally. just to find out that the line inside the building was just as long as the line outside the building. we were able to handle those three hours standing in line but we know not everybody can. >> so what else did you hear today, and will this testimony compel your colleagues in the senate to take some action? >> just listening to him at the end, he's a veteran, don. i asked him, when you signed up in the air force, did you have to stand in line? he said no. but to vote, voter after voter, stacey abrams and i met with a number of them in cobb county yesterday, were waiting five hours, seven hours. as you know, the bill that passed in georgia, one of 28 bills that's already passed across the country, it's exhibit
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"a," over 400 have been have been introduced, this bill says no water for volunteers in lines even if you're there for seven hours. what we learned is that the runoff period where ossoff and warnock, both of whom were there, where they get elected, that used to be nine weeks. it's down to 28 days. can't vote on weekends during the runoff period. and you want to register in those 28 days? too bad, you have to register 29 days before an election. surgical precision. those are the words of a north carolina judge when looking at a discriminatory bill that was passed there years ago. literally discriminating with surgical precision. >> you mean the republicans are doing that. because not a single republican member of the committee was present for that hearing. but weren't they there? >> what i was most concerned about is they didn't put witnesses. if they want to defend this bill that takes away people's freedom
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to vote if they're in rural georgia or suburban georgia or if they're in the cities, then be there and defend it. they sent no witnesses. so it did give us an opportunity, and this is why we brought the rules committee to georgia, to the civil rights museum. it gave us a case, the opportunity to show the people of georgia, look, we have a job here in washington, and that is to ensure your basic federal voting rights and we have a way to do it with the for the people bill. in fact that bill, as i pointed out in this place devoted to civil rights and the history of civil rights, it is firmly grounded in our constitution, don, because our constitution says that congress can make and alter the rules regarding federal elections. it's clear as day. >> but it's stick in limbo. the for the people act, the john lewis voting rights act, both stuck in legislative limbo. over the weekend you told our dana bash that you would
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consider election measures in the infrastructure reconciliation bill in order to get some voting protection passed. are you just throwing things at the wall hoping something's going to stick at this point? like, what is the strategy? >> i have a little more strategy than that. first of all, no one's given up on for the people. senator manchin in good faith came to the table and we actually put together a pretty good package, it's not quite done, which includes so many federal basic rights like same-day registration and many other things, commended by stacey abrams and many others. you know we have the issue of the filibuster there, but he has signaled a willingness to look at a standing filibuster, we could potentially do a carve-out for this legislation. those hearings start in the house this fall. and that is something that would be incredibly helpful. and you could add other provisions to it. the third you mentioned, reconciliation, and that is a fancy word which means the second infrastructure package. the first one is the bipartisan, that they're negotiating this
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evening. the second is the one for things like childcare and housing, things that matter a lot to joe biden. you could put in that package, you can put election infrastructure and tie it to incentives for things like mail-in ballots. it is not a substitute for those federal, basic election rates. but it would be a good start. then you go on from there. and finally, the justice department is no longer bill barr's justice department. you've got people like vanita gupta, kristen clark, that are very serious about enforcing our election laws. i'm not ending here. this was the beginning. we're taking the rules committee to other field hearings. we're going to continue our work, factfinding and bringing our members out to hear the real stories from voters. >> taking it on the road. senator amy klobuchar, thank you for your time. >> thank you, don. let's get some perspective now from someone from georgia and a leader in the fight for voting items.
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we're talking about stacey abrams, the founder of fair fight action. she joins me now. she was at the voting roundtable with senator klobuchar yesterday. thank you for joining us, ms. abrams. republicans were given the chance to have witnesses testify. they didn't. not a single senate republican showed up, mitch mcconnell said, and i quote, it was a silly stunt based on the same lies, the democrats' phony hysteria. what's your response to that? >> that he is both aware of and afraid of the reality, that voter suppression is emanating from the states and is being suborned by his leadership and his caucus. this is an american issue. this is a democracy issue. the lengths to which republicans will go to pretend that the insurrection didn't happen and that the continued insurrection that is taking place by stripping voters of their rights, that it's not happening, is emblematic of just how failed the republican strategy is.
