if it's tuesday, another dose of hopeful news on the coronavirus pandemic. as the fda signals it will approve moderna's vaccine later this week. vaccine number two. and more states begin administering pfizer's vaccine. but sadly, the death toll does keep climbing. plus, mitch mcconnell acknowledges for the first time joe biden as president-elect saying that the electoral college has now spoken. biden assails trump's ongoing efforts to undermine the results. and finally, russia strikes again. cybersecurity officials are
scrambling to figure out how much highly sensitive information has been compromised after malicious actors roamed undetected across government agencies for months. welcome to tuesday. it's "meet the press daily." i'm chuck todd. the electoral college has spoken and this morning mitch mcconnell finally decided to congratulate joe biden as the next president of the united states. >> yesterday, electors met in all 50 states. so as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect. the electoral college has spoken. so today i want to congratulate president-elect joe biden, the president-elect is no stranger to the senate. he's devoted himself to public service for many years.
i also want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from california, senator harris. >> for what it's worth, it's the first time anybody in that leadership position has used the electoral college as somehow the bar before acknowledging a victory, especially one that was not even among the four closest this century. meanwhile, vaccinations are under way with more hospitals inoculating workers. we'll speak with a doctor who administered the first vaccine publicly in this country ahead this hour. there are two headlines signaling hope that our democracy is held and this can be tamed. the damage done by the current president cannot be ignored. we're still facing a three-headed monster of crises. the pandemic, the erosion of our democracy and this new staggering russian hack. all of them have been worsened by the actions of this president. president trump continues to baselessly claim the election was rigged. and an alarming chunk of the republican party now believes,
appears to believe his lies. attorney general bill barr is leaving and a source tells nbc news it was partly due to the president's anger at barr for stating there was no evidence of widespread election fraud. president-elect biden spoke last night. >> it's a position so extreme we've never seen it before. a position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law and refused to honor our constitution. respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy. even when we find those results hard to accept. but that's the obligation of those who have taken on a sworn duty to uphold the constitution. >> the consequences of president trump's efforts to undermine our democracy may be with us for a very long time. the same thing can be said about his weakness on matters of russia policy. as the headlines show you, there was a serious breach by suspected russian actors of
government agencies and private companies. u.s. officials are still grappling with just how bad this hack really was. early indications are that it was very, very bad and we'll have more on it later in the show. ask yourself, the president downplaying russian hacking for the last 4 1/2 years. did the government take its eye off the russian ball? on the issue of the pandemic, those numbers, 300,000 deaths and 16 million cases showcase some of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in this nation's history. even as vaccinations are now beginning and even as we're finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. let's focus on the good news and the vaccines. jake ward is in san francisco where cases are on the rise and the first vaccine doses have just been administered. yasmin vossoughian is outside of yale hospital where we're expecting to see the first vaccinations happen there. and also dr. vin gupta who is set to get his vaccine tomorrow.
let me start with jacob ward out in san francisco. jacob, the first doses out there today. what did you see out there, and what's the reaction been? >> chuck, you know, it's been a very hopeful morning. i have to say it's hard not to feel some deep emotions looking at a place like this behind me. this is san francisco's general hospital. the one that got this city through the tuberculosis crisis, the aids crisis, the big earthquake and it's the epicenter of the vaccine roll-out. the first five people in san francisco are receiving their vaccine here today. we spoke to the director of the city's health department to find out what he is feeling, whether there's cause for hope now. >> well, i'm both hopeful and concerned. so we're in this third surge. we are not going to get enough vaccine to protect many people from this third surge. so it's very important in san
francisco and the region that we continue wearing these masks, social distancing, staying at home, do not travel for the holidays. >> so, chuck, you know, there's a huge number of vaccines arriving here. more than 12,500 doses will arrive and that's 12,500 people who will be vaccinated. but a city this size has more than 80,000 medical workers alone. and so we have a long way to go. as dr. koufax pointed out, we're not allowed to take our foot off the gas yet. we have to dig deep and get through this very dark third wave. but to be here for the initial roll-out of this at an historic hospital, it feels pretty good. >> look, we've got to take these glimmers of hope and take we can take all these glimmers and it ends up benefiting a lot of us. let me move over to yasmin in new haven, connecticut, at yale, where they're also about to administer the first doses of vaccine at that hospital. what have you seen? what are you hearing?
