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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 14, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. with we begin with the politics lead. president trump on his way out of office. completely disgraced. impeached again. what will happen next in the senate remains unclear. president trump has now been rebuked in the most bipartisan vote to impeach in the history of the united states of america, and with six days remaining, the nation remains on edge. the fbi had warned of threats across all 50 states from trump supporters. u.s. intelligence officials fear that the capitol attack will motivate more extremists attacks and 20,000 members of the
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american national guard are now in washington, d.c., fortifying the nation's capitol against further threats of violence ahead of joe biden's inauguration. members of congress remain worried that there may have even been republican colleagues or their staffs in their midst who not only incited the terrorist attack but may have been directly complicit. nonetheless, next wednesday president-elect biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the united states, and president trump's second impeachment trial will not start until at least inauguration day. today, democrats are debating how long the trial might last. whether they will call witnesses and how to balance a second impeachment hearing and trial with biden's new agenda. while senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will not say whether he supports convicting president trump and plans for that trial remain up in the air. cnn's manu raju is live for us on capitol hill. you have brand-new reporting about what soon-to-be minority leader mcconnell is saying behind the scenes. >> reporter: yeah, he clearly believes impeachable offenses were conducted by donald trump but he is not there yet on
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whether donald trump should be convicted. and this view is shared by a number of republicans in the conference, people, sources who i've talked to the course of the day, they just are uncertain whether they're going to get to that point yet of saying that donald trump should no longer hold office ever again. if they were to vote to convict in a trial, that's going to take place after inauguration day. now, a number of considerations are at play. some republicans are falling in the camp of they believe it is not constitutional to go after a former president who has left office. people like tom cotton fall into that camp. others are siding with the house republican claim that it's time to show some unity and going down this route is devivisive a there are some republicans who are signaling very clearly that they are almost certain going to convict, people like lisa m murkowski who believe the president's actions were lawless. mitch mcconnell is in between those camps. listening to the various people in his conference and he says he wants to listen to the impeachment managers,
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themselves, make their case and ultimately determine what the emotions are like at the time they're to vote, whether or not the emotions are still raw, whether or not people feel the president deserves to pay a price. jake, of course, politics plays a key role in all of this. a number of republicans up for re-election in 2022 have to -- considering the blow-back they may get back home. in talking to multiple republican sources today, jake, internal republican polling shows that the president's taking a hit from republican voters in the aftermath of the elections. whether that's enough to sway republican supporters of trump's who will come to the poll and will actually vote for these republican senators who are running for re-election come 2022 is a question that some republicans will consider as they decide to break ranks, join 17 republicans who are needed to ultimately convict this president. jake? >> okay. manu ra j raju on capitol hill. sources telling president trump
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is irritated in self-pity mode. as cnn's kaitlan collins reports for us, lashing out as he makes the wrong kind of history were with only six days left in office, sources say president trump is angry and isolated after making history as the first u.s. president to be impeached twice. >> no one is above the law. not even the president of the united states. >> reporter: sources tell cnn trump relented and agreed to film this video after being pressured by advisers who were worried about the backlash he could face. >> i want to be very clear. i unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. >> reporter: trump didn't mention his role in stoking the attacks or his impeachment. though, privately, he's fuming at nearly everyone. his latest targets include house minority leader kevin mccarthy after he criticized trump's conduct. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw
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what was unfolding. >> reporter: mccarthy isn't alone. trump is also feuding with his longtime attorney rudy giuliani for not doing enough to stave a second impeachment and has told staff to stop paying his legal fees. though, officials weren't sure if trump was serious. as the president stews behind closed doors with nothing on his public schedule, preparations for next week's inauguration were under way as 2021 biden/harris inauguration signs were hung in front of the white house and visible from the residence. moving trucks were spotted on the white house grounds today, as the president's staff cleaned out their desks and prepared to leave office. now, jake, in these final days of the donald trump presidency, there are two things we are keep ing an eye on, one is a pardon list we're expecting to come from the president. i'm told it's pretty massive. of course, we're waiting to see if any of his family members or the president, himself , is on
