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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  February 18, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST

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you have to hear the struggles there to believe just how bad it is right now. >> inside of the house, it's almost minus 2 or minus 1. it's really cold inside. >> they don't have gas. i have nine miles to go with my car. we have to find something that's within nine miles from here. >> to tell you how cold it was, it was colder inside in my living room than the refrigerator. >> the biden administration is sending blankets and generators to help people in texas. the situation is dire. governor abbott says every source of power that texas has has been compromised because of the cold. he is warning that the state should brace for another round of freezing temperatures over the next few days. folks are trying to navigate this crisis. first, it's good to see you.
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the situation is desperate. searches for basic supplies are growing more difficult there. what are you hearing from people you are talking to in houston about how they are dealing with the crisis? >> reporter: jeff, people here in houston are exhausted and they are emotional. now that the roads have improved, people have been driving around town looking for water, food supplies, checking in on family members that they are concerned about. this has been going on now for days. there's a little bit of good news. center point energy says 98% of their customers should have power restored now. some of the customers are people at home who do not have water. if they have water, they are like everyone else under a boil advisory in order for that water to be safe to consume and use. people remain panicked here even as the incremental improvements have been seen. the city says that there should be fixes to the water supply throughout the day today and tomorrow. they can't provide an exact time
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when residents should expect to see that happen. i interviewed a single mom. she and her kids have crowded in with eight family members in her small home. she hasn't been able to go to work all week. listen to this conversation i had with her. >> we try to go to the store to get water. there were no water in the store. we only have two cases of water left. we are trying to divide it between two families. my cousin lost her lights and water. she had to come to my house. we are trying to divide it between two families. it's really hard. we don't know what the next day is going to look like. that's the scary part. >> reporter: what you hear her describe there i have heard from resident after resident. they are scrambling to find basic supplies like water. stores are sold out. they are inviting people outside of their family into their homes
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in the middle of a continued pandemic and putting themselves at risk to try to survive the next couple days. if they run down on the last two cases of water, she's not sure what they will do over the weekend. jeff? >> two cases of water for a family -- two families, eight people and kids as well. thanks for the reporting. i want to turn to the mayor. he has issued a disaster declaration for the city. it's good to see you. to give people a sense of this, it's about a three-hour drive west of houston. that's just the breadth of what's happening here. we heard powerful accounts about what people in houston are going through in this crisis. how are folks in your city doing? >> jeff, thank you for having me this morning. our situation is probably not that much different other than it's a different geographic area. we have not seen this type of weather in years.
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i have been here 72 years. this is the first time we have had subzero weather. likewise, we are experiencing the same resource issues with electricity. we finally got our electricity -- our water plant operating yesterday as encor was able to work with us on making tweaks to our infrastructure to get our power plant running. we were fortunate to have our hospital up and running. they were on a backup generator day before yesterday. they got back on electricity. we have been making our emergency operation centers making every effort to get power back on and then now our biggest challenge is getting water flowing. there is some water flowing out to citizens. we have a complicated infrastructure with multiple water providers. we are having to work with them to get water to the rest of our residents. >> you say water is the number one priority. the biden administration says it's providing assistance to
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texas via fema. they are sending generators and moving diesel in for backup power. what are some of the other top priorities that the people in your city need right now that you need right now? >> well, the top priorities are water. we made that request through the state agency or texas department of emergency management, the protocol we follow. we also made requests for generators to try to get our power plant up and running. since we have that up and running, we asked the agency to divert those where they are more needed. primarily right now is getting water -- bottled water to our citizens and actually perhaps some food supply. i understand there are some stores that are opening for a number of hours, partial opening. as you can imagine, lines are pretty long to get into grocery stores and so forth. >> mayor, based on what you know
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right now about the level of resources, how do you expect the next few days to go there for folks? >> well, the next few days are -- may be just as treacherous as the snow starts to melt. i'm here in my home office looking out my window. i have had snow on the ground for four or five days, which is something you normally don't see in texas. as the temperatures start to climb up a little bit, we will have issues with water lines that maybe have been frozen and pipes bursting. we are on alert for that to make sure we are cutting off water where we need to cut off so there's not any flooding and damage to people's homes and streets. those are going to be our first and foremost concerns. they are on our radar right now. more importantly is getting people some mobility for our citizens on the street so they can access resources.
