tv Katy Tur Reports MSNBC August 19, 2021 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
it is good to be with you. i'm geoff bennett and as we come on the air, we are following breaking news here in washington, a few blocks away from the studio where a bomb threat has set off a massive police response right in the heart of our government. law enforcement officials say that a man in a pickup truck made a stop near the library of congress claims to have a bomb and detonator, and officers have not seen firm ed of either, but they know who he is. he has been live streaming and making anti-government statements and communicating with the police officers using a dry erase board. >> we are trying to get as much
information as we can to find a way to peacefully resolve this. so, we are in communication with the suspect. >> as you can imagine the threat is prompting a major security response on capitol hill. the cannon office building has been evacuate and the nearest metro station is closed. joining with us a live update is justice correspondent pete williams and also correspondent garrett haake, and what can you tell us about his identity? >> well, he is a man from north carolina named floyd ray rosebarry, and what is extraordinary is that he tried to call attention to him to provote a response, and so police say he drove to the library of congress and he drove the pickup truck to the side of the sidewalk and as if that did not call enough attention, he
claims that he called 911 himself, and this is maybe what got to police response. so he clearly wanted to provoke a response here. and then, this is a picture of the pickup truck from a building a long way away, and you can see it parked up there on the sidewalk. you can't see the driver very distinctly inside, but for part of morning, he was actually talking live on a facebook page. spouting anti-government rhetoric, and making some complaints about the health care system and other anti-government statements that the facebook page and the associated postings have now been taken down by facebook. so anybody who is trying to go to his facebook page won't see it and they won't be able to recover it. but part of the problem is that while he was doing that, he was obviously not talking to the police. when he was talking to them, he was writing notes to them, according to several law
enforcement officials, on a dry erase boards, and one of the plastic things that you write on with a special marker that you wipe off the ink and start all over again, and so they have told us that they have sent in a robot with a dedicated telephone so that he can speak directly to the large number of law enforcement people on the scene, and this is all in the jurisdiction of the u.s. capitol police, and the fbi negotiators are there and the fbi and the bomb technicians and the park police and others have responded to the area. we are told that one of the most recent things that he has said is that he wants to talk to his preacher. but whether he has an actual explosive device or not, nobody is absolutely certain. he claims that he has a bomb, and when the police officer approached the car this morning, the pickup this morning, the officer thought that he had a detonator in his hand. you could see in the facebook transmission that he is holding some sort of metal can in his lap that has a big lump of clay
on it, and on the lump of clay is attached or connected somehow to a little box with the blue button on it, but whether this is the real thing or not, nobody knows. that is his claim. and for that reason, that is why law enforcement is treating pit way he has with extreme caution, and clearing several buildings around it, and the u.s. supreme court and the library of congress, and the cannon building and the library of congress itself, and there is library of congress across first street, and that is the supreme court and you can see the cannon building below that, and the white building there across the street from the library of congress is the library of congress annex, so that has been clear and some people in the area have been told to stay away as well. >> and garrett, when pete is talking about the response, the
area has been on high alert since the january 6th riot. and there was an attack in which a police officer was killed, and so this is the second incident since. so can you give us a sense of the scene there. >> yeah, pete started to lay out at the geography well, and you are about three blocks north and west of the incident and i'm about two blocks south and east of it, and so where you sit and i stand is closed either to vehicular traffic, to foot traffic or to both. so capitol police have closed off the area around the capitol, and capitol hill is in a neighborhood, and so metropolitan police, and the local d.c. police have canvassed the neighborhood to warn folks to stay out of the area. some of it is made easier by the fact that there are few people
at work at the capitol hill with the combination of the recess, and the concerns about the resurgence of the delta variant have folks working at home if they are working at all today, so relatively few folks here. so i can tell you from the folks either in the building or working from home today, and part of this capitol hill community, people are exhausted by this, geoff. and this is the third major incident of violence or a threat of violence on what is a workplace, home away from home for thousands of people who work here everyday and now once again, we are all on the wait-and-see mode to see how dangerous this situation is for the people who live and work as part of the community. >> garrett haake and pete williams, thank you both. and you will bring us updates as news warrantwarrants. we will continue to monitor the news there. and now news about covid from the south, and not a single
