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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 2, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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friday morning, america's getting vaccinated, we're playing baseball, and we're heading into a holiday. it truly is a good friday. enjoy it for everyone who celebrates it. thank you so much for getting up "way too early" with us on this friday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now. this week in covid history -- as we head into april 2020, president trump is a ratings hit. mr. trump and his coronavirus updates attracted an audience of 8.5 million. roughly the viewership of the season finale of "bachelor." that's not me talking. that's literally what the president tweeted. word the word. it was weird. >> did you know it's number one on facebook. >> number one on facebook! so, mr. number one, how do we beat this pandemic? maybe by wearing masks. cdc says it's a good idea. >> with the masks it's going to be -- ah -- really a voluntary
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thing. you can do it. you don't have to do it. i'm thinking not to do it. >> brate thinking, mr. t. who needs masks when you have tonight's sponsor! hydroxychloroquine. >> hydroxy -- chloroquine. >> it's unbelievable and totally untested. >> we have purchased 29 million pills. we're sending them to the hospitals. we're sending them all over. there are signs that it works on this, very strong signs. >> but don't just take his word for it. >> everything shows that it works. >> i think it's the beginning of the end, of the pandemic. i'm very serious. >> i think history will judge who's right on this debate. i bet on president trump's intuition on this one. >> yes. our president knows best. >> and what do you have to lose? take it. oh, my god. can you believe that? and it actually happened, even though it's made to look like
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it's some old comedy, willie giest. joe's off this morning, by the way. willie, it's just hard to believe that those were the months and months that got us through this deadly pandemic, which is still going now, much in part because of claims like that. >> yeah. i mean, those are funny. kimmel puts those together, but, my gosh, they're devastating, too, to think that was the kind of leadership and the kind of people guiding our policy. i'm reminded, a man in arizona who drank fish tank clean are because it had chloroquine on the label thinking that was what president trump was talking about. all the recommendations, don't wear the mask. peter navarro the man we saw in the clip saying dr. fauci invented the virus or brought it from china, whatever his conspiracy theory is. those were the people leading us in the earliest days of this pandemic and largely why we are still where we are today. >> and today is april 2nd.
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it's good friday, everyone. with us, former msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill is with us. associate editor of "washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. nbc news and msnbc be national affairs analyst, host and executive producer of showtimes "the circus" and host of "the hell and high water podcast" from the recount. jon hileman is with us, and alina plott. joe will be back on monday. we're following a number of stories this morning. another day of dramatic testimony in the trial of derek chauvin, the former police officer charged with the murder of george floyd. >> -- floyd had this great, deep, southern voice. raspy. he was like, sis. you okay, sis?
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and i wasn't okay. i said, no, i'm -- i'm just waiting for my son's father. he -- sorry. he said -- um -- well, can i pray with you? >> chauvin defense team argued that floyd's underlying health conditions and drug use killed him. what do jurors think? we'll talk about that coming up. plus, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says president biden's infrastructure package won't get any support from republicans. interesting. and texas lawmakers advance a sweeping elections bill that places new restrictions on the voting process. major corporations are voicing opposition to the measure similar to what's going on in georgia. it's creating an interesting
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rift between typically aligned republicans and major corporations. "new york" magazine's jonathan chaip frames it this way, republicans are taking on big business by fighting to keep their taxes low. huh? we'll get to all of that. willie? >> yeah. busy morning. start, though, with new developments in the justice department investigation into florida congressman matt gaetz. the "new york times" now is reporting the inquiry into gaetz and former seminole tax collector joel greenburgh is focused and suspected involvement with multiple women it is alleged were recruited online for sex and received cash payments. that's according to people close to the investigation. text messages and payment receipts all reviewed by the "times." three people with knowledge of these believe greenburgh indicted last year, pled not guilty to a federal sex trafficking charge and other charges initially met the women
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through websites that connect people too go on dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel and allowances. greenburgh reportedly introduced the women to congressman gaetz who also had sex with them. messages in interviews show during encounters in 2020, gaetz and greenburgh instructed the women to meet at certain times and places, often hotels around florida and tell them the amount of money they were willing to pay. no charges brought against congressman gaetz, who's denied any wrongdoing saying there is an extortion plot against his family. the extent of his criminal exposure is unclear. in a statement to the "times" the congressman's office said, matt gaetz has never paid for sex and refutes all disgusting allegations completely. meanwhile, multiple sources telling cnn gaetz allegedly showed photos and videos of nude women he had slept with to other lawmakers, including while on the house floor. there is no indication the
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pictures are connected to the doj investigation. the "daily beast" reports more than a half dozen lawmakers have spoken about gaetz claiming a love of alcohol and illegal drugs as well as alleging a proclivity for younger women. one former republican staffer says their office had an informal rule to not allow their member to appear next to gaetz during tv hits fearful of the inevitable scandal that would come one day. a lot to sift through there. bring in one reporter on the "new york times" story, michael schmidt, an msnbc national security analyst. also with us, former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama and msnbc legal analyst joyce vance. good morning to you both. mike, start with you. this is your story. bring us up to speed on some of these latest details you're just reporting this morning. flesh it out and how much more trouble this has put mr. gaetz in? >> look, what we have here today in our story is certainly a
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deeper understanding of the conduct that was going on. as part of our reporting we able to look at some of the receipts. we were able to see some of the communications, the back-and-forth going on. how these women were being paid. they were being paid very, you know, through apps on their phone. through cash apps. through apple pay. they were not taking great steps to hide these. at times, gaetz or greenburgh would go toe an atm in the hotel that they were in. they would often meet these women in hotels. these are details that help us flesh out what the, what the scheme was that was going on here that has been uncovered in this federal investigation. the other thing that we report today is that at least one of gaetz and greenburgh's associates in florida state politics, republican state
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politics in florida, has been, you know -- was linked to this behavior. we don't identify that associate, but it just gives you a sense of how wide and common and widespread this conduct was that is part of this investigation. >> all right. joyce vance, i'm just curious. as it pertains to the concept, michael schmidt just talked about apps being used. i read about apple pay. i know a lot of lawmakers are coming forward talking about his behavior on the house floor. showing pictures of women he claimed to have slept with. maybe even some lawmakers pulled him aside saying we need your conduct to be better on the house floor, but legally, what is he facing here on the concept of women being paid through apps? what are we looking at? >> there are a lot of different
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possibilities for federal criminal exposure for the congressman related to this series of facts, and something that i've heard mike say before that's very true is that the reporting is likely just the tip of the iceberg. for this to have gone this far and to have become a full-blown federal investigation, there's reports the initial tip took place in january of 2020. so this would be a year-long investigation, if that pans out, and it's likely that there is a great deal more to back this up, but, mika, you're right to focus on payment. in is a specific statute that criminalizing particularly when it comes to girls, use of the internet or any interstate means to entice, to lure girls into this sort of commercial sex trafficking, but there's a whole panoply of federal statutes that are designed to address this, and most importantly, federal prosecutors take these sorts of crimes very seriously.
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>> mike, one of the questions a lot of people are looking into it whether office money from the congressman's office was used to pay for any of this. first of all, two parter for you -- was this conduct the doj is looking into during his time as a congressman, took office in january 2017, and second, is there any evidence that congressional money was used to pay for any of this? >> so the conduct that we write about today is, occurred during his time in congress. he came to congress in 2017. was elected as a trump supporter in the 2016 election. he's been there since then and obviously been a very vocal supporter of the president. that's where the conduct comes from. just to pick up on what joyce was saying. the thing that is one of the biggest focuses of the legal questions in this case or in
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this investigation is the 17-year-old girl. because that, that crime of, you know, soliciting and paying someone under the age of 18 for sex carries a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison. obviously that's a very, very significant legal issue and is, you know, is -- is a humongous problem for gaetz. as we report today, you know, they are looking at gaetz, as we reported in the original story -- they are looking at gaetz for his ties to the 17-year-old and they're looking at others. were others connected to this 17-year-old? who else did this 17-year-old interact with? >> so elena plott, curious about how members of the gop are responding to this. it appears some are at least in some way, shape or form, kind of saying, well, i've heard bad
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things, too, and sharing stories of pictures. there have been some indications that maybe some people didn't want to be in pictures with him, because they saw this coming. what are you hearing? >> mika, this is the sort of thing thus far that when i have talked to republicans since the story broke, the response is very similar to what it could often be when you would ask a lawmaker on a senior staff aide about trump's tweets. they pretend to really just, you know, want no involvement in it whatsoever. want to create as much distance as possible, but what i've also heard from a few people is that they're not entirely surprised. not just because of who congressman gaetz is in terms of the person they came to know over the years, but also how regular in occurrence that these sorts of clouds following behind trump's favored lawmakers appear to be. what trump did over the past
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four years is essentially, you know, kind of help otherwise unknown lawmakers emerge into the spotlight very, very quickly. they really enjoyed it. they were suddenly golfing with the president of the united states when they're a young lawmaker, and i've had one source say to me, you know, he flew too close to the sun and you're seeing the fallout. >> claire, you're a former prosecutor as well as former united states senator. as your prosecutor hat on right now, what exactly are you looking at? because there's a sort of separate issue put forward by matt gaetz and his people about an alleged extortion plot, which appears to be separate and apart from what the doj is focusing on in the alleged sex trafficking what they're looking into. he hasn't been charged with anything. he denies he had sex with anyone under age, but what would you be looking at right now specifically? >> well, first, i think joyce will back me up on this. this is only a federal case. if they can prove that money or
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interstate communications were used to entice or pay someone 17 years old or younger. if it's older than 17, then this become as local prosecutor. this becomes a state prosecution. and sometimes those are riddled with political decisions as opposed to decisions on the facts and the law. it will be interesting to see if, in fact, they find the evidence of a 17-year-old, if the feds go forward, or in the alternative, if you see some kind of action by local prosecutors. but let's just look at this from a political lens for a minute, willie. i mean, this, the quote that this guy gave to the press yesterday was, i cherished my past relationships. meanwhile, you have, i'm sure, republican lawmakers telling the press he was showing them naked pictures of these women going to such detail of saying one was a naked picture with a hula hoop. now, to me, that's just an average person that is not what you do with a relationship you
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cherish. that's what you do if you're peddling, if you're -- if you're somebody who's a john. if you're somebody who's buying sex, and living a life style that is not consistent with representing america and the united states congress. i think this guy's in some real political trouble, even if he ends up just facing state charges around prostitution for what he did. >> so, john heilemann, the story seems to be exploding on many levels and people keep adding to it, some of them anecdotes from washington, from capitol hill, that paul ryan pulled him aside at one point. that his conduct on the floor was in question. what is it -- is it his closeness to trump? what is causing such an emphasis on this story, or is it his really severe full-throated, immediate response to this investigation when it first came out, you know, jumping on to
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cable tv and sort of luring tucker carlson into this? what is it that makes this story, i guess, so important at this point to people? >> well, i think, mika, i mean, look. he is -- matt gaetz is a star in congress in the context of the trump era. i'm saying within the republican party, you know, of the bright, young things who showed up literally in trump's election, validated by donald trump, lifted up by donald trump, he returned the favor. donald trump and he were in a symbiotic relationship and he became more than just one of our 34, 35 members of the house. became a guy with outside presence in right-wing media and to extent main street media. would not turn down television interview requests. made him ubiquitous, loud,
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brash. he understood how to play -- in the trump era, when volume and shamelessness and, and garishness were the, the kind of badges of honor and things that attracted media attention, matt gaetz was the perfect flower of that moment. so now, you know, of course, we are now learning that this florida bro, basically, you know, turns out, who's running around with an indicted sex trafficker and has been walking around apparently showing his best pictures off his phone to his friends on the house floor of his sexual -- i don't want to call them conquests. if you're paying for them they're not conquestconquests. right? turns out by everything we're hearing seize skeevy. i think it matters if there's a federal charge. a sex trafficking charge, that matters. a state charge. legal things. regardless whether charges are brought now, i think he, the
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floodgates are now open and on a political level, a lot of members of congress in the republican party who even if they have saddled up to trump, even if they accepted donald trump, even if they got in bed with the fleas of donald trump, they are looking -- looked at people like matt gaetz and said, man, this is a stinky pile that we're stuck with here. this is an opportunity for republicans, i think right now, and in a self-interested way, to be like, let's get away from that and let's take some kind of a purely cynical public relations-driven approach, which is like, get on our high horse. no moral standing to take this position, by the way, but to throw matt gaetz over the side will make them feel better and they think give them some kind of credibility for having walked away from someone who is clearly, like i said, at this point i think terminally toxic. >> yeah. terminally toxic might be a good way of putting it, looking at everything, but, willie, you
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just wonder if there's any talk in congress about taking away his committee assignments, or resignation, even? >> well, kevin mccarthy alluded to that when asked. minority leader said, yeah. probably yank him off the judicial committee, judiciary committee, if these allegations prove to be true. you don't see a lot of republicans even, as john said, rushing to gaetz' defense. remember, gene robinson, the guy in congressman gaetz back in january caught a flight from washington to cheyenne, wyoming to speak out on the steps of the capitol calling for liz cheney to be thrown out of office because she dared to vote to impeach donald trump. >> right. he was in his mind, at least, riding high then. he was thinking of himself as a national figure. clearly. he's now a national figure in a completely different way. i do have a question for mike schmidt, which is, what do we know about the women allegedly
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involved in -- in this, this affair, this, in the circumstance? or in the one case, the girl who was 17? what, if anything, do we know about them? >> so what we know is that they were connected to greenburgh initially through these websites. websites that are designed to connect people who are willing to exchange gifts, dinners, travel, fine dining, for companionship. these are websites that, you know, essentially look like dating websites, but are, you know, have a bit more edge to them, and are about connecting people, and that these types of connections often result in payments that are, that lead to sex. it's these types of sites that are often at the center of, you
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know, federal and state investigations that look at sex trafficking, and that is where the women were coming from. as we report today, greenburgh would make sort of the recruitment of the women, would make the contact with the women, would bring them in and introduce them to gaetz and matt gaetz would, you know, have relations with the women, and that this would sort of continue on, and that was sort of the pipeline that was used. among the women that were brought in was one of these women who was 17 years old. and that has the stat issue who knew this 17-year-old and had relations with this 17-year-old is a very, very key question of what is being scrutinized as claire pointed out, because that is a -- in the eye of the law that is a significant distinction that really changes the criminal exposure for both greenburgh and gaetz.
