tv MSNBC Reports MSNBC December 31, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST
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all right. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 pacific. i'm yasmin vassoughian in for jose diaz-balart. we're following several developing stories right now. in two hours, officials from boulder county are set to hold an update on the devastating wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced tens of thousands to flee. the described as apocalyptic. those fires unleashing a tidal wave of fast-moving flames, seemingly catching everybody offguard. >> gusts of 100 to 110 miles per
hour can and have moved this fire down a football field in a matter of seconds. very little time to get out, very little time to even get the most important parts of your life, and yes, it will be a difficult process for colorado families who are affected to rebuild their lives. the governor of colorado there talking about the devastation. with that, emilie ikeda in superior, colorado, on the ground for us. it's good to see you this hour. expecting to hear from officials in just a few hours. talk us through what you've been seeing so far there in superior. >> reporter: hey, there, yasmin. still so many questions swirling around this really devastating event. the fires burned into the night, and so really this morning, now that we have daylight, it's the first opportunity for officials to really evaluate the extent, the devastation of the marshall
fire. at just 1,600 acres, it's actually relatively small, but it carried such an immense impact on several communities nearly boulder, colorado, here. nearly 600 homes destroyed, making it the most destructive fire in colorado history, in terms of property loss. and you heard the governor talking about just the really alarming pace of the flames. and that's coming from a dangerous combination of things. one, the whipping winds, reaching 100 miles per hour, strong enough to topple tractor-trailers. and two, the parched grounds. this region is an extreme drought, just 1.6 inches of rain since august. so there's a number of factors that plaid into this really unprecedented and historic fire, just outside of denver. and i think the other thing to consider is, this is not a sparsely populated area. we are within an hour of denver. and so it's suburbia. so when flames are coming through at such great as a pace of this, it's going to
obliterate and incinerate entire shopping centers and neighborhoods. the toll just felt so deeply by so many people, we might get some updates on numbers later today. i know there are so many questions, a lot of residents haven't been able to go back into their neighborhoods, so still very much a developing situation, yasmin. >> yeah, we spoke to the mayor in the last hour, emilie, of superior, colorado, where you are, and he told us he was expecting fatalities, not giving us any concrete numbers, but expecting that because this moved so quickly, people just didn't have enough time to get out. you hearing anything similar? >> reporter: yeah, i mean, that's the fear. i think that when you listen to the dispatch and 911 calls yesterday, you heard the chaos and the fear. people talking about people running on foot, away from the flames or you may have seen those snarled traffic lines, as
entire communities were trying to get out and escape the fire. so, yeah, injuries and fatalities could be on the table. we're hoping they're not. so far, we know that one hospital is treating at least six burn patients and we're told a police officer was injured, but just to a minor degree. we'll see if they learned anything else this morning, yasmin. >> and of course, this disaster, this natural disaster, these injuries happening amidst a major outbreak of covid in that region, as well. for now, e emilie ikeda, thank u for your reporting on this. i want to bring in michael smith, the boulder county incident commander, has been dealing with some of the disaster there. michael, we appreciate you jumping on for us. i know you're a busy man. thank you for taking a couple of minutes to speak to us. i was just speaking to our correspondent on the ground, giving us the lay of the ground. how are folks fairing there so far? give us a sense of what you have been seeing, as you've been
making your way around the community. >> yeah, so folks are doing pretty well right now. it was a really tragic day for the citizens of boulder county. we've not seen fire spread like this in the past. it's a very challenging situation. you know, currently, we have about 6,200 acres that have burned. about 35,000 people out of their homes evacuated right now. and that's one of our real focuses, is to try to figure out how best we can take care of them and how quickly we can get people back into the areas that are less affected or unaffected by the fire. >> is this still an active fire at this point? what are the efforts -- the ongoing efforts to contain this thing? >> it's very much an ongoing fire. yesterday, we had close to 1,000 first responders between firefighters, ems, and law enforcement. today, we're going to have close to that number.