icu bed available in the state of alabama. take that in for a second, because it bears repeating. more than eight months since covid vaccine shots started to go into arms and as officials are planning for the booster shots now, there are no intensive beds anywhere in alabama, because so many of them are filled with covid patients. and you can see the headlines there splashed across the screens, and now on the day of the first shots last september, we surpassed 3,000 u.s. deaths from the virus and for the last several months every single one of the deaths was preventable if they had just gotten a shot, and there is breaking news on that front from the federal officials and we have once again topped 1 million covid vaccine shots in a day. >> the most important thing that we really do need to do is to get those 90 million-plus people in this country who are eligible for the vaccination to get them
vaccinated, because even though it is important for the vaccinated people to continue the level of protection that they have, it is as or more important for the unvaccinated people to get vaccinated in the first place. >> as "the new york times" reports the icu beds are filling up across the southern states and alabama is the first to run out. the alabama hospital association says that there are negative 29 icu beds available in the state. that means there were more than two dozen people forced to the and in texas, they have been forced to put people in tents outside. and so one of the states across the south and southwest in which the governor opposes mask requirements in schools, and now district by districts, school boards are forced to make a
choice, and in some states like arizona and florida instituting mask mandates under threat of school funding and their own salaries. we bring in ellison jackson in mississippi and looking at my notes, no state has more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people than where you are right now in mississippi. >> yes, if you can remember last week, you had the state top health official saying they had run out of icu beds in this state, and close to 200 people waiting for beds in emergency rooms, and fast forward here in this hospital in jackson and the university of mississippi medical center is opening up the second covid field hospital over my shoulder, and it is literally inside of a parking garage. this one is funded. it is run. it is staffed by samaritans purse and they have 32 beds in here, and all of them designated
for covid cases and not minor case, but these are icu beds and step-down beds and the level below icu and these are the patients needing a high level of care. they did not have the room, and they did not have the equipment or the staff to accommodate them at this hospital any longer. again, this is the second field hospital, and the second one that they have opened up in a parking garage, and we have watched all day as they have brought the patients in. they expect to have all of the beds in this particular field hospital full by the end of the week. this is just for adults, but just down the road is the children's hospital, and they are seeing a rise in their numbers as well. they say that about 20 children are currently hospitalized with covid-19. they have enough room for them there, but what is concerning to them is the rate they have seen the numbers rise and the percent that children make up now of the total covid percentage that is higher than they have seen since the pandemic began. this is what we have heard from
more than one pediatrician. >> we are seeing the kids that are more acutely being treated with covid and underlying illnesses, and we are starting to see the uptick of the multi inflammatory system of children which is associated with the significant morbidity and mortality and we are beginning to see those cases increase, too. >> so when you are looking at the vaccination rate in this state, they have been constantly at the bottom here, and less than 40,000 people vaccinated but here, the vaccination rate has started to pick up, and they went from administering 20,000 doses of the covid vaccine the week of july 10th to administering about 70,000 this last week. doctors and officials are hoping that the levels stay at that level, but it is going to be a while before they feel the benefit of more people getting vaccinated and at the same time
the group under 12 that cannot get vaccinated. i met a child of 11 who the parents said that he contracted the virus most likely on the school bus, because even though masks are optional, he was wearing a mask, but others weren't. >> that takes my breath away. now in arizona, you have others there arguing over mask requirements and what can you tell us there? >> the republican governor doug ducey is putting pressure on the schools who want to keep the mask mandate in place. this time it is a financial pressure and he set up a grant fund of $163 million comprised of federal money, but in order to qualify for the grants, the schools have to essentially meet two requirements. that i have to remain open in the course of the pandemic, but they also need to comply with all arizona state laws
effectively meaning that the schools that continue with their mask mandates will be ineligible and deprived of that critical funding. now, governor ducey says that the mandates apply undue pressure and stress on the parents and the teachers, but the teachers that we have been talking to and the leaders throughout the education system in arizona as well as democrats are hitting back saying that they are absolutely outraged. they are speaking to the superintendents of the phoenix union high school district representing some 22 high schools here throughout arizona and some 22,000 high schools that you can see behind me. he is at the forefront of the fight to keep the mask mandates in place, and he said choice between money and health, he is choosing health. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we have to prioritize our people even over that money. all of the resources matter, and the schools today are not just
