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tv   Katy Tur Reports  MSNBC  December 16, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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a year. with delta already putting a strain on hospitals just days from winter, the speed of omicron is fueling a rapid explosion in covid once again. in the uk, cases are at record levels for the entire pandemic. now doubling every two days or even less. the cdc says omicron accounts for about 3% of cases here nationwide but about 13% in parts of the northeast. but researchers from harvard say an omicron surge is already under way across the united states, outrunning our ability to even track it. early indications are omicron causes milder cases than delta does. but it is better at evading vaccines. new york's governor warned residents today to brace for the day fast approaching when fully vaccinated means boosted as well. to that end, dr. fauci says there is no need for a new separate vaccine for omicron, if
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you are vaccinated, especially if you're boosted, you are still incredibly protected from being hospitalized or dying from covid. there is no need for lockdowns, he says, yet cornell university in upstate new york has shut down its campus amid a spike in cases even though 97% of students there are vaccinated. and we're at a point that many parents are just as concerned if not more concerned about what this ongoing saga is doing to their kids' mental health. my colleague stephanie ruhle spoke with a group of kids in new jersey. >> so now that you are back in school, what happens when someone in your class gets covid. >> most of my classmates have gone on quarantine cause like lots of my classmates go to dance, soccer. so like, as soon as one person in their class out of school has covid, they quarantine. >> so in school we do like
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random testing. so they'll pick someone ran come randomly and you'll go get tested and get your results back. so if it comes back positive, the whole class has to go on, like, remote. >> that is so hard to listen to, you can hear the fatigue in their voices, which begs the question, as we approach christmas gatherings, it is december 2021, not december 2020. should we be measuring the threat differently than we did a year ago in terms of hospitalizations, not cases, since covid is going to be with us for such a long time? that's what a lot of parents are asking right now, given the need for kids to be in classrooms from kindergarten to college. dr. erwin redlener is a pediatrician and the founding director of columbia
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university's national center for disaster preparedness. matt, what is going on there in the uk, how fast are cases spreading? >> reporter: 90,000 cases just reported today, that's a new record, the old record was set yesterday. we're talking about a huge increase, every day we're seeing more and more. i'm glad you mentioned that fact about how we should be looking at this differently. scientists here are starting to examine this differently. we're seeing this unprecedented surge in cases. when i say that, i mean, this record that was set, it wasn't a record for omicron, it wasn't a record for just this year. it is the entire pandemic. this is the most cases reported in any single day since the
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beginning. but the deaths have remained more or less constant, more or less flat. hospitalizations are only just starting to tick up despite that cases have been rising for days and weeks. again, it's what a lot of epidemiologists are calling a decoupling between the cases, the hospitalizations, and the deaths. but the british government is hoping that that decoupling will continue, because if it doesn't, it will very much overwhelm the national health service here. that's what policymakers are worried about. it doesn't look like it will be doing that within the next couple of weeks but with hospitalizations increasing we could see that happening in january. and then that would make a lot of pressure on this government to start reintroducing lockdown measures that they've essentially sworn they won't be doing. we just heard from boris johnson today that he will not be cancelling christmas, he doesn't want to be the prime minister who ruins christmas two years in
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a row. he's reluctant and he's getting a lot of resistance from his tory party. they're putting all their eggs in this booster basket, basically relying on the booster program to do all the work to staunch the spread of the omicron variant. >> the science says the booster is what stops you from getting really sick from this. dr. redlener, colorado's governor has said, if you're not vaccinated, if you're not boosted and you get very sick, it is your own fault, that they can't keep going around making rules based on a small population who refuses to help themselves. do we need to start looking at this differently in terms of hospitalizations, in terms of deaths, rather than just the overflow of cases that we will experience as omicron spreads across this country? >> well, katy, i appreciate what the governor is saying on a
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certain level. yes, it's their fault if they get sick and have not been vaccinated. the problem is, whoever's fault it is, it's going to affect a lot of other people, because if you're unvaccinated and you get sick, you actually can transmit that illness to other people, people at high risk, older people and so on. we have a lot to worry about here. i really believe that we should be trying to enforce a lot more mandates, like for example if there was a rule that you cannot get on an airplane or a train without showing proof of vaccination, not just a test, i think that would encourage a lot of the resistors and hesitants to go ahead and get vaccinated. the weird thing, katy, we're looking at a divided america. we have an america that's vaccinated and an america that's not vaccinated. and the discrepancy between those two americas is getting wider. i anticipate we're going to have a very, very rough january and
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february, after the christmas holidays, and people gathering together, more indoor time, the raging flu, as well as the delta, which is not going anywhere anytime soon. and now the omicron. we've got a lot to worry about. but i think the people that don't have much to worry about are the people who have been taking this seriously since the beginning, they've been getting their shots, they got their boosters, and hopefully more people will enter that segment of the population that's doing what needs to be done. >> you can almost feel it in new york city, it feels like early on in the pandemic, restaurants shutting down, broadway plays closing, nyu going to online finals. it feels like there's a heaviness of coming over this city once again. tell me, what is new york doing to try and stop the spread and what's the reaction of folks around here, rehema?
