tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN August 24, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
i'm wolf blitzer. thank you for watching. you can follow me on twitter and instagram. tweet the show. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news, president biden sticks to the deadline announcing all u.s. troops will withdrawal from afghanistan by next week. can he get all americans and afghan allies out of the country in seven days? plus more states warning against ingesting a drug meant for livestock saying it is a not a miracle covid cure. one doctor studying the drug actually called a nazi for questioning it as a cure. that doctor is my guest. vice president kamala harris' trip to vietnam delivered over a suspected case
of havana syndrome. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm kate bolduan in for erin burnett. breaking news, sticking to his deadline. president biden announcing he will not extend his self-imposed august 31st deadline for all u.s. forces to leave afghanistan. just hours after the taliban said it would no longer allow americas afghans to leave the country and the deadline is a red line. biden tonight rejecting growing calls to extend the deadline siting security concerns. >> every day we're on the ground is another day we know isis k is seeking to target the airport and attack both u.s. and allied forces and innocent civilians. >> but is it a realistic deadline to fulfill the president's promise? the promise that he will evacuate all americans and afghan allies from the country before troops leave? so far, the president has said
that more than 70,000 people including americans and afghans have been evacuated since august 14th. that is 15 times what it was the pace, that pace is 15 times what it was just a week ago. >> we are currently on a pace to finish by august the 31st. the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operations brings added risk to our troops. but the completion by august 31st depends upon the taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who were transporting out and no disruptions to our operations. >> lawmakers say that some of the president's top aides including the defense secretary, secretary of state and joint chief's chairman indicated privately at a briefing today that the deadline was unrealistic. democratic congressman tom saying in part quote the
practical problem is and they're not disputing any of this is that you can't do this by august 31st. they're not sugarcoating any of this. i'm going to talk to the congressman in a moment. another problem, biden says the united states needs the taliban to continue cooperating and allow access to the airport but the taliban tonight no longer allowing afghans to leave the country going so far to block access to the airport in kabul and a senior administration official just told cnn the grim reality is that quote, a lot of deeveryth deserving afghans will be left behind. the u.s. truly racing against the clock now. >> reporter: very much so. the self-imposed deadline of august 31st that the taliban seems determined to hold the united states to. meanwhile, as the u.s. military is on the ground, they're working to get out as many people as possible, nearly 1,000 an hour according to the update we heard from president joe bide an short time ago.
the first u.s. troops have left afghanistan. several hundred from the 5,800 there part of the evacuation. the mission remains that evacuation would soon it has to transition to the withdrawal of u.s. forces to complete this. the tide of afghan evacuees flowing out of kabul is at a new peak as the effort to move as many people as possible enters the final seven days. 12,000 people flown out in 12 hours. the u.s. alone flew out 6,400 people averaging 350 per flight, that's 15 times what the u.s. flew out a week ago. since august 14th, more than 70,000 people have been evacuated from kabul. the airport which once had 14,000 people in the field waiting for flights down to about 5,000, though there are many more outside desperate to get in but as the operation improves, the environment grows
more tense. the military is monitoring threats aware there are targets for terror groups and warning the u.s. to be out by the end of the month telling afghans they won't wbe allowed to pass the road to the airport. >> translator: we have indigenous doctors, they should not leave this country. they should work in their areas. they should no go to other countries, to those western countries. >> reporter: one question the biden administration has not answered, how many americans are left in afghanistan? the u.s. promising to evacuate all those who want out. >> i don't think there is a perfect number that we know with certainty of all americans in afghanistan. >> reporter: the sheer number of afghans, the lack of basic sanitation at the air base in qa qatar, the first stop of many of those fleeing.
