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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 9, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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this wednesday night. it comes with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of the men and women at the networks of nbc news, good night. omen at the networks of nbc news, good night >> i want to tell you i am going to be on the late show with steven colbert tonight. we will be talking about the new book i wrote that came out yesterday. it is called bag man. i will also talk with him, i imagine, about the long, slow end of our presidential election, the coronavirus vaccine and a lot of other things. that is tonight. steven colbert. later on in this hour i will tell you how you can come to an online event with me if you are at all interested in that.
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i am supposed to have told you about that and i have forgotten every one of those four nights. i am committed to tell you tonight. that is why i am putting the reminder here so i feel extra guilty if i forget later on. but we are following a number of developing stories tonight, both in the world of legal and in political news, but also when it comes to the pandemic. let's start there first and for most. the covid tracking project posted the latest numbers for our country for today. today for the first time ever the united states had more than 3,000 americans die in one day from the coronavirus. in the last 24 hours, 3,054 americans are known to have died from the disease, the largest number that we ever had. this puts the death toll just today on par with some of the greatest tragedies in our
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nation's history. events remembered for decades, generations, more than a century. the terrorist attacks of 9/11 killed 2,977 people. 1906 san francisco earthquake and fire. that killed 3,000 people. i can tell you the 1906 earthquake is still alive. it has never been forgotten. we lost more americans just today, just today than we did in that catastrophe in 1906. this week we marked the anniversary of the 1961 attack on pearl harbor, december 7th. 2,400 americans killed in the surprise ambush attack by japan. 2,400 dead on that date that still lives in infamy.
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2,400 americans killed. more than 3,000 americans killed today. that is just wednesday. what will tomorrow bring? last night we talked about the first patients in the u.k. being administered the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by pfizer. even still with that quick start he said that vaccinating a majority of the population they think will take until september of next year before they think they will have the most canadians vaccinated. the population of canada is under 40 million. we have 330 million in this country.
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it should start soon. tomorrow, the vaccines and the related biological products advisory committee will meet and they are going to meet publicly. this is an outside group of experts that advises the fda on matters like this. it is good that we have that structure. i know about this part of the regulatory world. that is a good thing. without going into too much detail about it, you will recall the fda has come under all of the same bizarre snake oil pressure that the cdc and all of the other government agencies did from the quacks at the trump white house over the course of the epidemic. it is good the fda calls on the outside experts to make hard
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decisions about vaccine safety. under the trump administration we got fda approval and unapproval of hydroxchloroquine as a possible treatment for covid after president trump saw segments on fox news primetime about how it is definitely the cure and leaned on the fda to approve it and they had to unapprove it. for vaccine safety this will be a panel of outside experts, a panel of 23 outside experts who are formed as an advisory group specifically to advise the fda whether or not to give their approval for vaccines. that is a good system and a sound structure. when that group meets tomorrow to hear the evidence and to take questions and make their recommendations, the signs are good that they are going to say
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yes. that the vaccine should be approved. the head of the committee is a research every at the university of michigan and today said i would predict the likelihood of approval is high. again, we will all get to see it since that meeting is tomorrow, starting tomorrow morning. the meeting does mean that we will likely have a vaccine approved in the united states as of the time that i am talking to you tomorrow night. even still we will still likely have something on the order of 3,000 more americans dead tomorrow if tomorrow is anything like today. even in the best case scenario it will be months and months and months before enough americans are vaccinated to be able to put a dent in the epidemic. we can now say to ourselves and each other, it is not forever. you just need to do everything you can to get you and your
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family through to the vaccine. stay safe and uninfected long enough to get you through to the vaccine. the sacrifices that we are making economic, mental health and every other way are very difficult sacrifices. but they won't be forever. stay safe. keep you and your family uninfected and alive long enough to get through to the vaccine. it is good to know what the closed bracket is on the end. right now we are in the bottom. 3,000 americans dead. 1 in 22 americans have tested positive for coronavirus. over 100,000 americans hospitalized with coronavirus tonight. intensive care units filled to capacity in coronavirus units
