tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC March 1, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST
good monday morning to you. craig melvin here. there is new hope right now in our fight to contain this pandemic. we are watching it live in kentucky. our third, yes, third covid-19 vaccine getting packed up and prepped for rollout as we speak. we are talking about 4 million doses of johnson & johnson's single-dose, easy to store vaccine. left side, the u.p.s. truck set to take off any moment with the new vaccines on board. on the right side of the screen, workers literally putting those vaccine vials in the boxes. the ceo said we could see doses in the arms of americans in the next 24 to 48 hours. he is tamping down the idea that the vaccine is second tier to the other ones out there.
>> kept all the patients out of the hospital and from dying, even against these new and really challenging variants. we think that consumers, patients here in this country and around the world should have confidence, a lot of trust in knowing they are getting a very safe and effective one-shot vaccine. >> any second now, we expect to hear more about this vaccine rollout. that's because the white house covid-19 response team is getting ready for their briefing. dr. fauci hammering home a simple message. if you can get any vaccine, just get it. we will take you to that briefing when it starts. we begin with nbc's ellison barber at the facility outside louisville, kentucky, where the shipping process for the vaccine is underway. vaughn hillyard is in independence, virginia, the type of small town where the johnson & johnson shot could be a boost as folks there are desperately
waiting for vaccine appointments. we also have dr. ebony hilton. she's a university of virginia associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. dr. hilton, good to see you. ellison, we will start with you. we are watching this vaccine shipment process right now, that kentucky facility. when do we expect that first shipment to roll out? >> reporter: it could be any minute now, craig. we did see them put those first boxes into the truck. we are told some of the first boxes that were loaded will go to ohio and indiana. if you look over here, you can see the u.p.s. truck right over there. not sure how much you can see. the driver is already in the vehicle. that gives you a sense of how close we are to getting things moving here. this is going to be the first time the johnson & johnson vaccine has been distributed in the united states. johnson & johnson has said they will have 4 million doses of the vaccine distributed within the
first week. that driver there, her name is juliette. as she arrived within the last half hour to take on this huge, huge task of delivering these incredibly important boxes across the country, first to a u.p.s. place not far from here, we asked her what this moment felt like. i want to let you hear some of what she told us a few minutes ago. >> i'm going to think i'm making history. history in the making. this is something that is going to be helping a lot of people. people can come back out, open the world back up, get the economy going. just excited. >> reporter: once she gets the green light and once they get ready to go from here, which should be any minute now, she will pull out, get a final check, meet up with the police that are stationed over there and make her way towards the u.p.s. facility. craig? >> ellison barber, thank you.
we are going to keep a close eye on kentucky. right now, the covid-19 response team is giving their briefing. dr. walensky here, the director of the cdc. she just said there's some promising news. let's listen in for more. >> these data are evidence that our declines appear to be stalling, at over 70,000 cases a day. with these new statistics, i am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from covid-19. i understand the temptation to do this. 70,000 cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago. but we cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases a day. 2,000 daily deaths. please hear me clearly. at this level of cases with variant spreading, we stand to
completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. these variants are very real and a threat to our people and our progress. now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of covid-19 in our communities. not when we are so close. we have the ability to stop a potential fourth surge of cases in this country. please stay strong in your conviction. continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work. ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. to get there, we need to vaccinate many more people. yesterday, cdc's advisory committee on immunization practices endorsed the safety and efficacy of jansen's covid-19 vaccine. after they met, i was heartened to sign their recommendations for use of this vaccine in people 18 or older. this means we have three safe
and highly effective vaccines that prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from covid-19. importantly, acip does not state a preference for a particular covid-19 vaccine. rather, they recommend that individuals can get any of the acip recommended covid-19 vaccines. they encourage individuals to receive the earliest vaccine available to them. the jansen vaccine is a much needed addition to our toolbox and increases the number of vaccine doses available and makes it possible for people to get -- for more people to get vaccinate and protected from covid-19. it offers several unique benefits. it's a single dose vaccine that provide covid-19 protection with one shot. that can help fully vaccinate people who may have difficulty or who are not interested in returning for a second dose. for those administering the vaccine, the vaccine is easier
to store and transport since it does not need to be kept in a freezer. this will make it easier to provide vaccine in more mobile sites as supplies scale up. having multiple vaccines available, especially ones with different dosing regiments offers more flexibility. clinics that don't have freezer capacity may use the jansen vaccine increasing access. many americans look forward to rolling up their sleeves with confidence as soon as a covid-19 vaccine is available to them. we are working hard to get and distribute these vaccines to your communities. i also know that some people may not be there today and may still have questions about the vaccines, including wanting more information about the process for developing and authorizing them. that's natural. i know that some people have had experiences that may have diminished their confidence in the health system. that's also understandable.
