tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 13, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
fight over voting rights reaching fever pitch. texas democrats fleeing the state last night on two private planes to deny republicans the needed quorum to ram through their voting restrictions. they plan to stay in washington for three weeks to press congress to pass sweeping voting rights legislation before the august break even as texas governor abbott threatens to arrest them when they return. >> when i look at the african-american museum i thought about the struggle of my people fought in this country to get the right to vote. i'm not going to be a hostage that my constituents' rights to be stripped from them. >> once they step back into the state of texas they will be arrested and we will be conducting business. >> this as president biden heads to philadelphia next hour to blast republican-led efforts to make it harder to vote in more than a dozen states while facing criticism from many in his own party that he has not done more to fight for congressional
action. meanwhile in cuba, a crackdown has silenced the biggest crackdown in decades. the regime cutting off internet and food and medicine amid surging covid infections. in miami, cuban-americans have taken to the streets demanding more for havana. new covid cases rising by 50%. more bad news for the j&j, vaccine. the fda warning of an increased risk for a rare neurological disorder. this hour i'll be speaking with dr. anthony fauci, the president's chief medical adviser, but first to our top story, voting rights. joining us now texas state representative ann johnson one of 50 lawmakers to protest against republican state efforts against access and who will be with president biden for his major voting rights speech.
welcome to both of you. ann johnson, great to hear from both of you. you had a late night, your escape from texas. you and your colleagues are going to be arrested and that the house voting moments ago, in fact, for the sergeant at arms to track you all down. >> a number of my colleagues and i watched as an arrest was put out for us not recognizing that we are in d.c. because this is now the only place where we can do our job. governor abbott said let's get down to business and that's where we wanted to be, but he's not interested in getting down to the business of texans who want to talk about the failing power grid, who want to talk about covid. instead, what they want is for us to merely be present as they ram through voter suppression bills and this is the manner in which we can now stand up for the freedom to vote for all texans and that's what we're doing here and so we are very hopeful that the president and congress will recognize that we need sweeping federal support to make sure that woman,
communities of color across the state of texas do not have their votes suppressed because they don't fall in line with governor abbott. >> what you're facing is such resistance even in washington, texas senator jon cornyn calling your move a stunt and very un-texan. how will you pressure congress when it is such a deeply divided senate and a deeply divided house. >> let me tell you, there is nothing more texan than standing up for the right for women to vote. texas actually called a special session in 1919 to pass the 19th amendment and the first southern state to do it, and so i don't see anything, but texas history happening right here in washington, d.c., as we attempt to do our job to ensure that sweeping voter suppression bills that will target communities of color, target women, take away voting access like we were able to do in harris county. drive-through voting like mothers, people with disabilities and elderly in
their car was easier to vote, and those essential workers to make sure that people were living through covid and having the right to vote and that's american, that's texan, and i am proud of our democratic colleagues and we are standing up for every texan and their freedom to vote and not governor abbott and his allegiance to trump and this lie that is not a texas value. >> we just heard that senator manchin will be meeting with you. what will you tell him about the importance of the filibuster as he's been defending it versus voting rights. >> there is nothing more american than ensuring the right to vote and our true constitutional values and a number of our colleagues came up a week ago and had a chance to talk about what's happening on the ground in texas, and there are many members around the nation when they hear about texas being the largest voter suppression state in the nation, hearing about the slow drip of
eroding our rights. for example, they passed photo i.d. laws and that's great, have a photo i.d., but they decided that a state-issued university i.d. is not good enough to vote, but a gun i.d. is good enough to vote, and so this is the kind of challenge that we're dealing with that they claimed this is about election integrity. no, no, it's about them letting the people they want to vote vote, and not everyone, and these suppression tactics they are taking like shutting through drive-through voting will disproportionately impact women. shutting down 24-hour voting will disproportionally impact people of color. if people don't have the freedom to vote in texas then their extreme views against women and the lgbt, and we are merely the next domino that extreme republicans are attempting to fall in each state to fall in line with this big lie and
keeping people from having their true voice heard, and so we are so hopeful that congress will hear us and step up to the plate to do something that they may only have the power to do. we are fighting the front line, but we are on borrowed time. >> i was going to say, congressman brandon boyle, there you have it. texas is doing this. arizona has done it. now pennsylvania, the republicans in pennsylvania legislature are pushing for an arizona style so-called 2020 election even though it's been tested and re-tested and re-litigated and the judges have all declared there was no problem in pennsylvania. what is pennsylvania going to do? >> to your point, andrea, here in philadelphia where i'm coming from and represent there has already been an audit in philadelphia twice, and don't take my word for it as a democratic congressman, the republican city commissioner, one of the commissioners in charge of our elections has