we were out all night long. the wind is going to be much less, so we're expecting much less spread than we saw yesterday, but we're definitely still in the fight. and trying to get a much better picture, as was alluded to earlier. getting into the first light of the day, we're able to start doing real damage assessments and start to really tally what's happened. >> how quickly did this thing, michael, come on? because we're seeing footage of people literally running on foot with their families, with just a few belongings, right to get out in time before the fire reached them. >> you know, it started in a really problematic area because of the dry grasses and open fields. and as it started, the winds were gusting well over 100 miles an hour. and so in those light, grassy fuels, the fire will spread almost at the speed of the wind.
it was a very bad situation and i feel fortunate that we have only had three minor injuries from our first responders. they're all back on the job, but it was a very difficult situation. there were vehicles blown over all over the place. many of our command engines and fire engines had the windows blown out because of the amount of debris being blown around. >> and where have folks evacuated to? do you have enough supplies. are they safe? are you getting any assistance from the federal government at this point? have you been in touch with the federal government? have local officials been in touch with the federal government amidst this disaster? >> absolutely. the support from our governor, from a congressman, from fema, we have a type one team that will be coming in to take over the fire. i believe tomorrow morning is when we'll transition to the new management team with greater capabilities. but the support from top down has been extremely, extremely good and communication flow back and forth between the government and the incident management team
has been unparalleled. the support from the sheriff and the police chiefs and fire chiefs that are in the affected areas, as well as the surrounding areas. the mutual aid that came in to help us through this incident was unparalleled from what i have seen in my career. >> so so far we're seeing reports of six people injured. are you expecting that number to rise? are you expecting to see fatalities amidst all of this? >> it's hard to say on these things. the way this fire was moving, it would not be a surprise if we saw more injuries. a lot of people were going to the hospital themselves. those six people who went to the hospital didn't go through the system, so we actually found out about that through different channels than are standard. as for fatalities, we hope and pray there aren't any, but it's going to be a while until we get through all of these homes that have been burned and get a good assessment on who's missing and
who's not. and that's a very difficult thing to do in such a dynamic environment, as we had yesterday and through the night last night. >> the images terrifying. we are all thinking and praying for your community and of course, thankful for the help that you are providing that community right now. i'll let you get back to work, michael, because i know you have a lot ahead. and thank you again for jumping on with us. we appreciate you giving us an update there. michael smith, thank you. boulder county incident commander. all right. still ahead, everybody. what russian officials are saying about president vladimir putin's phone call with president biden. plus, a record number of kids are now going into the hospital with covid. what parents need to know. that's coming up next. parents . that's coming up next. what if you could see the details of your great-grandparents wedding day... ...or the record that welcomed your great-grandmother to the world. your family story is waiting to be discovered, and now you can search for those fascinating details for free—at ancestry.
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all right. developing this morning, more covid records shattered. the u.s. reporting more than 54 million more covid infections since the start of this pandemic, adding a million new cases in just two days. this newest surge is also putting a record number of kids in the hospital. just this past week, a record 378 children were hospitalized with covid every day. that is a 66% jump from the week before. and this strain is being felt from coast to coast. out west, prisons across california are battling outbreaks amid staffing shortages. in u.s., the main training center for mormon missionaries in provo reporting an outbreak with 11 missionaries testing
positive there. in illinois, hospital leaders and the governor urging hospitals to postpone non-emergency surgeries amid this omicron surge. in florida, the state hitting another record-high for single-day cases, with 80,000 new infections. and it's a similar situation here in new york, with a new all-time daily record of 74,000 new infections, with many hospitals at the limit. we've got a stellar team following all of the developments. priscilla thompson is in times square ahead of the new year's eve celebrations, vaughn hillyard, and dr. ward is with housing works in new york city. dr. roy, i guess, i think the biggest question here is, what should be our expectations over the next few weeks. a million new cases in two days. that number, of course, is astounding. south africa, though, saying, listen, we have -- we're over it at this point.
