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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  January 11, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST

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be dead if you were unvaccinated. so when you look at every parameter, ten times, 17 times, 20 times, infection, hospitalization, death. >> ms. o'connell, i want to ask you a question about additional vaccine development. the current vaccines against covid, as was indicated by dr. fauci's answer, have been very successful in reducing deaths, severity of illnesses and hospital admissions. however, they've had more limited success in transmitting after breakthrough cases and the vaccines are not as durable as vaccines in other areas so we need booster shots to continue to protect against the virus. is the administration supporting the development of additional vaccines that might be able to address the gaps in the current vaccines' capabilities?
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>> yes, absolutely. i think we all see the need for next generation vaccinations and anti-virals and therapeutics as well. we're in the process of working with dr. fauci's team to develop a uniied research agenda and budget to address these issues to identify candidates that might already be in the pipeline so we can accelerate the availability of next generation vaccines and therapeutics. >> thank you for that answer. dr. walensky, i'd like to ask you a question about access to testing and in particular what is the cdc doing to make sure that testing capacity is robust in rural america and also among community health centers in disadvantaged parts of the country? >> we have this program increased community access to testing in collaboration with
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asper as well. this is a program that has collaborated with fema to increase surge testing. just over the holidays, we've increased federal testing sites for pcrs, 12,000 testing sites doing thousands of tests over the holidays. we also work with pharmacies. in that stead, we are able to map where the pharmacies are and their social vulnerability index and we can put pcr tests in areas of high social vulnerability index through all of our pharmacy partners. then we put tests in our community centers as well. really a broad stretch to get access to testing, especially among those most vulnerable. of course, $10 billion for testing supplies to our schools and working closely with our schools in peer to peer support and technical support to allow those tests to be used while in those school settings.
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>> dr. fauci, one more question for you. i ask a version of this question every time we have this panel before us. what is the nih doing right now or what's the current status of nih research to better understand long covid to look at symptoms and potential treatments? >> there are several levels of activity going on. some new since we spoke last, i had mentioned to you, senator, that in fact there was a 1.15 billion program for studying long covid that is now developing cohorts to look at various incidents and potential interventions. there have been a number of awards given. most recently in september there was an additional $470 million funding engaging about 100
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researchers from 30 institutions to get individuals together. one thing that's really interesting that we're seeing right now is that when you look at individuals who have these symptoms go on for a considerable period of time, a recent study that is in the preprint stage, so it hasn't been peer reviewed, has some very interesting information that needs to be validated and verified. there was an autopsy study in people who had varying levels of covid to mildly to moderately symptomatic to individuals who actually died. they found not replication of virus, but pcr-able virus, which means you could have nucleotides
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there. you don't completely clear the fragments of the virus and you have continue stimulation, not that you're infectious or you're going to infect anybody else, but that it is still generating perhaps in response to your immune system. i under score, it's preliminary in the preprint stage and it needs to be peer reviewed. but that's some of the information we're starting to gather. >> senator paul. >> dr. fauci, the idea that a government official like yourself would claim unilaterally to represent science, that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself is quite dangerous. central planning, whether it be of the economy or of science is risky because of the fallibility of the planner. it would not be so catastrophic if the planner or one physician
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in peoria, that would only affect that physician's patients. when a government official like yourself rules by mandate, it becomes much more harmful. a planner who believes he is the science, leads to arrogance that justifies in his mind using government resources to smear and destroy the reputations of other scientists who disagree with them. in an e-mail you conspire to create a quick and devastating published takedown of three prominent epidemiologists from harvard, oxford and stanford. you quote in the e-mail from dr. collins and you agree they are fringe. immediately there's this takedown effort.
