tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN January 3, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST
>> hi. how you doing? hi, there you are again. hi, how are you? hi, how are you? >> thank you so much. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com this is cnn breaking news. >> hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom" and i'm rosemary church. we're following breaking news. a stunning phone call that's left much of washington and the u.s. dumbfounded, a conversation in which sitting u.s. president donald trump actually asked georgia's republican secretary of state to flip the election results in his favor in an audio recording obtained by cnn. you can hear trump insisting he won the state and telling brad raffensperger to find the additional votes.
>> so, look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state. and flipping the state is a great testament to our country because, you know, there's just -- it's a testament that they can admit to awe mistake or whatever you want to call it, if it was a mistake, i don't know. a lot of people think it wasn't a mistake. it was much more criminal than that. but it's a big problem in georgia, and it's not a problem that's going away. i mean, you know, it's not a problem that's going away. >> he didn't win the state. in an hour-long conversation, president trump threatens, pleads and repeats conspiracy theories about the election results. talk a listen. >> and brad, why did they put the votes in three times? you know, they put them in three
times. >> mr. president, they did not put that -- we did an audit of that and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times. >> well, where was everybody else at that late time in the morning? where was everybody? where were the republicans? where were the security guards? where were the people that were there just a little while before when everyone ran out of the room? how come we had no security in the room? why did they run to the bottom of the table -- why did they run there and open the skirt and rip out -- rip out the votes? i mean, brad -- >> mr. president. >> and they were sitting there i think for five hours or something, the votes. but they just all happened to run back and go -- you know, brad. >> yeah, mr. president we'll send you the link from wsp -- >> i don't care about a link. have a -- we're going to have a much better link. >> i will tell you, i've seen the tape, the full tape. so has alex. we've watched it. and what we saw and what we've
confirmed in the timing is that they made everybody leave. we have sworn aftfidavits sayin that. and then they began to process ballots. and our estimate is that there are roughly 18,000 ballots. we don't know that. if you know that -- >> it was 18,000 ballots, but they used each one three times. >> well, i don't know about that -- >> well, i do because we had ours magnified out. so each one is magnified out. >> i watched the tapes. >> but nobody can make a case for that, brad, broeb. i mean, look, you would have to be a child to think anything other than that, just a child. i mean have you never -- >> how many ballots -- how many ballots, mr. president -- process in? >> they certainly investigated that. >> this is ryan. we had our law enforcement officers talk to everyone who was there after that event came
to light. gbi was with them as well as fbi agents. >> well, there's no way they could -- then they're incompetent. they're either dishonest -- >> what did they find? >> there's either two answers, dishonesty or incompetence. there's no way. there's no way. the other thing i said too, there's no way. there's no way these things could have been -- you know, you have all these different people that vote but they don't live in georgia anymore. what was that number, clay? that was a pretty good number too? >> the number who have registered out of state after they moved from georgia is -- so they had a date when they moved from georgia. they registered to vote out of state and they -- it's roughly 4,500. i don't have that number in front of me. >> and they came back in and voted. no, that was a large number though. it was in the 20s. >> we've been going through each of those as well, and those
numbers that we got, that ms. mitchell was just saying, they're not accurate. every one we've been through are people that lived in georgia, moved to a different state but then moved back to georgia. and in many cases -- >> how many people do that? they moved out and said oh, to hell with it. i'll move back in? it doesn't sound very normal. you mean they moved out and, what, they missed it so much they wanted to move back in. >> and this is they moved back in years ago. this is not like something just before the election. so, there's something about that data that it's just not accurate. >> well, i don't know, i mean, all i know is that it is -- it is certified. and they moved out of georgia, and they voted. it didn't say they moved back in, clay, did it? >> no, but i mean we're looking at the voter registry -- again, if you have additional records, we've been asking for that. but you haven't shared any of that with us. you just keep saying you've
