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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 29, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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ultimately take over in the sense of being dominant is unclear by now. >> by the time someone has symptoms, gets a test, has a positive result, and we get the sequence, our opportunity for doing real case control and
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contact tracing is largely gone. i think and i believe that we should be treating every case as if it's a variant during this pandemic right now. >> the good news according to dr. anthony fauci is johnson & johnson's new single-dose vaccine could help get more people vaccinated and prevent severe disease and hospitalizations as the virus continues to mutate and replicate. >> we have now a value-added additional vaccine candidate. this is a single-shot vaccine in which you start to see efficacy anywhere from 7 to 10 days. it is inexpensive and the company is capable of making doses in the numbers of billions. >> joining me now nbc news chief white house correspondent and "weekend today" co-host kristen welker. dr. celine gounder, a member of biden's advisory board during
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the transition. and patrice harris, former president of the american medical association. kristen, how difficult is it proving for the biden team with such a short transition, if any, to get their arms around the shortage of doses and the facility your to get people vaccinated, the failure to it around the country and get shots into arms? >> reporter: well, andrea, they are trying to be transparent about the fact that they are trying to get up to speed for that very reason and that there are significant chorge e -- shortages as it relates to some of these states and they are racing against the clock. that's why president biden has invoked the dpa, which will allow the federal government to get more supplies out to the states so they can administer more of these vaccines. but there's no doubt, andrea, that the administration continuously said throughout the transition process that they were not getting the critical information that they needed. now, of course, it now falls on the current administration to
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deal with this crisis. one of the key promises is that there is going to be an expansion of testing sites, and so i think there's going to be a lot of focus on making sure that happens quickly. and now of course this new indication from cdc that schools can start to begin to reopen. and there's going to be pressure to make sure that happens safely and securely. and so i think that part of the strategy on the part of the biden administration is to have more of these briefings. we've now had two this week, andrea, to really try to set a new tone as they address this crisis with sobering warnings that this crisis is likely going to get worse before it gets better. now of course the new information about this third vaccine that has been approved. president biden asked about that just moments ago, and he said he's going to wait to talk to his medical team, to dr. fauci, before weighing in, andrea. >> that is another difference, as you point out. two medical briefings in the
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past week, in this week alone, and also that they were not at the white house, they were not in the briefing room, there wasn't the president looking over the scientists' shoulder or the vice president for that matter. it's the scientists speaking for themselves, unedited, no interference from the politicals. dr. gounder, there is alarm clearly about the appearance of this south african variants because two people didn't know each other, had not traveled, so that indicates some community spread and the fact is the u.s., as we've been reporting, has not been doing adequate genomic testing for these mutations. could it become dominant i guess is the question. >> well, the cdc is already predicting, andrea, that the uk variant will become the dominant strain in the u.s. by march. it's more contagious and there is some data it may be more virulent. either way, it will be more
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deadly only if it's more transmissible because more transmission equals more cases, for hospitalizations, more deaths. we need to invest more in genomic svlsz. this is a great example of the massive underinvestment in public health in this country for decades. this is something we should have been doing at scale a long time ago, and hopefully we'll try to make up for lost ground by rapidly scaling things up in the coming weeks. >> and dr. harris, the public health issue here is so critical. we haven't seen any public messaging other than with this new administration to wear a mask, social distancing, but there's no big campaign to minority communities to overcome legitimate concerns of a federal medical program given the horrible history over centuries of medical testing and lack of informed consent. so how do we get arms around that and try to get this vaccine
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distributed equitably to people who often don't have the online resources to deal with these incredibly difficult web sites? >> well, andrea, first of all, thank you for having me. you so note that this is a challenge, and this is a reason that there is mistrust and vaccine hesitancy, but we have to get from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine acceptance. and i will say i'm encouraged by the new administration's focus on equity. dr. marcela nunez smith is chairing and leading that effort as she has been out in front talking about equity and the need to look at equity from a broad perspective, and that is from access to vaccines and making sure that we get out accurate information, make sure that we gained the trust of those in the community. it's the message. it is the messenger as well.
