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tv   MSNBC Live With Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser  MSNBC  November 15, 2020 4:00am-5:00am PST

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nation's capital as trump supporters and counterprotesters spar over election results. one person stabbed after a fight broke out between the opposing groups. and at least 20 people were arrested throughout the night. >> it started with relatively peaceful demonstrations in washington, d.c. thousands rallying for the president, falsely claiming election fraud. trump, who is still refusing to concede is now alleging fraud in the georgia audit. we'll talk to one of the state's representatives in a moment. plus, covid cases reaching dangerous levels, as texas and california top off 1 million cases each. and experts warn of an unprecedented surge after thanksgiving. >> good morning, everybody. it is sunday, november 15th. we're happy you are with us. i'm lindsay reiser. >> and i'm candace gibson. we're live at msnbc world headquarters in new york. we have a team of correspondents and analysts following the very latest for us this hour. >> we begin with nbc's josh letterman in washington, d.c. josh, how is the president responding to what unfolded there on the streets of washington?
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>> the president is blaming the violence that we saw here in washington last night on what he calls antifa scum, issuing several tweets in the last 12 hours or so, in which he seemed to encourage the police here to crack down violently on those demonstrators. president trump tweeting, d.c. police, get going, do your job and don't hold back. now, we should point out, of the arrests that we know about from last night, at least 20 arrests, we don't know yet whether those were people who were there supporting president trump or opposing him and supporting president-elect biden. so unclear whether the president's comments there are really accurate. but we've seen the president want to use these rallies, despite the fact that some of them did turn violent, to try to be a demonstration of the fact that he still enjoys a really strong base of support, including people who want to cheer him on in this legal contest to try to overturn the results of the election, despite
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what has already happened with the counting of the votes. >> and josh, as the president digs into his refusal to concede the election, he's now railing against this ballot audit in georgia. >> reporter: that's right. and the president is very focused on the issue that his campaign has been paying attention to, which is, witnessing of the signatures being matched on these absentee ballots. the president calling the recount in georgia a waste of time, and tweeting that they should call it off until they allow the match, he's talking about the match of signatures. of course, we should point out, this isn't technically a recount. it's actually an audit of the election that took place in georgia with election authorities there saying this was not prompted by any kind of evidence of fraud or wrongdoing, but simply is a part of the process they do to verify that their elections are sound. and that audit process, in fact, does not, by design, involve signature matching, because, of
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course, in america, we have secret ballots, and once those signatures are matched and those ballots are either ruled to be legitimate or are set aside for further scrutiny, the ballots then become anonymized. and what's happening here is essentially a re-checking of the math and of the examination of who people voted for on these individual ballots. but the president misleading his supporters about the nature of what a recount really is in georgia and what might be possible, as he tries to continue to create the perception that there's a possibility here that georgia and other states are somehow going to be moved into biden -- into his own column and away from biden, which we know is not going to take place. >> and georgia has a republican secretary of state, who the president praised just about two years ago. now, not so much. nbc's josh letterman, thank you. >> president-elect biden is moving forward with the transition of power, even though president trump has yet to concede. right now, senior republicans are calling on the white house to work with biden by giving him access to necessary documents
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and funds. nbc's ali vitali is live in wilmington, delaware. ali, good morning. and talk to us about staffing. have we heard anything from the president-elect on that front? >> reporter: sort of. he was asked yesterday on a bike ride in rehoboth beach if he was coming any closer to staffing decisions on his cabinet. he said "yes" while biking by. a pretty short exchange, but obviously, those conversations are happening. we know that biden has been down and out of public view for the most part this weekend. today in wilmington, delaware. but he is still talking with transition advisers, huddling with them, as he starts to plot out what this administration could look like from a policy perspective and a personnel perspective. that that end, we are hearing there's a new person emerging as the potential head of the department of defense, michele flournoy, who was a top official in 2016. if hillary clinton had won that election, flournoy was rumored to be the person that could have
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taken over the pentagon there, but now under a potential biden administration, she's still very much at the top of that list. and if she were to be chosen for that position, she would be the first woman to lead that cabinet. biden says he wants his cabinet to look like america, having gender parody will definitely help him do that. but we know that these staffing decisions are happening a little bit in earnest right now. of course, these conversations are going on. the jockeying behind the scenes that so often comes during a transition certainly happening. but we expect that the staffing decisions that we're going to see first are probably the ones that make up the white house inner circle, as well as key staffing positions that will be involved with tackling the coronavirus pandemic. but then on the cabinet position front, we shouldn't necessarily expect announcements on that until potentially after thanksgiving. we were cautioned early on in this transition process that the timeline that they're going to be working off of will actually more mirror the obama administration's timeline.
