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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  July 30, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it is a jam-packed friday this july 30th. we are following multiple breaking stories right now, including damning new details about the delta variant of the coronavirus. a new internal cdc document first obtained by "the washington post" paints a very frightening new picture of the pandemic. it is not behind us according to the document. preliminary data indicates the delta variant causes more severe illness, spreads as easily as chickenpox and vaccinated people
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may be just as contagious as those who are unvaccinated. at the very same time president biden announcing new incentives to help boost vaccinations calling for $100 to every newly vaccinated american along with unveiling new requirements for federal workers to get the shot or face increased testing. >> look, this is not about red states and blue states. it's literally about life and death. it's about life and death. that's what it's about. >> life and death. the seven-day average of new covid cases in the united states reaching nearly, are you ready for this number, 64,000 yesterday. that's up from around 11,000 on june 19th. i want you to take a look at this map. all of the areas highlighted in red are seeing very high transmission levels. the cdc now recommending people should wear masks indoors in these specific areas, and that includes vaccinated americans.
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joining us now to discuss an all-star team because we need to get smarter and safer right now. geoff bennett at the white house, heidi przybyla in d.c. and dr. tom fried en, former director of the cdc. tom, i didn't think i would see for a while. this cdc document says that the delta document is deadlier, more infectious and spreads a whole lot easier with vaccinated people. how serious is this? >> there are some things we know for sure and others that we don't. we know for sure delta is much more infectious. it's at least twice as infectious. there's also emerging evidence that it can be more likely to cause a breakthrough infection in people who are vaccinated than other variants. in terms of whether it's more severe, my read of the data there is that that's not clear. there are some studies that came out a few weeks ago that suggest that it might be, but there are
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problems with those studies. but the bottom line is if you've got more disease, you're going to have more people with severe disease. since delta doubles the infectivity, we have to double down on protections. i know that's really disappointing to people because we thought it was over. we thought we were done with this pandemic. but the pandemic is not done with us. that's why it's really important that we ramp up vaccinations and at certain times and places mask up indoors, even if you're vaccinated. >> the breakthrough infections means vaccinated people can get sick. how sick? >> well, first off, remember, stephanie, no vaccine is 100% protective. these vaccines are astonishingly good, but they're not perfect. that means some people who get exposed will get infected and some will get sick. one of the things we need to learn more about is who is getting very sick even after being vaccinated. maybe certain people, those with organ transplants, for example,
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should get three initial doses. that's not a booster, that's a different vaccine series for certain people. but the vast majority of people who are vaccinated are protected from infection. if they get infected, they're protected from severe disease and death. vaccination is likely to reduce your risk of death dramatically. we know this, it works, it's why despite the fact that i think we will see continued big increases in cases in the u.s., we won't see anything like the horrific death toll that we saw last year. but in areas where vaccine rates are low, vaccination rates are low, the good news, last point, stephanie, the good news is that about 80% of the most vulnerable are vaccinated so even if you do see those big case increases, you're not likely to see those huge death tolls. that doesn't mean it's okay, we still are seeing too many people die. >> i want to talk about this internal cdc document because it's got a whole lot of people
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very worked up. it details the cdc's mixed messaging and missteps. is this shoddy work? or is this just the reality of trying to manage a never-before-seen virus in realtime? >> the reality is that we learn. as we learn, we change recommendations. that can look messy, and there can be arguments and judgment calls. i wish this were not playing out in the media. what has worked really well in the past is that there's a policy process that's coordinated out of washington. it doesn't overrule the technical details, but it helps to frame them, to message them, to understand and get everyone onboard. i think maybe, frankly, stephanie, we've gone too far in one direction. we had under the prior administration totally inappropriate interference with cdc technical decisions. now i think we're seeing kind of a lack of coordination. they don't want to interfere but
