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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  August 9, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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florida. that's where governor ron desantis's office is really saying that the state could withhold salaries of any school official who enacts a mask mandate. joining me now is anna fusco. she is the president of the broward teachers' union. anna fusco, thank you for joining us. i really appreciate it. your district was planning to require masks, but now the governor is threatening to dock your pay. how are you going to respond to that? >> well, you know, we're having our school-board meeting tomorrow. and i'm really confident that our school board is going to hold strong because they do know that our students' lives matter. and our employees matter. we have 35,000 employees that are going to -- um -- start school, in two days. and our students will be here next week. and i -- you know, i don't think that threat is going to scare them. they're strong women. and they care about their
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students. they've -- were elected by us, and they've heard from us. and the mass majority wants them to make sure that we're all protected. >> do you think, anna, that the governor is punishing teachers for political reasons? >> i -- you know what, i can't answer what the governor's doing this. he just gave everybody $1,000 bonus, classroom teachers and principals. and now, he wants to act like that our lives don't matter. it's just something that has got everybody confused, and trying to figure out where is he coming from? why is he doing this for masks? and keeping protocols in place, that have kept the spread, you know, no spread happened in broward county public schools, for multiple protocols. and one of 'em was the mask wearing. >> hmm. the -- tonight, the -- a spokesman for -- a spokesperson for the governor governor said that mask mandates are okay, if they allow parents to opt out of the requirement. i mean, what good a is mask mandate, if you don't have to follow it?
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>> well, we -- we want a mask mandate and the opt-out portion, we had -- we had a little mask opt-out portion, back in last-school year. where it was for, you know, the most medically needy. and there was protocols that needed to take place. doctors' notes and so forth. so, if there is going to be any discussion of any type of opt out, i would say that that would, you know, take the course of what we did last-school year. if you're going to opt out, you hit the nail on the head. why have a mask mandate? >> yeah. anna, what are you hearing from teachers in your county? what are their concerns? >> their concerns are that they're going to be in a classroom, anywhere from 20 students to, you know, 35 students, 60 students, depending on what class they're teaching. and they want to be protected. they want their students to be protected. they're looking forward to having kids back, face to face. and they want to keep all the
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protocols in place, and one of them is the masks. and they are, you know, asking, basically, you know, saying that, you know, we want to come back. keep the masks there. keep our schools clean. make sure we're being taken care of with, you know, proper cleaning and sanitizing. let us continue what we did last year, when we went back to school in october, that kept the spread out of our schools. >> anna, you think there should be mask -- a vaccine mandate, i should say -- vaccine mandates for -- for teachers? >> well, i would say, let's, you know, see what's happening when the fda's going to come forward and if it's -- it's passed, i think we can have more conversation on the mandate. i do know that the mass majority of our teachers in broward county public schools, all of the employees, they couldn't wait for the vaccine to come out. and i -- you know, if we were able to have a conversation of how many were vaccinated, i think we would be pleasantly surprised that it's not the teachers or the broward county public school employees that are not vaccinated. you know, they have been encouraged.
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the -- the lines were down the street, when they opened up, you know, sites for our teachers and employees. so, i would say that, um, we're on the road to making sure that we're going to continue to be safe. i strongly encourage vaccines. i -- i do know, you know, myself, anna fusco, on a personal level. if the mandate did happen, you know, i wouldn't stand in the way. but i think, you know, there's many reasons why people might not be able to get vaccinated, now. but we're hoping that people, if they're able to, that they get in line and they get vaccinated. it's -- it will just, you know, be a stronger possibility that we can have the spread stop, and we can get past this. >> well, you know, anna, school starts in just a matter of days. what's your message to governor ron desantis, tonight? >> our message to governor ron desantis, that you are elected governor and your position is, you know, to take care of our state. you know, you're a servant of us, and we need you to stand up
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and be a strong -- um -- positive governor. and show that you care about our lives. you know, please, stop attacking our school districts. threatening you're going to take away funding. threatening you are going to take away salaries of our superintendents and elected-board leaders. they have been chosen by their constituents, as you have been, let everybody stay in their lane and take care of what we need to do in our school districts. we have faith in our school-board ladies and our new superintendent. so please, you know, do what's right for our state and, you know, stop this type of action that you don't care about people as lives. >> anna fusco. sincere thanks. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. so i want to turn now, to texas, that's where the virus is also raging. but governor greg abbott there is banning mask mandates in schools. breaking news, tonight. a dallas county judge is asking a texas court for a temporary restraining order against the governor over his ban.
