tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN July 24, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. we begin this hour with the covid delta variant raging across the country. now states and cities are preparing new restrictions to turn the tide of the pandemic. new cases are now trending up in 49 states, many of which are seeing the delta variant become the dominant strain. in los angeles county, daily cases topped 3,000 for the first time since february. the county was forced to return to earlier requirements on masks. cnn's paul vercammen in l.a.
what are health officials going to do to try to stop it? >> reporter: if you look behind me, they're setting up pop-up vaccination clinics. one of the prongs they're attacking this with. look behind me. what they're going to do is hope 100 unvaccinated people will come in here today in south los angeles and get a needle in their arm. that's because of those alarming numbers you talked about. 3,058 new cases, 655 hospitalizations. seven new deaths and positivity rate in los angeles county. 5.2% and then go down the road. san diego county. they have 1264 new cases. that's the highest since february and as we're hearing throughout southern california, 98% of the hospitalized partially vaccinated and we also have human to animal transmission at the san diego zoo. there's a snow leopard that tested positive twice for
covid-19. you might notice he's missing an eye from a previous disease, but they're telling us he's 9 years old, he's not transmitted this to any other animal but the snow leopard was coughing and had a runny nose. so here in southern california, we see the delta variant spreading around in rapid fashion and it's going to be clinics like these that they're putting on to try to get at those people who are vaccination stragglers. back to you, fred. >> the message is out there. people have to get it and the availability, we're seeing it right there. on to louisiana now. vaccination rates, they are among the lowest in the nation. even as cases there continue to surge. governor john bell edwards is taking new steps as he said his state entered a fourth wave of covid infections and they include requiring masks for all state employees.
cnn's suzanne malveaux. how are those efforts going? >> reporter: fred, it really is a dire situation here in the state of louisiana. those statistics really mapping out and saying it all. we're in front of this vaccination site here at the oakwood center and they are really hoping that folks in this popular urban young area will come out and get vaccinated. in the beginning of the day, we did see a long line that has since dwindled. they're still really trying with this effort, but fred, as you know, louisiana has the dubious distinction now of having the highest of covid growth rate per capita than any other state in the country. so we are talking about a perfect storm according to the governor. 208% increase in covid cases just over the last couple of weeks. 80% from that highly contagious delta variant and 40% of louisiana residents who just got one shot, one dose of a
vaccination and so this is really a critical situation here, what they are trying to do is what they're calling a hyperfocused, hyperlocal outreach effort. go to the crawfish boils, the fish tfries, churches, and offe those vaccination services in education. i had a chance to talk to health officials here about it as well as a bus driver. her name is leah taylor and she decided for the first time to get a vaccination. we talked about why it was that she hadn't gotten it before and why she's now trying to be a role model for others. >> my daughter and her family about the shots too. but hopefully i can get them to atta take it. >> reporter: we like faces and spaces familiar to community. we want the people with the nice
cajun and creole cadence so when they walk up to people, we want them to have a response that resonates with them at the core. so our belief is that health care should not be sterile, it should not be foreign. >> reporter: the bus driver said she didn't get it before because essentially she doesn't go anywhere. now going back and going to be exposed to a lot of children and said she's a news watcher. she has been listening and paying attention and it's waking her up. she feels that she really has gotten a warning about this delta variant and wants to pass that along to her family and her community to make it safe. fred? >> suzanne malveaux, thank you so much. to talk more about this with dr. matthew, a primary care physician and public health specialist and so great to have you in studio for the first time in like a year and a half, we get to see each other in person.
>> get vaccinated and you get to see fredericka whitfield in person. you are real. this is awesome. >> this is so great. thank you. really appreciate and all that you're doing to try to keep everyone safe. you heard suzanne. where she is, trying to encourage people that this is accessible. getting a vaccine is easy and kept it really local, so people feel comfortable. has that been the barrier as to why so many people have not gotten vaccinated because they're not convinced that it's accessible and that it's something easy? >> we're the only country in the world where you have three vaccines that are safe and effective. you and i could walk into a walmart today and get a shot without an appointment. so i really don't think that it's innaccessibility.