>> we recognize things were and are not at the level of sanitation and good hygiene that we want. >> reporter: meanwhile, afghan evacuees beginning to arrive in the united states. in the past 24 hours, four flights landed at d.c. with more than 1,000 passengers with part of the operation in the united states just starting, the pentagon has days left before it winds down the effort in kabul with 5800 troops on the ground and an august 31st deadline to get them out, the pentagon knows the last 48 hours are critical. the focus how to get out thousands of troops who have made it possible to move tens of thousands of people. part of the problem here is of the 70,000 moved, not all of those were on the u.s. list, which is to say some of those were afghan evacuees other countries wanted to move out and that's why senior administration officials said there will be many deserving people left behind. meanwhile, a source says a state department reached out to americans registered to
afghanistan and said get ready to report to designated evacuation spots, the u.s. is working hard to get out as many american citizens as possible in the last few hours and days. kate? >> thank you very much for that. i want to go to sam kylie in kabul for us, again, this evening. sam, are the taliban emboldened tonight? >> reporter: they have been emboldened since they were able to race through the country, capture the capital city and humiliate a super power. we're watching a miraculous feat of logistics with 50,000 people being moved in a small amount of time, particularly over the last few days and a consequence the taliban perhaps have reasserted control over the situation by saying that local afghan people can no longer make their way to the airport. ironically, of course, making it easier ultimately for the americans to meet the deadline. that may have been part of the taliban reasoning in this. not only do they want to prevent
a brain drain and themselves be humiliated by this mass exist 'tis of some of the most educated people in the country but at the same time, they want to be able to make sure americans do leave so they don't end up in some kind of relationship with the americans at this state. they have been negotiating very, very closely and cooperating closely with the americans in order to get things this far. kate? >> sam, thank you for your continued reporting on the ground. appreciate it. "outfront" with me is a member of the house foreign affairs committee briefed earlier today by president biden's national security team and a former assistant secretary of state under president obama. congressman, thank you for being here. yesterday you called the august 31st deadline unacceptable and unexplicable. what do you think today in hearing the president's statement he's sticking by his deadline? >> i actually heard him say something a bit more ambiguous than that.
look, let me just first say, there is no way to keep the president's promise by august 31st. there is no way that we may be able to take out the american citizens in the kabul area who want to leave, but afghans at risk of retribution from the taliban afghans who helped our troops will not have the opportunity to leave if we leave them. what i heard the president say today after his top national security team heard a unanimous message from republicans and democrats in the house on this today was that he wants to leave by august 31st but whether we do so or not depends on completion of the mission and depends on whether the taliban cooperate. that is actually a new message from the president. i'm interested in whether that actually becomes operationalized in terms of the orders that our military gets. >> so congressman, do you think the president is not really
we'lling leveling with the american people? it's almost two messages coming out. one, the deadline is set but also the president and his aides have kept saying he's asked for contingency plans if conditions change on the ground. so is the president not being straight? >> the conditions have changed for the worst in the last 24 hours. the taliban because of the mistake, i think, that we made of setting this artificial self-imposed deadline, they have seized upon it as you said and started blocking afghans at risk from going to the airport. so my interpretation of the president's statement so he is telling the taliban we'd like to leave but if you want us to get out of your hair by august 31st, you have to left the afghans come to the airport. you cannot impede this. if you continue to impede it, then our mission may not be complete and we may stay longer. that is what i heard. i hope that's what he means but
operationally, it means we can't start pulling out massive numbers of americans from that airport troops in the next few days. we can't becoming and going at the same time. >> isn't that also the problem? it's not like we got a couple more weeks before this deadline. i mean, they also said that they need to stop evacuating americans a couple days ahead of time to start actually getting that retro grade going. >> exactly. >> this is hard up against the deadline. you like the message you've heard. you've been critical -- >> i've been very critical. >> you like the message you heard from the president today. >> i heard some things today i thought was new, the important thing is what p happens on the ground. the military felt the order is they should start leaving and the military need clear instructions. they can't do two contradictory things at the same time. if they stay there and continue this operation even through august 31st, we need to be
moving things in, not taking things out. and so i hope that this is clarified because what i think we all agree on, everybody who has looked at this including within administration we cannot keep the promise that the president made by august 31st and that should be unacceptable. >> i do want to ask -- so sorry to over lap you. >> go ahead. >> in the briefing today, did biden's aid and top national security team, did they say to you, indicate, how did they put it to you in terms of the ability to meet this deadline? >> i don't want to talk about what happened in a classified briefing. i think i can say with confidence as a general matter that i don't think anybody believes that we can do more than take americans out by august 31st. as a practical matter.
