tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 4, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is a special edition of "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> it's sunday morning and happy fourth of july. just as we read about the influence in 2018 and 2019, a hundred years from now it is likely people will read about the 2020 covid pandemic. without question, things have improved with the number of cases dropping since january. still, since the month of june, some 607,000 americans have died from covid, including 9,000 in june. at one point the u.s. was doing so badly that though we have only 4% of the world's
population, it accounted for nearly 20% of the world's deaths. since then we have gone from being the leading example of industrialized countries of how not to handle a pandemic to a nation tentatively declaring its independence of the virus. this morning we're going to look back to where we've been and look forward to the challenges ahead as the growing variant and vaccine hesitancy pose a threat to our own recovery here. we'll be asking, what could we have done better? what have we learned? why do some people get perilously ill while others remain asymptomatic, and finally, how prepared are we for when -- not if -- but sadly when the next pandemic hits us? >> the mystery virus. >> a jump in cases of a deadly mystery virus. >> authorities confirm it is being spread from human to human. >> more than 17 months after the
first case of covid was identified in the united states, we're getting hit personally. >> she just kept saying, i'm trying, i'm trying. and i can't breathe. >> taking a deadly toll on the nation. >> christmas will not be the same, nor any other holiday because my mom is no longer here. >> now, after grief, trauma, isolation and anxiety and an unparalleled scientific breakthrough, america is reopening. >> unbelievaby amazing to go to a concert for the first time. >> how does this compare to six months ago? >> unbelievable. we're back at capacity as far as traffic is concerned. >> just 25% of americans say the pandemic is over. >> let's celebrate the fourth of july with independence from the virus. we can get this done. >> despite the lack of success in vaccinating a lot of
americans, president biden has fallen short of his goal. >> our goal by july 4th is to have 70% of adult americans with at least one shot. >> the nation is still failing from trump's massive failure to respond to the pandemic. >> we have one person coming in from china and we have it under control. >> we're going down, not up. >> it's going to disappear. >> this information originating from the trump white house. >> this is going to go away without a vaccine. >> if the vaccine was so great, why are all the people lying about it? >> it's taken root, with vaccine hesitancies. >> there is a lot of --
disproportionately lagging behind. those gains are not equally shared. 63 million said it was difficult to cover their usual household expenses. 90% of people were not caught up on rent. lower-income students were disproportionately left behind and the pandemic has taken a toll on the nation's industrial health. now, as the u.s. celebrates its overall vaccination success, anxiety is rising about new variants. >> a variant of the virus has been identified in 85 countries. >> and there's been confusion about mask wearing with the w.h.o. recommending mask wearing indoors even for the vaccinated. the cdc disagrees. >> the bottom line is the cdc says if you're vaccinated, you
don't have to wear a mask. >> that's exactly right. >> joining me now is dr. anthony fauci, national institute of allergies. once again, thank you for being here. >> thank you, chuck. thank you for having me. >> it's disconcerting to realize we had nearly 10,000 people die from covid and the most recent was in june. how preventable was those deaths and how many were vaccinated? >> if you look at the number of deaths, about 99.2% of them are unvaccinated, about 0.8% are vaccinated. no vaccine is perfect, but when you talk about the avoidability of hospitalization and deaths, chuck, it's really sad and tragic that most all of these
are avoidable and preventable. obviously there are going to be some people in the availability of people and their response to vaccine that you'll see some who are vaccinated and still get into trouble and hospitalized and die. the overwhelming disproportionate number of people don't get vaccinated, which is why we say this is very preventable. >> there's always been an anti-vaccine 10% to 15%, but it isn't just the 10% to 15%, there's clearly been a political divide that's put over this. have you discovered any new breakthroughs on how to break through this wall of hesitancy? because, again, i wanted to lead with this question. i think every death right now is nearly preventable and yet we're -- we're knowingly
watching us kill ourselves. >> it's terrible, chuck, particularly for those of us who have dealt with diseases in which you don't have an effect effective countermeasure, like a prevention. over the decades i've been doing that, you're frustrated because you have diseases where you don't have an appropriate countermeasure, be it a prevention or treatment, and then when you have a situation like you have today where you have a formidable enemy in the virus that has tragically really disrupted our planet now for about a year and a half, destroyed economies have just disrupted us in every possible way. and yet we do have a countermeasure that's highly, highly effective. and that's the reason why it's all the more sad and all the more tragic why it isn't being
