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tv   Jose Diaz- Balart Reports  MSNBC  January 10, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST

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see if you can save by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities. hi, my name is cherrie. i'm 76 and i live on the oregon coast. my husband, sam, we've been married 53 years. we love to walk on the beach. i have two daughters and then two granddaughters. i noticed that memories were not there like they were when i was much younger. since taking prevagen, my memory has gotten better and it's like the puzzle pieces have all been [click] put together. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart and we have a monday full of news. hospitals across the country continue to be overwhelmed as the number of covid cases hits a
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new milestone. overseas, no sign of a breakthrough, as american and russian diplomats try to ease tensions along the border between russia and ukraine. here at home, it could be a make-or-break week for voting rights, as president biden is set to lay out the stakes of inaction in new york city. the death toll could rise even further after the city's deadliest fire in decades. 19 dead, including nine children. funeral services will be held for a teenager accidentally shot and killed my a los angeles police officer while shopping with her mother just days before christmas. and the world's number one men's tennis player wins an appeal against australia's decision not to grant him a visa to play in the australian open, but his fight may be far from over. over and we begin with the latest on the pandemic. covid cases in the u.s. have now
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surpassed 60 million, according to nbc news data. across the country, cities are taking major steps to fight the virus as hospitalizations and deaths start to climb. in l.a. county, they're seeing the highest one-week total since the pandemic started. calling it in the national guard for testing. meanwhile in chicago, the third largest school district in the country, classes are canceled for a fourth day, as the teacher's union in the city negotiate over remote learning and covid safety protocols. with me now, guad venegas and sam brock and lela with jackson's health system. sam, talk to us what's happening with hospitalizations across the country? >> reporter: big picture right now, jose, is that we are entering a territory that is exceedingly dangerous. it's been about an 80% increase in the last two weeks, nationally. in miami-dade where i am, a 50% increase in covid patients in
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the last seven days. but the reality right now, jose, we are about to break a national record at this moment, according to nbc news, the latest figures of hospitalized patients is about 138,000. the highest that figure has been at any point in the pandemic, was 142,000. it seems extremely likely that that record is going to fall in the coming days. now, the story of this wave, jose, is not just the mass amount of infections, but what it's meant to health care workers on the front lines, also to transit agency workers, teachers. i spoke with some focus at baptist health here, who told me it's about 500 of their workers that are calling out sick right now with covid. what that has led to is delays in elective surgeries, but also the closing of urgent care centers, as they have to reposition staff members. this week alone, economists are predicting about 5 million americans are going to be calling out sick. that's a number that could climb even higher. here is mark zandi with moody's economics. >> at the peak of the infections in september of last year, there were 3 million more people that
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weren't working that were sick or fearful of getting sick. if you told me, omicron puts 5 to 6 million, maybe even 7 to 8 million people in that same situation, i would not be surprised. >> reporter: if there's a silver lining to all of this, one of the points that mr. zandi made is that the economy continues to adapt, and with each wave successfully, jose, the impact is actually less and less. an example of that would be shortening the quarantine time, but that is not without pushback, especially what's going on in california right now, where they have just revised their guidelines for health care workers. if they test positive, not just exposure, test positive, those health care workers can return immediately to the front lines, as long as they're not symptomatic. jose? >> doctor alba, what are hospitals experiencing right now? >> well, nationally and locally, our hospitals are experiencing just what was described. an increase in the number of patients hospitalized. the majority are unvaccinated or people with immunocompromising conditions or people who are
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vaccinated early in the pandemic and who had not had a booster. most of our patients are in medical surgical units, but we have seen an increasing number of hospitalizations in the intensive care, as well. we are seeing health care workers and personnel come in sick, as well. and as you all know, omicron is extremely contagious. it's the most contagious variant that we have seen so far. the attack rate is over 80%. which means that in a household, before one or two people will get sick, now 80% of the household is getting sick when exposed. it's exponential, the number of people that are being infected. >> so doctor, there is this belief that omicron is less lethal. it's certainly much more -- it's easier to get it, but is it, indeed, less lethal? >> what we are seeing is that we are in a different phase of the pandemic. because when we had the previous extraneous, we didn't have people fully vaccinated or with boosters. now, we're seeing less lethality
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in people that are immunoincompetent, but it's still lethal with immunocompromised conditions or people that are not mounting a response to the vaccine, or people that are not fully vaccinated. >> so i remember at the peak of the pandemic, jackson memorial, i think, had about 500 or 550 patients in -- that were positive and being treated at the hospital. how are things today. >> as of today, we have 511 hospitalized patients across jackson health system. but we are seeing an increased number of children that are hospitalized. we have women coming in labor and delivery, testing positive. we are seeing an increase -- the majority of the population getting infected is in their 30s. you know, late 30s. that's what we're seeing across the county. so yes, we have an increase in the number of hospitalizations. the majority, out of 500, over 400 are hospitalized in medical
