A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, May 9, 2021 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC "THIS WEEK" ANCHOR (voice-over): Trump's GOP. Liz Cheney under siege...
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I have had it with her.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... for refusing to repeat election lies.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): She has made a determination that the Republican Party can't grow with President Trump. I have determined we can't grow without him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Texas and Florida advance restrictive voting laws.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country. I'm actually going to sign it right here.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These laws make it harder to vote. That's not a good thing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Trump's false claims still permeate our politics. Our roundtable debates what it means for Biden's presidency, the future of the GOP, and America's elections.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We are not out of the woods yet, but we could be very close.
STEPHANOPOULOS: COVID cases dropping in the U.S., states relaxing restrictions, as the virus rages through India.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have no oxygen at the hospital.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Maggie Rulli live from the scene, plus Dr. Anthony Fauci.
And a disappointing April jobs report tests Biden's economic strategy.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We knew this wouldn't be a sprint. It'd be a marathon.
STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, a closer look at the challenges facing women in the work force. Rebecca Jarvis reports.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."
Here now, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week" on this Mother's Day.
Six months after the election, four months since the Capitol siege, American politics and government are being shaped by President Biden's policy agenda, former President Trump's personal agenda.
Silenced on social media, Trump's false claims about the election are the driving force inside the Republican Party, dividing the old guard from the new, dominating its message.
On the brink of losing her leadership post this week, Congresswoman Liz Cheney is warning that clinging to Trump's cult of personality will doom the GOP. But that is not the prevailing view inside the party right now.
Our roundtable is here to analyze what it all means.
Chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl starts us off.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT AND ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR (voice-over): From his gilded exile in Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump is showing Republicans he's king of the party, exhibit one, Liz Cheney.
She's the member of Congress Trump detests the most. She said her party needed to push him aside. Now it's Liz Cheney on the verge of being pushed aside, with a vote expected this week to oust her from the House Republican leadership.
(on camera): Liz Cheney isn't being targeted because of some policy disagreement or because she isn't conservative enough. Heck, she voted for the Trump agenda more than 90 percent of the time while he was in the White House.
And Elise Stefanik, Trump's handpicked candidate to replace Cheney, is a moderate. She even voted against the Trump tax cuts, which was the signature legislative victory of the Trump presidency.
(voice-over): But when it comes to lies about the election, Stefanik is all in. She voted to overturn Biden's electoral votes on January 6.
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I'm proud to stand up for President Trump.
KARL: And, this week, she appeared with Steve Bannon, the one-time Trump chief strategist who was indicted on fraud charges and pardoned by Donald Trump.
Exhibit two, the scene in Florida. Not only did Florida Republicans pass a bill inspired by Donald Trump's lies about election fraud; Governor Ron DeSantis signed it at an event sponsored by a Trump fan club named Club 45. And, in a first, he did it live on Trump's favorite television show,"FOX & Friends."
DESANTIS: I'm actually going to sign it right here. It's going to take effect.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KARL: The bill puts new restrictions on voting, including voter I.D. requirements for mail-in ballots and new limits on ballot drop boxes.
Now Texas is advancing a bill with more new restrictions on voting. Exhibit three, Arizona, where Republicans have embarked on a bizarre quest to find evidence to prove Trump's lie the election was stolen. To conduct an audit of ballots, Arizona Republicans have hired a company called Cyber Ninjas.
The company has no experience in election, but it does have an owner who has repeated wild election conspiracy theories. The group is actually testing paper ballots to see if they contain bamboo, which conspiracy theorists claim would be evidence they were snuck in from Asia.
Back on Capitol Hill, Mitch McConnell has been one of the few Republican leaders willing to challenge Trump's election lies. Now he says he is focused on something else, stopping all things Biden.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration.
KARL: As for President Biden?
BIDEN: I think the Republicans are further away from trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for than I thought they would be at this point.
KARL: Or maybe they have figured it out. The Grand Old Party is, after all that has gone down, the party of Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Jon Karl for that.
Let's talk about it on our roundtable.
Joined by Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, the CEO for Democracy for America, Yvette Simpson, and Jane Coaston, host of The New York Times’ podcast “The Argument.”
Chris, let me begin with you. In that statement Biden also said he didn’t really understand. He’s mystified by what the Republican Party is going through.
So try to explain it right now. You spoke out against the idea the election was stolen from the very beginning, but that view seems to be taking more hold every single day.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I don't think it is taking more hold every single day, George. You're talking about the same people talking about the same things --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Seventy percent of Republicans still think that (ph).
CHRISTIE: -- over and over. Well, listen. All I can tell you is that the people that I talk to are not in that camp and want to move on, and they want to talk about what we need to do next in the country. And actually if you look at this absent -- the atmospherics that everybody wants to talk about regarding Donald Trump, Elise Stefanik, as Jon said in his piece, comes from a swing district in New York State that President Obama won twice by double digits, and then President Trump won twice by double digits.
So she comes from a place where it's much more likely that she'll bring a much more moderating voice on policy into that caucus leadership than what Liz Cheney did who voted 90 percent of the time with Donald Trump. So --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you (ph) have the right qualifier there though, on policy?
CHRISTIE: I’ve -- well, of -- well, George, of course. I say my words very carefully. Okay? That's what you guys pay me to do here, right, is to say it the right way, and that's what she'll do.
