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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 12, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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some immunocompromised people. >> for them, it's more getting them up to what they hopefully have gotten the first time around and we know because of their immune compromise they don't. that's right. inevitably there will be a time when we have a boost. what we are doing on a weekly and monthly basis is following cohorts of patients to determine if, when and whom should get it. >> that step is expected to be ratified by the cdc as soon as tomorrow. it becomes official then that strong recommendation also for pregnant women now to get the vaccine. earlier, it was just that they should or could get the shots, could get the shots now. more evidence showing how dangerous covid is for them and for a fetus. >> when pregnant women who are not vaccinated get covid they get into serious difficulty. so there's no question that that recommendation had us switch
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from could to should. >> and on schools, dr. fauci speaking out against governors in states like florida and texas who have been blocking mask mandates. >> i can tell you that those of us in the public health sector are really very concerned when you have authorities at a higher level be that at the level of the state, a governor, what have you who tell local health people that they can't do things that are obviously important for the safety of people. >> i'll be speaking with kentucky's democratic governor andy basheer and we'll be bringing you president biden and he's running 45 minutes late already. let's start on the covid crisis. morgan chesky in dallas. there's still debate over masking in texas and no debate in hospitals and major cities
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are over capacity due to the variant. tell us what's the latest. >> reporter: yeah, andrea, hospitals all across the state are facing a shortage in staff while having to try to deal with this surge in patients that in some cases is closing down, at least temporarily some medical facilities. i know that here in parkland hospital they have one of the largest maternity wards in the entire country and they, unfortunately, have had to turn away some patients and hear what some of the doctors here had to say in their own words. >> i can't hire nurses fast enough. right now in this hospital i am 500 nurses down from where we need to be. >> 500. >> five, zero, zero. that's not an exaggeration. that's an exact number. i had to make a decision weeks ago to transfer pregnant patient away from parkland hospital. to have to make that decision, gut-wrenching. gut-wrenching.
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>> and even more frustrating for the doctors and nurses here, they tell me the overwhelming majority of patients they're treating are unvaccinated and there's nothing that sticks with them more than the look of regret in some of those patients' faces when they hear they have covid-19 and they had a chance to do something about it before. andrea? >> morgan chesky, thank you so much. let's look at how the governors across the country are taking different approaches from the spikes in the delta variant. joining us now, andy basheer just announced an executive action requiring indoor mask wearing from k through 12 schools and we should point out that the national educational associations and now joining the federation of teachers and both requirements for masks and vaccines for their teachers. tell us why you're proceeding with the mask requirement saying it's critical for your state despite other governors in a
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different direction. >> andrea, i care more about the children of my commonwealth than i do of my own popularity. >> children are going to school unprotected, primarily unvaccinated and poorly ventilated rooms at a time when delta is putting more kids in the hospital and spreading like wildfire. that's like sending our kids to a chicken pox party instead of chicken pox it's the third leading cause of death in the united states. we cannot allow that to happen. our kids are not our property. they're not our chattel. they're not proxies for arguments that we want to have or culture wars. they are our responsibility to protect, and we've seen in action what happens when you do the right thing or you don't. school district in ken tuck they went back two weeks ago wearing masks universally haven't had any issues and they're still doing in-person classes and they're doing great. another district that did masks
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optional had 700 quarantines and nearly 100 positives and it simply doesn't work. sometimes you have to have the courage to do the right thing and that's what we'll continue to do in kentucky. >> your state's republican attorney general is challenging your requirement of the mask and when do you expect the courts to rule and how will that affect your powers? >> there's a current supreme court case that is on the books that we believe support us. our kentucky attorney general, i think, would rather please a small minority of folks out there than do the right thing. if he's successful and removes authority from the governor can you imagine a special session of the legislature of more than 100 people and trying to make decisions that are unpopular and necessary at a time when hospitalizations are doubling every two weeks. this is a time for action. this virus wants to kill as many of us as possible, and it will mutate, it will change.
