tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN August 18, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
could just see, if we could get more cameras into these icus, they would not be willing to accept some of these lies and conspiracy theories. >> oh, absolutely. and our miguel marquez has done a wonderful job of doing that and showing it to our viewers. but our viewers are not necessarily the people who need to see it the most. >> "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. president biden pushing a boost in the nation's fight against covid. "the lead" starts right now. this hour, president biden set to speak about his administration's new recommendation, a third vaccine shot. but still many questions about the science and priorities behind that call. and we have the experts to answer them. then, top defense officials admit nothing indicated to them how fast the afghan military would collapse. and now gunfire and beatings from the taliban. we're live in kabul as the taliban shows they have not changed. plus, thousands evacuated as
a new fire explodes east of the california capital and triples in size in a single day. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we start with breaking news in our world lead. moments ago we heard from the u.s. secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for the first time since afghanistan fell to the taliban. general mark milley pledging to get all americans and afghan allies safely out of that country and defending the intelligence behind the troop withdrawal, saying absolutely nothing indicated to the pentagon that the afghan government and army would collapse in only 11 days. the situation on the ground getting increasingly harrowing for the thousands of americans and afghans trying to reach the kabul airport to escape. [ gunshots sounding ] >> that's the sound of the taliban firing purportedly to
disperse crowds outside the airport. desperate afghans had been telling cnn that even after presenting correct paperwork, taliban fighters are not allowing them to enter the airport to board evacuation flights. and the u.s. embassy put out a warning this afternoon that they cannot guarantee safe passage to the airport for anyone. for those lucky enough to get out of afghanistan, today we learned two more u.s. military bases, fort bliss and texas, and fort mccoy in wisconsin will be used in addition to virginia's fort lee for a safe haven for afghan allies and their families. cnn's clarissa ward is live in the afghan capital of kabul. but we're going to start with cnn's barbara starr. even president biden has said that the u.s. miscalculated how quickly the taliban would take over the country. so what are the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs saying about how they're going to assess the intelligence and what they advise president biden? >> well, jake, first up, those
photos, those images you showed of the taliban, that's the taliban the u.s. is negotiating with right now to try and get that safe passage. but can you trust them? well, the last 20 years certainly indicate that you cannot. general milley and secretary austin both longstanding combat veterans of afghanistan acknowledging that they did not anticipate what happened. listen to what general milley had to say. >> the time frame of a rapid collapse, that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months and even years following our departure. there was nothing that i or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days. >> they simply did not anticipate that the afghan government, the afghan military would not have the will to fight. jake? >> barbara, you asked the pentagon about americans who are
not in kabul, not in the capital city. is there a plan to make sure that they are going to be able to get out of that country safely? >> well, that certainly remains to be seen in reality. now, general milley, i just want to tell you, he said that one of the tasks, and let me quote him, is to, quote, evacuate all american citizens from afghanistan who desire to leave the country. that may be a check he cannot cash. there are americans all over kabul that currently cannot even get to the airport. there is an assessment perhaps that there are americans in other parts of afghanistan that cannot get on the roads and get past taliban checkpoints to even get to the capital city in the first place. right now the strategy is to negotiate with the taliban to try and ensure safe passage. you have to believe that there may be some doubt about any taliban promises on that. jake? >> yeah, i would hope so. barbara starr, thank you so much. let's bring in cnn's clarissa
ward who is in keisha lance bottoms. th -- kabul. can even get into much less get to the airport in kabul. >> reporter: yeah. i would say, jake, it's not for the feint of heart. i mean, we went today, we saw for ourselves absolute chaos, frankly. and there were far fewer people trying to get into the airport today than previous days. but it doesn't matter because the system or complete lack of system is creating a situation whereby you have these taliban fighters who are beating at people, who are shooting into the crowds. the u.s. also today was forced to fire shots to disperse crowds, not into the crowds though, not actually hurting people, but all of this creating a very chaotic and dangerous situation. take a look. america's last foothold in afghanistan is now guarded by the taliban.
we've come to kabul's airport to see the gauntlet people must pass through to fly out. you can hear gunshots every couple minutes. cnn, cnn, cnn. quickly we are accosted by an angry taliban fighter. can i ask you a question? excuse me. cover my face? >> cover. >> what is this? what is that? [ inaudible ] he told me to cover my face, but he doesn't want to comment on that thing he's carrying. the fighters tell us these chaotic scenes are the fault of america. the cause of all this is america in afghanistan. look at these people, he says. america's really acting unfairly towards them. why are they lying and telling them that they can go to america?
