tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC December 18, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
show up, however you can, for the foster kids who need it most— at helpfosterchildren.com tomorrow a special treat. we have not one but two shows. first at 5:00 p.m. the 11th annual revvie show we give awards to the best and worst of 2021. you don't want to miss that. then at a special time of 8:00 p.m., a live politics nation. all right here msnbc. that's tomorrow at 35:00 and 8:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for me. see you tomorrow twice. alicia menendez picks up our coverage now. >> a double header of reverend sharpton. how lucky are we, i cannot wait to watch. hello, everyone, i'm lisa
menendez, one year after the first covid vaccine started, we are forced to review our plans. the politicization of this virus, now we are learning just how far the former president went to deliberately downplay the deadly pandemic. the house elect subcommittee out with a new stunning report that the trump white house repeatedly overruled public held effort and guidance by the nation experts and silenced officials in order to promote then prth president trump's political agenda. this crisis grew because the person in charge of containing it was more concerned with playing politics. more than a year since he was voted out of office, we are still dealing with the fallout. here recently reported since may, people living in pro-trump counties have been three times as likely to die from covid-19 as those that live in areas that
went for now president biden, drawing a direct line between the words and actions and the demonization of vaccination efforts of a huge portion of the right. that is a problem again. this new variant begins to take hold, doctors expressing concern about the potential to completely overwhelm our healthcare system. >> what i see is perhaps one of the most challenging moments we've had yet in the pandemic. >> i am concerned because this is a variant, omicron, that has more than 50 mutations compared to the original virus from wuhan. >> it feels leak we have been climbing through the mud trying to get ourselves out of this possibly deep hole and we need your help. >> and now again a scramble to adjust. the nfl postponed three games this weekend because of covid outbreaks. the radio city rockettes have cancelled their entire season as
new york sees the highest daily cases yet. saturday night live just announced its second finale tonight, season finale will go live without a studio audience and limited cast and crew. while it is, of course, a lack of leadership from the former guy, president biden is hoping to flip the script. nbc news confirms he will layout the steps his administration is taking to head the omicron virus head on. the new piece america is not ready for omicron, former chief strategist for the bush-chosen 2004 campaign, his new book. revelations on the river, healing a nation, healing ourselves. you write the variant's threat is for greater at the societal level than at the personal one. they have cut themselves off from the tools leaded to protect
the populations they serve. like the variants that preceded it, omicron requires people to think for the collective good, which is to say it posts a heightened version as the same as the u.s. failed for two straight years. where does that leave us? >> in a very tricky position. the variant erodes some of the immune defenses that even vaccinated people had acquired not completely, of course, which is why the individual situation is not great but also not catastrophic. but collectively, we're in much worse trouble. that's because omicron spreads so quickly, we can expect a serious wave of cases. it's going to also spread among some vaccinated populations and it's going to cause problems for the healthcare system, which is already, i cannot stress this enough, under heavy, heavy stress. the u.s. healthcare system cannot take any more. it has endured two years of
trauma. healthcare workers quit in droves, leaving those left behind with too much work and too few people to take it on. it's affecting america not just for covid but for everything. that's the risk we all face. because at the individual level, especially people could be vaccinated, you still have some level of protection. but your choices affect this system that we all then depend upon. >> speaking of choices that affect everyone, that new house slkt committee report found the former administration made deliberate efforts to undermine the covid response, quash guidance from top health officials. i want to talk act what happened. because i think it's important to understand what happened so that similar mistakes are not made moving forward and how did muddying the waters of a coherent public health message hurt us all? drooi draw a line for me from those choices to where we find ourselves today. >> well, i think that it has
contributed to the rampant misinformation, the very deep seeded political divide we're experiencing now and that has meant that there is a so huge amount of resistance to many of the measures that we depend upon. not just for the individual level but at the policy level. republican legislators have made moves to stop local level leaders from putting in quarantine teens and putting in mask mandates, the kind of measures that pre serve public health. but you know, i do want to be clear here, a lot of these weaknesses, the public health system, were already present long before the trump administration came in. some of the failures to deal with this at the collective level that we actually do need are by failures, too. it is undeniable that the past administration was heavily responsible for some of the problems that we faced but it was not solely responsible and if we treat it as such, then i don't think the u.s. is going to
