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The Lead with Jake Tapper

1 Dead, At Least 99 Unaccounted For In Condo Collapse; Biden: "We Have A Deal" On Infrastructure; Sen. Bob Casey, (D-PA), Is Interviewed About Infrastructure Bill; Biden Speaking About Urgency Of COVID-19 Vaccinations. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 24, 2021 - 17:00   ET



ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But let me take you to the first moments when this happened, because there was surveillance video that caught those dramatic moments when this building collapsed.

And by looking at this video, you can see that a central portion of the builder -- building false first, and then a few seconds later, the back of the building follows. Take a look.

Those dramatic moments, we now know a little more about what happened based on witness accounts, individuals who talk to the media later who describe the panic, people screaming, grabbing their children to safety, trying to figure out how to make it out safely.

And again, Jake, the latest information that we have right now is that the focus is on the search and rescue efforts, 99 people unaccounted for at this hour. Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Rosa, thank you so much. Let's go back to the press conference there where they're taking questions from the press.

ALFREDO "FREDDY" RAMIREZ, DIRECTOR, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY POLICE: Once they released the scene, the Miami-Dade Police Department will then conduct that investigation as terms as to what is the causes. For right now we're focused on the search and rescue.

When they -- when that moment comes, that dire moment comes where they transition command, and we will be in charge of the investigation. That's why we're here. We're holding the traffic scenes right now, providing support, we have all our assets here. And once that transition comes, we'll be part of that investigation.

Our homicide detectives will be doing a death investigation with other partners. And it'll be very similar to the FIU bridge tragedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we know it will be a structural engineering issue with the Miami-Dade police --

RAMIREZ: There will be other assets, they'll be coming once they stopped the search and rescue component.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You go ahead, ma'am. It's OK.

MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: Well, as well, there'll probably be federal resources involved in the investigation as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have brief question. This is probably for Fire Rescue. If you don't mind just for people watching, so it will be clear (INAUDIBLE) people who have been accounted for this time, not necessarily from the collapse but rather the structure in its entirety.

People who are evacuated from the building got the question regarding the search efforts under the rubble. Can you speak at all whether anyone has been located in that? We've heard reports of people hearing sound and trying to locate individuals, can you speak to what you may have found at this point?

CHIEF RAIDE JADALLAH, MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE ASST. FIRE CHIEF OF OPERATIONS: All right. So, to echo the mayor's numbers, so in combination to our numbers this morning. So, we had 35 victims that were pulled from the structure by Fire Rescue. This is an additional two victims that were pulled from the rubble.

Now we have -- now a total of 11 patients that were treated. Those 11, now we're up to four patients that have been transported.

Now, we have been getting what we call, again, sonar sound devices that we're getting from inside the rubble in various areas. And again, it is a very slow and methodical process because every time we start breaching parts of the structure, we do get debris that falls on us.

In regard to the structural engineer, we do have structural engineers that are embedded with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to prevent the building from collapsing on our firefighters as we continue with this search and rescue phase.

Again, since 1:48 a.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has not stopped. Again, the optics may seem that there's nothing going on top but all operations, I cannot emphasize enough, all operations are occurring underneath the rubble. They're occurring underneath the parking garage where we have teams of firefighters constantly as they continue to making cuts, breaches and placing sonar devices, search camps to locate victims.

As we make one hole we access a floor, we continue to the various areas. But to answer the question, we did receive sounds, not necessarily people talking, but sounds, what sounds like people banging, well, not people, but sounds of a possibility of a banging. Shorter that, we haven't heard any voices coming from the pile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to clarify there was a report around 4:15 or so saying that two people have been pulled or two or some number had been pulled from the record for this afternoon. That was an incorrect report. JADALLAH: That's -- correct. The only numbers that we have for patients that were removed from the actual structure or rubble is the 35 and two, so a total of 37 have been pulled from the structure itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any -- was there any concern associated with mobility (ph) of the building?

JADALLAH: Situations of this nature where there's an emergency, there's been a catastrophic occurrence with a structure. There's always going to be a concern. But again, we do have structural engineers that are embedded with Miami-Dade firefighters. They assess the structure every hour.

In addition to every hour, they conduct the assessments every time there's a weather shift. What we do is we just make sure that, again, we play seismic devices on the building to determine that any stress cracks, you know, enlarge.


From there, we also make sure that we don't have any shifting of the floors. Every time we make a breach underneath the ground, we do have some debris that rains down on the firefighters.

And again, what we encountered was some shifting of the debris. And eventually we did have a small fire, which was extinguished within 20 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got some reports on whether or not or the building if they're still standing here, and whether they have some (INAUDIBLE)?

