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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  December 17, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST

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the u.s. is averaging nearly 220,000 cases per day. more than 68,000 americans are hospitalized with coronavirus, which is an increase of more than 40% from a month ago. and nearly 1,300 americans are dying each day from the virus. let's begin our coverage with cnn's shimon prokupecz live in new york city where the positivity rate, shimon, has doubled in just days, a tough new reality setting in, shimon. >> a. >> reporter: a tough new reality and causing anxiety and concern here by city officials. v because of the growing number of cases. when you look at the numbers, the seven-day average, everything seems to be going up.
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up a seven-day average going up. then as you said, the doubling of the number of cases in just a few days. the number of cases went from 3.9% to 7.3%. that has city officials very concerned, one saying they've never seen anything like this before. and then of course the concern over the unvaccinated, where they're seeing a rise in cases of those who are unvaccinated. then always the big marker is the hospitalizations and where that's going, because that is what decides what the government here does, what city and state officials do. right now, they're seeing an uptick in that as well. some of the hospitals have already made some changes to try and alleviate some of the pressure. that seems to be working. as you said, the lines all across the city at testing centers like the one behind me here on west 57th street at the city m.d., people have been lining up here since 5:00 in the
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morning. this opened up at 7:00 a.m. people have been standing on this line for two hours, kate. a lot of concern, a lot of anxiety. a lot of people on this line saying they were exposed at work, so out of that concern, they want to get tested, kate. >> yeah. and we see how little testing has improved when the system is tested once again. thanks, shimon. appreciate it. there is growing fear this morning that america's health care system could buckle under a new wave. some hospitals are already at crisis levels. jason carroll is live in dearborn, michigan, where a federal strike team is stationed to help with the influx of patients. how dad is it there right now? >> reporter: you said it best, kate. when you use the word "crisis," that's what they're experiencing here. looking at beaumont hospital where we are, we've talked to the doctors and the nurses here. there's no question they are overworked and understaffed. a number of covid patients keep coming in. when you look at the state, they've seen a steady increase
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in the number of hospitalizations here in michigan since august. the governor has reached out and said, look, we need help, and the federal government has answered, sending that special task force from the department of defense, members of the army coming here to help out, to plug in where help is needed. they have not only been here, but they've been to 13 states across the country. this team is made up of critical care nurses, respiratory therapists. the help is here and it's needed now. >> when you're giving all that you can and all that you are to your patients stoo to help them survive, it's hard to go home and be a wife and be a mom or, you know, be an aunt or whatever. you constantly are thinking about is my patient okay. like, i left and they weren't doing so great. they're teetering. are they okay? >> reporter: the task force is
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here for a month, maybe longer if needed. we've said this before, but it's worth stating again, the overwhelming amount of people here requiring hospitalizations are the unvaccinated. the majority of those in icu, the majority on respirators all unvaccinated. kate? >> it impacts everybody when the entire health care system is stressed because of it. thank you, jason. with uncertainty coming with the omicron variant and the surge in cases, millions of americans are still planning to travel over the next two weeks. aaa estimates holiday travel is going to approach prepandemic levels. cnn's pete muntean is live at reagan national airport outside of washington with more. it's understandable, pete, because this was supposed to be the holidays getting back to normal. how everything is so quickly confusing. how are airlines preparing for this? >> reporter: well, no huge difference at the airline level, kate, as things get busier by the moment. you nighted airlines says it's busy period begins today and
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stretches until next thursday and anticipates passenger loads about 20% higher than what we saw over the thanksgiving travel period where air travel set pandemic-era records. the tsa is anticipating 21 million people will pass through the airports between december 23rd and january 3rd. yesterday, 2.06 million people flew, the highest number we have seen since december 5th, really a sign of this rush already beginning. the question is as these infections go up will these numbers begin to taper off a little bit. airlines say they've seen bookings slump off a little bit as the omicron variant rises. united airlines' ceo scott kirby says, yes, cancellations are up because of the omicron variant but not as much as when we saw the delta variant surge earlier in the summer. here's what he said. >> 2022 is still going to be a recovery year for the industry because, you know, we're not past -- covid isn't over yet. it will never be over but it's
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still in probably the pandemic phase, so the endemic phase. >> reporter: what's so interesting is the cdc is giving out at-home coronavirus test kits to international travelers as they alive in the united states. the cd cdc said they need to get tested after flying to the u.s. miami, minneapolis, dallas-fort worth, chicago, and that could be expanded soon. we'll see as the pandemic continues to unfold, kate. >> pete, thank you very much. joining me for more on this is dr. leana wen and dr. mark garlic, the president and ceo of children's minnesota. thanks wen, we have all of these data points. you have huge increases in cases but not clear how severe the disease will be talking about omicron. at the same time, this is not march 2020, because many of us are vaccinated and boosted. but we still don't know what this virus is going to do.