educational institutions, but full social service agencies, and we provide clothing, before school, afterschool care, and food, and what is most important is the lives that we are serving and entrusted to us. >> reporter: that is the superintendent, and because of the new law that would prohibit the mask mandates would not prohibit new laws, but they are giving them ten days to lift the mask mandates or be deprived of the funding, and he is going to wait this one out to see what happens at the end of september. back to you. >> taking a wait and see approach. thank you both. and now, joining me is
superintendent of schools in flr, and do you know what sanctions you are going to be facing from the state? >> from the schools and the employees, it is exponentially rising and the quarantine rates are doing the exact same, and with refocused on making sure that we have face-to-face opportunities for instruction and we need to keep the numbers down. that is how we got to the point where we have the mask mandate that the governor as well as the commissioner of education and the board of education have talked about sanctioning. as we speak right now, there was in meeting they voted to increase the investigation so that commissioner of investigation has that purview, but that investigation has not been finalized and they have threatened removing our funding
which is my salary and my board members' salaries. but they have expanded it to possibly remove the board members from their positions. >> your school district has the support of the biden administration and the u.s. department of education. i want the play for you what president biden said about this yesterday. take a look. >> that is why today, i am directing the secretary of education, an educator himself to take additional steps to protect the children. this includes using all of his oversight authorities and legal action if appropriate against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators. i have said before, if you are not going to fight covid-19, at least get out of the way of everyone else who is trying. you know, we are not going to sit by as the governors try to block and intimidate the educators trying to protect our children. >> you expect to lean on the
federal government? has anyone from the federal government reached out to you? >> i have not been personally reached out to, though i did receive a letter as did all of the superintendents of the state from the secretary of education presenting is their support for us. we do appreciate that, and i unfortunately do believe that we are going to have to be dependent upon their support, because we believe to be having undue pressure from the governor as well as the commissioners and the state board of education, and we are going to need that level of help. there is an additional, you know, irony associated with it, because we do have a request from the state to use one of our school facilities that is currently empty to have a covid treatment center, and so, it is interesting juxtaposition when you have their needing our facilities, but also talking about punishing us to try to protect our students and staff
from covid. >> carly simon from the apalucha, florida schools. we have to go back to the breaking news. pete williams what do you have for us? >> we are told that the man who has parked his pickup truck in front of the library of congress has surrendered to the police. it has been nearly five hours since this man drove his pickup truck in front of the library of congress, and then apparently called 911 trying to attract attention and as the police were responding began to broadcast live on facebook with a long list of government grievances. and he claimed to have a bomb, and he showed in a transmission
from facebook, a device with a lump of clay and a blue button so one of the questions is if this is actually an explosive device, and so they didn't know for sure, and this is why such a large area around the capitol was shutdown. and now he is in custody, and he is maybe answering the question if whether it is a device or not, and even if he says it is a hoax, they will have to satisfy themselves that, that is the case. you are looking at pictures of him kneeling down on the ground and following the instructions to crawl away from the vehicle. that is him surrendering to authorities and he is now in their custody, but it is going to take a long time for them to carefully check what was in the vehicle and what device he was holding in his lap. he said that apparent late one
point in the facebook transmission that he had ammonium nitrate or fertilizer in the tool box or the bed of the truck, and that could have aided any kind of explosion, so they will have to check that out, too. so the evacuation, geoff, around the capitol is going to last for many more hours as they slowly go through this, but the possibility of any kind of unfortunate end to this is over. he has surrendered peacefully and now in their custody, and this whole thing that has played out for the past five hours is pretty well over. >> that is great news on this thursday afternoon. i have to ask, pete, do we know whether or not this man was acting alone? >> there is every indication that he was. there is no indication that he was not. while all of this is going on in washington, authorities are now searching his home in grover, north carolina. they arrived there a short time ago and subject to a search
warrant. so, they are obviously going through that as well to try to see if there was any bomb-making equipment or actual explosives ever to help inform them as they are doing the work here to come through that vehicle to make sure it is safe and then get it towed away and back to business here in d.c. >> pete williams, thanks as always for that live update. >> and also, the chaos in kabul, and desperation is growing for afghans trying to flee the country, and the taliban's rule. the state department just announced they are sending more help. also, extreme weather, and more people missing after extreme flooding in north carolina and that storm system not done yet. and longer delivery times and shorter post office hours. i will speak exclusively to one of the members of the post office board of governors about the postmaster's controversial plans to transform mail delivery.
