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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  January 24, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PST

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bleak picture about how americans feel about the current state of the country. what it means for the president and his party coming up. and the u.s. urges americans to consider leaving ukraine now. and as the pentagon weighs sending military assets to the region in fears a russian invasion could be imminent. and we're keeping our eyes on wall street right now where the dow has plummeted more than a thousand points today since wall street is on track for its worth month since 2020 when the pandemic began. welcome to "meet the press daily." i'm garrett haake in for chuck todd. the sheer volume of issues facing president biden right now keeps growing and growing. it fierce putin could advance on ukraine any moment, the stock
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market has taken a shop turn south, falling at one point more than a thousand points and voters have signalled they've grown exhausted with the current state of affairs and that they're losing faith in joe biden's able to do his job. it's a bleak political environment facing democrats. look at these new poll numbers. nearly three out of every four adults say the country is headed in the wrong direction. those are canary in the coal mine numbers. a sizable majority of adults say their family is falling behind in the rising cost of living and the americans believe the american democracy is under threat. of course the two political parties wide live disagree on the source of that threat. and 7 of 10 americans say america has become so deeply polarized that our government can no longer solve big problems and those divisions are growing. the mood in america does not
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bode well for the president politically as frustrations grow in their party about their stalled agenda in congress on social policies and voting rights. kyrsten sinema was censured for her refusal to back changes to the filibuster. >> it was absolutely imperative that we change the rules to pass strong vote being rights legislation. all republicans voted against us, two democrats voted against us. that was a terrible, terrible vote, and i think what the arizona democratic matter did was exactly right. >> joining me now from the white house is nbc's mike memoli and ali witt alley and also is vaughn hillyard. with mike, we have 72% of americans saying we're headed in the wrong direction in that nbc poll. americans are clearly exhausted
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with everything. how does the white house see the current moment and how do they make sure this is rock bottom? >> yeah, garrett. the official stated position of the white house in explaining all of those really brutal poll numbers that you just ran through is that as the president himself spoke to at his news conference last week, covid really is something of a wet blanket over which the country is generally putting all their frustrations through at the moment. so part of what the white house's effort to get around that is to first get its house in order on covid. you see the white house continuing to try to press on all levers to do what they can to show that they're in command of this omicron surge and you've heard increasingly discussion about improving the messaging coming out, especially of the cdc, which has been part of that problem. and then also by extension, as you see the bad numbers coming from the dow jones as well on the screen is the economy and the concerns about inflation, which the white house largely at this point still ascribes to a sort of ripple effect of covid
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itself. there's broad agreement in the white house about what the strategy needs to be in order to sort of get back on their front foot here, the reboot, whatever you want to call it, and that involves having the president speak much more directly to the american people. as we've been reporting about some of the grumbling even within the white house about the fact that, yes, they agree on the general principle but not necessarily how to do it, there's concern that as we see the president tonight going to be convening a meeting of his competition council to talk about some of the things they've done to counteract inflation, there's too much of the biden administration and the president himself explaining the problem and show the government is working rather than show empathy, which is the president's great strength, showing he understands americans' concerns, as biden has said quoting his father, i don't necessarily need the father to solve all my problems, i need the government to understand them. that's another troubling subtext of the poll numbers.
