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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 30, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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♪♪ ♪♪ good day, everyone. this is "andrea mitchell reports" in washington where new cdc guidance on masks and the delta variant has the nation on edge and its rising covid infections in all 50 states with the full explanation of the skience behind this reversal expected today. first reported by "the washington post," the cdc is warning officials that the delta variant is more contagious that the chicken pox and fully vaccinated americans can infect people as unvaccinated people. these discoveries changed the war on covid, but the agency is stressing that vaccines are still the best defense against severe infections. in advance of today's release, president biden ramped up the pressure to get more shots in arms yesterday and is requiring
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federal workers to get the vaccine or else face mandatory masking and weekly testing. hours later the pentagon said that military service members would be subject to the same rules or comply with mandatory masking and weekly testing, as well. >> people are dying and will die who don't have to die. if you're out there unvaccinated, you don't have to die. >> but in a sign of the challenge facing the country, one in four health care workers who are caring for the sick are still refusing to get vaccinated. nbc's gabe gutierrez spoke to one in north carolina. >> i have the right to question anybody in this country i want to question. >> you're entitled to an opinion, but these are facts. >> are they, though? are they facts? >> really, all of this amid growing, sometimes physical pushback to vaccines and cause to mask up. protests by republicans in congress yesterday on the clash of the floor of italy's
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parliament where lawmakers were fighting over the green door passes at venues. kelly o'donnell at the white house and gabe gutierrez, and zeke emanuel and a former visitor to presidentsed bien and obama and dr. janeane morazzo at the university of alabama hospital. >> first to you, this is clearly a setback to their plan. there's new science and that's the explanation. we now know where why the cdc was telling americans to mask up because of the leaked memos to "the washington post," but how is this playing inside the white house and the messaging seems to be modeled and why are we learning from this from leaked internal memo and why the say so when they got the new data. >> the cdc will put out more information today and there's been a bit of a disconnect between the white house and officials in this messaging and
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in part the president is trying to stress that he is not interfering with any direction to his medical team and the scientific experts and that they are listening to the science, but at the same time that presents a new set of challenges because the white house, of course, is still in charge of so much of the public messaging and setting of policy using the expertise from the cdc, and so we have had a sort of lag and a muddled message. the president tried to reset some of this in a speech that he gave late yesterday where he talked about the fact that this is a new kind of virus, different from what we all experienced in the first phases and in many ways it's a new challenge for the biden administration that had begun his time in office so focused on distribution of vaccine and less concerned by necessity with some of the dynamics within the infection itself. now they're confronted with differing death rates and the spread changing and our
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understanding of how that can be done with the vaccinated even though vaccines protect against severe hospitalization and death for most people. so the science has gotten more complicated and the facts are more dire and the white house needs to respond to this and some of that has not been as crystal clear as the public would need. that's a challenge for the white house. while they're also dealing with other issues and there isn't a big covid briefing coming from the white house today. part of the issue of trying to get that message out day by day and the president trying to put new pressure on the workplace in america by putting those new constraints on federal workers to either testify -- attest is the word they used, you basically swear to the fact that you have been vaccinated and you can be punished if that is not truthful or you submit to once or twice a week testing. all of that is ramping up now, and the president believes that
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other private sector employers will follow suit with further mandates. andrea? >> dr. emanuel, 35,000 symptomatic infections in americans who are vaccinated and the cdc document is also noting that for the vaccinated there is an eight-fold reduction and hospitalizations and death which i know is the main thing to worry about, but do you agree that the new information they got about how highly contagious the delta variant is and especially that the virus attacks the nasal pharynx, and it doesn't get to the lungs, but it's very contagious when it gets to your nasal passages. >> do you think they were that important that they had to change direction and reverse it this way? >> well, i think first of all, you have a case in massachusetts where you had a lot of vaccinated people and still a lot of spread of the delta variant, and i think additional evidence from other countries
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like britain has made them change their view of how serious the delta variant is, and andrea, i think it's very important for the public to understand, this is a fast-moving situation and the data are partial and maybe not complete and you're having to make interpretations on the basis of the data. i do think their core message is right which is you need to vaccinate as many people as possible. that will be very helpful. even if you're vaccinated you can both contract the delta variant and spread the delta variant and that's very worrisome, but you will be protected to a large degree, from the most serious consequences and masking is an added element of protection. i think those messages are clear. i think the president has repeated them and i do think that the new evidence is worrisome, and you know, it is
