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Brian Williams is on The 11th Hour

Brian Williams is on The 11th Hour

The U.S. was caught in the surge. The health care systems are strained by the Delta surge. Foreign visitors to the U.S. may be required to be fully vaccined.

More than half of Americans are protected from vaccine-related diseases. The school mask mandate was announced by the governor. The White House and the Governor of Florida are fighting.

Arkansas governor signed a mask mandate ban. There is concern about the spread of variant at the rally. Cuomo is facing growing pressure to resign.

Biden's ability to hold the Democratic coalition together is tested by new policy challenges. A judge is being asked to block the release of Donald Trump's tax returns. Special elections could provide insight into the upcoming elections.

The WHO is calling for a halt to vaccine boosters. Some states are shattering records. There is a growing number of children hospitalized with Cary ODonnell.

Chris Jansing is the host of MSNBC's "The 11th Hour" with Brian Williams. The Biden administration is in its 199th day. The Delta variant search is showing no signs of easing.

The daily average of new cases in the U.S. has increased. We haven't been here in awhile. Chris Van DeUSEN, Texas Department of State Health Service, said the new reality is reflected in the situation on the ground.

Fatalities have increased by 15%. The numbers of patients are unprecedented, so those are all going in the wrong direction. That is black and white.

There are more patients in our hospital now than ever before. The next few weeks will be crucial in determining if that trend takes hold across the nation. If any of them turn out to be like us in the south, then we have a bigger problem on our hands.

By the early part of September, I think we'll see this curve come down, but we're going to get a lot of pain from society. He warned that the current search could amount to as many as 200,000 cases a day. Fauci said that if we don't crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of population vaccine.

The virus will continue to grow in the fall and winter. The White House is said to be considering new vaccine mandates for those who want to come into the U.S. and an official tells NBC News a plan is in the works. The CDC says less than half of Americans are up to date with their vaccinations.

Even though experts say vaccinations are the key to stopping the spread of the virus, they also say Delta change the rules when it comes to masks even if fully vaccined. The Governor of Illinois joined the re-imposing mask mandates face, coverings will now be required in Illinois schools, because the vaccine has not yet been approved for children under 12. One day after calling out governors who have moved to ban masks and other mitigation strategies, the political sparring between President Biden and Florida's Republican Governor has intensified.

The White House Press Secretary said that it wasn't an evaluation of partisan evaluation or assessment. What isn't happening was assessed. The leaders who are not stepping up are getting in the way of the American people, companies and others who are trying to save lives and stop the spread of Delta.

We're going to keep calling that out. It is not meant to be partisan. It is not intended to be political.

It is just meant to convey that more action is needed. And what is his solution? Why is he upset about Florida?

He wants the government to force kindergarteners to wear masks in school. The government should make that decision. The parents will be in charge in Florida.

That's the same thing. Why dont you do your job? Why can't you get this border secure?

I don't want to hear a blip about Biden from you until you do that. Hutchinson, who is a Republican, signed a statewide ban on masks in schools. The entire state is now designated as a region with a high rate of COVID transmission.

The Republican governor of Arkansas called the legislature back into session to try to reverse the ban he signed in April. Everything is not the same. I wish that hadn't become law, as a million people are expected to gather in South Dakota.

The annual motorcycle rally starts on Friday. Just like a year ago, there is concern that it will be a super spreader event. Few attendees wore masks last year, and that is likely to be the case again this year.

He is fighting for his political life after the State Attorney General accused him of sexually harassing a number of women. Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing. Protesters in Manhattan demanded that he resign.

A majority of New Yorkers think he should step down. The governor has not been charged with anything but he is the subject of criminal investigations from four separate district attorneys, and at least one of his accusers says she plans to file a lawsuit. A new poll shows that Joe Biden's approval rating has dropped by 12% when it comes to handling COVID, but he still has the approval of 53% of the people.

Even before he ran on it, the Biden White House was entwined with the idea of handling the epidemic. That is the number one threat that they said when they walked into the door, right? The first big bill that was signed and pushed out was the number one focus, they said.

