tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN January 5, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST
polls open in georgia. these two senate runoff races will determine control of the u.s. senate. democrats need to win both. this will have a huge impact on joe biden's agenda. that's why president-elect joe biden and donald trump both campaigning in the state yesterday. more than 3 million people have already voted early and by mail, shattering every runoff record there. now, we should warn you that while voting ends today, it could take days to count all the votes and determine a winner. >> we've seen that movie before. >> meanwhile, as john just said, president trump went down to georgia, ostensibly, to campaign for the republican candidates, but he, instead, kept the attention on himself. he's promising a hail mary to his supporters that somehow he will emerge victorious with the help of vice president mike pence. vice president pence is in a pickle. will he side with the president or with the constitution?
meanwhile, police and the d.c. national guard are preparing for a large pro-trump rally across from the white house tomorrow, including the rabble rousing proud boys. cnn's ryan young is live in cobb county, georgia, with our top story. what's happening at this hour, ryan? >> alisyn, actually, there's a line of 40 people who have lined up outside. in fact, they have just opened the doors right now at 7:00 a.m. to let some folks in to do that critical voting. we're in cobb county, this is one of the areas, a suburb of atlanta that's kind of shifted from red to blue. we know how much pivotal this vote is. in fact, every time you watch an ad in this city, you know that everyone's talking about the agenda in terms of if the two republicans get back in, there'll be a red wall. if the two democratic candidates get in, they believe they'll be able to push joe biden's platform forward. so that's been a part of the conversation. but these shifting sort of demographics in this area kind of show how important this vote is. this is one of the areas that saw long lines for early voting.
we've been talking to two poll watchers who walked over to us today to ask us what we were doing here. they said, so far, things have been moving very smoothly. let's not forget, though, there have already been credible threats made in terms of to polling locations where police officers will be standing by. all across the state to make sure everything is safe. over $500 million has been spent on ads here. the political eyes of the world are on georgia. a lot of folks don't think it's going to end today. they think it's going to stretch throughout the rest of the week. alisyn? >> thank you for preparing us for that, ryan. so that was cobb county. what's happening in fulton county? hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast there. that's georgia's most populous county and also a democratic stronghold and where we find cnn's gary tuchman. gary, what's the situation? >> alisyn, good morning to you. the sun is not yet up in georgia but the lights are on and the polls are open this morning, all
throughout the state of georgia. more than 2,600 precincts including this one at the ornate cathedral in st. phillip. the doors opened three minutes ago and you can see, there are already people waiting in line to vote. probably 40 or 50 people, it's a nice day to wait outside, even though the sun is not up. it's about 45 degrees, which is pretty comfortable weather for this part of the united states, where it's usually colder in january. but you can see, people are getting ready to vote. this woman right here. a quick question for you, what made you decide to come so early to cast your vote in this election? >> i've got to get to work. >> can i ask you a very personal question? >> absolutely. >> thank you for saying that. do you know if you're going to vote for the democrats, republicans, or split the senate seats? >> definitely the democrats. >> how come? >> i think it's time for a change. >> reporter: okay. she brings up an interesting point -- thank you for talking to me, by the way. this state has not elected a democrat as a u.s. senator in
the 21st century. but we do want to tell you, there is no such thing as apathy during this runoff election. usually, alisyn, there's a lot of apathy during runoff elections in the state of georgia or anywhere else. very few states have runoff elections and runoff elections happen when candidates don't get 50% of the vote in the general election. but there's no apathy whatsoever in the state of georgia right now, more than 3 million people voted early. and to put that into context, the record for a u.s. senate election in a runoff was 2.1 million people. and that was for the whole election. already, it's a record and every single person who votes today will add to that record. john, back to you. >> gary tuchman on the scene, asking deeply personal questions and getting answers. thank you so much for being there for us, my friend. just a reminder, the democrats need to win both of these races to control the u.s. senate. traditionally, it's republicans who do better in runoffs. the fact that the can democrats have a fighting chance here, it is telling. joining us now, cnn political analyst, maggie haberman.
