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tv   Washington Journal 01172022  CSPAN  January 17, 2022 6:59am-10:03am EST

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anywhere. i'll stay right there. >> get c-span on the go. watch the biggest political events live. c-span now, access top highlight. discover new podcasts, all for free. coming up on washington journal, the headlines and your phone calls. we will talk about voting rights and state election laws. star parker, president of the renewal of education discusses
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martin luther king day and race in america. later, dr. michael on the federal response to covid-19. washington journal is next. >> good morning -- host: good morning. it is martin luther king junior day across the country. life's most persistent question is whether you doing for others? we will take up that question in our opening our. how you choose to give back to your community. if you donate, tell us why you gave.
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if you mentor, call in at (202) 748-8002. please include your name and where you are from, otherwise catch up with us on social media. on facebook it is good morning to you. go ahead and start calling and now about how you give back to your community. there is some 1.5 alien charitable organizations in the u.s. about one in four adults in america donated their time. the top recipient of donations include religious organizations,
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human services groups and grantmaking foundations. it was yesterday on this program that we were joined by the new ceo of americorps, that agency that engages the of americans each year in charity work. michael smith is the new ceo. he talked with us a bit about the demographics of volunteerism in america. >> -- guest: we see an uptick in volunteering when kids are in high school and college aged, then we see when they start to build families and get really active in the working world. when they start -- i hate to use the middle-age term because i
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guess that is what i am. i was just talking to one of our volunteers who said she had been volunteering for 20 years. we are really excited about that demographic. when there is a big challenge taking place in a community, everything else kind of gets thrown out of the window, when you look at the needs and that we have to come together. we are going to take care of our children and our families. we will build back from disasters and respond to moments of tragedy, like andrew we saw katrina. what i am really excited about, sometimes we need to get away from the internet, where we can
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throw lobs at one another. you have to look i to i with your neighbor or got out that have been destroyed or provide health kids to community members that are sick. it brings people together. i am excited about coming together, especially on this mlk day weekend. it is what america is all about. host: michael smith joining us yesterday. talking about volunteerism and today's mlk day of service.
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that effort across the country today. we are asking you to tell us about giving back to your community. how you choose to donate your money and how you choose to donate your time. the lines are open. if you donate, let us know where you give or where you volunteer your time. if you are a mentor, call& -- (202) 748-8002. some more stats on volunteerism in america. this from a more recent poll in december that came out earlier this month, looking at volunteerism amidst the pandemic. the initial stages of the pandemic.
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charitable activity declined, but more than a year later, monetary 80 charitable donations are back. donating may have been aided by a growth in income. it is designed to boost the economy. a recovery in volunteering may be more elusive. that is from the gallup organization. just one of the charts from that recent gallup poll. this is looking at who gives the money when it comes to income levels of americans in this country. some 92% of those americans who make $100,000 or more gave money
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to charity in the past year, or americans making between $40,000 and $100,000, 84% donated money to charity. again, some of those numbers from the gallup organization. let us know how you give back to your community. caller: good morning and thank you so much for c-span. the way that i give back is, i am a person of color and i work and probe into the water, testing the water quality. i have been doing it for a couple years now.
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that is how i give back. host: how did you get into stream monitoring and what have you found over the years? >> as my kids got older, i actually started enjoying the outdoors more, going camping and stuff like that. the way that i give back is that we test the quality, so we would put a net in the water, take it out, and put it into the database. it will test the water quality. host: how are we doing in
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virginia in 2022? caller: i think so because people are probably doing less, but the problem is, because of covid, it will be void of information, being retained because people are not going out in groups. they are doing in extreme sample. in terms of electronic information, i feel like we are doing good, but the number one problem is that black folks do not get involved with the
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environment until the chips are all there. the water quality is something for everybody. i do not remember the exact quote. they were focused on the environment, saying, it is a universal thing. host: thank you for telling us about it. stay warm out there. martin luther king junior said the most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others? this quote about service as well. everybody can serve.
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you only need a heart full of grace and you can be that serving. the mall will be very busy today. todd, good morning. you are next. caller: good morning. i am polite to people. i am patient. i am basically broke right now. i know that people want to help, but it seems kind of cringing to me when people discuss what charity they are doing. we should help people, but i believe the bible says, do not
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attach pride to charity because -- host: we are trying to highlight charities that people think are important where they donate their time and talents to. caller: maybe i misunderstood. host: we want to hear those stories from people all across the country. orlando, florida. caller: good morning, sir. i want to speak on the great man, martin luther king. he was a great man. i believe in everything he believed in. i just wanted to tell you all that. anyway, i give. it is not for me.
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nothing i give is for me. it comes out of my heart, the people who cannot help themselves. i give to feed the children. they need people that can think of them, not themselves. those food boxes that they send over to the ladies who are older and cannot take care of themselves. i do not do it for me. i am no great person like martin luther king was. i was 12 years old when i heard he was assassinated. i am a white lady from tennessee , and he was my hero. he will always be my hero. that is all i had to say. but he deserves every day of the year, not just one day, in my
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opinion. host: on the life and legacy of martin luther king jr.. it led to a national success. a picture of dr. martin luther king in georgia. more papers that we will show you through this first hour. there is this idea of service and getting back -- giving back to your community. what do you do? are you with us? caller: good morning.
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i will be 81 and a couple days. i volunteer at an afterschool program that i have been doing for about 12 years. it has been -- i never thought i would retire and work for children through kindergarten to about fifth-grade. it has been a great ride. i was invited to a thing in my community. they were looking for volunteers and i started volunteering. that is how i got into the program. host: where have some of those kids gone on to? have you kept in touch with them? caller: some of them had finished college now.
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he was a great man. a lot of those kids have gone on to college and are doing great things. some of the young people came to volunteer through americorps and it really was a great program. he started this program from nothing, but it really started out with little african-american boys because he saw a need, but girls participated later. host: you say it started during covid? caller: right now it is not working right now. i'm not sure how he is going to come back and put together, but right now it is not working. host: are you ready to come back
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if it does come back? >> i think so, even though i am getting older, but i think i will be back. host: thank you. and i hope you have a great birth day coming up. caller: it was a great program. host: thank you. caller: good morning. i used to volunteer for meals on wheels. i am a disabled veteran. i am a recent cancer survivor. i found that helping people gave me a sense of fulfillment. i have time to do those things and it made me feel good about myself.
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host: what is your best story about people you have met through meals on wheels? caller: i met another volunteer who was a former city council person in fort worth. she wants a friend of my first cousin, who was also a city council person in fort worth. host: and were able to make that connection through volunteerism. caller: yes. some of them were familiar with the job, so it was a little sharing on all levels. host: thank you for telling us about it. james, texarkana you are next.
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caller: good morning. i have a short story and i hope that you will give me the time. i have never been north of tennessee in my life. i met a girl at the uso and she took me home for dinner. in the south, we eat bread with every meal. apparently, in the north, they do not. i said, we eat bread in the south. i made a fool of myself. why is it that every charity is only $19 a month? st. jude's, shriners, the civil war veterans, only $19 a month. why is that?
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it drives me nuts. host: i actually saw a story on that recently. but thank you for telling us about the uso story. we appreciate the call from texarkana. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: i'm doing well. tell me about where you volunteer. caller: thank you for having me and happy new year's. the charity i worked at, we help people transition out of prison. so when they come home, we help them set up an opportunity for themselves and go on with their lives. host: how long have you been
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doing that? caller: about five years. a lot of and they need a lot of assistance. they do not know what direction they should go in. we actually supply that opportunity for them. host: what did they need the most when they try to make that transition? caller: a lot of them need jobs, but you also need training. job market changes. a lot of them come back without the proper training or the proper tools, how to manage that job and how to dress, how to act at work because you are in an
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environment where you have to be around other people. host: thank you for telling us about it at of blackstone, virginia this morning. that is what we are doing in this first hour of the washington journal today, asking you where you volunteer your time, where you donate your money. tell us your story and why you think it is important, and what you think those needs are and those charities and organizations. the question from the viewer about $19 a month, why that is a number that gets asked for so often from charitable organizations.
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once a leader in the field doesn't, others will follow. why does it perform best? it is an odd number, in both sense of the word, but the strangeness makes viewers think longer about it, which might be why it is chosen. he noted that it is not easy to do simple math with $19 as opposed to $20. you are focused more on them modest $19 amount than the yearly total of $228 amount. the psychology of $19 a month, if you want to read more about it, a viewer asked the question. jackie from denver -- from north carolina. caller: good morning. i wanted to say that sometimes
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you do not have to give money to give back to your community, to show success -- to show respect to your neighbor is simple. just simple things that do not cost anything. host: thank you for making that point. dayton, ohio. caller: good morning morning and thank you so much for airing this show today because volunteerism has been a part of my life. i am a teacher and i also serve with the league of united latin american citizens. my daughter was an americorps member. when i worked on the college level, i was the director for a program that recruited and trained for americorps.