JADALLAH: Yes, ma'am. So, prior to 6:00 a.m., every structure, every apartment unit that's still standing was cleared by Miami-Dade firefighters. They were placed with markings and a primary clear was given.

Again, we're referencing the actual building that's still standing with the apartments that were still intact.

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS: Kerry Sanders with NBC News. I'm curious for the families that are waiting for news, how do you get them?

JADALLAH: We understand, you know, what they're going through. And, you know, every firefighter, you know, is carrying that burden on their shoulders. They're trying to find these individuals.

And as they continue with, you know, making these breaches, making these tunnels, you know, we're trying to locate these victims. But again, every possible resource that not just Miami-Dade County, but the municipalities around us, local, state and federal are being expanded to, you know, to assist with this situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any indication that beach was sinking. We know there's this researcher who says he's familiar with that building and the beach was sinking.

JADALLAH: I have no information -- I have no information on that.


JADALLAH: I'll defer that to Miami-Dade PD.

RAMIREZ: As of right now, unfortunately, we have one fatality. That's what we account for right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about unaccounted?



RAMIREZ: Unknown. I don't have the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many unaccounted for?

RAMIREZ: It's 99, unaccounted for right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question.

RAMIREZ: At least.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And no more question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a (INAUDIBLE) right now about electrical company first responders are searching (INAUDIBLE).

CHIEF ALAN COMINSKY, FIRE CHIEF MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE: Yes, hi. Alan Cominsky, Fire Chief Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Right now we have several teams. So, estimate of our Florida task force, we have up to 40 members that are conducting the search and rescue as Chief Jadallah mentioned in the parking area as well as you know, we have multiple units on scene. So, you know, at one point we had over 100 firefighters and we still currently have 60 plus that are actively working and we rotate through the scene.


COMINSKY: As of now, we had no injuries of any firefighters, any personnel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many rescued?

COMINSKY: We currently have four that we've been rotating through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you folks, the leaders are going to get back to work. Thanks, everyone.

TAPPER: All right. And that's a lot to think about. Especially the 99 people still missing.

Let's bring in the Lieutenant Governor of the state of Florida, Jeanette Nunez, to discuss this tragedy.

Lieutenant Governor, thanks so much for joining us. We heard at least 35 people were pulled from the building, nearly 199 to be specific remain unaccounted for. Are those the latest numbers that you have as well?

LT. GOV. JEANETTE NUNEZ (R-FL): Yes, Jake, and thanks for the opportunity to be on your show. It really is tragic. I was on the scene earlier today. What you see there in the rubble and the pictures and the T.V. doesn't do it justice. It is absolutely devastating.

And we know that at least 99 are unaccounted for. I can tell you we spent some time in the family reunification center, there are a lot of desperate family members that want information on their loved ones.

I know our teams there are working around the clock. They're doing their very best. It's a tragic circumstance all around.

TAPPER: At this point, the building collapsed about 15 hours ago. At what point does this change from a search and rescue mission to rescue any survivors to search and recovery?

NUNEZ: Sure, well, we are certainly still in search and rescue mode. I think you heard them explain what the process is and how they'll continue to do that to see if they can decipher any noise. That we know will remain for a few days.

I don't know at what point specifically they will switch from search and rescue to recovery. But our hope is that they'll be able to continue to work expeditiously and hopefully be able to find some survivors.


TAPPER: President Biden said earlier today that he is ready to send federal aid as soon as Governor DeSantis declares a state of emergency. The mayor of Miami-Dade, Mayor Levine Cava said that she has presented that to Governor DeSantis. It's on his desk. Is he going to sign that?

NUNEZ: Sure. Well, it's my understanding, Mayor Cava just sent that up to the Governor for his review. I know he is reviewing it as we speak.

We know that right now, there has been no unmet need from the county to the state. We are on site, our division of emergency management is there, we're going to continue to assess. But I'm certain that we're going to continue to provide whatever assistance the county needs.

Certainly, this has been very tragic. As I mentioned earlier, we want to continue to provide assistance. All needs from the county have been met from the state. The county is absolutely doing a great job.

And I want to thank all of our first responders, our heroes that are out there, really, really working around the clock. So, we're going to continue to look at that. And I'm sure we'll have some answers shortly.

TAPPER: So you don't know if he's going to sign it yet. He might not because he would think that there isn't a need for it?

NUNEZ: I haven't talked to him, Jake. So, I'm sure that he'll look at it, review it, and he'll do what's in the best interest of those individuals.

TAPPER: President Biden just said that he has not spoken to Governor DeSantis directly. He's waiting for his call. I assume that governor DeSantis is busy helping with this.

Is he planning on calling the President back? Or not back, I should say. Is he planning on calling the President?

