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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  August 13, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair. the news continues. michael smerconish is in for chris tonight. michael. >> welcome to the "prime time" command center. february 2020 about >> about 80,000 are hospitalized and we have vaccines now.
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that's what makes it especially tragic to see our hospitals on the brink once again. five states have fewer than 10% of icu beds available now. alabama, texas, georgia, florida and mississippi. florida and texas, alone, account for 40% of new hospitalizations. more covid cases than 30 other states combined. they also have defiant governors who appear to be siding with some notion of freedom rather than the combination of masks and vaccinations. we're about to talk to a county judge in dallas challenging texas governor abbot's order banning mask mandates and listen to this dire warning he gave to parents. >> in dallas there's zero icu beds beds or more likely if they have
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covid, we don't have one. your child will wait for another child to die. >> the texas department of health pushing back saying the shortage of pediatricu icu beds is related to a shortage of medical staff saying they can't use beds without staff. there's no question, hospitals are filling up with covid patients across the country again, those under 12 aren't eligible for the vaccines and the delta variant is more contagious than chickenpox. florida reported more than 151,000 and the governor in florida is still defending his order to ban mask mandates if schools. two elementary teachers and a teaching assistant died over a 24-hour period this week in broward county, florida. also someone with job ties to the school district. at least three of them were told
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were unvaccinated. it's tragic but also speaks to the importance of protecting unvaccinated children from exposure and bolsters the argument for mask mandates. this comes days before classing start in broward county and its only heightening concerns. on the whole, vaccinations are on the rise in america. nearly a million doses were administered today according to the white house. more than a half a million of them were first doses. our single best immunization in a day in months. there will be more shots for the fully vaccinated. cdc advisers recommend a third dose for some of the nine million immuno compromised americans. after the fda gave the green light yesterday. sooner than later, most americans will need a third dose according to dr. anthony fauci but not at this time. the biggest battle is to find an antedote for all the division. over vaccination kp mask mandates.
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that's where judge clay jenkins comes in. he is the dallas county official you just heard warning about zero pediatric icu beds there. junl -- judge, welcome to "prime time." i understand you had a legal victory what was it? >> court of appeals denied governor abbot's request to stay the order. we have masks on people children and school and people are safer here because of that. >> is it a shortage of personnel or a shortage of beds? i explained the controversy to a limited extent in introducing you? >> there's no controversy at all. when we talk about beds and medical parlance, we're talking about the human beings and the equipment it takes to staff an icu bed. the state health department is correct.
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it is a shortage of personnel caused by the governor stopping the contract for temporary personnel that was greatly supplementing our hospitals. when they left, some of their friends went with head hunters for the same firms to go to other states and still more people took early retirement. right now we have less personnel to patient ratio than we ever had before. there's less people in the hospital now than at the height of covid. there's less doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists and every other type of help needed than we had before given that number. that ratio is off. a bed is a staffed unit. >> you know your governor, just like the florida governor, portrays this as a matter of individual freedom. to that you say what? >> individual freedom does not extend to infecting other people, to endanger children and
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stopping our country from having the best chance to win the battle against covid. this is team usa and for that matter, human beings versus a virus. it shouldn't be democrats, republicans, vaccinated versus unvaccinated. masked karens versus people willing to put a mask on their face. this is all of us human beings against a virus. it's relentless and doesn't care what your politics are. >> i know that you've had to put up with some blow back because of your position. tell the audience what i'm referring to. >> right now, they are being quiet but i have a couple hundred people and their usual suspects and standing out on the street chanting and holding up signs and otherwise disturbing my neighbors. >> i just saw a sign flash by that said leave my 4-year-old alone.
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i think held by a woman. what would you say to that mom? >> the challenge is to protect the other 4-year-olds as well. i care about your family and your child's freedom, but i also almost listening to our generals in this war. any public health emergency, the generals are the doctors who train to advise us in this moment. there's not a dispute between our generals. whether at the local level or the national level. no doctors are saying, masks are bad and children and adults should not wear them. the doctors are all saying two things and it's the same two things. get vaccinated, wear a mask indoors and outside your home. >> i saw a release from the attorney general and the governor that portrays you as an activist and a attention seeker. your response is what?
