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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 14, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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it's called "nixon at war." thank you very much. really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. that is it. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. well, good evening once again, day 146 of the biden administration. it's tuesday morning in geneva, switzerland, which means president biden is just a day away now from his critical summit with putin. it will close out the president's eight-day overseas trip which was in large part a goodwill tour to assure our allies of america's support and a show of unity, let's not forget, ahead of this putin meeting. when biden sat down today with nato leaders, he warned them russia and china are working to split the nato alliance. you may recall when trump attacked nato. same thing. late today in brussels, biden told reporters that during discussions with allies, he laid out what he intends to tell
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putin. >> we will respond if russia continues its harmful activities. we will not fail to defend the trans-atlantic alliance or stand up for democratic values. it's in our mutual interests and the interests of the world to cooperate and see if we can do that. and the areas where we don't agree, make it clear where the red lines are. i have met with him. he's bright, he's tough, and i found that he is, as they say, when i used to play ball, a worthy adversary. every world leader here as a member of nato that spoke today, and most of them mentioned it, thanked me for meeting with putin now. >> one issue the white house says definitely will be on the
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table at their summit, the reason ransomware attacks in the u.s. which authorities say originated from russian hacking groups, biden said the u.s. will respond in kind if russia refuses to cooperate on the cybersecurity front. in his exclusive interview, nbc news foreign correspondent keir simmons put this question directly to putin. >> mr. president, are you waging a cyber war against america? >> translator: where is the evidence? where is proof? it's becoming farcical. we ever been accused of all kinds of things, election interference, cyberattacks, so on and so forth, and not once, not once, not one time did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. just unfounded accusations. >> tonight "axios" reporting the team preparing the president for
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the putin meeting includes a group of outside russia experts, including former trump official said to be among the dozen or so participants, fiona hill, the former trump national security council official who testified at his first impeachment trial. the group reportedly also included two obama ambassadors to russia, including our own michael mcfall. >> isn't it great that the president is preparing for this meeting? because if you'll remember, the last time putin met with a former president, president trump, it was clear to me, i was at that one as well working for you, not for the u.s. government, just to be clear, that president trump was not prepared for that meeting. >> "axios" reporting it this way. quote, the group urged biden not to hold a joint press conference with putin or afford him any opportunity to try to upstage the private talks with new public proposals.
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experts broadly agreed on the approach biden should adopt. blunt talk leaving no doubt for putin on where biden stands, from hacking to human rights. democrats from congress, phones to tech companies in the leaks. jerry nadler from new york says he has launched an investigation into this matter. val demings, who was challenging florida for a senate seat, had this to say. >> we need to know the abuses of power by the former president of the united states. we have some serious constitutional concerns when a body who provides oversight is then being surveilled under the guise of a criminal investigation by the administration that that body
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provides oversight over. and then, of course, the same thing for the media as well as god knows who else is out there. >> yesterday the "new york times" reported apple also turned over data from an account belonging to trump's own white house counsel don mcgahn. the "times" reports it's not clear if mcgahn was the specific focus of any investigation. mcgahn, you'll recall, recently testified to house lawmakers about trump's efforts into pressuring him to fire mueller. nbc has reached out to apple and mcgahn and has yet to receive a response from either. the inspector general has already opened an investigation, and today attorney general merrick garland met with news organizations whose reporters have been targeted by the trump administration. he also issued a statement noting the justice department was, quote, working on surfacing potentially problematic matters deserving high-level review to evaluate and strengthen the department's existing policies
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and procedures for obtaining records of the legislative branch, which we think means he was angry about it. there's one other story we're watching closely tonight. prime minister boris johnson made an announcement today that many in the u.k. were angry to hear he is pushing back the next phase of their reopening by another four weeks because of the rising number of cases of the delta variant of covid. this first emerged in india. we'll have much more on the danger of this variant just as things are getting good later on in this broadcast. with that let's bring in our lead-off guest this monday night, philip rucker. senior correspondent for the "washington post." barbara mcquade, veteran former prosecutor who worked with the doj during the biden transition. she is professor at anterior alma mater university of michigan law school. co-host of the podcast "sisters
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in law" with joyce vance and kimberly stowe. public affairs and former managing editor of time magazine, rick. with the summit two days away, does his time with the g7 help joe biden going into this summit with putin, and if so, how? >> sure, brian. i think it gives them some wind at his back. he has that kind of united front with him to both talk to putin and confront putin. i noticed in that interview with keir simmons and putin, putin turned it around and said, yes, it shows how important i am and how serious the president is about me and russia that he conferred with the g7.
