tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 2, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
remarkable scenes we've seen out of tokyo as the repression in his country continues. >> nick paton walsh, thank you. you can follow me on twitter @pamelabrowncnn. our coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." ♪ happening now, the u.s. finally hits president biden's vaccine milestone one month late. the white house calling it a significant step as the delta variant spreads like wildfire among the unvaccinated. we go live to florida, the epicenter of this new covid crisis as cases soar in the battle over mask and mandates fencifies. a third police officer who confronted the rioters during the january 6th capitol insurrection has died by
suicide. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." all right. let's get straight to our white house, our chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins. kaitlan, covid is front and center for president biden as the country now faces a new surge of cases. >> yeah, wolf. and the white house is making a concerted effort to try to correct the messaging after the cdc fark sparked a lot of confusion last week when they issued that new mask guidance for fully vaccinated americans. and now this week the white house has filled president biden's schedule with events related to the pandemic as they are stressing the effectiveness of vaccines given, they say, that right now 90 million americans who are eligible to get vaccinated still haven't done so. with the delta variant fueling outbreaks nationwide, president biden is hitting a key vaccine goal tonight almost one month late. >> i would say it's a significant step that we have hit 70%. >> reporter: 70% of adults in the u.s. have now received at
least one shot, a milestone biden hoped to reach by july 4th. the u.s. reported over 800,000 new shots were administered yesterday, making it the fifth straight day with over 700,000 shots in arms, still far from peak levels. amid a renewed push to get more people vaccinated, the pandemic is once again consuming biden's agenda. >> we're not going back to the shutdowns of march of 2020. we are not going back to the economy shutting down. we've made too much progress. >> reporter: after getting briefed by his covid-19 team today, the president will give a speech on the pandemic tomorrow and meet with the top science adviser on wednesday to prepare for future pandemics. the white house is attempting to clear up confusion about the effectiveness of vaccines sparked by the cdc after the agency issued new mask guidance. less than 1% of those who are fully vaccinated have experienced a breakthrough infection according to an analysis by the kaiser family
foundation. senator lindsey graham announcing he is one of them, adding, quote, i am very glad i was vaccinated. not everyone is taking the cdc's mask advice. >> there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of florida. >> reporter: today new york mayor bill de blasio urged vaccinated new yorkers to wear masks inside but stopped short of issuing a new mandate. >> we thought that was the right balance. we still want to respect the fact that vaccination does and gives you different opportunities and rights than unvaccinated people. >> reporter: right now five states are accounting for nearly half of all new covid-19 cases. meanwhile, a federal freeze on evictions expired over the weekend putting millions of tenants at risk as infections are spreading nationwide. >> why did the president wait
until sunday to ask the cdc for a targeted moratorium focused on those areas with high case rates? >> i think what you're seeing is a president who is just trying to do everything that he can in his power. >> reporter: democrats didn't have the votes to get an extension passed last week. but progressives are turning up the heat on house speaker nancy pelosi. >> we have to really just call a spade a spade. we cannot in good faith blame the republican party when house democrats have the majority. >> reporter: now, wolf, back to this news that senator lindsey graham has tested positive for coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated. we should note, and as you know, senator joe manchin has a house boat in washington that he lives on. this weekend he hosted a small group of senators on that very house boat including senator lindsey graham and senator mark kelly of arizona. so there are questions about what precautions they are taking. he is following cdc guidelines, which was updated last week to say that if you come into
