Return to Transcripts main page

State of the Union

Interview With U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; Interview With Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Interview With Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 11, 2021 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Bridging the divide? President Biden set to meet with Senate Democrats and Republicans, as they argue over the president's bill and what exactly infrastructure is.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Infrastructure is the foundation that makes it possible for people to live and work well.

TAPPER: But will that message work for both parties? I'll speak with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg next.

And power play. A key Democrat says he will not vote to end the filibuster, imperiling his party's agenda on key issues such as voting rights.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Let him get a better understanding of what voting rights mean to me and others who look like me.

TAPPER: House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn joins me in moments.

Plus: culture wars. A conservative Republican governor says his party has gone too far...

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): That is a product of the cultural war in America.

TAPPER: ... and faces blowback from former President Trump and his followers.

But as Trump dominates a major Republican gathering this weekend, what does the Republican Party stand for now? Arkansas' Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson ahead.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is as divided as ever.

Former President Trump is back. And he's about the same. In a speech at a Republican National Committee retreat with donors and party leaders last night at Mar-a-Lago, Trump called Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell a -- quote -- "dumb son of a bitch" -- unquote -- for ultimately opposing Trump's big election lie, for upholding democracy.

Former President Trump also went after his vice president, Mike Pence, according to a source in the room, for certifying the election results on January 6. Not surprisingly, Trump did not say a word to condemn the violent insurrection he helped incite that day.

And, as the former president of excoriates Republican leaders in Washington, the Biden administration is trying for a second time to reach out to them. Tomorrow, President Biden will meet with the Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate to discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

The president this week said -- quote -- "Compromise is inevitable." But he warned that his team will not be open to inaction.

Reaching any sort of compromise, of course, will be difficult. Republicans are already pushing back on the administration's plan, saying it's too sweeping; it goes way beyond the traditional idea of infrastructure, not to mention the tax hikes, even as some Democrats push to make the bill more progressive.

Joining me now to discuss, one of the Cabinet members leading the effort on infrastructure, the secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg.

Secretary Buttigieg, good to see you.

So, let's start with the 30,000-foot view. There's a lot in the bill that is not traditionally considered infrastructure. And I'm not talking about electric grids or clean water or rural broadband. I'm talking about hundreds of billions of dollars for things such as in- home care for elderly Americans and those with disabilities, priorities, certainly.

But the question is, are they infrastructure? I understand the Biden administration is trying to change how we talk and how we think about infrastructure to include support for workers.

But I guess one of the questions I have is, do you think, by trying to change the definition, you're actually hurting your cause, because Republicans will just characterize this as Democrats jamming a bunch of social programs into an infrastructure bill and calling it infrastructure, and thus undermine your effort?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, it doesn't seem to be undermining anything, because this bill, this package, both in terms of the individual parts and as a whole, is enjoying enormous support from the American people, including Republicans.

So, I know, here in Washington, folks are getting into this semantic debate. Look, I very much believe that all of these things are infrastructure, because infrastructure is the foundation that allows us to go about our lives. But if there are Senate Republicans who don't agree, we can agree to

disagree on what to call it. I'm still going to ask you to vote for it. To me, it makes no sense to say, I would have been for broadband, but I'm against it because it's not a bridge. I would have been for eldercare, but I'm against it because it's not a highway.

These are things the American people need. These are things that the president is putting forward a vision to get done. And, again, these are things, remarkably, that command the support of the majority of the American people, Democrats and Republicans.

So, at the end of the day, they can call it whatever they like, but we're asking them to support it because it's good policy.

TAPPER: House progressives are now calling for you to include a path to citizenship for dreamers in the legislation.

Again, I understand this is a principle you think is worth fighting for. Is that infrastructure?


BUTTIGIEG: Well, that's not in the plan that we have put forward.

Of course, we need to support dreamers. That's important as a policy matter in this country. Look, now we're getting into the season where there's going to be a lot of push and pull on how things move in different forms in terms of legislative packaging. That's what this negotiating process will produce.

But the important thing, as the president has repeatedly said, is, we can't do nothing. We can't wait any longer. And when it comes to this infrastructure package, the American people are ready to go. We have been ready to go for years and years.