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causing a re-assessment of the public health measures that we need to implement, but it doesn't take away from the benefit of the vaccine or the benefit of masking. of course, all of those things are correct and i appreciate your guidance on it and as gabe gutierrez learned, the resistance is not getting through in north carolina. >> yeah, andrea. as you mentioned, one in four health care workers across this country are still not vaccinated and here in new york there was a rally of health care workers just last week protesting the vaccine mandate here and the group i spoke with yesterday in north carolina, there were three nurses and one respiratory therapist. still, when i pressed them on their views they said that they did not feel that this vaccine
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had been adequately vetted even though more than 40,000 people, andrea, participated in the pfizer clinical trial alone, and i asked them about their views and why they had decided not to get vaccinated thus far even though they have dealt with covid patients at their own hospitals. take a listen to what they said. >> we don't know what the long-term side effects are. >> i'm not going to just jump on a bandwagon with something that has not been tested. >> i'm not comfortable putting into my body until i am ready. if and when i'm ready to get the vaccine i will do it on my own accord. >> you do not trust the cdc? >> i do not trust the cdc. absolutely not. >> it did go through rigorous trials and they agree it should have taken longer and not a rushed process. this is happening in texas and healthcare workers there that have been protesting this and filed a lawsuit that was then dismissed in houston. the protests in new york, as i
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mentioned in other parts of the country and new york mayor bill de blasio had blunt language. he said, quote, give me a bleeping break, what this shows is some people might argue that this is a small percentage or fringe of the debate and that's not the case. one in four healthcare workers still not vaccinated and other unions coming out and saying they oppose the mandates and this exemplifies the challenges that the biden administration has going forward to make sure more americans are inoculated, andrea. >> thanks to gabe for all of your reporting and traveling, and as you get around the area, alabama, of course, was a key area and dr. morazzo in alabama. the infection spiking in two wakes and kate ivy has been one republican in the south pleading for them to get vaccinated.
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she is writing in "the washington post," i think those pushing fake news are reckless and causing harm to people. the unvaccinated folks are being lied to and that is just plain sad. this vaccine works and we need to start acting like it. this is not political. it's just common sense. that's straight talk from your governor. it doesn't seem to be having an impact. >> yeah. thanks, andrea, for asking what's going on here. i can tell you that reading the leaked cdc slides this morning on "the washington post" was really scary. it's not as scary as watching this public health emergency unfold in real time in my state. we are seeing a remarkable pace in terms of the escalation not just in the number of cases which i agree, are reflective of what we call the reproductive rate of this virus which we now know is eightfold higher than
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anything we've seen before. it's incredible. it's more infectious than measles and more infectious than smallpox and influenza. more impressive and we are seeing a dramatic increase in numbers and hospitalizations and to give you an idea of what this looks like, in the state, we already are over about 1300 hospitalizations and we have gotten there in only ten days. at the peak of hospitalizations in one of the previous waves we had 3,000 people hospitalized in our state and that took a while to get to, so i would like to impress on people not just the numbers, but the pace is escalating very rapidly and we really need to ramp up vaccines for that reason. >> wow. that is really, really frightening. dr. emanuel, i want to ask you about booster shots. a lot of older americans are asking this question, cancer patients or transplant patients. so israel today, because they're a test country under pfizer's
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testing are starting to vaccinate 60-plus people, 60-year-old and older people with a third booster shot. the third dose of pfizer. are you recommending that yet? is there a down side to it? are there side effects and the president is saying they may goat that at some point, but it's not needed now, but why not given the virulency of the delta variant for those who are vulnerable? >> first of all, you need data that giving the booster is going to protect people and there is a preliminary data that pfizer has on a small number of patients that if you have a third booster shot you can increase the antibody level that can highly correlate with protection, and i do think that the government is going to be out very quickly with recommendations that immunocom from myselfed people and older people get a third
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booster to ramp up the antibody level and more from delta. i also think that one of the things we're seeing this whole week is the push for mandates because we have tried almost everything else to get people vaccinated and if they're not going to be vaccinated voluntarily, i think you have to switch over to something else and you're seeing not only in the health care scenario, but also in lots of employers, even restaurants, bars are putting mandates, and i think that's just going to become the norm in this country, and people who have been vaccinated are sort of wanting everyone to get vaccinated, and i do think that's going to be more of a trend especially as we get more data on the delta variant and therefore on the need to get a vaccine. >> i just want to follow up on boosters for a moment because there are some people who got the single shot of johnson &
