tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 25, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
they are both alive and apparently doing better. from one incredible story to another, a tsa officer saving a baby's life. watch the security video from newark airport showing the officer cecilia morales jumping the conveyer belt to help a two-year-old choking. she performed the heimlich maneuver. because of quick thinking, he is all right. she served as an emt for 10 years before joining the tsa. you are live in the cnn "newsroom." welcome. i am boris sanchez in for fredricka whitfield. merry christmas, feliz and a half -- navidad. the u.s. now averaging nearly 180,000 cases a day.
hospitalizations haven't seen that rapid rise, up only 3% in the last week. testing the remains. huge concern as the united states tries to keep the numbers down. long lines await those attempting to take a covid test as we look at footage from raleigh, north carolina. scenes like that playing out across the country, some of the largest cities and states breaking records and case numbers. new york setting a new high with 44,000 new cases reported on friday alone. in los angeles, meantime, new cases tripled in the last week. the surge, of course, having big impact on holiday travel. several major airlines cancelling hundreds of flights because of staffing shortages. alison kosik is monitoring the developments. new york is seeing so many cases now, what's being done to slow it down? >> boris, great to see you.
new york's governor, mayor, they continue to urge people to go ahead and get vaccinated if they haven't been, and they're telling people to get a booster if you have been vaccinated. plus, the mask mandate in new york has been in effect for a bit. new york city plans to distribute 500,000 at home tests and a million free k n95 max. the mayor announced a scaled back celebration in times square new year's eve as well, in addition to requiring proof of full vaccination for those that do go out in times square, they'll also be required to wear masks. viewing areas will be filled with fewer people this year to allow for more social distancing. the outdoor event usually has 58,000, this week will be 15,000. in new york city and surrounding boroughs, more testing capacity
is being added to meet the demand for getting tested for covid-19. the omicron variant is rapidly struggling, and not just new york where it is a struggle to get the test. you showed pictures from raleigh, north carolina, everybody lining up to get covid tests before their christmas celebrations and before they travel. in raleigh, for instance, some had to wait two hours in traffic to get to the testing site. in oahu, one site the line wrapped several blocks, some waiting two and a half hours. all of this happening as case numbers spike in new york. reporting yesterday there was a spike of 44,000 new cases, a jump of 14%, breaking the previous day's record of 38,000 cases. hospitalizations in new york are rising, but they're rising at a lower rate. people in new york hospitals because of covid-19 rose 4.6% between thursday and friday. new york governor kathy hoke he
will announced new york will shorten quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days for those in critical work force, meaning nurses, doctors, police officers, cooks, servers, bartenders. it means after a positive test, fully vaccinated people in new york considered in critical work force can return to work in five days after a positive covid result if they're for one, asymptomatic, and two, wear a mask. the governor argued the ten day rule caused unnecessary staff shortages in front line jobs. boris? >> that reveals the strain on the health care system they have to adjust rules to have more people on hand. let's go to nadia. you're at one of the busiest airports in the world in atlanta. describe the situation there. >> reporter: boris, it was almost like a ghost town when we first arrived this morning. so many flights were cancelled. now things are definitely starting to pick up at the
airport as there are more flights in the afternoon and later evening hours. we looked at the board, there are some 50 flights cancelled between two terminals in atlanta. it speaks to the volume. looking at more than a thousand flights cancelled today and tomorrow, throughout the holiday weekend. some updated numbers, delta, cancelling almost 300 flights for christmas day. you can imagine the heartbreak. what we are learning is a lot of flights are longer international destinations. there was a flight cancelled to cabo san lucas, imagine the heartbreak for those that thought they would be on the beach this christmas, can't get on the flight. we are learning from airlines a lot of this is connected, some to weather, overwhelmingly because of covid-19. you heard ellison talk about rising cases with the omicron variant, that's keeping a lot of flight crews from being able to show up for work and that means cancellations across the board. we spoke to passengers that are
