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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  August 11, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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greatly appreciate it. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle. it's wednesday, august 11th, and this morning we are watching several major stories. just a few minutes ago we got the latest look at how bad inflation really is, and it's bad, with prices up 5.4% over this time last year. so is it the right time for lawmakers to work on a massive $3.5 trillion spending package? what matters to voters? on the covid front, the delta variant now tied to 93% of cases across this nation, with multiple states in the south seeing their largest single-day spike in hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. the ceo of united airlines will be here to talk about his decision to require the vaccine.
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and as kids return to school in many parts of the country, a new report shows that 1 million kids didn't show up in person or online during the pandemic. we'll be asking former education secretary how we're going to get them back. we've got to start in new york, with andrew cuomo, resigning as governor of new york one week after that stunning report from the state's attorney general found that he sexually harassed almost a dozen women. the governor will step down on august 24th. on tuesday, cuomo apologized but he didn't admit to any wrongdoing. instead, he argued that the investigation had been politically motivated and said a lot of the women just misunderstood where he was coming from. >> in my mind, i've never crossed the line with anyone, but i didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. there are generational and
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cultural shifts that i just didn't fully appreciate, and i should have. no excuses. there is an intelligent discussion to be had on gender-based actions, on generational and cultural behavioral differences. but the political environment is too hot and it is too reactionary for that now. given the circumstances, the best way i can help now is if i step aside and let government get back to governing. >> nbc's anne thompson is covering this, barbara mcquade, now a law professor at the university of michigan and suzanne craig, investigative reporter for "the new york times" who spent several years covering the governor as the albany bureau chief. what happens now? he's got two weeks? what's he doing?
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packing up? >> well, there is a practical question the governor has to answer and that is where is he going to live once he resign. he's currently in public housing and to the best of our knowledge does not own a house anywhere else. but the big question is, why is it going to take 14 days? why does there need to be a period of two weeks? we expect to get some answers this afternoon, stephanie from kathy hochul who will succeed andrew cuomo on august 24th and become new york's first female governor. now, hochul has never been part of andrew cuomo's inner circle and we are anxious to hear exactly what she knows about that 14-day period and who decided it was going to be 14 days and what will happen. one of the big unanswered questions here in albany is will the impeachment process go forward? just because cuomo resigned, that impeachment process does
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not end, and it goes far beyond just the allegations of sexual harassment. it also focuses on the nursing home deaths during the pandemic. you'll remember that governor ordered nursing home patients who had been hospitalized with covid and who still had covid back into those nursing homes in the early days of the pandemic, because he was afraid that the hospitals would be overwhelmed. well, many families who lost loved ones think that may have led to the number of deaths in nursing homes in new york. and there's also a question of whether or not he used state workers to help write his book that he earned a $5 million contract for. so there are lots of questions that still have to be answered, stephanie. >> suzanne, did cuomo lose the support of his party because of the way he treated these women, these specific events, or because he was a bully for years and never treated anyone well and this was their payback?
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you personally have been on the receiving end of his ire, you know this guy. >> yeah, i think that he had no support in terms of long term, he had upset so many people with his behavior for so long that when this blew up and he went looking for friends, he had none. they were simply looking for a reason to get him out, and he handed it to them with this specific -- you know, the allegations of sexual harassment. i think that that's definitely what happened. it was incredible to just watch when it all fell apart, he had nobody. not only did he have nobody, everybody was publicly calling for him to go. they were almost lining up at microphones saying, get him out. >> you've got to be good to people on the way up. barbara, he chose his words carefully yesterday. how does all of this impact the rest of the investigations against him? >> well, in addition to the impeachment proceedings, which may continue, we also know that at least three district attorneys are looking into criminal complaints against him,
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and so anything he makes a public statement about can be used against him. so for that reason, i think you're right that he chooses his words very carefully. he uses words like inappropriate and i take full responsibility, but i think he's careful to make sure he is preserving all of those opportunities. and the other thing that is out there that i think could be even more of a risk is civil liability. title 7 of the civil rights back of 1964 is very clear that harassment doesn't even have to be sexual in nature. it's really called gender-based discrimination. i think we typically think of it as sexual harassment but treating women differently than you treat women is a violation of civil law and for that he can be sued by any one or all of these 11 women, and if he is found liable, the state is found liable, so it could cost taxpayers money. so he has to worry about all of
