The Breakdown: 160 business leaders urge lawmakers to pass COVID relief plan

Plus, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be approved by Friday, and what the California governor is saying about reopening schools.
26:40 | 02/24/21

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Transcript for The Breakdown: 160 business leaders urge lawmakers to pass COVID relief plan
Welcome to the break down I'm Diana using them. And I'm Terry Moran that House of Representatives is set to vote on president Biden's nearly two trillion dollar pulled relief plan on Friday he. The big questions now do Democrats have the votes to pass. Has to really deal without any Republican support he went to the millions of Americans and small businesses struggling this pandemic expect. To get that financial relief and we'll have the latest. Washington is also ahead the FDA says it's clearing the way for Johnson & Johnson singled those involving vaccines will be offered. Guys for emergency use them as early as this Friday. This is visor and the Daryn are pledging to ramp up production deliberately. Combined 600 million doses by July and that's enough for every adult in the US I'm Dr. sapna standing by to break it all down for us. We begin with president guidance called it relief plan and an all. A letter 160. CEOs are now urging congress to pass coach immediate and large scale federal legislation to address the health and it economic crisis. Brought on by the -- nineteen pandemic but Republicans are still signaling the plans nearly two trillion dollar price tag. It's too high. Let's bring in ABC news political director Rick Klein for more on this Rick Republican senators Mitt Romney and Rob Portman have both written op Ed against. This relief plan and they say it's wasteful it will hurt job creation it won't help kids get back to school she and they also part of a group of moderate Republicans who propose a compromise bill is there any more middle ground. To be had easier and Clinton to pressure from big business coming in now sway any Republican votes. Is no sign of all this weighing and he goes and what Republicans are are doing is he on their own ability to tell a story around this package that is different. And along the White House has been telling and the weight of public opinion as well as Zogby CEOs that belief that you need big relief. These feel like there are aspects of this package that are announced that it you have enough controversy around the work on popular enough that it opposed them without getting any kind of backlash and so far have been very few cracks in Republican ranks. Astounding given how much Republicans are often at odds with each of church in this post trump Barre the most they are singing from the same book right now and saying that they believe this to be too big a package I may believe that Joseph Biden has not done enough to try to reach out across the aisle so yes there's always real brown but as these first key votes approach in the House of Representatives at the end of the week it may be that only Democrats support the packages which would be uploaded to Vice President Biden to president Biden and maybe also of Florida some of these Republicans who didn't think that there is a chance that they be on board. Well let's look at the Democrats who are they you know they have that slim majority in the house she can they hold that line do they have the votes alone. To pass the relief bill without any Republican support. Yes but there's a big asterisk here Terry and this is where things get really weird ends in senate rules are the senate parliamentarian is gonna make a judgment dumb and eat any day now. On whether the minimum wage increase of thirteen dollars an hour can be part of this package and in the fact is if it survives that may hurt the efforts to it to pass this in the because we have a couple of senators Democrats. Say they're not on board if if this is part of and then it's complicated by the fact if you take it out there's some progressives including some members of the squad like they're at Alexandria because you Cortes was indeed he knows on the deals so they're looking for kind of a procedural outlook that could save them from themselves it's a strange set of circumstances because. They have the narrowest of majorities in bowl presented in the house they need every democratic what they can get. And speaking of strange circumstances Rick there was a moment today between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy each and congresswoman Liz Cheney after a reporter she asked them whether former presidential I'm should be speaking. At the Conservative Political Action Committee conference this weekend let's listen. I think there might use about. President Johnson and the extent to which. He did it on January 6. I don't I don't believe he claims home confirmed. I don't think other. So break. Evian people laughed in the room that how divided is the Republican Party over former president trump and kind of role he should play going forward. There is so much in that clip but to be honest and I think it I think just looking at that and and congresswoman Cheney and her reaction overstates the demise right now. The divide these is a pretty narrow one there aren't that many Republicans will say publicly what congresswoman Cheney said yes she's number three house Republican to she's won only