tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC July 31, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
onboard the big lie. and the most decorated gymnast on earth steps away from two more events in tokyo to take care of her mental health. you'll hear from a world champion gymnast who knows what that is like. this is "american voices." breaking news, as a new surge of coronavirus cases threaten the country's effort in crushing the virus. the nation's most dangerous hot spot, florida. new data from the cdc shows an alarming statistic. that state reports nearly 22,000 new coronavirus cases today. that is a single day record for the state since the pandemic began. "the miami herald" reports, quote, the last half of july looks like the start of florida's third covid-19 peak. well, the spread of the delta variant and rise of infections led the cdc to revise its mask mandate, florida's governor doesn't seem to want to listen.
governor ron desantis just signed a new executive order, banning schools in the state from requiring students to wear masks as they head back to the classroom. this follows outrage at school board meetings across the country. parents in broward county, florida, pushed back against mask mandates at schools this week. >> my daughter didn't get to see her teacher smile. my daughter didn't get to see her friends' faces unless they were sitting at lunch. >> we the parent, the taxpayers alone, have the authority to decide for our children, not you, not the cdc. >> i don't want to wear it because i can't breathe. >> it's not just florida. republican leaders at the state and local level across the country have banned schools for mask mandates. even in congress, house republicans are pushing back against speaker pelosi pelosi's new mask mandate. and that's not all the resistance to science we are seeing from the republican party.
this week, texas senator ted cruz attacked the cdc's credibility for delivering updated guidance to align with the new information scientists have found about the highly contagious delta variant. >> apparently, according to the cdc, vaccines don't work anymore. that science thing, inoperative. >> as you know, science proves that vaccines do work. they are saving lives and keeping people from the hospital. and while republicans continue their outrage, president biden is working to take action, pushing federal workers to choose between getting the shot or masking up and continuing social distance guidelines. shannon pettypiece writes it this way,.quote, since biden took office, much of the decision making and messaging around the pandemic and public hols has been in the hands of public health officials, not politicians. it's a stark reversal of the trump administration, who was accused by some members of its own coronavirus task force of interfering in public health
decisions and releasing false information that contradicted the messaging from cdc officials. there is a solution to all of this. if our elected leaders follow the lead from the cdc. but republican lawmakers don't seem to want to follow that advice. "the new york times" opinion columnist paul krugman writes, quote, it's crucial to understand that we aren't facing a national crisis. we're facing a red state crisis with nakedly political roots. joining us now to discuss, dr. bernard ashby, he's the florida state lead for the committee to protect health care. former democratic congresswoman, and former representative david jolly. he is also an msnbc political analyst. it's who's who of florida. dr. ashby, i want to start with you. it hits a record for daily cases. i am not in florida, but that is incredibly alarming for me. can you talk me through what that looks like on the ground? >> alarming is an understatement. where do i start? we are number one in
hospitalizations in the u.s. we are number two in hospitalizations among children in the u.s. we're number one in broward county for critical care in the u.s. and now we have broke our several-day record at 21,683 infections with the positivity rate above 50%. all told, florida is surging and our leadership is not helping us at all. our hospitals are getting overwhelmed. we're starting to shut down elective cases as a result of that, and that impacts other issues like heart disease, cancer, colon cancer, and so on and so forth. so right now we are struggling to deal with the surge, and we have zero leadership from our government, and they're legitimately putting politics over people's lives. and it's tragic. and i don't know what else to
say, except that something need to be done now. because people are dying and people will die as a result of what's happening right now with regard to the leadership. >> debbie, what is your governor >> look, alicea. let me just say that right now, it seems like the biggestthreat to the health of floridians is not the delta variant, but governor desantis. he is completely disconnected and turning his back on teachers, on families, on our nurses and our doctors who are overwhelmed in our hospitals here in florida, who are exhausted. who are seeing absolutely no leadership. all he cares about is his political campaign. and i think that he is going to pay the ultimate price in 2022. can i tell you that just today, i was talking to someone who had voted for ron desantis. and she was saying that his latest stance on trying to take away local control on mask mandates is really making her
