tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC April 25, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
from msnbc headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. relative to breaking news, a ray of hope for the desperate situation in india. just learned in the past hour the u.s. is now sending aid including rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, ppe and more to assist the doctors fighting a staggering even historic spike in coronavirus cases in india. it has seen the biggest daily increase in cases of any country four days in a row. hospitals, in fact, are returning out of oxygen. joining me now, nbc news medical contributor dr. bhadelia. heartwarming to hear what we'll be able to do to help india. probably a drop in the bucket when you think what they're battling. talk how much you think these supplies will help and what needs to happen in india to keep this virus from spreading? >> yeah. i'm going to start with the
second one first. what you're really seeing is almost a vertical increase exponential increase of cases and reports are that the deaths you're seeing reported are likely severely under counted. i can speak from my own family's experience in india. lost two family members in the last week alone. you're seeing just a public health system and health care system in cases collapse because of inability to provide hospitalized care. today's announcement is using immediate relief in terms of the personal protective equipment and rapid tests you talked about as well as ventilators and other things to help care for patients in the hospital, but what you also see is the u.s. is looking at sending raw materials for india to continue making one of the astrazeneca versions of the vaccine in india as well as helping india build vaccine manufacturing capacity and then lastly sending expertise from here in the cdc to work with
public health groups. i think what you're seeing there, measures that are important, but india needs to take definitive steps including lockdowns and really breaking those chains of transmissions. the kinds of things we did last spring when we saw these types of scenarios. it's a severe situation and it's only going to get worse over the next couple weeks. >> and family in india, my heart goes out to you out of concern. i spoke with pramila a congresswoman yesterday literally gone to india to help take care of her parents. it's absolutely extraordinary. efforts there. and let me ask my director to put up the tragic video e we just looked as as you were talking. funeral parlors if you will. the way they're having to deal with the bodies, the death count, which has been so enormous. i mean, this is tragic. what strikes in your mind when you see this? >> i think that it's -- yes, it
hits you emotionally, but what you see is all the cases you're seeing here at the precipice are those that potentially are infected today that may go on to not be able to get the care they need tomorrow. that's what we have to concentrate on. i saw this, alex, as you know, i partook in west africa in the ebola outbreaks you get to a point the health care system can't keep up with the cases. mortality will go up. not just the variants that are transmissible but when you get to a point the health care system can't provide care the mortality goes up because of that. why it will keep expounding on itself, compounding the problem until we can break the chains of transmission and get help in there. >> hards to see that video for shoe. asking ar the calls for the u.s. to share more of its vaccine. some states are turning it down
planned shipments of the vaccine. square that thought with what we're seeing in india. perhaps turning it down, population, constituents saying we don't really want to take it. we're not sure we want to. >> i think we have to worth both on building our population immunity but other destiny is tied with the rest of the world. you saw what happened with the advent of this virus at the very beginning of the pandemic. what's going on in india is tied to our destiny, our ability to get back to normalcy. the problem here is that when some of the contracts are signed, in fact, with the manufacturers there are restrictions in there potentially for u.s. not to be able to send surplus doses to other places. so i think the biden administration has to take a look at that. i know they've made we want to do america first. and we do. this is critically important but by helping other places, expanding their capacity by potentially suspending property
rights around some of the vaccines and things like that, other suggestions people have made. even if you can't send doses today, at least work on trying to get other places to capacity to build those vaccines for they're population. >> to your point. i know the u.s. is sending raw materials to help in the effort to create more vaccines within india. at least one step in the right direction. dr. bhadelia, thank you so much. and now to the day's other big headline. new insight as president biden approaches 100 days in the oval office. new nbc news polling shows 53% approve of the president's job so far. that is higher than donald trump but lower than barack obama. and while biden is getting high marks on issues liked coronavirus and the economy, there are warning signs of the administration on topics of guns and immigration. plus on capitol hill, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to be inching closer to agreement on potential police reform legislation. this morning vice president kamala harris joining the calls for congressional action.
