tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 31, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PDT
things that fire up the republican base, one that is very supportive of the former president. >> interesting to hear how that applies to this new infrastructure debate. thank you for getting up "way too early" with us on this morning. i'm alicia menendez. catch me right here on msnbc. "morning joe" starts right now. the president's german sherp pard major is said to nip a park. this is the second person major bit this month. the last time they sent him home to delaware. but i guess he didn't learn anything. say what you will about donald trump, mike pence never bit anybody. >> all right. poor major. he's having -- it's adjusting to the white house and -- >> poor major?
>> it's not an environment that feels comfortable because of what it's been like there. dogs tell the truth. i feel so bad for him. >> i would be telling the truth to a dog if it bit one person. >> he's a good boy. >> if the dog bit two people, that dog might better get his affairs in order. and prepare -- >> good boy. >> to meet dog jesus because -- >> no, stop it, joe. >> no. your dog cannot bite two people. >> he's a rescue. >> dog jesus. >> is this the juju thing, previous white house had bad energy, so major is working through some of that stuff. >> of course. dogs tell the truth. and i hope everyone works with him. >> i don't even know what that means, willie. a dog tells the truth? you're saying that to the two people that major bit?
>> no. he didn't mean it that way. >> like they brought a wear wolf on to the grounds. steven king needs to right kujo goes to the white house. this thing is a run away deer trot with fangs of kujo. >> i stand with major. >> she stands with major. you can't bite. we know that, mika. maybe time back in delaware or maybe a permanent home in delaware might be the best solution. >> no. >> happy home in delaware. >> nope. >> you don't give up. dogs are loyal to you. >> that is a dog. that is a dog that like the honey badger. >> no. >> just don't care. >> i have german shepherds. my mom has daisy, by dad's dog. don't mess with daisy. >> daisy doesn't bite. >> well, she can -- good morning, welcome to "morning joe."
it's wednesday, march 31st. >> dog jesus, willie. >> stop. >> going home p going home. along with joe, willie and me, we have -- i have ideas for major. all right. white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire. don't say anything, jonathan. don't say a word. white house correspondent for pbs news hour yamiche alcindor joins us and jake is wearing stripes today. >> jake, should the bidens put the dog down or not? >> you can't make me get into this. i'm not going to be dragged into this. i'm sorry. >> joe. absolutely not. >> if you had a dog that bit two people, what would you do? >> it was a nip. >> if i were president, i would send that dog home to delaware probably. but i don't really -- that's not
an official position of punchbowl news. i'm done then. >> keep major on a leash. joe biden or jill if they can keep him on a leash all day right next to them and just teach the dog manners again, you're right there. you act in the moment. he just sits right with them on a leash. >> this is rank hypocrisy. do we want to get into your history of rescues that bit people? they never got the second bite with you. >> there was one problem with spice, otherwise all of them were good. >> you know where spice is. >> oh no. >> with dog jesus after the one bite. >> no, no, no, no. we're just way down the wrong road here and that's a long story. stop it. okay. i've got the news. the latest npr pairist poll shows the president building on his already high approval rating. >> well, i got to say, this was taken before kujo took another chunk out of somebody's leg. >> 52% of the americans surveyed approve of the president's overhaul job performance. up three points from earlier this month.
his handling of the pandemic also up three points to 65%. the president added 5 points to his rating on the economy after signing the stimulus package now at 51%. but the migrant crisis is taking a whole toll on his migration numbers. 34% approve and 53% disagree. there's that. >> it does appear, though, of course, if we can beat this horse one more time, does appear the migrant crisis is taking a bite out of joe biden's overall approval. >> they just revealed new details of the infrastructure plan. >> willie, that was still high. he's still north of 50%. and really on the key issues that joe biden campaigned on, the key issues that he talked about getting into office, about taking care of covid, overwhelming majority of
americans continue to support him. >> yeah, he's doing exactly what he said he was going to do, tackle the biggest problem in front of the country that is covid. he got the covid relief bill and showing competence, refreshing to a lot of americans, getting the vaccines produced and vaccines distributed ahead of the schedule he laid out for his administration. he's actually doing the work. and obviously he's struggling on the immigration question. we'll talk to jen psaki, the press secretary about that little later in the show. but jonathan lemire, joe biden in this environment n this country today will take a 52% approval rating. >> he absolutely will, willie. this was the central focus of his administration. he was elected in large part, two, not be donald trump and second to do this manage the nation as it faces covid-19, the health aspects and the economic
ones. we're seeing some signs of economic recovery. that's good news. and certainly a huge, huge jump in the number of vaccines produced and distributed, where by may any american adult who wants one will be able to get one. that's great news. that's what most americans really care about. they're also seeing benefits of the stimulus package, that $1,400 check show up in their bank account. the white house is trying to use that for their next piece of. i'm traveling with the president to pittsburgh when he talks about the infrastructure package, huge, sprawling and will need congressional negotiation. they believe they enter those negotiations with a strong hand because of how popular this president is. despite scandals and questions swirling around major biden. i'll add this, there's been talk that the white house was -- first family was going to add a cat to their stable of animals.
>> ah. >> that hasn't happened. now main question is what happens with this cat now that there's such a scrutiny on the first pets. >> cats going to get eaten. >> actually the cat will help. cats are -- >> they can't let the cat near the dog. >> joe, the cat will be fine and sometimes cats put dogs in line. you see what meat ball does with daisy. >> yeah. you know what, meat ball would make short order of major. that's for sure. there aren't a lot of cats as ferocious as meat ball. you put a cat in front of that dog. >> jonathan lemire just mentioned the biden administration just revealed new details of the infrastructure plan. up the date comes ahead of the president's trip to pittsburgh today to promote the more than $2 trillion economic package, included in that figure is money allotted for transportation infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and highways. also investing in broadband,
clean water, the electric grid and affordable housing. money will also go to promoting the healthcare work force and manufacturing. the plan would be spread out over an eight-year period and raise the corporate tax rate for 15 years from 21 to 28%. the plan does not include an increase in capital gains taxes. and administration official tells nbc news that the white house is already started to reach out to democrats and republicans on the hill. this is part one of biden's build back better agenda as the administration aims to push through another initiative focussed on healthcare and other social welfare programs. >> so, yamiche, even though joe biden is going to try to pay for part of this by taxing corporations, trying to pull back on some of the tax cuts that donald trump gave to the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations in america and had
amazon ending up paying 0 in income taxes last year, the republicans obviously are going to start pushing back. does joe biden, does the biden team expect this to be once again a democratic-only bill as far as yes votes go? >> white house officials as of now are saying that they want this to be a bipartisan bill. they're saying that infrastructure should be a bipartisan initiative. they've been -- they are detailing, as you just put up, a number of the things that they want to use this money for, roads, bridges. they really want to invest in the structure of this country. and this they say will really benefit not just democratic districts, of course, but republican districts and americans all over this country have heard for the last four years another administration, the previous administration, talk about infrastructure week in some ways as a sort of distraction from all the different things that were going on during the former trump administration. and now here they are with a robust infrastructure bill
saying republicans used to be able to get on board. that being said, this is still, of course, a very polarized washington on republicans have not seemingly wanted to talk very much to this administration about getting things through congress. a lot of that is because we're already in some ways in this 2022 cycle where republicans are eyeing trying to wrestle back control of the senate and maybe even control of the house. i think it's still very, very iffy whether or not republicans will actually get on board with this. you already see majority leader chuck schumer trying to get a l through the senate, trying to figure out what are the ways democrats can do things by going it alone. that being said, i think you're going to at least see what we saw last time with the biden administration, and that is trying to reach out to republicans, possibly bringing them into the white house to talk, to have very public conversations about how to get republicans on board. but i also suspect that if republicans once again don't want to get on board that president biden and the white house will try to go it alone and say, again, that republicans
are being obstructionists and republicans will say that this will be too bloated and too filled with democratic goals. >> yeah. jake sherman, i think the last time any republicans voted for tax increase in congress probably you would have to go back to george h.w. bush's budget deal, which some of the conservatives bolted from, then of course bill clinton raised taxes in '93. no republicans voted for those taxes. and they took control of congress the next year for the first time in 40 years. i just don't see republicans voting for any tax increases. doesn't mean that's the right position to take. doesn't mean that maybe some of those trump tax cuts that went to the super wealthy should be clawed back, but do you hear of any republicans considering voting for an infrastructure bill that raises taxes on
anybody? >> no. there's literally no chance that any republicans are going to vote for this. and that's fine. there's nothing wrong with the white house going it alone, but we need to be honest here about what's going to happen. they're going to play the game and there's nothing wrong with this game again but they're going to reach out to republicans and they're going to try to get them on board, but republicans are going to have the binary of helping a president of the other party with a $2.5 trillion package or running against tax increases in 2022 when they're almost certain based on history to win back the house of representatives. so, i don't anticipate one republican will vote for this in the house and almost certainly not in the senate either. listen, the democrats are taking the position at this point, there's two ways to govern when you have all three branchs of government. try to preserve the majorities you have or use the majorities you have to do big things.
democrats are doing the latter. what we lead with punchbowl news, nancy pelosi said she wanted this bill done by july 4th in the house of representatives. that's 92 days from now. and just six legislative weeks away. so, she's taking a very aggressive stance here. and i think you're going to have to -- we're going to have to see how this plays out. but this is, joe, the next six -- four to six months of our life, this kind of big, legislative package which is being compared by the white house to the space race. that's the ambition that they see here. and i just want to make one note on the tax and spend side, this spends money over eight years but pays for it over 15 years. so that means that if those taxes are eventually repealed, we just go into further deficit. so a lot of moving pieces here. and this is just the plan.
congress has not weighed in on this yet. >> yeah. and willie, we've been talking about republicans looking through the lens of barack obama's presidency, through the lens of 2009 and past that, tea party lens, you know, saying no to absolutely everything. thinking that's enough. that he already said no to $1,400 stimulus checks to americans. they already said no to a bill that had 75% support among americans. again, i think they're looking back at the 2009/2010 model personally think that's a mistake. and i think republicans may be repeating the same mistake here where democrats are going back and they're going to go after -- going after some of those trump tax cuts that were disproportionately targeted at the richest americans, the biggest corporations. and i'm not so sure that
campaigning to protect the richest americans, the biggest multi-national corporations, corporations that pay 0% in income tax every year, i just don't see that as a winner for the republican party. i'm not sure they don't keep doubling down on a bad strategy. >> yeah. and they voted almost unanimously against the previous stimulus the 1.9 trillion covid stimulus despite the fact it was 70 to 75% popular in the country. jake, i just want to ask you quickly about reconciliation. how many times can democrats go back to this well if they want to push forward, they got the $1.9 trillion with reconciliation. if they want to do another $2 trillion of infrastructure through, can they just keep pushing through reconciliation? or is there a max in how often they can do this? >> the quick answer is yes and no. there is a max. typically they have one more shot at this. chuck schumer is trying to give them two shots. don't know if that's going to work.