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>> my goal and my desire is to protect the people that i took an oath and swore to protect and serve. that's what i'm doing now. that's what we all should do. this isn't about politics and it's not object polls. i would remind the governor and anyone else that is governing based on polls that polls change and they will change as this virus gets worse and worse and worse if we don't follow the advice of the doctors. we have seen this seesaw throughout because we got leaders who lack the grit to stick with the process. the process is if we will do the mitigation needed until we can get the virus down low and reach herd immunity, we can win. if we continue to lack the courage to do it, then we'll continue to see new variants come up. more problems like this happen and it's going to affect our economy and our public health. >> quick final question. i know you just had an appellate
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court win from the perspective of the governor, he says i have emergency powers and they include the subject matter that you and i are discussing. >> so, the law says the governor can suspend certain regulatory laws such as he can suspend licensing for out of state nurses to come work here. it doesn't say he can use his power to stop other people from responding to the emergency. the law gives local authorities the response -- the responsibility to handle that response at the local level. it can believes in local control and less government but closest to the people. the governor wants to turn that on its head and be in charge of that local response. the problem is the governor is just one person. he can't keep his finger on the pulse of 254 counties, their
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business community, their health community and all the people i talked to every day in trying to do my best to keep these folks say. -- safe. >> judge, it's going to be interesting to watch this play out. thank you so much for being here. judge clay jenkins. >> thank you. >> respected doctors disagree with mask mandates. we have parent who is a journalist and she will tell us the facts that led her to pull her kids from a classroom and the member of the school board to let us know what he's seeing. that's next. i was drowning in student loan debt. i was in the process of deferring them, paying them... then i discovered sofi. completely changed my life. lower interest rate. my principal is going down. sofi is a place where you can start to tackle those money goals today. compared to where i was three years ago, i'm kinda killing it.
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masking led to a 1% chance of transmission from a child with covid. as this plays out in the real world, too many students and teachers are facing set backs. take cob county schools, the second largest school district in georgia. masks are encouraged there but not mandated. so far, more than 700 covid cases have been reported since schools reopened on august 2nd. that's a small percentage of the kids in the district. 0.69% of all students but it's only been a week and a half and numbers are climbing by the day. the situation has forced some parents like my next guest to pull her kids from the classroom. nicole car is a reporter with propublica. she wrote about her family's experience. also a cobb county school board member. welcome to both of you. nicole, it seems you showed up for an open house. there stands the principal without wearing mask and its
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downhill from there. >> it was downhill for us from there. we passed the principal, you read in the piece most of the front office staff was unmasked and it was a 50/50 toss up as to what you would see when you would walk in the classroom. the point that was really made in the classroom is that there will be no bullying one way or the other about someone's personal choice. i cannot ask your child about a mask. you cannot ask me about one. we're going back full capacity in places like the cafeteria. some of the measures, many of the social distancing measures that were in place the year prior would not be in place now. i recognized that with change and behavior, we see different dynamics with this pandemic and a type of covid that we were not dealing with when we made our choices to send the children back to school. >> how did you read the room and
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by that, i mean did other parents seem okay with what they were seeing and feeling? >> some parents were okay with it. others hesitated to ask the questions. it became the center of our chats. you're in mom groups, you text one another and talking to your neighbor. you have a feeling in the school this something we won't talk about. we stick to what the district says and this is nonnegotiable. when you step back, it's like hold your breath and waiting for the person to bring it up or waiting to see if anybody else is bothered by it. that was happening and especially as the doors of the school opened and we began to see the cases rise. >> is what nicole is describing a one off or typical of what you're seeing elsewhere? >> very, very typical. we're getting so many e-mails
