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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Biden Lays Out New Plan To Combat COVID Surge; Biden Mandates Vaccines For Federal Employees; Labor Dept To Urge Private Businesses To Mandate Shots Or Testing; Memo Warns Of Possible Violence At Sept. 18 Rally At U.S. Capitol; Millions Across U.S. Coping With Loss Of Special Jobless Benefits. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 09, 2021 - 17:00   ET



JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, this is the biggest step President Biden has made so far.


ZELENY (voice-over): President Biden is using the power of his pen today in this stubborn COVID fight, signing executive orders requiring federal workers to get vaccinated.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Federal workforce is one of the largest in the country and we would like to be a model to what we think other businesses and organizations should do around the country.

ZELENY (voice-over): The new mandate covers a workforce of about 4 million from federal agencies to the military, to contract workers doing business with the government. The President is also directing the Department of Labor to issue an emergency rule for any private business with more than 100 employees to either be vaccinated or get tested once a week.

PSAKI: People who are vaccinated who are frustrated that they can't go back to normal, that they're fearful about sending their kids to school when there aren't necessary requirements, and the President's speech today is going to hopefully take steps forward to help ease those fears.

ZELENY (voice-over): In the speech, officials tell CNN, the President will focus on these six points, vaccinate the unvaccinated, recommend booster shots, outline how to keep schools open, increased testing and mask wearing, fight the pandemic to build an economic recovery, improved care of those with COVID-19. All this is the latest effort by the White House to try and slow the soaring Delta variant that has kept the pandemic alive, overwhelming hospitals in pockets of the country and killing about 1500 people a day.

(on camera): Why is there any hope that this will change anything at all?

PSAKI: Well, the speeches and just words he's announcing, and I would argue that the bully pulpit for any president can be quite powerful. But what the President is announcing is a series of bold and ambitious steps to address COVID, to save more lives, to protect more people.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And here is President Biden. Let's listen in.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The progress we've made and the work we have left to do.

And it starts with understanding this. Even as the Delta variant 19 has -- COVID-19 has been hitting his country hard, w have the tools to combat the virus. If we can come together as a country and use those tools. If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking, expanded testing and identify people who are infected.

We can and we will turn the tide in COVID-19. It will take a lot of hard work. It's going to take some time.

Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective and free.

You might be confused about what is true and what is false about COVID 90. So before I outline the new steps to fight COVID-19 that I'm going to be announcing tonight.

Let me give you some clear information about where we stand. First, we have -- we've made considerable progress in battling COVID-19. When I became president, about 2 million Americans were fully vaccinated. Today, over 175 million Americans have that protection.

Before I took office, we had an ordered enough vaccine for every American. Just weeks in office, we did.

The week before I took office on January 20th of this year, over 25,000 Americans died that -- with COVID-19. Last week that grim weekly toll was down 70 percent.

And then three months before I took office our economy was faltering, creating just 50,000 jobs a month. We're now averaging 700,000 new jobs a month, in the past three months. This progress is real.

But while America is much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact. We're in a tough stretch and it could last for a while. Highly contagious Delta variant that I began to warn America about back in July spread late summer, like it did in other countries before us.

While the vaccines provide strong protection for the vaccinated, we read about and hear about and we see the stories of hospitalized people, people on their deathbeds among the unvaccinated over the past few weeks. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And it's caused by the fact that despite America having unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations. We still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.


And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they're ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities. This is totally unacceptable.

Third, you wonder how all this adds up. Here's the math. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Nearly three quarters of the eligible have gotten at least one shot. But one quarter has not gotten any.

That's nearly 80 million Americans not vaccinated. And a country as large as ours, that's 25 percent minority. That 25 percent can cause a lot of damage, and they are. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals or overrunning emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack or pancreatitis or cancer.

And fourth, I want to emphasize that the vaccines provide very strong protection from severe illness from COVID-19. I know there's a lot of confusion and misinformation. But the world's leading scientists confirm that if you're a fully vaccinated, your risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is very low.

