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tv   Jose Diaz- Balart Reports  MSNBC  January 4, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good morning. 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. moments ago, the head of the cdc approved booster shots for children with compromised immune systems. this comes as the surge in covid cases shows no sign of slowing down. president biden, meanwhile, will talk later today about what is administration is doing to help overloaded hospitals.
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we also talk with a scientific adviser to puerto rico's governor about how the u.s. island territory is dealing with the flood of new infections. also, on this, as a combination of covid and winter weather, it makes for another terrible travel day in the air. and on the ground, as well. on capitol hill, senate democrats are making voting rights their first big priority for the new year. and out west, a one-time silicon valley star now faces jail time after she was convicted of defrauding investors. and new instability in haiti, as the prime minister was forced to flee an independence day event after a deadly shooting at his office. his office says that it was an assassination attempt. >> and we begin this hour with our top story, evolving
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coronavirus pandemic. just in the last hour, the head of the cdc, dr. rochelle walensky, approved a third dose of the covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 with compromised immune systems. she also approved a smaller window between the completion of the primary vaccination series and a booster shot for those who got the pfizer shot. a drop from six months to five months. this as even highly vaccinated states continue to see a new wave of cases due to the rampant spread of the omicron variant. joining me this morning, nbc's dasha burns from newark, new jersey. heidi przybyla is in washington, d.c., and dr. natalie azar, a rheumatologist and an msnbc contributor. and dr. eileen marty is a professor of infectious diseases at florida international university. thank you all for being with me. dasha, let me start with you. more than 70% of new jersey residents are vaccinated. what are state officials attributing this surge to?
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>> reporter: jose, they're largely attributing this surge in hospitalizations to the transmissibility of the omicron evaporate. the case numbers here are just exploding. and as this virus makes its way through more and more of the population, that drives up those hospitalization numbers. the governor here calling this covid wave the omicron tsunami, because right now, there are more people hospitalized in new jersey at this point in the pandemic than at any point in the last year, in fact, the most since may of 2020. and over here at university hospital, their ceo tells us that they have seen a doubling in hospital admissions over the last seven days. but jose, it's so important to look at the hospital population here, because not a single covid patient in their icu has been boosted. only one of their icu patients has been fully vaccinated. and 70% of their covid
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hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. there's going to be a strain on this system. they're already seeing it right now with a one-two punch, jose. one, there are more hospital admissions right now, but two, there are fewer staff members to treat these patients, because the staff, they live in this community, and when there's this high amount of spread, they're affected, as well. so they've got staff out because of covid right now. in fact, about a hundred staff members are out right now, knocking them out for at least a week, oftentimes. and that is creating a big problem. take a listen. >> without staff, the beds don't mean anything. you have to have people who are able to work and willing to work come and staff those beds. so there's a lot of moving targets here. but until we start to see the hospitalization curve flatten, i won't be ringing a celebration, certainly, until then.
