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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  February 6, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PST

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all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york, welcome to alex witt reports. new questions today around the killing of 22-year-old amir locke in a pre-dawn raid wednesday. that was carried out by the minneapolis police department serving a no-knock warrant. yesterday, hundreds of protesters again took to the streets of minneapolis to demand justice for locke. nbc's megan fitzgerald has more. >> reporter: anger and frustration pouring out into the streets from new york to minneapolis. horns and lights blaring in protest after minneapolis police shot and killed 22-year-old amir locke after entering an apartment on a no-knock warrant that police now say locke wasn't listed on.
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body cam video capturing the deadly encounter on wednesday just before 7:00 a.m. in seconds, where locke appears to be under a blanket. police say a gun slides from underneath, and officers opened fire. nbc news has reached out to the officer for comment, but has yet to hear back. >> that's the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision. >> reporter: but that decision took the life of karen wells and andre locke's son. >> put yourselves in our shoes. >> never would i have imagined that i would be standing up here talking about the execution of my son by the minneapolis police department. >> reporter: another black life taken by police nearly two years after breonna taylor was killed while officers carried out a no-knock warrant. now the mayor placing a
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moratorium on the warrants. >> so many others have died that way. >> i got on the phone. i was so emotionally spent with andre and karen. we're just tired of it. >> reporter: but their fight for justice continues. megan fitzgerald, nbc news. >> joining me now is melissa murray and charles coleman. both are esteemed msnbc legal analysts. welcome to you both. charles, you first here. how could this body cam footage we've seen, how might that affect the legal case for the police officers involved here? >> well, alex, it could do one of two things. what people need to understand is that there's currently in place in minnesota, revised rules around how to use no-knock warrants with respect of when police are supposed to announce themselves when entering the threshold of a dwelling and executing a warrant. what they will be looking at during the course of this investigation is whether that rule was adhered to in this
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case. at the same time, from a legal perspective, speaking as a former prosecutor, what this is going to come down to with respect to the police officers and their criminal charges if there are any, is whether that officer was justified in reasonably believing that he was an imminent threat or danger of his life. they're going to be poring over that body cam footage to try to make those determinations after making the determination in terms of whether this officer may have been justified in pulling that trigger on amir locke. >> charles, let me ask you to comment on something that an activist said, and he spoke with me yesterday about this. the timing of this was nine seconds from the entry into the apartment to when those shots were fired. he talked about trying to put forth policy that buys more time between entering an apartment under whatever circumstances, and the ability for a police officer to draw a gun, but you hear that split-second timing decision that was substantiated
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by the minneapolis police chief. 15 seconds was suggested. is 15 seconds going to make a difference? >> well, i appreciate that perspective on that, but i can tell you part of the reason that no-knock warrants exist is they're law enforcement tools to help people prevent from escaping or prevent from destroying evidence in some cases. i don't know that we're talking about an issue with regard to timing here. alex, i'm going to point something out in this case. the officer who pulled the trigger on amir locke had three previous complaints against him by the department. all those complaints were sealed and have not been made available publicly. what i'm talking about and what i'm leading to here is that we are seeing a problem of systemic violence against community from the minnesota police department, and so we're talking about a culture issue, a toxic culture issue that's not going to be addressed by adding additional time while you can pull the trigger. while i appreciate people wanting to have practical
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solutions, this is going to require a deep and systemic probe in what is happening with minnesota policing. >> my eyebrows shot up when i heard this police officer has three sealed issues against him or her. i was not aware of that. i don't know that nbc news has corroborated that, but that does complicate things. how about the fact that amir locke was holding a gun? he purchased it legally and had a permit to use, but under the circumstances in that video, how does that complicate the family's side if at all? >> i think it's complicated in a lot of different ways, but it also raises some issue that is we haven't really grappled with. most of the focus has been on the appropriateness of warrantless entry. we haven't really talked about a legal landscape in which the opportunity to lawfully carry a gun has actually widened over the course of the last ten years, and it's likely to be
