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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 29, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! breaking news, cnn confirming an internal cdc document that warns, quote, the war has changed. the document saying the delta variant may cause more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox. and it warns trust in the vaccine could be undermined by breakthrough cases. it's coming out just hours after president joe biden announced all federal employees need to be vaccinated or submit to regular covid testing. plus, republicans on defense, trying to explain where they were, who they spoke to and why they were wearing body armor on january 6th as the select committee prepares to interview
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key witnesses. the fair of uc san francisco's department of medicine is here and he's seen -- has seen the cdc document. doctor, i appreciate you joining us. you got a very early look at this internal cdc presentation warning this delta infections are likely more severe. you walked away from it significantly more concerned. tell me why, please. >> yeah, don. everything is a little bit worse than i had understood before i read the document, when "the washington post" shared it with me about six hours ago. a few things are things that we understood, the vaccine efficacy is down a little bit, more like 80%. that we kind of knew. but the data seems to show that the virus is what they call more infectious than chickenpox with
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an r0 of five to eight. there's some evidence in the document, the severity of delta is higher, that's been a debated point. at least according to this, the cdc believes that is true. what we learned a couple days ago was also in the document that the viral load of people -- who have been vaccinated and have a breakthrough infection seems to be as high as in people who have nonvaccine related infections and probably means they are infectious. and so every part of it was a little bit worse than i thought when i came to began reading it. >> talk to me about this r0 number in laymen's terms? can they infect -- how many other people can they infect? >> the r0 is a epidemiological term and says on average how many people will an infected person infect. that number can be modified, of course, if everybody is wearing masks or keep distance, all the
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things we've learned to do in the past 18 months. this is in the natural state. and the r0 of the original virus, the one we dealt with in 2020, was somewhere in the two to three range. and it looks like from this cdc data the r0 of this virus is more in the five to nine at least on one graph that they showed. and so we've been going around with the -- kind of the supposition that it's twice as infectious as the original virus. this would say it's a little bit more than that. on the graph that they show, they compare it to chickenpox. if you remember chickenpox was sort of the -- what we have in mind as this incredibly infectious virus. it's actually by some estimates more infectious than chickenpox. more infectious than we thought the average case of delta may infect more people and we know that -- leat least according to this, that the severity of cases
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may be higher. >> we need to say that people must realize that getting the vaccine is even more essential because it will keep you from dying. how do we get -- please, can you -- how do we get that through to people, doctor? >> the vaccine is essential, but i read the document and maybe even more convinced that we have to go back to universal masking because we have to get the vaccine rate up. but this thing is so infectious that even in san francisco where i live, where we have 70 to 75% of the population fully vaccinated, about 20%, 25% higher than the national average, we're seeing a surge right now. we're at a rate of vaccines that we would not have seen a surge with the old virus. but this virus is better at its job. we have to get people vaccinated and all of the things we've heard in the last couple of days, incentives, mandates, disincentives for not getting it, needing to get swabs, frequently if you don't get it, that's important. we have to get more people
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vaccinated because this virus is better at its job than the original. but it's going to take a while to do that even if we're successful. until then, we have to go back to more universal masking or else this thing is going to spread like wild fire. >> if you can talk more about that, i think that people are sensing my frustration, that, you know, everyone says, well, you have your freedom and maybe you should do this or that. we can't do that anymore. we're not -- we're no longer in that place, doctor. >> yes, i'm with you, don. i -- you know, people have the freedom to play around with their own health, i guess. it's not a good decision. but if it was just your health, it's one thing. but the decisions that the unvaccinated are making in the face of this virus, which we now know is much more infectious and more severe and, you know -- and the vaccines work incredibly well, but there's some evidence in the cdc documents that they work a little bit less well with older people and with
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immunocompromised people. if you're not vaccinated, you are not only putting yourself at risk, you're putting everybody around you, unvaccinated people, people who are immune k suppressed, older folks. the immunity that you get from a prior infection begins to wane after six months. people who say, i'm not getting vaccinated because i had covid last september, they're putting people at risk. it's time to get more serious and more preskiptive about this than we've been. >> i would love for you to come back and continue to speak with us. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. just about -- the people i've loved the longest and most in this world, besides my finfiance are in baton rouge, louisiana. that's why i'm intense about this tonight. i've seen the cdc document that cnn has confirmed.