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i think it empowers biden, and i think the administration has done a really deft job of tell -- telegraphing what's going to come up. it's much easier to raise something in a dialogue if you said in advance you're going to raise it, so i think that's all been very smart. >> phil, given that biden's agenda is right now stalled in the legislature, to put it gently, is any of this presupposing he has a good outing against putin at the summit, it looks like positive reviews from the g7, any of this convertible to the president upon arrival back home? >> you know, brian, yes and no. i don't know that his performance on this foreign trip, assuming it continues to be as strong as it has been the last few days, will necessarily win him any additional votes for
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that infrastructure deal, for example, for the new spending package or for changes in the tax law. but it certainly helps build political momentum for him at home. i think a lot of americans have been watching this president for the first six months of his presidency and liking what they see in terms of the calmness and the restoration of normalcy here in washington and in the united states. and so to see him abroad at the g7 at nato making friends, not foes, not shoving the prime minister of montenegro out of the picture, comporting himself in a different way that former president trump did would be a sign of reassurance for many of the americans who polls show a majority of them are supportive of how this president is performing so far. >> to our viewers, the barking you hear in the background is one axel rucker who we decided just doesn't like he and his dad don't like when we're talking on
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television, so we're going to give him that. hey, barb, what do you want to find out about how the trump doj was operating? when people like barr and sessions say, we had nothing to do with this, how procedurally do we find out if they're telling the truth? >> well, what i would like to see, brian, is what lisa monaco, the deputy attorney general, has called for, which is an investigation by the office of inspector general. it doesn't sound to me like any laws were broken in these investigations, but because of the sensitive nature, it is required that doj lawyers comply with very strict guidelines. and it sounds, at least from these denials by jeff sessions and william barr, that those guidelines were violated. the guidelines require notice to the attorney general, and in the case of media subpoenas, even approval from the attorney general. i think that irregularity alone begs the question, what did they do? did they violate the rules or just the chain of command?
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i would like to see that, number one. and number two, if there was a violation, how do we make sure that doesn't happen again? what are the consequences of a violation? how do we ensure that people are notified of what the correct procedure is? and do those procedures need to get some more teeth in them so that people can't abuse these rules in the future? >> rick stengel, i have one for you. trigger alert for you all. i'm going to play for you one of the greatest hits. here is donald trump on the topic of nato. >> we have nato and we're giving countries a free ride. we are really -- nato is obsolete, it's old, it's fat, it's sloppy. >> we're protecting europe, and we're paying for almost the entire cost of data. >> we're the piggy bank. it helps them. they're in europe. it helps them a lot more than it helps us. we're very far away. >> the abuse that was given to
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our country on nato where they wouldn't pay, and we were paying for everybody. >> rick, you worked at the state department. you don't need the reminder, but think about putin's wish list at the top of the trump presidency. get involved in an american presidential election. get involved in american social media trying to divide us, drive us apart. drive apart the atlantic alliance, and maybe someday a far off fever dream. get american troops out of germany. think of it this way. donald trump delivered. >> brian, you summarized it very well, better than i could have, and it was painful to watch those clips of trump talking about nato. i go back to the interview that keir did with putin today. putin said today nato was obsolete. why are they doing what they're doing? why are they adding countries? but i think what we're going to
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see in this summit is something which is kind of a return to normalcy. and if i were still editor of "time," i would caution my reporters to say, don't construct this like it's some great big heavyweight boxing match. it's not. i mean, tony blinken has said this is the first of many meetings. i think it will be a conventional, traditional meeting between countries that sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete, and sometimes confront each other. and both sides have telegraphed that in advance, and i think we're going to see a meeting that actually is successful on all those fronts. it will have some tension, but will come out where people will say, okay, we know what to expect. we believe in reliability and stability and predictability. even putin said that in his interview with keir today. >> phil rucker, i have something for you, and by extension, axel. here is mitch mcconnell in
