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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  July 24, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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>> reporter: sakura says that april day only motivated her to keep going. >> as athletes, we always tend to use whatever obstacle to empower and keep moving. >> that was vicky nguyen reporting. as we hit a new hour, america's headache. the trump hangover in full effect with the former president on stage in arizona furthering his big lie about the election. as another big lie about covid is stealing lives across republican strongholds. plus beto o'rourke joins us with a march he's leading through texas all to protect the american right to vote. plus, my take on the high-stakes future of child care and why our action on this issue is bound to determine the future of our country. and our loudest voices of the week, the cuban standing up without fear. this is "american voices."
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hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez. we begin this hour with a growing challenge for president biden. convincing vaccine skeptics to get the shot. new nbc news reporting shows a glimmer of hope. vaccine rates are starting to rise this states with the biggest increase of new infections. biden addresses the politicization of the vaccines the week in virginia. >> here's the point. with all the covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations are today among the unvaccinated people. and i know -- i know it's gotten a bit politicized, but i hope it's starting to change. it's not about red states or blue states or guys like that hollering. it's about life and it's about death. >> but the politics of covid are still at play as the pandemic, fueled by the delta variant, surges across the nation.
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it appears red states are paying the highest price. thanks to vaccine disinformation spread among right-wing skpligsz media outlaws. 8 of 10 states with the highest spike of coronavirus hospitalizations are led by republicans. of course this can be linked to our former president and his allies. we're still dealing with a trump hangover, the consequences of more than a year of him downplaying the pandemic even six months into the biden administration. one of the biggest disinformation offenders, georgia congresswoman marjorie taylor greene. twitter suspended her account for spreading lies about the virus, making it more important for republicans to see those who see the danger. >> these folks are choosing are horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted zane what is it
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going to take to get shots in arms? >> i don't know you tell me. folks are supposed to have common sense. but it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not regular folks. it's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down. >> but as a leader of the state, don't you think it's your responsibility to help get this situation under control? >> i've done all i know how to do. i can encourage you to do something but i can't make you take care of yourself. >> and the question remains. is all the disinformation baked into the trump base? will anything change that? could a new surge of the virus derail the biden agenda? susan glasser of the "new yorker" frames it this way. politically speaking, there's not much point in talking about the infrastructure deals if the pandemic is going to keep americans confined to their homes. so the irony of ironies, it may come down to the persuadebility of trump's political base. and are they really persuadable.
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after all this,ing i find it almost impossible to believe that there are ways to persuade millions of them to vaccinate after months. with us is a critical care anesthesiologist, kristinar key za who lost her dad to covid-19, and a former obama white house deputy director. good to see you all. dr. hilton, we're seeing a stark difference in outcomes between communities with higher vaccination rates, areas trailing behind. we're also hearing language like pandemic of the unvaccinated. you argue that language further divides us. tell me why. >> right. i think using that language -- we have to remember that it gives a sense of safety for those who are vaccinated. but in provincetown has showed us anything is that those who are vaccinated, if you come into contact with someone who has the delta variant, you can get infected too.
