tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN December 8, 2021 11:00am-12:01pm PST
hello, everyone. i'm alisyn camarata. welcome to newsroom. >> i'm victor blackwell. the january 6th committee says it has no choice but to hold mark meadows in contempt. he skipped a deposition this morning. meadows had previously agreed to cooperate. he has given the committee thousands of pages of documents. committee chair bennie thompson says one of them is an email from january 5th with a 38-page powerpoint titled "election fraud, foreign interference, and options for 6 january." >> but as of today, meadows becomes part of a long list of trump allies fighting the investigation. the list includes roger stone,
who says he will plead the fifth to avoid answering questions. the clock is ticking for this committee. a potential gop majority after the midterms in 2022 could shut down the panel for good. cnn's ryan nobles is on capitol hill for us. so ryan, it sounds like those thousands of documents that meadows originally turned over will be very helpful to the committee, so do we know what's in those? >> we're getting some idea of what exactly mark meadows handed over to the january 6th committee. and alisyn, you're right. it is pretty revealing about the role that meadows played in the events leading up to january 6th, specifically the peddling of this false information about the election results in november. this is just part of the letter that they released today, where they expressed concern about meadows' lack of cooperation and their willingness to move forward on criminal contempt. it reads, quote, on november 7th, 2020 email discussing the appointment of an alternate slate of electors is part of a direct and collateral attack after the election. a january 5th, 2021 email
regarding a 38-page powerpoint briefing entitled, election fraud, foreign interference and options for 6 january that was to be provided, quote, on the hill. and among others, a january 5th, 2021 email about having the national guard on standby. and this is not the only bit of information that meadows did provide to the committee. ae also provided information related to text messages and phone calls that he made around that time. among them, a text message to a member of congress, where he said, quote, i love it, in response to discussing an alternative slate of electors. in early of january 2021, meadows texted an organizers of the january 6th rally on the ellipse, showing that he was part of the organization of that event. and then texted about the need for the former president to issue a statement that could have stopped the january 6th attack. it is a bit peculiar that meadows was so willing to hand over all of this information, and then at the last second,
backed out of that deposition that was scheduled to take place today, forcing the committee now into this position of holding him in criminal contempt. the committee contends, they'll still be able to get the information, even if it doesn't come directly from meadows, as they've talked to more than 250 people as part of their investigation. alisyn and victor. >> ryan, what do you know about the committee's response or reaction to rorger stone's indication that he'll plead the fifth to the panel. have they said anything about that? >> some of the members have independently given their own opinions of roger stone's effort to plead the fifth and basically said that he's not going to cooperate with the committee. they're obviously unhappy with it. and frustrated by it. also, they're frustrated by the fact that this seems to now be a pattern of some of those most closely aligned with the former president, to instead of just outright evading the committee, saying that they're going to stonewall the information by invoking their fifth amendment privilege. but this does put them in a difficult position, because it is their right under the constitution to invoke the fifth
amendment. there are some committee members questioning whether or not they're doing it in good faith. however, this could complicate the process, should they move to criminal contempt and would make it a little bit more difficult for them to prosecute, because day do have that fifth amendment right. it just shows the many steps that these trump-aligned individuals are using to try to stonewall the committee and not provide them the information that they're looking for. >> okay. ryan nobles, thank you for the latest. also on capitol hill today, senate republicans are expected to vote to overturn president biden's vaccine mandate for private businesses that orders workplaces with a hundred or more employees to require workers to be fully vaccinated or to get tested weekly. two democrats, senator jon tester and joe manchin are siding with the republicans, but president biden is certain to veto that measure. >> on vaccines, pfizer announced today its early data shows a booster of its vaccine protects against omicron. the variant has now been
detected in 21 states. cnn's alexander field is covering the latest pandemic develo developments. >> to be protected of omicron, you really need a three-dose series of vaccination. and that's how we should look at it right now. the three-dose is what you need. >> reporter: early data from pfizer delivers promising news on the efficacy of its vaccine against the omicron variant. >> three doses against omicron are almost equivalent to the two-dose effectiveness we had against the wild type, the original variant. >> reporter: the company saying just two doses may still provide protection against severe disease, but adding that a booster increases protection by about 25 times. dovetailing with that data, a very small study in south africa showing the variant can partly evade pfizer protection and that boosters are likely to better protect people. >> rather than calling it a booster, it may be that being
