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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  July 22, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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were brighter and boxes that forced people to check. so we need to beef up the technological competency of our regulatory agency. right now they're running circles around congress and around the regulators. >> thanks to both of you for this important conversation. you've got tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams begins right now. well, good evening once again. day 184 of the biden administration, which is now as you know racing to control this latest rapidly worsening surge of virus in our country. this spike fueled by the delta variant and ripping through communities with large numbers of unvaccinated americans. and so once again today the cdc was forced to sound the alarm, calling this is a pivotal moment in the fight against this pandemic. >> take the delta variant seriously.
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this virus has no incentive to let up, and it remains in search of the next vulnerable person to infect. compared to the virus we had circulating initially in the united states at the start of the pandemic the delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. it is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that i've seen in my 20-year career. whether you're vaccinated or not please know we together are not out of the woods yet. >> dr. walensky there, the ceo director says the 7-day average of new cases in our country is up 53% over just the previous week. the areas in red on this map are those particularly hard hit. this is the cdc map. portions of in yellow and blue have moderate to low levels of infection. three states, florida, missouri, texas are home to about 40% of the new cases.
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florida continues to lead the nation, of course, in new cases. a research group working with the cdc now projects the delta variant will cause a steep increase in our daily death toll likely peaking at around mid-october. this virus surge is yet again pushing a lot of exhausted health care workers and hospitals to the brink. >> just feels like we're going backwards. and i know that me and a lot of other people here are just -- we are feeling very discouraged, very disheartened, very in some cases a little bit angry. >> this worsening situation has a lot of people wondering if we're just headed back to the days of lockdowns and other restrictions on life imposed a year ago or more. today the white house press secretary was asked about reports that there could be new guidance soon on wearing masks. >> what i can tell you is that there has been no decision to change our mask guidelines.
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>> right now the cdc says fully vaccinated individuals don't need to wear masks, but those who are unvaccinated should be wearing a mask. the president has gotten high marks in national polling as you may know for his handling of the pandemic and the vaccine rollout thus far. but as new cases creep upward, the administration is under increasing pressure to find a way to quickly control the spread of this virus. today the president said the white house is trying to get ahead of the situation. >> we follow the science. it's happening now with all the major scientific operations in this country and the 25-person group we put together are looking at all the possibilities of what's happening now. if you are vaccinated, you are safe. if you are vaccinated you have over a 98% chance of never
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catching the virus at all. >> the administration is right now surging over $1.6 billion to high-risk areas of our country for more testing, contact tracing as well as vaccination support, getting shots in arms. as politico reports, perhaps the biggest challenge is now in states that have made it illegal for local officials to enact certain restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. many of those states are the ones seeing some of the worst outbreaks. ron desantis, governor of florida, which today reported well over 12,000 brand new cases insists he has the authority to cancel local health orders if he thinks they infringe on individual rights. this afternoon he drew a line in the sand over masks in florida schools even though children under 12 still are not eligible for vaccines. >> there's been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level imposing
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compulsory masks on kids. we're not doing that in florida, okay? >> officials in atlanta, philly, houston moving in the other direction, beginning to recommend and in some cases require residents to mask up. overseas covid cases are now spiking. in tokyo nearly 2,000 reported just today, the highest there in six months. truly is a spike. opening ceremony for the olympics now just hours away, and so far over 90 people associate would the games have tested positive. we're also keeping a close eye on the deepening divide on capitol hill over the house select committee to investigate the january 6th riot and insurrection. one focus tonight is on republican congressman and trump critic adam kinzinger of illinois, a potential addition to this commit anow that pelosi has turned down two of kevin mccarthy's republican picks.