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and if you start looking back, they didn't start making cabinet announcements until the end of november into december. so that is probably when we're going to start seeing these names start officially coming out. but right now, just a trickle on the rumor mill around washington, d.c. a lot of jockeying for positions, but this is definitely a new one as we start thinking about who could potential lead the pentagon under a biden administration, guys. >> nbc's ali vitali, thank you so much. >> joining us right now, republican strategist, kevin madden and democratic strategist, emily tissueman. i want to start with both of you. specifically, kevin. you see those clashes in washington, d.c. we fear that this sort of stuff would happen, but what do you make of it? >> well, look, i think it's emblematic of a very bitterly divided country right now politically. we have seen a campaign take its toll on the american electorate and a campaign that's really tearing at the fabric of our
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country, politically, and now it's really coming out into the open. particularly as you see so many of the president trump supporters start to communicate some of their displeasure with the results. but there really is, i think, incumbent upon other republican leaders to really come out and to continue to voice the -- give voice to what you mentioned earlier, was republican leaders talking about being able to come together and help a perspective biden administration start to get its feet on the ground. >> emily, it really was an ugly scene overnight. >> it was hard to watch, as someone who lived and loves washington. it was really hard to see that breaking out all over, right across from where my office was. i totally agree with kevin that it is emblematic of where people are right now, but it doesn't have to be this way. i wish -- i wish more republican leaders would listen to kevin
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and follow the lead of acknowledging that biden has won this election, trying to talk trump down from exciting his base. he knows there's no hope. he knows that he has lost the election. and to some degree, i don't even know if it matters if other republican leaders mirror him. because he really has conditioned his base inside washington, so elected officials to show nothing but loyalty to him. that is his utmost concern. and really has demonstrated his followers all over the country that he is the only one who tells them the truth. he is the only one they should be listening to. so, yes, it is utmost important that others start to acknowledge that president-elect biden is the president-elect and start doing it forward, but i don't know how much of a difference it's going to make with trump supporters and i don't know if they're really going to do it. what sort of sounded like a whisper campaign that republican elected officials leaders like senate leader mitch mcconnell were not acknowledging the results, because all eyes are on the re-election in georgia.
