tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN January 27, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
>> how would we do a dramatic reading for that long? >> we'll only do 20 minutes or so. nasa says it's monitoring a rogue spacex rocket booster that could crash into the moon in early march and leave behind a crater. the rocket has been floating around since its launch back in 2015. >> look, all i want to say is pick up your space junk. space debris, bad. that's it. "the lead with jake tapper" starts now. a new way for joe biden to make history. "the lead" starts right now. president biden says he's made one decision when it comes to naming that replacement for retiring supreme court justice stephen breyer. then, a warning from the pentagon, russia adding even more forces near its border with ukraine as president biden tries to ease tensions by phone. and, book removal outrage. a novel about the holocaust is yanked from some tennessee
classrooms. many are questioning why. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we start today with our politics lead and that major announcement by president biden about who will succeed supreme court justice stephen breyer when breyer retires at the end of this term. >> the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. >> now, biden says he has not yet made a decision on just who that person will be, but he is going to invite senators from both parties to hear their opinions, their points of view. biden says he expects to choose a nominee before the end of february. as cnn's m.j. lee reports, some have been lobbying the president on just who that nominee should be since back in february, 2021.
>> this is sort of a bittersweet day for me. justice breyer and i go back a long way. >> reporter: a momentous day for the joe biden presidency. >> i'm here today to express the nation's gratitude to justice stephen breyer for his remarkable career in public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country's laws work for its people. >> reporter: justice stephen breyer officially announcing his decision to retire from the supreme court, describing american democracy as an experiment, one that is now in the hands of future generations. >> it's an experiment that's still going on. and i'll tell you something, you know who will see whether that experiment works? it's you, my friends. it's you, mr. high school student. it's you, mr. college student. it's you, mr. law school students. it's us, but it's you. it's that next generation. and the one after that. my grandchildren and their
children. >> reporter: that decision handing president biden his first opportunity to name a justice to the country's highest court. >> choosing someone to sit on the supreme court, i believe, is one of the most serious constitutional responsibilities a president has. our process is going to be rigorous. i will select a nominee worthy of justice breyer's legacy of excellence and decency. >> reporter: the president publicly confirming that he will uphold a major promise he made during the 2020 campaign. >> i've made no decision except one. the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. it's long overdue in my view. >> reporter: the pressure to choose a black woman going back months. congressman jim clyburn urging
the white house to consider a judge hailing from south carolina, a state key to biden winning the 2020 primary. >> the fact of the matter is i have been discussing michelle childs with the president and his people now for, i guess, at least 13 months. >> reporter: biden also sharing an informal deadline, the end of february for choosing his nominee. after that, senate democrats ready to move fast. >> in the senate, we want to be deliberate. we want to move quickly. we want to get this done as soon as possible. >> reporter: senate minority leader mitch mcconnell quickly calling on biden to govern from the middle, saying in a statement the president must not outsource this important decision to the radical left. now, white house press secretary jen psaki just responded to that statement from mitch mcconnell saying that we've not even put out a single name. we don't have an official list so it might be too early for republicans to be talking about
radical anything. she also reiterated that president biden does want to consult with members of both parties. that he would like to work with republicans in good faith. jake, we're about to see in the coming weeks how much room there is in this process for bipartisanship. jake. >> m.j. lee, thanks so much. let's discuss with my panel. joan, let me start with you. you have discussed justice breyer as someone who worked to bridge the conservative/liberal divide. quote, more than most of his colleagues. explain what the supreme court is going to lose with breyer leaving. >> thanks, jake. he will leave a real hole in the fabric of the court just because of his outlook. you know, he worked with teddy kennedy and the legislative branch with the senate judiciary committee in fact back in the '70s and he still saw things in terms of building consensus. he used to say he considered a dissent a failure. that if he couldn't find a middle grounding, he was unhappy with it. now, of course on this polarized court more often than not he was
dissenting, but he worked hard to try to get, first of all, the chief justice, john roberts, to work with him for some sort of consensus and he had a real partner in elena kagan, still has a partner in elena kagan who is another liberal but someone who takes a more strategic tactical approach toward find some middle ground. the liberals have a weak hand with only three justices, so it's a way to prevail in some cases, but i have to say that the court will not be the same with him and it will alter the approaches of the others, most notably the chief, who's trying to find middle ground and provide some integrity for the court and justice kagan. the question will be will justice kagan be a dissenter or try to find partners in the newest justice. >> andrew, the editorial board is saying even though the
