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Biden Delivers Remarks on American Jobs Plan; Biden: "I'm Sick and Tired of Corporate America Not Paying Their Fair Share"; Cheney Warns GOP at "Turning Point: with her Leadership at Stake; GOP Could Vote to Remove Cheney from Leadership as Early as Next Week; COVID Infections & Hospitalizations Near 7-Month Low; Moderna: Trial Shows Booster Revs Up Immune Response to Variants; Next Week, FDA Could Authorize Pfizer Vaccine for 12- to 15-Year-Olds. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 6, 2021 - 14:30   ET



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And they get paid in stock options. So if you have ten shares of stock, you sell five, the five left are worth more, you get paid in stock, it's better.

The remaining 37 percent goes to dividends, which makes sense. But leaves 9 percent, 9 percent for everything, according to the study out of the University of Massachusetts, everything from salaries, employment, research, development, 9 percent.

So, folks, you know, we used to invest in research and development in this country, about 2.4 percent of all that we did, making us the leading country in the world in research and development.

We now do 0.7 percent. The Chinese are eating our lunch. They're eating our lunch economically. They're investing hundreds of billions of dollars in research and development.

That's why, right now, if it keeps going this way, they're going to own the electric car market in the world. They're going to own -- we got to compete. We got to compete.

And it doesn't cost anybody anything and deprive anybody of anything they have earned or deserve.

As I said, we're now at a place where when they used to pay 35 percent, it's now 21 percent.

The way I can pay for this is the $40 billion, for example, just making sure the largest companies don't pay zero and reducing the tax cut to between 25 percent to 28 percent, it's a couple hundred billion dollars.

We can pay for these things. I'm not talking about deficit spending. I'm talking about paying for them. I realize I'm getting too wonkish here, giving you too much detail,.

But the point is, what I'm proposing is badly needed and able to be paid for and still grow -- trickledown ain't working very well, man. We got to build from the bottom and up and the middle out.

That's how we build America. That's how we built it so well back in the '60s.

And so folks, look, the middle-class family, as I said, a construction worker with two kids is paying more in federal taxes than a multimillion-dollar -- billion-dollar corporation that's making billions of dollars in terms of the rate at which they pay.

And look, here we go. You know, still -- the fact is that the plans that I have put forward meets the middle class and raises corporate rate. It also lowers it where lower than any point since World War II.

And it's going to generate $90 billion each year, hundreds of thousands of jobs. We're going to put a lot of folks to work.

And by the way, how many of you are veterans or have a brother or sister, mother, father who's a veteran?

Here in Lake Charles, you got a new veterans clinic that was built a few years ago, beginning when Barack and I were in office. But most V.A. hospitals, for example, are 50 years old or older.

Ask your buddies, ask your buddies, we have more people, more veterans and more active military committing suicide every week than are killed in all our wars.

Why? Pick up the phone. We have more people coming back with post traumatic stress than anything else.

I carry in my pocket my schedule, on the back of my schedule, I have U.S. troop updates, how many people have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, not generally. Over 6,000, 6,000. As of this morning, 927.

Every single solitary one of those fallen angels left an entire community behind. Wounded, 53,196, not roughly 53,000.

Guess what? Ask your people. Ask around. In your state and any other state.

You got a husband, a wife, calling saying she has post-traumatic stress and I need to get in right away. Well, we can't see you for three weeks. We don't have enough docs and the buildings are 50 years old.

We have a sacred obligation to invest in that infrastructure. Better docs, not better docs, more docs, more psychiatric nurses in order to take care of these things.

Look, folks, the bottom line here is -- and I'm going on too long -- the American Jobs Plan puts people to work, upgrading V.A. hospitals and put up for our veterans and our servicemembers and military families.

Let me ask you, what's better for America, a tax cut to make corporations richer and CEOs richer and investments that are going to make our country stronger, more competitive, and lift up the standard for everybody?

And by the way, this is not punishing anybody. All those folks are still going to have two homes, and three homes, their jets. Won't matter. Not going to change their standing one little bit.

Not surprisingly, critics say they worry that I'm going to stunt economic growth by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. There's just one problem with their argument. The facts.

Experts have looked at it. The last time taxes were around the rates I'm proposing was in the '90s and the economy boomed.


America created 20 million new jobs in eight years when these were the tax rates. And the facts are, the American economy has had record job creation and growth under the same kind of plan I'm proposing.

And here's why. Our economy has always done best when everyone pays their fair share.

Again, I'm not looking to punish anybody. I'm looking to rebuild America as a world leader.