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what i stress from the beginning is there are more consequences than just death when it comes to covid-19. that includes long covid, at least lengthy times of disability related to newer logic industry to cardiovascular injury. >> when you look at these numbers, the doctor was talking about the fact that some of these people will never be persuaded. there's a small percentage that are just simply unpersuadable. but there actually is a large swath of people here who either have been dragging their feet or who can still be reached. how do you reach those people? >> dr. hilton? >> i'm sorry. with those people, it comes down to telling their personal story. what we have to realize is people have been making this a political statement because they can identify. but covid has a way of humbling
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people quickly. and what we're seeing is there's younger and younger people in our hospital with serious outcomes because of the viral load we're seeing with people infected with covid-19 with the delta variant. and so i think we have to start talking about the fact that we're having outbreaks at children's camps. we have to start talking about the fact that we're losing people who are living behind orphans. we have to start talking about people who have survived but now have lung transplants. thankfully they were able to get that. are people like those 2 million that's in the health report that showed that 23% of those who recovered were still having symptoms for 30 days out. and again, that includes when we were looking at outcomes out of stanford showing their brains are starting to resemble those of patients with alzheimer's, parkinson's, and ms. we don't have enough information to know how this virus impacts those different organs. do we think it's worth risking
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your life when we have a vaccine that is proven in safety and efficacy? >> kristin, you lost your dad, mark, to the virus. we've talked before about how he listened to former president trump's advice not to panic. recently we've seen republicans divided on how to approach the virus now, how to approach the vaccine. speak to me about how the consequences of the party leadership and right-wing personalities have message this. is it surprising that they still have not turned a full corner? >> it's not surprising, alicia. i speak from experience. my dad was a lifelong republican who was, you know, in step with them from day one. and, you know, when it comes to this virus, it is going to take quite a lot for us to make sure that we can slow the spread. and i think that focusing solely on folks who don't believe in the vaccine or people who
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anti-vaxxers is a strategic mistake. instead we should be making sure that we're implementing mitigation measures like reinforcing masks where cases are going up, as well as lowering the barriers to access for people who actually want to get the vaccine but still to this day have structural barriers in their way in order to get one. >> nick, i want you to talk about the argument that susan glasser was making that i read during the intro, which is this idea that all of the biden agenda could potentially hinge on his ability to persuade republican voters to get vaccinated and get this pandemic under control. i wonder if you subscribe to that theory and if you have any sense that the biden administration is factoring that into their calculus. >> yeah. i mean, it is the irony of ironies and challenges of challenges, frankly, that biden has to convince this population. i agree with susan glasser on that. what biden really needs to do is
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acknowledge the realities of who's actually unvaccinated and how to approach those communities. there is a whole set of conservatives who are mostly captured by the right wing and are totally, i think, hard to break through to. i mean, no matter how many measures we take, free doughnuts, celebrities, tweeting at them, all of that, i don't think that's going to do anything. but then you have another group of people, which i do think biden can talk to. and those are people who are traditionally conservative, may have a distrust of government, again, conservative, but also some portions of african-american communities, immigrant communities, who, i think, are convincible. and that's where i think biden should focus. and it is a little bit of both carrots and sticks in convincing those folks. some of the measures that are currently being taken -- i also we may need to move towards
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mandates or requirements for vaccines to travel, mask mandates, potentially even having to go to school having vaccination efforts. a carrots and sticks approach by the public and private sectors and biden fully leveraging the power of the presidency to communicate to certain segments of the unvaccinated population about it need to just do it for the sake of our country. >> i agree with nick this is going to take systemic solutions and there are individuals in the same position you found yourself in months ago where they're pleading with a loved one to take this seriously. what is your message to them? >> well, first and foremost they're not alone and it's not their fault, nor is it their responsibility to overcome the systemic barriers. it needs an all-community approach right now. so my recommendation to folks out there that were in my position is to reach out and --
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to your community and share how you're feeling. but also to have honest and open conversations with your loved one. don't victim blame them. instead, approach the conversation with love and empathy to actually really try to understand where they're coming at. from there, potentially move them towards having a more open mind-set about public health measures. >> i am always a believer in empathy. dr. hilton, kristin, thank you both. nick, you are sticking with us because while many on the right call vaccines and mask mandates an attack on their personal freedom, another form of bodily autonomy is under attack. is supreme court will hear an abortion case this fall. a law banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pretty good. and mississippi is now moving the goal post. last year mississippi said its appeal would not require the court to overturn roe v. wade.
