The Breakdown - President-elect Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine

Plus, Congress has agreed to a new stimulus deal, and how a church is helping those in need.
23:25 | 12/21/20

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Transcript for The Breakdown - President-elect Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine
Hi everyone welcome to the breakdown I'm Diana stayed up. Condoms and I'm Kara Phillips in for Terry Moran today congress has finally agreed to a new stimulus deal. After months of haggling the 900 billion dollar bill includes money for small business unemployment. And another round of direct payments to Americans but critics say. That's just not enough to help the millions of Americans still struggling amid this pandemic. And those numbers keep getting worse the US has already recorded four million cases so far this month more than any other country in the world. But there is a bit of optimism as an vaccine continues to roll out. The CDC says at least 272000. People have gotten the Pfizer vaccine as of Saturday. And while we don't have any numbers yet people have already starting getting the Daryn as Pope in nineteen vaccine today after. It was approved over the weekend. A big moment this afternoon president elect Joseph Biden has been vaccinated for Kobe in nineteen eat follows. Vice president Mike Pence to his accident live last week along with several members of congress. Including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and the more in this someone to bring in cheap White House correspondent John Carl. John let's talk about how important it is for leaders right now like Joseph Biden nor Mike Pence to get vaccinated. In such a public way I mean yes it's a good PR move right but there's also a lot of confidence it needs to be instilled in the people right now people that. Are still very nervous about it. There's a lot oral law. Since in the country care of their there's there's a big segment of the population that is. Uneasy we'd with the vaccine and in some polls suggesting it could be as much as 30% so. To see the leadership of the country stepped forward and say. That we have so much confidence in the efficacy and safety of this vaccine that will be among the very first to take it is very important important symbolically. And of course and in the case of Joseph Biden it's also a 88 incredibly important terms of protecting his health. So why you think there has been concern and and push back about getting the vaccine what you think that's coming from. What are eager to buy areas that it's coming from one is. We we've seen any movement in this country. For for several years as you know cure that a segment of the population that just simply. It is is an anti. Back sir they did they kill believe vaccines really war they believe vaccines. Could it despite all of the evidence all kinds of vaccines not just this vaccine. But you have but negative side effects. They did that's been. Did just proven time and time again but there is simply a segment of the population. That is skeptical now there's also the fact of this vaccine. Plot being something this happened so quickly and we've never seen a vaccine development anything like this time frame. And I think there is some residual concern in some quarters about how quickly it was dawn particularly when you've seen. So much that's been said about this pandemic from officials in government particularly. From the White House particularly from the president himself. Being called into doubt called into question they've said. Time and time again things that just are not true so now. The country is being called upon to trust the word coming out of of the government now that said. The real you know the kind of good housekeeping seal of approval on this is doctor Anthony found she. And the other medical experts in in the in the government and outside of the government. And universally they're saying this vaccine is not only a good thing but it's an essential thing too getting beyond the pandemic. And even doctor vowed to John as you know has come forward and says it and said he thinks. President truck should be should get it is well let's talk a minute about the president we're not seeing much of him. He's deathly not talking about this he continues to talk about. Losing the election that it was rigged. Now he did have co bid and if viewed top from a scientific perspective. You'll hear this from from. From some medical experts at lucky had the monoclonal cocktail. It's supposed to be within ninety days he doesn't necessary need to get the vaccine right now and then the White House is kind of giving. This message that well in the medical team decides he'll he'll have the vaccine he he will. What's your take why do you think trump isn't just coming forward and saying OK let's do it rolled up my sleeves I'm gonna have the vaccine to let's go. Well look that there may be as you said there may be good medical reasons for him not to get the vaccine yet. For a period of time to pass from having coded having the treatment that he got before he gets the vaccine but your right he has said virtually nothing about it. A little bit of you know bragging mostly on Twitter about the world of rapidity with which the vaccine was developed and taking credit for this actually there was a moment at a a white house press briefing just a