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a takedown doesn't conjure up the man of a dispassionate scientist. instead of engaging them on the merits, you and dr. collins sought to smear them as fringe and take them down. this is not only ant thet cal to the scientific method, it's cheap politics. do you think it's okay to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists who disagree with you? >> the e-mail was from dr. collins to me. >> that you responded to and hurried up and said i can do it, i can do it. >> no. i think in usual fashion, senator, you are distorting everything about me. >> did you ever object to dr. collins and say they're not fringe? you responded that you would do it and you immediately got an
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article and sent it back to them and said hey look i nailed them in wired. >> that's not what went on. there you go again. you just do the same thing every hearing. >> this wasn't the only time. your desire to take down people. >> as usual, senator, you are incorrect. >> no. you deny. but the e-mails tell the truth of this. >> no. >> this wasn't the only time. your desire to take down those who disagree with you didn't stop with harvard, oxford and stanford. other members of the scientific community signed an opinion piece for nature. they called it conspiracy theory, the idea that the virus could have originated in the lab. do you think words like conspiracy theory should be in a scientific paper? >> senator, i never used that word when i was referring to it.
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you're distorting virtually everything. >> did you communicate with the five scientists who wrote the opinion piece in nature where they were describing, oh, there's no way this could come from a lab? >> that was not me. >> did you talk with any of those scientists? >> you keep distorting the truth. it is stunning how you do that. >> did you talk to any of the scientists privately? >> yes. >> what were they telling you privately? >> let me explain. you know you're going back to that original discussion when i brought together a group of people to look at every possibility with an open mind. not only are you distorting it, you are completely turning it around as you usually do. >> did they come to you privately and say no way this came from a lab? or was their initial impression, dr. gary and others that were involved, that it looks very suspicious that it came from a lab? >> senator, we are here at a committee to look at a virus now
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that has killed almost 900,000 people. the purpose of the committee was to try to get things out how we can help the american public. you keep coming back to personal attacks on me that have absolutely no relevance to reality. >> do you think anybody has had more influence over our response to this than we have? do you think it's a great success what's happened so far? do you think lockdowns are good for our kids? more people have died under president biden than did under president trump. you are the one responsible. you are the lead architect from the response for the government and now 800,000 people have died. do you think it's a winning success, what you've advocated for government? >> senator, first of all, if you look at everything that i said, you accuse me of in a monolithic way telling people what they need to do. everything that i've said has been in support of the cdc
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guidelines, wear a mask, get boosted. >> and you make it coercive and done by mandate. you've advocated that your infallible opinion be dictated by law. >> again, madam chair, i would like just a couple of minutes. this happens all the time. you personally attack me with absolutely not a shred of evidence of anything you say. i would like to make something clear to the committee. he's doing this for political reasons. he's said in front of this committee -- >> do you think your takedown of three prominent epidemiologists was not political? >> senator paul, if you would please, i'm going to allow dr. fauci to respond. we have a number of senators who would like to ask questions and i would like him to be able to respond.
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please do so. >> the last time we had a committee or the time before, he was accusing me for being responsible of the deaths of 4 to 5 million people, which is really irresponsible. i say, why is he doing that? there are two reasons why that's really bad. the first is, it distracts from what we're all trying to do here today, is get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we're dealing with, not something imaginary. number two, what happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there and i have threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls, because people are lying about me. now, i guess you could say, well, that's the way it goes, i can take the hit. well, it makes a difference.