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comments this afternoon. we'll discuss on the other side. >> attorney general barr served our nation with honor and with integrity. these latest attempts to tarnish his name bear the telltale signs of a witch hunt in the making. i'm confident that the existing inquiry will uncover the truth. there is no need for a partisan circus here in the congress. >> of course, phil, when you think of barr, you think of honor and integrity. here's the question, though. knowing how mcconnell is going to be on this, what's the chance the democrats play this aspect of the investigation wrong while, as we said, so much of their agenda is stalled in that very chamber where mcconnell spoke? >> you know, brian, there is certainly a chance of that. we've seen democratic leaders with the senate and the house be quite exercised the last few days given the revelations about
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what was going on, the surveillance going on at the justice department, and it's personal for them. some of them, chairman adam schiff, for example, were the ones being surveilled by the justice department. it's a very personal thing, and they want to get answers, they want to investigate this and they want to get to the bottom of it, and they want to hold people accountable for what happened in the trump administration. and that personal drive can certainly get in the way of the broader legislative progress they're hoping to make in advancing president biden's agenda, but senator mcconnell, obviously there having the back of his longtime friend and ally, bill barr, the former attorney general, and interestingly is using that phrase "witch hunt" which is the word we heard again and again and again from former president trump in reference to virtually any investigation into trump or his administration, he would call it a witch hunt. we're now seeing the republicans in the senate applying the same language to try to discredit the investigation by the congress
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into what was going on at the justice department. >> i'm going to chalk it up to coincidence that during our discussion of mcconnell, there was lightning over the capitol dome. barb, back to your front. the fbi naturally, normally plays a role in something like this when the allegation is electronic spying, forget about journalists. a lot of them are constantly expecting it and keep their communications to that standard, but elected democratic members of congress, unelected members of the staff and at least one minor child. do you think we will be hearing more from the fbi on this front, and should we indeed hear more from the fbi on this front? >> absolutely. i think that the public is appropriately alarmed that there appears to be a potential abuse of some very powerful tools that have been used. grand jury subpoenas are a powerful tool of prosecutors.
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they are to be used to gather information and protect against leaks of classified information. that is a very legitimate use. but here i think there are some real warning signs that there wasn't just use but abuse. that these subpoenas were being used not as tools, but as weapons. the sheer number of people that have been included in these subpoenas, the numbered members of congress and their family members, i think that number is around 12. we've got something like eight reporters who were included, and now we hear about don mcgahn, the white house counsel, being included in all of this who is, of course, an attorney, whose communications are protected by attorney-client privilege. so i think that creates this red flag that although these tools may be used appropriately in some circumstances, there is really, i think, some evidence of abuse here that needs to be investigated. >> we're much obliged to our big three on this monday night as we start a new week together. philip rucker, barbara mcquade,
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rick stengel, thank you for being with us. staying true to form. mcconnell says he's not about to let president biden pick a supreme court justice any time soon. we'll ask our two political insiders about the many gop hurdles that democrats now face. and later, protesters in the u.k. may be done with covid restrictions but a fast-spreading variant of the virus is putting people in hospitals. we have one of our best physicians standing by to talk about all of it as "the 11th hour" just getting underway on this monday night as we look at beautiful lake geneva in switzerland, the site of this week's summit. summit.
