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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  August 18, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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for more information on how you can help afghan refugees, go to and impact your world. so, so heartbreaking what's going on. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, president biden and defensive saying it was not a failure and insisting there was no way to leave the country without chaos ensuing. why didn't he tell that to the american people before kabul fell? plus, we have more breaking news, the president saying u.s. troops could stay in afghanistan past the august 31st deadline and the biden administration announcing plans to start rolling out covid booster shots next month. dr. row shell walensky, the cdc director is "outfront".
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let's go "outfront". good evening. i'm kate bolduan in for erin burnett. president biden defiant and unapologetic about his decision and execution of the plan to withdrawal u.s. troops from afghanistan speaking to abc news, biden saying the mayhem playing out in afghanistan is not a failure and there was no way to withdrawal without chaos ensuing. >> back in july, you said a taliban takeover was highly unlikely. was the intelligence wrong or did you down play it? >> i think there was no cons consensus. they said more likely to be something by the end of the year. >> you didn't put a timeline on it when you said it was highly unlikely. you said flatout highly unlikely the taliban would take over. >> yeah, the question was whether or not -- the idea that the taliban would take over is premised on the notion that
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the -- somehow 300,000 troops we trained and equipped would collapse, they would give up. i don't think anyone anticipated that. >> we've all seen the pictures and hundreds of people packed into a c-17 and afghans -- >> that was four days ago, five days ago. >> whenat did you think when yo saw that? >> we have to gain control of this, we have to move this more quickly in a way to take control of the airport and we did. >> so you don't think this could have been handled better in any way? no mistakes? >> no, i don't think it could have been handled in a way that -- we're going to go back in hind slight 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. >> for you that was always priced into the decision? >> yes. >> always expected chaos. that is certainly not what the president himself has been telling american public for
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months. >> we'll do it responsibly, deliberately and responseibly ad do it in full coordination with partners. our military investigation will conclude august 31st. the draw down proceeding in a secure and orderly way prioritizing the safety of troops as they depart. there is no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the united states from afghanistan. it is not at all comfortable. >> we know administration was caught by surprise. biden himself admitted it two days ago. >> the truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. >> and listen to the nation's top defense headers, defense secretary lloyd austin and the chairman of the joint chiefs general mark milly today were clear there was no indication
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they said that the afghan government and military would collapse in 11 days. >> the intelligence clearly ind katde -- indicated multiple scenarios were possible. the collapse was estimated and range from weeks to months and even years. following or departure. there was nothing that i or anyone else say that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 111 days. >> so was it an intelligence failure? the intelligence ignored or the failure simply in the execution? those are some of the pressing questions for the biden administration tonight as it continues to try to explain the situation unfolding in afghanistan to the american people and the people of afghanistan. we're continuing this story and we'll be covering it from the white house to afghanistan now.
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i want to start with kaitlan collins. she's "outfront" live at the white house. kaitlan, the president was defensive tonight. >> reporter: he was. this is the first time the president has been prelssed on the claim he made saying he believed it was highly unlikely the taliban would be taking over and running everything, which of course is what we have seen was the result and happened incredibly quickly much faster than the president or his top aides including the chairman of the joint chief of staff anticipated that could happen. i think this will be a massive question lawmakers on capitol hill have is how this intelligence was so wrong given how there was no consensus and believed it was more likely it wouldn't be until later until the end of the year you saw something like what we're witnessing now. we know that congress wants to start investigating this. there are going to be hearings beginning as soon as next week by democratic led committees and we've seen several democratic senators who are typically allies of this white house,
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kate, say they have a lot of questions about the shortcomings and the way the u.s. has left afghanistan. we know that's something that major u.s. allies are questioning tonight as well as the way the nature of this departure just how chaotic it has been even though president biden said tonight he did not foresee a way where you could leave afghanistan and it wouldn't be chaotic. that is not what he had been saying a few weeks ago when he said he believed it would be a safe and ordinarily drawdown. we've seen aids say this week they were planning for every possible contingency but clearly was not the contingency and situation they are now being faced with. so what we're told internally, though, is that maybe people in the outside, lawmakers, reporters, allies are questioning how this happened but right now they are focused on ending the mission, which is getting those american civilians out of there and endangered afghans out of there, as well. so president biden saying tonight they will keep u.s. forces there if needed past the august 31st deadline to get
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american civilians out but kate, he was much more e kquivocal wh it came to the afghan forces. there is a higher number of those people we believe the u.s. wants to get out of there. that's the big question going forward and i think a lot of this and how this ultimately ends up in the president's legacy hinges on how the next few days go, how this departure goes and they they end this evacuation. >> thank you so much from the white house. i want to go to clarissa ward. you heard president biden say tonight there is no way we would have gotten out without chaos, despite obvious statements to the contrary recently. what is the latest you saw on the ground? >> well, it's pretty chaotic. i should say there is sort of a t tale of two cities going on. where i am in the downtown in the city center, things are definitely calm. the taliban knows that the world is watching.
