tv Washington Journal 01102022 CSPAN January 10, 2022 6:59am-10:06am EST
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between the u.s. and russia over ukraine and the future of nato. during the conversation with your phone calls, texts, facebook comments, and tweets on washington journal. ♪ host: good morning, everyone. as lawmakers prepared to return to washington, the debate over school is following them to the nation's capital. how to respond to the omicron surge. more than one million of the 50 million public schools were affected by shutdowns this year already, according to the new york times. around the country, 5200 schools shifted to remote learning were closed during the first week of january.
we want to give you the opportunity to tell lawmakers how your schools are responding to the omicron surge. parents and grandfathers call in at (202) 748-8000. educators at (202) 748-8001. all others can call in at (202) 748-8002. you can also go to facebook or tweet us at our handle. let's begin with yesterday's sunday show. this is what was said when she was asked, what she was saying to the school districts that have recently closed in response to this new variant. >> the situation in chicago, they have not found a solution.
it will be closed for a fourth day, monday. they are not alone. they have found more than 5000 schools currently closed due to covid. what do you tell them, these school districts? >> i want to remind people that in the fall of this year, we had a delta surge. this was before pediatric vaccination. every jurisdiction is going to have to make these decisions locally. the most important thing we can do is to get our kids vaccinated and our teachers vaccinated. to practice all those strategies that have been proven to work.
all of those things have been proven to work. host: we are asking you to tell washington how your school is reacting. is there mask policies or testing on site? the doctor was on face the nation. here is what he had to say about the transmissibility of this variant. >> you are very clear last sunday that you will not be protected if you wear a cloth mask.
does the 15 minutes at six feet of distance mean any thing? if you are walking down the street, passing someone by, will not expose you just the same? >> i do not think an outside vetting represents the same amount of risk. your risk is binary. you could have a casual encounter or a prolonged encounter. about 15 minutes of cumulative exposure, six feet of distance -- they are trying to gauge where the highest risk of exposure occurs. it occurs in confined settings, but with an airborne illness like that, it does not matter if you are six feet or 10 feet. host: dr. scott leave on face the nation yesterday. does that concern you about what
you heard? is your school responding by having better air filters in the building? we want to hear from you this morning. >> thank you for having me. i think that the schools should be open and children should be in person in schools. that is my opinion. i think we should not be afraid of a virus because this depends on our future. i do not think we should be closing schools. host: are the schools in brooklyn close? caller: no, they are not. we have our new mayor and we
want the schools open. we want the children to engage with the teachers. we want them to have the ability to bring their children to school. schools are open. we thank them for their input. host: what is it like, testing for kids? caller: i do know in brooklyn, that we have -- that is the reason why we want the schools to be open. not only that, we are very inclusive. we want children in school. i'm not certain what the testing will be like, but i'm sure the mayor is engaging in that aspect of it.
if we lose that future, we will not be able to get anything back. host: this is up to the local officials in your community, so what decisions are they making? let us know. we want to hear from you. you have seen the headlines of what is happening in chicago. here is what betsy pringle had to say about schools returning to virtual learning. >> is there a scenario that you could envision, where if a certain amount of caseload happens, you would recommend schools going back to a remote criteria?
>> listen to the infectious disease experts and bring together the people who are closest to their students and communities. they have to collaborate, communicate and they need contingency plans. we saw them doing that before the holiday. they did not know what the impact of omicron would be in their area. community by community, the spread varies. they have to have contingency plans in place. we have got to make sure that learning continues, even if we realize that the infection rate is too high to bring them together or we have 70 educators who have covid that we cannot
bring them in for in person learning, but we want to figure out how we minimize those disruptions, bring equitable access to learning. that requires comprehensive contingency plans. host: you heard her talking about trying to avoid school shutdowns. they were largely due to covid-19 cases among staff. wondering how your schools are responding to the latest surge. good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that i fully believe that kids should be in school. i believe in kids being in
school. at the same time, teachers and staff, if you do not have the teachers to teach in the classroom, how can the kids be in there? i am hearing what is going on. last week there was a teacher teaching two classes at the same time. you cannot put both classes in the same room. those instructors are being pulled teach in other classrooms or you have a plan that is not being followed. there are all sorts of issues. i feel like this aspect of not being in the classroom at this
moment has a different twist or flavor than last year, when we were just trying to keep everybody safe. host: so you think that this is in the short term. caller: i hope so. but omicron is short-term. there are teachers who cannot be in the classroom. my partner teaches. host: what is the policy for teachers in the school? caller: i feel bad. the kids have to be grouped into one group. in the case of my partner's classroom, for second grade, one person teaches the math curriculum and the other teachers teach the reading
curriculum. they are testing their ability of reading. i will not come across as well, but i feel like there are some inequities in there. i lost your question in there. caller: as a teacher, if you come down with covid-19, what do you have to do for the school? what are they saying to the teachers? caller: the teachers are not mandated for testing. they are given the take-home test and it is up to them if they want to report a, but if they do report a positive test case, they have to stay home. if they test positive, kids have to stay home.
some towns do different testing. some do where you test a bunch of kids at once and if one comes back positive, you have to teach -- test them individually. host: that is a debate that lawmakers behind us have been talking about, test to stay. if a child is exposed, they should be able to stay in school , not have to go home and isolate. let me go to tom. good morning to you. caller: i wanted to bring in another aspect for consideration. i drove a school bus in south carolina for years. in that yellow to, when i was
driving, we would get 50 to 60 kids on the bus in the morning. nothing is done for the poor bus driver come up to protect the bus driver. much of the student population is transported by school buses every day, so if you have a school with 2000 students come about 1000 of those will be on school buses every day. once you get all those kids on the school bus and start driving them home, you are in an enclosed environment, and nothing is done to protect anybody on that bus, absolutely nothing. i wanted to bring that aspect up. if you do not have half the
school population come to school -- we have to do something about the very elementary elements of this problem. it is getting the kids to and from school, every day. host: anecdotally, i have heard that bus drivers i getting covid. they have had to cancel bus routes. parents are not only then juggling a job, but trying to figure out how to get the kids to campus. what is your reaction to that? caller: from my experience, i have not been driving for a few years now, but from my experience, we would pick up the kids in the morning and take
them to school and sometimes -- i remember one elementary child input on my bus one morning, and i will say this as gently as i can, but during the ride to school, he had an accident in his clothes. we all had to deal with that, that morning. 65 kids on that bus and we all had to deal with that. this is just something that school districts have to look at. half of them have to ride on that tube every day. host: good morning. how old are your kids? caller: my kids are eight and
six. host: how is your school responding? caller: very haphazardly. they initially rolled out a color-coded system where a certain percentage of the school tested positive over two weeks and they would be carded red, yellow or green. if you are in the red, they would consider closing down. they realized that was a big problem because half the system was going to be shut down. they backtracked because it was not going to work for a functional school system. now they are taking it on a mostly case-by-case basis. there is a huge staffing shortage problem.
students still have to quarantine for 10 days. the staffing shortages are a real problem, but there is a lot of pressure in the community to close down for a temporary period of two weeks. a lot of people do not believe that the school system has any ability or political will to open back up. it is a mess out there. host: how is politics impacting that? caller: i think our politicians are being put -- policymakers are being put into a difficult situation. i can speak for myself.
i talked to a lot of parents and there is a very frightened population out there. a lot of policymakers are either not properly explaining the relative risks and appropriate balancing that has to come with keeping schools open. montgomery county is probably the highest vaccinated county in the u.s. it is not mandated. even voluntary compliance is very high. people are still so frightened. i think it comes from the media and a lack of leadership. there is a lot of pressure to close schools down again.
our school board and locally elected leaders -- they really have not properly spoken to the public and leveled with parents to simply say, we need to start reckoning with the fact that the virus will be here forever and you can get vaccinated. there are good very punic coming online, and you have to accept that there will be some risk going to school in the future. we have not heard any messages like that in montgomery county. the school system has reflected that. host: to the kids have to wear a mask? and the teachers? caller: they absolutely have to wear a mask. i understand that there are
different views about it for a special needs kids in particular and young kids, that is extremely difficult to wear one of those masks for eight hours a day. teachers are not being provided good quality n95 masks, and they are not being provided regularly. they had to dig into their own pockets to pay for that. teachers are being put into a difficult situation. they are not to blame. we cannot keep putting the burden -- we cannot keep putting the anxiety of adults on children. unfortunately, that is the way it has been in my county. host: a parent of young kids there. the professor of pediatrics and
the hill notice -- newspaper is quoted as saying, if you have masking in your school district, you do not have a good medical reason to close schools, unless you cannot have enough adults in the building. if you stayed open in the winter of 2018, you should be open in the winter of 2020. do you agree or disagree with that? a parent in baltimore. how are they responding? caller: the schools in baltimore are just like that last guy. he hit it dead on. it has really affected everybody . i have a 12-year-old. we are on remote learning right
now. when the virus first came, the first thing governor hogan did was close all the schools down, which was the right thing to do. the adults were suffering pretty bad. once the summertime came and the numbers got low, everybody forgot that it is more present in the winter than in the summer. they allowed children not to wear a mask. now you are wondering why you have all these children sick. the children are sick because they were allowed to go out to kings dominion, waterworld and all that during the summer. every time it gets warm, they make you feel like we are turning a curve. host: is it an option at your school that you can go to school
or stay at home? caller: this is the thing. the guy who is just on probably knows this. in maryland, they allow 3000 children to do distant learning. parents started protesting. more people wanted their kids to go to school, but there were more people who wanted their kids to stay home. there is a medical option. if you take your child to the doctor, if they have asthma or anything like that, the doctor can sign a form and your child will be placed -- if you not know anything about it, we want you to bring your children to school. it is the craziest thing. if your child has a fever and you call the school to tell them that they are sick -- but if you
do not send your child to school, they will send somebody to your house. what do you do? they do not even want to see them. if a child is healthy, they went to bring them in. host: i am going to sylvia, who is a. . -- a grandparent. caller: they are doing very well. they have to wash their hands all the time. they are six feet apart in the classrooms. before christmas, to see santa claus, they had vaccination groups to come in to offer vaccinations.
