tv The 11th Hour MSNBC December 29, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
enriched his family" thank you once again for coming to "the last word. that is tonight's "last word." i'm jonathan capehart. i'll see you tomorrow night. "the 11th hour" starts right now. good evening once again i'm chris jansing. day 344 of the biden administration. tonight the breaking news on covid is a story told in numbers that are increasing and increasingly worrisome. tonight the "new york times" reports the u.s. has shattered its single day case record, almost doubling the highest numbers reported one year ago. as a second year of living with the pandemic was drawing to a close the new daily case total topped 488,000 on wednesday according to a "new york times" data base. wednesday's seven-day average of new daily cases was also a record. more than 13,000 national guard
members have been activated in 48 states. the white house says it has been surging aid to hospitals and other facilities. 1 million gloves, 342,000 masks along with respirators and face shields all shipped out with 40,000 gowns for front line workers. federal teams made up of members of the military, fema, and other agencies are also headed to states where infections are soaring. the cdc says hospital admissions for covid are 14% higher than a week ago an average of 9,000 more people admitted every day. officials note the pace of admissions isn't what we've seen in previous surges but in many places the crush of patients speaks to a very different reality. >> today we have more ohioans with covid in the hospitals throughout the state than any other time during the pandemic. i think it is important to
emphasize something. what we're seeing in our hospitals, our hospitals filling up, our emergency rooms, is being driven by people in ohio who are not vaccinated. >> earlier this evening dr. anthony fauci noted there are even more signs now that omicron is less likely to get you really sick. >> it appears omicron from data in south africa, the uk, and accumulating data in the united states, indicates it very well might not be as severe and many people from studies going on right now who get omicron have either no symptoms or asymptomatic. >> the controversy over the new guidance on reducing covid isolation shows no signs of going away. "the washington post" reports the recommendation to cut the isolation period for asymptomatic, infected people to five days was driven largely by
the concern that essential services might be affected during the latest surge. this morning the cdc director offered this explanation for the decision. >> so it really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. the fact we were going to have so many more cases, many asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. people would not necessarily comply with being home. this was the moment to make that decision and those changes. >> a few hours later in a different appearance dr. walensky insisted the new guidance is based on scientific data. >> these updates to our recommendations were made to reflect what we currently know about covid-19 infection. let me make clear we are standing on the shoulders of two years of science, two years of understanding transmissibility. >> we've got a doctor standing by to take our questions on that and on the impact of the latest
covid outbreak just ahead. also tonight we've now heard from the january 6th committee about its agreement with the biden white house to hold off on requesting hundreds of records from the prior trump administration. in a statement a house committee spokesperson said the panel, quote, welcomes president biden's decision to clear the way for the production of another set of records. the committee has agreed to defer action on certain records as part of the accommodations process. the statement goes on to say the select committee has not withdrawn its request for these records and will continue to engage with the executive branch to ensure the committee gets access to all the information relevant to our probe. the chairman of the committee has just invited kevin mccarthy to sit with investigators. >> i think it would be important to listen to what kevin mccarthy
has to say. he is in fact indicating publicly he has nothing to hide, he would be willing to talk further. i hope he lives up to that. we know from other republican members who related the conversation he had with the president that he had some communication. i'd like to ask kevin about that. >> the committee's fight for the rest of the records takes another step forward tomorrow. the panel and the biden administration will file their response to donald trump's appeal to the supreme court where he is asking to keep those records secret. house investigators have already asked the court to fast track the case. also tomorrow, the current white house will be spending time with one of its country's main adversaries. president biden has agreed to a phone call with russian president vladimir putin who requested the conversation. the white house says the two men will talk about the russian troops now gathering on the ukraine border and to warn putin the u.s. will respond to any