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it's good to have a policy coordination role from washington. >> yeah, well, it's really hard to get everyone onboard when the messaging is so contradictory. the white house kind of seems to be playing catch-up on messaging. president biden finding out about this new cdc mask guidance this week, which is basically around the same exact time it was breaking on kale. part of me says should andy slavitt have his job back? does the white house need a covid coordinator again? >> it's a great question, steph, and i think the answer is what dr. tom frieden just pointed out. since the start of the biden administration, nearly all of the pandemic policy, all of that decision-making has been left in the hands of public health officials, not politicians. that is precisely the way president biden has wanted it. he's wanted pandemic policy free of political interference following what we saw under president trump. but the unintended consequence of that is that the white house has appeared flat-footed when
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they are fielding all of these questions about these consequential moves and directives and recommendations coming from the cdc and there is not a clear, concise and comprehensive message. i can tell you, though, beyond that, the mood within the white house is just one of frustration. president biden spoke to this himself yesterday. here you have a safe, effective, free and widely available, readily available vaccine, and some 80 million americans have yet to take it for whatever reason. and that is why the president has taken this additional step of now requiring federal workers to either show proof of vaccination or submit themselves to rigorous testing. it's not just on the merits, he also wants it to serve as a model for the rest of the country so private businesses and state and local governments will follow suit, steph. >> and we're going to be digging into that later in the show. but let's talk about beyond it being free and widely available, now the president wants $100 payments for anybody new who's getting the vaccine.
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where is this money coming from and how does it work? you get $100 cash when you go in? >> yep, $100 cold, hard cash in your hand when you get the shot. this is not new money. the federal government is not authorizing new spending here, this is money that was left over from the covid relief package that president biden signed into law back in march, i think it was. the white house points to studies that show unvaccinated people saying that, yeah, a third of unvaccinated people have said if they were provided a cash payment, that could be a determining factor. and so the president has said he realizes that lots of people might think this is unfair. people who got the shot early on who didn't get a hundred bucks, but he says if incentives work, if incentives are the thing that will help us get beyond this pandemic, then we might as well do it, steph. >> if you said to a whole lot of young people i've got $100 waiting for you and that bar down the street will let you in once you get vaccinated, you might get a whole lot more
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people getting vaccinated. heidi, you're in d.c. where a new mask mandate is beginning tomorrow. i know it's sparking a very big backlash, talk us through it. >> who knew that it might be harder to impose a restriction, especially the second time around, than it is to lift it. by all accounts, washington, d.c., is doing really well. the vaccination rates here is about 72% of individuals who have at least had one dose. there's no problem in the hospitals here and yet when you look at the overall rate of growth, it's quadrupled in terms of positivity just within the past few weeks. that is why the mayor here said she is doing this to avoid more draconian restrictions and, steph, to empower business owners. here's what she said. >> what i hear from a lot of business owners is that they find it helpful when it's just clear. if the doctor says we need to do it in d.c., they have a very easy time telling their customers and their workers the
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same thing. so we want to -- we want to be clear. businesses can deny you service for not following their rules. >> but here's the new world that we're living in, steph. right across the river where we've got a little bit higher growth rate and positivity numbers, the virginia governor is not imposing this restriction and so you have some confusion here. some people asking questions. what exactly are the metrics? when can we lift the masks again? who's going to impose it? this is really going to fall on the business owners. but walking around here this morning, steph, talking to individuals, a lot of them are already masking up. they say, look, i don't have a problem. but the biggest complaint was why did we lift it in the first place, especially when we can look at the example, for instance, of britain and india, which were ahead of us with the delta variant. they say i'm worried about other people not honoring this system, steph. >> but a lot of those people in d.c. say we got vaccinated.
