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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  July 29, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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more news with my friend, jose diaz bilart. good thursday morning. i'm in for craig melvin. we have big movement in the voting rights fight. right now texas state democrats are on the hill talking about people like stacey abrams and the clintons. but they're dealing with a separate challenge. that bipartisan infrastructure deal just cleared a key test vote. there is new push back for another bill that democrats want to pass that is from within their own ranks. and cubans calling for treatment and bob me nen dez just delivered a speech in the
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senate asking for world solidarity on cuba and the release of political prisoners. plus right now the number of coronavirus cases is up in all 50 states and that puts new attention on a question that a lot of people are asking. will people need to prove their vaccinated to go to work? or to go out to eat? we're getting early answers this morning. they are now requiring vaccinations. today president biden is expected to announce a requirement for federal workers. we start with the latest on this pandemic and the major vaccine announcement. monica is at the white house for us. josh is talking to washington dc workers affected by this, and i want to bring in a doctor who is a senior scholar at john hop
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kins. in just a few hours they announce a federal vaccine requirement. what more do we know about this? >> they are laying out essentially a choice for more than two million federal workers. they will have to prove they are fully vaccinated to go to work or submit to what the white house is calling rigorous testing. we don't really know the details of what that kmoent means. will it be weekly? on site? it is expected that we will get all of this. it will be modelled after the local level. this is the choice that you have and here is the time frame you have to get vaccinated or you will have to social distance, potentially continue to wear
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those masks indoors where deemed appropriate. we're also getting a major overall update from the white house and the president as it relates to vaccinations. it was just about a month ago here on the south lawn and the president was trying to say this would be a summer of freedom and joy. he will now take a very different tone, i'm told. he will be having a sense of urgency and he will dedicate a lot of his remarks to stressing that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. people still on the sidelines need to consider this. at least that is the argument that he is going to be making. the trouble with that is that if we look at the statistics in the last month or so the lates have plateaued. white house officials have seen a slight uptick in the last week or so they say is encouraging particularly in areas where there is high transmission of the delta variant. another thing that we're watching very closely is what this might mean for the military
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and for the pentagon. we know they have talked about what it means for making it mandatory. we know about 70% have gotten one dose. 60% fully vaccinated. but given that all three vaccines are available under emergency use authorization that likely won't happen until they move into full approval. we don't know when that is to be expected, jose. >> josh, you're speaking with the workers affected by these new vaccine and masking requirements, what are they telling you? >> jose, you can see the shift that is taking place on the ground here in the nation's capital. we watched this morning as hundreds of federal workers streamed into the workplace. they had that return to normalcy
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si. now we watch them putting them back on their faces. federal buildings will once again be mask mandatory workplaces, and as far as the vaccine requirements, we talk to a lot of workers that say this is long overdue. they feel safer knowing that their colleagues will be required to have that vaccine or to submit themselves to rigorous testing and other measures. we also talked to some folks who said there is side effects and it is not the government's place to require it.
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take a look at what we heard from them. >> it's public health and it's not political for me. it's for safety reasons. make sure veterans don't get sick, we don't need that. i don't know why everyone can't get the vaccine. >> when i didn't i felt terrible. and i don't think that it is ready to use. >> there is a reason they didn't do this sooner, jose. this is not the route that the biden administration hoped they would have to take. they tried incentives, and it has not been summit. and now you see the federal workers setting an example for the rest of the nation as so many are struggling with this
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decision. workers on side saying they will need to be vaccinated. either fearful of overstepping their authority for regulating the health care choices of their employees, or hearing about global advocates saying it is or is not the place of government to telling people they need a shot. >> and doctor, on top of this new requirement for the biden administration we have major companies like google, netflix, and the washington post requiring them. >> they want their workplace to be safe and part of that is protecting it from covid-19. i would like to see more companies make vaccination a condition of employment. i have been employed by hospitals my whole career and i have always been asked to get
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hepatitis, influenza. i think it will make them more resilient than their competitors because they will not be so disrupted by covid-19. >> why are there so many in the medical field that have not yet gotten vaccinated. hospital workers, it seems like you would be the front line knowing how important vaccinations are. >> that is how it should be in an ideal world. when you get to nurses, nurses aides and others, that number drops off. many hospitals are afraid to mandate the vaccine because they're worried about nurses unions striking. they have been about obstacle in the past and this is the same thing areaing it's ugly head
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again. i think they need to have the courage to mandate the vaccine. if the nurses strike or quit, so be it. we don't want to social with nurses that won't vaccinate. >> dr. danny meyer, the founder of shake shake on the union hospitality group, he says all employees will have to get the vaccination and customers will have to prove their vaccinated to dine indoors. >> we're following the lead of city, state, and federal government and we're going to do this ourselves in our restaurants in new york city and washington dc. our full service restaurants to require that all staff members be vaccinated and also to require that guests that want to dine indoors show proof of being vaccinated.
