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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 29, 2020 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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a very good evening to you. jim sciutto here sitting in again for anderson. and, as a country, here we go again. just a with testing, just as with protective gear, just like with prevention against the coronavirus, the trump administration at the end of the day is leaving one more vital piece of this effort up to the
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states. the president late today making it plain in a tweet from mar-a-lago that when it comes to getting the covid vaccine into the arms of those who need it most, it's not his problem. it's up to the states, he says, to distribute the vaccines once brought to the designated areas by the federal government. read that as not his problem. so even as he rightly takes pride in the remarkable federal effort to develop not one but two vaccines in record time, he's not taking responsibility for the fact that promises like theses just aren't being kept. >> overall in the month of december between the two vaccines, the pfizer and moderna vaccine, we expect to have immunized 20 million of our american people and keeping 20 million for their second immunization a few weeks later. >> that was the promise two weeks ago, 20 million people immunized.
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then just four days later, the language, listen for this, changed and the goalposts moved. >> we remain on track to allocate around 20 million doses of vaccine to all jurisdictions by the end of december with distribution of those doses pushing into the first week of january. >> that's not the same thing. from 20 million people immune ie -- immunized to 20 million doses allocated. only about 11 million doses of vaccine have actually been distributed and of that 11 million, only 2.1 million so far have been administered. here's what president-elect biden said about those sad facts today. >> even if we boost the speed of vaccinations to 1 million shots today, it will still take months to have the majority of the
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united states population vaccinated. i've directed my team to prepare a much more aggressive effort with more federal involvement and leadership to get things back on track. we'll find ways to boost the pace of vaccinations. this is going to be the greatest operational challenge we've ever faced as a nation, but we're going to get it done. >> the current president, however, is laying that challenge off on the states, without enough advance funding or follow-through needed, experts say, to make it all work. dr. ashish jha said "the worst part is no real planning on what happens when vaccines arrive in states, no plan, no money, just hope that states will figure this out. he continues, "states are out of money. so many are passing it on to hospitals, nursing homes."
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does any of this sound familiar to you, like our national testing debacle being repeated, he says. he is frustrated and among public health professionals, he's not alone. >> the biggest limitations that we're seeing are the actual infrastructure that needs to be put in place to get these vaccines out to the communities. that is a massive overhaul and we should have been starting to put that infrastructure in place six, seven, eight months ago. >> again, 20 million vaccinations promised by year end, only 11 million shipped, not given, not administered, and a little more than 2 million actually into the arms of those who need it. at that rate, as our guest last night put it, this country will not be fully vaccinated until the year 2050 at that slow rate. when faced with that, you would think the president might see the need for the same kind of federal priority effort to vaccinate people that did, granting credit where credit was
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due here, that did work so well in developing the vaccines, most of which is still sitting in refrigerators, in warehouses , t manufacturing facilities, instead of where it's needed. his priorities are elsewhere, at lease they were today, sunday, last thursday and friday, more than 300 other days since taking office. that's right, on the golf course again. perspective from kathleen sebelius. with us as well, epidemiologist and member of the biden covid task force celine gounder. >> thank, jim. >> dr. gounder, if i could begin with you, the vaccine rollout
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today, essential to where it stands, what is your view? are you pessimistic about where we stand today and how quickly this could be turned around? >> look, jim, we came into this process really wanting to enter into this with good faith, give everybody the benefit of the doubt, and we've really held back while we've done our due diligence. what we have learned is essentially there is no plan. the plan was to purchase vaccines and then leave it to the states. that was the plan. the states need to have guidance on how to distribute the vaccine, how to store the vaccine, how to go about having health care workers provide the vaccine. none of those plans were in place. so we are, unfortunately, yet again finding ourselves really flat footed here. >> secretary sebelius, you have
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great experience having led a state but also served under hhs, is a system in place in many or most states to distribute something like this? had a doctor on earlier this week who made the point that so much of the burden is being put on private pharmacy chains, like cvs, basically, let you guys distribute this and real questions as to whether they can do that. is the infrastructure in place to make this happen? >> well, jim, i think celine said it well. the infrastructure is not in place. there has never been a federal plan for testing, to gather ppe. now we are at the place of vaccine nati vaccination. it's very exciting the private industry and government came together to accelerate the vaccines. this is the most dangerous relay race we have ever been involved in as a country.