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surgical units, but still we have over 100 patients in intensive care. >> are we seeing the beginning of the peak, the most intensive part of the peak? how do you see it, doctor? >> i will tell you, early in november, we had around 40 patients hospitalized. early in december, around the same. 40 to 50. and then it exponentially went from 80 to 200 to 500. the expected peak, according to the university of florida, looking at us is, by mid-january, which should be by the end of this we can, early next week, we should be hitting the peak. and then we will start to see it come down. florida started to see omicron spread before the rest of the country. i don't think that the country has seen the peak yet. >> and guad, meanwhile, let's talk about this phenomenon health officials are dealing with right now in l.a. flurona. >> reporter: right, jose. flurona.
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something that is an infection of covid and the flu. let me start off by saying that here in los angeles, yesterday, health officials recorded the highest number of covid infections in one day, that was 45,000 cases. you mentioned earlier, we had a seven-day period with also a record number, more than 200,000 infections in los angeles. and this testing site in west los angeles had a widely publicized case last week of a young boy who returned from mexico and tested positive for both covid and the flu, flurona. now, public health officials tell us that this is not the first case they've seen, they've seen this before. in fact, we spoke to a different young man from texas who also tested positive for both. and this is what he had to say about his experience. >> i was in bed for multiple days. even when i wasn't feeling as sick, like, sick to my stomach or fully exhausted, i still had a 102 fever. but from now on, i'll make sure i'm taking my flu shot and any other booster shots that come out in the future. as just kind of way to prepare.
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>> what public officials here tell us is they still don't have enough data to know what the effects would be on patients that have both covid and the flu, but they did remind us that the flu kills 40,000 people a year here in the country. and potentially, with the number of hospitalizations increasing here in southern california, like the rest of the country, it does worry them that more people are having these dual infections of fluroan could increase the number of people that have to go to the hospital, jose. >> so dr. abbo, are these people that aren't vaccinated against coronavirus and the flu? how concerned are you about flurona. >> i know it's very attractive to call this flurona. but i don't want to confuse people thinking this is a new strain of covid. omicron and flurona. we have patients infected with other viruses, rsv and influenza "a" and "b." these are a handful of cases.
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the majority that we are seeing are children or people not vaccinated against the flu. this is a call to everyone. it's time to get your flu shot if you haven't. and this is another message. masks work. and the mask protects you against both flu and coronavirus. and this is really important. in this country, we have forgotten the use of masks. this is still your first barrier, in addition to the vaccines to protecting everyone, including all children, who have to go back to schools and our teachers. so i urge everyone, get your vaccines for both covid and influenza and wear your masks, both in public and in private. >> thank you all for being with me this morning. important conversation. turning now to the horrifying apartment fire in the bronx yesterday that left 19 people dead and nearly half of them children. investigators say the fire was likely sparked by a malfunctioning space heater on the lower floors engulfing the building in smoke and sending
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firefighters racing to nearly every four to rescue people. the fire is one of the deadliest in new york city in close to three decades. joining us now from the bronx is nbc's issa gutierrez. good morning. what are investigators saying so far this morning? >> good morning, jose. as you can see first of all, this is still very much an active scene. you can probably hear that helicopter in the background, see some crews going here behind me. we still see crews in protective gear coming in and out of the building. as far as what investigators have found so far, they learned that the fire started on a two-story apartment that spanned the second and third floors of this 19-story building behind me. like once, it started with a malfunctioning electric space heater. they also found that the door of that apartment unit was hope and that allowed the fire to spread outside of the unit and into the hallway. after it spread into the hallway, the thick, black smoke
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quickly engulfed the entire building. we actually spoke to a resident who was inside the building at the time. >> i noticed smoke coming inside, and i just heard people screaming, help, help, help! >> we just were in the back room and the next thing we know, we saw flames coming out the back windows and stuff and smelling the smoke, and the whole upstairs of my apartment is black. and we hear the fire department breaking in the door to come get us. >> reporter: jose, nearly 200 firefighters responded to this scene here yesterday. the fire department saying that some of them even ran out of oxygen, as they faced these deadly, this deadly smoke. we also learned that they found victims on every single floor. we're expecting to hear from city officials, just in the next
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hour here, hoping to get some updates. but the last we heard, there were still dozens of victims at various hospitals throughout the city. many of them in critical condition from smoke inhalation. jose? >> issa gutierrez in the bronx, what a tragedy. thank you for being with me. still ahead, high-stakes talks between the united states and russia are underway. why both sides have set expectations low. plus, a preview of president biden's trip to georgia, which he calls ground zero for voter suppression. what he's doing, coming up. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." coming up you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports.
