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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  November 29, 2021 6:00am-7:01am PST

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effectively to this variant as well. >> to the booster. >> so we don't know yet. so i say that not just to those who are sort of pushing it off, but also to those who are catastrophe-izing. we should be aggressive and do everything we could do to keep it at a minimum in this country. keep the businesses open. keep schools open. we got to do the smart things to do that. but let's not catastrophe-ize it yet. let's get the facts and follow the medicine and let's be -- >> best thing people could do is get vaccinated if they haven't. and that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hey there, i'm stephanie ruhle live at msnbc headquarters here in new york city.
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it is monday, november 29th and we have all the facts that you node to know. we start with coronavirus and fears over the rapidly spreading omicron variant. the president expected to give an update to the response to covid threat and that includes the restriction of traveling from south africa and it is not just the u.s. a growing list of countries are reinstating their travel restrictions and bans in omicron's wake. israel barring entry to all foreigners and morocco suspending incoming flights for two weeks. omicron are popping frup australia to hong kong and europe and health experts say it could already be here in the u.s. >> i would not be surprised if it is, we have not detected it yet but when you have a virus showing this degree of transmissibility and you're already having travel related
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cases that they've noted in israel and belgium and in other places, when you have a virus like this, it almost is ultimately going to go essentially all over. >> i've got the best team here with the information you need to know. michael mem ollie at the white house and mad bradley in london and tony hilton in massachusetts and dr. kavita patel. dr. patel, you know i'm starting with you. this already be here in the u.s. but what is really important is how sick are people getting from it? how concerned should we be? >> yes, stephanie, that is i think the most important question. we have inklings that this is easy to give and get. easily transmissible, possibly more than dealt but we don't have any evidence that it is more severe than predecessors which is good news. we're waiting to get details from around the world about the case that we're seeing, even off
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the plane in amsterdam, et cetera. however it does appear that an unvaccinated individuals will see more severity which we would expect but in vaccinated people we're seeing relatively mild symptoms. >> so let's talk about that. the ceo of moderna, was on our sister network cnbc this morning and said this. >> what this new variant on the vaccine efficacy and which we should know about in two weeks. given the mutation it is highly possible that the efficacy of the vaccine is going down. the second piece that we don't know, that we need to keep in mind is the var illence of the virus, how many disease. i predict it will take two to six weeks to know. >> so we don't yet know how well the vaccine will work. two to six weeks is through christmas and new year's, so for those that have it, do we know that the majority of people have
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been vaccinated? >> well, no. we don't. i mean, we know that there are at least a little over 200 confirmed cases, but then approximately 1200 probable cases. so we've got inklings again, but we need to see the full data set. however, where we do know the 200 cases, people in the hospital, a large majority of them are either unvaccinated or for the ones that are vaccinated, have been vaccinated and have been months out from their vaccinations or have other chronic conditions that could potentially have already lowered their immunity even from the beginning. so that is why it is going to take several weeks to sort out. as frustrating as that might be. as dr. fauci and dr. collins have said, it is plausible to imagine that our vaccines are rendered completely ineffective and if we're at 93% to 94% in a boosted person up to date on immunizations, reducing it to 60 to 65%, which is possible, still
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gives you incredible protection against disease. so that is all still very good news. >> then no doubt mr. memollie, they will remind us to get these boosters. he'll be talking about that in the next few hours. what should we expect. >> reporter: there is no doubt that the white house already dealing with a number of shocks to the system. we saw them trying to get ahead of the economic head winds on inflation and other issues. now dealing with a new variant of the coronavirus. and what the white house is going to be trying to do today and when we hear from the president, the message is primarily one of reassurance. the president going to be talking about what we know so far about this new variant, but also speak frankly about the fact that we don't know a lot. when the president returned from nantucket where he spent thanksgiving with his family, he immediately have a meeting with his covid response team at the white house yesterday. we heard in a readout from the white house afterwards that dr. fauci told the president what we
