tv The Week With Joshua Johnson MSNBC August 7, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
that's it for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices." but for now, i'll hand it over to joshua johnson. >> thank you, alicia. tonight, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill is one step closer to becoming law. one senator stands in the way of a final vote. so how soon can we expect one? elections in the atlanta area could be under new leadership, through a process that georgia republicans have started. last night, i spoke with one of georgia's top election officials. tonight, fulton committee chairman rob pitts gives his response. also, florida breaks another record for daily covid cases. nearly 24,000 cases just yesterday. the start of the school year is right around the corner. how concerned should parents be?
and the future of travel president biden is pushing for 50% of new vehicles to be electric. how might that change the way that you think about cars? from nbc news world headquarters in new york, i'm joshua johnson. welcome to "the week." . it's been infrastructure week all year long, but after months of negotiations, this week could soon be coming to a close. today, the senate voted 67-27 to invoke cloture. cloture blocks any further debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 18 republicans joined democrats in voting to advance this bill. the exact timeline of when and how it gets wrapped up is still in the air. now the clock is ticking on 30 hours of debate, over which amendments to include. any amendments would require the support of all 100 senators before consideration. at the same time, there's also a big push to move forward on a
faster path. if the senate can agree on amendments and on shortening that 30-hour debate period, this process would speed up dramatically. tennessee republican senator bill hargetty is blocking that path. now, this week, the nonpartisan congressional budget office found that the bill would increase deficits by more than $250 billion over the next decade. senator hargetty is citing that report as his reason to hold up approval and he reiterated that position today. >> there's absolutely no reason for rushing this process. and attempting to limit scrutiny of this bill, other than the democrats' completely artificial, self-imposed and politically driven timeline. >> for democrats, the goal is to get the bipartisan infrastructure bill finished, so they can finally focus on president biden's spending plan. remember, the bipartisan bill is
focused on so-called physical infrastructure. roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, that kind of thing. the other plan focuses on so-called human infrastructure. democrats' plan to pass that one along party lines, through the budget reconciliation process. now, regardless of senator haggerty's holdout, it's looking like this process will wrap up in the days to come. here's how senator majority leader chuck schumer described it today. >> essentially, he was saying, we can get this done the easy way or the hard way, and it's up to the republicans which way they will choose. now, the debate in the senate is focused on the amendments, the cbo scores, how this is going to be paid for. senator schumer's comment about easy versus hard got us thinking. paying for infrastructure by raising taxes on the wealthy might not have been easy politically. but conceptually, it may have been much simpler. identify what infrastructure projects you want to fund and
pay for it with taxes on people making more than $400,000 a year. simple. but not easy. because democrats probably did not have the votes to overcome republican opposition. so to make this a bipartisan bill, they chose an easier path without tax hikes. easier, but not at al simpler. at dawn, despite the outcome, basically already being decided. republican senator john kennedy of louisiana says he expects to be in washington until wednesday. he told nbc capitol hill producer julie sirken, quote, the senate is like a dumpster fire with animals. in the words of aunty maine, how vivid. let's begin tonight with nbc political correspondent, ali vitali. is that dumpster fire any closer to being put out? what is the status of the bill tonight? >> i think you captured it so well, because just before we
were leaving the capital, senator john cornyn offered his own twist on the state of play there. he described it simply as impasse. that's your headline. and nothing below it. and that's frankly sort of where we've been all day. as the hours have passed since that initial procedural vote, many of the senators that i caught up with on the hill or who we've heard the from on cable news have all sort of had the same tension brewing. as they got closer to the end of the day, though, it's clear that those tensions were starting to simmer over, especially because everyone is in agreement at this point. republican or democrat, that eventually you're going to get to a place where you've got to vote on this bill. it's just a question of whether you do it sooner or later. so for example, senator tina smith was on msnbc earlier. this is how she laid it out. >> i just don't think we're going to see any significant changes or any amendments that blow everything out of the water over the next many hours. and, you know, this is the way the senate rules work. i think it's actually a pretty good example of why the senate rules need to be reformed. that just a handful of senators
