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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  January 3, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PST

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♪♪ hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle live at msnbc headquarters here in new york city. it is monday, january 3rd, i am thrilled to be back because we have a lot to get to this morning, so sit down and let's get smarter. as we start this new year we are seeing covid case numbers far higher than anything we have ever seen before. this morning we are averaging 426,000 new cases a day, that is more than double where we were this time last year. but it doesn't tell the whole story. here is what's important, while cases are up over 200% in the
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last two weeks, hospitalizations are growing at a much slower rate, just 35%. and the death rate may be the most important number has actually gone down. all of that is the backdrop for millions of kids heading back to school this morning, and confusion doesn't even begin to explain the feeling out there. some districts are bringing back masks, some are ramping up testing like here in new york city, while others are going virtual all over again. according to one data company, nearly 2,200 schools have announced that they are going to be closed starting today. bottom line, because there are no federal rules, schools, towns, districts, they have all their own rules, they are essentially on their own. that is why you've got places like madison, wisconsin, where cases are up almost 50%, they're going virtual, but in houston where cases are up more than 600% over the last two weeks, schools there are open with masks and testing. and while covid is making a mess of the school situation, it is
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also throwing a massive wrench into travel plans. i want you to look at this. more than 1,800 u.s. flights have already been canceled today. that brings the total since christmas eve to roughly 17,000 flights and there's more to come. jetblue preemptively canceling flights through mid-january because of covid related staffing issues. all of this is happening just as a major winter storm is pounding the midwest and the east coast and i want to start right there. nbc's morgan chesky is at love field airport in dallas. sara nelson is the president of the flight attendants union. and henry hartifeld is an analyst for the travel industry. i had flights canceled over the weekend, just today 1,800 more are canceled. why is all of this happening now and what happens to people when the airline says, oh, we will rebook you two, three days from now? >> reporter: yeah, steph, rough going for so many travelers
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right now. you mentioned 1,800 cancellations, you can add about 1,000 delays on top of that. no matter where you go in the country travelers are coming up against a bad one-two punch. you have a winter blast impacting a large portion of the nation and then you have the omicron variant which is wreaking havoc on airlines and their staffing, causing temporary shortages, causing some of those cancellations and delays as airlines are scrambling to make sure that planes are fully staffed. right now we know that here in dallas there's no significant delays to speak of, but this really has caused a trickle-down effect as millions of people are trying to get home after the holidays. aaa calling yesterday really the final big push of people traveling out and about. we had a chance to speak to one traveler yesterday, here is what they had to say. take a listen. >> so we're thinking it's about an hour delay but we're going to go check the monitors and mick sure it's only an hour. >> you think it could be more? >> possibly. might be staying in dallas a little longer. might have to extend our
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vacation. >> reporter: extending a vacation kind of a best case scenario, but we have spoken with travelers that are facing worst case scenarios as well. one family in particular, steph, went to orlando for the holiday, they had a morning flight to go back home to iowa, the airline delayed their flight, canceled their flight, then did not offer an option to rebook. as we speak right now that family is making a 22-hour drive from orlando back to iowa trying to get back home in time to keep their business open. so this is playing out all across the country, steph. aaa says really expect that holiday rush to die down in the days ahead, but certainly no relief for folks who are stuck or facing those cancellations and i should add you are entitled to a full cash refund if your flight is canceled. steph? >> full cash refund, but you've still got to get home. henry, how unusual is this
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situation? it's been happening now for a week and a half. have you ever seen anything like it? >> stephanie, i've been in this industry a long time and i have never seen anything like this. i don't think sara has seen anything like this. none of us have. you have omicron, you have bad weather and the omicron virus isn't just affecting airlines, it's affecting the faa. we have had air traffic control centers at airports like dfw shut down. there is concern that there won't be enough people working to operate all the control towers. so that could exacerbate the problems. so this is just a disaster on top of a disaster on top of a disaster. >> henry, just getting a refund from the airlines isn't necessarily enough. when they call and say -- or when they email you and say your flight is canceled, we will give you a new flight in two days, what are they obligated to do for you? for that family in orlando, they might not have the money to stay at their hotel for another few days. >> well, again t all depends.