she's a white house correspondent for "the new york times." and on that point, maggie, we saw the president in georgia last night. how much does the president and does this white house realize that this would be a pretty huge rebuke of him and have a political impact, i think, serious ripple effects, if the republicans were to lose these races. >> john, it depend on who you're talking to. happy new year to you guys. it depend on who you're talking to. there are people in the white house who certainly recognize if the republicans lose these seats or frankly even one of these seats, it's a huge problem for the president because, he would be seem as to blame. the president himself does not see it that way, which should not surprise you, because he is very good at abdicating responsibility and that has been a constant throughout his political and business career. he is not going to change how he's talking about any of this. i think if we see surprise results, i don't think we will
see a winner tonight necessarily in either race, but i think we will know in a couple of days. i don't expect the president, if republicans lose, to say anything other than, see, these are people who are angry because they don't trust the system, without paying attention to part of the reason that people don't trust the system is because they've been denouncing it for weeks. >> given that it's so important, he didn't spend much time talking about the candidates last night when he went down to georgia. he talked about, as you know, maggie, himself. also, he had promised he was going to present evidence of the so-called stolen election. i was expecting a power point presentation with big, like, show and tell of posters or some sort of like audio/visual thing. what happened to that? >> well, instead, he gave a speech, which he read off the teleprompter. and we should take note of the fact that he had all of those details down in the teleprompter speech that he was reading down to fine minutia, whereas, he has
not been at all focused on things like vaccine distribution or anything else impacting the federal government right now. these been laser focused on this. as you say, this is again, him talking about evidence that he has and not showing it and alisyn, this has been his team's problem for the last two months. and we're now at two months since the election. he continues to say and they continue to say, there's massive fraud and yet in their court filings, they don't really show that. or they don't bring fraud cases. or they've never presented it publicly. this is where you see republicans who are not siding with the president finding their patience wearing thin. >> all right, scoop haberman, you and ann carney have an article in "the new york times" today which talks about conversations that the president has had with mike pence. mike pence, as vice president, president of the senate, will preside over this joint session tomorrow, where their constitutional role is to count out loud, frankly. their job is to count the electoral votes that have been sent. what the president is trying to convince mike pence of what, maggie?
>> he is trying to convince mike pence that mike pence has some way to throw this to the president or throw it into chaos by somehow keeping joe biden under 270 electoral votes and allowing the election to be thrown to the house of representatives. that's one theory. there are other theories about -- that people have brought forward to the president, about how mike pence could use, as what you say, an entirely ceremonial role or procedural role in order to try to make this happen for the president. as i understand it, pence is going to go ahead with his constitutional duty. i believe he will end up certifying this election for joe biden, barring, you know, this gallon of information that the president keeps saying that he has, miraculously caught forward in the 11th hour. and even then, i do not expect this to change. but it will create a very uncomfortable moment for mike pence with president trump. mike pence, as you know, has been incredibly loyal to donald trump over the last five years. rarely having any daylight with the president. he will be the one to read out
loud on president that joe biden will be the next president and that will be difficult for him. >> and president trump isn't making it easy. in public, he talked last night about how he would feel about mike pence if mike pence doesn't pass this loyalty test. so listen to this. >> i hope mike pence comes through for us. i have to tell you. i hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through w through, i won't like him quite as much. >> better him up and knock him down. the hold trump double whammy there. and so, what makes you think, maggie, that vice president pence will be able to withstand this loyalty test? >> just based on my reporting, alisyn, and everyone i have spoken to who is around pence. again, he is aware of what's going on. i think that there have been
efforts to try to take the temperature down to keep the president's, you know, heat blast from being focused completely on mike pence by putting out a statement sounding somewhat, you know, encouraging, if not fully supportive, with of this effort by some republican senators to object to the vote being certified later this week when it takes place. but because pence has an awareness of what he swore an oath to do, which is to defend the constitution, and the constitution says his role is to certify the electoras to be chosen and that's what he's going to do. it will be shocking to me in every way if he abruptly decides not to do that. >> the constitution doesn't give him a choice. the constitution really doesn't give him a choice. he can rant and rave, and that may be what he chooses to do. he may choose to speechify a little bit occupy there and say how uncomfortable he is and say things in order to, you know, fluff the president. >> that's right. >> but more than that, the constitution doesn't give him the authority to do.