learn lessons it needs to deal with the next varptd or pandemic. >> right. it's an opportunity to re-imagine some of the systems and structures broken in the first place. i do want to ask you, a lack of leadership is one thing, they laid that out in many ways the trump administration diluted guidance on mask wearing and delayed the purchase of much needed ppe items, n-95 masks, blocked health officials from briefing the public. how then do they need to be held accountable, mat in the. >> i think the vast majority need to be held accountable, including the people trying to get themselves baptized as good public servants that didn't speak up in the moment of time in this. specifically debra birx who was aware and didn't say something. it's not only people that made direct decisions that endangered the public. it's the people that were standing by that didn't open their mouths in the midst of this. i want to add on to something that ed just said, i think that
fundamental problem we have is that we have a large segment of society and leadership that no longer believes in the common good. they no longer believe the common good is a paramont virtue or value we should strive for. when you are in a public health crisis like a pandemic, at a time when people are exhausted by it, i don't think we can underestimate the number of people. even the people supportive by joyed are exhausted at this we're almost at two years of the pandemic come march. part of it is holding people accountable for direct decisions they made, but the other part is we have to have a civics lesson again in why we were founded, which is at the basis of why we were founded is, yes, freedom, even more so, the common good. we've given up on the common good. that's why we can't have a public held st campaign believed by a significant number of people in america that we can
overcome this. >> i want to add to this conversation about the common good, a point that you make in your piece writing omicron is poised to speedily recap automatic experience in the pandemic thus far. tell me more. >> it's already starting to spread in urban areas. it will eventually reach rural once. that divide i think will move some people into a false sense of security. we also know the original version of the virus heavily hit people in prisons, in nursing homes. we can expect the same thing here. it heavily hit essential workers and low wage workers who didn't have the options to protect their livelihoods and lives at the same time. we will see the same thing here. it's proportionately affected indigenous and black and hispanic people. again, we will see those same inequities because not enough has been done to protect the most vulnerable moments.
especially during the vaccine era, like a lot of the policies we put into place seem to center and privilege those who themselves have the privilege of immunity. rather than putting in the measures, like paid sick leave, that would allow the most vulnerable of people among us to look after themselves. consider the biden's administration's recent policy on rapid testing. instead of making them freely and widely available, they made them reimbursable. how is that going to help the millions of american who's don't have insurance or the one who's can't afford to pay for these reasonably expensive tests out of pockets. that will hit communities disproportionately likely to be infected by this virus. that's an example at a policy level we are still not thinking about the collective good in the what i that man has been talking about. >> well, ed, before i let you go, i have about 30 seconds left, what do you want to hear
from the president on tuesday? >> i want to hear messages that prioritize we over me. i want him to say that a vaccine-only strategy can't be sufficient. vaccines are important. but that everything else is important, too, ventlation, masking, distancing, policies that help protect the most vulnerable of people. i want him to actually put public health at the center of this campaign rather than try to beat the pandemic one booster at a time. >> as always, thank you, matt. are you sticking with me. next, vice president harris and charlemagne remind america she and joe biden are in charge. the longest sentence yet, a man will spend five years in prison for assaulting police officers at the capitol. who kind of precedent does that set for people trying to dodge depositions, who worded it by the january 6th committee. later, an internet hoax led schools to perform extra
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who is the real president in this country, joe biden -- >> common, it's joe biden. >> i can't -- >> no, no, no, no, it's joe biden and don't start talking like a republican about asking whether or not he's president. >> do you think joe manchin is a problem. >> it's joe biden and i'm vice president and my name is kamala harris and the reality is because we are in office we do the things like the child tax credit, which is going to reduce black child poverty by 50% on track to do that. we do things that are about saying that our department of justice is going to do these investigations and require that we end choke holds and have body cameras. it is the work of saying we're
