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tv   MSNBC Live With Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser  MSNBC  February 20, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST

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feud between donald trump and mitch mcconnell on. >> plus, new developments in the capitol hill riot probe. 35 officers under investigation for their alleged role in the insurrection. and new indictments target six more people, linked to a far-right anti-government militia. >> what we need to do is for people to be sensitive, at the time, to take down the words. to take down the words, because that -- the difference between just bullying, and harassment, and that would be horrible enough, and a hate crime, is that we want to document the hate crimes. nancy pelosi, there, and other congressional leaders denouncing crimes against asian-americans, as incidents continue to surge. this disturbing video, you saw there. a man shoving a 53-year-old woman in new york. that woman, getting plenty of stitches, as a result of this. we're going to get the reaction, by her son, as well as the
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actress, olivia munn, who helped police make that arrest. some horrible images, coming out of new york and all across the country, this week. and beyond, as we do say good morning, everybody, it is saturday, february 20th. i'm kendis gibson. >> i'm lindsey reiser. we're happy to have you up and early with us on this saturday. we have a team of reporters and analysts following the latest for you right now. we begin in houston, texas. the state's largest city, where they have to boil their water just so that it's safe to use. a high school football stadium and parks have been turned into massive-distribution facilities for water. nbc's antonia hilton is in the houston area. antonia, how are people managing there? >> reporter: lindsey, it has been an emotional and exhausting week for residents here in houston. the mayor expects that the boil-water advisory is going to be in effect, until at least monday. but it could extend longer than that. in the meantime, people are without safe-drinking water. or in some cases, they have no water to use, coming out of their faucets, at all.
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you know, not only have people been shivering in their homes, and struggling to find water to drink. but people are deeply affected by the news of texans who have passed away, as well. including, a young boy, 11-year-old boy, named christian pavone, who seems, likely, passed away from potential hypothermia in his family's mobile home. and residents have been reacting and extremely heartbroken by this news. yesterday, i spent all day at one of those water-distribution sites that you mentioned at del mar stadium, where thousands upon thousands of residents were coming in waiting for long stretches of time to receive free cases of water from volunteers. i also spent time, this week, at an affordable-housing complex, where i met residents who have no water coming through their pipes at all. and have been boot-strapping it, trying to come together. i want you to meet one of those folks i met. her name is sheryl walker and i want you to hear just what she's been through. take a listen to this. >> i know it's freezing but somebody is responsible for this.
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they should've had the stuff covered or -- or -- you know, stabilized. where it, you know, it -- they was able to keep the ice off the stuff where we wouldn't have been without lights. you know? somebody responsible for this. and somebody need to pay for it. >> sheryl. what she told me is that her concern is, even when her water comes back on, lindsey, she is going to end up in a financial crisis after a health and safety one. she works at a local hospital as a housekeeper. and people, here in texas, have not gone to work over the last five, six, days so she has lost wages so she is worried now after shivering at home, trying to take care of her husband and family, that she is now not going to be able to cover her bills. >> and you can tell and hear the desperation in ms. walker's voice as that took place, antonia. and there are so many groups in that situation. the good news is, for many parts
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of texas right now, there are only tens of thousands that are without power. they are dealing with so many other issues. minorities are being hit, especially hard, where you are. what impact is the aftermath of the storm having on those communities? >> you know what? i am hearing from residents of color here in houston is that their fear is that they are going to be the very last people here to see their lives go back to normal and their resources get restored. as i mentioned, at sheryl walker's affordable-housing complex, none of the residents there have running water coming out. and i actually watched as some of them took pool water and helped each other wash their clothes. bathed their kids. boil pool water for use. and so, in addition to depending on volunteers and kind people who have come out to places like del mar stadium to give them aid. they are, also, frankly, they are just coming together to manage through this crisis, kendis. moving into each other's homes. sharing the food. sharing the clean water that they have been able to find. and their game plan right now is just to see each other through the next day, kendis.