verified that it was audited. furthermore, the entire vote count for philadelphia was actually live and streamed anywhere. the irony is, of course, that in 2020, donald trump had -- had slated better in philadelphia than he did four years prior, what really sunk him was the vote in the suburb switching so hard from red to blue. statewide in pennsylvania i am deeply concerned that we will no longer be in arizona and the key reason why is there is an open race for government here and the republican right now it turning into a race debacle in terms of which candidate can do the most to -- donald trump and that is on the steps of an arizona-style
audit in arizona. >> what do you want to hear from the president today because there's been criticism that he hasn't been forceful enough and he hasn't put pressure on congress to break this down. >> andrea, i'm just literally a few blocks away in my office and we'll walk down to the national constitution center, and a perfect setting for this historic speech on voting rights. i think the president has been forceful and it was in congress to do our job when the house representatives did our job, and it is now time for the senate and in my view, voting rights are a lot more important than preserving some arcane that the founding fathers would urge in the first place. i would under my colleagues to do everything we can to protect the right to vote before it's too late.
>> thank you so much, texas state representative ann johnson and congressman brendan boyle, thanks to both of you. joining us now for more on all of this, in philadelphia, i should say, nbc white house correspondent mike menially awaiting the president sxoe good to see both of you. you've been a lot of reporting on what the president will say under considerable pressure before the august recess. they haven't even written the john lewis act. >> reporter: that's right, andrea. as we've seen this issue of voting rights itself has become a litmus test in both parties and this is a speech on the part of the president that has been scrutinized for democrats and republicans alike and especially for democrats has the voting rights and erck especially on the voting rights just a few
weeks ago. the president did work the phones and the inside game making sure that democrats stood united behind that piece of legislation and until there is support within the democratic caucus for filibuster reform. what the president needs to do and what he will begin to do in earnest is make the case to the broader public and to speak to those who haven't been necessarily engaged to this discussion and to elevate the stakes and to prove that there could be a political cost to republicans who are pursuing this kind of change. the president will use stark language calling these republican push changes, unpatriotic, un-american and link it to the darkest periods in our history and the jim crow era, and the actions by the kkk to try to intimidate the african-americans from getting the right to vote in the first place and he'll focus on a piece in these voting rights changes hasn't necessarily been as closely scrutinized and the election administration that would make it easier for
partisans to overturn the will of the people as state legislature for instance rather than the kind of independent election administrators play such a critical role next fall and this is a case that intends one that engages support and show pressure and show that there are consequences from republicans. even his closest allies, jim clyburn, needs to come out in support of a carveout for the filibuster to make sure they can get the legislation at a federal level. >> not just a talking filibuster, erin haynes, what can they do absent congressional action because the supreme court didn't rule out everything, but it certainly made it a lot tougher. >> yeah, andrea. i think that's what a lot of the black organizers and activists i'm talking to are wondering. what more that the president and vice president can do especially in the absence of federal legislation which they do
certainly continue to call for, but want him to do more than kind of use his bully pulpit. that could be more executive orders. for example, the justice department has said they plan to be more aggressive although the fate of section 2 is under question after the latest scotus ruling. to give you an example, i talked to the organizer that will be watching attentively to the president's remarks today and what she told me is that she's hoping that today is a line in the sand, that the president is really going to draw a line in the sand and get beyond rhetoric and thanking black voters like the ones in pennsylvania, in philadelphia who put the president and vice president over the top that gave democrats control of the white house and of congress, and really take -- do more to take action. she says she can't legislate. she can't win votes and she's out there doing her job as an
organizer and trying to get people on their role which is federal action from the president and congress to get these voting rights passed to mitigate the damage we're seeing happening in state legislatures across the country. >> errin haines, thanks for your deep dive into all of it. cuba in chaos, cuban-americans calling on the biden administration for help as cuba cracks down. >> and coming up with that, and mid-summer surge, covid rates spiking in 28 states and hot spots erupting where rates are low. dr. fauci joins us this hour. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. kraft. for the win win.
