tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 21, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
my friend. much appreciated. and thanks to you at home for joining us, happy to have you. here two weeks ago the cdc said that the omicron variant of covid accounted for 0.4%. went from 0.4% of all covid to 3%. now from last week to this week omicron has gone from 3% of all the covid in the united states, from 3% to 73%. 0.4% two weeks ago, 3% last week, 73% this week. so bye-bye, delta? omicron is now leaping ahead, becoming the dominant strain in the united states of america in just a lightning flash. in terms of what the new omicron pandemic is going to be like compared to the delta pandemic compared to the original strain
pandemic before that? well, what we know about omicron is that it is massively contagious. it's massively transmissible. we know that, yes, vaccinations help when it comes to omicron. it helps prevent you from becoming infected, and it certainly helps you avoid serious illness, hospitalization, and death. vaccinations do help, even if you are already vaccinated, though, we know in the case of omicron you need a booster now. if you're not vaccinated yet, my god, now's the time. i mean, the big question here is we do not yet know exactly what this new variant and its massive transmissibility, the huge case numbers it's already generating, we don't know what that means for expected hospitalization numbers and death numbers. so far, for example, new york city, which is a place that's very highly vaccinated, they are seeing the largest daily case
numbers they have ever seen. more new infections per day in new york city right now than they have ever seen before. but that's the case numbers. hospitalization numbers don't look the same. the hospitalization numbers in new york city are not rising too as huge numbers of new infections are reported. now, this wave of omicron infections in new york city is sudden. hospitalizations always come a little bit after the new infections happen so it possible we've got a little lag time issue here and the hospitalizations will go up. it's also possible that an overwhelmingly vaccinated population can sustain because they do that good work against this type of variant? we'll see. as the new omicron variant overspreads the country -- and,
again, it appears to be way more contagious as we are poised to have a huge crush of new infections sweep the country, the problem, even as we don't know exactly how it's going to affect hospitalizations, we're about to get huge numbers of new infections, is that the hospitals in much of the country are already being crushed right now, even before massive new omicron infection numbers start hitting everywhere. rhode island emergency room doctors have just put out a statement saying that state's health system, quote, is currently collapsing. quote, no one who is practicing medicine alive in this country right now has ever experienced what we are going through right now." again, that's emergency room physicians in rhode island. national guard's been called out in large number in two additional states today, indiana and ohio getting hundreds of guardsmen and guards women to spell staff in hospitals. one rural hospital in new
hampshire told wbur in boston today that they have a list of 30 hospitals to which they refer their own patients who need care. 30 different hospitals in five different states. as of today, there is not a single bed available in any of those 30 hospitals in any of those five states. not a single place they can send their own patients. and that's in new england, which has some of the best vaccination rates in the country. even with a minority of people choosing not to get vaccinated, it that unvaccinated group of people stuffing the hospital and that is before this massively, massively new variant spikes case numbers all over the country. again, 70-plus percent of the covid in america now is already oak kron.
