tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC August 9, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
effects playing out in every corner of the globe and it points the blame directly at human activity. that massive dixie fire has now scorched an area twice the size of new york city. i will talk to fema's administrator to talk about how they are trying to tackle climate change now. morgan chesky is in austin texas because they have activated the mrnl alert system. vaughn hilliard is in tallahassee, florida, because kids are going back to school
now. and day four of that annual motorcycle rally is under way. there is roughly 700,000 people, and wes want to bring in dr. natalie azar. good to have you. morgan, let me start with you in texas. at last check a few hours ago you mentioned that just half a dozen icu beds were left in austin. what are officials there saying about how dire things have gotten in austin texas and beyond? >> they're saying things are reaching a crisis level. we have seen hospitals revert back to staffing levels, to operation modes, when texas was seening a real summer surge. social media, phone calls, any
way they can to say please stay indoors, don't so go to mask gatherings, and please mask up. for another big part of the surge is the fact they are unable to issue a mask mandate. it has been prohibited with an executive order. six icu beds in the greater austin area. we have about eight million people there. at last check they're about 75 icu beds available there. so no matter where you look you're running into significant issues with available space. one of the stories we shared is the fact that we had a mother of an 11 month old girl who was stricken with covid taken to a houston hospital that has one of the largest medical centers in the country, and of the five pediatric ward there's there was no room.
she had to be flown to a hospital 150 miles away in dimple texas where that little girl could get help. and that is why the word is getting out please get vaccinated, please mask up. essentially the public is on their own at this time. businesses can post on the door if they want people to wear their masks. but also school districts and administrators are at risk of losing state funding if they put those in place as well. with school just around the corner we heard from the teacher state teachers association that is highly concerned that they don't have the resources in place for the latest surge, craig? >> so six beds there in austin, any idea how many they had to start with? >> we know under normal operating levels, talking about
more than 100 here, craig. so this is becoming to the point where you have six beds left in a metropolitan area this big and we know it is concerning. will enough people get vaccinated toon shuf no balance out the spread. that is the question that no one knows the answer to right now. >> let me turn to you for a moment here. there are other cities in the country where they have fewer beds than they need. do they just send folks to the closest hospital with space? >> certainly that is happening if you look at med twitter. it is pretty active with anecdotes. of people that have been health care providers.
because of diversions there. and what morgan was describing, and what is happening in multiple different hospital systems around the country, is essentially what we were seeing last year before we were having universal masking. before vaccinations. we talked about flattening the curve. no one likes to talk about shutdowns. what saves these hospital systems are short-term lockdowns. it will not help in the immediate time frame. we know with pfizer and moderna, there is a five to eight week time period before you're fully immune about vaccination. i worry not only about the individuals in the icu, but the health care providers, we know there are staff shortages and i worry a lot about the people
that want to come to the hospital for other reasons such as strokes and heart attacks. we're going to see the same thing play out that we did last year, craig, when folks were dieing because they could not get appropriate health care. >> we're showing some of the most representative data we have. last year roughly at this time, if i recall, the new cases were a result of widespread testing. that is not happening this time around, is it? these are not a result of increased testing? >> no, by all metrics our testing indicators are lagging something. the vast majority of which are in the unvaccinated. we know the data, we have been
seeing it for a number of weeks. those are real numbers. >> let's talk about florida where you are. that state broke the record for daily new cases over the weekend. what are you hearing from people there especially as children start to go back to the dallas room where you are. >> that's right, talking about the types of people getting tested. one individual after the next, when i asked them what lead them there they had symptoms, sniffles, or one guy said i had 102 degree fever last night. i want you to hear from one of
the happiers that teaches first grade here. you're looking at 14,000 hospitalizations across the state of florida and you're dealing with a population of individuals under the age of 12, and with a governor that put into place a ban on schools being able to require masks. so take a listen to part of my conversation. >> i think we have to have conversations, rely on the science, and make decisions that keep our children safe so we can focus on learning. we want families to feel as comfortable as we can and just remind them that we're keeping their kids safe to the best of our abilities. >> craig, there is seven states including florida where the governors banned requiring masks in the classroom here. texas released new rules that