they are trying to educate the parents a little bit more. testing, testing all the time. if your child is sick, do not send them to school. i have my mother here who is almost 90 and i wanted my grandchild to be vaccinated. i feel like if we take the politics away, more people will be vaccinated. host: a debate over schools and whether they should be remote or close down. wall street journal says, reigniting political messaging on the virus. party officials seeing democrat records on covid-19 education policy, giving them an opening
to sway voters in the midterm. it goes on to say that democrats say there -- they are on track. vaccinations are now available to teachers and students. the law passed in march included $130 billion for schools to improve ventilation. using testing at your school? have you seen those changes take place in your school? college and universities, if you are a student or educator, call in this morning. we want to know how colleges and universities are responding as well. mark in oklahoma.
good morning. caller: good morning. in oklahoma, they do not use masks. in the cities, they knew. do you think these vaccines really work? host: what do you think? what is the point you are making? caller: it seems like the medical industry is a pyramid scheme. they wanted these vaccines to work, but now they do not. the only thing they are hoping for is a placebo effect. people are going to feel confident, if they believe in these vaccines to go out. even if they do not think they will work.
instead of all this nonsense, they should say, we have 2000 people -- this many were vaccinated and this many were not. the medical industry is a pyramid scheme. this guy used to set up on stage and he would -- that is [indiscernible] they know this is not work. i wish the vaccines did work. i am a vaccinated person. host: all right. i want to share with you
something from the wall street journal. it is an opinion piece about what mark is saying about perhaps these vaccines did not work. as of january 1, omicron represented 95% of u.s. cases. some of omicron's -- more than 30 mutations are to the spike protein used by the existing vaccine and because they have been outbreaks in heavily vaccinated populations, sanctus are concerned. we do not know yet how well available vaccines and medications work against it. what do you think your schools should do during this omicron surge? bernie in louisville, kentucky.
how are schools responding? caller: i work at the university. there has been a lot of talk about higher education. we kind of live in a fact waste scenario. we do not really put any stock in opinions. as far as our students go, everybody is complying. there are signs everywhere and these are not children but young adults. in order to graduate, we have to abide by certain rules. faculty and staff is at 91% vaccinated.
i think we are going to go ahead and stick with the science and hope that everybody stays well. host: is there any testing policy on campus? caller: sure. there are testing facilities everywhere. you can get tested almost anytime of the day. we have a campus downtown -- we have several campuses around the city. there are several places you can get tested. for faculty and staff, you need to get tested. once you have been vaccinated, once you feel you have come into contact with somebody who has had the virus, it does not cost a dime and it is convenient. host: many of you are aware of
the headlines of what is going on in chicago with the dispute of the teachers union. schools have shut down. the third largest school district in the nation. on meet the press, lori expressed her views on the decision to walk out and protest. clinics someways what is happening in chicago is what is happening in a lot of communities and cities. will kids be in school in chicago this week? >> i am doing everything that i can to make sure that happens. what they did was an illegal walkout. we are working diligently every single day to narrow differences. i have seen this every single day.
they were at it yesterday. fundamentally, what we cannot do is abandon the science. we know that the safest place for kids to be is in school. if we spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make our school safe, they are safe. we have to get the teachers unions getting real and getting serious about getting back into in person learning. host: the miami mayor, who is newly elected was asked about the teacher's strike and teacher's responsibility to children. >> i would like you to weigh in on the situation in chicago. classes verse -- classes were
canceled. they said we are not going to bob parents of their right. it is not going to happen, it is morally wrong. some parents are suing the union. what is your take on all of this? >> in florida, we have done everything we can to keep schools open. we feel like the risk is extremely low and it is important for kids to have as much normalcy as possible, to be in a social setting with a friend, to get educated -- these are the building blocks of the future. for me, it is a tremendous concern when you see schools being closed. and made every effort to keep schools open and they want schools open, so they should be open. host: we are talking about
schools in the country as many of them have shut down because of the omicron variant. questions about how to handle this could come up at the hearing. they will be appearing along with other officials before a committee on capitol hill. we will have live coverage of that on c-span3, and on our website. you can download it with our new c-span video. it is called c-span now. lori, and educator. what do you teach? caller: i teach chemistry in our public schools district. what -- host: you broke up there. what grade? caller: fourth grade. host: how is your school responding to the omicron
variant? caller: there has been a change since covid first started. we still have social distancing to appoint, but as far as right now there are requirements. we have had quite a lot of staff out. it has been hard to find substitutes. we have had to combine classes. that is basically my comment. i think something that would help -- i think the school i teach at does a good job at this, but the biggest thing is keeping parents and teachers informed. i saw your piece on the chicago strike. one thing i did not hear was about the well-being of the teachers.
just to consider the health of the teachers and the students when they make these decisions and keep us informed. host: if a teacher gets covid at your school, how long are you out for? how long are kids supposed to stay out for? caller: i teach at a native american reservation and they have different standards that are a little bit longer, for if a student is exposed. host: the native american communities can set their own policies, and they may differ from the schools policies? correct? caller: correct. it is somewhat more strick -- strict than ours. they provided vaccination clinics, and testing -- it has
been a positive thing. if a child that is a native student needs to be quarantined, it will be longer. host: it's lori -- lori and wisconsin. thank you for calling in. sharon in maryland. she is a grandparent. how old are your grandkids? caller: yes. how are you doing today? i am a grandparent and i was calling -- my grandchildren were in school. a couple students had tested positive for the covid. now we have omicron. people just have to use their minds and their brains. this virus wants to kill.
there is no discrimination. it is going to ravage your body. and children who have underlying conditions -- everybody has to get vaccinated, so we can clear up this stuff. it will not ever go away, until we have grown adults that have children -- i sure love my grandkids and they are some good, smart kids. they came through good with flying colors and did well. i made sure my family was vaccinated, every last one of them. so we could be together as a family. these people out here are arguing over dumb, stupid stuff about their children. you love your children, you get vaccinated. the younger ones that cannot get vaccinated, think about them because they are not a joke. they are -- are not adults.
they are children. you are not using your brain. it does not make sense. host: i am going to go to diane and to part. what do you teach? caller: hello. i teach middle school. i have taught for 28 years in central florida. i had a couple things that i wanted to say. i want to thank governor desantis. i think he is doing an excellent job. he was on tv last night. i really like what he is doing in florida. host: for those who do not know, what is he doing? caller: i will let you listen to that. he can say it better than i can. i wanted to say two things to
parents of middle schoolers because that is my expertise. there are two resources that i want to point them to come in case you have a student who is home. they do not have to go without. i am concerned about the reading levels of the children. i do not want them to miss out on reading. books, i teach science, but it shows up in every subject area. books still work. they work well. you do not have to rely on the internet. i am not getting any commission on this. there is a set of books called the complete and look school student, everything that you need to ace. they had different subjects and pretty much follow the school
standards. it is an excellent resource for your child. you can order it on amazon, sit with your child and read. i taught algebra and chemistry. i cannot stress the importance of the reading ability. the second thing i want to point to, especially for the middle schoolers -- again, i am not getting a commission. a family plan for brain pop. it is a video series and the content is very clear, very well presented. it has a little quiz at the end and little activities, but i like videos because of the content and i like the quiz can't -- questions at the end. it is very clear about science, math -- a wide variety.
i wanted to give those resources to parents who maybe have children at home. i do not want our kids to fall too far behind. they do not have two. yet them to read. if they can read, they will be ok. host: carol in new jersey. a grandparent. caller: what i was calling in reference to, my children went to school in philadelphia, but the philadelphia school system has failed. the school that my daughters went to is at least 100 years old. they shut it down because of asbestos, then they had a ventilation problem, and the school is still open. they have a right to say that they do not want to internet school. the problem is in chicago and
philadelphia. they do not care. they go in, leave, and they have no interest in the community, whatsoever. the system is completely broken. i know friends and relatives who have all taken their children at philadelphia schools. host: where are they going? are they moving to other areas? caller: even other states. other areas of the state, they are going to delaware county -- they go to different areas. different states and from communities. host: christopher in south carolina. in morning and thank you for calling in. let me try that one more time. christopher? caller: hello. can you hear me? good morning.
i am a high school teacher at a public school. i have lived in the south my entire life. i teach in a very poor area. this week we just went virtual because we do not have enough teachers. this is a big problem. it will be a bigger problem going forward not just because of covid because of long-term issues in the world. host: how dire is it? you do not have enough teachers. give us some numbers. caller: friday, we had about five missing teachers. it does not like a lot, but we have a staff of roughly 25 to 30 people. it apparently got worse over the weekend. i am not part of the administration, but we also had a lot of kids out. i was looking at missing on average between 15 to 30% of my
class every day over the last week. a decision was made at the upper level. we are hoping people will test negative and we can all get back to work. host: are these teachers -- they have covid, but hopefully they are asymptomatic and able to teach from home? caller: hopefully. tragically, -- we did not have anybody die. we did have a veteran teacher at the school, probably in her 50's. when the initial covid thing came through, we had all gone virtual for teachers. we would teach virtually and keep the kids in school come as best as can. she was forced to come back due to a policy. she came back and two weeks later she covid and ended up on a ventilator.
she takes care of her mother. so when people talk about, it is not going to hurt the kids, that is fine. i do not want the kids hurt by anything, but there is a world of teachers out there trying to deal with their own lives, at the same time. very briefly, i would like to say that education and -- we were already short on teachers at my school, prior to covid. we were short of c -- teachers in my state. i am tired of the apolitical punching bag. i understand not taking politics into the classroom, but politics are raining down on my head no matter what.
