tv Inside Politics With John King CNN August 9, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
donald trump's orbit at the time to find out in what way they were trying to make these overt efforts to utilize the powers of the justice department to overturn this election. >> thank you so much for that. don't go anywhere. inside politics with jon king starts right now. thanks for joining us. >> hello, everybody, and welcome to inside politics. i'm jon king in washington. thank you for sharing a busy news day with us. new pressure on andrew cuomo. an executive assistant adds her name and face to her story. plus, the covid gets worse. deaths double now what they were just two weeks ago and cases climb to their highest level since february. and being aoc. a new cnn profile series begins
with alexandria ocasio-cortez. does she plan to primary the highest ranking democrat in the senate? we begin with the new york governor and the impeachment investigation. this morning, the new york assembly judiciary committee is meeting. its chairman says they could reveal the work sometime this month and the pressure on the governor now is intense. his chief of staff resigned sunday. just as the cuomo victim identified as executive assistant number one adds her voice to her story. >> reading that is disgusting. it's simple. i know the truth. he knows the truth. i know what happened. and so does he. >> paolo, a big day when it comes to the impeachment question. >> a big week, too, jon. the governor has additional headaches to worry about.
his inner circle is shrinking, getting even smaller with the resignation of one of his advisers. there's the accuser voluntarily stepping into the public light and now adding a voice, a face, and a name to some of the series allegations to the report released under a week ago. of course, that ongoing threat of impeeachment as right now, yu have lawmakers meeting. a judiciary committee is convening in close session. they are expected to share more about a timeline in terms of when those articles of impeachment could be put forth. at this point, the governor himself has until this friday the 13th until 5:00 p.m. to provide any evidence he feels will be crucial. obviously with the ongoing threat of possible criminal charges against the governor as well as the threat of
impeachment. >> we'll wait to see if we get details out of this hearing. thanks. with me in studio to share with me today, not all in studio, excuse me, the former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, and cnn's dana bash. jimmy, i want to start with you. we're waiting to get a timetable out of senate judiciary committee about how this hearing is heading. how fast do we think it will move once we have this today? >> what i've heard from members before today is that they expect it could take at least four weeks. even given the mountain of evidence that was included in attorney general james' report before they can craft articles of impeachment. remember that people in the judiciary committee have said today and previously they're not just looking at the sexual harassment allegations. they're also examining whether he used state resources and also
state policies on the coronavirus in nursing homes. there's a separate federal probe as to how the state handled the nursing homes and whether officials manipulated covid-19 death data. at the center of all of those things was melissa durosa, the governor's top aide. her title was secretary. she stepped down last night in a move that caught administration officials by surprise and leads the governor without an ally as the impeachment moves forward. >> to that point, dana bash, the governor has lost one of his most trusted aides. she is also implicated in the report as someone who participated actively. but he's lost his top, most trusted aide at a time when one of his accusers, let's listen to more of this now as jimmy lays out this impeachment could go on for weeks. one of his accusers goes very public. listen in detail as she says
what the governor did to her and he says he still wants to fight. >> i then felt while taking the selfie, his hand go down my back on to my butt and he started rubbing it. that's when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. i exactly rep looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, oh, my god. >> just want to know for the record, cnn has reached out to the governor's office repeatedly, including today. the governor's office says they're not going to comment on the specifics of that interview. he has denied in the past touching anyone inappropriately. but if you listen to the power of that account of someone who worked in his office. we were talking before we came on the air, about conversations over the weekend. people who have been touched by the governor, he remains still defiant. >> extremely defiant in the face of conversation after conversation. i know we're both hearing this,
where he is being told by people is talking to, it's over. you've got to get out. >> it's overwhelming then accounts like that. more importantly, the credibility of accounts like that are overwhelming. >> and if you think about where we are with this event, the more that the governor's lawyers, the governor's, you know, supporters, the few that remain, come out and try to defend him, the more we hear from the people who are talked about in this report. i mean, she was just labeled executive assistant number one. now she has a face and she has a story and she has a story that she clearly wants to tell because of the way that governor cuomo and his legal team is pushing back on this. and at this point, it is about filling out the details and the human face between, behind these women, in a way that's not that beneficial to the governor.