I think this is the third administration to arrive with the American people clamoring for something to happen on infrastructure. And I think, this time, we can get it done.

TAPPER: Are you ruling out including a path to citizenship for dreamers in the transportation bill, the infrastructure bill?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, that's not in the plan that the president's put forward.

I will say that we're hearing a lot of ideas from across the aisle and from within our caucus on what to do about the pay-fors, different shapes that the infrastructure package and the transportation infrastructure can take.

I think you will find the president is ready to listen to these ideas that are going to come up, for example, in tomorrow's meeting. But we can't just sit here. I mean, we have got roads and bridges that are deteriorating by the day. We have got America not even in the top 10 when it comes to things like transportation infrastructure, the areas that I work on the most. We have got to get something done.

TAPPER: So, I will interpret that as a -- your mind is open as to what else might be in the package.

President Biden is slated to meet with Republicans and Democrats, as you know, to talk about the infrastructure package tomorrow. You say you have been talking with Republicans quite a bit.

Is there any talk about splitting the bill up into two parts, so you have one that's more physical infrastructure, traditional definition, roads, water, broad broadband, et cetera, and then another package which might deal with support for workers, childcare, eldercare?

And that way, you could probably get a lot of Republican support, theoretically, for the first one, at the very least, while ultimately getting both to pass.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, I want to point out that childcare and eldercare command a lot of support among Republican voters, just maybe not at the moment among Republican legislators here in Washington.

But if you have ever confronted the situation of trying to find long- term care for an aging parent, if you're trying to get back to work, and you know that one of the things you need in order to be able to go to work is good transit to get to your workplace, but another is good childcare options, these things are good policy.

We think they fit together, which is why the president fit them together in his vision for a jobs plan, which will be, by the way, the biggest investment in American jobs since World War II. I know that there are all kinds of different ways that it can be sliced and diced across different committees and packaged up legislatively.

I don't think most Americans are worried about the mechanics of it. They just want to get it done.

TAPPER: I know that you have not given up on Republican support. You're still trying.

Obviously, winning over 10 Republicans in the Senate to break a filibuster, still, to me, from my cheap seats here, it still seems like a steep hill for you to climb.

I asked your colleague Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm last week, if you cannot get those 10 Republican Senate votes, are you willing to use the Senate rules called reconciliation, which would allow it to pass with 50 votes, plus Vice President Harris? Secretary Granholm seemed to suggest the answer is yes.

Do you agree?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, again, the president has said we have to get this done. So, inaction is not an option.

But there is a strong preference for the president, the administration, certainly for me, to do these things in regular order. It's better from a policy perspective. And it's how this administration prefers to work.

So, I'm going to keep burning up those phone lines, talking to Republicans, listening to Republicans, and trying to get somewhere we can all agree on.

But, again, I know I'm repeating this until I'm blue in the face, but it is a remarkable fact that this package in -- as a whole and in its pieces, already has bipartisan support, already has most Republicans saying we ought to do it, just not here in Washington.

TAPPER: Well, you're talking about Republican voters, according to polls.

But I have been in this town for a few decades now, and let me tell you something. Republican voters and according to polls, does not necessarily translate into Republican legislators, even one Republican legislator.

What is your timeline on this? What does it look like? Do you agree with Speaker Pelosi, you want this bill to pass by July 4? Or do you think it might take until Labor Day?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes, the president wants to see major action in Congress and real progress by Memorial Day. The speaker has laid out that July timeline for getting something passed.

We have got some real kind of shot clocks on this in terms of things that have to get reauthorized by the end of September. So, the sooner the better, I think is the bottom line. We have got to get this done.


We're going to take on board a lot of ideas. We're going to negotiate. But we can't just sit here and let the clock run out, because the American people can't wait. This work can't wait. We should have been doing this years ago.

And each passing day, America falls further behind, while strategic competitors like China are not hesitating to make the investments that it takes to win the future.

TAPPER: If you interview a Hoosier, inevitably, a shot clock gets referenced.

The White House says it's providing guidelines to Americans and to private companies for so-called vaccine passports, which would prove an individual has been vaccinated. Airlines have already developed apps to handle health guidelines for international travel, international.