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dozens of activist, protesters and independent journalists have been arrested in cuba since historic anti-government protests. thousands spilled into the streets on sunday calling an end to the 62-year communist regime. for the second night in a low, rallies have blanketed the streets. >> i don't care if you've been here five years or 60 years you should care that your brethren over there in cuba are suffering right now, and we need to help
them and that's, i think, has been their cry. it's a cry for help. >> joining me now is senator bob menendez chairman of the relations committee and the highest-ranking latino in congress. we've never seen protests this large. from my memory, it was bigger than 1974, they cut the internet, cutting phones and arresting people. so what is the import of these historic protests? is this or is this not a tipping point potentially? >> andrea, your memory is good. this is one of the largest, most significant protest because it spans the whole of the country and not just havana, which of course is urban, but across the entire country including in the countryside and it just expresses the depth of discontentment that the cuban
people have with their regime on the economic suffering and the covid handling and the lack of liberties and basic freedoms and so we don't know from my information, from inside of the island is that protests have continued and the problem is that the regime has shut down the internet for two reasons. number one, so that the cuban people can't communicate with each other and can't know what's happening on the island as they peacefully protest and for the rest of the world doesn't know what's happening inside and the citizens in the first place. i think this is an extraordinary moment and one they hope that the united states responds to by a series of actions that i think can be helpful to the cuban people. >> i want to get there because the policy questions now are in your lap as well as, of course, the white house, and the cuban economy has been crushed by the pandemic. tourism is shut down. no approved covid vaccines, blackout, and food shortages and
exacerbating what had existed under the sanctions and other sanctions, cuba's president blaming the protests and president biden and secretary of state blinken have come out in support of the protesters criticizing the regime and are there steps the white house should take among the post-election trump sanctions to allow cuban-americans to start wiring remittances back home and resume american tourism once it is covid safe? >> first of all, i applaud president biden and secretary blinken for the strong statements and solidarity with the cuban people and in a strong message to the cuban regime not to use violence against their citizens who are peacefully protesting and we have seen violence by the cuban regime which is historical repression every time the cuban people rise to seek protests. in terms of changes, look, i want to be able to send my aunt in cuba money, but the regime
takes 20% off the top of every dollar i send, then they take the balance of that dollar and convert it into pesos which is worth a fraction of what i'm sending. no country in the world does that. the regime has to change in order to let the cuban people thrive. the regime has dollar stores where there is an overwhelming amount of food and supplies, but of course, those are held exclusively for those who can get access to dollars and the regime gouges them. the regime keeps people on, you know, long lines to get basic foods as a way of controlling the people. so at the end of the day i wrote title 2 of the libertad act and it speaks about all of the things the united states would do in aid and trade and assistance to the cuban people if there is an opening in cuba, and so it's in the regime's hands, the embargo that exists is by the regime against its own
people. >> we're helping countries all over the world with vaccines, without regard to politics, but cuba isn't part of covax. they've received nothing and they've got three locally produced vaccines that have not yet been authorized for emergency use. they have no vaccines, basically. >> well, first of all, they say that their vaccines are effective, i don't know whether they are or they aren't and i certainly could be an advocate of offering vaccines by the united states and the cuban people and not through the regime. they will even use vaccinations as a way to reward their supporters and to punish their opponents. i can't permit that. whether we can use an international health organization that the cubans let in and whether we can use the catholic church that is trusted, those are possibilities, but once again, the fundamental question is a regime that oppresses its people in ways we as americans can't fully
understand, and its state security apparatus, and its control of the economy and its inability to allow people to have basic freedoms and if we can get the type of openings that all of us as citizens enjoying the united states and most of the free world and the cuban people will prosper and at the end of the day they're stifled by their own government. there are tons of opportunities, you know when at the height of tourism the cuban government still rationed the cuban people. when the obama administration opened up to cuba, the cuban government still rationed the cuban people. they still arrested journalists and political prisoners and independent analysts. so at the end of the day no matter if we continue just to believe that we can change the course of events in cuba by opening up jeans and coca-cola, that's not going to change the realities of the cuban people.
