stunning revelations about what was going on inside trump's white house leading up to the siege. congressman adam schiff, a top member of the house's select committee on the attack, joins me this hour. and later, the death toll climax above 100 as massive floods destroy parts of western europe. more than a thousand people are unaccounted for and more rain is in the forecast. we'll be live in germany with a full report ahead. welcome to friday. it's "meet the press daily." i'm kasie hunt in for chuck todd. at this hour, president biden is scheduled to huddle with his top public health advisers in the oval office. it comes as there are signs everywhere that the pandemic is not over. not only that, but there are signs that it could be surging again as millions remain unvaccinated. just look at some of the headlines across the country, sounding the alarm from florida to california, where l.a. is
reimposing a mask mandate, the hypertransmissible delta variant now dominant in the u.s. is tearing through vulnerable community, in what cdc director dr. rochelle walensky today called a pandemic of the unvaccinated. cases across the country are well off of their highs, but they have nearly doubled from last week alone. if you look at the data from over the past two weeks, at least 41 states and washington, d.c. are seeing increases, with at least ten of them doubling their numbers in that time. vaccine administration has slowed to a crawl, as the white house battles a pandemic of misinformation. here's the u.s. surgeon general on msnbc this morning. >> two-thirds of people who are unvaccinated right now, who are saying they either believe common myths about covid-19 or believe those myths might be true. a year ago, we didn't have a vaccine, mika, we were seeing people die and we didn't snow how to stop that. now we do know how to stop it and it breaks my heart that we can't get accurate information to people so they can get this vaccine. >> this as schools grapple with
how to reopen in the fall and an fda official says vaccines for kids under 12 may not be available until mid-winter. nbc's ellison barber is in jackson, mississippi, for us. ellison, this state has been pretty hard-hit and has a pretty low rate of vaccination overall. what are you learning on the ground there? >> reporter: yeah, i don't think this state has ever been above second-to-last in terms of the rate of vaccination. they seem to rotate between 50th place and 49th place, mississippi and alabama. where we are at the university of mississippi medical center, they have the only designated children's hospital in the state. and they tell us as of this morning, they have six children admitted to the hospital because of covid-19. three of them in intensive care. when you look at their total population of people hospitalized with covid-19, that means children now make up 13% of their hospitalized covid
cases. and that is the highest percent they have ever seen. and we're some 16 months into the pandemic right now. mississippi, as you said, as we talked about at the beginning, they have one of the lowest rates of vaccinations in the country. and it is really frustrating doctors here. i want you to listen to what the vice chancellor of this hospital told us. her name is dr. luan woodward. she is born and raised in mississippi. her family is from here. she has done everything she can and continues to do to try to get people to get vaccinated, but she says it feels like she is just screaming into a void. listen here. >> these are mississippimississ. we live here, we love this state, our families are here, and they are saying, please get vaccinated. and it is like we are yelling into a void. but there is this just big disconnect and blind spot around the vaccine that i -- that to me, i cannot reconcile rational thought with that.