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they want to show they can go govern. they want to show that they can implement law and order, and there are fighters on many street corners, check points and things have been relatively calm, normal life sort of creeping back in. however, the scenes at the airport where we were today are completely different. it is absolute chaos there. you have taliban fighters who have formed around the perimeter to stop that crush of people pushing in but what is actually happening is they're stopping anyone from going in and they're doing it in very crude ways. they're using makeshift whips, we saw a fighter who got very angry with us and asked me to cover my face before i could speak to him. he actually took the safety off his ak-47 and held his gun up as if to fire in the crowd. he didn't. but we heard other taliban fighters firing into the crowd. so totally chaotic situation, a
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very dangerous situation and the problem you have and i should add, as well, by the way, u.s. forces also firing up to try to scatter the crowd, also firing off volleys of tear gas to try to prevent these chaotic scenes from getting any worse. and the fear really becomes, kate, if this continues, you have a scenario where it's like a powder keg and one small thing can happen and it could turn into a very serious problem, indeed. >> we're showing some video of exactly, yeah, powder keg, what you kind of came upon today and how quickly things really went from strange to really scary and dangerous. you know, joint chiefs chairman mark milly said today that u.s. government had no indication the afghan military and government would collapse in 11 days. you've been on the ground many times throughout this conflict. was there any indication?
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>> reporter: i don't think anyone could have predicted this would happen in 11 days. i was on air about three days before kabul fell, and there was a news bulletin from our colleagues in d.c. that intelligence officials had said kabul could be surrounded in 30 days, and my actual response on air was i think that might be h hyperbole because it is calm and stable in kabul. three days later, the taliban took this city of 6 million people in a matter of hours without firing hardly a shot. i mean, you could never conceive of something like this. now the argument that a lot of people here on the ground would make is, okay, maybe you couldn't have conceived of that but when your're executing withdrawal like this and planning to end a 20-year war, you plan for every eventuality from the subline to the ridiculous. the sort of absurd or unexpected
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does happen, you're able to respond. you're able to jump in. because there is a sense here on the ground from afghans who have been relying really desperately on the u.s. to protect them to guarantee their security, those i'm talking specifically who worked with the u.s. there wasn't a plan in place and frankly, that there still isn't a clear plan to get them out safely. >> that's the terrifying fear here. cla clarisa, stay with me, if you can. i want to bring in the commander of nato in europe and david gregory, cnn political analyst. he covered the entire presidency and at the white house when he announced this war and also on the ground many times in afghanistan. general clark, you heard the commander in chief. he doesn't know how the u.s. could have gotten out of afghanistan without chaos. he didn't think it could have been handled any better. what do you think? >> well, i think we're going to have to really look at this. first of all, remember, we did get our troops out, so our
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troops got out safely. our problem has been we didn't -- we didn't understand how quickly the afghan army was going to fold. so could we have anticipated that? yes. could we have had backup plans to do that? of course we could have had backup plans. we probably wouldn't have taken troops out so quickly without some quid proquo had we anticipated that. i'm sure what you'll find when you unravel this is that the intelligence agencies made their checks, the military talked to their counterparts, and it looked relatively solid. what we didn't appreciate was the fact that afghan is not number one afghanistan is not really a country. it's a tribe, a group of tribes inside a gee gra geographic are. the loyalty is to the tribes. number three, these people have been at war for over 30 years. they won't is survive.
