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tv   Yasmin Vossoughian Reports  MSNBC  August 28, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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that's over 100,000 people who are right now hospitalized from the virus. johnson & johnson says those who received its vaccine would benefit from a booster shot after eight months. the company's data suggests a second dose raises antibody levels nine times higher than 28 days after the first shot. that's going to do it for me, everyone, on this edition of "alex witt reports." i will see you again tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., i will be in for ali velshi and at noon eastern. lindsey reiser continues our coverage from washington, d.c. see you tomorrow. ♪♪ good afternoon. i am lindsey reiser in for yasmin vossoughian. i'm coming to you today from washington, d.c., the epicenter of a national show of force to support voting rights. it is not just here in d.c. there are protests going on around the country right now, thousands of people are raising their voices to argue for the protection of our sacred right
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to vote, unsiege right now in many state legislatures nationwide. we have reporters out in the streets on this historic day. it is just one of the major stories we are following this hour. we are also tracking hurricane ida as it takes aim at louisiana, and we are keeping a close eye on afghanistan where the u.s. launched a deadly response to the recent suicide bombings at the airport. more on all of that in just a moment. we begin this hour with breaking news and a sea of voting rights marches across the country under way right now. i'm going to show you a live look at the crowds in washington, d.c. right now tens of thousands of people flooding the streets in more than 40 cities, all to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the historic 1963 march on washington, to call on congress to pass federal legislation to protect voting access. nbc's josh letterman among the rally crowd at d.c.'s national mall. we can hear the speaker loud and clear behind you.
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talk to me about the atmosphere in the crowd where you are. >> reporter: lindsey, we have heard from speaker after speaker all day. i have to tell you the predominant feeling thaw get from being at this rally today is one of frustration. you've got a lot of people here who this isn't their first rodeo. you know, they've been going to rallies for years and years, essentially fighting for the same rights that they're fighting for today. there's a sense of what can we do differently that's going to make a difference in the future when there has been so much, you know, inertia over the years. i think that's one of the reasons you hear such a focused call right now on ending the filibuster, something concrete that can be done that can improve prospects for getting protections in place in the future. we heard just a few minutes ago from the reverend al sharpton who was talking about possibly setting up camp outside the capitol, putting up a tent when the senate comes back and staying there with members of congress to try to press the
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point. i want to introduce you to gregory wilkins, born and raised here in d.c. where, of course, we don't have congressional representation. tell me what stood out to you from the speakers you heard here today. >> well, like you said, that we are fighting the same battle over and over again about voters' rights, you know. i'm hoping that this march that we are doing now would allow congress to see and that we can vote down the filibuster and be able to get this law passed so that we can have equal voter representation. i think the whole core of it started up from a lie, you know. this is all happening now because the republicans lost their president, trump, and we won. it was the most scrutinized, scrutinized election ever. there was nothing that was felt wrong, and so they are now trying to place a whole lot of laws in the courts to try to
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change things, right, because they're threatened by losing power, you know. so we need to be standing up for democracy. we need to be standing up for voters' rights for all people, you know, and especially for the elders who can't get out to vote, you know, and might need to use the valid -- the voting box. >> reporter: are you optimistic, hopeful things can change? >> yes, i am optimistic and i'm going to keep coming down because i know things can and will change. >> reporter: thank you. the best today. we heard from derek johnson, the head of the naacp, who said something fascinating. he was talking about how the march today isn't the big event, that the march is what happens in between the work you do to actually create change. i think that's the message a lot of the speakers here want to deliver, that people have to leave this rally and make sure they actually do the work to make this change. >> all right. nbc's josh lederman in d.c. thank you so much. we will continue on with our
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coverage of voting rights rallies across the country. right now the louisiana governor john bel edwards is speaking in baton rouge about hurricane ida. let's listen in. >> 110-mile-per-hour wind, that is category 2 strength wind. so that's a cat 2 hurricane there. so while the storm will weaken after it makes landfall, it is such a strong storm at the outset that it is going to be extremely powerful as far north as ---. >> all right, everybody. i don't think we have that anymore. we are going to dip in again as we can, but we do want to continue to track hurricane ida. as we just heard a little bit there, it is now a category 2 storm and it is also rapidly gaining strength right now. we want to go ahead to our meteorologist bill karins, who is tracking the latest.
