tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 29, 2020 1:00am-2:00am PST
right now. on the side of democracy or you're not. fantastic that we have to say it, but it is what it is. >> indeed, 100%. pro-democracy, the bare minimum, the benchmark. >> yeah. have a good evening, my friend. good to see you. and thank youfriend. good to see you. and thank you to you at home for joining us this hour. rachel's got the night off. there are just 23 days left in this presidency, 23 days until joe biden and kamala harris are sworn in. and yet, after four years, another first. tonight, the house of representatives overrode a presidential veto for the first time in the trump era, overriding the president's veto of the annual defense spending bill. that's the bill that pays the salaries of the men and women in the armed forces and funds the nation's national security apparatus. the annual defense bill is typically passed with bipartisan support and a vetoproof majority, but trump vetoed the bill last week anyway, in part because it called for renaming military bases named after the
confederacy. tonight, the house overrode that veto by a vote of 322-87. mitch mcconnell says he expects the senate will vote to override the veto as well, which would officially pass the defense spending bill into law. the override process in the senate is set to begin tomorrow. more on that in a second. the house also passed a bill tonight introduced by democrats to expand direct payments to eligible americans as part of the sweeping covid relief bill that congress passed last week. now, the bill would expand those payments from $600 for every adult to $2,000 per adult. more than two-thirds of the house voted for it, but its chances in the republican-led senate remain an open question. now, that vote tonight is, of course, not a democratic stunt, it's a direct response to trump's own temper tantrum. after congress passed the bill and sent it -- it's a $900 billion relief bill -- to the president last week for his
signature, instead of doing what he should have done, putting pen to paper, he publicly attacked the bill, which was painstakingly debated for weeks. he demanded $2,000 cash payments to americans, which is a good thing, except that it actually imperiled the passage of the existing bill. ultimately, the president did sign the covid relief bill late last night after teasing earlier in the day on twitter that good news was coming on the covid relief bill, information to follow, he wrote. the bill will help struggling americans. it's a good thing that the president has signed it, but it's important to pause for a second and take stock of what trump did along the way. cnn reports today that the president originally planned to sign the covid relief bill on christmas eve, the day it arrived at the president's resort in mar-a-lago. they set up a special ballroom for the occasion, with a chair and a desk for trump to use to sign the bill. but cnn reports that the plan was scrapped at the last minute because the president, quote, changed his mind, letting that
bill sit on his desk a few extra days got the president nothing. the bill he signed yesterday is the exact same bill that was handed to him almost a week ago. besides creating a spectacle and snatching the news cycle, he got nothing that he wanted. it did have a real granular, devastating effect on millions of americans who were relying on the financial assistance programs from the federal government so that they can put food on their tables during one of the worst economic disasters to ever hit this country. because donald trump decided to stall the signing of the relief bill, all the financial assistance due to struggling americans is now delayed. the unemployment assistance program expired on saturday. because the president waited until sunday to sign the bill, the program lapsed. that means part-time workers, self-employed americans, gig workers, instead of receiving $300 in federal assistance this week, they get zero, zero dollars this week, because the
president's playing games. for americans anxiously waiting for those $600 relief checks to put food on the table, to pay their rent, to make ends meet, they will have to wait days, maybe weeks longer, because of the president's game-playing. 14 million americans rely on those federal assistance programs funded by this bill. because of trump, they had to endure extra days of unnecessary worry and pain. the president, of course, remains focused not on the real financial hardships that are faced by millions of americans, but on his own selfish, petty interests. here's the thing. while he was sitting on that important relief bill for the american people, donald trump spent the holiday weekend complaining about voter fraud that does not exist in his continued attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. the president is running out of options to try and reinstall himself as president against the will of the people. the electoral college has certified the results. congress will officially count the electoral votes on january 6th, which will put the final seal on joe biden's victory. but now the president's
hair-brain scheme has gotten a boost from a sitting republican member of congress. now here's the thing, by law, the vice president -- pence -- will oversee the counting of the electoral votes in congress on january 6th. and so, texas congressman louie gohmert has sued vice president mike pence in federal court. what gohmert is asking the judge in this case to do is strike down the law that requires the vice president to oversee that count and empower the vice president to overturn the election results in battleground states and hand the election to donald trump instead. it sounds batty! it sounds like maybe i'm glossing over some key piece of context here, but i'm not! that's really what the president's ally in congress, louie gohmert, is trying to do. and it's potentially not even the most mad cap scheme that the president and his allies are cooking up. it certainly is not the most dangerous. for the past few weeks, the
