tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC July 18, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
"this week" with george . . this week with gorge stephanopoulos starts now. coast to coast cases are soaring. los angeles hours ago reimposing its mask mandates, while the administration warns against false claims of the vaccines. >> lives are dependant on it. >> this morning, we are live with u.s. and debate over democracy.
>> this is political theater. >> texas lawmakers walked out. republican-lead off to restricted rights. >> we hit the road talking to both sides as the debate plays out across the country. reports that america's top general feared president trump was planning a coup in his final days in office. and, jeff bezos blasts off to edge of space two days away. our geo benitez with the he he of the big from abc news "this week" with coanchor martha raddatz. good morning, residents of the nation's populous county are
waking up to a new and all too familiar reality. despite all the progress we made. it is a remiender that our national fight from covid is far fromover as the delta variant sweeps the country and cases are rising nearly all 50 states. the country's case average surged more than 60% in the last week to more than 27,000 cases. that's a whopping 143% increase over the past four weeks. fuelling the surge, unvaccinated americans who make up more than 97% of hospitalized she wa patients. can they change any minds, could we see more major city across america reinstitute their mask recommendations. dr. murthy is standing by with
more. we begin with kaley hartung inside joseph medical center, good morning to you, kaley. >> good morning, a few weeks ago this hospital system in southern california was treating just 30 covid patients. that number has jumped to 130. this situation continues to get worse in california. for the past week, in los angeles county more than a thousand new cases reported everyday. that number was closer to 2,000 on friday and saturday. for perspective, a month ago, the county was averaging 200 new cases everyday. we have been on something of a roller coaster here. la county lifted all restrictions of capacity limits and social distance and bars and restaurants packed but now a sharp reversal bringing back mask mandates regardless of your
vaccination status. each infection prevented and experts say it is one last chance for the virus to mutate in dangerous ways as happens with the delta variant. it is responsible for 70% of covid cases in los angeles. the sheriff here is saying he won't enforce the mask mandate. it is an honor system. >> thank you, kaley.kaley.kaleye good morning, thank you for joining us. a month ago you stood with governor newsom that says california roars back as lifted all restrictions even though there were warnings of the highly contagious delta variant, should you have taken that
warning more seriously? >> when we look back in the last seven days, a whole lot has changed. i can tell you the variant varit transmissible and substantially. at the time when all of this was declared that we are opening up, the numbers were not that high. now you recordported and other organizations, in the last few days, we are up to 1900 cases and over 460 individuals that are now in our icu units. this is very disturbing. of course, as responsible ele elected officials, we have to do something. the county has the ability to do that through our health order and officers. i would just say i am not pleased that we have to go back to using the mask in this manner
but none the less is going to save lives. that to me is what's most important. and getting more people to understand that they have to get vaccinated. >> the cdc guidance says that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask. you are making the 52% of your citizens are vaccinated wearing masks. why are they punished for the outbreak overwhelmingly for those chosen not to get a shot. >> it is not punishment. it is prevention. we still have 4 million people out of ten million that's not vaccinated. many of them are young people. we are seeing this transmission is highly contagious that'll cause more in the long run that we have to see our hospitals being impacted and icu units and healthcare workers, i want to caution people that we still
have many youngsters under the age of 12. we should take a proactive approach making sure that we mask up and get vaccinated as soon as possible. we are lessening the hardship to get vaccinated. we are going with boot s on the ground to parks or or anywhere you can think of. >> quickly if you can. last question, enforcement is always an issue. the sheriff department released a statement saying they'll not enforce mask wearing, arguing the order contradicts cdc's guidelines. how do you plan enforcing this mask mandate? >> our public health department is typically the individuals that go out and do inspections. i don't see where the sheriff really has to come in and wait in the manner that he may have
thought and besides he's saying that he's going to allow people to do what they need to do. i am not concerned about that. i think the public overall is smart enough to understand what's being said and how to protect themselves. >> okay, thanks so much for joining us this morning. with vaccination rates lagging. the biden administration urged d an urgent warning this week. joining me now is dr. general murthy. i want to start in l.a. counter to the cdc guidance, over night your predecessor jerome adams tweeted that the cdc should be advising areas with a high number of cases to vax a vaxed and should the cdc advise change?