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if it's omicron you can see if the airline will reimburse you for hotels and incidentals, some airlines may, some won't. some airlines, most airlines, can rebook you on other airlines if there are seats available, but there may not be. some airlines, like southwest, don't do that. and so the airline may just say, look, there is absolutely nothing we can do or will do to get you home, you're on your own. and that's just not a great way to do business, but, you know, again, the airlines can't solve omicron or the weather. >> sara, what is the situation among flight attendants and crews? are there people who are sick and they can't work or are they too afraid to go to work? >> look, we have a couple things going on here. even before we hit the travel season over the holidays we had the realization that crews were not picking up voluntary overtime hours at the same rate that they were pre pandemic. that was due to several things.
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that was due to the concern over getting beat up at work with all of the disruptive passenger incidents that we have had and the constant conflict on the planes and it was also over concerns with covid. so just like the rest of the country, flight attendants are a very diverse group, we all have different issues, we have medical issues, issues with preexisting conditions for family members at home, we have all of these concerns and people are just not picking that up at the same rate. more recently, though, over the holidays we have more crew who are getting sick and we want to make sure they're not coming back to work until they are better and we've negotiated incentives for those who are well to pick up more time to try to help out here. st from the telecoms with the airline industry to have mitigation factors in place for the launch of 5g, we are going to have a much worse disaster here and that is coming very soon so we're hopeful that the telecom industry comes to their senses today and comes to a common sense approach with the
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ten-day delay to put mitigation factors in place to keep all of us safe because we are simply not going to take off if those flights are potentially at risk. >> a problem on top of a problem. henry, 17,000 canceled flights. it is never easy to take calls dpr frustrated angry passengers. i was one of those people on hold for hours over the weekend and i have to say those people working in call centers, it's like they're doing the work of angels. what has it been like for them over these holidays after somebody is on hold for three hours, they're not particularly friendly. >> no, they're not. and, in fact, some airlines have even admitted that the hold times are as long as 20 hours. so first if you are having a problem getting with your flight, if your flight has been delayed or canceled, go to the website, go to the airlines' mobile app or travel agency if you booked that way, see if you can rebook yourself online. some airlines offer chat, either through their websites or mobile
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apps, some have support on twitter or use facebook messenger or what's app. so see if that's available. that may be faster than trying to get through on the phone. but if you do get on the phone, the agent will do everything she or he can, but just understand it's not like they can snap their fingers and make an airplane and crew appear out of thin air. they are working with the same limitations everybody is facing within that airline. >> they are doing the best they can. thank you all so much. we appreciate you joining us this morning. now let's shift gears to the complicated and confusing situation at our nation's schools. i mentioned it at the top. officials are trying to keep kids in class while keep them safe at the same time. ellison barber joins us from new york city where kids are going back to school today. also with us the senior scholar at johns hopkins university center for health security. el son, are people happy their kids are going back to school or not? >> it's a mix, as you would
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probably expect. we've spoken to parents who say they feel like the city, the school district, they have done everything they can to get their children back in the classroom as safely as possible, and while they may be a little bit nervous, they say they feel comfortable sending their children to school. others say this is not the best case scenario. they wish that there were remote options available here. one mom who we spoke to as she dropped off two of her children, she says she does not feel comfortable sending their children to school at all when less than half of the city's eligible children are fully vaccinated, but she said she doesn't feel like she has another option. when you speak to teachers, there is a mix of emotions there as well, a lot of teachers saying they feel like the school system just hasn't done enough to open right now given the infection rates in the city. listen to what one teacher told us. >> i am extremely concerned. i'm terrified. i'm upset. i'm angry.
