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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  August 16, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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if it is monday, a catastrophic collapse. americans now from a country that is now once again controlled by the taliban. president biden saying there is growing pressure as the white house's failure to predict the speed of the taliban takeover and the scramble that echos the last days of vietnam. and the humanitarian crisis playing out in haiti. the frantic serve for survivors after a massive earthquake kills more than 1,000. thousand they're bracing for a tropical storm.
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welcome to "meet the press daily." president joe biden is cutting short his vacation. the president's remarks are scheduled for 3:45 p.m. eastern time and it comes as pressure is mounting on him about the full withdrawal of troops from afghanistan. the u.s. has been standing by the withdrawal. the president of afghanistan thread the country and the taliban took full control yesterday including occupying the presidential palace and even as the situation became increasingly desperate and chaotic. this was social media video from kabul's airport where thousands of afghans stormed the tarmac trying to get on to a plane. any plane at all, to flee the
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country. the situation forced the u.s. military to suspend their evacuation operations for several hours but they said that flights should be resuming again in the next several hours. meanwhile defense secretary lloyd austin is sending an additional 1,000 troops to assist in security operations. bringing the total to close to 6,000. after 20 years of america's longest war, it took days for the taliban to gain control of nearly all of afghanistan. now as president biden prepares to speak to the nation this afternoon questions are piling up over why the u.s. was caught so off guard. what it all means for our national security. getting us started i'm joined by richard engel who is the a the kabul airport. also courtney kube, andrea mitchell, and mike memoli.
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richard, i will start with you. set the scene for us right now what is going on in kabul at this hour? >> i will start with the airport that is just a few hundred yards from here. they do seem to have cleared out most of the people, and i say they, it is the taliban that took over the civilian side of the airport, and the u.s. military that is overseeing the evacuation from the other side, the military side of the airport. that allows the arrival, once again, of the american transport plane sos they can bring in extra troops and bring out diplomatic personnel and they will have to bring out the troops. they're trying to set up a perimeter and as the situation here in kabul gets more and more dangerous they're beefing up that perimeter. all day long, and now kabul is controlled by the taliban, they have been firing shots up at the
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planes, it seems like they have been just harassing fire, almost celebratory fire as the american helicopters have been circling over the airport. american apaches tries to chur the perimeter. they have been shot at by the taliban. the americans are not firing back. sometimes they have used lasers to tell them we see you, back off, but they're not engaging them in active combat because they don't want to engage them in active combat, they just want to get out of here. and the taliban is enjoying it. they like that it is slowed down and the u.s. is squirming and the taliban is now asserting themselves and more and more control. the spokesmen is doing interviews and tonight will be on cnn, and they were occupying the presidential palace. and they are trying to show that they won, they're in control, they're in control, and the u.s. is leaving with their tail
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between their legs. >> richard, with the taliban in control of the civilian side of the airport, is that the last of civilian flights getting out of kabul? >> not necessarily. the taliban wants to be a government. there was flights that operated out of kabul under the taliban rule in the 90s. it would go to pakistan with some regularity. they want to show they are a country. they're a different kind of country, but they can rule this country and try to impose law and order and of course their purist vision of islamic law which is so medieval in their approach to women, girls, and anyone that wants to think in an ideology different from the taliban. so i think it is possible they could get this airport up and running. but not -- people can't get to the airport. when the taliban was in charge and even now, the taliban wants
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to know who comes, who goes. so the afghan interpreters, the people that supported the u.s. military, the contractors, they're not going to be able to get to the airport. i hear administration officials keep talking about we're going to really step it up to get those people out, but there is no way they can get to the airport now through the entire network of taliban check points that have been set up across the city. >> courtney, what can you tell us about these additional u.s. troops being deployed and is the fact that there is more troops going in now indicative of how flat footed they were caught by the speed of the developments. >> so to put it in per speck tive, this is the third battalion. when the announcement was made, they said they would send three battalions in, they were going
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to go to kuwait and be there as a quick reaction force. if things went really bad, they would have that one brigade combat team read i didn't do to go. now with this announcement today, all three battalions of that brigade team have been diverted from kuwait to go directly to kabul. if that gives you a sense of the security council on the ground, none of the troops that were supposed to be ready ever even made it to kuwait. they're all being sent directly to kabul. and that foot stomps the security situation at the airport that you and richard were just discussing. the military side of the airport right now is the only place where these evacuations will be able to take place. we now know that most of the americans who were assigned to the u.s. embassy there in america have made it out. that is about it. the only several hundred people have gone out as part of this evacuation. the intent continues to be to
