tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 29, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST
and a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead right here on "cnn newsroom," the cdc is now defending its decision to reduce isolation times amid record high case counts in the united states. elghalain maxwell is found guilty on six counts including sex trafficking a minor. and drastic measures in china to curb the spread of covid-19. why these rule breakers were paraded through the streets.
so medical experts called 2021 the year of the vaccine, a chance for people worldwide to try and protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic. but according to john hopkins university at this hour the year is coming to a close with an average of more than a million new infections a day right around the globe. that is an all-time high. the u.s. is also breaking records. for the first time averaging more than 300,000 new cases a day. john hopkins reports close to 490,000 cases on wednesday alone. now, of course, we want to point out that that number could be the result of a lag in reporting over the christmas holidays, but a staggering number, nonetheless. meantime the centers for disease control and prevention is
forecasting 44,000 new covid deaths over the next month alone. the cdc projects fatalities will rise most quickly in early january before tapering off later in the month. now, top health officials in the united states are trying to clear up their latest guidance for people who are recovering from covid, but somehow things just seem to get more confusing than ever. cnn's alexendra field has our report. >> this was the moment we needed to make that decision. >> reporter: facing the biggest surge we've ever seen the cdc director defending to cut the isolation time in half for people who are asymptomatic or whose symptoms are getting better. >> it really had a lot to do with what we thought people could tolerate. if we can get them to isolate we do want to make sure isolating in those first five days when
they're maximum infectious. >> reporter: still, the new guidance is drawing fierce debate among health experts. >> there is absolutely no data that i'm aware about with the omicron that puts people coming out of isolation five days after they were first diagnosed with the virus. >> you either shutdown the society, which no one wants to do, or you try and get a situation where you can safely get people back particularly to critical jobs without having them be out for a full ten days. >> reporter: long testing lines are still snaking across the country. new cases are skyrocketing to numbers never seen before. deaths and hospitalizations key indicators at this moment are also climbing but not as quickly. >> are we seeing lower hospitalization rates because omicron is less virulent? or are we seeing lower hospitalization rates because we do have a considerable amount of the population that is
vaccinated? >> reporter: booster shots for younger teens may now be just weeks away says the cdc, while younger children remain the least vaccinated age group in the country. >> the vast majority of children that are infected with covid have mild infection, but you do have to be aware that does put your child at risk for hospitalization and puts your child at risk for transmitting to other people in their classroom. >> reporter: washington, d.c. schools now requiring a negative test for teachers and students to come back to class. with the peak of this surge likely still ahead of us, dr. fauci again warning people to take precautions ahead of another new year. >> if your plans are to go to a 40 to 50-person new year's eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, i would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that. >> reporter: alexendra field,
cnn, new york. >> a national consultant for covid-19 testing and president and ceo of premier medical group usa in hawaii. thank you so much for being here in what has been an incredibly confusing 24-hour period on the testing front. definitely the crisis in testing is acute in the united states and elsewhere. dr. walensky from the head of the cdc defended the fact that in shortening the isolation in the quarantine, that they are not asking people to test out because in her words rapid tests are not effective enough with diagnosing infectiousness in people. i want you to listen to dr. fauci's take on that. take a listen. >> what the cdc director said was if you look at the predictive value of an antigen test as to whether or not someone will transmit or not, there's no evidence that it it has any predictive value. and for that reason, she said, they're not going to be
