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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  August 23, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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the most hostile to u.s. interests in the world and i just cannot understand why the u.s. government has persisted in considering it an ally. >> all right. sarah, thank you so much for being with us. we greatly appreciate it. that's the other part of the article, it is just worse than we even imagined when you look at the isi and pakistan's involvement in the rise and sustaining of the taliban. that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up coverage right now. hi there, i am chris jansing, in for stephanie ruhle. it is monday, august 23rd. this morning, we are following several major stories. extreme weather battering the east coast. in the northeast, henri leaving a path of destruction and thousands without power.
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flooding killed at least 20 people, leaving behind what one resident describes as a war zone. our reporters are live on the ground with the latest. in afghanistan, violence at the airport threatens an already precarious evacuation plan with thousands trying to escape taliban rule, 18 u.s. commercial airplanes are called in to help. the white house signaling it could extend the deadline to leave the country. we have to start with game changing developments in the battle against the coronavirus. "new york times" reporting the fda is set to give full organization for pfizer's covid vaccine today. at the same time, across the south, icu beds are filling up fast, so bad in five states they're within 10% of reaching capacity. alabama is already maxed out. grim numbers out of florida where the number of coronavirus cases has now surpassed 3 million. the cdc says nearly 42,000 have died from covid-19 related causes in that state. and just in the past week alone,
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florida reported more than 150,000 new cases, including a record 20,000 cases in children younger than 12. morgan chesky is live in texas, cal perry, and former white house policy director to make sense of all this, dr. patel. how much do you think of a game changer could the fda full authorization of the pfizer vaccine be? >> it is a big game changer, maybe not for obvious reasons. there are definitely individuals that are hesitant, want to wait for full approval, i think it will pave the way for businesses, schools, cities and jurisdictions to mandate the vaccine and do it even though it is legal, do it without reservation. >> a lot of southern states are grappling with shortage of nurses and icu beds. the vast majority of it caused by people not vaccinated. i know, i have seen the
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headlines in papers, doctors, nurses getting burned out like we saw at the beginning of the pandemic. what is going on in florida? >> reporter: there's such anxiety and frustration with those who are not getting vaccinated that this morning in palm beach county, close to 100 doctors in white coats, some coming off their shifts on covid wards, others getting ready to go on, gathered right here. you can see from drone show that symbolism of this is so unique. one of those standing here, decided to stay with us, i am curious, what does it mean when i see and the nation sees all of you gathering saying enough is enough. >> it really means that us as a community of physicians are trying to let our patients know and everybody in our population that getting vaccinated and taking precautions is so
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important. >> reporter: you come out and do this. we heard doctors pleading with people to ignore politics, follow the science. this seems different. >> this is a, almost a public outreach from the community physicians to the community. >> reporter: talk about exhaustion. when you were in your residency, exhaustion comes with the territory. compare that to what you and others deal with now. >> exhaustion in residency is real, but we all have an end point to residency. we know the day will come when we graduate, sleepless nights, running up and down hospitals will come to an end. with the covid infection, we don't have that. we don't have an end, a light at the end of the tunnel. we are trying our best to educate people to protect themselves and others so we can have that light. >> we see this here today. we are possibly going to see, all indications are, that the
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fda will give pfizer its authorization, so it is no longer emergency use authorization. does that push it over the hump for your patients that have said i don't want to do this. is it a game changer? >> absolutely. we have a lot of patients on the fence about something that's been developed so quickly. and i think them having the knowledge that this product is approved, will be approved by the fda just like blood pressure medications, inhalers for asthma, i think that will give them confidence to step up. >> thank you very much for joining us and building on the back end of that, kaiser family foundation study looked at those reluctant to get the vaccine, and asked if it was approved by the fda, would you, and three out of ten answered yes, they would. >> let's hope at least three out of ten indeed do that. thank you, kerry. dr. patel, i want to go back to the exhaustion doctors are feeling.