>> so after hearing the president, you now need more clarification and to be honest, after hearing what you just said, i think the american people need more clarification on the president's position on this but what would you then tell -- because this isn't -- this is real life. this is really dangerous and this is lives on the line. not only afghan allies, not only americans in afghanistan but the security threat against american troops on the ground at the same time. what would you tell afghan allies tonight who have not yet been able to get to the airport, who have been told don't yet come to the airport in some circumstances and they haven't even had a chance yet to get to the gate to evacuate? what do you think the message is to them tonight? >> well, if the message had been we are leaving on august 31st no matter what, i think that would have led some of them to despair and others to try to rush the airport, which is not in
anybody's interest under collcol -- including for the safety of our troops. it's important for administration to be clear that the mission will determine the timetable, not the timetable determining the mission. and i know this is a difficult thing. i have many friends in the administration who are trying to do the right thing. they're struggling with this. but the president has made it absolutely clear repeatedly what the mission is. the united states has to complete this mission. let's -- if we're going to leave afghanistan, let's leave with something that we can be proud of, a humanitarian rescue that really does right by the people who worked for our troops, ricker risked their lives for our people and the people in kabul who bet their lives on the future we promise them. >> congressman, thank you very much. >> thank you. "outfront" for us next, president biden scored a major win on another front. the house voting to move forward on his massive $3.5 trillion
budget plan so what is next? a showdown over vaccine mandates. over 100 health care workers saying no to any mandate that would require them to get the shot and some say they're willing to lose their jobs over it. and the heartbreaking story of a mother seen pleading for help on social media. u look like doesn't mean you eat off the floor, or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ boost is the only mobile carrier to give you the power of free 24/7 access to live doctors from your phone. get a free samsung galaxy a32 5g when you switch to america's largest & fastest 5g network. more power to stay healthy. boost mobile
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toe ra -- detail the again to. they were quick to do an early victory lap. >> there were differences. strong points of view. they're always welcome. what is important is we came together to advance our agenda. >> phil mattingly is "outfront" now. phil, the president talked about, he actually talked about his economic plan before he made his afghanistan announcement. does that reveal and show where he believes the country's focus i is? >> there has never been a secret inside the white house and success of getting it through capitol hill will be important on political and policy grounds the president does in his first term in office before the november midterms. they are aware of the dynamics of the getting the again to passed, the $1.2 trillion deal and $3.5 trillion democrat only
larger package that they're pushing forward to is a high wire act and you could see it over the course of the last couple of days given the nine moderate householdouts that the president had to help wrangle. i think they want to keep momentum going as much as they possibly can and that involves the president toting successes whenever they happen even in the midst of a foreign policy crisis. it is a desire to pivot as quickly as possible away from afghanistan back to the domestic agenda as they head into the rest of this month and september when congress comes back. when you talk to white house officials, they acknowledge they were slow to grapple with what was going on in the ground in afghanistan at the start. the response is not nearly what they wanted it to be but feel like they're all hands on deck. the president has been engaged every day and top advisors and based on the numbers alone they point to, there is some success in a process that is still very dicey and only going to get more dangerous in the days ahead, however, they believe that what happened today in the house under scores the president can
do two things at once. the president on the phone with members of congress last night about this issue, not afghanistan, this issue under scoring i think more than anything else how important they view this issue even amid everything else going on on the president's plate, kate. >> thank you so much. let me bring in matthew doud, he served for the 2004 presidential campaign. thanks for being here. president biden was working the phones and making calls last night to some moderate lawmakers. the first time we believe that he got involved directly in the negotiations with them, do you think biden deserves credit for this stuff or is this all owed to nancy pelosi and her ability to hold her caucus together? >> well, i think it's a combination deal and i think when we've seen when they worked in combination, they get a lot done and get stuff passed. i think you have to give credit to joe biden the president but have to give credit to nancy pelosi who is exercising more success as speaker of the house probably than any speaker in modern times. so they both deserve a lot of
