tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN December 29, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
that. >> priscilla alvarez, thank you very much for the update. it's the start of a brand-new hour, i'm alisyn camerota, thanks for joining me. nearly two years into the pandemic, the use is seeing more coronavirus infections. the seven-day average hit 267,000 a day, mostly fueled by the omicron variant. but omicron has proven it's unlike past peaks. the last time the u.s. saw this number this high, last january, the average death toll is nearly twice what it is today. today, the white house gave more detail on when relief is coming and when more tests are available. the white house team also outlined federal support heading to these states on your screen which are getting more medical staffing and testing sites. there's also an letter from the
fda about at-home antigen tests, it's a little confusing, the fda saying those tests are not as sensitive to detecting omicron, but the white house team stressed the at-home tests still offer, quote, an important use. jeremy diamond joins me. jeremy, i know you just spoke to the covid-19 response director. what did he tell you? >> reporter: that's right, i asked at the coronavirus briefing specifically about the 500 million happen at-home tests that the white house is set to ship to americans beginning next month. and the news that he gave me is that they're still in the process of finalizing the contract to obtain those. but he says he does expect that contract to be completed late next week. of course, that would be the end of the first week of january. meaning that americans likely won't begin to see see the at-home covid tests until end of january. he said the details are forthcoming still in terms
exactly how the white house is going to finalize the delivery mechanism for those tests including that website that they have promised to get up where americans were request to get the at-home tests sent to them for free. so we're still waiting for a lot of details. frankly, this speaks to the gap of time that exists now, continuing to exist, between the testing shortages over the holiday season. and when americans can finally expect to get the rapid at-home coronavirus tests. and you mentioned that fda news that the tests may not be as sensitive to omicron. but still they don't see that changing their strategy. the white house doesn't see it changing their strategy as it relates to the use of the antigen tests. it can still detect omicron even if less sensitive. it's an important tool, of course, the pcr test remains the gold standard. and jeff zients tells me that the white house is looking to set up more testing sites
including places like new york. stressing in particular, the testing zwangs look the same around the country. there are places like new york and new jersey, facing testing shortages and that's where the federal government is targeting additional efforts to set up federally run testing centers. alisyn. >> jeremy diamond, thank you for that update. meanwhile, washington, d.c., the mayor there announced that all staff and students must show a negative covid test before returning to school next week. pediatric hospitalizations continue to grow and many parents are wondering how to keep their kids from getting sick. so, to address this, the city has revamped its covid testing policies to try to keep kids in school. cnn's alexandra field joins us now. what's the new testing plan, alexandra. >> hey, there, alisyn, the idea is to catch cases more quickly but also want to put kids in the class faster.
the schools really are the safest place to be. the new testing plan aimed at keeping it that way. what they're doing, they're relying on at-home test kits. they say they'll be given two kits per day for seven days to all the children in that classroom, in order to get back in the classroom, you'll have to be asymptomatic and have two negative tests in a row and you can then return the next day. this is a balancing act. we're going to see school districts across the country viewing this. to try and figure out how to identify the cases and take care of them through the testing mechanisms. on top of the rapid at-home tests, they're also going to be doubling the number of pcr tests that they perform until city schools as another layer of protection here. the mayor elect saying the schools are the safest places for the kids to be. and this just proves that the city is committed to keeping kids in the classroom, even amidst a surge that has led to a rising number of cases not just
in adults, but, of course, children but also this rising number of hospitalizations, it's something that the city is experiencing first hand. a five-fold increase in pediatric hospitalizations in new york city in just the last three weeks. it's alarming when parents hear that. but, alisyn, we also have to keep in mind, the number of children hospitalized. while it's going up remains relatively small relative to the number of adults with covid. >> we also have to find out what their symptoms once hospitalized, how bad it is in that wave. thank you for that. with me our two doctors on the front line, we have dr. claudia ohioan, she's a pediatric infectious disease special and dr. david kimberlin at the university of alabama at birmingham. thank you both for being here, dr. hoyen, as we heard, millions
of kids are scheduled to go back to school five days from now. is that a good idea? >> at this point, as i think was just noted, there's a lot of variability around what different parts of the country are seeing. i know here in northeast ohio, we're a little bit behind places like new york, new jersey, houston, in that we were still kind of getting over our delta surge, since we were the last to surge with delta. as we are now coming into this omicron variant surge. and so, i think that, again, we know how to keep children safe in school. we know that masking is effective. and if, you know, kids are symptomatic, of course, they should stay home. if they've had an exposure. if you're able to do testing, again, there are many layers that we can add to keep children