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we followed the rules. we watched the president take his own mask off. but now here we are and they feel like they're being punished again. we've got to change the way people are thinking about this. i want to bring in mayor demings from orange county, florida. you issued a state of emergency for your entire county this week. what does that mean? at the sam governor giving speeches in salt lake city saying he doesn't even want masks. >> unfortunately, i think the governor's statements have been incongruent with what we're seeing at the local level. of course whenever people need help, they dial 911 and depend on their local governments to respond with first responders to take care of their needs. here within the metro orlando area, what we are seeing is a significant increase in the number of individuals who are testing positive on a day-to-day basis. we are averaging about 1,000 new reported cases each day and our hospitals, unfortunately, are reaching capacity.
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just this morning we had one of our largest hospital systems announce that they are moving to what they're calling black status, which means that they will defer non-emergency surgeries at hospitals throughout their division. that is something that is very concerning to me. as a result of that, we've had to take action at the local level to ensure that we continue to reduce the spread of the virus in our communities. we know that there's two ways to do that. increase the rate of those who get vaccinated, and number two, to ensure that individuals continue to wear facial coverings when they're in social places -- in places of social activities. as a result of that, we issued some strong recommendations to our business community that they required those who patronize their businesses to wear facial coverings. so far the businesses are complying with that recommendation. the largest single site employer
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is walled disney world and it has directed that to its guests and employees. the other theme parks here in the metro orlando area have followed suit as well. >> one would think that when a county is under a state of emergency, the mayor would be in a regular dialogue daily with the governor. when was the last time you spoke with governor ron desantis? >> let me just put it this way. i don't have a regular or frequent conversation w he has crisis is i think he has looked beyond the current position that he holds and that is the governor of florida and he's looking to his other future political aspirations. because of that, those who serve at the local level, we've been pretty much left throughout this pandemic to figure out how to respond. we have done very well here within this community. for a sustained period of time, we had our positivity rate below 5%. it was as low as 3.4%.
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but here recently, with the recent tests, we are testing in the high double digits, and that's something that we really cannot sustain. what we could not have predicted was that the virus would have mutated and we now have a new variant that is very aggressive and causing significant concern here. so i've had to take some decisive action, such as requiring now all of our county employees that are not represented by collective bargaining units to get vaccinated and all of our county facilities we are requiring wearing facial coverings. we will be negotiating with those represented by collective bargaining, but we're seeing other businesses and other public sector units also following suit here within this community. >> the only way we can get through this is together. 66 of the 67 counties in florida are currently experiencing high transmission rates. and there's the mayor of one of those counties who doesn't have
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a regular dialogue with the governor of florida. we've got to get together on this. mayor, geoff, heidi, tom, thank you all so much. we have got to leave it there. we have got to talk about infrastructure. the bill got support from 17 republicans in the senate but will any in the house support it? in a few hours nancy pelosi and chuck schumer will meet with president biden on voting rights as texas democrats are still in d.c. to prevent voting restrictions from passing there. the person footing the bill for them to stay there. beto o'rourke will join us. rke s . okay, everybody, let's do a ticket check. paper tickets. we're off to a horrible start. ...but we can overcome it. we're not gonna point out our houses, landmarks, or major highways during takeoff. don't buy anything. i packed so many delicious snacks. -they're -- -nope. would you say, ballpark, when group two is gonna get boarded? 2 hours and 58 minutes. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us.