president had been signaling his support for a protest planned in washington, d.c., on january 6th, the day that congress will make joe biden's victory official. the protest is expected to be attended by armed right-wing groups, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists who all support the president's bid to overturn the election. trump told his supporters to, quote, be there, it will be wild, never give up, see everyone in d.c. on january 6th. these are his tweets. experts on far-right movements say the protests could spark chaos and violence in the nation's capital. that in itself is scary. but it's how the president is reportedly considering wielding that violence that is raising real alarm bells. earlier this month, the president's disgraced, newly pardoned national security adviser, michael flynn, suggested in a televised interview that the president should use his, quote, military capabilities -- his words -- to overturn the election. he called it martial law. flynn suggested the president could essentially order troops into the swing states that he
lost and use military force to rerun the election in those states to get the outcome he wanted. he actually said that. according to veteran "washington post" columnist david ignatius, this is a scheme that government officials are worried that trump might actually attempt to put into motion. ignatius writes, quote, this threat, while unlikely to materialize, is concerning senior officials, including republicans who have supported trump in the past but believe he is now threatening to overstep the constitutional limits on his power. government officials fear that if violence spreads, trump could invoke the insurrection act to mobilize the military. then trump might use military capabilities -- michael flynn's word -- to rerun the november 3rd election in swing states, as suggested by michael flynn. the headline on this piece is sobering, by the way. it's "until biden's win is certified, the u.s. remains vulnerable." stuff is wild. joining us now, congressman jamie raskin of maryland. he's a member of the judiciary committee and maybe, more
importantly for this conversation, he's a former constitutional law professor. congressman raskin, good to see you. thank you for your time this evening. i'm not a constitutional lawyer. i'm no lawyer at all. everything i've ever learned comes from "law & order" and guests like you. is this even a thing? can this possibly happen? >> well, let's see, are you talking about the inside strategy or the outside strategy for trump? >> yeah, good question. >> i mean, you know, on the inside, it is absolutely outlandish and whimsical. you know, we've had the electoral count act of 1887 in place for more than a century, and what they want to do, suddenly, is to deafy the senate president -- here, mike pence -- essentially, to turn over all sensetive decision-making to him, when the vice president has auld acted in a minute material and administrative capacity, think of it as the chief justice in an impeachment tribunal.
he's basically there to preside over the proceedings, but not to usurp congress's right to make the decisions about the counting of the electors. in any event, counting of the electors here should be the easiest thing in the world, because we all agree in every court in the land, agrees exactly what the electoral count is at this point. it's 306-232, the same margin that donald trump declared a landslide when he beat hillary clinton by that same margin. so, the outside strategy is to rile up the proud boys and the area nations and, you know, all of the extreme rights. i mean, he told them to stand back and stand by, and this is the big moment he and they have been waiting for. and you know, the question that members are talking about is, does he just want to see violence and mayhem, which is obviously a very deep part of his nature -- >> right. >> or does he want to use that as a pretext for trying to impose military authoritarianism at the last minute to save his
rule? >> that's the question. that's the thing we need to figure out. it could be one thing if the proud boys and white supremacists show up in washington, and there are ways in which that can be dealt with. it's never going to be a good thing. but donald trump has a propensity to call for federal troops. he keeps telling mayors, if you can't control your city, i'll send in federal troops. he tells governors the same thing. so, now, he could be creating the pretext for the intervention of either national guard or military, which we've seen him do before. does that concern you? >> well, he's called on national guard before. unfortunately, maryland, like my state, did dispatch some national guard troops in that, you know, unlawful police riot that attorney general barr ordered in lafayette square. i don't think that's going to be happening again. and a lot of states are refusing to participate in it. in any event, the military should be very much on notice that it must conform to the rule of law and that the oaths that