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heard him say publicly, it will take a couple of weeks before we know the full picture, how transmissible it is and how the vaccines hold up to it but the vaccines should provide a degree of protection against the new variant. what the white house is likely to do is talk about the importance of doing what they were already stressing the american people needed to do, get your boosters, if you're able to. if you haven't yet, get vaccinated if haven't yet and at a time to get the message across for those eligible for boosters, perhaps this is a moment to remind americans of the urgency of doing so. but we're also going to see something that we don't see often at the white house, we're going to see two different sets of remarks from the president at the white house. yes, this morning talking about the coronavirus. but later today after a meeting with ceo's from the top retailers, dealing with some of the economic issues, this is a white house that wants to show as concerning as the new variant is that americans need to show
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they could walk and chew gum at the same time ahead of the holiday season here. >> let's talk about the travel restrictions the u.s. is imposing and a number of countries around the world. >> yeah, i mean the u.s. isn't the only one. here in britain they're doing the same thing. we're seeing it in the world, especially restrictions on flights to and from south africa and specifically south africa and the neighbors. and the concern, you saw it in the max indices in the last couple of days, a lot of jitteriness and that is why the governments throughout europe are huddling together today. and the main poddy in charge of vaccinations and immunizations, they're meeting today and we're expecting this em to make a recommendation to lower the age for the booster shot, the third shot. so many people here in britain are vaccinated but they're probably dropping that down from
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age 40 to get the booster to age 18. so almost every adult will be eligible for a booster shot. now many mainland europe, this is also coming when there was already a big spike. a fourth or a fifth wave in some countries in mainland europe. so everybody was already pret jittery. but now we're starting to see more and more action being taken and the u.k. is now the president of the g-7. that rotating annual presidency and the ux k. has called on the g7 to come together and try to come up with a solution, with an overarching way of dealing with this on a global level. one thing a lot of countries are looking at is whether or not the g7 is able to make recommendations or put up some cash to get vaccines in the arms of people in the developing world, because remember, a lot of scientists and epidemiologists are saying that this whole new variant is just chickens coming home to roost. we're starting to see when we
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don't vaccinate, that everybody is in danger of the new troubling variants. >> it is a global pandemic, a global economy. recommendations don't do much. cash makes a difference. dr. patel, what is your take on the travel restrictions? are they based in science or is this more better to be safe than sorry? >> yeah, stephanie, a little bit of both. and also a response i think to the political momentum when you start to see so many countries responding with travel restrictions, having a country like the united states not doing one. for example, it sticks out like a sore thumb, calls to question are we doing enough. but in general travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic has not been effective. i point to the restrictions in march of 2020 to illustrate that the virus was already here, early as november of 2019. and that is the case with omicron, it is likely already here. but however it does give most countries, not the united states, so large and heterogenius, it gives time to respond and develop a track and
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trace or a surveillance program. i don't know if we have enough time to do that because we have so many people and we're dealing with so many dynamic factors, unvaccinated people and polarize is about this being a political variant for the convenience of i don't know who and at the same time trying to deal with the other threats, biological and otherwise, that we're -- we haven't been paying attention to, influenza and others. it would be nice to see it go a step further to rein enforce the high quality pcr testing that we seem to have shortages of and combining that with rapid tests that could help people know, hey, do i need to get tested by that pcr test. good news, we could pick up this variant on standard daily pcr tests that are available in all clinics and pharmacies. we just need to use them and have more of them. >> those are sophisticated solutions but in meantime we're
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going with blunt objects. and across the state of massachusetts, covid cases are up and hospitals are cutting back on electric surgeries. we have not heard about that in at least a year, in sort of the heyday, the height of covid. what going on there? >> you know, stephanie, the system here in massachusetts and in other parts of new england is massively strained right now and that is not just because they're treating patients with covid, all show mass general is treating about 40 people were covid right now is has to do with other stresses caused by the pandemic. burnout among physicians and nurses, low staffing in some really critical units. and what is important for viewers to understand right, is that when we talk about elective procedures or nonurgent procedures, this is not just doctors canceling fun cosmetic procedures this may mean you may not get a hip replacement or a treatment for your kidneys if your physician said it is not
