tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 27, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
gay kids in general that still are in a position that they're not accepted by their families. >> third culture bakery was started by two men who fall in love and whether you come in for that or just for a muffin, you're leaving with a piece of our love story. thanks for joining me. breaking news, officials in germany have identified two cases of an alarming new covid var variant. it follows a similar announcement from the uk a few hours ago. the british prime minister held an emergency press conference where he gave this sobering warning. >> it does appear that omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.
there is also a very extensive mutation which means it diverges quite significantly from previous configurations of the virus. as a result, it might, in part, reduce the protection of our vaccines over time. >> joining me now, david mckenzie. i want to start with you. there the prime minister was clear about threat they are facing but what else did he say about their plan to address this variant? >> well, it was a sobering press conference from boris johnson. there were really some warning signs expressed there but boris johnson did say the uk government would be taking a targeted approach. we have had two confirmed cases in the uk. germany confirmed two cases. there are concerns that europe
could be seeing a spread in this variant coming in the next few days and weeks. boris johnson announced a series of measures to try to tackle or bring under control the spread of this variant on a national level. we have seen the travel restrictions coming toward in the uk and from the european union. people in the uk will be required if they are coming into the country to quarantine themselves and self-isolate for ten days in a government approved hotel at their own expense. what we just heard in the last few moments is people will be required to take a pcr test by day two. they will have to isolate until they get the test result. if they receive a negative test result they will have to isolate for ten days as well as their contacts. that's the key here. there's a great emphasis on contact tracing and suring the spread of the virus is controlled. there will be other measures brought back into force. the uk was relaxing travel and
social life as well. mask wearing will become compulsory in shops and other indoor areas including public transport. they're not in the hospitality sector. there's an effort to bring under control. not as drastic as we have seen in other parts of europe, austria. the netherlands has brought into place a partial lockdown with concerns over several travelers who have arrived. there are concerns. we do see a varying approach across the european continent. boris johnson has been clear. there are some concerns and he said that while there are concerns that there isn't clear evidence as whothe how effectiv the vaccines will be against this new variant. there's some signs if you had two dozesses and the booster do you may be in a better place.
>> what's the mood among officials where you are right now? >> reporter: i think it's deeply frustrating and angry in some cases. you did see the british prime minister expressing what he called deep gratitude for the scientists in south africa who managed to describe this and figure out the potential danger of this variant very quickly. besides people wanting gratitude, they don't want these bans spreading across the world, stopping travelers from south africa and this region going into those countries and perhaps more importantly potential tour is coming from the countries here as the region comes into its main tourist season. the effects of this ban could be devastating. now, while most countries putting in these bans, including the u.s. has stressed this is
important from a public health perspective, it's worth remembering the w.h.o. and the cdc and most public health experts have been speaking to over the months say these kind of flat out bans never are put in time enough because of the nature of this virus. they might only help in the margins and their impact can be very huge. the state of this variant in the country at the moment here in south africa, there are -- there is an increasing case, kwiquite dramatic increase. no indication this variant is anymore serious and at this point, speaking to doctors in this city, they said there isn't much pressure on the hospitals at the moment. it could be too early to tell.
