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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 14, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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letters stood for in our name. importantly, thank you for being with us, bearing with us, for watching all or part of this journey. without you, we would all just be talking to ourselves, just like the first few nights on the air. with that, that's our broadcast for this wednesday night. thanks for being with us. on behalf of all of my colleagues at letter is the letter is dated today, it went out today in the house of representatives and it is addressed to the ceo of cyber ninjas. a man named doug logan. the overseeing committee and congress has now sent this letter, they said that they rented to a mailbox at a ups
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male store and surfside florida because that's the company's official address. you make do with what you have, they have to send it somewhere. it says, quote, dare mr. logan, we are writing to request information about cyber ninjas participation in and, quote, audit of nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in arizona in the 2020 election. we are concerned about your company's role in this highly unusual effort given cyber ninjas -- reports of the company engaged in sloppy an insecure audit practices that compromise the integrity of ballots and requested by the u.s. justice department, and evidence that you and other individuals funded the audit to advance the big lie of debunked voter fraud allegations of the november 2020 elections. americans right to vote is protected by the constitution and is the cornerstone of democracy. the comedy is seeking to
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determine whether the privately funded audit conducted by your company and arizona protects the right to vote or is instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine our elections are report -- with the when he really mean? the so-called, audit, and arizona in which republicans in the state legislature labeled the script cyber ninjas, which appears to be this guy dug, -- we it's lived for months now at this intersection of clown show ridiculousness, and actual consequential threat to american democracy. because the whole thing is aimed at, essentially, undoing the presidential u.s. result in the state. they are, thereby, undermining americans faith and the credibility in the finality of our election results. but now, based on this letter
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released by the oversight committee tonight sent to that ups store in florida, we know this fake audit is the subject of a new congressional investigation. the oversight committee wants to know about all the weird stuff that doug logan has been doing to the arizona ballots, like shining ultraviolet light on them, or searching for a bamboo content in the ballots, because there's a conspiracy theory that the ballots were mailed in from asia. and they were overseen by joe gun and his own social media posts about it being rigged against donald trump and trump must have gotten 200,000 more votes in arizona than was officially reported. you want to know about the report doug logan -- alleging that it's machines rigged the election for joe biden on behalf of the dead who go chavez in venezuela, or
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maybe it was china, it's hard to follow. the oversight committee concludes, quote, for all of these reasons rick the committee request that cyber ninjas produce at the following documents by july 28th. they include this comprehensive list of documentation's that they want. cyber ninjas, funding sources, it's procedure for conducting this, whatever it's doing in arizona, documents about several conspiracy theories, and, to put it like they did, bamboo laced with papers from asian countries. if you have any documentation about the bamboo thing? do you have any documentation about why your magical uv watermarks only -- of course part of the point of an investigation like this is to gather evidence and to report on what's going down in arizona so the american people
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can understand it. if there are laws being broken in arizona, as the justice department hinted at in the letter they sent to the arizona senate republicans earlier this year, well, the committee finds evidence that laws are being broken they can make refers to the justice department. but of course, another goal of a congressional investigation is to determine whether there is congressional action that needs to be taken. and the committee ends its letter tonight with this, quote, the committee is particularly concerned that your company's actions could undermine the integrity of federal elections and interfere with americans constitutional right to cast their ballot freely and to have their votes counted without partisan interference. the committee intends to study the need for legislative reforms to ensure the riot is protected, before during, and after an election and that third parties do not interfere with this right. tell me more. of course, when it comes to
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protecting voting rights and the integrity of elections, you know, before, during, and after the election, there is already substantive legislation pending in the congress. the question is not, but the legislation should be or whether it's needed, right now the practical question is whether democrats in the republican senate are gonna gather together to pass legislation or not. republicans are not going to support it, democrats could do it alone if they can get it together to do so. president biden gave that full-throated, double barreled speech yesterday on the need to act to protect voting rights. the need for the senate to act, to pass the for the people act, to pass the joe lewis advancement act, he did make any mention of the thing that is standing in the way of democrats passing the bill, which is the senate filibuster rule, which has been used by republicans to block progress on that and everything else even though they are not in the majority in the senate. republicans have blocked the
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for the people act once already using the filibuster. they will keep on doing it as long as they can. unless democrats in the senate, all of them, decide to change the filibuster rules so you cannot use the filibuster on voting rights anymore. they can make that sort of a change, until they do that, those fighting rights bills are going nowhere. president biden did head to capitol hill tonight to meet with democratic senators today. it's unclear what his big speech or his meeting with democratic senators translated to further discussion today about getting those bills passed. according to one senator in the rule, they did not talk about the filibuster and the meeting. but they did talk about, or celebrated today, was the latest move to getting the bill done on the issue of infrastructure. they have seen lots of headlines about this. late last night in today. what does this mean? in the grand scheme of things?
