tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN November 26, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome in. alarm spreads as a any coronavirus variant is discovered in south africa. it's not been detected in the united states yet. the biden administration will rye strict travel from south africa, and seven other african nation. u.s. officials say the restrictions will buy the u.s. time to learn more. is the world health organization has named it omicron and called it a variant of concern.
the cdc says there's a high to very high risk of spread across europe. jeff zeleny is live from nantucket for us. pete muntean joins us from reagan airport. they moved very quickly. all of a sudden, by the end of the day, all of these travel restrictions were announced. what are your white house sources telling you now? >> reporter: gym, no question, just shortly after, moments after the world health organizationsh the who's showed that concern, and on vacation propresident biden is spending time with his family, issued the travel restrictions to begin monday morning for south africa and seven other african countries, really stopping people from flying here to the u.s. unless you're an american citizen. but the white house also saying they simply do not know enough
about this vane. as you said, it will buy them some time, but the white house is focusing on another big problem -- the unvaccinated here in the u.s. the president had this message . >> reporter: so president biden there calling it a patriotic duty to get the vaccination, but quite frankly, the white house does not know what they're dealing with here, in regards to the lethality, but president biden had about a 30-minute meeting, we're told with dr. fauci and the experts. they're keeping an eye on this,
and speaking to leaders around the world. officials are saying that will not stop, of course, the spread of the variant as we have seen all too well. but clearly the white house acting quickly on this, as the president is spending a long thanksgiving weekend here on nan ticket. >> jeff, thank you. pete muntean, over at reagan national airport, despite the forthcoming travel restrictions, at least one airline is saying they will not stop travel services to south africa. what are you learning? >> reporter: the entire airline industry was waiting for these restrictions to come down. the federal government we know is waiting to issue an directive to give some guidance about how to actually go through with this. we know there was a call earlier today between the federal government and the airline
industry. two airlines operate flights between the u.s. and this region of concern. united airlines and delta air lines. delta air lines says now it will not stop operating the flight between johannesburg and atlanta that operates three times a week. united airlines operates a flight five times a week from johannesburg and newark. why wait until monday? that's a big question, but look no further to what's happening, where in europe and the uk where restrictions came down with a lot of immediatancy in the neterlands, passengers on a flight from south africa to amsterdam found out mid flight that these restrictions came into place, and they had to be cordoned off in a particular part of the airport in amsterdam as officials waited to figure out how to go through. this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to some in the industry
and also a gut punch. it wasn't even three weeks ago that the international travel world changed in a big way a 600-day delay in getting vaccinated and just any passengers, foreign nationals into the united states, now so long as they prove they have vaccinations and do not have covid with a negative covid test, they can come into the also. also the numbers for air trite right now are pretty much off the charts. it seems like the numbers were pushed up a bit by international travel and could likely go higher as people begin returning at the end of the holiday. >> just when we thought we were clawing our way out of the delta variant mess, what a gut punch. pete muntean, thank you very much. south african health experts are -- as elizabeth cohen reports, scientists are racing
to find out if the current vaccines can fight this new variant off. >> reporter: a new variant spreading quickly. u.s. health authorities in contact with officials there. >> we want to find out scientist to scientist exactly what is going on. seeing that it's a bid more widespread in south africa than originally felt. >> reporter: researcher in south africa say there's likely reason to be worried. they say this variant has more than 30 mutations in the spike protein. that's the part of the virus that gains entry to the human cells to cause infection. the vaccines target the spike plo teen. if the spike changes too much and in the wrong, it could make the vaccines less effective. learning exactly where the mutations are and how they change the spike protein will be key. >> first of all, you want to find out if it does evade the vaccine we're doing. we're getting material together to get the situation where you could directly test it. >> reporter: scientists at by on
this tech have started investigating the impact of the variant on its vaccine developed with pfizer, with data expected within the next couple weeks. this isn't the first variants to initially be detected in south africa. last year the beta variant was identified there. there were fears it could quickly spread around the world and become the dominant variant worldwide. that didn't happen. now authorities are working to see whether this new variant will slowly smolder or quickly spread around the planet. elizabeth cohen, cnn, reporting. >> our thanks to elizabeth cohen. joining me to talk about it is dr. leana wen, the former city of baltimore health commissioner. dr. wen, i have to say, this is very depressing. i was hoping we were getting out of the woods, and now the biden administration moving swiftly to impose travel restrictions against these eight countries on the southern part of that count gnome.