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i'm speaking to my family there and i'm seeing what's happening. my hometown of baton rouge. one hospital has more patients right now than at any other point in this pandemic. here's miguel marquez. >> amy struggles to breathe. >> what does it feel like to have covid? >> exhausting. extremely frustrating. tiring. and the fact that i am here now, i am furious with myself. >> why? >> because i was not vaccinated. >> reporter: not antivaccine. she said she just didn't get around to it. the 44-year-old is one of dozens of covid-19 patients in baton rouge's regional medical center. her oxygen low. her doctor says she might need a
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ventilator. >> i just don't want anyone else winding up like me, especially when the vaccine is so easy to get now. >> reporter: not only is it enormously infectious -- >> the delta variant is far more contagious. but that viral load doesn't mean i'm going to spread it to more people. it means when i inhale somebody else's breath, i'm getting a massive amount of virus. >> it's spreading everywhere, in cities and rural areas. >> there's nowhere safe. if you're interacting in this community, you should be vaccinated and you should have a mask on. we're inundated with covid. >> ronny smith, 47, says he thinks he got it from a friend outdoors. outdoors at a barbecue. he was planning to get the vaccine when covid-19 got him. >> about two days after the event, it just, like -- i went down on the floor and i couldn't
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get up. >> nurses here say they've watched the number of critically ill patients grow rapidly, some anti-vaccination patients still in denial covid-19 is real. >> some people insist that we're lying to them about their covid positive diagnosis. >> even sick people. >> even sick people. >> who need oxygen, who might be on their way to death are still denying they have covid. >> yes, i have patients that deny that they have covid all the way up to intubation. >> what do they think they have? >> they think they have a cold. >> she has a kidney condition. she thinks she picked up the coronavirus while in a screened in porch across the room from someone else who had it. >> what does that tell you about how easy it is to pick this variant up. >> it kind of sucks. people like myself, you can't go anywhere now because just everybody is getting sick and it doesn't matter what you do.
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>> lori douglas has been in nursing for 35 years. the last year, her hardest. frustration can sickness, death and the unvaccinated at a boiling point. >> sometimes praying isn't enough and yell at jesus if i need to. it's headshaking, teeth grinding, wanting to scream from the hill tops frustrating. >> reporter: a couple of things to consider. health officials say while there are a lot of people who are not going to get the vaccine under any circumstances, there's a broad swath of them that are persuadable and that people who love them and know them should just keep working on them. the other thing is, where are they on this current surge, how much farther do they have to go? the hospitals we've spoken to, they're not sure. they are dealing with the every day so much. but other hospitals in the region have crunched the numbers and are looking at that surge
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and looking at late september before they reach that crest. late september. just in time for the fall and winter and then a whole other surge. don? >> thank you, sir. get vaccinated, people. wear your masks. seriously. now we turn to the select committee on the january 6th attack on the capitol. it's meeting in just hours. nancy pelosi's office. they're getting ready to subpoena key witnesses as some republican are trying to rewrite history, the history of what they were doing that date. here's sunlen serfaty. >> reporter: six months after the insurrection, as the january 6th committee is readying subpoenas, many top republicans on capitol hill are under pressure about what they knew that day and who they talked to at the white house. >> did you talk to the former
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president that day? >> i've talked to the former president umpteen times -- >> i mean on january 6th? >> yes. i talked to the president -- i've talked to the president -- i can't remember all the days i've talked to him. >> congressman jim jordan attempting some verbal gymnastics this week about his phone call with president trump on january 6th. >> on january 6th, did you speak with him before, during or after the capitol was attacked? >> i would have -- i spoke with him that day after, i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i would have to go back -- i don't know that -- when those conversations happened. >> raising eyebrows on the committee. >> sounds like he's got something to hide and he's trying to threaten people so he won't be called. >> reporter: as many republicans are continuing to defend their own narrative of what happened that day, congressman mo brooks
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defending his decision to wear body armor to the rally near the white house before the riots. quote, the only threats i was aware of that day were blm and antifa. i had no information of any threats by anybody but from socialists generally antifa and blm in particular. it's all part of an ongoing attempt to rewrite the history of what transpired that day when top leaders expressed shock and stated just where the responsibility lay. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. >> reporter: in the aftermath of the riots, many republicans showed outrage. >> what happened at the capitol on january 6th was as long as wrong can be. it's not what america's about and we condemn this violence -- >> reporter: and some resolve for accountability and truth. >> and the president's action deserves congressional action which is why i think a fact-finding commission would be prudent. >> reporter: but now many of those same republicans are
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trying to shift blame. >> why wasn't there a proper security presence that day? frankly, only the speaker can answer that question. let's see if the democrats bring that up. >> we think it's too important that those two questions, why were we ill prepared? >> the january 6th committee is making it clear, subpoenas are coming and coming soon, likely to hit many republicans on capitol hill. >> doing whatever is required to get to the truth. >> as they piece together every minute of the timeline before -- >> all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. >> reporter: during and after the insurrection. >> this has all the fingerprints of an antifa operation. >> reporter: every meeting and phone call made in and out of the white house as the riots unfolded will be unscrutiny. sunlen serfaty, cnn, washington. >> thank you so much for that. subpoena for some of the gop congressmen could be coming in a hurry.
