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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  August 25, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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probability is about 65% if you look at the polling and just speak with people who know that race fairly well a lot of republicans are worried they're not sure he's quite ready for primetime. but we'll have to see if he is because at this point he is the favorite to win. >> one of the things everyone thinks he has a great chance to win the primary but maybe not as great the general election. >> we'll see. >> harry enten, great to see you. >> nice to see you. "new day" continues right now. ♪ >> welcome to your viewers in the united states and around the world it's wednesday, august 25th. breaking moments ago, we just got an update from the white house that 19,000 people were evacwuated from kabul in the lat 24 hours, including 11,000 evacuated by the u.s. that is a number that matters more than ever because president biden has decided not to extend that august 31st deadline to withdraw u.s. troops from the kabul airport. who is getting out and who is
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getting left behind and when will these flights evacuating people, not the military, but afghans and americans end? there are no concrete answers. there are no solid numbers for how many americans are still in afghanistan. though we are expecting an announcement today from the secretary of state tony blinken on that. and while the biden administration says more than 82,000 people have been evacuated in the past 11 days, a senior administration official tells cnn that a lot of deserving afghans will be left behind. overnight a source told cnn that the taliban appears to be letting some people pass through check points. meanwhile, two u.s. congressmen facing sharp criticism for making unannounced visit to kabul to witness the evacuation efforts for themselves. we want to go live to qatar and bring in cnn's nick paton walsh who has been speaking to sources on the ground, nick. and the news we just got, another 19,000 people flown out over 24 hours, that blistering
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pace in this truly breath-taking evacuation i suppose the question now, though, is how many more days of this are we really going to see. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. it is utterly startling to see in excess of 80,000 people moved in incredibly short period of time. today open source viewing of the airport around kabul airport doesn't seem to be quite so many flights. that could change and i'm hearing from a source familiar with the situation they have about 1,000 people on the airport right now trying to get off. that doesn't mean there's a lack of ambition, it does mean probably the flight lines are working so efficiently that if you get on, you also get off, but, i am also told that there are particularly big numbers getting on at the moment. discreet routes are used for american citizens, small in number and also too siv applicants have the right connections. there's also too negotiated access done at the southern gates the commercials civilian side of the airport which apparently to which escorted
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groups are going through taliban check points and then on to the u.s. area through u.s. negotiations there. so that is successful, but it is apparently difficult because at times buses turn up with people who have no arrangements and simply say can you help us out and then of course the u.s. troops try to work out who on earth these people are and what they should do. the problem for the siv apply kantd kantds don't have a special way in, they have to get in through the remaining gates of abby gates, limited access there certainly and limited time frame. this morning apparently preparations began on the airport for the retro grade. doesn't mean people are leaving. it means they're doing the things they need to do to think about that process. but we're into such a small window here and i think there are two issues. yes, they have to assess quite how many more of these days extraordinary rate of 20,000 they can actually do until they get in the way of evacuating their own troops. then they have to be concerned about now this message is getting out that the window is
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incredibly small, what does that do to the remaining afghans outside the airport? do they all try to move en masse and brave the taliban there and approach the gates like we have seen before and what does that atmosphere of chaos potentially spell if we see it again. it's been skcalmer. this is the end of a 20-year war. there will be the last u.s. soldier at some point on the ground and you have to think about that operation and how they're going to be sure they leave safely. with the taliban all around them and also very desperate and worried afghans, too, trying to get on that airport. >> such important questions. nick paton walsh, thank you very much. we have been able to establish contact with cnn's sam kylie who is at the airport in kabul. sam, if you can hear me, just give me a sense of what you are seeing this morning. we did just get the news that another 19,000 people have --
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been lifted out over the last 24 hours. >> reporter: well, here at the airport, where i'm at among the elements from evacuation -- watching a group being led towards propeller aircraft flying on to presumably qatar, which is taking the bulk of the shorter range flights. they are very much -- as nick was saying -- the numbers here are way down. it is now much, much harder to get through to the airport following the taliban announcement they would be blocking the roads. at the abby gate, desperate scenes of people wading through sewage and trying to persuade the british there and the americans running the abby gate entry point to let them in. the process is extremely fraught but the numbers are very
