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

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the united states cannot afford to remain tethered to policies, creating a response to the world as it was 20 years ago. we need to meet the threats where they are today. >> president biden gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. good evening once again. i'm ali velshi in for brian williams. new urgency in the battle to protect voting rights, efforts to stop republican-controlled states are gaining momentum following the recent supreme court ruling that upheld new election laws in arizona and the success of senate republicans in blocking federal voting rights legislation. now leaders of national civil rights groups are stepping up pressure on the white house. late today, they met president biden and vice president harris in a private session to lay out
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what they plan to do to safeguard the right to vote. >> democracy is under vigorous, vicious, and sinister attack, beginning with the events of january 6th at the capitol and cascading like a tsunami through state legislatures across the nation. >> we are going to build a movement around this country to resist that, what is clearly a move to try to disenfranchise people of color from voting, the methodical way this has been laid out in the state legislatures and at their state legislation is geared toward robbing us of the vote. the movement from the ground up is starting to be the only way
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that we can preserve our right to vote. we informed them that this is going to come not from the white house down, but from our houses up. >> according to the brennan center for justice, since january, 48 states have introduced at least 389 bills to restrict voting. 17 states have signed 28 new laws curbing access to the vote. another 61 bills are moving through 18 other state legislatures. today the texas legislature opened a special session to revive the republican-backed election bills that democrats killed in may by staging a walkout in the last moments of the regular session. the proposed texas legislation includes banning 24-hour and drive-through voting, new voter i.d. requirements for mail-in ballots, and expanding the powers of partisan poll watchers. democrats in the texas legislature gathered in front of the state house today vowing to again push back.
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>> we are here because we will not be silenced. friends, we will not back down. we will not back out. and we will not back up. because we're defiant. we will defy the -- the push to suppress our votes, because we believe in protecting the right to vote for all texans. >> the president's also facing a new potential crisis in the battle against covid. today the world health organization said global deaths from the virus have topped 4 million with the delta variant now detected in 100 countries. in this country, the cdc warns new cases are up by 11% over the past seven days, largely fueled by that variant now surging in areas with low vaccination rates. today we learned that pfizer is working on an updated version of its vaccine to target the dangerous delta variant.
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nbc's miguel almaguer. >> a third dose of its current vaccine could offer americans five to ten times more protection given six months after the second dose, pfizer believes those inoculated would be highly protect against the delta variant, which is now exploding across the u.s. the company expects to deliver new data to the fda within weeks and is also working to develop a delta-specific version of its vaccine. it comes as new covid cases and hospitalizations both climb at a dangerous pace. some hospitals are now in the middle of their most dire days. >> the competition for beds is higher than it was during the peak last year. >> reporter: the unvaccinated are fueling the spike with a third of adult americans not yet inoculated, researchers at georgetown say these
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unvaccinated clusters of the country could become a breeding ground for new variants, putting the rest of the nation at risk. >> pfizer intends to request emergency use authorization for the booster sometime in august. tonight the cdc and the fda issued a joint statement saying anyone who has been fully vaccinated will not need a booster right now. new data is being reviewed to determine when a booster shot might be needed. meanwhile, cnbc reports scientists and health experts now fear that the rise in delta cases could mean a return of mask mandates in the fall. the biden white house is defending its decision to pull the u.s. troops out of afghanistan. today the president said the military mission will officially end on august 31st. right now the withdrawal is said to be 90% complete. in his first speech on afghanistan since april, biden explained his decision to bring
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u.s. troops home. >> we did not go to afghanistan to nation-build. nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year fighting in afghanistan is not a solution. but a recipe for being there indefinitely. i will not send another generation of americans to war in afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. >> is a taliban takeover of afghanistan now inevitable? >> the afghan troops have 300,000 well equipped, and an air force against something like 75,000 taliban. it is not inevitable. >> one more from tonight, the number of people killed in the florida condo collapsed has now reached 64. nearly 24 hours after the rescue operation transitioned into a recovery mission. there are still 76 people
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unaccounted for two weeks after the building came down. with that, let's bring in our lead-off guests on this thursday night. ashley parker, jonathan lemire, and professor melissa murray of nyu who was a law clerk for justice sonia sotomayor. welcome to all three of you. thank you for joining us tonight. ashley, i want to start with something charlie sykes wrote about in the bulwark about the gop and voting restrictions. he says i hope democrats are not putting too much confidence in the biden economy, the infrastructure bill will overcome the social issues as well as the attack on the elections because this is something that the gop is completely behind and the base is very motivated and very fired up to do, which i can't remember anything quite like this. he's saying the gop is fully
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fully behind this voter suppression voter restriction stuff, and the economy and infrastructure be damned for now. >> he's not entirely -- or he's not wrong, rather. speaking to his point, cultural issues -- you could put the voting restrictions into that -- are incredibly important in the republican party. you'll see in former president trump harping on things like critical race theory and thinking that those are winners for his party. they're not talking about the economy. and then he's absolutely right on the outsized role that voting restrictions are playing in the republican party super it is something that the base is deeply fired up about. former president trump has perpetuated this false, dangerous, and baseless claim that the election was somehow stolen. that's not true, but about 30% of republicans believe that. a huge swath of his base believes that.