invasion. with that let's bring in our lead-off guests, sam stein, veteran journalist for politico and my other guests. she worked with the doj during the biden transition and is a professor at the university of michigan law school. she cohosts the podcast sisters in law. good to have all of you here. we are hearing so many medical experts talking about the u.s. entering a harrowing phase of this pandemic. and there is still strong persistance to covid precautions on the right, resistance. how is the biden white house preparing for what certainly looks like a really difficult period ahead as we enter year three of this pandemic? >> well, i think it is important to note we've seen the white house pivot their response to
reflect the frustration of american people and in that regard, you know, take into account political considerations that we haven't seen them necessarily take in the past. they have moved away from the idea of vaccine mandates though we did hear dr. fauci entertain the idea of vaccine mandates on domestic air travel this week. i think what underscores this pivot is the comments we heard from the cdc director today defending the decision to recommend the time that people should isolate from when they tested positive from ten days to five days. you mentioned it earlier, which is while it is about the transmission window of, you know, one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms and two to three days after, she also said this really had a lot to do with what they thought people are able to tolerate. i think that is what they appear to be focusing on with their
latest strategy. catching up on testing which we know they are behind on. redoubling vaccination and booster efforts and surging supplies to overwhelmed hospitals instead of implementing more restrictions that are just politically not palatable for a president whose approval rating have taken a hit in recent months. biden admitted in a call earlier this week to governors that they did fail to prepare for testing ahead of the holiday season and that is something we've heard epidemiologists beat the drum on from the early days of the pandemic and the president himself talk about, you know, as early as march. they are once again trying to play catch up on a pandemic biden promised to shut down and here we are nine months later with them admitting they were caught off guard. we have seen them try to ramp up efforts on testing. they planned to distribute 500
million free at home tests in january. the white house has yet to release details on that. the white house covid coordinator said today he expected contracts on those tests to be completed next week. we're still waiting from the white house and when we expect those tests to be available. >> to the point of what people will tolerate let me play what the former governor of kansas said earlier tonight. >> i live in a part of the country where every step that the public officials take at the state level our democratic governor has taken to try and put masking protocol in place, put vaccination requirements in place, has been undone by the legislature. it is a free for all. president biden is trying to walk through this mine field of having major portions of the country that have undone any of
the basic public health guidelines and are finding themselves in a world of hurt. >> there is an argument to be made, sam, that minefield may be an under statement. what is the political toll on this white house especially as we head into a midterm year? >> people are exhausted by it all. i am personally. i think that manifests itself in what you were talking about, chris, which is the political toll. you know, huge chunk of biden's appeal in the 2020 campaign was his pledge to get a handle on the pandemic to put it in the country's rear view mirror. up until july 4th of this year it seemed like we were on track for that. i think he infamously now declared we were going to celebrate a covid free, freedom from covid july 4th. here we are six months later and
the omicron variant is absolutely raging through the country. the other thing i would note is the preventative measures we've long sort of held to to try to prevent us contracting the disease, mask wearing, social distancing, shutting down certain facets of society, those don't seem to particularly work with this variant. people who are triple vaxed are getting it. people wearing masks maybe less prone but zinting isn't really a thing and not just in kansas. so what they have is a very limited tool shed. they have to urge people to get triply vaxed because we know that it is helpful in terms of the outcome when you get infected. but a frustratingly large chunk of the country is resistant to vaccinations and continues to be so.
