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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 28, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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time. >> matthew dowd, always a pleasure. thank you, sir. >> thanks. 17 republicans supporting president biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. plus, the pandemic of the unvaccinated is surging with hot spots all around the country. companies mandating covid vaccines. one saying employees will be fired if they're not vaccinated by labor day. and elizabeth warren joins me. the final vote, 67-32, it's not easy to get 67 votes for anything. but you don't think this bill goes far enough. why is that? >> look, this is only a sliver
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of the infrastructure that we need. it's a part that some folks wanted to make sure was bipartisan. that's fine, long negotiations over that. but we still need a lot more. we need child care. people want to go to work, you need roads and bridges. parents also need child care. we need home and community based care. we need to make sure that we're fighting back against the climate crisis that is bearing down upon us. we want to do an infrastructure package, it has to have that in it. it's time to expand medicare. all these pieces will be wrapped together, and they're really one big package. >> we're distanced. you walked in with this. i have mine, i've been wearing my mask as well. i want to talk to you about covid. are you frustrated that it appears americans are sliding backward despite the vaccine being available? >> of course i'm frustrated. what we would have done a year ago to say there was a vaccine
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that could protect people, that had nearly 100% effectiveness to keep people from being hospitalized or from dying, goodness. and we develop, we work hard, we get the vaccine out there. for a while, people are clamoring for it. and now we're caught in this period where there are people who are not just vaccine hesitant, but all the way to vaccine resistant. and i -- this isn't about politics. this is about our health, keeping our children safe, keeping people who are immune compromised safe. >> taking up room in hospitals around the country. >> it's not a time to get sick. >> expensive medical bills. >> exactly right. all of that when it is preventable. the line that hit me the hardest was from a doc last week who said that virtually every
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hospitalization from covid now, and virtually every death is a preventable hospitalization, a preventable death. that means we need to do better, and we need to do better for all of us. >> what did you think of the gripping testimony from the officers yesterday? >> it was a very sober reminder of how close we came to losing our democracy. >> what about the shifting of the blame, and some republicans saying i didn't have time to watch it, i was busy. meetings. >> this is just one more version of what the republicans spent four years perfecting. every time donald trump said something outrageous, every time he did something that was just amazingly racist or ignorant, the answer was, oh, i didn't hear that, didn't see that. all the lines have been perfected. now they're used in order to
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turn away from evidence of an armed insurrection that resulted in death, that put other lives at risk, and that put our entire democracy at risk. these people have no shame. >> speaking of our democracy, you've called for the end of the filibuster. this is what the president told me. >> if it's a relic of jim crow, it's been used to fight against civil rights legislation, why protect it? >> there's no reason, other than you're going to throw the entire congress into chaos and nothing will get done. and there's a lot at stake. the most important one is to right to vote. >> so how do you convince the president and other moderate democrats who are not willing to kill or carve out, you know, the filibuster in order to protect voting rights? >> voting is the beating heart of our democracy. we lose access to the ballot
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box, we lose everything that democracy is built on. we cannot privilege a rule of the senate that our founder fathers specifically rejected. do remember that the founders debated the question of when to require a super majority. and they finally decided, well, if you're going to impeach a president, you probably ought to have one. if you are going to pass a treaty that overrules the president, you need a super majority. right now, the filibuster has given mitch mcconnell a veto over virtually everything we want to do. that cannot be put ahead of the urgency of protecting access to the vote, getting rid of gerrymandering, and beating back
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the influence of dark money. we have a bill that just about every democrat signed off on. now we need to finish up that bill, and say, as a party, but also as patriots, this is how we protect our democracy. we have got to set the filibuster aside and go forward on voting rights. >> something else. you, along with senator chuck schumer, you were calling on the president to cancel student loan debt. listen to this, from nancy pelosi. >> people think that the president of the united states has the power for debt forgiveness. he does not. he can postpone, delay, but he does not have that power. that has to be an act of congress. suppose your family was not -- your child just decided they wanted at this time not to go to college. but you're paying taxes to forgive somebody else's
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obligations, you may not be happy about that. >> what do you say to that? >> look, the president does have the power to cancel student loan debt. you know how i know that? because president obama did it, president trump did it, and president biden already did it. president obama did it for several million people. president trump did it when he said for millions of people, i forgive your interest, and you can suspend payments. and president biden has done both of those things. so presidents have the power, they have used the power. i just want to see him use that power to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. and i'll tell you why. it's because of the people who need that debt canceled. 40% of them don't have a college diploma. they tried, but life caught up with them. they had babies, someone got sick, they were working three jobs. now they're earning what a high
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school grad earns but they're paying on college loans. it is an economic justice issue. it's also a racial justice issue. african-americans borrow more money to go to school, more money while they're in school, and have a harder time paying it off when they get out of school. cancelling $50,000 of student loan debt would help close the black/white wealth gap by 25 points. for latinos, by 27 points. this is the single act that the president could take to help close that wealth gap, to help close that economic inequality gap, and to help our economy. to get people back into starting their own businesses, buying homes, being productive members and part of our economy. >> senator elizabeth warren, good to see you in person. thank you so much.
