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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 29, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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reports." andrea is on assignment. i'm chris jansing. we're following that breaking news from the white house. president biden addressing the nation this hour after a second meeting with his covid response team in just two days. highlighting the urgency the administration is feeling to learn everything they can about the concerning new coronavirus variant omicron with confirmed cases already at our northern aborter in ontario, canada. there are still a number of things we don't know about this variant with the white house releasing a statement sunday saying dr. fauci believes it will take up to two weeks to get answers on omicron's transmissibility, severity and other characteristics. the big question for nearly 200 million fully vaccinated americans, will their vaccine hold up against this new strain. fauci this morning urging eligible americans to not let fears over omicron's impact stop them from getting their booster shots. >> i would strongly suggest you
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get boosted now and not wait for the next iteration of it, which we might not even need, we're preparing -- the pharmaceutical companies are preparing to make a specific booster for this, but we may not need that. we'll find out reasonably soon whether higher levels of antibody against the original vaccines we've used, whether or not that can spill over in protection against this. joining me now nbc white house correspondent mike memoli, nbc's matt bradley in london, dr. peter hotez, director of vaccine development at texas children's hospital. we're waiting for the president, so i might have to interrupt you, mike, but take us through what we're expecting here. >> well, chris, in some ways this is a back to basics moment for this white house. remember, a year ago at this time as president-elect joe biden was preparing to take over the presidency, he talked about how he would always give it straight to the american people as it relates to the pandemic. we're vowing to bring back integrity to this discussion after an administration that ran
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away from or obfuscated and here is the president. i'll leave it to him. >> i hope you all had a happy thanksgiving, able to get together with your family and friends, and it was great to see so many families getting together this thanksgiving after being apart last year, and we have much to be grateful for as a nation. when i was elected, i said i would always be honest with you. so today i want to take a few moments to talk about the new covid variant first identified last week in southern africa. it's called the omicron it is -- to their credit, the scientific community in south africa quickly notified the world of the emergence of this new variant. this kind of transparency needs to be encouraged and applauded because it increases our ability to respond quickly to any new threats, and that's exactly what we did. the very day the world health organization identified the new variant, i took immediate steps
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to restrict travel from countries in southern africa. while we had that travel restrictions can slow the speed of omicron, it cannot prevent it, but here's what it does. it gives us time. it gives us time to take more actions, to move quicker, to make sure people understand you have to get your vaccine. you have to get the shot. you have to get the booster. sooner or later, we're going it see cases of this new variant here in the united states. we'll have to face this new threat just as we faced those that come before it. today there are three messages about the new variant that i want the american people to hear. first, this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. we have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we're learning more every single day. and we'll fight this variant with scientific and
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knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion. and we have more tools today to fight the variant than we've ever had before from vaccines to boosters to vaccines for children, 5 years and older and much more. a year ago america was floundering against the first variant of covid. we beat that variant significantly and then we got hit by a far more powerful threat, the delta variant, but we took action, and now we're seeing deaths from delta come down. we'll fight -- and look, we're going to fight and beat this new variant as well. we're learning more about this new variant every single day, and as we learn more, we're going to share that information with the american people candidly and promptly. second, the best protection -- i know you're tired of hearing me say this, the best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there, the ones we've been dealing with already, is getting fully
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vaccinated and getting a booster shot. most americans are fully vaccinated but not yet boosted. if you're 18 years or over and got fully vaccinated before june the 1st, go get the booster shot today. they're free and they're available at 80,000 locations coast to coast. a fully vaccinated booster person is the most protected against covid. do not wait, go get your booster if it's time for you to do so, and if you are not vaccinated, now is the time to get vaccinated and take your children to be vaccinated. every child age 5 or older can get safe, effective vaccines now. while it will be a few weeks before we know everything we need to know about how strongly the existing vaccines protect against the new variant, dr. fauci is with me today or our medical team, and i believe that the vaccines will continue to provide a degree of
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protection against severe disease. and as additional protections, please wear your masks when you're indoors, in public settings around other people. it protects you. it protects those around you. third, in the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccines or boosters are needed to respond to this variant, we will accelerate their available deployment with every available tool. i want to reiterate, dr. fauci believes that the current vaccines provide at least some protection against the new variant, and the boosters strengthen that protection significantly. we do not yet believe that additional measures will be needed, but so that we are prepared if needed, my team is already working with officials at pfizer and moderna and johnson & johnson to develop contingency plans for vaccines or boosters if needed. and i will also direct the fda
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and the cdc to use the fastest process available without cutting any corners for safety to get such vaccines approved and on the market if needed, and we'll do that the same way that any modifications are needed or current treatments used to help those who get ill with the covid virus. look, i'm sparing no effort and removing all road blocks to keep the american people safe. all of this is confusing to a lot of people, but if it's confusing to you, let me close with this simple message. if you are vaccinated but still worried about the new variant, get your booster. if you aren't vaccinated, get that shot. go get that first shot. my team at the white house will provide me with daily updates this week. on thursday i'll be putting forward a detailed strategy outlining how we're going to fight covid this winter, not
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with shutdowns or lockdowns, with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more. i promised every american that there will be -- always be the latest vaccines available and the booster shots available to them and for free and everywhere available. every single american free of charge, and i will keep that commitment, but we need to do more than vaccinate americans. to beat the pandemic, we have to vaccinate the world as well and america's leading that effort. we've shipped for free more vaccines to other countries than all other countries in the world combined, over 275 million vaccines to 110 countries. now we need the rest of the world to step up as well. let me be clear. not a single vaccine shot americans ever sent to the rest of the world will ever come at the expense of any american. i will always make sure that our people are protected first.