so those huge case numbers are coming, from a hugely transmissible new variant. that's coming. we're going to have a report from the front lines in just a few minutes. but i will just say before we do that, just as a personal plea from me, if you have been putting off being vaccinated for whatever reason, don't agonize about it, don't let anybody make you feel bad about that and get you defensive about it, just make a fresh decision now. take a fresh look at the issue now, looking at what's going on now. no matter why you have put it off in the past, no judgment, now is the time to actually go do it. because we really cannot afford you having to go to the hospital right now. if you're unvaccinated, you have a much higher chance of getting this newly transmissible variant we had never seen before before a couple of weeks ago. and it's the unvaccinated people who it's going to make sick, and we really just cannot afford for you to have to go to the hospital. looking around the country, depending where you live, there's a very good chance there's no room for you in the hospital if you need to go. and if you can somehow get a bed
because you got covid and you got sick from it because you weren't vaccinated, if you are able to get yourself into a bed, you're going to be filling a bed that somebody else really needs. even if you didn't feel like you could do it before, even if you've been holding off for whatever reason, look at it freshly now. now would be the time. even if it wasn't okay for you before, it's okay for you to do it now. honestly. your country needs you. and if you are vaccinated but you haven't been boosted yet and you're eligible for your booster, make your appointment for your booster. now's the time. and i know from anecdotal experience in the part of the country where i live, right now signing up for booster right now it's sometimes hard to find an appointment. the only reason i'm saying that is not so you will be discouraged from getting one, but if you know you need a booster, you should try to make
it now because you may need to make it in advance. time to do it. this is it. we'll have more on that talking with a frontline physician. there is also breaking news we're keeping an eye on tonight. the january 6th investigation has sent a request, not a subpoena but a voluntary request to a member of congress from whom they are now seeking testimony and documents about his involvement in the january 6th plot. it's republican congressman scott perry of pennsylvania who does appear to have been involved in the efforts to try to use the powers of the u.s. justice department to falsify the election results. the january 6th investigators wrote to congressman perry
tonight have politely saying that they don't take it lightly that they're requesting testimony from a serving member of congress but there is an implicit threat that would appear to be there if he does not choose to comply with their voluntary request, they could potentially serve him with a subpoena. we knew they were looking at some members of congress in terms of their alleged involvement in the plot. here is the first one who is actually getting targeted communications from the investigation asking him to come in. "the new york times" is reporting that the january 6th investigation is considering making criminal referrals for prosecution along a couple of different lines. this isn't just contempt of congress, people refusing subpoenas or whatever. this is crimes related to january 6th. quote, according to people briefed on their effort, investigators are looking into whether a range of crimes were committed, including two in particular, number one, whether there was wire fraud by republicans who raised millions of assertion that the election was stolen, despite knowing the claims were not true and, number two, the question of whether mr. trump and allies obstructed congress by stopping the certification of electoral votes. that's new reporting about the january 6th investigation turning toward potential referrals for criminal
prosecution. and we've sort of seen this coming, right? multiple trump world figures have already invoked or plan to invoke their fifth amendment rights. so, like i said, this is a train we could sort of see coming, but toot, toot, here it comes into the station. both of those stories breaking late tonight. we'll keep eyes on both of those over the course of the hour. but we're going to start tonight with live interviews with the top progressives in the house and the senate. congressman pramila jayapal heads it up in the house. vermont senator bernie sanders and jayapal join us. as they appear to have had their pro verbal tires slashed over the weekend by joe manchin. republicans are of course unified in their opposition to thele build back better bill.
that's the bill that includes most of president biden's economic agenda and almost everything he wants to do on the issue of climate. democrats need all 50 democratic senators to vote for that bill if it's going to pass this weekend after he strung everybody along for the better part of a year supposedly negotiating toward something he would vote yes on, something he had agreed he could support in principle. senator joe manchin went on fox news this weekend and said none of these negotiations have made any difference to him and he's a no no matter what. the white house put out an unusual blistering statement in response calling his reversal inexplicable, basically saying senator manchin had not acted in good faith, that he had not been honest. the progressive caucus made the same point in print and in a statement of them and congresswoman jayapal said he
spoke with senator manchin this morning but didn't mince words in describing her view of what he's done. she said, quote, that lack of integrity is stunning ", that lack of integrity is stunning in a town where people say the only thing you have is your word. politico.com is reporting that manchin and biden have spoken personally and that this isn't over, they're still talking, certainly something could still happen. bernie sanders is saying he wants a bill on the floor because senator manchin should have to stand at account for what he's doing. where does this stand now? where are there possibilities remaining, if any, and how will progressives in the senate and the u.s. house charting a path
toward getting at least some of this done? joining us live is vermont senator bernie sanders. it's a real pleasure to have you. thanks for making time to be here. >> my pleasure. >> let me start asking you the big picture, if this is done or do you believe there is any chance of passing what this bill contains either in a single bill or in pieces. >> i think nothing is done until it's done. and i think our job right now is to lay out to the people of west virginia what's at stake here, the people of america what's at stake here. west virginia is a beautiful state, it's a great state, but it's a state that economically is suffering in really bad ways, and the people of west virginia have got to understand that if we're going to lower the outrageous costs of prescription drugs, we've got to pass this legislation.