I'm going to look to make sure we have the best and most significant infrastructure in the world. It's time to grow this economy from the bottom up and the middle out.

Let me close with this. Infrastructure has historically been a bipartisan undertaking. There's no reason it shouldn't be that way again as the mayor's evidence of, and others are.

It's about coming together to create jobs, to make a more competitive world.

What's the first thing anybody asks you when they want to put a new facility here in your city? How close is the interstate? What's the access to the lake? What's going on? I mean, what's the water supply?

They want to know you have the best infrastructure. Companies and corporations go where they can get their product made the quickest and get it to market the fastest.

And we're doing everything we can to win the competition for the 21st century.

I'm willing to hear ideas from both sides. I'm meeting with my Republican friends up in the Congress to see, number one, how much they're willing to go for, what they think are the priorities, and what compromises we need. I'm ready to compromise.

What I'm not ready to do, I'm not ready to do nothing. I'm not ready to have another period where America has another infrastructure month and doesn't change a damned thing. America is more competitive, better, and more capable than any nation

in the world. There's not a damned thing we cannot do when we do it together.

It's about time we start working together like mayors and local officials do, like governors do.

I find more support from Republican governors and mayors and Democratic governors and mayors around the country because they've got to answer the question: Is life better in this town, this city, this state than it was before I got elected?

We can make it better. We can make it better. It shouldn't be controversial.

So, let me conclude by saying, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you.


ALISON CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: OK, you've been listening there to President Biden. He is in Lake Charles, Louisiana. And he was talking about, to quote him, jobs, jobs, jobs.

He said, Victor, that this is a once-in-a-generation plan to modernize our infrastructure and to put American workers back to work.

I mean, he said he's going to buy American and use American workers.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Yes, no coincidence he goes to Louisiana and highlights the Republican mayor of Lake Charles and the Democratic mayor of Shreveport.

They recently wrote an op-ed, both calling for the passage of the American Jobs Plan and highlighting elements of the infrastructure across the state that need updating.

CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Mitch Landrieu, the former Democratic mayor of New Orleans. And we also are joined by former Congressman Charlie Dent.

Great to see both of you.

Wasn't that an interesting speech, Mayor? That was interesting.

And here's what jumped out at me. That could have been delivered by any Republican president.

Those are -- that's the same message that President Trump or President Bush or, you know, go as far back as you want would have talked about, buy American, I want to put American workers back to work.

He said, you know, this is a blue-collar blueprint to bring back jobs. And he said, I want to speak directly to you, if you think that you

have been left behind by this economy, basically, like, if you're being automated into oblivion, this is for you.

And yet, Mayor, FOX TV was not covering it. They don't cover -- they have not covered today, President Biden's speech.

So the very viewers -- I mean, their Republican-centric viewers, who would have, I think, liked to have heard what the plan was for American workers, don't get to hear it because they were talking about high gas prices.

Your thoughts as you listened?

MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'll never try to explain anything that FOX does.

But I can tell you a that Adrian Perkins, the mayor of Shreveport and the mayor of Lake Charles have basically said the I-10 corridor connects this country economically. And Mayor Perkins will tell you I- 49 does.

And unless both of those roads are safe, people are not going to be able to work.

So I think the president made a very compelling case today. As you said, Alisyn, one that Republican and Democrats would agree with that, A, we need to put people back to work.

B, we need to do that by rebuilding our infrastructure because we're way behind China in getting our brains beat out.

And, C, because we actually have to build it back in a way that allows America to make it competitive.

So, I just can't, for the life of me, understand why Republican leaders in Congress will not really think hard about doing what is necessary, not just in Louisiana, but in Pennsylvania, in Kentucky, where Mitch McConnell lives, in Minneapolis, where the bridges are broken.


Everybody agrees that we need to do this and that America needs to get back to work. So, I'm hoping that, you know, that he's going to meet with some great success.

BLACKWELL: Congressman, let me bring that to you.

We, of course, have heard from Mitch McConnell that he's 100 percent focused at stopping this administration. He says that there's uniformity in the conference.

But you have -- at least you told our producers -- a degree of optimism that on this issue of infrastructure, there could be some compromise. CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do, Victor. And the reason

I say that is because you have Shelley Moore Capito, who's put out a proposal that is serious. And I'm sure she did that with the consent of her leadership.

I think there's room to negotiate between her number, which I think was around $600 billion, and where the Democrats are.

By the way, just having listened to the president's speech, he's right about infrastructure.

But what I just listened to there, he said something -- he didn't talk about user fees. He didn't -- he talked about expanding the V.A. infrastructure.

Hell, we have a massive health care infrastructure in this country. What we need to do is get veterans into the civilian health care system.

