tv Velshi MSNBC December 25, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PST
it is saturday, december 25th, i figure you already knew that. merry christmas. i'm ali velshi, a spike of coronavirus cases are hanging heavily over this holiday season, we still have more questions when it comes to the omicron variant and this morning we will try to bring clarity. the seven-day average, with an average of about 1,180 deaths per day. but there is some good news. this week, the fda authorized
two anti-viral pills from pfizer and merck to treat covid-19 at home. for at risk americans. now that's a game changer because before these pills were cleared, the only fda authorized treatment for nonhospitalized covid-19 patients was monoclonal antibodies which are hard to come by. merck says it will have 10 million medicine packs available by the end of the month. pfizer says it is ready to roll out its treatment immediately. although in limited quantities. now, the pfizer drug is almost certainly going to be the preferred option as it has a nearly 90% reduction rate in hospitalizations, and deaths. while the fda says the merck pill could lead to a 30% reduction and is not recommended for pregnant people or women planning to become pregnant. in other news, americans may soon not have to wait in line for hours just to get a covid test. the white house says it is planning to distribute 500 million covid tests and it is creating a government-run web site where you can order the
home test kits for free. the details of how that's going to work are a little murky. the white house says distribution could begin as soon as next month. now, mathematically that comes out to 1.5 tests per person, not nearly enough, but it could be a sign of what's to come. new studies from south africa and the united kingdom have found that people infected with the omicron variant are between 50 and 80% less likely to land in the hospital, than those who have been infected with other strains such as delta. and another potentially good sign is that positive cases of covid-19 in south africa are plunging almost as quickly as they rose. now while south africa was the first country to alert the world to this new highly transmissible variant, when cases began to spike there, like late last night, health officials there say they're past the peak and there has been a slow decline in positive cases. however, there continues to be bad covid news. the "washington post" reports that pediatric hospitals in
parts of the united states are filling up fast with nearly 800 children being admitted with covid each day over the past three days. plus, hospitals are facing a new potential wave of cases, with fewer staff on hand. according to the bureau of labor statistics, about 450,000 health care workers have left the industry since february of 2020, and the highly infectious omicron variant is threatening to exacerbate those staff shortages even more. the cdc has now issued new nines saying that doctors and nurses who test positive for covid-19 but are asymptomatic can return to work after seven days with a negative test. instead of ten days. also, we're nowhere near where we should be in terms of nationwide covid testing and the ability to accurately receive results quickly. people across the country have been and still are stuck in lines that take hours waiting to get tested with the holidays upon us. now, even as demand surges, many covid testing sites are closed
for the weekend. nbc's liz mclaughlin is in charlotte, north carolina, at one site that will remain open today, after a week of nonstop lines, good morning, liz. what are you seeing down there? >> good morning, and merry christmas, ali. we saw cars driving up here, before sunrise and this testing site won't open for another three hours across the state, we saw wait times yesterday on christmas eve as much as two and three hours to get a test. so the demand has definitely spiked over the past week, as americans want to spend time with their families for the holidays and want to make sure they're not carrying that highly transmissible omicron variant that now accounts for the majority of cases here in the u.s. at pharmacies nationwide, we're seeing empty shelves for those at home covid-19 tests. and delayed deliveries for people who are trying to order them online. federal leaders are trying to address this crush in demand, let's listen to what the white house press secretary had to say
this week. >> well, what the president is promising the american people is to constantly re-examine and improve our covid response including testing and testing access an always look for a way to do better and the announcement today is an effort to do exactly that. we have taken a number of steps over the past several months, and his view is we need to do more and we need to do it more as ambitiously and aggressively as possible. >> experts say any test is better than no test. if you were able to get your hands on one of those at home tests, the experts say to take it as close to the holiday gathering as possible. so if you're going to see grandma this afternoon, like an hour before, maybe a half hour before, take that test to make sure that you're not carrying the virus then. if you have any symptoms, experts say don't go to that holiday gathering. ali? >> thank you. in charlotte. we want to continue this conversation with the emergence of the omicron variant. there has been a lot of
confusion about what to do, when to do it, how to go about it, especially when it comes to testing. to answer some of the questions that many of us have, i'm joined by dr. ebony hilton a critical care doctor at the university of virginia and msnbc medical contributor, very active in researching and disseminating good information about covid-19 throughout the pandemic. dr. hilton, it's good to see you again and merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas to you as well. >> i had a cold last week, and i've been tested several times since then, and it definitely wasn't covid, i guess it was just a cold, but these days, it's hard to tell the difference because every symptom i came down with, which seemed like a normal cold, also showed up on a list of covid symptoms, so how do you know if you are just getting sick this time of the year, which is typical now that we've been out more than we have in the last couple of years, how do you decide when hey, this might be more than a cold and shy do a covid test? >> right, you know, i'm glad that you actually still tested