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johnson, and are now seeking out since it's so readily available a pfizer or moderna. >> what do you say to that? unfortunately, i don't have definitive data on that either whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. it's probably a good thing and it will probably be helpful, but again, to be able to point to a big, randomized study, we cannot do that, unfortunately. the irony is people who really want the vaccine will go to great lengths to get it and we're seeing people trying to cross state line to get a booster in a state where they didn't register, and i do think people who don't want it are staying on the sideline. it's a crazy situation, and it's not maximizing the available vaccines that we have. >> dr. marazzo, how concerned are you about breakthrough
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infections. your state reported more than 3,000 cases among those who are fully vaccinated. >> i'm very concerned about the breakthrough infections for a couple of reasons. one, if you look at the document again that was leaked yesterday or last night, it indicates that a substantial minority of hospitalized deaths occurring in people with covid actually were unvaccinated people. we are talking less than 20%. thankfully, there aren't that many deaths right now, but i think we are going see an increase in the severe consequences and right now we're seeing that mostly as dr. emanuel just alluded to in people who are immunocompromised who can't mountain antibody response to the vaccine. for example, we have an active transplant program and we are actively debating the question of whether we should give people a third booster regardless of federal guidance because at this
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point it's sort of an all hands on deck approach because we almost can't wait for the guidance. we certainly can't wait for a randomized control trial and the pace is just moving too quickly, and so you are almost feeling like you've got to sort of develop these solutions to figure out what to do on your own. >> dr. marazzo, thank you so much for being with us and kelly o'donnell and dr. zeke. how to extend the eviction moratorium set to expire tomorrow and how will renters and landlords survive. plus, julian castro says the looming homelessness crisis is completely avoidable. he'll join us next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. i've been taking prevagen on a regular basis for at least eight years. for me, the greatest benefit over the years has been
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we have breaking news, and we are getting handwritten notes from a top justice department official adding to the accusations that former president trump directly pressured the attorney general to overturn the 2020 election results. pete williams has details. >> this adds new texture to the claims about the former president and they involve a phone conversation four days after william barr stepped out as attorney general. jeffrey rosen who was the deputy became the acting attorney general and a man named richard donohue became the acting attorney general and the house
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oversight committee who is investigating this whole issue is investigating the notes. at one point the president had raised a number of complaints of election irregularities that were in some states and donohue says according to his own notes, the justice department will look at that, but he says, quote, the department of justice can't and won't snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election. it doesn't work that way and according to the notes the president said i don't expect you to do that. just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican congressmen and according to the notes of the conversation they repeatedly tell the president that they have looked into these complaints and these claims and have found no evidence to support them and at one point according to the notes the president says, you must not be following the internet as i do. andrea, in normal times notes like this of a conversation
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between top justice department officials and the president the department would vigorously resist efforts to see them, but the department has notified former justice department officials that it believes the work of congress in this case is so important that it's waiving any claim that they can't be turned over to congress and that the president himself, president biden said he won't exert executive privilege over any of these notes so that's why congress is getting its hands on them. >> wow. so they are really moving forward, moving forward quickly. pete williams. thank you so much. millions of renters are facing eviction with a federal moratorium set to expire tomorrow. the white house and congress scrambling at the last minute to try to avert a crisis. speaker nancy pelosi sent a letter urging them to extend the moratorium through the end of the year as the white house yesterday called on congress to act, but in the words of the speaker this morning, we'll see if they can even get a veto this
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before the house leaves town today and the prospects in the senate are dim with very little support to extend the moratorium. vaughn hilliard, what are the stakes for millions of renters across the country. >> andrea, we are talking about 3.6 million american renters. 3.6 million who face that eviction moratorium ending tomorrow. this is frankly, a crisis and there are billions of dollars in federal funding that was passed in cares act legislation that has been available to these very renters and landlords and the issue is in more than half the states less than 10% of those federal dollars have actually made it to renters. here in george a just 5.5% of the $522 million dedicated for renters here in georgia has actually made it to these tenants who this week are getting those eviction notices put on to their dear and suddenly this is a hail mary of a pass to congress to pass this
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moratorium off a few more weeks. i want to let you know of a mom who we talked to, breanna. she gave birth to twins. a week after that she got an eviction on her door. take a look at that conversation. >> i am trying to find assistance to be able to pay it, but as far from now i don't have a plan yet. >> do you have a court date yet for -- >> i have to go up there tomorrow. >> what does that look like to you? >> i don't know. i just hopefully will be able to get assistance. >> they could evict you. >> yeah, they can whenever they feel like it. >> so tomorrow -- are you scared? >> yeah because, you know, i don't know where else i will go with three kids. >> where will you go? >> i don't have a plan of where i will go.