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i'm thinking about all my students, i'm thinking about all my colleagues, i'm thinking about my own daughter who is in public school, she's four years old in pre-k. i think it's just -- it's such -- we are walking into such a dire situation and it really doesn't have to be this way. >> reporter: so previously in new york city schools if a child tested positive for covid-19 anyone who had close contact with that student would have to quarantine for ten days, that at times meant entire classrooms were told to quarantine and stay home for ten days. now under this new reopening plan that the mayor has laid out, if a student tests positive for covid-19 teachers will distribute rapid at-home testing kits to the classroom. if a student does not have any symptoms and if they continue to test negative on day one and then also day five, they can stay in the classroom. new york city schools also offered pcr testing once a week, they say that has been doubled,
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but the thing is if students want to get that test it is voluntary and it's something that parents have to actively sign up for and opt in. stephanie. >> so, doctor, what is your best advice to parents? if the kids are being tested, if they're wearing masks, if they're vaccinated, are they safe to be in school? >> i do think that they're safe in school. this is something that has to be a priority, keeping in-person schooling going. we have lots of tools now in 2022 that we didn't have in the early days of the pandemic and we could even keep schools safe back then. the cdc's test to stay policy, vaccination of teachers and students, testing, masking, social distancing, allof those best practices -- schools are likely one of the safest place for children to be and they do much better with in-person schooling. there is no reason to be shutting schools this late in the pandemic. >> but how do we apply those best practices? let's say i send my kid to school every day this week, that
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means they could get exposed every day. do i test them every night? >> not necessarily. i think first of all your child hopefully is above the age to be vaccinated so they are above five, they're fully vaccinated, they're wearing a mask if that's the school's policy, they're social distancing and you would be alert to signs and symptoms that could be consistent with covid-19 and then you rapidly test. schools may also do pull testing just to keep an idea of what's going on. remember this is very late in the pandemic. we have schools open in the midwest, for example, before there were vaccines when the pandemic was raging outside the doors and we didn't see schools getting impacted. i think it's odd that we're kind of going back to that old mindset when we have learned so much, we've seen that schools can be open. in europe it's the default to keep things open, they are the first things to open, the last things to close, but here in the united states it's the exact opposite and the children suffer because of it. >> ellison, new york city didn't have enough tests for people before kids were going back to school, now here we are,
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hundreds of thousands of more children are going to need to get tested this week. where are they even going to get these tests? >> reporter: well, the state has provided some, so the governor has said she is going to be sending a million at home rapid test kits to new york city schools, there are two tests in each kit so that's about two million tests. new york city it is the nation's largest school district, you have 1.1 million children who are at school in new york city public schools. the city has said they have about 6 million testing kits on hand, but you have teachers unions like uft who have said they are appreciative and glad that the state has sent the city additional kits specifically for schools but they say having those kits and effectively distributing them and ensuring that every single school close to 2,000 of them in new york city has equal access to those tests is a very different thing and so far that union at least they've said that they are not convinced that that can be done. >> doctor, a lot of people who
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are vaccinated were willing to get tested before the holidays because they wanted to see their families, they wanted to travel. now how do you motivate people to go out and get tested when it's either expensive or a pain or even if they get it they know it will be mild and they don't want to quarantine? >> it's going to be very difficult. people were clearly motivated to be able to travel and to be around people. that's going to change, but i think what we want to do is make testing as ubiquitous and as easy to have as possible and that's going to encourage people. if they don't have to go through hoops and drive around town to look for tests they may do more tests. you may see more venues asking for tests because they don't want off omicron disrupt activities. you will see the anti-rierl becoming more available so people will have a treatment option especially at high risk. all of that i think will get testing to be a normal function and maybe we will see guidance change that testing negative on the antigen test gets you out earlier than that five days if
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we can do serial testing of someone who is positive, the quicker they are negative and can be back to their normal life. all of that i think will make testing something that becomes part of our life once we get enough supply. it's the supply constraint that hampers the way we have used these tests. they've been been valued for what they can be able to do in the face of this pandemic. >> i do want to ask you this, the fda may soon allow pfizer boosters for kids between the age of 12 and 15. you have said to us even in the last couple of weeks that you do not see a need for boosters unless people are at high risk. so what do you think about this move? would you get your 12-year-old boosted? >> i don't have any children, but if my child was high risk, meaning immunocompromised, had congenital heart disease, a transplant, yes, i would get them boosted, if they had asthma. for the average healthy 12 to 15-year-old, for the average healthy adult i still think that boosters provide a transient benefit and there's not any