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not urgent or a emergency compared to the rest the train in the system at the time. as this new variant potentially reaches the united states and they're looking at the train that is already present here in massachusetts, doctors are strategizing through what this could mean over the coming weeks and into the holidays. take a listen to dr. ali raja about the implications of all of this. >> right now we have vaccines shown to be effective against the variants that we've seen but if we run into a variant that vaccines are note effective and i hope that doesn't, but if that is the case, then we could end up with health care workers have to call out of work sick even more than they're having to now. >> reporter: new york city has already announced a state of emergency that is going to allow hospital systems to cancel elective procedures or appointments if necessary. massachusetts hasn't declared that same state of emergency but hospitals are on ahigh alert and
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watching this very closely, stephanie. >> thank you. you have all made us safer and smarter this morning. turning now to tributes around the worlds today, pouring in after the death of fashion designer and cultural icon virgil ab low. the 41-year-old passed away sunday after privately battling a aggressive form of cancer for the last few years. his death was announced by the parent company of louis vuitton where he was creative director. he was the first black man to hold that position. his career took off when he began collaborating with kanye west in his 20s and exposed with his brand off white in 2012. and he have designed a number of popular album covers. he was born in 1980 to african immigrants and mis mother was a seamstress. she taught him so sew. he was survived by his wife and
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two children and are remembering him around the world today. and up next, a jam packed agenda with only days before a government shutdown and two weeks before we default on our debt. is there time to pass the human infrastructure bill before the end of the year, on top of that. plus this morning one of the most highly anticipated criminal trials of the last few years getting underway. what to expect as jeffrey epstein's confidant ghislaine maxwell has her day in court. rt we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities, and finish this year strong. visit your local t-mobile store today.
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heading back to capitol hill and gearing up for a big sprint to finish off the year. the senate is set to take up president biden's democrat only build back better human infrastructure bill after it passed the house. with schumer saying he wants it passed by christmas but how in the world will he get that done. congress ome has until friday to avoid a government shutdown and 16 days to avoid a default on our national debt. let's go straight to ali vitali on capitol hill and also with us, jake sherman, former democratic senator heidi heitkamp and robert gibbs from the obama administration. ally, government funds and raising the debt ceiling are more surgent. so what could we expect today. >> this is once again a situation where there are things that lawmakers can change and the things that they can't. and in terms of the deadlines
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that they're dealing with, the things that they could change are the build back better agenda. yes, senator chuck schumer wants to see this passed before christmas. political there might be a cost to not getting that done. but if they push past that deadline, it is sort of no harm no foul. they could finish that up when they finish that up. on the other two fronts, the debt ceiling and government funding, those are deadlines that cannot be moved. you see it there on the your screen. on friday at midnight the government shuts down on then in mid-december, the debt ceiling and they could act on that tomorrow making that move and trying to avert a government shutdown. and on the debt ceiling piece of this, the thing that is different than the last time we did this news cycle just a few weeks ago is there is a lack of vitriol right now. we know that chuck schumer has met with minority leader mitch mcconnell, they have talked about the debt ceiling. we haven't heard much beyond
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that but the vitriol and back biting we heard last time around is gone. so it is likely we do see some kind of deal happen there as well. >> congress knew they were kicking the can down the road on this and they could do it again. how do they make any progress on build back better when you have a government shutdown and a potential default in your face. >> that is the problem. as ali noted, these can't move deadlines and i think even if they solve these, let's assume these are easy to solve, i'm not saying they are, they are complicated, they still take up time and the build back better agenda, the build back better bill that passed the house will change significantly in the senate and once it changes in the senate, once you get a deal, then it has to go to the floor where it is going to be for a week if not more than that. so i would imagine that congress will going to kick that funding deadline to sometime in january and then work on the the build
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back better agenda. but christmas is coming up and lawmakers want to get out of town. there are those competing pressures. they want to get this done before christmas and want to get home for christmas. so those are the two kind of dynamics and senator heitkamp and robert begins in 2012 we have december rushes which are never easy to deal with. this is something like that as we note this morning in punch bowl news. it is a very difficult mess of issues all kind of entangled together. >> heidi, we have vaccines that work and american business is back and it is booming. and the hard infrastructure bill passed. yet democratic voters are losing motivation going into the midterms. what does congress need to do? >> they need to get their work done. the bottom line is when the democrats are in charge, even by a very slim minority of votes, they've got to produce results. and so it is time to get this done. if this was -- this was completely predictable.