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when you think about a relay race, what should be happening is that the team in place right now, the trump team, who will be in place for 22 more days, god help us all, should be running through the tape as fast as possible, gathering all the resources, making sure the states have all the help and support they need to get the vaccine to the locations where they can begin vaccinating people, including money. and the biden team is beginning to run to catch that baton when they're both in motion. what's happened is the trump team has stopped running. i would say about the 7th of november when this election was called, donald trump stopped being the president. the covid task force hasn't met since the 19th of november, that's five weeks ago. trump stopped being president seven weeks ago. and we do not have the infrastructure in states. i live in a rural state. there are five cold storage
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facilities. our governor didn't know how many vaccines she would get. the number changed a couple of times. she wasn't sure which vaccine she would receive and that depends on storage. she isn't -- she's supposed to figure out all of the logistics from getting it to the storage places to the most remote parts of the state. when the numbers aren't certain, she can't put the right people on notice to say line up your staff tomorrow, will you have x number of doses. her numbers have changed three different times. so, no, the infrastructure isn't there and the president just two days ago finally signed the bill that congress again passed giving additional resources to the states, they are desperate for money. they could hire people to get the logistics right, to begin the mobilize the vaccinateoors t none of that has happened on donald trump's watch. >> i'm shaking my head and i'm
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sure many watching are shaking their head. there was time to get ready for this. none of this should be a surprise. president-elect biden set an ambitious goal of administering 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office. is that a realistic goal? it another three weeks before he is occupying the white house and it sounds to me like there's a lot of work to do to get the infrastructure in place to get these shots in people's arms. >> there's no sugar coating it. the next couple months are going to be some of the hardest, gr grimaced months in the crountrys history. so to 100 million doses in 100 days, that's really going to depend on whether congress allocates funding.
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this is also happening -- kathleen was talking about what's going on in her state of kansas. over 25% of public health officials have either quit, been fired or retired over the course of the pandemic. so we are in a position, we need to be hiring up and expanding distribution and all of these things very rapidly. >> i'm shaking my head as i'm sure you are and many people watching tonight that this groundwork wasn't already laid. dr. gounder, we're constantly keeping up with the medical developments, the u.k. covid-19 variant, the first case of that variant confirmed today in colorado. significance? >> this was not unexpected. i think this was again yet another example of why we need to invest in public health. had we been doing what we called genomic surveillance, we would have probably picked up on this sooner and picked up on the
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threat sooner. >> listen, a lot of work to do. good to draw on both of your experience. let hope for all of our sakes the country gets this right now. thank you. >> next, the president says he wants people to get bigger covid relief checks. the question, what is he willing to do, if anything, to get what he wants. sherrod brown will discuss that later. and what is the president talking about as thousands of americans die of covid every single day.
