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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  July 8, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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following the recent ruling that upheld new election laws in arizona, and the success of senate republicans in blocking federal voting rights legislation, now leaders of civil rights groups or stepping up pressure on the white house. late today they met president biden and harris in a private session, the layout of 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 country. >> we are going to build a movement across this country to resist that. what is clearly a move to try and disenfranchise people of
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color, from voting. the methodical way this has been laid out in the state legislatures and in this state legislation is geared towards robbing us of the vote. the movement from the ground up is starting to be the only way that we can preserve our right to vote. we informed them that this is going to come not from the white house but our houses up. >> since january 48 states have got under 89 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 legislators. today the texas legislator 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
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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 legislator gathered in front of the state house today vowing to again pushback. >> we are here because we will not be silenced. friends, we will not back down. we won't back out. we won't back up. we are defiant. we will defy the push to suppress our votes. we believe in protecting the right to vote for all texans. >> the presidents also facing any 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.
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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 pfizer is working on an updated version of its vaccine to target the dangerous delta variant. and d.c. news is following that part of the story. >> tonight pfizer says a booster shot, a third dose of its current vaccine could offer americans 5 to 10 times more protection against covid. given six months after the second dose, pfizer believes those inoculated would be highly protected 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
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middle of their most dire days. >> the competition for beds is higher now than it was during the peak last year. >> vaccines are effective against delta, the unvaccinated are fueling a spike with a third of adult americans not yet acknowledge alighted. researchers at georgetown say these five under vaccinated clusters of the country could become a breeding ground for new variants. putting the rest of the nation at risk. >> pfizer says it intends to request emergency use authorization for the booster. sometime in august. tonight the cdc and the fda issued a joint statement saying anybody who has been fully vaccinated will not need a booster right now. the agency said new data is now 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 to mask mandates and other measures in the fall. on the foreign policy front,
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the biden white house is defending its decision to pull u.s. troops out of afghanistan. today the president said the military mission will officially end on august 31st. right now, the withdrawal is set to be 90% complete. in its first feature on afghanistan since april, biden explained his decision to bring u.s. troops home. decision to brin u.s. troops home >> we did not go to afghanistan to nation build. 20 years we've experienced have shown as the current security situation confirms 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. >> if the taliban take over afghanistan now inevitable? >> the afghan troops have 300,000 well equipped as well equipped as any army in the world. and an air force.
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something like 75,000 taliban. it's not inevitable. >> one more hard-line from tonight, the number of people killed in the florida condo collapse has now reached 64. nearly 24 hours after the rescue operation transitioned into a recovery mission. there are still 76 people 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, pulitzer prize-winning white house bureau chief for the washington post. johnson the mayor, white house reporter for the associated press. and professor melissa murray of and why you law school who was a law clerk for justice sonia sotomayor on the federal bench prior to her nomination to the supreme court. welcome to all three of you. thank you for joining us tonight. actually, i want to start with you. 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
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putting too much confidence in the biden economy. the infrastructure bill will overcome the social issues as well as the attack on the elections. this is something 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 behind this voter suppression voter restrictions stuff and the economy and infrastructure be damned for now. uc ture be>> he's not entirely wrong, rather. first of all speaking more general to his broader point, with all the issues you could put the voting restrictions in two that are incredibly important in the republican party. you are seeing former president trump harping on things like critical race theory, and thinking that those are winners for his party. there are not talking about the economy. he's absolutely right on the
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outsized role that voting restrictions are playing in the republican party because it's 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. 40% of republicans believe that a huge swath of his base believes that. 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 president biden is the legitimate president, even they say, well, our voters don't trust elections and therefore more restrictions. it's a sort of circular logic because their voters don't trust elections because former president trump keeps on saying the election was stolen. you have almost the entire republican party, even more moderate republicans say yes, these restrictions, these voter laws are something we
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absolutely support. and they think they 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 six with the justice department actually not only citing donald trump's role, but the fact right leaning media accentuates those claims. it reads as follows. former president trump continues to make false claims about the election. continues to insinuate he may be reinstalled in the near future without another election. and minimize 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. it's not just we are seeing in the media, and the right wing media. we've seen it credited at the supreme court. just last week, it was a legal challenge to arizona voting restrictions. the supreme court seemed to
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credit the idea that there was a true threat of voter fraud that needed to be addressed by the states and that could take steps through more restrictive laws to address claims of voter fraud. even at the highest echelons of the courts, we are seeing this big lie is in fact becoming embedded as a big fact. that's fueling more and more legislation, and more restrictive legislation that will make it harder for voters to go to the polls and vote. >> jonathan, let's talk about border 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 are starting a movement from the ground up to stop the erosion of voting rights. p to stop the erosio of voting rights what impact does not have? the fact a civil rights leaders, most of whom are allied with the white house in the first place, what difference does it make that they went there and sat with the president and the vice president and set this has to stop and we need your help?