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there are people in the afghan army that took money and would fire their weapons and if americans were leaving, they would follow. they're not going to lay down their lives for the afghan national anthem. they don't see afghanistan that way. they're survivors and maybe we didn't take that fully into account. the most important thing now is not to find out why it happened, it's to deal with the humanitarian situation, put that together, get the americans out. all the people that supported the americans and our allies and the people that supported them. we got to lead with our reputation in tact and that's the way to do it. >> that's in question right now. i mean, david, the fact that the president is saying that chaos was already priced into the decision as he was talking to stephanopoulos today, in april he said that this would have been done -- this was going to be done deliberately and safely and in july secure and orderly. i have to say hearing him tonight, his response frankly
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just doesn't make sense to me. what do you think? >> yeah, i don't think it makes sense but i think there is a danger in getting caught up too much in the kind of got ya, wait a minute you said this and this happened. what went wrong. there is a nuance the general is speaking to, clarisa is speaking to with her experience on the ground appreciate. there should have been a better ex ex traction plan. as quickly as the taliban melted in 2001 and retreated to the countryside they could emerge again that quickly. it is not a news flash for anybody that paid attention that the afghan government has been with corruption, dishonesty and incapacity to stand up democratic institutions and a functioning army without major support from the united states and other supportive nato
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countries. what the general speaks about is so important to under line, the triable nature of the country. the taliban in my reporting experience in afghanistan are so meshed in the fabric of that country, they are cousins, they are brothers, they are uncles and they are brutal. but they are part of this society and the fact they march back so quickly to me is so tragic that after this kind of investment on the part of the united states and our allies, lives lost, afghans laying their lives down and supporting the united states it could fall so quickly. i think the president could have done a better job preparing the american people for how difficult any kind of ex traction would look like in a country like afghanistan after this one and really leveling with the american people saying something has gone wrong here, we never want to have this kind -- you can't say it doesn't look like vietnam when the pictures look that much like vietnam. come on. >> i mean, yeah, leveling with the american people and that's exactly it, david.
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clarisa, biden put some of the blame tonight again on the former, now former afghan president ghani. he fled over the weekend and urn theed up in the uae now and released a video statement saying he had to flea. he would have been hanged in the street and said if he stayed in office, the country would have faced a quote dreadful disaster. this is a dreadful disaster what we're seeing. what do you make of that after seeing what you have on the streets of kabul? >> well, i don't think that speech from ghani will go down very well with many afghans who dp frankly are disgusted by him and his behavior and decision to flee and of course, allegations that we haven't been able to confirm that he took quite a bit of money with him when he fled. it's not just that he abandoned his own country in the sort of hour of need, it's about his role in this sort of whole
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decline because it was about a week ago as the second city was on the verge of collapsing to the taliban and ghani was talking about hydro dam projects being conceived and 5 g networks. so there was always the criticism with ghani that he was completely detached from reality, that he was delusional about the seriousness of american's decision to pull the rip cord and really leave and then as a result, he sort of advocated his responsibility to start those talks with the taliban at a much earlier stage and try to extract more concessions than, of course, he was able to. >> yeah and general clark, you talked about leaving with the american's reputation in tact. biden didn't speak with any other world leader until his call with boris johnson yesterday. today he spoke with germany's angela merkel.
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the nato secretary general said today on cnn he hasn't spoken to biden yet at all. did that surprise you? is that a problem? >> i think that the first order of business was to get our own house in order. as general milley has said and lloyd austin, there were contingency plans. they put the troops in. the troops are there. they're establishing order around the air field. that being done now is the time to coordinate with the allies to be able to tell the allies exactly what we're doing and to come up with a concerted plan. could he have talked to the allies sooner? certainly he could have. is it going to make a difference in the long run? i don't know. you know, the thing about this is right now we're so caught up in the vietnam memory of what happened there and this looks the same as david gregory said but the fact is, it isn't the same. we have to put this in the full perspective of history. we did get osama bin hladen.