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it is also what we do. you know, i have been one of several african-american physician and other health leaders who have posted on facebook when i receive my vaccine. so we certainly need to work on that. but, andrea, we also need to work to make sure as you know, we still need testing. we need a comprehensive testing strategy, which is why we engage in this new project at emed. equity has to be the foundation of any efforts going forward. i'm encouraged by the administration's focus on equity. >> dr. gounder, turning to johnson & johnson, the vaccine, the initial data showing a weaker efficacy than moderna or pfizer but still good, experts say, including dr. fauci, value added. explain the difference between the 94%, 95% with moderna and pfizer respectively and 71%
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broadly speaking for the johnson & johnson. >> i think it's important to emphasize "broadly speaking." 70% effective at preventing mild and severe infections but 85% effective at preventing severe covid, which is what lands you in the hospital, which is what leads to deaths. so 85% versus 95% is really not a big difference, and this is a one-dose, one-shot vaccine. it's much more stable so that means you don't need that ultra cold freezing for the johnson & johnson vaccine. this is something that we anticipate can be scaled up to really sizable stocks where this would massively expand the ability to vaccinate americans quickly. and i think big picture especially in light of the rise of these variant strains, it is now more important than ever that we do everything possible
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to stop transmission. >> thanks so much to you, dr. gounder, dr. patrice harris, thank you very much. kristen, i hope you'll stick around. we'll talk politics in a few moments. first we have the global head of research and development for the janssen pharmaceutical companies of johnson & johnson. a big day for your company. critical new vaccine data. tell us about the competitive posture, the numbers of johnson & johnson. we've been talking about this as you were coming on about the 85% efficacy and protecting against severe disease versus the overall 72% figure. >> it's a really exciting day for us. thank you for having me on and adding color to what you're saying. we are 85% protective against severe disease. what we mean by severe disease are those that either remain at
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home and don't seek medical intervention but feel pretty sick, like they're in bed and feeling pretty sick, or more severe than that, where they go in and seek medical attention. it's protected 100% against those that need to go to the hospital or those that unfortunately go to icu or even die. every single person that's needed to go to the hospital after vaccination or died have been on placebo and zero have been on our vaccine. so we think of that as a particularly good result. especially a large number of cases being in south africa where this notable strain is causing more than 90% of the cases we've seen. >> so we think it's effective against the south african variant, which is just beginning
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overnight to pop up here in the u.s. >> we do. we do. so if i could highlight the single most important result for me is that, that we're 85%-plus active against the south african variant, protecting against severe disease. the south africans that took our, stld di had an 85% reduction in the number of those cases, and none of them needed to go to the hospital that took vaccine, and no south african died that took vaccine. so that's a very important result in light of the large number of variants that are active in the world today relative to even a couple months ago. >> the next critical step is applying for emergency use authorization. how quickly do you think you can apply and go through that fda process and get it to market? >> yeah. so my team has been extremely hard at work getting these data analyzed and in shape, ready for regulatory submission. we're obviously talking about it
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today, and i'm hoping inside of a week we'll be able to submit this large and complex data set to the u.s. regulator, fda, and soon thereafter to the rest of the world, to europe and other global regulatory agencies. so we're moving as quick as humanly possible, moving heaven and earth i would say to get everything together in a scientifically rigorous but complete way. >> just very briefly, by mid-february do you think you could actually have how many doses into the pipeline here in the u.s.? >> my expectation is what happens after, say, a week from now we get our emergency use authorization application in, in the days or the following days we get a briefing document to a set of advisers that plan an advisory committee meeting. we don't know what the date of that is yet, but it will be a couple weeks after that
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presumably. and then fda has been very, very hardworking right now and incredibly good in properly but quickly analyzing our data. so i'm thinking towards the end of february is when we might have an emergency use authorization, and we plan on delivering doses to the world immediately after that. our commitment, our pre-agreed commitment to the united states is 100 million doses by june, and we've been on track and remain on track to do exactly that. and there's a schedule right now that i don't know the details of, but there's a ramp-up to exactly that, to get to 100 million doses by june. >> thank you very much. thanks for joining us today. it's a big day for johnson & johnson. hopefully for the u.s. as well and the world. >> out of office but hardly out of the picture, donald trump still holding an iron whip on the republican party as those who opposed the former president feel the blowback.
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tune in monday for my interview with the new secretary of state antony blinken. watch it first on the "today" show and then of course throughout the day, noon eastern on msnbc and later on "nightly news" as well as msnbc. we'll be right back.
