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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  July 31, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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breaking news as a surge of coronavirus cases threatens the country's effort in crushing the virus. the nation's most dangerous hotspot, florida. new data from the cdc shows an alarming statistic. that state reports nearly 22,000 new coronavirus cases today. that is a single day record for the state since the pandemic began. "the miami herald" reports, quote, the last half of july looks like the start of florida's third covid-19 peak. the spread of the delta variant
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and rise of infections led the cdc to revise its mask mandate. florida's governor doesn't seem to want to listen. governor ron desantis just signed a new executive order banning schools in the state from requiring students to wear masks as they head back to the classroom. this follows outrage at school board meetings across the country. parents in broward county, florida, pushed back against mask mandates at schools this week. >> my daughter didn't get to see her teacher smile. my daughter didn't get to see her friends' faces unless they were sitting at lunch. we, the parents, the taxpayers alone, have the authority to decide for our children, not you, not the cdc. >> i don't want to wear it because i can't breathe. >> it's not just florida. republican leaders at the state and local level across the country have banned schools from mask mandates.
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even in congress, house republicans are pushing back against speaker nancy pelosi's new mask mandate. that's not all the resistance to science we're seeing from the republican party. this week, texas senator ted cruz attacked the cdc's credibility for delivering updated guidance to align with the new information scientists have found built highly contagious delta variant. >> apparently, according to the cdc, vaccines don't work anymore. that science thing, inoperative. >> as you know, science proves that vaccines do work. they are saving lives and keeping people from the hospital. and while republicans continue their outrage, president biden is working to take action, pushing federal workers to choose between getting a shot or masking up and continuing social distance guidelines. shannon pettypiece writes, quote, since biden took office, much of the decisionmaking and messaging around pandemic policy has been in the hands of public
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health officials, not politicians, a stark reversal from the trump administration which was accused by members of its own coronavirus task force of releasing false information that contradicted the messaging from cdc officials. there is a solution to all of this. that our elected leaders follow the lead from the cdc. but republican lawmakers don't seem to want to follow that advice. "new york times" opinion columnist paul krugman writes, quote, it's crucial to understand that we aren't facing a national crisis. we are facing a red state crisis with nakedly red roots. bernard ashley, debbie powell, and david jolly who is also an msnbc political analyst. it's the who's who of florida. dr. ashby, the latest in your state, it hits a record for daily cases. i am not in florida but that is incredibly alarming to me. can you talk me through what that looks like on the ground?
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>> alarming is an understatement. where do i start? we are number one in hospitalizations in the u.s. we are number two in hospitalizations [ inaudible ] in the u.s. we are number one for admissions to critical care in broward county in the u.s. now we have broken our record at 21,683 new infections. the positivity rate above 50%. all told, florida is surging and our leadership is not helping us at all. our hospitals are getting overwhelmed. we're starting to shut down [ inaudible ] as a result of that and that impacts other issues like hard disease, like cancer, like colon cancer, so on and so forth. so right now, we are struggling to deal with the surge, yet we have zero leadership from our governor, from many of our
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politicians. they're illegitimately putting politics over people's lives. it's tragic. i don't know what else to say except that something needs to be done now because people are dying, people will die as a result of what's happening right now with our leadership. >> debbie, what is your governor thinking? >> look, alicia, let me just say that right now, it seems like the biggest threat to the health of floridians is actually not the delta variant but governor desantis. he is completely disconnected and is turning his back on teachers, on families, on our nurses and our doctors who are overwhelmed in our hospitals here in florida, who are exhausted, who are seeing absolutely no leadership. all he cares about is his political campaign. and i think that he is going to pay the ultimate price in 2022. i can tell you that just today i was talking to someone that had
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voted for ron desantis, and she was saying that his latest stance on trying to take away local control on mask mandates is really making her think twice. she is very disappointed that this governor is laughing at the fact that there are people that are dying right now in our state. it is shameful. and he needs to be voted out. and all of the republicans here in the state are following his lead. so it's not just governor desantis. like you said, alicia, it's all the republicans here in the state of florida but also cross the country. it has to stop, we have to stop politicizing this. this is a danger to our children and our families. >> david, the numbers i read at the top of this are shocking. it is shocking when you look at it in the context of the entirety of this pandemic. why make mask mandates specifically the hill that you die on, especially when these numbers don't lie? >> because of the rise of ignorance in american culture and american political leadership, particularly on the