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how is this a breakthrough to getting a real piece of legislation that gets passed that can change americans lives? that remains to be seen. there have been a lot of wet felt like breakthrough moments in infrastructure, we are definitely not there. but the democrats have basically agreed on sort of working bill. they agree on amongst themselves. and if they agree on it amongst themselves, and they have that agreement that encompasses all 50 democratic senators, they might be able to pass that without any republican votes at all. so, potentially, this could be it. but there is still many hurdles and this steeplechase. and separate from, and it addition to, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, a much smaller bill that is still being endlessly negotiated between some republican senators and some democratic
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senators, and the senate, we have yet to see if anything comes of those negotiations. i am not holding my breath. but the democratic's only bill, they can use that technique without any republican senate's support. and they do have at least a framework agreement to do that with a 3.5 trillion dollars. progressives are pretty excited today about the top lines of this proposed bill, the deal the democratic leadership announced last night includes big changes, big policy advancements, that would have a big material impact on millions of americans lives. things like, what's called the clean energy standard, that requires utilities to sharply increase the proportion of energy they generate that comes from things like solar and wind. it would expand medicare so that medicare would start to cover dental and vision, and hearing, which would be huge for the tens of millions of americans on medical.
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it would grant insurance to an extended 2 million americans even in states that refused to extended themselves. it would re-fund universal pre-k, coast to coast, it would provide two years of free community college to anyone who wanted it. big stuff that would have a big impact on lots of americans, and at the very moment that this plan is coming together, what's happening tomorrow is that millions of americans who have kids are about to start getting checks or direct deposits in their bank account from the federal government. and this is part of the covid relief bill that the democrats that passed in march with zero republican votes, zero republican votes, for this unified republican opposition, democrats were able to do it without any republican support. and it is now going to pay off, literally, for millions and millions of american families with children. these are direct payments.
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it's $250 per month, per child. $300 per month per child if your kid is under the age of six. and this is the first payment -- the first payment start arriving in american spike against tomorrow, but then it will go on for months after month. an estimated nine out of ten children are eligible for these payments, experts think the program could cut child poverty in america in half in one fell swoop. among 74 million kids in america, nearly nine and ten will qualify for this new monthly payment. families who qualify have started receiving a letter explaining the payments and how they work. the letter is signed by president biden, lest you forget who made this happen. those go out tomorrow. all of this stuff is in motion all at once with the senate in session, if stuff's got to move, it has to move now, it's been very busy in washington. it's been very busy at the white house today. today we got a big announcement
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from the white house that we have been waiting for for sometime. it answers a lot of questions, it raises a lot of questions to. president biden has promised to pull all u.s. troops out of afghanistan by last month. almost all of them are gone already. you are also probably aware that there is the further issue be on u.s. troops of u.s. allies in afghanistan. thousands of afghan citizens who worked as translators and interpreters for u.s. forces during the war. translators and interpreters were still in afghanistan now and their lives are great risk as u.s. forces leaves. they are of course targets for the taliban, specifically because they helped american forces. >> those translators are eligible to get visas that would allow them to get new lives in the united states. the country for which they sacrificed so much, the country that promise to keep them safe if they provided that help, and the country that now owes them the chance to start a new here.