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they're all looking to the runoff. so they really want to engage trump's base. a runoff does not bring convincing new voters. you're just going back to the same voters you had already and they're afraid of alienating them by saying anything different than the president. so i don't think we're going to see a difference from republican leaders until the georgia runoff. >> so, kevin, when we -- i think a lot of americans right now do want unity. we do want to get along. we don't want to see scenes like the ones that you're seeing. but we also have again, we've been talking about the president kind of fanning these flames, not going on twitter and denouncing the proud boys. the sovereign poverty law center describes this group self-described western cho chauvinists, anti-white guilt agenda. they were there last night, so we're not expecting people to be unified with groups like that, but where do we go from here as a country? >> yeah. the problem here is that what president trump seems to be doing is setting up a permission structure for this -- for like the next four years, where he can continue to run against in
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opposition to a biden administration and do so with enough public support, talking to those most ardent, animated supporters of his. and it is -- i wish i had more answers and i think a lot of people are still looking for answers, but it is emblematic of the challenge that a biden administration has before them to heal the wounds of a very divided country, bring people together, and start focusing on the future. so that is charge number one for this administration, while also trying to deal with a pandemic. so they definitely have their work cut out for them. >> in the meantime, emily, you have rudy giuliani, who is now leading trump's election lawsuits after a series of losses over the last week. what does that stay about the state of things for the president and this whole campaign. >> i would not feel great if i were on the president's campaign and giuliani was in charge of my legal strategy. the reason he ended up in charge of the legal strategy is because we've seen legitimate republican
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law firms dropping the cases. they believe that it's now going to harm them. there's no point in moving forward. but the question i think that we should be posing to everyone who is still onboard with trump is, are you favoring loyalty to him over -- like, we don't have an unbreakable democracy. like, over keeping our democracy legitimate. and the fact that giuliani is in charge of it. like, his main job before this was to run around ukraine, digging up potential dirt around opposition to people who were going to run against the president. this is not like a great legal mind at this point. it really does show it's becoming more of a side show circus. time to jump, although does not look like the senate leaders in particular are going to do it. >> yeah, it's a bad legal approach. it's also a bad political approach, and you're right. there's probably nobody more disappointed than giuliani leading this than folks inside the trump campaign. i think he has -- he doesn't have a focus on the real issues and instead is a little bit of a parade. and it's not a good one in the
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minds of many of those staffers. >> we're going to leave it there. thank you, guys. >> they won't be calling rudy anytime soon for some legal advice? >> and if there's a running "snl" kit, it might be indicative. texas cases surging, hospitals hitting capacity. why doctors say the next few weeks could be a crucial tipping point for nearly every state in the country. plus, the point to take georgia. democrats' strategy to win back the senate ahead of two vital runoff elections. k the senate ahead of two vital runoff elections still fresh unstopables in-wash scent booster downy unstopables when panhe doesn't justs mmake a pizza. he uses fresh, clean ingredients to make a masterpiece. taste our delicious new flatbread pizzas today. panera.
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welcome back. texas has more than 1 million confirmed covid-19 cases. the highest number in the country. the situation in el paso is so dire that mobile morgues are being set up outside the city's overflowing hospitals. nbc's valerie castro is on the ground there with more. >> reporter: good morning,
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lindsay and candace. here in el paso, the situation only grows more dire by the day. as of saturday, the city reporting more than 31,000 active cases here in el paso. that's more than 41% of the population now infected with covid-19. the death toll at 750 lives lost. the debate now is how to stop those numbers from going up. nonessential businesses just endured a two-week shutdown. there was some talk of extending that until december 1st, but that was overruled. and here at the hospital behind me, mobile morgues have now been delivered. a grim reminder of the reality of what is happening here. the county administrator says he is asking for 12 of those mobile morgues to be in place, and not only are they running out of room, they are running out of personnel and they are now asking prison inmates to be brought in to help move bodies into those storage units. lindsay and candace? >> a horrible situation there in el paso and much of texas. our thanks to nbc's valerie castro for that report. >> joining us now is dr. regena
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bassett at baylor college of medicine. doctor, good morning to you. how concerned are you about these numbers? and specifically, texas? tell me about right now how texans are doing with not only covid fatigue, but mask wearing. >> lindsay, i'm extremely concerned. these numbers are dire. they're very, very grim. we've reached yet another milestone, but it's not a good one. the situation in el paso right now is so bad that governor abbott has had to actually deploy state resources down to el paso in order to help their overwhelmed facilities. the united states department of defense has also had to deploy federal aid down to el paso. they're using tent hospitals, because their hospitals are full. their icus are full. they're using the convention center as a makeshift medical facility, because they just don't have a space to take care of all of these patients. and what we're not realizing is aside from space being a finite resource, personnel is also a finite resource.