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biden is no longer that political empathy figure that so many voters thought they were getting at this point. it should also be said, garrett, the other big story which threatens any attempt to get biden out of washington, the situation in ukraine. the white house wants to implement a new strategy here but external events, as often is the case, are weighing on their ability to do so. >> competition council meeting seems very outside washington. when do we expect to see the president out of the country? >> i think look at the state of the union address coming up in march. that's going to be sort of a natural big pivot point and for the president to able to speak directly to the american people in a big primetime setting and hit the road to try to sell the new message going forward. a lot of democrats want to see the white house get those numbers up quickly sooner rather
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than later. >> ali vitale, 70% of the country believes the country has become so polarized, have we been given any reason to feel different in. >> i don't want to pile on but, no, congress isn't giving us anything to feel durch. politics is what have you done for mere and what have you done for me lately. in terms of what have you done for me, democrats have plenty to point to from the american rescue plan and child tax credit and bipartisan infrastructure bill, the roads, tunnels, bridges, the traditional piece of infrastructure that passed last year. in terms of lately, the issues
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are the economy, the coronavirus but for democrats it's also voting rights, something that democrats were unable to move forward on last week and don't seem like they're going to be able to move forward on in the coming weeks and months, at least not in any kind of substantive way, the way that they wanted to do it last week. we may end up seeing and bipartisan groups of lawmakers are meeting today, for example, to talk about really targeted changes that work in the voting rights veins, ways to protect voting officials from being harassed. those are targeted and democrats you and i talk to here all the time say that is not a substitute for the larger push. the same for build back better. that's one thing democrats hope to run on in a substantive way in 2022 and now it doesn't look as though they're going to be able to do that, at least not in the sweeping way they had hoped. so it's going to be a question of can you do something for me lately here, can you get progress in the halls of congress and also can you market
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what you've already done and most democrats would agree they have not done a great job of that. at least not yet. >> ali, is the acronym of the week we're about to learn in washington, useca, the competition bill that passed in the senate last week. could that be where we see some action up next? >> potentially. that will put money into funding innovation and technology, again sort of speaking to the larger economy bucket that is important to voters we've also, though, seen the new democratic caucus, for example, try to say that there should be a focus on fixing supply chain issues, speaking to the issues hitting americans' wallets and probably informing this many in this poll as to why they think things are on the right track and why we're seeing the priorities of the coronavirus and economy so hand in hand. those were the twin crises when i was covering the biden campaign and transition along
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with you and mike and the rest of our panel here. the fact that a year in his presidency they remain the twin crises facing the country does give a sense of why americans are so exhausted and why we're seeing it in that poll. the real thing is for democrats to be able to show solutions opinion why they've given some, it hasn't been a full sell with the public. >> to that end we go to steve at the big board. i as you like it when we can give you new tools for the data. we see democrats very much in shellacking territory, a technical term we've developed here. what do you make of these numbers and how they fit into the national political environment? the fact that the control of congress meter is still down the middle is fascinating to me given how negative the other members are for the president and his party. >> yeah, it is. that number you just had up here, i'll put it here, this is the generic ballot number, asking in the mid-term elections would you rather have the democrats end up in control of
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congress and the democrats in our poll here are up by a point on the question here. what makes this concerning still for democrats, though, is the context. let's take a look back at the last mid-term election cycle. this was 2018. donald trump was president. remember there was a republican congress. the generic ballot in the run-up to the 2018 mid terms looked like this and this translated into a big mid term for democrats. they gained 40 seats, they took over the house, they were up by six points in the generic ballot at this point in the last mid term cycle and now it's basically an even generic ballot. the context on that number of 47-46, this is a much better environment for republican than this was the last mid term cycle. and there's the question of interest, of enthusiasm, how many voters are plugged into the mid terms, how many are excited for them, how many of them are looking forward to the november elections? overall we asked folks to rate
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their interest in the mid-term elections and those who rate their interest in the highest level, 51% of all voters go to the very high level of interest in the mid-term election but here's the gap. among republicans more than 60% rate their interest level at the highest level. among democrats it just under 50%. it's 47%. again, we can compare this, garrett, to the same point in the last mid-term election cycle. this is what it looked like then. back then it was 60% of democratic voters who had the highest level of enthusiasm, it was a lower number of republican voters. so again, the generic ballot is tighter now. if you go back 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, these are all mid-term elections where there was an enthusiasm gap like this in the polls and in all of those previous mid terms i just mentioned, it translated into