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>> and jose, that impacts not just covid patients coming into the hospital, but anyone who has any other conditions or issues that bring them into the hospital. they just are struggling with that staff to care for them. now, right now in new jersey, there are 1 million people who are unvaccinated, twice that who are not boosted. and those are going to be contributing factors that health officials are worried about continuing to emphasize. go get your vaccine, go get boosted. wear your mask, jose. >> dasha, such important information. thank you so very much. dr. marty, talk about south florida, florida in general. what are you seeing there? >> so, thank you. nice to see you, jose. listen, the problem is that right now, if you look for example in miami-dade, we are almost at the same level of hospitalizations as we've had during our summer peak with delta. and there's a combination of people who are coming in with
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covid-19 and what we're seeing is very, very much mirrored by what you just heard about in new jersey. the vast majority of people that we have to hospitalize are unvaccinated individuals. the people who do have vaccines and boosters that we hospitalize are people with underlying conditions, that make them more susceptible in the first place. and those are very, very uncommon, anyway. because the vaccines and the boosters truly do work to keep the infection down. and another complication, exactly like you saw in new jersey, is that we are also having tremendous staffing problems in part because our staff is getting sick. and that's not just the people who are up-front, the clinicians and the nurses and the technicians seeing the patients, but even people in our laboratories, who have to run all of the various tests that need to be done for the
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individuals. and again, supplies are getting low. >> i mean, dr. marty, let's talk about the holy cross hospital in ft. lauderdale is just announcing that they're going to have to shut their maternity ward because of staffing issues. there is this cause and effect of the increase of the omicron throughout our communities. >> absolutely. that's exactly what we're experiencing, and it's particularly challenging, because the treatment modalities that work very well for delta are not working or not working very well for omicron. >> hey, heidi, you've been following how the surge is affecting some of the nation's biggest school districts. what have you learned? >> jose, many of the school districts were already facing really critical staffing shortages. and now, a number of them, the largest districts, in fact, are reporting up to 10% of their staff calling out sick. nationwide, that breaks down to about 2,100 k-12 schools that
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are going to close for in-person learning for at least part of this week. i talked, for instance, to teachers in syracuse last night, which had to close altogether on monday, just because there were too many staff who were sick. and they're making decisions about whether they can open now on pretty much a daily basis, jose. what we're seeing is essentially the same shortages that hit the airlines, the hospitals, now hitting the schools. here's a teacher's union leader from syracuse. >> most districts have been playing like a game of jenga as far as staff shortages go. you're constantly pulling one staff from one place to go cover in another place and hoping you have enough to cover. just simply because of the shortage that we started the year out with in all of our areas. we don't have enough teachers to even staff our building to begin with right now this year. and again, that's in most districts, we started the year out with a staff shortage, because people are not going into the profession. >> jose, after speaking with numerous officials, it's clear
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we've never really seen anything quite like this. schools unable to open, due only because of staffing shortages. administrators having to become substitute teachers. and this is just due to the wave off of infection off of christmas. officials are also expecting a new year's spike. but educators i talk to are hoping that this really gives the public a jolt about how severe the staffing issues are generally in education right now. like that union representative said, people are retiring, new people aren't taking up the vocation, and it's hard to find subwho is want to work in what they consider a high-risk environment, jose. >> this is so complicated. heidi, thanks. dr. azar, this comes as well as a number of children hospitalized with covid is soaring across the country. nine states are experiencing record numbers. the cdc approved a third primary dose of covid-19 for kids 5-21 with compromised immune systems. what does this mean? >> this is an important move for
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the cdc. this comes on the heels of really a year of research that's been compiled by colleagues of mine as well as investigators around the world who have determined that individuals who are recipients of bone marrow or stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant or who are taking medications to control rheumatic diseases, chemotherapy, things like that, do not mount the same kind of immune response that individuals that don't have those conditions. and in fact, over the summer, the cdc modified its guidance for adults, for exactly this purpose. so, for example, we were able to give a third dose to our patients who received the mrna, one month after they received their primary two-shot series, and then they are also eligible for a booster in the case of pfizer, it would be five months from then or six months for moderna. essentially getting four shots. so, you know, we talk about this fourth shot, but this is really unique to this group. so it's definitely important. i do have to make a point, however, that in the bigger
