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Transcript: Mayor Quinton Lucas on “Face the Nation,” January 16, 2022


The next is a transcript of an interview with Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas that aired Sunday, January 16, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to the mayor of Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, Quinton Lucas. He joins us from our CBS affiliate KCTV. Good morning to you, Mr. Mayor. 

KANSAS CITY MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS: Good morning. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Omicron is surging hospitalizations in your metropolis up 25% within the final week, are hospitals having to postpone surgical procedures, are they liable to being overwhelmed?

MAYOR LUCAS: They’re overwhelmed proper now in Kansas Metropolis, actually for the reason that Christmas season, we now have seen unimaginable challenges in our well being care community, even getting workers which are working in our EMS providers, hearth division and in public security. It’s a substantial concern. It is why we now have introduced again a variety of completely different necessities, together with a masks requirement in our faculties by an important degree of controversy to guarantee that authorities can proceed to perform, faculties can keep open, our hospitals can keep open. And we’re doing all we are able to from an area authorities degree to reply to our challenges.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You have stated you’d contemplate a citywide masks mandate if deaths and hospitalizations reached a sure level. Do you might have a threshold there? What’s holding you again?

MAYOR LUCAS: Proper now, what’s holding us again is, in some methods, the political problem that we obtained from the state of Missouri. There have been quite a few lawsuits filed by the Lawyer Normal of Missouri, who’s working for the US Senate, a Republican who has sought masks mandates and known as them issues which are challenges to freedom. He is known as them challenges and tyranny, these types of issues that we face each time we challenge a brand new masks requirement. The Missouri state treasurer has gotten into the act. However what we’re actually attempting to concentrate on is extra vaccination. What we’re seeing is although Omicron is spreading 80 to 90% of individuals which are in our ICU are people who haven’t been vaccinated. We’re going through challenges as a result of there’s a substantial quantity of misinformation out within the public about if vaccination is vital, if it is good, if it is free, what it does to you. So, we’re actually preventing, I feel, a battle on two completely different fronts. One is from my political proper and people which are attempting to say that this simply is not that large of a deal after which all the time attempting to battle the data aspect to guarantee that we get folks vaccinated and protected.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However to that time, we now have new CBS polling out right now that actually faults the administration itself for complicated messaging round COVID. The president’s approval score for his dealing with is on the lowest level, two-thirds of these polled cited confusion about COVID info and steering. Is the federal authorities response right here too complicated? Is it too gradual?

MAYOR LUCAS: You realize, I feel these polls mirror a second of frustration in America, definitely frustration in Kansas Metropolis again and again, and all people in America is aware of this, each few months we thought that this is able to be over. I feel what we acknowledge is now that COVID will probably be with us for a while, that we might proceed to see new variants. However I do assume that there’s a position not only for the federal authorities, however for state governments to truly be useful, proper? We’ve seen in a variety of completely different states, mine included at instances the place there has not been the extent of help once we’re in search of that intermediate step, who can truly ship that testing to us within the cities, small cities as properly. Who can truly guarantee that faculties can keep open? I do not assume that these are federal considerations and people aren’t on the toes of the president. I feel a lot of that’s how can our total authorities system from native authorities as much as the federal aspect guarantee that we’re responding in an lively method? I simply assume the president’s face is on any variety of issues, and so he’ll proceed to be blamed. However look, what I would like in Kansas Metropolis are extra nurses, extra hospital staff, extra employees and extra exams. I do not care who they arrive from, whether or not they come from our state capitals, whether or not they come from federal authorities. I feel that is what the folks of America need on the bottom.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You talked about one of many individuals who is difficult your mandates is somebody working for Senate in your state. I need to ask you, I do know you are working for re-election as mayor, however you’re rumored to even be contemplating a Senate run. What are nationwide Democrats lacking on the bottom in states like yours? Do you assume a Democrat may truly win a statewide federal election in Missouri?

MAYOR LUCAS: I completely assume a Democrat may win a statewide election in Missouri. I feel, to begin with, as a result of what you see proper now’s that we’re attempting to reply to a disaster of the second. We’re attempting to ensure we’re answering COVID points, attempting to guarantee that individuals are getting again into jobs and speaking about issues which are accountable and affordable, not trying again during the last 4 years, not attempting to push what I feel is fake info, whether or not it’s associated to COVID, whether or not it’s associated to the financial system or something beneath the solar. I do assume, after all, there is a communication problem that we face, the Democratic Occasion is a really large tent. And I do definitely assume that extra nationwide voices which are saying, look, Democrats are doing issues that make fundamental sense now, attempting to deal with provide chain points, attempting to ensure folks have COVID testing. And essentially ensuring that we’re looking for the folks of Kansas Metropolis and America. You realize, just a few weeks again, my household got here down with COVID, after which the hardest half, I’ve a nine-month-old child, was seeing him sick. I do not assume that there is any American who needs to see that hurt to their younger kids, to their infants, to their households. That is what I see a number of mayors trying to, Democrats, reasonable Republicans and others. And that is why I feel the general public could be receptive to messages from people which are on the political left.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’d must file by the top of March. Are you going to run?

MAYOR LUCAS: I- I’ve already stated that I will be working for mayor of Kansas Metropolis once more,–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Proper.

MAYOR LUCAS: – I am excited to be mayor. I work with different mayors across the nation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Proper. I used to be asking about Senate, which you are avoiding, however let’s ask you about policing. I do know you are coming right here to Washington. You have obtained a spiking homicide charge in Kansas Metropolis. I do know it is the- the state that controls the police division, however whenever you come right here to Washington, what precisely are you going to ask the Justice Division to do for you? We- we all know the Biden administration has stated government orders are coming. They have been saying that since Nov. What do you want?

MAYOR LUCAS: You realize, there I feel there are just a few various things that everyone agrees on, one is ensuring that we now have officers, however having sufficient cops that work in the neighborhood. One of many battles that I feel we get in in Kansas Metropolis and different locations will not be concerning the totality of police funding, however the place are you spending it? Are you spending it on rank-and-file officers in our neighborhoods, on our streets which are working with neighborhood organizations? Are you engaged on neighborhood outreach packages? We want extra of that in Kansas Metropolis and cities round America. I did a ride-along with the Los Angeles Police Division some time again, working with gang intervention items. That is the type of work that we want, and that is what we’re in search of in assist from federal authorities. What we do not want are troops coming in with out the request of mayors, however we do not want as a rehash of Operation Legend within the late Trump administration. I feel that whereas it introduced us a number of boots on the bottom, we nonetheless had our highest homicide file ever in Kansas Metropolis truly that 12 months. We need to have sustained programmatic efforts and responses. And that is what I hear all mayors asking for.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. Mayor, thanks to your time. Good luck with the surge. We’ll be proper again.



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