tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN July 30, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, everyone, welcome to "newsroom." i'm alisyn camerota. victor is off today. the cdc sounding the alarm on the delta variant, saying, quote, the war has changed. new data shows the delta variant causes more severe disease than the original variant and is one of the most transmissible viruses ever. it is just as contagious as chickenpox and spreads faster than the common cold, the seasonal flu, smallpox, ebola,
and sars. and we now know that the delta variant does not just affect the unvaccinated. it is causing breakthrough cases among the vaccinated. this new data shows if you are infected, you can carry the same viral load in your nose and throat whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. and each infected person on average can infect 8 or 9 others. this delta variant causes more severe illness than earlier strains, so here is where being vaccinated really pays off. vaccines still protect almost 100% against death and still roughly 96% against hospitalization. the cdc director, rochelle walensky, says she is not crying wolf here and other doctors agree. >> we can't pussyfoot around with this thing. we have to get more people 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, so until then, we have to go back to more
universal masking or else this thing is going to spread like wild fire. >> so we now know the reasons for why the cdc is saying, put masks back on. within the past hour, the cdc released new findings on a big covid outbreak among vaccinated and unvaccinated people in provincetown, massachusetts, sparked by july 4th gatherings. so cnn's polo sandoval is in provincetown for us. tell us what you're seeing in the town and how they're reacting. >> reporter: alisyn, that's key now because now what we know based on this new data release is that the outbreak that was certainly seen here and still to a certain degree, to a lesser degree, being felt here, was part of that evidence that was considered by the cdc when it told the rest of the country that it would be wise to put those masks back on, regardless of vaccination status and that's what we're seeing largely here, folks inside adhering to this new mask mandate that requires people wear those masks while in indoor public spaces here in provincetown but when it comes to the actual numbers, let's break them down for you. this is a sampling that the cdc
considered as it revisited that mask guidance and found that 469 massachusetts residents were infected during this fourth of july outbreak. that's generally in barnstable county, and that includes here in provincetown, 74% of those, and this is what is concerning, were fully vaccinated.79% of th symptomatic but this is also a very telling number, which is zero. that is, so far, according to local officials, nobody has actually died because of that infection, and researchers here, they found here essentially that it's still important to obviously get vaccinated here. we should also mention that since that sampling was taken and considered by the cdc, this particular cluster in this part of massachusetts continue to grow and at one point even made it up to close to 900 infections over the last several weeks. now, some good news and what was described as a silver lining by the local town manager here in provincetown is that the infection rate, which is obviously a very telling number, went from its peak at about 15%
test positivity here in provincetown in mid-july, and has now dropped to below 5%, about 4.6% as of last check, and it's a number that continues to decline, so that's certainly a good number that businesses here want to see, especially with a busy summe just close up during the height of the pandemic last year and just the last few weeks, reopened again, and now, he's prepared to have to shut down again should that be necessary. but it's certainly a topic of conversation as you see people still out and about enjoying this friday without masks outside but largely putting those masks back on when they go back indoors now that they know what happened here just a few weeks ago certainly got the cdc's attention. >> we will speak to a business owner there in just moments. polo sandoval, thank you very much. let's bring in dr. megan ranney, an emergency physician at brown university, also the associate dean of public health there. dr. ranney, it sounds like the
provincetown outbreak, the cluster there, was a game changer for doctors and for researchers, so what did that teach us? >> that taught us that unfortunately, alisyn, although being vaccinated does continue to protect us against severe disease and hospitalization, vaccination does not fully break the chain of transmission. in other words, unmasking indoors for fully vaccinated people is no longer a safe choice, especially if you have people at home like kids or elderly parents who are higher risk, who are unvaccinated themselves. >> but dr. ranney, do you mean that universally? i mean, do you mean that across the country? because isn't it still regional in places like, say, connecticut, where the positivity rate is low, can you behavior be different than in places like florida where the transmission rate is so high? >> so, certainly. if i were in missouri, florida, nevada, mississippi, states where the positivity rate and the case rate are through the
