tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC February 19, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST
seat to that. ari berman, thank you very much for coming to "the last word." and that is tonight's "last word." i am jonathan capehart. you can catch me sundays at 10:00 a.m. eastern on the sunday show right here on msnbc. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. good evening, once again. day 31 of the biden administration. this has been a brutal week for our fellow americans in texas. days, with no power, no heat. freezing temperatures. now, the power crisis has turned into an escalating-water crisis. threatening over 14 million people, or about half the state. as many have been forced to do, in search of food during a pandemic. texans, are, these days, lining up at distribution sites to get whatever water they can. the storm that swept into texas triggered all this. make no mistake, however, man-made failures turned this into a crisis. frozen pipes that later burst,
also, meant no running water whatsoever. so many homes and apartments, ruined. a boiling-water advisory is in place. so, those who can't get water out of their taps, are resorting to boiling snow, if they can. and the situation is increasingly desperate. >> it's pretty tough to find bottled water. we are having to boil, you know, to wash dishes or do anything. >> we've been hunting. we've gone different places, looking for it. and can't find it. >> the worst of it is, no water for the flushing. it's sure going to be great when all of us have safe-drinking water. >> we need water, more than anything else. you know, it is one plague, after another. it's looking like at least several more days. >> when's the last time you heard that from the mayor of a major american city? about 165,000 customers in texas are still experiencing power
outages. down from over 3 million, just a few days back. in many communities, grocery store shelves remain empty. president biden is fast tracking a disaster declaration to free up more federal aid for the region. he also says he is a planning to visit. >> if, in fact, it's concluded that i can do it without creating a burden for the folks on the ground, while they're dealing with this crisis, i plan on going. but i'll -- we'll know that. we'll make that decision, probably the beginning of next week. white house says, this week's dangerous, winter storms delayed the distribution of 6 million doses of vaccines. throwing a wrench into efforts to ramp up distribution. >> all 50 states have been impacted. the 6 million doses represents about three days of delayed shipping. we anticipate that all the backlogged doses will be delivered within the next week, with most being delivered within
the next several days. >> don't forget. even amid all the problems caused by this winter weather, biden has pledged to maintain his focus on the pandemic, and his pledge for 100 million shots given out in the first 100 days. to that end, he spent time, today, at the pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant, near kalamazoo, in michigan. visit came, as the company announced their vaccine can be stored at standard -- standard-freezer temperatures now for up to two weeks. they are seeking fda signoff on that temperature change. that could, drastically, expand the number of facilities across our country that would be able to store it, and give out the vaccine. president said we're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for all americans, by the end of the month of july. he renewed his pitch for the shots, as the key to ending this pandemic we're in. >> if there's one message to cut through to everyone in this
country is this. the vaccines are safe. please, for yourself, your family, your community, this country, take the vaccine when it's your turn and available. that's how to beat this pandemic. i believe, we'll be approaching normalcy, by the end of this year and, god willing, this christmas will be different than last. this evening, dr. fauci echoed biden's message. and added, that new strains of this virus are even more of a reason to get vaccinated. >> the variant that's referred to as 117 is the one that was dominant in the united kingdom. and that's one that has the capability of spreading more efficiently, from person to person. and it is even more virulent, in that it can make you more sick. the vaccines that we have now, that we're administering, work really well against that variant. the south african variant is a bit more problematic.