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we have to be flexible. we have to be proactive and most importantly, we have to do the right thing. push out the noise and protect one another. it's critical for our lives. it's critical to keep our kids in school. they wear masks, they'll be in school and they won't, they'll be in home quarantine and finally, they preserve and we are creating thousands of new jobs every month. can you imagine if we allowed this variant to stop that? it's a time when we know what it takes to win. it's vaccines plus masks. that's not a lot to ask of people. >> governor, thank you so much. it's a busy time, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. we appreciate it, and we are finding a very different situation in florida. nbc's kerry sanders and governor desantis is one of those southern governors who are dead set against any requirements.
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what are you finding in west palm? >> it's the tenth largest school district in the country and 179,000 students and today is day three of kids being back in the classroom and already they're beginning to get a sense of the number of people who are testing positive for coronavirus, and it's disturbing. joining us now is michael burke. first of all, on day three, give us where the numbers stand and what your concern is. >> we finished with 440 students in quarantine stemming from 51 cases of staff and students. >> so you have those numbers. 400 and some odd with the school district of 179,000, but what happens to the quarantined students because of exposure to coronavirus? >> so we're limited this year. we are no longer able to do the simultaneous teaching at home. >> last year, kids that had to leave could be at home on their computers and like here, going
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through the internet and the classroom while being taught. >> that's no longer an option. >> we have brick and mortar instruction or virtual schools which is independent learning. >> meaning what? >> you can go through a virtual school. you're not staying with your homeroom teacher. you don't have that live instruction. it's self-paced. it's self, independent study. >> what is your greatest concern right now and who do you blame for the crisis that you are already beginning to see unfold here? >> our goal is to get students back on our campuses and we truly believe and research shows that the best place for them academically and socially is to be in the classroom and our goal is to keep kids in school and we've gone as far as we can, to require face coverings. >> well, i guess the governor has got to take responsibility for establishing the ground rules we're operating under. and this ability for families to opt out is leading to more cases
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which will ultimately send more kids home and deprive them of the traditional classroom experience. >> in some counties to the south of brow around, andrea, it's an outright mandate that you must wear a mask. here in palm beach county, you have worked within the system to say we want kids to wear masks. parents can choose to opt out. meaning they can fill the paperwork out and i know there's not an exact census right now, but we're talking about 3,000 kids or so, so explain to me the mathematics of all of this when people are opting out, showing up in class and johnny is in one chair wearing a mask and jane is right next to johnny without a mask. >> i'm imploring everyone to wear a mask, and you know, right now we had about 5700 students opt out and take advantage of the parent opt out to not have to wear a mask. it varies from school to school, and you're right. part of the state emergency rule is we're not allowed to isolate
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students if they choose to opt out. we're not allowed to partition classrooms and not allowed to tell students where to sit on the bus and that sort of thing. >> thank you. any last messages to the governor. >> if we are committed to keeping kids in school, we should re-assess the situation. >> thank you for joining us. it's interesting to note that i've spoken to teachers here in palm beach county who say they can't even be the mask police because they don't get a list of all of the kids whose parents signed opt out, especially in the high schools if someone is walking down the hallway without the mask the teacher can't say where's your mask because they don't know whether their parents signed an opt out or not. a growing sign that you can see that has the superintendent concerned, this again, day three of classes here. >> kerry, terrific reporting and thanks for rushing. i know you rushed to get us that interview and we really appreciate it as always and joining me now from another one of the school superintendents
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under fire from governor desantis, carly simon alachua county. i'm sorry. >> it's alachuous county. i'm obviously not a floridian. >> no worries. it happens all of the time. >> the superintendent carly simon where a mask mandate is still in place. how are you getting away with this with the county. >> getting away with this is not the phrase i would use for this. i clearly have the attention of the commission of education and the governor and they're not pleased with the choices that the board and the superintendent, what we are doing and we're right now waiting to find out what their next step is, but we are continuing to move forward because we believe this is what we need to do. based on your previous interview that just occurred, i think we
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would stand even stronger that this is how we need to make sure that we're offering public education and in order to do it and make sure that we're functioning and reducing the spread of covid, this is going to require us to have a mandatory mask mandate to make sure that everyone is doing whatever they can to prevent the spread. >> well, superintendent simon, the numbers are really clear. i don't know if you saw that governor basheer from kentucky was on and the disparity in just the first couple of days of in-person classrooms between one county and other in kentucky is dramatic. hundreds of people, children quarantined and none at all in those where masks are being used. at this point you don't have to go to court, but are you getting support from teachers and parents in your county? >> we are getting support from teachers, staff members, community members to really just
