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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  January 4, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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it was really hard to get emergency vehicles in to tow disabled vehicles out, and that's what made the -- that's what made this so challenging, you know, i didn't find the roads that challenging to drive on, but as soon as somebody has an accident, a semitrailer jackknives, cuts off a couple of lanes, somebody runs out of gas, which is going to happen if you're stuck between exits for five or six hours, people are going to run out of gas, and so it was very very dangerous on a cold night when the sun came up this morning, and you started to see that ice melt, my mood improved considerably, and i'm sure others did too, but it didn't mean that the traffic started to move fast. >> senator, i mean, you are senator tim kaine, and you'd think that you could, if anybody stuck in this traffic hell could get some sort of special treatment, you could. were you calling the governor? were you in touch with the department of transportation during any of this? >> we did, but i didn't because i'm not the kind of person that
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asks for anything special. i was calling to find out, hey, when are you going to reopen interstate 95, so i spoke to the secretary of transportation in virginia, who's a long time friend about when different sections will reopen. i also, first thing i asked is what's the emergency number that people should call to get help because, again, i had gas in my car. i was able to make one stop on the way in fredericksburg, there was a period of about 5 or 10 miles where the traffic opened up and it was moving, i could get off at an exit, get gas and get back on, but a lot of people were really in trouble, and needed help. and so i wanted to get the information about the best number to call out to as many people as i can, so that was the first conversation i had with them this morning. we put it up on social media so people who need help could get it. >> understood and that's really wonderful but when you talked to the secretary of transportation, did you say, how did this happen? i mean, how could a traffic
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snarl for 27 hours happen? >> well, you know what, frankly, i didn't ask that because i was trying -- i was still in survival mode when i had that call. you know, i kind of -- at some point it switched from a miserable travel day into kind of a survival mode day for me. and, you know, the roads are incredibly slick, and my car is sliding around and i don't have food or drink in my car, so i was more focused on, okay, how do i safely get out of this mess, but i'm sure there's going to be ta lot of questions, was t weather forecasting, inadequate pre-treatment of roads. but i would just say that the snow was very heavy and very wet and when that happens, as soon as the sun goes down, that slush turns to ice on a cold day, and that's what happened last night, and that's what brought everything to a standstill. >> senator, i know that your time is short.
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you actually have another meeting because you're making the best of being trapped for 27 hours. what is your gas needle at right now, and do you have water and food for however long it's going to take to get to the capitol? >> i do not have any liquid in the car. i drank two cups of black coffee yesterday morning for breakfast, and then i drank a dr. pepper when i stopped for gas at 4:00 this morning. that's all the liquids i've had since yesterday morning. i do have some popcorn in the car, but to eat popcorn without any liquid, i don't think that's a good idea, so now that i'm 90 minutes from the office, i'm planning on eating a lot, and using the restroom as soon as i pull in. >> and how much gas do you have in your tank? >> my mileage thing says i've got 150 miles of gas left, and i'm 40 mills from the capitol, and had i not been able to
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refill, i could have been one of those cars with an empty tank out there. >> how many miles per hour are you going right now. >> i've gotten back on i-95, the portion that's reopened, it is not only clear of traffic, it's dry, and i'm going 60. i haven't gone 60 since about 2:00 yesterday afternoon. >> oh, my gosh, senator tim kaine, we are with you in spirit. we're thinking of you. be careful out there. and thank you very much for talking to us and telling us about this. >> very glad to talk. i once did this by bicycle, and it took me 13 hours, so it's going to take me 27 or 28 by car. there's a lesson in there somewhere. >> yes, there is. and i'm sure you'll share it with us as soon as we figure out what went wrong here. senator kaine, thank you very much. be careful. >> absolutely. thanks, alisyn. listen, he may not want to eat that popcorn, but he's probably going to have to. >> right. but i am sure he would be dehydrated if he ate some salty
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popcorn after a dr. pepper and two black coffees. i feel his conundrum there. >> last meal sunday night, here it is tuesday afternoon, he's got to do something. our best to senator tim kaine in all that traffic. a few minutes ago, president biden said that schools can and should be open because the u.s. has the tools to keep kids safe. but the omicron variant has complicated the return to class and newark, new jersey, schools are reverting to remote learning for two more weeks. in philadelphia, 77 schools were abruptly switched to 100% virtual last night, and in chicago, a return to in-person learning on monday, but the teacher's union is holding a vote in a few hours there. if they vote to demand the district switch to virtual learning, there could be a walkout tomorrow. now, if that happens, the head of the chicago public school district says that classes will be cancelled tomorrow. >> if none of that works, the one thing, and we're going to send a message to parents later this afternoon about this, i
