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tv   America Reports With John Roberts Sandra Smith  FOX News  January 5, 2022 10:00am-12:00pm PST

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covid-19 and people said they have had enough and they ran. and you are going to continue to see this until they start to allow us to live life in a normal way. chicago with the kids another example, it's abuse of families and children. >> that's exactly right. great discussion today, you guys. i hope we look forward to a nation full of adults after this. here is "america reports." >> emily, thank you so much. news alert, brand-new mayor of new york city wants to crack down on crime but might want to check with the newly sworn-in district attorney first. >> manhattan's top prosecutor says his office will give many misdemeanor crimes a pass, and those actually charged with a crime don't expect them to stay behind bars for long. brian will weigh in later this hour. >> john: another alert to kick off "america reports," teachers' union is "politicizing the
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pandemic." those are the words of chicago mayor lori lightfoot after the teachers' union voted to return the third largest school district to remote learning amid a surge of covid cases. sandra, good day to you. >> sandra: and good day to you, john. we have a parent here to respond later in the show and i'm sandra smith in new york. classes in chicago are canceled after 73% of the union members voted to go virtual until at least january 18th. why? the union says they want to see the safety standards met and case numbers to fall before they head back to the classroom. the mayor is firing back saying the decision is not based in science and the union is giving into fear mongering. jen psaki was asked about this a moment ago and what she said about keeping the schools open. >> we are more than equipped to
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ensure schools are open and will keep our children and educators who selflessly serve their community safe and ensure children are not enduring the mental health impact of not being in school, not gaps in learning. this includes schools everywhere, including in chicago. >> john: fox team coverage ahead on "america reports," dr. nicole saphier what the decision means for students. garrett tenney gets us started from chicago. what's the union's argument for walking out? >> john, based on last night's vote it's clear there's a lot of anxiety, arguing schools are no longer safe for teachers or for students. and they are demanding more testing, better face masks and clear metrics for closing schools if any outbreaks occur. this morning several teachers shared their concerns about
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being in the classroom. >> we can get vaccinated, we promote vaccination and boosters but the plan, when every individual is vaccinated and boostered and covid is still spreading. >> we are not part of a union trying to stop kids from going to school. all we are asking is we, would in safe and fair conditions. >> city officials say they have spent more than $100 million on safety measures and that schools are among the safest places for students to be. as for teachers, given that 91% are fully vaccinated, very little risk of them teaching in-person and their concerns about safety are not supported by the science and the data. >> what we should not be doing is allowing leadership to shut down an entire school system for what. when our district was solely
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remote, our children suffered. there's no disputing that reality. >> we think about the health in all forms when we think about kids in school. i'm disappointed we are having this conversation again because this is one that has been answered. >> the city says while the union's demands are not supported by science, they are willing to work with them to help ease a lot of this anxiety the teachers are having about teaching in the classroom right now and the negotiations are expected to pick up again this afternoon. >> john: a quote from the chicago mayor, "i'm not going to let anybody snatch control of this system from our primary stakeholders, which is our students and parents." it would seem that the mayor is powerless to make good on that promise. >> yeah, this is the -- the third time in the last couple of years that the teachers' union has disrupted the school
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schedule for chicago's 300,000 plus students. really, the ball is in their court. they have shown over the last couple years they will stop classes, they will stop school whenever they have demands that they feel like the city is not meeting. and the city has repeatedly threatened if teachers do walk out, they are going to hold them account by not paying them, potentially taking them to court even, but so far the threats have not been followed up on. john. >> john: we will see if and when lightfoot does. garrett, thank you. sandra. >> sandra: testing has been an issue throughout the pandemic, even more so now and the white house says it is working to expand access to covid testing nationwide. this one day after admitting the availability of tests is still not where it needs to be. meantime, confusion continues over the c.d.c. updated quarantine guidelines. agency is now saying people should test after five days if
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they have access to a test and want to use one. ok. clarity needed. jacqui heinrich live, just stepped out of the white house press briefing with jen psaki. what is the white house saying about the confusing new c.d.c. policy. >> sandra, saying it is still led by the science. jen psaki, i asked her what were the driving decisions around this because it seems like there are some gaps in this new c.d.c. guidance. it says you don't have to test after day five of isolation, but if you can get a test, if you want a test, go ahead and do it. and if you turn up positive, keep isolating until day ten. that does create the potential for a gap where folks who don't take the test but are positive have clearance to re-enter society. an uneven application of guidelines. but yet the white house says that these are c.d.c. decisions that are driven by medical experts and science.
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listen to this. >> is the c.d.c. still led by science and not other factors in determining the policy? >> jacqui, the c.d.c. is absolutely led by data and science and again, if they had not changed their recommendations over the course of time, schools would probably be closed across the country, right? they, of course, are continuing to address as they have for the past year plus steps that need to be taken in order to protect the american people. >> and the c.d.c. director said in the covid briefing the scarcity of tests we have been seeing across the country played no role in their decision not to include a testing component in their initial revised quarantine guidance which has been as we saw yesterday newly revised again. a couple of other points out of today's briefing. the white house doubling down on the president's comments yesterday, this is still a
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pandemic of the unvaccinated. that is despite what we are seeing with breakthrough cases, the white house making the case you are more likely to die of the virus if you are unvaccinated and that it is those patients who are putting a strain on hospitals and so that is the reason for that messaging there. also they have no plans, the white house has no plans, administration has no plans to change the definition of what it means to be fully vaccinated to include a booster shot. right now fully vaccinated just means you have gotten your primary round of shots, they don't have any plans to change that guidance to include a booster despite a month-long campaign to promote boosters, we asked about that and why that decision was made and did not get clarity on it, but that's the answer we got, sandra. >> sandra: it is a lot for the average person to keep track of, that is for sure. jacqui, thanks for running straight out of the white house to the camera for us, thanks.
