tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC December 20, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST
hey there. i'm stephanie ruhle, live at msnbc headquarters here in new york city. it's monday, december 20th. it is time for the facts. we have a lot to get to, so let's get smarter. this morning, the covid surge is showing no sign of slowing down. nationwide, hospitalizations are now up 26% over the last three weeks. cases are up nearly 70%. and this comes just as we are starting one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.
but this morning, we did get some good news from moderna. new data shows that their booster shots immunity against omicron nearly 40-fold. experts say we desperately need it. right now, the worst of the spread is in the northeast. states like new york, new jersey, and massachusetts. while in florida, cases have doubled in the last week alone. and for people who are trying to do the right thing and get tested, those tests are hard to come by. my question is why? this video of line on the upper west side of manhattan. people started waiting before the sun came up to get a test from a guy in a van. we heard similar stories all over town. some people waiting two, three hours just to get tested. tomorrow, president biden will address the nation to lay out new steps his administration will take to help americans cope with this latest wave. here's what we do know. it is expected to get worse before it gets better. the nation's top experts say omicron is essentially taking over, and it is happening with
stunning speed. >> certain regions in the country, there's up to 50% of the isolates are omicron. that's a doubling time of anywhere from two to three days. when you have a doubling time that is that short a period, pretty soon, that isolate is going to take over. >> we could be having a million cases a day if we're not really attentive to all of those mitigation strategies and, you know, a small traction of a big number is still a really big number. >> do a million cases mean really sick people? let's bring in lindsey riser right here in new york city. kerry sanders down in miami. andy slavitt served as the adviser for covid response. and an infectious disease doctor at johns hopkins center for security. doctor, thousands of people are testing positive every day.
let's talk about what hospitalizations look like and who is going to the hospital. because the most common thing we hear, that, at worst, vaccinated and boosted people feel like they're getting the flu. they're annoyed more than they are sick. >> this weekend at the hospital, i saw unvaccinated patient after unvaccinated patient. it is not people who lack third doses that are coming to the hospital. they're lacking first and second doses. we do have this separation. if you're vaccinated, you are protected against serious disease, hospitalization, and death. if you are unvaccinated and high risk, delta or omicron is going to come for you. you are going to crush your community hospital. it's two tracks we're on with this pandemic, based on vaccination status. >> doctor, the last time we spoke, you were sort of lukewarm on boosters. you weren't as -- you weren't as enthusiastic about them as other people were, especially for younger, healthier people. have you changed that point of view? >> no, i haven't. because what i'm focused on is serious disease,
hospitalization, and death. so when i recommend boosters, it is people over 65, people who got the johnson & johnson vaccine, people with high-risk conditions. that's where the value of boosters are. in the hospital, it's not people there because they lack a booster. they lack a first dose. we really have to think about what our goals are. this virus is not going anywhere. most people are going to get infected with omicron. if it is mild, i think that's a win. so we've really got to focus on the unvaccinated because that's who is taking up icu beds. >> okay. if it is mild and it is a win, do we need to revisit our covid rules, our travel rules? because we run the risk that people who just have mild symptoms aren't actually going to go get tested because they're not very sick and they don't want to deal with having to quarantine, having to miss work. that could get other people sick. >> i do think that should be on the table, that we think about when you test positive, that you don't kind of have this one-size-fits-all, ten-day rule. we can use rapid tests to say, this person has no symptoms, and now they're testing negative on
a rapid test so they're not a danger to others. that, i think, is a better paradigm. we've seen the sports leagues are doing that, and i think we can take examples from the sports leagues and extrapolate them to the general public. i do think, even though a breakthrough infection is mild, it is disruptive if you have to be out for ten days. i think we know scientifically that people who have breakthrough infections are contagious for a shorter amount of time. we can use rapid tests to get people out of isolation quicker. >> that's assuming you can get a rapid test. lindsey, you've been talking to people waiting in long lines. are they getting tested because they have symptoms or because they need to for work or travel, and are they worried they could get it just by standing in line? >> reporter: steph, it's work, it's travel, it is also exposure. a lot of the people i talked to this morning say they know somebody who tested positive, so they're doing this to do the right thing or getting tested before they go on their holiday travel. let's show you a little bit more of this line here. people were waiting 90 minutes
before the van pulled up, just to give you some perspective. it is 25 degrees, 18 with the wind chill. i asked people if they felt safe in the line. it is socially distanced for the most part. this is the cluster to the front of the van where it is divided into several lines. most people are masked and distanced. you know, steph, let's talk about why we're seeing this also. it's because of the case numbers in new york state alone. let's show you from the governor of new york, who tweeted another record. three days in a row of records. 22,500 cases statewide. about half of those are here in new york city. the sliver of good hope, though, is that hospitalizations are down. also, steph, we should note that hospitalizations right now, about 3,800, are nowhere near where they were in january, where they were about 9,000, steph. >> andy, given the amount of people that have the virus, chances are, somebody in my family has been exposed.