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the republican party still seems to be the party of donald trump. house republican leader kevin mccarthy flew to mar-a-lago yesterday to see the former president and pose for a notable picture, even talking about ways to win back the house in 2022. just a day after the republican leader told his caucus to stop the infighting, saying cut the crap out. republican congressman matt gertz went to wyoming a day later encouraging primary challenge against the number three republican in the house, liz cheney, for voting for impeachment. >> you can help me break a
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corrupt system! you can send a representative who actually represents you! and you can send liz cheney home. >> all this as mccarthy's republican caucus has not taken any action against marnl rhee taylor greene, a qanon supporter who liked posts for violence against nancy pelosi. and gun control activist, a parkland high school survivor, she followed him and tried to lobby congress for gun reform. back with me is nbc's chief white house correspondent kristen welker and our white house reporter for the associated press and michael steele. kristen, what was kevin mccarthy's goal in going to mar-a-lago to see the former president? and why is the former president
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still having such an iron grip on republicans in congress? >> reporter: leader mccarthy was going there to mend fences. remember, he was quite critical of former president trump in the days after the attack on the u.s. capitol and pointed the finger at him indicating that he believed the president bore some responsibility because of course he spoke to his supporters, urged them to march to the capitol and to, quote, fight like hell before they actually did that. he walked those comments back in the days after making them, and once the poll numbers came out showing the majority of republicans still support former president trump, were opposed to the impeachment effort, and republicans have made the political calculation he is critical to winning back the house in 2022 and the senate ultimately, he went to mend fences. question is if you speak with
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republicans, some have expressed concerns about whether or not former president trump's poll numbers will hold in the coming months, but as of right now, andrea, it is clear he still has a very stronghold over the republican party, and it's clear in that sound that you played from matt gates, out campaigning against liz cheney, and in the refusal to speak out against marnl rhee taylor greene. >> jonathan, many republicans condemned the attack on the capitol but three weeks later they seem to be warming up to him. >> reporter: yeah, andrea. that's exactly right. >> meaning to donald trump. >> yeah. no. of course. i think that you were right in that his ironclad grip on the party. we've seen poll rating that suggests his rating is down slightly, but let's be clear,
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former president trump is still popular among the gop rank and file. we saw leader mccarthy yesterday with an eye on trying to be speaker in 2022. other republicans in the senate fac voters again in two years, mindful of the wrath of trump supporters if they were to vote to convict and remove him from office and potentially bar him from ever holding office again. what's been described to me among republicans' aides on the hill is that in that immediate aftermath of the january 6th attack, when the senators themselves were of course victims, were terrorized by what happened that day, there was a real sense of outrage and a disgust and anger at president trump for inciting that violent mob to sack the capitol. i think if somehow a vote had been held then, perhaps we'd have a different outcome. but there was a cooling-up a period and political calculations made. let's not lose sight of the fact it was leader mcconnell who suggested postponing the start
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of the trial by two weeks. even though seemingly every day there's a new video of how horrible that attack was and how much worse it could have been were it not for a few lucky breaks and acts of heroism from capitol police officers, that time changed the cal lags and more and more republicans will stick with trump and trumpism. >> and michael, our producer is reporting from the hill that freshman democrat cori bush is saying that congresswoman greene has threatened her in the hallway and that she berated her, targeted her and others on social media, she's moving her office away from hers for her team's safety. she's tweeting, i'm calling for her expulsion. more pressure to do something about greene. >> yeah. they've got a matt gates and a marjorie taylor greene problem. two sides of the same crazy for the gop that they can't manage, they can't control. they've let the jeannie out of
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the bottle and opened pandora's box, whatever example or metaphor you want to use. the gop is stuck in this space. to the reporting of my friends and colleagues on this panel, they've laid it out. this is the box that the gop finds itself in. mccarthy is helpless. what's he going do? what he did. he goes down to mar-a-lago and asks the president to forgive and forget, and could you help us win back the house. you know, what the country may say about that remains to be seen, but what the country is at least indicating is they want accountability for january 6th and they're not seeing it, not getting it from this republican leadership or members of the party. and for those members like a mitt romney or a liz cheney who do the right thing and step into the moment with their leadership, this is the price they pay. they get the crazies coming after them. matt gates flying across the country to go after a fellow
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republican who, by the way, has more bona fides in her left pinkie than he could ever amass, and he's going to try to take her down? they may knock her out of leadership, but when you do that, look at what you're doing and saying about the republican party. matt gates, seriously? marjorie taylor greene? really? this is the best you have to replace trump? it's not replacing trump. it's continuation of trump and trumpism, and that's a brand i don't know how the party survives. >> back at the white house, kristen welker, we just had the first meeting in the oval office that -- there was a photo-op at least of the secretary of the trsh, janet yellin, with the president, about the covid relief package, with every single thing, they're getting ready to go for 51 votes, doing it under the budget