investigated -- >> but a lot of it you don't need to be shared to be honest. they should share it. they should share it because you want to get to an honest election. i won this election by hundred of thousands of votes. there's no way i lost georgia. there's no way. we won by hundred of thousands of votes. i'm just going by small numbers when you add them up they're many times the 11,000. but i won that state by hundreds of thousands of votes. >> again, there is no evidence of widespread election fraud. but this phone call comes just ahead of a vote to certify president-elect joe biden's win where several republican senators and house members plan to join with donald trump to object. the phone call is just the latest attempt by president trump to overturn the results of the election that took place nearly nine weeks ago. and it comes just before georgia's pivotal senate run off election on tuesday. john harwood has our report. >> just a little over two weeks
left in donald trump's presidency, the bombshells just keep dropping. on sunday, it was "the washington post" revelation of the audio tape of a phone call in which president trump pressures the republican secretary of state of georgia to find extra votes to overturn biden's victory there. never mind that the electoral college tally has been certified in all 50 states. never mind that joe biden does not need georgia's 16 electoral votes to win. he's got 306, which is well over the 270 you need. never mind there is no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularity in georgia voting or vote counting. the president was repeating fantasies about shredded ballots and altered voting machines. brad raffensperger resisted even though president trump appealed to him to act as a fellow republican. now the white house is not commenting on this tape. hard to know what they would say, considering that the president saw the tape as well
as white house chief of staff mark meadows. but the biden campaign was quick to say the tape affirms president trump's assault on democracy since the election. vice president-elect kamala harris said this was a bald faced abuse of power. the irony is this could end up strengthening joe biden's presidency if it tilts it all, the very close races for two georgia senate seats to take place on tuesday. if democrats win both, democrats will control the senate, and that would give joe biden a lot freer hand in terms of legislation. john harwood, cnn, washington. well, joining me now from los angeles, ron brownstein is cnn's senior political analyst and senior editor for "the a atlantic." by now we've all heard portions of the stunning recording of president trump's stunning conversation with georgia's
secretary of state demanding he finds specifically 11,780 more votes to tilt the election results in his favor. what was your response to this and how significant could it be with comparisons being made to watergate. >> if you take everything that's happened in the last few months since the election, we are witnessing the most sustained and broad scale assault on american democracy probably since the south seceded in 1960. the idea that some republicans said immediately after the election just humor him, how much damage could be done has really been exposed. we convene an ongoing effort by the president to subvert the result of a democratic election unquestionably in many spheres, through the courts, through the pressuring state legislatures, now this kind of direct mob-like intimidation of the republican secretary of state in georgia. and i disagree a little with phil.
the fact there is divergence in the krarepublican party at a ti when the divergence means are you going to stand with american democracy or stand with effort to overturn it, it is striking how many republicans are going along with this. the lit gaugs, two-thirds the republicans in the house, now probably as many as 130 or 150 house republicans and maybe a quarter of the senate republicans willing to overturn the election to try to install president trump in his second term against the will of the voters. this is a very ominous moment for american democracy and one whose magnitude i think cannot be understated. >> do you think at this point that we need to hear more from those republicans who are willing to put country before political expediency? we're hearing enough from them? >> no, i think all the way throughout, you know, again there was this view in the republican party you don't want to anger the base.