fully iy immunized and fully protected actually requires three doses. >> reporter: more calls to redefine "fully vaccinated," with just about 25% of vaccinated americans having received a booster shot. the cdc is now tracking new omicron cases, now confirmed in at least 21 states. also linked to an anime convention in new york city, involving 53,000 people. >> data from this investigation will likely provide some of the earliest looks in this country on the transmissibility of the variant. >> reporter: so far, omicron cases are generally described as mild. the delta variant still accounts for virtually all cases in the u.s., which is now seeing surges in new cases in parts of the midwest and northeast. michigan, new hampshire, and maine, all hitting record-high hospitalizations. >> i really wanted to get the booster, but a little stressful, especially with the holidays and stuff coming up. >> reporter: and two years into the pandemic, a new study is
showing us what we have not learned. this study concluding essentially that the entire world sun prepared for the next pandemic. not a single country scored well on the global health security index. the average score for preparedness was about 38.9, and that is really unchanged since 2019. just think about that. the u.s., if you're wondering, scored just under 76. >> maybe we're just so overwhelmed with this one, it's hard to think about the next one. >> alexandria field, thank you. joining us now, dr. zeke emanuel. he was white house health policy adviser and one of the architects of obamacare. he's the author of which country has the world's best health care. and he's currently vice provost of global initiatives at the university of pennsylvania. dr. emanuel, good to have you. let's start here with how many doses should make up or define fully vaccinated? we've heard there from pfizer that the protection against omicron from three doses equals
roughly that of two doses to the original strain. is it time to redefine what fully vaccinated means? >> well, let's just say that we know that over time, the antibody levels go down. and if we're using that as the main outcome, one of the things we really want to do is make sure the antibody levels are high. and to that end, it's important that you get a booster. >> it's important to get a booster, we know that. >> before the holidays, people should be -- >> i hear you on that. we've heard that from dr. fauci, we've heard it from the administration. but if we now know that the greatest protection comes from having a third shot, shouldn't that now be the benchmark? shouldn't that be the floor? >> i think it probably is a three-shot. in addition, i think that what you need to do is test out after
the booster what happens. and actually thinking about it not as a booster, but as a three-shot, fully vaccinated is probably the right way. >> and you would say it's time for the cdc to make that clear, that it's -- that full vaccination is three shots. >> i think that's probably right. >> all right. so we just heard from the british prime minister boris johnson about omicron there. in which he says that the data points points to the doubling of the time of the virus there to two to three days, that omicron is spreading faster than delta did in the uk. they've now moved to plan "b," offering guidance for people to work from home, requiring masks in public indoor spaces. there's a new poll out from axios that shows that here in the u.s., people aren't really enthusiastic about making changes. 62% say they'll mask indoors in public. just a third will stop dining
indoors. even fewer will stop gatherering with people or cancel holiday travel or stop going to the office. is it time to change some of the mandates in the u.s., now that we know that omicron is here in 21 states, considering what we see in the uk and what we saw in south africa? >> i think you're going to see a big impact on our health care system. because, even if it's not worse, if it's not more virulent, it's more transmissible, you're going to have a situation where you have more people affected and it will overwhelm hospitals. and that's the worry. and we're looking for -- we're likely to have a big increase in hospitalization, and unfortunately, death after the new year. >> should there now be local mandates for masking indoors and all of that? should we start to see the changes here in the u.s. -- >> well, we may feel like we're
done with coronavirus, but it's not done with us. and we are going to have to adapt. i do think that mandates are helpful. and -- both for vaccines and masks, and i think with omicron, we're probably going to need them. >> dr. emanuel, i thank you for your time. we're having a bit of an issue with audio, that's why it sounds like i'm jumping in and you're jumping back in, because there's both a delay and we're having some difficulty hearing and understanding you. but i think we got the gist of it. dr. zeke emanuel, thank you so much for being with us. okay. meanwhile, instagram's ceo is about to take the hot seat on capitol hill in a hearing about the platform's impact on teenagers. and we'll speak to one of the senators planning to question him about what needs to change. >> and president biden is talking about his high-stakes meeting with russian president vladimir putin. what he's saying about the
