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tv   CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera  CNN  December 29, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! everyone, i'm jessica dean in for ana cabrera today. we begin this hour with the covid surge, the numbers, the concerns. dr. walensky is defending the cdc's decision to shorten the isolation period. nationwide, hospitalizations are well below record levels except
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in the case of children. and a troubling sign, pediatric hospitalizations have jumped nearly 50% in the last week, approaching a peak not seen since september when the majority of covid cases were caused by the delta variant. and even these staggering numbers may not show the full picture. in miami and all around the country, people are lining up, some before dawn, to get tested. some are waiting hours, others scheduling days in advance. and for those lucky enough to find at-home tests, the positive results are not reported to the cdc. now the fda is raising doubts about those tests' accuracy, especially with the omicron variant. cdc director richelle walensky says the nationwide shortage of tests was not driving the decision to cut the isolation period from ten to five but what the nation can tolerate.
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we're going to talk to elizabeth cohen. elizabeth, can you break down some of these numbers for us. >> jessica, let's take a look at what's happening with cases. we have surpassed the peak of cases that was seen in the u.s. in january. if we take a look at this graph, what we can see is we're now at around 265,000 cases per day, looking at a 7-day average. and that surpasses the peak from january 11, which was 252,000 cases. but, and this is the good news, hospitalizations are only about 44% of that january peak. on january 14, we had 142,000 daily hospitalizations, now we're looking at 85,000. so that's obviously a big difference. now, one thing you might say, okay, well, then, we don't need to worry about this. who cares if there is a lot of cases, we don't have as many hospitalizations. here's why we should worry. as these numbers get bigger and
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bigger and bigger, a certain percentage of them, we know, are going to end up in the hospital. a small percentage of a huge number can still be a really big number. we are already seeing with children that hospitalizations have gone way up. if we look at the week ending december 19, there were 206 hospital admissions per day for children in the u.s. now for the week ending december 26th, there were 305 per day. that is a big difference in a relatively short period of time. the numbers are still small, but a big difference. >> what else do we know about the concerns of these at-home tests maybe being less accurate when it comes to detecting the omicron variant? >> so these rapid antigen tests have never been as accurate as a pcr test, but dr. fauci on our air earlier today saying they are still useful. here's what it boils down to. if you take a rapid test and it
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says you have covid, you can bet the farm that you have covid. that result is almost certainly right. but if it tells you that you don't have covid, it's not necessarily right, and depending upon your circumstances, you might want to wait and take another test. let's take a look at the numbers that show that. so if you have covid-19 and you have symptoms, that test is going to be wrong 35% of the time. so if you have covid-19, you have symptoms, 35% of the time that test is going to tell you you're negative even if you're positive. it's even worse if you're asymptomatic. that test is going to be wrong 64% of the time. 64% of the time when you have covid and you're asymptomatic, the test is going to tell you, no, you're negative, and you don't have covid. so we reached out to abbott, which makes one of the widely available rapid tests, and they say we conducted lab analyses and tests on the omicron variant
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live virus, and bimex now, that's their test, performed on the tests we performed on sensitivity with other variants. but as you see with those numbers, it's not always right. if you get a negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are negative. jessica? >> elizabeth cohen, thank you very much for that. dr. chu, great to see you. we just heard elizabeth talking about these rapid at-home tests and saying they might not be as effective in detecting the omicron variant. people who are listening are probably throwing their hands up saying, what are we supposed to do? you're telling us to test at home and maybe it won't catch it. at this point what are we supposed to think about all this? >> great to see you, jessica. i want to add a layer of reassurance about the tests. there is nothing related to omicron that means rapid tests available on the market right now can't detect it.