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significantly down. that doesn't mean, of course, that there are people who -- that they've run out of people to evacuate but rather just impossible for so many people to get to the airport. but the aircraft are continuing to take off and land in significant numbers. and of course, there are also discreet operations being run here to go and pick up pockets of people where they can be reached so long as they have the right kind of connections. >> so what does that mean with the smaller number of people inside the airport, flights are down, what is that going to mean for the number of people who will be getting out today? >> reporter: well, the people getting out today are going to be flown in to qatar where conditions have been extremely tough because they were kind of overwhelmed by the success in a sense, in the military they call it catastrophic success moved so
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many people that they had very difficult conditions to deal with. those conditions will have been improved and the numbers coming there will be down. and then they will be processed. they're not all coming to the united states, by any means. they'll then be sent on once they've been screened and so on on to the next locations to the countries who will be hosting them. so for the people getting out, it's a very powerful moment. but in every case and i spoke yesterday to a young woman who was looking after her two younger sisters who had been separated from her brother. she was literally swept on to an aircraft with her younger siblings having left her brother outside of the gate due to some kind of error they made, they got separated. and she was desperately calling him to try to get him to get in. he had a visa. he had an siv. but he couldn't make that flight. now the hope is, of course, that he will by now sbrn on it and
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they will be reunited somewhere but this is the sort of thing that is going to be the disastrous, heart breaking fallout from these processes, and particularly as the window for evacuation closes. there will be people who manage to get in and they may well be leaving people who have the right to fly but just not going to make it on to the aircraft. then the issue is twofold, one is once they've emerged into the public domain, they will be known to the taliban as people who wanted to get out. therefore perhaps be identified as disloyal. that could be very tough for them indeed. but, the taliban is interested not only do they not want people to get on these aircraft but they want them to stay and help rebuild the country, they are really worried about a brain drain and they're also worried about their relationship with the international community and the international community led by the g7 but also the united nations and others made it absolutely clear in no uncertain
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terms that any kind of future relationship with the taliban or taliban-dominated government will depend entirely on their human rights recorded in broadest possible sense, in particular the treatment of women, journalists and others. a lot of those sorts of people have fled the country and go back but they would only do so and the taliban can only be successful if they can create those right conditions. that is the hope, the fear, is that the taliban could revert the type that we have seen in 2006 to 2001 and become a kind of medieval hard-line group. interesting there's been messaging coming out from the taliban in the last 24 hours asking women to stay inside. now, that was in the first instance this is inside kabul to stay in their homes. in the first instance that was interpreted as a sign they were being medieval. then they said, no, this is because we want to make sure that some of ties are properly
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trained so they do not treat women the way they have been treating them. because a lot of, of course, their ordinary rank and file may well not seen a city much less a woman, an adult woman without -- so the taliban is recognizing they need to address. these are the positive signals that they're trying to put out, but they're not convincing very significant numbers of people that they really mean it, which is precisely why we've seen this enormous evacuation process over the last ten days or so. >> yeah. they're not convincing some u.n. officials who say that they are seeing, hearing reports of human rights violations which we, of course, will continue to track. this is the point we're at, right? this is a huge evacuation. this is a huge achievement. and it still is not enough. it's still nowhere close to enough. sam kylie live for us in kabul. let's go to the white house where cnn's jeremy diamond is
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there. jeremy, we did just get those numbers, but what else do we know? >> reporter: that's right, brianna. these numbers are pretty high but a slight down tick from what we saw yesterday. 19,000 people evacuated total on u.s. military and other coalition flights. just 11,200 evacuate on u.s. military flights compared to 12,700 the day before. and this is possibly what we are going to see over the coming days. we are now seeing as sam was just talking about this military operation shifting from evacuation to withdrawal with those u.s. troops needing to be out of the country by august 31st, which means those evacuation operations are going to need to wind down in the coming days. but the president yesterday in laying out his decision for this ultimately made very clear that this was all in his mind about security for the u.s. forces who are there. listen. >> i'm determined to ensure that we complete our mission, this mission. i'm also mindful of the