>> thanks, martha. what we are seeing in l.a. county is concerning. unfortunately we are seeing rises among the unvaccinated in many parts of the country now and especially given the delta variant. what the cdc did of its guidance and closer to two months ago now is based on the science, your risk of getting ---------- where there are a low number of vaccinated people over cases that are rising. it is reasonable for counties to take more mitigation measures like the mask rules coming out in l.a. should also be that for individuals depending on their circumstances that some people may choose to continue wearing masks such as those who may be immune compromised or family members at home who are unvaccinated.
people can make these decisions, counties certainly have the right to put the measures back in place. that's not contradictory to the guidance. >> this is a >> the vaccine we have is h vacv effective in preventing symptomatic infection. they're not 100% perfect, novak seen novak -- no vaccine. those numbers will be small. we vaccinated millions of millions of people in the united states. we have more than 160 million people who are fully vaccinated
now. you will see number of small minority people who do have a breakthrough infection. when you are fully vaccinated and you do have a breakthrough infection, it is much more unlikely that infection is asymptomatic or mild. that's good news. these vaccines are highly effective and that's one of the reasons we are recommending them for people across the country. >> do thank you belieyou believ mandates because there is no way of telling whether unmasked people are vaccinated or not, is that part of the problem here? >> well, i think for communities where they are seeing a significant increase in cases, l.a. councilman ty is one of th. they're looking to reduce that spread and masks are one of them. we saw this the last year of the pandemic that large numbers of people gathering, that's the right set-up for covid-19 to
spread. when you see counties like l.a. putting those requirements in place, they're basing their data off what we learn. counties are going to continue to make these decisions, the cdc also put together surge response team, dropping administrations and testing with vaccine administration and diagnostics to ensure the rises in cases that the community has the support they need. >> the three other variant still circulating and more dangerous variants could emerge. if we don't get this under control now, what do you anticipate the fall looking like? >> i am deeply concerned. we have made so much progress over the past year and you see how many people gotten
vaccinated and cases come down so marketly from their january peak. that's reassuring. knowing the vast majority of people who are fully vaccinated, that gives me some comfort. what i worry about, martha, we still have millions of people in our country that's not vaccinated. we have to protect our children under 12 who don't have a vaccine available to them. i want to focus on the kids a moment here. this is an important point that we don't talk about enough. for our children under 12 and i say that as a dad, our kids depend on us and the people around them being protected and vaccinated in order to shield them from the virus. that's why again it is so important for us to get vaccinated. i am worried we are starting to see increasingly in states like arkansas and missouri and nevada and at home state of florida and
louisiana, these surges within the unvaccinated population that we'll continue to see that unless we get a hold of this pandemic by getting more people vaccinated. >> i want to talk about misinformation, vaccine misinformation shared on social media is an urgent threat. president biden said it is quote "it is killing people," facebook officials say stop pointing fingers. they already tried the get covid misinformation down. what should they do? >> i have been deeply concerned of the flow of misinformation across technology platforms and throughout society over the last many months. this is not a new problem to be clear. as a doctor for years sat with patients and worked with them and try to untangle the web of misinformation of health they have gotten on social media and other sources. what we are seeing different now is the speed and scale from the
information is spreading. one of the primary places that we see it happening are technology platforms. i call for a greater transparency in terms of the data they have to share with independent researchers so we can get a better sense of how much misinformation going on on these sites and what strategy is set to work against them. it reenforces misinformation where there are also places where we can ask those companies making changes and ask people across our country to stop and verify your sources before you post stories online. >> thanks very much dr. murthy, we hope it works. >> coming up, as the battle over voting rights heats up across the country. i travel to pennsylvania to discuss republicans' effort to rewrite the law, that report and