completely implemented in this country, and whatever the reasons, as you said, some of them are idealogic, some of them are anti-vax or anti-science or what have you, but we need to put that aside now. we're dealing with a historic situation with this pandemic. and we do have the tools to counter it. so for goodness sakes, put aside all those differences and realize the common enemy is the tool we have against this virus. we have enough vaccines to vaccinate essentially everybody in the country. and there are people throughout the world who would do anything to get a vaccine. if you look at the world situation, you know, 10% the world is vaccinated. we could vaccinate everybody if they would wind up saying that, let's just put everything aside and get vaccinated and put an
end to this terrible tragedy. >> let's talk about the delta variant. it is clearly the most transmissible variant we've dealt with yet. is it more lethal and how concerned are you that it could cause another spike in this country? >> well, a couple of answers to the questions, chuck. first of all, right now the experience that we're seeing with this is that it is clearly more transmissible. it is more effective and efficient in its ability to transmit from person to person. and studies that we've seen where there have been the variant that's dominated in other countries, it's clear that it appears to be more lethal in the sense of more serious to allow you to get more serious to lead to hospitalization, and in some cases leading to deaths. that is clearly the issue. now, with regard to your other question -- what was the other
question, chuck? i'm sorry. >> no, no, no, it's how in danger are we in this variant creating a spike? >> well, i think when you talk about how much of a danger it is to do a spike, i think you then have to look at the country as a whole and those areas of the country in which you have a low level of vaccination and a high level of viral dynamics. that's the thing that gets confusing. as a nation as a whole, we are doing very well. we have more than 50% -- about 50% of the adult population that's fully vaccinated. we have now more than -- about 67%, 66%, 67% of the adult population that's at least one dose. the elderly have been vaccinated to the tune of 80% and the depths have gone down by that. that's the country as a whole. but we have a big country.
with disparity and a willingness to get vaccinated. under those circumstances you might expect to see spikes in certain regions, in certain states, cities or counties. i don't think you'll be seeing anything nationwide because, substantial proportion of the population vaccinated. so it's going to be regional. that's the thing that will be confusing when people look at what we do. we're going to see, and i said, almost two types of america. those regions of america which are highly vaccinated, and we ever a low level of dynamics of infection, examine in some places, some states, some cities, some areas where the level of vaccination is low and a level of virus dissemination is high. that's where you're going to see the spikes. >> well, let's talk about a specific here. we know mississippi is one of the lowest -- i believe it's the
lowest -- has the lowest vaccination rate in the country. you're in biloxi, mississippi right now, dr. fauci. would you be wearing a mask? you're fully vaccinated. but would you be wearing a mask in biloxi, mississippi? >> i think there would be a good reason to do that. we said so often that vaccines are not nearly as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100%. if you put yourself into an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say when i'm in that area where there is a significant degree of viral circulation, i might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure i get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective. >> asymptomatic spread was the real killer of this virus, right? it's what made it so difficult
at times when we first were dealing with it. can a fully vaccinated person be an asymptomatic spreader of the virus, and more importantly, the scenario? >> i would have to say yes. if you look at the studies being done, we will get the answer to that because we are looking at situations where you have vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections. namely, they're infected despite the fact they've been vaccinated. most of these people will be without symptoms. if you look at the level of virus in their nasopharynx, it seems to be less than people who get infected and have asymptomatic infection. that would mean you can make a reasonable assumption that those individuals would be less likely to transmit the infection to
someone else. vaccinated person, breakthrough infection unlikely. but it's not going to be zero, because whenever you have biological phenomena, there is always a range. but for the most part, it would be less likely. >> let's say you're somebody who took the johnson & johnson vaccine, and you've seen that the protection rate, particularly with the delta variant, may be lower, and you wish you had gotten the pfizer vaccine. would you advise that person to go ahead, if they feel more comfortable, getting the two-dose pfizer vaccine on top of the j&j vaccine, or are they risking some health problems for themselves by doing that? >> well, chuck, then you get to the interesting, complicated issue of making a recommendation based on data and a clinical trial in which you have data versus making an assumption that some people would say -- it's being done already, chuck.