Are you open to the idea of American airlines, U.S. airline companies, requiring a private vaccine passport in order to board a domestic flight?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, we don't view this as the role of the government to create or mandate any kind of vaccine passport.

But these technologies are there. The private sector is working on them. And we're interested in following that and providing any kind of technical advice or support where needed.

Ultimately, the bottom line is things like the CDC guidelines, and then airlines can decide over and above that what they think is right to protect their passengers, to protect their workers, and to build up that confidence in the safety of American travel.

But, right now, what we're seeing is, thankfully, that the guidelines are reflecting the progress that's been made with vaccinations, I think four million-plus vaccinations just reported, another record, that are a big part of what it's going to take to make that safe return to travel.

TAPPER: A recent poll showed that almost three in 10 white evangelical Christians said they will definitely not get vaccinated. That's the second highest group in the country refusing to get vaccinated, behind Republicans.

You have been outspoken on issues of your personal faith. Otherwise, I normally wouldn't bring this up, but why do you think it is that so many of your fellow white evangelical Christians are reluctant to be vaccinated? And what's your message to them?

BUTTIGIEG: You know, sometimes, I have heard people, people I care about, saying, if I'm faithful, God's going to take care of me.

And I guess what I would hope they might consider is that maybe a vaccine is part of God's plan for how you're going to take care of yourself.

In the end, I have to admit that it's unlikely that an official like me is going to be persuasive to somebody who maybe doesn't feel like Washington has been speaking to them for a long time. But this is where faith leaders can make such a difference.

Pastors -- I mean, the very word pastor, the idea of pastoral care is about supporting those who look to you for guidance. And, usually, we think of that in a spiritual sense, but, sometimes, that could also just be true for health.

And so I hope anybody who is looking after a community of people, including a faith community, will consider ways to help guide them towards steps that can protect them and protect those around them.

TAPPER: Yes, it reminds me of that old joke about God saying, I sent you the boat, I sent you the -- you know, that old thing about, why didn't you save me?


TAPPER: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, thank you so much.


TAPPER: Appreciate it.

A typical Saturday night. Former President Trump spent his evening spreading lies, lobbing insults.

We will talk to one of the Republican leaders he attacked this week about what this all means for the GOP. That's next.

And he says where Democratic Senator Manchin stands on voting rights is -- quote -- "insulting." Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn comes up next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

As former President Trump demonstrates his stranglehold on the Republican Party, with personal attacks against anyone who opposes him, one of his targets this week was conservative Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who vetoed a bill passed by Republicans in his state preventing doctors from providing gender-affirming treatments to trans youth.

Hutchinson said the bill is not who we are. But lawmakers from the GOP disagreed. That bill is now a state law.

Joining us now is the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson.

Governor, thanks so much for joining us.

We will get to that bill in a minute, but, first, I want to ask about former President Trump's speech last night in Florida at an RNC donor retreat. Trump again repeated the dangerous lie that he won the November election. That's not true. He called the results B.S. He blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a dumb son of a bitch -- pardon my language, but I'm quoting him -- for not blocking the Electoral College certification.

According to a person in the room, Trump received huge applause from the crowd, which was top Republican officials and donors.

Does this concern you that your party continues to shape itself around the grievances and lies of one man?

HUTCHINSON: Well, anything that's divisive is a concern and is not helpful for us fighting the battles in Washington and at the state level.

In some ways, it's not a big deal, what he said, but, at the same time, whenever it draws attention, we don't need that. We need unity. We need to be focused together. We have slim majorities -- or slim numbers in Washington, and we have got battles to fight. So, we need to get beyond that. TAPPER: Yes, you have slim minorities in Washington, partly because

President Trump, then President Trump, discouraged Republicans from voting in Georgia.

In his new memoir, your former House colleague -- you served in the House -- John Boehner writes that the current Republican Party is unrecognizable to him.

He writes -- quote -- "I don't even think I could get elected in today's Republican Party anyway. I don't think Ronald Reagan could either."

You are not dissimilar from Boehner, in the fact that you're a pro- business, small-government Reagan conservative. Is this still your Republican Party?

HUTCHINSON: Well, it is.