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all of those different volunteering experiences not only led to lifting my spirit, in terms of knowing that this one person can make a difference, but more importantly , it provided an opportunity to learn that each person in the community can make a difference as well. volunteering is absolutely important. the other part i want to touch on is on mentoring. there is a program of 40 developmental assets from the search institute. 40 things that kids need in their lives to transition from early childhood to young adult. we need mentors to help meet that need for kids to have
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experiences in their community, to help build their own competence and value in the community. volunteering is amazing because it feeds ourselves, but it helps to grow our communities. host: it seems like volunteerism is a family affair and your family. is that something that you had to get your kids to do when they were younger? is that something that they saw you volunteering and decided to do it as well? how did you incorporate that into raising your children? >> it is just a -- caller: it is just a way of being. if they were little, if i went to a community meeting, i took my kids with me because partly due to childcare issues, but most importantly because i wanted them to hear the
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conversations, to see what volunteerism looks like, and to see how easy it is to take your talent and share it with somebody else. that is what we have done. as a teacher, i include community service in my classroom so that my students have the opportunity to learn self-worth and the value of their creativity and for helping with something bigger than themselves. every time i have had students or adults, whatever, because i do a lot of community organizing , the people that engage walk away with so much more than what they gave. host: michael smith made almost
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the exact same point yesterday that you made. you talk about how one person can make a difference through volunteerism. do you think social media has been good for volunteerism in this country? do you think people get lost in social media and there is less emphasis on connecting in person? has it been helpful in volunteerism and some of the efforts that you have been involved in? caller: i think it is a double-edged sword. with the current pandemic situation. it has allowed me to be of more
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service. again, it is a double-edged sword. there is data spend a lot of time on social media, and it is not necessarily involved in volunteerism. i think it has a tremendous place because it allows us to amplify the voices of needs in our community so that we can respond to the need in real time because of the social network, but there is a whole lot of other stuff that gets publicized on social network. i think that hinders volunteerism because people become afraid to interact with people who are not in their same circle.
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i say it is something that we need to continue to look at, to develop how we can engage more people through social network, and then also, especially in the area of men touring with young people, there needs to be safety nets for that. in general, i certainly appreciate the role that social media and digital network has helped, like with our organization, lulac, that is how we spread the word in terms of resources the organization is working on, as well as disseminating the information of policy and resource needs in various communities. that allows us, as a lulac
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organization, to work in real time for the various needs of our constituents. i really want to stress the point about volunteerism and mentoring is a part of that. you do it at your level. if you cannot afford to donate money, you can donate time. that will raise your expertise and whatever your passion is, but more importantly, help your service is about service to all . host: thank you so much. daytona beach, florida. on the line for those who mentor. caller: i am at author. i wrote a book called "falling in love with your time on earth." in my book, i give several
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examples of how we can change our lives. this is a true story, it really happened. a couple of guys were going down i-4. the other guy says i'm going to teach him a lesson. one guy killed the other guy with a knife in front of his eight-year-old daughter. that really happened. i teach people, put yourself in other people's shoes. what if the person that you are mad at was trying to get to the hospital because their dad just had a heart attack? instead of messing up your own life, you just get out of the way. in 1905, james allen wrote a book. he said your mind is like a garden. a guarded left unattended, the weeds will take over the garden by the virtue of the thoughts you have, you can choose pain or suffering or happiness.
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if you just take a minute to put yourself in the other person's shoes, just by saying hi. the other day, my wife and i were eating at a restaurant. i was paying a bill. the lady at the register looked up and said, you and your wife are both beautiful. i still remember that today, and that was three weeks ago. just a kind word to someone else is just a wonderful thing. host: daytona beach, florida. a few of your comments on social media, having a conversation about how you can give back to your community. not everyone can participate in a turbo program or donate funds, but that doesn't mean that you cannot volunteer. you can make phone calls or send letters. jody remembering a leather one of our longtime viewers.
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libby writing in, the noteworthy program in my community, you can donate extra money to be used by people in our community to help pay their electric bill. about 25 minutes left in this segment of the washington journal. what we are doing on this mlk day of service, this national mlk junior day across the country, talking about service, something that martin luther king jr. often talked about. how can you give back to your community? if you donate, (202) 748-8000. if you volunteer, (202) 748-8001 . if you are a mentor, (202) 748-8002. all others, (202) 748-8003. liz in anderson, south carolina. you are next. caller: within our community is where we can best try to help.
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two things. our elderly folks, a lot of them are in their homes, behind closed curtains. if you have someone in your neighborhood, check on them, visit them, take them some food. also our beautiful animals that god put on earth. so many of us buy these expensive breeded dogs, cannot care for them and let they go. there are thousands of abandoned and neglected animals. one more thing, martin luther king was a bit before my time, but reading about him, he was a good man. he wanted to write the wrongs of folks who were not being treated right, in a good way, not a
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hostile way, not tearing up things, not burning things. he tried to get people to come together, the whites and the blacks. in the end, in heaven, we will all be together. thank you. host: a discussion today, as happens every year, conversations around the life and legacy of martin luther king jr. in yesterday's address, james clyburn south carolina, was asked about the legacy of martin luther king jr.. >> tomorrow is mark luther king junior day. what are you taking about this weekend as one of the last prominent civil rights hero's from that era? >> thank you for having me. i spent a lot of time yesterday on the actual birthday reflecting on the birmingham city jail.
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i read that letter every year. i always get something out of it that i didn't get before. i focused yesterday on this whole notion of why we cannot wait. all these questions are left with us. he said to us in that letter something that is very, very, i would call it, consequential today. and that is, silence is consent. we have too much silence with what is going on around us today. i remember people stepping up when georgia was passing those draconian laws. all of a sudden, now, they have gone silent. we are going to be made to
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repent. not just with the words and deeds of bad people, but for their fallen silence of good people. that is what i was thinking about all yesterday. host: house majority whip james clyburn yesterday. we will be talking more about the voting rights issue in about 20 minutes, joined by spencer overton from the joint center for political and economic studies, author of the book. eastpointe, michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. nice to be on your show. i want to show that with very little money you can multiply. i started giving financial donations to charities, small. pretty soon, i got onto their
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mailing list, which brought me about five envelopes a day of people donating money. that is not the important thing. the important thing is this. many of these charities have sent me request. by factors of five. factors of 10, feed the children. american leprosy missions. a $10 donation will allow them to spend $120 because people met your funds. that is something that we can do. once a month, i work on that. it is a way to, in our lives, understand the concept of loaves and fishes.
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thank you very much. host: theodore in canton. good morning. caller: good morning. the spirit tells the mind to tell the body. things work in that order. one thing i've done is volunteered to clean up my neighborhood. prevention is the best cure for that. i am also a resident coach. i have mentored kids from 1980 up until now. i love the sport of wrestling. i went to a tournament yesterday at mount union university. any wrestler i see that has a fault or deficiency or something really good, i can analyze that, and i can help a lot of different wrestlers. i'm also a gardener. i can teach kids how to grow
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plants, grow food. that food away. i am also a mentor. i work at a parochial high school-middle school as a coach, but then i go through the halls and talk to the kids. some of these young people are the best people that god has ever put on the earth, and they need to know that. that is what causes good leadership. i tell a lot of the children, look, you are influential with your peers. you have a responsibility to lead in the proper way. you have to make this world a better place for the people that live here, and the people that are to come. this is your responsibility. if you get a chance to wake up in the morning, you know from that point, you can do some good, so help people.
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help people in the way that they need help, not in the way that you want to help. but ask them what their need is, help them in any way you can. it will come back in so many ways. host: how many hours a week to you think you spent doing all of that different volunteer activity? caller: my whole day, except when i go to coach at the school. i talked to people, i care about people. young people, old people. i see that there is a lot of good in people. we have to bring that out. there are a lot of things that people have deficiencies in, myself included, but we have to try to improve every way. one of the biggest words in my vocabulary, as far as my wrestlers are concerned, is improve every day. you can improve in spirit, you
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can improve in mind, and you can improve in body. host: thanks for the call. tom is a mentor in harrisburg, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: i have to echo what that man said. i, too, am a coach, but i tell my kids the same thing. maybe a little bit sharper. i had a kid who went to john hopkins. mlk did not cross soma for us to worry about pronouns. ok? there has never been a time in america in which everyone has been more equal and has had the greatest opportunities. this young man is an example. wake up, make your bed, do the next right thing, and america
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will take care of itself. host: this is dan in silver spring, maryland. good morning. caller: yes, i enjoy all of those things, volunteering, donating, mentoring. my number one priority is family. i volunteer a lot of the time with the grandkids, which i enjoy, but we also have a lot of parks in the area. since i live in silver spring, i go to the national mall and donate my time. i have a park across the street where i do pruning, picking up trash, report things that need to be done. you have nh, you want to scratch it. if i see a need, i like to take care of it. i like to donate to freedom from religion foundation.
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i donate to the secular student alliance. i feel like, with today's political atmosphere, we need to fight against forces that exploit our basic needs for socialization. we all need the network as society. religion tends to exploit that to an extreme degree, almost to our political and governmental detriment. host: you say you volunteer on the national mall. what do you do? caller: i tell jokes while people are waiting in line to go up the elevator, talk to people from all over the world. we go up and look around, talk about everything. politics, the beauty of life, our kids, what we like to do. host: what is your opener joke
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at the monument when you meet somebody? caller: gosh, i should have been ready. when i go, i go prepared. that is another thing, when you are a volunteer, you document your hours. part of those hours that you can document your log are researching. you can go to the library and look at the life of george washington, and you get credit for it. host: is this an organization that you do this with? caller: the national park service. they have orientations. i recommend it for anybody. it is very rewarding. they give you a uniform, guidance. you go to the national mall. if it is not the number one tourist destination in the united states, it has to be up there.