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because of what they did for our soldiers. that said, the u.s. immigration system being but it is, the process for getting all the way through the visa process can take a very, very long time. and even though the biden administration has speed it up since they have been in office, still, it is time that those u.s. allies don't have as the taliban takes over more and more, and more of afghanistan. as this gets more and more grave and pressing. the past, the u.s. has been successful to help refugees from other wars by evacuating them from their countries, and taking them to an interim location, a third location as they await to come into the united states. -- that kind of temporary home for people who need to evacuate for their own safety. the current governor of guam said that she is ready to open the doors there for those afghan translators. she gave us impassioned, impassioned remarks on the show
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explaining how the people of guam stand and by ready to help these people. we have been waiting for the white house and the military, the administration more broadly, to announce with the plan is to get those translators out because time is so short. today we finally got an announcement from the white house about that. this is from a senior white house official, quote, at president biden's direction, the united states is launching operation allies refuge to support relocation flights for interested and eligible afghan nationals and their families who have supported the u.s. and our partners in afghanistan and are in the pipeline to get special visas in the u.s.. fights out of afghanistan for applicants who are ready in the pipeline will begin in the last week of july. for operational security, we won't have additional details on one flights will depart, but we will meet the president's commitment to get them out by the end of this month. they and --
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ambassador tracy jacobson, is a track three-time chief of mission in tajikistan, toward makinson, and cassava, is leading the state department coordinating -- that is also something. there is a plan, there is an official operation to get those translators to safety, there is someone in charge of that plan who we are now allowed to know the name of. and all of these details give us more information that we have before. but, you know, there's still a lot left out. and as they say, it's understandable that those details are left out on purpose for operational security. but the basics still loom as unanswered questions. where are those translators going to go once they leave afghanistan? earlier this month, routers reported that they will be sending these translators to three central asian countries. they mentioned cars extent, touching casten, uzbekistan. we it suggests that may in fact
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be the plan maybe. the pentagon spokesperson spoke to the press today saying that the u.s. is looking at using locations abroad, but when asked for clarification later by a reporter who asked specifically if the u.s. is considering any locations within the continental of the united states, this panda gul pentagon spokesman said. this >> a possibility for u.s. military installations being used, is that being considered? >> i'm saying that we are looking at all options now. all options are being considered and that would include the potential for, for short-term use for military space use. but no decision snow. >> all options are being considered, bob. so they may be headed to another country, they may be headed to military installations by the united
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states some combination of the two that you questioned fewest her stories for instance guam. still out there >> and addition to the question of where they're going is how the bill will get there? the only flights out of afghanistan are out of the capital city of kabul, but afghanistan is a big country and internal travel is not that easy. this is interesting, today the association of wartime allies which has worked very hard on this issue to get the translators out, they put out a report that says nearly half of the u.s. allies, these afghan translators and interpreters, half of them pour still in afghanistan right now live in areas outside of kabul. it raises the question of how they get to kabul to get on the flights. they could have to pass through taliban controlled checkpoints in order to get there. is there also a plan for getting those allies to safety if that requires internal travel within afghanistan to get to these military, or otherwise u.s. airlift flights?
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it's not gonna happen? are people expected to get there on their own? who's eligible for this? how many afghan translators is this operation gonna try and save? the statement from the white house is careful to point out that the operation is pointed on people who are already on the pipeline in terms of being approved to come into the u.s.. for the past few weeks the u.s. embassy in afghanistan was closed altogether because of a covid outbreak which means they haven't been open for anyone in that country wanted to apply to that visa. the u.s. ambassador in afghanistan announced this week that they were reopening the embassy just this week, specifically for u.s. allies want to apply for the special visas to get out and come to the u.s.. will people who were only able to start applying this week, and in the coming days, be part of this operation? like i said there are a lot of questions still to be answered, and in terms of saving lives and doing what is our more responsibility here, all the devils are in all of the details. joining us now is somebody who
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has been working on this issue and watching it very closely, major matt zeller he's an army veteran he's a cofounder of no one left behind which advocates for bringing the afghan interpreters so food to the u.s.. major zeller, thank you for coming back on the show. >> thank you for having me. >> let me just ask you to update you. let me ask you if i missed anything, if i summarize what we know as of today as you understand it? >> you hit all of the points, very well. i would only add the following which is, why didn't we do this before we withdrew our forces, we have made it so much harder on ourselves by trying to do it now at the 11th hour. four months ago, we had all of the assets in place to evacuate people. in the areas that you're talking about. last night i was interviewing a gentleman for our podcast, wartime allies, by the name of sharif, we spoken with him in a previous episode, this man has
