tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 26, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST
morning. officials say possible human remains were found at the blast site after an eerie audio recording warned of an imminent explosion. >> if you can hear this message, evacuate now. if you can hear this message, evacuate now. >> the blast left at least three people injured, left several other vehicles on fire and destroyed a number of buildings on the block. tennessee governor bill lee just requesting an emergency declaration from president trump to help with ongoing relief efforts after touring the damage. we just learned investigators are expected to give as an update sometime this afternoon. natasha chen is live for us in nashville. natasha, what are you hearing from investigators? >> reporter: this is very much an active scene. governor bill lee posted on
twitter about requesting the emergency declaration. he said on twitter that after he toured this area he found the devastation shocking. and of course, that's because there's so much debris here. it spreads across several blocks. we're on 2nd avenue where this happened, but it's several blocks away where the perimeter is. you can see some police cars in the distance with tape right there. there's shattered glass even several blocks away. there may be a press conference this afternoon to update us with the latest information from law enforcement. as you mentioned, they confirmed yesterday that there was tissue found believed to be human remains. i asked specifically where they found that on the site f that could possibly relate to whether anyone was in the rv, and the police chief told me it was too soon to answer the question, that the debris is scattered in a way that they're still working through this and more information is hopefully to come
very soon this afternoon, fred. >> and then, natasha, nashville police have also identified the officers who helped evacuate people ahead of the explosion. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: right. you have to imagine these residents were terrified when they heard gunshots early christmas morning, called 911. these are the six officers who came and responded to that call and then everyone heard that very eerie recording counting down to an explosion, giving people 15 minutes to get out of the area. here is the police chief of nashville talking about their efforts yesterday. >> these officers didn't care about themselves. they didn't think about that. they cared about the citizens of nashville. and they went in. we'd be talking not about the debris that we have here, but also maybe potential people. so with that said, the officers saved lives today and their heroism should be noted. >> reporter: and those six
officers the police department said are not available for interviews right now. it should be noted too that i asked about body cameras because that program is being rolled out throughout this police department. but i'm told by a representative of the department that this precinct didn't have body cameras yet when this occurred. so right now we're seeing surveillance footage, but it's unlikely we would see footage from the officers themselves when they were arriving on scene. it should also be noted that the gunshots that people reported to have heard when they called 911, we asked whether there's any indication whether there was real gunshots fired or just recorded sound, perhaps like what was played from the rv, and that is also still under investigation, fred. >> interesting. okay. and of course the surveillance video from the general area are going to be pretty important and pivotal potentially. natasha chen, thank you so much. appreciate that. this is what one witness
told cnn's anderson cooper about what he saw on the morning of the explosion. >> i turned around and an officer was walking towards me. and i said why do we have to evacuate? what's going on? right then the bomb went off. his back was to the explosion and i was looking at him and it was behind him. and we're about half a block away from where the explosion was. >> i'm seeing video. i believe that's you with your dog. is that right? >> yeah, that's a black german shepherd. we walked one street over to a grassy area. that's where i was headed. and then he stopped me. after the explosion i just saw this huge fire ball from my side of the street, which is the same side of the at&t building, moved across the street and then up in the sky. i didn't -- i didn't feel any concussion from the explosion
and it was really loud, but it didn't, like, hurt my ears. the dog didn't yelp. it wasn't anything like that. i wasn't aware of what kind of damage that this had actually caused. i immediately started yelling for my wife. our building's an old two-story building. we're in the historical building, 1875. it blew out the back windows on our two floors and blew debris across the bed where my wife was sleeping. >> wow. unbelievable. close call for him. we've been reporting that at least three have been injured from that christmas day blast. let's talk about the investigation now. i want to bring in charles ramsey, cnn law enforcement analyst. good to see. >> you good to see you. >> let's talk about this. the tennessee governor asked the president for an emergency declaration. how does that declaration perhaps help in unleashing
resources for this investigation? >> well, first of all, there's already a tremendous amount of resources that has already been devoted to this. but certainly it helps. any aid can help. nashville has had a rough year. they had tornadoes. now they have this. so certainly any kind of aid would be of benefit to the city and the state. >> you got a city, state investigators, atf, fbi there. how would they be working together? how would they fan out on this debris field, which is usually quite sizable from an explosion. we heard our natasha chen say they believe at least two blocks, but potentially it could be even wider than that? >> it could be wider than that. it's not only on the street level. the rooftops as well have to be thoroughly searched because debris will go in all directions, up, down, and so forth. but right now the fbi is the lead -- my understanding it's
the memphis field office that has taken over. but atf also sent in their national response team. and these are probably the best in the world when it comes to really processing these kinds of scenes. not only do they have the bomb experts there, but they also have chemicalists going through the agree trying to find out what type of explosive was used in this particular incident. >> right. because it will be, you know, chief ramsey, amazing detective work because as in these bombings, just as we learned during the olympic park bombing in atlanta, that while you may have a cavity which will have very small pieces of evidence, the projectiles, you know, the circumference of the explosion will produce larger sizes of evidence. and it's really putting the puzzle pieces back together, so no mistake the bomber or bombers will be found out.