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we will -- should have our water up and running in the next two or three days. i will say at greater capacity than right now. >> mayor, give us a sense, was this predictable when you talk about the infrastructure issues, the electric grid, the water pipes that are frozen over? leading up to everything we saw this past week, what were some of the conversations that you and your colleagues in local leadership were having about this very issue? >> well, whether it was predictable or not, i am not sure. we have been subject to freezing weather in the past. we have been able to deal with those issues. we had never anticipated the temperatures getting this long and sustaining ice and snow on the ground as long as we have and the impact it's had on our major infrastructure power plants, things of that nature. one of the areas that we are going to be looking at is for
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future is the redundant energy sources that we need to accommodate our key facilities, police department, fire department, water plant, sewer plant, the major operating functions of a city. those are the key things to keep people safe and warm and supplied with water. those are areas that we will be doing some i guess post-arctic planning for into the future. to say this will never happen again, if you can imagine, texans would have never planned to forecast this in their life. we have to start thinking differently. certainly, we are accountable to our citizens to do a better job in the future. >> mayor, our best to you, sir, and all the folks you represent down there struggling right now. i want to turn to the forecast.
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bill, it's good to see you. governor abbott is warning of more freezing temperatures there in texas. the northeast is facing a winter blast. it's snowing where i am right now. what more do we know at this hour? bring us up to speed. >> we know the power outages have come down significantly. yesterday at this time, texas had over 2 million. right now i checked, it's 480,000. in houston especially, houston was at 1.2 or 1.3 million yesterday. right now, 45,000 people in houston don't have power. they electrified the grid there. that's good. people are starting to get power. now it's the water issue. 70 million people under boil water issues. check the social media, there's pictures everywhere of people with burst pipes in their house, water leaking through their ceilings and their walls. it's incredible the amount of damage done by this storm. that's going to have to be fixed in days, weeks, months ahead. it's freezing. this is day five. no one alive in texas has seen a
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weather like this. it was the late 1800s when we last saw a freeze like this and snowstorms in south texas. when people are saying they have never seen anything like this, they are right. 23 right now in dallas. oklahoma city is 15. it's going to remain cold this afternoon. it will warm up as we go throughout the weekend. we expect record lows again tomorrow throughout the same region. >> bill, as we talk about texas, we will take you live to nancy pelosi's press conference as she's talking about the issue. >> the president responded to calls for disaster assistance. he did that sunday morning. now fema will take a measure of what the needs are. we want to be sure to have the funds there. there are other needs that my colleagues have told us about, needs that relate to nutrition,
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the fact that some people were hopeful of getting their vaccine -- their vaccination, their vaccine shot are not able to do it. they want immediate assistance from fema to replenish texas water supply and help texas obtain safe and drinkable water. immediate assistance from fema to respond to texans for emergency personal assistant through direct payment and home repair assistant. assistance for sba to aid small businesses. request for implement disaster supplemental nutrition, s.n.a.p., and to allow temporary flexibility in s.n.a.p. eligibility. authorization of emergency appropriations for low income --
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liheap. then it goes on and on. in any event, assistance and delivery, storage and distribution of the covid vaccination to name a few of the immediate needs that people have. everybody has their personal experience. my daughter's home has no water. pipes are breaking all over because of the cold. again, they can handle it. a lot of people can't. the question of needing water and food and energy and vaccines and the rest. we really have to be on top of that. hope that there would be some preparation for the future. this was in many ways predictable in a long rage of weatherizing the infrastructure
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of energy in the state. that's a longer range discussion. to have given people an earlier alert as to what their concerns would be. i believe the energy and commerce committee will be taking up some form of -- when i say investigation, i mean a look into it to see how things could have turned out better and will turn out better in the future. at the same time, i'm so proud of the work of our members, the chairs of the committees of jurisdiction, the members, the staff. i feel as if we have worked the staff 24/7 for a number of weeks now. make sure we stay on schedule with the american rescue plan, the biden plan. as you know, a couple of weeks ago, we passed the budget bill for reconciliation to protect the 51 vote privilege.
