tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN March 5, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST
of congress and capitol rioters to see whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists. at this point, investigators have found no evidence that members of congress knowingly aided or we don't know if they have found any evidence that members of congress knowingly aided or were involved in the insurrection. we'll be meeting with cnn political analyst david gregory. you're a man who loves theater and i love that about you. look, there are 1.9 trillion reasons to debate the economic relief package. have a real discussion, back and forth, make your argument. but what did ron johnson accomplish by demanding this 11-hour dramatic reading of a 628-page bill, other than the theater that you normally so love? >> yeah. it is a show. and that's all it is. it's a show. and st partly democrats being captive to having such a slim majority, right?
but the real point is that ron johnson and others who think like him are playing to a smaller audience. that they hope will become a bigger audience of conservatives who say, look, this is not just covid relief, but this is liberal overreach. and that there's too much in this bill that goes beyond what is needed for covid. and they want to begin to make an argument that they'll make more next year about why congress has to return to republican hands. it's obviously difficult to make that argument in the face of needed relief for so many people and especially when you're giving away money, which is going end to up being pretty popular to most people. >> why didn't senator johnson reject when president donald trump ran up the debt by $7 trillion? >> i mean, this newfound like commitment to fiscal responsibility is just a joke now it's a joke after the last four years. you can argue that this isn't targeted enough. i mean, there are legitimate arguments, obviously, on both
sides, but now you care about things like this? here's what's in the bill that we know of right now. americans will be getting those $1,400 direct payments. but you have to now be making $80,000 or less. so that's less than originally was planned in this bill, okay. so the democrats have come down on that. they will be giving that $400 a week boost, unemployment assistance. small business assistance, which obviously republicans talk a lot about, will be in there. there's funding for schools and state and local governments, obviously republicans talk a lot about wanting schools to be completely equipped to open and have kids back in there, and funding for vaccine distribution, which we all need. so david, when republicans say, we didn't get what we want in this bill, so it's not bipartisan, but what's the difference? what's the line between having to settle for not getting everything you want and obstructionism? >> i think there's a couple of different arguments.
the fiscal responsibility argument doesn't carry a lot of weight and i don't think johnson is making that as much as he is trying to -- look, we've had bipartisan covid relief bills, right? and republicans will say, oh, well, this is republican unity in the face of something we don't actually need. there's still leftover money from previous bills, states and localities are doing a little bit better. but this is all an argument that is being made to a conservative base to say, look, things are getting better on the virus. this is just liberals in charge, doing too much beyond some of those things that you outlined there. but there's a couple of points that are really important. vaccine distribution, which is obviously required and stepped up by this administration to get to the vaccine distribution where it is, which is better than expected. that's vital, getting kids back to school has been a goal, but donald trump just said, get back to school. now there's more effort to put money behind doing that, including vaccinating teachers, which has become a political reality that the administration has to do to get schools to
reopen. so these funds are necessary and democrats have had to scale back. the minimum wage increase is not in here and lowering requirements for who gets this direct money. >> it is wort noting as of now in the latest polling this measure has approval with 62% of the american people. that's pretty high. seung min kim noted last hour, one of the things republicans are trying to do is drive that number down. if they're going to try to obstruct it, they need it to be less popular than it is right now. we'll see if it's successful. something else that's interesting that's happening is that democrats are trying -- the white house is still trying to convince lisa murkowski to get onboard. and apparently her vote is still up for grabs here. david, it does strike me that after the votes they've had on a number of things up to this point, including the george floyd policing act, the democrats have real reason to think now and the white house does, that they are not available republican votes at all for some of the priorities they want. and joe biden promised unity, but it may be that there is not
any compromise available on almost anything they're after. >> i think that's right. this seems very similar to the first hundred days of president obama. and that stimulus relief, where you just had a united republican front, because they made a decision to say, we're just not going to work with democrats, period. and that that is the strategy. you know, next year's election is basically this year's election. in terms of retaking congress and laying the ground work for the future of the republican party, whatever that's going to be, whatever 2024 is going to look like. and this becomes an early line to draw. and, you know, there's a lot of political capital that the president uses on a measure that's this big, but he's banking on what you just talked about, john, which is being popular with the american people, the fact that as the virus recedes and we can get