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right now we are watching the white house where speaker nancy pelosi and senate majority leader chuck schumer will meet with president biden today to talk voting rights. it comes as democrats in both chambers got back to work on voting bills this week, and three texas democrats testified in d.c. about the restrictive voting bill that caused them to flee their state. leigh ann caldwell has the latest from capitol hill. leigh ann, these house and senate bills are both smaller than what democrats were trying to pass before. does that mean they're going to get more support? >> it's a good question, steph. the senate is proposing a slimmed-down voting rights legislation. it could be released as early as next week. and now in the house of representatives, ten house democrats sent a letter to speaker pelosi asking for
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something similar. they want to take out the campaign finance and the ethics reforms and other things from for the people act and focus just on access to the polls. now, this new push is coming as progressives are really pushing leadership to do it. also some of these members are facing tough redistricting and tough re-elections. they say time is of the essence. senator raphael warnock of georgia who is leading this push in the senate said that voting rights is just as important as everything else the senate is focused on right now, including infrastructure. let's take a listen. >> passing voting rights in my view is the most important thing we can do this congress. now, i know that there are a lot of pressing issues, but the american house is the house built by democracy, and if we don't preserve our democracy, strengthen people's access to it, we will not have done our
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job. >> reporter: so back to your original question, steph, will it get more support? well, it needs republican support, especially in the senate, ten republicans. it's very difficult to see how that happens. but you can't rule anything out until it's a done deal obviously. >> leigh ann, thank you. now let's head to austin, texas, where the march against voter suppression just resumed about an hour ago. texans have been braving the heat all week ahead of tomorrow's rally at the state capitol. i want to bring in two people who have been leading that march. former texas congressman beto o'rourke and poor peoples campaign co-chair, bishop william barber. gentlemen, welcome. congressman, we know voting rights is a massively important cause, but are you concerned about the optics, lawmakers fleeing texas for weeks and weeks when there's a whole lot of other things that texas voters need and want tended to day in and day out? >> these democratic legislators from texas are absolute heroes
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because not only are they trying to stop voter suppression here in texas, not only are they trying to advance voting rights in the one place where it can be won, the united states senate with the leadership of president biden, but they understand the connections to the fact that texas has a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. it's the least insured state in the country, which means that folks are dying of diabetes and the flu and curable cancers because they just cannot see a doctor. so if we want to fix these things, people have to be able to vote. and texans understand that. that's why all of us support those legislators who are willing to put all of it on the line for all of us. we're going to do our part here in texas along with bishop barber and the poor peoples campaign and the impact of people of this state. we will be rallying in front of the state capitol at 10:00 a.m. on saturday. we want everyone to stand up and be counted. >> bishop, these democrats have been in d.c. since july 12th. it's about to be august.
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how long is this going to last? they can't stay there forever. >> well, i think it's bigger than that. we've been there since july 12th as well engaged in massive, more direct action. in over 100 women two weeks ago. more than 40 senate offices last week. we bring in hundreds of pastors and low wage workers this monday. we have hundreds of people joining us of every race, creed and 40. 40 organizations joining the poor peoples campaign and my brother beto. democracy is in trouble. if you're saying we are seeing the worst attack since the civil war, then the answer to that must be massive. that's why we need to end the filibuster, don't tell us it can't be done. we have to pass every provision of the for the people's act. we've got to have a restored voting rights act and we have to have 50 in the union and protect our immigrants. the same people that suppress the vote, suppress health care, suppress justice. this is not a binary black
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versus whitish you. this is an american issue. all americans should be standing up and saying 56 million americans uses processes to vote last time other than on election day. what these legislatures are doing is trying to regress and take all of those opportunities away. if you destroy the infrastructure of the democracy, the bridge that gets us to all the other policies, it won't matter if you do infrastructure and build physical bridges because you will have crumbled the bridges of our democracy. we have to have an answer from cancer, federal action, that meets the challenge of this moment. >> you know what else doesn't matter, how i feel about it, how people around the country feel about it. it matters how texans feel about this. last month the texas tribune and university of texas found that 35% of registered texas voters wanted to make voting rules more strict and only 26% wanted them