ten Republican support impeachment in the house. Of course we only seven did so in the senate most Republicans. In the elected official ranks. Remained foursquare behind president truck and he will be speaking at that conference in the coming days and it will be a very trump be occasion that he will be speaking to us that yes there are divisions over whether president trump has a role will be slower but most Republicans frankly in the house and the senate and probably across the country in public opinion polling agree with with the with the minority leader Kevin McCarthy is opposed a list Jane. He still has a lock on that party does Naia and even though he is. Considerably under what in the worst approval ratings from the general public but Republicans are still very strong and it looks like that. She packed conference is going to be its festival of speakers who echo trumps false claims about election fraud the rest of this conspiracy leaders. Is this going to be a Republican Party that has a loyalty test going forward you have. It sure looks like it right now there there isn't a lot of room for a Republican to stick his or her and her neck out and say. I know the election wasn't stolen yes Joseph Biden is the legitimate president those are. Actual answers but they get Republicans in trouble and that's why you see so many who dance around that question the fact is C pac is. I'm going to be still with Republican speakers who have loyalty to president trump there are multiple panels they are about election integrity there will be rhetoric trying to re litigate. The election that is now fully entirely settled. Other big lie persists and yes carry it doesn't look like he will be table stakes for at least some Republicans to make sure you keep that loyalty to president trump even to the fictions that he continues to peddle and I. Recline in Washington Forrest thanks Rick. And Johnson & Johnson is on the verge of becoming the third club in nineteen vaccine to get emergency use authorization in the US search the FDA now says the vaccine appears to be 85% effective at preventing severe illness. I'm works against all variance change AA says it is ready to deliver twenty million doses by the end of next month. ABC's reader Roy has the details. I felt that. Now that a sigh of relief for Betty White in Santa Barbara getting her covic nineteen shot along with 17%. Of the US population. Has also gotten at least one dose according to the CDC. Now good news from the FDA the US one step closer to a third of vaccine in the fight against cove at nineteen with the agency saying Johnson and Johnson's single dose vaccine. Appears to be 85%. Effective at preventing severe illness. Is saying it also works against all variants and may even prevent asymptomatic infections. We're prepared. To ship immediately at our emergency use authorization. I'm nearly four million dollars or vaccine. It could be authorized for emergency use by the end of this week and if it is the company says it's ready to deliver twenty million doses by the end of march. For the other two vaccines already circulating across the country manufacturers. Now doubling the rate of production. Are currently are on track to deliver the first hundred million doses of the vaccine. The end of march we anticipate that I'll get up to thirteen million duties we I didn't march. The journal advisor telling congress are on track to deliver 600 million doses enough to vaccinated every US adult by July. With winter storms causing major delays there was a backlog in many areas and a lot of frustration and listen to suppressed that it was disappointing. As for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine an FDA advisory board is expected to meet on Friday still vote on whether to recommended and from there could be a matter of hours until it gets the official green light from the FDA. Read our role eight ABC news New York. So that's where we are with the vaccine are thanks for Serena for that report and for more let's bring an ABC news medical contributor doctor Gary and Sutton. Doctor said let's talk about Johnson & Johnson there are mirrored emergency use authorization could come as early as Friday they were hearing. So what are the FDA say about that vaccine today. Service is exciting news did first established what we already know what levels of efficacy overall it seems that the johnsons are vaccine hasn't 66%. Each and preventing symptomatic disease. More importantly eighty are present and preventing severe case and her present and prevent hospitalizations and death. The EU eight came over excuse me the basic are pretty UN authorization came as they were able our crew that was also say is that we're looking at other groups including age race ethnicity. Medical or morbidity and any prior occasions with art Hogan nineteen and actually. So that's another vaccine coming online in here in the US riser much Daryn of vaccines. Here are the ones laws are being currently authorized there are currently offers and both of those. Our food dose vaccine to get two shots at Jay did actually was just one dose. How important is that. Incredibly important this would eliminate is significant factors that contribute to distribution delay I'm not having to follow with an additional tools allow this vaccinated more especially the fact that Johnson Johnson vaccine can be stored at more regular temperatures