it is in our country. it's not dominant. it's still at a low level. but, the efficacy of the vaccine and the monoclonal antibodies against that is down, about fivefold. >> before heading off to michigan, biden made his presidential debut on the international stage, today. at least, virtually. giving his first, major, foreign-policy address to america's longtime allies, via video link, at the munich security conference. >> i'm sending a clear message to the world. america is back. the trans-atlantic alliance is back. and we are not looking backward. we are looking forward, together. we must demonstrate that democracy can still deliver for our people, in this changed world. that, in my view, is our galvanizing mission. democracy doesn't happen by accident. we have to defend it, fight for
it, strengthen it, renew it. of course, the president's still filling out his cabinet. he's had seven secretaries approved. tonight, there is a new sign one key nomination is running into a roadblock thrown up by a fellow democrat. tonight, it is senator joe manchin, democrat, west virginia, saying he won't vote to confirm neera tanden to lead the office of management and budget. manchin cited negative comments about republicans, that tanden made while running the left-leaning think-tank, center for american progress. democrats, of course, can't believe a biden nominee is in trouble for mean tweets in effect after four year of what we all had to witness from trump's phone. the problem is in an evenly dividing senate, there is no room for even one democratic defection, without republicans coming over to the other side. the president says he has no plans to withdraw this nomination. but he may, soon, be facing more resistance to a different
nominee. that would be merrick garland. he was denied a seat on the supreme court, famously, by mitch mcconnell during the obama presidency. he is going to appear before the judiciary committee, monday, as biden's choice to be our next attorney general. meanwhile, the current justice department has charged nine members of that group, the oath keepers, with conspiring to delay the certification of the presidential election. feds say, the accused members coordinated their efforts to storm congress. also, tonight. six capitol police officers have been suspended for their alleged actions during the insurrection. another 29 officers are under investigation. it's a lot. so let's bring in our lead-off guests on this friday night. susan paige, veteran journalist, best-selling author, usa today, washington bureau chief. jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press. and medical director of the special-pathogens unit up at boston university school of
medicine. during ebola, notably, she worked with the world health organization, which we have, of course, rejoined as a nation under the new administration. well, good evening, and welcome to you all. susan, i would like to begin with you. let's say, america's newspaper orders up commissions, tonight, an a-1 news analysis sidebar for tomorrow. 200 words calling for your assessment of this still-young, month-long presidency. and this new president. what would you say? what would you write? >> well, quite a change from the previous president. that's pretty clear. i think, joe biden has been really consistent with what he said he was going to do. you know, the speech he gave today to the munich security conference. very much, like the one he gave to that same conference two years ago, when he was just running for president. i think he succeeded in lowering the temperature, a bit, in washington. we now can take a weekend off, and not worry about the
president tweeting something so provocative, we all have to run back to work. but the big problems remain and the biggest one of all is this covid pandemic. the president has made that his top priority. he has very little choice about that. achieving almost anything else depends on getting this pandemic under control. and that's where his prime focus is. >> jonathan lemire, a leading democrat, sarcastically, said to me, this week, about the texas situation, which is not funny. he was being kind of sardonic. he said, for now, the republicans have got this. but turning very serious, joe biden has to have this, too, before long. he mentioned he has tentative plans to travel there. this would be a good jumping-on point for a national discussion. we, pointedly, did not have for the last four years. that unsexy word, infrastructure, which, if you sell it the way fdr did, sounds a whole lot like jobs for
americans. >> right. for any president, brian, the first natural disaster on their watch matters. that's -- that's a big deal. and, yes, certainly, you mentioned jokes. and even within the white house. there's, certainly, been some levity had, at the expense of senator ted cruz his exploits over the last 24 hours or so. because he does provide some cover. right now, there is a lot of scrutiny on senator cruz, governor abbott, and republicans in charge of texas but yes, you are right. eventually, the federal response is, also, going to receive some scrutiny. the -- the biden and his team and how they handle this. it's going to matter. the president has said that he will plan, likely, travel to texas over the next week or so. depending on when resources can be allocated for his arrival. obviously, it takes a lot, brian, as you well know. it's a massive footprint when a president travels anywhere. they don't want to divert, you know, necessary law enforcement and emergency responses from other places where they are more needed. but this could be, also, a