credit for getting this done in the last 24 hours. >> you know, phil was talking about kind of where they would like to pivot their focus, where they would like administration and white house would like the focus to be. an nbc poll shows biden's approval dipped below 50% for the first time in his presidency. he's clearly pacie facing a lot christicism for the handling. do you think a win on capitol hill if that's what this ends up being will have people looking past the crisis that's unfolded in afghanistan? >> well, first, i'd like to say that joe biden's drift down of his approval ratings didn't start with afghanistan. it started with the covid and the spread of the virus and i think americans very -- not disapproval of him but disapproval of the situation and i think that has to get fixed for his approval numbers to fundamentally go back up to where they were. it's not a large drift. it's a small drift of approval numbers. i think in the end, he won't get a huge bump from whatever happens in the house and the
senate because there is still a lot of things left to do but i think ultimately, his approval rating is directly tied not to afghanistan and not to the infrastructure bill but where the economy is and how he handles the epidemic. >> let's apply this to what we're seeing in afghanistan. the president standing by his decision to with his intention to withdrawal u.s. troops from the country by this time next week and he has faced criticism from the left and the right about how this withdrawal has been executed but we are seeing a huge bit of progress on the part of the military in getting people out now but is biden just inherently betting that the american people are with him on this in the long run? do you think he is making the right bet? >> well, as you probably are aware, i have a lotted the president from the very beginning about afghanistan. he was dealt a horrible situation and as of today, he's done an extremely good job in the situation. there were many people over the last seven days that said there is no possible way he could get
50,000 people out. no possible way and that was the number of people thought had to get out. he's got 70,000 people in the last eight days. 70,000 people out of afghanistan in the last days and i actually think the president from what he was dealt and done over the course of the last week, should be congratulating on the way this was done. there is many things left to handle over the course of this situation. i think the president has done unbelievable work and he's the first president in four presidents to actually get done what the american people wanted done in afghanistan, which was get out. >> can i ask you, because the congress man on just before you, do you take the president what he said today at face value that he intends, that he is sticking by his deadline of august 31st? the congressman seems to take it as he thinks there is more wiggle room in what the president said than a lot of people are taking it as, the conditions on the ground if they change and he says they already have can make the deadline get
extended. is that -- did you hear that at all? >> i think what the president is trying to say is yes, we're still to august 31st, yes, we'll do this. yes, we're committed. we already got 70% of the people out. we can get this done as long as the can operation exists. that's a big if. as long as the cooperation continues to exist. i think one thing we ought to keep in mind, every afghan that wants to get out is not going to be able to get out. that's what that -- that's not what this is about. it's not about getting every afghan that wants to leave out but getting oall americans out and special afghans with special visas out of the country. we cannot keep setting the bar in a different place. we have great compassion for all afghans who feel like they're in a country now they don't want to belong in anymore but there is millions of refugees around the world who feel the exact same way about the countries they're in and we as america can't bring every single person in that wants to come in. >> matthew, good to see you.
thanks for coming in. "outfront" next faceoff between employer and employees over covid vaccine mandates. >> i'm young. i'm healthy. i have no co-moorerbiditco-morb. i had covid already. i can't understand why i would have to be forced to get the vaccine. a scientist studying a drug for covid patients getting hate mail from some people that think it a miracle cure. print. come on! print! print! print! do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free epson ecotank printer. a ridiculous amount of ink! do i look like a money tree? the epson ecotank. just fill & chill.