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this is the front page of the atlanta-journal constitution, highlighting a nursing shortage is reaching crisis levels. what will this mean as you see increase in covid cases, are we going to get to a point people are turned away from hospitals not just because there aren't enough beds but not enough people to take care of them? >> reporter: chris, they already are. when you come to the emergency, you're told you may not just be waiting hours but some parts of florida or texas, the pacific northwest, next hot spot, could be several days if you don't have a traumatic emergency condition. that could mean that we are rationing care, whether we want to admit it or not. chris, that's what's happening. you have people not necessarily sick with covid, heart attacks, other infections that have nothing to do with vaccine status, but they're getting caught up in the staffing shortages, and point on burnout couldn't be better said by the physician, it is not that we don't know what the end is in
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sight, it is also the feeling that people don't care. we are pleaing with people, begging with people, some are saying you're making money off this, it is in your best interest to let people get sick which feels like a slap in the face. >> dr. patel, one alabama doctor is making headlines threatening to not treat unvaccinated patients. that's sort of the extreme level of frustration. should vaccine status be a factor in deciding who gets care? look, no, it shouldn't. it should be a factor, by the way, little fact, insurance, co-pays, premiums and deductibles which were generously waived prior to recent surge have now been in effect, so if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, your hospital charges, clinic stays will incur out of pocket cost, and i do agree with that, but i guess i'm
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probably of the mind set, chris, we have that oath and take care of people, doesn't mean we are not frustrated when we do. >> you're in kentucky, another state with staff shortages, lack of icu beds. there's an entire district that shutdown because so many students are testing positive for covid. what's going on? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. the county just next door to here has seen 150 students sent home for testing positive or exposed to the virus. that school district is now closed. here at the appellation medical center, 13 hospitals, we're already there, turning people away. there's triage system in place, mask system in place, only implemented because the hospital systems are at a breaking point. listen to what the chief medical officer had to say yesterday. >> we are concerned about staff
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shortages. there's a national nursing shortage. we have done what i think is the right thing and put in place a vaccine mandate for staff, and we have staff that have decided they might not continue to work for us because of that. so we are concerned about staffing levels decreasing because of the vaccine mandate. but we believe that's the right thing to do for our patients, for staff, for our community. >> reporter: of 13 hospitals that exist in this system, there are 32 icu beds servicing under a million people, on par with national average. those 32 beds are completely full. look, we have a play book for this, chris. we have seen it around the world. i was in london when hospitals filled up. we saw ambulances with adolescents, young adults waiting to be issued into the hospital whether a heart attack or broken bone, that's the issue or reality of triage system in america. when you say it is a pandemic for unvaccinated, that's not the
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entire story. if you have a heart attack in eastern kentucky or have a mild injury or elective surgery as we heard from the guests on the panel, it is likely to be delayed, you're likely to be sent home. that's the reality on the ground. >> the domino effect of the unvaccinated. you're in houston where students are going back to school today. what's the plan to keep kids safe? >> reporter: chris, that's the question that parents are asking themselves as we consider back and forth between school districts and governor of texas who is standing by a ban on mask mandates. that said, last week texas supreme court said districts like this one in houston can make that decision and on the first day, saw parents and students walking up, masks on, everyone happy to be back in the actual classroom because virtual learning took up the majority of the year last year, and that's something while they know it is an option, they hope by taking the right steps now, they can keep in classroom learning on track. hear what one mother had to tell
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me about going back to school as numbers continue to rise covid wise across the state of texas. take a listen. >> she's feeling good. how are you feeling? excited? mommy is nervous but excited. we're in a whole different world. there are a lot of things to weigh. we're going to see how it goes. we're going to stay positive. >> reporter: here at parker elementary in houston, it is masks on for students and staff. they had a nice, long line outside the building doing temperature checks on those who walked in. that will be the plan going forward. i spoke to parents, asked if they feel like this is enough to keep in classroom learning on track. they said it feels like this is the best they can do. they also admitted all of the back and forth between districts and the governor leaves them feeling a bit stuck in the middle of all this.
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quick to say at the end of the day, it is all about keeping kids safe and healthy and with 18% of the newest covid cases we see across the country being pediatric cases, they say safety measures put in place now are more important than ever. >> no kidding. parents are stuck, administrators, teachers. doctor, i want to ask you, we know masks and the vaccine work. there's a group of health care workers protesting outside staten island hospital against vaccine mandates. seeing this in other pockets of the country, often in areas with high infection rates. how does this complicate what's a huge challenge of trying to change minds of people that decided they don't want the vaccine? >> it complicates it so much so when i say to people, have that discussion rightfully so about vaccine with your health professional, i now have to add to that, and make sure you ask your health professional where they're getting their
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information. disturbing we have to do that. what you see outside of staten island could be recreated anywhere, just not as visibly. we know it by the numbers, chris, there are percentages of doctors, nurses, dentists, not getting vaccinated. as you heard in the piece, morgan stated, people that are not willing to do it, even with employer mandate. they'll walk away from a job. that creates more confusion in the public that only lights a fire under all of the misinformation. it makes it easier to propagate things i watch on facebook, what's app, tiktok, it adds to so much confusion and misinformation. bottom line, talk to a health professional, but never hesitate to ask where do you rely on sources for your information. are you reading evidence based journals, looking at other data driven websites, not just generic social media websites.