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when they set a december 3rd time line, i thought that is a dangerous precedent. to go to december 3rd. now you have to figure out if you could fund the government, if the government shutdown, there is only one party that will be blamed and the question is could mitch avoid a filibuster and let democrats vote for it which they're willing to do, so there is a lot of work to get done. there is always a way to get it done within the time frame if there is a will. and i remember working almost on christmas eve. so it can be done. just stay there, get it done, and you go home and take a victory lap. >> then put the government shutdown aside, congress did go through an enormous effort in order to get this hard infrastructure bill passed. now that it has, should they be focused on getting shovels in the ground and showing america what it could do? >> yeah. and the problem that they have,
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stephanie, is this should have been done sooner rather than later. they have the chance to take the momentum coming out of the senate which was bipartisan, pass it in the house and get it done, and they stalled it out waiting for the human infrastructure bill, now we're stuck in the same spot. and so the messaging on this has been nothing short of unmanagably horrible. but now it is never too late to get the messaging right and so get home, talk about what you've done. but get this other piece done and for god's sakes do not shut down the government. >> robert, why are the president's poll numbers dropping. where we stand with covid is huge, our economic recovery very good, look at the jobs numbers. >> it is great point, stephanie ruhle. and i don't think right now people are looking their economic health through a jobs report. i think they're seeing gas prices go up, i think they're
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seeing their turkey dinners on thanksgiving be more expensive, i think that is why you see the president today talking to retail executives and about supply chains and i also think you understand and see the rise of this new variant plus the delta variant that we're still dealing with. people want to -- wanted to feel a sense of normalcy going into this holiday season and i think there was optimism midyear that with vaccines that could be the case. unfortunately it hasn't materialized. i think while a lot of president's agenda is popular, i don't think the american people know much about it because as senator heitkamp talked about, the process has overwhelmed the specifics of the substance. that is a messaging challenge for the white house and democrats that they have to be focused on over the next few weeks and well into 2022 heading into the midterm elections. >> robert, you're our communications guru. a lot of the democrats want biden to be punching more
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attacking republicans amed of next year. do you think he should be? >> well, i think stephanie, at some point the white house will have to make a hard transition into making the midterm elections an the governing choices that he's making now a choice with what republicans are proposing and what he has proposed rather than a referendum on the biden presidency. joe biden used to tell barack obama all of the time in 2009 and 2010. it is the difference between compared to the almighty and the alternative. so those were words from vice president biden and i think you'll make that turn. obviously there is a lot of government business that has to get done in the next four, six, eight weeks, once you get into the state of union particularly, you're going to see a sharper, more contrasting president biden. >> we'll be watching. robert, heidi, jake and ali, thank you so much. we're going to leave it there. any minute now, market sets to open after having their worst day since last october.
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[ding] ugh...
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the marks are set to ep any minute now. it is comes after the dow plummeted 900 points on black friday. marking the worst day of the year so far after officials first warned about this new covid variant.