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but vaccinating the world is just one more tool in how we need to meet our moral obligation as americans and how to best protect americans as well. the delta variants and now the omicron variant all emerged elsewhere in the world, so we can't let up until the world is vaccinated. we're protecting americans by doing that as well. as we continue this effort, let's remember where we stand. we're in a very different place as we enter the month of december, this month compared to where we were last september, last christmas. last christmas fewer than 1% of american adults were vaccinated. this christmas the number will be over 71% including more than 86% of seniors. last christmas our children were at risk without a vaccine. this christmas we have safe and effective vaccines for children ages 5 and older with more than
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19 million children and counting now vaccinated. last year a majority of schools were closed. this year 99% of our schools are open. let me reiterate once more, we also now have booster shots that provide extra protection. they're free and convenient. there is still time to get your first two shots or your booster shot or get your children vaccinated before christmas, all three are available and can be done before christmas. if you and your family are fully vaccinated, you can celebrate the holidays much more safely and given where we were last year, that's a blessing that none of us should take for granted. we're throwing everything we can at this virus, tracking it from every angle, and that's what we have to keep doing. that's how we reopened our country. that's how we reopened our businesses. that's how we reopened our schools. that's how even with the pandemic we've generated a
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record job creation, record economic growth in this country. we've moved forward in the face of covid-19. we've moved forward in the face of the delta variant, and we've moved forward now in the face of the omicron variant as well. so thank you, may god bless our troops, and i hope you all have -- i'll be speaking before them but a merry christmas -- >> questions. >> should americans be worried -- >> let me call on nancy bloomberg. >> thank you so much, president biden, do you think that other countries will be reluctant to report variants or other strains given the travel ban that you put so quickly on south africa? >> no, i don't think so. i don't think that's what's going to happen, and i want to, again, the reason for the immediate travel ban is there were a significant number of cases, unlike any other country or the few around south africa in the world. we needed time to give people an
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opportunity to say get that vaccination now before it -- it's going to move around the world. i think it's almost inevitable that there will be at some point that strain here in the united states. but i don't -- i don't think anyone's going to be reluctant to report. we have also moved to do more. for example, we've provided more vaccines, as i said, than all other countries in the world combined, and we've provided significant vaccines as well to south africa and that region. as a matter of fact, south africa doesn't need any more vaccine. they're having trouble getting it out into people's arms, and the reluctance is there, i don't think. call on alexis. >> we've got two. >> alex of reuters. >> thank you so much, mr. president. i wanted to ask if the u.s. is doing anything to screen international travelers for this variant, and what is being done,
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if anything, internally to see if the virus, this variant has already arrived? >> well, there's a lot being done. i'm going to turn to dr. fauci to answer the last question about what's being done. doc. >> thank you, mr. president. we already have in place when people come into the united states, they have to be tested before they get on, and they have to show vaccination documentation, so even before omicron came in, we have a situation where we'll be able to test. and talking about testing, fortunately for us the pcrs that we mostly use would pick up this very unusual variant that has a real large constellation of mutations. fortunately for us that the pcrs do pick it up. >> and we're following extremely closely the medical community, the covid team, any developments as it relates to how severe it
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is, how quickly it spreads, how dangerous. we have more work to do in that area. and wall street journal, sabrina. >> thank you, mr. president, the uk, europe, and a growing number of countries have confirmed cases of omicron. are you considering additional travel restrictions on countries where the variant has been detected? and just separately, you urged americans to wear masks in indoor public spaces, but many states and cities including washington, d.c., have lifted mask mandates. are you calling on officials reinstate mask mandates? >> with regard to the last question, the answer is i encourage everyone to wear a mask when they're indoors in crowded circumstances like we are right now. and unless you're eating or speaking in the microphone, and secondly, the degree of the
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spread impacts on whether or not there's a need for any travel restriction, but that's not -- i don't anticipate that at this point, and we'll see. we'll see where that works. and so the other alex doesn't have a heart attack, i want to call on him. is it -- >> mr. president -- >> two female -- >> no, i'm not an alex, but i'd love to ask one question. >> let me ask the other alex, and then -- >> sure. mr. president, is this the new normal that americans should expect anticipating future potential variants? should we expect intermittent travel restrictions and potential drops in the stock market going forward? do you have any words of reassurance? and for you and dr. fauci, dr. fauci said earlier on cbs that lockdowns, shutdowns are off the table for restraining covid going forward. you said that won't be part of your plan on thursday, but why is that? why are you taking that off the
