tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 30, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
hello, again, i'm fredricka whitfield, embattled republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene is touting support from former president donald j. trump saying on twitter she had a "great call with him," democrats want her expelled from the house. facebook posts have surfaced where taylor greene called the deadly parkland school shooting fake along with video showing her harassing parkland shooting survivor david hog. cnn's k file also found other facebook posts where greene indicated support for executing prominent democratic politicians. and next week kevin mccarthy will meet with the georgia
congresswoman known for spreading conspiracy theories, let's bring in suzanne malveaux, what are the expectations. >> reporter: congresswoman greene this morning seems quite emboldened by a very supportive call from the president. she seems as if in this twitter thread that she has conducted throughout the morning that she is full of fight and she's not backing down. this is just a few of the tweets. she says that i had a great call with my all-time favorite potus, president of the united states, president trump, i'm so grateful for his support and more importantly the people of the country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and america first and, then, fred, she goes on to say i won't back down, i'll never apologize, and i'll always keep fighting for the people. this is spilled out in a very public way in a very public arena. she has taken on house speaker nancy pelosi who says that the enemy is here, within the u.s. congress, referring to greene
and some other republican lawmakers. we have also now heard from senator mitt romney, the republican often very critical of trump, now taking on congresswoman greene. who has almost become somewhat of a substitute, and when you take a look at her rhetoric on her twitter feed romney is saying here, lies of a feather flock together. marjorie taylor greene's nonsense and the big lie of a stolen election. so the big question, fred, becomes how does the house leader, the republican leader, mccarthy, deal with all of this? well, we've seen, he's -- he took a trip to mar-a-lago. he came out with the former president trump, very unified saying their goal is to take back the house and the senate, to make it republican controlled again, he framed it in terms of a rejection of the democratic agenda, calling it a radical one. and so as we see this rhetoric play out formerly from president trump, now being adopted by mccarthy and furthermore by
greene the big question does become how many other republicans sound the same way? use the same rhetoric? there are moderates who are speaking out against the kind of really violent rhetoric against politicians, we heard from representative scalise who put it in this way in a statement essentially saying he's consistently rejected this type of violent language against politicians, but he says on both sides. and that might be what we'll be hearing from more moderate members as they try not to go fully down the rabbit hole but clearly some are this morning. >> all right, suzanne malveaux, thank you so much on capitol hill. i want to bring in now democratic congresswoman barbara lee who joins us from oakland, california. she's also, now the chair of the house appropriations subcommittee for state and foreign affairs, the first african-american woman to hold that position. and congratulations on that congresswoman lee, good to see you. >> good to see you, thank you
for having me. >> you tweeted out about congresswoman marjorie taylor greene saying she's a threat to house members and saying, get, she has to go. what are your thoughts about whether that would actually happen? >> well, those are exactly my thoughts and the thoughts of many of us because she is a danger. she's a threat. she refuses to wear a mask. she now, of course, we see, which is to be expected, the support of donald trump who incited violence, who promoted the attempted coup on january 6th and five people died. and so she -- based on who she is, her behavior, what she has said, she is a danger. and should not serve in any legislative body. >> and she's clearly emboldened because she is boasting today on twitter that she had, you know, a great call with the former president and here minority leader kevin mccarthy is scheduled to meet with congresswoman greene, next week,
how much stock do you put into that meeting when mccarthy just visited the former president as well and you've got greene who is, you know, saying that she is with the former president 100%. >> she is and it appears that mccarthy is also and i just have to say that one is we know that donald trump incited violence. he was responsible for the attempted coup. we also know that the trial is about to begin, and hopefully the senate convicts this man. because now we have him once again leading the effort of the republicans. and let's hope that mccarthy really reins her in like he did with steve king. remember, he'd actually removed him from his committees because of his anti-semitism and his white supremacy attitudes and behavior. he needs to -- and for me, i think she needs to really quite
frankly be expelled and he needs to tell her that because there is no way that any member of congress should be allowed to be such a danger to the entire body and others. remember, the public comes also, once covid is over, to the capitol. we can't allow these individuals to be such a danger to the public and members of congress. >> three weeks after that insurrection, nearly a month now, how are you feeling about your personal safety? >> well, it's very dicey. like, for every member of congress, i mean, the threats are real. when you look at the fact that the militia, the proud boys, the boogaloo boys, we have these threats that have not gone away. we have to recognize that white supremacy has been emboldened by donald trump. i knew this many, many years ago, look at how he led as president in terms of his agenda. steve bannon, steve miller.