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>> every day, it's a struggle for many of these people. and not only are they using pool water as we saw in some of the video. they are actually melting the snow that was there on the ground. antonia hilton joining us from hard-hit houston of the thank you. in the meantime, we are fortunate enough to have the mayor of austin with us. steve adler. another hard-hit area in texas. thank you for taking the time to talk with us during this time of crisis. and speaking of crisis, mayor, how dire would you say the situation remains in your city? >> it's pretty dire. we have large parts of the city that don't have any water. and the parts of the city that do have water, we're under a water boil. what's making this doubly hard is that it is, on top of, yet, an earlier week, where we had a significant part of our -- our city, almost 40%, without -- without power. we had some people without power for 50, 60, 70 hours.
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so, it's just one more thing, on top of -- of -- of another. people are angry and frustrated and tired here. >> and no wonder, they're angry. one of your council members called this a katrina-scale crisis. how did the people of texas get here? and do you feel, as mayor, you could have done anything differently? >> i think that we got here because of a basic, underlying problem with the regulatory structure with how we do energy. in -- in the state. the premium has been on having a de-regulated system. that never provided the market incentives for people to -- to harden our system at the really low temperatures. the emphasis, the priority, was on producing energy at the lowest price tobl. possible. we need to change that regulatory structure. we need to actually provide incentives or rules that require people to harden at the 18
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degree below temperatures. this is unusual but not unforeseeable. and with what is happening in the climate, and the extreme, so we have seen, this is going to happen, more and more frequently. so our underlying, regulatory structure has to change. >> yeah. three times, already, in your lifetime. that's not exactly a once-in-a-lifetime event. mayor, there have been some heartening examples of neighbors helping one another. one of the council members, mackenzie kelly there tweeted out a picture of an austin fire-department truck. it was actually powering an oxygen device for someone. who other stories are you hearing? >> you know, we were -- we were -- we were getting ready to hook a hospital up to a fire hydrant, in order to keep water pressure in the -- in the boilers. it is -- it is -- it's neighbors taking in other neighbors because we have some people with power and heat and -- and others, not. it's people that are cooking meals, and then walking the streets to make sure that elderly neighbors, who can't get
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out and doesn't have the safe access are not left alone, and have contact and have food. at this point in time, so much is happening with volunteers and people helping one another because the scale of the challenge is just so great. >> mayor, chris christie was on the radio, last night, saying that he does not sympathize with ted cruz because ted cruz kind of doubled down, and made fun of him during that controversy when he was stuck on a beach during a lockdown in new jersey. you took some heat for visiting mexico in december, for your daughter's wedding, despite urging residents to stay at home during covid-19. you apologized, later. but ted cruz, at the time, called you a hypocrite. now, of course, he's in hot water. do you sympathize with ted cruz? >> you know, i am so focused, right now, on getting water to everyone in my city. making sure that people have food to eat. i'm not really focused on anything that is not intended to bring our community together. that's going to be something that senator cruz has to deal
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with, with the voters. >> but that said, has the senator reached out to you to ask what help you might need? or even the governor, for that matter? >> you know, we've talked to the -- to the governor's office. i have talked to some of the members of our congressional delegation. but i have not spoken with senator cruz or his office. >> mayor, you see so many of these images. and we do have new video coming into our control room right now. showing this massive fire engulfing a hotel in texas. about an hour north of austin. officials say an automatic-sprinkler system in the hotel was out of service because of frozen pipes but you also see people who are boiling snow. getting water from -- from pool. there are a lot of people who are watching from the outside, and saying this looks like a third-world country. >> it feels like a third-world country. it's not just people, on the outside, looking in. but this is a catastrophic failure, and it began with the failure in the power grid.
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once that happened, in our city, we lost heat. we lost a lot more pipes and a lot more ruptures in our water system. we had our largest water-treatment plant go down because of the -- of the power failure. this is a massive failure of systems, in the -- in the state. we have people that -- that need and deserve real good answers, as to how this happened. and how we make sure that this never happens, again. >> and, mayor, really quickly, let me give you one last shot at this. would you have advised ted cruz to go to mexico, during this week? >> you know, i am so focused on getting my people taken care of. and pulling this community together. that's all i'm going to -- to focus on. >> mayor steve adler, so many texans are hurting. they're angry. they're suffering. i mean, hooking a hospital up to a fire hydrant just to keep pressure there, in the middle of a pandemic. hopefully, something will be learned from this. thank you, mayor.