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erosion against serious disease, hospitalization and death. with this omicron variant we see boosters aren't a guarantee that you are not going to get infected with it and it's just a transient benefit, maybe 10 or 12 weeks after the booster the levels fall down. i don't think that boosting healthy people to prevent mild illness makes sense with these first generation vaccines. i think we need to focus on getting first and second doses, i'm going to work at the hospital tomorrow and i guarantee it will be people that lack first and second doses i will be treating not people that lack boosters. i think we are ignoring this problem of the unvaccinated and keep boosting people without actually fixing the hospital capacity problem which is first and second doses. >> doctor, thank you for everything that you do. thank you for going into the hospital tomorrow and for treating those people who aren't making moves to make themselves and their communities safe. i appreciate you joining us. ellison, always good to see you. we're going to leave it there. coming up, the new complication in the search efforts after a historic colorado wildfire. we will go live on the ground with the latest on a search
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warrant that was executed and the hunt for two people who are still missing. and nfl star, maybe former star, antonio brown no longer a tampa bay buccaneer after his major sideline meltdown. the walk out that is adding to his string of career controversies and why it could end up costing him a lot more than a spot on this team. costi than a spot on this team feeling sluggish or weighed down? it could be a sign that your digestive system isn't working at it's best taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption than a spot on this team. levels. than a spot on this team so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health. and try metamucil fiber thins. a great tasting and easy way to start your day. (kate) this holiday, verizon has the deal that gets better and better and better. get iphone 13 pro, on us, when you trade in your old or damaged phone. here, the phone everyone wants,
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welcome back. we've got more developing news this morning. two people still missing after that devastating wildfire in colorado late last week. officials say the fast moving flames driven by hurricane force wind gusts devoured close to 1,000 homes in bowled county. several inches of snow complicated the effort to determine what caused this, but local authorities say they have executed a search warrant related to the fire. let's go to gadi schwartz in
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louisville. what is going on? this is not your average fire. >> reporter: not your average fire at all. good morning, steph. yeah, behind me this is an entire neighborhood that was ravaged by this fire and it is so hard to wrap your head around what happened here because this is not some wilderness area, this is the middle of the suburbs, the fire happened -- started four miles away and then with those 100 mile an hour winds we are talking about what was effectively a hurricane force firestorm that ripped its way through here. this right here, this used to be 20 homes that went all the way back. this is about 100 homes in this neighborhood that have been destroyed. all you see right now is charred remains of trees and many of these homes that have collapsed down into their basements and, steph, when you get here you want to understand what this looked like before so we pulled out google earth and i just got to show you because you have to see it possible it. this right here, this is the home that was standing right in
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front of where we are standing here and this is what the neighborhood looked like. you see old tall trees, two-story homes, so many families living in this neighborhood and these homes collapsing in on themselves. behind me this is the devastation that you see right now. you're seeing straight through where where all those homes used to be out to the interstate behind me. four miles away is where the search warrant was executed, right now much of this shifting over into the investigation but at this point investigators have still not said whether this fire was started intentionally or whether it may have been an accident, but clearly this was not a lightning strike, this was somehow caused by man in one of the worst days, one of the worst -- highest wind gusts that we've seen and then the next day of course the snowfall is compounding the situation here. just a surreal scene out here in louisville. stephanie? >> surreal seen and a search
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party still out for two missing people. thank you for joining us. coming up next, washington and the nation preparing for the first anniversary of the january 6th insurrection. the house panel is starting to go public with some of what they've learned. >> have you seen any evidence or do you have any indication that maybe members of congress assisted any of the rioters on that day? >> yes. >> yes car insurance with liberty mutual, so we only pay for what we need. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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thursday morning marks one year since the january 6th capitol riot. president biden and former president trump set to deliver remarks on that anniversary, but this morning we're learning more about how the investigation into what happened is going down. committee chair benny thompson saying members of congress did, in fact, interact with some of the rioters but it's unclear how big of a deal it was. let's bring in leigh ann caldwell on capitol hill, also jake sherman. the investigation is going public what can they expect? >> reporter: the two vice chairs of the committee fanned the sunday shows over the weekend.