look at how he came into the white house on the birther movement. and so he has inspired and emboldened white supremacists to really take on the government and to deny that we have a president duly elected president in office and so we all have a level of insecurity right now that we're addressing but we're not going to be bullied and we're not going to let them stop us from doing the work of the american people. but we have to know that this threat is not only in washington, d.c. this is throughout the country. >> how -- who are you most concerned about, you know, the overt agitators or the silent agitators, i mean it was the house speaker nancy pelosi says, you know, she's concerned about the enemy within. >> well, she's absolutely correct. again, marjorie taylor greene is an example of the enemy within. so we have to be extremely concerned about those within, but also those outside of the capitol.
once again, our staff, our members, the capitol police all were at risk on january 6th. this has been building up. this didn't just start january 6th. these groups are organized, and they're very clear in terms of their message trying to deny that joe biden won the election, and they're trying to engage an attempted coup, and they're doing this by any means necessary and to we have to be concerned, the threats are real, and i know that our security people and the homeland security and all of the security apparatus of our country have finally seen domestic ter roris as what they should have noted years ago as a major national security threat. >> so it's very tenuous, you know, on capitol hill, for a host of reasons, not just that, you know threat right in your face. but also tenuous on people digging in their heels, politically, their allegiance is. now you've got a new president
who says i want to make this priority, this rescue package you signed onto a letter to the president and vice president that reads in part we kindly request that your incoming administration consider including support for recurring cash payments in your future economic relief plans, recurring payments would provide a long-term lifeline to struggling americans for the duration of this deadly pandemic. so there's that push. and then there is the president who says, you know, this has got to be top priority. if i don't have republicans on board, we've got to make it a mission, anyway. so what are your concerns about the president's pledge of a bipartisan effort to bring relief and does your request, you know, help make that happen further, or does it move further away from that plan? >> no, we're hoping that -- and i know president biden is trying to work in a bipartisan way to get this $1.9 trillion package passed. however, we are in a state of
emergency. people are living on the edge. we have to address their lives and their livelihood. and so while i believe bipartisanship is the way to go, quite frankly, as you said i'm chair of a subcommittee on the appropriations committee. we've been trying over the years to work together to come up with bipartisan solutions, and initiatives in terms of global affairs. we want to do this. but if we can't we're in the middle of a pieandemic. over 430,000 people have died. people are living on the edge and we have to worry about their lives and their livelihoods and take care of them right away. i hope we can do it in a bipartisan way. yes, i think we should have reoccurring payments until the end of this pandemic. people lost their jobs, businesses are going under flu fault of their own. and so hopefully we'll be able to move forward together with republicans, but if not we have to do this on behalf of the american people. right away. >> all right, congresswoman barbara lee, we'll leave it there for now. thank you so much, be safe.
>> thank you very much, nice being with you. all right, coming up, the number of covid infected americans is nearing 26 million. and the government's newest move will impact the way everyone travels. plus, their stories are powerful, heartbreaking, and their strength uplifting. how these covid widows are helping each other, straight ahead. ...and then what happened daddy? well, you see here... there's a photo of you and there's a photo of your mommy
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today is the one-year anniversary of the world health organization declaring covid-19 a public health emergency of international concern, and yet, even today, the disease continues to ravage the globe. the u.s. is fast approaching 26 million cases, a quarter of all infections on the planet. to fight the spread the cdc is issuing a new public transportation mask mandate, starting late monday anyone riding on airplanes, trains, subways, taxis and buses will be required to wear a mask.