we want to ensure a big turnout in georgia. and they have allowed trump to seed this fantasy that the election was stolen from the republicans in big diverse cities with large african-american populations. 70% of republicans believe the election was stolen. this has created a snowballing effect that has made it harder for republican elected officials to stand in the way of this. i would go further and say we need to hear more from democrats. joe biden has made a calculated decision to largely shrug this off and be above the fray and act as though this is all noise. and he is going to unify the country when he comes in. and i think that decision, while understandable from some angles, has allowed this to spread among republicans and has inhibited the extent to which americans understand the gravity of what we are living through at this moment. >> and while some analysts have
suggested trump's actions in this call are criminal, corrupt, amount to abuse of power, blood bless coup, what do you say to those allegations and what are the likely ramifications? >> this is one of those things if this conversation is not a crime, what is? there are legal experts that said the way he phrased it here or there might make it hard to prosecute him. but the president was threatening the republican secretary of state in georgia with possible criminal or other sanctions if he did not, quote, find him enough votes to overturn the results. and of course, rosemary, as you know, overturning georgia would do him no good because it would leave him still, leave biden with 290 electoral college votes. so, if he was threatening this to the republican in georgia, what else is he doing simultaneously? because turning over georgia by itself would not solve his problem. the big question is what does this do to that one off on tuesday in georgia where the two
senate seats will be up for grabs. democrats have not elected a senator since 2000. now they have to elect two in one day. vice president harris could tilt in their direction. i do think if nothing else this will be a powerful tool for democratic turnout on election day because you see the magnitude not only of what trump is doing but what the republicans are enabling him or allowing to progress. >> all right. incredible. it will be interesting to see what happens with that on tuesday, the response, of course. ron brownstein, always a pleasure to get your analysis. many thanks. >> thanks for having me. and staying with that crucial run off election in georgia, the incumbent republican senators have run the entire campaign season in lock step with president trump. but his baseless claims and this phone call could set the stage for their political undoing. cnn's kyung lah has more now
from savanna, georgia. >> reporter: well, democrats are seizing on that call between president trump and georgia's secretary of state, calling it undemocratic. we heard from vice president-elect kamala harris who was here in savanna stumping for the two democratic challengers, hoping to flip those two senate seats on tuesday. >> have y'all heard about that recorded conversation? well, it was, yes, certainly the voice of desperation. most certainly that. and it was a bald, bald-faced bold abuse of power by the president of the united states. >> when the president of united states calls up georgia's election officials and tries to
intimidate them to change the result of the election, to disenfranchise georgia voters, to disenfranchise black voters in georgia who delivered this state for joe biden and kamala harris, that is a direct attack on our democracy. and if david perdue and kelly loeffler had one piece of steel in their spines, one shred of integrity, they would be out here defending georgia voters from that kind of assault. >> it's hard to miss what this image means, if raphael warnock and jon ossoff flip those two senate seats, kamala harris becomes a tiebreaker. democrats then control the senate. that is what is at stake on tuesday. we did reach out to senators loeffler and perdue for comment on the call. neither of them returned our
calls. kyung lah, cnn, savanna, georgia. >> and we'll have more on president trump's stunning phone call later this hour. plus america's vaccine rollout has been slower than expected. so, what can the country do to speed up the process? a health expert weighs in. a must in your medicine cabinet! less sick days! cold coming on? zicam® is clinically proven to shorten colds! highly recommend it! zifans love zicam's unique zinc formula. it shortens colds! zicam zinc that cold!
well the number of hospitalizations the from covid-19 has hit another record high in the united states. at this hour, more than 125,000 people have been hospitalized with the virus across the country. the u.s. death toll is also soaring. but president trump claims, without proof, that those numbers are exaggerated. he says it's fake news and calls america's counting method ridiculous. on sunday, the nation's top infectious disease expert pushed back. >> the deaths are real deaths. i mean, all you need to do is go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with. they're in very stressed
situations in many areas of the country the hospital beds are stretched. people are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now. that's real. that's not fake. that's real. >> dr. anthony fauci also says the u.s. must do a better job with its vaccine rollout to make shots valuable to more americans, officials are considering giving half doses of the moderna vaccine to certain people, saying there is evidence it can still be effective that way for many. the food and drug administration is expected to meet this week to discuss the issue. dr. ashish jha is the dean of the brown institute school of public health. he joins me now. thank you for joining us and for all you do. >> thank you so much for having me on. >> over the weekend donald trump called the u.s. death toll of 350,000 plus fake news, this despite so many families mourning their loved ones and hospitals at full capacity. what do you say to a u.s.