can slow down progress for the american people. that's what's happening, but we're going to get through it and get this done. >> and when she says "a handful of senators" there, joshua, it's the senate. all it takes is one. and we're seeing that once again here. in this case, it's senator bill haggerty, who says this should go through regular order. that just means it's going to take longer. what senators right now are right to do is hammer out a way to truncate this process a little bit, pick the amendments that they would like to move forward on, things like moving covid funds that haven't been spent a little bit more flexible. there are a few amendments there on crypto regulations. so there are other pet projects tucked away within this that senators would like to get an amendment vote on and what some of the senators pointed out as they were leaving the hill today, after frankly a defeated day that didn't end the way that they wanted it to, was that by holding up this process for
whatever reason, they're stopping other senators, republican and democrat, from having their amendments heard on this process. this is not a timeline that democrats created. frankly, the only clock that these guys are up against is the idea that their supposed to be going on recess in a few days. the only thing they're grapping with here is how soon that happens? >> with regard to the amendment, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell spoke about that process earlier today. here's part of what he said. >> there are many outstanding amendments that are important, that would improve this legislation. and that deserve votes before the senate is asked to vote on final passage of this bill. the full senate deserves its full chance to shape this important legislation. >> ali, what is the tone tonight from republican senators, including senator hagerty? are there are other republicans that are agreeing with him or is everyone ready to move this along on the gop side? >> there frankly may be one other republican senator, that
much isn't clear. hagerty for his part isn't changing his mind, but also says he's not holding up this problem. i'm not sure how he can say that, because he is the one hold ing up this process. and republicans also say that he is. there are republicans like john cornyn who have amendments they would like to be able to put at play in this process, and because of the way this is working out, their amendments are not getting moved on. so when i asked cornyn specifically about his amendment, asked him why it wasn't getting moved on, he said, stubborn senators. most senators here, republican or democrat, want to get on this bill. they want to move forward with this. and from democrats' perspective, i would also point out, this is just part one. you laid this out in your introduction. yes, they're moving on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but immediately after that comes budget reconciliation. that's the more partisan process here, but also the thing that the white house and democrats have been really eager to trumpet, and that progressive groups have been really on them
to keep alive in the senate. >> and in our last few seconds, ali, how did this bill not come in as paid for, at least in terms of the cbo score? i thought that was the whole idea behind saying, no, no, no, we don't have to raise taxes on the rich. we can do this another way. clearly, they couldn't. >> yeah, that was definitely one of the key issues. and it's part of why this group of 20 initially took so long, hammering out these bills. it was finding out the different pay-fors. and so, look, there are republican senators who say, hagerty has a point when he points to what the cbo score actually laid out. at the same time, though, the cbo is not some partisan organization, and democrats and republicans have come together on this. this is a bipartisan bill. you're seeing it in the votes to just move it along. however quickly or slowly they end up doing it. but at the same time, this is a larger point that i've heard multiple lawmakers make, frankly. which is that, yes, this is about infrastructure, which has long been viewed as a bipartisan ideal. at the same time, it's about
showing that bipartisanship can actually still exist in washington. >> thank you, ali. that's nbc political correspondent ali vitali starting us off tonight. let's continue now with congressman adrian espalat. congressman espalat, welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> what's your read on where this bipartisan bill stands right now. particularly the plans to move on the spending plan after that. >> i think it's a good step forward. it shows that the president is creating popular bills. it's good for red states, blue states. these states are in dire need of
