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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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January 24, 2021 1:33 pm

CBS Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 24, 2021 1:33 pm

David Pogue examines how extreme weather events are creating "climate refugees." Ted Koppel talks with Dr. Anthony Fauci about government efforts against the coronavirus. Kelefa Sanneh looks at businesses deciding whether to allow employees to continue working from home. Mark Whitaker interviews Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, and CBS News Correspondent Ben Tracey, who reported on Trump throughout his four year term, looks back on the presidency of Donald Trump.

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I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. We'll begin this morning with two stories about life on the home front. Millions are still working from home because of COVID.

We'll hear how they're doing from California. Then on to those other Americans being forced out of their homes by the extremes of climate change. With conditions worsening in some areas, families are looking for places that might offer a little safety and stability. So where could that be?

A question for our David Pogue. When a California wildfire burned Jen and Ryan Cashman's home to the ground in 2018, they decided to move right then and there. We wanted to find a place where we didn't have to worry about that stuff anymore. But where can you go to escape the extreme weather of the climate change era? We're between lakes. We have incredible quality of life.

Ahead on Sunday morning, my quest for the perfect American climate haven city. The COVID pandemic is another real cause for concern, and we look to Dr. Anthony Fauci for reliable advice. This morning, he fields questions from Ted Koppel. Dr. Anthony Fauci, thanks for your time.

My pleasure, Mr. McConaughey. Hi, Dr. Fauci. Tony Fauci is a firm believer in handling his own PR.

Dr. Fauci. Hundreds and hundreds of interviews. Have you done an interview with the farmer's almanac yet?

You've done everybody else, right? Yeah. Why? We really do need to get accurate information out. Love him or hate him, Tony Fauci is a force to be reckoned with.

Coming up on Sunday morning. Of course, we were all saddened by word of the passing of broadcaster Larry King, who interviewed a who's who of newsmakers and all sorts of other folks. Lee Cowan, looks back. Larry King now.

That's the intro. His was a broadcasting career that spanned more than 60 years. Why don't you do more interviews? And nobody invites me.

And in that time, Larry King sparred with newsmakers. Do you ever own a jacket? I own a jacket, yeah, but I just like this look. Okay, fine, just curious.

Okay. He schmoozed with presidents. We're going to make him an author.

And even smooched Marlon Brando. We remember Larry King later on Sunday morning. Ben Tracy looks back on his tenure as our CBS News White House correspondent. Mark Whitaker catches up with Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a politician who's one of a kind. Plus opinion from the Atlantic's James Fallows and more on this Sunday morning, the 24th of January 2021.

And we'll be back in a moment. Is there any place that's almost perfect if you're trying to avoid the worsening extremes of climate? It's a question that for some of us has quite literally become a matter of life or death. David Pogue's new book, published by Simon & Schuster of ViacomCBS, is called How to Prepare for Climate Change. And for starters, he tells us, look at a map. Jen and Ryan Cashman used to live in Paradise, California. This is my backyard.

They'll remember November 8, 2018 to the end of their days. We started smelling smoke. It's pitch black and we're now scrambling to figure out where to go and how to get out. And as we were sitting in that traffic line, the fire just kept getting closer and closer to the side of the car. And we saw these horses that were surrounded in flames.

And that's when, that's where it hit me. What hit them, of course, was the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. It destroyed 95 percent of the town of Paradise. Here's where the front steps were to get into my house.

Including their home. Everything from our childhood, our children's childhood, we got lost everything. I remember turning to Ryan saying, we have to get out of California.

We have to. We can't live like this anymore. The Cashmans became climate refugees, people driven from their homes by the fires, floods and hurricanes of our worsening climate. Some people are not able to get out of their homes. Some people are being impacted by displacement from storms and forest fires and extreme events.

Jesse Keenan teaches at the Tulane School of Architecture. He studies the effect of climate change on people and cities. We think that people are going to be changing their decisions increasingly about where to live, how to live.

Are there any examples of that? Any cities that you've studied where that's going on? Really, there isn't a community in America, particularly in coastal America, where we are not seeing some transition away from the coast and moving to higher ground.