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the rapid tests pick up a protein that is manufactured by the virus when it is actively replicating. and that protein is not efaffecd by the mutations that omicron has or the previous variants have. if you think about what is the rationale for picking it up, we don't have a strong rationale. think what we're saying is what we've been saying all along is that the test is different from pcr. yes, it is possible to have virus present that is detectible by pcr. they add a layer of, are you infectious right now? is there virus replicating in your lower passages? we should still be able to pick it up. it should still perform pretty well. i think the layer of saying let's do repetitive tests, so if you have exposure or you have symptoms doing two tests 24
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hours apart at least, i think that's the way we should think rather than saying these tests are not going to work or shouldn't be used as a return-to-work or school strategy. >> you're right, there is a lot of nuance there, and i think kind of approaching it the way you're describing, which is -- remember, this is if you're actively keeping them in mind and how you use them is important and helpful to know. we also know that hospitalizations are not accelerating at the same pace at these new cases, and we are seeing hospitalizations increase rapidly for children, 50% in the last week. why do you think that is? is omicron impacting children differently or is it that more children are sick? >> i think it's an issue of sheer numbers. omicron is so infectious, uts t -- it's the holidays and people are getting together and we're seeing higher infections across
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the board. also the fact that children in younger age groups are not vacc vaccinated. in the lower age group, only 25% of children have received vaccinations, it's even more in rural areas, 10%, so i think we're likely to see more disease and more severe illness in this age group. still relatively rare for kids to get sick, but i will say given what's happening in hospitals, including in children's hospitals, we operate very close to the margin. we have really contracted our work force. so many people have quit or lost their jobs in health care and health care workers themselves are getting sick, so we have this much smaller work force. we never really had a lot of capacity to manage surge, and then on top of that with omicron, it just doesn't take a lot of severe illnesses requiring hospitalization to really make hospitals feel very much under stress these days. >> sure. and what are your thoughts, as
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kids get ready to go back to school? should schools consider pushing back on returning and go back to online learning? and kids want to be in the classroom. what do you think they should do? >> jessica, i have a personal stake in this as well. i have four kids at home. it's been a long two weeks. they do so well in school. we have seen the mental health benefits and physical health benefits of getting kids back in school. i think there is a little layer of it depends, and there are circumstances in which individual schools may need to close. i think by and large, public health officials, health care professionals are all pretty much in sync in saying let's keep schools open if we possibly can, but it will take laird prot -- layered protections. all these preventions, good masks, we're getting kids to wear kn-94s or n-95 masks to
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school and trying to get all families to participate in surveillance programs so we can detect disease early and mitigate big outbreaks. i think if we are willing to be really on top of things, then kids can stay in school and stay healthy there. >> yeah. all right, dr. esther chu, thanks so much. we sure do appreciate it. >> my pleasure. as the nation confronts this covid surge during the holiday travel season, the new possibility hanging over future flights. president biden now says he would impose vaccine requirements for domestic travel if his medical team recommends it. a short time ago, his chief medical advisor appeared to discuss it. >> everything is always discussed and we discuss it regularly. right now we feel the masking requirement and the degree of filtration on a plane is sufficient to keep people safe.
