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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 23, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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i forgot to note this time last night that it was friday eve, so i hope it hasn't taken you by surprise. happy friday, i'll see you again on monday night, now it's time for the last word with the great lawrence o'donnell,. it's great to see you. >> good evening rachel and you know there is nothing i would like better than a good long, friday night chat with you. but, as i understand it, correct me if i'm, wrong i believe your weekend officially begins when i say goodnight rachel. >> 47, 49, -- >> good night rachel. >> thanks lawrence, good night,
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by! >> by. biden harris administration completed six months for months in office this week and tonight they face their biggest challenges in the united states senate. no no president in history served in the senate longer than joe biden, and no president in history has understood the senate that he is dealing with better than joe biden understands his current senate. joe biden said, this, week that in effect, the senate is broken. he said the rule on the 60 vote threshold is no longer working the way was supposed to. and he said that he supports the change in that rule, but some people think they heard him say there should be no change in the senate rules. when i heard joe biden say indicates that he would support a change in the senate rules, probably for voting rights legislation after he has
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accomplished what he can in the senate under the current rules. in that sense, the biden infrastructure bills and voting rights bills are strategically linked. joe biden believes that he cannot come up in full opposition to the current senate rules while trying to hold on to a fragile bipartisan coalition of senators for his infrastructure bill. president biden is clearly giving signals about what needs to be done to pass voting rights legislation including a change in senate rules. so tonight we will consider the biden strategy, beginning with the biden harris administration's massive to track infrastructure legislation coupled with voting rights and the senate rules. the senate will vote on senate manu majority leader chuck schumer's full -- on monday. monday's vote requires at least
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ten republicans to join democrats to reach a 60 vote threshold. here's what the president said, he expects on monday >> for are you gonna move forward on the senate? >> i do. here's what i think. what happens is, the vote on monday is a motion to be able to proceed to this issue. then they're going to debate the issue of the individual elements of this plan to make sure that we've got to fix that bridge there -- is >> the president is referring to the brent spends bridge across the river of ohio that joins ohio and kentucky. mcconnell who is senator of kentucky opposes the bill that will fix that bridge which was built in 1963. here's what president biden thinks is going to happen when the senate debates, and votes, on the bipartisan infrastructure deal. >> i think it's going to get
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done. you may find in the ballots that take place on the detail. the detail of whether or not -- on the guy who wrote this bill to begin with. so i had to compromise to make changes in the bill. when i say i, i can't paying on this -- >> a new national poll by the associated press released yesterday found that 59% of americans, including 50% of republicans, approve of biden's handling of in infrastructure. 83% of americans, including 79% of republicans, favor an infrastructure package that includes funding for roads, produce, and ports. and that is exactly what is in the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the senate. and we see news is reporting that the bipartisan -- say they're on the brink of finalizing a huge, bipartisan infrastructure deal. on wednesday, republican senator report men said that 11
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republicans have supported the vote to at least begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on monday, yesterday, joe manchin who is one of the leaders of the bipartisan negotiations said this. >> i think we've moved in had a good agreement on the infrastructure bill, what we call traditional infrastructure. hopefully will have everything. with the republicans -- that should be presented on monday and will go from there. but we're just starting. >> infrastructure bill? >> i think we've got a pretty much worked out. >> leading off our discussion tonight congressional historian norm bernstein he is an emirate a scholar at the american enterprise institute and coauthor of, it's even worse than it looks, on the american constitution system collided with the new politics of extremism. and eating will his who is an opinion columnist, he's a fellow at the brink institution. let us begin with the
