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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 28, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PST

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finally getting some financial relief after president trump signed an emergency covid relief deal and headed back out to the golf course this morning. before signing the bill last night, the president held it hostage for five days, he railed against it, threatened to dismantle it and demanded changes that went nowhere. all while golfing in florida over the christmas holidays. those delays were long enough for unemployment benefits to run out for millions of americans and nearly forced a government shutdown for no reason at all. all before the president finally backed down and signed the bill he opposed but only after the damage was done and suffering was prolonged and the president back on the golf course this morning. why hold up the relief if he was going to sign the bill in the end? let's go to boris sanchez at the white house. maybe you can answer that
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question, why did he do this? >> reporter: it's a terrific question because at this point, as the president spends another day at his golf club here in palm beach he has nothing to show for the delay in signing the covid relief package that could ultimately hurt a lot of americans who are currently struggling right now. the president did not get any of the demands that he's been pushing for over the last several days, and they include cutting what he deems is unnecessary spending. important to point out this covid relief package was paired with the omnibus government spending bill, the president conflating the two and suggesting things like foreign aid should not be in the coronavirus relief package, they're not. the president calling that wasteful even though a lot of that foreign aid and other things he's railing against were actually part of the white house budget and requested by the white house. the president also pushing for an increase in those stimulus checks to americans from $600 to
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2,000. at this point it is unclear that lawmakers are going to pursue that. the president putting forth this idea that he wants these paychecks increased, even though it's clear that he had influence in what congress ultimately signed off on, he's sort of throwing his negotiators steve mnuchin and mark meadows under the bus with this. the senate majority leader, republican mitch mcconnell came out with a statement lauding the president for finally signing off on this bill but he does not mention in this statement congratulating the president any of the issues that the president wanted reviewed, including a review of section 230, the liability protection for social media companies and he wants a strong focus on election fraud, even though there's no evidence of widespread election fraud, brianna. >> that's right. no evidence of it. boris thank you. live for us from florida. i want to go to capitol hill where the house is expected to vote today on increasing the
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stimulus checks to 2,000. this is where lauren fox is there tracking it. this vote could pit some republicans against the president but is it going to have enough votes to pass, do you think? >> reporter: we expect the vote to happen tonight on the $2,000 stimulus checks. this is an important moment as you pointed out, this is the time when republicans will have to decide whether or not they want to support increasing the price tag of this big stimulus bill over these $2,000 checks or whether they want to stand with president trump and give him exactly what he is asking for, again these $2,000 stimulus checks for every individual. the question on the table is whether or not it can actually pass. we do know tonight's vote, because it's going to be happening under a suspension of the rule is going to require a two-thirds majority, it's more than just what a house democratic majority can do on its own. so it will require republicans
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to vote for this proposal. i'm told that the republican leadership is not whipping this bill. they are giving republicans the opportunity to vote their conscience on it but it's going to be worth watching and even if it passes the house of representatives, still no sign of what majority leader, mitch mcconnell, will do if it comes to the u.s. senate. the question, of course, whether or not mcconnell will put this on the floor as a stand-alone bill or not. >> would that be hard for mitch mcconnell if this were to pass the house by such a considerable margin? would that be difficult for mitch mcconnell not to proceed? how would he rationalize not proceeding with it? >> i think there are a couple factors the majority leader is weighing right now. one, of course, what do you do if there's an overwhelming vote in the house and so many republicans vote for it but what do you do about the fact that there are a lot of republican members who don't want to take a vote on a $2,000 stimulus check, if in part because they're