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we should point out, greenburgh, who's this local tax collector. a guy who embraced trumpism and was the tax collector in seminole county, right outside of orlando, has been indicted for, you know, sex -- you know, sex trafficking in connection with the 17-year-old girl. as we report today. the questions about gaetz and the 17-year-old are of the same woman. it's the same woman that they, you know -- the same woman that they're looking at, whether gaetz had relations with. so, look. it's a federal investigation. there's a lot going on with it. we do not have complete visibility into everything, but we're just trying to peel back the layers one story at a time. >> michael schmidt, thank you very much for your reporting this morning. we'll be following this. and now, to day four of the derek chauvin trial. nbc's gabe gutierrez takes us through yesterday's emotional testimony. >> it didn't take long for
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courtney ross to cry as she remembered how she met george floyd in 2017. >> i called him mama's boy. i could tell from the minute i met him. >> reporter: this now iconic photo of floyd ross said was taken as a selfie at the salvation army where he worked. >> floyd has this great deep, southern voice. >> reporter: they began dating and she told jurors how he was devastated by the death of his mother. >> he seemed kind of like a shell of himself. like he was -- like he was broken. he seemed so sad. >> reporter: during her testimony, meant to humanize floyd, one juror off-camera had a furrowed brow and a hand by his face seemingly emotional. ross said injuries and his desire to be physically active led floyd to pain pills. >> we both suffered from chronic
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pain. mine was in my neck and his was in his back. we got addicted, and -- and tried really hard to break that addiction many times. >> reporter: in march of 2020, ross testified she drove floyd to the hospital and learned he's overdosed. >> you did not know he had taken heroin at that time? >> no. >> reporter: derek chauvin's defense team argued floyd's underlying health conditions and drug use killed him. not the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that prosecutors say the former minneapolis officer held his knee on floyd's neck. the next two witnesses paramedics, said floyd had no pulse when ems arrived at the scene. >> i didn't see any breathing or movement or anything like that. >> in lay terms, i thought he was dead. >> reporter: testimony came after prosecutors on wednesday played body camera videos from all four officers that responded including chauvin's, not seen publicly before. his fell between the police
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cars. later explaining why he restrained floyd for so long. >> had to control this guy because he's a sizable guy. >> and get in the car. >> like he was coming off something. >> reporter: in the courtroom, prosecutors showed graphic images of the efforts to resuscitate his brother inside the ambulance. >> there's no justification why a person should put their knee and all of their weight on a man's neck until they pass. he was tortured to death. prosecutors also used two body camera clips showing chauvin's former supervisor david ploeger going to the scene and speaking with chauvin after fielding complaint calls from witnesses. he offered the following testimony -- >> do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> what is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer
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offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> and that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant. >> correct. >> joyce vance, as the trial resumes later this morning, you've been watching so far. what are your thoughts? seems like the prosecution has a very powerful case. >> they do have a powerful case. it's been really painful to watch, mika. the evidence is of a very high caliber. i've tried a number of excessive force cases. this case is unique. there's video footage from virtually every angle between the body cameras and the bystanders, and you hate to say good fortune in a case like this, but the prosecution has had the good fortune. for instance, of having an off-duty emt on scene who relentlessly badgered the officers to try to render assistance to mr. floyd.
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>> gosh. >> so the big issue building up to in this case is causation. who caused the death of mr. floyd? the knee on the neck or as the defense will arg due, his drug addiction. so far the prosecution managed to set a masterful emotional context for the jury to hear that technical medical evidence about causation, and it's tough after hearing this testimony and watching the video to attribute his death to anything other than former officer chauvin's actions. it will be, i think, interesting to watch the battle of the medical examiners which is where this trial is inevitably headed. >> yeah, joyce, as you say. the testimony over the first four days has been emotional at times. more importantly, for the prosecution it's been compelling, when you hear a former supervisor, the sergeant saying yesterday that restraint shot have ended long before it did. that once that mr. floyd wasn't resisting arrest anymore, the
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restraint should have ended. that's powerful testimony. you started to answer my question, but i'm curious where you think the defense can go from here? their defense has been relatively thin so far in the face of all of these witnesses. where do you see their strategy going? >> we're still in the prosecution's case in chief. so if the prosecution wasn't, didn't have an edge here, then there would be reason for great concern. once the government's evidence is finished, the defense will have the opportunity to put on evidence of their own, tradition wisdom in a case like this says that the defendant should not testify, that it's very dangerous to testify. of course, the defense has no burden of proving anything in a case like this. the defendant is presumed innocent until the government proves that he's guilty. so it seems unlikely that we'll see chauvin testify, but the defense really may reach the point where they have to consider that seriously, because their options here are to poke
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holes at the government's case on chauvin's intent for the three different species of murder and manslaughter that he's charged with. they have to prove different states of mind, but at bottom they'll have to show he had a reckless disregard for human life. it looks pretty tough to get around that in this case, and then the big issue is causation. showing that there were alternative substantial causes of death. that will depend on how the expert testimony and the medical testimony comes in, but increasingly, you know, the defense's strategy may not be an acquittal. it may be to just find one juror they can convince to hold out, refuse to vote for guilt so that the jury hangs and they can try the case presumably a second time. the prosecution won't let this one go if the jury hangs. >> joyce chance, thank you. we want to mention, by the way, the new podcast joyce co-hosts along with kimberly atkins and barbara mcquade, #sistes#sister.
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i love it, sistesister-in-law. and a piece you wrote sent a message to everyone who saw it. explain that and tell us about your piece, gene robinson? >> well, the way he is, george floyd, was described by chauvin and obviously seen by chauvin, and indeed initially encountered by the officers, actually. another officer. it's just striking to me. from the beginning they saw him as guilty. as guilty of being a black man with an imposing frame who -- who had to be treated, or whom they could treat in a way they wouldn't treat other people, or one hoped they wouldn't treat anybody this way.
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you know? the initial encounter, which was between one of the other officers that floyd -- you know, the officer knocks on the window of the car, and floyd is startled and starts to open the door and said, oh, i'm sorry. i'm sorry, and the officer pulls out his gun and screams, you know, get your f-ing hands up, which is -- that's amazing. this was over a non-violent misdemeanor, allegedly. passing a fake 20 dollar bill, yet out comes the gun immediately, and then they feel that they need to drag him out, and, and put him on the ground and cuff limb and ultimately, the -- chauvin in restraining him for that long, to my eyes, seems not to be restraining
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floyd after a certain point, because, in fact, floyd is unconscious, obviously. but he's demonstrating something for that group of onlookers. he's demonstrating who's in charge, and it's him. it's not this -- it's not this black man who's on the ground. and it's not those onlookers who are criticizing him. chauvin is in charge, and this is his world, and he gets to decide when he shows humanity and compassion, or whether he shows humanity and compassion to george floyd, and that's what was, what is striking to me about the testimony about the video. one of the witnesses, an older man, charles mcmillian the other day testified he told floyd at one point, you know, you can't win. and that was true. he just couldn't win from the beginning.
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>> still ahead on "morning joe" -- some major corporations are speaking out against georgia's new sweeping election law, and now republican lawmakers are hitting back. plus, could the surge of coronavirus variants outpace the increasing availability of vaccines? it's a huge question. dr. mike the osterholm joins us to weigh in on that. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. asthma attacks i've had. but my nunormal with nucala? fewer asthma attacks. nucala is a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue, or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection. may cause headache, injection-site reactions, back pain, and fatigue. ask your doctor about nucala. find your nunormal with nucala.