Places like Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco. Even in DC, we see environmental risk from flood shaping property values and shaping where people want to live. Of course, not everybody has the option of moving. It's not easy for folks to just pick up and leave a place.

Jelon White Newsome is a consultant, researcher and advocate who focuses on climate and racial justice. She says that extreme weather hits communities of color disproportionately hard, yet their residents may be the least able to move. It's not that folks want to stay in harm's way, but the fact that they might not have the resources to move, that they have invested all that they have into their home, whether they're renting or owning it. And then there's also this sense of community. It's that sense of connection, not only with their neighbors, but their faith community, their jobs, their kids are in school. Still, 40 million Americans do move every year.

They retire, they graduate, they get jobs or lose jobs, they fall in love or break up. If you have the luxury of choosing where to live and climate change is a factor, here's the formula. You want to be far enough inland to avoid the rising seas and flooding, far enough north to avoid the worst of the heat waves, far enough west and north to avoid the hurricanes, and far enough east to avoid the wildfires. Droughts are becoming more desperate every decade in our western states, so you also want plenty of fresh water.

So where does that leave you? The Great Lakes, the abundance of natural resources and fresh water in particular. Cities like Buffalo, like Cleveland, like Toledo, Ohio are really prime. There's a cultural capacity, there's a legacy, there's a history, there's infrastructure there, there's arts.

That's a good point. There's more to a city than it's weather. You also want good schools, fine hospitals, sports and culture, a reasonable cost of living, and a high quality of life.

At least one American city fits all of these criteria. No hurricanes. Okay, wildfires? No wildfires. How about sea level rise? Well, the lakes look pretty steady to me. Welcome to Madison, Wisconsin.

There's a coffee shop, there's a pizza place, there's a bookstore. Satya Rhodes-Conway is Madison's mayor and a climate resilience advocate. We have solar on almost every municipally owned building.

At this point, we have a goal of being 100% renewable for city operations by 2030. So people think of Madison as cold. What we like to say here is that there's no bad weather, there's only bad clothing. So, you know, if you're properly dressed, you can enjoy being outdoors year round here in Madison. Is it your impression that with the changing climate, the winters are becoming milder here? Yes, it's, you know, today it's above freezing, where in January that's not normal.

Right, right. Definitely the average I think is getting a lot warmer. In fact, five degrees warmer since 1950. So tell me about what Madison is like in, for example, the summer and the fall. Well, in the summer, there's so many opportunities to get outside and to enjoy the lakes, to enjoy our neighborhoods. In the fall, you live in this part of the world and you get beautiful color. We have 270 parks in Madison.

Now, no place is perfect, even Madison. When we make another sort of number one or top 10, well, that's clearly true for the white population. Is that also true for people of color? And the answer is almost always no, it's not also true.

And so that's part of our work going forward. Madison isn't the only great climate haven city. It looks like it's nighttime.

The Cashman family moved about as far from California's wildfires as they could get near Burlington, Vermont, and they couldn't be happier. It's beautiful. It's green. It's not dry.

There's no fires that I know of. It's just a very functional, athletic, happy, healthy place. The community embraced us immensely with our children. And I knew, I said, we made the right decision. We made it. Working from home has plenty of pluses and some minuses too.

With Kellefer Sanneh, we take stock. Okay, so guys, just to make sure that I got this. Nearly a year into the pandemic, so the iPhone is going to record video and audio. Many of us have gotten used to online meetings.

And you'll also get a special fee for your cinematography. But it's still not easy. You feel so unqualified to do so many things during this period. It's crazy. Okay, Jeff, you're all set.

I think. Rafaela Saden and Jeffrey Polzer know all about the difficulties of working from home. It all started, I think, from a very personal recognition that something was happening to the way in which we were interacting. Both are professors at Harvard Business School. I'm an organizational economist.

With different specialties. I'm a professor in organizational behavior. They began studying randomized data from the emails and online meetings of more than 3 million people in 16 cities around the world. Were you on the team of people who loved working from home or were you on the team of people who couldn't wait to get back to the office? I think I was on the desperate team, on the team of trying to organize classes for my kids.