right? six weeks in this outbreak, really high numbers, not as many deaths, which is kind of the good news coming out of that story. what can we expect here over the next few weeks, as we continue to deal with this outbreak? >> yeah, good morning and happy new year's eve to you, yasmin. it is very concerning to most of us, in the health care field, my fellow physicians, as well as other front line health care workers, nurses and respiratory therapists and other hospital workers are truly feeling the crisis, as many hospitals throughout the united states are really in crisis mode yet again. and now on the heels of new year's eve, where, of course, there's concern that people will be gathering in new york state, they recorded over 67,000 cases in just 24 hours, which is a record 65% increase in one day. so -- and hospitalizations have also increased 14% this past week. what we need for people to do just be patient and be really prudent and careful, because omicron is truly spreading
rampantly across the u.s. and across the globe. if you're going to be -- first of all, the cdc really is advising us to avoid gathering in small indoor large parties. it's just not prudent to do so. if people are, please wear a mask. make sure you're vaccinated and boosted. but wear a mask if you're in close contact with people. but really, the cdc is advising against that right now, yasmin, with the surge in cases. >> so doctor, we're talking about some of those indoor celebrations advising against that, as the cdc is doing so, as well. priscilla, let's go to you, standing by in times square for us ahead of the new year's celebrations. usually that place is packed with millions of people. if you are a new york, you avoid it like anything else. because you don't want to be caught amidst all of those millions of people. but it is an amazing place to watch the ball drop. the mayor saying, essentially,
listen, we want to see new york do this once again, but do it safely. so how are they looking to protect folks amidst this huge outbreak? >> yeah, yasmin, we are just under 14 hours to 2022, and in just a short while, folks will begin to start gathering here in times square, but it is going to look a little different. for one, the festivities begin at 6:00 p.m., but folks won't be allowed until just three hours before the event time and that is to cut down on some of that gathering that is taking place. and everyone who gets in, 15,000 people, a small fraction of the number that we would normally see, and everyone who gets in will have to wear those masks and show proof of vaccination. and we talked to some folks, some of whom have come from all over the world to be here tonight, to celebrate about those changes, what they think of it, and just their hopes for 2022. i want to play some of what folks shared with us? >> so we take the mask and that's it. and we stay a little bit
distanced, but it will be nice. so we have to forget about this tonight and celebrate the new year and be happy. >> it's very exciting. >> i'm excited because we get to start a new year and get to start fresh. and we get to don't worry all our problems, and start fresh. >> yes! >> reporter: and that young girl that you just heard from, they're actually going to be celebrating in their hotel room. and yes to all of that, and all of those exciting things in 2022. but they're keeping it in the hotel room tonight and they're going to watch the ball drop from there, just to keep it a little more safe. but most of the adults that we've spoken to say that they're very comfortable being out here with the mask, with the vaccination requirements, and they're excited to ring in the new year in new york city. yasmin. >> i love you got those little kids, starting fresh. blank slate. for god's sake, let's move
ahead. vaughn, let's go to you. i think it's important we check back in with you, because we've seen some major travel disruptions throughout the entire holiday period, of course, now peeking with new year's as well, the omicron variant causing travel disruptions on top of that weather across the country. how are things looking this hour? >> i think thousands of folks at this airport would also like to stretch fresh for the new year. but the reality is, a lot of them will be stuck in cities that are not their homes. you are looking here across new york. just yesterday, more than 300 flights canceled. but if you open up and look at the number of flights canceled today alone, at this early hour here on this friday, you're looking at now more than 1200 flights across the country canceled today. you have seen this over the last several days. more than a thousand flights canceled over the last week here. and what you're looking at now is a backlog. but you're also having to deal with the reality that those airlines are looking at those
very staffing shortages that you and doctor roy were just talking about. the airlines have acknowledged that they are trying their best to be able to equip these airlines with the staff and with the pilots necessary to make the airline system work effectively. but what you are looking at is not only the airlines struggling with this difficulty, the number of tsa agents has triple over the last week. there are now more than 1,700 tsa agents that are no longer in these airports because they are active covid cases. the faa also this morning saying that they are expecting an increase in covid cases amongst their workers. and this is all coming to a head, as winter storm freida really hits the west and the midwest, beginning here midday today. we're looking from colorado to oklahoma over to iowa and nebraska. it's going to making its way into michigan, ohio, and western new york come tonight and tomorrow morning, only adding to the concerns of these cancellations. we should note, just a few miles from where we're looking at those wildfires in colorado is
denver international airport. already today, more than 250 canceled flights there. yasmin? >> if i had a glass of champagne for all of us, we would cheers to a fresh start, because i think we're all ready for it at this point. dr. roy, vaughn hillyard, priscilla thompson, my friends, happy early new year's to all of you and thank you for joining me this hour. appreciate it. still ahead, it is one of the biggest tensions between the united states and russia, whether russia will invade ukraine. what the calls between presidents putin and biden revealed, next. presidents putin and biden revealed, next age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein.