requiring a test. just focus on wearing the mask. and that's the scientific basis of what she said and what the cdc recommendation is. >> okay, i'm confused. can you please clear this up? do these tests work or not? >> wow, boy, you want to talk about a controversy that has arisen in the medical community, i can tell you dedicating my life and career to this across the world a large part of the medical community disagrees with this. so the first thing i must highlight is the whole concept that this whole thing is predicated on wearing a mask, well, how about educating the public on what an appropriate mask is to start with? if you're going to send someone free into the public that still may be shedding how about really letting them know they should have an n95 or a surgical mask? so we're very concerned that that is the number one premise
that is not explained and is most concerning. second, what they're saying is just not true. on one hand we're being told that the president and the country is precuring all these rapid tests that are going to help us, but on the other hand we're being told they're not going to. to fact is most of us believe if we're going to have to this five day you should have a rapid antigen that is a quality rapid antigen test, and i must highlight then. to then be able to show you're not shedding the virus. that's what those antigen tests do. they show when you're in that curve where if you walk out the door you're spreading that virus to others, which is what we're trying to prevent. >> so many jurisdictions are looking at what the cdc did now and are wondering should they be shortening the quarantine and the isolation time as well. when it comes to the test, though, given all the work you've done on this, are you clear that this is the way now that we are going to get to a
more normal accommodation in living with this virus? >> well, when we talk about where we have failed as a country and the cdc and our national policy, i mean if you look across to europe, they're mailing rapid antigen tests and have been for six, seven, eight months to everyone in the united kingdom so that they could be testing at home to try to make some intelligent decisions. we're now talking about we might start getting a billion tests available which would last us a couple of weeks in our country. in a perfect world every american would have a quality antigen test probably is a buck or $1.50 each and test monday, wednesday and friday. and everyone would know when you do that serial testing whether you or your kids going to school or going to see your graup have
covid. >> the w.h.o. took a global view on this pandemic. their perspective they're warning about this tsunami of cases, but they also point out while there were 1.8 million reported deaths from covid in 2020, there were 3.5 million people that died in 2021. it's just a staggering statistic. >> you know, it comes back to i think a little bit of covid fatigue by the population, which we all know is out there. we all experienced, but it also comes back in like in our country and different countries, they have the same thing, is the lack of a common cogent policy that people understand and that always feel there's some type of spin on the policy just like we started this discussion with. so i think it's all about communication. there's not an honest communication that's going onto let people know. just like right now. there's so much false
information saying, oh, omicron is not serious, it's just a fluke. we don't know that yet, but we have governments perpetuating that. we need a common voice people understand. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you, paula. now, meantime several european countries are seeing unprecedented numbers of covid infections as the omicron variant continues its rapid spread. now france reported 208,000 cases in just 24 hours. that's the highest number of daily infections for any country in europe since the pandemic began. now, the u.k. meantime set a record of its own wednesday. you see it there with more than 183,000 new daily cases. now, according to public health officials the omicron variant now accounts for more than 90% of all infections in england. and for the first time spain
surpassed 100,000 covid-19 cases in a single day. despite that surge, the spanish government has decided now to reduce the quarantine period for those who test positive from ten to seven days. cnn's melissa bell is following all of it again for us from paris. and melissa, france has broken a new european record as we were just saying. you know, it seemed to really even leave the health minister there in a state of shock. the key metric, though, here, how are hospitals fairing so far in france? >> reporter: well, for the time being but what the health minister had to say to a parliamentary committee yesterday investigating all this is what had been a fifth wave has become a tidal wave, paula, and that pressure on the hospitals is only going to grow. what he explained for the time being the delta variant was still causing a great deal of trouble in france.
