tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC January 3, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST
and good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart. just moments ago, the fda approved a booster dose of the pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. this as we face another day of long lines for covid testing as americans head pack to work and to school amid a surge in cases. and flight cancellations and delays due to airline staffing issues and severe weather. we'll take a look at what is being done to keep kids safe and
healthy at school. as israel begins giving people in certain groups a fourth vaccine dose, as the nation prepares the mark one year since the deadly insurrection at the u.s. capitol. the house committee investigating the attacks revealing more about what it has learned so far. in colorado, the search continues for two people still missing after a powerful, fast-moving wildfire destroyed nearly a thousand homes. and any minute now, president biden will be returning to the white house after his holiday break. with one of his top priorities being trying to stop russia from invading ukraine once again. and we begin with our top story this morning. the pandemic causing travel nightmares and confusion for millions of students, returning to school today. already, at least 1,900 flights have been canceled in the u.s. hundreds of schools are going remote for at least the first
week, following the holiday break. but others like new york, which is the nation's largest school district and mostly l.a. county schools are back in person today, with extra precautions. joining me now, nbc news correspondent megan fitzgerald, live from chicago. nbc news correspondent, morgan chesky at dallas love field airport. dr. joseph varon, chief of critical care at united memorial medical center in houston, texas. thank you all for being with me. dr. varon, let me just start with you. just in the last hour, the fda authorized a pfizer booster for people ages 12 to 15. the fda also allowed for a third primary series dose for kids with compromised immune systems, ages 5 to 11. what does this mean? >> what it means is that the fda as well as the cdc, they are realizing that we're in for a big increase in number of cases due to omicron. but they also understand that when you have the booster, when you aren't allowing these kids to get the vaccine, the chances that something is going to happen to them is minimal to
none. this is a good move on behalf of them, trying to get us to vaccinate kids, expand the use of these vaccines, because we know that those people who are vaccinated very rarely get in serious trouble. >> dr. varon, what are you seeing on the ground? >> well, on the ground, what we have seen is that the number of admissions slowly has started to go up. however, my outpatient practice, a place where you actually are, it's packed. aye been seeing dozens of patients every single day, everybody probably having omicron because of the symptoms that they have. most of them do very, very well. most of them don't have any major issues as of now. the people that i'm seeing in the hospital are 98% unvaccinated and, you know, most of the time, they come in quite late. so very similar to what we were seeing in august of this year. of last year. >> dr. varon, would you feel
comfortable sending a school-aged child back to the classroom this week? >> i think we're getting to a point that if omicron is as benign as it appears, i would. and let me tell you why. you'll probably remember when you were a child and you have chicken pox, your parents would bring other kids to come and get the chicken pox from you, you know, to get that immunity that people were getting. so the idea that this is that terrible, sending them to school, i think it's going to be worse if the kids stay at home, because we're going to have serious, you know, educational delays as well as psychological issues if we keep kids in homes. >> and megan, in chicago, there's new vaccine requirements going into effect today. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: jose, this is something that we've been seeing across the country. as you know, new york city, los angeles, san francisco, new orleans, just a few of the cities who have already had these vaccine mandates in place. here in chicago, as you mentioned, as well as philadelphia, those mandates
take place today. so here in the windy city, what that looks like is anyone aged 5 years and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated, that vaccination card. and if you're 16 years and older, you have to have a photo i.d. to accompany that vaccination card. the city here saying, look, this is a way to try to decrease the spread of this virus, as we know, omicron is just surging across the country here. we've been talking to business owners, restaurant owners who say they've got mixed feelings of this. some are frustrated, worried about having to hire more staff to try to police this. others say, look, a year ago, we had zero business. our doors were forced to close, so this is a way to try to stay open and keep everyone safe. important to note here that the city of chicago says that they will be enforcing this. anyone who's violating this mandate will be find. and even forced to close for a day. jose? >> megan fitzgerald in chicago, thank you. let's take a look at some of the headaches going on at airports in major cities. the fact is that there are really -- look at the map of the
delays, now, the green is good, the red is problematic. take a look at the northeast. i mean, look at these charts of real problems in our nation's airports, in the cities we're seeing, huge lines for people to get tested. what more can you tell us about this? morgan? >> yeah, jose -- yeah, jose, there are problems nationwide. it's really a one-two punch here. you have the covid-19 variant of omicron that has reduced staffing levels for many of the airlines, and as a result, we're seeing cancellations and delays. and on the other side, you have the fact, as you mentioned, this winter blast that's impacting many of the nation's major cities, including airports. flightware.com reporting that there are about 2,000 cancellations today. more than 800 delays, as well. so we're certainly not out of the woods there. here in dallas, where we are,