i think we need mobile vans. we need to meet the people where they are but to be honest with you, most americans should not make that as a barrier. this is a dangerous strait. i mean, i'm so stressed, fred, i haven't slept in three days, people are falling sick younger and sooner and quicker. >> right. i mean, and that's very sad and that's real, but we are at a place where there are no excuses. the messaging is out there. the information is out there. at this point, do you also feel like if you're not vaccinated, and you don't get the message right now, the alabama governor said i don't know what else to say. i've said it all. what can you do or say? how do you encourage anyone at this point who hasn't gotten vaccinated, who is eligible to do so? >> listen, fred. this is what i tell people. we are all going to have an encounter with this virus whether we like it or not.
if you have that vaccine on, if you have your best on, you have a much better chance of not dying. we're talking about a deadly variant and i think we need to change the phrase. this is the pandemic of just the unvaccinated. this is the pandemic of also the vaccinated and the reason i say that if you don't get the vaccine, u gi you are giving a e to develop into dangerous strains and that's putting pressure on the vaccinated. i think we are absolutely undercounting the breakthrough infections. there are way more breakthrough infections than we are actually reporting. >> this is the case in which people are vaccinated but somehow either still testing positive, even if they're not showing symptoms, but that should not be discouragement for people to get vaccinated. so what about masks? the battles are brewing, once again, about mask mandates. there are certain jurisdictions that say, we're not going to
encourage mask mandates at all. superintendents who are going around what state leadership is saying and saying we're going to make sure that kids have masks. so i mean, are we back to that again? >> i tell you what. for our viewers, listen, take this pandemic seriously. take it in your hands. every individual has to fight for their own safety. we can't rely on a lot of governors and county officials to tell us what to do or whatnot to do. >> you're saying common sense should prevail. >> people ask me all the time. should i wear mask indoors? at this point, fred, you saw the states dark red. the community transmission is so high, your chance of getting covid from grocery shopping now, from doing activities that we thought were safer a few weeks ago are no longer safe. how do you know who's vaccinated if everybody is unmasked? >> i felt like i was the only
one wearing a mask. they've taken down all the signs and some of the wipes are not available like they once were, but we really are not out of the woods yet. now, let's talk about those who are vaccinated and now, even the white house is trying to encourage these discussions between the fda and cdc, talking about should a third shot, a booster shot be something to embrace? particularly for those over 65 and immunocompromised. where are you on that and when should that happen if indeed that's the case? >> i think we have good information so far to not panic with the booster. >> what do you mean? >> the reason is, if you look at the number of people that are dying, over 99% that are hospitalized and dying are in the unvaccinated group. and we are studying these vaccines every month. we have eight months worth of data to show these vaccines work effectively. remember, no vaccine is 100%.
i want to make that clear. but the vaccine needs to do three things. keep you away from the hospital, prevent you from dying and falling really, really sick. and these vaccines we have in the u.s., they do that. >> so then is talk about a booster, a third shot, is that too much? is it? >> i think that right now, we're focusing on the wrong aspect of this pandemic. this pandemic is all about people who are not vaccinated getting the shot asap. they will protect themselves. they will protect other people as well. i mean, we act like we're a country that doesn't have rules. we have to wear seat belts. if we drive on the wrong side of the road, you're going to get fined. you might get into an accident. we are a country of rules. i'm not sure why people think this is infringing my freedom. when you make a decision, you're affecting other people as well. >> good point. saju matthew, dr. saju matthew.
so fantastic you're here in person. continue to be well and spread great advice and impose safety on all of us. we really appreciate it. >> thank you, fred. cnn learned the justice department said it will not open a civil rights investigation into nursing home deaths in new york, michigan and pennsylvania. republican lawmakers including congresswoman steve scalise wanted investigation into nursing home policies in those states that admitted positive covid-19 patients from hospitals. cnn's polo sandoval has been following the developments for us. so polo, what is the doj saying about why they are not moving forward? >> fred, quickly remind our viewers how we got here. august of last year. civil rights division with the justice that it would be seeking important information from new jersey, pennsylvania, michigan and right here in new york and that included any possible executive orders that are issued by chief executives in those states during the previous spikes of the pandemic here.