that is the real problem biden has. he is having a difficulty persuading that chunk of people when that is the clearest way out of this pandemic. >> we'll talk to a doctor in a little while. i want to move on to talking about the january 6 committee. we mentioned they'll present their arguments to the supreme court in response to trump's attempt to keep his records hidden. is the court likely to take this case? how quickly might they decide on whether the document should be released? >> i think they're not likely to take the case. we saw a very well reasoned opinion that came out of the court of appeals and the court below. it affirmed the decision by the trial court. and the real question is who gets to control executive privilege? is it the current president? or is it a former president? for that reason it does present a slightly novel issue that gives i think some little glimmer of hope that the court might take this up. the status quo favors the
committee in turning over those documents. i think if it chooses not to take up the case it will make that decision quickly. if it does take it up it will have to hear oral argument and it could be many months before a decision. >> what do you make of the committee comment regarding the afwreemt to defer its request for some record but they still want them? >> this is how it is supposed to work. it is very much part of the normal negotiation and accommodation process when both branches of government the legislative and executive branch actually respect their institutions and the responsibilities the other. they work through this process. they say what is it you really need? what do you really need right now? what if we give you half a loaf? will you accept that for now and see how it goes? that is how it is supposed to work recognizing there is some legitimacy to executive privilege but also a compelling interest in learning what happened on january 6th. so if both of those interests can be accommodated that is the goal of people who govern in
good faith. that was what was so sorely lacking during the trump administration and i think what is at the heart of this lawsuit that he is now appealing to the supreme court. >> in fact, sam, we are just over a week from the january 6th anniversary which of course only deepened what was already a terrible partisan divide on the hill. frankly elsewhere in politics all around the country. democrats have a big fight on their hands not just trying to keep their majorities but in making a case for themselves and for i think american democracy in general. are they up to it now? the party unified enough? >> i think so. a few factors could complicate that. if this does get kicked around the supreme court we're talking about a matter of months suddenly the time frame becomes a little tight. this committee needs to get a report out in the summer if it want to have an impact politically but also if it wants to get its work done
judiciously. that is one complicating factor. the other one is, okay. we've had this horrific attack on the capitol. we're in the year anniversary. it wasn't just an attack but an assault on the democratic transfer of power. what has been done to shore up the cracks in the system these people were trying to exploit with these riots? if you look around you're not seeing much obviously. there is no legislative progress at the federal level. some executive actions here and there and the justice department has gone after some states here and there but absent some sort of larger legislative push in the new year it is going to be tough to say definitively the -- they are up to the task. clearly foreign policy has the potential to be a bigger problem for this president in 2022. what are you hearing about the plans to meet those challenges? >> i mean, the phone call is
tomorrow. it will be their second this month. as tensions build up around russia's military build up on the border with ukraine. biden is expected to tell putin the u.s. is prepared to proceed diplomatically but also stands to respond with economic sanctions, nato reinforcement, and assistance to ukraine to defend itself. a senior administration official told us this afternoon. but, you know, that biden and both leaders actually believe there is value in leader to leader engagement and what they described as a moment of crisis. this is certainly biden's biggest foreign policy challenge heading into 2022. he had quite a few this year with the withdrawal from afghanistan and other issues but, you know, nsc spokesman
emily horn said this call would cover a range of topics including upcoming engagements with russia and they are looking for russia to show signs of de-escalation before any diplomatic end game which is a point they hammered home and this comes before the u.s. and russia delegations are expected to sit down for security talks on january 10th. >> i want to ask you about another big story. you have an article in the daily beast on the ghislain maxwell verdict. fantastic article. i recommend it to everyone. you begin with this line. when your partner is a monster you can appear harmless by comparison, but appearances can be deceiving. as probably folks know maxwell was convicted tonight on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges facing decades in prison. talk about what you think this verdict means and what you'll be
watching for next >> i think it is an incredibly important verdict, very difficult to convict sex traffickers in part because often times the passage of time has made it difficult for witnesses to remember. sometimes witnesses themselves can have their credibility attacked and so to see these four young women come forward, have the courage to tell their story and to be vindicated to see an actual conviction by someone who tried to literally scapegoat the perpetrator here of jeffrey epstein when she herself was his partner in crime, facilitating his abuse. so i think it is a very important verdict and it should be empowering to anybody who's ever been the victim of sexual abuse. >> you also talk about how ghislain maxwell doesn't look like what we think about when we talk about sex traffickers. i recommend it to people. always great to see you.
thanks so much for being with us on this wednesday night. coming up how the latest policies out of washington are impacting those on the front lines in the battle against covid. later one of our upcoming guests calls last january 6 a dress rehearsal for what may come. more on the events of 2021 that have many political observers anxious about the new year. the "the 11th hour" just getting under way on a wednesday night. with a revolutionary, rollerball design. because with the right pain reliever... life opens up. aleve it... and see what's possible. ho ho ho! not again.