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success for the party that benefited from that enthusiasm gap. >> and as democratic voters are deflated, democratic politicians are divided, which is where we go to von hilliard, who is covering the censure now of kyrsten sinema by the democratic party. what went into that decision? should we be surprised the state party took this step? >> well, i think what mike and ali and steve just laid out here is why the arizona democratic party at their committee meeting here with several hundred activists on saturday tried to focus on 2022 because they do have a democratic senator, mark kelly, who did vote to carve out that exemption in the filibuster for the major pieces of voting reforms. that's why they hope to prove in 2022 a democrat can win in arizona by voting for these key pieces of democratic priorities. that is where you saw 2024 come
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to light, in the frustration with senator sinema. all of this was years in the making to get to this point, to ultimately vote to censure her at the state party level on saturday because you have to take into account what senator sinema has said from not only the senate floor but also her spokeswoman just over here this weekend laying out that sinema had always promised to represent no specific party when she made her way to congress. at the same time, yes, that is such a large part of how she was elected in 2018 to the u.s. senate, but the frustration at the level of democrats, especially these activists here in arizona is that they were on the front lines for 12-plus years there for kyrsten sinema when she was a state legislator, through those years and jan brewer years, they were out there knocking doors for her each and every two years for her runs for congress but then also in 2018. what has since happened over the last three years is a significant departure. she did not endorse the democratic gubernatorial
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candidate against republican governor doug doocy in 2018 and she has been largely absent from party functions here at a time at which the party contends it is so crucial to have her vets, they say she let them down. look at this legislative session here coming up. already multiple republican legislative initiative have been put forward, including ending mail-in voting at the local level here. those are initiatives that democrats in the state say it was imperative that sinema side with them and carve out that exemption last week, which she neglected do so. >> mike memoli, the president is also the leader of the democratic party. does the white house, the president, take a position on the internal feuding you see in florida that me lead to a democratic senator getting a primary challenge this year? >> i think you're going to see the white house as darn well
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best to keep itself as removed from the process as possible. up hear senator bernie sanders openly discussing primary challenges well. this was a president who was a candidate who tried to showcase the breadth and diversity of the democratic coalition, to try to campaign in red states for democratic senators to show that the party was not perhaps as progressive as people on twitter and on cable wanted to believe. it puts them in a very difficult position because the president himself wants to keep the party unified and at this point senator sinema is in fact something of outlier, senator manchin a more understandable outlier given the politics of his state. they understand for manchin there's a little more question about why senator sinema is taking the position she is but they're certainly going to stay out of the politics for now. >> i only have about 20 seconds left and rubin guy ago owe is
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the name we hear floating back and forth challenging kyrsten sinema. where is your meter today? >> mark kelly ran in 2020 but ultimately declined because of the support of kelly. the reason guy agoio's name is being put forward, he doesn't fit the role of the white moderate essentially to replace kyrsten sinema, but somebody at the democratic level could go up there and make those crucial votes. i think it's quite likely we'll see a challenge to kyrsten sinema. >> thank you all. coming up next, the white house weighing military options to counter vladimir putin as americans in ukraine are told to consider leaving now and warn that if they don't, the u.s. may not be able to get them out
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welcome back. as we mentioned at the top of the show, the u.s. and our nato allies are now proceeding as if it's not a question of if the u.s. invades ukraine but a question of when. defense secretary lloyd austin briefed the president over the weekend on the potential deployment of military personnel to eastern europe. nato already announced today it was sending ships and fighter jets to the region. the state department has also ordered the families of all embassy employees and some embassy employees themselves to leave the country. intelligence released by british officials suggests that putin is plotting to overthrow the
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ukrainian government. courtney, what type of military involvement is actually on the table for the united states right now? >> reporter: so right now there's sort of two bucks of what the administration is considering. one is what they would have to do after, if russia invades, what the u.s. military would potentially send into the region or move around within the region. and that is largely a factor of the u.s. having a commitment to nato, to article 5 commitment to nato. so they would shore up some of the neighbors, some. people around ukraine. but what's significant here, garrett, is over the weekend at this briefing, at camp david, secretary austin and chairman of the joint chiefs, general mark milley, they presented options for what the u.s. military could do in advance of russia actually invading ukraine, and that again is not only is it an attempt at