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suffered everything, his mom, dad and siblings have all been murdered by the taliban at some point in the last decade. it is now down to him and his wife and his kids. he fled from kandahar to capital when he realized that he had left all of his documents back in kandahar, the reason why he left is because the taliban two weeks ago murdered his dad at his doorstep and ran out of the house. a couple of days ago, he did the impossible, he flew back to kandahar by bumming a ride on an afghan military transport which is the only flight flying in the country. he did stand to kandahar, gets back to his house, gets the documents, is on a motorcycle yesterday trying to drive to the airport in kandahar when the afghan military gets attacked by the taliban on the road that connects the airport to the city, the afghan military gets overrun and killed. the taliban then turn on him, he flees on motorbike, they shoot him off the motorbike, he gets injured and he's calling
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me from a friends house telling me that at this point his only option was to hide and disguise himself like a woman, hide in a burqa and hire a taxi in attempt to drive from kandahar back to kabul, there has to be 30 checkpoints. this guy had been an interpreter for the seals. the army federal services, the elite levels, he is absolutely a dead man if they catch an. he has already had his visa denied once, somewhere in his file it says that he has some derogatory information that he's never been allowed to see, he can't contest and he has no means of being able to effectively appeal his case. we have no idea, is this guy gonna be put on a plane if he makes it back to kabul? why didn't we pull these people out at a time when we had the means to do it, rachel, that's
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what i keep asking myself about this. >> now that we are, trying to do this, as you say, very late in the process with many fewer assets on the ground and with a danger that much more heightened with the passage of time, the way they talked about doing it today, what they said about the structure by which they're trying to do it, how would you have them improve it? given that it is happening now, even though you say should have happened before, what else would you have them do that they didn't announce today? >> i will tell people where exactly are folks going. why aren't they bringing everybody to guam is beyond me. i get that there is some concern that they don't want to have nefarious people end up in the u.s. and we can't the port them. but at the end of the vietnam war we didn't screen anyone, we put them on boats and we brought them to guam, because back then we had some kind of moral character that we're
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lacking now. we had the same legal authorities to do that, but we don't seem to be wanting to exercise them. the other sea thing i would be concerned about is however gonna communicate this to the afghans without inciting a panic. the white house seems to keep saying that they don't want to see something similar to saigon, okay well, how are you going to communicate that with afghans. right now all you've done is incite panic. nobody knows where in the process that qualify. you raised it so well, if you just applied for a visit this week, are you gonna get on a plane? or is it at some point later? right now, i had an individual who wrote me from helmand, i don't even know if this person is still alive at this point, but a couple of weeks ago they brought me in and said i have been serving as an interpreter for 22 months, currently the qualification to get a visas 24 months, the u.s. army left the base i am on, what am i supposed to do now? i'm two months short. does that person get to go on a plane even though they won't
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qualify? that standard, that time standard was written by stephen miller when he was one of the staffers for jeff sessions, before jeff sessions left to be calm trump's first a.g., it was one of his parting gifts on the way out of the senate. in 2015, the deal that was made that iran has agreed that the larger time increase, if only they agreed to that which he allowed for more visas to be passed that year, i would love to see the congress get rid of that standard. >> major matt zeller, cofounder of the group no one left behind, matt, obviously this is evolving and we're getting more information out of the administration as we can, i know as you say, you are not only following this closely but you are in close touch with people who are directly effected. we will have you back to keep talking about this, as this process hits the ground. >> i can't thank you enough for covering this. thank you so much. your saving lives by doing this. >> not at all. we're just talking about people
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like you are doing. we have much more ahead. stay with us. stay with us
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health sites. director in springfield missouri convened they can fiend a press a press conference conference today along with officials from the along with officials from hospitals there the hospitals there to to ask ask for immediate for immediate help. >> help. >> 231 patients are 231 patients are currently in the currently in the hospital being hospital being treated for treated for covid-19 covid-19 which is the which is the highest number highest number we have seen. we have seen. they are patel and mercy are projecting to see additional projecting to hospitalizations see in the coming weeks hospitalizations in the based on coming weeks the rate of spread. based on the that along with spread. the increase in that, along severe with the increase of illness and severe low vaccination illness and low rate will vaccination rates cause will cause the need for the need beds that will increase for bed to outpace hospital capacity in the the supplies. with that need in coming days. with that need in mind we need mind, we need help. >> help. >> would this say would you say this is a crisis? >> yes, yes, we're not we are not trying to quite trying to create panic, create panic, but but it is it is a serious situation that a serious situation that we have in southwest missouri. >> we have in southwest missouri. >> the where we all the where we i think we all have is the have is ability to take the the ability to take the stress off the stress off the hospitals, is hospital is that we have other that we have other hospital in our hospitals in our state state that had that had capacity, and they are to -- their filling up.