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loosened. congressman, can an argument be made that these restrictive voting bills, while i may think they're reprehensible, they actually represent what texas voters want? >> i don't know about that because as i travel the state and listen to people, especially those most impacted, they want to make sure that it is easier for eligible voters to cast a ballot. 7 million texans who were eligible in 2020 did not vote. that's not for any lack of love of democracy. stephanie, imagine if we just took a poll in 1965 and said should we pass voting rights? is it popular enough or not? president johnson wasn't waiting for the popularity test. he put it all on the line to advance the cause of a multi-racial democracy in america where every eligible voter should vote. that should be the true test of leadership, whether you do the right thing when history calls, whether or not it's popular. let's do the right thing now and pass the for the people act in the u.s. senate. >> and stephanie, one of the
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things we've got to think about is the constitution, the 15th amendment says that no one, no state or entity can deny or abridge the right to vote. congress swore to uphold the constitution, not even popular opinion. but across this country, take for instance in west virginia. 79% of west virginians say to manchin you're wrong on this. you need to pass these expansive voting rights. you need to stop this filibuster because they know this is hurting all of us, black people, white people, brown people, native, lgbtq, the disabled, the rural communities. look, we have an attack on this democracy and we ought to be asking this question. why don't you want people to vote? why is the u.s. chamber of commerce trying to undermine the for the peoples act? why is their money involved more than the united states constitution? that's why we say to the people in d.c., stand strong now. there are four things you've got to deal with. access to the poll,
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gerrymandering, ethics and money so we're not treating corporations like people and people like things. it's time for us to treat people like people and corporations like things and make sure we open up the ballot to everybody. why don't you want people to vote? that's the question. we should want that in a democracy. >> bishop, thank you. congressman, before we go, while you're out there leading this march and knocking on doors and talking to people, do you want to run for governor of texas? >> i want to focus on this fight. this is the most important thing that we can be doing. when we are joined by hundreds, thousands of our fellow texans this saturday in front of the state capitol at 10:00 a.m. along with, by the way, willie nelson, i think you're going to see the power in this state for a righteous cause, which is the right to vote. so that's the focus. that's the focus. >> forward together, not one step back. >> not one step back. >> congressman, bishop, thank you both for joining me. please stay hydrated, it is hot
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out there. coming up next, president biden calling on communities and businesses to mandate vaccines. many are starting to listen. is this just the tip of the iceberg? iceberg? gillette proglide. five blades and a pivoting flexball designed to get virtually every hair on the first stroke. so you're ready for the day with a fresh face for a fresh start. for a limited time get a 5th cartridge free. at usaa, we've been called too exclusive. because we only serve those who honorably served. all ranks, all branches, and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join. ♪ are we still exclusive? absolutely. 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,
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why not push for vaccine mandates in states, companies, schools. do you want to see those entities pass vaccine mandates? >> well, i'd like to see them continue to move in that direction. local communities can do that. local businesses can do that.
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it's still a question whether the federal government can mandate the whole country. >> that was president biden urging states and businesses to require covid vaccines. this morning, the dam is starting to break. uber became the latest company to mandate the shot for all of its workers. but it's just one of at least nine big companies requiring the shot for at least some of their employees, and it's not just vaccines. tech companies like lyft, uber, apple and google pushing back their return-to-work dates even further and twitter closed its offices in new york and san fran due to the rise in cases. i got a closer look at how corporate america is stepping in to stop the spread. add uber to the fast-growing list. the ride-hailing giant now makes vaccinations mandatory for u.s. employees coming to the office and delaying their global return to office by a month. >> employees are really responding to and reacting to colleagues in the workplace saying i want you to provide as
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reasonably safe of a workplace as you can. >> uber joins netflix, google, facebook, morgan stanley, united, the washington post and saks fifth avenue all requiring vaccines. responsible if a covid case cancels a game. >> i wouldn't have gotten the vaccine without the protocols that they are enforcing on us. >> restauranteur danny meyer going a step further. >> beginning the day after labor day, we are going to require that 100% of our staff members be vaccinated and that any guest who wants to dine indoors will be vaccinated as well. >> how are you going to handle customers that challenge this? >> i guess the same way we would challenge somebody who refused to show their i.d. if they were underage at a bar. we just won't serve them. >> for companies who are dealing with employees who say they are