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>> and joining me now is the international president of the association of flight attendants union, sara nelson. sara, great to see you. thanks for making time today. i first want to see if you would support a mandate on travelers to protect flight attendants and other crew members? >> overwhelmingly, the majority of our members are saying they would like to see this. we have been very clear we should be doing everything we can to get people vaccinated and to encourage people to do that. this is maybe one more way to do that. i do want to be really clear, though, that right now there is not an operational way to get this done, so it would take a lot of work by government and airlines working in coordination to be able to determine someone's vaccination status quickly to make sure the operation could continue and this wouldn't create a meltdown like we're seeing over the holidays. >> you heard what dr. fauci said. do you think that this is something the administration is actually seriously considering, that this could, in fact,
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happen? >> i continue to hear that this is on the table. the airlines have spoken out and been against this because of their operational concerns. but i think, you know, we're a nation of problem solvers, and when we actually decide that we want to solve problems, we can do it. so it's too important to get everyone vaccinated and to keep everyone safe, and frankly this is an issue of safety in our workplace. and that's why we like to see a real effort here to see if we can get this done. >> and does it come down to a federal mandate in your mind? in theory, individual airlines could choose to do this, i suppose, as well. but is it going to take, you think, coming down from the federal government to make it happen? >> i think it's really important that we have consistency across the industry. and that will require a federal mandate for that. it would be very difficult for individual airlines to put this in place, because we all use the same security lines, we all use the same infrastructure at the airports, and to have different policies with each of these
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airlines with what people need to bring, it would create mass confusion and make travel much more difficult for people. that's why there has to be a consistent policy across the board. >> i'd like to really streamline it and make it uniform. i know you've been critical of the administration's policies in question, whether political clout was driving conditions like shortening the quarantine guidance. i want to listen to what rochelle walensky said this morning of reducing the quarantine from ten days to five. take a listen. >> a lot of people are asymptomatic, and those who are vaccinated or unvaccinated, and then when people need to go back to work, what will they do? we need to make sure they're isolating in the first five days when they're most infectious. >> so it sounds like this had as much to do with business as it
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did with the science? >> it really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. >> what people would be willing to tolerate, willing to do. sara, what do you make of her comments? >> i'm not sure who these people are she's talking about would be willing to tolerate. the people on the front lines who have been dealing with this pandemic for two years have been dealing with the stresses and strains and the real concerns by their families that we'll bring this virus home to them. they are dealing with long covid, they're dealing with medical emergencies where they're not able to get their loved ones into hospital beds because their hospitals are full. let's not make a decision now that may provide some relief right now that will have longer term problems. what director walensky was saying there is there's a low chance. that's cold comfort for the people who know that now we're going to be going to work with more people who are infectious because there will be people who are still infectious who are coming to our workplace, either workers or who are being forced
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to come back to work, frankly, because there's pressure from the airlines or other companies to get them back on the job to cover those shifts. or we're going to have passengers who are coming because they have not tested. the industry asked for breakthrough cases only and testing before people would come back at five days. it doesn't seem like we're even meeting the basic standards to have a level of comfort in this country, and we really need everyone around this country to have confidence in our public health officials. that is what has created conflict on our planes, because people don't know what to believe, and then flight attendants are left to deal with that and enforce safety measures that are sitting on very loose ground. >> sara nelson, thanks so much for your comments. we sure do appreciate it. >> thank you, jessica. well, no shame at all. in a stunning new interview from a white house official, he details how he and steve bannon worked with gop lawmakers in their attempt to overturn the
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election on january 6. hear him explain how it was all supposed to happen. plus the ghislaine maxwell jury just asked the judge if they would have to continue working through the new year. what that could mean for a potential verdict. you could save up to forty-five percent. (man) that's a whole lot of discounts. (burke) well, we offer coverage for a whole lot of things, and you could save a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. (kid) sup, dad! (burke) seventeen-car garage you got there? ♪we are farmers♪ ♪bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum♪
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thanks? crest 3d white. 100% stain removal. crest. the #1 toothpaste brand in america. in a stunning new interview, former trump advisor peter navarro worked with steve bannon on how to overturn the election on january 6. he said, quote, we took timelitimeline i spails -- time lining up 100
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senators. it was working perfectly. we had over 100 congressmen committed to it, end quote. that plan dubbed the green bay sweep hoped to put public pressure on vice president pence to send the electoral votes back to a handful of key states. of course, that plan never had a chance of keeping trump in power because republicans in congress didn't have the votes to block biden's victory. cnn has reached out to bannon for a response but haven't heard back yet. let's go to harry lipman. harry, good to have you with us. what do you make of this admission by navarro when we know the january 6 committee investigation is in full swing. so many of trump's allies are really going very quiet. peter navarro and steve bannon are two that like to be very loud. >> no, they're not from the quiet wing, are they. that's where i start, jessica.