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and then even republicans who don't believe that so-called big lie, even republicans who are getting pushed out of their local parties because they dared to say that president biden is the legitimate president, even they say, well, our voters don't trust elections, and, therefore, we need more restrictions. but it's the sort of circular logic because their voters don't trust elections because the former president keeps saying the election was stolen. in that manner, you have the entire republican party from sort of maga nation to even more moderate republicans saying that, yes, these restrictions, these voter laws are something we absolutely support and they think are good for them politically. >> melissa, there was a court document from a hearing for somebody who had been detained for their involvement in january 6th with the justice department actually not only citing donald trump's role, but the fact that right-leaning media accent waits
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those claims. former president trump continues to make false claims about the election, continues to insinuate that he may be reinstalled in the near future without another election and minimized the violent attacks on the capitol. television networks continue to carry and report on those claims. to ashley's point, this is how the big lie becomes the big fact. >> that's exactly right, ali. it's not just we're seeing this in the media and certainly the right-wing media. we've also seen it credited at the supreme court. just last week in the brenvich decision that was a legal challenge to two arizona voting restrictions, the supreme court seemed to doctor et the idea that there was a true threat of voter fraud that needed to be addressed and that states could take steps through restrictive through his address claims of voter fraud. so even at the highest echelons of the courts, we're seeing that this big lie is, in fact, becoming embedded as a big fact.
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that's fueling more and more legislation and more and more restrictive legislation that will make it harder for voters to go to the polls and vote. >> jonathan, let's talk about voter rights and the civil rights group that met with the president today and the vice president. they're making it clear -- you heard reverend al say they're starting a movement from the ground up to stop the erosion of voting rights. what impact does that have, the fact that those civil rights leaders, most of whom are allied with the white house in the first place what works difference does it make they went there and said this has to stop and we need your help? >> i wrote on this today. there's been immense frustration among certain quarters of democrats and liberals and civil rights groups about the lack of real leadership from the white house on this issue. they point to how committed president biden was to covid relief and now to this infrastructure bill on both
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tracks, the bipartisan agreement and the reconciliation part of it, yet there hasn't been an outward real push on this, which many democrats feel is the existential threat facing not just their party, but democracy itself. sure, we heard from the president occasionally on the issue, but aides kept pushing there will be a big speech, there will be a big rollout on this. that hasn't happened yet. we were reporting this could as soon as next week, perhaps early as tuesday the president giving a speech on the matter. today me didn't meet with these groups. we saw the vice president talk about this. she's announced the dnc will be giving money towards the issue. but for many, it's not quite enough. they want the president to really lean in on this. but white house aides feel somewhat frustrated as to what they can do. they can do the math. they don't see a chance for sweeping federal election reform
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there. they don't see any voting rights bills getting passed without changing or eliminating the filibuster. yet there are democrats, manchin and sinema, who don't want to do that. short of that, their focus now, aides are telling us, is more on legal challenges, on state by state, department of justice will be involved, also, of course, we will see them next year trying to really boost turnout and trying to just drive people to the polls like they did. they point to 2020 having a high turnout during the pandemic. they think they can do that again. but of course we all know that's harder in the midterms and there is real concern among democrats inside and outside of the west wing that these restrictions put in place by republicans will hurt democrats significantly at the ballot box next year that could cost them both houses of congress. >> professor murray, short of their being new federal legislation and short of the necessary pushback, like we see in texas against state legislation to curtail voting
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rights, the justice department, as you mentioned, did get involved to some degree in sort of expressing to the republicans in arizona that there are problems under way with the way they are conducting their re-count and writing to georgia saying they're getting directly involved in that. what kind of teeth does the justice department have in helping out those who are fighting against the erosion in voting rights? >> certainly sends a strong message that the biden administration is behind these efforts to try and make sure that the conduits are available. the court's decision last week in the arizona voting challenges will make it much more difficult for challenges to be brought under section 2 of the voting rights act. that's the last real provision of the voting rights act that remains to challenge restrictive voter laws. you will recall in 2013 in shelby county versus holder, the court gutted the pre-clearance
