tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC February 24, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST
m, honey...why is guy fieri in our kitchen? i don't know. i'm booking you a one-way ticket to flavortown with a king's hawaiian meatball sub. ♪ ♪ i gotta go. your neighbor needs king's hawaiian bread. hey, i got you. guy fieri? on two fronts, cabinet confirmations and the coronavirus. starting with some of those last minute moves unfolding as we speak on the hill, now putting the president's pick for budget director in serious jeopardy. two committees abruptly putting today's schedule votes on neera
tanden on hold, including one that was supposed to be happening right now. our latest reporting on why the white house is showing no signs of backing down. and breaking right now, too, a new coronavirus vaccine one step closer to approval. what insiders at the fda are saying this morning about the candidate from johnson & johnson, the first single-shot covid vaccine may be just a matter of hours away from getting the okay for emergency use. and the potential future cia director in front of lawmakers this hour. 24 hours after we learned serious intelligence failures are partly to blame for the capitol riot response. and why a missed email is making headlines. a former cia director is here with you live on the fallout. good morning, i'm hallie jackson in wash along with our nbc news team, leigh ann caldwell, peter alexander at the white house starting us off. let's talk about, leigh ann, some of the votes that relate to neera tanden. why were the votes postponed and
why is this an important position to the biden agenda right now? >> reporter: the homeland security committee who was supposed to vote out her nomination out of the committee today suddenly postponed her vote. we are told by a committee aide our colleague frank thorp was told that the reason is because committee members need more time to process and consider her nomination. well, that's a real bad sign and it shows that perhaps she did not have the votes to make it out of committee. the person i'm looking at in this evenly divided committee among republicans and democrats is senator kyrsten sinema. i reached out to her office and have not yet received a response. hallie, it was -- when neera tanden was nominated it was the liberals who was not happy with it, but now it seems like it's the moderates who could very well sink her nomination.
of course, senator joe manchin the moderate democrat from west virginia was the first to come out and say that he would not support her. he was joend by some moderate republicans including senator collins and senator rob portman who used to be omb director. so the question, though, is why does this matter? who is the omb director and what do they actually do? most americans don't hear from the omb director that often but it has a critical role in the government. it coordinates between all hundreds of government agencies, it advances the president's agenda and it also prepares the president's budget as well. so it's a highly influential but very behind the scenes position, but it's not looking good for neera tanden at this moment, hallie. >> leigh ann, you make an important point. it is a behind the scenes role but it is critical when it comes to issues of economic importance which is exactly what the biden administration is focusing on right now or trying to. peter, it seems like the white house is not going wobbly on
tanden, at least not right now. are you hearing any scuttlebutt behind the scenes on other names that might be out there or are they all in for neera tanden? >> reporter: publicly they are all in for neera tanden, somebody the president has said he supports, ron klain his chief of staff is close to tanden as well. jen psaki the press secretary just this morning as all of the information that we are reporting out right now about those committees postponing their votes tweeted multiple tweets in support of her saying she is a leading policy expert, that she brings critical qualifications to the table during this unprecedented crisis. talking about her unique perspective. she was raised by a single mom, she would be the first woman of southeast -- first person of south asian dissent to lead the omb. she was someone who was raised on food stamps so she understands the importance of these budget decision-making processes. that's what the white house has been saying. we heard from president biden just yesterday saying that they think there is still a good
shot. we're going to push, president biden said. jen psaki when asked about this in the briefing now under 24 hours ago and we will wait to her from her again at 12:30 to hear if she has any change in tone. then she said there was only one candidate for budget director and her name is neera tanden. there have been some names floated, shalonda young. publicly and it appears clear is the president putting capital on this as is his team here, that they are focusing heavily on trying to get the votes needed for neera tanden in spite of the challenging situation they face. >> peter alexander and leigh ann caldwell thanks to the both of you. we will go back to the hilarity on. it is a busy morning there. we want to get to game changing news breaking also this morning on the coronavirus. with the potential third vaccine now one step closer to approval. fda staffers this morning are giving their signoff to the single shot candidate from