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but how craven they are about wanting to hold on to power instead of holding on to patriotism. >> i think i know the answer, i was going to ask you if this hearing was enough, i'm sure you won't agree with that, and there are other things that need to be done to mobilize voters, am i correct? >> absolutely. the roundtable yesterday, the hearing today, are all a part of making certain americans understand what's at stake. this is not a battle between democrats and republicans which is how republicans are trying to couch this. this is about whether or not an elderly voter standing in line for 3 1/2 hours should be entitled not only to water without facing the likelihood of the volunteer who provides it going to prison for two years, but whether that person is entitled to the same quality of voting access as someone in a more affluent neighborhood who can go in and out of their precinct in five minutes. that's the conversation we need to be having, whether a disabled voter who needs to vote by mail now has to risk identity theft
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in order to access what seems to be one of the most kind and sympathetic things we could offer, which is that the ease of voting from home should be made available. we know these targeted bills are looking at people of color, they're looking at the disabled, they're looking at young voters, and they're trying to eliminate access for inconvenient voters who have the temerity to show up and use their power in 2020 and in georgia in the 2021 runoff elections. >> your group, fair fight action, has an initiative going on called hot call summer, trying to get people out and thinking about their voting rights. talk to me about that. >> we know that the best way to move legislators, to move leaders, is to show them we're paying attention. this is such an urgent summer. we're proud that 40,000 phone calls were made during the first phase of hot call summer. we're encouraging voters to call 888-453-3211. you'll be patched right through to your u.s. senator, your two
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u.s. senators, so you can share your information and demand they take action to protect our democracy and pass the for the people act. >> eight been one year since the death of congressman john lewis. as you know, he fought tirelessly for equal voting rights. the john lewis voting rights act is still not passed. do you think lawmakers in d.c. are acting with the urgency needed to protect voting rights? >> absolutely not. but i will say this, i want to give credit to the 50 democrats who did vote to advance the for the people act. and let's be clear, the first 300 pages of that act were authored by john lewis. and so while the voting rights advancement act bears his name, they both bear his stamp because he understood that we had to have a level playing field for democracy no matter which state you live in, which is the for the people act, and that we had to have higher standards for states that consistently demonstrate a lack of integrity in how they run their elections when it comes to communities of color, and that's the john rlews
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voting rights act. >> do you belay senators manchin and sinema for the delay? do they need to make that majority matter? >> i think we should hold accountable every single u.s. senator who has the right to cast a vote. this is not a partisan issue. this is a patriotism issue. and i hold accountable everybody single u.s. senator who is willing to allow mechanics to defeat democracy. there are mechanisms in place that can be amended, can be diminished, can be altered in order to allow the people of this country to be heard. and so i refuse to say it's one side or the other. it's every u.s. senator that has the responsibility to stand up and say that authoritarianism, that the attempted overthrow of our elections, should not stand and that we have to protect our voters, we have to protect our elections, and we have to protect our election workers and
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that those three pieces are the responsibility and the province of every single u.s. senator, democratic, republican, or independent. >> stacey abrams, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining us. >> thank you. billionaire jeff bezos hours away from blast off into space, and he is speaking to cnn, responding to critics who say this new space race is all about joyrides for the ultrawealthy. (man) i've made progress with my mental health. so when i started having unintentional body movements called tardive dyskinesia... ... i ignored them.
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♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ tomorrow morning amazon founder jeff bezos, the world's wealthiest person, will blast off with three other people for
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an 11-minute ride to the edge of space. his company blue origin developed the rocket technology. let's talk more about it with cnn's aerospace analyst, miles o'brien. l i love that, from aviation to aerospace, i love the title. >> we're going higher. aviation doesn't cut it, we have to do aerospace. >> right on. so listen, jeff bezos is set to go up. last year was richard branson. you say these flights may be tone deaf but they're important milestones. i don't disagree, but tell the viewers why. >> it's hard to look at it and say this is great for the world, right? a couple of guys doing gold plated bungee jumps. you could have looked at wilbur and orville in 1903 and said the same thing. what does it lead to? the billionaires always go
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first, the rich people go first, the inventors go first. these guys have reached into their rather deep pockets and have made big investments. they're entitled to ride their rocket in a more frequent and cheaper way. what does that lead to? does that make it possible for us to put sensors in space more easily to look at the problem of climate change, for example? does that lead us to going to the moon more easily? does it allow us to look at asteroids as a source of minerals? probably things that we couldn't imagine, but it's happened in the past. this is one of those steps. a lot of people get a sense of these rich guys being tone deaf,
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but i say it's an important milestone. >> listen, i wasn't here for the '03, but the '27 was, i was. >> i was there, i reported on that one. >> the bezos flight, they had 15 test flights but none have had humans on board until now. this is pretty risky, miles. >> i'll be honest, as a pilot with several thousand hours flying airplanes, the humans are usually the riskiest part of the operation, right? it almost always is the pilot, that is somehow in the loop. you know, there was a time, don, when you and i would have been reluctant to get on an elevator in manhattan, if there wasn't a guy there with a white glove operating the elevator. right? we do that without thinking about it or get on a train. so this idea that the human has to be there, onboard, to make it safer. yeah, you got to wrap your head around it. but the truth is, statistically, it is really safer, without the human there. >> yeah. i mean, we get on elevators,
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now, without buttons, right? you just trust that they are going to take you to the floor that you said. right? thank you, sir. >> freaky. >> good to see you, miles. always a pleasure. you are looking good, man. all right. see you later. we'll be right back. he used to have gum problems. now, he uses therabreath healthy gums oral rinse with clinically-proven ingredients and his gum problems have vanished. (crowd applauding) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores. introducing solstice lager by stella artois.... ♪ triple filtered for a smooth taste with citrus notes and a crisp finish. exceptionally golden.
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everyone. our coverage continues.
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and good evening. from launch site one near van horn, texas, where tomorrow morning, amazon founder, and now executive chair, jeff bezos, his brother mark, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer and a teenager. very lucky teenager, will be rocketed into space. we are going to have more on the flight, and what it might mean for the future of space exploration and bezos's company, blue origin, later in the program tonight. we begin, though, with breaking news. fresh evidence that, for all the progress we have made, for all the hardship we have endured, we still have not, yet, fully come to grips with covid and what it can do. th i


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