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so what do we do? >> we have to put it all into perspective and each live with our own realities of where we are. what i mean is when we look nationally, we definitely have a major problem. we already have the rise of the delta variant that was causing major strains on our hospital system, and now we're having omicron. even if omicron doesn't cause more severe disease but a lot more people are getting ill, that could really tax our already overwhelmed health care system and our health care workers as well. but then at the same time, as you mentioned, we have a lot more tools. what i am affidavdvocating for people use the 2 out of every 3 rule. vaccination, testing, and masking. with this amount of virus around us, we should have 2 out of every 3 things. if you're not vaccinated, you should be masking, and if you're gathering with people, testing. if you are vaccinated, alleges get that booster too. but if you want to get together with people indoors without
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masks, then make sure that people are tested that same day. if you're unable to get that test, people should be wearing masks indoors. i think we can take these commonsense precautions and still gather together with our loved ones coming this holiday. >> dr. gorelick, we heard from jason carroll in dearborn, michigan, talking about the hospital system there being stressed. you're in the middle of what's already a winter wave and what could be -- a sign coming to the rest of the country. hospitalizations in minnesota i think have tripled since the summer. can you describe what you're seeing? >> yeah. we certainly -- our hospital and others in minnesota are seeing huge numbers of patients with covid on top of huge numbers of patients with other problems. people come to the hospital for a lot reasons, and covid, when you're on top of a surge where you're already at 90%, 95% capacity, those extra covid
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patients coming in, those preventable covid patients coming in are the thing that pushes the system to the brink. that's what we're seeing in minnesota. >> it's notice worthy, you took out a full-page ad in one of your state's leading papers along with other doctors making a plea to the public, you're heart broeken, overwhelmed. why did you need do that? >> i think there were several things. you know, as the experts, we at children's minnesota have seen the firsthand impact on kids. we with the other systems know that there are actions we can take. dr. wen pointed out, we know what the tools are to prevent this. we needed to make the public aware of three things, first that our staff are overwhelmed and heart broken. for the last 20-plus months our frontline staff have been working tirelessly and they are exhausted. second, the fact we have so many covid patients coming into our hospitals is inhibiting our ability to take care of patients
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with all the other things that might land you in the hospital. the public needs to know that. the third thing is they need to hear again there are ways to prevent this -- get vaccinated, wear your mask, practice social distancing, get tested. you can preserve the capacity of our systems to take care of you when you need us. >> there is only so much capacity. that is one thing that you're up against and talking about, dr. gorelick. some of what is behind this, dr. wen, i old love if you could help explain, is the fact that we are learning -- we hear that the number of omicron cases appears to double double every two days. i think that's what we've been hearing. for doctors and scientists, i've noticed that seems to be setting off a five-alarm fire. for everyone else, how do you explain why that is such a big deal, why that is not just something to say i'm vaccinated and so i don't need to pay attention? >> well, what i would say, a couple things.