We don't need to expand the V.A. health care system like he just proposed. So there are things they need to talk about.

And I think if the president were smarter about this, he would enlist the business community as an ally on infrastructure. They have historically supported infrastructure. And we need it.

But now he's got a situation where his chief proponents of this legislation are now going to be their primary opponents because of the method of the pay for it he suggested.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about that, Charlie, because you're a Republican and I want to ask you what you hear when he says, I'm not a deficit spender.

You know, obviously, the Republicans in Congress have been hitting him so hard for what they think are these, you know, huge ticket items in the trillions of dollars.

And so when he says I'm not a deficit spender, here's how it's going to be paid for, do you find that plausible and what are you hearing?

DENT: Well, I think a lot of this is not going to be paid for. And I'm talking about everything between the COVID bill, the infrastructure bill, and then I'll say the social services investment proposal. I think a lot of it won't be paid for.

But I think the president is correct that we should try to at least pay for part of this.

But again, I think it comes back down to users. Why should a guy driving an electric vehicle, like a Tesla, who's making a lot of money -- he doesn't pay a nickel in gasoline tax but he uses the roads.

He didn't suggest a vehicle mile travel tax for people who are driving those alternative-fuel vehicles or electric vehicles.

I mean, we should be talking about capturing revenue. There's uncollected revenue out there that we should be going after as well.

Yes, the business community should pay its fair share. The question is, should it pay the entire bill for American infrastructure? They're not the only people who use it.

BLACKWELL: Mr. Mayor, what do you think?

LANDRIEU: I think Charlie's smart and I think he heard in the president's speech today, the president actually said it, I'm willing to negotiate.

And of course, if we were sitting at the table, Charlie and I, we would figure out 50 different ways to get where we need to be.

Here's what the president said. He is not prepared to do nothing.

Right now, we have about a $5 trillion deficit, in infrastructure deficit alone before you even get to the human capital side of it.

And almost all the Democrats and Republicans in the country agree that we've got a huge problem that we've got a fix.

So I'm hoping that the congressmen and the president and the Senators will put their shoulder to the wheel and find an answer to, A, putting people back to work, Bo, building it back better, like the president said, which I think is a good vision for the whole country.

And the thing that the president said that struck me is he's never met a Democrat or a Republican road or bridge.

And I think that most citizens would agree with that and would come to the conclusion that they want their roads, their bridge, their sewer, broadband, for god's sake, that will connect rural America and urban America.

Even given what happened with COVID and the incredible need for us to be connected is critically important to this nation and our ability to compete on an international level.

So I'm very hopeful we'll get there. But Washington can scare the hell out of you from time to time for good reason.

CAMEROTA: Mayor Landrieu, Congressman Dent, thank you both very much.

Now to what's going on in Congress. Liz Cheney just keeps telling the truth.


BLACKWELL: Yes, we are in the embattled congresswoman's district, in her state, to hear what voters have to say about the controversy.


BLACKWELL: Congresswoman Liz Cheney is continuing to condemn former President Trump and his role in the January 6th insurrection. In a new "Washington Post" op-ed, she writes, "The Republican Party is

at a turning point. Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution."

CAMEROTA: A vote to remove Cheney from leadership could come as early as next week.

Republicans appear to be rapidly coalescing around New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney.

Stefanik still refuses to admit that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.

Here she is today speaking about the future of the GOP.


REP. RELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): This is also about being one team. And I am committed to being a voice and being a clear -- sending a clear message that we are one team.

And that means working with the president and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress.


CAMEROTA: Now, to be clear, Victor, when she says she wants to work with the president, I don't think she means President Biden.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you caught that, yes.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I think she must think there's another president right now.

BLACKWELL: Some Republicans may be taking Cheney's removal a step further. Sources tell CNN that a coalition of Trump allies are now searching for potential candidates to challenge Cheney during the Republican primary.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov is with us from Cheney's home state of Wyoming.

Lucy, good to see you.

Are voters there concerned about what the vote that's coming likely could mean to a state like Wyoming?


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, when it comes to a state like Wyoming, people are not hanging on to every twist and turn.

It's a rural state. A lot of people work the land. And oil, gas and coal are key. And those industries are solidly behind Liz Cheney.

So when it comes to the leadership battle playing out in Washington, that's not swaying votes, hearts and minds. However, Cheney's decision to split with Donald Trump is having an

impact. And that boils down to her vote to impeach then-President Trump.

Take a listen to what one Republican voter told me.