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those front. >> taxpayers certainly don't want to pay by inappropriate behavior by a lawmaker. could he pardon himself pre-emptively in the next two weeks? >> there's a lot of talk about this when donald trump was being discussed about self-pardon. i don't think so. the justice department and office of legal counsel opinion on whether a president can pardon himself and they concluded no, because simply you can't be a judge and jury in your own case. but i don't think it's ever been litigated in the united states, in new york or anywhere. so it's an open question. but my gut tells me no for that same reason. >> suzanne, do you think he's got a shot of any sort of a political future? >> right now it certainly doesn't look like it. politics, i think he is going to be spending time trying to continue to defend himself. when i think back, you wouldn't have said elliot spitser, when
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he resigned after the scandal he had could ever rise, and yet he did run for public office again. so i wouldn't rule it out. it just seems very unlikely right now. one thing we're going to be watching is the assembly, if they proceed with the impeachment process, which i imagine they will, they can't bar him from running for public office again, and that's a component that is a reason and they've talked about a reason to go forward. >> suzanne, tell us a little bit about kathy hochul. she's going to be the next governor. she will be in office for more than a year. many people know absolutely nothing about her. is she a placeholder or is she somebody who is going to get stuff done? >> right now she's stepping in, i think a placeholder, she's going to -- we don't know in terms of her political career, will she run. she's certainly going to be a contender in terms of the primaries. right now i think we'll be watching to see. she's got three, four months before session starts. one of the things that sort of
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struck me about her when i was reading the coverage of her and i covered her as well, she's been to every county in new york and that is something i remember when i covered the governor, we looked at which counties he had been to. he claimed to have been to a lot, some of them he had simply driven through. she's actually out as lieutenant governor and has been going to places, has been holding events in various counties, and i think she's going to be bringing that sort of approach in terms of building bridges and reaching out and trying to heal what's happened. will she run? i think it's still an open question, but i think the next four months she's going to be reaching out to as many constituents as she can and gearing up for session which starts in january, the new york state session. >> beginning august 25th she will be on the big stage. suzanne, barbara, anne, thank you so much. my favorite shows are the ones that start with great, smart women. now we turn to washington. less than 24 hours after passing their massive bipartisan infrastructure bill, the u.s. senate approved the framework
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for a much bigger plan democrats only $3.5 trillion package that the dems are going to try to pass on their own. nbc's leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill. even getting this bipartisan bill through is massive. one could say this is the crowning achievement of the biden white house, but already all 50 democrats have voted to move the $3.5 trillion bill forward. that does not mean they're definitely voting for it. joe manchin has already said it's way too much money. can you explain what's going on? >> reporter: that's right, stephanie. this is just the first of several steps that democrats have to take to pass this $3.5 trillion bill. what they did last night is they passed an outline and now they have to go back and write the legislation, and the senate vote on that was at about 4:30 this morning and there was barely time for senators to clear the chamber when senator joe manchin dropped a bombshell, saying that
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he has a lot of concerns about the $3.5 trillion price tag. in a statement he says he worries about the economy overheating and that the country will not be able to adequately prepare for future crises if they spend that money now. now, this is not a new position of senator manchin. he sent a letter to the chair of the federal reserve, jerome powell last week saying something similar. but he's also not alone. senator kyrsten sinema said a few weeks ago she also has concerns with the price tag and there's a group of nine moderate house members who sent a letter to speaker pelosi just yesterday saying the same thing. why all of this matters is because of the slim majority democrats have in the house and the senate. they need every vote in the senate and every vote but three in the house of representatives to move this process along, and it's going to be extremely difficult for pelosi and schumer to keep their members together.
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>> i'll be talking to moderate democrat in the house later in the hour and his message to nancy pelosi is that $3.5 trillion may be important, but it can wait. thank you. coming up next, covid hospitalizations. anybody who says this is the flu, listen up again. hospitalizations are surging in the south. the federal government stepping in and sending hundreds of ventilators to florida. we're nearly 90% of icu beds are full. the state where ron desantis says you shouldn't wear a mask. later, the ceo of united airlines will be here to explain why he is mandating the vaccine for employees, even as his competitors say they won't. bold move.