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that case made abortion legal in the united states. but this week the state attorney general reversed course, arguing roe should indeed be overturned. joining us now to discuss the politics at play, msnbc legal analyst melissa murray. she was a former law clerk to justice sonia sotomayor and nick ra thad. how could this case potentially alter reproductive rights in the united states? >> mississippi has offered the court two different paths for dismantling reproductive rights, which is where the fetus can be outside the womb. you can regulate post-viability. mississippi asked the court to do away with that. the more maximalist approach that mississippi offered to the court is to completely overrule its existing precedence, roe
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recovery, and planned parenthood versus casey. >> melissa, the decision could come next summer months before the 2022 midterms. how do the justices consider the political atmosphere, the political ramifications in that case like this? >> i think it's hard for them not to consider it. there's certainly many medications of the court who seem eager to take up this challenge. you only need four votes to get a case on the court's docket. so there are clearly four votes to take this case and to hear it. but we also know that chief justice john roberts, who's the institutional steward of the court's reputation, would be worried about potentially sending scores of american women to the ballot box with roe v. wade on their minds. so i think one of the things that we'll be seeing as this case progresses is whether the court has the appetite to overrule roe, which will surely decide control of congress, or take the minimalist approach
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which would limit the use of viability but would surely send reproductive rights in many of those red states into disarray. >> nick, we know a majority of americans support access to abortion in most cases. how is this case going to factor into 2022? >> it's a really great question. i mean, first of all we have the supreme court -- actually, let me step back. so this is the culmination of years of organizing and work done by conservatives for -- their eye has always been on this particular case, i think, and trying to overturn roe v. wade. they were able to get a court stack during the trump years to set this up and set is situation up where we're in currently. but this could also backfire on them politically because millions of women, millions of men out in the country are watching this, and we know -- we believe that this case is sacrosanct, and i know we'll hit
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the streets and organize if there's even -- if the court decides to move in this direction. and we will be flooding the streets come election time to make sure that we get back what has traditionally been a very sacrosanct constitutional position. >> nick, you have to admit republicans have successfully transformed the court. they have made it a key issue for voters. how do democrats counter the success that they've had? >> well, it's organizing and investing at the state and local levels, honestly. conservatives have done a great job at stacking the courts. they focused their energy and their time, and we just don't do that. we focus a lot on policy-making. we spend a lot of political capital there. but if you watch the conservatives, that's what they do. they pivot, they stack the courts, they focus on state and local governments. and you see that playing out here where they've now have control of state governments
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across the country in majorities and the courts. as these things happen, it's a one-two punch where the legislators are passing and moving legislation that is conservative oriented, like this one, and then the courts are blessing it. now that they have the supreme court, you know, there's a real threat. and so democrats need to wake up and actually take and follow some of the playbook of conservatives on this and start reinvesting our actually investing in those places. >> we're going to stay on this story. melissa and nick, thank you both so much. next, beto o'rourke takes his fight for voting rights to the streets. he's here to tell us about the selma-style march he's planning. plus, a problem that cannot be ignored. my take on america's child care crisis and what needs to be done. also, our loudest voices of the week, the call for freedom from cuba. first to richard lui with a look at the big stories we're watching this hour on msnbc. richard? >> alicia, good day to you.
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today marks one month since the deadly partial collapse of the condo building in surfside, florida. firefighters left the scene friday, ending their search for remains there. forensic experts continue to comb the debris that was moved to a different site. as of tonight, the death toll stands at 97. an additional missing person still unidentified. today across the country rallies are demanding medicare for all. they want congress to expand affordable health care for everyone in the united states. the groups threatened to file a human rights complaint with the u.n. if demands are not met by august 6th. former republican senator elizabeth dole turns 85. bob dole just marked his 98th birthday this week. the gift they would like, people to focus on bipartisan in public service, resident of their legacies. happy birthday to them both. more "american voices" right after this short break.
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the fight against that restrictive voting rights bill in texas is about to get more interesting. as democrats remain in washington, d.c., to block republicans from passing that bill back home, beto o'rourke is on the ground in texas teaming up with voting rights activists like the poor people's campaign for a selma-style march called the moral monday march for democracy. the march will start in georgetown, texas, and make it to austin. brouk, fourpd of powered by people, working to mobilize texas voters. also with me, reverend liz harris, cofounder of the poor people's campaign. great to see you both. reverend, first talk to us about the significance of bringing attention to voting rights in
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this way with a selma-style march. who are you trying to reach? >> we're trying to reach the entire nation. but including and especially the u.s. senate and the president. right now our democracy is in peril. we have five demands of this march. they are to make sure that we end this filibuster, that we restore the voting rights act of 1965, that we pass all the provisions of the for the people act, that we raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and we have permanent protections for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. and we're saying that we need to do this to save the soul of our democracy. and so folks all across texas are going to be doing this march from georgetown to austin to make our voices heard. >> beto, your sense if those lawmakers in d.c. have been able to move the needle and what type of support it is they're going to need on the ground back home.