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♪ is you ready ♪ ♪ are you ready ♪ ♪ is you ready ♪ yes! not quite trouble in paradise, but it's close. there is growing concern about the former president's agenda. "politico" sums it up this way, and we quote, senate democrats are publicly divided over infrastructure strategy. the caucus' most conservative senator openly rebelled against the party's signature elections bill. and two of chuck schumer's members keep clashing on military sexual harrassment reform. there's a growing feeling on the hill that democrats are already running out of time on years of promises. mitch mcconnell is signaling he will block any biden supreme
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court picks in 2024. he told the conservative radio host hugh hewitt, quote, it is highly unlikely he would allow an election vote in an election year. the pollster who worked on both president obama's campaigns and a number of house candidates. editor and columnist for "real clear politics," a.b. welcome to you both. a.b., i'll serve something and see if it will bite. do the democrats have the right majority leader for these times, and what happens if the republicans win that majority back? >> well, brian, it really doesn't matter who the majority and minority leaders are when you do not control a majority of
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the senate, you preside over it and you control it. they've been able to get out what everyone knows are reconciliation votes with the vice president breaking the tie, but it is a chamber where you need 60 votes to get anything through. in the house they have a four-seat majority. so the democrats are just going to have a very difficult time looking past the covid relief bill at pasting any of the things that they have promised to progressives. and to the voters who turned out who don't usually turn out in midterm elections and who are not likely to turn out next year to help them hold onto power, if the republicans get the house, and i think that they probably will, and possibly the senate, you'll see mr. mcconnell stick to his threats and warnings that he controls the supreme court,
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and he'll lock down the senate and not approve any of the president's picks if he wants to, and you'll see them trying to impeach president trump. some of them will want trump to be speaker because the speaker did not have to be a member of congress, and there is quite a hellscape to imagine in terms of what we're looking at as we look down the lane at the 2024 election and whether or not you're going to see majorities of republicans congress refused to certify, a joe biden re-election, should he legitimately win again. >> so, kornell, as the democrats watching head for their nearest available window, do you concur with any or all of that and do
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you have any good news for them? >> that's a really frightening scenario that was just laid out, although i don't think it's that far-fetched. but i think there are a couple things that are happening that are fundamentally different. look, i think schumer does have to give these ten senators who are working on bipartisanship a chance, right? joe manchin just praised senator schumer for giving bipartisanship a chance. senator romney is talking about, look, just be open to the conversation. so i don't think he can just shut that off and shut that down, i think you do have to give bipartisanship a chance, but the clock is still very much ticking. but i will pivot back to the point you made earlier about mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell saying he's not going to allow a supreme court pick by biden because i think it encapsulates what's wrong with washington and a lot of it has to do with mitch mcconnell.
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mitch mcconnell who is basically saying, i don't care what the constitution says, i don't care what the norms and rules of the president of the senate says, i'm not going to let this happen because i'm about power more than i'm about upholding the constitution and rules and laws. and this is a consistent pattern. more than anything, this is why this thing is broken. this is the man who said i'm 100% against biden moving his agenda. as someone from the obama world, i remember very clearly mitch mcconnell saying my number of priorities make barack obama a failed presidency. this is the threshold that democrats have to try to get over at a time when many democrats and many voters, brian, still want democrats to try to be bipartisan, even in the face of mitch mcconnell and what he's doing in this, and really to tear bipartisanship apart. >> these two friends have agreed to stay with us and it's a perfect time to work in a break.
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coming up when we continue our conversation, a new warning from vice president harris today on voting rights as democrats from texas bring their fight to protect the vote to washington. an interesting point on that that we'll discuss after this. t that we'll discuss after this. this is the greatest idea you'll ever hear. okay, it's an app that compares hundreds of travel sites for hotels and cars and vacation rentals like kayak does for flights. so it's kayak. yeah, like kayak. why don't you just call it kayak. i'm calling it... canoe. compare hundreds of travel sites for thousands of trips. kayak. search one and done. spray, lift, skip, step. swipe, lift, spin, dry. slam, pan, still...fresh move, move, move, move aaaaand still fresh. degree. ultimate freshness activated when you move.