and as you say those figures alarming. we've just seen records smashed day after day. that's how fast and virulent the latest strains are. for the time, though, delta still causing a great deal of trouble here in france. the health minister told the parliamentary committee every second that more than two french people were become contaminated. and he said look across the channel since what he explained the united kingdom is eight to ten days ahead of france in terms of omicron. and what he said when you look there is that hospitalizations had risen just in a week by 49% as a result of omicron making its very fast spread. that, he said, is going to happen in france. and even if the hospitals for the time being are just about getting by although you're already seeing some important operations being canceled, people being delayed in terms of the operations they expected they could have, the real effect he said is going to come, make no mistake. and really harsh words there, a real sense of panic really from
the health minister. these figures astonishing 208,000 new cases. nearly two years this pandemic has hit europe, it would have been unimaginable just a year ago to have thought of any kind of rise along those levels. that's how quickly it's spreading, and that impact will be felt, encouraging people to stay at home, encouraging people to take care, encouraging people to get vaccinated where they haven't been yet. he said at the time there are a million people in france who are infected, and that, of course, is only going to rise, paula. >> we accuse the media of actually being breathless about this, but the health minister was quite clear and as i said quite alarmed and blunt about what he saw happening. i don't have a lot of time left, but you were just mentioning that this is really starting to turn into panic here. is there a sign of a cohesive european strategy as these cases start to pileup here? >> reporter: what we've seen in
the beginning of this pandemic was really european countries making the rules in terms of who could get in, who could get out. the european commission tried to get a hand on this and install something that would be more coordinated european wide. but every time a new wave has hit, and in particular this new one seeing records smashed in so many countries day after day. really every country going back to what it can do locally to try and stop that spread. no, for the time being no real sense of a cohesive policy. and everywhere in europe a similar story in terms of those figures. >> nearly a quarter after 8:00 a.m. in france and we'll see what the day brings there. meantime south africa is saying good-bye to the man known as the country's moral conscience. these are live pictures you're looking at now from st. george's cathedral where the body is lying in state.
tutu's coffin was brought inside a short while ago. the foundation said he asked for the simplest coffin available and of course donations to be made to charities in lieu of flowers. the public viewing will be held today and on friday, and mourners in the meantime have been paying respects to tutu, a noble laureate and anti-apartheid icon. this will be going on all week. he will be laid to rest on new year's day. now with russian forces keeping up military pressure on ukraine president putin and president biden are just hours away from their second high stakes phone call in less than a month. those details just ahead. and the verdict on maxwell is in after five days of deliberations in her sex trafficking trial. her next legal step. we'll have that for you ahead. like we would treat our own moms, with care and respect. to us, the little things are the big things.
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afternoon washington time. relations between the two powers are abys male low and recently grew worse with russia's military buildup along ukraine's eastern border raising fears of a possible invasion. now, whatever the two leaders discuss in their phone call will set the stage for next month's senior level talks in geneva aimed, of course, at diffusing the ukraine crisis. more now from moskow. >> reporter: well, the clock is ticking down between that phone call between president biden and president putin. president putin has requested it. the white house says president biden believes in the diplomacy of leadership to leadership conversations and that's why he's taking the call. at the same time u.s. officials are saying they're not seeing russia do anything to reduce tensions along the border ukraine. they say there's still a heavy russian troop presence close to the border with ukraine and the message that's coming from the white house in a moment is if russia wants to achieve its aims and get clarity from nato about
its intent over ukraine, then it's better done in an atmosphere of de-escalating tensions, that there needs to be a really high level of engagement for russia to sort of go towards its aims, the january 10th talks, when russian and u.s. officials sit down to talk together. we understand that those talks there will be pentagon officials, state department officials, national security council officials as well. from the russian side we know that there will be a strong presence they say from their ministry of defense. so the context is being laid out here, it seems, ahead of those talks on january 10th, but russia still has a long way to go, you know, if it wants to achieve its aims which already seem a big stretch for nato to concede to. and another point from the white house as well that if russia does choose to invade ukraine, then nato will surge troops and put additional troops along the
eastern flank of europe, and that also is something that's not going to sit well with russia. one u.s. official describing the situation, these current tensions still at a crisis point. nic robertson, cnn, moskow. it has been a long fall from grace for british socialite ghislaine maxwell. after deliberating for five full days a jury in new york convicted her of recruiting and grooming teenage girls, so the late financier jeffrey epstein could sexually abuse them. her family left the courthouse without comment but later said they firmly believe in her innocence. maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison. now the reaction to the verdicts. >> reporter: it was a momentous day for survivors of abuse by jeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell after she was found guilty of five of the the six counts she faced including the most serious count, sex trafficking a minor.
now, many of these survivors felt a devastating blow after epstein died by suicide in 2019 shortly after he was arrested on those federal sex trafficking charges. and this trial was a second chance for them to try to seek some sort of justice. now, one woman who testified at the trial against maxwell named annie farmer said she was relieved and grateful to the jurors for finding her guilty of five of these counts, saying in a statement, quote, she has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who had a chance to testify in the courtroom. i hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law. even those with great power and privilege will be held accountable when they sexually abuse and exploit the young. meep while maxwell's family released a statement of their own saying they're already working on an appeal and believe that she will ultimately be vindicated. maxwell's attorneys spoke to journalists outside of court shortly after the verdict.