in 2021, teacher pay is $86,000. it is not sustainable for the amount of certification -- 30 $6,000. it is not sustainable for the amount of certification that we have to go through. entry-level pain was already $5,000. i am earning 36 thousand dollars because i have been teaching for a few years now. host: how much can you make over the years. what is your school policy? caller: i would share this with many parents listening. they are available online. most of it is by. for teachers in my state and is
around 65? but that is 28 years of teaching. they stop after so many years. if you get into teaching when you're young and do not retire until 65 -- it has been a controversy in my state, but it depends on your state and your district. host: huntington, maryland. a grandparent. caller: good morning, how are you? i have six grandkids and four that are in elementary school. two moved to jacksonville, florida. they are in school full-time. they have no required masks. kids are thriving and teachers are not required to wear a mask. if the kids are out sick, they
stay out. they inform the school. they leave a lot of freedom up to the schools and parents. one is a third grader and one is in kindergarten. i have three appear in maryland, up in howard county schools, which is a good area. the schools are open, but the kids are required to wear masks. they are doing ok. the school opens and closes but right now it is remaining open, regarding omicron. i am a substitute teacher and i and finishing my recovery from covid myself. i was teaching in the schools down here. i noticed the second graders that were in school -- they are the ones suffering the most with their reading because they lost
a full year because of the online teaching. these kids are struggling. they are all good readers. it makes a big difference. i'm just saying, i hope that the schools remain open and i hope that the restriction can end, to the point -- we are looking forward to moving to florida. the freedoms does not mean -- when they have a full mandate and everything, these schools are not helping the kids by closing down like they are in chicago and other areas. they are losing the kids. host: you said your daughter is looking forward to move to florida. is it because of the schools? caller: a lot of it has to do
with the schools and currently because of the weather. i am just saying, florida is doing really well. i do believe their governor has made some good choices for that state. people want to criticize them, but at the same time, you do not have people moving out of florida. these states are really locking down so much. they are hurting the kids and the parents. i fully believe that they need to let go. host: let me bounce this headline off of you. parents exhausted with more schools shut down. caller: there is no doubt about it. before i got covid myself,
teachers and parents were exhausted. i had so many calls. i had to pick and choose. i already tested three. i will say that the situation -- teachers are exhausted and the parents, how can they work outside the home and complain like this? last year, when my daughters were having to teach their daughters at home, it was hard. they could only do so much. i have the one grandchild that lost some of his education. even though it was online stuff, he did not like the online teaching. host: what was the hardest part
for him, the online teaching? caller: i think it was the reading. these kids should not be required to look at screens all day either. that is not a good thing. they need to play and interact with each other. when they go out to recess, at least they can take off the mask. in florida, there are no masks. you get these little surges, but they end and kids are doing fine. my one daughter, with her two kids are just doing wonderfully. host: i will leave it there. i want to share with others after scott glebe -- dr. scott's advice. advice that he would give to
parents with young children under five years old, who are not eligible for the vaccine yet , and concerns about daycare and preschool. >> what should parents do over the next two to three weeks. the unprotected are aged four and under. it is not realistic for kid -- for parents not to drop the kids off at daycare or send them to preschool. >> there is a lot of risk right now. you have to look at what the precautions are and try to encourage those taking a hit -- taking care of your children in the settings. the risk is too young children right now. they only represent 46% of the population. we are seeing a lot of possible lazy shin and those younger groups.
only 16 percent of five to 11-year-olds have been vaccinated. try to engage -- try to encourage handwashing. try to keep -- keep kids distant. the best things schools could be doing is cereal testing. also keeping them in social ponds. trying to break it down so that all the kids are not intermingling. host: doug in staten island, new york. we are talking to everybody about how schools are responding. what is it like, where you teach? caller: good morning. i do not have much time. classes will start very soon.
i just want to say to some people, i think it was jonathan swift from gulliver's travels. when i talked -- they are always talking about freedom and less government. i grew up conservative. what right do you have to come in and infect people in your surroundings because you do not want to follow policies? staten island is very conservative. we looked towards a rather trump like figure to decide what to do here. it is an unfortunate situation. we have a lot of teachers out. a lot of students are out,
especially the preschoolers. it is becoming a bit of a situation here. we are practicing the best policies. i would like to remind her that there was a report out. we do not know what the long-term consequences are. i would advise them to look at some of the hospitals in new york city, where they are opening up entire units for people with long-term covid there. also the fact that we do not understand exactlyunderstand whs virus is going to be doing in the future, and in florida, they gauge that by the time this ends, that about 80% of the people will have been infected. 70% to 80%.
that is all i have to say. have a great day. educators, keep kids in mind, do the best you can to protect them. fight for them, they are your cause against all political and other factions involved. host: the school bell is about to ring. it is 8:00 on the east coast and we are talking with teachers and educators. one last call, danny in greenville. we will return to this conversation at 8:30 eastern time. danny go ahead. caller: i just had a comment. i was trying to say i don't understand how people can allow themselves to be pitted with politics and allow their children to be affected by this virus. if you look back, let's say
about 50 to 60 years, when people were getting vaccinated for the chickenpox, measles, and different types of vaccines, it helped to curb that. now because of politics and the internet and misinformation, people are a channel -- people are choosing to allow their children or themselves to get sick and die because of allowing politics and a lot of misinformation to take -- to dictate what they do. this is what we are seeing around the world. i'm sure the science has gotten a lot better. showing how to do things differently when it comes to vaccination. i don't understand why people would even allow themselves to be in that position, where you put your children they are, knowing there is a possibility
they could die. who would do that is apparent? as a parent, you would think you would take a better chance to protect your children, to protect yourself and others. that is the thing i don't get a got -- don't get about people when it comes to politics. they allow politics to dictate what they do and they allow other individuals that give misinformation, and we know even though the internet is a good tool, look at all the misinformation, look at what it did to society. that is what is happening today. host: as we said at the top, one million of the 50 million public schools were impacted by districtwide shutdowns at the beginning of this year. wall street journal reported over 5000 public schools going to virtual learning or closed, largely due to teachers being sick and unable to get into the classroom. of course there is the political side of this.
school closures reignite political is edging on the virus. they report natalie andrews -- testing outlines of attack related to the new year school shutdowns with party officials saying the democrats record on covid-19 education policies is giving them an opening to build their war chest and sway voters in the midterms. frustrations laid a big role in republican victories last year in virginia. following a wave of to -- a wave of temporary closures nationwide, republicans are targeting what they say is democrat mismanagement of the outbreak. the wall street aren't -- the wall street article says democrats respond by saying vaccinations are available to teachers and students, with the relief law passed in march,
including $130 billion in funding for schools, it paid for reducing class kite -- class sizes, improving ventilation and gave an additional $10 billion for testing. we will return to this conversation with all of you at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. up next, both chambers of congress are back in session today after the holiday recess. bloomberg government's zach cohen will give us a preview. later, dr. joseph kanter from the association of state and territorial health officials will talk to us about this new variant. will be right back. -- we will be right back. ♪ >> this week, on the c-span networks. the senate will debate in imposing sanctions on a natural
gas pipeline involved with u.s. diplomatic efforts between russia and ukraine. senate majority leader chuck schumer also intends to work on the voting rights bill which may involve changing the senate filibuster rules. the house returns from their holiday break to take up veterans benefits legislation. on tuesday at 10:00 eastern on c-span3, dr. anthony fauci, the cdc director and other members of the covid response team appear before a senate committee to discuss the omicron variant. also on tuesday at 10:00, the senate hold the confirmation hearing for jerome powell, who president biden nominated to serve a second term as federal chair. live coverage on c-span.org and the c-span now mobile app. the senate banking committee returns thursday for a second federal reserve confirmation hearing, this one for the vice chair. they will also consider the nomination of sandra thompson to be director of the federal housing finance agency. we will have coverage of several
supreme court oral arguments. today through wednesday, live beginning at 10:00 eastern on c-span.org and the c-span now rate -- the c-span now video app. head to c-span.org for more scheduling or to stream video live or on-demand anytime. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> what is your question or comment for rush? that is how james golden, better known for over 30 years as -- would greet callers to the rush limbaugh three hour daily radio program. mr. golden has written a book about his time as call screener and official show observer and producer with the most popular radio talkshow during the past 30 years. rush limbaugh died on february 17, 2021. in his book, which golden says as a tribute to his former boss and friend, he writes about his love of radio and how the
limbaugh program came together behind the scenes. >> on this episode of footnotes plus. but notes plus is available on the c-span now app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> "washington journal" continues. host: congress is back in session this week. house lawmakers and senators are making their way to washington for the legislative week. joining us on the phone this morning to give us the highlights is zach cohen, and elections reporter with bloomberg government. what are the highlights from this week? guest: good morning. the house and senate are back in session for the first time this year. not a lot of action happening in the house. they will vote on some legislation related to nasa and veterans issues.
important issues but not necessarily headlines. the real action is in the senate where chuck schumer is hoping to bring up and at least consider legislation reforming the nation's elections and to get that done, some form of rules change because republicans are opposed to all of the elections bill that democrats have put forward at this juncture. democrats are looking at a change the senate rules that would somehow get the over -- get them over the republican filibuster. we are hoping to see more detail over the course of the week. host: is that the focus for the democratic party this week? president biden heading to georgia to talk about voting rights. guest: it is all voting rights this week. president biden is in georgia talking about it. schumer has made that a deadline of sorts to get something done. democrats have brought up elections bills in the past. the freedom to vote act was a
smaller version of the for the people act that democrats have been trying to get past for years now. then there is the john lewis voting rights advancement act which would restore parts of the voting rights act from 1965, especially the preclearance provision that was struck down by the supreme court. both of those bills have been brought up for votes and have not gotten the 60 votes needed to get over the republican filibuster in the senate, so democrats are looking at new ways to get around that blockade. host: what is the update on the president's so-called filled back better agenda and joe manchin -- so-called build back better agenda and joe manchin? guest: senator manchin basically got on fox news and said i can't vote for this bill as written. there were parts that had not even been written at that juncture, but mansion as well as -- but manchin and senator chris -- and senator sinema --
the white house trying to find some way forward for this care economy, climate change package. it does not seem like there has been much movement since then. speaker pelosi says she still thinks there is a path forward. leadership is interested in trying to get a go on it, especially with the state of the union coming up, when president biden will address a joint session of congress on march 1. in the meantime, while the build back better negotiations are somewhat on the back burner, democrats have pivoted to a voting rights debate. host: with the numbers we are seeing with the omicron variant, average daily cases around 700,000, dr. fauci saying you could see one million, is any of that impacting capitol hill and how they plan to do their business? guest: the senate bill looks
like it is continuing as usual. one of my colleagues had asked leader schumer if there is something needs to be done differently, and schumer essentially said no, we will continue asking and we will continue making sure everyone is vaccinated and the vaccination uptake rate in the senate is pretty high. over in the house, they are going to make a couple changes that are really encouraging, the use of proxy voting, one lawmaker telling another how they are going to vote and that second lawmaker declaring their vote on the floor. that is something they have been doing for months now amid the covid 19 pandemic. they are also asking that members do not congregate on the floor. it is a single indoor space with mixed use masking. on top of that, the office of the attending physician says you
are also using n95 masks because cloth masks are not sufficient for the amount of virality we are seeing from the omicron variant. open the doors a little longer, but there is only so much they can do. a lot of what congress does is in person. the rules committee is meeting any virtual format as opposed to in person. certainly there are some changes they are making. host: when you talked about the build back better agenda and senator joe manchin and his crucial vote, how are the house progressives reacting to the back and forth between the senators and the white house? guest: certainly they are frustrated. they would like to see action on this bill, it is something we've -- it is something they have been working on for months now.