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former congressman denver riggleman is being considered. and today the two parties in the house were fiercely defending their positions. >> this is deadly serious. this is a about our constitution. it's about our country. it's about an assault on the capitol that is being mischaracterized for some reason at the expense -- at the expense of finding the truth for the american people. >> at no time in the history of a select committee in america -- i had to check with the historian -- has what speaker pelosi done ever happened before. the idea that she's going to pick and choose, you're not going to get an outcome. >> then again we hadn't seen a riot like the one on 1/6 before. with that let's bring in our lead off guests on this thursday night. peter baker, the veteran journalist and author. he's chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." julie pace, washington bureau
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chief, assistant managing editor for the associated press. and dr. ven gupta, critical care pulmonologist in seattle who's advised us on public health throughout this panemic. also on the faculty of university of washington institute for health metrics and evaluation, which is exactly why i'd like to begin with you, doctor. only i'd like to change your role a bit in this question and answer from physician more to sociologist. this anti-vaccine movement, the attitude is a lot of things. it's social. it's in some cases socioeconomic and it's political. but so far the siloing of our country, blue and red, rich and poor, liberal-curve has not worked. the kind of shaming and lecturing has not worked. how would you go about changing public attitudes when lives are at stake? >> good evening, brian. great to see you.
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this is what i'll say. first and foremost i think the cdc can recommend whatever it wants, indoor masking if they want to pivot. they can recommend that. and i would encourage people to do what they feel comfortable doing. ultimately state occupation state and safety boards to enact policy, local officials to enforce it. so we need to be clear-eyed here where we're putting our attention. we should be focusing to your question how do we get people to update the vaccine as quickly as possible? i've been in fresno just yesterday. i was in las vegas or the suburbs around it last week speaking to my fellow enlisted members in the military and out there on base. what i will say is that people are reachable. we are putting up the white flag suggesting that people are not, suggesting vaccines and rates are plateauing. they just want to be spoken to in a nonjudgmental way. they have questions once we answer them in a nonjudgmental
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way. they're willing to get the vaccine. my colleagues have similarly, so we need to scale that personalized engagement and do more of it in an accessible way, and i think we'll get to where we want to be. debating whether cdc should do "x" or "y," you just play what ron desantis said. it's not going to work. people that want to mask will mask. people who don't want to mask will not mask. we've already played this and passed this prologue. >> peter baker, indeed, what the doctor just said this puts the white house in a tough spot. i am guessing they want to be even more aggressive where policies and recommendations are concerned only to watch policies go to florida to die. >> well, i think that they understand there's a great deal of fatigue and especially certain parts of the country with the public health measures that have been put in place in the last year and a half. and simply reimposing them or
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rerecommending them by itself isn't going to convince a lot of people who in fact are probably the ones who have been most affected by it in the first place. the places where you would want more social distancing and masks again are the places where people are not, you know, not high rates of vaccination. i know people of course are not listening to president biden's advice in the first place. so it's kind of a catch-22 cycle that he's on where the choices are limited. and i think the frustration for biden, of course, is that he needs to get this virus under control in order to get done anything else he wants to get done wrosh right? if in fact we have another outbreak in the fall as now he's projected, that will make it that much harder to get the economy going. that will make it that much harder to get life back to normal and all kinds of in parts of the country. and i think he'll be judged in those and be judged on his ability to get us out of this -- you know, the situation we've been in for the last year and a half. i think that he wants desperately to make that happen, but the tools are limited.
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>> and julie, because we live in the real world, because we live in the age of the requirement to walk and chew gum especially those in government, what is all of this -- this spike and this worry doing to the rest of the biden agenda? is it enough to derail or merely distract? >> well, that hasn't happened yet. i mean certainly at this point the real focus from a policy perspective beyond covid for the biden administration is infrastructure. and they're feeling optimistic that even though this process to get these two separate infrastructure packages, the bipartisan bill and then the democrat led package to focus on what they call human infrastructure, but that is moving forward. but i think to peter's point there is now a bit more of a question of what the second half of this year looks like for it biden administration. at a certain point they really
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felt like they'd turned the corner on the pandemic, they could focus on other domestic priorities, biden could start to push some of these big legislative packages he'd promised to voters. they're watching this closely to make sure their focus is in the right place. there could become a tipping point essentially where he does need to put more of his attention more squarely back on the pandemic even if that means risking some of these other big promises that he and democrats have made to voters. >> dr. gupta, i want to play for you part of an interview on this network earlier today with dr. hasalteen, the noted vaccine expert who as you'll hear takes a very hard line. we'll discuss on the other side. >> i'd rather see governments say it's okay you don't want to be vaccinated but then you can't go to movie theater, can't go to restaurants, can't take public transportation. that's what they're doing in france right now.