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first, because of how quickly omicron is doubling, it is very clear that this is by far the most contagious variant that we have seen to date. this is an extremely contagious virus to the point that if you are in the way of omicron, you are going to get it. and so individuals who are unvaccinated, they are really at the highest risk now because they're not protected at all. we're also seeing out of south africa that people who have been infected by other variants, including delta, they don't seem to be protected against omicron. that's another call for people who may think i'm protected because i was previously exposed. they need to get vaccinated now and people who are vaccinated should get boosted in order to provide optimal protection. the other point is that even if you may not get very ill, and i'm very glad that people who are vaccinated and boosted don't seem to be getting over omicron. two problems still. one is we don't know what happens when omicron goes through vulnerable populations including nursing homes and
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other individuals with chronic medical problems. we don't know what happens and how many of those individuals are still going to get sick. then there are still people who are unvaccinated but not by choice. i have two little kids as an example a-1-year-old and a 4-year-old. they're not vaccinated, and it's not fair to those individuals who are immunocomp milzed or remain unprotected but not by choice to be exposed to this extremely contagious variant. >> as dr. gorelick is pointing out, even if it's not covid, when a small percentage of a very large number is still a lot of patients, and that impacts the entire system throughout. thank you both very much. i rally appreciate it. we have this developing right now. the house oversight committee releasing a new report concluding the trump administration officials made, quote, and this is how they describe it in the report, deliberate efforts to undermine the nation's coronavirus response for political purposes. here is how laid out in the report. by blocking officials from speaking publicly, watering down testing guidance, and attempting
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to interfere with other public health guidance. sunlen serfaty has a live report on capitol hill with more on this. what else are you learning from this report? >> reporter: this is a very lengthy and damning report on thousand the trump administration operated in the early days of the pandemic and how they formed their covid response. now, this is a new report from the house oversight committee, of course led by democrats. they conducted many, many months-long interviews with former trump administration officials about the early days of the pandemic. and they conclude, according to the committee's report released today, quote, trump administration officials engaged in a staggering pattern of political interference in the pandemic response and failed to heed early warnings about the looming crisis. these decisions placed countless american lives at risk, undermined the nation's public health institutions, and contributed to one of the worst failures of leadership in american history. and the report cite miss, many
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an ek dolts from former trump administration officials feeling frustrated and concerned with what they were hearing and asked to do, frankly, within the administration. the committee says at one point trump was so angered by a briefing that he blocked cdc from having any public health briefings on covid for a period of three months. another official told the committee that they wanted to hold a briefing to the public about potentially wearing masks in the early days of the pandemic, and that was blatantly blocked by president trump. a lot here, kate, and certainly a damning picture of the early days of the pandemic. >> sunlen, thank you very much. let's go from capitol hill to the white house right now. we're hearing that the white house covid response team is beginning to brief reporters. let's listen in. >> we have plenty of vaccines and booster shots available at convenient locations and for no cost. there's clear guidance on masking to help slow the spread.
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and we have emergency medical teams to respond to surges as necessary. so this is not a moment to panic, because we know how to protect people and we have the tools to do it. but we need the american people to do their part, to protect themselves, their children, and their communities. the more people get vaccinated, the less severe this omicron outbreak will be. 160,000 unvaccinated people have already needlessly lost their lives just since june. and this number will continue to go up until the unvaccinated take action. so i'll say et once more -- get vaccinated. with that, i'll turn it over to dr. walensky. >> thank you, jack. good morning, everyone. i'd like to start by walking you through today's data. the current seven-day daily
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average of cases is at about 119,500 per day. the seven-day average of hospital admissionings is about 7800 per day, an increase of about 4% over the prior week. and the seven-day average of daily deaths is at about 1,200 per day, which is an increase of over 8% from the prior week. now let v let me bring you up to date on what we know about omicron. at least 39 states and over 75 countries have reported confirmed cases of the omicron variant. and although delta continues to circulate widely in the united states, omicron is increasing rapidly, and we expect it to become the dominant strain in the united states as it has in other countries in the coming weeks. we've seen cases of omicron among those who are both vaccinated and beoosted, and we believe these cases are milder or asymptomatic because of vaccine protection. what we do know is we have the tools to protect ourselves
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against covid-19. we have vaccines. we have boosters. we know multilayer prevention strategies -- masks in public indoor settings, practicing physical distancing, frequent hand washing, improving ventilation, and testing to slow transmission -- are vitally important, especially as we prepare for more omicron and even if you are vaccinated and boosted. this morning i want to talk with you now about how we can use these tools to help keep our children in school. over the past few months, cdc has collaborated with school districtings across the country to evaluate a new strategy known as test to stay. today we're releasing cdc's assignments on test to stay that allows unvaccinated children to stay in school even if they have been exposed to the virus so they don't have to his school while quarantining at home. in this protocol, there's
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increased testing of close contacts after a covid-19 exposure. that testing needs to be at least twice during the seven-day period after exposure. if exposed children meet a certain criteria and continue to test negative, they can stay in school instead of quarantining at home. cdc is releasing two reports with evidence supporting the use of test to stay and how well it worked in two communities, lake county, illinois, and los angeles county. these studies demonstrate that test to stay works to keep unvaccinated children in school safely. in order for test to stay to be implemented safely and correctly, some key prevention measuries need to be included. in both studies, masks were worn consistently and correctly. close contacts of a positive case were monitored for symptoms and stayed home if they became ill. those who did not develop symptoms had regular testing.