they swear are to the constitution of the united states and to the people and not to the president. this is not a banana republic, despite what the president wants to turn us into. so you know, i would be more afraid of a military coup, had donald trump not spent his entire administration insulting the military and calling them, you know, fools and idiots and suckers for serving the country. so, i don't think that there's some kind of secret fifth column that wants to break away from the republic and get behind donald trump, the kind of thing that aaron burr might have dreamed of. >> what is this louie gohmert effort going to look like? he needs at least one senator, i understand, to support him, and there may be a senator who's prepared to support him. and then this actually becomes a debate in congress on january 6th. how does that play out for you? >> well, what you're referring to there is that every member of the house or the senate has the right to object to the counting
of particular electors. and some of the, you know, right-wing trump cultivists are saying that they're going to object, but you do need sleest one person from the senate side. so if a senator went with them, at that point, they would state their objection, and there is no debate at the moment. we would resolve to our separate chambers and the house and senate would each conduct two hours of debate. each side would have one hour with 12 members allowed to speak for five minutes apiece on each side. and then the house would vote and the senate would vote. but here's the thing -- assuming that covid-19 doesn't sideline enough members for the republicans to have some kind of temporary majority, the house is going to reject all of these completely ludicrous suggestions. and so, as long as the house objects, regardless of what the senate does, i think the senate will override the objection, too, but as long as the house rejects the objection, it doesn't go anyplace. at that point, the objection is
killed. it's nullified. and if there's a second slate put forward, which hasn't happened yet, but they keep talking about it, and there were a standoff between the house and the senate, it goes to the governor of the state for this certificate of ascertainment. so i don't think they have any real plays there. but the gohmert suit in court is trying to say that the vice president gets to decide all of these things, and that will be thrown out, like every other suit that they've brought. i think that they've lost like 52 or 53 lawsuits across the country with more than 88 judges rejecting and castigating them for the nonsense they're bringing forth. >> congressman, you make us smarter every time we talk. thank you for that. congressman jamie raskin of maryland. thank you for your time tonight, sir. don't turn your camera off. we're going to need it in just a minute. president trump's repeated efforts to up end the results of the election are playing out as millions continue to suffer the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
for those americans, donald trump's refusal to immediately sign the stimulus bill led to nothing but heartache over the christmas holidays. jennifer bryant, a mother of five in georgia, had been relying on federal unemployment benefits. given that she was behind on rent, she breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that congress had extended a moratorium on evictions, but when president trump upended negotiations right before the holidays, it devastated her family. ms. bryant told "the new york times," quote, i went to bed in tears. to have our hope pulled out from under us, our lifeline, it was devastating. even though her benefits are set to be restored, president trump's stunt means that millions of people suffered needlessly, and others may be forced to wait weeks more for government aid. trump's delay in signing the bill caused benefits to lapse for americans all across the country, meaning more uncertainty and more pain at a time when they are already struggling. joining us now from the same room you just saw, sarah bloom raskin, who served as deputy --
treasure of the secretary under president obama. love that room change. it's a different room. i thought it was going to be the same room. if the name sounds familiar, it's because she is married to our previous guest, congressman raskin. sarah, thank you for being on the show. i did not expect you to be in a different room, but thank you for being with us tonight. >> happy to be with you. >> let's just talk about this for a second. we are talking about literally millions -- i'm not making that up. we're not exaggerating and saying it. there are about 14 million people directly relying on these benefits that will be extended by this bill. these are people who are struggling. they're behind on their rent. we've talked to people who are making, you know, grocery decisions, eating less food, in america, than they would be. by delaying that money, we not only hurt them, but you hurt every other part of the economy. you hurt the grocery stores, you hurt the businesses that they spend, there is no economic sense to what donald trump was trying to do. >> that's exactly right, ali.
this delay has really exacerbated the financial anxiety that so many americans are dealing with, and these are americans, remember, who have lost jobs or who are underemployed right now, who, you know, through no fault of their own. i mean, a massive pandemic swept through our country and turned demand for goods and services way, way down. and as a result, many, many people, upwards of 12 million, really, lost jobs, lost the wherewithal to be able to make, you know, make utility payments, make rent payments, make their mortgage payments, put food on the table. so, essentially, the hardship is really quite real here. and every day matters in these instances. so, this is really no laughing matter. the delay is significant. and then, of course, there's the implementation piece, right?