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table? >> to answer your first question first, the answer is i expect this not to be the new normal. i expect the new normal to be everyone ends up getting vaccinated and the booster shot so we reduce the number of people who aren't protected to such a low degree that we're not seeing the spread of these viruses. now, we remain to be seen exactly what the elements of this particular strain are, but if it's as i hope, it's not going to be fundamentally different than in the past. and in terms of -- what was the second part of the question? >> are lockdowns off the table? >> yes, for now. >> why is that? >> well, because we're able to -- if people are vaccinated and wearing their mask, there's no need for lockdowns. last question. >> going on from that question, we've got the christmas period coming up, huge amount of travel, would you give any thought to domestic flights requiring tests for vaccines for
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people to get on planes the same way they do for international flights? >> at this point, that's not been recommended. i would wait for the scientific community to give me a recommendation on that. >> are travel restrictions too late to be effective, sir, given that dr. fauci says this new variant could already be here. >> you understand the point of the travel restrictions, to give us time to get people to get protection, to be vaccinated and get the booster. that's the reason for it. thank you all so very, very much. i appreciate it. thank you. and i'm sure i'll see you between now and christmas, but hope you had a good thanksgiving. thanks. president biden addressing the new omicron variant that has kept his medical team very busy and has caused a lot of chaos internationally, particularly with travel since it was first identified on friday. he calls it a cause for concern but not panic arguing there are more tools than ever to address it.
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back with me nbc white house correspondent mike memoli, matt bradley is in london, and dr. peter hotez. so the thing we heard repeatedly from him, dr. hotez is you got to get vaccinated. you got to get boostered. we're only at about, i think, 60%, not even quite that full vaccination here in the united states. i mean, is that realistic to think suddenly this variant where delta didn't is going to push people to get vaccinated? do you think it will at least push people to get boosters in terms of making us safer in ways that we can do it ourselves, do you think this is a game changer? >> well, the problem is, chris, right now the major component of fighting the battle against omicron in the united states is the same as fighting the battle against delta. by getting boosted, you'll not only have a 30 to 40 fold rise in virus neutralizing antibody to prevent you from getting the delta variant or going to the hospital, but there's likely, as tony said, dr. fauci said,
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you're going to get a spillover against the omicron variant. i think that was a major message. the second component is vaccinating the kids. the third component, which he didn't say but was implied. if you've been infected and recovered, you're still susceptible to reinfection, so you need to get immunized. you need to get vaccinated on top of that, and that will actually -- there are studies to show will build in greater resilience against variants, not only delta but like lie omicron as well. get vaccinated. we're not doing well. you've only got 59% of the country fully vaccinated, meaning two doses. i think only a fraction of that has three doses. we still have widespread vaccine defiance. 41% of the country has gotten no vaccines. so we are still -- i mean, right now the biggest worry in the united states is this next delta wave that's coming over the winter, and remember what
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happened in our delta wave over the summer, since june 1, chris, we've lost -- i calculate 150,000 unvaccinated americans to covid-19, since june 1, 2021, 150,000 unvaccinated americans needlessly lost their lives because they were defiant, and this is going to continue now with this new winter wave, whether it's delta or omicron. i do think there's going to be a lot of spillover. i'd say just the last point, and i'll just mention it and you can decide if you want to talk about it further is the biden administration appears to have no plan to vaccinate the world. i mean, to tell us that they've given out 275 million doses to 110 countries, remember what we have to do here. we need 9 billion doses across the southern hemisphere. we don't need it by 2023 or 2024, we need it now, and there seems to be no coherent plan on how to address that, and so i
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was quite disappointed by that statement. and this is the reason -- >> i want to follow up on that just very quickly if i can, dr. hotez because one of the concerns that we heard from the president, from some medical professionals in south africa is, hey, you know, here you are doing travel restrictions, hurting us when, in fact, the reason we're in this situation in the first place is because we don't have -- we have not been provided the number of doses that we need. i think you heard the president with the white house position, which is that we want to say to the american people if you want a dose or you want a booster, you're never going to not be able to get it at the expense of some other country. how much of this is the u.s., dr. hotez? how much of it is the international community? >> it's the failure of the g-7 leaders including the leadership of the united states government because what was done was this, chris. there was so much emphasis on innovation and speed that the two vaccines that were rolled out, the mrna vaccines and the
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adenovirus vaccines from j&j, there was never a plan to have the balanced out portfolio with a vaccine that could actually scale up to make 9 billion doses. and that's the problem, when you rely exclusively on a brand new technology as any engineer will tell you, there's a learning curve before you can go from 0 to 9 billion. there was a science policy failure shared by the g-7 leaders that they never took a step back and had that situational awareness to say, hey, we also need a simple vaccine with an older technology we can make now. that's what we've done on our own, but we don't have the same horsepower as the g-7 countries. >> the president was also asked, matt bradley about these travel balance. we're seeing places like japan and israel saying foreign travelers should stay out. you're seeing places like the united states saying if you're from south africa we're closing our borders as of today, and then some that are taking no action. tell us a little bit more about what we're seeing where you are.