so what am i supposed to do, keep testing or ignore it as long as no one has any symptoms and we haven't officially been contacted about exposure? >> look, as we get together over the holidays, the smart thing to do would be to use a rapid antigen test, presuming you can afford one. they're only a few dollars. but if necessary, take a couple dollars off your christmas presents. that way, you can enjoy the holidays tests give you a best feel. very useful. obviously, people who are boosted are much safer to be around in terms of spread than people who are vaccinated. people vaccinated are much safer than people who are unvaccinated. >> except it is not just a couple of dollars and a couple of minutes. kerry, of course, to get tested, you have to be able to get one of those tests, and i saw a tweet this weekend from a "new york times" columnist that said this. today, i acquired enough at-home tests to test my family twice over the holidays before larger
gatherings. it only took visiting four different pharmaies and spending 150 bucks. god bless america. i know this man is not alone in his frustration. i experienced it over the weekend. can you tell us what's happening? >> reporter: it is really complicated because there are basically word of mouth. people recognize they need to get tested. so i'm at a testing facility where you can get a rapid test. you get a pcr test here. just to give you an idea of the anxiety, i think, we're seeing here, look at this drone shot as we look over here. this location is open 24/7. come at 2:00 in the morning, there is a line here, much like there is a line here. unlike where lindsey is, we don't have 25 degrees. people are in their cars with air-conditioning because it is in the 70s going to 80 today. but people want to get these tests done. the administrators here say the main reason people are telling them they want to get it done is because they're getting ready to go see family. gather over the holidays, christmas is five days away now, and they want to make sure they
are not the one person who brings the unwanted present to the gathering, that being coronavirus. the omicron variant, of course, as we know, spreads so quickly. so you can come here, wait for hours, get your tests and wait about 24-hours to get the results. might be a little longer because there's such a demand. or, as you noted, you can try to get one of those home tests. but the fda this morning is pointing out that there are at least three home tests. i'll read them to you because you might have some of the house look at the boxes right now as i read them to you. these ones do not pick up the omicron variant. so you don't really want to use these. it's called applied dna sciences, meridian bioscience, and tide laboratories. so i'll read them one more time. this only adds to the confusion for people who are trying to do the right thing. again, applied dna sciences, meridian bioscience, and tide laboratories, they do not pick up the omicron variant. if you have those, put them to the side. then i guess the real question is, really, for so many people,
if i can't find it at the store and i can't get in line like this and i'm planning on getting on a flight or i'm going to get in my car and, in a few days, i'll be seeing loved ones i haven't seen in a while, what do i do? i think we just heard the doctor say that we really should be taking ownership and responsibility on this. but, again, it's not particularly easy to achieve that. even at the 24-hour site. >> to kerry's very point, let's get real. people are willing to go to that testing site at 2:00 a.m. because christmas is around the corner. they want to travel. they want to see family. what happens when it is early january, and people don't have the big event to go to but we want them to do the right thing and be responsible? we're certainly not making it easy for them. >> well, we're going to have to be opening more testing sites, more personnel. i talked to folks yesterday and the policy area, both federally and locally. they're going to keep adding staff. it'll be a surge like we haven't
seen before. numbers that are completely out of control. i think people don't want to get this. you know, despite the fact that it may be more mild or may be more mild than many cases, people don't want to get it and people shouldn't want to spread it. hopefully people will continue to be careful around others. one thing that i think is hopeful, it appears, from south africa, that as fast as it rises, it also can decline equally as fast, if not faster. so this may be something we just have to get through quickly, but to peak in january. we could be seeing cases start to drop precipitously after that. >> andy, i know you're not officially advising the white house right now, but tomorrow when the president speaks, should he be focused on hospitalizations and the unvaccinated or the overall case numbers that are going up? >> well, look, i think he needs to focus on both. because what happens is, if cases spread too quickly, then someone somewhere down the chain is going to get sick and go to