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right side of the aisle. that's why. i think we have to step back, alicia, and begin to recognize, and i say this, you know, not to try to get a cheap shot, but we may be entering one of the great failures in american history, not a failure of science, but a failure of culture. over the last 230 years, we have been provided all of the tools that have made america great, from science to industry, frankly, to sacrifice and patriotism. all of those tools we held in the palm of our hand, and we are squandering it. we have a political class led by ron desantis who is determined to build his political rise on this notion of freedom. as joe biden recently said, with freedom comes responsibility. and so florida has entered a very dark chapter in american history, in the history of this pandemic. and it is a result of a governor who refuses to recognize that very simple measures can be
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taken. and look, if there is a political calculus to this for ron desantis, i think that part that should worry much of america, particularly in blue states, as debbie said, his willingness to attack local control, right? this principle that used to be the bedrock of republican politics, that decisions made closest to the people are made best. this suggests what we are seeing right now, if ron desantis became president of the united states, he would eviscerate states' rights in blue states simply for his ideological agenda. unfortunately, for ron desantis this is about presidential politics, not about public health. >> dr. ashley, we talk about two things. we talk about disinformation and disinformation is a big piece of this. and then we talk about the cues that people take from leadership, very often those two things intersect. what is it that you hear from your patients? >> i mean, it's unfortunate that this distrust and this
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misinformation has actually permeated with patients, impacting their health. i actually do have patients that [ inaudible ] believe that the vaccine has magnets in it. this is something being supported by people they trust, either our leaders who are not only [ inaudible ], condoning it and perpetuating it, and, you know, the thing is, a speaker mentioned earlier, ron desantis is actually circumventing municipalities and local governments. but she's actually circumventing us. we came out with a statement, myself and other physicians, urging him to figure out a way to get this under control, not mentioning masks, not even mentioning lockdown. but instead of working with us, he took a political stance and attacked us. and he said that we want
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lockdowns. i'm a small business owner, i'm a father, of course it would affect me. he said [ inaudible ], which is absurd, given that this is our field of study and what we do every day. for him to brush us off and focus on being political about this when people are literally dying, to me is the epitome of sick. and i don't use that word lightly. >> i have friends in the state. i have family in the state. i am absolutely terrified by the numbers we're seeing. thank you all so much. now, to the millions of people that congress has left in limbo, failing to extend federal eviction protections last night. as it stands right now, the federal moratorium ends at midnight. we should note as millions face eviction as early as sunday. members of congress are on august recess. not all of them, however. some decided to keep the fight going, sleeping on the steps of
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the capitol overnight in protest and calling on the white house to take action with the clock ticking. two of them join me now, democratic congressman cori bush of missouri and democratic congresswoman ayanna pressley of massachusetts. congressman bush, it doesn't appear there has been much movement to extend the federal eviction ban despite your best efforts. your reaction to the inaction today. >> you know, i don't know what's happening in the background. i don't know what those conversations are that may be happening in the white house, in the administration, or even in leadership in congress. but i will say this. we have five hours to get this done. so we're holding out hope. we're still out here because we are holding out hope. the people are here backing us up. the people are here, the community is here, advocates are here, saying, calling on the people, the people that are supposed to represent us, humans, to do something and do
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it now. we're holding out hope. we have five hours. >> congresswoman presley, what is it you want to see and hear from this white house? >> well, i think the point is that american families, they have no more options. but government and those in power still have many. and we need to act and urgently so. we have several options on the table here. the senate, which is still here, they can extend this eviction moratorium. they can do that. the house can come back into session and pass chairwoman waters' emergency bill to extend the eviction moratorium. and i sent a letter, and many of my colleagues joined me on that. the white house and the cdc can act unilaterally to extend this eviction moratorium. i do want to just point out that we have been organizing and mobilizing since january on this issue. this has been escalating activism. we have introduced bills.