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this literally is an american issue. this issue of free and fair elections are one of the most important pillars of our democracy, and we're seeing efforts to weaken it. >> the vice president is leading the administration's effort to protect voting rights. so far federal legislation appears doa in the water. in the senate, democratic state lawmakers who staged that walkout to block that texas bill restricting voting in texas. they'll be in washington tomorrow to lobby for the passage of the for the people act. they will meet with the senate democratic caucus before a meeting with vice president harris on wednesday. still with us, cornell belcher and a.b. stoddard. so, cornell, this is a stodgy democrats might as well get with the senate democrats.
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what they both lack is the math. >> i think that's right, but i also think there is something more fundamentally problematic, brian. and this is something that president obama used to talk about all the time, is how do you get the broader swath of americans to have skin in this game? poll after poll shows americans -- a majority of americans are for the voting rights bill and this new legislation to protect the sanctity of our democracy. but can democrats flip that and term republicans' obstruction of it into a win for them going into the midterms? the greatest trick they've done, and we saw it under obama, too, and many democrats are saying, brian, this smells like 2010
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coming all over again, is that the republicans block everything the democrats try to do. have the basis of the democratic party deenergize and frustrate it and not turn out. the question is can democrats finally turn this and use this offensively, like what a vast number of americans want to do, can we hold republicans' feet to the fire from blocking this, from blocking infrastructure, from blocking voting rights? and democrats have to make this not a minority issue. i think too often the talking points around this are about minorities being blocked from the ballot box. democrats have to take a page from republicans and middle america has to be scared as hell of what the consequences are going to be for them and their children if we lose on these fights. if voting access to blocked, and if we have elections overturned that we know are legitimate, the day middle america is scared adds hell about what's going to
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happen in this country, that's the day democrats will prevail on this politically in the midterms. >> a.b., that's a man whose life's work has been understanding voters and how to tailor the message to certain voters, and democrats, if they're smart, will listen to the words just spoken. to you, a.b., because i know joe manchin is your favorite topic, your reaction to pelosi saying she's, quote, not giving up on getting manchin to support the for the people act? >> well, i think it's a breadth that the house speaker says she isn't getting behind a commission for january 6 and the capitol in a civil war. certainly they walked right off a cliff and refused to back it. i appreciate her sunny optimism.
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joe manchin aside, cornell is right. this whole problem with the for the people act and dealing with all of the voting restriction bills passed around the country by state legislatures, by republicans, is that we really can't be looking at the vote passing. a lot of democratic messaging has been that we have to focus on the vote counting and how corruptible it will be with the passage of these bills. how partisan and potentially raided it will be. there is a talk of water bottles and how that disenfranchises voters, and that's true. they have made this corruptible and we might be looking at our last fair elections as a result. i think cornell is right, you have to alarm voters about this in that way. i agree with what you were told last week, just pass a different
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component of this every week and just talk to the american people about what the different components are and how scary it will be if a bunch of corrupt politicians take over a process in a state and don't count lawfully past votes. that's where the focus has to be. right now democrats, while the house is on fire, the barn is on fire, the whole farm is lighting aflame, we're fussing about the perfect firefighter. if they lose the chance to pass a passable voting rights bill, they'll lose the midterm elections and they won't have to worry about infrastructure bills from now on because they won't be back in power. >> wow. a lot to react to, a lot to think about from two really smart people, friends of this broadcast both, cornell belcher, a.b. stoddard. can't thank you enough. we'll do this exact same thing again. coming up, new information on how effective vaccines are against this new delta variant
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with protection starting at $79 a year. voiceover: 'cause she's a biker... please don't follow me in. the variant of covid that first started in india is now about 10% of all of the cases in the u.s., and at some point it's going to become the majority. if you've been vaccinated, the vaccines are highly effective and you don't really need to worry. >> for the unvaccinated, health experts warn this delta variant is already more contagious and more lethal. a new study out of scotland shows the variant doubles the risk of hospitalization. this is not good at a time when we're doing so well. but at least there is this. u.k. officials say the two doses of vaccine are highly effective against it.