roof again, i would be way more careful and cautious than i am here in rhode island, in massachusetts, or in connecticut where infection rate is still pretty low. but that p-town outbreak, that happened in a place where folks are fully vaccinated. massachusetts is not a place that was having substantial transmission prior to that outbreak. so, my advice to folks across the country right now is, if you are going indoors, into a public space, put a mask on. regardless of whether you're vaccinated or not. >> here's what really got my attention from the provincetown cluster. four of the people who were hospitalized were vaccinated. meaning, they had bad enough symptoms to seek hospitalization. so, did that surprise you, or are those the numbers to be expected when you have an outbreak of 469 people? >> it's exactly it. so there was an outbreak of 469, 4 were hospitalized, that's horrible. i wish it weren't happening. i'm so frustrated and exhausted by this pandemic just like
everyone else across the country, but the really good news is that was 4 out of almost 500 people. if those folks had been unvaccinated, you know that the number that were hospitalized would be more like 100 out of those 500 people based off of the stats that we've seen around the vaccines. it also, of course, depends on your immune system, on your other risk factors. if you are elderly, if you are immunosuppressed, if you have cancer, you are going to be higher risk for getting hospitalized if you catch this virus. unfortunately, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not. >> i mean, that's the metric that i have used all along, which is, i don't want to die. vaccines keep you from dying. so, there are no deaths, okay, in this cluster, and the vaccinations across the country, virtually 100%. i mean, it virtually protects you against death by 100%. so, i think that that's a really important one for everybody to keep in mind. however, i think that all this stuff about the delta variant is very sobering in terms of it --
them finding out. i mean, in this new research that we just read an hour ago that it -- one person, one infected person, doesn't just spread it to one more person. they spread it to eight or nine others. >> that's exactly right. you know, we saw super spreaders earlier in the pandemic. there were those super spreader events that were responsible for hundreds of infections. what's really surprising here is that a vaccinated person can be a super spreader. that's what's so disturbing about this cluster to many of us. >> do you have any idea, and did -- has the cdc done any research on whether or not, if you are vaccinated, and you get one of these breakthrough infections, can you still get long covid? that's another thing that people are really trying to protect against. so it's one thing to get a positive test and you can go along with your life if you're asymptomatic. but long covid symptoms are something that people are scared about. do we have any new research on that? >> we don't, to my knowledge. many of us are waiting for that. i have many friends and honestly
family members who were infected by covid prior to being able to be vaccinated who are still experiencing symptoms. my own sister still can't smell more than six months after catching covid at work. so, it is a very real concern, and we just don't know with these breakthrough infections yet whether those long covid symptoms happen or not. i can only guess that they will. i mean, we're reporting viral loads in vaccinated people who catch covid that are similar to the viral loads in unvaccinated people, and it's that viral load that's going to cause the immune response and then potentially cause long covid symptoms. but that's a guess. we're waiting on data still. >> what's happening in your area and your e.r.? >> so, i'm heading into the e.r. after i get off with you this afternoon. we are definitely seeing an increase in cases locally despite our excellent statewide vaccination rates. there are, of course, still communities and pockets that are not vaccinated, and we are now in substantial transmission here