that allows easier distribution but also arms storage and so it really is a big deal. And to have people look at the vaccines after they had their demo wanna try and challenged it and I should people look comfortable taking any it is vaccines observed proved she is one better than the other do you think. My recommendation is to get the vaccine first becomes available to you there have been no comparative studies comparing them intern and and Eisen which already have emergency use authorization. That the pending emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and we understand that the change in what studied under different conditions and was specifically different time also in the setting these variants that are likely more transmissible. As we talked about immediate appearance sound and South Africa but what we do know is that it's a 100% effective in preventing. Patients and deaths of my goal is to prevent patients presenting to the emergency room and meeting me. Get vaccines available you. Ers. And dogs there's been a fair amount of frustration with to have action rollout people trying to get through this system trying to get a does Johnson Johnson saying you can deliver twenty million doses by the end of march we're now looking at some significant volume. How much. Impact will that have increasing the rate a vaccine vaccination. Hadley addition of the Johnson & Johnson backs who can bring up our daily vaccinations are removed about two million per day which would allow us a more clear path to get into better vaccine induced herd immunity and were hoping he gets you to Sumner I think yes we have to be cognizant of the issues we're distribution and the physical effort we have to put in some sort of operational factors. Allowances distributed vaccine in place by having the vaccine now with Johnson Johnson an addition to the Internet and I think that's. Going to be incredible assets whistles and can be nineteen. And then letting it know your opinion. For those who have been vaccinated to millions including my in laws who have had the vaccination doctor G said that sees he's gonna release more guidance soon for people are fully backs and so what's what's your advice to that group do you think the virus. Can be transmitted through people who have banned vaccinated. To those who haven't. I'm asking the same question as I've been fully vaccinated and and learn some people America and have also been fully vaccinated. We're still waiting on the data what we what we also are is that the information available to Montserrat. And buys it and now from J&J are showing that the vaccine preventing symptomatic cases we know. That there is still a high level of transmission occurs between a dramatic increase dramatically Corbett nineteen and that is it we simply don't have yet so until I advise everyone to do what I do which is intuitive factor practice saying mitigation efforts which is wearing masks and decency as much as possible and remembering the vaccine is helping to keep people out of the hospital and masks and distancing her hoping she transmissions all together this will be our best effort to our best in nineteen. Great advice doctor Deron sudden thanks as always. Q. And after nearly a year in lockdown residents at a nursing home in West Virginia shared our experiences getting. Alas doses of the corona virus vaccine saying they're excited to get back to more or less normal life. When I guess it's and hundreds of restaurants in my kids kids let's work. And I and the Arab total profits are virgin that I think it's not the only person against all over the world. There are people missing and her friend. So what are you looking forward to now that you've had two shots. Countering. He was sure there's again we're just mind I'm gonna see in my mind. And over here is how I felt. For. Its life is good people he didn't come on haven't found vaccines. And flowers. We want to help fund you know. And I feel very important sounds like. So I wanted to it's. Yeah. Overwhelmed concerned just go outside again. I haven't seen in my husband and myself it can't homicide freaks out. They call me every day but that's not the same. Pain and other people who have this isn't me it's. I'm is that. I am really looking forward to having the. Some residents there are nursing home residents who received care cove in nineteen vaccine she. New York governor and you Cuomo is now under investigation for miss reporting nursing home dads here in New York. When we come back the latest on the probes from the US attorney in Brooklyn and the FBI. Welcome back near governor Andrew Cuomo is under federal investigation permits reporting coated nursing home deaths in the state the governor had faced backlash after state health officials directed nursing homes and marched to readmit residents discharged from the hospital but still recovering from club in nineteen. Now he's facing allegations that his administration manipulated and downplayed the data. About nursing home infections and deaths to avoid criticism she ABC's senior investigative reporter Aaron could terse Kaye joins me now to talk about this controversy Aaron thanks so much for being on you know almost spent months aggressively denying that he mismanaged nursing homes in the beginning of the pandemic in anyway so let me know so far about what really happens from the New York attorney general and