contact with someone who has tested positive, you should get tested within three to five days after coming into contact with this person. and of course, wolf, this is all coming in a week where attendance is critical on capitol hill. >> it certainly is. all right, kaitlan, thank you very, very much. let's get some more on all of this. the former acting cdc director dr. richard besser. dr. besser, as the u.s. hits this benchmark of 70% of adults 18 years old and over having at least one dose of covid-19, the vaccine, the delta variant is causing a major surge in cases around the country, especially in several of those states. what's it going to take for the u.s. to finally get control over this virus? >> you know, wolf, i think it's going to take much more immunization, much more vaccination than we're seeing. and it also takes us really in an effort to stop focusing on a national number of 70%. now i'm here in new jersey, and
71% of people in the state of adults are fully vaccinated. in my town it's 77%. but the next town over, which is trenton, it's 49%. we need to look at what's happening down at the community level and double or triple our efforts to get vaccines to people who are not yet vaccinated. one of the encouraging signs is that in some of the areas with the highest transmission right now, that's where we're seeing the greatest uptake in interest in vaccination. if we create space for people to change their mind, i think we're going to continue to see people deciding it is time to get vaccinated. >> we saw the fifth day in a row with more than 700,000 coronavirus shots in arms. but even with this increase, and it's a good increase, it certainly doesn't feel like enough to combat the concerning trends that we're seeing, does it? >> no, it's not enough, wolf. thanks for having me. this variant is about three or
four times more infectious than influenza, twice as infectious as smallpox. and it will probably take 90% because of that infection to reach herd immunity. just like politics, all covid is local. and we're going to find that over the next few months it divides our country even more as the blue states that are well vaccinated in the blue communities are going to be doing okay even if people who are vaccinated get the disease. but i'm worried about the south, i'm worried about texas and florida. i'm afraid that the covid virus is going to drag on all through christmas if they don't really begin to take vaccination more seriously. >> that's an important point. dr. besser, a kaiser family foundation analysis finds less than 1% of fully vaccinated people experience the breakthrough coronavirus infection. so what should vaccinated people
take away from this data? >> they should take away that vaccination is the right choice. not only is it a small number of people who are experiencing breakthrough infections. but if you're fully vaccinated, most of those infections are mild or asymptomatic. when you look across the nation, you look at the data. more than 99% of the people who are dying from covid are unvaccinated. and just about everyone in the hospital with covid is unvaccinated. although there's a slight chance of a breakthrough infection, the chances of it being a severe infection go way down if you're fully vaccinated. >> the key is to be fully vaccinated. dr. brilliant, israel, germany, the united kingdom, they're already doing or preparing to give these third booster shots to vulnerable groups, especially individuals 60 and older with some underlying health
conditions. should the u.s. be taking a similar step right now? >> yes. i think we're worried that if we announce that there's a third dose, some people will think, well, the first two doses weren't good enough. the first two doses were great. this vaccine, the amazing mrna and the johnson & johnson vaccine are phenomenal. but we find that there is an incremental increase in immunogenicity with the second dose and a bigger jump in immunity with the third dose. for people who are over 65 who are immunocompromised who have some reason to need to get vaccinated i'm hopeful that the fda will take an action to allow that booster dose much quicker than they had been perhaps expecting. >> especially if they're five or six months after their second shot. dr. besser, let me turn quickly to the federal eviction moratorium, which ended over the weekend. as a pediatrician, i know this is very, very concerning to you. tell us why. >> well, wolf, it's pretty hard
to lead a healthy life if you don't have stable, affordable housing. and with the end of this eviction moratorium, there are millions of people in our country who are going to be evicted very soon. congress did not act to extend that. and although there are billions of dollars to provide for back rent, most states haven't put in place the systems to get that money out. and so we are really in the midst of an eviction crisis in our country in the middle of a very dangerous pandemic. that's not something we should allow to continue to happen. >> okay, dr. besser, thank you very much. dr. brilliant, thanks to you as well. coming up, a third police officer who responded to the january 6th attack has died by suicide. we're going to bring you new information, new details and analysis right after a quick break. ah, there's no place like panera.