yourself because what we do know is you can have symptoms that ranges from no symptoms at all, with asymptomatic persons who have covid, to having a runny nose, to a headache, to muscle aches, to fevers, to gi upset where you feel, you know, sick to your stomach, to the coughing and the shortness of breath and unfortunately, the symptoms that led you into the hospital, so regardless of what symptoms you may have, to test yourself is always going to be the great answer, but to always recognize it is not only covid that we have to deal with but we're also in the middle of flu season, and so getting those tests, if your covid test comes back negative, after you're feeling this way for a day or two, you might want to go in and get tested for the flu and other viruss that are common in this time of the season. >> now, if i get one of these home testing kits which are by the way hard to come by these days, we just showed some images of them, i did use them, and at some point, if i take one of these, and i test positive, what happens then? do i assume that it's correct
and do i start taking the sort of measures that i should be taking, if i have covid? >> most certainly, you know, these tests, i literally gave them out to my family for christmas this year. the thing is, if you test positive, you definitely should isolate yourself. and there's a difference between quarantining and isolation. they're the same thing physically but quarantining means you've been exposed to someone and you may potentially be infected, isolation means i know i have been infected, i have tested positive for this virus, and so with that means you need to stay away from persons, you need to definitely wear an n95 mask, if you have one at your disposal, it will be what is best to keep you and your family safe, especially if you're in a situation where you can't necessarily get away, right, you don't have a multi-layer, a multifloor house, you're in close proximity because you live in an apartment with only one bedroom, then you need to wear those physical barriers, like an n95 mask, like
one of these, they can help you prevent from spreading the virus through the home and ventilation, open up the windows, i know it is cold and it may be difficult, especially in the northeast, but trying as much as possible to improve ventilation is going to be key to keeping your family safe. >> now, dr. hilton, rate now, today, last night, and the last few day, people have been getting together with other people, they will be doing so today, which means lots of people will find out in the next day or two that they have been exposed to someone who tested positive, because people will go to these gatherings, they'll do a test before, and might do a test afterward and now you find out you were at an event, maybe a family event with someone who was positive. how long before you test yourself to find out whether you've got covid? >> right, you should definitely test within the first three to five days after you have been exposed to someone. and the difference in even isolation, so if you've been exposed to someone, you should go into quarantine, you know that person was positive and you were in close proximity to that
person, shoe immediately go into quarantine. and how long? for at least 14 -- >> all right, we got a lot of good information, out of dr. ebony hilton before her wi-fi or our wi-fi, somebody's wi-fi froze on us but there we go. we got her back. dr. hilton, we lost you, in the middle of that answer. you were explaining to us what to do if you know you've found, you've been exposed to somebody who did test positive, you said within the first few days you should test yourself to see if you've got covid and then we lost you. >> right, i was saying that you should at least say, if you're going to be exposed, you should quarantine for 14 days and it allows your body to present with symptoms if you're infected and three to five days before you have symptoms and extra ten days for your body to clear the virus
and that's the difference between being exposed and testing positive. if you test positive, you need at least ten days because your body has already allowed the virus to kind of replicate and get to you that level. >> dr. hilton, you have been talking to people who have been hesitant to get the vaccine for the last two years, the last year really since we've had a vaccine, what do you think of the people who have the mind, everyone is getting it and if i haven't been vaccinated i'll get it and that's how we're getting to heard immunity. should you actively or passively just be okay with just getting covid right now? >> absolutely not. and for the record, i have not tested positive for covid at this point, and i thank god for that, and so it is possible, if you follow the game rule, and what does that mean? wear your mask. n95 mask. social distancing. avoiding large crowds and the reason you don't want to necessarily get covid, even if
you're asymptomatic, there are studies out of the university of pennsylvania that shows that upwards of 50% of all persons who have tested positive will end up developing long covid, meaning that your organ functions, your brain, your liver, your kidneys, they're no longer working as they did before you got covid. so it's not something that you want -- >> dr. hilton, thank you so much for doing this not just this morning, on christmas morning, it's important people are meeting each other today and i think everybody's got this on their mind but for the work you've done over the last two years, going out there, reaching out to people who have concerns about getting vaccinated, and about their health care. dr. ebony hilton is a critical care doctor at the university of virginia and a msnbc medical contributor and our thanks by the way to all of the medical correctors who for the last two years, contributors who have told us things and taught us things that none of us new about the virus. coming up, on "velshi,"
democratic representative susan wild of pennsylvania weighs in on the future of president biden's big agenda and what do we do from here due to a certain virginia senator intransigence. and now being targeted by the january 6th select committee for aiding the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. the answer when we come back. tin the answer when we come back need to worry. the pre-treaters are built in. tide pods dissolve even when the water is freezing. nice! if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide.