it doesn't mean that the ask isn't alarming. there's a lot of double negatives there. the ask itself is alarming. the president is trying to get mike pence to subvert the constitution to undermine democracy and is far from the only example of it that we've seen. there are reports out there that peter navarro is out saying that the election date -- sorry, the inauguration date, january 20th, which is in the constitution also, that that can be moved. it's just lunacy. >> no, it's not within the realm of reality. it is creating this false expectation in trump supporters who don't know that this is not real, what he's saying, that something can be done, and he is playing with fire. we are in a -- look, we've talked repeatedly about the president shattering norms. we've talked about things that the president has done that are completely at odds with other things the president has done. nothing has been like this two-month period since election day, not a single further and since we've gotten further from
election day, the president has gotten more dug in in these false claims that it was really his when he lost. >> you have to feel for vice president mike pence today, because this can't be easy. >> i don't. it's in the constitution. how hard is it to do your freaking job? >> i'm not saying he won't do that, but what i'm saying, it's not just the president pressuring him. rana mcdaniel from the rnc delivered this entire sort of trove of letters that were encouraging him to undo the battleground states' results and to ignore the electors. and then there's congress, the republicans and in the senate he has to listen to. there are all sorts of people that seem to be going against their constitutional -- whatever, what their missions are supposed to be. and mike pence really is in the middle of this. and he hasn't been tested that much, maggie, in terms of having to step away from loyalty to the president. >> he's been extremely good, alisyn, at giving the impression
that he is with the president, while not saying very much at all at various points over the last four years. and i think you're right. i think there is a world where he gets up there and he certified the vote and says something, one adviser put it to me as, they can see a world where he validates this vote, but doesn't personally accept the result that this is the result. and he puts some way to put some balm on the president's feelings. but you are right, we have not seen anything like this before. and what we have seen over and over with people around the president in the last five years, is they will spin something in a way that maybe will sound okay to him. there will be an indisputable fact when mike pence certifies joe biden as the winner, it's just not spinable, it is what it is. even as he says all of these things that are aimed at making the president feel better, is it not going to chaung tnge the fa that this president's term is ending. in some discussions with some of
his advisers, he sounds very aware of what the objective reality is. but then he most of the time is saying these other things. >> poor mike pence has to do his job and stand up for democracy. it's hard. it's hard for him. but i appreciate what both of you are saying. maggie, thank you so much for being with us. thank you so much for your reporting. >> i feel your heart bleeding, john. >> i really feel bad for him that he's got to uphold democratic principles as the vice president of the united states. poor guy! cnn's special election coverage of the election continuing in america begins at 4:00 p.m. eastern. all right. there is alarming news in the pandemic. out in los angeles, paramedics are now being told not to transport patients who have no chance of survival. this is what rationing medical care looks like, because they don't have the supplies to treat all the patients in need. dr. sanjay gupta joins us, next. find your rhythm. your happy place. find your breaking point.
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in the u.s. broken. more than 128,000 americans wake up in the hospital this morning suffering from covid. and ambulance crews in los angeles being told to cut back on the use of oxygen and not to transport patients who have little chance of survival. joining us now, cnn's chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay has written a new book. when he's not saving lives or on our air, he is writing this book. it's out today. it's called "keep sharp: build a better brain at any age." sanjay, how can you do it? >> we can all build a better brain, right? thank you. appreciate the plug. >> so rationing of care is already happening. this is what we've feared. we're already seeing it in los angeles. i don't know how ambulance drivers and emergency workers are supposed to figure out who they take to the hospital and who they can't. a miracle could happen. anybody could be saved and some people who don't look as sick actually do die.