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>> thank you so much. a new investigation will be looking into 35 capitol police officers and their alleged role during the january-6th insurrection. meanwhile, more rioters are being brought to justice. six additional members of the far-right militia group, the oath keepers, have been indicted. >> msnbc's mariana sotomayor is on capitol hill with the very latest on these developments. there will be two hearingsment next week, looking into how the mob was able to breach the capitol. >> that's exactly right, kendis. it all begins, on tuesday, when two senate committees are actually going to come together. to start looking at the security failures, and trying to understand what, exactly, happened on january 6th. of course, this is also going to be the first time we'll likely hear from, together, on a panel, the former-capitol police chief, as well as the former house and senate sergeant of arms. all people, whose responsibility is the daily security and
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mechanics that happen across the capitol-hill complex. on thursday is when we'll hear from the current capitol-police chief, as well as the current house sergeant of arms. they will be testifying before the house-appropriations committee, which has already started to hold a number of hearings on the security failures. of course, all of this coming, as just this past week, we've seen a number of police officers suspended. and also, federally charged. there were six capitol police officers put on suspension, with pay. another 29 continue to be under investigation. congressman tim ryan of ohio. he serves on a committee that oversees the capitol police. he says, of those six officers, one of them was seen taking selfies with the insurrectionists. while another was wearing a make america great again hat. and actually, pointing these insurrectionists through different parts of the capitol. basically, guiding them on where to go. we don't actually know the other four, what they did to be
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suspended. but it's likely these -- these investigations, internally, within the capitol police, will continue. not to mention just the ones that members of congress, who were targets that day, will continue to hold. speaker, nancy pelosi, trying to even take this a step further. we should expect this upcoming week, legislation introduced to, finally, start up this independent, 9/11-style commission, which will act independently. have subpoena power to bring forth even more witnesses than some of these committees could do on their own. it's likely going to take a very long time for us to really know, exactly, the details of what happened. but that commission, likely, will produce a report of hundreds of pages, once it's concluded. and it's worth noting, this obviously comes at a time when there's just so much tension between americans and the police force, itself. we saw it, last summer, with the black lives matter protests. and now, we saw how police treated largely-white
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insurrectionists during that january-6th attack. federal investigators, actually, now, charging more members of this oath keepers group. they're a far-right, anti-government, militia group. really, filled with former soldiers, police officers, and, also, first responders. that, really, continuing to create just tensions and not much confidence within these groups that are supposed to be protecting americans, first and foremost. kendis and lindsey. >> all right. busy week ahead. mariana sotomayor for us in d.c. thank you. >> and today marks one month in office for president biden. he set some pretty ambitious goals so we will take a look at what he's been able to accomplish, so far. plus, texans feeling like the republican leaders gave them the cold shoulder as they're left shivering in their homes without power or water. we break down what some political futures look like with our panel. and later, texas doctor, that cold snap is melting away hopes of controlling the
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one month ago, today, joe biden was sworn in as president. in the last 30 days, he has reversed many of trump's moves on the environment, immigration, and foreign policy. plenty of executive orders but no legislation passed through congress. nbc news white house correspondent, monica alba joins us now with more on the last 30 days and what's ahead. monica, what promises has biden not accomplished, so far, in his fish month? >> well, the real test is going to be, kendis, whether this $1.9 trillion coronavirus-relief package is able to get through congress. that is something that president biden has said is his top priority. it's, obviously, something that, from day one, he wanted to try to get as much bipartisan support for. and really, that is what he hasn't been successful at doing, yet. they are still hopeful that, as this bill progresses, some republicans could potentially
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get on board. but right now, that is simply not there. so if he wants to make this a bipartisan promise, that still has quite an uphill climb to go on capitol hill. but he will likely be able to get it through, with just the support of democrats, through that process of budget reconciliation. but that is, really, the big-ticket item in his first 100 days. along with the promise, to get at least 100 million shots in arms, in the first 100 days. which is something that the biden administration is on track to complete. though, the events of the last week show just how quickly these plans can be derailed, when you have a winter storm, like what we saw in texas and throughout the region. millions of vaccinations that were supposed to be distributed have now been stalled or delayed. so if something else major, like that, happens, there could be an issue with that goal. but they do believe they are going to be able to accomplish that. so those are the two that are really the major ones. but they're in progress. they're not completed, yet. so much, though, of what president biden sought to do in these first few weeks was to