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filling up. people keep asking people keep asking the questions about whether it is a crisis, about whether it's we deal with a crisis. we deal with a crisis every crisis every day that day, that's is a meeting we deal with a medium that we work, and we this is particularly intense, will make manage crisis, will manage it but we are at capacity. oh but i'm afraid. i don't think will catch up. and the consequences will be more dire and that's why we need more support from the governor and the governor's office. we have to move rapidly. it cannot be weeks, it's gotta be days. >> that is not footage from last year, that is tonight. hospital county health officials in springfield announcing tonight announcing that hospitals and springfield are full, the tide of covid patients are only increasing. they're asking the state to -- perhaps some emergency field hospital in springfield, missouri. because the icus are full, the
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ventilators are maxed out, the staff are maxed out, the beds are at capacity. and this is now. we have been watching over the last couple of weeks as hospitals and southwest missouri have been sounding this alarm, announcing that they were hitting new records, opening new covid units, making public appeals for respiratory therapist come from other parts of the country to come to springfield, missouri. it's just a bad combination right now. this aggressively contagious delta variant, finding very fertile territory in missouri's largely unvaccinated population. no county has more than 35% of its population vaccinated. and if you widen the lens a little bit, beyond just springfield, the situation looks a little rougher. just outside springfield, missouri towards the southeast is a little county called howell county. it's very wives, very conservative, that county made national news once in the past 15 years. in 2008 when someone put a racist billboard about then
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presidential candidate barack obama wearing a turban. that county, not surprising, very conservative rural missouri on the arkansas border, death particularly low rates of vaccination there. and in howell county, they don't have a lot of health infrastructures. it's not that big of place. if you get very sick there they just send you to springfield. it's about an hour and a half, two hours away. but again, and springfield right now. they are full. well there are begging the state to set up an emergency hospital. and they cannot wait for weeks, they need days. and it's rare to see that kind of desperation in springfield. it's another thing to realize -- counties and communities in the whole part of the state, they were all counting on sending their folks to springfield when the virus started ripping through those largely
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unvaccinated communities, what do you do in that situation? a few days ago, a viewer from missouri sent us a publicly that had just been posted on facebook by ozarks county, begging people in the county to get vaccinated but also showing that people don't want to do it. or there of frayed of being seen doing it. so in howell county, missouri, the big hearted, quick thinking health authorities there have come up with something. they are now offering discreet vaccine appointments. they're making it possible basically for people to get vaccinated in secret. they posted on facebook, quote, we understand getting vaccinated is a personal choice. choosing to get vaccinated has been put in strange light. for some, getting a vaccine may mean losing friendships. but it is a choice that can impact so many lives other than your own. if you have questions about the vaccine, any questions, we are here to answer them. if you need to schedule your vaccine, we are here to help. and then get this, if you are afraid of walking into a public
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area where you might be seeing getting your vaccine, we will work to accommodate even more of a private setting for you to receive your vaccine. howell county, missouri. that post was then shared by the health department. it is desperate in that part of the country right now. and if that means that people need secret, private vaccine appointments local hole health authorities will do that for you. we but widening the aperture on the story gets you to each new story here. a crisis in missouri, springfield with the hospitals being overrun. they are at capacity. crisis in all of southern missouri as the virus runs rampant there and part -- widened the our aperture a little further, this is the headline in the kansas story yesterday, vaccination rates in some kansas city area counties lower than hard-hit
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springfield. so yeah, south was missouri is crippled by this virus, but head up the highway to kansas city, missouri, triple the size of springfield and the city itself, kansas city metro areas 3.1 million people, they have vaccination rates that are even lower than but they haven't springfield, which is the city that is already over running begging for help. and here comes delta. with a bead on that we, bridge, densely populated target of mostly unvaccinated people. and here we are, with no mask rules, no social distancing requirements, everything wide open, no mitigation measures and place at all, here comes delta, two metro area with 2 million americans in it. that's the dynamic at work right now. that's why the newspapers in missouri are so furious with the republican governor of