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picture, the bigger scheme of things, we only have about 50% of kids age 12 and up who are fully vaccinated and even less in the younger age group. and i think the rates of hospitalizations and everything dr. marty and heidi and everyone who has been saying is just, we cannot emphasize the importance of vaccinating our kids to keep them in school and avoid the disruption and the academic as well as the psychosocial impact on them. >> dr. azar, now the fact that it's five months instead of six months, is there an indication of just how long the vaccine, the booster actually is effective in our systems? >> right. well, listen -- remember what the vaccines and what the boosters do is that they temporarily, really, really bump those important neutralizing antibodies, which are your first sort of shield or armor against infection, if you are exposed to someone who sneezes or coughs on you. and we know that those antibody levels start to decline pretty
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dramatically after the first month, after vaccine or after boosting. and because of that, pfizer's data and extrapolating from an israeli safety data, you know, pfizer had requested the modification for five months. i anticipate moderna will likely do the same, but the fda of course has to review their data. but always keep in mind, the antibodies are going to decline. we know that they will. the other arms of the immune system, the b-cells, t-cells and things like that are things that should remain durable for quite some time. we're doing this realtime, but that's what will protect you from severe disease and hospitalization, jose. >> what do we know about the long-term effects of covid and kromm now adding another layer? >> so the data is showing that about half of the people who had covid have some form or some manifestations of long covid. and this means at least six
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months with symptoms and many times it's going to be a lot longer than that, depending on exactly the symptomology of the individual and their underlying conditions. and what exactly they suffered, how long they were in hospital. the -- one of the major problems that we're seeing, of course, is the fatigue, the neurological complications from covid. and we see that in adults, but we also see it in children. and of course, there is those rare complications of the misc that we see in children and the misa that we see less commonly in young adults. but still, when it happens, it's extraordinarily serious. >> what's this mi -- what are those things? >> multisystem inflammatory syndrome, so c for children, a for adult. >> dr. natalie azar, dr. heidi
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przybyla, thank you so much for being with me. still ahead, she was once called the next steve jobs. now elizabeth holmes facing prison time. the latest on the mixed verdict in her criminal fraud trial. and we've seen video of those brazen smash and grab burglaries across the country. we'll take an in-depth look at where those goods go and who exactly is trafficking them. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." ing "jose diaz-balart reports. e secret tos having healthy gums. crest advanced gum restore. detoxifies below the gumline... and restores by helping heal gums in as little as 7 days. crest. the #1 toothpaste brand in america.
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former billionaire and theranos ceo elizabeth holmes, once hailed as a self-made entrepreneur wakes up this morning as a convicted felon. holmes was convicted on four counts including conspiracy to defraud informerses and three fire fraud charges. the jury found her not guilty on four counts related to patients and was unable to reach a verdict on three more. joining me now, nbc's erin mclaughlin and maya wiley, an msnbc legal analyst and civil rights attorney. thank you very much for being with me. erin, tell us about the significance of this case and the people that holmes impacted, especially when it comes to those not guilty verdicts. >> hey, jose. well, some are saying this verdict should send a shock wave through silicon valley and the so-called fake it until you make it culture there, but it certainly has changed the way some journalists cover tech, casting a more critical eye, given that elizabeth holmes allegedly used glowing media coverage to help convince investors to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars, fooling
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them into investing in theranos, claiming her tech was able to run hundreds of diagnostic tests with just the brick of a finger. a jury found holmes guilty of four out of 11 counts of fraud, convicting her of conning some investors, but they also allege shed conned patients. one woman testified that she was wrongly told that she was miscarrying her baby, based on a faulty theranos test. but the jury found holmes not guilty on those counts. it's important to remember, a fraud conviction requires the prosecution to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high bar. also, the jury was deadlocked on three other counts, including defrauding certain other investors. the judge said he wants to deal with those remaining counts before a sentencing date is set, which could be months away. jose? >> thank you, erin. so, maya, let's explain this to me a little bit. so it's easier to legally find that if you give hundreds of millions of dollars on some kind of a fund or a dream, that that