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visit indeed.com/hire and get started today. minutes from now, instagram ceo adam mosari will face tough questions on capitol hill about the platform's efforts to keep teenagers safe, or lack thereof. "the wall street journal" reported in september that instagram's own research showed they knew that instagram is harmful to many teenagers. in his prepared opening remarks, mosari is expected to try to spread the blame and the responsibility. quote, the reality is that keeping young people safe online is not just about one company. we've been calling for updated regulations for nearly three
years. from where i sit, there is no area more important than youth safety, end quote. wisconsin senator tammy baldwin has been sounding the alarm about this for months, and she will be questioning mosari moments from now and joins us. thanks so much for stealing away from that hearing that we know is about to start any minute. so just yesterday, instagram released some new safety measures, they say, they wanted to announce. here they are. some "take a break" alerts, so that you're not on it in sort of a more addictive, obsessi fashion. take a stricter approach to what content it recommends to teenagers. allow people to bulk delete photos, videos, previous likes and comments and make an educational hub for parents. two questions, do you think that those things will solve is problem? and second, do you find the timing convenient 24 hours before this hearing? >> yes. i certainly do see the timing very convenient. but, look, i want to commend
them on taking those steps. it will not solve the problem. they need to do more. and i am particularly worried about the sort of overarching misalignment of a profit motive and then, what that means for their users. that they make profits if they can keep somebody almost addicted to going from source to source. and they have algorithms that have been created to try to keep you absorbed in their social media platform. >> yes. >> and let me -- i'm sorry to interrupt you, senator. i just want to point out, case in point, what you have been trying to sound the alarm about, which is for teenage girls. so instagram, as it relates to eating disorders, okay? >> yes. >> the algorithm leads girls to
anorexia content. i mean, that's just one example. and their own internal research, as we now know from the whistle-blower, frances haugen, they did research that shows that instagram makes body image worse for one in three teenage girls. 6% of american girls and 13% of british users blame suicidal thoughts on instagram. and teenagers blame instagram for a rise in anxiety and depression. >> and i had a powerful conversation with frances haugen about this. the issue is close to my heart and several of my colleagues who h had loved ones with friends who had an eating disorder. when you think that somebody might just be looking for healthy diets or healthy lifestyles. and somehow an algorithm will bring them to something that lowers their self-esteem can
body image, and glorifies anorexia or other eating disorders, this cannot be allowed to persist. and what i think it will take on the part of instagram. first of all, instagram and other social media platforms, they have to show us the algorithms. meaning, the oversight agencies, regulatory agencies, so that we can actually see where users are being driven. and secondly, they need more human beings working there, moderating the content, and making sure that harmful content is removed. they do some of this through artificial intelligence, but that's not enough. that doesn't filter out all the harmful content that is in there. and they need more people working on that. >> it sounds like one of the things that the ceo, adam mosari is going to say, is that tiktok and youtube are more appealing now to teenagers. that instagram isn't where
teenagers go for most of their social media anymore. what do you think of that defense? >> you know, all of these social platforms would like to attract as many people as possible. that includes youth. so i question, for all of them, what are they doing, first of all, to make sure that people below the age of 13 are not becoming absorbed and addicted by these social media platforms. but also, you know, just saying, you have a smaller share of that age population does not mean that you don't have responsibility to prevent harm from those who do use it. >> it sounds like he's also going to say that she calling on congress to help regulate them. so what's congress' responsibility now? war you going to do? >> well one of the things that i really think has to happen is in the regulatory and oversight board, the federal trade
commission, the ftc, as we call it, that we need more specialists with who can actually look at algorithms and understand what that means and help the regulators do their jobs more effectively. i do think that will require our appropriating sufficient funds for them to redouble their efforts there. we also have to have a long and serious talk about what the responsibilities of the social media should be, if they pose post or allow content that is harmful. and i'm not just talking about eating disorders and healthy body images and suicide prevention. i'm talking about things with global implications, too. we know that these social media have been used for conspiracy content, for all sorts of things
that have serious implications. so we need to act and there's several pieces of legislation that we're looking at right now. but, you know, these hearings are an important precursor to that, but we've got to act. >> we'll be watching very closely. it's starting right now, so senator tammy baldwin, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. president biden again today warns russia of severe consequences if putin invades ukraine. and it's the end of an era in germany, after chancellor angela merkel leaves office. we'll tell you who is running europe's largest economy now. here's what else we're watching today.