So I was definitely not enjoying my dirty martini on the couch at that point. Their research confirms what many employees have already discovered, that where we work affects how we work. Yes, the shift to working from home really did make work days longer, nearly an hour longer on average. Email traffic especially increased after hours. The boundary between work and personal life has really in many cases become obliterated, you know, so maybe you're sending some personal emails at night but they're mixed in with your work emails and by the way you're working, you know, from your bedroom and your office and your kitchen. With most workers at home, the average number of meetings increased too.

But they got shorter, even if they felt longer. You do have more meetings and the time in between meetings may, you may not have enough time to recover. And there are other interruptions. Did you have kids wandering into your Zoom room while you were trying to teach?

Oh, all the time. Some home environments are chaotic. I was on the call with the Italian prime minister at some point, one of my kids came in, so you know, it's, I think the struggle is real for people who have multiple obligations. Yeah, my story was a little bit different where it's the two of us and our home is out in the country. Other homes are more like an oasis. And we've worked from home a lot anyway and so the transition to working at home was fairly smooth and also pleasant in a lot of ways. Studies show working from home can be more productive. Companies can save on overhead too. So will employees ever return to their offices? Matt Cooper says no. Everybody got more productive. You strip three hours of commute time out of your day.

David Echeria says yes. We've made it clear that the expectation is that they will return back to the office that they're working out of. They're both tech CEOs in New York, but they have come to different conclusions about working from home. It's like this big social experiment.

Yeah, it has been an absolutely insane year and, you know, people just keep putting one foot in front of the other and working through it. Cooper runs Skillshare, a 10-year-old company that hosts online classes. Were there particular skills that people seemed to want to learn while they were locked down at home? Classes and topics that had sort of a self-help, stress relief, anxiety relief. That anxiety was good news for Skillshare.

With employees working from home, the company flourished. As people were trying to find fun, constructive, self-improvement-directed activities to do with all this new free time, our numbers exploded. And he says most of his staff didn't want to return to the office full-time. What they wanted was to go back, call it one to three days a week. And, you know, that's great, but when you're paying New York real estate, and our next office was going to be $100,000, $120,000 a month, it's pretty expensive for one to three days a week.

So he decided to do something radical. He shut down the physical office, permanently. We reallocated a lot of the money that would have gone towards office, rent, utilities, an ongoing work-from-home stipend, make sure you've got good internet, make sure you've got the desk set up you need, a good chair, all of those things. In the years before the pandemic, Yahoo and IBM both made headlines by scrapping work-from-home programs, asking many remote employees to come back. And in September, Reed Hastings of Netflix called working from home a pure negative. All these companies that said, oh, we could never do it, people would never get anything done, well, they managed to do it. So I think we've hopefully debunked that myth. And we are people who are accountable, ambitious, aggressive, want to get things done.

I don't have to be on top of them. When did you start having that feeling that, OK, we're working from home for now, but we need to get some people back in the office as soon as possible? There was a growing cohort of employees who really missed that in-person connection.

David Echeria runs MongoDB, a global database company headquartered in New York, with offices in 14 cities around the world. They were pushing us to say, when can we start opening up the offices? Because they were anxious to meet. When this office did start to reopen in October, many employees decided not to return. We've been surprised at how few employees took us up on the offer. By summer, Echeria wants the whole team back. Do you think people will want to come back to work in July?

If things are back to normal, we do expect people to be available for in-person meetings because we think that's an important part of our culture and how we do business. Everyone gets either a window or an aisle. That's correct. But for now, the office has socially distanced seating, disinfecting products. These wipes are hot items.

You could probably get 10, 15 bucks for one of these on the black market. And of course, a strict mask protocol. If you have to walk around, you have to wear a mask.

If you go to the restroom, you have to wear a mask. I opted to come in and see some familiar faces. Ava Thompson is David Echeria's assistant. Was it more about getting to come here and see people, or was it more about getting out of your house? It was a little of both, a little from column A and column B.