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and calls, messages on social media just explaining just how terrifying parents are. one thing i've been struck by in talking to families is how many of our young students have some very serious health issues and for them, this is truly a matter of life or death. they want their kids to be well. they want their kids to learn. i think most people want their kids in person, in the school building and learning. they want to know we're doing so as safely as possible. we're hearing from people that are really terrified and having to make some tough decisions about how to educate their children and where to do it. we're also starting to hear from a lot of parents who they want their choice. they want their choice to be able to send their child in mask or not. we still get e-mails that call this a plan-demic. they don't want to believe this
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is as serious as it is. >> i know you're part of a democratic minority on the school board. does this issue break along party lines? >> it does. we are partisan board. we run by party. typically if we're making the best decision for kids, none of that should matter. as we know in this country, if you're vaccinated, if you think masks can be mandated, we can make some assumptions about your political ideology. we can't fight a pandemic with that kind of thought. the same kind of divisiveness and conspiracies and all of that you may hear at the national level, it exists on our board as well. >> nicole, did you think you would end up with children at a virtual charter school? >> no, no. like sherise said is the common denominator, most parents want
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our kids back in school. we have to have a baseline in which we operate. if the baseline isn't going to be the public health guidance that's coming from the state's top doctor and if it's not going to be the guidance coming from your county held director who continuously addresses police stations -- places or people to come in and address them like the board of commissioners, youtube, however she can get this message out. if public health is no longer the guidance you're formulating then what is our baseline in moving forward? i think that's the question that hasn't been answered yes and what you see reflected in the reporting. >> a quick observation. the cdc is located close to you folks. a bit ironic this is playing itself out in the shadows of where this guidance comes from. >> right.
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it's 20 miles away, the cdc is. one thing that's also occurred to me is that a lot of people just have these issues with the cdc but the reality is that they are not the only ones that are saying that kids should wear masks in schools. we have the georgia association of -- american academy of pediatrics. we have a cobb county health department. we followed the guidelines last year. we mandated masks. we were virtual for some time. this year in height of a new variant and when this is super dangerous for our kids, we are not following those guidelines. we're doing the opposite. we educate future scientists and doctors and we're very, very proud of that. we're not following our scientists and doctors today. >> i worry this is a microcosm of what is or about the play out all across the country. thank you.
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good luck. >> thank you. to the crisis overseas. afghanistan is falling to the taliban fast as president biden pulls our troops out after nearly two decades. did he make the right call and will we be able to get our dip diplomatic personnel out safely. the pentagon says troops are on the move for that mission. that's next. at philadelphia, we know what makes the perfect schmear of cream cheese.
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around 3,000 u.s. troops are being sent to afghanistan to help get embassy staff out as the taliban continues the make rapid gains. four more cities fell into their hands. they are telling people to destroy sensitive materials which could be misused. the pentagon spokesperson said
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he is concerned. >> deeply concerning the speed with which the taliban has been able to move. what has been disconcerting to see is there hasn't been the military leadership and the ability to push back on the a taliban. >> let's discuss with the experts. retired major general spider marks. i think you were westpoint class of '75. educated in the shadow of vietnam. are we witnessing saigon? >> thanks for having me. yeah, we are. one month before i was commissioned, we watched and the faculty, all our faculty members are all vietnam vets. they buried large number of their classmates in was an emotional moment when we saw the embassy collapse.
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we had to get out of town as quickly as possible. we remember those images. we want to try to prevent that this time in kabul. we're doing it in a measured way, i hope with the delivery of some additional troops to make sure we can keep the taliban at bay. bear in mind the taliban have taken over the equipment that we left behind that the afghan forces were supposed to use to resist the taliban and provide levels of security. they walked away from that. the taliban now owned that kit. they can use that against our embassy personnel and they have used that and to move on kabul. what i hope we see as a measured departure and the sad part of all of this is its probably going to be the 20th anniversary of 9/11. the images juxtapose and here we are 20 years later after 9/11.