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deterring putin from deciding to invade ukraine but it's a measure to reassure the defenses of some of the nato neighbors right around that area. what we're talking here is potentially several thousand ground troops that might move into those neighboring countries there's also a potential for some equipment, we may see bomber flights playing other the neighbors, a task force flying over some of those neighboring countries is a measure of deterrence against russia. but we may also see ship visits. it's worth pointing out there's this joint u.s.-nato exercise where we're seal them actually training to do some of these things together. that's the kind of thing that russia could look at as a potential provocative measure as all the tensions in the area are just so high right now, garrett. >> any idea of a timeline on the exercises for when we might see
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some of these other movements? >> the military and defense officials i'm speaking with are keeping that very quiet. one official i spoke with over the weekend said we could see movement of some of these forces in a matter of days. what they are really watching for, though, is what happens with russia's buildup along the border. vladimir putin is continuing to send more and more troops to the border. it's not that he's sending in new capabilities but there is no sign at this point that he is pulling back the presence or de-escalating the situation in any way. as that continues, we are more and more likely to see the u.s. military moves start in literally a matter of days, garrett. >> more russians going the wrong direction. matt, you're in kiev. what's the sense like there? is it that invasion is inevitable? >> no. a lot of people believe this vladimir putin is bluffing and he won't end up invading.
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a lot of this many think that both russia and the u.s. are simply, for lack of a better term, being dramatic, they're the ones escalating the rhetoric. here in the ukrainian capitol, you can't hear the sabres rattling. all the stores are opening, everybody is around. the only thing is the leftovers of pandemic. everything else is free and normal. nobody is packing their car and heading west. what is the official message from the government of ukraine -- be prepared but don't panic. they're trying to tell people not to do anything rash, and if they are invaded, the government's message is we will all stand together. this is a country that has been at some level of war at least in the eastern part of the country for the last eight years. so for many people here, this threat isn't new and the war isn't new either. so the threat of war isn't so immediate here.
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and there's another reason. ukrainians have been mostly left out of a lot of the diplomacy negotiations leading up to this. they don't field as though they have a purchase on the fate of their own country, and that's a real problem. the people in this country are really tired of being sort of pushed around by larger states like russia or the united states or nato powers. you know, they feel as though moscow as regularly used them as a cudgel to beat the west and they're tired of that. this is the country that stands to lose the most obviously in this war, but they really don't feel as though they're involved at all. garrett. >> that is fascinating. and the element of calm there in the capitol is really interesting to me. on this issue of talks that mayor or may not involve the ukrainians themselves, can you tell us anything about this meeting that anthony blinken had with the eu this morning?
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were the ukrainians involved in that at all? >> we haven't heard that. the ukrainians have been involved in some meetings. the big ones coming up are going to be in paris towards the middle of the week and they definitely are going to be involved in that and the french will be involved, the ukrainians, the russians. and i'm pretty sure the united states won't be involved. there were a couple of meetings a couple of weeks ago where there were, you know, in geneva and ukraine was only involved in one out of the three. and those were the pivotal negotiations that were leading up to this. so really the ukrainians don't feel as though they've been so involved and, you know, european union negotiations aren't going to involve them. that's not something they would expect to be part of. >> and, courtney, as if this weren't all complicated enough, you've been reporting that the u.s. is still working with russia on a nuclear deal involving iran. how do those talks factor into what's happening in eastern
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europe where matt is? >> it's so fascinating because all we keep hearing is the u.s. talking about russia's need to de-escalate and everything and how they really -- the u.s. and russia are really pitted against one another. when it comes to the situation in ukraine but then move over a little bit to these talks in vienna and russia and the united states are working on the same tied in some respect with respect to iran. in this case, we reported last week that russia presented iran with a potential interim agreement, a nuclear agreement, the hope was they'd be able to get everyone back to the table and this was something that the u.s. was aware of. they knew that this was happening but it was actually russia that was doing the negotiating that was speaking to the iranians here. iran rejected the agreement, there's still no potential nuclear agreement between the sides at this point, but it's a fascinating dynamic when we see
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what's going on with ukraine. and that is, again, the united states and russia are really squaring off when it comes to the situation in ukraine and they may actually be working together for a nuclear agreement with iran. it's a fascinating dynamic right now, garrett. >> it really is. thank you both. while we've been on the air, our nbc capitol hill team has confirmed speaker pelosi is asking the white house for a bipartisan briefing for all members on this issue. >> up next, what will happen militarily? militarily town, your sales rep lisa has to send some files, like asap! so basically i can pick the right plan for each employee. yeah i should've just led with that.