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we don't have the staff to take care of all of these patients. so while the united states in general is a hot spot, texas is becoming the new leading hot spot in the u.s. >> and el paso's republican mayor is calling upon the federal government for funds to help with their public health system. and we're seeing hospitals across the country right now at or nearing capacity. how is your hospital dealing with the influx of patients? >> well, houston is also seeing a rise in cases. what we're concerned with is that right now, in the texas medical center, for example, we're already at 92% capacity in our icus. so if we continue to see a surge in covid cases and continue to have more covid patients that need these beds, our already full hospital systems are quickly going to become overwhelmed. >> and doctor, i want to ask you about the holidays, and specifically, last hour, anne thompson had a report showing that families are still encouraged to spend thanksgiving
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together. some of them are going to be requiring that their family members and guests show negative tests, they'll be checking temperatures at the doors. we saw people in the video people taking off their masks when they hit the table, but it's unclear whether everybody inside would be wearing a mask. do you think that those precautions are safe enough or do you think, stay virtual right now? one doctor in that piece said that anything in person is not foolproof. what's your take? >> lindsay, that's absolutely correct. no matter how many precautions you take, nothing is 100% effective against fighting covid-19, aside from staying away and socially distancing yourself from people who are not in your household. that's it. it doesn't matter if they have negative rapid tests, because the sensitivity of those tests aren't great. the forehead temperature controls that people are using are not 100% sensitive, so you can't guarantee that you're going to find a fever in a patient that has covid-19. >> and i want to ask you one more thing. you mentioned the rapid testing
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and that there's of course a lot of arguments about how effective those are. but those pcr tests, the ones that go in your nose and you find out within hopefully 24 hours, maybe a few days. that's a snapshot in time. if you test negative on one day, is it possible the next day, you have this negative test, but talk to us about the incubation period and how that comes into play. >> yes, the pcr test is snapshot in time. and it could be when you get the pcr test, you may be positive, you just aren't shedding enough of the viral particles for the pcr test to pick it up. especially for patients that are asymptomatic, that's a very, very big deal. if you have a test on wednesday, but you don't begin showing symptoms until friday, it may be because you only have enough viral load at that point in order to really begin showing symptoms. so could that be when the pcr turns positive? possibly. that's why a negative test isn't enough for us to hang our hats on right now. >> hey, doctor, it's candice
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gibson here. i have a random question for you involving the testing and positive and negative testing. you have erykah badu, a fellow texan there, says she tested positive in one nostril and negative in the other. is that possible? >> of course it's possible! some people hear that and they think that it adds to the conspiracy theory of covid-19. as a physician, i hear that and it tells us what we already know. that these tests are not 100% sensitive and they are not foolproof. we've been saying that since the beginning of the pandemic. testing has been a huge problem. not only access to testing, but getting tests that are accurate enough for us to be able to readily contact trace and readily quarantine and isolate those who require it. so, yes, it is absolutely possible. >> strange, but possible. >> strange and still so much confusion. but we are so appreciative, doctor, that you are hear to shed some light on what we know and what we can expect. thank you. >> thank you, doctor. >> thank you. president trump is claiming voter fraud in georgia, so you
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would think that he would be all for the audit that's taking place right now in georgia. but you would be wrong. he now wants it to stop. what? why? want to brain better? unlike ordinary memory supplements- neuriva has clinically proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try our new gummies for 30 days and see the difference. the givers and not takers, and the home decorators. to those that got us through spring, summer, and fall, we're cheersin' for all at dunkin'. share some cheersin' with friends via the dunkin' app. america runs on dunkin' friends via the dunkin' app. you work hard for your money. stretched days for it.