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hard through very, very difficult circumstances. >> i see their eyes. i see two things. i see their commitment to doing what's right. they want to help people and be there for them. but, also, there is an exhaustion setting in. >> thank you to those individuals who complete shift after shift after shift who have been doing this doing on two straight years. >> the governors of ohio, new york, and indiana each sounding an alarm today. hospitals are filling up and health care workers are feeling the strain. one of the biggest hospitals in wisconsin is now at capacity unable to accept more patients. another facility is calling in the u.s. navy to help handle the case load. we may be just at the beginning of what the world health organization chief warns may be a tsunami of delta and omicron cases. back with us tonight, clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at nyu school of medicine and bellevue hospital. she was part of a panel that
advised the biden transition team on covid-19 and hosts a weekly podcast on the impact of coronavirus called epidemic. it is good to have you here. i want to start with the possible tsunami referenced by the w.h.o. chief. there was a "new york times" headline tonight that said, new york struggles to keep running under omicron. everything from huge percentage of emts calling out sick, subway lines shutting down because they don't have people. there was one very real example of a 68-year-old resident i want to read. it says if downtown brooklyn, wanda ortiz who has had a fever, body aches, and a scratchy throat since christmas summoned the strength to head over to the city md on atlantic avenue wednesday morning to get tested. the clinic was dark. she wandered off to find another testing site hoping she would not have to stand in line too long in the cold. just one of thousands if not millions of stories across the
country. how worried are you about a possible tsunami and the closures that brings, the ability to help the sick looking for help? >> well, chris, i am on service at bellevue hospital right now and a number of our own staff are out sick. something like one-third i believe of our nurses are out sick. many of our doctors are out sick with covid. we are having to pull from out patient clinics people who would normally be on vacation for the holidays right now are being asked to come in and we're still short staffed. we are still having a really hard time keeping up with the patient loads we have now. we are doing what we can to prepare for the inevitable increase we will see if the next couple weeks. i am really concerned. people are exhausted and stretched to the limits. >> you had a situation where the administration, the cdc said, okay. we'll shorten the amount of isolation time.
if you are asymptomatic we know you're less likely to give somebody else covid. yesterday, earlier today i spoke with the president of the association of flight attendants. her group is really upset with those new guidances shortening isolation times. i want to play for you a little of what she had to say. >> our concern is this is putting all the onus on the workers. when you put policies forward that are pro business and not grounded in public health it gives people reason to pause and not trust our public health requirement. >> people are worn out and we've got to give them a break in order to take care of it country and keep the economy moving. this is a short term fix that the cdc gave businesses that is going to have long term pain. >> is she right? >> i think the cdc recommendations would have been okay if they had included testing to come out of isolation at five days. unfortunately, their current recommendation is five days of
isolation and then five days of wearing a mask when back at work or around other people. we know people across the country are not reliably wearing masks, perhaps not at all or below their nose or on their chin which is absolutely useless for preventing transmission of covid. i'm also hearing not just what you're describing with flight attendants but from health care workers being told after they've completed five days of isolation for covid they are expected back at work. many are concerned what if i still feel sick after five days? do i still have to go to work? they feel the expectation is yeah you need to be on the job. >> so it just almost seems like the problem is so enormous. if they can put that "new york times" headline up again even by the standards of this pandemic, which has been absolutely devastating, not only is new york city pummeled by omicron but their new numbers show we're
just about double the worst place where we have been. single day case record nearly doubling from the highest numbers from last winter. what do we do? what do states do? what do local governments do? they're still going to have a new year's eve celebration in times square. >> honestly that gives health care workers like me palpitations and makes me feel nauseous to even think about it. literally nauseous. some states are calling in the national guard. how many national guard are medically trained? are doctors or nurses? when you call in national guard what they might help with is logistics, security at the hospital, maybe transporting patients from one part of the hospital to another. but they're not able to do the direct patient care where we really need staffing to help us. and so there's only so much you can rely on those kinds of extra
surge, sources of staffing. >> one of the things we talked about at the top of the show is the amount of stuff going out everything from gowns, every piece of equipment you could possibly, maybe not possibly imagine but a lot of stuff. and it was one of the things early on, right? we just didn't have what we needed. you couldn't get a mask. we were told not to buy the public, you know, really good masks because we needed them at hospitals. do you at least have what you need to treat the people who are coming in? >> in that respect, yes. it is a very different situation from the spring of 2020. in 2020 i had the same face shield that i was just cleaning day after day and using for months. now i have as many face shields and masks and gowns and gloves as i want. so we are in a very different position with respect to personal protective equipment than we were at the beginning of the pandemic. >> well, at least on that positive note, we will say some things are going right.