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last week, we wrote up the bill within that framework, within different committees of jurisdiction, honoring their amounts. that now has gone to the budget committee which will consolidate all of that, make sure that it is again in keeping with what reconciliation allows. that will then go to the rules committee for us to vote on sometime at the end of next week is my hope. however, at the same time, there's communication with the senate as to what the byrd rule will allow in the bills as we go forward. that's kind of where we are on that. people have worked so hard and so intensely, because, as i said to the members when we have been briefing them the last few days, we have had, on the leadership of our chair jeffreys and pete
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aguilar, every day we had the chairs present what is in the bills. not for suggestions of amendment but for notification of this is what the overall reconciliation enables us to do, and this is how we are going forward. i'm very, very proud of their work. today is a busy day. with the snow and sleet and the rest, but today we have the u.s. citizenship act which will be introduced. linda sanchez, the lead in the house, bob menendez, chair of the foreign affairs committee in the senate. the equality act, this is something -- it's very exciting for us. equality act, we passed it before. hopefully now it will be passed into law in the senate. it will have bipartisan support.
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the business community is supportive, because they want the best in their workforce. in order for that to happen, we have to remove discrimination in all aspects. of our society and economy. then we are very pleased at the strong bipartisan support we have for the congressional gold medal to honor our police, naming a few of them for courage and valor and saving our lives. without them, who knows how bad this could have gone. i'm very pleased we have very, very strong bipartisan support and with the leadership, mr. mccarthy and mr. scalise as well as leadership on the democratic side as well. you saw the senate announce
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their support for this on saturday night. then we will come together and pass this legislation. we are working on the commission, the january 6 commission. what's happening in that timetable is the following. everybody was saying, we need to have a commission, this or that. i was very much a part of writing the commission in the -- the 9/11 commission. you heard me go through that before. so we heard almost immediately or sometime last week from the chairs of that commission, governor kane of new jersey and former chairman in the house lee hamilton. they sent us all a letter, the leadership, the president, vice president, leadership, house and senate, saying this is what we
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think should be in the legislation. it wasn't too far from what everybody thought. what are the causes of what happened 9/11? what is the truth? what is the security, security, security? look at how the security can protect us, better preparedness can protect us in the future. how did that go wrong? they also had a provision that they wanted which is to strengthen congress. the view the public has of congress. we will see how we can deal with that. by and large, most of what they suggested very much mirrors what we had in the bill that we wrote in 2011 at the -- for the -- not 2011, the 9/11 commission. that legislation plus their report, plus their letter is pretty much the basis for what
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we have. as soon as we came to terms with that in the last few days, we sent it to the republicans to see what suggestions they may have. for this to work, it really has to be strongly bipartisan. we will hear back from them on that. i'm excited about that. when we did it in 2001, the families of 9/11 really weighed in on it. there's really strong support in the country for us to have -- seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the american people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest. any questions? yes, ma'am. >> we have been listening to house speaker nancy pelosi as she conducts her weekly press conference. you heard her talking about the january 6th commission, the independent panel that she called for to look into the
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facts and causes of the january 6th insurrection at the capitol. you heard her say she wants republican input into that overall outside group. we heard her talk about the covid relief deal -- or package. it's not quite a deal. even as the house and senate are on recess this week, there are house committees that are moving ahead to make sure that that package can move on the house and senate floors next week. the clock is ticking. come march 14th, that is when extended federal unemployment benefits run dry. the biden administration in concert with hill democrats are trying to push that forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. live pictures from new jersey, i'm told, which is getting more snow today. officials there had to postpone covid vaccine appointments because the storm delayed the shipments of doses. the latest on the state's rollout. in a matter of minutes, democrats will unveil that major
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new immigration bill the speaker mentioned. we will get the details on a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and whether it could actually become law. all that's coming up next. en ars pain gel. the first full prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel... available over the counter. voltaren is powerful arthritis pain relief in a gel. voltaren. the joy of movement. voiceover: riders. wanderers on the road of life. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination. uh, i-i'm actually just going to get an iced coffee. well, she may have a destination this one time, but usually -- no, i-i usually have a destination. yeah, but most of the time, her destination is freedom. nope, just the coffee shop. announcer: no matter why you ride, progressive has you covered with protection starting at $79 a year. voiceover: 'cause she's a biker... please don't follow me in.