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>> forgive the word, if you will, katy, but new york city is trying to boost the safety protocols to protect people around this covid disease that we have now. one of the things that the mayor said just a short while ago is that the data that they're monitoring, it's showing an alarming trend. he's pointed out that the percentage of people in new york city testing positive for covid-19 doubled in three days this week. as a result of it, the mayor said they're going to be giving out 500,000 free rapid tests to people in the city, as well as giving out a million masks. in addition to that, they're going to be opening even more free testing sites. and they're going to give people some online testing kits to take home if they are reluctant about standing in a long line. the mayor said that it's important that they do everything that they possibly can to arrest the development of
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the spread of covid that they're seeing now. one of the new york city health officials said they have never seen it like this. maybe it's perhaps that the truth is, new york early on was the epicenter of this covid-19 virus. we didn't know what to expect. so it was hard to know how to identify it. but now, health officials are saying, they didn't even see then what they're seeing now and it's causing them a lot of concern and causing them to take measures that they hope will arrest the continued spread of the virus. >> great to hand out 500,000 tests, great to hand out a million masks. there are nearly 9 million people in the city and 500,000 tests, that's a drop in the bucket if you need to test people continuously to make sure they're not spreading this virus. so it's great that they're trying something, it doesn't feel like it's enough. dr. redlener, coming on that point from rehema, i wonder, is there a way to live with this at
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this point, considering -- i'm sorry, i have to put a pause on this right now because president biden is at the white house. he's having a ceremony for medal of honor recipients and it's just begun. i'm sorry, everybody, please stick with us. let us listen to president biden. >> -- overflowing with gratitude today as we honor the unparalleled courage and commitment to duty and the indispensable, indisputable gallantry. it's just hard to explain where your soldiers got the courage they got. the late sergeant first class alwyn cashe, late sergeant first class christopher celiz, master sergeant earl plumlee. our nation's newest recipients
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of the medal of honor. i want to thank all our distinguished guests today, chairman of the joint chiefs, the secretary of the -- secretary austin, the enlisted adviser, chairman carmen lopez, leaders of the united states army, the vice president of the united states and the second gentleman, and i'm jill's husband, jill is here. as we add these three names to our nation's roll of honor, i want to recognize matthew williams, stand up. [ applause ] thomas payne. netter beyers. each of you know what it means
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to stare down danger. we're grateful for all you three have done and so many more. the family of first class sergeant alwyn cashe, this has been 16 years and coming. representative murphy, representative walz, thank you for your continued efforts. sergeant cashe's commander, commander in arms, medical team, and family, who worked with dedication over so many years to make this recognition possible. october 17th, 2005, sergeant cashe was commanding a bradley fighting vehicle on night patrol in iraq. they came under enemy fire. an improvised explosive device detonated, igniting the vehicle's fuel and engulfing it
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in flames. the sergeant turned back to the vehicle without hesitation. in the process, sergeant first class cashe's uniform was drenched in fuel and caught fire, causing severe burns. the patrol was still taking enemy fire but cashe thought only of his fellow soldiers trapped in the troop compartment. he pushed his own pain aside and returned to the burning vehicle and pulled four soldiers free, four more. at this point, with the second and third degree burns covering almost 75% of his body, his uniform mostly burned away, the sergeant saw there were still two soldiers and their interpreter unaccounted for. so he went back into the inferno for a third time and got everyone out of that inferno. that was his code. his love for his third infantry division ran deep. no soldier was going to be left behind on his watch.
