tv Face the Nation CBS January 16, 2022 8:30am-9:30am PST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington. and this week on "face the nation," we'll mark president biden's first year in office and see if he can rebound from a week of setbacks. 2022 is not exactly off to a good start for the biden organization. one news organization characterized last week as filled with miscues, missteps, and miscalculations. inflation continues at a 40-year high. the supreme court blocks mr. biden's vaccine mandate for businesses. and his attempt at pushing fellow democrats, sinema and manchin to pass the voting rights bill is all but certain to fail. >> while i continue to support these bills, i
will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. >> brennan: the president even concedes his effort is likely doomed. >> biden: the honest to god answer is i don't know if we can get this done. >> brennan: is the fight a good use of precious political capital management. we'll ask tim kaine. but a cbs poll out shows many americans think mr. biden has misplaced priorities. and as a threat into russian ukraine intensifies, we'll talk with white house national security advisor jake sullivan. and as covid rises, cases in the northeast are peaking, but health care systems are still in crisis mode and the warnings are getting more dire. >> doctor: omicron, with its extraordinary,
unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility will ultimately find just about everybody. >> brennan: maryland governor quinton lucas and jake sullivan and dr. scott gottlieb will all be here. it is all ahead on "face the nation." ♪♪ >> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation." thursday will mark the first full year since president biden took office, and a new cbs news poll shows americans think he is not focused enough on key issues, like the economy and inflation. 44% of americans approve of the job he is doing overall, with a split on his handling of the coronavirus. when it comes to mr. biden's efforts on the economy, just over a third, 38%, approve. his handling of inflation is worse. seven in 10 americans
disapprove. we turn now to cbs news elections and surveys director anthony salvanto. good morning to you, anthony. what is weighing on the president's approval waiting the most? >> good morning, margaret. let's start with covid-19. now part of this is just expectations. at the start of his term, people thought covid would get better, but right now most people don't think the effort against the pandemic is going well. part of a president's ratings always carry some of that general feeling. at the start, he got ver strong ratings. it started to dip as cases got a little worse, some vaccine controversies, down to where is now. now, let's be clear: it is not that people blame a president for all of this. when you look at why people might think he is not doing a good job, the thing that stands out is information. people feel it has been
confusing. that stands out. in fact, overall people in the nation say that that guidance has been increasingly confusing, and that does accrue to a president. we know that the science is always trying to get a hold on this, but in the public mind they do look for that clarity, margaret. >> brennan: when it comes to the issues we say matter here, the economy and inflation, what exactly is hurting the president? >> yeah. the economy story, the inflation story are stories about focus. and here is how. you start with a majority of people saying that the administration is not focused enough on the economy, on inflation, and these are their most important issues. sometimes politics is really simple. you've got to be seen attacking the problems that people think are paramount. now, when you look at how that plays out in his ratings on the economy, well, what's to blame for it? it is a mixture of things.
again, some of it, yes, people blame his policies. there is also the pandemic. there are supply-chain issues that people see in the mix. but when they don't think he is focused, they're more likely to d disapprove overall. his first year, we see a lot of folks describing that as making them feel frustrated or disappointed. he has to be seen looking at those problems that people think are paramont, and that is inflation, margaret. >> brennan: this is the lowest point in his presidency when it comes to approval of how he is handing covid, not approval of the economy, and how he is handling inflation. do people just think he is wasting his time here? >> well, let's take a look because we asked people, well, if you don't approve of the president, what might change your mind. what really stood out is if he gets inflation down, people say they might improve their opinion.
