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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  July 8, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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points into traditional g.o.p. talking points. getting people to believe there is a kabul controlling everything. >> ben collins, great to have you on the show. thank you to all of you for watching this hour. we'll put some of the highlights from ben's reporting on msnbc. right now we have a lot more with craig melvin who picks up our coverage right now. >> good thursday morning to you. msnbc headquarters here in new york. our country's voting rights are playing out in split screen this hour. first in austin, texas where the special legislature will get under way. the governor called this session after democrats walked off of the house floor at the end of pay to keep republicans from
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passing restrictive voting measures there. i'll talk to an activist that will be at the capital in an hour rallying around these measures. meanwhile, president biden meeting with civil rights groups about voting rights. the supreme course just delivered a major move to the white house and they're running out of options. ly talk to someone who will have the president's ear in just a few hours. we're also going to have an important conversation about gun cull dmur this country. new york state is taking a new approach to tackling it. coming up i will talk to fred gutenberg. and the tragic shift in surfside, florida, from rescue to recovery. we just learned in the last hour that the death toll has now risen to 60. this morning nbc news posted new reporting that this collapsed
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tower, that tower, could have fallen faster if the law that was repealed still existing. and a vote for voting rights. monica alba is there ahead of the meeting. also with me is damon hewitt. he is the president and the executive director that will be in that meeting with president biden. second in austin, texas, pricilla thompson is there. also with us from austin natasha brown. her group is at the texas state capital with other activists. we'll start with you there at the white house. democrats calling on this administration to do more. to say more, on voting rights after defeats in congress and
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the supreme court bhap is the plan for today's meeting? >> this is why the president and the vice president wanted to host key leaders of these civil rights organizations. but i think one of the most notable things here, craig, is that this will take place behind closed doors. that's because i'm tlold is a big question of what the strategy really is going to be going forward. they're going to huddle, receive input from the stakeholders that have a lot to offer, and try to determine what the next steps could be. there is an impasse with legislation that failed even though it passed the house but didn't advance in the senate and of course the president said that what is happening at the state level in some of these places, particularly texas is quite frankly un-american and wrong. and he even said that democracy is at stake here. he even hinted in terms of the larger broader strategy that he would tour the country talking about voting rights, neither of those have taken place yet.
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instead we're going to see before the meeting takes place vice president harris speak on the issue. and that's when we're going to look to clues in terms of what they meleeout. interestingly in this meeting later it won't be just voting rights on the agenda. i'm told they be speaking about police reform and the legislation that looks to be coming to an agreement in reality but there are still gaps that need to be bridged. they will discuss all of this and even though we won't see the president and the vice president speak about this immediately after we hope to hear how it wasn't and the white house will determine whar is critical and most effective next. many democrats called for the president to use his voice, to use the power of his voice more on this topic. putting it behind things like infrastructure. >> the george floyd justice and
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policing act will be on the agenda as well. that's a great segues to you because you will be in that meeting at the white house in just a few hours. what will you tell the president and the vice president today? >> well, we're going to tell the president, craig, that this issue is urgent. that we're fating an emergency, an emergency in black and brown communities. it's not a partisan emergency. i know that's how some people talk about it and how some people cover it. we need this president to see past the politics. he always talks about bipartisanship going past politics in is an important time. we need to see the impact on actual real people. the people that we represent, and in our cases around the country the people who are his constituents. the people helping get him elected. we hope to put that on his mind today. >> is there something that the administration has not done that you would like to see them do? >> the pulpit is bully, but it