>> this is but a piece of it, this verdict. it will not heal the pain that existed for generations, that has existed for generations, among people who have experienced and firsthand witnessed what now a broader public is seeing, because of smartphones and the ubiquity of our ability to videotape in realtime, what is happening in front of our faces. and that's just the reality of it. and that's why -- that's why congress needs to act. >> a bit later this hour, reverend al sharpton's take on the push for action amid several new fatal police shootings. first, there in washington, president biden is gearing up for a busy week ahead. including addressing a joint session of congress and as democrats are praising the president's early actions, republicans are already preparing a defense. >> we have to look at what he inherited whether it was the economy, whether it was lack of
attention to covid-19. whether it was the injustices. we're in a unique time here and i think he's been dealing with it face-on and very pleased with what he's done in the first 100 days. >> more like a bait and switch. bait, he would govern as bipartisan. but the switch is he's governed as a socialist. >> well, in just a moment talking with a congresswoman about biden's time in office and what she hopes to hear from him wednesday. first to nbc's monica alba joining us from washington. what are you learning from our new poll on biden's first 100 days? >> reporter: the marker is a bit of an artificial one a symbolic snapshot where the president is at this point in his time in administration, but what more than half of americans who are serving in our new nbc news poll say is that they simply approve of president biden's job performance, at least at this point.
largely because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. something candidate biden said he was going to prioritize in these initial days. a clear reflection of that and where he has put that in terms of his agenda. getting covid relief passed, for instance, is something very popular among these respondents. when we dive into the numbers here we can see there's a 53% approval rating compared to 39% who disapprove, and in terms where that stacks up to some of this president's predecessors, former president barack obama was at 61% in the first 100 days. whereas former president trump was at 40% there. so that's a little bit of the context. going into some of the other issues, the president, for instance, got his lowest marks when we look at gun reform and immigration. those are two issues that this white house has been working on, on parallel tracks. not issues necessarily they've but giant bills forward for capitol hill to consider. instead focusing again on that covid relief and now the
infrastructure and jobs plan. throughout all of this decision decisionmaking, more from vice president kamala harris how she shoes the president's decision-making style and views her own relationship with him how they decide and discuss some of the toughest issues facing the country. listen here. >> president biden always said he wants you to be the last person in the room, particularly for big decisions just as he was for president obama. he just made a really big decision. afghanistan. >> yes. >> were you the last person in the room? >> yes. >> and you feel comfortable? >> i did. this is a president who has an extraordinary amount of courage. he is someone who i have seen over and over again make decisions based on what he truly believes, based on his years of doing this work and studying these issues.
what he truly believes is the right thing to do. >> reporter: alex, the question here is whether these first 100 days are more of a honeymoon period or really an indication of what's to come. we should point out in that nbc news polling more than 80 percent of people responded saying they do feel the country is divided. though majority do believe the country is heading in a better direction than before. there's a lot there, too, to preview in terms what may happen in the coming months and years. we expect the president really to lay out more of his vision for the next 100 days and beyond in that joint address to congress on wednesday. >> okay. monica, thanks so much. perfect setup for my next interview. thank you. joining me now, virginia congresswoman, democratic member of house forren affairs and agriculture committees and a former cia officer, i just think is cool. anyway, move to your expectations of president biden's address to congress wednesday. what do you want to hear from him? >> i want to hear the president to continue to talk about the
challenges that we as a country face, and the ways that he wants to move us forward. as a candidate, he spoke clearly about the major impact of the ongoing pandemic. what it meant for the health and lives of the american people. what it meant for our economy and how he was aggressively going to go after a plan to vaccinate millions of americans, and, of course, he's already exceeded the 200 million shots in arms goals set out in the 100, first 100 days. he talked about efforts to rebuild the economy, and we see a vision for that through the american jobs plan. so what i want to hear him talk about is continual focus on getting us through this pandemic. a focus on how we rebuild our nation's infrastructure. it is a time of tremendous opportunity, and our nation's physical infrastructure needs the same attention that the president has brought to his fight against the pandemic, and i want to hear him talk about issues of leadership. leading a country that's
divided. leading this country, our country, in a world where over the past few years we've "abandoned global leadership. seen it in sport to our indian friends suffering greatly because of covid. we see it in his focus on climate change. we see it in his decision to rejoin the w.h.o. and so i want to hear more about how that will help everyday americans here at home ensure greater opportunity, strengthen the job market, put people back to work and for the average person here in central virginia, or across the country, knowing we have a president who is focused on understanding the challenges that we and our community members face and addressing those challenges head-on. that's what i expect to hear and that's what i'm looking forward to hearing. >> i suspect you'll be rewarded with hearing exactly that. sounds like that's a lot of what the content of the speech will be, but when he gives the address to congress, you know not just the gop with a response.