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there isn't there's not push back there, but that is a reasonable suggestion. yeah, you're free to get infected and die yourself, but you're not free to infect other people. >> oh, my god, rome was the network he appeared on. that was during the day to day on cnn. dr. gupta, what do you make of the sentiment of his remarks there? >> well, you know, dr. hazelteen is essentially saying we should mandate the vaccine or have vaccine, and this is a bugaboo word passport or some sort of certification writ large. i'm of the mind if we do that for polio vaccine, meningitis, kids about to enter college, there's no reason we can't have the same expectation for the covid vaccine. there's a lot of noise that has for whatever reason confused this debate and not allowed us to have proper context. i think he's right. we need to have clear incentives in place. we should be talking about going
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backwards. we should make it really clear to people if you're vaccinated you can do x, y, z. if you're not you're not allowed to do those things. and we should be moving toward certain parts of the population including school age children. >> and peter, let's again take off on what the doctor just mentioned. he used the word "noise," which in polite society has come to mean disinformation and misinformation on the vaccine and on the virus. talk about outreach efforts on the part of the biden white house, and are they including republicans in any of them? >> yeah, it's a great question. the white house feel like it's made some progress in some pockets of the community that had been -- there have been larger resistance in communities of color, among younger people, among people who have not had access to information or might have hesitance for various
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reasons. but one area where they've don't feel like they've made as much progress are, you know, ideologically conservative voters who happen to be trump supporters. there seem to be a real wall there between the biden administration efforts and this part of the american public. and they are -- you know, they're kind of at wits end about that because obviously those are people not listening to joe biden. now, something interesting has happened the last few days we have seen more republicans and even fox news as an institution at least, you know, taking on the -- the mantel of advocating vaccines to their followers, to people who trust them. you know, you saw fox news in fact say if we had a public service ad with a couple of their well-known personalities saying it's a good thing. you saw sean hannity saying vaccines are good. not everyone is saying it. there's still those playing to the resistance, but it does seem like on the right there is a
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growing awareness that this is a serious issue and that vaccines are one way out for republicans who don't want to wear masks and who don't want to be limited in the way dr. gupta is talking about. >> julie, peter raises a great point. and writ large it is that polling has a funny way of finding itself into policy and opinions and the public debate. and lo and behold the latest ap poll on something like infrastructure is what 55-42. the question could rightly be asked when is joe biden, when are the democrats going to take those numbers out for a spin? the problem is they've got recalcitrant members in their own caucus, say nothing of republicans. julie, is there any evidence of movement on this? >> well, i think some of the democratic frustration comes actually from the idea that the bills that are on the floor, going to be on the floor soon don't go big enough. and that's the real frustration
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that a lot of the progressive wing of the party. they would like to see the investment in human infrastructure, child care, some of the things that would come in that later package be far bigger than what i think democrats are ult amtally going to do here. i do feel democrats feel they'll be able to go -- if these packages pass, they'll be able to go into the mid-terms next year and show not just that joe biden was able to sign legislation. i think they're going to argue something bigger. i think they're going to argue this is an example of what government can do, this is an example how you can use government for good, how government can be put forward to solve long-standing problems in the country and that this is a theory of the case that they're going to make to try to convince people, that this is so much more than just roads and bridges. the price tags of these packages be damned. so this is, again, much bigger i think for them than just legislation. this is about a philosophy of governing. >> we are indebted as always to
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our starting line tonight. peter baker, julie pace, dr. vin gupta, greatly appreciate you starting off our conversation this evening. our first break approaches, and coming up, nancy pelosi says she's determined to get to the truth of 1/6. and she may call on more republicans to help do that. we've got james carville and tim miller standing by. and later the former chief of staff for the late john lewis says he has one goal, ensuring that the memory of the modern day civil rights icon, quote, gets used for good. we will ask michael collins about the new book containing the final and lasting words of john lewis. all of it as "the 11th hour" is just now getting under way on this thursday night. s just now getting under way on this thursday night. the rule in business used to be, "location, location, location." now it's, "network, network, network." so you need a network that's built right. verizon business unlimited starts with america's most reliable network. then we add the speed of verizon 5g.