the hospital. the reason it matters, as you point out and as the reporting points out, it's primarily because the hospitals are just going to be completely overloaded, particularly in some areas of the country. so i think people want to reduce the spread. i think the best way to do that is to get boosted. i think that'll be the main message from the president. we have the technology. we have the science to solve this. it's not like a year ago when we just had to basically live with it. so i think he's going to do -- talk about the things he's doing and the things the country needs to do in order to prevent this from spreading. >> lindsey, in a weird, positive way, it's good that schools are letting out for christmas break. what are we hearing about schools? >> reporter: yeah, steph. so schools go on winter break after this thursday. we're actually live outside a school, in addition to this covid testing van here. mayor bill de blasio has no intention of closing down public schools. i spoke to the head of the teachers union for new york public schools, and he says he doesn't want to see schools go remote either. some classrooms are already
remote. four schools in the city are completely closed because of exposure. but the head of the union says that what really needs to improve is testing. right now, they are seeing a lag, so some teachers and students are getting tested on monday and not getting results until friday. i spoke to a father this morning, a father of two school-aged kids. he wasn't dropping his kid off to the school. she doesn't go here. he was waiting in line with her because their other child had an exposure. his little girl was missing school. i asked how he'd feel if things went remote. this is what he told me. >> i do fear that policymakers could react that way. and i don't think it is likely, but i think it is possible. because i think they've realized how bad it was, you know, going into full remote last time around. >> reporter: so, steph, the head of the union says if parents want their kids to stay in school, they need to encourage vaccinations. now, 82% of kids 12 to 17 in new york city have gotten vaccinated. that number goes down to 20% for
5 to 11-year-olds, steph. >> the kids i spoke to last week, ages 5 to 12, were so rational, so mature, were so logical about the vaccine. doctor, you know who isn't? a lot of people who are unwilling and unvaccinated. those who are coming to the hospital at this point, what are they telling you? >> some of them think they could have escaped that, that somehow they weren't going to get sick, or they didn't think they were high risk, though they were overweight or obese. it is very frustrating. not many of them repent. i actually got into an argument with somebody with leukemia who was not vaccinated. so it is not something that you can really rationally get through with some of these individuals. in certain cases, you can get some remorse. they often want the monoclonal antibodies, want antivirals, but it is a paradoxical, frustrating situation. >> paradoxical and frustrating. doctor, andy, kerry sanders, lindsey reiser, thank you all for starting us off. you definitely made us a little safer and a little smarter on
this monday morning. we will have much more ahead on the pandemic. markets, new restrictions in europe, and how sports leagues are trying to save their seasons. is it all an overreaction? we're just getting prepared for the worst yet to come. first, senator joe manchin. you knew we'd be covering manchin. he is a no on biden's signature legislation. people are furious, but why are they surprised? this morning, leader schumer says it is not dead yet. where democrats go from here. & bacon ranch, new baja steak & jack, and the new baja chicken & bacon, aka “the smokeshow”" save big. order through the app. (vo) t-mobile for business helps small business owners prosper during their most important time of year. when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device, we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected
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president biden will return to the white house any minute now, and this morning, his agenda is on thin ice after senator joe manchin announced on fox news sunday he will vote against the build back better act following months of negotiations. majority leader chuck schumer says they're going to vote on it anyway, throwing shade at manchin in the process, saying everyone will have the chance to make their position known and not just on tv. the white house is not happy, saying in part, this. maybe senator manchin can explain to the millions of children who have been lifted out of poverty, in part due to the child tax credit, why he wants to end a program that is helping achieve this milestone. we cannot. let's go to josh letterman who is traveling with the president in delaware. we have punch bowl news