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tonight, standoff as vaccine mandates multiply of the fda's final approval of the pfizer vaccine. there is sa showdown in new yor where 100 health care workers are protesting a new vaccine requirement. chief quality officer for north well health, new york's largest provider and oversees that hospital in staten island. doctor, thank you for being here. we know that about 20% of your overall work force, you've got a lot of hospitals is still not vaccinated. how big of a problem is this in this hospital in staten island?
>> i think it's not just unique to staten island. there are a lot of health care workers wary of taking the vaccine and i want to point out first of all, i want to thank all of them for all the terrific work they've been doing over the last 18 months caring for the very sick, however, we see it as maybe less of a problem as we go forward now that pfizer has been approved. the pfizer drug has been approved and we will continue to educate our staff as to why the vaccine is so important. >> i mean, with regard at the hospital in staten island, people were taking to the streets, you know, protesting over this. i want to play what they're saying about why they are fighting against the vaccine. let me play this. >> right now, my biggest concern is long term effects. i think we need more time and data. >> i'm young. i'm healthy. i have no co-morbidities. i had covid already.
i don't understand why i would have to be forced to get the vaccine. >> i want to know, the man that y'all heard there. he's already been suspended without pay from his job at the hospital. doctor, are you getting any sense that this formal approval from the fda on pfizer is changing minds of any of these people protesting because they seem almost less hesitant and more just straight up against the vaccine. >> well, there is always been an ailment of people against vaccines. this is not unique to the covid vaccines. in addition, i think what we kne need to discuss, what we're trying to do with the mandate is protect our patients and other staff who have to take care of the patients -- >> do these protesters understand that? >> i think they do and i think that, you know, everybody has individual rights, but as our health care system has done and many health care systems have done around the country, we have made the decision that it is
important for our staff and communities to have everybody vaccinated. we feel that is the safest modality to protect everyone, and we can't force anybody to do it but we do already have people take vaccines in order to care for patients. that has been going on for years as requirements, so this is not unique just to the covid vaccine. >> right. so are you preparing to fire people over this? is this a get the vaccine or get a new job? >> we have a progressive set of discipline if people are not willing to take the vaccine but venn eventually some people may decide they would rather be terminated and leave their job and go somewhere else rather than take the vaccine. that's their individual choice. our choices are based on what we need to protect all of our patients. >> yeah, are you concerned that if it gets to that, with however many people you would lose that
it will disrupt hospital operations in many way because that's what these protesters are suggesting. you can't fire us because you won't be able to run the hospital. >> i think we'll be able to run the hospitals. at this point out of our 76,000 employees, over 80% have taken the vaccine. we're seeing more take it now because of the pfizer approval. so i do not envision that this will slow down or cause any harm to the operations of our hospital. >> you are already seeing an uptick from this week's approval to the vaccine? >> we are seeing more people wanting to take the vaccine. what we asked people why they didn't want to take it, a good segment said we want to see it approved. now the reality is, this is a vaccine that's been given to hundreds of millions of people not only in the united states but around the world and everybody is watching it very closely. so the safety with this vaccine is probably higher than we've had with any other medication that we've ever had approval
for. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. "outfront" next a doctor receiving threatening emails even being called a nazi because he raised questions about a livestock drug some believe is a miracle cure. vice president harris' trip to vietnam delayed for three hours due to a possible havana syndrome incident.
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tonight a doctor studying potential covid treatment studying a treatment that is believed to be a miracle cure. some saying what are you thinking, eliminate your plan to abuse people as needless controls. you have a duty of care. this comes as multiple states report spikes and calls to poison control centers from people taking large doses of this drug, which is intended for livestock.