And you think about the Republican Party today, we do need to remind ourselves, let's get back to our principles. Let's stop the personality divisions that we have, and focus on really the historic role that we have played, which is a voice for smaller government, not bigger government, not government solutions, but free enterprise solutions.


And that's -- while I'm also a social conservative, I do believe we have to balance that with the important question, is this a fight that government needs to get in, or is this a role of the church, or is this -- is this the restraint of government that we need to not only preach, but to practice as well?

And that led me to the veto that you described. It's a conservative position to say, that's not the role of government. It is compassionate to say, we care for all our young people. Whether they're trans youth or otherwise, we care for them.

And that's the message of compassion and conservatism that we need to have as a party.

TAPPER: Well, Trump targeted you for vetoing that bill that would have let the government into the office where a doctor is treating a transgender teen.

And Trump dismissed you as a lightweight RINO. He said -- quote -- "Bye, bye, Asa. That's the end of him."

You're also under intense criticism from right-wing media. And Republican state legislators easily overturned your veto. What do you make of the blowback you have received from the Republican Party?

HUTCHINSON: Well, any time you go against the grain, you're going to get that kind of blowback.

I think it's healthy for our society, I think it's helpful for our party to have that kind of vigorous debate about an important issue. And, to me, this is about the future of our party. Are we going to be a narrow party that expresses ourself in intolerant ways, or are we going to be a broad-based party that shows conservative principles, but also compassion in dealing with some of the most difficult issues that parents face, that individuals face?

And, at some point, I had to say I have got to remind my wonderful Republican colleagues that we are the party of Ronald Reagan that believes in a limited role of government.

And let's just ask that question. Sure, I'm -- I signed pro-life bills and I know that there's a role for government even in the social issues, but we have to fundamentally ask ourselves, do we need to do this? Is there a better way? Is this something that we need to leave to the hand in the home or in the church, our faith leaders to handle? Is this calling out for a government solution?

We're fighting that in Washington. Let's fight it also in our state capitals and within -- and fight for the principles of our party.

TAPPER: A lot of Arkansas Republicans are really focused on trans kids. And they're targeting them with legislation.

They offered a bill that would ban trans kids from participating in girls and women's sports. You signed that law, even though you have acknowledged there are no actual cases in Arkansas of trans kids causing any sort of problems on the athletic field.

If this is not an actual problem in Arkansas, if there are no female girl, women athletes in Arkansas objecting to this, then what is the end result of this, other than demonizing a bunch of already vulnerable kids?

HUTCHINSON: Well, any time you are passing laws to address a problem that currently doesn't exist, but you worry about in the future, you have a potential of getting it wrong.

But, in this case, I did sign the protection for girls in sports, which says biological males cannot compete on a girls team. To me, that's a fundamental way of making sure girls sports can prosper.

But, at the same time, you're sending a signal that trans youth does not care. And so when that third bill came to me, I said, that's too much, and this interferes with patient care. It interferes with parental decisions on an area that the science is continuing to learn more about.

These are tough areas, tough areas. And what we have to do is, we can debate them on conservative principles, but let's show compassion and tolerance and understanding as we do that. And that's the simple message that I think is important for our party.

And it's more than about trans youth, because other people care. And so it's symbol -- it's symbolic of our party and the direction we want to go. And I want to be broader, and not narrower.

TAPPER: You have said you want to see people look at Arkansas as a place of tolerance and diversity.

You think the legislation you signed is in keeping with that, signing a bill that would keep trans girls from participating in sports, even though there are no trans girls in Arkansas who are trying to participate in sports; this is not an issue?

Do you think that sends a signal of tolerance?

HUTCHINSON: Well, I think it has a broad level of support. I think that it is a good bill for our state.


But, again, there are those that express concern that that limits opportunities for trans youth. We want to make sure that they can have opportunities in as many areas as they can.

But I want to protect girls sports. And I think the people of Arkansas and really across the country understand that, if you're going to have Title IX, if you're going to have importance of women's sports, there has to be some level of integrity.

Even the NCAA requires certain requirements before you can have trans competition. So, I think that is OK. But, at some point, you have to say, when it came to this third bill, enough's enough. That's something that crosses a line. It is not something that government needs to be involved in.