i want to emphasize several important facts about the vaccines. we have conducted the largest scale clinical trials of any vaccine. what made that possible so quickly was the high amount of disease in the community and the fact that so many people were interested in participating. all of the available data show that the vaccines are safe and are highly effective. over 100,000 people participated in clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. they have all met rigorous fda scientific standards. equally importantly, as of today, nearly 50 million people in the united states have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. we have put in place the most intensive vaccine safety monitoring systems in u.s. history. we are actively monitoring for any new safety signals.
cdc's new smart phone health checker has enrolled approximately 4.5 million people to capture patient reported side effects in real time. the results are reassuring. some people have no side effects after vaccination. many people have reported mild side effects like pain, swelling at the injection site and headache and chills or fever. these are common with all vaccines and should go away after a day or so. serious, generally reversible reactions remain rare. for those who have still questions about the vaccines, i encourage you to visit the website for more information. our decisions today as a unified nation and as individuals, including whether and when to get vaccinated, will determine how quickly we can stop the pandemic and what life will look like in the coming months ahead. the most important thing you can do is to be ready to get the vaccine that is available to you. it will help protect us all from covid-19.
thank you. i look forward to your questions and with that i will turn things over to dr. fauci. >> thank you very much, dr. walensky. i'm going to talk more now about the jansen covid-19 vaccine. if i can have the first slide. let's move to the second slide. we get questions -- move on to the second slide. we get questions regarding the various percentage numbers that people see. i know most of you are aware of them. let me just clarify a few things. the 66% vaccine efficacy that we have is really against all of the countries involved. you must recall that this vaccine trial was done on three continents. the united states, south america and south africa. with varying degrees of infection dynamics as well as varying strains, variants or
lineages. that's the 66%. the 72% is the vaccine efficacy against moderate to severe critical infection in the united states. i want to point out again a question we often get asked. in order to try, we always say, what vaccine is better than the other vaccine. in order to be able to determine that, you would have to compare them head to head. this was not done. we have three highly efficacious vaccines that are also, as dr. walensky says, has a very good safety profile. a very important number that i want to re-emphasize is that there's 85% efficacy against severe covid-19 globally including the united states. this is very important because if you look at other countries such as south africa, if you go to the next slide, where you have the variant, you can see
the efficacy against severe critical disease was 82% there. that's really very important, because even though the vaccine itself, the spike protein that was used and expressed in that vaccine was the spike protein against the virus that is the d614g. even though the vaccine itself was not specifically directed against those variants, it did extremely well when it came to preventing severe critical disease. as we have heard many times now, there were no hospitalizations or deaths in any of those studies. next slide. i want to spend a minute now telling you the difference between the mrna and the 26.
we get asked that question. as we have said on previous briefings, the mrna that's injected into the muscle codes for the spike protein in the proper configuration. the body sees that and makes an immune response against that, giving you the protection that has been shown with both of mrna vaccines. next slide. in contrast, the janssen is to take a harmless, non-replication virus in which the dna of the sars spike insert was given into the genome. that virus is then injected into an individual. the dna then transcribes the rna. the rna gives you the spike protein.