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increasing risks that i've been briefed on and the need to factor those risks in. they're real. and significant challenges that we also have to take into consideration. >> and the president said there that everyday that the u.s. forces are on the ground is another day that isis-k is seeking to target the airport and attack u.s. forces. so that is clearly on the president's mind here. in terms of the political implications here as well, we need to think about that because president biden making very clear that he only wants to commit u.s. forces when it is squarely in the u.s. national interest. and in beginning his remarks yesterday by talking about infrastructure and the negotiations happening in congress, it's also clear that the president ultimately is hoping that americans, as long as he's able to get all americans out of the country, that they will look at the other parts of his domestic policy agenda. that certainly seems to be part of the calculation here. again, we're expecting secretary of state blinken to outline how
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many americans actually remain to be evacuated, but the question still remains for those afghans who have helped the u.s., those siv applicants, president biden last week committed to getting all of them out but a senior administration official now telling cnn that some deserving afghans are likely to be left behind essentially saying that that is an inevitable result of this process. again, the time -- time is certainly ticking down in that window to evacuate people narrowing. >> i want to talk now with cnn gloibl affairs analyst kim dozer, contributor to "time" magazine and cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson. i don't think we can overstate what an achievement this air lift has been and can't overstate how many thousands of people who hm to come to the united states ar
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call them and say we have a safe way to get you into the airport, they don't know how to get out. some of them are getting taliban night letters, which are letters that say we believe you worked for the americans, you must appear at this court court to defend why you worked for the infidel crusader invaders, one of the translation i was given. that's what we're up against. plus all the military folks serving in former who worked with afghans and developed these close relationships, i'm watching them go through the heart break of knowing they're leaving people behind. >> they're leaving deserving people behind, which is the word now from officials at the white house. nic, it's interesting two u.s. congressmen seth molten and peter mayor made this unannounced visit to
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afghanistan. seth molten says he went wanting the u.s. to extend the august 31st deadline after seeing it on the ground, he basically said, you know what, we couldn't possibly extend it long enough to get the jobident biden told s not extending it. what's the reaction from u.s. allies to this at this point? >> i think the reaction is one that plays out over a longer period. there's a real concern about an influx of refugees coming from afghanistan. you know, probably would happen under this sort of scenario even if all the people that had worked for the united states, worked with british forces, german forces, dutch forces, et cetera, even if they could all get out, they would still be a lot of refugees leaving. but this sort of fast and hasty transition that afghan people are experiencing is one that's going to precipitate many of them to leave the country, one u.n. agency estimates 3.5 million people displaced inside
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afghanistan and many will head for the exits to try to leave. what does that mean in terms of united states allies particularly those in europe who have that huge influx of refugees in 2015 from syria, which was hugely destabilizing? this means that their interests are not properly aligned with the united states' interests. this is going to have a corrosive effect on that relationship going forward. and i think that that's something that is going to trouble the united states. president biden needs those allies when he deals with china and on many other issues were increasingly seeing those european allies separate themselves out or see that interest separated from the united states's interest. look at pipeline issue between germany and the united states and russia and how that resolved in germany's favor and that's just one small cam pl. >> yeah. i talked to really bitter european officials who say we
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weren't consulted in the beginning and now they're not extending when we ask them to and now we're being forced to leave people behind. this is breaking the trust. >> it's not a happy scenario. >> yeah. >> kim, we're hearing from the taliban, they're telling women they need to stay home at least for now. what is happening here? >> so i asked one of the spokesman about this and he ted back, oh, look, we want them back in their places of work but right now it's a little too dangerous on the ground. we can't guarantee their security going to and from work, so this is temporary. but some women who were around in the previous taliban time, yeah, they used that excuse before and we were never allowed to leave home. so, what will happen after august 31st when we get to see the real face of the taliban? who will be ascended, the military wing that just had this great victory and tends to be more extreme and hard line? or will it be parts of political
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wing who were the face of the negotiations in doha and know that they have to say and do at least out wardly the right things if they want access to their federal reserve, international aid money and all the things that this desperately poor country needs to keep their lights on. >> i remember being in afghanistan in the '90s. you didn't see a woman in ministries. what we're hearing from the taliban, this message for women to stay at home. we need to make revisions and changes. it's not safe. but their concept of women going to work, i don't think it's our concept of women going to work. there won't be i can't imagine in the same office or the same room some adjunct, some annexed or some government -- >> as men in the same room as men. >> won't be in the same room as men. >> like the secretarial pool off in the corner because you can't mix men and women. >> it's interesting. the taliban saying we need you to stay home because we need to protect you from us. nic and kim, thank you so much.