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the list. that's expected to come before next wednesday. whether the president is going to give a farewell address, listing his accomplishments in his time in office. that's been something the aides have been trying to get the president to do. whether or not it's going to be in person or on video. so far the president has been uninterested and noncommit kl re regarding that, jake. >> joining us, democratic senator chris coons of delaware. also a close friend of the president-elect. senator. welcome. an impeachment trial would not start until at least january 20th. have you gotten any more clarity from leadership, mcconnell, or schumer, about when exactly this trial could start or how long it would last? >> jake, i don't have more clarity about exactly how long it will last. but there is precedent for the senate bifurcating or splitting an impeachment trial as happened under president clinton that ala l l allows the senate to continue to do its ordinary business while
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also spending some sort of every day conducting a trial. i think it is ur jepgent we mov forward with confirming president-elect biden's team and his cabinet, and before we move forward the details of the stimulus bill he's going to unveil later tonight in an address. we're at the worst stage of this pandemic ever. 4,200 americans died yesterday. we need to provide urgently another round of relief. through stimulus checks, support for rental assistance, extended unemployment benefits. and in particular, support for speeding up vaccinations. >> that's right. biden will be unveiling, i think $1.9 trillion proposal for a covid relief bill that has all those things that you just mentioned. senator. in terms of the impeachment trial, there remains so much that we don't know about this attack. it was eight days ago. would it make sense for there to be some sort of investigation first? not just by the fbi or the u.s. attorney or the d.c. attorney general, but also maybe by some
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sort of house and senate joint special committee that investigates what happened. >> well, jake, that's part of the things that are being discussed between my colleagues now, is the tension between wanting to move forward quickly, put the core agreed upon public facts in front of us, and have a vote, versus developing the record further, having an investigation that may reveal even more damning evidence of the president and his role, president trump, and his role in inciting the violence that resulted in the assault on the capitol last wednesday. i don't have a clear picture on the path forward. but we are balancing between making sure that it's a fair trial that has a fully developed record and making sure that we can move forward with addressing the pandemic with confirming the cabinet and making the kind of progress that vice president -- excuse me, that president-elect biden is calling on us to do. >> that's right. president-elect biden has made it very clear that he doesn't
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want anything to hold up his agenda in terms of fighting covid, in terms of getting his cabinet confirmed. does he have concerns about the senate doing an impeachment trial when he wants to try to get the country back on track? >> well, president-elect biden has said that now that the house has passed an historic second impeachment vote against president trump, the senate need to do its part of this constitutional exercise, but he is focused on responding to the pandemic, bringing our country together, and delivering badly needed economic relief. that's what he and his team have been focused on and so i think that falls to us in the senate to come up with workable rules. i am encouraged that majority leader mcconnell, the majority leader for the next six days, has said he is open to impeachment. we all recognize that there has to be accountability for the heinous actions of last wednesday. i think many members of congress are still shocked and somewhat
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traumatized by the loss of life, by the violence, and the suddenness of the assault last wednesday. and by real concerns for our safety and for the security of the inauguration at our nation's capitol and the threats to our state's capitols this coming week. >> have you been talking to your republican colleagues? how many of them do you think are open to the idea of convicting president trump? obviously, a number of them are going to be up for re-election in 2022 and probably don't want to arouse the wrath of trump's supporters. i mean, do you think that there are 17 republicans who would vote for this? >> i don't know, jake, whether there are or aren't. there have been a number of forceful public statements by colleagues of mine who are republicans. obviously, house member liz cheney, one of the members of house republican leadership, gave a concise, forceful, clear, condemnation of trump's actions and there have been a number of forceful speeches on the senate floor and statements publicly by republicans in the senate.