it's now up to them. and in terms of not having enough oxygen when you get to the hospital, this is the worst-case scenario that we were fearing. >> yeah, i mean, we were sort of talking about these potential worst-case scenarios and we always put them in the worst-case scenario bucket, meaning, we hoped that this wouldn't happen, but here's how bad it could get. but we are starting to see this. i can tell you even at the hospital where i work, we're in a mode that's called essentially diversion. we're a big trauma hospital, but when we're on diversion, we basically mean that we can't take any new patients. okay, that's covid patients, yes, but the ripple effect is also on other patients, as well, that would just be coming into the hospital for other things. because we simply don't have enough room, trying to move patients around to other beds, things like that. diversion is a situation that's happening in many places around the country. right now, we have more patients hospitalized in covid in our
hospital than we've had throughout this entire pandemic. you obviously talking about the country as a whole, but you're seeing this sort of manifest in all of these hospital systems around the country. in the spring, you had these various sort of release valves. if you had too many patients in one hospital, you could start to transfer, you could transfer out of the region or out of the state. you can't do that at this point. where would these patients go if we would start to have significant surges, which are expected. and it's not clear right now what we're going to do about that. this is happening, this has unfolding and it's likely to keep going for the next several weeks. >> sanjay, you're a neurosurgeon, a tv hero, and a book author. in addition to all of that, you're a devoted son. and i know your parents tried to get the vaccine, it was hard for them. which illustrates an issue that is happening in the united states right now. which is, yeah, i guess, 17 million vaccines have been shipped at this point. >> something like that.
>> but only 4 million vaccines have been administered. there's a huge gap. these vaccines are not getting into people's arms. and you and your own family have seen -- 15 million doses have been distributed, 4 million into arms. but you've seen firsthand through your parents the challenges. >> yeah, this is pretty remarkable. and i think it's worth just reminding people of those numbers, because the real issue here is the distribution, not to vaccine availability. this is something we'll keep coming back to and discussing. it's interesting. my parents live in lee county, florida. so florida gets a certain number of vaccines and the vaccines are allocated to the various counties. the counties then decide, essentially, how are they going to try to get these shots into people's arms? miami-dade may handle it different than broward, may handle it different than lee county. so where my parents live, for example, the county got a certain number of doses and what they decided to do there is take the doses and sort of give divm
up among various public buildings. my mom went on google, she searched, and basically said, i found that the lee county library is going to start vaccinating at 9:00 in the morning. this was last wednesday now. 9:00 in the morning. but i also know they have 300 doses and there are thousands of people who want these doses. so they had to line up qu-- andy parents got there at 1:30 in the morning. lineup outside. and these are primarily people over the age of 75, because that's who's in this first tranche, and they waited for about nine hours to get their vaccine. and i'm going to show you some pictures later on in the week about what these lines look like. my parents, it turns, out of these 300 doses, they were given ticket numbers that said 288 and 289. and they were eventually able to get that that vaccine. it was like camping out for a
grateful dead concert, except for the fact that my parents are over the age of 75, they have pre-existing conditions, they had to keep a mask on, they were worried about getting dehydrated. it's not super cold in florida, but chilly outside. all of these things, that's what's transpiring for people to get vaccinated. in some places. in other places, it's gone much more smoothly, but very uneven as you look across the country. >> sanjay, we had moncef slaoui on yesterday who was the adviser to operation warp speed. i was so struck my something he said about why we're not at the 20 million mark of people who have been vaccinated yet, and basically, he suggested that they work is done. they get the great work of getting the vaccine faster than anybody thought. and then they loaded it up on to the fedex trucks and then it's up to states or it's up to individual departments of health or cvs things. it sounded like he's waiting for their call in case they need
some help with something. let me just play for you his exact words. >> the head of the department from each states has actually ordered the doses. they've told us where to send them. we ship them to those areas and to those locations. we are available and ready to help the states as they ask specifically for help. we will go and help them there. i don't think it's possible for the federal government to be able to say, you know, we should send vaccines to this particular location. >> who's spearheading this, sanjay? why is it not up to the federal government to figure this out? >> well, that's the exact problem, alisyn. i mean, moncef slaoui, and i spoke to him about this, he's a vaccine maker. and exactly as you said, they sort of said, look, we make the vaccine for us. that was goal and we accomplished that. but the idea of ultimately, none of this really matters unless