basically, what they were doing here, fred, is that they were trying to determine if state orders are requiring admission of covid-positive patients played a role in the deaths at those facilities, and what we learned yesterday is that the doj did review the material and would not be launching said civil rights investigations. important distinction here. they are looking into, at least they are investigating at least two facilities in the state of new jersey, but it is not obviously what many republicans wanted to see when it comes specifically to new york and that's what is drawing criticism including from steve scalise that called this not only outrageous but a quick portion of the statement he posted online here. this is coming from a member of the select committee on the covid crisis. representative scalise writing, these deadly orders contradicted the cdc's guidance and needlessly endangered the most vulnerable among us to the virus and even worse, governor cuomo in new york intentionally tried
to cover up the true death toll resulting from his mandate. this is really important, fred. this does not mean that the other separate investigation that's happening right now by the u.s. attorney's office in brooklyn, this is completely separate. that is still ongoing. we did reach out to governor cuomo's office for comment on that. haven't heard back yet. >> let us know what you do. polo sandoval, thank you so much for that. coronavirus looming over the olympics in a very big way. more athletes testing positive as the games go into full swing. we'll take you to tokyo. and parents, listen up. with days just ahead before kids head back to class. many of the school essentials may already be gone or in very short supply. straight ahead on what you need to know. try our new scented oils for freshness that lasts. crafted to give you amazingly natural smelling fragrances, day after day... ...for up to 60 days. give us one plug for freshness that lasts.
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the games kicked off friday with the opening ceremony. the stadium there, largely empty because of covid concerns and protocols. the ceremony included, however, the spectacular drone display and the always popular parade of nations. it did take place. team usa with over 600 athletes but some did their own parade of nations outside the stadium because of their own concerns, but back inside, tennis star naomi osaka who is representing japan had the honor right there of lighting the olympic caldron. cnn's will ripley in tokyo for the games. so will, it is great to finally see the events kick off. i know a huge disappointment for some athletes who have been testing positive who are there and now can't compete, but tell me, what have you been learning? >> reporter: there have been 17 positive cases tied to the olympics just in the last 24 hours. so the number of total positive
covid cases at the games is now 127 and you actually had a dutch rower knocked out in the middle of the competition saying his olympic dream was over just like that. so look, we're all hoping that we don't have a moment where somebody who is a leading contender and a big name. you have simone biles, naomi osaka. we'll see them competing in the coming hours here in tokyo. imagine if someone like that or imagine if a whole team, a huge cluster happens in a team and they test positive. that could be the kind of scenario that the ioc and olympics organizers were talking about when they were saying they're not going to rule out discussing some sort of cancellation if there were to be a really catastrophic event. that's not happening yet, but of course, for every athlete who tests positive and has their olympic dream gone like that, it's a huge thing. >> devastating. we don't want to jinx anybody by mentioning anybody's names
because they certainly want to be able to continue to play and compete and all of them have made it so far, have put all of their life dreams into this moment and oh my gosh, to test positive the day you arrive. just heartbreaking. we're going to wish the best for all of them and let the games go on, but what inspiration we're seeing every time someone begins their competition. so will ripley. thank you so much for being there in tokyo for us. bringing us all the action. thank you so much. president biden back on the campaign trail and not pulling any punches. hear what he had to say about the state of the gop. that's next. what if you could have the perspective to see more? at morgan stanley, a global collective of thought leaders offers investors a broader view. ♪ we see companies protecting the bottom line
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president biden made a return to the campaign trail last night in virginia, something for a friend. biden was in arlington, something for terry, making a run at being virginia governor. republican glen, president biden also used the rally as an opportunity to encourage more people to get the covid vaccine and he took a few shots at former president trump and those in the republican party who continue to downplay the capital riot of january 6. for more on all of this, let's bring in arlette saenz. tell us more about the president. >> reporter: president biden was back in campaign mode for terry
mcaucauliffe, democratic govern in virginia but marks a willingness from the president to try to help democrats keep their majority heading into these midterm elections. multiple presidents have oftentimes seen major losses for their parties in those midterm elections including former president obama and former president donald trump and that is something that president biden is trying to prevent from happening to his own party over the next two years. and the president did take a few shots at former president trump, really tying glen to the former president and said that will beat just like biden beat trump and the president also had some tough words for republicans as he casts them, this party a fear in lies. take a listen. >> just as the republican party today offers nothing but fear, lies and broken promises,