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coming up, a big step forward for president biden's agenda after speaker pelosi struck a deal with moderates to advance his infrastructure bills. plus, new details about the intelligence investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. and vice president harris just commented about the potential case of the mystery illness that delayed her departure from vietnam for hours. ♪
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just into cnn, johnson & johnson just released the first data on booster doses for people who received its one-shot coronavirus vaccine. it does show a big spike in antibodies. dr. sanjay gupta shows us now, sanjay, people wanted to know, what about johnson & johnson? now we have some data. >> yeah. about 14 million people out there who have received this shot in the united states. i think they've all emailed me or reached out to me on social over the past couple weeks. people really want to know what's going on with this shot and this is some early data. it's not published yet coming from the company itself. so i'll throw in those two caveat. but let me show you what they're
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looking at here. it's a small study. they basically are measuring antibody levels. so, this is a laboratory study. so they're basically in the lab saying, okay, when we expose to this virus with this vaccine, how much antibodies do we get? how much do we get if we give a booster six months later. the antibodies increase nine fold compared to where they were 28 days after the first shot. so, that's a pretty significant increase. and i think it's probably going to be enough for johnson & johnson if this data is vetted and holds up to make the case that people should get boosters around the country. some places like san francisco are already doing it. i always say we have to take this data with a little caution. again, it's laboratory data. how well does the vaccine actually hold up in the real world? sometimes antibodies are a good measure. but there's lots of kpcomponent to the immune system. johnson & johnson those numbers
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go up after the booster, johnson & johnson was doing a good job at keeping people from going into the hospital and dying just like we saw with the other vaccines. we'll see what the fda does with this, but my guess is that they're probably going to recommend a booster for johnson & johnson as well. it got authorized a couple months later. it's a smaller sample size. that's why johnson & johnson lags behind the other two vaccines. >> incredible encouraging. we'll have to see what's ahead for that videocaccine. i do want to ask you about the question we may never get an answer to, right, where did this all begin. president biden has been briefed on the findings of a u.s. intelligence report on the origins of covid-19. the public is going to have to wait a few days to see unclassified version of this. what do you make of what we know so far? >> well, first of all, that 90-day sort of window is a really short window. just to give you some context, for sars it took a couple years to find out there was an
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intermediary animal and more than a decade to determine inclusively what type of bat the sars virus back in 2003 originated from. these can take a while. i've been following this closely. in fact, we have a documentary coming out at the end of september. what i make of this is that we don't know for sure and that's not surprising. 75% of previous viruses like this have come from animals directly. what's called zoonosis. that was the prevailing theory for a long time in large part because of china being opaque, not allowing investigators to come into the lab, a lab that had lax safety standards in the past. and a lab that happens to be the largest bat coronavirus lab anywhere in the world all being located in wuhan sort of raised some suspicion about the fact could this have come from a lab. add on to that that when this virus started to circulate, it already seemed to be circulating very quickly. it's called preadaptation as
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some scientists have sort of explained to me. how did the virus become adapted to human cells already? could that have happened in the lab? we don't know. the answers to those questions and the hope was maybe this 90-day investigation would give us some intelligence on this because the scientific community is deeply divided. was there intelligence saying, oh, yes, the virus was definitely in the lab. here is how it could have leaked and doesn't sound like that's coming out of this report. there may be some time still before we know if we know at all. but i can tell you that i've been doing this sort of job for a long time now. i see scientists who are deeply divided on this who very well regarded scientists on both sides. >> i can't wait until the end of september for the documentary. i'm expecting full answers then, sanjay. thank you for the tease. just ahead, why some countries are now pulling back on plans to try to completely eradicate covid.