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widened even further this spring when the supreme court issues a decision on one of its pending second amendment cases. so we have this toxic culture where you can carry a gun in more and more situations, but then there's this question of who the police see as threatening when they do lawfully carry a weapon. so that's one of the questions here, but the use of the warrantless entry is usually again, as -- as the other guest has said, is to prevent individuals from shooting first at the police or otherwise destroying evidence or escaping, but in this situation, when the person is lawfully carrying a weapon, it can create a deadly, deadly mix, and so we are going to have to grapple with that. the fact of policing and landscape where lawful gun possession is actually quite common. >> so yes, 100%, but to the specifics of this case, i mean, melissa, when you say the second amendment right to own a gun legally, amir locke did exactly that and was killed. how -- how is that going to play
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out in this particular case? >> i think it's going to make this quite complicated. again, the police will argue that the fact of a gun being present created a danger to which they were required to respond, and they did respond with deadly force, but it is likely that the state will argue if there is actually a prosecution here, that this is someone who was lawfully able to carry a weapon. he wasn't brandishing against the police. there was someone coming into the place where he was, and they didn't announce himself, although the police contest this question of whether they were announcing. it creates, again, this very, very deadly mix. carol anderson who is a professor at emory university has made the same argument in a book she's written about the second amendment where she says this will be a real issue as gun rights expand for african americans who carry weapons. >> thank you so much. this will not be the last this
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network discusses the issue today. in fact, coming up on "politics nation," al sharpton will speak with the parents along with benjamin crump. that will be today for you at 5:00 eastern here on msnbc. let's go to the day's other top stories following at this hour. threat of the russian invasion of ukraine is growing this weekend. russia has now assembled 70% of the forces it would need to launch a full scale attack. that is according to a u.s. official with direct knowledge of the latest government assessment. that official also warns an invasion could kill or wound up to 50,000 civilians within weeks. moscow is calling that assessment alarmist. earlier today, national security adviser jake sullivan giving insight into what the president is watching. >> biden has spoken to the fact that if a russian tank or a russian troop moves across the border, that's an invasion. that is an invasion, and the result of that from our perspective would be the imposition of severe economic
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consequences. >> senator lisa mur cow ski is standing by her criticism of the rnc calling the january 6th attack a legitimate political discourse. earlier today, the senator defended her position to publicly say it's wrong. >> when there is a conflict, when the party is -- is -- is taking an approach or saying things that i think are just absolutely wrong, i think it's my responsibility as an alaskan senator speaking out more alaskans, to just speak the truth. and new developments on bipartisan talks in the senate over new legislation that would change the electoral count act. that's a law donald trump tried to use to overturn the election. today joe manchin was optimistic about getting a bill passed. >> so do you think it's going to pass? >> oh, i think absolutely it will pass. now there will be some people
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saying it's not enough. there's others saying it's more and we don't need it and we'll try to bring them together and say, listen. this is what we should do because it caused the problem, and let's do that. >> let's go now to josh letterman in wilmington, delaware with the president before he heads back to the white house. josh, another welcome to you on this sunday. how's the white house preparing for any potential russian invasion of ukraine? by the way, they say it could happen any day now. >> reporter: they do. they say it could happen during the olympics. it could happen after the olympics. the ground is now getting close to frozen enough for russia to be able to move its tanks into ukraine without too much fear of getting stuck in the mud. when it comes to deterring a russian invasion, at this point in time, alex, the u.s. has largely exhausted its options short of putting u.s. troops in ukraine to fight russia which is something president biden says
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is not going to happen, and so now while the u.s. has made clear what the economic consequences through sanctions would be for our russian incursion, the focus right now is really trying to make sure that if russia attempts some type of misdirection which is a critical part of the russian playbook, that the u.s. will be able to head that off at the pass, and when the u.s. recently according to intelligence officials, saw russia move a force into the ukrainian region to be able to potentially launch a false flag attack that could be used to justify an invasion, the u.s. called that out. they put that information out into the public when they saw russia, this past week, plotting to create what officials say was a fake video showing ukrainians attacking russia that could once again be a pretext for an invasion, and they made that public. now as russia says that the u.s. is war mongering and they have no intention of invading ukraine, the u.s. is making very