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will have the counsel classes tomorrow. it doesn't mean that the schools will be closed. the schools will be open but i will have to cancel classes tomorrow because i can't, i have to be responsible in not knowing who's going to be showing up to the buildings. >> joining us now, jesse sharky, the president of the chicago teachers union. thank you for being with us. first, have you taken the temperature of your membership? do you expect that there will be this vote which could lead to the walkout? >> good afternoon, and we have. we did a telephone town hall on sunday. 8,000 people on it, so we have been in constant touch with the members. >> okay. so will there be a walkout. do you expect that you'll vote -- that the membership will vote to demand virtual? >> well, we're trying to stay in in-person school, and our members have been in front of students in in-person school all school year since the fall. the difficulty is that the omicron variant is surging, and we don't have adequate testing. and i know a lot of places like
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d.c., for example, new york, l.a., in order to put testing in place, so we have some assurance that students coming into the buildings aren't increasing the transmission rates, but we don't have that in place in chicago. so despite the federal help, despite the work that the biden administration did with the school district, the mayor of the city hasn't been serious about setting up testing, and so that's the problem. >> so let me play something from you. this is from the chicago department of public health commissioner, dr. allison arwadi just a few minutes ago on the potential for schools returning virtual. >> i understand that people are scared. i understand that you're looking at those numbers and seeing that they're high, but i want to just reassure you that especially if you're vaccinated, your child is vaccinated, this is behaving really like the flu.
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and those school districts especially for extended periods of time for the flu. >> your reaction to that? >> well, the positivity rate in chicago is higher than 23%. the problem is that among 5 to 11 year olds, among black children in chicago, and so, you know, what we're talking about is the very highest part of a surge and if we have testing, if we had a way to help ensure the people coming into the buildings weren't carrying the omicron variant, that would be a different matter but that's not what's going on right now. and so, you know, the teachers are being put in the unfortunate situation where we're trying to keep people safe. we're trying to run school, and we're not being given the tools to do it. by the administration and the city, i should add, and in that situation, we have huge other options left. >> well, jesse, you say that you
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want to keep schools open, and that's because we all know that virtual learning for a lot of communities, not just in chicago but across the country, was awful for students. we learned from the american association, academy of p pediatrics, they found that remote learning, which exacerbated existing education inequities was detrimental to the education attainment of students, worsening the growing mental health crisis among children and adolescents, world health organization says that opening schools generally does not significantly increase community transmission. i know you want what's best for your students, why return to that? >> no, remote learning was a really unpleasant experience all the way around, and i think that what we heard from our members in schools is that they'd much rather be there in person. the difficulty is that, you know, you think back to the early days of the pandemic, what people understand is when the
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virus is surging in the very worst parts of the up tick, and right now in chicago, it's going straight up, that is a time if you're in there in the building, you're at the most risk of getting the virus. >> we're not in the early days of the pandemic, though. we're not in the early days of the pandemic. it's not march 2020. >> that's true, but we're in the highest part of the omicron surge. that's the issue. and when there's 20% positivity or higher, people are very concerned in talking about a vaccine evasive variant, they're talking about going into the building and essentially getting sick. and in fact, even in places that haven't done testing or haven't had temporary pauses, the temporary pause gets imposed by the virus, so i think that's the situation we're in, is like we're in a very bad situation, the virus is running rampant right now in the city of chicago. >> jesse, there are some parents, and you talked about the inequities that black and
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brown families in chicago face, there are some parents who need schools to stay open so they can go to work. it's not just the educational benefits of being in the classroom or the social or emotional benefits of students staying in schools, they need the child care element of schools to stay open. if kids go to school, i can go to work to buy groceries and pay the rent. if schools are cancelled, classes are cancelled tomorrow or virtual learning returns, what do you say to those parents who need their kids to be in class. >> i would say to those parents then we need the administration, the city, we need our political leaders to do the right thing and make school into a safe place to be. we know that, for example, chicago got 2 1/2 billion dollars in federal funding, in order to do things like provide testing, in order to do things like set up vaccination centers. those are things that haven't happened. we have done very little vaccination in the schools, very low rates of vaccination, but vaccination is long-term.