NUNEZ: Yes, I don't know that the President has called him I don't believe that has happened. I have not talked to the governor as to whether he's going to be in contact with the President.

We have been in contact with the mayor. The governor was on site as well, offering his support. They had a good conversation. So, we're going to continue to assess -- assist in the best way possible.

TAPPER: Oh, yes. Please keep in touch with us and let us know if there's anything that you need from the federal government.

One final question for you Lieutenant Governor Nunez. Do you anticipate that the rescue teams are going to be working throughout the night just going until they can't go anymore?

NUNEZ: Yes, they have multiple teams. So, I'm sure there'll be shifting them in and out. But we are going to work around the clock. I have no doubt that they're going to work around the clock through the night and into probably the weekend. As we know it's going to be a long haul for them. So, certainly, we hope to be able to pray for them as well, because it's going to be real difficult circumstance for them.

TAPPER: As you know, this isn't the first time this has happened in the United States. In 2019 there was that horrible Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans. That was during building construction. In 2013 there was that awful incident at 22nd and Market Street where a building that was being demolished fell on top of a thrift store, a Salvation Army thrift store. Do we have any idea what happened here?

NUNEZ: No, I know that engineers are on site. As they mentioned in the press conference, they're going to evaluate and see what the root cause was of the collapse. Certainly there'll be plenty of time for investigations.

To your point, this is not the first time something like this has happened. But we want to understand as quickly as possible. So, if there's needs for mitigation, beyond just this one particular building, certainly we want to be able to address that as quickly as possible and to ensure the safety of all Floridians.

TAPPER: All right, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, thank you. As I said, please keep in touch with us. Let us know if there's anything you need us to do on our end in the news media.

NUNEZ: Thank you so much, Jake.

TAPPER: President Biden today could not have been more clear when he walked out of the Oval Office with a bipartisan group of senators and said this about talks today on infrastructure. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a really good meeting. Answered direct questions. We have a deal.


TAPPER: Why the agreement still has a very high hurdle to climb back on Capitol Hill.

Plus, almost six months since January insurrection, why this may be the busiest week in court for those charts in the Capitol of what happened (ph). Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead now, President Biden today, after weeks of deal making, announced the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have come to an agreement on an infrastructure plan. One more worth more than a trillion dollars, though, of course, hurdles remain, including finding a way to get more Democrats and more Republicans on board.

So as to pass the bill on the Senate, let's bring in CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins and CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju.

Kaitlan, let's start with the size and significance of this deal. If this actually happens, I mean, it's a big deal, more than a trillion dollars over eight years. Put this into perspective for us. How big of an accomplishment would this be?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It would be big. And you're right, if is the key word here because it still does have to clear both chambers of Congress. And we are certainly not there yet. The White House is acknowledging the road ahead.

But if this does get implemented, Jake, it would be a massive investment in the nation's crumbling infrastructure. This is something that President Biden has long talked about as not just a matter here at home, but also a matter abroad as well.

And so, if this actually got passed, this is talking about that traditional infrastructure. So yes, there's a lot in here for roads and bridges, and whatnot. But there's also a lot of money in here for broadband, for waterways, for coastal lines, those are issues that they also said was important in this.

So when you look at the actual breakdown of the numbers, it's about 312 billion for transportation, about 65 billion for broadband. And of course, as they both noted, they did not get all that they wanted, but everyone, they believe, got something in this package.

TAPPER: And Manu, getting this through the Senate and the House is not going to be easy necessarily. There are some progressive Democrats unhappy with the size of the bill. They say it's too small, too much has been taken out of it. President Biden admitted this afternoon that his party is divided.

In addition, of course, a lot of conservative Republicans who are concerned that this is too big. So, how -- let's just stick with the Democrats for now, because we have limited time. How can Democrats bridge the gap to get Democratic support?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Democratic leaders know that that's going to be an issue, which is why Nancy Pelosi made it clear today that she will not move on this bipartisan deal in the House until the Senate approves a bill that could be disapproved by a Democratic support through the -- what's called the budget reconciliation process. She says that the Senate has to prove that Democrat only bill first before she will agree for the House to move the bipartisan deal.


So essentially, that is an effort to tell folks on the left, we're not happy that their priorities did not get included in this more narrow proposal, they could get into the separate package and tell those liberals that vote for this bipartisan deal, because eventually this party line approach will become law.

But the trick here will be convincing some of those more moderate Democrats who are concerned about the price tag of this larger Democratic only approach, people like Joe Manchin who are not yet signed on to that. So, they're going to have to wait, get both wings of the caucus to agree to this. So a long way -- long road ahead, Jake, until this eventually can become law.

TAPPER: Manu and Kaitlan, thanks to both of you.