excited to get on their flights, knowing so many flights have been cancelled or delayed, but they're trying to do so cautiously with the pandemic still going on. take a listen. >> i got gloves and everything, sanitizer, a special mask. you just have to see the family, walk with god. that's only thing you can do. only god can pull you through. >> seeing family, going back to new york to see family from atlanta and covid impacted travel quite a bit. just traveling safe. >> reporter: we talked to people that had amazing stories of why they wanted to travel despite the pandemic. they say they've been vaccinated, they're wearing masks, bringing hand sanitizer. one man said he hasn't seen his family, they live in paris, december december, 2019. borders were down. another woman is making a surprise trip to baltimore to see her grandson for the first time. she said it will be the most emotional moment, wrapping her
arms around her grandson because the pandemic kept her away from her family all this time. this is why people are flying, we have seen cancellations and delays, people on the other side of security have to sleep here at the airport or go to a local hotel because they can't leave. boris? >> a frustrating situation. thank you both and happy holidays. thanks. here to discuss all things covid, dr. jeremy foust. he is author of "the inside medicine newsletter." thank you for sharing part of your holiday with us, we appreciate your expertise. people may be enjoying christmas today, but tomorrow that travel crunch will begin again. run through what people can do to keep safe if they wind up having to fly. >> thanks for having me, boris. i think the message should be
that we may not be able to eliminate risk but we can reduce risk in many situations. if someone has been exposed in your orbit or circle, has been infected, you don't have to assume everybody has it. do continue to do things like wearing masks around people or testing. i think as you travel, you want to think about where are the weak links in the chain. it is not necessarily the actual airplane itself, it might be the airport line in the bathroom where you need to be extra careful with masks and mitigation measures. there are a lot of places you can let the virus in, and there are things you can do to keep it coming in. there's always a risk out there. depending on your threshold, you have to adjust accordingly. >> doctor, i want to ask about guidelines for health care workers, limiting quarantine time requirements. the cdc shifting from ten days to seven if they test positive for covid.
the cdc made clear that this new guideline only applies to health care workers. do you think it might soon change to be applied more broadly? would that be a good idea? >> it might be necessary. when i saw this change, i thought it made some degree of sense. i had written about the possibility that we probably needed to do this because we have to keep hospitals open. if you look at new york, for example, a lot of young people are getting infected now. that's a double edged sword, boris. on one hand, young people infected are highly unlikely to get sick and need to go to the hospital. on the other hand, the hospital work force is being sidelined. there aren't many people to staff the beds. capacity becomes the big issue. as far as i am concerned, if i were to be infected with omicron which could happen, and i was feeling well after five days, i would be comfortable going back to work if i had a negative test after five days.
we want to do our jobs and do them safely. if the protocol can be instituted safely, doesn't sideline more people than it brings onto the playing field, then it makes sense. does it need to expand to other areas? it could. at some point you need grocery stores open. we have to be nimble, make tough choices, keeping safety as the number one priority. >> there's also the issue of testing, there's simply not enough of them. do you think the federal government should have been more prepared for omicron? it seems like specifically on test, the u.s. has been short handed. >> yes, in march of 2020, an op-ed in "the washington post" said we needed tests for every american. when the new administration came in, i think we felt things were getting better because of vaccinations. i remember having conversations with the administration saying if there's a new variant where you were back to square one, the thing you could do to keep life open would be massive rapid
testing. i didn't see omicron as the doomsday scenario, it is very, very bad, but not like the vaccines aren't working. this is what we had in mind, people advocating for more rapid testing so if you have a huge new wave, you don't have to do the things you did in early 2020 to the same extent because we can track it, know where things are, be nimble. let's use the data and tools we have, testing is a big one. we need to do more of it. there have been changes. i applaud the recent move by the administration that we need more. >> doctor, you have written in the newsletter how local governments should install circuit breakers to put in covid restrictions in a targeted and specific way to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed. help us understand what you mean by circuit breakers. >> yes. circuit breakers are important, they apply to a specific area, and it has a very specific goal. i don't think any of us think we can stop coronavirus from spreading across the country,