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and get in shape and lose weight fast with golo. 17 past the hour. now to what could be a crucial week for efforts to ease tensions along the border between russia and ukraine. american and russian diplomats are now engaged in talks in geneva, but expectations for this session and two other meetings planned for later this week in brussels and vienna are low. neither president biden nor
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russian president vladimir putin are participating in these discussions. the meetings come as tens of thousands of russian troops are amassed along the border with ukraine, poised for what could be an invasion. secretary of state anthony blinken reiterated that the u.s. and his allies are prepared to act if russian troops enter ukraine. >> there will be massive consequences for russia, fit renews its aggression. by which i mean economic, financial, and other consequences, as well as nato almost certainly having to reinforce its positions on its eastern flank near russia, as well as continuing to provide defensive assistance to ukraine. >> with me now from geneva, is cnbc news anchor and international correspondent, hadley gamble. great seeing you. these talks have been going on for several hours now. besides the fact that both sides are kind of pessimistic about a breakthrough, is there anything that could come out of them?
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>> reporter: it's an excellent question, jose. one which, unfortunately, we'll have to wait another hour or so before we get word from the deputy secretary of state, wendy sherman, what exactly transpired from these conversations. essentially what we know so far, are the things that the united states was not willing to move on. one of which, of course, was the end of nato expansion on europe. they said that's a non-starter for them. nato allies agreeing with that statement. there have also been conversations that we understand taking place about the potential to be a bit more transparent when it comes to military exercises. that's something that has rankled those in the kremlin for many, many years. and one of the things they wanted to move on was missile deployments in eastern europe. they want to make sure that there will be no missile deployments, for example, in ukraine. and while antony blinken seemed to suggest over the week that was also a nonstarter, a conversation around potential missile deployments in europe
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might be something they're willing to discuss. wendy sherman earlier this morning said that while they're willing to listen to their russian counterparts, they will not be discussing the future of europe without their allies present. and that speaks to a much bigger issue here, which is that russian president vladimir putin wanted these conversations to take place directly with the americans in geneva without the europeans present. he also said that he would speak to nato allies, and that would happen on wednesday. a whole nato counsel will gather to discuss a way forward. so conversations will be had, but not necessarily directly with the european themselves. that's something that's frankly rankling a lot of the leaders that we've spoken to. >> hadly gamble in geneva, thank you for being with me this morning. while the diplomats talk, troops are preparing for a potential russian invasion. richard engel is on the front lines in eastern ukraine. richard? >> reporter: jose, ukrainian troops are on high alert in these trenches, and we've seen soldiers actually expanding the
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trenches here, because they're preparing for the worst. they worry that the negotiations taking place in geneva between the united states and russia will either fail or that russia isn't negotiating in good faith. and that russia is just engaging in show diplomacy, so that it can say that it gave peace a chance and then invade this country again anyway. russia has about 100,000 troops stationed on three sides of ukraine. it also holds troops in a pocket, a pocket held by separatists, that is very, very close to where i am right now. just dozens of yards away from here. if russia were to invade, it could invade from the east, from the north, from the south, and from within ukraine, it could push out of those separatist-held pockets and push deeper into ukrainian territory. so if russia were to decide to pull the trigger and deploy
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those hundred thousand, roughly, troops, and all of the equipment, tanks, and other hardware that it has with it, it would be a very, very sizable force. and very difficult for ukraine to resist. that is why the soldiers here are hopeful about diplomacy. they want the diplomacy to work, and sorrels we've been saying -- we've been talking to say the only way to resolve this is through diplomacy, but they're not convinced that russia is serious, otherwise why would it have all of this force positioned in this area. which is why they're on high alert right now in these trenches and miles and miles of other trenches, just like these along the border. >> richard engel, thank you so very much for that extraordinary look at the reality on the ground. with me now to talk a little bit more about this is rick stengel, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs and an msnbc political