>> what are you learning from your sources about what the president and his team are doing right now about this new threat? >> president biden was briefed earlier today on the latest developments relating to omicron as he is spending the thanksgiving holiday weekend here in nantucket. his covid team is in touch with health officials from other countries around the world as people are trying to learn more about what exactly this variant means. officials have said it could take several days or possibly even several weeks to fully understand the impact of the omicron variant. that includes whether this might cause severe illness and whether it will evade the vaccines that are being administered around the world. a bit earlier today, dr. anthony fauci talked about how this is a highly spreadable variant but it also said it could be possible it's already here in the united
states. >> you would predict from looking at the mutations that have been identified that it likely will be more transmissable. we don't know that yet but you have to be careful and assume that's the case. >> do you believe that omicron is already here in the u.s., likely? >> you know, i would not be surprised if it is. >> reporter: while health officials are trying to learn more about omicron. the white house and president biden have been stressing the importance of vaccinations and booster shots. that's how this administration insist americans will be able to protect themselves against the coronavirus and other variants that may make its way to the united states. this is such a difficult subject for the administration to tackle in the coming days and weeks as people are heading into the holiday season. they're trying to learn more about what this variant might mean for people who are impacted
by it and certainly the administration will also focus on curving the spread of it if it does make its way here to u.s. >> thank you so much for your excellent reporting staying on top of this fast moving story. joining me with more on the merging threat of omicron, primary care specialist and public health expert. welcome. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you sdp. >> it seems how much protection will the vaccines provide against the variant. we heard a lot about dozens of mutations on the spike proteins. can you translate that for lay folks and how much do we know about the protection people may have if they have been vaccinated. >> i take the whole position we shouldn't panic just yet. the most important thing is to study the virus. just because it's more contagious, doesn't necessarily
mean it's more dangerous. one thing to look out ifor is te r-naught number or the reproduction number. how many people can one person infect. with the delta variant the number was about eight or nine. measles which is the most cont contagious, is r-naught number is 18. guess what scientists are predicting for this variant. it might be upwards in the 50s. one person could infect 50 people. we don't know any of this yet. i think what's most important is that people that are unvaccinated, people who have not been boosted, this is the time to show at your local pharmacy and get the vaccinations. there's three plus billion people in the world who have not gotten their first jab. really we should just calm down. study more about this virus, continue to wear the masks and
get vaccinated. >> i'm lawyer, not a doctor. if more people can be inif he canned, u -- infected, up to 50 you have more virus. >> yes. this is the worst of the virus yet. we're talk about 50 mutations. 30 of which are on the spike pro t -- protein. we need it to be deadly so we need to be able to attack the spike protein with the antibodies that the vaccine produce. if the spike protein has 30 mutations then the antibodies may not recognize it which means that the worst fear which would immune escape meaning the vaccine doesn't work at all. i'm a little more optimistic. it should still work to some
degree. >> you say you're not a huge fan of travel bans. we heard experts say, they help a little but not a lot. tell me more about your reservations because in a situation like this, seems like even a little bit of help is a good thing. no? >> i agree. it's kind of like a knee jerk reflex. countries are trying to protect their borders but this is what happens with travel bans. by the time a dangerous variant is identified, we're already playing catch up. somebody has to fall sick. somebody has to get tested. we're not testing everybody and we're not se seqquencing every single virus out there. south africa was transparent. i commend them for being open about this dangerous variant knowing they might be punished. these travel bans really does punish the country that's being transparent. my worry is future countries may not be as forthcoming. secondly, if the variant is already in these countries, our focus should be more on studying
the variant, getting vaccines into people's arms. that's why i don't think travel bans really work that well. >> given the fact wlerned edwe covid-19 was probably in the u.s. before cases were identified, what is the best thing people with do to protect themselves from this variant. it does seem across many experts, they're saying it's likely it's already here. what should people do? >> realize it's on our soil. 40% of americans are still unvaccinated. vaccines along will not get us out of this pandemic. making wise choice, continuing to wear the mask, getting boosted if you haven't already. protecting our elderly because they will have the worst outcome if they get infected and kids that are not vaccinated. we are tired of the pandemic but
the pandemic is definitely not tired of us. >> thank you, doctor. appreciate you being with us. >> thank you. coming up, the president of ukraine alleges that russia is plotting a coup against him. the details, next. a dedicated fidelity advisore looking at your full financial picture. this is what it's like to have a comprehensive wealth plan with tax-smart investing strategies designed to help you keep more of what you earn. and set aside more for things like healthcare, or whatever comes down the road. this is "the planning effect" from fidelity. to our 300,000 employees at cvs health: thank you for demonstrating the power of purpose. through your work, your caring, your dedication to being wherever you're needed, becoming part of families, bringing more confidence to the comeback, and delivering the essentials to people's doors,
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but wherever you are on your journey. your dell technologies advisor is here for you - with the right tech solutions. so you can stop at nothing for your customers. ukraine's president says russia is plotting a coup in ukraine next week with the help of one of the country's richest oligarch. they deny any involvement. matthew chance reports the situation has the region on edge for good reason. >> these are disturbing a allegations. serious and new threat posed by russia against his government. we have information that will soon be a coup in our country. he announced d at a round tabl
discussion. the kremlin denies any plot. >> reporter: it's a dramatic escalation in the war of words. russia is accused of having forces near the border. now the president says he has intelligence, including an audio recording of russians and ukrainians discussion the plot against him. no evidence has yet been made public. he also suggested ukraine's richest man, this powerful oligarch who on several critical media outlets may have been involved. s something denied to cnn. the information made public by vladimir about attempts to draw me into some kind of coup is an absolute lie he said in this written statement.
