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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  July 21, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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. top of the hour. good morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. it's sad to say but covid infections and hospitalizations are once again back on the rise
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in this country, particularly where areas where people remain unvaccinated. this morning more than 91 million americans live in counties with high covid-19 infections, and the delta variant, which is more transmissible, accounts for more than 83% of covid cases across the country. despite plenty of vaccine supply, there are no lines, you don't have to wait for them and plenty of data to back up the efficacy of vaccines, more than half of the country remains unprotected. as it stands, these are the ten states there on that map struggling the most to get people vaccinated. poppy, it's no coincidence that those are the states you see the biggest jumps. >> tragically for a number of families, it is already too late to get the vaccine that could have saved lives. >> she liked the song "beat it" by michael jackson. i started singing to her. that's why i made that sign up
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there that says beat up. my is my baby slipping away every day. my daughter is not vaccinated. i really do believe that had she been vaccinated, she would still be with me here today. >> wow, a mother's pain t. variants increasingly pose a threat to unvaccinated adults, to children who aren't old enough to get a vaccine yet. they're all feeling the effects. just weeks before some of these kids start school, the american academy of pediatrics say more than 23,000 children caught covid last week. the cdc warns the director that americans are not treating the risks of this virus appropriately in terms of our children. watch. >> i think we've fallen into this flawed thinking that only 400 of these 600,000 deaths from covid-19 have been in children.
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children are not supposed to die. so 400 is a huge amount for a respiratory season. >> let's kick things off this hour with our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen. can you explain to parents who are scratching their heads and saying why is this now worse for children than it seems like it was before? >> because this delta variant is just smarter than the variants that preceded it. it is so good at getting into our bodies and replicating, making copy upon copy of itself. that is causing an uptick in cases in the u.s. and abroad. an alarming summer surge of new coronavirus cases worldwide. a key factor, the highly contagious delta variant. in the united states cases are up in nearly every state. >> cdc released estimates of variants across the country and predicted the delta variant now represents 83% of sequenced
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cases. this is a dramatic increase, up from 50% the week of july 3rd. >> reporter: just in the last week, new covid infections up 47%. the cdc warning this is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. >> if you are unvaccinated, you are at great risk right now and you should take measures if you're unvaccinated like masking, distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings. >> reporter: outbreaks in states and counties with particularly low vaks nation rates are fueling the surges in cases. the delta variant, first identified in india late last year has now been found in all 50 u.s. states. >> for most people who get this delta variant, it's going to be the most serious virus they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital. >> reporter: the delta variant devastated india, overwhelming its health care system and killing thousands of people. >> this is the most contagious version of the virus we've seen.
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there's so much more virus, people who are infected have such high viral loads that even short periods of time, five minutes, seven minutes, you don't have to be within six people for people unvaccinated. >> reporter: according to the world health organization delta is expected to spread nearly 50% faster than the alpha variant identified in the uk. a study suggests it may transmit faster because it makes more copies of itself inside our body. strains from early in the pandemic. the delta variant had viral loads that were about 1,000 times higher. vaccinated people can get infected with covid, but rarely do they become very sick. as terrible as the delta variant is, if you're vaccinated, research suggests that almost surely you won't get very sick, and the chances of you passing
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on the virus to somebody else, much lower than if you were unvac unvaccinated. poppy, jim. >> thanks very much, elizabeth cohen. the vaccine keeps you from being hospitalized and dying. dr. colleen kraft is associate chief medical officer at emory university hospital. if we can begin with the risk to children here, i want to put some context around this, and maybe you can help. there are a lot of parents watching. poppy and i are parents. we are still talking about a very low percentage, by our math less than .07% of all covid deaths, 400 out of 600,000 nationally are children. if you're a parent of one of those kids, it doesn't matter what the numbers are. one death is too much. in terms of risks as parents are making judgments on how and how much to protect their children, how much of a risk is this? >> so i think, you know, elizabeth's segment just now is
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really clear. so we think this is the most transmissible. we think this is probably the most serious virus that you can get in your lifetime. so i think we know how to protect against transmission. it's just sort of whether or not we can balance our fatigue and sort of make it through this current wave of this current surge. i think we all thought we would be in a different place by the month of july, 2021. >> if this delta variant is more contagious and replicates faster in your body as elizabeth just explained and, therefore, puts children in more danger, if more than 50% of the country remain unvaccinated, could another even more contagious and threatening variant emerge? >> sure. i think that's part of the issue, because if you now have the delta also mutating, is there an aspect to the delta that could become even more transmissible? the longer this progresses and the longer we're seeing
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infections, even if they're not putting people in the hospital, and i realize it's all over the map about whether, putting people -- not being as serious and it's not affecting as many people because people are vaccinated, i think there's that whole argument. i think a lot has to do with, you know, we want to get past the transmission of this virus. >> we novacks nated people stay out of the hospital, more than 99% of the deaths are people who weren't vaccinated. we know that, by the way, not being vaccinated helps this thing spread, my state and become stronger. so we know that. explain that to people as well. again, i'm conscious of our audience being inundated with information, some of it concerning pretty much every day. speak about the message here of the importance of vaccination. >> yeah, so, this is not just confined to this virus.