so, the treasury has to print out those checks and get them out the door, and that's not timeless. that takes time. so, there's also this implementation piece, which i think is going to be quite painful. >> so, the irony is that donald trump came up with this scheme to give people $2,000, which i actually think is a better plan, and it's what democrats have been fighting for all the time. but mitch mcconnell had made the argument that he has people in his caucus who either do not want to see the increase in the deficit that that would cause or don't want the, what we used to call moral hazard. they don't want to be sending the message that we're just going to pay for people to stay home, even though nobody's staying home by choice. the issue here is that this administration in particular ran up the deficit in an historic fashion for tax cuts that we weren't clamoring for, but now we're worried about doing so on the backs of people who have not had a check from the government
in months. >> yeah, you're exactly right. i mean, coming into the pandemic, the fiscal space wasn't great for precisely the reason you mentioned. a lot of the spending had gone up because of the tax cuts, which preceded the pandemic, and that left the country really in a much more vulnerable fiscal space once we got hit with a true emergency. and so, the fiscal path is really not a long one. that said, you will see most economists, most policymakers, really agree with the idea that this is an absolute emergency, one that is going to demand significant fiscal assistance. and of course, we, you know, we had one, and that was the c.a.r.e.s. act, and that was a significant piece, but it was needed to be followed by what the house certainly did in the
h.e.r.o.e.s. act back in may, and then what was finally signed sunday night, which is, you know, the stimulus -- or i should say, the economic assistance that is now in play. but coming really much too late. >> sarah bloom raskin, thank you so much for your time tonight. former deputy secretary of the treasury under president obama. and our great thanks to the raskin household for your support of "the rachel maddow show" this evening. have a good night. >> you, too. we are getting word tonight, by the way, about a tactic that might just get the senate to vote on those $2,000 covid relief checks. this is new. senator bernie sanders says tonight that he is going to try and force a vote on that relief bill. he says he will filibuster the vote to override trump's defense bill veto, which we expect would be passed by republicans, unless republicans in the senate bring those $2,000 payments up for a vote. now, with only a few days of
crucial campaign time left for senators loeffler and perdue in their georgia runoff races, a filibuster could mean staying in d.c. through the holiday weekend, so that carries an unusual amount of weight. senator sanders will join us right here live tomorrow night to bring you up to date on what has happened. i think we're going to take a quick break. we'll be right back with more after this. a quick break. we'll be right back with more after this crest gum detoxify. my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i?
harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line. crest gum detoxify works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. crest. they use stamps.com all the services of the post office only cheaper get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
and even every awwwwwwww... wait, where was i? introducing self protection from xfinity. designed to put you in control. with real-time notifications and a week of uninterrupted recording. all powered by reliable, secure wifi from xfinity. gotta respect his determination. it's easy and affordable to get started. get self protection for $10 a month.
the president and his allies have been on futile, but extremely busy mission to overturn the election with accusations of widespread voter fraud without evidence. texas lieutenant governor dan patrick, who has offered a $1 million reward in support of quote president trump's efforts to identify voter fraud in the presidential election and his commitment to making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is disqualified. it's worth noting that the
reward was not limited to election fraud found in texas. and within hours of making that offer back in november, lieutenant governor patrick's counterpart in pennsylvania had something. his only request was that the reward be issued in sheetz gift cards. but of an inside joke here in pennsylvania. sheetz, of course, being a very popular convenience store chain in neighboring states that is based in pennsylvania. and by all accounts, it looks like pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, john fetterman, is entitled to the prize. here he was just last month telling rachel about the evidence that he found. >> my dude owes me at least $2 million. you know, we had two instances of voter fraud in pennsylvania that involve republicans having relatives vote for donald trump, one living, one dead. we had a dead mom try to vote in luzerne county, and then we had a republican father who voted for trump in chester county and then left about half an hour
later came back wearing sunglasses and he tried to vote for his son, who was a democrat. so, i mean, this wasn't the best and brightest. >> all right, since then, fetterman's claim to that reward has apparently only gotten stronger. both of the people he mentioned have since been charged with voter fraud. on top of that, he's found another instance of a man casting his dead mother's ballot on behalf of trump. that person is also facing voter fraud charges. and as for lieutenant governor fetterman, he's still waiting for lieutenant governor patrick to make good on his offer. let's check in on how that's going. john fetterman is the lieutenant governor of pennsylvania. lieutenant governor fetterman, good to see you. thank you for being with us. i take it you haven't heard from lieutenant governor patrick of texas. >> not recently. i heard from him early on, saying for me to get serious, and i'm like, hey, my dude, where's my money, you know? and the good news i can report from pennsylvania is that president trump received 100% of