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annexed crimea seven years ago. >> i was very straightforward, there were no minced words. i was plolite, but it made it very clear. if, in fact, he invades ukraine, there will be severe consequences. severe consequences. economic consequences like none he's ever seen or ever have been seen. >> meanwhile, vladimir putin is dismissing any suggestion that russia is planning to attack ukraine. in his words, it's, quote, a provocative allegation. cnn's kylie atwood is at the state department. kylie, vladimir putin's denial would be a lot more plausible if we didn't see 100,000 u.s. troops amassing on the ukraine border. what are u.s. officials saying today. >> that's right. the facts on the ground are that he has this abnormal, very, very high number of russian troops that have come up to that border. and that is why this is so concerning. in the words of a top state department official who
testified yesterday, this is a larger and more lethal operation than russia conducted in 2014, of course, in the lead up of when it came into crime california. so what we are watching for now is if what president biden laid out yesterday in that phone call is enough to deter president putin and to pull back, to not go forth with a potential invasion into ukraine. and president biden said today that u.s. troops aren't on the table in this matter, but we heard from the national security adviser yesterday, saying that president biden was very clear in laying out to president putin what is on the table. and that is potentially more support for defensive weaponry to ukraine. fortifying u.s. support for nato allies along the eastern flank, close to russia, close to ukraine. and then, of course, these high-impact economic measures that we have heard. and that could be sanctions on those close to putin, that could be sanctions on russian oligarchs, that could be going
after russian sovereign debt. so there are a lot of options that the biden administration is considering, and they have already clearly told putin that those options are on the table. alisyn? >> so, kylie, let me ask you about this. undersecretary of state, victoria newelen suggested that russia might actually use belarus to invade ukraine and put it off on the belarusians. what's the discussion of that possibility? >> well, listen, victor that displays that the biden administration believes that president putin isn't just playing checkers here, he is playing 3-d chess. he is looking for other ways to get into ukraine that aren't just along the border between russia and ukraine. and what she also said yesterday that was significant, is that the u.s. is concerned, because president lukashenko of belarus just reversed his decision last week. he had previously said that russia doesn't have any rights to crimea. and now he has reversed that
decision, and he is siding with putin, and saying that they do have rights to crimea, so that is an incredibly important area to watch. >> okay, kylie atwood, thank you! so today, germany swore in a new chancellor, marking the end of angela merkle's 16 years at the helm of europe's largest economy. the new chancellor, olaf schulze, was vice chancellor and finance minister in merkle's government. after announcing that they had arrested one of the men who had murdered journalist jamal khashoggi, france now says it was the wrong man. saudi embassies alerted the french officials that the man arrested had nothing to do with the question in case, that case being the 2018 murder of the journalist who was critical of saudi arabia's policies by men with closet ties to the saudi government. the cdc has launched a massive contact tracing effort
for thousands of people who recently attended anorexia may convention in new york. they're trying to determine how quickly omicron, that variant has spread in the u.s. we'll talk to one of the convention attendees who later became the second confirmed case of the omicron variant in the u.s. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ pain hits fast. so get relief fast. only tylenol rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief. and now get relief without a pill with tylenol dissolve packs. relief without the water. everything you've seen me do
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convention in new york city to alert them of a covid case there. scientists believe the convention could give them the earliest looks at the spread of omicron in the u.s. >> so our next guest attended that anime convention. peter ma guinn was one of 50,00 other attendees. he became the second confirmed case of the omicron variant in the u.s. and the first who had nod traveled outside of the country. and peter joins us now from minneapolis. peter, great to see you. looks like you're doing well. so, tell us about your experience of getting sick with omicron. what were your symptoms? what was it like? >> yeah, i had a very light, what i thought was a cold, fatigue, cough, runny nose, which only lasted about 24 hours. and luckily, i was contacted by a party member that i was with that tested positive, otherwise i don't think i would have actually gone and got a test. i'm happy that i'm healthy now.