think twice. she is very disappointed that this governor is laughing a to the fact that there are people that are dying right now in our state. it is shameful and he needs to be voted off -- out. and i mean, and all of the republicans here in the state are following his lead. so it's not just governor desantis. like you said, alicia, it's all of the republicans here in the state of florida and all across the country. and it has to stop. we have to stop politicizing this. this is a danger to our children and to our families. >> i mean, david, the numbers that i read at the top of this are shocking. and it is shocking when you look at it in the context of the entirety of this pandemic. why make mask mandates specifically the hill that you die on, especially when these numbers don't lie. >> because of the rise of ignorance in american culture and american political leadership, particularly on the right side of the aisle. that's why. and i think we have to take a step back, alicia, and begin to recognize -- and i say this not
to try to get a cheap shot, but we may be entering one of the great failures in american history. not a failure of science, but a failure of culture. over the last 230 years, we have been provided all of the tools that have made america great for sacrifice and patriotism. all of those tools we hold right in the palm of our hands. we could end this pandemic. and we're squandering it, we're squandering it because of the examples we're seeing in florida. we have a political class led by ron desantis who is determined to build his political rise on the notion of freedom. and ignore the fact that as joe biden recently said, with freedom comes responsibility. so florida has entered a very dark chapter in american history, in the history of this pandemic. and it is a result of of a governor who refuses to recognize that very simple measures can be taken. and if there was a political calculus to this for ron desantis, i think the part that should worry much of america,
particularly in blue states, as debbie said, his willingness to attack local control, right? this principle that used to be the bedrock of republican politics. that decisions made closest to the people are made best. this suggests what we're seeing now, if ron desantis became president of the united states, he would eviscerate state rights in blue state, simply for his own ideological agenda. unfortunately for ron desantis, this is about presidential politics, not about public health. >> dr. ashby, all of this boils down to you actually end up experiencing this as it relates to your patients. we talk about two things. we talk about disinformation, and disinformation is a big piece of this, and we talk about the cues that people take from leadership, very often, those two things intersect. what is it that you hear from your patients? >> it's unfortunate that this distrust and this disinformation has actually permeated to patients impacting their own health. and i actually do have patients
that believe that the vaccine has tracking devices and magnets in it. and this is something that's being supported by people that they trust. these are leaders who are not [ inaudible ] perpetuating it. and the thing is, the speaker mentioned earlier that ron desantis is actual circumventing the municipalities and local governments, but he's actually circumventing us. i came out with a statement urging him to figure out a way to get this under control. not mentioning masks or lockdowns. but instead of working with us, he took a political stance and attacked us. and said that we want lockdowns. it wouldn't effect us. i'm a small business owner. i'm a father, of course it would affect me. he said that we were not
knowledgeable, which is absurd, given that this is our field of study and what we do every day. and for him just to brush us off and focus on being political about this when people are literally dying is -- to me, is the epitome of sick. >> i have friends in the state, i have family in the state, and i am absolutely terrified by the numbers that we are seeing. dr. ashby, congressman pauley, thank you both so much. to the millions of people congress has left in limbo, failing to extend federal eviction protections right now. as it stands right now, the federal moratorium ends at midnight. we should note that as millions face eviction as early as sunday, members of congress are on august recess. not all of them, hour. some decided to keep the fight going, sleeping on the steps of the capitol overnight in protest. and now calling on the white house to take action with a clock ticking. two of them join me now.
democratic congresswoman of massachusetts. thank you both so much for your time. congresswoman bush, i want to start with you. it doesn't appear that there has been much movement to extend the federal eviction ban, despite your best efforts. your reaction to the inaction today? >> you know, i don't know what's happening in the background. i don't know what those conversations are that may be happening at the white house and the administration or even in leadership in congress. but i will say this. we have five hours to get this done. so we're holding out hope. we're still out here because we are holding out hope. the people are here, backing us up. the people are here. the community is here. advocates are here. saying -- calling on the people, the people that are supposed to represent us humongous to do something and do it now. so we're holding out hope. we've got five hours. >> congresswoman pressley, what is it that you want to see and hear from this white house?