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people from all over the world, and enjoy our beautiful parks. host: thanks for telling us about being a park service volunteer. maria out of georgia. you are next. caller: good morning, c-span family. i like to volunteer and help people in the homeless area. i take them food, i read them poetry, i like to sit with the elderly. somebody told me that over thanksgiving they only had a hamburger, so i went home and fixed up three plates of food. i might see somebody on the street. i like to work with domestic violence and all kinds of stuff. i just love to help people wherever help is needed. host: maria out of atlanta, georgia. about 10 minutes left in this segment. i did note, the martin luther king breakfast happening this morning, al sharpton, national
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action network hosting that breakfast. remarks by a tippy general kristin clark, treasury secretary janet yellen, and others. we will be repairing that tonight at 8:00 eastern. you can see that on c-span,, and the free c-span video app. jeff in davis, michigan. you are next. caller: when i donate, i usually donate to howard stern and -- host: all right. jim in atlanta. you are next. caller: hello, this is jim in atlanta. i tried to volunteer at emory hospital here in atlanta. i filled out the application,
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went through all of the background check, almost like a job application. i called yesterday and their volunteer service department had shut down because of covid and they are not accepting any volunteers. that was very frustrating. but volunteering, especially on martin luther king weekend, is utmost in my mind. it is my birthday, number one. host: happy birthday, jim. caller: thank you. doing the next right thing, like the other man said, is paramount for all of us, regardless of what part of the aisle you prefer. i find if you talk about
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volunteering to people maybe on the other side of your opinion, there is a way to bridge that gap and find something in common. i have a friend who holds senior record for triathlons in new york state. we started butting heads over politics and now we are the best renewed friends, a friend from high school over 50 years ago, over volunteerism. i keep myself fit, i will be turning 70. just trying to be helpful, do the next right thing. if you want to feel good, make yourself feel less depressed, help somebody else.
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it works every time. host: randy in charleston, virginia. you are next. caller: good morning, america. good morning, c-span. i would like to quote one of the passages from the "i have a dream" speech. crooked things straightened. many of the charities that i see up and running right now, they have forgotten who their client is. let's take schools, for instance. i have been calling in for 20 years or longer. frank wants told me one morning, because i could not get the local politicians to listen about children's help, and luntz said, there is no more important issue then children's health and wellness. that has never been more true.
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what we have to do -- and i figure this out from a personal injury. volunteering on a pediatric spinal injury ward. america is unprepared to return to work. 70% cannot meet the minimum standard for military service. i always worked in poorer neighborhoods. i was a real estate developer. i had a first class trailer that i turned into a mobile fitness center. i bring that over to the schools and block. what we need to do is turn small business loose on these big problems in local communities. and challenge them not for profit industry industrial
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complex with small mom and pop businesses, whether it is karate, the arts, fashion, doesn't always have to be athletic, although that is where i come from. host: the statistic that we talked about earlier, that there are more than 1.5 million charitable organizations in the u.s., what do you make of that number? caller: let me give you an example. like i said, i built out this trailer. i have stationary bikes that flew for four-year-olds. we have a company that manages a 50-mile bike trail. if i roll into an elementary school, i can train 600 children in 350 square feet
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right on campus. i am in the same number that a $50 million trail, and this group that collects local, state, and federal funding doesn't provide any services for in school or training up the next generation of writers. you butt heads with these groups that want to be gatekeepers for federal funds. sadly, many of these local charities are more or less a holding spot for a local political officeholder. you get a state senator's former chief of staff going to work for the largest charity in the community. they are therefore four years until another election and that person goes back into government. meanwhile, that charity has another revenue stream as a result of that relationship with that politician.
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more or less pays for that person's employment. it doesn't work on what the mission statement is. we have got real issues. not like i have. we need the right tool, the right person to impact 600 people. you are not going to find 600 mentors for 600 children. when the programs cannot operate morning, noon, and night on the block and serve all infirmary's, all people, roll up into a school and ride the children and staff with double dipping in the message, so you have this aerobic activity but also introducing concepts. i teach four-year-olds the difference between an accelerated and resting heart rate. host: do you have a name for what you do when you bring this
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to schools? caller: virginia is for education. i've been running the business for 20 years. i'm a presidential fitness partner, been published by the cdc. it is like pulling teeth to get these schools, police, hospitals to recognize that if you are not in school and connecting the dock to the block, you will not have much success. that is what i've experienced over the last 20 years. host: thank you for telling us about that. this is linda in don mar, new york. caller: good morning. i have been a volunteer in the past. my mother started as young. i volunteered at the local museum to restore historical documents. as we got older, my husband and
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i did a lot of community volunteering. now that we are older, instead of being able to physically volunteer, we have decided to donate. most of what we do right now is donations. we are fairly organized. most people know to send us request during thanksgiving and christmas. but the one that is most important to me is the williamsburg foundation. there is a village down south -- we have been there twice. they have some historical needs for the architecture, the animals, historical gardening, wonderful furniture collection, etc. the schoolchildren come in and get a good knowledge of how it was during revolutionary times.
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because it is martin luther king day, i thought i would mention, they are doing a lot of education now into how the black community fit into the williamsburg community. we do nationwide foundations because we feel the community is the united states. it is us. we often say, what is the abbreviation for the united states? it is us. host: how did you get involved specifically in the colonial williamsburg foundation? caller: we like history. my husband has a large library of historical books. we do a number of different
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things because we have different interests. but i just wanted to say the boomer generation is probably giving away more in terms of their retirement funds because they are not physically fit to get out there and volunteer as we did when we were young. host: last call, andriy in michigan. go ahead. caller: good morning. i have been a volunteer, now going into my 70's. what i want to say is the major underlying reason for the needs throughout our world is because the love is missing. whatever you do -- it's ok to volunteer or donate -- but if there is no love. if you teach your children that they are better than the next. we have to come up with a way to indoctrinate these children early on so they can eventually
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outlive those people that teach division and hatred in our world. i don't care how much money you are willing to give. money is not the answer. you can give all the money in the world, but if you don't have love, if you don't teach people that you are not better than the next person, until you come together and learn how to interact. we need some sort of domestic exchange program where kids can learn to work with each other regardless of the area of the community they live. teach children how to love. host: that is andriy, our last caller. plenty more to talk about this morning, including a discussion on voting rights and election laws. we will be joined by spencer overton from the joint center for political and economic studies. later on, we will talk to star
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parker of the center for urban renewal and education on the topic of race in america. we will be right back. ♪ >> the first ever televised congressional hearing was on august 3, 1948. the first witness was a man who said he didn't want to be there. he had been subpoenaed to testify before the house committee on un-american activities. his name, whittaker chambers, an american who had been a communist spy for the soviet union in the 1930's. we talked with retired washington-based attorney john bears fourth. he has spent years studying the background of whittaker chambers, and the story of the trial of the man accused of also being a communist spy. his work can be seen in 38
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lectures, amounting to nine hours, on youtube. >> a conversation on this addition of books notes+. available on the c-span now app or wherever you get your podcasts. ♪ >> at least six presidents recorded conversation while in office. hear many of those conversations on c-span new pot casts, presidential recordings. >> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. you'll hear about the 1964 presidential campaign, the march on selma, and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly, johnson's secretaries new, because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact, they were the ones that make sure the conversations were taped, as johnson would signal to them through an open door
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between his office and the irs. >> you will also hear some blunt talk. >> the number of people assigned to kennedy or me the day that he died, assigned to be now. if i can't ever go to the bathroom, i won't go. i will stay right behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings. find it on the c-span app. find it wherever you get your podcasts. >> washington journal continues. host: a conversation on voting rights and election laws with spencer overton, president for the joint center for political and economic studies, also the author of the book "feeling democracy." questions for you from the op-ed page of today's new york times. here are two of the headlines.
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writing about the failure that is looming on the defense of voting rights. reginald jackson asking how the democrats let this happen, and what do we do now? how would you answer those latter two questions, how did they let this happen, and what do we do now? guest: i'm glad we have the opportunity to talk about the freedom to vote on mlk day. dr. king worked hard democracy. as you know, tomorrow, on tuesday, the senate will likely bring up their freedoms to vote legislation. i don't know that everything is completely over right now. that will provide these national voting standards and federal elections. of course, there is this concern about the filibuster. democratic arizona senator kyrsten sinema supports the voting rights legislation but has indicated she will not
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support exempting this legislation from the filibuster. now, we will see what happens moving forward. a variety of things could happen. there could be a debate on the filibuster, which is a procedural move. basically, the democrats are asking for a majority vote on this freedom to vote bill. or there could be some kind of compromise. there has been an electoral count act. that could be cobbled together with some of the existing bills out there. that could be a way forward as well. i wouldn't assume that everything is over. i would also say you have to stand up for what is right. certainly, dr. king talked about the silence of good people. this is a critical time for marginalized communities, they
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don't want folks to look the other way, they want to have a debate on this filibuster, have the debate on the freedom to vote. host: the freedom to vote act combined with the john r lewis act. describe what this larger piece of legislation would be to move this legislation. explain what the underlying larger bill would do. guest: this larger bill ensures national standards for federal elections to overrule many of the state voter suppression techniques we have seen recently. as you know, just in the past year -- let me put it this way. out of all the restrictions passed in the last decade, one third of them have been enacted just in the last year, so we have seen this uptick. the new law basically ensures national standards for federal elections to overrule many of
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those restrictive techniques. for example, the act guarantees early voting for 14 days during an election. ensure that voters can vote by mail without unnecessary barriers. ensures voters do not have to stand in line for more than 30 minutes. it also prohibits political gerrymandering and drawing electoral districts. also makes it more difficult to remove electoral officials for political reasons. because we cannot anticipate all the ways that politicians will suppress votes in the future, the bill also restores the power of the federal government to review state voting laws to ensure they are not discriminatory. host: as you said, we need to see what happens when the senate returns at noon tomorrow, filibuster debate will happen, if, as most expect, there is not enough support to change the filibuster and this underlying larger bill does not move.
