Return to Transcripts main page


Demographics of COVID Vaccinations; President Biden Delivers Address on Economic Proposals. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired July 7, 2021 - 15:00   ET



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My plan will also provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for medical.


BIDEN: Up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.

Look, we're one of the few major economies in the world that doesn't cover paid family medical leave. In the most difficult moment someone will ever face, no one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck and taking care of somebody you love, parent, a spouse, a child.

Look, we will tackle the maternal mortality crisis as well that impacts on black and Native American mothers disproportionately. And what -- and I want to thank Congressman Underwood for her leadership in this area. That's for real.


BIDEN: As I have said again and again, people who really need a tax break in this country are America's working families. It's time they get a tax break.

So, my Build Back Better agenda would extend expanded childcare credit we passed under my American Rescue Plan. Those of you who have children under the age of 7, you're going to get -- and depending on your income, and your income taxes, you're going to get a cash payment back.

Up until now, guess what? You get $2,000 if you declare a dependent. If you have two children, you get $4,000 off a $10,000 tax bill. It's important. But if you don't have enough -- you don't have enough -- you don't make enough money to be able to have -- to owe that kind of tax, you don't get a tax credit. You don't get anything.

Well, under this proposal, guess what? You're in a situation where, if you have a child under the age of 7, you get back $3,600 in cash. In addition to that, those of you who are in that situation are going to start to see that come in by the end of this month on a monthly basis.

It can change the lives of people. Starting next week, families will begin to receive one of the largest ever single-year tax cuts aimed at families with children. And every child under the age of 6 is $3,600. Every child between 6 and 17 is $3,000.

It's not as a credit against your taxes, but a direct payment. You will get cash, cash. That's what you will get.

For example, a middle-class family with two children can expect to receive $7,200. You get the first half, the $3,600 paid out at $600 a month between July and December. And you get the rest between January and Tax Day.

With this one tax cut, every study shows that childcare is cutting poverty in half -- by 40 percent. Families with children who qualify for this, it cuts poverty by 40 percent. And so let's extend the tax cut at least through 2025. And let's expand--


BIDEN: Let's expand free meals for millions more children in school, with the assistance during the summer months, when they don't have access to those school meals.

We support families with children. We also need to provide greater dignity for our nation's senior citizens, who care for them. Look, for hundred of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities who need home- and community-based care services, they qualify for it under Medicaid, but there's a backlog of thousands of people.

But one study showed that $3,000 spent helping a senior stay in their home by providing -- saves the country more than $20,000 a year in medical costs. At the same time, more than 1.5 million Americans work in home care. They are disproportionately women, women of color and immigrants.

And those jobs are among the lowest paid in the economy. One in six home care workers lives in poverty. We need to do better on both sides of the equation. My plan expands home care for the older and disabled Americans, while improving jobs and pay for home care workers who care for them.

And here's the deal. You save a lot of money if you don't have to go to a home. Keeping people in their own home mentally and every other way is a benefit, a significant benefit for the community, as well as cost.

We also need to continue to make health care more affordable. When we lowered premiums and expanded coverage for the American -- in my American Rescue Plan, more than 1.5 million people signed up for what used to be called Obamacare.

I want to make these premium reductions permanent, so we can get even more people covered. We need to deal with the shortage of affordable housing in America. Over 10 million renters in this country pay more than half their income for the rent on their apartment.


And the lack of affordable housing prevents people from moving to communities where there are more opportunities. So we're going to make historic investments in affordable housing, increasing and improving the housing supply by building and rehabilitating more than two million home, especially in places that need more housing.

And we need to invest not just in the physical and human infrastructure of today. We need to invest in jobs and the industries of tomorrow. Three decades ago -- and this always disturbs me, even just repeating it. Three decades ago, the United States was number one in the world for a share of their GDP being invested in research and development. We were number one in the world.

We are now number eight in the world, number eight in the world. China was number -- or excuse me. We're -- China was number nine in the world. Now they are number two in the world.

Folks, Democrats and Republicans agree we can't afford to lose this race. It came together in the Senate Innovation and Competition Act that Dick was very much a part of to help us grow the industries that win the jobs of the future.

We need to lay the foundation for the next generation of American jobs and American leadership in manufacturing and technology. We're going to invest in historic black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, because, while these schools may not have the endowments or the labs needed to generate these jobs, these students are just as capable of learning about all the things that are going to provide the jobs of the future.