In fact, based on available data from the summer, only one out of every 160,000 fully vaccinated Americans was hospitalized for COVID per day. These are the facts.

So here's where we stand, the path ahead, even with the Delta variant is not nearly as bad as last winter. But what makes it incredibly more frustrating is we have the tools to combat COVID-19 and a distinct minority of Americans supported by distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner. These pandemic politics, sorry (ph) further, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die. We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.

As your President, I'm announcing tonight a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated to combat those blocking public health. My plan also increases testing, protects our economy and will make our kids safer in schools.

It consists of six broad areas of action, and many specific measures in each of those actions. And you can read more about in, The measures, these are going to take time to have full impact. But if we implement that, I believe and the scientists indicate that the months ahead, we can reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely, and keep our economy strong by keeping businesses open.

First, we must increase vaccinations among the unvaccinated with new vaccination requirements. With nearly 80 million eligible Americans who have not gotten vaccinated, many said we're waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA. Well, last month the FDA granted that approval.

So, the time for waiting is over. This summer, we made progress through the combination of vaccine requirements and incentives, as well as the FDA approval. Four million more people got their first shot in August than they did in July. But we need to do more.

This is not about freedom, or personal choice, it's about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love.

My job as president is to protect all Americans. So tonight, I'm announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.


Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this, United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Food and even Fox News. The bottom line, we're going to protect vaccinated workers, some unvaccinated coworkers. We're going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.

My plan will extend the vaccination requirements that I previously issued in the healthcare field. Already, I've announced, we'll be requiring vaccinations and all nursing home workers who treat patients on Medicare and Medicaid because I had that federal authority.

Tonight, I'm using that same authority to expand that to cover those who work in hospitals, home health care facilities or other medical facilities, a total of 17 million health care workers. If you're seeking care at a health facility, you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated, simple, straightforward, period.

Next, I will sign an executive order that will now require all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated, all. And I've signed another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same.

If you want to work with the federal government, do businesses to this, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce.

And tonight, I'm removing one of the last remaining obstacles that make it difficult for you to get vaccinated. The Department of Labor will require employers with 100 or more workers to give those workers paid time off to get vaccinated. No one should lose pay in order to get vaccinated or take a loved one to get vaccinated.

Today, in total, the vaccine requirements in my plan will affect about 100 million Americans, two thirds of all workers.

And for other sectors, I issue this appeal to those of you running large entertainment venues from sports arenas to concert venues to movie theaters, please require folks to get vaccinated or show a negative test as a condition of entry.

Into the nation's family physicians, pediatricians, G.P., general practitioners, you're the most trusted medical voice to your patients. You may be the one person who can get someone to change their mind about being vaccinated. Tonight, I'm asking each of you to reach out to your unvaccinated patients over the next two weeks and make a personal appeal of that to get the shot. American needs your personal involvement in this critical effort.

My message to unvaccinated Americans is this. What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe and convenient.

The vaccine is FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. Give them patience, but our patience is wearing thin. And the refusal has cost all of us. So please, do the right thing.

But just don't take it from me. Listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breath say, if only I'd gotten vaccinated. If only. It's a tragedy. Please don't let it become yours.

Second piece of my plan is continuing to protect the vaccinated. For the vast majority of you who have gotten vaccinated, I understand your anger at those who haven't gotten vaccinated. I understand the anxiety about getting a breakthrough case.

But as the science makes clear, if you're fully vaccinated, you're highly protected from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19. In fact, recent data indicates there is only one confirmed positive case per 5,000 fully vaccinated Americans per day. You're as safe as possible and we're doing everything we can to keep it that way. Keep it that way. Keep you safe.

That's where boosters come in. The shots that give you even more protection than after your second shot.

Now, I know there's been some confusion about boosters. So let me be clear. Last month, our top government doctors announced an initial plan for booster shots for vaccinated Americans. They believe that a booster is likely to provide the highest level of protection yet.