going to get led out of pipes and paint because our babies are suffering because of that. it is the work of saying, people who ride public transit deserve the same kind of dignity that anybody else does, so let's improve that system. it is the work of saying, that we have got to bring down prescription drug costs because folks who have diabetes should not be dying because they don't have enough money in their pocket. it's about saying black maternal mortality is a real issue that must be treated by everybody, including the white house, as a serious issue. i hear the frustration. but let's not deny the impact that we've had and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done and it is not easy to do, but we will not give up and i will not give up. >> vice president horizon defending the biden
administration's accomplishments after the build back better plan will not get another vote before the end of the year. they are working to see if a change in senate rules will allow them to pass it despite the filibuster. senior republican straus and daniel dowd is back with us. that script of the vice president. i wopd ter clear frustration expressed over they're not get what they believe the credits they have enacted, frustration with this talking point she says you sound like a republican, are you even asking this question about who is president and then going into that long list of things this administration has accomplished, how much does that comport with what you are hearing inside the white house? >> look, i'm not surprised she was asked that question in that way as crude as it was, because there is a joke going around in
democratic circles that joe manchin is a prime minister or kyrsten sinema and joe manchin are the deputy presidents because they have so much sway right now over the biden administration's domestic policy agenda. i, by the way, thought that harris responded pretty deftly to that. it speaks to the fact that how the democratic party feels right now. it's over and over again the story has been there is a log jam in congress, there is a log jam among conservative or moderate members of the democratic party and this is at a time when democrats control both the house and the senate and the white house, so the frustration that charlegmain the god is alluding to there and is
not small across the country. at the end of the day, it is the president, it is kamala harris, it is nancy pelosi that sets the domestic policy agenda and decides what congress will focus on right now. >> i want to talk about this pivot to voting rights. what is your sense of how likely something actually gets done? >> i think democrats feel like this is something that has to get done. it's a huge, huge issue for a lot of advocates who are saying look at the state, look what's happening to voting rights at the state level. this could be -- you hear advocates telling democrats, if you don't do it for the big democratic reasons, at least do it for your own political futures, because this very well could cost us the house, some of these restrictions. the gerrymandering aspects of some of these state-level laws. and so there is this real sense of urgency, particularly with the disappointment of not
passing build back better before the end of the year. you are starting to see real momentum, real action. we've seen meetings happen on the hymn, including joe manchin who we just discussed is very key f. they can convince joe manchin there is a way around the filibuster, something he can get on board with, then i think there is the possibility that they are able to do something on voting rights because it's seen as very critical and democrats right now are really struggling to make good on a lot of their campaign promises, particularly to advocates and progressives. >> here's the thing, there is both the inherent value of these policy, right, value of passing voting rights reform. there is the value of passing build back better and the secondary value of just showing that washington specifically democrats given that we're not talking about republicans, because they're not actually active participants in the process at this point can get things done. if you were the democrats, you come back in january. it's time to reset.
where do you start? >> well, my view is, voting rights. and i think that the administration has made a mistake of not making this the issue from the very beginning. and it's not just the voting rights of what's been acted across the country in our view. it's the peril the democracy is in total. the reason we can't get build back better today and gun reform legislation and a lot of these other things that a vast majority of the country wants is because the bones of our democracy are cracked, that the fundamental basis of where we are today and i think every time they talk about any issue, they should relate it to the democracy in the midst of this. a part of the problem if they're almost conflicted now, part of the problem of saying, oh, no, look what we have done and are able to pass. then the second argument is our democracy is in danger. those two things don't go together. when you say everything is working, look what we did and make an argument our democracy