>> chuck, sorry i'm looking down as you were coming to me. i'm watching the zoom call play out on my phone as you guys have the feed in there as well. they'll be administering these vaccines at any moment behind me. we wanted to get inside the room as we were yesterday. sadly, you weren't on the program yesterday but it was an incredible moment. i'm going to echo what jacob was talking about. it's really emotional. i've seen a couple of these administered in covering this story. it's incredibly emotional to see them administered, imagining what is ahead. it allows you to have some hope as jake was just talking about. a glimmer of hope that life can maybe turn back to normal one day, eventually. maybe june, july, when the general population if they want it, will be able to get vaccinated. we're seeing the first health care professionals being vaccinated across this country. i saw it in rhode island. you'll be speaking to one of the first doctors vaccinated later on in your show. and i spoke to the first doctor that's going to be vaccinated here in yale new haven health in
about two minutes or so as we're awaiting that to begin. we're hearing from the chief clinical officer there. you saw him beside me on the screen. he is one of the first doctors that will get it administered to him. and he actually was working on the pfizer clinical trial here at yale new haven. this is the first time that he's going to be taking a medication, something that he helped develop. he helped work on. he was an aids researcher before this. he's going to be taking it himself, administering it for himself, which is a real full circle moment forever him. he's also a father of a few children. this will alleviate some pressure and stress he's carried for much of these last couple of months, hoping he doesn't bring covid home. and then also giving him confidence to walk the hospital floor and to treat patients safely now that he'll be vaccinated. but it is quite a moment in seeing these folks, these frontline health care workers being vaccinated, how much
they've been through, so many lives they've had to save and so many lives they've lost. just talking numbers here, quickly, chuck, if i take you through some of the numbers in this hospital behind me. 57 people currently on ventilators behind me. 433 in hospital beds positive with covid. 3 out of 4 beds are full with covid patients. almost at capacity. just in the last two weeks, statewide, in the last two weeks, more people have died than the entire month of november. so they're in a dire state here in connecticut. and any moment now, behind me, we're await -- >> well, we'll come back to you. >> hopefully we'll bring that to you. >> yasmin, you'll hang tight with me. i'm going to bring in dr. gupta and as soon as we see him, we want to bring these moments. there have been -- they've just -- it's funny what just a single shot can do and dr. gupta, i'm wondering if you had that same -- just to see some of these first inoculations, it
does feel as if we're going to make it. i'm curious, are you shocked that you're going to get a vaccine before actually getting this virus? >> good afternoon, chuck. you know, it's the deepest gratitude to our scientists who often work in obscurity and we haven't given them enough spotlight here. thank you to them because this is our only way out. there's just a few things, chuck, i want to emphasize here. number one, it is, as somebody, my colleagues and i, as somebody that has seen the impacts of covid-19 critical illness in the intensive care unit, that's a difficult done to manage and it's unexpected. i've seen 18-year-olds otherwise healthy come into the icu with a stroke. 88-year-olds with smoking related emphysema come in. very difficult to manage on the ventilator. but it can happen to anybody, covid-19 critical illness. that's why we can manage.