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test to stay is an encouraging public health practice to keep our children in school, and cdc is updating our materials to help schools and parents know how to best implement this promising and now proven practice along with our multilayered prevention strategy that will help keep our children in the classroom safely. importantly, vaccination is another critical piece in our multilayer prevention strategies to protect our children from covid-19. i'd like to take another moment. to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. just yesterday, cdc's advisory committee on immunization practices met to discuss new safety data following six weeks of covid-19 vaccinations in children between the ages of 5 to 11. we now have experience vaccinating over 20 million children under the age of 17 and over 5 million of whom are under the age of 11. looking specifically at vaccine
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safety data from over 50,000 children 5 to 11 years old, we found no evidence of serious safety concerns. the most common reported side effect included pain at the injection site, fever, tiredness, and headaches, muscle aches, which we know are normal and are all signs of the body building immunity to the virus. this further adds to the strong evidence of the safety of these vaccines for children and should be an encouraging reason for those who are waiting for more data can now feel confident in making the decision to get your child vaccinated. in addition to our safety data yesterday, cdc's advisory committee on vaccine experts met to evaluate recommendations surrounding the johnson & johnson covid-19 vaccine, evaluating the benefits of vaccination, the safety data, and rare adverse events and the covid-19 vaccine supply. following their discussion, acip
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made a recommendation to preferentially use mrna vaccines over the johnson & johnson vaccine. i endorse their recommendation and agreed with the advisory committee's emphasis importantly that given the current state of the pandemic, both here and around the world, any vaccination is better than no vaccination. individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mrna vaccine will continue to have access to johnson & johnson's covid-19 vaccine. and finally, as we head into the holiday season, when many will be gathering with their loved ones, i want to again encourage everyone to utilize the proven prevention strategies that keep everyone safe -- get vaccinated and get beasoosted, mask in pub indoor settings, physical distancing, hand washing, improved ventilation and testing to slow transmission. we know that these strategies work and will help to keep you and your loved ones safe and
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healthy this holiday season. thank you all. i'll turn things over the dr. fauci. >> thank you very much, dr. walensky. i'd like to spend the next couple of minutes talking about the importance of covid-19 booster shots both in the current delta surge and in the inevitable upcoming omicron surge. if i could have the next slide. let's take a look at some of the data that fortifyingies what i said. this is a newly published study in the new england journal looking at individuals 50 years or older who received booster about five months after a second dose of the pfizer/biontech. there was a 90% lower mortality due to covid-19 than participants who did not receive a boost. now, albeit the mortality is low in people who are vaccinated anyway, however, it goes down to practically negligible values if you look at the blue line compared to the pink line. next slide.
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now let's take a look at omicron's specific situations. in this study, one looked at three separate vaccines -- the mrna of moderna, the pfizer, and then the add 26 j&j followed by an mrna boost. again, if you look at the times two, which means the standard vaccination, and then take look at the pseudovirus neutralization following the boost, the increment of that is really rather profound. 19 times for the one on the left, 27 times for the one in the middle, and 4 times for the one on the right. next slide. now also, if you look at the neutralization of multiple different variants by pseudovirus analysis and take a look again at two separate studies, one from the vaccine research center at nih and one from duke university, note on
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the left panels four weeks following the second dose, look specifically at the pink bar. there you see a rather low level of neutralization with omicron. however, if you look at two weeks post the third or boosted dose, note how much it goes up. for example, if you look at the omicron comparing in the duke line, you see it is about 2,002, whereas after a second doegs it's only 62, a dramatic decrease. another example. if you look at the sensitivity of variants to neutralization by people vaccinated with the pfizer vaccine, if you look again, five months after the second dose, and look under omicron, the red circles, nominal, in other words, virtually no degree of neutralization protection.