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requirements that required states to vet changes to the voting laws with the department of justice or a federal court. the court at that time said section 2 would remain, but again, last week the court has tightened up the rules for challenges under section 2 of the voting rights act and made it much harder for suits to proceed under that avenue of the voting rights act, including the doj's suit against georgia. >> ashley, i want to ask you about covid and the new delta variant. the biden white house has had good marks. they made this their priority on day one. they set targets, most of which were met except for getting 70% of adult americans one shot at least of the vaccine by july 4th. they got close with that. but this delta variant is possibly throwing things off. given the seriousness with which the white house has treated this matter since day one, what are they doing now? what are they thinking about this becoming a much more serious matter now? >> they're still talking about
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and still doing the public relations, voter education, trying to work specifically in local communities. but we are at this totally different point that was on the one hand unimaginable before. anyone who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine. that would have been great news just a few months ago, and now what they're grappling with is a lot of people don't want to get vaccines and they're sort of digging into their research and trying to understand the issue with young people where they perhaps just need a bit more education. are there rumors they need to dispel? and they're coming up against the reality that some people are just not going to get vaccinated for whatever reason. they're uncomfortable with it and it's especially in those communities where the delta variant can grow out of control and other variants can emerge. so they keep stressing this, but there's a portion of the
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population that they recognize and have come to terms with are just not going to get vaccinated. >> jonathan, let's talk about afghanistan for a moment. the president was pretty clear about his language. he's not sending another generation of americans in without reassurance of a different outcome. but he was asked directly, is it inevitable that the taliban will take over. he said the afghans have 300,000 of a fighting force. makes it sound like the taliban was a rag-tag organization. they are, except they haven't lost anything yet. >> no, that's exactly right. though the president downplayed the chances of the taliban retaking all of afghanistan, he also was pretty plain when assessing there probably wouldn't be just one government that rules the entire country, suggesting the background divided up into various territories suggesting the taliban would own at least part of it. i think all u.s. intelligence
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officials and those around the globe have been surprised and displayed at how quickly the taliban has regained territory here in recent weeks and months as the u.s. and nato forces begin to withdraw from the region. the president said, look, the u.s. would not have responsibility for what happened after this, that we've been there long enough that it wasn't our goal to nation state, and that the afghani people need to take care of themselves. but there are questions here, is the u.s. pulling out too soon or too much. at the moment we think they're only going to leave some troops to protect an embassy, but the presence will be largely gone as of august 31st. he's been consistent on this for a while both before coming into office and certainly he has said that it was his predecessor who suggested this aggressive timetable. but biden made clear he felt it was time for american troops to leave, to end this so-called
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forever war. it is a moment the world will be watching with some concern as to what fills that vacuum , what forces go in, and what terrible things the taliban may do. but this is a shift in foreign policy and the president, despite the pushback, is sticking to his guns. >> thank you for kicking us off tonight, ashley parker, jonathan lemire, and melissa murray. coming up, what ending that presence in afghanistan means for u.s. security. we'll ask the retired admiral who once lead the nato mission there. later, the politically calculated outrage on the right on biden reassuring people about the vaccines. "the 11th hour" is just get under way on a thursday night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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. so let me ask those who wanted us to stay. how many more, how many thousands more americans, daughters and sons, are you willing to risk. already we have members of our military whose parents fought in afghanistan 20 years ago. would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? would you send your own son or daughter? >> president biden holding firm and now justifying his promise to get all u.s. forces out of afghanistan by the beginning of september despite a taliban resurgence. former national security adviser john bolten offered this warning today. >> this military withdrawal and the withdrawal of all the other american agencies that are affected by it, i think, risks very grave danger to american national security. let me be clear as well. this is not a partisan point