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boosting covid relief payments. no sign he's doing the lobbying of his own party's leadership and membership he would need to do if he were serious about getting this passed. consequently when bernie sanders took to the floor today, it was put on ice. >> so madam president, would the senator modify his request that immediately following the vote on the vito override, the senate proceed to the consideration of hr-9051, that the bill be considered read a third time and the senate vote on passage of the bill without intervening action or debate? >> is there objection to the request for modification? >> object. >> objection is heard. >> so senator mcconnell then
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introduced his own legislation, which adds poison pills, in effect, meaning if they are right, the bigger relief checks the president saysly won't be g too many soon, perhaps not ever. here to talk about this, dr democrat sherrod brown. >> thank you so much. >> on section 230, this is about protections for social media companies but also a voter fraud commissi commission. is this new plan dead on arrival for democrats? >> apparently it is. it's what mcconnell always does. i mean, when there's a fork in the road and you can decide one side is corporate interests and the other is working families, mcconnell always takes corporate interests and that's what he's doing here. he knows that the public
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overwhelmingly, including republicans, support the $2,000. i've been calling for it since march. he knows that's popular, he knows people want that. he knows that enough senators would vote for it if it pasted so he's going to block it. i mean, it's what mitch mcconnell does. he uses senate rules to obstruct popular kinds of things congress might consider doing and he end up always helping his rich friends become richer and his powerful friends become more powerful. >> let me ask you, though, has the leader outmaneuvered the democratic leadership here? he would be forcing democrats to still cast a vote against $2,000 stimulus checks or accept a voter fraud commission, repeal tech company immunity. i mean, we know he is a master operator of senate rules here, but i wonder if you're concerned that he's outmaneuvered the democratic leadership? >> he hasn't outmaneuvered democrats, it just what senate
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rules april lllow you to block. if you're the minority leader, you can block almost -- >> i know butch he's he's inf going to put senators like you in a position of voting no -- >> well, that's not clear yet when we're all back in town next week and i think we're all willing to stay through the new year to fix this. but again, when mcconnell -- it's always -- he uses senate rules, again, to block, obstruct popular will in this country. and he's got -- he's got most of 52 republicans that are essentially spineless and always back him up. it's usually siding with the president. now it's siding with the majority leader. and think how much mitch mcconnell has funded these campaigns. there are a whole lot of senators returning going to get sworn in on january 3rd that were the beneficiaries of
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mcconnell, literally tens of millions of dollars in dark money that he raised and put into those races. >> well, we'll know on january 6th or early next year, depending how close it is, we'll know if he keeps his majority. there is of course another bill up for consideration, the massive defense bill. senator bernie sanders, he said he'll block a vote on the defense bill until there is an up-or-down vote on those checks. is that a tactic you endorse to get the money into people's hands? >> i will support anything that lets us get that money into people's hands. i don't think that there's a way around what senator sanders wants to do that mcconnell can do. it just takes three days to do it. but i will support any effort that i think will help us get the $2,000 into more than a hundred million americans' pockets. >> final question before we go. i nope you're well aware of a disappointing rollout in this
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vaccine. none of the administration's targets being met here and real question as to whether states have the capability to get this vaccine out into millions of people's arms and quickly. a new president in 21 days. what can the senate do to help the enough administration to get this done? >> well, the first thing the senate can do is what we did and passed that covid package. it would help to put the money in people's pockets so the economy would falter less as this is happening, but it's -- i mean, president donald trump's playing golf today. he has no interest in doing this. mitch mcconnell has done ef s s essentially nothing to help him do this. the most important thing is we win the senate next tuesday in the special election in tuesday and we come right back to work and working with the president-elect when the president of the united states won't even essentially basically meet with biden and allow his team to meet with biden's team,
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it's pretty hard to do this. but it's the number one priority for all of us. it should be in the senate and certainly is for the white house, the new white house. >> cnn has a new story tonight about the defense department not cooperating with the biden transition team. we wish you and your family the best for the holidays. >> thank you, and yours. thanks. >> president donald trump is watching this all play out from florida. coming up, we'll check in for reaction there. angry tweets at members of his on party for failing to act on those $2,000 stimulus checks. k . did i feed you? but taking prescriptions shouldn't be one of them. cvs simpledose presorts your prescriptions into packets, so you know what to take when. delivered at no cost. is this clean? visit