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state capital of austin, a teacher pleads with her school board to defy the governor and the mask requirements. >> for many years, you have asked me to be brave. you've asked me to be brave as i practiced getting 24 fourth graders into a bathroom. you have asked me to locate in our hiding spot anything with which i might fight off an active shooter. you have asked me to be brave as i think about what would happen if there's some sort of extreme danger in my class is on the playground. i have discussed with kids how we would run into the woods, hide by the creek, all of us together, avoiding danger. you have asked me to be brave ask come back to work during the pandemic after surgery and six months of chemotherapy for stage-three cancer and i have done it and i will do it and i will show up and i will get in my closet, and i will look for the path to the woods. board members, you don't have to do these things. but just as i will be brave and think about how my body my shield children from danger, i ask that you be brave today. you know what you need to do to protect children. do it. implement a district-wide mask mandate and vaccine requirements for students and staff. >> and that is -- was caroline
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sweet. a teacher in austin -- in the austin independent school district. and there she is, on your screen, now, live. um, thank you. i appreciate you coming on, and telling your story. and for the really powerful message that you gave there. and it's not just you. parents and students are, also, begging for a mask mandate tonight. let's listen to them, and then you and i will talk. >> please, stand up to governor abbott and his anti-science order, and require masks for austin students. my 9-year-old, emmett, has sacrificed 15% of his childhood to stay safe at home. i'm terrified his brothers may bring covid home to him. >> to stand for the safety of our community. the leadership means protecting others and speaking up for them. >> it is our responsibility to protect our children. returning to school without a mask mandate risks the lives of our children. it teaches them that science is irrelevant, that education is unnecessary, that expertise is meaningless, and that critical thinking is not actually
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critical. >> huh, interesting. listen. i think i misspoke when i said that you were against -- you want the mask. you are against the governor banning the masks, so that's my bad. so, you -- you all want the school board to -- of trustees to go against your governor, require masks. so how do you see this playing out? >> yeah. thanks, don. thanks for having me, tonight. you know, i called into the school-board meeting, this morning, um, you know, thinking my audience was just whoever watches the school-board meeting in austin, texas. and -- and now, i'm on your show. but i'm not -- i'm just one voice. but there are many of us in austin, in texas, asking schools to implement schoolwide, districtwide mask mandates to keep our children safe. and so, that's -- the community in austin is coming together to demand that the school district in austin defy governor abbott's mask -- ban on mask mandates and implement mask mandates to keep our kids safe. >> hmm. you know, you have battled cancer. you mentioned that, you know, in -- that you were -- had a
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weakened-immune system there -- is -- in the -- in the tape that we played -- is the governor putting your health at risk, with this ban? >> well, certainly, yeah. i mean, you know, i think i have a unique perspective on the pandemic because i -- i spent the whole pandemic -- um -- trying not to die from cancer, chemo, and covid. um, and really, i have, within me, a duty to serve children, to educate children. and that's where i need to be, too. i need them, first and foremost, to be safe when they're with me. and i need to stay safe so that i can serve them, and work with them and their families. so, yeah, my health is on the line, as well. um, and i need to stay safe for them. >> look. clearly, your -- i admire your passion on this. and i know you're worried about your students. what are you hearing from parents in the community, caroline? >> you know, i work in an area of austin that is underresourced. um, at the school i work at,
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everyone receives free breakfast and lunch. um, and that's the type of school i've always worked in. and it is an area of austin that has been so hard hit by covid. um, and the families that we work with have suffered immense tragedies. and in a recent survey, the -- the respondents from my school, 92% of parents said they would send their kids to school with a mask. so, in my community, that's what we need. that's what we want. and that's what we are going to do to keep our kids safe. >> today, the governor abbott sent a letter asking texas hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective-medical procedures, in order to increase hospital capacity for covid patients. so, look. clearly, he understands the threat to your state. so, why do you think the governor is banning mask mandates? why would he do this? >> look. it's really hard for me to speak on governor abbott's motives. but i have theories about --