so talk to me about the intricacies of this kind of investigative work of putting together these tiny -- which could be like a postage stamp-sized piece of evidence for something that could be feet long. >> that is why they have to sift through it all. you have glass, wood, concrete, so they're going to take their time and sift through this before any debris is removed from the scene at all. fortunately they have an image of the rv. they noted direction of travel, so i'm sure they're already going back trying to recreate the path that that particular rv took. hopefully they're able to enhance the image and maybe even get a shot, a snapshot of the person who was driving the vehicle. obviously if they find the axle or any other remains from the vehicle itself, maybe the vin number and be able to find out, you know, is it owned, was it
rented. this is kind of thing that's going on right now. they know a lot more now than we know, and that's typical in an investigation. you can't release everything right away. but, you know, this is going to take some time and people need to be patient. this is not going to be solved overnight. >> what do you make of this recording that was playing telling people to evacuate, sign posting an explosion is about to happen. do you feel the intent was less about informing people to try and keep the casualty rate down, but potentially the other way around, getting people to come out in the street and potentially be targeted? >> well, you know, personally i believe that the intent was to avoid a mass casualty event because that could have easily taken place. it could have been left in a different location than it was,
which on christmas morning it's largely industrial, i understand. that time of morning, there aren't going to be very many people out on the street. why give a warning if the purpose is to kill a lot of people? so they gave them time. although 15 minutes is not a lot of time, so my hats off to those police officers that responded very quickly and were able to get a lot of people to evacuate. but clearly not everybody evacuated. the guy walking the dog says his wife was upstairs asleep, but you do the best you can under those very stressful circumstances. >> right. talk to me about what those officers, you know, were facing at that moment doing that amazing, heroic work to get everyone to safety. we understand there were no body cam video, but there will be surveillance video that's going to help put the pieces together. give me an idea what those as far as were up against from getting the call to then hearing that recording, and then trying
to spring into action and help people to safety. >> well, what they're up against is time miranda warning anything. they're responding to a call of shots fired. the last thing they expected was to have an rv that had a recording saying it's going to blow up in 15 minutes. so they had to respond very, very quickly. fortunately they apparently worked that area, they know that area, so they know what's a business location versus where residents are, so they didn't waste time. they probably went immediately and started, you know, banging on doors. they may have used loud speakers from their vehicles, but doing all they can to get people up and out. they probably would have sent them out through the back door so they didn't come down on 2nd street. so they just continued to work as hard as they could for as long as they could and they were putting themselves in harm's way because, you know, it's not just the explosion itself, the concussion from the explosion
that causes the internal damage to the human body. so they were doing a lot of things, but one thing they knew they were doing is risking their own lives. so, you know, i've been around it 47 years, so i'm not surprised that police officers would do something like that. >> so many are so grateful that they did just that. all right. chief charles ramsey, thank you so much, and have a great rest of the holiday. appreciate it. >> you too. you too. more than 12 million americans are set to lose key unemployment benefits today unless president trump signs a $900 billion covid relief deal. but it's not the only looming deadline. the government would also be forced to shut down on monday and eviction protections would expire if the president doesn't act. sarah westwood joining me now from west palm beach. sarah, president trump's $2,000 is getting an endorsement from