the dead mother vote here in our commonwealth during this last election. so, we have three cases of voter fraud -- three cases. despite what the president tweeted out earlier today, the only documented cases of voter fraud in pennsylvania were these three cases, and my dude in texas owes pennsylvania a big bank. >> well, so, donald trump -- i don't want to put it up, because he tweets a lot of nonsense, and it was immediately countered by twitter. but yeah, he tweeted that more votes were cast in pennsylvania than there are voters. he's trying every version of this possible. obviously, you're the lieutenant governor of pennsylvania, you'd know if that's the case. >> well, of course. and let me give you the background on that nonsense. 17 snake handlers out of the pennsylvania house -- just 17 of them -- not one state senator, not even the state party owns this. some random house member sent
out this ridiculous, you know, like sim tribute to the president and, of course, the president will retweet anything that tries to cast doubt on the election. there is zero fraud in pennsylvania, save for these three cases that brought us here together tonight for this conversation. they know that. the president knows that. joe biden is going to be the next president. everyone knows that. >> so, here's the thing, you were mayor here in pennsylvania, and as soon as you get out of philadelphia, and in some cases, pittsburgh, you see the real pennsylvania, or at least a different pennsylvania, in which there are people who are suffering. this thing that the president did, where he got the bill, it was passed by both houses, and then he decided not to sign it for a few days. as i was talking to former deputy treasurer sarah bloom raskin minutes ago, that's really real for people. a delay in $300 and checks that go out this coming friday, instead of today, really, really makes a difference for a lot of
people in this state. >> it sure does. absolutely. you know, one of the things that i've learned from the gop is that sifting for the president and golfing waters the tree of liberty in this country. meanwhile, millions that are going to go without benefits in that gap now because the president delayed signing it really isn't important to him. and that's really the argument that that party makes. there isn't anything that they would do or say at this point to distract the fact that the president lost this election, and he is going to be leaving the white house next month -- actually, in what, three weeks or so -- and they're going to do whatever they can to try to distract that. but it doesn't change the underlying truth. >> john fetterman, good to see you, lieutenant governor of pennsylvania. thanks for making time to be here tonight. and of course, i'm a philly guy. i'm here in philly, so i don't mean to disparage philadelphia and pittsburgh. i love those places. thank you, sir. there are new worries
every yikes... and even every awwwwwwww... wait, where was i? introducing self protection from xfinity. designed to put you in control. with real-time notifications and a week of uninterrupted recording. all powered by reliable, secure wifi from xfinity. gotta respect his determination. it's easy and affordable to get started. get self protection for $10 a month.
all right, i want you to see this. these are frontline workers from northwestern medicine in chicago reacting to getting their first shot of the covid vaccine. >> i'm very excited about this. i've been waiting for a long time. >> yes. very exciting. we're moving forward. >> yep. >> just a little pinch. >> didn't hurt at all. >> so good! >> all right. >> this lady's not going to get covid. >> that's right. >> great news. i just got my covid vaccine shot. i'm sitting here waiting to see how i feel afterwards, but right now i'm doing very well. i am very excited to have it on
board. i did realize as i sit here and wait that underneath my mask, for the last nine months, as i took care of covid-positive patients, patients who probably were positive but we didn't know, that this virus has had me terrified for myself and for my family and for my friends, just for my fellow americans. and now that i have the vaccine, i'm breathing a little bit easier. >> it's done! vaccine's in! i'm very excited about this day. i've been looking forward to it for a long time. >> today is a great day. i received the first dose of my covid-19 vaccine, and i'm super excited. for the first time since march, i'm feeling hopeful that there is an end in sight to this
pandemic. >> i got my coronavirus vaccine this morning and i feel like i can finally take a breath. it's been a hard nine months filled with anxiety and fear, fear that you're going to bring this home to your family or you're going to end up in one of your own icu beds. so, it's not all gone. there's a lot of that that remains, but a little less fear, a little bit more joy, and a lot more hope for what's to come. there's going to be fear about this. it's new. it's different. but so is this virus. hopefully, this is a new day, a brighter day, than the ones we've been having, and i look forward to seeing my colleagues vaccinated. i look forward to seeing less people in our icu with this