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analyst. rick, it's great seeing you this morning. secretary of state antony blinken says he doesn't expect any breakthroughs from the talks this week. what is the biden administration looking for from these discussions? >> well, jose, there's this kind of classic shadow boxing before these negotiations. obviously, we've negotiated with the russians before. we always lower expectations. that's what tony blinken did, and they always raise expectations. the russian deputy foreign minister said, you know, unless "x" and "y" happens, we're going to withdraw. so that's the usual kind of carrying that happens beforehand. i think, in truth, a lot of these things are negotiable. and that even though we say, you know, over and over, nothing about you without you about the europeans, but putin is concerned about his nato and nato expansion and military exercises on russia's borders. these are historical things that
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have animated him. as richard engel's good reporting showed, putin has a gun to the head of ukraine. that's why he's making these demands and that's why he's able to. we hope he's not going to shoot that gun. but as richard pointed out, there is already a hot war in eastern ukraine. 14,000 ukrainians have died. so it's a pretty difficult situation, jose. >> yeah, and i'm just wondering, you know, the carrot and the stick, right? the carrots already consumed. the stick is listening to the secretary of state say, we're prepared to act if russia invades. i'm wondering, what are the options? do you act militarily or do you act mad, do you act surprised, or do you act like, well, we just have to continue talking, even with an invasion. >> those are all the questions. and i was in the situation room with president obama and then vice president biden where president obama said, if russia
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full invades ukraine, are we going to send american boys and girls there to defend the ukrainians? ultimately, that's the existential choice. but we hope and i hope that putin doesn't do a full invasion and i think there's enough things in our repertoire that it's possible to negotiate about. we're never going to promise that ukraine will never be a part of nato, but there are things that we can say, that we'll give fewer exercises, they'll be smaller, we'll station fewer troops in poland and other warsaw-packed nations. i think there's a lot that can be negotiated about and deputy secretary wendy sherman has a long history of successfully negotiating with the russians. >> but these are all concessions, essentially, to russia, with nothing in return. was there something in 2014 that was possibly a mistake? i mean, should there not be more assistance to the ukrainians, so they can better defend themselves against russia, that has a history of wanting to go into ukraine, affect ukraine,
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invade ukraine. starve ukraine? >> yes. i mean, historically, they've starved ukraine going back to pre-world war ii, where millions of people have died. >> 1932, 1933. >> yes, exactly. and as you know, these russian hard-liners wrote a letter to the administration. jake sullivan reached out to them. the hard-liners want to give russians javelin missiles -- i mean, the ukrainians javelin missiles and stinger missiles and those kind of things to put off the russians. in the history of u.s./russian relations, they believe the only way to get russia to back down is to be incredibly aggressive. there are folks on the other side of the equation thabz, a lot of what the russians want is just that we pay attention to them. putin is as happy as he can be because the whole world is
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focused on these talks in geneva. there is some wiggle room. there are people who feel that nato has expanded too far eastward. i mean, westerners who feel that way. i think there are grounds for give and take, and the main thing is we want to avoid putin having a land invasion of ukraine, a country the size of france in europe. >> yeah. with the history of being just so mistreated by russia and, you know, starting in 1932, 1933 onwards. even though that's paying attention to russia through an invasion of ukraine causes the innocent to suffer. richard stengel, it's great seeing you. thank you for being with me. a pleasure to see you. still ahead, a funeral today for the 14-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed by a los angeles police officer. the reverend al sharpton, who is delivering her eulogy joins us with growing calls for change. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." ing "jose
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. tomorrow, president biden heads to what one senior white