lindsey graham, but who else is on board. >> not many republicans at the moment. they must be feeling the pressure as president trump ramps up his public calls to up the amount of the individual checks from $600 to $2,000. but keep in mind he sat on the sidelines through weeks of negotiations that were led by his own treasury secretary. steve mnuchin brought the $600 figure, and gop lawmakers voted for this bill with the impression that the white house supported it. so now many of them are in a difficult position of having to flip-flop essentially or defy the president by sticking with their vote because it passed with a veto-proof majority. they got a key endorsement from senator lindsey graham and i want to read you what he tweeted after coming off the golf course with president trump. after spending time with
president trump today, i'm convinced he's more than determined than ever to increase payments to $2,000 per person and challenge section 230 liability protection. now, both of these demands have already been rejected by congress with veto-proof majorities, so it's unclear now what the white house plans to do. we have been asking whether the president plans to veto the relief bill if he's that upset about the amount of the individual relief tracks, if he plans to sign it and continue to agitate to increase the amount of that individual relief. it's just unclear and republicans on capitol hill are not getting guidance from the white house right now, fred. >> and the notion that the government could shut down on monday unless the president signs this relief bill, i mean, there's a lot at stake here. >> right. as of this wasn't complicated enough, fred, the relief deal was tied to the spending bill that would keep the government open past mopped. so if the president doesn't sign this bill, the government could run out of money on monday.
jobless benefits for millions of americans are also set to lapse at the end of the today if he doesn't sign this bill, and crucially millions more americans could face waves of evictions because the eviction moratorium will expire on thursday, the 31st. so there's a lot riding on whether the president puts his signature on this bill and what republicans will do to try to appease him right now, fred. >> sarah westwood, thank you so much. coming up, the united states reporting about 2,000 deaths per day from coronavirus. experts are worried about a post-holiday surge. we're live at dodger stadium in los angeles where thousands of people are being tested. plus a doctor gets infected with covid just days after getting the first vaccine, but it says it's a matter of timing. why he has has unwavering faith in the science and what he wants
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americans just celebrated their first christmas during the coronavirus pandemic. the holiday comes at the end of another week in which the nation saw an average of 20,000 deaths per day. hospitalization rates continue to spike. cnn is covering the pandemic from the east coast to the west. joining me right now with the latest on the virus is paul ver vannen in los angeles and allison in new york. how is l.a. handling these growing cases and hospitalizations? >> reporter: well, it is all hands on deck, fred. as we said expanding into the icus in the hospitals. let's take a look at the numbers. almost 19,000 people hospitalized in california and about 4,000 of them are in
intensive care units. the other way they're handling this is through aggressive testing. this is dodger stadium, the largest covid-19 testing site in the nation. i'm going to bring in two volunteers, daniel and chris at a. they've been at the front lines of this testing, especially in many of the poor neighborhoods in los angeles, making sure that everybody gets tested. one of the things that you were fighting against is where you would say would be a wives tale, something that went through the latino community. what's something you heard that was astounding. >> we were at a mobile testing site. a lady asked about the test and if we're sticking a needle through the head. she's getting this information and someone else is giving this information. we really want to clear this up and we really want to tell community not to be afraid of testing and covid.
