tv Face the Nation CBS April 4, 2021 8:30am-9:01am PDT
the 7pm news, weeknights on kpix 5. captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington. and this week on "face the nation," the covid pandemic amplifies inequality in america. it is powerful, pur vav pervasi, so what can be done. by some measure, the gap between the haves and the have nots is greater than it has ever been, and it shapes every aspect of the american life. >> biden: the pandemic only made the division so much worse and more obvious. >> brennan: president biden put equity at the center of this pitch for a
$2 trillion infrastructure plan. but can he get another massive spending bill through congress? we'll talk with cecilia rouse, the head of the white house council of economic advisors. we'll look at global access to the vaccine with dr. seth berkeley, the head of. and jonathan nez joins us to discuss the impact covid is having on native-american communities. sister norma pimentel runs the catholic charities of the rio grande valley. we ex her about the crush the situation of migrants at the u.s. border. plus, have americans becme too complacent with covid? we'll check in with dr.
scott gottlieb. it's all just ahead on "face the nation." ♪ >> brennan: good morning. and welcome to "face the nation." on this easter sunday, we'll take a special look at some of the many inequities exacerbated by covid-19. we begin with the virus itself. last week c.d.c. director dr. rochelle walensky spoke about her fear of impending doom, and pleaded with americans to hold on a little longer. the c.d.c. also gave vaccinated americans a green light for air travel, but the t.s.a. reported the highest number of airline passengers since the pandemic began. 18% of americans have been fully vaccinated. case numbers are still rising in 27 states and washington, d.c. in some of those places, the largest number of new cases is among children for the first time.
we want to begin with former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb, who sits on the board of pfizer, and joins us from connecticut. good morning to you. >> doctor: good morning. >> brennan: doctor, we're vaccinating four million people a day, but when you look at the infection levels, do you see a fourth wave? >> doctor: i don't think it is going to be a true fourth wave. i think we probably delayed the point at which we can get this behind us for the summer. i think with the rate of vaccination that we're having right now, we're vaccinating, as you said, four million people a day, and it will probably reach five million people a day. the level of immunity we have in the population, we vaccinated 150 million americans, but you have somewhere around 200 million americans who have some level of immunity among them already. what we're seeing a pockets of infection around the country, particularly in younger people who haven't been
vaccinated. if you look at what is happening in michigan and minnesota and massachusetts, you're seeing outbreaks in schools and infections in social cohorts who haven't been exposed to the virus, and now they're out and about getting exposed to the virus and they're getting infected. so the infection is changing its contours in terms of who is being stricken by it right now. >> brennan: you have been a proponent of in-person learning, but given what you're seeing, do you think schools need to shut back down? >> doctor: i don't. schools aren't inherently safe, but they can be made more safe. the schools that use masks, the schools that can use some type of distancing, go the full "harry potter" and try to keep them from intermingling in large groups. if you're taking those measures in schools, i think the schools can be made more safe. i think the benefits being in school outweigh the risk. but we have to be
cognizant that schools are a risk factor, and children are vulnerable to the infection, and schools can become focal points for community infection if we're not careful. i think we're seeing some of that in massachusetts, where the greatest proportions of infections are among school-aged children. and you're seeing in the same thing in mission. michigan. >> brennan: dr. fauci said by the end of this year we should have enough information to safely vaccinate kids of virtually any age. what do you think of this timeline? is it moving faster than anticipated? >> doctor: i think it is moving quickly. i don't know that it is faster than we anticipatedment we're going to have da data that will inform the c.d.c.'s guidance on issuing the vaccine. pfizer, the company i'm on the board of, recently unveiled a clinical trial
of 2200 kids of ages 12 to 15 that looks encouraging. i think that could come in time to have the vaccine available for 12 to 15 before the school year. do we vaccinate high-school-aged kids? right now the pfizer vaccine is approved down to 15. do we start to vaccinate into the middle school? the c.d.c. is ultimately going to have to make a recommendation on where they think the vaccine can be used in children. thehigh school being the most obvious and perhaps middle school. i think we're going to be in a position to vaccinate 12 and above before the fall. i think younger than that could take more time because you're going to wat to test more doses to provide the lowest possible dose that is providing a robust immune
response in kids. >> brennan: there are a lot of people traveling with their kids right now for spring break, people who didn't celebrate christmas are celebrating right now, even though dr. faucm said it is high risk to walk into an airport. do you think health officials are losing their influence at this point? >> doctor: i think you need to be careful as a public health official to issue guidance that you know the public is going to largely follow. you don't want to be so out of step with the aspirations and where the public is and what they will ultimately engage in that the guidance just gets ignored. i do think it is important that people like dr. fauci and the c.d.c. director urge caution. i think we should continue to be cautious. we're still in a high prevalence environment, and we still have these variants circulating. we don't know if people are getting reinfected by some of the new variants. we hould have that information, but we don't. we don't want to be in a position where we extend
the epidemic because we weren't prudent about the steps that we were taking right now. that said, people are sensing will is less risk overall. as people get vaccinated, they feel themselves they're at less risk, and they are based on the vaccination, so they're willing to start engaging in things they put off for a full year. so we need to issue the guidance the way people can conform to it. they want to see family again and socializing and they want to start traveling a little bit. >> brennan: last night johnson & johnson said it would assume full responsibility of vaccine manufacturing at this plant in baltimore that apparently ruined about 15 million doses of the covid vaccine. our sarah cook is reporting that it is at the orders of the biden administration. how significant is this problem? >> doctor: i don't think it should hurt confidence in people's perception of the safety of the vaccine. this was ultimately
detected as part of the quality check that they do in that facility. i don't think they should have been manufacturing two different vaccines in the same facilities. viruses are sticky. we saw this with the c.d.c. in terms of their failed rollout of their diagnostic test because they were manipulating too many viruses in one facility, and there some cross-contamination. it appears to be the case that some component of the astrazeneca vaccine got into the johnson & johnson vaccine. that is the public reportedly from the official administration. they shouldn't ha have been doing that in the same facility. we had to use that one facility to do these both things. >> brennan: dr. gottlieb, thank you. "face the nation" will be back w with dr. cecililia rouse,e, chair off thehe council l of economicc advisosors. stay with h us.
