As Senate Republicans use the filibuster to block debate on the most sweeping voting rights bill considered by Congress in decades, we look at what is in the bill and the next steps forward. Elizabeth Hira, an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, describes the For the People Act as “a massive democracy reform package” that seeks to address systemic flaws in U.S. elections. “This bill creates a wholesale opportunity for us to fix all of the things that have been wrong in our democracy.” We also speak with Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, who says Republican opposition to the bill exposes their cruelty. “They are committed to keeping alive voter suppression that started with the Southern strategy. They are today’s Strom Thurmond,” says Barber.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman in New York, with Juan González in New Jersey.
Senate Republicans have used the filibuster to block debate on the most sweeping voting rights bill considered by Congress in decades. Every Democrat voted to open debate on the legislation, the For the People Act, but not a single Republican agreed to. For months Senate Democrats have been trying to reform the filibuster, but they’ve fallen short due to opposition from two fellow Democrats: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
This all comes as Republican state lawmakers are passing sweeping measures to suppress the vote around the country. According to the Voting Rights Lab, 18 states have enacted more than 30 laws to restrict voting since the November election. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday the fight to protect voting rights is not over.
MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: Once again, Senate Republicans have signed their names in the ledger of history, alongside Donald Trump, the big lie and voter suppression, to their enduring disgrace. This vote, I’m ashamed to say, is further evidence that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican Party. Now Republican senators may have prevented us from having a debate on voting rights today. But I want to be very clear about one thing: The fight to protect voting rights is not over, by no means. In the fight for voting rights, this vote was the starting gun, not the finish line.
AMY GOODMAN: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the Democrats of trying to stage a power grab by trying to pass the For the People Act.
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL: Later today, the Senate will vote on whether to advance Democrats’ transparently partisan plan to tilt every election in America permanently in their favor. By now, the rotten inner workings of this power grab have been thoroughly exposed to the light. We know that it would shatter a decades-old understanding that campaign finance laws should have a bipartisan referee, and turn the Federal Election Commission into a partisan majority cudgel for Democrats to wield against their political opponents.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by two guests. The Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, president of Repairers of the Breach, today he’s in Washington, D.C., for a Moral March on Manchin and McConnell. And here in New York, Elizabeth Hira is with us, attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, former congressional staffer, who helped to craft the original iteration of the For the People Act, lead author of a new report on the legislation titled “Equity for the People.”
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! First, Elizabeth Hira, can you just exactly explain what happened? It actually wasn’t a vote on the content of the For the People Act. This was a procedural vote. It was 50/50. Explain why Harris presides, the vice president, but doesn’t vote, and why you need to get to 60 just to have a discussion.
ELIZABETH HIRA: Thank you so much for having me, Amy, and that’s a great question to start us off with.
I think that there was breathless reporting yesterday about how this was a stunning defeat that was the end of the bill. And that’s actually not accurate. It’s really important that people understand, as Leader Schumer said, this was only the beginning. Yesterday’s vote was not a vote on the merits of the bill; it was a vote to open debate on the bill. So, the practice is, usually there is a debate, a discussion, that you have to vote to have, and then the next thing that you do is actually vote on the content of the bill. So, yesterday’s vote was to open debate, and you need — we had 50 Democrats united behind that decision, but the way that things work in the Senate, and what folks have heard a lot about, is the filibuster, where 60 votes are needed to sort of overcome a filibuster and proceed with debate. So, all that yesterday indicates is that we did not have the 60 votes to start the debate, but it’s actually only the first bite at the apple.
And if you’ll let me quickly explain, this might be a really good time to just explain that this fixation on getting 60 senators together misses a really important procedural point that should give a lot of people hope. You don’t need 60 people to get together. There’s a wonderful procedural workaround in the Senate, that is not formally changing the rules, but technically changing the rules, where you can get 50 senators together, with the vice president as the tie-breaking vote — that’s why she was there presiding — 50 senators plus the vice president can choose to technically change the rules to defeat the filibuster, to sort of overcome that and say, “Hey, the 51 of us will change the rules. You no longer need 60. The 51 of us can decide to open debate on the bill. And at the minimum, America deserves that discussion.”