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>> they are absolute heroes. when they broke quorum in may to deny the republican majority in the regular session at the texas legislature, the attempt to pass voter suppression bills, not only did they galvanize the conscience of the country, but i got to think that they helped get senator manchin back to the table. we voted "no" on the for the people act. to offering a compromise that had major tenants of the for the people act in it. i think this latest act of courage, denying a quorum during a special session and more than 15 members going to d.c., which is the one place where we can win this fight, is going to move us even further in the right direction. what reverend harris and bishop basher and the poor people's campaign are doing in texas is opening up another front in this fight, making sure that while they're doing the great work in d.c., that we're doing what we
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need to do here in texas to make sure that we win the right to vote for every eligible american. that's the genius of our democracy, and we got to make sure we fight for it, realize it, and win it. that's what we're doing from georgetown to austin, kmagt on the state capitol at 10:00 a.m. in austin, texas. we want everyone to stand up and be counted. >> i have a question for you. when you talk to voters in texas, do you get the sense that this feels as timely, as imminent, as critical? >> absolutely. you talk to voters who voted for the first time in their lives in harris county because they opened up 24-hour voting. the minimum wage in texas is $7.25 an hour. folks are working two or three jobs in order to make ends meet. that might mean their window to
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vote is 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. and for the first time they were able to to do it in 2020. the voter suppression legislation would cancel 24-hour voting, drive-through voting, it would make it harder to vote by mail and it would intimate voters at the polling place because watchers would be given free rein to do that. republicans, democrats as well are trying to get us back to one person, one vote, the bedrock, fundamental principle of our democracy. alicia, yes, it is urgent in texas. this is front lines in the fight. it is harder to vote here in texas than in any other state in the union. and so if we're going to get the right to vote back, let us lead it here in texas better than any other place. and again, thanks to reverend harris and bishop barper and the poor people's pain and centering it on the impact of people who will be telling their stories
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every day of the march and at the rally the 31st of july, 10:00 a.m. at the state capitol. >> reverend, the march is also calling for congress to put in place permanent protections for undocumented immigrants, understanding voting rights, covid, immigration are on the long list of life-changing policies that need to be addressed, talk about the consequences both politically and on a human level if democrats don't get voting rights passed or a pathway to citizenship as soon as possible. >> what we know is that voting rights and people people largely across this country believe in the expansion of our voting rights. what we know is that a pathway to citizenship, these things are bed rocks of a strong democracy. we live in a nation where there are 140 million people who are poor or just one small emergency away from economic ruin. in texas alone there are 13 million poor and low-income people. so what we see is that the same
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legislatures that are infringing our voting rights, making it harder for people to vote, making it impossible for people to register to vote, are the same people that are denying living wages, denying the expansion of health care, making it harder for lgbtq folks to have their rights and dignity, women, children, all across the board. so we see this as really a key struggle, really, the kind of place where this democracy gets to be lived out in the people coming together across texas, across this country, and calling for these demands. and we know that it is urgent right now. we are under a bigger attack on voting rights than we've seen since the civil war. and right now we need to save the soul of this democracy. what's so encouraging is that people all across texas in huge
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numbers are signing up to be a part of this march and come out to that rally. and so, again, we need folks to join us at 10:00 a.m. in austin. >> all right. beto o'rourke, reverend liz harris, thank you both. ahead, the anti-vax code and how far some people are going to keep their disinformation on social media. i will talk to the author of a "new york times" best seller about facebook turning a blind eye. plus, why america needs a marshal plan for moms to get americans back to work. . experience, thrilling performance from our entire line of vehicles at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2021 is 300 for $379 a month for 36 months. experience amazing. at pnc bank, ball! look out! we believe in the power of the watch out. the “make way, coming through” great... the storm alert... dad. and the subtle but effective ding.