balance of power is not going to be changed, the supreme court they argue is losing a pragmatic liberal and "the wall street journal" editorial board says, quote, the president would be wise to pick a liberal in the mold of justices breyer or kagan rather than sotomayor who seems more interested in fiery dissents. you clerked for both justices breyer and kagan. what do you think of that analysis? >> i think it's important, jake, to recognize that the president has an opportunity to nominate a justice that has to rise and meet the moment that we're in. i think joan is right to say that when justice breyer is gone, there will be a hole in the court, but i think there's already a hole in the court because that middle ground that might have existed years ago we're seeing already is disappearing or gone. the court even in the past year or two or even the past few months has shown that it's a court that's trying to run, not walk, towards substantially
rewriting and overhauling aspects of our constitution that have been standinging for decad. so a justice coming on the bench now is going to be dissenting and joining two women who are really quite good at dissenting, elena kagan and sonia sotomayor, who know how to write discents that make it clear to the public just what's happening at the court, at their court, at our court, and i think that's important. the ability to have that clarity and voice and dissenting voice when the fact of the matter is this new justice will not be changing the balance of power on the court. they're not going to be able to avoid dissenting. so i think it's important to have someone who's able to join sotomayor and kagan in that dissenting voice and speak with the clarity and power that they both have. >> nia, obviously when we've seen the short list floated out there, obviously president biden is looking at eminently
qualified judges append the lik and he's said he wants to nominate a black woman, there's never been a black woman on the supreme court, and the fact that he wants the next justice to be a black woman is already causing the usual responses from the usual suspects. take a listen. >> i'm wondering the kind of justice that he would nominate. now, again, i'm sure it will be as guy said a black woman. he's got a dedication to that. we saw how well that worked out with kamala harris, but here's to hoping that he has a better choice and? mind for this position. >> what kind of a qualification is that, being a black woman? i mean is this our standards now in terms of the highest court in the land? >> i mean it is 2022 and still we're hearing this kind of bilge. >> and this is a preview of what's to come from this confirmation hearing and the conservative chattering class as well. this is going to be an ugly fight. there's going to be racist dog whistling and some people who use bull horns as we saw in some of those clips there. i think we see from mitch
mcconnell there's going to be an attempt to paint this woman as a radical leftist, so far outside of the american mainstream that they won't fit into the court. in some ways that will be easier to do with a black woman who oftentimes are painted as sort of other and outside of the american mainstream. i think what democrats should be happy about is that biden has been successful at shepherding a whole slate of very diverse judges through the senate process, judges that he's appointed so far. something like 70% are people of color, 75% are women, so they know this process. some of the folks on this list have already gotten support from people in the senate, already gotten bipartisan support in the senate as well. but this fight is going to be ugly. there are going to be sort of a culture war that we're going to see play out in the coming weeks
and months around this nominee, and that is sad and unfortunate, as biden is about to make history and likely make this nomination probably during black history month. >> and we should note, joan, in the history of the u.s. supreme court, 230 years, there have been 115 justices on the bench. only seven of them have been minorities or women. only seven. that's just about 6% of all supreme court justices. and yet somehow, joan, a lot of people out there don't think about appointing white men the same way that we might be talking about appointing non-white men. >> yeah, it is not a radical idea to say that after 233 years that we need to have more diversity on the court and for the very first time an african american woman. the thing is, the credentials of even the short lists that have
been circulated, everybody is like superior. there's not -- it's not like there's a reach in any way. you know, i was -- as you know, jake, i have written a lot about the first woman justice, sandra day o'connor, in 1981 when ronald reagan made that vow and then carried through with it. there just weren't that many women on courts. in fact sandra day o'connor came from a mid-level court in arizona. so we're way past that now because every single person on that list that's before joe biden right now, as i said, has sterling credentials. >> andrew, final thought as somebody who clerked for justice breyer on how he's handled his exit and his announcement of his retirement? >> you know, i imagine for him it might feel bittersweet for exactly the reasons we were talking about before. he's someone who is always looking to build that bridge, and he's leaving the court at a time when it's as stark as ever that that middle space is vanishing, if not gone. and so i think that he probably
will look back on the long arc of his career and feel proud and feel justifiably proud of the service that he did to the court and to the country, but there's no doubt that he's leaving at a moment when the court is taking a hard and aggressive turn to the right and one that i can't imagine he feels happy about and where that middle space that he once hoped for is no longer there. and i think that's got to be something that's on his mind as he's leaving the court. >> thanks to all of you, appreciate it. hmm, this does not really look like quarantine. sarah palin dining out again, just days after she tested positive for covid. then, an important report card from biden voters. how pandemic exhaustion and economic anxiety are changing the way they see his presidency. stay with us. ultra wi deband now in many more cities so you can do more. hey, it's mindy! downloading a movie up to 10 times faster than before. oh, is that the one where the mom becomes a... (mindy) yep! (vo) i knew it! and claire in hd clarity.