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>> john: bring in fox news medical contributor dr. nicole saphier, i want to ask you about the guidance but first of all, chicago, quote a learned medical professional, you, said president biden owes it to the children and parents of chicago among other places to condemn the teachers' union who voted to not have in-person education, the job they are to perform. doc, light 'em up, up, up. >> i have three boys, i know fallout boys and been to several of their concerts. john, i woke up and very, very upset to see what is going on in chicago and not just chicago. it's everywhere else that the teachers' union controls the narrative. newark and philadelphia schools
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are closed. we joked the biggest waste of taxpayers dollars would come from the seat covers or ancillary service. what about the 500 billion, chicago schools, increased ventilation, hundreds of thousands of masks. 90% of teachers and staff vaccinated and yet they still want more. what do they want no make no mistake, it is not about the children as science and data show the safest place has been in school. there is negligible transmission in schools as compared to the community and in-home transmission and therefore the teachers' union are using this, politicizing their wants and needs and putting that over children. what if other workers did that, what if healthcare workers, people who work in the grocery store said you know what, community transmission is high, i'm going to stay home. that does not work. and these people are putting our children in jeopardy. marketly high rise in suicide
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attempts, overdose attempts and mental health suffering of the children. it's uncalled for and i want to hear president biden condemn the people just like he condemns the unvaccinated, and he said it's a pandemic of the unvaccinated, no, that's not true. actually, vaccinated and unvaccinated are causing the virus to continue to transmit. that's the definition of a pandemic. what is, what we are seeing is higher hospitalization rates among the unvaccinated. stop condemning and shaming the people who are unvaccinated, but not saying anything to the people putting it on our children. >> john: latest guidance from the centers for disease control is if you come down with covid after five days get yourself out of isolation and quarantine, you don't have to test but if you want to and you've got access to a test go ahead and take a test and if you happen to test
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positive, quarantine for the remaining five days of the ten-day original quarantine. and i'm left to think what? >> i think most people feel that way, john. i was listening to the white house press briefing, jacqui did an incredible job at pushing back. i will see the public health agencies, c.d.c., and even the white house need to be speaking with purpose and clear metrics and unfortunately that's not what's happening. it's more jibberish and all they are doing is backtracking when they are pushed. she was asking whether or not there were external influences on the decisions and she said no. we know the availability to get rapid tests has to play into effect. otherwise you don't say if you have access to a test maybe you should test. no. most people don't have access to a test. after five days you need a negative test that's what it should be and the white house and the administration needs to
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do everything possible to make that happen. >> john: all right. dr. nicole saphier, thanks for kicking us off today. good to see you are on fire as always. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> john: sandra, back to the guidance from the centers for disease control, that's about as clear as mud. >> sandra: that's a difficult one for all of us. you know, testing remains an issue, messaging from the white house an issue, and these school closures in chicago an issue, john. and a mom in the chicago area affected by the shut downs has children who have challenges. she is outraged at what is going on, she'll be joining us top of the hour, 2:00 eastern time to share with us how this is affecting her kids, affecting their lives, and what they plan to do about it. because this is a dilemma so many parents are facing in that city right now. >> john: and the former c.d.c. director dr. robert redfield to
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try to decipher the latest guidance from the organization he used to head. looking forward to that, too, sandra. >> sandra: help dr. redfield, we need it. officials say at least 13 people, including seven children, are dead after an apartment in philadelphia. called it one of the worst fires of his career. >> it was terrible. most -- i've been around 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires i've ever been to. i don't have the words for -- for how we are feeling right now as a community, and as a department. >> sandra: officials say none of the four smoke detectors in that building was in working order.
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just an absolute tragedy, seven children dead, 13 total, john. our hearts go out to all the families affected by the horrible. >> john: absolutely tragic, no question about that. roll on here, criticism flowing after winter weather brought traffic to a standstill for hours, 24 of them, on virginia's i-95. some people are pointing the finger of blame at the wrong elected official. and just wait until you hear who the governor of that state is blaming. >> sandra: manhattan's new d.a. is coming under fire for his lenient prosecution plans as new york city sees a rise in violent crime. will the d.a.'s approach make matters worse for that violent city? brian will join us next. >> he was elected to prosecute
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crimes not changing the law, this is stupid. my advice to the people of the city of new york, start a recall election right now. pain hits fast. so get relief fast. only tylenol rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief.
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that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one-upping itself. take the savings challenge at or visit an xfinity store to learn how our switch squad makes it easy to switch and save hundreds. >> sandra: virginia's outgoing democratic governor ralph northam is blaming drivers for getting stuck on the interstate. he says warnings went out and people need to "pay attention." all this as some critics blamed the mess on northam's replacement who is not even in office yet. the log jam leaving hundreds of drivers, including a sitting senator, trapped overnight in frigid temperatures. vice president kamala harris, meanwhile, is getting mocked for
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a tweet she wrote on infrastructure during that traffic nightmare. it reads "because of the bipartisan infrastructure law, america is moving again." that's what infrastructure is all about, getting people moving. i'm sure that went over well with all those folks that were stranded for hours, john. >> john: including democratic senator tim kaine from the commonwealth of virginia trapped with everybody else. >> sandra: why didn't he see those warnings? >> john: and what's funny in all of this, people were blaming the incoming governor, he won't be until the 15th. >> sandra: hard to believe. >> john: where is the governor, wrong guy. the newly sworn in manhattan district attorney announcing a progressive approach to crime, no prison time for a number of misdemeanor charges and not even charging some things that are crimes. the critics say the move is
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going to embolden criminals at a time the city is dealing with record levels of crime in every category. the cover of today's new york post saying "spree pass," eric is live in new york city with more on this. a lot of people are scratching their heads. >> hello, john. do the crime in new york city but don't have to do the time. that say critics is the message from the new progressive manhattan district attorney alvin bragg. to some a stunning reversal of the traditional law enforcement policies, bragg stressing diversion and alternative to jail time like crisis intervention over putting some criminals behind bars. he will no longer incarcerate lawbreakers unless it's murder, a crime that involves a death or felony. bragg says the goal is "safety and fairness," also wants the
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defendant's race to be considered. the office will no longer enforce trespass crimes, resisting arrest, sex work, and reducing charges that could mean no jail time for armed robbery, stealing from stores and storage areas of homes and dealing drugs. when bragg ran for district attorney he promised to not charge shoplifters for up to 250 bucks, meaning you could get away with it. police unions and others are outraged, saying bragg is giving criminals a free pass. >> he's paving the way for an even bigger blood bath than what we have seen in new york city already ruining any chances the city has to come back. we don't want to say to criminals come to new york, you can have your way with us and tell families they are not safe
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here. >> bragg's office tells me it's an equitable criminal justice system and will make new york city safer but victims rights new york says it will move to try and impeach bragg if it says one innocent new yorker dies because of these new criminal justice policies. john, back to you. >> shoplifting policies won't just be the tooth paste under lock and key. eric, thank you. >> sandra: for more on the new set of crime standards, bring in brian killmeade. i'm sure you have a lot to say on this, but i know you love this city, i know you love new york, and i don't know that this is going to help an already bad situation. do things just get worse now? >> the honeymoon is over two days into eric adams' reign where he says we are going to get the plain clothes unit on the street, and let the cops know the first time in eight
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years i have their back. i understand what they are going to go through when they are wrong they'll be wrong, that lasted about 48 hours until we see alvin bragg have a press conference, at which time he does things like turnstile jumping, trespassing, prostitution a-okay. he destroys and doesn't matter if we have your back, the laws won't have your back. can you imagine not prosecuting resisting arrest? why would any assailant submit to cuffs if you are not going to get in trouble for resisting arrest. see if i'm faster than this guy, i can outrun this woman, interfering with an arrest to help this buddy out. and things like ok, what about armed robbery. you can go into a certain area that turns out if you have a detached garage it's a class d felony. now an area where the family is, and steal stuff you are in trouble. but a storage area and steal their valuable, no prosecution. right away, eric adams is going to be offended.