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this morning marks the ninth straight day with the number of new coronavirus cases under 100,000. we are rapidly approaching 28 million cases. that's more than any other country. here are the latest facts on the pandemic. covid-19 shortened american life expectancy by a full year. data from 2020 shows it's the biggest drop we have seen since world war ii. for people of color, it's even worse. hispanic americans have lost two years after their life expectancy and black americans nearly three. 56 million vaccine doses have made their ways into the arms of
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americans. 4% of the popular or more than 15 million people are now fully vaccinated. that's good news. there's still rampant vaccine skepticism. the pentagon says roughly one-third of american military personnel are now declining the vaccine. the extreme winter weather -- with that weather millions of people are dealing with slowed covid vaccinations. several states, major vaccine sites are closed and appointments have been postponed. kathy park is outside one vaccination site that had to reschedule today in freehold, new jersey. bring us up to speed. what are you hearing about how the weather is affecting the rollout as you stand there in the driving snow? >> reporter: jeff, good morning to you. the bad weather has disrupted the rollout in a couple of ways. obviously, travel has been treacherous to get to some of these appointment locations. that's why they have had to cancel. in places like monmouth county
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where we are, shipments have been delayed. they were proactive in postponing today's appointments. they moved it to monday. we have spoken to several people who have come to the site today thinking they were going to get their second dose. they were telling us they didn't receive any notification or alert about the schedule change. this is adding to their confusion as well as their frustration. take a listen. >> i learned that today's appointments were canceled by coming here. they told me i would be contacted. i wasn't. today's appointments are canceled. not so much due to the weather but because the shipment didn't come in of vaccines. it's pushed back now to monday. >> reporter: jeff, these challenges are surfacing all across the country because of the bad weather. obviously, the northeast dealing with a lot of snow and ice.
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it seems like week after week. here in new jersey, governor murphy said the goal over the next six months is to inoculate nearly 5 million people. obviously, the bad weather continues to have an impact on the time line, jeff. >> nbc's kathy park, you and your team stay warm. i want to turn to an emergency medicine physician at columbia university medical center and a yahoo news medical contributor. thanks for your time. let's start with the weather across the country. it's disrupting the vaccine distribution and the pace of getting shots into the arms of americans. how concerned are you about what this does to the time line for getting more americans vaccinated? >> we are still ahead of the goal of 100 million doses in arms in 100 days. every day we lose to weather or other delays is a big deal. we see the weather across the entire country is delaying delivery of vaccine and the
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ability of americans to get to the vaccination centers. we are seeing rolling cancellations. it confuses people. two doses together. once that first dose is delayed, so is the second dose and the vaccination of the citizens. we need to decrease as many delays as possible which means investing in getting the vaccines to the facilities as best we can even in the face of the horrible weather. >> another issue that is complicating the effort -- we talked about this before. this is true in lower income communities. the lack of health services and transportation to and from the vaccine centers. "the washington post" has been looking into this challenge. a new piece reads this way. it says, a lack of pharmacies, hospitals, providers and transportation has emerged as an equally significant concern in those communities where covid-19 has caused damage. lots of people have articulated the problem here.
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what's the solution? how quickly can the administration get that solution up to scale? >> we will need short-term solutions, which means mobile vaccination units, bringing vaccines to people where they are and how they can get there and long-term solutions, remembering that now we see, especially today, climate, infrastructure, inequality in health care access and systemic inequities related to our other experiences as we grow up are related. when days like this come to us, we see it come together at once. the other thing we don't realize is right now as people deal with losing their power and not being able to get to vaccination appointments, they are going into shelters which may delay vaccinations but increase the spread of the virus. we need to be diligent in vulnerable communities making sure we address the issues head on and don't lose time not just for vaccinations but also against this downward spiral. >> i want to ask you about a newly published study in the new
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england journal of medicine. it shows that both the pfizer and moderna vaccines appear to be highly effective against the uk variant but they show decreased effectiveness against the south african variant. how concerns should we be, especially now that the south african variant has been found in states, so says the cdc? >> it's important that we continue to learn more about how these variants affect efficacy. meaning, how do they affect what -- how well it will address the virus as it comes into the body. all of our vaccines are protective against every variant so far. we need to not get distracted and still make sure that we continue to disseminate vaccines, get vaccinations going but follow the variants and how effective the new variants will be, how they will change the effectiveness of vaccines. >> thanks for your insight, as
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always. andrew cuomo is facing new scrutiny over his handling of coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes. nbc news learned the fbi and the u.s. attorney in brooklyn have started a preliminary inquiry. they are looking at how his office handled data related to the deaths. his office revealed there were nearly twice as many long-term care facility covid-19 deaths than previously reported. in a statement his office says, as we publically said, doj has been looking into this for months. we have been cooperating with them and we will continue to. in a few minutes, democrats will unveil their massive new immigration bill, including a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. can they actually get it passed in this congress? we will take a look.
