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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Vaccine Doses Expiring; Internet Access; Infrastructure Negotiations; Biden Speaks to U.S. Air Force Personnel Amid First Overseas Trip; Millions of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses at Risk of Expiring; Border Patrol Bracing for Summer Surge of Migrants. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired June 09, 2021 - 16:00   ET



JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to end COVID-19, not just at home which we're doing but everywhere. There's no wall high enough to keep us safe from this pandemic or the next biological threat we face and there will be others. It requires coordinated multilateral action.

We must all commit to an ambitious climate action if we're going to prevent the worst impacts of climate change limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and lead the global transition to clean energy technology.

You know, when I went over to the tank in the Pentagon when I first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were, the greatest physical threats.

And this is not a joke. You know what the joint chiefs told us the greatest facing America was? Global warming. Because there will be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they're literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore.

With the G7, we plan to launch an ambitious effort to support resilience and development around the world by investing in high quality, high standard physical digital and health infrastructures. We have to make sure the new technologies and norms of conduct and cyberspace are established including addressing the growing threat of ransomware attacks, governed by our democratic values not by the autocrats who are letting it happen.

These are all critical national security issues in 2021 and we're going to be driving this agenda together with our G7 partners. In Brussels, I'll make it clear that the United States' commitment to our NATO alliance and Article 5 is rock solid. It's a sacred obligation we have under Article 5. The U.S. and the U.K. are both founding members of NATO, the strongest

military and political alliance in the history of the world and that's not hyperbole. Our troops have stood shoulder to shoulder around the world including serving bravely in the mountains of Afghanistan for the past 20 years. Our NATO allies have had our backs when it mattered just like we've had theirs when it's mattered.

And now, we need to modernize our alliance investing in our critical infrastructure, our cyber capabilities and to keep us secure against every threat we faced over the last decade and the new challenges we're about to face as well. With the European Union leaders, I'll discuss how the United States can work with Europe to address the full range of issues that require the full strength of our transatlantic partnership, including working together to shape the new rules for the 21st century economies.

And only after these meetings with our closest democratic partners to develop a common agenda and renewed purpose, I'll travel to Geneva to sit down with the man I've spent time with before, President Vladimir Putin.

We're not seeking conflict with Russia. We want a stable predictable relationship. Our two nations share incredible responsibilities and among them ensuring strategic stability and upholding arms control agreements. I take that responsibility seriously.

But I've been clear: the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities. We've already demonstrated that. I'm going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies in the United States and Europe and elsewhere.

I'm going to be clear that the transatlantic alliance will remain vital, a vital source of strength for the U.K., Europe and the United States. And I'm going to make sure there's no doubt as to whether the United States will rise in defense of our most deeply held values and our fundamental interests.

Here's why this all matters so much right now. I believe we're in at an inflection point in world history, the moment where it falls to us to prove that democracies will not just endure, but they will excel as we rise to seize the enormous opportunities of the new age. We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over as some of our fellow nations believe. We have to expose as false the narrative that the decrees of dictators can match the speed and scale of the 21st challenges.


You know and I know, they're wrong. But it doesn't mean we don't have to work harder than ever to prove that democracy can still deliver for our people. For the many who think things are changing so rapidly, democracies can get together to form a consensus to respond like autocrats can.

But you know better than anyone that democracy doesn't happen by accident. We have to defend it. We have to strengthen it, renew it.

And I know that the American people are up to this job. I know because I look around this hangar, what I see is I see America. I see America, people of different backgrounds coming together in a shared mission.

Our democracy has never been perfect -- never been perfect. But Americans of all races, religions, sexual orientation, immigrants, Native Americans, all have spilled their blood to defend the values that we talk about. Generation after generation of American heroes have signed up to be part of the fight because they understand the truth that lives in every American heart, that liberation, opportunity, justice is far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than emerging autocracies in the world. I promise you that's what this is going to be all about for your generation and those of your children.

And here's what else I know beyond a doubt: there's not a single thing, nothing, nothing beyond America's competence to accomplish when we do it together, when we do it as one people, you're proof of that. You're proof of that every single day. Your bravery, your decency, your honor, your commitment to duty.

You can send more fuel through a boom of a KC-135R in eight minutes than a civilian gas pump can pump in 24 hours. And you do it in midair and that's all a normal day for this team. There's no telling we can't win our race to the future across the board.

We're the country that cracked the physicals and physics of human flight then crashed through the sound barrier, then put a man on the moon and flew a helicopter on Mars. I could go on and on and on. There's nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity.