this comes as more states are reporting new variants of the coronavirus, arizona reported its first case of the uk variant, marking more than 400 nationwide. while south carolina detected two cases of a more contagious coronavirus strain, first discovered in south africa. dr. anthony fauci calling the new variants a wakeup call that require immediate steps to develop vaccines. and now more help may be on the way. johnson & johnson says next week it will apply for the fda's emergency use authorization for its vaccine. the vaccine that only requires one dose to be effective, which could mark a key turning point in the pandemic. here's cnn's polo sandoval. >> reporter: as the world health organization marks one year since it declared covid-19 an international public health emergency the u.s. is inching closer to having three safe and effective vaccines. though johnson & johnson's candidate has a notably lower
efficacy rate than moderna's and pfizer's, health experts agree a third option would be a game changer. >> we got spoiled a bit because of the higher efficacy. but a month ago the fda would have approved something with 50%. we're doing really well with all of these vaccines and i do believe they'll be the solution. >> the u.s. getting closer to reaching 30 million covid vaccinations administered since the rollout began last month. >> 3.5 million americans have received two doses of the vaccine, that's 1% of the population. we need to get about to 70% really to start having a major impact on this virus, and this -- having vaccines like this makes it much easier for us to do that. >> the state of west virginia already finished administering all second round doses to people in long-term care facilities. next priority for the mountain state, all west virginians over the age of 16. that's a rare success as much of the country still struggles to get first doses to residents in
the first eligible groups. nearly 23,000 national guard troops are in 38 states helping accelerate efforts at a rate of at least 51,000 more shots a day. and the pentagon is close to finalizing an agreement with fema to provide around 450,000 shots daily. new york state expecting a 16% boost to its weekly allotment of about 250,000 doses, and amid criticism over a slow rollout, the state of california is revamping its efforts partly by simplifying vaccine eligibility. an action that came too late for the jakobo family in l.a. these five little girls now living with their aunt and uncle after their single mother, 33-year-old jasmine died due to covid. >> even though mom's not here they have a lot of family that love them, that will always be here for them. if we can make an impact on their life i think that our mission will be accomplished. >> amid concern that new
covid-19 variants could add up to 85,000 more deaths in the u.s. by may, the cdc asking if two masks are truly better than one, the agency doing experiments. the key guidance is still the same though, at least wear a mask. so a key takeaway now, if you have not been wearing a mask already on public transportation starting monday night you will be legally required to. here's another look at that cdc order issued just yesterday. the mask must be worn over the nose and mouth while awaiting, boarding, traveling or disembarking at least two or more layers of breathable fabric required and secured to the head. so no more bandannas when riding planes, trains, taxis you name it. something interesting, you may not notice a huge difference because airlines and other members of the travel industry have already implemented their own mask mandates we have heard also recently that at least six
major metropolitan transit authorities, all of them say they have similar mask mandates already in place. the key question, how will they or will they be able to enforce compliance? >> that, too, is going to be a challenge, won't it? polo sandoval, thank you so much. joining me to discuss is dr. michael sag, an infectious disease expert and associate dean for global health at the university of alabama in birmingham. doctor, good to see you. >> good to be back with you, fred. >> thanks. so i'm having you to look into your crystal ball. what kind of a difference would have been made had this kind of mask mandate on transportation been done earlier? >> well, every little bit helps and what i would have hoped was that just simply getting the message out like we've been trying to do for the last 11 months would be sufficient. but it looks like we do need these required mandates in order to get that 20% or 30% of people who are resistant to wearing masks. but wearing masks makes a big
difference. as the report said, perhaps double masking will help. but i'd be satisfied with everybody wore just a mask. that would be a big step forward. >> all right, and now let's talk about the promise of what johnson & johnson is trying to do. it's expected to apply for authorization, you know, for its vaccine next week, emergency authorization. the company says its vaccine has a 66% efficacy rate, you know, in a global trial, and 85% effective against severe disease. so that might be less effective than the pfizer and moderna vaccines which are, you know, touting more than 90% efficacy. what's your message to americans who may be uneasy about the difference? at the same time some people might not have a choice. whatever's available, you either take it or you don't, right? >> right. i'd focus on that prevention of serious infection. which means when the blood oxygen level goes less than 94%. but if you look carefully at the data it was 100% effective in
preventing hospitalizations and that's great news. we were hoping for the same as the pfizer and moderna but this is a pretty good vaccine, and it's one dose as the report said. >> and then there's new clinical data from novavax and johnson & johnson showing that neither of those vaccines protect against that south african variant as well as other strains of the disease so how concerned are you about this, not only is it, you know, more contagious, but apparently now it might be more virulent, more resistant to a vaccine? >> uh-huh. yes, so i think there's a couple things to focus on, as dr. fauci said, we're in a race against the virus right now, so the sooner we get people vaccinated, the safer we'll all be. the other thing that i think is going to be coming out of this is that as we test people we're going to be having to move forward and actually look at the genetics of the virus so we can track where the variants are,
just testing by itself isn't going to do that, so it's like what we do in hiv medicine when we test people, and we measure the amount of virus, we also can look for resistance there. we'll be doing the same for this infection for covid in the coming months and we'll be able to track that pretty well. >> uh-huh. let's look about the prospects on the days ahead about 1.2 million vaccine doses have been administered each day since president biden took office. are you encouraged by this increased rate of vaccinations, even though so many states are saying, you know, they run out of doses, they're now waiting for the next shipments? >> yeah, we're really in a supply issue right now, i think the states are ready to do even more. i know the people around me are clambering for the vaccine right now. hopefully the supply will increase the j&j approval which i think will be in the next week and a half will help enormously in terms of getting the vaccine to more people.