how effective do you think that would be? shouldn't we assume it's already here and hasn't been detected here? we have to assume it's here, right? >> well, first of all, i do think the biden administration is right to be very concerned about this new variant, because when there are new variants we look for, is it more transmissible? it definitely looks more contagious. we look if it's more virulent, but the being question is, does it cause immune escape. do the vaccines we have still work against this newspaper variant. we don't know the answer to that. we also don't know about testing, we don't know about therapeutics, whether they will work, and so in terms of travel restrictions, they don't work that well overall, about you what they do do is to buy time. time is what we need to find out for the answers to the questions about the therapeutics and the vaccines, but also, to answer
your question, is it already here? if it's already in the u.s. and around the world, then i hope the biden administration will go about removing the restriction, but to take that initial proactive step is right to do. i would also want them to imagine the counter-factual. if they did not restrict travel at this point and there was a major spike of cases due to this variant, what would we have said? >> of course, there are concerns the vaccines might not be effective. as you were saying, it's too early to know that. immune escape is a term you used to. moderna released a statement a short time ago, saying the mutations on this new variant represent a significant potential risk to natural and vaccine-induced immunity. how concerned are you about
that? >> i'm concerned. we don't have information about this yes, and these are the studies that need to be ongoing. do they still work against this variant? how many do they work? if it turns out that the vaccines that we have still work really well, then the answer will be to get booster shots to everybody. but also get booster shots to everybody and ramp up that production even more. i will say that one things that people haven't been mentioning is the vaccinate rate is low, why don't we get vaccines to people there. i have family in society africa, i have done work there. the issue in south africa is not supply, but it's uptake. the same problems we have here with misinformation.
>> the answer to all of this is to get vaccinated, boosted, protected. otherwise we will not get out of that. just ahead, bigoted remarks from a republican consequence congresswoman, but no condemnations from leadership. i'll ask a former police commissioner what can be done to stop the smash-and-grabs? they give 'em their money back. wait, they take the car back? that's crazy! what if it was driven by like a zookeeper? or a mud wrestler? or a guy who's on the outs with the missus and he just needs a place to sleep for seven days? yeah. (vo) buy your car online. love it or return it. with carvana. the dove beauty bar makes my skin feel fresh. i've encouraged serena my best friend to switch. feels moisturized and clean.
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apologizing. last week she suddened she was scared to get on an elevator with ilhan omar. now one republican leader has come out to condemn her remarks. >> reporter: making a suicide bomber joke about being in an elevator with congresswoman omar. >> i look to my leave, there she is. i say, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should by fine. >> reporter: suggesting that she was concerned omar would blow up the elevator. >> the gee ah squad decided to show up for work today. >> reporter: it was posted by patriot takes, affiliated with left-winging troops. omar responding, saying the whole story is made up, call boebert a buffoon.
where hateful tropes get no condemnation. boebert saying she is reached out to omar's office specifically. adding, there are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction. but boebert did not apologize for other incendiary remarks made during the same event, including a homophobic remark about secretary beast general taking parental relief. he was not put in charge did you mayor pete is still at home trying to figure out how to chest-feed. somebody all to tell him so he can get back to work. >> reporter: gop leadership has been silent so far in response to the series of derogatory
comments. but congressman kinzinger call boebert is trash. >> cancel culture is to stop the plan and movement of god almighty. >> reporter: this isn't the first time she's made inflammatory remarks. >> i will carry my firearm in d.c. and in congress. >> reporter: most recently boebert defended paul gosar before he was cent youred by the house for tweeting an amime video depicting him killing alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> reporter: singling out democrats. >> she has paid her husband, not her brother husband, the other one, over a million in campaign funds. this member is allowed on the foreign affairs committee while praising terrorists.
>> reporter: speaker of the house nancy pelosi and other leaders have put out a same condemning her behavior. they say her repeated ongoing and targeted islam ophobic comments and actions against congresswoman omar are deeply offensive and concerning, and they are calling on republican leaders to step up and address this tonight. >> all right. let's discuss with our panel. scott jennings and kiersten powers, thanks for being with us. scott was it just another day at the office and they got these folks in the far right in certain parts of the caucus that they just can't control?