that is a lot higher, i should add, than if he passes the build back better act. it is really about inflation, not legislation, at this point. in fact, even for democrats, even within his own party, when they rate him on the issues, they're toughest ab on him about being focused on inflation. >> brennan: anthony, you have been tracking this for some time. it was back in the summer with the withdrawal from afghanistan that we saw the president's approval rating really begin to decline. has there been any recovery along the way? is that still in overhang? >> that's correct. he started out strong. when it declined in the summer, right around afghanistan, other characteristics of him took a hit, too. he got declines in ratings on effectiveness, on confidence, that have not recovered. those things have continued to be lower. and as it has gone down,
that has been correlated with the views he is not paying enough attention to inflation and to the economy. now, when you look at this in context with presidents in their first year, he is a little higher than trump was; lower than obama was. but you want to look at the era because of late, the last 10, 20 years or so, we seen more polarization, more partisanship, and that tends to put both a ceiling and a floor on presidents because the other party won't give them any credit, and their own party tends to bolster their approval. but i will add this about joe biden: he still gets positive marks for people liking him personally. that has carried through even since the presidential campaign. that helps underpin him as well. it is just about whether he is seen focusing on things like the economy and the inflation right now. >> brennan: anthony salvanto, thank you so much for your perspective. we go now to senator tim
kaine, who joins us from richmond. good morning to you, senator. >> good morning, margaret. >> brennan: you just heard that cbs news poll that shows 65% of the country doesn't think the president is focused enough on inflation, which is at a 40-year high of 7%. why do you think the white house appears so out of touch with the public? >> well, look. i think it is a tough time right now. margaret, as you know, the white house has focused significant energy on the economy in the first year. record job growth in the first year of the white house. 3.9% unemployment rate, and very strong growth in wages. but the inflation issue is real. we've got to tackle it. some of the inflation is related to the continuing pandemic, which has disrupted supply-chains. but president biden is working on initiatives in the build back better legislation that will reduce health care costs, prescription drugs,
education -- people hear the title of the bill, and they don't know what it might do for them. but if we can get it passed, some of it deals with cost drivers that bedevils most families. >> brennan: even the white house economist is using the past tense when referring to build back better. it's dead. you don't have the votes in the senate -- >> i don't agree with you, margaret. you're right that it is dead. the most recent version of it is not going to happen. but if you look at the core of the bill, i think the core is education and workforce and things like reduced child care and upporthen expenses workforce in areas like health care. there are other pieces of the bill that are more controversial. i still believe we're going to find the core of this bill, whatever we call it -- we're going to the core of the bill and pass it, and it will deal directly with some of these inflation concerns. >> brennan: james carvel was on another network and he said democrats whine
whinetoo much. he said you're not talking enough about the infrastructure bill you just passed. you are talking about things that failed. and you have a vote scheduled this week that will also fail on voting rights. why do you think that is an affective strategy, to have high-profile failures rather than talk about the things that people are saying do matter to them on the economy and inflation? >> well, margaret, i do think we're talking a lot about the infrastructure bill, certainly i am in virginia, whether it is broadband, bridges, ports, airports, it will mean a lot of good for every zip code in the country. with respect to voting rights, whatever the pundits say makes political sense, it is such an existential issue. those of us who survived the attack on the capitol january 6 and are witnessing wholesale efforts around the country to make it harder for people to vote and to
undermine the integrity of elections, we have to do this. we all have to be recorded at this moment in time about where are we in protecting the right to vote. if right now it doesn't look like it has the votes to pass, we're going to cancel our martin luther king, jr. recess and be there because we think it is so important for the country. and we will be voting both on the bills, and if we can't get republican support for the bills, could we find a path to make some rules adjustments to pass them? >> brennan: but you don't have the votes to expand that 60 vote threshold. what are you envisioning that will somehow get this through? >> as of right now, we don't have all 50 democrats on board. but there are a couple of different paths. some involve rules changes like a carve-out to the filibuster. but there are other paths we can take -- the 60-vote threshold is only if you want to limit the debate. we could do a longer debate and have a simple