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instead, he believes this guy is on team public safety. but then went on to say i have not looked over and analyzed exactly what he's calling for. he's got to call a press conference today and say i'm going to talk to mr. bragg, there's no way this is going to work, because the prosecutors have to be able to prosecute and times we need a jail for a would be assailant like watching on the screen. >> way too many scenes like this, this is provided by nypd crime stoppers, blatant crime on the streets and sidewalks. >> george soros funded this guy's campaign like philadelphia, san francisco, other big and small cities, gave them a million bucks and he's going to do the same thing as mr. smash and grab in san francisco and the guy we got ruining los angeles. he's bringing that here.
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unless eric adams says i don't want to ruin my political career because some billionaire hates america. >> sandra: "new york post" cover, happy 2022, criminals. it says, spree pass. woke new manhattan d.a. i won't lock up bad guys for slew of crimes. and former police commissioner safir was on our air earlier teeing off on this. >> what this district attorney has done, given a road map to crime and message to criminals that you can do whatever you want and you are not going to go to jail, not charged with a felony, and the citizens of the city are going to be the victims. >> sandra: by the way, here is the p.b.a. president, pat lynch on the manhattan d.a. to your point earlier, brian, police officers don't want to be sent
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out to enforce laws the d.a. will not prosecute and too many people believe they can submit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face 0 consequences. i don't know how things don't get worse from here, brian. >> unless the new mayor says i heard about what happened, i'm as outraged as you, i have my subscription to "the new york post," it's 100% accurate, there are quotes there, los angeles, philadelphia to the 10th power shortly. the cops should not do anything. if you don't have their back, don't just give them words, give them the laws and rules and forget about the no cash bail on top of that. build yourself a nice prison to put criminals there. the people that belong there that don't need to be understood. what's understood, they are criminals, they need to be put away. unless they are assaulting you it's no problem to this d.a.
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they are coming for everybody if this continues. >> sandra: it's a brutal reality for too many new yorkers who are afraid to walk down the street right now or show up and work at their business because they are not getting prosecuted for the crimes. brian, thank you. by the way, we have a phone call and email in to the new york mayor's office, we had a 1:00 deadline, put it out early this morning, have not heard back. to your point, brian, we'll see what he comes out and says. a lot of criticism coming his way. thank you, brian. john. >> john: the idea the police won't respond to crimes if they won't get prosecuted, that's terrifying. congressional democrats looking at a tough midterm election as they face a wave of retirements and lawmakers seeking another office. ari next.
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>> sandra: and missing 7-year-old harmony montgomery, an arrest was made. she was last seen in new hampshire in 2019.
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visit to see how your joint damage could progress. enbrel. eligible patients may pay as little as $5 per month. >> sandra: democratic democrats >> two more house members announce their retirement, total number now is 25 of departure but is expected to grow as the president's approval rating continues to tank. live on capitol hill for us, so, aisha, these are long time members with positions of power. >> yeah, good afternoon to you, sandra, we are looking at one member who is a part of the house appropriations committee, that's a big deal and another member the only person to ever defeat former president barack obama, so two big seats here up for grabs now, feels like almost every week another democrat announces their exit plan. late last night congresswoman
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brenda lawrence from detroit announced she will not seek re-election and long time chicago congressman bobby rush following suit, but not cutting and running ahead of what is expected to be a bloody midterm for the left, so the departures to 25 house democrats as opposed to just 12 on the g.o.p. side. democratic caucus chair had previously told me retirements are expected during a redistricting year but this wave really is only expected to grow as the left faces strong head winds in the midterms as they try to keep their very slim majority. the president's sinking approval numbers sure are not helping, another does all the party infighting or inability to move major pieces of his agenda across the finish line, that does not help. minority leader kevin mccarthy has been calling house speaker nancy pelosi a "lame duck
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speaker" as democrats try to push back how the speaker can deliver for members and possibly herself are on their way out. >> we are still fighting to make sure we retain the majority, she has a lot of respect across the caucus and the president and i don't think anyone is saying we, whether we know or not what she's going to do next term that that impacts her ability to deliver. >> and he also acknowledged democrats have to address two big issues here, covid and inflation and if they can do that successfully in the next three months he thinks they have a chance at winning the midterms. we shall see. sandra. >> sandra: we shall see. thank you. >> john: for more, ari fleischer, former press secretary and fox news contributor, brenda lawrence, the district was heavily redrawn
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by an independent commission, be careful what you wish for, might come true. she was climbing in the ranks of the democratic party so for her to say she's retiring is a surprise. >> that is true, members look at the new lines and say i don't want to compete in the new district, toe to toe, head to head with another member from my own party so an added element of the ten-year redrawing of lines. john, make no mistake, retirements are one of the most accurate canaries in the coal mine you will ever find. both parties know how to read the shifting winds and the winds are blowing against the democrats, so perfect sense and the first midterm of joe biden's presidency a lot of democrats will head for the exits because they know what the canary is saying, democrats lose massive numbers of seats. john and bobby rush is retiring after 30 years, he says he's just entering a new level of my life. but for a prominent democrat
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like him to step down, that sends a big signal. >> and that's fine, i'm sure he's right. he's going to have another part of life. i hope all members of congress have other things to do, being a member of congress is not the only thing that defines them. good for bobby rush. but i don't think they would happen if they thought they would keep the majority. you know, all the proof you need in 2018 when donald trump was in the first midterm election, republicans had 34 members retire going into the 2018 cycle. it is a very accurate leading indicator, canary in a coal mine to know if you are going to keep the house or lose the house by the number of resignations, be that as it may, they are no longer in congress and no longer have gavels for the few who come being ba. >> john: you talk about the canary in the coal mine, and wonder what the midterm elections are for 2024 and whether joe biden may face a
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primary. what the former communications direct for for alexandria ocasio-cortez told plitica on january 1st, deeply unpopular, as old as shizzle, and less for judges or whatever the hell score card we are using, and demolished in the midterms. d.c. is filled with people who want to be president. sounds like a pretty accurate read for the way democrats are thinking. >> all that is true. one massive caveat, not that i'm taking joe biden's side. bill clinton got his clock cleaned in his first midterm election, he came back and won re-election. barack obama lost in the first midterm, and won re-election. midterms are not necessarily good indicators for two years
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later in a presidential election. joe biden has a unique problem, he's going to be 82 years old if he runs for election in 2024. he has his own problem where the voters might not think, likely say, you are too old, joe, we are not electing an 82-year-old president. so set that aside, i do not put any predictive powers on what happens in the midterm to influence what will happen in the big tidal wave of 2024, that's a separate wave in 2022. >> john: and you have lived through this personally, you know all about it. ari fleischer, always great to see you. thanks for joining us. regardless of what happens in 2024, when it comes to 2022, democrats are looking past nancy pelosi if and when the democrats get their clocks cleaned. >> sandra: two things, interesting conversation with you and ari, fifirst. second, shizzle, john, i think
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that's a first out of your mouth. >> john: i could not say what was written on the screen. >> sandra: oh, ok, ok. >> john: like we said yesterday, i like my job, i want to keep it. >> sandra: got it. all right. north korea meanwhile is firing its first suspected ballistic missile of the new year. how serious a threat is this, and are we prepared for it? retired four star general jack keane is on deck to react. >> john: and teachers' unions are forcing kids to go back to online learning. how much is that hurting america's children? senator rick scott joins us just ahead. >> are you ready to start a great career? >> safelite is now hiring. >> you will love your job. >> there's room to grow... >> ...and lots of opportunities. >> so, what are you waiting for? >> apply now... >> ...and make a difference. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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>> sandra: north korea is showing a stark warning to the
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u.s. and neighboring countries after kim jong-unfired a missile, vowed to expand the nuclear arsenal and military power. general jack keane, thanks for being here. tell us about the missile, how far it traveled and what the capabilities are. what are we learning about it? >> welcome back sandra, happy new year. >> thank you. >> it's about 300 miles, fired it but the thought is probably had a much greater range than that. and he's been testing medium range, small range and rockets some 40 something of these over the last couple of years, so he's continued all through covid, certainly, the development of his nuclear program, and development of his ballistic missile program.