>> well, i think the point is that american families, they have no more options, but government and those in power still have many. and we need to act and urgently so. we have several options on the table here. the senate, which is still here, they can extend this eviction moratorium, you know, they can do that. the house can come back into session and pass chairman waters an emergency bill to extend the eviction moratorium. and i sent a letter and many of my colleagues join me on that. the white house and the cdc can act unilaterally to extend the eviction moratorium. i want to point out that we have been organizing and mobilizing since january on this issue. this has been escalating activism. we have introduced bills. we have lobbied leadership. we have lobbied the white house, and in fact, we were successful in lobbying to get the initial
extension of the eviction moratorium. so we're remaining vigilant, until we have exhausted every tool at our disposal. because eviction is a policy choice. eviction is violent on its own. but to evict 7 to 11 million people in the midst of a pandemic, with surges in the delta variant is a death sentence, period. and we have to do everything to prevent a national tent city and an eviction tsunami. and that's why we're here. >> congresswoman busch, this is obviously very personal for you. do you think other members get it, the way that you do. they may not. and that's okay. for those of us that speak up. we don't have to talk about our issues. but for those of us that are okay, being vulnerable in that way, we're going to speak up and
we're going to make sure you know, just like as people are being evicted, you know, as people have been evicted during -- even while this -- while they weren't supposed to being evicted. while this moratorium has been going on and people still have been being evicted, what happens when you get evicted, you incur all of these extra fees. all of these late fees, all of these court costs on top of what you already owed. and so this does not fix the problem. this does not help people. when we talk about upwards of seven, maybe even 11 million people, we're talking -- how much money is that? what are we doing to people that we're supposed to represent? for me, yes, it's very personal. when i look at my district, at st. louis, we're talking about putting my st. louis folks out on the street. and i'm not just going to sit back and be quiet about it. and it also affects the country. it affects my sister's district
and the people that are out here. we speak up. but we've been there, i know what it's like to be cold and i know where to use the bathroom and i'll be able to take care of what i need. where do i store them? how do i stay safe? how do i keep my kids safe? i know what that's like. i don't want anybody else to have to go through it. and i ran for this this seat to make sure that nobody has to go through it as long as i'm here. that's why my sister is here. that's why our colleagues have been out here with us. because we're making sure that -- and then, we've got the backup again of the people to get it done. >> it is very striking to me, representative pressley, that you take that very real lived experience and you put it side by side with the language we hear out of congress, right? members saying, well, why take a vote on it. we know it's going to be doa in the senate. it doesn't make sense. what do you say to your colleagues who are on that promise did not want to grapple
with this? >> well, so, then, why do anything? we know that the filibuster, which we need to abolish, and we know that moderate democrats, like sinema and manchin, have been obstructionist to justice, to progress. they clearly have contempt for the american people, not compassion. but there is not a deficit of resource. there is a deficit of empathy. and that's why we're here. not to spotlight us, but to center the 7-11 million families. look, sleeping here last night was uncomfortable. but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the real, palpable fear that families are living in right now, because they don't know what the future holds for them. this is not charity. this isn't benevolence. this is about being responsive to the needs of a people in the midst of a pandemic-induced recession, which has destabilized families and caused unprecedented hardship. so if we really want to be able
rescuing the american people, that means leaving no one behind. and that certainly includes our most vulnerable, who, by the way, the most vulnerable, the most marginalized, black, brown, aapi, indigenous, disabled, lbgtq, young people who came together. the most marginalized, mobilized in a multi-generational, multiracial movement to make this possible. so we have a responsibility to be responsible to the needs of all the people, the people of that movement. so we have tools at our disposal. and i want to add that senator warren was here today. the chairman of the rules committee, jim mcgovern. massachusetts has been here. we're holding it down. we have a lot of people from massachusetts here. but the fact that the chair of the rules committee, jim mcgovern, was here today, says that folks, they are ready. they are ready. this house can reconvene and we can pass that bill and prevent this national tent city and
eviction tsunami. the senate can do that. the white house and the cdc can do that. >> congresswoman busch, where do you take this fight from here? >> right now, we're out here. we're going to continue to mobilize and call. we've been asking people, call your representatives. if you don't know how, go into a search engine. type in, who is my u.s. representative? and reach out to those people. call them and let them know that you care. let them know that you want them to vote. we want them to turn out. we want them to show up here if they can get here. and we want them to say that they're a "yes" vote. let them get to that 218, so the rules committee can come go ahead and come together and get this done. but also, we know that we are here because there's still time for president biden and the cdc to go ahead and get this done tonight. so we're going to stay here. everybody here is committed to staying here. we're staying here. and we're going to make sure that this is done. and you know what? if it's not done, it won't be because we didn't do the work to galvanize.