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>> if your doctor bases health decisions on social media, might be time to get another doctor, on the other hand, can't afford to lose health professionals. thank you all. coming up, the house returns early from recess this morning, critical week for president biden with democratic standoff over the budget escalating. new polling shows biden and democrats may be in trouble. first, at least 21 dead, dozens missing in tennessee after record rainfall causes severe flooding. we'll be there live with the latest. oding. we'll be there live with the latest and take. it. on... with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain, stiffness, swelling. and for some, rinvoq can even significantly reduce ra fatigue. that's rinvoq relief. with ra, your overactive immune system attacks your joints. rinvoq regulates it to help stop the attack. rinvoq can lower your ability to fight infections,
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men's health brand in america. the pictures tell a devastating, catastrophic weather story. in the northeast, more than 64,000 people are without power after getting hammered by now tropical depression henri, and flood threat remains this morning. in tennessee, a horrific situation is unfolding. at least 21 dead and dozens more missing, amid harrowing stories of people barely escaping with their lives after heavy flooding hit parts of the state over the weekend. we have team coverage. sam, what's the latest where you are? >> reporter: catastrophic is definitely an appropriate term, chris. it is devastating looking armed here. right now, rescue efforts are continuing this morning for somewhere in the neighborhood of two dozen people still missing.
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cell service and power restored since yesterday is helping to bring numbers down. ferocity of floods look like something you may see in a tornado or hurricane aftermath, but it is not. check out the foundation. a house that used to be on the foundation is there, it has been twirled around. if you follow the line of sight and continue this direction, you see what looks like one or two homes compressed together. that's three different houses with two cars chris crossed in the side of it, 45 degree angles. takes about a foot of water to move cars more than that, move large suvs. we have seen them coming up and down the street, that's what neighbors are reporting. all that is going on. hundreds of homes, uninhabitable, according to humphreys county. there have been 21 confirmed deaths so far. the vast majority of those in waverly where i am now in humphreys county, and we know there are at least amongst those two seven month old twins
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deceased as well. gut wrenching news now. we are waiting to see what tennessee national guard is doing today. they have been deployed. there are water rescue crews deployed. at this point, likely it is a search and rescue mission or at this point likely recovery mission. a lot of time elapsed. flood waters subsided. waiting for an update from officials as you look around and see the picture of devastation. >> saw the deadline in the newspaper, war zone where you are, three houses together. long road ahead for those folks. henri is now a tropical depression, continuing to soak new england. there's more than 64,000 people still without power. any idea how long before that's restored and what's the situation on the ground generally? >> reporter: hey, chris, good morning. we are told it is likely 40,000 or so customers in rhode island will get power restored mid
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week. couple more days to go. the temperature continues to climb. a lot of people lost power sometime yesterday afternoon. extremely muggy outside. the big headline yesterday, the storm moved closer, were fierce winds and ground was saturated from past storms. you might see behind me a massive tree that toppled onto pushes and pulled down the neighborhood. sometime by mid week when the power will be restored, this is a scene that's playing out and trees toppled on homes and power lines. new york and new jersey, they're reeling from flash flooding.
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central park saturday night, that star studded concert had to be cancelled for extreme weather. problems all around. henri is still not done with us yet. we are expected to get more rain before it moves out tuesday. >> we saw thousands of people evacuating central park. thank you, sam brock in tennessee. take care. coming up, violence at the kabul airport as afghans try to escape taliban rule. we have the latest on evacuation efforts. and new pressure on the biden administration next. forts. and new pressure on e thbiden administration next. ♪ ♪ just two pills for all day pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible.