just be safe and don't be risky. >> reporter: you've been out here on the front lines while, daniel. what's one thing you want to drive home to people about testing and the need to get it for these communities? >> if you look at the equity maps and where the hot spots are, a lot of it has to do with where people are underserved. it's an assumption people have transportation, internet, the same kind of resources, and not just about the testing, there's resources of all types that are needed for those areas. >> daniel, you told me about testing. you started crying over zoom, why? >> why did you do that? because -- >> i think because we're testing people every day and we know someone that has recently passed away. my aunt passed away recently due
to covid. and i had to grieve and then the next morning i have to shift focus to test someone else on skid row. so i think that's why we're just so -- we're so committed to this just because of, you know, we know someone who just passed away. we're losing someone and we're also -- don't have the chance to hold someone tight right now. so i think that's why we're missing out and sometimes it gets ahold of us at these meetings. >> that's what i wanted to show is you do this every day and you're losing relatives to covid. you wanted to say something else? >> we had another team member lose her grandmother two days ago. there's a lot of pain that comes with it, but we have to get going the next day no matter what because we need to save as many people as we can and we need to get the trust out there, get people ready. >> reporter: that trust, krista,
for some reason there are those who don't want to be tested. >> there's fear of sharing information, that we might share with i.c.e. there's the thought of how we're going to share this information and, you know, we just -- the thing is that we cannot have a test site and have people trust us. we really have to build that trust. that's why we partnered with l. lafd to spread the word and get involved with the community. >> reporter: i super appreciate both of you for taking time out. i think a lot of people would view both daniel and krista as heroes, tirelessly testing people throughout this pandemic. in a global hot spot, which is los angeles. back to you. >> i appreciate their commitment and clearly daniel and christa are showing just how painful a process this is, but at the same time how necessary this
process -- what they're volunteering for to keep everyone safe. all right, paul. thank you so much. let's go now to new york. alison kosik, give us what kind of coordination is happening there. >> reporter: i can tell you some numbers, some recent numbers. as of yesterday, 12,000 new coronavirus cases were reported here in new york. 70% of icu beds statewide are full. governor andrew cuomo giving a sobering reality to the race that we are in right now, that despite vaccines being distributed, he says it's going to take some time for us to slow the spread of the virus. now, he does say that new york is faring better than much of the country. that's despite a 5.5% positivity rate. so he is imploring new yorkers to keep up the momentum during the holiday season, social distance, and celebrate safely. he's also reacting to the new cdc regulation requiring anyone
traveling from the u.k. to get a negative covid test three days before boarding a flight, saying testing people for covid-19 before they get on planes is common sense. we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past and we must continue to do everything we can to keep new yorkers and americans safe. fredricka, that regulation goes into effect on monday. back to you. >> alison kosik, paul vercammen, thank you so much. up next, a new coronavirus variant confirmed in more than a dozen countries and counting as the united states begins cracking down on travel from the united kingdom. and if you're 55 and up, switch to our essentials 55 plan and save 50% on your bill vs. the other guys. that's right, iphone 12 on us! holiday on with t-mobile. what's up, tom? what's this?heyyyy ah, got him. classic. your cousin. from boston.
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this just in. the world now reporting more than 80 million cases of coronavirus as a more contagious variant first found in the u.k. is being confirmed all across europe. officials in france and spain have announced their first confirmed cases of the variant, and in all the variant has been detected in more than a couple countries, including in asia, australia, and africa. cnn's cyril vanier is in paris. cyril, what are you learning about the spread of this new strain particularly across europe? >> reporter: it's present in at least ten european countries. that's the scary part. it was discovered in france and confirmed that the first case had been detected in france on christmas day. and this from a u.k. traveler who traveled to france last
saturday. now, i'm personally familiar with that timing because that is when i also traveled from the u.k. to france. this was hours before the u.k. hit the panic button on this variant. so travelers back then, i was one of them, simply didn't know that there was a big risk. since then i've been tested and i'm negative. but that particular traveler who went to tour tested positive for covid-19. and because he was coming from the u.k., his test was then provided genetic sequencing. that's when we found out days later it's the genetic sequence of this variant of the virus which is believed to be a lot more contagious than previous variants, up to 50% to 70% more contagious, even though the scientific community still has to provide a definitive conclusion on that. we've seen similar scenarios play out in spain, sweden, germany, and belgium. at least ten countries now have
it, fredricka. >> wow. and then let's talk about this measure the u.s. has put into place requiring negative tests for u.k. travelers who were coming to america that starts monday. how is that being received? >> reporter: well, look, it doesn't have the emotional impact that the original travel restrictions had back in the beginning of the pandemic in march. you know, at the time both europe and the u.s. were at various moments -- had to take very restrictive travel measures against one another. at the time it was emotional, but reality has changed on so many levels during this pandemic year, and now i think european countries first of all have done the same thing to the u.k. a. number of european countries shut their borders with the u.k. for two days until they could figure out a protocol to allow u.k. travelers back n. and now they've done the same thing as the u.s., which is to impose a negative covid test to allow travelers. this is widespread now, fredricka, and it comes into effect for u.k. travelers going
to the u.s. on monday. >> cyril vanier in paris, thank you so much. so while the vaccine is a beacon of hope in the midst of this overwhelming pandemic, one doctor reminds us that it takes more than a week for the vaccine to offer any protection against the virus. dr. stephen mcdonald is among the more than 1 million americans who have already received their first dose of the vaccine. he got his first shot of the pfizer vaccine on december 15th. but now, follow with me here, three days later on friday the 18th, dr. mcdonald was exposed to the virus, and then on sunday the 20th he got sick. the next day on monday, he got a test. and on tuesday the test came back positive. dr. stephen mcdonald joining us now. welcome. how are you feeling today? >> thank you so much for having me. physically today i feel fortunate to feel fine.