Yesterday’s importance for everyone was to show Republicans were given an opportunity to say, “Hey, let’s just discuss this, free and fair. Let’s have an open discussion about this.” They chose to not take that opportunity. That is not the end of the road. Democrats will have to figure out how to get together to, exactly as I said, take advantage of that procedural workaround. And the only thing that will make them do that is if they continue to hear from the people that this is a critical priority.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But I’d like to ask you, Ms. Hira, about the actual content of the bill. Clearly, there’s been a lot of discussion that this is a sweeping bill, but there’s been very little public information about the specific provisions of the bill. And it is pretty sweeping. I mean, there are not only Election Day a holiday for the first time in the United States — many other countries already have that, obviously — but there are all kinds of changes to the enfranchisement of felons who have completed their terms across the country. There are the two weeks of early voting nationwide. There’s also a requirement for super PACs to disclose their donors. Could you talk about many of the separate provisions that the Republicans, essentially, see this as passing this bill would doom them for decades to come?
ELIZABETH HIRA: Yes. So, I, just to — exactly as you say, Juan. Thank you for the question. The bill is — I think of it as a massive democracy reform package. That makes sense because it comprehensively fixes so many things that are wrong in our democracy. So, many of us were watching the 2020 elections and saying, “How is that happening in 2020?” This bill creates a wholesale opportunity for us to fix all of the things that have been wrong in our democracy.
So, as you mentioned, it would include automatic voter registration, where voters, when they go to the DMV, can just get asked the question, “Hey, do you want register to vote?” And if you opt out, then you don’t have to. But if you opt in, we have the potential to bring tens of millions of Americans onto the rolls through that sort of process.
Another important reform, same-day voter registration, which we actually know is one of the single most effective interventions to bring young people onto the rolls. Young people are currently — Gen Z and Gen Y together are the largest bloc in the electorate. They actually surpass the boomers, who are only 28%. But they are not registered to vote at the same rates. Same-day registration is actually an intervention that would bring so many of them — again, the most diverse cohort in America — onto the voter rolls. And again, these have been tried. Nothing here is revolutionary. This has actually been tried in states all across the country. All H.R. 1, S. 1 does is set a minimum federal standard so that states have to abide, at a minimum, with what folks need to be able to vote — need to have to be able to vote freely and fairly.
So, same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, democracy restoration. So many places, 29 states in America, restrict your franchise to vote, even after you’ve returned to your community. And we know, because of mass incarceration, people of color are deeply overrepresented in those numbers. So, democracy restoration will bring 3.9 million people onto the rolls — 3.9 million, I think 1.6 of them are people of color.
And voter ID — people have been saying that the bill bans voter ID. It absolutely does not. We know that communities of color, women, transgender people significantly lack access to identities — or, identification that reflects their identity and their legal name. This would provide a workaround, so you can make a sworn statement affirming your identity so that you can — you don’t lose your right to vote because a poll worker doesn’t think that you look how you should look for your ID.
And to your point, it’s also not just voting rights. I know folks have been focused on voting rights because, as Amy mentioned at the top, there’s been this sweeping wave of voter suppressive efforts, not only the bills that have passed, but in 48 states, the Brennan Center has found that 389 bills have been offered to suppress the right to vote.
So, in addition to that credible work to sort of bring people onto the rolls, this bill also asks a really important civil rights question, which is just: What infrastructurally could we change in America to change the fact that the government does not reflect the people? And I hope that we’ll have an opportunity to get into it a little bit more. But I think the quick version of that reflection that I always give is that the 117th Congress, the current Congress, is the most diverse in American history, which is fantastic, except that that Congress is 77% white, it is 73% male. Fewer than 5% of people in the last Congress reported ever having worked a blue-collar job. And, you know, my fun fact that I hope people will share is that women in the House of Representatives only got their own bathroom on the House floor in 2011. Prior to that, they had to walk out to get their own votes. These structures were not designed to include all of America. And that’s — the history of exclusion is discussed in this paper that you just flagged from the Brennan Center.