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>> what could places like florida, alabama, and those with bans on vaccines, what could they do? >> i think when you have governors interfering with how private businesses run their operations, and that is a bad precedent to set. i think they have the right to say we're going to deal with vaccinated people differently from unvaccinated people. the virus will treat you differently. other people should treat you differently as well. this is something they think we need more of. >> so are you thinking the vaccination passports should be a federal requirement? >> i don't think it is a role for government, but i think that private businesses should come up with a way to verify people's vaccinate status.
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some have tried to do it and it is not a high take up. i think we need a technological solution to this. that makes things so much safer and it allows the vaccinated to go about their life and allows people to know who is a threat to them and who is not. thank you all for being with me, appreciate your perspective. >> president biden's agenda got a major boost last night. the senate voted to move forward. will the victory be short lived? new opposition from the left, right, and center to the plan. first an urgent call for action on the protests in cuba. senate foreign relations chairman senator bob me nen does is here and he just gaye a big speech on this. he meets with the president today. he will talk to me about his
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hello, colonial penn?
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we are bearing witness to something in cuba that my parents never got to see. the people of cuba are crying out for freedom. and we must hear them. the steps taken so far by the biden administration are
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important but we must do more. >> that was senator bob menendez on the senate floor. he is asking for people's calls for freedom. senator menendez joins me now. senator good to see you. just yesterday a resolution passed unanimously out of the committee reaffirming spot for cuba's freedom. what are you asking for? >> we'll, jose, good to be with you. first that resolution was bipartisan. the house has the same resolution if passed unanimously out of the committee. it condemns violence against peaceful protestors, and it makes an international call for solidarity with the cuban people. i mentioned in my speech
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yesterday that the european union just issued a statement of solidarity. i want to see internet connectivity for the people of cuba. i believe the biden administration is actively pursuing the best t technologic means for that. there was sanctions against the black berets, and the generals at the head of the cuban military. i think more can be done in that regard. i appreciate the administration and 20 countries in the world expressing their solidarity with the cuban people including people that never before have. we need to build upon that, and i also think that the administration needs to have a new executive order near -- that directly focuses on the regime and provides materials for them.
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>> in your speech yesterday you highlighted some of the political prisoners. what can anyone do to see change there? >> well, you know, when the world casts a garish light on the regimes oppressions, of peaceful protestors, when the world shows that afro cubans are at the center of the protests of the regime, a regime that used to claim they would lift the lives of afro cubans but there is basically none in their leadership. when we have sanctions against the regime so they cannot
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continue to live a life of luxury. it is my hope that we will see those types of actions across the globe and certainly in the western hemisphere. and finally i think when people adopt the cause of leaders, for example, the movement in the arts and in entertainment as they have in other parts of the world, that becomes an incredible ripple effect across the globe. those are some of the things that i want to continue to make, try to make happen, and i want to see happen. >> there is a lot to underline in cuba. you and other members will meet with president biden in a matter of hours about daca groups. how do you convince your colleague that's it is critically important? >> you know recent reports as well as the last time we passed
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comprehensive immigration reform in the senate, it was very clearly compelling economic cases over 1.5 trillion in economic growth. and enormous contributions to the social security trust funds. raising wages of all americans. not just undocumented ones. and the constant sacrifice that essential workers are providing as they did at the height of the pandemic when we were all told to stay home by the health authorities they were working and risking their lives. many lost their lives, for the food supply. so these arguments i think will be compelling on the security side or just on the more -- >> senator, i'm just thinking
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about that gang of eight that was the last real major push for comprehensive immigration that unfortunately didn't get anywhere. it should have been discussed, at least, right? but with this issue being so acceptable and popular across the board, why is it there is no new gang of eight? why is there no real movement to get something comprehensive passed? >> well, just a moment on the gang of eight. we did fasz in the senate with 67 votes. unfortunately speaker boehner never gave it a vote. i think it would have passed and we would be different took in terms of talking about country and immigration. i think the problem has been president trump. he made immigration his singular issue. he created all of the nefarious
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commentary. and every tame you talk about form, make yourself right with the government. have a criminal background check. pay your taxes, and everything they call it amnesty. for any effort that would have a bath way, it could be security. i want to know who is here to pursue the american dream versus who might be here to do it harm. i can't know that unless i bring millions out of the shadows and into the light. we're not saying that. people will have to do things to make themselves right with the law, but they should be given that opportunity in the interests of the american nation. >> senator, quickly, about the key bipartisan vote, do you feel confident you will have a bill