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>> reporter: yeah, i mean, the uk is doing similar to what the united states is doing, blocking travel to and from south africa and its neighbors, and that is, of course, the first step. the nuclear option being taken by japan and israel, that's something that the world health organization and others is probably going to be shaking their fist at. countries should be taking a risk-based approach to implementing these travel bans. that's a big change from a year ago when the world health organization was taking the lead on pouring cold water on these travel bans saying they wouldn't work. well, now we're hearing that they've kind of softened that stance and they do think that travel balance can work in certain cases. but the fact is here in britain, there are already 11 recorded cases. nobody believes that there's only 11 and immunologists believe this has definitely already insinuated itself, this new variant into the population here in the uk. but one thing that the uk is doing, they are the rotating
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president of the g-7. that's why the g-7 is meeting today trying to come up with a unified strategy for how to deal with this, but as we just heard, a lot of finger pointing from the global south saying that this -- you reap what you sow. without the vaccines being distributed to everybody, you get new variants. >> and mike if i can go back to what we talked about at the top which is that the president said, look, don't panic here. we're concerned. we shouldn't panic. on the other hand, he's also trying to reassure as part of that don't panic, we're putting contingency plans in place. we know what we're doing here. tell us about the confidence level that the white house has and anything else you've heard about what they're doing to calm what have been fears over the -- well, we saw it in the markets on friday, right? the fears that this new variant could be bad. >> yeah, well, chris, this is a white house that is facing so many challenges on multiple fronts, economic, domestic policy and otherwise, so the emergence of this new omicron variant is adding to that list
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of worries. that's why what you heard from the president was an attempt to offer reassurance and perspective in this situation, reassurance that as he put it, we have more tools to deal with this new variant than we did compared to where we were a year ago, comparing where we were this thanksgiving gathered in ways we hadn't been a year ago with our family and friends, in a way we hadn't last year. so he's trying to make the argument that, yes, this is a cause for concern but not the kind of panic that we saw in the markets. not the kind of concerns -- i think the timing of this emergence of omicron was significant given that it was at a time i know in my case i was with my family when we learned about this, and that is certainly heading into the holiday shopping season a concern for the economy as well. but that's why i think it's also significant that you're seeing the white house trying to do two things at once today. we rarely see what we're seeing today at the white house, which is multiple sets of public remarks from the president. we just heard from him now, but later meeting with the ceos of a number of major retailers to talk about the supply chain
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challenges that they feel like they've done a great job in helping to mitigate because of the cooperation between the public and private sector. that's a good message the white house is trying to get out today. >> the dow is in the positive by about 320 points right now, a little more than -- a little less than maybe a third of what it lost on friday. we're keeping our eye on that, mike memoli, matt bradley, dr. peter hotez, thanks to all of you. let's focus on the concerns at home on omicron and the delta variant. nbc's antonia hilton and nbc medical contributor dr. natalie azar is joining us. while we're waiting to see how bad this new variant can can be, the country and dr. hotez pointed this out, is still dealing with close to 90,000 new cases a day from the delta variant, this winter surge could be coming. tell us what you're seeing where you are. >> well, chris, here in the boston area, they've been dealing with a spike in covid cases here now for a couple
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weeks, and just on the friday after thanksgiving, massachusetts reported over 5,000 new cases, and mass general hospital behind me here, they're treating about 40 people with covid right now, and the system here is really strained. there's a pull on resources here. that's related to the continued covid cases and hospitalizations, but also really about covid-related impacts to the entire system here. what we're hearing from physicians and doctors that there's an immense amount of burnout among staff members in hospitals like this one. there's low staffing and some really critical departments, so this new variant is emerging and posing a potential threat at an already very critically difficult time, and at a time when much of the health care work force is really exhausted right now, chris. and so the doctors here tell me that they're watching very closely, they imagine that the variant is already likely here. if it's not it's going to be imminent and their questions are
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how transmissible but also the impact of the severity of the disease. is it going to lead to more hospitalizations, and is it going to cause strain in hospital systems like boston's? >> dr. azar, you have lived this along with the rest of us for the last couple of years, exhaustion is a very real factor. it's a factor for folks around the front lines. it's also a factor for everyday americans who surely and i can tell you this is true anecdotally are looking at this possible new variant and saying you have got to be kidding me. they're already tired of wearing masks. they're tired of being told, you know, be careful when you go indoors in crowds. what's your best advice, and what's your real world concern about the levels of exhaustion, both professionally and personally for the everyday american? >> i know, it certainly felt like whiplash on friday when we got the news that there was this new variant of concern. you know, what i would say is this, to -- i think there's a way to sort of look at it very personally and then there's the