>> reporter: so what's really worrying health officials in minnesota right now is the rate of covid cases that they're seeing. when you look at the numbers themselves, they're not necessarily overwhelming, but it's the speed at which this virus is spreading. and the majority of cases here is the delta variant. about 80% of cases in this state, they say, are the delta variant. in mississippi, hospitalizations have steadily increased since july 1st. when you look at the number of patients hospitalized, because of covid-19, in the icu, it has nearly doubled in the last week and a half. and you know, when you think about what dr. woodward said there, you know, these are doctors who people in this community, they trust them to treat and take care of them, if they have cancer, they trust them to take care of them if they or a loved one suffers a heart attack, but for this particular medical advice, the vaccine, they don't trust them on this. and what the doctors here say is that they seem to be trusting
the internet more than the same doctors they trust time and time again for other incredibly important health decisions. and getting over that hurdle is really challenging here. kasie? >> just so devastating to see people so sick when they don't need to be. ellison barber, thank you. please do stay dry. we appreciate you fighting through that incredible rain to be with us today. guag vanagus is with us in los angeles where fortunately the weather is better, but unfortunately, the covid problems are still so significant. there's a new mask mandate for indoors that will be implemented tomorrow. what's the latest there? >> reporter: they made the announcement yesterday that the masks are coming back beginning saturday night or sunday morning. and you know, health officials had this press conference to make the announcement. a lot of people were shocked, but most of the people that we've spoken to today in the
street, going into these businesses. the coffee shops have said, that although they do to hate the masks, they do agree it's necessary to put on the masks once door while going indoors. this will be for vaccinated and those unvaccinated inside the county. and one of the things that health officials said is this is largely driven by the almost 4 million people that are still unvaccinated in los angeles. yesterday, they shared some other numbers, just to try to justify why they think it's a good decision to implement this mask mandate once again. we'll hear a little bit from the health official. >> i think, you know, the -- this is an all-hands-on-deck moment. we have substantial level of community transmission. we're only one level below a high level of community transmission. and we all need to do our part, make it as easy as possible to just try to put some other measures in place, to try to prevent having the need for anything else in order to reduce what we're seeing currently.
>> reporter: now, when the doctor says a substantial level of transmission, they reported that just last week they saw -- between last week and this week, they saw an 83% increase in cases in los angeles county. of course, this is largely driven by the delta variant that's affecting other parts of the country, as well. and you know, as they've implemented this new mask mandate, they're also trying to get those almost 4 million people in l.a. county to get vaccinated. we still have a lot of vaccination campaigns here, where they have incentives. they're giving away gift cards. they're also giving away food at some mcdonald's restaurants in the area. and even tickets for sports events. and, you know, all kinds of stuff to try to motivate people in l.a. county, who haven't gotten the vaccine to do so, kasie. >> all right. gaud, thank you very much for that report. we really appreciate it. joining me now is dr. nahid bedelia, infectious diseases professor and also an msnbc
medical contributor. also, joseph allen, associate professor at harvard school of public health and director of the healthy buildings program. thank you both for being here. dr. bedelia, let me start with you and let's start where gaud left off on the mask mandate in l.a. indoors. i'm sure a lot of americans are nervously watching what's happening there and wondering if it's going to happen in their communities and also wondering what they should do as individuals. and i'm curious, we know this is all about community spread. at what level should people look around and say, hey, maybe it's smarter for me to wear mask inside. >> reporter: yeah, kasie, i think what's happening is, you know, with this greater transmissibility, delta is causing an increase in the number of cases. there's more virus in our communities, so certainly the virus is finding the vulnerable. in heavily unvaccinated states, tun vaccinated are heavily affected, and in the heavily vaccinated state, the
unvaccinated is still affected. but even the vaccinated are getting exposed. but they're getting breakthrough infections at a much lower rate. we know 97% of the people who are getting hospitalized are unvaccinated. we know 99% of the people who are dying are the unvaccinated. but because it's a communal experience. we're all living in this same community and no vaccine is perfect, right, it's like, 90% protection against severe disease, as the amount of virus goes in, you're likely to see some cases among the vaccinated, as well. from that scenario and what dr. walensky said today, as well, if communities, even in highly vaccinated states are seeing large surges of cases, and potentially hospitalizations going up, even if they happen to be among tun vaccinated, it might be time to take a pause and say, should we put some of those measures into place. surely the states that are