they get vaccinated and they get vaccinated with some fairly fast protocol here. it's not going to make the same difference. there's no one who's sort of overseeing that exactly. what they've done, as they've done with testing and ppe in the past and what they've done with many of supplies that we've talked about for several months, the same thing is happening with the vaccines. the states are being forced to figure this out on their own. they were told who should likely be first in line. that guidance was given by the cdc, health care workers, people over the age of 75, pre-existing conditions, things like that. but beyond that, as i was just talking about in florida, even county to county, it differed so much. there is no national strategy here, and that's a shame. there really should be. if the goal was ultimately to a, we need to get 250 million people vaccinated by the summer, that needs a national strategy. and i should also point out, the states asked for a certain amount -- they asked for the vaccine doses, but asked for a
certain amount of money to basically establish that infrastructure. and what they asked for was close to $8.4 billion. what they got was $480 million. maybe the right number lies is somewhere in between, but obviously, those are two very, very different numbers. the states were not positioned to be able to do the job that operation warp speed really thought that they would do, which was immediately inoculate people upon receiving these vaccines. that is still not happening. the problem right now, as we just talked about, is vaccine distribution. it is not vaccine availability. i mean, the vaccine availability may become a problem later on, but right now, it's all logistics. >> vaccines don't work unless you take them, sanjay. >> yeah, exactly. >> thanks so much for being with us. i know you're going to join us again a little bit later. really appreciate it. >> thank you. a wisconsin pharmacist is accused of trying to destroy hundreds of coronavirus vaccine doses. he said he did it because he believed the shots would mutate people's dna.
46-year-old jordan brandenberg was arrested last week. he deliberately tried to ruin the vaccine because he believed this conspiracy theory. he tried to spoil dozens of vials of moderna vaccine by removing them from the refrigerator. authorities are trying to determine if the vaccine doses are still effective before deciding on formal charges. we want to take a moment to remember some of the more than 353,000 americans lost to coronavirus. connecticut state trooper was among the first to respond to the sandy hook shooting. he continued to work as a deputy chief with the east brooklyn connecticut fire department and a 911 dispatcher in foster, rhode island. george rock was a 22-year veteran of the los angeles fire department. his death from coronavirus on new year's day made him the second l.a. firefighter to die of the disease in the last six
months. the 57-year-old fire captain leaves behind a wife and four children. joe ellen engelbart was just 32 years old and six months pregnant when she contracted the virus. doctors were able to save her baby before she died just two weeks after testing positive. she was an assistant prosecutor in jackson county, missouri's special victims unit, often dealing with child victims. family members say she had been so looking forward to becoming a mother herself. we'll be right back. i'm erin. -and i'm margo. we've always done things our own way. charted our own paths. i wasn't going to just back down from moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. psoriatic arthritis wasn't going to change who i am. when i learned that my joint pain could mean permanent joint damage, i asked about enbrel.
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so voters are lined up across georgia this morning, where two runoff elections will decide which party controls the u.s. senate. the democrats need to win both races to get control. so why are we here today in january? well, there were two senate races in november. david perdue against john ossoff and a special election to fill the seat held by kelly loeffler.
raphael warnock and loeffler the two leading candidates there. by georgia law, if neither candidate gets 50% in the initial election, there is a runoff. david perdue got close, but didn't quite got there, which is why we have this runoff today. what i want to focus on is this race. you can see what the democrats need to do in order to win. jon ossoff trailed david perdue by 88,000 votes. that's not insignificant. that's a fair amount. what does he need to do to make up that margin? be more like joe biden. jon ossoff got 2.3 million votes. joe biden, 100,000 votes more. so how does jon ossoff, how do the democrats make up that margin? they do it in the key democratic strongholds. fulton county, that's where atlanta. joe biden got 380,000 votes. jon ossoff, 363,000. he ran 17,000 behind joe biden.
gwinnett county, same story. only 8,000 votes, but you keep adding these up and in all of these key counties, dekalb county is another example. jon ossoff at 298. 10,000 here, 10,000 there, that's what ossoff and warnock need to do in order to prevail. what do the republicans need to do? they need to clean up in these rural counties. that's where donald trump ran strong and that's where they ran strong in november, as well. and that's where donald trump went yesterday. whitfield county is the county that trump visited. you can see david perdue got nearly 70% of the vote, a 15,000-vote margin. donald trump, by the way, with a similar margin there. in all of these rural counties, if they build up these margins and they're 159 counties in georgia, that's how the republicans can pull this off. now, there is one crucial thing i need to warn you all about tonight. tonight isn't just going to be tonight. this will take some time to count the vote.
