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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 18, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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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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i don't think it could've been handled in a way that -- we're going to go back in hindsight and look, but the idea that somehow there is a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, i don't know how that happens. i don't know how that happened. >> so for you that was always priced into the decision? >> yes. >> always priced into the decision. cnn's kylie atwood is at the state department. we're going to start with cnn's chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins. this doesn't exactly jive with what biden has been saying in recent weeks because he has acknowledged that they did not expect the afghan military to fall as quickly as they did. >> yeah, jake. i'm a little surprised by that last comment there saying that he did not believe there could be a drawdown that would happen without chaos ensuing. because what we have heard from the president and his top national security advisers for the last several months and especially over the last several days is that they have been planning for every contingency for the last several months
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dating back to that july 8th press conference he held, explaining why he was getting out of afghanistan. he said it was going to be a safe and orderly drawdown. and that is the way he's been framing this, essentially since he confirmed in april that this is the decision that he was going with. he did not say back in april and back in july that this could be an incredibly chaotic, as we've seen now the drawdown that has happened. we'll wait to see if there were more quotes from the president on this and what this is going to look like. but it is kind of hard to see how those answers there are going to satisfy a lot of the democrats typical allies of this white house or major u.s. allies that have been critical of the way this u.s.-led exit has gone down and what the last few days have looked like. and just one point of fact i'll note. whf he was talking about the plane that was crowded with so many people, that military aircraft that was leaving the airport in kabul, that was taken on monday. and the president said four or five days ago. but that was a picture i believe from monday.
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>> our crews on the ground reported absolute madness by the taliban, gunshots fired into the air. is there any sense of any kind of organized effort right now at the airport to prioritize getting americans out of afghanistan, getting these afghans who are in the pipeline for these special immigrant visas out of afghanistan? >> what we're watching is the state department try and apply some sort of organization to a situation that is frankly totally lost control right now. this is not a program, these programs to get these afghans out of afghanistan who helped the united states. it wasn't a program that was designed to work in this pressure cooker situation right now. so, what the state department is trying to do is prioritize some of those folks, those who have already received these visas. they're telling them to head to the airport and try and get on these flights. any american who is now in the country, the state department is also telling them to head to the
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airport. they're saying that it's first come first serve once they get to the airport. but of course their key problems here, getting to the airport. now, the state department says that they are aware of these reports of there being issues with the taliban not allowing for safe passage to the airport. they are saying that they are going to continue to push them to do so. but they're also telling americans that they can't assure them that they are going to get to the airport safely even though they want them to go there. so there are a lot of question marks here around this whole operation. and i do want to point out that the state department is saying that there are no reports as of now of any americans who have had troubles getting through these checkpoints. so they are confident in that. but this is a situation that is evolving moment by moment. and so this is something that they are keeping their eyes on, surging resources to the airport to work on. but, frankly, a lot of folks saying they should've done this sooner.
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>> and, kaitlan, president biden -- we've been talking about this now for several days. he wants to talk about the decision to withdraw all u.s. troops from afghanistan more than he wants to talk about how this withdrawal has gone, how inept the exit has been. he's basically told stephanopoulos all this was baked into the decision. he said the jury's still out but the likelihood the taliban is going to be running the whole country is highly unlikely. that was last month. >> yeah, just a few weeks ago. and part of george's question there was asking, you know, is this an intelligence failure. and i think that's something that a lot of people have wanted to know because the questions have been, you know, what were you hearing behind the scenes, were you told this was a likelihood and you just did not heed that advice? what were those conversations like? and chairman milley of the joint chiefs tried to clear this up by saying there was nothing that he
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or anyone else saw that they did not predict what we are now seeing. and the other day president biden himself admitted that this happened a lot faster than anticipated. so i think that does raise a lot of questions about how they could not see this as something gone wrong and as a failure, which has been something that aides have been hesitant to say publicly. but privately no one is saying that this went down the way that they believed it would or certainly hoped that it would. they have talked about the issues with the best-laid plans and the adjustments. but no one has said this was a success. instead they've been focusing on what they're doing now to try to patch it up by getting everyone out of there. clearly this matches with the tone that the president has had over the last several days. he is defiant over how this is happening. >> kylie, this august 31st deadline that the biden administration has set for itself for u.s. troops leaving completely once again, it's