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bill, we are talking about a significant day tomorrow as well. it sounds like we don't have bill as well. we are working on getting bill if we can, because tomorrow is really significant. it just happens to be the 16th anniversary to the day of hurricane katrina hitting new orleans. so we are going to continue to track the hurricane and bring you the latest on that. i believe we are now going to continue on with our coverage here of voting rights rallies. do we have jacob? all right -- >> reporter: hey, lindsey, i'm out here in your home stay. >> going out to phoenix -- yeah, jacob, can you hear me. this is the crazy thing. the forecast, 109 degrees of a high there in phoenix. hot temperatures that i am well used to. so they've moved this event inside to keep everybody safe. >> reporter: not us though. we are outside in the sun. i could use the vitamin d, it is not a big deal. but everybody did go inside. there's about 450 people inside this church here in phoenix. in all seriousness, this is one
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of the ground zeros, you know this being from here, in the fight for voting rights, not just because of the gutting of the preclearance requirements of the voting rights act in 2013, but also this recent ruling this summer by the supreme court that allows certain laws that were thrown out by the 9th circuit court of appeals to remain in place including restrictions on collecting ballots and restrictions on challenging people who are voting outside of their own home precinct. they have a lot of skin in the game here. you would think it is a local event, but it has attracted national attention including the new incoming president of aflcio liz schuler who came out in her first week on the job after the untimely and tragic death of richard trumpka. i spent time with her a little while ago and this is what she had to tell me. >> it is fantastic. the first floor is full. we are sending people to the balcony which is fantastic. we are here and you can see people are here. they're signing petitions, being civically engaged.
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the pastor of the church gave a fiery speech, the whole room was up and cheering. it is great that people are here connecting teach other and that's how we bring change. >> reporter: are there action items you want people to take once they come here in addition to campaigning for the people act, for the john lewis voting rights advancement act, what is happening here in arizona that necessitates this valley as being one of the big ones across the nation today? >> one, it is about everybody. it can't be about phoenix but it has to be every city, every precinct because that's where the votes are challenged. what can people do? text "pledge" to 89799 and join us and be able to get in the fight and do the different actions we take. it is not just about one issue but all issues. that's why voting rights is so important. it addresses every single issue we have to do with. >> reporter: lindsey, obviously that was not president ms. schuler of the aflcio, but one of the events on the ground
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here, but their messages are overlapping and intercepting particularly about the need to get working men and women in the united states of america not only out to vote but protect the right to vote. there is no place, i think, or there are few places arguably in the united states where actually there is a literal front line in the fight and not just because of the supreme court gutting. don't forget, that audit which many people call preposterous, which will not change the outcome of the 2020 election, but has taken up a lot of oxygen and energy out here, is still ongoing to this day. so there's a lot of talk about the integrity of the vote, about making voting fair and free and secure. it is happening in the church behind me, and, like i said, it brought out the new head of the aflcio today instead of going to washington, d.c., which i think is notable. >> jacob, thank you for the reporting. stay cool. if i can given you any advice, it is constant water and find any shade you can. thank you for the reporting. stay cool. everybody at home, we are tracking multiple top stories today, so we're going to go back now to tracking hurricane ida,
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which is taking aim at louisiana and the governor there briefing people on this situation. let's listen in. >> -- or go to the 511 la app for traffic information. find out if roads are closed, if detours are in effect and if alternate routes are needed. -- in -- louisiana -- spread from lafayette across the east toward the new orleans area and multiple vehicle staging areas. the vast majority of these resources will be focused on southeast louisiana. we also have 19 para-transit buses, and they have already been assisting in the evacuation of a number of nursing homes. we will have another 37, 38 more coaches on hand by monday.
