The Breakdown: Top health officials testify on delta variant, vaccine booster shots

Plus, the bipartisan infrastructure deal faces a key test vote and Jeff Bezos returns from a successful flight to the edge of space.
28:26 | 07/20/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for The Breakdown: Top health officials testify on delta variant, vaccine booster shots
Hi everyone welcome to the breakdown I'm Diana stayed out and and I'm cure Phillips in for Terry Moran today the nation's top health officials testifying on Capitol Hill. Telling senators that delta variant is now responsible divert the 83% of all college cases in the US. Hospitalizations. On the rise in 37 states and now at least nine states attempting to block mask mandates in schools. Doctor John Brownstein standing by to break it all down. Meanwhile officials in Tokyo aren't ruling out a last minute cancellation of the Olympic Games so far more than seventy cases have been reported inside the Olympic bubble. Now the chief of the Tokyo 20/20 organizing committee says they will continue discussions and if there's a surge we have the latest from Tokyo and he touched I have it isn't made history Jeff pesos and is plus three aboard flew origins new Shepard can return to earth safely after their successful flight to the edge of space. Michael Strahan and speaks to the days owes about mission accomplished in that interview straight ahead. But first we begin today at the White House in just 44 hours as senate vote could make or break president Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package. Karen Travers from the White House now with what is the president's doing in the final hours to seal the deal tell us Karen. Here the president is in touch with lawmakers at the Korean white house Press Secretary Jen Saki. This today that the White House support senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of moving forward to try it. Clinton is bipartisan infrastructure framework up for a test vote tomorrow Wednesday. Even though the bill is not done a lot of and there are calls from many Republicans to slow this process down but this vote should not happen tomorrow give a couple more days for negotiators continue their work. The White House said today they appreciate that hard work they appreciate that members from both parties are working very late into the night last night. But they also seem to say that this is the you know bit of a kick. That these senators need to get moving and get this lockdown. So the house select committee looking into the January 6 insurrection it's set to meet for the first time. Next week and Republican minority leader McCarthy just named fight of his members. Representatives Jordan banks Armstrong Davis in now is what can you tell us about all of them. Here the Republicans named those five members and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to. Confirm them and make it official for them to be on this committee. It is very striking to see that these are members of a party that don't even want this commission in the first place in fact only two of those members voted to. Confirming election results back in January. Your and there are also differences on the scope of what the committee should be looking at weird from Steve's police the top Republican in the house he said that. This tiny should be looking at all political violence it should also be looking at capitol security and what went wrong that day Democrats say sure that security issues part of it but he really want to zero in on what happened with that crowd that day and what role former president trump may have played. So Karen we learn. Today also other vaccinated White House staffer who tested positive for coping and a vaccinated staffer on speaker Pelosi step. Who tested positive. We've been talking all week about the Texas State lawmakers. Who were also vaccinated and tested positive for covet so what is that White House saying. About these breakthrough infections and what kind of precautions. Are being taken. Here they're confirming that there was a breakthrough cases of a White House staffer who had been vaccinated testing positive for Kobe nineteen but. Other than that Jen Saki was not giving a lot of details not saying who this person was. Any of the contact tracing that was going on but did say they were not close contact with the president's. In there are questions about this at today's briefing and his son he did say that there are other breakthrough cases that they have not yet talked about at when asked about his specific number of cases. She wouldn't say or couldn't say that said she we get back to us now in terms of what actually changing here at the White House nothing so far. There are no mass required if you are vaccinated White House reporters that are close to the president's on a daily basis they are still tested for coded nineteen. Jen Saki said she's tested twice a week. But it is interesting here that the presidents only tested once every two weeks but every around him many more frequent testing. OK so while all this is happening in that we got these breakthrough infections there's the big Kobe hearing that's taking place on the hill and the CDC director. Plus doctor about she and others they feel that a lot of questions from lawmakers. About these breakthrough infections and whether people might need a booster soon let's take a listen first. Two we have people who want to get that booster and I'm hearing that from people who are at risk and concerned they want to take that booster they're willing to take the additional risk of something that's not been. They've Alley Arnie had two shots of that they're saying give me the third. Because if I got this over a year ago I got there taxation over a year ago I wanna get their protection why can't they and if they. Understand that you won't let them yet but