It was nice to put on an outfit and put some makeup on. Echeria says working from home doesn't suit everyone. The people who struggle from working from home are, I would say, young employees who want more social interaction and may not have ample private space to do their work, young parents who have young children at home. And he thinks that America's empty offices will fill up again. Certain companies have said, maybe we don't need an office. Maybe people don't need to come back to work. Are they going to regret it?

I believe that they will. There's nothing like meeting someone face to face. Professor Jeffrey Polzer, the behavior specialist, thinks things might never go back to the way they were. Is it possible that offices could be worth the huge cost? It's pure tradition. It's like, that's the way we've always done it. It's not that hard to start to think of that as an artifact of a time when we didn't have all of the tools that we now have to communicate and collaborate with each other. But Professor Rafaela Sadun, the economist, says offices aren't just about efficiency.

Look, I don't know you. I can tell you, I miss my co-workers. I miss meeting Jeff at the coffee machine.

I think it's very natural to have some aspect of our working life mixed with our social life. Former President Donald Trump is back home at Mar-a-Lago after four tumultuous years in office. Ben Tracy was our White House correspondent for much of Trump's term and has a look back. When Joe Biden became President Biden this past week, so help me God, what was extraordinary was just how ordinary it all seemed. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. The now former President Trump exiled himself from the ceremony. Banned from Twitter, he could not even weigh in from afar. The disruptor in chief, what happened to me with this witch hunt should never be allowed to happen to another President of the United States, never, ever again. Who dominated every aspect of American life was suddenly gone. Is Donald Trump an intellectual?

Trust me, I'm like a smart person. It felt like more than a transition. It was a presidential eclipse. The fact that the three of us are standing here. Leaving some to wonder if he could ever fit in at a gathering of the former President's Club.

The Trump presidency was different. I'm an extremely stable genius. Maybe I have a natural ability.

Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president. A lot of love in this room. It could be bizarre.

Person, woman, man, camera TV. At other times, I talk about the Chinese virus. It was offensive.

Kung flu. And then there were the moments. I'd rate it a 10. I think we've done a great job. That were simply shocking. Very fine people on both sides. Of course, there were also the tweets.

Not only Florida, but Georgia could have, was going toward the Gulf. And the many untruths. All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen. Like a reality show. It has been determined that there is no collusion, so we'll see what happens.

It was hard to look away, even when it burned. The authority of the president of the United States having to do with the subject we're talking about is total. There were certainly Neil Gorsuch.

Accomplishments to tout. Brett Kavanaugh. Three Supreme Court justices.

Amy Coney Barrett. A major tax cut. It's not fancy, but it's the Oval Office. It's the great Oval Office. And peace deals in the Middle East. This is peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand.

I say it. Covering Donald Trump for the past few years. If it does keep getting worse, if Americans keep dying, are you responsible for that?

Well, the virus will disappear. Was both addicting and exhausting. The few White House aides that are left here are demoralized and simply trying to get through the next week. During a flight on Air Force One last year, I was struck by how different he could be talking off the record to reporters. Without cameras, he was sometimes more serious, less confrontational. It's such a hostile media. Of course, that never lasted long. On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying... I don't know why you'd say that.

It's such a racist question. The one constant was that he always stole his own show. That's enough, that's enough, that's enough. Which may be why the new president...

Excuse me, that's enough. This is a great nation. ...seems so determined to counter-program. And to overcome the challenges in front of us requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. And now, is it possible a president who always demanded to be seen and heard... Will you shut up, man.

...could really just fade away? Did the rioters that stormed the Capitol in his name deal a fatal blow to the Trump brand? This was a fraudulent election. And what about the article of impeachment expected to be delivered to the Senate tomorrow? We have to have peace.

So go home, we love you, you're very special. Triggering his trial on charges of inciting an insurrection. No one is above the law. Not to mention those criminal investigations and lawsuits Mr. Trump still faces in New York and beyond. I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening. After finally accepting his presidency was truly over...

I wish the new administration great luck and great success. ...the 45th president left a weary Washington Wednesday morning... Goodbye, we love you. ...while still leaving a lot of us wondering... We will be back in some form. ...if the show... Have a good life, we will see you soon. really over. Over the coming weeks, we'll be talking with some political figures who, by any measure, stand out in the crowd. To begin, Sunday Morning contributor Mark Whitaker catches up with Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman. You've described yourself as Governor Wolf's anger translator. Yeah, yeah.