And I -- listen, I've known Elise, I campaigned for Elise in her first campaign. She was the youngest woman elected to the House of Representatives, and I think Elise will bring some real good things to it.
I also like Liz Cheney, and I think Liz is smart and tough, but I think Liz is doing what she wants to do. I don't think Liz wants to be in leadership anymore because once she won the vote earlier, she continued to press this issue publicly in a way that was antagonizing the people who were against her, and I think you don't have an entitlement to be in leadership, but you do have an entitlement to be in Congress.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jane Coaston, a lot of Democrats look at Liz Cheney and say, we don't know what to make of this. A strong conservative. Should we be cheering her or walking away?
JANE COASTON, HOST, NEW YORK TIMES THE ARGUMENT: I mean, I think that you can be looking at the situation with a jaundiced eye because this is the same Liz Cheney who went hard after attorneys who defended people sent to Guantanamo Bay. She was the person who called them the Al-Qaeda seven, as if they themselves were terrorists. But this is also someone who has said the obvious fact, which is that Joe Biden won the presidential election.
And to your point about moving on, I mean, I think that the person who is going on Steve Bannon's podcast is the person who perhaps isn't moving on, the person who is so focused on the agenda of the person who once again, lost the election. Donald Trump lost the election.
His agenda is whatever he wants to be doing right now in Florida. He does not have, I think, the agenda of the country moving forward at heart. And I think that it's important to note here, again, I don't think this is what the majority of Republicans want, but this is a base play.
The base in these state parties, the base in Ohio is the one that wants to censure Representative Anthony Gonzalez. The base in Arizona is the one looking for bamboo threads in voting because apparently pandas are in charge of this election. I think that it's -- I think that it’s important to say that this is not what conservativism at large looks like. This is what Trumpism looks like -- at large looks like. And I think that --
CHRISTIE: I don't disagree with one thing you just said, okay? But the point is there's not an entitlement to being in leadership, and I think Liz had -- through what she's been doing now in the last couple of weeks after she won the first vote is sending a clear signal, she's not comfortable in this leadership anymore, and she doesn't want to be in it. She hasn’t made any calls --
COASTON: Donald Trump --
COASTON: -- calling her a warmonger. Which again, if he cared about that, why would he be supporting Lindsey Graham?
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question, Rahm Emanuel, is, is Lindsey Graham right or is Liz Cheney right? Is it necessary to stick by Donald Trump here, or is it important for the future of the Republican Party for them to move on?
RAHM EMANUEL, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, a couple of things there. Jane is -- said the word, you know, conservative agenda.
First of all, this is not a conservative party. You want to look at a conservative party, pick up John Boehner’s book, pick up the former President Bush’s book. That’s conservative. This is a reactionary party built on both resentment and race. That is where the party is going.
Second, the other piece of this is you talk about an agenda. In 2020, there was no platform. There's no agenda. It's about Donald Trump.
Parties exist for two reasons. Set out a set of policy principles. They didn't have that in 2020. They still don't have that. Number two, to win elections. It took 90 years to find a president that could both lose the White House, the House and the Senate and Donald Trump did that. This is about Donald Trump and his grievances.
And the other piece of this that makes no sense to me, you have an election, there are three things that both parties have. The Republicans have redistricting, they have basically restricting voter access, and they are going to also have the ability in this area to cut off any part of history -- I mean (ph), history they have.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well --
EMANUEL: -- Democrats have an economy, a president with a job approval that's above 50 percent in the midterms that has not happened, and then the third piece on that, they have a popular agenda where a quarter of the Republicans are supporting.
In the last election, Joe Biden took 10 percent of the Republican Party. This is not good for swing voters.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Yvette Simpson, on policy, the moves in Texas and Florida will help the Republican Party.
SIMPSON: They will, and that's the whole objective. Let's remember that this is -- the basis is supposed to be voter fraud that didn't happen, and the reality is what they're reacting to is the fact that Donald Trump legitimately lost the election because Democrats got voters out, black and brown voters in large numbers and their objective is to keep that from happening again.
This is about stealing an election. This is about eroding democracy. This is about making sure that they win, and they know that the only way they can win is by stealing an election, and that's not okay, and this is as Rahm said, the only real policy objective outside of racism, QAnon conspiracy theory, white supremacy, that we can see, and insurrection we can see coming out of this party right now, which is a shame.
EMANUEL: Look at this. You have Matt Gaetz that’s being investigated for trafficking underage women. You have accusations about congressman from North Carolina who what he did in college and lied about his resume. You have accusations from congresswomen from Illinois who praised what Hitler did in the Holocaust.
They are staying in the caucus. They are staying on committees, but if you speak up against Donald Trump and say, Joe Biden won the election, you are thrown out of this party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And --
SIMPSON: I mean, they’re the representatives. They’re the standard bearers out here, and you have people out here in rallies saying, Donald Trump is the one. We love Donald Trump. You hear Marjorie Greene. You hear Matt Gaetz really riling up these people saying we are the party of Trump. They are the standard bearers for this party now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Chris, you say that most Republicans want to move on. Clearly, the former president doesn't wan to move on. To the extent he’s getting involved in politics at all right now, he’s hand-picking people in the primaries, coming out with messages against Republicans when they don’t -- when they cross him.
