tv Face the Nation CBS January 9, 2022 8:30am-9:00am PST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington. and this week on "face the nation," omicron's winter wave continues to threaten the unprotected. we'll talk exclusively with house speaker nancy pelosi. across america, temperatures are plunging. covid cases are spiking and the biden administration is struggling to communicate just where we are with covid and how best to fight it. >> biden: having covid in the environment here and in the world it is probably here to stay. we're going to be able to control this. >> brennan: is the criticism of the administration's messaging on covid justified? we'll talk with the new mayor of new york city, democrat eric adams. his city is in the epicenter of the omicron surge, and facing the
challenge of keeping kids safe in schools. dr. scott gottlieb will also be with us. plus, with the clock ticking in a congressional year, congressional democrats are feeling the pressure to get things done fast. first thing up: assigning voting rights. >> it is a takeover of our democracy. >> brennan: but the same old problems: republicans are not on board. outside washington, some states have passed laws restricting ballot access. others have expanded it. georgia's secretary of state brad raffensperger rebuffed former president trump's attempts to tamper with the 2020 elections, and now he is overseeing controversial new voting laws in his state. election expert david becker will also be with us. it is all just ahead on "face the nation." ♪♪
>> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation." it was a sobering first full week of the new year, marked by soaring covid infections, miserable weather in most of the country, and painful memory invoked by the first anniversary of the january 6 insurrection. but it is a new week, and we want to turn our focus to what is ahead in 2022, particularly in an election year. and there is perhaps no better guest than the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. good morning to you, madam speaker. >> good morning. good morning to you, and happy new year. >> brennan: happy new year. i don't think any of us wanted to start with this omicron surge that we're seeing happen, and i know in congress you're seeing infections spike as well. n-95 masks now being given to staff. how will this surge impact the work that you are able to do in the coming weeks? >> well, before i go into that, i just want to say i
come here on this sunday morning fresh from the service celebrating the life of majority leader harry reid. two presidents of the united states spoke, the leadership of the congress, the vice president was there, governors, everyone, but nothing was as eloquent than the voices of his children, who spoke about their father. so being here on the senate side, i have to begin by praising and remembering harry reid. covid is the center of it all. it is about the health of the american people, of course, but it is also about its impact on our economy, the education of our children, the safety of everyone at work or in school. so the -- i look forward to our taking advantage of advances in science on this, that there is a pill that we'll be able to intervene in early stages, and we want to have the
resources available to do that. the issues before the supreme court will be very important. two cases there, one about health care workers, one about the president's mandate going beyond health care workers. there is a good deal, whether it is legislation, whether it is the court's decision and the rest, and also it is about our own taking personal responsibility to stay safe. >> brennan: when you say legislation for more resources, $6 trillion has already been spent -- has been allocated over the course of this pandemic. are you saying that you need more coronavirus relief? and will that go in the spending bill, when government funding runs out next month? >> well, again, we have to protect the investments there. most importantly, we have to protect the health of the american people. now, the administration has not made a formal request for more funding,
but it is clear from the opportunity that is there and, again, the challenge that is there from the resilience of this virus -- and viruses are resilient, the more they spread, the more they mutate. the good advice is for everyone to get vaccinated, to be masked, and to have spatial distancing, and to be tested, tested, tested, continues to be important. >> brennan: when you have this government funding deadline, february feb,y to bundle some other things. will you try to expand the child tax care? >> that is a different bill. that is in the build back better legislation. in the appropriations bill, which is to keep government open, we are in those negotiations now, and the leadership in our