Of course, the decision of which booster shots to give or when to start them and who will give them will be left completely to the scientists at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control. But while we wait, we've done our part. We bought enough boosters, enough booster shots, and the distribution system is ready to administer them.

As soon as they are authorized, those eligible will be able to get a booster right away in 10s of 1000s of sites across the country for most Americans at your nearby drugstore and for free. The third piece of my plan is keeping, and maybe most important, is keeping our children safe and our schools open. For any parent, it doesn't matter how low the risk of any illness or accident is when it comes to your child or grandchild. Trust me, I know.

So, let me speak to you directly. Let me speak to you directly to help ease some of your worries. It comes down to two separate categories. Children ages 12 and older who are eligible for a vaccine now and children ages 11 and under who are not yet eligible, the safest thing for your child 12 and older is to get them vaccinated. They get vaccinated for a lot of things. That's it, get them vaccinated.

As of adults, almost all the series COVID-19 cases we're seeing among adolescents are an unvaccinated 12 to 17 year olds, an age group that lags behind in vaccination rates. So parents, please get your teenager vaccinated.

What about children under the age of 12 who can't get vaccinated yet? Well, the best way for parents to protect their child under the age of 12 starts at home. Every parent, every teen sibling, every caregiver around them should be vaccinated. Children have four times higher chance of getting hospitalized if they live in a state with low vaccination rates rather than states with high vaccination rates.

Now, if you're a parent of a young child, you're wondering when will it be the vaccine available for them. I strongly support independent scientific review for vaccine uses for children under 12. We can't take shortcuts for that scientific work. But I've made it clear I will do everything within my power to support the FDA with any resource that needs to continue to do this as safely and as quickly as possible. And our nation's top doctors are committed to keeping the public at large updated on the process so parents can plan.

Now to the schools. We know that if schools follow the science and implement the safety measures like testing, masking, adequate ventilation systems will be provided the money for, social distancing, and vaccinations, then children can be safe from COVID-19 in schools. Today, about 90 percent of school staff and teachers are vaccinated. We should get that to 100 percent.

My administration has already required teachers at the schools run by the Defense Department, because I have the authority as president in the federal system, the Defense Department and the Interior Department to get vaccinated. That's the authority I possess.

Tonight, I'm announcing that we'll require all of nearly 300,000 educators in the federal head paid program, head start programs, must be vaccinated as well to protect your youngest, our youngest, most precious Americans, and give parents that comfort.

And tonight, I'm calling on all governors to require vaccination for all teachers and staff. Some already have done so, and we need more to step up. Vaccination requirements of the schools are nothing new. They work.

They're overwhelmingly supported by educators and their unions. And all school officials trying to do the right thing by our children. I'll always be on your side.

Let me be blunt. My plan also takes on elected officials and states that are undermining you in these lifesaving actions. Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them, and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools.


If they'll not help, if these governors won't help speak to pandemic, I'll use my power as president to get them out of the way.

The Department of Education has already begun to take legal action against states undermining protection that local school officials have ordered. Any teacher or school official whose pay is withheld for doing the right thing, we will have that pay restored by the federal government 100 percent. I promise you, I will have your back.

The fourth piece of my plan is increasing testing and masking. From the start, America has failed to do enough COVID-19 testing. In order to better detect and control the Delta variant, I'm taking steps tonight to make testing more available, more affordable and more convenient. I'll use the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including those that you can use at home.

While that production is ramping up, my administration has worked with top retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Kroger's. And tonight, we're announcing that no later in the next week, each of these outlets will start to sell at home rapid test kits at cost for the next three months.

This immediate price reduction for at home test kits for up to 35 percent reduction will also expand free testing at 10,000 pharmacies around the country. And we'll commit -- we're committing $2 billion to purchase nearly 300 million rapid tests for distribution to community health centers, food banks, schools, so that every American, no matter their income, can access free and convenient test.