CHRISTIE: Well, it's not productive, and we shouldn't be surprised. That's the way he has felt since 2:30 a.m. on election night when we sat at the other studio and watched him give that speech. So this is nothing new here.
Let me just say I was in Dallas and Austin on Thursday and Friday. And Austin, Texas, there were eight different leaders of the Republican Party. People like Mike Pompeo to Marco Rubio and others, who were there to speak about the future of the party. No one spoke.
It was eight hours of interviews of leaders of the party, myself included, and no one spoke about the 2020 election. No one spoke about bamboo and ballots. Nobody spoke about grievance politics.
They were talking about the conservative agenda to move forward. It's 15 weeks into the Biden administration, and everyone wants the Republican Party to have reformed itself, learned from 2020 and moved onto the next thing.
It doesn't happen that quickly in politics, and few look back at 2016 with the Democrats, it didn't happen that quickly either.
There were leaders, like I said, Mike Pompeo, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, myself, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, all who spoke in Austin on Friday afternoon, and not one of them brought up any of the issues that we're talking about here this morning.
COASTON: But Marco Rubio is the same person who wants to punish Amazon specifically for, you know, what they're doing, and I think it's interesting that now we've gotten into a grievance politics that's beyond Trump. It's about punishing corporations, the same corporations that Republicans have been giving tax breaks to for 40 years, but for not doing exactly what they wanted.
COASTON: And I think it’s worth also about your point about voters. We also tell millions of nonwhite Americans who did vote for Republicans in 2020. They voted first -- in many states in Florida and Texas, they went to the ballot box, they voted to raise the minimum wage, legalize medical marijuana and they voted for Donald Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you know why?
COASTON: I think voters are a complicated group of people, and occasionally when we're talking about nonwhite voters, we think of them as just being a monolith. That’s why I always make a point (ph) about the black community.
EMANUEL: A hundred percent, 100 percent. The biggest -- I didn't mean to cut you off, but the biggest piece of this election that hasn't been discovered is how Hispanics and Asians voted Republican, and college-educated men who’ve historically been Republican voted Democratic, and that has not been discovered.
The other thing -- let me say this. We talked about Trump. The big story here is McCarthy. McCarthy in 20 --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Kevin McCarthy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to make sure you weren’t --
EMANUEL: That would really -- could be Joe McCarthy or Gene McCarthy, but in 2016, Kevin McCarthy on a call with the Republican leadership said he thinks Putin controls Trump, and every time Liz Cheney spoke, it shows up that he is an empty suit, and he wants to get rid of her.
He's not just doing Donald Trump's bidding. He does not want a leadership that shows him up and says he can't stand up and speak honestly. It is a lot also about Kevin McCarthy.
And the other piece of this which is interesting in the first 15 weeks, the Republican attacks on Joe Biden are about what is infrastructure, about running up the credit card. What is interesting to me is that they are silent about the taxes. The Republican Party is becoming a working class party and they don't want to fight about corporations. They -- they are --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they -- they -- they are --
COASTON: Are they becoming a working class party?
SIMPSON: No. No.
COASTON: Because, again, they are -- they are not angering a company --
EMANUEL: They -- during the campaign -- during the campaigns they're a working class party and when they govern, they give nothing but corporate welfare away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they're trying to find a message --
COASTON: But --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Given the economic numbers on Friday, they're trying to find a message around that.
Let's listen to Pat Toomey, the outgoing senator from Pennsylvania.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): Systematically paying unemployment benefits that are more than a person makes working doesn't create an environment that's particularly conducive to going back to work.
We're getting a little Orwellian with -- when it comes to the language we hear from this administration sometimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Can they get traction with this argument?
SIMPSON: Oh, absolutely not. I mean the reality is, is that wages are so low at this point people -- we need to talk about the fact that people will return to work if you have a working class wage, if you have a living wage for people. And so the idea of Republicans are economics whose -- economists who say that people aren't going back to work because they want to sit home is ridiculous. And the reality is that you have to show that you're looking for work in order to get unemployment benefits.
We need to talk about having a living wage in this country that makes it so that people go to work. And when they go to work, they can have a living wage. And that should be the reason. And -- and if businesses are going to continue to remain shuttered and we don't talk about making sure that we get a minimum wage so that people can go back to work. We don't even have a way for people to get child care in this environment because there's some people who can't quite yet figure that situation out because of COVID.
So I think it's ridiculous. And I still think -- I still think that this is not about black and brown people who were voting for Trump. We know that the voter suppression laws in this country, the ones that we're seeing in Texas and the ones we're seeing in Florida are about urban areas where black people are voting for Democrats.
SIMPSON: We saw Trump supporters storming election centers on Election Day. (INAUDIBLE).
STEPHANOPOULOS: He did better than (ph) Latino voters in (INAUDIBLE).
COASTON: He did do better and yet it doesn't seem to matter to the party. It's a real -- it's a -- it's a very strange messaging of the people saying, yes, more minorities are voting for conservative candidates, but we need fewer minorities voting at all. And that's a message that just doesn't make sense.