if we're going to have the kind of home health care that we need in west virginia, vermont, and america, we've got to pass this bill. if we're going to expand medicare, west virginia, vermont, our oldest states, a lot of people walk around with our teeth in their mouths, they need hearing aids, we have to pass this bill. everybody in america must understand the scientists are telling us we have very little time in order to transform our energy system if we're going to prevent future absolute disasters in terms of climate change. and that is in this legislation. so this is the enormously important bill, and the american people have got to stand up and demand that every member of the democratic caucus and it is pretty pathetic, i got to say, that there's not one republican who has the guts to stand up to the drug companies or the insurance companies or the fossil fuel industry, but at least all of us have got to work together. and the last point that i would make on this, rachel, is in the caucus, as everybody knows, there's a wide diversity of
opinion from progressive to pretty conservative. but what is troubling to me is that you have two senators who are not just prepared to fight for their ideas, but they have said, it's my way or the highway. if you don't do what i want, mr. president or members of the democratic caucus, i'm walking away from here and that is an arrogance i think is unacceptable. any member of the democratic caucus can do that. as you well know, i happen to believe the current health care system is dysfunctional. i believe in a medicare for all system. i could walk away and say if the medicare for all isn't in there, i'm walking away, but i won't do that. what bothers me is people like manchin turning their backs on the people of this country and basically saying if i don't get everything i want, i'm not going
forward. that is not acceptable to me. >> senator sanders, a lot of democratic senators and democratic members of the house have tried to negotiate with senator manchin in good faith, including talking with him away from the cameras, having private conversations, having multiple sort of tiered conversations with him to try to get him to yes, to try to pull him into the coalition. you and a lot of the grass roots activists we have talked to on the show have tried another approach, tried to push him from the outside with direct action, with editorials in his hometown paper, talking to west virginians and supporting their own activism around this sort of thing. neither of those two approaches appear to have worked on him and he's complained bitterly about the last one. strategically what do you think is left to try? >> look, i just think that we have got to bring this bill to the floor. i think, frankly, we look like
fools to the american people when month after month after month, quote, unquote, negotiations are ongoing. and finally you've got to either fish or cut bait. and i think we bring the floor to the floor. mr. manchin chooses to vote against it, and he will have to tell the people of west virginia and this country why he is supporting all of the powerful special interests in this country, the drug companies, the insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry, the very wealthy who do not want to pay anything more in federal taxes. he's got to explain that. but you go the to bring that bill to the floor. we cannot keep just talking and talking. we got to bring that bill to the floor. and by the way, rachel, it has to be a strong bill, a clear bill that makes it clear to the american people we are substantially reducing the cost
of prescription drugs, that we are expanding medicare, that we are building the affordable housing and home health care and child care that the american people want. we've got to do a better job of getting the word out as to what's in this bill and what it will mean among other things, the $300 per month for working parents, that's going to end if that bill is not passed despite reducing childhood poverty by at least 40%. >> what you're saying there echoed by the statement put out by the white house in response to senator manchin's pronouncement. we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position again and be true to his word. in the meantime, senator manchin will have to explain to those families, a thousand dollars a month for insulin, why they have to pay that instead of $35, why maybe he can explain to the millions of children that have been lifted out of poverty. maybe he can explain to those millions of children.
maybe he can explain to those millions of children. we cannot. covering this from the outside it has felt like sort of a chronicle of a death foretold. it has felt like senator manchin has been feeding the prospect that this would pass and he could get to yes just enough to keep the attention on himself, frankly, and i don't mean to speak der rogge torli of him in personal terms, but it's fit like he's just enjoyed all the attention, he's enjoyed being asked every day. it's as if he was enjoyed the attention and the tea leaf readings about his feelings. i don't know how you plan to get around that but i also don't know how putting him on the line will move his either. >> this is not only mr. manchin
and these policies that are so important to working families. it is about the democratic party trying to restore faith with the american people that they actually stand for something. what has been really painful about this whole process to my mind, rachel, it's not only the dragging on of the so-called negotiations. it is that the american people don't know where we are at. do we have the guts to take on the drug companies who are spending over $300 million in lobbying right now? is that the democratic party have the guts to take on the private insurance company who do not want us to expand medicare to cover dental, hearing, and eyeglasses? do we have the courage to do what the scientists are telling us has to be done and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel? the issue is not just mr. manchin. i mean it would be really, really, really sad and someone worked really hard on this if we were not successful.