pivot -- a pivot point to talk about infrastructure. to talk about climate change. certainly, storms like this, most scientists believe, will happen more frequently in places like texas because of the way the climate is changing. and as much as the president, right now, wants to focus on reassuring allies overseas. focusing on distributing the vaccine. focusing on getting that covid-relief bill passed. this natural disaster is just the first of many. >> yeah. i was just going to say. if memory serves, it was not wanting to gum up the works on the ground that was the original motivation of 43's overflight over katrina in air force one that ended so poorly because of the optics. because the feds lost a step when it first happened. okay, doctor, since you deal with issues of life and death, i don't think a tough question for
me is going to stagger you. the president said, today, back to normal, maybe by christmas. maybe, by the end of this year. and a good many americans are rightfully bummed to hear that. but these vaccines have to get out there, and have to work. when, in your estimation, will this vaccine be as plentiful, as ubiquitous, as normal, as going for our annual-flu shot? >> yeah, brian. there is some good news on that front. and so, before i give you my estimate, i will give you the reasoning for it. we know that -- enough now at least of the moderna and pfizer, for about 300 million people to be vaccinated and that's what dr. fauci has said will be available by the end of july. but what's coming down the pike, you know, potentially the johnson & johnson vaccine, which is getting evaluated by the fda committee next week, which might add, again, at least immediately, 3 million doses. but then, novavax, which is another one that showed very
good efficacy is going to get evaluated in the month of march. so i would say that's even a conservative estimate, end of july. there might be more vaccine candidates. if they are successful, we may have more vaccine available, sooner. so, the other pieces of good news from this week is that more and more data is, also, showing that vaccines may help reduce transmission. that, maybe, doesn't completely eliminate the risk. but people who are vaccinated may have a less risk of transmitting the disease. even if they get break-through infection to others because we don't know how -- how much of a reduction it is. and we don't know how the variants will affect this whole equation. that's why, for now, we are still asking everybody to wear a mask. but this is good news. that means transmission will start falling just like what israel is seeing. lot -- lot of other countries are seeing that are seeing higher levels of vaccination rates. so, i am hoping, by july, we might see some level of normalcy. where we can start having small gatherings. and potentially, even international travel by next
fall. but i know that's optimistic but i'm putting my stake in the ground. that's where i am standing. >> we are making a recording. and not only that, i will take it. considering the conversations you and i have had over these past-several months, and how dark and dire they have, necessarily, been, at times. noted and we'll take it. thank you for that. and susan, coming off your first answer. you're right. it is a neck-snapping change of pace, in terms of substance in this white house. and as you heard the president announce today, the united states of america is back. we're back in the climate -- the paris-climate accords. we're back into talking to iran and treating them as a player. not all of it will go over, on the republican side of the aisle. but talk about what a sea change this is, what it must feel like to be looking at this, from the presidential palace in france? the chancellor's office in germany?
in the uk? >> well, a pretty welcome change on the part of our -- our european partners, to be sure. but, you know, we don't -- we can't just flip a switch, and go back to the era of foreign affairs and relations that we had, before president trump took office. and that is, i think, one hard reality that joe biden's facing. certainly, chancellor merkel and french president macron are relieved to have joe biden, whom they know well and who's -- whose approach, to the world, they agree with. to have him in power but both of them also talked today about europe's need to maintain a certain degree of independence from the united states. a slightly different relationship than we had four or five years ago. and so, this is not -- this is going to be a new-and-different world. and i think, that president biden, actually, acknowledged that in saying we are going to look forward, not going to look back. partly, that's because we do not have the option of looking back and saying, you know, these past
four years, forget about it. let's go back to the way things were before. >> jonathan lemire, as you kindly referenced, once covered the white house. but these days, i am in the cheap seat so we rely on you for the inside view. what is it like to go back to a standard, traditionally-operating white house? with rigor and expertise and order and schedules and process? >> brian, the seat on air force one is waiting for you at any time if you would like to make your return. >> no thanks. >> it is, to piggyback on susan's point, it is a remarkable change here. and the entire process is different. regular-press briefings. media's not being called the enemy of the people or the state anytime soon. we have policy briefings. there are a degree of professionalism in the staff, the white house, president,