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the reason we take flu vaccine, even though it's not 100% effective every year, is to keep ourselves out of the hospital. i know there's -- we've been faced with this on individual levels and bigger levels, it's very difficult to get over the hump of wanting to get vaccinated. it's absolutely for your health. if your health is not your primary concern because you're quite healthy, i would say can you think about it so we can pass out of the transmission phase. if you want us to not be wearing masks on planes, all sorts of different varieties of getting back to your life as you knew it before covid or at least tolerably after covid, we have to stop transmission, even if you can't think -- when you think about a percentage of children, those are still 400 children that should have still been here. i don't know what motivation people need, but to get to where we need to be, the best thing is to be vaccinated.
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>> it's like not putting your kid in a car seat, right, because they can't put themselves in it. we have to do this for them. thank you, dr. kraft. so far the delta variant has been detected in 124 countries, on track to become the dominant covid strain around the world. >> the world health organization says the global number of new infections grew by at least 12% just in the last week with almost every nation reporting a rise in new infections. our international correspondents following these stories from around the world as only cnn can do. >> i'm salina wang in tokyo. the olympic opening ceremony is two days away. tokyo reports the highest number of covid-19 cases in six months. now more than 70 cases in japan linked to these olympic games. more and more dreams are getting dashed before athletes get a chance to compete.
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two athletes are both out of the games, the first to announce they are out of the games because they tested positive for covid-19 after already arriving here in tokyo. nonetheless, the games have already officially kicked off with u.s. softball competing in fukushima in empty stands with no cheers and no crowds. i'm david mckenzie in johannesburg. a highly significant move, pfizer and biontech announced they will start manufacturing their mrna-based vaccine for covid-19 here in south africa. in the coming months, that facility will come online in collaboration with a south african company and could produce up to 100 million doses annually, specifically for countries in africa. right now african countries are dealing with a surge of infections, in part, driven by a lack of vaccinations. there's been huge criticism of rich countries that have enough vaccines to vaccinate their
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population while african countries have very little. this can do something to try to rectify that inequality. i'm jim bittermann in france where skyrocketing covid-19 infections have added a new sense of urgency to the government's plan to push the french to get vaccinated. as of today, to enter an establishment where there will likely be 50 places or more, you have to carry one of these, a health pass which certifies the person carrying it has either been vaccinated or tested negative. going forward, to pass a negative covid test will be required for entry into bars, restaurants and cafes eventually. antivaxers are puching back against the plan. >> salena wang, david mckenzie, jim bittermann, thanks very much. in just a matter of hours, there will be a key part of the
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bairp infrastructure deal. it's expected to be blocked by republicans. we'll be live with an update. also concerns over the u.s. economy growing amid a worker shortage and more inflation concerns. what to expect tonight when president biden answers key questions on those issues at cnn's presidential town hall. ca. 100% online car buying. car vending machines. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget, then customize your down payment and monthly payment. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds, and it won't affect your credit score. finally! a totally different way to finance your ride. only from carvana. the new way to buy a car.
