tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC December 4, 2020 7:00am-8:00am PST
we are at a point where somebody in the country dies on average every 30 seconds from the coronavirus. by the time i finish setting up the show, two more people will have lost their lives. don't get numb as we forget second day in a row break records for cases and deaths as the country's most populous state makes everybody stay home with a new lockdown order. we'll go live to california as the nation's top infectious
disease doctor says this is where the country is right now. >> is this worse than even you feared? >> i think it's at least as bad as i had feared. >> dr. fauci this morning on "today." also accepting a job offer from the incoming president and praising joe biden's new plan for his first day in office. >> i'm going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. just 100 days to mask. not forever. 100 days. and with millions of americans in a desperate situation, we are live on capitol hill. we will hear from nancy pelosi this hour. the question, will americans and businesses get economic relief before we hit 2021? we're going to ask pelosi's number two in the house in just a minute live on the show. i'm hallie jackson in washington with a lot to cover today starting off with nbc's jake ward in oakland, california. ellison barber in janestown, north dakota and mike memoli
covering from wilmington, delaware. dr. anthony fauci is accepting a new role in the incoming biden administration with a lot of discussion about the first 100 days with joe biden and what he's going to ask americans to do. >> reporter: yeah. this was a conversation months in the making. you'll remember that as far back as june, joe biden said one of the very first calls he planned to make as the president-elect was to dr. anthony fauci to ask him to serve in his administration in the same role. and finally, yesterday we knew dr. fauci was going to be speaking with members of biden's landing team, the teams going across the administration to meet with the sitting officers across the federal government. as part of that conversation, he also spoke with vice president biden, now the president-elect. he said biden, did, he asked him to serve in his administration as the chief ep deem yolgs but even as a chief medical adviser. savannah guthrie had the first chance to ask him about that conversation. let's listen.
>> he also said when he spoke to you, he asked you to continue under your role, but also to serve as his chief medical adviser. will you do that? did you say yes? >> absolutely. i said yes right on the spot. yeah. >> reporter: so there it is. he said yes, and also talking about that -- asked that the president-elect is going to make about americans wearing a mask just for his first 100 days. this is about what biden has said is a patriotic duty. she asked if that was enough. he said he thought it was a good idea. this is an important tone biden is setting in terms of how he's presenting it. there was talk about mandates and requirements. biden is presenting this differently as something that the american people should do as a patriotic act and dr. fauci is on board with the way biden is talking about it. >> jake, let me go to you. you're in california finding yourself at home like a lot of
californians might be finding themselves today because of the new restrictions we talked about at the top of the show. talk about those and why the governor is issuing them now. >> that's right. you know, this is what life is going to look like for those of us in california for at least the next three weeks. the governor was intimating for several weeks he was imposing some sort of state-wide restriction. we're seeing what it looks like. we're looking at california making all nonessential businesses close if hospital capacity drops below 15% of icu beds. that will also mean that restaurants will only do delivery and takeout, hair salons, gyms, all that is closed. the schools will remain open if they are already open, and the governor made a point of emphasizing we should go outside. this is california after all. that's how we'll get through this from a mental health perspective. let me show you where across the country the problem lies. across this country, really is california right? 40 million people divided into
five regions under this order. all five of those regions are expected to basically run out of icu capacity by the middle of the month if action is not taken. so once each region falls below 15 % capacity, that means that these restriction wills go into effect for about three weeks. hallie, this is not going to be as easy as everyone just doing it. we've already seen at the federal level the supreme court making decisions about new york's efforts to try to restrict indoor places of worship. well, yesterday a federal judge's rule on that here in california was vacated essentially by the supreme court, setting up a fight. it may mean that some churches will refuse to do it. some counties may not choose to comply. that's why the governor is talking about possibly maybe denying state funding to counties that don't comply. and certainly when it comes to things like churches, there's going to be gritty enforcement questions to sort out here. a lot of restrictions going into place. all of a sudden to head off a