dallas love field airport, there's still about 30 delays and 50 cancellations. and this really is hopefully going to be the tail end of that holiday rush, jose. but the travel rules have definitely changed with this omicron variant. i want you to hear what aaa had to say when i spoke to them a short time ago. take a listen. >> if your flight is canceled, it is federal law, the airline has to offer you a full refund, if you ask for it. but also, we also know that if your flight is canceled, the airlines are obligated to get you home. they're not just going to leave you stranded. we're always tell people, hope for the best, but definitely plan for the worst. >> reporter: and right now in dallas, the delays are relatively minor, but we have heard of some worst-case scenarios, jose. i spoke to a family who had traveled to orlando for the holiday break and they were trying to get back to their home in iowa. their airline had delayed then canceled their flight, then did
not offer rebooking as an option. so in turn, to try to get back home to run their small business in time, the family was left to rent a car in florida, which took hours, and as we speak, they're making about a 20-hour drive from orlando back to iowa. that's just one story of so many being impacted by this kind of nasty one-two punch of omicron and this winter weather. jose? >> they've got thousands of "are we there yet?" questions still to answer on that road trip. morgan, thank you. ellison barber is outside a school in new york city. ellison, the situation there is complicated. a lot of kids are going back to school after the christmas break. >> reporter: yeah, so previously in new york city, for new york city schools, there was a policy that if someone, a student, tested positive for covid-19, anyone who had close contact with that student would have to quarantine for ten days. that meant entire classrooms could theoretically be
quarantined for ten days. under a new plan heading post-winter break, the mayor laid this out. the outgoing mayor laid this out last week, alongside our new current mayor, mayor eric adams. and now what they've done is they have this new plan where they're going to test more, they say, to try to make sure that children can stay in school. and they say do so safely. spo previously, if one person tested positive for covid-19, you had anyone who had close contact needing to quarantine. that's not going to be the case anymore now. if one student tests positive for covid-19, the teacher will give students at-home test kits, so that they can be tested at home. if they test negative and they do not have any sort of covid-like symptoms, they can keep coming to school. and would only need to quarantine for ten days if they tested positive. but when you look at the numbers here in new york city, the current infection rate and the fact that amongst eligible children in that 5 to
17-year-old range, less than half of new yorkers in that age group are fully vaccinated. some parents are really nervous about sending their children to school, but many say they still are glad that they're heading back. listen to some of what we've heard from parents today. >> i do feel safe bringing her to school. but it's still scary. i mean, she's very small. social distancing, it's not something that they really know what to do. we've been through this for almost two years now, so, you know, i think we just have to learn to live with it. we can't limit our children. we have to give them back a normal life. >> i feel like, because of the surge, they should go back to the remote learning option. you know, just tentatively speaking, until, you know, the spikes are down. you know, so everybody can be pretty much safe. >> reporter: and the governor of this state is giving new york city schools 1 million at-home
rapid tests. each of those test kits have two in them. so about 2 million tests overall. the teachers' union, they've said that they think that the idea of increasing testing is a positive move, something that needed to happen, but they say having the tests and effectively making sure that the testing initiatives are available at every single school is another story. remember, this is the nation's largest school district with 1.1 million students. jose? >> ellison, thank you. dr. varon, before we wrap this up, you serve people who many times are the essential workers in our country. people who can't afford to lose a day of work or stay home or have their children do the, you know, online studies. i'm just wondering, with omicron being apparently less intense, are you seeing peoplehat are just saying, i don't feel good, but i've got to go to the fields. i've got to go and work, because
this is not making me impossible to work. and isn't that a danger, maybe? >> absolutely. i mean, i see that every single day. like you say, you know, people don't have the means. they cannot afford to take a day off. and because omicron is not that severe, they say, i have a little bit of sniffles or a little bit of a sore throat, i just wear my mask and go to work. and i know that many of them go to work despite of what we tell them. is it dangerous? well, it's dangerous in the sense that one, they can spread the illness to others. and two, that, you know, they -- your body needs a little rest when you get any kind of illness. so they do need to take the time off. unfortunately, they cannot afford it. >> and that's the important thing. you know, we have to put a perspective on that people in this country, many of them simply cannot afford for a number of different reasons to stay home and rest or to have their children at home, using the internet when they may not have access to it.