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clear that it sees exactly what russia is doing, so that there are no questions among the international community if russia does invade. with a new u.s. intelligence assessment showing that russia now has about 110,000 troops on its side of the border near ukraine, about another 30,000 troops in neighboring belarus, and something like 83 battalion tactical groups surrounding ukraine from three sides. take a listen to what jake sullivan said on "meet the press" about the current situation. >> we believe that the russians have put in place the capabilities to mount a significant military operation into ukraine, and we have been working hard to prepare a response. president biden has rallied our allies. he's reinforced and reassured our partners on the eastern flank. he's provided material support to the ukrainians and he's offered the russians a diplomat
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eck path if that's what they choose instead. either way, we're rds and our allies are ready, and we're trying to ready the ukrainian people as well. >> when it comes to the allies being ready, alex, a key meeting will be taking place when the president holds his meeting with the new german chancellor, olaf schultz, about the germans are not willing to go nearly as far as the u.s. and some of its other allies as the uk and france for example, in threatening punishments against russia. germany a critical partner of russia when it comes to buying its gas, and the u.s. wants to show that there is a united front between the united states and germany that will be the main focus of president biden's meeting with the german chancellor tomorrow, alex. >> that will be a very interesting conversation. thank you, josh for that. the future of build back better and how something that just got said on the sunday talk shows might indicate it's going to be on the back burner for a lot longer. k burner for a k burner for a lot longer
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now to capitol hill where we are learning more about the future of president biden's build back better act. senator joe manchin saying this morning, build back better is still dead, but parts of it could return. nbc senior national political reporter sahil kapur is here. you were speaking with him. >> reporter: for senator manchin, build back better is a chapter closed. he's over that debate, and whatever democrats do, they're going to have to rename and rebrand the bill to have any chance at winning his vote, but he said he's willing to save major policies from the original build back better act, and he was remarkably specific in my one-on-one interview what with he's willing to do. put this up on the screen. he's still willing to support
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aca funding, exed. ed subsidies, expanded medicaid in states that didn't have that coverage gap. clean energy money, about a half a trillion dollars of money which he's not objected to, and a series of tax increases on the wealthy and upper earners. a 25% corporate tax rate, 15% minimum corporate tax, and gains tax. he wants to end loopholes like carried interest and he supports higher individual taxes for the wealthy. now some of these even go beyond what democrats did in the original build back better act, and one thing manchin told me is he wants at least some of those savings and tax revenues to go toward deficit reduction. that's a big priority for him, and some senators are considering a new bill that includes some of those savings as deficit reduction. i put this to him and he said, music to my ears. based on all of that, you can see a path for democrats to win his vote and salvage a major piece of president biden's legacy. he brought up one other concern
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speaking this morning that he had. let's play what he had to say. >> the build back better has been presented over what, the last seven, eight, nine months. the bill will no longer exist. should there be parts of it and we want to talk about different things, the president said there might be certain parts and this and that. my biggest concern and my biggest opposition, it did not go through the process. it should have at least the opportunity to have input. it should have gone through the committee. >> have you talked to president biden in build back better in any way forward in a smaller bill? >> we have had a conversation, but really didn't get into that because right now our main concern is get a budget. >> you want a budget bill first. >> we have to get a budget bill first, but we just talked to the military, and we have all of that there, and the geopolitical unrest that we have especially with ukraine and russia, and with all of europe and all of our nato allies, and the military was there. they were asked point-blank,