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concerned about the deficit, in part because they never wanted the stimulus bill above $1 billion, and it's sitting close to $900 billion right now. nobody knows the senate floor and procedure like senate majority leader mcconnell so whether he finds a way to avoid a stand off remains to be seen. i expect we'll hear more from him in the coming days. >> lauren fox, eyes and ears on capitol hill. eligible americans will receive a second round of stimulus checks in the coronavirus relief package of $600, half the amount congress provided in march. it could be days or weeks before these checks land. joining me now is a senior policy analyst for the national employment law project. michelle, that's the question i think americans want to know. when am i going to want to see this check? when will i get this money? >> unfortunately it takes states
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times to program the benefits into computer systems. it could take two to three weeks. but states have known this was coming so they've gotten started on programming this into their computer system so hopefully it'll be up and running soon. >> that's the good news they maybe anticipated this. he held off, the president did, on signing this bill for days. i wonder how that affects unemployed individuals who are in key pandemic assistance programs during what is the final week of the year? >> by waiting until sunday he introduced a great deal of uncertainty. there's language in the relief bill that says the bill can't apply to weeks after -- that started before the bill was enacted. well, sunday happened before the bill was enacted. sunday morning happened. so it's not clear if benefits will be payable for this week. it's a theory benefits can be payable this week we're just not sure yet. we have to find out. >> meaning do people basically
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get back pay for this week, is that what you're saying and that's unknown? >> that's right. the 9 million people collecting pandemic unemployment assistance, the 4.7 million about collecting pandemic unemployment emergency composition that is for people who ran out of unemployment compensation. it's unclear if they'll get a benefit this week and it's unclear if the $300 will apply to this week. we have to wait for guidance from the department of labor. >> that's uncertainty, obviously, that americans hurting don't want to hear. i know you've been talking to different agencies. what are you hearing about the struggles of americans? >> so the struggle out there is tremendous. it's sometimes hard for me to open by email because people are writing to me about really tough choices they're having to make. whether they're going to pay the rent or buy groceries for the children, taking prescriptions. people are getting evicted, fore
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closed on, selling things they shouldn't have to sell like their automobiles. it's brutal out there. >> it's brutal. like you said, you're hearing these stories, obviously they affect you very deeply. you know the need as you're hearing from people. do you think that $600 is enough? >> so, actually, $600 would have been great but this extension is only $300. i guess the average unemployment benefit is around 350, 370 per week. this will double what people were getting. it's important to remember in many states the average unemployment benefit by itself is below the poverty level. that's a good reminder. thank you so much for explaining this to us. >> good talking with you. thank you for having me. coming up, officials now identified the man who they say detonated a bomb inside an rv in nashville. what we're learning about the suspect and what we're learning, if anything, about why he did it.
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the mayor of nashville says it's a miracle that more people were not hurt in that explosion downtown on christmas morning. and today he praised the police who responded as angels wearing blue. authorities released this video of the bomb going off. you can see a police officer walking out of view when moments
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later we see this powerful blast lighting up the street. police say 63-year-old anthony quinn warner was the bomber. he was the only person killed in the explosion. so why did he do this? this is still a mystery. natasha chen is in nashville for us. i know you got an update on the number of people being treated in hospitals after friday's blast. what can you tell us? >> reporter: right. at least eight people that we know of were sent to hospitals after this explosion on friday. centennial hospital said they received three patients who were discharged the same day and then vanderbilt university medical center said they received five people in stable condition. what's amazing is that there weren't more serious injuries and no fatalities besides the suspect you just mentioned and that is because of the officers' quick action. the six people who responded to the scene because of initial reports of shots fired, that's still being investigated whether those were real gun shots or the
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recording of the sound of gun shots and while they were there, they started hearing the recorded message from the rv, an eerie message about the explosion, and then they started knocking on doors. this was christmas morning, the shops were not planning to be opened but people were asleep. here's an officer talking about those moments after the blast. >> i ran to the intersection to check on miller to make sure they were okay. saw him running towards the intersection as well -- sorry. that's when i got on the radio to make sure wells was okay. couldn't get a response from him but from the blast he had some hearing loss. that's when amanda got on said he was okay. i was just trying to make sure all of our people were okay and going from there, trying to figure out what was the best course of action.