when will you let them. Well let's and that ties or at least has announced it's going to submit to their EU mayor wreak S the data that size your data and chick singer birth early putting either in the Izturis. This is really other data that they have available. Tunes to pretension make case for booster said the FD will be looking back. I'm sure you will I don't like the time frame frankly given the fact that this is being done elsewhere. Yankee key word time frame right so what more do we know about that if anything and also what were some of the other takeaways Karen. Yet that review of the booster shots and whether it's necessary is ongoing I was senior officials from the inviting administration met recently with officials from Pfizer to talk about the data from their study saying that a third shot is very effective and might be needed. This came up last week and I asked the White House whether or not the government was gonna still for that potential third shot is their money for that. And Jen Saki said the administration is well prepared that a booster shot was always in their contingency plans. Tens of that hearing today the big message from the CDC director doctor Michelle will Lansky and doctor Anthony found she is that the vaccines are working. Yes we're going to hear breakthrough cases and we might hear many breakthrough cases. But they both said that the vaccines are keeping those people out of the hospital and are preventing deaths. All right Karen Travers at the White House florist Karen thanks. And in that hearing today CDC director of shell lands he warned of what she calls a dramatic increase in the delta variant saying it now makes up 83%. Of all all the cases. In the United States that's up from 50% at the beginning of the month but she maintains that schools absolutely must reopen these fall. Renewing CBC guidance that unvaccinated students Wear masks so let's bring in infectious disease specialist an ABC's medical contributor. Doctor John Brownstein for more honest actor Brownstein. Thanks for being here one thing we didn't hear from doctoral and ski today was anything about the American academy of pediatrics recommendation. That everyone should Wear masks in schools as opposed to the CDC guidelines that only vaccinated students and teachers don't have to do so. How should parents and school officials sort through this. Yes anxiety it's it's a confusing one and I understand the inner the American academy of pediatrics at the conservative approach you want to protect our kids and it's very hard to understand you know or to document which you can be vaccinated which spurn our. I think overall at this stage in the pandemic you need a lot more flexibility in terms of recommendations or change variations are regions in vaccination rates are at risk aged cheese shop. Option blanket recommendations are not works. Is rejecting mass mutual and mass and its overall as well I think need to have your. I think we need to be huge data driven and for certain cities that are seeing case is really dropped dramatically teach you can start to move these layers of protection like master English but in states where you have surged asking is indecent her Porsche and ports are younger kids that are not get vaccinated I think its session high masks will be important but it's all giddy about flexibility. Especially after so many students have been home for so long Lansky says she's worried about general respiratory infections in schools and she's stressing that testing. Is going to be cheated determining what's a cold. And what's called it how hard will that beating navigating how can schools start preparing for that now. Can be very complicated and especially with a delta air which is changing the team in trends and how close critical wish surgeons -- cases and as we know he's he's saying it's not a one size fits all entrances responses that and direction and it can be all about layers of protection asking ventilation huge and if we're social distancing and then testing testing is an arts each of this pandemic from the beginning to understand how range and also succeeding get out of pandemic would know English which viruses are cutting infection while how understand how to approach potential a breach in its lawyer Ed. All going to be about shaking their data and making in our recommendations based on ash but yes because of all be lifting the recommendations you're gonna seating creature colds flu and I'm worried that we're actually yeah. Pretty bad respiratory season with all these viruses circulating. Now officials said immunity from the vaccine will wane over time it eventually meeting booster shots. To stay protected and you heard senator Mitt Romney there are frustrated. That health officials tarring in his aren't in his opinion moving fast enough. To make those boosters available to the more vulnerable. So what do you think should every more urgency around boosters given how quickly the delta variant is spreading right now. Slowly need to be considered direct premise is that vaccine efficacy wanes over Martin's because he noted protection yet committed acts he starts away often gets cash who a lot of data does show that our boosters can really creature for taxation but you. Aren't the real data showing really amusing efficacy of these vaccines it's just producing nations and death she and so it's not necessarily create nesting urgency I think that ash targeted measures for a boosters for those that are going to compromise although at least passage the ones that are seeing certain immunity range we're seeing a little bit in the UK with the rise and our whole station I do think that it's important to treat these targeted audiences I think he how. Probably not been into star tip to move in that direction but overall of course boosters should not be part of a conversation it's really not getting