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republican congressman kevin mccarthy, jim jordan, and mo brooks all on defense today, spinning their view of january 6th as the select committee in charge of investigating exactly what went down in the capitol attack gets ready to subpoena key witnesses. former republican congressman charlie dent joins us. thank you. good to see you. i'm really worried. i'm really, really worried. there's a lot to be worried about. but, all right, let's truck on here. so when you hear mo brooks, jim
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jordan, kevin mccarthy and you see their defensiveness now over their actions on january 6th, you know these guys, what are they up to? >> i think it's pretty clear they don't want to have to answer questions about what conversations they may have had with the president on january 6th, on or around january 6th. the call that kevin mccarthy had reportedly with the president, as mentioned by jamie herrera beutler, it was almost a shouting match, where the protestors were more concerned about his election than he was. i don't know if he wants to talk about that in a public setting. and i suspect jim jordan might not want to talk about it either. i don't know what mo brooks was thinking that day. but they're -- i think it's fair to find out what the president of the united states' state of mind was on that day, and we can find that out through conversations with the members. >> the house select committee holding the strategy session
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tomorrow morning, they're making it clear they will move on subpoenas and they're going to do it quickly. how do you think your former colleagues will handle being called to testify, maybe even subpoenaed? >> well, i'm curious to see if they put up a fight. ordinarily, what you do, you invite them to testify voluntarily. if they choose not to testify voluntarily, that's when you issue the subpoenas. so usually you don't start with the subpoena, you start with a request. and then we'll see. if they're subpoenaed and they fight that subpoena, that could drag on for a very long time. on the politics of this, if you're a republican member, you don't want these hearings to extend, you know, well into 2022 during the midterms. it might be better to get this out of the way as quickly as possible. dragging it out, means more likely they're going to be testifying in the election cycle. >> when it came to tuesday's hearing, with the four officers,
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too many republicans say they didn't even watch. and you say maybe they didn't watch. but they're paying attention. so what do you mean by that? >> i mean they're paying attention, how couldn't they be paying attention? they're hearing from the men and women who defend them every day and who are trying to keep them safe. that was very powerful, riveting testimony we heard from those officers who talked about what they experienced and they were using terms like terrorists to describe the people who attacked them. so i think these members -- look, it's true. they're busy during the day. they're not always sitting there glued to the television. but they're paying close attention to what's being said because they may be called in front of that same select committee to answer questions. and i think they want -- don, at the end of the day, they have to be very nervous about this. that's why they fought it so hard. everybody -- they all wanted an independent -- most of them wanted an independent commission to find facts.