And, of course, no challenge is as urgent as climate change. Last week, I met with eight governors for a better part of an hour, all from the Western states, Republicans and Democrats. They are facing extreme heat, record drought, and a fire season that threatens to be much longer and more dangerous and more destructive than ever.

Last year, for example, more than 10 million acres burned in the West, 10 million acres, not counting the lives lost and homes lost, more land than exists in my home state of Delaware and my neighboring state of Maryland combined.

So, you have a fire swept through and took out every single thing in the state of Maryland and Delaware. The drought conditions this year are twice as bad. You have seen the pictures, reservoirs that are 40 feet down, 50 feet down. The extreme weather isn't just in the West.

In Illinois, farmers downstate are dealing with more frequent droughts. And two weeks ago, just south of here, you just had a nearly unprecedented tornado. We can't wait any longer to deal with climate crisis. We see it with our own eyes. And it's time to act.

The bipartisan agreement we reached makes some major strides. It's going to allow the transition of thousands of old, for example, diesel school and buses -- city buses. We are going to change them to electric buses. There are roughly half-a-million of these iconic yellow school buses on the road today; 95 percent of them run on diesel, for example, and diesel pollutes the air and is linked to asthma and other health problems and hurts our communities and causes our students to miss school.

I will put Americans to work capping tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells that are leaking methane. It's devastating. And the wages to fill these, cap these wells are the same wages that it took to dig the wells, making people earn a -- they will earn a prevailing wage to do it. There's thousands of them.

But we need to go further. I'm going to provide tax cuts for businesses and consumers who invest in clean energy technologies, like renewables, battery storage, next-generation aviation fuels, electric vehicles.

I want to set a clean electric standard that moves us to a fully clean and reliable grid. These steps are going to create good-paying union jobs and spur demand for domestic manufacturing, accelerating clean energy and clean cars, growing our capacity to build those technologies on factory floors, with union workers, here in the United States.

And we create a new generation of jobs in clean energy manufacturing. And I also want to enlist a new generation of climate conservation and reliance workers -- excuse me -- resilience workers, like FDR did when the American work plan for preserving our landscape with the Civilian Conservation Corps.

It's a similar thing. We can put Americans to work strengthening public lands and waters and making our communities rural and urban, more resilient against extreme weather. And we can take on the long overdue work of advancing environmental justice by addressing pollution.

My plan is also going to give grants to spur innovative policies and land projects -- excuse me -- local projects like installing community, solar and storage in disadvantaged communities, replacing streetlights that are made in America with LED bulbs that cost a whole lost less and last a whole lot longer, making upgrades and homes and schools and community centers to boost energy efficiency and cut electric bills.


Folks, I have laid out a lot of plans here, but that's because it's time we have to think bigger, we have to act bolder and we have to build back better.

When we passed the American Rescue Plan, the naysayers and the doubters said it wouldn't work. Well, we have created over three million jobs since I took office, more jobs in the first months of a presidential administration than any time in American history.

And last week, the Congressional Budget Office doubled their projections of the 2021 economic growth from 3.2 percent to 7.4 percent, and the OECD thinks it could be higher. That puts American Rescue Plan and work is going to move forward to do lot of things, including we're close to defeating the virus.

The last time energy -- the economy grew at this rate was in 1984, and Ronald Reagan was telling us it was an American morning. Well, this is going to be an American century.


BIDEN: With my American Families Plan and the other elements of the Build Back Better agenda, experts on Wall Street, analysts have said that we will create millions of good-paying jobs for years and decades to come, not just in the near term.

So, I'm going to be making the case to the American people until the job is done, until we bring this bipartisan deal home, until we meet the needs of families today and the economy of tomorrow.

And we can pay for it. Let me give you a rough example. This isn't -- you know, by the way, the American -- the plan for infrastructure is paid for. It's paid for. And this plan that I'm talking about, which is really expensive, if you add it all up, well, guess what?

The fact is that it's paid for as well. And let me tell you how we're going to pay for it. Some of the ways to pay for the rest of it is, the last couple of years, for example, 55 of the Fortune 500 companies making billions of dollars did not pay a single penny in taxes, not one single cent.

Now, I don't want to punish anybody, but everybody -- and I hope, someday, my grandchildren grow up to be billionaires. That would be wonderful, especially for a guy who for 36 years was listed as the poorest man in the United States Congress.


BIDEN: But, having said that, all kidding aside, everybody has to pay their fair share. I'm not trying to gouge anybody.

Everybody has to get in the game. If we put in place a minimum 15 percent tax on the profits of corporations, the ones that didn't pay any tax, that would raise a quarter-of-a-trillion dollars, $240 billion.