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how do you feel about dancing? are you making plans to join the swim club? would you ever drink beer? i am not playing 21 questions. these are phrases anti-vaxxers use to avoid detection on facebook, calling vaccination dancing, swimming, or drinking a beer. code words throw groups to share vaccine misinformation without
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getting shut down. facebook says it's cracking down on covid conspiracies. as a recent poll reveals how far they have already spread. 1 in 5 americans falsely believe the covid vaccine contains a government microchip. joining me now, cecilia canning, coauthor of "the new york times" best-selling book, "the ugly truth: inside's facebook battle for domination." i haven't seen you since you had the book come out, since you hit "the new york times" best-seller list, so congratulations to you. let's talk first about the anti-vaxxers. they show how it's easy to fool algorithms. why hasn't the company fixed the loopholes? >> it's not a surprise. we saw in researching this book that this is part of a pattern. facebook is not proactive. it's rather reactive. one thing they have really struggled with is misinformation. and one really key thing we should note is that superspreaders of
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misinformation -- there's a group called the disinformation dozen, 12 people who spread 65% of all misinformation related to the vaccines on social media. all of them still exist in one form or another on facebook. facebook has a hard time with actually completely shutting down these accounts and individuals and content. they try things to get people to actually go to authoritative sources for the vaccine, but when it comes to misinformation, they continue to struggle not only with the sheer enormous volume of misinformation, but as you noted, how those who are spreading this information are using tricks and getting through -- tricks to get around the filters and the machine learning that's supposed to catch misinformation. >> cecilia, unfortunate loots about facebook. you knew a lot about disinformation going into the researching and writing of this book. once you were deep in it, what surprised you most? >> you know, i think there are several things that surprises us
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just in terms of the sheer discovery of how much -- how there are so many people internally trying to warn the top executives and the top executives simply didn't listen. this was absolutely the case when it came to russian interference in the election and the former chief security officer tried to sound the alarm very early. we know some of the story, but we put in very great detail just how hard it was to get the warnings to mark zuckerberg and sheryl sandberg. the other thing that surprised us is they do not function at the top. they said you can't disclose what you don't know, and a lot of the top executives had been blind of some of these warnings, perhaps willfully blind. >> we talked a lot about the individual responsibility of being a user on one of these platforms, how to spot
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misinformation, how to use these platforms while being aware of some of their limitations. what i take away from the book is that that's a peace of the puzzle, but really what we're talking about here has to be structural change. >> yeah. i think that's right. i do think that there are two things that need to happen. this is another thing that surprised us that as that this is not a frankenstein story. this is not the story of a company a sort of monster that got away from its creator. that is company whose business and technologies are functioning exactly as designed. so structurally there has to be something to address the fact that algorithms surfaced the most emotive content, and that often means misinformation, hateful content, content that is just sort of rankerous. that's the problem of the vaccine misinformation problem. the other thing that needs to change probably is the leadership structure. we learned that -- we knew that
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mark zuckerberg was very much in control of the company structurally. but we found in our reporting that he was making the most consequential decisions. he essentially wrote their policy on political speech, giving the former president trump a complete exemption on all the other speech policies that every other user needs to abide by. so we learned that mark zuckerberg is in control more than ever. >> cecilia, thank you so much for joining us. her new book is "an ugly truth: inside facebook's battle for domination." next, the future of child care and why this is america's moment to make a permanent change. stay with us. we did it again. verizon has been named america's most
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>> when we talk about the future of child care, we are not talking about robots like rosy from "the jetsons." we're looking ahead to a world where child care is affordable for and accessible to all. the pandemic has shown us how crucial child care is to the u.s. economy. quite simply, we cannot function without it. according to the ana e. casey foundation, 70% of kids under the age of 6 have all available parents in the workforce. so that's over 15 million children who need supervision during the day. but that care comes at too high a cost for many families. half of parents paying for child care this summer are racking up credit card debt. even president biden says day care was too expensive for him as a single dad, recalling friday how lucky he was to have his sister step in. >> i was a senator making $42,000 a year. i could no longer afford day
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care and someone to take care of my kids than flying. and thank god aid sister who's my best friend. she and her husband without my asking moved in and helped me raise my kids, my mom and my brother as well. i got lucky. >> unfortunately, the high cost of child care does not translate into high wages for workers. median pay is over $12 an hour. that low pay and typically lack of benefits leads to constant turnover in the child care industry. failing both providers and parents. addressing this crisis requires government action. we can start by raising the wages for child care workers and offering more subsidies to families. but the bigger shift is cultural, recognizing the value of this work, work performed almost entirely by women, disproportionately women of color, and immigrant women. their roles in shaping the next generation too often overlooked.