he continues i will defend free ukraine and do everything i can to prevent authoritarianism and sens sensorship. for years, ukraine has been facing enormous purchase from its powerful russian neighbor. fighting a trench war with russian backed rebels in the country's east. it was the threat of holding back u.s. military aid that led to former president trump's first impeachment. now u.s. officials say russia is engaged in destabilizing activities inside you ukraine, well, against the zelensky government. conscious he has enemies outside the country and within. there's also fears he's using real concerns about russia to crack down on his opponents too. matthew chance, cnn, london.
>> let's bring in jill dogherty. thanks so much for being with us. i want to talk to you about what matthew reported on. to you, does this build up along the border, does it look and feel differentpreviously? >> it does if you listen to most people who watch this very closely. the numbers are large. the way they have been brought in, they were brought in back in april and nothing really happened. it was very large number of troops. this time it feels different. it's a signaling going on. there are statements by president putin about ukraine demeaning and diminishing its sovereignty. you have this latest report that matthew was talk about in terms of a possible coup.
it's a very tense situation. ukraine has been moving closer to the west. i shall any they felt perhaps he was making some good soundings about russia and they could work with him. at this point there seems to be no way for that to happen. russians throwing up their hands. that's why we're getting this very serious indication that there could be some military action. whether there is or not, it's still very threatening. >> one of russia's criticisms is the west, particularly the u.s., had been arming yukraine with sophisticated weapons. how much does that play into this current crisis? >> all of that does. depends on which side of the border you're looking at. if you're in moscow, you look and say, yes, nato is training
ukrainetroops. the united states gave $400 million this year for lethal military supplies to ukraine. it looks threatening from moscow side or that is what they say and i think that's probably pretty genuine. president putin does not want any interference by nato, the united states, the west in general in what he still considers 30 years after the soviet union ended. he still considers his neighbor. that's, i think, one of the problems that we've got. his view of what ukraine even is. >> he's been targeting the country's oligarchs.
what do you say to those people who say hooee's using the curre situation to crack down on his critics? >> the critics are some of the people who should be cracked down on. i'm not saying he should repress them but what he's been trying to do, not very successfully, but urged on by the united states and europe, crack down on construction and the huge influence that these oligarchs have in ukraine. ukraine has not been able to solve that problem. they've gotten some warnings direct urging from the united states. there's some problems in ukraine. president zelensky was talking about the oligarch.
he has enormous influence in the entire country. >> based on your expertise, why do you think svladimir putin is choosing to flex his muscle now, in this way? >> i feel he's looking at what nato is doing. he's looking at what the united states is doing and -- militarily, but he's also looking at the united states. he thinks is united states is deflecting from payings attention to what's going on. if the united states is not paying enough attention to russia, that incenses putin. he wants the united states to pay attention to russia.
it's -- that is why you got a lot of conversations right noi. nato will be meeting this coming week. there's a lot of discussions between the russians and the americans on this subject. >> appears he's achooefieved th attention he wanted. thanks so much. just ahead, broadway is mourning the loss of stephen sodeheim.