prevents schools from having to actually take accounting for who is testing positive in the classrooms and they don't have to notify the families or classmates of positive tests. >> what does that accomplish? >> what's that, craig? >> why? what's the thinking there? >> the thinking is what you see at school board meetings here is pressure from parents claiming that masks make their kids sick, which there is no data or evidence behind that, and believing it is the right of the family. it is the right of the students to decide whether or not they wear masks or not. but you see a governor here, governor desantis, governor kim
reynolds, they're defying what we know masks are capable of doing here. the students are going into classrooms where others will be unmasked. other parents say they don't know if they will actually send their kids to school here because they're concerned about the unvaccinated and potentially infected students, craig. >> this time last year the sturgis motorcycle rally was a super spreader event. what are they saying about the potential for that to happen again this year? >> yeah, last year they said they saw 600 case that's were directly linked to people in attendance at this rally and this year's rally expected to be even bigger. we're u.k.ing about 700,000 people here. so they're trying to do everything they can to prevent that. we're talking about masks, hand
sanitizers, but one, the availability of the one-shot johnson and johnson. they're letting people drink anywhere outside as well. so that people are not packed into the bars. i want to introduce you to two rally goers that are both nurses. one, the man is vaccinated, the wife is not. here is what the wife had to say about the possibility of a covid spread coming from this event. >> we're both nurses. we definitely understand. we wear the masks inside.
>> the governor here in south dakota is a big supporter of this event. she will be here in sturgis as part of a charity ride. this part of the population wants to get out and enjoy themselves but the delta variant doesn't care. >> thank you there in south dakota. dr. azar, again, the numbers are clearly going in the wrong direction in just about every state. large scale events starting to happen, not as large as that motorcycle rally in south dakota, how concerning is that? even though it is outside. >> it is concerning. people don't stay outside, they move inside. the reason it has been designated a super spreader is all of the transmission happening indoors. so i appreciate the two nurses acknowledging that mask wearing
is important indoors. but you know even if you're in a very sort of crowded area, even outdoors if you're not within a little nucleus of folks that you know are vaccinated and everyone is screaming and shouting, i do worry about it. the only silver lining is it is being held outside. i do think the jazz fest was just postponed again in new orleans. it was postponed in the spring, and it was supposed to be rescheduled for fall, and they have postponed it as well and that is also an outdoor event. >> we heard dr. fauci talk about speeding up a full approval of the vaccine. is that going to do anything to help with the vaccine he has hesitant? >> i think it will. i think it moves the needle a little on that front.
i think the folk that's are very rigid in their reluctance or hesitancy may not make such a big different. i think it will facilitate hospitals and businesses. the ability to require a vaccine as a condition of employment, and i also think that for those of us in medicine who are practicing, and those inquiring about boosters, again this really only relates to people over the age of 65 where there is a significant growing body of evidence that they're not mounting an adequate response. the full approval will allow the cdc and allow us to make a recommendation for boosters. it is certainly not us precedented, but we would like to see there is an evidence base looked at, evaluated, and that
the benefit outweighs any potential risk for those patients of ours that are inquiing daily. >> vaughn hilliard, morgan chesky. irreversible for centuries tomy len yal. that is part of a chilly new resport on climate change. the impacts are widespread, severe, and accelerating. we're going to talk to the fema administrator about the challenges they're facing. next up, the new york state judiciary committee meeting to talk about next steps. thises is a former aide that filed a complaint against him
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target and other fine stores. right now new york state lawmakers are meeting to talk about how to impeach governor andrew cuomo as one of the confirm accusing him of sexual harassment speaks occupy publicly for the first time. she is identified as executive assistant number one said the governor groped her more than
once. she filed a criminal complaint against him last week. >> why did you file that criminal complaint in are? >> because it was the right thing to do is to be held accountable. >> what he did to me was a crime. he broke the law. >> we should note that cuomo has not been charges with any crimes. he is also disputed the allegationing against him and denied any wrong doing but his circle of defenders are getting smaller and smaller. last night one of his top aides resigned. derosa, who was at the center of plans to retaliate against one of the governor's accusers. she has also denied any wrong doing. dasha burn social security in albany and she is tracking the latest developments on this.