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is easier to find guilty than in the cases of people whose lives were destroyed, in one way or another. how does that work, maya? >> well, look, you know, what one of the things we often say in the law is hard cases make bad law. and this is a -- part of what's going on here is that there is such a focus on the business on the investors. and i think what the jury is saying is, we were trying to find the places where we felt that there was sufficient evidence. because, remember, this acquittal does not mean that the jury was saying that they found her innocent, as much as saying that they don't think the government carried the weight of the burden of proof that they had. but where there was a direct connection between her rise and her harming patients. at the end of the day, i think what's important to focus on is it does matter how real people
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are impacted when it comes to the lies that someone is telling about a technology. it is fundamentally about health care. but at the same time, in a criminal trial, it really is all about sufficient evidence and proving directly that she intended for them to be harmed, in order to enrich themselves. >> so maya, what should we expect -- and what should we expect when it comes to sentencing? when does that occur and what do we expect on that line? >> well, you know, what's going to happen, obviously, is the question many people expect, that her sentences on each count may run concurrently. it's 20 years that we're talking about. they run concurrently for each count, or will they run separately for each count? this is going to go a lot to this question of how repentant is, how sympathetic is the judge to what the facts and circumstances in this case are? how does the judge feel about
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what happened to patients and her responsibility and culpability there, even without a verdict. because judges are people. and they do think about how sentencing sends a message for bad actors who have harmed people and the consequences for that. i expect that we'll see all of that in the sentencing. >> and letitia james, and their lawyers argue that these subpoenas are improper, because james is insisting that the manhattan d.a. in a similar investigation. is that a legitimate legal argument? >> well, it's an argument that they can make. it's not very strong one, because basically, the attorney general has the right to pursue anyone the attorney general wants if the attorney general feels that there's evidence that they may have violated law, that she is responsible for enforcing. and the same goes for the
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district attorney. i mean, this happens to folks all the time. that they face a civil investigation at the same time that there's a criminal one. so it's not like that they hold up, you can't really tell someone's responsibility to enforce the law. oh, we just don't think you can enforce it right now. >> maya wiley and erin mclaughlin, it's so nice to see both of you and i thank you so much for being with me this morning. now to some other major headlines out west. this week, the biden administration will expand the trump-era remain in mexico program to san diego's border industry point. this as immigration court hearings begin under the policy with the administration bringing 36 migrants back to the u.s. from mexico for their proceedings. the administration says that it's against the program, we've been asking the supreme court to allow its end, but it's currently under a court order to care on. a court order does not mandate it to be expanded, however. and seattle-based coffee
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giant starbucks has ordered all of it workers across the country to be fully vaccinated by february 9th or face a weekly covid-19 testing environment. starbucks will require its 2,028 employees to reveal vaccination status by next monday. meanwhile, a flurry of smash and grab robberies have hit california in the recent months. nbc's jake ward reports on what happens to the goods after they're stolen. >> reporter: we've all seen footage of organized groups emptying store shelves. but understanding why this is happening requires understanding what happens to the goods once they've been stolen. in 2020, thieves robbing san francisco stores found buyers for bags of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in the tenderloin neighborhood, according to police. the thieves brought their stolen merchandise to this street corner right here, and then gave it to a middleman. and then it wound up at this
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warehouse. lieutenant jake trickette with the sheriff's department showed us around. his department had been tracking a group of people renting this pace. when deputies opened it up, he says it looked like any retailer's warehouse. floor-to-ceiling racks of what looked like inventory. everything was itemized, it was all organized by product type. 270,000 items in all, according to charging documents, worth almost $8 million. the group had even set up its own store called d-luxe otc to sell what it had to the highest bidder. authorities say these fencers even use major ecommerce sites to move what they've stolen. >> some of these other retailers, they may not know that they are supporting, you know, illicit product to be redistributed. they may not know that. the fences in this case were caught and prosecuted, but california's attorney general says fighting organized thefts will require other options. >> if we can create some