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when helicopters began to arrive, he insisted that his troops be evacuated before he would go. later, at brooke army medical center in texas where he and the members of his team were taken for treatment, when he regained his ability to speak, he asked, first thing, "how are my boys?" alwyn cashe was a soldier's soldier. a warrior who literally walked through fire for his troops. the sergeant succumbed to his injuries on november 8th, 2005, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him. he was a hero. he was a beloved son and brother. a proud husband and a father of three children. sergeant cashe and his family gave everything for our country. in devotion to his memory, they
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made sure his courage and selflessness was documented and honored, a testament to the love he inspired and the legacy he left behind. sergeant first class cashe is now the seventh individual to receive a medal of honor for his actions in operation remain freedom and the first african american to receive it since the vietnam war. tamara, alexis, casanow, i'm so honored to award your husband, your dad, brother, the recognition that he earned. i know it's tough. as honored as you are, it's got to be tough to be here today. he'll be remembered, he'll be remembered forever. sergeant first class christopher celiz was an army ranger through and through, with 175.
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the rangers lead the way. on july 12th, 2018, nearing the end of a fifth deployment, a fifth deployment, sergeant celiz was leading an operation in the patika province of afghanistan, not a very friendly place, to clear the area of enemy forces. attacked and pinned down by a large force, the sergeant exposed himself to enemy fire in order to retrieve a heavy weapons system that allowed his team to fight back and reach a secure location. during the firefight, a member of his team was critically wounded. as they called for medical evacuation and the rescue helicopter arrived and began taking fire as well, the sergeant knew time was critical to get his wounded teammate loaded and treated. he once again, knowingly and willingly, stepped into the enemy's crosshairs. sergeant celiz used his body as
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a shield for the aircraft and his crew against the heavy incoming fire. the helicopter began to take off and he put himself directly between the cockpit and the enemy, ensuring the aircraft could depart and sustaining what would prove to be a mortal wound. he knew he was hit. but he waved for the aircrew to depart without him. in the face of extreme danger, he placed the safety of his team and his crew above his own. i can offer no better encapsulation than the words of the u.s. army ambulance pilot in command that day. he said, quote, courage to me is putting your life on the line to save the life of another, as demonstrated by sergeant first class chris celiz who died protecting my crew, end of quote. christopher celiz was courage
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made flesh. today, we add his name to the lead vanguard of american warriors who generation after generation have strengthened and inspired our nation with their unwavering bravery and service. his legacy lives on. in the lives he saved, the teammates he mentored, and the memories he made with his beloved wife katie, and especially their precious daughter shannon. thank you for sharing your dad with our country, shannon. we'll never forget the debt that we owe you and your whole family. august 28th, 2013, then staff sergeant earl plumlee was snapping a quick photo with members of his unit at forward operation base ghazni in
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afghanistan. insurgent detonated a car bomb that through over a 65-yard breach in a perimeter wall. staff sergeant plumlee, members of his special operations team, immediately hopped in the nearby truck and raced toward the blast to defend the base. when they arrived, they encountered insurgents coming through the wall, all wearing explosive vests. our troops starting taking rocket fire, rifle fire, small arms fire. while the driver of their truck maneuvered into the line of enemy fire to shield injured members of their team outside the vehicle, the staff sergeant exited the vehicle and used his own body to shield the driver. he left whatever cover the truck provided him and began to engage the invaders. outnumbered, with no regard for his own safety, at times armed with only a pistol, staff sergeant plumlee attacked the insurgent forces taking him on one by one. and time and again, bullets flew
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by, sometimes only inches away. and time and again, staff sergeant plumlee closed with the enemy. at multiple occasions during the flight the insurgents detonated their vests white in front of plumlee, at one point hurling him into a wall and injuring his back. plumlee immediately ran to a wounded soldier's position and carried him to safety before returning to the fight. ultimately staff sergeant plumlee was able to organize three polish soldiers to mount an effective defense of the base, clear the area and regain the security posture. his heroic actions in the battlefield gained the recognition of some of our highest military commanders, including a man who knows a little bit about battle, chairman milley and general mcconville who are here today to
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honor him as well. they saw the extraordinary bravery and they understood the worst outcome he prevented from taking place. they understood what would have happened had he not done what he did. now master sergeant plumlee's recognition has been too long in coming, delayed for you and your family as well. no one, no one will ever forget how you sprang into action when the enemy attacked our base. i'm grateful for your continued service to the country. that goes to your wife terry and children as well. because it's not just the person who wears the uniform who serves. it's the whole family who serves. the sleepless nights, the missed holidays, the empty chairs, the celebrations. the way you give back to your community. the english poet john milton once wrote, they also serve who
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only stand and wait. they also serve who only stand and wait. today we honor three outstanding soldiers whose actions embody the highest ideals of selfless service. we also remember the high price our military members and their families are willing to pay on behalf of our nation. remember the strength and sacrifices of these military members, families, and survivors. we remember the obligation to those who serve this nation. as a nation we have many obligations to our children, elders, those in need. we have only one truly sacred obligation, sacred obligation. that's to properly prepare and equip those troops we send into harm's way, care for them and their families, both while they're deployed and when they return. that commitment never expires.