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written and agreed to, and if not are you willing to stay through the recess to get it done? >> leader schumer said we will be here through the equally independent nations in the world. and we need to get a budget resolution passed so maybe we can deal with reconciliation in september. so the answer is that we're staying here to work. we're on a path to make it happen, and i hope that senator mcconnell will not be the water mark of what they're trying to imprint as they move forward. if there is good will, if there is legislation to pass, an opportunity to make something
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happen. >> senator bob menendez, a pleasure to see you this morning. >> thank you. >> a lot to unpack from my conversation with senator menendez. morgan ratford has been watching what is happening in cuba from the start. how does what we heard from him confirm what you have been reporting inside of cuba? >> right now we're seeing three things. the afterpath of the protests that splintered into three parts. the cuban government is hoping to avoid a repeat of what happened. there has been many reports of violence. they are not girling all of those cases and some protestors were convicted in mass trials
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under way, speedy and without lawyers present. the second thing is the number of people missing. perhaps even more importantly, there is still many cubans missing all together. that is putting a further chill and fear for those on the island. they estimate that has many as 500 people are still missing or detained following those protests. updated numbers show that roughly 200 have since been released. cubans and cuban americans have been tracking people that are unaccounted for. others you can go to a website. it is worth noting that there has not been any wild fred
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fires. and he was calling on the biden administration to do more like revoking certain high level visas. the response from the white house is pretty tricky. not just politically at home but also in terms of engaging cuba's reaction and avoiding a greater crack down. so right now the white house saying they are considering many possibilities for cuban citizens including the possibility of sending vaccines to the island and figuring out a technical work around to fully restore the internet. as you imagine this is a tricky tight rope for democratic administrations especially. so the bottom line is this situation on the ground is growing more desperate on the island and every single source i have spoken to there says we need more international pressure, more u.s. help, because they tell me we cannot do it alone.
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jose? >> that is a great, important point. real quick you're about minutes away from your nbc news now show, how do you do all of this? >> i do it with wonderful leaders like you, i watch you do it, you're my leader and mentor. >> no, morgan. can't wait to see nbc news now with your show today and every day during the week. thank you morgan. coming up the senate just clearing a major hurdle in getting a infrastructure bill passed. will that last? the new developments that could make the whole thing a little messier, next. little messier, next. the dove beauty bar makes my skin feel fresh. i've encouraged serena my best friend to switch. feels moisturized and clean. my friend stefanie, her skin was dry. i'm like girl you better get you some dove. she hooked me up. with a quarter moisturising cream, dove cleans effectively and cares beautifully. [john legend's i can see clearly now] ♪♪
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to help reduce urges to urinate, fully empty your bladder, and promote a normal prostate size. don't settle. rush to walmart for force factor prostate, from the #1 fastest-growing men's health brand in america. this morning a first step. the 67 to 32 vote to move forward with the $550 bill is a rare bipartisan bill. that was just a first step. senators still have to get it written before the august recess. the final passage is not a sure thing and now senate democrats are facing a new hurdle in their plans for that second larger human infrastructure bill. kristin sinema saying she will
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not support the $3.5 trillion price tag. a lot to get through here. first senator schumer says they plan to work through the weekend on this program. it has a $550 billion price tag, but it is a trillion dollar plan. what's in it? >> it sure is. the fact that they took this procedural vote, the fact that it got 17 republicans was more than expected. mitch mcconnell came out and voted for it on this procedural test vote. there is good things in this legislation both sides say. we can run down what it said, it is about 110 million for roads and bridges. $73 billion for energy infrastructure. passenger freight rail. what the white house is saying is that this is the biggest investment roads, bridges,
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water, broadband, and rail that they have seen in generations. they have saying infrastructure is good for everyone in their districts. there is still a week to go of additional votes and amendments, but there is a lot of optimism up here. let's listen to what senator tester said about this just moments ago. >>. >> i think everyone needs to look at it and see if it works. the senate, democrats and republicans, just ask yourself the fundamental question. does it move the country forward? does it create jobs? is it good for national security? >> there you it. there is still a long road ahead but at this moment it is looking
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good for this bipartisan infrastructure bill. >> thank you very much for being with me this morning. "democracy in danger." a topic of a voting rights hear here. >> i'm here because this is the seat of democracy. and that is a right to vote unabridged like all of you. you may not want to recognize it but we're supposed to have those rights. >> meanwhile as they were testified another group of texas democrats meet with stacey abrams. and they're meeting with bill and hillary clinton this hour. jane, great seeing you. this is quite a busy day on the voting rights fund on top of the house hearings with texas