if we can get to 2 million to 3 million people a day, that would be fabulous. again, the j&j vaccine is one shot. so i think that will help us a lot in march and april. >> so, you know, understandably there's been a lot of focus on vaccines. but, you know, eli lilly, regeneron saying that early data now shows their monoclonal anti bee antibody treatments -- what do you think about that? >> i think it's great news. so what they're really talking about is that let's say we have an outbreak, say, in a nursing home where vaccination hasn't hit. we can then give the regeneron or the lil'ly product as an injection to protect the individuals while we move forward with vaccinating them. >> you're saying one does not replace? >> that's correct. >> but you do both, okay, go ahead. >> over my shoulder you'll see i'm in a monoclonal infusion
center right now at our hospital and we are really having dramatic impact. we've now treated over 400 people at high risk for hospitalization and death, and what we've seen is that we've reduced hospitalization out of those 400 high risk people to just 15. and ordinarily you would have expected 100 to 120 of those folks to have been hospitalized. this is a life saving approach. it's the same thing that former president trump got at walter reed. if we can get more people diagnosed early, so the take home point is for those people who develop symptoms don't put off getting tested, get tested as soon as you can and if you're eligible get into a monoclonal antibody treatment center. it will save lives. >> doctor, lots of hope there, thank you so much. >> i hope so, yeah, we're moving forward. >> yes, that's what we all need and want, right? all right, continue to be safe. thank you. all right, and now from hope to, you know, a lot of discouragement and despair.
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video in this report may be very disturbing to some viewers. tom foreman has more. >> reporter: this is what police saw as they furiously tried to fight off the mob on this body cam footage released by just attorney's office and this is what they heard as a man shouted for help near a woman who was down. prosecutors say among them was michael foy, the man they say is wielding a hockey stick in this video as the brutal hand to hand fighting rages. foy has been charged with assaulting a law officer, obstructing law enforcement, entering a restricted building and more. other angles from other cameras give a better sense of how huge
the mob was as it surrounded police. in this video dragging one down the stairs where he was beaten with a flag pole. but few images have captured the raw fury quite like this body cam. the crush was so intense some first responders say even though they knew police and rioters were being injured they could not safely access patients due to the crowd activity. and that woman being trampled on the stairs while calls for help went unanswered "the new york times" identified here as 34-year-old roseanne boyland who later died. we have seen dozens and dozens of videos of that calamitous day, many being entered as evidence against rioters, but this one stands out for the sheer up close, in your face
brutality and violence of a supposed political march gone mad. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> and coming up, i'll talk with the former health and human services secretary kathleen sabelius. what she says the gop is dangerously dragging its feet on in this fight against covid. ev. then this is officially a take-out week. that's a good choice rita. bon appetit. now earn 3% on dining including take-out and so much more. chase. make more of what's yours. when dehydration gets real... ♪ hey! that's mine. i'll buy you a pony. advanced hydration isn't just for kids.