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it is important to note that debris on the roadway and high water can occur at any time during the storm because of the impact of the wind and the floodwaters. d.o.t. crews may not be able to get to these locations to erect signs and barricades and provide warning before motorists experience these things. so, please, be mindful of this. don't drive unless you have to once the weather gets bad. when there's water on the road and you're not 100% certain you know exactly how deep it is and what the current is, do not drive through it. turn around. don't drown. you should treat every downed power line as if it is live and deadly. i can tell you that the cpra is tracking 692 gates across the
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coastal zone. as of this morning's briefing 246 of those gates were closed. that's up considerably from yesterday's report. for just the second time in the history of the hurricane risk reduction system in new orleans we will fully activate that system tomorrow morning. coastal parishes across southeast louisiana have been working extremely hard to shore up certain areas in their protection systems. for example, terrebonne parish is performing operations to shore up low-lying areas. la fuge parish completed sandbag operations to shore up areas on reach k of its system in morganza to the gulf levies. the national guard currently has 4,013 national guardsmen and
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airman activated. we will get to more than 5,000 guardsmen available to respond to the storm. in fact, the entirety of the louisiana national guard has been activated, and coordination for possible assistance with sister states for assets that we may not have or may not have enough of in louisiana is ongoing. but just in terms of the national guard, their search and rescue assets are staged currently across 14 parishes. they have 164 high-water vehicles, 62 boats and 34 helicopters ready to support and assist in search and rescue operations. 650 state, emac and fema personnel. emac is when we request assistance from another state. fema is when we receive
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obviously search and rescue individuals directly from the federal government. we have a total of 650 of these that will be in place by tonight, and the number of boats there just with the louisiana fire marshal's office, for example, is 150 staged across south louisiana. we have the potential to get to 900 such search and rescue people by monday if needed. the louisiana sheriff's association and the alcohol and tobacco control have committed their personnel and assets to search and rescue efforts. the fire marshal's office has always work -- i'm sorry, is also working with two volunteer boat search and rescue organizations as well as state partners, including the national guard and wild a life and fisheries. wildlife and fisheries currently has 169 agents with trucks and
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boats prepared, staged -- >> all right, everybody. we are listening to louisiana governor john belle edwards updating everybody on tomorrow. this is definitely not a storm to be taken lightly. right now it is a category 2. it could strengthen as it turns toward louisiana. the governor there saying they have boats and helicopters ready for search and rescue efforts. hopefully those won't be needed, but they will be activating their emergency levy system. we will be staying on top of ida and tracking it throughout the program. we want to turn to a big story of what is happening, and that is what is happening on the ground in afghanistan. president biden is warning that last night's drone strike against isis-k that was condemn by the taliban a short time ago will likely not be the last, and this is within hours, the final hours really of the u.s. evacuation. we want to go to nbc's dan de luce.
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let's start with the drone strike that was aimed at isis-k. who was targeted? >> the pentagon is saying they tarringed two planners or facilitators with isis-k, and those two individuals were killed. another was wounded. they didn't give many more details about who these people were. now, as you say, there's a statement out of the white house saying this is not the last strike, they reserve the right to further retaliate against the group that set off that horrendous bomb last week outside kabul airport, killing 13 service members and dozens of afghans desperately trying to get out. i think they acknowledge that this strike was -- does not necessarily mean the threat is gone at all. the threat is still very serious at the airport, a major threat from that same group, isis-k, and at the same time the u.s. military really at the last month now, the 11th hour on the evacuation effort there.