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these are provocateurs, you could also call them scoundrels and peter navarro is coming out with a book. could it be they came up with this remarkable name, the green bay sweep? yeah. is it likely they had 100 members of congress dancing to their tune and had it all choreographed? you know, not so sure and it serves many different purposes for them to muddy the waters like this. so i'm taking it with a grain of salt. the very core of it is really not that complicated to try to delay things for 24 hours. of course, you need the cooperation of one mike pence, and he was -- it's the same thing that trump was trying to do and he wasn't going to go along. so their quarterback in the green bay sweep that partakes of this vince lombardi idea was never on board, and all of it, when you push, doesn't
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necessarily come all that much, and again, these are not the most trustworthy of narrators. >> is there anything criminal about what he's talking about if he, in fact, did do this? >> yeah, so there is potential for anything up to. there's certainly a conspiracy to impede an official proceeding, that's congress 1512 all the way up to possible insurrection charges. but, again, look, the first thing this says is this is one reason we really need congressional investigations and sworn testimony rather than just, you know, gossip on the street, and i'm sure if he shows up and is asked to testify, he'll have enough of a vague story that he won't really open himself to criminal culpability, and there is an important risk here, by the way, it seems to me. normally you say, okay, get him up there, let's hear the sworn testimony, et cetera.
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if that happens here, he gets up, 50 members of congress angrily deny it and what do we have? many angry americans will say, oh, let's just move on, it's all so murky. and that, of course, serves their dastardly purposes as well. i don't put much stock in this, and even if he shows up, i think it will be more vague rather than the sensational, stunning interview that navarro provided. >> do you anticipate the committee will call on him? are you surprised they haven't yet? >> we don't know they haven't, although he doesn't confirm it. they're really smart, jessica, and they're playing it well. i would not see them as wanting to put him out front in the klieg lights for the reason i'm
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saying. i think what they will want to do is call him, try to get sworn testimony behind the scenes with their researchers and then see what they've got. they have enough on their hands to try to present a clean, coherent narrative rather than having now to go into two, three, or four alternative narratives. >> harry litman breaking it all down for us. i appreciate it. >> thank you. happy new year. >> you, too. the jury in the trial of ghislaine maxwell has sent the judge another note. this is their 14th now. this one could give a big clue as to how closose they are to a verdict. we're on that next. ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2, now he knows his glucose levels when he needs to.
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it may be a holiday weekend but jury trials need to continue. that is the message in the ghislaine maxwell sex trafficking trial, and fears grow as a possible mistrial. if convicted on all six counts, maxwell could receive up to 70 years in prison. law attorney page pate is here to talk more about this. page, good to see you. unless jurors decide on a verdict here, they're going to keep going through new year's. what do you make of that? >> i think that's very unusual but i understand the judge is concerned, number one, that they don't have a verdict yet. although they did indicate yesterday they were making progress. we have not seen the type of
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progress, i think, that the judge was hoping for when she decided to give them time off for christmas. the other thing, obviously, that's concerning the judge, and i think many people right now, is the fact that covid numbers are, you know, coming up again, and it's very possible when you have this many people serving on a jury together, they're doing deliberations, that there can be obviously some transmission of covid. if that happens, if someone gets sick, if they have to stop deliberations, then that could lead to a mistrial which means they have to start all over again. obviously the judge is concerned about those things. >> right. and jithe jury, we know, has se 14 notes, and deliberations are in their sixth day. today is the first time they asked for transcripts of five witnesses. 14 notes they've stenent out wi questions. what do you think is happening here? what does that tell you? >> it's always difficult to know
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what's going on in the jury room. i think most people assume, hey, if they're asking for written transcripts, if they're asking for jury instructions, maybe the jury is split. but it could just mean there are one or two people holding out, and the others in the jury are trying to convince them on the evidence by getting that evidence again, going over the testimony of the witnesses again to try to convince them that it's either guilty or not guilty. and in this case it's not like a simple murder case or manslaughter case where you have one or two counts, there are six separate counts. and these are fairly complicated federal charges, so that's necessarily going to take some time to go through. >> at this point, what do you think the probability is of a mistrial? is that something that you think is still kind of out of the we will many of possibility or possible? >> well, it's certainly possible, because even though the judge can make the jury stay through the holiday weekend, she cannot pressure them to return a verdict. federal law requires the jury to understand that they don't have
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to give up a firmly, honestly held belief just in order to reach a verdict or to reach consensus. so they've gone a long time, and it is certainly possible that we may see them extend through the weekend, and if they can't get a verdict before the holiday weekend, and they don't want to stay through the holiday weekend, they may tell the judge that, look, we've tried but we just can't do it. >> i guess we will see. page pate, thanks so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you, jessica. we have just learned russian president vladimir putin has requested a call with president biden. we've got more on that, next. the living room slash yoga shanti slash regional office slash... and this is the basement slash panic room. maybe what your family needs is a vacation home slash vacation home. find yours on the vrbo app.