is broken, it's in danger. they conflict with each other. so every time you say everything is going great. look at over here, our democracy is stuck in some place, that's what they have to get that box, they have to get themselves out of that box. my view is the only way they get themselves out of that box is make voting rights and democracy the paramount issue and relate every single other issue to that issue. >> all right. thank you so much. matt, you are sticking with me. next, long-time trump confidante roger stone is the latest person to invoke the fifth amendment at a january 6th deposition. the latest as the january 6th commission releases damming evidence against those who allegedly coordinated the attack on the capitol after this break. later, as the omicron variant spread across the country. what you need to know about your holiday gatherings. stay with us. h us >>
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. >> the january 6th committee appears to be grange ground in the quest to hold the people accountable for the capitol insurrection. this as more key players refuse to cooperate. long-time trump ally roger stone invoked the fifth amendment to every question asked on friday. then president trump's chief of staff mark meadows refused to cooperate and is now being held in contempt. according to report, the committee believes it was former secretary of energy rick perry who tested meadow's mushing strategy to invalidate the 2020 presidential election. they suspended fill wal drone a retired colonel a part of a group of advisers of a power point outlining a coup. meanwhile, florida resident roger palmer has been sentenced to just over five years in prison for assaults officer during the riot, the longest imposed in the capitol riot
case. mitch mcconnell suggests support for the committee's work. >> the fact finding is interesting. we're all going to be watching it. it was a horrendous event and i think that what they're speak seeking to find out is something the public need to know. >> back with me matt dowd, ripe barber, a justice correspondent for insider. ryan, what do you make of the text believed to have been exchanged between the former secretary of energy rick perry and former white house chief of staff mark meadows? >> we saw with a lot of texts related by representative liz cheney that mark meadows, was they showed how it's not just cabinet official rick perry but several others looked to trump had a singular authority to be able to call it off, to call it quits, to urge this angry pro-trump mob ransacking the capitol to stand down. who we saw the way that liz
cheney framed that and the reason she relayed all those text messages that they received through mark meadows' partial cooperation up until a point was she was talking a lot about how trump's action or inaction contributed to the capitol. so what those texts all served to show was that there is really no excuse that anybody at the white house was unaware of the violence as it was playing out that day. they were being alerted to it by everybody from cabinet officials to fox news hosts to even then president donald trump's oldest son. >> so matt, you take that reporting, you put it side-by-side with the sound i played of mitch mcconnell saying they are watching this with interest. i wonder first we are reading too much into that and if not why it seems the way he is talking about this has changed? >> i was struck by the fact i think mitch mcconnell who often has been fallen on either the
side of institutionalism and once trump arrived, he seemed to fall away from it. it seems to me he is going back to an institutionalist, which he is probably worried about the institution of congress as a whole in the midst of all of this. i think that for the first time this last week i have some optimism that we may actually get to some fundamental truth and some set of facts about this and evidence that we really understand more than just we kind of know but really understand from a factual basis what happened. because so far it's only the little guys that have been punished. it's only the people that were encouraged, lied to and pushed to go do what they did who have been punished in this and arrested in this. it hasn't been any of the connected wealthy or people that hold public office who should be held accountable to this. i actually think mitch mcconnell's words were kind of like, yeah, there is other people that need to be held
accountable and we know he is not a fan of the coup around trump and he believes we should be aiming accountability f. all we get to in the next few months is the truth and a set of facts and evidence. that's a huge way forward. the public will have the data necessary they need to have in order to make decisions they need to make in 2022. so i'm encouraged but i do think mitch mcconnell is opened to the ideas he actually wants other people held accountable. >> that florida resident sentenced to five years in prison for his role made that same argument. why am i going to go spend five years when all of these other guys haven't been held responsible either. i do wonder if that will seek into the ether, we ask the breaking point where they realize that they were following people who did not have their best interests and heart interesting that this might be that moment.