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saying that he clearly committed an impeachable offense. of the challenges, whether after he leaves office, assuming -- and that's an asubsumptionassum that happens safely six days from now, what the path will be forward then. there has been chatter back and forth about what the rules are, the impeachment trial might be. as you said earlier, in the absence of a fully developed record of what happened wednesday -- >> right. >> -- it's hard to predict how many will come down on the side of conviction. >> there are other people other than president trump, the people who physically went into the capitol, who are responsible. i've heard a number of republicans and democrats, of course, grumbling about senators josh hawley and ted cruz who really opened up the idea of this -- these votes to overturn the result of the election as -- they made it a bigger thing with their willingness to consider it even though mitch mcconnell had been trying to tell them to not do it. i know some people have called
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for their resignations. what do you think? do hawley and cruz need to face some sort of consequences? >> well, jake, i'm among those members who have called for their resignation. i think it's striking that the hometown newspapers in several of their communities, from their two states, some of their longtime mentors and supporters, have spoken out against their actions. and as you just referenced, jake, the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, himself, urged them not to move ahead with a groundless attempt at overturning the certification of the vote. something that was unprecedented in terms of that coming after a president refusing to accept the legitimacy of an election. and the consequences in terms of the assault on the capitol last wednesday. i think this is also an issue that is going to face us this coming week and there's still going to be a lot of debate
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about what's the appropriate next steps. >> democrat chris coons of delaware, thanks for joining us. i'm glad you're okay after the capitol attack. preventing more carnage, more troops protecting d.c. than currently in iraq and afghanistan. we're live on the hill with images you maybe thought you would never see in washington, d.c. and as the trump media echo chamber throws more gas on the fire, the things they're saying that show they learned nothing from the terrorist attack. stay with us. -yes. -the answer is no. i can help new homeowners not become their parents. -kee-on-oh... -nope. -co-ee-noah. -no. -joaquin. -no. it just takes practice. give it a shot. [ grunts, exhales deeply ] -did you hear that? -yeah. it's a constant battle. we're gonna open a pdf. who's next? progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto with us. no fussin', no cussin', and no --
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in our "national lead" today, washington, d.c., looks something like a war zone. the national mall will look nothing like it has for past inaugurations. the area is being transformed into a fortress right now with nonscaleable fencing blocking all entry. no jumbotrons, no flags, no crowds. just empty space and 20,000 armed national guardsmen bracing for another terrorist attack. cnn's pete monteen joins us live
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from outside capitol hill. pete, describe the scale of what you're seeing out there as well as latest threats that have security officials on alert. >> reporter: this is pretty jarring here, jake. i have to show you, if somebody came down to the capitol for this inauguration, they would first be met by this giant fence that keeps going up more by the minute. i'm 6 feet tall. this is 8 feet tall. even if somebody made it over on the other side of this, they would be met with some of the 20,000 national guardsmen that are descending on washington right now. the threat here is very real, according to the secret service. it's now leading his massive security operation. it says chatter online is off the charts about the potential for more armed protests here in washington. the pentagon says it is concerned about improvised explosive devices, pipe bombs, like those that were found at the dnc and the rnc. and the head of the metropolitan washington police department says nobody from across the country should come here to d.c. for this inauguration. i just want to show you one more thing, jake. this is pennsylvania avenue.
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this is what would typically be the route from the capitol to the white house and the national mall for the parade route. almost completely deserted right now. mostly just spectators. millers about. people coming by. just to check out the spectacle here in front of the capitol. this is going to be an inauguration like no other. no bunting. no jumbotron. maybe no crowds. jake? >> all right. pete, very depressing scene out there. the justice department says it's now arrested this man seen carrying a confederate flag through the halls of the kpo capitol. also arrested a man charged with assaulting a capitol police officer with a fire extinguisher and this man seen wearing a shirt that says "camp auschwitz." reference to the concentration camp. so far, more than 30 people have been arrested on federal charges related to the dead l ly riot. terrorist attack. joining me, former secret service agent. jonathan. thanks so much for being here. do you think d.c. is prepared to handle whatever might happen