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that's an unfortunate image. >> aaron, should the president reverse course? >> absolutely not. i think these are tough choices and many hands contributed to this. many administrations in history. the brits in the 19th century the russians in the 20th century. and the americans in the 21st century. all met with unhappy, extremely difficult challenge of afghanistan. biden had the courage, the political courage. the execution leaves a lot to be desired. particularly with the respect to the scores of thousands of half began interpreters. colleagues who fought along side and aided american forces. getting those out, those people out, 20,000 plus could have been done much earlier.
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on the issue of whether or not biden should have continued to deploy thousands of american combat forces in afghanistan, i think the answer is absolutely not. this was a trillion dollar social designs experiment. i don't mean to trivialize the sacrifices of the men and women who had life injuries. more than 20,000. our goals were inflated. there was no way to accomplish them. keeping our troops on the assumption that we would not lose the war but never win it was for bleeding american credibility even further. >> general, was it inevitable. if it were ten years from now, 50 or 100 years from now, same outcome. >> i think it is inevitable. we entered into afghanistan with
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some very clear mission statements that was to defeat the taliban, defeat al qaeda. we did that in very quick order and we over reached and we started to expand our requirements. taliban went away immediately because we made them go away. without mission al qaeda. we continued to progress against that and in order to do that appropriately, we needed to begin a counter insurgency operation. that requires some incredible investments across the board. we started to grow. we got caught and got lost. it was a strategic failure on our part. let's bear in mind, those service members that served on the ground in afghanistan won every fight they got into. deployed themselves and honored this nation exceptionally well. it's the senior leaders failed them. >> aaron, i know that you negotiated in the middle east on behalf of republican and democratic administrations, secretaries of state.
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what are our allies in that part of the world saying tonight? >> i think there is this notion out there that some how american credibility has been fundamentally undermine or permanently undermine. our allies, south korea, japan, canada, britain, france will look at this departure and think to themselves can americans really be trusted. i don't buy that. i really don't. we invested 2300 american lives, scores of thousands of half afghans. trillions of dollars and we fought well as general marx stated. it was time to depart. i can't imagine anyone is going to hold us responsible over time for this departure. one more point. you ever heard the expression, in the history of the world
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nobody ever washed a rental car. people don't wash rental cars because they don't care. the care only about what they own. training the military -- the real challenge we faced in afghanistan was getting local ownership and buying. training an afghan military that was prepared the fight on behalf of corrupt government, under paid, sometimes not paid at all. the taliban well motivated, interested in pushing them out and finding a place and fighting honor. or whatever. >> and patient. >> critical. final question, general. what happens if afghanistan becomes a magnet for terrorists around the globe? do we then go back? >> if we see what's happening in afghanistan going forward that looks like, to your point, a redux of 9/11.
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al taliban was in control before 9/11. they had uncontrolled space. ungoverned space. they had space that allowed al guide to grow, train, prepare and launch and execute the attacks of 9/11. we have to be able to have very good eyes, good intelligence as best we can now that the government in kabul is about the go away. we have to do our very best. if it looks like that various terrorist elements in afghanistan, there's an unholy trinity and they don't get along. we have to keep our eyes on that because we cannot allow ourselves to have a repeat of 9/11. the short answer is yes. we'll have to do something in a precise way if we see the conditions repeat themselves. >> nice to see you both. thank you for being here. >> thank you. back in the war at home on covid. many of the vaccinate have had had it with the unvaccinated.