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right now, the latest attempt to pass sweeping immigration reform is officially starting on the hill. nbc's leigh ann caldwell is at her post on capitol hill. president biden, he is adding to democrats' to do list. give us a sense of what is in the bill and how it's being received so far. >> reporter: sure, jeff. this is a pretty big, bold and
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progressive piece of legislation that's gone a lot further in many ways than previous immigration attempts in the past. what this legislation does is it provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants in eight years, which is pretty much a quicker time line. it also has a faster track for daka recipients, tps holders and farmworkers. it changes government language by using the word alien to non-citizen. it increases diversity visas from 55,000 to 80,000. this is a lot that is on the progressive, liberal wish list. nancy pelosi was asked about it at a press conference. listen to what she had to say about it. >> i salute the president for putting forth the legislation that he did. there are others who want to do
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piecemeal. that may be a good approach, too. that's up to the congress to decide. >> reporter: this is another agenda item of the biden administration. it's still going to be a big, uphill challenge to get this passed. it does not have necessarily unanimous support among democrats alone. this, again, is more to the left than even some democrats would like it to be. the bill sponsors have a lot of work to do to get even their own party on board, jeff. >> that's some really good insight. immigration reform has been the third rail of american politics. presidents, administrations of both parties have tried this and failed. what did democrats hope to do different this time? >> reporter: there are gangs of bipartisan members on immigration who tried multiple times to pass comprehensive immigration reform. even more scaled down
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immigration changes that have really gone nowhere. this time, democrats are doing it differently. they are not starting with this bipartisan approach. instead, they are starting with the very partisan approach. they are saying that they need to go more expansive and more progressive in the hopes perhaps they can get some of the provisions passed and perhaps there is some room for negotiation. this is definitely a different tact than going with republicans from the very beginning, jeff. >> nbc news capitol hill correspondent leigh ann caldwell, thanks. i want to bring in the executive director of the national immigration group. in doing reporting about the bill, as one source put it to me, this bill is visionary. the overall goal is progress.
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the white house and democrats on the hill are potentially okay with breaking this bill into pieces if that's what ultimately proves successful. a question to you as someone invested in this work and invested in rights for immigrants, is that approach okay with you? what priorities do you want to see lawmakers take when they push this bill forward? >> absolutely. i think first it's recognizing that the u.s. citizenship act does mark a significant step as we continue working to reclaim our nation's role as a beacon of hope for people around the world that are seeking a better life. we are very grateful that the biden white house and senator menendez and representative sanchez are bringing this historic bill forward. that said, as you just mentioned, we believe that we can't have an all or nothing approach. what we need to do is actually have progress and be able to deliver much, much needed relief to not just immigrants and their
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families and loved ones but to communities, to employers, to schools and to our country that is so dependent on immigrants. yes, we think whether it's the whole bill is able to move forward or more importantly there are pieces of legislation that have passed the house of representatives that could and should be able to be brought to a vote very quickly so that immigrant youth, farm workers, people with temporary protected status that are long-term residents of the nation can get on a path to citizenship right away. most importantly, jeff, that the essential workers that our country is dependent on, in light of the pandemic, they be placed on a path to citizenship as soon as possible. >> it's a great point you make, that immigration, that pandemic relief in many ways overlap. what do you see as the imperative? what do you see as the urgent parts of the bill that have to move forward? protections for dreamers? protections for farm workers? give us a sense of that.
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>> yeah. you know, i think that the most urgent part of this is really the pathway to citizenship. ensuring that -- the majority of undocumented immigrants have been if our country over a decade. for dreamers, they have been here since they were children. some of them 20, 30 years now. it's unacceptable that at this stage in the united states that we have people on the margins of the law. in fact, want to be recognized, they want to be citizens. we should place them on the path to citizenship. we would say, absolutely for immigrant youth, long-term residents with temporary protected status, farm workers and the essential workers that americans have started to recognize how dependent we are on them. we are relying on them as part of the pandemic for health care, for food, for food processing and restaurants, warehouse workers delivering goods. this is the year, this is the moment to ensure that they are placed on a path to citizenship.