co-founders jake sherman and anna palmer. does this mean build back better is officially dead, or is it possibly time to break it up and vote independently on some of the parts? >> reporter: the bill has no pulse right now, and democrats are scrambling to find a way to resuscitate this. talking to democrats over the last 24 hours, they believe they have a theory of how to do that based on senator manchin's remarks. specifically his concerns about debt, inflation, and sunsets are all roped up into one issue with expiring provisions that lapsed the last two years or three. shrink the programs that can be funded over a ten-year period. they've identified climate change funding, pre-k as a way to do that. this is tenuous. i ran this by a source familiar with manchin's thinking. hypotheticals like that are possible about reviving the bill, but not while democrats and the white house are issuing statements as aggressive as they were yesterday, questioning manchin's character and his
commitment to his own word. i want to play a clip of what manchin said on fox news sunday yesterday while talking about this. >> you're a no? >> well, here's the thing, i've tried. i mean, i really did. the president was trying as hard as he could. he has an awful lot of irons in the fire right now. a lot. more than he needs for this to continue, when i'm having the difficulties i'm having. basically, the challenge is we have different parts of the party pushing in different ways. >> reporter: you can hear the lack of interest in joe manchin's voice. he is essentially a congress of one right now. he can name his price. they can keep revising and revising the bill to try to meet his demands, and if he is a no, then this collapses. they need his vote or the bill is ultimately dead. senator chuck schumer, majority leader, insists that the senate early next year will vote on a revised version of the build back better act, and it'll keep voting until they get to the finish line. it is unclear democrats can ultimately get there, but they're not ready to throw in the towel on this yet,
stephanie. >> josh, is that the president's backup plan, keep voting and keep voting? nearly all his priorities are in this thing. >> there is no backup plan, stephanie. this was the backup plan. plan a was pass the president's agenda through the senate with 60 votes like you normally do. the backup plan was try to force it through with reconciliation, with only 50 votes. without that, there's really no way to get this legislation through. which, incidentally, is the other problem with breaking this up into parts and trying to pass it individually. you don't get to use reconciliation over and over again for all those different parts. now, the white house is holding out hope that this could still get back on track. jen psaki's press statement said, look, joe manchin reversed course once. maybe we can pull him back into supporting this thing. it is difficult to see how there is a good atmosphere for that to
happen right now, given this war of words between the white house and manchin. the white house essentially calling him a liar. the white house also sticking with its insistence that the accounting for this bill is solid. so when it's talked about how manchin wants these things funded for ten year, according to this white house statement, there's no indication the white house is, as of yet, willing to go along with his version of how to do the math on this. that means that the white house, one way or another, if they are going to agree to manchin's insistence, that these things will funded over the long-term and still stay within an overall cap, they're going to have to make some really difficult choices. they're not going to be able to get climate change and child tax credits and elder care. they'll have to make choices of which of those priorities, if any, they're able to get as they try to pick this back up in the new year. >> julie, we should rename this hour "i don't get it." i say it every day. if manchin represented a
wealthier state, i could under why those constituents might say, i don't need the things in here. but west virginia is the sixth poorest state in the country. yet, manchin said he couldn't explain a yes vote to his constituents. can you explain that? there are an awful lot of kids in the state of west virginia vastly benefitting from this tax credit. >> reporter: steph, we're in charleston, west virginia, the capital city of a state that has less than 2 million people living in it. at the center of this build back better debate, because of senator joe manchin. you heard from my colleagues explaining his opposite. my first stop in town was getting a hometown paper from yesterday. there is a paid leave sticker at the top of it, saying west virginia's most vulnerable needs it as manchin resists. i spoke to a couple of folks this morning. two of them couldn't be on opposite sides of the political spectrum. one of them voted for president trump in 2020.