So I want to thank you again for welcoming Jill and me today. It's great to be here in the U.K., but it's greater being here seeing you first. Seeing all of you is the best possible way to start this trip.

Let me end where I began, by saying thank you. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I give you my word -- thank you all for what you do. Thank you all for your understanding that we're a nation based on values. Thank you all for protecting us all.

May God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Thank you and God bless.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we are going to start with breaking news in our world lead, President Biden, you just saw him there finishing addressing U.S. troops, service members stationed in the United Kingdom as President Biden kicks off his first international trip, a high stakes one that will culminate with one of the biggest meetings of his career, face- to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden begins with four days at the summit of fellow wealthy

democracies which is called the G7, then heads to Brussels for two separate event, one with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, a collective defense alliance of 30 North American and European countries and then a summit with leaders of the European Union, all of this is an effort to unite the United States and its closest allies in Biden's mission to stem Russia's nefarious ways before meeting with Putin. That will be in Geneva, Switzerland.

The timing could not be more urgent. President Biden says he plans to bring up the slew of cyber hacks perpetrated, intelligence officials say, by bad actors in Russia against American companies with Putin. Biden will bring that up with Putin.

As Biden's energy secretary has warned, these hackers right now have the ability to shut down the U.S. power grid if they so desire.


Let's get straight to CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly. He's in Falmouth, England.

Phil, the White House previewed his conversation with Putin. What should we expect?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think the White House has been very clear that this is expected to be a direct conversation. This is expected to be a moment where the president lays out very clearly what the U.S. priorities are but perhaps more importantly, what repercussions may come.

Jake, you mentioned obviously, the ransomware attacks that have occurred from criminal syndicates inside Russia but also the state- sponsored attack, the SolarWinds attack that infiltrated multiple different government agencies, the U.S. imposed sanctions related to that but the president is expected to lay out further costs that the U.S. would impose directly to President Putin.

And this is all part of a plan that the U.S. officials have laid out very clearly heading into this meeting that the president, even though some of his advisers were wary of sitting down with President Putin believes this is something that has to happen, that face-to-face matters particularly with somebody who runs his country and runs his own foreign policy the way Vladimir Putin does, a very complex relationship, a very complex leader, one that President Biden who met with vice president or with President Putin ten years ago as vice president believes he can best manage face-to-face.

But, Jake, they've made very clear the president will be direct, the president is not going to hem or haw, or try to tinker around the edges. He wants President Putin to know where he stand, where the U.S. stands and what will occur if President Putin continues some of the actions he's gone through over the course of the last -- not just several months but several years.

And, Jake, one final thing that I think is important in talking to the president's national security advisers and you laid it out in your lead in. This meeting isn't happening in isolation, this meeting was carefully calibrated to happen after these meetings with long held U.S. alliances, with kind of the key stakeholders Western countries that were formed in groups and particularly in the case of NATO to push back against Russia, the president wants to show a united front, show a reinvigorated Western front as he heads into the meeting, a show of strength the U.S. officials believe will help him as he sits down with a leader that very often is unpredictable, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly in England covering the president's trips, thank you so much.

And let's pick up with our panel here. Where Phil left off, getting everybody on the same page, first the G7 with six other countries, then with NATO with 29 other countries, then with the European Union, how important is that for Biden to get everybody on the same page so he can then meet with Putin?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hugely important. And it was really notable in that speech he just gave that he laid down some of the markers and gave a warning. It's not just the substance of what he said but the timing of what he says, warned that the U.S. will respond in any way the Russians have aggression against the U.S. or the kind of democracy and there will be consequences for that.

He also talked really emphatically about the importance of alliances, and this is maybe boilerplate language for a U.S. president but not against the last four years and was trying to clearly make a break from that ahead of these meetings.

TAPPER: And we can't really -- we can't overemphasize the threat here in a way because, I mean you had the FBI director last week compare the cyberthreat to 9/11. The energy secretary told me on Sunday that these bad actors in Russia, these hackers have the power to shut down the U.S. power grid right now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, it's not only a clear threat but it almost seems as if it's coming out of nowhere. I think if people were just sort of waking up today they might say, wow, how did we get to this point and it's because for years, there's not been as much attention to what the nature of that threat was. And in order to combat that, I think the Biden administration recognizes that they need to have a pretty hard line on Putin but they also need their allies together.