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one hour from now, the pentagon will be holding a briefing as the u.s. rushes to evacuate afghanistan. the taliban telling sky news there will be consequences if president biden extends the withdrawal deadline, calling august 31st a red line. comes after we saw dramatic scenes over the weekend with americans and afghans desperately trying to get out, including an afghan refugee that gave birth on a plane. afghan staff at the u.s. embassy are starting to lose faith and the u.s. is tracking threats from isis against the kabul airport and americans trying to leave. we evacuated 42,000 people since july, a quarter of them yesterday. but president biden says the job is far from over. >> we are approving to move
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thousands out of kabul, but we have a long way to go, a lot could still go wrong. >> reporters are covering every angle of this story. richard engle in qatar, matt bradley in germany, mike memoli at the white house, courtney kube at the pentagon. we have david rode, who was kidnapped by the taliban 12 years ago. good to have you here. richard, what's the latest happening on the ground in afghanistan? >> reporter: well, they are moving very, very quickly on the base and flights are coming in, flights are going out. people are getting processed. the problem is still at the gate. we talked a lot about the gate. they're in a rush to get to the gate. word has gotten out in kabul that people can leave and some people who were initially sticking it out, thinking maybe the taliban wouldn't be that bad, some of them are having second thoughts, perhaps these
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are people that would always want to leave, according to an official i have spoken to here in doha. this is one of the transit destinations that people are coming to. about half the people that they are now interviewing would not, do not qualify for onward visa, have no third countries, they're not american citizens, didn't work for contractors. the u.s. is scooping up a lot of people and dropping them off in places like doha and ramstein air base, but not just people they're trying to evacuate. it raises questions, what are the countries going to do. they have lots of flights with unaccompanied minors, people with no documents at all, and people they verified that don't qualify. do they send them back? they're trying to desperately figure out where to place all these people. there's a rush to get people out but then in third countries,
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there's increasing concern that the u.s. has opened flood gates and is now trying to evacuate the entire city of kabul through half a base. the lines outside the front of the base now according to witnesses stretch up to two miles. it has gotten so bad there are now fraudsters, selling tickets illegally, there are no tickets or promises. they say for a thousand, 2000, $3,000, can get you to front of the line and get you in. there's so much misinformation, a lot of rumors, and then amid the chaotic scene, there was a small exchange of fire with an unknown gunman or gunmen opening fire and killed an afghan guard. very, very chaotic outside and then the situation of having to process all these people who are
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getting out. it has become an evacuation of personnel but also a refugee airlift at the same time. >> so matt, you're at a u.s. air base where a lot of folks are going, remain. tell us where things stand now. >> reporter: yeah, chris. it is interesting because this air base, this is one of the largest military bases outside of the u.s. in the world, it is another massive bottleneck of the kind richard was describing. i spoke with some evacuees, they're outraged, angry, some showed me u.s. passports, they're u.s. citizens, they were forced to sleep on the ground at the tarmac at the kabul airport for days at a time, then went to where richard is, got processed a bit, and then came here. you hear a plane take off now, to give you a sense of bottleneck. there were 36 planes that have come in, mostly from doha where richard is. only one has taken off and gone
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to the united states. there are more than 7,000 people brought here, very, very few have moved on from this location. and that's why things here are getting increasingly desperate. a lot of people we spoke with were dying not for water or food, all those needs here are met, health care is fine. what they want is information. they need to know their next destination and when that's going to happen. but there's some happy nls here, they are safe, fed, cared for. i spoke with general josh olson, man who runs this place, this huge community of u.s. troops. here's what he had to say. >> there's nothing more amazing to watch evacuees come into the process, smiles, excitement. they're tired, exhausted. when you see them, you're able to feed them, get them a little shelter, then they're playing soccer and it is awesome.