overall, we're still at 8.4 million fewer jobs than a year ago. dr. cecilia rouse is chair of the white house council of economic advisors and says that improvement is due to the acceleration in vaccinations and schools reopening, which allowed some women to re-enter the workforce. we spoke with her saturday. >> what we saw in the last month was that there was an improvement in labor force participation that was entirely due to women. at the same time, when we look at the job gains, it was widely shared, so there were gains across the economy. >> brennan: so inside this job bill that the biden administration is pushing, there is about $25 billion for upgrading child care centers and to incentivize child centers being built by private employers. how is this supposed to work? >> what the jobs plan recognizes is that care is an important part of our infrastructure if workers
are going to be able to go back to work. so the idea is to provide incienincentives for child care centers to be built where there are none, and for employers to develop their child care centers so it is easier for their workers, so they can drop off their children and they can work outside of the home to do the work they find fulfilling. >> brennan: only about 5% of the funding goes to infrastructure. viewers can take a look at the breakdown here of all of the programs that are called for funding on. but of the 620 billion for infrastructure upgrades, it includes incentivizing purchases of electric cars. can you honestly call this a focus on building roads and bridges? >> i think it is important that we upgrade our definition of infrastructure, one that meets the needs of a 21stcentury economy. we need to be funding and
incentivizing those structures that allowed us to maximize our economic activity. so incentivizing electric vehicles is really important because we need to be addressing climate change. if we think about the opportunity costs of not doing so, we're going to just keep paying for it. we know we need to be encouraging or industry to be tilting towards greener production and greener technology. >> brennan: president biden is throwing around this projection that the entire bill will create about 19 million jobs. what does that number come from? which industries are going to be doing that hiring? >> that is an estimate from moody's analytics. we know those jobs will be coming from the traditional infrastructure. we can call it traditional, the roads, the pipe-fitters, the electricians, those who will be paving the roads and building the bridges, but some will be coming from the research and development, the
scientists and engineers, who will ensure that our economy is being smart and is developing solutions to the problems we need to solve if we're going to really address climate change and be prepared to continue to flourish as we go forward. but now that men and women are in the labor force, we need for our loved ones to be taken care of. otherwise women cannot go to work, as this pandemic has highlighted. >> brennan: the moody's analysis says that the economy recovers the job loss from the pandemic in early 2023, but it is not much different without the plan. the president has said raising taxes on corporations won't hurt the economy. but a slew of employers disagree. i'm sure you have seen these statements. the chamber of commerce called this dangerously misguided and saying that the tax increase will make us less competitive, and that it will fundamentally
undermine our ability to lead our economy. these are the employers you need to create these jobs. >> the president believes that everybody should be paying their fair share in taxes. in the moody's analysis you cited, looking over the 10-year plan, the analysis incorporates the president's proposal and the tax components as well. on that, we see there is an improvement in our economic growth. we see there is an improvement in labor force participation. we see there is an increase in the number of jobs and decrease in the unemployment rate. so net/senat/net we think that the president's proposals are good for the economy, even including the corporate tax increases. >> brennan: the corporate tax rate would go up to 28%, probably even higher than that. and taxes on corporate income earned overseas would also increase. this is 15yea years of higher
taxes to pay for eight years of spending. >> typically when one makes an investment, one pays for an investment up front and the returns gather over time. i would say that the reason why the president is proposing these corporate tax increases is because it is just the right thing to do. he believes we should be encouraging these corporations to pay their fair share. they all use the roads and bridges and the public goods that are going to be created by these investments, and they should be paying their fair share of the taxes in order for us to be able to do so. >> brennan: this past week we had a number of corporations weigh in on this controversial move in a number of states to change voting rights laws. the president said that he would like to see the all-star game move out of georgia, and the very next day, major league baseball did just that. is the white house urging corporations to use their economic power to take
political positions? >> well, look, the president has said very strongly that he is opposed to these state laws restricting voting rights. he has called them the jim crow of the 21st century, period. in terms of these companies, they are exercising their right to vote with their feet. it's a little early to judge what the economic impact will be, but they have a right to vote with their feet and to express their dissatisfaction with the laws. >> brenn >> brennan: but for a popcorn stand worker in atlanta who learned he is not going to be hired in july, it comes at a cost, does it not? >> there is going to be a cost. that is the point that major league baseball was trying to make. they will move their game and workers at another place will benefit. that is exactly the