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restrictions, some verifications on those secondary marketplaces, some brick and mortar, some online, then we can freeze out the demand, freeze the market. >> in this case, san mateo county, together with the california highway patrol and the california doj took out the boss shown here in police video, his warehouse, and his website. he and four co-defendants pled guilty. he's scheduled to begin a six-year prison term in february. >> if you take away that demand for this product, there's no end point for this stolen product. the street-level fences have nowhere to turn this product. >> reporter: but there's something larger fueling this, according to experts. products are being stolen from real-world stores and flowing online to this secondary market. >> the way the current system works, all of the burden of these stolen goods seems to fall on the brick and mortar retailers, who are having their goods stolen. we have, i think, a classic
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market failure. we have a social harm that's occurring, as a result of these thefts, but all the costs are being borne by one party, which is in a weaker position to try to solve the problem. >> reporter: law enforcement agencies in california say they will continue to focus on the fencing operations, but the frictionless resale of stolen goods online seems to be driving this wave of high-profile thefts. >> reporter: under current law, nothing short of a subpoena gives authorities the ability to look inside online retailers to find out whether what's being sold there is stolen. and experts say that making those retailers responsible for where their goods come from could have an affect here. authorities say, in the meantime, if you see pharmaceuticals or other goods available online at a price that you really couldn't have otherwise imagined, don't fuel the economy for stolen goods by buying them. >> and my thanks to jacob ward for that report. still ahead, a warning from chuck schumer about what will happen if voting rights is not
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passed soon. you're watching"jose diaz-balart reports". "jose diaz-balart reports"
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31 past the hour. now to capitol hill, where senate democrats are making voting rights their first big priority for 2022. senate majority leader chuck schumer is calling on his democratic colleagues to do whatever it takes to pass voting rights laws. he says if a bill doesn't pass by the 17th of january, martin luther king jr. day, the senate may vote on bypassing the filibuster. schumer invoked the first anniversary of the january 6th insurrection as a reason for acting now, saying in a letter, quote, january 6th was a symptom of a broader illness, an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not an aberration, they will be the new norm. with me now to talk about this is jake sherman, founder of punch bowl news, chi understand just celebrated its first
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birthday. he's also an msnbc political contributor. jake, republicans aren't the only ones who are roadblocking that are facing democratic senators. we're talking about, for example, manchin and sinema. they've always been brought up, and have said they are opposed to changing the filibuster? here's what schumer said on joy reid -- i'm sorry, excuse me. here's what senator schumer said on joy reid last night about efforts to get them onboard. >> we are having active discussions with them, several a day. i just spoke to senator man c.h.i.p. three or four hours ago. and even over the holiday break, the new year's and christmas break, we've been talking constantly. we've got to start pressing them and pressing them and pressing them until they do. there is too much at risk here. if obviously they were saying "yes" to us, we wouldn't have to worry about this. >> jake, obviously, the fact that they haven't said yes to them continues. >> thank you, jose, for the
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birthday wishes, i appreciate that. a few things to consider here. what schumer said to that last bite, is an indication they're not saying "yes." manchin and sinema have been pretty firm that they're not going to change the 60-vote threshold. whether there are some carve out, we don't know. i would also just put a finer point on one thing you said. what chuck schumer has said and i just tweeted this right before i came on air. if you read his letter and read what he said about changing the senate rules to get rid of the filibuster, what he said is they will debate and consider changes to the filibuster. he does not guarantee a vote. he guarantees debate and consideration. i think it's an open question about whether in the enext week, by the 17th, they will vote on
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this. there are probably issues deeper than that. there are senate democrats that don't want to vote on this. manchin and sinema are the two roadblocks, the two unmovable objects, so to speak. we'll have to see how this plays out. this week, there's not going to be a vote. robert me nen dez is out nursing a shoulder injury. he hurt himself -- he tripped and hurt his shoulder, had surgery on new year's eve. so next week is the big week in considering these chapgs to the senate rules. >> with these two senators not changing and the other two public, it seems like it's moot, right? if they don't change, there will be no change. >> reporter: well, filibuster reform or overhaul advocates say they have to put this on the floor to see where people actually stand. and i think there's something to that. i don't know that that's going to be a magic bullet, so to speak. but it would be a moot point if we trust what manchin and sinema have said. manchin told me before the recess, he is not changing the senate rules without republican