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>> i wrote on this today. there is 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 pointed to had committed president biden was to covid relief and now to this infrastructure bill on both tracks. the bipartisan greenland and the reconciliation, or part of it. yet there hasn't been an outward real push on this, which many democrats feel is just the existential threat facing not just their party, but democracy itself. we've heard from the president occasionally on the issue, aides kept pushing there be a big speech, a big roll out on this that hasn't happened yet. we are reporting tonight this could happen as soon as next week, perhaps early as tuesday, the president giving a speech on the matter. he did meet with the civil rights groups. we saw the vice president talked about this. she's leading administration's response on issues of voting rights. she announced the dnc will be giving $25 million towards the
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issue. but for money, it's not quite enough. they want the president to really lean on this. the white house aides feel somewhat frustrated as to what they can do. they can do the math in the senate as anybody else. they don't really see a chance for sweeping federal election reform there. they don't see any voting rights bills getting passed without changing or eliminating the filibuster. yet there are democrats, manchin and cinnamon cinema, senators among, that we don't to do that. short of that their focus now, it's are telling us will be 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 try to drive people to the polls, like they did. to the point to 2020, and a high turnout during the pandemic. if they can do that again. of course we all know that's harder in the midterms. there is real concern among democrats inside and outside
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the west wing that these restrictions put in place by republicans will hurt democrats significantly at the ballot box next year and could cost control of both houses of congress. >> short of there being new federal legislation and short of the necessary pushback like we are seeing in texas against state legislation to curtail voting rights, the justice department as we mentioned did get involved to some degree in expressing to the republicans in arizona there are problems underway at the way they are conducting their recount and writing through georgia and saying they're getting directly involved in that. what kind of teeth does the justice department have been helping out those who are fighting against the erosion in voting rights? >> it sends a strong message the biden administration is behind these efforts to try and make sure that the conduits for democracy are available to all voters going forward. again i want to emphasize the
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courts decision last week in those arizona voting challenges will make it much more difficult for challenges to be brought under section two of the voting rights act. that's the last real provision of the voting rights act that remains to challenge restricted voter laws. you recall in 2013, it'll be county versus holder. the court gutted the preclearance requirements required states to first but any changes to their voting laws with the department of justice or a federal court. the court at that time section two would remain but the court tighten up the roles for challenges under section two of the voting rights act, and made it much harder for people to proceed under that avenue of the voting rights act including the doj suit against georgia. >> 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 them were met except for getting
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americans -- getting 70% of adult americans one shot of the vaccine by july 4th, they got close with that. this delta variant is possibly throwing things off. given the seriousness which with the white house has treated the matter since day one, what are they doing now? >> they're still talking about it and still doing the public relation boater education, trying to work specifically in local communities. we are at this totally different point. on the one hand unimaginable before, anyone who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine. i mean, that would've been great news just a few months ago, and now they're grappling with the fact that a lot of people don't want to get vaccine. they're gripping into the research and figuring out if it's an issue with young people who need more education, rumors they need to dispel.