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um -- how certain politicians might prefer to create strife in public education, which opens up opportunities for charter and other privatization efforts. and so, i think, that might be an underlying factor. and, of course, in the broader-political landscape, i understand that governor abbott might be trying to maintain certain allies. but as a person who's about to walk into a classroom next week with kids, um, i don't -- i don't even want to talk about politics, anymore. i just want to keep the kids safe. >> well, caroline sweet, and thank you. you're here to -- to spread your message, and i hope folks listen. i appreciate you coming on. thanks so much. >> thank you, don. >> be safe. thanks. i want to bring in now cnn medical analyst, dr. jonathan reiner. he is the director of the cardiac catheterization program at george washington university hospital. also with us, mr. mark mckinnon, he is the former adviser to george w. bush and john mccain and the executive producer of
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"the circus." good evening, gents. dr. reiner, um, you just heard the -- those educators facing threats and pushback from their governors. for trying to keep students safe. there were parents there, pleading with him to -- with this -- with this delta variant, they are angry and they are rightfully so at the so-called leaders playing games, really, with their children's lives. >> right. so, this variant is infecting kids, at a -- at a very rapid rate, now. about 220 children are being admitted to children's hospitals, every day, in the -- in the united states. and in parts of the country, it's hard to find a room in an intensive-care unit in a children's hospital because of the coronavirus. so, the threat is real. over 4,000 kids in this country have had the multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
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a serious disease with unknown, long-term consequences. so, the -- the consequences are real. and now, it's, also, important to understand that all of our kids under the age of 12 are vulnerable to be infected. we have vaccinated almost-200 million people in this country. none of them are under 12. so, we need to link arms. we need to put the nonsense of the politics away. and we need to protect our kids, as best as possible. hopefully, sometime in september or so, we'll be able to start vaccinating children under the age of 12. but until then, and even after then, we're going to need to protect them by masking up to protect the kids and, also, to protect the vulnerable teachers, like your last guest. who, after having survived cancer, remains vulnerable to being infected with this virus. >> yeah, you know, what i hear -- this is another thing -- another thing. but i hear parents and, you know, getting excuses for their kids. and saying, well, my kid has
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diabetes. or my kid has, you know, some sort of underlying condition. isn't that even more of an incentive for them to get the vaccination? >> absolutely. >> so then, why are they -- why are they using the excuse to opt out of it? when it's the one that should be -- that they should be using to get a vaccine? >> it's -- you know, it's the entirely -- you know, wrong philosophy. the -- the more fragile your child is, the more desperate you should want to protect them with a mask and, eventually, with a vaccine. only about a third of kids, between 12 and 18, only -- only a third of those adolescents have been vaccinated and they can be vaccinated now. we have to do a lot better. this virus is infecting children, and i -- i'm really worried about what happens when schools open, over the next -- next month. particularly, in places where masks will not be universal. >> yeah. mark, let's talk about the political side of this.
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the political strategy. i mean, what kind of political strategy is it to potentially put children at risk? and then, double down on it? >> i think it's insane, don. i -- this has to be, i think, i've seen a lot in politics over the years but this is the most cruel, insensitive, public policy, if you want to call it that. really, it's just naked politics to the base of the current-republican party. and this tells you a whole lot about the base of the republican party. that they would deny masks when they're the ones who were saying that they want the schools to be open. well, everybody wants the schools to be open. and ron desantis said we're not gonna do the mask mandate, in florida. we need our kids to breathe. well, the masks are what going to help people -- the masks are what -- are what is going to keep kids from going into a hospital, into an icu unit that may not be available, and put on a ventilator so that they can breathe for the rest of their lives. it's ridiculous. and it's -- and i believe it's going to have enormous consequences. i mean, ron desantis and greg
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abbott are playing russian roulette with children's kids lives now because of politics. >> you think they are going to regret it? mark, you think they're going to regret it? >> oh, i think they're going to regret it for the rest of their lives. i really do. i think it's shameful. and i think that they will regret this for the rest of their lives. >> hmm. this is governor desantis, what he recently said about the pandemic. that is ravaging his state. listen to this. >> i talk to people around the state. how are things going? and they say things are humming. >> and so, i think the question is, is we can either have a free society. or we can have a biomedical-security state. >> in terms of imposing any -- any restrictions, you know, that -- that's not happening in florida. uh, it's -- it's harmful. it's destructive. it -- it does not work. >> at the end of the day, we got to start putting our kids first. we got to look out for their education. is it really comfortable? is it really healthy for them to