seeing the surges should be considering taking those measures, partly because of what you talked about. if you want to send kids back to school and we need the adults vaccinated now so we can keep them safer if the vaccines were to be available later. >> can i ask you about breakthrough infections, as well here, among people who are vaccinated. i mean, we saw the yankees, for example, put off a game against the red sox. i know in our community here, we have more examples of people who have been vaccinated testing positive. and concerns about close contact tracing and whether you need to be concerned if you are unmasked and in an area with a vaccinated person who is -- who tests positive. i mean, how worried should you be? you considered a close contact, if you were just having, say, a casual conversation with them? what's the threshold where people should be concerned? >> well, i've got to say, and dr. fauci was asked this question this morning on a briefing at a white house covid response. evidence shows if you're
vaccinated, the amount of virus in your airway is smaller and so you're less likely to transmit the diseases. is it zero? probably not. there's probably small amounts of transmission, but much, much less likely because of the amount of virus that's present. so the risk to -- it matters less when everybody else is vaccinated. the best way to protect yourself in you're unvaccinated is to get vaccinated and put a mask on. i think if you're not yet vaccinated, if you're concerned about somebody else who is vaccinated, the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and put a mask on. >> of course. professor allen, let me ask you about schools, because this is the other really tricky challenge that we are dealing with come the fall. because, obviously, older kids are eligible for vaccination. younger kids are not. school districts have different levels of resources. they've all been trying to retrofit their buildings to make it safer for their kids. there are parents who are concerned about their little kids having to wear masks every day, because of the potential consequences, especially if they see their parents and peers not
having to wear them. what is your sense of what would be a safe scenario for, say, elementary school kids come the fall. and i know you think about this broadly, but you happen to be an expert on how we make buildings as safe at possible, so i'm particularly curious about your points on that. >> thanks for having me on. i really agree with the cdc's updated guidance on schools, to be honest. first and foremost, they place the primacy on getting kids back to school. i think it's been clear that there are real disastrous costs to kids who have been out of school. second, the cdc promotes vaccinations. we're all aligned here. these vaccines are safe, they're highly effective, they work against all of the variants, all the vaccines do. i'm vaccinated, my 14-year-old is vaccinated. my 11-year-old when she turns 12 will be vaccinated. these are safe. that's where the priority needs to be. that's the best way to get the economy opened and kids back in school and everything else functioning. third, it's nice to finally see that the cdc recognize that
airborne transmission is happening. in their latest school guidance, it is in big, bold letters. schools need to take care of their ventilation systems, open up the windows, bring in outside air, used to portable air filters. fourth, the cdc gives some flexibility on masks. what's happening in mississippi, for example, as you just showed is very different from what's happening in places like new england where we have higher vaccination rates. last thing i'll say about the cdc's new guidance that i agree with, that it should finally end the senseless deep cleaning that schools and everywhere else have been done. the best way to protect against this is good hand washing. but schools have been spending and resourcresourcings focusing nonexistent threat and not spending those resources on addressing the airborne threat. >> if schools address the airborne threat quality and the teachers and staff are
vaccinated, do you think it's safe for younger children who can't get the vaccine to go unmasked in their schools? >> i do. and i've written about this in "the washington post" recently. and it looks like we're not going to get a vaccine for the youngest until at least mid-winter, based on what the fda just told us. the reason i feel this way is because really the most salient aspect of this virus is the differences in risk by age. another large, very large study just published that the risk of death for kids is on the order of 1 in a million. that follows study in two-time medical journalses. the hospitalization rate for younger kids is staying really low, on the order of three in a million or at the worst point, approaching 1 in 100,000. so if schools take care of their ventilation and filtration issues and keep masks in the back pocket for now in places where community spread is low, it's one of these interventions that can be pulled out of the back pockets if necessary as we
get into november and december, and if you're in an area where case counts rise. masks can be put on quite easily. >> so dr. bedelia, given what the professor just kind of laid out there, i know a lot of parents i know of young kids are worried. i don't think that they are necessarily concerned. the data shows that deaths are so low, but there are concerns about long covid and not knowing kind of what the consequences may be in the long-term if your young child does contract it. how worried should parents be about that? >> so kasie, i want to take one more stab at the initial question you ask about breakthrough. because i think it's important for us to get this right. i think i misunderstood. what you'd said is, if you're vaccinated and around somebody else who's vaccinated and they have a breakthrough, what's your level of concern? >> i think if you're vaccinated and the person around you is vaccinated and ends up having a breakthrough infection, it's less of a concern to you, because you also are protected, unless you happen to be somebody who's immunocompromised or someone who the virus doesn't