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let's hope this continues. >> you bet. and let's cancel that student loan debt. >> thank you very much. and after weeks of wrangling, president biden got the support he wanted for his infrastructure plan. but some members of his party have concerns. mr. john harwood is here. good to see you. >> welcome to d.c. >> thank you very much. good to be here. looks like congress is inching closer and closer to an actual infrastructure deal. there is still a lot that needs to be done. but is the president's bipartisan approach working, at least with this? >> looks like it is. it's a single issue kind of working. it's -- there's a reason that he picked infrastructure as his top priority for a bipartisan push. roads, bridges, the energy grid, broadband, all those things are popular. they're difficult for a party to roadblock opposition to, the republican party. and some members of the
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opposition party want credit for some of those things. 17 republicans voted tonight, that's a positive step. a long way to go. but it was a major advance for the president. >> i'm glad you said that. 17 republicans, a long way to go. even mitch mcconnell signed on, but it seems precarious. there are so many things that could go wrong. >> a lot of things could do wrong, including it could pass the senate, the house could want to change it, you could have republicans rejecting any changes coming from the house and seeing those as a ticket to pushing through the much costlier bill that democrats want to pass with their votes alone. but there's also a lot that could go right. this was a linchpin for getting unity in the democratic caucus. there are some democrats who said we need, before we go with the democrats only plan, we need to see progress with republicans. if it works the way biden
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envisions, he's not only going to get this plan, he's going to get a very large bill, the second part, that will make life-changing investments for millions and millions of people. child tax credits. it may get trimmed down, but if they can hold those 50 democrats together on that bill, they're going to make a difference for a lot of poor and working class people. health care subsidies, rental assistance, educational advances, preschool, community college, a lot of things that democrats have wanted for many, many years. >> it's good to see you in person, john. thank you very much. i appreciate it. covid cases are up in hot spots all around the country. and the people who won't follow the rules are ruining it for the rest of us. will covid be with us ind indefinitely, is the question.
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>> the pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. please, please, please, please, if you're not vaccinated, protect yourself and the children out there. it's everything flowing through it. and it's more distributed than ever. one company takes you inside. giving you visibility and insight...to take action. one company... securely connects it all... on any platform, in any environment. between your cloud and being cloud-smart, there's a bridge. cisco. the bridge to possible. ♪ rock the boat don't rock the boat, baby ♪ ♪ rock the boat don't tip the boat over ♪ here we go. ♪ rock the boat don't rock the boat, baby ♪ ♪ rock the boat ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. it's time to rock the boat, america.