the newly elected new york congressman who will do so on behalf of the progressive left wing working families party. the press league gave the response last year. is this the new norm, and if so, why is it necessary to have more commentary than just from the ultimate main party? >> i think everybody at this point who wants to have a voice, who wants to comment on what the president will say after the joint address is welcome to and has a right to. you know, i think there's going to be so many of us who will be sitting either in the house chamber, at home on our couches cheering for the message that we have from a president who is talking about the strength of the american people, a trust in the american people, a desire to continue to forge that path forward. a path of progress. a path of greater justice, and equity for everyone. a path where opportunity abounds. and so there are going to be so many, many people cheering on,
and excited talking about the president's priorities that he's putting forward, and certainly that is what i will be focusing on. though i always do think there's value in continuing to challenge this president or any president to ensure that we are doing well, doing good by the american people. >> yeah. absolutely. as we look at a nearly 100 days in office now, the president's approval rating in a new nbc news poll stands at 53%. what do you think he needs to do to keep his approval above water? >> i think he needs to continue being honest and open with the american people. >> hmm. >> i think the fact that we have a daily press conference from the white house, where there's information that is, know, truthful and factual and sometimes hard to hear. that is important. what i have heard from my constituents around the seventh district of virginia is they want truth. they want the good news. they want the bad news. they want to know what is
coming. to hear from a president that is earnest and honest, a president who respects the american people. who respects the institutions and who believes that every single person in this country has a right to opportunity, a good job, the potential for an education that will get them the job that they -- that will allow them to deliver for their family. whether that's through apprenticeship programs or workforce training, a four-year degree. a president who honors every single american person, whether their family goes back hundreds of years, thousands of years, or more recently arrived. i believe as long as he continues to believe in the america that so many of us know is possible, that he continues to advocate for policies that put us on that path towards progress, i believe his approval rating will continue to be a positive one, because it means he's doing the good and hard work of governing as president. >> yet we remain a very divided country when i look at poll
numbers. the nbc news poll shows a whopping 82% of us say that the country's divided rather than united. what do you think it will take to try to sew this country back together and can it be done anytime soon? >> one major challenge as we continue to see politicians and elected officials who are willing to lie to their constituents. who are willing to mischaracterize the election results, lie about election results, to gain political favor. with a subset of their voters. i think it's distressing, disturbing, but as long as there is a -- a political motivation amongst some, not all, but among some, to continue to lie and sow discord and anger and win elections based on fear, that problem will continue and why i appreciate president biden and members of congress who do speak true.
democrats and republicans, talking about who won the election earnestly, without fraud and talk about the challenges we face. the desire tore legislation that will bring us together. you know, the roads that are broken down, the communities i represent where there is no broadband internet. that's not an issue that's a democrat or republican issue. that's an issue that impacts the american people and our economy. and so what we need to do is we need to have the voices of those who want to focus on the work of governing, because my job as a lawmaker is to govern. we get to this it job, this responsibility, through elections. yes, that's true, but end of the day, all of us should be jumped on the job that we do of governance, and i do hope those who are doing that work on both sides of the aisle will be the voices that can be part of bringing the american people back together. >> well said, virginia congresswoman. thank you for joining us. the new nbc poll on the derek chauvin verdict and what
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a growing number of police-involved shootings across the u.s. at least 20 in the month are april so far. several shootings involved traffic stops. both police officers and civilians lost lives in this incidents. latest yesterday on suntset boulevard in los angeles. a man cut in front of a police car, hit the brakes and backed his vehicle into the lapd cruiser. they say when the man got out of his car he was wearing a bull-proof vest and held one hand behind his back. >> the officers gave him commands, which he did not follow, and he started counting down, saying, three -- two -- one -- he started to pull his right hand from behind his back out to the front, and at that time there was an officer-involved shooting. >> that man turned out to be unarmed. nbc's kathy park and
"politicsnation" host the reverend al sharpton here to flush this out. you first, kathy, the big story there, the bodycam video that still has not been released. what's the latest on that? >> reporter: alex that is exactly right. the shooting take place wednesday morning, and we still don't have that body camera footage. there is growing frustration and pressure for the sheriff's office to release the video. yesterday there were a couple new developments. we heard from city officials as well as the sheriff. they said they are going to take the formal steps to go ahead and release this footage. the sharest said he would be putting in a request to the state bureau of investigation and let them handle it from there. meanwhile, we also heard from before brown's family members. they are obviously frustrated, want just is but also hurting.