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>> there's something about this bill, something included in it that stood out to me. it calls for changing the term alien, changing that word the trump administration used, to non-citizen. the administration says they did that to better reflect the president's values on immigration. when you use a word like alien, it makes it easier to dehumanize them. give us a sense of the significance of that change, changing alien in the legislation to non-citizen. >> absolutely. language is very powerful. language matters greatly, as we have seen and heard over the last years. the term alien -- this came up at the hearing last week where some of the republicans were saying, that is a term of art. that's been in the law books. it was placed there by someone that was dehumanizing.
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it connotes this person is not a human. it's dehumanizes. president biden is right. this is a moment where our laws should be reflective of our values as a nation. this country prides itself on being a nation of immigrants. we have roots in indigenous people, african-americans who were descendents of slavery. everyone else is an immigrant or child or grandchild of an immigrant. we should be using language that recognizes our humanity and that the law recognizes our contributions and puts people on a path to citizenship. >> every time i talk to you, i learn something new. thanks for coming on. thank you. >> thank you. a programming note. this afternoon, senator robert menendez has an exclusive cable interview on the immigration bill right here on msnbc. we are staying on top of the
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winter weather crisis in texas. hundreds of thousands of people still don't have power. next, we will get the latest from dallas. stay with us. pnc bank believes that if you can get a pair of goggles that helps with your backhand... yeah! ...then you should be able to get a bank account that helps with your budget. (laughs) we created virtual wallet® to help people save and spend smarter. easily see the big picture of your finances... ...and set up alerts to help avoid overdrafts. you see that? virtual wallet® for digital banking. one way we're helping to make a difference at pnc bank. (sam) gamers! he who is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. take fuzzywuzzy28. blamin' losses on a laggy network. only one or two. verizon 5g ultra wideband is here, the fastest 5g in the world, with ultra... low... lag! stop blaming the network and start becoming the best gamers in the ga--
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♪ it's irresistibly delicious.♪ ♪ more almond breeze, please! ♪ we are keeping an eye on the crisis in texas. right now, thousands of families in north texas are still without power. the number is slowly ticking down. that's good news. a separate crisis is also looming for the millions who are now under a boil water notice. nbc's morgan chesky is in dallas. the freezing temperatures aren't letting up. apparently, they are talking about how this added challenge with the water supply is making things worse and harder for those families. bring us up to speed. >> reporter: you are absolutely right. we have seen some improvement overnight in the fact that for the first time since monday, those without power has dipped below 1 million. simultaneously, we have seen the number without clean drinking
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water or being under the boil water notice rise to 7 million people across the state of texas. that about a quarter of the population here. that's a significant number. the fact that we are still dealing with these frigid temperatures is only going to make matters worse. just to the west of us in ft. worth, there are water there are water distribution centers where people are having to stand in line in these subfreezing temps, about 25 degrees, with a strong breeze, getting whatever water they can to go back to what could be a dark home where they're doing their best to stay warm. on the official state front, governor greg abbott has signed an executive order that would outlaw the sale of natural gas to anyone outside of state lines in an effort to make sure that everyone has ample fuel supply to run those generators in the state of texas. the biden administration yesterday pledging generators and diesel fuel to make sure that texas hospitals and other
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critical facilities aren't compromised and they'll have full power throughout this cold snap. that said, we're not expecting to rise above freezing, at least here in north texas, until perhaps the week. for so many people living here, that's tough to hear. hear what one mother told us recently. >> now that we are stressed we would like more help from our government. we think that it's not fair. we think that everybody no matter the social economic standard they have, we all have to be safe and to be taken care of from our government. >> reporter: jeff, it's tough to hear stories like that. all across the state. folks aren't the only ones hurting from this problem. i got done speak with the houston fire chief who tells me there have been repeated calls where crews have pulled up to house fires and they weren't
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able to get enough water out of the fire hydrants because the water pressure is too low. jeff? >> nbc's morgan chesky. our thanks to you and your team out there. all right. millions of americans are still waiting to get the covid vaccine but for those who have gotten the shot, it's unclear what will happen. we spoke with a group of people from across the country who have received their first shot. now they're asking questions about how to keep their family and friends safe. >> what was it like when you actually got the first shot? >> i cried. i cried. >> it was emotional. >> the both of them were emotional. >> turning the corner back to normalcy. >> reporter: they're some of the lucky ones. >> that sense of relief was really strong. i cried as well. >> for ellen, pedro, joe, and larry, getting vaccinated has been life changing. >> i got the shot at the same hospital i was born at and i liken it to being reborn.