it is not certain that he will be impeached. >> not certain, but signs are pointing that way. they have until the end of the week on friday to present evidence to the judiciary committee. what i'm hearing that it will be at least a few weeks before we see articles of impeachment drafted or a potential vote. i will tell you, craig, the consensus is there. the votes are there for impeachment. i'm told right now that everyone is in favor of impeaching.
she has spoke about the serious and egregious allegations against her. she says the governor groped her, cupped her breasts. the governor denied that incident happened and allegations of wrong doing. one of the refrains of defense from the governor has been that he is a person who likes to kiss and hug people of all genders. take a listen to britney's take on that. watch. >> maybe to him he thought this was normal, but to me and the other women he did it to, it was not welcomed and it was certainly not consensual. >> we're going to hear from the
chairman to discuss what the next steps will be in this impeachment process. >> dasha burns from the state capital there, thank you. keep us posted. down in dc the senate tet to reconvene in the next hour. they could final i will be at the finish line on that bipartisan infrastructure bill. they voted to end a phil buster and it's not clear when the final vote will happen. leigh ann caldwell has been covering this for us. where do things stand at this hour? >> it has been awhile and we're close to the finish line, at least in this step of the process where the senate is expected to vote on final passage as early as today but more likely tomorrow morning. the senate worked through the
weekend. it took longer than planned because bill haggardy slowed down the process. he got a congratulations from the president. he put the bill on the regional amtrak instead of acela. both trains get to the finish line, get to their destination, but one takes longer than the other. so it has been drawn out, but on a key procedural vote, it gained the support of 19 republicans and that is a sign of how the vote in the final passage will come down with at least the support of 19 republicans. that mean it's will be a big bipartisan accomplishment. the senate work is not done before they leave for august recess. the senate just unveiled this
morning the outlines of their 3.5 trillion reconciliation human infrastructure bill and that is a process they are going to start immediately after they finish this bipartisan infrastructure bill, craig. >> are leaders insisting they won't take up the infrastructure bill unless the human infrastructure bill is taken up first, is that still the case? >> yes, but there is a lot of problems under the leadership level. there are a lot of moderated circulating a letter to call on speaker pelosi to take up the senate bipartisan bill immediately. they also have issues and concerns with a $3.5 trillion bill. ultimately, craig, that shows that speaker pe ler pelosi will very difficult task as they try
to pass both pieces of legislation out of the house, craig. >> leigh ann caldwell, taking us in the weeds there, thanks as always. coming up next, no going back. that new united nations climate report finds climate change is now "irreversible, widespread, and severe everywhere" right now we're seeing extreme weather in california, the dixie fire. the second largest in that state's history. we're going to talk to fema's new administrator about how they're dealing with this disaster and trying to get ready for others, next.
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destroyed by the fire, as i understand. more than 400 buildings destroyed there in greenville so far. what are the conditions like on the ground there this morning? >> the conditions are awful as they are every morning in town here, craig. you wake up here and the smoke hangs in the air. you can probably see it. it sticks in your chest, in your nose, it stings your eyes. there is bone dry brush here, tinder dry, between this and the next set of homes and there is still about 13,000 homes in the threat zone of this fire. meanwhile you wake up and here you see greenville, they are the worse case scenario. i'm at about 75% of all manmade structures in this town that
have been obliterated by these fires. we spoke about living with this new reality. the destruction they cause, listen to this. >> everybody has been affected by this fire, you know? living up here in the mountains we know when we moved here that we would be living with fire. we were working on getting this place as a fire wise community. the folks in the town or resilient. they will come back. they're very tight knit, and it has been devastating. >> some 30,000 people have been displayed by this fire alone. weather conditions right now, there is a layer above us, but later on it is expected to get windier and hotter into this week and it is elevating the danger for everybody around here, kraig.