how do we know that. let's look back at what happened in november, shall we? this is at 8:00 p.m. on november 3rd, election night. donald trump led by 7,000 voete. fast forward, midnight, tuesday into weaponidnesday, trump was but then they started counting the mail-in absentee balloting. joe biden starts to close the gap. 12:00 a.m., november 5th. this is thursday morning. trump is only ahead by 31,000 votes. by november 6th is down to 1,000 votes. finally, joe biden leaps ahead at 4:47 a.m. friday morning. so it took three days, three and a half days for biden to ultimately take the lead. they may count faster this time, because they've started scanning the ballots earlier. but everyone should brace themselves for quite a long time. alisyn? >> okay, thank you very much for setting all of that up, john. joining us now, patricia murphy,
a politics reporter for the atlanta journal constitution and lisa rahm is the host of npr's morning edition in atlanta and was a moderator of the loeffler warnock debate last night. you two are the perfect people to tell us what's happening on the ground. okay, so, pretty muchyatricia, t with you. already, 3 million georgians have voted. that breaks runoff records in the past, counting all totaled. what do we know about those 3 million votes? do we know which way they lean or who's been voting? >> we know where they've been voting. we can tell you that in the democratic areas of the state, especially in metro atlanta and the other metro areas around the states, the democrats are almost where they were at this point before election day in november. so they've been able to keep their numbers just about 4% of a drop-off in a runoff, which is an incredibly good turnout for them in republican areas that
john was talking about, those rural areas like whitfield county, the republican areas are down off 11 or 12% of where they were going into election day in november. so we know that republicans need to well outperform their performance on election day in terms of the democrats, in order to win again. it has to be said that david perdue won the most votes of anybody here in the state. he goes in with an advantage, but because of donald trump's continuous hounding of the state and its voters and its electorate, this vote is still about donald trump and not about joe biden, which is what many republicans wish it were about right now. >> alicia, i want to ask about david perdue. as john just pointed out, he won, he beat jon ossoff by 88,000 votes on election day in november. so has something so fundament fundamentally changed on the ground in georgia that jon ossoff can turn that around today? >> well, you know, early voting
told a really magnificent story there. 3 million votes cast and they all came from heavily democratic areas. so the surge is expected to continue today. enter in the stacey abrams factor. her fair fight in new georgia project, registering thousands and thousands of voters, just ahead of this runoff election so it's going to be really unique to see just how they play. they are called the disenfranchised voters. those ones that they had to court and say, you have a voice in this election. and we really need you to turn out. the majority, we think voted early, but probably a large faction of those voters will probably turn up at the polls today. >> that is really interesting. patricia, you were at the campaign stops for both joe biden and kelly loeffler yesterday. and i'm just wondering, how are kelly loeffler and david perdue, the republicans on the ground in
georgia, how are they threading the needle, if they are, between president trump telling georgians that all of this is rigged and them, the candidates, having to turn out the vote? >> david perdue is telling people, hey, i agree with you. i didn't like the way the november election turned out, either. in fact, i have my own doubts about it. so he and senator loeffler are both saying, we don't know exactly how this election really went in november, but use that energy, if you're mad, republican voters, use that energy on january 5th and come out and vote for us. if you don't vote, you will lose. at least if you vote in a rigged election, you've given it your best shot. it's a really difficult situation that the president has created for these two republican senators. kelly loeffler's final argument, her closing argument last night at that rally in dalton is that she will join the effort to challenge the electoral college and possibly the electoral college voters here in georgia.
it's a very difficult thing to ask both not to believe in the elections in georgia and not participate in them. and i have not found one republican voter who believes that joe biden has won and many do not believe that he will be inaugurated on january 20th. >> well, we will see how today plays out. lisa rahm, patricia murphy, thank you both for giving us the view from the ground there. >> thank you. republicans have argued a gop-led senate would provide a check on democrats and the new biden administration. is that really the case? john avlon has an interesting reality check, next. i'm a performer. always have been. and always will be. never letting anything get in my way. not the doubts, distractions, or voice in my head.