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democrats. we have this new bill that senate democrats are expected to look at. what can you tell us about it? >> great to see you. we know the details are a little slim about this bill. they huddled together yesterday after being on the edge of this infrastructure deal being struck and working on what could be a new framework, and we know it is something like the manchin compromise. as well as new voter access. the voter i.d. might give pause so some democrats, but there is huge energy that can do something on this front. we know the democrats are moving across capitol hill trying to put the pressure on and make it clear that they're running out of time. they have been in washington and the legislation seems no closer. while we have a new attempted
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bill, we also know that mitch mcconnell said that he does not see any kind of voting legislation for support of his party and democrats continue to say they don't want to worry about filibuster rules. i can't tell you where they will find those ten republican votes. the democrats are pushing for some kind of compromise. they tell me they're used to finding compromise. we hammer out dealing in texas. we have been in the minority party forever. bill and hillary clinton made it clear they're throwing their support behind them, but the lawmakers tell me they will ask the clintons to lobby senators on their behalf. they are passing just about anything, they tell me. jose? >> thank you, it is good to see
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you. the key water resource is at it's lowest point in more than 50 years. why it could have a huge impact on our power supply. is it dangerous to go to a music festival with tens of thousands of people with the delta variant all over the place? we're going to go live to lalapolooza in chicago. >> bottom line, get vaccinated or get covid. those are the choices right there. those are the choices right there. ♪ ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service.
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it is one of the most popular events in the country today. and today they are back to center stage. they had to be canceled last year because of the pandemic. and now nearly 100,000 people
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expected to pack into grant park for each of the four days. meanwhile music fans are thrilled but public health officials are worried as the delta variant causes a surge in cases. shaquille brewster is outside of the festival. this year's lineup is big names. miley cyrus, foo fighters. you mentioned a lot of the big names here. i will let you talk about the people in line right now. the gates are not open just yet. they are here ready to go. each person you see here before they get in they will have to show their ticket and negative covid test card.
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they will get inside. they will increase the amount of ventilation there. there is some divide here on whether or not it should have happened with the surge you're seeing in other parts of the country. i will tell you they came because of those requirements. listen to what they told me. >> there was a lot of money to invest in going to a music festival and going here. thinking that the pandemic would end and that i could go to festivals that would be for months in advance. >> i'm really glad that we don't have to take a test or have our vaccine card with us. >> would you be here without those requirements? >> no. >> you know some people who are
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having this event -- excuse the sirens behind me. they point to a event in the netherlands with about 20,000 people but more than 1,000 people said they contracted the virus at that festival. the hope is that it has not really hit chicago just yet. the hope is that that surge will not come because of this festival. jose? >> shaquille brewster among a concert of sirens. thank you so much. right now harvey weinstein is back in a courtroom. he is in a courtroom. we should note that he is breading guilty to the charges he is facing. >> jose, good morning. as you mentioned in just a
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little while we expect to see harvey weinstein in this courtroom behind me. they are trying to get three charges dismissed. three of the 11 sex crime charges that he is facing in this upcoming trial here in los angeles on the grounds that the three charges fall outside of the statute of limitations. they're arguing that they were filed more than ten years after the date of the alleged crime. the charges are forcible rape, forcible oral sex, and sexual battery by restraint. it means a possible 15 year sentence for each charge. now all of these 11 charges step from alleged interactions that harvey weinstein had between 2004 and 2013. they say that harvey forced
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himself upon them. and it happened inside of hotel rooms in los angeles. even if his legal team is able to get some of these charges dismissed, they are still looking at the real possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars. he is 69 years old. his team says his health is not great, and he is serving a 23 year sentence coming down last year in new york. they plan to appeal that conviction and they maintain his innocence claiming that the interactions that he may have had with these women were con consensual. i spoke with glory allred that says after a year of delays because of covid, her clients are just happy to see the trial finally moving forward.
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>> thank you so much. good seeing you. by the way any minute now, at the white house president biden is about to sign a new law meant to help tackle the nation's opioid epidemic. it requires the department of veterans affairs to designate periods and locations where anyone can drop up unused prescribed medications. it could be drop boxes to onsite pharma pharmacies. according to the cdc right now nearly 200 americans are dieing every day from opioid overdoses. the number increased 34% in the pandemic. still to come on msnbc, a megadrought. the dire situation out west. lake powell, the second biggest reservoir in the country is at it's lowest level in history. we're going to go there live.