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because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago on december 21st, a person was arrested who was on their way from sacramento to washington, d.c. at a speed stop in iowa. the police asked him where he was going, and he was going to washington, d.c. to kill dr. fauci. they found in his car an ar-15 and multiple magazines of ammunition, because he thinks that maybe i'm killing people. so i ask myself why would a senator want to do this? so go to rand paul website and you see "fire dr. fauci" with a little box that says "contribute here." you can do $5, $10, $20, $100. you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political
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gain. >> you have politically attacked your colleagues and in a politically reprehensible way. >> i'm sorry. we're going to continue this hearing. we have a number of questions. >> one more minute. >> dr. fauci, i really appreciate your response, but we do have a number of questions from senators and we do have a second round. i'm being asked to make sure everybody has their time, so thank you. >> thank you very much for allowing me. >> we will move to senator murphy. >> thank you, first of all, for what you do. you shouldn't have to put your life at risk. you shouldn't have to put your family's life at risk to simply stand up and do your job to try to protect my constituents from a pandemic disease. and thank you for calling out this agenda for what it is, an attempt to score political points to build a political power base around the denial of science and around personal
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attacks on you and your family. on social media i follow many of trump's advisors and family members and they make a sport out of attacking you personally. some of the most vicious, hateful, ugly ways that are possible. they do it because it gets clicks. they don't do it because they're legitimately engaged in an honest debate about the science surrounding covid. those people attack you because it gave them political followers. so i appreciate the fact that you're willing to stand up for yourself and for your colleagues who have been dragged into the political muck, not because those that follow president trump are interested in an honest science based debate about how to attack covid, but because they see political opportunity. so thank you, dr. fauci, for
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your work, for the panel's work and for sticking up for yourself, which is not always easy. dr. walensky, i want to take my time to do a little bit of an update on best practices for schools. i know we talk about this a lot here. part of what i think is frustrating for a lot of parents is that the guidance they're getting from their schools changes. i get it. educators are adjusting to the changes as technology changes. has anything changed since the last time you were here about what you are recommending for schools to stay open? i appreciate what you said in the last hearing that schools should be the first places to open and the last places to close. as the parent of two public school kids, i couldn't agree
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more. the trauma on these kids during this pandemic has been significant. the data tells us, especially for poorer kids and kids of color, distance learning just doesn't work. i'm grateful i've got a governor who has gone to extraordinarying lengths to make sure the schools have remained open. >> you took the words right out of my mouth. schools should be the first places to open and the last places to close. we had a delta surge in the fall and 99% of our schools were safely open. one thing that's majorly different between september of 2021 and today is we have pediatric vaccinations that are available for every child over the age of 5. the children who are in the hospital now are largely those who are unvaccinated. first and foremost, one of the most important things that's changed is we should be getting our children and teenagers vaccinated. we have boosters available for
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our teenagers as well. we saw through the delta surge we were able to keep our children safely in school before we had vaccines. today we have vaccines that we can use. we have school testing programs. we have new science that demonstrates test to stay. this is where a child might be exposed in the classroom. but if they are exposed, they don't have to stay home in quarantine. they can test every other day or twice a week and stay in the classroom safely. that has demonstrates hundreds of thousands of children in school rather than at home. we have new science that has demonstrated the value of masking. 3.5 times more risk if you're unmasked in schools versus masked in schools. people can come back to school after isolation after five days. >> thank you for that and for your commitment to keeping our
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schools open. final quick question for you, ms. o'connell. talking about in home tests. these are antigen tests. there is interesting rsearch about the ability to make pcr tests at home and there's companies, including one in connecticut, that believe with additional investment to bring those tests to scale, we could get pcr tests into families' hands at home in a cost that is at or below what companies are currently charing for antigen tests. >> we have worked closely with several manufacturers that you mentioned for these at-home pcr tests. we contracted with one of them and have reached 5 million per month manufacturing capacity in contract with them.