There's a loophole in the system called stepped-up basis. That loophole goes, if I made a capital gains, and I was a wealthy person, and I was going to cash in my stock, and I was going to have to pay a tax, I was going to make $400,000, and I was going to pay X-amount in taxes, if, on the way to cash it in, I get hit by a truck, God forbid, and die, and it was left to my daughter, there would be no tax paid.

It's not an inheritance tax. It was a tax due 10 seconds earlier. We close that loophole, that saves $400 billion a year -- not a year -- $400 billion over this period, which is enough to pay for the childcare tax credit. If we end tax breaks for fossil fuels and make polluters pay to clean

up the messes they have made, that would raise $90 billion. I'm not asking them to do anything that is unfair. Just not going to subsidize them anymore. They are doing well, thank you.

And the messes they made, they should clean up. Well, if we ask the top 1 percent -- and I hope many of you are in the top 1 percent.


BIDEN: Maybe.


BIDEN: You know, that tax cut that was passed in 2017 was all -- raised the deficit by over $2 trillion, not a penny paid for, and it didn't come back with anything.

That -- in fact, that entire $2 trillion, the vast majority went to the top one-tenth of 1 percent of the American people. One percent -- you know, if we just -- 1 percent -- the folks in the top 1 percent, if they just paid their personal income tax the same as the ones under President George Bush, George W. Bush, that would generate $13 billion a year.


It would raise the tax from what it is now from, 35 percent, to 39 percent. It's what -- it's not like this idea, if you listen to the guy who used to have this job, that somehow we're gouging people.

The fact of the matter is, a lot of you, if you're a plumber and a teacher, you're probably paying at 25 percent, 26 percent. Some of you will be paying higher.

But, here, look, it's enough to provide for that one change, enough to provide for two years free community college for every student in America. Now--


BIDEN: People say that one of the purposes of taxes is to also generate growth, along with making sure that we can pay for our basic needs.

Let me ask you, what is more than likely to grow the economy and enhance us? Continuing the tax cut at 37 percent or spending -- having to pay 39.5 percent, generating economic growth because now you have a tax system that will allow millions of students to go to community college?

When I was with Barack as vice president, he asked me to do a study, and I spent -- and I -- your sister Penny Pritzker was part of my effort to taking care of it, and the effort was simple. We came along and we said, OK, what do -- we did 300 and I think 47 -- I don't remember the exact number -- of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. We said, what do you need most? You know what they said, to -- almost

to a person? I need a better-educated work force. They are not prepared to pay for it. Imagine if we present the world and the nation with a better-educated work force. It helps everybody.

The point is, we pay for our entire plan and make the tax system fair for all Americans. It's about time. There's a lot of work ahead of us to finish the job. But we're going to get it done. We're going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be and show the world, just as importantly, we will show ourselves, that democracy, democracy can deliver. The people of Illinois and America and the world can lead again.


BIDEN: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

I know that's a boring speech, but it's an important speech.

God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


BIDEN: Appreciate it. And excuse my back. I appreciate.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: All right, you have been listening to President Biden there, a little tongue in cheek at the end, saying it was a boring speech, but important speech, as he pitches what he calls generational investments in human infrastructure, tax credit to cover childcare expenses, paid family and medical leave, extending the child tax credit, all in what will be this reconciliation bill, meaning Democrats only, to get through Congress.

We will see if we can do that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Yes, these were the things that were left out of the framework of the bipartisan infrastructure deal that he thinks needs to be included. He called it the human infrastructure.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is traveling with the president.

So, Jeff, all the stuff that Victor just laid out, the child tax credit, the lower childcare costs, the expanded home care benefits, these are important priorities for the president. Do those have support in Congress?


And President Biden was pretty clear, as you laid out, Alisyn, that reconciliation is going to be the way to get this American Families Plan through. Of course, reconciliation, which we will all be learning a lot about in the coming weeks, is simply a way to do a budget process on a party-line vote. So this is something that the president really trying to steer the

conversation back to the substance of what he ran on as president, his Build Back Better plan, talking about this human infrastructure, if you will, the American Families Plan, talking about childcare credits, really going through point by point by point of many of the agenda items he ran on.

And he's striking it in the context of, to remain competitive around the globe, the United States, he says, has to invest more in education, using this one example. He said 12 years is no longer enough for schooling. It must be at least 14 years. So free community college is a part of that.

So a lot of the elements of this plan are in fact very popular. How do you pay for it? He talked about that at the end as well, talking about getting more from corporations who are not necessarily paying their fair share.