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>> reporter: the officers who spoke to us also said they did not see anyone in or around that rv at the time. and so this is, obviously, a lot of questions that still have to be answered by investigators who are looking into the motive, why did anthony quinn warner do this? and they are looking at his history. people he might have spoken with, come into contact with. and over the weekend we did watch federal agents go into his home, coming in and out with evidence bags. >> it is amazing to hear the officer speak there. thank you for bringing that to us. natasha chen covering this in nashville for us. fortunately no one else was killed but the livelihoods of small business owners were destroyed on christmas morning. including the tattoo parlor, you're looking at what is left of the business right now. and the owner of it, pete gibson is joining us to talk about this. pete, first off, we're looking
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at the damage here. we're thankful this didn't happen during business hours and we're here talking to you certainly about a huge loss for you but there is no loss of life and for that we're thankful. tell us what you're going through. tell us what this was like. >> it's just -- it's kind of -- it's unreal. it's something that you don't prepare for or even think about. especially on christmas day. i mean, much less it's -- it just has us all heart broken and we're trying to take one foot in front of the other and step by step get through this. it's just -- it's a lot. >> it is the last thing that you would think. i think for folks who are familiar with this area, it's certainly not anything you would think would happen in an area like this. i know that you had actually seen an rv, is that right, in the area? can you tell us about this? >> i recall a few weeks ago, i recall pulling up to the shop
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and seeing an rv very, very similar to that one parked right outside the shop. you know, it's hard to say if it is the exact rv, but it's not everyday you see an old, old rv downtown. so i have a good feeling it was probably that one. >> have you been able to talk to the police at all about that? >> i have. i've talked to a few investigators and police and whatnot. so. >> so i mean, i'm assuming you've seen the photo we are looking at and i wonder if you have seen more. it looks like the entire facade of the building is gone, the entire interior of this business is gone. what is your understanding of the damage, the store front as it was originally, and it's a beautiful store front, what's your understanding of the damage here? >> so right now i haven't been able to get in person down there. i've just seen pictures, like you said, it's horrible.
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it's -- i know those streets like the back of my hand. it's my life. it's my love. i'm down there every day of the week for years. and i can't even make out what the shop was or is or where almost. and it's truly heartbreaking. >> it's the destruction of your home. even if it isn't your physical home it's obviously a place you're so familiar with. what is this going to mean for you and your employees going forward? it's already been a tough year. >> been a roller coaster of a year that's for sure with the tornado and covid and now this. it's quite a roller coaster. we're just trying to -- all my employees and i, we're taking the steps, one step in front of the other mentally first, making sure the guys are okay. evan, cody, jordan and mike we're all going to get through this together as a team. it's one step in front of the
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other mentally first and then we'll start the rebuild process. i believe we'll be all right and get through this. >> i know this is tough. i can hear it talking to you. i'm so glad to be talking to you about what you're going through. we're very sorry, obviously, for the loss of your business. but it is good to be talking to you and you're safe and your employees are safe. so thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> pete gibson, owner of the pride and glory tattoo parlor, which was damaged in the explosion in nashville. there were other small businesses destroyed you can head to go fund me to support small businesses like pete's. how many worse could the pandemic get if there's a holiday surge in many cases? wake up on the right side of the bed this year shop the new year sale with 15% off today at
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the month of december isn't even over and it's already the deadliest month since the pandemic began. the number of fatalities are almost double that of november's toll. as the country is passing 19 million covid cases and there are growing concerns of yet another surge following the christmas holiday. >> we're very concerned and we always see a little bit of a bump after holidays and sometimes a large bump but what the important thing for people to understand is, even if you
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travelled it doesn't mean you throw your hands in the air and say, oh, well, there are measures you can take and the cdc, i like to remind people, recommends three to five days after travel or after you've been around people without a mask on you go out and get tested. >> the tsa says almost 1.3 million people were screened at airports sunday alone, making it the busiest day for air travel since the pandemic began. and the cdc says almost 2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered. let's bring in dr. craig spencer to talk about this. the director of emergency medicine at columbia medical center. thank you for being with us. you hear that statistic that more than a million people passed through the airports yesterday alone. how concerned should we be about that? >> we need to be really concerned because right now we're seeing record level deaths from the pandemic, as you
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mentioned, december has been the deadliest from covid-19 and covid-19 has been the biggest cause of death in the united states. it looks like cases are leveling off, we won't know for some time because data around the holidays is always a little hard to interpret. we still see 118, 119,000 people hospitalized. there are projections in two weeks we'll have about 3700, 3,800 americans dying every day from this. so we haven't seen the worse from this. and traveling, spreading the virus around is only going to make it worse. >> when we look, there's an analysis that we at cnn have done when it comes to hospitalizations. it shows the share of icu patients with covid-19 in the u.s. has been increasing each month since the end of september. september it was 16% of icu patients that had covid-19. 22% the following month. 35% at the end of november. and right now you're talking about nearly 40%.