The COVID relief plan has been discussed over and over again. They know they have to get under control in this country. They don't seem scared when you talk to them, even behind the scenes, right?

They are sure eyed and sober about what is happening right now, and what that means for their political future. They also try to keep politics out of it. I am aware that it sounds like a pollyannish.

They talk about Delta from the point of view of what the doctors are saying. These are the things that the White House is focused on. Yeah, that doesn't always make for good politics.

If the science led to people putting masks back on, then it was focused on the science. That is unpopular. People see, and theyre also hearing a lot from the right wing media, that there is going to be locked downs again, even though Jen Psaki has said that is not something thats really on the table at this point.

Is it not only on the White House? All these states and localities have the ability to play as well. We are witnessing a war of words between the White House and the governor of Florida.

He is the most vocal Republican governor. What's happening here? There are a couple of things at play in what we are seeing and hearing.

Biden has to lean on governors because there is only so much he can do alone as President. The reality of our system of government is that Biden can tell governors what they should do, even if that sounds silly. When it comes to what state employees should be doing, when it comes to what businesses should be doing, and what schools should be doing, it is the governors who have more of the control in their states.

I agree with Eugene that the White House is trying to keep politics out of this, but we live in a very political time and so Ron DeSantis is somebody who has his eye on the presidency. He wants to take on Joe Biden in every way he can. He wants to show that his state isn't going to be taking restrictive measures.

While he is taking that position, cases in his state are reaching record levels, so how he tries to calibrate will be fascinating to watch. I think that Biden would like to keep politics out of this, but he knows that his own politics are going to be driven by how he handles the epidemic. He wanted to look like he was the one who was trying to keep the country safe, and he wanted to paint some of the Republican governors as being reckless.

I am going to be the responsible adult so much more. Susan, I have to ask you about Cuomo. The Pillars of Mr. Cuomo's political base now appear to be cracking beneath him, as he suffers consequential defections from core constituencies, including labor, white suburban lawmakers and black political leaders.

His only hope is that during the time it takes to draw up impeachment papers, as the state assembly advances its investigation, the reservoir of public goods he earned early in the pandemic will stifle the sentiment against him, I mean, its being reported in several outlets. In his statement yesterday, he said that he didn't do anything wrong. He thinks he can ride out the things that are going away from him.

He is losing all this support. Did you work with him in New York politics? "Because he thinks he has by pure determination and force he can, will it?" said Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist.

Im not joking when I say that. He believes that he can move mountains. He has the ability to ride this out.

There is absolutely no doubt about it. He can't and he doesn't want to face that reality. He will continue until the papers for the impeachment are drawn up and voted on.

You know how it works in Albany, Susan, you've been there. Ive been there before. It could happen in a matter of a few months.

To keep in mind that Andrew Cuomo wants to always be the best, you have to understand that he wants to be the first. He wanted to outdo his father. He doesn't want to be the first governor to be impeached in 100 years.

He does not want his legacy to be like that. He is not going to accept that. If you have a couple of friends, you can ride out a storm.

But he doesn't have any. You can't find anyone who said they stood by Andrew Cuomo. The state party called for his resignation.

They still do it because he runs the state party. When Governor Cuomo decides to face facts, this is not going to be good for him. I think that the articles of impeachment will be moved from the assembly within a week or two.

He says they are making progress. Is he too confident? Many Republicans who weren't involved in crafting the bill are not enthusiastic.

Do you think Democrats will be shocked? Schumer's whole strategy right now is to try and keep going. He knows that every day that goes by without progress is another chance for the bill to be derailed.

Even if behind the scenes there are real questions, he is going to keep pressing forward and acting optimistic. I think you have a core group of Republicans who were involved in drafting the bill, who are trying to sell it to their voters back home in their states, and also to a lot of their members, and the public is on board with that. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have talked about this for a long time and they see it as investment in roads and bridges.

This is the kind of legislation that we can go back home and feel good campaigning on, that is what the Republicans are arguing to some of their more reluctant colleagues. I don't know how many Republicans end up in that place, whether there is a shift in the party that derails this legislation or not. The Republicans who have jumped on board the bipartisan effort are trying to get this done.