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president biden is reopening enrollment in the affordable care act also known as obamacare. that will allow uninsured americans dozens of states to sign up for health coverage. kathleen sebelius is joining us right now, secretary sebelius, good to see you. >> thanks. >> you were instrumental in overseeing the affordable care act so what does this move by the president mean? especially in the middle of this pandemic? >> well, fredricka, what we know is lots of people still need
health insurance and more people than ever because a lot of folks lost their insurance based on losing their jobs. the trump administration did everything possible to undercut the aca, including really shortening the enrollment period and never having any contracts for outreach and engagement, helping people sign up. so this new enrollment period is really substantial. we know that there are about 9 million americans who could qualify for mostly free or very heavily subsidized health insurance. they are proportionally younger. they are often people of color. they are in harder to reach communities. they may be non-english speakers as a first language. so the kind of help with enrollment is really critical. having an open enrollment period, making sure people know
that the benefits are there, that signing up is easy, having an assistant help sign up could enroll a whole lot of people. what that does is not just get people health benefits that they need, but actually make sure that hospitals have paying customers that doctors are paid for their services. so it is a support system for health care providers so their bills are paid when they treat patients. >> additionally, you wrote an op-ed, kroounyou know, a few da, criticizing republicans holding up the -- xavier becerra. how does a lack of leadership impact anything and all things? >> we're in the middle of an economic crisis and a health crisis. and the economic crisis cannot be fixed, until we get a handle on the virus and the health crisis. hhs is the critical agency at the forefront of solving these
problems at a national level. so the secretary xavier becerra is incredibly well prepared to be a leader from day one. he is well prepared to hit the ground running. but we desperately, as americans, need that leadership in place. hhs supervises both the food and drug administration and the national institutes of health as well as the centers for disease control and prevention, the three major health agencies involved in the virus and involved in vaccinations. so we are in, you know, a situation where too many people are dying every day. we're trying to mount the most massive vaccination plan engaged in by the united states. and having a leader who can take responsibility, who can supervise all the other critical agencies, children and families and aging and mental health as well as leading the effort on
the covid response could not be more urgent. so no time can be lost. we need to get xavier becerra confirmed as quickly as possible and get the other leaders in hhs in place to help the american public. >> as the former head of health and human services, how would you counsel the biden administration, unless you have already, on restructuring this whole vaccine rollout? because, i mean, from coast-to-coast people are complaining that it is just a catastrophe. the organization is lacking. and there are a lot of people who need vaccinations now but they simply can't get it because of access. >> well, you're absolutely right. i think unfortunately the biden administration has inherited a real mess. and we always were going to have a situation where more people wanted the vaccine than the vaccine was available in the early days. that always is a crunch and
that's always a cause for some frantic situations and some desperation. but in addition to that, this entire situation has been totally decentralized by the trump administration. they said to governors file a plan, you're on your own. figure it out by yourselves. so in every location, in every jurisdiction, there are different rules, different populations, different -- and no transparency about how much vaccine is coming, when it's coming, where it's coming. i think the biden administration is trying to gather those pieces back together and have a national plan and a national strategy. putting the federal government back in place for logistics, and vaccine production increases for communication. but it's going to take a little while, and i would just -- i think the good news is, people are eager to get the vaccine. the bad news is, there's not enough vaccine. and folks who are nimble and
fast and have internet connection and other connections are getting to the front of the line. we need to make sure that this is equitably distributed, that people understand how they can get it and that we reach hard to reach areas. that's a real commitment of the biden administration. >> all right, former hhs secretary kathleen sebelius, thank you so much, be safe. >> great to be with you, you too. all right, they had young healthy husbands. then covid took it all away. coming up, four young widows reflecting on their stunning losses and the legacies that their beloved husbands leave behind. >> i'm thankful that i have a voice. because ultimately i have a piece of heaven here with me. so i got lucky. that they're here with me. smell, and feel.