the other investigations under way. New York attorney general I think was the one that really blew the lid off of almost deceptions because she was the one that said that. The state may have undercounted. Cove in nineteen deaths among nursing home residents by as much as 50%. And Governor Cuomo denied that he tried to fudge any numbers but when state lawmakers came asking about some of these numbers back in June. His aide recently conceded that the the governor and his aides kind of Stonewall. And didn't quite come clean with the state lawmakers because they feared that the numbers would be used against the administration. By former president trump remembered can trump had been looking for ways to take Cuomo down a peg. Duke and how hide both his marks were for his handling of corona virus and how critical Cuomo was. Of the of the administration at the time and so he she pointed to this nursing home criticism in saying that because Cuomo directed nursing home residents who had been discharged but who would not yet tested negative. Sent them back into nursing homes. The former president asserted that fact increased the amount of death in nursing homes Cuomo has denied it he said he was following central guidance at the time. He said that nursing homes were already incessant with cove in nineteen because staffs prodded in from the outside. And so then how are they explaining why the numbers are often why they weren't counting nursing home residents who ended up then dying in hospitals the way other Steve stand. It in fact they've never really successfully explained. How they'd been counting the numbers and NY date they may have been counting them differently they say that that the state lawmakers and the public has had all the numbers right away. But but really they think they didn't and still bit the New York State attorney general. Revealed the results of her investigation and then all of a sudden. Cuomo's office put the numbers up on the state dashboard and so there's a real question about who wins state new to true results of of nursing home deaths. And and what they decided to do about it and later this week there's a Schering. With governor Cuomo's top health official doctor Howard soccer. And and can bet that lawmakers are gonna try and really into that Diane to see. What numbers he actually knew about then and what numbers he was telling the public at the same time. An Aaron Cuomo's approval ratings were so high at the peak of the pandemic in New York summer even calling for him to run for President Bush he wrote a book on how to lead in a pandemic in the middle of all this. Now he's being carried on Saturday Night Live for trying to avoid controversy and refusing to apologize so how does this affecting. Cuomo's reputation and how did he get here. It was almost as if you parodies the Saturday Night Live skit because that doesn't the following Monday came out and he said he was going to loosen some restrictions and it and it was as if that you know he took a look at Saturday Night Live and sending that's not a bad idea because she's really been under the gun at the state lawmakers are are looking to strip Cuomo of some of his emergency powers. That have governed his decisions and enabled the state. To be fairly nimble in its response throughout this pandemic. Now state lawmakers as soon as next week when to take a vote at least the state senate. Due to try it and scale that back included shack on his power. Cuomo has not always embraced. The other branch of of government when it comes to making the rules and state lawmakers have seized on the controversy to try and reassert themselves. And and and look back has Cuomo fighting back in in ways that only Cuomo knows how he can be combative any can be abrasive one's state assemblyman accused Cuomo of threatening him. I know several state lawmakers who received. Out of a ranting phone calls from the governor over the past couple of weeks. Alternately he'll try to be ingratiating and then he'll don't threaten law makers that's been his style. And he's being you know put in a barrel soared but that's worked for him but at least at the outset of this pandemic when as he said Diane he did receive high marks and and much of that may be that he was being compared to two former president trump and had sought should different response the former president. Who nearly every turn tried to downplay. Good pandemic. Cuomo was out there are giving what he said where the facts in the true story now his style it has come back to bite him. And Cuomo is also now facing allegations of sexual harassment and bullying from a former aide what are we know about that. And how's the governor responding. Lindsay Boylan is a former congressional candidates she's now running from Manhattan Borough president. And she had treated about these claims back didn't in December. They were denied Dan and she repeated some of them in any medium posted in which she accused the governor. Promulgating an act this year an amnesty or sexual harassment. And bullying and in particular when she accused the governor sexually harassing her. During an October 2017. Plane ride. The governor's office to date put out a statement denying that that slight ever took place in broadly they have denied the allegations. At every turn Cuomo pushes back on on his critics sometimes. Forcefully but she is not the only one to raise issues