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could be bullyier. it is a very skeers but measured tone. it is spoken through the department of justice. a lawsuit in georgia that joined the party from the lawsuits that other groups like ours, the lawyers committee and others filed in georgia and elsewhere. there is also things he can do behind the and its that he can do that we cannot. we want to make sure that he understands and that we hear more about all of the tools in his tool kit that he plans to use and deploy in this critical summer. >> you recently told the guardian about voting rights. "the republicans are putting everything to spot it. i need that to be matched with the same kind of passion and commitment." i have not seen the kind of response that makes me believe that they're seeing this as a do or die moment for american
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democracy. how do you make the case to this administration what more would you like to see and hear from the white house with regards to voting rights. >> you think about we're in a critical issue that i think is facing our country in is not just about party politics, what i would like to see is literally every single moment, every time the president speaks i think there should be something said about the voter suppression. we should see everything going at this just as we did in the election. as we came out and we left everything on the field, i want to see all of the political capital being used towards this. the democrats,manchin and sinema brought in, brought up, and literally able to be pushed around this issue. i'm not seeing the level of the urgency of what i'm feeling and other voter advocates are
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feeling on the ground as we're here. it is a suppression session that has been set up specifically as a key part of that, passing a voter suppression bill. we're seeing this all around the country and i think this is the most critical moment. this is a defining moment in the administration's role. i think they're doing several things. i'm glad some of the other pieces are happy as well. i want to see the kind of passion and a sense of urgency of now of what it is. >> this conversation on the left side of your screen, a live look at the special session that is now under way in texas. this is the snaen austin. that legislative session getting started a few minutes ago. reminding our viewers a few
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minutes ago. it would have restricted voting rights. governor abbot calling this session for election integrity. pricilla is covering that for us. what should we expect in this session. >> craig been in just a short while, democratic leadership and many of those voting rights, advocacy groups, coming out on the front steps. it is they are going back into that session and what i'm hearing is they have been strategy meetings and they say everything is on the table and the caucus has been told to be prepared for everything. they don't know how all of this
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is going to go. we know that governor abbot laid out his agenda. the voting on bills are on that agenda but what that will look like remains to be seen. overnight, the first bill around voting and election rights that we're seeing. it has provisions on it. similar to the bill that democrats walked out on in may. it also does not allow officials to send out unsolicited bills. let's look at what the house speaker had to say. >> voter integrity is very braud and that gives us a lot of lee way on what that looks like. a big bill, small bill, and i
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expect dozens, if not hundreds of election bills probably to be followed. >> so still in a wait and see mode here, but the lieutenant governor said that the bill was done so quickly that they could be heard as early as this weekend. >> pricilla thomas, thank you. described by activists as a moral victory. beyond rallying, beyond applying public pressure, naming names, what strategies are you calling on democrats to employ, to block new voting restrictions? >> the first thing we need is we have a solution on the table right now. we have seen the republicans not acting in any way, they have
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been open about their obstructionists. i have not heard the president take a hard assistance around ending the filibuster. the decision, the state earn we have given democrats and they have control of the house, the senate, and the white house. they have to end the filibuster so they can pass this legislature. >> my colleague, hallie jackson, talked to chris turner in the last 30 minutes and this was his warning. >> we need help. democrats in texas we can only hold this back for so long. we need strong voting rights legislation to protect all
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americans. i mean he essentially echoed what we heard. if congress remains inactive, the white house can only do so much in the parameters of hilgs power. how do you keep the fire lit on this critical issue? >> this is the racial justice community. we have been resilient for decades. natasha is out there petitioning the courts and today in the white house, but what we need is partners. i think we need partners, we need the white house to do everything that it can do to act as it really is. if you look at the full regime of what is happening here, the supreme court opened the door for more mayhem. it is in arizona.
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a few people, not the masses, so it's okay. if your vote is not courted that is a problem. we need to address this problem. this is a politically savvy trick. we know the margins are razor thin. so the idea is that we will hurt a certain number of people to give enough of a political advantage. so we have to turn to the legislature. this is the time for the branch to make it clear, make it known, to know what is required to make a difference here. a big thanks to all of you on this thursday morning. an emotional new faze.