surrounding himself with career officials. many veterans of the obama administration or those who have worked for him for a long time. whether as vice president or on the senate. a sea change, certainly, from the trump years. where, though with some exceptions, defense secretary mattis among them, a lot of people seem, perhaps, less than qualified for those positions. they were more about their politics than their ability to get policy done. you know, to this point, not much in the way of infighting. you know, within the west wing. and, of course, there will be disagreements. even ones that run well, know there will be court changes, there will be disagreements on policy or how things are enacted but this is a tone set, from the top. and it is one where, yes, news is not made by tweet very often. we might get our weekends back. but it's also a presidency that is -- that is grappling a historic confluence of crisis and they know this. they know that it's about distributing the vaccine. they know it's about getting the covid relief bill through. they have done about all they can with executive orders to
unwind the heart of the trump agenda. now, they need to go through congress and these next couple weeks, by that mid-march deadline, are vital. this stands as the first real, big test of this new term. >> and doctor, you are going to get the last word. for the purposes of this question, let's take j&j. designed as a single inoculation. out of the conversation. and let's talk about the debate over one shot of what is designed to be a two-shot vaccine regimen. folks in a lot of the country where the supplies have run out have that unique anxiety. their day has come up, but the vaccine isn't there. some folks are going to have to go on one shot. where do you come down on the one-is-better-than-none debate? >> brian, actually, the cdc does allow some room and wiggle room, if -- if there is a delay. and all they say is you just have to go back, whenever it's available. and so, the reason debate is coming up again is that there is a new study from israel in about
9,100 health-care workers where they showed that, even with one dose, you know, right before they got the second dose, there was about an efficacy of 85%. the trouble is, as dr. fauci mentioned today, is that we -- we've seen this decrease, you know, efficacy of vaccines in the setting of variants. and we, also, don't know how long the durability of protection lasts with just one dose. i see it's unlikely for us to go to one dose at least of the vaccines we know and were studied as two doses. but there are two other discussions going on. one is that there's new studies that show people who had the virus before, if you give them one dose, maybe their antibodies actually spring up a lot faster. and should they potentially have one dose? and france is taking that strategy. i don't think we are going to go to that, yet. but that's going to be data we're going to be watching to see if that's the strategy we might take. >> i wanted to let you and our audience know that later in this hour, we are going to get a report from israel on the vaccination effort there. so, our big three on what is mercifully, at the end of the long week we've had, again, a friday night.
susan paige, jonathan lemire, dr. bhadelia. thank you to the three of you for starting us off. coming up. a katrina-scale crisis. that's how one austin official describes the current situation in texas. i will talk to a county judge there who is working around the clock to put his community back together, again. and later, the gop's no good, very bad week. the troublesome travels of ted cruz are only a small part of it. his neighbors have already spoken, as "the 11th hour" is just getting under way on this friday night. (man) i'm a verizon engineer, part of the team that built 5g right, the only one from america's most reliable network. we designed our 5g to make the things you do every day better. with 5g nationwide, millions of people can now work, listen, and stream in verizon 5g quality. and in parts of many cities where people can use massive capacity,
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the pipes in the city. again, mayor of a major, american city, in this case, austin, texas. some hospitals in texas were forced to evacuate patients to safety, after the water ran out this week. st. david's hospital, "the washington post" reports, quote, patients washed their hands with jugs of water and staff members emptied toilets with bags, as a result. travis county officials say they expect to be in the water-delivery business for at least the next seven days. for more, we are so pleased to be joined by judge andy brown. he presides over the county, which includes its normally-wonderful capital city of austin. judge, let's start local. tell me about your home, your family, your friends. how you been faring? >> thanks, brian. so, i had been out of my -- out of power for about 50 hours. my parents, who live next door to me, actually, were also out of power for that same amount of time. my dad has parkinson's. it was -- it was a challenging time for our family. for my two little kids but more
importantly, for about 200,000 people in austin had no power for a significant amount of time, this week. a lot of them are coming back online, now, however. >> if you had a magic wand, what would you produce right there in a poof? would it be water? would it be plumbers, carpenters, propane? what would it be? >> right now, it would definitely be water. without -- without a question. because there are still -- there's still people here in austin, in travis county, that do not have water flowing through their pipes right now. we are all under a boil notice. so we are all supposed to boil water, to be safe, if we drink it. but there's kind of an unknown number of people in austin, frankly, that don't have access to any water. and it's difficult for the water utility to -- to put a number on that. and so, that's why we're doing everything we can to try to get water here in -- in travis county and austin. we've shipped some from mississippi, alabama, florida. fema has sent some down from ft. worth.