ryan, the question i think everyone comes back to of course, there is the point matt made. i believe that clarity, having a factual accounting of this is critically important when it comes to having accountability. there are people who want to see people punished, who want to be sure that not only is there an accurate rendering of what happens, some of these people face criminal charges and potentially suspend time behind bars. was there a movement this week towards that end? >> so there was some movement toward thatted. first of all, matt made a great point, that there is a lot of frustration right now it seems the smaller fish who are so far being held accountable in their actions with january 6th. so we saw a meaningful event on that front on friday, where a federal judge in washington, d.c. sentenced a capitol rioter who threw a fire extinguisher at police after using the fire extinguisher to spray the
content at police officers. we saw that capitol rioter robert scott palmer sentenced to 63 months in prison, more than five years. that's the longest sentence to date. what realso saw was a meaningful development in getting closer to trump's allies. we started the week with a contempt vote on mark meadows. the house moved quickly on that forward that to the justice department as a formal criminal referral. so mark meadows is now following in the footsteps of steve bannon as a trump ally, who is up for consideration at the justice department as we speak for prosecution on the charge of contempt of congress. one thing i also wanted to note is one thing that the justice department is facing scrutiny for from democrats is this question of how high they're going to go out of the january 6th investigation. we've seen more than 700 prosecutions stem from the riot,
again, these have been largely the sort of the smaller fish, the low-hanging fruit, the people captured on tape. there aren't a lot of signals right now pointing to what they're doing to kind of climb the tree. so they're facing some scrutiny for that. >> thank you so much. next, the setbacks this week for immigrants pushing for a path to citizenship and compensation for families separated under the trump administration. plus my conversation with the two directors and one of the main subjects the docu-fillers the infilltators, the surprising twist the plot takes after the film wince awards.
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after being separated under the trump administration. the senate parliamentarian ruled against the plans to include reforms in the spending bill. every decision or a reminder the lives of millions of immigrants hand the people who love them are hanging in the balance. tonight a single story to drive that point home. claudia rojas felt she had a three-year long effort he is back in the u.s. and reunited with his family. i recently spoke with him and the co-spect e directors of the docu-thriller infiltrators about what his story reveals about a system that remains in dire need of repair. alex, chris stin na, claudio, thank you all for joining us. alex, i want to start with you. claudio was deported affidavit your film had premiered 2019 at
sundance, you at the time had called it retaliation for claudio speaking out against the deportation system in the united states. the detention system in the united states i should say. take us back to the circumstances of his deportation. >> sure. thanks for having us. you know, we have been making this film. the film took ability seven years to make. claudio had been in the united states for 20 years by the time the film was the released. when the film was released, it won all the award it could win at the sundance film festival. for all of us involved it felt like a dream. then a few weeks after that claudio had a routine check-in. again he had been in the country for 20 years and about seven years had been checking in with i.c.e. including two years under the trump administration without any incident. but near two weeks after the premier of the film when he went into an i.c.e. office in southern florida, they detained
him. suddenly his lawyers didn't expect it. he didn't expect it. none of us did. and apparently officials told him orders came from higher up and so he was detained and all of us this dream turned into a nightmare. we rallied to try to stop his deportation. david duvernay, the film community, activists rallied. nothing we could do would stop the trump administration and simply a month later, they removed him from his home from his family and deported him. and a new chapter in this film began for us. >> how did your deportation affect you claudio? how did it affect your family? t?
country. what does it tell us more broadly about america's broken immigration system? >> you know, this is a very troublesome situation for all of us, especially for claudio as he was sharing. one of the things that we discovered with what happened now that he's a part of a pattern, where there is this i.c.e. retribution against people who speak out, undocumented people who are trying to tell us how better to reform the system we have, the immigration system we have, so what i'm seeing is that there is this kind of contradictory government position where you know you have people who we depend on, essential workers, and we're also on the other end, we're criminalizing the bodies that are helping our economy, our health system, they're helping our government. so it's a very crazy-making
situation. because you have one body that's being told, you are both essential, but you are also criminal. it doesn't make any sense, it's a broken system. you need to fix it. >> alex, as christina said this is a part of pattern. what is not a part of the pattern is what happened here in terms of claudio being able to return to the united states. can you give our viewers a sense of what it has required, what it has entailed in order to bring him back? >> for the past two-an-a-half years withed a voepths, activists and the film community and claudio, himself, we have been fighting to try to bring him back. this summer after two-an-a-half years you know our dreams were kind of finally dreams again and we were able with claudio and with his attorneys to bring him back through a mechanism called humanitarian parole. so claudio is back home with his family. he is one person. but we believe you know all of these families that through the trump era, especially that we
have been following came through down to their mother's arms, fathers taken away from their families, they all deserve to be back. but this is at least a little bit of a start, the first step. >> one thing to add, even though claudio is free, which we are grateful for, he is still asking for deferred action. so his case is active. we do need to pressure the administration and i.c.e. to be able to help us or to help claudio's regulation status. >> claudio, what do you want to do now you are back in the united states? [ speaking foreign language ] k e united states? [ speaking foreign language
marvel's voices is a collection of latino heroes created by latino writers and artists. one writer telling nbc news, quote, i want to do something for someone who may have felt like me when i was younger so they wanted have to search to hard to find themselves in a book. frederick lewis allama, director of the latinx pop lab at the university of texas austin and author of "latinx superheroes in mainstream comics." also a writer from marvel. it is good to have you here. this is you are a second time trying to do this so i'm glad we were able to make it work. how did it come together and superpower of putting latinos specifically in the spotlight. >> first of all, thanks for having us. i'm really excited to be here to talk this up because this is a landmark moment for us.