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undo much of what the trump administration had put into place. and when you look at that track record, he really has done a lot of what he promised to do, in terms of rejoining the world health organization. rejoining the paris climate accord. that, you saw, yesterday, when he wanted to talk about how america is back on the world stage. arguing that, under his leadership, he will be able to reestablish a lot of ties with allies. so, they're now going to be turning from the domestic, a little bit, to the international. as you see there. the potential for reengaging with talks with iran, which is something that will happen, over the next couple of weeks, potentially, with some european partners, if that all aligns. but here, at home, the coronavirus pandemic remains the top priority. with things, like immigration, absolutely, also, beneath that. and criminal-justice reform. something else that the biden administration is hoping to get done. something, as it relates to that, in the first 100 days but they really have said the health crisis and economic fallout take
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top billing when it comes to these other domestic priorities they will probably get to in the second half of the first 100 days. kendis. and lindsey. >> specifically, iran and the nuclear talks. we will get reaction from tehran, a little bit later today or this morning from ali rouzi. >> executive director of move on. good morning, to both of you. carlos, i want to start with you. front and center, right now. we have covid relief. democrats want the president's $1.9 trillion plan signed by mid-march. that's when a lot of benefits are going to run out. and it includes those checks to people for 1,400 bucks but the biggest fight is expected to be for minimum wage. we know americans support covid relief but we know there is going to be pushback from republicans. what do you want to see with this bill? >> well, look. the most important thing is that the biden administration is focused on what is top of mind for most americans. which is this covid pandemic. this is important, especially coming off the heels of an
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administration, the previous one, that was distracted. that was, kind of, all over the place, and somewhat chaotic. so the biden administration has exuded some competence. they've been on message. they have been talking about covid-19, which is what is holding back a lot of american families, today. so, that's important, and it is important for them to deliver. whether they do it with republican support, or not, the president promised that this would be his number-one focus. so, he does need a legislative achievement on covid-19. a lot of what he's advocating for is popular. minimum wage can be more controversial. some will argue that it could actually cause more unemployment. i think that, what they should do is focus on covid-19, get americans the relief they need. and, in doing so, they'll, also, help build trust and confidence in the administration, and in the government, more generally. >> well, ronna, at the state level, republicans are proposing voetding restrictions, including tightening vote-by-mail
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eligibility. getting rid of ballot-drop boxes, blocking early voting on sundays. and your group mobilizes people to encourage voter turnout. is this voter suppression? >> yes, these are not voter-restriction bills. these are voter-suppression bills. and this is a clear, blatant attempt, by the republican party, at the state level. and quite honestly, we have republicans at the federal level, that have been trying to restrict voting and suppress voting for years because they know, the more people that can vote, the less likely they are to hold onto power. because the vast majority of americans do not agree with the policies of the republican party. so, the most important thing, speaking of the biden administration and the priorities. yes, they've been -- they have come out the gate, roaring. they rejoined the paris climate accord. they've ended the keystone pipeline. they've ended family-separation policy, which was so inhumane and awful. but there is so much more work to do. i mean, the voters voted for
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bold governance. they voted for biden to address the growing, insurmounting crises of this moment. and there are so many. and one of those that he must address, that congress must address this year, is structural democracy reform. it's making the rules work for all americans. the hr-1, the for the people act, if passed and when passed, it will end gerrymandering. it will lift up the voices of everyday people to contend with the big money in our politics. and it will expand voting rights, and make voting more accessible for americans. which is, ultimately, what democracy is all about. >> one of the insurmountable crises right now is in texas. carlos, you have three of the states making the situation even worse. governor greg abbott used this as an example of why the green new deal would never work. he was contradicted by his own