What do you mean by that? Well, just look at me. The contrast between myself and the governor is almost comical, you know, when we're standing next to each other. At six foot eight, John Fetterman, the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, looms tall both in person and in politics. The Senate will now come to order. You know, the president can sue a ham sandwich. He can send a thousand lawyers to Pennsylvania. The 51-year-old Democrat gained national attention... Lieutenant Governor Stone Cold is absolutely right. ...for his brash and cutting defense of Pennsylvania's vote against false claims of fraud. All they have is lies.

They've had over three weeks now to come up with anything concrete. Especially on Twitter, where he's even more outspoken. You know, getting on Twitter every morning is like starting the day with a dog turd in motor oil smoothie. It's just, it's horrible.

You gotta form that phalanx and push back against that. And I do that in a way that mixes kind of humor and mockery with cold hard facts. One cold hard fact is that John Fetterman is a blunt-talking, self-described progressive, intent on also breaking through with swing voters in the Rust Belt. His pet issues include a higher minimum wage...

If you believe that a human being should toil for $7.25 an hour, vote for the other person. ...and legal marijuana, which he says is a winner for either party. They call that political bazooka. Yeah, they're arguing over these small wedge issues when they're leaving the bazooka of legal weed, you know, they're on the table for the other side to grab. Like South Dakota, arguably the most conservative state in our country, voted for legal weed straight up and down on the ballot. In a state that has, you know, a severe opioid problem, why are you talking about legalizing another drug? Because it's not a drug. It's a plant.

It's a gateway to finding a completely natural alternative to the kind of relief that had brought so many people into this toxic spiral with opioids in the first place. Fetterman was previously the 13-year mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once thriving steel industry town devastated by decades of poverty, blight, and crime. Stained glass was placed into a church and window here in Braddock as opposed to taking out a street. Ten years ago, Jeff Glore reported for Sunday morning on the efforts of this Harvard grad and former AmeriCorps volunteer to revitalize this largely African-American community. The 40-year-old Fetterman wears Braddock's past literally on his sleeves, the zip code tattooed on one arm, the dates of murders on the other.

The worst days of my life, because these are days that we lost people through senseless violence. Today, Braddock isn't perfect, but there are real signs of progress and hope. But as Fetterman showed us on a drive... Over there to the right, that's the Cary Furnace site. It has been fallowed since 1986. Other parts of Pennsylvania's Rust Belt remain decimated.

It literally looks like an extinct mechanical dinosaur. The white working class voters still here are no longer reliable Democrats. A majority of voters in the Mon Valley in this region are still Democratic, and yet they've been voting Republican and heavily pro-Trump.

So why? We need someone that's going to be doing the talking, that's going to understand that we all can't work for Google. We all can't learn how to code when we're 50 years old. Nationally, the Democratic Party base has become more racially diverse, educated, wealthy, and urban. Do you think Democrats in the last couple of generations have forgotten about working people? I don't think we've forgotten about them, but I don't think they're the center, you know, the way they should be. Speaking in the shadow of a U.S. steel plant, Fetterman describes the cost of not putting working people first. And if we turn our backs on the remaining industries and not reinvest in these places and just say you're on your own, we will lose an entire generation of people that have no other options other than to turn to somebody like Donald Trump and say, you know, wow, he at least gets me, he at least cares, he at least pays lip service.

Which is one reason why Fetterman and his family still live in Braddock, in this renovated 1920s Chevy dealership. His wife Giselle runs a charity known simply as the Free Store. The Second Lady of Pennsylvania was born in Brazil and came to the United States poor and undocumented. Scared of every knock at my door that wasn't, that I wasn't expecting someone because I was worried about being deported. You know, when I would leave for school in the morning, my mom would say, I love you, have a great day, be invisible.