why don't they let them stay and help their country? okay, he doesn't want to talk to me, all right. we keep walking to avoid confrontation. a man follows us, asking for advice. how you can enter the base? >> yes. because they are saying -- >> do you have paperwork to enter? >> yes. >> show me your paperwork. was this an italian company? >> yeah, italian company. [ inaudible] >> thank you. >> others crowd around us to show their documents. you were a translator? >> yes. they're saying they all worked at american camps as translators
for the americans and they can't get into that airport. the taliban fighters are a little upset with us. we decide to leave and head for our car. the fighter takes the safety off his ak-47 and pushes through the crowd. >> stay behind him. you can see that some of these taliban fighters, they're just hopped up on adrenaline or i don't know what. it's a very dicey situation. suddenly two other taliban charge towards us. you can see their rifle butt raised to strike producer brent swails. when the fighters are told we have permission to report, they lower their weapons and let us pass. now we're going. get in the car. and you can imagine, jake, i
mean, this is us. we are a news crew. we are clearly western. and still we were exposed to all sorts of insanity. if you're an ordinary afghan trying to get past those taliban guards and trying to get into the airport, i mean, i don't see how you're able to do it. i don't see how you're able to really get in unless you have some kind of a contact or a connection or you're able to arrange something somehow. but as i said, the infrastructure simply isn't in place to even begin to do that. so, as a result, you have all these poor people sitting outside the airport for days on end now. and it's their last hope. but frankly, jake, there's no real hope. >> it's so tragic. let me ask you when it comes to the american military presence there at the airport, they've recaptured the airport, it's secure, they say. is there any rhyme or reason at the airport americans go here, afghans with sivs go to another
location. president biden said they planned for every contingency. >> reporter: well, i can only speak to the outer perimeter. and there is definitely no planning. there is definitely no coherent structure. when we were first trying to push closer to the airport, the taliban originally thought that we were trying to leave the country. and so then they were sort of like, okay, yeah, you're western, fine, you can leave the country, and they started trying to guide us further in. but meanwhile, there is gunshots being fired, there's people wielding truncheons. we were not trying to get into the airport. but certainly it wasn't a coherent system. it wasn't like, oh, yes, please step right this way, americans are supposed to line up over there and afghans go here and this is where you present your paperwork. it's just completely chaotic. >> and i want to get your reaction to something said by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general mark milley today. he said that they had no
indication that an army the size of the afghan army, which i think was estimated in the hundreds of thousands, no indication that it would collapse in 11 days. as somebody who has covered this war now for a long time, what do you think? >> reporter: i think -- listen, to be fair, jake, no one ever thought that this whole thing would unravel in a matter of days. no one thought that the taliban would be able to take kabul, a city of 6 million people in a matter of hours while barely firing a shot. if you had written this in a movie script, people would've said it was over the top. it really does beg the belief. at the same time, a lot of people on the ground here would say, well, it's your responsibility still when you are leaving a country that you've been occupying for 20 years to plan for every possible
eventuality, including the sublime and the ridiculous on the very small chance that they happen to come to fruition. >> the taliban leadership have gotten more sophisticated in the last 20 years in terms of the propaganda, the rhetoric they use, the promises they make when giving press conferences and the like. there are a lot of foreign officials, even officials in the u.s. who are eager to hear that. but i wonder, you and your team were accosted in kabul. you were told to cover your face, which is medieval. and i'm wondering, is that the norm in kabul? and if so, what's it like in kandahar? >> reporter: yeah. so, i mean, this is a really important point because we're zeroing in on the airport right now and rightly so because these scenes are tragic and awful. but that's just a very small part of the city. and if you walk around the rest of the city, i have to say,
jake, and we've been doing it a lot. it is relatively calm at the moment. people are coming back out onto the streets. stores are opening. there is some semblance of law and order. you don't see that kind of anarchic scene that you saw in our story there. this is very much specific to the airport. but it really speaks to this moment, right. the taliban, for them, this is shameful. these images of thousands of people desperately trying to leave the country so they can avoid living under their rule. that's humiliating for the taliban. and so you have this very bizarre dynamic where the taliban and the u.s. are kind of working together because the taliban wants everyone who needs to leave to leave, westerners primarily. the u.s. needs the taliban to provide some protection on the outer perimeter. but, essentially, there is a huge amount of tension just in the very coexistence of these two parties at such close
