tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN July 21, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
in cincinnati, a key state for the president. thanks so much evan. thanks so much for that. cnn's exclusive town hall event with president biden begins in about an hour. don lemon hosts live from cincinnati beginning at 8:00 eastern. i'm jim acosta "the situation room." the special coverage continues now with erin burnett "ou "outfront". "outfront" next, political washington implodes and investigating the deadly insurrection after pelosi vetoes two of the picks. sandra garza, the long time partner of brian sicknick is "outfront" tonight and president biden about to address the nation on cnn when covid cases and hospitalizations are spiking again. could the republicans who have suddenly started to encourage vaccines help? new details about trump ally tom barrack. will he fight the charges or cooperate with investigators
about trump? let's go "outfront". good evening, i'm erin burnett. the special committee to investigate the january 6th insurrection as kevin mccarthy pulled all five republicans he named from the panel as president biden is about to speak to the nation on cnn. tonight's exclusive town hall comes at a pivotal moment in biden's presidency. he's facing head winds and crucial issues, the most pressing is the pandemic and also the economy. infrastructure, voting rights, police reform, immigration. a daunting list. especially when washington has descended into an all out partisan war, we'll have more on that in a moment but first, kaitlan collins is "outfront" live in cincinnati, ohio where biden's town hall will take place shortly. the stakes are high for the president tonight. what is his message to the american people? >> reporter: well, erin, it a critical junction tour for his
presidency. he's going to come here tonight and talk about what he believes he's accomplished in the first six months but looking to sell his economic agenda and domestic agenda for going forward and what the rest of his first term is going to look like and this comes as this town hall is coming and the infrastructure deal, the bipartisan one the president toted is in limbo as you see lawmakers race to finish the final text and the white house feels good it will come together in the end but they are still actually waiting on it to come together. of course, he is still dealing with the kmal lchallenge he was dealing with on day one of his presidency. that is, obviously, the coronavirus pandemic. it's a new aspect about the pandemic because it's the delta variant and misinformation. those are other questions the white house is expecting he'll get from the audience tonight but of course, inflation is another one. you see that increase in demand in prices raising concerns about
inflation and the economic team says they are not concerned about it now. it is something we know voters are concerned about. that's another area he could be questioned on, as well as several foreign topics, as well as it comes to foreign policy and international challenges that are facing the president. yes, erin, he'll be talking about his first six months in office but also talking and shaping hopefully according to the white house what the next six months are going to look like. >> thank you very much. in washington the epic battle that is down right ugly that will no doubt be part of tonight's conversation. kevin mccarthy pulling the picks for the committee investigating the january 6th riot after nancy pelosi rejected two of his picks. mccarthy calling it a political sham. >> it's an egregious abuse of power. it shows exactly what i learned back at the beginning of january that pelosi would play politics with this. pelosi has created a sham
process. unless speaker pelosi reverses course and seats all five republicans, we will not participate. >> okay. my way or the highway. we're taking his ball and going home. let's be clear. mccarthy has never wanted to be part of any investigation into the deadly insurrection because he actually voted against creating a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the riot. it was a commission that had been negotiated by democrats and republicans. they agree and it was one that actually gave mccarthy what he wanted. here is the letter. this is the letter mccarthy actually sent pelosi back in february. she released the letter and in it mccarthy asks for pretty specific things, equal 5-5 ratio, equal subpoena power, no predetermined findings or conclusions and pelosi acre keyests to every request. she said yes, yes, yes, gets
everything he asks for and still votes no and doesn't want the commission. he and most of his fellow republicans still voted no so for this special committee, right, that's where it went to, that was the only option because he rejected the bipartisan equally staffed one, then he gets to name people so he names three people that had very clearly told the trump line of the big lie including trusted trump ally congressman jim banks who is obviously not going to take this investigation seriously. i mean, just look at the statement that banks released after mccarthy selected him for the committee. he said make no mistake, nancy pelosi created this commit to align conservatives and justify the authoritarian agenda. there is your open minded person. of course, there is congressman jim jordan who has repeatedly defended his actions on the day of the insurrection. >> the facts are how do you insight a breach of the capitol when it was already planned?