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arbitrary, they could change it. but assuming they stick with it, what happens to any americans who might not have been able to get to kabul or the airport by then? >> well, it's a really good question, and it's one that we spoke about with the state department earlier today. basically, they are saying that they were telling all americans in the country to get out of the country for months now. they are hanging it on the fact that they knew that things weren't going well, and they were warning those americans on the ground to get out. they are now telling them to go to the airport. they are going to be first priority when they get to the airport to get on these flights out of the country. but what they're now saying is that they can definitively assuredly say that all of these americans are definitely going to get out of the country. and that is a frightening situation, right? but it is a reflection of the reality right now, which is that the fact that the state department isn't able to say that they are in contact with every single american in the country by virtue of the fact
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that that program essentially rests on the americans themselves to get in touch with the state department so that they even know that they're there. >> and according to a senate source, the biden administration briefed senate aides and said when it comes to those americans in parts of the country other than kabul, they could provide air bridges, which is, i assume, a reference to helicopters. kylie and kaitlan, thank you both. let's bring in democratic congressman of massachusetts. he's a marine corps veteran. he commanded infantry in afghanistan. he's now a major in the reserves. he supports president biden's decision to pull all u.s. forces out of afghanistan. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. it's good to have you on the show. i want to get your reaction to that little clip we heard about president biden telling george stephanopoulos about the chaos we have seen was baked into his decision, that he always knew it was going to be chaotic, he always knew that things were going to be bad. do you agree? >> thanks for having me on,
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jake. when this president took office, he faced a wrenching decision. he could go big or go home. he could double down and ramp up the u.s. military presence by an enter of magnitude to enter a third decade of conflict in a failed counterinsurgency. or he could make the high-integrity decision to withdraw the forces. now, withdrawal from a country whose moniker was the graveyard of empires was never going to be smooth sailing. we are seeing this administration resume both commercial and military evacuations as they've stabilized the airport. >> so you agree that it was going to be chaotic, you can't just withdraw from afghanistan and have there not be some chaos? >> i think that we have focused a lot on the taliban horsepower and the speed of their advance but have not focused on the afghan will power.
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a 300,000-person army with a decent air force collapsed in a matter of days. and that type of morale breaking is an indication of a complete lack of leadership from afghan central government. >> well, you know that the argument from people who disagree with how this was done, not necessarily people who think that we should continue to have a presence there, is that the u.s. provided logistical support, the u.s. provided especially through contractors technical support for the air force, and then when you have trump saying the troops need to come out, biden saying troops need to come out and all that support coming out, it's not a surprise that the afghan military would crumble as it did. >> the fact that after 20 years and $80 billion plus, the afghan military wasn't capable of fighting for more than a week on its own two legs is really indicative of the fact that there was no political end game for the counterinsurgency.
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and that's why the president's decision to withdraw was so critical. i also really just want to underscore the critical point here, which is that this president's choice was not between status quo, between the contractors and logisticians. this president's decision was do we ramp up the american military footprint and engage in full-scale combat with the taliban for yet another decade. because if he had decided to stay past president trump's agreement, the taliban would've launched their fighting season again, and we'd be back in fire fights. >> it wasn't that long ago when you were leading combat patrols against the taliban in afghanistan. now cnn has witnessed the taliban dispersing crowds with gunfire. there have been reports of violent clashes with protesters in other parts of the country earlier in our show clarissa ward show someday video of her being accosted, told to cover her face. taliban fighters threatening to pistol-whip our cnn producer.
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how long do you think the taliban is going to even allow the u.s. to continue this airport operation without kinetic engagement with the u.s. without shots being fired? >> the taliban are inheriting a different country than they left 20 years ago. the literacy rate in afghanistan is double. the infant mortality rate is halved. there are ten times as many kids in school as there were 20 years ago. 40% of whom are girls. the taliban are inheriting a country in which real progress has been made. and my fervent hope is that they're going to adapt to some of that substantive progress rather than force the country to adapt to their violent extremist
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norms. >> democratic congressman, thank you so much, and of course thank you for your service, sir. coming up next i'll talk to an afghan who is trying to get his family out of the country. we'll talk to one florida school official where the district is extending its mask mandate. stay with us. welcome to allstate. where you can pay a little less and enjoy the ride a little more. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ now, get new lower auto rates with allstate. because better protection costs a whole lot less. you're in good hands with allstate. click or call for a lower auto rate today.