in school, as we move through the next few weeks. as we know, it's not only the safest place, but it's the place that they need to be. the last two years have really taken a toll on our children. and so, we all need to do what we can, whether that's getting vaccinated and making sure we're masking. here in ohio, the ohio children's hospital association today actually sent a letter to the governor. and to all of the schools' superintendents. you know, thanks those school districts who are continuing to mask. and asking respectfully, that as we are bringing kids back to school in the middle of, you know, rising number of omicron here untiin ohio, that they als consider having masking in those schools. >> yeah, i know a lot of places in ohio have dropped the mask mandates. dr. kimberlin, you're in alabama, do you think as you
heard from dr. hoyen, and alex field, saying schools are the safest place to be, with this rise, exponential rise in cases right now, do you think the schools are the safest places for kids to be? >> well, much of what we know, obviously, is based on our prior experience. and omicron is brand-new. so, i think we have to start by recognizing that omicron is an entity that we will be learning a lot more about over these next handful of weeks. now, that said, i think you've got to draw on the experiences you've had in the past. and we simply have seen over and over again that schools have been open safely with prior variants of the virus, and the original virus. and really spread within schools can reflect the broader spread within the community. but they're not really the starting or hot spots for spreading within the community, generally speaking. so, that's point number one. number two, we have a couple of
really good studies right now, california and i believe illinois taking an approach of test to stay basically. so what you do there, similar to what new york is trying a variation on. and that is to be tested, if you test negative, you've had an exposure, you test negative, you test the next day. and you do that for a certain number of days and try to get people in the glass room and staying in the classroom. i agree with dr. hoyen, you know, children have taken a beating with this virus and pandemic. and they need to get back in school. and they want to be back in school. that's where we want them to be as well. >> i want to hear from both of you in terms of what you're seeing in the hospitals. you are son the front lines of covid cases in kids. and the ahead of the cdc dr. rochelle walensky said something interesting this morning that got all of our attention, in terms of whether kids are showing up at the hospital because of their covid symptoms or because it's an incidental pickup, once they're at the hospital. so let me play that for you.
>> this is a common time of year for children to be admitted in the hospital. and some of the things we're seeing in the trends they're not heading to the icu more often that we can tell. many of them are actually coming in for another reason, that they happen to be tested when they come incidentally to have covid. and third and most importantly, most of those children are not yet vaccinated. >> dr. hoyen, does that track with what you're seeing? >> yeah, i think in northeast ohio, we're a little bit behind the curve in terms of what other places are seeing. so i think what we're seeing still at our children's hospital, and as we go through the next week, as dr. kimberlin said, we will be learning a lot. we do have children in the hospitals simply for covid. we have children in our icus with covid. we do have a couple of kids who have incidentally tested
positive. so it may be that start of the omicron that we're seeing where kids may be relatively asymptomatic. but, again, it's too early for us to know the exact course of what will happen in children. and we'll be keeping in contact with our colleagues around the country to be sure that we're doing all we can to keep kids safe while we're here. >> how about you, dr. kimberlin? >> well, across much of the south, our delta wave reseeded by the end of october, beginning of november. >> right. >> so, we had a pretty nice period of handful of weeks just after thanksgiving. now in terms of cases, not necessarily hospitalizations, but our cases, it's almost a vertical kind of line. so, really, it's something that i anticipate will have a lag period. and we'll start seeing increased hospitalizations as well. even if, even if omicron is a little less, or somewhat less severe, compared with delta as an example, it is so much more
infectious. and therefore, so many more people are getting infected. our positivity rates in our emergency room and our children's hospital has increased seven-fold in two weeks. and so even if there are not as many being admitted, in terms of likelihood per person, you get such a large number, that you're going to have more people admitted. and so, we're waiting for that, as dr. hoyen said, we're watching anxiously. that's a nervous anxiousness, to see what comes. >> dr. hoyen, did you want to quickly add something? >> yeah, i just was going to say to his point exactly, it's as if we're watching that train come down the tracks, i think i said this the other day and not trying -- you know, hoping it doesn't derail. just the sheer number of children getting infected, even if a smaller percentage of those children get sick, it still could be very overwhelming for children's hospitals. so, again, we wait anxiously. we prepare continuously.