president who calls the official death toll fake news and refuses to take responsibility for his own mishandling of this pandemic? >> so, it's so deeply disturbing. first of all, uts not fake news. it's real news. it's probably an underestimate of the number of people who have died from this pandemic in the united states. his comments are so deeply disrespectful towards the families of those loved ones. their losses are not fake news. it is just shocking to me that this is where our president is right now in the last days of his -- his last days in office, refuses not only to take responsibility but really tries to erase the losses we have suffered in the last year. >> meantime, doctor, this country is running far behind its own goal of 20 million people being vaccinated by december 31st, having only administered about 4 million doses so far. what needs to be done to increase this number, and why
have they fallen so far behind? >> this has been a pretty standard pattern in this entire pandemic. the federal government sees its job as essentially ending at the state border. they think that their job is to get things to the state and let the state figure it out. and that strategy has not worked for testing. it didn't work with protective equipment. and it's largely not working for vaccines. states need resources. they need help. and the federal government has been lacking in its efforts there. so, that's why we are where we are. i do think we're going to see a ramp up in the upcoming days and week as states make progress. but of course all of this should have been planned weeks and months ago. >> so, how hopeful are you that a better, more efficient vaccination plan can be put in place in the coming days and weeks and do you think the federal government will give the states the necessary funds to do that? or will it take president-elect joe biden coming into office? >> well, congress has finally
passed a bill that does provide some of those funds to states. so, i am hopeful about that. i have been talking to states that are making good progress. again, it would have been helpful to do all of this several months ago. and i do think it's very, very clear at this point that the biden team has signalled they really want to be partners with the states and help states make progress. so, i expect a lbl of progress in the next couple of weeks and a lot more progress once a biden team is in house. >> and doctor, despite the vaccine being available, until people actually get vaccinated, we're still in a very dark place with cases, hospitalizations and deaths at record levels right now. how worried are you about where those numbers will likely be two to three weeks after holidays and all the air travel we just witnessed despite advice from health experts to stay home? >> i'm very worried and there's one other factor of course as well which is this variant that was initially identified in the uk is now in the united states and likely spreading quickly.
and so put that on top of everything else you mentioned, rosemary, and it's -- the next few weeks are going to be awful. i expect the number of cases to continue to climb, and i certainly expect many thousands of americans, 2,000 to 3,000 americans dying every day for the foreseeable future. so, that's the situation that president-elect biden is going to inherit. and there's going to be a lot of work to bring that under control. vaccines are one part of it, but of course we need to do a lot more than just vaccines. >> yethank you for your wise wos as always, dr. ashish jha, many thanks. >> thank you. president trump is taking his claims of voter fraud to a dangerous new level. next, hear more of that shocking phone call where he tells a state official to flip georgia in his favor.
more now on our top story this hour. a phone conversation some are calli calling nixonian in which president donald trump is talking to a georgia public official inssing he won the election. he pressures brad raffensperger to change the election results in his favor by finding 11,780 votes. take a listen. >> so, i just don't know -- you know, mark, i don't know what's the purpose. i won't give dominion a pass because we found too many bad things. but we don't need dominion or anything else. we have -- we have won this election in georgia based on all
of this. and there's nothing wrong with saying that, brad. you know, i mean having the correct -- the people of georgia are angry. and these numbers are going to be repeated on monday night along with others that we're going to have by that time, which are much more substantial even. and the people of georgia are angry. the people of the country are angry. and there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated because 2,236 absentee ballots. they're all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law if yo law if you remembers, et cetera. and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and cut them in half again, it's more votes than we need. >> but mr. president, the challenge we have is the data you have is wrong. we talked to the congressmen and they were surprised but they -- i guess there's a person named
mr. reynard who came to these meetings and presented data. and he said there was dead people, i believe upward of 5,000. the actual number were two. two people that were dead that voted. so, that's wrong. that was two. >> so how do you respond to that? you tell me? >> i will say one of the things, mr. secretary, one of the things that we have requested -- and what we said was -- if you look at this, if you read our petition, it said that we took the name and birth years and, you know, we had certain information available to us. we have asked from your office for records that only you have. and so we said there's a universe of people who have a same name and same birth year and died. but we don't have a record that you have. and one of the things that we have been suggesting formally and informally for weeks now is