take a listen. >> i never expected this to happen so close to home, like. he left a close and tight family. with each other every day, talking to each other every day, and we, my brothers, my sisters, we is what drove him as a person. we is what made him better, and now i got to live every day, my newborn without even getting a chance to meet him at all. and that's going to hurt me every day. i just want justice. >> reporter: and those frustrations are being heard on the streets of elizabeth city. protesters have been out ever since the shooting took place on wednesday. i think we mentioned earlier, law enforcement gave police few details about the shooting. the deafties serving a rest warrant on dug-related charges before taking a deadly turn. right now seven deputies on
administrationive leave and we've learned an outside sheriffs office is coming in to investigate the shooting as well. >> lots of news there. thank you, kathy park from north carolina. now to the president of the national action network and host of msnbc's "politicsnation" my friend the reverend al sharpton. rev, with a welcome. sadly, you have some sense of these situations. how do you assess the fact that there has been no video released yet? does that set off alarms to are you? >> absolutely sets off alarms. the purpose of having body cameras on police, which caught a lot of national attraction under the obama administration, is so that the public would know exactly what happened as soon as possible. to have the bodycams and footage, the footage from them held back is leading suspicion to editing and tampering and
goes against the whole spirit of having body cams in the first place. it is very unusual and very unproductive at best for bodycam footage's not to be released immediately. >> yeah. in the wake of the derek chauvin conviction, there's a new poll out, rev, showing americans overwhelmingly approve of that verdict. do you take that as an encouraging sign? 71% saying, yes, it was the right verdict there. and if you think it's encouraging, how might this help in the cause for justice in african-american communities across this country? >> i think it's very encouraging, because we've not seen those kinds of poll numbers around other police accountability trials and movements that we've engaged in in the past decades. the good news is that it's 71%, and that should also put pressure on the u.s. senate to
deal with the passage of federal police reform like the george floyd justice in policing act that we've been pushing since george floyd died. a big march on washington and other things. the bad news is that we've had good polling on gun reform. like background checks, and the senate still didn't move forward. so even with the good poll numbers, we must stay in the trenches and work on getting this senate to deal with something that i think is of this time required, that we deal with police reform. how the president will address it in his address on wednesday night, we, eight of us, that lead civil rights organizations had an hour-long conference with the attorney general garland on friday. we addressed it there, but he has no influence over the senate but he can open up other cases. momentum is on the side of those that want to see legitimate police reform, not as
anti-police but as anti-police brutality. >> let me ask you about something that happened, though, the same day the verdict was read. that being 16-year-old ma'khia bryant killed by police in columbus, ohio. an editorial, rev, published in the "washington post," questioned raised, what if the officer had not fired his gun? would there still have been the loss of life not of ma'khia but the other young woman? another woman was in that story talked about a stabbing new englander way, a knife and the like. what is your view on this? how important and how difficult is it to look at each incident differently? >> i think it's important that we look at each incident differently. i think that one incident is not something that carries for all. but at the same time, you have to ask the question, and we've gotten calls from columbus, ohio, is this the only way this officer could have brought this
matter down? is there another way that he could have led to trying not to -- trying to de-escalate what we were facing there? all of that has to be a part of the investigation and the conversation, because i think that clearly we do not know what we don't know, and i think that the de-escalation is just as important. >> yeah. >> as important a question as anything else. and beyond me how you come into a situation where there's a young lady and two women who i understand are adults in a conflict and the only way you can deal with that is to shoot four times. i think that that raises questions that need to be answered. so on one hand, can you make one position. on the other hand, i think you've got to look at it all ways and in all sizes. >> rev, certainly sentiment police reform could have prevented and would in the
future potentially prevent similar situations like this. a big issue and we're at beginning stages trying to get that done. let me ask you quickly about you and the moment that you prayed with the floyd family after you learned about the guilty verdict. i'm going to show something for viewers here. take a listen, everyone. >> thank you for the nameless grandmas and grandpas. >> yes, sir. >> get on their knees and ask you to give us a victory this time. and, lord, as we give you the thanks, and give you the praise, let george know that his name is going down in history, they may have put the knee on his neck, but he will now be a figure that we will take the knees off our necks now and we give you the praise. thank you, and god we give you the glory. these blessings we ask in your name, amen. >> amen. >> amen! >> rev, i'm so moved to see how obviously you were so moved. i know you've been through many