work. i misunderstood. i thought you were asking about the unvaccinated. so in children, there's a condition we're seeing in children that occurs, and it is concerning. it seems to happen about six weeks or so after illness, but it is rare. and i think that, you know, although kids don't get hospitalized and they're not -- the death rates in children are much, much lower, there's no reason to put them at additional risk. but the condition himself, the miscsc is actually quite rare and we're still learning about it. >> all right. professor joseph allen and dr. nahid bedelia, thank you both for starting us off this afternoon. we really appreciate you bringing your expertise to all of us. up ahead, the senate has left the hill with work on president biden's infrastructure package unfinished as chuck schumer pushes the chamber for a pivotal vote on wednesday. and the latest on the investigation into the january 6th attack as we wait for house minority leader mccarthy to pick
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everyone has been having productive conversations and it's important to keep the two-track process moving. all parties involved in the bipartisan infrastructure bill talks must now finalize their agreement, so that the senate can begin consideration that legislation next week. >> welcome back. senate majority leader chuck schumer may plan to proceed with infrastructure next week. but the bipartisan group of senators crafting the $579 billion legislation left washington for the weekend without having finished drafting the bill. and while democrats on the senate budget committee may have agreed to terms on a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, others in the party have yet to signal their support. and schumer is going to need all 50 of them onboard to proceed. meanwhile, the house select
committee investigating the january 6th attack on the kmol capitol plans to hold its first hearing in a little over a weekend. and kevin mccarthy who met with donald trump yesterday has yet to announce who he would like to appoint to that committee. sahil kapur covers capitol hill for msnbc news. great to have you. let's start with infrastructure and walk through, what is the plan for the weekend? i know several republicans including mitt romney have come out and say, if we don't have a bill, i'm not going to vote to proceed to the bill. is there a sense that they're going to get through it over the weekend and have something that they can proceed to by mid-week next week, or is that quite frankly a far cry from where we actually are? >> that's the hope, kasie. it's unclear whether they get there, but senators involved in this process tell us they expect it to be a busy weekend. they need to figure out -- get to the finish line on the issue of pay-fors. what is going to be there to make sure the numbers add up. and according to one senator, they're still hashing out some final categories of spending
when it comes to infrastructure. but that doesn't appear to be a sticking point. chuck schumer, according to a democrat close to this process is trying to play some hardball. he believes a deadline is necessary to focus the minds of senators. he believes this group has had enough time, they've been working on it for weeks and has said multiple times that july will be the month when they move the bipartisan infrastructure deal and this broader reconciliation package. it's a gambit at the end of the day. it's not clear they get there. or congress does what it does all the time which is extend another deadline, kasie. >> punt the deadline down. he is absolutely right. they don't seem to be anything without a deadline. and if you're trying to squeeze two major things in before recess, you have to set one in the middle. let's talk for a sect about the january 6th select committee. kevin mccarthy is still being coy about who he's looking at for this committee. they officially said he didn't talk to the former president trump about it when they had
lunch yesterday at bedminster. i find that a little hard to believe. what do we know? >> kevin mccarthy is holding his cards close to the vest here. he has still not announced who he will appoint to this january 6th commission. and of course, he did meet with former president donald trump yesterday in bedminster. the official word from kevin mccarthy coming out of that meeting is that they talked about the midterms. that was the agenda going into it. but donald trump is not a man who is known for staying on topic or man who is known for avoiding issues related to his grievances. and kevin mccarthy is coming up on a bit of a deadline here. as you mentioned, democrats are hoping to hold their first hearing in the january 6th select committee as early as next week. and as i suspec your next guest is about to tell you, they're not going to wait for the republicans in terms of that hearing. they have a quorum to do it with eight democratic members that speaker pelosi has appointed already to this committee. and based on my reporting, we are all really going to miss you. you're a wonderful colleague, a
stellar reporter, and we wish you the best in what happens next. >> that's very sweet of you, sahil. i really appreciate it. i'll have to confirm that myself, but you're very kind. thank you so much for being here on our final broadcast today for "meet the press daily." let's go now to congressman chairman adam schiff. he chairs the house committee and is now in head of the select committee investigating january 6th. mr. chairman, thank you so much for being here with us to talk about this incredibly important investigation. i would like to start with all of the new revelations that have come out over the course of the last week or so as we're learning more in the public record, i'm sure there are that i think so you already know, that were classified, but now many of us are learning for the first time. but i'm interested to know, one of those revelations, and we talked particularly about general milley, and i know you said he should definitely testify, was there anything that occurred that stood out to you that you want to make sure that