really quickly i see all of this infrastructure stuff coming in one big bill at the end of september. so i think we're concentrated on how many packages are going to move. i imagine everything is going to move in one package toward the end of the third quarter of the year. >> we'll keep our eyes on that. another story coming out of the congress from the new york times siting three sources the times reports republican congressman matt gaetz of florida is under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking. their looking into gaetz, a close ally to donald trump had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he paid for her to travel with him. the investigation reportedly began in the final months of the trump administration under attorney general william barr. sources tell the "times" the investigation is part of a larger probe into a political ally of gaetz a man named joel greenberg pictured here with gaetz and roger stone in 2017. greenberg resigned as tax
collector last june after indicted on sex trafficking charges involving at least one underage girl. no charges have been brought against congressman gaetz and the justice department is not commenting on the story. worth noting in 2017, gaetz was the only member of congress to vote against a bill to combat human trafficking. he defended his vote saying it represented, quote, mission creep. congressman gaetz is denying the allegations reported by "the new york times" and told the paper his lawyer were in touch with justice department investigators and told he is the subject, not the target, of an investigation. he said, quote, i only know that it has to do with women. i have a suspicion someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward. congressman gaetz called the investigation part of elaborate scheme involving false sex allegations to extort him and his family for $25 million that began this month. here is what he said about it last night on fox news followed by the host tucker carlson's
reaction. >> "the new york times" is running a story that i have traveled with a 17-year-old woman. and that is vary fie bli false and look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. what is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former department of justice official. on march 16th, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away. our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local fbi. and the fbi and the department of justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of congress, that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did with the former department of justice official. >> if you saw our matt gaetz interview that's one of the weirdest interviews i conducted. that just appeared in the news a
couple hours ago certainty there's always more than you read in the newspaper we called matt gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more as he did. i don't think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we'll be following it. don't quite understand it. but we'll bring you more when we find out. >> let's bring in one of the reporters who broke the story, new york times michael schmidt, and msnbc national security analyst and also with us state attorney for palm beach county dave aaronberg. mike, help us walk through this story a little bit. there's a lot going on. investigation into this man named joel greenberg coming out of florida. seminole county, florida. and appears congressman gaetz, an ally was swept up in this. what exactly is the allegation against the congressman? >> as you were laying out, the government is looking at whether gaetz had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he
violated federal law by paying for that girl to travel. you know, by transporting that girl. and look, there are a lot of federal laws in the sex trafficking area. you know, basically that try and stop people from exploiting those under the age of 18. as you were saying, there have not been any charges against gaetz. there have been charges, though, against this seminole county tax collector. that's where this investigation is sort of come out of. the government has found an array of corruption by the tax collector. they've indicted him on many different charges. ranging from his own dealings with someone under the age of 18 to how he was targeting his own political rivals. so, sort of a fairly robust federal investigation there. and gaetz laying out that this
very sort of elaborate scheme, which we tried to listen to and hear him out on about how this is all a way of just trying to take -- get money from him somehow and saying by us writing this story we disrupted a fbi sting operation or some sort of operation that was supposed to go down today in which the fbi was going to see some sort of evidence of this. and that our story, you know, somehow the information was leaked to us, designed to up end that operation. >> so mike, he says there was no 17-year-old girlfriend. he didn't travel with the 17-year-old girlfriend. does the justice department have documentation that this woman exists and that there was, in fact, travel paid for by congressman gaetz? >> so, we have not seen everything -- we have not seen
what the justice department is basing their investigation on. we would see that when -- if and when he is charged. we know that this is the issue that they're looking at. we know that it was something that began under the barr justice department. this was something that senior justice department officials who had been appointed by donald trump had to sign off on because gaetz is a government official, a senior government official. and someone who the justice department -- senior justice department officials basically have to give the go ahead on an investigation for. my guess is -- and you started to see some of this a bit last night but that gaetz will portray this investigation as a biden justice department attempted to go after him. that is a common republican refrain in situations like this. this is something that started under attorney general barr. >> yeah. it's important to point that out. this started under the trump
justice department, under william barr. so i share tucker's confusion and sounds like your confusion about congressman gaetz's explanation and listened closely and read it in your piece. how do you unwind this extortion plotd for $25 million that his father was wearing a wire and working with the fbi. how is that related to the allegation against him here? >> i listened to congressman gaetz explain this to us yesterday. i asked him an array of questions about it. you know, i struggle to follow all of it. he sent us some documentation that he said backed this up. i also listened to what he said to tucker carlson, and you know, i didn't have any more clarity on what he was saying. you know, he -- gaetz is not
someone who shies from the media. he put a fair amount of this on his twitter feed. he went out and gave this lengthy interview to axios where he laid it out for them and it looks like they tried to convey his message, whatever that was. we'll continue to look at the facts like we do in everything to try to understand what's going on here. pretty dynamic situation of a federal investigation and of someone claiming there's now a parallel investigation, you know, in what gaetz is claiming parallel federal investigation going on. >> so for our viewers, michael, let's just try to put together a timeline and you tell me whether or not this is correct or not. there was an investigation for the underlying charges started by the trump administration, started by attorney general barr, correct? that's step number one, right? >> correct. >> okay.
>> yeah. >> so that's number one. so that investigation started under william barr in donald trump's administration. >> correct. >> then the congressman is saying that in march of this year after that investigation had been going for some time, in march of this year he was approached by some people saying, hey, we can make those charges go away, correct? >> correct. >> ex-doj officials. then the next step he is claiming that he and his father are wearing wires. i have to say, for everybody, i know the gaetz family, have known them forever. don was a political contributor of mine. i know the gaetz, i know matt, i know them all. and the third step is that they both wore a wire to try to get
evidence on these alleged ex-doj officials who were trying to shake them down for 25 million, correct? >> correct. so, we heard about the secondary investigation that the congressman had going on. that had nothing to do with the underlying investigation that you broke yesterday. is that correct? it got muddled, there's a conflation on twitter and reporting people said we were confused. i just want to separate all of that out. what the congressman is saying happened, happened after, well after the trump administration began their investigation about this 17-year-old girl, is that correct? >> correct. >> okay. dave aaronberg, let me ask you some other things that came up after this news broke. and i think we all need
clarification, perhaps the congressman would like some clarification, too. let's talk about the sex trafficking term that has gone out there. there were some lawyers last night that were saying, hey, let's get this right. sex trafficking is a very specific crime. if he was with a 17-year-old woman, that might not be sex trafficking. we need to be careful with the words that we are saying that we're not overselling this. so, that's why we wanted to get you on. lay it out. tell us based on what you know what -- if -- what the fbi is most likely investigating. >> joe, child sex trafficking is a very serious felony under both federal and state law. it's pun pishable by up to life in prison. it's when you recruit, entice, harbor, in this case most importantly transport, provide
or maintain a minor for commercial sex purposes. as for what is a commercial sex purpose, it's defined very broadly under federal law to be any sex act in exchange for anything of value. that includes flights, hotel rooms, that includes expenses. all things that matt gaetz admitted to providing to his dates but he is adamant he never dated an underage individual. and so for the government to show child sex trafficking, you have to show that the victim here was 17 or under, a minor. and that matt gaetz knew or should have known of her age. can't put on blinders and have a willful denial of obvious facts. and you've got to tie the hotel rooms the expenses, the airplane tickets to the sex acts. if you don't get that far, you can still charge him f the facts bear it out, with the state crime of having sexual activity with a minor. that's a second degree felony
punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. you can also depending on the facts charge someone with solicitation of sexual activity with a minor. that's a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. every charge if you're convicted of it, not only do you get prison time but have to register as a sex offender. but let's not get ahead of ourselves. we don't have any public evidence that shows that he has committed these crimes. but if you're a public official, the last thing you want is for your name to be associated with the phrase child sex trafficking. >> yeah. michael schmidt, any final thoughts? >> no. there's obviously a lot here to play out. there is this investigation of this associate, this seminol county tax collector. he is scheduled to go on trial in june. he faces an array of different charges that come with all sorts of sentences. so the government has immense leverage on him. the question will be what will
happen with his investigation? he has hired a long-time skilled florida defense attorney to deal with that investigation. and to try and figure out, you know, the best way out. interestingly this seminole county tax collector is in jail. he has violated his probation earlier in march and was put back in jail, even at a time when federal authorities are trying to keep as many people out of jail as possible because of covid. so not an insignificant step. so the tax collector sits in jail today awaiting trial with the government, you know -- with a fair amount of leverage on him. i spent a fair amount of time reading the docket over the weekend about the tax collector and the government has been investigating him for many, many months if not more than a year. and has just charges about how
he was operating as the local tax collector, how he was exploiting his position there to enrich himself and to use the state, his power to even look at things like state data bases for his own health, for his own good. >> so, dave aronberg, just real quick, did anything strike you in gaetz's performance on tucker carlson and what he said? did anything make sense to you? and what is the potential consequence for the charge that the justice department is looking at. >> yeah, mika, he may have made tucker carlson a witness. hey, you remember the woman i was with. she was over age. i don't remember any of that. and so, that's something that struck me. i think his main defense is going to be that he has never dated anyone under age. and this whole thing about extortion, as joe correctly pointed out, that's more of a
smoke screen for the court of public opinion. that is not a defense to a charge of child sex trafficking. so, let's see what the evidence shows. i have a feeling we're going to learn a lot more very soon. >> all right. michael schmidt and dave aronberg, thank you both very much for being on the show this morning. and before we go to break, this news, g. gordon liddy who helped orchestrate the watergate break-in that led ho to the resignation to the president of richard nixon died at the age of 90. liddy died at his daughter's home in maryland. throughout his career g. gordon liddy had served in the fbi as a prosecutor in up state new york as the leader of the nixon white house's infamous plumber's unit, a group of political fixers, liddy directed the california break in of a psychiatrist's office back in 1971 in an attempt to find discrediting
information about daniel elseberg who leaked the pentagon papers. as we mentioned, liddy also orchestrated another break in, this one at the watergate complex which sparked investigations into nixon's actions. liddy was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his involvement, a sentence that was later commuted by president carter. let's bring in nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of andrea mitchell reports. andrea, i met mr. liddy later in his life. when he was soft spoken, talked adoringly of his wife, was it's hard to say after you see movies like will, he was like a gentle spirit, a gentle soul when i met him. and i would say wait, this is the guy i grew up -- one of the most fearsome figures in
washington, d.c. in the early '70s. so obviously not the same man later in life that he was during the nixon administration. one of the most intense, toughest and even some of nixon's own people believed out of control figures around. >> well, in fact, richard nixon was quoted as saying holderman, you know, he's kind of a little nuts after the break in after they were organizing the cover-up. i never met gordon liddy he was an iconic figure as the head of the plumber's unit the guy who orchestrated the break in at daniel elseberg's psychiatrist's office. they didn't find anything. and then two break ins. really two. one they got n department get anything that was in may and in june of course they went back in and then the cover up was what eventually -- but it was two years with woodward, bernstein
and all the investigations, two years and a landslide, you know, re-election victory in '72 that fall. three years later that nixon finally had to resign to avoid being impeached and kicked out of office. so that really is the arc of the story. he really was a tough guy, former fbi guy in indianapolis and the man that you met was very different but he reinvented himself many times after he got out of jail as mika said, the sentence was commuted by jimmy carter, only one of the watergate figures who refused to cooperate, went to jail for the longest amount of time of any of them and 6 to 20-year sentence was commuted by jimmy carter after about 4 and a half years. he came out and was broke but he reinvented himself. the man you met had become a best-selling author and he did entire views on "today show"
back then after a best-selling memoir, wrote fiction, wrote non-fiction and eventually guest starred in miami vice, did some reality tv and then became a really successful talk radio host. very conservative. he was certainly he said as a young mankind of liked adolph hitler and in prison quoted nazi songs to some of his fellow inmates to try to scare them off because he was certainly a singular figure in the prison system. that is just an incredible story the whole arc of his life but his son thomas told nbc overnight that he died peacefully at home. >> yeah. any idea why jimmy carter commuted his sentence? >> you know, i've been trying since last night to figure that out and i don't. i don't have -- didn't reach people who were around then who
gave him that advice because, as you know, typically these commutations and pardons are done on the advice of the system that goes through the justice department. i'm not sure why. it does seem like something that is not quite easy to understand because he was still unrepentant, never apologized and said he had no regrets. so this was not a man who threw himself on the mercy of anyone. the judge gave him a really tough sentence. >> nbc's andrea mitchell, thank you very much for joining us this morning. >> that is -- mika, that is a fascinating part of this story that jimmy carter commute. until this morning i didn't know that was the case. >> we'll see andrea at noon on "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. >> while you were talking to andrea about that. i was looking it up. at the time president carter said he did it out of equity and fairness as andrea said, he got a tough sentence, much tougher
than the other burglars. president carter was bringing the sentence in line with the other people who were sent to jail. >> interesting. still ahead on "morning joe," the number of coronavirus cases is rising again in some areas of the country following a steep decline. and then plateauing for several weeks. we'll talk to a health official in new jersey about the uptickt. plus, white house press secretary jen psaki will be our guest. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪♪ is now a good time for a flare-up? enough, crohn's! for adults with moderate to severe crohn's or ulcerative colitis... stelara® can provide relief and is the only approved medication to reduce inflammation on and below the surface of the intestine in uc. you, getting on that flight? back off, uc! stelara® may increase your risk of infections, some serious, and cancer. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you have an infection... flu-like symptoms, sores, new skin growths, have had cancer, or if you need a vaccine.