in rhode island. we've put universal mask mandates back in place across our hospital. we've seen our governor put strong mask recommendations in place for all schools across the state. and many businesses are starting to put mask mandates back in place as well. i am concerned about the next month or so. it feels, once again, like the surge, the wave is coming. >> gosh, that is so hard to hear, but dr. megan ranney, we appreciate you giving it to us straight. thank you so much for all of your wisdom. >> thank you. okay, joining us now is ken, the owner of the pilgrim house in provincetown, who is now requiring anyone who stays at his hotel to show proof of vaccination. ken, thank you so much for your time. we've been watching what's going on in provincetown so closely, so how did you get to your decision, that you're going to require all people coming into your hotel to show proof of vaccination? >> well, it's interesting,
earlier, i think, alisyn, you used the word, "sobering." we had a very sobering experience shortly after the fourth of july week, which is a huge celebration here in provincetown. we started to get the initial reports of some strange infections rates among vaccinated individuals, and then as time went on, we saw more and more cases. until we eventually saw a number that was large enough to make a lot of us kind of scratch our heads and say, wait a minute, is this something? we were under the impression -- i personally was under the impression that would be difficult to contract, as all of us thought, 90% something effective. i thought that meant 90% effective from not getting the virus, but i was educated quickly as all of us were here. getting vaccinated does not give you the ability to engage in high-risk activities or otherwise assume that you don't have to take any precautions. so, i think that once that happens here in provincetown,
not only did the local government react, but the business community, i'm proud to say, banded together and very quickly instituted our own policies of requiring masks indoors, and a lot of us, businesses in town, followed the lead of jill from the boat slip, if anyone's been to provincetown, the boat slip is our eiffel tower. you can't come to p-town without going to tea necks, and she had required evidence of vaccination cards from the very beginning of the season. so, this was well before there was any sort of evidence of outbreaks or resistance of the delta variant, so we all knew that it was a viable business option to make vaccination evident, mandatory to enter our property, so we've done so in our restaurants and our hotel and also in our showroom, and overwhelmingly, the response has been not only positive but almost celebratory. i think people are proud to show
that they've been vaccinated and they're doing their part. provincetown is one of the highest vaccinated populations in the country, and i know the doctor before said it was surprising to see the outbreak here in provincetown, amongst the sort of highly vaccinated population. i would say it's not so surprising when you see an influx of tens of thousands of visitors from all around the world just highlighting the importance of vaccinations worldwide. definitely in the country. but if you're planning to travel and you're not vaccinated, please, please don't come to provincetown. we really take our health seriously, and for our local businesses to survive, we need to stay operational. and to stay operational, we need to stay healthy. >> that's really important message, ken. so, what's the mood like in provincetown right now? i mean, i know it's always so celebratory, but right now, are people approaching with caution?
have you seen the crowds, you know, thin out and have some businesses closed? >> i can't say -- well, i can say that we -- i can tell you what we've done. we had some positive test results here with our vaccinated team. i'm happy to say all but one all returned to work, fully healthy, fully vaccinated, and one hopefully will be back soon and i think that most other local businesses had a bit of a hiccup, a speed bump, after it was evident that our workforce was really hit hard. and so, i think there was a bit of fear. the recent data that we're seeing and the indication is that we're on the other side of this, and now that we're requiring vaccinations and wearing masks, we're mitigating the potential risk, and i think we're all becoming a little more educated about what covid 2.0 is going to look like. >> i think you're right. >> as far as the mood goes, alisyn, and you'll see next week when you're here, it takes a lot more than masks to keep p-town
down. this is the center of celebration of everyone, and we've been through much worse over the years, and provincetown is unique in that way. >> i know that to be true. it is a magical place. so, i really hope just good health for all of you there. and it sounds like you're leading the way in terms of showing how to keep businesses open and stay healthy. ken horgan, thank you so much. >> thank you. safe travels. we'll see you soon. >> thank you. okay, we have some breaking news surrounding former president donald trump and a phone call that he reportedly had with doj officials that shows just how far he was trying to go to upend the election results. plus the doj is now telling the treasury department to hand overthe former president's tax returns to the house committee. returns to the house committee.