the committee pursues in depth as you get started? >> first of all, i can confirm that we will miss you. all the best to you. >> thank you. >> but, you know, what i've said about general milley is that he's certainly someone that we should consider. we haven't made any decisions yet on witnesses, apart from our first hearing, which your reporters are quite accurate, we intend to go forward, whether mccarthy appoint peoples or he doesn't. we have seven democrats and one republican who have been named by the speaker. it's already bipartisan, and we hope that he will appoint people who are serious about the task. but i suspect his decision will be driven by whatever donald trump wants. but in terms of the allegations in the books that are coming out about general milley and others, we want to find out what went on in the run-up to january 6th. we want to find out what happened on january 6th. we want to know what was going on in the white house and the
administration, if there were discussions about how to overturn the election or retain power by any means, obviously, that will be pertinent to our inquiry. nothing would surprise me at this point. the idea that the president may have been willing to use troops to try to put down protests or overturn the results, we really can't say that anything is beyond contemplation of that former president. >> well, speaking of contemplation, you're tasked in your day job with oversight of the intelligence community. and there are some pretty significant anecdotes that a confrontation with a member of the president's staff over whether gina haspel was going to remain at the cia. you have milley worrying about control of the cia or the fbi or articulating that anybody trying to take over would have to focus on those two agency. he was very concerned about trump installing loyalists at the department of defense. did you see evidence or were you
concerned about the administration and the president's attempts to do the same thing at intelligence agencies like the cia or not? >> oh, absolutely, we were concerned about it. because it's exactly what they did with other intelligence agencies probably no agency was more devastated than the office of the director of national intelligence, when you had dan coats forced out of his position because he was speaking the truth about russian interference. he was speaking the truth about north korea and its nuclear missile programs, notwithstanding the love letters between donald trump and the korean dictator. and they were replaced. mcguire was ultimately replaced because our committee was briefed on russian interference with political hacks, like rick grinnell and others were put in positions of responsibility, like cash patel, that they had no business being in. and so this was also what
happened at the defense department is not a surprise, and that there were concerns about a change at cia and an fbi, i might add, all of these things were of grave concern to us. >> so, mr. chairman, you're chairman of the select committee, bennie thompson, has said publicly that there's supposed to be a meeting between select committee democrats and the department of justice to see how willing they are to cooperate with your investigation. has that meeting happened yet? >> well, our chairman, bennie thompson, wants to make sure that we are coordinating with the justice department and has made outreach to the department. as a committee, we have not yet met with the justice department. i'm not sure whether our chairman has any discussions of his own. but as we have in other investigations, we want to make sure that we're working collaboratively with the department, that nothing we do, for example, interferes with their investigation and prosecution of suspects.
at the same time, they possess information that will be of great value to us, so we need to have an open line of communication. >> what's your sense of what the most important piece of evidence that the doj may have to your investigation? is it the call logs of the former president >> well, the department is obviously investigating and prosecuting these individual cases. and they may get some of these folks to cooperate. and if you have a cooperating witness, for example, who is within one of these white nationalist groups, the oathkeepers or the proud boys or what not, and they can describe the preparations that went into january 6th with coordination, among the groups there may have been, and as well as whether there was information or coordination with any members of congress, with the administration. obviously, that would be of deep importance. so we'll be very interested in potentially cooperating witnesses. this, you know, was an issue in the russia investigation, when
there were people cooperating with bob mueller, that we would have loved to have had cooperate with the committee. and so, i would hope that we can work more constructively with the justice department now than we could frankly during the last administration. >> all right. chairman adam schiff, thank you very much for making some time to be with us today. i really appreciate having you here on our last praft. >> my pleasure. great to be with you. >> or my last broadcast, i should say. coming up next, an ongoing disaster in western europe right now as massive floods wreak havoc, killing over a hundred people and leaving more than a thousand unaccounted for. we are live on the ground in germany, coming up next. are lin germany, coming up next. ...to be fresh. welcome to the eat fresh refresh. refresh where there is so much new, some say that it can't fit in one ad. i say... ...we're talking a new all-american club, deli-style oven-roasted turkey and... oh, that's the new steak & cheese. oh yeah, i knew that. that's the one with the new...