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ramp that up as more troops arrive, u.s. troops arrive in kabul, hopefully in the coming hours. that those planes bringing the troops in will fill back up with americans left behind and afghans as part of the special immigrant visa program. that they will fill those planes up and get those people out. because of the security situation at the airport they have not been able to do that for hours now. the military officials that i'm speaking with say they're working to get the flights restarted. as of now they still don't have any coming. >> courtney, i know you to go. you have a lot going on today. andrea, richard was talking about how they're a government. they want to run this country, is the administration, our administration, now resigned to working with them directly. we have been talking to them for some time now, what is that diplomatic relationship looking
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like. >> it remains to be seen. they met with a taliban counter part of some sort, but we don't know if the taliban in doja are in sij with others in the country. we don't know if the taliban are come police sit with the kinds of things we're hearing. . they are taking girls away from mothers and unmarried women being at risk in being kidnapped and rained. that is all taking place around the country. terrifying reports from women calling into advocates and we just heard one in the past hour from kimberly motley was hearing a voice mail from a woman that we played and women's activists
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are hearing the same thing in droves. that's the desperation of the women in afghanistan. those are the approved military people and their families. you know, there are others on the list that were expnd up and down -- expanded to include american companies and nongovernment organizations. they have not even been accounted for at the airport. they were saying 5,000 people a day could be air lifted out once the embassy personnel were taken care of and other u.s. citizens, but whether or not the airport will remain stable for that amount of time to take place remains to be seen, and the reaction of afghans is they feel betrayed that u.s. citizens are being taken care of first. that's what americans expect
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from this white house, that's what president has been proclaiming, but it doesn't account for all of those that were loyal supporters in the trenches with our troops and creating a civil society for 20 years. a generation of girls changed and they believe they can go to school, be educated, have careers, learn to code, do other things. be doctors, teachers, and lawyers. all of that is at risk. >> we heard a lot about the challenging now faces this country. the president addressed directly as they think they will reiterate their really stround personal feelings about the need for the united states to get out of afghanistan. >> there are two challenges here for the president as he addresses the nation this afternoon. he just is touching down as we speak back in washington after leaving close to where but are
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here. first the white house is the most comfortable in tackling and it is complicated. based on the incistency. they they were never going to be effective in terms of nation building. biden said that we're knot there to be nation building. it is complicated because they are pointing the finger at the trump administration and binding their hands here in terms of how exactly this strategy has played out. but it is the president's decision to delay what was an earlier time line for this milestone of september the 11th. the challenge that i think is more difficult for the white house to address and it will be interesting to hear how the president deals with this is for a white house that prides itself
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on execution for the vaccine rollout, the child tax credit. the president announced in april this was the time line for the withdrawal of the u.s. military forces but what we're seeing play out now is clearly a failing of the strategy of the administration. it is striking to see a number of democratic lawmakers somewhat gently, some more bluntly, talking about the plight of women and girls, and the plight of the interpreters. and they were not as mindful and prepared for the need for a quick extraction of them as they need to be. that is where you're seeing the president's allies expressing real concern about the strategy
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here and the degree to which the president was mindful of that. >> we didn't see congressional democrats rush to defend the president on this at all as we're looking at live pictures there for marine one. richard before i lose you, i have to ask you, i'm asking all of our guests in the course of the day today about how the u.s. was caught so by surprise, by how quickly the afghan government essentially rolled up and disappears in the face of the taliban. were the afghans as surprised? that it disappeared as quickly as it did in the face of this resurgence? no, they weren't, and i don't believe that the u.s. was surprised as it is claiming right now. i know u.s. military commanders, i spoke to them pernlly that
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told me this would happen. they told me they conveyed this to senior leaders but they're messages were not relayed to the president or the chain of command. this was obvious. they had months and months to prepare for a more orderly evacuation and a more orderly closure. for a more oshderly transition of power. first trump made a deal. we had a time line known well over a year ago. like it or not, it was a bad deal. they gave them everything they had been asking for. but biden knew that the deal was there. he could have started preparing for it then. then he has more time to prepare for this. i know people were telling their superiors that afghanistan was
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fragile, that if we pulled the carpest under the security forces that things would collapse. there was a period of improvement. they were in recreate until a few months ago until they pulled out and there was a moral or an army collapse. once it starts it's like breaking water in the dam and it collapses very very quickly. but this was absolutely predictable and i'm not, i don't exactly believe all of this talk that no one could have seen this, that no one saw this, that no one was warned. they were warned, i saw them. >> it was reported in "the washington post" in 2017. they thought the army existed mostly on paper. richard engel in kabul, please be safe.