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♪ president biden's $3.5 trillion economic package clearing a key hurdle after intense negotiations between democratic leaders in the house and a group of party moderates. they were holding out for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill first. cnn sumlin is on capitol hill with more on this. >> reporter: a major step forward for the president biden's economic agenda. >> yay 220 and the nay are 212. the resolution is adopted. >> reporter: the house approving a budget framework that paves the way for the president's $3.5
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trillion spending plan. >> the bottom line is, in my view, we're a step closer to truly investing in the american people, positioning our economy for long-term growth, and building an america that outcompetes the rest of the world. my goal is to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not just the top down. >> reporter: this vote's passage allows for the house to draft a budget that can be passed with a simple majority through budget reconciliation. which is expected to include funding for universal preschool, two years of tuition-free community college, paid family leave, support for child and elder care and money to tackle climate change. although the vote was along party lines intense negotiations within the democratic party initially stalled progress. ten moderate democrats clashed with leadership, wanting an immediate vote on the senate passed bipartisan infrastructure bill prior to voting on the budget resolution.
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house speaker nancy pelosi reached an agreement with the moderate group to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill by september 27th. through a procedural maneuver pelosi crafted a rule that would allow the advancement of the $3.5 trillion budget framework, the separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the john lewis voting rights bill. >> not only are we building the physical infrastructure of america, we are building the human infrastructure of america to enable many more people to participate in the success of our economy. >> reporter: no republicans supported this budget framework. house minority leader kevin mccarthy sited the on going crisis in afghanistan. >> we should be doing nothing else on this floor until every single american is home. >> reporter: the white house firing back. the american people know well that the federal government is responsible for many priorities at once and they never expect their leaders to ignore crucial
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issues like in this case creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure and bringing down prices, including the cost of prescription drugs. and this is actually when the hard part will start up here on capitol hill. democrats will now begin the process of working out and writing what exactly is going to be in that $3.5 trillion package over the next few weeks. brianna? >> sumliner is fatty, thank you. joining me now is democratic congressman josh gottheimer, one of the moderate holdouts and really the main one negotiating with house speaker nancy pelosi. congressman, let me just ask, what can you tell us what those discussions were like? how thrilled was the speaker with you during these negotiations? >> well, at the end of the day, what was most important is that we worked it out and it was a huge win for the country and our vote. we're going to by september 27th get a stand alone vote on that
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bipartisan infrastructure package that came out of the senate with democrats and republicans and that fixes everything from roads and bridges to rail, transit, broadband, invested water infrastructure, helps us fight climate change and does everything to actually move -- help move our country forward. so the great news yesterday is we'll get a vote by september 27th and obviously start to begin the work on the president's budget resolution on reconciliation as we just heard and so, that's what's up next. but, yesterday was a big victory and the other thing that's really important is that the speaker said not only is she going to help get that infrastructure bill passed by the end of september, but, of course, whatever we bring to the floor on reconciliation will have support of at least 51 senators, so making sure that we vote on something that in the house and the senate we can all get behind for the president and for the country. >> just quickly, you didn't answer my question on what the negotiations and discussions were like. were they tense? >> well, of course, they were tense at times. but you know, we worked it out.
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we figured it out and that's what that's all about. what was very important to us is that we had an actual stand alone vote and didn't tie these things together and that was important. >> why make a stand on this, i'm curious, on timing rather than what's in the $3.5 trillion budget bill? why not use whatever leverage you have to negotiate the bill? >> yeah. >> go ahead. >> it's a great question. i mean, our biggest concern was frankly that some of our colleagues wanted to hold the infrastructure bill, which has passed the senate, sitting in the house for consideration, they wanted to hold it up for months and actually use it as some sort of leverage chip against whatever we negotiate in the next package. frankly, there's a lot of things that are so important in there, you heard about climate and of course reinstating the state level tax deduction and child care and making sure we add hearing and dental and vision to medicare, so many important things but of course the size and scope of that we'll have debate over and frankly we should have debate over that.