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the washington, d.c. metropolitan police department says another police officer who responded to the january 6th capitol riot has now died by suicide. this is the third suicide among police officers who responded to the attack. what are we learning about this very, very sad development? >> it's terrible. what we know she was found deceased on thursday july 29th. he's been with the department since 2003, clearly a veteran of the department. we know that he responded to the insurrection on january 6th. again, the third officer who responded to that attack to take his own life. suicide is of course incredibly personal. it is incredibly complicated. the department did not say that it was because of his response to the attack that he ended up
taking his own life. but what it does remind you of is that law enforcement is an incredible burden. they went through trauma on the 6th. many of them go through traumas very regularly with just the sheer burden of their career. and tonight this department is grieving. they are sending their thoughts, their prayers to this man. we've had an outpouring of support on twitter as well for him and his family. it's a terribly sad story, and it is a reminder of the trauma and the immense burden of law enforcement. >> an awful impact of what happened on january 6th. whitney, thank you very much. let's get some analysis. joining us now our chief political correspondent dana bash and cnn law enforcement analyst, the former u.s. capitol police chief. we don't know why officer hashida took his own life. but we do know that the capitol police or the d.c. police, for that matter, have been under enormous stress and trauma, as whitney just reported, since the
january 6th attack. how hard is it to hear this news? >> well, it's heartbreaking, wolf. and i think the number of police suicides across the country is astronomically high. and the third one after the january 6th event i think makes it doubly difficult as those officers are working now in trying to reconcile how they deal with that. and i think the testimony of officer dunn when he was speaking to fellow officers to reach out and try to get help. and i think maybe part of this, wolf, and dana, is the police officers nationwide and out there have had a summer and fall of disconnect besides the long hours they were working because of all the absences with the covid but all the disorders that have been in the greater area of d.c. and, again, across the
country has simply worn these officers out mentally and physically. >> we know the important work capitol and metropolitan police do in protecting members of congress, staff, journalists, everyone who works up there. one of those police officers who responded on january 6th, sergeant aquilino gonell, says when that people call the attack a sham, this is devastating for us. the horror of january 6th has not going to way. >> absolutely not. and that is such an important point. it's not just as chief gainer said the toll that this time period has taken on these law enforcement officials who are human beings and are still working incredibly hard. it's the fact that some of the people who they are still going to the capitol to protect every single day are not only not honoring the sacrifices they
made, pretending like they didn't happen, and even with the pleas that some of them are making in private to try to reverse the lies that are going on out there, and they're falling on deaf ears. i mean, imagine that. imagine putting your life on the line every day and knowing that the people you are there to defend and protect, that's the oath that they take, are not living up to the oath that the lawmakers have taken to effectively do the same and honor the sacrifice that they are making. >> so many of these police officers, as you and i have heard, they are suffering from post-traumatic stress issues. chief gainer, what sort of impact does the political rhetoric downplaying the january 6th attack have on police officers' morale and mental health? >> i think it definitely has a negative impact on how they feel because they want the members to
walk the talk. it's not enough for them when they come in a door or into the garage just to say hello. they really want to see some action. now we're beginning to see some of that action, and with a new chief up there and all his predecessor and he's doing and with the d.c. chief, they're trying to put time and energy to help the officers. they do have a lot of employee assistant programs. but you and dana know this about police officers. they're awful reticent sometimes to ask for help. and these officers, whether it's in the district of columbia or up on the hill, they have to be sharp all the time, under attack and constant threat of attack. it is wearing on them. and, listen, they're tired out. >> and that's an important point, dana, because i know there are things happening on capitol hill to give these police officers some support, some help. what are you hearing? >> yeah.
exactly right. there are avenues for them to go down. there are resources for them offered to them to have discussions, to talk about the stress that they're under, to talk about the trauma that they were part of and that they're still living with and carrying with them from january 6th. but it certainly isn't necessarily naturally in the dna for many of these officers to seek help as you heard chief gainer saying not at all. maybe one of the positive things about the conversation, the international conversation that is going on right now about mental health, that it will seep into police departments not just in the capitol police department, the d.c. metropolitan but all over if it's naomi osaka or simone biles, very, very different kind of stresses, but they are all about mental health and the fact that people no matter what your career, but especially the most competitive and in this case the
most stressful and traumatic need to seek mental health analysis and just help. >> it's critically important. chief gainer, what's the most important thing you think we can do to help these police officers? >> i think talk about this as you are. ask the members of congress when you get them to support that. and i think every person watching this program needs to understand we owe something to the other person. you don't know what stress they are under. and the more type of jobs they're in where the stress has increased, you need to take that into consideration when you're dealing with them. so, if we can back away from the hurt, the hate, and the half-truths, that may go a long way to make everybody feel a little bit more comfortable no matter what they're going through. >> yeah. i think you're absolutely correct. chief gainer, thank you very much. dana, thanks to you as well. up next, the house minority
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we're following new developments up on capitol hill, including a final push to try to get the massive bipartisan infrastructure bill over the finish line. our chief congressional correspondent manu raj yu is joining us. what are the chances they can finally get this legislation passed? >> the negotiators who put together this bill are optimistic that they can get this through.