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we have strengthened or forces against terrorism and been there for 20 years and learned a lot and made an impression. now, as the president said, the terrorists have gotten bigger and are owl all over. we got china and russia to worry about. so we got to step back a little bit from the washington what we call circular firing quadsquad e everybody is in the blame game. you have to accomplish accountability but look ahead and when i say america's reputation is important, look, there are people in georgia in ukraine and taijuan and nato looking in the united states, hold together this evacuation. that's what they want to see. they know the taliban are in there. what will america do now? we have to focus on moving tore
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w -- forward. >> we have to fix the mess and get out and then we can look at regrets in the after actions reports. general, thank you. david, great to see you. cla clarisa, thank you. keep up the great work, as always. "outfront" breaking news continues. president biden says u.s. troops will stay until all americans are out even if that is past the august 31st deadline. >> if there is american citizens left, we'll stay until we get them all out. >> plus, biden also is announcing booster shots for all adult americans eight months after their second dose. cdc director rachial walensky is my guest and thousands of afghans desperate to get out of the country with messages like this. >> they're going to tear our heads off if they find my location. [crying] please help. welcome back to milkshake mustaches,
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at usaa, we've been called too exclusive. because we were created for officers. but as we've evolved with the military, we've grown to serve all who've honorably served. no matter their rank, or when they were in. a marine just out of basic, or a petty officer from '73. and even his kids. and their kids. usaa is made for all who've honorably served and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join. breaking news, president biden committing to keep u.s. forces in afghanistan as long as necessary, even if it is past the august 31st deadline to get all americans out of the country. >> all troops are supposed to be out by august 31st, even if americans and afghan allies are still trying to get out, they're going to leave? >> we're going to do everything
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in our power to get all americans out and allies out. >> does that mean troops will stay beyond august 31st if necessary? >> depends where we are and whether we can get -- ramp these numbers up to 5 to 7,000 a day coming out. if that's the case, they'll all be out. >> because we have like 10 to 15,000 americans in the country right now, right? are you committed to making sure the troops stay until every american who wants to be out -- >> yes. >> -- is out? >> yes. >> so americans should understand troops might have to be there beyond august 31st? >> no, americans need to understand we'll try to get it done before august 31st -- >> if we don't -- >> if we don't, we'll determine at the time who is left. >> and? >> and if there are american f forces -- if there are americans citizens left, we'll stay until we get them out. >> "outfront" now, jim just put out a brutal op ed about afghanistan titled "i'm a
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democrat who opposed the withdrawal this catastrophe is why." congressman, you sit on the armed services committee. your reaction to president biden saying u.s. forces will stay in afghanistan until all americans are out even if beyond the august 31st deadline. >> i think that was a very important statement for president biden to make, yes. u.s. forces should stay there until every last american is out of afghanistan safely and we should extend that also to those afghans who work with our forces as interpreters to keep our troops safe, no doubt they saved lives, we should stand by and make sure those afghan partners and their families are out safely, as well. i'm glad that the president made that announcement. >> yeah, he was not as certain about the second aspect of what you're talking about, to extend this promise to afghan partners, that's for sure. you call this withdrawal a
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catastrophe. what do you think of president biden tonight saying that this withdrawal was not a failure and that he does not believe it could have been handled any differently? >> well, i haven't been shy at all about my thoughts on our withdrawal from afghanistan, and this has been a catastrophe and did not have to be this way but right now, my focus is on doing everything that we possibly can to make sure that every american citizen is out of afghanistan safely and that again, we extend that also to our afghan partners -- >> right, but do you think the president is leveling with the american people? how do you get it right now if you can't be honest about how it's gone already? >> well, the president has a different view on how it could have been handled. i think it could have been handled very differently. first of all, why in god's name would you leave when in the middle of the taliban fighting season, they are at their strongest during the spring and summer months? i'm a senior member of the house
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armed services committee. i've watched troops be there over 20 years. i've been to afghanistan myself. i understand in the winter the taliban basically hibernate in their -- at their weakest and not coordinated and things are much calmer, if you will but in the spring and summer, they're at their strength and fighting season. if we're going to withdrawal, we should have done it in winter but again, that ship has sailed right now. the bottom line is we have to do everything we can to get out safely. i have high confidence in the well trained troops to do that. they're extraordinary and i'm grateful. i would say we owed a better plan to our men and women in uniform, those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in carrying out this mission and their families, we owed all of them a better plan in our afghan partners than this plan now. >> less than a month ago mark
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milly said the afghan forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend the country, but that is not what he is saying today. let me play what he said today. >> the afghan security forces had the capacity and by that i mean, they had the training, the size, the capability to defend their country. this comes down to an issue of will and leadership. >> do you think it does come down to will or leadership or is that spin? >> absolutely. no, general milley is spot on. we gave the afghan security forces every advantage over the last 20 years to really step up and become a very powerful, very strong security force to make sure that we can and they can maintain a stable security force, maintain a stable afghanistan but you can't buy or train will or leadership and here, we had a lack of will and
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a lack of leadership and that's why the afghan security forces unfortunately collapsed so fast and that's hard to gauge. when push comes to shove and fight for their country, you can imagine every american would do everything possible to defend our country here at home if the afghan security forces weren't ready to step up and fight with everything they have to protect their country, you can't buy or train leadership and that's what general milley is saying and he's spot on. >> congressman, thank you for your time. "outfront" next president biden announcing booster shots will soon be offered to all americans. the director of the cdc dr. rachial walensky is next and the pleas from afghanistan refugees. >> why are you leaving us behind? i don't want to be killed by the taliban.