not just manchin or senator kyrsten sinema, but there are parts of the bill that have not been written yet. the state and local income deduction, the amount of money that federal taxpayers can take off of their federal income burden based on how much they paid at the state and local levels. this is especially relevant in high tax states. there had not been a resolution on that front yet. who should get this benefit at the end of the day? this is an important issue for voters in new jersey whereas senator standards -- senator standards -- senator sanders was more important in making sure mostly millionaires do not get to benefit from something like this. there are a number of provisions they have to work out in the key
issue is if they can get over the hump with more moderate members. host: all of this playing out with the midterm elections looming for lawmakers. what is the lay of the land and the odds of democrats keeping their majority in the house and senate? guest: both chambers are really narrow and they have been the entire time democrats have had power in washington, at least since they got it back in early 2021. in the house we are waiting to see maps from a good chunk of the states. or that half of the states have drawn their new maps after once every decade redistricting and so far it seems to have shrunk the map a little bit. the number of competitive races is not as high as it could have been, so that might benefit democrats but that being said, given president biden's approval ratings being historically low at this point, and given the dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, that
does tend to favor the minority party, so we will see how the map shakes out and how some of these races among democrats could change and then over in the senate, you have the states not being redistricted. republicans are trying to field some competitive candidates in arizona and georgia. they will have to find candidates that are really compelling and can appeal to a general election. it is not clear that they are able to do that. host: and we learned recently that ron johnson, republican from wisconsin said he was not going to seek a third term. he changed his mind. what was the calculation? guest: i remember talking to ron johnson in 2019. when he first ran for the senate in 2010, he said he's only going
to seek two terms. that was something that was very important to him. when i talked to him in 2019, democrats had taken over the house and he told me he wasn't anticipating that and if the senate is the firewall against democratic policy which he does not like, then that might change his calculation and as we saw this weekend, he decided to seek a third term and laid out in a wall street journal op-ed, basically what he had been saying to reporters like me for a couple years now which is if the senate is the firewall against democratic governance and there was a chance or publicans could take this and again, he saw it as his responsibility or opportunity or however you want to view it, to seek that seat but democrats would like to see him run as well because they see his history on covid-19 policy and fiscal policy is being antithetical to where wisconsin
knights are at but republicans love having an incumbent running so that will be a race to watch. host: he says, i would like to retire but i think the country is in too much peril. we also know that senator johnson -- ssent -- a senator from south dakota is also going to run for reelection. is that a surprise? guest: not terribly. he's been teasing the possibility for a while. i think there was a local reporting that his wife was interested in him retiring. in 2021, when the election results of 320 were being certified for joe biden, a couple reporters asked john thune what is this objection going to do and he responded it is going to go down like a shot. then president trump didn't
appreciate hearing that from the number two republican in the senate and tried to get the south dakota governor to run in a primary against john thune. that has not played out. no one has talked about reelection and now thune is as well. he is viewed as one of the potential successors to mitch mcconnell in the senate in the event that eventually mitch mcconnell leaves the senate. that contest could be really important and obviously th une is looking to stick around for that. host: harry reid, he held both the majority and minority leap there positions -- minority positions. guest: harry reid's funeral was this weekend. president obama and president
biden and leader schumer and speaker pelosi all spoke. now reid will lie in state at the capitol. his body will lie in state in the rotunda, the sort of standing that was used for lincoln's body after he was assassinated, and he will be there for a couple of hours on wednesday and i expect we will see a few more memorial remarks for the former democratic senate majority leader, the man who helped get obama's letter slate -- legislative agenda through the senate, the affordable care act being the most high-profile of that, so definitely an important moment for members of both parties to recognize. there were a couple republicans at his funeral in las vegas. host: zachary:, we will were -- zachary cohen, we will return to
a conversation we've been having about how schools and local officials are responding to this omicron surge across the country. how do you think this is going to play out, politically on the national stage? guest: it'll be interesting to see. what is the saying, that all politics is local and that if people feel like their local effect is not being -- is not good, then maybe it could be better, if new people were in charge, you have to go back to the governor's last year in virginia. schools ended up being a really key issue in that, not just because of covid but because of this belief that teachers were teaching some radical idea that racism was baked into the american government. clearly, schools were a big issue.
you could see them pop up in local races. it is not clear to me what effect congress can have on that. there is obviously a federal department of education that can put down obligations but there is not a lot of action around school policy in congress, other than the money that was approved by congress and signed by both president trump and president biden to help schools deal with the covid surges. a lot of that money has not been spent yet so it is not clear how much they would need to sign off on but it will feel like -- but if it feels like kids are not getting the quality education they should be, they will feel that at the polls. host: 130 billion dollars was approved in the covid-19 relief law that was passed in march of 2021. zachary cohen, we appreciate the update on congress this week. guest: sure thing. host: we will take a short break. we come back, we will return to that conversation with all of you.
how are your schools responding to the omicron surge? parents and grandparents, dial in at (202)-748-8000. educators, (202)-748-8001. all others, (202)-748-8002. we will be right back. ♪ >> -- recorded conversations while in office. hear many of those conversations on the c-span podcast, presidential recordings. >> you'll hear about the 19 six 24 civil rights act, the 19 624 presidential campaign, the gulf of tonkin incident and the war in vietnam. that everybody knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson's secretaries knew because they
were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact they were the ones who made sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and there's. >> you will also hear some blunt talk. >> i want the number of reporters assigned to me. i want it right quick. if i can't go to the bathroom, i won't go. i will stay right behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings. find it now on the c-span now mobile app, or wherever you get your podcasts. >> c-span offers a variety of podcasts that have something for every listener. weekdays, washington today gives you the latest from the nation's capital and every week,
footnotes plus has in-depth interviews with writers about their latest works, while the weekly uses audio from our immense archive to look at how issues of the day developed over years, and our occasional series talking with teachers extensive conversations with historians about their lives and work. many of our television programs are also available as podcasts. you can find them all on the c-span now overlap or wherever you get your podcasts -- now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. host: how are your schools handling the omicron surge? that is the question until the top of the hour on the "washington journal" we divided the line by parents and grandparents, educators and then all others. what are the decisions like where you live, for sending kids back to school, or shutting down
schools and have them learn remotely? we want to know what is -- what it's like when -- what it is like where you live. the cdc director was asked about what she would say to the hundreds of school district have recently closed down in response to this new variant. here is what she had to say. [video clip] >> mentioning schools, the situation in chicago, they still haven't found a solution with the teachers union. it'll be closed for a fourth day. they are not alone. more than 5000 schools are currently closed for in-person instruction. there has been a lot of money given to school districts in states across the country after the covid relief bill. what do you tell these districts? >> really importantly, i want to remind people that in the fall of this year, we had a delta surge and we were able to safely
keep our children in school, before we had pediatric vaccinations. fast-forward to now, we have pediatric vaccinations, every jurisdiction will have to make these decisions locally that i will say is the most important thing is the -- is to get our children vaccinated, get our teachers and teenagers vaccinated and then practice all of those indication strategies that have proven -- that have been proven to work, masking, ventilation, tests. all of those things have been proven to work. host: the cdc on fox news sunday, we want to know what it's like where you live this morning. tim in flint, michigan, you are a parent and what is your school doing? caller: they are in school. host: so the decision was to keep -- was to bring them back. to they have to have a negative test first? caller: they do not. host: do they have to be
vaccinated? caller: no, they've got to wear a mask. host: how do you feel about it? caller: i believe it is good that they don't have to show proof of vaccination and i believe them having the mask on is not a good thing, but they were saying that kids were in school back in 2020 and i think this is wrong and it has to do with the teachers union because they are in the democratic party command we went after the school, the unions -- you see all these other democrats, looking at states
like florida, i believe they should stay at home, where the mask like their constituents and they shouldn't be able to leave and go to a different state. host: let's listen to a union leader. we had becky pringle on the "washington journal" last week. she is the national education association president and here is what she had to say about the possibility of schools returning to virtual learning. [video clip] >> that said, is there a scenario that you could envision or the nea has talked about where a certain amount of caseload happens, you would recommend schools go back to a remote learning scenario? >> what i've been saying from the beginning is very consistent. follow the science, listen to the infectious disease experts, bring together the people who are closest to the students and
of those communities to make those decisions. they have to collaborate, communicate, and they have to develop comprehensive contingency plans which we saw school districts doing right before the holidays. didn't know what the impact of omicron was going to be in their area because they have to deal with this virus community by community. the spread varies from one to another. they have to have comprehensive contingency plans in place because not only do we want our kids to be safe, not only do we want them to be learning in-person together, but we've got to make sure that learning continues even if we realize that the infection rate is too high to bring them together, or we have so many educators who have covid that we can't bring them in to in person learning because we don't have enough teachers or school bus drivers. we want to figure out how we
minimize disruptions and provide equitable access to learning, and that requires collaboration, communication and comprehensive contingency plans. host: becky pringle, the nea president on "washington journal ." now he turned to gabby from -- now we turn to gabby from greensboro, a parent. caller: most of the schools are open. my daughter is in school in montgomery county, maryland. whoever does these emails for montgomery county, they are very good at it. they keep the parents updated and they send out emails every couple of days. the content in the email changes , as the politics change.
i think they are doing the best they can. the kids still have to wear masks. they are getting the kids tested but it is not mandatory and vaccines are not mandatory. i'm very thankful they did not mandate the vaccines. they are not real vaccines. it is gene therapy. the politics behind this is the wordplay. montgomery county is doing very good. host: gabriel, you said they are providing testing at the school? is it free? other testing every child? caller: -- are they testing every child? caller: at the school they do weekly random testing. you have to sign permission for your child to be tested randomly in school.
i think they do random testing each week, like a q-tip and then i believe the kid does it. the child takes the thing and puts it in their nose and then places it in a container. the kids do their own testing. i don't know how great that is but the point is they do have testing. it is so political. all of this is trickling down to the kids. as long as the parents understand and have a good head on their shoulders, the kids are going to be ok. host: our next caller as an educator in montgomery village, maryland. what do you teach? caller: good morning. i am a former teacher, i was a social studies teacher. i am also a parent of a middle
school child that is in the public school system in montgomery county. to add what gabriel was just saying, the school system is providing rapid tests. they are doing random testing in some places and beginning this week they're going to be sending rapid tests home with students so that they can be tested at home because i believe the leaders in our system understand that the way this variant mutates, it mutates quickly and is very contagious. you can test negative on a monday and be positive by wednesday, and then spread it to anybody you come in contact with, including teachers, staff and students. what i'm concerned about, i agree with what becky pringle was saying, the strategies.