how do you insight a riot the breach happened before the president completed his speech. i don't think there is language that provoked them or got them or insicitement in any form whatsoever. >> so liz cheney was picked by pelosi. she backsspeaker's decision. >> the minority leader attempted to prevent american people from understanding what happened. we cannot allow those voices who are attempting to prevent the people from getting the truth to prevail and we certainly will not. >> for pelosi, she upped the ante setting off a chain of events that seems to have dashed, for now, at least, the last hope this country has for any bipartisan investigation. so who does that hurt the most? well, it hurts the family of fallen capitol police officer brian sickni kck.
in a moment i'll talk to his long-time partner sandra garza. it hurts every american that watched in horror on january 6th as our capitol was attacked by a mop of trump supporters and deserves and needs to know who, what, when and why. brian nobles is "outfront" on capitol hill. speaker pelosi is going full steam ahead with the committee but obviously you have no republicans on it. now she could ask mccarthy and jordan to testify. tell me where this goes from here. >> yeah, from the very beginning, erin, the members of this come mrcommittee said theyo wherever this investigation leads them. that's calling mcelccarthy, or n jim jordan to testify in front of the committee about their role as to what happened on january 6th and after everything that we saw today, the back and forth between both sides, there doesn't appear to be any
wavering to find the truth. liz cheney that remains the soul republican on this panel doubled down on her commitment to this committee and suggested that jim jordan who was one of the picks by kevin mccarthy could be what she called a material witness to what happened on that day meaning she's open to calling him before the panel and caught up with jamie raskin of maryland, a member of the select committee and i specifically said would you call trump or mccarthy in front of this panel and he said they will go wherever the investigation leads and he said i thought this was interesting. he said quote, if people were not involved in the attack or insurrection or plot to over throw the electoral count process, they don't have anything to worry about. and this was after i specifically asked him about trump and mccarthy. so this committee will move forward and their first hearing is next week. erin? >> thank you very much. i want to go now to sandra garza. she's the long-time partner of fallen capitol police officer brian sicknick who was attacked
outside the capitol by protesters on january 6th and later died. sandra, you see this happening. speaker pelosi rejects the two republicans and mccarthy responds by saying i'm going to pull all of my republicans from the committee. how do you even respond to this? >> well, i think it's a very infintile move on his part and hopefully, in my humble opinion, i think speaker pelosi is doing the right thing by at least from what i've heard, by continuing to just press right ahead and go forward and just, you know, continue with the investigation, you know, and not give into this kind of political playground here. this is serious business. we need to get to the root of what happened. you know, kevin mccarthy has been given every opportunity to
have things his way and i think speaker pelosi was more than generous and gracious to work with them to have a true bipartisan commission. they didn't want to do that and now with the select committee, you know, she -- you know, i think she did the right thing in my humble opinion. this is just my humble opinion by saying no, we're not going to have -- sorry, did you have something you wanted to say? >> no, i wanted to ask because i know you met with liz cheney and she supports the speaker like you do and she'll remain on the committee. do you feel that the committee, you sknow, should continue even if the only republican on it is liz cheney? are you confident they can reach the truth? >> yes, i do. i mean, i think it's a shame in the sense of for people who are still not convinced that the
facts that are found that come up in the select committee are just that, facts. i mean, clearly, if they're going to subpoena emails, text messages, have witnesses come forward, i mean, you can't dispute that, right? but i realize that for some of the supporters, they're still going to say, oh, well, it's very partisan so it can't be true, which is very sad but, you know, facts are facts and history will show that. so i think, you know, if pelosi does in fact decide to continue and press ahead and maybe i was, you know, given incorrect information or read something wrong, but if she does, i think that's the right move, you know. i don't think they should sit around and continue to play these political playground games. this is serious stuff, and i understand that the officers are going to be testifying next week. >> yes. >> i really hope that that's