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coming up, as the u.s. leaving afghanistan to be run by extremists, growing fears on whether or not they they will become a haven for terrorists. and those questions whether or not america's longest war was worth it. >> we want to see action, a plan, and answers. we hope that the white house is watching from the commander and chief, whatever is said in the media, in the community, you did your job, what you were supposed to, and you should be proud of the efforts that you put on and the people, the blood, the sacrifices were not for nothing. . t in their last ad. like new smashed avocado and artisan italian bread. 100% wild-caught tuna. hold up! 100% wild-caught tuna ain't new! subway®'s always had 100% wild-caught tuna! y'all tried to sneak one in on the chuckster!
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equipment and training to the afghan national security forces. they would not fight for kabul and for the country. >> that was white house national security advisor jake sullivan this morning repeating what we heard from the secretary of state yesterday on "meet the press" and what we heard from the pentagon as well. what happens next there is in the hands of afghans. joining me now is the former native supreme allied commander in europe. and elliott ackerman. a retired marine that served in afghanistan. they're coauthors of 2034, novel of the next world war. you had a piece in may. was there a delusion among the american people or those in the government about what a withdrawal from afghanistan would look like once we pulled off the bandaid. >> i think the word that i would
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use would be a naiveway. we have not set up our afghan allies for success with the precipitous and the chaotic way that we're leaving the country. >> is it just this administration or the foreign policy and military way. you wrote in 2010 that the success in building up the afghan security forces was key. significant progress in the area where we feel that 240,000 afghan security nationals and the recruiting and training continues on a path by next summer. you wrote operational confidence continues to grow but i would
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rather hold the hand that we have than the insurgents have. did you know they would not be able to hold the line when it counted? did you understand then what we were talking about or did something change in the course of the last decade of this war? in what all of the national security apparatus thought was the solution and it just didn't work in the end? >> yeah, and sometimes you believe something, you put huge amount of effort in it, and it fails. that is life, it is war, and for starters, as we say in the trade, the enemy gets a vote. and i would say the taliban performed brilliantly on the battlefield in the last few weeks. they improved their game. i think the afghans failed to demonstrate the will to lead forces in combat. i think looking back on it yeah, i think we, the military, those
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of us that went to afghanistan trained the security forces have failed. i believe they failed. we trained them in a way that did not prepare them for this moment in the sense that we tried to make a mini version of ourselves. that was not, as it turns out the force that was needed to defeat the taliban. >> we're talking a lot about tactical mistakes and blind spots in the last couple weeks and months. but that feels like a strategic mistake. we trained an army to fight like our army when maybe we should have trained them like the taliban. they would be on their own. >> i served with afghan units
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that were every bit as tactically competition as american yupts, particularly the afghan commandos that put up preety fierce restraint. ultimately as jim pointed out the -- we made a decision early on in the process to recruit the national army from the entire nation as opposed to regionally because they had a history of warlordism. the cost of that is you end up with a military that looks like the u.s. military but they're not as deeply imbedded. they have not been as cohesive in recent days. >> and we're seeing that this country culturally, i want to play something for you that the
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former architect said this morning on another network, listen to this. >> the taliban made progress, the government did not. they did not stand up, they did not withstand the pressure of the taliban. i'm afraid that we built a house, that we built a house on sand. >> do you agree with that assessment that 20 years later we built a house on sand in afghanistan and at the end of the last block should we not have known this as we started to withdrawal? >> i think the execution of the withdrawal has been extremely should we have known that this would happen? could we have known it would happy to instantaneously? right in front of our eyes? i think that is much harder. the intelligence was there in a certain sense. what we lacked was the imagination to picture how bad
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it could be so often these things are failures not just of tactical intelligence but our ability to imagine our way to the worst scenario. >> is this something we have to start off with. it might be something for the united states again. and we have to fundamentally fight terror abroad. >> perhaps we should have learned this lesson in vote nam but you always want to believe in what you do and who you are, so you tend to say be like me. that's the path to success but we have learned that is not always the case. >> can i tell you how frustrating it is to say lessons that we should have learned in vietnam, but here we are.