waiting for it and we get into the reconciliation process for the humor in this district. no question. i have the second avenue subway, quhis going right through a transportation desert in east harlem, but it will be an economic stimulus to that neighborhood. it will create jobs and working on the creation of a training center, a city college that will provide jobs. in essence, joshua, this will promote. for many years and decades, our communities have seen these infrastructure jobs and project s and across america,
neighborhoods that are really hurting. what about the timing for these bills? we just learned that there are a number of democrats circulating a draft later to bring up the bipartisan bill immediately after it passes the senate. that's something we can report that's new tonight. what do you think is the right way to go about this, process wise? >> the right way to go about it is exactly house speaker pelosi is proposing. the human infrastructure part of this initiative is so important. you have training, job training, day care services, you have immigration reform, that is so critical, for many communities. we must do that first. and now that we have a bipartisan agreement on transportation infrastructure, i think it's easier to put it in
that way. i know that there will be some members of congress that will choose to maybe want to do it differently, but i think this is a general consensus that we should do the human infrastructure part first. and then take care of this bipartisan bill. >> what about the political aspect of this? there's been recent polling from monmouth that shows that president biden's economic plans are politically, broadly speaking, rather popular. but this week, politico reported that there's some new polling from the democratic congressional campaign committee, what we call the dccc, that showed democrats trailing republicans by six points on generic ballots in battleground districts. here is what speaker pelosi had to say about that report. >> i always run from behind. you always have to -- so i have no things to say about my
colleague except it's a great member of the dccc. i'm confidence we will win the house. in terms of the specific, where he was zeroing in on it, always run scared. that's it. >> now, having lived in nancy pelosi's district for six years and seen her run for re-election, i'm not sure what she means by saying she always runs from behind. no, she doesn't. but i do understand what she's saying in terms of not taking anything for granted, in terms of 2022. what do you see this in terms of how these infrastructure measures factor into the midterms, possibly? >> well, we've done a lot for the american people. we help businesses with ppp programs. we help businesses with idle grants. we hep families with the child tax credit. we help them with the stimulus check and then the unemployment benefits. we've helped with the pandemic, providing billions of dollars for hospitals. we've done so much for the american people. and now, in addition to that, we're going to put transportation infrastructure on the table, that will create millions of jobs, in addition to
that, on top of that, a human infrastructure bill that will help families in such concrete ways. i think the american people will get that. and yes, i like to run from behind. you know, i would rather be the short guy with a chip on my shoulder in the room and maybe be underestimated by folks, but making sure that we show up when it really counts. i think we'll be there. we'll show up when it really counts and we'll keep the majority. >> before i have to let you go, i have to ask you about the latest with governor cuomo. there are now a number of investigations after new york's attorney general, letitia james released her very comprehensive report detailing the allegations from 11 women. you have called on the governor to resign or face impeachment proceedings. based on everything that's happened this week, how do you see this playing out now? i presume you still would prefer to see the governor step down, but what do you think actually will happen? >> it's in the hands of the new york state assembly. i served there for 14 years,
joshua. i know it's in capable hands with speaker hastings. and he will gather all the evidence to ensure that this is a process that goes forward, that is transparent and just. but listen, i think he should step down. i've said it in the past. and i say it now. spare new york the hurt. that's the right thing to do. >> new york congressman adriano espiat. thank you for making time for us tonight. georgia republicans have ordered a formal review of election officials. rob pitts joins us now next. plus, what does the delta variant mean for the school year? a new report shows cases are up more than 80% among children in just the past week. we'll get into that as "the week" continues on msnbc. hat as week" continues on msnbc not just unpredictable relapses. all these other things too. it can all add up. kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection... that may help you put these rms challenges in their place.