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next week? do you see any holes in the preparations? >> yeah, jake, i fully believe that the security structure that has been put in place by the secret service and their law enforcement partners, is adequate enough to address this new emerging threat. actually, the enhancements that they put forth the other day and they continue to do so are actually, you know, really potentially discouraging future attacks. so everything that's being done right now is to guarantee that safe and secure environment for the inauguration, but that doesn't mean that these threats are going away. yesterday the fbi, dhs, they put forth a joint intelligence bulletin literally to put a button point on exactly what is the threat of the violent acts that may continue. and, jake, this warning should not be taken lightly because it highlighted that anti-government and anti-authority extremists coupled with militant extremists
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really pose a clear and present danger to this inauguration. and literally, we are now seeing the mobilization, one of the largest mobilizations of the military and law enforcement for one single event in history. >> when we talk about the threat, how much of this is far-right hate groups like the proud boys or neo nazi groups and how much is radicalized trump supporters, maga supporters? because, obviously, we saw both storming the capitol last week. >> well, that's a great point, jake. and what we need to do, the challenge for law enforcement, is literally bifurcating those two groups. i mean, political supporters who are out there expressing their first amendment rights is a foundation of our democracy. and their speech has to be protected. the difference is, we have groups that are leveraging this moment, they're leveraging the -- the fracture in our
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political structure and the polarization of politics to leverage their own attack against the government and against authority. and that's where we have to look at these groups, you know, independently and really assess the means, opportunity, and intent for them to launch an attack or engage in violent acts against, you know, individuals in washington, d.c., but it's also broader than that and we've seen warnings go out by law enforcement that all 50 states can be targeted and that's what they have to be focused on right now is mitigating that threat. >> i mean, obviously, there's also the debate as there always is in this country between liberty and security. nobody supports terrorist attacks or i used to think that, anyway. nobody rational supports terrorist attacks. but cnn's learned that the general public is not going to be allowed on to the national mall. for inauguration days due to security concerns. i mean, where do you draw the
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l line? in a way, the terrorists win. >> listen, jake, this is a security structure that has to be put in place. we have to wake up to the reality that we have this clear and present danger in front of us. p it's no longer a question of is there a likelihood that these groups could engage in violent acts? wit we now know it. we know they believe in this apocalyptic ideology that wants to take over the government. so it's really disappointing in the moment that we should have a real peaceful transition of government and allow an incoming administration to take this moment to move forward. we're now locking down. it's been described as a war zone. but, unfortunately, this is the -- this is the world we're living in right now. we have to address the threats appropriately. >> former secret service agent jennifer wackrow. thank you so much, appreciate your time, sir. good to see you. maga media certainly possibly at the very least
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in our politics lead today, with only 10 out of 211 house republicans voting to impeach president trump for his incitement of the terrorist attack on the u.s. capitol, and most house republicans still refusing to criticize trump even a little bit, it remains clear that president trump has a hold, still, on many members of the republican party, and despite the bloodshed, there appears not only no contrition in right-wing media, they continue to spread
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lies about the presidential election. the very lies that fueled that deadly terrorist attack. as cnn's tom foreman reports. >> for the second time, there's been an unconstitutional impeachment of an innocent man. >> reporter: the violent attack on the capitol last week spurred some calls for peace between the political parties inside, but outside, the right wing is stepping up the war. >> stop the steal! >> reporter: commiserating with trump supporters convinced the election was rigged, railing at democrats who point out the vote was fair, and furiously defending president trump. >> he did nothing wrong. he did nothing wrong. >> ted bundy and jeffrey dahmer were given more basic due process rights than president trump today. >> many claims are peppered with false falsehoods. >> president trump rightly pointed out the improper activities of the biden crime family and subsequently he's been proven right. >> reporter: one representative took the fury absurdly further
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claiming the incoming president is to blame for the uproar. >> so on january 21st i will be filing articles of impeachment on joe biden. the american people need hope. they need to know that there are republicans in congress that are willing to stand up and fight for them. >> usa! >> reporter: still, much of the fire has been aimed at the ten republicans who voted with democrats to impeach trump. some are calling for bwyoming's liz cheney to be stripped of her leadership role in the party, others want her canceled altogether. >> liz cheney, good luck in your new democratic party. >> reporter: to be sure in the recently besieged capitol, some republicans met the impeachment charge with cries for a political cease-fire. >> instead, we must unite. it's time to focus on unity. >> dividing america will not save this republic. >> reporter: but all three of those lawmakers, indeed a majority of republicans in the house, still voted to reject the results of the election. and others keep blasting away. >> when i hear the democrats