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right now, the 13th hurricane of the season is set to hit storm-battered central america. hurricane iota is in the caribbean sea moving towards nicaragua and honduras and winds are whipping around at 80 miles an hour. iota is forecast to get even stronger, by the way, before it hits land. those countries are already recovering from a deadly category 4 hurricane that struck less than two weeks ago. >> that struck pretty much the same area, the same part of nicaragua. back here in this country, president trump is trying to put a stop to the audit that's underway right now in georgia. in a tweet posted this weekend, the president called the audit a waste of time, because it does not require an additional signature verification in his words. joining me right now is
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congresswoman-elect for georgia's seventh district, carolyn bordeaux. congresswoman, thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> what do you make of this president's tweet right there, that one? >> so he's continuing to flail around this election. he called for this hand recount. now poor georgia's out there redoing 5 million ballots that we're having to recount and now he's decided he doesn't like that anymore because he knows he's going to lose, even with that hand recount, so he's just trying to come up with some other excuse. >> and why is there so much back and forth about this whole signature verification thing there? >> so when you vote absentee, what you do is you sign the outside of the envelope. and the board of elections will then take that envelope and check the signature to make sure it matches the one they have on file. and then they take your ballot out, discard the envelope, and count the ballots.
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all of those signatures have already been validated. >> on top of the recount, georgia is also preparing for not one, but two runoff elections that will ultimately determine which party controls the u.s. senate. the republican candidates and david perdue and kelly loffler have joined forces and are now campaigning together. is this a good game plan and should democrats be worried? >> no, not at all. our senators are birds of a feather. they are notable for having received an early classified briefing about coronavirus. and instead of telling us about it, instead of helping us get prepared for it, they went and they rebalanced their to become portfolio so they could make more money. we invite them to campaign together and i look forward to campaigning with john and rafael to get the job done in georgia. >> president-elect joe biden became the first democrat to flip georgia, as you know, blue in 28 years. but he wasn't able to do the
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same for texas. what do you think the differences are between the two states? >> so, i can't speak to texas, but i can say that it took time for us to build the infrastructure of the party to let voters know that they had options. i ran back in 2018, came within 433 votes of flipping the seventh district. and part of the effort of that race was just knocking the doors and telling people that their neighbors were democrats. they weren't the only democrat in the neighborhood. it was building the volunteer base to get the job done. we had 800 volunteers in the race that i was able to win in this past few weeks. >> and congratulations on your victory. you get a sense, though, that this was sort of like an outlier. not your victory, but the victory that you have georgia going blue, or is this a sense of things to come? >> absolutely, this is a sense of things to come. georgia is now going to be a blue or purple state. it is going to be hotly contested for generations.
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>> all right. well, congresswoman-elect carolyn bordeaux from the seventh district of georgia, congratulations. hope you enjoy it in d.c. >> thank you so much. the nation is anxiously awaiting a vaccine against covid-19 and the news from pfizer is very promising. nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel has been monitoring the global race for a vaccine and how it could protect doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic. >> coven tri try is in the hear england. the industrial city was bombed heavily by the nazis in world war ii. now it's under attack by another enemy from the air, one intensive care nurse, lisa malpietti knows all too well. >> et feeit feels like there's to it. it comes like we've come out of a dream-like sequence, it feels like a nightmare and it seems to be happening again.