couple of weeks ago where the Press Secretary. Refer to the vaccine is the trump vaccine. But what we haven't seen as well exactly what you referred to resolved trump coming out saying damn right I'm gonna take this vaccine. I'm gonna take it as soon as the medical team tells me I should take it he has not done that he is not taken that step. But as you point out he has had. You virtually nothing to say about anything actually on the leave it at that he's at virtually nothing to say about anything for the past week. As we have seen the incredible news on the vaccine the incredible disturbing news about. The the virus itself and an end and it ended a drought this pandemic has taken. He has been out of sight virtually no public appearances. Since he was out of football game last week and the army navy game. He has not been out he is not pat public appearances at the White House he did about a four and a half minute appearance on Rudy Giuliani's. You know radio show and again talked about the election conspiracies and whatnot but almost nothing. Nothing about the pandemic or about the vaccine. John stay with us we want to bring in ABC news medical contributor doctor Daron Sutton now. -- into the conversation wit a little bit of a technical hiccup so it's good to have you with is now doctor. What you. Weigh in on that with regard to president trump and not getting the vaccine yet while lead. Seen at other key leaders in our country getting that vaccine in a time where we want to instill confidence and we want people to get inoculated we want to get rid of this pandemic. How important do you think it is from the PR standpoint that the president. Get the vaccine also. I think it's incredibly important the current recommendations for anyone who has had a prior weather and cook at nineteen war. We're not the recommendation is to get that vaccine and so the president coming out and standing support conceding that he would get it would be really helpful but there's also a lot if we don't know. The president had a significant hospital stay in that you reference Ebert aren't synthetic antibodies as well as anti retroviral treatments are usually anti viral treatments. There's a lot in this job description that we don't know about that it's probably personal to us. So doctor set and what's the biggest thing that you want people to know about getting through these next few months. As you know I am in California specifically Los Angeles and we are right up against significant servers. Approximately 80%. I see user or sweeping across all its use approximately 80%. The Red Cross the LA county so right now it's obviously you need to pay attention avenue vice every single resident wearing masks seeking a social distance. Indeed if you don't live in California I would advise the same help decrease the spread of this iris. I'm with you on that I'm from California and I talked to my mom every day sell our minutes are exactly which you've advised doctors sudden thanks so much and John. I have to ask you while I have you you know congress is expected to vote to pass this. 900 billion dollar stimulus deal today Democrats say this is just a down payment. And more help is is needed but if Mitch McConnell still controls the senate next month. Is another deal likely to happen what's the reality check. The reality check is really in almost either circumstance it's going to be hard to get more done of course a lot who depend on on. What is happening with the vaccine has this has this helped put the pandemic first start to put the pandemic behind us and allow more of the country to beam reopened. Or are we seeing a continued. Downward spiral. Why it's he does continue to look bad will be enormous pressure on congress. But to act again but McConnell. Made it very clear in negotiating this one did this was as much as he bought thought Republicans. All were willing to as far suppose Republicans are willing to go and it's certainly a significant step I mean look Democrats for pushing for something. You don't put two and a half times larger than this Keira but but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this is a 900. Plus billion dollar. Off funding bill it it's the second largest. Bill of its kind funding bill of any kind. That we've seen congress passed in the first artist was what was done. In the spring to deal with the the economic impact of the the pandemic so this is a significant step. But there'll be a lot of pressure on congress to do more. All right Tom Karl doctor daring Sutton thank you both so much thank. You care. And it looks like we are on track for record turnout ahead next month's senate run offs in Georgia according to the secretary of State's office over one point four million people have already voted early. Our affiliate WSB in Atlanta caught up with an early voter on why they thought it was so important to vote early in this election. Voting in general it's good morning and it was really important for me because suddenly get so young and growing evidence exit. Like it differently. The world and it's great run off people like oh wow this is like actually getting down to the wire now Clinton and this is really important people are definitely like. And allow this is actually reported paying any delay. Do something about it. It has been a tremendous game. It's between people and you'll get me wrong there read like about their