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look, it is certainly possible that the diplomacy that russia's engaged in is simply going through the motions and it won't affect their ultimate decision about whether to invade or in some other way intervene or not in ukraine, but we have a responsibility to see the diplomacy through for as far and as long we can go because it's the more responsible way to bring this to closure. >> welcome back. you heard secretary of state tony blinken and european allies are trying to solve the problem diplomatically and prepare in case. joining me, form are national
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security director for russia and ukraine. andrew, thanks for coming on. i think you heard courtney's reporting there about the u.s. military potentially reporting to move assets into nato allies around the region. i'm curious what you make of that move and what role you think the u.s. military should play, if any, in this crisis right now. >> well, first of all, it's great to be here. president biden was clear that the u.s. military does not have a direct role on the ground in ukraine. and he clarified that pretty early in this crisis as it was appropriate. what we're seeing now is something different, which are steps to reassure and reinforce nato allies that border ukraine and that are in this conflict region. so particularly countries like poland and the baltics. so we will probably be seeing in the coming days, as your correspondent was just reporting, various moves by different nato countries, including the united states, to put increased forces in the region. all of this point out that for what we claim is such a big
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strategic johnson, putin is creating the circumstances he claims he's most worried about. if he were clearly interested in a normal, stable relationship with the west, he wouldn't be moving his troops in a way that western countries find so threat renning. >> how much is moving the troops sending a message to ukraine or poland, latvia, you know, we got our nato allies' backs and ukraine is a different kettle of fish. >> the president said that in his address directly and drew a distinction. clearly the united states wants to be as supportive of ukraine, provide military equipment and back up the ukrainians diplomatically. but when it comes to military support, president biden said we have a solemn duty to defend
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them. the problem with this whole construct is the united states is operating basically on the back foot. it's putin's initiatives that we're responding to. we'll see if the threat of military presence in the reej oonl changes that dynamic. i'm not so sure. >> i'm glad you brought up that it's putin's initiatives driving this crisis. i've heard some voices from the right and fellow democrats say the u.s. needs to take more initiative here to take action to put putin on his back foot as this crisis develops. >> let's not forget there was a u.s. president not too long ago, who saw it his job to give putin presence. we're starting where the united states now is led by a different person and that person is saying
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our alliances are pairment and -- paramount and we need to show resolve. it's also clear regarding ukraine russia has most of the high cards and the united states has to be careful not to do things that hasten conflict or make it more likely. that means do things to reinforce the countries in the neighborhood and pursue of diplomatic avenue. the diplomatic avenue calling out for possible u.s. and european role is something involving putin himself. putin is the decider, as everyone says, but no one is really talking to putin. >> you just leave me the follow up there. how do you engage with putin? if president biden is picking up the phone and setting up a summit, is that not giving hip
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him exactly what he wants? you're teasing a possible solution here. where would you take it? >> the president at his press conference alluded to the possibility and secretary blinken made similar comments. is such a conversation productive and are the russians in a serious diplomatic conversation ors is many of us suspect, they are deliberately setting up a process that's going to fail and they'll use that as their justification for military action. the administration i think is caught in this awkward dilemma, which is you want to expend all your energies as skillfully as possible without looking overly credulous will what putin's expectations are. >> thank you very much. i suspect we'll be talking to you again. >> still ahead, new cautious optimism from dr. fauci as cases drop in places hard hit by the
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welcome back. we start this week with the pandemic moving in the right direction. at least that's what dr. fauci said both yesterday and again this morning with my colleague stephanie ruhle. the cautious optimism comes as cases drop sharply in places hit early on, new york, new jersey, washington, d.c., all seeing about a third as many cases as they did two weeks ago. but even as cases drop nationwide, daily deaths are increasing and hospitalizations remain far too high. our latest nbc news poll shows a substantial decline in trust in public health officials since the start of the pandemic. only about 40% of american adults say they trust what dr. fauci says about covid-19. that's a 20-point drop.