crisis in california. >> so california is one thing. rural areas of the country are another. ellison, that's where you are. co-vid is taking a different toll on people. talk about that. >> reporter: we've been spending time with paramedics in janestown, north dakota. they've been incredibly busy. they say right now the number of calls they're running, about 70% or 80% are true co-vid calls. they're not suspected co-vid. they're finding out before or after they deal with this patient that they are a confirmed positive covid-19 case. you can see some of the paramedics getting things ready, getting things together to take this truck on calls when they can. they tell us here that they not only have seen their call volumes increase, but they also are having to spend a lot more time getting ready to respond to calls, needing to dawn the appropriate ppe and a lot more time having to decontaminate after. also, what they're having to do more and more is travel a lot
further than normally because they are trying to take patients to some of the smaller hospitals in areas like this. and then they're being told they don't have beds with the level of care necessary for some of the severe cases of covid-19 that these paramedics are dealing with. it falls on the services and the paramedics to make those trips. fargo is about an hour and a half away. we're being told not only are their resources being pushed to the brink but for many ambulance services in rural america, money is running low. listen here. >> we're a profession that has to roll with the punches. we've always been that way and we're good at it. so when we say that we're struggling to run with -- or roll with the punches at this point, it's bad. these guys are tired. these guys are conditioned to do a very difficult job. these are probably some of the strongest people you'll ever meet in your life, so for them to say they're tired, that means something. >> reporter: the american ambulance association sent a
letter to the department of health and human services saying 9-1-1 services across the country are at a breaking point and if they don't get some sort of relief soon, they could break. people we are talking to tell us many ambulance services in rural america are at that breaking point or they have already gone past it. this ambulance company, this ambulance service that we are with in janestown said they received federal aid in april but haven't gotten anything since then, and most states don't list ambulance services as an essential service. >> it's the desperation for some kind of help in the government that is evident across the country that cues us up next well for the house democratic caucus. jake, alison, mike, thank you. as we discuss the pandemic, 'also have to discuss the economy. the november jobs report is out. it's worse than experts thought it would be showing 245,000 jobs added last month. that's a lot less than expected.
the unemployment rate edged down to 6 .7%. bottom line, it's still a slowing economic recovery. prompting the pace of action on capitol hill to pick up. our nbc hill team is reporting speaker pelosi and leader mcconnell are talking for the first time since the election about co-vid relief. with aides and lawmakers sounding more optimistic than they have in months. there seeps to be more of a focus on the bipartisan framework. framework being the word. leaders made progress on the bottom line number, but as john kennedy said, the details. not everybody sees eye to eye on policy disagreements getting hammered out. the number two democrat in the house joins me now, a democrat from maryland with the big question. when will relief come for americans. thank you for being back with us? >> it needs to come sooner rather than later. we need to get this done as soon as possible.
i hope we work every hour. it may not be every member voting on the floor, but we need to work every hour between now and next week. and hopefully i've urged us to get something done by the end of next week. >> so leader, any plans for direct talks today with mitch mcconnell? is that going to happen? >> well, you'd have to ask the speaker whether there are going to be direct reports, conference between the two of them. i don't know. but i talked to senator mcconnell on monday and wednesday, and i expect to talk to him today. >> great. and where is that conversation going to go? what are you starting with in those conversations that you're going to be having with senator mcconnell? >> i think they indicated the $908 million program which lasts for approximately four months that has been put on the table by a bipartisan group of senators and house members is certainly a starting place, and frankly, we ought to get to agreement on those provisions
and provisions perhaps that one wants to add or subtract, and we need to do that very soon. obviously we have millions and millions of americans at dire risk whether it's paying their rent, whether it's putting food on their tables, whether this is having some enhanced unemployment, we have to act and we have to act now. we have a responsibility to do that. and put aside any other interest and work solely on that objective as well as funding the government. it's also critical not only to the economy but also to the disaster relief program. >> so let me get into the nitty-gritty. we were showing what was included in the framework. some of the notable points, nearly $300 million to help out small businesses. 45 billion transportation. $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit. the total is about $908 billion. is that the lowest the democrats are comfortable going to?