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and we are back with breaking news in our world lead. president biden telling abc news that there was no way to withdraw u.s. troops from afghanistan without chaos ensuing. meanwhile, the taliban say that they are looking to build a new government in hopes that at least some other nations will recognize their legitimacy. that process would include meeting with afghanistan's former president hamid karzai and with other prominent nontaliban figures in afghanistan.
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here to discuss is someone who worked for former president karzai until he fled to the united states in 2012 for his family's safety. we'll get to that meeting in a minute, but i do have to ask you, you have multiple family members and friends still in afghanistan. how are they, what have your conversations with them been like? >> um, jake, thank you for having me on your show. the situation on the ground being report school district totally different from what i hear from my friends and those who are trying to get to the airport, even u.s. citizens. this morning i was in contact with one of my friends whose mom, sister, and a little niece, they were trying since yesterday to come to the airport, but they couldn't make their way on the third or fourth they were able to get into the airport after all this chaos that are in the
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streets. they were pushed and tortured by the taliban that they sold their country, that's why they are going to work for infidels in the united states, and they are united states puppets. >> but they got to the airport, which obviously is the good news. and i'm told you're personally helping some people who were able to get on flights yesterday. tell us about that. >> yes. i have helped with this family probably ten people now that i've been in contact with my friends from washington, d.c., some friends from dod. they are really helpful and some of my previous co-workers in afghanistan from the united states side, they are all trying and coordinating to have them get on the c-17. it's not an easy process i have to stay up late at night and talk and make phone calls and
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emails, but i am happy to see those families reuniting and coming back to their second home, united states. and, again, the process is not as easy as it sounds like i was listening to some of the reports that, you know, you just make your way to the airport. how? how you make your way to the airport while it's surrounded by the taliban? >> yeah. and those are the reports that we've been sharing from clarissa ward and others in afghanistan talking about how difficult it is to get there. obviously the taliban are the bad guys. they have a medieval ideology and barbaric techniques. but beyond them, who do you blame for what's going on in afghanistan right now? >> it's a very broad question, jake. i mean, you know, i blame the afghan leadership. i blame the u.s. government, the way they handle the situation,
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the way this peace process started. and i always quoted peace process with who, the person who is sitting on the other side of the table, in the taliban's mind that either virtue to their ideology or they cut your head basically. how you make a peace deal with them and you mentioned the cnn reporter, and i saw that report, the taliban was in front of her in front of the u.s. embassy saying "death to america." it really hurts me if i see the taliban flag over the united states embassy. i've been to the embassy many, many, many times for meetings, meeting friends, just going to have a coffee or a lunch with my friends there from my u.s. counterpart side. but right now that u.s. embassy is in the hands of -- i hate to
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say this, that's a terrorist organization. >> what do you think about your former boss hamid karzai meeting with taliban leaders? was it a good idea? >> you see, jake, in some point, i mean, i disagree with some of his choices that he made that he started talking to the taliban at the time when i was in the palace. i remember that these peace talks at that time, even i think at that time the united states didn't even want to have a peace deal with the taliban. so i do not agree with some of his choices that he made at the time. but right now the situation in the country, he doesn't have any choice to sit down with them and kind of find out what to do next so they can save the country. i know that everybody's talking about the afghan army didn't fight for their country.
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please, let's remember for the past 20 years more than 100,000 afghan forces sacrificed their lives, you know, also the u.s. military officers, they sacrificed their lives. so let's not disrespect those lives and make sure that not to blame one side and say who did this. there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, it's too early to see why it collapsed in less than 24 hours. >> thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. we'll be praying for your friends and relatives in afghanistan. president biden just minutes ago announcing new measures to get more americans vaccinated. will they work?