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appreciate public education. we are also having the same type of support from our families here in the county as well as just across the nation. >> and the nea is joining the federation of teachers. so now the unions are unified, if you will, across the country in supporting this for teachers and teachers know better than anyone other than parents that in-person education is so important especially for k through 12. >> right. if our goal is to make sure we're providing high-quality education then we need to be making sure that our students have access to that, and the way we can ensure the most access is by masking our students. if they are not masked that means they are possibly sick or needing to quarantine and we're missing out on the instruction and that's not what we want. >> it's crazy to even have to mention this, but our reporting by our social media
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correspondents, and our digital correspondents are finding threats against teachers and parents and fellow educators from groups online or anti-vaxxers online. are you receiving any in your county? >> yes, the threats are occurring and they're coming from a small group of people who take extreme measures to let us know of their displeasure. it is certainly something that we are examining and reporting what we need to and we're bringing in safeguards to protect, obviously from covid and we need to protect individuals who do not agree with our approach. >> thanks so much for your patience with united states as news has been breaking over last couple of day, we've wanted to talk to you, carlee simon, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> we have a look at the
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devastating toll at what covid is taking on america's schoolchildren. what's being done to keep your kids safe. catch now in focus: children & covid streaming on nbc news now. we'll be bringing you the covid response team briefing as soon as it starts and the president on his delayed announcement. plus more on the surge with our team of doctors, but first, double threat. the taliban taking territory across afghanistan. new fears that that advance will be opening for another terror group to rebuild. plus an urgent warning from the u.s. embassy in kabul today. this is andrea mitchell reports on msnbc.
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breaking news on afghanistan. an urgent warning from the u.s. embassy in kabul. the second one this week telling americans to leave afghanistan immediately. this is for civilians saying u.s. citizens cannot afford a plane ticket or having trouble getting an immigrant visa to
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contact the embassy immediately. the taliban is rapidly gaining ground in afghanistan today. now claiming they've taken kandahar, but no confirmation from the u.s. military and the report on the a.p. that they have taken hirat. this as u.s. defense officials are becoming increasingly concerned that al qaeda, nbc news. kelly cobiella who is in kabul and gail amman who is an adjunct and senior fellow at the council of foreign relations and kieran white house correspondent for the washington post and covered the pentagon and former nato supreme allied commander. welcome. kelly, first to you on the ground. what do you know about the taliban's advances and the warning in kabul. it's urgent. you've had report from kabul with the afghan people displaced
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people from the outlying provinces are blaming would kalazad in doha. >> reporter: yeah. first to the taliban gains, andrea. earlier today it was confirmed that the taliban had controlled of ghazni. that's a city about 80 miles in the outskirts from the edge of kabul to the south and it's on a key north-south highway that connects kabul to kandahar, a very key, strategic takeover for the taliban, and it was confirmed by the government. in fact, government security forces actually arrested the governor of ghazni and some of his men as he was on the road from ghazni to kabul. they said he was arrested for fleeing the capital, for fleeing the fight. there has also been heavy fighting in kandahar today. as you mentioned that those reports from the taliban is claiming it has fallen into their hands and that hasn't been
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confirmed by the afghan government either and same as herat, we know there's been heavy fighting and we've seen the video and we have no confirmation from the government that they've been pushed out yet. so if those two cities fall, kandahar, the second largest city in the country and herat, it would mean that the government is only in control of two major cities. sharif in the north and of course, the capital kabul, and you already have, as you mentioned this influx of thousands of people who have fled these provinces where the taliban has taken control over the past several days and andrea, the rapidity and the quickness with which this happened cannot be ignored. you know, less than a week ago the taliban didn't control a single provincial capital. they now hold at least ten and two-thirds of the country by some estimates. andrea? >> kelly cobiella, let's turn to
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the admiral where the commander of the forces as the nato supreme allied commander. how surprised are you about the rapidity of the taliban advance and the concern about kabul falling. >> i am deeply surprised, as follows. we left 300,000 we thought reasonably well trained afghans, equipped them with everything they should need and we continue to provide a great deal of financial equipment over the horizon, intelligence support, but what always makes the difference is leadership and will and unfortunately, that is not on display at the senior levels of the afghan government or security forces. in terms of how concerned am i that kabul could fall? very concerned. i would say at this point, andrea it's four in five chance that it would fall in the next 30 to 60 days. i think there's still some chance that by hardening the