the ultimate end game is that both of the virus -- excuse me, both of the vaccines ultimately result in a spike protein in the right confirmation that gives the body the opportunity to feel that this is the actual virus that it is seeing when it's not. it's the protein. next slide. so just to put everything into perspective, we have shown this slide before. we now have, again, the third vaccine that is highly efficacious, as shown here, which has been granted an eua that has been described by dr. walensky. let me go to the last slide and make a comment that i think people do not seem to appreciate. it has to do with what goes into making these vaccines successful. i have as a title of the slide, the role of the nih and the u.s. government in the development and testing of johnson &
johnson. what people don't appreciate is that there have been decades of investment in basic, preclinical and clinical research to actually develop the vector. a lot of work done up at harvard. the development of the stabilized pre-fusion spike protein was done by scientists at the niad vaccine research center. the utilization by johnson & johnson of the extensive domestic and international clinical trials network that was established for actually for hiv and influenza. also the lab at the cancer research center performed all the testing. the data and safety monitoring board was established by niad and extensive support from hhs
to conduct the trial and to prepurchase hundreds of millions of dollars worth of vaccines by bartter. it's a complicated process. it looks like it was quick and it was done in a relatively short period of time. there was a lot of effort, including fundamental basic pre-clinical and clinical research that went into that. i will stop there and hand it over to dr. nunez-smith. >> thanks so much, dr. fauci. this is all very, very good news. all three vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing what we care about most. that's very serious illness and death. all of the authorized vaccines will be distributed across our vaccination channels. that doesn't mean every vaccination site will have every vaccine. it means that all vaccines will reach all communities. all three authorized vaccines
available in the suburbs, all three available in the cities, all three available on the coast and in the heartland. i want to briefly talk about some of the clinical benefits of the johnson & johnson vaccine from a health care provider's perspective. having these different types of vaccines available for you, ones that have different storage requirements, different handling requirements, different dosing recommendations, that will bring more options and more flexibility to health care providers. it could allow for expanded availability of vaccine in some temporary clinics. some pop-up mobile sites and those locations that do not have cold storage capacity. overall, increased vaccine supply creates greater opportunity for people to get vaccinated. we also recognize some individuals may have a preference for a single dose vaccine. those who do not want to return for a second dose or who would have difficulty returning for a second dose. we understand that.
still, as a physician, i strongly urge everyone in america to get the first vaccine that is available to you when it is your turn. if people want to opt for one over another, they may have to wait. time is of the essence. getting vaccinated saves lives. no doubt, communities across the country have been devastated by this pandemic. the vaccines and vaccinations are a critical tool in bringing this unprecedented pandemic to an end. now we have three. for that in addition to the scientists, i want to thank the clinical trial participants for their contributions to scientific discovery. for this vaccination campaign to be successful, vaccines will have to reach everyone. kudos to the states and jurisdictions who are working closely with trusted leaders in the hardest hit communities to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccinations. this is best practice. again, all three vaccines have
been proven safe, highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death from covid-19 after full immunity. if i could leave people with one message, it is this. get vaccinated. the first vaccine available to you, protect yourself, your family and your community from covid-19. with that, i will turn it over to you, jeff. >> thank you, dr. nunez-smith. i will provide an update on our planning, logistics and distribution of the recently authorized johnson & johnson vaccine before we open it up for questions. for the last several weeks, we have been working with governors, state and local health officials and pharmaies and community health centers to ensure we were ready to roll out the johnson & johnson vaccine immediately after fda approval and cdc recommendations. starting yesterday, we began executing on our plans by
distributing 3.9 million doses of johnson & johnson to states, tribes and territories and also to pharmacies and community health centers. johnson & johnson doses will be delivered as early as tomorrow. we are allocating the johnson & johnson vaccine the same way we allocate pfizer and moderna, proportional to a population. if a state represents 2% of the u.s. population, it receives approximately 2% of the pfizer allocation, 2% of the moderna allocation and will now receive 2% of the johnson & johnson allocation that is made to states, tribes and territories. we have directed states to manage distribution of all three vaccines in a fair and equitable way. we will continue to monitor that closely. as part that was work, the cdc