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another 6,000 people have now been processed at the kabul airport and awaiting evacuation in afghanistan in the kabul takeover, and many are finding themselves in dangerous situation trapped behind taliban checkpoints and confronted with heavily armed patrols throughout kabul. press secretary john kirby gave an update about the situation outside of the airport today. >> we have seen reports of the taliban harassing and physically so some afghans that we are trying to move to the airport. we are in constant communication with them as my answer to courtney indicated to make sure that they have the same visibility on the people that we want to see get through. >> now, those crowds continue to swell outside of the airport walls, and according to the reuters news agency, at least 12
people have been killed at or near the airport and deaths caused by either gun fire or stampede. there is a heartbreaking video that captures just how desperate this moment is for many people in afghanistan with parents handing over the babies and children to the soldiers inside of the airport compound. foreign chief richard engel is inside kabul. >> this is kabul international airport, and this is where the evacuation of the american citizens and the afghan asylum seekers and contractors are taking place, and they are leaving on transport jets like this, and the pace is picking up. it started out quite slow, but now about 2,000 people evacuated every single day. the biggest problem is of course getting here. while this space is controlled by u.s. forces and other nato forces, the perimeter like all of afghanistan is controlled by the taliban. the taliban in order to keep people away from here, have been
extremely aggressive and whipping people, and beating people with clubs, and they have also been firing in the air, and now, the taliban say that they are going to offer asylum, and safe passage to people so they can come through and get on the planes. that is immensely going to speed up the process, and change the tone and the mood of the afghans when they finally get here. i have seen this over the last several days when the afghans arrive, they are exhausted, and they have run through the horrible taliban gauntlet and maybe beaten and when they get here, nervous, stressed out and worried and that makes it difficult for the american troops to process them, because when the american troops ask them to go through holding areas, they fear they won't be going through and they stop and panic and a rush on the door and the voices are elevated and things are tense. i have seen them passing the babies from one family to the
next, because they believe they are not going to make it. but once they have made it this far, once they are on this space, they are getting on the planes. one other important part is that this space as taliban was taking over, those planes there in the distance, it was overrun, overrun by afghans desperate to leave, and several thousand came storming in as the taliban were taking over, and the marines here didn't know who was coming at them according to witnesses that i have spoken to. and they feared it was taliban and rushed out in smaller numbers and larger numbers to push them back, and things escalated, and there were clashes, and the marines took their weapons and firing in the air to disburse the crowds, but the crowds did not disburse. some hung on to the bottom of the that c-17 transport, and according to witnesses as it took off, at least two people
fell to their deaths and fell from about 400 feet. richard engel, nbc news, kabul. all right. thanks to richard for that. we go now to the ongoing press conference held by the capitol police chief tom manger about this bomb threat earlier today. >> shortly thereafter, we had delivered the telephone, he got out of the vehicle and surrendered and tactical units closeby took him into custody without incident. i am happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> chief, any explosive in the vehicle, and do you know a motive? >> we don't know if there are any explosives in the vehicle, because it is still an active scene, and while mr. rosenberry has been removed from the scene, we have to search the vehicle and render it safe, so we don't
know as of yet. we do know that mr. rosenberry has had some losses of family, and i believe his mother recently passed away, and we spoke with members of the families and other issues that he is dealing with, and more on that before, and at a later time. >> can you tell us about the background. >> courtney, we are not aware of any law enforcement or military background. >> and what about the -- can you tell us about the -- what about the bomb -- >> and again, it is an active scene that we are trying to render safe in terms of any other explosives and this is ongoing. >> how long do you think it will take? >> not that we are aware of. >> how much longer do you think it will take to assess the scene? >> hours. it will take hours to assess the scene. >> chief, can you tell us -- >> what about the capitol police? >> no.