listen, i mean, think about it. turn on the television every day and see the relay of what happened on january 6th, and saying i was told there were a lot of peaceful wonderful people. no, i really mean it. it is bizarre. >> reporter: aside from those traditional elements of campaigning, the president also had a warning for the unvaccinated in america. his white house and officials here are really starting to become more and more concerned as this delta variant has taken hold in the country and there are pockets in areas of the country where vaccination rates remain low. the president really trying to relate to people that if you are unvaccinated, you remain at risk. he also had some praise for the republican governor down in alabama who recently said that it might be time to start blaming the unvaccinated people. so this white house, of course, growing more and more concerned
as they're seeing these covid-19 cases rising in certain areas of the country as there's still a significant number and percentage of this population that remains unvaccinated. >> arlette saenz from the white house. ron brownstein, also a senior editor for "the atlantic." let's talk about being in virginia. biden. this was his first in-person candidate specific rally since moving into the white house in january. he threw a punch at the former president. let's listen. >> terry and i share a lot in common. i ran against donald trump and so was terry. and i whipped donald trump in virginia and so will terry.
>> what's the symbolism here? why is it important for the president to be something like this right now? >> first of all, they are facing a strong head wind historically. the last four times a president went into a midterm with unified control of the government, that was trump in '18, obama in '10, bush in '06 and then in '94. voters revoked it. biden is pushing uphill in trying to maintain unified democratic control in 2022. i think what is really striking about his remarks on friday night was the degree to which he targeted donald trump. the dominant view has been the key to 2022 is achieving the agenda that he ran on, delivering primarily on kitchen table concerns like the child tax credit or universal pre-k or infrastructure spending and minimizing their focus on the republicans and trump. there are many democratic
strategists who think they have a much better chance of turning out their base by sending a message if they regain the house in 2022, they will lay the groundwork for rest vacoration 2024. i think you see a step in that direction from biden that will probably cheer a lot of democratic strategists this morning. >> ron, in the meantime, president biden has a big agenda. infrastructure, police reform, voting rights, and just this week, he was pressed by don lemon during the cnn town hall about where he is on the filibuster and why he won't make more aggressive moves potentially about ending it and this is the conversation, listen. >> yes. >> if it's a relic of jim crow used to fight against civil rights historically, why protect it? >> no reason to protect it other than throw the entire congressman in chaos and nothing
will get done and there's a lot at stake. >> so a couple of things there. yes, there's a lot at stake and perhaps he's right and nothing will get done, but then the flip side to that is it doesn't appear that much is going to get done with the current state of play if there isn't an end to the filibuster. so what is the leverage that the president has in this situation? >> fred, it is difficult to overstate how much his answer on voting rights and the filibuster dismayed civil rights and voting rights advocates. the president, i think, gave a good sense of his deepest true feelings on the issue in the exchange with don, even more than he did with the speech in philadelphia last week and he said three separate things that really unnerved voting rights advocates. first, he said that he expected he could, quote, bring along republicans to support a nationwide floor of voting rights. the widespread is that it's
essentially delusional. there's no chance there will be not even one republican that will vote for hr-1 or s-1 for a nationwide voting rights and second, he believed people would show up and vote in record numbers in 2021 or 2022 with or without the voter suppression laws and that infuriates civil rights advocates. basically implies black voters should have to make enormous efforts to overcome the strict voting laws because he won't make an effort to pass the nationwide floor of voting rights and the third point you played was this idea that if you end the filibuster, there would be so much chaos in the senate that nothing else would get done and made very clear that at the least, he wants to see his core economic agenda. the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the reconciliation package pass before any effort is made to restrict the filibuster and that means voting rights are being put on the back burner, in all likelihood, a big concern for voting rights