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because if donald trump had been re-elected, i think he would be doing exactly what joe biden is doing. it's a mistake across the board and i very much fear we're going to feel the consequences in the not-too-distant future. >> back with us, admiral james who required with four stars on his shoulders, former head of the u.s. southern command and former supreme allied commander of nato. he's also the coauthor of "2034: a novel of the next world war." admiral, it's a pleasure to see you again. john bolton is not wrong. there are democrats and republicans who are opposed to what biden is doing in afghanistan. but nobody disagrees with the idea that the taliban, who has been undefeated for decades, is resurging right now and may cause a problem in the
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governance of that country. >> i'd agree with that. in what john bolton said the question word is risk. we don't know. having commanded that mission for four years -- by the way, when we had 150,000 troops there, we're now well under 2,000 troops the last four years. let me put it in a numbers perspective for you. from my vantage point, i'd say there's a 1 is in 3 chance this lands reasonably well, that the afghan security forces can go toe to toe with the taliban, that it'll force the taliban to come in and conduct what has been envisioned for a long time and negotiate an end to this, because it's hard to imagine a purely military end to this insurgencesy. 1 in 3 chance it comes out okay, but i'd go with john bolton on the risk. the images of vietnam, the end
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of that, helicopters lifting off the roofs of embassies, god rs let's hope not. even more recently with the soviets withdrew, the afghan security forces held on for a couple years till the wall fell and the funding ran out. so the key is going forward -- this is what the president said and i commend him for it -- we're going to fund the afghan security forces, we're going to be at an over-the-horizon posture and make sure the wheels stay on the car. >> the president said we're not in the business of nation-building. this is an ongoing debate in the history of america. sometimes we have been in the business of nation-building and it's worked. sometimes it hasn't worked. but the bottom line is, arguably, where is afghanistan today compared to when we went in? >> in terms of nation-building, if you will, it's vastly better. women and girls have real rights. there are millions of afghan
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children in schools. medical capability and access is for many tens of millions of people. life expectancy has gone from the mid-40s to the low 60s. it's an extraordinary set of accomplishments. we did it, ali, not just for the altruistic reasons, it's good to help other countries, we did it because that's counterinsurgencesy 101. you build up a society and, therefore, they're less inclined to go at it insurgents. at the end of the day, all those games could be washed away in that two and three scenario i outlined. again, the key is going to be supporting the afghan security forces going forward. >> we have seen in places where there have been governance vacuums in the past, including in afghanistan, but in libby, somalia, and others, that those become havens for people who are
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up to no good. what danger is there of that? are those days gone where we have to worry about terrorist organizations like isis and al qaeda taking up space in a place like afghanistan because we're not there? >> well, i wish that were the case, but it's just not. our intelligence agencies have focused on this and are there problems in other parts of the world? east africa, west africa, other parts of the middle east? absolutely. but ungoverned spaces, as you say, nature abhorrors a vacuum. it tends to fill it, and in this case it's filled it before with maligned actors. let's hope it doesn't come to that. you're right, ali, to point out our successes in foreign policy. we've done a pretty good job in colombia helping the colombians rebuild that society. we've done a pretty good job in the balkans. 20 years ago the balkans were on fire. we had some missteps and failures along the way as well. the jury is still out on
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afghanistan. we need to lean in here and do what we can to avoid a really horrific outcome. we can still do that, i think. >> admiral, thank you for joining us. the nation's very future did he understand entirely on who comes out to vote next year. more on the challenges to voting rights when "the 11th hour" continues. to protect people. to help them save. with a home and auto bundle from progressive. ahh. i was born for this. and now it's prime time. cut. jamie, what are you doing? you're not even in this one. i thought it was thursday. sorry. -it is. -i thought -- i thought it was last thursday. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... -it is. -i thought -- ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car.