but it would be even sadder if the american people said these people stand for nothing. not only can't they get anything done, they don't believe in anything. they don't have the guts to take on powerful special interests. i would prefer us to say we tried and we had all the republicans bought off by the big money interests and two democrats who couldn't stand with us. give us more democrats, and in the first week of a new congress, we will pass this. that's better to me than just to be negotiating forever and standing for nothing. >> vermont senator bernie sanders, the chairman of the senate budget committee. sir, thank you for your time tonight. it's been too long since you've been here with us. i really appreciate you making time tonight. >> thank you very much. let's bring in another conversation now one of the central players in an effort to craft this build back better deal, washington congresswoman chair of the caucus and led
progress issues in the negotiations with senator manchin. the senator called her by phone this morning and she took his call. official optimist of "the rachel maddow show." thank you for joining us on what is thought of as hard to be a professional optimist. >> it is really true. but i'm not giving up the role. but you know i always tell you the truth. and i think the truth needed to be told here, rachel, which was that senator manchin did make a commitment to the president on the framework that the president, you know, unveiled to us the day before he went to copp, and that framework would never have happened had the progressive caucus in the house not stood up and refuse to pass the infrastructure bill until we got that framework and got the legislative text. i do believe senator manchin has said many things.
he's a nice man, i've had good conversations with him, but i had to be clear. your word is everything around here. you can't enter into negotiations if you are not going to be an honest negotiator. and if you are not going to keep your word to the president of the united states. the president told me that senator manchin committed to that framework and if there were things that weren't matching that framework, then you wouldn't go on fox news the sunday before christmas and make a case that the build back better act is done and that it's reshaping the country in a way that is untruthful, frankly, but is reshaping in a way that's not beneficial for the american people. rachel, we are in the midst of covid. i think you're sitting in new york somewhere where omicron is hitting hard. and the build back better act is
about making sure we have elder care so when people are suffering from covid, they can be taken care of at home. it is about making sure we reduce the premiums for people to be able to get health care coverage in a country where i agree with senator sanders, we are the writers of the medicare for all bill. we should have a different system, but at least we should bring down the cost of being able to get health care for people. the build back better act is about making sure we pay $35 for insulin instead of hundreds and hundreds of dollars or driving across the canadian border. it is about making sure that we give people the ability to have child care in a time when we've had a she session. women have been pushed out of the economy and they're waiting. so these are real people. and the child tax credit, which is now not going to go out in january or february or probably march means that millions of americans are now going to be pushed back into poverty at a time when the virus is back on the surge.
so, yes, it is a tremendous frustration because we all thought we were negotiating in good faith. and the optimist and chief of "the rachel maddow show" says that the things that we are working on are hard. they are. if they were done -- if they were easy, they would be done. they're not. they're hard, and we can't given up, and we won't give up, and that's why we will pursue a two-track strategy now to both push for the build back better legislation to pass the senate and we are also calling on the president to take some significant executive actions that will make people's lives better today, and it will also put pressure on continuing get legislation through instead of doing it through executive actions. so we'll have a two-track process here. we're not giving up, but it's a hard day, i'll be honest. >> what is it that you think the president could do by executive action, what pieces of this and
what goals do you think he could get to by executive action before any legislation could pass? >> well, you know, we'd love to see -- we're looking into all of that. we're going through -- we just had an executive board meeting, and there are certainly some things he could do around health care. i think we should look at what we can do on insulin, on epi peps pens and making sure people can get the medications they need and not care in to big pharma that are gleeful and supporting senator manchin as he does what he does. that's one area. but i also think we want the president to look at things that are going to reduce costs for americans. at a minimum he should continue the moratorium on student debt because people can't afford to pay that right now. but we also want him to look at canceling student debt, at least $50,000 in student debt so people who are struggling right now with the surge of omicron
can continue to lower their costs. that's what build back better would have done. it would have lowered costs. if we're not passing build back better, we have to look at other ways to lower costs. and, finally, rachel, i think the president has to consider taking serious action on fossil fuels and climate because if we're not passing build back better any time soon, we still the world is looking to us for our leadership on climate and we need to be taking that action. all of that said, rachel, i don't want anyone to think that we are giving up on passing build back better. we have to continue to push that forward, and we have to make sure that we're getting kind of assistance to people that we promised and that will be transformational. >> washington congresswoman jayapal, a person who has never
had a nonconstructive word to say about an intransigent problem. that is a testament to your overall approach as a public servant, congresswoman jayapal, is part of the reason why i like talking with you about this stuff. you're always talking about the way ahead. it's a really, really tough time. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. i appreciate that so much. >> we have much more ahead tonight. do stay with us. do stay with us.