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as commander in chief, i promise it's a commitment that we will keep. god bless you all. may god protect the troops who are out there right now. now it's my great honor to ask for the citations to be read and award the medal of honor to sergeant first class alwyn cashe, sergeant first class christopher celiz, and master sergeant earl plumlee. >> will the cashe family please join the president onstage. attention to orders. the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3rd,
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1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to sergeant first class alwyn c. cashe, united states army, for conspicuous gallantry at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. sergeant cashe distinguished himself by acts of gallantry while serving as platoon sergeant with company a, third infantry division in iraq on october 17th, 2005. while on a nighttime patrol, the bradley fighting vehicle which sergeant first class cashe was commanding was attacked by enemy fire and an improvised explosive device disabled the vehicle and engulfed it from flames. after extracting himself from the vehicle, sergeant first class cashe extracted the driver who was trapped in the vehicle. sergeant first class cashe and a fellow soldier extracted the driver. in the course of extinguishing
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flames on the driver and extracting him from the vehicle, fuel soaked his uniform, igniting and causing severe burns to his body. ignoring his painful wounds, sergeant first class cashe moved to the rear of the vehicle to aid his fellow soldiers tapped in the troop compartment. when another element of the company engaged the enemy, sergeant first class cashe seized the opportunity and moved to the open troop door and aided four soldiers in extracting from the vehicle. he noticed two other soldiers had not been accounted for and again, he entered the building to retrieve them. at this point reinforcements arrived to further suppress the enemy. despite the severe second and third degree burns covering the majority of his body, sergeant first class cashe persevered through the pain to encourage his fellow soldiers and ensure they received needed medical care. when medical evacuation
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helicopters began to arrive, sergeant first class cashe selflessly refused evacuation until the other wounded soldiers were evacuated first, in keeping with the highest traditions of the military, service, and reflecting credit upon himself, his unit and the united states army. signed, joseph r. biden, the president of the united states. >> will the celiz family please accompany the president.
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attention to orders. the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3rd, 1863, has posthumously awarded the medal of honor to sergeant first class christopher a. celiz, united states army, for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. sergeant first class christopher a. celiz distinguished himself while engaged with the enemy in afghanistan on july 12th, 2018. as the leader of a special purpose unit comprised of partner forces and members of the first battalion, sergeant first class celiz led an operation to clear the area of enemy forces. shortly after his team reached their final objectives, a large enemy force attacked, placed effective fire on him and his team, preventing them from maneuvering a counterattack. realizing the danger the attack
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posed to his team and the operation, sergeant first class celiz voluntarily exposed himself to intense enemy machine gun and small arms fire, thereby allowing u.s. and partner forces to regain the initiative and begin treatment of a critically wounded partner force member. as a medical evacuation helicopter arrived it was immediately engaged by accurate and sustained enemy fire. knowing how critical it was to quickly load, sergeant first class celiz willingly exposed himself to enemy fire to direct and lead the evacuation. as he moved into intense enemy fire, sergeant first class celiz ensured his body acted as a shield. as the casualty was loaded and sergeant first class celiz returned to cover, he alone remained at the aircraft, returning a high volume of fire and constantly repositioning himself to act as a physical shield to the aircraft and its
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crew. with this final reposition, sergeant first class celiz placed himself directly between the cockpit and the enemy, ensuring the aircraft was able to depart. sergeant first class celiz was hit by enemy fire. fully aware of his own injury but understanding the peril to the aircraft, sergeant first class celiz motioned to the aircraft to depart rather than remain behind to load him. his selfless actions saved the life of the evacuated partner force member and almost certainly prevented further casualties. throughout the entire engagement, sergeant first class celiz significantly changed the course of battle by repeatedly placing himself in extreme danger to protect his team, defeat the enemy, and ultimately cost him his life. sergeant first class celiz's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty reflect great credit upon himself, his unit,
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and the united states army. signed, joseph r. biden, the president of the united states. master plumlee, will you please accompany the president. attention to orders. the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3rd, 1863, has posthumously awarded in the name of congress the honor to staff sergeant earl d. plumlee, united states army, for