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welcome back. in our health lead, president biden just announced that beginning september 20th and pending a green light from the fda, fully vaccinated adults will be eligible for booster shots of the pfizer and moderna vaccines. this as coronavirus continues to surge across the united states. at least five states at or near full hospital capacity. cases are continuing to skyrocket, up 36% since last week alone. cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is back with us. and, sanjay, we should reiterate as president biden did this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated when it comes to deaths and hospitalizations. almost all of them are people who have not been vaccinated. i do want to start on this booster decision. there are a lot of questions people have. first of all, are we going to need to get boosters every eight
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months? >> i don't think there's any indication of that. sometimes when you talk about these boosters and a lot of vaccines do have boosters, after the booster shot you may not need it again for ten years, something like tetanus. obviously flu is a little bit of a different situation because you're not so much boosting for flu as you're sort of acknowledging that the flu virus itself drifts and you need to have a different vaccine to try and protect against that. i just don't think that we know, but i think that the point you make about when you show the hospitalization numbers and you remind people that 99% roughly of the people, 95 at least percent of the people who are in the hospital are unvaccinated. most of the transmission of virus that's going on in this country are among the unvaccinated, that this booster of the vaccinated may not necessarily address some of those problems right away. what's driving this, jake, is interesting. it's not a slam-dunk decision.
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here's the graphic basically looking at healthcare workers and looking at long-term care facilities and seeing as a result of the delta variant how much protection against infection has gone down. infection could be infection with no symptoms, it could be infection that has lots of symptoms. but there has been a waning of the effect. the summary of why they're doing this is basically that they know that the antibodies are going down in people who have received a vaccine several months ago. we know delta variant is going up and that there may be some decreased protection. while the vaccines still do a great job of keeping people out of the hospital, the concern is that if this protection continues to wane, the protection against hospitalizations may also wane. so this is a sort of trying to anticipate the future and not everyone sort of really sees the necessity for these sorts of boosters right now.
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>> this only applies to the pfizer and moderna vaccines, these boosters that the biden administration is pushing for. what about the millions of americans who got the johnson & johnson vaccine? >> yeah. this is a source of frustration. i know because i've gotten so many calls. but all the information we're hearing right now is for pfizer and moderna. they're saying with regard to j&j about 20 million of those shots have been distributed, about 13 million have been actually administered. they're saying because that vaccine was authorized later because there's fewer people, they don't have the same amount of data on that vaccine as they do on the other vaccines. having said that, the task force says they will probably be making recommendations about johnson & johnson as well. and those recommendations will probably be very similar to what we're hearing on the other vaccines, that a booster will be probably necessary. so we'll see when that data comes out. and i don't think it'll take that long. we know places like san
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francisco, jake, have already started offering boosters for people who received the j&j vaccine. i think that's going to sort of be something we see around the country. >> all right, dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. i appreciate it. more than three dozen candidates running to replace california's democratic governor. one of them was served with a subpoena mid-debate. we'll show that to you next. stay with us. over four million people on medicare... made a choice... to take charge of their health care. with an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan from unitedhealthcare.
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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. in our politics lead, as a public service announcement for candidates everywhere, a little debate 101. try not to get served with a subpoena while you're on stage during a debate. this really happened in california's recall race for governor. cnn's stephanie elam is following the race, which is, in many ways, a political circus but could have a huge nationwide impact. let's start with the obvious, who got served and why? >> reporter: a political circus especially when there's 46 people who are on the ballot. a lot of people, but this particular individual, jake, is
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john cox, he's a businessman. he's run for office before. if you do know who he is, it's probably because you know of his big bear video that he has of one of his campaign ads saying that he's tough and scary like the beautiful gavin newsom. but what happened yesterday was that he was on the debate stage with a couple of other republicans when he got served with papers. take a look. >> cox, you've been served by the -- superior court. >> i want to give a shout out to my friend and fellow businessman. >> so you see he took a brief pause there but kept on going with his opening speech there. what this is allegedly about is $100,000 or so that john cox's campaign did not pay to an advertising firm for ads, attorney fees, and other costs. and so afterwards the "los angeles times" reporting that john cox called it a garbage thing that this happened while he was up there on stage.