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>> reporter: you heard that story, a little about relief that happened here just on saturday. there was an afghan woman that went into labor as she was flying here to ramstein air base. when she landed on the tarmac, they couldn't, they didn't have time to bring her into the hospital. she had to deliver on the c-17 cargo plane on the tarmac here at ramstein. medical care was good, she was taken care of. mother and baby are fine. again, they're waiting for the next destination, like more than 7,000 other afghans and american nationals waiting here. >> and all those kids and babies walking in. courtney, president biden said the safe zone around the kabul airport is going to get bigger, they're going to try to deal with stuff that richard engle was talking about. what does it mean for people trying to leave? >> i mean look, every single plan that they have made during the course of this logistics
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nightmare has been met with an additional problem that they have to deal with. assuming this works, this will allow them to expand the perimeter in a very small way to allow more americans and afghan nationals get to the airport. there are other ways to get to the airport. details are sensitive, they don't want to talk about it. it means they're going to have people, particularly americans and some afghans eligible for the process, meet in small groups at particular locations, they'll have safe passage to get them to the airport. that's the latest way they're hoping to get more people there, and avoid bottle next. one of the big ones is the gates. there are some cases up to one or two miles of people backed up
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to get through the gates. if you're somebody called by the embassy, an american citizen who has authorization, has the ability to get through the gate but there's a mile or two of people backed up, you can't get through. adding to that is the security concern. we saw the first elements of that thursday when there was a group of americans trying to get to the abby gate on one side of the military side of the airport. they couldn't get through because of crowds. u.s. military had to send in helicopters to pick them up from the hotel nearby. that was because it wasn't even just because of the large number of people in the crowd, it was because the military is not sure who is in this crowd. most of them are likely evacuees trying to get to the airport, trying to get out. there's new concern about potentially nefarious elements that may be in there, one of the big ones is isis. isis core san hope to attack the airport and americans trying to
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get there. there are specific threats to the airport and to people trying to get there. so that's adding a whole other layer of concern and security issues to the logistical effort. >> you're in the states, you're living it through friends you have in afghanistan. tell us what you know from that sort of close range experience of the conversations you've had, the communication you've had about what's happening, and what's happening specifically with your friends? >> afghan journalist that was kidnapped with me many years ago now a u.s. citizen, lives near washington. his family after days of efforts is safe. they made it onto the airport, fighting through crowds. women and children got to the airport, slept outside on the tarmac for days with many other afghans. they were finally able to board a u.s. flight. we don't know where they are. the family frankly doesn't care.
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they're safe, they're elated. i think the everyday is speeding up, more people are getting on the planes. it is good that u.s. forces are going out and getting citizens and families, like the family i am speaking about, but there was lack of planning here. there's no question, the administration wasn't ready for this. the broadest estimate is that there are 300,000 afghan civilians who helped the american effort in afghanistan. that's 20,000 military tranls -- translayerors, people that built schools and helped women's rights. how do we get them out. they deserve to have a chance to get out and the airlift needs to continue. >> piece of good news for your friends but so many others waiting for that kind of news. mike, president biden's deadline to pull out troops is coming up next week. any shot they'll get this wrapped up in time? >> if that's an option the white house is considering, the decision is not going to be an
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easy one, based on new comments from a taliban representative to sky news, indicating there would be resistance. remember, any cooperation that's been happening has been part of these fragile and sensitive conversations that have been happening on the ground between the u.s. military personnel and the taliban officials. the president yesterday in remarks at the white house indicated that there are discussions about potentially extending the august 31st deadline, but also indicated it wasn't his preference and it's interesting as we have to remind, it is not just american citizens and afghan partners we are trying to evacuate, there are so many western allies have their own nationals and partners that also need evacuated. that's why we are seeing pressure the other direction. boris johnson indicating he is using virtual conversation among the g7 leaders tomorrow to press president biden to extend that deadline. the president has had many one on one discussions, with g7 partners, this will be the first group discussion. the white house is focusing at
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this point on the picked up pace of evacuations that happened. the newest numbers we have gotten this morning from the white house, 28 military flights just yesterday from kabul airport, evacuating more than 10,000 passengers. that's now up to 37,000 since august 14th. the president saying there's no indication that that pace will not be able to continue over the course of the coming weeks. but certainly very real questions about whether they'll be able to get everyone out. as he indicated, made a solemn pledge to americans if they want to get out, they will be able to by august 31st. >> all the way down the line, you heard top members of his administration say we're not leaving americans behind, then you have the folks who are there who helped the u.s. if everybody doesn't get out by the deadline, what would you expect to happen? the taliban made it clear that's a red line. >> they're going door to door,