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infrastructure plan as it sits tonight. mondays boat in the senate is the biggest moment yet in this infrastructure crusade for joe biden. >> it is, and i think it is possible, by the way, that it could slip till tuesday because they're still arguing about a lot of stuff. now the fact that they are arguing specifics is probably a good sign that they're actually going to negotiate a bill. just to take a few of them, davis bacon rolls, will this infrastructure bank they have been there also require prevailing i.e. higher wages that unions have always insisted on. their arguments about the split between transit and roads and bridges between democrats and republicans. tammy duckworth, the senator from illinois, has worries about infrastructure for water and sewage. but they're arguing about specifics which means they are moving along. i think the biggest issue here,
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and one of the reasons why president biden is tiptoeing around that filibuster issue in a way that i think is a little dangerous, but will see what happens, is because if mitch mcconnell really decided to torpedo this bill, he might be able to pull enough republicans to weigh -- to deprive the democrats of the ten votes that they need. the republicans are having a big argument among themselves. people like portman say, look, we're be in a stronger position to oppose the big bill if we support the kind of infrastructure we want. the other side of the party says, don't give blind any victories because if he pulls a bipartisan infrastructure bill, it will be a very big deal and a leave out the word joe biden likes to use, this is a family program. lauren, massive majority of
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republican voters in that poll. massive majority of republican voters want the bipartisan infrastructure bill >> so, i've been a skeptic in part because we've been through this for fandango over the affordable care act where republicans grassley and and she stretched it out with no intention of ever reaching a deal. and we saw it on a tax package with biden and his second term with some of these same republicans. but i think this has been handled beautifully by the president and by chuck schumer and democrats. remember that republicans opposed in unison the american rescue plan. almost two trillion dollars with a lot of very popular things. and then you had many of them try to say, well, look at the good things were getting. but they deposed it if they all vote against an infrastructure plan bill, given its popularity, they're gonna have a hard time taking credit for anything. so they're on a line on this one.
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but i think there's a larger point that we need to emphasize here. which is, if this bill and the larger package eventually pass through reconciliation, with climate change in a big way in that larger package, with an extension of the child tax credit which is the most significant thing to end child poverty poverty in the history of the country, and if we add that to the american rescue plan, we're talking about a series of things that will be equivalent if not greater than the great society. but done without a swollen majorities that lyndon johnson had. this will be an amazing set of accomplishments and it's not a surprise that biden doesn't want to get in the way, at this point with an argument about the filibuster. >> i mean, you jay, to norm's point, we've seen failed attempts of bipartisan agreement before. that meant a lot of people think in the beginning of this process, oh we've seen this before, we know what's going to happen.
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but joe biden has seen it before. chuck schumer has seen it before. and every democratic senator has seen it before. and they are all so much the wiser this time around, which is why you have been betting on them getting it right this time because they know just how slippery the other side can be on this and that's why achievements been doing with the insisting on having these votes, because he is not going to let the calendar run out. >> i love norm's term, faux fandango, that's a political science term, i think. and the word that democrats repeat to themselves every ten minutes is, obamacare. they remember what happened in 2010. they remember republicans saying, well if you give us this amendment, maybe it will vote for it. and if you give us that, maybe will vote for it. and they extended the time of negotiation farther and farther out across the longer a process
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continues, the more people focus on the process and not what's in the bill. and i'm a glad norm listed some things in the bigger bill. so what schumer has done, what biden has done, with all the democrats is done is, look, we will not let you drag this out forever we would rather have no bipartisan bill if it means waiting until october. so i think schumer has already drawn one line in the sand. and i think this group of senators actually wants to get to an agreement. the other thing about the first infrastructure bill the bipartisan one, is the biden people and the democrats put a lot of stuff in there that's very good for a lot of republicans. they talked for example about resiliency against climate change. that's really big and a lot of coastal states that have republican senators. they're a lot of those projects