it won't be because regular focus didn't show up. we've got regular folks out here. the ones that are directly impacted are out here, showing up to say, please don't put my loved one out. please don't put me out. please! >> that's right. and listen, people need time. the states, we have sent they need the time to get these funds out. so with the white house and the cdc, again, we sent a letter to them today, asking them to act unilaterally. and people have said, well, the courts have already, you know, challenged whether or not they have the authority. look, let's take that battle on. because even that is going to buy pour families time. and that's what they need in this moment. so again, we have tools available and we must exhaust every single one. there's a family right now that has no idea what the future holds for them. we have to do everything. and so that's why we're here. and we just thank everyone --
look, everyone has a role to play in the movement. so some people have been here, some people have sent food. some people have come by in other ways to support care and feeding. and have been doing what has happened throughout this pandemic in the midst of unprecedented unprecedented organizing, mobilizing, unprecedented collective care, unprecedented mutual aid. and that's what we're holding on to in this moment. >> congressman busch and pressley, thank you so much for joining us on camera today. next, damning new details about the pressure trump put on his doj in the waning days of his presidency. revealing just how far he was able to go to overturn your vote in 2020. but first, to richard lui with a look at the other big stories we're tracking this hour on msnbc. richard? >> thanks, alicia. it's now a third weekend of protests in france against covid protection measures there. an anti-virus pass will be required as of august 9th to
enter restaurants and other places. getting a pass requires vaccination, negative covid-19 test, or having recovered from covid. a first in israel. a booster shot for the pfizer vaccine now available. to get this third shot, patients must be over 60 and finished their second shot at least five months earlier. pfizer's ceo says data from israel, after six months, immunity from the first two shots does slightly wane. the fda and cdc says that data is incomplete. more "american voices" right after this short break. ican voit after this short break how much money can liberty mutual save you? one! two! three! four! five! 72,807! 72,808... dollars. yep... everything hurts. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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a number of republican congressmen, including jim jordan, now admit they had contact with trump, either on the day of the insurrection or in the days leading up to it. which is why the house committee investigating the riot faces the unprecedented decision of whether to compel their testimony. here's what virginia congressman gerry connolly had to say about it on this network, just
yesterday. >> i frankly think this is a criminal conspiracy. i believe that the contemporaneous notes that were released today by deputy attorney general at the time, donohue, clearly reveal out of donald trump's own mouth, and the illegal attempt to subvert the election results of a free and fair election. >> joini congressman, ruben gallegos. he is a marine corps veteran and a member of the armed services committee. congressman gallego, i want you to take a listen to some of what we've heard so far from the election commissions. and i'll ask you about it on the other side. >> while we were subjected, it was like something from a medieval bible. >> i was dragged from the line of officers into the crowd. i heard someone scream, "i got one." >> i was effectively defenseless and increasingly sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the crowd. >> and the crowd, around 20
people, joined in screaming, boo, [ bleep ]. no one had ever, ever called me a [ bleep ] while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. >> congressman, we knew it was going to be emotional. we knew it was going to be powerful. i am not sure a lot of people were ready for what they actually heard your overall reaction to what we have witnessed so far from these hearings. >> look, i think none of us should be surprised. this is exactly what many of us have been saying. the reason there's any controversy is because of you have a party right now that's trying to memory hole that there was an insurrection. but at the end of the day, that's why we have to bring some of these members to testify. put them under oath. if you talk like a traitor, walk like a traitor, you probably are a traitor. and they involved themselves somehow in this insurrection. now we know the president was trying to do even more than just talking. he was actually putting pressure on the department of justice, saying, just to declare this election corrupt and i'll take care of the rest.