back to work, back to school, and back to normal in this country, that there will be a huge political lift and he wants to be the one in charge when that's happening, even if he's responsible for spending a lot of money to get us there. >> republicans, as you know, david, in i think something like 40-plus state houses around the country, are now focused on what they call election security, what democrats call voting rights restrictions. and, i mean, sometimes, republicans have even admitted they're looking to sort of game how they can win again. and they have to put some of these provisions in, they believe. so michelle obama has come out to try to sound the alarm about this. last night on twitter, she put out a statement. our democracy remains under attack by the partisan and unpatriotic actions of those at the state level who are doing everything they can to curtail act
access to the ballot box. make no mistake, the idea that we cannot still hold secure elections and ensure that every eligible voter can make their voices heard is false choice. it's based on lies and it flies in the face of our history. it is sad, it is infuriating and a genuine threat to our future that must be taken seriously. as we know, from the people in charge, republicans, even, this was the safest, most secure election in our history that we know of, or our recent history. and so the idea that all of these measures are being fought for. how are we to interpret that? >> well, i think it's such an important point. and just to underline what you said. this was such a safe and secure election. it was a miracle we did it in a pandemic. and there was no evidence of irregularities or fraud and certainly we know lots of people were looking and litigating and bringing it to the courts. so now the focus should be on what legislatures are doing, because what you saw in this
recent case that was argued before the supreme court, the arizona republican party saying, look, this is a competition question. we are at a competitive disadvantage. the more people who vote, the worse it is for the republican party. that's what the mind-set is behind these restrictions. i've been watching this for a long time. i've talked to republican officials from the trump white house who say, look, this has been the holy grail of republicans forever. the idea that there's widespread voter fraud. in every cycle we've talked about it, there's not been evidence of. it and there are legitimate questions about things like provisional ballots and how you approach them in times of unpredictability like a pandemic. we can have that debate. but i think what's important about bringing this up right now, we have a responsibility to in the media to cover this incrementally. so that people really understand what's happening at the state level. what may be a fair thing to look at in terms of ensuring security of an election and what is just political gamesmanship being
played to try to suppress the vote. >> david gregory, thank you very much for being with us this morning. the state of connecticut planning to roll back restrictions and restaurants and gyms. we're going to speak to connecticut's governor about his concerns about what this might do to the level of virus in his state, next.
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this morning, as the coronavirus vaccine continues to roll out, more states are rolling out their plans to roll back restrictions, and that includes connecticut, where the governor plans to reopen restaurants and gyms and more to full capacity on march 19th. but masks will still be required. >> this is not texas. this is not mississippi. this is connecticut. we are maintaining the masks. i think i told you at the start, over the course of the year, we know what works and masks work. and we have much lower infection rates than those maskless
states, much lower. >> joining us now is connecticut governor ned lamont. governor, great to see you. this came as, you know, exciting news, but also worrisome news, i think, to people in connecticut, because if restaurants -- here's the list of what's going to be back at full capacity. restaurants, retail restores, libraries, personal services like salons, indoor reck raegs. can you share with us the science behind opening these back to full capacity, because we have heard that restaurants can be super spreaders opening indoors. >> good morning, alisyn. we have been carefully opening since may. all of our schools are now open, most of them for a full-time, five-day-a-week activity. our restaurants and retail have been open at 50%. and given the fact that we have so many people, woefrl 20% have been vaccinated, the vast majority of whom are over 55,
where you're most likely to suffer complications or hospitalization are down. we know it works and maintaining the masks and the social distancing reinforces that we're still -- still know that we have a way to go. >> but there won't be social distancing in restaurants. and the reason i'm so fixated on this is everybody wants to go out to a restaurant. that's certainly something that have been craving. but there have been studies. i look back to the november 2020 study from stanford who said that full service restaurants are super spreaders. they found a link between testing positive for coronavirus and having recently gone to a restaurant. so how can you be confident that the numbers won't spike? >> well, we're maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. for our restaurants, nothing's going to fundamentally change in terms of that. and like i said before, the difference between then and now is that we'll have a vast majority of our people over the age of 55 vaccinated.