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be muzzled, and have their breathing obstructed all-day long in school? i don't think it is. >> i'm -- i mean, mark, what do you -- >> you think they're going to be more comfortable on a ventilator in an icu unit, governor desantis? i don't think so. i really don't. >> you think they have backed -- because people are pushing back. have they backed themselves into a corner? >> i think they have and i think you're right, don. they're just doubling down because they think they can't scramble out of it now because they've gone this deep and i just think the consequences are going to be tragic. >> yeah. i -- like someone said, i call my senators or my governor's office to -- to make an appointment for -- um -- some medical advice ask they said call your doctor. and they said, yeah, exactly. ha-ha-ha. that's the point. dr. reiner, i've got to take -- get your take on rand paul slamming cdc guidelines. take a listen to this. >> no one should follow the cdc's anti-science mask mandates. will we allow these people to
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use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children? or will we stand together, and say absolutely not? not this time. i choose freedom. >> how dangerous is this rhetoric coming from an elected official with a medical degree? >> well, that former ophthalmologist is always wrong about this pandemic. he has been wrong about everything he has spoken acbout. first of all, he should spend a little bit more time worrying about what's going on in kentucky. kentucky, right now, has a case average of 47 cases per 100,000 residents. it's, like, three-times what it is in new york state. you know, the -- the virus is -- is out of control in his state. and his constant, anti-science rhetoric. he's the same senator, who decided it was a great idea to go for a swim in the senate
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swimming pool while he was waiting for his covid test to come back in january, during the worst of the winter surge. he was the only senator on the floor in the senate refusing to wear a mask. he has doubted vaccines, in the past, at a hearing two years ago he said he doesn't want to give up liberty for false sense of security when it comes to wearing masks. he's a vax denier. he's an anti- -- anti-science promoter and he's dangerous. >> what is it? give me liberty or give me death? well -- >> well, he might have that. >> yeah, exactly. thank you, both. i appreciate it. the embattled governor of new york is in a fighting mood, even though his aides are urging him to resign. >> everyone's pushing the governor to resign. based on a report that has not been vetted, and that people are taking to be 100% true. today let's paint with behr ultra scuff defense... so that you can live that scuff-free life.
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sources telling cnn that new york governor andrew cuomo's closest confidants spent the weekend trying to convince him to resign, even though the governor remains in a quote, fighting mood. jut last week, a report from new york's attorney general found the governor sexually harassed 11 women, including a state trooper on his protective detail. so, joining me now, cnn political commentator, errol louis. errol, good to see you, again. thank you so much. >> good to be with you, don. >> absolutely. just moments ago on cnn, governor cuomo's attorney, rita glavin, talking about the explosive allegations by state trooper number one. here's what she had to say on that. >> i know that the governor wants, with respect to trooper-number one, he wants to apologize to her. um, he has tremendous respect for her. and he never, in any way, shape, or form, meant to make her feel as though he was touching her in a sexual way or violated her, as i think she testified to. >> so what is he apologizing
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for? >> so i do want to make that point. that, in any way, that she felt that way, that he did something that, you know, was untoward and that she felt disrespected, absolutely. >> so, she says that cuomo's gonna speak out, soon, on that, soon. but it's now been a week. what do you think about this -- this development? you saw the interview. i thought erika did a great job, on that interview. >> yeah, that was a great interview. listen. the governor keeps going back to apologizing -- um -- which, in many ways, misses the point, don. it's not -- this is not an attempt to get to the bottom of how he was feeling or what he intended. that's not how sexual harassment in the workplace functions. the way it works is, if you've done something that is harmful or offensive or outside of the rules, then there's -- you have to be held accountable for it and that's really what this overall procedure is about. the governor keeps coming back to saying, i apologize, i didn't mean it. um, i don't know if he intends