is that the floor? >> i think that's the lowest we should go to. we think it needs to be more. the head of the federal reserve thinks it ought to be more. the fact of the matter is 908 ought to be a floor. bipartisan agreement and go from there. and if $908 billion over four months is what we agree on, that ought to be passed. hopefully we'll get there soon. we need to. >> one of the sticking points that is potentially involved in this framework, it does include this temporary liability to protect companies from co-vid-related lawsuits. fit came down to it, this bill, this framework, is that something you could support, a bill with that in it? >> i have not seen specifically what it requires. i talked to mark warner, a part of the group of eight in the senate about what that meant. if it's a moratorium on filing suits, we could look at that. obviously we don't want to change the rules of the game in terms of how people are
compensated for wrong doing of others, but if it's just a moratorium, that's possibly something we could consider in my view. >> okay. what about no stimulus checks? you okay with that? no direct payments? >> we ought to have direct payments but we ought not to have a waiting period before we can agree on that. i think we need to have the family payments as i call them, the $1200 and the $500 for children. people need money in their pockets so that businesses can grow and create more jobs. as you indicated, the economic report this morning was disappointing in terms of the creation of jobs. we've lost more jobs than we've created. so i think that we need to move forward quickly. we ought to have the family money, but this is a four-month program. and we'll have a new president, a new congress, and we're not going to stop working. but certainly we ought to do something in the short-term and
the only way we're going to do that is to come to agreement. >> yeah. it sounds like there's a lot of optimistic signaling if i'm picking up on the tea leaves. if republicans conveyed if they know whether or not president trump is going to support something like what this framework lays out? >> well, president trump -- what he says one minute, you don't know that he means the next minute. having said that, he's indicated that he would sign something that senator mcconnell could get through the senate. if that's the case, then senator mcconnell ought to get something through the senate quickly. we passed a bill in may of 15, david brooks had a column that said cares stopped a depression, and gave a lifeline to millions of people. we need to do that now. >> i have to ask before you go about the national defense authorization act, that important defense bill that pays our service members. we have to talk about section 230 also. the protection that makes sure big companies like facebook and twitter are not held legally
liable for the things posted by other people on their platforms. the nda does two things president trump does not want in what is a rebuke to him. it does not repeal the section. are you confident that this is going to have enough bipartisan support to override a presidential veto? >> i am. first of all, the republican chair of the armed services authorization committee said 230 did not belong in the bill. that's a policy that's not in the venue of their committee. and as a result he thinks it ought not to be in there and urged the president not to veto over that. on the base naming part of the bill, i said i would not put the bill on the floor if that senate approved, 93% of the senate approved the bill that had that language on there. i said i would not put it on the floor unless that language is in
there. i'm glad the senators, the great leadership on this issue, made sure the provision providing for the renaming of bills of bases from the names of those who committed treason against the united states and fought to enslave the black soldiers and sailors and marines and air force personnel that serves on the bases won't have to serve on a base that's named for somebody who wanted to enslave them. >> okay. go ahead. sorry to cut you off. there's a bit of a delay. >> you're kind not to do that. i think -- >> all right, thank you. thank you. >> it speaks to the values of -- >> got it. okay. a lot of headlines on that and the co-vid relief bill. we're going to be hearing now from nancy pelosi later this hour with interesting details on where democrat's heads are at. leader hoyer, thank you.
new details emerging on the suspected pardon scheme involving associates of president trump. "the new york times" naming those being investigated by the justice department based on their reporting. next up, we'll talk to one of the people behind the scoop. and barack obama diving into georgia's senate runoffs today. the head of the state's democratic party will talk with us about president obama's impact on the race there just ahead. just ahead. let me help you. hi mr. charles, we made you dinner.
new details this morning of a potential pay to pardon scheme involving associates of president trump. "the new york times" is reporting names of those linked to the justice department investigation which may include a top trump fundraiser. nobody has been charged but here's the deal and check out this flowchart to help explain. according to sources abbe lowell, a lawyer for jared kushner and elliot brudi were invest nated. sanford dealer -- baras was handed a prison sentence for tax evasion. the court documents showed somebody approached the white house office to make sure the clemency petition got into the right hands. president trump said it's fake news. a lawyer denies the allegations saying mr. broidy is not under investigation and has not been
accused of any wrong doing, and abbe's lawyer says his role was honorable and predictable. there's this from the donk. no government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in this filing. the documents are heavily redacted associated with the investigation. they don't put any names. that's why folks, reporters are trying to figure it out. michael schmidt is joining us now. he has the lead by line on the story. michael, great to have you on the show. thanks for being back. we gave the headlines from your reporting. take us deeper into the players allegedly involved and what they're accused of doing. >> that was a good way of laying it out. i like that graphic. it made a lot of sense. it was helpful. at the most basic level, the