going to be public and so that we can all hear their witness testimony. >> so let me ask you, sandra, because you have been pounding the pavement on this. obviously, you continue to speak out because you want justice but you also literally went to capitol hill and tried to meet with as many republicans as you could but you trieded ied to meh others and appeal to them, to talk to them and obviously, they failed to do so. but do you believe from those meetings that there are other republicans that maybe viewers may not know the names of some of them who may listen and may still want the truth here or were you trully just saddened and demoralized by your experience meeting them? >> i mean, no, there was some that we met with that certainly were, you know, moved and do care about america because really, that's what is at stake here is really caring about
america and our democracy, you know, senator murkowski, senator collins and several others that i can't think of right now. i'm sorry i'm put on the spot. >> that's okay. >> certainly, yes, there are those that do truly care and do want to get to the bottom of what happened and are very concerned about the events of that day. they were there in the capitol when everything was going on and they were terrified. it was a very scary event and we cannot have that happen again. it's horrifying that the majority of republicans are taking this as a joke and more concerned about their political careers and worshipping donald trump than they are to ensuring that this never happens again and keeping america safe. >> all right. sandra, i appreciate your time. thank you for speaking. >> thank you. and now, van jones, he was
former special advisor to president obama and mike shields, strategists for leader kevin mccarthy. so let me just ask you, mike, what do you think is going on here? mccarthy was -- we showed the letter. he got the letter. he sent a letter to pelosi and she did acre keyest everything on it and he still voted against that so did he ever have any intent of supporting a committee? >> sure and the goal post kept getting moved. if you have a bipartisan commission, you ought to let the other party choose the members. i think what nancy pelosi did today is prove kevin right on everything he said about this from the very beginning, which is this is about politics and so what kevin first said was, the leader said, let's have something that looks not just starting on 1/5 and 1/6 but like the 9/11 commission went back to the bombings in africa and the coal being blown up in the
middle east to find out what happened on 9/11. no, i only want to stick to this. let have a bipartisan commission. no. i'm going to have subpoena power from my side only. finally kevin said -- >> no, no, she did give co-equal subpoena power. >> and moved the staff and subpoena goalpost after that and even saying all of that. as of today the leader said fine, this is partisan. i'll take part. i'll name my members and in an unprecedented move, this never happened before, speaker pelosi said no, you can only have the members on your committee that i decide and that puts the lie to her entire argument -- >> look, she did. he did pick two people who said the whole thing is a joke. they think that about it. so it would seem that he was talking -- >> elected members of congress and there are people on the benghazi committee when republicans were the majority, we did not do that to the democrats. >> the language for the select committee is exactly the same in both. we confirmed that.
for the benghazi committee and the january 6th committee. iden >> who is moving the goalpost now? first of all, with benghazi and others you go back and went back and stayed in the same form of violence, the same kind of organization. what was happening was there was a demand from the republicans we look at every form of violence much of which had nothing to do with what happened with this attack on our democracy. the other thing that's very important. kevin mccarthy put nancy pelosi in an untenable position. this is a poison pill move. if you're trying to put together a bipartisan commission, you have to put people on the commission who are serious about the mission of the commission. when you go and get people who have already discredited the commission, the intent of the commission, the point of the commission and have already preg
d -- press prejudiced themselves, had you gone forward with these kinds of people, you'd have nothing but a show of kangaroo court. i think she did the right thing. >> mike, let me ask you a question because i want to give you a chance to response, banks and jordan. banks gets tapped and before anything happens, he says make no mistake nancy pelosi formed this committee for the agenda. how can someone like that be picked and say this person was taken seriously at all? he told you he wasn't. >> nancy pelosi and democrats said 1/6 was about donald trump. you had a guest on a moment ago, someone on cnn that said that and democrats have all said 1/6 was donald trump's fault. look, the chairman of this commission is benny thompson.