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cnbc dom chui is all over this and our friend josh brown, tom, what could we expect today in friday was a blood bath. >> so, stephanie, it depends on data, not just on the omicron front, the economic data front. for today what we're witnessing on the early going on wall street is that the relief rally, this recovery from the worst day like you said for the dow since october of last year, for those keeping track, we have to get back 905 points as stef pointed out. 353 points for the nasdaq. now if you look at the tickers below you, that is what you want to keep in mind. markets during the covid pandemic has been largely about two general categories of companies. those that benefit during economic slowdowns and during stay-at-home and work at home type restrictions and those that benefit as the economy grows and people start to get out, travel and leisure. so the same thing played out on friday and this morning. sell-off on friday focused on
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hotels and cruise line and oil and gas companies and those are bouncing back a bit today. meanwhile you have zoom video conferences, netflix and peloton, those are the ones that are relatively weaker today after being real outperformers on friday amidst the covid fears. so the other variable this is week will come in the form of some corporate earnings reports from salesforce and the detail data coming out for cyber monday and black friday and that big monthly jobs number on friday. that is always a market catalyst. >> and big retailers have been telling us they're having huge demand this season despite higher prices. dan, explain what is going on here. if this new covid variant, if the symptoms are less severe than we initially thought or heard about on friday, could this just be a momentary blip in the markets? >> yeah, no doubt about it, stef. you have to go back basically a year like dom just said where we had real volatility in the
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markets but that was before vaccine rollouts and also when we had uncertainty on the political agenda. if you look at 2021, any time there has been concern over new variants and covid, we haven't had much more than a 5% trough decline in the stock market. so i think you buy. and so on friday it did feel a bit panicky, especially given how little news we knew about this new variant here. that is been the playbook for 2021 when the market gets spooked by variant. >> josh, we are living with covid. new variants are going to come up part of our lives going forward and when you look at what happened on friday, is the market so overvalued any shock to the system is going to drop things. >> it is so funny to watch, the same people who like three days prior, stef, were panicking about inflation and high oil
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prices, all of a sudden covid decides to drop a new surprise christmas album at the end of the year and then oil prices tumble 13% and they're like, oh, no, i changed my mind. this is the thing i'm worried about. it is the same people. it is the same people. they have no business managing other people's money. they shouldn't even man amg their own. if you think about what went on on friday, we were plus 27% on the year in the s&p 500. going into that morning, we could lose 10% from the high and still finish 2021 with an above average stock market return for the year. people have to have context and i'm going to give you the delta example as something that is very possible to go on here. on july 12th, it became apparent that the delta variant was going to be a variant of concern, it took about six days for the s&p 500 to fall 3%. the ten-year treasury fell and then by august both were
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bottoming and rebounding. i'm not suggesting this will run its course for two weeks and than we'll stop talking about but that is a better playbook than selling everybody because i'm afraid that the new variant is more transmissible or higher hospitalization rates. we don't know anything yet. so i think the important thing is to stay calm. >> could this temporary bad news that spooks the market, dan, be a positive in the broader sense of the economy? we've talked about the overheated demand, gas prices and suddenly people might say, i'm not going to go out as much. i'm going to play it safer. could that temper the prices that keep going up? >> yeah, that is on the consumer side and then on the corporate side. i know that we've spent a lot of time talking about the bottlenecks in supply chain andin nation concerns, a lot of that have to do with factory closures or access to energy or other costs of energy and then obviously shipping. so put all of that stuff together, what a new variant
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does it offer a bit of uncertainty as a time where the u.s. federal reserve would like to come off of some of their accommodative crisis policies that they've put in place in the black hole of the pandemic back -- >> because we don't need them any more. >> that is right. that is the big concern. and those are the all of the things no matter if you're a money manager and deserve to manage josh's money or not, those are the things that nobody knows and those are the things that the market is going to play off. we have interest rates that are and a dollar that is urging and gas prices that are high. but we do have pockets in these markets of exuberance. the stock market was up 26%, 27%. that is at a very elevated valuation level. and we have crypto when everybody is excited by and if you own a house things are going bofrpgers out there. so there is a lot of levels of
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risk assets and based on what the fed might or might not do on a new variant. >> and dom, twitter ceo jack dorsey stepping down. what do you know? >> so here is what we know so far and the reports are spreading. this is according to sources familiar telling cnbc that twitter ceo jack dorsey could be stepping down and this comes at a time when twitter, which is an obviously a very popular social media platform, that the company itself and the stock itself has been underperforming. there has been questions in the past about whether or not jack dorsey who is by the way the ceo and one of the co-founders of twitter, he's also the ceo and founder of financial technology and payments company square, whether or not he he could effectively run two separate large-scale companies at the same time. twitter shares by the way are up about 5% to 7% right now in early trading on that bit of news because of that cnbc report. but whether or not this is going to jump start the economy, remains to be seen. but jack dorsey, a very visible
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figure, but if the story comes to fruition, could be spending time on the payment side of things with square and financial technology than perhaps with social media. >> well we'll be watching. dom, dan, josh, always good to see you three. thanks for joining. up next, a challenge facing a growing group of younger americans, becoming the primary caregiver for other ones but could the infrastructure bill provide much-needed help. we'll talk about what it could mean for some families ahead.