they will have to keep that bipartisan coalition together and also fend off poison bill amendments, amendments they consider would undercut the core of the bill as it is now being considered on the senate floor $1.2 trillion over eight years, $550 billion in new spending. it deals with everything from broadband, $65 billion for that, $73 billion for power infrastructure, money for roads and bridges to the tune of $110 billion. even more money for ports. electric vehicle charges and the like. this would not be paid for by raising taxes. instead it would be paid for by redirecting already enacted covid relief money. but ultimately the question will be whether or not they can maintain, keep 60 votes in the senate to beat back some amendments they consider can be problematic, ultimately getting to iafinal vote here, and one issue to watch out here, wolf, is that republicans want a lengthy process to offer amendments. democrats are signaling they want to wrap up votes in just a
matter of days. that is going to be a point of contention going forward. but can they get it through the house where democratic liberals in particular are concerned about this. that is still a question to be seen in the week as head. >> manu, the recent war of words between the house minority leader mccarthy with speaker pelosi seems to be getting ughler. what's the latest on this? >> this weekend the republican leader kevin mccarthy made some remarks and has gotten a lot of attention from democrats in particular who are now calling on mccarthy for a joke he made at a dinner suggesting that he would hit speaker pelosi with the gavel. [ applause ]
>> mccarthy's office contends that this was just a joke. but democrats want him to apologize. but the war of words indeed has been escalating. pelosi last week called mccarthy a moron after he questioned the science behind mask mandates. and those two have had an increasingly acrimonious relationship from january 6th onto today in which he has battled tooth and nail for any investigation into what happened that day, battled what happened over the select committee formation of that to look into what happened on january 6th as pelosi rejected two of his picks. this has been going on for some time, but the underlying tension here is he wants her job, he wants to be speaker next year in the midterms and she's doing everything she can to prevent that from happening. >> really, really ugly. manu, thank you very much. let's get some reaction from democratic congresswoman pramila jayapal. congresswoman, thanks very much
for joining us. i know i have a lot to discuss with you. but what's your reaction to that so-called joke from the house minority leader? >> it is absolutely unacceptable. it is not funny. it is not the kind of thing that any leader should say. and it just shows that kevin mccarthy isn't up to the job. he's not up to being minority leader much less, you know, any other higher position. it's just outrageous, and particularly in this time when there is so much violence already when nancy pelosi was being hunted by insurrectionists on january 6th, it's outrageous. it's what i've come to expect, sadly, of kevin mccarthy. >> and what's your reaction with speaker pelosi calling him a moron? >> well, look. i just think we are now at a place where in the last month alone covid cases have gone from 15,000 a day at the end of june that was the lowest point to 97,000 at the end of july. and so anybody that continues to
say that we shouldn't wear masks or that we shouldn't get vaccinated is clearly not using their intellect. so i sympathize with speaker pelosi's response to that. i think she was just very frustrated. she's trying to keep us all safe. she's trying to keep the united states safe. here you have someone denying that wearing a mask is an important thing to do at this point in time. >> let's talk about infrastructure. it's so critically important. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez hinted that up to 90 progressives in the house of representatives could let the bipartisan infrastructure deal die if you don't get what you want on bigger reconciliation, a bigger reconciliation package. as the chair of the progressive caucus, is that your strategy? >> well, we have said for three months, wolf, and we've been very clear, i don't think anybody would be surprised, that we are not voting for a bipartisan infrastructure package without the reconciliation package that funds our progressive
priorities. we made that very clear. nobody should be surprised by that. we took a whip count almost a month and a half ago. and over 60% of our caucus felt that they could already say that they were completely with us. and we had a lot of people who, you know, said that's likely to be my position, but i want to wait and see. so there is a significant number of progressives in the house who will not vote for a bipartisan package without the reconciliation package. that is what speaker pelosi has said as well. and we're going to stick to that. the senate wanted to do a bipartisan package. that's fine, wolf. but there are two chambers in the united states congress, the house of representatives has 435 people, and each of us represents a district, and we want to make sure that this recovery is done in such a way that women, that folks of color, that poor people, working people have childcare, have paid leave, have access to higher education and community college, have
healthcare in the midst of a crisis that is still not going away with the pandemic. and of course that we address climate change and immigration. so we are not backing off of that. and i think the senate should understand that is our position and will be our position. >> just to be precise, you want the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package to be voted on before you vote, even vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan compromised package? >> that's correct. and that's what speaker pelosi has said as well. and that is, wolf, so that we can make sure that if we're going to create a bunch of great jobs as the infrastructure package anticipates, then we want to make sure that women have access to that, and we don't want that delayed. people are hurting, wolf. and at the end of the day, the reconciliation package has all of the, you know, all of the pieces that are really going to allow people to be able to participate fully in this economic recovery. >> congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us.
>> thank you, wolf. just ahead, the republican governor of one state where covid cases are surging is threatening to withhold funds from schools that require masks. [music plays.] ♪ ♪ with our unique tub over tub installation in just a day, bath fitter doesn't just fit your bath, it fits your busy schedule.