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we have two breaking news stories connected to former president trump. first, the department of justice dealing a major blow to trump's efforts to keep his tax returns private. the doj instructing the treasury department to turn over trump's tax returns to the house ways and means committee. also, sources tell cnn the former president pressured top justice department officials to declare that the election was corrupt on a phone call, though there was no evidence, and those doj officials took notes on everything he said. cnn's lauren fox and paula reid are following the latest for us. first, lauren, what are you learning about the former president's tax returns? >> reporter: well, just a short time ago, alisyn, there was new direction from the office of legal counsel at the justice
department laying out that it is their legal belief that the treasury department must turn over donald trump's tax returns, which were requested more than two years ago, to the house ways and means committee. this has been a protracted battle in part because biden's team was just coming in, in january, and there was a discussion about whether or not they would continue to block the transfer of those tax returns from treasury to the ways and means committee. after many delays, we have now learned that it is the office of legal counsel's opinion that treasury must turn those over. now, this is significant. there are still questions about whether or not the former president will try to fight this action, but a significant step because it does give us some indication that this is not going to be delayed much longer, and of course, we are getting new statements from the house speaker, house speaker nancy pelosi saying, quote, today the biden administration has delivered a victory for the rule of law as it respects the public interest by complying with chairman neil's request for donald trump's tax returns. access to former president
trump's tax returns is a matter of national security. the american people deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts of interest and undermining of our security and democracy as president. we should also add that this request happened two years ago from house ways and means chairman richard neal who argued he needed these returns for a legislative purpose, to look into whether or not the presidential audit program, which automatically audits a president's and vice president's tax returns, whether or not that program was working properly. alisyn? >> thank you so much for that. paula, what are the details that you're learning about this december 2020 phone call between president trump and doj officials? >> reporter: well, alisyn, these new details come from handwritten notes by then acting deputy attorney general richard donahue, and they reveal how the former president tried to pressure the two top officials at the justice department to help him overturn the certified results of the 2020 election. now, these notes specifically reference a december 27th call
between the president and the top two officials who oversaw the justice department in the final weeks of his administration. during this call, according to these notes, the former president pressured these officials to declare the election corrupt and illegal, despite no widespread evidence of fraud. according to these notes, he told them, just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and republican congressmen. the then acting attorney general told him, look, that's not the way it works. but alisyn, this is just the latest evidence indicating how the former president tried to pressure top justice officials to help him push these claims of fraud. now, these notes are now being used as evidence in multiple congressional investigations. >> okay. thank you both very much for all of that breaking news reporting. let's bring in now cnn's senior legal analyst elie honig. let's start with the former president's tax returns. does this mean the fight is over and congress will now see his taxes? >> it means it's almost over,
alisyn. this is a big step towards congress getting those tax returns, not quite all the way but right on the brink. so basically, the administration has now reversed position. under the trump administration, not surprisingly, the position was, we are not turning over these returns to congress unless the courts force us to. today, that's been reversed. now the administration's position is, we are turning these returns over to congress unless the courts step in and force us. if donald trump does nothing here, the returns are going over to congress. if donald trump, he still does have the ability to challenge this in court but it's a serious uphill climb at this point, the law is stacked against him and now the administration is against him too. >> okay, so, if congress gets them, does that mean the public will see them? >> it could well fairly soon. we know the manhattan district attorney already has these tax returns, but that's pursuant to a criminal subpoena so they have very strict secrecy rules that they have to deal with, so we're not going to see those returns through the manhattan d.a. for a very long time, if ever. however, if congress gets these
returns, they're not subject to the same grand jury or same secrecy rules, so if that happens, then, yes, we could see them in the public fairly quickly. >> okay, let's talk now about this phone call between former president trump and jeffrey rosen and richard donahue. okay, so these doj officials, in which, i mean, i've read through it. there's just notes and notes of these handwritten notes that donahue took and it reads like science fiction. i mean, it's just, again, president trump throwing whatever spaghetti he can at the wall to see what they'll bite on, to see what will stick, making stuff up out of whole cloth about, you know, his imaginations of election fraud. and so, what's going to happen with the contents of this phone call? what's the doj going to do? >> that's the big question, alisyn. yeah, lawyers do like to take notes, as you would think president trump would have learned, but if you run through sort of what are the various avenues for accountability here, well, depending on timing, you can always impeach because of this. that's not going to happen.