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>> yes, let's talk about that evacuation effort. the white house is describing the final three days as the most dangerous. you outlined why, this looming threat here that's really underlying all of the rescue efforts. so how many americans still need to be evacuated? >> they're saying that there's at least about 350 americans who want to be evacuated and are asking to be evacuated. so that seems to be one target there. but, of course, there are tens of thousands of afghans who worked as interpreters and in other jobs for the u.s. government who are still trying to get out, and it looks increasingly bleak for mem of them, if they're not already in the airport itself given the situation. the military is already beginning to withdraw equipment and forces because tuesday is the deadline for withdrawal >> all right. nbc's dan de luce. thank you for laying that out. i would like to bring in
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congressman from california who serves on the house armed services committee. thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> i want to talk about this drone attack. does it buy u.s. troops any time here to complete the evacuation? obviously the president says it won't be the last. do you have any knowledge about what more we can see in the future? >> well, we're certainly going to see additional drone strikes into the future. the president has been very, very clear, he is not going to let this rest. he is going to do everything possible and the united states military has incredible assets available to them to conduct these kinds of strikes. so if i were a taliban -- excuse me, an isis-k person somewhere in afghanistan, i would be very, very careful because there's a hellfire missile coming their direction. >> well, congressman, let's talk about the deadline for tuesday.
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the clock is sticking here. these are the most dangerous days ahead, and despite substantial criticism the president has not wavered on a deadline of tuesday and it is a choice you supported. do you think we can get all of the remaining americans out, u.s. allies out, equipment, machinery, all of that out by august 31st? >> there are about four different things you mentioned there. with regard to equipment and machinery that was brought in to deal with this particular evacuation, yes, that will be able to be evacuated. some of it already is. with regard to additional, almost all of the american military equipment was removed from afghanistan prior to this mission of evacuating from the kabul airport. now, that's -- that equipment is gone. there's often the misunderstanding here about other american equipment. the u.s. has armed the previous
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afghan government, 300,000 soldiers and all of the equipment that goes with it. we have been doing that for the last 20 years. with the collapse and total disappearance of the ghani government, that equipment fell into the hands of the taliban and they now have it. indeed, it is american equipment, but it was the property of the afghan government. now, going forward will we be able to get all of the americans out? i think the number probably 300 or so, yes. the evacuations will continue until the last american jet leaves that airport. those evacuations will continue even after the american military has left. >> okay. >> there will continue to be evacuations from kabul and from other areas. that is going to take place. with regard to all of the afghans that are out there in trouble, they will continue to be evacuated as possible. >> well, congressman, last question to you and quickly if we can, your office has been
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involved in the evacuation. you represent travis afforce base. >> yes. >> currently they have 400 airmen deployed to kabul. it is one of the most involved in this. yesterday your office was able to secure flights for 145 americans. how did you get it done? >> there's a network among the various congressional offices. we share information back and forth. it came to us there were 140 or so americans stuck in kabul. we then activated our network, found out who they were, where they were. contacted the state department and the military, and they were then escorted into it. there's one other example. we were working with a family. we got them to the abbey gate. they got through that gate ten minutes before the blast occurred. we got word from them that they were safely in qatar, but it was very, very close.
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unfortunately, 160 other afghans died and the 13 american service men and women also. so it is very, very dangerous. it will be dangerous going forward and we will certainly recognize the loss of all of the people that have died here. going forward, the american government will not give up on any american left in afghanistan and we'll do our best to continue to extricate additional afghans who worked with us. >> congressman, i know this is a busy time for us. thank you for joining us and updating us on the efforts. >> sure still ahead, the fight for voting rights. demonstrations here in d.c. and across the country honor the legacy of martin luther king jr.'s historic march on washington. what advocates say it will take to make meaningful moves toward equality, both in the halls of congress and at the ballot box. and one we explore one that's been paved
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one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. >> one of the most iconic speeches of the 20th century, given 58 years ago today. marchers are once again fighting for the similar ideals that martin luther king jr. died for, voting rights protests happening across the country. we are seeing a pretty heavy turnout with some star power in atlanta. that's where we find nbc's jack brewster. >> reporter: hi there, lindsey. here in atlanta you have some big names come and take the stage including rapper ludacris who is there talking to the crowd before he begins his performance, but you heard from the daughter of dr. martin luther king jr., bernice king, who spoke about what the moment meant to her, the fact that 58 years ago her father was in washington, d.c., gathering hundreds of thousands of people in a social justice movement.