moral morally this has been a tough road. so it's been a tough couple of days on that front. >> yours is the two-dose vaccine? >> yes. so i received the pfizer vaccine. i received my first dose, as you heard, on tuesday. and so it should be stated here that in order to achieve some effect, about 50% efficacy, you need at least ten days after that first dose. to achieve that 95%, you need to have both doses, spaced apart by three weeks, and then you need a week after that second dose, actually. >> right. so that's what people really need to understand because even though you get the first dose, it doesn't really protect you like that second dose in totally. what is your message still, given that you had the exposure, you did test positive for coronavirus even after getting
that first dose. what's your message overall to people who remain nervous about getting the vaccine, hear your story, or that of others who had an allergic reaction and say, see, that's why i'm not so sure. what do you say to them? >> sure. the individuals who had allergic reactions, like the gentleman in boston recently, he had a strong history of allergic reaction. if you have a history, exercise caution when approaching this vaccine. that said, for most people this is incredibly safe. after my initial shot, i felt essentially no symptoms. and then i would also want to emphasize that i'm not a colonial study or data point. i'm one person, and so i did get sick after getting the vaccine, and i want to emphasize that the numbers are still right. this vaccine still does protect 95% of people after both injections. i want to beat the anti-vax and the misinformation crowd because we're probably going to see more of these cases. >> even though you had the experience that you've had, you
know, are you still feeling some relief ultimately that you are on the track, you know, of getting that second booster and hoping that that, you know, more than 90% efficacy is going to be beneficial for you and everyone else? >> i'm one of the most fortunate americans, especially black americans, who tend to do poorly with this virus in that i've had a very, very mild course compared to -- i've seen tens of patients die from this. so to have such -- i attribute that to the vaccine. i think the vaccine is significantly attenuated by symptoms potentially. my body was sort of prepped. even though it didn't prevent me from getting sick, it prevented me from having a more significant course. >> paint the picture for me at your hospital. what are you seeing? and how do you feel that that vaccine -- the idea that the
vaccine will one day be available to the masses, how do you think that will change your experience at the hospital and what you have been seeing in patients? >> sure. what we're seeing right now is somewhat similar to the lead-up to our peak in new york city in the springtime. i'm seeing cases where someone will come in for something completely unrelated. they fell off their skateboard, they're having pain in their legs or something unrelated. turns out that they have coronavirus. so we're getting a lot of -- we're seeing an uptick in that certainly and it's quite concerning. again, we're nowhere near the level that we were at in early march, april. in terms of the vaccine, i really can't wait for the day when someone over 65 comes in for something unrelated and i can offer them the coronavirus vaccine. i really do look forward to that. >> as a physician on the front line, it must have really taken you aback to hear from a colleague in the medical
industry, dr. susan moore, a black physician in indiana, dying of covid in november. she recorded a death bed message that i want you and others to listen to. >> i maintain that if i was white, i wouldn't have to go through that. i have so much pain in my neck. i was crushed. he made me feel like a drug addict and he knew i was a physician. >> she's underscoring the disparity. it's one thing to know that as a physician, a black physician, to hear about the stats, to know and see in your patients their experiences, but now she's talking about being subjected to it herself, you know, the disparity in care.
that's a resonating message. and she has since passed. >> yes. this is the second time this year, at least the second time this year that we're seeing a black person caught on video complaining of i can't breathe, and then later passing away. and, you know, this just shows that racism is really baked into so many systems in american life, from law enforcement all the way to medicine, which is designed to protect people, both are designed to protect people. and black people do poorly in the hands of both. i thought it was a difficult response from the hospital where she was treated when they said we're absolutely not racist, race didn't play into her care. and i think what i'd like to see in american history is for more institutions and individuals to say, you know what? race is a problem. we have a problem with racism and we're going to start working on that.