he sounded like a mobster, basically putting together a criminal enterprise. so we need to get to the bottom of this. and we need to start putting some subpoenas together from people, including the president. >> if there are subpoenas, not just of the president, but of members of congress, what are some of the primary questions that you want to be addressed? >> well, i would like a couple of things, like, were you in connection or in cahoots with some extremist organizations, proud boys, oathkeepers. did you take money from the president. to what degree did the president know what was happening? who else was involved in the planning? basically, what you would do if you were investigating any other type of crime. the who, what, where, and when, and to get to the bottom of it so we can prosecute those who need prosecuted and stop this from ever happening again. >> i want to talk about the 2020 election audit that is wrapping up in your home state. because, it is, of course, tied to all of this. earlier this week, senate
liaison ken bennett quit, and then came back. does this make you feel anymore confident in the outcome of this supposed audit? >> no, not at all. as a matter of fact, with, the audit has already done its purposes to throw dust in the air. a few weeks back, they had a so-called press conference, but didn't let anybody -- didn't ask any questions, where they said there was this mysterious 74,000 ballots that appeared. it was quickly withdrawn, but the lie spreads fast. and that was their goal to have that lie out there when former president trump came to town, he could use that lie. there is no confidence. look, the cyber ninjas, the so-called company that's actually conducting this audit have never done an audit of this nature. it's a one-person operation, that has a post office box in the middle of nowhere. and this guy, before he even got this contract was already quoted in documentaries saying that there was fraud. so, this whole thing is one big
sham to do two things. number one, to feed the ego of president trump. and number two, to just raise more money. donald trump has raised more than $75 million. and we just saw -- they just exposed who actually donated and donald trump has given zero dollars so far. it's just another grift that he's doing to get more money. >> speaking of donald trump and money. we learned yesterday that the justice department ruled that the irs must turn over trump's taxes to congress. we talk so much about accountability. your reaction to this ruling. how big of a victory is it for those seeking to hold the further president accountable? >> well, i think it's actually a big victory for u.s. citizens period, because you don't want the next president, you know, after biden, to not release their taxes, because we need to know who is paying these presidents and if they have any undo influence. we know donald trump has a lot of foreign money that's going into a lot of his operations. you know, a lot of them, most
banks will not lend to the donald trump association, because it's a sham of a company. so we shouldn't know by now, or we should be able to know soon whether it was russian oligarch money going in, or whether there was middle east money going in. and potentially influencing the outcome of some of the decisions that he tried to make. >> congressman ruben gallego, thank you, as always. next, that comment, "leave the rest to me," a chilling message from trump according to his deputy ag. the new details we are learning about the former president's push to overturn the election. plus, new today, simone biles withdraws from two more olympic events. how athletes cope with the pressure at the top and why more and more are pushing back. re and more are pushing back. [sfx: radio being tuned] welcome to allstate. ♪ [band plays] ♪ a place where everyone lives life well-protected. ♪♪ and even when things go a bit wrong, we've got your back.