johnson & johnson. this comes 48 hours before the fda is set to meet and decide whether to actually green light this shot for emergency use. i want to bring in nbc news medical contributor dr. natalie azar who is joining us here now. dr. azar, we have seen this now a couple of times in the past, this information comes out, the documentation, it seems like it's a good sign, as we've seen for the pfizer and moderna vaccines it then goes on to get the green light from the fda. do you see the same thing for the j & j vaccine? do you think it is on track for approval, possibly by the end of the week? >> i absolutely do, hallie. i don't think there's going to be anything that's going to come up in the next 48 hours or on friday in that meeting that's going to make officials give them any concern about authorizing this eua. when we're analyzing whether or not to grant an eua for a vaccine we're looking at a number of different things, we're looking at safety, efficacy, tolerability and of course the big question of whether or not the vaccine can
reduce transmission. so what did we learn that was new that we didn't already know from a couple of weeks ago? it certainly, i think, reestablished and reconfirmed that this does appear to be a very safe and effective vaccine. a lot of numbers here, but i think it's important to reiterate in the u.s. the overall efficacy was 72%, but that efficacy increased to 86% for preventing severe disease. now, a big number that we thought that was new this morning that we're very, very excited about is the overall efficacy in south africa. remember, with that south african variant. a couple weeks ago we had a number of 57% efficacy, that increased to 64% overall efficacy for the south african variant and 82% effective at preventing severe disease caused by that south african variant, hallie. >> that is good news obviously. and the other piece of this that is potentially good news, it is a single shot vaccine as we've been talking about as this j & j shot has been in development. how much of a game changer do you think that is as opposed to the two-shot vaccines that are
on the market right now? >> huge, hallie. number one, yes, one shot only right now, stored in regular refrigerated temperatures for three months and by all accounts it appears to be slightly better tolerated than the pfizer and moderna vaccine with just some arm pain, some headache, fatigue, low-grade fever. thus far no anaphylactic reactions have been reported to this vaccine so that is great news. there also appears to have been no difference across race, ethnicity as well as age, and the biggest bit of information that we can offer today is that there is a suggestion that it might be able to reduce transmission in people who have been vaccinated. that is it reduces the amount of asymptomatic disease. now, the authors and researchers and vaccine makers are very cautious to say that we're not suggesting yet that it can reduce transmission yet, but this data is much more promising than what we've seen with novavax and astrazeneca in this
same regard. >> before i let you go talk timeline here. if this does get fda approval by the end of the week when do we actually start seeing shots in arms for people, this single-shot dose? >> so this was probably the only bit of information that was a little bit discouraging today. i think they are a little bit lower than their goals in terms of pledged amounts. we are anticipating about 2 to 4 million doses being available by the end of february. that number increases to about 20 million by the end of march and they are under contract to produce up to 100 million doses by the end of june. so, hallie, i think you will start seeing, just like we did with pfizer and moderna, pretty quick turnaround and we will get shots in arms probably the week after it's approved. >> and obviously a big day end of this week as we wait to see whether this does get that official green light from the fda. dr. natalie azar, thank you for that. talking more about covid coming up later in the show but for now we want to take you out west to get the latest on the
condition of golfer tiger woods. we are told he's awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room according to a statement posted online just after midnight. according to the ucla medical center woods had that car crash yesterday. nobody else was hurt. police are saying there are no signs that woods was impaired while driving. we are actually going to have more on that later in the show. for now let me bring in nbc's megan fitzgerald from outside the hospital where woods is recovering. megan, it seems like the question everyone is asking will tiger ever play golf again? >> reporter: hallie, that's absolutely right, that's what people want to know, are we ever going to see him play golf again. obviously doctors are saying that his career is in jeopardy. what we know is that he is a fighter, he is resilient. keep in mind it was in december that he underwent his fifth back surgery so he was in rehab over the last several weeks trying to get better with the goal in mind
of course of returning to the sport and then 24 hours ago this horrific crash. so while the hospital here is saying that he is awake, he is responsive, he also suffered catastrophic injuries to his legs they say. and i want to read for you a portion of the statement that was released overnight to give just an idea of just the significance of these injuries. it says, open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. we also know, for example, his ankle and his foot are being supported by screws and pins. so, you know, there's a lot happening here obviously, an uphill battle for him, but i can also tell you that support is pouring in all across the country. not just from athletes. of course, we're seeing people like serena williams tweeting their support, but also cher, former presidents, barack obama, you know, tweeting their