is tracking distribution of vaccines across a range of equity metrics, including zip codes and social vulnerability index data. we have three very effective vaccines in allcommunities. they should have equitable access. as to the expected supply of johnson & johnson vaccine, this week we will distribute 3.9 million doses. we are getting these out the door right away to ensure vaccines get into arms as quickly as possible. johnson & johnson has communicated that the supply will be limited for the next couple of weeks. following this initial distribution of nearly 4 million doses. the company then expects to deliver approximately 16 million additional doses by the end of
march. however, as we have discussed with governors and their teams, and with federal partners, we know that johnson & johnson distribution and delivery will be uneven across these early weeks in march, and the company expects the delivery to be predominantly in the back half of the month. overall in the johnson & johnson vaccine, we have done the planning. we have the distribution channels in place. we are getting doses out the door as quickly as possible to get shots in arms. we are focused on execution. that includes the important work of ensuring that we continue to increase overall vaccine supply, increase the number of vaccinators and increase the number of places americans can get vaccinated. next i want to provide an update on the pace of doses being administered. as you can see, on our weekly
vaccination report, the current seven day average is 1.7 million shots per day. given that the first couple of days in this seven day period included the storm impacts, 1.7 million actually understates the current pace. over the weekend, we experienced new record levels of daily vaccinations. that said, we have more to do on all fronts and our war on this pandemic. there is a path out of this pandemic. how quickly we exit this crisis depends on all of us. that's why i encourage everyone to take the advice of the doctors. follow the public health guidance. get vaccinated when it's your turn. continue to wear mask and social distance to protect yourself and your fellow americans. we will continue doing everything we can as a federal government to defeat this virus.
but it will take all of us, stepping up to do our part. with that, let's open it up to questions. >> a reminder to please keep your questions to one question only. first up, elizabeth wise at usa today. >> thank you for taking my question. you didn't say how many doses are being shipped this week, i think. usually you have had that. my question, however, is, appointment systems seem to be the ratelimiting factor and in some cases this is frustrating people who aren't coming back because -- >> okay. we have been watching and listening to the white house covid-19 response team there. a couple of headlines, including over the weekend, we set a record in terms of the number of shots in arms in this country. heard that that new johnson &
johnson vaccine, 4 million doses set to be shipped by the end of this week. some 16 million doses by the end of the month. we also heard this message hammered home several times. get the first vaccine available. let's bring in dr. ebony hilton now, a university of virginia associate professor of anesthesiologist and critical care medicine. dr. hilton, just going back to this johnson & johnson vaccine for a moment, it's hard to under sell how much of a game changer this particular vaccine is. single dose, easy to store. what does this mean for accessibility? what does it mean for the larger struggle for vaccine equity? >> right. it surely is a game changer. when we are looking at how many people we have vaccinated at this point, yes, we vaccinated a lot. it's only 7.5% of the total u.s. population that's received both
doses. that are fully vaccinated. any addition to the number of doses we can give out to the community is going to be a benefit. when you are talking about issues of equity, we look at states like south carolina, that eight counties don't have a hospital, things like the johnson & johnson vaccine can be a true game changer. >> dr. fauci went on to -- he went to great lengths to explain how the vaccines were developed and precisely how it is they work. why is it so important to lay out that kind of detailed information, dr. hilton? >> you know, because there's a lot of fear around these vaccines. the timing, the way it was poe lit siz
politicized. they can understand it's not a rushed process. it has been in the works for decades. these aren't new ideas. we have scientists, brilliant minds that have put work into making this intervention. when we are losing 2,000 people a day, it's not over. we need people to trust the process. we need people to get vaccinated. >> to your point about this continued skepticism surrounding the vaccinations, this is what johnson & johnson's ceo is saying about trials for some key groups. >> we are starting on studies for people that are between the age of 12 and 18. we are looking at starting trials even in younger patients, in pregnant women, because we realize we need to generate that kind of information so that people can have the trust and confidence for it to be used. we are confident that over the
course of 2021, we will have that data available. >> dr. hilton, do trials like this do enough to ultimately cut through that vaccine hesitancy and doubt? is there a public education approach that also needs to be taken? >> i think we can't get away from talking about it too much. we need to talk about heshesita. i will come back to the idea we say hesitancy often. but we do not recognize the lack of access. when we look at who is being vaccinated and this point, we know there's still at this point in time only 6% african-americans being vaccinated. they account for 15% of all those who have died from covid-19. whether we look specifically, i think examples out of new york city, breezy point, queens, 78% white. 26% have been fully vaccinated. they have a 1.89% positivity rate. look at cyprus hill, 4% white,