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we have lobbied leadership. we have lobbied the white house. and in fact we were successful in lobbying to get the initial extension of the eviction moratorium. so we're remaining vigilant until we have exhausted every tool at our disposal, because eviction is a policy choice. eviction is violent on its own. but to evict 7 to 11 million people in the midst of a pandemic, with the surges in the delta variant, is a death sentence, period. and we have to do everything to prevent a national tent city and an eviction tsunami. and that's why we're here. >> congresswoman bush, this is obviously very personal for you. do you think other members get it the way that you do? >> they may not. and that's okay. that's why we speak up, for those of you that are okay, you
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don't have to speak up, you don't have to talk about your issues, but for those of us that are okay being vulnerable in that way, we're going to speak up and we're going to make sure you know, just like as people are being evicted, you know -- no. as people have been evicted during even while they weren't supposed to be being evicted, while this moratorium has been going on and people still have been being evicted, you know what happens, when you get evicted, you incur all of these extra fees, all of these late fees, all of these court costs on top of what you already owed. and so this does not fix the problem. this does not help people. we talk about upwards of 7, maybe even 11 million people. we're talking about how much money is that? what are we doing to the people we're supposed to represent? for me, it's very personal. it's personal because first of all we're talking about my people. we're talking about -- when i look at my district, when i look at st. louis, you're talking
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about putting my st. louis folks out on the street. and i'm not just going to sit back and be quiet about it. it affects my sister's district and the people out here. it affects so many people. also, i've been there, i know what it's like, i know what it's like to be cold, not know where to use the bathroom, not be able to take care of what i need. how do i stay safe? how do i keep my kids safe? i know what that's like. and i don't want anybody else to have to go through it. i ran for this seat to make sure that nobody has to go through it, as long as i'm here. that's why my sister is here. that's why our other colleagues have been out here with us, because we're making sure that -- and then we got the backup again of the people had get to done. >> it is very striking to me, representative presley, that you take that very real, lived experience, and you put it side by side with the language we hear out of congress, right? members saying, well, why take a
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vote on it, we know it's going to be doa in the senate, it doesn't make sense. what do you say to your colleagues who on that premise did not want to grapple with this? >> well, so then why do anything? we know that the filibuster, which we need to abolish, and we know that moderate democrats like sinema and manchin, have been obstructionists to justice, to progress. they clearly have contempt for the american people, not compassion. but there is not a deficit of resource. there is a deficit of empathy. and that's why we're here, not to spotlight us but to center the 7 to 11 million families. sleeping here last night was uncomfortable but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the real, palpable fear that families are living in right now because they don't know what the future holds for them. this is not charity. this isn't benevolence. this is about being responsive to the needs of a people in the midst of a pandemic-induced
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recession which has destabilized families and caused unprecedented hardship. so if we really want to be about rescuing the american people, that means leaving no one behind. and that certainly includes our most vulnerable who, by the way, the most vulnerable, the most marginalized, black, brown, aapi, indigenous, disabled, lgbtq, young people, who came together, the most marginalized mobilized in a multigenerational, multiracial movement, to make this democratic majority possible. so we have a responsibility to be responsive to the needs of all the people. the people of that movement. and we have tools at our disposal. and i do want to add that senator warren was here today. the chair of the rules committee, jim mcgovern. so look, massachusetts has been here, you know, we're holding it down, we've got a lot of people from massachusetts here. but the fact that the chair of the rules committee, jim mcgovern, was here today, says that, folks, they are ready.
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they are ready. this house can reconvene and we can pass that bill and we can prevent this national tent city and eviction tsunami. the senate can do that. the white house and the cdc can do that. >> congresswoman bush, where do you take this fight from here? >> right now we're out here. we're going to continue to mobilize. we're going to continue to call. we've been asking people, call your representatives. if you don't know how, go to a search engine, type in "who is my u.s. representative," and reach out to those people. call them, let them know that you care. let them know that you want them to vote. we want them to turn out. we want them to show up here, if they can get here. and we want them to say they're a yes vote. let us get to that 218 so the rules committee can go ahead and come back together and we can get this done. but also we're here because we know there is still time for president biden and for the cdc to go ahead and get this done tonight. so we're going to stay here. everybody here is committed to staying here. we're staying here and we're
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going to make sure this is done. and you know what, if it's not done, it won't be because we didn't do the work to galvanize. it won't be because regular folks didn't show up. we got regular folks out here, the ones who are the ones who are directly impacted, who say please don't put my loved one out, please don't put me out, please. >> we have sent minimal resources to states and they need time, they need the time to get these funds out. with the white house and the cdc, again, we sent a letter to them today asking them to act unilaterally and people have said, well, the courts have already, you know, challenged whether or not they have the authority. look, let's take that battle on, because even that is going to buy our families time. and that's what they need in this moment. again, we have tools available. we must exhaust every single one. there's a family right now that
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has no idea what the future holds for them. we have to do everything. so that's why we're here. we just thank everyone -- look, everyone has a role to play in the movement. some people have been here, some people have sent food, some people have come by in other ways to support care and feeding. and doing what has happened throughout this pandemic in the midst of unprecedented suffering which is to offer unprecedented organizing, mobilizing, unprecedented collective care, mutual aid, and unprecedented hope. and that's what we're still holding onto in this moment. >> congresswoman bush and press pressly, thank you so much. coming up, just how far president trump was willing to go to overturn your vote in 2020. but first to richard lui with a look at the story we're