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he self-imposed a restriction on himself going back in 2017 when president trump came to power and was willing to contest him and he has not fired an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, which could reach the united states, more has he tested a nuclear weapon since that time. but he's in dire straits in his country economically, significant food shortage, major covid problems, certainly he's back on his heels, but here we are once again seeing him, sandra, put his military program, his weaponization program ahead of the needs of his people. >> sandra: yeah, i mean, that's a remarkable statement in itself. here at the u.s. indopacific command station, while we have assessed the event does not pose an immediate threat to u.s. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the ballistic
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missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the d.p.r. elicit weapons program. defense of the republic of korea and japan remains iron clad. i want to make sure i get that in there, something you just said, while the north korean economy is dire, the situation there is dire, as far as the hunger the people are suffering there, many people going out with basic necessities. this remains a priority for north korea. i mean, how big is their program getting as far as this is concerned? >> well, their ballistic missile program is quite sophisticated. analysts, because with not exposed to classified information here, but in terms of the number of nuclear weapons, somewhere around 40 or greater is likely what they have. their ability to weaponize the
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weapons and the ballistic missile is nothing manner and some believe they are not quite there with all of that. but yes, they are formidable in terms of the arsenal. they have designed the nuclear arsenal and the reason it's in their possession, they did not want the united states and the allies closing out that regime the way we did with iraq and libya. they believe if libya and iraq had nuclear weapons, likely have been no invasion. so, that is what the grandfather believed, that's what the father believed, and what kim jong-un believes to this day. we have had no negotiations with them since the hanoi summit when president trump walked out because we realized they were not going to denuclearize, it was just all talk. he does not want to talk to us and we have not been talking to him. >> sandra: much different situation than a couple years
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ago as far as the talks are concerned. finish off with this congressional research report, i think it's important to get in. that concluded just last month, general, that the recent ballistic missile test and military parade suggests that north korea is continuing to build a nuclear war fighting capability designed to invade regional ballistic missile defenses. they are obviously warning about the future and how farther going with this. general, thank you very much, and great to see you. >> great talking to you, sandra. >> john: new details in case of a new hampshire girl missing for two years before her disappearance was reported to police. what we are now learning about her father. >> sandra: is manhattan's new d.a. giving criminals a cart blanche despite a surge of crime in the big apple? we'll be joined just ahead.
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>> john: police arresting the father of a 7-year-old girl who has been missing for more than two years even though her disappearance was not reported until last week. live on the story with more,
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molly, this is very weird. >> yeah, the father of missing 7-year-old harmony montgomery is in custody, he's behind bars, he is accused on charges he abused her years ago before she disappeared. adam montgomery arrested yesterday, 31 years old, this manchester man. charged with one count felony second degree assault rising from a 2019 conduct against harmony, and faces misdemeanor charges. he made contradictory statements and stopped answering questions. documents revealed his uncle told investigators that he reached out to dcyf in 2019 for fears of harmony's safety after montgomery said he had given the little girl a black eye. her mother reached out this last november, she told police she had not seen her daughter since
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easter 2019. reward for information is out there now, $33,000, and dedicated tip line, 603-203-6060. john. >> john: what a tragedy. thank you, sandra. >> sandra: parents are furious after the chicago teachers' union decides to go virtual. we'll speak to one windy city parent who is outraged, top of the hour.
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what would he say to worried parents or for that matter, president biden. >> we know that our kids can be safe when in school, by the way. that's why i believe schools should remain open. >> sandra: big hour coming up, "america reports" rolls into a second hour, all new at 2:00, i'm sandra smith in new york. hi, john. >> john: i'm john roberts in washington. big hour ahead. talk to both of those must-see guests but the breaking news for you. >> don't have the words for how we are feeling right now. >> john: firefighters see tragedy up close saying what they witnessed will haunt them as the worst they have ever seen. 13 people killed when fire tore through an apartment building in philadelphia this morning. witnesses still struggling to grasp what they saw.