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like that bridge you showed that really matter to republican states. so both in terms of the pressure, and in terms of the carrots, they have structured this to win it. >> norm, for me it's not clear what mcconnell wants. if -- does mcconnell really want to kill the bipartisan bill. because if he does, i think he can. all he has to do is pull away one or two republican senators, which i believe he can do if he really wants to do it. or, does he want to oppose the bill and then watch that bridge in kentucky get fixed because this bill actually does pass? >> i think it's more the ladder than the former lawrence. but we have to keep in mind as they talk about how they're close to a deal. there's still a lot of question marks here. including how you're going to pay for. it and whether those papers will work. but that is side, i think mcconnell is in a very tough place on this one. something he's not used to
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doing. you're absolutely right, he can command his troops and keep this from happening if he really really wants to do that. but remember that mitch mcconnell also cares about winning a majority in the senate in 2022 and he has some vulnerable senators. and if they're on record as opposing infrastructure, all of those things that are popular in their states and popular with those voters as the poll showed, that's gonna be a bigger problem for him. so i don't think that he's gonna pull out all of the stops to kill this, and if it goes through, and it goes to the house, nancy pelosi's gonna sit on it and wait until we see that larger package happen. and one other big point which is you need all 50 democrats to get the second part of this package. you are not going to get the 50 unless there is a clear belief among the recalcitrance that they have done everything they can to get this bipartisan deal done. so they're real reasons to move that forward, to get the second
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piece of it which is the big enchilada. >> and we ej, the sequencing here of bipartisan bill first, get it through the senate, then move to the democrats only infrastructure bill, at that point, when that gets through the senate, that seems to me to be the moment where it's the moment of truth in effect for joe biden and the democrats on the 60 vote threshold rule when it comes to voting rights legislation. we are not there yet because of sequencing of this legislation, but when we get there joe biden is saying that he is interested in some of the kinds of changes in the senate rule that norm has been talking about. >> would joe biden gave a very strong speech on voting rights, and he basically said it is a fundamental moral issue of our time. and if the only reason that
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bill fails is because of the archaic's of the filibuster rules, joe biden cannot be in the position to say, well the filibuster really matters more to me then this historic effort to guarantee the right to vote. and i think the reason is common -- at that town hall, troubled a lot of people is not because he tried to kick the issue down the road, which i think everybody understands for the reasons you described, but he really went into a detailed defense of the filibuster and said, there would be chaos if we got rid of the filibuster. wove is gonna be chaos if we don't fix our voting rights rules. that's why he got the pushback. i think the pushback is useful, because you use the right term, he is a moment of truth for biden the country then when they face up to the problem of voting rights and they are just -- democrats are going to have to do it.
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and i worry that there is still some senators who won't get there and i think it's going to take enormous pressure to get it done. oing twe're gonna consider thatn the next segment, ej dionne thank you very much for joining us, norm ornstein please stick around for discussions on the filibuster. will need your expertise on that. coming up this week, joe biden actually said that he actually wants to change the filibuster rules but he said other things at the same time that left people confused as ej, just mentioned. we'll look at what the president had to say and what that means for voting rights legislation next. legislation next unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need. how much money can liberty mutual save you? one! two! three! four! five!
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president biden said this week about the so-called filibuster rules in the senate, but let's listen carefully to it again because, technically, would joe biden is calling for now actually does require a change
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in senate rules. >> i've been saying for a long time the abusive of the filibuster is overwhelming. when i got to the united states senate at a time when we had guys like jimmy's land and strong firemen, and robert f. bird and a whole range of people who were very, very, very, very conservative, to say the least. even then, if you are to filibuster, you could stand on the floor and hold the floor. and that's why i draw was set the record straight for 24 hours -- you had to take -- their was significantly fewer filibusters in those days, in the middle of a civil rights movement. >> let me talk to you about that but -- >> let me tell you what i do. i would go back to that where you have to maintain the floor, you have to stand there and talk and hold the floor.