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tracking on msnbc. an antivirus pass will be required in france as of august 9 to enter restaurants. getting the pass requires having had the vaccine or a covid test. in israel, the government is organizing a third shot as a booster shot of the covid-19 vaccine. more "american voices" right after this short break. ices" ri after this short break
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congress men, including jim in order jim jordan, now admit they had contact with trump either on the day of the insurrection or the days leading up to it which
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is why the committee investigating the riot faces the decision whether to compel their testimony. here is what gerry connolly had to say about it on this network yesterday. >> i frankly think this is a criminal conspiracy. i believe the contemporaneous notes that were released today by deputy attorney general at the time donohue clearly reveal out of donald trump's own mouth an illegal attempt to subvert the election results of a free and fair election. >> joining me now, arizona congressman ruben gallego. congressman, i want you to take a listen for a moment to some of what we've heard so far from the commission hearings. i want to ask you about it on the other side. >> what we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle. >> i was dragged from a line of officers and into the crowd. i heard someone scream. "i got one." >> i was defenseless and
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sustained injury from the increasing pressure of the mob. >> the crowd, perhaps 20 people, joined in screaming, "boo, [ bleep ]." no one had ever, ever called me a [ bleep ] while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. >> we knew it was going to be emotional, we knew it was going to be powerful. i'm not sure a lot of people were ready for what they actually heard. your overall reaction to what we've heard so far from these hearings. >> look, i think none of us should be surprised. this is exactly what many of us have been saying. you have a party right now that's trying to memory hole that there was an insurrection. at the end of the day, this is why we do have to bring some of these members of congress to testify, put them under oath. if you talk like a traitor, you walk like a traitor, you probably are a traitor. and they involved themselves somehow in this insurrection. now we know the president was trying to do even more than just talking. he was actually putting pressure
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on the department of justice, saying just declare this election corrupt and i'll tke care of the rest. he sounded like a mobster, putting together a criminal enterprise. we need to get to the bottom of this and we need to start putting some subpoenas together, including of the president. >> what are some of the primary questions you want to be addressed? >> well, i would like to ask things like were you in connection and cahoots with some extremist organizations, proud boys, three percenters, oath keepers? did you take direction from the president? who gave you money to organize and bus these people? to what degree did the president know what was happening, who else was involved in the planning? basically what you would do if you were investigating any other type of crime, the who, what, where, and when, and get to the bottom of it so we can prosecute those who can be prosecuted and to stop this from ever happening again. >> i want to talk about the 2020 election audit that is wrapping
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up in your home state because it's of course tied to all of this. earlier this week senate liaison ken bennett quit, then came back after reaching an agreement that will allow him full access to the report that's been put together by the auditors. does this make you feel any more confident in the outcome of this supposed audit? >> no. not at all. as a matter of fact, the audit has already done its purpose. it's just to throw kind of dust in the air. a few weeks back, they actually had a so-called press conference, they didn't let anybody ask any questions, where they said there was this mysterious 74,000 ballots that appeared. and it was quickly withdrawn, but of course the lie spread fast. and that was their goal, to have that lie out there so when the president, former president trump, came to town, he could use that lie. so there is no confidence. the so-called company that is actually conducting this audit has never done an audit of this nature. it's a one-person operation. it has a post office box in the middle of nowhere. and this guy, before he became
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this contractor, was already quoted in documentaries saying there was fraud. so this whole thing is one big sham, to do two things. number one, to feed the ego of president trump. and number two, to just raise more money. donald trump has raised $75 million for this recount. we just saw they exposed who actually has donated, donald trump has given zero dollars so far. so this is just another grift he's doing so he can get more money. >> speaking of donald trump and money, we learned yesterday the justice department ruled the irs must turn over trump's taxes to congress. we talked so much about accountability. your reaction to this ruling, how big of a victory is it for those who are seeking to hold the former president accountable? >> well, i think it's actually a big victory for u.s. citizens, period. because you don't want the next president, after biden, to not release their taxes, because, you know, it's just -- we need to know who is paying these presidents and if they have any
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undue influence. we know donald trump has a lot of foreign money that's going into a lot of his operations. a lot of them, most banks will not lend to the donald trump organization because it's a sham of a company. so we should know by now or we should be able to know soon whether it was russian oligarch money, whether it was middle east money going in, that potentially influenced the outcome of some of decisions he tried to make. >> congressman ruben gallego, thank you as always. next, that comment, "leave the rest to me," a chilling message from trump, according to his deputy ag. the new details we are learning about the former president's push to overturn the election. plus new today, simone biles withdraws from two more olympic events. how athletes cope with the pressure at the top and why more and more are pushing back. know this about the jungle, everything that you see wants to kill you and can. ♪ ♪
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as if the final days of the trump presidency couldn't look worse, we have some news for you about the dire lengths donald trump apparently was willing to go to to stay in office. pressuring the doj during a december 2020 phone call to declare the election, quote, corrupt. records shared by the house oversight committee described donald trump pressuring the acting attorney general to call the election illegal and, quote, this is the important part, "leave the rest to me."