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first, a golden moment today for team usa gymnast suni lee. she won the gold medal, just the fifth time in a row an american has won gold in the all around. it comes even after simone biles crew from the event. she is the first among the americans to compete in the games, congrats!
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news in alaska. officials are now lifting tsunami warnings issued after a massive 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of that state. it happened around 2:15 this morning eastern time. the u.s. geological survey says the epicenter was about 64 miles southeast of perriville, alaska. that's about half way down the alaska peninsula. this earthquake hit the same exact zone as the second biggest earthquake ever recorded on modern instruments. that was a 9.2, the great alaska earthquake of 1964, and now to a different kind of emergency out west. what scientists are now calling a mega drought. we're seeing the effect in
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several states and now the nation's second largest reservoir, lake powell, is at its lowest level since it was filled in the 1960s. the lake sits on the arizona-utah border. it's currently at 32% capacity and scientists say it could drop by another two feet in just a couple of days. nbc's lindsay riser is in page, arizona. lindsay, how are officials responding to this crisis? what does that mean for folks who live in the surrounding areas? >> jose, great to be with you. thank you for having me. they're taking emergency measures because it's never been this bad, and this is a crucial resource here -- out here in the west. when we're talking just about the water supply and it feeds the local community of page. when we're talking recreation, we can see a lot of boats and ski boats, speed boats behind me and it's essentially enter at your own risk at this point and houseboats aren't supposed to be launched here because many
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boaters are reporting difficulty launching and retrieving their vessels, and we haven't even talked yet jose about the hydropower and the nearby glen canyon dam produces power and when there's lower water supply there's less tension on the turbine so they're not as efficient and they're producing 33% of the energy it's capable of and it feeds the upper basin states. i believe we have a map of those states here for you. we're talking wyoming, colorado, utah, new mexico and the lower basin states. so we're talking arizona. we're talking nevada and california. so the implications here are huge. what are they doing? the bureau of reclamation will be releasing water from reservoirs further upstream to help add a few feet here to lake powell so they can help not only maintain recreation, maintain the sanctity and beauty here of this area, but it's function, as well, but when you think about the dam, jose, maybe like a
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battery, it's still not going to give it a full charge. this is what the manager of the dam told me about the situation they're looking at right now. >> this is a national critical infrastructure and some of the power we generate is in the southwest and the west depends on that. i knew the drought was very much a concern, but you know, everybody has always hoped that the hydrology would turn around and the lake would start coming back up, but it hasn't and here we are. >> so, jose, they're also going to be releasing less water from lake powell to the largest reservoir, lake meade which is also at its lowest level ever. jose? >> lindsay riser, thank you so much and be sure to watch lindsay weekend mornings from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. eastern, 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. right here on msnbc, and that does it for me this hour. i'm jose diaz-balart, thank you
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for the privilege of your time. i'll see you tonight on "noticias telemundo" and here on msnbc. the great andrea mitchell is next. new dove men, plant based body wash is different. with plant based cleansers. and moisturizers for healthy and hydrated men, skin, relax your body and mind, shower with new dove men. hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? your body and mind, sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we? no, we're having the "we're getting coverage
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so we don't have to worry about it" conversation. so you're calling about the $9.95 a month plan -from colonial penn? -i am. we put it off long enough. we are getting that $9.95 plan, today. (jonathan) is it time for you to call about the $9.95 plan? i'm jonathan from colonial penn life insurance company. sometimes we just need a reminder not to take today for granted. if you're age 50 to 85, you can get guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance starting at just $9.95 a month. there are no health questions so you can't be turned down for any health reason. the $9.95 plan is colonial penn's number one most popular whole life plan. options start at just $9.95 a month. that's less than 35 cents a day. your rate can never go up. it's locked in for life. call today for free information. and you'll also get this free beneficiary planner, so call now. (soft music) ♪
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will take another step towards trying to stop the latest covid spread by requiring masks inside federal buildings and parts of the country with the high risk of coronavirus transmission. his announcement following decisions by major companies including netflix, google and twitter to either shut down offices or push back re-opening day and disney world mandating masks at all indoor attractions and this is in response to concerning new numbers. more than 70,000 new cases and 462 deaths in the last 24 hours. there have been more than 2,000 new covid-related deaths in just the last week. on capitol hill today a rare moment of bipartisanship after weeks of intense negotiations on a $550 billion critical infrastructure bill, senators including chuck shumer and mitch mcconnell voting to advance the legislation. the next battle, of course, the debate within the democratic party over the size and scope of a multitrillion dollar

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