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summer is a state of mind, you can visit anytime. savor your summer with lincoln. troubling pandemic news tonight. covid hospitalizations and deaths climbing here in the united states with the number of new cases up more than 50% in a week. cnn's rosa flores is one of the states where cases are surging, florida, has become the epicenter for covid here in the u.s. so what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, good afternoon. public schools here in the state of florida are evaluating their policies on masks because of the executive order that was issued by the governor last week. they're trying to figure out what their policy can be so they can be safe and keep their children safe there, the students and teachers and also follow that executive order so
that they don't lose their funding. this after florida governor ron desantis signed that executive order on friday, which does not ban mask mandates, but what it does do is it orders the florida department of education and the florida department of health to issue emergency rules that gives parents choice. now, florida governor ron desantis, a staunch critic of the new cdc guidelines on mask, so much so he made fun of them at a conservative conference last week in utah. meanwhile in his state, florida, the number of cases were surging. florida making up one out of five cases in the entire nation. last week florida reporting 110,000 cases. now, just to give you an idea of what that means, in the weekending of may the 21st, that number was 15,000. so when you compare those two numbers, you realize how much these numbers are growing. a huge concern for a lot of the
local leaders here. now the positivity rate in this state, 18% when you look at the positivity rate for the children ages 12 to 19 the positivity rate is 22%. if we look at the counties here in this area where i am, miami-dade, 12%, broward 14%, and palm beach county 15.5%. the frustrating part for local leaders and county leaders here in the state of florida is that governor ron desantis clipped their powers to enforce mask mandates that are countywide. so it really clips their powers, it makes it very difficult for them to see these numbers to continue to rise, and they really can't do much about it. >> rosa flores in fort lauderdale for us, thanks so much. the mayor of miami beach dan gelber is joining us. last fall you said governor desantis' handling of the pandemic, in your words, was killing people.
do you still feel the same way now? >> well, unfortunately, i think he has converted a healthcare challenge into a political opportunity, and there's no question that increased hospitalizations and therefore increased deaths are happening. you just look at what he's doing. he's not allowing us to do all the things that we did that reduce the spread of the disease. and, worst of all, he's doing nothing to really encourage people to follow cdc guidelines, you know, to wear masks, to get vaccinations. they can't even require vaccinations as a condition of coming into a business in florida because of what he and the legislature did. so he's almost taking every step he can in the opposite direction i think trying to curry favor with a group of supporters who probably tend to be the folks that are unlikely to wear masks or perhaps even get vaccinated. >> miami-dade county public schools, as you well know, mayor, they're deciding whether to require masks but governor
desantis has not only banned mask mandates in schools, but he's also threatening to withhold funding for schools that require wearing masks. how worried are you that back to school could become a superspreader event? >> well, we already are having a superspreader in our county. we have about 1,500 people in the hospital today with about 300 or more in icu. i have a kid in our public high school, and i want him to go to school, but i feel a lot more comfortable knowing that the local school officials are free to make the decision that they think should govern schools in mask usage, et cetera. and the fact that he's decided that this is just an opportunity for him to make an ideological point rather than taking a healthcare precaution is really troubling. >> did you ever think, mayor, that you'd see the icus fill up where you are down in florida and have people lining up once again for covid tests even after
vaccines rolled out and they're plentiful right now, it's easy to go out and get a shot? >> it's nuts. and, by the way, we had closed it a few weeks or months ago. we just today opened up a joint vaccine testing center next to city hall because we realize so many people are coming here. i think my city is pretty well vaccinated, but of course we receive hundreds of thousands of people all the time. so it's an opportunity to really get them safer, maybe give them vaccines, as we have done. but, again, there seems to be no political will to really make this an issue for people to get vaccines. and the result is that this disease is self-spreading. this is an incredible unforced error on the part of our state in a state that we aren't doing really enough to get people vaccinated. almost everybody in our hospital
here in dade county is an unvaccinated person. >> mayor gelber, thank you so much for joining us. good luck to all of you in miami beach. coming up, it's official. simone biles will compete in the balance beam finals at the olympics after her stunning withdrawal from four events. we're going live to toke question when we come back. s a r not a costume party. on a spotty network this is what she heard... just wear something crazy, remember it's a costume party. a costume party!? yes! anybody want to split a turkey leg?