But this bill is an opportunity, through campaign finance reform, that discloses big money, that creates a small-dollar public financing system, that is voluntary, funded by the people, to get billionaires out of elections. It’s sort of revolutionary in its ability to take all these really commonsense things and fix them up, in addition to a package that says, “Hey, voters should be in line for only 30 minutes.” So, I could spend all day talking about it, but I really recommend that you look at the Brennan Center resources, that very clearly lay out the content and, frankly, the import of this bill at this moment in history.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I’d like to bring Reverend William Barber into the conversation. Welcome, once again, back to Democracy Now! And, Reverend, your reaction to what transpired yesterday in the Senate? And what needs to be done, for those who want voting rights reform?
REV. WILLIAM BARBER II: Thank you so much to both you and Amy.
And let me just say, what my sister just did is what Democrats ought to be doing. They ought to be laying out this bill, not just saying things like “We’re fighting Jim Crow.” It’s not Jim Crow specific; it’s James Crow, Esquire, because it’s an attack on — this bill is trying to address what’s happening to all people, and what the Republicans are doing, in a real sense, is being against all people. And what she just did is what they should be doing, what should have been done before we got to the debates: laying out the scope of this bill.
Now, yesterday, all we saw is what we already knew. McConnell and his Republican cohorts are just mean, politically mean. And they are committed to keeping alive voter suppression that started with the Southern strategy. They are today’s Strom Thurmond. So, we already knew that. We knew that last year, when we saw them willing to — more willing to take a Supreme Court seat than keep people out of caskets, because they wouldn’t pass COVID relief, but they would rush through a way to replace a Supreme Court seat. So we already knew that.
But the other side of this is, we have to say this. I appreciate the leader saying that it shows where Republicans are, but as a moral leader, that just speak truth, we also got to talk about Manchin and Sinema, but really Manchin, because he’s part of the problem in that mindset, this so-called moderate Democrat. There’s just no such thing as you will protect the right to vote moderately, you will assure domestic tranquility moderately, you will establish justice moderately.
This could have been over, over and done with. The Democrats could have gone to the — as my sister mentioned, the 50; the vice president could have been the deciding vote. And at some point, if you’re saying this is the thing that keeps the democracy from falling, this is the moment — the other people are totally committed to voter suppression. You know you can’t compromise with them because they’re not — they don’t even believe there’s a problem. So, if this is the thing, then you must act with the power that you have, the power you were given.
And we’ve never — Manchin now wants this compromise. This sets up a possibility of that bill replacing the John Lewis bill, because he wrote the bill. And that would be a travesty, if we start arguing on the Manchin compromise. We’ve never had photo ID. He wants that. We’re in court fighting right now and winning. I come from a state where we beat voter ID. And why does a senator from West Virginia, where 79% of his people want the full vote on this bill, and VRA, 81% of Democrats — why is he — you know, why does he get to put a compromise forward that weakens? It’s one thing if he wanted to compromise from, say, 20 early voting days to 15, but that’s not what we’re talking about. He wants to weaken the ability of the attorney general to enforce preclearance. There’s nothing in his compromise about addressing felony disenfranchisement.
What we should have right now is the best voting rights lawyers vet the impact of the compromise, put it aside, and Democrats need to use their power. Listen, Republicans went to majority votes for Supreme Court nominees for lifetime appointment. This is about the life of this democracy. We need to go ahead and pass this bill, end the filibuster — they have the power to do it — and pass this bill.
Lastly, in statehouses across this country, in some of the poorest states, the reddest states, they are passing voter suppression laws. But this is the connection we also have to make. The same people that are pushing voter suppression laws to deny and abridge the right to vote are also against expanding healthcare, against living wages. They are against a true infrastructure bill. They’re against climate change. You have to connect the two. The voter suppression also suppresses us moving forward on the things that would lift all Americans.
And truth of the matter is, Manchin ought to be ashamed of himself for being — coming from a state, the mountaineer state. And that’s why today people are coming from West Virginia and Kentucky — we marched on his office a week ago — to say to McConnell and Manchin we could go to say McConnell and Manchin, it’s time out now. We wish McConnell would change; he probably won’t. But Manchin and those others need to quit this foolishness. We shouldn’t be going through this for another three and four months.