bids from Tulsa does look towards the exists is just a great and I know there. We are going down in history comes allegedly continued skating great day come when it comes to these relations. Some early voters there and Georgia and when we come back we're gonna take a look at how this pandemic. Health disparities. And communities of color and discuss why representation is so important in the medical field also house some former debt collectors in churches. Are now helping to pay off medical bills during the pandemic and Terry Moran has that full report coming up. I want to just encouraged. The people that look like me that are skeptical based on none history have taken vaccines. That. I was not singled out to take the vaccine because of the color of my skin. I wanted to tape a Maxine I wanted you I want you to see me taken the vaccine. Somebody. I hope that I can inspire you. Time to take the vaccine the vaccine is being offered. To a diverse group of people and so I encourage you to take the vaccine listen to the science. I was near seniors Sandra Lindsay the first person in the US outside of trials to get the cove in nineteen. Encouraging all Americans. To get it too but also speaking to black Americans according to the CDC black Americans are three point seven times more likely to be hospitalized. And two point eight times more likely to die from covad nineteen than nonhispanic white Americans are but 35%. Of black Americans still say they would not get the vaccine. Even if it was proved safe demonstrating the communities distrust in health care systems. Because of historic deception by health care providers. Now Morehouse School of Medicine in common spirit health care are partnering to address the underlying causes of health disparities and train more black physicians. Morehouse medical school dean doctor Valerie Montgomery rice in common spirit CEO Lloyd dean. Joining us now for more on this new program good afternoon to both thank you for being here. Think he's an accident. Lloyd I wanna start with you how this program come about what inspired you do this. One of the challenges that this nation has been dealing with for decades has been helped disparities in health. I inequities are particularly. In communities. A color. In one of the things that the virus has shone a light on is that African Americans. And blacks. Have been disproportionately. Impacted. Through deaths. In testing positive. Off the war the virus. In as we look at the heart of biggest challenge. Wanted to key factors. Is a lack. Of black physicians. And clinicians. So we are very proud to be in partnership. And to share this partnership. With the Morehouse. School. Of Medicine. Wondered vis this nation's most premiere. Our providers. Are in educators. All black physicians. Are and black clinician. It's ends actor Montgomery rice you promise annually support 300 additional under represented providers in completing their residency. And support a pipeline of students LB recruited from communities that have a historical provider shortage. Why isn't so important to deal with these issues at the provider level first. Of course the wrong one of the things that we know if that it requires a trust and relationship. And do you most trust relationship that I am aware are particularly comes to a patient make a decision about his or her care. Is there with her his or her provider. And that's why talked about we know that there is under representation. On Iraq and other minority physicians in communities particularly communities underserved. So we certainly don't we can educate and train. More providers more clinicians who actually comes from those communities we will CEOs who removed from I don't. That vaccine. It says agent Maxine acceptance particularly of whoever had another pandemic. And this really timely that this is happening now. This this relationship is going to allow trusted Jabrel. The class the whorehouse Truman has the students was there in their first two years with us and we well we have recruited I was students some regions. Where common spirit Howell is located. And so you won't see those students going back inept are important here and actually have a grip colonel corps experiences. Candles hospitals. There are also establishing tin news sites. Your residency training and then we have Christians don't Angela residency training. Handlers facilities Barack fruit and. I'm persons who come from communities but I'm back to those communities and caring for those communities. It sounded a program that will then help to maintain itself going forward and light I know that. This program minutes sells it looks very long term but you're also trying to combat some of these health disparities as they relayed to cove it. Right now can you tell me a little bit about those efforts. Yes we are dolby. To go deep into chronic conditions and we know that. In communities up caller we know that in. Black. Communities. That one of the things that is preventing or caused. From preventing us from moving forward. To address. Be underlying causes. Is. Position in clinicians. Access. And there is no question since studies. Have shown. That when our patients and members of the community. It's have access. Took clinicians simply wouldn't it physicians that look like them that understand them better have. Cultural sensitivities. In awareness. That they ate and to