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up next, reaction from house members as lawmakers push the white house for more details about the situation in afghanistan. plus moderate democrats are not letting up on speaker pelosi demanding a vote before they will vote on the budget blueprint. i will speak with members of congress on both sides of the aisle, next. f the aisle, next. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. switch now and get 2 unlimited lines and 2 free smartphones. boost® high protein also has key nutrients and now get netflix on us. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile.
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welcome back. the house of representatives was getting a briefing about the situation there and their decision making process. top u.s. officials told house members that while they had training they lacked the will to respond to the taliban's events. kevin mccarthy called for a second briefing saying he only heard executions from the briefers. joining me now are the two chairs of the house's problem solvers caucus. congressman, what can you learn about the situation and how it happened? >> a lot, unfortunately. as a current fbi agent, i was there as an al qaeda interrogator in is so bad on so many different levels. some of which will manifest quickly and other it's a will
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take months to manifest. it's a serious problem. we didn't get the answers that we wanted or need. i sit on the house intelligence committee and we're certainly going to have a lot of questions that we really need answers to. >> getting your intelligence bank account, did you see what happened here as an intelligence failure or operational or some combination of both. . >> that is what we need to find out. we need to know. and we talked about this earlier. you have libertarians in one party, and liberals in another that are weak on national security, people that serve over there understand the threats. it could have take an limited
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special ops force. 2,000, to completely pull out in this manner is heartbreaking. the threats are going to be very, very significant. and now i'll tell you again as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11 it bleaks my heart to say this. we're going to be in a worse security prospect. >> what should congress's role be to address all of these problems? >> this is part of what we talked about yesterday on our briefings. we need to make sure we do everything possible to get american personnel out safely, and all of those that helps us
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over the years. it's incredibly important to protect the airport. i'm eager to hear from the president in the next hour or so on the latest move there and what we're doing to ensure that we protect everyone that and we have a safe exhibit. but i agree. it is heartbreaking and horrific, and we should focus now on getting everyone out safely. but we should get to answers quickly. >> let's switch gears a little bit to talk about infrastructure and what's going on when you come back. speaker pelosi has a plan to proceed. you're not going to get the vote on infrastructure, hard infrastructure, first. then the reconciliation bill later. how far are you willing to go with opposing the speaker and the president's preference to do these things in tandem over the
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time it takes to get them done? >> the president indicated as you know that we sind him the senate bill to his desk as quickly as possible on the bipartisan frurp package. infrastructure package. the labor and chamber of commerce, others, a lot of support. people are talking about getting shovels in the ground and people to work. so we're very focused on getting an infrastructure vote as quickly as possible. get that done first. all we need to do is vote in the house and get that done. we just need to get that done. here in jersey, a third of the bridges are unsafe. we need to help. there is no reason to wait. and of course we get on to as you pointed out other priorities that the president as that we will consider in congress including reconciliation packages. but there is no reason to wait three or four months or more to
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get these moving. that's where we need to get our infrastructure prepared. >> are you ready to vote know until the hard infrastructure bill comes up? >> nine of us said we're with the president and we want to vote first and foremost for infrastructure. if they put up the budget and try to skip out on the infrastructure, that you know, we don't they is the wise path and you know we have too many things that need to get going when it comes to infrastructure and we should not wait. so that's what we said is that we should vote first on infrastructure and then we'll consider the budget resolution like they did in the senate. this is literally what they did in the senate. bernie sanders backed that as well as every democrat. it's good enough for the senate, i'm sure it is good enough for us in the house, that's the path we should follow.