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workers that shifted from serge and rescue to a recovery mission. how could it have gotten fixed if an old florida law had still been in place. we'll check in on what is left with 90% of the withdrawal now complete. and with a scorching weekend ahead, one california town that did not have reliable running water for weeks. how people are coping and why the water shortages are getting worse and worse. e getting worse and worse. a life well lived should continue at home. with home instead care, older adults can stay home, safe, and happy. home instead. to us, it's personal. there's an america we build
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in just the last hour we got a update from officials on the surfside condo collapse. the death toll is now at 60. 80 people are still unaccounted for. it comes as first responders mark two weeks since the collapse. they had a moment of silence as the operation shifted from serge and rescue to recovery. we have new reporting about the building itself. the headline collapsed florida
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tower could have been repaired faster under repealed law. the law would have required condos to plan for repairs. the legislature says if it wasn't repealed this never would have happened. i want to bring in john shupey. you say it was repealed after push back from real estate lawyers and property managers. >> this is a story about how to avoid repairs becoming big expensive problems and catching them early. in 2008 a lawmaker sponsors a law that could and did require inspectors, engineers, experts to come in and look at biddings every five years and tell them what was looking damaged and how much it would cost to fix it and that would set the condo association on a path to save
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the money to do the repairing. that would have helped, in this case, but that will all be repealed two years after it has become enacted and the condo association didn't have to do anything to plan for the repairs. so he believes if it remained law the condo association would have paid for it earlier. >> any new movement to pass a law to keep something like this from happening again? >> yeah. those involved in the condo industry are talking about closing loopholes. he has been getting calls to
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seek his advice about what kind of lope holes, and other lop holes that allow associations to sidestep repairs. >> as i understand the reserve fund at this particular condo building was in the neighborhood of 700,000 dollars. >> exactly. that was to cushion the low they were facing. the argument is if they knew years ago they would have socked away money and they would have gotten the fixed down faster. >> and perhaps so many thousands of people would not have been as affected by the tragedy.
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tropical storm elsa may no longer be affecting gts recoverer efforts, right now it is pounding the carolinas. it is also pushing northeast very quickly. we could reach southern new jersey. they could see six inches of rain by friday. one person died as a result of a fallen tree. when we come back, more split screen moments when the country, when it comes to this pandemic. big cities are separating their recovery and others are getting worse. and a new effort to convince people coming from juvenile.
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400,000 lives lost. now the cdc says it acts for 50% of cases here and that is driving dualing realities here. high vaccination rates, things seem relatively back to normal. but in places with low vaccination rates hospital beds are filling up. one hospital had to borrow ventilators over the 4th of july holiday weekend. what are you hearing from folks there about the surge in cases? >> i was told yesterday that it is the worst it has ever been here. we're 16 months into this
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pandemic and they had to bring in extra ventilators because this week brought a record number of covid patients. this is not a recent record this is a record since the start of this pandemic. they're now surging staff. they're calling in more doctors and nurses and they're saying this is a result of the delta variant. doctors saying here at mercy more than 95% of covid patients are unvaccinated. while that is clear, it is a point that is drawing a lot of frustration saying this is very preventable. listen to what they told me. >> we're part of the country with some of the lowest vaccination rates. we're dealing with a variant
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that is more contagious. >> it is sad to see someone dieing in the hospital for something that could have been prevented. >> it is leading to exhaustion to have to deal with this so long and now just reaching their peak. i also spent time at some vaccination clinics. several people said that the delta variant drove them to finally get that vaccination saying we saw the impact it was having with friends and neighbors. others saying they were tied up with work or daily lives and that lead to the delay. the key is that doctors hope more people will get that vaccination. you were hearing about "vax that thang up." you're hearing it from doctors and officials, get your vaccine
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as soon as possible and that will help us get up vaccinations. shaquille, thank you for your time. meanwhile a large portion of the western united states bracing for a round of sizzling temperatures. climate change is to blame, it is coming two weeks after historic triple digit temperatures slammed the northwest. that heat wave responsible for 1600 deaths in oregon alone. we thought maybe by the middle of the century we would start to see really substantial and impactful events but we're seeing those now and things are
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especially dire for one rural town in the california central valley. the town's only water well broke in june leaving the entire town without reliable running water. so now these folks are facing down a heat wae and you report that it goes way beyond this one town. what else have you found? >> that is correct, there is a lot of factors. we have a state that is in some type of a drought. the central valley. this is an area essential to farming in california with communities like this one and it is important to see a clear example of what happens when one
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well stops working and this community has no other way to obtain the water for a week. we had no away to get water into the system. they're bringing in water tankers from another town but some of the neighbors told us what it was like to go through seven days with absolutely no water. >> a bucket shower? >> yeah, we warm up water in the stove and mix it with the cold and just put the bucket in the shower, yeah. >> olga is talking about the water brought in containers, right? they had big containers from areas nearby. she is talking about showers, you want to keep the house clean, some residents with health issues need to keep their floors clean, watch their hands, and there is a lot of factors.