it has a 10% positivity rate, 3% have been vaccinated. this difference in the way that we are vaccinating people, it has to change. what we know is that the longer we allow this virus to circulate throughout our society, the more likely we will have these mutants and these variants. that will have to make us readjust the way we roll out our vaccines and how we develop. at this point, go with the vaccines that we have. but we have to push our elected officials to say, who is getting vaccinated and when. >> dr. hilton, quickly, to your point -- i have heard statistics like that as well in other communities around this country. the correlation between race and likelihood of getting the vaccine, pretty undeniable so far. is it lack of access or, quite frankly, people that look like me and you, are we just that
much more reluctant, that much more unwilling to get the shot? >> right. when this discussion of hesitancy is often times mentioned about black people. yes, we can talk about tuskegee, flint, michigan, the government has not kept our interest at heart. but there's also large groups of white people that are hesitant. anti-vaxers are white educated women. cpac are not wearing masks. that was 74 million people. mostly white who voted for donald trump. that is not used for them. it's used for our community. until we see equal access being given to the black and brown community, i don't want to hear mention of hesitancy. even if they wanted it, they could not get it. we really have to push. look at the way we are allocating these resources that all taxpayers, including black
americans, including hispanic americans, are paying their money to create these billion dollar vaccine rollouts. they need to be included in the process of who actually gets that life saving intervention in their arm. >> a good point. it's your birthday as well. we appreciate you working on your 21st birthday. thank you. >> thank you. let's bring back vaughn hillyard. he is in independence, virginia. vaughn, for folks not familiar with the geography of the commonwealth, you are near the state line with north carolina, about an hour and a half drive southwest of blacksburg. one pharmacy where you are. it's really becoming emblematic of the struggle to get their
hands on vaccines. talk about how this particular vaccine, this johnson & johnson vaccine, could change things for rural areas. >> reporter: you are good, craig. this is independence. we are in southwestern virginia. into the blue ridge mountains here. there's a few thousand folks that live here in the surrounding areas. folks in the countryside are waiting for the vaccines. one of the greatest challenges is the fact that here in independence, there's one pharmacy. it's woody's pharmacy. the only place that you can go in town for those several thousand that live around here for a vaccine is woody's. that is why there are questions week to week about how many doses are coming into town. that's why i want to introduce you to perhaps the most popular person in town. the pharmacy technician jennifer, our new friend who is the keeper of the list of who is getting the vaccine next here in town. jennifer, can you tell us, what is the demand like? >> the demand in this community
has been very high. >> reporter: very high. when folks are calling you up, how are they doing that? you have the binder. are you putting names down in? >> we were putting names down until we got to a list that, you know, exceeded our expectations. until we get more allotment, we have stopped taking names. >> reporter: when folks call, you say, we're not taking names because despite the state of virginia adding folks who are eligible to the list just today, you are still waiting for doses to come in. how many doses are you getting week to week? >> so far, vaccine allocation has been somewhat limited. it's determined on our local health district. it has varied week to week. >> reporter: 30 one week, 100 one week? >> some weeks we haven't gotten
any. >> reporter: you are telling folks? >> we are asking our patients to be patient with us as we follow our local health district guidelines on patient eligibility. just telling them to keep checking back with us. we will get them in as soon as we can. >> reporter: thanks. there's the blue book. that's the binder. >> this is the binder that is pretty full. >> reporter: every day call up folks and telling them you are ready for them? >> yes. as soon as we get vaccines, we go from the top to the bottom. >> reporter: craig, that's why folks out here are waiting for the vaccines, whether it be moderna, pfizer on the new johnson & johnson vaccine. folks are waiting for those shipments. craig? >> demand continues to outstrip supply everywhere. vaughn hillyard at woody's in southwest va. thanks. thanks to jennifer as well. at this hour, the minneapolis city council is getting briefed on security
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george floyd for several minutes and eventually killing him. floyd's death set off months of racial justice protests across the city. and around the country and world. right now, minneapolis city council, as we speak, meeting to hear about the plans and preparations for that trial. you can see it live happening right now. it's a virtual meeting. according to the "star tribute" the paper of record in minneapolis, the city has put up barricades and barbed wire around public buildings, activists have criticized the steps. one organizer telling the newspaper, quote, they are more afraid of the people than they are of police violence. cal perry is following it for us. cal, in a few hours, prosecutors will be arguing to reinstate a third degree murder charge against chauvin. walk us through that. walk us through what we can expect leading up to this trial next week.