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formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced amd progression. i have amd. it is my vision so my plan includes preservision. today, the nation's top health officials saying it again and again, the delta variant is running rampant because of the unvaccinated. >> people not getting vaccinated not only is a bad thing for them, it could actually interfere in a negative way with the rest of the country by generating variants that would elude the vaccines. >> this is a situation that is
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created by more and more trance m mission of the delta variant. >> and data that shows why cases among the vaccinated are growing. john barry joins us, thank you for being with us. the u.s. around 60,000 cases a day, compared to 11,000 a month ago. delta is around three times more transmissible. how worried are you about a variant evolving that could completely bypass existing vaccines? >> i am worried. i think, you know, all the five pandemics going back to 1889
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that we know anything about in detail, the virus enters the human population, it's a new virus. it adapts to humans. initially, it becomes better at transmissibility, which has happened. and in past pandemics, the viruses have tended to become more dangerous as well. which, the data is not crystal clear yet, but it looks like they're at least somewhat more dangerous. we're not done yet. there will be more variants, and whether they get worse, or whether delta is the worst case, we don't know. i do think that we have already seen tendencies of the various variants to at least marginally escape the ability of the vaccines and for natural immunity, they demonstrated at least some ability to escape.
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i think over a period of time, it's very reasonable to expect them to improve on that ability to escape. that does not mean that we cannot keep pace with them. with adjusting vaccines. >> so how would we deal, then, with the nightmare, that nightmare scenario? there is plenty of resistance to basic masking around the country, let alone lockdowns. how do we deal with that? >> well, i think reality hits you in the face sometimes. i think, you know, the vaccine uptake, it has increased as people recognize the reality that 97%, whatever the precise number in a particular area of the people in hospitals who are dying are not vaccinated. that is starting to take hold.
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that's number one. i think people will probably, the vaccine resistance, we'll make some inroads there. and the other thing is, the scientific community will be able to keep pace. you know, the influenza vaccine, even when it drops below 50% effectiveness in preventing illness, it's still well over 80% effective in preventing somebody getting admitted to an intensive care unit. it's still pretty good. right now, the covid vaccines are much higher than that. we have a long way to go, and we can adjust the vaccines in the future. >> there is increasing discussion, john, over when covid might transition from a pandemic to an epidemic disease. endemic, excuse me, disease. one that may be less common, but remains circulating
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indefinitely. tell me more about the difference, and what that would mean for us. >> well, as people's immune systems and as vaccines are able to respond better to the virus, you know, you adjust. that's -- the 1889 pandemic, which was long thought to have been influenza, there's speculation now that it was actually a coronavirus. and that virus that they think now may have caused the 1889 pandemic, which was fairly nasty, that now causes the common cold. the virus that becomes at home in the human body and our immune systems adjust, and we end up with an endemic disease that can cause serious illness and death. but it wouldn't be like what we're facing now. >> john barry, thank you, sir. >> thank you.
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new york democratic mayoral nominee eric adams, hearing leaders asking how to approach policing. i'll ask what advice he's giving them. that's next. and me...the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. philadelphia. schmear perfection. [swords clashing] - had enough? - no... arthritis. here. new aspercreme arthritis.
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powerful testimony about the january 6th insurrection. i spoke to officer dunn about what he went through. >> i'm so thankful i didn't get my ass whooped, but you know who did? so many of my guys. i'm sorry i can't put a band aid on my emotions or my brain, my mindset. i can't put a band aid on it. all i have are my words. >> joining me now to discuss, the democratic nominee for new york city mayor, eric adams. thank you for joining me. you're a former police captain. what was your reaction to hearing the testimony yesterday and what officer dunn said tonight? >> it's very powerful. and there are so many different aspects of what happened there.