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speaker pelosi is making it clear the committee to investigate 1/6 will move forward even without kevin mccarthy's republican additions. of course, it was the gop don't forget that rejected the formation of a bipartisan commission on january 6th in the first place. that would have had an even number of representative from each party. here with us again james carville, veteran democratic strategist. rose to national fame with the clinton campaign, co-host of the politics war room podcast. and tim hill miller, contributor to the bulwark, former communications director for jeb bush. gentlemen orb it's always a pleasure. thank you both for coming on. james, i'd like to begin with you and your now famous advice
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to members of your own party to own that insurrection every day. hold it up to the republicans every day. the question is how do you reckon they have done so far this week? i noted some genuine surprise that mccarthy was going to, in effect, pull a benghazi on this, throw up a bunch of distractions and including but not limited to pelosi didn't have enough security on hand that day. >> well, remember mccarthy the senate glob of protoplazm, he was begging the president for help and everything else. then he refuses to have the bipartisan committee and now he's doing this. the guy has no sense of shame. it's just -- it's really unbelievable when you look at the actual facts of what happened. and let me tell you something i know speaker pelosi. a lot of people know her better than me and everybody's judgment is the same.
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she's tough as nails, and she's not going to let this go. and she correctly wants to find out and get to the bottom of one of the greatest criminal acts in the history of the united states. and i think people around the country support this and are just perplexed how pathetic a human being mccarthy is. >> tim, a version of the same question, but i put this spin on it. do you think the democrats realize they have tools at their disposal to make this -- give this even more gravity, make this even more of an investigation than it looks like on the surface. for example, they could put these hearings on in prime time. and i imagine they would get a pretty substantial audience. do you think they're doing enough to james' orders with the opportunity they have here for investigation? >> how about i come back with a scorecard in a couple weeks,
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brian? i think that right now pelosi's first move i give an a-plus to. you know, i think there were certainly i'm sure people in her ear saying this needs to have the patina of bipartisanship, and let jim jordan his shirtless -- excuse me me, jacketless nonsense continue on the committee. she took a hard line and said, no, we're not going to turn this into a circus, we're going to take this seriously. it's already a bipartisan commission. liz cheney is on it. sounds like maybe she'll add some others, denver riggleman, a former rep. some of the officers who served that day are going to be testifying. that's going to be extremely compelling testimony. i think the next challenge will be how much she's able to and
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the committee and betty thompson and others are able to put the screws to mark meadows and others and force them to testify. kevin mccarthy might have to testify, anyone with first-hand knowledge of the president's activities that day. i think that challenge is over the horizon, but her first move was really strong and encouraging. >> james carville, as you know, as you've watched the what-aboutism includes the republicans wanting to investigate the murder of a capitol hill police officer on good friday in an entirely unrelated case they want to as i said investigate why pelosi didn't have more security. but at the height of it remember mccarthy didn't call pelosi to say call off the dogs. he called the president to say call off the dogs. >> right. look, i mean speaker pelosi is
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just a lot smarter and a lot tougher than kevin mccarthy. right now i agree with tim. i'm very encouraged. i'm not surprised because mccarthy is not a particularly bright man and a particularly weak person. and i think that pelosi is a very bright and a very strong person. and i think we're going to want to find out how much cooperation that these criminals on january 6th had from members of congress. i know there's great interest in that, and i think that speaker pelosi is going to want that committee to look into that and find out if there's culpability. because somebody was driving this get away car. >> to our viewers if you had either protoplazm or an image of a shirtless jim jordan on your bingo card, take a bow. you've been successful. to everybody else these two gentlemen have agreed to stay with us over this next break. coming up, the republican
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doctors caucus held an event today ostensibly they said on vaccines, however they wound up talking instead about china and the democrats. more on that when we come back. the democrats. more on that when we come back tr milk, matilda. great job! moo you're welcome. breyers natural vanilla is made with 100% grade a milk and cream and only sustainably farmed vanilla. better starts with breyers. ♪ (vo) the subaru crosstrek. dog tested. dog approved.