I mean, you know, for the last four years as Dana said, the series of events here for a trip like this would be, you know, criticize your allies first and insist on more money and then pivot to, you know, our shared adversaries. That is what the Biden administration --

BASH: And Russia was not necessarily one of them.

PHILLIP: And Russia was not necessarily one of them.

TAPPER: Yes. PHILLIP: So it's a complete change of tactic because the threat is so diffuse now, the cyberthreats are not as easy I think for some people to conceptualize as other threats and it requires a shared and a joint effort to combat it.

TAPPER: And, Josh Rogin, the current U.S. ambassador to Russia appointed by Trump, a holdover in the job right now, he privately warned lawmakers of his concerns that the Biden administration risks making the same mistake of previous administrations if they don't go into this meeting with clear eyes about the threat.


Biden has talked tough about Putin in the past. What do you think?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, the U.S./Russia relationship is complex. We have good aspects and bad aspects. It's tough to manage.

The problem with the Trump administration is that it was a mess, that Trump was saying one thing and the bureaucracy was saying another thing. So, now, they have a chance to get on the same page. That means being tough but also having a path towards negotiation on the things they care about, Iran, climate change, Afghanistan, you name it, arms control.

So, that's complex. That's the stuff of diplomacy that we haven't been doing. So just identifying the problem is good. Democracy versus autocracies, everybody can understand that. That's all well and good.

But now, can we walk and chew gum? Can we be tough with Putin and also advance our interests where they overlap? That's what's going on behind the scenes. They don't know.

The Biden people don't know if Putin is willing to go back to that kind of frenemies relationship where we're tough in public but in private we work on stuff. And Russians don't know if the Biden team is willing to do that either.

So, that's the test. That's what we'll know coming out of this. Is it going to be tough, tough, tough or are we going to have a complex relationship with an important country that we need to deal with on the world stage in order to protect ourselves?

TAPPER: There are things, Dana, that President Biden, his administration, have done that Russia hawks have been disappointed by. Lifting the sanctions related to Nord Stream, not informing the Ukrainian President Zelensky that he was going to do that and a number of other things.

Now it's early yet. We don't know what he's going to do. But there -- I know plenty of Russia hawks who had hopes for Biden that are already disappointed, who think that he is giving Russia rewards before there has been any reason to reward them.

BASH: That's right, especially given the rhetoric we heard from candidate Joe Biden because Russia was such a political hot potato because of Donald Trump --

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: -- and everything that we know happened with Russia that he was -- Joe Biden was so aggressive about saying how tough he would be on Russia and that because of his 36 years in the Senate and his experience, eight years as vice president, they understood Russia and that they would really be punished that he set up the Biden administration to be more hawkish as you said and then he got in there and he is a little bit more, you know, real politic in terms of his approach because he does understand the complexities he laid out.


BASH: Yeah.

ROGIN: And he has a responsibility and they have an agenda. They need Putin to work with him. Is that possible? Can they come to an agreement on Syria? Well, that would be good for Syria, good for Russia and the United States, but the relationship might be too broken to fix.

So I think they should do both. We should walk and chew gum. We should work with them, stand up to them and then try to negotiate with them. That's what we haven't had. We haven't had competence in our diplomacy.

And can they bring back that confidence? I think it remains to be seen.

PHILLIP: I think a lot of this is going to depend on Putin, though. I mean, when Biden says he wants a stable and predictable relationship, the question is, can you have a stable and predictable relationship with Vladimir Putin who literally tries to troll Joe Biden at every turn, saying things publicly that he knows are, you know, as far as the January 6th insurrection, for example, downplaying that but then --

TAPPER: But then also acting as those persecuted people for --

ROGIN: Well, you know, Navalny.

PHILLIP: And that's a really good point because I think what yours -- what it seems that Putin is doing right now is pushing the envelope on these cyberattack, on how he's dealing with dissidents internally, and it's challenging the premise that this can be a stable relationship, let alone one that is predictable. The Biden administration may want that, but Putin is -- sees an opening here to, it seems, to act out and the question is, can they get him back to the table in a reasonable way?

And maybe the cat is out of the bag. I mean, he's had four years of being able to really do kind of what he wants on the world stage. It's a little hard to put that genie back in the bottle.

TAPPER: If Putin does not listen to President Biden and the next hacking attack in the U.S. is even worse than SolarWinds or JBS or Colonial Pipeline, do you think it will seem that President Biden has failed?

ROGIN: Well, it's not over. He will be failing, but he's got four years. There are a number of measures they can take, both positive and negative, carrots and sticks, you know, sanctions and also helping U.S. companies protect themselves.