Let's discuss this now with Democratic Senator Bob Casey, from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Senator Casey, am I right that you're not committed to vote for this bipartisan infrastructure deal unless there is much more spending on social programs such as childcare and elder care and more in the budget reconciliation package?

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Yes, Jake, I've got to see two things. Number one -- before any commitment is made to support this. Number one is, I've got to review the physical infrastructure provisions that have been worked out here and see if it's beneficial to Pennsylvania, number one, or is enough for Pennsylvania.

Number two is, we have to have an iron clad agreement that we're going to have the support that we need in our caucus to consider and then pass the second part of this, which is much bigger in some of those areas you mentioned. Universal access for all three and four year olds for pre-K, for example.

I just introduced a bill today with 40 Democrats for home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. And if we don't reach issues like this, and have legislation that will pass, I think it's going to -- the whole enterprise is going to lose a lot of Democratic votes.

TAPPER: The deal is pretty big, more than a trillion dollars over eight years. It is, of course, significantly less than what President Biden originally proposed. Do you think that the Democratic negotiators gave up too much in negotiating with Republicans?

CASEY: Well, we'll see. And really, we won't know exactly what was agreed to until we see legislative language. But I want to make sure that they understand that this commitment that we have to home and community based services, which is a $400 billion commitment by the President, and by me and those leading this effort, the investments in childcare and pre-K and so much else, two years of additional education beyond high school, all of these major initiatives that are finally investments in the American family, instead of yet another giveaway to big corporations and rich people.

Look, the powerful corporate interests have run this town for 40 years. It's about time that we made a full and robust commitment to families. And families need home and community-based services, families need the child tax credit to be extended, the earned income tax credit, the Child and Dependent Care tax credit. All of these issues have to be addressed.

So, we'll see what they come up with. But we're going to get this done. But it has to be -- the work that I'm trying to get done is what the lawyers might call a condition proceeding. Meaning that has to happen. There has to be an agreement before I and a lot of other people would agree to the physical infrastructure only.

TAPPER: So, do you think Democrats should have just gone at this alone to get a bigger deal that is more in with what you're describing and even if it means it's not bipartisan at all?

CASEY: Well, I don't think we know the answer to that yet. We'll see at the end of this process. But I just want to make sure that when the President has proposed a Jobs Plan and a Families Plan, a combined effort or combined total amount of about $4 trillion. I want to get as close to that as possible. And this obviously is not -- this is going to be maybe a fourth of that. We got a long way to go.

TAPPER: I guess, one question I wonder is, you know, Pennsylvania is a rare battleground state, battleground Commonwealth. I mean, you're a Democrat, but the other Senator Pat Toomey is a Republican, it's gone, win for Trump, now win for Biden, most of the congressional delegation is Republican. Do you think bipartisanship is important?

CASEY: It is. But you know, what's more important than anything that's bipartisan, what's more important is delivering for families. We've got 820,000 people across the country who have been waiting most of them for years. People with disabilities and seniors who haven't been able to get home with community-based services.


People have been waiting for years for the federal government to finally step up and invest in American families. So, that's more important. We deliver for families in a town that's been delivering for corporations for 40 years straight.

TAPPER: So, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Bernie Sanders, wants the budget package this reconciliation, which will only pass with Democratic votes or only needs to pass with Democratic votes. He wants it to include a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. He wants moves in the package to lower the price of prescription drugs. He wants to include an expansion of Obamacare.

Do you agree that all of that should be included in what Bernie Sanders is proposing would be about a $6 trillion package?

CASEY: Look, I'm open to a lot of what Bernie suggested. Because I think we have to -- look, I said in the Rescue Plan, go big or go home. And that same rule applies here.

We did the right thing in the Rescue Plan by going big. We got to do it again.

But look, a lot of this has to be worked out. The Budget Committee has already begun their work. We'll see what those proposals are.

But this is no time for nibbling around the edges. We got to go big, because as I said before, this town always seem to want to go big for powerful interest. It's about time families got a fair shake.

TAPPER: Six trillion dollars is, of course, a lot of money. Senator Joe Manchin, your fellow Democrat who's from West Virginia, he's warned Democrats that that's too big for him. What do you say to him and any other Democratic moderates who might say 6 trillion is way too much?

CASEY: I'll say this, Jake, there is a lot of unanimity within our caucus on policy here. Not on every policy, but most of it. I think we have 50 vote for a lot of this policy.

The hard work, though, is going to be in the investment, the dollar amount, and the pay for it. But I think there's a lot of unanimity to finally, finally, lift up American families and lift up American workers. We can't say we have the best home and community-based services in the world. We're paying people $12 an hour. That's an insult to families and it's not going to bode well for delivering the kind of care that these Americans have been waiting for and deserve.