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to have 11 different apologies to 11 different women. but it doesn't negate the action, and the unlaw -- the potential unlawfulness of the action, if you are sorry about it or if you think there was some sort of misunderstanding. i mean, every corporation that makes its workers sit through these horrible videos about what you are and are not supposed to do, it goes through this. and you do not have the excuse of, i was joking. or she misinterpreted it. or i didn't mean to. those things don't really apply, in this kind of a situation. >> well, is it -- does it show you, though, considering what's happened over the last couple of days with the attorney coming out and things that are coming out in the case, that there's -- there's an effort to -- um -- to litigate this case in the media, rather than just doing it behind closed doors? because the ag's office is not really speaking out. they're saying our report speaks, for itself. but the cuomo -- as they should, the cuomo side should be getting
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their story out, but it seems to be an effort to sort of win over public opinion. do you get that? do you feel that way? or no? >> i -- i think they might believe that that's what they are doing. i don't know that it's working. we've only seen two polls, so far, and they both show supermajorities of new yorkers want the governor to resign. the -- the -- the fine line between making your case, and victim blaming is getting crossed, on a regular basis. you know? if -- if young women, who have absolutely nothing to gain by coming forward, in case after case after case, are coming forward. you know, it -- any way you want to put it, if you want to act as if, well, they're confused or they misunderstood me. um, you know, in the end, you're getting near that line of saying, well, it's their fault. i was just being me. and they, somehow, misinterpreted it. >> one of andrew cuomo's -- governor cuomo's closest aides, melissa derosa, resigned
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overnight. and the governor's attorney told my colleague, erica hill, that derosa has worked, nonstop, 24/7, for the last two years and that takes a toll. but melissa derosa is all over the state attorney general report. do you think she's jumping a sinking ship? or what do you -- what do you think of this? >> i think she's looking out for her best interests. and, you know, it's very telling that, in her brief note announcing her resignation, she does not mention andrew cuomo. she doesn't mention the person, who hired her, elevated her, gave her all of that power, and worked side by side with her, literally, for -- for years. that is telling. that's not an accident. it's not like she was too busy, on the -- on a sunday night to -- to -- to put in a word of thanks to him. and what it, strongly, suggests, don, is that she sees her own, personal, and perhaps legal, interests as diverging from that of the governor. and diverging from that of the administration. i read this, as a sign that she sees the storm clouds gathering.
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she sees that the governor wants to fight, wants to fight with somebody. and she, also, sees that the state assembly and other sources, including now, the sheriff of albany county, are bringing what can be real-legal heat that she's not going to escape, if she stays in that administration. so, i -- i think this was, you know, one more sign that this administration is, kind of, coming apart. and at this point, is literally leaderless. i mean, the -- the -- the role that she filled is almost, like, a deputy governor. all agencies would report to her. she knew the mind of the governor, and could speak for the governor on any-given day. >> and a press person to boot. >> we don't know -- we don't know who is going to fill in that role, now. >> hey, errol, really quick answer, please. or get me in trouble here. what did you make of brittany commisso's interview on cbs this morning? >> i thought she was believable. i mean, the same thing that the
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attorney general's report found. you know? i mean, you look at her motives. you look at her story. it sounds plausible. she -- she went out of her way to try and remain anonymous. and she feels like she was -- she was maltreated and she wants some -- some measure of justice for it. happens in the workplace, every day. it sounded very familiar. >> thank you, errol louis, i appreciate it. i will see you soon. >> thank you. yes, there have been breakthrough cases but the vaccine still protects people from getting seriously ill. and my next guest has the x-rays to show you exactly how much it's protecting people. we'll show you, next. the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now. it's the most comfortable, body-sensing, automatically-responding, energy-building, dually-adjustable, dad-powering, wellness-boosting, foot-warming, temperature-balancing, recovery-assisting, effortlessly life-changing proven quality night sleep we've ever made. save up to $1,000 on select sleep number 360 smart beds and adjustable bases. plus, no interest until january 2024 on all smart beds ends monday.
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encouraging news, tonight, for the more than 50% of americans who are fully vaccinated now. a new-cnn analysis of cdc data suggests that 99.99% of fully-vaccinated americans have not had a breakthrough case severe enough to land them in the hospital or resulting in death. and it comes, as we are learning even more about how the vaccine protects people from the worst of covid. joining me, now, to discuss is dr. alberto shaw. he is a radiologist at the university of california san diego health, and has been analyzing x-rays of covid patients since this pandemic began. um, good evening, to you. i'm so excited to talk to you, and i want people to be able to visually see what you're talking about. thank you, thank you, thank you dr. shou.