dr. varon, what is it that you could tell all of us, as we wrap up this segment and we really need to listen to you, especially the fda change now on the younger kids, having access to these boosters. >> well, the one thing i would tell you is that omicron, despite the fact that it is growing like a wildfire, it's probably not as bad, and it's probably the beginning of the end. so for the first time, let's be positive. let's think that omicron is going to help us achieve immunity. omicron has less number of people that die. and i think that, you know, interventions such as enhancing vaccination, convincing people that the vaccine will make you feel that this omicron is nothing, is the right thing to do. we just have to do it in a nice, educational and completely transparent way. >> and vaccines work.
and that's really the important message. dr. varon, thank you very much. megan fitzgerald, morgan chesky, ellison barber, thank you all for being with me. coming up, we're live on the ground at one of the hardest hit cities from that colorado wildfire. and new details about what former president trump was doing while the violence was raging of on january 6th. and we're keeping an eye on the white house where any minute president biden is expected to arrive from delaware. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports" on msnbc. we you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports" on msnbc. ♪ limu emu and doug.♪ and it's easy to customize your insurance at libertymutual.com so you only pay for what you need. isn't that right limu? limu? limu? sorry, one sec.
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to switch and save hundreds. 17 past the hour. two people are still missing after a massive fire ripped through nearly a thousand homes in the colorado suburbs last week. the fire scorched more than 6,000 acres. and even as the debris continues to smolder under snowfall of the new year, authorities say they've narrowed down the origin of the flames to one single neighborhood. boulder county is also opening a disaster assistance center this morning for anyone impacted by the fire that's now accessible seven day a weeks. nbc's gadi schwartz joins me now from louisville, colorado. gadi, how is it looking on the ground there this morning? >> hey, jose, the devastation out here is absolutely heartbreaking. take a look. this was a neighborhood of about a hundred homes that you can see. many of those homes have
collapsed in on their foundations. if you would have been stand right here about a week ago, and you were looking this way, you would have seen -- i mean, these are christmas lights. people have just celebrated christmas. they were getting ready for the new year, and this would have been two-story homes and towering trees as far back as you can see. and now you can see all of these homes have collapsed out of these 118 homes or so in this particular subdivision. only three of them that we can see right now are in tact. and remember, that is just a tenth, a tenth of the homes that were last here in colorado. remember, a lot of this was spurned by those hurricane force winds that pushed a fire about four miles from the point of origin all the way down to this neighborhood. so a lot of people think of wildfires as happening only in the wilderness or only in the forest. this is a subdivision. this is the suburbs. so many of these people had very little time to escape.