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but obviously this is a run that is very much of high interest here. and that was one way to make sure that he did get the papers. >> but we should point out the recall election, it's just under four weeks away, september 14th. and the governor, gavin newsom, the democrat, he may be in serious trouble. is it really possible that he could be defeated? >> this is not something that most people thought was even going to be a problem for gavin newsom. but when you take a look at what has happened here. this is an overwhelmingly blue state. that is true. but what we see happen here happens across the country. when it's not a presidential election, people don't turn out as well. and that has made things tight. if you take a look at the cbs news poll, you can see that of likely voters, yes, he should be recalled 48% no keep him in place, 52%. and really there's the issue of apathy. people are focused on other
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things. are they going to show up and help out gavin newsom? but the republicans obviously have a hard time getting the governor's office, this is a great way for them to try to get it. so that's why you see they are really working on their base to turn out and vote. >> happened in 2003. cnn's stephanie elam, thank you so much. more kids heading back to school today as more kids head into quarantine. the battle over masks in schools amid this surge of the delta variant, that's next. so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula found in preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor about preservision. it's the most studied eye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision preservision areds 2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced amd progression. i have amd, it is my vision, so my plan includes preservision. as your business changes, the united states postal service is changing with it. with e-commerce that runs at the speed of now.
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[ laughs ] ♪ [ humming ] [ door creaks ] oh. [ soft music playing ] what are you all doing in my daydream? it's better than that presentation. a lot better. you know, whether it's a fraction or a decimal, it's still fun, you know? what happens when we welcome change? we can make emergency medicine possible at 40,000 feet.
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thank you so much. we can't do it without you. we can't do it without you. woman: because we know quality public schools make a better california... in our national lead today, florida's biggest county could soon become republican governor ron desantis' latest target.
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right now school officials in miami-dade county are considering a mask mandate in schools they say to protect kids from contracting and spreading the sploeding delta variant after the florida board of education appointed by governor desantis voted unanimously to punish two counties for enforcing mask mandates. threatening broward and alachua school officials with slashed funding or cut salaries or even termination. cnn's leyla santiago from florida looks at this life or death school yard fight. >> reporter: florida's second largest school district opened its doors to students today amid a fight over mask mandates. broward county, one of two districts that governor ron desantis says is defying his executive order that prohibits schools from mandating masks without a parent opt-out. the state now threatening to withhold salaries from school board members and superintendent who's choose to override that order. >> that's defying the state of florida's laws and the parents'
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bill of rights that was enacted just this past legislative session that i signed into law. >> reporter: alachua county went back to school last week with a mask policy the state now calls noncompliant. they say they have the right to pursue all legal means available to ensure school districts adhere to florida law, including but not limited to withholding state funds. this all as broward county has seen an increase of more than 40% of positive cases in its three-day average since july 29th. >> this is a man who is allowing the explosion of covid to occur again and dismissing it as just being seasonal. >> reporter: in hillsborough county, the school board held an emergency meeting this afternoon to talk about mandating masks as more than 10,000 students are in
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quarantine just one week after classes started. according to a spokesperson with the school district, that's 4.8% of the student population, and 338 staff members are in quarantine. >> hillsborough county public school district is in a public health emergency. we must act and act now. >> reporter: miami-dade school board member santos. >> to create an equitable and excellent school district, and i plan to live up to that commitment. >> reporter: just before the miami-dade school board meet wag scheduled to take up the issue of masks in school, superintendent albert o carvalh doubled down. >> a decision sparking controversy at the school board meeting inside and outside. and, jake, the school board here
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in miami-dade county just voted 7-1 to implement a mask mandate that will not allow apparent opt-out. that is what governor ron desantis says is noncompliant when it comes to his executive order. let me show you what we've been seeing all day here. that is a group of parents that is against the mask mandate. they have been very vocal here speaking at the meeting, a meeting that became very contentious as we heard from very impassioned parents. and then on this side you have the parents who are for having a mask mandate. police at one point had to shut down the road. but this is a group of parents that just learned that their students will have to wear masks in school with no sort of parental opt-out. the only way they can get out of that is if they have a doctor's note. >> all right, leyla santiago in miami, thanks so much. let's bring in the chair of the
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alachua county school's public board. what is your reaction to the punishments that the state board of education voted through? >> well, one of the things, as you probably know, that the state board, including our governor, desantis, they would like to withhold funding from the superintendent and the board members. now, in yesterday's emergency state board of education meeting, they also sort of shared with us or threaten, if you so will, would consider that, that the superintendent could possibly be removed as well as the elected officials. we would also tend to have a situation where we might be moved. but you know, jake, it's okay. it was okay when we were told
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that funding would probably be withheld. it was certainly okay with me because a loss of funding is certainly nothing when it compares to a loss of lives. >> governor desantis' office, he tries to make the argument that there's no deinfinityive study that shows that kids wearing masks, that the masks proseeven the spread of covid at all, and that in fact there is a mental cost, especially when it comes to disabled students. your board just extended the mask mandate for students for eight more weeks. is there a scientific study? is there data that you're basing this i can tell you this. we have the best medical professionals in the union, in the united states, at the university of florida. so they came once again to our
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board meeting last evening to share with us updates and to re-emphasize the mitigation necessity in having students be masked. we certainly support those professionals, as well as the scientists that presented to us last night. i think that is why we have a unanimous vote to continue masking for at least eight more weeks. >> the same experts who are recommending masking are also recommending that everybody who is eligible get vaccinated. what is the position of the county school district when it comes to requiring eligible adults, teachers, staffers, superintendents, principals, et cetera, to have to get a mandate? do you have a vaccine mandate? >> we do not have a vaccine mandate, and especially because
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of all of our elementary kids. there's nothing yet on the table for children under 12. but we are highly encouraging all of our students above 12 and above to get vaccinated. we are also doing the same with our employees and we hope that the whole community will also get their vaccines. we have an incentivized plan for our employees in the district and so we are hoping that they will take advantage of that incentive and go on and be vaccinated. >> why wouldn't you require it? >> well, that's a good question. we still have some things that we are requiring that all staff members are masked.