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thanks to a new ruling from the justice department, congress will have the chance to question the former trump officials who were on that call. lawmakers will also be allowed to view trump's tax returns which the doj announced yesterday. joining me now, msnbc contributor, former watergate prosecutor jill wine-banks. jill, in a statement today, trump repeated his lies about massive voter fraud but didn't deny the contents of that call. what charges could he face for what he allegedly asked of acting ag rosen? >> that is a clear interference in the election. he was trying to overturn the election results. when he was told there was no fraud, that there was nothing there, he said "just say that it's corrupt and leave the rest to me and my republican congress friends." that sounds like what he said to president zelinsky of ukraine.
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"just say you're investigating." he doesn't care about the truth. he just wants the perception so he can carry it forward to his followers, his voters. and that's really a dangerous, dangerous situation. >> jill, do you think ultimately he's forced to testify to congress? >> he obviously has the legal obligation. they have the right to subpoena him and he has no protection. the department of justice has said it will not defend mo brooks in the january 6 insurrection activities, and they went out of their way in issuing the opinion that was pending, which was about mo brooks, who had asked to be defended, and it said, it's not within the job of any federal employee to create an insurrection. and so that means that donald trump too will not be protected. and the decision about allowing all the former department of
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justice officials to testify and not to be barred from doing so because of any executive privilege claims means that he too would not have any executive privilege claims allowed. so yes, he has no way out of it. he could be arrested. there is an occasion on which the sergeant at arms had to arrest someone who had been subpoenaed and jail him. there is apparently a jail in the basement of the congress. and that's where that person was kept until he testified or until they agreed to let him go. >> jill, we also learned this week that congress is going to be able to get their hands on trump's taxes. what is it they're going to be looking for and what can they potentially learn? >> they can learn a lot in terms of what the department did under his administration to actually audit the president. i personally want to know, what is taking so long with the
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audit? it was pending from the day he announced his campaign. and no audit takes that long. it needs to be resolved. so i think they will be looking at how the irs audits presidents. that's one of the jobs that they do. and then we may learn through some kind of criminal indictment, because they probably will not release the tax returns, they have a right to have them, the courts and the department of justice now have said there is no question that the internal revenue code allows the request to be granted, not just allows it, it says "it shall be turned over" when congress requests it, when the proper committee requests it. so i think we can learn a lot about his business, his charitable donations which are probably nonexistent, about how much he owes, who he owes it to,
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is he indebted to some foreign country that may explain some of his behavior in his presidency? there's a lot that can be learned from these documents, and congress has to do its oversight duties to investigate it. >> jill, i have about 15 seconds but you know i have to ask you about your pins. >> this is a special one. today i'm saying what a super woman simone biles is, and her team who went on and won silver without her. it's a telephone booth, and i'll close it so people can see. with the door closed, the woman is wearing a trench coat. it was sent to me because of secretary pruitt's $43,000 phone booth. if you remember, he was the secretary under president trump who had a telephone booth installed so he didn't have to walk down the hall for secure communications. and i didn't realize what it was
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until i went to take it off after wearing it for that purpose, and as i took it off, the door opened and there was super woman. so congratulations to the women's gymnastic team who has overcome a lot of hurdles and to simone biles for being strong enough to speak out. >> jill, i love all of your pins but this may be my new favorite. thank you so much for spending time with us tonight. that's exactly what we're talking about next, the pressure cooker at the top of olympic competition. why some athletes are finally pushing back. i'm going to talk to someone who knows what that's like, former olympic medallist and world champion gymnast bridget sloan. in the halls of congress why aren't there more statues of women? there is a group of women senators working to change that. . d and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure.