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the pharmaceutic's companies pfizer and biontech suggesting trials saying it protects against the south africa variant. the company also said in phase three trials more than 12,000 people thvaccine shows "high levels of protection" as long as six months after the second dose with no serious safety concerns. joining us now, director of the center for infectious disease
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research and policy and professor in the medical school at the university of minnesota, dr. michael oosterholm. love having you on. you pull no pushings and cut to the chase. let me just ask you. all of this optimism about the vaccines, readily available, opened up to more age groups yet we're seeing hospitalizations go up. seeing infections go up again. so big picture, what's going on in the country with covid right now? >> well, it's a tale of two cities. the vaccine news is good. these are incredible vaccines. the challenge we have is we just don't have enough quick enough to get into the arms of people, and in terms of trying to take on this new variant. this b.1.1.7 virus originally seen in united kingdom. the upper midwest and northeast right now are experiencing major upticks in cases. and we have a lot of people left that are still out there to be infected. we expect to see this virus spread through much of the south and the west in the weeks ahead. so we have a real challenge on
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our hands and clearly are in another surge of cases. >> how do you explain the surge? is it just that people are exhausted and they've been relaxed and can go back out? seeing ballparks start to fill up again in texas, for example. restaurants are open. people are getting back to normal life after a year of this, and because i think a lot of that good news that you mention gives them hope and optimism, they were return safely to some, something resembling normal life, anyway. so why are we seeing the spikes and why are you expecting more of them? >> first of all you've detailed it quite nicely in terms of this roller coaster emotionally. you know, just four weeks ago on this show everyone wanted to know why i wasn't more optimistic. cases were coming down. i understand that. one of the things i don't think people realize, as much as public health measures surely impacted the number of new cases. think about this. last april a house on fire in new york. some states in the midwest, and we were at 32,000 cases a day
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and, oh, my, the house was on fire. then we saw, the memorial time period, upper midwest lit up again about the same number of cases. came back down. july, the southern states lit up. we have 72,000 cases a day. that went back down. then postlabor day, cases went up in the midwest. by november 200,000 cases. then cases came back down again. finally, in december-january, we hit over 300,000 cases a day and the south lit up again. so we've had these roving regional increases up and down, up and down, up and down. i think we're in that right now, except this time we have a much more dangerous virus. this b.1.1.7 virus is at least 70% to 100% more infectious and leaves 50% to 60% more likely to cause severe disease. the other issue spreading in kids we hadn't seen before. >> the cdc director, walensky,
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paused in her briefing. i have a sense of impending doom if wep don't continue to take this seriously. continue to mask, distance, do all the things recommended. we heard the same from president biden saying, please, please continue to wear the masks. he's encouraged governors to keep mask mandates in place. a lot of them said, no. we're not going to do that. we're going to keep them optional. from your vantage point what do we need to do, all americans, making sure we don't have a big surge that we're looking at right now? >> let me just first of all say we are so fortunate to have dr. walensky as director of the cdc. she's the right person at the right time and her message was the right message. i commend her for that. i think what we have to do right now is realize we are in a race with this virus, the b.1.1.7. if we can get through the next eight to ten weeks with limited number of cases because we do distance, because we don't give up at the last minute, then i think we have a chance getting into the summer to actually have a more normal summer than we've
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had in the past two years. if we don't, we're going to see case numbers climb up and potentially get to where we were in january. where we're already, right now in some locations in the upper midwest beginning to feel that way. so i think it's really a challenge. you know, willie, no one wants to be the person who dies from covid two days before their supposed to get their vaccination. you know? we just, please, hold out, and we can get there. >> so a couple of questions out of that. first of all, does the vaccination apply to all of these variants that you're talking about, especially the ones that travel quickly through children, or the variants that are coming from abroad? do we have an issue there? and secondly, what are the chances we go right back to january because people aren't holding on and they aren't social distancing and holding back? they just aren't. that's what i'm seeing. i have to ask, what it's going toing who like? >> yeah. well, no. two very important questions.
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the first question, there is good news. it's b.1.1.7 variant dealing with here in the united states right now basically the vaccine covers it very well. it's highly, highly effective against it. there are other variants in the world that we are watching carefully, particularly ones in south america, one in africa, that does have the ability to impact on how well the vaccines work or immunity from international infection. your second point. what people don't understand is with all the pain and suffering and death we've suffered over the last year, even know we have vaccinated as many people as we have we still have upwards of 50% of the population still susceptible to this virus. it's going to find you. this is a coronavirus forest fire that will find any human wood out there to burn it can. we just have to hold out, get more people vaccinated, and if we can do that, then i think we can avoid that january peak. if we don't, i'm not suggesting we're going to get there, but we'll get close.
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on a global basis we are blowing away the peaks from before. within the next three weeks we'll see mostnumber of cases reported glowly we have since beginning of the pandemic, showing how dark it is in many countries around the world. >> dr. michael osterholm, an honor to have you on the show. thank you very, very much for being on this morning. okay. texas republicans are looking to push a bill through the state legislature that seems -- that it will make it harder for residents to vote. after more than seven hours of objections from democrats, texas gop-controlled senate signed off on the legislation on thursday sending it to the house. the bill would cut early voting hours, and drive-thru voting, make it illegal for election officials to send vote-by-mailed applications in advance. it would also allow poll watchers to record some voters as they cast their ballots.
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texas corporate giants such as dell and american airlines have come out against the new bill. that comes as several georgia-based companies are facing backlash from republicans after expressing their dissatisfaction with the state's new voting law. delta airlines and coca-cola find themselves in a heated fight with governor brian kemp after delta's ceo ed bastian condemned the restricted voting rights bill, republicans in the state legislature are looking at increases taxes on the company. seemingly as retribution. senator roger wicker of mississippi tweeted that coca-cola was "caving to the woke left" and republican senator marco rubio of florida posted a video calling the two companies "woke corporate hypocrites." >> so delta air lines are business partners with the chinese communist party'sthe
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same chinese communist party committing genocide against uighur muslims inside of china. so i look forward to a letter today from their ceo telling everyone that what the chinese communist party going with genocide is unacceptable. i look forward to that letter saying that genocide does not reflect the values of delta air lines. of course, they're not grog to send that letter, nor coca-cola or any other corporation proving to the world how woke they are because they are woke corporate hypocrites. that's what they are. woke corporate hypocrites, make billions of dollars in a country that doesn't even have elections. make billions from a company that has no respect for anything and they don't say a word about it. but in america prepared to boycott a state and condemn them publicly to show and prove how woke they are. hair hypocrites. complete and total hypocrites. >> so much to unpack there. elaina plott, maco rubio, let's
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stay focused just on the wokeness. seems to be a word they want to repeat a lot. again and again. this in a fashion that denigrates it. and while that's an incredible argument, but i find it more incredible that they're going after these conversations yet don't plan to support joe biden's infrastructure bill. do you see the part where i'm a bit confused? like, which is it for them? are they the hypocrites? >> we saw something quite similar for republicans mika in 2017, if you'll remember, when north carolina and texas, for that matter, was trying to push forward what they called the bathroom bills which would have prohibited transgender individuals from using the restroom that was of their choice. that failed in texas, north carolinaultimately scaled it back because of this corporate
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backlash. interesting this time is that governor greg abbott, who took really great care in 2017 to telegraph to the business community that he really didn't like what was going on, despite the fact he was kind of trying to have it both ways with the bill supporters as well. governor greg about sit all onboard with this voting rights legislation. his lieutenant governor dan patrick has issued forceful denunciations of american airlines for coming out against it. and so what i think you're seeing is a pretty major and telling inflection point in the direction of the party. you know, in the past we would talk about how one of the major changes trump brought to the gop was in large part tonal, but i think now we're seeing the policy implications and how deeply those could be rooted even after he's gone. or since he's been gone, i should say. >> yeah. so in his latest column for "new york" magazine entitled "the fake republican fight with corporate america," jonathan
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rights in part, it is no longer just the self-styled populists and trump personality devotees who are plumping for open conflict with corporate america. the "wall street journal" editorial page has joined the e joins the ranks of conservatives denouncing woke capital. a house republican strategy memo urges members to use corporations preferenced for the democratic party to drive individual donations. what this little tip lacks, however, is any coherent policy content. a populist argument would be that airlines should pay a higher tax rate and that their favorable treatment is a result of undue influence on the system. georgia republicans aren't saying that. they're not making any substantive case against the airline tax break at all in fact. instead they're explicitly using the issue as a club to force
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corporations to stay loyal or at least neutral on issues republicans care about. it's revealing that the supposed republican schism with corporate america is occurring against the backdrop of raising taxes on corporations. if republicans want to engage in actual political conflict with big business, here is their golden opportunity. claire mccaskill, your thoughts. >> yeah. you know, i'm getting whiplash. i can't figure this out. you know, first they say corporations are people and, therefore, we get to have all the dark money, corporate money in elections and republicans are rah, rah, rah, corporations are people. then corporations speak out about what they think is right and wrong in a country that treasures the first amendment and then the republicans get into a hypocritical four-point stance on we're going to be the
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cancel culture. and by the way, they have using this cancel culture as their rallying cry. hello, colin kaepernick. hello what they're doing right now to american airlines and to delta and to coca-cola. i mean which is it? they can't decide whether they want to tax them to punish them, which by the way takes the cancel culture to a whole new level of impinging upon people's first amendment rights in this country, or whether they want to embrace them and say let's see how low we can get your taxes so you can compete on a global marketplace. and give me a break with marco rubio. oh, just be quiet. where have you gone? you have no substantive center. there is no center you believe in. you know, you want to talk about hypocritical, there's all kinds of things that marco rubio has been doing that are just bogus and hypocritical. so i don't get this. they are engaging in the very activity they want to criticize
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others of. meanwhile, these corporations, i think, are just speaking out on what they think is the right thing to do for america. >> gene robinson, it's been interesting to watch the progression of these corporations' reaction. they started out with timid responses. at first they were taking a close look at this law. as the heat was turned up, they came out more forcefully, particularly the ceo of delta. but the fact of the matter is it's not going to change the law. you've got a republican governor there, it's going through there and there will be new limitations on voting. now, the governor says many aspects of this law actually expand voting for some people in some places, but the essence of what people are protesting about this law will remain in place. >> right. and this is an issue that's not going away. it's going to be fascinating to see how corporations deal with it going forward because we're now going to have the debate in congress over hr-1, the democrats' proposal for voting rights, and so where -- the
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question is going to be where do you stand on that? and what are the polls saying, what are their customers telling them? it's going to be -- their shareholders, it's going to be really interesting. a quick question for john heilemann actually, which is, is restricting voting, is voter suppression basically the issue that the trump and non-trump wings of the republican party to the extent that the non-trump wing still exists, that they could all agree on? is that what unites the republican party now is the idea of voter suppression? >> yes, eugene. first of all, we should start with that first question, is there a non-trump wing of the republican party anymore. i don't think there is. this is an existential thing for the republican party. what does the republican party believe in? it believes in winning and trying to hold on to power. and the reality is that in this
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country, if the country was governed in a strictly majoritarian way, our republicans would lose. by which i mean the combination of gerrymandering in the house, the geographic prejudices that are built into the senate and the electoral college all give republicans ways to have more power than their degree of national support. and so the combination of those things and finding -- in order to continue to exploit those geographic leverage points, it's important for republicans, essential -- i said existential a second ago, to restrict the rights of people to vote who are not certain, because people have free will and whatever and we've seen hispanic voters drifting toward the republican party but republicans see the writing on the wall. they see the notion that larger degrees of participation, particularly for nonwhite
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voters, spells doom for them. they are already on the wrong side of the -- they're already on the wrong side of this majoritarian dynamic in the country. if you see expanded access start to allow democrats to chip into their geographic advantages, the party is in big, big trouble. and so on that front, this isn't a trump thing. this is a how do we save our party in a context where the demography matched up with greater voter access would make it very hard for the republican party to continue to have any real purchase in national politics, so they will do whatever they need to do to make it harder for voters they think are not going to vote for them to vote. >> all right, john heilemann, elaina plott and eugene robinson, thank you all for being on this morning, we really appreciate it. coming up, the biden administration launches a new effort to combat coronavirus
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vaccine hesitancy. we'll talk to the surgeon general about that. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming right back [sneezes] hey allergy muddlers. [sneezes] are your sneezes putting your friends in awkward positions? [sneezes] stick with zyrtec. zyrtec starts working hard at hour one and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. zyrtec. muddle no more. and try children's zyrtec for consistently powerful relief of your kids' allergies. ♪ ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa this is a gamechanger, who dares to be fearless even when her bladder leaks. our softest, smoothest fabric keeping her comfortable,
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a live look at new york city. it is just about the top of the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." it is friday, april 2nd, and we begin this hour with day four of the derek chauvin trial which had a wide range of testimony from medical to personal to procedures for restraint. paramedics derrick smith and seth branvender said they did not see any signs of life in george floyd when they arrived but they attempted to revive him after driving three blocks away from angry onlookers at the scene. courteney ross, floyd's girlfriend of almost three years told the jury about his
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character and described him as a, quote, mama's boy who became a shell of himself when his mother passed away. she also talked about their relationship and shared struggle with addiction. >> our story, it's a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids. we both suffered from chronic pain. mine was in my neck and his was in his back. we both had prescription. we got addicted, and tried really hard to break that addiction many times. >> prosecutors later used two body camera clips showing chauvin's former supervisor going to the scene and speaking with chauvin after fielding complaint calls from witnesses.
