tv MSNBC Reports MSNBC February 17, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PST
rates remaining high but case numbers are going down. the white house with a message we've been waiting years to hear -- covid is not a crisis anymore. and gun violence soaring during the pandemic with firearms the leading cause of death for american children and teens. which states are taking action and what more needs to be done? but we start with the standoff between russia and ukraine reaching a pivotal moment. a senior state department official just describing the situation right now as the most perilous moment for peace and security since the end of the cold war. in just one hour, secretary of state antony blinken is set to address the u.n. security council. the u.s. ambassador says blinken will express the gravity of the moment and the fact that the u.s. is doing everything it can to prevent a war even as russia seems to be moving in that direction. it comes as the u.s. has received russia's latest communication regarding putin's demands for security guarantees.
that news breaking literally minutes ago. as we wait for details, we want to show you these pictures from ukraine, damage from new shelling in the pro-russian part of the country, both sides accusing the other of firing the first shot. mortar attacks overnight that included an attack on a kindergarten. ukrainian president zelensky is causing that incident a major provocation. the british foreign secretary said it looked like a blatant attempt by the russian government to fabbri kate a pretext for an invasion. lloyd austin echoed those concerns about an hour ago. >> they're certainly troubling. but, you know, we've said for some time that the russians might do something like this in order to justify a military conflict. so we'll be watching this very
closely. >> i want to bring in richard engel in ukraine, matt bodner in moscow, and bill taylor, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, currently with the u.s. institute of peace. ambassador, extraordinarily strong and sobering words to describe this as the most perilous moment for peace since the end of the cold war. what do you make of that statement, and what can secretary say today that hasn't already been said? >> chris, it is a dangerous time, and it depends on president putin's decision. he's thinking about whether or not to pull that trigger in one way or another or to go the negotiate route. he's got that choice, those two choices. it's a dangerous time. if he pulls the trigger, it will be very bloody. it will be miserable. secretary blinken is going up to new york to make the case that
transparency is what's needed. he's going to make the case that these allegations coming from the russians are exactly what secretary austin said we've been expecting, an attempt to provide a justification for him to pull that trigger. >> in fact, richard, we are hearing more and more from officials all over the world that that is exactly the trip wire we have been worried about and warning about. you have extraordinary experience and depth of knowledge in that region. what's your take on where we are in this moment? >> i think we're in a very dangerous moment. so you have 150,000 troops according to u.s. officials, russian troops on three sides of the country. russia says it's pulling them back, but according to russia, according to the u.s., nato, other u.s. allies, russia is not pulling them back. so we have this precarious situation where russia is poised to invade should it want to.
and now there is all this talk that russia may be trying to create an excuse to invade, because if it's not pulling back and it's keeping the troops there, the next step would be it looks for some pretext. that pretext could come from the separatist area. it's important to understand a little of this dynamic because it's very important, but it can be lost in the confusion, and i think part of the information war we're seeing right now is to deliberately confuse people or to assume they don't understand the geography. so, inside ukraine, there is a separatist area, about the size of new jersey, on one side bordering russia and then the rest of it borders ukraine. it is a tense area and has been for the last eight years. there are many ukrainian trenches along that border between ukraine proper and the
separatist area. overnight, what happened was there was an escalation, and there aren't that many escalations along this border. they happen maybe once a week, twice a week depending on what happened. last night, there was a significant escalation, and according to the ukrainian military, the separatists fired dozens of artillery and mortar rounds at multiple locations into ukrainian territory, and in one of those attacks they damaged a school. and according to local police, no school children, no kindergartenen children, i should say, were injured in that attack. they were in an upstairs level having breakfast in the cafeteria when the artillery or mortar rounds struck the lower part of the kindergarten. but the reason it's being described as a potential provocation is that you have fire from the separatist areas. it hits in this case a kindergarten. the ukrainians fire back. when the ukrainians fire back, that could be used for russia as
an excuse to say, look, these separatists are under attack by the ukrainian government, and therefore russia needs to move in to protect these separatists in a military operation that could be either small or large. but it could be the spark that begins a wider military plan. >> laying that out for those of us who are not scholarings of the region in a way they can understand it, richard, thank you. i know you have to go and do more reporting. thank you. matt, to the point richard made about these information wars, how is this being reported where you are in moscow? >> reporter: thank you, chris. i want to second richard by saying it definitely feels like we're in a dangerous situation, this fog of war over this incident this morning. a lot of murky information on this side. we saw in the russian state media this morning claims that