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the january 6th committee entered a new phase in the investigation this week, now looking into fellow members of congress. that's been expected for some time but what's surprising is who the committee is focusing on first. you might not be familiar with republican representative scott perry of pennsylvania. he's been a member of congress since 2013, but he's largely flown out of the radar despite saying and doing things that are often beyond the pale. just in the last year, he opposed a measure condemning the q-anon conspiracy cult and voted against a bill to protect asian americans amid a rapid rise in hate crimes during the pandemic and just last week he made antimuslim remarks on the house floor during a debate about a bill to combat islamophobia. but the track record of unsavory actions starts earlier than that. in 2017 perry falsely accused a pakistani house staffer of stealing government seeks. he downplayed the devastation in
puerto rico following hurricane maria and speculated an isis connection to the 2018 mass shooting in las vegas when it was in fact domestic extremism by a white man but perry's actions around january 6 nath arguably deserve the greatest scrutiny, perry introduced donald trump to jeffrey clark who went on to become a justice department figure and a key figure in an attempt to overturn the election result. in a letter sent to perry last monday, the january 6th house select committee wrote quote then president trump considered appointing jeffrey clark as acting attorney general, as mr. clark pressed his department of justice superiors to use agency authorities to challenge the election results. we have received evidence from multiple witnesses that representative perry had an important role in the efforts to install mr. clark as acting attorney general. end quote. and here's the thing. scott perry has risen in rank and power as he's grown in note
right ty. despite his incendiary actions, he has been elected to the house freedom caucus, and former members are jim jordan and mark meadows both targets in the january 6th investigation. but these are the kinds of people who make up the mainstream of the republican party in congress these days. members are rewarded for outrageous behavior, while dodging accountability for their actions. in a letter focused on everything but his role on january 6th, perry has already said that he will not cooperate with the committee. regardless it's becoming increasingly apparent that he's got some explaining to do. picking up the pieces of president biden's build back better bill, democrats are still determines whether there are any aspects of bill that they will be able to pass. we will speak to house representative susan wild about it when we come back. t it when we come back try nervivef from the world's #1 selling nerve care company.