that's the group that suffers the most complications. >> i was also just wondering, the recommendations now, correct me if i'm wrong, will be for up to 25 people indoors. that can be the limit now. up to 25 people at a gathergather ering indoors. why not 15 people, why not 30 people? what's the magic number of 25? >> there's no magic number, alisyn. more recently, it's ten people indoors. that's no magic number, either. what you've got to know, if it's 25 people, you know very well, if it's 25 people who have been vaccinated, you probably can do that in a more relaxed way. if it's 25 people you don't know and haven't been vaccinated, you probably should still wear the mask. i can't mandate common sense so people are going to use their judgment. but 25 was a reasonable number and if something happened, we can track and trace. >> how about the highly transmissible uk fainter that we
keep hearing about. i think, correct me if i'm wrong, that there are 42 cases of that variant in connecticut. do you think that is the big wild card here? >> yep, that's the wild card in the deck. no question about it. but we have a little experience with it. we've seen the variant now down in miami and san diego for six, seven weeks. and i really worried that it was going to double up every few days and that has not happened. so we have a sense that if the variant does become more prevalent here in this region, it's not yet, that we'll be able to respond accordingly. and we'll have time to respond. >> you did something interesting that other states weren't doing, and that is that you made eligibility for the vaccine by age. so not pre-existing conditions, no comorbidities, not the career, you know, your working environment. and why did you decide to do that? >> ewe decided to do that,
because, "a," age is closely correlated to public health, comorbidities, complications, you know, the overwhelming majority of the people who have suffered, you know, fatalities, 98%, 99% are over the age of 55. if it got really complicated, some people could cut the line. i thought in the interest of fairness, simplicity was important. but remember, we're taking the vaccine right to the northeast underserved communities. very deliberately, allocating 25% of the vaccines to make sure that no population is left behind. >> governor, i want to ask you about governor cuomo and what he's going through right now. i know you've worked very closely with him during this pandemic. now that he is embroiled in these two potential controversies, the nursing home death count as well as these sexual harassment allegations, do you think that he can still lead effectively, or is it time for him to step aside?
>> well, i got to know governor cuomo and i got to know all of our regional governors very early on in this pandemic, because obviously, covid doesn't know any state borders. so we collaborated closely and governor cuomo was a good partner as we worked our way through, especially last spring, when the new york region was really on fire. and you know, now going forward, we still need a strong partner in new york. i think governor cuomo is working hard on covid and the other stuff, let's let the investigations take their course. >> i mean, charlotte bennett, one of the accusers, came out last night. she spoke on cbs, and people have described it as compelling, you know, her story is compelling. she seems emotional. did you have a chance to hear what she has said about that experience with governor cuomo? >> no, i didn't hear that, alisyn. but, look, she deserves to be heard. there ought to be a strong
independent investigation. and i think that's what's going to happen in new york. >> governor ned lamont, thank you. we appreciate you being on and talking about all of this. >> thanks, alisyn. we have new cnn reporting on the capitol insurrection. investigators examining possible communications between lawmakers and the insurrectionists. how will they determine if there was a link? that's next. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can enjoy it even if you're sensitive.