a lot of attention has been paid to the side effects if you have had a severe allergy in the past. that's manageable. that's manageable quickly in a health care setting. what's very challenging, what remains very challenging to manage is covid-19 critical illness. i'll quickly say, all of this should inform a people's behavior in the next two weeks. do not think that you're protected if you want to travel for the holidays, you are not protected. you can't mask and test your way to safety here. stay home. because the vaccine, while it's near and medium term relief, that relief we'll not realize it at scale until april at the earliest. so the next three months, vigilance top of mind. >> let me ask you about what we've learned about the moderna vaccine. moderna's documentation indicates that not only does it prevent the worst -- it's effective in preventing the person from getting the worst aspects of this virus, but this
one they seem to think it also stops the spread. does this give -- should this give us some hope that pfizer's will also limit the spread because that's a question we weren't yet able to answer with the pfizer vaccine. >> so we'll know that soon. right now it's speculation on pfizer since they didn't actually report that data. moderna, to your point, there's a suggestion for your viewers out there that moderna's vaccine, the primary end point here is do any of these vaccines prevent you from ending up in the icu with severe covid-19 pneumonia? the other question, does it prevent infection? so it may prevent you from ending up with a severe form of the illness but do these vaccines protect you from getting infected in the first place? does appear moderna's prevents not only bad symptoms from happening but getting infected in the first place. at least that's what we think. if that's also true for pfizer,
that means if you are getting the vaccine, the two-dose regimen from either of these companies, potentially ten days after that second dose, you will be protected from infection, meaning we can start to think that if you've gotten vaccinated, you are no longer a risk to even transmit the disease to others, unwittingly getting infected, even if you've gotten vaccinated. that's a big difference. we still don't have definitive proof that vaccination protects you from any type of infection. just the severe forms of illness. right now we don't have clarity but we'll have greater clarity the next few months. >> and when will we have an idea of how -- whether we're going to need to do a booster vaccine? how long are we going to know if this is something that wears off over time? >> so those phase three trials that moderna and pfizer continue to have and to monitor, they have about 40,000 individuals on each trial.
some have gotten the vaccine. some have gotten the placebo. one of the debates is, can we continue to follow those individuals and that randomized control trial? can those who have gotten the placebo continue to actually participate in the study and not get the actual vaccine? and that's important, chuck, to answer your question. we have a few months worth of data about what's their immunity look like, these people enrolled in these trials. so we have a few months lead time to answer that specific question. we don't know yet. there's suggestion that you'll have a few years protection. we don't know. as someone trying to message on vaccine efficacy and safety, i think we need to level with the american people about what we do clearly know and what we don't know and the duration of immunity, we just don't know. >> well, that's what we keep learning about as well as we don't know a lot about the side effects of the virus itself, covid long haulers. there's still a lot we're
learning but we're so glad that we have this vaccine. all right. i want to go back to yasmin because i think we are seconds away from seeing the first vaccinations at yale at that hospital there in new haven. yasmin, take us through what you're seeing right now. they are leaving us -- they are leaving you outdoors. >> they are leaving me outdoors. and it's cold out here. so i do wish i was inside seeing this thing in person. but nonetheless, we are outside, obviously, for safety purposes. they didn't want us inside and we completely and totally understand that. but they're vaccinating five individuals, five health care professionals, frontline health care workers they chose to vaccinate in this first go around. early this morning, i believe it was around 8:15 or so we saw the delivery of these vaccines. they had 1,950 doses that were delivered early this morning off a fedex truck at bradley international airport in hartford, connecticut. made the drive, 45 minutes or so
to this hospital and then they wheeled those vaccines up into the hospital and all of the staff that accepted that vaccine, they were just elated. so completely happy to see this vaccine on their premises. now you have these five individuals that are about to get vaccinated, as we well know, with the pfizer vaccine. they'll get this first shot now and have to wait 21 days for their second shot to have full immunity in this vaccine. as dr. vin gupta just talked about and always talks about and knows so well, we're not necessarily going to know how long immunity is going to last because they're part of the trial in a way. these five individuals and subsequently the thousands more that will be vaccinated. they're ultimately going to be part of the trial because we'll be learning something every single day. i want to talk folks through exactly who is getting vaccinated. so the first individual i believe on your left, if i'm saying that right is dr. obuagu. he san infectious disease specialist and the principal investigator for the pfizer trial. so this is the first time.