support, hoping that he can make a fast and speedy recovery. hallie? >> megan fitzgerald live for us out in southern california. thank you. taking you back to washington. coming up here on the show, live to a very busy morning on capitol hill including what's expected to be a fiery face-off between lawmakers and postmaster general lewis dejoy over post office delays, price hikes. plus nbc news is learning new details about intel failures ahead of the capitol riots. we're talking about a former cia director john brennan as the confirmation hearing begins form president biden's current pick to lead the cia. on think the house is set to vote on the final version of the covid relief bill. we have details on a critical decision expected as soon as today that could affect whether a minimum wage hike gets added. all of that coming up right here on msnbc. added all of that coming up right here on msnbc
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are about to get a closed-door briefing on current and future security at the capitol. a day after the first hearing on the january 6th attack revealed frankly a stunning lack of communication between law enforcement. capitol police apparently missing an fbi warning in an email the night before the riots. nbc news national security and justice correspondent ken dilanian is following this for us. ken, let's talk about some of your reporting now from overnight. you have one former fbi official who says the bureau's intelligence collection system is broken, but the fbi is pushing back. >> good morning, hallie. yeah, the revelations at that hearing and my own reporting over the last few weeks suggest that the fbi is seriously hampered in its ability to collect and distribute intelligence about domestic terrorism. there was a lot of focus on this one email from the norfolk fbi field office, it was an intelligence report based on social media postings that showed clear threats to the capitol and it was sent the night before the january 6th
riots after business hours and it apparently wasn't distributed to senior levels in the capitol police and the d.c. police and those officials testified yesterday that no one at the fbi mentioned it to them and they thought that was a failure. but what the former senior fbi official and other officials say is it goes well beyond this one email which the fbi responds and says it wasn't a credible allegation. what they say is the whole system is broken because the fbi feels constrained from gathering intelligence about postings on social media by domestic extremists because they're concerned about free speech. there is a long history of domestic surveillance by the fbi, they don't want to be accused of spying on people who have extreme political views, but the question is when it crosses over into violence doesn't the fbi have an obligation to collect on that and to warn people about that? and what the officials at yesterday's hearing said is they had no indication from the fbi or anyone else that people were planning to attack the capitol, but we all saw it on social media. nbc news was reporting in the days before the riot that people
were promising violence to stop the congressional certification of that election, hallie. so there's going to be a lot of talk about this and there's potential new legislation and the fbi really hasn't responded to that more fundamental criticism. >> it's great reporting, ken. thank you for bringing it to us. i want to bring in now former cia director in the obama administration former director john brennan. senior national security analyst for msnbc of course. director brennan, good morning to you. thanks for being on. >> sure. good morning, hallie. >> so we heard the d.c. police chief testify that he is available 24/7 to talk to the fbi or any agency when it comes to security issues like this and i wonder based on the reporting that ken has done, do you see this, what has happened, as a wake-up call for our intelligence agencies? >> well, i think there needs to be a very thorough review done at the capitol police and the sergeant-at-arms and house and senate as well as the fbi and the domestic intelligence agencies. just to determine exactly what
are the challenges as well as obstacles to having better insight into this growing challenge that we are facing of domestic terrorism. and so there are issues related to free speech and privacy rights, but at the same time there is an obligation on the part of these agencies to do all they can to uncover plans to carry out violent attacks and to do what they can to thwart them. therefore i think it was outrageous what happened on january 6. this gives us an opportunity to take a fresh look at what we need to do to update our practices, procedures, maybe our laws as well to ensure that this never happens again. >> then, is it fair to say based on that response, director brennan, that this bolsters the argument in your view to have a 9/11-style commission look into what happened on january 6th as far as intelligence failures and does it emphasize the need i wonder for it to be truly bipartisan if that happens? >> well, there are a lot of calls for 9/11-like commissions, whether it be on the assault on the capitol on january 6th or on
cyber or other types of challenges that we face as a country, but i do think that there needs to be a bipartisan effort and an honest effort to try to get to the bottom of what went wrong. the lack of preparation, the lack of communication, how intelligence was not leveraged in order to, again, better prepare those capitol police officers and others to respond to what was this insurrection against the capitol. but also what are the challenges to calling up the national guard in d.c. and should the mayor be given greater authorities? so there are a lot of aspects to this and i do think it's important for this to be a bipartisan objective review. whether a commission or not, but something has to be done in order to protect against this ever happening again. >> i wonder what your reaction was as you were watching the revelations that were coming out of this hearing yesterday, director brennan. were you surprised by them? did you find them deeply disappointing or not?