we have to challenge the debate. this shouldn't be an issue. the international community should be listening to the cries of the cuban people for basic rights by the declaration of human rights. >> are there specific actions you want the white house to take right now? >> i think their continuing messaging in support to the cuban people and we should be messaging to the cuban military whose motto is we draw our strength from the people. well, the people are protesting and don't turn your arms against your brothers and sisters as they peacefully protest. we should be looking at how to expand access to the internet considering satellite feed of internet so people on the island can communicate with each other and i think that we should be looking at how we internationalize this effort whether it's at the oas or through other countries in the world that should be also speaking out about human rights and democracy in cuba as they do
in so many other places in the world. >> senator bob menendez, i know you have a heavy schedule and have to go, but thank you for taking time for us today, sir. and coming up next, help for haiti. the fbi now on the ground helping investigate the assassination and the mystery of who killed haiti's president and critically wounded his wife amid an increasingly unstable situation. among those arrested three men with ties to the u.s., many more with ties to colombia. vaccine setbacks. the fda with a new warning on the j&j, vaccine about possible paralysis and we'll ask dr. anthony fauch toe weigh in on those risks and we'll take a look at the third dose needed. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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the department of justice plans to formally assist law enforcement in haiti in the investigation into the assassination of president jovenel moise. the growing instability has them worried about the safety of their loved ones back home and the safety of their country. joining me from the pbs newshour
and host of washington hour yamiche alcindor. is that a consideration for the white house's decision as a ways of getting further involve seems to signal no military intervention? >> it is absolutely something that the white house is considering. let's remember that this is an island nation that is plunging deeper and deeper into crisis and has really been in the middle of a constitutional crisis for some time you in. of course, the assassination of jovenel moise was made worse. you have people in the haitian government talking about the idea of having u.s. troops interveened. there are people that are frankly, scared. kidnappings are up 200% and they want to see more security forces on the ground to help out that island nation and you also have pro-democracy activists saying no, no, no, we don't want u.s.
marines have been on the ground in the past and they've been accused of being a part of a wrong intervention and a sort of a colonial arm of the united states and the united states back then said they were helping out to help with security and that's why you see the biden administration cautious to put u.s. marines on the island nation. let's remember president biden just talked about the idea that he ended america's longest war in afghanistan. so it would be in some ways a tough decision to send out more troops to haiti and putting them in another quagmire. >> i was there when it was restored and there was civil war for a while and the elections for a long time and the u.n. peacekeeping force led by ray kelly who later became the new york police commissioner. there has been multilateral military support there. is that something that you think would work in hate? i. >> that's a good question.