full circle moment for him where he is taking something that he worked on. he helped develop. think about how incredible that is for him. this is a man whose family is from nigeria. he went to school here at yale. he's the first individual to get this vaccine. the woman next to him, i also spoke to her a little bit earlier as well. excuse me for the ambulance. you can imagine we're in front of a hospital. and as i mentioned, 400-plus patients right now hospitalized with covid-19 at this hospital behind me. so, of course, we'll hear ambulances coming by throughout this moment because it's a split screen moment. folks getting vaccines and folks still hospitalized. so to the right of dr. obuagu you have kay husler. she is a registered nurse for the medical intensive care unit. she said she was pretty nervous to get this vaccine because she didn't really know what to expect. then she talked about the confidence she would feel walking the floor. her co-workers said she was being really humble about her nursing skills. she's one of the best nurses
they have here at the hospital. one of the reasons she's getting this vaccine today. that she gives so much care and love and time to her patients. you think about, chuck, how many times we've talked about patients dying alone throughout this entire pandemic. what it is like to not be with their families, having to talk with them through their ipad or phone for their final moments and how often it is doctors and nurses able to hold those patients' hands in that moment. many times with covid, especially because we didn't know so much throughout this entire period, we haven't been able to -- those nurses and doctors haven't been able to be as close to these patients as they would like. kay has a personal touch with many of these patients and her colleague told me she was one of those nurses that tried to be as personal as she could within the safety protocols of the hospital. it's one of the reason yes she's there today getting this vaccine. she told me actually once she gets the second shot, she's going to try to go see her family in seattle. she's got four brothers and sisters. her parents live in seattle. everybody is on the left coast. >> here we go.
>> she says she wants to make sure -- yeah. here we go. getting that first shot. >> all right. i imagine it's both relief and trepidation at the same time. i mean, i'll be honest. any time you get the poke in the arm, no matter what it is. you always have that minute. but this is something else. >> all right. here we go. 3, 2, 1. >> wow. wow. >> small victories, yasmin. small victories. >> i mean, again, chuck, i -- it just makes you emotional. you kind of tear up watching it.
it's what the future may hold because of this advancement. it's so incredible. and i will say, you made the joke about whenever you get a needle in your arm there's a bit of prepidation. both kay and dr. obuagu said they're nervous about the needle. i said you're doctors and nurses. you're using giving them. they said we're used to giving them, not getting them. joking around with them. just an amazing day. >> dr. gupta, final -- i think you are getting yours this week? are you getting your vaccination this week? >> tomorrow morning. and i'm grateful for it. chuck, i just wanted to say, just a follow up on what yasmin mentioned. just for your viewers out there. i know one of the officials we just saw is planning on traveling after the second dose. this is a source of confusion. but this is one of the misperceptions. just because you get vaccinated with that second dose does not mean you should be participating
in things like traveling in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic or that you're liberated from masks. everything still applies until all of us get the two-dose regimen. we don't think that's going to happen until june, july. but again, this goes back to what we just talked about, chuck. we don't know if just getting the vaccination prevents serious illness or does it also prevent you from getting infection entirely, meaning you can still get infected with the virus and pass it on to others so really, really critical. don't let your guard down just because you got vaccinated. you still might be able to get the virus and pass it on to others so please keep that in mind. >> we've learned how much the asympt asymptomatic has been the superspreader. dr. gupta, as always, sir, thanks for your expertise. yasmin and jacob, thank you for getting us started. up ahead -- we'll take you
to therths b other big story of day. a massive russian cyberattack on the u.s. government and new challenges for president-elect jones. later, we'll talk to a doctor who administered the first dose of the pfizer vaccine in this country. and we'll talk to a doctor who was vaccinated live on "meet the press daily" yesterday. s daily"n the perfect last minute gift from your walmart store. really fast. really perfect. let's end the year nailing it. ♪
the midst of wreaking widespread damage sowed by president trump. that includes a massive cyberattack uncovered this weekend, reportedly instigated by russia. "the washington post" reports that the department of homeland security, the state department and nih are among multiple federal agencies compromised by a hack, believed to be initiated by russian intelligence. and while we're still learning more about the scope, it appears to be massive. the kremlin, of course, is denying responsibility for the hack. but "the new york times" reports that it giant solarwinds was infiltrated and about 18,000 of their government and private sector users downloaded russian tainted software that gave hackers a foothold in their systems. this was quite impressive hack. you go to the source and then essentially the source inadvertently, the contractor inadvertently sends to their clients essentially the tools for russia to do this. now according to "the wall street journal," customers have been unwittingly downloading the malicious software since march
and it's largely been undetected by the trump administration. while president trump took office in the wake of a different series of russian cyberattacks, his administration has not made cybersecurity or russia a priority. the department of homeland security has been without a confirmed secretary since april of 2019. and the two acting secretaries that have served since have put politically motivated immigration policy first and the cybersecurity stuff seems to have taken a back seat. the president also fired the head of the dhs cybersecurity division chris krebs last month after he defended the integrity of last month's election. the trump administration has instituted sanctions against russia, but trump sided with vladimir putin many times. and backed a baseless theory that ukraine, not russia, interfered in the 2016 election which got us the impeachment at the beginning of this calendar year. joining me is michael mcfall. he was u.s. ambassador to russia in the obama administration.