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and can see what works best for her. take the mystery out of your glucose levels, and lower your a1c. now you know. freestyle libre 14 day. now covered by medicare for those who qualify. olympic gymnast simone biles is the most decorated gymnast on earth, period. and she made a lot of news this week when she withdrew from the finals. here is what she said just days
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before making that decision. >> i say put mental health first, because if you don't, then you're not going to enjoy your sport and you're not going to succeed as much as you want to. so it's okay sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are. >> amen to that. u.s. gymnastics applauded biles' decision in a statement, saying, quote, we remain in awe of simone. biles is the most decorated gymnast of all time. what happened doesn't change that. nor do comments from men who belittle her as a national embarrassment which led to one simone biles fan saying this. >> my response to that is they can kiss my overworked black woman ass. >> joining me now, the sports and culture write for "the athletic" and the author of "loving sports when they don't
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love you back." an assistant professor of history at penn state and co-host of the burn it all down podcast and olympic gymnast bridget sloan, a silver medallist. we have a lot to get to. bridget, i want to start with the sport itself. what kind of mental strength do gymnasts need for these events and how dangerous are these twisties that simone biles has been experiencing? >> yeah, i mean, gymnasts kind of in my opinion, obviously, i've been there, but in the grand scheme of things, gymnastics is not just a physical sport. i personally think it is mainly physical, but it's also, you throw in the mental side of it and it's almost mainly mental. it's hard to identify it as either physical or mental. and a common term of the twisties, they're extremely dangerous. i actually -- i had them for a very short, brief period of time. they come out of nowhere.
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it's basically thinking -- and i was trying to figure out the best way to explain it and put it in terms. your body wants to do -- like, your body wants to do one thing and your mind truly will not. it doesn't follow. you have to have your body and mind in sync. and when it gets out of sync, it is so dangerous. these athletes are doing skills, they're throwing their bodies in the air so high, flipping and twisting, having that air awareness. when your air awareness goes out the window, it is so incredibly dangerous. >> you layer on top of all of that, right, like already, the sort of tremendous things that are at stake here, you layer on top of that being a black woman in america, being a black woman in a public space, what a lot of these athletes have gone through in the past year with gymnastics writ large, it is i think an unimaginable amount of pressure that has been placed on her.
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>> yeah, absolutely. i think that one of the things that we know is that black women athletes, even going into the games, were expressing how much they felt burdened by society, by the expectations, by whether they're protesting, the last year of racial reckoning, and of course being the face of the games. i talked to many black women on team usa prior to competition, even, and that was looming large on them. i think that's one of the things that makes this decision so impactful is that she's choosing her creating boundaries and choosing her team, putting them first, in a moment where many black women just push through it. all of those things intertwine together to create those stressors that we're seeing many black women athletes starting to talk about and articulate more. >> i want to talk with you in a little bit about the way it also applies to women, black women, when it is not in the world of
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competitive gymnastics. but first, conservatives have attacked simone biles as weak for withdrawing. earlier this week donald trump convinced a crowd to boo the american soccer team. how did team usa become a target of the gop's culture wars? >> i think it's easy to kind of drum up fake outrage, especially when you're talking about something like toughness you just haven't been paying attention. she's not only the most decorated gymnast of all time, she is most decorated gymnast of all time. that speaks to her level of dominance and what we're used to seeing from her and she's also overcome broken toes, kidney stones and this horrible sexual assault scandal to be the only gymnast who is still competing as the face of those survivors.