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house adviser calls the belly of the beast for voter suppression. the state of georgia hopes to advance voting rights in the senate. speaker of the house nancy pelosi issuing a dire warning about the urgency of the moment. >> why is voting rights so important for the senate to address now? >> because it's absolutely essential to our democracy. it's clear that the republicans will try to undermine our democracy. as they did on january 6th. >> joining me now, jeff bennett, chief washington correspondent for for pbs "newshour" and an nbc political contributor and an admired friend. jeff, what do we expect to hear from the president in atlanta this week? >> it's great to be with you, jose. to put this moment into context, democrats in the white house and democrats on capitol hill are using the mlk day holiday next week to propel this push for
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national voting rights legislation. so this will actually the second major speech that president biden has delivered on voting rights, following that speech he gave this past summer in philadelphia. and at the time, he described it as the most significant test of our democracy since the civil war. since that time, though, there have been critics of his, supporters of his, but who have criticized him for saying that, you know, the way that he has sort of messaged and even acted on this issue of voting rights hasn't been consistent and commensurate with this existential threat, as he dribs describes it. basically, they say, the walk has not matched the aggressive talk. all of that is supposed to change tomorrow. the president and vice president going to atlanta, georgia, a city that is rich with symbolism, the cradle of the civil rights movement. georgia, a stay that president biden turned blue in 2020. georgia having sent those two democratic senators to washington, d.c. tomorrow, i'm told, the president is expected to move beyond platitudes and promises and he's expected to get
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specific. he'll talk about solutions and the actual process he's calling for in the senate to make this happen. to get these two bills across the finish line. you've got this john lewis -- go ahead. >> go ahead, jeff, voyeur. >> i'm just saying quickly so people know what we're talking about, the two bills, the john lewis voting rights act, which would restore pre-clearance and give federal oversight of those voting laws in states that have a history of discrimination, and the freedom to vote act, which would do a number of things, make election day a national holiday, allow same-day voter registration and allow mail-in ballots for anyone who would request them. those are the two specific bills that the house have now passed that are now langishing in the senate. >> and it seems that that second bill has a very high cliff to climb to get through. >> that's right. that's the real political risk, jose, at least in the short-term, is that you have the president potentially raising expectations, drawing all of this attention to this new voting rights push, when the
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underlying political realities haven't changed at all. namely, there are not and likely will not be at least ten republican senators to join with democrats to push these bills through in the senate, through the regular process. and we also know that senators joe manchin and kyrsten sinema have not called for changes to the filibuster, a carveout for voting rights legislation to the extent that democrats would be able to push these bills through on their own. so that right now, really, is where things are sort of stuck in the process, and we know that after this speech tomorrow from the president, the senate majority leader chuck schumer will call for a vote. basically a show vote to get all of the senators to put their cards on the table, their votes on the record, and figure out how to move forward from there. >> and jeff, we have seen efforts to secure voting rights ahead of elections with former first lady michelle obama just registering a promise to register 1 million new voters. where are democrats concerned about 2022? >> the concern is two-fold.
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one, it's about voter suppression. these laws in 19 states now that have made it harder for people to vote, with tougher voter i.d. requirements, restrictions around the number of drop boxes that are allowed in a given location. but also, voter subversion. and this is important, jose. you've got at least 15 republicans, 15 trump election deniers that are running for secretary of state across the country. these are folks, partisans, who would be, to varying degrees, in charges of these elections in states. some states that president biden won narrowly in the 2020 election. and so democrats right now are also sharpening their focus on the machinery at the local level. not just what's happening in washington, but what's happening at the states, as you have republicans who are trying to change rules and potentially make it easier, much easier to overturn what would normally a free and fair election. >> jeff bennett, great seeing you and thank you for being with me this morning. appreciate it.