benny thompson is an elect denier. he didn't believe the 2004 election was correct. you had jamie raskin on earlier. he was an election denier in 2016. so this is a joke. the idea you have to have someone that believes in the mission and nancy pelosi should remove the election deniers she apoenpointed to the commission herself. >> this is part of the problem. in 2004 you had a few people who raised their hand to try to call attention to a couple problems. you didn't have half of the caucus or more of the caucus reject the election. to carawl back through the history back and hold up and pretend it's the same thing as the mack truck that run through the democracy doesn't make sense. here is the problem. you got people at home, put reasonable people together. nobody wants violence and this
kind of stuff, though, i think is going to result in more of it going forward. >> our law enforcement on capitol hill deserves what you said. i wish they could be bipartisan and hadn't played games. nancy pelosi admitted today this is a game -- >> well, she didn't admit it was all a game to be clear. i understand both sides are playing the hands they're dealt. it's tragedy. you're going to get nothing or something that's all one side that it is -- >> i agree. >> sit is a tragedy. appreciate you both. don't milszss the town hall hosted by don lemon at 8:00 and some americans are having a change of heart about the vaccine. >> we should get the facts out there and encourage people to take it. >> better late than never, yes. how much of a difference can it make now? biden's infrastructure bill blocked by republicans today. i'll talk to the mayor of cincinnati. the mayor says the city needs that money now.
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faces. in each state trump won in 2020 you see on this map in red, in each of those, less than half of the residents are fully vaccinated and so republicans shifting the messaging making an urgent push seven months after vaccination started in the united states. >> these vaccines are saving lives. they're reducing mortality. >> we should be getting the facts out there and encouraging people to take it. >> get vaccinated. i want to encourage everybody to do that and to that and ignore voices giving bad advice. >> please take covid seriously. i can't say it enough. enough people have died. i believe in science and the science of vaccination. >> "out front "now dr. michael that works in the covid unit in arkansas where hospitalizations are up over 500% in the past
month. appreciate you and your time ton tonight. i know you have a video that's been shared by thousands. i want to ask you are, the hos hospital. do you think when you hear politics suddenly speaking like this or personalities like this it will make a difference where you are? >> i do. i think that those are inflew wex l -- influential people in a state and i welcome anyone that has a message to get vaccinated. that's the only way to get through this pandemic so republican, democrat, independent, let's be on the same team here, absolutely. >> so i do want to play part of that video that you made. you're really begging people in your community to get vaccinated because you see what happens when they come into where you are right now.
you're warning specifically about a dramatic spike you've seen in younger patients in their 20s and 30s at your hospital. let me play a clip from it. >> what i really wish you could see is to look into the eyes of a young father or gentleman who knows they may be short for this world because they didn't get their vaccines and the regret and remorse on their face and fear. >> i mean, what is it like, doctor, for you to see that, to see that look on peeople's face and look at them and know at that moment they know they could have done something to not be there? >> i mean, in a word
heartbreaking. my voice is cracking down just even seeing that and talking about it. that morning i had seen three males in a row that were 32 years old, 28, 27 all healthy before this and i just called our marketing team and said i don't know what i'm going to say but i need a camera and i'm going to say something. there is so much misinformation about the vaccine and we're not seeing vaccinated patients dying from covid. i've been doing this for 16 months and when the vaccine came out, it was a miracle and we all thought yes, we can finally be over this and to see a 40% vaccination rate and to sueee human beings dying and struggling for each breath over a vaccine, it's mind boggling and heartbreaking.
>> so more than 170,000 people watch that video on youtube and facebook and i hope that number will be many times that, doctor. i hope people will watch it now. one woman commented and said you convinced her three children all in their 20s 20 get vto get vac. you're having an impact saving lives by what you said. have you hearing more response to it? >> i have. i've gotten texts and messages from so many people that people i haven't talked to in a decade in some instances that just a quick text and say hey, dude, where do i get my vaccine? they know me and they know i'm one of them. i'm from rural america. born and raised here. i don't have an agenda. i want to see less people on ventilators for a preventable illness. i don't think that's a lot to
ask. so i think i hope that that resonates with people. >> well, it does and we can just hope we can get those numbers more and more people to see that and be grateful for someone like you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> next, our live town hall with president biden in cincinnati so should he be worried about this message from republicans? >>. >> the democrats response to the rising prices is simply spend more. >> breaking news, cnn learning prol prosecutors had evidence to charge tom barrack so why did he just get arrested and charged yesterday?