it was quite -- quite a issue today. they sent a c-130 with some water today and it actually almost got here earlier today. then, had some mechanical issues. turned around, flew back to ft. worth. fixed them i supposed and then, finally, did land an hour or two ago. to unload water here finally. >> for folks in the other 49 states who may not understand the setup in texas, i will put this broadly. elected judges are the leading local officials throughout most of the state. the kind of leading local politician. and -- and if i have that right, from your perch, from your job description, how do you then turn this -- this energy, this anger, this frustration, how big a voice will you have in that state as it does a kind of after-action report? and looks at what about its stand-alone power grid failed 30
million residents? >> yeah. well, i hope, i will have a really big voice. you are right, the county judges in texas. they are called county executives other places. in a weird quirk of texas history and texas law. the county judge is also the emergency-management director for the county. so, i have seen, firsthand, i am actually sitting at the emergency-operation center with all of our first responders, who are sitting in a large room to my left. where they are, you know, watching all the data come in. all the news reports come in. all the people calling about -- about the bad conditions and trying to make a plan to -- to get through this together. it -- it has been so bad. i grew up here, in austin. i have lived here most of my life. i've never seen anything this bad as we had it this week. and that -- that power grid, you know, caused us a lot of problems. it, obviously, me, personally, being without power for over 50 hours. and just, so many people in austin and across texas, not having power for such a long
time. there's -- there is a lot that i think we need to do to -- to improve on that power grid. >> well, nothing but empathy and concern from all of us, watching, and feeling helpless out here. as i said last night, so many texans, including folks in austin, who never dreamed they'd be in line for food, have done so during the pandemic. now, they are lining up for things like water, food, and propane, gas, and gasoline. it's just -- it's unbelievable, in the united states in the year 2021. judge andy brown. hook 'em horns. thank you very much for being with us. take care of you and yours, and your constituents. coming up for us. ted cruz was just dropping off the kids at the ritz carlton in another country, as one does. but where his political party is concerned, he sure chose a bad time for a short trip.
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when things are happening on our -- on the ship, we simply we stay on the ship. and that's -- that's the commitment that we make when we sign up for -- for these positions. >> houston mayor, sylvester turner, who, it strikes me, like ted cruz, is a graduate of harvard law school. he is talking about the senator's forcibly-shortened mexican-beach vacation.