>> we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal, and we are confident that she will be vindicated. >> reporter: maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison for these counts, and she'll be sentenced at a later date. she also faces two separate perjury charges in a separate case. >> a cnn senior legal analyst and former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and he joins me now from new jersey. and you worked in the office that prosecuted this case. why is this verdict significant, do you think? >> i did work there, and i'm proud of the work the southern district of new york has done here because justice is far too long coming in this case. it took over a decade. let's remember over a decade ago other federal prosecutors down in florida had a case against
jeffrey epstein, had a strong case against jeffrey epstein but basically decided to give him a free pass. these victims, dozens of victims have waited well over a decade. today is really the first moment where they got to feel some true sense of justice. >> and i'm glad that you mention the victims because you have to think about how difficult it was for them to come forward. you know, this case will surely be appealed. they've already indicated it would be. in terms of the time the jury took with this verdict and the fact she was not convicted on all charges, how might that impact the appeal, do you think? >> as a prosecutor you love that for appeal because one thing you want to be able to say to your appellate panel, your three judges who will hear the appeal is this jury was not overly inflamed. they didn't just sort of rule in the heat of passion. they were careful. they were meticulous. they spent dozens of hours, days upon days deliberating and they were careful.
they didn't just say guilty across the board, not guilty across the board. they said guilty of five of the six counts but not the six. juries can be unpredictable. i've had injuries come back with a verdict in one hour, i've h juries out for two weeks. >> you know, some have suggested that perhaps ghislaine maxwell was a scapegoat for jeffrey epstein who was the real person who should have been prosecuted here. >> yeah, i think that's really hard to swallow, really hard to believe. look, a person can be a coconspirator, a subordinate, a number two but that doesn't mean a scapegoat. in order to buy that scapegoat argument you'd, "a" have to disbelieve basically all the evidence the prosecution put on including testimony from four different victims and disregard your own common sense. every judge tells every jury you
can use your common sense. and i don't know how it would be plausible or believable a person in ghislaine maxwell's position "a" had nothing to do with it and "b" didn't do anything with something right ipher face. >> the jury did find her guilty on most of the charges. many are disappointed here there are many rich and powerful people who perhaps enabled epstein, right? they will face no consequences. how difficult would it be for prosecutors to try and continue to pursue this case in any scope given that perhaps what some of these people did may have been despicable, immoral. but the prosecutors have to prove it was illegal. >> exactly. so i understand the frustration a lot of people feel. i understand why a lot of the victims feel this was an important victory today but only a partial victory because this was more of a two-person operation. in order to bring other people to justice you would need a couple things. first of all, you would need a
law you could charge under. federal law in the united states generally doesn't cover simply sexual assault. you need some sort of intrastate interpretation. it might not be present as to men who had sex with underage women. so you need to start looking at state laws. you also need to make sure those state laws have not expired. we have statute of limitations that say prosecutors only have a certain amount of time to charge. if something happened way back in the '90s it could be out of time. and the third important thing you need are prosecutors willing and committed to do this. you would need a commitment from state prosecutors, federal prosecutors that we are going to go after these people and try to hold them accountable. could maxwell flip? maybe. she could try. i mean it's hard now she's been convicted by a jury, but i worked at the southern district of new york. i have cooperated people after jury verdicts, but it has to go both ways. she has to be willing to come fully clean and the southern
district of new york has to believe she can do that and let her come clean and given a deal. >> especially since she's facing a lot of years in prison right now. thanks so much for your perspective on this. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. coming up here, rule breakers could face embarrassing punishment in china, humiliating if they're thought thumbing their nose at strict covid protocols. plus doctors from india fear they could be in for another massive covid surge, but omicron is only a part of the reason for that. we'll explain. here. aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme. you don't get much time for yourself. so when you do, make it count with crest pro-health. it protects the 8 areas dentists check for a healthier mouth. the #1 toothpaste brand in america. crest.