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>> that seems like a hard yes or no. >> we said clearly it has to be infrastructure bill first. >> congressman fitzpatrick you had 19 senators back the infrastructure bill. many in the problem solvers caucus will probably back it as well. how do you see the potential support for that bill on the republican side changing if reconciliation goes first, or how many republican votes are in play at all. >> the problems in the problem solvers caucus are in play. whether or not they vote yes or no be will be dependent on the issues they touched on. we are very concerned about overheating the economy. as we have said many, many times
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before. but we support the bill. and it is responsible. there is about $550 billion in new spending. half of it is paid for and the other half is legitimate. it is a hard infrastructure bill to benefit the economy, the grid, and our economy. it has to be separate and apart from the reconciliation package. >> i want to ask you something he basely said that everyone is posturing. at the end of the day you're all democrats. so why are you fighting the process. why not stick with the two-track plan that the speaker put forward here if it means both of these things that you want to
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get across the finish line. >> i think putting that bipartisan plan at risk. this is a once in a century and if you know, you wait three or four months and anything can happen. especially when you have infrastructure crumbling here in jersey. the idea that you would wait months makes no sense. i would say why are you obstructing what the president wants which is getting this to his desk, getting it to his desk, and the job it right, we can work together, and we'll figure it out. but i think we can work through this. i'm want mystic that we'll get this done. we have climate policy, we have so much on the line to do anything to put it at risk. strong bipartisan support doesn't make sense to me.
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>> when you have the votes you take the vote. a washington truism. thank you both for coming on. coming up, the growing crisis in haiti as they grapple with the aftermath of another massive earthquake. aftermath of another massive earthquake ncy medicine possible at 40,000 feet. instead of burning our past for power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change. faster. vmware. welcome change.
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a little preparation will make you and your family safer in an emergency. a week's worth of food and water, radio, flashlight, batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit rescue operations are taking place in haiti today after a earthquake rocked the country on saturday. those numbers are expected to rise. the prime minister there declared a state of emergency and rescue teams are scrambling to find survivors trapped in the rubble as a tropical depression heads to the area as well. we're going to bring in now
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former "new york times" reporter gary perier perier. so what do you know about how the operations are going with a death toll above 1300. how desperate is the ichgs on the ground there? >> it is very desperate. they don't have the kwix and the capacity to get to the people trapped fast enough. we understand that there are u.s. experts on their way and they may have to survive and so there will be a little help, but the problem right now is that they were trying and they are mitt dating the death toll. that number, we expected it to rise unfortunately. >> you and i first spoke a
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couple weeks ago after the president was assassinated there. talk about how fragile it is right now and the ability to respond to another disaster. >> yes, it is very nonexistent. right now we are still realing from the after shock of the assassination. and we also have the game issue and we also have covid. so things are moving at a slow pace. people are basically unsir of the action. but it is sort of like fema being in charge and waiting to see the orders they will give. they asked a lot of the organizations willing and ready to help to hold on. they will tell them what they
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need from them and they're hoping that will be the case and they will defy the idea that they are weak and this is the moment. >> i think the reality hear is the political stability makes it less likely for the aide that is probably necessary there. what kind of help can the international community give? what is most needed for this? >> first it is rescue. the personnel, the skills, and the ability to save lives. second is medical help. and so i think that they can provide that technical help. up with third of all black
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doctors and the skills are here ready to help. but they cannot come in. they need to be coordinated. . you will need logistics, you need temporary shelters. and they experienced 7.0 earthquake and that left about 250,000 people dead. >> thank you very much. when we come back, the growing covid crisis in this country. we're live in new orleans where vaccine requirements for restaurants, gyms, casey knows -- casinos and more go into