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let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara star. >> wolf, what u.s. officials are doing is watching the map very carefully. let's go to the map. there are three major capitals right now where the taliban are making an all-out push. in the west near the iranian border, herat. and two capitals. these are areas where the taliban are advancing. as a result, the u.s. conducting up to five air strikes a day trying to push the taliban back. but so far we are told that is a city that is very vulnerable to a tall ban takeover. even in kandahar, the taliban have been on the southern outskirts of the city. what does this mean? if the taliban are able to take one of these major population centers, it may unravel the
confidence of the afghan people in their government, and it could start a tipping point. interesting to note, the u.s. is saying the ground could still shift. afghan forces could have time to come back, regain territory, but nonetheless, the u.s. is keeping a major amphibeous warship offshore in the region just in case it needs it. they don't think they will, but just in case they decide they need to reduce the presence at the u.s. embassy in kabul or even shut the embassy down in the coming days or weeks. they will have the military assets to do it. >> but all u.s. troops will still be out, we're told, of afghanistan by the end of this month, except for those protecting the u.s. embassy and the diplomats there. thank you very much. meanwhile, all eyes right now on simone biles as the u.s.
gymnastics superstar returns to olympic competition hours from now. will riply is joining us from tokyo. biles withdraw from four events citing mental health but will compete, we're now told, in the balance beam final. what is the latest? >> that's right, wolf. the final chapter of simone biles' trouble tokyo 2020 story will be written in the coming hours. it is no doubt going to be dramatic. tonight, one of the greatest gymnasts of all time aiming for a comeback in tokyo. simone biles will compete in the balance beam final, alongside suni lee, confirmed in a tweet by usa gymnastics. the bar is higher than ever. this is biles' final chance to go for gold in tokyo. the goat stunning the world by stepping back from the all-around team event and three individual events. the face of team usa struggling with a condition gymnasts call, the twisties, a dangerous
disconnect between body and mind. biles, back alongside sune lee who stepped in for simone, taking home individual all-around gold. from resilience to redemption, gymnast jay kerry overcoming a disappointing appearance on the vault final, winning gold for the u.s. on the floor exercise. >> i feel like all my hard work has paid off, and this is all i have ever dreamed of. >> reporter: dreams of olympic gold for the u.s. women's soccer team crushed by canada in the semifinals 1-0. it sucks. u.s. forward megan rapinoe said of the loss. you never want to lose in the world championship. you never want to lose to canada, obviously. and you never want to lose playing the way we did. a bitter end for the u.s. champions. some of the sporting world's biggest stars facing crushing defeat. and one back on the beam hoping for a comeback.
this will be simone biles' final chance to win gold at tokyo 2020. she was expected to sweep a lot of the events. that did not happen. she's not ruling out paris 2024, so this may not be her final olympic appearance. but frankly, wolf, we don't know. the u.s. women's soccer team, they were hoping to go for gold. now they will be competing for bronze. it is canada versus sweden in the gold medal match on friday. >> will, thank you very, very much. coming up, vaccinations on the rise here in the united states, but so are new covid cases with just five states now accounting for half of the new infections. we have details on the latest twists in the pandemic when we come back. ink you choose. try boost glucose control. it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost today. get ready - our most popular battery is even more powerful.
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happening now, new hope that the united states has reached the tipping point in the fight to get americans vaccinated. president biden's july 4th vaccination goal is finally achieved as the delta variant's assault on the unvaccinated grows worse. also tonight, a third police officer who will face rioters on january 6th has died by suicide. we will tell you what we're learning about the emotional toll of the insurrection. and senators are bracing for the next fight against infrastructure with a long awaited vote this week. i'll talk live with the senate budget committee chairman, bernie sanders. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room".
we begin with a rise in covid vaccinations here in the u.s. let's go to our chief white house correspondent kaitlyn collins. this is a life and death moment in the pandemic. what is the administration saying tonight? >> well, they're making a concerted effort to try to get the messaging more clearly stated to americans who are understandably confused by that new cdc guidance. they needed to wear a mask indoors in certain places in the u.s. where you are seeing cases rising. that is something the cdc director in a briefing tonight talked about, the casing going up, hospitalizations as well going up as they are lamenting the fact that there are still 90 million americans who are eligible to get vaccinated who still haven't made the choice to do so. with the delta variant fuelling outbreaks nationwide, president biden is hitting a key vaccine goal tonight, almost one month late. >> i would say it's a significant step that we have hit 70%. >> 70% of adults in the u.s. have