TAPPER: Democratic Senator Bob Casey from the majestic Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, thanks so much for being with us.

CASEY: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Nearly 500 arrests on the Capitol attack, yet not one person has been charged with the crime of sedition. Why the Justice Department may be resisting this very rarely used often (ph). That's next.



TAPPER: A CNN exclusive now on our Politics Lead, a bombshell of a book that will be published July 13th written by "The Wall Street Journal's" Michael Bender titled " Frankly, We Did Win the Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost." Well, it paints a disturbing picture of Trump's White House in his final months in office. CNN has obtained an exclusive excerpt detailing how on the day of June 1st, 2020, as protests over the murder of George Floyd erupted across the country and as Trump watched police grow violent with the mostly peaceful protesters, mostly.

He told his top law and military officials quote, that's how you're supposed to handle these people crack their skulls. Trump then telling his team that he wanted the military to go in and quote, beat the F out of the protesters, quote, just shoot them. And when he got pushback, Trump said quote, well shoot them in the leg or maybe the foot but be hard on them, unquote. That's the President of the United States watching from the safety of the Oval Office while Americans who were peacefully protesting the horrific killing of George Floyd, and some that were doing so, not so peacefully, were beaten and tear gassed, just steps away from the White House.

Let's discuss. So, Congresswoman Love, crack their skull, shoot them, beat the F out of them. Just remind people this is the then President of the United States talking about his fellow Americans, it may be hard for folks to be shocked by Trump's words, but this might be a new low. What do you think?

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me at all. As I'm reading this, there isn't anything that surprises me. But when you have a person that cares more about their own perception that cares more about themselves than they do about the American people, every single thing is transactional. It just seems to me that every single issue in the United States had more to do with him and how he was going to come out of it than actually solving the issue.

And unfortunately, I hate that this book, came out and pointed out some things that we already know and some things that were even more ugly than we thought but it doesn't surprise me, Jake, unfortunately.

TAPPER: And Paul, Paul, Bender also writes a heated exchange between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Trump's then Senior Adviser Stephen Miller. Miller equated major U.S. cities to war zones. Bender writes, quote, Stephen Miller chimed in during one Oval Office debate with an apocalyptic version of tumult tearing through the streets. He equated the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country. Major American metropolises, he said, had been turned into war zones. These cities are burning, Miller warned. The comment infuriated General Milley, who viewed Miller is not only wrong but out of his lane. Shut the F up, Stephen, Milley snapped. Milley is obviously, Paul, a career military professional. But it's, you know, for him to snap like that in the Oval Office just shows how infuriated he was.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I've never seen or heard anything like it. I spent a lot of time in that Oval Office well off with some generals, never did I hear language like that. And by the way, I'm sure the people from the Bush administration would say the same thing. This is really shocking. And but again, I guess like me, it's shocking, but it's not surprising.

Just to set the record straight, over 90 percent of the Black Lives Matter protests were non-violent. There was some violence. There was some vandalism that is terrible. Those people should be punished. I completely agree with that. But to call it a war zone and to single it out that way when Neo Nazis murdered --

TAPPER: Paul, I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm sorry to interrupt. President Biden is speaking right now.



BIDEN: I love you back. Look, that, old -- I -- you're by the way, you're in the midst of -- you're in the presence of one hell of an individual. I want you all to know about. Not me. He's always there when people need help. And he particularly focuses on people who are left behind, Reverend Barber. Thanks for all you do Rev.

Ive, I thank you for the induction, you know, and for everything you're doing. You know, I think I thank everyone here at the Green Road Community Center for hosting this. Governor Cooper, my good friend, great Governor, but most important thing he's a man of enormous integrity.



BIDEN: I know he really is. For doing an incredible job, I'm lucky to have you as a partner, Gov. And as we move along here. Look, you know, the main thing I want to do is start off with why you should never stand up. Arthur (ph), do you have any chairs out there? Well, if you have a chair, sit, don't stand for me. I was getting, I was getting feel really guilty man.

I said that a while ago, as the press will tell you about a year ago, I said, why don't everybody sit down? And somebody in the front said, I don't have a damn seat. That's why. I don't want to get in trouble. Thank you. I thought you didn't have any seats, sir, I really feel guilty.

Folks, look, it's great to be with Mayor Baldwin of Raleigh and Mayor Schewel of Durham, I'm joined by proud native son of North Carolina, the administrator of the EPA in Washington, D.C., Michael Reagan. Where are you Michael? I'm always worried. I'm always worried when I come back to North Carolina Michael's with me that the Governor is going to take him back. But I need him.