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now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, where the crisis is accelerating across the south. florida, texas, missouri and arkansas all see their largest
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single-day spike in hospitalizations since the pandemic began. that is before we had the vaccine. in florida, the situation is so bad the federal government is now sending hundreds of ventilators in from its strategic stockpile. in texas, dozens of hospitals have completely run out of icu beds. and a judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of governor greb abbott's ban on mask mandates in schools. infections continue to grow among children. in shelby county, tennessee, kids under 17 make up nearly one-quarter of the infections and in mississippi nearly 1,000 students have tested positive for covid just days into the new school year. we have got the best team following the latest developments. allyson barber in mississippi, da sha burns in tennessee and dr. scott gottlieb is here. dasha, how bad is the covid
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spike among kids in tennessee, and more importantly, how sick are they? >> reporter: steph, i'm in the highlands, a region where i've spent a lot of time over the last year. a lot of time engaging with the hospital system here, and their staff is telling me what they're seeing among kids right now the unprecedented. yesterday, among the cases in their system, 29% of positive cases were among those under the age of 18. stephanie, in washington county, the school system here only a week into reopening, they already have 50 students and staff testing positive, and 194 in quarantine. but, stephanie, despite that, there is no mask mandate in this district or the vast majority of districts in this area. there is no social distancing requirement. and while they're notifying parents if their child was exposed to covid-19, they are not requiring that parent
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quarantine that child. this is an area where this virus has become deeply political, a lot of parents very upset over a mask mandate. but i'm also hearing from a lot of parents who are scared for their children, especially scary for parents like n ana mckinney, the history of two, a first grader and a kindergartner. her kindergartner is immunocompromised. >> it's very scary, it's concerning. i have seen my child fight for his life, not covid related, and it is a gut-wrenching pain that i wouldn't wish anybody to experience. so going in without masks is very scary because i wouldn't want anybody to be in the hospital and have to be in that situation. >> reporter: stephanie, i spoke to the superintendent here who really emphasized local decisionmaking and personal
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choice, saying they're evaluating the situation every day. but for parents who are sending their kids to school with a mask on, the problem is once their kid is through those doors, there's nothing she can do from there. it's out of her hands. and to your question about how sick kids are getting, i'm hearing from the doctors here, they're seeing children in the icus, they're seeing children on ventilators, which is not something that they had been seeing prior to the last couple of weeks. they're terrified of what's coming as kids get into the school system. >> no quarantine, no masks, no social distancing, kids on ventilators. the picture is a lot different in california, where governor newsom today is set to announce that all teachers and school employees must get vaccinated or submit to rigorous testing. how big of an impact is this going to have on keeping schools safe? >> reporter: look, i think it's important to get more people vaccinated, and certainly getting the teachers vaccinated
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is important. the kids typically get the virus from adults, and so the teachers could be one conduit for infection. in a lot of cases kids are getting infected at home. we did see in the spring and winter when schools reopened, we didn't see outbreaks on a wholesale basis, so the schools generally did a good job of controlling spread within the classroom. kids would get infected at home and come to school sick, but you didn't see large outbreaks occurring. but we were implementing a lot of mitigation, kids were generally wearing masks and kept in pods, some schools had implemented testing, gone to hybrid models where they had basically two shifts, a morning and an afternoon shift and cut the class sizes in half. we're going to be going into the school year where a lot of schools have lifted those mitigation tactics, and so we're dealing with a more contagious variant and we've changed how we've approached trying to control spread and that sets up a condition that we could see outbreaks. if risk is, if you have
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outbreaks the schools will have to close. our job should be to get the schools open and keep them open. >> well, republican governor in florida, ron desantis, who is currently getting ventilators sent to him from the federal stockpile, he says masks, they shouldn't be worn in school, kids aren't going to do it. watch what he says. >> kindergartners, everyone admits that whatever efficacy of a mask, you have to wear it fitted properly and tight. do you honestly think these young kids are doing that? i think parents should look to say it's doing more harm than good. >> can you fact check that for us? he's saying masks do more harm than good. >> well, we certainly have evidence that school districts that adopted masks generally showed less infection, and so the masks are one tool. it's not foolproof, but it's one
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tool in a multi-layered approach. there's other things the schools should be doing. they should be adopting testing on a more aggressive basis to try to identify infections and improving air filtration and flow inside the classroom. but the masks are one tool that we have. and against the more contagious variant, my recommendation would be to try to adopt mitigation tactics going into the school year and then we can see how things go and try to withdraw them when we can. masks, if they become an intrusive element, they could be the first things to withdraw. but we shouldn't go in tying our hand behind our back when we don't know how it's going to go. we need to protect kids and try to keep classrooms open. if we go into the school year, dropping a lot of the things that we were doing last year to try to control spread, we're setting up conditions for a lot of risk. >> okay, then to that very point, scott, you're a doctor and you're also a dad. does it make any sense to you that this much time and effort
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is being spent debating masks in school, given the amount of lives and learning lost in the last year? >> well, again, my advice to governors and others would be to leave these decisions to local officials and try to go into the school year with as many layers of protection as we can and see how it goes. especially against the more contagious variant that we don't know how we're going to be able to control this inside the classroom setting. remember, different localities have different resources available to them and so for some local school districts, masks may be the only viable option they have. they may not be able to adopt testing, they may not have the resources to do it, they may have physical infrastructure that doesn't allow for as much distancing, and older filtration systems that they can't retrofit as easily. different parts of the country have different opportunities available to them. some local school districts, masks may be the best option.