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well commonwealcome back. president donald trump is spending another day in florida golfing, tweeting, putting the onus of getting people vaccinated on to the states. kaitlan collins is in west palm beach for us tonight. kaitlan, is the president doing anything to combat the pandemic right now? americans want to know, need to know and we're clearly at a point here where the distribution of vaccines is running into serious roadblocks. >> officials in his administration are certainly making efforts to try to talk to reporters about that. weep just fou we just found out there will be a briefing with officials to find out why the u.s. is so far behind those goals that federal officials had set for the end of the month. when it comes to the president himself, he has been what he has been for the last several months, which is basically pretty uninvolved in this process and in what's going on. up s you saw his tweet earlier and he was talking about vaccine
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distribution and putting it off on the state, something we did with coronavirus testing and ppe for hospitals and saying basically it's up to them. that is true. the federal government is passing this off to states once they have the vaccines but the question is whether or not states are prepared to handle this and the federal government has set them up for success because they're already strained as it is when it comes to testing and contact tracing. now they've got vaccine distribution as another responsibility. so those are big questions. and in the president's tweet, he passed it off to states, criticized joe biden for the handling of the swine flu. that's something the president has turned to when he's been criticized for his administration's coronavirus response. we'll be waiting to see what it is that federal officials do say during this briefing tomorrow about why they are so far behind on the numbers and the goals that they set for themselves. >> well, listen, about 335,000 more people died -- have died from coronavirus than the swine flu. the other of course focus here
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is the stimulus payments, the possibility of raising them to $2,000. has the president reacted in any way to leader mcconnell's new bill that now ties these checks to two things the president has wanted, 230 reform relates to liabilities for tech companies but also a voter fraud commission. >> so those are the things the president wants. and what mitch mcconnell is saying he's going to put all of them together in a bill that would be nousintroduced on the senate floor. that's not going to go anywhere because the other things the president wants in this is going to face on sis frpposition from democrats. so the idea that democrats had to bring the $2 stimulus checks today, mitch mcconnell said we're not doing that when he was on the floor with bernie sanders and several other senators today. the president hasn't responded to what this is going to be. it what he wants to see but i
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not going to end up in what he actually wants to get. that's the question here. we do know the $600 stimulus checks could start going out in a matter of hours according to the treasury secretary. whether they get to what the president is demanding, is saying is going to be a death wish if republicans don't get there, it still in limbo and far from clear where had is going to end up, jim. >> and on that issue there's unity with some strange bed fellows, vice president elect biden supports that. now paul begala and scott jennings, quite close to senator mcconnell, both cnn political commentators. thank you for joining us tonight. >> paul, if i could begin with you, this is a classic leader mcconnell move here, is what he's doing here a win-win for him politically? he is putting forward what the president wants but he's also
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effectively ensuring that those payments do not get -- he does not want to spend the extra $465 billion on those payments, forces democrats perhaps to vote no on those payments because of these poison pills. i wonder from your view has he check mated democrats on this? >> no. what i think he's doing is he's presupposing that people in georgia are dumb. he's wrong. they're smart. they know a poisoned pill is designed to kill. when he puts a poison pill in their $2,000 survival check that the democrats support, he's killing it. any senator who votes for mcconnell's poison pill is voting to kill the $2,000 payment. that means kelly leffler and david perdue on the ballot next week likely have said they're going to vote with mcconnell. if they do, they are voting to kill that stimulus, that survival -- it's not even stimulus, it s's survival check.
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purdue and leffler got wealthy with controversial stock trades while georgia was getting sick and dying, so the notion that these millionaires and billionaires, rich people get the gold mine, working people get the shaft. this is a message, bonanza for the democrats, it's a terrible position they've put the democrats in. >> you've got josh hawley. the president supports increasing these stimulus checks as do many democrats. do you have think this is a dangerous move for mcconnell and could it damage republicans in the georgia runoff races in. >> i don't know why you all are dismissing out of hand that democrats should block vote against the repeal of section 230. if $2,000 checks is all that snands t stand in the way between functioning and abyss, it seems