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tonight, this is no time to let our guard down this is the message for president biden half of their second vaccine. >> this will boost your immune response. it will increase your protection from covid-19. it's the best way to protect ourselves from new variants that could arise. this is no time to let our guard down. >> the cdc backing up this plan with data today in new york protection against infection declined from 92% in may to 80%
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in late july and another study looking at nursing homes saw a drop from 75% effectiveness in march to 53% in august. "outfront" with me now is the cdc director dr. rachial walensky. we heard from administration multiple times including as recent as last week the thirty shot is not needed because the vaccine protects against severe disease. why are boosters needed if it does protect against severe disease? >> we're monitoring this data in realtime in cohorts across the country and what we're finding now in data released today as you noted we're seeing weening against infection, not yet against severe disease and hospitalization and infection but you need more protection
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when it comes to the delta variant as compared to what you might have needed for other variants so what we're doing now is seeing the waning happening and seeing what is happening in other countries as they see waning against severe disease and we're acting now to prepare. so now is not the time to get your booster. we're preparing for boosters in late september. >> just yesterday, members of the cdc vaccine task force seemed to contradict exactly what you-all were saying today. let me play this for folks. >> we do want to clarify right away that the need for and timing of a covid-19 booster dose has not been established. >> are there fully vaccinated individuals do not need an addition the dose right now. this is on a call of dr.s yesterday and the cdc's vaccine task force. that's confusing. what changed overnight? >> indeed. we released new data today and i want to reiterate.
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we're not saying you need a booster dose now. we're saying we're starting to see waning in effectiveness against moderate and mild disease and preparing for the month ahead because we seen in other countries that that could prevent waning for severe disease. not time to get your booster now but planning for late september that we always stay ahead of this virus. >> so in staying ahead of the virus, are you also then saying that without this booster wherever your eight months comes up, without this booster more vaccinated people are going to end up in the hospital, are going to end up dying from covid? is that a real possibility? >> we're following the data carefully. one thing i do very much want to reiterate is that these are data we're releasing to inform nearly 170 million americans who are fully vaccinated.