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defenses around kabul itself, the government can pull back, depend on these afghan commandos who know how to fight and have been fighting, but that's going to be a losing game in the long term. you can't sustain that, so i think unfortunately the outlook is quite bleak at this point. >> and ann, you've been a part of this washington post team breaking a lot of news on this ground in the last couple of days and months. let's talk about kabul and the state department and white house are saying, we're negotiating and they have all of the regional players and china involved today in doha with negotiations with the taliban. that's causing anger among many afghans who are reporting in as well as a piece in the op ed today in the washington post that that diplomacy is just delusional because the taliban is supposedly negotiating and we
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are offering them legitimacy while they negotiate a deal while they're on the ground marching toward the capital. >> yeah, andrea, the question of leverage is central here. the calendar has speeded up as kelly and the admiral indicated that the pretty dire estimate from several months ago that kabul was in danger of falling in maybe six months or a year's time depending on how the taliban chose to play it is now then moved up by u.s. and afghan intelligence analysts and military analysts to something closer to one to three months' time for a potential fall of kabul. that means that the kabul government and the u.s. envoy ambassador has even less leverage than they might have, which by estimates wasn't enough to to begin with.
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the taliban is running up the score right now and as kelly described, it went from essentially outside a number of capitals to take a number of them very quickly and some without a shot and now, should they choose to engage in the doha process which we don't know that they fully will, they come in there considerably in a better position to demand much more than some kind of power sharing arrangement where they did with the kabul government which had seemed like the best case scenario at the biden administration and, able to demand much more if they chose to negotiate it all. >> you lived there and talked to the women now recently as it's been evolving and you've been talking to them all of the time. they are the most likely at risk according to kelly's interviews as well. people are concerned about their daughters and their unmarried daughters being grabbed and given over to the taliban and
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executed and women who are involved in education and civil rights. >> and i think what you see now is a rush for the exits and concern about what's to come. so all of these people, thousands and thousands have fled to kabul, in kabul city now see thousands of people, girls on the streets with very little in terms of water or food, sanitation, sanitary napkin, all of these things that girls need. they are now out there, and i've been talking to activists who said we never thought that this was where wield be asking for dollars just to keep people fed and having shelter because no one is moving fast enough, and the next piece of it is watch for what happens in kabul. there are all kinds of rumors happening right now in kabul. the airport's going to close, and this is going to happen and the taliban is going to take over, but no one knows for sure and everyone is trying to figure out what is the play in terms of
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kabul. can the international community or what is left of it with muscle say you can have kabul, in terms of a power sharing agreement or is that, and in kabul you already see people getting red for more. >> ann garon and kelly cobiella, please stay safe and be careful as i know you are because we have to leave it there for today, but thanks for all of your reporting and any minute now the white house covid response team and public health officials will be updating the very latest on the pandemic. we'll bring that to you live. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. even if you had to miss your quince. there's always your quince plus one.
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♪ emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
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and we are following the breaking news here in washington, just moment away from the white house covid response team. joining me now is white house correspondent monica alba, nbc senior medical correspondent dr.
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john torres. i want to focus on the boosters which we think is not going to be announced by this covid briefing because that's coming from the fda later today. basically a recommendation that people who are immunocompromised and challenged and vulnerable in other ways to having less immunity from their original doses can officially be recommended for a third dose, not a specific booster and it's a third dose and that that will be ratified, we expect from the cdc tomorrow. what is the overall significance of that? >> andrea, i think the way to look at this is this is an emerging spectrum that what you're going to see is for us to roll out our boosters and those for immunosuppressive therapy and what we're seeing in israel, they're giving third
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immunizations to those over the age of 60 and it might generalize further depending on additional variants. so the first piece of this, there's data now showing that individuals who are solid recipients with immunosuppressive therapy are getting a third bump with the third immunization and that's compelling enough to move forward at this time. the only question is how broad will they make the recommendation for immunocompromised individuals. are we talking solid organ transplants? 5% to 7% of the u.s. population may fall under that category depending on how generalizable, with humera and monoclonal antibodies. >> we heard press secretary jen psaki saying a lot of the questions about covid were better handled by the experts.