proximity, jake. >> clarissa ward in kabul, afghanistan, thank you so much. stay safe. joining us now to discuss, republican congressman adam kinzinger. we just heard general milley say that there was no indication that the afghan military would collapse in only 11 days. you heard clarissa say that she agrees that the collapse is not the surprise, the rapidity, how quickly it happened, is a surprise. what do you think? >> well, a couple things. i don't think we expected it to happen this quickly. but keep in mind we abandoned the afghan military over the last 20 years we've taken as many casualties in 20 years as they were taking every year in the ground fight. we made a deal with them in 2014, you fight on the ground we provide logistics and air. we took off, we left. and keep in mind under the prior administration you had donald trump continually saying we're getting out, it's not worth the
fight. you had mike pompeo cutting the afghan government out of it. this abandonment of the afghan military began a while ago. but then particularly in the last 11 days as we saw the military a rapid basically capitulation and the taliban advances, why were we not then surging in military forces to take back bagram air base to take back kabul and make sure we have things in place. it was still a week and a half and now we're in a decision where we're disgracefully begging the taliban for basically permission to save americans. and the ironic thing here is president biden said we have to leave so that we can focus on china and russia. this will have done more damage to our stand against china and russia and our ability to hold our allies together than probably any event in american history, at least recently. >> general milley also said that the u.s. will not leave behind
the afghan allies who helped u.s. forces during the war. the biden administration right now has a deadline for withdrawing all u.s. troops who are back in afghanistan. it's august 31st, less than two weeks away. i mean, is it even feasible to get all of the afghan allies who are in the pipeline and their families out by august 31st? >> not short of a miracle. so, keep in mind obviously we have americans, as you guys have well reported, stuck outside of the kabul perimeter. you have at least 80,000 afghan allies that we have promised. and the bureaucracy has been slow-walking this up to this very point. we cannot leave those allies behind. our reputation demands it. and i'll tell you what, jake. so, i've promised not to leave these folks behind. so on countryfirst.com, we've actually set up a fund. go and click on afghanistan, we've set up a fault to help no
one left behind. these afghan allies getting out of here and taking care of their families. it is the number one thing we can do right now. and, jake, the american people in the first hour have already given $20,000 to that. and that to me is heartwarming because it says as tragic as this situation is, the american people understand that we have a responsibility and a duty. the only way to save any shred of dignity that we have basically voluntarily given up is to follow through on our promise to the afghan people. so, again, country1st.com. that money goes directly to helping these families that are coming out of such a tragic situation. >> it's been reported in one of the other outlets that one of the reasons why it was slowwalked, is because some people on the biden administration were afraid of the attacks from the right wing about immigration and hoards of
afghans coming into the country, the kind of thing we hear all the time on maga media. what do you make of that? >> that very well may be true. i've been working on this since i've been in congress, so for 11 years, first with iraq and then with afghanistan. and the bureaucracy itself is mind-blowingly slow. but in the last administration under donald trump, we had resistance both in republican-controlled judiciary committee on this issue when we tried to raise the caps. obviously you see people like steven miller out there and some of the crazy far right saying things like, this is an alternative plan to populate the united states with muslims. no. this is the united states following through on its commitment it made. we failed the people of afghanistan, but we can at least not fail these people we've made a promise to. so, everybody in congress and everybody in politics right now is pointing fingers at the other side trying to see if they can
get -- both sides own this. republicans and democrats failed you, the republican and democratic administrations failed you. donald trump negotiated a terrible deal and made it clear we wanted to leave. and joe biden executed an awful pull-out. >> republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois, thank you so much. good to see you again. we're standing by for president biden to begin speaking on covid and vaccines and boosters. we'll bring that to you live. the remarks come as president biden is also facing mounting pressure over the catastrophic withdrawal from afghanistan, including backlash from some democrats. that's next. if you're 55 and up, t- mobile has plans built just for you. switch today and get 2 lines of unlimited and 2 free smartphones. plus you'll now get netflix on us. all this for up to 50% off vs. verizon. it's all included. 2 lines of unlimited for only $70 bucks. and this rate is fixed. you'll pay exactly $70 bucks total. this month and every month. only at t-mobile.