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what is that -- what does that say to you? how are you reading that and what are the implications for the health of americans there? >> what i don't think a lot of people understand is that not all doctors or health care providers are interchangeable. yes, we were able to take operation warp speed and squeeze seven or eight year process for a vaccine rollout into just under a year which is miraculous. it takes as long to train a doctor or nurse, 6, 7, 8, 10 years for some specialists. we can't speed that up faster than we do that. right now hospitals are overflowing in many places across the country. doctors and nurses are needed where they're at. and unlike earlier in the outbreak when we had providers from all over the country help us out in new york and over the northeast, we can't do that now we can't rely on providers from other places because they're busy in their own hospitals. they're needed where they're at
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because the needs are so great and we don't have any flexibility like we did early in the outbreak. that means providers are stretched further, more exhausted and ultimately patient care will suffer. >> to that point, the surge in california has overwhelmed the health care system there to the point where doctors say they may have to start rationing care. this is something we hear doctors warn about. the reality of it is what you said. which is that there are fewer doctors, fewer nurses, fewer health care professionals to do the same work. i think it's difficult, i will tell you, sometimes talking to doctors and nurses to say, how is that playing out? but what does that mean? if if you are a patient and you are in the hospital with covid now say as opposed to several months ago, how is that care going to change for you because the demand for the care is so high? >> one thing i don't think people recognize is we don't have a magic bullet against covid. one of the only medications we
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know that's proven to help is a steroid injection, which isn't anything new orph fancy or a ne invention, this is something we've had for decades. the reason the death rate is much lower than it was in the beginning of the pandemic is health care providers haven't been as stretched throughout the outbreak. when we have patients coming in, it takes four or five or six providers to stabilize them. there's only a limited number of providers. if we have an increasing number of patients with the same set number of providers, clearly there's going to have to be give and take and we have to think about where we concentrate our mental and physical resources. we can get more ventilators, yeah, we can get the hard stuff but we need is the sweat power and sweat equity of so many health providers who have been already dealing with this for 10
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months and are quite exhausted. >> i can't imagine the level of exhaustion. we're learning today that the vaccine from novavax is headed to its phase 3 clinical trials. what's the impact of having more vaccines in the pipeline? >> we need as much vaccine as possible. we were hoping to get 20 million -- at least the promise was we would get 20 million doses out and injected by the end of december. as you pointed out we had 2 million. we had more new cases of covid in the past few weeks than the number of people vaccinated against it. we need as much vaccine as possible. and we need people to understand and trust the vaccine. not just here in the united states where it's going to be many months before the majority of the population gets vaccinated but really all around the world. there are providers in africa, asia, and other places that are at higher risks and don't have the same protections that we have. we need to make sure that those
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providers, health care providers and others, are taken care of. so having this vaccine and more options gives us the ability to do that and do it faster. >> i'm curious how many need to be vaccinated. dr. anthony fauci said it's going to take 70 to 85% being vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. does that range of numbers make sense to you? >> i think so. the reality is we don't know. it could be potentially higher than that. it's hard to say. what we do need to do is make sure that as many people who want to get vaccinated are able to get vaccinated and people have correct, reliable information about the vaccine as opposed to getting this information from their aunt or uncle's facebook page. there's a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around right now. a lot of the antivaccine movement is using this opportunity to undermine the
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faith in the covid vaccine and other vaccines that have been necessary for decades. we'll need 75, maybe 80, maybe 85% we don't know. but we need as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to end the pandemic but in the coming months, the thing that's going to save people is not a vaccine roll out, it's the same thing we've been talking about all day long, masks, distancing, and avoiding indoor places especially with poor ventilati ventilation. >> just hang in there a little longer. doctor, thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. up next democrats and some republicans are slamming president trump for delaying the signing of the pandemic relief bill. i'm going to talk with a democratic member of the house of representatives who's accu accusing trump of playing russian roulette with american lives. nobody understands the meaning of home like a veteran.