Look, folks, he's doing one heck of a job at EPA. And if you want to talk about health, think about the environment, think about what's going to happen, being done, what we're changing in EPA. And it makes a big deal. It's also -- it's also out there across the state encouraging people to get vaccinated as well.

I wanted to come to Raleigh, to thank everyone in this room for everything you're doing to get your community vaccinated. It matters. It matters. You're saving lives. That's the hyperbole. I'm going to remind everybody. We lost 600,000 dead in America. And about a year, that's more than every life lost in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, Iraq, Iran, across the board, Afghanistan, more lives lost in a year, than every major war in the 20th century and the 21st century.

And guess what, folks the many lives lost all around the world. And America, I might say this is not, I didn't plan on saying this, but I'm going anyway. We have an obligation in the United States of America to live up to who we are. America is only as unique nation. We're the only nation formed based on an idea, an idea, not on ethnicity, not on ideology, not -- idea. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, et cetera.


BIDEN: Well, here's the deal. Here's the deal. There are over 100 countries in the world that have no capacity to help themselves right now, none. And that's why I get somewhat criticized. But that's why I've worked so darn hard. After being able to nail down in the first 100 days, over 60 million doses of vaccine for Americans. I went to Europe to meet where they call the G7 and then with NATO and then with the E.U. And I promised the United States remainder of this year and the first half of next year is going to provide a billion doses to the rest of the world, a billion doses.

A half a billion of those will be done between now and January and the first half of next year. Point being, I wanted the nation to reflect what you all reflect. Everyone in this room, there's everything. I want to thank you for all you're doing. But the rest of the world is in trouble as well. We have to look out for one another. I really do. And what you're doing here back to the United States, nonprofits, directing folks to where to go, houses of worship hoping on site vaccination for congregants.

My friend Reverend Barber is here as I said, countless faith leaders who are truly doing God's work, college students providing rides for seniors. What's happening in America is what America is all about. That's what the rest of world is looking at. Are we what we advertise ourselves to be? Because of people like you, here Raleigh communities across America, we're going to win this fight. Look at the progress we made so far.


Today, 66 percent of all American adults have gotten at least one shot that includes 87 percent of all seniors, of all colors, 75 percent of adults ages 40 and up, have gotten a shot. And 70 percent of those age 30 and up. Nationwide receiving the lowest number of daily cases and deaths since the first day of the pandemic and we've built equity into the heart of the vaccination program.

I put together a vaccination team headed by a really bright guy. We put together a group of 23 doctors. And what they did was we had one doctor does nothing but deal with equity, access for people. There's a reason why it's been harder to get African Americans initially to get vaccinated because they used to be an experimented on the Tuskegee Airmen and others. People have memories. People have long memories.

It's all of the heart as well to get Latinx vaccinated as well. Why? They're worried that they'll be vaccinated and deported. So look, from day one, something that Governor Cooper has been totally focused on is making sure we get as many people vaccinated particularly people who don't have access to health care usually, who don't have ordinary -- don't have doctors or family physicians, et cetera, 73 percent of the shots administered at community health centers through the federal program we have and more than 58 percent of the shots administered in federally run vaccination sites have gone to people of color, it makes a gigantic difference.

And across the nation, people of color were accounted for more than half of all the vaccinations in the last month. The more we close the racial gap and vaccination rates, the more lies we can say. And if I can -- and if I can pause for one second, that's why I've called for spending billions of dollars at NIH focusing on new ways to deal with obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer, and cancer. Focus just on those diseases, money that private drug companies don't have the money to invest in, or the inclination to.

Because guess what, and most black communities across America, Hispanic communities, how many stores have French vegetables, how many stores have a good down the list? It matters. The health condition a person enters this fight over makes a big difference as to what in fact is going to be able to be done here in North Carolina. My administration provided $105 million from the emergency map -- Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to help get people vaccinated.

Working with the governor and the mayors and county officials across the state, there are 240 personnel in the Tar Heel State, just to put the needle in somebody's arm. This has been a gigantic, a gigantic logistical challenge, not just in North Carolina, but all across America. More than 660 National Guard members have supported the COVID-19 response here in North Carolina. Over in Greensboro, we stood up the federal vaccination site that alone is administered 135,000 shots.

The Governor and I have visited one of the mobile units you're deploying to meet the people where they live. A result of these efforts, statewide case deaths are down over 90 percent in the last five months. All of this is great news. But here's the deal. For all the progress we made as a country, hospitalizations, and deaths are down drastically in places where people are getting vaccinated. The data couldn't be clear if you're vaccinated, if you're vaccinated, you're safe. You are still at risk of getting seriously ill or dying if you in fact have not been vaccinated. That's just a fact.