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reconciliation, which would avoid them needing 67. let me play a little bit of what the president and the secretary of the treasury hat to say. >> we have learned from past crises the risk is not doing too much. the risk is not doing enough. >> i want to emphasize the president is absolutely right. the price of doing nothing is much higher than the price of doing something and doing something big. >> kristen, they are doing everything they can to try to sell this. they now have 120 economists including some prominent republicans endorsing it from previous administrations that it is what they need, $1.9 trillion. but it's a hard sell with republican opposition on the hill. >> reporter: well, it certainly is, andrea. you already have a number of republicans and even some democrats who have said that that $1.9 trillion price tag is just too big, and that is why you hear the treasury secretary
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and the president saying that the important thing is to do something big in this instance to address the economic crisis. but the question becomes how does that get done? now, of course, there have been some reporting about potentially splitting this up into two packages, the white house pushing back against that, saying that is not their strategy. they want this package to pass in full. and to do it, it does appear, andrea, based on my conversations here, increasingly likely that they're going to need to use reconciliation. as you point out, that is the process by which they would pass something with a simple majority and without republican support, but the messaging has shifted from the podium. you hear press secretary jen psaki really trying to emphasize that they can do it with reconciliation and republican support, that the two things don't have to be mutually exclusive. of course that comes gwen the backdrop of president biden calling for unity. and so messaging fits within that broader initial point by the president, but andrea, the
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bottom line is this is topic number one for this white house. >> only a week and a few days before the impeachment trial starts and everything grinds to a halt. kristen welker, jonathan, michael steele, thank you so much. danger inside the capitol. we were talking about the cori bush claim of threat from her colleague. well, security around washington remains high. lawmakers are on alert as concerns grow about some of their fellow elected officials. stay with us. more on that coming up.
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more than three weeks since rioters stormed the capitol, it still looks like a military grounds with tall fencing and razor wire surrounding the complex and 7,000 national guard members still remain deployed. now the u.s. capitol police are recommending a permanent fence around the capitol complex, something lawmakers across the political spectrum are opposing. the threat is not just outside the capitol, according to speaker pelosi, but inside as well. >> we will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the house of representatives, a threat that members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outside. >> joining me is garrett haake at the capitol and vaughn
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hillyard at the armory where the guard troops are stationed. garrett, first, walk us through the u.s. capitol police's statement on this and how lawmakers are reacting. the mayor is not crazy about a fence that high around the capitol grounds. >> reporter: the mayor is not happy. there are two threat, the threat inside the building speaker pelosi was alluding to which you were discussing in the last segment and the threat from outside, which is still real. on wednesday, a man was arrested just outside the fence line with a handgun, ammunition, a "stop the steal" flyer and a list of lawmakers. there is still a security concern here but widespread agreement that keeping the fence, maybe the fence you see there, topped with ray orr wire outside the capitol, or any permanent fence around the capitol, that's enormously unpopular at this point, bipartisan condemnation of the idea, and senator tom cotton
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retweeting muriel bowser agreeing d.c. should not be turned into a forfortress. those wo don't agree on anything else politically. so the idea of a fence around the capitol not popular, but as the capitol police pointed out, a security assessment back in 2006 recommended putting in a permanent perimeter. this will be an ongoing debate about the best way to keep everyone in this complex safe going forward. >> and while the pentagon has announced more than 5,000 national guard members are going to remain in the capitol through march. what is the reason for that? are there specific threats? is this just a warning or worried about social media? >> reporter: exactly, andrea. in addition to the rest of that armed man outside the capitol perimeter two days ago, the department of homeland security put out warnings this week warning of domestic terrorism threats within the united states here, not only on the capitol building but also on lawmakers,
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and a lrge part, while those reviews are continuing, that is why the pentagon has announced that more than 5,000 national guardsmen and women will be remaining here in washington, d.c. there's currently 7,300 of them in the district from 26 different states. i want to bring you to the d.c. armory. this is logistical headquarters for guard not only these last three weeks, but now they will be here at least until mid-march. i want to bring in captain lewis. you're part of this logistics team. can you give folks an idea of what they're seeing in the district and what to expect in the coming months? >> absolutely. this is where it all happens. we have actually received upwards of i'd say 27,000 meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and this is the location where all these meals are actually broken down and disseminated to the different locations throughout the city. in addition to that, you're looking at the location where lodging coordinations are made, transportation coordinations are made as well. they include laundry services.