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buy-in. there are no republicans that we could tell, and i've asked mcconnell this directly, there are no republicans that will engage in changing the senate rules. so if you take manchin at his word, and that is still his position, and we expect to talk to him in the next hour and a half or so, there is a moot point. if there is some sort of deal that they could cut with manchin, maybe there are some changes that they could make, but we've not seen any evidence of that yet. i'm not predicting the future, but bates on what we know, based on our reporting, we've not seen any evidence that that's going to change. >> and jake, you have new reporting today on how house speaker nancy pelosi is trying to change the narrative that democrats are in disarray. >> we reported this morning that nancy pelosi has said that democrats need to brag more, they need to talk more about all of the good that they have done. she also questioned whether they
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should talk about the build back better back as transformational. whether they should talking about this legislation as changing people's lives or just lowering the cost. and she says to seem both. it is transformation, but also lowers costs for everybody. on top of votinging rights, joe biden's top legislative priority, the build back better act, is still far from complete. those are the two big legislative items that we'll be focusing on over the next couple of months here on capitol hill. >> jake sherman, thank you very much for your time. it's great seeing you, my friend. thanks for being with me. and a programming note, my colleague, hallie jackson, will be talking to adam schiff today about the latest on the house's january 6th investigation, that's today at 3:00 p.m. eastern, noon pacific. up next, puerto rico has one of the top vaccination rates anywhere and yet covid cases are exploding there. we'll talk to one of the governor's covid advisers about what exactly is happening in la
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happening right now, headaches, delays, cancellations are continuing to plague u.s. airports across the country as severe weather and new covid cases continue to disrupt american's travel plans. more than 1,400 flights are already delayed today in the u.s. more than 1,200 cancellations, according to flight aware. and it's not just in the skies. overnight and into this morning, drivers on i-95 were trapped in their cars after a winter storm slammed the mid-atlantic os. take a look at this, please. it's not a parking lot. that's supposed to be i-95. senator tim kaine of virginia says he's still stuck on the road after 19 hours. nbc's josh letterman was also trapped and described the scene. >> no signs of any emergency vehicles, that we could see. now, you don't know if that's
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because they can't get to where you are, but you really start to think, if there was a medical emergency, someone that was out of gas and out of heat, you know, it's 26 degrees and there's no way that anybody can get to you in this situation. >> joining me now with more is nbc's gary grumbach, he is live at reagan national airport. gary, great to see you this morning. tell us what you're seeing at the airport. >> reporter: yeah, jose. it's a mess on the roads and a mess here at the airport, as well. usually after a snow day like we saw yesterday, it takes a few days to get things back to normal. it's no easy task to clean up 7 to 8 inches of snow, especially in the d.c. region. but i want to take you through some of the numbers that we're seeing right now. we have more than 1,400 flight delays today, according to flight aware, more than 1,400 cancellations, and it's not even 11:00 a.m. this is after 88% of all flights out of reagan here in d.c. were canceled yesterday, in large part due to the snow. this is predictably causing a
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lot of frustration from people and passengers, that are really just trying to get home after spending the holidays with their friend and family. here's what some folks had to say. >> i'm from here. i'm going to miami, and i'm flying from miami to north carolina, because flights got canceled in miami and our friend from north carolina to costa rica. instead of one day of travel, i have two days of travel now, because things got canceled. so. >> reporter: now, the best advice we're getting from travel officials, check where the plane has left to where it's coming to see if you're able to get to where you want to go. jose? >> gary grumbach, thank you very much. we're going to take a short break. when we come back, we're going to talk about puerto rico. you know, it has one of the highest vaccination rates anywhere, and yet they're dealing with a surge in covid cases. we're going to find out why and what that island nation is doing
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48 past the hour. in puerto rico, officials are grappling with an explosion of new covid cases across that
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small u.s. territory. the latest wave comes despite four out of five puerto ricans being fully vaccinated against the virus. joining me now, danielle colone dramos, he is also president of the puerto rico scientific coalition, which advises the governor on covid-related policies. professor, thank you for being with me. talk to us about what exactly is happening in puerto rico and how are hospitalizations holding up? >> we have seen an increase as has the rest of the world in cases during the past couple of weeks in puerto rico. they coincided with the holiday season, here, it's a time when everyone gathers, families, people come and travel for the holidays. and the increase has been exponentially has been massive, as seen in other u.s. jurisdictions. and i know, jose, that it has caused a lot of concerns stateside, because of the high vaccination rates in puerto rico. but one thing that i like to