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big picture, the global impact, the 60 million or so americans who are still unvaccinated. for those of us who have been following the science and following the recommendation, i think that we all can still feel reasonably in control of this, which, you know, might sound a little bit, you know, sort of in contrast to the messaging about the variant, but listen, people really do need to understand that vaccination plus boosting really does in all likelihood confer a significant amount of protection still, chris. remember what happens when you get a booster or a vaccine. you get a significant rise in neutralizing antibodies, which protects you from infection. but you still have also have in parallel, you have that other arm of the immune system, the t cells, the b cells. they are lying there dormant,
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waiting for vaur variants to prevent you from severe disease. i don't really think it changes the calculus all that much for americans who have been vaccinated and are boosting in the next couple of weeks while we wait to find out if, in fact, the variant is more transmissible and if it does evade immune protection. you know, we have a lot to be -- we do have a lot to be optimistic about, be encouraged about, enhanced and improved therapeutics, vaccination for children, a lot of tools in the toolbox we didn't have a year ago. certainly this is a story that will be unfolding probably daily and weekly in the next couple of weeks, chris. >> yeah, and so even though we're out of time, i want to ask you this really quickly, to the president's point of don't panic and your point of wait a couple of weeks, people don't need to start canceling flights that they were planning to go see mom or dad or grandma or grandpa for
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christmas, anything like that. hang tight. let's see what the science tells us. >> i think so, and you know, i think it's probably more -- in terms of -- i had a conversation earlier today on the "today" show about this. you know, you can get traveler's insurance. i think a lot of that stuff might actually be out of your control if flights get canceled or domestic travel gets impacted by this, but i think at an individual level, we still know what we can do to protect ourselves and that protection should still be reasonably well intact. i think it will be blunted somewhat by this variant, but it's not going to be knocked out completely, chris. >> glad to hear a little bit of calm reassurance, dr. natalie azar, antonia hilton, thank you to both of you. congress facing a massive to-do list and pressing deadlines. could the president's agenda get pushed to 2022. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. rts" onlc when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device,
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congress is back from break this weekend facing a jam packed agenda including the next moves on the president's build back better bill. it's now in the hands of the evenly decided senate where democrats have to try to win over joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. congress will have to tackle government funding which runs out this friday, the deadline to raise the debt ceiling in two weeks and the massive defense
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policy bill. joining me now nbc news senior capitol hill correspondent garrett haake and "new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker, michael steele and victoria defrancesco soto, great to have all of you here. garrett, four hurdles for the democrats to clear in a 50-50 senate. how optimistic is chuck schumer about getting all of this done, especially with the threat of this new covid variant. >> well, looks, he thinks they can get it done. he's been saying publicly he thinks he can get it all done before christmas, although that time line looks pretty optimistic from where i sit. just like if you're running hurdles in a race, you're going to take these one at a time. they've got to clear this government funding piece this week, likely push that issue off until mid-january or so, that gives them time to worry about the debt ceiling. we don't see an obvious solution on that side yet. republicans are still refusing to supply any votes towards
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solving that crisis. the ndaa, the military portion of this seems to be getting worked out, and then it's just this matter of the month of manchin that we're about to all be in here as joe manchin finally gets his hands on the house passed version of the build back better act and makes the changes he wants to see to it. that's the reality that is likely facing democrats, what manchin agrees to is what they will have a chance to send back to the house for final passage, december or january. >> peter, what's the white house strategy in terms of trying to get joe manchin over the finish line and how much coordination or i guess pressure is there from the white house to get the build back better bill over the finish line this year? >> well, look, this is obviously the president's top domestic priority other than getting hands on, you know, the covid crisis more generally, and i think that, you know, they have seen if you push joe manchin too
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hard that can backfire. they're not twisting arms in the way that lbj did back in the '60s and other presidents have in the past. they want to try to, you know, sweet talk him there in effect by saying, you know, we're all on board on most of these things. let's get to where we need to get to. obvious big differences include things like family leave and a few other big ticket items that need to be resolved. but you're right, the president getting it done this year, if it's at all possible is a huge priority because they understand that once you get into january, you're talking about an election year, and frankly, even now, you see, you know, the midterm election politics so present and, you know, dominating the conversation even more than -- you know, almost a year out, that the further along you go or later -- or longer it takes, the more complicated it becomes. so they would like to get that done if they can get that done this year. but they're also recognizing that, you know, they don't completely control this process, and they are in fact hostage,
