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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  July 24, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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good morning. it's saturday, july 24th. i'm ali velshi. right now the united states is in a continued moment of crisis. my right, your right and the fundamental right of every american to vote is in peril. the poet, t.s. elliott famously wrote this is the way the world ends. not with a bang, but with a whimper. this is the way democracy dies, not with a bang but with a slow and steady erosion of constitutional rights. the only hope we have is if we all act as a community now. democratic state lawmakers from texas have been in d.c. for nearly two weeks now as they try to thwart their republican-led legislature's effort to pass bills that would disenfranchise potentially millions of texans making it harder for them to vote. for now, democratic tactics are working, but time is running out. several other red states successfully approved laws restricting access to the ballot
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box. a new report from the brennan center for justice reveals 18 states enacted at least 30 laws that make it harder to vote this year alone and it's only july. republicans are doing this under the guise of election security. news flash -- american elections are secure. to date there has been zero evidence of large, organized schemes to commit voter fraud. that notion is the basis for the partisan sham cyberninja audit in arizona. the associated press reviewed more than 3 million ballots cast in arizona in the 2020 election and found just 82 -- i'm sorry, 182 cases of possible fraud. 182 out of 3 million. not likely fraud, possible fraud. that's less than a tenth of a percent. of those 182, only four people
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have been charged. two are registered democrats. two are registered republicans, four people. no one convicted. no votes in arizona were counted twice. yet republicans in other states are pushing for similar ninja-style propaganda audits. it's not about fraud. it's about democratic votes. let's look at texas. republican state representative steve toath has been calling for an audit of larger counties that went for biden. asked if he was going for smaller counties? he said what's the point? all the small counties are red. all the small counties are red. not even hiding the agenda behind this anti-democratic push. it's an attempt at suppressing votes purely because those are not republican votes and because a lot of them are cast by people who are not white. just because you live in a democratic district or state
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doesn't mean this doesn't affect you, if this affects one of us in this nation, it affects all of us. if you have never had a problem like i never had a problem, that's great. that should be the way it is for all americans. that's what democracy is about. as long as there are barriers preventing people from voting with ease, we can't say america is fully democratic. democracy in america is on its knees right now. the only way up from that is for all of us to take a stand and to take action. all of us. you, me, our elected leaders, our president, joe biden. just this week. 150 civil rights organizations signed a letter urging biden to use his political muscle to push for the john lewis voting rights act and the for the people act. two federal voting bills that would greatly combat this wave of republican-led voter suppression in the states. notably the letter ends with this quote. we urge you to work closely with congress to support the passage of these bills by whatever means
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necessary. by whatever means necessary. that turn of phrase is no accident. it's no secret that the antiquated senate filibuster is standing in the way of these bills and stalling voting rights legislation at the federal level. the president biden has been reluctant to fully endorse getting rid of the filibuster and most recently said if senate democrats decide to scrap it that would throw the entire congress into chaos and nothing will get done. i hate to break it to you, the entire congress is in chaos and very little is getting done. we're living through it. the only way out of it again is to take real and deliberate action. biden gave a rousing voting rights speech in philadelphia a couple weeks ago. in it he paid tribute to the late, great john lewis. but to honor lewis' legacy and life work you need to do what you can to ensure every american's constitutional right to vote is protected.
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this is a critical moment in american history. and we have to use every tool in the toolbox to fight it. joining me now is state representative jasmine crockett of texas, who is using along with her democratic colleagues the tools in their toolbox to fight the legislation that's going on in texas. representative crockett thank you for joining us. what's happening in the state of texas and you and your colleagues efforts to stop voter suppression there. >> good morning, ali. thank you very much for having me. you know, as i sad here and i listened to you i thought why does he need me? you have summed it all up so well. you're absolutely right. for those that feel as if we were a little dramatic, so to speak, in leaving the state of texas and they thought there's not that much going on, it's not that bad, you just have been told exactly what they're doing.