house, rosa deloro, or distinguished chair of the appropriations committee, and we must find a solution. i'm an appropriator. and i believe that left to their own devices on both sides of the aisle, the appropriators can get the job done. something like additional funding can be in there, it can be fenced off for emergency, as would be covid. >> brennan: right. >> the child tax credit, we have to have that fight -- tn in the build back better legislation. kind o stand-alone or anythat kind of attachment at this point? >> well, i would hope so, but in order to pass the build back better bill, it is under reconciliation. we only need 51 votes. the bill that is the reconciliation -- the appropriations bill requires 60 votes in the
senate. we have to do what is possible there. >> brennan: senator mnuchinmanchin has made clear it is not possible at this point. where is that? have you spoken to the senator? >> well, i have spoken to the senator over time. i do think there is an agreement to be reached. it is so important for our country. whether we're talking about, right now, the need for child care, for moms and dads whose children may or may not be in school, child care is so important all the time, more important even now, when we're talking about universal pre-"k" and child care, we're talking about the child tax credit and home care, all of those things. extend the affordable care act for those not under medicaid in some of those states. in addition to that, we see whether, and that whether is telling us that we must do what is in the bill to address the
climate crisis, which is causing so many unusual natural disasters -- not all of them from climate change but exacerbated by it. >> brennan: the white house is putting its shoulder behind this push for voting rights and election law versus build back better. i want to ask you, when you look around the country, there are many states that are changing their own election laws. it could increase the chance for partisan interference when it comes to certifying an election outcome. have you thought about that scenario for these mid-term races? would you commit to seating an elected person if their election is not certified in the state they are elected out of? regardless of the outcome, will you seat them? >> well, first, let's get the bill passed. i think that the order of things is very appropriate. there is nothing more important for us to do than protect our
constitution and our democracy. what the republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on january 6, which is to undermine our democracy, to undermine the integrity of our elections, to undermine the voting power, which is the essence of a democracy. so we have to do that bill. there is no more important bill that enables us to support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> brennan: there are not the votes in the senate for that at this point. >> well, we just have to keep working on it. >> brennan: but have you thought about that scenario? because it is a potential scenario for these upcoming races, where you have this dispute at the state level. how will you handle that? >> it isn't a question of how we will handle something a year from now. what is important right now is how we protect and defend the constitution and the voting rights.
what they're doing -- and you pointed out very clearly and i thank you for that -- is they are not only suppressing the vote -- suppressing the vote -- they are nullifying elections. saying it doesn't matter who gets more votes. it matters who the three people we appoint to analyze that, what they decide. we cannot let that happen. and in this legislation -- thank you for taking us down this path -- in this legislation, there are stiff penalties for what they are doing to election officials, what they are doing, threatening elected officials. this is a very major threat on our democracy. this legislation is the most important, and we have to keep working in order to get the job done because it is vital as any legislation we could ever pass. >> brennan: and we're going to be talking about election integrity later
in the program. thank you very much, madam speaker, for your time this morning. >> it is my pleasure to be with you. happy new year. >> brennan: happy new year. "face the nation" will be back in a minute. stay with us. data across your c. so you can address supply chain issues in real time, before they impact your bottom line. predicting and managing operational issues that's why so many businesses work with ibm. [upbeat acoustic music throughout] [upbeat acoustic music throughout] at fidelity, your dedicated advisor will help you create a comprehensive wealth plan for your full financial picture. with the right balance of risk and reward.