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of thousands more americans and afghan allies out of afghanistan with this looming self-imposed deadline less than two weeks away? >> reporter: in moments president biden will speak publicly amid backlash from democrats in major allies over the chaotic u.s. exit from afghanistan. the president returned from camp david last night and was briefed earlier today by top national security aides on the latest developments. the pentagon says there are now 4,500 u.s. troops in kabul undertaking the daunting challenge of evacuating thousands by the day. >> what our effort is now is focused on moving as many people out as we can from the country. >> reporter: yesterday the president's top aides said they had assurances from the taliban that civilians could get to the airport safely. >> by and large, what we have found is that people have been able to get to the airport. >> reporter: but the u.s. embassy in kabul warning today that the united states government can not ensure safe
passage to the hamid karzai international airport. one democratic lawmaker is calling on president biden to extend the august 31st deadline and keep u.s. forces at that airport until everyone is out. >> there's no way humanly pock that you can keep our promise, the promise that the president has made by august 31st. >> reporter: the questions for the white house aren't going away as democrats are ramping up oversight into the drawdown, with the democratic-led house foreign affairs committee inviting top officials to testify. and biden ally senator bob menendez is warning the senate relations committee will seek a full accounting for these shortcomings. biden spoke with german counselor angela merkel today. british prime minister boris
johnson faced an angry parliament today who blasted him for following the u.s. on a, quote, wing and a prayer. >> what does it say about us as a country? what does it say about nato if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision taken by the united states? >> reporter: now, jake, when it comes to the situation on the ground right now, lawmakers are pushing the white house to change that self-imposed deadline of august 31st saying it is not possible to get everyone they want to get out, out by that date. and defense secretary austin said he is going to work to evacuate as many people as possible until the clock runs out or they run out of capability, he said. >> kaitlan collins, thanks so much. in minutes we do expect president biden to speak about the pandemic. and we will bring that to you live as soon as his remarks begin. plus, i'm going to speak to the ceo of the health system in houston, texas, where icu beds are almost completely full. stay with us.
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shots next month. starting september 20th, the administration recommending vaccinated adults receive a booster eight months after their second dose of the pfizer or moderna vaccines. presenting data suggesting waning immunity over time. >> we are concerned that this pattern of decline we are seeing will continue in the months ahead, which could lead to reduced protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death. >> reporter: booster doses still must be approved by the fda, which is still reviewing the data. but experts warn -- >> boosters is not going to end this pandemic. what's going to end this pandemic is finding the way to motivate the 30, 40% of people in this country who haven't gotten any vaccines yet. >> reporter: is the unvaccinated that have hospitals around the country stressed. intensive care units are more than 90% full in the hardest-hit states. alabama reporting it is out of icu beds. >> president biden is speaking
now at the white house. so i'm afraid i have to interrupt this piece. let's listen to the president. >> good afternoon. i'd like to make an important announcement today in our work to get every american vaccinated and protect it from the delta virus, the delta variant of covid-19. i just got a lengthy briefing from my covid team. and here's the latest data that confirms that we're still in a pandemic of the unvaccinated. while we're starting to see initial signs that cases may be declining in a few places, cases still rising especially among the unvaccinated. there are still 85 million americans who are eligible to get vaccinated who remain unvaccinated and at real risk. across the country, virtually all of the covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the
unvaccinated. in alabama more than 90% of the current hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated. in texas, 95% of those in hospitals are unvaccinated. right now it's worse in states where overall vaccination rates are low. but let me be clear. even in states where the vaccination rate is high, the unvaccinated in those states are also at risk. and we're seeing cases rise as a result. quite frankly, it's a tragedy. there are people who are dying and who will die who didn't have to. so, please, if you haven't gotten vaccinated, do it now, do it now. it can save your life and it can save the lives of those you love. you know, and the good news is that more people are getting vaccinated. overall, weekly new vaccinations are up more than 80% from where they were a month ago.