I mean, we have to clean up our own shop before we point fingers elsewhere. And there's always going to be criminals and Putin is going to always be a bad guy, he's always going to be a killer, so we have to shore up our own system to make sure they're not ripe for this kind of stealing.

But, yes, I think Abby is exactly right. If he doesn't want to play ball, then, fine, we're going to have four years of increasing tension and if that's the game he wants to play, then that's the game we can play and we have the high ground. We are the United States of America, but what Biden has tried to do is convince the rest of the world this new return to normalcy and diplomacy is not just a temporary thing that America is back.


But what the Europeans are saying is like is America back, because Biden can't make any promises that go beyond January 2025.

TAPPER: And, Dana, we've talked about this. Joe Biden's public persona aided in fact by Donald Trump and Donald Trump's campaign is this befuddled old man who doesn't know where he's going. The truth of the matter is, he is a tough guy and I don't necessarily mean that as a compliment. He is a brass knuckles politico.

And, you know, this is not the perception of him out there, but we'll see if he brings that to bear with Putin.

BASH: He has exhibited that toughness in -- and brashness frankly in meetings when he was vice president. He talks about how he stormed out of meetings. That is not exactly the kind of characteristic that one would think of when they think of, you know, frankly the Uncle Joe that he tries to put forward on the domestic stage, but that is him.

And I think the point that all of you have made is really important that we have to continue to juxtapose where we are now versus where we are -- where we were for four years, where Vladimir Putin felt in a lot of ways very justifiably that he could play the president of the United States like a fiddle. He can't do that now. For one reason and one reason only and perhaps there are more, but at least the baseline is because Biden has the experience. Biden has the understanding of geopolitics that his predecessor didn't have.

TAPPER: Yeah. We'll see if he has the mettle, though, to be determined.

Dana Bash, Abby Philip and Josh Rogin, good to see you in person. It's been a long time. President Biden hit with a left hook tore trying to reach out to the right. Why some progressives are fed up after infrastructure talks crumble.

And the vice president shaking off a few hits she took for not visiting the border on her trip south. CNN did go to the border. What we found there in terms of pain and heartache, well, it's shocking.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, progressives are fed up after President Biden scrapped one bipartisan infrastructure negotiation to move on to another bipartisan infrastructure negotiation.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who thinks the Democrats need to ultimately go it alone, she called the move to now defer to this 10- member group of Senate Republicans and Democrats, quote, foolish. And the congresswoman is not alone.

Let's get right to CNN's Ryan Nobles.

Ryan, let's start with what's on the table, and why these progressives are frustrated?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reason they're frustrated, Jake, is because their concern that the Democrat that are a part of these conversations are basically just giving up too much to Republicans, including taking out key provisions of the broader infrastructure plan related to climate change and also not giving enough when it comes to tax increases, including corporate tax increases in the estate tax, things along these lines.

Now, none of these negotiations are solid by any stretch of the imagination. It's just the beginning of a conversation. But the problem for both Republicans and Democrats is that you have to find enough votes to pass something and that's why this group is meeting.

I caught up with Jeanne Shaheen. She's a Democrat from New Hampshire. She said that everybody on the outside needs to calm down and let this process play out because they are making progress.

Take a listen.


SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): We have come to some agreement on various revenue streams that we think we could support. So I think there's the ability to get some agreement on revenue as well as expenditures but we've got to -- we've got to negotiate that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBLES: And the other thing Shaheen told me is that it's time for the White House to weigh in on this as well. And if the White House were to agree to in that a lot of Democrats would come along and join the party as well.

Jake, again, this comes to just what you can get enough votes to pass, right now, there's no tangible proposal on the table and until that happens it's difficult to forecast what could come next.

TAPPER: All right. Ryan, thank you so much.

Let's discuss.

Let me start with you, former Congresswoman Mia Love.

There are five Senate Republicans in this new group of ten that's negotiating. But that's -- those five, that's only half the number the Democrats need to overcome a filibuster. The Republican whip, Senator John Thune, said this group can't go far beyond where Senator Capito was and still get Republican votes.

Are you optimistic about these talks?

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I actually think it's the smart thing to do. I don't think it's the foolish thing to do and agree with Senator Shaheen where she states that everybody really should calm down and let the process take its course.

This is how you get bipartisan bills through. Mitt Romney has wanted to work with the COVID bill. He begged and said, look, I want to be able to do some of these things and want to get there and vote so we don't have to do it through budget reconciliation, and I'm glad that he's actually at the table.