engage. In. Their treatment process are in a way that when they don't. Have access. Two people of color a light themselves. That this lingering challenge. Continues. I'm word in on what. Doctor Valerie Montgomery rice and Lloyd dean thank you both so much. Well today we're tackling an issue with the intersection of the economic crisis and the health care crisis caused by coping. Medical debt. New Labor Department numbers show more than twenty million workers were collecting unemployment benefits at the end of November and with many people losing health insurance. It's more likely that one major medical event. Could put their financial future in jeopardy already in this country more than one in four adults report either struggling to pay medical bills. Or they are living with someone who has. But for some of them salvation is coming from an unlikely place. ABC's Terry Moran shows us how churches and former debt collectors are stepping up to fill the void. Annapolis pastor Kinney come on Joseph has long believed our nation's health care system is broken years ago on the heels of a costly cancer scaring his family his infant daughter fell off the changing table. We drove around the hospital. For a few hours. Just in a circle. Watching her he says the fear of more jacked kept him from going into the hospital. Feeling of being. Invisible and incapable. But taking care of my family. Has stuck with me it's not how our lives in this country should be. Says to not be able to take care of ourselves out of fear of what it's gonna cost and whether we can afford long term. Consequence. And so I think I think about that often it's stuck with me. As an experience with. The broken this of all of this. Donna dees of Atlanta knows that crushing feeling a medical debt to if you have something like an icu BO best. You know crazy money diabetes related issues landed her in the icu twice it was a tough time her sister died her father died she lost her job health is. Netstat. Dad's gone my sister's kind human and it's gone. And the medical bills were one more burden and be reduced. You know just. Aegon U engine. Paid when you good are you paid on each don't just pray that it didn't. You know thank you there are extremely negatively Millen that it did it in to some extent. But then out of the blue she got a letter informing her that debt was for given create edit it through language. You know if Abscam thing. Sinatra. But it was real Donna's debt was paid off through a group called RIP medical. How specifically do you. Select the people who will receive the assistance that the idiot at fair ask is that it's it's blind. Listen there's no judgment hair on our part Allison says so is the group's executive director she says RP has forgiven more than three billion dollars worth of medical debt you have to be 200% of poverty are parallel so helping people who are well opt for helping people who really need to help the most. On the debt collection market does debts owed by low income people are the least valuable because they are the least likely ever to be paid off. Two former debt collectors Creag and Tico a Jerry Ashton had the idea to have five those debts in bulk for a fraction of their value. And then forgive them every dollar actually absolves a hundred dollars worth of medical debt for people. It was just being. His blessing that just appeared in the mailbox in. No way and it just took care. It's a miracle. Of sorts what does it tell you about. About people. That this happened. It didn't it didn't really tell me anything it is confirmed. Acts. I don't I'm know that there are people out there are these donors have included so all you ready to do this. TV host John Oliver. And more than 400 church congregations large and small around the country where you find this in the Bible. Medical debt I think giving people a taste of freedom and forgiveness. Is the mission. Of the church. Pastor Jenny could not just as his congregation has wiped out our I d.'s debt portfolio for fourteen counties in Maryland. And they're now partnering with other churches to raise enough money to wipe out the debt for the entire state we're not a particularly wealthy congregation or are particularly large congregation but. We're committed I think as a as a group to trying to. Our neighbors it's empowering people at a moment where it feels so stunt did. As an as an as a nation and a lot of ways while Allison says though says she's grateful for churches she wishes government leaders could also see the moral obligation here. I mean look I think the end of the day I I really am inspired by what REP does every single day but at the same time I'm appalled that we passed in excess. It's great work. Why should do you bet that's our question answer. I want it to be different. My prayer is still. That's something we'll change. I'll until the high cost to survive in this country is addressed pastor Kenny is making sure those in need don't have to carry that cross alone. For the breakdown I'm Terry Moran. Investigated Syria for that report that does it for us here on the breakdown I'm cure Phillips in for Terry Diane great bwic you hear a great to have you I'm Diane misstate a we'll see you back here tomorrow at 3 PM eastern. Have a great rest of the day everybody I'm. Yeah.

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

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