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across the country. we have an expert joining us to talk about the way that some communities in the united states are diagnosing individual people that have the virus and individual testing. some are using a direct and a fairly simple way to diagnose the overall level of coronavirus infection in the community at once. what that community should do if that tool reveals a scary, super high new spike in infections. that is what happened in the past week in a major u.s. city. they have a diagnostic tool that tells them how much coronavirus there is in the city at once. it went off of the charts in the past week. who you is the city responding, knowing all of the people whose infections are represented in the data may not know they are positive. the city knows that is what is
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coming. what do you do when you know the train is coming at you that fast. we will be talking about that tonight. as i mentioned there is legal and political drama tonight, basically on all fronts. the son of president-elect joe biden, hunter biden announced his tax affairs are being investigated by the u.s. attorney in the state of delaware. hunter biden, you will recall was the subject of a smear campaign by the president and his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. that smear campaign against biden was joined by elected republicans in the house and the senate. none of the smear campaign raised against joe biden, none of it was about his tax affairs. but that is what he says that he is being investigated for now. cnn is reporting tonight that the investigation was live before the presidential election that essentially went dormant in the lead up to the election
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because of the u.s. justice department policy saying investigations related to candidates and campaigns shouldn't be carried out in a way they could influence federal elections. now the election is over it appears whatever hunter biden may be under scrutiny for. it went dormant around the time of the election but appears to have started back up. 48 states, territories and the federal government filed coordinated lawsuits that have the aim of breaking up facebook. as an illegal monopoly. facebook has alienated and enraged basically everyone across the political spectrum
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except for the trolls and the fraudsters and the bot network operators. they love it. everybody else is concerned. facebook is a globe enveloping monopolistic beheemoth with all of the money in the world. we will see if the anti-trust effort against them registers anything more than a flea bite. if anything can do it is gluttonous truth erasing tox toxici toxicity. while we are on the subject, this came back in the news today unexpectedly. in august of this year after joe
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biden picked kamala harris to be his running mate, you might remember this. the once great magazine, newsweek published a totally self serious column essay basically that claimed senator harris was ineligible to be vice president because she wasn't a real u.s. citizen. what? nice going newsweek. the argument spewed out of the mouth of the president of the united states after newsweek published that, the president started to parrot the line as if it was conveyed to him in the most credible terms. i heard today she doesn't meet t the requirements to be vice president. he heard it today. he heard it from this article written by this guy.
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up is down. black is white. constitution does not exist column. claimed senator harris was secretly foreign and not only could she not be vice president she should be stripped of her seat in the united states senate too. this guy, eastman, a legal eagle who goes on right wing talk radio. saying that being born in the united states doesn't make him a united states citizen. if your parents were immigrants, you are not really american. this is contrary to centuries of lived experience of what it is to be american. it is totally contrary to what the plain language is in the constitution. but it sounds awesome if you are trying to disqualify candidates for public office you do not
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like for other reasons. this reasons would mean that maybe barak obama was secretly foreign too and was not really a legitimate president at all. where did we hear that before? the proponent of that theory during the obama presidency, the current president of the united states, donald trump. it should be noted about this guy and often is not enough noted about this guy. mr. eastman, the gentleman that advanced this theory about senator harris in 2010 which immediately ran to the white house when the president started to pitch it too. eastman ran for attorney general in the year 2010. he never became attorney general of california. he lost in 2010 in the primary to the guy that wound up losing in the general election to
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kamala harris who was the attorney general. there may be sore loserism going on here. yeah. sure that did not have any impact on his thinking whatsoever. the way that it worked out is that even president trump eventually dropped this line. kamala harris was born in california and is a u.s. citizen. she is not getting stripped of the senate seat and she is eligible to be the vice president of the united states. president trump maybe thought he would pursue it along the same lines as president obama. it did not float well. stopped trying to use it against her quickly and never mentioned it again. the other way it worked out is that newsweek had to apologize from running the nonsense. initially it tried to defend it and initially they had to say they were sorry.