the k.i.n.d. fund to deliver desks to girls in malawi . the state with the most covid cases per capita right now is -- any guesses? rhode island. over the last two weeks, cases are up 53% in rhode island and hospitalizations are up 61% in rhode island. you can see how steep those slopes are on the right side of each of these graphs. new cases on the left-hand side in the red and hospitalizations on the right. emergency room doctors in rhode island are warning their state's health care system is, quote, currently collapsing. the rhode island chapter of the american college of emergency physicians says, quote, any added strain right now will lead to collapse of the state health care system. we, a collective group of emergency physicians, are terrified for the future of health care in this state. quote, imagine patients dying while waiting to be seen by a doctor who is only 50 feet away. because of lack of staff and
capacity, the doctor's unable to treat them. this is a true tragedy. and while the numbers are worst in rhode island, it's not just happening there. hospital ceos and business ceos in minnesota, indiana, ohio, have been sounding alarm bells about hospitals failing now in those states mostly because of unvaccinated people contracting covid and flooding the hospitals. leaders of six hospitals in the cleveland area sunday signed on to a one-page ahead saying "help, we now have more covid patients in the hospital than of before and the overwhelming number are unvaccinated. we need you to care as much as we do." they're begging the population in ohio to please get vaccinated.
you will please stay out of the hospital because the hospital cannot get you. ohio and indiana in particular are getting big national guard deployments right now. 13 are getting help with their latest patient surge. in the ohio, they've started statewide. hospitalizations are just about matching their previous records. but in all three of those states, minnesota, indiana, ohio, as far as we know, the delta variant of covid is still the dominant strain. they don't seem to have had a big new omicron-driven surge there yet. if you want to look down the tunnel at what might be coming for states in that part of the country, have a look at new york. for the past few days, new york has each day broken its record for daily new covid cases. cases are rising beyond sharply in new york city. the surge shows no signs of letting up any time soon. look at the very right side of your screen is the most recent days. you see how that number is
spiking, and that's new daily infections. thus far, though, hospitalizations in new york city have not followed along. on the right side there that is daily average hospitalizations in new york. and you see how hospitalizations basically followed along with case numbers in the earlier peaks. that isn't happening yet in terms of this omicron-driven surge of new cases in new york. i mean, we're not sure if that trend will hold steady. the new york city health commissioner just told my colleague chris hayes here on msnbc he expects the hospitalization rate in new york city to rise eventually. they're preparing for that possibility. we will see. what we do know is omicron now accounts for 92% of the covid cases in new york and new jersey, based on cdc data from the past week. last week the cdc reported delta was still the dominant strain in both states. now the cdc says omicron accounts for more than 73% of new covid cases nationwide.