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and you have to ask yourself, don, where are all the pro-police individuals on the conservative arm of politics in the city? where are they? how come they're not outraged about what happened to these officers? i met some of them today, and talked to them, and heard about how frightening it was. they didn't discharge their weapons. they were really in a dangerous situation. and many of them, the officers of color, they had racial slurs hurled at them. it was really despicable. we need all those who state they're pro-police, they should be speaking up right now about what happened. >> you have made public safety the cornerstone of your campaign. if not your career. because you're a former police officer. and now, leaders of the democratic party, including the president and speaker of the house, have reached out to you for how to approach policing
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issues. what are you advising them? >> it's a unique moment. and sometimes the inter interseinters intersectionality of our lives brings us together. we don't have to surrender justice for the public safety we need. i've said over and over, we need public safety, our economic recovery, how we're going to handle the future of our children. and i'm really pleased at what the democratic party is doing, and what the president is doing. he's finally saying, america, we need to take a holistic approach to stopping the feeders of crime, and deal with some of the imminent threats we have. go after the illegal flow of guns in our city. you do it by having a federal, state, and city, a tristate
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relationship of information sharing, and zero in on the illegal gun dealers. >> the new york post reported comments that you made, saying you're running against a movement, against democratic socialists of america. are you trying to steer your party in a certain direction, away from democrats like alexandria ocasio-cortez? >> well, alexandria ocasio-cortez is not running for mayor. and the post made it appear as though my comments were towards her. no, i'm still comampaigning. i have to win an election in november. my comments are for those candidates in the race. we have different beliefs. i don't support disbanding police departments. i don't support many of their concepts. so i'm talking about the concept
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of the socialists that are trying to take us away from our way of life. it's not the individual. now, we all want the same thing. i'm proud of the life of many of those individuals that want better schools, health care, affordable housing, to rebuild our economy. we just have different ways of doing that. it's my job as the mayoral candidate to point out how different i am from those who are running against me. >> it's a pleasure to have you on, eric adams. i hope you come back so we can continue these discussions. thank you so much, okay? >> thank you. take care. >> thank you. simone biles, speaking out tonight. tweeting, the outpouring, love, and support i've received has made me realize i'm more than my accompl accomplishments, and gymnastics, which i never truly believed
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u.s. gymnastics superstar simone biles, withdrawing from another event at the olympics. she stepped away from the team competition yesterday, citing mental health concerns, as she attempts to protect her body and
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mind. she may still participate in next week's finals. here to discuss, dominique dawes, i remember the 1996 olympics well. good evening, thank you for joining us. good to see you. >> thank you for having me on. i appreciate it. >> listen, no doubt you can relate to the intense pressure that simone biles was facing or is facing. she was billed as the g.o.a.t. this year. give me your reaction to her withdrawing from the olympic ga games. >> it's unreal, the amount of pressure she's facing. in the lead up to the '96 games, i had a breakdown, i knelt down and prayed with a teammate, got back up. and felt a little sense of relief. but the pressure was still there. there were nearly 50,000 people in the georgia dome and billions of people watching. just think, the whole world is
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watching simone biles, no one is there to help, there's no family or friends in the stands. it's a lot for this young 24-year-old, and let's not forget about how outspoken she's been about how the culture of gymnastics needs to change. she's the only survivor of the larry nassar scandal left on the floor. >> it's even beyond that. what she has to do, if she messes up, it can cause serious injury. it's easy for people to understand a physical injury. but she has a mental block happening, it's a called the twisties. can you tell us what that's like, and what she's been going through? >> i experienced the twisties, i never knew it had a name until now. in the '90s, we called it
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bulking, you would lose a little bit of spatial awareness, get lost in the air, it's very scary. i went through it quite a bit throughout my career. many times leading up to a competition, even in the warmup or touch, you can lose that sense of awareness. it sounds like that is what happened at the team finals. she did a 1 1/2 vault instead of a 2 1/2 vault, and it freaked her out. she listened to her inner voice, and did what was best for simone, backed out, and protected herself mentally as well as from any physical injuries. >> i mentioned that you were a part of the magnificent seven in 1996. kerri strug was on your team. she broke her ankle, got back