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now she says she is doing that fight again, she is continuing that fight, and this one, of course, the focus on voter rights. that is something that you heard from many of the people who gathered here today, saying that they feel under attack from that georgia law that was passed and signed back in march, that was signed by the governor, brian kemp. they said they felt attack by that law. they felt it was a threat on their voting rights, and they see that happening in other states across the country so they came out to really speak against that and provide a counterpoint to what you are seeing in different legislatures. so that's what is happening here in atlanta, some big names. it started with the rally, it was then a march and now you see the performance happening on stage. lindsey. >> nbc's shaq brewster in atlanta. thank you. some of the biggest crowds for today's marches have been here in d.c. at mcpherson square where protesters have been gathering since early this morning, that location is close to where a 23-year-old john lewis introduced martin luther king jr., one of the most
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pivotal moments of the entire fight for civil rights in the u.s. it is also close to where a new voting equality act bearing lewis's name will be headed to the senate where it faces an uphill battle. i'm join now by andrea hailey, the ceo of andrea, thank you for your time and for joining us. in today's marches really show an incredible amount of support for the john lewis voting act, the for the people act. at this point there doesn't seem to be a lot of chance these will pass without filibuster reform. so do you agree with that and how do you move forward? >> absolutely. i think that with thousands of people showing up in washington and all across the nation demanding voting rights that our leaders in congress would be wise to listen to their constituents. these bills are overwhelmingly popular with the american population. everyone wants their freedom protected and freedom to the ballot box protected, and we're going to have to have a carve-out in the filibuster to make that happen. what i definitely know is that a
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senate custom or procedure should not get in the way of everyone's ability to vote and participate in our democracy. >> well, marchers are demanding that elected officials protect democracy and denounce voter suppression. they also want to make d.c. a state and ensure fair and easy access for everyone to be able to vote. so how do events like the ones we are seeing across the country add public pressure? >> i think that, you know, it is one thing for elected officials to see the polling results and to know that these bills are overwhelmingly popular. it is a whole other thing for them to see thousands of americans in the streets saying that they will hold everyone accountable if voting rights legislation is not passed in the country. we know that there are so many bills crisscrossing the nation in the states right now trying to roll back protections and freedoms to the ballot box, and i think that this show of force in the streets really lets people know that voting rights
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is not optional, the time is now, and that this is urgent and that we need to pass this legislation. >> yeah, let's talk about those efforts because there are at least 17 states that are passing laws trying to restrict voting, and a "new york times" article from this week says these new restrictions would never have made it this far in the '60s because of a ruling by the supreme court in 2013 saying racial discrimination was no longer a threat in the u.s., thus lifting the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination had to get approval from the justice department before changing voting laws. so are we going backwards? >> yes. i mean the gutting of the voting rights act by the supreme court is tragic. we know that as soon as that happened there are states that went back to their previous discriminatory practices. we saw hundreds of polling locations across the southeastern seaboard of the united states close down. we saw rules change, and i think that it is really important we give teeth back into the voting
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rights act by passing the john lewis voting rights legislation. so, yes, we have gone backwards. we have taken some steps backwards, but we have a solution. the solution is for the senate to pass the john lewis voting rights act. i think every individual out there should be calling their senators and demanding that right now. >> i was speaking with bishop william barber this morning on msnbc. he is one of the organizers of the make good trouble rally here in d.c. he said, and this is something you agree with, these voter suppression efforts are short sighted because even though right now minority groups would be disproportionately impacted, in the end it will impact everyone. can you explain that? >> yes, i think it is important for us all to realize our fates are intwined. when you are talking about rolling back early voting, drop boxes, mail-in voting, it affects everybody. not being able to have food and