our friend, ashley parker, of the "washington post," wrote a lede for the ages for her paper this morning. quote, usually, it takes at least one full day in cancun to do something embarrassing you will never live down but for ted cruz, it took just ten hours. we are so happy to have caroline randal williams. she is an author, poet, and observer of all-things political. writer in residence at department of medicine, health and society at vanderbilt university in nashville, tennessee. and bill crystal, author and writer and thinker and veteran of the reagan and bush administrations and editor-at-large of the bulwark. bill, for this segment, republicans get to go first. especially, the life-long kind. let's talk about ted cruz. never popular, often wrong, never in doubt. i guess, we won't be swearing him in as president in 2024, first of all, it's always a cold day. and second, we've never moved
the oath to cancun. >> yeah. you know, it's sort of like the caricature -- i would've said used to be mostly -- used to be -- maybe not so much anymore. the republican party was heartless, rich people. couldn't care less about other people's suffering. just watch out for themselves. and -- and a contemptuous. of the common good and fellow citizens and ted cruz personifies it. if this were a second-rate sort of tv series about politics, you think it's a little bit much, right? on the other hand, it's not funny, obviously. it's of a piece with donald trump's behavior, with respect to the pandemic i would say. you know, a really fundamental lack of concern, apparently, for his fellow citizens. the ones he was elected to represent and to help. and i am very struck by what beto o'rourke did. i mean, it really is, you know, the -- my colleague, olivia troye, who i think has been on your show. defending democracy together. volunteered for his phone banking, i guess you'd call it
where they call senior citizens in texas and help them put them in touch with people who have resources. and it really is remarkable beto o'rourke, who is not in office, did for his fellow texans. and i say this as someone who has no stake in beto o'rourke or the other. and he's not in office. he lost the election to ted cruz. and ted cruz is -- is flying off to cancun. >> it is remarkable. all of it. professor, i have one for you. this is lisa in "the new york times" tonight. quote, for a politician long reviled not just by democrats but also by many of his republican colleagues in washington, mr. cruz is now the landslide winner for the title of the least sympathetic politician in america. professor, i'd only add to this, what experts the republicans have become at that, kind of, orwellian insistence that it's 13 o'clock. how good they have become at insisting all -- all evidence to the contrary, hey, let's move
on. there's nothing to see here. >> i mean, i love the way you framed that question. so much of the last 18 months has been orwellian, in the first place. but i think, the reframing of how we understand behavior, like ted cruz's, and actually acknowledging that it's actually not a surprise. that we can't be shocked because this is, actually, a dynamic that has, in some ways, never been eradicated from the leadership in this country. it's just never been so plain because people have had manners. this is really a matter of manners, not a matter of morals. and i think that the opportunity to reframe it, because of his, sort of, egregious oversight in doing his bad behavior in plain sight is actually the most valuable part of all of this. i mean, he comes from a legacy of white men in power in this country.
thomas jefferson owned his children. newt gingrich lied that he had any. ted cruz decides to blame his children for his bad decision to go to cancun. people make bad decisions and have power in this country and they have, since this country began. and i think, you know, we just have to constantly continue to fight for context. if we are going to save this experiment. and that's sort of where i fall, when i think about the silliness that's unfolded. and i say silliness, in terms of his choice making, not in terms of what's happening to the people of texas, obviously. but i think, it's no surprise that he's failed them so profoundly. >> i love your point about manners, not morals. bill, to the -- to the banal topic, senator manchin not going to vote for neera tanden. the insider guessing tonight is
this is his way of saying, to west virginians, look, i'm not all in on everything this guy wants. and what he may do is be onboard for the $1.9 trillion. on the other hand, every one of biden's seven-confirmed cabinet secretaries has had republican votes walk across the aisle. so, isn't that remedy one for biden? and, isn't remedy two an acting -- appointing her as acting and the job sure worked well for the last guy? >> yeah but i think remedy one is the important one. and as someone who would like a strong omb director to, you know, make sure that when they -- when government spends money, it spends it effectively. and -- and intelligently, which is kind of what omb does. weed out the programs that aren't working. put money into the programs that are working and that kind of thing. neera tanden is kind of a tough cookie, and should be good at that job from a sort of moderate-republican point of
view. honestly, if you care about policy, if you like bipartisan policy making, neera tanden's a good omb director. the left doesn't love her because she is not a big government spender so i don't really know what manchin is up to. i suspect there are other things going on than his professed reasons. again, i say this as someone who doesn't usually play this card but i think there is a little misogyny here. i mean, the one person he chooses to oppose is a woman of color? i mean, there are plenty of liberal-cabinet nominees that president biden has nominated who, i would think, manchin might want to oppose more than neera tanden. but, gee, she had some mean tweets. poor joe manchin's fellow senators. those people suffering so much, they just can't take it. neera, a few years ago, called a few of them, in the normal matter of politics of our days, was slightly nasty about them. of course, i have a personal stake in this if people are going to be disqualified for things they said on twitter. i guess, just not going to be confirmed for a cabinet-level position in the near future, which is a big surprise, of course. >> well, we will let all the
reporters file their stories coming off that comment, your last comment, during this break. fortunately for us, both of our guests have kindly agreed to stick around. we will just get this commercial break on the other side. coming up. looks like we are about to hear more from a certain, florida man, who come to think of it is the only twice-impeached private citizen in all of the sunshine state. i am tempted to remind
better. faster. 100% whiter teeth. shop crestwhitesmile.com i am tempted to remind everybody, he's been mostly quiet for a full month now. but "axios," among those reporting donald trump and his allies could, soon, emerge from exile. and we quote. trump family members are weighing political races, a slate of former cabinet members are set to speak at next week's cpac meeting. after laying low through impeachment trial, trump is vowing to battle senate-minority leader, mitch mcconnell. what a good idea. to shape the gop field for the 2022 midterms.