Invisible no longer, last October she captured this verbal assault while out shopping. Her struggles and those of other immigrants can nearly bring the imposing John Fetterman to tears. We as a country have to be better than this kind of anti-immigration rhetoric and we have to be better than that as a country.

My life has been immeasurably enriched by my wife and her family and her immigration story. John Fetterman is now exploring a run for the Senate in 2022. And he has a new distinction to add to his resume. GQ magazine described you as an American style guy. No, American taste guy, which I guess is ironic because I have no taste. But I just am what I am. The fact that somebody that looks as unfortunate as I do sometimes would be an American taste God by the Bible of American taste. You know, I didn't see that coming. You know, talk about your 2020 bingo card.

Yeah. And now a few things to know about President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. As a child, our new president had a debilitating stutter. His classmates often mocked him. In high school, he played football and reportedly was pretty good. Joe wants to talk to you for a few minutes. At age 29 in 1972, Joe Biden became the fifth youngest person ever elected to the United States Senate.

I think you're a good addition. Thank you. Only weeks later, at Christmas time, a truck slammed into a car carrying his wife, Nelia, and three children. She and their baby girl died on the way to the hospital.

Sons Beau and Hunter were seriously injured. When Biden was sworn into the Senate soon after, the ceremony took place in a hospital room. Biden met his second wife, Jill, on a blind date.

He had to propose five times before she said yes. At age 78, Joe Biden is now our oldest president. He has two German Shepherds, Major and Champ. He's known to have a penchant for ice cream.

I love this car. And he still owns a 1967 Corvette Stingray, a wedding gift from his father. Finally, Joe Biden has been to 13 presidential inaugurations, including, on Wednesday, his own. Dr. Anthony Fauci is front and center in the new administration's drive to tackle COVID. This morning, he talks with senior contributor, Ted Koppel. We're going to be starting this piece, Tony, with an interview that you and I did 33 years ago.

Really? When Dr. Fauci and I first met on camera, remote interviews were still something of a novelty, and the nation was fixated on a global epidemic called HIV AIDS. What degree of optimism do you have about some kind of vaccine? Two vaccines are in phase one trial to determine safety, but it won't be until well into the 1990s.

If we're lucky enough to have a vaccine, it won't be at least until 1995. Even 33 years ago, Tony Fauci had a wide national following, but mostly among AIDS activists who were often highly critical. Gee, Anthony Fauci, so calm and precise.

And to the best of my recollection, he had not yet inspired any videos, t-shirts, coffee mugs, or suggestions of impending saying to it. So for better or worse, for one reason or other, I became a symbol that was unrealistic, like St. Anthony. You know, it's kind of, okay, great, but that's not reality. On the other hand, I've had people who, you know, on the other hand, I've had people who have threatened my life because I'm speaking public health measures. We've got some video, Tony, of you and your wife walking with a security detail. It came to that.

Yeah, yeah, it came to that. I've triggered such animosity that I have to have federal agents, armed federal agents with me, like all the time. Your children have been threatened. I have to tell you, I'm not afraid of myself for myself. But the thing that really is disturbing to me is the harassment, continual harassment of my three daughters.

The crazies, you know, know who they are, know where they live, know what their telephone number is, know where they work. It infuriates me. Let's talk about us, America. Here we are, we've got 4% of the world's population. There have been 2 million fatalities worldwide. If we had our share, we would have had 80,000. Right. That's a lot. We have five times that number. Right. We've been an abject failure, Tony.

Yeah, the reasons for that, that I don't think I can articulate all of them, but some of them stand out to me because I've lived through them. You can't have mixed messaging. You cannot have the politicization of public health messages.

I mean, the idea that wearing a mask or not became a political statement, that makes it beyond difficult to implement a good public health measure. People have come to a point where they don't understand this about President Trump. He can actually be an extraordinarily charming man.

Yes, you're right. He's a charismatic person. I got along very, very well with him. But I took no pleasure in having to correct clear misrepresentations in the sphere of medicine and science. I'm not totally sure what the president was referring to. That annoyed, I think, his staff, his loyal staff, in some respects, even more than it annoyed him. So that's when things started to go the wrong direction. And he's got this high approval rating.