SIMPSON: That's not what they're saying. They're saying, we want certain black people certain black and brown people. We know that a lot of these -- these laws are focused on urban centers, places where black people overwhelmingly voted for Democrats. We're talking about purity laws that are aimed at cities where mostly black people are voting for Democrats. And so we know this is an orchestrated method to try to resolve the issue of the last election where Donald Trump lost.
COASTON: And we saw that in 2020 when talking about Milwaukee.
CHRISTIE: Wait, hold on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead.
CHRISTIE: You know, you were saying that -- that they're not talking about issues, but there are things that are being talked about beyond what Rahm sets up as the Republican agenda, which I love when he does that.
EMANUEL: Happy Mother's Day.
SIMPSON: He's been paying attention.
CHRISTIE: Yes. You now have the -- you now have the head of the CDC, who has essentially become Randi Weingarten's assistant at the American Federation for Teachers.
SIMPSON: Oh, here we go about teachers again.
CHRISTIE: We saw this past -- we saw -- well, no, listen, we saw this, this past week that the -- the CDC set out a plan to send kids back to school based on science. And until Randi Weingarten and her team sent in the emails to the CDC and then all of a sudden that policy changed. And now we still have less than half of the kids back to school in classrooms around this country because the teachers union does not want their members to have to go back into the classrooms, even after they're vaccinated.
SIMPSON: Well, the reality is, is most of these schools --
CHRISTIE: So -- no, no, no, Yvette, listen, I let you go on all morning this morning. The fact is --
SIMPSON: No, I'm -- I -- we -- we're talking about teachers and this is something that we need --
CHRISTIE: Yes, no, we're talking about the teachers union, Yvette.
SIMPSON: No, and they are teachers. Teachers are -- are the teachers union.
CHRISTIE: I'm talking about the union. Yes, no, no, no. Know what -- you know what they are?
SIMPSON: Unlike corporations, which tend to be very different than their workers.
CHRISTIE: They're politicians -- they're politician who get paid millions of dollars a year --
EMANUEL: Wait --
CHRISTIE: They're politicians who get paid millions of dollars a year to be able to represent teachers and they don't represent them well. They don't represent them well.
SIMPSON: You have no problem with corporations (INAUDIBLE) regular worker makes, but when teachers represent themselves, you have a problem and they're protecting themselves and families.
EMANUEL: (INAUDIBLE) here's (INAUDIBLE) take (ph). You -- you know, here's the thing, you just ran through --
CHRISTIE: There's problems with the policy. I have a problem with the policies.
EMANUEL: You just ran -- you just ran -- you just -- I'm going to just use my out -- I'm going to use my indoor voice.
You just ran -- which is unusual, I'm having an out of body experience now. We just -- you just ran Senator Toomey. He went on about the spending. Nothing about taxes. And I didn't see the whole -- the -- just that segment. That used to be an organizing principle. The -- of the Republican Party. They don't want to fight about corporations that don't pay taxes, the top 1 percent that don't pay taxes and they have to lower tax rate.
SIMPSON: Right. Right.
EMANUEL: And that has -- that is my say is, you have a big realignment going on in the country. Republicans used to agree on taxes. They have become a party of grievance and they've become a party of resentment dominated by one personality. And the Republican Party cannot win swing districts where Donald Trump is still the dominating face and voice of this party. And that's where they're going to take a historic opportunity in a midterm and pass it right by.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Jane Coaston, the Democrats can't pass Biden's agenda, which includes those tax increases that Rahm is talking about unless they unify their party, and the divisions are still there.
COASTON: I mean I think that they are still there, but I also think it's worth noting that one of the challenges we have here when we're talking about taxes, or the changes to the tax reform, is that Democrats are pretty united on the fact that corporations need to pay their fair share. And Republicans are united that corporations they don’t like need to pay their fair share.
The Republicans --
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s selective judgment.
COASTON: -- aren’t angry at Amazon because they are forcing their employees to urinate in bottles. They're angry at Amazon because they didn't sell a book they like. And so I think it’s worth it --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Or because Jeff Bezos owns “The Washington Post.”
COASTON: Right. Which that’s something that I'm sure is really deeply important to Amazon employees who are forced to work 15-hour days. I'm sure they are very concerned about the operations of “The Washington Post.”
But I think it’s worth saying that like a lot of these tax ideas -- and it's interesting because when Donald Trump came into office in the 2015, 2016 campaign, the people closest to him were saying, we have to make this about workers. We have to make this about -- you know, he’s like, this is going to kill me if we raise tax rates, but I’m going to do it anyway. He didn't do it anyway. That didn’t happen --
YVETTE SIMPSON, DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA CEO AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Mr. (ph) half of his operations were in China or somewhere else --
SIMPSON: -- America first Donald Trump cared about workers --
COASTON: -- that goes to my point that Mitch McConnell proved to be a much stronger influence on Donald Trump than Donald Trump became on Mitch McConnell. But I think that this realignment that Rahm was being talking about, I think that is -- that is true, but I also think that for Democrats it's worth noting that this is a very specific context.
They're just coming out of a very successful -- out of the COVID package, which is a COIVD package that I think in some ways was directed by the events of 2020. You know, when you have a moment where it's like you can either give people checks or not give people checks, it turns out you should just give people checks.
And I think that the decisions moving forward are going to turn out to be far more difficult, but I think -- I’m pretty certain Democrats can maintain that type of unity. I do think that some of the battles in swing districts will be about schools, but I think a lot of that’s going to be resolved later in the year, and I think that it’s going to be about events that -- we're just not sure what things are going to look like.