i think there are a lot of people who think possibly a multilateral intervention being a solution here sxri to tell you in talking to people on the ground both civil society activists and clergy members and haitians worried about their future, they say the solution for haiti has to be a solution that is by and for the haitian people, that the haitian people need to be able to determine their future. this, of course, is a country that in 1904 became the first free black nation in the western hemisphere. this is a country that from the very beginning has been a place where african-americans and black people have been able to say this is what we want for our future. there is this feeling and this real tension that if you have u.n. peacekeepers or u.s. troops or multinational security force that it will be seen as a sort of invading force, and there is, of course, the security aspect which is that people are scared. there's no fuel. there's real tension about who is the next leader because there
are three men looking to see who will be the leader and there is a de facto prime minister right now and there is a question about who is the next president of haiti and how that goes forward. >> the dea now says that one of the alleged suspects involved in the assassination is an alleged confidential source and how does that complicate things for officials and is there any indication that there might be a haitian-american doctor from miami? >> this is a person who was reporting says i'm an informant of the dea and of course, as you might remember and the audience might remember there was a voice screaming this is a de s, operation moments before the president was assassination. haiti has said the dea is not involved and this complicates this because this person apparently went to the dea and said hey, i was involved in this
assassination attempt and the dea said you need to turn yourself in. there was this haitian-american doctor who was reportedly wanting to have himself installed as the president of hate and i there are connections to south florida and to america, but it is vague what that dea conduction will meet for the assassination plot. >> yamiche alcindor who in addition to her great talents has roots in haiti and understands it very well. thank you very much, yamiche. appreciate you being here. >> keeping our kids safe and the delta variant on the rise as parents prepare for the start of another school year. we'll get it straight from the man himself. dr. anthony fauci. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. he was a father to two young daughters. he was a scout and he knew the land better than anyone. he came from italy with nothing for a new life.
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j&j, covid vaccine because of an increased for a rare, neurological disorder that does occur with other vaccines as it wants approval for a covid booster shot and could a thought of a third shot scare people off when the problem is 90 million americans haven't even gotten their first shot. we have the perfect person to answer our questions and joining us is dr. fauci, adviser to president biden. good to have you here. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to ask you about the fda warning that j&j, has been linked to the serious and rare auto immune disorder the guillain-barre syndrome, excuse me, fewer than 100 cases among the 12.8 million people who have gotten j&j. how concerned should people be if they've gotten the j&j, vaccine? do you worry that this will dissuade people have getting vaccinated? >> whenever you hear of an
adverse event you worry people might misinterpret it. as you mentioned it is a very rare event and it's real and that's the reason yet company and the fda have made it knowns that something that you need to pay attention to, but as is the case when you're dealing with 100 cases over 12.8 million vaccinations, it is still a very rare event and you try and balance what is the risk of covid-19 in a given population compared to the benefit of getting vaccinated compared to the adverse event and when the risk associated with the vaccine is very, very low, very rare, vent and yet the risk associated with covid-19 is substantial. so therefore, you make a decision that the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the risk and that's the way this has gone
with several of the rare adverse events that have been imported with this vaccine and with other vaccines. >> now you were part of a briefing with pfizer as it seeks to make emergency use for the shot. the cdc and fda issued a joint statement saying at this time the booster is not needed for fully vaccinated americans and there were reports that the government was blindsided about this last week. why is pfizer pushing for a third shot? >> i'm not so sure they're pushing for it. what they're doing is that they're looking at their data, they're looking at the data in israel and they're saying we want to be prepared and we might even actually recommend that it's a good idea to get a third shot, namely, a late booster compared to the prime boost that you get with the two-dose vaccine regimen. people need to understand that pharmaceutical companies don't
make the decisions. this becomes a regulatory issue with the fda, and the public health recommendation with the cdc and their advisory committee on immunization practices. the meeting that we had yesterday was really a courtesy meeting where pfizer got down with us on a zoom the way we're talking now and discussed their data, both the israeli data and the data from their original phase 3 trial. those data are a portion and part of a larger puzzle that will lead to any decision whether we will or give a recommendation for a booster and we're not there yet and that's what the cdc and fda meant when they came out with their joint statement. they looked at the data in real time so they'll be examining data as it comes in from other