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what do we expect to hear about the experts today? >> there's plenty that will be posed to them. number one, a lot of questions still about this delta variant and the surge. what we want to hear from officials is how they're viewing it in terms of their assessment of when the peak might be and what the data has revealed in these last critical weeks because a lot of the information that they have presented has been without necessarily all of the spikes, the increased cases and hospitalizations and think, the most important underlying point they continue to make is that the vast majority of the people who are getting very ill or dying are unvaccinated. so you can expect them to keep talking about that and hitting that message home and there are so many other dimensions that i think will come up in this briefing which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and the president is supposed to speak on urging congress to lower drug prices, at 11:15 p.m. that event has not started and there's no reason or
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explanation and it indicates the president is doing other work before he goes and gives these remarks in the east room. i just want to point that out because it's a little bit unusual. you wouldn't see the president and the covid response team speaking at the same time and it's possible we'll have overlap here in the next 30 do 45 minutes and back to the covid briefing, there are also a lot of questions about these booster shots. earlier today dr. anthony fauci on the "today" show expects that everyone will be getting these shots that is, in his words, inevitable and at this point in time it will be only recommended for the immunocompromised. >> and the booster shots you can analyze the fact that there is a flu shot every year because the flu shot, the virus changes every year and this virus is changing as we speak. dr. torres, what about the delta variant? there were questions in the
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briefing when it could reach a peak because in the uk it's already going down. is that potentially on the horizon within the united states in the next month or two? >> andrea, it is very much potential here and they're looking at the uk and what could possibly happen in the u.s. and the optimal word is what could possibly happen here and that's assuming we take the right steps to keep it under control and what's happened throughout the pandemic is these things have peaked and they started to come down fairly quickly after that and in this case it might happen as well because of the high vaccine numbers and the fact that a lot of places are getting on to these different conditions and mandates we know they can help, masking social distancing and those types of things. we certainly cannot let our guard down. you do bring up a good point about the difference between booster shots and third dosing here and that's what they're talking about right now and for those that didn't get proper immune responses and immunocompromised and versus boosters which is what the rest of us at some point will
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probably need and that's what dr. fauci has been talking about and at some point we'll need that. we just don't know when meaning we have a good response and that response has worn off over time and at some point we'll need to give that booster considering this delta variant, andrea? >> we know that the rmna vaccine production and organizations, those are designing boosters specifically for the delta variant with that spike and that would be the designer booster, so to speak, not just a third shot of what we originally got but that could be for future variants that we find. dr. hotez, i want to talk about hospitals. we are are getting updates from benecol ins on how mandates are impacting the national conversation. they write in part that the vaccination mandates have given new focus to covid deniers and
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anti-vax activists among them are nurses who are opponents, some who have become adept at garnering social media attention mainly on instagram, facebook and tiktok. it can have an impact on vaccination discourse. so dr. hotez, you know, you're an expert on vaccines. this is a whole new dimension. you've been outspoken about the anti-vaxxers, but now we're seeing it not only in the health care community, but we're seeing it on social media being amplified. >> you have to remember what's happening here, andrea, the anti-vaccine and i call them the anti-science groups because they've expanded their protests against masks and other prevention measures are very well organized. these are not grassroots groups, right? these are -- we have at least a dozen non-governmental organizations identified for the
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center for encountering digital hate. it's amazing we have to have an organization with that name that are responsible for two-thirds of the disinformation. they're well-funded and well organized. you also have political funding and the action committee is devoted to anti-vaccine and anti-science vaccines and these are well-funded and well-oiled machines scattered around including one in texas and they have the ability to co-opt health care professionals to carry that message. there's not a lot of them and there don't have to be a lot of them. they're quite loud, very vocal and very aggressive and they're very focused around this phony conference of health freedom, medical freedom that started here in texas around 2015. i think the big pray orit right now is trying to figure out how to keep our kids safe because right now we have a screaming level of covid-19 across the south, and we're already seeing lots of young people piling into
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icus in children's hospitals. >> and thanks to all of you. thanks to dr. torres, dr. hotez and monica. the cdc or the white house task force briefing with jeff zients. >> florida and texas alone account for 40% of new hospitalizations across the country. we all know that vaccinations are the very best line of defense against covid and how we end this pandemic. that's why we've been tireless in our efforts to get more and more americans vaccinated. for the first time since mid-june we are averaging a half million people getting newly vaccinated each and every day. and overall in the last week 3.3 million americans rolled up their sleeve to get their first
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shot. in the past month we have doubled the average of 12 to 17-year-olds getting newly vaccinated each day. critical progress as millions of adolescents start heading back to school. importantly, we're seeing the most significant vaccinations progress in states with the highest case rates. in fact, in the past month, we've nearly tripled the average number of shots each day in arkansas and quadrupled in louisiana, alabama, and mississippi. so we're getting more shots in arms in the places that need them the most. that's what it's going to take to end this pandemic, more vaccinations and more americans doing their part in rolling up their sleeve. over the past two weeks we've seen strong actions from across the public and private sectors to help end the pandemic.