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does it worry me? absolutely. sensodyne sensitivity and gum gives us a dual action effect that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. there's no question it's something that i would recommend. welcome back. search and rescue efforts continue today in western europe as more than 1,500 people remain unaccounted for in the wake of massive flooding. as you can see here, water levels in german are so high that rescue teams are airlifting survivors from the rooftops of flooded homes, as roadways remain underwater. and as emergency teams search for survivors in the destruction, the death toll from the flooding rose sharply today. flood deaths in germany now number over a hundred and 20 people have died from flooding in neighboring belgium. for more on the flooding and the emergency response, nbc's claudio lavanya is in earthstat, germany. claudio, we can see that water
rushing behind you. just a devastating toll already from this. what's the latest there? >> reporter: hey, kasie. well, let me set the scene here. while this raging river that you see right behind me is usually a very gentle river way that flows in the middle of this town, errstadt. and we are about an hour drive from the city of colone, that has been the most affected by the flooding. well, as you can see, now the rain has stopped coming down since this morning. it hasn't rained all day, and yet this is still very much a raging river. you can see behind me, this is not part of the river. this used to be a river bank, but it is now full of water that is receding from the nearby fields that have been submerged for a couple of days now and it is feeding this river down here.
we were on a bridge just right next to us. and we closed it down, because it is dangerous. that may collapse, as well, as well as many houses and structures in this town, as in all the towns affected by the flooding, because now the authors are saying, after the devastation closed by the flooding. now there's also the risk of the underwashing. that is when the water recedes. it just takes away the soil and then it puts the foundations of houses and infrastructures at risk. with the risk of houses collapsing. the problem is there are still people in those houses. many haven't left. the authorities said, because they just want to stay home or they underestimated the severity of this flooding. others may have returned to their homes this morning because they saw this it stopped raining and they thought that the worst was over. as you can see behind me, the worst is far from over, kasie.
>> it is. claudio, there are 1,500 people unaccounted for. that seems like so, so many. is there a concern that those people are lost to us or could there be another reason why we're not hearing from some of those people? >> the local authorities are saying that they hope that a lot of those people are not accounted for and that they are not reachable because the telephone network went down in the whole area affected by the flooding. so there may be thousands of people who can bnt reached. and they don't know whether they're live or somewhere else or otherwise, they hope that many of those people, they were just not at home. maybe they were on holiday, they were away from the town. so it doesn't necessarily mean that of course, there will be hundreds more people, but certainly, there is a concern that the death toll may arise even further, kasie. >> all right, claudio lavanga for us in germany. thank you very much for that
report. coming up next. an increasingly desperate situation in cuba that is fueling a political debate in that country and here in the u.s. as well. n that country and here in the u.s. as well she'll want a plan to reach them. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity.
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welcome back. the streets of cuba have been mostly quiet since last sunday's massive anti-government protests, as the white house criticizes the country's violent crackdown against demonstrators. still, from inside cuba, the calls for an end to the communist regime continue. here at home, president biden is facing some escalating political pressure to act. he's voiced support for the protesters and called on the cuban regime to, quote, hear their people and serve their needs, but the white house has not said what its next step will be, specifically toward cuba or whether it will reengage with the communist government. i'm joined now by fernand amandi, dominican republic pollster and msnbc political analyst. it's so lovely to see you. thank you so much for spending some time with us. and for our audience that's watching, you have done so much work polling and understanding the cuban american community and
how they relate to what's going on in their formerly home country. this is, of course, something that plays very distinctly into u.s. politics. i'm curious, at first, how has the cuban american country shifted in terms of their views towards how american policy should treat cuba? >> well, kasie, one has to understand that prior to the events of this past weekend, there was a thought and really a debate as to whether the united states should engage in a more vociferous way or a marginal or incremental way on u.s./cuba policy. but these dramatic images that have taken place on the island were frankly something that people never thought was possible. seeing the rising up of the cuban population, risking life and limb and even acquiring, perhaps and putting their health at risk to say, we want an end to this regime. i think that has radically changed the debate.