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like repealing section 230 and locking at voter fraud is a small price to pay for that. >> there as a voter fraud commission driven by false claims and voter fraud. >> it's a commission. it's a commission. it's a commission. it's designed to study. it can study and it can say there was no voter fraud substantial enough to overturn the election. >> why do you need that attached to stimulus checks legislation? i mean, all the courts have rejected this. >> why did democrats attach any number of things to the stimulus legislation that just passed in the house? look, the reality is the president issued a signing statement. he said he wanted three things, $2,000 checks, repeal of 230 and a voter fraud commission. mcconnell for four years has done the exact same thing. if the president says i'd like to put something on the floor, he's found a way to put it on the floor so he's going to do that. look, i think there are republicans who might want to vote for the whole thing, republicans who might want to vote for some of it, but i don't know why democrats would bloc
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vote against $2,000 payments. look, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that some of these tech companies need to have their ears pinned back anyway. 2,000 bucks, if that's all that's going to keep millions of people from falling off the jede of the cliff, they may want to reconsider. >> paul, i want to get your reaction here. on the question of voter fraud, we did have news and that is the republican secretary of state of georgia after doing an audit, a signature match audit in cobb county, something the president has claimed repeatedly and false think there was audit fraud, they found 99.4% matches with signature so yet one more claim knocked down. what do you have think democrats should do here? senator sanders is saying he can hold up the defense
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authorization bill. is that a strategy that would be smart? >> they may have to. kelly leffler and david purdue sent $2.3 trillion to corporate mrk whi america while corporate america was experiencing record profits. it's a very simple message for the democrats to take to the people of georgia. if you think you're worth $2,000 to keep your business open and your children fed, then vote with the democrats. the people in georgia have it in their power to take that back and give it to folks to give a rip snort about the middle class. nobody knows their way around the power lobbyist better than mitch mcconnell. for someone who spent a lot of
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time in georgia, he's underestimating the people of georgia. >> the defense department is refusing to cooperate with the incoming biden administration, refusing to share critical information about the pentagon budget, u.s. force posture in a number of war zones around the world, recently announced troop withdrawal plans and the recent cyber attack attributed to russia. you have one administration going out, another coming in. this is about sharing information, intelligence on the most severe threats to this country's national security. should that stop? >> it's extremely troubling. i think in terms of transition, some of these agencies, the reality is the transition doesn't make all that much difference to how the new administration will operate, but in the area of national defense, and i would also argue in the area of vaccine distribution, you need the absolute most seamless handoff that you can
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have to vaccinate americans of course but more broadly protect americans from the external threats we obviously face. i'm extremely troubled by that. i haven't seen the reporting, jim, but i would say the pentagon, the trump administration, the biden transition people, they need to be together every day to ensure that we don't miss a beat as it relates to upholding one of the most sacred duties that our government has and that's keeping us all safe from foreign actors. >> quickly before we go. >> covid has already filled our hospitals. it filled our icu units. we don't have space for people if there's a mass casualty attack. we're more vulnerable to a terrorist attack than we've ever been in our life time. >> paul begala, scott jennings, thank you both and wish you good
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holidays. >> just ahead, it's got nothing to do with politics, congress or even his golf game. the answer when "360" continues.
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♪ aging is a journey. you can't always know what's ahead. since 1995, seniors have opened their doors to right at home for personalized care. to be their guide. to steer them through uncharted territory. and when it comes right down to it, to keep them safe at home. after all, home is the best place to be. right at home, navigating what's to come. ♪ my best friend's father died of covid-19. then my father caught it.
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there were new details tonight on president donald trump's state of mind as the clock ticks down on his time in office. cnn's kate bennett reports according to multiple sources, the president's mood has been dark ever since he arrived at his mar-a-lago club in palm beach, florida last week. in addition to soon being out of a job, the president was apparently upset with renovations to the club's interior, many of which were overseen by first lady melania trump. it's believed to be where the president is moving when he departs the white house in a little more than three weeks. it's reported that the president is so moody that he's spending more time than usual behind closed doors, not socializing as much as he normally does. as another source puts it, the vibe is off. here to discuss and the kwon
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consequences of that, anthony scaramucci. >> thanks for having me. i think he's humiliated. and so when you're humiliated like that, you have that kind of personality and ego. you know, he was calling the vice president now president-elect biden sleepy joe biden, suggesting he was in his basement, two falsehoods, but now he's got to come to grips with somebody that was sleepy in their basement kicked the pants off him. so it's going to be very hard for him to greet all of those people like he's done traditionally new year's eved and so forth. >> what are the consequences of that? the president has checked out on the outbreak for month, now but now we're having a real consequence in the midst of a heath crisis here with his withdrawal from the job, what does that mean for running the country for the next three