majority. but we will have a vote on the bills and we will have a vote on a rules path to get there because it is so important for the country. >> brennan: the president, as you know, gave a very high-profile speech this past week in georgia. he has called the local law that jim crow 2.0. in that speech he gave, he compared his opponents to bill connor, jefferson davis, which mitch mcconnell said it was akin to saying agree with me or you are a bigot. how does characterizing opponents like that actually win over any kind of republican support? isn't the president coddling himself? >> you know, margaret, i read those comments differently. joe biden was tough in his words. but i think what he said was in the 1960s, say the voting rights act of 1965, people, including people of goodwill, had to
decide were they going to stand on the side of bill connor are stand on the side of john lewis. it was the same point that martin luther king, jr. made. he said, i'm writing to people of g goodwill. you may not be bigots or pro-dispro-discrimination. but you have to decide which side you're going to stand on. in these efforts to hobble minority votes, all people of goodwill have to decide where they stand. >> brennan: you disagree with senator dick durbin, when he said the president may have gone too far. is there any outreach to republicans -- >> margaret, i've been engaged to outreach to republicans on voting rights since july and have found zero support. with the exception of senator le lisa murkowski, we
can get no co-sponsors, despite repeated efforts. when we put the bill on the floor, they vote against even debating the bill. i thank senator lisa murkowski for being a restorer of the preclearance provisions in the john lewis bill. but thus far she is the only one willing to put her name for support of any of those provisions. >> brennan: you were with us back in november when a republican won the governorship in your home state. you blame that democratic loss on congressional democrats that you said just blew the timing of infrastructure, workforce a,and education. the american public expects us to deliver. the clock is ticking here ahead of the mid-term elections. what do democrats need to deliver on in order to hold on to any kind of majority? >> you're right, margaret. i think we could have won
that race had we done infrastructure a month earlier. now we have delivered on the far-reaching american rescue plan. we have delivered on the once in a generation infrastructure investment, although a month too late. i think we have to go into that build back better bill and do the core provisions that reduce costs for americans. if we do that, we'll speak to their inflation concern. we'll help people out in every zip code in this country. i think we have to do that. it is my hope we will find a path -- although the vegas odds may not be great, but we need to find a path to protect democracy by an assault that is being led by president trump and his followers all over this time. >> brennan: senator, thank you for your time. >> absolutely. >> brennan: "face the nation" will be back in one minute with national security advisor jake sullivan.
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you about what happened overnight in texas with this synagogue and the hostage situation. i know a british man who took the hostages is now dead. the others were released. any indication that this is part of any kind of broader extremist threat? >> well, margaret, it is too soon to tell at this point what the full parameters of this act of terrorism, this act of anti-semtism were. we have the department of homeland security, the f.b.i., and law enforcement and intelligence agencies working intensely to get a full picture of what this person's motives were and whether or not there are any further connections. so i wil leave it to the professionals to continue their work today. and as we have more information, we will share it. but i do think we should all take a moment today to pay tribute to the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who acted bravely, professionally, and affectively to rescue those hostages and bring this situation to a safe
conclusion. they are heros and they deserve our support. and we then all should also raise our vigilance against acts of terrorism, acts of anti-semitism. particularly at places of worship in this country. >> brennan: noted. thank you, jake. i want to ask you about what believe is eating up a lot of your time and this is this active threat from russia. microsoft said they discovered all sorts of destructive malware in russia. is russia using this to prepare the battlefield, and will a cyber-strike draw u.s. sanctions? >> we've been warning for weeks and months, both publicly and privately, that cyber-attacks could be part of a broad-based russian effort to escalate in ukraine. we have been working closely with ukrainians to harden their defenses, and
we will continue to do so in the days head. and we're coordinating with private companies, like microsoft, in case there are potential cyber-attacks that unfold in the coming months here. of course it is possible that russia could conduct a series of cyber-attacks. that is part of their play bplaybook. we have not specifically attributed this attack yet. neitherwe, nor some of the private sector firms, have attributed it to that. but we will do everything we can to defend and protect networks against the type of destructive malware that microsoft flagged in their blog post last night. >> brennan: the ukrainians are saying it looks like it has some russian fingerprints on this. why wouldn't this draw sanctions? why are you waiting for vladimir putin to cross the border? aren't we already in a conflict? >> first, margaret, we