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new daily covid infections are dropping in the states shown here in green, but the u.s. is not completely out of the woods. tragically deaths are still spiking at an average of 2,300 americans lost every day to covid. that's more than double the daily totals from two months ago. alexandra field reports for us now. it's not just infections and deaths that are diverging, so are americans' attitudes on how to put this pandemic behind us. >> i am more optimistic about the pandemic today than i have been since it was declared a pandemic nearly two years ago. >> reporter: public health experts can't predict if or when the next covid surge might come, but many are increasingly certain this one is nearly behind us. >> in another few weeks, the omicron flash flood, not a wave but a flash flood, will have largely passed. >> reporter: clear signs of a turn-around across the country. declines in the number of new covid cases in 33 states compared to last week.
despite that progress, some states haven't reached their omicron peak yet. in montana, there's an onslaught of new cases. they're up more than 50% in just the last week. >> when you have over 2,000 deaths, 150,000 hospitalizations, and you have people who are now getting infected to the tune of somewhere around 700,000 a day, we're not there yet. >> reporter: pfizer and moderna are both working on omicron-specific vaccines. it isn't clear that they'll be needed, but covid has brought surprises before. >> i think hopefully we'll get into spring and summer and have a period of stability, but we have to be prepared. as moderna and leaders in this field we're committed to being prepared to protect americans and people around the world with that new vaccine if we need it for the fall. >> reporter: vaccine manufacturers and public health experts are keeping close tabs on a subvariant. it isn't considered at this point cause for alarm. most americans are eager to put omicron behind them and still divided over how to.
the politics of masking taking center stage in florida, where democrats walked out on a confirmation hearing for the republican governor's pick for surgeon general. >> you know, i think that it's important to be guided by science and data and so it was sort of interesting to hear the surgeon general say that he's being guided by science, but then at the same time says that mask wearing is an extreme measure. >> reporter: in new york, sarah palin rejecting the cdc's isolation guidelines. two days after testing positive for covid, she is spotted eating outdoors at a restaurant. palin reportedly also ate inside the same restaurant while unvaccinated, a violation of city rules, two days before she tested positive. and, jake, a big issue on the mind of a lot of parents across the country, whether their kids will have to keep wearing masks in schools. if so, for how much longer. the head of one of the largest districts in the nation outside of d.c. and maryland now says she doesn't see an end to mask requirements coming any time
soon. she says there's no magic number when it comes to vaccinations that would put an end to remediation efforts. it is something schools everywhere are wrestling with in all different ways. jake. >> thanks so much. joining us now to discuss, dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, you heard former cdc director, dr. tom frieden say he's the most optimistic he's been since the pandemic started. do you share his optimism, or is it still too early to say that we're almost out of the woods? >> i think there's a lot of positive indicators here. i think there's a lot of people who share this optimism if you just look at the numbers. cases are coming down, hospitalizations starting to come down. a smaller percentage, but still coming down. deaths are still going up in this country. but we recognize that that is also a lagging indicator. but the thing, jake, is if you start to look at where we are as a country besides the cases,
testing is being taken more seriously, masks getting out there. but also these antivirals that we talked about on your program a couple of weeks ago, there's not enough of it right now but there will be tens of millions of doses that will arrive sometime the next few months. that appears to be a very effective medication not just against this particular variant but any variant of this coronavirus. so i think, you know, we see trends heading in the right direction and there's lots of things in place to potentially buffer what may be some resurgences over the next several months. >> the biden administration is starting to discuss the new normal. dr. fauci says there's still a way to go, didn't put an exact metric on it. is there a magic number? is there some sort of metric that would be an acceptable way for us to go about our lives? >> you know, it's interesting, jake. i remember having several conversations with dr. fauci about this pre-delta variant. he threw out a number at that time that when we get below fewer than 10,000 cases per day,
that would be maybe a rough number of getting to endemic. and the way that he was calculating that is saying, look, how likely are you to come in contact with somebody who has covid and you're breathing in that person's air? and when you got below 10,000, he said the chances were very, very low. omicron, much more contagious, so i think we probably accept a higher number. so i think these metrics are really hard to lean into because we're not testing enough. we still don't know exactly how much this is spreading. i think it really does come down to two basic things. one is this virus is here to stay. there are remnants of the 1918 flu virus that still circulate more than 100 years later. this is a virus that is now going to be a part of what we humans deal with. but i think when we see it not having the impact that it's clearly having now in terms of hospitalizations in particular, i think that may be the point when we say it's endemic. it's not interfering with the ability for society to function and care for patients in hospitals like we typically do. we're not there yet.