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again, one month after the third dose it goes well within the protective range. next slide. if you look at convalescent sierra and look at seech of the panel, on the left you have a convalescent surge six months after infection. again, the level of protection that would be projected from the antibody levels is very low as you see with omicron, low level with the circles that are red. 12 months later, i would even gets worse. but take a look at what happens if you take a person who's convalescent but you boost that person now with a dose of pfizer and wait one month, the red circles go way up into the protective range. next slide. and then if you look at actual clinical issues, take a look in a uk study about individuals who
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had symptomatic infection. look at delta in the blue boxes. as you go the time since the vaccine and look at the weeks which are showed on the bottom line, you get a diminution against delta but a very profound diminution, below 40% effectiveness, with delta. when you boost, not only do you bring it up to delta in the blue but also to omicron. what does all of this tell us? last slide. we are in a situation where we are now facing a very important delta surge, and we are look over our shoulder at an oncoming omicron surge. clearly unvaccinated individuals, as jeff said in the beginning, are really at a high risk of serious involvement, including hospitalization. the fully vaccinated are doing much better off, but as i've shown you in the previous five
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or six slides, the optimal protection is fully vaccinated plus a boost. so the bottom line of what we've been telling you all along, it is critical to get vaccinated. if you are vaccinated, i want's critical for optimal protection to get boosted. back to you. jeff. >> thank you, doctors. with that, let's open it up for some questions. kevin? >> thanks, jeff. >> we've been listening in to the white house covid responsibility team briefing with some important updates as we look at omicron kind of washing over the country. let me bring in cnn medical analyst dr. leana wen. she's back with me and has been listening in on this. important notes on omicron, it will be the dominant variant. this is not a moment to panic, though, jeff zients says. and dr. fauci laying out why it is important now more than ever to get vaccinated because of omicron. >> that's right.
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and now more than ever to get boosted. we already know that with the delta variant that there is waning immunity. so even without omicron, people should have gotten boosted anyway. but also now we know that we don't need an omicron-specific booster, that having the boosters that we already have actually provide excellent protection, especially against severe disease, but even against symptomatic does. get that booster now. it's a major problem that only i think about a third of eligible americans have gotten a booster thus far. >> absolutely. there's another thing that the cdc director announced the findings of studies that have been ongoing in two counties with regard to this -- they all the it test to stay. it's like testing out this theory that kids can stay in school even after exposure, if -- and there are some -- you know, if regular testing and they've been wearing masks, and they say it works is what they found in this study. they say the kids can safely stay in school after an exposure if regularly tested. what did you think of that
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announcement? >> i'm so excited about this. my son is in preschool. already he's been out multiple weeks because of various exposures in the classroom. and it causes a significant disruption of learnings, also in child care for parents and caregivers. this is so important for us to be able to keep our children in school. i will say that lack of testing is a major problem. i'm not sure how we're able to literally implement this test to stay when we don't even have enough testing for people who are symptomatic. ideally, we need to get to every point where every child is tested twice a week before going to school, and that will help keep everybody safe. >> you hit on something so important, which is this is great news, yet there's a mayor "but," that people need access to affordable and regular testing in order to pull this off, which we all really need, which puts the focus once again back on testing. we see the long lines in new york city, in just one city, of people waiting to get tested right now. thank you, dr. wen. >> thank you, kate. coming up for us, president
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(man) still asleep. (woman vo) so, where to next? (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi. are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! new this morning, president biden forcefully backing the fight for voting rights once again in a commencements address at south carolina state university. cnn's arlette saenz is live in south carolina following the president with more on this. lay out what he said. what was the case he made today,
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ar let? >> reporter: president biden pushed congress to pass voting rights legislation even as those efforts currently remain stalled up on capitol hill. republicans have blocked democratic efforts to pass pieces of legislation, but the president said that the battle is not over just yet. >> i've never seen anything like the unrelenting assault on the right to vote. never. as john lewis said, it is the only -- without the right to vote, there is no democracy. but each and every time it gets brought up, the other team blocks the ability to even start to discuss it. >> reporter: even as legislation remains stalled on capitol hill, democrats are pushing forward, trying to see if there is a viable path for passing voting rights legislation. at this moment, that would require changing senate rules,