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we're starting to get a better picture of what they're interested in and where this investigation to go. we know based on those interviews that the vice chairs and the committee is extremely interested in the 187 minutes, that's three hours and seven minutes that the former president did nothing while the violence was under way here at the capitol. now, is that going to be -- lead to a criminal referral to the department of justice? the two vice chairs wouldn't say just yet, but they did say, especially representative liz cheney, said that it was absolutely a dereliction of duty. let's listen to what she said. >> there's absolutely no question that it was a dereliction of duty and i think one of the things the committee needs to look at as we're looking at a legislative purpose is whether we need enhanced penalties for that kind of dereliction of duty. >> reporter: one of the reasons they think it's a dereliction of duty is because they know from their previous interviews behind closed doors that the former president was watching it on
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television and that his daughter, ivanka trump, came in twice, asked him to do something to call off the violence. so, you know, the repercussions that the former president had was an impeachment trial, he was not impeached, so it sounds like congress is trying to create perhaps some other mechanism to punish a president should some similar instance happen again in the future, steph. >> okay. but then that's create more consequences. as they stand what's the punishment for a dereliction of duty, jake, because the reporting, now it's the president's family members, his chief of staff, members of congress, his buddies on fox news telling him on the phone and in person please stop these rioters and he didn't. are there any consequences currently for that? >> no, of course not. and, actually, steph, i would take it a step further in saying that at the time, in the days after the attack on the capitol, it was reported that he was watching tv, it was reported that ivanka trump had tried to
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stop -- tried to urge him to stop the rioters and attackers at the capitol. it was reported that kevin mccarthy urged him to issue a statement. so now the committee has this information, but it largely was in the public domain. now, they can make a criminal referral, of course, and they can ask the justice department to take action to indict him, but then it's up to the justice department. congress doesn't really have any -- besides the investigation, which is incredibly important -- doesn't have any actual authority to do anything that it's not done. i will say one other thing here, steph. the interesting thing to me, and i think this is what we're going to see when this thing goes public next year -- or this year, rather, when this thing goes public in 2022, is that they have had a lot of cooperation from people that we don't know at this point. right? they have had people who worked in the white house, who were in the subpoenaed, who voluntarily came to the committee and said they would cooperate. that to me is the most interesting stuff because the
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people who have been subpoenaed have already indicated they're probably not, absent a court order, going to participate and going to help. so the interesting thing to me is what they've gotten from people who have not been subpoenaed. >> even if they participate and help, if there's no consequences what's the point? there is all this talk, could they call ivanka trump to testify. what would that do? create a big giant show. if there's one thing the trump family loves it's a big show. wouldn't she love showing up and saying i tried, i tried to do it from the inside. how does that help the committee? >> i mean, that gets back to a fundamental question here which is what is the committee trying to do. what the committee is trying to do is create some sort of historical record for what happened on january 6th, based on both sides of pennsylvania avenue and the security failures on capitol hill. so, i mean, i think it has -- i think that's an incredibly important thing. i don't think that anybody who was in the white house, including ivanka and some of the other aides, i don't think you are' going to get much out of those people. again, what the committee will get is information from some of
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those peripheral people in the white house who were either a party or a witness to what the president was doing that day. >> but, jake, people don't want the truth. it has been a year and 71% of republicans still believe the big fat lie that trump won, which he didn't, and 12% of the country wants trump to fight to be made president as we speak. how do you have a country move forward when people won't accept basic truths about the election and people don't even need necessarily this committee though they're so important. we watched those riots on tv and every day people whitewash it and talk about it like it's a thing of the past. >> yeah, i mean, i lived through it so i'm with you on that. i mean, i don't know how to solve the fact that some people are living in alice in wonderland about the elections and about what happened on january 6th. that's probably beyond my pay grade, but it's ridiculous and it's obviously stupid and it has no place in our society or political system. >> thank you both.