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have a black owner. that needs to change. so, i did something. i created a black business accelerator at amazon. and now we have a program that's dedicated to making tomorrow a better day for black businesses. ♪ ♪ i am tiffany. and this is just the beginning. ♪ ♪ the assault on free and fair elections is just such a threat, literally. i've said it before. we're facing the most significant test of our democracy since the civil war. >> the mainstream state laws are the state laws are more dangerous in polls and
segregation and now amounts to civil war? what utter nonsense? >> president biden and mitch mcconnell on voting rights as republican state lawmakers pushed new rerestrictions. critics calling it voter suppression. this week texas house democrats fled the state to block a voter restriction filled. i sat down with one of those lawmakers and travel to battleground pennsylvania to look at the debate shaping the future of america's elections. >> from texas to georgia, arizona to alabama, the fight over fighting rights is intensifying. all across the nation, republican state lawmakers proposing or passing legislation that critics say makes it more difficult for americans to vote
including including requiring uniform id, prohibits people from passing out water to those waiting in line to vote. >> here in pennsylvania, a battleground state in 2020, the issue of election reform i is -- after widespread claims of election fraud. >> claims that are unfounded with no evidence the election outcome would change. republican state senator david argo is charging ahead any way with hopes of more restrictions. >> if you have a more restrictive time to vote, if you can't vote at night or you need to apply to vote way earlier than some people, what's the matter with that? >> i think our goal and you have heard it in other states as well to make it easier to vote but harder to cheat. and so i really, really push
back hard with those folks that think that this is some kind of a threat to democracy. i think it is never been easy to vote in pennsylvania than it is today. we just want to make sure it is done right. >> cochran, an anctivist for voting rights, the move is to target minority communities who help put democrats over the top of the state. >> this is a retaliation. think want the discourage the folks and make sure that we don't have the same results that we did. a lot of these bills are rooted in racism.pif we want to call i. >> in texas, drive-thru voting and
texas democrats including trey martinez fisher walked out and headed the d.c. to break quorum. we knew we were not bold and defiant, that we'll have the courage to walk away and use the rules, they'll run us over. >> which will they'll likely still do as they come up with new bills and restrictions. not just in texas, the aclu, tracking more restrictions everyday. >> this is not a partisan issue, we want voting to be convenient and easier. we want as many eligible americans as possible to be able to vote. i don't think i will understand the problem we are trying to. there is the theoretical concern about voter fraud but there is evidence that is an issue. >> with fears growing with democrats that local evidents will fail to stop restrictions,
many are turning to federal voting rights legislation that's on an even shakierierierier let's discuss that with our julie pace and michelle martin, host of "all things considered" and susan kline kline kline klie everyone. julie, i want to start you. you heard part of president biden's speech in philadelphia, passionate speech to defend votes rights. there is not much of a chance this is going to get ugh. not at a errorical rhetorically biden is saying the right thing. it is hard to see certainly how that big piece of legislation that democrats rallied behind,
hr-1. now that i have focused their attention on legislation that would reinstate part of the voting rights anct. they're writing the legislation and hope to withstand court challenges. >> and michelle, one word you didn't hear president biden say in that powerful speech, filibuster. >> it is true and this is a big disappointment to advocates. democrats have a structural problem. you got the 50/50 senate and you got two democrats, manchin and kristen sinema who have said they are not interested in chapging the rules around making it easier for republicans to block regulation even though they say that they agree with the under lying policies. the structural problem is way deeper in the senate. they have a structural problem in the state. there are 37 legislation
chambers controlled by democrats, 61 controlled by republicans. that's more than after the last election. you got 23 states where republicans have a trifecta. democrats have only 15. they are fighting this long-term battle to -- it is been a long-term campaign for republicans to control the apparatus of state government where decisions are made. that's why the rules matter so much. it really is an uphill battle which is why you see the texas democrats, for example, you know doing this kind of squash buckling move leaving the state and a lot of analyst ars are sag it is all about the headlines. >> and public pressure, susan, texas, don't have much of a chance. governor abbott will say more special sessions.