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lockdown, but covid-19 cases there do continue to rise. now china reported 156 new locally transmitted infections wednesday. and despite everyone being ordered to stay home, all but one of those infections was from there. now china is taking drastic measures to try and stop the further spread. cnn's steven jang has been following all this for us from beijing. disturbing video we've seen out today of what exactly are the consequences if you try to break any of those quarantine rules. try and explain some of this to us because these people were actually taken out in public and shamed. >> reporter: that's right, paula. the disturbing videos you mention depict an incident on tuesday with four men in full hazmat suits with their mug shots printed on big plaque cards hanging around their necks marched through the streets of a
border town in southern china. their alleged crime was to help others ilisly crossing the borders into china from neighboring vietnam, obviously considered a serious offense by local police because of china's continued border closure and the tightened covid rules. now, there were some recent local outbreaks blamed on illegal immigrants entering china through land border crossings, so officials in those places are facing mounting pressure from beijing especially ahead of the winter olympics. but those disturbing images really have stirred some very strong public reactions because they have reminded many people here of one of the most repressive periods in recent chinese history namely the cultural revolution in the 1960s and '70s in the mao era when political fanatics were treating their so-called enemies of the revolution in this humiliating manner. there is a growing number of
voices of opposition even from state media outlets like beijing news saying this in is serious violation of the spirit of the rule of law and should never happen again. but so far local authorities stand firm behind this decision saying this was meant to send out a strong warning to the local population not to break any immigration and covid laws and regulations, and they see nothing inappropriate about this. but beijing leadership has been touting the effectiveness of their zero covid policy saying how it shows they always put people first. but incidents like this obviously expose a dark side of the covid policy and at least for local officials. many just have very little regard for human rights or human dignity in the name of covid prevention, paula. >> yeah, and that video is certainly disturbing. we'll continue to follow the case counts there. thanks so much. appreciate it. now, for a second day in a row india's seen an enormous increase in new covid cases. it reported more than 13,000 new infections thursday, a more than
40% jump over the day before. but indian political parties are, let's remind you, in full campaign mode holding big rallies ahead of legislative elections in five states early next year. as ivan watson reports there's a concern those rallies could make the covid situation a whole lot worse. >> reporter: india's prime minister on the campaign trail addressing packed crowds in a key political battleground. with elections due to start here early next year narendra modi's mode seven trips to india's most populous state in december alone. at these rallies most including the nation's leader are not wearing masks and little mention from modi's ruling djp of the covid-19 pandemic. >> and items unlikely they would want to take the risk to conduct an election in the aftermath of
another wave. on the other hand, they are reckless enough to push for an election during a covid wave. >> reporter: but there are fears of a repeat of recent tragic history. this was the scene in new delhi in the spring of 2021, crematoriums working over time, death tolls from covid skyrocketing, hospital beds and oxygen in short supply. with the health care system overwhelmed critics accused modi of putting politics before public health after encouraging election rallies and large religious gatherings, which would be later declared super spreader events by some experts. fast forward to today. >> translator: omicron is of concern. please don't panic but be careful and stay alert. use masks as much as possible. >> reporter: some indian states have imposed measures to curb the spread of the new omicron
variant, but despite urging caution, the national government has yet to announce any restrictions on large public gatherings. as cases rise, only 41% of india's population is fully vaccinated against covid-19. as the nation's political parties come out to campaign, public health officials are sounding the alarm. >> translator: if india observes the same pattern as the u.k. and if we compare the population of both countries 80,000 cases in u.k. would mean around 1.4 million daily cases in india. >> reporter: they worry the election cycle could fuel a fresh wave of new infections. >> translator: people might not get tested if the symptoms of this variant aren't visible, so there are more chances of the election rallies becoming super spreader events, but there is no doubt that we should postpone these rallies for at least two
months. prevention is the best cure for india. >> reporter: in the spring of 2021 india's health care system buckled under the pressure of its second coronavirus wave, which peaked at some 400,000 recorded daily cases. since then the government has increased the number of icu beds and bolstered oxygen supplies. but it's still an open question how hospitals will cope if there's a new wave of omicron infections. for now prime minister modi's message is clear. when it comes to casting ballots, the show must go on. ivan watson, cnn, hong kong. still to come here on "cnn newsroom," lebanon has endured crisis after crisis over the years, but in 2021 things definitely got worse. we will take a look at the country on the brink of collapse. we'll have that after a short break.