disease. and i look forward to telling my grandkids about the day i got the shot and how things changed. >> hopefully, this is a new day and a brighter day. those are some doctors and nurses at northwestern medicine in chicago, just after receiving their first doses of the pfizer vaccine. frontline health professionals. these are the people who have been keeping it together for so many months and finally getting a chance to feel like something positive might be around the corner. all right, i want to play one more tape, because it's a perfect encapsulation of the moment. in the foreground of the video i'm about to show you, the chief of cardiology at their hospital delivers an eloquent and serious take on what the vaccine means. and that, in itself, it absolutely worthy of your time and attention and is very good. but the other thing that's going on here, which you cannot take your eyes away from, once it starts, are the two health care workers behind him, just over his shoulder, who are also so happy to have had themselves just received the vaccine, and
who are expressing it in a much more, like everyday citizen kind of way to which we can all relate. watch this. >> we have a duty to the 300,000 we've lost. we have a duty to each other. join me and share this smile that i have under my mask, because it tells me that a new day is coming. a new year is coming. and a new hope is coming. >> i thought you were worried about the vaccine, you were worried it's been rushed, they're not sure that it's, you know, tested well enough. what would you say to them to encourage them to get vaccinated, and why is it important for so many people to get vaccinated? >> you know, if you think about so many things in our world and our country that have been monumental changes, they've always been driven by science. this, too, is driven by science, fundamental, new discovery, that didn't just take months. it has taken years of research, but finally, we've been able to apply that research and yield this remarkable breakthrough
that so many of us view as the answer to a question that has been vexing us, plaguing us. so, i implore you, trust the science. >> and that's just another thing that 2020 has given us, the idea that you can take photos of this little space at the top of your arm where you get injected with the vaccine. i've been getting vaccine since i was a little kid. never once did i think it was noteworthy or something to take a photograph of. those first glimpses of positivity, they're so needed. seeing these frontline workers express such pure joy and relief after getting their first doses of vaccine after months and months of seeing unimaginable suffering is a reason to be hopeful. and we need a reason to be hopeful right now, because the united states has passed the grim milestone of over 19 million cases, over 325,000 americans dead, and we continue to see well over 100,000 americans hospitalized every single day for nearly the entire month of december. over 121,000 americans are
hospitalized right now with this disease. millions and millions of americans are waiting to get this vaccine. and by all accounts, it seems like we are in for a very troubling road ahead with the vaccine reaching the vast majority of the american public. the trump administration once again proudly declared just less than two weeks ago that the country could expect to see 20 million americans vaccinated by the end of the year. well, the reality pales in comparison. a mere fraction of that 20 million number has actually been vaccinated here in the united states, and with less than four days until the new year, "operation warp speed's" end-of-the-year projection is going to fall way short. how is it that we are so far behind? that story's next. stay with us. so far behind that story's next. stay with us these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office
get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again! do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy, even a term policy, for an immediate cash payment. call coventry direct to learn more. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized that we needed a way to supplement our income. our friends sold their policy to help pay for their medical bills and that got me thinking. maybe selling our policy could help with our retirement. i'm skeptical, so i did some research and called coventry direct. they explained life insurance is a valuable asset that can be sold. we learned that we can sell all of our policy or keep part of it with no future payments, who knew? we sold our policy. now we can relax and enjoy our retirement as we had planned. if you have one hundred thousand dollars or more of life insurance you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy
lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit conventrydirect.com to find out if you policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance. the trump administration appears to be changing its covid vaccination targets on the way out the door. this morning, admiral brett giroir, the assistant secretary of health, said the administration is now predicting that, quote, 20 million doses
will be distributed to states by the first week in january. now, here's the distinction -- that's doses available, not 20 million shots in arms. for reference, a month ago, they thought they would make enough doses available to put shots in 20 million arms by the end of the year. 20 million arms, by the way, is 10 million doses, 10 million people, because it's two doses per person, but they were going to continue to vaccinate 25 to 30 million people every month going forward. this new projection comes just days after "operation warp speed's" chief adviser, dr. moncef slaoui, admitted that the ramp-up of vaccinations is, quote, slower than we thought it would be. indeed. now that the end of the year is on thursday, projections have changed in no small part because this is our current vaccination pace. cdc reports that as of this morning, more than 11.4 million vaccines have been distributed to states, but only 2.1 million people have actually gotten their first shot. now, there may be some lag in the numbers that the cdc has reported, either because there might be a lag or maybe because