mike, what we do know about this hack is pretty massive already. and if it is indeed the work of the russian government, and tarks peers to have all the hallmarks of mat, what does it say about what we have done or not done in the last five years to stop russia from doing this? >> well, chuck, first and foremost it should remind everybody, including the incoming biden administration what a formidable opponent, competitor, foe, the russian government is. they have incredible capabilities. i think there's a sense somehow that russia's weak, russia doesn't have these kinds of capabilities. that is wrong. number two, it shows neglect as you rightly pointed out. president trump consistently for four years has always denied the russian threat, has always denied putin can do anything wrong. he's going to complete his term, he's pretty close here, without ever once criticizing putin about anything.
and that means that legislation for cybersecurity didn't get passed. they did some incremental things. i think chris krebs did a fantastic job. they were underfunded, and i think the challenge is much bigger than the trump administration has allowed to address it and i hope the biden administration will do a better job. >> well, i want to remind folks, it -- one of my producers went back into the way back machine, 2017, and brought up this presidential tweet. putin and i discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded. i bring this up because i think -- it's pretty clear the russians never felt deterred. that what they accomplished in 2015 and 2016 didn't seem, you know, whatever it is, they realized, boy, the americans aren't going to do anything about this so let's go deeper.
let's go bigger. let's go bolder and, boy, is this bigger and bolder. essentially they first targeted the makers of the software. i mean, it was, in that sense, it was a brilliant move by the russians. but, wow, it's dangerous and we have no idea how deep this is. >> that's right. they are really good at this, chuck. and i think, you know, remember, this is what we know. there's a lot of things we probably don't know that the russians have been doing over the years. but it begins at the top like you said. they never felt deterred. they always thought that president trump was more on their side than on the side of the intelligence community. as he made clear at that helsinki summit that you just showed a photo of. and as a result of that, they have, you know, they've developed these capabilities and faced no sanctions, real sanctions or deterrence. now i want to give the trump administration did do some things right. i want to be clear about that.
nsa did some things right. homeland security did some things right. there were some sanctions, but the guy at the top, the president of the united states, always seemed to lean towards putin and against american national security interests. and again, now that will finally change, but the biden administration has to come in strong on this. they've got to have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with russia, not just some incrementalism. >> right. well, let's talk about that. when you served with president obama, there were some that said, hey, you need to retaliate on some of this cyber stuff. and while apparently we were aggressive on cyber once when you look at stuxnet and no one can comment on that officially when it comes to the iranian nuclear offensive strategy we did and some online cyberhacking on our end. we never figured out a way to punish the russians in some other way and we know that president obama was hesitant on a tit-for-tat. obviously, president trump didn't want to do that for
reasons that others may speculate on. what is a stronger response? what does that look like in your opinion? >> well, number one, as you say, tit-for-tat is difficult and dangerous because that becomes escalatory and where does it stop? you need a comprehensive strategy for deterrence and containment and not just in this one domain space. so instead of responding with a hacking -- by the way, i want to be clear. i don't know what the united states of america is doing in terms of our penetration of russian government agencies and activities. right now we may already be doing that. let's be clear about that. i don't know that personally. that's classified. but instead of just thinking of it in this it for tat, this sprngs wh response, we need a proactive containment strategy that includes not just a tit-for-tat
but let's say kick russia out of the interpol. why is russia in interpol? they don't advance the rule of law. they use it for a political reason. let's do that. why are we not supporting other countries on russia's neighborhood? we've been absent from the caucasus, we've been absent from central asia and belarus. if you have a comprehensive strategy you might have more success than what we've been doing the last four years. >> it looks like, just from a layman's perperspective, the russians are looking and saying, america is soft. they're an easy target. ambassador mike mcfall, thank you for your response on this. i want to look at another aspect of the damage done toing this country by president trump when it comes to the rule of law. last night president trump announced attorney general bill barr was stepping down. multiple sources familiar with the president's thinking say mr. trump has been fuming since barr publicly broke with the white house saying that he'd seen no