oh, and by the way, the impeachment vote wasn't even a week ago. still, with us, professor caroline randal williams and bill crystal. professor, this -- this is a vexing question. how to hold a president and his enablers and -- accountable, in a new-and-changed government, while doing the business of that government. it's a fancy way for people, like me, to ask smart people, like you, if we can walk and chew gum, at the same time. >> my first answer is to say, i hope we can. i am certain that the three of us can. i think, we're in a really complicated position, brian, because i am genuinely concerned that we're reliving 1860 to 1861. and not, sort of, the transition at the very -- from the 18th to the 19th century, as, you know,
some more generous historians have liked to pull the parallel, lately. i -- i don't know that it's not right to just ring the alarm right now. i think that we might just be in a position, where trying to make peace with or renormalize people who have been performing these irregular behaviors is actually very dangerous because this is a country that is totally capable of turning on its neighbors. we are completely capable of turning on one another, and dividing along very similar lines to the ones that face us now. and i think, if we don't openly and explicitly acknowledge that, i think, again, if we fall back on this notion of american manners as some part of american morals. and refuse to call, you know, brazen, you know, malignant neglect what it is.
and hold people to account for it. that we could be heading for something that is scarily and profoundly historic, in ways that i am struggling to grapple with. but that i'm sort of bracing myself for. >> wow. bill, that was beyond powerful to hear. and i'm ill-equipped to follow it. but you are well equipped. i was going to ask you something else. but now, i just want to hear your response to that powerful point. the essence of which, is that this may be the time to ring the alarm. >> yeah, i think, it may well be. we don't know, obviously, what might happen. and things might, sort of, heal themselves. but that's never a good thing to count on. and they don't always. and -- and they -- we've kept hoping they would, over the last year or two or three at times. and it hasn't happened so i'm on the alarmist side of this. and i was thinking about this
during the break, actually, about ted cruz. we hadn't mentioned that, whatever his insensitivity and -- and foolishness and going to cancun and lying about it. it doesn't begin to compare to his recklessness and -- and really, the wrong he did in denying the -- in participating in the big lie. in denying that biden had won the election, and challenging the election returns. i don't believe, to this day, he's acknowledge -- he's apologized for what he did prior to january 6th. he was one of the leaders, not quite at the level of trump. but certainly, one of the encouragers of everything that led up to january 6th. and so, we shouldn't forget about that as we sort of mock ted cruz and take some pleasure, perhaps, that he's hurt his political chances a little bit. but there he is. senator from texas. hasn't apologized for challenging -- leading the challenge to the election returns. so far as i know, hasn't said that joe biden was elected freely and fairly, that the election was conducted well.
that trump and he, himself, was somewhat responsible for what happened on january 6th. so i'm, very much, yeah, we need to -- we need to hold those i think to keep that standard up. and not just try to move on, pretending that all is well. >> he was name checked, in fact, by the writers in the chamber. to our viewers who have been struck by the quality of this conversation, we were, too. it's precisely why we will keep inviting these two guests back on the broadcast. our guests, caroline randal williams and bill crystal. nothing but thanks for coming helping us out on a friday night. fascinating conversation. coming up for us. the encouraging news about vaccines coming from a country with the most doses given out per capita in the world. for skin that never holds you back don't settle for silver #1 for diabetic dry skin* #1 for psoriasis symptom relief* and #1 for eczema symptom relief* gold bond champion your skin gold bond i have the power to lower my a1c.