and that is where we are right now. that's why his allies are saying let's just put a stop to this. >> so, ellie, let's listen to a little bit more of britney because she also explains in this interview with cbs why she decided to file a criminal complaint. listen. >> why did you file that criminal complaint with the sheriff's office? >> it was the right thing to do. the governor needs to be held accountable. >> and just so i'm clear again, being held accountable to you means seeing the governor charged with a crime? >> what he did to me was a crime. he broke the law. >> ellie, walk through that process. we know six local district attorneys in the state have requested information and said they will look into this more deeply. what is your take on the likelihood of criminal activity? >> yeah, jon. so each one of those district attorneys is going to have to ask themselves this question. do i have proof beyond a reasonable doubt to bring a
criminal charge? now, if her account is true and correct and can be proven, that absolutely is a crime under new york state law. it's a misdemeanor. it's forcible touching. punishable by a maximum of one year in prison. but the key thing to remember here, again, this is not a civil case. not even impeachment. it's beyond reasonable doubt. not enough to show that this probably happen. that this likely happened. that this very likely happened. you have to be ready as a prosecutor to stand in front of a judge or a jury and prove beyond a reasonable doubt. the other important thing is that you or i are normal folks where the new york state assembly looks at this, wow, 11 complainants. in a criminal case, a judge is almost certainly not going to allow the evidence of the other ten. it's going to be essentially all down to that one person. that's the kind of evidence the judges usually don't let into criminal cases. it's a serious burden.
each d.a. is going to have to make his or her own decision. >> that's 11. 11 incidents are documents. incidents involving 11 women. one of them, a female state trooper in the governor's detail. one of the governor's attorneys was on cnn yesterday with pamela brown. just listen. >> it's not criminal conduct that he allegedly touched her down her back and touched her on the stomach in between her, you know, belly button and her private parts. that's not -- >> he touched her on her -- >> that's not criminal conduct, as far as i know. >> so, if he did that, is that acceptable behavior? >> depends on the context of the circumstances. the governor may have touched the state trooper's back and she may have understood it one way and he another way. >> i'll start with you, dan, then jimmy and ellie. in the sense that if that's not
criminal behavior, the governor may have understood it one way. at a time like this, we know, we went through this repeatedly with trump and now cuomo. the politics under fire is eager for people to get out there and defend him. that was the defense? >> exactly. that's what i was referring to with regard to other women who feel they are not being heard even though they are anonymously in this report saying i have to push back against this. and so we might hear from more of them. the fact is that she came out. she told pamela, who did a great interview, that maybe the governor slipped. there were moments in there where it was pretty clear it was even hard for his attorney to mount a real defense. not necessarily on the law, but on the morality and on the pr and the politics of this. >> we'll leave it there for today, but we'll wait for the det details out of this hearing.
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bleak to say the least. new infections, above 100,000 a day for the first time since february. hospital hospitalization at their highest level since february. it makes this current pain as unnecessary as it is real. >> we are failing. we would not be in the place we are right now with this delta surge if we had been more
effective in getting everybody to take advantage of these immunizations and now we're paying a terrible price. >> let's show you what that terrible price dr. collins speaks of. you can't really see the county lines on the map, can you? that's because 95% of the population live in a county where the cdc says you should mask up. where either high or substantial community transmission. look at all that red. that high. what happens when you have such high community transmission is you get this. above 100,000 new infections a day for the first time since february. one year ago, we were at 54,000 cases a day. had a dip. went up into the winter. we're still going up now as we make our way through the summer. when cases go up that fast, hospitalizations go up. the peak in january was 142,000 back in february.