last week that figure was 3%. this week it's 73%. so omicron is spreading like wildfire. we don't yet know what this means for hospitalizations, but already in many parts of the country, there is no room in hospitals for anyone else, and, in fact, the people who work in those hospitals are begging for relief. how do these two trends come together? we have a front line report on that coming up. hold that thought. stay with us. g up hold that thought. stay with us
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right now in indiana, the sort of head snapping, cognitive dissonance is very real. hospitals are on their knees right now in indiana, grappling with a flood of mostly unvaccinated covid-19 patients. simultaneously, the republican-dominated state legislature has decided now is the right time to advance legislation to prevent employers
from requiring their employees to get vaccinated. the mismatch between that reality and that proposal inspired one front line icu doctor in indiana to go to the state capitol to played with lawmakers to please not do this. watch this. watch what he said. >> our hospitals are bursting. prior to the pandemic, the state of indiana had 1,400 maximum icu beds. we surged up when the virus was coming in order to deal with what we were going to be facing. today there are 1,884 people in icu beds in indiana, almost 40% above our usual maximum on christmas eve, if this continues, we will have more covid-19 patients in icu beds or in hospital beds in the state of indiana than at any point in this pandemic. we are tired. we have been able to scale up icu beds and ventilators, but we have not been able to scale up
people. there are no more of me. there are no more nurses. today we opened an icu that's been shuttered for a decade in order to care for nine more icu patients at the hospital for which i work. it means i won't be home for christmas, which is fine. i can deal with that. this is what i signed up for. what i didn't sign up for is seeing people die needlessly. how do i know that people are dying needlessly? because vaccines work. how do i know that vaccines work? i'll tell you how i know vaccines work. this weekend i rounded in the icu. this is an icu that normally holds 22 patients. we had 35. we can handle that. of those 35 patients, 15 of them had covid-19. one of those people were vaccinated with a single vaccination back in february. none of them were fully vaccinated. i can count on one hand of the hundreds of covid-19 patients i've cared for in icus the numbers that have been vaccinated. so why should you get vaccinated?
you should get vaccinated because you all know people who despite their efforts at vaccinating, protecting themselves, cannot be protected. they are people who have had transplants. they are people who have auto immune diseases. people like my wife who has cancer. these people can take the vaccine, but their immune system may not protect them. what do they need? they need the rest of us to step up and protect them as well. i'm tired. and if i seem frustrated, i am because we've been doing this for almost two years, and we can't do it much longer. i just want this to end. i submitted to the committee a letter from -- that has been signed by over 460 hoosier physicians because we almost unanimously reject the language in this bill regarding vaccines. why? because the message this bill sends is that vaccines are not important.
vaccines are important. they're the only way to end this. >> joining us now is dr. gabriel bosslet. he specializes in pulmonology and critical care medicine at indiana's hospital system. dr. bosslet, thank you so much for taking time to talk about this tonight. i know public advocacy as a doctor is not necessarily what you signed up for in this role. i appreciate you talking about this to us tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> let me ask you since your testimony if the prospects for that legislation have pivoted at all, have changed at all, if you have any feedback at all about that very strong statement that you gave them? >> i've gotten a lot the feedback. i don't know that it's going to have much of an effect on the indiana statehouse. it a republican supermajority. they seem pretty set on sending
this piece of legislation to the senate. i don't know whether it will do well or not or whether it will become law, but the fact that it's even being debated is frustrating. >> when you talked about your level of exhaustion and the fact that there's no way to scale up the humans who make our health systems work, that you can't make more of you, you can't make more nurses. you also talked about how many people involved in the health system, particularly nurses, have burned out, have washed out of the profession because it's been too hard for these two years, given that, i have to ask you what your mind-set is and what you're thinking about the omicron variant. and it does seem to be subplanting delta around the
country and much more aggressively contagious, more transmissible and in unvaccinated people it seems like it will translate to hospitalizations. >> i'll be honest. we've been through so many roller coasters of emotions during this thing. if i think back to last march or april when the original strain was bearing down on us, everyone left the hospital and we started with really low rates of people in the hospital. so if i'm honest, i'm more scared now than i was even when we had no idea what was going to happen when the original virus was coming because we are starting now with hospitalization rates that are literally higher than they've ever been in the state of indiana. we've never had 14,000 patients in hospital beds in the state. we normally range around 10,000. and that's where we are today. so if omicron comes through and even if it's less severe than the delta strain, just the sheer numbers of people that it sounds like are going to be infected could very, very easily
overwhelm us very, very quickly because we have no slack in the system. >> what -- i don't -- i apologize in advance for sort of asking you to go to a dark place, but when you say we could be overwhelmed, overrun, what do you mean? what does that mean in practical terms? >> i don't know. rachel, i don't know what that would look like. i mean, you know, i -- i -- it makes my heart race to think about what that could look like. it could look like people dying because we don't have enough places to put them and them just suffocating alone. it means, you know, putting people -- caring for inpatients in ambulance bays, which is happening in one of the hospitals here, in conference rooms, which is what's happening here.