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energy department. rick perry said texans are willing to suffer in order to keep feds out of their business. of course, senator ted cruz went off to mexico. are they failing the test here when it comes to leading during crisis? >> i think, a lot of texans are disappointed in their leadership. and it was pretty surprising to hear governor abbott talking about the green new deal. trying to politicize this crisis. and by the way, right in the middle of it. right, when people were at the peak of their suffering, no power, freezing, in their own homes. and here we are, talking about a -- a policy proposal that, sure, comes from the left side of the political spectrum. but really, has nothing to do what is happening -- with what is happening in texas. of course, senator cruz, with poor judgment, leaving to another country. not just somewhere else in the united states. but leaving to another country, while so many people in the state were -- were having -- going through some difficult
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times. senator cruz had to admit that it was a horrible mistake. so, i really think that the people of texas are deeply frustrated, very disappointed. and once this crisis is behind us, i think, there will be a reckoning for some of the elected officials there, who were, to be kind, distracted during this crisis. >> all right, carlos, ronna, we will have to leave it there. thank you both. religion and recovery. we will take a look at how places of worship are helping to bridge the covid-19 gap in communities. texas congressman colin allred speaks out about the winter storm that has weathered his state, and why thousands of people are still without electricity and clean water. "the cross connection" starts at 10:00 a.m., eastern.
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here are the latest coronavirus headlines we're following, this morning. covid-19 cases are down in the u.s. but we are still nearing half a million deaths from covid-19. something, experts previously warned could be possible, by this time. this comes, as the u.s. passed 28 million cases, earlier, this week, according to an nbc news count. pfizer says it's asking for an update to its emergency authorization from the fda to store its vaccines in regular freezers. right now, those doses need to be stored at ultra-freezing temperatures but they say new data shows it could be stable in regular fridges. if approved, pfizer says, this could really improve their distribution, across the u.s. and college basketball fans might have a shot at attending a march madness game. the ncaa will allow up to 25% capacity at every round of the men's tournament, including the final four. everybody will have to be soernlly distant and wear masks.
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but some experts are still denouncing the move, saying it will encourage people from across the country to travel. further, risking spread of the virus. new efforts under way to combat vaccine inequity like in the detroit, area, for example. where medical professionals are partnering with places of worship to improve vaccine distribution for its black and senior residents. shaquille brewster in detroit at second ebenezer church where their senior saturday vaccine drive will kick off, shortly. shaq. >> good morning, kendis. yes, today is senior saturday here, in detroit. and really, it's a partnership between the local-health system and local churches across the city to expand access to the vaccine, to minority areas, to older populations. i spoke to the bishop here, and he said it's pretty much about saving lives. and you know, there is extra twist to what we will be seeing today. we will be seeing about 500
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seniors come in and be vaccinated. it will be in a socially-distant way. they will keep a limited amount of people in the church. but the twist that you have is it was in this community that you saw the largest population of african-americans in that phase three process of the moderna trial. so they helped try the vaccine, helped get the vaccine to -- to the shipping -- processing. getting it approved by the fda. and now, they are now getting the vaccine administered to them. listen to a little bit of my conversation with the bishop. and what he said in how this impact, the impact that it'll have, what having the vaccine come directly into the community, like this. >> many people in communities of color have vaccine hesitancy for many, many justifiable reasons. for historical reasons. for the reasons of health inequities, that have been history in our communities. and so, it's important for
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trusted-community voices and places to be involved. >> reporter: and the bishop made a very big deal about getting his own vaccine. he said that some of his members told him, after seeing him get the vaccine, they decided to go ahead and take that step. you hear about the vaccine hesitancy. folks believe that having vaccine being administered in individual communities. bringing that vaccine to people will really have an impact. one other thing that you continue to track as we go across the state of michigan, and as we talk to officials there is the idea of supply. they have people who are willing to administer the vaccine. they just need more supply to do it to more people. >> shaq, i have about ten seconds but i saw you reporting yesterday about something called pots for shots? i had a lot of friends who immediately started planning trips to michigan, as a result. >> well, it's not just in michigan. there is this network of dispensaries in d.c. they call it joints for jabs. so, you can go and do that.