This is important to everyone. Particularly for a parent or a child, with a child not old enough to be vaccinated. You'll be able to test them at home and test those around them.

In addition to testing, we know masking help stop the spread of COVID- 19. That's why when I came into office, I required mask for all federal buildings on federal lands, on airlines and other modes of transportation. Today, tonight, I'm announcing that the Transportation Safety Administration, the TSA, will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask. If you break the rules, be prepared to pay.

And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing the job is wrong. It's ugly.

The fifth piece of my plan is protecting our economic recovery. Because of our vaccination program and the American Rescue Plan, which we passed early in my administration, we've had record job creation for new administration. Economic growth unmatched in 40 years. We cannot let unvaccinated do this progress. Undo it. Turn it back.

So tonight, I'm announcing additional steps to strengthen our economic recovery.

We'll be expanding COVID-19 economic injury disaster loan programs. That's a program that's going to allow small businesses to borrow up to $2 million from the current 500,000, to keep going if COVID-19 impacts on our sales. These low interest long term loans require no repayment for two years. And we can use to hire and retain workers, purchase inventory, or even pay down higher cost debt racked up since the pandemic began. I'll also be taking additional steps to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.

Sixth, we're going to continue to improve the care of those who do get COVID-19. In early July, I announced the deployment of surge response teams. These are teams comprised of experts from the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, the Defense Department, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to areas in the country that need help to stem the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the federal government has deployed nearly 1000 staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedics into 18 states.


Today, I'm announcing that the Defense Department will double the number of Military Health teams that they'll deploy to help their fellow Americans in the hospitals around the country. Additionally, we're increasing the availability of new medicines recommended by real doctors, not conspiracy theorist.

The monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70 percent for unvaccinated people at risk of developing severe disease. We've already distributed 1.4 million courses of these treatments to save lives and reduce the strain on hospitals.

Tonight, I'm announcing we will increase the average pace of shipment across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50 percent.

Before I close, let me say this. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this virus. And as we continued about COVID-19, we will ensure that equity continues to be at the center of our response. We will ensure that everyone is reached.

My first responsibility as president is to protect the American people and make sure we have enough vaccine for every American, including enough boosters for every American who's approved to get one.

We also know this virus transcends borders. That's why even as we execute this plan at home, we need to continue fighting the virus overseas, continue to be the arsenal of vaccines.

We're proud to have donated nearly 140 million vaccines over 90 countries more than all other countries combined, including Europe, China, and Russia combined. That's American leadership on a global stage. And that's just the beginning.

We've also now started to ship another 500 million COVID vaccines, Pfizer vaccines, purchased to donate to 100 lower income countries in need of vaccines. And I'll be announcing additional steps to help the rest of the world later this month.

As I recently released the key parts of my pandemic preparedness plan so that America isn't caught flat footed with a new pandemic comes again, as it will. Next month, I'm also going to release the plan in greater detail.

So let me close with this. We have so -- we made so much progress during the past seven months of this pandemic. The recent increases in vaccinations in August already are having an impact in some states where case counter dropping in recent days.

Even so, we remain at a critical moment, a critical time. We have the tools. Now we just have to finish the job with truth, with science, with confidence, and together as one nation.

Look, we're the United States of America. There's nothing, not a single thing we're unable to do if we do it together. So let's stay together.

God bless you all and all those who continue to serve on the frontlines of this pandemic. And may God protect our troops.

Get vaccinated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this constitutional, Mr. President?

TAPPER: We've been listening to President Joe Biden laying out his latest plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It includes new vaccine mandates for all federal workers and contractors. A new requirements for many American companies.

President Biden also called on governors to mandate vaccines for all teachers.

Let's discuss.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, let me start with you. So, President Biden said that the path ahead is not as bad as it was last winter, but we're still losing 1500 Americans a day to this virus. As the president pointed out, this is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Do you think these six pillars that he announced will be enough to turn things around?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they're going to make a big difference. You know, as he mentioned that's about 100 million people that may be affected in some way or another by these vaccine mandates and vaccines are really important.