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he offered the following testimony. >> do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> what is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> and that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant? >> correct. >> joining us now from minneapolis, nbc news political reporter shaquille brewster, who's been covering this trial closely. shaq, good to see you this morning. in a week of powerful testimony, the one we just heard there, that one may have been the most compelling when you have a supervisor in his professional opinion as a law enforcement officer and as officer chauvin's supervisor saying the restraint should have been released much earlier than it was, that in fact when mr. floyd stopped resisting, the restraint should have been stopped.
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>> reporter: that's exactly right. and you notice the shift in the testimony that we heard yesterday. it was really a shift into the actions of the officers and seeing and examining what they did, specifically the defendant, derek chauvin, on trial for the killing of george floyd. you heard from the paramedics. the ambulance, when they arrived, they said that they saw george floyd still under the knee of derek chauvin, still being restrained by two other officers there. they say when they checked his pulse, he had no pulse, he had no heartbeat, that he wasn't breathing. they said for all intents and purposes he was dead while still under the knee of derek chauvin. they then put him in the ambulance and tried to resuscitate him. they showed the jury graphic images of their efforts to bring him back to life. they say his condition never changed from the point that he was loaded on the ambulance to the point where he arrived at the hospital and was officially then declared dead. we also heard from the supervisor, from the sergeant of
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derek chauvin who testified that he reviewed a lot of the video, he reviewed most of the body camera video and reviewed statements. in his opinion, he said, and you heard it there, that derek chauvin used excessive force. he said that when george floyd was restrained and no longer moving, no longer resisting, the force should have been scaled back. we know from the video, we know from the testimony of the witnesses that we heard and spent four days listening to, we know that is not what happened. yesterday started with some emotional testimony of someone who knew george floyd the best or probably one of the people who knew george floyd the best and that was his long-time girlfriend here in minneapolis, courteney ross. she talked about their love story of how they met. she talked about how george floyd had a love for sports. but she also talked about their shared struggle with addiction. how george floyd had chronic back pain and how that shifted from prescription opioid use to recreational opioid use and
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recreational drug use. that was something that you can tell it was a strategy, the prosecution trying to get ahead of one of the main arguments from the defense, which is the fact that george floyd had drugs in his system when he died. willie. >> so, shaq, what do we expect going forward here? we have today, and then looking ahead to next week, we expect at some point to hear from the minneapolis police chief himself. obviously the defense will present its case. what will you be looking at today and looking into next week? >> reporter: that's right. i go back to the opening statements that we heard on monday to see who we can expect to hear from, who we haven't heard from that was teased, so to speak, on monday. we haven't yet heard from the police chief of minneapolis. we know he will come in the near future. we made that pivot to law enforcement yesterday, so prosecutors said that we'll hear from multiple officers, so we could expect at some point to hear from other officers, including the police chief. we also have the medical
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examiner, the person who did the autopsy of george floyd, to see what he had to say. that's a point that the defense, and there's little pieces of information in that medical examiner's report that the defense has definitely been using in their explanation and in their presentation of this case. so that's some testimony that we'll definitely have our eyes on. of course we don't get a road map for what witnesses are to come, when we'll hear from these people specifically, but we do know from those opening statements that there's still some pretty compelling testimony, at least as teased by the prosecutors, to come in this trial. willie? >> shaquille brewster on the scene in minneapolis for us again this morning. shaq, great to see you, thanks so much. mika, we still wait to hear from the police chief and the medical examiner, but as i said that testimony from officer chauvin's supervisor yesterday that he believed it was in fact excessive force likely to be powerful with the jury. >> absolutely. and yesterday we showed you the
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testimony from the teenage store clerk who received the alleged counterfeit $20 bill. >> we saw you standing there with your hands on your head for a while, correct? >> correct. >> what was going through your mind during that time period? >> disbelief and guilt. >> why guilt? >> if i would have just not tooken the bill, this could have been avoided. >> 19-year-old christopher martin says he feels guilty for george floyd's death. in her latest article, best-selling author heather mcghee discusses the responsibility that witnesses say they feel in the wake of floyd's death. she writes as i watch these bystanders admit their anguish about not doing enough, i thought about the rest of us because of young darnella frazier, who recorded the video of floyd's death. we also bore witness to the unbearable. when george floyd used his last
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breaths to call out for his mother, who had died two years before, he summoned mamas around the world into the streets, including me. it felt like the least we could do. nonetheless, millions of us doing the least we could do added up to the largest social demonstration movement in american history. heather joins us now. i'd love for you to talk more about your piece. i'll just point out that the prosecution is really playing on the emotions of this, the survivor's guilt that so many felt watching this happen, trying to like tell the cops, hey, pull back. and also something i think has happened over the past decade as it pertains to opioids, i think there is an empathy as americans have learned just how opioids have been folded into the american system, how people have
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become addicted, how lives have been broken, ruined and lost due to opioids. and i think the sort of criminality of addiction to opioids isn't there as much as it was ten years ago and you really could feel empathy for george floyd and his girlfriend, courteney ross, for their struggle with opioids. >> you're exactly right, mika. this word "empathy" is really one i focused on in the piece for oprah's daily magazine. it was something that just radiated off the screen as i watched the prosecution witnesses, the bystanders, people wearing leggings and exercise clothes and they stopped to see something going on and the world changed. each and every one of them from the teenagers, 17 years old,
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darnella's young cousin who was 9 who never should have had to see that but who said they stayed because they knew it was their duty to stay. they wanted to run from the site but they stayed. if they hadn't, we may have never seen that video. to the firefighter who was off duty, who is trained to run into danger and save lives who just broke down into tears, this woman genevieve, because she just felt like everything that it was her human and professional instinct to do was stopped by the cold, just inhumanity of the police in that moment. and so this is really the question, right? this is obviously what racism attacks is the idea of empathy, that we should understand that we're all human beings. we believe the same, we suffer the same, we have the same human dreams and anguish. and yet the lie of racism, that there are some groups that are better, more innocent or more
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criminal than others is what attacks that human empathy. and so on the issue of opioids, mika, you're exactly right. when drug addiction was an issue that was displayed in the media as a black problem, when it was crack cocaine and not opioids, fentanyl, heroin, there was so much more bipartisan censure and dehumanization and a willingness to use the criminal justice system instead of using a public health system. and since the addiction has moved into whiter, more rural communities, you started to see more sympathy. and that's because of that hard-wired stereotyping that we have in our society. this is a moment when the black lives matter movement has brought in millions of people to say enough is enough. and we have to really think deeper about our stereotypes, about that empathy that we have to extend to everyone, no matter what their color. >> and i want to bring that to claire mccaskill. how do you think both sides did
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yesterday? >> oh, i think that the prosecution is doing a very good job. you know, one thing is crystal clear principle of american law and that is force by police officers is only legal if there is danger or resistance. and what all those witnesses have said over and over again is there was no danger and there was no resistance. and that knee stayed on that neck long past the time that there was any kind of struggle or any kind of worry that somehow george floyd would harm himself or others. that's what's powerful about this case. and when you get to the causation part, i think heather is right, i think we've got to be really honest about bias in this country about drug addiction. there is not a living, breathing american that has not had someone they care about that has suffered with addiction. it is just that prevalent. and it's time that we recognize
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that. and i think when it gets to causation, that's going to be what the prosecutors have to talk about. but for the knee of that police officer, george floyd would be alive. forget about addiction. addiction affects everyone, and i thought them humanizing george floyd with his girlfriend talking about their addiction and that struggle, everybody in america relates to that because they got somebody they love that has gone through that same struggle. >> 100%, 100%. and if people around could see that something was wrong, the question is why did they keep going? we're going to move to politics now and the democrats' push for the next big item on their agenda, the $2 trillion infrastructure plan. yesterday senate minority leader mitch mcconnell vowed to make the democrats go it alone. >> as much as we would like to address infrastructure, it's not going to get support from our
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side because i think what -- the last thing the economy needs right now is a big whopping tax increase on all the productive sections of our economy. i'm going to fight them every step of the way because i think this is the wrong prescription for america. >> unless ten republicans break with mcconnell or biden revises the plan to win gop votes, his comment all but assures democrats would have to use budget reconciliation once again to pass the infrastructure bill. here's what the white house put out as a response. >> senator mcconnell was talking and said that the package, quote, is not going to get support from our side. how do you respond? >> i think there's some more questions to be asked. does he disagree that our nation's infrastructure is outdated and needs repair? what we're really talking about here is how to pay for it. so what we're looking for is proposals of alternatives.