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all employees, anyone coming on our campus, and we've even limited that with visitors or whatever vendors. we have limited those. but we have not mandated -- we've mandated masking for all of our students and all of our employees, but i thought you asked me the question mandating vaccines. >> i did. i did, in fact, ask you that question because if you're going to push masks for everybody, it also makes sense if we're following the science, that every eligible adult, teacher, superintendent, administrator, also be vaccinated. thank you so much. appreciate your time. good luck with the school year. more than 100 large fires burning in the u.s. a new one growing so rapidly it's forced thousands to quickly evacuate. that's next. is couple was on a camping trip... ...when their windshield got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them.
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the climate crisis in our earth matters series. absolute devastation as fires rip through northern california. the one you're seeing here is just east of sacramento. it exploded to three times its size on monday night. so far it's engulfed more than 50,000 acres. and it's totally uncontained. almost 7,000 people have been told to leave their homes. one of the hardest hit towns is grizzly flats where an elementary school has been completely flattened by the flames. cnn's lucy kafanov is live on the scene. you talked to a rancher who just lost everything. what did he have to say? >> well, jake, we came across chris kingsley moments after he set foot on his property to
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discover every single thing there scorched, burned. and just to give you a sense of how unpredictable and fast-moving. we were going to go live from there. the winds shifted. the flames moving towards his property again. 164 acres. he's owned it for 38 years. a sawmill, horses, everything. late on tuesday those flames ripped through the area. described seeing fire as tall as 300 feet in the air. the flames the sound of it like a freight train. take a listen. >> when you spend 38 years and trying to restore the ranch. historic ranch. the old house built in 1869 was over there. what else to say. >> i'm sorry. i'm really sorry. >> and the tragic thing about
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all of this is his property is so rural that he couldn't even get fire insurance. millions of dollars worth of equipment. he was going to be building tiny homes for the homeless. also going to be putting his animals to use to help kids and people with ptsd heal. the animals survived but everything else he owned, his dreams, up in flames. >> let's be clear about this. cal fire data indicates that 6 of the 7 biggest fires in california history have happened in just the last two years. six of the seven. what's going on? >> i mean, climate change, jake. the irony is i'm standing behind a lake that is at historic low. they are dipping in buckets on helicopters to try to get water to the flames. the climate -- the changing climate has completely recarved the face of the west. you have these dry fuel conditions that's making the fires bigger, stronger than ever before, jake. >> in a perfect world, fossil fuel company executives would be out there helping fight the
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fires. lucy kafanov, thanks so much. join cnn for "we love new york city," the homecoming concert. it airs saturday starting at 5:00 p.m. exclusively on cnn. you can follow me on facebook, instagram, twitter and the tiktok @jake tapper. coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." see you tomorrow. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room" with breaking news. tonight president biden is suggesting u.s. troops may stay in afghanistan until all americans are out of the country, even if it's past the august 31st deadline for withdrawal. the president speaking out in a new interview claiming there was no way for u.s. troops to leave the country without chaos ensuing. and he i