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they're going to the next level. now they want to audit counties such as mine, dallas county. all session long they targeted the larger counties, and it was the small counties that were going after the larger counties. these small republican counties. they kept setting up rules that were different for the large, urban areas than they were the small rural areas. even in voting. even in sb7, that initial voting bill, they wanted to set up different sets of rules for the different areas. it tells you everything you need to know. this is an attack literally on democrats as well as democracy. the state of texas recognizes that they suppressed democratic votes for so long, but we're ready to get out there and vote. they saw it. you talked about the fraud in arizona? let's talk about the fraud in texas. texas had over 11 million votes cast, which was a record for almost 20 years. and guess what? the attorney general's office
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said maybe about 44 cases we're looking into. 44 out of 11 million. you do the math on that. let's talk about the number of people that died in our winter storm. 700. yet we don't want to do anything to make sure that people have the basics such as electricity in a state that's supposed to lead in energy. you tell me if our priorities are misplaced or not. >> your priorities in the last year since being elected have been to introduce or sponsor bills that would create online voter registration, same-day voter registration and increase the number of ballot boxes. you would allow voters who turn 18 in time for the general election to vote in the primary if they have not turned 18 yet. all of which would have the net result of having more people vote than fewer people vote, which i assumed was the goal in the democracy, right? i look at australia all the
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time. they keep on doing things to make more people vote. we keep on doing things in america to make fewer people vote. >> absolutely. you know what's disappointing is under the leadership of brisco cain, who initially had the voting bill in the texas house, i was not granted one hearing. i filed more election bills than any other freshman and i couldn't even get a hearing on any of those bills. so it's clear what they're doing. this is all about suppression. it has nothing to do with voter fraud. if we're talking about things such as how can i register to vote, i want to make that easier for people, i want to make sure they can register online, especially younger people which our governor already said younger people are a little too liberal. he doesn't want them to do certain things. he knows that would make it too convenient for youngsters on campus, especially when it comes to getting their vote by mail applications in, if they're away
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at school, he wants to make it problematic. it's sad. it's very sad. honestly, i could respect them a little more if they just came out and said it. >> just say it. >> yeah. this is the only way we'll maintain power is if we cheat. just go ahead and say it. that's what it is. >> brisco cain was asked by one of your colleagues, jessica gonzalez, about this very point about your own secretary of state has said this was a free election. what are we solving for? what is this complicated state of legislation proposed by republicans solving for? he said what a lot of people have been saying in this country, why wouldn't we want to solve that fraud if we can? >> yeah. it's interesting that you talk about our secretary of state. in the state of texas, the secretary of state is appointed by the governor. this is governor abbott's appointee. when it came time for her to be reappointed to her post, guess what?
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they wouldn't confirm her. the senate decided, never mind, we don't want to do that. she's a little too honest for our party. it's interesting for people to say things like we are the good christian party. we are the party of everything that is right. yet they do everything that is wrong. brisco, they took that bill away from him. it doesn't matter who all has the bill, they are doing the bidding of the governor. they're just soldier force the governor the last time i checked, none of them have the governor as their constituent and they need to start focusing on the people instead of the governor's mission. >> jasmine crockett, thanks to you and your colleagues for standing up to democracy. jasmine crockett of texas. joining me now is someone born and raised in texas, always has his finger on the pulse and the t-shirt to match. roland martin is the host of "roland martin unfiltered daily." your shirt says it all.
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vote like your ancestors died for it because they did. >> absolutely. you set it up properly when you talked about those who are impacted. and i had wes bellamy, the former vice number two of the charlottesville city council on my show yesterday. he raised an important question. he said where are the allies? he said where are the lgbtq activists who had african-americans standing with them on critical issues? where is hrc? where is g.l.a.d.? why aren't they fighting for voting rights? why aren't latino groups standing up? where are the white progressives? where are all of those white americans who were taking to the streets last year fighting for george floyd not coming back saying the george floyd justice act -- >> this is an interesting question you raised. one of the things about george floyd, you and i talked about
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it -- you and i have been talking about this for years. we talked about it in ferguson. one thing about george floyd is that people saw something happening that they heard about and didn't fully believe. once they saw it, they took to the street. the allies took to the street. is it because this is nebulous because it's not clear how this actually affects people? >> it's not. it's very clear. the problem is they simply see this as a black thing as opposed to an american thing. you have had republican clerks who have been on record as saying they have moved early voting locations off of college campuses to places further out to keep -- because they do not like a number of college students voting. those are white voters. it happened in wisconsin. not a lot of black folks. it's happened in north carolina and other states. i've been saying for years to young, white voters, voter suppression affects you. what they're doing in texas,
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they are angry that they're losing the suburbs in texas. so they're targeting harris county, houston, dallas county, baer county, travis county. guess what? a lot of white folks live in the suburbs. so i need white america to realize this is not just a black thing. this should be freedom summer 2.0. >> what is the way you make people realize that? there's two reasons to join the fight, right? one is because you don't want your black and latino friends or fellow citizens disenfranchised. the other one is you cannot call yourself a democracy if everyone is not entitled to that same democracy. then it's not part of the deal. >> when congresswoman barbara jordan, my sister from texas, the first black woman elected from the south since reconstruction gave her watergate speech, this is what she said. my faith in the constitution is whole. it's complete. it is total. and then she said she was not
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going to stand by and lie for the diminution and destruction of the constitution. when you only see black folks protesting, you only see black folks writing letters, you need to have people who are public. i need to see senator kristin gillibrand getting arrested like others did. i need senator bernie sanders sitting there getting arrested. i need white members of congress, latino members of congress, asian members of congress. you had asian-americans who were fighting for the anti-hate crime bill. guess what? y'all are impacted, too. i have to give some folks some history here. if you are voting in your native language, when you go vote, you better think black folks, that's
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the 1965 voting rights act. last week was the 30th anniversary of the american with disabilities act. you don't have that without the 1964 civil rights act. the work of black folks for all these years has helped folks wen it comes to things getting passed. but what has to happen now, you need to have people of all colors showing themselves saying this impacts us, too. you cannot have just black folks protesting. i'll be in texas on tuesday for the march for democracy in tuesday. we'll be livestreaming that. they have people from different backgrounds. that has to happen all across the country. we need folks taking to the streets, massive protests. what the republicans are doing, they're trying to destroy this democracy in order to support donald trump and his absolute lie. >> reverend barber joining me in the next hour, he was also arrested in this fight.