russian president vladimir putin is again refusing to say whether he will invade ukraine. that is one of the big takeaways from a 50-minute phone call with president biden last night, even as russian troops continue to build up at the ukraine border. russian officials saying putin also warned the united states that any responsive sanctions could result in a complete rupture in relations between the superpowers, a claim that could have major geopolitical implications. let's get into this. with me, nbc's mike memoli, who's traveling with the president in delaware.
and rick stangl, as well, an msnbc political analyst and former u.s. undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. welcome to you both. mike, we're taking a look at talks that are happening january 10th between the united states and russia in which putin and biden will not be present. that's happening in geneva. how will this phone call affect those talks, considering what we're hearing coming out of this conversation? >> one of the few things that both sides agreed to about yesterday's conversation was that it was a helpful conversation in sort of setting the agenda for a what all of these parties will be discussing in the round of talks happening in geneva in just about ten days. but when you look at sort of the core of what both sides have drawn as far as red lines, you have the u.s. saying that they want to see russia pull their forces back from the ukraine border, but then you have president putin saying, essentially, he wants nato out of his backyard completely. you know, the deployments that we've seen in some of the nato
member countries near ukraine and russia, he wants them gone. it's hard to find that middle ground. what you are going to see now over the course of these next nine-to-ten days before those talks begin is president biden really ramping up the diplomacy, talking with our allies. we expect to see him speak with ukraine's president in the next day or two, as well as other key nato leaders, to try to make sure they're still on the same page, to continue coordinating. because the real deterrence here. the real leverage that the u.s. has in trying to extract from putin what they want here is the unity of the west. is the unanimity about what needs to be done should putin further escalate. that's what the president's focus is going to be. and when they have these discussions, what the white house officials are saying, they want to see sort of a more clear path to a drawdown, but that they do retain those threat of deterrence as well. >> mike, quickly here, does the president expect to ever get a clear path from putin, considering historically their
relationship and what they've received from putin in the past, who he is as a leader. >> well, one of the very real debates that's happening within the white house right now just how serious is president putin? there is a sense that some of this is simply being provocative for the take of being provocative. for distracting the president at a moment when he's at a low point politically. but no one wants to take that risk. so they're very clearly engaging with him in this diplomacy, in the hopes that he will step back from the bring here. and there is a sense, even as intelligence is saying that there is no determinative that -- it's not clear whether he's made an affirmative decision to invade ukraine at any point, they believe that if it were to happen, it would be happening in the next few months, and that's why these round of talks in geneva will be so critical. >> rick, talk to me about the geopolitical implications here. because when you think about a rupture between the united states and russia, that would not just affect the united states and russia in a vacuum,
right? we would be affecting countries all throughout, border countries as well. but iran and china. let me read for you a quote here from the "wall street journal." western officials acknowledge that the fastest route to increasing economic and political pressure on tehran's new hardline government runs through moscow, and especially beijing. talk to me about those geopolitical implications of a rupture in this relationship. >> hi, yasmin. happy new year. i think that term rupture was actually not used by putin, but by one of his spokespeople. and i think the fact that biden and putin are talking america and russia talking, is a good thing. you know job, job is always better than war, war. but the idea of a rupture, something like that, if putin actually does invade ukraine, has all kinds of geopolitical influences and importances, and
in fact, it could pre-sage a world war. i don't think that's going to happen. putin essentially has a gun to ukraine's head in order to get some of the things that he wants. which is that he wants to make sure that ukraine never becomes a part of nato. he wants to scale back the military exercises in nato countries and non-nato countries. he wants to scale back u.s. giving ukraine defensive weapons. so i think he has a strategy here. and as mike said, you know, he also reads the polls, like all of us do. i mean, he doesn't know whether he's negotiating with strong leaders or not. we don't know about his domestic situation. as usual, it's a bit of a conundrum. >> mike memoli, rick stangl, thank you both. by the way, rick, apologies for getting right to geopolitical implications without first saying happy new year's. that's on me. thank you, rick, for putting
that in there. sometimes it just seems like the world is falling apart and it feels like we need to fix it really quickly. thank you both, guys, appreciate it. so the omicron variant is causing a rising on hospitalizations, putting a strain on already crumbling er systems. we'll talk to doctors across this country about how they are preparing to handle the surge. we'll be right back. y are preparing to handle the surge. we'll be right back. for strength and energy. woo hoo! ensure, complete balanced nutrition with 27 vitamins and minerals. and ensure complete with 30 grams of protein. ♪ ♪ as a professional bull-rider i'm used to taking chances. but when it comes to my insurance i don't. i use liberty mutual, they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo and, by switching you could even save 665 dollars. hey tex, can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record.