>> the backdrop, it is just distoneian. steve paterson, about 8:30 there in california. be safe out there. >> disasters like the wildfire will only become more common. that's according to a new united nation's report just out this morning and it's a stunning assessment of climate change. the report says that rising sea levels and hotter global temperatures may be a more or less permanent part of our world. impossible to reverse. and it goes on to say that humans are the reason why. josh letterman is following the story. we heard for years that time was running out to do something about climb change. you read this report and it is pretty ominous. have we finally reached the point? are we out of time? >> it is too late at this point, craig, according to report for
us to undo the damage done to the planet by climate change. our future one way or another is will be potter than it is right now. that in part is because of continuing sea level rise that occurs as a result of ice melting. even if we were to zero out our emissions tomorrow, which we're not obviously going to be able to do. even if we caught all of our pollution it would take decades for global temperatures to stabilize. we'll see more extreme weather events of the kind that you were talking about with steve. but there is a silver lining here. it is not too late. and this report finds that while under all possible scenarios we're still going to end up getting 1.5 degrees celsius that scientists have been warning us about. two degrees will be a lot worse an 1.5 degrees.
for example right now we're seeing heat waves about five times more frequently than we used to and that is because of climate change. that is why scientists are saying we have a very narrow window, a few years left to dramatically cut our emissions if we want to keep it from spiraling even further out of control. >> josh leatherman, thank you, a perfect segues to our next guest. i'm joined now by the new fema administrator. she is the first woman ever to lead the agency and this is actually, i have been told, her first time on msnbc, administrator, welcome, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you, craig, for having
me today. >> let's start with your reaction. it paints quite the chilling picture of where we are. how concerned are you and is it too late now? >> this is really important. i said lately they climate change is the crisis of our time. we need to invest in reducing the impacts that we will see from the impacts of climate. you know we're seeing more severe storms, more frequent, more intense, and this report highlights that that will only continue to get worse. how do we reduce the impact from these events? >>. >> one of the reasons you're
with us is that the biden administration add announced about $5 billion to help communities prepare for climate related emergencies. what it would be used for and is it even close to the amount needed? >> we're going to continue to see more and more events. and these will go straight to the states to help them impact what they're seeing. this is the most that we have ever given under that grant program along with additional flood mitigation programs. this is a great opportunity for communities to look at how can we do system based community wide mitigation projects that will reduce those impacts. i'm happy that we were able to get this throughout and we could
address the need that's we have. >> it is through a couple different ways. those are submitted for a adequatetive process. so they will look at how to disdistribute that across the state. some of the projects that can be used for, include what? >> it will vary across the country, right? they all have different and unique needs and the things they're seeing from the impacts of climate change. so if you're in a hurricane prone area we want levees, or wildfire prone area we want wildfire resistant communities and how do we prevent the impacts that we're seeing. and an increase in the amount of
protection that we're providing to individuals there. it really does vary across the country but we really want to encourage people to look at those unique needs that they have. and i want to encourage people to look to the future, right? we don't be continuing to invest in the historical risks we have been faces as this report highlighted. the future risks will just get worse and we need to think about what those will be as well. >> administrator, when we talk about mitigation and prevention, as you likely know, underserved communities are often left behind. the biden administration says they're taking steps to make sure that underserved communities will get access to funds. how will that work? >> we needed to make changes into how we're scoring these
grants. as we release the notice for the next round we're making adjust. s so adjustments. so not just our brick program, but in all of the programs that we offer assistance, individual assistance, and making sure we make changes to some of the programs so everyone can get the assistance that they're eligible for. >> the dify fire is now the second averagest fire. what did they tell you about what they need and what can be done to eep a situation from getting worse and worse every
year? >> it was a very good visit for me. i met with governor newsom, and he is trying to do everything he can do to reduce the impacts, but it is more important than ever that we do look for way that's we can again protect these communities from the future risk. i think one of the things i heard that really struck home with me is thinking about what climate will do for the future risk and how do we prepare against future risks instead of just historical risks. that's what we saw with the ground. so we're going to have to start thinking about how that will affect the future min cities.