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kamala harris was elected vice president of the united states. the quack legal radio commentator guy that tried to get the idea into the bloodstream that senator harris is not a citizen, he melted back into obscurity. you will never hear from that guy again. until today. guess where that guy turned up today. he is the trump campaign's new lawyer. he is the lawyer that filed the brief today. seeking to have donald trump intervene in the supreme court lawsuit we covered here last night. the supreme court lawsuit brought by the texas attorney general seeking on behalf of the people of texas to flip the election results in a whole bunch of other states, in just enough swing states that voted for joe biden that donald trump should be declared the winner instead of biden.
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the kamala harris birther guy who newsweek magazine had to apologize for is now the lawyer representing donald trump seeking to join the lawsuit in the united states court. president trump is telling his supporters that this is the big one. the one that is go to get him the presidency and overturn the election. this is brought by the attorney general of the state of texas who might be doing this because he reportedly is under fbi investigation for abusing his office in texas. the whole lawsuit may be ken paxton's effort to get trump's attention so he can get himself a pardon because he believes he is under fbi investigation. the lawsuit is patently insane. this is texas suing pennsylvania, georgia, wisconsin and michigan over how the other states conducted their elections. why does texas have anything to say about that? excellent question. texas wants the supreme court to
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throw out the election results and delay the electoral college vote indefinitely. trump might still get reelected. whether or not you are a lawyer or follow supreme court, this is as dumb as you think it is. states don't get to sue other states for how the other states voted. doesn't work that way. i am not a lawyer. you can take it from texas' senior republican senator who told reporters about the effort. i frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it. why would a great state such as texas have a say on how other states administer their elections. why indeed.
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utah's mitt romney put a fire on it in these comments to nbc news. >> madness. it's just simply madness. which is the idea of supplanting the vote of the people with partisan legislators is so completely out of our national character that it's simply mad. of course the president has the right to challenge results in court, to have recounts. but this effort to subvert the vote of the people is dangerous and destructive to the cause of democracy. >> dangerous and destructive to the cause of democracy. it is madness. it is madness. it is mad. so, that is the texas case brought to the supreme court which president trump is using
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the kamala harris birther lawyer to get himself involved in that case. that is crazy enough. but now, 17 other republican-controlled states have joined into the lawsuit. do they have attorney general that might need a federal pardon. are you just getting on board? 17 republican controlled states now have joined the effort. along side texas. along side president trump. to have the election results thrown out for all of the swing states that voted for biden. arkansas. alabama. kansas. louisiana. mississippi. nebraska. north dakota. south dakota. tennessee. utah. west virginia. they are all joining the texas effort to literally try to get the conservative justices on the supreme court to throw out the election results that say biden won and instead say trump won.
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the stated reasoning can be boiled down to something seems fishy to us. y'all ought to look into this. as of today, all 50 u.s. states have certified their election results. the certified results from all 50 states so that joe biden got 306 electoral votes. he won by a large, comfortable margin. only needed 270 to win and he got 306. every state is certified. it is over. it is over. but now 18 other states are fully on board, trying to declare trump the winner anyway. you know, over 3,000 americans died from coronavirus today, in one day. the vaccine approval meeting for the country is tomorrow. whether or not we have the
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ability to get together the number of vaccine doses we need. the trump white house told the vaccine companies weidn't need too many. whether we will be able to run a vaccine administration program that can vaccinate 300 plus million people in anywhere near the time needed to save hundreds of thousands of americans lives that are on the line. that starts now. that work needs to be done now. that is not something you need to wonder about. it is something you need to start doing. the vaccine can start going into american arms tomorrow. we have stuff to do. in congress, you know, today they decided to fund the government for one more week. otherwise the government was going to run out of money and shut down. they can't agree what they will do for new covid relief if anything. we can't figure out what to do. 3,000 americans dead today. the vaccine approval likely starts tomorrow. no covid relief in how many