that was an act of ukrainian aggression against the rebel regions. of course later the open-source verification, it became much clearer. we know this was fire on the ukrainian side of the line. that came up in the press briefing. dmitry peskov said the kremlin is watching this with great concern saying it looks like this is an escalation. so we're starting to see some of that language we've all been kind of on alert for. he continued saying there's all this attention in the western media about russia's troopses on russia's borders doing things they have a right to be doing, but say nothing one in the west is paying attention to an equally large buildup in ukraine and kind of, again, shifting that onto the ukrainians, perhaps kind of trying to set the stage for a pretext. you know, the reason we're talking about this is because as we mentioned, this is what
russia needs do to go in. tensions are high. there's a lot of concern right now. again, this is all happening on the day as you mentioned in your intro that russia delivered its responses to american responses on its security demands. we don't know what those responses say. we have a decent idea i suppose. we know russia publicly so far has not backed off of those demands and has continued to insist up till last night that i would's not going the back off of that. this is a very sense situation. it feels like we're at a dangerous moment. >> one of the things we talked about, ambassador, is the u.s. coming out strongly saying vladimir putin is lying, he's not pulling troops back, he's adding troops. putin lying isn't exactly breaking news, but it is first of all the latest example of the u.s. revealing intelligence almost in real time, right, and i wonder if you think that has had any impact at all and why putin would lie when he knows the u.s. and other western
nations have the capability to prove that he's not telling the truth. >> chris, it -- you're exactly right. world can see on tv or the newspaper exactly what's going on. this day when there are youtube pictures of troops moving, of movement towards the border, toward ukraine's border, this is inexplicable that he can say he's moving troops back. i think secretary blinken and others are doing the right thing of calling it out, of releasing information. this is difficult to do, to release classified information or information from intelligence sources, but to put president putin on the back foot and to expose what he's trying to do. this is a good move. >> i'm just getting handed a piece of paper. matt, i don't know if you can comment on this, but the state department spokesperson says we can confirm that russia expelled
u.s. deputy chief of mission to russia bart warman. >> reporter: yes, chris. we heard about this just now as we were coming on camera, this coming out of russian state media citing the u.s. embassy's personnel. we don't know why, what reason was given. it appears to be just breaking now as you mentioned but it's also very curious timing because ambassador sullivan was at the russian foreign ministry also this morning, not too long ago, receiving russia's written response to america's response to their demands. it definitely looks to be like some kind of escalation. we just don't know too much about the specifics yet, but we'll be looking into that. >> in fact, ambassador, what we heard just now from the state department is that they consider this an escalation step, the second highest ranking person at the u.s. embassy in moscow. what do you make of this? >> it's an unwelcome step,
unwarranted step, clearly, something to indicate that the russians are angry at the kind of treatment that they're getting, which is just, again, a straightforward indication of what's going on. so we will wait to see what this means, but it's not a good sign for tension. >> we obviously are going to keep a close eye on everything that is developing. and, again, we have antony blinken headed to the u.n. ambassador taylor, matt bodner, thank to both of you for your depth of knowledge on this news. another big story developing this morning, millions of northwesterns under weather alert. a massive storm system that startled yesterday is racing east and has produced heavy rains in the great lakes and other regions. the storm is expected to bring the threat of heavy snow, dangerous icing, thunderstorms, high winds, even more. we'll turn to shaquille brewster with more from chicago. >> i was looking at the "chicago tribune" and the headlines said
it automatic -- it's going to be nasty out there. tell us what you're expecting. >> it's not just the snow. you're looking at heavy rain, sleet, ice, and heavy winds. we're getting a preview of what's to come in the chicago area, right now in kansas city, where snow is falling in some areas at a rate of 2 inches an hour. americans are dealing with heavy wind alerts. that's the danger here, especially when you go to tennessee and mississippi, threats of tornadoes on the back end of the storm. this large system is moving through, not just dumping the snow. it also has heavy rains, leading to possible flooding threats. then you have the warmer weather and the severe weather on the back end. you have millions of americans under weather alert and something you have a lot of people watching today. shaquille brewster, stay
safe out there and warm. we appreciate your report. lamt they are morning, family and friends of amir locke, who was shot during a no-knock raid this month, will say their good-byes. a public viewing is 10:00 a.m. central time followed by a funeral service with the eulogily al sharpton. minneapolis representative elon omar is expected to introduce a bill to get rid of no-knock warrants. coming up, letitia james issuing a blistering response to former president trump after he called her investigation racist. but first, early voting is under way in texas, but people across the state say a restrictive new law is making it harder to vote by mail. we'll take you to a warehouse where ballots are being checked. wait till you see what's happening there. it's next. happening there. happening there. it's next.