So, each -- each bill has to be evaluated at its own merits. I made the judgment. And I will defend that judgment. And that's the case I'm making today and every chance I get.

TAPPER: Governor, you're a term-limited governor with deep political resume. And, in 2019, you said a presidential run was -- quote -- "on the table."

Are you considering running for president in 2024?

HUTCHINSON: That's too far off even to consider at this point.

We have got to get through the pandemic that we're still dealing with. Here in Arkansas, the first thing that's on my plate from a national perspective is making sure that we are going in the right direction for the Republican Party that I have fought for, for 40 years, as we built into a majority party in Arkansas.

And I don't want to lose those historic roots that I believe are important for society.

TAPPER: With all due respect, if you're going to run for president in 2024, 2021 is not too early to be thinking about it.

Is it still on the table?

HUTCHINSON: Well, I don't -- I don't know what I'm going to be doing after 2022. To me, that's a long time in politics. I am pleased with running the

state of Arkansas. And that's my focus for now, Jake.

TAPPER: All right.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, thanks for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.

HUTCHINSON: Thank you.

TAPPER: Senator Joe Manchin said the events of January 6 made bipartisanship all the more important to him.

I will ask House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn if those events had the same effect on him.

That's next.




QUESTION: They could do it by reconciliation, Joe. They could.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): No, they can't, not unless we vote to get on it. And if I don't vote to get on it, it's not going anywhere.

So, we're going to have some leverage here.


TAPPER: West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin there reminding his fellow Democrats they have almost no room for error when it comes to their own party in the Senate.

And the Senate Democrats can't afford to lose even one single vote. Starting this week, the party will only be able to lose two Democratic votes in the House in order to pass legislation without Republican support, which is going to complicate the life of my next guest.

And joining me now, the House majority whip, Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

Congressman, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

So, you have criticized Democratic Senator Joe Manchin for refusing to change or eliminate the filibuster, even to pass voting rights legislation. You're scheduled to meet when you both return to Washington, D.C.

What are you going to say to him?

CLYBURN: Well, thank you very much for having me, Jake. I'm going to remind the senator of exactly why the Senate came into

being. If you know the history of the Senate, the Senate was not always an elective office. It used to be -- they used to be sent to Washington by their state legislatures. And that was a compromise.

When we made the Senate elective offices, things would be changed for the Senate. So, no matter what may be your idea about why the Senate came into place, the moment we changed and made it an elective office meant the people thought a change needed to be made.

The same thing goes for the filibuster. The filibuster was put in place to extend debate. And debate, it gives you time to bring people around to your point of view. The Senate was never made put in -- or the filibuster was not put in place in order to suppress voters, in order to overrun the minority.

It was there to make sure that minorities in this country have constitutional rights and not be denied by filibuster.

TAPPER: So, Senator Manchin, he's talking about the need for bipartisanship, and that's why he's reluctant to change it.

He talked about recommitting to bipartisanship this week. He said that the January 6 insurrection, the attack on the Capitol, changed him. He said: Something told me wait a minute, pause, hit the pause button.

What effect did January 6 have on you?

CLYBURN: It had a tremendous effect on me.

And when I saw that Capitol Policeman that I see every day complaining about how many times he was called the N-word by those people who were insurrectionists out there, when I see John Lewis' photo being torn to pieces and scattered on the floor, that told me everything I needed to know about those insurrectionists.

And I would remind anybody who reflect on the 6th of January to think about these issues as well. And all of us know that they're there to perpetuate -- they were there to perpetuate a lie.


This president told lies. They reacted to those lies. And, quite frankly, they know full well that they are lies.

TAPPER: And last night, President Trump, former President Trump, at the Republican retreat doubled down on those lies.

And I wonder if you think that the Republican Party is still in thrall to those lies, still committed to those lies, and if that's having an effect on your view of the filibuster and more.

CLYBURN: I think a significant portion of the Republican Party might be, but not all Republicans.

I talk to a lot of Republicans almost daily. And they do feel that, if they had a chance of getting out of a primary and into a general election, they would be more forthcoming. They do know that a significant minority -- it's not the majority of the Republican Party, but it's enough within the Republican primary system to keep them from getting out of the primary.