62 there. a year ago, 60,000. so this number remains up and frustrating. the experts say the only way to fix this is to get more americans vaccinated. these are people getting their first shot. it is trending up a little bit. sunday, 481,000 plus, but most public health experts say you got to get it well above 500,000. many say a million to a million and a half. let's bring in to share her insights and expertise, our cnn medical analyst. former baltimore health commissioner and author of a new book, lifeline. how high, how fast, how much more aggressive does the vaccine ramp up need to be in this race now against delta, which are we are losing? >> you're right that we're certainly losing this battle now. when we look at even compare today a month ago, we are at 900% the level of new infections compared to early july and there's no particular end in sight. i mean, i think all of us would
want the vaccination numbers to be a lot higher in a sense we need a lot more community immunity. we can get there. however, we also have to keep in mind that vaccination for the short-term is not going to be the answer even if every single person gets vaccinated today, we're still looking at another six weeks before there is enough immunity from that population. so we really need indoor mask mandates. it's really upsetting, i think, that in the places, the parts of the country that have the most surge, they're the places that are least likely to be imposing vaccine requirements and masking requirements, too. >> and many of those same areas, i'm about to show them on the map, are going back to school starting last week or this week. so it all overlaps. let's look at that population. this is the map of the country. alabama's the only state below. it has the lowest. 34.8. just pay attention down here. if you look in this area where
you see the vaccination rate is the lowest. this is vaccination rate. right? so now we're going to look at cases for 100,000 people. where is the problem? the darker the state here, the higher the problem. it's the same area. i'm going to stop here for a second. florida is the highest. but you see arkansas, louisiana, mississippi, alabama. there is zero, zero, zero dispute here. where vaccinations are low, cases are higher and if you look at that florida number now, it jumps off the table at you. >> that's the correlation that we're seeing and it makes scientific sense that in places where there isn't a lot of immunity, that's why the delta variant is ripping through these communities. and again, i find it, i think a lot of us in public health are so frustrated that at this point, we now have the tools, but there are governors, leaders in these parts of the country saying we don't want to use the tools at our disposal. in fact, we're not even going to allow families to use these to protect their children and that's extremely upsetting
especially because we know how dangerous this delta variant is. >> again, i just want to go through it. i get criticized all the time saying we're overstating this, we're hyping this. this is where vaccinations are low. this is where cases are high. this is where hospitalizations are now going back up. the same overlapping area of the country. you mentioned politicians, many want to stay the course. florida adds cases, 668 deaths. miami herald, 23,000 new cases. more people than ever hospitalized. one of our other medical contributors, listen to this. >> it's so high in florida that i think if florida were another country, we would have to consider banning travel from florida to the united states. >> provocative, but it points to the problem that that one state in particular is driving a surge right now.
>> that's right and we know that we have travel requirements for other parts of the world that have variants of concern, that are undergoing their own surges. the only issue is here in the u.s., we know that it doesn't work for us to restrict travel from different states. there are too many porous land borders. no way to be really imposing quarantining, testing requirements for people from other states. a lot of us living in other parts of the country that are not going through surges right now. we should not be resting saying, oh, that's what's happening in florida or arkansas or louisiana. we should be looking at what's going to happen to our states next because this is a virus that knows no borders and it's only a matter of time, too, before we may get another variant that may be worse than the dfelta variant in some ways. this should be a call to action for all of us. if there's a problem in one part of the country, it affects everyone in america. >> i brought this map up just to reenforce your point.
yes, the problem is most greatest down here. you see, we're one country. grateful for your time and insights. ahead, one senator says the united states came close to what he calls, quote, total catastrophe. new details about the former president's efforts to steal the election. ♪ ♪ ♪ aloha! isn't this a cozy little room? sorry your vacation request took so long to get approved, so you missed out on the suite special. but lucky for you, they had this. when employees are forced to wait for vacation request approvals,it can really cramp their style. i'm gonna leave you to it. um, just— with paycom, employees enter and manage their own hr data in a single, easy-to-use software. visit paycom.com and schedule a demo today.