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morning in texas. elections officials there say that the new strict voting law sb1 is having a huge impact. the largest county says 40% of incoming mail-in ballots are being reject under the new law. ballots are being inspected. antonio, the new law is not only causing confusion for texas voters but leading to long hours for local elections officials. what are you seeing on the ground? what are you finding out? >> reporter: that's right, chris. look, what the elections administrator and other staff members have described is a six of immense pressure. the workers working long hours in some cases sleeping overnight in the election center and confusion for voters who are
calling call centers saying i'm not fur if my vote will count, how i'm able to vote this cycle and asking for more clarity and how a voting i.d. aspect of the law is going to work. here's what it's done -- it's gotten rid of drive-through voting and 24-hour voting. these were measures popular in this community in houston where a lot of people work jobs with long hours or unusual schedules. it also added more freedom and movement for partisan poll watchers, something that's caused some concern among voters and election workers who were worried about the political climate, possible intimidation at the polls. it's the new voting i.d. requirements and mail-in ballots causing confusion. what they've been told with this law is that, in order for your ballot or ballot application to count, you have to submit the exact i.d. number or four digits of your social security number that you provided back when you first registered to vote. you're an older voter who
registered 40 years ago, good luck remembering what number you used back then norld for your ballot to count. it's become a chaotic situation. the staff are asking to answer questions hour after hour, day after day, under a tight deadline. listen to my conversation with isabel longoria, the administrator. >> we're seeing changes saying you have to add your numbers there, use a database you haven't updated for years. mail ballots are being rejected at high rate. we are seeing an increase to our call centers, confusion. >> reporter: so what we're seeing is about 14% of mail-in ballot applications getting rejected, and then 40% of actual mail-in ballots getting rejected. those are really significant numbers, chris, and to the election workers here it represents a significant chance that some people's votes will
not end up counting. >> it should not be that difficult and it should not be a situation where people feel their vote is not being counted. i know you'll stay on top of this story. thank you so much. more breaking news. new york attorney general letitia james pushing back hard against former president trump's new defense of his organization's financial records. this comes after the a.g.'s office made public a letter from the accounting firm, mazar, which represents trump and his organization, said that financial records for the company couldn't be relied on, that they would no longer work together, essentially trump's accounting firm firing him. on tuesday, trump responded with a five-page document attacking james' investigation, but james was having none of it. her statement saying, "it is not unusual for parties to a legal proceeding to disagree about the facts, but it is truly rare for a party to publicly disagree with statements submitted by his own attorneys in a signed pleading -- let alone one day after that pleading was filed."
there's also big news in the january 6th investigation. new text messages turned over to the investigating committee and obtained by "the washington post" show that mark meld does, chief of staff, got texts warning of the riot long before january 6th. for example,. messages from fox news host sean hannity on new year's eve predicting there would be mass resignations at the white house counsel's office. as the post puts it, the texts are among the most important too manies the panel has to bring home the gravity of what happened that day, the planning that preceded it and the concern for democracy that lingered in the aftermath, even among some of trump's most loyal allies, who have since played down the events of that day. and a federal judge says he needs more time to decide whether high-profile defendant stewart rhodes should be kept in jail until trail. rhodes, founder of the right-wing oath keepers militia, helped plot the assault on the
capitol. the judge says even if he is let out he would be under 24-hour house arrest. still ahead, we've talked a lot about the growing tensions between russia and ukraine and the olds of an invasion. but what role does the u.s. play right now as antony blinken is headed to the u.n.? i'll ask congressman seth moleton when we come back. seth moleton when we come back.