>> chief, are you tracking movement before he arrived here? >> all of that is part of what we will have a comprehensive investigation, but i just, right now, i wanted to report he is in custody, and that part of it is done. >> we don't know if he made any stops in d.c. before stopping here? >> not at this point, no. >> what was demeanor of him when he was arrested? >> he gave up. and he did not resist and our folks were able to take him into custody without incident. >> can you tell us -- >> we had been in communication with him, but when we delivered the phone, there were no conversations via phone. as far as we could tell, it was just his decision to surrender at that point. >> was he acting alone? >> right now we have no indication that he was acting with anyone else. but that, again, that is part of
the ongoing investigation. >> do we know what he is charged with? >> at this point, the -- at this point, we will work with the u.s. attorney in terms of getting all of the charges together. >> can you tell us if he has a criminal history? >> the little bit of criminal history was in the state of north carolina and it was nothing that serious, but we just, this is what we have been able to find preliminarily. >> and in and around the car, any other contents that you have been able to have a visual -- >> well, so, we had -- we had information about what was this bed of the truck and they were concerning, but ultimately, we were able to take him into custody without incident, but there were certain things in the truck for instance a propane gas
container, but obviously, that was not at this point -- we believe it is safe. >> can you clarify the suspect's name. >> floyd ray roseberry. r-o-s-e-e-r-r-y. >> we will be pushing it out information. >> i am trying to read someone else's handwriting. >> is he in mental evaluation? >> he is our custody right now. >> but is he is going to the hospital, and a mental evaluation? >> the first thing is going to be a criminal charges that are placed, and then any number of outcomes once he is goes before a judge. >> is he in federal custody on this property or like, where is he? >> well, he was taken into custody moments ago and i don't know if he is still there, but he has been moved away from the
scene. thank you all very much. >> can you tell us if -- >> do you have anything else? >> okay. >> folks, to answer kenneth moten's question, and we are processing the information and as soon as we do, we will push it out on twitter and news relief with the full spellings and date of birth and that stuff, and i am monitoring the email and we will provide much more information later. thank you. >> is there another news conference or is this it? we have been listening to the u.s. capitol police chief tom manger give an update as to how this north carolina man lloyd ray rosenberry parked a pickup truck in front of the
library of congress saying that he had bomb. so we got into the press conference late, and captain manger said that a phone was handed off to the suspect and as far as we knew that he had been communicating with the law enforcement with a dry erase board, and so how did this get resolved? >> i think it is floyd is the first name. so, we have the picture of him crawling with instructions of how to get away from the vehicle, but at some point today, because they were not able to communicate with him, and they did not want to get too close to his vehicle, they sent in a robot with the telephone, but according to the chief, he never used that telephone to communicate with them. it may be a combination of things that if it played out as long as he wanted to. clearly, he wanted attention, it would appear, because he parked the car up there, and called 911 himself. so, you know, he wanted this
attention, and they cut off his facebook feed at system point, and he was live broadcasting, talking, and showing video from his cell phone for a time today on facebook. facebook cut that off. so that may have been another factor that led him simply to decide to give up on his own. and as the chief just said, he didn't resist and we took him into custody and he is now in the capitol police custody. the chief said they identified him pretty early on with this and i.d.'d him quickly and he said in the facebook rant that he had trouble getting health care for himself and his wife and this is one of the things that led him to be upset about the government, and he had a lot of other anti-government rhetoric and that is what the chief was referring to in the remarks there, and the fortunate thing is that the patience of the authorities paid off here, and he simply turned himself in.