of these kinds of cases. so how do you change these recent events? has it changed you? >> i think it has not changed me. i think it has made me an all of us that have been involved, evolved to be the most strategic and to learn. it's like if i were an athlete. you learn from every encounter, and i think we have matured and in the same elements and in the same ways that we needed to mature, but at the same time, after the same goals and serving the same purposes. one of the things that moved me about what you just played is that when we received the notice from the court that there was a verdict and two hours, the family and i gathered. i'd been with the family since they had me do the two eulogies when george was first killed, and the family and i gathered, and they said that whatever the
verdict, we want -- they told attorney crump, whatever the verdict, we want reverend to first lead us in prayer. when i would come and visit the trial we'd go outside and have prayer and they said, good or bad, we want to thank god for bringing us through, and the verdict ended up in their favor, three guilty verdicts, and they said before we say anything, analyze anything, we want to thank god. that's the kind of family that george floyd has, and that's what you just played. >> yeah. you know what? i'm going to tell folks you and i have offices right next to each other right here at 30 rock. when you come into work today, keep your mask on, i'll keep mine on. i'm going to give you a big hug. you deserve one. we've done that before. >> all right. >> and catch reverend al sharpton every sunday at 5:00 eastern on msnbc. tonight talking with congresswoman karen bass. new questions about whether
president biden can do these two things at once. push through sweeping agenda items, and unite the country, and which one matters more to history? michael beschloss, next. if you wanna be a winner then get a turkey footlong from subway®. that's oven roasted turkey. piled high with crisp veggies. on freshly baked bread! so, let's get out there and get those footlongs. now at subway®, buy one footlong in the app, and get one 50% off. subway®. eat fresh.
(snap) fine jewellery for every day. more now on the new nbc poll as president joe biden approaches his first 100 days in office. the president is getting a 53% job approval rating. higher than donald trump's but lower than barack obama's at this time in their presidencies. joining me to dive a bit deeper into the numbers francesca chambers, and nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. good to see you both. ladies first, here. francesca, curious what you can tell us about the tenure of these first 100 days compared to the previous administrations? >> look at the nbc news poll and polls taken by abc and cbs this morning as well. stood out to me, percentage of
republicans say they disapprove of joe biden's presidency so far. a lot higher than the percentage of democrat whose said it for president donald trump and republican whose said it about former president obama. that tells you a lot where our country is at this particular moment. and the challenge that president joe biden faces in the next 100 days of his presidency where arguably he'll have to face some of these other challenges on issues like immigration, on guns, i'm sure we'll get to in a minute. >> a very united country for sure. ununited country. michael, from a historical perspective, give me a sense how important the first 100 days are as a measure and how does president biden stack up in your mind? >> well, it's not a bad measure, alex. i thought francesca said it well. you know, the thing is that this all comes from early 1933 as you know when franklin roosevelt came in and did a lot of things like, you know, saving the banks
and getting people relief and doing things to relieve the suffering of the great depression, and about 100 days in, roosevelt's aides said looks pretty good. say it's really whether or not for 100 day measure to be taken of a president, so after fdr, 100 days passed, look at all the things he's done. almost every president since then hated the idea, because as you suggest, i think, a lot of thing as president does happens after the 100 days. you really don't always have a good idea of a presidency. but in biden's case, just as francesca was saying, and you were saying, we're living in this terribly divided time. even more divided than the time of barack obama, 12 years ago when he was able to get a higher public approval rating. that's just not going to happen anymore. so by a contemporary standard, 53% is actually pretty good. >> well, especially looking at
numbers of 82% saying this country is divided. only 16% sensing the country is united. but let's just say this -- the president sensing all of this during his campaigning and in the 100 days since now becoming president, he has promised to brings this country together. but you've got no gop members rushing to join his initiative. do you think unity is even a realistic goal for him, michael? >> i think it's always important as a goal, because the founders of our country gave the president two jobs. one was to come up with all sorts of policies that will be controversial to deal with terrible problems like, in our case, the pandemic, the economy, the dangers to democracy, but at the same time, they wanted the same person, unlike england, to be head of state. uniting the country. very hard for people to do both. the transforming presidents, the great presidents, are those like george washington, abraham lincoln, franklin roosevelt, knows who came up with solutions to terrible problems but the
same time had majority of americans say this is a leader of character whom i respect even though i may disagree with that person. >> are you sensing that will be joe biden the legacy? do you think he commands a lot of respect? i'm not saying parallels to washington and lincoln and eisenhower, but in general, the tenure he has. do people respect him, do you sense? >> sure looks that way now. 100 days in more approval him than voted for him on election day. almost the opposite what we've seen in recent times. sure is the opposite of trump four years ago. >> absolutely. what about within the white house, francesca? is that how they're reading the numbers, the revelations we're discussing and what are they looking for in the speech's wednesday? >> what i'm hearing from democrats, not specifically some are focused on right now, but have really leaned in to the idea of the 100 days and 100