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congressional investigators are getting stunning firsthand accounts of donald trump's effort to deny democracy and to stay in power. over the weekend, two top trump justice department officials sat for interviews with the senate judiciary committee. senator richard blumenthal says trump's conduct was tantamount to a coup attempt and involves criminal behavior. >> we're talking about potential false statements, obstruction of justice, attempts to impede the lawful activities of the united states. what donald trump did here in effect was try to overthrow the election and there are all kinds of potential criminal charges because asking the department of justice to call an election corrupt falsely is potentially a criminal violation. >> with me to share the reporting and their insights, kaitlyn collins, our chief white house correspondent, stef
herndon, heather cagle and tarini. elie honig is also back with me. i want to start with the point senator blumenthal was making. we can put up on the screen, jeffrey rosen, richard donahue was his acting attorney general. jeffrey clark, the lawyer who was apparently willing to do his bidding. is there criminal activity here? as congress looks into this, do you see the potential for either the former president or those around him trying to help him, do they have criminal ku culpability? >> i fall on senator blumenthal's side. i think there's criminality here that needs to be investigated by the justice department, but this is an important distinction. the report is that jeffrey rosen has been talking to congress, which can't bring criminal charges. they can refer it, but can't bring criminal charges. but also the justice department
inspector general, however, the inspector general does not bring criminal charges either. they do internal discipline and review. so according to the reporting, jeffrey rosen is not talking to the part of doj that can bring criminal charges right now and that's where merit garland i think needs to step up. he needs to make sure there's a criminal investigation of this happening at doj. we don't see any evidence that that's happening as of yet. >> before we talk, let's include now another democrat. senator dick durbin. listen to what he described. there's the senate judiciary committee is looking at this, the house committee as well. listen. >> just how directly personally involved the president was, the pressure he was putting on jeffrey rosen. it was real. very real. and it was very specific. this president's not subtle. he's not subtle when he wants something. >> you were covering the white house at the time.
we knew this was happening, but now we are getting such remarkable details. secretaries of state saying can you flip this in georgia, but asking the then attorney general of the united states. top law enforcement officer in the country to declare the election corrupt. essentially clear the path for me to stay here. >> right, after bill barr stepped down and said there is no evidence of any kind of fraud, at least not widespread, in this election. i think what is so unusual about this are these conversations between jeffrey clark and then president trump. for the head of the civil division to be end running the acting attorney general or attorney general depending on the timeline of when bill barr were there, is incredibly unusual. you are not supposed to be having conversations with the president. that is completely unnatural for somebody in that position, if you look at the organization chart at the justice department. and jeffrey clark has defended those conversations saying they were consistent with the law. they were weighing the pros and cons. when you're learning this, you have to raise the question of what pros and cons are they weighing? coming out and having the
justice department help sew doubt about the election even though they had no evidence there was any doubt to be raised about it. >> does it matter? there are still republicans to this day bowing at the altar of donald trump. you would think that as you learn details like that this enough republicans would stand up and say, sorry, we have to quit this as quickly as possible. >> i think it's interesting we heard from senator durbin and blumenthal, the democrats on this committee, but we haven't really heard so much from the republicans who are on this committee and what they think. i think the hold that the former president continues to have on the republican party is going to be interesting to continue to watch. especially as we see president biden's agenda now make its way through congress and how many republicans continue to support things like the infrastructure bill and how much, you know, what the president tried, what the former president tried to do with the election still continues to be part of this overall conversation. >> i'm nuts to think that republicans are going to stand up and say enough, right? >> yeah. i'm with you on that one. it's not just the republicans
haven't come out and said that donald trump is wrong for what happened on january 6th. they've been elevating people in state parties and school boards and locally who have actually tried to change the narrative of what we know to be true coming out of that and leading up to that. this wasn't a secret thing that was happening. you know, we have the back channel conversations between the former president and the doj, but we have the statements. a president who was clearly putting all of his effort into trying to overturn the election. he did it with the same level of ignorance with how the government functions as he did with president, but there was not a lack of effort from the president's part. we've seen a republican party now not only rally around him, but i was out in michigan a couple of months ago, the people who have backed him on this thing are taking over on the grass roots level which means these fighting are still coming. >> we live in a polarized world and we do this day-to-day including in the cable news and newspaper business. ruth marcus is the deputy
editorial for the "washington post." i try not to be alarmist, but it is difficult to read the latest reports and not be alarmed. the drip, drip, drip evolution of this story has served to mask this story. ruth makes a critical point here, which is why where do these investigations go on capitol hill? speaker pelosi in the house has said let's put this in the selection committee. perhaps republicans will never believe anything produced by a democratic majority, but what is the plan to pull this together? just to lay it out on the record so that weeks from now, and years from now, people can look back at the details? >> i think the parallel paths that the senate and house are on is a big question for leadership. how do they merge these? for pelosi, it was important enough to put in one committee and even last week, she put out this statement congratulating the oversight chair on landing these interviews even though they hadn't technically interviewed rosen and others,
and said okay, thank you for your hard work. now we're going to send this off to the select committee. pelosi has hand selected who's on that committee. she knows the staff. they meet in her office and they strategize. she has all the control over this committee. and for her, it's about laying out a record. obviously congress can't bring criminal charges, but they can put it all out in the open to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> we have elections, too, but yeah, it will be interesting to watch. up next, florida reported more than 134,000 new covid infections last week and the positivity rate is approaching 20%. governor ron desantis says all is well. one, two! one, two, three! only pay for what you need! with customized car insurance from liberty mutual! nothing rhymes with liberty mutual.