welcome back. turning back now to the pandemic raging in this country, on wednesday, the u.s. recording another record high in cases, shattering records from last winter. the spike now translating into an uptick in hospital visits, despite optimistic research showing the highly contagious omicron variant is causing less-contagious versions of this disease. i'm talking now to er doctors who have been treating covid patients coming to us from
around the country, new york, houston denver, and madison, wisconsin. they are dr. jeff pothoff, dr. angela chen, mt. sinai er doctor. dr. morgan eatermoser, and dr. joseph varon from the united memorial medical center in texas. welcome to you all and thank you all for all of the work you've been doing over the last two years and for your entire career, appreciate you taking the time. i know you're all quite busy right now. dr. chen, i want to start with you on this one, because you are in new york, where i am as well. you diagnosed the first covid patient back in march of 2020. 21 months later, did you expect to be where we are now with covid raging throughout new york? >> no. i truly think that along with the rest of my colleagues, we thought that we would be far beyond where we are today. you know, there have been so
many twists and turns with new variants popping up. a lot of us were very, very hopeful when vaccines were available and we thought that we would see the pandemic come to an end. so seeing numbers like we are currently seeing in new york city, where cases are up almost 600%, i think is a little bit disheartening, for all of us. >> dr. yettermoser. colorado also dealing with a major spike in your state, on top of that, you have these raging wildfires, hundreds of people having to evacuate their homes, that are no longer there, having to go somewhere likely where they're going to be in the same area, flooding the hospitals because of injuries, as well. how does that complicate the situation you are already dealing with >> echoing what dr. chen said, we're seeing this spike in cases. we went from 20% positivity rate seven days ago to roughly 41%
yesterday. so we're already seeing this high number of covid patients. and although people do talk about the fact that we don't have this high as death rating with we're having higher hospitalizations. that's impacting the amount of people we can see. we have decreased number of resources, whether it's by nursing shortages that we're having or fact that now we're having staff going out, because they're getting omicron. with that, we have significant shortages so it's impacting our system, it's impacting us nationally. it's everywhere. >> i want to play some sound that you recorded at the beginning of your shift earlier in the week for folks to see what's going on. >> this isn't just impact those patients with covid-19 that i diagnose tonight. i'm likely to diagnose people with other conditions that need to be admitted to the hospital and i'm not sure that we'll be able to get them out of the emergency department tonight. i hope people can do their part
and get vaccinated, decrease the number of people who need hospital beds, so that these other folk who really vic a chance, they can get the care that they need. >> dr. pothof, i can kind of hear the frustration in your voice and the urgency in your voice, pleading for folks to get vaccinated. when you think about the rate of vaccination in your state, what would it look like, what would your emergency room or icu look like if in fact more folks br vaccinated amidst this outbreak? >> you know, i think what it would look like is we'd have more room for folks who unfortunately still get covid, but also those folks who come down with other diseases, new cancer diagnosis, transplant patients who aren't doing well. you know, right now, we're saying no when other hospitals call us and say, can you please take our patient and none of us went into medicine to tell patients, no, we can't take care of you right now. that's how it would look different. >> dr. varon, dr. yettermoser