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so the idea that she is anything but tough being criticized by a bunch of men performing skills they could never is fairly laughable. >> yeah, i wonder, bridget, how you think it's going to fundamentally change the sport. will it? >> i think it will. i mean, this is a huge step because a lot of times, gymnasts -- you know, they're perfectionists. and they -- they're not just there, by chance. they worked so hard to get to these points. and to these competitions. and talking on your mental health. it's something that really isn't talked about enough, in my opinion. it's something that really needs to be put as a priority. and these athletes. the amount of pressure that they put on themselves is a lot. but the amount of pressure that they have from everyone around them. i mean, personally, in my head, i'm like, that -- that pressure. i don't know how you can keep up with it. i mean, your mental health is
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just such a priority. and i think this is a really big step and a positive step that not only did she stand up for herself. but she stood up for her mental health and her coaches and everyone listened. i mean, that's the biggest thing is that she put herself and her safety, first. and that's huge. >> you know, i'm -- amir, to that point, what i just kept coming back to as i was watching this unfold over the course of the week is that this is happening in the world of sports. but there is a corollary to almost any-professional environment that, when black women speak about a workplace problem, they often run the risk of being dubbed the problem, themselves. so, how do we take the lessons from what we have watched happen here, and extrapolate them out to our non-olympian lives? for everyone, who is cheering on simone biles, how do they take
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that same sense of ally-ship and apply it to their own, lived experience? >> yes, i love that question, so much. i talked to 400-meter hurdler anna right before the games and she said one of the things she wants people to know is like when she moves through the world, people don't say, oh, you're olympian. they see her as a black woman, which is why it's so important to understand that this pedestal that they know they're on and that light that's shining there is something magnified across multiple industries. and -- and it's experienced that so many black women are resonating with, which is what you are hearing, right, on the talk show you just showed a clip of. that feeling of conditional acceptance if you are laboring and entertaining and pleasing and carrying the load. but that, it goes because there's intense scrutiny on you. and i think that -- that -- that empathy that we're seeing now for simone. don't be empathizing simone, and then taxing the black woman in your office, for instance. those, you know, black women may not be as decorated as simone is in gymnastics but the lessons in
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that articulation are still there. and athletes, themselves, are saying we're black women and athletes but this is a experience that we feel is fairly universal. >> i could talk to you guys all night. thank you, all, so much. next, honoring two american icons. the push to cement the legacies of the first women to ever serve on the supreme court. and at the top of the hour, it is "the week with joshua johnson." he will talk to congresswoman marie newman, the new vice chair of the progressive caucus, about where a bipartisan infrastructure bill stands and where the progressive agenda goes, next. that is 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on "american voices." al save yo? one! two! three! four! five! 72,807! 72,808... dollars. yep... everything hurts. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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of the 266 statues of historic figures at the nation's capitol, 250 are of men. and women? just 14. a bipartisan group of senators, led by women, have introduced legislation to change that. announcing, thursday, a plan to honor supreme court justices ruth bader ginsburg and sandra day o'connor with their own statues inside the capitol or in capitol grounds. republican senators lisa murkowski and susan collins and democratic senators amy klobuchar and kyrsten sinema are spearheading that legislation. it has 17 co-sponsors, including several male senators. justice o'connor, a conservative. and justice ginsburg, a liberal. were the first and second female justices, respectively, in a statement klobuchar put the effort into focus. saying, quote, the capitol is our most recognizable symbol of democracy. a place where people from across
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our country have their voices represented and heard. it is only fitting that we honor the remarkable lives and service to our country, by establishing statues in the capitol. alaska senator, lisa murkowski, adds their leadership has made a difference for women and families, for generations to come. and how right she is, justice ginsburg argued a series of historic cases before the supreme court before she ever even served as a justice. establishing the equal-citizenship rights of men and women. and before rbg, there was justice sandra day o'connor, the first woman ever seated. an appointment that showed women, too, could reach the pinnacle of america's legal system. normalizing what we would see, in the 1990s, when president clinton nominated a feminist icon to join o'connor on the bench. legislation to memorialize these american giants is not just in the senate. members of the democratic women's caucus and the bipartisan women's caucus, also, introduced a version of the bill, thursday, in the house. saying, america owes the two
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legal icons a huge debt of gratitude. and that the statues would serve as a, quote, reminder that a woman's place is everywhere. that is it for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." but for now, i hand it over to my colleague, joshua johnson. hello, joshua. >> hello, alicia. thank you very much. and hello to you. it is good to be with you tonight. right now, the senate awaits the final text of the bipartisan infrastructure bill after a rare-saturday session. if it passes the senate, will progressives in the house support it? we'll speak to the vice chair of the house progressive caucus. plus, the delta variant is sparking new concerns. today, florida reported its highest-daily caseload, since the pandemic started. the president's former-senior adviser for covid response, andy slavitt, joins us live. also, a report suggests that republicans could retake the house, just by re-districting four southern states. it is mathematically possible

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