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>> you're welcome. >> turning from the east to the west. in arizona, a sheriff's deputy rescued more than two dozen migrants who nearly drawned crossing a canal near yuma. the deputy heard the calls for help while on patrol. and used ropes and tow straps to pull people to safety. look at that. officials say there were no major injuries. the group has been processed by the border patrol. and this video is incredible. in los angeles, look at this daring rescue. a pilot rescued by officers from the wreckage of a plane crash landing mere seconds before a commuter train slams into the plane. the pilot was taken to the local hospital to treat his injuries. none of the officers were hurt. that's amazing, isn't it? also in los angeles, family and friends are preparing to say their good-bye to valentina peralta. the 14-year-old was killed days
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before christmas as he shopped for a quinceanera dress. joining us now, the reverend al sharpton, who will deliver the eulogy at valentina's funeral today. rev, thank you for being with me. you've spent some time with the family. what do they want the world to know about valentina. >> well, they want the world to know that this young lady, 14 years old, would come to this nation from chile, to seek a better life. and her dream was citizenship, her dream was to do normal things like take a father to the lakers game. and she was killed because of, in my adjustment and attorney general ben crump and his partner's judgment, recklessness and a reckless disregard of human life. which is why i agreed to come
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out here this morning and do the eulogy, because i feel, one, we must fight for police reform and accountability, no matter the color of the victim or the color of the policeman. she is latina. the policeman is black. we have the moral responsibility to stand up, even when it's not a black/white situation. so i wanted to be here to give comfort to the family and to join the local kivitzes as i give this eulogy to say, recklessness that causes death must be held accountable, no matter what the person is that is in uniform and who the victim is. this young woman's life has value. and we are here to stand up and to make sure that we demand justice for this family. >> rev, the los angeles chief of police spoke to our friend and colleague, stephanie ruhle last hour. and this is what he said about
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the investigation. >> we will investigate every aspect of this, from the very beginning moments of our response to every decision that was made. i promise transparency, accountability, we'll look at what our policies and training was also. i promise the public that this all will be brought before them and the decisions that are made will be evaluated. >> rev, what does transparency look like to you? were there police protocols that need changing? >> i think that clearly, the activists here in los angeles, and we have an officer at national action network here in los angeles, working with them and a part of the activist, clearly, there needs to be reform. when you walk into a situation, a department store, where you had someone there that was acting in a very disorderly, and even threatening way, but was unarmed, whatever happened to the training on de-escalation? what is the line that you must see before you use deadly force,
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and use it to the degree that a bullet could ricochet and go through a door of a dressing room and kill a 14-year-old young lady in her mother's arms. i mean, you are not trained to avoid situations like that? are you looking at the lack of value in the lives of these people that you put at risk, while you hunt down in your mind, someone that is a possible danger? yes, you need to apprehend them. you need to de-escalate the matter. but you do not need to turn into hunters and have all caution cast to the wind and all lives at risk. and you end up costing a human life. so, yeah, there needs to be reform from top-to-bottom. and transparency is to see what went wrong with the training thus far, that allowed this to happen. >> reverend, although -- you know, the police say that they believe that the suspect possibly was armed.
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they certainly didn't know that this young -- extraordinary young lady was behind the door, you know, in that changing room. but there are things, you think, that need to be done on an even more profound level? >> you know, i can't help but thinking, if this was done in bel air or beverly hills, would they have shot as recklessly as they did in this department store. so when they say, well, we didn't know if he was unarmed or armed, they've gone into hostage situations and knew how to de-escalate. they've gone in where they knew people were arm and may have had even more than a gun and de-escalated without coming in, shooting like it's the wild, wild west. so that doesn't exactly sound convincing to many of us. >> reverend al sharpton, i thank you for being with me. it's always a pleasure to see you. >> thank you. two years into the pandemic and some medical experts are saying it's time to upgrade your
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mask. what they're recommending next. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." ing "jose ing "jose diaz-balart reports. ♪ ♪taking a break from all your worries ♪ ♪sure would help a lot ♪ ♪wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go ♪ ♪where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪ ♪and they're always glad you came ♪ throughout history ♪ i've observed markets shaped by the intentional and unforeseeable. for investors who can navigate this landscape, leveraging gold, a strategic and sustainable asset...
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i know there's conflicting information about dupuytren's contracture. i thought i couldn't get treatment yet? well, people may think that their contracture has to be severe to be treated, but it doesn't. if you can't lay your hand flat on the table, talk to a hand specialist. but what if i don't want surgery? well, then you should find a hand specialist certified to offer nonsurgical treatments.