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nearly 70 years after the korean war ended in a cease-fire, the u.s. and south korea appear close to declaring a formal end to the cold war conflict. now, south korea's foreign minister said washington and seoul have agreed on a draft declaration ending a war. north korea, meantime, recently dismissed such a declaration as premature because of hostile u.s. policy. but the u.s. state department counters and says that the u.s. has no hostile intentions towards north korea and is willing to meet with pyeongyang without preconditions. lebanon's people have had a difficult time in 2021 from a crumbling economy to shortages of basic necessities to still unanswered questions on 2020's deadly port explosion. cnn's ben wedemen was witness to much of it, and he now breaks down the country's struggles this year.
>> reporter: this is what a collapsing state looks like, perennial disorder, sporadic violence, basic services barely functioning, basic goods in short supply. a national currency, an economy in free fall and a squabbling political class incapable or unwilling or uninterested in putting aside their differences to save this country once described as the switzerland of the middle east. when 2021 began it seemed things couldn't get worse. beirut was still reeling from the august 2021 port blast. covid was ravaging a population already battered by a deep economic crisis. the politicians couldn't agree on the formation of a new government, and as 2021 ends events have proven things could get even worse. the cabinet of the prime minister hasn't met since
october, divided between those who want the judge investigating the beirut port blast to resign and those who want him to stay. the lebanese currency already a fraction of its pre-crisis value has plummeted from historic low to historic low. the economy continues to shrink. 2021 ended up being the year that never was, the year when the families of the victims of the port blast demanded justice, which never happened. the year when once again lebanon's leaders failed to serve the people, almost 80% now live below the poverty line, the united nation reports. u.n. secretary antonio gutierrez visited the ruins of beirut's port tweeting afterwards the lebanese people deserve the truth. he's the latest in a long list of world leaders to call on lebanon's politicians to do
their duty and save the country from falling into the abyss. those calls still falling on deaf ears. ben wedemen, cnn. lawmakers took trading political blows to a whole new level getting into a fistfight on the parliament floor. take a look. now, the brawl broke out during a debate over constitutional reforms tuesday that would give more rights to women with one conservative lawmaker calling the proposed changes as, quote, going against morality and motherhood. so the u.s. is now seeing another surge in covid cases fueled by a fast moving variant. what could that mean for plans to return to the office in 2022? we'll have that next.