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>> there was just someone screaming for minutes on end, and you know, i'm sure half the block woke up just from the screams alone. >> john: adding to the tragedy, this might never have happened if not for a disturbing detail they discovered about that building. brian has been working the story with the latest. >> not only were of the smoke detectors not working, we know at the time of the tragic fire, 26 people were living inside this duplex. philadelphia fire department said that is a tremendous amount of people to be crammed into a home that was converted into two apartments meant for two families. at 6:38 this morning, firefighters responded to the philadelphia row house, heavy fire and flames at the front of the second floor where the kitchen was. eight people self-evacuated, firefighters made their way in and rescued two others, including a child. tragically, at least 13 people,
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including seven children, were found dead inside. >> the fire was extinguished and it was terrible. most of -- i've been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires i've ever been to. >> the fire department says the four smoke alarms in the building were not working. question now, why not. it's a public housing building and operated by philadelphia housing authority. a senior vice president for the p.h.a. said the fire detectors were inspected annually, including in may of 2021, when two smoke detectors and two batteries were replaced. officials said the detectors have lithium batteries that last for ten years, but this official said frequently residents in public housing disconnect smoke
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alarms once batteries run out or they tamper with detectors. the fire department says it's too early to determine the cause of the fire but the fire marshal and a.t.f. are investigating. >> john: a lot of questions to be asked and answered. thank you. >> sandra: fox news alert, nation so divided, and one area where chicago mayor lori lightfoot and republican governors are finding common ground. they believe kids belong in school and closing class is not backed by science. president biden saying the same thing, he said it during this program yesterday, live during a covid briefing at the white house. that makes it all the more enraging to a lot of parents in the windy city as teachers there are refusing to show up to class until they get what they want. joining us now sarah with her hands full. four kids forced back to remote learning, including two of her children with special needs are dependent on in-person
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instruction. thank you so much for being here. this is just heartbreaking for so many families living through this. you lived through it in 2020, 2021, a new year and now the kids are home again. what is your reaction? >> the worst case of deja vu. living the pandemic all over again. and today we are not even remote learning, they have canceled school, instruction is not happening today. >> sarah, it is crazy. i just asked for an update on the number of dollars that have been allocated to chicago for the schools to safely remain open. $122 billion for the schools there, including 5 billion for the state of illinois. how do you believe it is possible that the teachers' union believes that they cannot teach in class safely?
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>> it's absurd. it's not possible. they have spent the money, i have full trust in c.p.s., they know what they are doing, i worked as a member, elected to my school board, my school is safe, it is 100% the union posturing and holding our children hostage. >> sandra: i want to get this in here, this is the teachers' union president backing up this decision. listen. >> what the mayor doesn't understand is through the course of this entire pandemic the city has failed to deliver a whole number of basic demands we need in the schools, has failed to provide adequate staffing, adequate cleaning in the schools, failed to provide adequate testing, failed to address our concerns as people go into the schools. >> we are not a part of a union that's trying to stop kids from going to school. all we are asking is that we work in safe and fair conditions. >> sandra: and that ended with
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one of the chicago teachers saying this is not about them not wanting to be in the classroom, it's about them wanting to be safely in the classroom. go back to the numbers again, 122 billion that was allocated for schools at the federal level to the country to remain open, 5 billion to the state of illinois. sarah, with four kids in the school system there now sent home, what is this like for you as a mother? >> i'll be honest, it's hell. i don't appreciate it, i don't enjoy it. i'm not a teacher, i'm their mother. i'm there to care for them and love them, provide for them. i cannot help them with their educational needs 24/7. i'm not an expert, therapist or speech therapist, the support staff i need for my children to learn and have accessibility to their educational environment and the union is not helping us.
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i feel they are against parents. >> you have two out of the four kids who have special needs, one is autistic, you told me, what do you believe is the loss learning for all of them during this? >> it's significant and i think that the teachers will have to work just as hard when they return. the more we are out of school, the more we are going to have to make up. and it's not only that, it's the social aspects and it's especially disheartening when you see teachers who are higher up in the union and going on vacations or kinder dates and bragging about it, you are in a grocery store, what's the problem, why won't you be in a school building with them? >> sandra: good point, one so many are making. and i like to say there are so many good teachers in this country, my sister teaches kids with special needs, she's terrified of the lost learning during this pandemic. our hearts go out to all those
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teachers trying to remain safely in the classroom but the teachers' union decision is shocking to so many, including yourself. sarah, our best to you and your four children. thank you for joining us and keep us posted. >> thank you. >> sandra: thank you. john. >> john: we feel for her, sandra. bring in robert redfield, former c.d.c. director, and you heard what sarah had to say there, she believes the union in chicago is posturing, holding her children and others hostage. what does the science say about what the teachers' union is doing? >> john, thanks for having me. first, it's so important to keep our schools open to face-to-face learning, and i've said this before. we can do it in a safe and responsible way. the reality, the school is probably the safest place for these students to be so i don't think the decision really is grounded in science, i don't think it's grounded in our knowledge of what the situation is. i just hope that many of them start to reflect on the vocation
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that they have and really commit themselves to get back into teaching, that's what we need. >> john: shortly after you left the c.d.c., the agency had a study that showed significant, profound mental health impacts on students with remote learning. and what the teachers' union is doing is exacerbate the decision we are just beginning to recover from. >> no question the public health interest of k-12 students is not served by remote learning. whether it's nutritional support that millions of children get or the mental health service support that over 7 million kids get, whether it's the ability to detect child abuse, the mental health, depression, loneliness, suicide, drug abuse, not to mention a number of these children fall off their learning curve. you have seen especially in the
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group right before, kids with special needs. some of these kids fall off the learning curve and some of the kids are never going to get back on the learning curve. so, this is really not in the interest of children, public health interest is to keep the kids in face-to-face learning. it can be done safe and responsibly, it's safer than having them at home in the community. >> john: doc, i wanted to see if you can decipher the latest guidance from the centers for disease control on quarantine, isolation and testing. c.d.c. says you can get out of isolation and quarantine after five days, you don't have to test but if you want to test and you have access to a test go ahead and do it. confusing for a lot of people. and jen psaki said at a press briefing. >> the c.d.c. is absolute led by data and science and again, if they had not changed their recommendations over the course of time, schools would probably be closed across the country. >> deflection as to the actual
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question at hand. let me ask you about the guidance regarding isolation and whether or not to test. can you make head or tails of what they are saying? >> well, john, i agree with you, it's highly confusing. first i'm in favor of reducing the isolation time period, quarantine time period, where it makes sense. so going to five days, based on how the viruses replicate in the body, a couple days before symptoms, a couple days after. i'm totally not in agreement with the decision not to do a test. i think we really need to embrace a test they find and if you are negative, test and return. if you are positive, you are going to need to get a test again. i personally would not wait until day ten, the whole purpose was to get people back into the workforce. you test at day five and you are negative, you go back to work. if you are positive, stay in isolation. test at day seven and negative, you go back to work. idea they didn't embrace knowledge of infection as
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fundamental to whether you return to work or the issue of schools, test and stay, it's critical we use this testing as our guide and embrace knowledge of infection, very serious shortcoming and i think it's confused the american public. >> john: great to get your read on this, dr. robert redfield, thank you. and sandra, when you look at what the president says about this, continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated, he said how about making sure you are vaccinated so you do not spread the disease to anyone else. i was vaccinated, got covid, and gave it to my 10-year-old daughter so clearly vaccinated people are spreading it to other people, not sure what the president is saying there. >> sandra: yeah, and fascinating conversation with dr. redfield, after we spoke to the mom, you go back to the decision by the chicago teachers' union not backed by science, and stuck out to me, the kids are safer in the
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classroom than they are when they are sent back home into their communities. for so many different reasons that he detailed, but a lot of those kids get together and their co-mingling and the school they are masked and separated, keep the kids in school and it's amazing to see the agreement of the far left chicago mayor, lori lightfoot and republican governors on this issue. it is appalling the lost learning for so many kids like the mom. >> john: politics makes strange bed fellows. seeing that today. >> sandra: possible sequel on the i-95 mess, nightmare with no escape for many. virginia one of the states in the bulls eye for extreme weather across country as winter reaches full steam. your fox weather forecast is just ahead. >> john: the new kurt russell movie "escape from i-95."