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as if the final days of the trump presidency couldn't look go to to stay in office, for you pressuring the doj during a december 2020 phone call to declare the election, quote, corrupt. records shared by the house oversight committee described donald trump, pressuring the acting attorney general to call the election illegal, and quote, this is the important part, leave the rest to me. thanks to a new ruling from the justice department, congress will have the chance to question the former trump officials who were on that call. lawmakers will also be allowed to view trump's tax returns, which the doj announced
yesterday. joining me now, msnbc contributor, co-host of the hashtag sisters-in-law podcast and former watergate prosecutor, jill wine-banks. jill, in a statement today, trump repeated his lies about massive voter fraud, but didn't deny the contents of that call. what charges could he face for what he allegedly asked of act ag rosen? >> that is a clear interference in the election. he was trying to overturn the election results when he was told that there was no fraud, that there was nothing there, he said, just say that it's corrupt and leave the rest to me and my republican congress friends. it sounds like what he said to president zelensky about ukraine. just say you're investigating. he doesn't care about the truth. he just wants the perception so he can carry it forward to his followers, his voters. and that's really a dangerous,
dangerous situation. >> jill, do you think ultimately, he's forced to testify to congress? >> he, obviously, has the legal obligation. they have the right to subpoena him and he has no protection. the department of justice has said that it will not defend mo brooks in the january 6th insurrection activities. and they went out of their way in issuing the opinion that was pending, which was about mo brooks, who had asked to be defended. and he said, it's not within the job of any federal employee to create an insurrection. and so that means that donald trump too will not be protected and the decision about allowing all the former department of justice officials to testify and not to be fired from doing so because of any executive privilege claims means that he,
too, would not have any executive privilege claims allowed. so, yes, he has no way out of it. he could be arrested. there is an occasion on which the sergeant at arms had to arrest someone who had been subpoenaed and jail him -- there is apparently a jail in the basement of the congress. and that's where that person was kept until he testified or until they agreed to let him go. >> jill, we also learned this week this congress is going to be able to get their hands on trump's taxes. what is it they're going to be looking for and what can they potentially learn? >> they can learn a lot in terms of what the department did under his administration to actually audit the president. i personally want to know, what is taking so long with the audit? it was pending from the day he announced his campaign. and no audit takes that long. it needs to be resolved. so, i think they will be looking
at how the irs audits presidents. that's one of the jobs that they do and then we may learn through some kind of criminal indictment, because they probably will not release the tax returns. they have a right to have them. the courts and the department of justice now have said there's no question that the internal revenue code allows the requests to be granted. and not just allows it, it says, it shall be turned over when congress requests it. when the proper committee requests it. so i think we can learn a lot about his business, his charitable donations, which are probably nonexistent, about how much he owes, who he owes it to, is he indebted to some foreign country that may explain some of his behavior in his presidency? there's a lot that can be learned from these documents and congress has to do its oversight
duties to investigate it. >> jill, i have about 15 seconds before i have to go, but you know i have to ask you about your pins. >> this is a special one. today i'm saying, what superwomen simone biles is and her team who went on without her to win silver. so it's for the superwomen, but it's actually a telephone booth, and i'm going to close it now so people can see, it's a telephone booth, and with the door closed, the woman is wearing a trench coat. and it was sent to me because of secretary pruitt's $43,000 phone booth. if you remember, he was the secretary under president trump had a telephone booth installed so he didn't have to walk down the hall for secure communications. and i didn't realize what it was until i went to take it off after wearing it for that purpose, and as i took it off, the door opened and there was