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getting a million instant tests, something they have done in new york, and other cities, in d.c., that's something that we could be working on today instead of essentially threatening te teachers, you know, with their jobs because they're trying to take actions in order to do what we think is the best way to keep the schools safe right now. >> jesse sharky, thank you. >> okay. joining us now is a parent who has two children in chicago schools. ismae el amine, thank you very much for being here. i appreciate it. do you have any idea if your kids are going to be in school tomorrow given the threat of a strike? >> i'll go back to how the schools were behaving just after thanksgiving, you know, we saw a lot of schools across the city that were quarantining, that were sending kids home that hadn't gotten vaccinated yet because we started to see those surges two weeks out from the thanksgiving holiday, and going
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into the christmas holiday, new year's holiday, we expected something similar. my particular job, my wife's job, they cancelled in-person jobs, they said you could work remote. surges were coming, and we couldn't travel to the downtown offices safely. i do believe at some point with the rates climbing as they are, we're going to see the same thing in the school system. we have been preparing for it, reacting the for the last two years, whenever the rules change. whenever the context changes, we have been adaptive and been able to adjust to it, and we're fortunate for that. >> really, what we all have to do right now, right. we're seeing the numbers increase across the country, but still, there were bowl games on the first, there were football games over the weekend, kids were in school. but i wonder what your concern is if there is this walkout for your daughters. what they will lose, what is on the line for them? >> sure, so anyone within the cps system now, you know, we're
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coming off of a year where we had a strike, and then followed by the year where it was ended abruptly with covid, the end of 2020, and then a full year of just remote adjustment. this, as a recovery year, if we have to adjust back to the work from home, it's really a matter of how much effort teachers, parents, the faculty put into this adjustment to see if we can get back on track. our kids have been inconsistent, if not anything else over the last two years, and i'd like to see that consistency so that they can enjoy and get the education that they're afforded. >> you're not alone, ismael, wow, you sound very flexible, you're willing to work with whatever you're handed this week. i know how complicated it is for parents. i have three kids in school as well. what did you think of the argument that victor just heard from the president of the chicago teachers union, basically that they want every student tested before they go back into the classroom.
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>> sure. so if we take it back to the beginning of last year, january, february of 2021, we were in the situation where finding out could we reopen for the spring, and myself only being involved in two different schools in chicago public schools, my daughters go to two different schools, i only have a vantage point into those two. what the city has to look at is across the board, how are all of the schools doing, the best of the best and the worst of the there are other schools e this statistically, they're able to manage. they have the support, the families that are able to be flexible and take off time and do the transportation and do the testing as needed, but there's some who are just like, you know, make it stop.