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by order of governor greg abbott. the governor's agenda has 17 items. among them, the same republican-backed voting bill that caused democrats from the texas house to leave last month for washington. meanwhile, georgia's controversial election law is being put into practice. republicans in the state assembly are demanding a performance review of election officials in fulton county. it is a major democratic stronghold. one of the two counties that directly encompasses the city of atlanta. this process could let the republican-led state legislature suspend and replace fulton county's election board. the county has georgia's largest concentration of democratic voters. voting rights activists are crying foul, warning that the move is an act of election subversion. and that the chairman of fulton county's board of commissioner, rob pitts, called ate hostile takeover. he joins us now to discuss it. chairman pitts, welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me, joshua. >> i would like to begin by giving you a chance to respond
directly to something that gabriel sterling told me last night on our program on peacock. he's the chief operating officer for georgia's secretary of state, brad raffensperger. mr. raffensperger oversees elections across georgia. i asked him about fulton county in our conversation. here's part of what mr. sterling said. >> look at june and the primary election, there were thousands of georgians, thousands of democrats, probably hundreds or thousands of republicans that were disen franchised by the incompetence of the office, unfortunately, in a very stressful time of covid. i'm not going to discount that, but every other large county managed to get their work done. fulton department and they have a history of it. >> chairman, what's your response to that? >> well, let me put this in perspective. mr. sterling, first of all, is a former opponent of mine who lost. so keep that in mind. it's no secret that georgia and
more specifically fulton county is under attack and we're not going to stand for it. the 2020 elections are over. the votes are counted three times, one time by hand. the results were substantially the same in each of the three recount. that election has been certified. in fact, the secretary of state and mr. sterling praised fulton county for a job well done for the 2020 elections. so what's happened from that time to where we are now other than senate bill 202. i can tell you what's going on. plain old hardball politics. the secretary of state fell out favor with then president trump, who asked for him to be removed. he's up for re-election. he's going to lose, so he's doing everything that he can now to curry favor with former president trump and his believers of the big lie.
this is just an ongoing effort on his part to curry fair and hold on to that seat, which i see no possible way for him to win. so they pick on fulton county georgia. why fulton county? because we are the largest of the 159 counties in georgia. we're the most democratic county. in. and therefore four other county s surrounding us. these five counties, we represent almost 40% of the population of the state of georgia, primarily democrats and we're going to come out and vote like we never have before. this is not about the 2020 election. this is about the big lie and trying to position themselves for 2022 and 2024. let me ask you about the 2020 election. "the atlanta journal-constitution" reported on an internal audit of fulton county's election department that found ten administerich and
fiscal management issues related to the 2020 election cycle. i hear you in terms of there being heavy, heavy politics all around this. how could there not be? but are there legitimate concerns about fulton county's elections department that may actually bear improvement? maybe not this way, but is there room for fulton county to improve how they run elections? >> i have been in politics for a long time, and there has never been a perfect election. can there be and have there been human error? absolutely. and that could have happened in 2020. but the secretary of state's own auditor concluded there was no malfeasance on our part. what is this all about, then? it has to be about moving forward to 2022 and 2024. no intentional wrong doing was found, so you have to conclude, again, that it is about keeping the big lie going. the big lie has -- this is a brilliant political strategy on
their part. >> i want to make sure i'm clear, chairman, because my time with you is real limited. i want to make sure i'm clear on what you're saying. you're not saying that the department is perfect. there may be room to improve, but nothing meriting the kind of a step that republicans in the georgia assembly are taking. am i hearing you correctly? absolutely, absolutely. you're absolutely correct. for example, i have not seen a report -- in fact, i am a little concerned about how the report is reitz to the public before i got a chance to see it. so i have my suspicions of why that happened and how that happened. but there's nothing in that report that would suggest that there was any wrongdoing in fulton county. for example, there was one allegation, i'm told, about lack of an updated standard operating procedures. well, the director is working to correct that. that's administrative. that's nothing major and nothing that would call for a performance review. this law was hastily crafted.
there are a lot of errors in the law. the democratic delegation is going to begin looking into it and holding hearings, as a matter of fact, in the next seven to ten days. so we're going to get to the bottom of everything that's going on in preparation for a knock don, drag out fight in 2022 and 2024. that's what this is all about. it's not personal, it's pure hardball politics. >> rob pitts, fulton county board of commission chairman, i appreciate you making time for us. thank you very much. a new report is raising the alarm about covid cases among children. cases are up 80% in the last week. how will that affect the start of the school year? that's just ahead. stay close. he school year that's just ahead. stay close ! are you using 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!