superwoman. so seeing simone biles being strong enough to speak out. >> i love all of your pins, but this may be my nut favorite. the pressure cooker at the top of the olympic competition. some athletes are finally pushing back. i'm going to talk to someone who knows what that is like. former olympic medalist and world champion gymnast, bridget sloan. and later, in the halls of congress, why aren't there more statues of women? there is a group of women senators working to change that. senators working to change that. g liberty mutual's coverage customizer tool? sorry? well, since you asked. it finds discounts and policy recommendations, so you only pay for what you need. limu, you're an animal! who's got the bird legs now? only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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olympic gymnast simone biles is the most decorated gymnast on earth, period. and she made a lot of news this week when she withdrew from the finals for vault and uneven bars. here's what she said just days before making that decision. >> i say put mental health first, because if you don't, then you're not going to enjoy
your sport and you're not going to succeed as much as you want to. so it's okay sometimes to even sit out the big competitions, to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are. >> amen to that. usa gymnastics applauded biles' decision in a statement, we remain in awe of simone. she is the most decorated athlete of all time. what happened in tokyo doesn't change that. neither do men who belittle her. >> my response to them is they can kiss my overworked black woman ass. >> joining me now, camitha davidson, author of "loving sports, when they don't love you back: dilemmas of the modern fan." dr. ramira rose davis with penn state. and co-host of the burn it all down podcast and olympic
gymnast, bridget sloan. a silver medalist at the 2008 games and 2009 world champion. it is great to see you all and we have a lot to get to. bridgette, i want to start with the sport itself. what kind of mental strength do gymnasts need for these events. and how dangerous are the twisties that simone biles has been experiencing? >> yeah. i mean, gymnasts kind of, in my opinion, obviously, i've been there, but in the grand scheme of things, gymnastics is not just a physical sport. i personally think it is mainly physical, but it's also -- you throw in the mental side of it, and it's almost mainly mental. it's really hard to identify it as either physical or mental and what a common term of the twisties, they're extremely dangerous. i had them for a very short, period of time. they come out of nowhere. it's basically thinking -- and i was trying to figure out the best way to explain it and put it in terms. your body wants to do -- like,
your body wants to do one thing, and your mind truly will not -- it doesn't follow. you have to have your body and mind insync. and when it gets out of sync, it's so dangerous. these athletes are doing skills, they're throwing their bodies in the air so high, flipping and twisting, and when your air awareness goes out the window, it is so dangerous. >> you layer on top all of that, already the sort of tremendous things that are at stake here. you layer on top of that being a black woman in america. being a black woman in a public space. what a lot of these athletes have gone through in the past year with gymnastics, writ large, it is, i think, an unimaginable amount of pressure that has been placed on her. >> yeah, absolutely. i think that one of the things that we know is that black women athletes, even going into the
games, were expressing how much they felt burdened by society, by the expectations, by whether they're protesting the last year of racial reckoning. and of course, being the face of the games, i talked to many black women on team usa prior the competition, even. and that was looming large on them. and i think that that's one of the things that makes this decision so impactful, is that she's choosing her and creating boundaries, and choosing her team and putting that first in a moment when many black women are used to being workforces and pushing through it. and all of those things intertwined together to create that weight and those stressors that we're starting to see many black women athletes starting to talk about and articulate more. >> and i want to talk with you in a little bit about the weight also applies to women, black women, when it is not in the world of competitive gymnastics. but first, kavitha,
conservatives have attacked simone biles as weak for withdrawing. president trump convinced a crude to boo the usa soccer team. how did they become a target of the gop culture wars? >> i think it's easy to drum up fake outrage, especially when you're talking about something like toughness or weakness, which to a lot of conservatives and a lot of americans only exist she's not only the most decorated gymnast of all time, as you said. she is the most decorated gymnast of all time, having only ever competed in one olympics. so that kind of speaks to her level of dominance and what we are used to seeing from her. and she's also overcome broken toes, kidney stones, and, obviously, you know, this horrible sexual-assault scandal with -- with larry nassar. to be the only gymnast, who is still competing, as -- as the face of those survivors. so, the idea that simone biles is anything by tough -- but tough -- being criticized by, frankly, a bunch of men, who could never perform the skills that she is -- that she has been performing is -- is fairly laughable.