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we continue to look at the others and ways we can support them. nih colleagues are working closely with these companies as well as they go through the development stages. we remain very committed to the work these companies are doing and partner with them as they bring these products forward. >> senator collins. >> thank you. ms. o'connell, over the past two years congress has appropriated $82.6 billion specifically for testing. in addition, we've given the department flexibility to use other sources of funding. and yet as you've heard repeatedly today, our frustrated constituents cannot find rapid tests when they need them. this testing crisis appears to
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have been entirely preventible, as is evidenced by the availability, the widespread availability of rapid tests in europe, for example. the fact is that it appears the administration simply failed to anticipate our testing needs. as the former assistant secretary of health recently pointed out, a lack of federal orders between january and september of 2021 caused the manufacturers to reduce their lines and lay workers off, including at abbott facilities in the state of maine, where 400 workers were laid off. as a member of the appropriations committee, i share the concerns that have been expressed by senators burr and blunt. i don't believe that we're in
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the position that we are in now due to a lack of funding, but rather a lack of planning. my question to you is, has any of this funding, this close to $83 billion that was supposed to be used for testing, been diverted for other purposes? >> senator collins, thank you for this question. testing remains a priority for this administration. all the work we've done on testing has been to promote the expanding of the type of tests available for use in the united states, expanding the supply of tests in the united states and lowering the cost of tests. we used $47 billion that came in the american rescue plan. 10 billion went to schools through the states to set up
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school testing programs. 8.3 billion has gone to community testing sites, including for the uninsured and at the community health centers and the pharmacy program. 5 billion has gone to procure tests and supplies. an additional 4.5 billion will go through this 500 million we are in the process of securing. the testing money, as you recall, was for testing, contact tracing and mitigation efforts. some of the funds have been used for mitigation efforts. for example, when children are crossing the border, you know, one of the responsibilities that we have within hhs is to make sure that the children that are
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unaccompanied are cared for. we used some of the funds to test those children and then to separate them from covid negative children at the border. >> i'm going to repeat my question because you did not answer it. has any of that money been used for non-testing related purposes at the border? >> for the mitigation purposes as well, which the legislation allowed the funding to be used for. >> i will follow up with you because i don't feel like i'm getting an answer. dr. fauci, just last week the president once again said that covid-19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. let me make very clear that i've encouraged vaccinations. i believe in them.
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but contradicting the president's statement, in maine our largest health system reported that absences of vaccinated staff caused by covid-19 last week was at the highest point since vaccines became available. this increased by four fold. does the message that covid is a pandemic of the unvaccinated still hold true with the emergence of omicron? and do you agree with the "new york times," which has twice reported that rapid covid vaccine is critical in preventing hospitalizations and
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against the omicron variant? >> thank you for that question, senator. yes, indeed. there's no doubt that the omicron variant, when you look at the protection against symptomatic disease and asymptomatic infection dramatically goes down to about 30%. what maintains itself, it goes up to about 70% against severe disease when you boost. what happens is you get a rather significant reconstitution of the protection particularly against hospitalization. so if you were to say that omicron or even covid-19 as it is is really a pandemic when you're talking about a pandemic that causes serious disease, there's no doubt that there's an extraordinary divergence of risk between a vaccinated and an
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unvaccinated person. in response to the question just a bit ago when i said that if you look at vaccinated versus unvaccinated, there's a 17 times greater chance of being hospitalized and a 20 times greater chance of dying if you are unvaccinated versus vaccinated. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. >> good morning. i'm chris jansing in for craig melvin. it has been heated at times. a couple of big questions has emerged from republicans and democrats. first, why aren't there more tests available for americans? and second, can you please clear up the cdc guidance for people who catch the highly contagious omicron variant and are confused? >> i've also heard from people who have found the communication about new isolation and
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quarantine guidance confusing and frustrating. they are trying to keep themselves and their family safe as this pandemic evolves and we continue to learn more. but i'm hearing more and more questions like, what kind of test should i get, when should i get tested, why can't i find a test. >> it can't come as a surprise that there is confusion and anger when the white house says to ignore cdc guidance. >> so i want to start by dig into this testimony from our nation's top doctors that's happening right now on capitol hill. leanne caldwell is on the hill following the hearing. i also want to bring in a physician at harvard medical school. good to have both of you. several lawmakers made it clear already this morning america is confused by the guidance coming out from the federal government. take us through what we've seen so far. >> reporter: that's right. what these officials tried to do is clarify that guidance,
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including isolation periods. something that stuck out to me was that dr. walensky said there was no difference for isolation periods if you're vaccinated or unvaccinated. of course, it moved down to the five days of isolation if someone contracts covid, assuming that they have no symptoms or their symptoms are subsiding. they go onto say that for the following five days after that'sulation ends, continue to wear a mask even at home around other family members. there's also been questions about the testing. senator richard burr asked if the rapid antigen at-home tests are able to detect omicron, and this is how they responded. >> of the 15 tests that you've currently approved for over the counter, how many detect omicron? >> we're still working on that, but we believe all of them
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detect omicron. we simply feel they are somewhat less sensitive than they were to some of the previous variants. >> of the 50 million test that is the asper has contracted for, how many of those tests detect omicron? >> i don't know which tests there are. we can get back to you on that. >> so you haven't consulted with what we're purchasing on the 500 million, they haven't consulted with the fda to find out if the tests they're buying detect omicron? >> i believe they have. i don't have that list. >> reporter: there are questions that have gone unanswered today. there are also questions about vaccines. officials continue to say if you are vaccinated and boosted, studies show that does deter against people contracting covid despite these high numbers. >> they want to know about testing, they want to know about the confusion, but the politics
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also just entered into it. republican senator rand paul and dr. anthony fauci went at it again today. tell us a little bit more about their heated exchange. >> reporter: they sure it. this is a recurring occurrence, performance between senator rand paul and dr. fauci. senator paul criticizes and drills dr. fauci over the origins of covid. today senator paul asked him about what he did to, quote, take down epidemiologists whomp critical of dr. fauci. dr. fauci said his questions are not based in fact and have no evidence. dr. anthony fauci was prepared this time.