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the two senate runoffs in georgia will determine whether president-elect biden will assume the office of president with a divided government or majority control of both the house and the senate. this matters. john avlon with a reality check. >> sure does. because the stakes don't get much higher than today's senate runoffs in georgia. and one argument you might have heard argues that voting for republicans would provide a check and balance on the democrats. now, it's based on the idea that divided government, when one party controls the presidency and the other controls part of ko congress, will force the two parties to work together. this is comforting and quaint
and unfortunately, entirely out of touch with political reality today. because in our hyperpartisan era, divided government means demonization of even modest differences. just take a look at some republicans' desperate attempts to deny joe biden's lawful election and you'll get a glimpse of coming attractions. now, it wasn't always this way. in the middle of the 20th century, america was able to get big things done with divided government president. from the marshal plan under truman to the interstate highways under eisenhower. because there were still liberal conservatives and conservative democrats. this wasn't a bipartisan era. there were always hard-fought elections. politics ain't bean bag. but after the votes were counted, it was time for governing. lyndon johnson passed landmark civil rights with the help of republicans but things have changed. the parties have become more
ideologically divided and data shows that congressional republicans have gotten increasingly more extreme than democrats. a phenomenon known as asymmetric polarization. during the obama era, congress kept getting more polarized. when tea party republicans helped take control of the house in 2010, things really ground to a halt with fewer laws passed than any time in the modern era. by the end of the obama presidency, he had had more nominees blocked than all the presidents up to that point in our history. now, there's another myth about divided government that doesn't hold water. the idea that the stock market does better when the parties split power. turns out it's not true. and even with a 50/50 senate, vice president kamala harris breaking a tie, there are enough red and purple state democrats who have made it very clear that they will not go along with the most ambitious progressive wish lists. the irony of this is that president-elect biden took a lot of grief from the left by saying that he would work with republicans. and whatever the outcome of the georgia senate race, he'll have to do just that.
the margins are just too tight to ignore senators on the center-right. the dirty secret in our politics, though, is that bipartisan support is still the best way to pass legislation. we even saw it during the trump era, from criminal justice reform to the cares act to the renegotiation of nafta. the question is whether president biden will face reflexive opposition from a republican senate, at a time where we face crises that require reasoning together in good faith. because that's what's been missing from the government over the past decade. and that's your reality check. >> god forbid people work together. john, that was terrific. thanks so much. so dodgers stadium transformed into a mass coronavirus testing site. the dire warnings from los angeles as hospitals reach their maximum, next. pain hits fast. so get relief fast. only tylenol rapid release gels have laser-drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief. tylenol rapid release gels.
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in the thick of t they're hit ago new record for covid hospitalizations. 22,000 people in los angeles county, one in five residents who have been tested are now testing positive. health officials are calling this situation, quote, a human disaster. cnn's stephanie elam is live in los angeles with more. so what's happening on the ground there, stephanie? >> reporter: it's awful, alisyn. when you talk to the health professionals who are on the front lines dealing with this, this is not a joke. many of the hospitals are being inundated to the point where patients have to wait hours before they can even get inside the hospital here. just to paint a picture of just how bad it is in los angeles county, take a listen to los angeles county supervisor hilda solis put into perspective how bad the numbers are right now. >> it took ten months to hit 400,000 cases, but we have reached another 400,000 within the last month alone. that is a human disaster and one that was avoidable. the situation is already beyond
our imagination, but it could become beyond comprehension if the health restrictions in place are not fully obeyed. >> reporter: now, what we also know is that one person every 15 minutes is dying of the coronavirus here in los angeles county according to dr. barbara ferreira who has been updating us all pandemic long. they're also saying that at this rate the system could really collapse because it's just so inundated. one nurse i spoke to said that the nurses are working eight to one with patients right now. that just gives you an idea of how many people are there, so much so that right now ambulances are being told to not bring people who do not have a chance of survival, a strong chance of survival, to the hospital. that is how bad it is. i've also talked to an emergency room doctor who told me that it's a fight for oxygen almost because some of these patients could be released to go home if they had oxygen to take with them, but there's just not enough supplies. most importantly the canisters that they could take with them, there is just not enough of them
and the ambulances can't leave them because they need them for the next call that they are going to make. this is a huge problem that governor newsom says is a surge on top of a surge and that he's assigned a task force to deal with this and also looking to send more people down here. all in all there's about 1,300 federal and state employees who are here who are working to try to ease some of this compression that we're seeing, transferring parts of hospitals into places that normally wouldn't see patients but now will. all of this happening here in los angeles county in particular, alisyn. >> stephanie, that just explains the vicious cycle there perfectly. that patients could be released from the hospital freeing up some beds but there is not enough oxygen tanks to send them home for them to free up the beds. thank you for explaining all of that. we will dive into it now because joining us is dr. jeffrey smith the chief operating officer at cedars-sinai medical center in los angeles. doctor, tell us what is the situation in the hospitals? since they are so overcrowded, what does that mean?