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[♪] you no longer need to visit a dermatologist for top skincare ingredients. introducing dermageek's detoxifying facial serum with twice the amount of beta hydroxy acid. it delivers brighter, hydrated skin! try the new dermageek the world health organization is reacting to the cdc's decision to shorten isolation time for people infected with covid-19. now, it's a move that's drawn criticism from some in the united states where cases are surging. w.h.o. leaders say shortened isolation periods show the need to take the science of
transmission seriously. also balancing the needs of society and the workforce required to keep it moving. joining us now is the former assistant secretary of the department of homeland security and harvard professor and we're joined from came bbridge, massachusetts. 2020, do you even remember in may, the headline was, never go back to the office. and you posed the question, you said you might be thinking you might need to go back, but you posed the question, when you should you go back? you shouldn't. we are here at the end of 2021. we have this terrible variant of this virus just rampaging through the world essentially. what is your take now for 2022 and what does it look like, that return to work? >> i feel like in 2020 i was like 17 years old. i feel like it was a long time ago. the way i think about 2022, in
particular for countries that are having success with vaccination rates, it may not be perfect, but are able to manage the worst consequences of covid. that success, we don't need to get to covid zero, just to a place if i get it or you get it, it may be like a little flu. so we're in a much better place than we are now with treatments and everything else. so if you view it that way, then 2022 is what i call sort of our adaptive recovery year. so that should be good. in other words, we have the tools to recover. but it's going to be different every day. that's why i call it recovery, because it depends on what is out there in the world. are you having high infection rates? does your workforce get sick? so what i -- what is happening and you're seeing happening is first the delays in return to work that were anticipated in early 2020 are getting extended out. and you're likely to see openings and closings, depending
on somewhat's happening with the workforce. we have to be very adaptive in 2022. but that's towards a pretty good finish line. in other words, it's going to be really dark days ahead. but part of that is because, you know, basically we are now learning to live with a virus, hard to imagine. and not simply die by it, which was the only option we had in 2020. >> i understand, and i hear your voice there was a lot of optimism there, i think there was a lot of yo-yo, we are going back to the office, we are not going back, we are going back but not just yet. there has been not just a loss to that corporate culture, but we have to talk about learning loss. you're a mother, an instructor. at what point do we have to make that critical shift, and i know the way you analyze these things to say look, it's now worth the risk. we need to get back to a more normal life. >> exactly. you know, the idea that people still talk about risk elimination is ridiculous, because it just assumes that
there's no consequences for deciding to have the most aggressive public health policy. i think what you're seeing now in a number of countries is a recognition that they're making a risk calculation, and because getting covid does not necessarily mean death any more. which was a lot worse in 2020. so you're making those tradeoffs. so call it risk minimumization, and the tradeoff in schools or closing scoots are too great at this stage. we need to treat schools and education like critical infrastructure. you don't turn off the water or electricity, and you don't close down the schools as a first measure. maybe as a last measure if things are bad at that school, but the sweeping school district closures are not necessary any more. >> and a good way to put it, to say that schools are critical infrastructure like electricity and heat. before i let you go, the cdc, of course, shortening the time for
isolation and quarantine. there is going to be some hefty disruption in many, many different smett smears s different smepheres of work and life. do you fear there could be risk to critical infrastructure if so many essential employees are kept home too long? >> i do, and i applaud the cdc decision, however it came out, or wherever they need to communicate better. it's important we do not view the tools that we had in 2020 and 2021 relevant for the future. we know that vaccinated, boosted people who get infected are having flu-like symptoms. we need to push the envelope a little bit to see -- to not focus on what is the best public health advice, but what is the best public health advice in a society that needs to start moving forward? i recognize things are dark now, but it is going to be much better next year. >> on that optimistic note, we'll leave it there.
appreciate it. >> thank you so much. now, a new report says elton john was nearly barred from performing a reworked version of his song "candle in the wind" at the funeral of diana, princess of wales, in 1997. press association media says there was concern that the rewritten lyrics were too sentimental, and a saxophone player was on stand by just in case. a personal appear resolved the dispute. the song was originally written in memory of marilyn monroe. two new coins have been unveiled, the five pound coin and the 50 pence coin featuring engraved images, marking 70 years of the monarch's reign. the platinum jubilee goes on
sale next thursday. i am paula newton. that's it for us right now. thank you for joining us. we'll be right back with more "cnn newsroom" in just a moment. so every touch will protect like the first. pampers (gong rings) - this is joe. (combative yelling) he used to have bad breath. now, he uses a capful of therabreath fresh breath oral rinse to keep his breath smelling great, all day long.
♪ ♪ a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead here on "cnn newsroom," the cdc is defending itself decision to reduce isolation time amid record high case counts in the united states. ghislaine maxwell found guilty on five counts, including sex trafficking of a minor for her long-time associate jeffrey epstein.