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not just senator manchin but any one of the senate democrats who ends up getting crossed wires. >> as you know, part of this process may mean that two items have to be dropped from the build back better bill, paid family leave and immigration. the house approved a version, a provision allowing immigrants who were in the u.s. before 2011 to apply for permanent status, whether that remains in the senate version is up to a senate parliamentarian. talk about the stakes here, particularly on those two items. >> they are huge, and you know, and let me separate these out. first there's the immigration piece, and let me give some context here that it's been over 30 years since we've seen any major movement on immigration reform. we are in desperate need of figuring out our rickety immigration system. we need to bring folks out of the shadows. we need workers. we need folks to contribute to our tax base. it's not just about the humanitarian aspect of fixing
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our immigration problem. it's also about a return on investment in getting these folks into our economic system, so there's that piece. when we turn to family medical leave, it's embarrassing. there are only seven countries in the whole world that do not have family medical leave. the six besides the united states are tiny countries. we are at the bottom of the barrel. we know that when we invest in parents, when we invest in early childhood education, again, it's a return on investment and human capital and seeing our economy grow, even if you're not a parent and you don't care about that piece of it, it is about a societal good, and that's really why it's so maddening that this isn't a freebie that we're giving away in terms of immigration or family paid medical leave. it's something that is going to strengthen the infrastructure, really the hard infrastructure of our country. >> so while those debates are
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going on, michael steele in the senate. back in the house, january 6th is still a topic. the appeals court is going to take up the fight over trump's white house documents. the committee, the january 6th committee still trying to get ahold of those emails and memos being held by the national archives. where do you see this going, and what do you make of the former president's argument that handing over the documents is a damaging thing to the presidency? >> well, let's deal with that part first because it's the easiest thing to dismiss, it's bogus. it's trump. it's -- you know, i don't want you to look at the dirty deeds that i've done, so, you know, by and large, the political and judicial system is yawning at the president's argument, so setting that aside because there's no real gravitas to it, i think overall what you take away from what you've seen is a level of seriousness, that a lot of people here in washington,
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didn't think that the january 6th committee would exercise, that level of, you know, holding the appropriate feet to the fire and following up with a little additional fire. now, that's the beginning of this process and there's a lot more to come. they've put a lot out in play in terms of the people they want to bring in. how they begin now to corral them i think will really set the tone going into next year. for those who want to play their little trump card and act like they are little mini donald trumps and just ignore subpoenas, i think that's going to be a very precarious position for them to take if what we've seen so far by the committee to enforce that and to bring pressure to bear on that continues to play out. there is no out for those individuals. they're going to have to show up. they're going to have to get their lawyers engaged with the committee, to negotiate their appearance, et cetera, and i think that's good for the country. i think it's good for the process. the more that they're able to
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hold the appropriate people's feet to the fire, political and legal fire, the better. >> michael steele, garrett haake, victoria defrancesco soto and peter baker, thanks to all of you. the markets are up about 1% this morning, following the dow plunge of more than 900 on friday. that was its worst day since october of 2020 after news that the emerging omicron coronavirus variant was detected in south africa. joining me now nbc news senior business correspondent stephanie ruhle who is also host of msnbc's "stephanie ruhle reports" and dom chu senior markets correspondents for cnbc. >> you're seeing the markets start to absorb how serious is this, right? when you hear any news about a variant, think back to the delta variant. that was a huge spook to the markets because that did slow down the economy. that did cause businesses to slow down, people went out of it less, and while we've been in a strong economic recovery, you
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know consumer demand is up, we're shopping, we're traveling. when we got that news on friday and you had countries like the united states and other countries start to put in some sort of travel bans, the market got worried. well, today as we're learning more, as it doesn't seem like this variant is as serious as people may have suspected, you're seeing the market come back. >> so dom, it doesn't look like covid, however, is going to go away soon, just having talked to, you know, doctors on this. they say, look, it may not be the omicron that we have to worry about. it may be this new winter wave of delta. how much of that do you think really is already sort of baked in, or are we going to see more days like friday? >> so you could see the volatility here for a while, especially in the covid and variants remain part of the story. but there is something that traders and investors are keeping a close eye on, and it's something that, steph, you just mentioned. it's how the volatility has actually developed over the course of the pandemic. one of the observations is being made is how the stock run to record highs from the depths of