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president biden just moments will participate in a cnn town hall moderated by my friend don lemon. it comes just hours after senate republicans blocked an initial vote on the president's signature infrastructure proposal. "outfront" from the town hall the democratic mayor of cincinnati. i appreciate your time. so let's talk about this news that came out late today. senate blocks an infrastructure bill that hadn't been fully writ and democrats are trying to hold together their fragile collision and on top of it, they have to get ten republican votes to get it done. it's an uphill battle but you desperately need this money for your city. are you confident this bill will pass? >> i'm confident that president biden the democrats will support it ex our senator sheriff brown will support it and the democrat with one of the architects can stick with it. we need it. i mean, look, we need progress and move 789 president biden provided that so many different ways but this bill is our bridge between ohio and kentucky.
donald trump promised to fix it. he never did. it's time to get it done and, you know, the fact is republicans have led the state of ohio for 28 out of 32 years and they haven't gotten the job done on bridges, on roads, on infrastructure and clean water and high speed broad band internet. the republicans here in ohio have failed us. >> so, you know, this is all coming, of course, the republicans are saying why do all this trillions of spending when there is inflation now? one can argue about how long this inflation is here for, but it's here right now, right, where you are in the midwest according to the labor department, gas prices are up 45%. used car prices 46%. home energy prices 11%. that's the backdrop of course that you're well aware of and republicans have seized upon. just listen to these few. >> talk about inflation? they are going to talk about the
price of eggs is up, the price of milk is up, the price of airline tickets is up. the price of everything is up. >> small businesses are struggling to hire workers and our families are paying much more for far less. underst biden-omics, the price up. >> six months since joe biden became president i would give him a grade of i for ininauinflation. it's a real problem for families. >> how worried are you about this? lindsey graham said if this reconciliation bill passes, it will take an inflation problem we have today and pour jet fuel on it. do you share that concern? nobody wants to see prices coming up. the fact is we're coming out
because of joe biden doing a great job on the vaccine and the economy is hot, the biden boom is happening and now it's time to invest in america, in middle america, in ohio, in cincinnati. you know, biden is getting us out of these foreign wars that cost money. it's time to spend money in middle america building the roads and bridges and the viaduct here in cincinnati. we need high speed broad band internet. we need to spend money in america and it's joe biden that is getting us out of afghanistan and joe biden who is investing in infrastructure. the republicans in ohio haven't done any of this and been in charge for 30 years. >> let me ask one final question because covid cases are up 120%. more than doubling. so when we look at the breakdown here of what is going on, in hamilton county, cincinnati, you have 29% of blacks fully
vaccinated and 61% of asians and 51% of whites. those numbers are really, really different. what are you hoping biden says tonight to people who still resist getting vaccinated. >> we have to speak truth and morality from the heart. my sister and the wife of a prominent pastor and african-american church, new jerusalem baptist church led the first ladies for health to get people vaccinated by taking the vaccine distribution to churches and community. my wife and i have door knocked in under served community asking people to get vaccinated. we have to lead by example. i've been vaccinated. my 12-year-old has been vaccinated and my wife has been vaccinated. we have to keep speaking truth to everybody and loving people and asking them to do what is right for then and their families. >> all right. ma mayor, appreciate your time. thank you so much. >> thank you. great to be with you. >> all right. you, too. next, the breaking news, cnn
learning federal prosecutors believe they had enough evidence last year to charge long-time trump ally tom barrack so why did they wait until yesterday? plus another american out of the olympics tonight joining a long list of athletes that had olympic dreams dashed again. >> i am heart broken. i'm in healing right now. i'm in mourning.