evidence of widespread voter fraud. with me now is michael schmid who has covered barr and the justice department. a washington correspondent for "the new york times" and was heavily -- has been very aggressive on the reporting of the mueller probe and all of that. so nobody understands the inner workings of that justice department better than mr. schmidt. he's also a national security contributor to us. so michael, how do you square bill barr's letter of resignation to the public with the quiet acknowledgments that reporters are getting, including our own folks and i'm sure you're hearing it, too, that barr couldn't take it anymore. he wasn't going to sit there and deal with this coming from the president? if he does have issues with the president's behavior, why public ly praise him the way he did anded in send a tougher message? >> well, it doesn't really
square. the letter that barr sent to the president saying that he was leaving is a very -- it praises the president. it tells him how great he is for overcoming the russia investigation and how the russia investigation was an attempt to basically unseat him. and it is really praising the president in the ways that the president wants to hear. it doesn't square with what we're told are barr's frustrations with the president. the fact that barr sat at home this weekend waiting to find out whether he would be fired by tweet, by so many in the administration who came before him. but in the end, the thing i've always found sort of remarkable in the trump era is the fact that people, even like bill barr, live in fear of the tweet. they live in fear of being fired like that. and being dismissed. and of what the president's base could be sent on them. and i think in the end, it was easier for barr to send a la
laudatory letter. >> it's fascinating that a tweet strikes so much fear and alters the behavior of so many fully formed, grown men and women here. what do we expect from the acting attorney general jeff rosen, if the president wants to burden biden with more special counsels and more investigations, is mr. rosen somebody that would acquiesce to requests like that from the president? >> we don't know. we don't know. and we don't know what a justice department will do in the waning weeks of an administration. we saw at the end of the clinton administration where eric holder was involved in the pardon of marc rich. we've seen different examples. when bill barr was last attorney general in 1992, when george h.w. bush was going out the door there was a whole sort of series of issues that he had to deal with, with questions about a special counsel and questions about pardons. so barr knows that the last few
weeks of an administration can be dicey and complicated. and i think he knew that if anything with donald trump, it was not going to be simple. so by getting out of dodge here, he doesn't have to deal with that. he will not be around for the last 21 days. look, donald trump clearly wants a special counsel appointed to investigate voter fraud, to investigate hunter biden and to some of the trump administration, barr was someone standing in the way of that. someone who wouldn't go along whith that. now to others, obviously, people think that bill barr is the president's personal lawyer. but in the final three weeks of the administration, donald trump will not have bill barr as his attorney general. and it remains to be seen what the president will be able to do without him there. >> you know, it's interesting about his resignation letter, michael, is there's nothing in there from barr about working at justice, working with those employees. the type of language you expect to see in a resignation letter,
the pride they had leading an agency of hundreds and thousands of dedicated public servants. none of that language is in there. this entire letter is about placating mr. trump personally, it appears. >> correct. look, i mean, barr still has a few more weeks and days here to go. so maybe he will, my guess, address the staff of the justice department. but we do know that whoever comes in as the next attorney general under president biden will have to deal with a beleaguered justice department. a justice department that throughout its ranks feels like it's been politicized in ways greater than at any point since watergate. and they feel they've been brought into politics in ways that have undermined the fundamentals of the department. and whoever that attorney general is will have to try and put that back together and try to bring that semblance of normalcy back to the justice
department. and it may be difficult to do. it will be incredibly difficult to do, but especially with the political winds of what's going on, especially with donald trump unwilling to accept the results of an election and continuing to try to undermine the democratic process. and with thorny questions like how do you handle an investigation of the president's son in hunter biden? >> michael schmidt, of "the new york times," on the justice beat for us today. michael, as always, thank you. still ahead -- we'll speak with a doctor who made history on day one of the vaccine roll-out. 's been a tough year. and now with q4 wrapping up, the north pole has to be feeling the heat. it's okay santa, let's workflow it. workflow it...? with the now platform, we can catch problems before customers even know they're problems. wait... a hose? what kid wants a hose?! fireman? says "hose" it says "horse"! not a "hose"!