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things that can't be normal when you don't have water. now they're bringing in watter from 20 miles away. they drive it and they put it in these tapgs behind me and this is just an example of the water issues in capital where the reservoirs are running low and we need enough rainfall to get the water to the whole state. >> thank you, keep us posted on that situation, please. across the country some u.s. cities are seeing a surge in homelessness. in denver, colorado, in particular, they saw a 30% increase in the homeless population there. now the mile high city is trying out a new and unique solution to try and address the spike. dasha burns now on what they hope could be a model for other cities. >> tucked into a church parking
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lot in suburban denver. i leved in an apartment for 15 years and i came home to a note on the door that said order to quit. >> you will find stories like allen's across the city. with the crisis came an unlikely solution. city sanctioned camp sites launched in december 2020. clean colorful rows of tents give people a bed, 24/7 security, and daily meals. >> we have housing navigation, employment navigation, a outreach doctor, an outreach nurse that comes in. we have mental health professionals. >> it can house 40 people. their other site can house 60,
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but with thousands still unsheltered, the goal is to expand into other parts of denver. >> i didn't find anything about it, but it was looking at the pandemic and the model that showed me a thoughtful and well managed situation and we had to give it a try. >> it is already proving successful. but the ultimate goal is to get people out of tents and into homes. >> the space provides the break from having to claw your way to a restroom, to a shower, to wash your clothes. and once your basic needs are met you see a natural progression into, okay, what now? that break meant everything to allen. >> you know where you're going to sleep every night?
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>> you know. >> unique solution, perhaps, to a worsening problem, thank you for that. just a few hours from now president biden will be talking about the next steps in the recall from afghanistan. also, a look at how to combat the gun violence shaping the country right now. almost 200,000 people killed in the hootings of the holliday weekend. we'll talk to a dad whose daughter was killed in the parkland shooting. illed in the parkland shooting. on beach day. -i'm down. -yes, please. [ chuckles ] don't get me wrong, i love my rv, but insuring it is such a hassle. same with my boat. the insurance bills are through the roof. -[ sighs ] -be cool. i wi i could group my insurance stuff. -[ coughs ] bundle. -the house, the car, the rv. like a cluster. an insurance cluster. -woosah. -[ chuckles ] -i doubt that exists. -it's a bundle! it's a bundle, and it saves you money!
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a few hours from now, president biden will give a update on what comes next. more than 90% of the entire process is completed.
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joining me now is "weekend today" host peter alexander. what can we expect to hear from the president this afternoon? >> we expect to hear from the president shortly before 2000 eastern time this afternoon providing a more expansive explanation on his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from afghanistan. they will leave behind about 650 american troops to protect the airport in kabul and the u.s. embassy there. expect to hear about what this all means, how it is going to far, and as you know what comes next. in the conversations that i have been having here with folks they say among other things the president is likely to detail what he inherited going into this situation specifically the security challenges they're fating right now. as well as the assistance that the united states will provide. especially focused on the
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taliban and gains it made throughout the country. another point of interest because of scrutiny runtly is what role the u.s. is going to play, the interpreters, the translators, the drivers, the engineers, many of whom are now threatened. the president will likely focus on that as well, a serious of other issues. the white house says the former president, president trump, said the u.s. would withdrawal troops from may st and they have a decision to make. do we extend that or do we bring the rest of the troops out. >> peter alexander from 1600 pennsylvania avenue, thanks as always, sir. just a few moments ago, the united nations security council wraps up their meeting on the
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asenior citizen nation of the haiti president. the government saying it was a coordinated attack. the first lady was also shot, she is now being treated at a hospital in yam. we're told she is in critical but stable condition. for lots of families across the united states last weekend's holiday weekend was spent grieving because nearly 200 people were killed in shootings over the july 4th holiday. we have a look at the efforts to stem the rising tide of gun violence. g tide of gun violence [singing] oven roasted cooold cuts cooold cuts
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he's the most importantr famil thing in my life.ction. i'm so lucky to get him back. your heart isn't just yours. protect it with bayer aspirin. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. we are seeing a substantial jump in gun violence. so far in 20212 the gun violence archive has recorded nearly 23,000 gun violence deaths. more than 12,000 of those deaths were from suicide. on tuesday new york governor andrew cuomo issues the nation's first ever executive order to declare gun violence a disaster emergency in the state. now leaders are under pressure to do the same. i want to bring in two people very close to this issue.