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what challenges do you have with our continued resolution? we're working off of basically the last year of trump administration's budget. >> one thing i want to -- >> they need help. they want a budget. >> now manchin has concerns about the lack of a committee process, identical to the reason that former senator john mccain in 2017 had that famous thumbs down on the floor, voted against his party's efforts to repeal the aca. this is something democrats can do. they can put these pieces through committee, but it will take time, and time is not on the party's side. the 2022 election primaries are coming soon, and manchin mentioned a series of other priorities that congress has to deal with, not simply, you know, russia and ukraine tensions and the unfolding situation. there's a government funding deadline that's coming up this month, february 18th, that they kicked the can a little bit, and they might have to return to it. a number of priorities coming up, not a lot of time to negotiate. the elections are coming up, and this is crunch time now for the white house and democratic leaders trying to get it together. see if they can win senator
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manchin on these major top priorities that president biden campaigned on. alex? >> really well outlined. it's a complicated issue. all encompassing report. thank you so much for that. so right now we bring in washington congressman jaya paul. she's also a chair for the progressive caucus, and i like to call her a friend of this broadcast. welcome to you as we heard this very comprehensive report from sahil, and when you think about all that senator manchin has said with the things he's willing to support, build back better itself is dead according to him, but can you work with what he is willing to support, and move forward in a piece by piece nature? >> well, alex, it's always great to see you. look. i think the good news is that these priorities that senator manchin has outlined are very important. they were part of build back better. i don't really care what we call it, you know, as we put a new package together, we can call it
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whatever we want. what we have to do is deliver relief for people across this country, because let's not forget what build back better is about, separate from, you know, all of the political imaginations that go on. this is about making sure people can afford their health care. it's about -- now he didn't say child care in there which surprised me on that list. >> yeah. >> he has been very supportive of pre-k, universal pre-k and child care, and i want to remind everybody that is very important for jobs, for women to be able to get back into the economy. those are the kinds of things we need to do if we want to support women being able to re-enter the economy when they have been driven out at massive rates. women are waiting for this bill, and those are jobs largely held by women, but that is an important component. health care is a very important component. prescription drugs, music to my ears also, in terms of the better tax provisions, but let
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me just remind all your viewers it was senator sinema who didn't want to do that much, but listen. we have negotiated this to the death. we know exactly what different people are willing to do. i think at this point the president just needs to put together the package, and bring it to the floor of the senate, and let's get it done because to say that this needs to go through committees, i think is forgetting, number one, that the infrastructure bill did not go through committees. in fact, we had a bill in the house, a transportation bill that passed through the committees that had enormous amount of work, and, you know, that did have the gop weighing in, and that was actually not what the senate utilized. they broke off the infrastructure bill specifically with the commitment that this bill would go through the reconciliation process. there was a budget resolution that had a lot of debate. so i would just say, let's get this done. we, you know, we have been in agreement about what so many of the needs are, and what the solutions are, and we had to
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work with a very slim majority in the senate. senator manchin certainly got his views known as did other senators, and we have the progressive caucus, has consistently been pushing for the president's agenda, the democratic agenda, the things that we promised to people that we would get done, and anybody that continues to delay on that is standing in the way of the president's agenda and the democratic agenda. >> if we look at the calendar, you have been very vociferous for pushing for a march 1st deadline to take action and get things done. with that said, that also coincide with the president's state of the union address, but you heard senator manchin say, we've got to work on the budget first. how much does that complicate things? that doesn't get done, you know, with a snap. >> the budget, you know, we in the house have passed almost automatic appropriations bills for the budget, and the chairwoman has been working hard
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with the republicans in the senate to try to get an agreement. so we stand ready to build on the budget. those negotiations are amongst a very small group of people. she should continue. of course, we need to get that done, and we're probably going to have to have a short-term cr continuing resolution, in order to finalize the budget. we have done our work in the house. again, we're relying on republicans here to come to the table and fund our government, to continue and fund all the things that are involved in that . that doesn't take away from build back better.wh challenge friends being out of the senate, that will complicate things, but that doesn't complicate getting to an agreement, a very clear agreement, and then having the president use the biggest bully pulpit, the state of the union address in congress on march 1st to talk about what democrats have done, what we are going to continue to work on, but what we are going to deliver to people in terms of real relief.