many of them just getting out with the clothes on their back, and the governor here in colorado promising those people yesterday that they are not alone. >> for many, it seems like a surreal experience. just a few days ago, you were celebrating christmas at home and hanging your stockings and now home and hearth have been destroyed and it's a shock. and the reality, i know, hasn't even set in for so many folks who lost everything and for those who still aren't able to return to their homes. but i want the community to know, you're not alone. the full force of the united states of america is here. >> reporter: and today the search continues for two possible victims, as well as the investigation into how this fire started. we know that there was a search warrant that was served four miles from where we stand right now. we know that there was a shed seen burning in that area. but at this point, a determination on how this fire started has not yet been made. however, just to show you how difficult it is to search this area for possible victims and to
investigate, take a look over there. four days of sub-zero or sub-freezing temperatures and 8 inches of snow, and it still continues to smolder. jose. back to you. >> that's really, really complicated. of course, i'm learning it's louisville, colorado. we turn now to other headlines out west. next hour in san jose, colorado, the jury will be reconvening in the trial of elizabeth holmes. if convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison for a litany of wire fraud charges. she has pleaded not guilty. meanwhile in oregon, a literal s.o.s. written in the snow saved two lives this weekend. caught by heavy snow wile camping, two 19-year-olds traced the cry for help in the snow and rescuers were able to track them down and there you see them being lifted to safety by
helicopter. it was a rough way to ring in 2022. 21 people, some restaurant employees and some tram workers, stuck on a tram system overnight on a mountain in new mexico on new year's eve. an iced-over cable caused the cars to get stuck for 12 hours. there were no reported injuries. i want to show you now a pretty phenomenal story out of texas, where it actually rained fish from the sky. raining fish is a meteorological phenomenon in which a water spout sucks up animals and carries them along until losing steam. residents told affiliate station ktla that they heard loud noises and looked outside to find, well, it's raining fish. here you can see the small fish littered throughout a parking lot in texarkana. i heard about this in el salvador in the 1980s when i was there. and there's a town in honduras
now get powerful relief with robitussin elderberry. 27 past the hour. thursday marks one year since the deadly insurrection at the u.s. capitol. there will be solemn ceremonies to mark the anniversary, including remarks by president biden and vice president harris. this comes as the associated press reports the house committee investigating the january 6th attack plans to hold more public hearings. the panel is also revealing more about what it has learned about what president trump was doing as the attack was unfolding. >> the committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the oval office, watching the attack on television. members of his staff were pleaded with him to go on television, to tell people to stop. we have firsthand testimony that his daughter, ivanka, went in at
least twice to ask him to please stop this violence. >> and with me now to talk about this, nbc news capitol hill correspondent, leigh ann caldwell and joyce vance who is now a professor at the university of alabama law school, co-host of sisters-in-law podcast, also an msnbc contributor and legal analyst. leigh ann, what's being planned to commemorate the first anniversary of this attack? >> reporter: good morning, jose. so the house is not in session this week. the senate is in session this week. so they took different approaches to the january 6th anniversary, even though the house isn't in session, speaker pelosi is commemorating the day she's going to have a discussion with historians, with people to put in perspective the importance of this day. and later in the day, there is going to be a prayer vigil. we also know that the former president, donald trump, is going to hold his own press conference on that day. so while democrats up here in
the senate are wanting to tone down very respectful day, they're going to have to have that split screen with the former president, who is likely going to continue to spout the same lies about the last election and what actually happened on january 6th, jose. >> and joyce, meanwhile, several new polls have come out ahead of the anniversary, including one from "the washington post" from the university of maryland which found that -- this is troubling -- 34% of americans say that it is justified to take violent action against the government. that's the highest number in decades. what does this say about the state of affairs in our country one year of this attack? >> you know, jose, i think that it suggests what we know all too well. which is that we're a country that has a divided narrative. we're a country that doesn't operate under a common set of factual beliefs. that's really the hangover of the trump administration, because trump, of course, was
the destroyer of facts from the moment he tried to insinuate that the crowd of his inauguration was large, when it was apparent from pictures that it was not. and the challenge that the january 6th committee will face, as it holds public hearings will be catching the attention of the public in a way that makes their work, that makes the public hearings pervasive. makes it a must-watch event that people feel compelled to sit down and listen in on, so that these factual materials that they are gathering can be pushed out. they will have testimony from republicans and democrats, but most importantly, from people who were hands-on and eyes-on participants on january 6th. and really the only path forward is to help people understand what happened, not through a political filter, but there a factual one. >> it's just so concerning that, you know, look, people have
different perspectives, points of view. that's kind of natural human existence. but the 34% of the american people believe that violence is a way to deal with differences. look at that. i mean, that, joyce, is really scary. >> it's absolutely concerning. and it points to the fact that there has to be accountability for the events of january 6th. to the extent that there are some folks wobble that you should never try to hold political actors accountable for political decisions, that might be true in some sense, but as you're pointing out, what january 6th involved was a violent attack on the capitol building itself. and a violent attack that was intended to interfere with the transition of power, with certification of the election. the only path forward here is through accountability, if doj and congress aren't successful in bringing to light the truth and holding people accountable,