problem with this attempted scheme which ultimately didn't turn out in a pardon or clemency for this individual who is seeking it is that donald trump has treated pardons and commutations like white house party favors and gave aways. he has not relied on the normal system that white houses and presidents have to give the pardon policy a veneer of seriousness in a way that it is being used to sort of right the wrongs of justice. he has used his pardon power and -- on celebrities, on people that have special access to the president. and because of that treatment of pardons, the fact that he's talked about them publicly, talked about giving pardons to his associates, those who have been under investigation in things like the mueller investigation in which these witnesses knew things about the
president. it allows the questions about the pardon process to exist. so this opinion comes out tuesday night around the same time that reports are coming out from us and other places about how the president is considering pardons for rudy giuliani and for his children, and it just raises the question here with a month and a half left in the presidency, how is the president going to use his pardon power? how has he used it up until this point, and how will he do it going forward? >> you also make the point in this piece, and i want you to talk about it. it is not illegal. no law prevents people from lobbying for pardons. it's not necessarily illegal to give a donation to a president after getting a pardon. right? >> it's an area that does not have a lot of regulation that people would think it would have. people think of washington as red tape and rules in place that make it hard for people with
money or corporations to buy influence. there are reporters who cover strictly just that question of influence peddling. and in the case of pardons, lobbying for them, it comes up, but not all the time. pardons and commutations are not given all the time. and most times there is this process that is relied on. but the president has issued that process. because of that people have tried to take advantage of that. people will go to mar-a-lago and try to meet with the president or meet with the president's advisers to get issues of pardons in front of him. people seeking pardons or representatives go on fox news and try to talk about it to try to get on the president's radar. these are different examples we've seen. kim kardashian came in and lobbied the president directly in the oval office for a pardon he gave. >> uh-huh.
all good points. michael schmidt, great reporting. we're lucky to have you on the show to talk us through it. thank you. up next, it sounds like a plot for a movie. the director of national intelligence revealing in an op ed the u.s. says china has done human testing to great buy logically enhanced super soldiers. coming up, why john radcliffe - radcliffe -- the georgia senate races. we'll go live on the ground after the break. l go live on th after the break. ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for.
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you got both party's a-teams getting ready for dueling rallies today and tomorrow in georgia. first one starting four hours from now. president obama joined by say stay stacey abrams. then mike pence holding a rally for the republican candidates. president trump was heading to georgia tomorrow to campaign for those republicans. as new comments from senator perdue are interesting. he is now appearing to
acknowledge joe biden's victory in the presidential race. typically that's obvious and not breaking news. given the current political climate and republicans giving the president cover, we're talking about it. let's talk about it more. senator perdue's spokesperson is trying to down play the comments. but tell us what to look for. >> reporter: i think what's interesting is the timing. we're talking about this just hours before president trump is set to touch down in georgia. the other thing that's remarkable is it flies in the face of what senators perdue and loeffler will be saying, backing up the claims of voter fraud in georgia. >> we know what this change or command at the top will mean with our foreign relations. if we can keep the majority in the senate, we can be a buffer
on some of the things the biden camp is talking about in terms of foreign policy. >> we're hearing from a perdue spokesperson calling it a nonstory and saying senator perdue supports president trump and his fight for transparency and accuracy in the this election. but really, this kind of underscores the issue that republicans are having to deal with when it comes to the senate runoffs. they're having to thread a line between pouring their energy to campaigning for the candidates and also having to manage president trump's unfounded claims of election fraud in the state of georgia. and there is concern among some republicans that i've talked to that the president's claims could push away the very voters they need to turn out and support the candidates in this election. so in addition to the message they're putting out to voters to come out and vote, they're saddled with having to say your vote will be counted. so that brings us to the question of president trump's visit and what is that going to look like?
you know, typically when a president comes, it's a good thing. it's a good thing for candidates. but some republicans don't necessarily see it that way. i spoke with an election official we've heard a lot from this week. he doesn't necessarily hold back what he's thinking. i asked him will this help or hurt republicans. his response to me was who the heck knows at this point? so that also echoes what i've heard from a couple of other republicans on that front. not exactly a vote of confidence. on the democratic side, yes, we're going to hear from former president obama today in a virtual event campaigning for warner and ossoff. pushing them both as a pack kag deal saying it's crucial both of them win in order to gain control for the senate. >> all over georgia politics this morning. i know you're going to be living that beat for the next four or five weeks. i appreciate you joining us. thank you. let's keep our eyes on georgia.