to try -- is for you to make available to us the records that would be necessary to confirm -- >> but even before you do that -- even before you do that and not even including that -- that's why i hardly even included that number, although in one state we have a tremendous amount of dead people, so i don't know. i'm sure we do in georgia too. i'm sure we do in georgia too. but is that we're so far ahead, we're so far ahead of these numbers, even the phony ballots of [ bleep ], known scammer. you know the internet? you know what was trending on the internet? where's [ bleep ]? because they thought she would be in jail. where's [ bleep ]? it's -- it's crazy. it's crazy. that was -- the minimum number is 18,000 for [ bleep ] but they think it's probably about
56,000. but the minimum number is 18,000 [ bleep ] where she ran back in there where everybody was gone and stuffed -- she stuffed the ballot boxes. let's face it, brad. they did it in slow motion replay magnified, right? she stuffed the ballot boxes. they were stuffed like nobody's ever seen them stuffed before. >> officials in the secretary of state's office recorded the call, but raffensperger said he did not, wanted released unless the president attacked him or misrepresented what was said, according to a source who was on that call. president trump lawsuitter atta raffensperger in a sweet sunday morning. all ten former u.s. defense secretaries, including two who served under president trump, say the election is over. in an opinion letter published in the "washington post," they emphasized the importance of a smooth transition of power. they said, quote, the time for questioning the results has
passed. the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes as prescribed in the constitution and statute has arrived. and they had a warning for the acting defense secretary. efforts, they said, to involve the u.s. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. well, coming up on "cnn newsroom," much more on president trump's controversial phone call to georgia election officials, how the president's antics are pitting republicans against republicans ahead of wednesday's electoral college vote counts. plus, what impact if any mr. trump's phone call might have on joe biden's certifying on wednesday. stay with us.
of u.s. house. despite the democrat's smallest house ma jor i the in decades, pelosi was reelected by a razor thin margin. some newly sworn in ub are can lawmakers have said they will support objections to certifying joe biden's election victory in wednesday's joint session of congress. phil mattingly breaks down what to expect. >> reporter: a number of republicans, more than 140 in the house, at least 12 in the united states senate have made clear they are going to object in some form or fashion to a slate of electors or perhaps more. they say it is just to raise concerns, raise awareness for what they believe are irregularities in the vote count. there's no evidence of any irregularities up to this point. but they're saying they're just raising issue. and then the president's phone call to the georgia secretary of state became public, making clear that these lawmakers are
not just raising issues. they are lining up with a president who is trying to overturn a legitimately elected president of the united states, soon to be president of the united states in the case of joe biden, which raises the question of what's going to happen next. here's one thing to stipulate up front. joe biden will be the president-elect and certified as the president-elect once again when congress meets to count the electors on january 6th. he will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the yuts on january 20th. that is not up for debate. it's not up for dispute. it's going to happen. what happens between now and then, that remains the open question, as there has been a rupture inside the republican party. i talked about the republicans who plan to object at the president's wishes. now there are a number of republicans coming out on the opposite side of things. it's been a frustration that's i've been told has been growing behind the scenes for several days and it's spilling out into public view. on sunday morning, liz cheney, a
congresswoman from wyoming circulating a 21 page memo to her colleagues talking about how dangerous a precedent those objections may set. we had adam kinzinger, congressman from illinois, he's been vocal about his objection. you had paul ryan, former speaker of the house, who has said basically nothing since he left congress at the start of the 116th congress, putting out a full statement saying in part it is difficult to conceive a more antidemocratic and anticonservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of a state certified election and disenfranchise millions of americans. the fact this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to american democracy. that's split within the republican party i think everyone is paying attention to now. obviously president trump commands the respect and loyalty of the republican base. but the divergence inside the
party is as they try to handle something that is historically unprecedented from inside the office. that's going to be something to watch over the next couple of days. joe biden will be inaugurated on january 20th. what the republican party does between now and then, history is going to judge, no question about i. phil mattingly, cnn, washington. and thanks for watching "cnn newsroom." i'm rosemary church. for our international viewers, "world sport" is up next. if you're joining us here in the u.s., i'll be right back with more news. more simplicity with the what's in your fridge? recipe feature. and more motivation with on-demand workout classes. the new myww+. lose weight on us this winter! get three months free!