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missouri. he is -- broader than that though, it's a challenge for the biden administration to try to move every community of every stripe toward every possible action that could increase vaccination rates and prevent the eminently preventable deaths of thousands of more americans. i mean, you widen the lens on this and you start to see how this affects other places. chicago, for example. so worried about what's going on in southern missouri that if you want to travel to chicago from missouri or arkansas, and you are unvaccinated, the city of chicago says as of yesterday, you have to quarantine for ten days or have a negative covid-19 test. again, as a condition of your travel to chicago. just keep widening the lens, if we've learned anything in this miserable pandemic, it's that viral dynamics do not care about borders. unless you suppress the virus everywhere, people are
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vulnerable everywhere. we recently stopped using geographic labels for different variants of the coronavirus, but the delta variant that is wrecking such a havoc right now, it first emerged in india with a raging wildfire of an outbreak. and it might have been easy for americans to see what was going on in india as a sad, for, and faraway story. but now, that variant, born in india, is the one that is ripping through the ozarks, and southwest missouri. it's not like west planes missouri and howell counties a big hub for international travel in india, it's just that this is a global pandemic. it doesn't go away anywhere until it goes away everywhere. and the only way it goes away is by getting people the vaccine. as as this thing that ripped through more populations, it produces more and more deadly variants. that then spread to every corner of the globe. the>> if you win the lens all e way out, throw it all the way
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open, it is clear that it is not just the same poetic, high in the sky notion that all of humanity needs to pull together. it is selfish of us for every community in every country, no matter how far away these places might seem, whether we are friends, it is self interest for every community to suppress this. which means, vaccines everywhere. and here is the thing, you wind the lens that far and then you sort of, a new kind of despair takes hold, doesn't it? it feels impossible. you can't even get missouri vaccinated, how are we supposed to get the rest of the world vaccinated? it's typical job. what do we know about doing that anyway? look at the headlines right now by africa, for example. they are just, now, african nations are just now getting into the worst experience of the pandemic yet. they did not have a terrible 2020 compared to us, but they're 2021, terrible. 1.3 billion people on the
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continent of africa, they are 1% vaccinated right now. that feels just too big a challenge. what can we do about that? even if we can get over the hurdle of understanding that we need to do that, how? how on earth? we're gonna talk about here on the show tonight is that it turns out that there is a surprising good news, can do, answer to that. a huge, largely and heralded american bipartisan success that looks in our very recent past that offers us the best understanding of what we can do next. it's here to help. that story is next. coverage customizer tool? sorry? well, since you asked. it finds discounts and policy recommendations, so you only pay for what you need. limu, you're an animal! who's got the bird legs now?
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of the union address, republican president george w. bush was in office and he was about to launch the disastrous war in iraq. there was that address where he said that made-up thing about
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saddam hussein -- he said it, that is what that speech is remembered for. but this happened that same night in that same speech. >> today on the continent of africa, nearly 30 million people have the aids virus. including 3 million children. under the age 15. their whole countries of africa where the majority of the adult population carries the infection. across that continent, only 50,000 aids victims, only 50, 000, are receiving the medicine they need. tonight, i propose the emergency plan for age relief. a work of mercy beyond all current national international efforts to help the people in africa. >> president george w. bush, state of the union 2003. he's remembered for the iraq
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war that he said in motion, he's remembered for other terrible things in his administration. but that is something that is worth learning about now and reminding ourselves about now, given of, course the new pandemic that ran. journalist was emily bass wrote this in her new book, to end up like. with a scant handful of sentences, bush launched the largest disease specific for an eighth effort in the history of the country in the world. in the years to come, members of congress would call the presidents plan the most effective american foreign aid since the marshall plan. the program that would be known as the presidents emergency plan for aids relief that would meet the goals where -- and go on hitting or surpassing them a cross three presidencies and >> eight different congress is it is america's most sustained and -- . into end played emily bass chronicles in detail how this
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plan came to be, how activist force the issue how politicians of all different strides decided they wanted to make it work, how good policy people figured out how to do it in a workable way, how signs advanced enough that it could be one was leveraged into this mammoth and successful effort to save literally millions of lives to bring new hiv infection rates down in astonishing numbers in multiple countries, all thanks to america doing this unlikely thing, getting it together to get expensive new drugs to the far reaches of the world. which was very unlikely at the time, but we did it. it is exactly the unlikely and difficult thing we need to do now for the pandemic we are in now. emily bass writes quote, resilient in the face of flatlined funding and political headwinds it is americas singular sample of how to fight long term played and win she says it's conceivable to think about doing that for other