but hats off to you and to all the folks you work with there at bell view and the doctors and nurses again fighting the good fight on front lines. we appreciate it. coming up one of the biggest stories. the fragile state of our democracy. we'll talk about it with our guests when "the 11th hour" continues. up. aleve it... and see what's possible. my name is douglas. i'm a writer/director and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved.
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anniversary of the attempted coup on the capitol the investigation into january 6th is reaching a pivotal phase. there are warning signs that efforts to subvert democracy in 2024 are already well under way. the associated press with new reporting today writes, in battleground states and beyond republicans are taking hold of the once overlooked machinery of elections. while the effort is incomplete and uneven, outside experts on democracy and democrats are sounding alarms, warning that the united states is witnessing a slow motion insurrection with a better chance of success than trump's failed power grab last year. with us tonight, eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post." and bill kristol author, writer, thinker and politico a veteran of the reagan and bush administrations and editor at large at the bulwark. is there a new blueprint to undermine democracy in 2024 something we should be laser
focused on? >> there is. a large part was the effort in 2020 and then of course after the temporary repudiation of that effort by republicans, a tolerance of it and even in some ways an embracing of it by an increasing number of republicans in congress and at the state level. that is incredibly important. our judgment of january 6th is so important going forward not just going backwards. then you have the efforts at the state level, legislative level to lay the groundwork for overturning election results. people running for the senate and house explicitly on that platform. one might have hoped after trump lost the election, november 3rd, a little over a year ago we were through the worst of it. i'm afraid we are right in the middle of it now. >> i want to play this from writer and thinker nicole hannah jones. take a listen. >> we are a society that willfully does not want to deal with the antiblackness that is at the core of so many of our
institutions and really our society itself and we're seeing a backlash, efforts to me to subvert democracy, to make it harder for black people in particular but people of color, marginalized people in general to vote. i think we are in a very frightening time. >> eugene, are you equally frightened? >> i am very worried. you know, i mean, frightened? look. you got to fight back. right? you have to -- there are a lot of people in this country who are very concerned about the fact that for example one of our two major parties the republican party is no longer so sure about the whole democracy thing. it is just no longer, it certainly is no longer a hundred percent committed to it. and it is actively exploring ways to get around it. i mean, that is alarming. we should be alarmed about it.
but we have to call it out. we have to denounce it. we have to fight against it. in every way possible. i think the first thing is, and this is something congress i think has to do, we have to secure the way electoral votes are counted. the way the peoples votes are counted. and not give that into the hands of partisan, coup-minded, republican state legislators that want to reject the people's decision on who is the next president and substitute their own decision. who want congress to be convinced to throw out -- this is so unamerican and unacceptable and that i think is a first order of business and
then there are all these laws being passed in states to make it harder to vote. those are deeply concerning. >> the state legislatures, something obviously we're seeing with the really fight against voting rights bill is very real and very concerning but there is a new trend with a lot of republicans going local, targeting school boards, looking to do things we've already seen, ban things we haven't taught like critical race theory, calling for more parental control. how much of a concern do you think that is? do you think that already plays into what we are already seen in these attacks on democracy? >> i mean, eugene's excellent answer just now he said the first order of business has to be in effect to strengthen the guard rails. i couldn't agree more.