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84%. kids across the country are gearing up to return to their classrooms. with the delta variant on the rise, the cdc has advised everyone to wear masks at schools, in high-. transmission areas. but many are making this practice optional. so, how can parents protect their children? here to discuss it is dr. mark klein, physician in chief at children's hospital new orleans. dr. klein, welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> what are you seeing at your hospital? i understand that you've seen the number of very sick children admitted to children's hospital with covid go from 0 to 20 over the past few weeks. what's going on there? >> we've had an influx of patients over the past couple of weeks, joshua, just a month ago, our test positivity rate for children seen hour outpatient settings was just 1%. two weeks ago, it had risen to 7%. today, it's 15 to 20%. and that community transmission that's going on has translated
into a number of hospital admissions, including admissions to our intensive care unit. and this is something we didn't see throughout the entirety of 2020. clearly, the delta variant is a game changer and is making more children far more ill than the earlier versions of the virus. >> i want to make sure that we heard what you said, correctly. it sounds like you're saying that not only is this delta variant, which we didn't have to deal with last year, this delta variant is making more kids sick, but making more kids sicker than they presented to the hospital last year. am i hearing you right? >> that's certainly what i have observed and what many others have observed in hospitals across this part of the south. more children than ever before hospitalized and in the intensive care unit. we are seeing disease like we did not see over the course of 2020. and you might argue that it's simply because there are more children sick in the community and we're sort of seeing the tip of the iceberg here in the hospital, but for whatever
reason, more young people are falling ill with this delta variant of the virus. >> that's got to be hard to deal with. how are your doctors and the parents that you serve handling all of this? >> you know, joshua, we were already dealing with a major academic of another virus, rsv, a respiratory virus that we ordinarily see during the wintertime, so we've seen a huge surge in cases of rsv over the summer, completely unprecedented. and have covid on top of this, it's filled all of our icu beds. we literally have not had an empty bed in our intensive care unit for weeks. and a number of other hospitals have been on drive-by. children just don't have many options. there are not very many children's facilities in louisiana. so if we can't accommodate the children who need us, they're likely to end up in an adult community hospital that doesn't have any familiarity with treating children with serious or complex medical problems. so sst a fairly dire situation
in louisiana and other states in the region right at the moment. >> so you have more kids getting sick, kids getting circumstance, and you have finite space, like every hospital does, so you've gotten more kids who are ending up with respiratory doctors in adult care hospitals, non-pediatric settings. they've already got their own overwhelmed hospitals to deal with. the last few months must have been pretty rough on you and your doctors. how is the staff doing? how are you guys handling this? >> the staff are exhausted. and the nurses in particular who are at the bedside 24/7. they are the ones who probably have taken the brunt of this. the doctors are tired, too. all of the health professionals. and i think there's a sense that this didn't have to happen. if we had done a better job of getting vaccine out to people who were eligible for it, we wouldn't be in the position that we're in today. the adult vaccination rate in
louisiana is just 37%, among the lowest in the nation. and so we're dealing with a very low vaccination rate. a lot of susceptible adults and adolescents and that leaves young children very vulnerable. children under 12 are not eligible for vaccination just yet. and so, here we are. >> let me finish up with you in terms of your advice to children. -- advice to parents of small children. here's what the cdc director, dr. rochelle walensky said to parent who is wanted to protect their kids. watch. >> the best way to protect your children from delta who can't get vaccinated yet is to get vaccinated yourself. >> doctor, what else would you say to that? i presume that you agree with dr. walensky. >> i agree 100% with dr. walensky. and that's how we cocoon young children and keep them safe is to surround them with vaccinated adults and adolescents. beyond that, we use a layered