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new jersey is having a challenge in terms of covid. very high per capita rate. the curve is going the wrong direction. what's going on there? >> yeah, it is going in the wrong direction. we're in the densest state in america and densest region in america and northern cold weather state. we're up against the variants,
south african, uk, brazilian, new york city and we're challenging. we're going to get through it. there's no question about it, but our numbers have gone a little sideways. >> that's new jersey governor phil murphy talking to joy reed last night and addressing the covid fight in its state as it has the highest infection rate per capita in the country. joining us now is dr. el nahal. good to see you as always. what's going on in the state of new jersey? >> well, as the governor mentioned, we are seeing a significant increase in cases especially over the last month. in fact, that increase is now reflected nationally. you have 15 to 20% increase now across the country over the last two weeks. and so i think the governor is right to call out the fact that we're the densest state and that being a factor, but also i do think the variants are a significant concern. you have the presence of the uk variant. you have the presence of the
brazilian variant. these are variants of coronavirus that are not only more transmissible but for the uk variant in particular, it seems to be more severe. and we're starting to see that with the hospitalizations that we're seeing. new jersey is also seeing increase in hospitalizations, not seeing that across the country yet. but the concerning thing is that we're seeing younger and younger groups of people being hospitalized at rates we didn't see last spring. so, again, all of that is concerning for how this virus is evolving. as long as we don't stop the spread, we're going to see these variants start to dominate. >> how much of this, doctor elnahal is people relaxing. we've gotten a lot of good news about people getting covid relief and vaccine appointments. is the young people coming into your hospitals, is that directly related to people just being out in the world again? >> i do think relaxation is a factor. and i do think people need to really buck up and make sure
that we just get through that last mile. dr. walensky, the cdc director pleaded with folks this week that while we see the finish line in front of us and we're getting closer and closer everyday with vaccination, we're not there yet. only about 16% of this country is fully vaccinated. similar rates here in new jersey. we need to be much higher rates than that in order to see cases drop due to vaccination. as long as people continue to get this virus, variants can spread. new variants can develop. and this continues to be a race with vaccination against the variants and against spread. so, i do think that is a factor on top of everything else. >> dr. elnahar, yamiche alcindor has a question for you. >> good morning. thanks for being here. the vaccination rate among african-americans is half that of whites, hispanics have an even larger gap. i wonder what you make of that gap and whether or not there are any sort of fixes or solutions for how to really lessen that
gap among racial groups? >> the gap is extremely concerning. i'm glad you asked about that. so, for example, only about 6% of the city of newark which we served at university hospital is fully vaccinated. remember, compare that to 16% of the rest of the state and the rest of the country. so people of color are not getting vaccinated at rates that we need for them to be vaccinated. that's for a couple of reasons. number one, hesitancy is still a factor, but that's not the only thing to blame here. we have to extend access as much as possible to communities of color. i do welcome the opening of a new fema site, a community vaccination center right here in newark. the governor will be here celebrating that opening today. those sites have proven to increase the number of color and also the people locally in cities where they exist. i'm glad the federal government is stepping up, prioritizing newark, prioritizing communities of color that remain undervaccinated.
that's necessary and the biden administration is doing right by doing that. >> university hospital in newark, new jersey, dr. shereef elnahal, thanks for being here. >> you heard dr. walensky say a couple days ago in the briefing she has a sense of impending doom if we don't take seriously these mitigation efforts. >> we got to do it. and new jersey and all across the country it's very important. jonathan lemire, you're a good poll number guy. you know -- biden's numbers. i'm curious, what did you say major's -- joe biden said major had a very high approval rating inside the white house. what was it? >> come on. >> he did, joe. this is an area of expertise, kor yakky-ish. he thought major biden had an 85% approval rating among those who had met him in the white house, this was back when major
had gone to delaware for some additional training. no, the president did say that. he said 85% of the people who met and liked major have met major in the white house have liked him. i guess perhaps that number has gone down slightly in the last couple days. >> no, no. >> not at all. >> that's the reporting that i bring here, willie, is judging by the twitterverse, major is extraordinarily popular. >> that's right. >> though some people liked my dog jesus quote. a lot of major support out there. >> that's right. >> how dare you say he's kujo and should be put down. willie, i understand in these times people don't understand joking around or whatever like that, but i just want to say to those people i offended, get a life. >> no. you apologize. >> i will not apologize. >> i apologize for joe. >> i can't help them. >> i'm standing by my idea,
maybe a trip back to delaware to a happy home. >> i think that's the best thing. >> can we give a big shoutout to champ. he's doing a great job. he's up in the 90s in his polling. >> we like major. we'll keep major down here. that dog is the honey badger. i got no problem with major. >> rescues are the best. >> look at that dog. he's the honey badger. look at those chops. he doesn't care. >> he's cute. let's turn to -- they just need to keep him on a leash at all times. right at his desk. then you just when he's -- you just got to train. it takes time. okay. let's turn to some politics now. house speaker nancy pelosi is pushing back on republican claims that she is interfering on iowa congressman race where democrat lost by just six votes
to republican miller-meeks in november. >> now, if i wanted to be unfair, i wouldn't have seated the republican from iowa because that was my right on the opening day. i would have just said, you're not seated. that would have been my right as speaker to do. >> miller-meeks was seated but claims 22 ballots were improperly rejected and now that race is being contested in the house of representatives, which could lead to new investigations and a potential recount. joining us now from davinport, iowa, nbc news capitol hill correspondent leann caldwell. so what's going on here? >> reporter: hey, mika. so rita hart is asking
congress perhaps or the gao to conduct a recount. she says if these 22 votes were not -- that were not counted when iowa did the count, then
perhaps she would win that election and the house of representatives, the full body, could potentially vote on this issue down the road. but republicans are seeing a big political opportunity here. republican leader kevin mccarthy is in davenport today holding an even with republican representative miller-meeks where they're going to say that speaker me ler pelosi is trying steal miller-meeks seat away from her. the nrcc campaign arm say they have good polling on this issue, this is resonating with those critical independent and suburban voters in battleground districts, especially when republicans use the word that pelosi is being a hypocrite, trying to overturn an election. but i will say that there might be
a little bit of truth to that when i was speaking to voters here today. most voters were not paying much attention to it. but voters of both parties,
however, they both were very uncomfortable with the possibility that congress could overturn the election. let's listen to one democratic voter and one republican voter. >> rita hart the democrat asking congress to look into, perhaps overturn the election. what do you think about that? >> i would have like to see rita win. i think it's a really sticky situation. i think that if it gets turned over, there's a lot of people that are going to hang on to that. i think it sets a little bit different bar for what can be turned over and what can't be turned over. >> i don't think it's proper for the united states house representatives to intervene in a local election like this. once again, the voters were pretty clear, i think. close but clear. >> reporter: but republicans obviously don't have the moral high ground here especially after what happened on january
6th almost 150 tried to object and overturn the electoral college results in the presidential election. so they're definitely trying to turn the tables and the attention away from that event. >> all right. we'll watch this. nbc's lee ann caldwell. thank you very much. coming up on "morning joe" the trial of the former police officer derek chauvin. it was an emotional day of testimony as witnesses described how the arrest of george floyd unfolded. we'll go live to minneapolis ahead on "morning joe." or more headache days a month each lasting 4 hours or more. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine. so, if you haven't tried botox® for your chronic migraine check with your doctor if botox® is right for you and, if samples are available. effects of botox® may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing
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michelle goldberg joins us. good to have you both on board with us this hour. we're going to start with some breaking news, willie. yeah. mika this is potentially monumental news. pfizer and biontech announced minutes ago its covid-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step towards possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall. just reading through this early data, mika, the study was 2,300 people between the ages of 12 and 15. the vaccine found to be 100% effective in that age group, 12 to 15. as i said, if it clears the fda and they'll send that data now to the fda, the hope is they can start vaccinating kids before the school year this fall. not there yet, but this is potentially a massive breakthrough for the country and for the world. >> that would be incredible. we keep getting really positive news obviously about the
vaccines and -- >> and the rollout. >> and the pace of the rollout. but you know, michelle, it's so great to have you on the show. >> thanks. >> it seems -- i'll say the right wing talking machine always has a boogieman. and yesterday they started complaining about vaccine passports. and i started getting emails and texts from friends saying this is big brother. this is frightening. and it didn't matter how many times i said to them, you know, when we were young, we had to take our certificates in that said we had the polio vaccine or they wouldn't let us in school. it didn't matter. this is the new scare tactic. and it seems that republicans in washington go from one scare tactic to another scare tactic.