So why don't I have a high approval rating with respect and the administration with respect to the virus? So the relationship became a bit frayed. And then when I would see him in the Oval Office, he would act like everything was fine. Fire fountains! Fire fountains!

And then we had that famous time when people were chanting, fire, Fauci, fire, Fauci. And he said, well, that's not a bad idea. I think I'll do that. Don't tell anybody. But let me wait till a little bit after the election. Now, he's been wrong a lot. He's a nice man, though.

He's been wrong. With more consistent leadership, we could have saved a lot of lives. Is that a fair statement? I believe so. I mean, I think if we had had the public health messages from the top right through down to the people in the trenches be consistent, that things might have been different.

In fact, I'm pretty sure they would have been different. And I'm going to just spend a couple of minutes just summarizing the status of where we are. It is a measure of Tony Fauci's durability that at the age of 80, he has just taken on a new title, working for Joe Biden, his seventh president. You're now the chief medical adviser, right? Right. So what we're going to be seeing over the next months is much more of a coordinated, synergistic partnership between the federal government and the states. So I believe we're going to see a turnaround in attitude when the federal government and the states start working together as opposed to you're on your own. Yeah, but you've been talking already and you have experienced to your own regret the poison of the partisanship that exists. Right. That's not going away, Tony.

Well, no, it's not. We're averaging now around two to three hundred thousand infections a day, about three to four thousand deaths per day. I mean, you have to look at those numbers and say, we've got to do something different. Your first great challenge is going to be able to get the vaccines in the arms. Right now, things are getting better, but they're going to get much better because President Biden has made it very clear this is his top priority. You know, the goal that's been set, which I believe is entirely achievable, is to have a hundred million people vaccinated. In the first hundred days, both vaccines, primary and boost. Yes.

Primary and boost in a hundred days. Yes. Yes.

You realize you're setting yourself up for disaster if you don't meet that goal. Of course. And that's one of the things that was kind of refreshing in one of the first briefings that we had with President Biden and Vice President Harris is that he said we might have setbacks. But, you know, when that happens, what we're going to do. So we're not going to point fingers. We're not going to blame people. We're not going to hide anything. We're going to be totally transparent and honest and we're going to try and fix it. We've had four years, Tony, of from the top, undermining confidence in all of our institutions.

Intelligence, the FBI, the media, science. That's been a pandemic of its own kind, hasn't it? It has. And we've got to repair it. We have to, because the country's at stake. You got any thoughts for how to begin? There's no vaccination for it.

No, there's no vaccination. But I think maybe we have to keep showing by example that being united is much, much better than being divisive, because divisiveness has really failed. I mean, it has failed us in every single way. Some thoughts on the inauguration week passed from James Fallows of the Atlantic. Inaugural speeches, especially for new presidents, boil down to telling two stories. Who we are as a country and who I am as the person preparing to lead. For many significant inaugurations, who we are was a tale of crisis and peril. Abraham Lincoln on the eve of civil war, Franklin Roosevelt in the teeth of worldwide depression, Barack Obama during another historic economic collapse.

For these presidents and many others, the story was the same. Our country is damaged, but it is not defeated. We must unite and sacrifice if we are to succeed. But we have done that before and can do it again. We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile.

At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. That was also the story in this past week's ceremony. In this past week's ceremony, it connected Joe Biden's speech. We'll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America, the American story. To the poem by Amanda Gorman.

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. They were both telling the story of becoming that Americans have relied on from the start. Joe Biden's story of who I am was especially powerful for being understated. John Kennedy's story was that the torch had been passed to members of his generation. Jimmy Carter's that of a man who would not lie.

Ronald Reagan's a buoyant optimism. Biden's story was, I will listen. I care. I ask us all to understand one another's vulnerability and losses. And I will give my whole soul to the effort of helping our country heal. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. We are not even 100 hours into this administration.

There will be the first 100 days and then 1400 days more. Every obstacle we faced a week ago is an obstacle still, but we have all made a start. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. really just kind of don't like Maggie has for more from this week's conversation. Follow the Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 23:04:53 / 2023-01-28 23:21:13 / 16

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