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federal investigators have examining communications between members of congress and the pro-trump mob that attacked the u.s. capitol. they're trying to figure out if any lawmakers knowingly or unknowingly helped the insurrectionists. cnn's shimon prokupecz is live in washington with more. what have you learned, shimon? >> that's exactly the question that law enforcement right now is trying to figure out. was this completely innocent contact between the lawmakers and some of rioters or is there something more here? what the fbi and the prosecutors have found is that going through some of the phones of some of the people they have arrested, they have found that there was
contact. some kind of form, some form of communication between some of the rioters and members of congress. they have also received other data where they see there was contact. they don't necessarily know what the contact was, what was exchanged. however, in some of the phones that they have recovered from the rioters, they found that they were also discussing between each other, rioters -- to rioters, discussing their association with congress members. so that is something still certainly authorities are trying to figure out. what does this all mean. one law enforcement official speaking to my colleague, evan perez, who's been reporting on this, says that there's certainly smoke here. and now investigators are going to work to try to figure out exactly what all of this means. again, important to stress, it doesn't necessarily mean that any of the congress members did anything wrong, but certainly, this has authorities asking questions. john? >> all right. thank you very much, shimon. joining us now, democratic
congressman, john garamendi of california. what's your reaction to this news that investigators are looking into contacts between some republican congress members and the people who invaded the capitol? >> i'm not at all surprised. all you need to do is take a look at the rally before. three members of congress were down there encouraging the mob to be violent. in one case, one of our colleagues wanted to make sure that asses were kicked. so i'm not at all surprised. >> how surprised would you be if it does turn up that there was a level of coordination between either the members themselves or the staffs and the people who took over the capitol? >> they ought to be thrown out of congress. and if it's a prosecution is warranted, they ought to be prosecuted. this was a violent attack on people. i've seen a lot of things in my life, but i've never seen such a violent mob attacking police. and if any member of congress was involved in any way, to encourage or enable that, a, they ought to be thrown out of congress, and if appropriate,
they ought to be charged with a crime. >> do you think they'll be able to prove it at this point? >> i have no idea. but i do know they were down at the rally, encouraging the mob to engage. >> zoe loftgren, congresswoman also from california, she posted some research that she gathered, a social media post from republican members of congress, just to make the point, the type of things they were saying up around the allegation. paul gosar, she put up tweets from him and he was saying things like sedition and treason for stealing votes is appropriate, stop the steal, 2021. you know, biden should concede. i want his concession on my desk tomorrow. what do these tweets tell you? >> well, that's just one example. certainly, mr. gosar was tweeting and saying things and at the rally, just hours or an hour before the mob was attacking the capitol, members of congress were down there encouraging, encouraging all of them to engage with language
that was clearly, in my view, intended to rally the mob to go to the capitol and to engage here and to stop, as they said, stop the steal. how do you stop the steal? you stop the congress, the senate from carrying out his constitutional responsibility of affirming the selection of the president. that's how you stop the process. and that's precisely what they tried to do. they tried to overtake the democratic process and keep trump in power. is that sedition? i think it is. >> i want to go from burning bridges to building bridges, quite literally. >> good. let's do that. >> you were part of a bipartisan group of members who met with the president yesterday on infrastructure. it does feel like infrastructure week might happen, for real, finally. what was discussed? >> well, it was a terrific opportunity for democrats and for republicans to meet with the president. the president clearly wants to do an infrastructure bill.
he talked about it through the campaign. his third day as president, he issued an executive order that said, we must use the taxpayer money to buy american-made products. he's followed up on that with additional executive orders and now beginning the process of engaging in the infrastructure discussion. he wants us to build back better. he, in that meeting, laid out a vision for america about a modern american infrastructure, whether it's sanitation systems, water systems, bridges, roads, trains, planes. he laid it all out and said, this can be america. we can create jobs. it was a very visionary and all along, he called for bipartisanship and he wove into it, i think very adroitly, the climate issue, that you can't build yesterday's infrastructure. you've got to build infrastructure taking into account climate change and reduction of carbon emissions along the way.