need to work through attribution. again, as i said, this is part of the russian playbook. so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it ends up being attributed to russia. but let's get attribution and then make a determination about what we do next. in terms of sanctions, what we have laid out is a very clear message to the russians. and somewhand we have done so in concert and unison with our allies, and if they do so, there will be severe consequences to pay. if it turns out that russia is pummelling ukraine with cyber-attacks and that continues over the period ahead, we will work with our allies on the appropriate response. >> brennan: russia has been moving tanks, and their top diplomate said their patience is running out and diplomacy is not working. are you planning to get president putin, president
biden, and president z zolenski all on the phone? >> i speak to my counterpart in ukraine, the national security advisor regularly. so we're coordinating closely on next steps. we'll have more to share in terms of the next steps and the diplomacy early next week. but the key point here, margaret, is that we're ready either way. if russia wants to move forward with diplomacy, we're absolutely ready to do that in lock step with our allies and partners. if russia wants to go down the path of invasion and escalation, we're ready for that with a robust response that will cut at their strategic position. so from our perspective, we are pursuing simultaneously deterrents and diplomacy, and we've been clear and steadfast in that, fully united with the trans atlantic community. >> brennan: russia is clear with charging ahead with this. mike morel, the former acting director of the
c.i.a., says it comes down to american c credibility. we have been talking about the president's pol ratings being on decline since that withdrawal from afghanistan. this is about the president's ability to set bright lines for adversaries. >> look, i'll leave the political analysis to you and others. here is what i'm focused on: will the united states and nato and our allies emerge from this, whatever happens, in a stronger strategic position? and will russia emerge in a weaker strategic position? that is the test. and that test doesn't get passed tomorrow or the next day or the day after. that test gets passed over weeks and months and years. and if russia does move, we will take measures that go at their economy, that go at their strategic
position in europe, that strengthen the solidarity of nato. and what we just saw this past week in brussels, at the nato headquarters, was 30 allies speaking as one after years under the previous administration, where nato was fractured and beginning to lose focus. so we actually believe we have made strides in shoring up and strengthening our alliances and in putting the united states in a position, whatever happens here, to defend our interests, defend our friends, and support the ukrainian people, as we have been doing. >> brennan: jake, quickly, on iran, the secretary of state says we're very, very, very short im iran is getting very close to the ability to produce a weapon. aren't they just playing for time? >> well, i would say two things on this front: number one, our policy is straightforward. we are determined to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. number two, we believe
that diplomacy is the best way to do that. but, as you said and the secretary of state has said, time is running short. i was in israel at the end of last month coordinating on the possibility that diplomacy does not proceed. >> brennan: yeah. >> we are working closely with our european allies and partners on this as well. and we will find a way forward. margaret, critical point -- >> brennan: i've got to wrap. i'm sorry. >> the reason we're in the situation we are, is because the previous administration pulled out of the nuclear deal. and we are paying the wages of that catastrophic mistake. >> brennan: understood, jake sullivan. thank you. stay with us. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions, right? (judith) yep, we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different.
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>> brennan: welcome back to "face the nation." we turn now to covid-19, where the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are still rising. on the economic front, inflation is also climbing. here is mark strassmann. >> reporter: confirming america's case of omicron jitters has no test and needs none. we're undeniably anxious. >> this is not a game. it is for real. >> we are in the midst of another covid-19 tsunami. >> reporter: omicron has exploded covid nationally like never before, with new cases rising in 46 states. america's averaging more
than 750,000 new cases a day, a record. more than 20,000 daily hospitalizations, up 25%. and almost 2,000 daily deaths, up 37%. here in boston, new cases have almot doubled in massachusetts over the last two weeks. hospitalizations have almost doubled. and omicron's siege goes on. legal health experts expect those numbers to keep soaring for the rest of january. in short supply: hospital staff, hospital beds. pennsylvania is one of 49 states where service members reinforce the front lines of the covid response. also scarce: home tests. starting wednesday at covidtests.tests.com you can register for tests.