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one of our main goals when we launched this show on msnbc in early 2020 before covid was to learn how people like you across the country view the many issues that we discuss daily on this network with journists and experts we called our efforts and travels "velshi" across america, but it was a kernel of an idea expanded into a series this year in which i traveled across the country listening to americans from across the political spectrum share their political beliefs and their opinions. to date i visited and have spoken to americans in 20 place, detroit, mississippi, philadelphia, kenosha, wisconsin, san francisco and the navajo nation, to name a few. and we've discussed some of the most critical issues of our time. race, gender, class, and how those manifest in society. one particular concept we explored was how the history of the u.s. civil war is taught, depending on where you live. if you live in the south, for
example, rarely are the racial underpinnings of the civil war discussed. nor is the fact that the civil war began because the south refused to give up slavery. to dig further into this idea, i traveled to jackson mississippi where i was joined by six locals, we talked about how lies and omissions about our nation's past have affected the generations that followed. here's part of that conversation. >> you know, you ask these guys about what it means to be a southerner, and i think for a lot of kind of mainstream particularly white middle class america when they think about southerners they think about white southerners but we understand a place like mississippi and the immediate aftermath of the civil war, the majority of the population was african american and they immediately began exploding the mythology around what it meant to be black in the south, what it meant to be an enslaved person, where folks assumed, particularly white folks assumed that being enslaved was the only
proper condition for african americans and that mythology gets exploded immediately. and for them, for a majority of the population in mississippi, they won the civil war. the civil war was a victory for freedom and emancipation and it really takes a white supremacist revolution to institute the system of power that will become jim crow to overthrow that majority of the population. and that really, as you said, that's a history that's misunderstood, that we often cast as a period of reconstruction as a dark period in american history but it was here in mississippi, a great promise and potential that had to be thwarted by a white minority seeking power. >> was it mostly about slavery, did you link are think about it the way it happened? >> yes, it was mostly about slavery and know no i did not learn about it until later none life, when i really learned the
truth. the history. and i think a big part of that is because of the textbooks we had in our schools, you know. textbooks where adopted based on what the white man said that we could use. so we were not on textbook committees. for the state. so we could not have, we didn't have any say-so in terms of what we could use. and in many instances, these textbooks were books that were passed down to us from whites. >> but what i found most offensive as a young person growing up was the ignorance around the contributions of all of our mississippians, and mississippi is very cultural diverse, we have japanese, libyan, italian, all working together down ferris street, the
hub of all of our businesses but around the time when this came up, they pretty much came up that we have this multicultural bustling city that you've got, that is giving jobs and opportunities for people of all color, you have to choose, you have to be white or black and those from mississippi who know our history and know what it has been, what it could be, you know, we're happy to still be there to make that vision real. but if you don't know your history, then you don't understand, you are doomed to repeat it or be a victim of it. >> taylor, you and timothy are of a different generation, do you think you've got the real story? >> absolutely not. >> wow. >> i can remember every year going to school, when it got to black history month, or when we got to the textbooks to the slavery and civil war section, we hear about different
confederate soldiers and generals, every single year, but then we get to black history month, and you hear about rosa park, malcolm x and martin luther king, every single year. for 12 years. as if they were the only three, you know, black heroes of the country, but yet, as i said, every year, there's different confederate and like soldiers and generals that are being praised by these teachers in the classroom, as if they were heroes. well, they might be heroes to you, but they weren't heroes to me. so in that aspect, i fell like the school system, i feel like the school system failed, you know. students, especially black students, because we're in america, and we love to say we're a melting pot but our education system doesn't reflect that we are a melting pot. >> i originally started off in private schools, a lot of the segregation here that existed in
mississippi is due to like a lot of, why are kids going to private schools. >> the academy. >> and all of a sudden i realized, well, i don't ever see those kind of kids that i used to see private schools in the schools that i would eventually go to and when i got to jps, i realized a lot of the resources were different. i used to have books and go home with books when i was in private school and when i went to jps, i have a classroom set, and it is not big enough for 20-plus students because all of the classes are huge because there's not enough teachers and we would get on chapters of certain books and there are pages ripped out and on field trips, that's proth the only time i heard of medgar evers because i was standing in his house and not because i was reading about him in a book. for me it was coveted. if i understood where i would come from, i would be in an uproar and mad and noticing everything that was around me, and i feel like that was very intentional. >> let me mention critical rare
theory. the practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society. why are people so worried about learning about the role that race and racism may have played in the building of this nation? >> being southern, we live our life by analogy, and one that my mom used to give me a lot is you don't throw a rock and hide your hand, you don't want to escape, you know, the causation of something that you did, and i feel like it takes a lot to stand in your own truth. i think it takes a lot of technology through the rock and everything that you're looking at around you is fought to be our own and i think for a lot of people it is indoctrinating that this idea that a lot of this is my fault and a lot of people were harmed and they don't say anything about it and not represented for how they feel about it. i think acknowledging you threw a rock is a lot easier than slavery and a lot easier than 400 years of being in the back
of the line and just to be included or being asked and to acknowledge somebody is not asking a lot but it is intimidating for a lot of people. >> that's what is being taught at university, at law school, it is not being taught on k-12, and so for all of these people with their hair on fire to fight the critical race theory, they're fighting something that doesn't exist. >> i think some people are afraid that they say critical, you're criticizing me. no, that's not it. it's an approach to learning. it's not that i'm criticizing. i'm taking a critical look at something. so if we could get people to understand what it means, maybe they won't be so afraid, but they think they've got so much through politics. >> more of this coming up in the show and coming up, build back bet ser pushed to next year and will look a bit different. we'll talk about what to expect next. >> and first, we have breaking news this morning. of the good kind, take a look.