he was right on the game. vice president harris was there. and buttigieg. eight members of congress, four democrats, four republicans. it was a very, very important meeting. >> so infrastructure has always been seen as this thing that might be able to actually get votes from both parties. but i do wonder, based on the evidence we've seen since january 20th, about what republicans haven't been willing to vote for, you can't get any republican votes for some of the things you're putting through. why will infrastructure be any different? >> well, this is -- this cuts across all political lines and cuts across every part of the american economy. if we actually do these things, there will be millions of jobs created in every community around the nation and every community will benefit. and if we carry out the president's desire that we use american taxpayer dollars to buy american-made goods and services, then that will also
generate more jobs throughout the economy. and what happened at that meeting was really something very, very important. the republican members of congress actually said that we need to raise tax money in order to do this. one member suggested that there be a carbon tax and that money be used for infrastructure. and i'm going, yeah. let's get this discussion going. and of course, peter defazio, the chairman of the committee, has for a long time advocated for ways of using the federal excise tax, bringing it back up to what it has been, it's been more than two decades before that has been raised. and we need to also move to the reality that electric cars don't buy gasoline. so how do we deal with that? that was just a preliminary discussion. but it was discussed. and that gives us a foundation upon which we can build. but let's understand, we've got to get this rescue bill done, because that will crush the virus and the package will then
allow the american economy and people to be stable. and that is the foundation upon which we would then build the infrastructure. >> it's in the senate's hands, the relief bill is right now. congressman garamendi, thanks so much for being with us today. >> it's good to be with you. >> one of the women accusing new york governor andrew cuomo of sexual harassment, charlotte bennett, is speaking out on television. you'll hear her in her own words, next. ♪ ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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breaking overnight, explosive reports by "the new york times" and "wall street journal" concerning coronavirus deaths in new york nursing homes. top aides to governor andrew cuomo allegedly altered a report to hide the true number of nursing home deaths from coronavirus. cnn's athena jones live in albany with the latest on this report. >> reporter: good morning, john.
"the new york times" spoke to six people with direct knowledge. this all started with the report last summer by the state's department of health focusing on covid-19 deaths in long-term care facilities. now, the original report, which was not public at the time listed the number of nursing home deaths at nearly 10,000. but as it turned out, the state did not end up counting nursing home deaths if those people had been transferred to hospitals, as their condition worsened and they died there. "the times" and "the wall street journal" say senior aides rewrote the report, cutting the number of deaths nearly in half, going along the lines of just where they died. the tension over the death count dated to march of last year, when the governor issued an order preventing long-term care facilities from turning away people who had been discharged from hospitals, after being diagnosed with covid-19 and treat there had with covid-19. critics say that order fueled the spread of the virus in those facilities. cuomo has said he was following
federal guidelines and if nursing homes were not equipped to safely handle patients, they should not have been accepted back into those facilities. now, in response to the reports overnight, the special counsel to governor cuomo said the out of facility data was omitted after doh, the department of health, could not confirm it had been adequately verified. this did not change the conclusion of the report, is that the march 25th order was not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities. the state's health department also said, while early versions of the report included out of facility deaths, the covid task force was not satisfied that the data had been verified against hospital data, so the final report used only data for in-facility deaths, which was disclosed in the report. doh was comfortable with the final report and believes fully in its conclusion that the primary driver that introduced covid into the nursing homes was spread, brought in by staff. a state attorney general report back in january found the number of deaths was severely
undercounted by almost 50%, prompting governor cuomo to release the complete data in the past few weeks. at the time, he claimed that data had been withheld because of an investigation by the trump administration. cuomo has said he regrets the way this was handled and should have done a better job in handling the information. the fbi and the u.s. attorney's office in brooklyn are also investigating the handling of that covid-19 nursing home data. alisyn? >> athena, thank you very much for bringing us all of that breaking news. we know you'll continue to work your sources and bring us anything new. let's bring in right now cnn legal analyst, jennifer rogers, and cnn political commentator, errol louis. let's start right there with the breaking news from athena. so this public report was altered and the number -- the death count was lowered. you just heard athena and the general counsel for the governor try to give the rationale. what does all of this mean politically? >> what it means politically is that we've got a change in what