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>> to that point, we certainly hope the senator is feeling better and can get back on the job. let me switch gears talk about the escalating tensions between russia and ukraine. last week you issued a statement and it was put out saying, quote, we have significant concerns that new troop deployments, sweeping in indiscriminate sanctions and deploying hundreds of millions of dollars of lethal weapons will only raise tensions and increase the chance of miscalculations. russia has 70% of what it needs for a full-scale invasion of ukraine. how about today? where do your concerns stand? >> well, i, you know, i continue to feel the same way, and i would just remind people that when 9/11 happened, it was three days or four days before congress voted on an incredibly broad blank check, authorization use of military force that essentially took the country to
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war for decades, and it is important that we remember that in these most difficult moments, the thing that is most important is to stop and consider the consequences, and i congratulate the biden administration for the real push that they have been making on diplomacy, and i think that needs to continue. there are diplomatic solutions. they are still on the table, and they have to be the thing that we are most interested in. now i think in terms of all the other pieces, of course, we should debate economic sanctions. we should debate all of these other things, but let's just remember that economic sanctions have rarely affected the autocrats. they most often affect the people, and we need to be thinking about the ukrainian people, and we also have to be thinking about how economic sanctions would affect americans and people across the world if we were to do that. so there's a lot of discussion that needs to be had, and at the end of the day, any attempt to
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go to war, and this is with a major nuclear power, let's be very clear about what we're talking about. any attempts that the united states has to enter in that direction must be debated in congress, and we have to be extremely thoughtful about this because the american people don't want endless war, and this could really embroil us in a situation that could be extremely dangerous for all of us. so let's slow it down. let's continue the diplomatic process. let's let the diplomats do their work. let's work with our aallies. there isn't yet agreement amongst all the european allies as you have heard. we need to make sure the allies and the united states are working with one voice, and we are not at that point yet where we should be considering actions that would continue to escalate the tensions, and give vladimir putin what he wants, which is some sort of sense that he's being forced to be the
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aggressor. i think it's clear, and jake sullivan made it clear. the president has made it clear that if the russians do certain things, that will be considered acts of aggression, but let's just continue to dial down and let the diplomats do what they need to do. >> congresswoman jayapal, thank you for your eloquence. appreciate that. >> thank you. an historic milestone for queen elizabeth. we are live outside of buckingham palace. that's next. are live outse idof buckingham palace. that's next. we discover exciting new technologies. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives. basically, choose what we want our future to look like. so what's yours going to be?
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free style skier, jaelin kauf making an aggressive run to come in second behind australia. the u.s. women's hockey team beating sweden 8-0 in back to back shutouts. they won yesterday 5-0, and tomorrow they're taking on canada. elana meyers taylor getting her second consecutive covid test and leaving isolation. she's back in full full trainind she's among the favorite for both of her events. and two of the 190 athletes and team officials who arrived on saturday in beijing did test positive. on friday, 20 tested positive. they all went into isolation. meantime, in the uk an historic day for the queen as she celebrates her platinum jubilee marking 70 years on the throne, but it's two queen elizabeth should be the next queen that is the talk of london right now. right in the thick of it, molly
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hunter outside buckingham palace for us. big change in the future of the royal family. what can you tell us about it? >> reporter: big change, and one of those royal questions that has remained unanswered that prince charles has kind of deferred on for decades now, and she's really taking the moment of her platinum jubilee, as you mentioned, 70 years on the throne to put the attention on the next king and queen. she says it is her sincerest wish that camilla will be referred to as queen when charles becomes king, but alex, 70 years. let's take a look back at the woman herself. queen elizabeth ii marking an extraordinary and historic 70 years on the throne. >> the moment that king george vi died, princess elizabeth became queen. >> reporter: then princess elizabeth was on tour in kenya with prince philip. >> the news of the king's death reached his daughter. >> reporter: the 25-year-old newlywed returned to her nation as their queen. her coronation, june 2, 1953,