"outfront" now is an infectious disease physician and scientist at the university of minnesota. doctor, thank you for being here. in addition to what i mentioned in terms of emails you received, what other kind of messages have you gotten over this? >> well, i think i'mon social ma and email people can send not very nice messages but a lot of characters out there, just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character. >> that's one way of putting it. you're a very kind man. you have done dozens of trials throughout your career. have you ever run into anything like this kind of, i don't know, this kind of hate? >> well, i think, you know, it's a lot of passion out there and unfortunately, there is just not a lot of data and so for early treatment, you know, this far into the pandemic, we really only have one therapy that's been proven to work and that's the monoclonal antibodies. otherwise there is small studies and promising drugs that might work but not a lot of actual data. that's a problem where people
can get very excited based on limited data of things that aren't quite proven yet but are promising. >> so of course, a lot of folks are wondering, where are people get thing idea to go to the livestock supply center and pick up ivermectin. >> we know in many ways the fda failed us by not allowing the use of ivermectin. >> the benefits of a drug called ivermectin that can and is used around the world to treat and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. >> we know people are ending up in the hospital because they are taking this drug because they're going to the livestock supply center and picking up these drugs that are meant for like horses and cows. i mean, what is your message to people who see ivermectin as a cure all? >> well, the amount of data for ivermectin is quite limited, actually. ist -- those who are interested,
there are two clinical trials in the u.s. enrolling volunteers nationwide and so one is sponsored by the nih, the active six study. the website is active six study.org and university consortium led in minnesota that is the covid out.com trial. both of these will ship ivermectin to their homes if approved. they can get monoclonal antibodies that have a 70% reduction in hospitalization. can we do better than this? people are, if they want to help society try to find answers, there are these trials available. >> to be clear, your job is to test and trial to find new treatments and sometimes they do come from strange places like drugs intended for livestock. but the data on this drug isn't anywhere close to definitive enough, yet, for people to take it into their own hands?
>> correct. and there was a recent trial released just today, actually, from brazil that was a large trial of over 2200 patients that looked at a medicine, ivermectin versus a placebo and that study ivermectin when given for three days didn't have any benefit over placebo versus another one they are studying has a 30% reduction in emergency room visits. >> which gets to proven treatments and another case to be made forgetting a vaccine so hopefully you don't end up in these circumstances. thank you very much. next, vice president harris' travel plans interrupted by a possible case of havana syndrome. a mystery illness that stumped the government for years so why can't the u.s. figure out who is behind it and why. more tragedy in tennessee documented on social media. the last words of a woman begging for help as raging flood waters threatened her life. whoo hoo! ensure, with 27 vitamins
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tonight vice president's harris' apprrrival delayed afte her office was informed of a possible recent possible anomalous health incident there. that's how the government typically describes havana syndrome, it sickened hundreds of u.s. officials all experiencing strange sensations and even debilitating symptoms ranging from nausea and headaches to vertigo and some diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. cases have been reported in multiple l countries since 2016. "outfront" now is a staff writer at the new yorker who has been covering havana syndrome over the years. what are you hearing about these latest suspected cases? >> what i heard from a state department official earlier today there had been four suspected cases in hanoi. two which took place within the last 12 months and then over the weekend, you had two more reported possible cases also in
hanoi at two locations, two officials who work at the embassy who reported this and this was obviously passed onto the vice president security detail and they naturally asked the question is it safe for her to go before they made the call that it was safe for her to go. >> so interesting. i mean, is there any suggestion or concern that these two recent ones were connected to the vice president's visit? >> well, you know, it's interesting. there was a case in the spring of 2019. it was the same trip that trump made, the state visit to london and two members of the white house delegation that actually arrived before president trump were in the hotel in london when they had suspected cases. incid one involving one white house staffer the day trump arrives and a couple days later involving two staffers in the same room. there is this -- you have these two cases that i'm aware of