but one thing we can all agree on, if there aren't enough hospital beds and you have a heart attack, get in an accident and can't get life-saving treatment you've come to expect, that's something we should avoid and can avoid it. circuit breaker is designed to say for the next five to seven days, let's slow it down a bit. maybe it is a local ordinance like dining capacity would go down or large gatherings, maybe in places that aren't willing to do that, just information to the hospitals to say look, we foresee based on today's case counts and hospital capacity, we can say in a few days you're going to be overflowing. why don't you cancel elective procedures, scramble the work force, make sure you've got people. it can be to local governments to make changes. it is not lockdown or shutdown, but could be change in behavior or can go to hospitals to say look, make choices about how we use capacity now so we can take
away and can expect and foresee coming. it is not one size fits all. it makes sense to do this. >> seems like a sensible approach, especially given every resource available, every bit of help goes a long way now. dr. jeremy foust, thank you so much for the time. appreciate it. >> thank you, boris. once celebrated as heroes of the pandemic, some of the goodwill appears to be gone for health care workers fighting on the front lines. they're now dealing with threats from patients and their families demanding unproven treatments. ed lavandera spoke with doctors in st. cloud minnesota who have come face to face with a wave of misinformation. >> reporter: this doctor spends his days treating covid-19 patients, fighting for their lives inside st. cloud hospital
in minnesota. like so many other doctors, he feels the strain. >> what's it been like to work in this atmosphere? >> it is exhausting. it is frequently heartbreaking. it is demoralizing at times. >> reporter: he says it is also getting hostile as patients are demanding bogus medical treatments. >> are people treating treatments like they're picking items off a menu at a restaurant? >> absolutely. folks act as if they can come into the hospital and request any certain therapy they want on conversely decline any therapy that they want with the idea being that somehow they can pick and choose and direct their therapy. and it doesn't work. >> reporter: that's putting health care workers at risk. hospitals are facing a slew of lawsuits, demanding risky treatments. across the country, there are reports of growing hostility
between medical workers and patients and their families. it is a daily dose of threats and vitriol. >> insults your intelligence and your ability and most hurtful they say by not using these therapies, you are intentionally trying to harm the people that we've given everything to save. >> reporter: what has been the worst experience you've had? >> most difficult experience was a patient and family who under pseudonym made threats against the hospital. there was a reference to making sure the hospital was locked and we've got people that are coming for you. >> reporter: was it a death threat? >> not sure how a person would take we're going to march onto the hospital, we're coming for you as anything other than a death threat. >> tensions are high. >> reporter: barbara chapman is a nurse practitioner, works at the university of texas at tyler. last summer, she started a hot line offering teachers and health care workers mental health support.
>> i used to think of it as being overwhelmed, health care workers are overwhelmed. that doesn't even address it. the way i address it with folks when i talk to them, i refer to it as moral injury. >> reporter: what do you mean by that? >> we want to help folks. now that folks aren't getting vaccinated, they're not believing us, they're questioning our education and our background. it's hurtful. we're exhausted. we're tired. we have been morally injured. >> reporter: chapman says some nurses endured so much abuse, getting them to walk from cars into work is a challenge. >> it is like when a veteran comes back from the war, he may be out of the war but he hasn't left that war. >> reporter: it is crazy that you're talking about a health care job as if it is walking into a battlefield. >> it is a battlefield. it is a battlefield. >> reporter: dr. jack lyons
remembered the early days where they banged pots and pans to honor health care workers. >> the majority of patients we take care of now come to our interactions with distrust. >> that feeling of goodwill is gone. >> long since dissipated. >> reporter: ed lavandera, cnn, st. cloud, minnesota. >> thanks to ed for that sobering report. thorough, complete, transparent. that is the promise from police after a teen in california winds up dead. the unintended target of an officer's bullet happening days before christmas. the latest on this investigation a few minutes away. and new and disturbing details in the case against the suspected michigan school shooter and his parents. stay with us. challenges. and a few surprises. ♪
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ho ho ho! not again. oh no. for the gifts you won't forget. the mercedes-benz winter event. get a credit toward your first month's payment on select models. prosecutors released some evidence in the school shooting investigation. ethan crumbley has been charged as an adult for the shooting at oxford high school that killed four students. his parents are charged with