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but the 100 appro0 million amer that have not started getting vaccinated are at the highest risk of severe disease, severe covid hospitalization and death. so while we're simultaneously working to boost the vaccination of those and planning for boosting in the end of september, we're also really working to ensure that those who aren't yet fully vaccinated continue to get vaccinated. >> but then i mean, it kind of has to be a possibility that vaccinated people without a booster could end up sick in the hospital and dying. we're hearing reports of vaccinated people showing up in hospitals. i was talking to a doctor in florida today saying she seen like 20% of the people in the hospital now are vaccinated. so that -- is that part of kind of leveling with the american people that when your time comes up for the booster, you have to get it or the vaccine might not protect you from going into the hospital? >> so we are starting to accumulate those data exactly right now but that is exactly the issue that we're trying to
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prevent. so far in this country, we have not seen a lot of hospitalizations asoutsociated h vaccination. when you look at the public health department reporting this generally less than 5% of people who are in the hospital are fully vaccinated people and often times, they're immune suppressed fully vaccinated people. we need to recognize if we start to see waning immunity in disease, that we may soon start seeing starting waning immunity in hospitalizations especially among those most vulnerable. our nursing care, nursing home patients, our elderly patients those with co-morbidities. that's why we made this announcement today as we started to see the waning of this effectiveness in symptomatic disease and why we really want to get ahead of it and make sure that we don't see increased vaccination hospitalizations among those vaccinated. >> today i heard you say that a booster is -- you anticipate a booster being needed for the 13
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million americans who received the j&j vaccine, but no word because that data has not come in yet. at this point, do you still recommend people even get the johnson & johnson vaccine if you don't know yet how durable the vaccine really is? >> so those data are coming out. i think we need to recognize the johnson & johnson vaccine was over two months behind the mrna vaccines in terms of it data and when we started to vaccinate people. so it shouldn't be a surprise that we are a little behind in the data there, as well and we are collecting those data actively. i believe that by the time the folks with johnson & johnson need a boost, we will absolutely have the data to inform that and we will get that in realtime as we have today to the american people. i will say, though, is the american people need a choice, and many people for whatever reason may choose johnson & johnson over mrna vaccines. there are some people that would choose the mrna vaccine over
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johnson & johnson given risk profiles and preference profiles, the desire for one dose rather than two. i do think there is an important role for johnson & johnson and our vaccines. >> okay. what is the latest on the timing of first shots for moving past boosters on first shots for kids 12 and under? because at this point, we're hearing a lot of parents, the american academy of pediatrics included urging that this authorization comes sooner. how do you answer to parents who are wondering why is this taking so long? >> right. this is a really important point i want to reiterate and that is that the timing of what we're seeing with boosters today has absolutely nothing to do with the timing of when kids' vaccinations will be available. i'm a parent myself. i understand the importance of getting our younger kids vaccinated. we are evaluating those studies,
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those studies will be with the fda and the fda will make those determinations but one is not slowing down the other by any stretch and we're moving quickly by vaccinating young children, as well. younger children, as well. we anticipate those with the fda in the mid to late fall. >> mid to late fall and then authorization after that. dr. walensky, thank you for your time. >> thanks so much for having me. "outfront" next the chilling voice mails we're hearing from afghanistan's that fear for their lives and military's top leaders have messages for veterans like this watching the taliban take over after 20 years. >> like what was all of this for? why did i work so hard? ok everyone, our mission is to provide complete,
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tonight, at least three people killed and more than a
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dozen injured at anti taliban protests. reuterss reporting that. desperation growing among afghans on the ground like one man that only wants to use his first name abdual to protect his safety. he worked for five years as an interpreter for u.s. special forces. he's a visa applicant stranded right now and he's frightened leaving this voice mail with my next guest just this morning. [crying] >> why are the american soldiers forgetting about us after everything we did? [crying] the sacrifices we made. why are you leaving us behind? i don't want to be killed by the taliban. they're going to cut our heads off if they find my location. please help.
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>> "outfront" now is kim motley on international human rights attorney with 13 years experience inside afghanistan. really painful to hear that man's voice mail, just the fear in his voice when he says, like, why are they leaving us behind? he's not alone. what are you hearing from abdual and so many afghans? >> thank you for having me. i'm hearing a lot of desperation and just people literally begging for their lives. they're trying to make sense of why did the americans and the international community abandon them? and dprafrankly, it doesn't mak sense to me, either. they're trying to -- people are being -- are terrified they're going to be arrested, detained or even worse because of this very swift change of power. there is many afghans that i talked to that are pilots that worked as military soldiers and bravely fought alongside our military that are being abandoned. i mean, frankly some of them are
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just -- it just doesn't make any sense. they're siv applicants. i know a man that was actually approved for his siv and has his passport at the u.s. em bassy ad can't get it. he worked with the military. so it's just heartbreaking. >> yeah. and president biden tonight, he was asked about the human tragedy that is unfolding. the heartbreaking pictures showing bodies falling from u.s. and also that photo, that iconic photo of the cargo plane packed with people. listen to this. listen to the president. >> we've all seen the pictures. we've seen the hundreds of people packed into a c-17. we've seen afghans falling. >> that was four days ago, five days ago. >> it was actually -- that was actually monday.