of the holidays, these numbers are moving in more slowly. but even so, 2.1 million vaccinations is a far cry from 20 million vaccinations. now they say they'll distribute 20 million doses to states by next week, but according to the cdc, they're only at 11 million. i want to talk about this. joining us is dr. peter hotez, co-director of the center for vaccine development at texas children's hospital, dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine. dr. hotez is an expert not just in vaccines, but he's done work on a coronavirus vaccine long before covid-19 became a thing. peter, good to see you again. you and i were together on the morning of july 30th, sunday, july 30th -- sorry, sunday, december 13th. i don't know how i got july 30th in my head. but that day will be important, because that was the day the vaccine started rolling out. the following day, monday, december 14th, people started getting the vaccinations, and it looked like a warlike effort getting it out there and getting these vaccines to these
hospitals and to health care workers. what happened? why are we at such a low number? >> you know, ali, i mean, this has been a recurring theme for the whole year, that we see time and time again that our public health infrastructure just cannot handle a lot of complexity. we saw this with the diagnostic testing that a year into this we still haven't gotten it right. we missed the entry of the virus coming in from europe. we now have this new problem we've just learned about that we're not even beginning to detect all of the variants coming in from the uk and south africa and probably right here in the united states. and so, this is another step. you know, in fairness, there are a lot of logistical complexities to the first vaccine, the pfizer vaccine, because of that deep freeze requirement that requires careful unpacking and a lot of monitoring to make certain there are no temperature incursions that will make the vaccine batch go bad. and i understand that.
but then you have the problem that we never had a centralized plan for vaccinations left to the states, so there's enormous variability right off the bat. and then when you look at how -- and this is just the beginning. remember, when you look at how we give adult vaccinations in this country, so much of it has been privatized and left to the big pharmacy chains, the supermarket chains that have pharmacies. i mean, our health system for vaccinating adults is predominantly cvs, walgreens, something called amazon pharmacy, and the big supermarkets. so, this is going to be -- you know, then you throw on top of that some very complicated guidelines issued by the advisory committee on immunization practices. it's going to be very tough to implement that. and then on top of that, you're going to have the issue of, we still don't know the durability of protection. people are going to have to be advised when to get a third dose of the vaccine, potentially, later in the year, potential safety issues. what if you have a severe
allergic reaction? how do you manage that in a pharmacylike setting? so, this is going to be incredibly complicated. and i think the country's getting a bit weary of it because, you know, we keep on tuning in to hear general leslie groves and robert oppenheimer, and we expect to hear about how we're going to win the war on fascism. instead, we're hearing about supply chain management issues from between hamford and los alamos and oak ridge, and that's not what the american people want to hear at this point. >> durability right now. the cdc is talking about three months, but that's just because that's what they've been able to determine from testing. it could be longer than that. >> that's right. this is a brand-new technology. we just don't know. and it may not be the same for the pfizer vaccine and the moderna vaccine. and the next wave of vaccines is going to be the two adenovirus vaccines from astrazeneca, oxford, and j&j. we don't know the durability of that either. so, there's going to have to be a lot of conversations with the
american people and a lot of monitoring to follow this. the hope is that it is fairly long-lasting, and it might last for a period of years, but we don't know. is it three years, three months or 30 years? we're just going to have to wait and see. >> peter, good to see you, as always. thank you for joining me. dr. peter hotez, co-director of the center for vaccine development at children's hospital and dean of the school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine. the georgia senate runoffs are so important to the direction of our nation, it is easy to forget they are not a national race and we will need local help to understand where things stand. i'm going to talk to the chair of the democratic party of georgia after this. he chair of the democratic party of georgia after this ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
there are only eight days left until voters in georgia head to the polls for a pair of runoff elections that will decide which party controls the u.s. senate in the next congress. yesterday, president trump announced that he's going to be traveling to georgia to hold a rally on the eve of that election, ostensibly to stump for the republican candidates,