involuntary manslaughter. brynn begin grass talks us through the details. >> disturbing details in the documents which is the state's response to the defendant's request to lower bond which is currently at $500,000. and we see the drawings that we did know about. again, the drawings are ones the teacher spotted the morning of the shooting on ethan crumbley's desk. this is the first time we're getting a look at them. if you see what prosecutors show in the document, the first drawing shows disturbing images like a gun and bullet and the words my life is useless. then they say that drawing was altered to not appear to look so bad. you can see it there. it says i love my life so much. we're all friends here. those disturbing images are sk scribbled out. this is part of the evidence that the prosecutors are laying
out in the case. other parts include details how the parents they allege knew about the troubles their son was going through and yet ignored all of the signs. prosecutors saying up to six months before the shooting happened in late november. let me read an excerpt of this document. it said defendants had information long before november 30th, within six months prior to the shooting, that their son's only friend moved at the end of october, 2021, that the family dog died, that their son was sadder than usual, and he was sending his mother disturbing texts about his state of mind. meanwhile, during that same period, defendants spent time at the bar, caring for their horses three to four nights a week for up to three hours at a time, seeking other relationships, including defendant's mother's extramarital affairs. instead of paying attention to their son and getting him hef, they bought him a gun. they could have prevented the
shooting that killed four and injuring many others. prosecutors make an argument in this document as to why the bond should not be lowered, stating the parents were $11,000 or more behind in their house payments, that they actually tried to work and list their home the day of the attack, and that they're a flight risk. we remember the par incents wer to be seen for days until they found them in a warehouse in detroit. prosecutors say they had several phones on them, two burner phones, even after they withdrew a lot of cash. all of the details are new as we are learning more evidence about the prosecutor's case against not even just the parents of ethan crumbley but ethan crumbley himself. >> thanks so much. still ahead, a new court challenge reveals how the
january 6th committee plans to understand exactly how the violence was possibly funded. and getting a new look at a three hour confrontation between rioters and capitol police inside a tunnel. that footage and more next. ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom ♪ ♪ for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ a rich life is about more than just money. that's why at vanguard, you're more than just an investor, you're an owner so you can build a future for those you love. vanguard. become an owner. ♪ ♪ hey tristan! ♪ ♪ hey lexus... play holiday music! ♪ ♪
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suspect at the time. cnn's lucy cavanaugh joins us now. lucy, what are police saying about the shooting? >> reporter: boris, tragic and devastating is how the lapd police chief described this officer-involved shooting that took place thursday afternoon. police say they were responding to multiple calls of a possible active shooting at the north hollywood burlington store. they were told a number of people were sheltering in place. when officers arrived on scene, they encountered the suspect who was assaulting a woman. the woman was taken to the hospital with injuries. they then confronted the suspect near the dressing room, opening fire, killing him. when they did a search of the poli premises, they found a gruesome site. >> subsequent search of the upper floor, we found a hole in the wall. behind the drywall, wall you
can't see behind, went behind it. turned out to be the dressing room. we were able to locate a 14-year-old female who was found deceased in that dressing room. >> reporter: the teenager, 14-year-old girl, was shopping with her mother. l.a. times reports she was reportedly shopping for a dress. the violence two days before christmas sparked questions about why police used force, why they opened fire in the first place. there wasn't a weapon found on the suspect or on the scene. we also know the authorities said preliminary assessment determined the bullet did come from an officer's gun, a stray bullet. and we know the state attorney general opened an investigation into the matter. the lapd police chief is promising full transparency. take a listen. >> doing what we can to gather
as much, be transparent as possible. we also recognize nothing can be done for this family except to express my sorrow, my apologies that the tragic outcome occurred. >> lapd policy is to usually release body cam footage within 45 days of the incident. in this case, the police chief promises to release all relevant materials by monday. >> she was shopping for her kwinz ner a dress. thank you. we have a quick programming note to share with you. they were friends, collaborators, legend. carol king, james taylor, and an unforgettable concert film "just call out my name" next sunday at 9:00 p.m.