>> yeah, i wonder, bridget, how you think it's going to fundamentally change the sport. will if? will it? >> i think it will. i mean, this is a huge step because a lot of times, gymnasts -- you know, they're perfectionists. and they -- they're not just there, by chance. they worked so hard to get to these points. and to these competitions. and talking on your mental health. it's something that really isn't talked about enough, in my opinion. it's something that really needs to be put as a priority. and these athletes. the amount of pressure that they put on themselves is a lot. but the amount of pressure that they have from everyone around them. i mean, personally, in my head, i'm like, that -- that pressure. i don't know how you can keep up with it. i mean, your mental health is just such a priority. and i think this is a really big step and a positive step that not only did she stand up for herself. but she stood up for her mental health and her coaches and everyone listened. i mean, that's the biggest thing
is that she put herself and her safety, first. and that's huge. >> you know, i'm -- amir, to that point, what i just kept coming back to as i was watching this unfold over the course of the week is that this is happening in the world of sports. but there is a corollary to almost any-professional environment that, when black women speak about a workplace problem, they often run the risk of being dubbed the problem, themselves. so, how do we take the lessons from what we have watched happen here, and extrapolate them out to our non-olympian lives? for everyone, who is cheering on simone biles, how do they take that same sense of ally-ship and apply it to their own, lived experience? >> yes, i love that question, so much. i talked to 400-meter hurdler anna right before the games and she said one of the things she wants people to know is like when she moves through the world, people don't say, oh, you're olympian. they see her as a black woman, which is why it's so important to understand that this pedestal
that they know they're on and that light that's shining there is something magnified across multiple industries. and -- and it's experienced that so many black women are resonating with, which is what you are hearing, right, on the talk show you just showed a clip of. that feeling of conditional acceptance if you are laboring and entertaining and pleasing and carrying the load. but that, it goes because there's intense scrutiny on you. and i think that -- that -- that empathy that we're seeing now for simone. don't be empathizing simone, and then taxing the black woman in your office, for instance. those, you know, black women may not be as decorated as simone is in gymnastics but the lessons in that articulation are still there. and athletes, themselves, are saying we're black women and athletes but this is a experience that we feel is fairly universal. >> i could talk to you guys all night. thank you, all, so much. next, honoring two american icons. the push to cement the legacies
of the first women to ever serve on the supreme court. and at the top of the hour, it is "the week" with joshua johnson. he will talk to congresswoman marie newman, the new vice chair of the progressive caucus, about where a bipartisan infrastructure bill stands and where the progressive agenda goes, next. that is 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on "american voices." on "american voices. there's an america we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both. introducing the wildly civilized all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l icy hot. ice works fast. heat makes it last.
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capitol, 250 are of men. and women? just 14. a bipartisan group of senators, led by women, have introduced legislation to change that. announcing, thursday, a plan to honor supreme court justices ruth bader ginsburg and sandra day o'connor with their own statues inside the capitol or in capitol grounds. republican senators lisa murkowski and susan collins and democratic senators amy klobuchar and kyrsten sinema are spearheading that legislation. it has 17 co-sponsors, including several male senators. justice o'connor, a conservative. and justice ginsburg, a liberal. were the first and second female justices, respectively, in a statement klobuchar put the effort into focus. saying, quote, the capitol is our most recognizable symbol of democracy. a place where people from across our country have their voices represented and heard. it is only fitting that we honor the remarkable lives and service to our country, by establishing statues in the capitol.
alaska senator, lisa murkowski, adds their leadership has made a difference for women and families, for generations to come. and how right she is, justice ginsburg argued a series of historic cases before the supreme court before she ever even served as a justice. establishing the equal-citizenship rights of men and women. and before rbg, there was justice sandra day o'connor, the first woman ever seated. an appointment that showed women, too, could reach the pinnacle of america's legal system. normalizing what we would see, in the 1990s, when president clinton nominated a feminist icon to join o'connor on the bench. legislation to memorialize these american giants is not just in the senate. members of the democratic women's caucus and the bipartisan women's caucus, also, introduced a version of the bill, thursday, in the house. saying, america owes the two legal icons a huge debt of gratitude. and that the statues would serve as a, quote, reminder that a woman's place is everywhere.
that is it for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." but for now, i hand it over to my colleague, joshua johnson. hello, joshua. >> hello, alicia. thank you very much. and hello to you. it is good to be with you tonight. right now, the senate awaits the final text of the bipartisan infrastructure bill after a rare-saturday session. if it passes the senate, will progressives in the house support it? we'll speak to the vice chair of the house progressive caucus. plus, the delta variant is sparking new concerns. today, florida reported its highest-daily caseload, since the pandemic started. the president's former-senior adviser for covid response, andy slavitt, joins us live. also, a report suggests that republicans could retake the house, just by re-districting four southern states. it is mathematically possible but is it politically probable? and how might a pared down voting rights bill affect that? from nbc news world headquarters in new york, i'm