there are competent physicians and health care providers who are saying, you know, with the j&j single dose, i'm not sure. maybe we should get a boost. that can be done from a regulatory authority or a public health authority like the cdc respectively. what you're seeing is people are going ahead and making those decisions, and it really is a clinical judgment based on a feeling of, well, it's unlikely going to be a problem to do that, but you can't get a formal recommendation when you don't have official data based on good science and good clinical trials. >> i've asked you this before. we've been under emergency authorization, and you said before we were close, and five years ago can be close if you think about it in scientific
terms. by your birthday, do you expect to see these vaccines? >> i would hope so. one of the things that i think people need to understand, when you have an emergency use authorization, it's usually under the context of the benefit is worth more -- it clearly outdoes the risk. whufr the vaccines like the ones we have now, the hundreds of millions of people who have received it, the high degree of effect tyness in the real world setting is very, very. therefore, i would be astounded if we did not get full approval in the classical sense of these
p. but this is a little bit different of a situation, in which you've had something giving you emergency use authorization, and you're kind of waiting for a lot more data to convince you whether it works or not. there's no doubt when you're looking at these -- or, in this case, an emergency use authorization in the minds fd so fravngly, how needless these deaths were in the monthly. we have the tools to prevent death and hospitalization for just about everybody. yes, there is a slight percentage chance for some. when you look at the pandemic as a whole, how preventable were these 6,000 deaths? and how much did we essentially do ourselves in in 2020?
>> chuck, i don't think i can quantitate that. this is a really bad actor, this virus, globally throughout the whole planet. even if you have a perfect response, you were going to see suffering and you were going to see death. to be able to quantitate how much better we could have done, for someone who has been witnessing this and being part of it at least from the standpoint of being involved in the development of the vaccines with our group here at nih, that as a person who has watched it unfold, one thing i was struck with, if ever there was a situation where you had a pandemic that was as destructive as this, the one thing you would want to do is realize that you're dealing with a common enemy, the virus, and not have the kind of divisiveness that we've had in our country in
trying to address this terrible enemy. it's been like, in many respects, fighting with each other instead of getting together putting all differences aside and realizing that the common enemy is the virus, not each other. that's the thing that i've been impressed with. i can't give you a quantity of how many deaths would have been avoided if we didn't have that, but i'm certain there would have been some that were avoided and. you had two different bosses over the last year. sometimes a support network, sometimes not. how have you been holding up? >> it certainly has not been easy, chuck. i'm doing fine. i focus on my job. as the director of allergies and diseases, it made me determined
to get to the science of the vaccines that we know now has saved millions and millions of lives. so to get the therapeutics is what we need to do, and we'll be doing all of that. to put the other noise aside, chuck, and it really is noise, i just focus on my job. when i focus on my job, i'm fine, but that other narrative makes it extremely difficult, but i'm pretty good at focusing on my job. >> yes, you are, and it's amazing what this government-led effort did. dr. fauci, thank you as always. >> thank you for having me, chuck. joining me now is dr. seth berkeley. he's part of an umbrella group
known as covax which is working on heating up the testing of vaccines throughout the world, particularly those countries with less means. in some ways america is in its own bubble with its vaccine supply while you are trying to figure out how to vaccinate the world. how dire would you paint the situation globally? >> obviously i won't be as global add dr. fauci said it was. this started in china and very rapidly spread around the world. i think the challenge we started with is to remind people you're only safe if everyone is safe, because viruses will mutate and continue to move, and it. we saw a lot of vaccine
nationalism. we now see, if you look at high-income countries, about 40% of the population rz in lowly. with the variant that dame out of india, the variant. this may not be the last variant. so what we need is a manically. >> explain some of the hurdles, okay? bafblgly you neefld. you need 8 billion people to be vaccinated. what is the biggest hurdle standing in the way?
>> well, there's many. first of all, when we stafrtd this whole effort, we had no idea whether any of these vaccines would work or if we had a vaccine within 370 days. that is amazing. the previous record before that was four years. but we normally provide in terms of vaccines about 5 million doses a year. so now what we're. the number you mentioned is people, but, of course, most of the vaccines are two. this has been an unprecedented, in a sense, drive toward that, and we've been very proud to see the increase in supply.
the process in india meant that they turned national with their programs, and that meant that there was less for the rest of the world. of course, at the beginning, had vook seens been share, we could have likely gone p. we ultimately, of course, need to get there. >> you're getting vaccine contributions from china, you're getting screen contributions, i think. the chinese vaccine is seen as not quite effective one of the vaccines. that vaccine is not good enough for some people, but how do you handle that situation?