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the president recently announced vaccination requirements for all 4 million federal workers and we are working to apply similar standards to all federal contractors. on monday, the department of defense announced its plans to add covid-19 vaccines to the list of vaccines required for more than 1.7 million active duty, reserve and national guard personnel. and just this morning the department of veteran affairs and the department of health and human services announced new requirements. all 350,000 va health care personnel and all 25,000 hhs health care personnel must now be fully vaccinated. state and local governments, health care systems, businesses, small and large, universities and other institutions are also
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stepping up. since last week, washington state, washington, d.c. and seattle have all adopted vaccination requirements and more than 50 health systems across the country have announced that all staff need to be vaccinated, bringing the total to more than 200 health systems. just in the past 24 hours, amtrak, mcdonald's, nbc universal, discovery and capital one all announced new rules that workers must be vaccinated to return to the office. california announced all school teachers and staff in the state serving more than 6 million students will be required to be vaccinated or tested weekly, and the nea and the aft two of the largest unions in the country representing 5 million educators, child care workers and school staff both came out in favor of school districts
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pursuing covid-19 vaccination policies including requirements for teachers and staff. and across the country, nearly 700 colleges and universities have announced vaccination requirements which will cover roughly 5 million students getting ready to head back to school. so, clearly, vaccination requirements are gaining momentum across the country and they're already covering tens of millions of workers, educators, college and university students and health care providers. >> and they will help keep people and communities safe and help stop the spread of the virus. here's the bottom line. through vaccination requirements employers have the power to help end the pandemic. as we drive progress on vaccinations we are accelerating our efforts to help states respond to outbreaks by delta.
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our covid-19 surge response teams have deployed more than 500 federal personnel including hundreds of health care personnel in louisiana, mississippi and arizona to provide emergency medical care. cdc is on the ground in tennessee, illinois and missouri to help local outbreak investigation and vaccination efforts. we've sent ambulances and paramedics to missouri and louisiana and in florida, we've stood up dozens of free testing sites and sent 200 ventilators to helps in the state. and importantly, as dr. nunez smith will discuss, we've sent five times as many life-saving therapeutics to states in july compared to june. i'll close with this, we are doing everything we can to get people vaccinated and support state and local leaders on the
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ground but as we have said from the start, ending this pandemic requires every american doing their part so please, if you're unvaccinated, get your shot. it's free. it's convenient. it works and it's never been more important. with that, let me hand it over to dr. walensky. >> thank you, jeff. good afternoon. let's begin with an overview of the data. yesterday cdc reported 132,384 new cases of covid-19. our seven-day average is about 113,000 cases per day and this represents an increase of nearly 24% from the prior seven-day average. the seven-day average of hospital admissions is at about 9700 per day, an increase of about 31% from the prior seven-day period and the seven-day average of daily deaths has also increased to 452 per day, an increase of 22% from the prior seven-day period.