>> reporter: absolutely. on the legal side, what we will see is a boring zoom meeting between the prosecutors, defense and a three panel judge from the minnesota court of appeals. what the prosecution is asking for is a reinstatement of third degree murder charges. originally derek chauvin was charged with second degree murder, second degree manslaughter and third degree murder. it was a judge that removed the third degree murder charges. that is what is being appealed today. it may sound like a small thing. the third degree murder charges come with 150 months in jail. that's the sentencing recommendation in minnesota. that's 12 1/2 years. it will not be evidentiary. we won't see witnesses. we can expect a decision fairly quickly as it seems like the attorney general wants to get this trial started on monday, which is what brings us to how the city and really the state are preparing. we are talking about a massive security operation. they have called this operation
safety net. it could see, according to the mayor, 3,000 law enforcement on the streets of minneapolis being coordinated between 12 different agencies. we are talking about national guard plus a mix of local law enforcement. that operation is well under way. the street in front of the courthouse today has already been shut. the main government center in minneapolis, the government center which has the courthouse and the local jail, is seeing security be put in. we see barricades, that wire being put in. we see it at the state capitol as well. it's worth mentioning in part of the reporting of the story that we still have to wait and see if we will have federal charges against derek chauvin. the biden administration said they will make civil rights a priority. we know there's grand jury stuff. the timing is unclear. we watch the trial unfold -- starting monday, three weeks of picking a jury. as we watch the trial unfold on
television, we are still waiting for the position built of federal charges. >> cal perry for us following all of it. thank you. let's turn to paul butler. mr. butler is a law professor at georgetown school of law. he is also a former federal prosecutor and an nbc news legal analyst. for the purposes of this conversation, he is the author "choke hold, policing black men." paul, let's start with the trial strategy here. we just mentioned that prosecutors are going to push today to restore a third degree murder charge against derek chauvin. chauvin charged with second degree murder and manslaughter. from a prosecutor's perspective, what's the thinking here? >> the legal issue has to do with whether the minnesota state law, whether third degree murder applies to defendants who target a specific person.
it's a complicated state law issue. i think the legal precedent favors of prosecution. the court should allow the third degree murder conviction. the strategic importance of what the court decides is even more important, craig. in difficult cases, sometimes jurors will compromise. in this case, if they don't want to convict officer chauvin of second degree murder, the prosecution wants them to have the option of third degree murder. otherwise, the only choices the jury would have will be to find chauvin not guilty or to convict him of manslaughter. the sentence for manslaughter in minnesota is ten years. the family and activists would say that sentence wouldn't fit the crime. >> meanwhile, paul, there's this interesting headline in "the new york times." minnesota is going to pay influencers to fight
misinformation during the officer's trial. the city will contract six influencers for $2,000 each to share, quote, city generated and approved messages. i have never heard of anything like that. i don't know if you have heard of anything like that. what does that tell you? >> i have never heard of it. it's not unusual for cities to reach out to community leaders in advance of high profile, controversial trials. what's different is that these are social media influencers. they are being paid. they're going to be kind of like journalists, reporting on the trial, because now many people get their news from social media. these reporters won't be impartial. they work for the city. so some people will dismiss this as government-sponsored propaganda. the trial is televised.