unfortunately states have the choice to comply or not comply and i think we would see a greater control of this disease if the states could agree on one way to handle this disease and that is by communication and cooperation. get the thing i want to say is that one of your callers was incorrect. i used to belong to a teachers union and unions are not run by democrats. unions have democrats, republicans, independents, all kinds of people in them. they get together and discuss things and they follow the science. what i'm concerned about now, our state is doing pretty good but because of covid, things have changed so rapidly in the last two years, many people are living in multigenerational homes like im. suddenly i am taking care of my
90-year-old mother with a heart condition and my child is made to go to school and has asthma. if my child is made to go to school and then unbeknownst to her she brings it home, then my 90-year-old mother gets deathly ill. we are all vaccinated and boosted but we can still catch this disease. there needs to be an option for a hybrid learning model. i think it'll work. i have also texted this information to lori lightfoot, the mayor of chicago. i believe she is absolutely wrong. the teachers did not walk out. they are offering to teach with a different model that will save lives. host: i'm curious what your thoughts are, on testing for students. how often do you think kids should be tested? the sunday they -- the sunday before they go back to school with at home kits?
caller: that is a good question. i have participated in testing, myself because i live in a multigenerational home, testing myself and my daughter. my daughter was exposed to covid around thanksgiving. two of her friends caught it and she had to stay-at-home. the school system quarantined her for 10 days. all the students in mcmurray county have been provided with chromebook's. you have to bring it to class every day. when a child gets quarantined, they are already on a schedule that allows them to be in class with the student population and then they have a list of kids who are quarantined and they have to -- luckily so far she
has not tested positive but because she came in contact and was exposed, she was quarantined and this worked beautifully. she did not miss a beat and she is a straight a student who is doing very well. lastly, with the school system, the parent associations and the counseling, the therapy, psychologists should get together on the same page, we can deliver comprehensive learning to all the students were you would not have to worry about kids. it would make the brunt of this easier for kids suffering from isolation or depression because i do have a child that suffers from depression.
host: let's go to ricky from baltimore, a grandparent. caller: hi, how are you? host: good morning. caller: i just wanted to comment on some of these socialist union people. this scam, when i can't believe it is still going on after two years and all the phony testing. needing a test is irrelevant if some but he gets sick, then they are sick -- if somebody gets sick, then they are sick. testing people over and over is irrelevant. the people that have the 20 shots, boosters, everything under the sun, they can give covid to anyone just as much as people that never got a shot, never got a test, never got anything. it is hard to believe that we
live in a country with that small amount of intelligence. host: so you are a grandparent. what is happening at your grandchild's schools? caller: it's a real shame. the maryland public school system is as close as you will find in beijing, moscow. those teachers are absolutely failing day after day. host: why? caller: these kids have some of the world's worst grades. the teachers are inadequate host: -- inadequate -- host: what does that have to do with covid? caller: you asked me what is going on with these children. they are in indoctrination camps in public schools. host: kyle and buffalo. you are an educator.
what do you teach? caller: i am a business legal teacher for high school students. host: what is your school's protocols for covid? caller: buffalo is unique because we did the online learning, then we started bringing the students back last school year. this school year, we completely went to the classroom. right before thanksgiving, they got us situated so we could do both in person or a student that has a laptop could do it from home if they tested positive and have to be out for a little bit. you have a situation where we use microsoft teams. the student who was absent from class can still come in on the computer, and get their
education if needed. i don't know what other school districts are doing. the problem is that they should have foresaw this before thanksgiving and christmas, with everybody going to thanksgiving dinner, christmas celebrations and new year's. they sent the test kits home after the kids came home from the break. at that point, it is too late. if they had handed out test kits, prior to the christmas break or holiday break, that would have given people a better understanding of who needs to stay home or not. it's too late now, as far as i'm concerned. you have to just deal with the outbreak and if some kids get it or the faculty gets it,
hopefully everybody has the shots and stuff like that. that grandparent wears terrible -- was terrible, talking about the teachers in maryland failing. i don't know many teachers that are considered terrible. kids who are failing or below reading levels, most of that stuff comes from the home, lack of parent participation. i am in a union in i am a republican. i take offense to these people bashing union people. why don't they get thereabouts off and start educating these kids if they think it is so bed? -- if they think it is so bad? going back to covid, i think it is too late. everybody went home for holiday break. host: i just want to follow-up up on that point because the former fda commissioner was asked about your point, how this
spreads so quickly, and here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> you are very clear last monday, that you will not be protected if you are wearing a cloth mask because this is an airborne virus. given how transmissible this is, what counts as exposure these days? does 15 minutes at six feet of distance mean anything or you walking down the street is going to expose you just the same? >> i certainly don't think an outdoor setting represents the same level of risk, but the reality is your risk is binary. you could have a casual encounter and contract the illness or you could have a prolonged encounter and not. we are trying to gauge on average for the highest risk of exposure occurs and it occurs with prolonged exposure and confined settings with people who are infected.
the reality is with an airborne illness like this, if you are in a setting with poor air circulation, it doesn't matter if you are at six feet or 10 feet, you're at risk. host: john in texas, how old are your kids? caller: mine is 17. host: what is the policy? caller: they go to class and if anybody catches the virus, the school notifies the parents. they won't release the names of anybody that has the virus but the school is on. here is the problem with everything. you have the union up in chicago. they get to stay home and get paid. they are forcing parents to stay home and not get paid because they can't go to work. they took our tax dollars, millions of dollars. they were talking about ventilation. they should have already done that. here is another point.
nancy pelosi said we could cross the virus. we haven't crushed anything. joe biden said nobody would die under his presidency. more people died under him than donald trump and he has three vaccines. host: let's focus on the school protocols where you live and to your point, what is making -- what is happening in chicago. mayor lori lightfoot was on meet the press and talked about the decision by the chicago teachers union to walk out in protest over covid-19 and safety protocols. [video clip] >> in some ways, what is happening in chicago is an outsized version of a -- of what is happening in a lot of communities. are the kids going to be in school this week in chicago? >> i'm doing everything i can to make sure that happens. to be clear, what they chicago teachers union did was an illegal walkout.
they abandon their posts and their kids and families. we are working every day at the bargaining table to get a deal done. my team has been working every single day. they were at it sunday. we can get a deal done if there is goodwill on both sides. but we can't do is abandon the science. we know the safest place for kids to be is in person learning in schools. we've spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make our school safe. we have data that demonstrates that. we have to get the teachers union to get real and get serious about getting back into in person learning. host: the chicago mayor, lori lightfoot. chicago has the third largest school district in the nation. they are debating with the school union about opening up schools. we are asking you what decisions
have been made at your local level for schools. ty is in los angeles, and educato -- an educator. i read that the vaccination rate for students 12 and older is about 90% in l.a.. caller: hi, and thanks for taking my call. i am not familiar with those numbers but i am proud. a lot of my students have mentioned that they have been vaccinated. i am a fifth-grade teacher. that makes me even more proud that my little ones are taking that step to keep themselves and those around them safe during this crazy pandemic. host: the story mentions there will be a student vaccine mandate set to kick in this fall. what do you think about that?
caller: i don't have a problem with vaccine mandates. i believe the science behind inoculation is genius and it is really sad that we are so divided on this issue. i know it is unlike the polio vaccine that made sure we would eradicate it. i know it's different, but the science behind it is that it's going to help and i really hope that we can stop being so divided on this issue. host: you will remain open, is that correct? kids will come to school? caller: yes they are. to be honest, i am nervous about it for a lot of the reasons that some people have brought up. the pandemic made it where many families are having to come
together. there are several generations in one household. that was the case before, but with this having lasted so long and we have seen so many died, it is very stressful, it is stressful when i have my students coming in and we have certain protections in place like plexiglas shields but some of my students will pull down their mask to sneeze or cough. children just aren't responsible enough. i tell them to cover their noses with their masks at least 40 times a day. it is just unfair. prime minister eight where our governor mandated that teachers get vaccinated or get tested regularly -- i am in a state
where our governor mandated that teachers get vaccinated or get tested regularly. these parents that are fighting to get their kids back in school, are you even going back to work? how dare you put us at risk like this and be so against us. the division is so overwhelming. host: what do you make of the former fda director saying cloth masks do not protect you? what kind of masks are the kids wearing? caller: right. students right now are not forced to wear the in 95 mask -- the n95 mask but teachers are. i met a place where i'm like, who is paying for this additional ppe? i heard someone talking about the funds being given to the schools, but the ppe is
expensive. this is not like teachers are rolling in the dough right now. host: are you paying out of pocket? caller: yes. host: how much do the masks cost? caller: i haven't purchased medical grade yet. i'm keeping my cloth mask to see what my district does. i want to see if my district provides them now that they are mandating them for us. host: i'm curious if you don't mind sharing how much you make per year? caller: i just made it to $50,000 for my salary. host: teaching fifth grade in los angeles. thank you for the call. bonnie in iowa, what do you teach? caller: i am a substitute teach and i teach in several private schools in west iowa. host: what are the protocols like? caller: they are similar in each school. when the pandemic kit, all of
the schools closed around the same time. i was with first graders with a teacher who teaches everything from pre-k through college -- pre-k through college-level calculus courses and they were counting change in their hands. first graders need that one-on-one. all the schools shut down. last year it was a mix of things , open sometimes, closed sometimes. a huge variety. this year, the schools in which i teach, life is normal. we are not taking temperatures in the morning. i see almost no masks among teachers or students. i have covered occasionally for teachers who either have covid or were on quarantine but we have been able to not scramble for substitutes in our areas.
i was listening to that l.a. county teacher. my daughter taught there for two years. it is interesting when she says follow the science, but then thinks the cloth mask is ok while acknowledging it probably isn't. if you need to follow the science, then you need to bite the bullet and get that n95 mask. in california, it is interesting, every school shut down with disastrous results. the first child, school-aged child died of covid in august of 2020. that death is tragic but we also have to weigh cost and benefit. it's not like we are not busing students because there are bus accidents that occasionally kill children. is it worth shutting down our educational system because adults are at risk? students and children are not really at risk.