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>> let's bring in nbc news capitol hill correspondent, host of "way too early" kasie hunt and kurt anderson. kase, let me start with you. we heard from jen psaki, and ron klain, the chief of staff as well, that yes, we'd like to work with republicans and bring them onboard for our infrastructure plan. we have heard from mitch mcconnell and just about every other republican we're not getting onboard with a tax hike. where does this net out? are we going back to reconciliation on this massive new bill? >> willie, it seems very obvious to me that democrats are going to have to pass this package on a party line vote, and that means using that special process. and in fact we may hear today whether they'll get a third chance to use this process before the midterm elections. remember, this is something that typically you're only allowed to do once a year. but the reality here is that
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democrats are using -- they're running the same playbook that mitch mcconnell used when donald trump was president. moving these corporate tax rates back in the direction from which they came just reverses some of the tax cuts that republicans used when they pushed through a reconciliation package along entirely partisan lines. so that's -- they're doing exactly the same thing here. i think it's really a question of who do you believe, who's going to win this overall messaging war heading into our next chance to make a decision about who's running the country in the midterms in 2022. and republicans, led by mitch mcconnell, are betting that there's going to be backlash to this because there may be effects in the economy that voters will look at and say, oh, actually i'm nervous about this big spending. that's the same bet he made back in 2009 when president obama was in office. the biden team is making a different bet. they're saying this is a
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different time and place. we're coming out of a historic pandemic. we know we need this. we're going to say americans are willing to spend this money, americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations and we're going to go ahead and do it and they can suffer the consequences later. so each side is making a political bet that they think is going to pay off for them and it's really going to be up to voters to tell us who made the right bet coming up in a couple years. >> kurt, what's your read on who wins that argument? republicans bet on the covid relief package of $2 trillion, against it, despite the fact 70% to 75% of americans, including large numbers of republicans supported a bill that put money out to save some of their businesses and got vaccines moving and did all the things that that piece of legislation did. why do they think this one on infrastructure may play out differently? >> you tell me. it's going to play out not as quickly because it's not going to be $1,400 in most americans' pockets overnight but it is going to be immediately
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thousands, tens of thousands, maybe more jobs because of these hundreds of millions and billions of dollars being spent on infrastructure that every american in every part of america understands, whether it's because of bridges or facilities or airports or highways we need. so the thing about this that i think is so fantastic is of course the republicans are objecting to the biden administration's attempt to make it fiscally responsible by raising taxes. okay, mitch mcconnell, you want to spend money on infrastructure, so how do you do that? well, you just want to borrow money and increase the debt? well, we, democrats, joe biden can say, want to pay for it by raising taxes appropriately and prudently. by the way, the taxes that are being raised on corporations are only halfway back to what they were a few years ago, right? it was 35%, the nominal tax rate
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on businesses a few years ago that mitch mcconnell and donald trump lowered that to 21. so now we're splitting the difference at 28%. it's modest, as are, frankly, in the next round the proposed increase in tax rates on wealthy individuals is a modest couple of percent. so we're not talking about, oh, my god, it's going crazy. >> right. so kurt, here's what i'm confused about, though. if they're against raising taxes on corporations and, therefore, biden's bill, why are they mad at the woke corporations? it's like they're for the corporations as it pertains to being against biden's bill, but they're against the corporations for being woke, making statements about the voting restrictions, or are they just really hypocrites looking for a catchy sound bite? >> option three, mika. yeah, i think they're incoherent, of course. the business roundtable and the
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chamber of commerce are saying, oh, my goodness, beyond the republicans are saying, oh, my goodness, we can't have higher taxes on corporations. of course they say that, they want to keep taxes as low as they can. but they also, the same group, which is to say the right, the economic right and big corporations are saying, oh, you can't be dumping all of these trillions of dollars into the economy because that's going to overstimulate the economy. it's going to be inflationary and that's growth that's too fast. but now today as opposed to last week when they were making that argument they're saying, no, if you raise taxes, that's going to slow growth, that's going to kill growth. well, which is it? of course they don't have an answer for that because they are not being economically coherent on this deal. >> so in his latest column for "the washington post" entitled "the gop attack on delta reveals an ugly side to the culture war" greg sergeant writes in part
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republicans sought to cancel a tax break for delta airlines, the state's biggest employer, as punishment for the hereks of criticizing the new voter suppression law. and a top republican has openly blythely confirmed that was was the exact motive. this is wretched in its own right but it also helps clarify some larger national themes. the profound phoniness of many gop screams about cancel culture and woke corporations and the ugly nature of gop culture war mongering which has grown all consuming, what's at issue is the conduct of gop leaders. these ostensible public servants who are supposed to make decisions like this in the public interest, a quaint notion, expressly employed their legislative power to punish a private company for criticizing their efforts to restrict the
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franchise and for defending the rights of fellow georgia citizens. this is meant to thrill conservative voters who are vaccine skeptical and/or have adopted the trumpist mythology that covid-19 was never a big deal, as david frumm writes. the culture war has grown so all consuming that to appease various such cultural blocs, gop politicians are willing to sacrifice everything, including fealty to the freedom to operate a business. heather, it's all so trumpy. >> that's right, mika. i write about this in my book, the way in which the right wing is increasingly bankrupt of any ideas that could help the people of this nation. we obviously need to invest in ourselves again after 50 years into what i call drained pool politics, the idea of
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shortchanging our public goods because the country is growing more diverse and the majority of white americans are worried and anxious and distrustful of sharing public goods with people that they're not so sure are good. and so this is really the question, are we going to invest in ourselves again? is the country that used to be the envy of the world in terms of infrastructure and free college and really a high standard of living for its people but now has an almost failing grade in our infrastructure and 40% of adult workers don't make enough to meet their basic needs. are we going to be great again, but for all of us. that's the question. the right wing's answer is, no, i have no interest in addressing that problem. i want to hold on to the majority of white voters by scare mongering and scapegoating about race, because that's really what cancel culture is. when we were all so confused about the dr. seuss moment in the middle of an historic super majority supported american
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rescue plan. why are they talking about dr. seuss? well, their dog was linked to the fox news crowd to say it was democrats -- it wasn't, it was dr. seuss' own estate, his family and heirs said these images we don't like, but they're trying to say they're coming after you, white people, what you love, your way of life. it's a morally economically bankrupt agenda and yet this attack on the vote, if politicians can't win the fair way they have to rig the rules to make it harder for eligible citizens to vote. that's their only play left is really trying to scare white voters and then trying to make it harder for black, white and brown people to vote. obviously this is targeted at the black voters who rose up in georgia to get the democrats the majority, but when you make these kind of restrictions, many millions of people who are otherwise eligible to vote of all races, particularly young people, are often shut out of the democratic process. >> all right.
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and claire mccaskill, i'll just point to joe's tweet. he's off but always tweeting. if you're keeping score at home, georgia's gop, number one, started a civil war that lost the u.s. senate for republicans, check. number two, passed a voter suppression bill that supercharged their opposition, check. and number three, are now starting wars with atlanta's most important businesses. but doing so well, claire. >> yeah, they really are. you know, mika, i want to go back to mitch mcconnell's statement. mitch mcconnell's statement had a remarkable phrase in it. he said the republicans were going to oppose this bill because it was going to tax the most productive sections of our economy. those were his words. so what he's saying is really remarkable because he's saying if you make less than $400,000 a year, you're not that productive. he's saying it's just the rich
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people in america that are productive. well, that doesn't sound like a trump message to me. that's not populism. hard working people in this country are the backbone of this country. that's what joe biden campaigned on. so when he equates productivity with wealth, i'm telling you, that's some political problems for the republican party if that's the position they maintain throughout this debate on trying to do something about roads and bridges and infrastructure and schools and all the things this bill represents. >> kurt anderson, final thoughts on this, because it appears they don't have much else to go on. i mean is this where the republicans are right now? is this who they are? >> well, it is. as i said, one piece of their agenda and ideology makes no sense with the other. whether it's oh, my god, delta, how dare you do what you want to do as a private business or dr.
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seuss estate as heather said, how dare you do as a private business. none of it adds up. at least for many years, the basic republican idea was coherent. this, this, because of these two different parts of the republican coalition, the trumpist cancel -- oh, my god cancel culture is going to get us part of it and this corporate part of it just do not make sense together. and i think, i hope as infrastructure spending and stimulus spending and all the rest of it helps regular folks live their lives better, more and more people are going to see this party and its arguments are -- make no sense together and are bankrupt and are helping nobody really but big business and the rich. >> kurt andersen, thank you so much. your book is "evil geniuses, the unmaking of america."
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heather mcghee, thank you as well. her latest book is entitled "the sum of us, what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together." we appreciate your coming on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe" senator lindsey graham shared this video of himself at a firing range yesterday, explaining why he owns an ar-15. all right. we'll be right back. ♪ limu emu & doug ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. thank you! hey, hey, no, no limu, no limu! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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1994 there was an assault weapon ban. the evidence indicates that there was really no change at all in crime, because the crooks are going to get a gun. i bought an ar-15 with a seal of my reserve unit as a token of my time in service. why would anybody need to own an ar-15? if there is a breakdown of law and order, and that can happen.
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we've seen it happen in our major cities. remember hugo where people were isolated for days? remember katrina? it's not impossible to find yourself in the modern world without any police protection. >> that's of course senator lindsey graham of south carolina voicing his opposition to any ban on semi-automatic rifles while visiting a shooting range in his home state. meanwhile recent polling shows overwhelming support for certain gun reforms. according to a new politico/morning consult poll shows 85% support background checks on all gun sales. 79% support background checks at gun shows and private sales. joining us now is chris brown, president of brady, a nonprofit organization working to unite americans against gun violence. also with us anti-gun violence
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activist fred guttenberg. his daughter, jamie, was killed in the 2018 parkland, florida, school shooting. the two announcing a new partnership today focused on educating elected officials, companies and americans to help prevent gun violence. good morning to you both. thank you for being with us. fred, let me begin with you. we've always appreciated you coming on this show and we think about you a lot around these stories. you've been such a powerful voice here and we always send out our heartfelt condolences about jamie who was such a wonderful girl as you've told us many times. tell us about what you're working at today. we've seen, again, instances of gun violence three times. most prominently over the last three weeks in orange, colorado, at a supermarket in boulder, colorado, and of course at the spas across the state of georgia in and around atlanta. what are you working on today, fred? >> you know, let's start with the lindsey graham stunt because
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depraved and killers across this country are now going to watch that video of him using the weapon that killed my daughter, a single shot from that weapon down a hallway, just like he stood there and shot it. and teenage killers across this country are watching him. let's not also forget that earlier in the week he announced that he keeps that weapon in his home and probably unlocked. so what are chris and i working on? listen, i've come to a place where i only say what i know but i also say what i don't know. i know i don't have the organizational capability to achieve my dream, i dedicated my life to in honor of my daughter, jamie, which is gun safety. i don't have the organizational resources to really get out there and tackle the senate to get this done and to make people
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understand how deeply this is wanted by a bipartisan majority of americans, mayors and governors who are both republicans and democrats across this country want gun safety and want it this year. and then we have stunts like lindsey graham and we have people like mitch mcconnell basically announcing republicans in the senate won't go along with anything. they're just not going to. they are going to thwart the democratic will of the people. so, chris, who is a dear friend of mine, and i are coming together to hopefully bring the entire safety movement together speaking with one clear voice. that includes the big groups as well as all the amazing grassroots groups who are out there fighting every day for gun safety, because this is the year, the time is now. >> chris, i know you've been working for a long time as many
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groups have been working for a long time on gun safety and against gun violence. do you think there's a moment in time right now, as you look at some of that polling and the way people feel about background checks, on frankly a weakened nra right now, do you see an opportunity in front of you at this moment? >> i think there's a huge opportunity in front of us at this moment and that's why i'm so thrilled to announce the partnership that we're really continuing with fred today. you know, fred is an incredible leader, incredible voice in this movement. he's the voice of a survivor. we have far too many of those people. we don't want the change to happen a year from now and two years from now. we need to save the hundred lives a day that are ended by gun violence. you noted the spate of mass shootings that we've had.