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>> andrea, you see sitting on those stairs two moms that said they were brought together. sierra who was there with her children and breanna literally a week ago giving birth to twins and neither of them have received any of the federal money that was allocated and supposed to go to renters like them. they're sitting here waiting with eviction notices and you heard her just today, breanna going to her own eviction hearing today, andrea. >> which is just incredible and not tolerable. vaughn hilliard, thank you. >> secretary of housing and urban development julian castro and ashley bell who sits on the sessions court in tennessee and is in charge to mediate eviction claims to avoid kicking tenants out of their homes. secretary castro, this should not be happening. how is this happening? you have democrats in control of congress. you have a democratic president. this was supposed to be to carry us through the pandemic.
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>> you're right, andrea. it shouldn't be happening. there are -- i think is a dropped ball here in several ways. a few weeks ago the supreme court basically looked asconce and it looked at the eviction moratorium and didn't strike it down and at that point the biden administration said, well, look, we're not going to extend the eviction moratorium beyond july 31st. at the same time the administration did not make a push for congress to extend the moratorium to pass supreme court muster. at the last minute this is being taken up and there is a herculean effort under way right now as vaughn mentioned in congress by speaker pelosi, by camila jayapal and representative maxine waters to get this across the finish line, but even if congress gets it across the finish line, and you
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still have the problem of the senate at the same time in 36 hours when the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on sunday, this cdc eviction moratorium is over with millions of people who face eviction and filings on the books and sheriff's offices ready to send their deputies out to knock on people's doors and tell them that they've got to go. so i believe what should happen is that the biden administration should extend this moratorium even if that's ultimately struck down that would give congress more time to put another one in place, and give states more time to jump-start their programs to get the dollars that are already out there, more than $47 billion in rental assistance into the hands of renters who need it. >> and the senate, for the senate to act it would require unanimous consent and you'll never get unanimous concept for something like this. judge bell, you're right in the middle of the local level and you're trying to mediate because
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the landlords also are pressed economically during this terrible, pandemic year. so they have some claims here, as well. how do you find some is there a solomon-like approach? >> i appreciate you saying a solomon-like approach and god does ask us to come to the plight of people. we are seeing landlords and tenants that are dealing with these unprecedented times. so in the city of nashville we started developing a housing court in 2019 before we knew that this pandemic was going to happen, and while we started working and developing our structure, our metro department housing agency who oversees our public housing had decided that they were going to file evictions for non-payment of rent. we had started developing the programs and when the pandemic
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hit we knew we had to pivot, and we had to shift and i talked to the civil court clerk and i asked how can we start a new docket in the afternoons to divert cases in eviction court to the house resources diversionary court? he said yes. so every tuesday here in nashville, tennessee, our eviction court is able to transfer cases into the house resources divisionary court and they received the funds up to $20 million and have spent more than half of those to assist landlords and receive the rent to be compensated and toward tenant to keep a roof over their heads and we started working on this and we are seeing a major uptick now since the courts have opened back up. >> and what are the landlords claiming? >> the landlords, you know, for a while, we had to get some buy-in. they want to know, when am i going to get my money? when will i get the tenant to be
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vacated? we say the cdc moratorium is in place and while the courts were closed we were able to use the tennessee alternative resolution plan to order them to court mediation and we were able to streamline in a more rigorous way when the course opened back up and now they have to opt in. some landlords are opting in and some landlords are not, but once they see the funds are available. to this end we spend millions of dollars, up to $12 million helping landlords be paid with the payment of rent here in the city of nashville and to my understanding we will be receiving up to $58 million during this period of time that will help us assist landlords and tenants up until 2025. so our program's in place and continuing to move the needle every week to shift and make adjustments, but landlords, sometimes they're leary and they want to know if they'll get the property back and want to know