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a little preparation will make you and your family safer in an emergency. a week's worth of food and water, radio, flashlight, batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com breaking news, federal prosecutors believe they had enough evidence last year to charge long time trump ally tom barrack with illegally acting as a foreign agent from the uae according to people familiar with yesterday's indictment as a source tells cnn he committed to fighting the charges and that he has no plans to cooperate with on going probes involving trump inkwcluding investigations focud on the inaugural committee.
paula reid is "outfront". let me start with barrack's plans to fight the charges. some thought okay we'll go with the charges to try to get them to cooperate and give information on other things and this is part of a pressure campaign but he doesn't seem to be indicating he'll cooperate. >> not at all. this is a guy with the money, the resources to fight these charges. i spoke with sources close to this case and i'm told barrack is not expected to cooperate in any on going investigation related to the former president. now, we've also learned that prosecutors in manhattan had examined barrack's role as chairman of the inauguration committee but that federal investigation has been dormant since last year and nobody was charged. interestingly, barrack was deposed last year related to a civil suit by the attorney general here in the district of colombia. and in that deposition, he was actually asked about his dealings with the trump organization, which is of course, under investigation and has been charged in a new york
state case. i'm also told it is highly unlikely barrack could actually cooperate in that investigation, either. >> if prosecutors believe there was enough evidence to charge barrack last year as i know the reporting is now that you have, why was he only indicted yesterday? >> it's a great question, erin. the full context is of course, prosecutors are discouraged in the runup to an election from bringing any politically sensitive cases but we're told this investigation was mostly completed far before that period would have kicked in but cnn learned the u.s. attorney in brooklyn who is overseeing this case, richard donohue had misgivings about the specific case. what is not clear is whether this case was stalled directly by donohue or if the prosecutors who were doing the investigation just didn't want to proceed because they knew their boss did not support it. mr. donohue had not responded to our request for comment but we
know his former boss, then attorney general bill barr wasn't supportive because they have been difficult for the justice department to successfully prosecute but now a new administration, the biden justice department is moving forward with this case. >> the are, paula, thank you very much. appreciate it. next, first lady jill biden on her way to the olympics tonight as we get our first look at the venues where some of the events are already underway with nobody there. and a live look at the set of cnn's exclusive town hall with joe biden set to begin in just a few moments, breyers is always so delicious... i can tell that they used your milk, matilda. great job! . you're welcome. breyers natural vanilla is made with 100% grade a milk and cream and only sustainably farmed vanilla. better starts with breyers. front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and get millions of flexible booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with.
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. tonight, first lady jill biden headed to the tokyo olympics as another american athlete pulls out of the game after testing positive for covid. taylor crab saying he won't be participating. the fourth u.s. athlete to test positive for the virus as the olympic games are underway and you can see the stadium empty. will ripley is "outfront" in tokyo. >> reporter: even olympians are not immune from the cruelty of covid-19. the pandemic striking some of the world's top athletes including a u.s. gymnast just days before the opening ceremony. catching covid early this year cost percilla more than eight weeks. she still has trouble breathing. >> absolutely devastated.