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president trump is suing to challenge the january 6th committee. trump spokesman taylor butterwitch aims to prevent the panel getting financial documents from jpmorgan also named in the lawsuit. marshall cohen joins us now. grateful to have you on this christmas. what more do we know about this lawsuit? >> boris, happy holidays to you and everyone else. this lawsuit just breaking overnight on christmas eve. it's got some very important information in here, some new developments. first time we ever learned the january 6th committee issued a subpoena for financial records. remember, they've been saying all year they want to follow the money. they want to see who was paying for that stop the steal movement and rallies in d.c. that led to so much destruction on january 6. we are seeing they're making good on promises with at least one subpoena to a bank. safe to assume there are other
subpoenas out there. this trump official said he was going to go to court to try to stop it. he has been cooperating, he sat for a deposition. in his view, the subpoena goes too far. it may end up being decided by a judge. also, honestly, that lawsuit came in perhaps a little too late. we have to wait and see what will happen with the records, boris. >> marshall, this comes as the justice department released more powerful video of the capitol riot attack. what can you tell us about the new footage? >> this footage, it is three hours long. we finally got it almost a year later after the attack because cnn and other news outlets went to court and sued for access because they're used in trials of the defendants. let's roll the tape. i will warn you, it is a little graphic. what you'll see here is the beginning of the assault. this is on the west side of the capitol. you can see trump supporters there starting to enter the
tunnel. let me give you perspective here. they're only in that tunnel after already breaching police lines, climbing scaffolding, and the inauguration stage built for joe biden. they're pretty deep into the capitol grounds. as you'll see, the police quickly get overwhelmed. hundreds, perhaps thousands of rioters made their way to this tunnel and it was incredibly violent. people used anything they could get their hands on, things that they brought like pepper spray, batons, flag poles. this man at the top of the screen is hanging off the roof. kicking officers, trying to kick them in the head. others used strobe lights and strobe flashlights to distract the officers. it was a prolonged battle. it lasted about three hours. this is one of the actual spots where they were able to keep the rioters out after three hours of
fighting, police were able to stand their ground and prevent this group from getting deeper in the building. came at a high cost. there were injuries to many police officers here. this is where an officer was pulled in the crowd and tased. some had to go to the hospital after suffering injuries in this area. it was a victory but came at tremendous cost. for the rioters, many on the screen were charged with federal crimes. the justice department cracked down on this pretty hard. some have already pled guilty, and boris, we have seen years of prison for people, some of them, that attacked police in this tunnel. >> marshall, watching this footage underscores the heroic effort by officers like fanone and others. it is infuriating that so many tried to whitewash and alter the story of what happened that day. >> the videotape doesn't lie.
>> it does not. thanks a lot, my friend. ahead, moms on a mission. a grass roots group of mothers growing rapidly as they fight against covid-19 vaccines and mask mandates, and working to keep critical race theory out of schools. they call themselves moms for liberty. leyla santiago sat with them. >> reporter: paper and cloth masks don't work. >> beware of terms like social justice, inclusion. >> if they ignore our input, we will vote them out. >> reporter: at rallies in school board meetings across the country, heated debate on everything from masks to critical race theory to book banning being hashed out. >> covid allowed all of america to see behind the education curtain. >> reporter: one of the driving forces behind many of the debates stems from a group founded by these florida moms.
the group is designed to fight for parental rights in schools and government. >> we thought we could take skills we learned and inside information that we learned about the public education system to help parents advocate more effectively. >> reporter: the founders say the group is conservative but nonpartisan, yet many of the issues they're fighting for are including eliminating mask mandates in schools. >> 520 counties. they looked at schools that had mask mandates and didn't and it showed masks did work. >> there are multiple studies show this. happy to let you look at them if you would like. they're right here. when moms for liberty are going into the school board meetings to voice frustration and citing things like masks don't work.