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. as we near the end of president biden's calendar year of being president, he faces some challenges like covid testing and other challenges. tim, graeat to see you. we're going to ask you to put on your professor hat about biden's first year and how it went. we can start with covid. the president admitting yesterday even with the ramping up of testing provided by the federal government is clearly not enough, and he said if we had known, we would have gone harder and quicker if we could have. >> happy holidays, everyone, and we are watching science in
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realtime. in fact, we're getting a realtime education in science. and the pandemic has not evolved as i'm sure the president would like, so the president just shared with us an optimism that turned out a little bit premature. i think that has hurt the perception of his competence in handling the pandemic, although i wouldn't say it was fair. i would give him an "a" over "b," a-minus over b-plus. he's given access to critical equipment, but he didn't push hard enough on the tests, and i think that had to do with a little bit of optimism until the omicron variant hit us here. he has changed the rhetoric, and he's also been very sensitive to the fact that 40% of the country is a little skeptical about vaccines and 20% is extremely skeptical, so he's found a way to work with governors and used
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fewer mandates to try to get americans vaccinated and to help our public health in general. >> so what do you think about the economy? what grade would you give him on the economy? >> well, there i think the president is a little unlucky. if you look just at the stats, our economy is doing well. when he came to office, unemployment was about 6.5%. it's now a little over 4%. gop, we don't know, we don't have the full year yet, but it looks like it's going to be about 5.4% or 5.5% growth rate. last year we dropped 3.4%. where the problem is is inflation, fof course. inflation is about 6.4%, the highest it's been since 2002, so if you look at the economy, we're doing quite well. but we're unhappy. there's a pandemic. there is a sour mood.
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there is uncertainty, and when there's uncertainty, people blame their president. i would say he's done very well. his stimulus may have been a bit big, not just his but congress'. on the other hand if the stimulus package had not been big in the early part of 2021, a lot of people would be hurting right now. we have a little more inflation than we'd like, but it may dissipate. the economy is strong, however. i would give him an a-minus for the economy. >> all right. his legislative agenda. how do you grade biden when it comes to his agenda? he got some things through with covid relief, with the infrastructure bill. build back better, though, is pretty much on life support now. how would you grade him there? >> the president has not been a strong leader of his caucus. he made an important decision early on that he would split the infrastructure bill from the build back better bill. the progressive caucus was very unhappy when he did that, and the progressive caucus has never let him forget that.