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with surging cases and hospitalizations and fair share of many americans unvaccinated, many wonder where america is headed. more mandates or strides against them. it's not just vaccinated democrats getting to the end of their rope with unvaccinated but vaccinated republicans too. another great piece in the atlantic. has the vax versus unvaxed replaced rs versus ds? ds versus rs? >> not entirely but
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substantially. over four fifths of democrats have been vaccinated and half of republicans. republicans are divided almost evenly between those who have and have not been vaccinated. the vaccinated democrats are supportive of just about every idea you can think of to put more pressure on the unvaccinated whether it's mandates, whether it's vaccine passports, whether it's mask requirements and as you might suspect, the half of republican who is are unvaccinated oppose just about any idea that you can think of to put more pressure on the unvaccinated. what's striking to me and i was able to tease out by working with a number of pollsters is that you look at the half of republicans who are vaccinated, a substantial component of them are also in the same place as the democrats and support tougher measures. somewhere between a third to a half of all vaccinated republicans are supportive of mandates and passports and mask requirements and what's most
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striking to me of all is two third of the vaccinated republicans along with 90% of the vaccinated democrats point the finger at the unvaccinated when asked why the cases are going up again. >> does that mean that governors abbot and desantis are rolling the dice? >> yes, i do. not only them. when you hear many republican leaders at the national level talk about where we are on the vaccination push, their focus is on the rights and the choice of the unvaccinated. interestingly they are pro-choice in this consequence. even though they say the vaccine is a good idea but in the next breath they will say we have to respect the choice and the rights of those who don't want to get vaccinated. i think that's out of sync with where the public was headed. one of the promises is you would get your normal life back and that promise is being pulled
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away. when asked why it's being pulled away, the vaccinated in both parties are look at the unvaccinated. not the mention be immediate risk they face of further spread of this among young people in the schools. north texas, for example, reported yesterday no pediatric icu beds are open. they are taking a big risk by going to courts trying to undo mask mandates. by focusing on the unvaccinated, i think they are missing the moment of where the country is heading. >> you synthesized a lot of data. one of the pollsters you relied on. as i interpreted his findings they suggest there's not a consensus against the unvaccinated.
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explain. >> there's not a consensus for vaccine mandates at this point. public is pretty closely divided when you ask about the various vaccine mandates that might be imposed on federal workers or health care workers or eggers or -- educators. requirements for vaccine to get on an airplane. the country is still evenly, pretty evenly divided. as i show in the piece, among the vaccinated, there's a much stronger consensus for all of those measures, including as i said, a substantial portion somewhere between a third and a half of the vaccinated republicans. i think that points to direction of where this will go if case loads we main high and the promise of normal life recedes. as the number of people who have been vaccinated increases and as the case loads remain high, i do think there's going to be growing support for tougher measures. there's going to be growing need for it because as i'm sure you have talked about either here or on the radio because the delta variant is so much more
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contagious, the experts say we probably need to get to about 85 or 90% of the country vaccinated to reach herd immunity. i think the evidence is wloeming overwhelmle. we're not going to get there without tougher measures. one other key polling number among republican who is are not vaccinated, 60%, 60% of unvaccinated republicans said taking the vaccine is a bigger risk than getting the disease. hard to imagine you'll get to where you need to be in terms of overall vaccination numbers given those attitudes solely with carrots. you may need sticks eventually. >> i'm a believer more elections are being decided by motivation, not persuasion. there aren't many people left in the country that are persuadable. wherein lies the passion? look forward to 2022 on this issue. is there more passion among the unvaccinated who say don't tread
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on me or the vaccinated, like me, who are saying go get your shot in. >> obviously, the unvak si flat -- unvaccinated have taken this. with trump and others have done is make this a culture war fight. we know as a general proposition, president biden is trying to lower the temperature on all culture war fights. he's treadsing in the say way he's not putting guns center. or immigration and lgbtq rights. i think it's a moving target. the question is what does life look like for the vaccinated heading forward. i can see them get pretty energized about this too. >> rock me on the water. >> yes. >> a good song and a better book. thank you, ron. >> thanks, michael.