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we've had three mass shootings in chicago in that same period of time and it hasn't gripped the headlines in the same way. i'm incredibly confident because our movement has never been as strong and powerful as it is. we just got $5 billion in that infrastructure bill led by black and brown activists and the community justice action fund to combat gun violence at the community level. we want the policy change. we want better enforcement. we want funding. in short, we want it all because we have an epidemic that's preventible, and we're not going to have any more members of the club that fred tragically is a part of. that's what we're committing to. and i do think we have real potential legislatively through executive action by the biden white house and through the budget through more funding to combat gun violence. >> fred, it's kasie hunt. it's good to see you again, and i know you had attended a state
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of the union where this issue was raised. you know, i started covering this during the newtown shoot go ahead when the families of those children who were tragically killed met with senator after senator. and i know you have been in similarly heart-wrenching meetings. it's just been so disspiriting to feel that no matter how many times this happens, no matter how many tears are shed in meetings like that, nothing changes on capitol hill, which i think to the point of this organization it's going to have to come from elsewhere in the country. i just want to know, do you feel hopeful that the message is getting through, that there are people who are realizing that the ground is shifting on this issue, that people are in fact tired of seeing this again and again, more than tired, they are traumatized and feeling like we can't keep doing this? >> never more hopeful. i'm glad you brought up the
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state of the union because what happened there was me calling out the lie that this is a second amendment issue, it is not. this is a public health issue and americans understand that, which is why the past two elections turned on this issue of gun violence because they want to be free from this issue. they want to be free from the risk that they may have to bury someone they love. what happened at the state of the union was a megaphone calling out a lie. we're going to have no more of this. together with the amazing groups in this movement, we are going to make sure those in the senate and those in the house and this administration understand what americans across the country already know. we need to reduce the gun violence death rate. we need to reduce the instances of gun violence and, unfortunately, we also need to figure out how we're going to reduce the severity of gun violence injuries when they happen. we're only going to do that together. candidly, this is the year that
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we have to do this. i don't want to go through another election cycle debating why we're not doing more to save lives, to save children, to save those who want to go shopping or who want to worship. the time is now. >> so, kris, let's be very specific about what you're asking of congress and what you'll put before lawmakers here in terms of background checks, in terms of what you believe should happen with semi-automatic rifles. as you know, the vast majority of gun violence in this country is conducted with handguns. do you have a view on that? where are you asking these members of congress to go with legislation? >> thanks for that. yes. well, we have bills that are pending. we have hr-8 and hr-1446, both passed congress, the house, in a bipartisan vote. they're sitting in the senate. senator schumer has already said he will bring hr-8 to the floor. and to be clear, those are the two bills in combination that will strengthen our nation's
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background check system. jim and sara created that system 27 years ago with congress, but the internet was formed and there are gun shows that are big business. as a result, one in five guns is sold with no background check. your polling data shows americans are united on this issue. on assault weapons, we have an assault weapons ban bill. nearly 200 co-sponsors now in the house of representatives. david cicilline introduced that. we want that to be passed. it's not a shock. lindsey graham got it wrong. every study that has been done on the assault weapons ban that was in effect for ten years shows a reduction in the use of those guns in mass shootings by 25% or more. we know that those kinds of policies work. we will be pushing those hard. we also want executive action from this white house, and we want stronger enforcement. we want a real director at the atf and we want real responsible gun dealers to be held
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accountable if they are selling crime guns that are flooding into communities across this country. those are the major areas of focus for us. we want this treated across the board as the public health epidemic it is, so we will be looking for legislative and budget solutions that combat it in a real way to save lives. >> kris, the use of ar-15s in cases like parkland, sandy hook obviously horrifying, but again, most of the gun violence in this country is conducted with handguns. so what would you propose to do about that? >> right. so you're exactly right. i think that's an important point. when we're talking about mass shootings where assault weapons are the instrument of choice, that's about 4% of all gun violence in this country. we need the brady background check system in effect. that will have a really, really important impact. you're right, hand guns are a big part of that. but the enforcement piece that
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i'm talking about is hugely important. look, 90% of crime guns that are recovered in streets across this country, mainly used in homicides, come from 5% of gun dealers in this country. 5% of them, really bad actors are contributing to this problem and we have almost no enforcement. we have put so little money into atf. the combination of enhancing brady background check system, better enforcement and permitting at the state level. let's have permits to ensure that before people can finally go through buying a gun, they have basic training and safety. all of the studies that have been done show that combination of policy and enforcement will save lives. >> kris brown with the organization brady, thank you so much. fred guttenberg, our friend, thank you so much as well. it's great to see you both. coming up here on "morning joe" with coronavirus cases on the rise, the biden administration is working to
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>> james corden's opening number at the 2019 tony awards paid tribute to the magic of live broadway. clearly the pandemic changed all of that. by now, just over a year since broadway went dark, we're dark. we're beginning to see stages reopen. something new york city mayor bill de blasio talked about last week. >> 100,000 jobs in our theater industry. an economic impact of $15 billion a year. we need it back on every level. and the hope that comes with live performance, the hope that comes from our cultural community, this is also absolutely crucial. this is going to be a year to turn things around. and our artists, our performers, our cultural community are going to lead the way and encourage people and inspire people. so it's time to raise the
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curtain and bring broadway back. >> joining us now, broadway actor and president of the actor's equity association kate shindel. kate, this year has to have been brutal for so many who work on broadway. and on related stages. what is the effort to help them? and what are the plans to come back sflp >> yeah. so we represent about 520,000 actors and stage managers in the live theater across the country. not just broadway, but stages of all sizes, really. and we went from record employment in 2019 to 100% unemployment in 2020. that has had an impact that's hard to describe, even if we had 20 minutes to talk about it. people falling off health insurance, not just losing their careers for the duration of this pandemic, but also their survival jobs and, you know,
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bars and restaurants and doing concerts and performing at conventions and all the things we usually do to fill the gaps between theatrical employment. so it's been really hard. >> kate, it's willie geist. it's great to see you. we cannot wait to see you back on broadway. in my neighborhood, when i walk home from work, there's a cool thing called musical storefronts. i think the cough mon music center is doing where you had broughtway perform ergs behind glass singing numbers. but in some ways, it's sort of heartbreaking. you want those people out from behind the glass and doing what they do up on stage. how are you all looking at the future? how soon will you be back and how many people will you expect in the theaters? >> i think it depends on a lot of hurdles. vaccination is far more widely available than it was even a few weeks ago.
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vaccination is going to be a gauge changer. but i think you're right. i have friends who have participated in those pop-up performances in different places. while they're definitely craving the ability to make music or perform for a live audience, it's not a substitute for what live entertainment is across the country. i know you all talk about sports a lot. i am a long time listener, first time caller here, but i follow along at home. and, you know, broadway alone typically generates more revenue than all of the new york sports teams combined. so when you scale that across the country, any community, large or small, that has sort of a sublive performance center isn't just benefitting that performance area. it's benefiting the restaurants and the hotels and the parking garages and all of the other pieces of the economy that are interconnected. broadway specifically has been
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talking about fall as a return date. that's because it sounds like broadway's business model doesn't really allow them to operate at anything other than 100% capacity. but we're working with theaters all over the country to try and bring live performance back. it's just it's expensive. theaters having to afford the amount of testing, even if people are vaccinated, is -- testing alone is a burden for a theater with a small profit margin. that's why we're advocating for a boost in nea funding in a couple of different ways so that these theaters don't just keep the lights on, but can actually afford to bring people back to work. >> and you're right so right. broadway is the lifeblood of manhattan, particularly in midtown. kasie hunt is here with a quinn for you. >> it's good to see you this morning. i want to begin with what you just said. what kinds of benefits did you get from the american rescue plan that recently passed congress and what do you still
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need the government to do to help everyone get back on stage safely? >> well, the american rescue plan was definitely beneficial for our members. what i said is if it had only been the vaccination piece or if it had only been the enhanced unemployment or the 100% covert subsidies, that still would have been a good piece of legislation. the facts that it bundled all of those things together was really overwhelming in a positive way. but i think it's -- it's safe to say and it's fair to say theaters need funding if they're going to bring back all the middle class jobs that they usually support. so we're asking that the nea be funded at a dollar per capita permanently, which right now would be about $330 million per year. which is not a huge lift in the context of a federal budget. but it would mean the world to these theaters that are trying to support these middle class
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jobs. >> president of the actor's equity association, kate shindel, thank you so much for coming on the show and morning and thanks for watching. coming up, new developments in the reported justice department investigation of congressman matt gaetz. according to the "new york times," the inkwieshry is focused on cash payments purportedly made to multiple women. o multiple women.
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this week in covid history, as we head into april 2020, president trump is a ratings hit. mr. trump and his coronavirus updates have atrathed an audience of 8.5 million, roughly the viewership of the season finale of "the bachelor." that's not me talking. that's literally what the president tweeted, word for word. it was weird. >> did you know i was number one on facebook? >> number one on facebook.
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so, mr. number one, how do we beat this pandemic? maybe by wearing masks. the cdc says it's a good idea. >> with the masks, it's going to be really a voluntary thing. you can do it. you don't have to do it. i'm choosing not to do it. >> great thing, mr. who needs masks when you have tonight's sponsor. high drossy color quinn. >> hydroxychloroquine. >> it's unbelievable and totally untested. >> we have purchased 29 million pills. we're sending them to the hospitals. we're sending them all over. there are signs that it works on this. >> are but don't just take his word for it. >> everything shows that it works. >> i think it's the beginning of the end of the pandemic. i'm very serious. >> i think history will judge who is right on this debates.
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>> yes, our president knows best. >> what do you have to lose? take it. >> oh, my god. can you believe that? and it actually happened, even though it's made to look like it's some old comedy, willie geist. joe is off this morning, by the way. those were the months and months that got us through the pandemic. much in part. >> to think a year ago that was the kind of leadership we had and the kind of people we had guiding our policy. there was a man in arizona who drank fish tank cleaner thinking that was what president trump was talking about. all of the recommendations, don't wear the mask, peter navarro, the man we saw in that clip who is now saying dr. fauci invented the virus or brought it
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from china, those were the people leading us in those earliest days of the pandemic and are largely why we are where we are today 37. it was another day of dramatic testimony in the trial of derek chauvin, the former police officer charged with the murder of george floyd. >> employed had this great deep southern voice, raspy. he was like, sis, are you okay, sis? and i wasn't okay. i'm just waiting for my son's father. sorry. he said -- he said, well, can i pray with you? >> chauvin's defense team has
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argued that floyd's underlying health conditions and drug use killed him. what do jurors think? we'll talk about that, coming up. plus, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says president biden's infrastructure package won't get any support from republicans. interesting. and texas lawmakers advance a sweeping elections bill that places new restrictions on the voting process. major corporations are voicing opposition to the measure similar to whose going on in georgia. it's creating an interesting rift between typically aligned republicans and major corporations. new york magazine's jonathan chait frames it this way, republicans are taking on big business by fighting to keep their taxes low. how? we'll get to that outline of that. let's start, though, with new developments in the investigation into matt gaetz.
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the inquiry into gaetz and joel greenberg is focused on their suspect involvement with multiple women who it is alleged were recruited online for sex and received cash payments. that's according to people close to the investigation. text messages and payment receipts all reviewed by the times. three people with knowledge of the alleged encounters told the paper investigators believe greenberg, who was indicted last year and plead not guilty to a federal sex trafficking charge and other charges initially met the women on websites. green fwerg reportedly introduced the women to congressman gaetz who also had sex with them. in 2019 and '20, gaetz and greenberg instructed the women to meet in places, oftentimes in hotels around florida and would tell them the amount of money
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they were willing to pay. no charges have been brought against congressman gaetz who denies any wrongdoing and says there is an extortion plot against his family. in a statement to the times, his office said matt gaetz has never paid for sex. meanwhile, multiple sources telling cnngaetz allegedly showing photos of other pem he had swept with. the daily beast reports more than six lawmakers have spokesen about gaetz claiming a love of alcohol and illegal drugs as well as a proclivity for a young
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woman. a lot to sift through there. michael schmidt, joyce advance. good morning to you both. mike, this is your story. bring us up to speed on some of these latest details you're reporting this morning. flesh it out and how much more trouble does this put mr. gaetz in? >> look, what we have here today in our story is sort of a deeper understanding of the conduct that was going on. as part of our reporting, we were able to look at some of the receipts. they're able to see some of the communications, the back and forth that was going on, how these women were being paid. they were being paid very -- you know, through apps on their phone, through cash apps, through appel pay.