i hope you won't be a stranger. i hope you will come back. >> i would be happy to. >> after 17 months, canada now reopening it's side of the u.s. canada border to fully vaccinated americans. what that means for some families that have been separated. >> a lot of zoom calls, a lot of face times. anything, any sort of connection that we can have. y sort of connn that we can have change? we can transform our workforce overnight out of convenience, or necessity. we can explore uncharted waters, and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change--
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they can now cross the border, and they won't have to show proof of vaccination. what are you hearing from folks there this morning about this border reopening? >> yeah, craig, good morning. i want to give you the lay of the land. all of the vehicles behind me, they're making their crossing right into canada. you can probably make out windsor and ontario which are basically suburbs of detroit. this bridge here used the closure to do some construction. it is the bustiest border crossing in north america. you can understand why so many people were so excited when this border reopened. there are a couple of caveats. you have to be fully vaccinated as of 14 days ago. you have to have a travel plan and rent it to them, present
your travel history for the last two weeks. you have to give them a negative covid test result and a quarantine plan just in case you get covid. it is actually a lot, but for so many people that have been celebrated for loved ones for more than a year and a half, it is worth it. >> what do you think your emotions will be like? >> i don't know, but i hope i don't start crying. i knew when it opened i would be over on the first day. my mother is going to be 94 in october and i have not seen here in a year and a half and i can't wait to sere her. and my brother and my sister. everybody. >> here is the question from this morning. when canadians can make a reverse trip and come back this way into the u.s. is still to be
determined. the administration has not yet said what that will happen. >> all right, thank you. by the way, you can catch him every weekend morning from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. here on msnbc. when we come back, thousands of people forced to leave their homes. what we're seeing on the ground as u.s. troops complete their withdrawal from that country, next. r withdrawal from that country, next neither are resilient people. there's strength in every family story. learn more about yours. at ancestry.
this morning we are following new signs of the deteriorating situation in afghanistan after the withdraw of u.s. troops. the afghan government has lost control of at least four key cities to taliban forces now. nbc's kelly cobiella has made her way to kabul. take us through what's happening on the ground there. >> reporter: yeah, craig, there is fighting tonight in cities in the northwest and south between government forces and the taliban, and the taliban showing no signs its interested in a cease-fire. a dangerous new phase in the fight for afghanistan. the taliban is now moving in on cities, capturing home to nearly 300,000. one local telling nbc news it was total chaos.
the police headquarters shown in this taliban propaganda video, unverified by nbc news, apparently abandoned. a fleet of trucks left behind. it's yet another blow to the country's crumbling security forces who have lost control of five cities since friday. zaranj in the southeast, where some locals greeted the taliban with cheers, and in the north, a social media video showed taliban fighters stocking up on police weapons in a police truck. the speed of the taliban advance as u.s. troops withdraw ahead of a september deadline has shocked the west. >> the war in afghanistan has entered a new deadlier and more destructive phase. >> reporter: the u.s. providing some air support, but little else. most u.s. troops and contractors who helped to keep afghanistan's jets and other hardware working are now gone.
in kabul, fear is spreading. the taliban assassinated another government official friday, and this morning a car bomb attack in the city. thousands of afghans are fleeing their homes and desperate to leave the country. many now worried the new regime will impose more restrictions on women. parents terrified their daughters will be taken to be married off to taliban fighters. this man was an interpreter for the navy seals for more than five years. he's one of nearly 80,000 applying for a special visa. >> they can kill us today, they can kill us tomorrow, and they will not just kill me. they will kill my kids, too, you know. >> reporter: with the taliban advancing, many here worry time is running out. and the fighting is taking a toll on children as well. today unicef said that 27 children have been killed just in the past 72 hours, with hundreds -- more than 100
injured. craig? >> our worst fears there in afghanistan, apparently they realized on the ground. do stay safe, my friend. thank you for your reporting in kabul. "andrew mitchell reports" starts next. ts" starts next that's why i started medhaul. citi launched the impact fund to invest in both women and entrepreneurs of color like me, so i can realize my vision and give everything i've got to my company, and my community. i got you. for the love of people. for the love of community. for the love of progress. citi. when you really need to sleep you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep.
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this is "andrew mitchell reports" in washington, with the coronavirus raging across all 50 states, as children return to school and the debate over mask and vaccine mandates is sharpening the pandemic divide. the dangerous upward trend in numbers due to the delta variant, continuing with nearly 700,000 americans testing covid positive in the last week, and more than 66,000 hospitalizations. raising new concerns over whether the worst is yet to come. >> if you allow the virus to freely circulate and not try and stop it, sooner or later there is a likelihood that you will get another variant that could, i'm not saying it will, that could be more problematic than the delta. >> on the cuomo front, new york state lawmakers are meeting today for the first time to weigh their next steps against embattled governor andrew cuomo, after one of the governor's most trusted aides resigns, and an accuser tells her story. >> to me, and the other women that he did
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