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try gain flings and you'll be a gainiac too! the only detergent with oxiboost and febreze. democrats are struggling to pick up the pieces after senator joe manchin lobbed a hand grenade into the core of president biden's signature build back better agenda this weekend. last weekend. when the west virginia senator announced we be unable to support the bill in its current form, the question became, well, what can manchin support? the "washington post" is reporting this week that before negotiations collapsed, manchin told the white house he could support a $1.8 trillion price tag that included funding for ten years worth of universal pre-k and obama care expansion, and hundreds of billions to combat the climate crisis. nothing to sneeze at but notably absent from manchin's list was an extension of the child tax credit, that president biden has been so eager to make permanent.
manchin has privately told colleagues he's worried that parens would waste the money on drugs, instead of using it to take care of their kids. he's also raised issues on the cost and the process behind four weeks of paid family leave. something that most countries in the world offer. sources tell nbc news that manchin says his constituents would use the time off to go deer hunting. senator manchin doesn't seem to think very highly of the people of west virginia, but still, despite the distance between manchin and the rest of the party, president biden is striking an optimistic tone about the prospect of passing build back better. >> senator manchin and i are going to get something done. >> i want to get things done. i still think there is a possibility to get build back better done. >> joining me now is the democratic representative susan wild of pennsylvania. shes a the vice chair of the congressional labor and working families caucus. she also represents the state's seventh congressional district which includes bethlehem, pennsylvania, which is the original christmas city itself. merry christmas to you, representative wild. thank you for being with us this
morning. >> merry christmas, ali, to all of the viewers taking a break from opening presents, to watch. thanks for having me. >> let's talk about where this bill and these priorities are, on one hand, the bill itself, the one that was passed by you in the house does not look like it's moving forward in its current state, in the senate or even in sort of a marginally changed state. on the other hand, manchin is prepared to support large parts of this thing, and the president has not given up on his trademark optimism when it comes to negotiating legislation. so what in your opinion happens next? >> well, i don't want to be the grinch who stole christmas, but i i don't think that the build back better act in its present form is going to get through the senate. so i think that we need to do what we can to get the victories that we can, and create a build back better act that includes the most important priorities that we can get manchin on board
with. >> what does it look like for you? because when i speak to members of congress, like yourself, i often hear that the child tax credit was what you called low-hanging fruit. it's a relatively small amount of money compared to the effect that it has in terms of lifting children out of poverty, that seems to be one of the basic ones, what are the kinds of things you think we can get done and what do you think are the kinds of things you think might be left out? >> let me first say i did take offense to senator manchin's comments about what people would use the child tax credit for. i think it's real important to understand, we've had the child tax credit, it just hasn't been paid out in a monthly, on a monthly basis, but moving on, let's stop the, the prescription drug price, and let's make sure we are getting everything out of this as we possibly can and if it is not the child tax credit and not paid family leave which
senator manchin has indicated that he can't support, then let's get a lot of the other really good things that are in the build back better act. it's just, you know, the definition of insanity is supposed to be going back and doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. let's not do that. let's have a plan b. for what we're going to do, as soon as we get back to washington. and look, if the president's optimism is rewarded and senator manchin decides he is a yes vote on the existing build back better act, great. but i don't think that's going to happen so let's get done what we need to get done and what we can get done. >> you have, there are certain things in the build back better bill that you really liked and thought were really, really relevant to your constituents, and there are some things that may have been less specifically relevant to your constituents, but were good for the country, and there are probably parts of it that you didn't like, in the build back big, there are things that you don't think are priorities and money can be spent better elsewhere. how do you reconcile that stuff?