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they're coming against the reality that some people are just not going to get vaccinated for whatever reason, they are uncomfortable with it and it is especially in those communities where the delta variant can grow out of control. and other variants can emerge. they keep on stressing this but there is a portion of the population that they recognize and have come to terms with the fact that they just aren't going to get vaccinated. >> jonathan, let's talk about afghanistan, the president was pretty clear about his language, he's not sending troops back, another generation of americans and within a reassertion of a different outcome. he was asked very directly is it inevitable that the taliban will take over right now, he said the afghans have 300,000 fighting forces, they have an air force against the taliban, that's about 75, 000, short of making it sound like the taliban was a ragtag organization. they are, except they haven't lost anything it. >> no, that's exactly right.
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though the president downplayed the chance that the taliban could be taking all of afghanistan, he was pretty plain when assessing that there wouldn't just be one government that rules the entire country. suggesting it could be divided up into various territories and saying that the taliban would own at least part of it. i think all u.s. intelligence officials and those around the globe have been surprised as how quickly the taliban has regained tele-tory in recent weeks and months as the u.s. and nato forces begin to withdraw from the region. the u.s. would not have responsibility for what happened after this, we've been there long enough. it wasn't our goal to nation-state, but the afghan people need to take care of themselves. but there are questions here -- is the u.s. pulling out too soon? are they pulling out to munch? at the moment they're only going to leave some troops there to protect an embassy, but the presence will be gone
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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 timetable, but biden made clear that he felt like it was time for american troops to leave this, to end this so called for effort war. and i think that the world will be watching with some concern as to what fill that vacuum, what's forces go in, why terrible things the taliban may do. this is a shift in foreign policy and the president is sticking to his guns. >> thank you to the three of you for kicking us off ashley parker, jonathan lemire and melissa murray. well as the retired admiral who once as the nato mission there. the politically calculated outrage on the right over biden administration's latest effort to reassure people about vaccines. the 11th hour is just getting
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to stay, how many more, how many thousands more americans daughters and some 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 is holding firm and now justifying his promise to get all u.s. forces out of afghanistan by the
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beginning of september, despite a taliban resurgence. john bolton offered this warning today. >> this military withdrawal and withdrawal of all the other american agencies that are affected by it, i think, risks very grave danger to american national security. i want to be clear, this is not a bipartisan point because of donald trump had been reelected, i think he would be doing exactly what joe biden is doing. it is a mistake across the board, and i fear we are going to feel the consequences in the not too distant future. >> back with us admiral -- he retired with four stars on his shoulder, he is a former supreme allied commander of nato, he wrote 2034, a novel of the next world war. admiral it is a pleasure to see you again. john bolton is not wrong their
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democrats and republicans who oppose what's biden is doing in afghanistan, there are democrats who support what biden is doing in afghanistan but no one disagrees with the idea that the taliban who have been undefeated for decades is research and right now and may cause a problem in the governance of that country. >> i'd agree with that in the key word and would john bolton said is risk. we don't know, having commanded that mission for four years, by the way when we had 150,000 troops there, where are now well under 10,000 troops over the last four years. let me put it in a number's perspective for you, from my vantage point, i would say there is a one and three chance that this lands reasonably well. that the afghan security forces can go toe to toe with the taliban, that it will force the taliban to come in and conduct
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what has been envisioned for a long time and negotiated into this. it is hard to imagine a purely military and to this insurgency, one in three chance it comes out okay, but i would go with john bolton on the risk here. i think there is a two and three chance, ali, that the wheels come off. what i mean by that is that the images of vietnam, the end of that, helicopters lifting off the roots of nbc's, god let's hope not. but even more recently when the soviets withdrew, the afghan security forces held on for a couple of years till the wall fell and the funding ran out. the key is, going forward, and this is what the president said and i commend him for it, we're gonna fund the afghan security forces. we're gonna be in an over the horizon posture, and we're gonna do all that we can to ensure that the wheels stay on the car, let's hope it does. >> the president said were not in the nation of country building. sometimes we have been in the