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i'm just -- what is your reaction to president biden's response to that? >> i mean, it's just -- it just gets worse and worse it seems with every interview that he does or talking point that he does. i just don't understand. it sounds just so callous and inhumane. it was just four days ago? are you joking? people are literally begging to be put on an airplane to fly out of afghanistan. we went to afghanistan and we talked to them about, you know, democracy and rule of law and we sold this to them. we gave them the audacity and now what are we doing, you know? frankly, i think the world generally believes they know who the taliban is but i don't know who we are anymore. i think that's what hurts the afghans, that i come in contact more than anything, is that the americans and the international
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community, they feel like we are completely abandoning them and we are breaking our promise. >> let me ask you. biden is committing to keep u.s. troops in afghanistan until every american who wants to evacuate get out. when asked if he'd make the same commitment for afghan partners and families, here's what he said. >> the commitment holds to get everyone out that, in fact, we can get out, everyone that should come out. that's the objective. that's what we're doing now. that's the path we're on and i think we'll get. >> how is that going to land with the afghans you talk to? >> well, i mean, i think they definitely think that they are the ones that are supposed to be -- supposed to get out. i mean, this was a contract that a lot of these afghans entered into with our government, that if they work alongside of us and bravely fight with us, that they would qualify for the sib program and frankly many have
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and do and have been in this bottleneck of bureaucracy and, you know, should be given visas to america. so i certainly hope the president is considering them because they did so much work to promote this dream of democracy and rule of law and they certainly are entitled to our protections. if we don't help them, you know, we also lose -- stand to lose credibility in the world. >> kim, thank you. >> this is a policy mess. >> kim, thank you for bringing us the stories. really appreciate it. out front next, america's top military leaders telling afghanistan veterans their sacrifices are not in vain but is that what veterans think? okay, imagine this... your mover, rob, he's on the scene and needs a plan with a mobile hotspot. we cut to downtown, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, asap!
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from afghan allies trying to find a way out. mike breen is a former army captain. >> we made promises to people because we were told to. we made promises to people that we would protect them if they stood with us.
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no one deflected on. >> this feels personal. >> the administration has acknowledged that impact. >> i know these are difficult days for those who lost loved ones in afghanistan and those who carry the wounds of war. >> but the truth goes far beyond bad feelings. post 9/11 veterans have a significantly higher rate of suicide than other vets. a study from brown and boston universities estimates over 30,000 active duty veterans have died that way, many more than the roughly 7,000 killed in combat. why? in part the study suggests the length of the afghan and iraq wars took a terrible toll subjecting troops to multiple deployments and repeated traumas, and now this. theresa jackson is a retired air force nurse who has dedicated
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her life to helping vets. she nearly died in afghanistan. >> it was like, what was all of this for? why did i work so hard? why was i gone for six months away from my family. >> jason candor, former missouri secretary of state and previously a cnn contributor works to help vets as well, and he served in afghanistan, too. >> a buddy of mine said, you know, obviously the vietnam veterans and others had it really bad, too, but at least their wars ended. >> and so it is with so many who went there, who fought, who believed, who are still proud like former green beret and nfl player nate bowyer. >> we did what we could. we fought for those who can't fight for themselves. we still do that today and will all do that in the future moving forward. >> now they're watching and wondering after all the years, the victories and losses, fighting and grieving, what will the legacy be and how will we all live with it?
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>> this is the question. this is the last act of an american soldier going to be pushing a refugee, former interpreter, ally away from an airplane that they get on or pulling them aboard? >> tom for eman, cnn. >> don't miss the we love nyc homecoming concert. 5 p.m. ac 360 starts now. good evening. president biden today announcing booster shots for all vaccinated americans in coming months. more ahead on what that means for everyone vaccinated or not. we begin, however, with afghanistan. the president and the administration continuing to grapple with the decisions of leaving that country. speaking tonight on abc world news he said american troops might have to stay in country to secure the ongoing evacuation. quoting the president now, if