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>> joining our discussion now is jonathan alter for the daily beast and amazon political analyst. he's the author of his very best jimmy carter, alive and norm ernst dean is back with us. that sounds like the president of the united states has been listening to you and your suggestions about how to change the senate rules. >> i was happy with those comments, what i like what he said about what he said earlier about abolishing the filibuster but. this was heartening in a lot of ways. biden is open to reforming the filibuster. one way is to just go back to a present voting standard, but when he's really talking about is putting the burden on the filibusters, on the minority. and i think we are in a pretty close range of getting 50 votes when the time comes to reforming it to go back to wet
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it was in a sense, which is to put that burden back on the minority. there are a lot of ways of doing it, i'd be thrilled if you picked one that i favored the most and crafted early on without franken, but they're a lot of ways to go there and he was let that door open. let's be clear though, lawrence, they are not now 50 votes to eliminate the filibuster. there will not be 50 votes to eliminate the filibuster. so the latter part of his comments don't mean a whole lot in terms of what we need. there are, i think, likely to be 50 votes with the push from the president when the time comes to make an important change. >> and, jonathan, just to go back to that other point, that part of what the president said that bothered a lot of people, he went on to say, if you read the whole thing now, he said, quote, you're going to throw the entire converse into chaos for, and these are the key words, and nothing will get
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done. now, what if this is after both infrastructure bills have passed, and virtually all of the first term biden agenda has passed, the stakes about what will then get done after some change of senate rules become very different. >> they do, but first, you have to get through this period of getting this big infrastructure bills through. so i think progressives, all democrats, have to not put carpet before the horse here. so there are a lot of flexibility to do things. on the filibuster, a little down the road. i think what he's talking about is if you did something precipitous now, you would upset an awful lot of senators, and not just the manchin and sinema on the democratic side, there are a lot of democratic senators who are worried about
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what would happen if mitch mcconnell was not restrained at all and became senate majority leader under a republican president in 2025. so, i think people have to understand it's not really what these versus hours on this issue. it's more complicated inside the senate. it the other big thing i think people need to understand about hr one is that setting the filibuster aside, there are not 50 votes for a char one right now. so this idea that if we get rid of the filibuster, we have voting rights reform, it's not accurate. at least as it stands today. >> norm, it seems to me that if you are going to convince, if joe biden is eventually going to convince, joe manchin to go along with him on the senate rules change, he's not going to be able -- that won't happen publicly.
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they'll be something that they would have to have very close quite conversations about. because joe manchin does not want to look like west virginia that the president bullied him into doing this. >> if you look at what joe manchin has said, and parts about -- he's very much open to some of these changes and biden can have an impact on him. i think john's point is a very important one though. we are not going to see hr1 the way that it's written before the people act. we need the president to step in, not just privately, quietly, persuasively to bring change in the role. we're gonna need the president to put all of his efforts, and the vice president, into crafting a kind of voting bill that will get 50 votes. mentions put up a white people white -- paper talking points. but it has good changes in it that could work. and i think they have to
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include, not just the voting rights act, but the bill that was the senator from georgia has put in that will obviate some of these terrible efforts to enable republican legislatures to overturn election results because they don't like them. put that package together, and i think biden can play a very constructive role. and then i think we are really in line to get something extraordinarily important done. >> jonathan, that is what i have been following in this voting rights issue in the senate. it is that it is a complex, longer term game that obviously -- and it's always difficult for people to watch that and wait for the sequential elements of the game to play out. and people have to understand that hr1, for the reasons i have described, is obsolete right now. it was right and years ago,
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before the 2020 election. there are two big problems. voter suppression, which everyone knows about, it is been around for a long time, and voter subversion. that is a new problem, voter subversion. it is people trying to i -- banana republicans, basically, trying to overturn election returns with endless audits. this one in arizona has been going on since february. these fraud audits must be stopped. they are dangerous for democracy, heads we win, tails you lose. that is a republican position right now. they will protest the results of any election that they don't win. and that must be dealt with legislatively. so hr one must be amended to include senator warnock's provisions. and democrats need to go on
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offense on this and not just be playing defense. so my feeling is that when the human infrastructure bill comes to the floor, the one they will push through with 50 votes, and reconciliation, because election equipment has been declared critical infrastructure by the department of homeland security, they should have a provision that says that any state that wants any of that money, for that critical infrastructure, to upgrade their election systems, must provide no excuses. no excuse absentee ballots, at a minimum. so that they don't curtail peoples right to vote by mail in ballot. >> jonathan, -- >> sorry, we are out of time on this segment, thank you very both very much. and coming up, the latest trump friend was released today on just 250 million dollar bail.