he works multiple jobs to make end's meet. he is concerned with inflation, as joe manchin said he's heard from his constituents. sally roberts is a senior, been to washington, pled for manchin to vote for this bill, to support the provisions like elder care. you mentioned this state is also one of the oldest states in the country. let's take a listen to what both of them told me this morning. >> calm down for a little bit. let's work through what we have on our plate right now before we throw more on. >> he is not only leaving us in bad shape, or the same shape, he is leaving us in worse shape. we have given him our feelings, our thoughts, our needs, our desires, and he hasn't responded. >> reporter: yeah, listen, you heard sally there, steph. she's super emotional because she's been fighting for
provisions in this bill. both of those folks are lifelong west virginiavirginians. they've lived here their entire lives, and they've seen the state go from blue to more significantly red the past decades. that's why senator manchin is in this position. constituents like wes say, enough is enough. and sally wants more help. >> for those worried about inflation like that man, i think about the expanded child tax credit. the 300 bucks a month per kid under the age of 6. those last checks went out last week. life is going to get a lot more expensive for the millions of families who need that cushion. jake, has manchin gone back on his word like they're saying, or was this his position all along? i was looking at a clip of him from eight months ago, and he was kind of saying this then. >> yeah. we've made a habit of saying we should listen to joe manchin when he speaks because he's been saying pretty much the same thing. he's had huge problems with
large component pieces of this legislation. not around the edges, but the child tax credit, medicare expansion, prescription drug negotiation. i mean, across the board, manchin has been telling us, me and others on capitol hill, that he has problems with it. we've always had a tough time kind of squaring that circle. how do you assume he is going to get to yes if he is against basically every single piece of policy in the bill? so now, we have our answer. he is against it. i want to add one thing. breaking this up is also not easy. they can try to use the reconciliation process to break it up and create several bills under reconciliation, but each of those bills would then carry what we call a vote-a-rama. four, five days on the senate floor. it is a difficult process. >> vote-a-rama might be my least favorite, d.c. is dorky, word ever. no surprise, what was said about
manchin yesterday wasn't good. >> he'll have explaining to do to the people of west virginia. to tell him why he doesn't have the guts to take on the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs. why he is not prepared to expand home health care. west virginia is one of the poorest states in this country. >> okay. we keep hearing progressives say, this is why we did not want to separate the hard infrastructure and the human infrastructure. i get that. but they had to separate the two if they wanted to get anything passed. what's the point of bringing that up? they didn't have the votes to get both done. they didn't have it then, and they don't have it now. >> yeah. i mean, i think they had to face reality after the virginia gubernatorial election. basically, moderate democrats caved. but at this point, there's a big problem for these progressives, whether it is bernie sanders or alexandria ocasio-cortez. they're railing against man
manchin, but he's comfortable defending himself. he feels he knows west virginia and the voters. it's hard to see what leverage the progressives can have going forward, trying the to press him on the vote. voting again and again is hard to see whether that'll make him change his position at all. >> jake, goldman sachs is out with a report saying, not moving forward on build back better could impact gdp. could that impact joe biden in the midterms, or if build back better doesn't pass, if people are spending less, if we start to see inflation cool a bit, could that help biden? help us understand this. >> yeah. it depends who you talk to, steph. i'd say that the white house feels pretty strongly that they need to get build back better done to help their chances in the midterm elections. republicans have the wind at their back historically. poll numbers are showing republicans doing well on what we call the generic ballot. if a generic republican was running against a generic democrat. i'm not entirely sure what the
implications would be, but i would say that i don't think democrats feel like they could run on just the covid package that they passed early last year and the infrastructure bill in 2022. they don't think that's enough. but there's plenty of people in the capital. plenty of moderate democrats who are weary of voing for another several million in spending. not only joe manchin, but every other house democrat did it. i'll say this, nancy pelosi had a lot of house democrats vote for this piece of legislation with guarantees it'd pass in the senate. that is looking like an awfully off political calculus at this point. >> quickly, jake, you talk to these people off the record every day. were there moderate house democrats who voted yes, knowing that manchin was going to hold it up? >> yeah. everybody kind of knew. this was the most obvious end, stephanie. that's why i thought this was a silly strategy. you're giving up your one leverage, the infrastructure bill, with the hope that somebody who is not in line with your thinking is going to vote with you. it was never smart. >> all right then.