>> because they don't. >> that's not what the science shows. >> okay. i'm going to have to disagree with you. masks are not source control, do not stop transmission. >> reporter: later, she acknowledged certain masks do work to a degree. >> we all know n95 masks do have a level of protection. >> reporter: another cdc study in arizona shows schools without mask mandates were three and a half times more likely to have a covid-19 outbreak over schools with a mask mandate. another big concern for moms for liberty, critical race theory. the concept taught in law school that seeks to understand and address inequality and racism in the the governor signed a law in june banning crt in k through 12 curriculum. >> you support or do not support
the $500 reward. >> do i think it was the best way to handle the situation, personally, probably not. >> reporter: they say they stand by moms fighting crt. >> where is this being taught? >> mecklenburg, north carolina. >> i hear it is not being taught in k through 12 schools. >> i had a hard time finding it. >> i will help you after the interview. >> reporter: after the interview, they provided reports from conservative media outlets and pointed to this mom at a school board meeting discussing a lesson plan. >> that requires my son to examine his white privilege and male privilege. >> reporter: in a statement to cnn, the superintendent of mecklenburg schools said our schools do not teach and promote doctrine of critical race theory. what is their goal? a chapter in every school district showing up at every school board meeting across the
country. in 11 short months, they're on their way. they say they're now in more than 30 states with more than 160 chapters, mobilizing 70,000 plus members. >> do you consider your organization a force to be reckoned with for the next election? >> yes. >> would you consider yourself a political machine? >> no. >> reporter: as for funding, they'll tell you t-shirt sales. >> at this point it is about half our funding. >> reporter: and small donations. because their organization is new, tax records are still not available. >> it is truly just organic, word of mouth and gentle marketing with t-shirts. >> reporter: word of mouth will only get you so far. this does take money. where does the money come from? >> what do you think we're spending money on? >> you tell me. >> you say it takes money. we're telling you, this is word of mouth. >> reporter: to meet financial needs, the organization has been open about the need to raise money. they established three political
action committees. one of the major fundraising events, sponsors included florida republicans running for office. they insist they're not pushing the republican agenda, rather a parent agenda, one against masks and vaccine mandates and crt. >> i liken it back to the growth of the tea party movement. >> reporter: this political commentator. >> it is possible an organization like moms for liberty could have an impact on the midterm elections and maybe going into 2024, particularly because it is encapsulating a very important demographic in the electorate which are women and mothers. >> reporter: support our schools, new group of parents in florida calls moms for liberty a danger to democracy. >> the disinformation they've been putting out and vitriol towards marginalized groups is
true danger to society because we need to work together. >> reporter: moms for liberty arguing they're not alone. it is an entire movement of parent organizing with eyes on election day. >> 2022 is going to be the year of the parent at the ballot box. if legislators are watching, hopefuls are watching this, start paying attention to parents. >> thanks. hope in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. up next, more of pope francis' christmas message, why he calls this a complex crisis. 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. to run a growing business, is to be on a journey. and along the ride, you'll have many questions. challenges.