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you hinted at it in your first answer. explain what this electoral act reform, what this compromise bill, could be. guest: democrats and republicans have entertained this electoral count act in order to ensure the vice president cannot unilaterally reject results from some states in order to throughout the presidential election, have the u.s. house elect the president. the problem is the electoral count act, it does not deal with the real problems of voting discriminations, restrictions on the freedom to vote, some version of democracy in the states. the electoral act reform also affects only one, the presidential election, but does nothing to improve democracy in the election of the other 535 federal elected officials, or in state and local races.
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if the senate blocks that act, there may be a compromise -- blocks the freedom to vote john r lewis act, there could be some compromise bill that includes provisions of this electoral count act which senator mcconnell said he is open to consider, the electoral count act, as well as the freedom to vote provision. we could get some sort of combination. it seems like senator susan collins and other moderates may be talking about this. host: that is the state of play right now. we could all watch what happens on c-span2. the senate returning at noon tomorrow. questions, comments about voting rights, election log reform. phone lines are open to do so. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans.
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independents, (202) 748-8002. our guest is spencer overton from the joint center for political and economic studies. what the center is, what your mission is? guest: we are essentially america's think tank. we were founded after the voting rights act to help move people from being civil rights activists to moving to things like budget. we really focus on issues that include african-american communities in the future of our economy, democracy. issues like the future of work, workers. the economy is currently being automated. tech policies. when we look at this information or broadband access in places like the black rural south. even automated decision-making such as risk assessment that results in discriminatory
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decision being made in lending. those are the types of issues that we focus on, as well as inclusion of people of color in congress, staffers, as well as in the executive branch. host: your group is supportive of the john r lewis act and the various measures contained in there. was asked by republicans why they oppose the legislation. >> a key part, one of them is the john voting rights act, which would restore provisions of the landmark 1965 rights act that protect against discriminatory state election laws. when the senate reauthorize that law a decade ago, it passed 98-0. why don't republicans including yourself support restoring those voting rights acts now?
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>> the supreme court decided that the conditions in 1965 are different than they are now. imagine that. we had an african-american elected president of nine estates, and african-american elected to the vice presidency, african-american elected to the senate in south carolina. if anyone cannot see the circumstances of change, they are not believing their lying eyes. in louisiana, we have the highest percentage of african-american officials in the nation. we have had a white mayor of a predominantly black city, black mayor of a predominantly white city. there has been incredible current progress. there is more to do, absolutely. but to argue that we are the same as 1965 is to deny facts that are clearly before us. host: to those comments from the senator yesterday? guest: the new law being proposed in the senate does not
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focus on 1965. it is an updated formula in terms of those entities that would be covered. this new federal law in the senate updates the coverage formula, covers states with more than 10 voting rights violations within the past 25 years. it allows for states with no violations for the last 10 years to exit. if you have not had any voting rights violations for the last 10 years, you are not covered. it also covers certain election practices that are often discriminatory, such as reducing polling places, absentee and early voting opportunities, multicultural materials. restricting multilingual voting materials in places with large minority voting populations. this is not about a black president or black senator from south carolina. this is really about protecting
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voters. it is preventing politicians from manipulating election rules in order to win. it prevents, for example, partisan gerrymandering. it allows for federal oversight in certain jurisdictions that have significant -- at least 10 -- voting violations in the last 25 years. he is having a discussion about a past legislation from 1965, as opposed to what is in front of the senate now. host: bree from new orleans. independent, good morning. caller: good morning. i think we are in this position because of what the supreme court did before john lewis died. it is -- democrats being in the
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position to have power in the white house, house, and senate, and we cannot get legislation to protect. even after the insurrection, we allowed ourselves to be caught up in this game because we allowed ourselves to focus on stimulus and other things. that the pandemic hit. we didn't have a plan from the onset. i don't fault the republicans for the effort, the fight. that is politics. independent, democratic, republicans, we are all citizens of this country. but when we are using race so regular, and we know that some do not want to see african-americans in leadership. but this democracy will stand, i believe. we have a strong country, strong nation. this shows we still have laws.
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we need to iron the wrinkles out of our legislation. we sent these guys to washington to better our lives, and they get there and they have political aspirations, other things on their minds. you have these two senators opposing, and the democrats -- host: you bring up a lot of issues. let me let spencer overton jump in. guest: let me respond by saying, even if the biden administration had prioritized and made this the number one issue, the filibuster still would have existed and they would have had to deal with that. the filibuster is not in the constitution. the senate has had over 150 exceptions to the filibuster over the years, such as budget or conciliation, trade agreement, military base postings, confirmation of justices, executive branch
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officials, and many other topics. the president and chuck schumer indicated, since a majority is good enough for state legislatures which are restricted the freedom to vote, a majority to vote should be good enough for the senate when it is working to protect the freedom to vote. civil rights leaders have certainly called on the president to be stronger earlier in terms of voting rights. i stand with them in terms of that. but this past week, the president basically brought the presidential bully pulpit to this issue, which many americans, because they are busy and focused on other things, have not focused on the details of senate procedure, or even voting regulations that can seem overwhelming or seem like partisan gamesmanship. he focused most americans on those issues, and most americans will continue to talk about
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those issues over the course of the next couple weeks. my point here is that there are real challenges here. the president, majority leader schumer, others are prioritizing this, certainly, at the beginning of this presidency, there were not 48 senators who are willing to make an exception for voting rights to the filibuster. there are now. we are substantively in a different place than a year ago. host: gainesville, florida. christopher is an independent. you are on with spencer overton. what is your question or comment? caller: my comment is this here. everyone is misinterpreting martin luther king's speech, which i feel is, why has this country been losing their common
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sense to where african-americans , american indians, people from other nations, why is it that we have to have congress, the senate to pass a bill to give african-americans the right to vote? why can't we just vote like any other american citizen in this country? guest: let me talk about that. the 15th amendment, which was passed by strict party line vote -- it was not bipartisan -- basically gave black folks the right to vote. in many places before that, black folks did not have the right to vote. after that, many state legislatures and county officials enacted rules that were race-neutral. for example, we would say, there
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is a c pass -- literacy test to pass before you vote. or they will say we will exempt you from the test if your grandfather could vote. of course, african-americans americans, their grandfathers could not vote. whites, their grandfathers could vote, so they were exempted from that literacy test. all of these devices that seem to be race neutral had been devised in order to minimize african-american voting strength, as well as the voting strength of latinos and many others in the country. what is needed here, the issue here is to make the vote real. how do we have federal protections to ensure the right to vote is real and that all americans can participate freely? that is the issue. part of this is race and that
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sort of thing. part of it is politicians manipulating rules so they can select the voters who will support them, rather than allowing the voters to select the politicians. what we want to do is create a situation where the voters are actually selecting the politicians, rather than the politicians selecting the voters. host: fayetteville, north carolina. this is joe on the independent line. good morning. caller: i am a soldier here in fort bragg, new to politics. one thing i have noticed, white democrats are given a pass when they crash black conservatives. i will give you a few examples. when ted kennedy crashed clarence thomas. a couple months ago when larry elder ran for governor in california, he was crashed by white democrats, and black
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democrats. another example, ben carson, what you guys did to him. you know. you talk about a black conservative, you have a green light. they continue to be trashed. i am cursed to what you will do about herschel walker, who is running for senate in georgia. guest: i want to make the point, certainly, discrimination knows no particular parties. there are republicans who have been strong on civil rights in the past. the voting rights act of 1955, it was really held up by dixiecrat's in the south. certainly, republicans were critical there. republicans obviously played a
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special role in terms of the civil war, reconstruction. republicans have played an important role in the past, and certainly, democrats have fallen short. about 22% of their vote nationally comes from african-americans. the staff and send it in top positions is nowhere near that in terms of african-americans. the number is more like 3%, 4%, even though they are about 22% of the democrats votes nationally. i agree, certainly there are challenges and problems in both parties, in terms of not being sufficiently inclusive. host: we will get to as many of your calls as we can. this is kathleen from mississippi. a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning, happy new year.