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that help rebuild your skin. dove men+care. smoother, healthier skin with every shower. our top story, fast-moving developments adding to growing fears amid the standoff with russia and the u.s. over ukraine. among them, russia's decision to expel the highest diplomat from moscow, a movement in state department describes as escalation intentions. half an hour from now, secretary of state antony blinken will be speaking at the united nations, a speech the administration says will be designed to express just how dangerous the situation has become. i want to go to kelly o'donnell reporting for us right now because the president, who's about to leave for cleveland, has just made some comments on this. how does he describe the threat right now, kelly? >> reporter: good to be with
you, chris. this is significant because president biden does not always stop and talk bum he chose to do so today, giving an update where he says he still believes the threat of an invasion is still very active and real in the next several days. he also indicated to reporters that he has no immediate plans to talk to vladimir putin, and he believes that diplomacy still has a path to work, which is part of why he has dispatched antony blinken, his secretary of state. of course we also know the vice president is in munich. and he wants to try to get that message out that there is still a way for work to be done. now, we have not yet seen the remarks, we expect them to be available shortly, but our colleagues on the south lan, including peter alexander, have been able to send us some notes about what the president had to say. it is still dire. there is still concern that the u.s. assessment is that vladimir putin has enhanced his capabilities near the border, not reduced or de-escalated, as
russian messaging has been that they have somehow pulled troops back. they may have moved some force around, but the u.s. assessment is they each added to their capabilities. so the president is still quite concerned about the delicate position that the u.s. is in right now and the of course western allies in nato. and so there are a lot of worries about what could trip this off. of course we've seen reports today of shelling at a kindergarten in ukraine. is that the kind of activity that could trigger some wider sort of response? also, we've seen reports in recent days of cyberactivity, which is sometimes a precursor to a more traditional heavy-handed military action. so, president biden is certainly trying to signal a willingness to work diplomatically but also a sense that things are still in a very tense situation. we should have his remarks for
you in just a few minutes, but the president is heading to our home state of ohio today. he'll be speaking in lorraine trying to talk about the economy, but obviously all of these issues certainly overshadow everything that is on the president's very full plate. chris? >> kelly, thank you for that. i want to bring in massachusetts democratic congressman seth mollton, a member of the house armed services committee and a veteran who served in the marines during the iraq war. perfect person to have. look, we've outlined some of the things in the last hour that have happened, russia expelling the number two different at the u.s. embassy in moscow. we have these comments from the president. we have vladimir putin lying, no surprise, but clearly we know that him saying that he's pulling back on troops is the exact opposite of what is happening and he's adding troops. i want to quote again what we talked about at the top of the hour, which is this statement by a senior state department official to nbc news saying the situation right now is the most
perilous moment for peace and security since the end of the cold war. your take on this, congressman. >> i think that's exactly right. and i think as usual, kelly is right on the money in terms of everything i know and reporting on this situation. it's very confusing. it seems putin is trying to do two things right now. he's trying to sow confusion about what he intends to do and what's going on, and he's also trying to manufacture a justification for the full-scale invasion that he would like to conduct. those two things are related, right. it's easier for him to manufacture some crazy justification for this if everyone else is confused about what's happening. so we cannot take putin at his word, as you said. this is a very dire situation. and the implications are huge. i mean, every time putin has done something like this -- >> ambassador, can i interrupt you for just a second? >> yeah. >> we'll play the president's remarks and i'll come back to you.