>> i feel safer in these, than people around regular masks. >> reporter: she should. the agency now concedes that masks like n-95s, kn-95s, and surgical once protect better than cloths ones. but while covid's endless dynamics have fractured america, everyone agrees the economy needs help. a 7% rate of inflation, the highest in nearly 40 years, from gas to groceries. >> prices are off the charts, off the charts for a middle class family to eat. >> reporter: and continuing supply-chain issues. pharmacies really should have aspirin. >> there are only three bottles on the shelf, and thank goodness i could get one bottle. >> reporter: if there is good news, it is this: in certain cities like new york and washington, d.c., the early hotspots, omicron's breathtaking spread seems to be
flattening. >> brennan: our mark strassmann report from boston. we go now to larry hogan to joins us. >> good morning. >> brennan: 80% of hospital beds are occupied in your state. omicron is really hitting hard. there are comparisons right now to where we were in 2020. have you seen a real change in the ability of the federal government to respond to states like yours? >> well, so we have been impacted really hard over the past couple of weeks. and we reached a higher point than in the first two years. it is not quite a trend, but in the past four or five days, we've seen fairly dramatic decreases in positivity rate and case rate. so it is hopeful. we're going to keep an eye on that over the next 10
days so see if we continue. we did a lot of things to try to help increase the capacity of our hospital system. we sent in a thousand members of the national guard. we're taking a lot of actions directly, and we're trying to get as much help's as we can from the federal government, but, quite frankly, they're falling short in a couple of needs. >> brennan: how? >> we've been pushing for quite sometime -- the president announced before christmas he was going to distribute these half a billion rapid tests across the country. so far we haven't seen any. we were acquiring our own. the states have been on the frontlines throughout this crisis. it appears rather than producing more of the rapid tests, the federal government is just purchasing the ones we all right contracted fore. for. and so we're hijacking some of the providers, who are telling us they no longer have the rapid
tests. on masks, i announced we were delivering free of charge 20 million n-95 and kn-95 masks throughout the state. >> brennan: the president is expected to announce something in detail this week on that front. and i understand -- >> i hope so. >> brennan: i understand the c.d.c. just adjusted their guidance on friday regarding masks. but other states were ot there, like connecticut, distributing n-95s earlier. why did you wait until this point? >> well, we've been distributing them throughout the crisis. from the beginning. but 20 million is a pretty huge number. we've had unlimited masks for the schools for more than a year already. we've got them at health departments and hospitals. but now we're having an even bigger reach because we realize these masks are much more protective, and we have a much more contagious variant that is spreading not only across our state but across the country. >> brennan: yeah. in nearby west virginia,
their governor, also republican, jim justice, has asked the c.d.c. to authorize a fourth booster for the most vulnerable in this state. are you going to do the same? are you interested in that? >> well, five or six months ago we did move forward on the third booster ahead of the federal government because we had done our own antibody study in our nursing homes, which was where some of our most vulnerable patients are that w we're concerned about, and the c.d.c. was taking their time. werwe're now doing another similar antibody test in our nursing homes to see if we need a fourth booster, at least for our most vulnerable patients that are at risk. >> brennan: so you're working on that? >> yes. >> brennan: when it comes to what is happening in schools right now -- and i understand it is district by districts --
prince george county went virtual right around christmas. they're going back to school in person this coming week. you oppose that. you wanted kids in -- >> i don't oppose them going back to school this week. >> brennan: no. but you opposed them going virtual. and other parts of the state, where they did go back, you had some lower attendance rates because people were sick. why not allow for a little bit of flexibility there? is there a time when virtual, remote school is actually the best choice? >> there is flexibility with local school systems. but what we ought to do, and the state policy actually is, if there is an outbreak in a particular district or school, they have certain protocols they should take. but shutting down entire school systems to punish a million kids -- >> brennan: well, they went remote. >> we have 30 children are in hospital, and they're in for other reasons.
children have not been that big of a problem. our school systems have not been overrun. we started vaccinating teachers more than a year ago as a priority. that's what they asked for. we provide the masks and hundreds of millions of dollars for filtration systems to try to keep our kids safe. i understand people being concerned about kids, we all are, but we missed a year of learning in some cases, and it is absolutely not the way to go, to keep the entire school system shut down. >> brennan: understood, but remote is somewhere in between. i want to ask you about some politics here because, as you know, there has been a lot of talk amongst some high-level republicans, including with mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, who is trying to recruit you for running for senate. you said you don't have a burning concern to run. if you don't want to tell me if you're running or not, can you tell me if a republican can win a
statewide federal election in maryland? >> well, most republicans couldn't. but the "washington post" and the senator showed me beating chris by 12 points, so i think it is possible. it is the same number i was re-elected by in 2018 against ben gelus as governor. what i've said is what i've been saying all along: it is not something i aspire to. but i have also said i care very much about the country and where we are, and the divisive rhetoric and divisive dysfunction in washington -- people are calling on my more patriotic duty and saying even if it is not the job that you want, maybe we need you to run. that's where we are. i haven't expressed an interest in it. >> brennan: february 22nd, are you going to run or file? >> february 2 2nd is a month away, and right now we're focused on the omicron crisis and our
legislative session. >> brennan: we will stay on top of you and ask you if you're going to run in 2024, which you've been asked and said you won't comment on that. governor, thank you very much for your time today. and good luck with the hospitalizations. >> thank you. >> brennan: we'll be right back with the mayor of kansas city, missouri. and t's building your world of well.