and so it's really disheartening and you ask, unfortunately. >> it really is. dr. stephen mcdonald, so glad that you are doing well and are sharing your story. would love to have you back particularly after your second dose to describe your experience. thank you so much. >> thank you so much. and happy knnew year. president trump pardoning more than 90 people as the clock counts down to the end of his presidency. so when a hailstorm, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa save up to 15% on a cozy casper mattress
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as of december 24th, president trump has issued pardons or commutations to more than 90 people, including roger stone, paul manafort, and charles kushner, four former blackwater contractors were also pardoned for an incident. you talked to a survivor who said trump will have to face god. >> that's right. he and so many others, fredricka, are really struggling to put their anger and their shock into words because they had already waited so long for justice for this utterly heinous crime. and now, just like that, justice was taken away from them.
>> the horror-filled memories of that day-day 2007 still haunt those who survived, whose physical scars may have heeled but who grappled with the psychological trauma nearly every day. i remember seeing a woman and her son, their car was on fire. she was crying out until she burnt to death with her son, he says. there was so much gunfire. it wasn't normal. bodies just fell in the street. i wasn't wounded yet. i moved my car to get away and i was shot multiple times. it was a sunny day in baghdad. but those illusions shatter quickly in iraq. in an instant, a busy al baghdadi roundabout turned into a street of blood. this man was tboy was 9-year-ol
in the backseat of his car while his father watched him die. my son was the heart of our family, his father, muhammad, told us years ago. the shooting was carried out by blackwater, a private security company notorious for its brutish and trigger-happy behavior. blackwater claimed its personnel were under attack, though numerals eyewitnesses accounts said that was not true. from his hospital bed at the time, salman described how blackwater operatives opened fire indiscriminately. no one fired at blackwater, they were not attacked by gunmen. in the end, one of the blackwater operatives was sentenced to life in prison. three others sentenced from 12 to 15 years. salman, a lawyer himself, felt as of there was a semblance of justice.
it renewed his faith in american ideals. not anymore. president trump, the first recent u.s. president to pardon convicted killers, let the murderers, the men who destroyed his life, walk free. i say to him, your decision, you're going to have to face god on this, salman says. you did not fulfill justice. you pardoned the criminals and the killers. the blood of the dead and the wounded is on your hands. salman is also warning about the dangerous precedent this sets. one has to realize, especially in the region, for a lot of people living in the middle east, america's moral standing has already been eroding and this erodes it more.
when it comes to raucous, they have been reminded of gist how little america values their lives. >> it is understandable , this double punch that so many are now speaking of. ar arwa damon, thank you so much. next, food workers on the front line of the pandemic in the u.s. now facing higher risk of coronavirus infection. should they receive hazard pay for going to work during a pandemic? we'll discuss straight ahead.
late november, at least 109 grocery workers have died from the virus, and another 17,400 have been infected according to a report from the united food and commercial workers union, which is calling on grocery store chains to strengthen safeguards and reinstate hazard pay. joining me now, the president of the united food and commercial workers, mark perron. good to see you, mark. >> good to see you, fredricka. how are you today? >> i'm doing okay. but, you know, this is tough because every time all of us go to the grocery store, you know, we have to be reminded how much grocers are put on the line. but what are you hearing from members and about their fears, their concerns, you know, what they are putting on the line to make sure that everyone can get their groceries? >> they are afraid. in fact, they're afraid to bring the virus home to their families. quite honestly, we had a death
on the floor of one of the fred meyers stores in the northwest where they did not let the workers know that the person had been infected. they did, in fact -- three people tried to revive the individuals. they didn't know he had coronavirus and ultimately now they're concerned they may have it as well because there wasn't enough transparency, so they're very afraid. >> what needs to be put in place? what kind of protections do you think need to be put in place? is hazard pay enough? or is it hazard pay at a minimum is your hope that that would be reinstated? >> it would be hazard pay at a very minimum. i think the first thing that needs to happen is this, is that, you know, employers, regardless of the type of employer that it is ultimately needs to notify workers when they have a positive test inside those units. whether or not it's a food