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that filibuster rule that requires 60 votes. but currently, there are not enough democrats on board to change that rule, so the white house and democrats up on capitol hill still trying to work towards whether they can make voting rights legislation a reality. kate? >> arlette, thank you. joining me is debbie dingell of michigan. thanks for being here. what do you make of the president, talking about voting rights today, but essentially also at the same time shelving the social spending bill until next year and instead renewing his focus in this area on voting rights. but resistance to changing the voting rules in the senate has not changed. >> so, those were a couple of different issues. i would disagree with you, first, that he's shelving discussions on the build back better act. those discussions are going to keep going forward next week. i've had at least ten conversations in the last 12 hours on what we're going to do, how you move it forward. it remains front and center and
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a priority. with regard to voting rights, i don't understand how we are seeing in state after state in this country that people are trying to discourage and make it harder for people to vote and at the same time are trying to undermine people's confidence in the outcome of voting that is taking place. we do need voting rights legislation. the senate has become a place that bills go to die. we are not passing legislation. the filibuster is -- look, i'm a traditionalist. i know that our forefathers were men, might have helped if they had a few women in there, but something's got to give because everything can't be blocked and the president is going to be critical to leadership on that issue. >> the focus on this issue as well as on the social spending bill comes back to a focus on joe manchin. nothing's changed that i have seen, congresswoman, in terms of how joe manchin or kyrsten
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sinema feels about the filibuster. they do not support changing it. if that's the reality that you're facing, what is this really about? i mean, i'm cynical, i know, but it's not going to change. they're not moving on the filibuster rule. that also means that the voting rights bill isn't moving. >> okay. first of all, never say never. second of all, the john lewis bill is in essence the joe manchin bill. he helped write that bill or came to that compromise. there are always things that can be done. i am never someone that says it's never going to happen. there's a lot of pressure on joe manchin right now in several areas. what he thinks does matter. but i think e understands. look, i've talked to -- joe manchin was very close to my late husband. he is a friend. i've had many long talks with him. the president and he are going to have -- are having, not going to have to, are continuing to have long thoughts, but in the end, joe manchin is going to
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have to understand the importance of some of these issues to this country. and we have to do something with voting rights. people are being discouraged, they're trying to take people's ability to vote away. and that is the fundamental pillar of our democracy. >> before you go, you're back in dearborn. jason carroll, our correspondent, was in dearborn outside beaumont hospital talking about just how horrible the covid surge is across the country but is really strapping resources, hospitals maxed out in michigan right now. what are you hearing from there in terms of this surge at this point in the pandemic? how bad is it? >> it's bad. i didn't realize he was in dearborn. dearborn beaumont is -- my hometown, is one of the hospitals that has a team from the pentagon that is helping them. but there are eight states that have already been designated as eligible for those teams. the state has been asking for more teams.
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i'll tell you, henry ford hospital, all of our big hospital systems are very, very worried. they're talking, asking for help. i deal with these frontline workers every day. they're crying. but the university of michigan, which is -- you know, everybody thinks it v they'll always be there, they'll always be able to deliver. the hospital has been talking to me for two weeks about how worried they are, they don't have enough people, they can't take transfer patients, they're canceling surgery. last friday i had a doctor that sobbed on the phone to me and said to me, debbie, people are dying, not because of covid, because we can no longer take pat pat patients. everybody is telling people, please get vaccinated. i want to add myself to it. because your friends, your family, people in your community are dying. another person i know died last night. this is real.
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it's impacting everybody and it's beginning to surge across the country. once again, michigan was unfortunately one of the first to experience the surge, but it's happening across the country again. >> one of the premier institutions, medical institutions in the country says that. that's terrifying. it's graept to have you. thank you for being here. >> thank you. coming up for us, soon former police officer kim potter is expected to take the stand in her own defense. she claims that she meant to use her taser when she shot and killed daunte wright. the latest from the courtroom next. >> so, what are you waiting for? >> apply now... >> ...and make a difference. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ >> man, i love that song! ♪ you've got to try a little kindness ♪ ♪ yes, show a little kindness ♪ ♪ just shine your light for everyone to see ♪ ♪ and if you try a little kindness ♪
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i don't suppose you can sing, can you? ♪ the snow's comin' down ♪ -mommy? ♪ i'm watching it fall ♪ watch the full story at developing at this hour, former police officer kim potter is expected to testify in her own defense. she's charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of daunte wright during a traffic stop outside of minneapolis. this could be happening any moment now, quite frankly. cnn's adrienne broaddus is joining me now live outside the courthouse. she's been following this all throughout. adrienne, what are we expecting? >> reporter: kate, the court is on break right now. the defense said it will call two witnesses today. its first witness has already testified and wrapped up. that was dr. lawrence miller.