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>> they have some level of immunity, but there are many unknowns. who has questions about what they can and can't do after being vaccinated? >> my biggest question is despite the fact i have the vaccine, could i still carry and unwillingly transmit it to someone else. >> the most important things on my mind are seeing my 89-year-old mother and seeing my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. >> when can we have other pool back in our home? >> is it safe to get on a plane and travel outside the united states? >> dr. vin gupta, a critical care pulmonologist had some answers. once someone has been fultly vaccinated, is it a free pass? can they loosen up on wearing masks or washing hands? >> no, unfortunately. not until immunity, midsummer, you still need to wash your hands, good hand hygiene, distance, avoid nonessential travel. >> reporter: for these folks getting the vaccination, my
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parents included wherngs they ask what does this mean, what do you tell them? can they still get sick? >> the importance of a vaccine is it will prevent you from getting very sick. all the vaccines that currently exist will keep you out of the icu and save your life. >> reporter: dr. gupta says even if you're vaccinated, you need to be cautious because the data is unclear on whether vaccinated people can still transmit the virus to others. a big question from our group, when can they visit safely with loved ones? >> i want to see family, our granddaughter we haven't seen in over a year. >> reporter: some doctors say if everyone in a small group is vaccinated they can form an immunity bubble and privately gather without masks and social distancing. but they should consider the rate of infection in the community and whether someone in the room is at high risk because so far, no vaccine is 100% effective. and dr. gupta says groups of vaccinated people should still be careful when gathering in public. >> the reason we're saying please don't do that quite yet
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is because you might be exposed, we might then go home and expose someone in your household yet to get the vaccine. >> reporter: when it will the be safe to travel or attend weddings, baby showers, reunions? dr. gupta says pack your patience. a lot of folks have plans they put off since 2020. when will it be safe for them to can those gatherings again? >> realistically, august/september time frame is reasonable to hope for. a lot has to go right between now and then. >> reporter: when it comes to everyday activities, getting vaccinated will reduce your risk of getting sick. dining out, returning to work, going to gym. the more people who get their shots the faster we'll see a return to everything we've missed for the past ten months. what is it you're looking forward to the most? >> a lot of travel. >> peace of mind. >> a yankee game. >> i want to be with people i love and i want to hug them.
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>> vicky nguyen reporting. i'll be back tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. first dr. anthony fauci joins andrea mitchell to talk about the latest on the pandemic and the vaccine rollout. that's coming up next. it... i want a bucket of chicken... i want... ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. with hepatitis c... ...i felt i couldn't be at my... ...best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret... ...i was cured. i faced reminders of my hep c every day. i worried about my hep c. but in only 8 weeks with mavyret... ...i was cured. mavyret is the only 8-week cure for all types of hep c. before starting mavyret your doctor will test... ...if you've had hepatitis b which may flare up and cause serious liver problems during and after treatment. tell your doctor if you've had hepatitis b, a liver or kidney transplant,... ...other liver problems, hiv-1, or other medical conditions,... ...and all medicines you take. don't take mavyret with atazanavir...
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good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. two big stories are dominating the headlines today. dangerous winter weather and the persistent national demand for new covid vaccines. we'll talk to dr. anthony fauci about that in a moment. first, 650,000 texas residents woke up without power. close to 7 million texans are under boil water alerts as the danger shifts to potential continue tam major leagues. how do you boil water without power? president biden is postponing his visit to a pfizer plant in michigan to tout his covid relief package while state and local leaders are pushing for more supplies of the moderna and pfizer vaccines. and the discussion over whether to send children back to school is intensifying. parents and teachers across the country questioning the latest
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guidance from the cdc. we're in place across the

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