Jake, I think the issue a little bit is that, you know, right now we're in the throes of it. By the time vaccines actually go into people's arms, you wait another few weeks for another shot because, you know, these are mostly two shot vaccines.


You know, you're talking a month, at least maybe longer before you really see the true impact of those vaccines. So, it will ultimately make a difference. But, you know, it's late at this point to be doing. We should have been doing some of this, I should say, some time ago, in order to have the most impact now.

Where we are in the country, you know, three and a half times more cases, this Labor Day versus Labor Day of 2020. Two and a half times more hospitalizations now compared to a year ago, nearly two times as many deaths. Now we've seen in other countries a rapid descent of cases from Delta and in the U.K., for example. We may see that here as well.

So, you know, that may just be because this is ripping through the country and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed. And it's all the terrible tragic stuff that occurs in the middle of a pandemic. But as a result, we may have a descent of cases over the next few weeks. The plans that he's talking about now will have an impact, but that impact will be felt, I think, months down the road, hopefully, to try and blunt future surges or waves of this.

TAPPER: David Chalian, the President called this a pandemic of the unvaccinated that's largely true. But then he went on, he said, we've been patient -- he had a message for the unvaccinated -- he said, we've been patient, but our patience is running thin and the refusal has cost all of us. Suggesting -- voicing the frustration that many people feel, but I do wonder if that's going to help if he's trying to reach them to express irritation with them, however justified it might be.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I mean, this is precisely the problem for the President is that, in large part, Jake, the population he is trying to reach is not necessarily a population open to his argument or an open to his persuasion. That doesn't mean he doesn't have the responsibility to lead the country forward through this. But let's be clear about what this speech was. This was a speech that if things were going swimmingly, wouldn't be needed. This is a reset speech. This is a refocus the attention of the American people on some concrete steps.

The administration is taking in a clear recognition, as the President said at the top of his remarks, that we are in this very tough stretch right now. So he wanted to speak openly about that with the American people, but also, because he needs to continue even with a resistant population to him as a messenger, maybe, he needs to continue to point the path forward. Even as Sanjay said that it may not be a benefits realized until, you know, months down the road here.

TAPPER: And Nia-Malika, let's talk about one of the provisions. I think it's going to be without question challenged in court, this idea that he's going to instruct the Department of Labor to have OSHA order any business with 100 or more employees, either require all employees to get vaccinated or to get tested every week. He can -- he has lots of poll (ph) when it comes to how -- what requirements he wants to make of federal employees. But these are private employees. This is going to be very controversial.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that's right. And listen, this is why they have stayed away from vaccine mandates until now. And you heard as the President was walking off, you heard someone shout the question, is this constitutional? And I think that'll be a big question. Listen, there are private employers who have already done this.

I think the polling shows something like two out of 10 workers are working for bosses who are mandating the vaccine. And you've seen some success in big organizations. The NFL, for instance, is mandating this and sort of tying it to people salaries and people's livelihoods, and they have a 93 percent vaccination rate.

I imagine if you're Joe Biden, you were thinking that if you tie these to people's livelihoods and to people's salaries, they are much more likely to get it but the problem all along with, you know, the vaccine or rollout in the vaccine, you know, availability has been -- it's largely been up to people's personal choices, whether or not they wanted to get them in still, even with what he's trying to do with private businesses. OK, maybe you have an employer who says you have to get a vaccine or you have to get tested. Maybe that person says, oh, well, I don't really want to work here anymore.

And some of the early polling on this suggests that people would just leave their jobs. So, you know, he is putting a lot on people's personal choices around this vaccine. And so far, we have seen 80 million people or so, 25 percent of the eligible population say that they didn't want to get a vaccine and we'll see, a, if this holds up in court trying to have private employers say that their employees have to get the mandates does that hold up. And also just doesn't make a difference to compel people to actually get the vaccine.