sources, taking into account the pfizer data, and also the cdc has over 20 cohorts that they're following. that will be the source of important data that would go into any decision as to whether or not it's going to be recommended and if so, when? >> well, is it an unwelcome distraction right now to be talking about a booster when your main focus has been why are 90 million americans still not vaccinated and with delta variant out there, doesn't that make them especially in some of these communities when we've seen a surge lately, a petrie dish for other variants. >> you are right on a couple of accounts, andrea. first of all, you really do have to examine why you're talking about a booster or a fully vaccinated person when we have so many people in this country who are not vaccinated at all
yet, particularly when we have a delta variant circulating and we're having over the last couple of weeks an increase in cases as opposed to what we wery seeing as a decrease in cases over the prior month or more. the other issue that is confusing to people, when they hear that you might need a boost they might get the impression that the vaccine is not effective. the requirement or not for a boost, for a fully vaccinated person has absolutely nothing at all to do with the effectiveness of the vaccine. it has to do with the durability of the effectiveness and people are saying maybe the vaccines don't work if they're going to need a booster. no, not at all. these vks are highly, highly effective and safe when you're talking about a boost, you're talking about how long that protection lasts and that's
really the issue at hand, and that's what we're trying to determine what the durability of protection is and is it different from an otherwise normal, young person compared to an elderly person, compared to a person who might have an underlying condition. so don't anybody get this feeling that we're dealing with ineffective vaccines. we're dealing with highly effective vaccines where we are looking at how long that protection lasts. >> now, israel is using it for those people that you referred to, people on immunotherapy, people with certain cancers, transplants who may not have as much of an antibody response with the original pfizer. as i understand it was part of the pfizer test overall. the whole country was. that's one of the reasons they got doses so quickly and got so much of the country vaccinated and would you be recommending it
based on the data for those people who are more vulnerable? >> no. as i said before, this is a part of a much larger puzzle. what i do want to see and what my colleagues at the fda and the cdc want to see is a much larger set of data including the data from our own cdc following cohorts of people here in the united states. when all of that comes together, then it will be carefully and it is in real time already being carefully looked at and then a decision might be made, but it would have to be made on the totality of the data. not on a recommendation made by a pharmaceutical company, as good as they and are as contributory as they've been, they are not to decide the recommendations as to whether or not there is a booster vaccine.
it is up to the authority and public health authorities. >> covid is surging in more than half of the u.s., as you know. the delta variant spreading in hospitals in five states struggling to keep pace. how troubled are you by this and to what do you attribute the change? is it mostly the delta variant? it's a couple of thing, andrea, and i am troubled by it. it is the delta variant which unquestionably spreads from person to person much more efficiently than the other variants that we've dealt with. that's point number two, but the thing that worries me is the people in this country who are not vaccinated. if you are fully vehiclesated you have a high degree of protection against all variants including the delta variant, but given the efficiency of spread, you are particularly vulnerable if you are not vaccinated. i mean, if you look at the
statistics in our country, they're very telling, 99.5% of the deaths due to covid were in unxated people. is data that you can't run away from. that tells you it is very important to get vaccinated and even doubly important now that we're dealing with the virus that's becoming dominant, namely the delta variant that has a high degree of capability of transmitting from person to person. >> we know that children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccines generally do not get sick, don't get covid or don't get as ill with it, but what is this spread of the delta variant mean for them with children under the age of 12 and what's the time line for when they might become eligible? >> a couple of questions and the children that are not able to
get vaccinated because of their age should follow with them the guidelines of the cdc that unvaccinated children greater than 2 years old should be wearing masks. no doubt about that. that's the way to protect them from getting infected because if they do, they can spread the infection to someone else. so the cdc guidelines for unvaccinated people including children are not changed at all. we are currently doing, and we being the federal government together with the pharmaceutical companies age de-escalation studies, namely looking at the safety and the vaccines in children from 12 to 9 years old and from 9 to 6 and from 6 to 2 years old and then ultimately from 6 months to 2 years old.