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i want to turn to another story making a lot of news on capitol hill, twitter permanently suspending congresswoman marjorie taylor greene's personal twitter account after she repeatedly violated the platform's covid misinformation policy. twitter noting she still has access to her professional account but in the last 24 hours a ton of right wing people are going off saying twitter is not allowed to do this and they're ranting about freedom of speech. here is the thing, guys, every business can set standards for their customers. you're familiar with no shirt, no shoes, no service. nobody gets mad at that. so why is twitter wrong to make sure that its users don't spread medical misinformation during a pandemic? they're not. those are the rules. businesses can set their rules and they are. now let's turn to money, power, politics, specifically congress and big money. we told you about house speaker pelosi shooting down the idea that lawmakers should be banned from stock trading and while that territory is a bit murky,
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it's becoming more and more difficult to police issues just like this, with ethics investigators hitting more walls when they look into members of congress who might have been bending or breaking the rules. joining me now to dig in, a reporter who has been looking into this "new york times" luke broadwater. fewer members of congress are even willing to talk to these investigators. how come they are not required to do so? >> right. well, that's a great question, and the answer is that congressional ethics laws are by and large many ethics experts believe are quite lacking. right now some 40% of members of congress are refusing to even meet with ethics investigators or give them any documents at all. and there's really no repercussion for them in any way. so what we're seeing is what many ethics experts believe is a back sliding on ethics. so you have more than 50 members
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of congress who violated the stock act last year, you have increasingly fewer and fewer members who even meet with investigators and what we're seeing ethics experts believe is less of a public awareness that there's any punishment for doing this. it used to be that if you did something untoward in congress you might be publicly embarrassed, voters might vote you out, but it doesn't seem like members of congress now feel that there's any public pressure to even comply with an ethics investigation and so many are -- >> so that leaves us with there's no shame and there's no rules. during the trump administration we would hear it over and over, they would laugh at ethics violations and we would hear, oh, my god, this administration, what they're doing is unprecedented. well, now did they set a new precedent and the rest of the lawmakers are just following suit, if they believe badly so will we, it costs you nothing? >> some believe that this does
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go back to the trump administration where once it was seen on capitol hill that there was no price to pay many times for violating ethical rules, then others followed suit. now, what could be done is congress as a body could start taking a tougher line. we had -- the last time a member of congress was expelled was jim traficant after he was convicted of ten felonies. should there be a lower bar than having been convicted of multiple felonies? could there be other ethical violations that could cause a member of congress to be expelled? it would take a vote of the house. they could do it. but up until now basically congress when there is a violation has not taken stiff penalties against a member of congress for violating ethics rules. >> okay. then if the only thing it costs them is public trust, the public already doesn't trust congress and now you've got members of
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congress making millions and millions of dollars, trading stocks, using information they have because of their jobs. are we now seeing congress say, whatever. i don't have to cooperate. there's no point in opening myself to scrutiny or legal action, i'm going to keep on doing what i'm doing, making a money of money and staying in office. that's where we are? >> i think there are some members -- i think there are some members who have made the calculation that that is -- it's in their interests not to cooperate. that they don't face any public backlash, their seat is not at risk if they do not -- if they do not comply and so they're going to keep doing what they're going to keep doing and until ethics laws get tougher, until there's real penalties for not cooperating with an investigation or not following some of the ethics rules, i don't know how things are going to change. >> those same lawmakers who go on and on about going after wall street and going after big business and they do these things themselves. luke, awesome reporting.
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thank you for joining us. please come back soon. coming up next, nearly two years after covid has declared a pandemic it's still really hard to get a test. we have new reporting on a possible tool the fda could have signed off on in the spring of 2020, but they didn't think they needed to. 2020, but they didn't think they needed to. ok, let's talk about those changes to your financial plan. bill, mary? hey... it's our former broker carl. carl, say hi to nina, our schwab financial consultant. hm... i know how difficult these calls can be. not with schwab. nina made it easier to set up our financial plan. we can check in on it anytime. it changes when our goals change. planning can't be that easy. actually, it can be, carl. look forward to planning with schwab. schwab! ♪♪ ♪ my name is monique, i'm 41, and i'm a federal contract investigator. as a single parent, i would run from football games to work and trying to balance it all. so, what do you see when you look at yourself?
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i see a person that's caring. sometimes i care too much, and that's when i had to learn to put myself first, because i would care about everyone all the time but i'm just as important as they are. botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make frown line, crow's feet and forehead lines look better. the effects of botox® cosmetic may spread hours to weeks after injection, causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness may be a sign of a life-threatening condition. do not receive botox® cosmetic if you have a skin infection. side effects may include allergic reactions, injection site pain, headache, eyebrow, eyelid drooping, and eyelid swelling. tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk of serious side effects see for yourself at botoxcosmetic.com breaking news, in just the last few minutes the fda has officially approved the pfizer booster for teens ages 12 to 15.