advocates, because in the middle of august, census submits that population data starts redistricting and if that happens before the voting law legislation passes, it may be hard to do gerrymandering in certain states. >> on that first issue, why and how he's so hopeful he can bring along republicans. why does he apparently feel so confident about that because that really is at the core of his justification, is it not? >> yes. and it's completely historical, first of all. as i pointed out in a previous piece, in the 1960s, no one assumed that the federal government would only act as secure voting rights if richard russell and the senators from the affected states in the south agreed to it. in fact, their resistance was overcome. in the 1860s, the standard that biden set and mansion and cinema said in particular, only act on voting rights, if that was the
standard in the 1860s, the lincoln era republicans never would have passed a 14 and 15th amendment to the constitution because every congressional democrat defending their colleagues in the south who were exercising the reign of terror against african-americans voted against them, almost all of the reconstruction era civil rights laws and yet, the lincoln era republicans recognized that it was important enough for the country to do this on their own without giving the minority party a veto. if you look at what's happening in the states even while biden is saying there could be cooperation with this, we are seeing these restrictive laws pass in all of these states on a virtually complete. >> record speed. >> every democrat voting no, and yet it's a very different standard they're calling for in washington. >> thank you so much. always appreciate you. >> thank you, fred. with so much pushback surrounding a mandating of vaccinations, the largest private employer in the state of arizona, banner health is not
waiting on the sidelines of this debate. the company says its employees must get a vaccine by november. we'll speak to the chief clinical officer for banner health next. spots? it's not your dishwasher's fault. simply add finish jetdry 3in1 to rinse, dry and shine your dishes. solve 3 problems at once with finish jetdry 3in1.
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♪ ♪ ♪ easy tools on the chase mobile app. simplicity feels good. chase. make more of what's yours. this just in. violence erupting on the streets of paris. anti-covid vaccination protesters are clashing with police. in this new video, you can see protesters throwing objects as police swoop in to stop them. tens of thousands showed up
today for massive protests against france's mandatory vaccination with workers and extension of the coronavirus health pass. french president emanuel macron recently announced plans to extend the vaccine requirements to enter restaurants, malls, long train injuries, bars and planes into august. that proposal has not yet been approved by the french parliament. to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. that is the question facing employers across the country as they weigh whether to require workers to be vaccinated. banner health, a non-profit health service and the largest employer in the state of arizona just announced that it will do just that. employees now have until november 1st to get vaccinated against covid-19 or they could be terminated. joining me right now, chief clinical officer, dr. marjorie
besel. so good to see you. >> thank you for having us here this morning. >> what is the reception like among the employees about whether they like this idea or not? >> so we announced this on tuesday to our leaders and then subsequently after that to the rest of our organization and have gotten a lot of responses to that announcement and the vast majority of those responses have been positive. just as a reminder, as health care workers, we often have to get vaccinated for other types of highly infectious diseases to protect our patients. so banner health has been mandating influenza vaccine for almost eight years now and also, measles, mumps and rubella. keep the patients safe. >> you feel the company is transparent around that. let employees know that they have to be vaccinated and you give them the list among them in
order to be an employee there, but since this is new, this virus is fairly new and the vaccine is new, meaning seven months that it's been available to people, are you hearing from any employees that they feel like their privacy, right to privacy is in any way being violated, that hipaa laws are being challenged by having to reveal to its employer whether it's had the covid vaccine or not? >> with anything that we do like this to protect the safety of our patients, we will get some individuals who will have concerns like you highlighted. our intent has been to make sure that we're a very safe organization to protect our patients and team members. this is in alignment with other activities we spoke about that we've done previously. in addition to what we announced on tuesday, the deadline for this will be november 1st and this gives us lots of time to
continue to have ongoing conver conversations, team members, addressing concerns and plenty of time to become compliant and make sure we're there for them. our intent is to keep all of our team members with us because we need each and every one of them. as you know, arizona has been a hot spot for covid twice during this pandemic already and our team members working on the front lines and those supporting them have done a tremendous amount of work to keep our communities as safe as possible. and this is another step of making sure that we're there to serve our communities. >> because you are a health service, a health-related company, do you feel like you have an upper hand, so to speak, over other employers, that you're able to impose these kinds of restrictions on your employees because it's in step with the service that you provide or do you feel like other companies should be able to easily embrace this method just like you are?