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health officials are watching a sharp rise in covid-19 infection and hopping. south korea is seeing a record number of covid-19 patients. more than 1100 in icus, 77% of all icu beds in that country. in europe, several countries, including italy, announce record breaking numbers of daily covid-19 cases. john allen explains pope francis reflected on the impact of the pandemic. >> it was a clearly somber and hopeful pope francis who celebrated christmas today in the vatican it is usually a
review of the global situation. today, the pope concentrated in a particular way on the coronavirus pandemic chlts not only repeating frequent calls for global justice and access to vaccines, expressing concern for social impact of the pandemic that's women being abused because they're trapped at home, children being bullied, elderly people who were isolated alone and afraid. in response, the pope called for culture of dialogue and encounter that is reaching out to people, listening to what's on their hearts and minds, trying to be present to them. the pope insisted if you do that even in the era of omicron, there's still hope. for cnn, john allen in rome. >> thanks, john. the white house is lifting travel restrictions on eight south african countries put in place last month after the omicron variant was first identified there. it comes as the number of new cases in south africa are
falling rapidly. a top expert says the country has passed the peak of the omicron outbreak. david mackenzie has more. >> reporter: dispatched south of johannesburg, this paramedic says omicron is nothing like delta. >> even then, it was only covid, covid, covid, covid, covid, and nothing else. >> reporter: we were with them during the chaos when the delta wave of covid-19 ripped through south africa. severe patients crashed quickly. the team spent hoiurs looking fr hospital beds. charities looked to set up clinics, scrambled to get oxygen cons entree tors to save lives. with omicron, they haven't sent out a single one. >> he says they call out for less severe patients. like this 46-year-old that tested negative but is still
suspected of having covid. >> check the chest. >> reporter: there's a surge of cases of covid-19 with omicron, hasn't been severity of hospitalization. this call out is typical. >> what advice for other countries facing an omicron wave? >> don't panic. you will ride the wave. far fewer use of oxygen. high transmission of people getting mild illness, not even getting diagnosed at home. >> reporter: it is unclear why it is seemingly milder, or whether it will translate globally. scientists believe up to 80% of the population in south africa may have had covid-19 before, likely providing a shield of immunity against severe infection. vaccine coverage also plays a major part. >> this would be a nightmare if it was delta.
i think we can be grateful that it has not been as devastating as it could have been. >> but still reason to be cautious, it seems. >> yeah. well, we learned with covid generally, you never let your guard down. >> reporter: for a brief moment, he dares to hope. >> i am quite optimistic about it. >> reporter: david mackenzie, cnn. >> thanks, david. after years of delays and setbacks, nasa's most powerful telescope is officially in space. up next, a look at the game changing technology aimed at trying to figure out some of the universe's biggest mysteries. 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. we envisioned at times that we would lose one of our facilities. breaking news.
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nasa showed it really knows how to celebrate christmas by launching its most powerful space telescope ever. >> and liftoff. liftoff from tropical rainforest to the edge of time itself. james bibb begins a uh-uh uh-uh you voyage back to the universe. >> it involved thousands of scientists, multiple countries, and with some luck, may change the way we see the universe. it is going to take about a month to reach its destination about a million miles away. then several more months for the telescope to get set up. this astrophysicist adam frank
says it is still going to be a wait and see game. >> you've got to have it assemble itself in space, so there are many ways this thing could fail. but you know, that's why it took so long. it was really a bold, audacious plan. i'm going to be on edge until we do it. >> it is 100 times more powerful than hubble and will let them see galaxies that formed billions of years ago. meantime, back on earth, president joe biden wishes americans a merry christmas saying during a season of joy, we are inspired by the countless americans who are reminder that the things we hold sacred unite is, transcend distance time and even the constraints of a pandemic. faith, family, and friendship, a love of the arts, learning, and nature, gratitude, service, and community, unity and peace. these are the gifts from the
heart. he added that he and first lady jill biden are praying for all those that lost loved ones in the pandemic. this afternoon, the pair will meet virtually with service members serving around the world, greeting members representing all six branches of the u.s. military, and stationed around the country and overseas in a call from the white house. now to a community that was able to come together despite a tragedy close to the holidays. in mayfield, kentucky, two congregations became one for a joint christmas eve service. you can see here dozens of people gathering in an empty lot between their destroyed churches with light from cell phones, members of first presbyterian and first christian churches singing "silent night." right now, thousands of still recovering after their homes and businesses were ruined by a tornado outbreak earlier this month. the holiday spirit is very much alive at one children's
hospital in charlotte, north carolina. at atrium health, babies in the nicu are all dressed up in jolly outfits as they celebrate their first christmas. despite newborns being away from the comfort of home, their families are able to make the most of it with a little help from preemies of the carolinas. we're grateful to have you with us this christmas. thank you so much for joining us. cnn "newsroom" continues with my friend amara walker right now. you're live in the cnn "newsroom." i am amara walker in atlanta. merry christmas to you. any minute now, president biden will be speaking virtually with service members around the world on this christmas day. u