then that third of the country that thinks that violence is legitimate will go on unchecked. we need to have a moment in this country's history where folks put on the brakes and say, no, not here, not again, we can't go through another civil war. >> and leigh ann, you mentioned that the house is off this week, the senate is in session this week. what do they have on their schedule? >> well, the senate is going to focus on vote rights. of course, they have the january 6th anniversary that they're going to pay homage to, but as far as legislation, they are going to put front and center voting rights legislation and senate majority leader schumer is going to tie the anniversary of january 6th to the importance of passing voting rights legislation, saying that democracy was threatened last year, and if this legislation is not passed, then the same thing could happen again, as the state
legislatures around the country are trying to undermine that democracy through making it more difficult to vote, making it more political, and more easy to actually overturn and steer an election. so that is going to be the focus of the senate as they return this week, even though there are still a couple democratic senators who do not want to change the rules, which is what is likely going to be necessary, if voting rights is to pass, jose. >> leigh ann caldwell, and joyce vance, thank you very much for being with me this morning. still ahead, keeping kids in school, safe, despite the explosion in covid cases. we're going to talk to a doctor about what needs to be done to keep classes full, but everybody safe. you're watching jose diaz-balart reports. safe you're watching jose diaz-balart ports. plaque psoriasis, the tightness, stinging... ...the pain. emerge tremfyant®. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections
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president pushing that, but he's arriving there. this is the conditions that he's dealing with as he has just arrived. take a look at those conditions. boy! he is coming home from his holiday in delaware. there you see the tail of air force one. boy, it is snowy out there. and now more on that breaking news in the fight against the pandemic. just in the last hour, the fda authorized a pfizer covid booster shot for kids ages 12 through 15. the fda also authorizing a third primary dose to kids ages 5 to 11, with compromising immune systems. this as millions of kids across the country are back in classrooms this morning, after their winter break, as covid cases surge around the country. joining me now is nbc news correspondent, stephanie gosk, in new york city. and dr. mauricio gonzalez, an internal and emergency medicine physician. thank you for being with me. doctor, what's your reaction to
this move from the fda. is it long overdue? is it something that we've been waiting for? >> this is definitely something we've been waiting for. and i applaud this move. it is the right move at the right time. jose, we have now data, strong data from the cdc showing that after 8 million doses of the pfizer vaccine in kids between 5 and 11, it's incredibly safe and efficacious. so we needed to do this now. >> all right. so the fda says it's approved that. what's the process for -- from this decision to the shots being available to kids that age? >> we don't know for a fact, jose. but historically, and when i mean historically, within the last year, we know that when the fda sets an approval for booster shots, they become available in two to three weeks. so this is what we're expecting right now. >> and meanwhile, stephanie, this comes as positivity rates in some neighborhoods in new york are over 30%. what could that mean for
schools, fighting to stay open? >> you know, jose, there was a day over the holiday, new year's eve day, that this city recorded 85,000 covid cases in a day, and has been smashing records here this week. 20% of the police and sanitation workers have called out sick, but still, the doors are opening this morning for kids to go back to school in person. the new mayor insisting that it is a priority, to have to be masked. students, teachers, and staff have to have a negative test. and that's the case in a lot of places. there are some school systems that have gone totally remote, like cleveland and atlanta. but in other places, they're delaying and asking people to get tested. now, what does this mean for our already strained testing system? i mean, you are going to see long lines all across the country get even longer with students having to get tests themselves. the biden administration saying it's going to support those
efforts, because it is important to keep kids in school, jose. >> yeah, supporting the efforts is one thing. when are we going to see these tests available in a wide way? i mean, you know, it's almost impossible to find these tests at your local pharmacy. and we're seeing lines, stephanie, that stretch for politics, for hours for people to get a test. >> yeah. yeah. it's not clear, jose. and it's going to be really tough. it's going to be the availability of these tests is going to be the key to having this system work. and right now in new york city, you can stand in line for three hours. we saw some incredible lines out of massachusetts this morning, where cars, hundreds of cars, lining up with people trying to get those tests, first thing during the day. you'll see, of course, businesses, as well, and universities and schools, all are going to start to rely more on testing. the urgency almost more than ever right now to get those tests rolled out, so we can continue to function in the face
of these skyrocketing covid cases, jose. >> i came to work at telemundo center this morning, and there was a line outside a bus stop, where they're giving tests, that was at least two blocks long. dr. gonzalez, what are you seeing on site? >> we're seeing exactly the same here in new york. like, incredibly long lines to get tested. i also applaud the move from the united states' government to have all of this millions of tests at home. i'm not sure it's going to be enough, jose, for the next two to three weeks, but it's a beginning, but that's exactly what we're seeing. ers are being strained and testing centers are a -- you know, it's a very difficult to get a test right now. >> yeah, dr. mauricio gonzalez and stephanie gosk, thank you for being with me this morning. dr. gonzalez, by the way, i really applaud your twitter feed. it's always full of some great information. i thank you for that, as well. >> thank you, jose.