and we are ready for whatever comes our way. >> well, we're thinking of you, thanks so much to both of you. dr. hoyen, and dr. kimberlin, for taking time to talk to us. >> thank you. >> thank you. all right. some of former president trump's innercircusi circle who have dee january 6th committee are popping up at mar-a-lago, details of who is staying there. a critical phone call, president biden and president putin are expected to speak tomorrow. we'll go live on moscow on what to expect. and new details on that deadly shooting spree. we're learning more about the gunman and the five victims. that's just ahead. y for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo and, by switching you could even save 665 dollars. hey tex, can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record.
president biden will hold a phone call with russian leader vladimir putin tomorrow. according to the white house, president putin requested this call. and this comes as tension from the ukraine border remain very high. earlier this week, russia announced it was withdrawing 10,000 troops from its border with ukraine. after weeks of military drills in the region. cnn's nic robertson is live for us in moscow. so, nic, what are you learning? >> reporter: well, very little from the kremlin. more from the white house, we do know from the pentagon as well that they did put up a spy plane over ukraine that would have given them oversight of what russia was doing with its troops along the border with ukraine. that was just in the past couple of days, perhaps an opportunity to see if russia had really pulled back the 10,000 troops. what we're hearing from administration officials is that they're not seeing any reduction of tensions by russia at the moment. still the presence of russian troops, close to the border, with ukraine.
and the appoint that's being made is that if russia really wants to engage and make progress in these talks there needs to be an atmosphere of de-escalation. there needs to be very serious and concerted high-level engagement. now, the conversation that president biden will have with president putin is something that we will get a readout from both sides. but it will perhaps be in the days afterwards, is when -- as we found when they spoke about two or three weeks ago. that we got a more nuanced understanding of what had been said. and on that occasion, it was president putin who said a few days later, that he'd called president biden out on where nato troops are, relative to russia's border. and what we know from president biden going into this, and what we know from white house officials at least going into this current round of talks is that nato has a backup plan. that if russia does invade ukraine, then nato is going to
put more troops on the eastern border of europe. as a protective measure. that's something that also is not going to sit particularly well with president putin. >> we'll see what comes of this phone call tomorrow. nic robertson, thank you for explaining all of that. well, instead of showing up for the january 6th committee, some of president trump's loyalists are showing up at mar-a-lago. that's next. t-mobile is bringingng it all together for the holidays. upgrade to the iphone 13 pro on us. plus get a free year of apple tv plus. only at t-mobile. liz, you nerd, cgh if you're in here! shh! i took mucinex dm for myhlegmy cough. what about rob's dry cough? works on that too, and lasts 12 hours. 12 hours?! who studies that long?