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>> what was virtual learning like for your family, for your girls? >> so we had -- the hardest thing was my daughter that was going into kindergarten, that' the joy of running up and down the cafeteria, she started off kindergarten in the living room with her sister and parents, you know, it's a different feel all together of escalating into the school system. and her parents were working. my wife and i are, you know, glued to our computer, trying to keep our computers going, and still trying to play educator, and still trying to play cafeteria, and still trying to play custodian, still trying to play everything that these two girls needed out of a school setting, and so it's emotional and everything. we had to adjust to that and still be adults, and still run the household, while outside the
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house, there's this pandemic going, and we're not sure how safety is going to be, how the health system is going to be. there's a lot going on. it's still a trying time, and you find out who you've got in your family, who you're married to, who you're raising, because you can't escape them at that point. >> you have explained it perfectly to us, all of the challenges and how you both have your hands full, so thank you very much and we'll be watching closely what happens later today with this vote. >> thank you. >> good luck to your family. president bideted by covid in the country, but he says they are making progress, so will his plans be enough? that's ahead. recommended brand, helps keep baby's skin drier and healthier. so every touch will protect like the first. pampers it's time for our lowest prices of the season on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to relieve pressure points. and its temperature balancing so you both sleep just right.
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double the number of antiviral pills the u.s. has ordered to treat covid. that's the largest order in th world, and it's just one part of the strategy he laid out in the last hour. as the u.s. is experiencing the highest level of infection since the pandemic began. >> the country is now averaging more than 480,000 new infections a day. the cdc reports more than 95% of those cases are of the omicron variant, and two big developments just came in. >> well, u.s. covid hospitalizations have now surpassed the peak seen from the delta variant back in september. nearly 113,000 people are currently hospitalized with covid. and the american academy of pediatrics just reported the highest case count ever for children. they call it an alarming increase. >> now, for the week ending december 30th, there were more than 325,000 new cases among
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children. that's 126,000 more new cases than the week before. but the academy points out that it appears that severe illness from covid is uncommon from children. cnn's jeff zeleny is at the white house. tell us more about the president's message. >> reporter: that certainly is the backdrop for president biden's first meeting of the year, his first formal briefing at least with his covid-19 task force, which is still underway, and the president voiced that frustration largely at the inability to get tests. we have seen lines across the country in cities across america, states across america, and the president was pretty blunt about what he sees as at least a failure for now. >> folks, i know we're all tired and frustrated about the pandemic. these coming weeks are going to be challenging. we're going to get through together. we have the tools to protect people from severe illness due to omicron, if people choose to
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use the tools. we have the medicines coming along that can save so many lives and dramatically reduce the impact that covid has had on our country. there's a lot of reasons to be hopeful in 2022, but for god's sake, please take advantage of what's available. >> the president echoing a message of what he has said again and again. one of the challenges is testing, is testing, they are still going to order half a billion tests that people are able to order through a web site. we are expecting more information on that later this week. but that is something that is still not yet been rolled out, but again, the president meeting with his covid-19 task force. we're also awaiting some new guidance from the cdc about those new recommendations of isolating for five days, as opposed to ten days. all of that will be coming this afternoon, we are told, but again, a big challenge for this president, as he, you know,
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enters his second year in office, still facing very much similar things here. again, testing such a challenge. absolutely. jeff zeleny, thank you very much. >> sure. let's bring in two epidemiologists, dr. abdul s sayed, and dr. amina, a biotech software company that offers at home testing, and a former professor at harvard university. i want to start with you because testing is the big question right now. victor spoke to the president of the chicago teachers association who very much wants every student tested before they go back in the classroom to see which students are possibly infectious and which are not, and then on the flip side, you have the florida surgeon general who today was saying all of this widespread testing is totally unnecessary, so let me play this for you. >> it doesn't make sense is all