and that big peak that's coming down, optimistic it's coming down, but we still have a long ways to go. 150,000 extra people in the hospital, 2,200 people dying every day. coming down, but still there's a long downward slope there. >> it would be all so different if tens of millions of americans who refuse to get vaccinated and/or refuse to get their kids vaccinated would just behave otherwise. then we wouldn't be having this segment right now. there's a new study from the uk showing 65% of individuals in their country who tested positive for omicron also had a confirmed previous covid infection. is this a sign that the covid antibodies one develops from infection, not from the vaccine but from infection might not last very long or be as strong as people hoped they would be? >> yes. i think that the idea of what is -- how long does natural immunity really last is a question that these studies sort of answer, at least when it
comes to this particular virus. natural immunity can last a long time for other viruses. if you get infected with measles, you may have lifelong immunity as a result of that. not so with covid. we've seen that over and over again. i also think it's important to point out, jake, we have talked a lot about antibodies over the last couple of years. understandably people want to measure these and get some idea of their immunity. but antibodies are like the lights on your intsecurity syst. an intruder comes, the lights come on. so it's not how many antibodies you have at any given time, it's how quickly those antibodies can ramp up again in response to another exposure. and i think it's a really important point. even if antibodies wane in people, there may still be a lot of immunity they have because they can recreate that army of antibodies very quickly. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. vladimir putin keeps flexing his military muscle. new reporting from the pentagon about changes along the
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ukrainian counterpart, president volodymyr zelensky. joining us to discuss is nic robertson and sam kiley. sam, president zelensky just tweeted about the phone call. what does he have to say? >> so he's just -- just in the last few seconds, i think, jake, he's put out a statement saying we had a long phone conversation with potus, discussed recent diplomatic efforts on de-escalation and agreed on joint answers in the future. thank president biden for the ongoing military assistance, possibilities for financial support to ukraine were also discussed. so a fairly bland response. we had been expecting perhaps a little bit more detail on something we were led to believe was going to be discussed, which was a difference in tone and approach in terms of the u.s. and other allied rhetoric when it came to ukraine. and that specifically over the issue of whether or not an
attack was imminent on russia, which is the view of the united states and the united kingdom, or the ukraine view which is they don't believe it is imminent. it is under threat and they're trying to calm their population, jake. but this readout is clearly thanking the united states so far at any rate with what they were saying because of the very large amount of military aid which is currently pouring into the country. almost daily, jake, there are aircraft landing with many, many tens of tons every day of lethal equipment crucially. >> nic robertson, the pentagon says russia is building up its forces at the border. russia continues to say they're not planning to invade ukraine. so what is their explanation for the buildup? >> yeah, jake, they're sticking to that same old explanation that this is military exercises. tanks, paratroopers, you know,
supplies for all these men and material still flooding into belarus. those military exercises are not supposed to get under way. remembering they're pretty close to kyiv, the capital of ukraine. they're not supposed to get under way until the end of this month and run through next month. so this is how the kremlin is playing it. you know, this disposition of forces, huge as it is, they would have us believe even though it's in the south and the east and the north of ukraine, three sides, they want us to understand this is only for training. >> and, sam, the ukrainian foreign minister also warned about a growing russian presence along the border but notably he said that ukraine does not think the invasion is moscow's plan a. explain. >> well, very interesting. this is the landscape back in 2014 where this whole notion of hybrid warfare was first ignited and brought to life in physical form with unacknowledged
military forces from russia, known as the little green men quite often, cyberattacks, lots of covert operations, large scale deniable operations conducted by the russians in that original seizure of crimea in support of russian-speaking rebels in that part of the world. so he's talking in terms of the first phase. he's saying that he expects to see cyberattacks, efforts made to undermine the political process here. perhaps fifth columnists participating in political protests here basically threatening the stability of the government. perhaps then providing an excuse for some kind of an intervention, jake. >> sam kiley in kyiv, ukraine, nic robertson in moscow, russia, thanks to both of you. coming up, we'll talk to the biden voters living there in allentown. was the restlessness handed down? some tell cnn it's getting very hard to stay biden cheerleaders. stay with us.