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redistricting commissions in both virginia and michigan just finished redrawing their congressional maps last night. 25 states have now completed this process. but several legal challenges claim that any map drawn after the controversial 2020 census could discriminate against voters of color. cnn justice correspondent jessica snyder is here. jessica, what do we know about how the maps are being redrawn? >> alisyn, in states like texas, north carolina, both sides are pointing fingers and it turns out that race is emerging as the flash point here. republican legislatures are drawing some of these maps. and some lawmakers are speaking out saying they've been sued in years past for factoring in race. so, now, many of those lawmakers claim they're actually ignoring race redrawing the lines. then you got the other side, democratic lawmakers, other
advocates, they're contending you can ignore the race. people dropping the legislative lines know where these general populations live, they say. so the allegation is they are factoring that in even if not admitting to it. and complicating matters here this is actually the first redistricting cycle since the supreme court eliminated the portion of the voting rights act, with a history of racial discrimination to get preapproval for their maps but now that requirement is gone and states are really moving forward with free rein over the maps. if states are unveiling their new maps with the 2020 census data, we saw the justice department suing the state of texas earlier this month. the doj saying that texas' new maps discriminate against latinos and other minorities. and there are several other lawsuits in various states from private entities. alisyn, this is really just the beginning. we'll see major court battling
queued up in key states, those will uncold and not even come to a final decision just before the next election cycle in 2022. a lot unfolding here, it will be a very litigious next few months, alisyn. >> sounds like it. jessica schneider thank you. we now know approximately when the january 6th committee will make their findings public. the panel wants an interim report what it has learned by summer of 2022. with the final report likely out before midterm elections. joining me now, sarah, many of the fervent loyalists are reching to cooperate. tell us more. >> it's a balance be act to decide how to navigate the committee on a number of closest allies essentially dragging their feet or refusing to cooperate altogether, just on that calculation that it's more important for them to stay in
trump's good graces. >> dan scavino, the famous dan scavino. >> reporter: and a consistent strategy emerging among some trump loyalists when it comes to january 6th. as the house select committee struggled in october to serve dan scavino with a subpoena. scavino took to twitter, the dangerous way to avoid is a disgrace. scavino who was eventually served hired a lawyer quietly engaged with the committee and still has not testified. his status is in limbo. his allegiance to trump is on full display. in a jaunt to mar-a-lago, a game to the world series in atlanta, october rally until iowa. >> hello, iowa, i'm thrilled to be back. >> reporter: where trump railed against the committee. >> the last new selection is the unselect committee. they have an unselect committee. >> reporter: and the committee with loyalists of trump allies
playing up to january 6th, some loyalists like scavino are slow walking or snubbing the committee as he ponders a run for office. >> that is 100% of the calculation. what is the death grip on the republican party right now is the idea of trump running in 2024. and people not willing to risk losing their stature with them. >> reporter: roger stone pleads the fifth rather than answer the committee's questions. >> i did my civic duty and i responded as required by law. >> reporter: as for stone's last appearance in 2017, during the russia probe. >> the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> reporter: -- he was convicted of lying and obstructing congress. recently, trump posted about a mar-a-lago, donald trump is my first, second and third choice for 2024. for some would-be witness, the loyalty to trump comes at a
higher price. the house had contempt charges for mark meadows now suing the committee. >> this is about donald trump and about actually going after him once again. >> reporter: despite meadows' wishing to curry favor with trump, both with embarrassing allegations in meadows' book and the fallout he gave the select committee before he stopped cooperating. >> if you think they're going to give your country back without a fight your sadly mistaken. >> reporter: right wing trump ally steve bannon was charged with criminal contempt of congress after defying a committee subpoena. he pleaded not guilty. >> a have a previous engagement that i can't get out of. >> peter, you're -- >> the mast early of the statement. >> you hear me talking -- >> you're going to be talking about. >> reporter: while bannon's relationship with trump often runs hot and cold, bannon is still clear about his loyalty. >> we're going to hit the beach, they have the landing teams,
beachhead teams, that nomenclature that they used when president trump wins in 2024, or before. >> roughly, the filed lawsuits gives an idea of the extent of the pushback the committee is getting. but i talked to a committee spokesperson who said they're trying to have that on democracy. alisyn, they feel confident they'll be able to do their work and put this report out. >> sara murray, thank you for that. well still ahead, it's been a whirlwind year for the media. we're going to take a look at the top media stories from 2021. also, we have a quick programming note for you, this sunday, carole king and james taylor are together for an unforgettable concert film "just call out my name" airs sunday at 9:00 p.m. on cnn. and here's a preview. >> friends, collaborators, legends. their music shaped a generation.
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authorities say the gunman who went on a shooting spree in denver may have targeted some of the victims. and public records show that they previously owned a business at the same location as one of the shootings. five people were killed and several others injured including a police officer. l lucy kafanov is joining me from denver.