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afraid to come back to work, is mandating vaccines the clearest way to sort of help people who have those concerns? >> mandate and explains to the employee why it's in their best interests as well as the best interests of their colleagues will go a long way. >> let's dig deeper and bring in my friend, andrew ross sorkin, columnist and editor and co-anchor on "squawk box" on cnbc. andrew, you and i have been complaining about this for weeks. is corporate america finally putting their foot down and requiring this vaccine? is this the tip of the iceberg? once the vaccine is out of emergency phase and fully approved, are we going to see a lot more businesses require it? >> i hope this is the tip of the iceberg. i think there are some companies showing leadership. i would suggest it's -- the leadership is late and it's not among the companies, the biggest companies that could have the
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greatest impact. the last time we spoke we talked about airlines, we talked about large companies like amazon, like walmart, like u.p.s., like federal express. that's where you can actually change the dynamic around the country very, very quickly. but i do think that there's going to be a lot of folks looking at these companies that you just highlighted and saying maybe we should rethink our own policies and start to mandate the vaccine as well. it's also going to be led by this new information we're hearing from the cdc around what they're describing as a new war. they're saying this delta variant is as contagious as the chickenpox. i think that will change inside boards and managements that have been hesitant thus far. >> andrew, you just hit it. tech companies, financial companies, they're taking the lead. this doesn't affect their bottom line in a way that it would a big box store like walmart, target. i mean amazon and walmart are
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the two biggest private employers in this country. why haven't they done anything yet? >> the truth is tha worried about a handful of things happening. they're worried about lawsuits from employees saying they're being discriminated against if in fact they don't want to take the vaccine for whatever reason. they're worried that one of their employees is going to take the vaccine and have a bad reaction and they're going to get sued for that. they're worried that the employees are going to storm the gates effectively and say we don't want to do this and strike and protest, or leave entirely at a time when the supply chain and labor is constrained to begin with. so when you talk to executives about what they're concerned about, there's a lot of people inside even some of the companies you just described that i think would like to mandate vaccines if they could, but they are so worried that if they were to do so that there could be negative ramifications on their company. and that's where the leadership part of this comes in, because
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there's an opportunity to communicate to their employees the need and why to do it. >> yes, but the biggest thing companies are hearing from their employees about returning to work is that they don't feel safe. the way to make them the most safe is to require vaccines. so isn't it a catch-22? >> it is the ultimate conundrum. there is, i agree with you and i think it's especially true in the tech community add white collar community saying we want to be safe. we do not want to go to work unless we know everybody around us is vaccinated. there's another group of people that has a very different view, which is to say that they don't believe that these things should be mandated. in fact they would say not that it's not safe, but that they don't want to work in a place where that is required. and so that is the -- that is the debate. you know what side i come down on on that, but that's what's
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happening here. >> yes. and when emmanuel macron put it in place in france, thousands of people protested. a whole lot less than the 3.7 million who got vaccinated that first week. andrew, thank you so much for joenind. mitch mcconnell shocked many when you supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill. but remember, it's just procedural. why would the self-proclaimed grim reaper of democratic priorities go along with a key part of biden's agenda? our new reporting, next. agenda our new reporting, next. feel ♪ ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel ♪ [man: coughing] ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day... ♪ no matter how you got copd it's time to make a stand. ♪ ...and i'm feelin' good ♪ start a new day with trelegy. no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler,
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we are keeping a close eye on capitol hill where we are just a few hours away from the next big senate vote on that trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure plan. even though there are several steps to go, there's a growing sense that it could actually get passed in the senate with a bunch of republicans, even mitch mcconnell himself, potentially
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signing on. i don't know if i believe that. sahil kapur has been all over this. according to what you have learned, is mcconnell really going to give biden a win? like let's be clear, the vote that has happened already is just procedural. the text hasn't even been written yet. he's got all sorts of outs. >> that's right, stephanie. it is for real in the sense that mitch mcconnell is not working to kill this deal. that is according to many republican sources we've talked to. it is also true according to some democrats who are surprised by the fact that he's voting to move forward with this deal and he appears to have given his republican members the green light to support it. why is he doing this? why is the self-styled grim reaper allowing a democratic president to potentially get a victory? the reason is this is a major release valve on two fronts. there are moderate and retiring republicans in the senate caucus who want to actually do some big things and not just obstruct. that includes rob portman, who's in legacy building mode. this is a way for them to achieve something. there is also the incentive for