CHRISTIE: -- resolved late -- it won't be resolved later in the year because the damage that we've done to children's education --
COASTON: But it’s --
CHRISTIE: -- since September of last year -- the parents are not going to forget that.
SIMPSON: Oh, come on.
CHRISTIE: They’re not going to forget -- no, it’d be -- listen --
SIMPSON: Listen --
CHRISTIE: Listen, Yvette, you want to know --
SIMPSON: A lot of these --
CHRISTIE: -- who’s -- no. You want to talk about -- let’s talk about the leader (ph) stuff --
SIMPSON: I went --
CHRISTIE: -- and who isn’t --
SIMPSON: -- to public school --
CHRISTIE: Yes, and so did I --
SIMPSON: I worked with public schools --
CHRISTIE: And so did I.
SIMPSON: -- and I now that most of these schools are not even outfitted to bring all of these kids back --
CHRISTIE: -- the science says of that --
SIMPSON: -- have the facilities --
CHRISTIE: -- but it --
CHRISTIE: That’s not what the science --
CHRISTIE: -- that’s not what the science says.
SIMPSON: -- teachers who are caring for elder parents --
CHRISTIE: That’s not what the --
SIMPSON: -- who are worried about --
CHRISTIE: No one else is?
SIMPSON: -- safety. They have been --
CHRISTIE: Are the food workers --
CHRISTIE: -- taking care of elder --
SIMPSON: We have been teaching a lot of times --
CHRISTIE: -- parents (ph)? We made them go back.
SIMPSON: -- twice the curriculum --
CHRISTIE: We made them go back, Yvette.
SIMPSON: -- kids who are remote --
EMANUEL: Okay. Here, here. I want to say one thing --
CHRISTIE: -- we made them go back.
SIMPSON: -- person --
EMANUEL: I want to say --
SIMPSON: -- you try to make it seem like --
SIMPSON: -- working hard, they’re working harder than ever --
CHRISTIE: No, they’re not --
EMANUEL: -- I would just say is you have the policy positions of the parties haven't caught up to the realignment of going out on the coalition, and the two lines about, there's different things that happen this election that are going to keep rippling through the alignment of the parties, but the policy positions of those parties, over 50 percent of the Republican Party supports tax fairness and making corporations and wealthies (ph) pay, which is why the Republicans can't make this a major thrust against the Biden agenda.
COASTON: Right. It's why they can't use taxes as a punishment --
EMANUEL: That’s right.
COASTON: -- read a lot of open letters --
EMANUEL: And that’s why there’s a major realignment both on coalition voting and on the issue basis.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is going to have to be the last word today. Thank you all very much.
Up next, India heading towards 1 million deaths from COVID. We’re live on the scene plus Dr. Anthony Fauci with the administration's response and the push to reopen here at home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
PRINCE HARRY: We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world.
When any suffer, we all suffer. And, tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Prince Harry at the Global Vax concert last night addressing the devastating COVID wave that is crippling India, more than 400,000 new cases on Friday, setting another grim record, as the country hurtles towards one million deaths by August.
Our foreign correspondent, Maggie Rulli, is on the scene in New Delhi with the latest.
Good morning, Maggie.
MAGGIE RULLI, ABC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, George. Good morning.
Yes, you said it. Those numbers, they are just staggering, more than 4,000 cases on back-to-back days. But pretty much every expert agrees that those numbers are just a fraction of reality. Most likely, they are five to 10 times higher than that.
And with those numbers constantly rising, people here all tell us the same thing. They're scared, George. And they also feel helpless. Nearly everyone has a loved one who needs help right now. And for so many people, they just cannot find it.
Many people say the health care system here has failed them, and they're now turning to outsiders, volunteers, regular people that are stepping in to help.
We visited this temple that's now turned into a makeshift clinic. It is run 24/7, day and night, by volunteers. They say they have helped about 15,000 people get oxygen in just the past few weeks. And over there, we met one young woman whose mother was sick. She told us that, late last night, she started struggling to breathe.
She had low oxygen levels. She rushed her to the hospital. And she was turned away. The hospital said they just had no oxygen to give her. Now, thankfully, she was able to make it to that clinic. Her mom was doing better today.
But, for so many, it has been too late. The crematoriums here in this city, we're told, are just running at an unprecedented rate night and day. We were at one of them today in New Delhi. And we met a man who was there. His mother had just passed away only hours after he had finally found her a hospital bed.
And he told us he has lost all faith in the health care system. He blames the government, health care.
And, George, he also said something that sticks with me. He said, you know, he is a successful engineer. He's always been able to pay for health care. And this is the first time that he has truly felt helpless.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The health care system basically collapsing over there.
What's the greatest need right now?
RULLI: Yes, well, George, the immediate, urgent need is oxygen, basic medical supplies.
We spoke to a doctor just a few moments ago inside this hospital. And he told us they need ICU beds, they need more staff. But, long term, what India really needs are vaccines. It's hard to ignore the fact that India is the largest producer of vaccines, yet, inside the country, there is a severe shortage.
Only about 2 percent of the people here have been fully vaccinated. And the vast majority of experts agree that, if India wants to get itself out of this crisis, it has to vaccinate its population -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Maggie Rulli on the scene in New Delhi.