and the most frightening thing is that within 24 hours the whole ecosystem starts spinning it and people believe it. >> and it's not just -- when you were kids. when i registered my kids for camp, i have to go get proof of their vaccination. when they go back to school, i have to show proof of their vaccination, not for covid because they're not old enough for all the other things they get vaccinated for. i've traveled to many, many countries where you have to have a yellow card showing that you've been vaccinated for yellow fever. so none of this stuff is new. i think there is some debate about the extent to which we would use a vaccine passport, whether it would just be for travel international travel, whether you would need to show proof or vaccination for everyday life, but using something like that for travel in institutional settings is really normal. and i think it shows two things. first of all, the extent to which the right wing has been so
murderously irresponsible the way they talked about this vaccine. if they wanted to, they could take credit for this saying this was developed under president trump. everybody should be giving the republican administration more credit for it. we've saved all these lives. instead, donald trump got his own vaccination in secret and a lot of leading voices on the right have been casting doubt on this vaccine where you see a stark partisan divide in who is planning to take it, something that will have really deadly consequences. when they don't want to cast doubt on the vaccine itself, they want to cast doubt on kind of common sense public health measures to respond to the pandemic in ways that are likely to ensure that the pandemic is prolonged. >> right. what's really so offensive is this is me and my libertarian instincts speaking here f they don't want to get the shot, if they want to endanger themselves
and want to endanger their families, that is their choice. they have that choice. but then to start making a huge political fus those who want to take our kids with diabetes or upper respiratory issues or underlying conditions or taking our parents to a concert or ball game and to make sure that people around aren't going to infect them and put them in the hospital and possibly kill them, really is having it both ways. you can stay locked up in your house if you want to, but really it's just staggering to me that these same people who again want to say donald trump did a great job developing the vaccine but yet 50% of males won't take that same vaccine and are now saying, we can't take steps to keep our families safe because they don't care whether their families are safe or not, it's just the latest outrageous chapter in the
trump republicans approach to covid. >> underlying is the consperitorial nature of modern conservative politics. you had marjorie taylor greene literally comparing these covid passports to the mark of the beast. and i think that what marjorie taylor greene often does is just take the sub text and the conservative movement and make it text. >> yeah. it's unbelievable. and again, sam stein, michelle makes a great point. and if you take your kids to camp, when my kids go to school, when your kids go to school, or actually yours are still in school yourself, the joke never gets old. you got to take evidence of having vaccines. and again, same as it ever was, same as it ever was. but somebody two days ago decided, oh wait, polio or like
vaccine passports this could be big brother is watching. it's just absolutely absurd. this is beyond the fluoride and water conspiracies of the early 1960s. >> yeah. this 12 to 15-year-old news on the vaccination front, very good for me obviously because i'm still in school, as you note. >> exactly. >> this is a big problem and has been for years. it pre-dates covid as michelle notes. but we saw anti-vaxxer behavior rising throughout the country prior to covid. with a lot of prominent republican officials questioning whether government should be in the business of pushing or requiring vaccines for kids who are going back to school. this is something that has been culturally in the mix for quite some time. i think what's happened here is two things, one is covid accelerated discussion over this to an unfathomable degree and upped the stakes to unfathomable degree. two, i love her to death, my
wife works for facebook as disclaimer, i think social media played a pernicious role, you can basically get stories that confirm your wildest conspiracy theories or play on your biggest concerns or fears and amplify them and what ends up happening is people n this case parts of our political class, too latch on to crazy ideas about what vaccines might do and things like marks of the beast and all that crazy stuff and run with it. not only that, they have an audience, a built-in audience who will applaud them and cheer them and incentivize them to do so. so we have a really bad brew here of a news ecosystem and political incentives. >> sam, it's not just facebook. it's tv. it's cable news. >> oh, yeah. >> and news operations. >> i was falling on the sword there for you guys. yes, it's everyone. and it's bad. i think people like marjorie taylor greene will not get punished for saying things like
that and will in fact probably fund raise incredibly well off it. there's an incentive structure that doesn't work in the favor of science. >> i can't tell you about how many people called me about plan demmic. a piece of garbage, conspiracy theory people believing lies about anthony fauci that he killed people during the aids epidemic and stands to make tons of money. and yet, facebook just kept it up. and kept it up. and kept it up. and mika, you and i saw a clip from fox news yesterday with peter navarra and what he was allowed to say on fox news without any pushback. oh my god. it's something i would have expected to be up on facebook and then be taken down. i'm really shocked what that guy got away with saying. the same guy who, by the way, had written a memo back in
january correctly saying that half a million people could die from this pandemic if donald trump did nothing. yeah, guess what, donald trump did next to nothing. >> if you're a news operation, that's fireable. and it goes on and on. we see it all the time on certain news networks. and these -- a lot of viewers, they have a lot of viewers. >> do we have that clip yet, dan? >> i don't know if it's ready. >> yeah, run it. >> this is disinformation at the very least. >> very clear that the decision we made on january the 10th to go all out and develop a vaccine, we have a number of vaccine candidates. >> may have been the best decision that i've ever made with regard to an intervention as the director of the institute. >> all right. a quick reaction to that. i know that's got to be steaming you, peter. >> fauci is a sociopath and liar. he had nothing to do with the vaccine. the father of the vaccine is donald j. trump.
what is fauci the father of? fauci is the father of the actual virus. fauci -- this virus, according to bob redfield at the centers for disease and control, came from the wuhan lab and basically we had fauci not only funding that lab with american taxpayer dollars, he authorized this thing called gain of function research. he allowed the chinese communist party, people's liberation army to genetically engineer a virus using gain of function. i call it the fauci virus. he wants to be the father of something, he's the father of the virus that's killed over half a million americans. >> ian, it's sickening that we had to play that. and i hardly ever, willie, play garbage that other networks show. but that was so offensive, deeply offensive, that they just need to be called out. the fact that they allowed somebody without any pushback
call anthony fauci the father of the virus, talking about the communist chinese and genetically this that and the other from a lab that anthony fauci funded is just so deeply offensive. again, the sort of thing that would be taken down from facebook who has the lowest standards, sorry sam, the lowest standards for truth regarding this pandemic. and yet, they run this on a national network. now we're going to be hearing idiots running around repeating that in congress. >> yeah. no pushback. we saw the clip. just a smile on the face of the host as he went on that riff. looked like a used car salesman doing a tv commercial. but the other point is you know who he is. you know what he's going to say when he comes on when you book that man. you know that he's a lunatic going to say something like that. the problem is, as sam said, there's a big audience for it. if you watch fox news and other
networks that have risen up in the next year or two, look online, he is taking something that exists, used to exist in the darkest corners of the internet and pushing it to the center of the conversation with a lot of people in this country. that's very damaging to our ability to get out of this pandemic. it's damaging to the ability of a country to get vaccinated as we have all this hopeful news. that kind of information, that kind of complete, utter consperitorial nonsense given that kind of platform on that prominent news network really is disgraceful. if you're going to have him on, you got to be ready to push back on him, not just sit there and smile as he goes on a rant. >> michelle, a network that called it a hoax last march, this march, this april, allowing language like that to go out? again, anything to undermine science, anything to undermine people going out and getting the
vaccine. michelle? >> well, look, i think that we're not going to see responsibility from fox news. we're not going to see responsibility from many former members of the trump administration or republicans. where you might be able to demand some responsibility is from the businesses and corporations that are advertising on fox news, that are underwriting and abetting this. i think that they should be held accountable for what they are, you know, helping to disseminate. i also wonder if fauci, you know, as a journalist, i'm -- i don't usually like to see overuse of defamation statutes, which can chill speech and chill sometimes legitimate criticism, but one thing i think we saw with the dominion lawsuits against some of these purveyors of pernicious information about the integrity of the election is that people who, you know, are
sort of not going to be bound by patriotism or responsibility or ethics or truth will maybe back off a little bit in the face of a gargantuan lawsuit filed by the targets of their lives. it seems to me that fauci has been lied about. he's been slandered and should maybe consider bringing a case. >> we'll leave that there and move on to georgia now. georgia is facing at least three separate legal challenges into its newly-signed voting law. the restrictive measures, among other things, would make it punishable by up to a year in jail to give food or water to voters waiting in line. nbc news reports that law is intended to ban election nearing, blocking political parties or candidate supporters from offering aid to voters.
the fate of the restrictions will now fall to the courts to determine if civil liberties were violated with the new measures. let's bring in editor at large erin haines. is there any sort of potential cred to the concern that this could be sort of violating the rights of voters in some way? or electioneering. >> well, mika, good morning. good to be with you. i suppose it's an argument, you know, but again because this entire -- this entire law continues to be a solution in search of a problem i think you can certainly argue that this claim of electioneering, simply giving food and water to people waiting in hours long lines which are a form of suppression somebody is standing in one of those lines and whether they
have to maybe leave to get back to a job because they're not paid to be off, you know, to take the day off to vote or whether they've been standing in line and they may be hungry or thirsty or hot or cold, you name it. you know, they may need to step away from that line. you know, there are long lines -- there are reasons that people don't stay and wait in long lines and being hungry or thirsty is certainly one of them. and so, you know, the idea that maybe handing somebody a bottle of water or handing somebody a snack so that they don't get out of line, you know, the idea that that is electioneering is something i guess could be argued in court. listen, i think we knew headed into this legislative session that if republicans were prepared to move forward with these laws and restrictions that
were strictly targeting certain voters, namely the black voters, who vote in many of those kinds of precincts that have longer lines that there were groups that were prepared to push back against them in terms of legal action. the thing about that is normally these types of laws would have had to be cleared by justice department pre-the 2013 justice department. the president said in the wake of governor kemp signing that law now the justice department under probably section 2, which is a more proactive approach when it seems like you know voter new voting laws may be problematic, they'll take a more proactive approach to look at these restrictions as el. so i think we can see that into the legal landscape. >> erin, i'm curious, we've all
been talking about hr.1 so much. it seems to me in this case and you talked about shelby, seems that maybe congress should focus on hr.4, john lewis's expansion of the voting rights bill. after all, the supreme court said, you guys need to fix -- congress, you need to fix a few things about this. or else we're not going to go by the old standards. congress, of course, did nothing. and we are where we are right now. might it make more sense to push through hr.4, john lewis's expansion of the voting rights act? >> well, certainly you're right, joe. in that shelby versus holder decision the supreme court did say congress you all need to address the voting rights act, revisiting section 5, maybe even strengthening and expanding the voting rights act to maybe
address more 21st century concerns. but, 21st century voter suppression we know is definitely alive and well and some of those -- some of the response to that i guess is addressed in hr.4. but, hr.1, you know, is aimed at also expanding ballot access this is what they're choosing to focus on in congress. those bills were so named because the democratic leadership has decided that those are going to be their priorities in terms of voting rights, legislation. i think as long as republicans kind of continue to cling to the false threat of election integrity, i don't know how much of a chance hr.1 or hr.4 has in getting past a senate where you need that bipartisan support for these things to be codified
without addressing the filibuster. >> let's turn now to the second day of the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. witnesses, including the young woman who shot the video of george floyd's death, described floyd's final moments. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad. i look at my brothers. i look at my cousins, my uncles because they're all black. i have black father. i have a black brother. i have black friends. and i look at that and i look at how that could have been one of them. it's been nights i stayed up apologizing and apologizing to george floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting