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if they'll get the funds and because the court's involved and the city's made an intentional effort we're getting a lot of great feedback. >> well, secretary castro, that's nashville. it's not happening elsewhere, though. how does this money get so backed up? there's as much as $46.5 million in rental aid unspent which is contributing to the amount of back payments that are piling up. can't the administration do a better job of that? can congress in oversight get that money into the pipeline to the people? >> yeah. the system broke down here. these are dollars that were allocated to states, and states and local communities work to implement these programs to get dollars into the hands of renters and you asked about landlords into the hands of landlords. there is relief for landlords out there who may find themselves paying on their own mortgage on a note for the building and the duplex or
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single-family home that they rent out, but that has been held up by bureaucratic red tape,en effective programs at the state and local level and sometimes recalcitrant states that are basically putting this on purpose because they just don't believe in it or don't believe in it enough to put forth the right kind of effort. all of that has added up to only about 7% of the more than $45 billion that congress allocated getting into the hands of people that need it. it's unacceptable and states need to jump-start their programs whether this eviction moratorium actually expires or not. >> meanwhile, breanna who had twins a week ago is going to court or facing eviction with three kids. unbelievable. thank you, former hud secretary julian castro and judge rachel bell and thanks to vaughn
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two whistle blowers say that they were told by supervisors to downplay a covid outbreak among children at a migrant shelter run by the department of health and human services in fort worth, texas. the children in the facility were mistreated by contractors and senior federal employees earlier this year. nbc's julia ainsley has the exclusive reporting and joins us now. julia, thanks so much for bringing this to us. tell me about one of the whistle blowers whom you interviewed talking about how the children were treated. tell us more about the conditions that we're living in. >> that's right. i sat down with arthur pearl stein and he told me about the frustration he experienced when he got to fort bliss in april and he was there until late june. over that time he never got answers to basic things he thought needed to be done when it came to the children's health care and well-being. he said that it was incredibly chaotic, and the tents were
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overcrowded and children stacked and cots went on top of the other so close together it was hard to move through the tents. he also talked about what happened when he tried to raise his concerns with management. let's hear what he had to say. >> the main kinds of complaints that i was hearing from the kids were in general the feeling like they were in prison. there were so many of them that complained that they had no underwear or one pair with nothing to change into and often lacked changes of clothe which is discouraged them from taking showers. >> and what happened? what did you do with that information? i began to ask some of the management officials, well, why can't a federal employee that has a purchase card just go to walmart or you know, or some costco or discount store, was there plenty of underwear there
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in el paso, and they said no. this is the contractor needs to wait for it. >> andrea, you can see the frustration he had trying to get a simple solution to a big problem, and he said the mental health problems were rampant. he interviews hundreds of children for his job trying to clinically assess them and he overwhelmingly saw cases of depression and anxiety and when children talked about what they had been through and they talked more about how they disliked the facility than the treacherous journey that they took as migrants to come to the united states in the first place. >> what was his job cat gory? to be clear, what was his assignment? >> he was a federal worker who volunteered to come down to fort bliss when president biden sent out a call for volunteers earlier this year. he was put on a team that was to provide activities for children. basically, any kind of activity they being come up with and also
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to try to counsel these children and to give them clinical assessments and report back on whether or not they had suffered any kind of trauma. it was very difficult to assess that, but he tried his level best. >> i am so glad he's speaking out and so glad that you're reporting on all of this, and you can see a lot more of julia's reporting on the conditions tonight on "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. confusion, mistrust, mixed messages and how the politics of covid is affecting the fight against the virus. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. 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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it's time to rock the boat, america. ice cream is like whooping cough, it's not just for kids. whooping cough is highly contagious for people of any age. and it can cause violent uncontrollable coughing fits. ask your doctor or pharmacist about whooping cough vaccination because it's not just for kids. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. switch now and get 2 unlimited alines and 2 free smartphones.on and now get netflix on us. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile. rate now is the deadly delta variant is spreading across the country, public health officials are scrambling to adapt there and political figures are making those efforts each more challenging, case in point, florida governor ron desantis today signing an executive order allowing parents to ignore school mask mandates even as the