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he also pulled up dr. paul's website. there's a thing that says fire dr. fauci, contribute here. dr. fauci was making the point that senator paul is making these accusations and picking these fights against dr. fauci for political purposes and to raise money. he says it's extremely dangerous to do so. >> cdc director walensky said, look, the guidance on isolation and quarantining was confusing. once that confusion is out there, it can be really hard to clean up. what does the cdc need to do going forward to make things clear as this pandemic continues to morph? >> the cdc has had a real communication problem for the 22 months of the pandemic. it is difficult to translate complicated, fast-moving and evolving science to make sure there is a daily behavior change in people. the cdc needs to recognize that
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it is not only a scientific advisory organization, but it is also an organization of patient and public education. so there is that missing middleman who can really translate that hard science into behavior change. that is clearly what is missing right now and has for the duration of the pandemic. >> i also want to get to the idea of testing, because there is still a lot of difficulty for people who have been looking for at-home tests, couldn't find them. the acting fda mission commissioner says they believe the tests are less sensitive to omicron. they're still look into that. for people watching and are confused, no more sure about what they should do than they were when they started watching this hearing. what's the best strategy for people who want to test at home and now know they can start getting tests paid for the they
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have private insurance? >> reporter: that was a truly cringe worthy moment, undermining that sense of confidence. our current tests work to detect omicron. no test is 100%. but often we see that the early stages on day two and three we had excellent detection of omicron. so our current tests, the 15 on the market, work to detect omicron. that is such an important point to drive home for people that are very concerned about the spread now. >> i want to dig deeper into these rising hospitalizations. the "washington post" notes what we could be in for. quote, if models of omicron spread prove accurate even though researchers who produce them admit forecasts are difficult during a pandemic. current numbers make things small in just a few weeks. disease models are predicting total hospitalizations in the
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275,000 to 300,000 range when the peak is reached probably later this month. that's double what we have right now. of course, you always have to add into that the fact that some of the people who are testing positive, far too many of them are the health care workers who are needed to deal with this surge. explain what this could mean for our health care system. if we bend it to these levels, could it break? >> currently we are at a critical point in our health care system. so many places around the country are functioning in a crisis standard of care. currently, based on all the modeling and extrapolation, we believe we are picking up 30% of infections. so it is very likely these numbers are smaller than we are recording. we will see a rise and we will not see peak numbers of hospitalization yet. that will happen in the next several weeks. first, hospitalizations are a
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lagging indicator of the entire case load, and we are currently seeing cases of about 700,000 a day here in the u.s. >> thanks to both of you. we're going to continue to keep our eye on that testimony at the covid hearing this morning. first, right now it is an all-out blitz from democrats hungry to pass a meaningful voting rights bill. president biden is on his way to atlanta to give a major speech. the pressure he'll put on the senate to scrap the filibuster and what he says about stacey abrams skipping his speech. sta abrams skipping his speech
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it's been nearly two years since the pandemic started. our students and teachers tried their best, but as a parent, i can tell you that nearly 18 months of remote learning was really hard. i'm so angry that instead of helping our kids get back in the classroom, the school board focused on renaming schools schools that weren't even open . please recall all three school board members now. for the sake of our kids, we can't wait one more day, never mind a whole year for a fresh start.