>> well, i think there was some finger pointing there as well as differents of recollections, that's why i do think it's important for there could be this review that can gather the information, the data, look at phone records and look at what actually happened, but in that, you know, surge of activity on january 6th i'm sure there was a lot of things that were going on that were unprecedented and, therefore, we have to prepare for these types of developments in light of the growing scourge of domestic terrorism here in the united states. so i was surprised at some of the things that i heard, the fact that some intelligence, even if it was tactical intelligence that came from an fbi office in norfolk and that it was unsubstantiated but still it under lined the potential for there to be very serious violent acts committed in the nation's capitol. you have to make sure that intelligence that gets into the system is going to be disseminated effectively. intelligence is not an end in
itself, it is only useful when it is used by those who have operational or leadership responsibilities. so i do think this is a wake-up call to update practices, procedures, and to make sure that the different parts of this effort, the law enforcement, security, at the federal, at the local levels are going to be well coordinated and communicating in the future. >> the senate intelligence committee has something else on its plate this morning, a confirmation hearing happening now for a position you know well because you held it, cia director. what should we know about president biden's nominee william burns, the challenges that lie ahead for him especially after what was frankly sometimes a rocky relationship between that agency and former president trump? >> well, i think bill burns obviously is an outstanding national security professional with 40 years of experience. he knows these issues very well. having served as ambassador in moscow as well as in jordan, he knows the china issue, serving
as deputy secretary of state. he has been experienced in all of the issues that are facing our country. so, therefore, i'm hoping that the senators are not going to engage in any type of partisan bickering on either side of the aisle. they need to tap into bill's extensive reservoir of experience and insight into what the united states is facing in the years ahead. how he's going to use the capabilities of cia to better protect this country. what is his impression of cia strengths and weaknesses? what does he see as the key priorities? how is he going to approach the job? what is he going to do to ensure that diversity is going to thrive within the agency because the agency needs that diversity in order to deal with the many different challenges that we face around the globe. so bill burns has this, again, depth of ex experience, he has the temperament and he has, i think, the relationship with the white house and with the other national security seniors to get this job done. so i couldn't be more pleased to have someone like bill burns at the helm of langley.
>> director john brennan, thank you for being with us. we appreciate your time this morning. when we come back, spring break in a pandemic. the lengths that one florida mayor is willing to go to stop a potential superspreader event. and vaccinations at your doorstep. the innovative way to get vaccines to those most vulnerable. but first, we've been watching peaceful protests in rochester, new york, overnight after a grand jury there decided none of the seven officers who arrested daniel prude will be charged in his death. that's after an investigation was launched by the state attorney general. the 41-year-old black man died in march of last year after being restrained by officers. he was reported having a psychotic episode while naked and in the middle of a street. police say prude told him he had covid which led them to place a spit hood over his head. the autopsy ruled his death a homicide as a result of tass fix i can't and friday of complications from pcp. letitia james is calling for
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we've got a note in, just in from the white house. linda thomas-greenfield now officially sworn in as the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. the senate confirmed her tuesday by a vote of 78-20. she is a retired 35-year veteran of the foreign service and will be the second black woman to hold the job. we've got news, too, on the critical next steps in the works for that covid relief bill including on whether a minimum wage increase can be included in that plan. the decision expected as soon as today potentially launching some power plays from senators whose votes will be really important. the house getting ready to vote friday on its version of the bill. all of it happening as covid cases and hospitalizations are declining. around 55,000 americans in the hospital right now, that's according to the covid tracking project and the total number of americans infected so far more than 28 million. nearly 505,000 americans have died. i want to bring in nbc's garrett haake on capitol hill for us. bring us up to speed on the direction these mexico
individual relief steps seem to be heading in. does minimum wage -- an increase in minimum wage get in or not? >> reporter: that remains to be seen right now, hallie, but the overall effort for more covid relief got a boost this morning from corporate america in the form of a letter from about 150 fortune 500 ceo,including some brands people know like united airlines, jetblue, morgan stanley saying they want to see one more big covid relief bill effort, not necessarily this one, but right now it's the only game in town. here is what i can tell you, this $1.9 trillion bill is expected to be voted on in the house late friday, kicking things over to the senate. you mentioned we're waiting on this ruling from the parliamentarian about whether the $15 minimum wage could be included in this bill. that will kick off a bit of a debate here. if it's out it's probably going to stay out and that might upset progressives particularly on the house side. if it's allowed to stay in we could see essentially a game of chicken between most of the democratic caucus and some
members, namely joe manchin, possibly kyrsten sinema who don't want to see a $15 minimum wage go all the way up. this is going to be an entirely democratic affair when it gets over to the senate as it likely probably will be in the house. we've heard from mitt romney, rob portman have come out publicly saying this is not the kind of bill they can get behind. the sheen of bipartisanship is off here. once it gets to the senate side the task will be keeping all 50 democratic senators in line. hallie, you have to think what senator wants to be the one who is going to tank such an enormous biden administration priority? that's kind of the state of play here as this bill looks likely to move through the house -- you let tate to say it out loud but relatively easily come friday. >> cool. let's see if you jinxed that one. garrett haake live on the hill. thank you jie want to go to nbc's sam brock in miami beach where officials are really trying to keep those covid rates down and avoid new increases.