>> it's very hot. they have not moved any of their troops out nape of moved more troops in, number one. number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation. every indication we have is they're prepared to go into ukraine, attack ukraine. number one. number two, i've been waiting for a response from putin to my letter in my response to him. i have not read it yet. i cannot comment on it. [ inaudible question ] yes. my sense is we'll have something in the next several days. >> is there any diplomatic forward available? >> yes, there is. that's why i asked secretary blinken to go to the united
nations and mick his statement today. he'll lay out what that path is. i've laid out a path to putin as well on i think sunday. so there is a path. there is a way through this. >> are you going to call putin? >> i'm not calling putin. i have no plans to call putin right now. >> that was the president literally moments ago and congressman moulton, do you see a path? >> look, there's always a path to diplomacy. i mean, as a combat veteran myself, i'm the last person that wants to see any country go to war. americans are asking why is so important, ukraine so important, they or not a member of nato. but for years with crimea, we naively assumed this will be it. if he gets ukraine, the next stop could be a nato ally, and
that means american troops are in the fight and americans will die. this is deadly serious and we absolutely have to do everything we can to try to find a diplomatic solution. >> congress seemed to be on a president to getting sanctions. there were some disagreements about when that should happen, before or wait. and yet what ended up has been a strongly worlded statement. what was your reaction to that? and if you, and you're not alone in trying to explain to the american people frankly with everything else that's going on why they should care about this, why defending democracy is important, if congress can't say here is what we're going to do about it, should the american people listen? >> it's a fir question and the honest answer is congress needs to do better. we should come together on this. it's a pretty simple choice in terms of when to put the sanctions on. you want to do it if he invades, not before. you don't punish a kid for
taking cookies from the cookie jar before he takes the cookies. we have to have sanctions ready to go and make it clear to putin that the second he invades they will be put into place. these have to be sanctions that are targeted not just at the russian people but at vladimir putin and his oligarch buddies. they need to feel the pain, and we need to make it very clear to them that that will happen. the other thing i think we should be doing. you've seen the president start to do this in the last few days is communicate directly to the russian people. make sure the russian people understand the consequences of this invasion, what lit cost in lives, how it will hurt their economy, how energy prices will go up. the russians have no problem trying to undermine our elections by sowing disinformation directly to the american people through facebook and other means. we should not hesitate to tell the russian people the truth, the truth about what this vicious leader is trying to do. >> and because you are a
veteran, you understand better than most what we're really talking about here. when i was talking to ambassador taylor a few minutes ago, he said if this happens, it is going to be bloody. so what can antony blinken do or say 20 minutes from now when he arrives at the reconciliations that might be able to turn the ship, to tornado warning chaing the trajectory of where this seems to be going? >> well, i think he's got to do a few things. he's first of all got to lay out a diplomatic pathway the president suggested. i mean, there's got to be some narrow pathway to achieve a diplomatic end here. he's got to lay that out. the second thing he's got do is get the world community on board here. nato is unified on this. putin is trying to make the case that there are cracks in the nato alliance. that's not true. blinken needs to make it clear to everybody that nato is aligned on this and everyone should be behind stopping vladimir putin because of the terrible precedent this would
set. third, i hope he does actually speak to the russian people. they're just getting propaganda from putin at home, so they need to hear the truth about what this will cost. we've heard reports that russian generals and other people among the russian people are raising questions and saying this does not sound like a good idea, vladimir. we need to hear those voices louder. i think blinken can help amplify those voices and that sentiment with what he says at the united nations. >> congressman seth moulton, we appreciate your time this morning. thank you so much. coming up next, we need some good news, right? we've got good news on the covid front with a key white house official saying it's not a crisis anymore. does that mean we're close to a return to normal? what does normal mean, anyway? that's ahead. mean, anyway? that's ahead
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front. the white house coronavirus response coordinator said the u.s. is approaching a phase where covid isn't a crisis anymore. new infections have fallen to their lowest level since september with the seven-day average of u.s. cases declining to about 140,000. death, however, do remain high, averaging 2,300 each day. at the same time, the biden administration is telling lawmakers it might need an additional $30 billion to combat coronavirus specifically to restock government programs and ensure it's ready for future variants. glofr glen younkin had signed a bill banning school mask man day-to-days in his state. joining us, dr. vin gupta. good to see you. the white house says we're approaching a phase where we're not in crisis. how optimistic are you that we're returning to some sense of