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mcconnell that he wants to preserve the filibuster. this gives moderate democrats like joe manchin and kyrsten sinema the talking point they want to go back and say see, the senate works. we don't have to change the rules. beyond that, infrastructure is a politically safe space. it is popular. nobody really hates it. former president donald trump still the de facto leader of the party has been dumping on this deal in numerous statements but a republican senator tells me that has had almost zero impact on the senate caucus and its negotiations on the vote. so there we are, it's a way for mcconnell to do something, to make his members happy and potentially to deny the left some victories in the long haul. >> so let's say it gets through the senate. what happens in the house? >> it faces a very steep climb in the house, for a number of reasons. firstly, there are many progressives who say they will not support this infrastructure deal in the house unless it is paired with a separate multi-trillion economic safety
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net expansion. there is also the fact that a key house democrat, peter defazio, the chairman of the transportation committee, does not like this deal at all. i spoke to congressman defazio yesterday and he said based on what he has seen, there's not enough money for transit, there is not enough money for rail. he doesn't like the fact this is a highway-centric bill that according to him does not do much to combat climate change. house democratic leadership sources i've talked to insist that they will make sure defazio's work is reflected on this and the house imprint is on this. so the fate of this is very much tied into the fate of the multi-trillion bill that by itself will be very difficult to pass. >> and if those house democrats want to go big, republicans in the senate are going to go home. i want to dig deeper and bring in kevin brady, ranking member on the house ways and means committee. congressman, good to see you. we desperately need infrastructure, that isn't political. trump believed it, biden believed it, america knows it.
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we're talking hard infrastructure, roads and bridges. if in the end politics keeps this bill from passing, should the american people give up on the idea of government working for the american people? >> so i don't think -- stephanie, it's good to see you, thanks for having me on the show again. i don't think politics is going to stop this bill. i think this bill could stop this bill. obviously we're all bipartisan infrastructure is what we're working to get. we don't know what's in the senate bill and they're not done yet so very hard to predict what happens when it comes to the house. there is as you noted some real problems with how democrats see this bill. and for republicans, i think on the stand-alone infrastructure bill that's fully paid for in a real way i think it would gain bipartisan support. but in the house without question it is being linked to this multi-trillion expansion of
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the welfare state with massive tax increases. by the way, wipe out the economic growth from infrastructure. and so if it is linked in any way, i think it's going to have some challenges in the house. >> well, then let's just talk about the stand-alone bill because that's what we're focused on now. republicans have been circulating details of how we think it's going to get paid for. we're talking about unspent covid money, money left over from jobless benefits and things like fees and taxes on cryptocurrency. is that good enough for you? >> you know, right now it doesn't appear so. so we are still asking the senate for details on how it's paid for. it's very general at this point. it looks about half of the provisions are budget gimmicks. i think that's going to cause some real problems. the good news is it doesn't include many of the crippling tax increases that the biden administration is pushing for
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right now, but i think everyone, stephanie, is in assessment mode trying to figure out exactly how this bill works. they're not done yet, so out of fairness you've got to give the senate a chance to work. >> as we -- moments ago former president trump put out another statement pushing against this bipartisan hard infrastructure bill. do you think he has influence over fellow members of congress? >> you know, there's no question there are strong supporters of the president in the house and the senate. the good news here, i think, president trump has always been very strong in support of infrastructure. i think he's pushing the senate to improve that bill in my view, and he is worried, like as i am, that this will be just the pilot chute that deploys that massive tax and spend bill. that is a major concern and it's valid. >> you've been big on going after people that you say
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cheated the system by claiming enhanced unemployment benefits they didn't deserve. but at the same time, you don't want to give any more money to the irs to track down tax cheats. why one and not the other? i would think they would go hand in hand? >> oh, no, i support -- i support going after those that don't pay their taxes, no questions about it. but right now the tax gap -- >> then why not give more money to the irs? >> because it doesn't close the tax gap. one, the tax gap itself is more than unfounded. we don't know what it really is or where it's coming from. that's why republicans have called for an independent, accurate analysis so that we can work together on closing this tax gap. the other issue is the irs has always in hearings with ways and means in private admitted that you can't audit your way through that tax gap. you need -- you need far more serious approach to do that. so this is an issue.