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and new york following the lead of los angeles? that has you scrapping your head. the push to go soft on crime and rafael has a prediction how it's going to turn out. stay with us. cranky-pated: a bad mood related to a sluggish gut.
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county coast to coast. people out west bracing for more rain and snow, as a storm system will move inland over the next few days. some places could see up to four feet of new snow, and moving east, a second storm over the northern plains and great lakes. weather teams say snowfall expected along with dropping temperatures and finally, the east coast not clear yet. parts of the mid atlantic and northeast could see snow and strong winds, including some places still digging out from a storm earlier this week, which stranded drivers for hours on end on i-95 in virginia. it is a perfect time to make sure you always have the latest forecast in your pocket, download the fox weather app or a great resource. >> john: good advice. manhattan and the new district attorney slammed for being soft on crime. alvin bragg ordering his
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prosecutors to stop seeking prison terms for all sorts of crimes and downgrade or dismiss felony charges for things including armed robbery. rafael mangual, this is an issue here, you have eric adams, the new mayor, and district attorney, alvin bragg, prosecutors are soft on crime, in denver, including chicago, dallas, philadelphia, and texas, and los angeles, and including san francisco. you've got to wonder, the message from alvin bragg is wholly at odds what eric adams promised during his campaign. >> it's entirely at odds what adams ran on, people are
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scratching their heads wondering how it could have happened in a year in which you had a mayor who ran on explicitly anti-crime platform sailed to his election and the answer is that at the end of the day, it's a down ballot race in an off year election, people did not pay very close attention to it, a story we see throughout the prosecutors across the country and reality, not many people pay attention to the races despite the fact they are incredibly consequential. >> john: people in new york city may be cause to pay attention in the future, a letter that alvin bragg sent out to his prosecutors, said we are no longer going to prosecute, marijuana, turnstile jumping, certain forms of trespass, resisting arrest, and prostitution, and only prison time for homicide and a handful of other cases. armed robbery will now be a
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misdemeanor, petty larceny as long as no one was seriously injured, and convicted criminals of weapons other than guns, felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors. what message is that sending to the criminal element in new york city? >> that the transaction costs of criminal activity have now gotten lower, and so crime is going to pay even more at a time in which inflation is taking money out of the pockets of americans, criminal justice policy is putting money into the pockets of criminals and frustrating, and different misapprehensions. incarceration should be a net negative, the crimes that aren't committed because people are locked up. and it reflects a misguided focus on the offense and not the offender, you see a lot of this theme throughout the bragg memo he says well, these crimes are not very serious or aren't, or are nonviolent offenses. the problem with that as i've
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said, criminals engage in a wide variety of criminal offenses. you can't just consider somebody a nonviolent offender because the most recent arrest was a nonviolent crime. we should be looking at a more holistic approach to risk assessment, and what we will find, even so-called nonviolent offenders actually have serious -- something heinous. >> john: and you tell a person with the gun, go ahead and rob the bodega as long as no one is hurt, it's a misdemeanor, it can go wrong. the mayor has faith in the district attorney before we close out here, saying i believe he's going to be a good district attorney, sit down and have a conversation with him as we build up what we need to do around public safety. i think he's on team public safety, team public safety not only handcuffs, also ending the pipeline that turns people into career criminals. we'll see how it works out. rafael mangual as always, thank you for joining us, appreciate your perspective.
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the new york post, sandra, known to do, has taken this on, spree pass was the cover of the new york post, and an opinion piece saying a green light for anarchy. a lot of people cannot see it working out well. >> sandra: happy 2022 criminals. as far as the fare jumping no longer prosecuted, where did that go? if you don't get in trouble for fare jumping, and everybody decides to jump on public transportation and not pay, how much longer can public transportation operate when they are not collecting money? i mean, think about that. >> john: dangerous to encourage as well, a fellow in new york city tried to jump the turnstile, got his feet caught and died. >> sandra: and vaccines for all students, even children in
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kindergarten. not in new york or california, but in the great state of louisiana. we are going to talk to the superintendent behind this controversial decision. what he says to parents who point out that children have the lowest risk of all when it comes to covid.
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rick scott, senator, good to be with you. president trump was criticized in 2020 for saying we have to learn to live with covid, joe biden said no, we are going to shut it down and two years later, more people infected than ever before, and schools are closed again. parents are saying what's happening here. >> its frustrating. first off, what could joe biden have done, ordered more tests, didn't do it, one, consistent information. c.d.c. says something, fauci said something, biden says something and biden says oh, gosh, the state's responsibility the solutions are there but i'm going to tell you how to do your job. oh, make all the private businesses, you know, fire people if you don't get the vaccine when he told us he wouldn't do that, so everything is about the biden administration has done is completely inconsistent. shutting down schools again, anybody with kids know you need to be in school to continue to progress. who has hurt them the worst, the poorest families.
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richer can get tutors and things like that, the poorest families struggle. >> john: to the president's credit, he did say yesterday children need to be back in schools. unfortunately the chicago teachers' union did not pay attention at all, nor pay attention to the democratic mayor of chicago. listen to what the mayor said. >> unfortunately tonight, leadership is compelling its membership to make a decision that will harm hundreds of thousands of chicago families who rely upon c.p.s. for their daily needs. i'm not going to let anybody snatch control of this system away from our primary stakeholders who are our students and our parents. >> john: she said she's not going allow anybody to snatch away, clearly that did not happen. >> she did. >> john: democrats and republicans are on the same page. >> here what's frustrating. parents know best, all right. trust the parents. they are the ones who should
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decide where the kids should go to school, pick which school you go to, nobody should be controlling education other than the parent, that's who should be doing this. whether it's what you get taught or when schools are open, the parents are to be making the choices and if your school wants to be closed, the parent ought to have a voucher to go to another school, send the child to another school. >> john: we remember last spring, head of the american federation of teachers, second largest teachers union in the country was balking, and then she said no we have to have the kids in school. back pedalling a bit. on january 3rd, tweeting very real logistical decisions we are making, we know the kids do better in person, spike is real. we need adequate staff, testing, masking, ventilation, a lot of stress. didn't you folks in congressional locate $122 billion of taxpayer money
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for schools to look after the situation? >> we gave them the money and they stayed closed which means it shouldn't cost as much money. now they still can't open the schools. who is getting hurt, the poorest kids in the country have the less choice, stuck in these government schools and don't have a choice of where they go and they are the ones who are going to get hurt. >> john: senator rick scott of the great state of florida, good to catch up with you. >> john: new orleans the first u.s. city to require students as young as five years old to be fully vaccinated to enter the classroom. starting february 1st, that will be the case and children must show full proof of vaccination or at least a negative test to enter restaurants and businesses there. some doctors and parents are saying this is just going too far. joining us now is henderson lewis, jr., the superintendent of new orleans public schools. sir, thank you for joining us.