sam, it is spring break time. it is here. they are starting to arrive. talk about the restrictions in place there in miami and what is being done down the road. >> reporter: hallie, good morning. good to be with you. you know, every city around here kind of can craft its own legislation and rules when it comes to policing spring break. miami beach has been out in front knowing historically the type of behavior we've seen here. so what they're doing in miami beach, ramped up police presence, coolers, tents, alcohol, all of those things are banned out on the beach. there is a county-wide curfew from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the morning. there's even bans on playing loud music. the mayor of miami beach told me he would like to reserve the right to be able to close the beaches down as they did last year this time in march if things were to get out of control. he is not sure, though, if he has the authority to do that, the reason why governor ron desantis issued an executive order in september to keep businesses open, to keep the way of life here really going and an
example he cites restaurants that are not open at 100% capacity inside, governments have to justify why that's necessary from a public health standpoint and also quantify the economic damages from doing that. that's part of this executive order. we reached out to governor desantis's office to find out if we can get clarification on the beach situation, we were told they received the email and have not offered us any further information. here is the message the miami beach mayor is trying to get out right now to spring breakers. >> this is not a place where anything goes. we have loads of cops out and they've been advised to arrest people for all violations of our ordinances. >> reporter: does every day during spring break represent a possible superspreader event? >> every day represents something perilous, whether it's a superspreader, whether it's an outburst. there is a toxicity here that is just not healthy and i'm not happy about it and i know i shouldn't be saying that as a mayor of a hospitality town but i have to be transparent about
it. >> reporter: now, spring break here, hallie, lasts seven or eight weeks long. just to give you context for the economic incentives involved, the greater miami convention and tourism bureau crunched some numbers for us and if you look at february, march and april, high season here, not just for spring breakersers but families and vacationers, everyone coming down it's about $5 billion so that's what's at stake as governments try to way the economic side of things but also public safety as well. >> sam, thank you. we've been talking about vaccines this morning, specifically with that news that it looks like johnson & johnson vaccine could be getting one step closer to fda approval. what about the rollout of the other vaccines that are already on the market? seems to be picking up speed across the country. that's the hope. you have drug manufacturers telling congress we could see 3 million doses available every day by april. that's twice as many as are available now. for now efforts to get the
vaccine into the arms of the most at risk americans are the priority. that includes those people who might have trouble setting up an appointment, people who don't live anywhere close to an vaccination site, either. let me bring in anne thompson who look a look at how vaccines are going mobile in baltimore and connecticut. how are they doing it? >> reporter: they're doing it because they realize there is a real problem here. the elderly were expected to sign up online to get their shots. well, this is the group that traditionally has some of the lowest access to the internet and the least familiarity with the web. so now two municipalities are trying to change that. this is hope on wheels pulling up just steps from 74-year-old sheila moore's front door. >> i feel blessed because we don't have to go too far. >> reporter: like one fifth of homes in baltimore sheila's doesn't have internet access, she has no cellphone, no car and no way to get the vaccine.