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vote to start the day on a $1.2 trillion -- what they're still calling a bipartisan infrastructure bill as democrats push to get the legislation passed before the senate's august recess. >> manu raju joins us from capitol hill. manu, what i thought was interesting about rob portman, the lead republican negotiator's comments this weekend, is, hey, we can't debate the text because we don't have a full text yet. the pushback is we've got to start moving on this. where does this leave things? >> that is the point that the republicans have been making here, and their argument is that they don't believe they should move forward without a deal being finalized here. the democrats will counter and say it is not unusual for the senate to open debate, continue to negotiate and then ultimately reach a deal and vote on the merits of that deal. that is a common practice in the senate, that's what democrats say. what will essentially happen this afternoon is this vote is going to go down. it's going to fail along party
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lines because of that prurl argument. what will not climate change is the fact that negotiations are going to continue. they happened last through the night last night, this bipartisan group of senators looking at a $1.2 trillion package over eight years to bolster the country's infrastructure, roads, bridges, waterways and broadband. this is an incredibly complex negotiate, and separate from the larger $3.2 trillion project that democrats want to approve on their own. this plan still could have life even after the vote gez down today. dick durban just told me majority leader chuck schumer indicated he's willing to again consider this vote, assuming this group can come together. >> in the bipartisan deal goes down today as expected. >> hypothet ka. >> the republicans are saying they're not going to vote for
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it. do you think schumer should reconsider that vote? >> yes. he's already made that clear, if it doesn't succeed today, he's prepared to call it again. >> reporter: so that's something to watch here in the days ahead. one republican source with knowledge of the negotiations told me yesterday that he expects that by monday things could change, that potentially ten republicans could break ranks and open debate on this because some of the lingering issues, this source believes, could be resolved by then, about how much it actually costs and things like transit funding which remain some of the sticking points. we know what the outcome is going to be, but the talks will continue to see if a deal can be reached. guys. >> we know you'll be watching. manu raju, thanks very much. joining me to discuss is oklahoma city mayor david holt, a republican among a bipartisan group of mayors and governors who melt with president biden in the white house to discuss the bipartisan framework which he supports. mayor, thanks so much for coming back on the show today. >> absolutely.
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thanks for having me. >> you are among a group of republican state leaders who support this plan. you want to move forward. in oklahoma you note 2,326 bridges, more than 1,000 miles of highway in poor condition across the state. you've got a need here. are you frustrated by the pace of negotiations here in washington on this? >> well, you have to remember that people at the state and local level have been waiting this package for the better part of a decade. we can wait a few more days or even a few more weeks. this has been a topic of conversation in the national discourse for a very long time, and, as you alluded to, but i want to drive the point home, we've had almost 400 mayors sign a letter in support of this $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure framework. whatever they've got to do to get it done is fine with us. we understand there's a lot of procedural and a lot of negotiating that has to occur.
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that's beyond our pay grade. we do want to see this infrastructure package for all the needs you just alluded to. >> the politics of this are really strange, right? here you are as a republican, you say, listen, i look at the need. we've got to spend summoome sum any. but some are not on board for this yet. it seems like the politics -- you're both in the same party, in different directions here. from their perspective, if they vote along with this, they're going to get punished in primaries. for you you're like, you've got to bring home the bacon. how do you explain that? >> i wouldn't presuppose what their final votes on this package are going to be. i think it's really important to understand there's two tracks here, the bipartisan infrastructure framework which is core infrastructure, roads, bridges, transit. it's amtrak. and then there's the other track, and that probably has
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less chance of getting oklahoma or republican support in the u.s. senate, but that's fine. that's a different track. that's not what nearly 400 mayors signed a letter many support of. i'm holding out hope our republican senators from oklahoma and all states will look at the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package as core infrastructure and necessary for our country to move forward. >> let me ask you this: if they don't reach bipartisan agreement and the only option is reconciliation, that is, passing this on a party line vote, much like the 2017 tax cuts were passed by republicans, would you support that and say, listen, if that's the only way i'll get this money to oklahoma city, that's fine? >> the bottom line is that oklahoma city, cities and states around the country need this infrastructure funding. i'm not going to prejudge or get terribly involved in the procedural machinations in washington. at the end of the day, we'll
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take the infrastructure support, but i will say, and given this platform, i definitely want to make this point. there is an opportunity here to do something important on a bipartisan basis, do something together with republicans and democrats working together. i think that is a secondary opportunity here that is really important for our kurnt on a national and international level to demonstrate the functionality of our government. i do hope both sides in washington will figure a way to compromise and to get this bipartisan infrastructure framework through on a bipartisan basis. that's probably going to take compromise from both sides. but at the end of the day, the main point is getting infrastructure support for our cities and our states. that's obviously the bottom line for me and the u.s. conference of mayors. >> that's a hope, a noble hope. a lot of people express it. i'm just saying, if it doesn't get there, and we've seen this movie before, would you support a party line vote, reconciliation to get the money you say oklahoma city needs? >> at the end of the day, what i
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as a mayor want is infrastructure funding for my city, for roads an bridges, traffic, passenger rail, broadband, water, all the other things in this passage. i don't really care how it passes. as a mayor, what i just said about bipartisanship, that's me speaking as an american that i want to see it pass on a bipartisan basis. as a mayor, i need that infrastructure funding how ever it can arrive. >> we hope you get it. mayor david holt, thanks for joining us this morning. >> absolutely. thank you. be well. >> you heard jim and the mayor talking about infrastructure, key to the president's domestic agenda. will he get that agenda to move forward? he'll face questions about it tonight in cnn's presidential town hall, 8:00 tonight. more on that ahead.