i want to bring in that state's congresswoman elect. she chairs the democratic party of georgia and will be with virtually president obama at the rally later today. thank you for being on the show. >> thank you for having me. >> let's talk about this virtual rally. you have a monday voter registration headline. what is the most important message you're hoping to get across today to people in georgia? >> so i am excited about president obama even virtually being here in georgia fwa. it shows how important the races are, and how critical it is. we have people who turned 18 or will by january 5th. they absolutely can register to vote. no matter what you're hearing and the fear tactics, if you live in georgia, you can register to vote if you're 18 by january 5th. i'm excited about the movement on the ground. our voters are jazzed and energized and we're ready to
turn out. we don't have the infighting we're seeing on the other side. i'm sitting back and watching them go in an each other as they make an affront to our democracy. we have people running for the united states senate, and they are making a mockery of our democracy. >> i have to imagine you're talking about the comments made by lynn wood, this controversial attorney that was allied with president trump. telling people basically don't vote. republicans don't vote in the runoffs because he says they're rigged echoing some of president trump's baseless claims about the election being, he says stolen from him. that was not the case. it sounds like you are just sitting back and watching that play out. are you concerned for what that means more broadly for the democratic process in georgia over all, even if it's not your party? >> it's troubling. but what i know is that we're going to have two united states senators. we're going to chart the course here in georgia. leadership sets the tone. and as chairwoman of the democratic party, we've been
clear. although we have -- there's been no evidence of voter fraud at any level of the ballot in georgia. we're moving forward even if our republican people who are in charge at the state right now and they're not willing to do the work, we're doing it as a minority party in this state. we're doing it as the democratic party, and we're making sure that voters know that although we've seen voter suppression, the best way to combat it is more people showing up to vote. our people are energized. this election was never about just donald trump for us. it was never about one election cycle. it was about giving power back to the people, making people's voices heard. that's exactly what we did in november when we elected joe biden and gave our votes to him. that's the same thing we're going to do in january. >> it is not going to be -- i think it's fair to say -- a slam dunk for the democratic candidates. some people concerned some of the past comments and sermons could be weaponized by the
republicans. because of what we heard from my colleagues, the candidates running as a package deal could be used against ossoff as well. what do you see as that potential challenge and how do you combat that? >> we know republicans will weaponize anything they find. it doesn't have to be a fact. we're seeing that in the way they talk about the election results in november. we're running our race and talking to voters. we know it's going to be a very tight race. this is -- georgia is a battle ground state. that's what a battle ground state gives you, tight contest. we saw it in november and we're going to see the same thing in the senate race. this is a turn too out game. >> before i let you go, this idea of black women being credited for helping georgia go blue for joe biden in the presidential election, and i wonder about the lessons learned from the november election, how that draws into what you're trying to do come january. >> i mean, we have always known that black women were the backbone of the democratic party, but we're building
multiracial coalitions here. because we know that it's going to take all of us to get through this and to be victorious on january 5th th. i'm the first black woman to chair our state democratic party. i take pride in that. we're building multiracial coalitions and we're going to bring it home on january 5th. >> we're glad to have you on the show. thank you for your time. we'll see you at the virtual rally for president obama. an inside look at the unprecedented effort behind prepare wu preparing one of the leading hospitals to roll out the coronavirus vaccine. plus what dr. anthony fauci is saying about a vaccine for kids. and a live look at capitol hill. we think nancy pelosi is going to be at the microphone in sixer or seven minutes. we'll bring you any news on co-vid relief the second it happens. co-vid relief the secon happens. but how do we make sure the direction we're headed is forward? at fidelity, you'll get the planning and advice to prepare you for the future,
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vaccine. the pfizer vaccine is arriving in the uk putting that country on course to start vax nc natio on tuesday. here they are hoping to make a decision on the vaccine approval this month. on the "today show" dr. anthony fauci acknowledged we're not quite at the finish line still. >> we're in a precarious situation right now. there certainly is light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine, but we're not there yet. >> it comes as three top vaccine executives tell nbc news exclusively the big question remaining after approval is distribution. how do you actually get it to people with health care workers at the top of the list? joining me now is nbc's dasha burns where they're trying to figure out logistics hurdles to get staff vaccinated. how are they getting ready? >> reporter: this really is a huge effort. right now i'm in the room where hopefully in just a couple weeks
here people will be getting vaccinated. now, it may not look like a lot yet, but even this had so much thought and planning. they had to find a place big enough to put the stations in a socially distanced way. there's about ten of them. they'll be able to move people through in groups. the shot itself only takes a couple minutes but then with this vaccine, there's a 15 to 30-minute monitoring period. this will be an area where people will be able to wait and be monitored in case they have side effects. that is likely to happen to come people with this vaccine. this room is placed nearby the hospital because the people who will be in these seats first, they're going to be the health care workers that right now are taking care of co-vid patients and many of them are going to have to go straight back to work of this. this room is just a small slice of the symphony that has to play in perfect harmony. think about some of the logisti logistics.