>> nbc's pete william, and now, turning back to the situation of afghanistan, and talking about before the first interview and the fall of kabul, the president insisted that the chaos before the withdrawal was inevitable. >> instead of having a counter terrorism capability to have small forces there or in the region to be able to take on al qaeda if it tried to reconstitute, we decided to engage in nation building. nation building. that never made any sense to me. >> sounds like you think that we should have gotten out a long time ago. >> we should v. >> and you have accepted the idea that it would be messy a long time ago. >> and it would have been messy no matter when it occur. >> joining us now is national deputy adviser ben rhodes, and founder of the nyc veterans
alliance kristen rauch who is an army veteran serving three terms working with the afghan national army troops. and i will say for this purposes of this conversation we are not focused on what happened, but what comes next. so ben, you have thousands of afghans waiting at the airport, and so i was struck by lloyd austin saying that we don't have the capability of going out to collect large people, and sod what does this evacuation operation look like? >> well, i think that first of all, you have the americans of tens of thousands of afghans who have a legitimate reason to be getting on u.s. planes and getting out of there, and whether they worked with the u.s. military or worked with the u.s. government to promote human rights and education. what has to happen is that the president of the united states has to issue an objective here to say that we will stay as long
as it takes to get them out, and then you to figure out how to solve the problem. right now, they are seeming to get a greater pace of flights out, but the challenge is how people get to the airport, and relying entirely on the taliban for that seems like, you know, it is obviously going to create impediments for some afghans or the afghans may not want to come by the taliban checkpoint to put forth the idea that they worked with the united states. so it is going to be difficult to set a huge perimeter around that airport, but they have to meet the logistics challenge of the background of as many people as possible, but if the taliban is illustrating that they want the afghans to leave, you should find some formula where there is greater right of passage there, and we have to keep at the mission to get everybody out that we can. >> do you believe we can accomplish it by august 29th?
what you know about the taliban, and can this be done in the next 12 days? >> no, no way. and we can't get all of the afghans out, and no way. they are not all in kabul, and there has to be a continued effort to get the afghans who can get to the border and get out of there and to render through a u.s. process to be considered for asylum're in the united states has to continue no matter what, but the task of getting the americans out and the foreign nationals and nevermind all of the afghans seems unlikely to be done by august 31st that. deadline does not matter anymore, because it is clear we are leaving and the taliban is in charge, and so that deadline has to go away and you have to figure out, what is the objective and what are the resources to meet that objective. the military is very good at logistics and moving people out, but they have to release some pressure around that airport for people to get in. >> kristen, we played that harrowing video showing a baby
being passed through the crowd, and parents passing the children through the airport there, and what do you think of people who are enduring this right now trying to get out? >> it is a desperate situation even today. i first want to say that i am one of thousands of veterans who served in afghanistan who are hearing the cries of the afghans that we worked with, our friends, some of them dear friends who are in terror and desperate to get out. taliban are coming to the doors, door-to-door in kabul, finding our allies. one interpreter who we are in touch with and talked with just an hour ago, and he is having to move his family every three hours for safety, because the taliban keep finding him saying that we know who you are and you and your family and we are going to kill you. and the terror is real. the threat is real.
and people are absolutely desperate to get out. the veterans are hearing the cries of our friends, and we are calling this a digital dunkirk moment where we are each doing everything that we can to mobilize our networks and contacts and resources to try to get lifeboats to our friends to get them, to pick them up to get them into the airport, to get them on the flights to safety, but it is not enough. people can't get in, even, even afghans who have a paper, a printout of the email from the embassy saying it is your turn, a it is your time to come in, and they are waiting hours, and many of them are still not able to get in. >> as you were talking, we were watching a different video of afghas at a checkpoint beaten by what appeared to be taliban soldier, and there is a video of a girl screaming "mama, mama"
and you can hear the crack of the cane or whatever that person is using to hit the people at the front of the crowd. it is hard to watch, but it is important the watch, because it is important, and now we can hear some of the audio, and watch the video, because it is important to get the sense of what people are really just encountering and enduring. do folks there that you talk to, kristen, and this question may be a dumb one, but do they have a backup plan or no, and it is just that desperate? >> we are the backup plan. i have so many afghans messaging me on all of my social media channels saying that you are our hope. you are our hope, and i am telling them don't give up hope, and we are not giving up on you, a we are still trying, and we are asking everyone to contact your elected representatives and tell them that we need to get more people out, and we need to get people in the gate at the airport and more people out. the time for bureaucracy, filing
visa paperwork and all of this stuff, all of the bureaucratic steps that have blocked people from access, and it is time to let people in, and get them to safety, and get them out of the gunshots and get them away from beatings and the taliban saying that we are going to kill you, and get them away from the checkpoints and get them to safety and then the vetting and the processing. people need to get out of harm's way now. we have people shot literally outside of the airport gate. so people are being kidnapped and murdered in their homes. we need to get people out, and we need to save lives. we need to save lives, please, while we can. >> kristen rouse and ben rhodes, my deep thanks to both of you. still a wildfire is burning in california explodes and growing ten times in size in two days. we will get a live report from the ground after a quick break. stay with us. fter a quick brea stay with us. we can create new ways to connect.