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this is where, unfortunately, joe biden is not lyndon johnson. joe biden can't seem to pull together the democrats and make clear to them that they don't have a national mandate for the enormous social transformational bill that the progressive caucus would like to put in place. there is a taste, there is a desire in the country certainly for some of the elements of that bill, but there never was the votes in congress for 3 trillion, as it turns out, a $1.5 trillion bill. the president has had to choose between the centrists in his party and the progressives. he hasn't beven been able to negotiate on this issue. i don't think it's 100% his fault. i think the congressional caucus has decided to be tough on him. but i would give him a b-minus because i think he raised expectations unnecessarily
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making himself look weak when the problem is in congress. >> biden is also facing major reform policies in the first year with afghanistan and russia. we just learned that president biden is going to speak with putin tomorrow at putin's request. where are we rated on foreign policy? >> i'm afraid i'm going to have to give him a c-plus there. after four years of i incompetence, what was most important was we showed the world we were an economic superpower. it didn't mean we had to be aggressive, it didn't mean we had to be insensitive, but we expected respect from others. the pullout from afghanistan was an unforced error by the president. the american people were not rushing to get out of afghanistan. if you remember when it happened, it happened when the delta variant hit us. president biden's public approval rating had already started to drop before the
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taliban took kabul. but his decision to rush out of afghanistan sent a signal around the world of incompetence. and what we needed after trump was competent leadership. it didn't have to be flashy, it just had to be, we're back, we're in control, we understand our responsibilities and our interests. afghanistan ruined that. and the problem now for the president is he has some authoritarian leaders who don't quite respect this country, and one of them is putin. when authoritarian leaders don't respect us, they push. they see what they can get away with. what we're seeing in the balkans and ukraine is russian allies pushing to see how far they can go. this is tough for biden. i think he can get through it because he has strong policy experience, but we're in a situation we didn't have to be in in the biden administration, and i think it's because of afghanistan.
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>> overall, what grade would you give him for 2021, would you say? >> first of all, i have to say as a professor, i'm not a president, but you've asked for a grade. i'm going to give him a solid b with a lot of room for improvement. part of this, i think, is his ability to pull together the democratic caucus and part of this will be the pandemic. i think the pandemic has undermined the kind of optimism that i think he was trying to project in his excellent inaugural address, and the unity in the country that he hoped for, well, that's not up to the president, that's up to us. we have some work to do, too, as americans. >> all right, tim nattali, thank you so much. we appreciate it and happy new year to you. >> happy new year, jessica. >> thanks. snext, sanjay gupta looks back at the top ten health stories of 2021 and some you may have missed as covid dominated
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no doubt dominated this year's headlines, but as dr. gupta shows us, covid wasn't the only significant health story of 2021. >> while the coronavirus pandemic did demand most of our attention, another epidemic continued to surge. >> america's drug epidemic, deadlier than ever. >> record death toll. >> for the first time on record, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in a 12-month period. between may 2020 and april of 2021. much of it from illicit
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fentanyl. a synthetic opioid. president biden's new drug czar, no relation to me, told me we need to strongly employ harm use reduction, making drug use safer. >> they'll say look, you're enabling drug use. that's the provocation. >> as an evidence-based physician that has spent his career dealing with science and moving data around, we just do not have that evidence. >> tonight for the first time in almost 20 years, there's a new drug just approved to treat people in the early phases of al siemz ers. >> the first new drug approved to treat the disease since 2003. now, according to the fda, the drug can reduce the signature tangles and plaques that block the neural pathways in people
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with mild disease, but the approval was controversial, with many researchers, including the fda's own independent advisory committee, saying the evidence simply wasn't there to say it slows down cognitive decline. >> effectiveness is something we don't fully understand just yet. >> there's a growing concern about a surge of covid-19 cases in tokyo. >> instead of a medal count, we're already tracking the covid count. >> it had already been postponed the previous year, but this summer, the tokyo olympic games took place in the midst of a pandemic. strict testing and masking protocols were put into place and attempts made to keep athletes in a bubble. i reported firsthand about how the pandemic playbook was being put to the test. >> is there a criteria by which you would become concerned? >> we look at changes in pattern. say if we started to see infection in people who weren't part of a close contact.