us unvaccinated people immunized and of course pull back to equity making sure that revenge vaccines to the rest of the world has. And as well now we're seeing more and more fully vaccinated people test positive including a White House staffer. And a spokesperson for speaker Pelosi but doctor thought she says when you hear about a break your infection. That doesn't mean the vaccine is failing to you expand on not. Yet. This is so complicated when she surely anecdotal stories of people getting infected we have a 160 million people in our eyes ash misty you know it breaks infections happen more and more this is not because the vaccines there is sure you know we know that every vaccine is not a hundred percentage and because delta is emerging you're gonna teach cases this is actually going to be true in government officials sports teams that you don't want to test stage you're just yet you know if you look more closely you'll see in these breakthroughs we don't do this for other bars is like this week he missed a lottery after taxes of people's pockets are we weren't braves really understand -- this far it's probably -- And every breakthrough case is not Biggio and remember that these vaccinations are doing what they're supposed to which is reducing hospitalizations reducing risk of death march and that's really what we're in for that's what we're seeing how. How at a populations. And I talked John Brownstein always great to have you thank you thanks so much. And as more covered cases are reported in in the Olympic village that Tokyo organizing committee chief says he's not ruling out canceling the games at the last minute. At least ten more people have tested positive inside the Olympic bubble in the last 2.4 hours. This is major sponsors are preparing to pull out of the opening ceremony. So let's go to our came out in Tokyo for more on. It was a stunning headline from Tokyo Tony Tony today the head of the organizing committee says. He has not ruled out a last minute cancellation. Of these Olympic Games after one year delay 80000 expected people to enter this country over the next two weeks 111000 of them athletes that top officials said rising carbon numbers could jeopardize. These gains another official said if there's an outbreak they'll have to re excess and there will be a larger meeting with all the stake holders of these games. But for now they're hoping the protocols in place will keep that search from happening there have been more than 70000. Positive cases related to these games the most recent. Our US gymnastics alternate who is now in a fourteen day quarantine. It's all just extra attic stress for these athletes ahead of opening ceremonies and competition. We've learned that team USA gymnastics has now separated is competing athletes and alternates they're trained separately athletes have their own rooms now. There's also another push by the international Olympic committee to get these athletes to follow the mask mandate and Covert rules. This after we learn from an IOC source that athletes from the US and Europe haven't all been social distancing or wearing a mask in public spaces. That IOC source says the IO CNN Tokyo to putting twenty lowered the number of athletes on buses that once again reminded athlete stuff followed the playbook. Which includes a mask policy. Back to minute boat and in Tokyo Forrest thanks Ken. Some breaking news just in that former president Donald Trump's longtime confidant Tom Barrett has been arrested for acting as an agent of foreign government. The billionaire investor you may remember has been close to trump says the 1980s he was a chairman of Trump's inaugural celebration in 2016. Which has been under investigation by the Washington DC attorney general for a bit of time now indictment unsealed today. Also charges Erika with obstruction of justice and making false statements to law enforcement. A spokesperson for Barrick has not responded to ABC as we requested a comment. We will keep you updated on this story as it develops. We'll coming up then. Pesos at its crew lands safely after a historic trip to space when we come back. From what amazes told our Michael Strahan and the moments after returning to earth and and what he said about the view. Also coming up Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited the White House today for a belated celebration of their Super Bowl when and and I jokes he cracked about the election is getting a lot of attention we'll tell you what he said and done. They didn't touch down at. Yes those are the words that. Every asks are not loves to hear touched down Colin look at lady I'm coming out there. Why the oldest person to fly in space he finally got was coming to her that was Jeff baze those and his three crew members it landed back on earth after that historic. Trip to the edge of space onboard for the ride. Faces his brother and plus as I mentioned the oldest and the youngest people to ever fly in space Michael Strahan spoke to the days those Brothers. After this morning successful launch here it is. Do me youthful feel. Lifelong dream you can expect yeah sold to Hollywood feel the big big blue were created today. Amazing I've been speechless of the way the put into words what we've just experienced we knew we did this in the photos of pointer something. Good news and it was really amazing it was that the views we're protect and never seen anything so. And until yesterday you said when we talk you didn't think I wonder I'm curious about how good change yes. In haven't you just got back put any initial thought my. Initial thought is. I can't believe you know I've heard it and read it I can't believe how. The Earth's atmosphere is so we're sitting here. Looks huge you know we're sprouted by Earth's atmosphere were breathing you know time is seen all the life on this planet. When you got there you see his this. A