packing, food processing place, whether or not it's en route to a food store or a pharmacy or a nursing home. people need to know if, in fact, one of their coworkers has tested positive and has covid. that is the only way that we're going to be able to make sure that we don't transmit that disease because, as you well know, people that are associating with each other on a daily basis, they drop their guard and they can ultimately be infected with the virus as well. in addition to that, if, in fact, they're going to be taking these risks and risks that they take every single day when they go to work, they should, in fact, receive, you know, higher pay for those risks because we know just from the basis of what we've been seeing, a lot of these hospital bills after somebody's been in there for quite some time, you know, has been upwards of $70,000, $75,000. so even if you were to get hospitalization at 90%, that's
still $7,500. >> that's a lot of money. >> hazard pay, quite honestly, should be at the front of the line, as well as making sure that the governors and the states -- i know the cdc has recommended it. but the governments place the frontline essential workers in the same position at 1b as the cdc did. i got real concerns that other people, people that don't necessarily have to go to work every day that can sit in their homes and do their jobs from their houses might somehow get pushed to the front of the line, and these workers who have to expose themselves to the customers and to the lack of transparency that they're seeing may not be able to get the vaccine as quickly. >> you want to make sure they are able to get the vaccine as
soon as possible. real quick, then, mark, what can all of us shoppers do to help ensure and make sure that all those on the front line in those grocery stores, you mentioned the litany of jobs in the grocery store, what do we need to do to make sure that they remain safe? >> i think that we need to wear a mask when we go in those stores. i know that at times it may be uncomfortable, it may be a little bit difficult to do, but we need to protect those workers by wearing those masks and we need to make sure that we keep our hands sanitized. that is the first thing that we can do. if, in fact, they ask you to put the mask on properly, pull it up over your nose, please don't get aggravated at them. they're just trying to protect you, the other customers, and themselves in the process. >> right. mark perron, as you say, it's incumbent on all of us to just simply do the basics, right, during this pandemic. thank you so much.
>> thank you, fredricka. and happy new year. >> happy new year to you as well. coming up, a record -breaking white christmas in pittsburgh. and now the nation is dealing with a blast of arctic air. od m. [ chuckles ] whoo. i'm gonna grow big and strong. yes, you are. i'm gonna get this place all clean. i'll give you a hand. and i'm gonna put lisa on crutches! wait, what? said she's gonna need crutches. she fell pretty hard. you might want to clean that up, girl. excuse us. when owning a small business gets real, progressive helps protect what you built with customizable coverage. -and i'm gonna -- -eh, eh, eh. -donny, no. -oh. been there, done that. twice your cousin. from boston. karen, i'm just gonna say what everyone here is thinking. you look smokin. total smokeshow. and they never did find his finger. they had to close the pool for like an hour. ♪ i brought a date. name's sam. dig in.
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. if you wish for show for christmas, you were in luck if you lived in pittsburgh. the city recorded its snowiest christmas in 85 years, getting more than 5 inches on friday. this as many states in the northeast are facing a very bitter cold season. cnn meteorologist allison chinchar joining us from atlanta. allison, in atlanta they had a little dusting of snow. so this cold wave is everywhere. >> that's right. there were a lot of places, fredricka that ended up having a pretty white christmas. look at some of these. you had several states that not only picked up a couple of inches, but picked up well over a foot of snow. roseland, indiana, picking up over 15 inches of snow just yesterday. and then portions of this morning. we had snow coming down today. you can see most of it is focused on the great lakes region, buffalo and watertown, new york. that's lake-effect, so those areas will get narrow bands of 8 to up to 12 inches total, which is why you have some of those
lake-effect snow warnings and winter storm warnings. but for the majority of the eastern half of the country, the problem now is the cold temperatures. current windchill is 6 in pittsburgh. same thing in buffalo. only feels like 22 in chicago right now. here's current temperatures. notice the cool temperatures stretch pretty far south, fredricka. we even had freeze warnings as far south as florida this morning. those will continue into tomorrow as well. >> thank you so much, allison chinchar. hello, again, everyone. thank you so much for being with me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin in nashville, tennessee, where authorities are expected to give an update this afternoon into the explosion on christmas day. the city of nashville on edge after a parked rv exploded on a historic street early yesterday morning. officials say possible human remains were found at the blast site after a