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>> thank you, thanks for having me today. >> sandra: why did you make the decision to require children as young as five years old to be fully vaccinated to enter your schools there? >> over the last few years we have been now almost going through covid-19 and we do know that covid-19 has had a huge impact on the city of new orleans. we have been from the onset put major measures in place to keep the schools safe and we know we need to keep the schools open, and the robust testing program and vaccination where available to make sure people are taking the vaccine. for example, our adult population in new orleans is 80% fully vaccinated. our students, young people, actually in the city of new orleans, around 35%. as superintendent of schools we want to make sure we give every student the opportunity to be fully vaccinated and again, it's parents' choice. they are the process if a family
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wants to opt out, they have the opportunity to opt out. we need to make sure the schools are vaccinated so not only protect themselves but protect their loved ones as well. >> sandra: what is the opt-out program for a family that chooses not to vaccinate a 5-year-old? >> in the state of louisiana where we have the vaccine mandate, for every vaccine that is required, there is a form that a family can fill out whether it's religious reasons, health reasons, again, the same form applies to covid-19 and the vaccine. >> sandra: okay. so, and i will ask this for the many parents who seem to be outraged by this decision. seems to be pretty controversial in your city to require this for kids as young as five. i pulled up the coronavirus dashboard on the a.p. that keeps track of 46 states that are
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reporting deaths of children is what i went to as a result of covid. and states that are reporting it still stands at 0.00% to 0.02% of all children who got covid that resulted in deaths. so you are talking about basically almost no children dying of this virus, so, what exactly is the science behind the decision to require this? >> i believe as we like i look at myself, for example, i didn't the vaccine only not to die, but to protect myself and others who i'm around each and every day and also as you are vaccinated in my opinion you are also limiting the, i guess, the medical condition that you may actually encounter when you even may encounter and have covid. so again, as a community we live in a pandemic and we need to make sure we do and take
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advantage of all the opportunities that are afforded of us, to us, rather, to make sure that we are doing our part to be able to get out of this thing. >> sandra: ok. just to be clear as far as hospitalizations are concerned, that, too, is way below even 1% hospitalizations of children that age between 0.1% and 1.6%. and this is not an anti-vaccination conversation whatsoever, absolutely not. it's just a question of whether or not a 5-year-old should be required to have a vaccine, not just to go to school but enter businesses and restaurants there. hold on, just a second, superintendent. the covid relief funds allocated to your state of louisiana to help make the schools safe for teachers and children to be back in the classroom full-time and it stands at over $2.6 billion for the state of louisiana.
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how is this not enough money to make the classrooms and the schools safe for all these kids to get back without such requirements? >> yes. in addition to making sure our classrooms are safe and we have the safety measures in place, we also have a responsibility to make sure that even when it comes down to masking and the vaccine because again, you can have a safe environment but we do know that individuals are getting covid, right. and when the student is a positive case, he or she is out of school for ten days. so they can recover. and so we do know that vaccines work. it limits -- we have the omicron virus and the same time the vaccine works and is important again as we work daily to make sure that our students remain in school and that we preserve in-person learning, we must, in my opinion, make sure that our students have the access to vaccines as well. >> sandra: quick question before we finish up.
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you saw what's happening with the chicago teachers' union, they decided overnight to not go back into the classroom at least for now. is there any indication coming from new orleans you plan to shut down schools for in-person learning if you don't see people respond to this vaccine requirement? >> no, again, as we have the vaccine requirement, our families have the option to opt-out. this is our opportunity to also get more students vaccinated at this time. >> sandra: ok. well, we wish the best for your schools, your children, your teachers. we want people in the classroom learning, we want to get back to life, we want to get back to learning. so we appreciate you coming on to explain your point of view why you made this decision. thank you. >> thank you. >> sandra: all right, john. >> john: president biden accusing the meat industry of beefing up prices. now officials are pushing back. david osmond digs in coming up next.
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psoriasis really messes with you.
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try. hope. fail. no one should suffer like that. i started cosentyx®. five years clear. real people with psoriasis look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infection, some serious and a lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. tell your doctor if your crohn's disease symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reaction may occur. best move i've ever made. ask your dermatologist about cosentyx®. >> john: breaking news, attorney general merrick garland giving an update on the investigation of charges brought from the capitol riot one year ago tomorrow, let's listen in. >> ranging from unprecedented deadly pandemic to an unprecedented attack on our democracy. thank you for your service, for your sacrifice, and for your dedication. i am honored to serve alongside
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you. and second, as we begin a new year and as we prepare to mark a solemn anniversary tomorrow, it is a fitting time to reaffirm that we at the department of justice will do everything in our power to defend the american people and american democracy. we will defend our democratic institutions from attack. we will protect those who serve the public from violence and threats of violence. we will protect the cornerstone of our democracy, the right to every eligible citizen to cast a vote that counts. and we will do all of this in a manner that adheres to the rule of law and honors our obligation to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of everyone in this country. tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of january 6, 2021.