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hunting people that worked with americans. i mentioned civilians, not just military translators. women's rights advocates. if we abandon these people, who will be our ally around the world? again, this was a poorly planned, chaotic, rushed withdrawal by the biden administration. so we need, there needs to be time beyond august 31st. we have to show people around the world we will evacuate our allies. >> thanks to you all. we appreciate it. up next, president biden's approval rating dips below 50% the first time. what's driving it down? steve kornacki will be here at the big board to break it down. n ♪ ♪ yeah, we fancy like applebee's on a date night ♪ ♪ got that bourbon street steak with the oreo shake ♪ ♪ get some whipped cream on the top too ♪ ♪ two straws, one check, girl, i got you ♪
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we've got breaking news. this is potentially really big. the fda has given full
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authorization for pfizer's covid vaccine. i want to go right to dr. patel. look, the question is how fast will that change some minds to get shots in arms, what impact, how quickly will it have on businesses, governments as they look at mandates? >> yeah, chris, big impact in swift time. number one, it is for 16 and above. what this means, what full approval means is not just what you said, people could have hearts and minds changed, now the manufacturer can directly shift the vaccine. two doctor offices, two clinics, two hospitals, this can mean that doctors can choose to use off label indication to give people potentially shots, earlier boosters. there's pressure to consider how to evacuate young children. i think we're going to see a lot of conversations unfolding, some we didn't anticipate, but many good ones we can anticipate like employers like you mention and individuals who can have minds changed. >> for folks that don't
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understand how drug approvals work, what an emergency authorization is, versus what the full authorization means, what should people know about it, and why if they have been hesitating it should make them more comfortable? >> great question. look, emergency authorization weighs risks and benefits, makes kind of a decision that the benefits outweigh the risk. full approval really is that detailed review of at least months, six months of data, plus then of trial participants, then it also does indicate that once fully approved, fda is not off the hook. it signals they're looking at several years of follow on safety data. so the full approval to be honest with you felt arbitrary to many of us watching the vaccine safely distributed, but it does give that kind of fda seal of approval. also important, it indicates to the world, the fda is looked on
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as one of the premier regulatory agents not just to the united states but the world, signals to the world, pfizer first, likely followed by moderna, is incredibly safe and effective. >> folks that got moderna or j&j, how quickly are those to follow? >> pfizer did file, started the application process for full approval in the june time frame. we saw moderna filing soon thereafter. remember, moderna indicated for 18 and above. pfizer for 16 and above. we expect next several weeks to see moderna receiving its full approval. to your point on j&j, the question remains, they're looking at the data for the second dose. it is possible j&j could say we think our two dose strategy is what we will file for either authorization or approval. i think it is a little too soon to say j&j submitting and they
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haven't committed yet. we know it won't happen the next several weeks to months. moderna soon, then j&j thereafter. let's be honest, chris, people are going today to look how they can get boosters earlier than they should. i would hope people try to back down. look at the approval as green light to get the vaccine as soon as possible. >> you bring up a question i have been asked by people just over the weekend, because obviously we knew that potentially this was going to come down today, that pfizer would get full approval. folks said man, the minute that comes in, i want to get my booster, they wonder are there ways around an eight month timeline. obviously the booster was already deemed to be safe after 8 months because that's sort of what the layout has been by science officials in the biden administration but again, double down if you will on your explanation of how this might impact, how it should impact
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folks that want to get a booster that have pfizer. >> i think there are certainly going to be people that already have been, we know at least a million people received a third shot, some believe it or not, fourth shot earlier than they're supposed to, and of course if you're immuno compromised, a third shot is considered essential, it is not a boost, it is essential to complete the series. for people that want to get a booster sooner than would be indicated, eight months after a second dose, here's the reason why not to. you really want that booster dose to give you that longevity of immunity like boosters for tetanus and certain things. you want to keep to the times. the idea of the boost is to give you the most protection when you need it. getting a boost earlier could leave you six months later with less immunity. and chris, we could be fighting a delta type variant in six to eight months, and we would leave people without immunity because
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they got the booster too early. do not think sooner equals better, but have again some thought about this isn't arbitrary, the sequence of when to get a booster, if you have a good immune system like most of us do really has science behind it. we're not trying to prevent people from getting them. i think it creates, by the way, chris, thought boosters were confusing, full approval ums the ante to make it more confusing. >> get ready for phones to ring off the hook. thank you so much as always. appreciate you hanging around. that big news, full approval from the fda. meantime in d.c., house of representatives comes back to work today, they have their work cut out for them. lawmakers are back from recess early, facing a very different landscape from when they left. democratic leaders eager to lock up votes for the economic package and pass it with the infrastructure bill. major roadblock, nine moderates