little thing. And conviction Phyllis how precious it is and how fragile this of course we did here. It goes to describe it I know we saw here on on the ground and you've got just did disappear. Until this. Total body acceleration for that would be yet deceleration G forces. Along the way up it was it was surprising too heavy we had we have been briefed on when it's something else entirely to actually feel you can get pulled. It's here. And facilities you know we had about three she's on the way up on the way two five g.s and unfortunately was threatened to look like she's from reduced status check we're. Contact via and then she you know I got the astronaut to fly you do when it. I'm sure it'll look too good on their lives. That we observed that booms heard this and we talked about the Carly back. It feels. Which is really weird is you never really experienced it furniture clothing and its call heads green and this almost like you revolved views. And that's impossible but that's what a fugitive feels almost like you come home. It also Clinton did exceeded expectations open and public my expectations were high. And it well over the it was incredible and low mortgage you don't yesterday you know you've read that you keep me in my room had agreed. How does America. This moves going to be tough to beat. Yeah it's going to be pretty tough that he diluted. The trick will say this is new article and it was it was really special just so water being part of so happy you don't represent. You know my mom and dad my sister suffered lifelong. Freedom justice comfort. Yes they didn't look too good because your brother he's worked so hard this in the C his lifelong dream come true be part of the I mean this is you only have incredible incredible bond. This only. It's too you know that's children that's two and hopefully you know. My brother has been part of the brewers program from the very beginning. We need to have everything I did in my life. That I couldn't had a better part of this they don't. Multifamily love their thanks in the Bay's those Brothers and Michael Strahan for that interview. And for more on the historic Luntz let's bring in former NASA astronaut ABC's contributor Cady Coleman author of Amazon unbound Jeff basis in the invention of a global empire brats Don. And ABC news transportation correspondent deal but need says who is there in Texas who witnessed the take off and landing today thank you all for being here Jim what is our review you weren't there and it wasn't like to witness this launch. Oh Diane listen it was just incredible to see this because this was the first time. Before you were able to actually witness right there behind us just three miles away. Both the take off. And a landing at the same time. With humans on board right that is not something that we typically see what we're watching a SpaceX launch that's sending folks to the International Space Station these launches with SpaceX for example. That rocket lands on the water on auto drove ship as they call it so it's very far away. Here win that rocket life. Landed here you really hurt that sonic boom. And that was just incredible for there was also was really emotional story with 82 year old Wally funk. Ed you were just thinking about her the whole time as you're watching this rocket go up in fact I want to show you this because they are giving these shirts out here. Lie woolly flying. And I know that kitty Coleman is probably wall Lee's biggest fan and I don't worry KP we got to do fly bullish. And that's exactly GO excite you knew where I wanted to go because I wanted to state Acadia OK more than two women here. How fantastic Katie was it to see lady funk finally get to go to space you know what's that mean to you considering. If you had a chance to to go there and she was dealing with discrimination that eight you know of the times. And she to do it. Let me I I say that. It is sickening and then when I just announced that she does she was going to be his guest for the launch I cried. I mean it means everything to so many here who are women in aviation and we look back to knowing think we'll that was the sixties could it be like fat. Now that there are still enough you know ways that we don't see what each other brings to the table especially if you look different than many of the people in the room. And so it's still a great lesson in the fact that Wally gets a fly on this mission only and that it especially that. I'm their person candidly that probably never faced. You know I know because his gender or the color of his skin for that person to invite Wally. Here really sense you know you matter when you did matter it's and that means that every went after you matters to so it was awesome in. She's so much fun to watch and I I love doing and. And Braddock going into this Jeff basis said he wasn't nervous about the flight but his family. But his family he says they were anxious so how risky was this flight. Yeah I thought I detected a little bit of emotion where where and when did Sosa's mother Jackie treated greeted Jeff and his brother hurt when they got off the council I'm sure she was incredibly nervous. How risky what's it mean. We know the wealthiest person in the world strapping themselves should to a bomb basically. Look at me he was obviously completely confident. The new Shepard spacecraft has gone through fifteen. Launches that day they lost a booster rocket five years ago they lost a hike at about ten years ago fifteen successful launches since then so he he was confident that kids you know it's rocketry it was always announce so it's really just expressing his competence and the new Shepperd today and an achievement awards and I thought it was pretty extraordinary that he he just enough first. OK so the houses extraordinary GO you've got to cover Richard Branson's virgin galactic go launches wells so. You