>> thank you. still ahead, president biden reaffirms his support for ukraine, as the nation continues to face aggression from russia. we'll talk to former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul, about what, if anything, can be done to get putin to back down, next. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." inchg "jos diaz-balart reports. w in the new chicken & bacon ranch, but the clock is ticking, so we gotta hurry! there's new rotisserie-style chicken, new peppercorn ranch, new hickory-smoked bacon, new- did you just spike the footlong? sorry, i didn't want the delay of game. save big. order through the app. (swords clashing) -had enough? -no... arthritis. here. aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme. in a recent clinical study, patients using salonpas patch reported reductions in pain severity, using less or a lot less oral pain medicines. and improved quality of life. that's why we recommend salonpas. it's good medicine.
46 past the hour. one of president biden's top priorities in the coming days will be trying to prevent a new conflict between russia and ukraine. the conflict is really created by russia. ukraine is just sitting there, possibly getting invaded. on sunday, the president reaffirmed u.s. commitments to help ukraine in a phone call with ukraine's president, as tens of thousands of russian troops are positioned along the border with ukraine, raising fears of a potential invasion. this call came three days after the president told russian president vladimir putin that the u.s. and its allies will respond decisively if russia further invades ukraine. with me now to talk about this, ambassador michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia and an msnbc international affairs analyst, and susan page, washington bureau chief for "usa today." thank you for being with me. ambassador, why do you think putin picked this time, this point, to raise tensions along the border?
>> i don't know. honestly, i don't know. and nobody knows. and don't trust anybody who says they do know. which is to say, to underscore what you started with. this is completely fabricated by vladimir putin. there was no crisis about ukraine joining nato. nato didn't say we want to bring ukraine in now. the new biden administration didn't say that now is the time for bringing them in. he invented that, because he wants security guarantees from the west and president biden that i don't think the president should or can deliver. so he's created this crisis to try to create some new leverage on the ground. i don't think it's going to work, and then we're going to have to see how he responds. >> you know, ambassador, i think back to my college days, reading roger fisher's international conflict for beginners, which he talked about the carrot and the stick, which churchill talked about and so many others have, as well.
it looks as though putin has eaten all the carrots, thank you very much. war the sticks available to have him reconsider something like this? >> well, they're weak sticks, let's be clear. because the united states, the american people, and none of our nato allies were not going to go to war with russia over ukraine. and putin understands that. i think it has been right for president biden to say other things, non-military sticks, particularly, he's threatened, at least from what we hear from these callouts, readouts of these phone calls, a comprehensive economic sanctions. i think that's right. secondly, he is increasing military assistance to ukraine. and i think that is very important, too. if we are not going to defend the ukrainians, we have to help them defend themselves, and that also increases the cost of military intervention. >> yeah, and the fact is that as ukrainians, you so brilliantly pointed out, there's been nothing ukraine has done or the west has done to change the balance in any way.