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was the first to be televised. her message then and now remains the same. >> i have in sincerity pledged myself to your service. >> reporter: her seven decades on the throne, witnessed living history. she's met 13 u.s. presidents from president harry truman to president biden. 14 prime ministers from winston churchill to boris johnson, an ambassador like no other. she traveled the world, 110 countries in all, across six continents. her reign marked by iconic moments from war and tragedy to incredible technological achievements. color television, a man on the moon, the world wide web, and throughout, she's adjusted, modernized. she was the first royal allowing her family to be shown on tv, and more recently embracing zoom, just like the rest of us during the pandemic. >> one of the extraordinary things about the queen is her
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discretion. we don't really know what she thinks and feels, and we've tried to fill the gap. >> reporter: not so for other members of the royal family whose private scandals who played out in been. endless fodder for gossip and entertainment. we'll mark her real life story with dignity and privacy. alex, the queen is marking today privately up in her estate. we won't see her publicly today, but she released photos and in those photos, we see her working and still reigning. everything we hear about the next queen and king, it's not imminent. >> it's a ways off, and the queen's endorsement of camilla, huge endorsement, however, there's also a big, huge footprint of diana on the hearts of so many. millions of brittons, and i think this will be water cooler
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fodder for quite some time. let us know what folks are saying about that too. thank you so much, molly hunter outside buckingham palace. betting big on electric cars. we'll take you to ground zero as one michigan automaker cranks out thousands of them. o as one michigan automaker cranks out thousands of them. i recommend nature made vitamins,
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general motors is making an historic investment that will dramatically change the future of driving. ceo mary berra announcing they
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plan to deliver 40,000 electric vehicles by the end of next year. they will create 4,000 new jobs in michigan, and that is the largest single investment in gm history. let's go to nbc's gary grumbach in michigan. gary, welcome to you. i know it's cold. let's try to get right to it. walk us through these changes and what the folks on the ground there are saying. >> reporter: hey there, alex. the manufacturing has been at the heart of michigan's economy for almost a hundred years and presidents on both sides of the aisle have been trying to bring manufacturing back to the united states for decades and now gm's ceo is making that big bet, that $7 billion, and 4,000-job investment right here in michigan, and 2,300 of those jobs and 4 billion of those dollars are going right here to this township plant. it's going to be converted into a facility that creates electric
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pickup trucks for use all across the united states, and folks here are really excited. orion township is a blue collar working class town, and here's what the supervisor had to say about this investment. >> let me give you a perspective. the investment of $4 billion into the plant right here in our community, the entire property value in our entire community is about $4 billion right now. they're virtually doubling the value of our community. so it's not just the jobs they're going to create. we love the good jobs, the good-paying jobs. the pride of building that made in orion sticker on it, but it's the ripple effect. we're dropping the boulder in the lake. >> reporter: but what will that ripple effect look like? there are lots of questions here when it comes to demands. last year in 2021, only 25,000 gm electric vehicles were sold across the united states.
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that's 1% of the all gm cars sold in the u.s. last year. alex? >> gary, do you have an estimate of how many people live in that township work for gm, and how this will increase that? >> reporter: yeah, this is the single largest employer of the entire county here in oakland county. there's thousands and thousands of people. it'll impact restaurants and impact hotels. it will impact every part of life here in orion township specifically. >> when you described it as a ripple effect, 100% gary, thank you so much for a very freezing michigan. you just look cold. i'm saying go inside and get warmed up, my friend. thank you. the next step to getting every age group vaccinated in the u.s. what parents should know about the the shots for kids under 5. the u.s. what parents should know about what parents should know about the the shots for kids under 5 ♪♪ lunchables! built to be eaten.