And if they push Republicans out on this bill, I think it's going to lose all -- they're going to lose all good faith when it comes to Republicans on other bills they want to work on. If they don't do it this time, they're going to have to plan on budget reconciliations for a lot of the other bills that they're going to try to push through.

TAPPER: Right. You can only do it for budgetary bills, though, of course, or expenditures bills. That's the process where you only need 50 votes, or 51 votes, rather, with the vice president breaking the tie.

Former Congressman Joe Kennedy, your home commonwealth senator, Elizabeth Warren, she's already saying it's time to move forward without Republicans. Do you agree?

JOE KENNEDY (D), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, MASSACHUSETTS: Yeah, Jake, look, I think people are frustrated and Mia is right here that part of this is the process playing out. But the bottom line is Democrats need the votes and there's two members of that group that are Senators Manchin and Sinema and want others to give us another shot. But, look, there's an awful lot a Biden administration wants to do

that Democrats in both the House and the Senate want to do and that I think quite candidly our country needs from infrastructure investment and democracy reforms and efforts to actually make our country stronger, fairer, our economy more resilient.


The longer this takes, that window starts to close. So, I think that the administration, you got to do what you got to do in order to get the votes. I hope Republicans are willing to actually come to the table and get, just as you pointed out, 10, instead of five. I remain skeptical.


KENNEDY: And I think plenty of others do too.

TAPPER: So, Congresswoman, Senators Mitt Romney and Rob Portman from Utah and Ohio, they're part of this group. They're negotiating.

But they also say they're not going to agree to any tax increases to pay for the infrastructure deal, presumably, that means not even to Biden's proposal of a 15 percent minimum corporate tax, just asking -- asking companies to make sure they spend at least 15 percent on corporate taxes.

I mean, how can you feel optimistic when two of the Republicans--

LOVE: Well, I do.

TAPPER: Go ahead.

LOVE: Well, I just think that they're -- that those are going to be the sticking points, right, how big the bill is, how to pay for that bill, and what the definition of infrastructure is.

And so when you go back to the painful -- how long it took -- I was part of that process, and so was Representative, Congressman Kennedy, that was a hard, long process. And to go back and to strip some of that is going to be very difficult for Republicans.

But I do remain optimistic, because this has been done in the past. And I think that this is how bill should be run. You debate them and make sure that you do not allow perfect to be the enemy of a good win. You're going to have to give some up on both sides.

But America needs a good infrastructure plan. And that means that you're going to have to make some concessions, and then at least get something that you want on the table.

TAPPER: I do wonder, Congressman, how much you think these new -- this group of 10, these new negotiations are about letting -- about the White House and Senator Schumer, the leader of the Democrats, the majority leader, letting Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin do everything they can to get a bipartisan deal and exhaust that, so that then they can say, look, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, we tried, you got to join us now and pass this with just 50 votes, plus the vice president?

KENNEDY: Look, Jake, look, I think that's certainly part of it. And I hope they're successful. I hope they can get 10 Republicans on board. I hope they're able to find 10 Republicans that will come on board and embrace what a Democratic majority actually has, and the efforts there, so that this bill is robust enough to address the challenges our country is confronting.

Again, I think there's comments from a number of Republican senators, Ron Johnson amongst them, that cast serious doubt on that. That being said, no one expected that this was going to be easy, right? The legislative process is hard. And you have got Democratic control of government by a margin of exactly zero.

So you need every vote. And if you have got senators there that are saying, hey, we need to go down this process, you need to go down that process. But we are seeing the pushback there from the progressive, again, which I think everybody expected was going to happen.

We're just in it now. And it's a hard spot. It's a spot that I'd rather be in than the alternative.

TAPPER: All right, two of the best, former Representatives Mia Love of Utah and Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts. Thanks to both of you. Good to see you again.

KENNEDY: Thank you.

LOVE: Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up, another -- I'm sorry -- another infrastructure issue.

Congressional negotiators are dealing with high-speed Internet. And for many, it's not an issue. But about a third of this nation, a third of the American people have lived through this pandemic without access to the Internet.

Now, President Biden's proposed infrastructure bill is aiming to provide every home with reliable high-speed broadband by 2030.

CNN's Miguel Marquez takes a look at what that might mean for those who currently go without.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jaden Jackson (ph) and Kailyn (ph), when the pandemic hit, broadband for these students essential.