we'd first been told by the administration of the last version of the story, was that the numbers were changed in august, because there was a lot of pressure from the trump administration and some of it was ill-intentioned, or so the cuomo administration said. and that they, therefore, wanted to sit on the data and work it a little bit more and not give the trump administration an excuse to come after them, politically or legally. it now changes that timeline and makes clear that pretty early on, there were qualified health officials who had one set of data and that it was non-medical, non-public health, frankly political staff close to the governor who specifically took out the information. not because they were under any pressure from the trump administration, not really for any reason that we have been able to determine so far. and it really sort of makes clear that this administration has been moving around its rationale for what has been a very troubling set of developments, hiding public information from the public. >> and legally speaking,
jennifer, what did you think of the argument from the counsel there that the reason these numbers were changed was because the department of health could not verify the number of out of-facility deaths? >> well, we'll have to see what federal officials and others make of that excuse, but errol's right. you know, it's so often the cover-up. once you start having shifting explanations for why things are done, that doesn't look good to investigators. and you know, it just brings to mind what happened last year, alisyn, with the trump administration and the cdc, you know, manipulating data, scientific data for political purposes. it's not good, especially coming on top of this double whammy of the sexual harassment allegations. the cuomo administration is in trouble here. >> as you point out, this is happening at the very tame time that these allegations of sexual harassment are happening and one of the accusers, charlotte bennett, has now come forward in this sit-down interview, television interview with cbs' nora o'donnell. we want to play a large chunk of
it for you. >> you have been quoted as saying that he also asked you about if you'd ever been with an older man. >> yeah, he asked me if age difference mattered. he also explained that he was fine with anyone over 22. >> and how old are you? >> 25. >> what were you thinking as he's asking you these questions? >> i thought, he's trying to sleep with me. the governor is trying to sleep with me. >> why did you feel shame? >> i feel like people put the onus on the woman to shut that conversation down. and by answering, i was somehow engaging in that or enabling it. when, in fact, i was just terrified. >> people will watch this and say, why didn't you get up and leave? >> it didn't feel like i had a
choice. >> he's your boss. >> he's my boss. he's everyone's boss. >> so jennifer, we had read the reports of her accusations earlier this week. but now seeing her and hearing her, in her own words, does, you know, sometimes change the impressions that people get. legally, where do you think we are with this? >> well, we know that there is going to be an investigation. and the investigators, of course, are going to speak to miss bennett. they're going to speak to governor cuomo. and they're going to speak to lindsey boylan, the other accuser, the state employee who came forward first. they're going to have to sort out what happened here. and what's interesting is miss bennett is adding additional detail. she seemed very credible to me. she wasn't under oath or anything in her interview, but she's a very good witness. governor cuomo has effectively admitted having inappropriate conversations with her, but he hasn't admitted to the unwanted touching and kiss that lindsey boylan alleged. so the investigators will have to sort that discrepancy out. and there's also the issue of the cover-up. we know that miss bennett was
moved. there is reporting that they didn't take the proper steps to notify the proper personnel about about moving her, about her complaint and doing an investigation. so that's going to be a big issue for investigators, too, as they figure out what happened and whether there was corruption and a cover-up in addition to possible harassment. >> errol, this has been a fast-moving story all week. politically speaking, having her on camera, speak on the record, does this change things? >> it does. it makes it clearer, i think, for a lot of people, that they're going to have to wait and see. because what you basically had was, he said/she said, the governor one day, nearly in tears, acknowledging that a conversation took place, but saying that he meant no harm. and the very next day, charlotte bennett coming forward and saying, no, there was harm. and she gives her version of it. in the meantime, i spoke with the senate majority leader just