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business of nation building, and it's worked. sometimes we have been in the nation building business and it hasn't worked, 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 1 million of afghan children in schools. medical capabilities and access for tens of millions of people, life expectancy has gone from the mid forties to the late sixties. an extraordinary set of accomplishments. we did it, ali, not just for the altruistic reason that it is good to help other countries, we did it because that is counter insurgency want to one. you build up a society and therefore they're less inclined to go with the insurgents. at the end of today, all those gains could be washed away, in
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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 libya, somalia and others, those become havens for people who are up to no good. what danger is there of that? our though days gone where we have to worry about terrorist organization like isis and al-qaeda taking up space in a place like afghanistan because we're not there? >> i wish that were the case, but it is just not. our intelligence agencies have focused on this, and are there are 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 abhors a vacuum, it fills it and in this case it filled it with malign actors. let's hope it doesn't come to
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that. you're right, by the way, ally, to point out our successes in foreign policy. we've done a pretty good job in columbia, helping the colombians rebuild that society. we've done a pretty good job in the balkans, you can remember 20 years ago the balkans were on fire. we had some mid steps and some failures along the way as well. the jury is still out on afghanistan. we need to lean in here, do what we can to avoid a really horrific outcome, we can still do that, i think. >> admiral good to see you, thank you for joining us, admiral james stavridis. coming up, one of our next guest says the nation's very future depends entirely on who comes out to vote next week. more on the challenges to voting rights when the 11th hour continues. hour continues
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>> this is about all voters. it's about all voters. this is not about democrats or republicans. it's about americans. our democracy is strongest when everyone participates, and it is weaker, it is weaker, our democracy as a nation is weaker when people are left out. >> the vice president back at howard university today to announce a 25 million dollar push by the democratic national committee to counter the rush of restrictive voting laws.
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consider the state of texas, despite republican claims election security is a priority, one democrat calls the latest voting bill now back before lawmakers a solution in search of a problem. >> the only problem we have is that the republican governor is staying true to his allegiance to trump, and playing into this big lie. texas is merely the next domino of falling for republicans. there is no issue with the integrity of our election system. if republicans are worried about the integrity of something, they have to look at the integrity of our electrical grid. >> with us again tonight eugene robinson pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the washington post and matthew the founder of country over party in the past he was chief strategist for the bush cheney presidential campaign in 2004. gentlemen, good to see you both. matthew all starts with. you are in texas. you are watching this. i want to show our viewers some of the things that are in texas bill three adding idea requirements for mail-in voting,
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banning drive-through early voting, banning overnight early voting and criminal penalties to certain election process ease, and empowering partisan poll watchers. it does bring to mind some of these are interesting, but most bring to mind the idea of a solution in search of a problem. boy in texas they are looking for that problem. the problem of voter fraud, mass voter fraud, the government officials there are turning over every rock to find. it it's not really there. >> no it's not at all. they found 16 instances of a registration with an address wrong on it. they spent $20 million on 16 instances out of 11 million votes cast in 2020. it's not a problem. this fundamentally goes to the issue of the republicans know the electorate is changing. it's changing in texas. the demographics and how it works. they know, directly linked to it, they know the policies they've been passing whether
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it's rollback roe v. wade, carry for guns, or all the other things are doing which is highly unpopular in texas among texas voters, they know they don't want to be held to account by the voters. that's what this is all about. they don't want to be held accountable. for me that list you dropped, that you read across, the first three are bad putting payments in place and making it harder to vote. last year would concern me the most. it 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 notify an election. that's the last two are about. >> the first three discourage people from voting. that's bad. they can be overcome. the last two are about is perpetuation of the big lie, or big lies coming forward. let's talk about that. we heard from vice president harris this is the dnc, the democratic national committee
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committing $25 million to focus on tv and digital ads. campaigns to help people understand how to register to vote, and get information to people who are affected by these restrictive laws. a different approach to the whole thing. it's not fighting in the courts. it's informing people of their right to vote and the laws that are designed to prevent them from doing so. enough? useful? what do you think? >> useful, but not enough. i don't think there could be one approach, just getting out a vote and making sure everybody knows how to register and how to comply with onerous and unnecessary new restrictions. that's necessary. that has to be done. and that can be really effective. these new laws have to be fought in court. the justice department needs to be paying attention.