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every day we tell you about the rising number of covid infections. we tell you about the rising death toll. and we also need to remember that these numbers are not just statistics. they are people who had lives and families. this is a story of whitney, pamela, christina and diana, all young widows, all trying to navigate a new life as single mothers while enduring the isolation of covid. but an unexpected letter brought these women and hundreds more together. here now is cnn's poppy harlow. >> just always carried on this like light into a room. >> frank was like a huge teddy
bear. >> he was going to take me to a lighthouse on our sixth anniversary. but it was a total surprise and i didn't even find out about it until he passed away. >> he just -- he made me a better person. >> whitney, pamela, christina and diana have never met. but they have had to welcome each other to a club none want to be a part of. >> he called me and he was like sobbing, and i've never heard my husband cry. and he just said he's so scared. >> their husbands all young, only in their 30s or 40s, are all now dead. >> i just remember going, i just got a call two days ago, he was doing better. like -- >> right. >> why did it all happen so fast? >> these are the women covid has left behind, the widows left to pick up the pieces after the pandemic shattered their world, all mothers, strong for their children, and kept strong by them. >> he just loved being a dad. that was his biggest joy of his
life. >> row row your boat gently down the stream. >> i just wonder where you find that strength, pamela. >> so because i know that martin would want me to be happy, and live my life, i kind of think about that. every day. with the kids. they're running in the huge yard that our house has, and that was what he envisioned when we bought this house. >> he was such an involved dad, he did everything from take her to the zoo, to the little gym. i never had to ask him to help me with anything. if he thought the floors weren't clean, he would just sweep them. >> he sounds amazing. >> diana's husband juan was taken to the hospital in the middle of the night. he never came home. for their 5-year-old daughter mia it changed everything. >> she tells me, you know, i'm afraid something's going to happen to you, i'm afraid you're going to die and so she -- you know, she just can't go to
sleep. >> i just remember calling her in the room and i -- you know, i was crying and she was just like, what's wrong, is daddy okay and i was just like daddy -- daddy passed away, he's not going to come home but she's so much like her dad, so logical, like, well, you know, daddy's not here. but i don't think he wants us to be sad all the time and i'm like yeah, that's true. how are you teaching me about grief? >> christina's husband frank died on easter sunday, their baby boy was just six months old. his older brother francesco not even 5. when christina read that pamela lost her husband to covid she put pen to paper and wrote to a woman she'd never met about a grief she knew all too well. >> she knows exactly how i feel and i know exactly how she
feels. >> i felt so alone after martin died and i thought i was the only young widow and you weren't hearing the stories of young people dying. when i opened up the card one of the first things she said is you're not alone and at that moment, the weight of feeling alone was like lifted because now there was someone else who understood. >> because of that letter pamela started the facebook group young widows and widowers of covid-19. >> she's my inspiration for why i decided to do it. >> it became a place for diana ordonez and whitney parker to go after their husbands juan and leslie died. >> you, diana, called juan the other half of my soul. how do you cope with that now, with mia, with your little girl? >> you know, i try to remember -- i can almost still hear what he would say to me. in certain situations.
there's this empty silence where his words would once be. you know? i don't know if it's coping. but i just kind of -- i let myself feel that. >> i'm thankful that i have a voice. yeah. because ultimately i have a piece of heaven here with me, through half of him. so i got lucky that they're here with me. and i'm forever grateful for that. that's the biggest part of my life is them. and he was the one who gave them to me. >> a shared grief, but without a shared embrace, able only to comfort each other through the cold hard screens of their computers. >> he was only here for 31 years, but he really did so much in those years. >> as the months pass and the world keeps moving on, these four women are left with their
acute pain accentuated by their isolation. >> for weeks after he passed i would wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, and i would reach for my phone thinking i missed the call, i missed the call from the hospital. and then you realize, no, he already passed and you have to like tell yourself the story again. >> but alongside their profound grief is their deep belief that each of their husbands is looking down on them. >> is there anything you want to say to them? >> everything i do, every day, is to honor him. >> i'm so glad to have spent the last 11 years of my life with him. >> every time i hear her say dada it's like frank on the couch having a cup of coffee. >> thank you for elsie and graham, they're my sunshine. >> their healing is only beginning but at least they now know they are not alone, separated by a pandemic, but connected by their collective
grief they persevere. poppy harlow, cnn, new york. and coming up, what we're learning about covid-19 variants that are now showing up in the u.s., and how effective are new vaccines in fighting it? some people say our trade-in process feels too easy. they can't believe it's 100% online and gives them a competitive offer that won't change for 7 days. an offer that they can put toward their new car. some people can't believe our friendly advocate will come to them as soon as tomorrow. drop off their new ride and whisk their old one away. because we make trading your car unbelievably easy. all so you can say... told you so. experience the new way to trade in your car with carvana.
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