we're not going to shave a thir impeachment this far out but if it happened while the president was in office, you could have impeachment. congress needs to do serious fact-finding hearings because this was such an abuse of power. we have to know what happened so we can prevent it in the future and finally, there's potentially a criminal angle here. we don't know whether doj is looking at this criminally. they certainly have been circumspect, i would say, to be generous about criminally investigating president trump. we do know, however, that the fulton county district attorney down in georgia is investigating him. this kind of phone call goes to intent. was he trying to basically steal this election? i think this is powerful evidence that he was. >> one of the interesting things is looking at their responses to it, which occasionally donahue records as well, so, you know, you hear president trump railing against michigan and, you know, arizona and, i mean, all the things that we've heard, and occasionally, i highlighted it, you see donahue writes here, possibly true? i mean, do you make anything of
their responses? >> yeah, look, i think doj absolutely did the right thing here, donahue and jeffrey rosen, who was the acting a.g. at the time. this is why people like me often say doj needs to be independent of the president, because if doj, in fact, did whatever the president told it to do, which bill barr and other attorneys general have taken that position, then there would have been no safeguard here, but because doj is independent, and rosen and donahue stood up for that, we did have a safety barrier in place to prevent sort of the worst case scenario here. >> wouldn't it have helped if they had come out sooner and talked about this? >> yeah, i think that's a fair question. remember, this phone call happened december 27th. that's about ten days before january 6th. if they had come out, this could have been a real sort of pulling back the curtain moment because here you have donald trump acknowledging this is just nonsense, he's asking doj, just sort of make it up for me and i'll take it from here.
if that had become broadly known publicly, then perhaps it could have taken some of the steam, out of the big lie before january 6th. i think that's a fair point. >> i suppose. i mean, who knows. who knows if the people who showed up there on january 6th were actually listening to reason at that point or if they would have chalked it up to some deep state, who knows. but it's fascinating to read those notes. thank you very much. so, after a shaky start, the u.s. women's soccer team survives the first knockout games at the olympics, and secures a spot in the semifinals. so, we're live in tokyo with all of the latest for you next.
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a major victory for the women's usa soccer team in tokyo today as they advance to the semifinals. meanwhile, gymnast simone biles posted video of her practicing on the uneven bars. whether she'll compete is still unknown. cnn's selina wang is in tokyo for us. let's start with the usa women's soccer team. tell us about meagan rapinoe. >> well, alisyn, they are keeping their dreams for gold alive but man, that was a grueling, difficult, dramatic match. you had several major saves from u.s. goalie, she blocked several attempts from the netherlands. they went into extra time. penalty shootout and megan
rapinoe made the winning kick during that penalty shootout that allowed them to beat the netherlands 4-2. it has been a rocky ride but they are rebounding now. >> okay, let's talk about simone biles. so, she posted these practice videos on her instagram page. do we know if that means that she'll compete? >> reporter: we still don't know if she's going to compete in these individual events that start on sunday, but she said in these videos that she is still dealing with this mental block that gymnasts call the twisties. she can't tell up from down and it is petrifying, terrifying to try these skills when her mind and body are not in sync. she said she literally does not have control over an inch of her body and she posted those practice videos. you could see her struggling with the dismount. she says she's going to take it day by day. she said she's had the twisties before but it takes two weeks or more to get over it so not a
great sign given these events start on sunday, alisyn. >> gosh, that is more serious than i think people at first thought. when she started saying that she wanted to take a little break. okay, so, now, can you update us on the bmx racer, connor fields? >> reporter: essentially, bmx racer fields, he was in a violent crash. you can see in the video that he got tangled with a few other racers, and he fell violently and he was taken off the course on a stretcher. he was then taken away by ambulance. he was favored to win gold. he is the reigning champion. but thankfully, the medical team said he is awake and he is awaiting further medical evaluation. he did not compete in the finals. however, this is a major blow for an athlete who was favored. alisyn? >> that looks really tough. selina wang, thank you. okay, so, developing news out of capitol hill now. the senate votes to move forward with that bipartisan infrastructure package, but the fight is not over yet. so, we have a live report from capitol hill for you next.