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a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. here's what dr. bhadelia was talking about earlier in the hour. nearly half the population of israel has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. tonight our foreign
correspondent richard engel has more on how israel, admittedly a small nation, came to lead the world in vaccination effort. >> reporter: they're getting creative to encourage people to be vaccinated. at bar turned vaccination center, free shot for every shot. teenagers now up, 90% of people over age 60 have had at least one dose. doctors say the impact is profound. >> can find small amount of patients positive but not sick. vaccine gives very good protection from severe disease. >> reporter: it's proof that vaccines, here mostly pfizer, can end the pandemic. but per capita, the united states remains far behind. how many people had to get vaccinated by percentage? >> only at this point that we're beginning to see the effects. equivalent in the u.s. would be at point where you vaccinated 150 million people.
>> reporter: israel's population is small. health care is centralized and mandatory, and the country's many wars have made it quick to respond to a crisis. all factors helping israel lead the world in coming out of covid lockdown. with a look at a possible future, israel is setting up two tier system, fully vaccinated people receive green passes, allowing them to go to gyms and attend cultural and sporting events. setting up special travel certificates as well. brian. >> richard engel. catch the latest episode of "on assignment with richard engel," covid mutants, on this sunday night, 10:00 p.m. eastern, on this very network. couldn't be more important or timely. small, low budget super right-wing cable tv network headquartered in florida, they promoted the big lie big
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i am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself, such as that old worm-eaten chestnut that i have represented myself as indispensable. but i think i have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog. >> fdr in 1944 having healed a nation in midst of fighting a world war, forced to defend his beloved scottie named fala from a false story floated out by his republican critics. which somehow brings us to greg
kelly, anchor at newsmax, who has just gone after the biden's dog champ, he said it out loud and on television. >> did you see the dog? i want to show you something i noticed, doesn't he look a little rough? i love dogs but this dog needs a bath and a comb and all kinds of love and care. never seen a dog in the white house like this. i remember buddy, millie, lots of dogs but not a dog who seems -- i don't know how much love and care he is getting, bring in the historians, i'm having fun but don't want to -- but i do want to talk about some stuff. greg, welcome back, and doug, former adviser to george h.w. bush, that's the white house gr former adviser to george h.w. bush, that's the white house so. greg, welcome back, and doug, former adviser to george h.w. bush, that's the white house where i remember millie, they had a staff and took care of her. beautiful dog.
this dog looks like from the junkyard, looks like he's not well cared for. >> not at all, thanks for having us. he looks very dirty and disheveled and unlike millie or victory or something else in the past in the white house. >> i know. because champ can't speak for himself, here's what you should know about the bidens' very good dog. first of all, he's 12. if you know germany shepherds, that's old for that breed. got him when biden was vice president, so named because biden's dad used to say to young joe, anytime you get knocked down, champ, get up. and got their rescue puppy major two years ago in large part because champ was getting so old. think of it this way, if champ were to meet greg kelly, he would probably love him unconditionally, because that's what dogs do. probably also why there are no dogs anchoring on newsmax. well look at the time.
that is our broadcast for this friday night and this week. thanks for spending time with us. have a good weekend unless you have other plans. on behalf of all my colleagues at networks of nbc news, good night. she was family. a giant hole is ripped in our hearts. the first thing you want is well the police are going to go get the bad guys, right? i was not prepared for what happened. professor, artist, mom. murdered. >> that primal scream came out of me. >> and she immediately broke down and started crying pretty hard. >> police were quick to question her ex, maybe too quick. >> they focused in from the beginning. >> husband always