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>> reporter: there's concern. in the middle of this pandemic, folks' exposure to covid. do the guard have access to hotels? can you give folks an understanding of what the current setup is or arrangement? >> absolutely. i can assure you that every quarantined service member is actually provided a covid negative battle buddy who looks out for them and makes sure they, one, receive their meals, and in addition, a joint task force nurse that reaches out to them to assure their symptoms have either worsened or gotten bet. >> thank you and to the men and women with you. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: andrea, here from the d.c. armory. >> thanks so much. thank you, garrett haake and thanks to vaughn hillyard. cracking a code at a time when so many other states are struggling with vaccine rollouts, excuse me, there is one place which has become a success story.
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one state has had success with vaccination. they're using 81% of all doses delivered to the state, more than anywhere else. joining me is nbc's stephanie gosk in shepardstown, west virginia. stephanie, why has west virginia been so successful where others have failed? >> reporter: hi, there, andrea. you know, there really are two major reasons. the first is that in the early days they tailored their vaccination plan to the needs of this state, a very local plan. the second reason is that they set up an organization that they describe as agile, so that when there were problems, and there certainly were, they were able to identify them and fix them. greenwich care home got a
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much-anticipated visit. >> you ready? >> reporter: this small assisted living center isn't getting its first dose. this is the second. in fact, the state says by the end of the week, every long-term care facility will have had two vaccine rounds. there are states in this country that aren't even close to getting first doses. what does it feel like to have west virginia blow everybody away? >> west virginia has a long history of bucking people, and that's pretty much what occurred. >> reporter: the state decided early on not to join a federal program that partnered with chains cvs and walgreens to vaccinate long-term care clinics, instead relying on a network of local farmists like -- pharmacists. >> they trust us quite a bit. >> reporter: they've been driving early mornings and late nights to small, rural towns. at home, the kitchen table piled high with paperwork.
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>> there's nothing like being able to help your neighbor. >> reporter: a mostly rural state with a large elderly population, west virginia was tagged early on as a place that might struggle with vaccinations. but now it is being held up as a shining example of what works. the cdc says the state has used 81% of its vaccine allotment, the highest in the country, while 11 states have used less than half. >> we knew we had to become agile and learn as we go, because in these dynamic events it's impossible to predict what happens next. >> reporter: clay marsh is a critical care doctor tapped early to lead the effort. you said you have to be agile to face the crisis, but it also sounds like you have to be creative. >> of course. we've created a west virginia n95 mask. we have pcr testing and ant bd di testing. we are a scrappy state that's resilient. >> reporter: they also knew when
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to ask for help, tapping the national guard for logistic support and reaching out to a private company to help design a new registration website. how exciting is it for you to be talking about this success story from your state? >> i'm really proud, but i'm not surprised. our finest hour is shining because when it comes to an opportunity to come together, to help each other, to lift each other, that's what west virginia does best. >> reporter: outside of their control, andrea, like every other state, is the number of doses they get every week. they get about 24,000 doses in this state, and they told us that they have the ability to administer four times that number. andrea? >> and steph, how big a deal was the decision not to rely on the national pharmacy brands like cvs and walgreens and to go local? >> reporter: well, it really was a big decision. they're the only state that did
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it, actually. they're unique in the sense they have this network of about 100 private pharmacies run by pharmacists who live in the areas, they know the areas well. and i met that really impressive husband and wife team, tally and ken, and i asked them about this exact issue. here's what they said. we've hear stories of other states of difficult logistics, having a hard time scheduling and all the things that go into that. have you had those kind of difficulties and how are you overcome them? >> no, because we're the boss. there is no middle management. >> reporter: so while there's been some criticism, andrea, of no federal plan that the states could follow, you do have examples like west virginia where being able to make some local decisions also helped. a combination of those two approaches probably would work best for most states. andrea? >> you'd have to think this could work elsewhere. stephanie, what a great report.