And this new dangerous variant continues to emerge. It's now the most common variant in American in here. And unvaccinated people are incredibly vulnerable. This is a serious concern with what experts called the Delta variant. It is not only according to the CDC but the, between 10 and 20 percent of all cases in the last two weeks have been the Delta variant.


Dr. Fauci has made it clear, he and my wife have been traveling the country to make this case that it's more easily transmittable, this delta variant, potentially deadlier, and especially dangerous for young people, for young people. He says the greatest threat to our fight to beat COVID-19. But the good news is we have a solution. The science is clear. The best way to protect yourself against the virus and these variants is to be fully vaccinated. It works. It's free. It's safe. It's easy. It's convenient.

Over 150 million Americans have gotten fully vaccinated. And they're safe and protected now and including against the Delta variant. They're getting back to living their lives and spending time with their loved ones. Well, we need more people to get fully vaccinated to finish the job. That's why I'm here. I call for June to be the month of action to get folks vaccinated so we can all enjoy the 4th of July with our independence from the virus, from the virus.

If you're already vaccinated, make sure your family and friends are vaccinated. Help them make a plan to get vaccinated. If you got your first shot, make sure you get your second one to be fully protected. It's a big deal. And if you're not vaccinated, don't put it off any longer. Just do it.


BIDEN: Just do it. And it's never been easier. It's never been easy to do it. Text your zip code to 438-829, 438-829. And immediately it will pop up to find the vaccination sites closest to you. And hardly anyone's beyond five miles from potential site. Get a free ride to and from your vaccination sites. I want to publicly thank when I asked for help both Lyft and Uber said between the time is last month to July 4th, they'll provide a ride free to and from. They'll wait and take you back home.

Thousands of pharmacies are offering no appointment walk in vaccinations. More than 1,400 pharmacies are in North Carolina that do that. They've already administered 2.2 million shots, these pharmacies. Many of them are open 24 hours on Fridays. So go tomorrow if you've not gotten it done or when you're going out knocking on doors, tell them tomorrow 24 hours. Majority these drugstores are open, get it done. Get it done. And then get it done at their convenience. And if you still have questions. That's OK.

Talk to people who you know have gotten the shots and say, you guys are out there be doing knocking on doors. Talk to your doctor, your health provider. If you don't have one, physicians know. It's the right choice to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their patients, and their communities. And listen to the North Carolina's own Dr. Kizzy Corbett.

You know, from Hurdle Mills, just about an hour north of here. She's a scientist at NIH that I met several weeks ago, who helped develop the COVID-19 vaccine, a vaccine that was developed after decades of research under Republican and Democratic administrations. As I said, I met her earlier this year during a tour of NIH Vaccine Research Center where this all happened. She's incredible.

Folks, there's no reason to leave yourself vulnerable to the deadly virus for one single day more. And as I say in my church, I'm preaching to the choir, I know. But the television is recording this. Make the case. Let people know getting vaccinated. It's not only maybe going to save their lives, but save their mother, their father, their child, their son, their daughter, their coworker.

So please, please get vaccinated. Let everyone do our part. Let's everyone do it. This weekend, we'll be hosting another nationwide canvassing event where volunteers like you're going to knock on doors and talk to friends and neighbors to help finish the job of getting America vaccinated.


To join that effort, I say to the people watching this, because these people have already joined the effort, to join that effort, please visit, wecandothis.hhs.governor, gov, excuse me,, sign up, get involved. We can do this. We really can't do this.

Let me close where I began. To all of you here today, we're about to head out and canvass your communities. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I genuinely mean it. But just listen again to Ive, graduated from Apex Friendship High, just finished her first year in school. She's spending her summer doing door to door calling Georgia to help get people vaccinated to stay safe.

And I bet when she had to say when asked, as well a lot of you think as well. She said, quote, I hope you don't mind my repeatedness, Ive. But she said, quote, reaching out and giving back to the community is everything. I like to say I don't dream of having a dream job or a dream career. But I dream of truly helping people in the best way I can. That's my life goal.

This can be among my most important things you do. I really mean it. And again, remember, I think you're probably the least ones out to remember. Remember 600,000 plus Americans have died, 600,000 plus Americans have died.

There's Delta variant, you know, there's going to be others as well. You know what's going to happen. We've got to get our young people vaccinated. So talk to those moms when you knock on the door. Tell them about it. Tell them about it why it's so important to get their children.

You may remember I got widely criticized when I suggested we keep dropping the age people eligible for vaccinations. It's been based on the science. I didn't do anything based on a whim. The science tests show that. And what's going to happen here, I predict, as soon as we go from temporary approval to permanent approval, which just takes time, it's not that I don't think it's there. It's going to increase the number of people willing to move as well.