so you can enjoy more of...this. this is the planning effect. >> brennan: we turn now to covid-19. data continues to suggest that the omicron variant is less severe than other, but the c.d.c. warns that the surge will stress the health care system in the coming weeks. the most vulnerable, children, who are either too young to be vaccinated or who are just not vaccinated at all, along with those over age 65. here is mark strassmann. >> reporter: it is the same scene all over: americans on a scavenger hunt for covid tests. >> at this time we are sold out of covid tests. >> reporter: empty shelves, long lines, colorado, indiana, even massachusetts, home to one of america's highest vaccine rates. and yet somehow florida,
long a bull's eye for the virus, managed to let up to one million covid tests expire in a warehouse. one critic called it heartless. >> there wasn't a lot of demand for them. they've been sending them as requested. >> reporter: covid anxiety and covid testing are both spiking now that the holidays are beh this is glenn county, coastal georgia. six times as many people lined up for tests the first week of january than the week before. omicron surges everywhere with astonishing speed. contact tracings virtually worthless. consider this: it took six months for the u.s. to report its first four million cases. the last four million took one week. this is southeast georgia health system near savannah. its covid patients more than doubled in one week. >> every bed is taken. >> reporter: nurses like macy floyd keep running a covid marathon. >> i think covid is
something we'll be dealing with for a while. >> reporter: the c.d.c. says pediatric hospitalizations have hit a pandemic peak. mostly children under four, too young for the vaccine. in this week's covid follies, the c.d.c.'s evolving consistently confusing guidance. nearly two weeks ago the agency halved its isolation for infected people from 10 days to five, and then rejoined the world without passing a test first. its new guidance: taking that test is up to you. >> if that test is positive, people should stay home for those extra five days. >> reporter: the american medical association is having none of it. those recommendations are not only confusing but are risking further spread of the virus. experts predict omicron surge across the u.s. to peak soon, but no question: our next couple of weeks will be rough. >> brennan: mark strassmann reporting in
brunswick, georgia. we go to former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb who sits on the board of pfizer. good morning to you, doctor. >> doctor: good morning. >> brennan: you said we'll be past the omicron wave by february. do you stand by that trajectory? and do we get to breathe a sigh of relief at that point? >> hopefully we do. many people predicted that delta would be the last major wave of infection, and then omicron came along. i think it surprised us that the virus is able to mutate so quickly. if you look at what is happening across the east coast, new york city, washington, d.c., maryland, probably florida florida, too, have already peaked. wul styou'll start to see the statistics curve and bend down. you're already seeing that in washington, d.c. the risk is to the midwest, where you have rising infection, and they're not in the thick of the omicron wave yet, and you have states that had high hospitalization
rates coming this. so their hospital census was already high, and now they're seeing omicron infections pick up. on the good side, hospitalizations are down relative to cases, but cases are up substantially, so it is pressing many hospitals. many will reach or surpass their hospitalization totals. new york city is probably the best to handle it. they're about at 55% of the hospitalzations they say during the devastating first wave. in other states, they're more pressed, close to 100% of hospitalizations. length of stay is down substantially. it has gone from four days to 1.6 days, in the survey by kaiser, for example. but the shear velocity of the spread and the number of hospitalizations is pressing them. >> brennan: the speed of this is just incredible. what should parents do over the next two to three weeks? because the unprotected are those ages four and under. we know it is just not realistic for parents to
not drop their kids off at day care tomorrow or not send their kids to pre-school. >> there is a lot of risk right now. you need to encourage those who are taking care of your children in those settings to put in place measures to try to protect them. the risk is to young children, if you look at new york city, fully 55% of the pediatric hospitalizations are children ages zero to four, and they only represent 26% of the population. five to 11 as well, where vaccination rates are very old. i think the old rules apply: try to encourage social pods in those settings, hand hygiene, and masks can be helpful -- it is hard with the very young kids -- and trying to keep kids distanced. the best thing schools can be doing is serial
testing. hard to do with very young kids, but you can do pool tests, like saliva tests. trying to break it down so all of the kids are not intermingling so if you have a single introduction, it is not going to take down the whole class. >> brennan: c.d.c. guidelines, they continue to be changing and continue to be merky. can you help give us some clarity here? the u.k. says 10% to 13% of people will still be infectious from covid on day six. on day six in the united states, the c.d.c. says you can go back to work, you can go back to school, but they tell you don't go to a restaurant and don't travel. what do you do on day six, doctor? >> doctor: right. and, look, the c.d.c. has recommended you wear a mask five days after your recommended period. i think what underlies the
c.d.c. recognition is the recognition this is an epidemic that is not being spread by people who get diagnosed and isolate for five days and go back into circulation in day six. we'll a certain amount will be contagious, they're not driving the pandemic. there is a lot of people walking around with mild illness or asymptomatic infection who don't know and are spreading it. if you're someone who is isolated for five days and on day six you are going to go back to work, you need to be mindful of the setting you're introducing yourself into? are you going into a health care setting or another setting where there are vulnerable people? if you are, you need to be more vigilant. maybe take a test and you certainly wear a mask in that case. if the c.d.c. was more
descriptive, and they recognize there are going to be a certain number of people who are infectious, people could take more actions on their own. >> brennan: if people can find a test. the reporting is by january 15th they'll start shipping out 500 million of them. that is not going to really help people on the east coast who are trying to find, in the midst of this surge, a way to test, like you're describing. >> doctor: it is unfortunate, we started this late. we should have done this earlier. the tests are going to be distributed as some parts of the country are declining. so for certain parts of the country the tests will get there in team for the peak infection. i think they would have been better served by directly subsidizing the tests, like through regular pharmacies. we need to start giving out the tools that people need, not just the diagnostic tests, but the vaccines and the therapeutics.