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we're going to talk more about the film in just a moment. this is an issue that is so very, very personal to you. you've dedicated your life to the cause since you lost your daughter. first of all, how are you doing? and what, in your view, needs to change to stop this? >> you know, listen, and thank you for asking how i'm doing. next week my daughter should be turning 18. that's what i should be talking to people about not this, and so to answer your question, to stop this we need to stop listening to the gun lobby. what this movie, the price of freedom brilliantly does is expose the gun lobby for who they are, and you know, wayne
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and one of his great lies that has really dominated the conversation for years used the term a slippery slope to describe gun safety. listen, we've been on a slippery slope now for years because of the gun lobby that has led us to the place where we are now and during covid, when the last administration unleashed the gun surge on this country, where we are at now is predictable, and it was preventable. when you talked about suicides, myself and others in the gun safety movement were screaming about this happening because you had all these people, first-time gun buyers last year during covid running out and buying guns while they were under economic desperation, losing people that they loved. what's happening now is predictable and preventable and we have to stop listening to the gun lobby. >> beyond that, though, fred, this is something that i've talked about a number of times
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in this show and the reality is that we are at a point in this country, we've got more than 300 million guns -- more than 300 million in circulation on the streets. >> yeah. yeah. >> so what do we do now? >> well, over the past two years we've actually gotten closer to 400 million and so what do we do now? we have a to do a variety of things because it's just not the fact that we have all of those guns and about nine out of ten that are used in crimes are actually guns that somebody is not legally allowed to own. so we need to deal with ammunition, as well because people who are prohibited purchasers simply walk into stores and buy the ammunition because there's no requirement for a background check and we need to deal with that, but you know what? we need to, as a country, deal with the reality that there are 400 million weapons and evil, and so we need to engage law enforcement. we need to engage our communities. we have to operate in an area of
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trust where we talk to one another and work together to lower the gun violence death rate. what the -- what this gun lobby did that ended up with 400 million weapons on our street is something we as a country have to now deal with. the majority of this country's history is the price of freedom points out was that it's a gun safety country and we need to get back there. >> let's talk about the film. what connection do you see in the violence that we see across this country to what you learned while filming "the price of freedom"? >> what we are seeing now is a throughline of what the nra has been doing for decades and where they excel is on a narrative of fear and in times of uncertainty like the pandemic, we see gun sales going through the roof, record numbers. that's due in no small part to
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the rhetoric of the nra that is so saturated the psyche of this country and it's one of the things that we try to unpack in the film to reframe this debate and really understand how we got here and the nra's role. >> president biden, as you know, challenged congress last month to tackle the issue of gun violence and we all know how divided washington has been for decades, but america not divided at all and a quinnipiac poll says 8% oppose, 89% of americans, not democrat, not republicans. what did you find was more largely to blame between the apparent disconnect and the people who in washington. we've seen this in decades,
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americans, gun owners or non-gun owners, republicans and democrats support common-sense gun reform and yet as you point out, we have fewer regulations in this country than any other industrialized nation in the world, and why is that? so many roads point back to the rhetoric of the national rifle association, and again, we need to unpack that and gun owners need to say, is this an organization that represents me as a gun owner and represents my interests, and i want to see for this country? my vision for this country? i think when you look at the vision that the national rifle association has for this country which fundamentally says that more guns in the hands of more people are going to make us safer, that's something that a lot of americans would disagree with. >> judd ehrlich, thank you. fred guttenberg, i can only
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imagine how hard the next week will be for you especially. fred, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> judd, the documentary again is "the price of freedom." it is in theaters now. that's going to do it for me this hour. tomorrow i'll spend some time talking to housing and urban development secretary marcia fudge about the infrastructure push and that's tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern only here on craig melvin reports and first, "andrea mitchell reports" with kasie hunt starts next. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service. ♪
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good day. this is "andrea mitchell reports." i'm kasie hunt in washington where president biden is facing political pressure during a hot summer as democratic allies and voters demand results. the president fresh off a national security meeting on afghanistan will pivot to an afternoon discussion with a host of civil rights leaders who want assurances that protecting the right to vote is a priority for the white house. mr. biden's immediate domestic priority, trillions in infrastructure development is stuck in legislative limbo as members of both political parties hear from their constituents back home. turning to the coronavirus and a grim milestone. the global death toll surpassing the 4 million mark as japan bans spectators to prevent further spread and ensure olympic athlete safety. >> t

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