host: talk about the no mask policy. do you have concerns with that? caller: no. host: why was that put in place? caller: i'm delighted to see my children. i am a speech teacher among anything -- among many things. not just eye contact but facial expressions and smile are so important to feel like you are communicating and you are connecting. i am in different schools in different classrooms and i have no concerns. i shouldn't say that, i have minimal concerns. host: richard in hawaii. a parent, how old are your kids? caller: they are five and eight. host: what are the protocols at the schools they go to? caller: masks are required, quarantine is required. instead of 10 days it is five days if they are vaccinated. host: do you have any concerns with how the school is operating? caller: my son is in preschool
and my daughter is in elementary. the elementary school teachers have been fantastic. i feel like it depends on the districts they are in. my biggest concern is every time the school tries to open up, the union always pushes back and i feel like the state is a strong union state. parents don't get much say. on the news outlet they are always talking about the union voicing their concerns about knocking enough money or whatever but parents never asked what they could do to help. people should stop being so selfish and ask for help and i think things could along smoothly. but they can't shut down schools. the schools have to stay open. luckily my company is flexible on remote work but you can't work at home with young kids, it is too difficult.
when you say that kind of stuff, some teachers yell at you, saying they are not your babysitters. we aren't saying they are babysitters but the way things are structured, young kids have to be in school so the parents can work and do other things. economic flow depends on certain positions be working. host: when school was shut down, what was it like for them to try and learn virtually? caller: it was difficult. we had to sit next to them and teach them and do all these things so you can't work remotely and do virtual learning. that is very difficult. psychological lee it wasn't very -- psychologically it was not very healthy. i think psychologically it is very unhealthy to work remotely. i understand some parents prefer that. some kids have issues and that is fine but psychologically and socially i think they have to be
physically in school especially at this young age. host: jerry in new jersey, we will go to your next. caller: good morning. my concern is the testing that everyone is talking about. the testing isn't even reliable. they are saying now that the tests can come out negative when it's supposed to be positive, they are not very dependable. the other concern is that people are mistrusting a lot of the information that is out there. they keep saying there is misinformation out there but that is because the media, including c-span -- first it was masks, you didn't need them and then you need them and now they are no good. those k95, i just bought a pack of them. i will get it on the 18th. they also have the temperature
thing on sale, with the red light. there is so much misinformation out there that has gone on, and i think it has really caused unnecessary death. people who wore those cloth masks thought they were safe, and they were not. it's a shame. they social distancing, the washing of the hands, that kind of stuff seems to be the most dependable, and the rest of it can all go. as far as fauci an all them, they have given the worst advice for people. a lot of these deaths could have been prevented. the herd arm unity -- herd immunity thing was the most important thing. host: dr. anthony found she and
the cdc director will be taking questions from lawmakers tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. eastern time, and we will have coverage of their testimony on c-span3, on our website, c-span.org and you can also watch with our video app called c-span now. you can download it for free on any video device. let's hear from jay in chicago, where the teachers unions have walked out of talks. caller: hello. host: what do you think of how local officials are responding in chicago? caller: i think it is unfortunate, that the mayor's office and the teachers union are still at odds with each other. they've been at odds since lightfoot became mayor. she mentioned before that there was some political -- basically
ctu was operating as a political party. even from the time she was running, the teachers union was backing one of her opponents, not her. there's been fighting between the two everthere has been fighn the two of them ever since. they did not want her to be mayor. they were pushing for one of her opponents. i think the mayor has done a good job so far. but i do think with dr. fauci and dr. walensky, this is some of the worst times right now. like some of the other cities. it might be a good idea to wait a week or so additional to try to get through the worst of this.
host: thanks for calling in. we are going to talk to dr. joseph kanter with the association of state and territorial health officials. we are going to talk about the decisions being made at the local level. so those, workplaces etc. all of that coming up. then, the rising tensions between the u.s. and russia over ukraine with expert william pomerantz from the wilson center. >> this week on the c-span networks. the senate will debate imposing sanctions on a natural gas pipeline that's become involved with u.s. diplomatic efforts between russia and ukraine. senate majority leader chuck schumer also intends to work on the voting rights bill which may involve changing the senate's
filibuster rules. the house returns to take up veterans benefits legislation. dr. anthony fauci, rochelle walensky and other members of the administration's covid response team appear before a senate committee to discuss the omicron area and. on tuesday, the senate banking committee holds confirmation hearing for jerome powell. live coverage on c-span.org and the c-span mobile app. the senate banking committee returns for a second committee for leo brainard to be the vice chair. they will also consider sandra thompson to be director of the finance agency. and we will have supreme court oral arguments today through wednesday on c-span.org and on c-span now.
had to c-span.org for more information or to stream video. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. ♪ >> download c-span's new mobile app and stay up-to-date with live video coverage of the day's biggest political events from live streams at the house and senate floor and key congressional hearings to white
house events and supreme court oral arguments. even our live interactive morning program washington journal, where we hear your voices every day. download the app for free today. washington journal continues. host: dr. joseph kanter, the state health officials with -- official with the louisiana department of health. he's a member of the department of state and territorial health officials. tell us about the association and what role do they play in this pandemic. guest: thanks greta. it's nice to be with you this morning. the association of state and territorial health officials represents the leading health officials from each state and territory. and helps to convene information and serve as a bridge between the state health officials and health leaders in washington and
helps communicate the pressing issues of the day. throughout the pandemic, the association has been very involved in crafting the guidance and making sure it makes sense not just from a policy level but on the ground where it gets implemented in the states. host: are you collecting data? guest: we review everything the cdc and fda put out in the states as well. host: do you try to tell federal officials what you are seeing on the ground before policies are made? guest: that's a big part of what the association does. we will routinely have calls with for example dr. walensky at the cdc or other officials. it's a good partnership. on the one hand you have the policy and on the other hand you have facts on the ground.
those are the conversations between the leading health officials of the states and the folks from washington making policy have been very important. we had that with the biden and trump administration. it has been a very productive partnership. the policies that have come out have been better because of that experience. host: what was the group message to washington about omicron? guest: there's no question the speed of this particular variant and how it's growing has come across in remarkable ways across the country. it has gone up so critically. the types of monoclonal antibodies that work are different with omicron. we have these oral medicines coming down as omicron has been expanding.
so it has required constant communication. things have been changing so quickly that it is sometimes tough to get a clear message out and there's no doubt that there's confusion. we try and give feedback. it is challenging with the speed with which things have been changing and moving the past few weeks. host: where has there been confusion? guest: certainly about the new quarantine and isolation guidance. it is new guidance. there is always some confusion. there has been confusion about monoclonal antibodies. not because anyone is to blame. things have been changing very quickly and we are living through this pandemic real-time. it's messy when you live through a real-time. it takes a real concerted effort to get the message out in a way that doesn't further confuse people. host: what does the group think about having states decide masking policies etc.?
has that led to the pandemic continuing as we are seeing today or is that the right decision? guest: i think each state is well-positioned to make decisions that are the right decisions for that state. it's a very big country. the facts on the ground are not always the same. the virus itself might be in different spaces. might -- one area might be surging. we look to the federal government to give the best recommendation, to put the best package of science and data together. speaking as the official for louisiana, i appreciate the ability for louisiana to gather that information and make the decision that makes the most sense for louisiana at this particular point in time. host: what is the situation in
louisiana for testing? is testing free? is it available? how does it work? guest: testing is largely free. we have good availability of the pcr tests. the more formal send out tests that have a one to three day turnaround. with rapid take-home antigen test's, the supply does not meet the demand right now. it's not because there is such a new shortage of tests. these are relatively new. this time last year we did not have these rapid take-home tests. they can be very help full. they are not 100% as was mentioned a few minutes ago. they have less sensitivity than the formal tests. the convenience of doing it at home, the ability to get yourself in 15 minutes as opposed to one to three days is
very beneficial. there is such a high demand with the surge right now. we are just not there yet. it's difficult to take stock of how explosive this increase in cases are. in louisiana there were three days last week with each day -- where each day we set a new case record. tip be setting those -- to be setting those types of records 21 months into this pandemic is remarkable. the explosion of cases is particularly difficult to manage. we all want more of these rapid at home antigen test's. supply is coming. it's not here yet. host: we are talking with dr. joseph kanter. we will get to your questions and comments in just a minute. can you talk about treatments by pfizer and mark and the availability of them?
guest: very slow start. these are brand-new. have not been authorized for more than a month yet. we were very much looking forward to the advent of these oral treatments. monoclonal antibodies are logistically challenging because you have to go to an infusion center. an oral pill that somebody can prescribe to you has the ability to really advance, particularly the pfizer pill. it has excellent efficacy against the omicron variant. we all recognize that they are new and supply is very limited. louisiana got less than a 1000 doses. we had over 14,000 new cases in louisiana.
it doesn't come close to meeting the demand. these are brand-new treatments that have a lot of potential. this is becoming a more manageable disease. we can hope to make this virus more manageable like many other viruses. having a good oral medicine that's easy to take and get prescribed in good supply is a big part of that. host: what's the criteria given the limited supply in dosage and cost of these treatments? guest: dosage is a five day course. the cost is free to the patient right now. we do our best to set guidelines. in this case we advise that the medicine is used for the highest risk patient.
people who are most likely to have a severe outcome with covid. most likely to not have received adequate protection from the vaccines. at the end of the day, you have to put the medicine in the hands of doctors and trust they are going to do the right thing for patients. you can't over manage this with the supply so limited. these pills are much more effective. we do our best to make guidelines. at the end of the date you have to trust your practitioners. host: louisiana received a 1000 doses of pfizer. what is the timeline to get states more of these treatments? guest: the federal government is making weekly allocations both
of the oral pfizer and merck pill. and the monoclonal antibody that works for treatment of omicron. the allocations are less than we need because the supply is short. later today i should get a note of how much louisiana is getting allocated. last week we got 600 doses which is a drop in the bucket considering the need. we will get a new allocation this week and that will continue for the time being. host: glenn in lancaster, california. caller: good morning. dr. joseph kanter, during the shutdowns in all of this pandemic, delta and everything else. we have been short on all these things. there's one thing we haven't been short of.