shots in 100 days and upped that number. they've played up the first for 100 days. as you look at his joint address that we, he will have on wednesday, you have to look lady to, what are the next 100 days like, alex? leading into the august recess. this morning in an interview kamala harris had said that they need to multitask. and that is something that they will absolutely have to do over the summer. multitask on issues like guns, immigration, on infrastructure, that the president has laid out that he wants to get done. that his administration says are priorities for him. so what we expect to also hear on wednesday is him to talk about the issues, talk about things like paid family leave. that the white house is just moving in, and also we seed pret president sitting in the gallery to underscore points like that. because of covid-19 not the same guests sitting the gallery this year but we expect the president
to highlight maybe folks from afar while talking about the george floyd justice policing act, and talk about the floyd family. >> certainly. michael, what do you think is important the president convey in his speech wednesday? >> i think that for the first time in many cases four years a president is using all the power of the presidency and the federal government to try to help americans to protect themselves against this pandemic. we haven't seen that for the last, you know, over a year that we've seen the pandemic. and also seen a president, president trump who did not use presidential power to help people in other ways. what the lesson of franklin roosevelt shows in the 1930s. 1936, fdr ran for re-election. there was still high unemployment, still in the great depression. four years after roosevelt had come in. yet enough people said, he's trying. he's using all the powers available to him. things are getting better. they voted for his re-election by a landslide.
>> yeah. okay. michael beschloss, and francesca chambers good to see you both. thank you so much. all this week watch comprehensive reports on the president's first 100 days. his performance so far. meantime, getting shots in the arms of teenagers. why the timing is so critical. we go there, next. has always been about so as your business changes, we're changing with it with e-commerce that runs at the speed of now next day and two-day shipping nationwide same day shipping across town returns right from the doorstep and deliveries seven days a week it's a whole new world out there let's not keep it waiting ♪ ♪ think you're managing your moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's disease? i did. until i realized something was missing...
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indonesian submarine. investigators found the sub though broken in three parts in the bali sea. none of the 53 crew members onboard survived. the sub lost contact wednesday while its crew was conducting a drill. more than a dozen ships and helicopters joined the search for that missing submarine. more breaking news from baghdad. a fire, authorities blamed the fire on negligence started when oxygen container exploded in an icu ward. among the dead at least 28 patients who were on ventilators battling covid. more than 100 people have been injured. and now to some promising numbers, though, in the coronavirus pandemic here in the u.s. more than half of american adults have gotten at least one dose of a covid vaccine. 36% are fully vaccinated. now officials are turning their focus to 16 and 17-year-olds. that age group makes up less
than 1% of fully vaccinated americans. go right to cori coffin joining me from rockaway, new jersey, outside a mega site there. i'm sure authorities are targeting the teens. what are they doing to try to reach them? >> reporter: several thing opinions vaccination sites targeting tolderolder teens and meeting them where they are. in schools, even hiring deejays to keep them entertained. the white house using celebrities it and athletes for their campaigns to target the teens getting them more interested in the vaccine. why the push? the big question. well, what i've seen, three factors are happening here. there are more reported cases coming out with younger people. partially because this is a demographic that has not had the
opportunity to get vaccinated just yet. in addition we're hearing local communities are trying to make sure to tamp down any potential spikes that could happen with end of year events, when it comes to graduations, parties, those sorts of things. i spoke with a local county commissioner about that side of it and live to what he says. >> they're going to have high school graduations ceremonies, college graduation sayre more than -- ceremonies, family and friends coming over. give them an opportunity to get vaccinate. a couple said i want to get back to sports, back to going out again. the message that gotten through andpressed by the comments made. >> reporter: this has implications, alex, for what people can do in the fall when it comes to college or how schools will be able to reopen. another big reason to start this campaign and a big push right now and have these summer months
to be able to prepare for all of this. now, of course, there is still much work to be done and much testing to be done as to the efficacy for much younger children, but pfizer has asked the fda for emergency approval for those 12 and up to be able to receive the vaccine. we should know an answer with that in the next couple weeks or so, and this, of course, many officials hope will go a long way towards getting herd immunity overall in the population, 70% to 80%. >> particularly academic environments you're talking about. thanks. in a few hours we'll know the answers. coming up next, early pick whose who will win at the oscars. the t . it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities. like our new work from anywhere solutions, so your teams can collaborate almost anywhere. plus customer experience that finds solutions in the moment. ...and first-class benefits, like 5g with every plan.