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test case for staying the course. florida reporting a record covid case count. nearly 135,000 new infections. less than half of its population is fully vaccinated and the positivity rate for those under 40 who get a covid test tops 20%, but the state's republican governor says all is well. no new covid restrictions necessary. >> i talk to people around the state. how are things going, and they say things are humming. you have some politicians that say i am going to eliminate the virus. i will defeat it. unfortunately, government can't just end it. we still have 1918 flu floating
around. >> panel is back with us. i just want to note for the record because he styles himself as mini trump. donald trump once said he would defeat the virus, too, but he is a test case in that he says, look, this happens. i'm not going to restrict your life. i don't want kids wearing masks in school. essentially, tough it out. >> he's running a test case for his own political ambition but also, how much that republican base, how much the base cares about governing at large. he is someone who has said this virus is not going to impede the way that he thinks his state should run. mentioning freedoms and stuff like that. we know this is an ambitious politician. also looking ahead to what the future of the republican party is going to look like after president trump. he has made a bet on coronavirus restrictions, on things like critical race theory and the like. and thinks that the republican base is looking for someone who can implement those issues but take away the bombastic nature
of donald trump. we know the donor base likes that. the elite class of republicans have been looking to desantis as the voice of the future. so far in florida, we don't see a real pushback against that, but democrats are going to try to rustle that up for his re-election chances. that's going to be test case number one in that we know he's looking ahead to 2025. >> we need to stop the tape today then come back in a month, two months, three months because right now, the trajectory of covid in florida is dangerous. we know he's in a war of words with president biden at the moment, but this is senator bill cassidy, a doctor, a republican senator from louisiana. the governor says he doesn't think local school boards should be mandating masks. he says, not your call. >> i do disagree with governor desantis. the local officials should have control here. whenever politicians mess with public health, it doesn't work out well for public health or
the politician. the american people want public health. >> the governor of arkansas, you heard senator cassidy say he shouldn't get involved with public health. the senator of arkansas decided to sign a ban on mask mandates and now he says i regret it. >> facts change and leaders have to adjust to the new facts that, and the reality of what you have to deal with. it was an error to sign that law. >> it's interesting in the middle of this current covid surge. some republicans, especially the governors who have to get vaccinations, some of them say what else can we do? but desantis holding firm. >> yeah, i think the interesting thing about both governors desantis and abbott in texas is they're not just letting people do what they want. they're taking action in telling school districts that they can't make their, the children mask up. they're actually taking sort of the opposite approach here so they are taking some action.