So Ive, thank you for representing the best of us, I thank all of you for representing the best of us. We've all got the whole world in front of you. And, you know, it's because of -- it's because of people like Ive and all of you why I have so much faith in the future. I'm not being, you know, you noticed I've been unfairly criticized for being optimistic. I've been fairly criticized because I think we can actually pull people together. I ran when I ran for President ran for three reasons. I said, one is restore the soul of America, just basic decency, looking out for --

Two, because we had to rebuild the backbone in this country that have been so damaged, which is the middle class, working class folks and middle class folks. It was about time to build the economy from the middle, up, and out and from the middle class up. That's what we have to do. Folks, that's really, let this be the summer of joy and freedom. Let it really happen. Let's celebrate the 4th of July with the independence of the virus. We can get this done.


BIDEN: We know we really can get this done. And we really can do it. But you know what? I said the third reason I was running was to unify the country.


BIDEN: Well folks, it's never been as divided as it is today. It never been as divided as is today since the Civil War. And folks, it's such a waste of talent, such a waste of time. And the rest of the world was looking at us. The rest of the world is wondering whether or not can we really lead the world again. The last four years have been devastating to our leadership around the world.


CROWD: Yes. BIDEN: I'm not making it. But it's true. But here's the way we lead. Like we always lead those who lead better than I and others, we lead by example. And the example is twofold. I'll end with this. One is making sure we do everything in our power to walk that extra mile, to knock on that door, to pick up the phone, to actually pull up in your own vehicle, and take someone who needs to get to a vaccination site, convince them, let them know why it's so important. Let them know. Because people, people respond to individual relationships, even nuance, I got it, my brother it, and my sister got it. I took my daughter and she got, et cetera.

And secondly, let the world know that when it comes down to lifesaving initiatives, no matter where they are, where they come from us, we should share them with the world, a whole world where even given some of these vaccines to nations that are not our friends, because the people are not the ones who are not our friends, the leadership.

So folks, there's a lot we can do. As I said, I've faith in your generation. The reason I'm so optimistic is because they're the most incredible generation in American history. I'm not being solicitous. Number one, you're the least prejudice generation in history, number one.

Number two, we volunteer the most any other generation, including my Volta (ph) generation of the 60s. No, I mean it. We are proud of what we did, but you volunteer. Number three, you're the best educated generation in the history of America.


BIDEN: And I believe, are dealing with equity is only the beginning. As it relates to vaccine, the first executive order I signed was insisting that every one of my Cabinet members focus on racial equity. Because we have a chance, we have a chance to make significant change in this country. It's going to come from what you guys do. I really mean it. I can't thank you enough. Sorry to take so much your time. But God bless you all. May God protect our troops. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

TAPPER: You've been listening to President Biden in Raleigh, North Carolina, urging more Americans to get vaccinated. He was in obviously North Carolina. Only 39 percent of residents of the Tar Heel State are fully vaccinated. He's trying to push Americans so as to meet his July 4th goal of 70 percent of American adults having received at least one vaccine shot by then.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is live for us at the White House. And Kaitlan, clearly, Biden is concerned that we're not going to meet that goal.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they've basically admitted that they know that they're not going to meet it, though. We should note, it was a self-imposed deadline that Biden and his aides came up with. But that is part of the reason you're seeing him making a personal appeal in a state like North Carolina where vaccinations have really stalled. And it's not just North Carolina, unfortunately, my home state of Alabama is seeing a similar trend, also in Mississippi, where you're just not seeing people get vaccinated.

And so he is going to North Carolina making this appeal. They do have other stops planned for the President and for his top aides to make a similar kind of appeal as they are trying to get more and more Americans vaccinated. Because Jake, they've noted that this is going to take several more weeks to actually get to that 70 percent partially vaccinated goal of U.S. adults that he had initially set for July 4th, which of course is quickly approaching.

So I think it just speaks to the level of hurry or of incentive here and urgency that they feel that they need to apply to this to actually get people to get vaccinated. And one thing, Jake, that when you talk to White House officials is they went from this experience of not having people ready to get vaccinated, not having the vaccines ready, then they have this rush on vaccines. And now they're dealing with a very tough part of it, which is encouraging people who have either waited to get the vaccine or against getting the vaccine to get it now.

And so they're going to keep making these personal appeals. But Jake, they also know a lot of it is likely out of their hands.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins in Raleigh, North Carolina where President Biden has just urged the population there as well as across the country to get vaccinated. President Biden seeming to understand that the country is not going to reach the 70 percent threshold that he wanted to reach by the 4th of July that 70 percent of American adults would have received at least one shot by the Independence Day of this country.


You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. Thanks for watching.