>> covid is an incredibly infectious disease and delta variant predominant in the united states, the transmissibility of that has only gone up. in health care, yes, we have different criteria that we apply to make sure that we are safe as possible. as a work environment. so that we don't pass on these potential diseases to those patients who can be really vulnerable. as you can imagine, we take care of patients incredibly vulnerable. think of the patients that are immunocompromised and out of surgeries. those individuals cannot afford to get one more thing added on to what they are already fighting to be healthy. >> will there be exceptions for those who might be in the same
category or immunocompromised or are there exceptions for them so there be continue to be employees there? >> our intent is to maintain and keep every single one of our team members in our organization and similar to what we've done with influenza vaccination, which we made mandatory, there are exceptions for medical reasons. some of them, we have spoken about and we have religious exemption as well. very similar to what we've done with influenza and beginning to put that process into place and we'll be communicating that to all of our team members in plenty of time so everybody can come into compliance by our november 1st deadline. >> thank you so much for sharing with us your plan at your workplace. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring.
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more states of emergency declared throughout california and nevada as dozens of wildfires continue to burn across the western united states. video from nevada shows a crew of firefighters driving through the flames as the tamarac fire burns out of control. lucy cavanaugh is there. have firefighters managed to get more control of that blaze? >> reporter: still 4% contained. since we last spoke it was 58,000 acres that were on fire. it is now over 59,000 acres on fire. you can see the impact all around me. you are looking at the city of
reno. you are supposed to see mountains in the distance but smoke and thick fog and haze blanketing the air here. this fire and several others prompted california governor newsom to issue a state of emergency. the bootleg fire is more than 401,000 acres burning and we were with crews on the front lines on that blaze. take a listen to how one described the challenges of fighting this fire. >> the fire itself is faster than the firefighters can get control over it. the winds and the trees and the brush that's so dry burns at a rate faster than we can keep up with it. no matter how many people we throw at it. it outpaced us for several days. >> reporter: and that's the challenge across the west. the drought conditions prompting
the fires to start earlier than ever. fred? >> cannot be overstated. all the best to them and you be safe, as well. appreciate it. back to school shopping. yeah. that's always a nightmare but this year a school supply shortage could make it worse. details next.me bui lding and mo. that's our promise to you. that's career services for life. learn more at phoenix.edu. people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ ♪ my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar in all 3 of these ways... increases insulin when you need it... decreases sugar... and slows food. the majority of people taking
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all right. many of us are enduring it. rising prices on everything from food to gas due to supply chain issues and shortages and now another shortage is looming. school supplies. it could not come at a worse time with many kids heading back to class. here now is cnn's tom foreman. >> reporter: it's july. august is still a week away so this is going to hit parents hard. in terms of school shopping you may already be running late. here's a list of items which analysts say will likely be hard to come by before all the kids go back to the classes. backpacks, stationary meaning note pads, index cards. sports equipment. laptops, tablets. everything that everybody wants. why such short supply? pent-up demand after a year at home and a problem in the supply chain. shipments have been slowed down by lack of labor to make and
move the goods and those shortages are driving up cost. national retail federation said school spending should hit a record $71 billion and if you look at year to year spending the average family of a kid in elementary school to high school spend $850 on supplies. back to college spending up, too. don't wait for sales. there's no reason to think that the demand is going to shrink or supply is going to grow. there's very few triggers out there for big back to school sales. parents are caught in a vice here. the federation found that the vast majority of k-12 shoppers waiting on lists of school supplies as of earlier this month and only 18 pistons have completed the back to school shopping. this is a mad dash in the making so what are you doing this weekend? if you're a parent the answer should be simple. you're out doing school supply shopping so you' not picking
from the discards in a few weeks. >> i'm in trouble. i better do that this weekend. tom, thank you. our thanks to you for joining me today. cnn "newsroom" with jim acosta begins now. you are live in the cnn "newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. the big lie is about to get larger. donald trump is going to arizona. while a team of volunteers spent weeks scouring ballots for proof they were shipped in they were from overseas here's a news flash that trump did not spend a single dollar from the $75 million raised from the pac for this audit or another ballot