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what i think about martin luther king, i remember i was a child, and he said, i have a dream. i may not make it to the mountaintop, but i will be with you in spirit. we have one day to vote. if you have a job that you have to go to, you can be fired for going to the job. everyone is talking about racism and all of these things. rent, gas, everything has gone up since we have been here. democracy is more important. they talk about the filibuster. people are dying out here, homeless. they have no place to live. unemployment, food stamps. they have taken away emergency
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food stamps. what are we going to do? if you have to kill the filibuster, change regulation, do what you have to do to save democracy. guest: i just think the caller makes a really good point in terms of the lived experiences people have in enacting rules that really prevent them from participating in light of those lived circumstances. for example, the georgia restrictions criminalize passing out water and food to those waiting in line, even though the average wait time in georgia was eight times longer in areas that were overwhelmingly black polling places than white polling places, after the 7:00 for closing time. in 2020, black absentee voting surged past the white absentee voting, and the georgia politicians responded by putting
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a lot of restrictions on absentee ballots, like cutting it half the time to apply for an absentee ballot, limiting the number of absentee ballot drop boxes. also preventing those drop boxes from being available after 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, after business hours, which is really hard for people that are working a job during the day in terms of voting in the evening. texas restrictions, they banned 24 hour voting, same problem. drive-thru voting. those were two adoptions in 20 to alleviate long lines. texas also put restrictions on people providing assistance to voters, such as spanish language translation. another example would be changes in georgia have resulted in a
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rollback early voting on sunday in spalding county. as a result, it is difficult for the souls to the polls effort, very popular in black communities, to go and vote. many of these restrictions are focused on the way that people live, enact barriers on particular communities. they are not race-specific, but they have a disproportionate impact on particular communities, including black and brown communities. host: on one of the laws the georgia law that you brought up, karl rove wrote about that specifically last week in the wall street journal. he said, speaking about president biden's speech in georgia, the president railed against groups from providing food and beverages to voters
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within 150 feet of a polling location. that is not america, the president said. actually, it is, rove said. it is banned within 50 feet in delaware, 100 feet in california, new jersey, new york. was it the extra 50 or 100 feet that caused him to label it jim crow 2.0? guest: there's a difference from electioneering, saying vote for my candidate, from giving food or water to someone who's been standing in line a long time. these lies are much longer in black communities in georgia than they are in white communities. i mentioned eight times longer after hours. it is not the electioneering that is the problem. it is longer lives in black communities and then basically saying we are going to make it harder for you to stand in those
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lines by prohibiting you from getting any food or water. host:host: good morning. caller: hello. i am a descendant of those african-americans. i am a pan-african. i want to address the filibuster. you can go into the archive and you can see schumer -- i live in georgia. i've read all 67 pages for myself. i live in the suburbs of
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georgia. we stood in the line for hours. also, those that work at the polls gave us water. yes, it was hot, but it was in the suburbs. host: we are running out of time. let's give spencer a chance to talk. guest: look at them all. the law has been passed. if you look at the law, it is there. host: that is the joint center for economic studies. spencer is the president and you
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can find him online. up next, we will be joined by a columnist and to talk about mlk day. we will be joined by the research and policy director. stick around. we will be right back. >> the house returns for more work on a bill into the v.a. health care system. they will consider a measure to allow local schools to use pre-pandemic data. majority leader chuck schumer said he plans to bring voting rights legislation to the floor.
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they plan to change senate rules with a simple majority, rather than 60 votes. senator joe manchin and others opposed changes to the filibuster rules. as always, the house is live. >> sunday, february 6 on in-depth. cheryl will be our live guest. her latest, white space, black hood. join the conversation with your phone calls.
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watch book tv on c-span two. is c-span's story. browse apparel, books, home to core -- there is something for every c-span fan. get c-span on the go. c-span now, access top highlights, listen with c-span radio, all for free. >> washington journal continues. host: we are joined once again
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by founder and president for urban renewal. i do not know if you were listening, but he recently wrote about it. saying the message has been distorted and replaced by something different. guest: thank you for bringing up my column. you can see video of a snapshot. dr. king's message was very different. thinking that america is not a
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good place for people of color. martin luther king did not try to overturn any truth. he appealed to the founding principles. what he wanted was to live up to values. he broke it down into three parts. he said you guys are not delivering on your own founding principles. he asked us not to get angry or bitter. it is equality for all. this is not going to be easy. we are -- we need to be overhauled and
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transformed. host: how and why did that message get distorted? guest: poverty was extensive throughout our country. there were attempts to declare wars and other social engineering. they were not brand-new. for the first time -- we started seeing a lot more liberal policies. we have about 8700 zip codes that are tracked in poverty.
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this is social engineering of the left. when president trump came to town, he asked them to identify the bottom 10% of where their poverty is. he told black america, let me try to fix this. this is not help based on race. there are differences in culture and value. there are differences in family structure. let me back up one minute. senator tim scott and cory booker took that information and put it into the bill that was passed so that we could focus time and attention on these zip codes. we started seeing some life, but
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an interesting part of this dynamic, in 2017, because of that bill, we started seeing middle america flourish. we had more blacks in this country making over $75,000 a year. america works. dr. king knew it would work. we believe that people have the capacity to work for themselves. host: democrats had hoped that the holiday would be the deadline. guest: i think it is offensive,
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where they failed with covid and inflation, they are going to focus on racial matters? you start thinking about voting rights. we have opportunities for people to come to washington. we do not need more legislation. we have civil rights offices in every department in washington dc. people find that they have a grievance and we want those structures in place. try to overhaul what they are trying to do to have election integrity. i think it will go through.
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you have to take away the filibuster to get it through, you know it is already a problem. we already have majority rules in the house. we have a majority of one in the white house. we do not want it to end. host: the lines are open. plenty of calls already this morning. good morning. caller: good morning. appreciate coming in. i am not a racist, but things are being pushed down our throats. i do not appreciate -- the black
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community now is thinking that we have done them wrong, and the history that we have. we do not take away the history. i do not appreciate that it is being brought down in a fashion that is like protesting. i think about 35 years ago, if you have the same jobs in my case and a black person came in for that job, they have the right to get it because they were of that race. we are bringing these up because
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of all the police, but what about all the looting that they have a lot to do with? host: a couple different topics. i will let you jump in. guest: the progressives want a political grab. there are some important things that we should all be concerned about. when we were shut down and saw that incident, it was an opportunity to go inside ourselves. you had a progressive movement to push forth their agenda. they are moving towards a marxist, socialist utopia, in their opinion. we know that is not true. anyone can tell you that one size does not fit all. this is what they are trying to
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do now, break us down to insight anger. they know that this is an emotional place for us as a country. the dynamic breaks down politically. we have to stop this war. second, what we have to do is say, why did we have such problems? how do we remove these barriers so that now we are fighting over one slice of the pie? start dismantling the focus on race. they have one discussion in
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common. some were very alarmed by what happened with george floyd. the emancipation statue -- that former slave who was sitting down at the feet of abraham lincoln has a significant place in history. that moment in history is what america could do together, black and white. some needed to be saved. if you need to have a conversation, that is a very local issue for the local people to decide with their local government. host: good morning. you are on with star parker.
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caller: good morning. i have two questions to ask. former vice president mike pence said it. mike pence said it, nikki haley said it and tim scott said it. the idea that america is a racist country -- guest: i hope my memory will hold. caller: first, when wasn't america a racist country? second, when haven't white people cheated black people in america and when was dr. king as much loved and respected and every much of a hero to white people as he has been to black
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people? guest: the first question, when was america not a racist country. i would think that we could look in to the 1960's and see that this is one of those opportunities where we remove barriers. on the question of when did white people began to look at black people, i think this is all throughout our history. at the founding of the country, one of the first things that they did was get video of slavery. they were doing what the
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pro-life community does now, to try to work legislatively the way that dr. king did to get their year is the way. they got rid of slavery and it took another 89 years and a civil war. when do whites and blacks sit down together and across these racial lines -- i think that we do it all the time. one of the biggest problems i have with the racial narrative is that we act like we have not matured. we have an entire generation who are so diverse in their lives that could be dragged into the questions of race is only political.
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host: joey is in atlanta. good morning. caller: thank you so very much for misses parker. she is exactly the type of person that we need in this country. her intelligence and the way she speaks about our history is what we need. she is not only a star, but a rising and beautiful shining star that this country needs. i really encourage her to run for president because she is a beautiful, beautiful person. host: so, parker had you decided to run for office? caller: i did consider running for office. what we do is we look at all the issues to fight poverty.
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i brought my work to washington. you can be much more effective outside instead of running for office every couple years. you have lawyers and legislators , but we also have think tanks. i really believe that if we focus time and attention to fight poverty, we can bring people up instead of pulling the rest of the country down. the caller called me misses, but i am not married. i would not want to miss an opportunity because he said that. host: we mentioned president biden was discussing the issue.
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i want to play a clip of a reaction to president biden's speech. >> he got very big pushback from all sides. some say he took it too far. mitch mcconnell called joe biden and presidential for his divisive language. >> absolutely not. that is what it is all about.
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[indiscernible] that is exactly what these laws are about. one of the strongest points that i agree with. if you have never had to worry about it, -- that is exactly what these are. host: star parker on jim crow 2.0. guest: that was offensive. that he would come out to try to clean up that mess is also offensive. this country has changed. we see a lot -- we need to come
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into the 21st century. the reason many states are changing voter laws is because we had a year of covid. they had emergency efforts put in place. he should watch his own area because when you think of what happened, the state that was in chaos, nikki haley is the one that finally got the flag down. tim scott went down to the church -- his friends were killed at that church in charleston. it is an example of what can happen. there is rhetoric from the
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1950's and 1960's that are growing tiring. many are tired of being called racist. they were not even here when we had slavery. is it offensive, our last card to play? it is not going to work. caller: good morning. i want to congratulate ms. parker. the biggest part of this voting bill is that they had gas lighting the african-american community. it is all about the illegals voting and allowing them to vote.
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they are gas lighting the community. that is all i have to say. guest: it is of interest that what the biden administration did was open the borders. we have created some tensions that are not necessary. african-americans are in the great class. we have grown up in america and it works for all ethnicities of any background. if you put the sequence into your own life -- what we have to do is stop trying to pretend that we are in the 1950's and move into places where we can
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make a difference. we ran them in milwaukee and other places in st. paul and around the country. we know that there are still problems and over aggression when it comes to policing. we ran their works with a success sequence. get married, save and invest. after they were forced to take the billboards down -- this is not about racism. about value. there is nothing else that is coherent. what it means is that we had to decide. that is what is happening here in washington.