while it can take up to six weeks to get fully protected after your first shot, this increased level of vaccinations are going to provide results in the weeks ahead. just remember, we have two key and two key ways of protecting ourselves against covid-19. one, safe, free, and effective vaccines. and, two, masks. vaccines are the best defense. but masks are extremely helpful as well. and for those who aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, children under the age of 12, masks are the best available protection for them and the adults around them. that's why we need to make sure children are wearing masks in school. before i talk about the news related to vaccines, let me say a few words about masks and our children. unfortunately, as you've seen throughout this pandemic, some politicians are trying to turn public safety measures, that is
children wearing masks in school, into political disputes for their own political gain. some are even trying to take power away from local educators by banning masks in school. they're setting a dangerous tone. for example, last week at a school board meeting in tennessee, protesters threatened doctors and nurses who were testifying making the case for masking children in schools. the intimidation and the threats we are seeing across the country are wrong, they're unacceptable. now, i've said before, this isn't about politics, it's about keeping our children safe. it's about taking on the virus together, united. i've made it clear that i'll stand with those who are trying to do the right thing. last week, i called school
superintendents in florida and arizona to thank them for doing the right thing and requiring masks in their schools. one of them said, we teach science so we follow the science. the other said a guiding principle, students first. i couldn't agree more with what they both said. and that's why today i'm directing the secretary of education, an educator himself, to take additional steps to protect our children. this includes using all of his oversight authorities and legal action if appropriate against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators. as i said before, if you aren't going to fight covid-19, at least get out of the way of everyone else who's trying. you know, we're not going to sit by as governors try to block and intimidate educators protecting our children. for example, if a governor wants
to cut the pay of a hardworking education leader who requires mask in a classroom, the money from the american rescue plan can be used to pay that person's salary 100%. i'm going to say a lot more about children in schools next week. but as we head into the school year, remember this. the centers for disease control and prevention, the cdc, says masks are critical, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated like our children under the age of 12. so let's put politics aside. let's follow the educators and the scientists who know a lot more about how to teach our children and keep them safe than any politician. this administration is always going to take the side of our children. next, i want to talk to those of you who can get vaccinated, but you haven't. the delta variant is twice as transmissible as the alpha variant.
it's dangerous, and it continues to spread. vaccines are the key to stopping it. we're making progress. today more than 90% of seniors have at least had one shot, and 70% of people over the age of 12 have gotten their first shot as well. that's good news. but we need to go faster. that's why i'm taking steps on vaccination requirements where i can. already i've outlined vaccine requirements that are going to reach millions of americans. federal workers and contractors. medical staff caring for our veterans at v.a. hospitals, and our active duty military reserve and the national guard. today i'm announcing a new step. if you work in a nursing home and serve people on medicare or medicaid, you will also be required to get vaccinated.
more than 130,000 residents in nursing homes have sadly over the period of this virus passed away. at the same time, vaccination rates among nursing home staff significantly trail the rest of the country. studies show that highly vaccinated nursing home staff is associated with at least 30% less covid-19 cases among long-term care residents. with this announcement, i'm using the power of the federal government as a pair of healthcare costs to ensure we reduce those risks to our most vulnerable seniors. these steps are all about keeping people safe and out of harm's way. if you walk into a government office building, you should know that federal workers are doing everything possible to keep you safe. if you're a veteran seeking care at a v.a. hospital, you should not be at a greater risk walking
into the hospital than you were outside the hospital. and now if you visit, live, or work in a nursing home, you should not be at a high risk for contracting covid from unvaccinated employees. while i'm mindful that my authority at the federal level is limited, i'm going to continue to look for ways to keep people safe and increase vaccination rates. and i'm pleased to see the private sector stepping up as well. in the last week, at&t, amtrak, mcdonald's, they all announced vaccine requirements. i recently met with a group of business and education leaders from united airlines to kaiser permanente to howard university were also doing the same thing. over 200 health systems, more than 50 in the past two weeks have announced vaccine requirements. colleges and universities are requiring more than 5 million
students to be vaccinated as they return to classes this fall. all of this makes a difference. the "wall street journal" reported the share of job postings, stating that newhires must be vaccinated, has nearly doubled in the past month. governors and mayors in california, maryland, massachusetts, new york, oregon, and washington have all announced vaccination requirements. so let's be clear. vaccination requirements have been around for decades. the students, healthcare professionals, our troops are typically required to receive vaccines to prevent anything from polio to smallpox to measles to mumps to rubella. in fact, the reason most people in america don't worry about polio, smallpox, measles, mumps or rubella today is because of vaccines. it only makes sense to require a vaccine that stops the spread of
covid-19. it's time for others to step up. employers have more power today to end this pandemic than they have ever had before. my message is simple. do the right thing for your employees, consumers, and your businesses. let's remember, the key tool to keeping our economy going strong is to get people vaccinated and at work. i know that i'll have your back -- they should know i'll have their back as i have the back of the states trying to do the right thing as well. for example, yesterday i instructed the federal emergency management agency, fema, to extend full reimbursement through the end of the year to stake developments -- state deployments of national guard in support of covid-19 response. nearly 18,000 national guard members are supporting our response nationwide, from caring
for patients to administering vaccines, to running testing sites, to distributing supplies. as the states continue to recover from the economic toll left by covid-19, the full reimbursement of national guard services during this pandemic will be another tool that will help them shore up their budgets, meet the needs of their communities and continue our economic recovery. these are the latest steps we're taking to get more people vaccinated. next, i want to speak to you all, all of you who are vaccinated. how should you be thinking about the memoriam? first, know that you're highly protected against severe illness and death from covid-19. only a small fraction of people going to the hospital today are those who have been vaccinated. we have a responsibility to give the maximum amount of protection, all of you the maximum amount.