. >> first of all, we didn't know vaccines work work through a stringent pmplt at the moment, we're not using the russian vaccine but ber using in our -- and that's what we started with as a priority because we realized we might need a diversity if it turned out some of the vaccines didn't work. we've been lucky. it's not only that we did this. for example, the u.s. government is part of operation warpspeed invested in a range of technologies. it turns out the mrnas work very
well, the johnson & johnson you already talked about. what's happened now is there is x amount of vaccines produced. our number became 1.5 million to 2 million. we purchased about 3.4 billion doses of vaccine. but if those countries are willing to make those vaccines available now, we can move those forward. for example, the u.s. did its first donation with us to honduras last weekend. >> dr. seth berkeley, thank you for this. we hope everybody gets out of this world with no pandemic. [
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. welcome back. data download time. there are other ways our economy has been transformed, perhaps more permanently. when it comes to the way people get around, what they buy and where they live. check out where four of the top five markets for home sale price increases. in four of those metro areas are places that are a bit more open spaced. stanford, connecticut much farther outside new york city, provo, utah, austin, texas,
boise, idaho. it's a reminder in san francisco that cities are not going to empty out. there are some cities that will see increases in transportation. this has led to less demand for city transportation. some ridership has plummeted, like the new york subway ridership. people may not need personal cars anymore, particularly gen-z and young millennials. guess what? new car sales way up. prices are up 3% for new cars and a whopping 30% for used cars. some of that increase in used cars has to do with there aren't the used cars available to buy
due to that chip shortage we've been dealing with around the world, and by the way, those used car prices, the inflation rate there is actually contributing to what appears to be a high inflation rate overall. but still, as you can see, what you're seeing here is that people may be changing where they live, how they get to and from work, perhaps for the long run. when we come back, looking ahead at how our lives have changed for work, for school, for public gaerlgz. >> as everybody gets back to life post-covid, i think it's going to be important for urban states to identify why this is a great place for people to work and why this is a great place to be a customer. >> the money we're waiting for from the small business administration is the absolute lifeline, and it cannot come soon enough.
we cannot open until we get that money. >> we've learned a lot through the pandemic. a lot of these things are brand new for us. we're going to fail forward, but at least we're going to try to do what's right for our families. o try to do what's right for our families ot a steroid or inhaler. fasenra is an add-on treatment for asthma driven by eosinophils. it's one maintenance dose every 8 weeks. it helps prevent asthma attacks, improve breathing, and lower use of oral steroids. nearly 7 out of 10 adults with asthma may have elevated eosinophils. fasenra is designed to target and remove them. fasenra is not a rescue medication get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing. don't stop your asthma treatments unless your doctor tells you to. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection or your asthma worsens. headache and sore throat may occur. this is the sound of fasenra. ask your doctor about fasenra.
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welcome back. the panel is joining us. audrey cornish, all things considered, kate snow, and adam grant. he's an organizational psychologist and professor at university of pennsylvania and author of the book" think again colon the power of knowing what you don't know." a poll number from gallup, has life returned to pre-pandemic normal? somewhat normal, 62%, not normal yet, 23%. how would you have answered that question? >> i think it's pretty obvious that normal left us a long time ago. i heard you talking earlier about post-covid. there is no such thing as post-covid, especially when you listen to those global vaccination rates. while many americans are hesitant to take the vaccine, it is available to them. so now it's a matter of how do we live with this going forward? how do you approach mitigation
measures if and when necessary? and how do some of the industries which have been culturally disrupted as a result deal with that now? >> you saw a case of ridership. this is an open air event in attendance for the cleveland baseball team. it's basically down from more than a third on june 19 pre-pandemic to the most recent month here. i think this is a clue that we're not normal yet and maybe we're not going to be. >> two things that we're not normal yet with is the stress, that americans are still afraid to go back to all the going to the office and school, even. i was looking at my stories in the past year, chuck, and look
looking at all the mental aspects and physical aspects on people. more than half were less physically active. two out of three western sleeping right. one in four of us drank more than we used to. i think right now we're in the summer of reset. we're in a period where we need to get back our health, our mental health, our well-being and really reset before, i think, fall in a lot of parts of the country will be a real challenge because people will be expected to go back to their unemployment. >> i was just going to say what will life at work look like these days? i want to read something about return to work. i've heard many workers compare work at home to how you work and when you work. but it seems culturally this is probably a big change that's not
going away. we saw amazon and microsoft doing interesting tests here, amazon wanting everyone to return. there was a revolt. microsoft, everybody is happy. where are we headed? >> chuck, i hope flexibility is in the future. we developed a pre-pandemic. people were more satisfied and more happy to stay. lfs an spirmt at a call center showing that when people worked from home, they were 13% to 15% more productive. 2024 says to resickthat, and can as people have come back are dpg to lose the work for talent and they may not be around for a very long time. >> speaking of work, i want to talk about the issue of vaccine
mandates. it sort of gets back to what you were telling. a majority of employed individuals are not in favor. we've had a political divide on vaccines. the idea the cruise industry has been held hostage in the state of florida because they would like one and they're not allowed to have one, i feel like this is culturally getting in our way. you can't send your kid to public school unless you get the measles and mumps vaccine. is this something we should culturally try to change the minds of? >> i think covid was sort of like a low tide that revealed all the different sort of divides and ways certain symptoms have atrophied or trend we were already seeing. we were already seeing this reluctance when it comes to vaccines, right? we're not even seeing that in schools. we considered it sort of pocket
and fringe, and now this is showing us how these things. i don't think we can answer that here in terms of work, because some of this will be done as a battle in courts, right, because there are rights that employers have to say this is what we kneeled please comply. i think just how eye-popping that number was in terms of people on unemployment. there were people who are voting with their feet. >> adam, how much is this going to impact? are we actually going to see rising wages? there isn't a fast-food restaurant in america that doesn't have a help wanted sign.