approach to safety, involving hand washing, physical distancing, and of course, the use of masks. i was very proud of our governor, john bell edwards, who announced on monday a statewide mask mandate, including in the schools for all children 5 years of age and up, as well as teachers and staff members. i think that's a model for what other states should be doing, frankly. masks do work and as an interim measure, until we get more people vaccinated, i think it's absolutely key. >> so mask mandate in louisiana for children 5 and up, teachers and staff members. i don't envy your task, but i appreciate that there are hospitals like yours where children can go. i'm sorry that you're so overwhelmed, but hopefully we can stem that tide quickly as more people start getting vaccinated. dr. mark kline, thank you very much. airplanes have lots of
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figure in the labor movement. richard trumka. he was the president of the afl-cio, a group of more than 50 labor unions with about 12 million total members. mr. trumka was a third generation coal miner. he put himself through college by working shifts at the mine. at age 33, trumka was elected the youngest president of the united mine workers. in 2009, he became president of the afl-cio. in his acceptance speech, he addressed the future of work in the wake of the financial crisis. >> we need a new kind of labor movement. one shaped to meet the needs of america's in a changing economy. we need a labor movement that's not afraid of new ideas and understands that nostalgia for the past is no strategy for the future. >> mr. trumka's words take on a new meaning today. this week, the actor equity's association, which is part of the afl-cio, said that broadway actors will need to be
vaccinated. and the american federation of teacher's president is traveling the country, trying to build trust that schools are safe. richard trumka is survived by his wife and son. he lived to be 72. up next, president biden has big plans for electric vehicles, but the auto industry's plans might be even bigger. will americans shift from pickup trucks to electric vehicles, including electric trucks? ing e?
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president biden says he wants more americans to pump the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. on thursday, he signed an executive order, setting a national goal. by 2030, half of all new cars sold in the u.s., at least, should be electric, plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen powered vehicles. afterwards, he ditched his jacket and hopped in behind the
wheels of a hybrid jeep for a joy ride around the white house grounds. the president's order could be a step forward, but some are vow ing to go farther. gm says it will stop selling any internal combustion vehicles by 2035. for many consumers, the idea of owning an electric vehicle may still sound kind of crazy. so what do you need to know about the ins and outs of owning an ev. let's discuss it with cnbc tech reporter, laura colodny, joining us now. >> we have such limited time to meet the paris agreement goals that some climate activists are going to think it's, you know, not far-reaching enough. it's going to take more than an executive order, in any case. the united states has also fallen behind china and electric as part of an electric vehicle production. and so that's another challenge. >> what's it like owning an
electric vehicle these days? it seems like it's significantly easier now to own one than it had been, because there are so many electric charging stayings. go to a lot of malls or big cities, there's electric vehicle parking right up near the mall itself. it seems like it's a lot easier today that it once was. >> yeah, absolutely. things are improving. there's more choice for consumers and battery range is better. so it's easier to charge it at home and get to where you need to go during the course of a daily regular drive. there's still not a huge charging infrastructure to support this kind of growth. we need something on the order of a million more fast public charging stations to support the kind of growth that biden is signaling, and that is a concern, but the range in these newer battery electrics is so much better than it used to be, that mostly, with you can charge at home. >> we noted that the graphic we just showed, there are about
25,000 public charging stations as of the end of last year. so a long way away from a million, but the construction seems to be moving along apace, not necessarily as fast as a million by 2030. but we'll see how that goes. what about the actual driving experience? i think everybody has a we all. and i think part of the reason that some people kind of stayed away from electric vehicles or hybrids initially is because they feel weird to drive. you're used to a car going -- it feels strange to drive it. >> there are advantages to battery electric. they have incredible torque and acceleration. they like the touch screen and all this. there are a number of incentives that help you get into a newer electric vehicle. like you were saying, the charging infrastructure is coming along. but to be certain, it takes