Eugene, we saw a win for democratic progressives with the extension of the eviction moratorium but it took a few days and lots of maneuvering. What do you think about Biden's relationship with the wing of the party going forward? They seem to be encouraged by that success.

They would like to apply it to the second part of infrastructure. At the beginning of his presidency, Joe Biden had a good relationship with progressives, even though he was supposed to be the moderate president, and he kept them appeased. Ron Klain, the Chief of Staff, had a lot of good relationships with advocates, as well as some of the people out in the streets, doing a lot of work, campaigning and bringing things together.

We are starting to get into more of the sausage making of this bill, it has been happening for a while. They were able to get this huge win after Cori Bush and others stayed outside of the Capitol and slept on the steps. If we do things that bring a lot of attention, go to what we know, for people who are more progressive, they are more likely to come up in the advocate space, because they know that they get a lot of attention.

When it comes to this reconciliation bill, they are talking about that. $3.5 trillion is the amount of money they want to see done. The Senate and the White House want this deal to pass. We want both of them at the same time or not at all.

The House, the Senate and the White House have all agreed to that. They know that they have a lot more power, so we will see how that works out. When do they start using it?

The House Freedom Caucus started throwing tables and saying, "Im not doing this until you do what I said." There was a political risk for Joe Biden, who acknowledged that this extension could be on shaky constitutional ground. A group of property managers and agents could take it to court this week.

If Biden can get it under control, do you think he put a lot of political capital into it?DEL PERCIO: I don't think so, because the money is already there. The moratorium is important to remember. He just needs a few weeks for the states to distribute the money, so he can go forward with this.

It is a difficult walk when he wants to try and get things like infrastructure. The progressive movement has something to say. I don't think Nancy Pelosi will be responsible for holding up the President's agenda, and they will figure out a way to deal with the progressives as necessary.

Coming up, no big surprise here. The former guy's lawyers are trying to keep his taxes secret. As hospitals fill up with new COVID patients, some governors are fed up and speaking out, and our next guest says they're making cockamamie legal arguments.

A leading doctor will be asked if their outrage can make a difference. The former president's legal team is trying to keep congress from getting to his tax returns. They are asking to block the release and his lawyers argue that Congress wants to expose the private tax information of one individual, President Trump, for political gain.

It comes after the DOJ said on Friday that the Treasury Department must turn over Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. Do they have a strong argument? They've got the opposite of a solid argument, how much could this delay Congress potentially getting those tax returns?

Chris, this legal filing might fail an exam at the Rudy Giuliani School of Law because I called it "cockamamie" earlier in the day. You know, it's so preposterous. It is clear that the law is clear.

When three congressional committees ask for the tax returns of any individual, they will be turned over. It is as easy as night and day. Two years ago, the decision was overruled by the Trump administration and now they are going to try and file another bogus action in federal court.

I think this can go quickly. I think it can be decided quickly by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, I don't think it's a bogus argument. I don't think the U.S. Supreme Court will wait in.

When Trump was afraid to turn over his tax returns or financial documents to Congress, they weighed it in once before. He lost it. The Rudy Giuliani School of Law graduates will go to the Supreme Court because of that decision.

We don't know what the House Committee is going to look for in Trump's tax returns again. There's been a lot of allegations of financial improprieties of inflating assets and claiming them at higher values on some tax returns and lower values when he's going in. When someone runs for president, they have to turn over their tax returns, and that is the way we deal with this in a democracy.

He is the first to not do that in modern history. We are left in a guessing game because of that. After his presidency, the American people should have known.

They are fighting to get out the tax returns. I haven't heard him say recently that he's still under audit, but maybe that's another line he uses. On the other side, his legal team said they wouldn't try to stop six DOJ officials from testifying.

According to the Supreme Court case from 1977, executive privilege is something that is given to the incumbent president. President Trump tried to prevent people from telling the truth by using executive privilege and other privileges. He's not the president anymore.

Under Supreme Court precedent, it's Joe Biden who decides. When the President said he was going to allow these six individuals to testify, I think that was a brief acknowledgement of the reality based community. Maybe they don't want these individuals or other individuals to testify because they are having second doubts.