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from ancestry. today the house is expected to vote on increasing stimulus checks to americans to $2,000 after president trump delayed signing the coronavirus relief package and government spending bill into law for nearly a week, likely preventing unemployed americans from receiving assistance during the final week of the year. one democratic congressman shared this message on the delay, quote, in threatening to veto the covid relief and funding bill trump played russian roulette with american lives. and that congressman, jerry conley of virginia is with us too talk about this. obviously you and a number of
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republicans are opposed to the president's delay. how would you characterize what he's done over the last week? i think we're having a problem with the congressman's signal, unfortunate unfortunately. we'll try to get congressman jerry conley right back up so he can talk to us about this important vote coming up in the house tonight on this $2,000 possible check instead of $600. coming up, senator marco rubio is going after dr. fauci in a twitter rant, calling the nation's top infectious disease doctor a liar. why he's accused now of hypocrisy. robinhood believes now is the time to do money.
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i want to bring congressman jerry conley of virginia back to talk to us now that we re-established our connection. so we're talking here ahead of the big vote tonight in the house, which would be to change those stimulus checks -- or to make them $2,000 for americans. but i also wanted to just -- i think i have a sense of the characterization of what the president has done here in waiting to get this relief bill out the door, but how would you describe what he has done, delaying this almost a week? >> the well, as you indicated, brianna, i referred to it as playing russian roulette with american lives and it literally is.
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you had a long session just before this with a doctor talking about how dire the situation is in hospital rooms. you pointed out that we've gone from 16% of critical care covid patients in hospitals to 40%. lives are at stake. there's money in that bill to rush the vaccine for administration and distribution. that was held up. 14 million americans are going to find their unemployment insurance has ended and is interrupted because of the president at this timdithering games over whether he would sign the bill. so this is a very serious situation, another example of his reckless, self-centered behavior, that, as i said, puts lives and the economy really in jeopardy. >> democrats, of course, support -- we're going to see this vote tonight. where democrats support the $2,000 check in lieu of a $600
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stimulus check. that is what the president says was one of the key reasons why he delayed this. he wanted to see $2,000 versus 600. so explain that to us why -- you support the $2,000 but you clearly don't support what he did. >> no. what he did was reckless. frankly, if he wanted a higher amount which democrats wanted. remember, we proposed 1200 being extended from the c.a.r.e.s. act to the heroes act. it was secretary mnuchin that lowered that dollar amount along with the unemployment dollar amount. we're in the same place, we think americans should get more and the burden is now on his own party for him to deliver his own party in the vote we have tonight. >> this vote will need two-thirds of the house. republican leaders say that they're not whipping this, but obviously if this is going to pass it's going to need support
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from republicans. do you think it's going to pass? seems it might have a chance. do you expect it will? >> hope springs eternal. we need 288 votes. that's two-thirds of the house. and the question then will be are there 50 or 60 republicans who are willing to break ranks with their caucus in the house and join democrats and president trump in trying to provide more relief. so hopeful. but i'm not optimistic because that would be a change of behavior for my friends on the other side of the aisle that has been lacking entirely in the last four years. >> congressman, the president vetoed the defense bill the house and senate passed with veto proof majorities before he vetoed it. the house is going to vote today on overriding trump's veto. what is going to happen? >> i think there's a good chance
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that we're going to override the veto in the house of representatives. there are a number of republicans who are deeply troubled by this veto. this was a carefully crafted bill. we've passed the defense authorization bill for 59 consecutive years without fail. and the president's reasoning for vetoing the bill, we're speechless. it had nothing to do with the defense bill. it had to do with his feuding with google, amazon and facebook over a provision entirely unrelated to defense. meanwhile we have troops all over the world dependent on this bill. their compensation, their pay raise, the security of the united states. there are some huge new cyber security provisions in this bill we desperately need after the very successful and tragic cyber security hacking by the russian military into scores of u.s. governmental and private sector
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entities. so this is a very important bill. and i think even my republican colleagues get that. so i think we have a good chance to override the veto in tonight's vote. >> so optimistic maybe on this one. hopeful on the bill to increase the checks going out to americans. congressman, thank you so much for being ahead, republican senator marco rubio going after dr. anthony fauci. we'll talk about that when we come back. did you know you can go to