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the pandemic last year, the market downturns whenever there's been some kind of new news on variants or new data on possible impacts on the economy, those have been less severe. we did get scary headlines, economic concerns, but even as we got those reports, the market reacted but only ended up falling by 3 to 4% and ended up making new record highs in a week or so right after each pullback, so the big wild card is how the information we have on omicron or lack thereof really develops. a lot of these experts are cautioning on this being very early in the story. that's one reason why you might not see as much of this kind of panic situation on wall street as we did see a little bit of on friday. >> so dom, fed chairman jerome powell is expected to testify tomorrow in front of the senate banking committee. what do investors want to hear from him? >> i think the biggest key for investors right now is about whether or not the fed is going
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to maintain its current trajectory with regard to the removal of some of that emergency money, the stimulus that was put in place, especially during the pandemic. people are going to call it the taper that the fed's going to slowly reduce its bond buying program. remember, every time the fed buys treasury bonds or mortgage bonds, it takes bonds out of circulation and puts more cash in the system. that's meant to help promote a little bit more economic activity. it can also very much so add to riing prices, not just for stocks and real estate but for things like food and fuel as well. there's a very, very conundrum for the fed right now about whether or not there's a balance to be struck when it comes to monetary policy. the more stimulus you put in, maybe it's better for the economy, but it does cause in many ways higher prices for goods and services. >> something else that the market always responds to, that's a jobs report. what are we expecting on friday or too soon to say? >> we're likely going to get a very strong jobs report. we're living with two separate economies. people are still suffering, especially those who were
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already economically vulnerable. small businesses are struggling to get workers back. we're in christmas retail season, big box retailers have been able to hire hundreds of thousands of seasonal and part-time workers. they're able to pay up to do so. there's a good chance we're going to get a strong jobs report like we're getting very strong retail numbers. prices might be higher, but guess what else is. demand, people are paying up those high prices. >> stephanie ruhle, dom chu, thanks to you both. all or nothing, roe v. wade being put to the test in the biggest abortion battle in decades. the reshaped court is in the spotlight. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. s" only c (vo) for fourteen years, subaru and our retailers have been sharing the love with those who need it most.
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it's being called the all or nothing abortion fight. this wednesday the supreme court is set to hear one of the most important abortion cases in decades. with the future of roe v. wade at stake. the state concerns a mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. joining me to talk about this, justice correspondent pete williams, a clerk to judge sotomayor, now an nyu law
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professor, and joyce vance, a former u.s. attorney. great to have you all here. pete, what are the possible outcomes here? i keep hearing there's no middle ground. >> people say there's no middle ground for this reason. the court starting with roe and many other decisions about abortion has said before viability, before the fetus can exist outside the womb, a state can restrict abortion but not ban it. viability is generally thought to be 24 weeks. along comes mississippi and says we want to ban it after 15 weeks. if the supreme court says yes, we agree with mississippi, that would seem to undercut the central holding of the decisions which is no, states can't ban before viability. now, one of the fallbacks or one of the compromises that mississippi is suggesting here is okay, you don't have to overturn roe they say. just say that restricting abortion or banning abortion after 15 weeks does not unduly burden the right of access to abortion. what the state says is something
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like 95% of abortions are performed by that point anyway and the only abortion clinic in mississippi only did them up to 16 weeks so it's not that much of a burden. that's a possible outcome for the supreme court. they could do it without explicitly overturning roe, but in essence, it's the court saying states can ban abortion before the age of viability. and if 15 weeks is okay, what about 11 or 12 or 9 or 6:00? >> this is what a lot of folks voted for donald trump for. they wanted to see a court that they believed would overturn a woman's right to choose. mississippi's republican governor was on "meet the press" sunday. i want to play a little bit of what he had to say. >> i believe in a simple reading of the united states constitution that when roe was decided in 1973, there is no fundamental right in our united states constitution to an abortion and further more, chuck, i believe very strongly that if you read the constitution, there is nowhere