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carolina this afternoon. two people are confirmed dead and 20 missing after the remnants of tropical storm fred inundated the state and caused extreme flooding. search and rescue operations are continuing in haywood county for the 20 people who remain unaccounted for. another storm is expected to bring more rain to the northeast today. we are also tracking more conditions out west when the caldor fire grew ten times in two days. seen in the stunning imagery from noaa. about 23,000 residents of eldorado county lying between sacramento and tahoe have been forced to leave their homes. almador county is also under evacuation. the caldor fire is zero percent contained and becoming the
second largest active fire in that state. joining us from eldorado county, california, is jake ward. what is the latest there, jake? >> geoff, you know, fires are really part of life here in northern california, but at this point, the fires that we are seeing have exceeded the expectations, and really burst them apart, and even the most experienced fire officials who are telling us that the caldor fire as you said grew exponentially over the last weekend is now a threat to u.s. highway 50, and that is what they are most worried about, it could close off the principle artery from the bay area to tahoe, and that is after fires across eight counties have prompted the evacuations of tens of thousands of people. at this point, we are at the mercy of the weather, and in some case, that is good news. the weather is favorable for the fire to essentially stall in place, and of course, the possibility of hot weather next
week and an ongoing fire season that could tie together more fires. thank you. coming up next, my interview with the postal president board of governors and talking about charging more and the embattled postmaster general louis dejoy. stay with us for more. stay wit. . eliquis. eliquis reduces stroke risk better than warfarin. and has less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis has both. don't stop taking eliquis without talking to your doctor as this may increase your risk of stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking, you may bruise more easily... or take longer for bleeding to stop. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, or unusual bruising. it may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor about eliquis.
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if you sent mail through the u.s. postal service recently, you might have noticed it's been arriving faster. new postal service numbers show that mail delivery this past summer has seen the strongest performance in the past year. that's good news. but it it's not expected to last. and that's because the postal service is planning to start slowing the delivery of first class mail in an effort to cut costs. it's all part of a ten year strategic plan outlined by post master general lewis dejoy. dejoy is the trump loyalist who faced accusations of trying to sabotage mail in balloting by gutting the postal service in the runup to the 2020 presidential election.
and to other clouds hang over dejoy as well. the fbi is investigating him for campaign violations and ethics watch dogs raise add larmz about a $120 million contract the postal service awarded to his fomer employer. now dejoy's spokesman denied any wrongdoing. there are lots of questions about the leadership of the u.s. postal service and the commitment to its mission. providing the nation with reliable, affordable universal mail service. with us now for an exclusive interview is amber mcreynolds. she is one of three new members of the board and also ceo of the national vote at home institute. it's great to you have with us. i want to start with the postal service mission. so what is your assessment of the post master general's new strategic plan which is the largest roll back f mail services in a generation. longer dlufrry time, reduced post office hours. higher postage prices.