where it was right before a very important u.s. delegation arrives, but at this point, frankly, the intelligence is so sparse on what is going >> and you've been reporting on havana syndrome for years at this point. you talked to numerous people who suffered from this. first reports were nearly five ye years ago at this point. is the government any closer to determining what's causing this and who is behind it? >> right. to me, i mean, i've spoken to several victims. i think now the number is close to 200 of people who say this has potentially happened to them. you have to keep in mind that under the biden administration especially, the bar for reporting these is very low. they've encouraged people to report anything that might be this, and so the numbers are really -- we shouldn't really trust the numbers, in other words. but in terms of the intelligence, one of the things that the currency director burns has done is sort of surged
collection and focused on this issue to see what they can find. this starts in the spring. so far my understanding is they really haven't found anything. and that is confounding. >> it really is, right? some of these people are suffering -- especially the folks early on that kind of flagged this -- debilitating injury from this, and it feels like they're nowhere closer than 2016. >> right. there is this sort of understanding that those who cover the intelligence agencies, that things can change extremely quickly. so they might -- tomorrow morning they may catch somebody in the act because they do generally believe that this is an act of a hostile actor, right, against these people. maybe somebody will get sloppy, but what is incredible is with all of our collection capabilities, with all the eavesdropping we're doing on officials around the world and actors around the world, we have yet to be able to pick up on any
communications that help us unravel this, and they're trying to reverse engineer what might be a device that could cause this, but, you know, we're doing this -- this started in late 2016, and here we are heading into the fall of 2021, and i feel like the information i'm getting from u.s. officials is really no different than what i was hearing after the first cases were being reported. >> adam, thanks for reporting on this. good to see you. >> thank you. a heartbreaking scream for help right before a floodwater claimed a woman's life. re. which is why the scientific expertise that helps operating rooms stay clean is now helping the places you go every day too. seek a commitment to clean. look for the ecolab science certified seal.
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nick valencia is out front. >> oh, my goodness. oh, my goodness. >> reporter: this terrifying video might have been the last thing linda bryan almond said before she died. >> if you can see me on facebook live, we're being flooldeded ri now in waverly. this is scary. >> i looked for my mom a couple times and i didn't see her. i knew i had to fight for myself. >> reporter: the 55-year-old was among 18 people who died after unprecedented flash floods in this rural county of tennessee, where rico ralston was raised. >> we probably helped 25 to 30 people. >> reporter: as the water started to rise, ralston drove to his childhood home looking for his mom. there he found jeff best of your recollection -- burkett, a man he never met, but he had a boat. together they started pulling people out of the water.
>> to hear them scared and in fear for their lives, i think we helped get them to safety. >> you heard the screams of desperation. >> yeah, that was the scariest thing, hoping you can get to them in time and hoping you actually get to them. >> this was my safe haven when rico rescued me. on my top bunk with a karaoke machine. >> ralston said without her son, many other neighbors would have been killed, theven though she told him not to come. >> he was going to save his mother one way or another. but i knew it was a bad idea to stay. but them having to rescue me, that saved a lot of lives. i don't regret my decision, because there was still lives saved. >> we just started lifting trying to find her. we never could. >> reporter: while dozens did make it out thanks to his help,
it pains ralston that he couldn't save everyone. people floating away in the rushing current didn't make it. >> tell me about your daughter. >> she's about 150 pounds. if you see her, please tell me. >> reporter: they say although she's missing, they're hopeful she will be found. there are volunteers around the country who are canvassing that area for signs of life, trying to find bryan but others who are also missing. and there was that hard-hit kparea we showed you in the report. it was there that a mother's two-year-old was pushed from her arms by the rushing current. it's clear that after what the people here went through, it's going to be a long time before
they heal. kate? >> nick, it is one horrific story on top of another. each story is worse. i really can't even believe it coming out of tennessee. thank you for your reporting and your compassion. i really appreciate it. >> you bet. thank you so much for being with us tonight. i'm kate bolduan. 360 starts now. rescuing afghans and european afghans from kabul. this afternoon more than 70,000 people have been airlifted out in just the last ten days. that is an extraordinary number and a far cry from how this began in utter chaos. by the same token, it's also just seven days from the president's self-imposed deadline which he recommitted to this evening. >> we are currently on a pace to finish by august the 31st. the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operations brings added risk to ou