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in our politics lead, the key to democrats' success in the midterms may be making inroads with working class voters who support president biden historically but cnn's new poll of polls says biden's overall approval rating is 42%. a new monmouth poll says only 32% say president biden is concerned about the economic well-being of average americans. jeff zeleny went to allentown
and spoke to some of those frustrated working class voters. >> inflation is frustrating. filling your tank is expensive. everything is expensive. >> reporter: sally feels the pain, yet she hardly believes president biden deserves all the blame. >> i think he's done as good a job as anybody really could have done. i don't care who would have been in his position, no republican would have liked him. it's just -- we're just like that now. >> reporter: here in pennsylvania where biden is visiting friday as part of his new pledge to break free from the white house bubble -- >> i'll be out of this place more often. >> reporter: exhaustion over the p pandemic runs deep, including the economy. conversations about how biden is doing are filled with nuance, book ended by inflation at a four decade high and the gdp report showing the biggest economic growth since 1984. going forward, esther lee wants the president to show more fight.
>> he's kidnd of a soft spoken, easy-going guy. those are his attributes but i'd like to see him press forward a little more. >> a little more fire? >> yeah. i've got fire and i think he should just come forward, move forward on it. what's he got to lose? >> reporter: lee is a long-time leader of the naacp in bethlehem. she doesn't hold biden responsible for election reform falling short, but believes he should sharpen his approach for today's reality. >> i hear him talk about what he used to do, what he was able to do across the aisle. that no longer exists. that's out. this is a different world. >> reporter: as biden kicks off his second year, he wants people here to feel the accomplishments of his first, like new roads and bridges, thanks to the infrastructure law. congresswoman susan wild, who represents the 7th district here, is busy touting that landmark infrastructure achievement. but she knows the mood of many voters is still sour. >> the fact of the matter is, i'm not going to sugar coat it, people have seen increases in
their wages but we know those increases in wages have not kept up with the higher price of goods. >> reporter: facing her own midterm election battle, she believes her fellow democrats should turn to a scaled back version of biden's economic agenda, like lowering prescription drug costs. >> let's not just keep knocking our heads against the wall and trying to pass a massive bill if what we can get done are smaller bills that will really make a difference in people's lives. >> reporter: don cunningham runs the lehigh valley economic development corporation. he said most business leaders, whether or not they agree with all biden's policies, saw him as a fresh start. he believes what hasn't been accomplished often overshadows what has. >> there's not enough understanding of what's trying to be done and that will be a challenge for the democrats coming up in 2022. you might know a name like build back better but people don't know all of what's in it. they're not even discussing it.
>> reporter: and that is exactly why president biden coming here to pennsylvania tomorrow, jake, going to pittsburgh to make the case about something he already has done, the infrastructure law and the benefits for this state. the white house believes that is the key to at least some level of success this year, not talking about what they have not yet done. >> all right, jeff zeleny in allentown, thanks so much. a pulitzer prize-winning novel about the holocaust has been removed from some classes' reading lists and many are questioning the reason why. stay with us. ll want a pl to reach them. an so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity.
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in our national lead, a school board in tennessee has yanked the pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel "maus" from its reading list for eighth grader. it is a powerful account of the author's father's experiences with the horrors of the holocaust. it creatively depicts jews as mice and nazis as cats. the board of education voted unanimously to remove the novel from its eighth grade curriculum over rough objectionable language. the use of the word "damn." and over the drawing of a nude woman, which the author says is a tiny image of his mother's suicide. he spoke with cnn about this decision earlier today.