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. this is about all voters. it's about all voters. this is not about democrats or republicans. this is about americans. our democracy is strongest when everyone participants, and it is weaker -- [ applause ] -- it is weaker, our democracy as a nation is weaker when people are left out. >> vice president back at howard university today to announce a $25 million push by the democratic national committee to counter the restrictive voting laws. in texas, one democrat calls the latest voting bill now backed by four lawmakers a solution in search of a problem. >> the only problem we have is that the republican governor is staying true had his allegiance to trump and playing into this big lie. texas is the next dm know to fall for republicans. there was no issue with the integrity of our election
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system. if republicans are worried about the integrity of something, they ought to look at the integrity of our electrical grid. >> eugene robinson, columnist not "washington post," and matthew dowd, founder of country over party. in the past he was chief strategist for the bush/cheney president campaign in 2004. matthew, you are in texas. you're watching this. i want to just show our viewers some of the things that are in texas bill 3, adding i.d. requirements for mail voting, banning drive-through, early voting, adding criminal penalties to certain election processes, and empowering partisan poll watchers. it does bring to mind the idea of a solution in search of a problem and, boy, they're searching for that problem.
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government officials there are turning over every rock to find it. it's not really there. >> no, it's not at all. i think they found 16 instances of a registration with an address wrong on it. they spent $20 million, the attorney general spent $20 million on 16 instances out of 11 million votes cast in 2020. so it's not a problem. this fundamentally goes to the issue of the republicans know the electorate is changing. they know the policies they have been passing, whether it's rolling back roe v. wade, whether it's permitless carry for guns, whether it's all of the other things they're doing, which is highly unpopular in texas, among texas voters, they know they don't want to be he would to account by the voters. that's what this is all about. they do not want to be held to account. the list you read, the first three are bad, putting
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impediments in place, the last two are what concern me the most, which is basically gets to the point in time where you want to figure out a way to overthrow the job of an election clerk, an election worker, and nullify an election. that's what the last two are about. >> right. the the first three discourage people from voting, that's bad but they can be overcome. the last two are about this perpetuation of the big lie or big lies coming forward. eugene, let's talk about that. we just heard from vice president harris this is the dnc, the democratic national committee, committing $25 million to focus on tv and digital ads, campaigns to help people understand how to register to vote. it's a different approach to whole thing. it's not fighting it in the courts. it's informing people of their right to vote and the laws signed the to prevent them from
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doing so. useful? what do you think? >> useful, but not enough. i don't think there can be just one approach, just getting out the vote, making sure everybody knows how to register and how to comply with onerous restrictions, that's necessary. that can be really effective. but these -- these new laws have to be fought in court. the justice department needs to be paying attention. it can't just be mark elias and others who are filing lawsuits in the public interest. but we still do have most or what's left of the voting rights act. we have a civil rights division in the justice department, and the justice department ought to be fighting this tooth and nail. and democrats ought to be
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finding some way in a hair-on-fire posture to pass whatever congress can pass to nullify or mute or -- some of the worst of these restrictions, especially the ones that as matthew said have to do with the ability of partisan, local officials, and state legislators to overthrow an election. that's the true danger to democracy, the biggest danger to democracy. and here it is. it's happening before our eyes. >> matthew, in fact, there's pressure even on those few republicans who decided to push back both on donald trump and the big lie. "new york times" reporting today that there are far-right voters challenging republicans who voted to impeach trump. that is story about congressman peter meije recollection. a woman informed him he would shortly be arrested for treason and hauled before a military
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tribunal presumably to be shot. people willing to kill and die over these alternative realities, he said. i've been out there talking to people since before the election, and i was quite surprised the degree to which attitudes like this, conspiracy theories and belief in the big lie and these voting issues are quite mainstream among some republicans. >> well, i think that's one of the gravest dangers in our democracy, is just this idea that there's no longer a common set of facts. and democracy depends on the ability to get to the common good with a common set of facts and we no longer have a common set of facts or an idea that science should be relied on or data should be relied on. it's not just people -- trump was a great exposure of a big part of the problem. but what i think these politicians in the gop are really responding to is their voters. this is who their voters are. this is the ecosystem of the republican party, which is no longer based in reality, which
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is no longer based in facts, which is no longer based in any kind of firm knowledge. and that's what you're dealing with. and the problem is they're being fed it day in and day out on different cable networks, on different news sites. to me, overcoming that problem is going to take a lengthy period of time, but it's also what's fundamental to our democracy, which concerns me, that we may be already in the point in time where we already have broken democracy because we have no ability to get to a common set of facts. >> what an amazing conversation we're having in 2021 about this. gentlemen, stand by. we're taking a quick break. coming up, the politics of vaccinations are now proving to be a matter of life and death in some parts of the country. is that fact going to change any minds? versus the other guys. ♪♪ clearly, velveeta melts creamier.