Karen Hinton another former aide wrote in the New York Daily News today that that. This is the kind of atmosphere. That. And does what it's like for women working in the governor's office the governor notably was supposed to have the I'll call with reporters today that call did not happen. All right investigative reporter caricatures K Aaron we know you'll say on and we appreciate that thank you. Thank Sharon for that let's go to the other side of that country where there's another democratic governor in trouble California governor Gavin Newsom. He could be facing a recall. Over the State's response to the pen dent organisms now pushing for school to reopen. I not a Dakota rates are back down to their lowest in most of California teachers' union is pushing back saying they do not have the resources to reopened safely. ABC's during shop hasn't story. In the end of the day. We can do this now California governor Gavin Newsom telling ABC news in a one on one interview that he thinks kids are ready to go back to school immediately. Let's not use purpose as an excuse. To safely thoughtfully judiciously and strategically. We got our youngest kids back in first. It's the most pressing issue in this. I'm really tired of waiting I know it's possible. Please please please open school. I really miss just seeing my friends and being with my teachers because the teachers at my school really care about us. Museum now appointed estates plummeting case rates to reopen schools and increase in vaccine supply starting the first week in March. They're three point 1% positive he's a quarter of Texas is attacked public Florida is. We can do this. The governor is caught between two groups teachers unions pushing back on opening classrooms without specific safety protocols and vaccinations. And a recall led by Republicans fueled by the State's cold response this State's largest teachers union saying this month. School districts had made very clear that they do not have the resource is to make sure the proper ventilation is in place. Testing PP each other multi layered safety measures. And we have to get shot in the arms of employees were required to report in person and before the students returned to campus. Use of appearing to straddle both worlds say he wants teachers to have what they want to but also wanting to get kids back in to school ACP. Appears a lot of teachers are pushing back saying they want that's second just before they go back to school and any written Hinske diverge shield. I mean how cheap but what do you say to those California teachers' I want them to happen. That's why we provided flexibility for over a month 35 counties are already in ministry and that's why we set aside 75000. Doses so they can feel confident. We're come we're not. Interested in that we're committed. To keeping them safe. Uses critics say his urgency to get kids back into class comes after Republican opponents have placed the blame on him for schools and not reopening fast enough. And threatening to challenge Jennifer recall qualifies for the ballot in just three week. This in star Lisa started saying schools you know. But it's too little too late. Gavin nuisance failed leadership. Has left an entire generation. Our schools are still shut down our kids are still not going to do to schools they're not. Involving their activities we're we're inflicting untold damage on our kids that last week even the governor can relate to what would. A first grade gas and you sound have been like without a year. School I wouldn't be here and mean this is why I'm this is what it's so personal. Not governor recall ended and he had only made a ballot for its iTunes that orator and hire its street. It's only been seen it twice before are a lot and actually in bids the teen years ago the rate eight. And I remember that during the Arnold Schwarzenegger did in Madden do that a political moment I'm fascinated by this recall effort. It is so rare so I guess they're in that state. The recall but just and qualified to be on the ballot with signatures or whatever but what is a timeline look like they're like challenged. Gavin Newsom for his job if he does get recall. Yet scary it is really. Got to be one point five million in their fight they get dirt. Bite marks seventy most experts think we're gonna get our upper many Greek people in the state are incredibly frustrated political -- response. Most school and you are still not back open so in back all of might not bring election later on its ear. Hundreds of people expect it's a dog industry including the two met you just her problem. For any mayor and plot you're. Businessman John Cox but not expect it to be property damage challenger and that is really interesting to get that need it in print uphill. Cline a basically challenged unseat governor you sent the demographics of this date have changed incredibly the last eighteen years its use of far more blue. Museums holy is far higher ratings than ever let's around as high. Gary EE. And with that visit to the French laundry restaurant. Yes he's good rejection orange yeah. Likes trigger extra. Inch understandably bags or in. And that does it for us here on the breakdown I'm Diane Messina. And I'm Terry Moran Alicea back here tomorrow at three Emmys have a great thing didn't. Yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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