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the day the united states capitol was attacked while lawmakers met to affirm the results of a presidential election. in the early afternoon of january 6th as the united states senate and house of representatives were meeting to certify the vote count of the electoral college, a large crowd gathered outside the capitol building. shortly after 2:00 p.m. individuals in the crowd began to force entry into the capitol by smashing windows and assaulting u.s. capitol police who were stationed there to protect the members of congress as they took part in one of the most solemn proceedings of our democracy. others in the crowd encouraged and assisted those who attacked the police. over the course of several hours, outnumbered law enforcement officers sustained a barrage of repeated violent attacks. about 80 capitol police and
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60 d.c. metropolitan police were assaulted. as our own court filings and thousands of public videos of the event attest, perpetrators punched dozens of law enforcement officers, knocking some officers unconscious. some perpetrators tackled and dragged law enforcement officers. among the many examples of such violence, one officer was crushed in a door. another was dragged down a set of stairs face down repeatedly tased and beaten, and suffered a heart attack. some perpetrators attacked law enforcement officers with chemical agents that burned their eyes and skin, and some assaulted officers with pipes, poles, and other dangerous or deadly weapons. perpetrators also targeted, sexual assaulted, tackled and harassed journalists and destroyed their equipment. with increasing numbers of
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individuals having breached the capitol, members of the senate and house of representatives, including the president of the senate, vice president mike pence had to be evacuated. as a consequence, proceedings in both chambers were disrupted for hours. interfering with a fundamental element of democracy in a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. those involved must be held accountable, and there is no higher priority for us at the department of justice. it is impossible to overstate the heroism of the capitol police officers, washington d.c. metropolitan police officers and other law enforcement officers who defended and secured the capitol that day. they demonstrated to all of us and to our country what true
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courage looks like. their resolve, their sacrifice, and their bravery protected thousands of people working inside the capitol that day. five officers who responded selflessly to the attack on january 6th have since lost their lives. i ask everyone to please join me in a moment of silence in recognition of the service and sacrifice of officer brian sicknick, officer howard lebengood, officer jeffrey smith, officer gunther hadshida, and officer freitag. i know i speak for all of us in saying that tomorrow and in our work in the days ahead we will
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not only remember them, we will do everything we can to honor them. in the aftermath of the attack, the justice department began its work on what has become one of the largest, most complex and most resource intensive investigations in our history. only a small number of perpetrators were arrested in the tumult of january 6th itself. every day since we have worked to identify, investigate, and apprehend defendants from across the country. and we have done so at record speed and scale in the midst of a pandemic during which some grand juries and courtrooms were not able to operate. led by the u.s. attorney's office for the district of columbia and the fbi washington field office, d.o.j. personnel across the department in nearly all 56 field offices and nearly all 94 united states attorney's
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offices and in many main justice components have worked countless hours to investigate the attack. approximately 70 prosecutors from the district of columbia and another 70 from other u.s. attorney's offices and d.o.j. divisions have participated in this investigation. so far we have issued over 5,000 subpoenas and search warrants, seized approximately 2,000 devices, poured through over 20,000 hours of video footage and searched through an estimated 15 terabytes of data. over 3,000 tips from ordinary citizens, our in dispensible partners in this effort. the fbi website continues to post photos of persons in connection with the events of january 6th and we continue to seek the public's assistance in
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identifying those individuals. as of today we have arrested and charged more than 725 defendants in nearly all 50 states and the district of columbia for their roles in the january 6th attack. and charging the perpetrators we have followed well-worn prosecution practices. those who assaulted officers or damaged the capitol face greater charges. those who conspired with others to obstruct the vote count also face greater charges. those who did not undertake such conduct have been charged with lesser offenses, particularly if they accepted their responsibility early and cooperated with the investigation. in the first months of the investigation approximately 145 defendants pled guilty to misdemeanors, mostly defendants who did not cause injury or
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damage. such pleas reflect the facts of those cases and the defendant's acceptance of responsibility and they help conserve both judicial and prosecutorial resources so attention can properly focus on the more serious perpetrators. in complex cases, initial charges are often less severe than later-charged offenses. this is purposeful, as investigators methodically collect and sift through more evidence. by now, though, we have charged over 325 defendants with felonies, many for assaulting officers and many for corruptly, obstructing or attempting to obstruct an official proceeding. 20 defendants charged with felonies have already pled guilty. approximately 40 defendants have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding or obstruct law
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enforcement. in the months ahead, 17 defendants are already scheduled to go to trial for their role in felony conspiracies. a necessary consequence of the prosecutorial approach first, shorter sentences before they impose longer ones. in recent weeks, however, as judges have sentenced the first defendants convicted of assaults and violent related conduct against officers we have seen significant sentences that reflect the seriousness of those offenses, both in terms of the injuries they caused and the serious risk they posed to our democratic institutions. the actions we have taken thus far will not be our last. the justice department remains committed to holding all january 6th perpetrators at any level accountable under law,
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whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. we will follow the facts wherever they lead. because january 6th was an unprecedented attack on the seat of our democracy, we understand there is broad public interest in our investigation. we understand that there are questions about how long the investigation will take and about what exactly we are doing. our answer is and will continue to be the same answer we would give with respect to any ongoing investigation. as long as it takes and whatever it takes for justice to be done consistent with the facts and the law. i understand that this may not be the answer some are looking for but we will and we must
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speak through our work. anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations and the civil liberties of our citizens. everyone in this room and on these screens is familiar with the way we conduct investigations, and particularly complex investigations. we build investigations by laying a foundation. we resolve more straightforward cases first because they provide the foundation for more complex cases. investigating the more overt crimes, linkages to less overt ones. it can lead us to others who may also have been involved and that evidence can serve as the foundation for further investigative leads and techniques. and circumstances like those of january 6th, a full accounting
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does not suddenly materialize. to ensure that all those criminally responsible are held accountable, we must collect the evidence. we follow the physical evidence, we follow the digital evidence, we follow the money, but most important, we follow the facts. not an agenda or assumption, the facts tell us where to go next. over 40 years ago in the wake of the watergate scandal, the justice department concluded the best way to ensure the department's independence, integrity and fair application of our laws, and therefore the best way to ensure the health of our democracy is to have a set of norms to govern our work. the central norm is that in our criminal investigations there cannot be different rules depending on one's political party or affiliation. there cannot be different rules
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for friends and foes. and there cannot be different rules for the powerful and the powerless. there is only one rule. we follow the facts and enforce the law in a way that respects the constitution and protects civil liberties. we conduct every investigation guided by the same norms and we adhere to the same norms even when and especially when the circumstances we face are not normal. adhering to the department's long standing norms is essential to our work in defending our democracy, particularly at a time when we are confronting a rise in violence and unlawful threats of violence in our shared public spaces and directed at those who serve the public. we have all seen that americans who serve and interact with the
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public at every level, many of whom make our democracy work every day, have been unlawfully targeted with threats of violence and actual violence. across the country, election officials and election workers, airline flight crews, school personnel, journalists, local elected officials, u.s. senators and representatives, and judges, prosecutors and police officers have been threatened and/or attacked. these are our fellow citizens who administer our elections, ensure our safe travel, teach our children, report the news, represent their constituents, and keep our communities safe. some have been told that their offices would be bombed. some have been told that they would be murdered and precisely how, that they would be hanged,
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that they would be police officers that put their lives on the line every day to serve our communities have been targeted with extraordinary levels of violence. flight crews have been assaulted, journalists have been targeted, school personnel and their families have been threatened. a member of congress was threatened in a gruesome voice mail that asked if she had ever seen what a 50 caliber shell does to a human head. another member of congress, an iraq war veteran and purple heart recipient received threats that left her terrified for her family. in 2020, a federal judge in new jersey was targeted by someone who had appeared before her in court. that person


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