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the focus of this administration on vaccination is mind-boggling. why not give people credit rather than trying to berate them into doing something and claiming it's playing politics? >> this latest anger anti-vaccination spin from the right began with the biden administration started talking about and listing community leaders to go door to door and reassure those who are still reluctant to get the shot. still with us, eugene robinson and matthew dowd. eugene, lauren boebert, congresswoman from colorado, had this to say about this. biden has deployed his needle nazis to mesa county. the people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don't need coercion by federal agents. did i wake up in communist china? gene, these claims get more and more outrageous by the day. >> yeah. >> it's crazy. >> every word of that is a lie
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and every word of that is crazy. every word of that is deliberate, however, and designed to appeal to this -- to this sort of crazy tribal attitude that has developed, that has been encouraged to develop against vaccination. it's the most insane thing i've ever seen, right? vaccination is a very, very good thing for you. it's in your best interest to get vaccinated. it's in everybody's best interest for everybody to get vaccinated. nobody's forcing anyone to do it, but if you think about it for five minutes in my sort of rational way, you see that it's a good idea and it's certainly not anything out of nazi germany. it's just -- it's amazing that we're at this point where we're dealing with a matter of public health, a matter of public
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health. vaccines are required for kids to go to school. this is not -- this is not -- it's nothing new. >> i don't understand how trump lost this messaging because the bottom line is he could have and in some circles he still does, he takes credit for the vaccines. this could have been his legacy. but he's poisoned people's minds, and now they have run away with it. trump is one of a lot now because there are individuals in america who have decided that the attempt to convince them to get vaccinate is some sort of totalitarian, authoritarian action. >> trump's legacy could have been a lot of things, would have, could have, should've, because there's so many different things he could have done differently. i completely agree with eugene. it's crazy, but the problem is
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she's a congresswoman and donald trump is a former president. these are people that run fox news and other networks that aren't the guy in the street corner or the gal on the street corner screaming at people. this is not only crazy, this is exceedingly dangerous as we've seen states' vaccination rates. ignorance and lack of care for our brothers and sisters in our country is celebrated. that's what's being celebrated. ignorance and a lack of compassion and caring for our fellow brothers and sisters in this country. that's where we're at. it's not about liberty or freedom or about any of that. it's the idea that i can do whatever i want and i don't have to care about who's in my community or how it affects -- or what i believe may be completely off the wall, that's what the difficulty is. when we don't have an ability in this country to actually believe in our universal way in science,
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it is a public health disaster that we're facing, and it's actually self-imposed by these red communities that refuse to believe in any science and refuse to care about their fellow citizens. >> this becomes problematic because i want to read you, gene, something that was written by paul waldman today in "the washington post," to which he says there probably isn't a gop office-holder in the united states who doesn't keep tabs on fox to see what their constituents are hearing and now they know those constituents are being told over and over that vaccines are dangerous, if not deadly, and a dire threat to freedom. worst of all, getting vaccinated means doing what biden wants you to do. so you do have these members of congress, lauren boebert well ahead of most of them on this kind of nonsense, but who are saying i'm not getting in the way of this train, that the vaccine's as dangerous, the
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communist china, the remarkable references to nazis. members of congress are not helping the situation. >> no, they're not, but they're not serving their constituents. if you remember, just baseline, you want your constituents to live. you want your constituents to be healthy. you want the community that you represent not to be -- not to suffer yet another wave of covid-19 infection. and so the way to prevent that is to encourage, not force, no storm troopers or brown shirts or whatever they call on, but to currently people to get vaccinated because it makes sense for them. there are lots of republican elected officials who know that. if they don't have the courage, the integrity to say that, and the compassion, the caring for their own constituents to say that, then they certainly don't
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deserve to occupy the offices they hold. they really don't. it's more than a shame. it's just an outrage. >> as i said at the end of the last segment, it's amazing we're having this discussion in 2021. but i appreciate you taking time to have it with me. eugene robinson and matthew dowd, thanks to both of you. coming up, why the only cheers you hear when summer olympics are coming up around will be the ones in your living room. we'll explain that when "the 11th hour" continues. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit indeed.com/hire and get started today.