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it can't just be marc elias and others who are filing lawsuits in public interest. we still do you have most or what's left of the voting rights act. we have a civil rights division in the justice department and the are fighting us tooth and nail. democrats ought to be fighting some way, in a posture to pass whatever congress can pass, to nullify or mute 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 is the true danger to democracy. the biggest danger to democracy. here it is, it's happening before our eyes.
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>> matthew, in fact, there is pressure on those few republicans who decided to pushback 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. this is a story about congressman peter mire. apparently at a recent event a woman in fort myers that he would shortly be arrested for treason and hauled before a military tribunal presumably to be shot. people are willing to kill and die over these alternative realities. i've been out there, talking to people since before the election. 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. >> i think that's one of the greatest dangers in our democracy. this idea there is no longer a common set of facts. democracy depends on the
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ability to get to the common good with a common set of facts. we no longer have a common set of facts or an idea that science should be relied on. it's not just people who blame trump and trump i think was a great exposure of a big part of the problem. when i think these politicians and 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 is no longer based in fact, which is no longer based in any kind of firm knowledge. that's what you're dealing with. the problem is they are not only believing it, they're being fed it day in and day out at different people networks, different news sites. to me, overcoming that problem is going to take a lengthy period of time. it's also what's fundamental to our democracy, which concerns me that we may be already in the point in time where we are a broken democracy, because we have no ability to get to a common set of facts. >> what an amazing conversation
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we're having a 2021 about this. gentlemen, standby. we're taking a quick break. coming up the politics of vaccinations are not proving to be a matter of life and death in some parts of the country. is that fact going to change any minds? ange any minds?
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but the focus of this administration on vaccination is a mind-boggling. why not get people credit rather than trying to break them into doing something and claiming it's playing politics. >> this latest anti-vaccination spain all began when the biden administration started to talk about enlisting community leaders to go door to door reassure those, who are still reluctant to get the shot. still with us eugene robertson and matthew dowd. eugene, lauren boebert, congresswoman from colorado had this to say about this. biden had deployed his needle
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nazis to mess a county. the people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decision about the experimental vaccine and don't need coercion by federal agents. did i wake up in communist china? >> eugene, these claims get more and more outrageous by the day. it's crazy. >> every word of that is a lie and every word of that is crazy, every word of that is deliberate and designed to appeal to this sort of crazy, tribal attitude that has developed that has been encouraged to develop against vaccination. this was the scene -- vaccination is a very good thing for you. it's in your best interest to get vaccinated, in everybody's best interest for everybody to get vaccinated.
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nobody is forcing anyone to do it, but if you think about it for five minutes in any sort of rational way. you see that it is a good idea, it's certainly not anything out of nazi germany. it is just amazing that we're at this point when dealing with a matter of public health. vaccinations are required for kids to go to school. but this is nothing new. >> i don't understand, matthew, i don't even understand how trump lost this messaging because he could have, and in some circles still take credit for the fact that we developed vaccines, the world developed vaccines at a much shorter time than most people expected. this could have been his legacy, but he's poisoned people's minds and now they've run away with it, trump --
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there are individuals in america who have decided that the attempt to convince them to get vaccinated is some sort of totalitarian, authoritarian action. >> trump's legacy could've been a lot of things, there are so many things he could've done differently. i mean, [inaudible] i fully agree with eugene. it's crazy but the problem is she's a congresswoman, donald trump is a former president. these are people who run on fox news and other networks. this is not only crazy, this is exceedingly dangerous as we're seeing as rates rise in states that haven't got the vaccination rates up. i don't know when we got to the fact that ignorance and lack of care for our fellow brothers and sisters in this country is celebrated. that's actually what is being celebrated, ignorance and a lack of compassion and caring for our fellow brothers and