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they were not taking great steps to hide these. as times gaetz or greenberg would go to the atm at the hotel they were in. these are details that help us flesh out what the -- what the scheme was that was going on here that has been uncovered in this federal investigation. the other thing that we report today is that at least one of gaetz and greenberg's associates in florida state politics, has been, you know, was linked to this behavior. we don't identify that associate. but it just gives you a sense of how wide and common and widespread this conduct was that is part of this investigation. >> all right. joyce advance, i'm just curious,
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as it pertains to the skept, michael just talked about apps being used. i know there are a lot of lawmakers coming forward, talking about his behavior on the house floor, showing pictures of women that he claimed to have slept with. and maybe even some lawmakers pulled him aside saying we need your conduct to be better on the house floor. but legally, what is he facing here on the concept of women being paid through apps? what are we looking at? >> there are a lot of different possibilities for federal criminal exposure for the congressman related to this series of facts. and something that i've heard mike say before that's very true is that the reporting is likely just the tip of the iceberg. for this to have gone so far and to have become a full blown federal investigation, there are
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indications that the tips took place in january of 2020. but mika, you're right to focus on payment. there is a specific statute that criminalizes particularly when it comes to children and girls the use of the internet or any sorts of interstate means to entice, to lure girls into this sort of commercial sex trafficking, but there's a whole panoply of sexual statutes designed to address this. and most importantly, federal prosecutors take these sorts of crimes very seriously. >> mike, one of the questions a lot of people are looking into is whether office money from the congressman's office was used to pay for any of this. first of all, a two parter for you. was this conduct that the doj is looking into all during his time as a congressman, he took office in january of 2017. and second, is there any evidence that congressional money was used to pay for any of
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this? >> so the conduct that we write about today occurred during his time in congress. he came to congress in 2017, was leshthed as a trump supporter and obviously has been there since that and obviously has been a focal supporters. to pick up on something joyce was saying, the focus of one of the biggest legal questions in this case or in this investigation is the 17-year-old girl. because that crime of, you know, soliciting and paying someone under the age of 18 for sex carries a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and is obviously very, very significant legal issue and is, you know, is a humongous problem for gaetz,
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as we report today. they are looking at gaetz as we reported in the original story. they are looking at gaetz for his ties to the 17-year-old and they're looking at others, were others contexted to this 17-year-old? >> michael schmidt, thank you very much for your reporting. joyce fans stay with us as we cover the dramatic moments in the tile of the former police officer accused of killing george floyd. plus -- >> in front of all the fans that are here, he has been tireless for months and months working on this issue. in front of everyone, i want to thank you for all you have been doing to lift us up as a nation and to list up the importance of following the science and the fact that we are in this together. so lifting up the power and
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significance of the collective. >> that's the vice president of the united states commending our next guest, surgeon general vivek murthy straight ahead on "morning joe." k murthy straightn "morning joe." ♪let's make lots of money♪ ♪you've got the brawn♪ ♪i've got the brains♪ ♪let's make lots of♪ ♪uh uh uh♪ ♪oohhh there's a lot of opportunities♪ with allstate, drivers who switched saved over $700. saving is easy when you're in good hands. allstate click or call to switch today.
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now to day four of the derek chauvin trial. gabe gutierrez takes us through yesterday's emotional testimony. >> it didn't take long for courtney ross to cry as she remembered how she met george floyd in 2017. >> floyd is what i would call a mama's boy. i could tell from the minute i met him. >> this now iconic photo was taken as a selfie at the salvation army where he worked. >> floyd has this great, deep southern voice. >> they began dating as she told jurors how he was devastated by
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the death of his mother. >> he seemed kind of like a shell of himself, like he was -- like he was broken. he seemed so sad. >> during her testimony meant to humanize floyd, one juror off camera had a fur rowed brow and one of his hands up by his masked face, seemingly emotional. ross said injuries and his desire to be active led floyd to pain pills. >> we got addicted and tried very hard to break that atikz many times. >> in march of 2020, she drove floyd to the hospital and learned that he had overdosed. >> you did not know he had taken heroine at that time? >> no. >> the defense team argued the
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underlying health conditions and drug use killed him. not the 9:29 the officer held his knee on his neck. the paramedics said floyd had no pulse when they arrived on the scene. >> i didn't see any breathing or movement or anything like that. >> in lay terms, i thought he was dead. >> testimony came after body camera videos was played. his cameras fell to the floor. >> trying to control this guy because he's a sizable guy. >> and i get that -- >> like he was probably on something. >> philonis floyd was in the courtroom. >> there is no justification why a person should put their knee and all of their weight on a man's neck until they pass. he was tortured to death.
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>> prosecutors also used two body camera clips showing chauvin's former supervisor, david ploger going to the scene and speaking with chauvin after fielding complaint calls from witnesses. ploger offered the following testimony. >> do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> what is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> and that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant? >> correct. >> as the trying resumes later this morning, what are your thoughts? it seems like the prosecution has a very powerful case. >> they do have a powerful case. it's been really painful to
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watch, mika. the evidence of is of a very high caliber. this case is unique. there's video footage from virtually every angle between the body cameras and the bystanders. and you hate to say good fortune in a case like this, but the prosecution has had the good fortune, for instance, of having an off duty emt on scene who relentlessly badgered them to try to render assistance to mr. floyd. so the big issue in this case is causation. who caused the death of mr. floyd? was it the knee on the neck or was it his underlying medical conditions and his drug addiction? so far, the prosecution has managed to set a masterful, emotional context for the jury to hear that technical medical evidence about cause aigz. and it's tough after hearing this testimony and watching the
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video to attribute his death to anything other than derek chauvin's action. i think it will be the battle of the medical examiners. >> the testimony over the first four days has been emotional at times, but more importantly, for the prosecution, it's been compelling. when you hear a former supervisor, the sergeant saying yesterday that restraint should have ended long before it did, that once mr. floyd wasn't resisting arrest any more, the restraint should have ended. that's powerful testimony. but i'm curious where you think the defense can go from here. their defense has been relatively thin so far in the face of all these witnesses. where do you see their strategy going? >> we're still in the prosecution's case-in-chief. so if the prosecution didn't have an edge here, there would be reason for great concern. once the government's evidence is finished, the defense will
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have the opportunity to put on evidence of their own. traditional wisdom in a case like this says the defendant should not testify, that it's very dangerous to testify. the witness has no evidence to present any case can. so it seems unlikely that we'll see chauvin. testimony testify of, but their options here are though spoke kohl's at got's intent. but at bottom, they'll have to show that he had a reckless disregard for human life. it looks pretty tough to get around that in this case. and then the big issue is causation, showing that there were alternative stashlg causes of death. that will depend on how the
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expert testimony and the medical testimony comes in. but increasingly, the defense each strategy may not be an acquittal. it may be just that they can find one juror to refuse to hold out so that the jury hangs and they can try the case is second time. >> thank you. wrept to mention, by the way, the new podcast joyce cohostess. it's called #sistersinlaw. coming up, it's the first friday of the month and that means ambulance new numbers on the economy.
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♪ it's been so long ♪ ♪ you get a call from a friend to remind you that you're not alone ♪ ♪ then you know deep down inside it's going to be all right ♪ ♪ all right ♪♪ >> that was a new tv ad released by the biden administration aimed at encouraging americans to get vaccinated. the administration is set to spend more than $10 million on the nationwide campaign this month. joining us now, the surgeon general of the united states, dr. vie vehicle murthy. thank you so much for being on the show this morning. we understand and we echo the call to get vaccinated, but i do want to ask you a question about these variants that are coming our way. a lot of people are sharing videos of famous people, of themselves getting vaccinated. and i hear them say every time after the shot goes in, i'm so glad this is over.
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is it really over? is the vaccine sure to be able to combat the variants that are out there? >> well, mika, it's good to be with you this morning. and i think you're asking a really important question here. the good news is that the vaccines that we have to date have proven to be both safe and effective, including against the variants. the variants, the primary variants circulating here in the united states is b117, or a variant that was first detected in the united kingdom, but there are other variants, as well. and our concern is that in the future, some of those variants may be much more resistant to protection from a vaccine. so the bottom line is, we are in this race between the vaccines and the variants. more quickly we get people vaccinated, the more we'll be able to lower the overall amount of infection in our community. when that infection is high, there are more chances for the
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virus to replicate, to mutate and lead to these variants. >> we have a number up on our screen that shows 56 million americans have been vaccinated so far. as a raw number, that looks big, but it represents about 16% of the country. from fauci told us back in december, he would like to see us at 75% to 80% to reach herd immunity and to restore some version of normal life. how confidence are you that you can continue to ramp up these numbers and what do you see to people, a significant percentage of the company who has said i'm just not going to get the vaccine, i don't trust it, i don't think i need it. >> well, it's a grit question, willie. here is what i would say. a couple of things. one is as far as the progress on the vaccine, we are seeing week over week more and more success with getting people vaccinated. we are getting close to now an average of 3 million people a day who are getting vaccinated and we look at our weekly
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numbers. that's quite extraordinary. and while we have a little over 50 million who have been fully vaccinated, we have over 100 million who received at least one shot. and we know from recent data that one shot actually affords significant protection. 80% efficacy with the mrna vaccines. two shots, even better, 90%. but you're bringing up the point about hesitancy. and there are still people in our country who are concerned about the vaccine with questions who are not sure if they should get it. even though those numbers have been improving, we want everyone to have access to accurate information so they can make decisions for their health. that's why we launched yesterday a major public education campaign on covid, which includes the ads that you saw at the top of this hour, includes a number of other ads, but most importantly, involves a massive mobilization of trusted messengers across the communities. we're talking businesses, faith leaders, nurses, doctors,
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teachers and others because the most important people you can often hear from about health issues, including a vaccine, are the people you trust, your family, your friends, your doctors and others in your community. >> we had governor chris christy on the show this week, dr. murthy. he was speaking to republican men, frankly, who he said have expressed their reyuktant and sthag, look, i want to tell you how bad it is. get this vaccine. do you think former president donald trump should go out front and center and speak to his tens of millions of followers and say, i got the vaccine. it protected me. you should go get it, too. >> this is what is so interesting about running this vaccination campaign in 2021 versus 30 years ago. you know, we live in a country where not everyone listens to the same people, trusts the same snugszs. and that's why we need a variety of people out there, some -- we
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need politicians out there from both parties. we need faith leaders out there. the community core was launched with over 250 organizations, everything from massacre to the american nursing association to the united farm workers so so many others. but even in the last 24 hours, we've seen that number grow by well over a thousand. so we anticipate that will continue to grow. but this is how we have to build this campaign. it's recognizing that not everyone listening to the same people. this is an all-in effort for america. it's going to take all of us working together, helping each osha and informing each other to get in this pandemic. >> a lot of folks under the age of 2025, 30, checking the
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vaccine and it's only for people 65 and others for people in their cities and towns. when will this be available to every age group? >> access is critical right now because we want everyone to get vaccinated. when we talk about getting to herd immunity, that includes everyone. of all ages and ultimately including children. the good news, mika, is that several states of already opened up to all ages. and by may 1st, we expect that every state should have availability for people of all ages to get vaccinated. what's also happening, which is critical and parallel, is that the supply is continuing to increase week over week. they're shipping more vaccines to states. states are now using a greater proportion of those vance vaccines being shipped so they're not sitting in freezers a couple of mogs ago. we're getting better as using them in states. we anticipate very well to more online resources seas to them.