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if you are at risk you should be getting this vaccine. this vaccine does, in fact, protect against symptomatic
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delta variant. >> i have high confidence in it. i got it myself. >> yes, we want people vaccinated. there's not one physician, not one doctor here who doesn't want people vaccinated. >> while today's press conference from the gop doctors conference was apparently meant to urge people to get their shots, they were also used to attack democrats. "the new york times" reports it this way, scalise and other republicans spent most of their time on thursday discussing unproven claims that the chinese had released a virulent human made virus on the world and charged the democrats had ignored it. the emphasis on this so-called lab leak theory was something of a surprise given the surge of infections concentrated in rural strongly republican regions of the country. remaining here with us are our guests james carville and tim miller. tim, so much comes up here. number one, let's not forget that the obsession with gina as
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it was known for four years was chiefly and initially to distract, to make us victims of a mismanaged pandemic, though china is of course on the hook for these questions as soon as we get our death toll under control. number two, tim, i really want to hear you outp. it's been theorized republicans have either seen god-awful polling or realized this is ravaging mostly red states. both of those options are pretty gross, but something has to explain them knocking each other to get to the microphone to suddenly advocate vaccines. >> sure, brian. first, i'm just going to clear the deck on a couple things. one, i know it's bedtime on the east coast so i'm so sorry about the shirtless jim jordan and i'm throwing myself on the mercy of the courts on that. that was just a slip-up. second, i do have to correct
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peter baker from a couple segments ago who said sean hannity was also being responsible in telling people to get vaccinated. he did last night, but a little breaking news tonight, he scared his audience. he had to backtrack and said he wasn't telling people to do anything. people had to do what's right for them. so that act of responsibility on the other network lasted for about 24 hours. and thirdly, on the china issue i just want to say the biden administration has been so good about this, and sacky has been so good about saying we do need to get to the bottom of the origins. but to your question on the doctors, look, i really do think this has to do with numbers. i'm happy the doctors in congress on the p aren side, i'm glad they gave a clear message people should get vaccinated today. i'm glad a lot of republican elected officials who have been late to the game on this have are looking at the delta numbers
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and are trying to at least show a modicum of responsibility. i think there's something to that. but i also do think there's something to the poll numbers. look, the vaccine -- you know, getting the vaccine is something that has broad support, even within the republican electorate, it has minority support. almost all the democrats want people to get vaccinated, a majority of independent voters want people to get vaccinated and a significant minority of republican voters particularly older voters are getting vaccinated. so the republicans are looking at this in swing districts and they're going to run into a disastrous buzz saw if they find themselves on the side of this small minority that wants to risk everybody's lives. i mean, it is irresponsibly medically. it is politically irresponsible, and so i think this is the chick coming home to roost for a little bit, and that's why you see some of the speaking out unfortunately for some of their
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own constituents who have been contracting this virus. >> james, same question, both options gross. death toll or polling or a combination of both? >> well, first of all, it's been able for seven months. seven months after the republican doctors finally say, hey, we need to take this. tim and i have been texting back and forth about going to the rose bowl september 4th for the lsu ucla game. i don't know we're going to have it. these people are pro death in anything and football. this is ridiculous. people are now having to disrupt social schedules, having to move plans around. they're going to start closing things again all because these dolts wait until seven months after the vaccine is rolled out to get religion and say, hey, it might be a good idea if you took this. this is hurting the country and interfering with me having fun. and i wanted to go to the rose bowl and compare hat dos with
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tim. >> i'm going to the rose bowl. >> if they have the game. >> i'm going to the rose bowl. get your shots, go tigers. i'm going to be there at the second string tailgaters with james, and it's crazy. >> it's really insane. it's insane. and they're interfering with everybody's life. seven months after they want credit for saying, hey, this is a good idea? i mean, and they put out so many lies about this and so many people are dead. i wish these people had refused to get vaccinated and refused medical treatment because somebody is going to get into an automobile accident and have a heart attack and it's going to be full of people that are not going to be vaccinated that are going to be taking up spots. i mean they're hurting other people and interfering with
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other peoples lives. their freedom is intruding on other peoples freedom right now. >> well-put, gentlemen. if you're forming a pro-living, pro-football caucus i'm in. and because i believe there should be some suffering in life i'm a lifelong new york giants fan, ladies and gentlemen. james carville, tim, thank you very much for bringing your a-game tonight as well. see you guys at the rose bowl. coming up, the former chief of staff for the late john lewis shares a new collection of some of the congressman's most powerful last words on protecting our democracy. t powerful last words on protecting our democracy new dove men, plant based body wash is different. with plant based cleansers. and moisturizers for healthy and hydrated men, skin, relax your body and mind, shower with new dove men.