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water while you are waiting in eight-hour lines, that affects every single individual. so our fates are all tied together here in our democracy. it is up to us to see if we are going to be able to realize this great dream, hold our country, and if we are going to have a healthy country that protects everyone or if we will descend into something that politicians get to pick and choose which voters get to have their voices heard, which we know affects everything that happens in your city, your state and in the nation. >> right. andrea, we appreciate your time on such a busy day. thanks so much for joining us. and still ahead, meldowns over mask mandates and vaccine misinformation. >> you take a black light flashlight and shine it on your face and you are now going to glow in the black light because guess what. you are no longer human. you are 2.0s and we are afraid of you. >> how did we get here and how can we get past it? is the full fda approval of the
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a florida judge has dealt a major blow to the efforts by governor ron desantis to stop schools from instituting mask mandates. the judge's rule that the sweeping action by the state to interfere in the decisions of local school boards doesn't pass constitutional muster and tramples florida's separation of power statutes. many school boards have defied the desantis effort. in fact, more than half of the state's students are under mask mandates as covid cases continue to explode in the state. the national debate over school mask mandates and covid-19 requirements continues to heat up with parents who are against the orders taking out their frustrations at many school board meetings across the country. >> when it comes to your mask
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mandates, i'm here to tell you, and i speak with a lot of these folks out here, we will not comply with your crap. >> they sent us to vietnam to fight for the country but you tell him to wear a mask. >> it has never been about the health but control and compliance. you take a black light and shine it on your veins and you will glow in the dark. >> why are you here today? >> i have children and grandchildren i want to live free. >> pretty fiery there. the call for masking up comes as the delta variant rages across the u.s. and tens of millions of american adults remain unvaccinated. there is some optimism that the full fda approval of the pfizer vaccine this week could mean an increase in shots in arms. yesterday alone more than 1 million doses of the vaccine were given. that's the highest single-day increase since early july. joining me right now is dr. irwin redlener, msnbc public health analyst and founding director of the national center for disaster preparedness at
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columbia university. dr. redlener, good afternoon to you. first, let's talk about the mask mandates. we have seen so much push back. how do you counter claims that masks are medical tyranny? >> well, it is kind of an absurd thought in a way if you think about it. there's a lot of things we need to do to protect the public 'health from clean air and clean water to the shots, the routine shots their children have to get before they enter school. here we have a raging, deadly dynamic pandemic, especially now fuelled by the delta variant, and we're simply trying to say from the scientific and public health community, you have to get vaccinated if you are eligible and, secondly, we need to wear masks and keep ourselves safe, especially keep children safe in schools since most kids, obviously all kids under 12, are still not eligible to be vaccinated. somehow it has turned into a political free for all with
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extreme political partisan politics taking over what should be a purely public health set of decisions and priorities. it is just amazing that i don't think any of us could have predicted just two years ago. >> right. and, you know, you do have a sense of optimism though in an op-ed you recently wrote regarding the fda approval of the pfizer vaccine. you say that this should spur more shots in arms, saying, quote, there should be no doubt that the new upgraded vaccine approval is a big step forward in getting millions more of us vaccinated. we have, doctor, seen vaccinations rise, but do you think that this will incentivize people who are the most vaccine hesitant? i mean the people we just heard talking at those school board meetings. >> yeah, well, by the way, no one has ever used dr. redlener and optimism in the same sentence very often, but thank you for that. i do feel optimistic about it for a couple of reasons. number one, about a third of the people who are unvaccinated said they would reconsider once there
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was final full approval by the fda. not just the emergency use authorization. now we have that, and i hope that group of people will get vaccinated. the other thing is that this new ruling, this new approval will incentivize many companies and organizations and event program people to say we're going to mandate vaccines. so if you want to come to the workplace, you want to go to this event, you have to prove that you have been vaccinated. i think that's going to go a long way also. so there are a number of things that i think will change because of this ruling, and i'm very happy to be optimistic about what we're facing going forward now. >> you know, in our own reporting there are other health experts who have expressed some doubt. there was an infectious disease epidemiologist who told nbc, if you already don't trust the government, why would it matter now if the ultimate goal in their mind is to not get vaccinated, there are a multitude of reasons they will come up.