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sisters in this country. that is where we are at. it's not about liberty and freedom, it's not about any of that, it's the idea that i can do whatever i want and i don't have to care about who is in my community and how it affects or what i believe may be completely off the wall, that's with the difficulty is and it leads back to what i said on the other segment, when we don't have an ability, in this country, to actually believe in a universal way in science, it is a public health disaster that we're facing. it's actually self-imposed by these communities that refused to believe in any science and their fellow citizens. >> this becomes problematic because i want to read you, eugene, something was written by paul waltman in the washington post and he says, there probably isn't a gop in office 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
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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 they're sitting there thinking i'm not getting in the way of this train. the vaccines is dangerous, the communist china, the remarkable references to nazis. there are members of congress, and they're not helping the situation. >> they're not serving their constituents. if you a member of congress, just at a baseline, minimum, you want your constituents to live. you want your constituents to be healthy. you want the communities you represent not to be, not to suffer yet another wave of covid-19 infection. the way to prevent that is to encourage, not force, not you
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know, stormtroopers or whatever, but to encourage people to get vaccinated because it makes sense. it makes sense for them. there are lots of republicans elected officials who know that. if they don't have the courage, and the integrity to say that and the compassion, but caring for their own constituents to say that, then they certainly don't deserve to occupy the offices they hold. they don't. it's more than a shame, it's just an outrage. >> as i've said at the end of the last segment, it's amazing that we're having this discussion in 2021, i appreciate both of you taking time to have it with me, eugene robinson and matthew dowd thank you both. while the only cheers you hear one summer olympics are coming around will be the ones in your landfill room, will explain that when the 11th hour continues. ntinues.
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spike in covid-19 cases in tokyo has prompted authorities there to declare a monthlong state of emergency. with the opening ceremonies to the summer long picks now just two weeks away officials are reversing last month's decision to allow local spectators at most events. nbc news correspondent tom yarmulkes has our report from tokyo. >> when the olympics kick off in 15 days beseeched 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 began monday and will run through the entire olympics. >> one of the reasons for the state of emergency, they want to thin out the crowds like
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here in downtown tokyo. 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 here is relatively low, compared to other hotspots, the vaccine rollout has lagged. what is japan so afraid of? >> the vast majority of japanese remain unvaccinated, they're afraid of the olympics kick starting another surge. >> 70,000 people from around the world are expected here for the olympics, including ioc president thomas bach who just arrived, and is now in quarantine. now ali, as of the athletes themselves summits described this decision as heartbreaking, but we are learning tonight that there could be some offense held outside of tokyo, like surfing, the marathon in baseball that could have some fans. ali? >> tom llmas.
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elsa isn't done with the east coast just yet, the latest on the storms still ahead when the 11th hour continues. th hour continues.
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during our lowest prices of the season. tonight and update on elsa. the hurricane turned storm has killed at least one person in florida, killed by a downed tree. the storm is tens of millions -- as a drenches the east coast with flash floods and dangerous winds, threatened to knock out power. forecasters predicted some parts of south carolina could see up to eight inches of rain. the national weather -- we and for -- winds there hit 128 miles an hour, clipping vehicles and snapping trees, but luckily no one was hurt. elsa is still on the move tonight targeting the northeast which has already seen its fair share of floods. some new york city commuters were met with horrific
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conditions this afternoon, this is from a bronx subway. riders try to get to their trains, some used trash bags attempting the world worse potatoes sack race. other just went for it. downtown in math hadn't, waterfalls coming in from ceilings inside the subway stations. this commuter pen station salt water not falling down but shooting up, from a great in the floor. major highways in the city were flooded leaving cars stuck and drivers stranded. again, this is all before elsa brings in even more rain to the region over the next few hours. so it is time to break up my waiters for tomorrow's commutes. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, goodnight. s, goodnight. >> tonight on all in.
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>> you have to ask, what is the problem? get over it. get over this political statement. just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family. >> a new plea from medical experts. >> the focus of this administration on vaccination is mind-boggling. >> then, are democrats about to walk out again to stop the new voter restriction push in texas. plus, why mitch mcconnell is actually attempted to defund the police when it comes to tax cheat. all in starts right now. l in starts right now. >> good evening from new york i'm chris hayes. the highly transmissible delta variant is spreading across this country and the world. even countries with higher vaccination levels, and they're not that many of them have started to see the delta variant

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