we've done indigenous comics, we've done asian pacific islander, we've done a whole different series of these. what's incredible about it is all these incredible latino, latina superheroes but it includes in its 90-plus pages, which is unusual for a floppy, a lot of information. even if you're not totally, like, immersed in the marvel universe you'll get something out of it. there's things like white tiger that my friend and colleague here, daniel, has been a big part of. >> i want you to tell me about white tiger. >> it's such a special character because this is the first marvel
latino superhero. and he's from harlem from back in the day. he's a regular dude and he's so cool. and so i had to write him. shout out to george perez, the legend. he's an important character. he's an icon, really, in this journey. and so the story is set back in the '60s, '70s, in that era to set the tone because we have a long history. and there's so much more to tell. >> it is so cool. i got to tell you, to see how absolutely pumped the two of you are. my husband has never taken as much interest in a television segment that i've done as he did in this one. he wanted to detail for me how latino superheroes are not necessarily new but they're new in the marvel universe. unpack why that is and why that's important. >> yeah. so let me jump in real fast here and, daniel, you jump in if you
want. but, you know, we've been there. we've been in this superhero space, in comics, in radio. let's talk about zorro even, right, and the inspiration for zorro, who was an outlaw bandit. coming up from mexico, doing the whole thing with the gold rush era, all sorts of trauma and tragedy in his life. anyway, zorro, then a bunch of western comics in the '40s and '50s modelled off zorro. but it wasn't really till the mid-'70s when george perez and bill mat low brought us white tiger and everything came
together, the art, the kinetic quality of the storytelling. but he's, like, street smart and university smart, and he's down with the community and white tiger is where it's at. >> i think it is hard understate for those of us who grew up in immigrant communities, for those of us who grew up in latino communities, nonwhite, non-hispanic communities in general, if we were nerds growing up, proud nerd right here, we really didn't see that specific representation of ourselves, right? it seemed as though there was only one way to be a nerd in america and this embracing, this, like, exponential expansion of latino nerd culture is so much of what speaks to me about this project. >> that's it exactly, and so many of us had the same experience that i had. and of course we didn't know it, right, because we didn't have online culture at the time to jump on twitter and be like,
man, is anyone out there? so it's amazing to see people connecting, right? but at the time we didn't know. we felt like we were the only ones, like, i'm just this latino nerd trying to find myself. i didn't know about white tiger growing up, and i was looking back trying to think of who was the first latino superhero and, like, i couldn't think of one from my childhood. it was maria, the legend of "sesame street." she's a superhero to me. that's one of the best and only latino representations we had coming up, at least from my memory. it was so few and far between and it becomes hard to love a genre that doesn't love you back. we still love it but at some point we step away from it and we have to figure out where do we belong, right? and then hopefully we come back and then we write in "star wars" and marvel and usually places we needed to see ourselves and now we have that opportunity to be there and be strong and be complex. not just these singular characters but so many different truths of who we are.
>> i'm going to tell sonia you consider her a superhero. sentence after sentence is handed down for those who participated in the attack on the capitol. but what about those who orchestrated it? plus, what we should all be considering as we make plans for the holidays. son of a— —beth? if it's “i thought we said no gifts” season, it's walgreens season. there's a different way to treat hiv. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines,
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