david perdue and kelly loeffler. but whether or not those candidates should actually want trump there with them seems an open question, because since election day this year, trump has made life difficult for the two incumbent republican senators by repeatedly trying to undermine the state's election results and attacking georgia's republican governor and secretary of state for not supporting him in those efforts. now the president's making matters even more complicated by playing chicken with important legislation. last week, republican senator david perdue released a new ad touting his vote in favor of the covid relief bill at the same time president trump decided to start blasting the bill and threatening to veto it. at the same time as that, trump went through with his threat to veto a major defense funding bill that was supported by both loeffler and perdue. putting the two republican senators in the awkward position now of possibly voting to override the president's veto as early as tomorrow. the first veto in this administration, just days before he's set to join them on the
campaign trail. as the kids say, this is awk. all this comes as new fec filings show democratic candidate dates raphael warnock and jon ossoff bringing in $100 million each in the last quarter, shattering previous fund-raising efforts and significantly outpacing their republican opponents. joining us now is someone who knows a lot about how to win an election in georgia, congresswoman-elect in kemah williams, elected to fill the georgia congressional seat of the late john lewis. congresswoman-elect, great to see you again. thank you for being with us. >> thee for having me. >> let's talk about a couple of things that have unfolded tonight. first of all, bernie sanders saying he's going to filibuster the vote to overturn the veto of the national defense appropriation act, unless the senate votes on the $2,000 relief payment. that is tricky, because a filibuster might delay things,
and your two senators from the state of georgia may have to be in washington, instead of georgia. >> well, i mean, i think david perdue and kelly loeffler have shown us time and time again that they are not really in washington to represent the people of georgia. that $2,000 relief is the difference between food on people's table, being evicted, out on the street, and weather is getting a little cold down in georgia, and we have two senators that are playing with people's lives on the ground. so i mean, i support senator sanders in making sure that we demand that people need access to immediate funds. $600 was just a small down payment in the right direction, but people need relief. the house democrats have already passed this bill, and we just need the senators to step up and give people in georgia the support and the aid that they need right now. >> so, that's tricky, because the race in georgia is tight, and as we've seen, polls may or may not be all that accurate, but it's tight. at this point, your two
republican senators are going to be faced with the prospect of having to vote up or down on making that $600 into $2,000. that's got to be very impactful to a lot of republicans in georgia, or people thinking that they're going to vote republican, to cast a ballot for someone who didn't agree to increase their payout at a time when they had nothing to do with why they don't have an income. >> i mean, i think it just goes back to what we've seen all along during this pandemic, when the pandemic first hit, david perdue and kelly loeffler had information that the general public did not have. they had this information as a u.s. senator, and they sat on it, and then used this information to mess with their stock portfolios to make sure that they enriched themselves, instead of looking out for everyday georgians. and so, this is just par for the course. and when people show you who they are, we should believe them. and they are not here to represent the people. i need jon ossoff and raphael warnock elected next week. we only have eight days to go, but voters are fired up on the
ground because they understand what's at stake, and we need raphael warnock and jon ossoff in the senate to bring relief to people that are hurting in georgia in the midst of a global pandemic. >> eight days left. what else do you need to happen? turnout has been strong. do you think everybody who you need to get out there is getting out and voting? >> turnout is strong, but we can't stop until the last vote is counted. we are seeing the numbers continue to increase. this is the last week of early voting. we are already going to be short one day of early voting this week with the holiday on new year's day, so we need people to continue to make sure that they're showing up to vote this week and then use the drop boxes. drop boxes are available to turn in your absentee ballots, but we can do this. people told us that we're going to have low turnout because this was a runoff, but look at us now. over 2 million georgians have already cast a ballot so far in this runoff election. that is on par with the numbers that we saw in the general election when we had record turnout. so, i'm excited and i cannot
wait to get to washington, get sworn in, and have two u.s. senators in jon ossoff and raphael warnock that i can work with on behalf of the
people of georgia. >> congresswoman-elect nikema williams, great to see you again. thank you for joining us and thank you for your time upon the. that's it for us tonight. "way too early with kasie hunt" is up next. >> i am telling donald trump, don't just talk about it, act. these senate republicans have followed you through thick and thin. get them now to act and support the $2,000 checks. >> house lawmakers pass a bill to beef up coronavirus stimulus checks to $2,000, and now the fate of the measure rests with the gop-controlled senate. the question is, will republicans get on board with the increased payments? plus, the house rejects a bid by president trump to veto a must-pass defense spending bill.