>> so you're getting the moderna vaccine today. >> reporter: until this mobile clinic brought a shot to her. >> i don't drive so it would be difficult for me to get any other place. >> reporter: what started as a primary caravan then morphed into a mobile site now travels across the city to get shots to the most vulnerable. >> so this is one of our exam rooms. >> reporter: nurse practitioner kelly mccallum helps run the property. >> in minority communities, especially the black community, representation is important. >> reporter: those same communities can be wary of government vaccine programs. >> i think once people get vaccinated and they have positive outcomes then they will tell their family. >> reporter: like baltimore, vernon connecticut's vaccine rollout got off to a rocky start. >> how did you know it wasn't working? >> when there were 50 people signed up for a clinic that we advertised 204 slots for. >> reporter: so vernon went old school. >> and where did you get that vaccine? >> reporter: it's call center for appointments a lifeline for
60-year-old mace. >> i'm a dinosaur when it comes to the cellphone. >> reporter: vernon holds up to ten clinics a week targeting the elderly and low income at places like this community center's food pantry. neighbor cheryl and lou live two blocks away. >> neither one of you have a car? no. >> reporter: lou takes two buses to get to her grocery store cashiers job. >> how much do you worry getting the virus? >> i'm scared but you never know who is around you. >> reporter: cheryl was hesitant about the vaccine. >> what changed your mind? >> the convenience. >> reporter: easy when prevention is just around the corner. around in the first four weeks of its program the town of vernon has administered 10,000 shots. hallie? >> anne thompson live. thank you for bringing us that reporting. coming up, it's a front page story making headlines across the country. tiger woods badly hurt after
that horrific car crash. next up the latest on the investigation into how this happened. you will hear from one of the officers who responded to that scene. plus massive new fallout for texas leaders after blackouts in that state left millions in the cold and the dark. we are staying on top of this story next on msnbc. re staying story next on msnbc.
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back now to that news we've been follow about the condition of tiger woods. we know he's awake and responsive after surgery for those injuries he got in that car crash tuesday in california. there is still a lot we don't know about how this accident happened. joining us now from outside the sheriffs station in southern california is nbc's steve patterson. steve, what is the latest then on the investigation and some of those big unanswered questions? >> reporter: hallie, first thing right off the top it takes weeks for an investigation of this magnitude to produce any level of cause, any semblance will take at least, again, weeks to maybe months to determine that cause. meanwhile, we do know more about
the investigation, what questions investigators are asking, namely all clustered around the crash itself. first one is was tiger woods distracted in any way? we may get more information from the black box in the car, the car itself may shed some light as the investigation goes on. was there any object in the road? did tiger woods strike anything that sent him careening into the median and off the side of that embankment. the next that's central to the investigation, the rate of speed woods was traveling. the sheriff has already said he was possibly going at a higher rate of speed based on the pattern of the crash. lastly the terrain of the area. hillside communities in l.a. county infamous for having s curve, steep inclines and declines that could have drivers going at a higher rate of speed than what they expect. that area itself is infamous for crashes. investigators looking into any level of inn even brags or intoxication, they have seen no sign much so far at least in the
initial investigation. craig melvin spoke to a sheriff's deputy looking into that. here is what he said. >> at the scene we're looking for evidence of intoxication, if there is an odor of an alcoholic beverage or open container. >> you saw none of that? >> at this time we didn't see any evidence of impairment. >> reporter: so obviously the intoxication checking for signs of that done at the scene of the crash, talking to woods, checking for smells and open containers, they found nothing so far. that doesn't mean there isn't any but that's part of the investigation that will take some time to determine a cause. hallie? >> steve patterson live for us there in l.a. thank you. by the way, you can check more of that craig melvin interview with carlos gonzalez on responding to the scene of tiger woods' car crash next hour right here on msnbc. turning now to texas and the
first changes in leadership after that massive power failure. this morning we've learned top officials from ercot the board that oversees the state's power grid are resigning. that includes the chair and vice chair and multiple counties in texas launch investigations into the energy crisis today. still today you have 3 million texans still having problems with their water supply. ellison barber is in taylor, texas. ellison, a couple things. what do these resignations actually practically change for the immediate future and is there a light at the end of the tunnel for people still under boil water mandates? >> reporter: so the first part of that question not a whole lot. this is a welcome first step, widely seen as a welcome first step but just that a first step. all of the unaffiliated board members resigning live outside of the state. that's why they're resigning. last week the public became aware of the fact that about a third of the board that oversees
the state of texas's electrical grid did not actually live in the state of texas. there was a lot of criticism of that and that's why we're seeing these resignations take place. the governor of texas said in a statement this, quote, ercot leadership made assurances that texas's power infrastructure was prepared for the winter storm but those assurances proved to be devastatingly false. the lack of preparedness and transparency at ercot is unacceptable and i welcome these resignations. meanwhile, the top attorneys in harris and travis county are launching investigations, civil and criminal investigations, into the failures of the snowstorm. many people say a lot of the big unanswered questions that need to be addressed in the coming days and week are also going to be geared towards the state's republican leadership as well as oil and gas companies within the state. people died because of what happened here and there are many people as you said who still do not have access to water.