certainly, the cuban american community is looking at these images with a renewed sense of hope, that this 62-year odyssey to see a transition to freedom and democracy on that island, after 62 years of the castro regime, i think there's a great expectation and sense that things will be done. so i think those attitudes are really changing in realtime, and that's why so many of them are looking to the white house as to what the united states will do next and if they do engage. >> that's really interesting. so, obviously, we spent a lot of time and put a lot on the air about how cuban americans vote, particularly when we focus in on florida many a presidential election or even in a midterm election. and we really saw the community in and around miami move for donald trump after they talked quite a lot on the airwaves about socialism and other things that seemed to be tied to this particular issue. what are the political risks for the biden administration? what is this community looking for them to do in terms of
pressuring the cuban government. >> first and foremost, this is kind of one of those historical events where it tries to really be above the political fray. and i think republicans and democrats are united in wanting to see the singular goal of regime change on the island. but to your point, kasie, the political risks, i think, are significant for the biden administration, because it's one thing to give very proper statements that he and the white house have done thus far. but i think the expectation amongst the cuban american electorate here is because of the unprecedented nature of the events, it's going to take more than statements. they want to see real tangible presidential engagement. in the past, when democratic presidents, whether they be bill clinton or barack obama have ad to confront the cuba issue, they have come directly to south florida, understanding that this is where the largest segment of the population is outside of the cuban island itself, but also because of the political considerations and made the case directly to the community here. i think there is an expectation
that something similar happens by president biden. i would imagine that the administration is considering that. and coming here the south florida, showing solidarity, have they have in their statements with the prosecutorses on the island, and speaking from south florida to the folks on the island who have risked themselves. let me also add that this is even a greater hem atmospheric issue, given the turmoil we've seen in haiti and venezuela and events that have now put the democracies of nicaragua and colombia at risk. those populations are also represented here. they also are significantly represented in the elector. i think it would be wise for president biden to invest some very important presidential time to come to south florida and make that case. i think it will have political benefits as well as policy ones. >> yeah. very interesting. so one of the things -- i spoke earlier this week with the foreign relations committee chairman, bob menendez, who has close ties to the community, of course. and he suggested that a red line for him and a concern was the potential use of state violence
against possible protesters. what should the u.s. response be in your view, if that happens? what would the reaction be among cuban americans in the miami area? >> from the perspective of the federal government, i think the united states policy has to be consistent, as it's been around the world. anytime we see a government engage in efforts to repress or physically abuse and harm their population, we immediate to put together a coalition of allies and a community of nations to denounce those activities. and if necessary, see what can be done in a non-military sense, but see what can be done through the use of either peacekeeping forces or additional sanctions to make sure that those activities, if they happen, god forbid are met with consequences. certainly, the cuban american community wants to see the people on the island protected and an end to the physical abuse and mental abuse that's happened there over 62 years. >> all right. fernand armandi, thank you so much for bringing your expertise to all of our viewers today. we really appreciate it.
>> thank you. all right. coming up next, thanks to billionaires like jeff bezos and richard branson, you no longer have to work for nasa to go to space. apparently, you just have to be very, very rich. we'll speak to the head of nasa about the future of space flight, coming up next. of spac flight, coming up next ty mutual! nothing rhymes with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ this isn't just a walk up the stairs. when you have an irregular heartbeat, it's more. it's dignity. the freedom to go where you want, knowing your doctor can watch over your heart. ♪♪
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this july. billionaires are paving the way. next week an 18-year-old dutch physics student will become the youngest person ever to go to space. the teenager is the first customer to fly with jeff bezos' rocket company blue origin. he'll join the amazon founder, bezos' brother, and 82-year-old astronaut wally funk, who will break the record for being the oldest person in space. the new rocket launches from texas july 20, the anniversary of the apollo moon landing. virgin galactic founder richard branson flew to space on sunday. branson, bezos, andy lon musk are changing the way humans interact with space. joining us now is nasa administrator bill nelson.