Let's bring in the president's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci, thanks for joining us again this morning.
You just heard Maggie Rulli right there. I know that President Biden has pledged to send vaccines to India. He's authorized transport of PPE and oxygen.
What more can be done right now?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: Well, right now, there has to be several things, one from within the country. And I've been speaking with some of them right now, actually, over the last couple of days.
They have really got to get hospital beds and do really what the Chinese did way back a year or so ago, where you essentially build up with -- the equivalent of field hospitals. You've got to get that. You can't have people out in the street not having a hospital bed.
The oxygen situation is something that was really critical. I mean, to have people not have oxygen is really tragic, what's going on over there.
But the endgame of this all, George, is going to be to get people vaccinated, as you said on the piece just a moment ago, that India is the largest vaccine-producing country in the world. They've got to get their resources, not only from within, but also from without.
And that's the reason why other countries need to chip in to be able to get either supplies to the Indians to make their own vaccines or to get vaccines donated.
One of the ways to do that is to have the big companies that have the capability of making vaccines to really scale up in a great way to get literally hundreds of millions of doses to be able to get to them.
So there’s an immediate problem which is hospital beds, oxygen, PPE, and other supplies. And then there’s the problem looking forward of how are you going to shut this down, how are you going to turn it around, how are you going to break the chain of transmission?
Vaccines is one of them but there are other ways too, like shutting down the government.I have advised them in the past that you really need to do that. You’ve got to shut down.
I believe several of the Indian states have already done that but you need to break the chain of transmission. And one of the ways to do that is to shut down.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, the long term solution is vaccines. But it’s not just India, Africa’s vaccinated only 1 percent of its population compared to more than 40 percent here. And the head of the World Health Organization is calling the unequal (ph) distribution of vaccine a moral outrage.
You said the companies should be scaling up but many of those companies say that President Biden’s plan to have these patent waivers is going to prevent them from scaling up. It’s going to hamper the supply chain and actually set back the vaccine production effort.
FAUCI: Yes. I don’t think that’s the case, George. They can scale up. You know, they’ve done an extraordinary amount. You’ve got to give them credit. They’ve really just really done something that is really quite impressive in the way they’ve gotten their vaccine supply up and out for the rest of the world.
They can scale up more. I think the waiving of the patents and the TRIPS is not going to necessarily interfere with that right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, here at home, the vaccine demand is dropping pretty sharply. States are turning down doses across the country. We seem to be bumping against the limits of Americans willing and eager to get the vaccine.
How do we convince the hold-outs?
FAUCI: Well, you know it is a smaller group, George, you’re absolutely correct, that seem to be recalcitrant. So there are two major ways, I believe, that we can address that problem.
One is to get trusted messengers, people who they trust, to get to them to convince them why it’s important. Those messengers could be anything from sports figures to entertainment figures to clergy or even to their family doctor to explain and convince them why it’s important for their own health, for that of their family, and for the community in general.
But the other way is what we’re doing, is to make it extremely easy for people to get vaccinated. I mean, typical example, is that now, we have 40,000 pharmacies where you can actually just walk in, no computer, no online, no appointment, just walk in and get vaccinated. As well as mobile units that are going out.
So those are the two major ways, I believe, we can just get into that group that really seems to be recalcitrant to getting vaccinated.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A third possible wave may be making the benefits of the vaccine very, very tangible to people. You’ve had former -- you’ve had experts like the former head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, say it’s time to start relaxing the in-door mask mandates. Is he right?
FAUCI: No, I think so. And I think you’re going to probably be seeing that as we go along and as more people get vaccinated. The CDC will be, you know, almost in real time, George, updating their recommendations and their guidelines.
But, yes, we do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated. As you get more people vaccinated, the number of cases per day will absolutely go down. We’re averaging about 43,000 a day. We’ve got to get it much, much lower than that. When that gets lower, the risk of any infection indoor or outdoor diminishes dramatically.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, as you know, it’s Mother’s Day, and there are a lots of questions out there about the safety of the vaccines for pregnant women and women trying to have kids. What’s your message to them?
FAUCI: Well, if you look at the data, George, there doesn’t seem to be a problem at all. There are literally been tens and tens of thousands of women who are pregnant who’ve gotten vaccinated. There are no red flags. Nothing that looks like there’s going to be any problem.
So, I think that that’s something that we really don’t need to worry about that much. It looks good.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Give everyone a sense of what the country is going to look like next Mother’s Day.
FAUCI: Well, George, I hope that next Mother’s Day, we’re going to see a dramatic difference than what we’re seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can. And there’s some conditions to that, George.
We’ve got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. When that happens, the virus doesn’t really have any place to go. There aren’t a lot of vulnerable people around. And where there are not a lot of vulnerable people around, you’re not going to see a surge. You’re not going to see the kinds of numbers we see now.
That being the case, I think we can approach what we use to remember as normal before all of this tragedy happened.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Fauci, thanks, as always, for your time and your information.
FAUCI: Thanks, George. Thank you for having me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver is next with his take on the FaceBook ban on President Trump.
Plus, our expert panel on women in the workforce as we emerge from the pandemic.