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the history of black people in this country to get their way. they are going to try it. the country has changed. even on better election integrity, they cannot see if it is not close. they have not made a decision to go into these pockets and selling ideas of freedom for the agenda of the grand old party, the great opportunity party. host: the line for the democrats. good morning. caller: we often remember the dr. king's i had a dream speech.
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one year to the day before he was assassinated at a church in new york, dealing with foreign policy and the vietnam war. there are inequities built into this system. that should be seen and listen to. thank you very much. that was an important speech. keep what you are doing, young lady. guest: thank you. i appreciate that. i think that dr. king saw this moment. he saw that we need to fix what is broken down. he knew. he said it. he actually told us that what frederick douglas said is true. we have freedom and this is what it is about.
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it is about what you can contribute. what we saw instead in the development of a welfare state -- five years after roe v. wade as national law, we have more black babies dead took abortion than in the 1960's. they have created these pockets of poverty. he was changing his focus on the really poor. i think that we see it all the time. somebody mentioned the homeless situation. there was a policy change. now we are seeing people that really need as as a society.
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come elections have consequences. we are getting into extra help. host: our last call. can you make it quick? caller: the free press just came up. so much that they had done, where would he have been? what would have happened? host: ms. parker, we will give you the final word. guest: the problems that we are
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moving into now, it is because of systemic racism and looking at life patterns. we do not fix those problems with socialism. the virtues of capitalism and rule of law are outlined in our constitution. those are local matters those are things that need to be fixed on a local level. we can help by removing barriers to help them. host: that is pure
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we always appreciate your time. about an hour left in our program today. we will return to the topic of covid-19 and the covid respect -- the federal response. stick around. we will be right back. >> military officials, legal experts testified before a senate panel about the ongoing operation of the prison in guantanamo bay with questions about legal rights for detainees and attempts by previous administrations to close the detention center. watch at 5:40 eastern worldwatch full coverage on our at. rev. al sharpton and the network
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held their annual breakfast in washington with remarks by the u.s. deputy treasury secretary, martin luther king iii and andrew waters king. watch on c-span, online at or look for coverage on our new video app. >> weekends on c-span two an intellectual feast. you will find events and people who explore our nation's past. book tv brings you the latest. it is television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore, weekends on c-span2.
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>> the first ever televised congressional hearing was august 3, 1948. the first witness was a man who said he did not want to be there. he had been subpoenaed. his name, whittaker chambers, an american who had been a communist spy in the 1930's. we talked with john beresford. the story and trial of the man chambers accused of being a spy. his work can be seen in 38 lectures, mounting to nine hours on youtube. >> on this episode of book notes plus, it is available on the c-span now at or wherever you get your podcast.
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>> washington journal continues. host: we continue to talk about the covid pandemic. the director for the center of disease research in minnesota. to begin the conversation, just paint a picture of how you see the next four to six weeks in this country playing out. guest: we have a number but we will see a high number of cases for the next three to four weeks, and then we will see the numbers drop. we may have leveled off with case numbers in the northeast,
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but i remind people that it is kind of like when you fly in an airplane and they say, we are beginning our descent. still up high. still going to be in a bad way for at least the next three to four weeks. after that, it is unclear how it will occur. they are still running about 25 times the number of cases before. the baseline is still much higher. host: what should we be doing to prepare for that scenario? guest: we just have to get through the next four weeks.
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we have a major shortage of adequate health care numbers who are able to provide this care. we have so challenged health care that we have lost a number of people who have quit after day in and day out of battlefield conditions. we are seeing absentee rates in health care, just because of the fact that they have become infected. they are fully vaccinated with a booster and not getting seriously ill, but their workers are off the job for a period of time. yesterday, right here in the twin city, the metropolitan area and around the country movie had a number of pharmacies that had to be closed. we are having problems having
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drugs delivered into hospitals. i can go down a laundry list of issues. nobody is wanting to close schools right now. nobody is wanting kids to not be in school. how can you run a school, let alone safely. i keep getting people to focus, just like the real snow blizzard , the viral blizzard will be over in most parts of the country. we just have to get through that time. host: a headline was posted, it is time to acknowledge reality. from the journal of the american medical association, this piece is getting a lot of attention. looking for a new normal. what is this new normal of covid
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and what does it look like? >> we know it is not going to go away or be eradicated. what will it look like? i began to realize how important these variants were and that it could be more transmissible, or they could evade the protection of vaccines that we had, as well as the immunity one gets from being previously infected. every morning, this is the dawning of the age of aquarius. when delta came along, i was not surprised. we have to expect that it could happen in the future, that we could have a new variant that could be more infectious.
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that is one side of the house that we have to deal with. we also have the situation where maybe this is the last of the variance to come out. we have to plan for both eventualities. we can have a new normal by getting back to that. we are going to see that the vaccines can be more powerful. you will see 3.0 and 4.0 in the days ahead. drug therapy will be very critical. having a diagnosis of hiv used to be a death sentence but today it is a manageable disease for many people. one of the things that we are really needing is a comprehensive international program for getting these drugs to people as quickly as possible, after they become infected.
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there are a lot of opportunities to learn how to live with this virus in a way that does not cause big surges. in many instances today, that is what the challenge will be for the future. host: the debate is not only living with the virus but living with health restrictions being imposed because of the virus. you talk about the journal article that you wrote about benchmarks for when to impose restrictions and when to pull back. is it with case counts, hospitalizations or deaths? guest: a great question, and i think it is at the heart of how we plan to go forward.
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we not only had a definition of what is successful. many believed that with the rollout of the vaccine, the fact that we had that big peak and then they started dropping precipitously, people thought it was done. people thought it was going to go away. we now realize that is not the case. one of the things that we have to look at is, what is the measure that we use to determine whether we are successful or not. are we compromising care, which we certainly have in terms of heart attacks and autoimmune disorders. we have had to postpone surgeries, follow-up diagnostic testing all because of covid. what we proposed was we have to
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adapt a system and support the system that would accommodate these potential surges. what happens if you have the overlap of a bad flu year? what we looked at was, what is the capacity that we need to have to respond and plan accordingly. we do that in other areas of our lives. right now -- i think it is a great investment. ironically, we have not had a major eric -- crash since its inception. they occurred in the 1950's and were handled by the minneapolis fire department.
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i think we are going to have to look at our health care system the same way. we can handle it. that will be beds and equipment. we just have never address that. letting it go any way that does not allow the system to break. host: is there a benchmark that you see for school closures? with omicron taking service workers out of school, what should be the benchmark for opening and closing schools? guest: to paraphrase a former supreme court justice, it is like pornography. i know it when i see it. a school system knows if they
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can hold classes in a manner that a safe for the students to come. that is all we are talking about. we are not even talking about how to sustain an intermediate level of learning. 35% of your faculty, your teachers, supporting staff -- can you in fact have a safe school system? i do not think anybody would disagree that if you have a hurricane bearing down on your community or you have a major blizzard moving in, we would close schools. with the recent surge, it got melted into the actions of previous school closures, that lasted months and months. none of us want to go back to that, but how can you deny the critical nature of supervision when you do not have anybody there? we have had school districts that put pleas out because they
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were so committed to keeping the schools open. we have to understand that no one is challenging how important it is to have schools open. i do not know how anyone could not appreciate that you cannot safely hold school when you do not have adult supervision there. the school district will know that. it will say, we have enough people today. we have enough support staff. we can do this. i think the local schools can say, we are back, and they do it with a good conscience, that they are doing everything they can to educate their students as safely as possible.
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host: we are here to take your phone calls as well. regionally, the number is (202) 748-8000. plenty of calls lined up. winchester, virginia is up next in this segment. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to ask dr., i guess the news is always saying that it is more contagious, but not as deadly. i want to know how it is for viruses. how close are we from this just being like the common cold or the flu? i guess i would be first. host: let's take that first.
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guest: it is a great question and in important question. i think it is a misnomer. what it means is, let's take the previous variant. if you have 1000 cases of delta, there might be some requiring hospitalization. along comes omicron. this time, only 10 are likely to have serious illness and die. that is a real advantage, but the problem is that the omicron virus is infecting tenfold more than you thought. the number of people coming to the health care system with severe disease is actually higher than what we saw before. we are seeing an unprecedented
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number of hospitalizations. when we talk about it on an individual level, generally speaking, it is. this is a huge challenge. it is creating more serious illnesses than what we have seen come along. let me address that very quickly. we do not know what the future brings. we do not know if the next variant might not be a milder variant. it could be the opposite. we have had to learn our lessons time and time again. hope is not a strategy. we have to understand that we could have more severe variance.
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otherwise we will be caught flat-footed again. that is what we do not want to do. host: good morning. caller: good morning c-span and god bless you. i was a military police officer in training and we trained in biowarfare. my dad was a korean war veteran. he had kidney cancer and he had prostate cancer, so between the radiation and chemo, his immune system was destroyed. i was exposed to covid-19 and i never got sick, never got ill or anything. i want to know from you, d believe this is a biological weapon that was released by the communist chinese to destroy trump and america?
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thank you. guest: let me be clear. this virus originated from animals. the big question is not whether it was engineered virus made to attack human populations. there is no evidence to support that at all, but was it in the laboratory in china where it accidentally escaped. at this point, all the data supports that this was a natural spillover from animals. we cannot rule out. the possibility of either one of those. there is a compelling piece of evidence that shows why animals
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are the source but continued to be an important source. i have spent the better part of my life working on wildlife diseases that spill into human. i was shocked, and that does not happen often in my career, to see the original data that came from whitetail deer. it was a study conducted in iowa and it has been replicated. if you look over the last year, the frequency of the virus that causes covid in whitetail deer in iowa paralleled what was happening with humans. to actually -- not just testing of the blood, but isolating the virus from the deer to identify it with a fingerprint approach.