>> senator mcconnell serves in the senate. i guarantee you, i know what he thinking. it's a garbage comment from a garbage politics. i'm as anti-squad as the next rep, but there's plenty of ways to debate these folks without stooping though this garbage rhetoric. i noted, by the way, that boebert has been forced to apologize. i assume that didn't happen in a vacuum, but she's of course committed the ultimate sin. is the people she's being formative for here would say you never should apologize. so ultimately this is not the future of the party, not the future of the country, not the future of what any of is wants. these are not the leaders that we need for america or for the republican party.
>> what do you think, kiersten? do you thing republican leaders are hesitating behind the scenes, because they don't want to upset you-know-who? >> yes, he who shall go unnamed, i guess. >> just this once. >> yeah, just this once. there is a constituency for this, as scott was saying, even apologizing will mean she'll probably double down on it in another forum. this is what people want. we heard people laughing at this, you know, and this is the kind of stuff that is just completely out of bounds. it's utterly despicable. it is -- it's obviously anti-islamic, but also let's remember these are colleagues as well, right? so talking about one of your colleagues this way, we just have this increasing, you know, story about these democratic congress women being harassed,
really by these members of congress, whether it's marjorie taylor greene or lauren boebert or paul gosar. it's creating, actually what is a very hostile environment, and the republican leadership has a responsibility to do something about it. it's not funny. these jokes are just not funny. listening to her and everything you just played, it's stomach turning. >> scott, you do want to get your reaction about pete buttigieg. you were saying a few moments ago, this is not the future of the party, but if kevin mccarthy or house leadership -- you're right, mitch mcconnell will not do anything on the senate. he has his side of things to worry about, but if the house leadership does not do something about it, doesn't this go unchecked? and this potentially could become at least part of the house republican party?
he believes, and a lot of republicans believe it's a near lock that the republicans will take control of the house and not by a small margin. so he's trying to hold this thing together until then. and, you know, keep the party from, you know, collapsing on itself because of some idiots on the fringe in the meantime. it's a full-time job. he's constantly putting out these fires. they all seem to come from the same place, the same small group of people. he has spoken out against people who have gotten out of line. he took care of steve king when that that that a couple years ago. he's not, in the past, been unwilling to handle this. i would say boebert's apology here -- believe me she didn't wake up thinking better of it. i'll gain tao tee you. >> it sounded like mccarthy's
chief of staff may have written that apology. >> her apology was one of these apologies where she's apologizing that people got offended. she's not saying my behavior is a problem, and i think what's more important than the apologies at this point is changed behavior. it's time for them to change their behavior and stop harassing other members of congress, particularly women of color, in the democratic caucus. all right. thank you both for being with us tonight. we appreciate it. coming up, how will the new discovered covid variant affect the economy? the dow jones just had its worst day in a year. plus icon broadway composer stephen sondheim has died. we'll look at his long career. ♪
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and we're back with our breaking news. president biden is restricting travel from south africa and seven other countries starting monday as a new coronavirus variant has emerged. the dow had its worst day in a year, taking a nose dive. let's discuss with mark zandy and catherine rampel. happy holidays. we saw similar trends when the delta variant emerged. what do you think? are the markets overreacting? >> well, they're reacting as they should. i think investors realize the
economy remains tethered to the pandemic. it slowed growth and juiced up inflation, so i think there's reasonable concern, but today was a pretty thin trading day, so news like this gets amplified by the thin trading. it's also important to realize the stock market has gone a long way over the past couple years, at record levels, so anything could set it off. i wouldn't jump to too strong of a conclusion here, but investors are attacking some probability to the possibility this becomes a problem for the economy again. >> catherine, should we expect this terr moil to go on for a while? >> i think it will depend on what the science shows about the contagiousness of this variant and the deadliness of this variant. that was the real concern with delta, that it was much more transmissible that is earlier version of coronavirus and therefore brought a lot more
damage. it disrupted even more supply chains, because people weren't able to go to work. some countries shall shutdowns. it grcreated havoc. so we know how how much damage this variant will have until there's more evidence. it's the public health issue that's driving the economics here. mark, this comes as americans are gearing up for the holiday season how do you think this new covid strain will help impact retail sales? should we expect that to occur also? >> i don't think so, jim. i think consumers are feeling pretty good. a lot of jobs are being created, unemployment is falling quickly. wage growth has been strong. they have a lot of savings that they built up, a lot of pent-up
demand. it feels like this christmas will be pretty good. i drove by the king of prussia mall, and it was just jammed. now, having said that, you know, if this becomes a bigger deal, then we've got a problem, you know, later -- as we go into next year. >> absolutely. we're tight on time. we've got to run, but thank you both, as always. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> sure thing. coming up, new development in the january 6th investigation, steve bannon now apparently says he wants documents related to his contempt of congress case to be made public.