getting used to. it's a quiet ride. i should point out that biden's including plug-in hybrid electrics that have internal combustion. that's the original prius was a plug-in hybrid electric little momentum car. but there's some exciting new offerings coming to market as well. >> what about the ford f-150 lightning, its electric vehicle? what's your read on that. irchd to make that sell you have to put a speaker in with strong subwoofers that simulates the sound of that -- engine just so that when it goes down the street, the drivers won't be upset. but what are the early reviews like on the lightning? >> to be sure. for safety they are going to have speakers. that is a legitimate road safety concern. i don't think it'll rumble like you're describing, but there will be sound for vehicles that are so quiet that they may they
may not be detected. yeah, there's so much excited around this new category of electric pickups coming to market. it's a ford f-150 lightning. there's hype around tesla's cyber truck, another suv offering. i think if these vehicles can deliver on their promises of great range and lower maintenance and service needs, with the ford f-150, the promise of being able to use it as a backup home battery in case of blackouts, that they will win customers who hadn't considered electric vehicles or maybe hadn't even considered a truck because of the environmental footprint before. >> i'm sorry, a backup home battery? in case of blackouts? so they're marketing that you can power your house your truck if the power went out? >> certainly, yeah. we saw this -- it's not limited to ford's offering, but electric vehicle-makers are exploring
that possibility of, hey, you got this big battery pack in your car, like, can it put power back into your home or even onto the grid? so that's an exciting development in electric vehicles. >> before i have to let you go, who appears to be sort of leading the way in terms of winning over the everyday f-150-driving, camry-driving, civic-driving, ford-focus driving auto consumer? the electric vehicles seem they're geared toward a particular set of consumers. who seems the best poised to win the market overall? >> i won't hazard a prediction. tesla was out in front first, but they appeal to someone willing to be experimental and put up with only having service from the auto dealer itself in tesla's case. these new electric vehicles coming to market from more familiar brands and american
automakers like ford are exciting to people. we'll just have to see how it shapes up. >> thank you, laura clodny with the latest on electric vehicles. i scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. that's causing a problem, next. t r what you need. 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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pandemic. this summer makes it easy for many of us to grab one treat in particular, ice cream. but high demand and trouble with equipment are putting vendors that nah sticky spot. nbc's dasha burns has that story. >> everybody wants to be a business owner, but they forget you got to wash buckets, take out the trash, and clean everything. it never ends. it just piles up until you do it yourself. >> reporter: ralph was a dj when covid-19 hit the pause button on his atlantic city gigs. now he's the owner of his own ice cream shop in ventnor, new jersey. willow's way, named after his dog. >> i never worked in the food industry. i've never made ice cream before. never even scooped an ice cream. i learned this in the past few months. >> reporter: regulating freezer temperatures, managing staff, and actually making the ice cream and italian ice, some favorites are blueberry cheesecake and black raspberry truffle, he's doing it all.
>> i'm here at 8:00 in the morning and i leave at 12:00 at night. >> reporter: those in the industry say the cold dessert has never been, well, hotter. >> we put on probably 50% more new customers in the last months than we did since we've been in business. >> reporter: the increase in demand coupled with a global shortage of shipping containers is leading to an equipment problem. >> it was the end of february we ordered them. i didn't receive them till the first week of june. so i missed the memorial day weekend opening. >> reporter: the demand for ice cream lasts a few months in much of the country, so the lack of a freezer for several weeks can have huge financial consequences. >> it's super hard. i'm on the phone all day every day with, you know, millions of dollars and sales and people are waiting for their freezer. it's like, i don't know yet. i can't tell you when i'm going to ship it. >> never had so much business
and never had so much difficulty getting anything done. >> reporter: kelly smith's company supplies freezers to a range of customers from local retailers like willow's way to disney. through the first half of the year there's been a 30% increase in sales compared to 2020 , but a 15% decrease in volume out the door. his biggest issues -- >> suppliers and labor, trying to get staffed up. it was impossible. normally we'd bring in temps in the spring and summer. >> reporter: while employment for high school students who often scoop your ice cream is similar to prepandemic summer levels, employment is still down for 20 to 54-year-olds. >> it's like a bidding war. >> reporter: still, much like the wait outside an ice cream store, for pappas, the wait was worth it. >> it's really, like, a cool community product to offer. that was the difference between, like, dj'ing and ice cream