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weeks? >> well, he's just providing evidence every single day that he was unfit for that job. so the last 30 days have actually been the worst days of his presidency. so if you see what happened last weekend with the false start on the bill and then the ultimate signing of the bill and then the veto and now you've got these 22 days left where, you know, he's completely checked out but he's got his people frozen and pinned and putting a tremendous amount of pressure on vice president pence related to january 6th. i don't know what he's suggesting when he sends out tweets related to people coming to washington on january 6th, i want to give him the benefit of the doubt but it seems nefarious to me and it unconscionable, jim. they got 22 days to go, they feel like forever, frankly, but he's leaving. i mean, i think he knows he's leaving now. there will probably be one last gasp of fund-raising before he
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leaves. that's something he's found very lucrative. he's not going to have fun in florida. he won't be sitting in florida for very long. >> tell us what, if you can discern it, his intention or end game is with stimulus checks. again, it was his own white house team that negotiated and signed off on this bill prior and then he -- sort of threw a tantrum about it this weekend, finally signed it but now is circling back. does he have a plan, an end game here? >> no. well, that's been the whole thing with the president. you know, he's calling plays from the line of scrimmage. everything is an audible. i'm reasonably certain he never really looked at the bill or never really focused on it and more or less did the hand waving gestures that it was okay, it was okay and when he finally got ahold of it and looked at it, he probably thought that $600 made him look bad so that's why he rejected it. then there was just great irony there. it just shows how disorganized he is and the lack of executive
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management skills and the lack of intellectual curiosity to actually read something dense and reasonably complicated and look through the whole thing. so all of this is manifesting itself. if you and i were on a publicly traded board of a company and we had hired him, we would be looking at each other saying we have to dismiss him for the unsoundness of his personality related to the job he's been placed in. >> so tell me about january 6th. we had another day today where republican secretary of state in georgia said, listen, i audited the signatures, 99.9% match, no widespread fraud, knocking down yet another of the president's claims. and yet on january 6th, as you mentioned, he's still putting pressure on his vice president to somehow contest before the floor. how does vice president pence plan to handle this? >> well, listen, i can't speak for the vice president but i'm very confident that he's going to do what is appropriate for
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the united states and he did avow to the constitution and take an oath to the constitution. i think he's going to do what's appropriate. and then i think the last two weeks of the administration there will be a series of ridiculous pardons and there will be a series of nefarious neglect and activity related to setting up president donald trump and his family for the post-presiden post-presidency. some of it will be gimmickry, some related to fund-raising and some will be pardons, with those pardons being tied to something in the future. and it's terrible. we're going to have to protect ourselves going forward if we get somebody like this with this moral fiber in the presidency, we'll probably need an amendment to one of the amendments. we've rendered the 25th amendment basically useless. he has so many acting cabinet members, if they tried to call the quorum and invoke the 25th
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amendment, he could dispatch all of those cabinet members because they were never sanctified by the senate. the 25th amendment has been paralyzed by the trump administration. we need to look at that as a group of people and refortified the institutions of our democracy. the last great thing is he is bringing us all together. you see democrats and republicans teamed up against him, taking him on related to these two bills. i think that's a refreshing thing and hopefully that's a good start for the new incoming biden administration. >> we'll see if there's political will. quickly yes or know, if you had to bet 5 bucks, is he running again in 2024 or is this a charade. >> forget about five bucks, independent got 5,000 he's not. if you want to take it to 50, we got to probably take it to a bookie. there's no chance this guy is running in 2024. >> anthony scaramucci, thank you for your time and best to the family for the holidays. >> happy enough year, jim.
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>> the vaccine rollout is certainly rocky, those are the facts, but the joy of those who do receive it unmistakable. our gary tuckman visits a health centering catering to young people with severe cases of covid when "360" returns. ese till you find the perfect slice... even if everyone asks you... another burger truck? don't listen to them! that means cooking day and night until you get... [ ding ] you got paid! that means adding people to the payroll. hi mom. that means... best burger ever. intuit quickbooks helps small businesses be more successful with payments, payroll, banking and live bookkeeping.