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it's a significant piece of legislation and we'll spend the next months doing that but to hold up the infrastructure package that was bipartisan, made no sense to us. we got to get those shovels in the ground and people to work and that's what we're really fighting for. talking about 2 million jobs a year for the next 10 years to hold it hostage just didn't make any sense to some of us and we fought for it and got a date certain and kept those two pieces of legislation separate. >> cory bush and others still say that they won't support this unless it's voted on together. >> well, it's coming to the floor by september 27th. i'm sure everyone will get there and with nancy pelosi fighting hard for it she came out yesterday to say to make sure we get the votes and we'll get republican votes too. it's strong bipartisan just like in the senate. 19 senate republicans and every one of the democratic senators. i know we'll get there and so i'm confident about that. >> so, lightning round here just on -- trying to figure out what you would support in the $3.5 trillion bill, universal pre-k,
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yes or no, you support that? >> obviously i believe deeply in universal pre-k. there is no bill written yet. you can ask me about the questions about priorities, of course. >> you don't have an issue with some of the things, universal pre-k, two years community college, is that something you support? >> all those things are important. what's going to matter is the size, what's going to matter is revenue, what's going to matter how they're raising revenue. there's concerns i have there. >> corporate taxes, will you support -- >> it will be the details. >> will you support raising corporate taxes? >> i would love to negotiate right here. >> i'm trying to figure out -- >> we'll save that for the next few weeks. >> so you're not committed to -- >> no, what i'm going to measure on, frankly, is the impact on my district and make sure that taxes don't go up for the people i represent after they gutted salt a few years ago. what's so important is that get people tax relief in northern new jersey and make things more affordable for families and help
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folks. >> $3.5 trillion that number in and of itself is that something you can support? >> i said i think that's aggressive. but again, when we look at all the details, that's when we'll come back and we'll talk about that. >> i would like to ask you a question about two of your colleagues. democrat seth molten and republican peter myer made this unannounced trip to afghanistan to assess the situation on the ground they say. it's been harshly criticized by some people within the administration who say it diverted resources and whatnot. how appropriate do you think that trip was? >> well, i just read about that. both of them are good friends of mine, so i got to learn more. and i think getting facts is always important. the speaker has now put out and the administration put out notification that we shouldn't take those trips. so, listen, i think -- i got to talk to them. i'm really curious to learn what they saw on the ground and a huge issue we have to deal with to help get american personnel
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out and make sewer our afghanny partners are out. that's critically important. so listen, the more facts the better and i'm curious to talk to both of them. >> congressman josh gottheimer, thank you for coming on this morning. i would like to talk to you more as these negotiations continue towards these important bills. >> i would love that. thanks for having me. up next the new reality for countries pursuing a 0 covid strategy. and later, a philadelphia family stuck in afghanistan. we will talk to the father of the family who is working to get them out. [music plays.] ♪ ♪
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that strategy had been largely successful in those countries but the delta variant is so infectious that some of the country's leaders believe it is impossible to get down to zero cases again. cnn's i van watson has more on this. australia and new zealand, they struggle with a new surge of infections. >> at this point, i don't think my kids will go back to school this year. >> the outbreaks prompting australia's prime minister to
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suggest moving on from a 0 case approach to covid. >> this cannot go on forever. this is not a sustainable way to live in this country. >> stay-at-home orders in the major cities sydney, melbourne and the capital extended. covid fatigue contributing to violent protests that erupted in melbourne last weekend. prime minister scott morrison now promoting a plan to ease restrictions once 70 to 80% of adults get vaccinated. but vaccination rates in both australia and new zealand are still low with only about a quarter of australians and a fifth of new zealanders fully vaccinated. this summer's outbreaks popped the short-lived travel bubble in late july. their borders now largely shut to the outside world and new zealand's leader wants to maintain her government's 0 case covid strategy for as long as
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she can. >> now, absolutely elimination is the strategy. we need more certainty. we don't want to take any risks with delta. if the world has taught us anything, it is to be cautious with this variant of covid-19. >> reporter: in just two months, australia went from one confirmed case of covid to over 16,000 fueled by the more contagious delta variant. >> do you believe that a 0 cases strategy is still viable for australia? >> sadly, not anymore. i think it's too late. but we may go to some type of mitigation while desperately trying to increase our vaccine rollout. >> reporter: some weary australians say this island nation may need to accept the reality of the virus. >> at some point we're going to have to open up. i don't think we're ever going to be 100% confident and safe. >> reporter: two countries grateful to have been spared the