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they are planning to scale this up, as the vaccine becomes more available. but essentially, at this dispensary, about 30 minutes outside of detroit, you come back with your vaccination card. and they will give you a free, pre-rolled joint for you to celebrate and to encourage you to go ahead and get the vaccine, if that is encouragement for anyone. >> whatever it takes, i guess. shaquille brewster. if it will get people to get the vaccine, then go have at it. shaq, thank you of. icy roads, power outages, and brutal temperatures putting a freeze on vaccine efforts. in texas, in the meantime, how hospitals are coping and why they fear another spike in cases. r another spike in cases. alice loves the scent of gain so much, she wished there was a way to make it last longer. say hello to your fairy godmother alice. and long-lasting gain scent beads. part of the irresistible scent collection from gain! with oscar mayer deli fresh it's not just a sandwich, far from it. it's a reason to come together.
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we're back with the big concerns about the impact the crisis in texas is having on vaccine distribution. dr. peter hotez has warned that shipment delays could have more dire consequences, as u.s. officials rush to control the spread of the dangerous, uk variant, within u.s. borders. well, dr. hotez joins me right now. he is the director of the center for vaccine development at texas children's hospital, in houston. doctor, thank you for being here. appreciate your time. why are you so concerned about this-particular variant? and how far back does the texas crisis actually put us in controlling it? >> well, if you look at the rankings now, kendis, texas has fallen to the bottom of states, in terms of vaccinating its population. we're down to 11%.
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we were in the middle, before. now, we have fallen because of that lost week. we thought it would just be a day, or so. but it's -- the whole week is gone, pretty much. and -- and -- and that's really tragic because we've got -- we're in this horrible race against the rise of this variant that we call b.1.1.7, that originally rose out of the united kingdom. it's really taking off in florida now. but the concern is by the spring, it's going to be widespread across the united states. and it's more contagious. it's more transmissible. and the uk government has actually shown it's more lethal, as well. although it's not been per peer reviewed. looked at pretty impressive in the wrong way. we can't afford any delays. and it's not only texas. there is about ten states, now, that have suffered significantly because of these storms. so, any setback is amplified by the fact that we've got this variant looming on us. >> yeah. and president biden, however, remains hopeful that the delays wouldn't take us that far-off
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course. here he is at the pfizer plant, in west michigan. >> getting the vaccine and having it available is not the same as putting it in someone's arm. this is going to be a continuous-rolling effort. look what's happening with the weather now, for example. slowing up the distribution right now. but, i believe, we'll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year. god willing, this christmas will be different than last. >> you hear him say, hard to hear, saying he expects normalcy by the end of this year. and in fact, overnight, you had a doctor from johns hopkins university, who claims that we will have herd immunity by april. what do you agree with? >> well, i certainly agree with the president. i think we will be very close to normalcy, by the end of this year. i actually think i am even more optimistic than the president. i think we could get there by the fall, or maybe even by the end of the summer.