TAPPER: Yes, because I think what's important -- let me bring in Jeff Zeleny -- one of the things that's important here for us to acknowledge is one of the biggest problems that the United States is having right now getting past this pandemic, is at tens of millions of Americans are being lied to, are being misinformed, are being told a whole bunch of things that are contrary to what the medical and scientific establishment say is true in terms of what's the best way to combat this virus. And the idea that this is the direction he's going, I understand why the President's there and and I certainly understand his frustration, but the -- you know, he's proposing rules as if we're in a country that doesn't have this misinformation problem.

You know, what I mean? I mean, Jeff, he's -- he wants to govern a country other than the one we have which has, you know, a political party, the Republican Party, that too many members of it are embracing anti-science. JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, there's no doubt that this is Exhibit A certainly of this administration of a question, is this a governable country or not? And in many respects, you know, President Biden has been in this town, a half century and could not have imagined the type of country he would be governing. But you could see the arc of his administration's response to this.

Initially, for so many weeks and months, he alone was resistant to having any type of mandates. They really thought that they could sort of a corral people, cajole people, persuade people, it became clear a few months ago that simply was not the case. So I think as we do, you know, a review of all this, hopefully, this isn't the rearview mirror. At some point, God knows when that will be.

But was it a -- the correct decision to hold off so long on these mandates? Or if this is where he was going to end up anyway, should this White House had done this sooner? But Jake, I think there's very -- the President and his aides, certainly, when I speak to them, they're very well aware that they, you know, cannot communicate with the people that they most need to reach here. They're simply not listening to them, they have tuned them out.

So what they are doing is going after the bottom line here, by really trying to do a focus on the employers and, you know, making them make these requirements. So I think there's no doubt this is going to put a dent in some of this. I think the bigger question overall for President Biden and his term, if he's going to end up this way, should he have done it sooner?

TAPPER: And Sanjay, President Biden announced they're increasing shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments by 50 percent. This is for individuals who have contracted the virus, tell us about these treatments, and how much this might help slow the surge if at all.

GUPTA: These treatments, these monoclonal antibodies seem to be very effective. The real purpose of these is to basically prevent someone from needing to be hospitalized. So the right patient would be somebody who's at high risk, is not yet sick enough to be in the hospital. And basically, you know, they don't have enough antibodies themselves, you're basically giving an infusion of antibodies, and they don't last as long as the type of antibodies that you'd get from a vaccine or from being naturally infected. But they may last long enough to get you through the acute illness.

They can be very expensive, some $1,500, which is why I think that the President was talking about, you know, trying to address the costs here. But they've been available for some time and have shown, you know, pretty, pretty great effectiveness.

TAPPER: David, a big complaint about the Biden administration's COVID messaging is not necessarily that their goals are wrong, their intentions are wrong, their frustrations are wrong, but that the messaging is confusing and convoluted. That's what some -- even some democratic critics have said about the administration. What do you think about this speech? Was it on point? Was it concise? CHALIAN: Well, let's just look at a micro example of that in that speech. When he addressed the issue of boosters, right, he said, let me try to clarify here because I think it's being confused. And he wanted to state clearly that the scientists at the CDC and the FDA will dictate who gets those boosters and when they get out, and that he wanted to separate that from his administration, doing all the work, ready to have that deployed and to go when the science says it's time to go on the boosters. There's a perfect example of what people have complained about as mixed messaging as recently as last week.

To your point, Jake, I think this was a pretty forceful reframing of where we are in this place right now. But as you noted, with misinformation, as Jeff noted with the population, how much this breaks through to the people that it needs to break through, because I don't even think with the mandates we have a clear sense of what percentage of the unvaccinated will actually now be vaccinated due to mandates. It'll make some dent but I think we've got a long way to go here.


TAPPER: Everyone, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, why the security fence is going back up around the U.S. Capitol. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our national lead, a source tells CNN that a formal request is in from the U.S. Capitol Police to reinstall the temporary fence around the Capitol ahead of a September 18th rally and an internal Capitol Police memo shows that law enforcement officials are bracing for possible clashes based on a noticeable uptick in violent rhetoric online.