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public trust in the cdc has also dropped dramatically. americans are more likely to trust people they know directly like their employer or their children's schools. joining me is dr. amesh adalja. i want to start with something dr. fauci said this morning in an attempt to clarify the cdc's comments about this messaging about what it means to be fully vaccinated. >> it's this issue of what fully vaccinated means versus when you're optimally protected. that's what i believe the director of the cdc was saying that when you get to that point, you need to be up to date so the boost is necessary. it's not necessary one month after the original vaccination, but as you get out to five months, the protection wanes. that's what you mean by keeping
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up to date to be optimally vaccinated and optimally protected. that's i believe what she meant. >> i'm kind of lost here on the messaging. so it's possible to be fully vaccinated but not optimally protected. is this the question of how many antibodies are dancing on the head of a pin or does it matter how we talk about this? what are they trying to say? >> what they're trying to say is our vaccines work extremely well, but over time they may wane. think don't wane in everybody. this is the problem with the booster discussion is that the government was searching for a one size fits all type of formula for boosters and that's not really the case. if you're somebody that's above the age of 65, has a high-risk condition and it's been six months since your second dose of the mnra vaccines, you're not optimally protected. i think that's what we're trying to talk about. there are certain people that
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need to be boosted in order to protect them from getting severe consequences of the disease. i differ from a lot of the administration when it comes to where boosters are needed. i think there's not strong evidence that healthy people without any other conditions need to be boosted with these first generation vaccines. i think communication problems have made it confusing for the general public. >> that's really interesting. how much do you think this erosion of trust we've seen in the cdc and our health infrastructure in this country is based on confusing messaging and how much do you think is based on for lack of a better way of saying it, our lack of science literacy in the general public? i understand science changes and studys change. >> many people in government think the general can't handle
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the fact that the context changes, the knowledge is going to expand. things that were sort of true may not be necessarily true once we get more data and because of that they try to stick with very simple messages which can be overcome by events and that sews mistrust and the general public isn't attuned to that with a virus that is only a couple years old that we're learning about every kay. we need to be clear this is what we know today, this may change over time and we're going to update you. these are the questions we have. often you don't get that nuanced discussion. maybe that's because the public hearings are from the white house and not from the cdc director where that nuance can be expressed. i think we need to hear more from the bench scientists at the cdc, just like we did during the 2009 h1 pandemic, hike we did
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with ebola and the cdc, which is a critical resource. >> it's interesting to think the role of a cdc director is arguably more important they be able to community than some kind of great doctor. the world health organization said the world is at a critical juncture, variants can still emerge but said that the acute phase of the pandemic could be over by the end of the year globally. do you agree with that on the global front and in the u.s. have we passed the acute phase of the omicron variant? have we seen that peak? >> when it comes to the acute phase of the pandemic that's marked by a lack of tools. that can largely be solved by vaccinating people because we know it's protective against serious illness, hospitalization and death. couple that with monoclonal
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antibodies and it becomes tamer and treated like other respiratory viruses. we have the tools. omicron does appear to be peaking in parts of the northeast like new york, philadelphia, i'm talking to you from pittsburgh right now. it is starting to peak here, the cases are going down. it going to take time for hospitalizations and deaths to stop. we're getting to the point where omicron went through its week-long cycle in the united states and it starting to show signs of ebbing. it's going to take some time for places that got hit later to see that if you go ebb. the goal here has got to be to keep hospitals being able to operate during this stressful time. >> doctor, i will take some good news from you today. thank you very much. and up next, a bipartisan senate group is now trying to put together a package of election
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overhauls after democratic voting bills went down in defeat. what we know about their plan and what it can and can't do to secure elections. you're watching "meet the press daily." you're watching "meet the press daily. ♪wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go ♪ ♪where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪ ♪and they're always glad you came ♪
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♪ he'd better not take the ring from me ♪