and not saving his life. >> gripping testimony from darnella frazier, the young teenager who filmed the video seen around the world. joining us now from minneapolis, nbc news political reporter shaquille brewster who has been covering this story for a long time and now covering the story. shaq, good to see you this morning. darnella's testimony was captivating and so too was testimony from the other witnesses yesterday including from a firefighter who was on the scene, an off duty firefighter who says she offered help and was pushed away by the officers on the scene. >> reporter: that's right. we'll hear from more witnesses later today, but that's following what was truly emotional testimony yesterday in that courtroom. out of the six witnesses that took the stand yesterday, there was only one who did not stop because they were crying or did not have their voice cracking. and that one was a 9-year-old who stumbled upon the scene after going to get snacks with her cousin and stayed there. her cousin was darnella frazier
who recorded the video that rippled across the world and started that social justice movement. darnella, you heard that testimony there where she said she apologizes at night to george floyd because she felt like she couldn't do more. and that feeling of helplessness is one that was a common theme throughout all the witnesses yesterday, not only the four minors that we heard from, but two witnesses, one donald williams. he was one who went fishing earlier in the day. he was going to that corner store to get a soda and heard the screams. heard what was going on. went over and he was one of the more vocal witnesses, one of the more vocal bystanders in the video who said get off of him. he's not moving. he's unresponsive. he had mma experience, he called himself a martial artist. at one point he said wrestling was his life. he saw that move that derek chauvin was using and he believed that was a blood choke intentionally being used to take the consciousness out of george
floyd. he felt like he wanted to do more but was being pushed back by the officers. there was also that emt, that off duty firefighter who heard the screams, walked around the street, saw george floyd being restrained by three officers. walked over and offered help, offered assistance because she said she saw a patient who needed it and was also pushed back by the officers or guided back by the officers and she grew more and more frustrated. she started crying on the stand when she was asked how she was feeling because she felt like she really just wanted to do more and she couldn't. and that was the common theme that you heard from these regular people, people going about their daily lives, getting a soda, getting an auxiliary cord, getting snacks. the firefighter was going to take a walk after having a long shift and stumbled upon this scene. you're also seeing tension inside the courtroom and we saw that with that last witness, that firefighter as she didn't answer questions in the exact way that the defense attorneys
wanted her to. i want you to listen so one of the moments that we saw in the courtroom. >> a lot of people, you yourself, were saying i want to know what his pulse is. >> yeah. >> and some people were swearing. >> absolutely. >> and would you describe other people's demeanors as upset or angry? >> it's -- i don't know if you've seen anybody be killed, but it's upsetting. >> reporter: so she will continue her testimony today. i'll tell you that her testimony was abruptly cut off after shortly after that exchange. the judge admonished her saying when an attorney asks you a question you answer that question directly. don't volunteer any extra information. she will be the first up later today, willie. >> yeah. ms. hanson took exception to some of the challenges to her training and experience on the job yesterday. so shaq, as we listen and try to get a sense of what these
defense attorneys are going to argue as the trial moves forward, it looked at least in the case of ms. hanson, the emt and firefighter that they were suggesting she was somehow distracting the officers from doing their job by walking up and first offering help and then sort of pressuring them to get the knee off of mr. floyd's neck. distracted from what exactly i think were the questions that were raised by most people who were watching. 9:30 of a knee on a man's neck as he suffocates, what is the defense here? >> reporter: well, one of the questions to ms. hanson was, as a firefighter, would you be distracted from doing your job if you had a crowd of people yelling at you, if you had someone recording you, what you were doing? she took real exception to that. you saw the frustration grow because she knew what was going on. this is one of the messages, one of the themes, one of the holes that the defense attorney is trying to poke, which is his job. he's trying to create doubt. he just needs one juror on his
side. and you hear that come up multiple times. he even mentioned that and pressed darnella frazier on that, who was 17 at the time, now 18, who recorded the video talking about the crowd. did they grow angry? there's another tense moment early in the day with donald williams, that mma or that mixed martial artist who was on the scene. and you heard the defense attorney say, well, did the crowd get angry? were you becoming angry? you cursed at the officers. you were calling them names. were you angry? and mr. williams said, no, i don't want to be painted as angry. that wasn't anger. that was me trying to get control out of the situation. i believe i was witnessing a murder. you're getting a sense of the techniques and messages the defense attorney is trying to out the in court. >> all right. nbc's shaquille brewster, thank you so much. we appreciate it. michelle goldberg, we have seen
through the years police officers acquitted in baltimore, freddie gray. we didn't know exactly what happened in the back of that van. in ferguson, michael brown. we didn't know -- we didn't know exactly what happened, specifically what happened in that case. what was said. in this case, we saw george floyd. we saw the police officers be on his neck for 9:30. we heard the people asking the police officers to back off, that they were killing him. he was handcuffed at the time. i fear -- i'll just say it, if this jury comes back and acquits these officers, i'm deeply concerned because we saw this happen on video slowly over 9:30, saw the life drain out of
him when any reasonable person would know that he was dying. what are your thoughts on what you've seen so far and any concerns you have regarding a future verdict. >> well, look, i don't think anybody should ever discount the possibility that we won't see justice in cases of police killings of black men. we've seen that happen over and over again. that said, i thought the utter weakness of the defense's case was so striking part of that is because as you said this is on video. we all saw what happened. there's no question of that. and so them trying to act as if this crowd was somehow threatening. even if the crowd was threatening, there's no evidence that it was, that would somehow justify again this long,
protracted killing we all saw and we all saw the video. nobody was rushing this police officer. there was no chaos. there was no scuffle. there was just these 9:30 endless minutes where he just was sitting there, not defending himself. not fending people off. just sitting there with his knee on his neck. you saw i think in that exchange with the firefighter, the defense kind of almost flailing to make a case that somehow this was justified by the crowds' behavior. you saw a really contentious exchange as you said with this witness who is a mixed martial artist where trying to act as if he was either somehow angry or if he didn't understand exactly what he was seeing. he doesn't understand exactly what happens in a choke hold. but it's just really striking how kind of weak and flailing
all of these defense attempts are because there's no defense to what we all saw. >> michelle goldberg and sam stein, thank you both for being on this morning. we appreciate it. and still ahead on "morning joe," the biden administration has unveiled new details of the president's infrastructure plan. white house press secretary jen psaki joins us to talk about that. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. back.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's 33 past the hour. joining us now, white house press secretary jen psaki. jen, welcome back to the show. >> good morning. great to be here. >> a lot to talk to you about this morning. good morning. let's talk about president biden's infrastructure plan. i'm curious how you think any
republicans would be on board for it. >> well, here is what we know we agree on, mika. republicans, democrats, independents people who don't see themselves as political across the country, our infrastructure is outdated. a third of people in this country don't have access to broadband which is more startling given that so people have been working and doing school from home. there's a lot of things we need to address. so we're going to start with where we agree and work with republicans and democrats to see if we can find a path forward. >> do you think you can get republicans to support tax increases? >> well, joe, what we proposed, what the president is going to propose today i should say is reforms to our corporate tax system. he believes we should go back to the 28% rate that was the case before president trump took office, former president trump took office. but if republicans have alternative ways to pay for it, we're certainly open to hearing that. we don't think they should pay for it, we're open to hearing that, too. what we're focussed on is we
have to invest in our infrastructure. we have to do this historic investment to get people back to work and make sure we're better protected from storms and make sure more people across the country have access to broadband. >> i'm interested, why did you all choose not to raise taxes on capital gains? the president talked about trying to make things more equitable for people who work for a living, get a paycheck and those who just get wealthier and wealthier everyday off of capital investment. why not raise taxes on the capital gains tax, raise the rates if that's the president's goal? >> well, you're absolutely right. as you all know and you covered a lot he talked about that on the campaign trail. this is a two-step proposal. so, today he'll talk about the american jobs plan, which is focussed on infrastructure. in a couple of weeks he's going to focus on or announce more proposals to invest in healthcare and child care and take steps to bring more women
back into the work force and have more proposals and make the tax code more fair. today is focussed on the corporate side but there will be more to come in a couple of weeks. >> jen, we tried to get you on, up and coming reporters to ask questions to give them their lucky break. >> great. >> we have a young kid from boston. >> real whipper snapper. >> redhead from boston named jonathan lemire. >> i've never seen that guy except in the briefing room almost couple times a week. >> good morning, jen. nice to see you. i wanted to really ask you about major biden. no, just kidding. jen, i want to go a little further about this process right here. the white house has been very clear, you're going to try to reach out to republicans this time. we know no republicans voted for the covid leaf bill. you've said and the president said to have a more constructive conversation with congress. but to this point, you know, is there any -- do you see a path
here? if they're not going to vote for any sort of tax increases, is this going to end up with reconciliation again? do you really anticipate being able to work with republican to sign off on a bill like this? >> well, we're not quite there in the process yet. but what i will tell you yesterday when we were reaching out to people on the hill and governors and mayors, our team spoke with the chairs and ranking members, democrats and republicans, because having this conversation is an important part of what we're doing. and i'm sure the president will have people here to the white house to talk about infrastructure as he has in the past. but i think, jonathan, the key thing here is that the president feels it's important to propose how we would pay for this. so that's what he's going to do in his plan. but we're also welcoming ideas. if people have ideas on republicans have ideas, other democrats have ideas on different ways to pay for this package, on different ways to achieve the goals, we're very open to that. so, i think that will be a part of the process as well. the american rescue plan was a little bit different because it
was an emergency, addressing an emergency that we're still fighting our way through, getting the pandemic under control, putting people back to work. this is a big jobs bill but we have a little more time to negotiate, to have discussions to hear people have better ideas on either the proposals or how to pay for it. >> hey, jen, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. >> good to see you. >> we just got massive news about vaccine for kids. trial to 12 to 15-year-olds showed the vaccine 100% effective and the ceo of pfizer saying they hope to have it ready before the fall so kids can get vaccinated and schools could be opened up. can you shed any more light on that news from the white house this morning? >> well, it will work its way through the fda, as you know, willie. but there's no question this is good news. i know even as schools are reopening and we know they can reopen safely for parents like myself, like yourself, like others who have kids who are going to be in school, this sure would make a lot of us feel better and safer.
so we'll let the fda work through the approval process. but there's no question this announcement this morning is good news. >> did the white house -- >> let's -- >> have a hand in this, jen. you all have been driving vaccine development and distribution, but how hard have you been working on a kids vaccine which obviously hasn't been getting as much attention as the one that's now open up to adults. >> one of the reasons we purchased the number of supply, the huge amount of supply that we did is because we want to wait for the fda to go through the approval process and see what's most effective with kids so that we can use that to implement and distribute as quickly as possible. so, i wouldn't say we've been involved in it as much as we have been watching and encouraged by the process that a lot of these companies are undergoing to do studies. they'll have to go through fda approval processes and then we'll be ready to distribute when it works its way through that process. >> all right. let's go to erin haines for the next question. erin. >> hi, erin. >> hi, jen.