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we anticipate having a flashl phone line, as well, when eligibility is opened up to everyone. so we're making progress, mika, week by week and by may 1st, like i said, we anticipate the vast majority of adults in this country should be eligible to receive the vaccine. >> dr. vivek murthy, keep us posted. coming up, the march jobs report just crossed and it's a massive number. stephanie ruhl joins us next to explain what it means. ruhl join explain what it means.
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let's bring in nbc news corporate stephanie ruhl. looks like restaurants, leisure, hospitality, education all leading the way. >> absolutely. this is a really good number. many are going to say this could be the start of the jobs boom returning. we saw hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs this time last year, but here we are. more people vaccinated. more regulations coming off and people are going back to work. it's extraordinary, willie. two months from now, you and i could be sitting in these chairs talking about a labor shortage. wheel we still have 9 million peel out in the workforce, look around, talk to people in the hospitality industry, they're going do to be struggling to fill those jobs in the coming months. people are restless. whether it's people who got
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money from the american rescue plan, we're seeing huge demand for people to go out to eat to start to travel. airlines are adding domestic routes. this summer, you're going to see a lot of domestic travel. >> so i'm just looking through these numbers. restaurants and entertainment leading the way followed closely by education, public and private and construction. so as schools reopen and restaurants and bars open up, we would like to think that these jobs continue through the summer. >> most likely they will. the one thing to be concerned about when people say great, we're getting back to normal, we need to do more than get back to normal, willie. we need a new normal. covid showed us the vulnerabilities. we saw low wage workers lost their jobs first. we saw what it did to women. we need to figure out how to get people better, higher skilled, higher paying jobs and sort out child care. that's one of the big focuses, whether it was from the american rescue plan or the
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infrastructure plan, but one thing that was slightly concerning, we saw hourly wages fall 4%. that tells us there are more jobs coming back online but these are low wage jobs. and people will tell you they are being offered jobs, but for even less money than they were getting before the pandemic. >> for sure. and stephanie, i mean, it is a really good number, but what's the politics of it? could which perhaps get in the way of democrats' plans that are spending a lot to try and help the american people? >> you nailed it. you're going to hear from republicans in the coming days saying we're not going to spend a dime on forget because democrats just pushed through the american rescue plan. pushing, helping spark the economy, republicans are going to say we didn't need to spend all that money on the american rescue plan. they're going to be getting back to work on their own and it
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could cause some sort of a wrinkle. but let's be honest, we weres were not going to support that no matter what the organization does. up next, a veteran of the obama white house, tina chen, joins us. before we go to break, willie, what do you have coming up on sunday today? >> got an exciting guest this weekend. adra day. she plays billy hole dey. she's not nated and many people believe she's the oscar for best actress. she has never acted before. this was her debut been she plays billy holiday in an incredible performance.
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she captures her voice and all the heartship she suffered through back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. >> sounds great, willie. thank you so much. and coming up, can you create a more equitable workplace? a know your value round table, just ahead. value round table, just ahead does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. impressive! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.
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going to deliver or divide. and we intend to deliver. and when i talk to republicans, i see that they want to deliver, too, and i think they particularly around these infrastructure issues, i do think they're strong bipartisan support. i understand controversy about certain specifics, but let's work together and see if there is a way for to us deliver this. in the end, let me be clear, the president was elected to do a job. and part of that job is to get this country ready to win the future. that's what he's going to do. >> all right. white house chief of staff ron klain yesterday is suggesting the president is prepared to move forward on this policy without bipartisan support. the multi trillion dollar economic badge includes hundreds
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of billions for upgrading child care facilities, building new facilities in areas that need them most, extending the child care tax credits for families and creating new jobs and raising wages and benefits for caregivers. it's being recognized by advocates advocates such as the times up foundation for its investment in family care. let's start a conversation there. let's bring in the chief executive of the time's up foundation, tina chen, former chief of staff to michelle obama. and kat coles, adviser, investor and coo of focus brand and alex carder, author of the book "ask for more: ten questions to negotiate anything." we talk with alexandra a lot in our "know your value" community. tina first, tell me what the research found and what the solutions you're offering to
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make a more equitable workplace. >> oh, well, thank you, mika, and it's great to be here with you. this research i think is path breaking. what we did is to look at behavioral design, not just changing attitudes about women in the workforce and how do we change the systems in which we work to actually reinforce instead of the ideal worker, which our work is set up, the ideal worker is someone who devotes their entire life to their job. who does that sound like? more like men than women, people who don't have care-giving responsibilities at home. that is our workplaces are designed for. let's design for an ideal workplace instead, a place that, for example, makes paid leave a default when you have a child instead of something a worker has to ask for that makes the kinds of qualities that caregivers bring, multitasking, being able to be flexible, as the qualities you want to promote and reward in the workplace instead of those that you're going to peoplize. and instead of changing attitudes, we think you can do
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things that really impact things that happen in the workplace. like stephanie said, we need to build back better coming out of this pandemic and investing in caregivers, including in the biden plan but also in the way we design our workforces and workplaces is a critical component where we can hake this once-in-a-generation happen. >> there's a focus on these of fairness, dignity and respect. i will ask you in a minute, tina, what would incentivize companies to do that? it ultimately would give them value back. but let me jump to kat. these are great ideas and equitable workplaces is what all of us on this screen right now have been fighting for for years. for the woman employee and especially the minority employee, who i think struggles even more, what's the part of the equation that she can control to make things better for herself? >> one is speaking up within her
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organization for the things that she wants and needs. some companies have better structures and cultures for this than others but simply saying what a woman wants and needs are part of it. i see one of the challenges being leadership teams assume if they have a woman in the role of hr or policy or diversity, that, of course, these things are good as they can and should be and the very systems that hold women in mid-level positions back from speaking up often hold women in executive positions back from speaking up. so this idea of the workplace being ripe for it first as opposed to the individual coming out of this time's up report is a critical one to get the most out of the executives that are in charge of these policies and practices that make it easier for the individual to actually say what they want and need. >> alexandra carter, author of "ask for more," this is your
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wheelhouse. this is what you do. as kat said, it helps often if a woman is in charge of hr but this is an overall culture and speaking of, as kat talked about, often it's really hard because a lot of these women and minorities don't feel they can. what are tools and techniques to help create a more equitable workplace, especially if the recommendations that tina's group is putting forward aren't in place right now? >> thank you, mika. any time we talk about women and negotiation in the workplace, we are always navigating this tension between how do we deal with our current reality, which is what kat spoke to and what tina's speaking to, which is how do we change the system? and i think one of the things we need to talk about more is women of color. so women of color by and large face an even larger pay gap than white women but more than that, they are the most likely to be
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asked to take on that extra work called office housework, work that is not compensated. for example, can you serve on a committee for us? i see you nodding, tina. can you recruit for us for that event for black women? and all of that extra work, right, adds to the burnout many women and women of color are facing but it also comes at the expense of the high-profile compensable work that they need to get promoted. >> yes. so, tina, you -- i you're nodding, we have these issues. they exist in the workplace. the report that you're putting out is amazing. everyone should read it, especially people who run companies. but what is the incentive to have a workplace that is based on fairness and dignity and respect that embraces the fact that people might have other things to do, that respect that, that even really honestly puts
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that on a pedestal? because a lot of people who run a company, they're busy, they're focused on the bottom line, quite frankly the pandemic, given them clues on easier ways to do things with less people paying them less and here you are with this report that seems to require work and effort. what's the incentive? >> well, the incentive is you're going to build a more resilient company. you're going to build a company where your workers are more focused on their work and more productive. they're going to stay with you. they're not going to turn over. and we know now in the pandemic, actually manufacturers right now are telling us they can't even feel full days and shifts on their floors because they can't get enough workers to come back to work. women are staying out of the workforce. we know 2.5 million women left the workforce. they're not even in today's jobs numbers because they have care-giving responsibilities at home.
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if you want that talent to come back so you can compete in a global economy, you need to redesign the workplace to make sure workers come back, stay with us, be productive when you're there. that's the incentive of every company. >> we just heard from -- we just heard from steph, the jobs report coming out, prediction of many industries that there will be unfilled roles, it will be difficult for people to find talent at all levels. that is already true today and there are -- there is a great deal of research suggesting that's what's coming up in the summer and fall of 2021 will be called the great reshuffling, that if you looked at linkedin data, data from the news, women and people who are still in the workforce and opting out right now are looking for the companies that are a great spot for them. to the ceos out there, if you don't figure this out, your competition will. >> right. and alexandra, you talked about negotiating equity for women at work. it's more than just money. >> oh, mika, we need to level
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the playing field on pay, no question. but negotiating equity for women at work goes so far beyond that. we need a clear and sustainable schedule. we need the health benefits that women and mothers need to cope and thrive through this pandemic burnout. and we need access to the people, to the meetings tonight work that's going to allow us not just to get back into the workforce but to narrow that pay gap and reach the very highest levels of management. >> tina chen, final word to you, where do you plan to go with this? what do you hope it will do? are you approaching companies? how do you think this report will impact the conversation, but more importantly, the reality for women? >> well, i think the report is a paradigm shift, mika. i really do. let's get out of just trying to change attitudes, let's really look at our systems. it's not that hard to do. it's not that hard to set up
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clear rolls for people and how you're going to measure their success at work as opposed to do they fit into the company and have they been -- somebody good to happening out with as means of promotion. we can do this and build back better. we are reaching out to companies. we're actually setting up networks of businesses for people who want to learn about this. this is something that i think can really change how we look at our workplaces and how we can design them to be better and more profitable and successful for everyone. >> i love it. a "know your value" powerhouse conversation. tina chen, kat cole and alexandra carter, thank you. you can find so much more on knowyourvolume.com. all of you come back and let's do it again. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. ♪♪ hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it's friday, april 2nd, and
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we've got breaking news this morning. in the last hour we learned the united states added 916,000 jobs in the month of march, a massive number in what could be the start of a jobs boom, a month-long hiring surge. that number largely by states reopening and vaccines continuing to roll out at a faster rate than predicted, causing people to return to some of the their normal behavior and spending habits. that combined with the nearly $2 trillion stimulus boost to the economy has landed us where we are this morning. the president expected to address this when he speaks later this morning, but it is also crucial to remember today that 9 million people are still out of work, including more than 2 million women who had to drop out of the workforce for a number of reasons. the top one, to care for their children. while this is very good news, there's still a long way to go. we don't need to just get back to normal. it is time for a new normal. i want to begin with chief

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