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biden. soon he'll head to ohio where he'll deliver remarks on his build back better agenda. >> cnn's jeff zeleny joins us from cincinnati with more. biden will face questions tonight on a number of congressional hurdles to his legislative agenda. how is he going to answer those questions? >> infrastructure, of course, is at the heart of president biden's agenda.
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it's at the heart of the news today, a test vote in the senate. as president biden is flying here to cincinnati. we do know that vote is going to fail because republicans say this bipartisan infrastructure bill has not had time to work through how it will be paid for. that does not mean it's not still important. in fact, that's one of the reasons president biden is coming to sfcincinnati. take a look at the pictures of the brent spence bridge. this is really exhibit a of infrastructure problems in america. it stretches from cincinnati to northern kentucky. this has been at the heart of every president's infrastructure plan for more than a decade. president obama stood right in front of that bridge saying his plan would fix it. president trump also said his plan would fix it. president biden certainly will be here. he's likely to be asked about that, after being here for a couple days and other visits to cincinnati, that bridge is on the top of people's minds because of many accidents it's had. it is a major thoroughfare
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across the country. look for president biden to talk about that bridge specifically. but also covid-19, the rising number of cases certainly impacting health and the economy and so many other questions that voters and citizens actually have. that's what's always interesting about these town halls. it's not the same type of questions that reporters like us ask, it's individual questions for people. president biden here marking his six months in office, the second cnn town hall right here tonight, jim and poppy. >> jeff zeleny, thanks so much. you may have noticed prices for a whole host of things have jumped. the big question is, is this lasting? if not, when will it end. >> president biden and jerome powell say it's tame rare. matt egan is here with more on that. everyone hopes they're right. do we know? >> poppy and jim, clearly there's no shortage of economic challenges facing america, and
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how president biden addresses them is really going to define his legacy. let's go through five of the top issues that biden needs to talk about tonight. first on that list, to your point, is inflation and the worker shortage. consumer prices rose in june at the fastest annual pace since 2008, everything from used cars and washing machines to bacon has become more expensive. now, the fed and the white house say this is temporary, but we don't know that yet. for now, it's certainly squeezing the budgets of families, especially low-income families. meanwhile, we have construction companies and restaurants and factories say they can't fill open jobs. this worker shortage is going to slow the recovery if it's not resolved soon. we also have the issue, of course, of the delta variant and vaccine hesitancy. the economy is booking right now. that's going to change if schools don't open or people shy away from going out to eat or traveling. the good news, of course, is vaccines are very effective
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against the variants, but biden needs to try to reach out to those who are not vaccinated. we've also got siper security, the colonial pipeline attack showed how key parts of the economy can be held hostage by hackers. biden has to show he's taking the cyber threat seriously and there will be a cost to those who attack american businesses and critical infrastructure. the climate crisis, this is obviously an existential threat to the planet. economists have joined scientists in saying that action has got to be taken now. look no further than the wildfires in oregon or the severe flooding in western europe to see the cost of inaction. lastly, of course, inequality. this divide between rich and poor is not new, but it's been made worse by the pandemic. president biden's got to show how his proposals will actually help alleviate inequality. >> that's a huge one. matt egan, thanks for the
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repo reporting. another big decision president biden needs to make that could have a big impact on the economy is, does he reappoint federal reserve chair jerome powell or replace him with someone else? >> a hold-over from the trump administration. cnn's john harwood is at the white house. is biden happy with him? any indication he wants to replace him? >> reporter: jim, he hasn't said publicly, and maybe we'll get a hint or two if don asks him about it at the town hall tonight. for now, the general expectation among economists is that he is pleased with jerome powell and is likely to reappoint him for the very reason that matt egan just outlined a moment ago, which is that the federal reserve and the white house see economic fundamentals, in particular, this advent of inflation, in similar ways, that it's temporary, that it's important to keep the pedal to the metal on expanding the job market, even though we've got a