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months? i mean there is stuff to do. there is stuff to do. this is what we are doing instead. follow the lead of the kamala harris birther guy. 18 states, and the president saying no. we are going to try to get the election overturned. supreme court will do it. this is what we are working on. this is what the republican party is working on now. joining us now is pennsylvania attorney general josh shapiro. pennsylvania is one of the states being sued by texas. trying to have pennsylvania's election results thrown out. attorney general shapiro, i appreciate you taking the time to join us. thank you for being here. >> good to be here, rachel. >> i apologize for being head up. i am a little bit -- still feeling emotion. >> you set it up perfectly. >> okay. tell me if i got any of it wrong or put the wrong emphasis on any of this. >> no. i was go to use a more
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diplomatic phrase like uniquely unserious to describe the lawsuit. i think you went with dumb and stupid. i will adopt your terms. it really is. it is based on the lawsuit. it is based on debunked tweets and conspiracy theories, lies that have not held up in court and now we find ourselves with the president and some of the attorney generals trying to spin their wheels and tlafrt the wheel of the people in several states. >> calling it an insignificant attempt. you said the insignificant attempts to disregard the will of the people mislead the public and tear at the fabric of the constitution. that is exactly where i am at with the story. i believe it marincin significant and frivolous and
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forgive me but sort of dumb. and also that it is dangerous because it is making a mock eer of the democratic process. making a mockery of the idea that the court should be called upon to decide legitimate differences that require judicial intervention rather than just partisan power. >> rachel, i would say they are attempting to make a mockery of it. you know, for the last four years the president of the united states attacked every institution, including the courts. but what we have seen throughout the process, a process that began in pennsylvania before election day and has gone on since, the courts have held. federal and state courts. justices and judges that were appointed by republicans and democrats are elected as republicans or democrats, they have abided by the rule of law.
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people like me have stood up saying we are going to root out any type of voter graud. we have not seen any. we will stand up to the attacks on the system. we weathered that. it is of course sad we have a president of the united states who is attempting to sew doubt and in some peoples' minds succeeded. it is sad we have this lawsuit filed by the attorney general of texas and especially sad 17 other attorney generals have gone along with the process. by the way some attorneys general i worked with. the facebook lawsuit that we filed today. and you know, we worked constructively in the past. i don't know whether to call a surgeon to try to repair the spines of some of the individuals or a psychiatrist. it is up to us to speak the truth and up to the courts to
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continue to do what they have been doing, and that is to follow the law. on monday the electoral college will meet. they will issue 306 votes for joe biden. he will be sworn in as the next president of the united states on january 20th. >> pennsylvania attorney general, josh shapiro. i did not expect to talk to you about this type of a challenge. this is just a remarkable time. thank you for your time. keep us apprised. >> i will. stay safe and healthy. >> thank you. i will do. all right. as a matter of cable news responsibility i want to prep you for the next block. it is a serious topic. it is a serious discussion. it is also about toilets. so get your giggles out over the
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it was february 27th when the netherlands found their first case of coronavirus. february 27th. a recent traveller in the netherlands who had just come from italy. soon after the first confirmed case, dutch officials spread out all over the country. conducting widespread testing to try to find and then quickly enough out the virus before it spread too quickly in the country. in the netherlands they were not just looking for cases. they were looking in the sewers. a person infected with covid does not just shed the virus
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when you sneeze or cough. there will be traces in the waste water you flush down the drain. dutch researchers already started to collect waste water samples to see if the virus was present and spreading in their country. soon after their first known confirmed case they realized through waste water sampling that they had more than the one person infected. they started to test in remote towns where no one individual tested positive. in the remote towns with zero cases on record, they found traces in the sewer but nobody
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in the towns knew anyone that was infected. covid was spreading up to six days before anybody started to show symptoms. we talked to a stanford professor who was doing this in california. saying testing it was an easy and cheap way to predict where a covid outbreak could be lurking beneath the surface, even if individual people with the virus did not know they had it. you want to catch an outbreak of covid before things get bad so officials can work on local targeted measures to identify the people that have the virus and stop the spread. the first signs of the outbreak might show up in the sewage.