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so i wouldn't want to close that option for schools that don't have a lot of other good options to try to control spread within the classroom. >> allyson, you're in mississippi facing a devastating double whammy. hospitals are out of icu beds and vaccine hesitancy is raging. bring us up to speed. >> reporter: 97% of new covid cases in this state are among the unvaccinated, across singing river health system they have three different hospitals, 90% of the covid patients they are seeing needing to be hospitalized are unvaccinated. many people in this area do not want to get vaccinated and doctors on the front lines, they blame the internet, social media, and politics for much of that hesitancy. one doctor told us he had a patient tell him that they would rather die than take the vaccine. the doctors, the nurses, the respiratory therapists here, they are exhausted and they are scared because it is bad now and it looks like it is going to get
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even worse. listen to some of what we heard from one respiratory therapist on the covid icu when we visited that floor just yesterday. >> i'm 32 and just seeing as many 30-year-olds that there are, it's so scary. and it's not just the very sick, the ones that have multiple comorbidities. you can have one or two comorbidities and not get the vaccine and we're seeing those patients now. >> reporter: the health care workers on that icu covid floor said it is okay to have questions about the vaccine, but it is not okay to not try and find the answers from reputable sources. far too many people in this area are trusting nonsense on the internet instead of the doctors, the nurses, in these wards, in their own community when they are giving them advice.
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they're not coming to them with questions, they're turning to the internet, and it's a mess. stephanie? >> life-threatening nonsense. thank you all so much. we're going to leave it there. next, new inflation data out this morning shows that prices aren't easing up, they're going up. so could the latest spending push from democrats make things even worse? also ahead, more than a million kids, they didn't show up for in-person or online school last year. have we lost them for good? we're going to ask former education secretary john king. and new adventures you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. although uncommon, up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis will have long term consequences. now as you're thinking about all the vaccines your teen might need make sure you ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
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the market just opened around 100 points up as we just learned consumer prices soared, 5.4% in july compared to this time last year. that's the same number we saw in june, which was the highest jump since the great recession. this comes after the senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure deal with 19 republicans joining democrats. and overnight, senate democrats passed their budget resolution without any republicans, moving quickly to get another $3.5 trillion in new spending passed in their second proposal, which could risk overheating the economy. joining me now to discuss, former obama counsel of economic advisers fair, jason furman, and congressman josh god hiemer of the caucus and he represents the state of new jersey.