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coronavirus spikes in his state. joining us now kimberly at kips, the senior opinion writer for the boston globe, former maryland democratic congresswoman donna edwards and white house editor sam stein. kimberly, first to you. when politics and public health clash for a year and a half under president trump it's a very dangerous mix. so what's the political calculous behind governors like desantis and abbott ignoring doctors and scientists? >> yes. i mean, it is doubling down on the message that we've seen from republicans throughout the pandemic that really pushed against some of these mitigation efforts and mask mandates or social distancing requirements that they're really saying that hurt businesses and it became a cultural rallying cry about liberty that republicans have lashed on to. what you are seeing is some splitting in that front and for example, the governor of alabama, republican, has been
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very clear that these mandates need to go in place to protect people and you've had people like mitch mcconnell urging people to get vaccinated and in his own home state, still less than 50% of people in kentucky have gotten the vaccine. you are seeing this red/blue divide when it comes to the vaccine at a time when the variant is posing a big risk. >> what about mayors, leaders and city councils and nothing is happening at the local level, but we see it in georgia, texas and arizona. what are they supposed to do? >> it is complicated when local elected officials want to protect the citizens of their city or town, and yet they're in a state where they have -- are faced with a governor who is sending a completely different message from the cdc and the federal government which is why i think there has to be a kind of universal application of
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these rules because that would clear up at least some of the confusion about who's on first when it comes to declaring that people need to wear masks. i can see it in my own state in maryland where vaccination rates are very low and you know, looking around and people not wearing masks in a state where there's 70% vaccination rates. so this is very complicated, and i think for local elected officials they're trying to do the best that they can in an environment where there are no set rules for them. >> and sam, what about the white house? because the president was passionate in his speech yesterday, but it was late afternoon. i'm not sure how many people saw it other than clips on later news. so how do they get a message out? they want to show that they're not going to contradict or pressure the scientist in
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contrast to the -- the cdc has evidence and they seem bound to change the guidelines and they have not explained it fully aside from leaked memos that "the washington post" got. >> right. two questions come it mind. one is why did they not produce the evidence and then change the guidelines which is the other way around which is changing the guidelines and then leaking out the evidence. if they'd shown the evidence to guide us in making the decision. a speech at 4:00 p.m. which was a speech directly to the public trying to outline the need to remask, and perhaps the audience would have been there at a more prime time hour and the white house to their credit have gotten more communications in the last couple of days and what you see from the feds is that vaccinations are on the upticks and this more alarmist approach
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is paying off on the margins here. >> and kimberly, despite all of the divisive rhetoric flying in the face of science, you've got mitch spending money telling people to get vaccinated and after he did that the house republican leader kevin mccarthy firing off a tweet saying the cdc mask guidance had been conjured up by liberal government officials who would to live in a perpetual pandemic state. is there an obvious split on this between mitch mcconnell and and mccarthy. >> talk like that has proved effective among republicans and they galvanized and react to that message this idea that these government mandates are somehow anti-american, but at the same time some republicans
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including mitch mcconnell who understand that it is in their states where the problem is and that's not a health problem. that ultimately is a political problem that they need to face so there is a real dichotomy there. >> donna, the president and his team got high marks for most people for getting the vaccination program going they started almost from scratch because of the lack of a transition. and now they are really facing the mixed guidance, the flip-flop, you know, accusations unfair as they are because the virus is changing, not their policies so much. but how do they handle the political fallout? because that will stick to them. >> and i think that it is by, you know, continuing to follow the science. president biden said that he would do that from the beginning. this is a very aggressive virus. i mean, you only have to know, you know, middle school biology to know that viruses can mute at a time. they are finding ways to