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days after florida senator marco rubio received his first dose of the vaccine, something he felt strongly enough to tweet about, he is back on twitter attacking the nation's top infectious disease expert. quote, dr. fauci lied about masks in march. dr. fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity, it isn't just him. many in elite bubbles believe the american public doesn't know what's good for them so they need to be tricked into doing the right thing. rubio seems to be referring to a "new york times" article in which dr. fauci estimated 75 to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. this is an increase from the 70 to 75% number he previously cited. here with me to discuss, cnn
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political commentator anna navarro. on one hand, you have senator rubio going after dr. fauci and those in quote, elite bubbles, on the other hand you have the fact that he has gotten the vaccine, trying to model it. he got it before millions of health care and essential workers. many of them still outstanding on getting this. i wonder what your reaction is to the mixed messages coming from marco rubio. >> i'm flabbergasted by the level of hypocrisy. i am not a constituent of marco, i have known him a long time. about the same age. 49, a healthy 49-year-old. i am 49 today. there's three parts to this tweet. first, he calls dr. fauci a liar. let's begin with that. look, any republican who for the last four years has been justifying, defending being complicit with, standing silently, being cowardly as donald trump lies his way
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through the presidency for four years, if we all heard the woodward tapes where donald trump has been lying about the level of danger posed by covid, he knew about it in february. so if you have been okay with donald trump lying, if you have been supporting donald trump who is the liar in chief, honestly, pinocchio could come down with a sequoia tree at the nose and you don't have a leg to stand onto criticize and call out somebody for lying, not to mention that dr. fauci did not lie. and then he goes on to question dr. fauci's scientific opinion. listen, dr. fauci has been helping the american people, has been working as a public servant for the american people since 1984. marco and i were in middle school. dr. fauci turned 80 four days ago. he has been working consistently
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to keep us safe. it is a trusted voice. i know it is a novel opinion for many republicans now who follow trump, but most of us prefer to believe in science than to believe in any politician. and the third one might be the most galling of all, talks about an elite bubble. as you point out, i will tell you what for me is the definition of an elite bubble. an elite bubble is congress. people in congress who have skipped the line over elderly constituents, over front line workers, over essential workers, over people who are infirmed, that's an elite bubble. if you don't realize it, look in the mirror. >> that's one of the things i want to ask you about. when you have so much questioning of science, on one hand, you can argue senator
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rubio, it is very important, especially because of the elderly population among his constituents, it is important for him to model getting the vaccine, that he thinks it is safe enough to take the vaccine into his body, but then in the next breath for him to be questioning science and undercutting science, undercutting the very vaccine he is taking. >> well, i can't interpret those mixed messages. look, he's gotten a lot of heat for being a healthy 49-year-old without co-morbidity that skipped the line. there are some in congress, republican and democrats, like elise ste panic, ilhan omar from minnesota, about the same age group as marco, decided they're waiting until constituents get it. there's governor larry hogan of maryland in his 60s that had bouts of cancer, decided to wait
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until elderly constituents and medical staff get it. i think he has gotten a lot of heat from posing for that picture together with a stupid tweet about how his arm needed a tan. now somehow trying to do cya and justify the fact that unlike other politicians he did skip the line, though he represents a state that has an overproportion, disproportion amount of elderly and people effected. one of the hardest-hit by covid. it is outrageous, hypocritical, and makes no sense. >> anna, great to see you. thank you for joining us. hope you had a merry christmas and happy new year to you. >> thank you. same to you. >> joining us from florida. it is the top of the hour. i am brianna keilar. after months of uncertainty, days of drama, relief for millions of americans is finally on its way. last night president trump
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signed the covid relief bill, averted a government shutdown, not before he held it hostage, threatened to dismantle the deal that his own administration negotiated. over the christmas holiday while he golfed in florida, president trump delayed signing the bill nearly a week. called it a disgrace, demanded changes. during that time he let unemployment benefits run out for millions. and he got washington within 30 hours of a shutdown. and for what? nothing but chaos. trump backed down late last night, signed that exact bill that he criticized. now that the bill is signed, what comes next? let's get to it now with cnn's john harwood at the white house, and lauren fox on capitol hill for us. lauren, starting with you. the house has a vote today on boosting direct payment checks to americans to $2,000. how is that expected to play out? >> well, we expect tonight they'll hold that vote. all eyes are