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what's the next step? visit findahandspecialist.com today to get started. 46 past the hour. as covid cases surge across the country, there is new information on what kind of masks we should be wearing to stay safe. with me to talk about this, dr. vin gupta, msnbc medical contributor. doctor, good morning. what kind of masks should be available to us and which should we be wearing? >> jose, good morning. as this virus has become more airborne, so transmitted through tiny droplets in the air that we can't really see with our naked eye, now we're saying, if you can, especially if you're higher risk, have an underlying medical condition like cancer, for example, or over 65, upgrade your mask if you can. so this is -- a lot of people have seen this, the k 95 masks.
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i'll go through a quick demonstration. very similar to the kf94 that is made in south korea. this is made in china. we're going to give places for people to get these if they want to surge for them online and the n-95 mask. the key difference between the n 95 and the kn 95. loops on the kn95 and straps on the n95. you can know that you're buying a high-quality, non-quality n95 mask if it says niosh on the surface of it or on the box for the kn95s, they have loops. that's the difference in quality. it's still very high quality, just like a kf94. the way you know a kf94 is legitimate is if it says "made in south korea" on the box. for kn95s, there's been quality issues from the very beginning.
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that's why i recommend that everyone goes to a national clearing house like project n95 or be healthy usa. they vet kn95s for quality. there's a lot of those listed on their websites for people to go and check out high-quality kn95s that are legitimate. >> so, doctor, let's go over those websites. i think it's really important that we reemphasize. that there are places you can find out. and there are so many fake non-working masks available, right? >> absolutely. this is where the n95s is clear-cut for adults only. there are no n95s for kiddos. we use something called happy masks. there are kf94s that are fit for children. i encourage parents to do that. i think your team has a figure that we can show some brands of incredible n95 masks, but project n95, google it. project n95 and behealthy usa.
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that's where you can go and find kn95 masks that are credible, legitimate, that have been vetted, so that's your resource. if you want to get a kn94, which is a little bit more comfortable for some people, has a little bit more breathing room, it has. >> doctor, this is such important information. i'm so glad you're with me this morning to give that out. we're going to put this online through our twitter feeds, et cetera. this is important information that we should all have. doctor, thank you for being with me. tributes are pouring in this morning for actor and comedian bob saget who was found dead in his florida hotel room on sunday just hours after performing a standup set. authorities say no foul play or drug use is suspected. fans placed flowers in front of the home featured in the beginning of his hit tv show "full house" on which he played a wholesome father of three daughters for eight seasons. john stamos wrote, i am broken. i am gutted. i am in complete shock.
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54 past the hour. time for a check of the heedlines beyond our borders. a collapsing cliff killed 10 people at a popular tourism spot in brazil over the weekend. the video was captured by other voter who is nearly survived the collapse. it's the moment entire cliff smashes in the water. in australia, the world's number one tennis player just won an appeal that might get him a step closer to playing in the australian open. sara james has more from melbourne. sara, good morning or good evening to you. >> reporter: good morning, jose. yes, that's right. well, the decision as to whether or not djokovic will be allowed to play her behind me now rests with australia's immigration minister. this follows a stinging defeat for the government earlier today. and, in fact, novak djokovic
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took to twitter to talk about that division. he said in a tweet earlier today, he said, despite all that has happened, i want to stay and try to compete at the australian open. and said i'm pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation. now, the saga began last week. that's when djokovic arrived. and his lawyers say that the player had covid back in december, and that that's enough for a medical exemption. the australian border has very strict immigration guidelines for people who come into this country and vaccines are required unless there's a medical exemption. so that's where the fight began. of course, djokovic is hoping to become the first player ever to win 21 grand slams. he's got a lot on the line, and the immigration minister will decide. >> sara james in australia. thank you so much. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm "jose diaz-balart reports."
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you can always reach me on twitter and instagram. please follow the show online. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news after a quick break. p with news after a quick break
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and a good monday morning to you. craig melvin here from nbc world head quarters. we have our eyes on stories you need to know about this hour. first up right now high stakes diplomacy in action in geneva. the u.s. and russian representatives have been meeting. on the agenda, russia's aggression at ukraine's border as it amassing tens of thousands of troops. are the talks enough to dial down rising tensions? anthony blinken says expectations aren't high. also new york city's worst fire in three decades.

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