there is push back from customers, postal employees and even postal service regulators. but this plan is moving forward. >> well, thanks for having me, jeff. it's great to be here. and i think first and foremost the important piece really of all of this as it relates to the postal service is as you mentioned, we need to provide universal service across the country to everyone regardless of where customers live. and the problem really with what the postal service has faced for a long time is that there are multidimensional challenges. and that means that there has got to be multidimensional solutions. so it isn't -- it isn't a situation where we can just say let's fix this one piece and, therefore, service will improve. it is a multidimensional problem. if you see in the ten year plan and i'll caveat this with i am a new member, as you mentioned. and i have two other colleagues that are new members. so we were not part of, you know, the process that previous board went through to develop the ten year plan with the
executive leadership and leaders within the postal service. but as i read this plan, there are significant multidimensional solutions and programs in it that will hopefully address many of the problems that have plagued the postal service and that multidimensional way that we've seen over time. that includes process issues and policy issues that we need congress to act on. and it includes investment in technology and infrastructure which is happening as we speak right now around the country. so this is a massive challenge but it also means that there is massive opportunities to improve service for all americans. >> let's talk about the postal service's leadership. we should explain for folks that president biden can't remove the post master general directly. only the board can do that. that is because of rules that prevent partisan meddling within the postal service. but of president can reshape the board by determining who is on it. and a lot of people assume that
with you and president biden's other two picks now on the board of governors, that mr. dejoy's exit would soon follow. why hasn't it? >> well, so first and foremost, i mean, we are new members. the we have been to two board meetings. there is not been, you know, a discussion or a vote or anything like that with regards to changing leadership. so that is not been something that has been on the table. what i have been doing as a new governor is assessing and continuing to look very closely at the metrics in terms of how the postal performance across the country and as it relates to leadership is doing. and that's something that the current board members that have been on for a while, they have been the ones making a lot of the decisions. and as new members, we're going to be a part of that going forward. what i will say is there are significant promising metrics that we continue to see in all
of the quarter releases for service standards or even seeing in some areas where service standards have gone back to prepandemic levels. and there are significant investment in in improving the infrastructure and as you know and as many people know, one of my strategic focuses is certainly on election mail. and we recently voted to establish a mail committee that will focus on operational improvements and also communication. that is a hot issue for americans across the country. and that's been one of my strategic priorities. i'm really excited that the rest of my colleagues that are governors and executive leadership recognize the importance of that service that we offer and continuing to improve it. >> so i guess the direct question is, should he remain as post master general i
talked to postal employees and customer who's point to the service slowdowns and cutbacks and they point the finger directly the ahim and the changes he started inconstituting before the lead-up to the election. does his service warrant the confidence of the board of governors? should he remain in that job? >> well, i can't -- i really cannot give you a direct answer on that at this point. i am new on the board. i'm continuing to evaluate the performance of the post office generally. but what i would say also is the post master general is on the job i think as of july 1st a year. and, you know, many of the sort of communication issues that were coming out of the white house during the presidential cycle created a lot of confusion in the public domain. i know i was certainly asking a lot of questions about the realities with regards to election mail last summer. and largely that was happening as the post master general was walking into the job. the blue box issue and some of the sorting equipment issues i can tell you were things that
are planned out over a long period of time. they happen every year. that is constantly evaluated. so that wasn't something that, you know, happened as he was walking in the door. i think there was a lot of confusion around that. certainly i was disappointed in the communications that were coming out of the postal service explaining that to the public. i think they should have explained what they were doing and why more directly. i've been very vocal about that. so this is something that -- >> i'm sorry. if i may -- >> sure. >> i was going to ask. we're about to wrap up the show in the 20 seconds we have left, can you commit that postal service in the next election, in the mid terms will handle mail in ballots effectively and won't have to be shamed or litigated into making sure that ballots arrive on time? >> absolutely. actually before the midterms. there is a statewide election in california right now. there is statewide elections all over the country this fall. that's why i push so hard and why the governors and my colleagues agree to establish
the election committee mail committee now. there elections happening constantly. this needs to work effectively. so there say huge commitment to do that. and that will continue into the future. >> amber mcreynolds, i appreciate your time and willing in is to speak with me today. i appreciate it. that's it for us to day. ayman mohyeldin picks up our coverage coming up next. y. ayman mohyeldin picks up our coverage coming up next. liable transportation to their medical appointments. 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.
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♪♪ ♪♪ good afternoon, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin in new york. we're following breaking news in capitol hill. north carolina man who held authorities at bay for several hours by claiming to have an explosive device in his vehicle parked in front of the library of congress has now surrendered. we'll have the very latest in just a moment. over at the white house, president biden met with his national security team to discuss the situation in afghanistan. he continues to face questions about his withdraw plans. p this as the pentagon though
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