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jason, what is your reaction to the new inflation numbers and we're aware they're coming from last year when things were way down, because of the pandemic. but let's be honest, prices are way up and people certainly feel it. >> look, last week we were talking about how jobs were way up. today we're talking about how prices are way up. to some degree those are related. the united states had a huge, huge responsibility response to covid. that policy response is creating jobs at a rapid clip and also contributing to the inflation. some of this is supply side, some of this is base effects, but we're seeing a lot more inflation in the united states than in europe. that's because we did a lot more in response. >> congressman, the white house argues that inflation is just short-term, but with the midterms just over a year away, those short-term effects could be devastating at the polls. how do you convince voters that democrats have been good for their wallets? when you go to kitchen tables, all people are talking about are
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prices. >> well, first, to jason's point, which i think was spot-on, is people are back to work. if you look at since the height of the pandemic and where we are now, the good news is people have jobs again and i think we took smart bipartisan action, bipartisan packages on covid relief over the last 18 months and it's working. part of that, of course, is having its impact and i think we need to be smart going forward. but if you look at what we did just yesterday on the bipartisan infrastructure package, stephanie, democrats and republicans coming together, including 19 republican senators and we're going to see similar action in the house with a bipartisan infrastructure package, that's also key to our economic growth. that's why that also is very smart policy, that means making sure we can compete not only with china, but we have roads, bridges, tunnels, water, all the things we need to actually grow our economy in the united states. and we get those shovels in the ground and people work there, 2 million jobs a year, that will help move things forward and
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that's how we'll not only win as a country, but i think the democrats will win strongly in two years. >> but that's not the only thing democrats are working on. immediately working on another $3.5 trillion of spending. jason, i know you're not a politician, but you are part of the obama white house. is biden's economic team rolling the dice on inflation to get infrastructure passed, or are they not worried about it at all? that extra $3.5 trillion, that could crush us in terms of short-term inflation. >> i'm not worried about that package in terms of inflation, stephanie. inflation is usually the fed's job. the fed has been assigned by congress the job of price stability. they should respond to the inflation numbers appropriately to achieve that goal. if you look at the reconciliation bill, a bunch of that bill is paid for, it's spread out over time. some of it will increase the productive capacity of the economy, for example, enabling more parents to work.
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so i think you should look at it and ask yourself as a country, do we need preschool, do we need paid leave, do we need investments in education? if your answer is yes, then you should support that legislation. i would not worry about inflation for something like that. >> there's a ton of really good things in that human infrastructure plan, but, congressman, former president trump, he was mr. real estate. he said i'm going to get infrastructure done. he didn't. biden just did it in a big bipartisan way. are democrats risking losing this massive accomplishment on the $1 trillion bill if you go too big with the $3.5 trillion behind it? they should be running a victory lap today. >> we are, and i think we should be voting right away on the infrastructure package in the house, and, you know, i am concerned, i agree that a lot of the policies are critically important, i'm concerned about the size and the scope of
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reconciliation package and i think we have to be cautious about that. and there's a way to do this in the right way, in a targeted way. i'm concerned to make sure that taxes don't go up and that we handle this appropriately, and i think there's a way to do that. but it's going to take us working together to make that happen. and you're right, stephanie, let's take a big victory lap, not just democrats, but democrats and republicans, for what got done yesterday in the senate and what i'm hoping will get done very quickly in the house. >> what does cautious mean? because your caucus wants the standalone vote on the bipartisan bill, but when it comes to the $3.5 trillion, we always point to joe manchin saying he doesn't want the other bill, he doesn't like the big price tag and people often assume that speaker pelosi has all democrats in the house on board for the $3.5 trillion. would you vote for it today? >> we have a three-seat majority in the house and i'm talking to a lot of my colleagues and i think we need to see actually what's in it, the specifics.
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it's hard to say without seeing the details of what you're for or against. a macro perspective, there's lots of policies that jason pointed to that i think are right in helping people. but i'm also concerned that that number is very aggressive. i'm concerned to make sure that if we do anything on the tax code that salt comes back to help jersey and make things more affordable here in the northeast, and overall the tax picture concerns me and i want to look at that. we're a long way away, stephanie, and i think the key is to be smart and judicious how we do this and this is not something we should jam through. and i've made my opinion with several of my colleagues clear about that. >> has speaker pelosi responded to you about voting on the standalone? >> i've not heard from her but we've had a lot of engagement from the white house to talk through the specifics and decide what exactly this looks like, what is the impact going to be. and those are the kind of
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details that many of us want to get to the bottom of before we make any kind of decision moving forward. but as you point out, the best thing we can do right now is vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package and bring it to the house, the problem-solvers caucus and work closely with our colleagues to get that done. and 20% of the gdp in the country runs through the northeast. it's key that we have a tunnel that's not crumbling and roads and rails that work. that's how we're going to stay competitive with china globally and how we're going to grow our economy at home. let's take the big win for the country and obviously we can take other steps, too, but let's look at those separately. >> then, congressman and mr. furman, thank you both so much. united airlines taking the bold big step to require all of its employees to get vaccinated. the company's ceo will be here to explain that decision as three major competitors announce they won't follow suit. still fresh
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three major u.s. airlines, american, delta, and southwest, say they currently do not have plans to require their employees to get vaccinated for covid-19. but a growing number of airlines say they will require it for their workers, including hawaiian and frontier. united was the first carrier to announce a vaccine mandate for its employees last week. all 67,000 of the company's u.s. workers must show proof of vaccination by october 25th. joining us now is the ceo of united airlines, scott kirby. he'll be meeting with president biden today to discuss this very topic. scott, no doubt the president is going to start that conversation saying thank you, my family is doing to same. what is the response from your employees to this mandate? >> that actually, i think, has been the thing that's been -- that i've been very pleased with, is that i knew there would be some negative reaction, and there has been.