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this testing before people can work or before people can go to school or because someone with no risk factors was exposed and has no symptoms whatsoever. this fantasy that the federal leadership has painted that you can somehow stop this pandemic by just doing more testing. i mean, i'm waiting for more people to realize it's completely failed. it's impossible. >> dr. amina, i know that you have some skin in this game because you do work for a testing company, but should asymptomatic people and children test before they go out in the world? >> thank you. and just to be clear, i've been pretty consistent with my message for over two years or almost two years now, and the fact is testing was never going to eliminate the pandemic. but what we need to use it for is to keep vulnerable people safe. stop chains of transmission. you know, when i hear things like what i just heard from the
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florida surgeon general, that's disappointing because it shows a failure to recognize that one transmission event spawns into multiple additional ones, which they each spawn into multiple additional ones, and that's how we get exponential growth, and we get vulnerable people who are at risk, dying, and that's why testing and every chance we can get to sever transmission chains, we should take it. >> dr. el-sayed, let me lean on your experience as a city health official, and how big cities get back to normal. we heard from the new mayor of new york, eric adams today saying that the city is going to stay open. they're going to do and promote all the things to make that happen. let's listen to him, and then we'll talk on the other side. >> i need my cities to open, and we have to be safe. we have to double down on vaccinations and booster shots,
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we have to double down on testing. but we have to reshape our thinking of how do we live with covid. >> we've got on the side of the screen here, 480,000 is the seven-day average of new cases. how do you make that happen? keeping places open, if you got some cities, some officials who are devaluing testing, what do you do? >> well, we're between a rock and a hard place here. ideally, we would have had the tests we needed to be able to use them to cut the transmission chains that dr. amina has been talking about since the beginning of the pandemic. we got an extremely transmissible variant here, where people are sick and tired, and unfortunately the fact that nearly 38% of our population has not been vaccinated, not catching up to us. the things we can lean on to keep our kids in school, to do as much as we can around our critical infrastructure, to keep the society going is to upgrade the masks. for folks who have not gotten
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boosted, please do that. i think we need to upgrade the masks, i think we need to ramp up testing as much as we possibly can because right now, omicron is not giving us much time to adjust on other fronts. >> dr. amina, who should be testing right now? >> so unfortunately one thing i've called for for, you know, since the beginning is frequent testing to identify people who might not even know that they are exposed before they go and infect others. unfortunately we're stuck in a difficult position now where we don't have enough tests to reasonably do that, so we have to start using these tests very strategically, something we haven't yet done, and we have to make sure that we're putting them in the places where they will be most beneficial. a terrific use of the tests right now is tests to treat. we should be placing tests in the homes of people who are most at risk for landing themselves in the hospital if they get infected. tell them that they can take the
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tests if they feel any symptoms, and then if they are positive, we will figure it out very quickly, and be able to get them these new oral anti-virals shipped, you know, drill to their house, for instance, that is a very strategic and good use of the tests given that those antivirals need to be initiated within just a few days of symptom onset to have their benefit. other approaches are tests to stay. no child should have to not -- should be staying out of school just because they might be exposed and infected. covid's an information problem, and rapid tests give us the information we need to keep those kids in school. if you're negative, keep going to school. if you're positive, don't. >> all right. dr. michael mena, dr. abdul el-sayed, first question goes to you dr. el-sayed, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. one year since the deadly u.s. capitol attack, the capitol
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police force is announcing changes in response to the insurrection. >> moments ago, the capitol police board held a press conference to discuss what steps are being made to secure the capitol and try to prevent another january 6th. let's bring in whitney wild. tell us about what these changes are. >> well, what the capitol police chief said was they sought to make the most impactful changes at the outset. there had been a comment from the capitol police inspector general a while back, a couple of weeks ago, in which he said the department made basically a fraction of the recommendations that he suggested. so he suggested a hundred, he made around 30. the capitol police chief today made a point of saying it's not like they are only doing a third of the work they are supposed to be doing. in fact, what those 34 recommendations that are completed represent are the most pressing issues that were facing the department. things like intelligence gathering, and dissemination. operational planning as well as civil disturbance unit