as the former democratic senator from florida, he helped expand private/partnership programs to allow for many of the milestones we're seeing today. i guess it's mr. administrator now, i'm so used to call you mr. senator in the hallway. great to have you, mr. administrator. i guess i have to set aside my personal bias which is please let me know how you can get a political reporter on these space crafts. surely it's important for other reasons as well. i'll start with a tough question is that i think there's a lot of people here on earth who are really struggling with basic things and they look at what these billionaires are doing and they wonder, why aren't they spending their billions on trying to improve the quality of life for people here on the planet, trying to figure things out? what do you say to those people who see these billionaires blast off and resent them? >> well, and i understand that, because i've dealt in that world of constantly having to stand up
for the little guy and make sure that they are provided for. but if you just scratch beyond the surface and you find everything that nasa has developed in its technology and how it applies to everyday life, from things like warning of hurricanes to finding diseased crops from space, to the camera on a chip in your cellphone, and you apply that to our everyday lives, and i've just mentioned three, then you get a little different cut on spending money on research and development for high technology that is applied to our space program. now, with regard to your billionaire question, i think it's great. these guys are spending their own money, and they are paying
more attention to the development of space and space travel. and although the two that you mentioned just recently are just going up to the edge of space and coming right back down, look what the third billionaire has done. he has gotten the price of going to space for our scientific payloads, for our department of defense payloads. and because he reuses that rocket, i'm talking about elon musk and spacex, it is 40% cheaper to put payloads in space. that's because of a billionaire spending his own money. >> that's interesting. i guess that raises a question for me, which is, you mentioned all these other technologies, so interesting, and it's such a great point. are these billionaires in their deal that allows them to go up to space and work with nasa, do they have to share their discoveries or will they have the right to use whatever they
figure out to try to profit off of it? >> well, right now, nasa is holding the hand of anyone that is putting humans on spacecraft to go into orbit, and thus nasa was very much involved with elon in producing the commercial crew to orbit to the international space station, a nasa and indeed an international facility that does research. so it's a combination of everything. now, branson and bezos doing their own just to the edge of space and down, that's a different matter. they're spending their own money. although we did have scientific experiments on branson's flight a week ago. >> very interesting. and briefly, before i let you go, i do want to ask about china
and our competition with them in space and whether they're actually a responsible actor here. how concerned are you about what the chinese are doing in space and how that affects our national security interests here in the united states? >> hugely. it's no secret that china is even saying publicly that they're going to challenge us at every point in space, not only civilian, but i think the defense guys will tell you that they're challenging us from a military standpoint as well. and china is very good. they're only the second nation to be able to successfully land on mars, even though we were on mars back in the '70s, nevertheless they're only the second one, and they did it. they've already returned a sample from the moon. they said they're going, and they usually tell in advance, they said they're going to the
south pole of the moon and they're going to try to find water and convert it into fuel. they're very aggressive in their space program. >> something we have to pay close attention to. nasa administrator bill nelson, thank you very much for spending some time with us today, we really appreciate it. we should note also that msnbc will have live coverage of the blue origin launch on tuesday. that's going to do it for me this hour. "meet the press daily" will be back again on monday. msnbc coverage continues right now with geoff bennett after a quick break.
turns out i was wrong. so when a hand specialist told me about nonsurgical treatments, it was a total game changer. like you, my hands have a lot more to do. learn more at factsonhand.com today. it's great to be with you. i'm geoff bennett. as we come on the air, federal health officials are sounding the alarm, using the type of language we haven't heard in months. and that's because after so much progress, covid is roaring back. 90,000 new cases in just 48 hours. 11 states seeing a 100% spike, mainly across the south, where