people don't seem to understand what's going on in hospitals in states like indiana. and it is absolutely dire. so i don't really want to think about what the worst-case scenario is because honestly if we come to that, it will haunt my dreams for years. >> if you could wave a magic wand and have the indiana state legislature open its heart, open its mind, think about these things differently, move forward with an understanding of the dire circumstances that you're talking about and the grave threat that's just around the corner, if you could get the state government to do all the right things right now, what would they do? >> i mean, the real list in me wants them to just do nothing.
right? from my perspective, if they just did nothing, then any businesses that wanted to have a mandate and enforce it the way that the business wanted to could have that. that's not what they're doing. they're trying to force businesses -- they're basically mike crow managing mandates for businesses, which is insane. so the realist in me would want them to do nothing. the idealist in me would want them to say, look, we're going to support the mandates on places of business, and we're going to support mandates on even smaller places of businesses than the federal mandate. right? the idealist in me would hope that they would understand how important this is, that literally the policies that they put forth will save lives, literally. and not only that but will save the economy because we don't come really racing back until the pandemic is over.
right? look, i'm not going to restaurants now. i'm not going to restaurants until this peak is gone regardless of whether they're open. so, you know, i just want them to listen to public health officials and not make public health decisions based upon, i don't even know, i guess political aspirations. i don't know what it is. >> dr. gabriel bosslet is a pulmonologist and critical care physician at indiana years university hospital system. sir, thank you for talking to us about this tonight and come back in comes days. ht and come back in comes days.
intelligence agencies russia appears poised to invade ukraine again like they did in 2014. now today the u.s. government appears to be taking the threat more seriously, enough that the state department updated its travel advisory for u.s. citizens and is explicitly warning american citizens, do not travel to ukraine, quote, due to increased threats from russia. so that threat of russia potentially invading ukraine looms in the background. there is also something bizarre to know about going on between the u.s. and russia that involves a member of congress. i don't know if this has received a lot of attention widely, but it's sort of worth watching from here on out. earlier this month a democratic congressman from arizona led a congressional trip to ukraine. congressman gallego, who is a
u.s. marine, said the u.s. should provide ukraine better weapons so ukrainians can better defend themselves against russian troops. turns out not everybody in russia appreciated the comments from the congressman including one member of the russian sort of pretend parliament who went on state sponsored russian tv last week to declare as punishment for those comments about ukraine congressman ruben gallego should be, a, placed under surveillance and, b, kidnapped. he should be kidnapped. i think it's fair to say congressman gallego was less than fazed by that threat from the russian parliamentarian and tweeted in response, eff around and find out, with an american flag emoji. it is sort of hard to know if that was the sort of thing designed to have a nice, domestic shelf life on russian state tv or if this is an actual thing to worry about from the guy in the russian parliament but since that initial weird threat of violence from that russian politician toward a sitting u.s. congressman things have escalated for the worse. that same russian politician has gone back on russian tv to say congressman gallego deserves to be convicted in a russian court of what crime i don't know.
he says once that verdict is handed down, congressman gallego's sentence should be carried out by the same guy who, quote, ice axed trotsky to death. so he should be ax murdered. again, maybe this is just domestic audience nonsense from russian politicians, but at a certain point no matter what the point of all of this is for them it sort of has to be taken seriously, right? these are repeated violent threats against a sitting member of congress from a country that is poised to invade one of our allies. watch this space. all right.
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that is going to do it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow when the days start getting longer and the nights start getting shorter, right? we're here. "way too early" is up next. new information this morning on just how talks broke down between the white house and senator joe manchin over the build back better plan, amid new reporting on manchin's prior counteroffer to the president, the question is that the president's best chance of striking a deal. plus, the omicron variant, now the most dominant in the nation. as the u.s. suffers its first death from the strain, the question is what's being done to make sure hospitals are ready. and
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