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and i want to talk more about covid testing because the lines we are seeing across the country are still really bad. here is the issue, this was a huge issue before the vaccine and it remains a problem now. this is a video of the testing lines just this morning in massachusetts, but the big thing is it did not have to be this way. a harvard trained scientist created an inexpensive rapid test at the start of the pandemic with the capacity to produce at least 100,000 tests every single week and they were priced at less than 10 bucks apiece but the fda said no. i want to find out why. lydia digs into all of this in an incredible new report in propublica. lydia, there are all sorts of doctors and scientists that come up with tests and ideas for vaccines and they get pushed aside, but this one sounds like this makes a lot of sense. i'm in the cheap seats. tell me what the fda thought because this doesn't make sense. >> sure. so this is a test created by a
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small startup in cambridge, massachusetts, at the beginning of the pandemic. they had been making tests for tropical diseases very similar to the ones that you see today, simple lateral flow tests and they found that their technology could be adapted pretty quickly for the new coronavirus. so they whipped up a pretty quick and dirty prototype, brought it to the fda and they said this works and the fda said we need you to do more things to prove it. so they had to spend months doing clinical trials and by the time they brought their application to the fda again later in the fall the fda said this isn't sensitive enough and it's not specific enough, and that is how the fda was treating these rapid tests, as something that really needed to be extremely accurate. the point that dr. bosh was trying to make is that very early in the pandemic especially these are tools that could be used because they are very sensitive for folks who have
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high viral loads that could be used at least to tell us who is very infectious. they might not catch every single case, in fact, they probably only catch eight out of ten positive cases, but think how useful that would be if you are doing it once every couple of days, you work in an in-person job and if you get a positive just like you do today you know you may infect other people. instead what happened last year is that people waited for days to get returned pcr tests, which are the gold standard, they are very accurate and those are the ones that the fda focused on, rather than figuring out a way to use less sensitive rapid antigen tests in the way that they are intended to be used. >> yeah, the pcr tests are the gold standard, but you have millions of people who don't have three and four days to wait, especially if they're asymptomatic. is the fda changing their tune on this now that here we are going back to work, going back to school and we need this information?
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>> that's right. so the thing that was compelling to me about this story is that although dr. bosh was very open about the process that she went through she wasn't the only one, there were many large companies making these tests and selling them in other countries but they couldn't get through -- none of them could get through the fda with the standard that was promulgated for home tests especially in late july of 2020. so it took until december of 2020 for a single over the counter home test to be authorized and those didn't go into production in the u.s. for months and now they still cost $40 each, and the two most well-known tests we know today, the abbott's buy max now and the quick view tests were authorized until late march of 2021 when it became -- the fda said that you can use these in a serial manner, like two at a time or two in a row. so that was at a time when we thought that vaccines were
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really going to get us out of this pandemic quickly. the other failure here is that the white house didn't emphasize testing in a way that would have led them to buy hundreds and millions of these tests to make sure that companies had the certainty to keep producing them. that, i think, is a twin failure that has led us to the shortages we are experiencing today. >> and hundreds of millions of tests are exactly what we need right now. thank you so much for joining. really great reporting. >> thank you. coming up, the nfl's antonio brown torches his latest second chance. the question is will it be his last? the wild walk out that has everyone wondering what was behind it and could that have been his last game? nd it and co been his last game ♪ got my brains ♪ ♪ got my ears ♪ ♪ got my heart ♪ ♪ got my soul ♪ ♪ got my mouth ♪ ♪ i got life ♪ - realtor.com's new collaboration tools made it easy for romeo and i to find the right home together.