>> that's right, mourning the loss of loved ones as the names of the victims come to light. the deadly shooting spree began after 5:00 p.m. monday evening when two women were killed and a man was injured. alicia cardenes, the owner of bo body piercing. and also killed alissa gunin maldonado. and jimmy maldonado. he worked as a piercer in the same tattoo shot. and the gunman shot michael swinyard in his residence. then he fled to lakewood a suburb west of denver where police say he entered the lucky
13 tattoo parlor and shot danny scofield before going to the hyatt house and fatally shooting there 28-year-old sarah steck. afterwards, he was confronted with police. he exchanged fire with police, injuring a lakewood police agent. a police officer officer who also shot and killed him. she is expected to recover from her injuries. now, business did identify the shooter as 47-year-old lyndon james mcleod. the motive still unknown. as you point out, police say he appears to have targeted all of these victims. take a listen. >> based on what we know, it does appear that the offender was targeting specific people, in this case. the victims were known to the offender. >> now, friends of some of the victims have launched a gofundme campaign to help the
gunn-maldonado family. her husband jimmy is in critical condition. they leave behind a son. that campaign has raised $130,000 so far. i should indicate that the records indicate that the gunman owned his own tattoo parlor. the address matches that as one of the locations where gunshots were fired monday but no one was killed there. this is obviously in the early stages of the investigation. alisyn, we're awaiting more details from the authorities. >> lucy. thank you. still ahead, ages the u.s. faces a surge in covid cases, the cdc issues new guidance and how the nfl is now responding. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew.
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the nfl will follow the updated guidance from the cdc and relax its quarantine rules for players who test positive for covid. the league has been forced to postpone several games as it reels from the covid surge. according to the league memo distributed to the teams and obtained by cnn, players who are asymptomatic will now have to isolate for five days, rather than ten. the new quarantine rule only applies to unvaccinated players. those who are vaccinated can test-out before the five-day period is up. well, 2021 was packed with huge media stories from rampant social media misinformation. to major tv news turnover. cnn media correspondent brian stelter breaks down the top-ten media stories of the year. ♪ 2021, the year the media and
the world tried to get back to normal. the pandemic is now a subject of scripted dramas and movies, helping us process it. but it's not over yet. and some things have changed forever. so here are our top-ten media stories of the year. number 10, deplatforming donald trump. twitter permanently banning the president, just days after the capitol insurrection, while facebook gave him a time-out. >> our breaking news this hour, facebook says former president donald trump will not be allowed back on its platform until at least january 7th, 2023. >> while trump cried censorship, social media ceos are just trying to figure out where to draw the line. number 9, tv news turnover, chris cuomo out at cnn after text messages showed how he helped his governor brother fight sexual allegations both
comos are out of jobs. and "newsroom" nbc, rachel madieu preparing to leave. and nbc replacing brian williams who signed off in december without a warning. >> for the first time in 62 years my biggest worry is for my country. >> over at fox, a different departure, lou dodd out, after a defamation lawsuit. at the end of the year, chris wallace announced that he's leaving fox on his own terms. number 8, oprah's bombshell interview with prince harry and meghan markle. with the duchess of sussex citing concerns about the baby's skin color. >> i just can't want to be alive anymore. >> fallout from the interview rippled across social media when
a co-worker called out piers morgan for his anti-meagen rants he stormed off. >> you continued to trash her. >> no, no. >> sorry. >> no, no -- >> see you later, sorry, can't do this. >> absolutely diabolical behavior. >> he then left the network. as for harry and meagen, they're making podcasts and tv shows which leads me to number 7, giants trying to get even bigger investing more in streaming to keep you subscribed. streaming to spin off warnermedia including cnn and combine it with discovery. the newsstand-alone company will take shape in mid-2022 going head to head with netflix and disney. in 2021, squid games and ted lasso won awards and putting movies like "black widow" both
on streaming and theaters at the same. when disney did that, scarlett johansson shocked hollywood for breach of contract showing the rules are rewritten every day. number 6, daring reporting from afghanistan, as the taliban approached on kabul, and the u.s. withdrawal became chaotic reporters became the eyes and ears of the world. >> just told me to stand aside because i'm a woman. >> cnn's arwa damon earned praise from fellow journalists. behind the scenes, they worked to help endangered reporters and other afghans who worked with western media. the other reporters who remain there faced a hostile climate which brings me to number 5, the continuing crackdown on global press freedom. in hong kong, police raided a pro-democracy newspaper in june, arresting top editors. a month before