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life ended today with his release from federal custody. a friend of donald trump's, he spent three nights in a cell in los angeles before being released today. on tuesday, tom barrack and two other men where arrested on being indicted of charges of illegally lobbying donald trump on behalf of the united arab emirates. they allege, why -- prosecutors allege that they had been working at the direction of senior uae officials to influence then candidate donald trump's policy during the 2016 campaign. those efforts continued when trump was president, through april 2018. he is also charged with obstruction of justice and
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making false statements to law enforcement officers. because of his vast wealth and foreign ties, barrack is considered a flight risk. his location will be monitored by an ankle bracelet, he has been forced to surrender his passport and he must limit his travel between california and new york. he is scheduled to be arraigned on monday. >> joining us now, daniel alonso a former district attorney in the manhattan district attorney's office. he advises on compliance on the foreign corrupt practices act. he's an msnbc legal analyst. dan, i'm sorry. this is very much the type of case you would be handling if you were back and year old jean back as a prosecutor. what do you make of this indictment as we understand it so far? >> the indictment seems pretty
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strong. relatively straightforward. it's a statute that's not used very often. it's related to the foreign agents registration act, by that's not exactly this act. it's a statute that requires people who were acting as agents of foreign governments to register with the attorney general. it is not used all that often, it carries up to ten years in federal prison. and it's a very, very serious charge. because the united states needs to know who is lobbying our government. and so it is obviously very, very important. these charges are serious. i will say that the bond amount is higher than i have ever heard in my career. $250 million is the biggest bond i have ever heard of. i don't know if it's the absolute record, but it's pretty high. >> but like everything in the life of the rich, it is leveraged, you really only have put up $5 million in cash, against the 250.
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but if he doesn't show up in court, that's when he owes the government 250 million. that's the theory of it, as you know. but obviously, they seem to have enough control over his movements that they believe that they are going to get him to show up in court. >> yeah, this is not an unreasonable package. first of all, that concept applies to everyone. it's a more common bond, that might be more like 250, 000, secured by 50,000. that's a not uncommon thing, to have partial security with the bond amount, yes. it's owed in its entirety if the person doesn't show up to court. a lot of times judges will add additional conditions. like here, the ankle bracelet is a classic one, the passport is an obvious one. it's not unreasonable. this is something that was thought about long and hard and the judge really is required to issue an order like this, if he
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or she finds that it will reasonably assured the defendants return to court. which i think this will, given all the conditions. >> and whenever we are talking about a friend of donald trump, whose charge and the charge is actually involved donald trump, we have to wonder what this defendant might have to offer prosecutors about donald trump. we always wonder that, and in federal court, unlike the cases we have been speaking about previously, in the manhattan office, it's a stronger squeeze. it's a more attractive option, to cooperate, because the likely consequences and the likely hood of winding up in federal prison are greater, for many reasons. so sure, i think the prosecutors are always going to say to the defense lawyers here, if he wants to come in, obviously we would be interested in hearing what he has to say. now, a big question, someone is
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close to trump as he is, if he has information or if he is willing to give it. on this exact crime, traditionally, the president would be a victim of and registered foreign agent act. now to trump know about it? we don't know. the indictment itself doesn't say anything about trump knowing about it. but ordinarily, the president should be outraged, that there is someone acting on behalf of a foreign country without saying that they are doing that. in this case, obviously, with a president as unique, shall we say, as donald trump, and mr. barrack and his close relationship, that may not be the case. >> thank you so much for joining us tonight, daniel alonso. >> think you. >> coming up, a republican governor says, quote, this is a quote, it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated. the unvaccinated and stay? done. go with us and get millions of felixble booking options.