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there are some growing questions for parents as pfizer is waiting for possible fda approval of its covid vaccine
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for children as young as six months. "the new york times" is calling the approval request a highly unusual move, after two doses failed to produce the hoped-for immune response among 2 to 4-year-old children in a clinical trial. joining me now is dr. blackstock, msnbc medical contributor and founder and ceo of advancing health equity. welcome, it's good to see you. lots of questions to get to, starting with this one. there have been these multiple studies showing that young children are, first of all, less likely to experience severe illness after contracting covid. so a lot of parents are asking is it really necessary to vaccinate children under 5? >> hi, alex, thank you so much for having me. that's such an important question. the answer is yes, it's very important to vaccination your children for several reasons. while children are less likely than adults to get sick from covid, it's still among the top ten causes of death for children in 2021. and so it's like comparing
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apples to oranges. you need to compare children to covid to children without covid. when children get sick with covid and we have a variant like omicron that was incredibly infectious, we saw record levels of pediatric hospitalizations. we also have to think about that the stats we saw, almost all of the hospitalized children were unvaccinated. so we know that vaccines are incredibly effective when given to children. they prevent hospitalizations and deaths. >> absolutely. but you know parents are going to come back and say, look, is this truly safe for my young child? not those above the age of 5, for the young kids, will it be safe for them because there hasn't been enough research. and those two trials -- the trial that showed two shots, two injections didn't really do a lot. >> right. and so what those trials -- what it showed was in the 2 to
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4-year-olds that they did not generate an antibody response similar to 16 to 25-year-olds but that doesn't mean it wasn't effective. we'll probably see that in the pfizer data. there are other ways to show vaccine effectiveness. for example, does it increase the risk of infections in a certain age group? i think we'll see that data from pfizer coming out soon. as for safety, we saw in both age groups, 6 to 2 months and 2 to 4 years old that there were no had adverse side effects. the most common side effects were fever and chills, which is very similar from most childhood vaccines. i think people have to realize the fda process for authorizing the vaccine, they're very high standards. we're giving healthy children a medication and so we want to make sure that this doesn't cause any untoward effects. at the very least children are observed for at least two to three months after the vaccine is given. so there is an observation period. we know that with vaccines, most
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side effects happen within that time frame. >> okay. another question here regarding a major covid head line, which is the cdc has urged those with weakened immune systems to get second shots sooner. they recommended a fourth dose after their third dose instead of a five-month wait. might this mean that everyone else is going to also need a fourth shot at some point? >> well, this is just most likely with people who have weakened immune systems. they do not mount the same immune antibody response as people who have an adequate immune system. and so we have data actually from israel that shows that there is a benefit to getting this fourth dose in people who are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. it really remains to be seen if there's any benefit given to any
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other groups or healthy adults. that remains to be seen. we do know that immunocompromised people are especially vulnerable during these surges and need as much protection as possible. >> in terms of timing, we know europe is entering what is being called a plausible end game. covid cases are expected to drop dramatically during the warmer months, and that would happen even if a few variant emerging. so usually we've been a few weeks behind great britain, for example. would you expect the u.s. to follow suit in this regard as well? >> you know, i would say again that i'm comparing apples and oranges. many of the european countries have much higher vaccination rates than the united states, in the 70s and 80%. we're still in the 60%. there are areas in the u.s. with only about 30 to 40%. so i would say we are incredibly vulnerable and should not be pulling back restrictions to the same degree europe is.
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i think we also have to think about our health care system that is still very overwhelmed. we're still seeing a record number of deaths, almost 4,000 people dying a day. so we are definitely not there yet in terms of lifting restrictions like europe is. >> okay, dr. blackstock, very good to see you. thank you for your help on all of this, appreciate it. >> thank you, alex. a new u.s. intelligence assessment just came out about the situation at the border of ukraine. we'll have details, next. der of ukraine. we'll have details, next we discover exciting new technologies. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives. basically, choose what we want our future to look like. so what's yours going to be? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome to "alex witt reports." we begin with new warnings that russian military forces could invade ukraine any day now. a new u.s. assessment says putin has amassed 70% of the combat power needed for an invasion. national security advisor jake sullivan on nbc's "meet the press" this morning says they are still hoping for a diplomatic solution. >> we are prepared to sit down with the russians alongside our allies in nato and other partners in europe to talk about issues of mutual concern in european security. but what we're not prepared to negotiate are the fundamental principles of security that include an open door to nato for countries who can meet the requirements. meantime the divide within the gop is getting even deeper as some republicans are slamming the rnc for calling the january


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