Let's bring in CNN Security Correspondent Josh Campbell along with Phil Mudd who works in intelligence for the FBI and CIA. And Josh, let's start with this rise and violent rhetoric around the rally, what are law enforcement officials hearing?


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This is coming from that memo that was reviewed by our colleague Melanie Zanona by the -- from the Capitol Police and what they're at is a lot of the online chatter by some of these extremists in these forums that are popular. And what they're concerned about is that we know that the rally itself on the 18th is billed as justice for these defendants, the insurrectionists, but they're concerned that there's also a group of people that are seeking retribution for the one insurrectionist, who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police Officer.

And so that's what's concerning. It's what -- one thing to say we're going to show up and say these people are being unfairly prosecuted, but if you have people that are coming, seeking retribution for someone's debt, that could lead to violence, and that's why we're seeing them take these precautions. It will be all hands on deck for the Capitol Police for the Metro Police. And as you mentioned, we expect to see this fencing going back up.

TAPPER: And Phil, a former 2016 Trump campaign staffer, he's leading this rally effort, he told CNN's Jessica Schneider that he wants this to be a peaceful rally. Take a listen.


MATT BRAYNARD, ORGANIZER, JUSTICEFORJAN6: We have told people that when they come, we don't want to see any messaging about the election. We don't want to see any messaging on T-shirts or flags or signs about candidates or anything like that. And anybody that shows up who we think is trying to infiltrate us, either because they're a federal agent or they're Antifa and trying to make us look bad, we're going to take their picture, we're going to find out who they are, and we're going to make them famous.


TAPPER: I mean, the part about the peaceful messaging, peaceful rally sounded good but then he took a turn there. What was your response to that?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Boy, if you're sitting there in the Capitol Police at the FBI with the Metropolitan Police here, I'd be saying put the fence up, not just to keep the demonstrators out to limit the prospects of violence. But if you're in law enforcement here, you're tired. Been a lot of overtime, obviously, their memories of what happened on January 6th, I'm looking at this and saying, say whatever you want, say whatever you want.

We saw what happened in January. And if you want us to sit here and pretend that we should not anticipate after we got crushed for not anticipating properly January 16 -- or January 6th, that's not going to happen. The law enforcement is going to anticipate violence regardless of what he says.

TAPPER: And they want the rally attendees and organizers say they want charges dropped against the nonviolent offenders who were in the Capitol in January 6. They say they were politically pursued by the FBI. But factually speaking, Josh, what do we know about the types of charges that have been linked to the January 6 insurrection?

CAMPBELL: Well, we know that there are some low-level charges such as unlawful entry being in a place that you shouldn't be. But let's take a look at some of the numbers here of what we have so far from the Justice Department. Over 600 people charged, over 50 guilty pleas. And this is what's so key, over 160 people charged with assaulting police officers.

These are serious crimes. We've seen the videos of these clashes between officers. We know that officers were injured, there were deaths afterwards as well. So again, very serious charges, yet you see some of these protest organizers saying that, well, these are political prisoners. They're persecuted. The video tells a different story. You see the violence.

And finally, it's important to note and we can't say this enough that, you know, this idea that this is a political persecution, you have to go back to the facts. This criminal investigation into the insurrection began under the Trump Justice Department with a Justice Department run by Republicans. The investigation continues to this day by an FBI director who's a Republican appointed by Donald Trump.

So the idea that all these Republicans suddenly got together and said, we're going to politically persecute other Republicans, it requires the suspension of disbelief that that's just out of this world.

TAPPER: Well, it's not like -- this crowd is not willing to suspend this belief. Phil, law enforcement was criticized, as you noted, for not anticipating what happened on January 6. Are they prepared this time?

MUDD: I think over prepared. If you look at what happens there, there's going to be -- aside from fencing, I'm sure there's going to be more Capitol police, more Metropolitan police than they need. There's talk that there won't be as many demonstrators that we -- as we might anticipate.