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if we started to see a rise in cases. if we started to see the cases topping more rapidly than we saw. >> today, the department of health and human services announcing sweeping changes to its vaccine rollout to get more people vaccinated. >> they're now saying the vaccine should be made available to anyone over age 65. >> the first covid shots to the most vulnerable. nursing home residents, front line healthcare workers then eligibility was expanded to those with unz lying conditions. by april, everyone 16 and older in the united states was eligible for a shot. in may, 12 to 15-year-olds were authorized and in august, pfizer's vaccine became the first fully approved covid vaccine in the united states. >> the biden white house calling out the misinformation machine, accusing facebook of killing people by letting anti-vaccine lies linger on the platform. >> outrageous posts that compare
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vaccines to the holocaust. >> the surgeon general called it a serious threat to public health. >> we are still seeing misinformation spread like wildfire on social media sites. >> what's resulted is a persistent pandemic with more than 100,000 new infections daily and tens of thousands of new covid patients in the hospital. most unvaccinated. >> some of these heavily red districts that voted overwhelmingly for donald trump, the vaccines remain unpopular. not just hesitancy, there are people that truly believe vaccine is a big problem. >> with more than one in ten americans say they have no plans of getting a shot -- >> we live in a free country and the right to make our own healthcare decisions is the core of it. >> school districts, businesses, states, even the federal government are starting to implement vaccine mandates.
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>> this is not about freedom or personal choice. it's about protecting yourself. >> a clear example of public health colliding with politics. >> health officials in china are trying to identify a strain of pneumonia. >> when we first learned of this virus nearly two years ago, we had no idea of the destruction it would leave in its wake. by september, we lost more lives to covid than the estimated 675,000 people who died in the 1918 flu pandemic. granted, the population in the united states was one-third of what it is now, but there were no vaccines available 100 years ago either. it is difficult to fathom that we have lost more than 800,000 lives to the coronavirus. sadly, much preventable. >> there were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. all of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated
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or decreased substantially. >> after most kids spent the first year of the pandemic online, getting kids back into the classroom this year was a priority for everyone. but how to do it, that was up for debate. vaccination requirements, mask mandates, testing, quarantines. it all erupted in clashes in local school board meetings across the country. while children are less likely to be hospitalized from covid-19, the number of infections among children has been steadily rising since this summer. in october, the fda authorized a smaller dose of the pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, but that group does remain the least vaccinated. vaccination is an important tool to controlling this pandemic. but we are still learning just how long that protection can last. studies are finding that antibody levels can fall after a
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few months making people more susceptible to infection. while protection against severe disease remains why. the cdc has expanded the recommendation for all adults over 18 to get a booster six months after the pfizer and moderna vaccines and two months after the johnson & johnson one. >> we know they're safe and highly effective and bringing high up the optimization of your protection. >> over the last two years, there have been thousands of variants with the handful of them becoming variants of concern. still, vaccination, masking, testing, can help limit the spread of the virus. this past spring, we saw delta. a variant two to three times as infectious as the original coronavirus that overwhelmed india, then europe, and this summer, it swept through the southern united states where vaccination rates were among the lowest in the country and now, omicron cases are growing all over the world. >> this is really something to be reckoned with.
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it is really rapidly spreading. literally throughout the world and certainly in our own country. >> as the weather gets cooler and we move indoors, remember to get your shots, to mask up, despite all the fear, we have the tools to stay healthy and protected. >> and as we approach the new year, don't forget, the boys are back. you can join anderson and andy for a cnn new year's eve live. the party starts at 8:00 here on cnn. that is going to do it for me. the news kcontinues next. have a great afternoon. (vo) subaru and our retailers believe in giving back. that's why, in difficult times, we provided one hundred and fifty million meals to feeding america. and now through the subaru share the love event,
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we're helping even more. by the end of this year, subaru will have donated over two hundred and twenty five million dollars to charity. this is what it means to be more than a car company. this is what it means to be subaru. ♪ limu emu... & doug ♪ ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th welcome to "cnn newsroom." i'm alisyn camerota. victor is off today. nearly two years into the pandemic, the u.s. is seeing more coronavirus infections than ever before. the seven-day average of new cases has hit 265,000 a day. much fueled by the omicron variant. but omicron is proving to be unlike past peaks. the last time the u.s. hit case numbers this high, which was last january, the average daily death count was more than twice what it is today. meanwhile, cdc director is defending the agency's decision to shorten the time to isolate or

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