JOHN CURTIS, OWNER, CHEYENNE INDUSTRIAL AND AUTOMOTIVE: I read in the paper that said she had to vote her conscience. OK, maybe she's forgotten why she's there.

Your conscience isn't why she was elected. She's supposed to be representing the people of Wyoming, not her conscience.

KAFANOV: How did it make you feel when you saw she voted to impeach the then-President Trump?

CURTIS: A little disgusted with her. I personally don't see a reason for it. And I just think she's joined the Democrats.


KAFANOV: That's one point of view.

At the same time, Cheney has her supporters. The Cheney name is an iconic brand name here in Washington. She is well funded, well connected. And she can bring home the bacon.

Is this leadership battle going to impact her re-election chances? Quite honestly, anyone who tells you for sure one way or the other probably doesn't know what they're talking about.

Wyoming is a notoriously difficult state to poll. We're probably not getting that answer until the next election -- guys?

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

Lucy Kafanov, thank you.

BLACKWELL: A lot of questions About what's ahead for fully-vaccinated Americans.

CAMEROTA: What is the deal with booster shots? Are we going to need them? Dr. Leana Wen joins us next.



BLACKWELL: Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are at their lowest levels in seven months. And we're seeing vaccinations work to slow the spread.

And two new studies, one from Israel and another from the gulf state of Qatar, are reconfirming how well Pfizer doses work against infection, including from the variants.

E.R. doctor and former Baltimore health commission and CNN medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen, joins us now. And her upcoming book, "Lifelines, A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Healthy," will be released in July.

Dr. Wen, thank you for being with us.

Are we seeing the result of exclusively or primarily the vaccines or the change of lifestyle? Now, people are going back outside and we know how low the occurrence of transmission is outdoors.

What are we seeing? Is this a cumulative affect?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think it is, Victor. And I think it's a combination of several things. But the most important is the rise in vaccinations.

When we have a lot of people in the community that now have immunity from coronavirus, when there's an infection, it has not that many places to spread.

So I think we could have had a really bad surge, similar to what we saw over the holidays, but that's blunted because of the vaccinations.

And I agree with you that I think being outdoors helps a lot because outdoors compared to indoors reduces transmission by as much as 18 to 19 times.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Wen, we heard the president of Moderna start to talk today about booster shots. What is the current thinking on that? What does the research suggest?

For those of us who have been doubling vaccinated, will that wear off at the end of the year? When will we need booster shots?

WEN: I think it's important to know that when the Moderna and Pfizer advisers are speaking, they are talking to their shareholders. They're giving a corporate presentation.

I think it's important for us to separation what we know from their speculation.

What is known is that the vaccines that are there are really effective and very safe and they last for at least six months. They may well last way more than six months.

Actually, the antibody response doesn't look like there's any kind of tapering after six months. So it might last for years.

It's also true that maybe there are boosters that can target specific variants. But even the vaccines that we have now are very effective against the main variants of concern.

And so, may we need boosters in the future? Maybe. But I think it's important for us not to get ahead of the science. BLACKWELL: So it's your expectation, and you say, maybe, that maybe

what we are hearing from Moderna is premature? Is that what you are suggesting?

WEN: I think they are trying to tell their investors that there may be boosters coming in the future. But I think that kind of speculation has a particular harm as well.

Which is they have had studies on people hesitant of taking the vaccine. When they hear you may need a booster, that detours them from getting the vaccine in the first place.

So I want us to talk about what we know for sure, which is that boosters may be developed in the future that target variants. Maybe they will be required to boost our immunity. We don't know if that's needed as of yet.

We should keep in mind that the vaccines we have are really safe and effective.

CAMEROTA: OK. So, Dr. Wen, what is the status for adolescents, 12- to 15-years-old? Are they going be eligible for the vaccines, I've heard, as early as next week?

And one more thing if you could touch on it. I have heard some moms saying they are worried about the future implications about their daughter's fertility, getting somebody 12-, 13-, 14-year-old girls vaccinated.

Could you speak to that and if there should be any worry?

WEN: Absolutely. In terms of the status, we are hearing that as early as next week the FDA could give authorization for 12 to 15-year-olds to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

And I know there are a lot of 12 to 15-year-olds that are eager to have sleepovers and go back to youth sports, so that's great news.

As far as the speculation, there has been this disinformation that circulating about somehow the vaccine is impacting fertility. And there's no science basis behind this whatsoever..

In fact, we know, in the clinical trials, there are people that received the vaccine who gotten pregnant subsequently.


And also after the trials, there have been a lot of women who have taken the vaccine and have gotten pregnant.

So there really is no scientific basis behind this. And I think it's an important question for us to ask and address because so many people have this question.