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say they will not act on reconciliation unless they see infrastructure pass first. joining me from capitol hill, nbc news national political reporter sahil kapur. walk us through work congress needs to do and how big a throu of a roadblock the nine pose. >> yeah, big week coming up for president biden's legislative agenda. the house is planning to move that bill and that's a tax hike on the upper earners. as you mentioned, speaker pelosi is facing a rebellion who said they don't want to begin work on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package until the bill is passed into the house and signed into law by president biden. they have a new op-ed today in "the washington post" digging in on the position. nine of them saying they oppose
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holding that infrastructure bill hostage. their word to the reconciliation bill. now speaker pelosi has said for months that they have to move in tandem because the votes aren't there to pass one without the other. to that end there's a new ad campaign targeting the nine moderate democrats led by congressman josh gottheimer of new jersey, accusing them of obstructing president biden and his agenda. of course, here this is a high-stakes standoff between the progressive and moderate wings of the democratic party with huge consequences for president biden's agenda. the democrats hope to run on the infrastructure bill and reconciliation bill which includes mitigating climate change and raising the taxes on the upper earners and corporations to get it done and they want to tell the voters, please keep us in power for two more years and speaker pelosi has to pull a rabbit out of the
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hat to get it to happen. >> let's see how much magic she has has left. thank you for update. it's not just in fact the infrastructure bill that we're going to be talking about right now. also the intel committee is set to meet with officials today to find out exactly what went wrong, one of several committees looking into the chaotic end to america's longest war. joining me is eric swalwell, democrat from california and member of the house intelligence committee. good to see you. your district, tell me if i'm wrong, has the most afghans in the country. >> we're proud of that, chris. we have the largest diaspora of afghans to america and that's always a strength but in the past two weeks it's tugged at our hearts as we've watched their history be buried by the
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taliban. i want to know if afghanistan going to be a breeding ground, a training ground for terrorism and what can we do now that we don't have a presence there to make sure that's not the case. but also, chris, i think first and foremost, how can we support the efforts to get americans and those who assisted us out of harm's way to america, credit to the administration now they're well over 30,000 people who have left the country. but we need to stay as long as we can to get anyone who's in a harm's way, american or who helped us. >> intel officials knew that afghan government, knew the possibility this would happen and the president has said this was never going to be pretty, essentially. are you satisfied with what you have heard so far about the decisions being made? >> yes, the decision to made -- >> well, not the decision, the planning for, but how to prepare to get people out of there
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safely. >> as someone who has observed the afghan army up close and personal, i was stunned that they, you know, folded as quickly as they did, allowing the taliban to move as fast as they did. we have to study and understand that the arms do not fall into the hands of the taliban and can be used against americans. this is one of the largest logistical challenges being able to move so many people, you know, and we're doing it. it's going to look better every single day. it's going to look better than the last day as we continue to do it. but i do think it would be naive to think that the taliban would have, you know, been waving off refugees and throwing flowers at the plane as they left that's not who they are and we as americans do not want to lose one more american in that country, overseeing a conflict where afghans themselves don't want to fight for. so we just have to get it done. and that's our job in congress,
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is to make sure they have the resources to get it done. >> if we miss that, if we miss how quickly this could happen, if we aren't prepared for the threat we're already talking about our -- the members of isis who are infiltrating the huge crowds, you know, gathering around the airport, are you worried about what might happen in the coming days and weeks? >> our job is to protect against that and the threat is much more dispersed, chris. we hold afghanistan to their human rights obligations every day going forward, women and children in the country and that we'll do with our allies. >> eric swalwell, i appreciate your time. thank you very much for being with us. and that's going to do it for me this hour. i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. yasmin vossoughian picks up the coverage next. soughian picks up coverage next.
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try 9 elements laundry detergent and purifying softener. its vinegar powered clean is like detoxifying your clothes. and it's never made with more than 9 ingredients. try 9 elements. more than a clean, a cleanse. breaking news as we come on the air this morning. the fda minutes ago granting full approval to the pfizer vaccine. this is obviously a major milestone moment in the fight against covid that could clear the way for more vaccine mandates. our medical experts are here and what it means to you. and update from the pentagon on the crisis from afghanistan.
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the taliban warned against moving back the final withdrawal date. good morning, i'm yasmin vossoughian in for hallie jackson and here with dr. john torres joining us this hour. a lot going on, and we knew it was going to come some time today and now we know the fda granting full approval for the pfizer vaccine. what does this mean? >> yes, we knew it would happen some time today, but they said this morning they have granted full approval for the pfizer vaccine which they are now calling -- an they have granted it 16 years and above. so what this now means is they have done six months of data on individuals after getting their second vaccine. they have looked at them, they have made sure it's safe, they have made sure it's effective and now it has permanent full approval. >> what does it mean for the possible mandates in the


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