MELANIE WILLIAMS, MOTHER: We needed it for everything. I needed there for all of their schools. I need it for Zoom meetings.

MARQUEZ: She was paying 100 bucks a month for poor service; 44 percent of homes here in Cleveland have no high-speed Internet, says a 2018 report from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. And the White House says some 30 million Americans live in areas where broadband infrastructure isn't good enough.

ROLANDO ALVAREZ, DIGITALC: These neighborhoods don't have the right infrastructure.

MARQUEZ: Alvarez and DigitalC, a Cleveland nonprofit, focused on providing fast and cheap Internet for residents like Melanie Williams.

ALVAREZ: This device right here can do 10 gigabits -- 10 gigabits per second of throughput.


MARQUEZ: DigitalC is delivering ultra-high-speed Internet at a very low cost to those needing it.

WILLIAMS: Since the pandemic, I had to become a homeschool teacher all day. So that stopped me from working.

MARQUEZ: Today, with DigitalC service and help from the school, Williams pays zero for high-speed Internet that works for everyone.

MONICA MALIK, BUSINESS OWNER: One of our hottest sellers.

MARQUEZ: Monica Malik is running her own business from home.

MALIK: It helps me with my orders and helps me to reach out to customers and for them to get in contact with me faster.

MARQUEZ: Today, she pays about $19 a month for DigitalC's high-speed Internet, keeping her business up and running.

WANDA DAVIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASC3: And you two are fine. OK, just do what you do.

MARQUEZ: Cleveland's Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center trains and educates students to seniors, everything from job searches to doctor visits.

DAVIS: When the pandemic was in full force, our seniors couldn't get out and go to the doctor. So, if they didn't have Internet connectivity, then they could not take advantage of the technology with telehealth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for calling Greenlight. This is Matt. How can I help you?

DAVIS: What about where high-speed Internet is plentiful? Rural Wilson, North Carolina, near the tech hub of Raleigh-Durham, built its own municipal Internet system called Greenlight in 2008.

HUNTER STONE, TOISNOT PRESERVE: Well, it used to -- number one was, did you have sewer? Number two was, did you have county water, and right on down the line. Now I think that the broadband Internet has jumped in front.

MARQUEZ: Stone and his partner, Robbie Brown, developing home sites as fast as they can. They sell before they're finished.

And the builder will only build them if.

ROBBIE BROWN, TOISNOT PRESERVE: And the first question he asked, was there high-speed Internet, as in Greenlight? And it's not just homebuilding.

BILL O'BOYLE, NORTH STATE CONSULTING: We are standing in the middle of the old Herring Drug Store built in 1885.

MARQUEZ: Tech consultant Bill O'Boyle is bringing lots of higher- paying jobs to Wilson, jobs that wouldn't be possible without high- speed, affordable Internet.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Fifty-one employees today?

O'BOYLE: Correct.

MARQUEZ: How many in a month, in three months, in a year?

O'BOYLE: We intend to be about 75 by the end of this year. And we want to do about 125 in the next 18 to 24 months.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Well, Boyle's consulting business booming so much, he's refurbishing eight second downtown Wilson buildings that sat vacant for years.

MARQUEZ (on camera): What was this?

O'BOYLE: This used to be an auto parts warehouse for many decades. And it will be just as modern and advanced as any other tech space you would see in large markets.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): A huge investment for this small city a decade ago paying off massively today.

GRANT GOINGS, CITY MANAGER, WILSON, NORTH CAROLINA: If you are small community and you don't have these capacities, then the job market could be moving away from you.

MARQUEZ: Fast, cheap, reliable broadband, the bedrock of the new global digital economy.


MARQUEZ: And, now, look the pandemic put a very fine point on why all Americans need access to broadband Internet, proper broadband Internet.

And the administration says, if they have 100 billion bucks, that they could close those gaps in the rural areas and urban areas by 2030 -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Miguel Marquez, thank you so much.

Millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine possibly about to expire. Could they go to waste with so many around the world desperate for a shot?



TAPPER: In our health lead: Johnson & Johnson has a shelf life problem with its COVID vaccine. The vaccines are only good for three months and millions of doses are sitting unused in the United States.

On top of that, some states say federal rules will not let them donate those shots to other places in need. A plan to possibly redistribute this oversupply is under review, as Dr. Fauci warns of yet a new variant spreading quickly, as CNN's Amara Walker reports.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: We don't want to let happen in the United States what is happening currently in the U.K., where you have a troublesome variant essentially taking over as the dominant variant.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Growing concern that the more transmissible Delta variant first identified in India could fuel new surges among unvaccinated people in the United States.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: If you have states where vaccination rates are lower, they are still vulnerable, especially with this new Delta variant, which is even more infectious.