where we are taylor texas, there are some 17,000 people who live here and right now none of them are able to drink their water. this entire area is under a boil advisory and you can see here you're looking at an open fire hydrant. we've been out with public works crews as they are trying to make sure that this water can actually be usable and something that their residents can drink. so when the storm came through the big plant that sends all of the water to this area is lost all power. so until a few days ago they did not have water in the area. now the water is back, but in order for it to actually become safe and usable for residents they have to flush all of the bad water out, get all the air bubbles out. different fire hydrants. and then do tests so it can reach the standard where it can be drinkable. that process alone takes three to four days if all goes well. >> ellison barber, it is an
incredible situation in texas. appreciate your reporting live from taylor. back on capitol hill, six months to the day after his last appearance there, the postmaster general is facing off as we speak with lawmakers about delays and possible price hikes. you can see louis dejoy. taking you live to that hearing after the break. ouis dejoy taking you live to that hearing after the break.
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a lot going on this morning on capitol hill, including something we are about to show you. lawmakers questioning. the other side, the postmaster general, louis dejoy. he came under fire for service delays in the run-up to the election. he is in front of the house oversight committee facing questions about his plan for a usps overall. it could lead to slower mail and postage hikes. let's me bring back in garrett haake. this is an interesting one. the house oversight committee is a committee that features some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. they have produced fireworks at some hearings in the past. talk us through how this has gone so far and what you expect
for postmaster general dejoy. >> reporter: this is often one of the most partisan committees. i expect this will be no different. it's about dejoy's reform plan. but i think one way to look at this is it's a bit of a proxy hearing about dejoy's future. remember, his position is controlled by the postal board of governors. those are positions that president biden can make nominations for. democrats on the committee, including in their opening statements, have made no secret of the fact that they would like to see dejoy gone. he may be essentially testifying for his political career here. really just getting started. expect to get a lot of questions about the reported slowdowns of mail service over the course of the election. not just how that affected the political aspect of things but also how it affected people's prescriptions being delivered. all of those issues we covered closely in october and early november still haunting dejoy and could potentially be the thing that democrats use to try to pin getting new board members
appointed to get him ultimately out of that position. this will be something to watch through the day today. >> we will be watching it. you will watch it as well as the 900 other things happening today on capitol hill. garrett haake, thank you. thanks for watching this hour of msnbc live. as always, highlights, our new reporting on twitter. we will see you back here tomorrow. before then, jeff bennett and craig melvin live from california with the latest on tiger woods' condition. we will pick it up after the break. er the break. isn't that the dog's towel? hey, me towel su towel. more gain scent plus oxi boost and febreze in every gain fling.
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good wednesday morning to you. craig melvin here coming to you live from los angeles. i'm at the hospital where golf legend tiger woods is recovering this morning after several surgeries following an intense and horrific car crash not far from here. i will have more updates this hour, including part of my conversation with the deputy who arrived at the crash scene first. the moment he realized it was, in fact, tiger woods in what's left of that suv you see there. any minute now, the white house covid response team will hold its briefing. this briefing comes as we just got that huge update from the fda. the fda staff just endorsing johnson & johnson single shot vaccine for emergency use. it could be approved this week. this will be the first time that we hear from our nation's pandemic leadership since
johnson & johnson news broke. we will take you to that as soon as it starts. jeff bennett is my partner here for this hour. he is keeping an eye on the briefing. also a lot of movement in our nation's capitol. >> that's right. great to see you. what's happening today has big implications for all of us. in a matter of hours, president biden and the vice president will meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on an effort to support products made here in america. he will sign an executive order to shore up our supply chains. plus, over on capitol hill, we are watching several critical hearing. cabinet picks are being vetted. many are still not confirmed. the postmaster general is being grilled right now over delivery delays at the u.s. postal service. we will find out whether a 15