the federal government's been sending unvaccinated untested illegal immigrants all over the united states shut down since january 20. he says the federal government can't do anything to stop the pandemic, but they sure have done a lot to spread it. host: ok glenn. dr. kanter? guest: it's challenging managing covid in any environment. i appreciate how challenging it is in detention facilities. there is so much covid in the u.s. right now, i have a hard time imagining that the immigration issue has exacerbated the covid situation. we've got plenty of our own covid to go around. host: cnn is running a headline, one in four hospitals are facing a staffing shortage. what's it like in louisiana? guest: it's very tough.
there's two things going on right now. we had a staffing crunch before the omicron surge. we had the delta surge about four months ago. a lot of nurses and techs have taken the opportunity to pursue nonclinical work, many have gone back to school. the past 22 months has been incredibly taxing for no one more than nurses who are really on the front line of being with sick patients all day long. they have had a hard time hiring nurses and retaining the ones employed with them. we had that going into omicron. a lot of health-care workers are getting infected and getting exposed like the rest of the country right now. they have to sit out and isolate. hospitals and up shortstaffed. the workload has greatly increased.
we increased our hospitalized covid patients almost seven fold over three weeks in louisiana. it places an incredible burden on hospitals who are shortstaffed and having a hard time retaining health care workers and controlling outbreaks of covid. it's a tough time for hospitals. he also have flu season picking up that adds added volume. the safety buffer and hospitals in terms of their capacity is becoming very narrow right now. most hospitals will tell you it's not an issue of physical beds, ventilators or ppe. it's an issue of having enough qualified staff to treat patients that need to be treated. host: ajay in philadelphia. caller: hello dr. kanter. i will be really quick.
what happens with just the cold and pneumonia, i don't talk about covid. i know it's so sensitive. i.e. healthy, ride a bicycle all the time and i always preach this stuff. i know greasy foods and for living and drinking and smoking cigarettes or any kind of other drug use. doc, i respect you. sickness is like big business. so you see my position. it's tough. we've got to go to school. children have to read books and have interactions. the guy earlier who said it was a scam, i am kind of on his team. unions and teachers need to be getting like a hundred grand a year to start. host: we were talking about school protocol.
where our viewers live and having them tell us what it's like. what's it like in louisiana? what are the protocols for school? guest: most schools are doing some degree of testing. it's been operationally challenging for schools because so many teachers and their staff and students are getting infected or exposed to omicron and people have to be out isolating or quarantining. it's tough from an operational standpoint. louisiana was one of the earlier states to get in person education back and it worked very well last year. i personally think the next couple weeks are going to be rough. the earlier segment was fascinating because understandably there are such passionate opinions about this issue for good reason. the question is not should kids be back in school in person.
clearly that is the goal. the question is how to do that safely. the way to do that safely right now is to do as much testing as you can, increase ventilation. distance to the extent possible. promote vaccinations, do your best to create a safe environment. some of the problems expressed our long-standing problems. we rely on our educational system for things that maybe we shouldn't. a lot of kids rely on it for nutrition and support. that all gets exacerbated. the quicker we can find a safe way to get kids in school, the better for everyone. host: steve in ohio. caller: hi there. thank you for taking my call and hello to the good doctor. i have a question that has bothered me for quite some time and no one can seem to explain
it. why were therapeutic medications denied from the public, and i'm speaking specifically of the hydroxychloroquine formula and ivermectin and maybe others. but they were ridiculed by i assume the cdc, dr. fauci and others. but even ben carson himself said there has been success around the world and certainly a large group of doctors around the united states that have kept people out of hospital these medications and they are readily available. why have they not been used please? guest: thanks for the question. they were not denied. i think that's an important distinction. what we expect from federal health officials is to provide good recommendations based on
clinical trials. i think that's what happened particularly with the hydroxychloroquine at least after the initial stage which was bumpy. the best data to date shows that they are not effective against covid. you can pick and choose a data point here or there and try and bend it to make your case the other way. when you look at the totality of studies, they have shown that they are not likely to improve someone's covid disease or prevent someone from getting covid. so that's the best recommendations out there. doctors are free to prescribe what they want to prescribe and no one is going to stop them from doing so. but we should not shy away from sharing best practice recommendations. i believe wholeheartedly that these medicines don't do what people hope they do and i get
that hope because we all want there to be a silver bullet with covid. if a doctor wants to prescribe it, that is their prerogative. but let's be clear about what the data shows and it does not show a beneficial effect from these medicines. host: sergio, you are next. caller: good morning dr. kanter. how are you sir? guest: i'm good. thank you. caller: in florida, i have a question. why such a high rate of covid in florida and people in florida are kind of like weary and wary and afraid of getting false information especially the schools in florida. how can we get more information especially so that children can be protected and more people can
be protected to get more shots in florida? guest: the high rate of covid in many states right now, florida being one of them. in louisiana we have not yet seen any evidence that we are peaking yet. a lot of states are in the same boat about that. the information flow is tough. things change quickly. they have been changing quickly over the whole course of this pandemic. i think there is a responsibility for health officials to disseminate the right information as quickly and transparently as possible. i would hope every state is doing that. the situation florida is in is very similar if not identical to a number of other states right now where covid because of the aggressiveness of the omicron variant is spreading at a rate we have never seen before. in some aspect it is catching us on our heels.
the severity of the clinical disease that we are seeing with omicron is less on average. the average patient is getting less sick with omicron than they have with prior variants. but that's just an average. averages have spectrums on both and. plenty of people are still getting sick. the other point to make these even though on average people are getting less sick, the volume is bigger. more people are getting it in the first place so it still results in high numbers. host: michael in georgia. caller: yes. i actually have a question. all of these doctors that support the vaccine. y'all get on tv and y'all say nurses and techs are deciding to
choose a different career or a different path when that is not the case. so why do y'all get on tv and you lie? and you say they chose a different path when the fact of the matter is that a mandate was pushed on everybody all these nurses and doctors that don't want the vaccine which is actually gene therapy and not a vaccine and they had to lose their job. you get online and say they chose a different field when they didn't. they were pushed out. host: i understand your point, michael. guest: to be clear, the staffing crunch we have seen in hospitals predates any of the vaccine mandates that are being heard at the supreme court right now. it's related to an incredibly traumatic course of events over the past couple years for health care workers.
we had nurses that we lost from attrition prior to our delta surge. before the mandates were announced. that's been the issue. i obviously disagree with you on your characterization of the vaccine. the health care shortages right now problem before those mandates came in. we've got to take stock of how difficult this has been for frontline health care workers. i haven't gotten support they need. these are folks that in the early days, i remember as well. i'm an er doc and i still practice. we were wearing garbage bags as ppd, reusing n95's for weeks on end. crazy stuff. that pace really carried on for much of the pandemic. it's been a very trying couple of years. a lot of people are burnt out. i don't blame them for that. we have to find a way to support those on the front lines. host: romney in arkansas.
-- ronnie in arkansas. caller: i wanted to make a comment and question him about the vaccines actually spreading the virus. it seems to make that the children weren't affected by the delta and the other variants, but when this variant came on the scene it was the same time that the children got the vaccines. so i believe that they are spreading it through the vaccine because it's obvious that people that do take the vaccine and up getting the covid. so the children are getting worse now because they are mandating that on the children. host: let's take that point. guest: that's been a myth that i have heard as well. it's not true. there is no data to support that. with our delta surge, we had our
delta surge about four months ago. we had more kids get infected during that delta surge than at any point prior. we've had 18 pediatric deaths from covid in louisiana. nine of them happened during that delta surge. this notion that kids don't get infected by covid, those were common myths that existed earlier in the pandemic. they have been shown not true. kids very much get covid. on average they do better than people who are older. they do get covid. they can get sick. they can get multisystem inflammatory disorder and they can die. have seen 18 deaths of kids from covid and nine of them were not delta surge. i think extension of getting availability down to age five is
good. the more tools to protect kids, the more they will feel comfortable with everything -- the notion that covid doesn't affect kids at this point is just so far from the truth. host: let me bounce this opinion piece off of you. they write, both mandates from the hhs were issued november 5. the delta variant represented almost all covid-19 cases and both agencies appropriately considered delta at length and in detail. those findings are now obsolete. omicron represented more than 95% of u.s. covid cases according to estimates from the cdc. some of omicron's 50 mutations are known to evade antibody
protection because more than 30 of those mutations are to the spike protein used as an immunogen and because there have been asked omicron variant -- mass omicron outbreaks, scientists doubt the existing vaccines can stop it from spreading. guest: i don't know which way the supreme court is going to go on the osha case and the cms case. i listen as i could to some of the arguments presented on friday. i found them fascinating. one of the things that's getting lost in the political baseball discussion is just talking about the vaccines on their level. and they remain incredibly important. vaccines are the greatest tool we have right now to fight back
against covid. the fact that you can get two primary doses and a booster of tax and still have really good efficacy against omicron variant that has mutated so many times to me is miraculous. these vaccines are highly effective. you can protect yourself and your family. they have proven to be safe. we have never had a more robust safety monitoring system in place and we do now. the feds have proven to be incredibly transparent when they get a signal that there is some safety event. all of the advisory committee meetings are public and live-streamed for anyone that wants to watch. i think the more we can continue talking about the strong safety
system in place and how good these vaccines are at preventing severe disease, i think that's going to help with communication. we get lost in the political side of it. it remains the point that these vaccines are the single greatest tool that people have to protect themselves. host: dr. joseph kanter, thank you for the conversation this morning. guest: it's been a pleasure. host: we will talk about rising tensions between the u.s. and russia. guest is russia expert william from the wilson center. that conversation as u.s. and russia is in talks right now in geneva. we will be right back. ♪
>> what's your question or comment for rush? that's how james golden would greet callers to the rush limbaugh daily radio program. mr. golden has written a book about his time as call screener and official show observer and producer with the most popular radio talkshow during the past 30 years. rush limbaugh died on february 17, 2021. in his book which golden says is a tribute to his former boss and friend, he writes about his love of radio and how the limbaugh program came together to find the scenes. host: footnotes plus is available on the c-span now apple or wherever you get your
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you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. washington journal continues. host: william pomeranz is our guest with the wilson center. right now in geneva, u.s. and russia talks are underway. cnn is characterizing them as high-stakes. would you agree with that? guest: it is high-stakes. president putin has introduced a brinksmanship policy. he wants security guarantees. it's very difficult for the united states and allies to issue those guarantees so it is a high-stakes negotiation. host: what guarantees is he looking for? guest: he wants to ensure that nato does not expand to ukraine.