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vaccine at his hospital in rhode island. the doctor joins me now. doctor, 24 hours later, i got to ask what a lot of people are wondering about, how do you feel? any side effects? do you still feel good? >> still feel great. my arm is a little sore, but, yeah, i've just been reflecting on that moment as the needle was going in and taking that deep breath on behalf of all of the frontline workers. still feel great. >> do you have a different feeling? do you feel more secure than you did two days ago? >> i don't, but i have a feeling of hope. i feel hopeful. i know that the vaccine at this point is -- one of your earlier speakers was saying, we need to continue social distancing and practicing, you know, wearing our masks. we're not out of the woods.
and so this is not a single bullet solution. so i remain hopeful. >> how many staff was able to get vaccinated yesterday in total? >> i don't have all the complete numb numbers, but i know the hospital received a total of about 1,500 vaccines over the course of a few days. they'll be vaccinating everyone, high-risk frontline workers, environmental health services, nursing and doctors all represented yesterday. >> are you -- how many covid patients do you have right now at the hospital? >> we have about 47, i think, in the icu. hundreds in the hospital. rhode island has been hit pretty hard, and one of the main
messages i was trying to make yesterday was the impact on the communities of color. >> have you -- how has this virus touched you personally? have you had family members fallen ill? describe those feelings right now. >> yeah, you know, those feelings we're all going through yesterday. mostly being at the bedside taking care of a lot of ill patients. luckily, nobody in my family has been sick. we've been very good about trying to keep particularly my mom healthy. and, yeah, it's like mixed emotions. it's just being grateful and thankful. but, you know, a sobering fact of 300,000 deaths yesterday as we were all getting vaccinated. we've been at the bedside. >> no matter how fast the
vaccines come, they didn't come fast enough for hundreds of thousands, and i think i can only imagine that mixed emotion that you have. dr. albalaez, thank you for coming on and sharing your story and thanks for being a spokesperson and a symbol for getting vaccinated and for trusting the science. thank you, sir. >> thank you. before we go to break, moments ago, president-elect joe biden spoke to reporters as he departed for georgia. here's what he told them about a conversation that he had with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell earlier today. >> i had a good conversation with mitch mcconnell today. i called him to thank him for the congratulations. told him while we disagree on a lot of things we can work together. we agreed to get together sooner than later. and i'm looking forward to working with him. just want you to know i spoke with him, and i've been calling other members. i spoke with some other members
as well. there's about a dozen calling, and as i tick them off, i'll tell you who i've spoken to. thank you. >> suddenly now many republican senators may be proactively hoping to be talking to the president-elect today. msnbc will be bringing you biden's campaign swing in georgia when it happens later this afternoon. still ahead, a look at the long-term health impact of food insecurity during this pandemic. thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any american senior, or worse, that it was some way to take your home. learn how homeowners are strategically using a reverse mortgage loan to cover expenses, pay for healthcare, preserve your portfolio and so much more. a reverse mortgage loan isn't some kind of trick to take your home. it's a loan, like any other. big difference is how you pay it back. find out how reverse mortgages really work with aag's free, no-obligation reverse mortgage guide.