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growing economy, declining unemployment rate, we're still down millions of jobs from prepandemic. in some ways this mirrors the choice that previous democratic presidents have had to make. you think that joe biden, a democratic, got a very progressive, ambitious economic agenda, maybe he would want to put a democratic in that job. on the other hand, jay powell has guided the economy through the pandemic just as ben bernanke did the financial crisis. barack obama reappointed him in his first term. so the widespread expectation is that jerome powell is the front-runner for that to happen again. i should say one final point on the notion that jeff and matt were both talking about, there is increasing optimism at the white house that whatever happens on the senate vote today, that that bipartisan infrastructure plan may have a promising future which is a big step toward the second part of his plan, the reconciliation. the biden economic agenda, which
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would seek to address income inequality in a pretty robust way, has a possibility for making progress today, whatever happens on that senate vote. >> interesting. you are beginning to hear confidence from democratic senators, republican senators and the white house. john harwood at the white house, thank you. be sure to watch tonight's cnn presidential town hall airs live, 8:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture, now might not be the best time to ask yourself...
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. just a few hours from now vice president harris will meet with poll workers and other election officials at the white house where she'll hear their concerns about voting rights in america. this follow the vice president's meeting last week with a group of texas democratic lawmakers who fled their state and went to washington, d.c. for a month to prevent the ability for the texas legislature to vote. joining me is one of the state lawmakers, represent trey martinez fisher, a democratic. good to have you. first of all, you announced over the weekend you have covid. i'm glad to hear, as you told me, you're feeling okay, just a mild fever. but it's meant that you're quarantined. i wonder what that means for your hopes of accomplishing what you want to get done in washington, d.c. does it prevent you from having more meters with senators while you're there with the president? i know you were hoping to. >> in some ways, it kind of
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speeds things up. we're now meeting virtually. so, you know, already yesterday we were able to meet with majority whip james clyburn via zoom. today we have meetings with majority senate leader steny hoyer, hakeem jeffries. instead of moving all over the capitol, we're able to have these meetings and talking substance. >> wasn't that part of going? >> of course. now that we have a setback -- obviously you have to make the adjustment and we're making a really good adjustment. we're quarantining for ten days. when that's over, i think things will get back to normal. we'll take advantage of every minute we're here. >> do you think if you can ultimately not achieve what you're hoping to, the move the ball on federal voting rights legislation, unless the filibuster would magically disappear, which it's not going
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to, you need to sway republicans. if you can't do that in the 30 days, might you stay longer? >> that's a great question. looking at it right now, we have managed, along with others, to keep voting rights at the top of the domestic policy agenda. we're hearing a lot about infrastructure this week, and that makes sense. we have made voting rights a talking point in the country. we'll continue to work towards that end and be very hopeful we can get something done. i'm encouraged by the fact that there are multiple strategies being discussed on how this can be achieve, everything from maybe looking to carve out the filibuster for voting rights to perhaps trying to find voting rights language that could fit in a reconciliation package. i give the u.s. senators a lot of credit that they're taking this very seriously, and we'll continue to do our work. we're here now and we'll stay here through the august recess. that's what i can talk about today. >> so a month ago -- i know you
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guys were successful in meeting with senator manchin. a month ago he did, senator manchin, propose a compromise, somewhere where he thought he could land on voting rights legislation federally and perhaps republicans would get on board, including election day as a holiday, automating voter registration through the dmv. it got the support of stacey abrams who used the word absolutely when she said she would back it. beto o'rourke called it progress. is that legislation you could get on board with? >> obviously that manchin proposal would be wonderful in the state of texas. i don't think people realize how many hurdles we have in the state of texas when it comes to voting in our visits with senator manchin. comparing west virginia election law to texas election law, you can vote in so many different ways in west virginia. at a minimum, whether it's a