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. the pandemic triggered a reset button for a lot of things, the main one on my mind at the moment, rethinking the workplace for moms. politico reports returning to work after so many months at home means for many mothers finding a new form of child care and giving up the additional time spent with families and kids that the pandemic provided. taking into account how the labor was growing prepandemic, 2.3 million fewer women are working now than would have been without the disruption. it is time now for washington and corporate america to provide much-needed resources to help moms balance all that life throws at us. joining me now to discuss, reshma saujani, founder and ceo of girls who code. you sent this out and i was, like, we have to talk about this. i think at this point we all understand the problem. what you are looking at as the solution. what are your big takeaways? >> first of all, moms have more
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responsibility. child care is still unaffordable. we still haven't had recovery from the statement so this demand of just get back to normal, guess what, things are not normal. we surveyed over 1,000 moms and we recommended ten things we think employers should do. one of those things is giving moms control over their schedule. whether you are a salaried employee or shift worker, flexibility or predictability is incredibly important, especially with the delta variant. we don't know whether schools will be open, day care centers are still shut down. we simply can't just go back to our 9 to 5. we need to have control over our schedules. it's a huge thing that moms said. the second thing is that we need workplaces to promote policies that will create gender equality at home. you know, 70% of american dads take less than ten days of parental leave off. it's simply not good enough to offer parental leave.
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the way you design it, the culture in the workplace, does it encourage dads to actually take paid leave or does it gaslight them when they did? one of the big things is finally rooting out the motherhood penalty. you get a premium for being a dad in the workplace. but even year off of work most moms, almost 40% of their salary because of care-taking. that is simply wrong and we have to root out the motherhood penalty once and for all. >> rescha, you know and i know that when a list of recommendations like this comes out people like you and i grab them and walk by an hr department and drop them on someone's desk but in order tore these changes to go into effect it takes buy-in from the very top. how do you accomplish that? >> yeah. listen, we can't go back to normal and employers need to hear that loud and clear. they're not going to do it for us. they're not going to build equitable workplaces on their own. we have to demand it. and i know moms are tired. i'm exhausted. the last thing i'm thinking
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about is organizing a workplace walkout. you know, or having a list of demands. but we have to. we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. and one of the most i think incredible things i learned, alicia, from the survey is it's not just for moms. dads want this too. millennials want this too. we can't go back to the same workplace that we had before covid-19. it wasn't working in the first place. so let's build it back better and let's take this opportunity -- >> well, to your point about building it back better, i'm sorry to interrupt you there, is it's not just that this is good for moms or that this is good for families. this is good for business. right? this can actually improve the bottom line. >> absolutely. as you see with the numbers, moms, they're not coming back. they can't come back. they're reducing their hours. or they're moving to part-time. and we know before the pandemic women were 51% of the labor force. we were marching toward equality. and now everything has changed. and the reality is if you're a company you won't solve covid,
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cancer or climate unless you have a diverse group of people sitting around that table. they need us. they need moms. and that's just a fact. and so if they're going to bring us back and if we're going to build it back better we need to do some very simple things. pay us equitably. subsidize our childcare. give us control over our schedule. root out the motherhood penalty. you know, we have a lot of off-ramps when you have a child but what about those on-ramps? we need more of those return shifts. we need federal retraining programs. there's so much that we need to do. and i think the government needs to demand that, you know, companies play their role, do their part in this economic recovery. we're not simply asking you to just give us a shuttle -- to get us back out of this mess. but we need to recreate and rebuild. and listen, i know that moms are on the front lines demanding that we do it. >> all right. reshma soujani thank you, so much for joining us. loudest voices of the week
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and there you have it - int wireless on the fastest,ized most reliable network. wow! big deal! we get unlimited for just $30 bucks. i get that too and mine has 5g included. impressive. impressive is saving four hundred bucks a year. four bucks? that's tough to beat. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. okay, that's because you all have xfinity mobile. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. this week the biden administration ordered new sanctions against a cuban official and a government entity it says is involved in human rights abuses, saying it is, quote, just the beginning of measures to hold those responsible for a recent crackdown on anti-government protests. it is all a response to what the world is watching and hearing from cubans on the island.