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more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. in alabama, only 33.9% of
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people are fully vaccinated against covid-19, the lowest vaccination rate in the company. here's what alabama's governor, governor kay ivey, had to say about that. >> most of our vaccinations are from unvaccinated folks. and the deaths, certainly, are going with unvaccinated folks. these folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle, of self inflicted pain. >> what is it going to take to get people to get shots? >> i don't know, you tell me. folks are supposed to have common sense. but it is time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks, it's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down. >> but as the leader of the state, don't you think it's your sponsor melody to help that get the situation under control? >> i've done all i can do. i can encourage you to do
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something, but i can't make you take care of yourself. >> joining us now, is doctor rodriguez, an emergency medicine physician at st. petersburg florida. doctor ben dalia, what is your reaction to the way the governor put it there? >> well, lawrence, i feel the frustration, right? because the greatest human cost is being carried by people who are unvaccinated. but in public health and medicine, we tend not to blame the people we are caring for, we tend not to blame the patients, we tend to look upstream to figure out what brought them there. the truth is, for most people, at this point, there are still pockets of people who need their questions answered. we need to continue to work to do that, to instill more confidence in vaccines. but others are being fed a stream of misinformation, and even the efforts to get the vaccinations out or to take
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public health measures have been politicized. vaccine mandates are politicized, mask-wearing is politicized. and they have been told, this section of the population has been told, that covid is no worse than the flu. that has led them to say, why should i take the vaccine? i think that is what leading is leading to this. for governors like what governor ivy, i would go about continue to stress the importance of vaccination, make vaccinations as easy as possible, and potentially mandating it in places like schools and hospitals. >> doctor rodriguez, what was your reaction? >> i would totally agree that we need to have empathy. i think blaming people is not the way to go. most people -- i am an altruist. and i think most people really care about their families, they care about their families. and their decision can be based
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on fear for themselves and their families. so it is about going into these communities, having conversations, and really addressing fears. and talking about why vaccination is important. >> dr. bhadelia, at what point does the -- i think we are there, right? because i think similar to smoking, when you don't vaccinate, it is not just about your body and your health. but when you don't become vaccinated, you potentially might get infected and passed that infection to other people. to people who are immunocompromised. because a community that is highly vaccinated, you are less likely to get infected, you are less likely to get hospitalized or die. less likely to have long term
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effects, and most importantly, less likely to come across other people that are infected. and that's why i think we need to a us that communal aspect, it's your communities health, that is going to depend on that high level of vaccination. >> doctor rodriguez, you are in florida, that's one of the states that is leading the increase in infections. what is your experience there now? >> so, i have seen an exponential increase in cases over the last three weeks. every day that i go in there are more and more cases. mostly children, obviously, that's what i see. and then obviously the complications associated with that, and then it's in the community as well. children, obviously, don't have such a significant illness. mortality, morbidity, as adults do. but they do spread it to their caregivers, their grandparents, who are elderly. who have chronic conditions that are more likely to be hospitalized and have
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fatalities as a result. >> let's listen to whet white house press secretary jen psaki said today. >> we have reached a point where there are some communities, even states where there are 70 or 80% vaccination rates. other communities have 40 or 50% or otherwise. that is not just a health issue, it's an economic issue. we've seen how that can impact local communities, as it may lead to shutdowns of different businesses, that's an economic issue as well. >> dr. bhadelia, do you see anything changing this pattern? >> i have some hope, lawrence, that we might be seeing something. the states that are actually seeing the greatest increases are those that are heaviest hit. so maybe some of this message about the unvaccinated carrying the greatest burden may be coming through to some people. but jim psaki is exactly right.