we need to think how we can distribute these from normal retail channels, and not these government-directed channels, which will make it more challenging to get these in a timely fashion. >> brennan: you were very clear last sunday you will not be protected if you're wearing a cloth mask because it is an airborne virus. what counts as exposure? does the six feet at 15 minutes of distance mean anything? anything? or is someone going to expose you just the same? >> doctor: i don't think the outdoor setting will be as much of a risk. you can have a casual encounter and contract the illness. the c.d.c. about 15 minutes of accumulative exposure and six feet of distance, they're trying to gauge on average where the highest risk occurs. it occurs with prolonged
exposures in confined settings with people are who infected. the reality is with an airborne illness, it doesn't matter if you're six feet or 10 feet, you're going to be at risk of contracting it. it isn't like radiation, where you have accumulative risk. >> brennan: which is why masks matter. thank you so much, dr. scott gottlieb. we'll be right back with more "face the nation." could we adjust our plan... ...yeah, like if we buy a new house? mmmm... and our son just started working. oh! do you offer a complimentary retirement plan for him? as in free? just like schwab. schwab! look forward to planning with schwab. johnson & johnson is the world's largest healthcare company. building a future where cancers can be cured. strokes can bese
>> brennan: now to the crisis in eastern ukraine, where russian forces appear poised for an invasion. tonight u.s. and russian officials will begin talks with the biden administration already saying they're open to limits on nato military exercises or missile placement in the region if it will help defuse tensions. our holly williams reports from ukraine. >> reporter: good morning. here in eastern ukraine, they've been fighting since 2014, and trenches like these now carve out this part of the country. [gunfire] >> reporter: the
conflict has turned farm land and villages into killing fields, and more than 14,000 people have lost their lives according to ukrainian government. now this winter there are fears of a russian invasion. tens of thousands of russia troops, up to 100,000 russia troops, according to one count, are amassed along ukraine's borders, and alarm bells are ringing in washington. and according to some, a ground invasion unlikely until the ground freezes over. but here in the trenches, they told us they think it could happen at any time. the big question is what russia's president, vladimir putin, is thinking, and what his true objectives are. he claims that russia is a victim of western aggression, and he is demanding security guarantees in return for defusing these tensions, including rolling back nato troops from eastern ukraine. but here in ukraine, some people have told us president putin is
essentially playing a game of chicken, a cold-war-style game of brinkmanship, trying to extract concessions from the u.s. and its european allies, and thereby perhaps extending russian influence here in eastern europe. last year the u.s. government gave ukraine nearly half a billion dollars in military aid, including anti-tank missiles. president biden says if russia invades, the u.s. will respond with, quote, "severe consequences, economic consequences ieraja,"but he has ruled out sending in troops into russia. >> brennan: holly williams, thank you. we'll be right back. harvard me, and where the physicians doing the world-changing research are the ones providing care.
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