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survive.at a time. they are finding ways to survive. and that is what this one is doing. so as it changes the guidance has to change. whether that is reversing or going forward, and so i would credit the president and the administration for trying to be responsive to a virus that is very aggressive and is finding ways to survive. but this is going to be a difficult one. i think if the president wants to get the economy rolling again and that really depends to getting more people vaccinated and controlling the spread of this delta variant. >> donna edward, kimberly atkins and sam stein, thanks to you. have a great weekend. and the united nations with afghanistan coming under attack by rocket propelled grenades. this is the first evacuated afghans who helped u.s. forces
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in afghan and they have arrived safely here in america. they arrived early this morning before being bussed to ft. lee in virginia. they qualified for visas under the special immigrant visa program that had been backlogged. the taliban have targeted and threatened afghans who worked as interpreters and drivers and security guards in combat zones for the u.s. military. and president biden says today is an important milestone as we continue to fulfill our promise to thof afghan nationals. and courtney kube is joining us now. we had statements from the president, from the secretary of state, you know, all these statements congratulating themselves, but they have not done this speedily. it has been years for some of these trance laters. you have 200 people landing safely, thousands more and their families in backlog. and they have been told that they have to get safely
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themselves to the capital of kabul through all kinds of taliban checkpoints before they can, you know, even if they qualify. >> yeah. and you've laid out the big challenges. bureaucratic backlog that exists to get through the special process for these individuals. and once approved, then they face this very dangerous jur any in many cases to get to kabul and then to get here to the united states. so as you well know, as you mentioned, about 200 afghans arrived early this morning here in the u.s. they were taken to ft. lee and arrived there early this morning. but that is just a very small number. there are -- they are a part of a group of 700 individuals who have gone through the vast majority of this siv process and then they and their families make up about 2500 total who will be brought to the united states. most will end up going to ft.
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lee for about seven days or so of a process before they are resettled in other parts of the united states. but that still is -- doesn't take care of the thousands of others who are still back in afghanistan. we know that about 4,000 of them will be moved out in the coming weeks, maybe the next month or two, they will be moved out to other locations most likely u.s. military bases there in the region near afghanistan where they will then go through the special immigrant visa process, background checks, medical checks, the employment verification, all of bureaucratic processes that go into getting the siv. but they will be doing it outside of the country where presumably they will be safer. >> and i know this is beyond what the administration plans do, but we still have not dealt with women's advocates. and educaors and others in the
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human rights community who have targets on their back from the taliban and many want to leave the country, but they have no provision to get out. >> and that is such an important issue. and i know it is one that you know well. that there are many people who over the last two decades have spoken out more about women and girls' rights in afghanistan. but they are not eligible for the siv program because they did not actually work for the united states for a specific amount of time. but they will have targets on their back. the united states, biden administration, they are aware of this issue. but like the siv issue, there does not seem to be a lot of momentum to help these people. they will be in very real and grave danger as the taliban continues to roll through parts of the country in this massive offensive that they have taken on. if they are able to take over large areas, cities like kandahar and kabu and then those women will be in trouble. >> thank you so much for your coverage. and very sad news from
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michigan where they are mourning the passing of carl levin. first elected to the senate in 1978, the democrat was michigan's longer serves senator. he is survived by his wife and brother and his nephew among others. carl levin was 87 years old. our condolences to his family. he was a great man. and that does it for andrea mitchell reports. have a great safe weekend. chuck todd is up next with "mtp daily" mt "p daily" the previous owners lefta hurry, so the house comes with everything you see. follow me. ♪ (realtor) so, any questions? (wife) we'll take it! (realtor) great. (vo) it will haunt your senses.
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viking. exploring the world in comfort... once again. . if it is friday, the white house is a major mixed messaging mess on its hands as new leaked documents from inside the cdc sound an alarm that health officials are significantly more worried about the delta variant, about breakthrough infections and about the administration's response to it. and a big week for joe biden's brand of politics, as a special election primary in ohio has gotten down right nasty wit

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