president biden has been pretty explicit and previous dealings with president putin that nato expansion to ukraine is not on the table at this time. president biden has said that ukraine has to deal with the question of corruption which is pervasive in ukraine before ukraine -- nato could consider ukrainian a session to nato. so there are high-stakes. it doesn't appear there's a lot of room for compromise especially on the russian side. host: why not? guest: because putin has really put himself into a corner. his rhetoric has expanded tremendously in the rhetoric of his advisors. if the united states and its allies don't provide a security guarantee he will have to either
act or back down and president putin has a record of not liking to back down. so it is a high-stakes negotiation and the rhetoric on the russian side has been very harsh. host: why is ukraine a threat to russia in putin's opinion? guest: ukraine is not directly a threat to russia and indeed ukraine has basically said that it doesn't want to engage in military action against russia. but ukraine has forged an independent path since the collapse of the soviet union. it has promoted democracy, civil society. in that sense it is an alternative to the russian regime and to russian politics as a whole. so the threat from ukraine is that it provides an alternative
path that has ramifications in russia and that russia doesn't want to follow. putin has said that he doesn't want any revolution and ukraine has had two revolutions essentially and obviously events in kazakhstan suggest there is another color revolution under way. these are threats to russia and putin doesn't want to allow them to happen. host: talk about why kazakhstan is at into the tension. guest: russia has been forced to send troops to cause extent under the collective security treaty organization. they have only sent a limited number, it appears. but russia is now assuming the role of restoring stability and
order in cause extent. -- kazakhstan. that may take a few days, a few weeks or a longer time. so putin has exposed himself to yet another potential front that he has to deal with. simultaneously while pursuing a brinkmanship policy with ukraine. obviously putin can pursue two of these policies at the same time. the question is that without -- is at what cost. host: democrats, republicans, independents start calling in. william pomerantz, i will do to respond to antony blinken. yesterday on cnn's state of the union ahead of the talks
underway right now in geneva, switzerland. >> it seems unlikely putin will withdraw troops or take some of them off the border without some concessions by the u.s.. you have already said that those two are off the table. what about moving weaponry out of poland? what about limiting the scope of u.s. military exercise? >> i don't think we're going to see any breakthroughs in the coming weeks. we are going to be able to put things on the table. the russians will do the same and we will see if they are grounds for moving forward. here's what i can say. any progress that we are going to make is going to happen on a reciprocal basis. if the united states and europe are taking steps to address russia's concerns, russia will have to do the same thing.
nothing is happening without europe. and it's hard to see making actual progress as opposed to talking in an atmosphere of escalation with a gun to ukraine's head. if we are going to actually make progress, we will have to see the escalation. host: william pomeranz? guest: russia hasn't shown an inclination for the escalation so far. they have had over a hundred thousand troops at the border for several months now. it doesn't seem to be any indication that putin wants to back down. there doesn't seem to be any indication that he's going to make compromise. he has issued ultimatums that are just not acceptable to the united states. so trying to find an area of compromise, of negotiation, will
be very difficult. and blinken is right that it has to be reciprocal. the united states and its allies cannot take moves without any sort of concession from the russian federation. in putin's rhetoric, they have not given any indication that they are in a mood to compromise. host: if there is military conflict, what does it look like? guest: the fear is it would be a rapid force from russia into ukraine and would try to take certain cities and undercut ukrainian sovereignty and essentially have a massive invasion of ukraine. ukraine's armed forces have been upgraded over the last few years, but it is unclear whether
they could have a serious and comprehensive reaction to such an invasion because they will be outnumbered and the russians have put significant force on the border. so the question is to what extent does russia invade with a massive and there will be significant casualties on both sides. host: characterize the strength of the russian military. guest: the russian military has done a rapid rearmament program under president putin so that the russian military obviously was not a very flexible up-to-date force.
putin has invested significant funds in the army and has ability to choose a more comprehensive and multifaceted in -- engagement -- invasion. it has intervened in syria. so the capability of the russian federation is significantly enhanced and it's not the old soviet military that basically crumbled at the end of the soviet union. host: ukraine quietly tries its own talks with russia. tell us about those conversations. >> i have not been aware of these types of conversations. it's unclear and will be a major
concession if russia decides to engage in separate negotiations. russia perceives ukraine as a puppet state of the united states and it has basically not agreed to any of the proposals put forward by ukraine to have some sort of negotiation on their own. and indeed, president zelensky has put forward this new program which advocated the return of crimea and these are simply unacceptable for russia. so i am very skeptical as to whether president putin will engage with president zelensky as an equal on a one-on-one
basis. i think the talks in geneva that her ongoing is what putin wants. a bilateral negotiation between the united states and russia so that it is perceived that russia is an equal power and its concerns are being addressed. host: we are talking about russia and the forces they have put on the border. we are taking your calls, comments and questions. george in bellevue. washington, independent. good morning. caller: good morning. host: good morning george. caller: i just want to ask dr. pomerantz. i noticed that you said president biden has said that ukraine would not be a candidate for nato unless it took care of
their problems with corruption and i just wondered if that has been a typical policy. nato has expanded in various countries. this has been an ongoing united states policy or is this a new thing? i think corruption is pretty rampant around the world in various countries. guest: i think this has been particularly focused on ukraine. i think president biden basically used this issue to try to push this session of ukraine down the road and unfortunately president putin has decided that this issue cannot be delayed anymore and it is a significant threat to russia.
so i think we have not used this issue before in transitions to nato. i think it was an attempt by president biden to diffuse the situation and basically say ukraine's admission to nato is a long way off. host: dated in michigan. independent. caller: do you think it's a matter of trust? when the berlin wall went down, reagan went to gorbachev and asked if he would reunite germany. you also think putin is ready to give up primary -- give up crimea? guest: putin is not willing to give up crimea.
he has invested heavily in both the acquisition of crimea and has basically said it is an integral part of the russian federation. the constitution now says that russia cannot alienate i.e. give up any part of the russian federation. and now he ukraine and crimea is an integral part of the russian federation. in terms of expanding nato, this is a very old debate has been revived during the 30th anniversary collapse of the soviet union. what did the united states promised to president gorbachev in terms of nato expansion? a lot of scholars are investigating this issue. it appears that the united states made no promises about nato expansion towards eastern europe.
we did say that we would expand nato during the time of unification. at that time has ended. there is no really written record that would suggest the united states and its nato allies said there would be no expansion of nato. host: donald in north carolina. democratic caller. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i am very surprised that over the conversation for months now that the people on our side who talk about this don't explain to we the people what's the difference between the situation that we have now where russia does not want adversaries parked next door with the situation we
had with cuba and almost went to nuclear war over? nobody says the u.s. should do this. i'm puzzled and i've been around for 90 years. host: william pomeranz? guest: well there is a difference between the cuban missile crisis and what's going on today. today, the issue about the expansion of nato and the theoretical threat it imposes to russia is vastly overblown in the sense that nato has been traditionally a defensive alliance and does not have a record of offensive actions. yes we have had various
confrontations with the soviet union in the past about the placement of missiles and so forth. in terms of what is going on today and the attempt by russia to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine is a different set of issues. host: keith in illinois. republican caller. you are next. caller: i want to see how many countries we are going to be at war with the time this guy is done. host: william pomerantz, can the west stop an invasion by russia into ukraine? guest: that the west does not have any sort of requirement to aid militarily to ukraine. so i do not think that a
military action on the part of the united states and even nato allies is in the cards. ukraine in that sense will have to defend itself. host: this is the opinion section of the new york times. the editorial board says russia invites calamity if it invades ukraine. what calamity? guest: the calamity number one is the potential for a concerted defense of ukraine by ukrainian forces. i think the other calamity that they are referring to is the western reaction to such an invasion. i said that we weren't going to intervene militarily, but there is a large discussion as to what sort of sanctions the united states and its european allies will impose if russia invades
ukraine. a lot of speculation has centered on the swift banking system and essentially russia would be exiled from the international finance community. there are also various discussions about serious export controls of technology against russia and so the calamity is not just the military casualty but in fact the economic isolation that will ensue if russia decides to invade ukraine . host: economically, what sort of damage with that due to russia? guest: russia is dependent on foreign technology on several industries including the aerospace industry. one of the fruits of the
post-soviet world is that russia is integrated into the local economy. it's not just the finance but also investment. if we impose sanctions on russia, syria's sanctions, western companies are very hesitant to invest in russia. or even deal with russia. with the possibility of sanctions being invoked. it would just mean there would be a serious reduction of investments and economic trade with russia. the question is russia has already survived a series of sanctions post-2014 that were imposed by europe and the united states during the annexation of crimea. and russia has figured out ways by which to cope and survive.
so the question is how devastating the sanctions are. sanctions experts like to think that they will be decisive in any action but over the past few years we have seen that russia can survive sanctions and still have a secure economy especially because so much of its revenue is related to oil and gas. host: john bolton writes in the wall street journal, is the crisis in kazakhstan the rebirth of the soviet union? guest: well potentially, if russia gets its way. and basically if the new president of kazakhstan is dependent on russia for stability and order, then there will be an effort i think from russia to have a greater role in the domestic affairs of
kazakhstan. kazakhstan is a member of the eurasian economic union so it has economic ties to russia but it has also asserted its independence many times in terms of greater integration with the russian federation. when the eurasian economic union was founded, russia wanted to create a unified currency and kazakhstan was the country that refused to even consider having one currency. host: john is in florida. go ahead. caller: i am a 32 year federal employee and most people have ukraine wrong. they don't have the history.
-- put it well when he said ukraine is the older brother and russia is the younger brother and when clinton went to visit ukraine in 2010, i advised him that ukraine is a fulcrum. whatever happens in ukraine will happen in the rest of that corner of the world. host: ok, william pomerantz, we are short on time. what do you think? guest: i i think ukraine has always been vital to the russian empire and that the russian federation was very disappointed when ukraine decided not to join their eurasian economic union. putin has made some very provocative statements about ukraine, most notably that ukraine and russia are one nation, one people.
this, historically, is not accurate. ukraine has asserted its independence at various times in russian history. russia may be the younger mother, but it has exerted influence on ukraine for centuries, and putin wants to reaffirm that. host: william pomerantz with the wilson center, we appreciate you this morning. joining us for this conversation. guest: thanks very much. host: that does it for today's "washington journal." we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. thank you all for watching and participating in the conversation. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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