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worst of the covid-19 pandemic, delta now threatening to take away their hard-won success. now, the vaccination rates in australia, for example, they have picked up in recent days. so that's a good sign. and the country, though, has paid a very steep price for its relatively low number of deaths due to covid, under 1,000 people have died since it begun. tens of thousands of australians have been trapped overseas, unable to come back because of the high cost of two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine if they come back, which they have to pay out of their pocket. and then the second largest city melbourne has had more than 200 days of cumulative lockdown since this pandemic began. brianna? >> yeah that is a lot. ivan watson, thank you so much live from hong kong. up next, the chilling reason why vice president harris' trip to vietnam was delayed for hours. and the race to evacuate from afghanistan, we have brand new information about the number of people getting out now.
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servicenow. vice president kamala harris moments ago in vietnam thanking embassy staff after a report of a possible anomalous health incident. that is the term the biden administration typically uses to refer to havana syndrome attacks. that incident at the embassy delaying the vice president's arrival by more than three hours from singapore, so could this case be linked to a string of incidents all around the world that have sickened hundreds of u.s. officials over the past few years? let's talk about this now with mark, a former c.i.a. senior intel service operator, he's also the author of clarity in crisis, leadership lessons from the c.i.a. mark, you have personal experience with this. you were in russia for meetings as a c.i.a. senior intel officer just a few years ago and you
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experienced these symptoms. incredible dizziness. you were later diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. so we're talking about people suffering long-term consequence of these attacks. what do you make of this coming so close to the vice president's trip? >> sure. so, first of all, thanks for having me. i was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, even more serious. but this is a really, really interesting development. and something i thinked protective details of the senior administration officials take seriously. it is not a coincidence this reportedly occurred before the vice president's trip. it is a sign from our adversaries our senior officials are not immune. it must cause us to redouble and triple our efforts to find out who is doing this. not only are usg officials serving overseas at risk. this is a message senior officials who travel overseas are at risk. >> we don't know exactly who is doing this. we don't know exactly what it is, and it's increasingly
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frustrating for people who are considering this kind of service. we have heard of in 2019 there was a u.s. official who was pulling through an intersection when they started experiencing similar symptoms to what you did and they had their 2-year-old son in the back seat who started crying. if you're in a situation where you have people who want to serve, they're considering that the risk for them and their family might be too high. how much is this affecting the diplomatic core and u.s. officials? >> well, i think it's caused a sense of palpable fear. i mean, we have to stop this because it is affecting people's abilities and desires to serve. there's a couple points to make here. i served in afghanistan and iraq. i knew the risks. but going to ordinary assignments, you would call it, to european countries, asian countries where you're taking your families, that's a whole new ball game. so i think that ultimately there is going to be and is an all hands on deck effort. i know new c.i.a. director or current director bill burns has made this absolutely a hallmark
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of his term is to find out who is doing it. he brought in a new team and resources. if you see in the last several days in hanoi, it is paramount we find out what is going on. >> you did mention you served in afghanistan. you have a long history. you actually started your career on the afghan desk and then you served as a base chief in eastern afghanistan, so i know you're watching the developments there with considerable attention. what do you make of this moment that we're in right now? >> what a fantastic question because i think for a lot of us this is personal. in the c.i.a. or perhaps you're in special operations committee, we worked, but we lived with our afghan indigenous partners. i spent a year in afghanistan, a couple of us, with hundreds of our afghan indigenous units. i think about the faces -- i remember their faces. i cannot imagine what it will be like for that last c-17 crew, the u.s. air force taking off and looking down at the ground and seeing our afghan allies left behind. this is personal for me. i've been very outspoken on
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this. i think that, you know, until every afghan ally and whether that's someone who assisted the military or the state department or a.i.d., until everyone is out and their families, we can't rest. it's a moral obligation that we had. so i think for a lot of us this is personal and it's something we're going to keep on speaking out until everyone comes home. i think this date of august 31st that the administration seems to be holding to is really problematic for a lot of us. >> and americans, too. i mean, do you see our reporter on the ground thinks it's inevitable americans are left behind. what do you think? >> that's right. i don't think we even know how many americans are left. so, you know, at the end of the day we have an obligation, of course, to american citizens and to our afghan allies. this is a tenuous, a really messy situation. i think one of the things that is a bit distressing is some of the talk that comes out of press conferences and other statements from the administration is not matched with the reality on the ground. we know american citizens can't get to the airport. we certainly know our afghan allies cannot as well.