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>> reporter: is that depressing, is that frightening? >> it's anxiety. i think that's the feeling amongst most people. just this deep-rooted anxiety. and yet we're starting all over again. >> ready, steady. >> reporter: a vaccine. >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: what would it mean for you? what would it mean for your hospital? >> a vaccine would be a lifesaver. >> reporter: would it give you more confidence? >> you feel quite anxious every time you come to work, you're putting yourself at risk and going home and putting your family at rusk, as well. >> reporter: and the risk is compounded over time. >> yes. >> reporter: every day, you're having the risk. >> yes. >> reporter: but now it's every day for months and months and months. >> richard engel on assignment examines the high stakes in the global race for a vaccine tonight at 10:00 eastern here on msnbc. rising cases across the country are set to bring more financial pain to a country that's already reeling. >> the new push for joe biden to start signing executive orders on day one to help restart the
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turning now to the coronavirus pandemic. the u.s. now has 11 million cases and nearly 247,000 deaths. in minnesota, daily cases hit a record high yesterday, adding more than 8,700 to their tally. nbc's cory coffin is at the minneapolis-st. paul
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international airport. cory, what's happening there? >> reporter: we're here at this location because they just opened up a saliva testing facility here. this is part of a statewide effort to ramp up testing. you get results back in 24 to 48 hours. in fact, it's just about to open here in a couple of minutes and some people already waiting to get in. and it's not just travelers to ease their concerns, but people that live nearby. state testing 40 to 50,000 tests a day now. and that is going to be important, because they're starting to see their worst surge in this pandemic. not only is minnesota experiencing its deadliest week so far since this pandemic began, but they've also ballooned in cases from 19,000 active cases two weeks ago to 46,000 active cases right now, as we speak. now, what we're seeing is epidemiologists say that the biggest cases or the biggest
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spike in cases is coming from rural parts of the state, although every county is experiencing a rise. my colleague, gabe gutierrez went inside a covid icu, kind of followed them along and spoke with front line workers about all of this. listen to what they say. >> i like being there for people in the hard times, and i think this year in particular is very trying for people and the icu in general. and you always want somebody with compassion and integrity and, you know, kindness taking care of your loved one. >> you know, it's so hard when you don't see that light at the end of the tunnel just yet. we're experiencing this what could be considered a third wave. and what she said is exactly what i heard from front line workers in wisconsin yesterday,
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as well. minnesota's governor putting some new measures in place to try to curb the spread of those numbers rising. gatherings, indoor and outdoor, have to be less than ten people and when it comes to events like weddings and funerals, that's going to be capped at 25. restaurants and bars will have to close at 10:00 p.m., guys, and they will also have a capacity limit of 150 people. >> and cori, let's talk about the governor coming down really hard on the gop legislature this weekend for not informing their own colleagues on the other side of the aisle about some members testing positive. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: yeah, democrats were really surprised to learn about this. what we're finding out is that at least two gop senators within the statehouse tested positive for covid. republicans sent out a warning email, advising people to stay home. but only within the republican party. democrats never received any such warning. they lambasted their colleagues for not providing more transparency.
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governor tim walz tweeting out, i have that tweet i want to read to you now. he said, "covid-19 does not operate along party lines and neither can we. if we know of a positive case, we have a moral obligation to share that information with others so they can protect themselves and their families." hoping for more transparency within the statehouse here in minnesota moving forward. guys. >> nbc's cori coffin, thank you. there are some new renewed calls for shutdown due to covid-19 and the pandemic. it's getting a lot louder all across the country. some state and local officials have already issued new restrictions that have impact bi businesses, families, and many more. >> now let's talk about how the economy is bracing itself for what's ahead. we know the pandemic isn't getting any easier to handle and that has the potential to cause even more economic pain than already americans are feeling. what's being done about this and talking about a relief package,
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what could that look like? >> we need that financial relief package not yesterday, we needed it six months ago. just to take you back, lindsay, it was back in may that democrats in the house passed the heroes act. now six months later, we still don't have that relief package, as we're seeing governors across the country impose new restrictions. what's different this time around is that back in march, when we underwent the coronavirus shutdown, there was the cares act. this time around, we're seeing restrictions coming back but we're not seeing that financial aid. and we know there's so much pain out there. you just mentioned there, now restrictions in new york, for instance, governor cuomo on friday imposed this 10:00 p.m. curfew. new york city a city that never sleeps. but obviously in pandemic times, that has just gone away and in terms of restaurants, they rely on nighttime hours to make money. so the curfew is cutting down on