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we continue to see cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase across the country and now over 90% of counties in the united states are experiencing substantial or high transmission. as we have been saying, by far, those at highest risk remain people who have not yet been vaccinated. this week, we are taking two important steps of encouraging and improving vaccine protection for america. first, for pregnant people who are at higher risk of severe illness of covid-19 we are strengthening our guidance and recommending that all pregnant people or people thinking about becoming pregnant get vaccinated. we have vaccines for people who are pregnant and around the time of conception. these data build on previous evidence from three safety monitoring systems that did not
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find any safety concerns for pregnant people who are vaccinated late in pregnancy or for their babies. now these new data found no increase in the risk for miscarriage among people who received an mrna and covid-19 before 20 weeks of pregnancy. clinicians have seen the number of pregnant people infected with covid-19 rise in the past several weeks. they increased circulation of the highly contagious delta variant and the uptick among pregnant people and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to covid-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever. second, i want to take a moment to discuss what we are doing to help increase protection against covid-19 for certain individuals who are moderately and severely immunocompromised. as we've been saying for weeks,
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emerging data show that certain people who are immune compromised such as people who have had organ transplant and some cancer patients may not have had an adequate immune response to just two doses of the covid vaccine. to be clear, this is a very small population. we estimate it to be less than 3% of adults. we've been working to identify how best to provide increased protection to these vulnerable people who are disproportionately impacted by severe outcomes due to covid-19. fda's working with pfizer and moderna to allow boosters for these vulnerable people and an additional dose could help increase protection for these individuals who is especially important as the delta variant's drugs. following the fda's decision the cdc will hold the advisory committee on practices tomorrow to discuss this issue and offer their expert insights and recommendations. we look forward to that
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discussion and to helping support this vulnerable population. at this time, only certain immunocompromised individuals may need an additional dose. e merging data included from the study of the new england of journal of medicine yesterday saying there is an enhanced antibody response after an additional dose of an mrna vaccine in some immunocompromised people. this action is about ensuring our most vulnerable who may need an additional dose are better protected against covid-19. the science and resulting data in this pandemic are moving extremely rapidly. the u.s. government is moving swiftly to analyze the science and make the recommendations most appropriate to protect americans. we know it is safe and effective, and if you've not gotten the vaccine yet, please do so today. thank you and i'll turn it over to dr. fauci.
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>> thank you very much, dr. walensky. it is becoming very clear now if you go to the first slide that we are dealing with a global outbreak of the delta variant. i keep updating this slide. it now shows that at least 117 countries now now have the delt variant since first detected in june of 2020. so let's just review some of the aspects of delta to help put it into the context of what we're talking about. the chance m transmissibility i than alpha, two times as great. this makes a big difference. the viral load is up to 1,000 times greater in the nasal with people with delta, which is a reason why you have such a tremendous increase in transmissibility. next slide. in reviews of this group i've shown the slide checking the
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boxes as to the proof of protection against sars-cov-2 delta variant. there was one glaring missing check in previous iterations of this and that was in the j&j clinical effectiveness. next slide. i had showed you before this slide looking at data of immune responses in vitro and this was the j&j vaccine study, which showed that it elicits durable antibody and cellar responses against delta with minimal decreases for at least eight months after immunization. next slide. we now have a slide that recently -- a study that recently came out from south africa and other southern african countries. it's called the sisonke study including health care workers, this is real world effectiveness against delta with a 91 to 96%
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protection against delta and then 71% protection against hospitalization and remember the durability of immune response is eight months and this is to show the effectiveness of j&j from this challenging epidemiology setting of data particularly in the context of people that might have hiv. next slide. finally, if you look at breakthrough infections, which are inevitable with any vaccine because no vaccine is 100% effective. as you can see as we've seen in other studies, the breakthrough infections that occur in the setting of full vaccination were mild in 96%, moderate in 3%, severe in less than 0.05%. with death in 0.05%.
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i'll stop there and hand it over to ms. smith. >> thank you very much, dr. fauci and good afternoon to everyone. today i'll take a couple moments and update you on vaccine equity as well as on the importance of covid-19 therapies. when it comes to vaccinations and equity, important to note that the majority of people who are getting vaccinated through the direct federal programs are self-identifying as people of color. that's through community health centers, through dialysis. all adults in the u.s. eligible for vaccines april 19th, the majority of individuals receiving vaccines have identified as people of color. that is notable progress, but it does not change the fact that as we've been discussing that there is, of course, still more work to do the work in this phase of the vaccination campaign remains
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hyper local and that's why the biden harris administration will continue to work hand and hand with states and territories, cities, always centering our partnerships with faith based and community based organizations, supporting the trusted out reach work that needs to be done. i just want to provide a couple examples of the administration's resource commitment to engage partnership. in june and july there was $240 million awarded to support community based workers, community based efforts, really expanding local tailored opportunity to build both vaccine confidence and vaccine access. this past week the cdc officially launched the partnering for vaccine equity program. that's an investment of $120 million in grants that have been awarded. later this week, $20 million will be distributed specifically to native hawaiian communities.