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he testified about this phenomenon called action error. in plain language, he said, it means you intend to do one thing, you think you're doing that thing, but you do something else and then you realize later the action that you intended was not the one you took. he gave several examples of this. one example in particular he talked about writing down the date at the start of a new year. instead of writing the current year that you're in, you might write the previous year because that's what you're used to doing. that muscle memory. he said this comes -- that happens in a variety of fields, not only law enforcement but the medical industry and the aviation field and in the military. he did not say that is what happened with officer potter on april 11th, on the day she intended to pull her taser and instead pulled out her gun, shooting and killing daunte wright. that's in part because of the
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judge's ruling. so what happened? we will hear from potter in her own words tell us what happened on that day. and she has an opportunity to look at members of this jury and talk about her remorse and how her life changed as well. kate? >> also at this hour, schools across the country are on high alert because of a depickable viral tiktok threat that has been going out warning of school shootings. authorities say there is no credible threat against schools, but this has understandably scared and terrified many parents and kids. cnn's paolo sandoval is tracking this. he's joining us right now. what is this about? >> reporter: and, kate, we can't say enough right now. authorities have not found any actual viable intelligence to suggest that this is in fact a legitimate threat, but as you pointed out this has certainly left some parents fearful but also led schools to preemptively close.
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not to mention stretched law enforcement sources across the country. this threat made its way up to the federal government and the department of homeland security and the fbi, again, reassuring parents that there's no indication that it is legitimate but recommending nonetheless people remain vigilant. tiktok for its part said as all these alerts went out for parents to make sure they know their children are safe. tiktok responded saying they basically searched their platform, and they have found no material that actually promotes violence at schools. they did, however, find schools -- i mean, videos, rather, where they were discussing these kinds of threats and that's why they are urging parents to stay vigilant but not a credible threat at any campus across the country. >> thank you very much for that. >> thank you. i want to turn to this right now. another troubling sign of this moment in the pandemic. every hour we're hearing of something else cancelling or shutting down. the radio city rockettes just announced they have cancelled today's performances. more and more broadway shows are
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also not performing due to outbreaks of covid among casts and crew. the metropolitan opera in new york city announced this week that staff and audience members will soon need to show proof of not just being vaccinated but a booster shot in order to attend a performance because of all of this. joining me now is peter gelb, general manager of the metropolitan opera. thanks so much for being here, peter. why did you feel like this -- that it was time right now to make this move, even before the cdc has really even leaned into it? >> well, you know, the metropolitan opera is the one cultural institution in new york that has not cancelled a performance yet, and we believe it's because we've been just so on top of the safety requirements. we have up to 3,000 people work inside this building every day, putting on a variety of different operas and from the very beginning we had vaccine mandates going back to august when we were reopening, and we're following the cdc advice
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recommendation that all eligible people get booster shots. it seems logical, and this is not a time for half measures. we need to do, you know, the maximum to ensure the safety ever our employees and the audience. >> we've seen pushback to requirements for vaccinations all across the country. have you gotten any pushback or resistance from cast and crew about this move for boosters ? >> surprisingly not, no, or maybe not surprisingly not. we have 15 unions at the met, the largest portion of our workforce are union members. but, you know, when you consider the fact that in opera you have up to 100 people performing in close quarters in the pits, hundreds of singers, dancers, actors on the stage, hundreds of stage hands moving the scenery around and not to mention the dozens of people backstage, it makes sense that everyone would want to be safe and -- and would not object to this kind of -- these kinds of measures.