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but that all changed, i think, when people of this realized think they could be called as witnesses. >> always a pleasure. thank you, charlie dent. i'll see you soon. be safe out there. thank you. >> thank you. so take this, a republican senator is not going along with one of the most outrageous gop attempts to spin what happened at the capitol on january 6th. for many on the right, there's been a huge push to out the u.s. capitol police officer who shot and killed ashli babbitt. they want to make sure her a martyr or, you know -- i don't know, just -- for the big lie. but senator kevin kramer wants nothing to do with that. listen. >> i'm a citizen of the united states. that's why i have the right to know. why don't i have the right to know? why don't you tell me that? >> the person that shot -- i don't know who it is, by the way -- because the person that shot her is a police officer shooting a criminal violating --
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not complying with officers telling her to stop, don't come through that window, we have guns drawn. you don't do it. they're protecting people. and the officer was found to be innocent of any wrongdoing. and so what would be the purpose of releasing that officer's name? i'll look into it and see what the law says about the release of the name. i'm just grateful for the person, quite honestly. >> according to the doj, capitol police officers were evacuating lawmakers from the house chamber as babbitt and others were attempting to break into the speaker's lobby which connects directly to the chamber. several agencies ninvestigated the shooting and the officer was cleared in april. what the senator said is right, facts first, people. up next, president biden meeting with democratic leadership tomorrow trying to see what they can do on voting
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♪ ♪ so new tonight, cnn has
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learned chuck schumer and house speaker nancy pelosi are planning to go to the white house tomorrow to discuss a path forward on voting rights legislation. cnn also reporting that senator joe manchin is involved with the talks to get a bill passed that will protect voting rights and my next guest, the former senator from alabama, wants them to act on the issue and he has a new op-ed in usa today. he says, pass manchin, plus voting protection with or without republicans. okay. go. good evening, sir. thank you. let me read a little bit more of what you wrote, you said the time for lengthy debate has passed, the clearest path for the senate begins with the manchin proposal. i'm encouraged that some senate democrats are discussing an approach that builds on it and could release their ideas this week. provoter policies, such as no excuse voting by mail, uniform voter i.d. standards, extended
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early voting and redistricting, reform that prohibits partisan gerrymandering. what makes you think that senator manchin can get this done? >> because he's working on this with folks. i heard that from other sources and i think the fact that he's working on this, joe manchin wants to get something done. he sees what's going on in america and he wants to get something done. and i think the point of what i was trying to say is not just about with or without republicans. but it's about the fact that what's going on in this country is -- doesn't have anything to do with protecting the integrity of the elections. and i think democrats have not really voiced that message, that they've not really voiced the concern that -- limiting voting hours, limiting voting days, those kind of things. that's not going to protect from voter fraud. but national standards, uniform standards where the same voters in alabama are playing by the same rules as those in wyoming.
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i think that helps builds confidence. >> go with me here, senator jones. let's say no gop senators end up supporting the bill. do you except senator manchin to change his mind about the filibuster. he said just today that's not going to happen. >> and i wish he hadn't have drew a line in the dust that way. but we need to see what the proposals are going to do. remember, hr-1 is a great bill, but it doesn't do some things that have become law in the states since hr-1 was passed, a lot of things on voter subversion. let's see what the proposals have, see if he can get any support from republicans. if he gets any support at all, you'll see some effort to modify the filibuster rule or do something. you don't have to completely get rid of the filibuster to get this passed. i think some rules can be changed. joe manchin has already talked about talking filibusters and
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the fact is if they can get some things that he's comfortable with and other democrats are comfortable with to stop these wildfires that are going on right now, i think there's a good chance we can get this done. >> we shall see and we'll have you back to discuss. thank you very much. doug jones, appreciate it. the gop has a new mantra and it's all about denying racism exist. plus, she said she was aiming for silver, but suni lee is making history.