earlier today our medical experts announced a plan for booster shots to every fully vaccinated american, adult american. you know, this will boost your immune response. it will increase your protection from covid-19. and it's the best way to protect ourselves from new variants that could arise. the plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot. pending approval from the food and drug administration, the cdc's committee of outside experts will be ready to start this booster program during the week of september 20. in which time anyone vaccinated on or before january 20 will be eligible to get a booster shot. so that means that if you got your second shot on february 15th, you're eligible to get your booster shot on october 15th. if you got your second shot on march 15th, go for your booster
starting november 15th, and so on. just remember, as a simple rule, eight months after your second shot, get a booster shot. these booster shots are free. we'll be able to get the booster shots to approximately 80,000 vaccination locations nationwide. it will be easy. just show your vaccination card and you'll get a booster. no other i.d., no insurance, no state registry requirement. my administration had been planning for this possibility and this scenario for months. we purchased enough vaccine and vaccine supplies so that when your eight-month mark comes up, you'll be ready to get your vaccination free and booster shot free. it will make you safer and for longer. and it will help us end the pandemic faster. now, there are some world leaders who say america shouldn't get a third shot until
other countries got their first shot. i disagree. we can take care of america and help the world at the same time. in june and july, america administered 50 million shots here in the united states, and we donated 100 million shots to other countries. that means america's donated more vaccine to other countries than every other country in the world combined. during the coming months of fall and early winter, we expect to give out another about 100,000 boosters, and the united states will donate more than 200 million additional doses to other countries. this will keep us on our way to meeting our pledge of more than 600 million vaccine donations, over half a billion. as i said before, we are going to be the arsenal of vaccines to beat this vaccine as we were the arsenal of democracy to win
world war ii. so let me conclude with this. the threat of the delta virus remains real. but we are prepared. we have the tools. we can do this. to all those of you who are unvaccinated, please get vaccinated, for yourself and for your loved ones, your neighborhood and for your community. and to the rest of america, this is no time to let our guard down. we just need to finish the job with science, with facts and with confidence. and together as the united states of america we'll get this done. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. thank you. >> you have been listening to president biden speaking at the white house pushing his administration's new effort for booster shots starting in september. also requiring nursing home
workers to get vaccinated if the nursing homes get federal dollars. all of this is part of continued efforts by the biden administration to increase shots in arms. let's bring back cnn white house correspondent kaitlan collins as well as our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. and, sanjay, we were talking about this yesterday. the world health organization says that evidence is lacking as of now that booster shots are needed for fully vaccinated people. so, why is the biden administration pushing them? >> well, the answer they give is that they're trying to stay ahead of the game here a little bit. they're looking at some data, some of it presented for the first time today from the united states among healthcare workers and long-term care facilities, among the general population, that does show some decreased effectiveness of this vaccine, of these vaccines against the virus, specifically the delta variants. let me show you. i don't know if we have the
graphs. but these are some of the data that was presented today looking again on the left healthcare workers and on the right primarily at these long-term care facilities. and you can see predelta and delta. you can see the impact primarily of this variant on the effectiveness of the vaccines. now, the rub a little bit here, jake, and i think what people are sort of trying to figure out is this is, if you look at overall the waning effectiveness, it's in mild and moderate disease. it is not among people who require hospitalization or people who die of this disease. the effectiveness of the vaccines have remained very effective in those regards. so there's two messages at the same time. the vaccine's very effective against the things we care the most about, hospitalization and death. but some evidence that they may be starting to mawane to mild t moderate illness. and they want to be ahead of the game. it's a bit unusual because they've been saying for so long
we're not sure if we need booster shots. and now they're saying let's try and get ahead. fda still has to weigh in on this to show that it's safe. cdc still has to formally recommend it, but they're making it pretty clear that this ball is rolling now, jake. >> kaitlan, president biden has also announced that he's requiring nursing homes that receive federal funding through medicare and medicaid employees there need to be fully vaccinated or they will lose that federal funding. you also heard biden slam governors who are trying to block schools from imposing mask mandates. he has not yet gone as for though as to say that he's going to withhold covid funding from those states if they continue to block mask mandates. >> i think if that's the route that they take, they're trying to find other ways where they're not just blocking funding but they can distribute the funding in a way that is still helpful to people but in a way that
doesn't reward the governors. and i think it is notable hearing the president say these things about republican governors talking about using the leverage of the federal government to try to get more people vaccinated because it's a sign of the concern inside the white house over what we're seeing on a national landscape with the delta variant. because these were things they were hesitant to do at the beginning of this administration even though there were areas where they disagreed with some governors, certainly on measures that they were taking. now it just shows that they are actually trying to use it to their advantage. and they are fine to go toe to toe with some of these governors, the governor of florida and texas who are pushing back against their measures. public officials have been saying for some time they haven't thought people have immediate boosters but privately this is something officials have been debating and arguing behind the scenes for weeks now.