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tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. emerge tremfyant® with tremfya®... ask you doctor about tremfya® today. >> brennan: we go now to the mayor of kansas, missouri, quinton lucas. he joins us from k"dream kctv. good morning. hospitalizations in your city are up 20% in the last week. are hospitals having to postponed surgeries? are they at risk of being overwhelmed? >> they are overwhelmed in kansas city. since the christmas season, we have seen incredible challenges in our health care network. even getting workers in our fire department and in public safety. it is a substantial concern. it is why we have brought back a number of different requirements, including a
mask requirement in our schools, to a great level of controversy, to make sure that governments continue to function. schools can stay open, our hospitals can stay open, and we're doing all we can from a local government level to respond to our choices. >> brennan: you said you would consider a citywide mask mandate if deaths and hospitalizations reached a certain point. do you have a threshold there? what is holding you back? >> right now what is holding us back, in some ways, is the political challenge from the state of missouri. there have been numerous lawsuits filed by the attorney general, a republican, who has sought mask mandates and called them challenges to our freedom. he called them challenges in tyranny, and those sorts of things every time we issue a a new mask requirement. 80% of the people in our i.c.u.s are those who
are not vaccinated. we're facing financial challenges because there is information about there about if vaccination is important and if it is good for you. we're fighting a battle on two fronts. these who are saying this isn't that big of a deal, and we're always trying to fight the information side to make sure we get people vaccinated and safe. >> brennan: to that point, we have new cbs news polling out today that really faults the administration itself for confusing messaging around covid. the president's approval rating for his handling is at the lowest point. two-thirds of those polled cited confusion about covid information and guidance. is the federal government response here two confusing? is it too slow? >> you know, i think that those polls reflect a moment of frustration in america, certainly frustration in kansas city. every few months we thought this would be over. i think what we recognize is now that covid will be
with us for some time. that we may continue to see new variants. but i do think there is a role not just for the federal government, but for state governments, to actually be helpful. right? we have seen in a number of different states, mine included at times, where there has not been the level of assistance. who can actually deliver that testing to us in the cities, and small towns as well? who can make sure that schools stay open? i don't think those are federal concerns and those are not at the feet of the president. how can our entire government system, from local up to the federal side, respond in an active way. i think the president's face is on a number of things, so he'll continued to be blamed. what i want in kansas city is more hospital workers, more staff, and more tests. i don't care where they come from. i think that is what the people of america want on the ground. >> brennan: you mentioned one of the people who is challenging
your mandates is someone running for senate in your state. i know you're running for re-election as mayor, but you are rumored to also be considering a senate run. what are national democrats missing on the ground in states like yours? do you think a democrat could actually win a statewide federal election in missouri? >> i absolutely think a democrat could win a statewide election in missouri. what you see right now is we're trying to respond to a crisis of the moment. we're trying to make sure we're answering covid issues, trying to make sure people are getting back into jobs, and talking about things that are responsible and reasonable. not looking back over the last four years and not trying to push what i think is false information, whether it be related to covid or the economy or anything under the sun. i do think there is a communication challenge that we face. the dramatic party is a very big tents. and i think more national voices that say democrats are doing things that make basic sense, trying to
address supply-chain issues, trying to make sure people have covid testing, and fundamentally making sure wer looking we're lg out for the people of kansas city and the people of america. i have a nine-month-old baby, and seeing him sick -- i don't think there is any american that wants to see that harm done to their babies, their families. democrats, moderate republicans, and others -- i think that's why it would be a message to the people. >> brennan: you have to file at the end of march. are you going to run? >> i've already said i'm running for mayor again. >> brennan: mr. mayor, thank you for your time. good luck with the surge. we'll be right back.