This is a tool. Voter suppression is a tool of the committed racists and the greedy aristocracy to undermine the votes of the people. It’s not just a Black thing. It is, in fact, the way in which the powers, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wield power by promoting and supporting those persons in the political system that would suppress the vote.
Let me read, lastly, something Dr. King said. “The threat of the free exercise of the ballot by the Negro and white masses alike resulted in the establishment of a segregated society. That’s what happened when the Negro and white masses of the South threatened to unite and build a great society: a society of care for all people.”
This is not just a Black thing. This is a fear of the American people, a fear of Black and white and Brown and Asian and Native people coming together and pushing this nation forward. And we need to quit all of this political gamesmanship. If this is the moment that our democracy is threatened, then act like it. Vote to end this filibuster. Vote and give the vice president the power to cast that one vote to pass these bills, VRA and this bill. And then do living wages while you’re doing it, too, and the George Floyd bill and infrastructure. And let’s do it and then let the voters decide next year at the polls whether or not they like the direction of the country.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to a clip of the Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock speaking on the Senate floor about the importance of the For the People Act.
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Let’s not kid ourselves, in this chamber of all places, a few months after January 6. This is dangerous stuff. And that’s one reason we need to debate the legislation before us. I’m hoping to include a provision I introduced yesterday, with some of my colleagues, that will prevent politicians from being able to overrule local election officials and therefore subvert the voices of the people. This provision will also protect local election volunteers from harassment and intimidation. Right now across the nation, constitutional rights are being assaulted, and I fear that if we don’t act as a body in this moment, we will have crossed a dangerous Rubicon in our nation that will make it extremely difficult for the next generation to secure voting rights for every eligible American.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock. The secretary of state there has knocked another 100,000 voters off the voter rolls in Georgia. Senator Raphael Warnock will have to run again in 2022. Elizabeth Hira, Senator Warnock talked about what’s happening to local election officials. And the Brennan Center has done several reports, one on the number of election officials around the country who are terrified right now, who fear for their lives, who have been threatened, many who are quitting. Can you talk about that?
ELIZABETH HIRA: So, this is — my colleagues at the Brennan Center have put together this phenomenal report based on direct work with election officials who are getting death threats in their homes, threats against their family, threats against their safety. And this is driven by the big lie about voter fraud, which many of us know about, that people have been driven into hysteria by misinformation and disinformation, led to believe that their votes don’t count. And this comes back to what Reverend Barber was saying. The big lie is a dog whistle and, in some cases, just straight-up racism, where people are being told that some Americans’ votes don’t count as much as others’. And our election officials are bearing the brunt of that.
And this is, again, like we were talking about, the beauty of the For the People Act, is that it provides support — it provides financial support to election administrators so they can get their job done, but it deals with that big picture question. Through the support infrastructurally provided in the For the People Act, we can trust and have confidence in our elections. There is money for paper ballots. There is support for just letting people know that their elections are being run efficiently, which this should just be sort of an administrative effort by states so that people can get their votes counted.
And I just want to — I want to follow up just on this other point that was made earlier about things that get —
AMY GOODMAN: Just before you do, I want to play some of the election officials who spoke to the Brennan Center.
BEN HOVLAND: There were people who showed up outside of election officials’ houses, armed, people that showed up outside of offices, threatening phone calls, harassment.
MARIBETH WITZEL-BEHL: And online discussions about types of ammunition and guns to use on me.
JOSEPH GLORIA: It became a daily occurrence outside of our facility to have anywhere from 50 to 150 individuals outside. Some of them were armed.
ADRIAN FONTES: There was a fence sort of separating the building from the protesters. And they were armed.
JANICE WINFREY: I was walking up the street to the park. This big, big Caucasian guy came up to me out of his car, and he said, “I’ve been waiting for you, Ms. Winfrey. I want to know why you cheated during the election. I want to know why Donald Trump lost. It’s your fault.”
AMY GOODMAN: So, that is scary, those voices of election officials put together by the Brennan Center. Elizabeth Hira, if you could then make that other point?