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a spike in covid-19 cases in tokyo has prompted authorities there to declare a month-long state of emergency. with the opening sarpz to the summer olympics now just two weeks away, officials are reversing last time's decision to allow local spectators at most events. nbc news correspondent tom giannis has our report from tokyo. >> reporter: when the olympics kick off in 15 days, these seats
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will be empty. no claps , no cheers, no fans at all. tonight organizers pulling back on plans announced just two weeks ago to allow some local spectators. the ban on fans coming just hours after japan's prime minister announced a new state of emergency in tokyo which begins monday and will run through the entire olympics. >> one of the reasons for the state of emergency, officials want to thin out the crowds at restaurants and bars like here in downtown tokyo. >> reporter: officials are urging those businesses not to serve alcohol. they want people to watch at home. even the illuminated olympic rings are being shut off early. the new restrictions come after an uptick in covid cases in tokyo due to the delta variant. while transmission is still relatively low compared to other hot spots, the vaccine rollout has lagged. >> what is japan so afraid of? >> the vast majority remain unvaccinated and they're afraid
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of the olympics kick starting another surge. >> reporter: 70,000 people from around the world are expected here for the olympics, including ioc president thomas bach who just arrived and who is now in quarantine. for the athletes, some described the decision as heartbreaking, but we are learning tonight there could be some events held outside of tokyo like surfing, the marathon, and baseball that could have some fans. ali? >> tom giannis for us in tokyo. elsa isn't done with the east coast. the latest on the storm when "the 11th hour" continues. of . fasenra is a different kind of asthma medication. it's not 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.
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flowers are fighters. that's why the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's is full of them. because flowers find a way to break through. just like we will. join the fight at alz.org/walk keeping your oyster business growing has you swamped. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit indeed.com/hire and get started today. the last thing before we go tonight, an update on elsa, the hurricane turned tropical storm has already killed at least one person in florida killed by a downed tree. tonight the storm is tens of millions under tropical storm warnings as it drenches the east coast with flash floods and dangerous winds.
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forecasters predicted some parts of south carolina could see up to 8 inches of rain. the national weather service says elsa kicked up at least one tornado in camden county along georgia's coast. winds there hit 128 miles an hour, flipping vehicles and snapping trees. luckily, no one was hurt. elsa is still on the move tonight, targeting the northeast, which has already seen its fair share of flooding rain this week. some new york city commuters were met with horrific conditions this afternoon. this is from a bronx subway. riders trying to get through waist-deep water to get to their trains. some used trash bags attempting the world's worst potato sack race. others said yolo and just went for it. downtown in manhattan at herald square, water falls coming in from ceilings inside the subway station. this commuter at penn station saw water in the subway station not falling down, but shooting up from a grate in the floor.
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major highways in the city were also flooded, leaving cars stuck and drivers stranded. and again, this is all before elsa brings in even more rain to the region over the next few hours. so it's time now to break out my waiters for tomorrow's commute. that's our broadcast for this thursday night with our thanks for being with us. on behalf of >> very quick iraq story but i'm telling you it's quick, and there's a reason for me to tell it. in 1996 when bill clinton was president, part of northern iraq fell into absolute crisis. the first gulf war had happened after the previous president, golf or one, in the wake of that war the kurdish population in iraq had basically risen up and revolted against hut saddam

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