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welcome back. in just a few minutes a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers, 5 republicans and 3 democrats, are scheduled to meet to discuss what could be the only road left to getting any election reform through the senate. included in the group of democrats joe manchin and
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kyrsten sinema who stood in the way to push their own party's voting rights through the agenda without republican support. the proposals they're discussing are modest changes to election laws including the electoral count act. a 19th century law that allows lawmakers to reject electoral college votes. an attempt we saw a attempted to be exploited january 6th. for more on what updating the electoral count act means for election law and what it doesn't, i'm joined by nate persole. so, professor, this bipartisan group meeting today legally, what would an update to this act do for our elections? >> well, you may remember on january 6th last year there were chance to hang mike pence and to overturn the election and to disqualify certain certificates from different states and so
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what this effort is going to try to do is to clarify the law, make clear what the role of congress is, what the role of the vice president is, what the role of state legislatures are in order to avoid any other controversy like that. >> to make everything that happens this past cycle on january 6th then is purely ceremonial, nothing else to it? >> well, there's always the possibility that there's authentic disputes over who won an actual state. remember bush versus gore, but in the event that we know who the winner is, then there shouldn't be any controversy as to what congress should do. >> what are the limits to what congress can do here when they start making federal decisions that affect state laws and how they certify votes or what they send to congress? that's when things get a little sticky, no? >> that's right. as you noted, you had this law enacted but it was adopted at a
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time when the pony express was delivering the electoral certificates from the states. it's a very different world right now. that was to follow in the wake of the 1876 contested election. it's really about the sort of -- trying to deal with the problem of who won a particular state, not giving congress the ability to overturn an election. >> as we're seeing state legislatures though continue to kind of tinker with their laws, including on their count, do you think you would potentially see push back from thinking of some of these republican controlled state legislatures in some of these closely contested states who might not like a bipartisan bill that comes out of congress that's going to tell them how their electoral votes will be handled once they get to washington? >> that's certainly possible and we will see the argument that some federal legislation in this area is unconstitutional because the constitution itself says that each state in a manner determined by the legislature thereof shall appoint a number of electors. even if we're able to get some
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heroic bipartisan election work done, it's not clear that will end the debate. >> governor larry hogan has an interesting op ed in the atlantic where he doubles down on the importance of updating the electoral count act north to protect our elections from another january 6th. he argues that democratic complaints about voting access are overblown and republican complaints about the idea that somehow the election was stolen are totally overblown and this is kind of the one actual weak link in our system. do you think he's right? >> well, it is a weak link in the system. i mean, vote suppression is a problem. this is a problem, right? so we should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. the problem is democrats and republicans have very different views in terms of what the problem is and what solutions might be. the hope is that here democrats and republicans may actually both have an incentive to clear up what is a very ambiguous law
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from 140 years ago. >> do you think this is probably the last train leaving the station on this? or do you see the possibility for any other electoral policy changes in this congress? >> well, i think it's possible. i'm hopeful or hope springs eternal for things like greater funding for election administrators and different parts of the freedom to vote act if you put them before congress, perhaps they could get passed, but the large omnibus package that congress was considering last week does seem to be on life support. >> yes, they do. all right. professor, thank you for coming on and talking with us. thank all of you for being with us for this hour. chuck will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. msnbc coverage continues with katie tur after this break. wit katie tur after this break lunchables! built to be eaten.
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good to be with you. i'm katie tur. this afternoon tensions are rising in ukraine with an invasion now looking more likely. the next hour president biden will hold a call with european leaders. this comes as nato confirms they are putting troops on, quote, stand by. president biden was asked to add troops to europe. up to 5,000 service members. the american government is telling americans in ukraine to get out. ordering family members of embassy employees in kiev to leav


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