and let's remember that those defensive weapons were removed from ukraine, some years ago. susan, you know, there were renewed tensions between russia and ukraine, as the president faces a whole slew of problems from a new surge in covid cases to an uncertain future for his agenda of a test is this for president biden? >> well, it is. and if vladimir putin was timing this to cause trouble for president biden, i think he succeeded in doing that. as you say, the president has a lot on his plate. he had a tough first year. he's trying to get a little bit of a reset with the new year. he's trying to get the heart of his domestic agenda through congress. that's going to be tough, and meanwhile, we have a new omicron variant. it's difficult for the president to also be dealing with a foreign policy crisis, and a story that i feel like we've seen this movie before in 2013 when the u.s. threatened sanctions, russia took over
crimea. >> ukraine has been the focus of russia and the soviet union for so many reasons and decades. one week from today they face in geneva for talks. will that make any difference? >> i certainly hope so. the russians remind everyone, published their own draft treaties. they wrote them themselves. they didn't negotiate them with anybody. they wrote them themselves and said president biden signed this treaty, and nato, sign this treaty. that's not usually the way negotiations work. most certainly not when i was in the government working with russians. that said, they're on the table and the biden administration has responded. nato has responded. the ocs also will meet to discuss these issues. and if putin is serious, there's actually some important issues that could be discussed regarding enhancement of european security. we just don't know if he's serious or whether the treaties are ultimatums that can't be met that gives a pretext for
military intervention. next week will be critical in figures out if he's serious about negotiations or just wants war. >> what were some of the issues that you say could strengthen europe there that should be talked about? >> well, for instance, we used to have a lot of treaties to see if the conventional forces on europe. the inf treaty about nuclear forces, intermediate forces, the vienna document, the transparency document. all of those are either gone or much weaker today than they were before. and i think more information, more transparency about russian exercises, russian deployments, russian missiles, and nato missiles and nato exercises, that would be good. that would be tablizing. and i think lots of people would agree those things were good when they were in place, and now they're weaker today. that's not what putin is focussed on. putin wants a guarantee that nato will never expand further east. that, to me, is a nonstarter.
so if he'll back off that to talk about the more substantive issues, that would be a good sign. if he comes out saying you didn't meet my list of demands, that means he's probably going to use military force against the ukrainians. >> that is so troubling, and then when there's some opposition, the poison-tipped umbrella strategy has also been effective for putin. thank you both for being with me. it's a pleasure to see you both. still ahead, a glimpse of what could soon be our reality. we'll get a live report from a nation that's already dosing out a fourth, fourth covid shot. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." u're watch diaz-balt arreports.
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how bout tacos? tacos. automatic emergency braking — one of six advanced safety features standard on every 2022 chevy equinox. find new technology. find new roads. chevrolet. time for a check of the headlines ynd our borders. right now brazil's president is hospitalized. he was on vacation when he felt stomach discomfort. symptoms he says he has felt before as a result of his 2018 stab wound. the hospital says he is in stable condition. in south africa, authorities arrested a man in connection with a fire that swept through the halls of parliament yesterday. the fire and rescue service warns what remains of the structure is now a risk of total collapse. meanwhile, israel is now the first country to offer a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine for people 60 and over.
we have more with raph sanchez. what's the latest in the rollout? >> israel is rolling out the fourth dose in stages beginning with the most vulnerable. it started with people with weakened immune systems. care home residents, and beginning today israelis over 60 are eligible to come to vaccination centers like this one and get that fourth dose. and, of course, the whole world is watching very closely what happens here in israel, because israel has consistently been ahead of the curve during this pandemic. you'll remember, jose, israel had the fastest initial vaccine rollout. they were the first ones with the booster back in july. the u.s. followed a couple months later in september. it's very possible what you are seeing here in israel today with the fourth dose, you may be seeing in the u.s. in a couple of months' time. omicron cases are rising rapidly in this country.
but the israeli government sees this as something as a race against time to try to get as many of the fourth doses out as they can before the omicron wave peaks. that wave is a little bit behind the u.s. and the uk. other countries and israel's government says that is because of the very strict travel restrictions they put in place in november when omicron first emerged. all foreigners are banned from entering israel right now. the u.s., canada, turkey, other major countries are also on israel's travel red list which means travel is restricted. now, those restrictions have absolutely hammered the israeli tourism industry, especially over christmas when tourists and pilgrims like to come here to visit the holy sites. the israeli government says they have served their purpose in slowing down omicron and buying time for this fourth dose rollout to get underway. >> raph sanchez.
thank you so much. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm jose diaz-balart. you can always reach me on twitter and instagram. follow the show online. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news right now. >> a good monday morning to you. craig melvin here. msnbc world head quarters in new york city. we have a major pandemic development in the last few hours. the fda just took major action to expand the use of pfizer's covid vaccine. new guidance for preteens, teenagers, and immune compromised children, and a new timeframe for booster doses. we'll have more on that in a few moments. critical, though. right now omicron swamping our country. on sunday, we crossed 55 million confirmed covid cases just days