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conspicuous bravery. staff sergeant earl plumlee distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty in 2013 while serves as a weapons sergeant, c company, fourth battalion, first special forces group airborne, in support of operation enduring freedom. sergeant plumlee responded in an attack that began with an explosion that tore a breach in the base's wall. insurgents wearing suicide vests poured through the breach. sergeant plumlee and others raced to the breach. he used his body to shield the driver and engaged enemy insurgents with his pistol. without cover and with complete disregard for his own safety, he
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advanced on the army, engaging with multiple insurgents with only his own pistol. he killed two insurgents, one with a grenade and one by igniting a suicide vest. one suicide vest exploded a mere 7 meters from his position. sergeant plumlee with another soldier mounted another counterattack. under fierce enemy fire he moved from cover to attack the enemy forces, advancing to seven meters of an insurgent who deployed his suicide vest. sergeant plumlee quickly regained his faculties and again engaged the enemy soldiers.
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sergeant plumlee moved with polish partners to attack the insurgents. he swung around and engaged another insurgent who charged the group from the rear. the insurgent detonated his suicide vest, mortally wounding a u.s. soldier. sergeant plumlee, again, with complete disregard for his own safety, ran to the wounded soldier, carried him to safety, and rendered first aid. he then methodically cleared the area, remained in a security posture and continued to scan for any remaining threats. staff sergeant earl d. plumlee's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the special forces regiment, and the united states army. signed, joseph r. biden, the president of the united states.
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[ applause ]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please join me as we conclude this ceremony in prayer. most holy god, as we leave this ceremony, inspire us and lead to us greater acts of service. me way have the -- >> president biden performing one of the most solemn duties of a president, bestowing a medal of honor today to three men, sergeant first class alwyn cashe, sergeant first class christopher celiz, and master sergeant earl plumlee. a really emotional ceremony, especially given that two of them were honored posthumously with only their families in
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attendance. let's move on now. new york city's mayor-elect has tapped the next commissioner of the nypd. commissioner sewell will be only the third black person to lead the nation's largest police force. joining me is incoming police commissioner, chief keechant sewell. thank you for joining us and congratulations on this very big and important job. >> thank you so much for having me. it's a pleasure to be here. >> you're coming in at a precarious time. the city is dealing with all sorts of stuff, given covid. it's also quite a rise in crime, quite a rise in violent crime. how do you plan on addressing that? >> there are quite a few challenges ahead. i plan on addressing them head on. we need to do some assessments to see what's going on in the city now. i met with some leaders from the nypd yesterday. and we're all pretty
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enthusiastic on getting started. >> when you say head on, can you elaborate a little? >> sure. i think when we're talking about gang violence, we have to address what we've done in the past. i've had the opportunity to have some significant success in nassau county. i had the opportunity to head the major case bureau where we did gang investigations, title 3, wiretaps, things that the city is already doing but we may be able to use some of our techniques to enhance the investigations here. the nypd does a phenomenal job with gun suppression but it's obviously getting worse here and across the country. i want to take a look at what they're doing, see what we can do to enhance it and start on day one. >> incoming mayor eric adams has talked about stop and frisk, which has a really negative history in this city given the sheer number of black and latino men who were stopped and frisked and had nothing -- had done nothing wrong. but he has said doing it -- and
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i'm paraphrasing here -- intelligently, doing it wisely, is the way to go. how exactly do you employ stop and frisk but do it in a way that doesn't impede on the rights of innocent civilians who happen to be walking down the street? >> you have to do it based on information. you have to make sure you have the right police officers with the right information and the proper training, combined with the information and the enhancements of the community to make sure we have that balance and do these without effectively violating anyone's rights. we have to make sure we have the people who can do the job well performing these tasks. >> there's a lot of distrust between members of the community, some members of the community here in new york, and police officers. if you're going to start to use that tactic again, even if you're going to say we're going to do it more intelligently, we'll have the right police officers, how do you build the trust between the police officer and the community so they don't feel like they're being targeted all over again?