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are pouring in after his death on friday. singer and broadway star tweeted good-bye dear sir. we will spend our lives trying to make you proud. novelist and playwright paul rudnick said he would go to see everything. i received a personal note that thrills know this way. we look back on his bold body of work. >> reporter: stephen sodeheim was one of musical theaters most prolific and successful writers. winning eight tony awards, eight grammys, academy, a pulitzer prize for drama and the presidential medal of freedom. he was born on march 22nd, in 1930. his parents divorced in 1942. the moved to pennsylvania with his mother.
he became friends with james ha hammerstien. his relationship with his mother deteriorating throughout his teen years and eventually the two became estranged. oscar hammerstein was a constant figure. encouraging his talents throughout high school and college. >> if it had not been for them, i don't know where i would be, if i would be alive. >> reporter: sodeheim's big break came when he wrote the lyrics for west side story in 1957. in 1962, he expand ed and he wrote the lyrics and composed the music for a funny happened on the way to the forum. in 1970, he began a collaboration with hall 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 of sodeheim's best known songs. in 1979, he 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 where movies and television are as 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 performance as they did the last time you saw them. not true of a show. >> reporter: inspiration was everywhere for sodeheim.
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 into the woods based on the fables. late in sodeheim's career, he was approached with something he was working on. a musical then called the hamilton mixed tape. he mentored him just as hammerstein had done to him. from waltzes to rap, his impact on american musical theater spanned decades and created some of the most popular musicals. >> what a life.
sodeheim mentored lynn manwell before hamilton became a household name. he sphared an e-mail he receive last week. i wrote him to say his ears must be burning from the count less sodeheim kindnesses being shared from the generations of writers he mentored. sodeheim responded with it's an aspect of my life i'm proud of. i feel as if i've repaid what i owe oscar. congress come ilan asking congress leaders to act. after boebert is caught on video makie ie ing racist comments. if it's "let's wrap this up" season, it's walgreens season. what if you could have the perspective to see more? at morgan stanley, a global collective of thought leaders
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republican congresswoman lauren boebert is apologizing after she was seen on video making islamophobic comments about a democrat colleague. implying that ilan omar one of the first muslim women elected to congress might be a suicide wo bomber. >> i look to my left and there she is. i said, well, she doesn't have backpack. we should be fine. >> susan malvo is covering these developments for us. it's tricky with things like this because by reporting on this, we're amplifying it but
seems the real plesmessage thes kind of statements are becoming accepted on capitol hill. what are you learning? >> we know she's being tested. what kind of insults or derogatory remarks against her democratic colleagues are acceptable. the democratic leadership saying that boebert needs to fully retract her comments because her language, behavior, far beneath the standard of dignity and decency that is required by members of congress. boebert tweeted i apologize to anyone in the muslim comment i offended with my comment about representative omar. i've reached out to her office. there's plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction. she tweeted back saying i am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. gop leader and speak er pelosi needs to take action. it endangers my life and all
muslims. it has no place in congress. kevin mccarthy is also being tested. mccarthy is poised to become the speaker if republicans win back the house next year. he is being pulled by both extremist elements in his party as well as the moderates to give some clear direction as to where the republican party is going. mccarthy has so far not condemned boebert's remarks. he's previously promised to reinstate the committee assignments of paul gosert and marge ree taylor green following their own remarks. >> what are you hearing from republican leadership and rank and file members about these comments? are they going to let this slide? >> today a moderate republican, telling cnn they believe mccarthy is taking the middle of this conference for granted. the moderates. they could have a bigger problem with the moderates in winning back the gavel because embracing
the extremists will alienate some critical voters. they are also warning the two wings of the party are headed for a collision course. that if mccarthy fails to rein in the fringe members of the party, moderates will start speaking out saying quote, our side isn't going to take this much longer. >> we'll see. thank you for that report. how china is trying to silence the conference about tennis star who has not been seen in public in weeks.
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the women's tennis association says it remains deeply concerned about chinese tennis star and how she is still being censured. this comes after paying pub welcomely accused vice premier of coercing her into sex at his home. may rush to muffle her with blanket sensorship. the women's tennis world demanded answers on her whereabouts. china has a long history of silencing its critics. >> you can see that as soon as you started talking about this story, it went to color bars. when china's communist rulers don't like the message. >> this broadcast is not being aired in china. it's being censored. >> reporter: they don't want the people there to see it. cnn coverage of tennis star blocked inside china. >> it really tries to control the story, control the narrative.