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we have seen the thing that worked in america, it has worked in south africa, india, worked in russia, civil disobedience gets things done. roland, thanks for being with us. roland martin the host of "roland martin unfiltered." >> we'll have much more later this hour with debbie dingell of michigan and we'll discuss the infrastructure legislation which is caught up in a web of negotiations. congresswoman barbara lee joins the discussion to talk about another piece of legislation sitting motionless in the senate, police reform. first another one of the former president's associates is in legal trouble. tom barrack was released from federal prison yesterday in california on $250 million bond. he's accused of acting as a foreign agent of the united arab em emirates. he's set to be arraigned in new york on monday.
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a spokesman says he will plead not guilty. stick around, this is "velshi" on msnbc. by rootmetrics. and our customers rated us #1 for network quality in america according to j.d. power. number one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right, that's why there's only one best network. ♪ someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring. so i did. it's okay, you can stare. when you're a two-time gold medalist, it comes with the territory.
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all right. i want you to look at this. all of these tweets are asking some variation of the question what's the point in getting vaccinated if people are getting covid any way? this is an emerging mindset among the unvaccinated since reports of break-through infections have become more infrequent. that's the mindset that's putting millions of people at risk. if there's people in your orbit using breakthrough cases as an excuse not to get vaccinated, this is what they need to know. break-through cases occur in fully vaccinated people who test positive for coronavirus. but there's a difference between testing positive and getting sick. vaccines are largely effective at preventing severe illness and death by creating antibodies
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that help fight the virus once it enters your body. they're not a magic coat of armor that repels the disease. we have known this from the beginning. no one who knows anything about vaccine development ever said the covid-19 vaccine would make us immune. they do make it so that even if you did catch the virus you would have far less of a reaction to it. there are more than 162 million fully vaccinated people in the united states. break-through infections occur in just a tiny sliver of them. recent studies show most covid-19 cases in vaccinated people are mild. if a vaccinated person develops symptoms at all. there are instances where the fully vaccinated individuals have been hospitalized, indeed some have died. but medical experts say this is relatively uncommon. more than 97% of hospitalized covid patients are unvaccinated.
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no vaccine is 100% effective. break-through cases are expected. think of a vaccine like a seat belt. we wear one to protect ourselves from serious injury in the event of a collision. doesn't mean you come out of the crash completely unscathed but it might just save your life. break-through infections should not be taken as vaccines don't work. they should be taken as more reason to get that shot in your arm. if everyone were vaccinated there would be far less reason for the virus to spread and far fewer people for it to spread between. for the unvaccinated, this is not just about you. the world is experiencing another surge of coronavirus. the delta variant is fueling a rapid increase in cases and deaths. hospitals in some states are once again struggling to keep up. this shouldn't be happening in a country with a surplus of a free, life-saving vaccine. so what's the point in getting vaccinated? in protecting yourself you will
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the nation's top health officials are practically begging americans to take the delta variant seriously as another wave of covid-19 infections makes its way through the united states. health officials reporting that missouri, florida and texas account for 40% of all new covid-19 cases. 1 in 5 new infections occurred in florida alone. the cdc director is warning we're at another pivotal moment in this pandemic and specifically in the fight against the highly contagious delta variant. rising numbers, l of states have reinstated mask mandates. the orders vary in scope, some require face coverings when leaving his or her home or detailed instructions for when masks should be warn. at the end of the day, experts
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agree one of the only ways to get this virus under control is to get more people vaccinated especially with the emergence of break-through cases in fully vaccinated individuals. it's rare for a break-through infection to lead to death or hospitalization, but those immunocompromised are at higher risk of illness or death. a group of advisers to the cdc are urging federal regulators to give additional doses to those with weakened immune systems to act as a booster shot of sorts. 5.6 million people in the united states live with weakened immune systems including individuals who have cancer, hiv or aids or are organ transplant recipients and those suffering from other autoimmune diseases. joining me is dr. rick bright, a former official with the health and human services and now with the pandemic prevention and
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response team. rick, one day i would just like to talk to you about other things as opposed to this pandemic. let's talk about folks who are immunocompromised. they're all around us. you won't know if somebody is immunocompromised but they are at greater risk than the general population, even if vaccinated. >> ali, good to see you again. we have a large number of people in the united states and around the world who are immunocompromised. when they do get the vaccine -- remember, it's important, the cdc said it is important to vaccinate immunocompromised people. however we know their immune systems don't work the way ours do, so they don't always respond well to the vaccines, so they remain vulnerable to these viruses. especially to these new variants like the delta variant. especially those who are unvaccinated or who have