art of our politics these days is we're so polarized that anything we don't like has got to be evil and can never be done and those things we like, we stick to. the president comes from a place where he actually seems to enjoy negotiation and realizes that you don't come out with what you went in with, how do you see how this process should move forward, because right now, it's feeling like a lot of people are dug in, and it's hard to get past it. >> well, negotiations are an incredibly important part of legislation and i hope the american people understand that and it does require compromise. and so listen, i've long been on record that i prefer smaller bills where everyone can understand what is in them and not vote on a massive bill that we can vote on our priorities or things that are the priorities of our constituents but unfortunately the reconciliation process is essential because of the composition of the senate, and the fact that we need 60 votes for most things, which gets us to a whole different
subject that is problematic. so for me, the most important priority is the reduction of drug prices, capping insulin at $35 a month, universal pre-k, which i believe senator manchin is okay with, and will go forward with, and that would be a huge change, child care subsidies, for people, and by the way, these are all things that would get people back to work, which is one of the things that we are hearing from our business communities, that they are having labor shortages, work force issues, so let's get working parents able, in a position, where they can get back to work, by helping them with their child care, by actually putting the kids in preschool a year earlier and as we said, let's make sure that we are doing everything we can to reduce prescription drug prices for people. that is absolutely essential. >> there are a lot of people in this country who have to get insulin and pay a lot of money for it.
that's an important point. >> democratic representative susan wild of pennsylvania, thanks for joining us on this christmas morning an enjoy the rest of your holiday. >> thank you. still ahead, we've got more from time spent traveling across the country but first, america is not the only country affected this holiday season by the omicron variant. we'll have a live report from london next. we'll have a live report from london next. lift and push and push! there... it's up there. hey joshie... wrinkles send the wrong message. help prevent them with downy wrinkleguard. feel the difference with downy.
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flights this holiday weekend, as of friday morning, airlines across the globe have collectively canceled more than 2,000 flights, and of those canceled at least 450 have been scheduled within going to, or leaving the united states. a number of airlines say the canceled flights are due to the omicron variant, affecting employees and crews who run operations. as omicron surges around the world, the united kingdom recorded over 100,000 daily covid cases, for the third day in a row, on friday. and while many european countries are considering tighter restrictions, the british prime minister boris johnson is waiting until after christmas to impose any new covid containment measures. that's despite the u.k.'s health care system facing severe pressure due to staffing shortages. for more on, this i'm joined by msnbc correspondent molly hunter in london. good morning and merry christmas to you. what can we expect in terms of restrictions in the u.k. after today? >> hey, ali, i think we can
definitely expect some restrictions like we are seeing in the european neighbors and prime minister boris johnson has been obsessed with protecting christmas, allowing families to celebrate christmas so it wouldn't be like 2020 and there's a lot of talk about what restrictions over the last two years might come back and one of the rules that is floating is the rule of six, only meeting with six people and the banning of households joining, and the measures might stay through march which is a long gray three months here in the uk. >> molly, what is the, i mean more than 100,000 cases in a country that is a fragrance of -- a fraction of the size of the united states. what are they attributing the fast spread to? is it omicron? is it a laxity in sort of public policy in and ways to prevent it from spreading? >> i think it depends on who you ask. i know my american parents,
american friends come over, they look around and say oh, my gosh, no one is wearing masks, when you compare it to new york. and the vaccination rates are incredibly high here. where they're low, they're low in london which is a luge problem of course in a pop, a huge populous capital city. ali? >> thank you very much. molly hunter for us from london. coming up, more of my time on the road and this year i spoke to folks in texas about what are the most important issues to them? immigration in america. merica when you switch to t-mobile and bring your own device, we'll pay off your phone up to $1000. you can keep your phone. keep your number. and get your employees connected on the largest and fastest 5g network. plus, we give you $200 in facebook ads on us! so you can reach more customers, create more opportunities, and finish this year strong. visit your local t-mobile store today. fine, no one leaves the table until your finished.