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across the usa, a growing number of young americans are becoming the primary caregivers for loved ones a. cording to a 2020 report for national alliance for caregivers and aarp, they have provided care to an adult who is 50 years old or older. here is a look at how the
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families are taking on this new challenge. >> look at the pumpkins. >> kasie smith was a 27-year-old graduate student when her mother had a stroke. >> i was not prepared for it at all. >> she put off her dreams of moving to europe and teaching english and instead taking home in rochester, new york. >> taking care ever my mom became the most important thing. >> her mom needs 24-hour care. after sheibbin talled a wheelchair ramp and a walk in shower, her mother moved in with her. >> sometimes i felt lonely and it was hard to relate to any friends. >> but she's not alone. across the country one in five americans are caregivers and there is increasing awareness. many are like kasie in their 20s and 30s. >> i'm katie and i'm 29 years old. >> and i'm erica steiner. >> my name is angie and i'm a caregiver to my mom who has
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dementia. >> becoming a caregiver at a younger age could have long-term effects. >> it takes finances, it takes time, it takes energy. >> and can impact their personal and professional lives. >> i can't help but think that it set me back in some ways, especially in my career. >> compared to caregivers who are older, they're less likely to have paid sick days and family leave and theable to work from home. yet despite the challenges. >> being a caregiver has brought me purpose. >> many young caregivers say the experience has given them direction. bianca started carrying for her grandmother when she was 22 years old. >> what did that do to you? >> i became an infrastructure. because it was this huge desire to help the community of caregivers because i was one of them. >> she started care well, a website that selled health care products but also provided resources and information. >> what is your advice for new caregivers. >> the first thing i would say is you don't have to do it alone. >> that means asking for help from other family members and doctors and nurses.
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other advice, safe proof your home, install bed rails and shower bars, preparing for the unexpected. >> why is it hard? >> because you take care of me. who is an adult. >> joining us now, sea grace whiting, the ceo of the national alliance for care giving. grace, the build back better bill includes $150 billion to boost elder care through medicaid but that still has to get passed in the senate. there is a good chance it doesn't happen. what do you think caregivers need most from this plan? >> well, one of the things that is most encouraging in the plan is new funding for respite infrastructure and that just allows people to take a break and help support the life span respite coalitions that are across the united states, the other thing i would say is paid family medical leave. it is been in the national conversation and it needs to happen. and it is something that would benefit elder caregivers and people who take care of people with disabilities in addition to
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parents. >> what is your best piece of advice for those who might be struggling to navigate the bureaucracy, to get health care, those who are dealing with it right now, because we don't have build back better. we might not. >> there is actually a program at the administration for community living, which is for family caregivers. it is a national family caregiver support program, so folks could go to eldercarelocator.gov and i think for younger people on facebook and where you might connect with people with the same experience could be very helpful as well. >> find a community. it is out there. grace, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for everything that you do. really important work. coming up next, over 2 million people hit the roads and the skies this holiday. and i'm absolutely sure somebody at your dinner table brought up
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officially over and thanksgiving travelers set a pandemic record with more than 2.3 million people in the air but it wasn't just air travel, millions more were driving and that meant paying gas prices that are up more than 60% in the last year. just last week, the white house said it would release millions of release millions of gallons from the strategic oil reserve over the next few months in an attempt to bring down those gas prices. the release will be coordinated with other countries, like china and india. but for fact's sake, how do we get to this point? prices are up because demand is up. with the pandemic easing, americans drove roughly 20 billion more miles this september than the year before. but while demand is up, supply is down. that's because when the pandemic hit and people stopped going out, demand for gas plummeted. some oil companies went bankrupt. overall oil production fell nearly 25% in just two months. it comes back somewhat, but not all the way. hurricane ida didn't help the situation either when it slammed
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into the gulf in late august. some of those oil platforms are just starting to get back online. despite all of that, there are still voices on the right saying that this is all president biden's fault. why? well, for one thing, they say that he banned natural -- excuse me, he banned natural gas and oil drilling on federal land. but here's the thing, that didn't actually happen. the fact is, president biden tried to impose ban when he first got into office, but a judge blocked it. it's not true. since then, the biden administration has approved thousands of drilling permits. they started auctioning off millions of acres in the gulf for drilling just last week alone. others argue that biden deserves blame because he canceled the keystone pipeline. but the fact is, the pipeline was never actually built, and even if it had been built, it would have impacted oil prices for years to come, not now. one last possibility, oil and gas companies could have been gouging customers, jacking up prices while their costs went down. president biden is actually