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with "the washington post" reports that more than a dozen vaccine skeptics they talked to still don't want to get it, even those who said earlier this year they would be more likely to get it if it was fully approved by the fda. given where we are, what is the prognosis if these people remain unconvinced and unvaccinated? >> this is a good question. what i was saying before is that the people that are hesitant, just waiting for more information or more reassurance, they've got it. for companies that want to mandate vaccines for everybody, all of their employees, they have that. but there's still this incredibly strong 10% to 15% of americans who are not just hesitant, they're actually resistant. they're listening to crazy conspiracy theories on the internet and in social media. they are convinced that terrible things would happen to them and that -- to them if they get vaccinated including the implant of microchips or they'll become magnetic. those people are going to be very difficult to move, and i
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agree that this new ruling from the fda will not make that much of a difference for those people. >> all right. well, dr. irwin redlener, we appreciate you coming on and breaking that down for us. thanks for your time. still ahead, retaliation. evacuation and refugees. perspective on what is happening in afghanistan from two veterans who served on the ground. their stories after the break. with voltaren arthritis pain gel my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pain pills voltaren is the first full prescription strength gel for powerful arthritis pain relief... voltaren the joy of movement with downy infusions, let the scent set the mood.
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welcome back, everybody. we are learning new details today from the pentagon on the rapidly changing situation in afghanistan including now getting u.s. troops out of the country. with three days to go until president biden's august 31st deadline, pentagon press secretary john kirby confirms u.s. troops at the kabul airport have begin retrograde. >> reporter: have u.s. troops begun retrograde, withdrawal from the airport? >> we have begun retrograding. >> reporter: can you sage anything about the number who have left? >> i cannot. >> joining me tim kuld owe, former captain who served in iraq and afghanistan. and eric edgeton. tim, you told my colleagues a few days ago you were glad to see operations in afghanistan coming to an end, but what are your thoughts on how it is coming to an end and what does the retrograde mean for an
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ending to our almost two decades there? >> i think, you know, obviously the events of the past few day was the deaths of the marines, the corpsman and army soldiers is incredibly tragic. i wish we would have been able to get out of there without any casualties. but, you know, it is time to end the war in afghanistan and, you know, this is what it is going to be like until the last soldier, you know, leaves the ground over there. so i think as we move into rote row grade it is important that we get as many civilians out as possible, we get all of our equipment and personnel out and that we continue to help afghans leave the country even afterwards using diplomatic means. >> major general hank taylor confirmed two high-profile isis-k militants were killed and one wounded in the drone strike yesterday. so we're also hearing from the president just in the last hour that there's a looming threat still there in kabul, possibly within the next 24 to 36 hours. so was that enough to delay, maybe even deter another attack?
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>> i mean there had to be a response obviously to isis-k, to let them know that any, you know, attempted provocation or additional attack was going to be dealt with severely, and i think it is good to have that. we should be cautious though i think of when the administration or any kind of intelligence indicates that someone controlled by a drone strike, you know, we know over the past 20 years that often that may not be the right person, there's uncertainty. we are using drones that doesn't exist when you are using boots on the ground directly in contact, so we should be skeptical about that. but the president should provide credible deterrence and he needs to act when it is credible. so it is good to continue to do this to anyone that would do us harm. >> eric, you wrote an op-ed in "politico" about non-golf shot efforts there to try to evacuate people there. i want to read from your piece. you say a diverse group of volunteers, veterans, hill staffers, private sector employees, members of the intelligence community and human rights advocates, persists
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through disappointment, frustration and panic. you also write essentially these efforts are kind of a chance for redemption for them. how successful has the group been so far? i know you personally have been trying to rescue one of your former afghan interpreters. >> it has been an absolute round-the-clock effort, frantic, dedicated volunteers trying to step in and fill the breach, to fix some of the betrayals of our government against our citizens and allies as we leave them behind. there are many, many more left. "new york times" reporting yesterday revealed there are 250,000 afghan allies, and with the current numbers, which from what i understand from a source at the white house on background, that those numbers are being padded, not being counted as number of people evacuated but in terms of number of seats and broad brush stroke assumptions around capacity on the planes. so if those numbers even were correct, if they are optimistic,
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we have taken about 7% of the afghan allies back to the united states. >> well, and the president has admitted that maybe not every single ally will get out. you have experience in the country. what is your general sense, erik, about how this all has transpired? >> i think there's two things. i mean there's obviously, you know, an interest of my own, to help my own interpreter get out of the country. he was faithful to u.s. interests for a very long time, and there are many others just like him. his case is not special by any means, and i'm getting reports from other people as well who have been fighting for their interpreters to get over to the u.s. but it is also a system wide problem, and i think it is a moral obligation of this country to take care of our allies, not only because it is the right thing to do but also in terms of national security and foreign policy. i think the writing is on the wall that if we do not help our allies now, who in the future might want to work with us?