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>> i would like to have the community be actually part of the training, to have them come in and speak with the police officers, not necessarily to go over the tactics they're going to use, but how we can best serve them and what they see that we are doing that affects them negatively. i would like to bring them into the process and build the system up with them as partners, really. >> do you plan on, i guess, redoing the training system? how do you plan on finding people who are right for the job, people who have the right temperament for the job? it's really hard, it's high pressure. how do you find that in a city like this with the size of a police force that you need? >> there's going to be a rigorous process to determine who gets to be involved in this unit. we'll rely on commanders and supervisors to be able to come to us with recommendations. and then they'll be heavily vetted to make sure they have the right temperament, that they have the credentials to be part of the training program to be in
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one of these anticrime units. >> incoming mayor adams says he chose new the interview process because you did something nobody else did. there was a mock press conference for a situation where a white officer kills an unarmed black man. it was a mock situation. and the candidates for this job were to get up and explain what happened. and he said that you were the only one who got up and first said that your condolences are with the family, that you were thinking of the family. in what way are you going to be a different sort of police commissioner for this city? >> i want to be clear that no matter what the situation is, whether it's a tragic shooting, as outlined in the press conference, or one where the person is clearly doing the wrong thing, in possession of a weapon or harms an officer or harms a civilian, any loss of life is a tragedy. and acknowledging that is not an issue. and i think when we talk about the emotional intelligence that the mayor was describing, you
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have to be able to separate the fact that we may be in a position where we are justified in our use of force, but i don't believe any police officer takes the use of force lightly. and i don't believe that we have to say that a person -- we don't have to show compassion or emotion when that life is taken. every single loss of life is a tragedy for someone. and i think acknowledging that and using that emotional intelligence to identify that is important. >> incoming police commissioner keechant sewell, thank you so much for joining us today and for sticking around. we hope to have you back again sometime soon, and good luck. >> thank you very much. coming up next, my colleague gabe gutierrez took a helicopter tour over parts of kentucky, devastated by last week's tornadoes as that same area is facing even more storms. it's the most joyous time of the year. especially at t-mobile! let's go to dianne. i got the awesome new iphone 13 pro and airpods, and t-mobile is paying for them both! and this is for new and existing customers.
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we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. turning to kentucky, where the governor announced this afternoon that the number of people unaccounted for has dropped from 100 to 16. but the state is still bracing for more storms in those same areas that were devastated by the tornadoes, complicating cleanup efforts and causing even
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more stress among survivors. nbc's gabe gutierrez went up in a black hawk helicopter with the national guard as it assessed the damage in mayfield. >> reporter: we're here with the national guard for a tour of the devastation over mayfield. the destruction is extensive. we've been seeing these pictures for several days on the ground but it is entirely different when seen from the air. the most devastating twister that tore through kentucky could potentially be the longest tracked tornado in american history. the national weather service is still assessing the damage. the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide and was on the ground for two hours. you can see the damage is extensive. kentucky's governor says more than 100 people are still unaccounted for in this state.