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demanding unity, sadly, they are only unified in hate. >> reporter: this isn't just a national thing. in swing states across the country, republicans are pushing for new restrictions on voters to fight the nonexistent fraud. they say so many trump supporters are afraid of and worried about. and they say to restore faith in democracy, faith that they just keep undermining every day. jake? >> really unbelievable. tom foreman, thanks so much. let's bring? o in our panel. ron, these words from maga media, they have real consequences as we've seen not just from maga media, we should say also from republican colleagues. republican congressman peter meijer, freshman from michigan, voted for impeachment, he told msnbc today he feels he needs to purchase bulletproof vests, alter his route to work. getting security around him. i talked to other republicans on
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capitol hill doing the same thing all because they're afraid of more violence from trump supporters. what does that say about where we are and really more where the republican party is today? >> yeah, we're in an ominous place. i wrote that the 2020s could be the most difficult decade for america since the 1950s, largely for the same reason. i think the fear -- it's pretty clear that the fear of demographic eclipse is eroding the commitment to democracy in the republican party. both among leaders and among followers. i mean, you remember that famous quote immediately after the election when some anonymous figure in the white house said to the "washington post," well, humor him a little bit. how muches yo -- you know, how trouble could it be to humor president trump on claiming he has to leave eventually? you see a large portion of the republican electoral, three-quarters or more, have been willing to buy this fundamentally ray scist conspir theory that the city was stolen in areas with large african-american populations though trump's vote declined
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more from '16 to '20 in mostly white or diverse suburban areas. and so we've heard from law enforcement officials in that intelligence memo that you mentioned, the previous guest me mentioned from the fbi and dhs, the single most important thing that could defuse the mounting threat on more republicans coming out and saying it was a lie, the election was not stolen, i was complicit in the lie, and, yet, not only did they not vote to impeach trump, but they -- i don't know if any -- any single republican on the house floor say, it was wrong, i lied to you. >> there's been no contrition anywhere that i can see. not just from republican officials. also from maga media. abby, i've talked to republicans from capitol hill, elected officials, who are afraid for their lives from trump supporters after the attack on the capitol. and yet, president trump's trade adviser, peter navarro, is on fox continuing to lie about the election. take a listen. >> the democratic party did
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violence to this country by attacking a president who i believe was legally elected on november 3rd. >> that's a lie. that's not true. and there was actual violence at the capitol where five people wereequently died by suicide because of that lie, abby. >> yeah, it's a scary reality that peter navarro, well, until wednesday, is working at the white house right now. and he is a white house adviser. but it's also, jake, an indictment of the republican party. that dissent, political dissent, telling the truth, is something that will provoke violence. that's a reality that the republican party has not dealt with. we saw that yesterday on the house floor when speaker after speak wanted some way to excuse what we saw last week, excuse the violence, excuse the anger. they keep calling the violence
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anger. almost like a code word for what we actually saw happen last week. and so until they come to terms with that, you're going to see this kind of thing, but i think it's important for everyone to recognize, i do think reasonable people recognize, it's not a normal thing in a democracy when if you disagree with someone or if you speak about something that is truthful, that you receive death threats and you're afraid for wyour life. that is a sign that something is broken and i don't see any sign yet that the rank -- the vast majority of republicans are willing to say so. >> congresswoman diana degette of colorado, she's one of the democratic impeachment managers. take a listen to what she told cnn today about the upcoming trial against president trump in the senate. >> even if the senate doesn't take the case up until after he's left office, still, number one, they would be convicting him and number two, they could prevent him from ever holding office again. they could prevent him from getting all of the perks of a
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retired president. >> ron, are those the real stakes here, given that president trump is going to be out of office by the time the trial happens? >> yeah, i think the stakes are bigger than what happens to trump and whether he runs again in 2024. i mean, to some extent biden has been very lukewarm about the idea of holding trump accountable. emphasize it, doesn't want it to get in the way of his agenda. but the trajectory of this white nationalist extremism is very clear under the last four years. president trump has provided an enormous amount of oxygen to this very dangerous ideology and unless everyone involved, law enforcement, the justice department, congress, is very serious about imposing consequences and taking the threat seriously, this could become a steady drumbeat through the biden presidency. i mean, someone said to me this week that unless we get a handle on this, what is it going to look like in four years? is it going to be northern ireland with regular episodes of political violence?