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preparedness. the cdu is critical because when you look at what the attack was, the attack was, you know, hundreds of thousands of people descending on the capitol, and it was hand-to-hand combat. cdu is right at the front line of that. and so getting that unit up to speed was really critical. here's what the chief said when he was asked basically frankly, are you prepared for another january 6th. >> the united states capitol police as an organization is stronger and better prepared to carry out its mission today than it was before january 6th of last year. the department began significant work immediately after the 6th to fix the failures that occurred, intelligence flailure, operational planning failures, leadership failures. >> is the capitol strong enough to withstand -- >> i believe it is, yes. >> furlther, when he talks abou the security posture, and intelligence that they're monitoring as they lead up to this anniversary, what he said
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is at this point there's not credible intelligence to suggest there's going to be an issue. however, they are monitoring events throughout washington. they are monitoring an event at the d.c. jail. further he said that they are working through another 60 recommendations so the hope is that in due time when they can finish up all of these recommendations, this department will be at the best possible place. alisyn, victor sg. >> whitney wild, thank you very much for that breaking news. school districts across the country are coming up with different plans now in light of the omicron surge. we're going to talk to two superintendents from some of the country's largest school districts on what they are doing. that's next. g i wanna do. ♪ turns out everyone does sound better in the shower. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. ♪ 'cause it's the only thing i wanna do ♪ shaq: (singing in background) can't unhear that. for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage
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superintendents, alberto carvalo who runs a district in miami-dade, and robert leon, newark, new jersey, schools. let me start with you mr. superintendent in miami-dade. this patch work, i know this is the best that you can do considering the ban on mandates from the governor, but how do you think this will end up? i mean, it doesn't make sense that the visitors and the vendors have to wear masks but the teachers don't, the students don't. it is only encouraged. >> good afternoon, victor and alisyn, thank you for having us on your show. no, unfortunately in florida, there are a lot of tools in the tool box, but we cannot use all of them because of legislative restrictions recently adopted by the state. yes, there's a degree of inconsistency regarding the protective measures that we are requiring as adults, but we cannot legislatively require students. the irony here also is in this state, students can envelope themselves of vouchers,
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scholarships, they can transport that money to a catholic school, a private school, where they mandate the student to wear a mask, so there's a great deal of inconsistency, all of it disconnected from reasons and the expert advice of medical entities. >> we hear your frustration. there's a law that has been passed in florida that you can not mandate that students wear masks in school, even though as you say, it's a tool in the tool kit. so superintendent leon, there seems to be near universal agreement that remote learning is hard for kids. it is not preferable. they would much rather be in the classroom, they don't learn well remotely. why are you moving to remote learning? >> once again, thanks, alisyn, and victor for having me and a good hello to my friend down in miami. we agree that in-person instruction is and will always trump the whole notion of what occurs during remote instruction, no matter how perfected we try to improve
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those efforts. our number in newark after the thanksgiving break three weeks in and leading to our winter break justified a reality that was scary. the numbers began to spike during the week of winter break, and so we began to implement a couple of strategies, precautionary measures during the last two weeks before winter break, and then leading to winter break began preparation plans so that the families of children would, in fact, be ready at home as well as for the staff to pivot as well. in new jersey, we see it a little differently. our governor as well as the mayor of our great city have been nothing but extremely supportive, not only in orders, but definitely in supports in newark. >> what are your numbers right now? what are your numbers? >> yeah, so in the city -- in the state of new jersey, about
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1.4 million are positive. in newark, a little over 60,000. in our school system active positives, we have 11% of my entire teaching staff, so i have 3,000 teachers, 11% of my classroom teachers are in fact positive, and we only know that because of mandatory testing last week. >> you both have your work cut out for you. really appreciate your time. obviously we'll be watching very closely what happens there. superintendents carvalo and leon, we appreciate you, thank you. >> thank you. >> and we'll be right back.