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welcome back everyone. well, the number of covid patients in u.s. hospitals has ruzen to more than 125,000, a new daily record. the country's death toll sals soaring, but president trump claims without proof that those numbers are exaggerated. the nation's top infectious disease expert has pushed back, saying the deaths are real. dr. anthony fauci also says the u.s. must do a better job with its vaccine rollout. to make shots valuable to more americans, officials are considering giving half doses of
the moderna vaccine to certain people, saying there's evidence it can still be effective that way for many. the food and drug administration is expected to meet this week to discuss the issue. well, california is the epicenter of the pandemic in the u.s. right now. the chief medical officer of one hospital system says another spike could bring about the total collapse of the health care system. cnn's paul vercammen has more now from los angeles. >> reporter: just no easing up of the desperate covid-19 situation in california. more than 45,000 new cases, more than 20,000 people in the hospital, 181 new deaths. president trump tweeted that the cases are being exaggerated, calling covid-19 fake news. that did not sit well with rosa serna. she was at a cemetery mourning
the loss of her father and uncle due to covid-19. >> how could it be faulk news? it took my dad. it took my uncle. it has taken so many lives. i don't think it could be fake. it's horrible. it's an insult to me. it's an insult to every family because there's absolutely no way for somebody to say it was fake. my dad is not fake dead. my dad is not going to resurrect from here and say, just kidding, it was fake, ha ha ha, it's funny. it isn't. it isn't fake. >> her father would have turned 73 new year's day and his brother, a year older, was 74. they were hardworking. they became u.s. citizens. instead of birthday cake, funeral flowers. reporting from los angeles, i'm paul vercammen. well, demand for covid vaccines is causing long lines and lengthy waits around the u.s. for those hoping to get an early dose. cnn's cami la very now reports from a texas vaccine site with
lines wrapped around the block. >> reporter: many here in texas are excited to get this vaccine. in fact, here in tarrant county, already about 100,000 people have signed up to get this vaccine. and they're willing to stand in line. this is by appointment only, but nonetheless, all these people are having to wait two or three hours to get this vaccine. and i want to show you the end of the line because the county is telling us that they're vaccinating between 1,400 to 1,500 people every day. how it works here in texas is that frontline workers, medical workers are already allowed to get the vaccine, and anyone over the auj ge of 6 # ais also allo to get the vaccine. in addition to that, they're saying anyone over the age of 16 with underlying conditions is also able to get the vaccine. here in this particular site, they're administering the moderna vaccine. so, everyone has to be at least 18 and over in order to get it. they said that they have had no
problems when it comes to giving this vaccine. they say no one has had any sort of reaction, even though they are telling people to stay here for about 15 minutes just to make sure they're okay after they get the vaccine. i talked to people in line and they all say they're excited and looking forward to having this vaccine widely available in 2021. >> you know, i researched it and i think the benefits outweigh the risk, so i'm not too concerned about it at all. >> to each their own. i'm not going to judge anyone if they're fearful of doing that. i'm not. i'm not fearful. i feel like the lord made these scientists brilliant for such a time as this. >> and the county does anticipate to get more shipments of the vaccine. they've gotten two already. and the people here in line are getting the second shipment of those vaccines. they say they will have enough for about three more days and expect to know within the next 24 hours or so whether or not
they're getting more vaccines. they also say, though, that the difficult part here is getting people to administer the vaccine. they may have locations available, but they need people to give the vaccine. they looked to volunteers for help, but they say they will do anything they can to try to upgrade essentially and get more and more people to administer the vaccine so that more and more people can get the vaccine. in ft. worth, cami la very now, cnn. and another vaccine site in houston, texas, filled all of its appointments sunday, running much smoother than the day before. on saturday, the health department's call center crashed due to overwhelming demand for appointments to get a covid vaccine. and i spoke earlier with the mayor of houston about the city's response. >> there was a huge demand. we had a call-in system that was scheduled to start early that morning at 7:30. and about 250,000 people rushed
the system to kind of get in and to get signed up and the system totally crashed. we end up going to plan b, which was an on site registration. we did that. and eventually a couple hours later the system was back online. so, it was on site plus the call-in. we had about 750 -- we had scheduled to give about 750 vaccinations that day, but we ended up doing 1,008. so, we exceeded what we had planned and things turned out quite nicely. >> so, what lessons have you learned in rolling out your city's covid vaccination plan? and what would you advise other cities and states do to successfully vaccinate on this large scale? >> well, there's a huge demand. what it indicated to us is that there are -- even with there being vaccine hesitancy, there are still a lot of people who want this vaccine. you know, so it is important to work to build out the infrastructure as much as
possible, to make it as robust, as widespread. this was our first health clinic. but over the next several days, several weeks, we intend to really build doubt, have multiple providers all throughout the system, not only on site/online registration, but at the same time to have mobile clinics available and in some cases for people who cannot leave their home to be able to go and actually make the home visits to provide the vaccinations. >> the uk is launching its rollout of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine today. it is the first country to do so. the british health secretary is calling this a pivotal moment in the fight against covid-19. for more on this, let's bring in cnn's abdel aziz. she joins us live from london. good to see you, selma. other countries are having problems with the vaccine rollouts, particularly here in the united states.