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we have to really redouble and triple our efforts. a one week from now is going to be a pretty grim stocene. so all i can say is keep pleading with the administration to consider pushing back august 31st because we have a moral obligation to those who served us and helped us in a very long and difficult 20-year war. but as americans, this is what we do. we uphold our commitments and our obligations and that's why this has been such a really difficult situation for a lot eof us who served there. >> i know it has for you and so many others. thank you, mark, for joining us today. >> thank you. so, the right wing media universe and various republican legislators are lining up to condemn the acceptance of afghan refugees. john avalon with a reality check. >> there have been a lot of comparisons between the fall of kabul and the fall of saigon. at the end of what was then america's longest war.
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in both cases there is chaos amid collapse and desperate active heroism in the face of humanitarian crisis. we've seen some 40,000 people evacuated from kabul in the last two days. but many more still stranded outside the airport gates. after vietnam, there were some 130,000 refugees who resetled in the united states. those immigrants and their descend ants are now calling on america to remember its commitment today. the good news is that there does seem to be broad agreement about helping afghans who aided our military efforts. 81% of all americans, 90% of democrats, 76% of republicans, support this goal according to a cbs poll. and even in our deeply divided congress, an overwhelming 407 voted to expand the visas to the u.s. 16 against. most of them were hard core trump supporters. so it was not surprising to see the ex-president demonize these afghan allies in a statement saying, how many thousands of
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terrorists have been airlifted from afghanistan into neighborhoods around the world? this echos anti-immigrant rhetoric directsed at our allies on right wing talk tv. >> history is any guide and it's always a guide, we will see many refugees from afghanistan re-settle in our country in the coming months, probably in your neighborhood. and over the next decade that number may swell to the millions. so first we invade and then we're invaded. >> is it really our responsibility to welcome thousands of potentially unvetted refugees from afghanistan? >> and, of course, this kind of craven talk is catching on with some conservative politicos trying to win their primaries. that's why republicans would do well to remember the legacy of robert ray right about now. ray was the republican governor of iowa from 1969 to 1983, but he's best remembered as a humanitarian who responded to the call of refugees in the wake of the vietnam war. ultimately re-settling roughly
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10,000 in his rural midwest state. it wasn't popular at the time. 1975 gallop poll showed 36% of americans supported refugee re-settlement, 54 opposed it. others wanted to turn the page from vietnam. others didn't like the idea of immigrants settling in the western heartland. robert ray thought it was the right thing to do. quote, i didn't think we could sit here idly and say let those people die. we wouldn't want the rest of the world to say that about us if we were in the same situation, said ray. do unto others as you would have them do unto you. that's the politics of the golden rule. we don't see it enough these days. this is a jump ball moment when the character of our country is being tested real-time, and despite political pressures some republican governors are meeting that robert ray test. like utah spencer cox who wrote president biden a letter accepting afghans his state wa

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