i think if people look back and say are you kidding me? january 6 happened. a lot of things happened between november 3 and january 6. we know kind of the weaknesses that were exposed. one thing is to deal with people continuing to try to exploit those weaknesses. the other thing is to strengthen the guard rails that protect the system than has not been done at the federal level. i think people will look back and say are you kidding me? a year in and we're still saying and correctly as eugene said this should be the first order of business but it hasn't been. >> not only does going to school boards, eugene, obviously address those concerning issues but also builds a bench because people who win at school boards can start running for state legislature and push the same ideas. >> it does. that has to be fought at the local level. it really does. and that is something that
progressives and democrats have to become more serious about. but it is, i think, no accident that all of this, the focus on imaginary and critical race theory and all of that is happening at a time when, you know, most of the majority of public school students in this country now are nonwhite. and as the country becomes more diverse and as white americans of many, obviously not all but some who are used to being in the majority are not easily getting used to the fact that they will soon not be an absolute majority in this country, you just can't ignore that as an underlying megatrend that is helping to drive some of
the unrest that you see. >> both guests are staying with us. just ahead, some of the critical challenges facing joe biden as the new year fast approaches when "the 11th hour" continues. ebenezer. ebenezer. ha ha ha ha. marley? first you will see the past. excuse me! coming through! ugh! and then...the present. and finally, ebenezer...the future!
some pundits have likened president biden's struggles to get his agenda passed with president obama's affordable care act setbacks. biden is hoping the new year brings progress on both build back better and voting rights which have been languishing in congress. top obama aide david axelrod put it this way in the "new york times." no historical parallel is perfect but the near death and revival of the aca is a pairable that does offer a path forward for this president and his administration. still with us eugene robinson, bill kristol. eugene, is there a path forward? do you see it? >> well, the affordable care act was passed, so, you know, it
doesn't all have to happen in the first calendar year of a presidency. and in fact some of these things sometimes take time. my distinct impression from the president in recent weeks and certainly the last couple weeks is that he is more focused than he had been before on the voting rights question, the voting rights issues, and i would not be surprised to see that move to top of the agenda especially since it now appears that it is going to take time to get the build back better agenda or as much of it as he can through both houses of congress. it may be in pieces. it may take some time. i still believe he is going to get, if not all of it, most of it. and i think it will be a very big deal when he gets it.
but he may focus on voting rights first. >> optimism. okay. bill, i also want to talk about foreign policy. biden has the call tomorrow with vladimir putin. putin asked for it. retired general ben hodges had this to say to the bulwark about russia and ukraine this week. i would still say that a new offensive is not inevitable but all the pieces are in place. what's most worrisome is the language that keeps coming out of the kremlin. how does biden need to deal with this threat? >> this is the trouble. president biden can hope. we can all hope he focused on voting rights and the progressives hope he gets a lot of bbb through but the world doesn't sit there and let you go on your own schedule. what the general is saying is the putin threat and ukraine is serious. i think he would also say developments in the far east with china are serious. iran is moving ahead. the biden administration is doing its best on all of those. but it -- we could have a foreign policy -- the bulwark
predictions for 2022 notoriously bad and difficult, i said maybe we'll have a foreign policy era for better or worse. could be for worse incidentally. it's been a long time since we've had a year defined by foreign policy challenges about six or seven years after 9/11. some very bad things happened in the world. some good things happened we didn't put at the top of our agenda i would say. we may not have the choice this year. so joe biden has a lot of experience in foreign policy and this could be a year of real testing for him. >> so if bill gets to look forward, let's just take a little perspective backwards. okay? look, foreign policy challenges not with standing and even without passing build back better and voting rights this year some argue that biden has accomplished a lot. has he? if so, why are his poll numbers so bad? >> well, he has. there was the rescue plan, at one point $9 trillion.