talked about this, the staffing shortages, how people at the hospital are having to call out sick. doctors and nurses as well who are testing positive for covid. "the texas tribune" reporting this earlier in this week saying, how this is happening across the board, there's not enough people to take care of folks who are testing positive for covid. the cdc just reducing its quarantine time to five days after testing positive. do you think this is a good move in the right direction to reduce that quarantine time to five days, amidst these staffing shortages? >> in all honesty, that's the only move that they can do. because there are no people around that can take care of these patients. and that is a problem. the problem is that most patients don't know if they have delta or omicron. and they are flooding the emergency departments. and then just like jeff said earlier, you know, this is going to be collateral damage for those people who truly need to go to the er. your heart attacks, your strokes, and things like that. but the number of health care
priorities that are getting positive, getting sick, is huge. you have no choice. >> dr. chen, is it time to redefine as the incoming mayor has said, he is going to look into doing, being fully vaccinated to include being boosted? >> i do think so. i think that all the data that we've seen so far is that the thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, and everyone around us is to be vaccinated with a booster. and this is what we're seeing anecdotally, this is what we're seeing reflected in the data. patients who are getting three shots simply do not get as sick when they come down with omicron. >> dr. varon, do you want to see vaccines mandated in your state, one of the states with the lowest vaccine rates across the country? >> you know, the problem, as we said in texas, if you mandate something, people don't do it. i want to see a good educational campaign that explains to people
why they should get vaccinated. because when you tell a texan, you have to get this done, the texan will say, no, i'm not going to do that. and i truly believe where there is a little risk, there is also a new choice. so just have a transparent campaign that says, why it's important to get vaccinated. somehow the data, show the good, show the bad, and show the ugly of vaccines. be very transparent. and i can tell you that more people will want to be vaccinated. >> so before i let all of you go, i want to kind of go around the horn and ask you all what your wish is for the coming new year, 2022, as we look ahead during this pandemic. dr. yettermoser, i'll start with you. >> my wish is that people would go get vaccinated. as everyone has said here, there's a significant difference in the patients that we see that are unvaccinated and the ones that are vaccinated. so if that's my wish, it's someone will see this and they'll go out and decide to get vaccinated.
>> dr. pothoff? >> yeah, i also want to see people get vaccinated. i want to not see folks come to my emergency department unvaccinated, diagnosed with covid and be fearful and wonder what's going to happen to them. you don't have to have that fear. you can take it away by getting vaccinated today. your likelihood of doing better just so much higher. >> dr. chen? >> get vaccinated. but in addition, i think just asking the general public to please, please be kind to everyone that you encounter in a health care setting right now. it has been a tremendously difficult two years for everyone. the toll that it has taken on people emotionally, physically, really, we've never seen anything like this for the lifetime, for the most people in medicine. so just practicing a little bit of compassion and really trying to remember that everyone in the health care is really right to do their best.
>> dr. varon? >> i think it's a little simpler. i just want this illness to stop being politicized, so that scientists, clinicians and health care providers can do the right thing. and just do medicine, which is what we need to do. we need to convince people that yes, they need to be vaccinated, we need to tell them why, but we need to make this non-political. that's the only way we're going to be able to get out of this one. >> get vaccinated, stop politicizing this illness. and be kind. those are some pretty good messages heading into 2022. we are so thankful to all of you for taking the time to speak with us today. and your service to this country and the people in your community. thank you so much. and for saving the lives you do each and every day. we wish you the best in the coming new year. thank you, all. still ahead, everybody, what the committee investigating the january 6th riot wants from the supreme court. stay with us. ants from the supreme court. stay with us notice how stiff cs can feel rough on your skin?