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that. also another big fear for the restaurant industry nationwide is the possibility of another national lockdown. i was speaking to a small business owner, she owns a restaurant in new york city, she said, that could end us. so there is so much pain to go around. and we really need action from washington, not just negotiations that go nowhere, but actual relief. >> so that said, sebeil, why was the market doing so well last week. we have news of a new president-elect, we have people hurting and more dark times. >> we've seen when it comes to the stock market investors, they really want some good news. they want to know that the u.s. economy is going to get back, booming, back to pre-pandemic levels. so when pfizer came out and said that they have a vaccine that's more than 90% effective, that's great news for the u.s. economy. it's also great for the airline industry. we've seen, they've had to layoff thousands of workers and if there's a vaccine, it's
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distributed to people. we can get to that post-pandemic life, which is what so many of us want, and that's why we saw the stocks go up. but we're not in the clear. if we really want to recover here, we are going to need that financial relief package. wall street is counting on it. >> that they are. >> sibile, we've argued that president-elect biden could learn a two or thing from president trump about his economic agenda. pointing out that he can instill changes by issuing executive orders, the same way that trump has done so far, for many years now. are there any alternatives or alternative better ways to handle things? >> well, what's ideal would be for biden, once he becomes president, after inauguration, to have the help of both the house and the senate. but if the senate remains under republican control, top
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republicans could choose to be an obstacle to biden's economic plan. so he could rip a page right out of trump's economic playbook and turn to executive order orders, to provide financial relief to americans. what we saw president trump do when he saw that negotiations weren't going anywhere through executive order, he ordered federal government to give $300 per week to unemployed americans. was it enough? no. but did it last long enough? not at all. but it was something. and that's the key. we need something. we do need relief from this financial pain. biden, he could use executive orders. for example, leveraging federal contracts to get companies that work with the federal government to raise wages. also, protect worker safety and prevent -- and not prevent workers from being able to unionize. he could also with the new acting education secretary, possibly cancel some student debt, so more relief there. >> a whole lot of people are like, whoo, to that aspect right there. but what foreign governments would you say are a model on how to keep the economy a float
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going forward in the pandemic? >> right. so it's hard to tell exactly which foreign government we should model, because this is unprecedented. if we do have more financial relief coming from washington, we can weather the pandemic. but they just have to put politics aside and get money into the hands of americans and support businesses. >> okay. >> sibile marcellus, thank you so much. good to see you. >> thanks, lindsey. it's the way america has elected its presidents for more than 250 years. but it could be dramatically changed if some determined political activists get their way, next. e determined political activists t getheir way, next. so, uh, yeah, just a silly mistake. i guess i look pretty... ridiculous. [ chuckles ] no one looks ridiculous, bob. progressive is always here for you with round-the-clock service. just so you know, next time, you can submit a claim with our mobile app. good. thanks again for -- for rushing over. are you kidding? this is what 24/7 protection looks like. okay.
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a six-month stay. as of this moment, nbc news projects joe biden leads president trump by more than 5.5 million votes. so why isn't he president yet? you can blame, of course, the electoral college. it's a complicated system that effectively gives the power to choose a president choose a president to a handful of battleground states and leaves individual voters everywhere else feeling disenfranchised. a movement to replace the electoral college. >> reporter: currently less than 50,000 votes stand between biden and trump in just three battleground states that could have changed the outcome of this election. while the electoral college vote isn't close, joe biden will win the popular vote by 5 million. only five of those elections have been won. it's why the electoral college is so controversial in
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democratic circles. we spoke to voters in california, a safe blue state, and heard a mix of opinions about this. >> i think we should change the system and have the people vote, not the electoral college. >> if the people want a certain person to be president, that's who they should listen to. >> i'm a centrist, so i understand the arguments on both sides. >> reporter: most states use what's called the winner-takes-all approach. the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state receives the state's electoral college votes. but critics argue the system not only has its roots in slavery but continues to give a disproportionate amount of power to states with smaller populations. take this, for example. california, the most populous state, has one electoral vote for every 718,000 residents or so. while wyoming, the least populous state, has three electoral votes for less people. >> it gives lesser populated