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the next installment of velshi across america on this christmas day focuses on the latino community in the united states. during the latino heritage month i traveled to san antonio. one of the things we discuss side immigration and how this country often devalues people who come here simply to work and create better lives for their families and a better economy for the rest of us. here's some of the conversation. >> the frustrating thing for me just as an individual is we know based on the history of our country that immigrants and people who moved to this country make us successful. so my big fuft raising right now with this administration and most importantly with the past administration is we know that in particular san antonio, if it wasn't for immigrants, if it wasn't for mexicans coming
across the border we wouldn't be the successful city and state that we are, but i also think there's this sort of focus on not being interested in working and these folks will come in and do this work and make a commitment because they only want a successful life for their family and their kids, but it's just, to me, been devastating seeing all of these migrants in del rio being shipped back. shipped back to their own countries when they are the workforce that we need. they're the sort of opportunity that we need to continue to become a successful city, state and country. >> you see the shortages. now with covid-19 we've had an upsurge. we're busy. we're swamped not only from my -- we started i co-founded this firm years ago, over 20 years ago now it's a pretty large organization and i've done all of the different fields and
now i really specialize in the business and corporate immigration. so part of what i see is from very small restaurants to large -- i had a call yesterday with somebody who needed 50 restaurant workers because of covid-19. >> wow. >> they used to have the flu. they used to have people working. they can't find workers and a lot of this goes again to, i think, access and not only access of information in a culturally sensitive or understandable way because i might understand it in a certain way somebody that's fleeing the country may need it communicated in a different way. so the access to that information is important, and i see that with the immigrant community. it's so diverse, as well. >> i don't want to pick on the previous administration, and i do, and we ought to call him donald, he's orange and he's interrupting. everybody is an immigrant.
the only people that aren't immigrants are the native-americans and they didn't come out too good, you know? if you look at the history of this country as mr. hinojosa was saying, the country is what it is and the best country they want to live in because we've had the waves of immigration, the irish, the italian, the chinese. i'm with him. we do have problems, but they're not new problems. >> the dreamers this year, i have a godson who came to this country with his mother and his father. he's a year old. nothing of his fault, and he's been very productive. he went to middle school, high school here, went to college. graduated college and has a good i.t. job in san antonio, he's married, productive and has a home and being a very productive member of society. those cases, in my perspective, that's a no-brainer. they didn't come on their own. this was something that was put on them and for those that are really making really good strides and are being
productive, why would we hold them back? it doesn't make sense to me. >> when i first got here and i met ruth the first thing i asked when she told me she was an immigration attorney, i said i need your card. as a business owner that's the number one thing what can we do to get more workforce because there is a huge shortage, right? what's happening is the cost is going up because of it and we need to figure out a way for immigration reform to happen the right way, correctly to protect these families and to give them an opportunity and to get them in the community where they're paying taxes like everybody else and they want to. they want to. so the way they're being treated as they're a bad word. we don't want them here. that's something that falls deep in my heart because i think that's just not right. these are real human beings and they're people just like us and they go home to their families the same way. so why are we saying it's a bad thing? i think there's work to be done
and i know that there's organizations like raices and la raza and national firms that are trying to create that bridge to figure out how do we get them connected in jobs right away so that we can say there are a hundred jobs open and bring in a hundred folks and let's get them in place. that is not happening. >> it is a disconnect because there are jobs. >> on the immigration perspective from a public safety perspective, i look at it more on the immediate term. so i absolutely understand people want to come and live the american dream as my ancestors did, as well. i do think that we have to be cautious on how we do that. there has to be more thought in how we're managing that situation. so we do know that there are many people that are coming across and are -- whether they're coming through with the cartels pushing them through and for trafficking that's happening. there has to be more thought put into how we are keeping track of somebody once they come in.
>> another one of the great conversations that i've had over the last year or so. if you haven't unwrapped presents yet, stay put. there's plenty more you need to do and biden's agenda and build back better. another hour of "velshi" begins right now. ♪♪ ♪♪ good morning and merry christmas to you. i'm ali velshi. we are now marking a second pandemic holiday season in the midst of a surge in new covid cases with the current seven-day average of new daily cases and 122,000 and average daily of about -- 1,180 deaths. there are many questions left unanswered about the phase of the pandemic and however there's both good and bad news, so let's start with the good. the one item at the top of the wish list may become easier to get. i'm talking about at home covid tests or covid tests that you go out to get. the white house is planning to