yesterday as a matter of fact, and she hasn't spoken to the governor in a couple of weeks. we're three weeks away from a really important budget, pandemic-induced deficit that has to get solved. a lot of real serious questions. we've got lots and lots of people who are on bread lines who are waiting for food assistance, who are waiting for businesses to reopen. a lot of important stuff is just not happening. and so in effect, the state government slowly but surely coming to a halt as these overlapping questions continue to take up all of the time of the people at the top. >> that's really important context. errol louis, jennifer rogers, thank you both very much. so age is no barrier to getting a coronavirus shot in at least one community in the united states. we'll take you there. and how it's working out, next
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so imagine the day when virtually everyone around you is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. in one arizona county, that day is now. cnn's kyung lah has the story. >> reporter: hilah county, arizona, population 54,000. just 90 minutes east of phoenix is a glimpse into america's vaccine future. >> that's it. >> reporter: kevin cane, age 24, a new father. >> easy peasy. >> reporter: like everyone 18 and older in the county can get the moderna vaccine. >> feels great. you know, feels like i can actually move on with my life when this is thing is over. >> reporter: it's been tough worrying about covid-19 working as a pizza chef. >> without the vaccine, i notice we were down 30%, 40% on the business. >> reporter: today, 37% of eligible resident here's have been vaccinated with their first dose, a number climbing by the day. >> my second shot was last
friday. >> do you notice that people look different and feel different? >> dining out more. knowing that there's a vaccine out there. there's a lot of hope. >> reporter: how did they do it? >> we set up the pandemic exactly like what we would do during our fire season. >> reporter: this is that incident command run to handle a disaster. >> my background is in emergency management. before that in law enforcement. >> so you're a former cop? >> i am. >> reporter: rapidly communicate with the entire county just as they would during an emergency to relay news about mass vaccination sites. >> today we have only two positive cases. we're about a month ago we were up to 60 a day. it's a load off our shoulders. it's a tremendous amount of stress just going away all at once. and it feels good. >> this is our vaccine freezer. and these are our two vaccine refrigerators. >> you can take care of then people with this vial? >> yes. >> right now 20 doses in this
box. >> 20 lives. >> 20. >> reporter: the county says having enough vaccine supply and getting doses into arms is easier when your population is as small as this county. but progress isn't without problems. >> we are seeing a hesitancy, especially with the younger population. >> is that one of the biggest challenges going forward is hesitancy? >> i really do believe it is. >> reporter: but the county forges on. >> is this your first one? >> it is indeed. >> reporter: reaching so many that paul miller who works in the county but lives in tucson can get the vaccine and picture hugging his parents again. >> done. haven't seen them in a year. i've got a 2-year-old at home and they haven't seen their granddaughter in a year. and so it's one step closer to going and seeing them. >> reporter: as a reminder, vaccine goes to the states. states distribute to the counties. if you live in a large complex county it is going to take longer. access and timing, it will depend on very much where you
live. that's why here at the regional center they are able to schedule a full day of second doses of the vaccine. kyung lah, cnn, arizona. let's bring in dr. ashish jha, dean of the brown university school of public health. i wish i lived in that county. that is so lucky for everybody who lives there, dr. jha. and every state, it seems, is trying a different approach to how they give the vaccines out. there are using the co-morbidities. some like new jersey if you've ever been a smoker, you get the vaccine right now. i don't know anybody in new jersey who hasn't been a smoker. then some places like connecticut where it's based on age. if you are just above 55, regardless of your health situation or co-morbidities, you can get it. do we know scientifically which approach works best? >> first of all, good morning. thanks for having me on. there are a couple of things that are important.
one is simplicity is really helpful for moving vaccines out faster. and actually being more equitable because complex rules make it hard for people who are disadvantaged. but the second is we know who is at risk for the -- for having complications. that's older people, people with co-morbidities. some of the standout states like connecticut, new mexico, west virginia, really have prioritized age first and that strikes me as probably the most reasonable way to go. it's probably the best way to get the most number of people made safe as quickly as possible. >> you like seeing stories like kyung's because it's a success story for vaccines. it gives people a reason to go get the shots. and along those lines, we're waiting on the cdc guidance for what people can do when they are fully vaccinated. and our sense is it's going to be fairly tepid or limited guidance about what they can do. what would you like to see from the cdc. if it were up to you, dr. jha's guidance for americans on how to behave if everyone is