previously ordered the records kept private, but bannon wants that order reversed. congressman he man hines, what make of this? he wants these sdomts to be made public? what's going on? >> we, jim i think there's two things going on. number one, he's trying to pick on every aspect of this trial that he can. he's part of the family delay, part of the strategy, when trump was actually president, and then more ominously, jim, what he's clearly doing is, even though this is sort of standard procedure, nobody has alleged he's being treated unfairly, he's signaling to the maga crowd, to the trump crowd, something is amid here. it goes back to the notion that something was amiss in the voting, that led to biden's
election. he's setting the page to say, if he's elected this is a sham show trial and from moment one, i told you it would be. >> what do you think about the way the committee is casting this wide net? that it does contribute to what you were just saying, this endless process of things being dragged out and delayed? >> no, i don't think so, jim. look, the january 6th committee has already floated information that we didn't have before, about how organized this plan was. we didn't know about -- there's lots being brought out. i was there, i'm here to tell you this was the most serious attack on the democracy, so it's really essentially, the committee is running against the
clock. they've got a lot of work to do in not just getting to the truth, but also in reestablishing congress's prerogatives. you don't get to say to congress, i'm going to ignore you, whiches what bannon and all the trump people tried to. >> and a quick comment on lauren boebert, her remarks, her vile remarks about ilhan omar. >> it's awful, jim. it makes me so sad sad. i've gotten used to the remarks she is makes, but to do coloradans cheering her on, here's somebody who claims to be a christian. you know, my understanding of the gospel is not that you humiliate, mock and attack people. yet, that is show she makes her money, literally speak, because these things are used to excite the fund-raising base, and
they're dangerous. at some point somebody is going to get hurt because of this rhetoric. >> that is a concern, a concern we've been raising over and over again, and thanks for joining us tonight. we appreciate it. >> thank you, jim. coming up, flash mobs are ransacking high-end stores. what's behind these smash-and-grab robberies? ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world. ♪
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incidents that are highly organized. this trend is all over the place now. >> reporter: jim, authorities say at least three of these hits occurred at nordstrom stores, but those occurred in california. tonight police are not only pursuing suspects, but looking into how well organized these robberies were. on the left thieves violently hack away at a glass case near san francisco. on the right several perpetrators ransack a louis vuitton store outside of chicago. authorities say they made away with over $100,000 worth of merchandise. at this nordstrom store in canoga park, at least five people went in. >> these took several high-end purses. unfortunately we do have a security guard here that was working for the store, working
for nordstrom, that was attacked by the suspects. >> reporter: it's reported that one of the suspects was wearing an orange wig. the same day, at least four people stole $20,000 worth of merchandise in what police say was a brazen daytime burglary in front of customers and staff. police said those suspects were between 14 and 18 years of age. this is a part of a wave of of so-called smash-and-grab robberies, histories that were disturbing in the amount of coordination and people involved. >> i saw a bunch of weapons. they aren't looting the nordstrom's right here. >> reporter: at least three occurred at nordstrom stores. customers are terrified. >> very disturbing. now i'm rye luxant to come to
nordstrom's, even the mall for that matter. >> reporter: san francisco's police chief says his department has made some arrests and recover millions of dollars in stolen properties. he said he believes it ranges from common thieves to sophisticated organized groups. >> there has to be a degree of organization. there's no way in my mind that, you know, up to 80 people, there's a series of stores. >> law enforcement analysts tell us some of these could be copycat burglaries. they say they kinds of hits are tough to guard against. one analyst says customers can also help. >> they should always be sensitive to their surroundings, if it goes down while in the store or nearby, stay out of the
way. if you are in a position to take a photo, that would be helpful. the police, just observe what you are doing. we also asked, with some of these hits, analysts say one things law enforcement agencies are likely doing tonight is monitoring social media jim? >> brian todd, thank you very much. for more of that, i want to bring in charles ramsey. chief, thanks so much. >> we had this problem in philadelphia, where large groups