good morning. listen, i want to ask because we know that the economic impact of this pandemic was unequal. and so looking ahead to this recovery, a couple of questions for you in terms of how this plan addresses the administration's declared priority of racial equity in addressing racial inequity, but also you know, how does this plan specifically address the disproportionate impact of this pandemic on women. you mentioned the later package coming later this month will talk about women, but we know that women are also such a part of this country's economic infrastructure, you know, if you're talking about job creation, well paying jobs, the $15 minimum wage is not part of this. so how does this address racial and gender inequality. >> you're absolutely right on everything that you just said, erin. i would say, first, this package, one, we hope will put millions and millions of people back to work. that helps men. that helps women. that helps families. but the president is also, as you also noted, going to propose another package, another
proposal in just a couple of weeks that is going to address a lot of the root issues that we've seen and a lot of studies, a lot of your reporting i know i read about the impact of women and why women are dropping out of the work force. so some of that is care giving, of course, caring for elder family members. some of that is child care which is another piece the president, the vice president is very focussed on. some of that will be tax insendives. some of that will be incentivizing for employers, be thaw proposal will be in a couple of weeks. and people should really look at this as part of the president's build-back better agenda. today we'll focus on infrastructure. the second step will be more focussed on a lot of the components that you've touched on. and on equity, i know that was such a good question. it's central to everything we do here, erin, as you know. one of the approaches that we're focussing on with this proposal is ensuring that it is helping address rural communities but also many underserved communities, many communities that have majority black and brown communities that have not had the access to some of the
funding to invest in projects, to clean water which is something we've seen in communities across the country impact communities of color, predominantly more than other communities. that's another investment in infrastructure. and certainly broadband. you know, we've seen through the pandemic kids who are working from home who don't have access to the internet, that has a detrimental effect on them and so we're looking for lots of ways to impact and help look at this proposal through equity and that lens and making sure it's helping communities of color a great deal. >> jen, "the new york times" reported a yesterday there may be a growing number of democrats that are concerned about the expense of nature of hr.1, the voting bill. and voting reform bill. joe manchin obviously has expressed concerns about nationalizing a process that has traditionally been handled on the state level. there's talks of breaking up the bill, making it more palaable not just for joe manchin but
other democrats who right now are quietly having reservations but who are afraid to say so on the record. are you all considering breaking this bill in half and maybe doing it a bit more piecemeal instead of having one sweeping overarching bill for hr.1? >> well, we know that there's going to be a process. democracy in action, joe, right? it's going to work its way through congress. we always expected there would be some changes to the house bill, as it worked its way through the senate. as you all know, there's differences of opinion as we saw play out in the reporting that you just mentioned. so, whether it's multiple bills, one big bill, we'll let the senate work that through. our focus is really on ensuring there's a bill passed on the president's desk that will make voting easier, more accessible and confident there's a way to do that. we're actually quite encouraged by the actions and the work across the aisle to try to come to an agreement on exactly this issue. >> and one final question.
has there been any consideration about possibly moving forward with hr. 4 first before hr.1 which obviously is john lewis' bill that was designed to respond to the supreme court's request that congress update the voting rights legislation. might that better be -- might that be a more unifying way, a more unifying approach to respond to legislation that passed in georgia and is likely to pass in other states? >> i think there's no question as you guys were talking about earlier on your show that the georgia law brings again to light the need to get voting reforms, to get reforms in place, that people can come together around. and you know, we are very open to whatever order the senate, leaders in the senate, leader schumer and others think is appropriate here. we would like to see both pieces of legislation passed, so we'll look to see what they think is the right approach. >> all right. white house press secretary jen
psaki once again, thank you very much for being back. >> great to be here. >> we really appreciate it. >> she was very patient with jonathan lemire by the way. >> yes, she was. he can be a rebel rouser. still ahead, update on the uptick in violence against asian-americans and what's being done to stop it from happening. "morning joe" is coming right back. back antibacterial or moisturizing body wash? definitely moisturizer! antibacterial can i have both? new dove care & protect body wash eliminates 99% of bacteria and moisturizes for hours two for one! can i keep it?
welcome back to "morning joe." the white house announced new initiatives to address anti--asian violence in response to the rising attacks against that community over the past year. some of the new directives include increasing accessibility to hate crime data, requiring new training for local police and providing more funding to programs helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. the justice department will also review ways to better crackdown on violent acts against people of asian dissent by prioritizing prosecution of people who commit hate crimes. the steps by the federal government come a day after a man was captured on surveillance
video in new york repeatedly kicking a 65-year-old filipino woman while making an anti-asian remarks. overnight, we learned a suspect has been arrested and charged with felony assault as a hate crime. police say the suspect is already on life time on lifetim fatally stabbing his mother nearly 20 years ago, mika. >> i just can't get over the door closing. they just closed the door. the guy had walked away and just left her there. every time i see it i'm left just wondering what has happened to us. in some other headlines the russian hacking effort appears to have extend to the state department. as new reporting suggests thousands of state department officials e-mails were stolen last year. according to politico suspected russian hackers gained access to e-mails from the bureau of
european as well as the bureau of east asian and pacific affairs. the information obtained does not appear to be classified material and not clear whether this hack was part of the solar winds intrusion that breached the department of homeland security. and big changes may be coming to the presidential primary calendar. politico is reporting this morning that democratic party leaders considering overhauling the 2024 primary calendar. a transformation that would include ousting iowa and new hampshire from their cherished perches as the first states to vote. quote, senior party leaders and democratic committee members are privately exploring the idea of pushing south carolina and nevada to the front of the primary election schedule, as well as the possibility of multiple states holding the
first nominating contest on the same day. congressman jim clyborn of south carolina and harry reid are said to be among the presidential heavyweights discussing the possible changes. jonathan, i think we are all watched it and experienced it in realtime, but explain what the problem is with the primary process as it is now. >> sure, mika. this has been percolating for a while now and really gained momentum in 2020 when we saw the disastrous counting situation in iowa where winner wasn't known for quite some time but more than that democrats have pointed to the demographics of iowa and new hampshire. those states have gone first for a while and a tradition and we've used the images and we've been in iowa, new hampshire covering these events whether it's des moines or manchester but the demographics are largely white states that don't reflect the democratic party and its
base. not a lot of diversity in those states unlike south carolina and nevada. those are the two that have really tried to push forward and suggest that they should be first. they're more reflective of what the democratic party looks like. you know, other considerations here. you don't want a state to be too big or too expensive that's why another diverse state like a california or florida or new york seems unlikely to be at the top of the calendar because different for all the candidates to compete there for long stretches of time because of how it is to advertise in those markets. states of california and nevada seem to be the right size and have more diversity that many democrats feel like they should go first and pushing iowa and new hampshire back a little bit. >> iowa didn't help its cause with the way it counted its votes last year. >> the group includes nine women as well as the first muslim american to be a federal judge. the first asian american women
for the district court of d.c. and the first woman of color for the district court of maryland. the last pick gained the most attention. . set to fill garland's old position and a future supreme court pick for president biden after he promised to choose a black woman if a vacancy occurs while he is in office. aaron, is this something the president seems to be delivering on? >> you're absolutely right, willie. this is something the black women who we know was such a factor in not only becoming the democratic nominee but joe biden and kamala harris elected to office. this is something that excited them. we were just talking about south carolina. south carolina on that debate stage that joe biden said that if he were the nominee and if he were to become president he would put a black woman on the
supreme court. something that, by the way, as we sit here in 2021 has never happened in the history of this country. so, yes, certainly this nomination is, you know, puts that potentially one step closer to reality. but the idea for black women, these are the kinds of things that they say they are seeking in terms of return on their investment, right, for their output. namely their loyalty at the polls. things like black women being represented in our judicial system especially at the federal level and even at the highest levels in our courts. this certainly reflects their priorities at least some of the priorities that i was hearing when i was talking to them on the campaign trail. >> those are the nominees, we'll see how confirmation goes. coming up next, recent polling has shown republican men appear to be skeptical about getting the covid vaccine.
chris christie of new jersey wants to help change that. he joins our conversation just ahead on "morning joe." before discovering nexium 24hr to treat her frequent heartburn, marie could only imagine enjoying freshly squeezed orange juice. now no fruit is forbidden. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn?
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along with joe, willie and me we have ideas for major white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire don't say anything, jonathan don't say a word white house correspondent for pbs news hour joins us and co-founder of punch bowl news jake sherman is an msnbc political contributor and he's wearing stripes today. >> jake, should the bidens put the dog down or not? >> i'm not going to be dragged into this, sorry >> joe, absolutely not >> if you had a dog that bit two people, what would you do? >> nip >> well, i would probably, i would probably send, if i were president, i would send that dog home to delaware probably. but that's not an official position of punch bowl news, so i'm just going to punt on that >> keep major on a leash joe biden or jill can keep him on the leash all day and then
just teach the dog manners again and you're right there and you act in the moment. >> mika, do we really want to get into your history of rescues that bit people? they never got the second bite with you >> one problem with spice. otherwise all of them were good. >> do you know where spice is? with dog jesus after the one bite >> we're just way down the wrong road here and that's a long story. stop it. >> go ahead. >> i got the news. the latest mpr merit poll shows the president building on his already high approval rating >> this was taken before kujo took another chunk >> 52% of americans approve that the president's overall job performance up three points from earlier this month his handling of the pandemic also up three points to 65%. the president added five points to his rating on the economy after signing the stimulus
package. now at 51% but the migrant crisis is taking a whole toll on his immigration numbers. just 34% approve of how he's handling imxwragz. 53% disapprove so, there's that >> willie, good news, it does appear, of course, if we could just beat this horse one more time, it does appear that the migrant crisis is taking a bite out of joe biden's overall approval >> the biden administration just unveiled new details of its in infrastructure plan. >> weets get to that in a second numbers are still high, north of 50% and really on the key issues that joe biden campaigned on, the key issues that he talked about getting into office about taking care of covid, the overwhelming majority of americans continue to support him. >> yeah, he's doing exactly what he said he was going to do tackthal biggest problem in front of the country and that was covid.
he got the covid relief bill through and he is showing competence which is something refreshing to americans over the last couple months getting the vaccines produced and distributed and he's actually doing the irkwork obviously, struggling on the immigration question but jonathan lemire, joe biden in this country, in this economy will take a 52% approval rating. >> he absolutely will, willie. as you said, this was a central focus of his administration. he was elected in large part for two reasons. one, to not be donald trump and secondly to do this and manage the nation right now and confluence of crises the covid-19 and the health aspects and the economic ones. we're seeing some signs of economic recovery, that's good news and certainly a huge, huge jump in the number of vaccines produced and distributed where, you know, by may any american
adult who wants or will be able to get one that's great news. that's what most americans really care about. also seeing benefits of the stimulus package that $1,400 check show up in their bank account and the white house is trying to use that momentum for their next piece of it, which i know we'll get in to later. i'm traveling with the president later to pittsburgh when he talks about the infrastructure package but the white house believes they enter the negotiations with a strong hand because of how popular this president is despite scandals and questions swirling around major biden and i'll just add this, there's been talk that the white house was the first family was also going to add a cat to their stable of animals. that hasn't happened yet what happens with this cat now that there is such a scrutiny on the first pets >> cat's going to get eaten. >> actually, the cat will help
joe, the cat will be fine and sometimes cats actually put the dog in line. >> did you see what meatball does to daisy. >> yeah, you know what, meatball would make short order of major. but there aren't a lot of cats as ferocious at meatball >> okay. >> but still, put a cat in front of that dog. >> stop it as jonathan just mentioned the biden administration just unveiled new details of its in infrastructure plan. the update comes ahead of the president's trip to pittsburgh today to promote the more than $2 trillion economic package included in that figure is money allotted for transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges and highways also investing in broadband, clean water, the electric grid and affordable housing money will also go to promoting the health care workforce and manufacturing. the plan would be spread out over an eight-year period and raise the corporate tax rate for
15 years from 21 to 28%. the plan does not include an increase in capitol gains taxes. an administration official tells nbc news that the white house started to reach out to democrats and republicans on the hill this is part one of biden's build back better agenda as the administration ames to push through another initiative focused on health care and other social welfare programs. >> so, you mean even though joe biden is going to try to pay for part of this by taxing corporations, trying to pull back on some of the tax cuts that donald trump gave to the weltiest american weal wealthiest americans and biggest corporations, the republicans, obviously, will start pushing back does joe biden, does the biden team expect this to be, once again, a democratic-only bill as
far as yes votes go? >> white house officials as now are saying they want this to be a bipartisan bill. in infrastructure should be a bipartisan initiative. they are detailing as you just put up a number of things they want to use this money for roads, bridges they want to invest in the structure of this country and they say it's going to really benefit not just democratic districts, but republican districts and americans all over this country have heard for the last four years and the previous administration talk about infrastructure in some ways as a distraction from all the different things going on during the former trump administration. and now here they are with a robust infrastructure bill saying republicans you should be able to get on board this is a polarized washington republicans have not seemingly wanted to talk very much to this administration about getting things through congress.