>> once you found out that this was omicron. and again, this was very early on. all we had, really, were some concerns and the kind of red flags from south africa, the w.h.o, what went through your mind when you realized you had this new strain? >> yeah, it was -- i was honestly at a loss for words, because i didn't travel internationally, the people that i was with didn't travel internationally, and when i heard those words, i didn't know what to think, just because it was a day old and they're telling me that i'm the first person in minnesota to have it. and it was just, it was a surreal experience that it was really hard to put into words. >> we're so glad that your case was mild, but let's talk about why that might have been. so you were vaccinated in april with the single-dose j&j vaccine. then, as i understand it, in november, you got a moderna booster, which by the way, was a little early for your age group to be getting the booster. were you concerned that you would be getting -- like, why did you get that booster in november?
>> yeah, well, in minnesota, after six months, i was able -- actually, i was eligible for the booster and they had appointments about my local walgreens, so i am very pro-vaccine and i think because of me getting the booster and my vaccine that i was able to recover so fast and my symptoms were so mild. >> you said that you were contacted by a member of your party who tested positive. as we said at the top, there's now this massive contact tracing campaign. do you know of anyone else who also tested positive for this variant? >> within my respective party, confirmed one other person. the majority of my part was outside of my state, so just getting those resources with other people's states and having their samples tested is still an ongoing process. so until those samples are confirmed, oas of right now, its just one. >> but other people in your party did test positive, we just don't know if it was for omicron. so how many people were you in close contact with and how many
of those ended up testing positive? >> yep, close contact with 30 people, within my party, and 15 tested positive. one confirmed omicron, talking with my department of health, it's more than likely that they also have the variant, as well, or had the variant, i should say. >> but everybody was vaccinated in your party? >> fully vaccinated and the majority had at least the booster. >> peter, are you okay now? it sounds like you've got the sniffles, a little naz asally? >> no, unfortunately, living in minnesota, it's freezing cold all the time, the air gets to me and i have asthma, it's just like, it's an ongoing thing my entire life, but i feel 100%. >> all right. i was just checking. i heard a little sniffle and a little nasally. just making sure you're all right. >> unfortunately, this is just how i sound all the time. >> now i feel bad. >> so, peter, listen, you're
living proof that, at least in your experience, people may test positive, you may get infected, but it was not severe and no hospitalizations or anything like that. and so you're here to tell us what? >> yeah, it's -- i think it's proof that the -- when we see it within myself and my party that when everybody who was in my party was vaccinated and the 15 people that did come down with covid, we were experiencing mild-to-no symptoms at all. so if there was an underlying thing that i could take away from it, it's that the people that had the vaccine and had the booster are coming out happy and healthy and recovering quickly. >> peter, thank you very much. i, too, am having allergies today. i had to take an allergy pill. >> earlier, i was thinking, do you ask him, maybe that's how he sounds. >> thanks for the trransparency. great to talk to you.
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a new poll out from monmouth university found broad support for the president's build back better legislation that's currently in the senate. also, for the bipartisan infrastructure bill that recently passed. more than six in ten americans support both bills, even as president biden's personal job approval rating remains largely
negative. a new cnn poll of polls show biden's approval rating in polls conducted since mid-november at 43% approval to 51% disapprove. so we wanted to hear -- we wanted to hear from actual voters, so we assembled a group of six independents from tennessee, oklahoma, indiana, michigan, kansas, and kentucky to find out what advice they have for president biden and how they feel about another possible presidential run by donald trump. here now is our pulse of the people. show of hands, how many of you believe that donald trump will run again in 2024? >> maybe. >> two of you -- okay, so why do you think so, amber? >> his edego is like the size o the freaking moon. it's just what he's going to do.