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what's on the horizon? the answers lie beyond the roads we know. we recognize that energy demand is growing, and the world needs lower carbon solutions to keep up. at chevron, we're working to find new ways forward, like through our venture capital group. backing technologies like electric vehicle charging, carbon capture and even nuclear fusion. we may not know just what lies ahead, but it's only human... to search for it. you have a right to protest on what is right. when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to say something. you have to do something. >> late congressman john lewis
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in his final days from the recorded interviews used to create what would become his final book. "carry on, reflections for a new generation." and while they may read like words from the great beyond, these words started life in the here and now. for example, the congressman's words when attacks against voting rights were already under way, the civil rights icon warned us, quote, we can't afford to let democracy slip away. we fought for that right. demonstrated with bandages on our heads. we fought to prevent changes to the voting rights act and then to restore it. we were weary, tired but we had purpose. don't take this right for granted. don't squander it. keep building. it's why we are so pleased to have here with us tonight the former chief of staff to the late congressman, michael collins. he's these days special assistant to vice president kamala harris and supervised
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this project. as books go a lot like the congressman, it is small in stature, but it's packed. it's got a lot going on, and it's recommended reading. i have to -- i have to cut to the chase with my first question. it was almost quaint how little voter suppression was going on when we lost the congressman. it's now out loud in the open and virulent. what would he be doing right now? what would he be saying right now? >> he would, of course, be speaking out. he would not hesitate to let his voice be heard. he would be encouraging everybody young and old to get out, to speak up, to speak out, to say what was right, to set the record straight. the congressman was a man of integrity who literally laid his body on the line for what we
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know is right. and the vote was so precious. it is so precious. and he would be fighting today, and he would be telling everybody to put everything on the table. >> there's a quote in here that i love because it contains a callback to what dr. king called him. he says i would like to be remembered as a boy from troy, alabama, who saw something, said something and did something about it. i hope that those who learn my story are inspired to take action in their communities. to push, to pull, to fight for the rights of all people. and michael, i hate asking. we've become so different seemingly as a society. there's a new kind of hard-heartedness. there's a new kind of selfishness, and a lot of people are worn down. and do you think were he still
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here, he would exhort, he would play that role of cheerleader especially to the base of the party? >> of course, most definitely. you knew him well. he loved and respected you. he was the most optimistic person you ever wanted to know. he believed that everything was possible in time. he knew that things didn't happen overnight. it was going to take time and that we needed to invest in people and we needed to invest in ourselves and believe in ourselves. and the congressman never gave up. he never gave in. he never gave out. he truly believed that we would come together and do what was necessary and do what was right. >> michael, i have to -- i have to share my favorite memory of him of all the conversations i had with him was at the district office in georgia. and i traveled there with a producer who was born and raised in haiti.
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she is to this day a hugely successful television producer. extremely well-educated, but having grown up haitian was not steeped in the struggle, was not taught about the american civil rights struggle, a nation she would later call home. she forthrightly made the point to the congressman who for the next 45 minutes without tiring and with joy in his heart told her the story of the american struggle. i've seen him do it and having worked for him for 20 years you've seen him do it countless times. he never tired of it, never inflated his own role in it, always with modesty but always with such great power. do i have that about right? >> you have it exactly right. that's who he was. and he wanted us to remember that. he wanted us to remember who he was and what he stood for. he wanted us to carry on literally. he wanted us to take a look at
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what history was teaching us, and he really wanted us to take it and teach other people and let them not forget so that we could move on and do what was necessary and do what was right. that was just who he was, and that's what he wanted for us all. >> reading through this book, which, again, it's hard to describe to those who don't have it in their hands. there must be 30 to 40 mini subchapters all of them beginning as no one needs to tell you with the word "on." so on courage, on justice, on character, on humility. is there a favorite to you having known him so well, a favorite take away lesson that he left us with in this volume? >> love. love. i mean the congressman was pure love. and he loved everybody, and everybody loved him. and that's what gave him joy and
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smile. he loved talking to people. he spent time with young people. he was inspired by them. love is truly -- and he would say that. love is truly the way. and that's exactly who he was. he was -- he was just an unbelievable man. and we all who had the fortune to work for him, truly honor that role. those who were able to walk beside him, to know him just knew that he was pure love. and we will never forget him. >> if you're going to dance -- if you're going to dance with him be ready because he could cut a rug in his day. michael, looking forward to this segment. here's the book again. it's called "carry on, reflections for a new generation." it is thanks to michael collins that it exists and we are able to hold it in our hands. thank you so very much for being our guest tonight.