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january 6th and the big lie revealed just how much the republican party has become the party of racial resentment. so what message is the gop planning to fall back onto win congress back in the midterms. let's discuss, bakari sellers and mark mckennen and the executive producer of the circus. hello. mark, "politico" has this report talking about the new mantra popping up in gop circles, america is not racist. is that message going to work? >> well, don, you know, i hope not. i mean, i hate that that's a message that the republicans are focusing on. a, because i think it's wrong, but b, i think it's wrong
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politically and morally. the big reason joe biden was elected was he addressed racial unrest in this country. by the way, it's real. it's not just some perception. in fact, people in america think that blacks are discriminated by almost twice as much today as they did in 2008, back then 26% of americans thought blacks were discriminated against and other ethic minorities and today that's 58%, 59%. it's more than doubled. it's a reality they have to deal with it. but i tell my democratic friends, think about how you talk about these issues. i remember when we first heard defund police and i called my democratic friends and i said, get on top of this because you got to dig down beneath, what the message they're really selling. is it to say that democrats hate america? and democrats think america is wrong? that's my signal. >> i feel you on that. i have to think about that more. if it's fair to say that there are -- can a place be racist or
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is it the people who make up the place who are -- can be racist. bakari, when you look at the pro-trump mob on january 6th, one of the hero officers called it a white nationalist insurrection. and there was a clear racial component to it. that happened at the u.s. capitol, right? >> yes. don, there are a couple of things. one is that republicans really don't have an agenda to run on. that's first. second, and probably even more importantly, this is something democrats have to really worry about, is that joe biden and the democratic administration have not addressed, as mark may have said, these racial issues. they have not tackled these issues. justice was on the ballot in 2020. but voting rights, the justice in policing act, these things have still not been addressed in a way that -- until that happens, that i think you're going to have a stagnant
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electorate. you add that to the fact that one thing that republicans have are state legislative bodies all across the country and so, therefore, they are gerrymander to all hell which they're doing. i think that republicans have a huge advantage going into 2022 and 2024 when it comes to legislative seats. regardless of the fact that every single day matt gaetz, nancy mace, marjorie taylor greene, they try to find new culture wars every day and they're not being successful at it, but they have the structures of a systemically racist system in place which are gerrymandering and other things that they can fall back on. >> how about these attacks from the right on simone biles. she's the most decorated american gymnast ever, or the fight over confederate monuments, the right power
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hours, stop the steal. how much of this is about trafficking and racism and then denying it exists? >> republicans use racism as a political currency. let's never forget that. i think we go back -- i remember being in studio with jake tapper and donald trump was playing footsie with david duke. he said he didn't know who he was. it was the sunday before the mississippi primary. and the irony of that. republicans didn't put that fire out. and racism is just so pervasive. and it's weird, don, because they're so afraid of black women, whether or not it's kamala harris or simone biles. you see people like charlie kirk, he can't do as many push-ups as simone biles or sit-ups. it's silly. simone biles literally would beat him up. and the fact that, you know, you have people like that who want to just -- it's not funny.
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it's true. she would literally beat him up. >> she ain't thinking about him. >> call her weak or anything else. it plays into this politics and i think mark will agree. we need to get a politics of a day where all of this asinine rhetoric is thrown at the window and we talk about policies and the difference between progressive and conservative, getting back to the root of what this country is. >> with that, you have to talk about strategies too, to win elections. republicans want to hit democrats on things like critical race theory or defund the police. do you think that's reaching beyond the base, helping them with suburban women and independents? >> such a short-term strategy, don. and republicans are looking in the rear-view mirror, that's when you lose campaigns in the future is by trying to run the last one. donald trump doubled down on a demographic cul-de-sac.
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he decided we're not going to expand the tent as george bush said he would do, 2012, talked about how we need to expand -- trump said screw that. we're not going to expand the tent. we're going to double down and just say we're going to get -- we're going to get more white voters and he did. and the problem with that is that republicans now think that's the playbook to run in the future. >> this is interesting, because i always here republicans talk about democrats are all about identity politics. but republicans are -- mark, aren't they playing the biggest identity politics right now. >> that's all they have left. they're not talking about policy. it's all become cultural and it's become about race. the whole critical race theory, we don't have time to talk about that, don, it's so -- it's such a complex issue, i guarantee you republicans are throwing gasoline on that issue in schools --
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>> mark, can i chime in real quick. >> go on. >> remember when ted cruz was a legitimate formidable voice on the right for conservative ideology. i didn't take that long -- i'm not a ted cruz fan. but i think that ted cruz was actually a brilliant legal scholar at one point in his life and he shed that. he completely shed that to adorn himself in the ridiculousness that is trump's party now. there's so many people who have morphed into people who are not imaginable anymore. and that's the problem with the republican party -- >> what about where you are, bakari? what about nikki haley? >> i still like nikki haley. she's a friend of mine. but you're right. i think that nikki haley is a perfect example of it. ted cruz is a perfect example of it. lindsey graham is a perfect example of it. all of these individuals who have some independent streak who stood for something.