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certainly, maybe not completely normal but, you know, looking at a much-higher quality of life for the american people by the summer. that's the good news. the herd-immunity business by the spring. i don't buy that. i think we're certainly not going to be close to anything like that. but the -- the -- the big concern i have is, despite the president's optimism, in the long haul, i mean, in terms of where we get there. and by the -- by the fall. i am concerned about the spring because we are seeing this rapid ascendency of that variant. and so, the question is how many deaths are we going to see in the united states, until we get to normalcy? we are already hitting about 500,000 americans have lost their lives. the projections are around 600,000, or maybe 700,000, as we get into june. and all that, depends on how quickly we can get ahead of the variants. so, i agree with the president. and -- and -- in the long-term, we are going to be in a
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much-better position. but getting through thesenext few months, march, april, and may, this is the crunch time where i am really worried for the american people. >> in the meantime, so many places are slowly opening back up. we hope that people kind of heed the warning that you are putting out there, dr. hotez. thank you. >> thanks so much. president biden declares era of trump's america-first diplomacy as over. how he is trying to expunge the last four years, and restore relationships with leaders around the world. and coming up tomorrow. as more coronavirus mutations are being detected around the world, what's being done to save lives? >> it's a transformative way of making vaccines. >> absolutely. and could really become faster, yeah, by -- by increasing our production capacities. and we will be prepared, the next time, when -- when an outbreak happens. >> richard engel reports on the effect new strains are having on the battle against covid-19.
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i think we're going to find the votes to confirm. >> no. >> the president biden there saying he will not withdrawal neera tanden's nomination to lead the office of management and budget. tanden's confirmation, at risk right now, west virginia senator joe manchin expressed opposition to her. stated tweets are partisan and will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the working relationship between members of congress and the next director of the office of management and budget. well, so far, the senate has confirmed all of biden's nominees, and has yet to reject any. if confirmed, tanden would be the first, nonwhite woman to run
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the federal-budget office. president biden is setting the tone for his foreign policy. in his presidential debut on the world stage, he sought to reassure leaders of the u.s.'s commitment to its european allies. >> i am 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. >> the president, also, formally offered to restart nuclear talks with iran. as their sanctions' deadline approaches. nbc news tehran bureau chief, ali rouzi has the latest. what's the reaction from allies? >> well, that's exactly what they wanted to hear. they wanted to hear from president biden that the united states is back in their partnership with their european allies. a very important partnership that they'll present a unified
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front, on many subjects. they'll negotiate things together. and the europeans won't be frozen out of any process that the americans want to go forward with, like the nuclear deal. i mean, the europeans were very upset that president trump, basically, pulled out of the deal. he didn't really consult with them. a deal, that was painstakingly negotiated with the europeans and the united states, for over two years. so it's back to business, as usual, with europe. and i think that was music to their ears. and it, also, gives a chance for the europeans, now, to act as a sort of between a very contentious relationship between the united states and iran. look. the -- the reality of the situation is, right now, that the u.s. and iran are at a standoff over the nuclear deal. neither side wants to make the first move. and the europeans have offered to start negotiations. they invited president biden to have multilateral talks between
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them and the iranians to figure out some sort of mechanism to get the ball rolling, again. and i guess, that's how diplomacy works. i mean, let's not forget, with the previous administration, the relationship with europe was, often, on the black -- back burner. and it was very contentious, on a broad range of issues. this way, they can resolve things, more easily. that's -- that's the hope, anyway. but again, back to my point. iran and america are at a major standoff, right now. the united states is saying that iran needs to come back into full compliance with the jcpoa. it needs to roll back all the breaches it's made, and then sanctions will be dropped. iran's position is, no, that's not what we will accept. they are saying that the u.s. needs to drop all sanctions, and then they'll come back into compliance. it's, kind of, a nuclear game of chicken between these two. so, there's a lot of things to resolve between the u.s.
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and there are, also, some very sensitive timelines coming up. iran's parliament passed a bill, recently, saying that if the u.s. doesn't drop all sanctions against iran, by the 23rd of february, that's this tuesday, then they are going they are go roll back commitments to the nuclear deal. they may restrict access or deny access to iaea inspectors at nuclear sites, they'll be less transparent on the nuclear program, whether it is uranium enrichment, more advanced centrifuges, that's going to infinitely complicate matters and drag this whole process out. there are diplomatic talks. >> nuclear game of chicken. words nobody wants to hear. ali arouzi, thank you for your reporting. asian americans say they've
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had a target on their back. violent attacks are spiking in the u.s. it is this attack on an elderly woman in new york attracting a lot of attention lately thanks to actress olivia munn. for her, the attacks became personal. she joins us live next. personal she joins us live next downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters keep your laundry smelling fresh way longer than detergent alone. pour a cap of downy unstopables into your washing machine before each load and enjoy fresher smelling laundry. with 6 times the freshness ingredients, downy unstopables gives you more of what you love. if you want laundry to smell fresh for weeks make sure you have downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters.