ELIZABETH HIRA: Well, yes, I think this is all — actually, it’s the same point. What you are seeing manifested there is a disbelief about the possibility that the American vote could be safe, because there are fissures in America being, frankly, amplified by hostile forces, like Reverend Barber was talking about. There are people who do not want the American democratic experiment to be succeeding. And that democratic experiment is recognizing that every person, no matter how much they have been marginalized in American history, is actually a part of the American polity, and they have a seat here, and they have a place here, their vote matters, and, more importantly, they should have a seat at the table. Only when you undermine that vision do you get people saying, “Hey, you will not replace us,” right? You get these frightening messages that are causing people to lash out against the public servants, who, frankly, are being underpaid to do the work that they need to do to keep our infrastructure together.
So, I just — that brings me to this point that I wanted to raise that Reverend Barber was talking about, these pieces of the bill that we are having to watch sort of negotiate away. The great news about the fact that yesterday was only the beginning and not the finish line is that the people speaking has been able to change the structure of this bill, and it’s been able to change who has supported this bill. So, anybody who’s worked in Washington knows that two weeks is an eternity in Washington. And two weeks ago, people were tripping over themselves to announce that Joe Manchin had said this bill was completely dead and would go nowhere. And all of us know yesterday Mr. Manchin was right at the negotiating table with Democrats, after having been rejected by Republicans for his compromise bill.
What is in the bill is still very much open season. And it’s the stuff that Senator Warnock was talking about, changes that can still be made, and protecting all the critical provisions that Reverend Barber raised, only with the clamor of the people continuing over the summer, leading up into the critical fight for redistricting, right? This bill affects not only who can vote and who can run, but how our congressional maps get drawn, so how the people get represented is also at stake.
And so, I actually think it’s really important to come back to the metapoint. Election officials are being attacked because we’re being told our elections are not working and our democracy is not working. H.R. 1 will fill a gap to let people know the infrastructure is safe, it is sound, it is supported, and everybody is welcome here. No matter the color of your skin, your gender identity, your gender, you are welcome here — your disability status. All of that is supported in this bill by making big infrastructural changes to let every American in.
And the critical point of that is it doesn’t matter for its own sake; it matters because it lets Americans get to the work that we actually need to do. Washington is focused on political infighting that, frankly, everyday citizens can’t afford to care about, exactly as Reverend Barber said. We have people in food pantry lines. We have an economy that has a K curve, where the worst are doing — the worst-off are doing worse, and the best-off are doing better. We have basic problems in education and healthcare —
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Elizabeth, if I can —
ELIZABETH HIRA: Yeah.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: — I’d like to bring in Reverend Barber. I wanted to ask him if he has any further comments, but also if he could talk a little bit about the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which is likely to come to the Senate floor later this year. Your thoughts about whether this legislation will fare any better than what’s happened so far with the For the People Act?
REV. WILLIAM BARBER II: Well, it will, if we don’t have gamesmanship among the Democrats. Now, when you have power, you hold more responsibility than the people, than in the majority. So, I’m hoping that this is not a gamesmanship now.
We also heard from the Senate majority leader that he got Manchin to the table with an agreement to bring his compromise bill up, with the things that actually take away a bunch of what my sister was talking about. We can’t have that. I mean, you think about — there’s nothing in that compromise bill about modernizing the voting systems, or nothing about the felony disenfranchisement. But you want to replace that with something we’ve never had nationwide, which is a form of voter ID. Listen, you cannot say something is dangerous, as my dear friend Senator Warnock said we’re at a dangerous point, and then you say, “Oh, I see you drowning, but let’s have another compromise. Let’s have another debate.”
The power is with the Democrats. And that’s why we’re marching today and will continue. And what we’re saying is we need street moral heat, nonviolent. We don’t need an insurrection, violent insurrection; we need direct action, nonviolently. We need to get in the streets and march on these senators, Democrat and Republican, in their state, need to come to D.C.
We’re going to launch that today, because this is the moment, and we can’t afford to see something compromised away. You know, the Voting Rights Act was compromised. That’s why we still have some of the fights we have today. The Civil Rights Act was compromised in '64. We've had too much of that. Some things are nonnegotiable.