WALKER: The Delta variant already accounts for 60 percent of new cases in the U.K. and maybe more severe, according to British public health officials.

Dr. Anthony Fauci pleading with the public to get both vaccine doses now.

FAUCI: We cannot declare victory prematurely, because there are still a substantial proportion of people who have not been vaccinated.

WALKER: The White House is calling June a pivotal month of action. Lower vaccine demand could mean hundreds of thousands of shots going to waste.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine warning, 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will expire by the end of the month. Officials in Arkansas saying they have so many unused doses, they have stopped ordering the J&J vaccine.


In a statement to CNN, Johnson & Johnson says it's working to extend the shelf life of the vaccine which currently lasts up to three months in a refrigerator. As more Americans are traveling, the CDC has updated travel guidance to 120 countries for the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Thirty-three additional countries now at level one, the lowest risk category including Iceland, Israel, Singapore and South Korea.

Meanwhile, a battle pitting the Texas and Florida Republican governors against major cruise lines who use ports in their states. The governors' banning proof of vaccines but the cruise ships are requiring vaccines for passengers.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Texas is open 100 percent. And we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits.


WALKER: Now, Jake, health officials are warning states with lower vaccination rates are vulnerable to surges, especially with this new Delta variant. Georgia where we are is actually among the states with the lowest vaccination rates along with Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Now, here at this walk-up vaccination site in this neighborhood in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta, the organizers tell me, yes, they have been seeing lower demand over the past several weeks, that's probably because they live in an area where most people have been vaccinated and so they are now in the middle of shifting strategy to find a way to reach the population that has yet to be vaccinated -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Amara. Thank you so much.

Let's bring in CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, Fauci told CNN today that the FDA is reviewing now if the expiration date of the J&J vaccine can be extended or if not, if unused doses can be redistributed elsewhere. But is there still a chance, a good chance that many of these doses are going to go to waste?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think we're going to see certain percentage of dose gas to waste. I mean right now we're hearing it's a small percentage but it's kind of remarkable to think about, Jake, in the context of this year about these vaccines obviously being so important, and now at the point where demand has obviously been outstripped by supply.

So that was always going to be expected because you weren't going to get it exactly right, but now, I think the objective is try to decrease the amount that's going to be unused.

You remember Pfizer, Jake, initially it was a certain amount of cold storage then they said we could shorten the storage time. They may come up with strategies to try to extend the shelf life of Johnson & Johnson and possibly get some of these doses to COVAX, the world organization, to distribute this to other countries.

Just to give you con ticket, about 140 million doses administered total, 11 million of them have been in Johnson & Johnson. So, about 8 percent overall. So, it's not a huge percentage but important nonetheless.

TAPPER: Yeah, one of the reasons why the numbers are going down in terms of how many people are being vaccinated every day is because of vaccine skepticism. Some of it, not all of it, some of it fed by just completely lunatic conspiracy theories.

Take a look at this from a doctor, a certified physician, who testified at an Ohio statehouse health committee hearing and talked about the COVID vaccine in unhinged ways. Take a listen.


SHERRI TENPENNY, DOCTOR OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE: What is it that's actually being transmitted that's causing all of these things? Is it a combination of the protein which now we're finding has a metal attached to it? I'm sure you have seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who had these shots and now they're magnetized and put a key on their forehead and sticks. They can put spoon and forks all over them and they can stick.


TAPPER: I'm just going to do a test. I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm fully vaccinated. No, not magnetic. This doctor used that crazy theory to argue against legislation to allow proof of vaccinations in Ohio. Regardless of that legislation, I mean what do you make of this?

GUPTA: I'm never going to fully understand this, Jake. I mean, you know, it predates this pandemic, these types of conspiracy theories. I mean, you and I have talked about it in the past. I get when people advocate crazy things in order to sell something.

She has a book just "Say No to Vaccines", maybe that's it. There is no evidence of this and let's not equivocate. There is no microchip or tracking device or some sort of other product that's attached to these vaccines.

I -- you know, it's very -- it's harmful when you look overall at vaccine skepticism but one thing I will tell you is that she is probably preaching to an audience that already sort of believes what she says. I don't think she's convincing people that these are harmful. Take a look at vaccine acceptance in the country. I find this data interesting. We've been talking about it since the beginning.