we're going to leave it there. you all have made us smarter. thank you so much. right now, though, we are following three big trials. it's verdict watch for theranos founder elizabeth holmes and closing arguments for ghislaine maxwell's trial. she didn't testify, saying she didn't need to. in 30 minutes from now, closing arguments in the trial of former police officer kim potter in the shooting death of 20-year-old donte wright. we're live outside the minneapolis courthouse next. d herself in a lamp. no joke. i got a fancy grown up lamp to make me feel like a fancy grown up. mhm. adulting ain't easy. ooh! check this one out. waffles loves her dog bed. we can hardly get her out of it. she's kind of a diva. yes, waffles! living your best life. [woof] i'm telling y'all there's no place like wayfair to make your home totally you. ooh! i want that. healthy habits come in all sizes. like little walks.
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turning now to markets, which opened a couple minutes ago. they're down over 500 points. not a good way to start the week. investors spooked by surging omicron cases and the risk of more cancellations and closures to come. we're also watching three courtrooms across the country with some major verdicts expected any day now. just moments ago, closing arguments kicked off in the trial of jeffrey epstein confidant ghislaine maxwell. maxwell declined to take the stand, saying she didn't think the prosecution made a strong enough case that she needed to. out west, jury deliberations
begin today in the trial of elizabeth holmes, founder of theranos. after nearly four months with over 30 witnesses testifying, including holmes herself, eight men and four women will now decide if the theranos founder intentionally deceived investors or simply got in over her head. in moments, closing arguments begin in the kim potter trial. the former minnesota police officer is accused of killing dante wright during a traffic stop. shaquille brewster is outside the courthouse now. testimony ended friday with an emotional potter taking the stand. what do you think we'll get today? >> reporter: well, stephanie, after those eight days of testimony, which included more than 30 witnesses who took the stand, you mentioned the last witness was kim potter, the defendant herself. this is the point we hear the prosecution and the defense wrap up their arguments and tie it into the law. it's going to start with jury
instructions. it'll be read by the judge, more than a dozen pages of jury instructions where the judges will instruct the jurors on the law, what factors to consider and what factors the prosecution needs to prove. potter is charged with manslaughter, one count in the first degree and one in the second. the highest degree carries up to 15 years in prison. prosecutors will argue this is a veteran officer who has been on the force more than 26 years. she should have known the difference between a taser and a firearm, they say. kim potter through her attorneys will argue it was a mistake. we heard that when she took the stand yesterday. this was a mistake. she did not intend to use her firearm. she was reaching for her taser, she says. if she were to use the taser, it was justified because 20-year-old dante wright was attempting to flee. jury instructions will begin in 20 minutes, then we'll hear the closing arguments. >> we'll be watching. thank you. coming up next, the nfl, nhl, and the nba all forced to
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just like the rest of the world, major league sports is scrambling to stay ahead of the covid surge. over the weekend, roughly a dozen nfl, nba, and nhl games had to be postponed because the teams couldn't field enough healthy players. across the three leagues, nearly 250 players are ineligible after having either tested positive or come close to someone who did. overnight, we learned the nba agreed to let teams sign replacement players to fill out their rosters. in the nfl, the league is actually considering putting the entire season -- excuse me -- the nhl is considering putting the entire season on pause while it deals with its own outbreaks. that league is also considering tightening protocols. the nfl actually rolling back