i am heart broken. i'm in healing right now. i'm in mourning. >> she says she ignored doctor's advice and kept training but failed to qualify for tokyo 2020. >> this was it. this was my final -- this was my >> british rower una cousins came down with a case of long covid leaving her with chronic fatigue. >> i was doing 30, 35 hours of training a week when i was well and now i can probably do like three 20-minute sessions in a week super lightly. >> this is more than a year later? >> yeah. i struggle with really intense fatigue. >> cousins calls her coronavirus battle an emotional roller coaster. >> we're dealing with a disease we didn't know how to define a year zblag cnn's sanjay gupta
says they don't know why the virus hits some harder than others. >> if you're an athlete it can impact your performance. >> are these athletes putting themselves at risk coming here? >> i think it's really tough to justify bringing 206 countries, states, territories together in the middle of a pandemic. >> a risk minesh is willing to take. the indian wrestler is number one in her category. she says postponing competition by a year was an even bigger challenge than catching the coronavirus. >> translator: i had to start my training again from scratch. it was very difficult. >> surging cases in japan and the world mean olympians won't have fans in the stands cheering them on. nobody knows if nearly empty venues will be enough to stop the summer games from becoming a super spreader event. at tokyo 2020 not just olympic
dreams, lives are on the line. >> reporter: the head of the world health organization is here in tokyo. he says before the olympic flame is extinguished, erin, 100,000 more people will die from covid. now we know at least 5 u.s.a. athletes have been knocked out because of the virus. because a lot of them are vaccinated doctors say their chances are good because they are much more mild. >> thank you so much. wow, does it look beautiful there. next, our exclusive town hall with president biden. it is just a few moments away. we'll be right back. so i only pay for what i need. 'cause i do things a bit differently. wet teddy bears! wet teddy bears here! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ real progress? when you're affected by schizophrenia, you see it differently. it's in the small, everyday moments.
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pandemic, fears about the economy growing, gop efforts to block his agenda. out front now, dana bash. our chief political correspondent. dana, six months since president biden took office. here we are, an extremely critical town hall for him to speak to americans directly. what are you looking for from him tonight? >> there are several things. first and foremost is the health crisis that he inherited. and the fact that he and his administration were feeling really good just a couple of months ago and feeling less good understandably now because of the fact that so many people are not getting the vaccine and all of the ramifications for that. so expect some real bully pulpit moments with regard to telling people, asking people, pleading with the american people who are eligible to get a vaccine to do so. but also about what's going on here in washington, erin.
i mean, you saw a vote to start debate on a bipartisan infrastructure deal fail today but that kind of masks what we have been reporting, what i'm told is going on behind the scenes, which is genuine progress. i was told by republican source, they're like 75% there. >> wow. >> the 25% is a real 25%. it doesn't get them there, but it is noteworthy, erin, that the lead republican on this bipartisan compromise deal is rob portman from ohio, which is exactly where joe biden is tonight. >> right. right. right. all right. so that's crucial. i'll take the 75%. people across this kun trip want progress there. >> in this day and age, exactly. that's what he has to try to prove. he has to prove that that part of his campaign promise is going to see fruition. >> absolutely. what about the rest of the agenda. immigration, voter rights going nowhere.
how does he navigate through that tonight? >> in a difficult way. this is going to be one of the tests of what joe biden was selling in the campaign, that he can be the person who can not only try to bring parties together that haven't come together in a while here in washington but connect with people in the country. and there is -- one of the issues that you mentioned, immigration is certainly one and a big political problem for the biden administration just like it was for administrations before him, but voting rights is going to be really fascinating to watch when it comes to how he is going to articulate that. we heard him give a very robust speech last week, maybe it was this week, i'm losing track of time. i think it was this week imploring congress to do something on that. but what they're hoping -- not but, and what they're hoping is they can get a ground swell of
support among the public to push that. it's a big if and he's going to try tonight, no question. >> dana, thank you very much. thanks to all of you. cnn's town hall with president joe biden live from cincinnati starts now . good evening, everyone. we are live in cincinnati, ohio, on the campus of mount saint joseph university overlooking the ohio river. this is a cnn town hall with the president of the united states, joe biden. i'm don lemon. president biden is facing a critical moment in his agenda. nearly half of the u.s. population is fully vaccinated against covid-19 but the pace of the vaccination is at the lowest
point since january and the highly infectious delta variant is driving a new covid surge in all 50 states. virtually all covid hospitalizations and deaths are now among the unvaccinated so tonight we are here in ohio taking questions from a live audience as the president works to keep the pandemic in check and his goal of an infrastructure deal on track. it is really a critical moment for his agenda. we will take questions from some who voted for the president and some who did not vote for president biden. the president and myself and everyone here in our audience, we are all fully vaccinated so without further adieu, everyone, let's welcome the 46th president of the united states, joe biden. [ applause ] >> hi there, don. good to see you. how have you been? >> well. very well.