a dissident belarusian journalist arrested after his flight was forced down in a state-sponsored hijacking. >> have we seen anything like this? >> no is the short answer. >> countries around the world are rolling back the rights of reporters and sometimes brazen ways. the committee to protect journalists says a record high number of reporters are behind bars now with china being the worst jailer. number four, the woke wars. it's an awakening over racial and social injustice to some baun overreaction to others. is it cancel culture or consequence culture? and whatever it's called, has it gone too far? these debates raged across media all year. >> it will eventually get to straight white men are not allowed to talk. >> this is called a purge. it's a mentality that belongs in stalin's russia. >> canceling dr. seuss isn't stupid. it's intentional. >> dr. seuss wasn't canceled. his legacy company decided to
stop publishing a few titles that had racist imagery. but free speech issues are real. and alternatives are emerging for people who want to bypass traditional book publishers, newspapers and other gatekeepers. writers are flocking to substack and launching newsletters, a new model that brings fresh debates over free speech. january 6th denialism. the big lie about trump winning the election led to the big deny. desperate attempts to resist. >> they don't like terrorists. they look like tourists. >> that's fox's highest rated star while commentators stoked conspiracy theories, right wing media barely covers the real news about the insurrection's aftermath. or new efforts to subvert democracy at the state level. what we're losing in america is a sense of shared reality, but the big lie may cost its crusaders. >> breaking just a short time ago, fox facing a $1.6 billion
lawsuit accused of spreading election lies. >> and that was just the beginning. two voting tech companies have filtd defamation suits against fox news and other networks and a series of blockbuster books continue to reveal what really happened during trump's final days in the white house. number two, the facebook reckoning. a whistleblower was heard around the world, first through the facebook files. a series of "wall street journal" files based on leaks from inside facebook. then the source, frances haugen stepped forward. >> i believe facebook's products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy. the company's leadership knows how to make facebook and instagram saver but won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. >> haugen alleged the company's own research showed its platforms can be toxic for children and society writ large. but with the company failing to take action, the ceo mark
zuckerberg pushed back saying many of her claims didn't make sense. but haugen gave new momentum to governments that want to rein in social media. anti-social media was a through line for the entire year. bringing us to the number one media story of 2021. the vaccine disinformation divide. reliable info about covid-19 vaccines helped people get vaxxed and protected. but anti-vax lies and distortions went viral from facebook to fox in ways that worsened the pandemic's terrible toll. the right wing media machine took conspiracy theories from the fringes and moved them to the mainstream. >> radical left wing fanatics bent on forcing each and every american to get themselves injected with an experimental, unproven drug. >> reporter: fox news demonized dr. anthony fauci. >> this is what people say to me. that he doesn't represent science to them. he represents joseph mangala. and the anti-science rhetoric cost lives. several right wing radio hosts who resisted vaccines died of
covid. tv stars who claimed to respect their audience actually put them at risk. big tech platforms said they tried to clean up the garbage, but the vaccine divide is a sad reflection of a choose your own news culture. it's incumbent on everyone to choose carefully. brian stelter, cnn, new york. >> our thanks to brian for that. we have some new covid numbers just in to cnn. the state of new york is reporting a record high of 67,000 new covid-19 cases. and hospitalizations are up close to 10% just in one day. so the governor, kathy hochul, says hospitalizations are down from this time, same time last year, but this spike is still concerning. still ahead -- we do have some of the good stuff this holiday season. a fedex driver was able to see his family over christmas thanks to the people whose packages he
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the murphys rallied their neighbors to help buy roger a plane ticket home to jamaica to see his family. >> he was kind of emotional because i didn't expect it. act of kindness. it goes a long way. >> this will be his first visit home in years. thanks for joining me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. is this what following the science looks like? "the lead" starts right now. the head of the cdc saying this morning there were multiple factors leading to the biden administration shortening how long folks who have tested positive for covid have to isolate. apparently the decision was also about what the biden administration thinks the public is willing to tolerate. dr. anthony fauci will join us live to discuss, next. call me. vladimir putin wants to talk with president biden. there will be a lot on the line. and a deadly shooting spree involving a busy shopping