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thanks for being there. righting the wrong. an untold number of children still separated from their families and hundreds of parents still not located. how is the biden administration trying to fulfill its promise to reunite those families?
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reform is being pushed back a couple days from today to next tuesday awaiting the confirmation monday of his secretary of homeland security, alejandro mayorkas, whose vote was held up this week by republican objections. he'll try to reunite migrant ch separated from their families. president biden has yet to say how or where the families will be reunited. first lady dr. jill biden will be taking part in the effort. >> it's only a few days. part of the prom is getting their arms about what they know ant the 60 kids who have not been located.
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>> the administration is really getting their hand around this. that's the number -- it might be thousands. we know where this father and son from honduras are. the father is in honduras. this son is here. they have been separated for three years. take a look at this. >> an officer told me, give me your children's things because you're going to different places. i didn't know what was going to happen to my child. >> do you get to talk to your dad like this a lot on video? >> yeah. >> are you hoping to get
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anything for your birthday? >> yeah. >> what do you want to get, buddy? >> my dad. >> that is one of many very tough conversations i've had with still separated families. that one was from late last year. andrea, it's not just about what happens to these families. we're waiting on word from the administration about what they will do about the mpp program. the remain in mexico program that made tens of thousands of people wait in dangerous conditions in mexico. all of those have yet to be answered. there's a bunch of interest in family separations and now we're told by jen psaki that will be coming on tuesday.
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>> you wrk with a lot of the families. >> i think that video says everything. this is a human tragedy. we are looking for the biden administration to help us not just find the 611 families that are still missing. that's a small piece of it ultimately. we know through aclu litigation that 5500 children were separated. we need the biden administration to provide relief to all 5500. that means allowing them to come back to the united states.
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some measure of accountability. can't stop at just finding the 611. that's a big part of it but it's not the whole part. >> a texas judge, federal judge in texas halted the pause, the biden pause on deportations with the constitutional challenge. do you know where that case stands? is that a temporary resumption of deportation? >> this aclu has gotten involved in that. i think the federal government will prevail. the federal government had discretion to figure out priorities and removal right now. there's a halt on that moratorium placed by the federal judge. there's a lot for the biden administration to work on it as jacob said. i do think family separation is one of those unique moments
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where there was such revoltion by the american people that the biden administration has enormous political leeway to get this done to reunite these families while also working on some of the more difficult problems. >> jacob, you've sign the horrible bottleneck below the border of migrants who are waiting there under terrible conditions subject to all sorts of criminal action as well as to disease, famine. >> actually, on twitter this morning, i thought it was a great point. the family separation policy was the most extreme, most horrific extension of the restrictive immigration policies of this administration. the remain in mexico program was looking to further those goals too.
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dismants ling of the asylum system. you ended up with people waiting in dangerous conditions on the other side of border and there's not a resolution. the president has said he would unwind that policy. again, those are details that every one, i think, who follows this closely is waiting to hear from the president on tuesday. >> jacob and lee, you have both been heroic on this subject. thank so much. that does it for this week. have a safe weekend and i'll see you monday on today with anthony blinken. we'll have more of that interview right here. later on nightly news on monday. follow us online on facebook and on twitter at mitchell reports. chuck todd is up next. is up ne. we're all finding ways to keep moving. and at fidelity, you'll get planning and advice to help you prepare for the future,
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if it's friday, johnson and johnson says its single dose covid vaccine is effective but it comes as the u.s. is falling behind in race against time to vaccinate more people amid the spread of a dangerous and vaccine resistant mutation. plus amid high anxiety about a potential threat from within. partisan rancor hits. president builds to to do something about congresswoman marge marjorie taylor green. welcome to friday. it's "meet the press daily."