>> well, that's right. math is math whether it is in the u.s. senate or the texas legislature and texas they have the votes and in washington, d.c. right now give in the way democratic majority is a 50/50 with one vice president, the math is on the republican side. texasing is an example of the theater surrounding this issue because of we are gridlock. president biden is another example of very impassion speeches you said. when you tell people that this is the biggest crisis since the civil war. that's historically disputable. we had some terrible and crazies since the civil war including segregation and mccarthyism and you tell people of this terrible crisis and you don't propose to go to the place that many people believe you need to go which is go head onhe filibuster. you are ensuring dash
expectations and more frustration. >> it really does feel like the passing voting rights that democrats have just moved on from that. they have a full plate on the hill right now with these lln dollar bills on the table there. >> the t cntot at the white house, they know it is not going to move. the voting rights stuff is stalled. you are not going to get the 50th votes or the rule changes. they don't have unanimous support for hr-1. the big push over voting right is back on infrastructure. it is a make or break week. you god deadline now for partisan and bipartisan packages. the trillions of dollars. a lot of us have been covering these packages as if they are either/or. are you going to go with democrats or trying something bipartisan. it could be both or neither. it is a big gamble for the biden white house because it is not
just infrastructure, this is most of the biden agenda that's on the line here. if they pass, their big achievement historic or maybe changing the relationship with government and citizens. if they fail, biden is going to be a significant weak position. >> exactly that. >> julie, just take more on that. with chuck schumer ratcheting the pressure on the senate wants a vote on wednesday, is that a good idea? they know this i probably the big piece of legislation that they'll be able to do or maybe even before next year's big term. you got covid relief and traditional infrastructure sp spending. more money for child care and so more money for climate change program. this is the agenda on the line and he feels like every week
that passes with some steps forward here. that moves them closer. there are risks, pitfalls all along the way. >> this is a theory of the case. the biden theory of the case is not just about a bill, it is about what is government for? is it to fight these culture war issues? is it to fight about whether you should outlaw the teaching of news articles in third grade. is it about government doing certain things? that's what's government is for. the theory of the case is if you can accomplish that, you can change and what we are saying people of relationships and understanding and trust of what the government is for. is a cultural moment as well as a political moment. that's why it is in part of so at stake even though biden is not saying things in those terms. >> jewsusan, on daca we saw thi
week a federal judge in texas basically doing away with the oba obama's so-called dreamers act. what are they doing now in terms been building over three straight presidential administrations. remember that this was a huge problem in the obama presidency and donald trump made demagoguing on the immigration issue is his key part and remaining unresolved. they held these young dreamers to deals that never came. despite allegedly being bipartisan and support, when you say people are alienating from the government, this is a great example of that. allegedly this is something which a widespread of
there is these enormous numbers of migrants who's been coming to the southern supporter. the largest monthly numbers ever in recent times. this is a huge pressure point and yet because the biden's focus is on the infrastructure bill and on the voting rights especially activists worried that the structure of our system is broken down. you have not heard much on immigration. this could be one of the biggest political problems for the biden administration. >> rick, i would bet that we are going to start hear a lot more about the border again. as susan put it out, when you look at those numbers, they are alarming. i know we were down the border a couple of months ago, a lot of attention on it. it is going to come back. >> it is some form of fashion and now it has to. the biden administration would like to see this is part of the
budget deal getting done in case it was not big enough. you add something else to the agenda. congress can presumably do this tomorrow. you can put in the house or senate floor and people would pass. where it gets complicated is when you talk about other aspects of immigration. comprehensive immigration reform and it gets harder because of donald trump and the way he changed and the realities on the border. the migrant situation which is not handled adequately or quickly enough by the biden administration. once you start adding these factors, it becomes a problem e daca gets it done on its own because it could be done on its own. >> i want to look back at the trump administration because of a couple of reasons, a new book by washington post reporters claim that mark milley, compared
trump's post election rhetoric to adolph hitler at one point that it is a remarkable comment coming from america's highest ranking military. >> it is shocking and also unsurprising at the same time. it is one of the situations that we'll find for a while now, you find that what you fear in a lot of these moments was actually happening behind the scenes. it is notable with milley. he's not a political figure, he's not running for the senate. >> we also remember that general milley walked across lafayette square and peeled off and apologize apologized. >> he was in the room with president trump on a lot of high-level decisions, he had a relationship with the white house where he could advise this president and in that moment, that was his assessment. i think it shows how close we