Stay with us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Nate Silver is next, plus a special Mother's Day panel on women in the work force.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: On January 6th, President Trump gave a speech rejecting the results and calling on people to fight. When we feared that he would incite further violence, we suspended the former president's account. There are many people are concerned that platforms can ban elected leaders. I am too. We need an accountable process which is why we created an independent oversight board that can overrule our decisions. The reality is our country is deeply divided right now and that isn't something that tech companies alone can fix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mark Zuckerberg on the Facebook oversight board which this week upheld the ban on Donald Trump for inciting January’s insurrection at the Capitol. The former president also permanently banned from Twitter.
So can Trump launch (ph) a political comeback without access to social media? FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver analyzes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATE SILVER, ABC NEWS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: There's no doubt that Trump was the king of these social media platforms. Before his suspension, Trump had 89 million Twitter followers, that made him the second most followed politician in the world after Barack Obama. And in the three months leading up to the 2020 election, his Facebook page had 336 million interactions, which is around seven times as many as Joe Biden’s 48 million in the same period.
There’s also no doubt that conversation about Trump is way down since his social media ban. He's now being mentioned about 3 million times per week on Twitter. Before his ban, that number could vary anywhere from about 7 million to 50 million depending on the week.
Here's the thing though, a geeky phrase we like to use at FiveThirtyEight, correlation is not necessarily causation. Why are Trump’s numbers down? Well, maybe it's because he's no longer the leader of the free world. In the first couple of weeks after his ban on Twitter, while he was still president, mentions of Trump were still above average with more than 30 million in the first week of his ban. It's only after he decamped to Mar-a-Lago that his numbers became so low.
Let's also not neglect the role of the mainstream media. In the 2016 primary, his most important platform was cable news rather than Twitter. News covering in the primary was worth the equivalent of $2 billion in advertising spending according to a “New York Times” analysis. And, by the way, only 22 percent of Americans even have a Twitter account. That compares to 56 percent who subscribe to cable TV, even in an era of cord cutting.
So I don't really buy that this is a big barrier to Trump’s aspirations in 2024. If he has a message that his fans want to hear, he'll likely find some way to get that message out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Nate Silver for that.
And just ahead on this Mother's Day, after a disappointing April jobs report, we’re going to take a closer look at why the pandemic has hit working women especially hard, and what can be done about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: How do you feel as a mom to be here with Maile?
SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): I (OFF-MIKE) I just think it's amazing.
And I want to thank all my colleagues for the unanimous consent vote, so we can do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: About 2.5 million women have dropped out or have been forced out of the work force during the pandemic.
Our economy cannot fully recover unless women can participate fully. Women leaving the work force in these numbers, it's a national emergency, and it demands a national solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice President Kamala Harris weighing in on the exodus from -- of women from the work force during this pandemic.
Friday's jobs numbers did not meet expectations. And the economic impact on women is coming into sharper focus on this Mother's Day.
In our latest poll, 25 percent of women say they're worse off financially than they were a year ago, compared to 18 percent of men.
Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explains how working moms are bearing the brunt of the COVID shutdowns.
REBECCA JARVIS, ABC NEWS CHIEF BUSINESS, ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, as we celebrate mothers, a reality check on the challenges facing working moms like Raena Boston, who, just after earning a promotion at her H.R. job, had a difficult choice to make when the pandemic shutdowns began.
RAENA BOSTON, WORKING MOM: If I had to decide between staying at home or taking a step back career-wise, I decided to take a step back. That was what was going to be best for my family.
JARVIS: After a year of loss, the pandemic ravaging the service sector, restaurants, hotels, clothing shops, where women, particularly women of color, hold a majority of jobs, and hospitals, where women make up 77 percent of workers, the early signs of a recovery.
But, even though hiring is picking up and unemployment among women is ticking down, now 5.6 percent, the headlines masking another trend.
KARIN KIMBROUGH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, LINKEDIN: The problem is that, as women decide that they need to stay home, either to take care of family members, particularly children who aren't in school, they're not going to be looking for jobs, and they won't be reflected in the unemployment statistics.
JARVIS: Now more than two million women have dropped out of the work force. Another 165,000 left just last month, an untold number still struggling with the balance.
WHITNEY RAMON, WORKING MOM: I felt like there was not enough time in the day for me to meet the needs of my children and my own needs and my professional needs.
KIMBROUGH: And since we know that women are responsible for two-thirds of work around the house, they were more likely to shoulder this responsibility.
JARVIS (voice-over): To fully recover the remaining 8.2 million jobs lost to the pandemic, everyone, women and men, needs to get back to work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Rebecca for that.
Let's bring in our panel of experts now. Fatima Goss Graves, the president of National Women’s Law Center; Diane Swonk, chief economist and managing director of Grant Thornton; and Lareina Yee, chief diversity and inclusion officer for McKinsey.
And, Diane, let me begin with you.
This Friday jobs report really was a downsize surprise. How do you explain it?
DIANE SWONK, GRANT THORNTON CHIEF ECONOMIST: Well, there’s not a lot of ways to explain it. It was really disappointing, and we did see a lot of leisure and hospitality jobs come back that more than accounted for the jobs gains. We lost jobs in manufacturing as chip production idled, production plants in the vehicle sector. But it's still -- no matter how you cut it, it was not the kind of number we were looking at -- looking for.