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it's moving day. and are doing the heavy lifting, jess is busy moving her xfinity internet and tv services. it only takes about a minute. wait, a minute? but what have you been doing for the last two hours? delegating? oh, good one. move your xfinity services without breaking a sweat. now that's simple, easy, awesome. xfinity makes moving easy. go online to transfer your services in about a minute. get started today. the slow rollout so far of covid vaccines, of course a sad
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fact at this point. but when they do arrive, and we've seen this so many times now, the joy just palpable, especially for health facilities that cater to those that are highest risk of contracting the virus and are cut off from the ones they love. our gary tuchman visited one such place in upstate new york. >> reporter: in new york state's catskills mountains, it's a landmark day for these young people. all of them who have severe medical conditions and co-morbidities. today is the day. >> okay? one, two, three. awesome. >> good job. >> reporter: they get the pfizer coronavirus vaccine. >> awesome, bud. >> nice job. >> reporter: this is the 1,500 acre center for discovery, where hundreds of vulnerable children and adults with complex medical conditions live and visit for clinical treatments, educational, social, nutritional, and recreational
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experiences. this 24-year-old has cerebral palsy. >> that's a beautiful hat. how do you know how to make a hat? i have no idea how to make a hat. >> you do. >> i do? i couldn't do it. for months the residents were not able to see their parents and families in person because of covid. now with proper precautions, they can, and parents are with their children as they get their vaccines. >> good job. >> so good. >> reporter: rj has severe autism. his mother says his grandfather died from covid in april. >> i know that my dad would be so proud of how well rj has done through this entire ordeal. and particularly today, you saw how much of a trooper he was, getting his shot. >> reporter: jody also has profound autism and severe seizure disorders. >> looks like a boo-boo.
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>> yeah. >> reporter: not being able to see her in person for months has been excruciating. >> the thought of that for me has been the worst part of the pandemic. so getting to see her today is the beginning of the end of that nightmare. >> reporter: although residents and employees have tested positive for covid over the months there have been no deaths. credit has been given to the diligence of the employees here. they, too, are getting the vaccine. after all, it's the employees who can bring the virus in. >> their courage and their efforts just keep us moving forward but we have to stay with it. it's not a mic drop yet. we still have to get through this. >> ready? one, two, three. >> reporter: the parents visiting realize this frightening time is not over, but the relief is palpable. >> it's so emotional. and he knew in his gut that this is something he wanted to do. i can't tell you how emotional it is to watch someone you were so worried about for so many
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months, automatically see hope on the horizon. >> reporter: and remember the hatmaker we met earlier? >> little pinch. ready? did you feel it? >> not at all. >> all right. good job. >> reporter: kedira says she's most grateful that she too has now been vaccinated. >> we need to see those smiles. and good to have you. i'm so glad you tell the story. we do know that some people have concerns about vaccines. do you know if most of the residents where you were took the vaccine today? >> reporter: the answer is yes, jim. but 83% of the residents here took the first vaccine today. they'll come back in three weeks to take the second vaccine. and for those who didn't take the first vaccine today, they can come back in three weeks and also get their first shots. we're expecting that number to go above 83%. these young people who we met today, jim, they are excellent role models.
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>> they're following a science. the sad fact is many people are not. but, gary tuchman, thanks so much. coming up next, breaking news. a significant new development in the wake of the police raid that cost breonna taylor her life.
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some breaking news to report now in the case of two louisville police officers connected to the deadly raid that killed breonna taylor back in march this year. just moments ago we learned from lawyers of the two officers that the police department is seeking to fire them. breonna taylor was 26 years old when she was killed by police late at night in her home during a botched drug raid. police said the shooting was justified because they say her boyfriend shot first. he says that's not true. lawyers for detectives joshua janes and myles cosgrove said they received letters of termination. according to the letter received by the lawyers, a police hearing on the matter is scheduled for thursday. cnn has reached out to the louisville metro police department and the louisville police union for comment. and the news continues. "cnn tonight" starts right now. this is "cnn tonight."
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>> this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon in for chris who is nof tonight. he is off this week as a matter of fact. we're going to start with the covid variant the one that appeared in the uk, now in the u.s. for the first time. a colorado man in his 20s with no travel history is in isolation right now. and meanwhile there is a covid cliff hanger on capitol hill to tell you about. less than 48 hours after president trump caved to allow $600 relief checks, his demand for a $2,000 payment is now being wrapped just like he wants it into what democrats consider a poison pill. because it's only important to this president that you get real financial relief if you can get two other things -- if he can get two other items into the bill that has nothing to do with coronavirus. senate leader mitch mcconnell appears happy to have obliged him with that. but time could run out before it even gets to a vote.