>> what we're seeing right now is a short-term response to a dramatic shift in what people are able to do and what work they're willing to do. one data point that surprised me, though, say, half of americans want their job to be working for them tremendously. we're not sure that's going to be enough of the freedom and flexibility that people are saying, we want more, but i think only time will tell us. >> but it also will increase demand. you brought up this mental health issue. there are many companies who don't provide mental health coverage. maybe they provide physical health coverage but not mental health coverage.
>> this was huge when the 555 in this country now. for past, it's been raised also. there are not enough psychiatrists and psychologists in this country, and there is not enough abscess and insurance kovrnl to go to those people. with the pandemic, the rise and demand for that kind of help was so great that you've got people on waiting lists. you have places in the country where there is one skros for 1,000 children. >> there are so many new apps and attempts to try to deal with this crush, with zoom sessions and things like that. go ahead. >> just for a minute because i think she's bringing up such a fascinating point.
insurance didn't even know how to cover telemedicine visits, right? that wasn't even widespread. we were doing some reporting on a medical school that is focusing on teaching virtually students website manner instead of bedside manner. there are going to be some long-term shifts that we are going to see because culturally we have embraced some aspects of remote work and remote interaction. >> yep. no doubt. when we come back, we're going to do more of this as well, but we're going to talk about family reunions and some of the other moments of, yes, joy but perseverance as well in what was a very tough time for covid. for covid. when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing
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welcome back. graphic that shows it so well. that is life expectancy broken down by race and ethnicity. life expectacy went down overall. this revealed what we saw throughout the pandemic, black and brown appearance were more at risk, had worse access to health. all of this. this, to me, it's -- if we don't see it now, the fixes we've got to make in response, they need to be prioritized. >> also the harm to these communities. i mean, if you know somebody who has lost someone to covid and you are vaccinated, now is also the time to reach out and grieve with them. i mean, grief and isolation is monstrous. and in the moment where i think we also need to reach out and
acknowledge and comfort each other in the face of all this harm. >> kate snow, we've talked a lot about mental health. but you know, the income inequality in this field was revealed way too often, whether it was in education, whether it was in health. >> the socioeconomic divide, we always knew it was there, but it was so easy to see during this pandemic. you look at every measure, education, and kids trying to go to virtual school who didn't even have the technology to do that. you know, you look at every single measure. i think i want to pick up on something addi just said. i think that we are all culturally going to have to reevaluate our lives to some extent right now, too. i hear a lot of people saying they don't want to go back to the speed of life that we were living before, the frenetic pace
that many of us had in your lives. and people are valuing community. people are valuing family time, quiet time, in a way that -- in some ways i think this pandemic fully changed us and made us appreciate things that maybe we didn't look for. >> adam, i've never had a closer relationship with my kids this last year than with covid. and you are like, boy, why did it take a pandemic to do this? i know i am not alone. >> when we study people's reactions to traumatic events, 15% come out of them with ptsd, broken. but the majority experience post-traumatic growth, not just bouncing back, but fownesing forward, you have deeper connections, you have a renewed sense of strength and having we newed responsibilities and
purports. i think a lot of russ rethinking this past year, where we want to live, where we want to spend our time, our careers, and our families. we should not let the crisis go to waste. >> what about what we do for a living. i never felt more power ls w the platforms you have, the platforms kate and i have, we live in these hardened bubbles like never before. and these information bubbles have caused death. >> i would say obviously misinformation is a concern. but it was prior to covid. is question is what are the solutions. i think the shine is off the apple when it comes to big tech. and more of these conversations are being more serious. >> they sure are. really appreciate all of you today, a thoughtful panel to have on what many of us are hoping really is a different kind of independence day. that's all we have for you today. thank you for watching. enjoy the rest of your night. [ indiscernible ]