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nominees will attend in person after a mostly virtual award season. dominic patton is senior editor for "deadline hollywood." this is sort of a revamping of the oscars, right? the producers want it to feel like a movie and union station is the venue. how much does the presence or lack thereof of big name stars account for ratings? >> a, this is going to be the most rated oscars ever and the least watched. last year was previously the lowest rated oscars and the least watched. steven soderbergh and the other producers will trying every trick policy. there will be no masks, there will be no zoom. award fatigue from the last few
months will be gone. as you said, small, small audience, mainly nominees, et cetera. using downtown's union station to create a different feel. they say within the first 90 seconds will show you what they're up to, and that gives them a tiny window in which to impress. brad pitt and people like that will be more cast members than presenters. a roll of the dice. whether or not they get sixes or ones, we'll know tonight. >> we'll be looking for that and put a stopwatch on it. what about films even qualifying for the 2024 oscars? is it a sign that hollywood is becoming more diverse and inclusive? how much is this about the boll line? franklin leonard writes in a "new york times" op-ed, hollywood loses $10 billion a
year due to anti-black bias. >> franklin's article was based on an mckinsey study a number of people put together a few weeks ago, a fantastic study. this is real money. there's a reason they call it show business and not show friends. the diversity this year is amazing. if everything goes according to what the s.a.g. awards were, we would see the first oscars in all the top acting categories ever go to only people of color. which would be an amazing step forward when you look at the quality of the films and the immense talent we're looking at. whether or not hollywood on screen and on the bottom line are fully braving inclusion and diversity, that's a long term project we're going to have to look at. one year is not going to make us forget oscars so white, especially when you have a year that might be "oscars so what." >> what about movie theaters which are certainly closed, covid has kept people at home, they've been watching movies from their couch, streaming
platforms are churning out oscar-nominated films. will the movie theaters be as strong as they once were? i just got a flash that "flash 9" is only be released in theaters. is that what they'll have to do to bring back moviegoers? >> what will bring back moviegoers is the end of the pandemic, vaccinations across the board and people feeling safe and secure. the big movies will bring people back. streaming has been a bonanza for quality films that usually got pushed out of the way. i think the train has left the station, alex. there is a different hybrid world that come out of this in terms of entertainment. how it's going to shake down in terms of money, a lot of streamers out there, a lot of theaters shuttered right now, a lot of changes coming. >> 100%. let's see what time we have for picks. best picture, what have you got? >> definitely "nomadland."
it has won everything. it would be the biggest upset in oscar history if it was not to win tonight. >> best actor, give me your pick. >> i'm a little bit conflicted here. it should be riz ahmed. it could be chadwick boseman. i think it might be anthony hopkins for "father." lots of mix there. this is a very fluid category on what's going to be a fluid night. >> i've been told i have to go. give me best actress and director. >> viola davis. everyone enjoy the oscars tonight. see you soon. >> see you again, my friend, thank you so much. and thanks to all of you for watching "alex witt reports." see you at noon on saturday. yasmin vossoughian is next. ♪
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♪♪ good afternoon, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian. we have a lot of ground to cover. a brand-new nbc poll grading joe biden just days before he marks his 100th day as president in office. a new breakthrough in demands for body cam phenomenally to be released in a deadly north carolina shooting. new