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the death toll is at least 74. it could be months before we see the full scope of the devastation here. the national guard is on the ground, some 700 members right now, doing wellness checks, helping to distribute supplies and helping local authorities. we have heard a few reports of looting so far. one of the major concerns over the coming days is heavy winds and rain from another impending storm. we're over downtown right now. it's hard to imagine how this town can be rebuilt. local officials are determined. this recovery will begin likely this year. >> our thanks to gabe, who fought through the noise from
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"build back better" before the end of the year will come and go as negotiations with west virginia senator joe manchin flounder. now democratic leadership is instead pushing a new plan to change the senate rules on the filibuster in order to pass the stalled voting rights bill before the year is up. there is resistance. this time from arizona senator kyrsten sinema, without her there is no path forward. joining me is michael bennett of colorado. all right. so it sounds like you're up against a wall here, sir. how do you change any rules in the filibuster, even in small ways, when kyrsten sinema is saying no way? >> she's going to make it very difficult. you know, i think that we should put this on the floor and have a vote and let's have people stand up and be counted. this place doesn't work -- it can't compete with dictatorships around the country, and we ought to make it work. we can fix the rules to do that, and while we're doing that we ought to protect the right of
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millions of people across this country to vote because it's being taken away, being suppressed all over the country. >> what do you mean the dictatorships around the country? >> i'm not saying dictatorships around the country, dictatorships around the world is what i meant. sorry. but we're seeing voter suppression all over the country. >> so given that -- listen, there's a lot happening in 2024, there are a lot of people being put in place. there was an article in "the atlantic" about what could happen with the electors and states choose their own electors and not hold up the will of the people. but it seems like the only people that are pushing voting rights and changing the rules on the federal side are the democrats. and without a 60-vote threshold or with that 60-vote threshold, what are you going to do? >> i mean, it's absolutely true. look, we need to get to 51-vote threshold in the senate, and i think can we can do it in a way
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that works for everybody. we ought to make sure that the minority in the senate has the right to debate by actually having a real filibuster on the floor. not sit flooding your office with your remote control, but out on the floor, having a debate in front of the american people. that's the way it was supposed to work. and also, the chance to offer amendments which people in the house don't get to do to effect legislation and have further debate in front of the american people. but then at the end of the day, 51 people need to be able to decide. one of the things i think that's really wrong in the country now is nobody understands how any of these rules actually work. and therefore, they don't know whom to hold accountable here for not delivering things to them. >> what about -- what about the child tax credit? we're talking about voting rights, but child tax credit is integral for so many people around the country. it's integral for so many children around the country, to lift them out of poverty. that's expired. the last check went out. "build back better" is on the back burner until maybe -- maybe the spring. lindsey graham says it's dead.
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what do you say to the people out there who need that money? the kids who need that money? >> we have to find a way to bridge this, katy. we've got to find a way to bridge it. you and i had a conversation not long ago during my not very well noticed campaign for president when i was running on the child tax credit. one of the things you said was it just seems like we can never do big things. this is a big thing. we cut childhood poverty in this country almost in half. we cut hunger in this country in a quarter. you would think the least we could do is figure out how to extend that until politicians can figure out how to reach a deal. i have seen this place in chaos at the end of the year when tax cuts for rich people were expiring and nobody had any trouble figuring out how to extend those tax cuts into january and into february. the least we could do for the 61 million kids across america who are getting the benefit of this tax cut is -- is to extend it. and we should find a way to do
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that. by the way, we finally did a big thing, katy tur. >> you did. and there are a lot of people who hope that big thing continues into the new year. a lot of people hope it's permanent. quick question -- not a quick answer, so my producers are going to scream, hopefully you can do it quickly. do you still have faith in the system? >> you got to. look, even if you don't have faith in the system -- even if you lost faith in the system, that needs to be -- needs to force you to work harder to change it. you know, congressman lewis sacrificed his skull on the edmund pettus bridge to the billy clubs for the sake of the democracy. and you know, i think you just had a daughter. i have three daughters. women fought so they could get the right to vote. the self-evident right to vote for more than 100 years. so we are not entitled to lose faith in this. the system is corrupt. the system doesn't work. the system's not competitive with the totalitarian societies around the world right now. and we have to make it so.
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we also have to create an economy here that when it grows, grows for everybody, not just the top 10%. if that's what we're going to continue to do economically, we're. going to save the democracy either. two things -- protect the right to vote, get an economy that when it grows grows for everybody, and we'll be just fine. >> senator michael bennett. it is always great to have you. i'm so happy to see you. come back again soon. we'll try to do this when we're not up against a wall. >> don't lose faith. don't lose faith. >> thank you very much. that's going to do it for me today. garrett haake picks up our coverage next. picks up our coverage next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event.
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right now on msnbc, the covid omicron variant in focus as president biden and vice president harris are set to meet with the covid response team. they'll be getting an update on the more contagious variant as the cdc warns of a massive spike in new covid cases by christmas, up to a 55% increase


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