those data will likely be available to the end of the year and then it will be up to the fda to decide when they will make a recommendation that, in fact, this could be done in the sense of vaccinating children of that age. there's been a lot of confusion, talking about the importance of in-person education saying masks are not needed for teachers and california issued a rule barrin. there's a lot of confusion out there. it is up to local officials, school officials. you've seen the red, blue divide in this country on that. >> yes, andrea. that's the thing people need to understand, essential organization like the cdc makes their recommendation based on science, data, and evidence, and their recommendation about wearing masks and the fact that
you do not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors if you are vaccinated, that's a broad general recommendation. as you said correctly, there will be local authorities who given the conditions on the ground in their particular location may modify those recommendations somewhat, but the broad recommendation for the country in general that the cdc made still stands with the understanding that local authorities might, in fact, elect to make some modifications more suited to their specific situation. >> covax decided to purchase two of the vaccines thought to be not as effective. we have criticism from michael cowell on that. what do you think about covax, the international consortium
buying the chinese vaccines. >> well, i'm not going to try to outguess cove action or the w.h.o., but what motivated them to do that, there's a desperate need for vaccinations throughout the world. we are fortunate in this country that we have enough vaccines to vaccinate everybody in this country. there are regions of the world where less than a cup percent of the population are vaccinated, in those circumstances, i believe covax and the w.h.o. will take any vaccine with moderate efficacy. if it is not as effective as an mrna vaccine, can still save lives. i think that's what they're doing. >> on a lighter note, you're meeting tomorrow at the white house with the singer olivia
rodrigo. >> i understand she's a popular figure with individuals, that's what we talk about when we say we want to get trusted messengers that people can relate to as opposed to just federal officials telling people to get vaccinated. if she has a large following, which i understand, she has enormous following, i am sure that she can do some good by appealing to people that look up to her as a model. >> thank you so much, as always. great to see you. >> thank you. and we are halfway through the summer, already, high temperatures devastating wildfires are shattering records. a heat dome pushing the mercury past 113 in sacramento, 117 in las vegas, and unbelievable 130 earlier this week in death valley.
in california, where wildfires are on track with last year and surpassed 2018 record setting season, even the oceans are not safe, extreme heat literally boils muscles and clams in their shells and bakes star fish to the rocks. joining us, nbc's jake ward in tahoe city. long his of effects of extreme heat. start with the power grid. what's the concern there? >> reporter: it is incredible to be standing where i am, andrea. this is lake tahoe where the bay area and beyond comes to cool off during the summer, but the water is actually, it should be up to my knees. it is two feet below where it should be, meaning the shore has been reduced to mud. there will be no relief today from the heat. the grid is under threat because of fires. if you were to go about an hour and a half north of where i am standing, there's a big raging fire, one of two in that region, that's threatening the power grid. there's a sort of central
nervous system of the west coast power supply that runs down from oregon into california. that is under threat. that's why governor newsom signed an executive order that opens greater capacity, even calls in the possibility of bringing ships into harbor, using auxiliary engines to supply the grid, to make it possible for people to run air conditioning. at this point, andrea, 30 million people are at this point under some heat advisory on the west coast. noaa calls it the hottest june on record, and july looks very much the same. >> and we talked about the impact on marine life, what about impact on the food chain? >> reporter: well, that of course is going to be an incredible problem. you have economists predicting people cannot stay outside and work in the sorts of temperatures we are experiencing here in california, whereas much as a third of the nation's fruits and vegetables is grown. all of that is in danger from the incredible heat we are
seeing here. >> jake ward, thanks so much to you. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." we mark 25 years of msnbc being on the air. kasie hunt in for chuck todd with "mtp daily" only here on msnbc. "mtp daily" only here on msnbc. ( ♪♪ ) ♪ quite as often as i could have ♪ we're delivering for the earth. by investing in more electric vehicles, reusable packaging, and carbon capture research. making earth our priority. i thought i'd seen it all. ( ♪♪ ) what makes new salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? i thought i'd seen it all. salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient. it's clinically proven, reduces inflammation
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welcome to tuesday. it is "mtp daily." i am kasie hunt in for chuck todd on developments surrounding voting rights. in a few moments, president biden is leaving the white house to deliver a major address from national constitution center in philadelphia. it comes as texas democrats are ramping up on the president for a clear strategy for federal voting rights legislation through congress. more than 50 elected democrats fled texas as part of an effort to block passage of voting restrictions. they authorized the sergeant-at-arms to find the