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up, and won a second attempt before collapsing in pain. some people are comparing her and biles, but these are two different situations. am i wrong? >> i don't think they're as different as you're thinking they are. earlier, i brought up the correlation between the two. the iconic moment 25 years ago, when we won a gold medal at the 1 1996 games. and kerri was so courageous to go for a second vault. she was risking her physical and emotional health. it affects someone for the rest of their lives. simone was thinking about her mental and physical health, is a and she didn't want to take the risk. she made the best decision for simone. back in the '90s, we couldn't hear our inner voice. the sport was filled with control, fear, intimidation, and
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silence. kerri did what she had no choice to do. simone said, this is too much of a risk. i don't want to harm myself physically or mentally, and she didn't want to jeopardize team usa's chances of getting on the podium. she's so courageous, and it's a humbling move she made. >> she's getting a lot of criticism. she's 24, she's a black woman, has the world on her shoulders. naomi osaka, also heavily criticized after losing in the third round. she's talked about her battle with anxiety and depression. you know what the spotlight is like. you were the first african-american gymnast to win a gold medal. can you talk about that? >> think about the criticism and who the individuals are, who are
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criticizing these amazing athletes, the g.o.a.t., naomi osaka, even michael felphelps. the people criticizing them can't even do a tenth of what they can do. i hope they let it go in one ear, and out the other. you don't want to judge someone until you've walked a day in their shoes. and no one has walked in their shoes. >> dominique, it's so good to see you. you look great. you still have that million-watt smile we remember from 1996. thank you so much. >> thank you, don, i appreciate it. so the right is attacking simone biles. one conservative activist who has probably never tried flipping in the air multiple times calls her a selfish sociopath. and the same crowd is going after the police officers who
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testified yesterday on capitol hill. so much for patriotism and backing the blue. we'll talk about that, next. ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. applebee's and a movie, now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. 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 rybelsus® lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7. people taking rybelsus® lost up to 8 pounds. rybelsus® isn't for peopl with type 1 diabetes. don't take rybelsus® if you or your family ever had medullary thyroid cancer,
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ask your doctor about eliquis. right-wing pundits are attacking simone biles after she withdrew. here's charlie kirk. >> we're raising a generation of weak people, like simone biles.
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if she has all these mental health problems, don't show up. she's an incredible athlete, of course. i'm not saying -- i just said, she's probably the greatest gymnast of all time. she's also selfish, immature, and a shame to the country. she's totally a sociopath. >> who is charlie kirk, anyway? let's see him try to twist and twirl eight feet in the air like simone biles. here's how fox propaganda hosts went after officers who testified yesterday about their experiences defending our capitol on january 6th. >> the award goes to capitol
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police officer harry dunn. for best performance in an action role, michael fanone. >> i've been left with the psychological trauma and emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. >> joining me now, phillip buffer, and natasha alford. natasha, the audacity, really. that's all i need to say. the audacity of these people sitting on their butts, bashing olympic athletes and hero police officers while they spout off about patriotism and backing the blue. what is happening here? >> i know, don. i said the same thing. the thought that went through my mind was, they could never. right? it's so easy for them to, you know, sit behind their twitter feeds or sit on their laptop and
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to talk about champions. but i'm really interested in this attack, this obsession that right-wing media has with black athletes in particular. black public i am thinking of meghan markle with her mental-health concerns. i am thinking of lebron james when he talked about social-justice issues. and i think this actually goes back even further. think of tommy smith and john carlos, you know, with the black power fist at the olympics. and so, it's something about black individuals, in particular, i think, when they speak up for themselves, that the -- the right-wing pundits, they hate it. there is an audacity that -- that they feel that these black figures have, that they shouldn't be so confident. you noticed that they try to take down their talent. and it speaks to their insecurity. and it, also, speaks to their fear of what these figures, the power that they have, to actually shift the culture.