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leaving you lost. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire developing news on capitol hill. the senate is moving forward with that massive trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure package. debate picked up this morning, and now, we're waiting for democrats to release the official text of the bill, which would give full details for the first time of where that money would go. cnn's manu raju is on capitol hill for us, and manu, what are you hearing? >> reporter: that is the big question still, when will that
bill text be released? that is the very significant here because this is going to be a massive bill, more than 1 -- about $1.2 trillion over 8 years, probably more than 1,000 pages, up to 2,000 pages of bill text. we've seen so far a 55-page summary, but the details here matter because ultimately, that could -- is what could become law. there will be an effort to amend this bill on the senate floor. once that bill text is released. but it's going to be difficult to do that, because in order to change the bill, most certainly it will require 60 votes to do that. that would mean there would be a significant amount of support on both sides to get there and it's pretty clear that this bipartisan coalition will try to fend off amendments that it views as trying to undercut the core of this proposal, which would spend about $550 billion in new money over 5 years dealing with everything from roads, bridges, waterways, broadband, paid for by a range of measures, including redirecting already enacted
covid relief money but how this ultimately plays out is still uncertain, because they do have to go through that amendment process and then at that point, democratic leader chuck schumer would move to shut down debate, which requires 60 votes to overcome any filibuster attempt and then try to get it out of the senate and then the question will be, will the house approve it? still an open question as liberals say that it does not go far enough, and then you worry about the bicric only plan and s a headache for democratic leaders at a later date. they're still trying to sort the details there. but the big question now is, when will this $1.2 trillion bill be released? people want to see the details. >> manu, let's talk about another big story. this morning, members of the january 6th special select committee met with house speaker nancy pelosi for what they called a strategy session. and the chairman of that committee, congressman bennie thompson, says his panel will send quite a few subpoenas soon. do we know who they'll send them to?
>> reporter: no, and in fact, i asked him that directly and i tried to get him to pin him down on the number of subpoenas that he is looking to issue. i said, talking about 20, 30? he said, i'm not going to say, just quite a few. he says they're going to come soon. one of the ways we can look at this as likely people from trump -- the former justice department officials in the trump justice department, especially since we know donald trump was leaning on justice officials to try to do something to suggest that the election was stolen from him, of course, which is not true. but those interactions, we know, happened, and this committee is going to try to get to the bottom of that. and this, the biden justice department, has said that the trump justice department officials can testify before congress on issues related to january 6th. they are not going to try to block that testimony. and bennie thompson told me that that decision will make it easier to get that kind of testimony. now, he's -- it's also undecided what the next hearing is going to be. they have not made that decision yet. they're still trying to figure
out staffing issues, so they're still trying to get off the ground and get this investigation going, but it's going to take some time to get through all the information they plan to pore through that investigations that have already happened in various committees and are going to provide them with the information that they have already uncovered, so -- and they want to go through other information as well, so a lot of details that need to sort out, but the big question is, who will be the first ones hit with the subpoenas? according to the chairman, a lot of people will get them, alisyn. >> manu raju, thank you. all right, there's a new marvel infinity war. it's just unleashed. "black widow" star scarlett johansson files a lawsuit against disney over the release of her new movie. so we'll tell you how disney is responding. and join cnn for the w"we love new york city," the homecoming concert, featuring bruce strpringsteen, jennifer hudson, just to name a few. it's saturday, august 21st, exclusively on cnn.