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>> we did hear from congressman from california in the last half hour who said after the august 31st deadline some of the evacuations will continue, but we will have to see. thank you both for your time and expertise on this matter. coming up in our next hour we will continue to track hurricane ida as it swirls in the gulf, and we will have the latest on its track as it swiftly approaches louisiana and what it means for the people in its path. plus, taking to the streets. our coverage across country of voting rights demonstrations continuing from here in d.c. to the sunshine state. you are watching msnbc reports.
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thousands of protesters nationwide have kicked off marches to demand protections for voting rights, including in miami, florida. that's where we find nbc's ellison barber with more. >> reporter: most of these cars started the morning outside of
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senator marco rubio's office or the office of their elected congressional representative, and then they all came here to this drive-in rally. speakers up there, cars here. this is a covid safety protocol. inside the car or outside of it, the reason people are here is very clear. they're here to make noise, to call on their elected officials to protect voting rights and denounce voter suppression. they also want to see congress pass the for the people act. i want to introduce you to linda, one of the people who came to the drive-in rally today. tell us why are you are here, why this is so important for you to be here despite the heat, despite everything else going on in the world, why here? >> in recognition of all of those foot soldiers and persons who went before us, who died and bled for our voting rights. i find it honor to be here. >> reporter: governor ron desantis signed legislation into law in may that heavily ee
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stricted vote i rights, among other things limited mail-in ballots, limited the time for early voting. do you feel like voting rights in this state and other states are under attack right now? >> oh, absolutely. absolutely. we have seen voter suppression like we have never seen voting suppression before. we have lost footing. we had more voting rights in '63 than we have now. it is -- i just -- words cannot -- cannot say what i feel about it. >> reporter: what do you want people at home to know when they see these cars, when they hear you speak? what do you want them to know? what do you want to see them do? >> i want them to forge on, forge on. all of those foot soldiers, all of those persons that went before us, that bled and died, let their work not be in vain. >> reporter: thank you. we appreciate it. governor ron desantis signed that legislation into law in may. he said that it was necessary to protect against fraud, even though the state said there was
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no evidence of widespread fraud in the last election cycle. president donald trump won in this state in november by about 3 percentage points. critics say that what happened in this state, that legislation, that it was a direct response to the lies the former president told about what happened in the election, and they say that it is akin to a jim crow law. lindsey >> all right. nbc's ellison barber in miami. thank you. we are approaching the top of the hour. this is "msnbc reports." ♪ ♪ welcome back, everybody. i'm lindsey reiser in for yasmin vossoughian. our coverage of the nationwide protests for voting rights continues. i'm live in washington, d.c., which has seen some of the largest crowds in the nationwide call to action. voters in cities all across the country are out in force today with one clear message, protect the vote from those who want to keep more americans away from the ballot box.
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but we are going to begin this hour with our other big breaking news story, hurricane ida. now a category 2 storm and rapidly gaining strength as it barrels towards the coast of louisiana, frantic evacuations across the state and surrounding areas are well underway. the national hurricane center is now predicting ida will make landfall in louisiana tomorrow as a dangerous category 4 hurricane. it could hit new orleans exactly 16 years after hurricane katrina. a short time ago governor john bel edwards gave residents an update on the critical hours ahead as many brace for power outages and travel disruption. >> this will be one of the strongest hurricanes to hit anywhere in louisiana since at least the 1850s. we can also tell you that your window of time is closing. it is rapidly closing. just like w


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