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right now, president biden is on his way to atlanta to deliver a major speech on voting rights. moments before taking off, he stopped to speak to reporters about his trip. this is just a short time ago. he started with the news that georgia gubernatorial candidate
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stacey abrams is not attending today's speech. >> are you insulting she's skipping the speech? >> i'm insulted you asked the question. i spoke with stacey this morning. we have a great relationship. we got our scheduling mixed up. i talked with her this morning. we're all on the same page and everything is fine. >> how about other boycotts of the speech? [ inaudible question ] >> say that again. >> what do you risk politically, sir? >> this is one of those defining moments. people are going to be judged, where were they before and where were they after the vote. history is going to judge us. it's that consequential. the risk is making people understand how important this
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is. just how important this is. >> are you concerned overall about the progress on the pandemic right now? do you feel like your administration is not meeting the targets it needs to meet? >> i am concerned about the pandemic just because it's world wide it's not slowing up very much. thank god what we've been able to do is been able to generate significant federal help in terms of folks both coming into the hospitals and administering all the help that the states need. that's what we're doing now. i'm confident we're on the right track. >> carol lee is at the white house for us. i know we got a preview of the president's remarks that he'll be making in atlanta. walk us through what we know. >> the white house says the president will make a forceful case for this voting rights legislation. one of the things he'll say is
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this is a real turning point for the country when the senate takes up that vote. he'll also endorse a change to the senate rules for the filibuster. now, the president has in the past said he would support a sort of carve-out exception with the filibuster when it comes to voting rights legislation. but this really marks the first time he's expected to lean into that and not only put forward his words about it, but also his time and his political capital to try to change the dynamics in the senate. it's a real heavy lift for him. the votes just aren't there as of now. in that sense, the president is taking a political risk. you heard our own kelly o'donnell ask him about that. he said the risk is he wouldn't say what he thinks at this point in time, which he says is a very significant moment, and that history will judge those who vote on this. you know, at the same time the white house is setting their expectations very high, saying this is something the president expects to be on his desk.
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he wants to sign a bill. again, the senate dynamics aren't in the president's favor on this. so he's either going to lean into this debate and the fight is going to be enough for the democratic base who are putting pressure on him, or he is going to come out of this politically weakened if he doesn't succeed, because this would be the second major piece of his agenda that doesn't make it through congress. >> it's good to see you, stephanie. we're hearing from voting rights groups in atlanta, who say they don't want a photo op, they don't want empty promises. they want action and policy. i want to play what the coo of the new georgia project told our own blayne alexander about the
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president's visit. >> did you feel this was an empty gesture? >> yes. it's quite performative. we feel like the president and those that are accompanying the president are coming down here for a photo op. all the while we are under siege. >> voting rights activists are holding the president's feet to the fire. is support for changing senate rules going to be enough, or does he need to do more? >> i think that's a great start. it's blocking all the progress we have to make when it comes to passing the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights act. this is what those activists on the ground have been looking for. also, him coming to georgia proves the work they have done in organizing that state and helping to empower and get voters out, it's mattered greatly and it's really changed
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the trajectory of this country. it speaks to their good work. i think that he has an amazing opportunity today to say what he's going to do to make sure that we get filibuster reform, change these rules so we don't have a couple of senators who represent states with less than 2 million people taking over the president's agenda and really blocking progress on issues like voting rights so that we can all make our voices heard. >> let's talk about how he capitalizes on what seems to be an opportunity right now, because when it comes to people not attending the speech, it's not just stacey abrams. there are members of other groups who have also said they're not going. we heard biden just say, at least in stacey abram's case, it was a scheduling issue. but the folks who are no-shows, does that hurt his cause? does it make it harder for him to capitalize on whatever opportunity there may be, that shows there's discord within the
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party, within those activists who seem to have the same goal? >> no. i mean, look, everybody plays a role. i worked in the white house at one point. we need people on the outside pushing our leaders to make the decisions and choices that matter most to us and protect
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our communities. they're playing a role in this moment. i've also heard them say they're encouraged he's coming down there, because it proves how important a state like georgia is. i don't want us to get lost in the fact that folks have said, look, we want to see more. obviously we want to see more. we have over 500 bills not just in georgia but around this country that are trying to stop people from voting. this is bigger than one state, one moment or one organization. this is a huge american issue where they are trying to stop us from using our voices on election day. and we are not that far off from a major election this november with the midterms. with the midterms. so i don't want us to lose focus president's agenda when it comes to voting rights. that's why they're putting a little bit more pressure on him to get these bills passed to expand the right to vote and protecting voters from these suppression bills we're seeing all over the country. >> i know you're planning a series of marches with other organizations beginning saturday in phoenix. how do we get from here to a place in november where the democrats, frankly, have a fighting chance to hold onto the house and/or senate? >> the reason why we did the letter that mrs. obama wrote not new york times with the 30 organizations is to ring the alarm so we are able to energize, mobilize and push people to the polls. we cannot out organize voter suppression. that's why congress must act. we're going to do our part.