were in those final days of the trump presidency to really tipping over at the line. >> and close in on those final days to something else, susan. i know you were working on a book, you had an incredible article in "the atlantic" about president trump wanting to launch an attack in iran and general milley, doing what? >> the two concerns of the final months of the trump administration, also alarming. one was that the fear that the president would try to politicize the military and use them to stop the peaceful transfer of power on his own behalf. that was something after that june 1st lafayette square photo-op became real for the charc chairman. the other concern, i am reporting on this book that i am
working on with my husband peter baker that we found the worry about iran and trump and the circle of hawkish advisers around him that this came up again and again before and after the election in an alarming sense that it was never something that trump could let go of. in fact, actually general milley was saying to the president, if you do what you want to have a strike that trump was not advocating for a full war but he kept on wanting to have a dramatic strike. milley kept on saying if you do this, the concepts, you are going to have a bleeping war. until january 3rd of this year, the final time that the president spoke with his chairman of the joint chiefs was only then that he could finally get like mike pompeo and the national security adviser to say we run out of time.
we can't do this, this far into a lame duck president. >> you have the committee investigating the january 6th riot about ten days away. they'll have their first public hearing. what do you expect and what is kevin mccarthy do about putting members on that committee? >> that's the biggest variable. he's got five choices. he's likely to fill those choices. he's looking at people who are veteran of the trump congressional war of his presidency and people like jim jordan or talking to members of the republican party and the conservative wing. he's not going to name marjorie taylor greene. that'll make a bit of a circus. mccarthy may be a witness on that panel and critical for all the reasons we are seeing that susan is reporting and the books that are coming out now. there are so many details we don't know. so many aspect of
it is a critical question for mccarthy and keep in mind liz cheney is on the panel. he's looking at ways to make sure her present there isra rea and make sure she and republicans are asking real questions and not just playing defense for donald trump. >> michelle, i want to turn to a few problems overseas, you got haiti and cuba. what's going to happen there and what are the concerns? >> well, the concerns are first of all refugees. the concern is of course refugees. the concern is you have the patriot community who are pressing for action in places they don't want. you got pressure from patriots in florida who are making noises of a military intervention. i have not heard one person say it is a good idea. you got the overall context of
people reacting to the autocrats which we have seen all over the world. we have seen people aggregating power to themselves for the sake of advantaging themselves on sort of a little kau dray among them and the rest of the country left behind. haiti and cuba and south africa, and frankly just say parts of the country in the united states we are seeing the same thing. we are seeing unrest in the streets and violence. they're not stupid, they know they have been left behind. it is one of those things where i think the next couple of years are going to be one series of restlessness and it is a stress test for all democracy. >> it is indeed, we'll leave it on that. thank very much to all of you for coming in this morning. coming up, nate silver analyzes president biden's approval ratings as he approach six months in office.
later, jeff bezos is the second billionaire headed to space this month. we'll have the latest, stay with us. this month. we'll have the latest. stay with us. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ baie d't snd♪a chae. ♪ ♪ ♪ [on your mark. get set.] [cymbal crashes decisively] done! i'm done! get a usainly fast online offer on your car in two minutes or less. i've never slept like this before. we gave new zzzquil pure zzzs restorative herbal sleep get a usainly fast online offer on your car to people who were tired of being tired. what is even in this? clinically-studied plant based ingredients passion flower,
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>> president biden's inaugural address six months ago this week. he calls for unity, promised to be a president for all americans. now as he marks half a year in office, how is his popularity compares to other presidents? what will it mean fority i >> president biden's approval rating is good but not great. his approval rating is around 42%. that may seen higher, it is not high by historical standard. barack obama is at 55%. lbj is at a lofty 5 a %. overall he's in the lower and middle end of the historical
range. if biden were to hold a 51%, democrats would have a chance to retain the senate in the house next november. biden has two big problems, approval ratings trend down after the first six months. obama held 45% and resulted a 63 seat lost for democrats. and a recent poll found that americans describing themselves returning to normal. we are going to talk a lot about the midterms on this segment. no, i don't buy that biden's approval rating at this early stage to give democrats much comfort. coming up, jeff bezos is headed to space on tuesday.