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so, seeing this as what happens to trump, i think, is looking at it through too narrow a lens. >> yeah. >> the question is, can we more broadly send a signal sat theys we're not going to tolerate and look the other way as this metastasizes? >> yes, abby, there's attempt to whitewash and change subject. kevin mccarthy on the floor of the house yesterday say that it was not the american way to say that biden wasn't elected legitimately. he's been saying it for two months. he, himself, has been saying it. he voted to disenfranchise voters from arizona and pennsylvania. he signed on to that crazy texas lawsuit. and it's not just him. it's most of the house republican caucus. >> yeah, kevin mccarthy should have started yesterday with an apology for his role in pushing this conspiracy theory. one of the big challenges that will face this country as we try to move forward is that until there's a recognition that the lie that undergirds the violence of last week was, in fact, a
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lie, and is not true, we're never going to get past this. these folks are going to continue to come back. they're going to continue to believe what they believe. and no president trump hostage video is going to change that. we all saw what we saw last week. it's because he's been lying to his supporters for two months and he has yet to recognize that. >> and his supporters in congress have been doing things that are undemocratic. trump made honesty and decency into political issues. now he's making democracy into a political issue. abby phillip, ron brownstein, thanks so much. appreciate your time and expe expertise. one president on trial as another inherits a public health disaster. how president-elect biden plans to keep his agenda on track with the trump cloud still hanging over washington. stay with us. two medical societies have strongly recommended to doctors to treat acute, non-low back muscle and joint pain with topical nsaids first.
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it can end attacks today -- on computers, mobile devices, servers and the cloud. and deliver future-ready protection, keeping you sharp for tomorrow. join us, the defenders, in our mission. cybereason. end cyber attacks. from endpoints to everywhere. in our "politics lead" president-elect joe biden has made it clear he does not want the impeach the trial of president trump to derail his first weeks in office.
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jeff zeleny covers the president-elect for us. trying to focus on covid, trying to roll out a big plan. how worried is he he won't be able to get that done if there's an impeachment trial in the senate? >> jake, there's a significant concern. an impeachment trial as we've seen is all consuming. it requires all of the senators' time and certainly createschamb. this is something that's happening when the president-elect, then-president biden next week at this time wants to move through his covid relief package. for the first time tonight we're going to hear them talk about what specifically he intends to do. some $2 trillion in programs here. now, this is something that he's been talking about for months. help is on the way. now he must deliver on that. first and foremosts i'm told, jake, we're going to hear tonight how he plans to fix the vaccination rollout in this country. so look for some very specifics about that. all this comes to a head, of course, because it needs money from congress. so that is at issue here. congress needs to approve all this and his nominees at the same time trying a president. or that point, i guess, a former
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president come next week. >> all right. jeff, thanks so much. huge stadiums now being used as mass vaccination sites. why that still might not be enough. stay with us. ♪ ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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cyber attacks are relentlessly advancing. to end them, cybereason built a cyber security solution so advanced... it can end attacks today -- on computers, mobile devices, servers and the cloud. and deliver future-ready protection, keeping you sharp for tomorrow. join us, the defenders, in our mission. cybereason. end cyber attacks. from endpoints to everywhere. . in our "health lead" today, new york state opened its first drive-through covid vaccination
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center in long island. sites such as this are popping up across the country but not fast night. the cdc estimates some 92,000 americans could die of covid in the next three weeks. as cnn's nick watt now reports. >> reporter: the home of the houston texans open today. well, a parking lot. it's a mass vaccination site. rough ly 13,000 slots through sunday. every one already filled. meanwhile, some rural hospitals in texas say they still haven't received even a single dose of vaccine. in new jersey even the elderly face a long wait. up to eight weeks. >> the biggest reason is we don't have the supplies from the feds that we need or that they had indicated we'd have. >> reporter: mississippi only cvs and walgreens are allowed to give the shots. long-term care facilities, walgreens doesn't have the manpower. >> we had staffing challenges in mississippi before covid vaccine was ever available.
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>> reporter: both vaccines currently available require a double dose. johnson & johnson's single dose offering, it appears safe and effe effective in early trials. they could apply for emergency authorization around the end of the month. >> having a single-dose vaccine will be a game changer. >> reporter: meantime, here's the reality. by new year, we were told 20 million shots in arms. two weeks later, still just over half that. and since new year, more than 3 million new confirmed covid-19 cases across the country and nearly 40,000 more lives lost. we're now averaging well over 3,000 deaths a day. >> until we see hospitalizations drop, and until we start to see a sustained drop in daily cases, we're going to see this terrible toll. >> reporter: and today in california there are fewer icu beds available than ever. about a thousand in a state of 40 million.