Even though he's not an executive, they're thinking about trying to invoke executive privilege. It was a lesson that they thought they'd learned, but it wasn't. They can't learn a simple basic civics lesson, so I want to ask you about the findings of the Andrew Cuomo civil investigation.

The likelihood of the governor being charged with a crime here is something thats going to require a lot. For good reason, its the highest standard in the law. We don't want to send someone who may be innocent to prison.

There are at least four criminal investigations. It seems like the governor is going on right now. That is a higher standard of proof than what the New York Attorney General issued.

I think everyone should take a breath and see what happens, Neal, thank you so much. I am the same as it gets if politics is local. It takes compromise and delivering results instead of insults.

Lip service is what that is. People want public service and thats what Ive been doing for the last nine years. The Democratic establishment Delta cruising, crushing blow to the progressive movement Tuesday, when Shontel Brown, the preferred candidate of party stalwarts triumphed overNina Turner, a face of the insurgency left in a special congressional primary election.

Eugene, I want to know your take on this. A lot of people are heralding a Jim Clyburn kingmaker moment. The progressive versus pragmatist struggle within the Democratic Party is over, at least for now, not a chance centrist may have been on something of a role recently, but they underestimate the partys activists left.

Is that still a warning? Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post ColumNIST: Well, look, there is still a progressive wing of the Democratic Party and it still has quite a bit of power, particularly in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Pelosis margin is. The progressive wing in terms of its actual voting in the House has been pragmatic and realistic about what can get through the House and what can't.

She is fiery and well-known and perhaps, frankly, too abrasive to have won that seat. She was certainly smiling. She brought out the fight in Jim Clyburn and a lot of other members of the establishment.

What did it tell us? Does it tell us if democrats like Joe Biden and are tired of being extremists? They just want to go moderate for a while.

The Democratic Party is coming to terms and you've seen stories about the polling that they're seeing internally Joe Biden was almost defeated in this election. It was very close to Donald Trump's second term if you threw out the votes in California and New York. The democrats like Jim Clyburn are aware of the fact that when they challenge establishment, moderate Democrats and primaries, almost always lose, but they are noisiness on social media, their protests or activism, their energy.

Their priorities are unpopular with suburban voters. The Democrats are renting and need to turn out next year or stay home and not vote, so Jim Clyburn said deliberately several times. In Georgia, we will lose if we talk about defunding the police.

When he got into this race, he was provoked by someone who said it was stupid for him to be in this race and endorsing Brown. Eugene is correct about her being more of a combative aggressive candidate. The progressive wing is taking a stand.

Hakeem Jeffries, who is the heir apparent in line to become speaker should Nancy Pelosi stepped down is having to start a pack with Josh Gottheimer who runs the problem solver caucus from the democratic side to fend off the justice Democrats threatening establishment incumbents in primaries. Clyburn and Biden have done a good job, but the Chief of Staff Ron Klain has kept this under wraps. It is a real division and the party is aware that they will lose badly next year if they allow the progresses to drive the messaging.

How much of this is about style and how much about substance? Is it possible that you can be strong on the issues, but not abrasive like some people would say, or that you can give those sound bites that a pack on the other side can use to run over and over again? Where are you able to see the problem?

In Cleveland, the district style may have been more important for progressives than other outcomes. The establishment has been on a roll in these primaries. This is just not deniable.

Progressives bring energy and voters to the party and to the polls, which is a side of the coin. The establishment can try and keep the progressives quiet. They don't upset independence and suburbanites.

You can't turn off the young, new, excited voters of progressive into the party. That's a big part of the future of the Democratic Party. You cannot go that far.

They need to be very careful in how they do this. There had been a lot of talk about him losing his grip on the party, or at least that it was slipping in terms of endorsements that some Republicans were saying, I wish he would stay away, stay out of these house races. He is going to go away, his power is going to diminish, and he is going to have a hold on the party.

Donald Trump retains his hold on the Republican Party because someone who endorsed him ends up winning, and candidates are afraid to distance themselves from him. He will be a huge factor for the Republicans next year, whether they like it or not, it might be that he is more of a liability than a strength, but they cannot get out from under him. Give me the inserts, I believe there's people dying of illnesses.