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explain, as a scientist, is what will the scenario have been if puerto rico didn't have the vaccination rates that it has right now? and we can do calculations of that, because we have the positivity cases, both for the vaccinated population and the unvaccinated population, and i can right now? i can tell you it would be twice as bad as they are right now if we had the population of puerto rico not vaccinated. >> talk to me about the hospitalizations. how is the health system holding up? >> it's holding up much better. for example, for the delta wave, for the alpha wave, it's about four times less. people with boosters are up to 11 times more protected than people who are unvaccinated. even if you don't have a booster, you're up to five times
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more protected than an unvaccinated person. if the puerto rico population had not been vaccinated, we would be seeing ten times as many hospitalizations. >> what about the boosters? how has that program been? >> the boosters are necessary to protect against omicron. there have been studies that show -- when i talk about protections, there's three levels of protection by vaccines, informations, hospitalizations and death. the boosters against omicron, they're very necessary. we can see that in the context of hospitalizations, for example. people that have boosters are up to 11 times more protected than a person who's not vaccinated. in terms of death, we have over 700,000 people here in puerto
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rico that have received the boosters. we have so few deaths of people with the boosters that we cannot even do the calculation. >> so what can we learn from puerto rico? it's important if we realize that puerto rico is open, it's a wonderful place to go. >> i think it's also important to realize when you talk about puerto rico and the increases in cases that we have seen in the past few weeks, it's important to keep in context what will have been the case if puerto rico was not as vaccinated as it is right now. the situation will be that there will have been hundreds of more deaths and hospitalizations. that is the situation that was avoided thanks to vaccines. the other message i have for
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other u.s. jurisdictions is vaccines are like a seat belt but you also have to drive safely. here in puerto rico we're also implementing other safety measures like the use of masks, reducing occupancy in closed spaces where people take their masks off like bars and restaurants. i think those measures together are going to get us through this. beyond our borders, a tense start to the new year in haiti where the prime minister's office says gunmen attempted to assassinate the prime minister. henri was appointed by the late president just two days before his assassination in july. across the atlantic, iraqi
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security forces say they shot down four armed drones that were targeting military bases near the capital. it all happened within 48 hours with two drones targeting a base near baghdad's airport and two more on a base that hosts u.s. forces west of the city. as forces continue to build on the ukraine border, some show solidarity for ukraine with european nations. >> the european foreign policy chief flew to kyiv today. he is actually going to take a trip to the front lines in eastern ukraine, a good distance from the russian border. it's actually the contact line where the ukrainian military for the past several years has been engaged at times with those pro
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russian rebel groups in the eastern dambas region. there's a big show of solidarity. this is arguably one of the biggest gestures we've seen from the european union in this particular chapter of this crisis, which of course has been going on since 2014. after he leaves thursday, we're going to say several days of intense diplomatic efforts. nato just today announced on friday it will be holding what it calls an extraordinary meeting of its 30 foreign minister of nato to discuss the situation in ukraine. again, that coming friday. on sunday officials will be meeting in geneva for strategic stability talks about ukraine as well. on tuesday next week, nato will
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be convening a session of the nato russia council. this is a body that was arguably defunct. nonetheless, reconvening next week to talk about this situation. there's a lot of action going on. one has the sense this next week could end up being rather decisive in terms of where this situation is going to go, will tensions deescalate or are we going to see a russian invasion. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm jose diaz balart. follow the show online at jd balart msnbc. craig melvin picks up with more news after this quick break. ks news after this quick break. vaporize sore throat pain with vicks vapocool drops.
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good tuesday morning. craig melvin here. right now, a major development in our fight against this wretched pandemic. roughly an hour ago, the cdc updating its guidance on those booster shots. the cdc now recommending folks should get a pfizer booster five months after their second dose and that children aged 5-11 who are immuno compromised should get a third dose of their second one. a few hours from now, president biden set to meet with

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