a lot of that is because we're already in some ways in this 2022 cycle where republicans are eyeing trying to wrestle back control of the senate and maybe even control of the house. so, i think it's still very, very iffy whether or not republicans will get on board with this. you already see majority leader chuck schumer trying to get a second reconciliation bill through the senate trying to figure out the way the democrats can do things going it alone that being said you'll see what we saw last time with the biden administration and that is trying to reach out to republicans possibly bringing them into the white house to talk and have very public conversations about how to get republicans on board but i also suspect that if republicans, once again, don't want to get on board that president biden in the white house will try to go it alone and say, again, that republicans are being obstructionist and republicans will say this is probably too bloated and too filled with democratic goals still ahead, republican congressman matt gaetz under
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the "new york times" citing three sources reports matt gaetz of florida is currently under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking according to "the times" the justice department is looking into whether gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and whether he paid for her to travel with him the investigation reportedly began in the final months of the trump administration the investigation is part of a larger probe into a political ally of gaetz's, a man named joel greenburg pictured with gaetz and roger stone in 2017. he resigned as tax collector
last june after being indicted on sex trafficking charges no charges have been brought against congressman gaetz and the justice department is not commenting on the story. worth noting in 2017, gaetz was the only member to vote against human trafficking. saying it represented mission. denying the allegations s by "n york times." they were told he is the subject not the target of an investigation. he said, quote, i only know that it has to do with pwomen. i have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends he called the investigation as part of an elaborate scheme to extort him and his family for $25 million that began this month. here's what he said about it
last night on fox news followed by the host's tucker carlson's reaction >> "the new york times" is saying i traveled with a 17-year-old woman and people can look at my travel records and see that is not the case an extortion of me and my family my father got a text message demanding a meeting where a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local fbi and the fbi and the department of justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did, with the former department of justice official >> you just saw our matt gaetz interview that was one of the weirdest interviews i ever
conducted. that story just appeared and on the certainty there is always more than you read in the newspaper and we immediately called matt gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more. which he did i don't think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we'll be following it. don't quite understand it. but we'll bring you more when we find out >> one of the reporters who broke the story "new york times" michael schmidt and national security analyst and also with us state attorney for palm beach county dave erinburg help us walk through the story a little bit a lot going on an investigation as i said this man named joel greenburg coming out of florida seminole county, florida congressman gaetz an ally was swept up in this what is the allegation against the congressman? >> well, as you were laying out the government is looking at whether gaetz had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl and
whether he violated federal law by paying for that girl to travel you know, by transporting that girl and, look, there are a lot of federal laws in the sex trafficking area you know, basically that try and stop, you know, people from exploiting those under the age of 18. as you were saying, there have not been any charges against gaetz. there have been charges, though, against this seminole county tax collector. that's where this investigation has sort of come out of. the governor found an array of corruption by the tax collector and indicted him on many different charges ranging from his own dealings with someone under the age of 18 to how he was targeting his own political rivals so, it's sort of a fairly robust federal investigation there.
and gaetz laying out this very sort of elaborate scheme, which we tried to listen to and hear him out on about how this is all a way of just trying to take, get money from him somehow and saying that by us writing this story we disrupted an fbi sting operation or some sort of operation that was supposed to go down today in which the fbi was going to see some sort of evidence of this and that our story, you know, somehow the information was leaked to us to upend that operation. coming up, the race between the covid variants and the covid vac vaccine. a closer look at why new jersey has the highest infection rate in the nation. "morning joe" is coming right back
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>> new jersey is having a challenge in terms of covid. very high per capita rate. the curve is going the wrong direction. what's going on there? >> yeah, it is going in the wrong direction. listen, we are the densest state of america, joy, and the densest region in america and we're a northern cold weather state. we're up against it with these variants we have south african, uk, braz brazilian, new york city and we're challenging we're getting through it, but our numbers have gotten a little sideways >> that is new jersey governor phil murphy talking to joy reid talking about the covid rate in his state. joining us now president and ceo of university hospital good to see you, always. i'll put the question joy put to the governor to you. what is going on in the state of new jersey >> as the governor mentioned, we are seeing a significant increase in cases, especially over the last month.
and, in fact, that increase is now reflected nationally you have a 15% to 20% increase now across the country over the last two weeks so, i think the governor's right to call out the fact that we're the densest state and that being a factor but also i do think that the variants are a significant concern. you have the presence of the uk variant and you have the presence of the brazilian variant and not only more transmissible but for the uk variants in particular more severe we're starting to see that with the hospitalizations that we're seeing new jersey is also seeing an increase in hospitalizations, not seeing that across the country yet. but the concerning thing is that we're seeing younger and younger groups of people being hospitalized at rates we didn't even see last spring so, again, all that is concerning for how this virus is evolving as long as we don't stop the spread, we'll see the variants start to dominant. >> how much of this is people just relaxing. we had a wave of good news over
the last couple months about vaccines are becoming widely available now in most states people getting their appointments covid relief pushed out to many of the states and got through congress is the young people coming into your hospital directly related to people being out in the world dp again? >> i think relaxation is a factor and i think people need to buck up and make sure we get through the last mile. dr. walensky pleading with folks this week that while we see the finish line in front of us and we're getting closer and closer every day with vaccination, we're not there yet. only 16% of this country is fully vaccinated and similar rates here in new jersey we need to be much higher rates than that in order to see cases drop to vaccination and as long as people continue to get this vi virus, variants can spread and new variants can develop and this continues to be a race with vaccination against the variants and against spread so, i do think that is a factor on top of everything else.
>> yamiche has a question for you. >> good morning. thanks for being here. according to analysis by "new york times" the vaccination rate among african-americans is half of that and hispanics have an even larger gap. what do you make of that gap and whether there are any sort of fixes or solutions to how to lessen that gap among racial groups >> the gap is extremely concerning and i'm glad you asked about that for example, only 6% of the city of newark which we serve here at newark hospital is fully vaccinated compared that to the rest of the state and the rest of the country people of color are not getting vaccinated at rates that we need for them to be vaccinated and that's for a couple reasons. number one, hesitancy is still a factor, but that's not the only thing to blame here. we have to extend access as much as possible to communities of color and i do welcome the opening of a new fema site, a
community vaccination center right here in newark the governor is going to be here celebrating that opening today and those sites have proven to increase the number of people of color and i'm glad the federal government is stepping up and prioritizing newark and that is absolutely necessary and the biden administration is doing right by doing that. >> dr. shereef university hospital in newark, new jersey, always great to talk to you, doctor thank you for being here. coming up, after spending a week in the icu with coronavirus last year, former new jersey governor chris christie joins the effort to convince skeptical conservatives to get vaccinated. governor christie joins us next on "morning joe.
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♪ i'll be seeing you and all th old familiar places ♪ ♪ that this heart of mine embraces all day through ♪ ♪ the park across the way the children's carousel ♪ ♪ the chestnut trees the wishing well ♪ ♪ and i'll be seeing you in all the familiar places ♪ ♪ that this heart of mine embraces all day through ♪ ♪ i'll find you in the morning sun and i'll be looking at the
moon and i'll be seeing you ♪ ♪ i'll be looking at the moon and be seeing you ♪ ♪ i'll be looking at the moon and i'll be seeing you ♪ >> that's a new promotion from the ad council and covid collaboratives it's up to you campaign which launched last week encouraging americans to fete their vaccines our next guests are teaming up to help reach xerveative americans. lower confidence in the vaccine according to recent polling. joining us now former governor of new jersey, republican chris christie and also with us a senior scholar at john hopkins center for health security, dr.