normalcy? >> chris, gong. great to see you. i think they are right, we are approaching, the operative word, approaching in the sense of hospitals becoming more and more unstressed. i should note that even though those case numbers seem like they're dwindling, behaviors on testing aren't changing, still estimating by april 1st we'll see 100,000, 150,000est mask mandated infections. we just won't be testing enough to capture that true volume. but deaths from coronavirus will be hopefully less than 100 a day, meaning hospitalings will be unstressed. that's the metric of success and will be the path to a more normal environment. from april to the end of winter, that's a different story. >> we know deaths lag behind cases, so it has seemed like a long time those death numbers have been elevated. you think we'll see a drop-off pretty quickly? >> i do. i think april to end of october,
that six- to seven-month time frame will feel like relief for hospitals. it will feel largely like it was prepandemic. planning, though, for winter 2022, which the administration is thinking about, will be key. specifically, i want to point out, because i get this a lot of times from individuals who identify themselves as higher risk, chris, what are we doing a about narrowing the window between early treatment for covid, so higher quality rapid tests and home and early diagnosis paired with early treatment? so making sure we have supply of these effective treatments for covid, for flu especially we'll see a resurgence of flu we think, making sure people have same-day access or as soon as possible access to many medications will save lives come winter. >> i want to ask you about vaccine skepticism persisting. obviously, long term, getting people vaccinated is key. novak djokovic said he would skip the french open and
wimbledon rather than get vaccinated for covid-19. i wonder if you think this is one of the -- i don't know if you call it an unintended consequence of covid, that a lot of people seem to be trusting science less or maybe it's made not trusting science more acceptable. >> i think you're right. we have seen a politicization of leading figures like dr. fauci and others, which is why this is going to become a pretty seasonal threat to us. 35% of the adult eligible population has decided to remain unvaccinated. there's big risk factors like obesity and others that put the risk of hospitals getting surged again between november and february at a very high, distinct pronlt of that happening because of our underlying poor health coupled with the level of unvaccinated adults in this country. that's why this risk will always be there for the foreseeable
future. you're right, this has been because of politics. >> dr. vin gupta, i say this with all love and respect, i look forward to the day you and i aren't speaking so much. thank you. appreciate you being for us to help us understand what's going on. coming up, a brand-new study showing gun violence soared during the pandemic. we'll look into the reason on the other side of the break. f t. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change. faster. vmware. welcome change.
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book now at your local essilor experts to push the limits of your vision. varilux lenses by essilor. this morning we're learning more about the renewed pressure president biden is facing to take action against gun violence including finishing ghost gun regulations, picking a new atf nominee and rolling out executive actions. it comes the same week we marked four years since 14 students and three staff members were gunned down at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, the same week that relatives of nine victims of the sandy hook elementary school massacre reached a $73 million settlement with gun maker remington. new this morning, the justice department suing missouri challenging a controversial gun law now. let's go right to ken dilanian for more.
>> good morning, chris. the missouri law declares invalid any federal gun regulation that doesn't exist in state law. certain domestic violence offenders have having access to guns. many police officials in missouri say it's created huge problems for law enforcement in the state. the law states if police try to enforce federal gun laws they can be sued for up to $50,000. state and local police have had to stop cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies on gun enforcement and registration. the law was being challenged by kansas city and st. louis t. justice department filed a brief in that case calling the law and clear and substantial threat to public safety. the state court has not said when it will rule. the justice department is challenging the law in federal court with attorney general merrick garland saying the law impedes law enforcement
operations in misses sorry. the doj says the missouri law is unconstitutional because it challenging the supremacy of federal law. >> ken, thank you. also new this morning, a new study just released on the surge in gun violence during the coronavirus pandemic with firearms now the leading cause of death for american children and teens. the giffords law center score card say states with strong gun laws see less gun violence, california, new york, new jersey, maryland, colorado. on the flip side, the lowest rated states are the most responsible for exporting guns used for crimes in other states. montana, missouri, iowa, all getting an f rating. joining us allison anderman from giffords law center which tracks and analyzing firearm registration in all 50 states. so glad you could be with us today. this new report shows gun violence is surging during the pandemic. i think a lot of us knew that.