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problems to do that america has to see it as a national asset, not a work of mercy but a source of self-preservation where pandemic anywhere threatens us all. >> joining us now is emily bass the author of this new very helpful history which is called to end the plague, america's fight to defeat aids in africa. full disclosure she is also an old friend who i haven't seen in a gazillion years since we've used to work on the stuff together. emily, congratulations on this book, it's nice to see you. >> it is really nice to see you too, rachel. thank you. >> is it fair to look at americas ambitions and the need to act on covid vaccines through the lens of what america was able to do in pepfar, they're different pegging democrats but is this a map for how we can successfully do what seems so impossible. >> 100 percent. >> there are many differences
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but they're also crucial similarities, one of them is what you have with pepfar, with that clip you showed and that head-scratcher moment of a man that is about to plunge us into a war, is a president who makes it a priority to put significant amounts of money towards a target driven pandemic response, so there is a target, bush says 2 million people need to get on treatment, and i'm going to do it in five years. it happens in less time. he does that because there is an activist movements that impels the prices to be dropped. and that activists movement is at work right now, 13 people were arrested today blocking traffic in order to fight for access to covid vaccines, some of the same people these many years ago are being arrested because the prices of the drugs were too high. presidential leadership, activist engagement, ambitious targets, a clear plan and lots
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of funding, we can do that and we haven't he had done that for global covid. >> does the structure that was set of two not only put pepfar in motion but to keep it in motion for as you say three presidency, a different congress is, the american public stopping to pay attention, is that structure is something that the covid vaccine effort can be channeled through? is it a model that should be used to set up something parallel but separate? >> so there are two things, it doesn't have a head right now itself. the covid pandemic has really set back hiv/aids and pepfar is a flagship program that needs ahead. it needs ahead. does it take on the broader pandemic response? i don't think so. it is actually helping in these african countries which are going such a disastrous and murderous and preventable surge. but pepfar provides the
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blueprint for what we do need witches and ahead that has a direct line to the president and that can coordinate the whole range of agencies that do work. this isn't a program or an entity that we want to see sitting and usc i.d., one of our agencies or cdc, or the department of defense. you want to see it within an empowered head, directly able to get to the president and with the power to coordinate all of the agencies. that is what pepfar did. you have to have a lot of money that brings everybody to the table and keeps them there. >> emily bass, journalist, aids activist the author of two end of played america's fight to defend aids in africa, telling the history in detail of what needs to be seen as a national asset, something we ought to be proud of, and celebrate a lot more than we do especially at a time when we need to do something quite like this again. emily bass, it's great to see you, congratulations, thanks. >> nice to see to, thanks,
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rachel. >> we will be right back.
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>> we've been talking tonight about what's going wrong on covid in some parts of the country and also some reasons to be hopeful about what our country can do to fight the pandemic, here is some news today that is what is going wrong about things. rhonda sand hisses up for reelection next year his reelection campaign just drop with their describing as exclusive merchandise, it includes a peace search that says don't fauci my florida, or a don't fauci my florida beer cozy, i'm sure we can all agree it's hilarious. the governor is now selling these items while his state is currently experiencing nearly four times the national average of new coronavirus cases. florida ranks second in the whole country in new daily cases, their death rate is double the national average,
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they rank insult the idea of infectious idea expertise, that'll show him. watch this state, watch the state.
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evening lawrence. >> good evening rachel, and as we discussed last night, the infrastructure bill is very much on track. the democrats only budget committee agreement in the senate has now gotten unanimous agreement among democrats today. no one is putting down any red lines on the democratic side saying, i can't do that. so things are moving. >> so you're saying that you stand by your assessment in my are impromptu interview this time last night in which you say this is closer to the end then to the beginning, despite my skeptical eyebrow trays. >> technically, we it's one fourth of the way. the budget committee passes the resolution, the full senate then has to pass the resolution, the house has to do exactly the same thing. and then, the resolution is just a promise that by september they will return and do the reconciliation of the resolution, which requires all the committees involved to

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