and a lot of people at the top of that party have hitched their wagon to him, so if he runs again, he'll probably get the nomination. >> how many of you think that if he chooses to run again, he would win the presidency? show of hands? >> if it were held today? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> and why do you think that, elaine? >> a lot of the never-trumper community are not pleased with the amount of spending and the state of the economy. they're not pleased with some of the social issues that have gone further left. i, unfortunately, see a lot of the people who didn't vote for him in 2020 would vote for him in 2024. >> i think my biggest concern is that some of those never-trump republicans who may be swallowed their pride and voted for biden or a third party candidate would just not show up. >> how many of you, show of hands, are concerned about something that president trump has loudly touted along with his
republican allies, and that is election fraud? >> well, election fraud by who? where was the voter fraud? the voter fraud was him calling the secretary of state or down in georgia, can you find me 11,000 votes, that's all i need. that's voter fraud. >> i'm concerned about their allegations of voter fraud. i don't believe that it happened. i think that those were -- it's part of the big lie. it is disrespectful to our elections officials who work hard. administering elections is incredibly complicated and vitally important to have a functional democracy, and for them to come in and spread those lies is just rude. and incorrect. >> i would agree with the disrespect. i think it's honestly disrespectful to the american people to everyone that stood in line for hours and hours and
hours just to have their vote counted. >> i think if you really want to find voter fraud, look at jerry nan -- gerrymandering because that's where it really is. correct me if i'm wrong it's individual votes that are the problem, i think it's the way districts are drawn. >> you've got people who want to stay in power and will do anything they need to do it, including drawing the lines and choosing their own voters, instead of letting voters choose them. >> i want to caution everybody. we are all, i feel, independent thinkers and we've not given up our independent thought. but there is a large, you know, portion of our society that believes there was voter fraud. i mean, there are people all over my social media, smart people, teachers, business people, you know, educated white
collar workers, they believe there was voter fraud, and they believe it because of where they get their media and what they have filled their social media with. >> and that disinformation, again, is a result of partisanship. we've gotten into these information silos, and they tend to be -- we tend to be siloed by a political party. >> show of hands, how many of you worry in the midterms or in 2024 that some of those people who acted as guardrails have been replaced, that some trump and gop loyalists are being installed. >> yeah, i'm worried, you know, as independents what we want. we wanted to make it easier for people to vote. of course, you know, we're also pushing for the nonpartisan gerrymandering, we're pushing for open primaries, and we're pushing for rank choice voting. these are all possible solutions. >> we've got to fix the system.
i want the for the people act or whatever derivative that they're on now, the john lewis voting rights act, things like that that restore the rights of voters and not force people into this two party duopoly, which i think all of my cohort here has eloquently said is ripping apart our country at the seams. >> the other thing i see is that the republicans are -- i mean, they have organized ruthlessly since 2020. they have passed bills that restrict voting access and restrict voting rights. in kansas we had a lot of moderate republicans in the state legislature. those are gone for the most part. >> i want to go around as a final note and ask you all if you have any advice for president biden? >> my advice is to maintain good
communication as we approach the winter, regarding the new variant of covid. reassure americans that we can live with this and learn how to conduct daily life with the variant without having to mandate businesses being shut down, you know. i don't want to see any kind of mandates coming back. >> what he needs to do is recognize the system that he's been part of is no longer working. he needs to change it. he needs to have open primaries so i can vote as a registered voter and the rest of us, those who are registered independent. >> my advice for the president is to stay the course, and i think the fact that he is stayed out of the fray in many ways is good, and certainly fight for our democracy. >> interesting that one woman in
the bottom right, her point of make sure you continue to communicate as we go into the winter. it's hard to fight the miscommunication, the misinformation, the disinformation that is plaguing the people who need to hear the message who aren't really giving the president's arguments credence at all. >> they talked about that a lot. they talked about how much they fear the disinformation and how much it has poisoned their lives. she's a small business owner. she says two of her employees refuse to get vaccinated. i also thought it was interesting, beth who you're talking about in the bottom right, i thought it was interesting she said basically we're all critical thinkers but not everybody are. i appreciated how rational they were and how much critical thinking they brought to this, but as we know every day, that is also a challenge in the country right now. >> always fascinating. positive news on the vaccine front. pfizer says its booster vaccine can offer significant protection against omicron. when will the definition of fully vaccinated be changed
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