but by how much and what are you finding is behind the surge? >> we are seeing that unfortunately in most major cities around the united states there has been a very significant increase in gun homicides. 30% to 40% in some cities, and it's really heartbreaking because these are a lot of the same cities that saw their gun violence rates go down after years of sustained efforts and investments in community-led efforts. what are the causes? well, researchers are going to take some time to really dig into that and parse it out, but we do know that during the pandemic there was a surge in gun buying, and more guns equal more gun violence. gun violence is strongly correlated with gun access, and already researchers at uc davis have determined that the surge in gun violence led to increases
in domestic violence gun deaths. >> i was going ask you about what you guys are seeing. a big push that you have is on the local level. we talked about the pressure on joe biden to get things done on the federal level, but where are you in that fight and your report specifically mentions colorado. >> yes. so we work around the country to enact evidence-based proven solutions to gun violence, and we had tremendous success in colorado last year where a gun safety majority was elected in the 2019 election, and gun safety champions started passing a slew -- i'm sorry -- the 2020 election, a slew of strong gun laws in 2021. most historically colorado repealed a law that took the freedom away from local communities to regulate guns and to protect their own communities
from gun violence. we're very proud of our efforts in colorado. >> i have to ask you about the big remington settlement as well. as i mentioned, a lot of people see that as an historic moment. how do you take a moment like that and turn into something bigger? it's one thing for remington to pay a massive amount of money, and i'm not dismissing that. it's another to have that lead to reform in the way that manufacturers, dealers and even americans in general look at guns. >> sure. well, i think that, like you identify, one of the most important things to come out of the settlement is an awareness about the fact that reckless policies around selling guns by the gun industry will not be tolerated any longer. we can no longer sit by and say it's acceptable for gun sellers to market military style assault
weapons to young men with emotional problems and we will hold the gun industry accountable in spite of a federal law that was passed to shield the gun industry from exactly these type of lawsuits. >> allison anderman, thank you so much. thanks to the center for all the information they have collected. we can go on your website an learn even more. appreciate your time today. we also want to tell you about the high drama we're just seeing on the ice in the beijing olympics. moments ago the women's figure skating competition concluded with a victory ceremony and a medal ceremony to come. it comes after controversial russian skater kamila valiyeva failed to medal. the star vis cli nervous, stumbling several times, falling twice. valiyeva tested positive for three heart drugs in december, one of which was a banned
substance, setting off a huge controversy. i want to bring in nbc's gadi schwartz covering this story. it would be hard to overstate what a stunning development this is. tell us what we saw this morning and how this drama is all playing out. >> i think everyone who watched it live is still processing it. it was a crumbling of a 15-year-old on the ice with the entire world watching. kamila valiyeva falling apart in jump after jump after being flawless for so long, wrecked with emotion and despair. her coach's words seemed to be of criticism. >> what? her coach then did what? >> instead of the hugs and the consolation, what you saw after that, it shocked everybody. you see her teammate breaking down and crying as well. it's unclear why she was crying.
alexandra had just won silver. she should have been celebrating. she hit a historic five quads, something that's never been done. she was sobbing in ruks saying i don't want to go, i don't want to go to the podium. the winner of the gold, anna sharapova was off by herself standing by herself. the gold medalist standing with no one to hug her. the commentators, tara lipinski and johnny wair said this is a child that should have been shielded, protected by the adults in her life, she should never have been allowed to compete. in the end she didn't make the podium which means her two teammates in japan will receive medals after what's going to go down as one of the most tragic performances in olympic history. >> that's going to wrap up this hour. everybody can see it in primetime tonight. so there's that, on nbc.
that's going to wrap up this hour. i'm chris jan sings. jose diaz-balart will pick up breaking news coverage right now. we begin with breaking news from the united nations where secretary of state tonebly blinker is expected to give a major speech this hour on escalating tensions between russia and ukraine. u.s. ambassador to the u.n., linda thomas-greenfield, says blinken is expected to talk about the gravity of the situation and paths to avoid a wider conflict. we'll bring you the secretary's remarks when they begin. there you see a live shot of the united nations. this comes as a senior administration official tells nbc news russia has actually increased its troop presence in eastern ukraine instead of reducing it, adding 7,000 to the 150,000 troops stationed on three sides of ukraine. moments ago as he