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states a voice, and in a certain way it's good. i think there has to be a certain balance. >> reporter: for voters who tend to deviate from the majority where they live their voices will be drowned out by the system. >> my vote never counts. i even feel if i'm voting democratic that year, i never felt my vote counted. >> reporter: so they want to fix that. >> if you live in california, new york, virginia, or if you live in pennsylvania is a swing state, but if you live in utah, as an example, you're completely ignored today on the presidential front because we know how you're going to vote. >> reporter: he was a fixture in michigan for many years. now he's all about changing presidential politics as we know it starting with, you guessed it, the electoral college. >> so for all practical purposes we elect the president from the battleground states of the america versus the united states of america. >> reporter: it starts on the campaign trail n. 2016 two-thirpdz of presidential
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campaign events were concentrated in these six electorally competitive states because campaign strategists were convinced those states could decide the election. >> i used to live in ohio. the candidates came there all the time. i moved to california. biden didn't come here. trump didn't come here. they don't come here. >> reporter: the influence of battleground states extends beyond the ballot box. they're likely to receive more federal grants and disaster declarations, but there might be a bipartisan solution that preserves states' rights and enshure ensures that every vote counts. the national popular vote interstate compact. it's a mouthful, i know. it proposes each state's electors would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote not the states' popular vote. >> i think the proposal is quintessentially fair. it basically sets up the situation where you campaign in all 50 states and each side gets a chance to present their case to the american people as a
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whole and you let the best man or woman win. >> reporter: 15 states and the district of columbia have approved the pact and share a combined 196 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win the presidency. the deal is it wouldn't take effect until they're over that 270 threshold and would only apply to states that have joined the agreement. >> i believe that by 2024 we'll have another six to eight states that will have joined the compact. and there will be enough, 270 or more, enough to win the election, and they will cast their votes based on who wins the national popular vote. >> reporter: but in order for that to happen proponents of the pact will need to win over skeptics who want to keep the electoral college as is. >> i like the constitution, i like the consistency, i like the distributed power geographically. >> reporter: republicans point to previous popular vote winners like al gore and hillary clinton and assume a system that dilutes
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the power of the electoral college will lead to more democratic presidents, but republicans and democrats could wind up growing their bases in unexpected ways. >> it would create a situation where candidates are working with a lot of swing and independent voters in any and all of those 50 states. >> reporter: it is the easiest exit strategy from the electoral college, and it requires no constitutional amendment but will still face legal cha engs mo challenges most likely. >> there will be lawsuits but with the current supreme court it's pretty much a constructionist court, meaning it basically leads the law the way it says, article 2, section 1 says the state legislature gets to determine how this is done. >> reporter: so what happens next? if enough states pass this legislation by 2024 the popular vote could really mean something and our next presidential election could look have i different.
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we'll take anything that looks different than this past year's campaign race, but a very interesting concept there. >> absolutely. >> thank you, simone. appreciate it. and thank you for watching. i'm lindsey reiser. >> and i'm kendis gibson. we'll be back next weekend at 6:00 a.m. next on velshi, surviving the next wave. "shark tank's" kevin o'leary and more top business and economy experts answer your questions about how to make it through the next few months. ali in house. irresistibly smooth chocolate. ♪ to put the world on pause. lindor. made to melt you. by the lindt master chocolatier.
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good morning. it is sunday, november the 15th. i'm ali velshi. we are 66 days from president-elect joe biden's inauguration. donald trump has yet to concede. however, just moments ago trump tweeted of biden, quote, he won because the election was rigged. seemingly the first time donald trump has admitted that biden won, although his reasoning remains false. the tweet is full of falsehoods, but it is the first time he has acknowledged joe biden won. still, while we live in one country we continue down two very different paths. one based in reality and the other on a myth, a figment of donald trump's imagination. yesterday the soon-to-be ex-president fanned flames that only serve to further damage our democracy and continue to claim that the election was stolen, which it wasn't. he just lost. indeed, he lost i


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