We were hoping to see more than a million jobs created, and a lot of the momentum that we saw in the high frequency data just didn't show up in the data.
So it could be a fluke, but the bottom line is there are a lot of hurdles for people coming back into the labor force as noted already, how many women in particular have dropped out since February of 2020, just unable to participate in the labor market in ways they once did.
Yes, we're paying them to do that in some cases as well if they quit their job. They don't get unemployment insurance. But I do think it's important to understand how unique this situation has been, not only in terms of the recession affecting women's current earnings, but also their earnings potential, and the ability for them to provide for their children, the reason developing economies focus on women when they develop is because they pay it forward with their children like no one else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Lareina, these numbers were women really are staggering. Some economists are calling this pandemic downturn the “she-cession”.
YEE: Well, absolutely. And for companies, the biggest tax has been on working mothers. Just take over the course of the pandemic, we saw that women overall, one in four, said that they were thinking about stepping back or stepping out. It's a tremendous number, but for working mothers, that number was one in three.
And when we asked men and women, we asked fathers and mothers, how is work from home going? Fathers said, actually, we feel very effective working. Over 70 percent of them said that they felt that work from home was effective. And over 70 percent of them said that they had a positive impact on their well-being.
Well, guess what? For working mothers, that is not the case. A little over 40 percent of them felt this was a positive outcome.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Fatima, we showed some of the criticism earlier in the program. Some saying that it's the incentives and the stimulus plan that are keeping people at home. What's your response to that?
GOSS GRAVES: Well, my response is that care is what is keeping people at home and pushing women out of the work force, and I think what the latest job numbers are telling us is that we won't have a real recovery unless we also attend to the care crisis in this country, and it's no longer this idea that care is some sort of personal problem that people are either good at or not good at. I think what we have learned is that care is essential not just for families and individuals, but for businesses and our economic recovery.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That question of care is so essential, Diane Swonk. People want -- talking about paid family leave, expanded child care, but one of the big questions is, who should foot the bill? Taxpayers or businesses?
SWONK: Well, you know, it's interesting because I remember the late 1990s and having some of these discussions, and women's participation in the labor force actually peaked in the late 1990s and 2000. We've seen a decline since then, and even before we entered the pandemic, we saw -- we were lagging in women's participation, other major countries like Japan.
And I think that's something that gets lost in translation is how much this has been a rising problem. The care issue we had. Back in the latter part of the 1990s, there was a lot of experimentation as the labor market tightened for women to share jobs, for child care at work. Those kinds of changes and those kinds of solutions disappeared as we moved into the 2000s, and I think we need to come at this at a holistic way.
We are -- there are funds in the $1.9 trillion package that was just passed for child care, but many of the childcare facilities have closed. Many of the traditional networks that people relied on with their parents during the pandemic were severed because of fear of contagion, and we still need to get access to vaccines to those people who do want to get back to work and want their parents to be able to help.
So, there's such a holistic way we have to look at this. It's not just a business problem. It’s not just a government problem, it is a societal problem. And without women in the workforce, we cannot grow like we want to. It's leaving money on the table. This is just not the way that anyone thrives. It's how we all get the pie a little smaller and get a smaller share of it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Lareina, Diane hits on one of the possible answers, more flexibility in the workplace, especially for women.
YEE: Well, absolutely. And companies don't need to wait for policy. They can lean forward in terms of bringing mothers back to the workforce and making sure that the mothers who are still in the workforce don't leave. So there are a couple of things that companies can do. The first thing is they don't have to snap back to pre-COVID as we do return to work. First of all, this has been a huge innovation if you think of the silver lining in terms of flexibility. Who would have thought that you don't have to be in the office from 9:00 to 5:00 five days a week? You could actually have a hybrid where you're maybe two or three days a week and where both mothers and fathers could actually balance their home life and the responsibilities there, as well as being high performers at work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And --
YEE: Another thing that companies can absolutely -- oh.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead. Go ahead.
YEE: Do is to take on diversity hiring. So this is a huge opportunity to say, let's actually refashion what the workforce looks like to reach our aspirations on diversity. If you're not tethered to a location, you can hire from anywhere in the United States.
So while we see a lot of challenges here for working mothers, I think that companies can start to turn this around for opportunities, especially for women of color who are more likely to face being -- taking over all the household duties and more likely to have been the single breadwinners.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let's pick up on that, Fatima. This -- this recession, this she-session, has hit women of color especially hard.
GOSS GRAVES: That's absolutely right. What we know is that the unemployment rate, especially for black and Latina women, is basically double what it was before the pandemic. And for black and Latina moms, and we're talking about, a rate that's about 10 percent. And so as we think about where we are in this recovery, we need to understand that we won't have fully recovered until those groups have fully recovered. And that requires us attending to the care crisis. It also ensures that we're thinking about the jobs that people are going back into.
If those jobs were paying tremendously low wages, maybe a minimum wage that hasn't been increased in over a decade, that means that these families are going to be coming back without a net, without an egg to build upon, without any foundation after this last year. So we have to be talking about the wages and the quality of those jobs as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Very illuminating discussion. We have a lot of challenges ahead. We all know that. and you guys have helped shine a light on some of the problems. Thank you all very much.
That is all for us on this Mother's Day. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT" and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."