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but my email box, particularly from employees, is running about ten to one of people thanking us for doing it. and the level of excitement, i didn't appreciate how many people there are in our workforce and in the country who really know -- they're looking at the data and they see the same facts and they know it's the right thing to do. while it's not universal, the response has been much more positive than i expected. and we would have done it anyway, because it's the right thing to do. but we've been gratified by the response from employees so far. >> other ceos are now watching you for guidance as they're trying to figure this out. what do you do if someone refuses to get vaccinated? >> well, at united i think it will be a very small number that ultimately refuse. but for us it's a safety issue. we don't compromise on safety at united airlines. and because it's a safety issue, we're going to require them, and they'll ultimately not be able to work for united airlines if they don't get vaccinated. and i think the vast majority of
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them will get vaccinated. and the thing that makes me feel good is i know for sure, even some of them that don't want to, that we are going to save lives. there are going to be people a year from now who are still working at united airlines, we are still alive because we required them to get vaccinated. and even for the ones that are angry with me, and there are some, i sleep better at night knowing that we've done the right thing for them. >> you've proven we don't need to wait for the government to mandate it. so why not go a step further? we're seeing a growing number of restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses not just require their employees, but also require their customers to get vaccinated. why aren't you going a step further and requiring passengers to do the same? you've got the power. >> first, i hope that -- and i think that the ball is rolling. i think broadly society is beginning to change. you see the vaccination rates already going up. you mentioned the white house call is going to happen later today. i think there will be more and more employers doing the same thing. i think this is going to be like
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masks, that we'll be on a roll to get most of the country vaccinated. that said, trying to require all customers to be vaccinated really is something that i think probably fits more appropriately in government and government direction, and it also would be logistically impractical to do in the united states. it is happening internationally and i expect that's going to be the rule in most international travel as borders start to open up. but domestically, i think it would require a government response and tracking to make that practical and make it work and it's probably unlikely to happen domestically. >> following the announcement, have you seen any immediate positive or negative impacts on your bookings? >> no, it's too soon to be able to tell anything like this. and the truth is, we didn't do it for that reason. that had nothing to do with why we did it. once you look at the data, and
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particularly over 99% of the people that are dying from covid are unvaccinated, which implies given the rollout of vaccinations throughout the country it's 300 times as likely to die of covid if you're unvaccinated, once you have that statistic in your mind, it's impossible not to require vaccinations. and we haven't seen an impact one way or another. it's too early to tell, but it's also irrelevant because once we knew or once i could do the math that you're 300 times less likely to die if you've been vaccinated, there was no choice but to require it. >> 300 times less likely to die. scott kirby, thank you so much for joining us and a statistic i like to remember, when we were in the worst moments of covid and things were shut down, the government came to the aid of businesses, big and small, across this country to the tune of trillions of dollars. now the government is asking businesses to try to help our country get safe. scott kirby and united, they're
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leading the way in doing that. thank you so much. coming up, as kids return to the classroom, new fights playing out over vaccines and masks. should both be required nationwide? we'll be asking former education secretary john king what he would do. that's next. ♪ when technology is easier to use... ♪ barriers don't stand a chance. ♪ that's why we'll stop at nothing to deliver our technology as-a-service. ♪ ♪ to deliver our technology someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring. so i did.