enhanced testing for players if they're vaccinated and don't have any symptoms. i want to bring in mike florio, editor of "pro football talk" on nbcsports.com. mike, i read one report, that a majority of players want to eliminate covid rules all together. explain how the league is juggling all of this, especially if many of them are vaccinated and saying they're not even showing symptoms. >> stephanie, i don't think most of the players wanted any covid rules in the first place. they're not concerned about it. when you think about the risks that football players assume every time they go out onto the field, of more immediate physical injuries, of long-term cognitive problems, the risk of getting covid was very far down their list. it always was. their union did a good and responsible job of convincing them to take it seriously. it finally got to the point last week, with so many positive cases and the vast majority of those cases involving players having no symptoms at all, this notion that they're artificially being kept off the field when
they're perfectly fine, and there is no evidence the virus transmits during games or practices, that created critical mass. that forced players and the owners to come together because their money was at risk. if games get canceled, the owners lose their cut, the players don't get paid. nothing brings labor and management together faster than the shared threat they're going to lose their money. that's what caused these protocols to change as dramatically as they did over the weekend. >> all right. well, these next few wees are critical in football. we're headed to the playoffs. what is the plan if things get worse? >> well, let's hope they don't get worse. they're going to monitor. >> that is not a plan. >> i know. i know. but based on what they know now, with the new variant that is not causing the people who get it to get sick in huge numbers. if they're vaccinated. the key is vaccinated, asymptomatic. that's what they're focusing on. they're not going to worry about
whether someone is actually positive for the virus if they're vaccinated and if they're asymptomatic. here's the challenge though. getting players, coaches, and others who are involved in these high-stakes games as we get closer to the end of the season, into the playoffs, getting them to be honest about it. getting them to say, i'm not feeling well. i should be tested. you'll have a lot of concealment of symptoms, mild symptoms, maybe more than mild symptoms if they can successfully conceal it, because they're going to want to play football. football players hide injuries. they hide concussions. they do what they have to do. not that it is right, but that's what they do. i think that's something that i know people in the league are concerned about. it is something we need to keep an eye on because there will be plenty of players who are positive and who may be sick, who are finding a way to get onto the field. >> are there any players who are saying or doing publicly the opposite, saying they're worried about this, they want the protocols in place? >> they aren't saying it publicly, but there are some players who, if they've had
family members or friends or themselves who have had bouts with covid, then they understand. you know, i think for most people, it's not real until somebody you know or somebody you're related to has had a bad outcome with it. i think some of those players are concerned. there is an opportunity for players who have higher risk to opt out of the rest of the season by 2:00 p.m. eastern time. but that group of players pales in comparison to the players who want to go forward. >> if you opt out, you don't get paid. >> if you walk out, you don't get paid. >> michael, thank you so much for joining us. we will be watching. turning overseas, where dr. fauci said covid is raging across the whole world. as of today, the netherlands now in full lockdown, ready for this, until mid-january. now, other countries are weighing their options, trying to avoid that kind of drastic move. so in places like denmark, they're cutting restaurant hours and closing schools entirely. in ireland, a new curfew has been put in place.