So this is not necessarily a new speech, but certainly reframing the argument. But a bit of a reality check here before he said this remark. He was looking at the childcare center here at McHenry County College, and whether -- it's a day care center here.


And was asked by reporters about Senator Mitch McConnell, who has essentially declared all of this DOA. Let's listen.


BIDEN: Mitch McConnell loves our programs. You see what Mitch McConnell said? He told me he wasn't going to get a single vote in order to allow me to get, with the help of everybody here, that $1.9 trillion tax cut -- I mean -- excuse me -- program to -- for economic growth.

Look it up, man. He's bragging about it in Kentucky. It's a great thing for Kentucky. It's getting $4 billion to help poor -- it's amazing. Check out Mitch McConnell. You can even see it on TV.


ZELENY: So, that certainly is President Biden's latest attempt at calling Republicans out for really taking credit for a lot of these ideas in the bill, particularly those child tax credits, widely popular among families of all partisan stripes here.

So we know what the outline of this fight is. It is going to be a Democrats-only bill. And, of course, Democrats have to shore up some of their own as well on this reconciliation package, but the president clearly trying to reframe this argument, reminding people what's in the bill, perhaps trying to move away a little bit from the sausage- making and how these deals will ultimately be conducted, as he continues his summer road show here in the Midwest -- Victor and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Jeff, let's talk about the location, Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Is that a Republican stronghold? And why did he choose that?

ZELENY: Well, it is.

It is McHenry County, Illinois. And, Alisyn, I can tell you, last week, the president was in Wisconsin. Right now, we're about 20 miles South of the Wisconsin state line. So, if it tells you anything about the most important states for President Biden and the agenda, it is right here in places that he won.

This is a blue state, of course, but we are in a red county in a blue state, which explains why there are about, I would say, a couple hundred or so Trump supporters here coming out to a protest the president, some Biden supporters as well.

So this is one area that's actually represented by two Democrats in the House of Representatives. So the president over the last couple of weeks has been visiting the blue states that he won, like Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, but some more redder areas in those blue states. So that is why he is here in Northern Illinois, just about an hour or so outside of Chicago.

And, of course, in this area, not everyone is on board, by any stretch of the imagination. We can see some signs supporting President Trump, certainly not supporting President Biden. But that is why he's here.

The White House believes there's broad support for the items in this plan. Of course, the challenge is trying to get this through the Congress -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Interesting stuff.

Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much for breaking it down for us.

So, up next, a new CNN analysis of COVID data, and it proves how the disparity in vaccinations among minorities and young people has led to an increase in infections.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a Republican congressman in Texas is caught saying it's his goal to block every bill in Congress for the next 18 months.

And now he's doubling down on those comments.



CAMEROTA: We have a brand-new CNN analysis on the extreme demographic disparities in America's fight against the pandemic.

Let's look at who is getting hit the hardest and who has the most access to the vaccine.

BLACKWELL: So, as of July 4, about two-thirds, a little more than, of adults across the country have received at least one dose, but the daily pace of vaccinations has slowed dramatically.

And some groups, specific groups, are bearing the brunt of it.

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is with us now with the numbers.

And, Elizabeth, when you break it down by racial group and geographic group, it's startling. What did you find?


So, what we found in the CNN analysis, Victor, is that the groups who -- that were hardest hit by the pandemic, which was mainly people of color, there was great hope that they would be vaccinated in very large numbers, because they're the groups that really need to be protected.

But it's turned out that that is not what has happened. So let's take a look at these numbers. If you look at the set of bars on the left hand side here, that 29 percent, 29 percent of COVID cases in the U.S. were among people of Hispanic origin, 29 percent.

But when you look at the green, only 15 percent of the vaccinations have been among people of Hispanic origin. And they represent about 17 percent of the population. So it really is lower than it should be in so many ways. Now, if we go and look at black people, the differences are not quite as big for black people. But you see those differences there as well.

Now let's take it so, if you look at the purple one, that one is the total percentage of COVID cases. It was about 11 percent was among black people, but it's only 9 percent of the vaccinations in the United States. That's lower than the percent of the population, which is 12. So, again, these numbers represent millions and millions of people who should have been vaccinated, but haven't so far been vaccinated.

And the differences are not just along racial lines, but also geographic lines. Let's take a look at this map. When you look at the Southern United States, what you see is that folks who live in that red area represent 38 percent of the population, but they're only 34 percent of everyone who's been vaccinated in the U.S.

So, you might say, oh, it's only 4 percentage points. That's not such a big deal. It is a big deal.