the "black widow" biting back today. scarlett johansson suing the walt disney company. she says that disney breached her contract by releasing her new movie in theaters and on their streaming service at the same time. cnn's brian stelter is following the story. so, brian, if it's in her contract that she gets a cut of ticket sales, they are ripping her off, right? >> the film is streaming online, you're able to pay $30 to watch it online, she wants a cut of that as well. we're seeing this big battle
over the future of thollywood economics. i think it will rewrite the rules for hollywood filmmaking economics. oftentimes these stars, they're betting on themselves. they bet their movie will be a big hit, so they want to have a cut of whatever happens in the theaters. now, with this shift towards online and on demand, the rules are changing. netflix, when they make movies, they pay the stars a gazillion amount up front, but the stars don't get paid months or years later for how well the film does or doesn't do. so the netflix rules are different than the disney rules and we're seeing this battle play out. and everyone in the entertainment world is watching this lawsuit. it's the first time we've seen one of these blockbuster stars go to war with her studio over how much she earns. by the way, disney says, by the way, we already paid her more than $20 million. they're basically calling her greedy. >> but isn't she saying that they owe her $50 million. >> she says there's a lot more left on the table. and that's apparently why this is worth going to court. and a lot of other actors are watching to see, am i gobeing
treated fairly, too? >> she'll end up being a trailblazer. let's talk about another lawsuit. between fox news and mike lindell, the my pillow guy. >> he has pulled his advertisements from fox news. you can hardly avoid a my pillow ad. >> that's the reason we know about the my pillow guy. >> it's ubiquitous. everyone knows the tune because of mike lindell and fox news. but blhe has broken off with fo because he wants to run an ad promoting his crazy voter fraud lies. look, it's whacky. it's even so whacky that fox will not run his ad. as a result, he's taken the rest of his toys, taken the rest of his money away from fox news. but this actually doesn't matter, because he spends tens of millions of dollars on fox news. it's actually a business issue for the network, if he does not come back. >> just explain to this to me.
mike lindell's delusions are a bridge too far for fnc, but they let donald trump go on on these endless phoners, saying the same stuff? >> i think it may come down to a fear of lawsuits. if you're selling commercial time. you know in advance what the commercial is going to say, so you have to have a certain level of standard for that ad. whereas if you have trump call in, you don't know what's going to happen. that might be part of the calculation here. >> well, you kind of know what's going to happen when he calls in. >> by the way, fox says he's just pausing his commercial time. they think he'll come back as soon as those pillows stop selling. >> how much money are we talking about? how much money does he give spot? >> last year, $50 million in advertising. that's a real significant amount to fox's bottom line, but he's able to do it because a lot of people do use the pillows. have you ever tried a my pillow? >> i have, but i will speak for myself, i don't understand those pillows. those pillows are not
comfortable. >> oh. do you -- i think you've weighed in on this, haven't you? >> i have, and they're not my personal favorite, but, you know, hey, to each their own. i guess if you want a maga pillow. if you want the trump is the real president pillow, that's the pillow for you. >> dmiplomatically said. but who's going to win this? >> i think he needs fox a lot more than fox needs him. he needs to retach people to sel sheets and towels and pillows. a lot of his connections and retailers have been cut off because of his crazy voter fraud lies. he's going down a rabbit hole deeper and deeper and deeper but i don't see any ladder for him to climb back out. >> and they can walk away from that $50 million? >> it's going to be painful for some advertisers, but maybe they think they can afford it because they have to take a stand. even fox, it turns out, does have a standard. >> there's a lot of news there. brian stelter, thank you very much. great to talk to you. so school is starting soon in some states.
welcome back to newsroom, everyone. i'm alisyn camerota. as coronavirus cases surge across the country, the cdc is now sharing new findings about the highly contagious delta variant. and the threat that it poses to both unvaccinated and vaccinated americans. the new data shows the delta variant causes more severe disease than the original strain. and it's also one of the most transmissible viruses ever. it is just as contagious as the chicken pox and more contagious than the common cold, the seasonal flu, small pox, ebola, and sars. the cdc says it does not matter if you are vaccinated or not, you can get the same viral load in your nose and transmit it to others, infecting as many as eight or nine other people.
look at how quickly it spreads. you can see the models on your screen. this is compared to the original strain. and then there's that cluster in provincetown, massachusetts. 469 residents there got infected with covid in a july 4th outbreak. and of those, 74%, meaning 346 people, had been vaccinated. most of them did show covid symptoms, although no one died and only four people had to be hospitalized. well, so, what does this say about vaccines? the vaccines still are very effective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death, according to the cdc. and that's critical. as covid cases are surging again across the country, largely fueled, of course, by this delta variant, all of that red you're seeing, those are the viral hot spots right now. so while vaccinations are inching up, infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising, too.