of young people were rushing into the store. 15, 20 of them at a time, you knee, what time to meet and which store they were going to go into, so forth, most of these kids were like 13 to 18 years old, many with no previous criminal records. we were able to reach out to parents and actually got a couple calls that let us notice what was taking place. it's very difficult to guard again. you beefful is the presence,ing on with these stores, and try to get them to really enhance their security. any of the more expensive items, try to push them back further
perhaps that could be somebody that might be helpful. it that matches >> what's going on in ill p philadelphia? >> well, 1990 was the crack wars so that's how far back it goes. i still live in philly but i don't have the same kind of access to information that i once had. but i will tell you this. what i have noticed is a lot of finger pointing going back and forth. and what i hope city leaders, police, district attorney, mayor, everybody, they get together and actually come up with a strategy. and that strategy can't just be having a press conference, and -- and asking people, pleading with people not to shoot one another. that's not going to work. you have to have a strategy to
identify the violent individuals who are carrying guns, and who are using those guns and you got to be able to get 'em off the street. i mean, i know it's not popular to say. but these violent guys got to get locked up. they got to get them off the street, period. anything short of that is not going to work, and things could get worse, believe it or not. before they get better. i mean, this isn't the end of november, yet. and already, at 500. so they'll go past that number. >> absolutely, it's a staggering figure. chief ramsey, thanks for those comments. hope they are listening in philadelphia where they need all the help they can get. chief, thanks so much. appreciate it. coming up, we are following reports an icon of american musical theater has died at the age of 91. we will remember his life and extraordinary career right after the break. to always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to? (naj) no, we do it because it's the right thing to do.
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and more breaking news. a musical theater icon, legendary broadway composer, steven sondl him has died at th age of 91 according to "the new york times" and "the washington post." sondheim was behind some of the world's most popular and revolutionary musicals. getting his big break with the iconic west side story. as cnn's stephanie elam takes a closer look at sondheim's lasting year and influence. >> reporter: steven sondheim was one of musical theater's most prolific and successful writers, winling eight tony awards, eight grammy awards, an academy award, a pulitzer prize for drama and in 2015, the presidential medal of freedom. sondheim was born on march 22nd,
1930, in new york city. his parents divorced in 1942, and he moved to pennsylvania appro with his mother. in pennsylvania, he became friend with james, the son of lyricist oscar hammerstein. throughout his teen years, his relationship with his mother deteriorated, and eventually, the two became estranged. but oscar hammerstein was a constant figure, encouraging sondheim's musical talents throughout high school and college. >> if it hadn't been for them, i really don't know where i would be, if i would even be alive. >> reporter: sondheim's big break came when he wrote the lyrics for the broadway show "west side story" in 1957. then, in 1962, he expanded his repertoire and for the first time, he wrote the lyrics and composed the music for a funny thing happened on the way to the
forum. in 1970, sondheim began a collaboration with theater pro pro producer hal prince that lasted more than a decade. their 1973 play, a little night music, was composed mostly in waltz time and became one of their biggest commercial successes. it featured the hit "send in the clowns." one uof sondheim's best-known songs. in 1979, sondheim wrote what was probably broadway's first musical thriller "sweeney todd." the story of an english barber and serial killer. >> what's great about the theater is it's a living organism, whereas movies and television are as if in amber. it's not that they're dead but they're only alive in one shape,
form, and tone. every time you see a movie, they are giving the same performances they did the last time you saw them. not true of a show. >> reporter: inspiration was everywhere for sondheim. and in 1984, moved by a famous painting, he pinned the lyrics for sunday in the park with george. for that inventive stage craft, he won the pulitzer prize for drama. in 1987, he wrote the broadway hit "into the woods" based on the fables of the brothers grim. late in sondheim's career, lin-manuel miranda approached him with something he was working on. a musical, then called "the hamilton mix tape." sondheim mentored miranda just as hammerstein had done for him. from waltzes to rap, inspired by
everything from serial killers to fairy tales, sondheim's impact on american-musical theater spanned decades and created some of the world's most popular musicals. >> what an amazing life, such a gift to the world. thanks so much to stephanie dpor that report. i'm jim acosta. thanks very much for watching. coming up, the cnn original series diana, her legacy continues. ♪ i stand before you today, the representative of a family in grief and a