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weakened immune systems. >> this adds a layer to the idea that you should get vaccinated to save your life. you know, a lot of people say this is a private choice, it's your freedom to choose that. it is worth people understanding that your refusal to get vaccinated now does actually potentially put other people at risk. >> it absolutely does. when you get vaccinated, not only are you protecting yourself and your family but those around you who are unvaccinated -- remember, many of the unvaccinated in our country are children under 12 years of age. those who cannot get vaccinated for whatever reason or the vaccine does not respond well in these immunocompromised. when you vaccinate yourself, you reduce the chance of that virus mutating into a more lethal variant beyond a delta. so there's a lot that you do for yourself as well as your community and those around you when you get vaccinated. >> you just heard me talking about the number of people who are saying what's the point? if people who are vaccinated are
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getting virus anyway, what's the point if i don't believe in vaccination or if there's some risk. so what's the point? >> i track this carefully. there are a number of people who are fully vaccinated and can still get infected by the virus. the point is that vaccines are working really well at saving your life. they're working well at keeping you out of the hospital and keeping you from dying. so they don't protect you completely from infection. a mild infection. but the critical point is if you have that mild infection, you can still transmit that virus to others. these vaccine break-through cases give us an opportunity to learn more about the virus, too. number one, they validate that the vaccines are working in saving your life. number two, it gives us opportunity to do more surveillance and study those viruses to understand how the virus might be changing. might be mutating into something more lethal. we have to do more in terms of
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genomic surveillance in those cases to understand how the virus is changing, where it's going so we can make sure we stay in front of this virus. >> you have written a great blog on that. is that a government-led thing or academia? the idea that this is evolving, a guy like you sees opportunity in the fact that it's evolving, we're vaccinating people, we're seeing some break-throughs, this is a way to get yet smarter about this and create new solutions. >> that's right. we're not doing enough surveillance. the cdc has their hands full as they try to ramp up more testing and surveillance. the rocker fella foundation is launching a pandemic prevention institute and we're accelerating the ability to bring academic labs on board and other private sector labs on board to do more surveillance. we need to track these violences more carefully, even in non-hospitalized cases, cases that are relatively mild this virus is changing. we knew about this delta variant
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in march of this year as it evolved in india later last year. it took us three to four months to understand this delta variant emerged and was spreading. the pandemic prevention institute by accelerating work with labs in the u.s. and the academic and private sector will help the cdc and government officials do that job even better so we can understand how this virus is emerging even faster so we can get in front of it. >> rick, on july 19th you tweeted about something the surgeon general said about it being reasonable for local officials to reimplement mask mandates in the midst of this surge. what do you think about mask mandates that have been reinstated? should there be more? >> ali, we have learned through the last course of this year and a half of this virus that we have a number of important tools at our fingertips that will slow the spread of this virus, reduce infections and save lives. masking is a very important
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tool. whether or not you're vaccinated, you add a layer of protection for yourself, your family and those around you when you wear a mask. we're learning more and more that the virus can infect people who are vaccinated and cause a mild infection and it enables those people to infect others who may be unvaccinated or vulnerable. a mask does reduce the spread. i have encouraged people to continue to wear their mask when they're in the public, when they're in a closed setting, when they're in a grocery store, even if you're vaccinated. you will reduce the spread of that virus to others who may not be able to get vaccinated. you will save lives. >> rick, you're always a wealth of information. thank you for your public service. rick bright, senior vice president of pandemic prevention and response at the rockefeller foundation. congressional negotiators say they're days away from finalizing a bipartisan infrastructure deal. i will believe it when i see it.
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. u.s. senators say they're on the brink of finalizing the bipartisan infrastructure deal. we heard that before. nbc news reports that several senators sounded optimistic that a deal would be reached by monday. politico reports that key negotiators are likely to be in touch as their staff work through the weekend. one of the major hold-up points is public transit versus highways. in the $579 billion package, democrats want 80% of the funds allocated for transportation projects like highways, 20% for transit like buses, subways, railroads and the like. that's a percentage split that's been in place. republicans want less than 20% to go to mass transit. republicans do tend to represent
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more rural areas that are reliant on cars. as negotiations continue, the senate is running up against the issue of time. the body is scheduled to take its month-long recess starting on august 9th. joining me now is debbie dingell of michigan. she serves as the house senior
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