vaccinated, what would you say? >> yeah, well, i'll tell you what i believe the science is. and the science is that when you have two vaccinated people spending time together, it's pretty close to normal. you don't have to be wearing masks. you can be getting together for meals, and it's very, very safe. there are some more subtleties around vaccinated people with unvaccinated people. i'd like to see some cdc guidance on that. but mostly i'd like the thrust of this to be enthusiasm. these are terrific vaccines. and when you get vaccinated, it allows you to do a lot more things safely. especially when you're in the company of other people who are vaccinated. >> okay. then help us understand what detroit's mayor was doing, where they were going to get an allotment of johnson & johnson vaccine, which he basically turned away. here's his reasoning. johnson & johnson is a very good vaccine. moderna and pfizer are the best. am i going to do everything i can to make sure the residents of the city of detroit -- and i'm going to do everything i can to make sure the residents of the city of detroit get the
best. is now any time to be, you know, turning your nose up at an offer of any vaccine? >> well, first of all, i disagree with the premise of that idea that somehow the johnson & johnson vaccine is inferior. i don't buy it. it's a far more nuanced spector than that. the bottom line that i say, would i be comfortable with my family, my loved ones getting the johnson & johnson vaccine? absolutely. it's a terrific vaccine. i think we get confused by these headline numbers of efficacy. apples to oranges. these are really good vaccines. i think people should just get them when it's their turn and not try to parse out which one might be better for you. >> so dr. jha, dr. fauci yesterday put a marker on the level that he thinks the country needs to get to in order to start feeling like you can lift some of these restrictions like the mask mandates. he said 10,000 cases a day. we're at 65,000 today. we're at 65,000 today. he said we need to be around
10,000 cases a day. how reasonable of a marker is that? >> i think that's pretty reasonable. if you think about it, 10,000 cases a day, we're still going to have 100, 200 people dying almost every day. that's still a good amount of suffering and illness, and the reason why that's a pretty reasonable marker is i think we can get there when we have broad proportion of the population vaccinated. doesn't mean we have to wait that long to relax any restrictions but mask mandates are not that costly. not disruptive to business. we should absolutely keep them in until we get infection numbers much lower. >> governor jim justice, republican of west virginia, agrees with you. here is what he said. >> we're going to do the smart thing in west virginia. we're not going to do the thing that's just politically correct. i don't know what the big rush to get rid of the mask is because these masks have saved a lot of lives. >> how can we still be having mask debates?
what's the big restriction on your personal freedom to wear a mask when you go outside to protect other people? >> yeah, you know, as we know, this just got horribly politicized in ways that are totally unnecessary. we have lots of things we do for public health. we wear seat belts, don't drink and drive. i guess those people can argue are infringements to freedom. we do them because it's good for us and good for other people. masks are so simple. we're close to a point where we can safely get rid of the mask mandate. this is not the time to do it. let's wait until more people are vaccinate and especially high-risk people are vaccinated. >> dr. ashish jha, thanks for being with us. i'd be sad if you moved to arizona. i think i would be. >> you would? >> maybe a long vacation. maybe a long vacation. >> that's what i'll do. i wonder if i could get a vaccine if i just took a vacation there. i'm going to find out. thank you very much. "new day" continues right now.
>> the white house is making one final push to pass the covid relief bill through the senate. over the objections of republicans. >> all i'm trying to do is make this more dlibrative process. >> more states rolling back covid-19 safety measures. >> i will not keep the mask order in effect. >> they prevent disease and death. >> on average more than 2 million doses now going into american arms every day. >> if we continue to vaccinate more and more and more, we'll get rid of the mask. but i don't know really what the big rush is. >> this is "new day," with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day." $1.9 trillion of relief, $1400 checks to millions of americans, something that 62% of americans say they want. today, the senate begins debate on the relief bill. and debate is good if you have an argument against it, have at it. is it targeted enough?
is it too much money going to the wrong places? debate it. instead, overnight, that debate had to wait for storytime. republican senator ron johnson demanded that the 628-page bill be read out loud. it took 11 hours. we also have new reporting on how republicans intend to gum up the works even more today. >> to be clear, he didn't read it out loud. he delegated that. >> interestingly enough, though, he had to be in the room the whole time. if he didn't then someone could object to and stop the reading. so he has some stamina. >> good to know. also, federal investigators are examining the communications between members of congress and capitol rioters to see whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists. at this point, investigators say they have no evidence that members of congress knowingly aided or were involved in the insurrection, but the investigation continues. lauren fox is on capitol hill with our top story. lauren? >> good morning, alisyn. ten hours and