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dr. vin gupta, critical care pulmonologist who specializes in this illness. he is also at the washington institute for health metrics and evaluation. doc, again, it's sad and alarming because otherwise cities are opening, new york is about to have a ticker tape parade for its first responders two weeks from now, and yet all we're hearing about is this delta variant. how much in the real world of the united states 2021 does it worry you? >> good evening, brian. you know, i think it worries us all in public health and those that are clinical, because what we're seeing in hospitals across the country anecdotally, i saw this just two weeks ago, that unvaccinated young people are requiring intensive care. i think your team actually, if we can do some brief chest x-ray rounds, might actually have a chest image i want to show all your viewers. there we go. that is the image of a
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30-year-old patient i took care of a few weeks ago. that is something i just didn't see. my colleagues typically did not see it one year prior. you think that's white in the lungs. those lungs are those pie-shaped figures in the middle of the image. air should look black on a chest x-ray. the areas that are white in areas that should otherwise look black are pus from covid-19. that's what we're seeing in young people coming in invaccinate. unvaccinated people are peppering hospitals across the country. what i will say as clearly as possible, we need to make clear that those that are unvaccinated, that the threat level, the threat has changed. maybe it's no longer calling it covid-19. we call it covid 21, i don't know. but remaining unvaccinated on june 14, 2021 is fundamentally more dangerous than remaining unvaccinated one year prior. >> let's widen our focus.
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i want to play for you some comments today by the director general of the world health organization. >> more than 10,000 people are dying every day. during this press conference alone, more than 420 people will die. these communities need vaccines and they need them now, not next year. >> doctor, we've just been told for over four years that we're all about america first, and it's going to take some time to change our focus back to being a member of a global community the way we thought of ourselves. are we doing our best at vaccinaing the world? >> i think we're getting there. so the announcements this weekend by the g7, by president biden, were a tremendous step forward at doses by the end of the year.
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vaccines were produced in 27 countries. we're seeing the covid vaccine 100% effective against these variants at keeping people out of the hospital. we need more nasal vaccines, brian, something you stick up your nose which we think is effective at keeping covid out of your body. so yes, we can do more. i talked about this in the past, we need to end lotteies here stateside. it's not a good look. get that to brazil. get that to central asia. get that to india where they need it now. >> you're confident that in short order we will be north of 70% of our population vaccinated? >> as an aggregate, maybe. but if you look at the map right now, brian, most of the heartland, most of the south, there's counties in alabama and tennessee less than 20% vaccinated. so you're going to see two different realities come the
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fall/winter that scare us here in public health. you're going to see these emerging variants become more dominant, as andy slavitt said. a friend of covid, a friend of the flu, they need cold, dry air. you'll see people get hit hard because their individuals won't be protected from the hospital. there will be a regional resurgence, not a national one. we're not going to hit 70% in the country just in select parts of the country. >> dr. vin gupta has been our guest yet again tonight. doctor, thank you for taking our questions, as always. just ahead, remember all the jokes about infrastructure week. well, the only thing not funny is all the bridges and highways way below the standard of what is supposed to be a world class nation. d class nation new dove men deodorant is different.
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with the president overseas as you've been hearing those infrastructure talks continue on capitol hill, the focus now on this roughly trillion-dollar plan, give or take, proposed by that bipartisan group of ten senators, mitt romney among them. discussions over infrastructure spending have been going on for weeks, and it's perfectly in keeping with washington to forget that there are real people at the other end of their actions, and real people depending on them to act. as we see in our report tonight from nbc news correspondent >> tom: costello. >> reporter: they're the most glaring examples of unfunded infrastructure, those potholes. kim blew two tires in texas. >> we shouldn't have to drive on highways like this, roads or anything.