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so, look. i want you to look at some of these pictures that you've got to show us. just how much protection these vaccines give people. so we're looking at two sets of lungs from covid-19 positive patients. the person on the left is vaccinated. the person on the right is not. so, tell us what the pictures show you or show us about how effective the vaccines are. >> yeah. well, thanks for having me. i think, the two images that you have are -- are fairly representative of what we're seeing at uc-san diego and -- and a number of other places around the country, i'm sure. the image on the left, i assume, is the patient who -- um -- was, previously, vaccinated and had a very mild case of covid, for which there was very little involvement in the lungs. and the picture on the right is a picture of a patient, who was, previously, not vaccinated, didn't get around to having the vaccine. and has a lot of white spaces, cloudy areas of the lungs, that are indicative of pneumonia.
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>> wow. can you explain, please, doctor, what the vaccine does to the body's immune system to create these results? >> well, so -- so the vaccine gives your body a -- a head start. a head start to see -- to -- to react to a virus -- to an -- a foreign invader, well in advance of when that -- that infection occurs. and so, it's like having an army prepared, before -- before an attack. um, and so, in the vaccinated patient, that army's already ready. maybe, has to adjust a little bit. and it can, quickly, respond. in the unvaccinated patient, um, that's not the case. the -- the foreign invader is -- um -- completely catches the body by surprise, and allows it to grow -- um -- unchecked. >> like i said, you have been analyzing these x-rays since the beginning of the pandemic. can you, please, tell us -- i mean, can you tell us if the different variants from -- can you see different variants, in
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different images in -- when you're looking at this? >> well, i -- not -- not directly. you know, honestly, the -- what -- once the vaccination rates hit the highs -- um -- of -- locally, we -- we've been able to get 70% of our local population vaccinated. we -- we returned, mostly, to normal. and so, what we're seeing now is -- is -- is a steep rise amongst mostly unvaccinated patients. a few vaccinated patients are getting covid, as well. but um, we're attributing that to the massive rise of delta-variant cases that we're experiencing. >> with some of the breakthrough cases -- cases coming through. there's, also, been misinformation coming through, as well. people saying that the vaccines don't help against the delta variant. do pictures, like these, need to get out to more people so that they can see that the point of all of this is to prevent serious illness and death? i mean, that's really the bottom line here. >> right. i mean, i think -- um -- over the coming years, this -- this virus seems like it's gonna be
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with us for a long time. um, we're going to -- we should be expecting that it will change and adapt to our -- our immune responses. and eventually, more and more people will get the infection. but the -- the key thing, for most of these infections, like the flu and whatnot, is if your body's prepared, then you won't get so sick and -- and require a breathing tube. >> dr. hsiao, thank you. learned a lot. i really appreciate you being on, tonight. >> yeah, thanks a lot for having me. >> all right. so we're way past warning signs. 200 scientists now say global warning -- warming can't be stopped. and the consequences, already, being felt are only the beginning if we don't do something, now. so, stay with us. today let's paint with behr ultra scuff defense... so that you can live that scuff-free life. honey, i'm home! honey! scuff defense. i love our scuff-free life. behr ultra scuff defense. exclusively at the home depot.
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the united nations sounding the alarm on what the secretary general is calling a code red for humanity. a frightening, new u.n. report, outlining the threat posed by the climate crisis with the world's leading-climate scientists warning that the window to avoid catastrophic changes is, rapidly, closing. some of the key takeaways from the report. all right. it's up on your screen, now. humans are unequivocally warming the planet, at a pace faster than previously thought. cutting greenhouse gas emissions is the only way out of this. every part of the planet is being affected with some irreversible changes. and the level of atmospheric methane is skyrocketing. i want to bring in now jennifer frances, senior scientist at the wood well climate research center. thank you. i'm scared, quite honestly. good evening, to you.