>> if i could just stay with you for one second, they are using the full force of the federal government to push nursing home staffers to all be vaccinated. and obviously people in nursing homes are more vulnerable to coronavirus than children are. but i don't hear them saying that they're going to withhold federal funding from schools unless those schools require teachers and staffers to be vaccinated. the democrat running for governor of virginia, he is saying he supports mandating that all teachers be vaccinated. why not also do that? is it just easier to go after ron desantis because he's a republican instead of the teachers unions, which tend to lean democratic? >> i don't think it's also politically popular to look like you're going after educators and teachers and superintendents. they've actually tried to do opposite when it comes to routes in florida. so they are trying to work with the department of education to make this something that could actually be required, ways they
could actually push back on schools that are trying to go the opposite route because you heard president biden saying there clearly what he believes which is what every student in school should be wearing a mask. officials are watching and seeing how kids are going back to schools. a lot of kids are having to quarantine. they are hoping that that will have a factor into these decisions instead of it just all coming from the federal government. >> sanjay, i know you don't like to weigh in on politics. but is there any health evidence that kids being masked stunts their growth, is damaging to a degree that the governors that we see, governor ducey in arizona, desantis in florida and others, blocking schools from mask mandates, that it makes sense for them to be doing that? >> no, there's really not. at the beginning, obviously we didn't have a lot of data
overall on that sort of mask wearing. but there is no evidence about stunting growth. and there is now plenty of evidence, in fact, a recent big study out of north carolina looking at just how much of an impress masks -- universal masking makes on decreasing viral transmission, to less than 1%. and so many schools are opening and immediately have masses of students going into quarantine. i mean, it's pretty clear now masks could prevent that. masks could help keep kids in school. >> i'm not talking about physical growth, but emotional and psychological growth, that sort of thing. thanks to both of you. i appreciate it. president biden also just addressed the chaos in afghanistan. we'll show you what he said, next. with friends. [music plays.] ♪ ♪
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welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. president biden just announced that his administration is recommending a third covid booster shot for americans, as well as requiring nursing home workers to get vaccinated. but what about kids? plus, california's recall drama. dozens of candidates running to replace governor newsom including one who was served with a subpoena in the middle of a debate. and leading this hour, chaos as the taliban take over and crack down. we'll talk to a u.s. congressman who served in afghanistan and an afghan refugee who is terrified for his family left behind. moments ago president biden addressed the disarray in afghanistan saying he did not see any way to withdraw u.s. troops without chaos ensuing. >> when you look at what's happened over the last week, is it a failure of intelligence, planning, execution, or judgment? >> look, it was a simple choice, george.
when the taliban -- let me put it another way. when you had the government of afghanistan, the leader of that government get into a plane and taking off and going to another country, when you saw the significant collapse of the afghan troops we had trained, up to 300,000 of them, just leaving their equipment and taking off, that was -- that's what happened. that's simply what happened. >> we've all seen the pictures. we've seen hundreds of people packed into a c-17. >> that was five days ago. >> what did you think when you first saw those pictures? >> what i thought is we have to gain control of this, we have to move this more quickly, we have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport, and we did. >> you don't think this could have been handled better in any way? no mistakes? >> no.
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