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in meeting people where they are partnership is so powerful. and many of the incredible partners doing this work are health centers. this is national health center week and on behalf of the administration, i want to say thank you to health centers across the country. your commitment and dedication reaching under served groups, health centers on that front line in vaccine administration and testing and in the administration of safe, effective therapies. as jeff mentioned earlier, the therapies include antibodies and i want to talk about those but to people across the country, let me reiterate. the best strategy to remain protected of the worst covid-19 is to get fully vaccinated but if you get covid-19 and you're at high risk, i want to show you about these therapies. the monocolionial anti bodies work. they're safe, they help keep people out of the hospital and
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alive. states increasing access for uptake and patient confidence. we've conducted virtual trainings for physicians and health system officials and this has been, you know, in arizona, nevada, utah, wyoming with more to come in alabama and elsewhere. and in fact, in arizona we have a federal clinical team on the ground now helping to set up and run two sites to provide these treatments and those efforts are paying off. now of the covid positive patients, the arizona team has treated so far not one has required hospitalization after that treatment. we can also report that we've searched shipments to the states with the highest rates of community transmission. for example, florida shipments increased over eight fold over the past month. and in july, more than 108,000 treatments were shipped all over the country by the federal government and this represents more than a five fold increase from june. over the course of the entire
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pandemic, more than 600,000 patients across the country received the antibody treatments, hospitalizations averted and lives saved. the biden harris administration continues to stand to assist to get more people connected to testing, treatment and to vaccination. so thank you so much and with that i'll turn it back over to you, joe. >> okay. well, thank you, doctors. let's open it up for questions. first question? >> sabrina at the "wall street journal." >> yes, hi, thank you so much. this is andrea mitchell. as they go into questions, we want to repeat big headlines coming out of this briefing. dr. walensky saying, indicating that the cdc in the meeting tomorrow is going to be making recommendation as we've been reporting on the third vaccine for those who are immune challenged. also, dr. fauci saying that
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there is a j&j study showing high effectiveness in the south african study of j&j against the delta variant. and all of this pointing to the importance of getting vaccines if you are compromised and if you are pregnant. and that's going to turn to the questions. as we continue our coverage, let's rejoin the briefing. this is msnbc. >> infected and since you have a certain percentage of children even though the percentage is small, certain percentage of children will require hospitalization. so quantitatively, you will see more children in the hospital. regarding the severity of illness, there was a couple of studies, mostly international which suggested that delta was more severe in adults namely causing more relative percentage of hospitalization and more severe disease with regard to children, this could possibly be the case but we are not seeing this in a definitive way.
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the only thing we know for sure is that more infections mean more children will be in the hospital. with regard to the school, part about that we'll go back to dr. walensky. >> thank you dr. fauci. thank you sabrina for that question. what we know is that where we have higher rates of infection among children is where we have long rates of vaccination in general, higher rates of community transmission. we do know how to keep our children safe. we know how to do so in schools and most of the infections coming into schools is coming from high rates of disease in the community. so best way to keep our school safe and we know how to do it is to vaccinate everyone who can be vaccinated, vaccinate family members if children cannot be vaccinated and follow the mitigation strategies in our school, guidance including masking in schools. >> one thing i'd add there is due to the passage of the american rescue plan several months ago, all schools have the
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resources to implement those mitigation strategies. next question? >> josh from "bloomberg". >> hi, thank you. can you give us an update on the plan to ship 500 million pfizer doses that was meant to commence this month? has that started and what kind of pace will we see in the coming weeks? thank you. >> thanks, josh. the 500 million pfizer doses that were announced in june to be donated to the world, those shipments do begin this month and we will ship a total of 200 million by the end of this year, this calendar year with the remaining 300 million shipped no later than the first half of 2022. so everything is on schedule there, josh and shipments are beginning in the next several