I tell you, one of the issues that I would be thinking about here, I would over prepared to or fire (ph) on the inside. One of the issues I'd be thinking about is everybody there from the other side, from the demonstrators going to have a cell phone. If there's an over preparation, if there's a swarming around of somebody who's one demonstrator gets through all that stuff shows up on social media, and the people showing up, we'll use that for recruitment. There's a downside to over preparation, but that's what I do, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Phil Mudd, Josh Campbell, thanks --


TAPPER: -- to both of you. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, good unemployment numbers today, but also some bad news for millions of Americans who have lost a major financial lifeline.


GISELLE MANZANO, LOST ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: The anxiety, the sleeplessness, the -- it's a lot.




TAPPER: In our money lead, some good economic news today. The federal government reported a pandemic era low in first time applications for unemployment benefits. 310,000 people applied for help last year. That is the fewest number in any week since the middle of March last year. But this does come with some bad news for millions of Americans who this week lost special additional federal unemployment benefits that were put in place to help them get through the pandemic.

And as CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich discovered, many of them still cannot find work. Many are hurting even worse than before.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week, 11 million Americans lost federal pandemic unemployment benefits. Money that's helped many survive in unprecedented economic crisis. For Gustavo Maria, the timing couldn't be worse.

GUSTAVO MARIA, LOST UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: My daughter is a couple of weeks from being born.


YURKEVICH (voice-over): In the last year, Maria says he lost two jobs in warehouses, broke a bone in his leg and saw the family car repossessed.

MARIA: You know, in my inner (ph) voice, this is me yelling and screaming, trying to like, you like what I'm going to do, what I'm going to do, what I'm going to do.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): It's a question millions of Americans are facing.


YURKEVICH (voice-over): For single mom Kristina Toscano, losing unemployment and the Supreme Court striking down the national ban on evictions has put her in a dire state.

(on-camera): What is the worst-case scenario for you?

TOSCANO: Being evicted with my child, and not having anywhere to go. I just think about my son like, you know, what am I going to tell him or, you know, what if this doesn't work out?

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But cutting aid doesn't mean people going back to work. Between April and July, states that cut unemployment benefits so slightly less job growth than states that kept them in place.

MICHAEL KITTEL, LOST UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: It's frustrating because, yes, there are any number of jobs that I could go out and do but not all of them can support me.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): There are a record 10.9 million open jobs, but graphic designer Michael Kittel hasn't found one in his industry. Without unemployment, he says he'll now pick up shifts at a restaurant.

(on-camera): Why have you not chosen to do that before? KITTEL: Because we're still in a pandemic. The idea of being close to hundreds of strangers a day even while being vaccinated, that's not something that appeals to me in any way.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Giselle Manzano who lost her job in banking says her finances are a mess.

MANZANO: The anxiety, the sleeplessness, the -- it's a lot.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Without an income and unable to find a new job, she's used unemployment to support her large family.

MANZANO: My dad, my mom, my sister, my goddaughter.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But it hasn't been enough.

MANZANO: I thought I had everything covered. And then savings are gone. There's no retirement money. My life insurance policies set up for the kids as well as myself. It's gone.


YURKEVICH: And as it stands right now, there's no more federal aid coming. And we're also seeing a slowdown in hiring. Just look at last month's jobs report where we saw a disappointing 235,000 jobs added. And there's one main reason for all of this, the Delta variant.

Over the summer, we should have seen a surge in hiring and into the fall, we're facing a lot of uncertainty. Those Americans who you heard from, Jake, are probably going to have a lot more trouble finding a job to support their families. Jake?

TAPPER: Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much. Appreciate it. We'll be right back.


TAPPER: Join me this Sunday for a CNN Special Report, "America's Longest War: What Went Wrong in Afghanistan". I sat down with most of America's commanding generals in Afghanistan who oversaw the 20-year war this Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. Tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Our coverage continues now.