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that reality is not just true here, in terms of the states that we will be able to get back economically, psychologically, but also globally -- the longer these outbreaks go on, the longer the recovery will lag for those communities. >> dr. bhadelia and doctor rodriguez, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up, congress wants america to do more, much more, to get the vaccine to people in countries where they have no access to the vaccine yet. that's next. and, msnbc's special series of essays, the next 25, in celebration of msnbc's 25th birthday, continues. today's featured essay is by the person who is usually in this chair on friday, ali velshi, who shares his thoughts on peace in the middle east. peace in the middle east.
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continue to refuse to get vaccinated, less than 1% of people in low income countries have received a vaccine. more than six billion people around the world have yet to receive covid vaccine. today a group of 70 democratic members of congress joined in support of accelerating the production industry serb youshan of the covid 19 vaccine around the world. in a statement they said no investment in the fight against covid-19 is more urgent and cost-effective now then an investment in getting the world vaccinated as quickly as possible. joining us now is democratic congressman, a member of the house oversight intelligence committee. congressman, as we try to convince people in the united
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states to get the vaccine, people who absolutely refused to do it. billions of people around the world are desperately waiting for it. >> that's right, lawrence, that's why i and others have introduced something called novi sod, a plan words, no more covid. it would set up a system to help vaccinate the population of the world's population we have 92 countries. it's the right and smart thing to do. unfortunately, the variants we saw abroad, for instance the delta variant, which sparked this initial novi sod act, four months ago, it has come here, and it is ravaging us. epidemiologists tell us that it is only a matter of time before variants appear on the landscape that defeat our first generation vaccines. let's listen to what the
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secretary of state said i'm morning joe today. >> we had vaccines in our stockpile, 80 million, that we are making available to countries around the world. we started around a month ago, of 80 million 60 million have been distributed. the other thing that is happening, because of our leadership, other countries are stepping up, the g7 countries, for example. and production is increasing. but we have to do is get to a place where we are getting as many vaccines as we possibly can, to his many countries and people, as fast as we can. if we do that, we can get ahead of the variants and win the race. >> congressman, that's 80 million in a need that goes into the billions, as we say. >> i don't think we should be talking about millions anymore, we should be talking about billions. the need is about eight billion doses of vaccine. and although i applaud the biden administration for this down payment, if you will, in
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its commitment to helping other countries, at this point we have to hustle. we cannot wait any longer. four months ago, i and some others pointed out that the delta variant, which was ravaging, in my case my home country, where i lost three family members to covid, and said, look, that delta variant is going to make its way over to the u.s. very shortly. it will make it here if we don't vaccinate people abroad. unfortunately, that came to pass. and now a lamb the variant has arrived on the landscaped. already, in israel, they are seeing the efficacy of the pfizer vaccine go down significantly, even in response to the delta variant. and so we have to be, at this point, vigilant, and we have to hustle and get vaccines out there and spend the resources to do so. >> the only thing i was
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surprised about, in your group's announcement is that there were not more members of congress joining this effort. >> we wanted to put something together quickly to make sure that we could get this into the reconciliation package we think it's absolutely crucial to absolutely crucial to allocate this money as quickly as possible, because to me this is cheap insurance compared to the trillions of dollars that we will be spending on the economic recovery. of course, with regard to the health aspects of the pandemic, i am confident that the majority of our caucus is behind this. and i think we will get this into the package, but we have to push as hard as quickly as possible. >> congressman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you lawrence. >> that is tonight's last word, the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. them >>s now.
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them > and good evening, once again, day 185 of the biden ministration. this was the day a republican governor of a deep red state actually said outlasted that it is quote, time to start blaming the unvaccinated. blaming them for the outbreak in her state. you'll hear her say those words in just a moment. but first, it's a new saturday in tokyo, these are live pictures. the olympic games are underway, in a world still very much in the grip of this pandemic. the virus first forced a yearlong delay of these games, and once again the illness is surging there, in japan. the risk made for a subdued opening ceremony, in a nearly emptying stadium. even as four-time grand slam tennis champion,

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