message that major league baseball was trying to send. the president opposes these laws. he believes that they are restrictive. they are discriminatory. these companies have the opportunity to vote with their feet, and they're using their economic power to express their satisfaction. >> brennan: understood. doctor rouse, thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> brennan: our full conversation with dr. rouse is ownwn our websbsite at faceththenation.cocom. wewe'll be rigight back. so they cacan hire vililma... and wewendy... and me. soso, more peoeople cacan go to wowo. so, morere days can ststart with k kisses. when y you buy thihis plant at w walmart. ♪
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>> the racial disparities in vaccine rates, for me, is more a consequence of vaccine access than vaccine hesitancy. one of the greatest barriers are the digital divide, those in the bronx who have no access to the internet, have much less access to information about vaccination sites and have no real ability to participate in online registration systems. >> brennan: so how do you quickly fix that problem? because it sounds like you're saying that the fact that yankee stadium is open doesn't mean anything because your constituents can't log on to make appointments in the first place. >> we're making progress, but we have to rely on community-based institutions that can serve as incredible messengers in places like the south bronx. i'm optimistic we are making progress. >> brennan: this highly contagious new york variant has hit your area of the city. do you have any indications about how widespread it might be?
>> from my understanding, it is more than 70% of the coronavirus cases in new york city, and the new york city variant is more than 40%, and the british variant is more than 25%, and so i'm concerned we're beginning to see an increase in the number of cases because of these variants, which are much more transmissible. so that's why we impress upon the importance of wearing a mask and we have to continue testing. we have to continue practicing social distancing. there is widespread covid fatigue, and i worry too many people have become complacent as we have come closer to normalcy. >> brennan: you're district is majority latino. this week treasury secretary janet yellen said if someone tried to design an economic crisis that would unduly target the hispanic community, they would probably come up with something that
looks like covid-19. 50% of revenues for latino-owned businesses were impacted by the shutdown. one in five latino households say they don't have enough food to eat. the list of challenges is huge here. where do you begin with your constituents? what is issue number one? >> you're right, covid-19 has held up a mirror to the deepest inequalities. the unemployment rate could be as high at 25%. to me, nothing is more corrosive to civil society and our economy than long-term unemployment, and that's why the american jobs plan is so critical because it would create 15 million jobs over a 10-year period. and the vast majority of the jobs would be available to those without a college education. so we're targeting the communities that historically have been left behind by economic disparity. >> brennan: but you have also said the biden plan
is not nearly big enough. are you saying you do support it, even though you have also criticized it? >> well, it is an historic investment in our country. we've been plagued by decades of disinvestment that has made the united states less productive, less competitive, less innovative, and less resilient in the face of catastrophic climate change. the president's plan represents the largest investment in our infrastructure in more than a century. no plan is perfect. i have constructive criticisms, but there is no question it would fundamentally change the trajectory of our country not only here but abroad. >> brennan: what is your criticism? >> specifically only the affordable housing piece. i'm a product of public housing, so i'm on a mission to ensure that public housing gets its first share of the american jobs plan. in new york city, public housing has been so savagely starved of federal funding, it has $40 billion of need.
your children have been poisoned by led. you have senior citizens freezing in their homes because of federal disinvestment. the plan only proposes $40 billion. public housing in new york city alone has a $40 billion capital need. so we need at least $70 billion to fully address the humanitarian crisis in public housing. >> brennan: new york democrats, and speaker pelosi herself, have said they want to see some changes to this bill, including tax relief for state and local governments, the so-called salt tax. chuck schumer has called this a dagger at the heart of new york. are they out of step with your constituents? or is the white house out of step with your constituents? where do you fall on this? >> i certainly support salt deductibility, but my priority is the child tax
credit. i represent what is the fourth congressional district in america, and there is no policy that would do more to lift the south bronx out of poverty than the child tax plan. it was so aggressive that it left behind a third of the children. 27 million children in america. i want to see a permanent expansion of the child tax credit, because for me it would be for children where social security has been for senior citizens. >> brennan: to be clear, what you're asking for is not in this bill, and not is addressing the salt tax that i asked you about. thank you, congressman, for your view today and to your district. we'll be right back. ♪ and that has carla feeling so confident
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