there was the infrastructure bill $1.2 trillion. there was a huge spending bill that we don't even talk about very much, mere hundreds of billions. but to make the united states more competitive with china, which is potentially very important going forward. he has had approved 40 federal judges. that's more than any president in the first year of his administration since ronald reagan. it's a record. so, yeah. this is a big year of a lot of accomplishments and, you know, democrats and we observers frankly have tended to talk more about what hasn't gotten done than what has got done. and in fact it is quite a lot. >> our thanks to you, gene
robinson and bill kristol. has this been an incredibly slow year or fast year or depends on the day? all i know -- >> you know, chris, covid, covid, covid. that's what makes this year unlike any other year. >> okay. >> and covid is going to have a vote next year, too. >> okay. >> less of one. we can have this conversation in a year and not discuss covid. >> wouldn't that be nice? >> yeah. that would be great. >> we wish you a very happy new year on this last wednesday of 2021. thanks, guys. appreciate you. >> thank you. coming up travelers who suffered through the christmas flight cancellations may still be frustrated as we welcome 2022. an air travel update when "the 11th hour" continues. ♪ i'm so defensive, i got bongos thumping in my chest ♪ ♪ and something tells me they don't beat for me ♪ ♪ i love romance, but i got eggshells around me ♪
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yet between the virus surge and the attendant staffing shortages and that weather airlines just can't keep up. nbc news correspondent steve patterson has our report. >> reporter: tonight growing misery at airports across the country unending. again today thousands of flights either canceled, disrupted, or delayed. >> i just want to get home. >> reporter: the highest pain points felt at airports dealing with a dour mix of sick outs and severe weather like seattle where unclaimed bags are piling up in the current wait time for alaska airlines customer service is up to 20 hours. airlines say they're working around the clock to refund passengers and reshuffle flights. delta canceling 250 flights announcing vouchers for wayward travelers. jetblue sacking 83 flights announcing a schedule cutback until january 13th to reduce last-minute cancellations. flight attendants pleading for patience. >> we are all just working to try to get you where you need to go as quickly and safely as possible.
if you work with us, we will work with you. >> reporter: a flight expert says the backup will last through the holiday season. >> they don't have a lot of margin for error. almost all the planes and almost all the pilots are currently working if available. >> winter weather wreaking havoc in the skies and on the roads. icy roads causing the four mile backup in wisconsin. and more storms are in the forecast. 20 million americans under severe weather alerts with the southeast bracing for strong winds, hail, and tornadoes. a possible tornado already causing minor damage in southern georgia. but some relief for the wef. warmer temperatures are on the way as travelers hope for an end to this holiday nightmare. some relief for the west. >> our thanks for that update. coming up, putting in perspective the cancel culture of 2021 when "the 11th hour" continues.
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oh no. for the gifts you won't forget. the mercedes-benz winter event. get a credit toward your first month's payment on select models. the last thing before we go tonight 2021 was the year cancel culture became a political weapon of sorts for people on the right but our friends at the recount decided to take a closer look at just who and what were said to be targeted. and the list, the very long list, well, it just might surprise you. >> the cancel culture going after dr. seuss tonight. >> first mr. potato head. mrs. potato head. >> they're canceling halloween?
canceling valentines day? >> let's talk about democrats canceling themselves. >> hollywood canceling itself? >> cancel culture coming for kermit the frog. >> they are being taught cancel culture is good. fossil fuels are bad. math is racist. >> trying to cancel, yes, barack obama. >> game shows, doctors being subjected to the hate, the rage of cancel culture. >> they want to cancel skinny jeans and side hair partings? >> they want to cancel fox news. >> how dare you cancel the president of the united states? >> you were canceled. remember? basically trying to cancel georgia. >> cancel culture is coming for a disney classic. >> canceling the american family. canceling the constitution. the flag. >> cancel culture claiming our third president. >> joe biden will be canceled. >> stacey abrams is going to get canceled because she rode in a car. >> absolutely. self-driving cars. >> no, just cancel everything. >> it is the cancel culture coming after you. >> you see the final expression of cancel culture in islamist
terrorist dprups like isis and al qaeda. >> it'll be interesting to see what they come up with in 2022. our thanks to the recount for that collection. that is our broadcast for this wednesday night with our thanks for being with us. on behalf of all of my colleagues >> rachel has the night off but we have a lot to get to tonight, today the white house announcing that president biden will speak to washington president vladimir putin tomorrow. that call was reportedly requested by vladimir putin as russia continues to mass troops along the ukraine border. the white house has repeatedly warned russia over the last few weeks that a russian invasion of ukraine would have severe diplomatic and economic consequences. one administration official told today that this call comes in a midst of a mode of crisis between e