>> brennan: we want to check in now with former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb, who also serves on the board of pfizer. good morning to you, doctor. >> doctor: good morning. >> brennan: the acting f.d.a. commissioner told congress most people are going to get covid. dr. anthony fauci said most people will be exposed to it at some point. the people at home are going, what am i doing here? why am i trying to protect
myself? at this point, what can you do? >> doctor: i think the reality is most people are going to get covid in their lifetime. i don't think most people need to get covid in the next month. anything we can do to try to protect ourselves, and those who have gone out and gotten vaccinated, if they can keep themselves protected through the next couple of months, will probably be safe. i would much rather have my reckoning with covid after i've been vaccinated a couple of times, after there are drugs widely accessible to treat this, and antibodies -- those realities will be truth come this fall. certainly come this summer. so i think people will be in a much better position to grapple with this next fall. so try to avoid this infection if you can. >> brennan: so hold strong the next few weeks. pfizer said a vaccine that
targets omicron could be ready in march. does that mean everyone needs to start planning to go out and get another dose? >> doctor: i think the reality is this will become an annual vaccivaccination at least for a period of time. certainly over the next couple of years, you can envision boosters becoming an annual affair, at least for some portion of the population, people who are more vulnerable. it could be a case if we have an omicron-specific or delta-specific vaccine -- it is unclear what the prevalent variant will be. most people envision it will be omicron. you probably have the potential to restore a lot of the original promise of the vaccine, and i mean the ability to actually prevent transmission to reduce infection. right now the vaccines are very affective at preventing serious disease and hospitalization. but the prevention of transmission has been dramatically reduced in
the setting of omicron. if you could fashion a vaccine that is specific to omicron, you can restore the ability of the vaccine potentially to prevent transmission and it becomes a public health tool for actually controlling spread. >> brennan: you heard governor hogan s has said the government is falling short. and there is confusion even among democrats with pandemic response. that gets laid at the foot of the president. is that his fault? is that the c.d.c. falling short? is that the f.d.a., where we still do not have a confirmed commissioner? where does that blame actually lie? >> doctor: i think it lies in a lot of places. a lot of the confusion emanates from the c.d.c. and the mixed guidance they have issued. the administration has done an admirable job. they pu a big emphasis on rolling out the vaccines. 85% of the adults have received at least one dose
of the vaccine. we have to think what if we didn't have that much vaccination in this country, what situation would we be facing at this time? one mistake was buying into this narrative that a lot of the problems that the c.d.c. and from the public health agency is owed to the trump administration. notwithstanding what the trump administration did or didn't do to try to reform those agencies, the reality is those agencies had deep flaws and it made it hard to reform the agencies once you bought into that macro narrative. the second challenge they bought for themselves was federalizing this in ways they didn't have to, particularly with respect to the vaccine mandate. once the biden administration stepped in, they owned it and created a perception that they alone could fix it. >> brennan: governor hogan said they're having a hard time at the state level getting ahold of tests. according to the white
house, they'll take orders starting in january. but h.h.s. said you might not receive those tests for weeks afterwards. is the strategy here just to have americans stockpile tests for the future? because it is not coming in time for omicron. >> doctor: well, look, i think that's what americans ought to be doing, and the administration's steps to try to provide tests directly to consumers and trying to provide payment for those tests is an important step in that direction. and they've expanded the expiration tests so it makes it more feasible to stockpile these tests. the reality is the tests are available. they're not cheap. you can go to amazon and get the tests. so they are available. i think they're difficult to get for bulk purchases, for municipalities and states. but consumers can get access to them. and now with the federal government providing
reimbursement, most consumers can reach into the market and buy these tests. unfortunately, they weren't available when we had peak spread. >> brennan: failure to plan around the holiday and the largest gatherings of the year. but bigger strategy, you said there should have been an "operation warped speed" for drug treatments, not just the vaccine. do you think the administration is overemphasizing vaccination and not talking about things like masks and ventilation? >> doctor: look, i think they've talked about masks. there is only so much the federal government can do to try to get consumers to wear masks. it has to be done at the state and local level. i think the administration should have earlier revised the guidance of the quality of the masks, recognizing that high-quality masks would be important for transmission. i think there could have been more emphasis of trying to oet capacity in
place over the summer for the production of not just the oral drugs, not just the one my pfizer -- pfizer put up a billion dollars to manufacture that. but drugs that can be used as a prophylactic and treatment. >> brennan: dr. gottlieb, always great to talk to you. we'll be right back. in boston, where biotech innovad-changinh are the ones providing care. there's only one mass general brigham.
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