>> well, we're all working very hard to remain available to our patients, both those with covid and those -- we have other urgent medical conditions. we have opened additional clinical areas by converting recovery rooms into icu beds to almost double our icu capacity, we've brought in additional nursing staff from around the country to help out. in addition to that our staff are working additional hours and shifts. we really want to be able to provide the best care possibility in this very challenging time. >> doctor, can you explain what that directive means, not to bring patients to the hospital who are in the most severe distress? aren't those the people who need to be in the hospital? >> well, this order that was issued by the county emergency medical services really is a very specific to patients who suffered from a cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived in the field. those patients have a very low rate of survival each if they
are transported to the hospital so at this time it is deemed to likely be futile. >> okay. and what about when an ambulance arrives at a hospital and there are no beds, there is no room, what happens? >> well, the emergency medical services are working very hard to divert ambulances or send them to hospitals that do have potential capacity so receive those patients. there are situations where patients are made to wait in ambulances under the care of the paramedics. we wants to make sure that time is as short as possible so that they can receive et necessary care. >> at the moment how long are they waiting in those ambulances? >> it can really vary from hospital to hospital and from situation to situation. i mean, really from day to day and hour to hour. there's nothing constant. things change very quickly. there are parts of our city where ambulances are waiting for hours in order to offboard patients. in those places the county is
working with those hospitals to actually set up tents to receive those patients and get them off the ambulances so the ambulances can be returned to service. >> and, doctor, what about what stephanie just reported about the oxygen, that there's not enough oxygen to go around and there's not even enough oxygen to send people home who have otherwise gotten well enough to go home but still need oxygen? what are you doing about that? >> that is a very difficult challenge. so we are working with the private companies who supply our oxygen tanks to us and working hard to deploy more. we are working with state and local county officials to try to access some additional resources because it really is a problem and just delays the discharge of patients so that we might have more openings to accept new ones. >> oh, my gosh. dr. jeffrey smith, we know you have your hands full. thank you very much for explaining everything that's happening in southern california to us. >> thank you. take care. >> you, too. and "new day" continues right
now. so much hinges on the results of this election. >> one state can chart the course for the next generation. >> republican senators got a presidential boost before the polls opened. >> he is being aided and abetted by two united states senators. nationwide record numbers in the hospital. 100,000 plus for 34 days straight. >> all of our hospitals are feeling impacts. >> announcer: this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. good morning, everyone. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day" and it is decision day in georgia. two high stakes runoff races will decide which party controls the u.s. senate. polls have been open for an hour now and democrats must win both seats to effectively win a senate majority. president trump and
president-elect joe biden both campaigning in georgia last night. biden stressing that the future of his agenda hinges on what happens today. mr. trump promised he would present evidence of his conspiracy theories, but he did not. instead he spent most of his 90 minutes on stage spewing more delusional conspiracy theories and attacking georgia's republican officials for not helping him overturn his loss. >> so the president's effort to overthrow the election out in broad daylight took a new twist. a veiled threat really even not that veiled to vice president pence who will preside as the electoral votes are counted in congress tomorrow. the president said he hopes pence will, quote, come through. so what does that mean? well, maggie haberman from "the new york times" reports mr. trump had directly pressed mr. pence to finding an alternative to certifying mr. biden's win, such as preventing him from having 270 electoral let's and let's th