in israel, they are restricting travel from places like the united states and canada. there's also a lot of frustration leading to protests over the new rules, including in the uk. that is where nbc's kelly cobiella is this morning. kelly, know there are so many moving parts, but how would you sum up what is going on across europe and, specifically, in the uk? >> reporter: well, let me answer that by quoting the french prime minister, who said that omicron, this new variant, is spreading at lightning speed across europe. now, the numbers vary from country to country, but it is safe to say that all governments across europe right now are looking at this with a good deal of worry, of concern. because those numbers are going up so fast, you're seeing restrictions come into place in this country and in several countries across europe, as you just mentioned. you're also seeing the protests break out because of it. we saw protests over the weekend in belgium, germany, spain,
france, and here in the uk. many of those people pushing back against vaccine mandates and the kinds of covid passports. these requirements that you have to be double vaccinated or fully vaccinated to get into bars and restaurants, those kinds of rules are coming into place in other countries in europe, including switzerland, which is about to introduce that. a lot of these countries just trying to salvage some of this holiday tourist season. here in the uk, there are new rules as well. we've been told to work from home if we can. the mask mandate is back in place. you have to wear a mask when you're indoors, in shops, restaurants, train stations, that sort of thing. and there's also a massive booster campaign under way here. stephanie, a huge percentage of the population is already double vaxxed. it is close to just over 80%. now 50% of the adult population is also boostered.
but in spite of that, they're still seeing a pretty steep rise in daily covid cases. we're averaging around 20,000 to 40,000 cases a day for the past several months. just in the past week, that's jumped to between 80,000 and 90,000 a day. it's doubled in a week. scientists are concerned. government ministers and the prime minister meeting as we speak to talk about whether this country needs tougher measures. steph? >> spreading rapidly, not good news. symptoms are mild, that is good news. this is the new face of covid. kelly, thank you. stay safe where you are. coming up next, one out of five people needed food assistance this year. i'll be speaking to the heads of two organizations making sure people can put food on the table this holiday.
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will those pantries have enough to give. joining us now, claire babineaux fontno. also with us, cindy young. they provide food, clothing and medicine to people in need. claire, you run a network of pantries across this nation. what are you seeing as the biggest issue right now. >> a lot of people are still really struggling. and i think people are starting to get the impression, the public may be getting the impression that the food crisis is over. but it isn't. we continue to have heightened need that significantly outpaced the need before the pandemic. and i'm concerned about the stress that that is putting on our system. >> cindy, we know prices are up. food banks are always busy during the holidays. how much more demand are you seeing, especially as we head toward this new wave of a pandemic where there could be people who thought they were going to have their holiday meal
at a church or a neighbor's or a friend's and that's not happening this year. no, it's not. >> we're seeing so many more clients. we're a fully volunteer staff, and we are working overtime, making regional trips to our foodback of north alabama to get additional food. they're doing a great job working with us and we're really struggling to put enough food on hand to feed double and triple the amount of people. two days last week, we saw 100 clients each of those two days and that's just unprecedented for us to see that many clients in a day. and we're doing the best we can and we'll keep up and keep doing the best we can to keep these people fed for the holidays. >> and we're grateful. claire, you always need donations and help. are you losing volunteers right
now? people who are saying, i'm not comfortable going out? >> we lost quite a few volunteers, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. we saw some of that rebound, but we're not back to pre-pandemic rates and at higher demand during the pandemic. so we definitely need food, funds, and friends. so we encourage people to reach out to their local pantries, as well as their local food banks to help. >> for those watching, we will tweet links on how you can help. claire, cindy, thank you for all that you do. and for those watching, don't ever forget, if you need help, ask for it. and if you can give help, please give it. thank you, ladies, so much. that wraps up this busy hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. any minute now, closing arguments in the trial of former police officer kim potter will kick off. chris jansing picking up breaking news coverage right after the break. g picking up breaking news coverage right after the break. o man, that's a whole lot of wrinkly at least my shoes look good! looking good start with bounce wrinkleguard,
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good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm chris jansing in for jose diaz-balart on what is shaping up to be a very busy monday. with christmas just a few days away and the number of covid cases across the country piling up dramatically, so are the number of critical questions that raises. should i join the millions of people planning to travel for the holidays? should i get tested, if i can even find a test. will my job be impacted or even go away as we're already seeing, with