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honey! scuff defense. i love our scuff-free life. behr ultra scuff defense. exclusively at the home depot. day after day, more private companies are requiring their employees to be vaccinated or face consequences. legal experts say those businesses are within their rights. but what about public employees, namely police officers? we are seeing some around the nation threatening to quit, if they're ordered to get vaccinated. in an opinion piece for "the washington post," cnn political and economic commentator, catherine rampell says, good riddance to all the anti-vax police officers. and she joins me, now. cath catherine, to what other professions, if any, would you extend this same logic? >> look. i think everyone should get vaccinated. but i think the people who -- >> me, too. >> yes. who -- who have the greatest
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obligation to get vaccinated are people who are there to serve the public, who come into frequent contact with the public and, therefore, put the people who they're supposed to be protecting and serving at risk. so, i would put into that category, of course, police officers. but certainly, lots of other professions, too, where there is great risk if patients or customers or -- or taxpayers, what have you, may come into contact with them. and, therefore, be at greater risk of contracting covid. so people who work at nursing homes, for example. >> healthcare workers? healthcare workers. firefighters. emts. >> yes. they should absolutely be vaccinated. everyone should be vaccinated but especially those people -- um -- particularly, when they are being paid by taxpayers. >> are you necessarily a bad cop if you won't get vaccinated? >> i don't think you are. but i do think that this is a very useful litmus test for sorting out which police officers are most likely to be
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interested in public safety and in public service. and the ones who are more likely to think that they're above the law. they're not interested in evidence-based policy. they're there for the wrong reasons. so, i think this is an excellent opportunity to clear law-enforcement ranks of their worst officers. you know, if -- if these cops want to defund themselves -- >> okay, but now, listen. listen. i said, a moment ago, are they necessarily bad cops? and you said, no. now, you are saying clear the deck of their worst. in the column, quote, let the bad cops go and replace them with officers actually committed to the noble mission to protect and serve. by the way, i looked at the comments. there are, like, 2,000 comments appended to your piece in "the post." all, cheering you on and seeing a lot of trumpism. you know, insinuating that, well, if it's a cop who won't get a vaccine, they must be a trump person and the hell with them. >> look. again, i think this is a useful litmus test. it's not a perfect one but i think the people, who are most likely to reject a lawful order
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to get vaccinated to, again, protect themselves, protect their colleagues, protect the children of their colleagues, and to protect the public at large, whom they are supposed to be protecting and serving, those are the ones who -- um -- are -- are most likely to be the ones we don't want. we have been trying, for a very long time, to sort out the good apples from the bad apples. there are all sorts of psychological-screening exams that cops go through, before they -- before they join the force. but it is very difficult to sort out ex ante, and i think most police officers are there for the right reason. and even when you find out that a law-enforcement officer shouldn't have been there because they have a bad record of excessive use of force or what have you, it's hard to get rid of them. i am saying if these people want to demonstrably show that they are not interested in putting public safety, above their -- their own whims, then -- then let them go. i think, it -- it is a useful -- >> and where i am coming from is
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to say -- where i'm coming from is to say i think everyone in the public -- i think everybody should be vaccinated and i think that more employers, like cnn, like the law firm where i'm associated, should have mandatory-vax policies. the only pushback that i'm offering you is that the piece, clearly, does say you're a bad seed. if you're a cop and you won't get vaccinated, i'm giving more of them the benefit of the doubt. >> well, convince them or say get a different job. um, maybe, they're not bad people but they should not be in this line of work. that's basically what i am saying. their job is to put the public's interests, above their own. it's a hard job. i -- i acknowledge that and, again, i think most people in this line of work are good people. but maybe, you're not cut out for this line of work. maybe, you're not a bad person. i mean, bad apple can mean different things, of course. maybe, you're not a bad person but you are not cut out for this line of work. and -- and i don't really believe that the number of cops who -- who are threatening to quit will, actually, quit. um, i think there is a little
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bit of bluffing going on here. particularly, since if they do leave early, they are likely to give up all sorts of benefits and seniority and pensions and things like that. but there -- >> i hope you're -- i hope you're right about that. >> if they want to self-select -- >> thank you. i -- >> -- let them. >> got it. thank you, catherine, provocative piece. appreciate it very much and we'll be right back.
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