it's just not in line with what the biden administration wants and what we're hearing from the white house now is you know, at least get out of the way is kind of the phrase they've been using. if you're not going to follow public health guidelines, don't discourage other people or make other people not follow those public health guidelines. >> there is a, if you disagree with governor desantis, at least he encourages people to get vaccinated. he does. we should put that on the record. i want you to listen to marjorie taylor green. >> i hear alabama might be one of the most unvaccinated states in the nation. i want to talk to you guys. he's going to be sending one of his police friends to your front door. what they don't know is in the south, we all love our second amendment rights. >> there's a lot to unravel there. number one, applause when she
says alabama is one of the least vaccinated states in the country. that should not be an applause line in any setting. democrat, republican, independent, whatever. then joe biden is going to send his police state friends to your front door. what they don't know is in the south, we love our second amendment rights. we are months removed from the united states capitol. >> that messaging is so harmful because people have this idea and misinformation does spread and we've seen how powerful it can be, about this idea that the federal government is going to come knock on your door if you're not vaccinated. if you've listened to just an eight of what they've said, they say it's a personal choice you're making when it comes to what not. i don't think the applause for the idea that alabama's one of the least vaccinated states is very funny. i'm from there. the idea that less than 35% of the people that i grew up with are not vaccinated and haven't made that choice in part because of harmful messaging like that,
is not something worth clapping over. >> not that she would listen, but the republican leadership, they don't try that. >> no. really the senate is the out liar here. senate republicans are the ones we've seen. mcconnell opens his pressers saying please get vaccinated. we saw bill cassidy saying things like that. but house republican leader mccarthy and others do what desantis and abbott are doing and politicize this and turn it into something that you know, is very dangerous for public health, frankly. >> it's going to be fascinating to watch as we go through this surge now which happens to be taking us into an election here. how covid and politics align. appreciate it. up next, being aoc. dana bash goes one-on-one with alexandria ocasio-cortez.
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congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is developing a unique brand in american politics. being outspoken is a big part of it but so is maximizing her leverage. though some questions don't get an answer. >> are you going to challenge senator schumer in a primary race? >> you know, i -- here's the thing is that, and i know it drives everybody nuts, but the way that i really feel about this and the way that i really
approach my politics and my political career is that i do not look at things and i do not set my course positionally. and i know there's a lot of people who do not believe that but i really -- i can't operate the way that i operate and do the things that i do in politics while trying to be aspiring to other things or calculating to other things. and so all that is to say is that i make decisions based on what i think our people need and my community needs. and so i'm not commenting on that. >> that exchange just one of many the new york congresswoman had with dana bash as part of a new series called being. now if she's in a primary with schumer, everything changes.
if she's not going to run, she loses leverage. >> that's right. she's got some time. as you can imagine, i didn't leave it there. there were follow up questions. including whether or not she's going to put chuck shuman out of his misery or in his misery in the near future. she also didn't answer that. but one of the other questions i asked is about the highest office because there were post it notes outside of her office. people love saying aoc for president. she didn't answer. she just said i don't want to dash the dreams of little girls, which was an interesting answer. >> another thing is she's become quite polarizing. if you watch another network, you see her face a lot. she says some of her democratic colleagues might be getting the wrong impression. >> i saw that you said once that i think a lot of people including my democratic colleagues believe the fox news version of me. >> yeah, yeah. i mean, my first term was very painful. it was very, very painful and
you know, i came in and i unseated an incumbent that while may not have been very resonant in our community, was very popular inside those you know, smoke filled rooms and so i took away a friend. and i walked in into a very cold environment. even within my own party. >> she defeated a good friend of the speaker. joe crowley. is it better now? >> you know, a little. it seems as though at least she feels like she's proved herself and she's gotten to establish more real relationships with people, but that moment was so fascinating because we both know she's right. former congressman joe crowley is very, very popular here. he's an affable guy. he had a lot of, and still has a lot of friends in the democratic party and she was one of the first. he was one of the first, rather, to be toppled in a very public
way within his own party in that wave of successful primary fights. and the way she describes what it was like as cold was really telling. it's better the way she describes it, but still not 100% better and the reason is because, as she said in the first clip, she understands where she wants to go in politics and that is and continues to be challenging the establishment and maybe especially includes the establishment of her own party. >> relationship with the speaker better in the sense that nancy pelosi often says i was once you. i was once challenging the establishment. better? >> i think that they understand each other. probably the best way to describe it. >> understand each other. thanks, dana. be sure to catch this new cnn series, being. first episode tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. zbl up next, the huge bipartisan infrastructure package now teed
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earth is warming faster than thought. the report from more than 200 climate scientists says a hotter future is now unavoidable. and from the california republican party. the state gop says it will not endorse one of the four candidates running in place of gavin newsome. we'll see you back here tomorrow. ana cabrera picks up our coverage right now. hello and thanks for being with us. right now, on average, 21 americans are dying from covid each hour. a tragic, preventable statistic at the delta variant grips this nation. and moments ago, more proof that vaccines are saving lives. the cdc just out with new data. taking the delta variant into account and it reaffirms more than 99.99%