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that starts with registering voters on martin luther king, jr. day, which is a day on, not a day off. there's a hundred marches all over this country. we'll be participating in the one in washington, d.c. we look forward to seeing all these new voters registered or checking their status on mlk day so we make sure folks are ready to vote in november. >> thanks so much for taking the time to be with us. we're also watching two hearings this morning on the fallout from the january 6th attack on the capitol. one of the big issues, the domestic terrorist threat. what we're hearing from doj officials, next. re hearing frj officials, next.
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sorry, one sec. doug blows several different whistles. doug blows several different whistles. [a vulture squawks.] there he is. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪ right now there are two key hearings on the aftermath of january 6th happening on capitol hill. the house appropriations committee examining the current state of security at the capitol itself. the senate judiciary committee hearing testimony on the current bigger picture threat overall of domestic terrorism. nbc's garret haake is on the hill following this for us. garret, we did, i understand, get a pretty significant update on the fbi's domestic terror investigations. they've actually doubled since the spring of 2020?
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take us through what we've learned. >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. and this is a domestic terrorism focused hearing with witnesses from the department of justice and fbi and doj witness panels talking about the scope of the problem law enforcement at the federal level is dealing with, as you you were saying these kind of incidents and investigations have more than doubled actually since the spring of 2020. so much so the department of justice has now put its own special group of lawyers on these cases trying to figure out how to prosecute them better. here's a little of what he told the committee earlier this morning. >> based on elevated threat from domestic violent extremists. we've seen a growing threat from those motivated by racial animus as well as those who prescribe to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies. >> reporter: to hear about those anti-government anti-authority racially extreme groups there's
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also anarchist groups. so the hearing i would say expanded quite broadly in the topics being covered here with the doj bringing the news here in terms of the scope of the problem with domestic extremists and how they're taking it on. >> that's going to do it for me this hour. i'm chris jansing. andrea mitchell reports starts next. m chri it's clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels and contains high quality protein to help manage hunger and support muscle health. try boost® today. andrea mitchell reports starts next i recommend nature made vitamins, because i trust their quality. they were the first to be verified by usp, an independent organization that sets strict quality and purity standards. nature made. the #1 pharmacist recommended vitamin and supplement brand.
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questions from lawmakers. >> i'm hearing more and more questions like what kind of tests should i get, when should i get tested, do i need to isolate ten days, five days or even at all? >> the communication efforts are a mess and have only made things worse. now, i admit it, i'm at the end of my rope. i think you'll see today most of my colleagues are as well. >> the fact is it appears the administration simply failed to anticipate our testing needs. >> a lot more coming up. this as president biden is on his way to atlanta this hour to make his most forceful push yet for new voting rights legislation and to fully commit for the first time to changing the filibuster rule to get it done. >> this is one of those defining moments. it really is. people are going to be judged where were they before and where were they after

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