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and here in los angeles county, officials believe that one in three an lgelinos have already been infected. the irony, that might actually help to slow the spread because so many people have already had this virus. jake? >> all right. nick, stay safe, my friend. moments ago, education officials in france announced plans to test 1 million students and teachers every month in an effort to keep schools open in that country. it's one of the biggest issues of this entire pandemic. and in part three of our series on education in a time of covid, cnn's max foster now examines how other countries are handling this debate. >> everyone just -- >> reporter: british prime minister boris johnson made it a national priority to keep schools open during the pandemic. >> i do want to stress for everybody the efforts that we're making as a government to try to keep primary schools open. >> reporter: but those efforts
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weren't enough. just hours later, he was saying this. >> primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges across eng england, must move to remote provision from form. >> reporter: it was a switcft u-turn. in the face of this. a precipitous surge in reported cases since december. the mihighly contagious new variant of the disease changed the game. >> what is happening? how is he becoming a gentleman? >> reporter: johnson's sin tsk advisers counseled three weeks ago it was impossible to control the variants without school closures. but he's still sticking to his default position on schools. and he wants them to re-open as soon as possible. >> when i was in year seven, the first lockdown came, oh my gosh, this is so good, we don't have to go to school. now, please let me go back to school. >> reporter: ella is now learning from home. i visited her school before the holiday break. >> at home, there are lots and lots of distractions such as
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phones, et cetera. children could still learn if they're from their home but it's not as good as going to school. >> reporter: teachers tell me nothing can truly replace face-to-face learning. but they only want to return when it's safe. and they're critical of the government for not acting more decisively. the education regulator says she's weighing the health benefits of schools closing against the harm that can do to student wellbeing. >> there are real problems with motivation. there are real problems for younger children trying to learn through screens. we can see effects across the board. >> reporter: so the uk lockdown works and virus rates stabilize, will re-opening schools undo that progress? well, research in the "lancet medical journal" based on the last lockdown suggests not. it concludes schools don't drive virus rates up, rather, they reflect what's happening already in the community. >> when you look at the data, what you do see is there a lag
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in school-aged children compared to adults. so when adult rates started going up, children's rates started going up. and during the lockdown when adult rates came down, it took a week, but children's rates started going down as well. so there is a very close coronation. >> reporter: some form of prioritizing in-person learning has been used around the world. in denmark, schools got creative in using any space available. even a church cemetery. in south korea the government has been willing to close schools in response to rising cases but has also tried to maintain normalcy. from temperature checks in may, to sitting high school exams in december. masks played a big role in france where, first of all, children over 11 and later everyone over 6 had to wear one. but as winter set in and the new variant took hold, governments had to reassess. denmark has kept schools closed for now. in italy high school openings have been delayed again and
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again. only slowly allowing students back. german schools are shut until at least the end of the month. >> let's just take a moment -- >> reporter: europe, a continent that prioritizes face-to-face learning above almost all else in this pandemic, forced to yield at least for now. max foster, cnn, london. >> and our thanks to max foster. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be right back. more simplicity with what's in your fridge? which suggests meals based on what you have. more motivation with on-demand workout classes. more freedom with over 300 zero point foods. and new tools to boost your mood and help keep you hydrated! get more of what you need to help you lose weight. the new myww+. more holistic. more personalized. more weight loss. don't pay until spring! your first three months are free! offer ends january eighteenth! what day is it? these days it can be easy to lose track of things. did i feed you? but taking prescriptions shouldn't be one of them. cvs simpledose presorts your prescriptions into packets,
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and next week, join cnn for all-day live coverage of the historic inauguration of president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harris. it's all day wednesday. until tomorrow, you can follow me on facebook, instagram and twitter. @jaketapper. tweet the show @thelead. our coverage on cnn continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're following breaking news. the united states right now on high alert for potential violence around the inauguration of president-elect biden just six days from now. 20,000 u.s. national guard troops are expected to be here along with thousands of police and other law enforcement officials. they're here in washington amid deep concerns of more domestic terror like last week's deadly capitol siege whic