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enroll in local schools. i'm talking about in-person or online. the biggest drop was in kindergartners and that's where kids obviously learn the basics like numbers and the alphabet. do you see all those little dots? each of them represents a kindergarten that lost at least 20% of their kids during the pandemic. it is all pandemic. it's part of a new analysis from "the new york times." here's what i want to know. how do we get them back? joining me to discuss the author of that report and also the former education representative. how are 20% of kindergartners in these areas not enrolled in any school? what is going on? >> we found a few reasons why kindergarten students did not
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enroll this year. they left their kids with a grandparent and maybe that person didn't have the technical know-how to do the lessons or didn't speak english. many day care centers didn't have staff to take them through online lessons. parents didn't trust their local public schools to do a good job with remote education so they may have done virtual learning through home but did a program of some sort but those have not had good academic results for kids. >> john, these kids lost a year of school at the most critical point in their education. i'm talking, yes, these kids. how do we make up for that?
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>> the american rescue plan dedicated 130 billion to k-12 to help with covid recovery. we want to do everything possible to make sure families feel trust and willingness to return to school. in austin, texas, the superintendent is going door to door knocking on doors and talking to families about why they should return. the cleveland school district hired a set of parent ambassadors to help parents feel comfortable with return to school and we have to provide a ton of economic support. we need to emotionalize a national tutor group and we have to pay attention to health services and counselors to work with supporting kids and their families. >> dana, you cover education. do you see those big dollars allocated to this, do you see them being put to work? it's, yes, we allocated this money but we don't know where it's going specifically.
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>> we're starting to see how it's being used. many districts used it over the summer for summer learning programs. those were great for the kids that attended them. what i found is those kids attending those summer learning programs were very often not the ones that missed out on the last year. so that's something to watch. another unfortunate finding of our reporting is many kids who did not enroll in kindergarten are not coming back to first grade. it's really important to locate where they are, what remaining concerns their parents have. unfortunately, this issue over masking in schools is dissueding some families from going back to in-person education because they fear the virus especially with the delta variant surging. >> let's stay on that, john. the pandemic and this loss of learning are two large issues that we need to solve.
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you have states like florida now saying if your school has a mask mandate and your kid feels bullied into wearing a mask, we'll give you a voucher for private school on the government's dime. do we really have that kind of money to throw around? >> absolutely not. the governor is reckless and irresponsible and what he's doing is dangerous. he's threatening educators if they have a mask requirement to keep their kids safe, he's going to penalize them financially. it's madness. what we need to do is have responsible leadership. i think about the governor in illinois who said statewide we'll have masks in schools because it will help kids be safe. we need teachers to get vaccinated. we need testing, regular covid testing to make sure we catch any outbreaks. we know what we need to do. that will help us keep school
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open which is better for kids. >> should the education secretary mandate universal masks for teachers? >> we have a federal system where the power is with states. what you see the secretary doing is trying to talk to governors and persuade them to lead on this issue. unfortunately, in some red states we see governors making quite dangerous choices. on the other hand, you see governors in arkansas who says he deeply regrets signing a law banning masks because he realizes that's bad for kids and families. >> okay. you've got governors but you've got teachers unions. randy says it's so important to get vaccinated but she's not supporting -- she's not supporting a vaccine mandate. she told me her teachers union dropped $5 million on a campaign
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to get teachers excited about vaccines. why is that even necessary? that's a lot of money. teachers could use that money. >> there's no question we need teachers to get vaccinated. the good news is over 90% of teachers within the aft have been vaccinated. i think everyone understands that the safe thing to do for kids, for families, is for teachers to be vaccinated. just as you were talking with the ceo of united airlines, we'll see more and more employers making clear to their employees that they need to be vaccinated for the safety of themselves and their customers. >> amen to that. john, always good to see you. dana, thank you for your reporting. it is so important. that wraps up this very busy hour. thank you for watching. halle jackson picks up breaking news coverage on the other side of the break. never slept like this before.
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that delicious scramble was microwaved? get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. as we come on the air this morning, the next battles on capitol hill. senate democrats moving forward with their $3.5 trillion budget overnight. already bubbling up this morning, new divisions that show how precarious this thing is. what chuck schumer says the senate will take up first when they get back next month. all of it setting up a house showdown. the


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