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what we saw was over the course of that year, as the case numbers went up, a number of case numbers in deer went up as well. how did the deer get infected from humans and what was the risk of the deer transmitting that back to humans? could there be a new variant that would emerge from the whitetail deer population? many felines have also become infected with the virus. i think that we are in this very difficult stance right now between wildlife, the virus and humans. i do not know where the next variant will come from. it could be from humans and in the process, there are mutations that occur, or could it be going
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into animals and then spilling back into humans again? this is one of the reasons i say, i sleep with one eye open, looking for the variance. this is a big question that we do not know. i can only hope that we do not see more serious variants that challenge our health care systems. i cannot say that it will not happen. this will follow what is happening in animals. we just have to understand. host: i wanted to mention books. when you are writing that book, how concerned were you about highly transmissible respiratory virus like covid? host: --
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guest: sars and mers where the previous coronaviruses that we were concerned about. we saw that front and center as a critical issue. we talked about the issue of a rapidly spreading virus that is highly transmissible. what could it do? if you read what is happening today, you can take out the word influenza and put in covid. caller: good morning. thank you. i wanted to pick up on a point that you were making. this is to predicate a case for robustly financing our public health to mitigate what will
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certainly come. principally -- is always in the mix. climate change and anthropogenic -- yes? host: finisher question. caller: -- finish your question. caller: they are the federal reserve system to finance and off budget organization that has the same sort of governance, but it would finance public health in perpetuity. that will provide deep trust between every community, which is part of the effort.
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could i send that? thank you. guest: i think you are raising a good point. we covered that in the articles referenced earlier. we need to really understand that. i like to think about the old commercial. we are now the beneficiaries of pay me now or pay me later situation. we are recognizing the inadequacy of our system. they want to know with clarity what is going on in our community. do you realize how many are still getting reports sent on fax machines?
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we have not upgraded our infrastructure and we have not rated what it takes to provide precise and important information that we need to understand come in order to approach these pandemics. the other thing that i would say is that we are now watching first-hand what a pandemic can do to the global economy. if you want to understand why it is important, it is about human life and human suffering, but it is also about the economies of the world. i had a piece coming out next week that actually addresses the issue of what is happening in china right now. china has adopted this zero covid policy. trying to stop omicron is like trying to stop the wind.
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i think the chinese government is on a collision course with destiny. they cannot maintain zero covid and keep shutting down parts of the country without fatal injury to their economy. as we know, china is a major supply chain source. again, public health is ready -- really critical. you have to have a good public health system that can deal with this. right now, i think that has been largely missed. host: he wrote that it is essential to build trust and a belief in collective action. they have experienced lower rates of hospitalization from covid-19. how do you go about rebuilding
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that trust in the u.s.? guest: it starts with one word, communication. i was born and raised on a small iowa farm town. i think we have all been hearing about the guest: i have always believed if i cannot sell my message to the coffee shop -- i was going to sell it. we have all been hearing about the confusion and mixed messages and unclear messages coming out about the pandemic. we have to be clear, this is an evolving science situation.
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we are learning more all the time. i say somewhat joking, also with some seriousness, there are days i feel and know less about this virus now than i did six months ago. we have to communicate very clearly. we have to communicate what we know very clearly and we have to communicate what we are going to do to find out the uncertainty and how to address it. we have not done that. we have not done so that the average american feels "i know what is going on." that has become an important part of the trust in our communities. people will stay with you if you tell them as honestly as you can, as clear as you can, what it is we know, what it is we do not know. a good example was, recently the cdc changed its recommendations for how long you have to be isolated if you are infected or quarantined if you have been exposed. they said, you do not have to have a test in five days.
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a really important decision to go forward with that. patients who have had no bedside worker at they bared for 12 hours, i would rather have a health care worker who has mild symptoms wearing and n95 respirator. they are hoping that patient -- they are helping that patient who is another covert patient. i do not need them to isolate for another 10 days to know this is a crisis situation. it is true of critical services we need. we need to do that. that did not get communal -- that did not get communicated well to the public, seeing as we are starting around the science. no we were not. we were trying to deal with a crisis in our hands. as a former secretary of defense once said, you do not get to go to war with what you want, you go to war with what you have.
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i am willing to take people who are willing to work who still may be infected, willing to wear that n95 respirator and covert themselves with other individuals who are infected. it is really important we explained to people. when we are good at communication, acknowledge what we know and don't know, the public will largely stay with you. host: this week the white house has done a lot of communication about testing in this country. it happened again yesterday. on abc's "this week", the surgeon general was criticized about the white house having enough access to testing in this country. this is about a two minute clip. i want to play it and get your thoughts on it. [video clip] >> we are seeing record daily cases. hospitals are overwhelmed, icus are jammed. it has been nearly two months
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since omicron was named a variant of concern. the cdc just updated its vaccination -- its recommendations. -- wondering why this is taking so long writing the administration knew or should have known testing shortages were occurring across the country over the past several months with full expectation the virus would likely mutate into a new variant. steps to increase texting -- increased testing should have happened, not several weeks into the surge. how would you would respond to that dr. murphy? >> we are in tough part of the omicron wave right now. case numbers are high and hopped spindles -- and hospitals are struggling.
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that is why we sit millions of pieces of equipment to them. regardless of testing, our guidance was very clear that we made a lot of progress with testing. the investments that were made, the billions of dollars, that approval of testing by the fda, quadrupling and supply of testing in the last few months of the year. but omicron created an extraordinary increase in demand. the u.k. and others found themselves without as much testing they needed. we are pulling out the stops on testing. the additional millions of tests we sent to health care centers, additional thousands of places people can get tests. >> i know what you are doing now. but the question is, dr. murphy, why wasn't it done sooner? you say you always hold out hope but you plan for the worse. it does not sound like that
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happened. >> there was planning, martha. there was execution in increasing supply of tests. if you compare december to january of 2021, you see there was a dramatic increase, more than eightfold testing increased during that timeframe. the challenge is omicron created an extraordinary, -- that we procured in 2021. that is exactly what we have been doing. we plan to keep doing. host: that from abc news "this week" yesterday. guest: i think dr. murphy tried to lay out the reality of this testing situation. omicron has created a need for testing unlike any point of the
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pandemic. this is not true just for the united states, it is true for the entire world. countries like the united kingdom that we are told is having the best testing in the world with ready access to home testing. the kind of pcr tests and -- has also been challenged by the surgeons -- this sudden surge in challenge -- in cases. we have to anticipate these surges can happen. it is not just our federal government that wasn't prepared for a surge of this nature. many of my colleagues have been on the tv talk shows, in the media, saying the worst is over. a lot of people thought this. this is just a reality check. no, it is not. we may have to be prepared for this again. the second piece that goes back to the answer i gave to the previous question is communicate as honestly as you can with the public. rather than continue to tout
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these 500 billion tests that are coming out. , which by the way is only a little over 500 tests per person, we are going to be short. we know we are. we have to figure out how are we going to use these tests the best. we are wasting so many tests today. we do a single test to bring people back to certain locations. whether it be school, work, whatever. then we feel we have accomplished that. that is kind of like buying a new house that has a smoke detector and it only works on the first day. you need a test day in and day out in school or work. we do not have enough tests for that. who should be getting tested? people that are chronically ill. we need to be able to test those from a standpoint of who they might expose that could be -- that could become seriously ill like health-care workers that could expose other patients in
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hospitals like cancer patients. number one, we are not going to have nearly enough for the foreseeable future. that is the reality. what are we doing to try to fill in that gap. ? they are not going to be here in the next few weeks to make that difference. number two, prioritize whatever testing we do have. number three, level with the public about what it means to be tested. i want to paint this example that points out this one kind of testing. i am aware of five different circumstances with friends and colleagues where they had college age students coming home from fall semester for christmas. and they all were tested back at their universities and colleges two to four days before they came home. all of them were negative when they got the result to come home and yet by the time they got home they had gotten infected
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and all five of them had students who became ill in the first one to two days home and transmitted the virus to everybody in the house. the bottom line, the test they had four days or five days before did not mean the moment after they were tested that they did not get exposed. we have not explained that very well to the public at all. the test is a one-time measure. whatever happens two hours later could put you at risk. that is why you have to be mindful of how you are being exposed. are you in the public? what kind of respiratory protection are you wearing? we put far too much weight on testing as saying we are protected. we are not. we need more tests, 2, we have got to be honest about we -- what we have and why we have them.
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and we won't go ahead and continue to prepare for the next surge. host: about 10 minutes left with dr. michael osterholm from the center for urban renewal. we end our call at 10:00 a.m. eastern. this is kathleen. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you so much for taking my call. this is the first time i have called, i am kind of nervous. i am 64 years old, i am very healthy, i eat right. i sleep at least eight hours every night, i exercise every day. back in july 20 20 i tested positive for covid. my only symptom was that i lost my sense of smell. i never felt bad. i continued exercising every day. i was just fine.