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will that produce money or not. and even the congressional budget office has admitted it doesn't produce a whole lot right now. i think a simpler tax code. i think smarter auditors really work. and then some common sense reporting, i think could make a big difference. >> you know how you get get sma auditors? you pay people. if you don't give the irs more money, more resources, how do they improve tax collection? >> well, in truth, they've admitted, as well, they don't audit as smartly as they should. i think republicans are willing to take steps to close that tax gap, if it's part of a strategy to do that. this is my 25th year. we worked for all that time, two things from the irs. tens of thousands of more irs agents and secondly even that is
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not going to substantially close the tax gap. we need a smarter approach on this. and i think our biggest concern as republicans is what we saw yesterday m second straight quarter of gdp numbers fell below expectations. even the job growth is slowing. economic growth is downhill from here. wages are up and so i think our big worry of going forward is 2021 under president biden and the economy, frankly, he's off track on the policies and a lot of working families are being hurt by it. >> well, if you passed a big infrastructure bill, that would create a lot of jobs and be a boost to the economy. i think back to the over 100 major corporate ceos pushing this administration and congress saying it would be great for the economy. congressman, great to see you. thank you for joining me. we have to leave it there. we're out of time. please come back soon. up next, the final victims from the surfside high-rise collapse have been identified. now a legal battle over what to
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if you can't afford your medicine, abbvie may be able to help. now to surfside, florida where the final victim of last month's stunning condo collapse has been identified and the rubble has been moved away. now the big question is what to do with the site that marks the final resting place for the 98 people who lost their lives. nbc's allison barber has been looking into that. what have you learned? >> hey. this is a complex legal battle. one that has the potential pit those who survived the condo collapse against those who lost loved ones in it. a judge ruled that the property where this condo once stood could be sold and it is valued at over $100 million. they appointed a steering committee to try to establish a track for property litigation saying there is simply no time
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to waste here because survivors, they need money to try and rebuild their lives. the building itself had very inadequate -- it was woefully under insured. the families, though, of those who lost loved ones said this is all happening much too fast. we spoke to three people, all of them connected not just by this nightmare but the people they lost, they were all related by blood or by majo -- marriage. nikki and luis got married in january. they planned to have a bigger wedding after the pandemic. they both recently graduated from the university of florida. they were all cousins. their families are now pleading for permanent memorial at the site with the condo collapsed and nothing else. here is some of what they told
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us. >> the trauma that this caused me doesn't let me remember her smile. goes through thinking that she was screaming realizing that maybe she was dying. >> reporter: have you been able to go back or get close to the site or anything like that? >> yeah. it's painful. >> reporter: do you feel if there's a memorial, it can help you heal a little bit? >> yeah. i don't think it'll help me heal but i think it will allow me to go where i remember them and honor them. if i have to drive past and see another tower, it's going to be painful for all of us.
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>> those people certainly deserve peace. ellison, barber, thank you so much. hallie jackson breaks up news coverage on the other side of the break. breaks up news coverage on the other side of the break ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service. ♪ age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss. so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula only found in preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor about preservision. it's the most studied eye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision. only preservision areds2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk
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