welcome back. the coronavirus pandemic is exasperating the problem of food insecurity. even in the united states, the richest country in the world, we're seeing an unprecedented food insecurity. if you've been watching msnbc, you've likely see video of cars in long lines at food banks. the need is overwhelming. msnbc is shedding a light on this issue and we're encouraging those who can help to please help. if you look at the bottom right of your screen, that is -- you will see a qr code. that is a usable -- put your smartphone camera at that square right now any time during this segment. you'll get more information on how to help in this food insecurity situation. but america is far from the only country facing this crisis. other countries that have already experiencing high levels of food insecurity or widespread hunger or famine have seen those problems grow exponentially
worse. the world's u.n. food promise reports in the first three months of 2020 alone increased by 400%. joining me is barron seeger, ceo of u.n. world food program. thank you for coming on. the pandemic has obviously been a huge cause of this domestically, we've had wages, all sorts of issues gone and it's caused food insecurity issues. explain the problem globally and where we fit in into this picture. >> chuck, what i would say, we're facing the largest, the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. and without the world food program is our partners, the reality is people will die. we launched our largest humanitarian assistance operation in history and our plan this year is to feed 138
million people, and by the way that's up from 100 million people last year. the good news is in the first nine months of this year, we've already topped the 97 million mark. ed the good news but also the bad news that we have to feed 138 million people. the new news with the world food program is that based on our estimates, around 270 million people are marching towards starvation. and by the way, the outcome of starvation is death. and this is an increase of 40% over just the last year. unfortunately, the news is not good, but hunger is solvable with the right support. >>ment so have some of the challenges you're facing have to do with the rise in cost, we have limited transportation issues. explain some of the hurdles that
have made this insecurity worse this year. >> so, for us, with the world food program, we're dealing with families who they don't even know where their next might every meal is going to come from. they don't know if there will be a next meal. and that's one of the saddest parts of this humanitarian crisis. again, with 270 mrl people marching towards starvation, the world food program alone is responsible for saving 30 million people every single year. so, if we were to go away tomorrow, it is very likely that 30 million people would perish. so, to your question, chuck, why are we challenged? we're challenged because covid is hitting the most vulnerable, the most vulnerable. those, particularly less developed countries, there is no such thing as a safety net. covid is hitting the most
vulnerable. when you think about remittances. a lot of people in this country and other countries, they're used to sending money back to their families, but there's been such a great loss of jobs here in the united states and around the world that remittances are at an all-time low. i would also say to your point, food prices, while they've stabilized a bit, they went up and they went up because trade halted. we couldn't get at one point rice from parts of asia into parts of africa because these countries wanted to make sure their own people were fed before they helped other countries. so, what we saw, supply and tee manned, prices went up. i would say there's a general economic fallout. we do believe more people will die from the economic fallout in less developed countries than from covid itself.
>> are you seeing the developed countries give what they can give or do you see them holding back? sadly during pandemics, everybody gets a little selfish, a little extra selfish than they used to be. are you seeing this by country? >> i'll let you say that and not me. >> i understand. >> the united states has been very generous. the united states provides a significant part of the funding for the world food program. the u.s. is the largest funder. i would also say most people listening to your program are taxpayers. and so it's a heartfelt thank you that we get such incredible amount of funding from the u.s. government. that said, it is our call that other countries would step up and give more to the world food program. famine is on the rise and four countries on the brink of famine and we have to prevent it. for example, there's northeast
nigeria, there's south sudan and yemen. and the world food program is also helping 7 million school children. so, before the pandemic, we were assisting around 16 million kids in school, providing with our partners a daily meal. now that they're at home, we have to completely reinvent how we deliver meals. and we've also implemented a cash base transfer system. just as an example, $75 can feed a family of four for an entire month, an entire month. when you think about the world food program, think about the most basic of items. we're talking about rice. we're talking about beans. we're talking about cooking oil, we're talking about wheat, we're talking about the most basic supplies to keep people alive. but we can't do it without increased support. as an example, we have a call for over $3 million life-saving
support to continue our efforts through april of 2021. >> you've got a lot of work to do. you need a lot of help. i hope viewers put their phone to the qr code and see how you can be helped even more. thank you for sharing with us just how dire the situation is. again, if you are able to help, please do so. scan the qr code to learn more how to do it. msnbc's coverage continues a bit late with katy tur. my apologies, but it was for a good cause. es, but it was for a good cause those who du more with less asthma. thanks to dupixent. the add-on treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma. dupixent isn't for sudden breathing problems. it can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as 2 weeks and help prevent severe asthma attacks. it's not a steroid but can help reduce or eliminate oral steroids. dupixent can cause serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
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