The 15th Amendment says nobody, no state nor entity, has the right to deny or abridge. And all of the things that McConnell and them want to do is an abridgment of the right, which means it’s violating the Constitution. So this should be easy. This should be an easy “We’ve done this. We’ve talked. You all want to use this coward filibuster, coward political filibuster, that’s really nothing but interposition and nullification. We’re going to 50, and we’re going to go to the one. You can debate then, when we bring it to the floor. We’ll add the amendments. We’re going to do 50 and one. And you can come over if you want to.” Listen, they can still come on over. But, if not, they have to understand they’re not going to shut down this. And we, the people, have to now move in the streets. This is not just emailing and texting time. That’s why we’re marching today. And we will continue.
And I want to say one other thing. We’ve got to lift this up for everybody. It can’t just be, as I said, a Black issue, Black versus white. Republicans actually want that. No, this is — the denial of this bill hurts everybody.
And lastly, you know, I don’t normally talk about stuff like this, but this is how dangerous some of what Manchin is doing, is by lingering and keeping this out there and negotiating. When we went to West Virginia, I got a threat, very, very serious one, saying, “If you keep marching, we will kill you.” You know, when you keep this stuff out here like this, instead of just dealing with it — just go ahead and deal with it and move on. That’s what Republicans do. They don’t wait around. They will deal with their wrong. They will move on wrong and move on. Democrats need to move on. All of this playing around, Manchin might change party — he’s not going to change party. You know, he’s not going to do that. But we need to get this done. And it can get done. And we’re going to call on him to be a true mountaineer. West Virginian mountaineers are always free. Sinema, none of these — she needs to move. Not one of them, not one Democrat, said during the election, “If you elect me, I’m going to stand against the For the People Act. I’m going to compromise it away.”
And, by the way, the For the People Act is the John Lewis bill. The Voting Rights Act, they put his name on it, but the For the People Act is the John Lewis bill. He wrote that bill. That’s his dream, written in his blood, written in the blood of all the martyrs. So, if you really want to pass the John Lewis bill, you pass the For the People Act. The Voting Rights Act was already passed years ago. We just need to restore preclearance, that was knocked out by five members of the Supreme Court eight years ago. And McConnell, Manchin, all of them, they’ve had eight years, since 2013, to fix this.
So, we need to do this and do this now, and it needs to happen. But we don’t need just to keep lingering and playing games and begging for. We need to push on. We’re going to say to Manchin, mountaineers are supposed to always be free. Even Robert Byrd, when he changed from being a suppressionist and a racist to being about the Constitution and justice, he came up with ways. He didn’t even like this kind — Senator Robert Byrd didn’t even like this kind of filibustering, because it’s a cowardly thing. You don’t have to stay on the floor. You don’t have to debate. All you have to do is say you don’t have 60.
So, honor the legacy of Senator Byrd and Mother Jones, who said, “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.” Do what’s right. That’s what has to be said. That’s why we’re coming. And people are willing to even put their bodies on the line. But we need a season now of nonviolent action all across this country and in states. And we’re going to try to signal that on today. And people just need to begin and say, “Now is the time that we keep this democracy from spiraling downward to something that is other than the promise that has been made to us.” This is the moment that we either breathe life and resuscitate this democracy or we continue to snuff it out. And when you’re in crisis, the last thing you need somebody doing is standing over you saying, “Well, I wonder: Are we going to help them? Let’s debate a compromise.” There should be no compromise when it comes to protecting the right to our vote from being denied or abridged.
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Dr. William Barber, I want to thank you so much for being with us, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, president of Repairers of the Breach. He is speaking to us from Washington, D.C., where he is leading a Moral March on Manchin and McConnell today. And Elizabeth Hira, joining us from New York, with the Brennan Center for Justice, lead author of their report, “Equity for the People: S.1/H.R. 1 and the Fight for an Inclusive Democracy.” We will link to that report.
Next up, the White House says it will miss its goal of getting 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4th, alarming public health officials as the COVID Delta variant rapidly spreads. We will talk with an epidemiologist about what this means. Stay with us.