gotta tell us what stands out when you compare the two I know this is probably got to be pretty tough. Well you know what care I mean that they're so different because with this launch you're talking about a rocket that is going up right. And it is our traditional launch right would when you think about all of the Apollo missions it was a big rocket with a capsule above it. That's what this was so was sticking to that same. Traditional machinery when you're looking at the Richard Branson launched you're talking about an airplane that takes off those who about 50000 feet. Drops the capsule right or the rocket ship the knack of that they also call it a space plane and then that rocket you don't sort of turns on right away. And they take that to the edge of the atmosphere. Also was a very different kind of helped launch because you're seeing this happen in mid air and in this when you are seeing it in the ground he definitely steal this one more if you're watching it in person you feel this one more because the ground shakes your organs shake. You hear that loud sound of that rocket goes up. The other interesting thing is that when you're talking about this launch this blue origin launched. This is a vehicle that was completely autonomous. No pilot on board this was run by a computer essentially they start would mission control controlling it. And then a computer takes over at a certain point put everything is just completely autonomous. Virgin galactic has pilots onboard so it's there's definitely some differences. But it's going to be interesting to see once we find out exactly how much it cost to get on the blue origin and see how they compete with each other because -- -- granted right now virgin galactic they're charging 250000. Per seat we'll see what blue wardens torturing. Katie hasn't Asher not well when you do a mission like this some more official level. There's specific work to be done their discoveries that are and laid out specifically you know scientific goals with each flight. And there are already lawmakers in Washington that come out criticizing this flight essentially saying that you know this is just rich people. Being tourists and an not. Accomplishing the kind of scientific benefits that we've seen with other trips to space you take an issue with the phrase space tourism some curious. If you can expand upon YA you take issue with determine also what you think of the future benefits can be of civilians. Getting a chance to experience space travel. Well people. A not on on a NASA mission numbing. Basically anything creative that you saw for an near any of my colleagues. You know probably happened after 10 o'clock at night or before you were supposed to be a week in the morning or your bathroom time I mean it's really. You know there's there's a mission and not personal part is kind of sat Britain and doesn't mean it's discouraged is just that there's not equate room and yet. There's something really so compelling about space. Mean it's it's something across all of us we're all here on this front castrate and I think it's it's such a very human thing. And said to be able to half lengths for people calls and more people and behind diverse group of people get to go up in space. That's where we really gets you I think expand the range of humanity. And the way I look at this whole situation is you know we we talk about that begins at three different settlement you know billionaires or you can talk about that but. I see that it's three people with vision and resources. And and they each have different ways of actually achieving their visions. Any and yet all of them are bringing people to space and when people come back from that now this is just 88 people in the last year for today and and then for a couple we see with virgin galactic. Those people are changed forever I mean they have a different horizon. And you can imagine being Oliver I Damon whose 18 am and his he's gonna go through his whole life with a different horizon different point of view. And in so I just think that there's a lot of ripples from these kinds of flights I think it's very appropriate the government does. You know this sort of more risk taking going further trying to figure out how to do things take risks that we should mass company people to take. And yet the commercial companies during summer months to this equation and I see you then the world to space Jessica. Exploding and and in terms of bringing lots of different people and their ideas they're all coming back to earth. And all those ideas are too. And I GM Benitez Katie Coleman Brad Stone thank you all appreciate the analysis. Things and earlier today president Biden hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a belated celebration they're 20/20 one Super Bowl win. And cornerback Tom Brady gave a speech and even cracked a joke that actually has gone viral take a listen. But we found a rhythm we got on the role not a lot of people. You know think that we could've won and I'm fact they think about 40% of people still don't think we want. Yeah I understand that president. Die and got a little political there but hey we can all relate we did. Today I'm here around the knowledge of pleasure and thank you are known for joining us I'm Diana the state of the then I'm your Phillips in for Terry Moran always great to be with you Diane we'll see you back here 3 PM eastern tomorrow have a great day everyone.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"28:26","description":"Plus, the bipartisan infrastructure deal faces a key test vote and Jeff Bezos returns from a successful flight to the edge of space.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"78954216","title":"The Breakdown: Top health officials testify on delta variant, vaccine booster shots ","url":"/US/video/breakdown-top-health-officials-testify-delta-variant-vaccine-78954216"}