adelsa just overall broad view of vaccine fear, what are we seeing in terms of the ability to get the vaccine to the american people and to we have any sense of how many people are refusing it >> i think it depends upon dh survey you look at but a essential group of people that will not get the vaccine under any circumstances and then people are who are very enthusiastic about the vaccine but in the middle many people have questions about the vaccine and want to learn more about the vaccine and have an informed decision with their doctors and other health care providers and that's the group we're really trying to reach because those are the people that are taking their health into their own hands and trying to understand this vaccine and to learn about it and very important to have data for them to be able to make informed decisions and get vacc vaccinated >> do you think, dr., that in some ways there may be still some mixed messages out there
perhaps that they had heard either from the previous administration or republicans or whoever is still sort of the vaccine sensitive or against masking? >> there definitely have been a lot of mixed messages aout ther and learn about the vaccines and learn about mitigation measures with covid-19 and know where the trajectory of this pandemic is going and when you look at these vaccines and you look at the data, you really only get more knowledge and more power to make a good decision because these vaccines are tremendous at stopping serious illness and this is a key and important way to really move through this pandemic and to be able to engage with people again and be able to partake in those activities as so many people have not been able to do when you look at the story of vaccines, it is a story of life enhancement that vaccines change your life and i think this one does >> chris christie, so, tell us
what brought you to join this campaign we all know that you had covid, went through it, even went to the hospital and received experimental treatment did they work? did they save your life and what do you think this campaign is so important? >> well, good morning, mika, good to see you again and i will tell you this, that there's no doubt in my mind that the eli lily antibody cocktail played a role in saving my life and i think for all the people out there who have some questions and questions that most people would have about the efficacy of any kind of new drug that comes out on the market, i'd say this. you know, this is the most random virus of our lifetimes. think about it i went into what is supposed to be the safest place in america, the white house, where i was getting tested every day before i went into the white house for
four straight days and that's where i got covid. there is no safe place from the virus, that's the first thing. the second thing, mika, the randomness of the way it affects people just recently in the last three or four weeks i had a 62-year-old cousin no prior health issues at all she and her husband both got covid and both were hospitalized and both were ventilated and my 62-year-old female cousin died of complications from covid being intubated and six days later her husband died, as well. he was a healthy, longshoreman working on the docks here in new jersey it is random in how you get it it is random in how it affects you and the vaccine is like putting your safety belt on when you get into the car it's not going to guarantee you 100% if you got in a car accident you wouldn't be killed but makes it much, much less likely that's what we need to be
thinking about >> so, chris, talk to me about the white house being the safest place. i want to ask you if you could share with our viewers who may have the same mindset as to why you felt safe going to events, the nomination ceremony, the debate preps not wearing a mask when the science was out there but what was it about your understanding of the virus that still had you putting yourself at risk and i don't say that in a judgmental way i say it in a way that i would like you to speak to the people who are doing that now and going out to restaurants and bars and feeling they're safe because maybe they're outside but not social distancing because the white house wasn't safe. people were getting coronavirus. but there was a group of people who gathered at the white house consistently at events like these who also felt comfortable. why? >> well i think the biggest reason, mika, was that the way it works when i went to the
white house, at least, for all the days leading to the debate prep before you could go into the west wing of the white house you were immediately brought to the medical unit and you had to stay there and wait for the results of the test. everyone i was interacting with had been tested. so, the thought process was, well, if everyone has been tested and everyone is negative, well then you should be fine >> but hold on, chris, the rapid tests we all know and had known then they're not as conclusive, not as conclusive as a test you go and send to a lab everyone getting rapid tested does not mean everyone is negative >> mika, look, i already said that me not wearing a mask was a mistake and the proof of it being a mistake was that i got covid and i was in the intensive care unit for seven days so, it was a mistake and i think, you know, i did back in december that got a lot
of attention in that regard. but i'm telling you why. you asked why. that's why that's why people thought it was safe i thought it was safe. and what i'm trying to emiphasiz to people now regarding the vaccine is my personal story i had worn a mask for seven months before going to the white house and remained healthy i believed i was okay without a mask in the white house and i was wrong. now we have to remember the randomness of how this disease spreads and the randomness of how it will affect you yes, certain indicators that would make more people vulnerable than others but as i just told you, i had two cousins who died in the last four weeks who neither of them had any pre-existing conditions. and one of them died from, you know, organ failure because she couldn't breathe and the other one died because he had a brain bleed that was related to this so, and he was, as i said, 62 years old and working on the docks as an active longshoreman
in great physical condition. working a physical job every day. so, what i want people to understand is, yes, there are things we know about this virus and lots of things we still don't know and this, getting the vaccine, is the way to severely reduce your likelihood of getting seriously ill from covid and in many cases getting covid at all. >> governor christie, good to see you, it's willie geist i knew you snuck that in there for the mets let me ask you, though, there is as you say so much garbage floating around online and so much that masks actually might be bad for you and vaccinations are bad for you and it's a big scheme for anthony fauci to get rich whatever the conspiracy theories are out there and you know donald trump well. you know the former president. do you think it would be powerful if he came out in a clear way and say, look, i got the vaccine back in january. i didn't do it publicly, maybe i
should have. i did get it you should get it, too nothing to worry about i feel fine and had no effects from it. would that make a big impact on the 74 million people who voted for him? >> i don't think it would, willie and i base that on having p participating in a focus group of folks who are trump voters and who were reluctant to get the vaccine and their message was that they didn't want to hear from any politicians about why they thought they should get the vaccine. what they wanted to hear, if they're going to hear from anybody like me in public life, their own personal stories that might be able to help them understand why this was a good thing to do. it was very, very interesting, willie, the focus group and it was without regard to party. whether it was barack obama or bill clinton or george w. bush or donald trump, that wasn't moving them. what was moving them was the
randomness of this disease, hearing about how we think we know which people are more affected but others get affected and lose their lives, as well. so, listen, the former president trump has publicly said that, you know, he took the vaccine and it's safe and he thinks you should, too. but i will tell you i think that moves the needle very little based upon what i saw from this very powerful two-hour focus group we did these are people from all over the country and different ages and different regions and both genders. you know, they were unmoved by it >> dr. adalja, let's be clear about impact we're in the early stages of getting americans vaccinated but what do we know about any follow-up impacts from it? do people get ill? what are the effects of it because that is some of what you read online you ought not taketake it because it was developed too fast and people who have
received the vaccination what do we as a medical community know about that? >> this is a very safe and effective vaccine. i clamored to be vaccinated. i was vaccinated early on in december, the first week of the availability of the pfizer vaccine and after my first dose, i had no symptoms at all i didn't even have any arm soreness it was less than a flu vaccine after the second dose, you can expect to have some symptoms aches and pain, headache, fatigue. that's the usual course that people have, but it's very manageable i went to work the next day and worked in the icu overnight and didn't take a day off. i took a little bit of tylenol and that's what you can expect to get from most people. it is very safe and efficacious vaccine. i have not seen anything that concerned me i think this is going to be an important pathway back to normalcy as the governor said, when you talk about serious disease, hospitalization and death, these vaccines basically remove that possibility and we couldn't even have expected a vaccine to be
this good, but we got multiple vaccines that way. so i think we're in kind of, we have this menu of vaccines that are going to be really, really important for controlling this pandemic and putting it behind us so, the more people that get this vaccine and the more people that learn about this vaccine, the better we are all going to eboo be in the future >> all right, former governor chris christie, thank you so much dr. adelja, thank you. we're going to turn now to a highly anticipated new documentary coming to pbs. it's called "hemingway." take a look. >> the old man in the sea told a story of an old cuban fisherman alone who hooked a great marlin that towed him far out to sea before he could harpoon and lash it alongside but as he struggled to return to land, sharks devoured most of his prize. hemingway had originally planned
to include the story as to a longer novel but now wanted it to stand on its own. publishing it now he told scribbners that i am through as a writer it could even serve as an epilogue to all my writing and what i have learned or tried to learn while writing and trying to live. most readers seem to agree the old man in the sea appeared first in "life" magazine on september 1st, 1952 and sold well over 5 million copies the hard cover book when it was published would remain on the best seller list for 26 weeks. >> the new three-part six-hour documentary series on pbs is directed by our next guests,
award winning filmmakers ken burns and lynn novick. thank you both, so much. con congratulations on this. ken burns, what do you love about it >> it's a complicated story. i'm glad you sea," it's a storyf his work and an exist earn story and he created this mythology about himself and it was devoured by sharks, inner and outer sharks and what lynn and i have tried to do over the last six and a half years of working on it is tell the story of sort of the man behind the mythology which has been so impenetrable and find out so many interesting things about him that go beyond the toxic masculinity that we're kind of used to, his interest in gender fluidity and his ability in a few stories to put himself literally sort of in the skin of the female characters. this unbelievable writing style
that will endure for generations and generations and generations. it was hard to do this, mika, because the edifice was so hard and opaque and you got through and you get a sense of his vulnerability as well as his arrogance and insecurity as well as that blow hardness and you develop a kind of compassion for a man trying to outrun lots of demons >>. >> canon lynn, congratulations absolutely cannot wait to sit down with this when you approach a subject like hemingway, who is so well known and whose work is so well known how do you approach it over a span of six hours and how do you sit down as a filmmaker and say here's how we want to tell his story and shed a new light on it >> for jeff ward and sarah potts, senior producer it's the same process for all of the subjects we tackle we don't consider ourselves experts by any means and we go to school and we read a
tremendous amount and for me that read basically everything that hemingway had written and reading biographies and reading his letters, expert, biographers, scholars and talking to writers from around the world about what hemingway meant to them and hearing their perspectives on his work, his legacy and his style and the subjects he tackled and it was a revelatory and surprising journey and that was the most rewarding aspect for a film like this we went in asking who was this guy? how did he create his work and how did he get the myth? we had to get past the work itself and the real human being underneath that. >> one of my favorite books of his is "movable feast" between hemingway and gertrude stein and hemingway and fitzgerald and all of the great writers in paris
during that time i wanted to ask boethth of you, though, his relationship with f. scott fitzgerald he was contemptuous and fitzgerald was so insecure, but looking back at that, it sounds like, ken, it was deep seat insecurity from one great writer to another. >> exactly right, joe and we document in fact, f. scott fitzgerald had helped hemingway and he helped him through the first two chapters of "the sun also rises" and hemingway agreed and it was a huge success and then later claimed that it wasn't fitzgerald and that he had done it and had meant to do it all along and so interesting that you bring up "a movable feast" because his non-fiction is often
fiction, in a way. he's settling old scores in "a movable feast and scores that didn't need to be settled our writer jeff ward said about a writer who was long dead and for whom the bell tolls, his favorite novel and it is more accurate to the dynamics of what was going on in the spanish civil war and the influence of stalin than the journalism in the years before that in which he was quiet about some of the soviet acrossitiestrocities on . and mind blowing and yet you have at the heart of this writer where the other writers of the period are more complicated and anybody can read him and yet you have a sense that the meaning is lurking below the surface and almost like an iceberg and it was a metaphor hemingway used and only 1/8 was revealed, he
said. >> and lynn, that is ken's insight, just extraordinary and one i've always thought about "movable feast" where hemingway says at the beginning, some of this may be true some of it may not be true, this is my take on what happened, but just an extraordinary look back that is so revealing to so many different parts of his life and so many resentments and also the love and my god, what he conjured up 30, 35 years later from his time in paris is just breathtaking. >> doesn't it make you want to go to paris and go to the places he went and sit in the same cafes? >> oui >> exactly >> all of his work makes you want to go to spain, makes you want to go to florida, makes you want to go to cuba and experience it so beautifully and that is a gift to be able to conjure feelings, senvations and
sort of vish aluals and what yoe and feel and make you want to go there yourself and that is a gift among his many flaws and problems >> for sure. >> and you know, ken, you put him aside faulkner, for instance, and the contrast could not be more extreme with the simplicity of the senate and his obsession and any writer, not on writing a greatster and not on writing a great paragraph, but writing a sentence and if you can write that one true sentence everything else follows from that. >> that's exactly what the dynamic is program faulkner and joyce are complicated and
difficult to read and as one of our commentators said that hemingway dared to impersonate simplicity so he gets those sentences down and pares them down to a bare minimum, kind of an american utilitarian pros and yet between each word and between each line is so much meaning and unlike faulkner and unlike tolstoy who was dealing in generations and hundreds of characters and character development he's focusing on the moment and an exist earn moment and this is the only place we are right now. not the past, not the future and we're all going to die and he's obsessed with telling us about it, but it's what we make of this moment that matters more than anything else and that's the key to understanding it and there is a liberation in the darkness that he brings up that we were interested in celebrating and some of the writing, you just stop and are
in a rapture because it is just so good and it will endure he'll be in the pantheon for as long as people are reading >> so let's watch a clip from hemingway's notorious temple. >> once on bimini, the wealthy yachtsman called hemingway a phony a big, fat slob, hemingway, just as drunk knocked him cold word spread fast across the island when anyone is tight here or feels dangerous, hemingway told a friend they ask me to fight. hemingway let it be known that he would pay $250 to anyone who could stay with him for three rounds and no one ever claimed the money. >> oh, my gosh, that's amazing lynn, the term complicated as often used as a euphemism for someone who is a pain,
difficult, mean or on ornery what did we learn about hemingway's personality in the documentary that we didn't know before >> well, we don't let him off the hook we show who he really was and there were aspects of his behavior that we would tolerate today and are seriously bo problematic and as ken says there's vulnerability, there's empathy and you know, it's just too much what is he covering up why is he doing that and that we tried to get at in the film just to see beyond this presentation which was restricting for him and it became a prison that he couldn't get out of in trying to live up to this persona. >> the new three-part documentary, "hemingway" is coming to pbs april 5th through
april 7th at 8:00 eastern time ken burns and lynn novik, thank you both very much look forward to it congratulations. all right. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now ♪ hi there i'm stephanie ruhle, it's wednesday, march 31st and this morning we have breaking news on the covid front. pfizer announcing its vaccine is 100% effective in kids ages 12 to 15 and it plans to submit that new data to the fda as soon as possible which could be a huge step in the nation's much-needed effort to re-open schools entirely now the question, when will the kids be eligible for the first shot we're keeping a lot of focus minneapolis where the trial of derek chauvin is set to resume 90 minutes fro
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