we talk about the ultra cold freezers. one is in duke. we saw it yesterday. they're doord nating the delivery of two more. they have to have the right equipment installed. the freezers are going to be empty right now. but questions remain over when they're going to get the supply, how much they're going to get, how often they're going to get it. and there's so much planning surrounding that. they have to make sure they have syringes, boxes, needles, all the supplemental supplies based on the amount they get of the vaccine. they also have to think about the clock. as soon as those vaccines leave that freezer, the degradation process begins. they can only be stored in the fridge for about five days. there are five doses in the vile. they have to get into arms immediately. they have to perfectly schedule this out so not a single dose of the precious vaccine is wasted. >> it is like a delicate dance doesn't even begin to describe it. it is just down to the second
for this. walking us through logistics. thank you. i want to bring in the medical director of the special pathogens unit -- doctor, you heard what dasha laid out. there's a deadline today in plans for vaccine distribution. you have states have to submit their plans for the first doses of the vaccine. as we get more information, what are some of the biggest upcoming challenges that you have on your radar? >> as you said, it is a dance, because it involves a lot of different partners. you have the federal government with the distribution of the doses, and we want to ensure operate warp speed plans of getting the distributions are occurring as they should be. we heard from pfizer they might be deliver fewer doses than expected. they're hoping to do 50 million by the end of the year. beyond that, the states
themselves have to then present these plans that you talked about that's going to do a few things. it's going to figure out the logistics of where doses go, how they're administered in collaboration with the facilities where the doses will be given. but then too, they also need to access resources, find the resources to get all those pieces into place. help facilities identify those pieces, help them train people who will be giving the vaccinations. and the third part of this is is as you move beyond phase one a, the health care workers and long-term facilities, they have to make a plan of what essential workers, for example, the vaccines go out to. that's an ethics question. an equity question. what i'm concerned about, there's a few elements of this. you can have the vaccinations, vaccines, but you need to convert vaccines into vaccinatio vaccinations. people have to take them. a big thing for facilities is winning over people's trust. there is a gallop poll at the
beginning of november that said 42% of americans think they may not take or they're not sure if they would take a vaccine. those are sizable numbers. we have to work on that while we answer the remaining scientific questions regarding how long the protection from the vaccine lasts, when we can employ it in pregnant women or children. >> let's talk about children specifically. before they can get vaccinated, you have separate tests by pfizer. dr. fauci suggested moderna will start the test next month. when do you see the vaccine becoming available for kids, given that adults will be in line? >> there's some parts of this that i think because of the adult day, we could move faster potentially. there will have to be trials in children once more safety data comes out. experience of distribution comes out. what dr. fauci said is the trials should start. the reason is hard to give a timeline. it's because it depends on
recruitment. and recruitment depends on how many people, kids end up getting an infection either in the placebo arm or vaccine arm. i think what he said is within 2021 is when we're hoping to see those. >> we're just about out of time. i have to ask about joe biden calling on all americans to wear masks during his first 1030 -- 100 days in office. how big of a difference do you think it makes or is it a messaging strategy? >> i think it does. there was a study this week from yale university that mask mandates alone in states could help decrease mortality by 12 %. even before you employ stay at home orders or other aspects, it makes a difference. we shouldn't wait until inauguration. we should start masking now. we have to be consistent and wear it with everybody outside of our household. >> doctor, thank you so much for
being on with us this morning. a very busy week of coronavirus updates with hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel. thank you. any minute now nancy pelosi is supposed to be talking with reporters. she will almost certainly be talking about the latest in co-vid relief latest in covid-19 relief negotiations. we'll bring you any headlines as soon as she gets started. historic marijuana movement. with the house expected today for the first time ever to vote on a bill that would decriminalize pot at the federal level achd pand pave the way to reverse non-violent marijuana convictions. it comes after five states have voted to legal iz it and it's something advocates say is overdue. here is nbc's steph gosk. the house of representatives set to pass a bill that will decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. >> it's been a long time coming. >> reporter: something seen as unfathomable not that long ago.