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listen, nikki haley went to nine funerals for the charleston massacre. she helped take down the confederate flag. and now to see her cower to donald trump, to see her beg and plead for his support, that's not the person -- that's not -- >> i'm mad at trump, but i'm much madder at the people around him that enable him. >> mark, let me ask you, we spoke about your brother-in-law who was sick in the hospital with covid and can you give us an update, how is he doing? >> happy to say that in the last 48 hours things have turned for the -- are better. they're positive, headed in a better direction. and he's a very fit guy even though he's 70 and he's really fighting hard and doing everything that doctors are asking him to do. so i have great faith he's going to turn this around and make it. it's a good lesson for all of us. people close to us, loved ones, the message is getting out. get the vaccine or you're going
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to find your loved one in the hospital and then it effects not just the people who are in the hospital, but circles and circles and ripples of loved ones around families. >> we're glad he's better. has he spoken about getting vaccinated? >> well, we're going to leave that for discussions later on. we want to pray for him now to get better. >> all right. bakari, there's -- i don't know if you've been -- had an opportunity to watch on cnn, we have been featuring people who are in the hospital and now are -- have been very sick and now are regretting not getting vaccinated and have had a change of heart. let's hope more people do that. >> my prayers go out to mark and his family. my story is very well known of cnn audiences and you and mark and everybody lifted us up in prayer. my daughter is immune suppressed. you're not getting the vaccine for yourself, like i -- i
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watch -- i'm a huge nfl fan and watching the ignorance of some of my friends who play in the league and their teammates. this is not about you. if bill gates ain't putting 5g into your arm. this is about making sure that other individuals who cannot go out there and do the things they need, that they can actually live a healthy life because you did what was necessary and you were selfless. get the vaccine. >> thank you very much. an olympic update when we come back. r of cream cheese. the recipe we invented over 145 years ago and me...the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. philadelphia. schmear perfection.
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team usa gymnastics scored a huge victory, today, despite the absence of simone biles. american gymnast suni lee turned in the performance of a lifetime to claim the gold in the women's all-around final. cnn's will ripley has more on her remarkable story. >> reporter: from a family of southeast asian refugees, to olympic gold for team usa. >> like, it doesn't even feel like real life. >> reporter: 18-year-old sunisa lee. the first mung-american olympic gymnast stepping up, when simone biles stepped back. taking women's individual all-around gold. win number six, in the event for team usa. tying the former soviet union's record. >> this medal would not be possible, without my coaches, the medical team, my parents, and it's just so surreal and i haven't even let it sink in,
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yet. >> reporter: nearly 6,000 miles away, in oakdale, minnesota, the small refugee community celebrating, big time. lee's parents fled laos for the u.s. her dad says, winning gold is the greatest achievement of any mong-american. >> all that time you missed, vacation with us. paid off. >> lee's road to gold, tougher than most. in 2019, her father fell from a ladder leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. in 2020, her aunt and uncle died of covid-19. >> there was a point in time, where i wanted to quit. and i just didn't think i would ever get here, including injuries and stuff. so, there were definitely a lot of emotions but i am superproud of myself for sticking with it and believing in myself. >> reporter: and now, suni lee making olympic history. will ripley, cnn, tokyo. >> will, thank you. and congratulations, suni.
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well done. and thank you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. vo: the climate crisis is here. berardelli: these temperatures are almost unbelievable even for a meteorologist. vo: and the solution is here too: clean energy. like wind turbines and solar panels. now, congress has to invest in it and the millions of workers ready to install it across the country. because in america, we don't hide from problems like climate change. we take them on. we innovate. we lead. because if we invest in these workers, and their future at this moment, that's how we build back better. there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild.
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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! good evening. we begin with breaking news and, perhaps, a way at least to begin to break through the resistance so many people seem to have to getting a shot that could save their lives. not to mention, wipe out covid. not just a way, in fact, several. late today, after a string of key announcements from the public and private sector in blue states and red, president biden unveiled a series of his own initiatives to vaccinate more americans. >> the federal government will now reimburse those employers, to give their staffs -- who give


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