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>> yeah. well, it plays well, among the party of the insurrectionists. right? so, i think, that's -- there's your answer, right there. it's what the audience and their party wants. phil, you -- you have a new piece that's titled, um, to many on the right, perceived toughness outweighs patriotism. and you write, in part, you said the through line to all of this is the idea that american heroes are necessarily stoic and suffering, demonstrating the sort of rigid masculinity that the insecure demand of their children. olympians and other athletes are supposed to shut up and let us enjoy their accomplishments and fame. members of law enforcement and military are supposed to keep the bad guys in line, and be tough, while doing it. the only emotions they are allowed to show are anger or triumph. why is this perceived toughness so appealing to the right? is it because it's just performative? >> i mean, it certainly is the case that a lot of it is performative. but i mean, i think it's important to -- to remember that
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an undercurrent of the entire-trump era has been this performative, has been this sort of machismo that donald trump at least portrayed verbally. taking a hard line with immigrants and so on and so forth. this is very much a part of tr trumpism. this idea that all these tough guys were tough, and they were hanging out with donald trump who is so tough. like, this was what it was about. and so, we see, absolutely, it's the case that if the simone biles were a white man who is playing in the nfl, the reaction would have been different. and absolutely, it's the case that the police officers who are white are treated differently than the police officers who are not. but it is, nonetheless, also the case that, because these individuals are demonstrating something, other than this sort of john wayne esque sort of toughness, they are necessarily cast as part of the opposition by this right wing that sees toughness as the paramount virtue that people can demonstrate. >> yeah, and they realize, i
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think, the -- probably, the most important thing you said was john wayne esque toughness. he was an actor. wasn't a real cowboy. he was an actor. natasha, listen, of course, there is no recognition that, when you are twisting and turning, eight feet in the air likes simone biles, one wrong move and you could be crippled. is this about targeting her because she is a prominent-black athlete? because i mean, that seems like a straight out of the -- as i said, it plays well in the insurrectionists' party. and in their playbook. >> oh, yeah. i mean, they would love the idea of simone biles not being as black and excellent as she is. but they can't. they can't take away her excellence. and so, they seize this moment, in which she's actually being a leader. where she is setting an example for the culture of what it means to take care of yourself. they are trying to seize this moment, and turn it into weakness. but i have to tell you, don, for -- for black women, in particular, so many of us not
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only do we have her back but we felt seen, in this moment. whether we are talking about politics or sports, you know, we're often praised for sucking it up. and, you know, putting democracy on our back, and -- and being leaders. and so many black women are -- are saying that we have to take care of ourselves, too. even if that means stepping back. and it was the great writer who said, if you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it. and simone biles refused to be silent. she spoke up about her pain and she freed a lot of people, in the process. >> yeah. listen, phillip, people -- like the people i mentioned, charlie kirk and others, they know this kind of messaging sells. otherwise, they just wouldn't do it. >> yeah. no. that's true. i mean, i think that there are a lot of these people, too, who very much feel as though they need to demonstrate how tough they are. that there is, actually, some insecurity to this. i think charlie kirk feels as though he needs to present himself, as being a very tough
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person. you know, he -- he did this ad where he is like selling pain relievers. and to old people, right? i mean, he's -- he is like trying to present himself as something that is part of this -- this -- this sense of machismo and so on and so forth. look. charlie kirk. at the end of the day, united states will earn a different color medal than it would have, otherwise, had simone biles been performing. charlie kirk, i am confident, cares very little about the olympics beyond this two weeks or the two weeks that is going to be coming up in four years. all of this is about using a moment, once again, to try and score points in this never-ending cultural fight. and that people who suffer, as a result of it, are people like simone biles and those police officers on capitol hill. >> yeah. you talk shit about your fellow americans but, you know, whatever. i'm not going to go there. thank you, both. have a good night. and thank you for watching. our coverage continues.
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good evening. there is no shortage of important, covid news tonight. there is also more than a hint of whiplash from all of it. people are understandably frustrated at the rise of the delta variant, which is now pushed the seven-day running average of new cases above the 60,000-per-day mark and it could get worse. just the other night on this program, dr. thomas friedman, former cdc director, warned cases could hit 200,000 a day in the next several weeks if we follow a similar trajectory as the united kingdom. the spike has prompted the federal government to begin reimposing mask mandates and more big companies to mandate vaccinations for their workers. google, netflix,

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