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asking the ftc to look into that, but so far, there is no proof. but here's the real kicker. gas prices already started going back down, falling for the second straight week. and on friday, oil dropped 13%, marking its worst day this year. investors are worried about the omnicron variant and whether these new lockdowns could come and cause less driving. we'll be keeping an eye on this and bringing you more of the facts as we get them. and for every reporter out there who was standing at a gas station over the last month, talking about rising gas prices and what it's doing to americans, i certainly hope those same reporters, those same storytellers will be covering those prices as they're going back down. up next, any minute now, jury selection will finish and opening statements in the trial of longtime jeffrey epstein associate and confidant, ghislaine maxwell. we're going to be live outside the courtroom with what we can expect today. utside the courtroom with what we can expect today ♪ my songs know what you did in the dark ♪
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sex trafficking conspiracy. joining me now to discuss, nbc news investigations correspondent, tom winter. tom, first of all, set the scene outside the courtroom. i am guessing there is a long line of people looking to get in. what can we expect today? >> that's exactly right. they're actually right over my shoulder here, stephanie. a number of people have been lined up. the line started about 6:30 this morning here. a number of people are already inside the courthouse. a couple of people who aren't inside the courthouse are a couple of prospctive jurors. they're still in the process of picking this jury. and according to the judge, two of the members of the jury pool did not respond to their phone calls. another one said that they forgot that they had to show up today for jury selection. so we're a little bit delayed, but we should expect both sides to use their peremptory strikes shortly. they'll whittle down the number in the jury pool down to the final jury here. they'll select the alternates, and i suspect that we'll get opening statements within the
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hour, i think, stephanie, is probably pretty reasonable. certainly before lunchtime. each side expected to take about a half hour to 40 minutes to present their case or to present their defense. and then we'll get to witnesses. could be an interesting late morning or early afternoon of testimony here. >> hold on a second here. the person who didn't show up today because they forgot, did they know that they were potentially going to be on the jury for ghislaine maxwell? or they thought it was just a random day of jury duty? because those are two very different "i forgots." >> reporter: oh, absolutely. they absolutely knew that they had the potential to be picked for this specific trial, for the ghislaine maxwell trial. so, yeah, i think it's a little bit suspicious, the judge herself was a little bit incredulous that somebody might have just forgotten to show up today. but, yeah, it should not really overall impact things. there were at least 40 members in the jury pool, stephanie, that were able to be picked. so i don't think this is going
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to complicate anything as far as this getting underway today. >> that is next level, though. we've covered some very high-profile trials in the last few weeks. kyle rittenhouse took the stand in his own defense. we saw travis mcmichael take the stand in his defense, in the trial for ahmaud arbery's death. what is the likelihood we are going to see and hear from ghislaine maxwell? i'm interested. >> i think it's, obviously, a huge question that's hanging over this trial, steph. and the defense has said they expect their side of the case to go on for about two weeks, prosecutors about four weeks, bringing this verdict ahead into 2022. as far as maxwell and what she might say if she were called to the stand, i think the bigger risk is cross-examination. so in those other cases, when you look at them, it was really up to developing kind of the state of mind for the defendants that you mentioned. what were they thinking at the time that they did the things that they were charged with? i think here, it's a real risk for the defense to have
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ghislaine maxwell on the stand, when you give the totality of the evidence that might be, that might be presented here, to put her on, and essentially challenge her with all the things that the prosecution will present over the next four weeks and the type of witnesses that they'll present over the next four weeks. it's fraught with issues. and so, we'll just have to watch and wait and see what happens, steph. >> and we will be watching. tom winter, thank you. that wraps up this very busy hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. thanks for watching. jose diaz-balart picks up the breaking news coverage right now. and good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. president biden is set to speak to the nation next hour about the omnicron variant, as questions remain about the seriousness of the threat, hours after the u.s. began restricting travel from eight countries in southern africa, where it was first detected. stock markets are open, up slightly after friday's huge losses. over on capitol hill, congress

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