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manchin compromise, a modified s-1, an accelerated hr-4, all those things would benefit us in texas. we have an all-of-the-above strategy so we can bring fair voting rights and have one standard in the country and that's the american standard. >> i know you had hopes of meeting with senator kyrsten sinema. it's been reported as of yesterday that you have not met with any republicans. i wonder if any of those things have changed? have you secured a meeting with senator senator, been able to meet with any republican senators? >> so i may not be as up to date. i'm quarantining. i have had occasion to talk to other lawmakers from arizona. sounds like they're organizing and mobilizing. perhaps we can partner together. again, we are here through the first week in august. we will not give up, and we will talk with anybody who wants to have a pragmatic discussion about bringing a fair voting rights standard to this country
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because i think it's necessary that we have that discussion. the issue is also important and it's not a democratic issue or republican issue. it's an american issue. we should be talking to anyone who has an open mind. >> thank you, representative, for being here. we hope that your symptoms continue to be mild and you get better by the day. thanks very much. >> thank you. >> jim. just ahead, the white house has met with top executives with fox news over its coverage of the coronavirus. is that why we're seeing an aboutface from some fox personalities on vaccines? we'll talk about it next.
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to learn more, visit . the white house press secretary is confirming the administration has been in talks with fox news executives about the covid-19 coverage on parts of that network. >> raising questions about a very effective lifesaving vab vaccine. the news comes after sean hannity who down played the pandemic, but in favor of vaccines, called on viewers to, quote, take covid seriously. >> please take covid seriously. it can't say it enough. enough people have died. research like crazy. talk to your doctor. i believe in science and i believe in the science of vaccination.
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>> cnn's anchor of "reliable sources" brian stelzer joins us. >> think of the republican party on tv just like republican party leaders are taking different positions on vaccines, so is fox news. in the last few days we've seen a slight change in tone, especially on the conservative newscast promoting vaccines, urging viewers to look up information and get vaccinated. that's happening on some of fox's shows, in the same way mitch mcconnell is urging people to get vaccinated. you have some parts of gop tv slightly changing its tune about vaccines. but the bigger, higher-rated stars like tucker carlson and laura ingram are still sewing down, spreading reckless anti vaccine propaganda. here are three recent clips from fox that belie this tone. >> drop the whole thing.
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let people come to their own conclusions. no more mandates, no more masks, tell fauci to retire and tell americans it's time to keep calm and carry on. be smart. use your common sense. this virus may, indeed be seasonal. >> if you didn't get a vaccination, that's your choice. but if you did, like i did and they did and maybe you did, 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 dangerous. >> why should people who have recovered from covid-19 who are immune to the virus, why should they be forced to get the vaccine? what's the answer? what is the harm rate from the vaccine? >> on fox news they say the accurate part quietly and say the dangerous part loudly. tucker carlson's voice is the loudest. he's spending anti-vax nation messages. it seems like they're coming out and promoting it and encouraging
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people to get shots. if you think about this innocently, you would say fox is responding to the delta variant because it's affecting republican strongholds in red states and counties. if you're more cynical, you would say this is a pr ploy trying to get ahead of biden naming and shaming them the way they've been shaping facebook. >> whatever it takes. >> whatever it takes. >> if more people listening get it, good. brian, thank you. thanks to all of you for joining us. we'll see you tomorrow morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour with kate bolduan" starts after a quick break. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg.
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hello everyone. i'm kate bolduan. here is what we're watching at this hour. summer surge. cases and hospitalizations rising every day as vaccination rates stall in the united states. how can america turn it around? president town hall, president biden talks to cnn tonight about his agenda and the challenges ahead, six months after being sworn in. rude awakening in tokyo. the summer games begin among growing pandemic fears and a big upset for team usa right out of the gate. thank you for being here. we begin at this hour with the devast


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