what's the plan for the oxford astrazeneca rollout? >> reporter: well, rosemary, i'm outside of royal free hospital here in london, one of the locations that will be administering this oxford university and astrazeneca vaccine. it's a big day here in the u, can, a lot of national pride because this was developed, invented right here in the uk by oxford university so, it's a moment to show off scientific add vans. it's cheap but critically it doesn't need to be stored at those extra cold, those subzero temperatures. it makes it easier to disseminate, easier to spread to rural areas, areas far away from hospitals like the one behind me now. a lot of excitement but around the world in countries like india where they are hoping this vaccine could speed up the end of the pandemic. as you mentioned the health secretary, matt hancock, just speaking on air a short time ago, marking this as a massive accomplishment, as a big step in the vaccination program. the uk has been quite bold in
their vaccination strategy. they've been criticized for it, called the wild west of vaccines. i'll tell you why. that's because they're taking steps that have divided the medical community. now the rule is you get the first dose of the vaccine and don't get the second one until up to three months later although studies show you should have it 21 to 28 days later. they say this allows them to double the amount of people they can vaccinate in the next two to three months. they're take ago i thin resource here, spreading it out over a greater amount of the population. and you can understand why they're so keen to do this. this country is plagued by this new variant of covid-19 that spreads more easily. there are a record breaking number of cases of infection rates across the country, more patients in hospital with coronavirus than at any point before. so, they are doing everything they can, even taking maybe risky steps, maybe too ambitious steps in order to get this
vaccine into as many people's arms as they can and get control of this variant. rosemary. >> very important. of course the problem here in the united states. we've got the vaccines but we haven't been able to administer them. certainly nowhere near the number that is required. selma abdel aziz joining us live from london. many thanks. a professional surfer in hawaii is being hailed a hero after rescuing a woman from the ocean. he saw the woman get swept off the rocks and into the ocean. he jumped into action, grabbing on to the woman and pulling her through the waves until they were safely back on shore. he says the ocean can be unpredictable. >> it was good having my sister on the beach kind of directing us which way to go. she actually warned us there was a double up coming. a double up is where two waves meet on each other and instead of the force of one wave it's actually two waves hitting us at
once. came running down the beach and localered at me and just started fully crying. it was very emotional and just kept saying thank you, you saved my life. it was a very special moment. >> incredible. and he's grateful to those calling him a hero, but says the real heroes are the life guards that save lives every day. i'm rosemary church. the news continues now with robyn curnow after this short break. do stay with us.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hi. welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. thanks for joining me. you're watching cnn. i'm robyn curnow. just ahead on the show, in an hour long call, the u.s. president seemed to issue threats while pressuring georgia's head of elections to sway the vote in his favor. then also donald trump and president-elect joe biden are heading to georgia in the coming hours ahead of those key senate elections. meanwhile the u.s. is not meeting with demand for coronavirus vaccinations.