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my hygienist cleans i with a round head. so does my oral-b my hygienist personalizes my cleaning. so does my oral-b oral-b delivers the wow of a professional clean feel every day. now to some major drama on the professional football field. this is a video, if you haven't seen it yet, of tampa bay buccaneers' wide receiver antonio brown having a complete meltdown during yesterday's game against the new york jets. brown seen taking off his jersey, his pads, and throwing it into the stands before he just got up and left the field. well, coach bruce aarons telling
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reporters after the game, brown is no longer a buck. last month, he was suspended for using a fake vaccine card, and back in 2019, he was accused of sexual assault by a former athletic trainer. brown denied those allegations and a settlement was eventually reached. and now his future in the league entirely is in question again. joining us now to discuss, mike florio, editor of nbcsports.com pro football talk. mike, what in the world happened? >> as the head coach of the team tells it, he instructed antonio brown to return to the game. brown had reportedly had a sore ankle. he declined to return to the game. air ens told him to return to the game, he said no again, so brown decided to implement that decision immediately and removed his gear and left. but, you know, we've never seen anything quite like this before. and you can attach that sentiment to many of the things antonio brown has done over the years. but he continues to be a very
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talented receiver, and the buccaneers brought him back two weeks ago after his three-game suspension for using a fake vaccine card, because they thought they could help -- that he could help the team win. and they keep giving him second chances, although they won't anymore. although the question now becomes, where will he get his next second chance? >> they're not giving him another second chance. do you think another team will? it's not even a second chance anymore. it's just another chance. and another chance. it's like, how i parent my children. >> excuses are made for the stars and examples are made of the scrubs. that's how it works in the nfl. and really in every sport. and if a guy can help a team win, he's going to find a second chance for himself. and that's really the next question. will there be a team out there that's trying to pursue a super bowl championship, that says, you know what, we'll work something out with him. all we have to do is get him to hold it together for a couple of weeks, and there are real concerns that the organization has as it relates to mental health issues. tom brady expressed that yesterday, requesting compassion
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and empathy for antonio brown. but, look, as we get down to the most important games of the season, there are teams out there that could benefit from his talents and maybe willing to roll the dice. if it doesn't work out, you just move on. teams move on from players all the time for all sorts of reasons and it won't surprise me if a team like the chiefs, the packers, maybe the rams, because the rams seem to be interested in everybody who's available. but it won't surprise me if somebody gives him that latest second chance. whatever number it is, he's still good enough to get it. >> is there anyone out there defending why exactly he did it? is he defending himself? >> well, it's unclear, as to what is going to be offered up from his perspective. there's been nothing that's really all that understandable or obvious yet. i've reached out to his agent a couple of times and haven't gotten a response. but if he was told you're off the team, then, hey, you're off the team. you can wait until after the game or you can go ahead and make your exit right then and there. now, it's going to be hard for people to get past that viral moment if they are considering
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doing business with him again, but i assume at some point, we'll hear from him, as he tries to put his best foot forward, if he indeed wants to play for someone else this year. that assumes that he wants to play for someone else this year. maybe that walk off is his final farewell to the nfl. >> how about the nfl? have they made any official statement, as it relates to conduct and ethics, right? lying about your vaccine card is one thing, but there has to be some sort of code of conduct for how they expect their players to perform and behave. >> this is something that i think the nfl would consider a club matter and the buccaneers, they have options. they don't have to release -- you know, if they're concerned he's going to land with another team that maybe they'll play on their own path to the championship, they could suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team. basically put him on ice for up to four weeks, not pay him, but not see him go somewhere else. the league would defer to the team in matters like this. and the league has dealt with antonio brown in the past. he was suspended eight games last year for violating the
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personal conduct policy. three games this year for the fake vaccine card. so, i don't think what he did yesterday crosses the line from the league's perspective. it's just a team issue for now. >> do you think another team is looking to recruit him right now? >> right now, no, but it won't surprise me. it really won't. there's a guy named josh gordon who's been suspended by the nfl more times than anyone can remember, for substance abuse issues. and he's got a spot on the kansas city chiefs, because they needed a good player to help their offense. and he hasn't been all that productive. it would not surprise me at all if the chiefs would decide to give antonio brown his latest second chance, because they still need another productive member of their offense. >> does it surprise you that the bucks cut him? >> i just think that they had gotten to their wit's end with him. and it's a more complicated background story here, because tom brady had been his championship all along, and bruise aarons the head coach had been reluctant since day one.
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when the question first came up in 2020, bruce aarons said, it's not going to happen. and he said, if he screws up one time, he's gone. fast forward to 2021, he screwed up and he wasn't gone. and at this point, it's past the point of no return. but there has to be a concern. if they do put him on waivers and let him exit and potentially join another team, it could come back to bite them at some point in the playoffs. >> it could. my goodness. the almighty dollar and what motivates the nfl and all businesses, really. thank you so much for joining us. you certainly made us a whole lot smarter on a story everybody is talking about. that wraps up this very busy hour. thank you for watching. it is so good to be back. happy new year to you all. my friend and colleague, jose diaz-balart is here and he picks up coverage right after the break. picks up coverage right after the break. our retailers have been sharing the love with those who need it most. now subaru is the largest automotive donor
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and good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. just moments ago, the fda approved a booster dose of the pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. this as we face another day of long lines for covid testing as americans head pack to work and to school amid a surge in cases. and flight cancellations and delays due to airline staffing issues and severe weather. we'll take a look

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