So there's about, you know, now 66 percent who are absolutely saying, yes, I'll get it. I've already gotten it or I'm in line. The yellow line is that wait and see, that movable middle which has come down, it was over 40 percent at one point.


So, it's below 20 percent but it's the red line that we're talking about here, Jake, with what we heard from the doctor in Ohio. Seven percent say only if required, 13 percent that make up that red line say absolutely no way no how. But why though, some is because of exactly people hearing stuff like

that and, again, it's just preaching to the choir but another part is people do have other reason. They can't take time off. They think there's going to be a co-pay or something involved so there's all these different reasons, what you just saw there obviously does not help.

TAPPER: Yeah, to say the least. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

In our national lead, COVID infections among migrants crossing the border are one reason many more are dying this year compared to 2020 as they make this deadly trek to the United States. The surge of migrants is expected to get worse.

CNN's Rosa Flores went to the U.S./Mexico board story get a reality check. We should warn you, some of what's in her report you might find disturbing.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the end of the American dream for this man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has a Mexican voter's card.

FLORES: Who authorities believe crossed the border on a raft. Walked for five days then ran out of water. His arms scratched by the brush.

And for this woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's only 24 years old.

FLORES: Authorities say she drowned on the Rio Grande and had been in the water for three to five days. Her body is so gruesome we can only show you her clothes.

They are two of more than 1500 migrants who died on the Texas border since Dr. Corinne Stern started tracking the deaths after joining the Webb County Medical Examiner's Office in 2007.

DR. CORINNE STERN, WEBB COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Majority are heatstroke, hypothermia and dehydration.

FLORES: She tracks migrant deaths across these 12 South Texas counties and says, this year has been deadlier than recent years.

STERN: Typically, our busiest months are July and August and we're not even there yet.

FLORES: Last year by this time, 45 migrants had died on the border. This year, that number has nearly tripled to at least 128.

And 30 percent says Dr. Stern tested positive for COVID and in some cases considered a contributing factor in the deaths.

STERN: Saying this is a physician, there is a safer way to do it than coming across the border.

FLORES: Despite the deadly dangers, the flow of migrants is on track to surpass a 2019 crisis, the last time a migrant surge occurred. Mostly due to poverty and violence in Latin America. In May alone, border authorities encountered around 180,000 migrants on the southwest border. The current surge in part driven by the misconception among migrants that the Biden administration was allowing migrant families with young children into the country.

Border Patrols Laredo sector uses horse units to rescue migrants from some of the most remote locations.

How dangerous is this terrain?


FLORES: According to Border Patrol Deputy Chief Karl Landrum, more than half of the 8,000 rescues conducted nationally have happened here. To gear up for the most dangerous and deadly months of the year --

LANDRUM: You can see here, the actual mobile beacon right there.

FLORES: This sector is deploying 13 beacons like these to help migrants call for help.

LANDRUM: This just takes it to a whole other level. Much more efficient. It's all solar powered. It's never going to run out of power.

FLORES: And it's very visible --

LANDRUM: It's very visible.

FLORES: -- from different locations.

Those beacons coming too late for some migrants.

Why do you think they put carpet on the bottom of their shoes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To erase their footprints.

FLORES: Exactly.

One by one, the items of the men and women are documented. All are clues about who they are and the dreams that were cut short.

STERN: And even if you say to yourself, it's worth my life. I'm willing to risk my life. Think about your family.


FLORES: And, Jake, I just got off the phone with Dr. Stern. She said that since we shot the video for that story that you just watch, another four migrants have died, bringing the total to 132 -- Jake. TAPPER: Just awful.

Rosa Flores on the border in Laredo, thank you so much for that report.

Vice President Harris is taking some heat after her first trip abroad as vice president and not only from the people you'd expect it from.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD.

This hour, President Biden stepping on foreign soil for the first time as president and he just delivered a message to Putin ahead of their meeting.

Plus, does a leading contender in New York City's mayoral race even live in New York? Eric Adams trying to put questions over where he lays his head at night to bed.

And leading this hour, the first attempts at bipartisan infrastructure talks have collapsed between President Biden and congressional Republicans. So, now, Biden is moving on to a different bipartisan group while progressives are getting impatient, including Senator Bernie Sanders who will join us live in moments.

But, first, two of the top GOP negotiators of the new bipartisan group are already drawing a line in the sand, underscoring just how challenging this deal is going to be -- as CNN's Manu Raju reports.