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the insurrection. so these documents are of particular interest for the committee. they look at communications between the white house and the doj right before rioters stormed the capitol. the former president is refusing to hand them over, saying they're protected under executive privilege, a notion president biden has thank you both for joining us. really appreciate it. barbara, let me start with you on this one. the former president has lost legal bottles before to block these types of documents. why would it work this time around? what argument is being made in addition to executive privilege? >> well, i think you're probably right that it's unlikely that this argument will prevail this time. but the other argument that donald trump is making is that the committee is exceeding its authority. that, in fact, what they're really trying to do here is conduct a criminal investigation so that they can refer it to the
department of justice, and a, quote, chairman, who said if we find evidence of crimes, we will refer them to the department of justice which are, of course, two different things. i think it's a loser because congress has the power to inve gait everything over which they legislate. and that certainly has to include measures to better protect the capitol or measures to protect the results of an election as the judge said in the appellate court below, it's hard to imagine anything more in congress's wheel house than an attack on its own building. >> so you don't believe, then, what i'm hearing from you that the committee is exceeding its authority. what do you think the likelihood is that the supreme court would take up this case and any indication as to how they would rule? >> i think it's a low likelihood they would take the case. i think the only reason they might take it is to whether the president has residual executive privilege. even that, i think is a long
shot. because most of these justices, even those conservative, have what's known as a unitary executive theory. the idea that a former president could come in and put his thumb on the scale for the decisions of a current president seem inconsistent with that world view. i think the likelihood of success is low. if they agree to take up the question to consider it, the committee has urged them to do so quickly so they can get on with their work, and it really is important to get these documents, because the documents often lead you to the other witnesses you need to talk to. >> talk me through exactly what the committee is looking to obtain when it comes to these documents? what could be in them? >> the committee's request was a broad request for information from the national archives. it's communications with trump and top white house officials, with folks on the national security counsel. on people with the trump campaign and outside legal counsel. so this is all part of the committee's effort to unpack what exactly was going on at the
white house at the time of the attack and leading up to it. since up until this point there's a period of a few hours or so at the beginning of the attack that mostly is a black box. we don't necessarily know what the president was doing then and what sort of information he was receiving, what sort of communications there were. the committee in waging this legal battle is attempting to pull the curtain back a little bit there. >> so you're talking about pulling the curtain back. we have 30 seconds left. we're about to head into the public phase of this investigation. what is the committee's motive in making this sort of now a more public investigation? >> look, the committee is trying to now that they've talked to hundreds of witnesses, gone through thousands of documents and are hoping to get more, they want to lay out everything they've found and tell a coherent narrative to the public about what what i've heard, folks close to the committee. the efforts to overturn the election, and the through line from that all the way up to
january 6th. thank you both and happy early new year's. still ahead, everybody, two stadiums will be packed today with college football fans in areas already seeing major spikes in covid. we are live in florida with what protocols, if any, are in place. you reach for the really good stuff. new zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. it's non habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil. new zzzquil ultra. when you really really need to sleep.
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florida to watch their favorite college football teams play in major games that will determine who makes it to the championship. the catch? the games today, georgia vs. vs. michigan and alabama against cincinnati are happening in states with major covid spikes and both stadiums will not have any requirements for people to be vaccinated or wear face masks. with us is kerry sanders in miami. it's great to see you this morning. thanks for joining us on this. talk to me about any protections in place for these games as thousands of folks are going to be heading out to watch later today. >> reporter: everybody knows about the prevention methods that can be taken by wearing masks, but when you're away on in this case vacation, you're going to have folks here from michigan and georgia at a game here in miami and of course, in texas, the game starts in a short period of time between
alabama and cincinnati. when you consider the people are there. the stadiums, this one will hold and sold out 65,000 in dallas. the stadium has 80,000 seats, and so add it up. if you have a lot of people there, in close proximity, and it's important to note that omicron is unlike delta. it spreads much easier when you're closer together in a much shorter period of time. in fact, most cases the doctors say you're not even exhibiting symptoms. so what's going to happen? i guess we're going to do like we've done in the past. we'll see what happens after an event like this for the teams here. they've been also dealing with their own version of having to quarantine, and that's with players. listen to what the coach here told us just a couple days ago from the university of georgia. >> but they really adhered to the policies we've asked them to and been able to steer clear for the most part. we had a bout the last couple weeks that we lost some guys, and got most of those guys back.
and really, that's -- the biggest thing is being at full strength when you have to be, and that's where we're aiming towards. >> so that's a football question, but for the orange bowl and the cotton bowl, the real question is going to be what happens when the fans begin gathering. as i said, they're already in the parking lots in dallas and they'll be here shortly for a game that kicks off later this evening. >> sold out stadiums during a covid outbreak. really disconcerting to say the least. kerry sanders, happy early new years to you. thank you for joining us this morning. we appreciate it. that wraps up this hour for me and the year, i should say. good riddance 2021. alison morris picks up the coverage right now. good morning. happy new year's eve to yo