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on the first flight, when he asked for me to go along, i was awestruck. >> you can see the earth from space and it changes you. it changes your relationship with this planet and humanity. it is one earth. >> jeff bezos and his brother are headed to the edge of space on tuesday abort the blue origin spaceship new shepard. it comes nine days after richard branson completed his space flight launching a new area area space tourism. our geo benitez joins us. >> good morning, this is the first time myany the blue shepard. >> reporter: last week was branson and this week is jeff bezos
spaceship the new shepard and also launching is his brother mark and now oliver damon who's the youngest sharing his excitement. >> i am super excited to go to space. i have been dreaming about this all my life. >> reporter: the 11 minutes flight will give them three minutes of edge of space. >> different than what we saw last week with virgin glialacti space. >> reporter: which drops from a mothership 50,000 feet in the ware. virgin galactic already sold.
branson telling me after his flight, he hopes this will open up space to all. >> reporter: jeff bezos plans to go further than branson did, 62 miles above surface. we'll be in the remote desert site to cover this launch for you on tuesday. martha. >> we'll all be watching, g geo benitez, thank you so much for that. let's bring in our professor at columbia university, it is great to see you this morning, mike. this is the first man crew launch to blue origin. you have been inside blue origin, right? very nice windows. unlike virgin galactic, bluegala origin -- the launch will look different thanbranson's right?
>> thank you for having me this morning. much different than what we saw last week. it is a traditional rocket launch but it is fully automated so the astronaut passengers get inside and they launched automatically. the rocket itself stage will come back and land a couple mie miles away from where they launched. the astronauts will land close by in a parachute inside the capsule. much different, i think it is a very safe and tested 15 times and has a great escape system. all that work as you said automatically. >> the ride for the w justine sky s jeff bezos is thrilling.
what's the overall importance of a brief ride to space? >> blue origins is taking up to open up space more and more go going further and further and exploring and doing exciting things with a private company like blue origin. they had 15 successful flights so far including one that included an experiment that some of my students at columbia got to fly into space. i think it will be more research and more people going up in these sub orbital flight which is very exciting. it is only the first step what they want to do. they have another spaceship coming into line. they are also interested in being able to develop a lander for moon operations to go to the moon. i think what we are seeing here is just the beginning of will be years of very exciting program. >> and mark, you mentioned the moon and you got elon musk who wants to go to mars. what are the long-term benefits to humanity?
>> i think that one thing i think is here with these companies now being evolved, nasa wanted to do for decades to be able to turnover what they have done in space to private enterprise so it can help our economy to provide economic benefits. we are seeing some of that. the action to space increases just like my students, when i was a student there would be no way and even a few years ago for students to fly something inner space and now they can. people can envision themselves going or what research they may do or what products they may develop or what they want to accomplish in space, now it is possible. it is going to let people being creative and coming up with things that people can't imagine that could be done in space travel. overall the space program has been about is looking at things from a different perspective. we have so many important things to take care on our planet.
by going to space and looking back and trying to understand an environment, we understand big questions that can be answered by looking back at our planet and exploring in space, what we can do in zero gravity and what we can learn about our planet and where we came from and what else is out there. that requires us leading. this is in a big picture of what this is all about. >> thanks mike. we'll all be watching. we'll have live coverage of the blue origins space launch on tuesday right here on abc. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us, have a great day.