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now last week, i was told by four different people that they had covid and i was exposed to them. i am still fine. i haven't been vaccinated but i have a have -- i have a healthy lifestyle. i feel it has been a real missed opportunity for experts to talk about the importance of a natural immunity within us who live right, eat right and get enough exercise and rest. host: dr. osterholm? guest: first of all, congratulations on your lifestyle. let me be really clear. the immunity you get from a previous infection wears off over time. we have seen many people who have gotten reinfected with second episodes and in some
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cases, much more severe than the first one. at this point, i would urge you, please get vaccinated. you may have been lucky at this point of not getting reinfected. your lifestyle will not change that. this virus doesn't care if you are healthy or not when it infects you. what it will mean is if you are healthier, you have a better chance of not having a serious illness thing if you are not. i would urge you right now and anyone else out there who has not been vaccinated and have previous covid, you need to get vaccinated. host: to virginia in potomac, maryland, good morning. caller: good morning doctor. my question to you is this: i have recovered from covid and i had to get another pcr and i am still giving off dead viral sales -- dead viral cells.
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does an antigen test give those off also? because i am sure i will give off dead viral cells. and by the way, you need to replace -- you need to get rid of dr. fauci. you are the voice of truth and honesty. we need you in that role. guest: thank you for those kind comments. you need to read my email, you may not think that way -- you may not think that case if you see. [laughter] once you have been infected, and you are tested by pcr or antigen, you may stay positive for a longer time. if you are 10 days out from when you were originally infected, became ill and tested, i would not worry about getting another
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test at all. if you are less than that and you want to go out and about, i would say get tested. knowing, then, it is still likely to be positive. how many days out have you been with your illness? from when you were first infected? host: i think we lost the caller. guest: well, anyway, she raised a good point. just to reemphasize, once you get five to 10 days out, getting tested really does not provide you any new additional information. host: the caller saying you should replace dr. anthony found she, a viewer watching has the twitter handle saying "dr. michael combines common sense with science. good.
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i wonder after the weekend when you saw the contentious -- between dr. anthony found she and senator rand paul, what advice would you give for the administration and public health officials in general? guest: first of all, i have the utmost respect for tony. he is a dear friend and colleague. he has carried a heavy burden through this pandemic of trying to get us through as a primary communicator. i very strongly support him and i find the political system right now is so broken in terms of trying to get out science information. i go back to an earlier answer i provided to a question. to me, it is simple communication. being able to explain things, like i said to my hometown in iowa.
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if i cannot explain it to the 10:00 coffee club at the local restaurant, what am i doing? it is not about big words or science. the second thing is telling the truth. that truth often means humility. it means i do not know. this is why i do not know but i am going to learn if i do this or that to understand it and then i will share it with you. sometimes, when we get into these public roles, we have the sense that we cannot acknowledge that we do not know. we do not have a sense of humility. with this virus, you have to. when you're trying to catch a 210 pound curveball, you have to have humility. that is what we need to do to best communicate to the public and help gain their trust that we are doing everything we can. some things we can do better, some things we are at the mercy of mother nature herself. it is like a regular blizzard. you cannot control 38 inches of snow and 40 mile winds can happen but you can control, what
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is my plan on the road? how my going to plan electricity to stay on? that is what we are trying to do with this virus. understand what is it we can control and how we respond and what is it about our response and what we are doing. to me, keep it simple. communicate honestly and with humility. host: in florida, this is michael. you are next. caller: dr. osterholm, when you speak about communication, you almost take my breath away. simple knowledge, you do not need a phd. it hasn't been done. i am hoping you can do that. i am sure you can. the public policy of natural immunity that we have had our governor here, promoting keeping cities open, is the definition
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of what herd immunity is. a policy of social darwinism. the second thing, social darwinism by definition is -- which is a eugenic type of bias. we have this bias based on a false science that is based solely on competition. host: what is your question? what is your question? caller: the question, can we simply answer that is a fact? for any politician to say that is a horrible danger. host: let me allow dr. osterh
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olm to jump in. guest: i have been saying herd immunity does not exist with this virus. herd immunity with people who have vaccination or through invention, the virus does not spread. number one, sustained -- i may have immunity but i may get infected tomorrow. herd immunity goes out the window right there. it is a temporary state of being immune. what kind of immunity can occur from multiple doses of the vaccine? we are seeing a number of folks who have been fully vaccinated who are becoming quite -- becoming cases of omicron. the good news is they are still at a much lower risk of having
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serious hospitalizations and deaths. there, the immunity did not protect them from getting infected, which is what herd immunity is all about. rather, it protected them from serious illness. the idea that this will run through the community and then one and done, we are out, that is not the case at all. it begs the question, what do we do long-term? we need better vaccines, we need the drugs but we have to be aware of the fact that just as omicron has so clearly demonstrated, people can get reinfected. host: less than 10 minutes left. this is luis in virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. i think he is one of the big problems of communication in 2020.
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they never pushed any therapeutics. i know president trump wanted to get therapeutics done as quick as possible. this kind of person -- get the vaccine first. guest: i would like to address that straight out. this is a part of being honest and being fair. that is simply not the truth. i have been a strong supporter of new threat -- new therapeutics. as you heard me earlier in the show, commented on hiv and the very model of taking hiv from a life-threatening disease to one of a chronic illness status was due to therapeutics. the caller was misinformed. i have been a supporter of therapeutics from day one. in march 2020, i was in the joe
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rogan podcast march 2020 and i said in the next 18 months this pandemic would continue to rage and over 8000 people would die and we needed to do everything we needed with vaccines to address it. eight months later, 800,000 people in this country are dead and we still are short of getting therapeutic agents to the place of where they are readily available and highly effective. this is part of the challenge we have in this role that some of us play. we get miscommunications. we get facts stated that others say about us. i have read quotes before and i am reading and saying, "who said this?" ma'am, you are wrong on the conclusion but you are right on the issue that we need therapeutics. i very much support that. host: how long do you think before they are readily available and highly effective? guest: we have highly effective ones.
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the practice drug in particular -- the most recently approved merk drug is less effective. the challenge we have is supply chains and production and getting in around the world. second of all, we are going to need to up our game dramatically for testing because we are going to want to test people to find out do they in fact have covid so we can treat them with these drugs. that means rapid turnaround for test results. you cannot wait 3, 4, 5 days. then we have the distribution. imagine i am battling with covid, i get tested within 24 hours, i get my results back in an hour, and i get my drugs dispensed to me within an hour after that. that is an effective system which will guarantee we dramatically reduced illness, hospitalizations and deaths.
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this is real. we just have to do it. this is one we talked about with this new normal. one of the things we are going to have to do is put in place a system of availability of testing. availability of drugs and the availability to match up the early signs of the illness with people. we could see a big improvement in the area. host: a couple more callers this morning. andy has been waiting in seminole, florida. good morning. caller: good morning, do i sound all right? host: go ahead, andy. caller: there is still a huge attention with this virus with the vaccines. if you haven't been vaccinated, go ahead and get started now and god bless you if you already did it, and even more if you got boosted. and second of all, the n95 masks
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, the only admonition i would make, make sure you buy one with the stanford deny arch seal. i won't name names but there is a large -- a large company that makes paper products -- ask them where the masks are. they just got to wear masks. host: dr. osterholm? guest: we need to sign andy up as a spokesperson. i couldn't agree more. right on the mark. host: n95 masks, where do you stand on that? -- cloth masks, where do you stand on that? guest: i said in 2020, cloth masks are fashioned and not
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doing more. screen shots of people in tv news, the public to see how they where there masks. we are seeing a reduction in mask wearing over the course of the last year. nonetheless, the consistent 25 of -- 25% of people wear it under your nose. that is not going to give you any protection at all. if you are going to wear it, don't make in chin diaper. aware it and wear it correctly. that would reduce your risk of becoming infected. make sure you do not have a serious illness, make sure you get vaccinated. host: from the silver state, this is deborah. good morning. caller: just to continue on with the idea of how important vaccinations are, especially for the high-risk groups, i am immune compromised and over 65.
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however, i had the j&j vaccine, which i boosted with the moderna booster. i still don't feel comfortable or safe. could you tell me something to ease my mind? host: dr. osterholm, i'll give you the final two minutes. guest: i can ease your mind by telling you you have done it right. there will be a point where you will be able to get that additional booster beyond when you had the j&j and the additional shot. it is not yet recommended. i think it will be over time. just before you have -- just with what you have, you have given yourself a real margin of safety. if you do get infected, having a much less severe illness. congratulations on that. when a booster might become available for that third shot, go get that. right now, you have done
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everything right that you can and i commend you for that. host: if you're interested in reading more from dr. michael osterholm, a good twitter hand drill -- a good twitter handle to follow is -- and his comments on medical issues. dr. michael osterholm, center for urban renewal. and q so much for your time this morning. guest: i want to put a plug in for c-span. my hat is off to you as part of the solution to getting information out about covid so thank you. host: thank you, sir. have a nice day. that is going to do it for our program this morning. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, 4:00 pacific. in the meantime, have a great day. ♪
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>> the house returns tuesday at noon eastern for a bill that would make veterans eligible for the v.a. health care system. -- pre-pandemic data to calculate funding. majority leader chuck schumer said he planned to bring voting right legislation to the senate next week. president biden -- are behind senator chuck schumer. but senator joe manchin of west virginia and christian cinema of
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arizona oppose changes to the filibuster rules so there may not be a simple majority to pass those bills. as always, the house is live on c-span. the senate on c-span two. >> download c-span's new mobile app and stay up-to-date with live in video coverage of events from live streams at that house and senate floor and key congressional meetings. even our live interactive morning program, washington journal, where we hear your voices everyday. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> a conversation on voting rights and election laws with spencer overton, with joint center for political & economic studies. and the author


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