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tired of government abuse, the cuban people have taken to the streets, demanding an end to dictatorship. these were not violent rallies. they were not put together by the cia, like the cuban government has tried to convince cubans. this uprising is a widespread demand by the people for basic dignity. covid-19 is on the rise on the island. medicine is in short supply. and so is food. it's clear the cuban government feels threatened. remember, this uprising grew one call or social media post at a time. a friend. messaging a friend from one province to another saying have you seen this? of course, almost immediately after cubans began standing up, the government cut the internet out. now the regime is going into the homes of protesters and arresting them after identifying them through videos as well as through interrogations of others. today the cuban judicial system claimed only 59 demonstrators have been taken to court. there's no way to really verify that. the charges they face from instigating unrest and propagating the coronavirus pandemic carry a 20-year
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sentence if convicted. charges some families say their loved ones were tried on without representation. and then there are cubans detained or missing. according to human rights watch, families haven't heard or seen their loved ones since they were detained. the cube. government says, "no one is missing." some human rights groups estimate as many as 500 detained protesters are unaccounted for. cubans have been posting photos of people they say they cannot locate, sharing stories of detentions on social media using the hashtag soscuba. if you're wondering what is actually going on in cuba, the cuban people are telling you. as tanya bruguera, an artist and dissident said in politico, "right now everyone, all 11 million of us, know someone that went to the protests or know someone that knows someone that went to the protests. everyone has had an opportunity to verify stories and not believe what's being said on tv. every person that has been unjustly detained, every person
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has felt for the first time that feeling of freedom, every person that has now felt what it is like at a protest to yell what you want, what you feel, what you've held back, there's no turning back." 23-year-old mechanic leonardo herrera is one of hundreds of cuban migrants intercepted by the coast guard this year. every cuban who gets on a raft knows the worst can happen, he told bloomberg news. "i simply couldn't stand it here anymore. we don't want food. we don't want money. we just want to leave." all he wants is a life. as he puts it, one where you get back from work and you're comfortable. one where you're not worried about having enough rice or chicken to eat. aspects of life most americans have a luxury of not worrying about. and it's that brutal truth and the cuban people's bravery to demand basic human rights make them our loudest voice of the week. that is all the time i have for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." but for now i hand it over to my colleague joshua johnson. hello, joshua.
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>> hello, alicia. thank you very much. and hello to you. it is always good to be with you, especially tonight. former president trump is speaking in phoenix. we're monitoring that. on tuesday a house select committee is set to begin its investigation into the january 6th riots. what witnesses should the committee call? plus, patience among the vaccinated is wearing thin as cases of the delta variant rise. could full fda approval convince enough people to get vaccinated? also, a nationwide ban on evictions is about to expire. what can people do. we will get into that with former hud secretary julian castro. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, i'm joshua johnson. welcome to "the week." p let's start this saturday night with some new developments in the prosecution of the so-called qanon shahman, one of many people facing charg


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