public perception has experienced a tectonic shift. a majority of americans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana, those numbers rising steeply. the issue is gaining support from both sides of the aisle. >> i believe in cannabis reform in this country. the federal government has lied to the american people for a generation about cannabis. >> in this year's election, arizona, new jersey, montana and south dakota voted to legalize marijuana, bringing the count up to 15 states plus washington, d.c. where recreational pot is now legal. those states, along with 20 others, have approved marijuana for medical use. >> what that tells you is that wherever you go in this country, blue state, red state, urban state, rural state, voters are ready for legalization. >> reporter: more states are hospitaling to capitalize financially on what others like oregon have already been doing for years. jeff yap is the ceo of golden leaf holdings. his company own seven dispensary in the portland area where
recreational marijuana was made legal in 2014. >> how would you describe the effect it's had on the state, on the economy of oregon? >> from an employment standpoint, a tax revenue perspective, i think it's had a very, very positive effect. >> reporter: states stand to gain a huge profit. colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, surpassed $1 billion in tax revenue from sales. many also see the vote as a huge step forward in social justice reform. by decriminalizing mariana many convictions at the federal level would be expunged and states would be incentivized to do the same. according to the aclu, black americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana. the bill is set to pass in the house but will likely hit a brick wall in the senate. majority leader mitch mcconnell says he will never bring a marijuana legalization bill to the floor. >> the house of representatives is spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana.
marijuana. >> reporter: many still ob pose cannabis legislation. this week some opponents taking issue with not only the contents of the bill, but the timing. >> the far left needs to sort of cool their jets right now. >> reporter: neither side backing down as the battle over marijuana heats up. >> that was stephanie gosk reporting for us. so it sounds like something out of the movie, the threat of a bunch of human weapons with biologically enhanced capabilities. we might be talking about captain china according to a new warning from the director of national intelligence about the threat from china. by the way, a warning that has rare bipartisan agreement. >> china intends to dominate the world economically, militarily and technologically. they intend to be the world's superpower. >> that's john radcliffe, of course, out with that new interview and op-ed. the two leaders on the senate intelligence committee say basically he's right that china,
quote, will stop at nothing to exert its global dominance. here is the part of radcliffe's warning that is especially noteworthy. he says china's efforts include human testing to enhance soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities. with me is ken dilanian who covers national security and intelligence for nbc news. ken, really? how real is this? how far along is this? >> reporter: as u you said, this does seem like it's out of a hollywood plot. we know the nation's top intelligence official says the u.s. has evidence that china is conducting biological experiments on their soldiers to enhance their capabilities. he said this as part of an america to convince americans about the dire threat to american national security from china. i was somewhat skeptical about this claim, but when i started poking around, i found that private american military experts in the think tank world have actually studied this issue
and written about it. they have found there's ample evidence that chinese scientists are very interested in applying biotechnology to the battlefield, and specifically the crisper gene editing tool which raises a ton of questions. picture super strong commandos who can operate on three hours' sleep or a sniper who can see twice as far as a normal person. this is the kind of thing that the chinese aspire to doing. it's problematic because, in the west we consider that to be unethical, to tamper with the genes of healthy people. the crisper tool is generally confined to sort of trying to cure genetic my cases and disease and i78 prove plants. no one understands the implications of messing with human genes. that's a real worry. it also sort of underscores radcliffe and others say, the extent to which china is committed to military superiority over the west, hallie.
>> ken dilanian, that's some incredible and very fascinating reporting. i appreciate you bringing it to us on the show. i'm sure we'll talk about it more in the weeks to come. ken dilanian, whose stockings are hung by the chimy with care. i'm headed to the white house. we'll see you on "nbc nightly news" for more on all things trump related. for mao, stick around for my colleague and friend kasie hunt after the break. areer. so when i heard about the applied digital skills courses, i'm thinking i can become more marketable. you don't need to be a computer expert to be great at this. these are skills lots of people can learn. i feel hopeful about the future now. ♪
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good morning. i'm kasie hunt in for craig melvin. right now we're watching capitol hill. any minute we expect house speaker nancy pelosi to speak at this critical moment for millions of americans. nearly 14 million people may lose benefits the day after christmas if congress doesn't act on a new relief bill. it comes as we just got a very difficult jobs report. employment growth has slowed down sharply. just $245,000 were added this month. the unemployment rate edged down to 6.7%. in a matter of hours president-elect joe biden will address the jobs report and the economic toll of this pandemic. biden added a familiar name to a big new job in his future administration, dr.