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in the constitution that prohibits individual states, states like mississippi, to limit access to abortions. >> melissa, what's the other side of this argument about constitutionality? >> well, the governor is correct. the right to an abortion or the right to privacy is nowhere explicitly enumerated in the constitution. neither are other constitutional things like the right to marry, and even though there was a period of time when people would have banned interracial or six marriage, the constitution protects those decisions. it is true, it's not explicitly in there, but there are a lot of things that are constitutionally guaranteed that aren't specifically in the constitution. >> i mentioned the appointees that donald trump was able to put on the court. who in particular and what are you going to be listening for
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when this comes on wednesday? >> well, chris, it seems like the problem that the supreme court faces isn't whether it's going to preserve abortion rights versus whether it's going to overturn them. the question is how much will it erode the rights that people in this country have enjoyed for almost the last 50 years? we now have five, possibly six justices who are on record as believing that roe is wrongly decided or at least significantly overstepped the bounds of the law. and so the question is where this court will land. something that really concerns me and that i'll be looking for this week is mississippi's argument that women no longer need this sort of protection. because they've achieved so much in society. and i'm reminded very painfully of justice ginsburg's dissent
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where she wrote to the effect that getting rid of the voting rights act is like tossing your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm because you're still dry. and the fear is the supreme court with this new conservative majority will take action that will leave people in this country, particularly women of color and people who live in lower economic conditions, that it will leave them vulnerable, that they will no longer control their own course. so there's a lot more at stake in this week's argument than simply whether or not roe v. wade survives. >> there's a lot of conversation and an article in the new york times, viability, how that plays into it. because of advances in science how it's changed in the years since roe v. wade. tell us how it fits into any of these arguments? >> as pete said earlier, the 23 to 24-week viability has been the salient marker in the court, and the state has been prohibited from banning abortion
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before that mark. as you said, there have been medical advances around gestation and pregnancy, but most medical physicians say that the prospect of a fetus surviving independently of the womb earlier than 23 weeks is still quite remote. there may be a couple of incidences of this but it's not widespread and medical advances have not caught up at that point to allow viability to be moved up even earlier to 15 weeks or in the case of texas, six weeks. there's a lot of debate among the medical community about the whole question of viability and what is the actual marker where the fetus can survive outside of the womb? >> and in our last minute, i want to ask you about the clues that we already have with some of these justices in their previous writings, in previous cases that dealt with abortion that gives us a sense of what we're really looking at in terms of the split on this court and where the dividing line might happen, if it does. >> well, we know that some of the conservatives don't favor
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abortion rights. the big questions are, for example, brett kavanaugh who replaced anthony kennedy. is he somebody who is going to want to go? he seemed like something of an incremental list? is he willing to overturn roe or go that far? we don't know where the chief justice is. there's amy coney barrett who has in her time as a law professor was outspoken or opposition to roe and abortion in general. but on the court she's again been an incrementalist. those are the key ones to watch. we don't know where they're going to be on this question of overturning roe. >> it's going to be fascinating to listen. pete williams, melissa murray, joyce vance, thanks to all of you. stay with msnbc all morning wednesday. we'll have special live coverage of the supreme court arguments. we start the coverage at 9:45 a.m. eastern time. 6:45 pacific right here on msnbc. and we want to make this quick note before we go from our white
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house unit. the administration announcing just minutes ago that federal workers who are not vaccinated will not be immediately terminated. instead, saying agencies can use december as a month of education and counseling on vaccines. right now more than 96% of federal workers are already complying with that order. so the argument is we've had great compliance. we want to give a little more time to get the rest of the work force on board up until the new year. that's going to do it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports". follow the show online, on facebook, and on twitter. garrett haake is in for chuck todd with "mtp daily" right now. if it's monday, it's a global race to contain and to understand the omicron variant. what we just heard from president biden as new travel restrictions take effect. plus as the administration battles covid, it navigates another frenetic stretch on
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capitol hill as congress tries to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week. and a default on u.s. debt next month. and later, the latest from a manhattan federal courthouse as opening statements begin today in the sex trafficking trial of jeffrey epstein con if i confidant, ghislaine maxwell. welcome to "meet the press daily". i'm garrett haake. president biden has once again been forced to turn his attention back to the pandemic. as u.s. health officials brace for the arrival of this new and little studied omicron variant. it's going to be days, perhaps more likely weeks before experts can confidently say whether or not this new variant is significantly more dangerous than the delta strain which is dominant now. but that hasn't stopped governments and health authorities from taking action. as the world health organization