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>> thank you for having me. i really appreciate it. coming up for us, the official kick off to tokyo's delayed summer games. it is just hours from now. we'll get the latest on the many challenges there when we come back. n the many challenges there when we come back vo: the climate crisis is here. berardelli: these temperatures are almost unbelievable even for a meteorologist. vo: and the solution is here too: clean energy. like wind turbines and solar panels. now, congress has to invest in it and the millions of workers ready to install it across the country. because in america, we don't hide from problems like climate change. we take them on. we innovate. we lead. because if we invest in these workers, and their future at this moment, that's how we build back better.
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♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ in less than 8 hours after so much anticipation, and if we're being honest so much disappointment, the olympic cauldron will finally be lit in tokyo to officially begin the games in virtual silence. it's been a long and uncertain process up until the last minute. we get our preview from tokyo tonight from nbc news correspondent tom yamas. >> reporter: tonight the u.s. womens gymnastics team giving the world a glimpse of why they are favored to win gold. simone biles showing her power and grace during a run through
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on the mat. and her poise just before nailing this vault. the team staying united after that covid scare. alternate cara acre still isolating after testing positive. and in softball team usa on the road to gold with back-to-back victories. on the field and in the water athletes are contending with extreme heat. >> i just got off the water now and i'm exhausted and i'm hot. and it's tough but it's part of it. >> reporter: the olympic action coming as covid cases continue to rise in tokyo. nearly 2,000 infections since yesterday including two more in the athletes village. tonight we're hearing from the american beach volleyball player who tested positive. taylor crabb said he's vaccinated, has no symptoms and is devastated to miss the games. and now olympic officials dealing with a pr crisis.
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the director of the opening ceremony here at the oimp allic ceremony was fired today, just one day before the global even because of past comments he made about the holocaust that were offensive. both he and the olympic organizing committee have apologized. they say the opening ceremony will go on as planned. first lady jill biden will be one of the few watching in person. >> we're ready to go. we're ready to walk. we're excited to experience that feeling in the stadium. and i know all the athletes around here are feeling it, too. >> our thanks to correspondent tom yamas for that report in tokyo. and coming up for us, an american tradition will break its 69-year streak tomorrow morning, and you can watch it happen live. watch it happen live.
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last thing before we go tonight, just as nothing has felt entirely normal of late, tomorrow morning sure won't. case in point, don't go looking for the "today" show because for the first time in its 69-year history through wars and terrorist attacks and anthrax and a pandemic. for the first time it will be nowhere to be found during its 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. time slot. in its place nbc is going to be airing the opening ceremony of the olympics live and in realtime. that won't be normal either. let's remember for starters this was supposed to happen a whole year ago but it was put off
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because of our out of control pandemic. japanese spent over a billion dollars on their olympic stadium. it comfortably seats 70,000 people, but not tomorrow. not at the event it was built to house. instead about 900 folks will be in the stands including the first lady of the united states, jill biden. there will be some crowd noise piped in to help with the ambient sound at some of these olympic venues, but that's always tricky. if you have other plans tomorrow morning and you miz it, the whole thing re-airs tomorrow night in prime time. there's so much virus in japan right now and so many athletes have tested positive, and let's not forget the director of the opening ceremony was fired for comments he made about the holocaust. and all up to -- and add it all up, rather, and here's how the guardian puts it. "an unusual amount of
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uncertainty hangs over the entire enterprise." to which we say how very 2021. that is on that note our broadcast for this thursday night. with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all of our colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night.

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