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welcome back. pfizer has just announced they sent the first covid booster data to the fda today. it is preliminary data, but the trials show higher antibody levels in the third shot against the delta variant and this is as the numbers climb in numbers we haven't seen since february. louisiana is is trying to bring down their case rate by
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implementing mitigation measures. the governor reimplemented a statewide mask requirement, and new orleans is going to reimplement mask requirement for places like indoor gyms, and katy, what are you hearing from the business owners and the residents anthere are they complying? >> the french quarter is a popular tourist destination, and people are asked to stop and show proof of vaccination or a negative covid test no more than 72 hours old. so far people are compliant and aware that it was going to go into effect. as for the business owners they say it is another hurdle of the
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pandemic they have to go over, and staff issues of who is going to check the i.d.s and verify it at the door, and one they readily accept to keep the lights on. that is what the mayor said thursday when she put the order in place, and she does not want to cause the harm to shutdown again, and as the cases rise and this is the way to control the numbers when you have tourists coming in from other areas. we spoke to the general manager of brennans which is iconic restaurant open for 75 years, and this is what he had to say about the mandate. >> reporter: so far this morning you had a couple of people, and manning the door to fend off what might be early bugs in the process. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: what have you encountered in terms of the people coming up? >> right now, everybody is pleasant, and they understand. >> reporter: the reservations remain in tact, and only 10% fell off, and what is that telling you in terms of what you hope to see? >> people are understanding.
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they understand where to share the opinions, and it is not our policy, and that people are more and more people are getting vaccinated everyday and we are seeing the number growing. so people just want to come and have as much normalcy in their life as they can, and if it is showing the vaccine card or showing the covid test, they are willing to do that to come to take a break from reality. >> reporter: now we did speak to some of the tourists that came here from arizona on vacation and they were unaware of the mandate going into effect, and they have been forced to eat outdoors for the remainder of the trip, but for the most part, they knew it was coming and new york city and san francisco and l.a. are considering similar measures in the very near future, and so it could be a new normal for more than new orleans. garrett. >> eating outdoors in august is not too bad, so i hope you put the corporate credit card to good use in supporting the local businesses as they put this new mandate to place.
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thank you for being with us this hour. chuck is going to be with us tomorrow for more "meet the press daily" and geoff bennett will be back with us after this break. us after this break. ♪♪ let me tell you something, i wouldn't be here if i thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any american senior, or worse, that it was some way to take your home. learn how homeowners are strategically using a reverse mortgage loan to cover expenses, pay for healthcare, preserve your portfolio and so much more. a reverse mortgage loan isn't some kind of trick to take your home. it's a loan, like any other. big difference is how you pay it back. find out how reverse mortgages really work with aag's free, no-obligation reverse mortgage guide. with a reverse mortgage, you can pay whatever you can,
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it is good to be with you. i'm geoff bennett, and as we come on the air, president biden has returned to the white house from camp david where he is going to address the nation and the world at 3:45 eastern about the escalating crisis in
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afghanistan in what might be best described as the surreal end to america's 20-year end there with desperate afghans surrounding the airport there in kabul and blocking military evacuation flights. scenes show hundreds of people climbing the tarmac trying to climb the airplanes trying to escape and at one point running alongside an air force plane down the runway and some grabbing on to the jet just before takeoff. on the commercial side of the same airport, we have seen the afghans climbing on to commercial jets grounded and reports of at least seven people dead. nbc news have said that two gunmen were taken down by u.s. forces. the state of affairs is so chaotic with the taliban swarming into kabul that the top u.s. general in the region met with the taliban leader warning them not to interfere with the exit operation


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