I don't know what it is. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an experimental vaccine. It wasn't tested long enough.

I work as a nurse. I'm very concerned about the long-term side effects of the vaccine. Theyre not the only ones.

A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that more than half of unvaccinated adults think the vaccine is riskier than the virus. There is growing frustration with vaccine resistance as the Delta variant fills hospitals. New Jersey's governor responded to a group of anti vaccine protesters.

You are the ultimate knucklehead because of what you are saying. We welcome back Dr. Gounder, who is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the NYU School of Medicine. She was part of a panel that invited the Biden transition team and she also hosts a weekly show on the impact of the coronaviruses called, Epidemic.

A lot of people can relate to Governor Murphy, right? Chris, I think we really need to be, but who is the best messenger to reach those people who are convinced that the vaccine is more dangerous than the virus? This is a game that we need to take from family to family, person to person, and the best players at that game are personal doctors, family physicians, and then other people in the community, community health workers, nurses, and other people that are just known to their neighbors.

We need to be doing this messaging at the level at which they go to church together. There are so many people who are convinced that someone in their family is dying, that's part of the problem, because these stories get, maybe they're the ones that get told most. I walked by those mortuary trucks that were parked outside the medical examiner's office on my way to work a year ago, and I wish we had a good answer to that.

I saw nurses being intubated in the hospital, patients who had to say goodbye to family members on phones and iPads, and I hope that we can finally get this message across without more people suffering those kinds of tragedies. I believe that is the biggest tragedy that people are dying because of. The World Health Organization called for a moratorium on booster vaccine shots for the next several weeks to help at least 10% of the population of every country get vaccinations.

The U.S. surgeon general was asked about it. He said that the WHO is concerned about the whole world and that he understands why. We are too.

I don't think we need to choose between our health and the health of the world, we have different things to choose from. Do you agree with it? GoUNDER: I don't think we are protecting both.

You know, he is a friend and former colleague. I believe that the best way to protect ourselves is to bevaccinated very early on as a frontline health care provider. I don't have my vaccinations until six months from now.

I know I will be better protected if people are not yet inoculated. People in the U.S., as well as people overseas if they get vaccine first, are included. That will give me better protection.

We don't have to. Understanding that, what does the research say about the need for boosters for people who haven't been shot yet? What about San Francisco allowing J&J recipients to get a supplemental dose of the vaccine?

You have to remember that vaccines work best when populations arevaccinated, not when individuals arevaccinated. There is reduced vaccine effectiveness in terms of infections, but the vaccines still robustly protect against severe disease, hospitalization and death. They're not going to end up in the hospital, they're not going to end up dead, but they might lose their sense of smell or taste, or they might find themselves fatigued for months on end.

"For those folks, thats why theyre arguing, give me the booster, right?" GoUNDER: Well, and I think what the WHO is saying, can we please at least get 10% of the world vaccine-free? They want you to save their lives.

I don't want to lose my sense of taste or smell, that these are things I can mitigate against by socializing outdoors, and that's why I wear a mask. When we could be saving lives, those are pretty low cost. I think the choice is very clear, and I want to ask you about the comments that Anthony Fauci made and his concern that there could be another variant that's out there.

He is correct in saying that we need to be vaccinating around the world. The Delta variant iswreaking havoc in the US. The lambda variant is on the heels of Delta and may be even bigger.

If we want to squash this thing, we need to get people who are not yet vaccine-free in the U.S. and around the world. Thank you very much. There is more to come on COVID just ahead.

The surge is filling hospitals with younger people, just as unvaccinated kids are heading back to school. NBC News Correspondent Morgan Chesky is in New Orleans with a story. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the Delta variant packs hospitals, doctors are seeing a new type of patient.

She did qualify, but her family held off. She's been on oxygen for the last three days. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported over 70,000 new infections last week.

I hope that this will encourage more parents to get vaccine. The last thing before we go tonight is to watch the 11th Hour, all you can do is watch it. The 11th Hour can be downloaded from your favorite app and you can listen to it whenever you want.

Good night to my colleagues at NBC News.

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