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i've been wondering, though, recently, have we gone past the point of return? because this u.n. report is a wake-up call. it's happening as severe-weather events sweep across the globe. the dixie fire, in california, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. and in europe, the second-largest island in greece burning. homes and buildings are being destroyed and it's not just wildfires. it's floods. it's heat waves. it's droughts, like the one that's dried up like hermia in iran. i mean, are people beginning to realize that the climate crisis isn't something down the road, in the future? that it's right now, the future is now? >> well, i sure hope so, don, because i think all the evidence that you just listed, just from 2021, um, is certainly getting people's attention. and, i think, people are starting to realize that, you know, this isn't the -- the climate system that they grew up with. um, things are changing, so fast, and this report makes that very clear.
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um, and as you know, this report is the sixth that the inter -- intergovernmental panel on climate change has put out since 1990. and every one of those six reports has come out with a clearer picture, stronger language, a louder ringing of the alarm bells about this climate crisis that we've created. um, this is our doing and there is no doubt about that. >> but the alarm bells have been going off, for a long time, now. you point out, this is the sixth report from the u.n. group since 1990. so, what's been the biggest barrier of progress on this? >> the biggest barrier to progress has been a very successful disinformation campaign that's really been fueled and financed by the fossil-fuel industry. they've been spending millions and millions of dollars -- um -- putting wrong information out there. and people are, unfortunately, believing it. it's easy to believe.
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you want to believe it. you don't want to have to change. and they are using that desire to confuse people, to cast doubt, to make it seem like this is not a big problem. but um, it's becoming very clear, now, that mother nature has a very different plan in progress. >> well, you say that we can control how much -- how much worse this crisis gets, and we've got to pull out all the stops, immediately. but what are the stops? and what would work? >> well, we've got to do everything, all the way from our individual behavior, all the way up to government behavior. so, everything in between. there's a lot happening, on the individual and community and even state level. and many countries, as well. um, but less progress has been happening, really, at our national level and that's where it really has to happen. so, you know, literally, we need to stop spending money on more infrastructure that supports the fossil-fuel industry. we need to stop subsidizing more
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fossil-fuel exploration and building of infrastructure. and instead, spend that many millions of dollars that we have been using to subsidize the fossil-fuel industry on things that are going to take us into the future. um, renewable energy. a better-electric grid. more jobs to put in those solar panels, to build more wind turbines. that's the future. >> yeah. the bipartisan-infrastructure plan doesn't go as far as hoped on climate change. but democrats, today, unveiled the climate provisions in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. it would provide tax incentives for clean energy manufacturing and transportation, impose polluter fees, create coastal and ocean resiliency programs. invest to fight droughts and wildfires. what impact would they have? >> well, we'll see. you know, so far, it's mostly just a lot of talk. and so, we really need to see
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that rubber hitting the road, and starting to see some of these incentive programs, fee programs. things that are gonna actually change people's behavior and government's behavior, business behavior, so that we are aiming more towards an economy based on renewable-clean energy system, and not going back to the fossil fuels. because burning fossil fuels, literally, puts these hea heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. and right now, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the highest it's been, in at least 800,000 years. and the last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the sea levels were about-20 feet higher. so that's the trajectory that we're on, right now. and that's the one that we have to find a way to get ourselves off of. >> well, jennifer frances, thank you for educating us. we appreciate you joining. >> happy to do it, anytime. thank you. >> thank you. just hours away from the big vote on president biden's trillion-dollar infrastructure
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. this time it really is infrastructure week. it really is because in just hours, the massive $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package is set for a final vote in the senate after clearing the last procedural hurdle following months of furious negotiations. that procedural vote passing with a large bipartisan margin with 18 republicans voting with all the senate democrats. officials say president biden will be watching the final vote from the white house. the president is poised to deliver a speech to mark the bill's passage since it is such a key piece of his economic agenda. cnn will have all the updates on the vote and the president's remarks live tomorrow. make sure you stay tuned. but for now, that's it for me. i'll see you tomorrow. thanks for watching. our coverage continues.
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this past year has felt like a long, long norwegian winter. but eventually, with spring comes rebirth. everything begins anew. and many of us realize a fundamental human need to connect with other like-minded people. welcome back to the world. viking. exploring the world in comfort... once again.
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hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom," and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, in the u.s. politics, the pandemic and the start of school are on a collision course, and medical experts are sounding the alarm. thousands in greece flee their homes and more than 500 wildfires burn across the country. the president calling the fires a natural disaster of

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