And that's what's driving this. That's why people are being quiet about it. They know full well that the majority of the American people spoke back in 2020, and over six or seven million more people voted for Joe Biden than voted for Trump. They know that.

TAPPER: Georgia passed sweeping new voting legislation, including many restrictions, that some Democrats, such as Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams, have compared to Jim Crow laws.

Now, you grew up in the Jim Crow South. Do you see the Georgia election law as the new Jim Crow?

CLYBURN: Yes, I do, no question about it.

And we keep talking about Georgia. But 43 -- I'm sorry. I saw the other day 47 states have now proposed. Georgia is just the one that is taking it to the -- to finality.

But these thoughts are being expressed in other states as well. And they know full well that these are ways to suppress voters, to keep people from exercising their rights. And we can't all just talk about what they say. Let's look at the impact of what they do.

I grew up in the South, yes, but I grew up in a parsonage. And I grew up believing it is not their words that matter; it's their deeds. And Matthew teaches us that. And today is Sunday.

TAPPER: Explain to our viewers who are familiar with Jim Crow laws and the hideous racism they represent and the segregation they represented who look at the Georgia voting restrictions and say, I don't understand how you can compare these voting restrictions that call for, for instance, new voter I.D. requirements, for vote by mail, fewer drop boxes, et cetera, and have a tough time seeing that in light -- in the same shade as Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation.

How -- why do you see them as similar?

CLYBURN: Well, because they are.

If you go all the way back into history, when we first started determining who was eligible to vote and who was not, they were property owners. They knew that people of color, people coming out of slavery did not own property.

And, therefore, no matter how many of them existed, they were not -- they were denied the right to vote because they didn't own property. And then they went from that to having disqualifiers. And they picked those offenses that were more apt to be committed by people of color to disqualify voters than they did for people who were not people of color. The whole history in the South of putting together those who are

eligible to vote is based upon the practices and the experiences of people based upon their race.

So, I would say to anybody, come on, just look at the history. And it's there.

What's on anybody's when you say, OK, we are going to deny voting places, we're going to get rid of drop boxes? We know we're going to create long lines. So, now let's make it a crime if you bring someone a bottle of water while they're standing in those long lines?

It's not what they intend. It's what the result is. So, they can say anything they want to say about it. Just look through it and look throughout history, and you will know that what is taking place today is a new Jim Crow, just that simple.


TAPPER: You're leading a key House committee to investigate the Trump administration's coronavirus response.

So far, you say you have found that Trump officials bragged about political interference with CDC reports. They failed to address shortages of masks and PPE. They failed to prevent billions in small business fraud.

How do you think the Trump administration officials responsible should be held accountable? And do you think anyone potentially might face criminal liability?

CLYBURN: Well, I'm going to leave it up to the investigators.

I have a very good staff. They're doing incredible work. Mr. Alexander, the one that you made reference to it, did, in fact, boast about being able to get the CDC on two different occasions to change their findings -- or, you know, let's say, not the findings, but they changed the way they categorized those findings. Yes, he boasted about that.

And we ought to take a look at what that was all about. If he was doing things that may be criminal in nature, then we ought to bring that to light.

So, that's exactly what we're undertaking now. I'm not going to reach any conclusions here this morning. But I'm going to let my staff finish their work. And, hopefully, we will conclude for the American people exactly what took place.

TAPPER: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

CLYBURN: Thank you very much for having me.

TAPPER: The U.S. broke another COVID vaccination record this weekend, 4.6 million shots reported in 24 hours. Great news but not the full picture, regrettably.

Look at Michigan, 40 percent of adults there have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine, but a COVID variant is one of the factors causing an alarming surge in cases in that state. Nationwide, the U.S. is also starting to see an uptick and health officials are increasingly concerned about the number of young people showing up in emergency rooms.

So what's causing this spread? Health officials say it's a combination of these new variants of the virus and people letting down their guard, mingling indoors with others, and the roughly 30 percent of Americans who say they're not interested in getting the vaccine right now.

All of that could keep us from reaching herd immunity. And health experts caution all of us, we need to keep being careful, until many more millions of Americans are vaccinated. Do it for yourself and for your family.

Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. The news continues next. I'll see you tomorrow on "The Lead."