anyone in minneapolis can watch for themselves. >> paul, i think there are probably a lot of folks watching us right now and listening on satellite radio who would say, we saw the evidence. we saw the video. how is this not at least third degree murder? it's not a slam dunk of a case, paul butler. explain to folks why that might be. >> craig, no case against a police officer is ever a slam dunk. especially a murder prosecution. u.s. cops kill about 1,000 people every year, most of those shootings are ruled as justified. in the rare cases in which officers are charged with murder, the cops usually win. the charges are thrown out or the officer is found not guilty. yes, this case has compelling evidence. but in other prosecutions, there's been videotape,
eyewitness testimony and there still have not been convictions. >> paul butler, we will leave it there. we will spend time with you over the next weeks. thanks. this woman got national attention last summer when she talked about her dad's death from covid at the dnc. she's working to mark today, march 1st, as covid-19 memorial day. she's going to join me to talk about why it is so very important, next. there are many reasons for waiting to visit your doctor right now. but if you're experiencing irregular heartbeat, heart racing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or light-headedness,
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honoring her father and denouncing the trump administration's covid policy. >> my dad was a healthy 65-year-old. his only pre-existing condition was trusting donald trump. for that, he paid with his life. >> it has been almost a year since you lost your dad and made that speech. we talk about huge numbers. more than 515,000 people have lost their lives to covid. you have been living every day with the tragic consequences of one victim of the pandemic, your dad. >> when i had the obituary for my father calling out the lack of leadership and decisive policy to protect people, i had a groundswell of support, people
coming at me saying, thank you for writing this. people wanted to channel their pain. i was public of the tragedy of losing my wonderful dad. it became very clear i was not alone. my partner and i co-founded marked by covid to have the courage to stand up and advocate for themselves. >> how can folks remember those who have been lost?
>> when you look backlost? >> you look back on it, half a million people were alive this time last year. we had just lost our first-known person to coronavirus. march was the month everything changed and for us marked by covid, it is going to be a somber day every single day from here on out to an even larger degree. so for today, people should remember that. we are calling for a federal holiday. we are calling for memorial permanent on thing that mall and beyond. and for this year and every year i invite people to join us for an online vigil we're hosting and you can find out more from our website at
markedbycovid.com. >> as you know, we are seeing the covid-related deaths drop finally. people are getting vaccinations. perhaps paying more attention to masking. but you talked to many people around the country and shared their grief and said even as the government works to get this virus under control, the nation is facing, your words, i pandemic of grief. we're treating the virus with medication. how did you treat that grief? >> great question. we need to respond to this pandemic, commensurate to its scale. we started to move in the right direction when it comes to slowing the spread and tackling the disease, the acute disease. but to really move through the pain and suffering and grief that we are feeling, we need to recognize and acknowledge the abun dand loss. and that actually starts with a
commitment like we made over 9/11 to never forget. it also means we have to know the unvarnished truth about what happened and why so that loved ones, people like my father, their death wasn't in vain so we can apply lessons learned from the mismanagement from this pandemic to future public health exercise. that means that we need to be observing time on our calendar to really grieve this. we need to be creating spaces for people to come together to grieve, to mourn, to unite and heal from this completely preventable disaster. >> your father's death was not in vain. i'm certain he's quite proud of what you are doing in his honor. kristin, thank you again for your team and keep fighting the good fight.
and that will do it for me this hour. any minute this hour, we expect to see white house press secretary jen psaki, along with homeland security secretary alejandro my achous inside the white house with andrea mitchell next. ll next .. uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin. and 24-hour relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. try claritin cool mint chewabls for powerful allergy relief plus a cooling sensation. live claritin clear.
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good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington,ic kicking off a difficult two weeks for president biden and congressional democrats trying to get the covid passed before march 14th. and there's good news, johnson & johnson shaping the first doses of their vaccine out to get more shots in arms in the coming days, even ahead of the cdc warning about a potential