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the testing can help a community get a jump on mitigation. they would find a remote town that showed traces of covid in the sewage system. they would do contact tracing and tamp down the outbreaks before they spread. it worked in the remote towns in the netherlands. it worked in some cases here. this is from a company testing waste baurt in delaware back in may. you see the big spike. look at the dark blue line. the dark blue line are the result of waste water tests. the concentrated amount of virus they found in the sewers.
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the amount in the waste water directly predicted the cases going up in that one delaware county. kind of gross to think of testing waste water. it makes me giggle whenever i think about it. also this is super rational, cheap, effective and it is the only way to see into the future in individual communities. this kind of testing works. helps you to spot for a covid outbreak before you know it is there. it can give you an early warning. one u.s. city found out this past week when an absolute tidal wave of virus is approaching the shores. one major city revealed a huge unforseen new spike of cases bigger than anything they dealt
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with in the pandemic. what do they do with that information now they know what is coming because they can see it in their waste water before their test results. that is next. stay with us. results that is next stay with us you work hard for your money. stretched days for it. juggled life for it. took charge for it. so care for it. look after it. invest with the expertise of j.p. morgan, either with an advisor or online, through chase. after all, it's yours. chase. make more of what's yours. honey honey? new nyquil severe honey is maximum strength cold and flu medicine with soothing honey-licious taste. nyquil honey. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever best sleep with a cold medicine.
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they call it deer island, but it is a little peninsula, 185 acres sticking out in the harbor in boston in massachusetts. as you can see, what it really is, a giant industrial plant. specifically a giant waste water treatment plant. deer island cleans the water for the entire city of boston. one of the places in the united states doing waste water
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testing. you can see. the red line are the southern samples. blue line northern samples. it matches what we know about covid. there was a bad peak in the spring and in the early summer and a lull in july and august and a big up tick in october. that is the red flag you are looking for with this testing. i remember, i actually tweeted about that up tick at the time. look at it now for the northern and southern areas of boston. now trending near 600 copies per
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milliliter. i don't know what it means as an absolute value but that is up from 100 in the spring and about 500% increase since the bad surge. this data from testing the waste water is like looking into a crystal ball. the people that we know from the data are infected start to get symptoms and test positive and need care. but it is terrifying. what do you do if you are massachusetts or the greater boston area. you have the information. you know the tidal wave is about to come crashing down. now joining us is a professor of global health and medicine. it is a pleasure to have you with us tonight.
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thank you for making time. >> thank you for having me. i am interested it let me ask you if i explained it wrong or i am putting the emphasis on any wrong part. >> i think you did a great job of explaining it. we have been learning it. examples going back previous decades. it has been used to predict outbreaks. cholera in the waste water and see it is circulating in the community before an actual outbreak occurs. the rapid rise in the boston area is extremely worrisome. >> what is the right response
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once you have the benefit of the new technology and that pretty precise data once you get a warning like this that this is coming. it is scary. it tells me what is going to happen in eastern massachusetts over the next few days and couple of weeks. but how do you respond to it and how do you use it in a way which might help? >> well, i think the time to use it is early when it is starting to rise and not letting it go up too far. i think that we need to intensify control measures. the governor, charlie baker has done that a little bit in the last few days by trying to restrict the size of gatherings and the number of people and the restaurants or occupancy of restaurants. we may need to cut them down even further. if we compare what we are doing to montreal and canada.
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there are different levels of intensity. everybody wants to keep the economy open. right now we have a high risk situation. at least in the boston area. we don't have waste water collection like this going on in other parts of the state but for portions of the state are quite worrisome. >> would you suggest that other parts of the country that have the opportunity to do testing like this and are not doing it, would you suggest it as a cost effective public health monitoring tool. i feel like the advantage to the data, part of the advantage is that you do not need to be a real expert to understand what it means. once you can get over the giggle factor for the fact we are talking about sewage and measuring it that way. you can understand look what is coming. it feels like just for public awareness, in terms of that sort of a pay off.