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it's just ridiculous. >> civil engineers giving a low c to infrastructure, but lower grades to dams and yes, roads and bridges. it's difficult to prior toys which bridges to fix when. >> reporter: 60% of the bridges are structure deficient. look at this one held up by cribbing. the rebar is rusted. the state gets a d-minus for its bridges. >> they have embarked on a massive repair list but hundreds of roads and bridges are on the list, which makes money critical. >> the longer you wait to do it, the less safe it becomes, so certainly people's lives are in jeopardy all the time. >> reporter: more road projects also mean more jobs. >> but it's not just roads and bridges. the mississippi river is a 2300-mile interstate of water
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with aging loch, levees and dams that require constant work just to keep critical barges and ship traffic moving. >> reporter: 500 tons of cargo move on this massive river, including half of all u.s. grain exports. the army corps of engineers is constantly dredging the river to keep it moving. but some dams and levees are getting old and need replacing. the waterways get a d-plus but some of the country's dams and levees get a d. >> the port of new orleans is the country's sixth busiest, but it can't accommodate the world's biggest and newest ships. >> reporter: with 90% of goods arriving on ships, the port is spending a billion dollars on a second terminal for ships that carry twice the cargo. to compete with the world, it all has to connect and work.
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>> rather than worrying about whether they're going to hit a hole in the road, the better they'll be. >> reporter: that pothole is personal. tom costello, world news, warwick, rhode island. coming up, now that you've seen the situation in warrick, speaking of infrastructure, what has happened to texas? when we come back. s happened to? when we come back. this is the sound of change.
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the last thing before we go tonight, allow us to introduce you to the state of texas. while i know you know texas, the kind of rootin', tootin' texas, the everything is bigger in texas, that texas. but under governor greg abbott, texas is way more like a contestant on "the bachelorette." sensitive, putting itself out there, being all vulnerable. first there was the winter storm. the death toll from that storm turned out about 700 souls. the texas power grid failed. ted cruz flew the coop for cancun until he was reminded he represented texas in the senate.
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well, there is trouble in texas once again. texans are being warned right there in big oil country, the energy cradle of america, that they must cut back on electricity this week or lights are going to go out again. by the way, the utility provider there is called ercot, and to prove texas has a sense of humor, it stands for the electric reliability council of texas. but because the electricity is not reliable in texas, people there are being told to set thermostats to 78, turn off lights and pool pumps, god forbid, because of the power plants that are off line and the grid that remains endangered. and then just tonight, enter blair erskine. if you don't know her stuff, you should. she's a writer and a comedian who usually, within hours of a major news story, especially if there are officials to be parodied, she is up with a new video and tonight she did not
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disappoint. here now, blair erskine, fake spokesperson for the texas power grid. >> that's right, and thank you so much for having me. you know, we got a tight hot little grid out there, and we got to take care of it or it's going to bust, okay, and we can't be having that. it will be a mess. so we're just asking the people of texas to make small sacrifices, just little sacrifices, no blood or anything like that. you know, there is an old saying, you can't have the rainbow without the rain, right? well, you can't have light without -- until we figure out what's going on out there, okay, because texas is set up on a power grid. and what a power grid is, it's something different to everybody, and that's what you got to understand. i mean, would you rather have ac or would you rather have aoc? think about that for a little bit and it will start to make sense. so really all we're asking the people of texas to do is to unplug. just unplug, just relax, you
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know. everybody has got to unplug sometimes. and if you don't unplug, god is going to find a way to make you unplug, and in this scenario, we are god. >> sadly, a ton of people tonight thoughtpeople tonight thought that was real. the essential blair or skin to take us off tonight. that's our broadcast for this monday evening with our thanks for being here with us on behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of nbc news, goodnight. rachel will be back tomorrow. this weekend, we all had an experience collectively as americans that we haven't had in a few years. all this weekend our president was overseas and nothing crazy happened. the president of the united states did not norm out of a meeting or threaten to blow up a decades old alliance or insult ahead

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