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you know, they are -- they are as eager to have them as i am to institute them. >> you know what. more broadly as we ticked off, you know, listed off here today performing other groups have had to shut down because of covid. multiple broadway shows cancelled just in the last week. >> right. >> what does it moan for the industry to have this happening once again, peter? >> well, it's potentially devastating. i mean, i think it's so important that we all do everything that we can to keep a shutdown from happening which, you know, seems to be looming on the horizon. we don't want that to happen. we want audiences to feel safe so they can go out and, you know, culture is a very important -- very important part of people's lives, and we need to do everything we can to keep us all going. i think we're in this together so, you know, we're hoping for the best, but certainly we want -- the key -- the key thing is to keep everyone safe, as safe as possible.
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>> absolutely. >> and you're taking this step for that reason to try -- >> well, both of these reasons, right, to try to stay open and to stay safe. how worried are you that it might be inevitable? i don't know, with this level of spread that we're concerned about in new york city, that you -- that even though you have not had to cancel the show, how worried are you that you will have to shut down again temporarily? >> well, we certainly worry about that and, you know, we're prepared if that has to happen. we don't want it to happen because we're being lax if it turns out that the hospital has become overloaded in this, you know, powerful scenario potentially that could happen. it's inevitable that theaters and restaurants will have to shut down. we're hoping that that will not be the case, but in the meantime we want to make sure that our audiences feel safe, that they don't get sick when they are at the on race, and i think actually our audiences who we survey say that they feel safer at the met because they know all the safety precautions we're
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taking, so for now, you know, we've got to do the best we can, follow the medical advice and -- and hope -- you know, hope that we don't have this terrible wave and -- and that we can dodge this bullet. >> and one thing we've definitely learned in the pandemic is not to ever again take for granted how important live performance is from concerts to operas and everything in between, how born they are to our lives. so thank you, peter. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. before we go, in this season of giving, we want to show you how you can help our 2021 top ten cnn heroes continue their great and important work, and you also have your donations matched dollar for dollar. here's anderson cooper. ♪ >> i'm anderson cooper. each of this year's top ten cnn heroes proves that one person really can make a difference. again this, year we're making it easy for you to support their great work. just go to and
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click donate beneath any 2021 top ten cnn hero to make a direct contribution to their hero's fund-raiser on gofundme. you'll receive an email confirming your donation which is tax-deductible in the united states. no matter the amount, you can make a big difference in helping our heroes continue their life-changing work. right now through january 3rd your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $500,000. cnn is proud to offer you this simple way to support each cause and celebrate all these everyday people changing the world. you can donate from your laptop, your tablet or your phone. just go to your donation in any amount will help them help others. thank you.
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sbl let's listen. . >> all right. counsel. miss potter, will you spoke into the mic because both of yours lawyers have a hard time hearing. >> yes.
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there's just the mask here. >> okay. you stated your full name. how old are you, ma'am? >> 49. >> and are you married? >> yes. >> and is your husband in the courtroom? >> yes, he. >> what's his name? >> jeff potter. >> and how long have you been married? >> over 25 years. >> when did you first meet your husband? >> when i was 15? >> you were in high school? >> yes. >> and did you reunite much later? >> yes, when i was in college. >> and what does your husband do? >> he works for a health care system now. >> is he a retired police officer also? >> yes, he is. >> and where was he a police officer? >> minnesota. >> was he also a member of the drug task force? >> yes, he was. >> with respect to your children, do you have children? >> yes. >> and what, two boys? >> i have two boys. >> and what their names? >> nicholas and samuel. >> and are they in the
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courtroom? >> no, they are not. >> and where is nicholas? >> he is an active duty marine. >> and where is that at? >> he's currently stationed in florida. >> and your other son, where is he at? >> in college in north dakota. >> and are they going to be home for the holidays? >> yes, they will. >> is your mother in the courtroom? >> yes. >> and your sister? >> no, she's not. >> but is your brother in the courtroom? >> yes, he is. >> and besides your brother and your mother and your father is deceased? >> yes. >> and do you have any other siblings? >> i have another sister and a brother. >> do you know what their ages are? >> my sister, my oldest sister is in her 50s, and my other brother is in his 50s also. >> what do they do for a living? >> my sister works for a medical device company. my oldest brother works for a parking company, and my other brother works for


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