>> today's holocaust remembrance day, international holocaust remem remembrance, adds to t the .poignant cy, irony. >> let's talk about this with rabbi walker, one of the four hostages held in his congregation in colleyville, texas, just over a week ago. rabbi, thanks for joining us. i do want to talk about how you and your congregation are doing in the wake of that terrifying stand-off but i do want to ask about your reaction to the removal of this very powerful book about the holocaust by this tennessee school district from its curriculum for eighth graders on this week of holocaust remembrance day. >> it's an incredible volume, and i had a chance to hear art spiegelman speak when i was at the university of michigan. he's incredible, the work is
incredible. there's definitely conversation about what is appropriate for what age level and maturity level, but the idea that you would ban an incredible work like "maus" which not only depicts his father's experience during the holocaust, but also gives his accounts of living with a holocaust survivor. it's such a powerful volume. and it's shocking. it's really, really shocking that this book would be singled out, especially over things like language, when the content is so valuable. >> yeah. to be precise, it's not a ban per se, but it was on the krek l curriculum and then removed from the curriculum. tennessee's first jewish congressman released a statement. quote, the unanimous decision of the school board to ban the graphic novel "maus" from its
curriculum is another unfortunate embarrassing example of close mindedness and something we're seeing around the country of trying to shield themselves from history. it hasn't been banned but removed from the curriculum. do you agree and see this in the context of moves that we've seen on the local level to remove unpleasant truths, not just the holocaust in this instance, but slavery and others. the treatment of indigenous populations in the u.s., et cetera, from education in this country? >> the way that i've talked about it with my congregation is just that acknowledgement that we have to be honest about our history. we have to acknowledge that in the jewish community, if you go back into the history, we had
people, jews, rabbis, who were supportive of slavery. and we had jews and rabbis who were opposed to slavery. and fortunately, right, we've come out where we are and the jewish community has been incredible advocates for others in many respects. i think it's really, really important for us to be able to share and talk about how anti-semitism that is built upon lies and untruths and we need to share that truth. we need to be able to share the reality of all of our histories. >> agreed, agreed. you and three other members of your congagregation in colleyville, texas, were held hostage and endured a grueling 11-hour stand-off just 12 days ago. how are you doing? how is your congregation doing?
>> it's a little bit up and down, as you might imagine. everyone is going through their own process. the congregation, like this is ongoing for us. repairs do take time. the congregation is under construction and my understanding is that we, right during the pandemic, the supply chain issues, those are a reality for us. incredibly we've been able to rely on the generosity of others so that we can pray together, we can have office space. it's been wonderful. but it's -- it's -- like just yesterday, i needed to take some time off because i needed time for myself. i needed for my mental health and well-being. and i got a lot of support in order to do so. so for each of us it's day-to-day. >> trauma is a real, real thing but it's good that you're aware of it an dealing with it.
rabbi, thank you so much. we'll have you back again. it's always good to see you an i hope you'll have a meaningful holocaust remembrance day today. >> thank you for the opportunity. doctors say students need to be in school, in person. but across the country classrooms are returning to virtual learning. the u.s. surgeon general will join me live next to discuss what can be done to keep kids in the classroom safely. stay with us. ww is getting even more personal. keep on shopping, ignore us. i've lost like 28 lbs. you look great! i love that my clothes fit better, but i just love ice cream a little bit more than that. the new ww personal points program is particular to you. so what kind of foods do you like? avocado. ice cream. sandwiches. no food is off limits. when can i start?! don't pay until spring. join today at ww.com offer ends january 30th. new vicks vapostick. strong soothing vapors... help comfort your loved ones. for chest, neck, and back. it goes on clear.
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welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. this hour, stormy on the stand. porn star stormy daniels testifies against her former lawyer, michael avenatti, claiming he stole money from her. avenatti cross examining daniels himself even. plus, quick pick. president biden promising his supreme court pick in the next few weeks with democrats pushing for a speedy confirmation process. a member of the senate judiciary committee will join us live to discuss. and leading this hour, universal solution. while public health experts push for covid booster shots, behind the scenes they are working to create a universal vaccine against covid to protect against any possible variant. dr. sanjay gupta went inside one of the labs working on this science to see how close it all is to reality. >> right now, it's a race. >> there's going to be variants for a long time. >> the virus against the vaccines and the boosters, and
possibly more boosters. >> the company is forging ahead with omicron-specific vaccine. >> but scientists have been working on what could be a better solution. >> the urgent need of a universal coronavirus vaccine. >> it's just what it sounds like, a vaccine that covers the circulating virus, yes, but also future variants we haven't even seen yet, and potentially other types of coronaviruses as well. >> that means not only targeting sars-like viruses but mers-like viruses and cold viruses. >> kevin saunders is the director of research here at the duke human vaccine institute, one of the many groups racing to create a universal vaccine. >> what we try to do is really target a specific part of the virus, for instance, that we know is its achilles heel. >> now, remember, viruses mutate all the time. so the trick is to find a stable part of the virus, a part that doesn't really change from