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we are back with alarming rise in attacks against asian americans. one of the latest was a chinese
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mother in queens, new york. the man that allegedly attacked her has reportedly been released from police custody without bail. patrick mateo, arrested and charged with assault and harassment. >> the disturbing surveillance video was taken outside a bakery tuesday. it shows the man police say is mateo, hurling what looks like a box and then he shofs her to the ground. she was the mother of a friend of olivia munn. >> the actress joins us now this morning as well as sam chang whose mother was the victim of the incident. welcome to you both. appreciate your time. appreciate you putting a spotlight on the incident. sam, your mom had to get several stitches. you told me moments ago, 7 to 10 stitches. how is she doing? >> doing very well. she's asleep at the moment but
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she's trying to live her life per usual. yeah. >> and you also told us she was just asking whether he was in line and then the assault happened. it was also very fast. we mentioned there's been a wave of violent crimes targeting asian americans. since the pandemic began, more than 2800 cases reported across the country. 7% involve asian americans older than 60. 8% have been physical assaults. olivia, i know you two are friends, this is personal for you. your post led to the arrest. what do you hope people learn from listening to this? >> i hope that people hear what is happening to our community. i hope that they understand that right now there is an astronomical rise in hate crimes against the asian community and that we need help to feel safe in our country, we need help to be safe in our country and need people to amplify what's
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happening to us. >> sam, nobody wants to see these incidents take place. we have been seeing them on the rise. i believe it is 1900% increase since the pandemic started here in new york city alone. but this is your mom and you saw it. as you're watching that video, what went through your mind? >> i was very pissed, extremely angry, slamming my frig but i was able to calm down, then talk to mom about what happened. she was trying to hide the incident from me, she knows i would get slightly irrational possibly. i followed through. did this the legal way with my mom. i think we have to give thanks to the community. >> olivia, i know many actors have been trying to get the message out. what can people do if they see
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some incident like this take place? >> if you see something, you have to do something or say something. and that doesn't always mean getting involved because in this situation, a lot of people have been talking about how the bystanders did nothing. we can't really speak on what it feels like to be in that moment. that guy was so aggressive, there's something that was -- you can see how angry he is, how violent he is with sam's mom. everyone around is looking and not quite sure what to do. there was a bystander saw what happened and followed him, got the pictures. because we had great pictures, we were able to put it on social media, give it to nypd who made a wanted poster right away, that led to his arrest. at the very minimum, get out your phones, take footage, take pictures when you see something wrong happening, do that. it does help us.
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>> really does help. for everyone that they captured, there are so many more sadly until we can get our heads wrapped around all of this. olivia munn, sam cheng, thank you. >> sam, we hope your mom continues to recover. a typical mom, too, doesn't want her son to worry about her, down plays it. >> she's like i'm fine, i'm fine. thank you all for watching. >> we'll be back tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. velshi starts right now. good morning. it is saturday, february 20th. i am ali velshi, coming to you live from birmingham, alabama where i will bring you fascinating an important conversations with activists and ordinary citizens on the front line of the battle for racial equality in this country from a city steeped in the civil rights struggle. we begin this morning with slow
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rolling crisis that continues this hour in texas where millions of fellow citizens find themselves in a dire situation, days into a winter storm that crippled the energy sector, brought out the worst in republican leadership. while power started to come back for most of the millions of texans struggling through freezing temperatures without it, there are still tens of thousands without power and the crisis is shifting from power to water. half the state's population does not currently have safe drinking water coming out of its taps. >> we shouldn't have to be without lights. i know it is freezing but somebody is responsible for this. you got people dying out here. you got hypothermia, dying. you know, people's houses are busted up because of water pipes busted. >> if the crisis the texans are li


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