>> reporter: controlling the narrative means scrubbing social media. the explosive post on november 2nd, accusing a retired chinese leader of sexual assault erased within 30 minutes. look for the story on china ease leading search engine. you get this message. sorry. no relevant results found. the scandal so politically sensitive a high profile roughered to it on twitter as the thing people talked about. state media staying silent. no mention in the mainland's tv or digital media. the news outlets eagerly tweeting updates and images in english on a platform blocked in their own country. an irony not lost on millions following the story outside of china. some mocking the state media tweets. she's seen smiling but not talking ant a tennis tournament. having dinner with friends and a chinese sports official who happens to mention the exact
date several times. cnn has no way to verify these videos or this e-mail supposedly from pung. to head of the women's tennis association last week claiming the head of the wta telling "out front" he's not con vkcon convi. >> i don't believe that's the truth at all. >> the wta demanding direct uncensored communication with peng. the organization's repeated calls and messages to the tennis star unanswered. >> china is well-known for coercing statements to show that everything is fine. >> reporter: china's narrative bolstered by the international olympic committee, the ioc handed out this single image of a video call sunday along with a
statement summarizing the call claiming peng is safe and well, totally ignoring her painfully detailed allegation of sexual assault. with billions of dollars in ad revenue on the line, critics call the ioc complicit in chesap china's silencing a three-time olympian who many feel is being held under duress, censored by china's authoritarian government come blames hostile forces for politicizing the issue. when cnn goes to the next story, our signal returns. as china waits for the news cycle to move on, the pressure keeps growing. the world keeps demanding answers. >> and a quick programming note -- join fareed zakaria for an in-depth look at china's leader. china's iron first: xi jinping and the stakes for america begins tomorrow at 9:00. all roa. it's not magic that makes more holiday deliveries
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refund. after 11 weeks, the jury finally heard directly from former elizabeth holmes. she took the stand for nearly nine hours testifying about the origin of her new-defunct company and the evolution of its blood-testing devices. in her signature baritone voice, holmes cited trade secrets as the reason for not disclosing the use of third-party devices for their blood tests. we have this report. more people will have access to their own health information. >> reporter: with her distinctive deep voice, elizabeth holmes taking the stand. over three days of testimony, holmes tried to explain her actions and her regrets at her now-dissolved blood testing company theranos. >> this is the little tubes that we collect the samples in. >> reporter: needing just a few drops of blood, the startup once
valued at $9 billion promised a wide range of tests claiming to revolutionize health care. >> we called them the nano-tainer, about this big. >> reporter: for 11 weeks prosecutors in her criminal trial have argued holmes, out of time and out of money, lied. she faces 11 federal fraud charges over allegations that she knowingly misled investors, doctors, and patients. the 37-year-old has pleaded not guilty. once known as the richest self-made woman, holmes captured the attention and money of powerful and wealthy investors. overall, holmes raised $945 million in part thanks to her charisma. >> she's kind of has her head tilted, she's very engaged. she's frequently smiling, making eye contact with her attorney who's asking her the questions. and occasionally looking over at the jurors, you know, to kind of explain to them how the
technology worked. >> reporter: tuesday holmes also telling the jury she relied on her scientists and cited trade secrets as the reason for not disclosing the use of third-party devices for their blood tests. this as prosecutors prepare to confront the now-disgraced golden girl of silicon valley. >> for weeks we've heard all of the allegations that they have mounted against her, and they'll get a chance to put those allegations to her and kind of see how she responds. i expect it will be pretty fiery at some points when that happens. >> reporter: cnn, san jose, california. and now for some much needed good news. a group of volunteer craftsmen at waukesha, wisconsin, are making sure survivors of that deadly parade attack have one less thing to worry about. they're going home to home building wheelchair ramps. >> we're very thankful for everyone that is part of this. waukesha's a very strong
community. we're a small city, but when this happened, everyone just came together. >> home depot and several other local businesses donated all of the building project materials. thanks for joining me today. i'm paula reid in washington. "cnn newsroom" continues with jim acosta. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. we start with breaking news. dr. anthony fauci says a heavily mutated covid variant that's potentially more contagious and more vaccine resistant may already be here in the u.s. >> would not be surprised if it is. we have not detected it yet. when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over. >> the omicron variant has been