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this is something we ought to be doing more of in this country. >> i agree. there are a number of different projects, municipal and different parts of the country that have been doing this. arizona. university of california, san diego. they used this to try to identify sort of the spots on the campus where there is an outbreak or an impending outbreak. then they can go in and intensify control measures, do more testing, identify who is infected. isolate them. quarantine their contacts and then try to limit spread. so, i think it can be done both on a large scale like a city, but even better yet on a smaller scale, a building. like for example if you were to do it and test sort of the waste water coming out of a skilled nursing facility. if you did it for every skilled nursing facility, you could identify early an outbreak and come in and try to control it before it ravaged the center.
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for example. there are many other examples. >> very practical advice. doctor, i feel like it is rare when we are able to talk about something that is comprehensible to the average person and practi practicable and applicable. thank you for helping us understand it and making it clear. >> good evening. thanks. >> the 20th amendment to the u.s. constitution specifies the term of each elected president of the united states begins at noon on january 20th of the year following the election. democratic consultant pointing out on twitter that as of this hour as of this hour right now, we are 999 hours away from a new president. but who is counting? we will be right back. esident. but who is counting? we will be right back. your cold with cold-eeze® lozenges. cold-eeze® can shorten your cold by 42%.
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all right. i am upnot going to forget to tl you this. i keep forgetting. without setting to be a perfect that writes books, i have now written three of them. the third is "bag man" got published yesterday. this is not as much of a policy thing as my previous books. the first was drift which was about the u.s. military. the second was called blow out about the oil and the gas industry. this is not that heavy. more of a true crime romp about nixon's vice president who was a total crook and got caught and got caught taking cash bribes in the white house and run out of the office for it. the book builds on the podcast that i did on the same subject with the same name last year. if you are interested in this and if by any chance you want to hear me talk about it, i am not going to talk about it anymore
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here on the tv show. if you are interested here is the thing that you can do. no book tour because there is a pandemic. i am doing a grand total of two events that you can sign up for. you can go to an online event where i am going to talk about the event. the first is with magic city books in tulsa, oklahoma. an online event this weekend. that is sunday night. and then the second one is with the striker center in new york on tuesday, a week from yesterday. that will be me and a presidential historian. i am not doing the book tour, only the two events. december 13th and december 15th this tuesday. i just realized because i keep putting off talking about it i think timing wise, because the book has to be shipped to you. it is not like a book event.
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you kind of need to go ahead now and sign up for one of these if you are interested in order to have enough time for the book to get to you on time ahead of the event. anyway, i'm sorry i didn't mention it before now. i am a terrible person. the 13th and the 15th are the two events. if you want to sign up for either of those, both include getting shipped a book. all of the details are online. again. i am sorry i did not mention it before. i am terrible about this. one final thing. this is also your last and only reminder i will be a guest on the late show tonight to talk about the new book among another things at 11:35 p.m. eastern on cbs. okay. that is done. enough. sorry. sorry.
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with real-time notifications and a week of uninterrupted recording. all powered by reliable, secure wifi from xfinity. gotta respect his determination. it's easy and affordable to get started. get self protection for $10 a month. as i mentioned at the top of the show, the advisory panel that tells the fda whether or not they should approve the first coronavirus vaccine in the united states, that is happening tomorrow. they will make their recommendation to the fda tomorrow. the advisory group has published 50 plus page briefing document on the vaccine. they said the vaccine is in their estimation safe and effective and describe it as having minimal and tolerable side-effects. it looks like they are likely to recommend to the fda the vaccine should be approved. this is a big deal.
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the meeting tomorrow, the advisory board is a public meeting. the q&a about it is public and ultimately their recommendation to the fda. they will come and we're going to have live coverage of that starting here tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. eastern here on msnbc. it's going to be a big historic thing. you might want to watch that live when it happens. all right. that does it for us tonight. i'll see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. i was listening to you talk about your book door for "bag man" which i'm holding here on camera while we're talking about it. i know you said, by the way, i know you said in the last hour that's the last time you're going to talk about it. i took that to mean that's the last time you're going to talk about it on your show because you're going to talk about it on colbert tonight. your book tour is two events, that's it, just two events? >> yeah, only two online events d ey