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at intra-cellular therapies, we're inspired by our circle. a circle that includes our researchers, driven by our award-winning science, who uncover new medicines to treat mental illness. it includes the compassionate healthcare professionals, the dedicated social workers, and the supportive peer counselors we work with to help improve - and even change - people's lives. moving from mental illness to mental wellness starts in our circle. this is intra-cellular therapies. kim is now demonstrating her congestion. save it slimeball. i've upgraded to mucinex. we still have 12 hours to australia. mucinex lasts 12 hours, so i'm good. now move! kim, no! mucinex lasts 3x longer for 12 hours. the breaking news, three sources tell cnn that the house
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committee investigating the january 6th insurrection now intends to ask fox news host sean hannity to speak with them. cnn's ryan nobles joins us now with more. tell us what you know. >> reporter: yeah, victor, we've just confirmed this report. first was put out by axios and committee sources are telling us that it is indeed true that the committee is preparing to send a letter to fox news host sean hannity asking that he voluntarily appear before the committee to discuss what he knows about the events leading up to and on january 6th. of course the committee has already been very public about the information that they've received about hannity's interactions with the former president and his staff, specifically on january 6th. they revealed text messages that hannity sent to the then white house chief of staff mark meadows on that day. and they outlined some of those text messages as part of their criminal contempt referral report of the former chief of
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staff mark meadows, so it's clear that they believe that hannity knows a lot about what took place on that day, and they'd like to learn even more information from hannity about his role and everything that took place on january 6th. now, what's important to point out about the committee's step here is that the committee is voluntarily asking for hannity to come forward. this isn't going to be a formal subpoena, you understand, this is just going to be a letter asking that he do this of his own accord, that they aren't yet ready to take the step of issuing a formal subpoena. if that comes, it certainly puts the situation in a different realm, and then becomes a legal responsibility for hannity to appear and then it could become a situation where if he defies that subpoena, he too could face a criminal contempt charge. we're not at that point yet. at this point, this is a voluntary ask of hannity to come before the committee and answer their questions. we expect that we'll see that letter at some point today, but we can confirm that this is the committee's plans, that they do want to hear from the fox news
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host. alisyn, and victor. >> ryan, this is interesting on many levels and complicated because hannity, well, his lawyer, jay sekulow is already saying that this raises first amendment, freedom of the press issues. i don't know if that's true because hannity was acting as an informal adviser throughout the trump, separate and apart from his day job, throughout the trump presidency as we know, and also he's a huge donald trump friend and loyalist so it's hard to know what the committee could get out of him that his text messages haven't already said. >>. >> reporter: yeah, i think that's right, alisyn, and it does open kind of a new realm in terms of this inquiry by the committee that they're bringing forward someone who has a platform as big as hannity's and who kind of sits in this weird space of commentary, political activism and serving as an informal adviser to the former president, and someone who by every account is still in regular contact with the former
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president, donald trump. so i think there's another question, too, alisyn about where the first -- what role the first amendment plays in terms of the committee just asking him questions about the conversations that he had with the former president, whether they be public or not public, that's not necessarily preventing sean hannity from talking about that should it come to that point, so, you know, this is kind of a weird space, and the committee's been in this space multiple times, whether it be, you know, asking former administration officials to come forward and talk to them, former department of justice officials, asking them to come forward and talk to them, and even asking members of congress to come forward and talk to them. this is in many ways ground that hasn't been covered by a congressional investigation which can make it difficult from a legal perspective because it could mean that some of these issues have to be ironed out in a court of law. we'll have to see what the letter says, what they're specifically asking, and then what response to see what path this process could go down before the committee actually
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gets the information they're looking for. >> all right. ryan >> let's bring in brian stelter. we know there were the text messages that hannity sent to mark meadows, then chief of staff. can he deliver some remarks, can he ask people to leave the capitol? your reaction now to this appeal to him to cooperate. >> the big question a lot of people are going to want to know is what is sean hannity hiding? what does he know that he's been hiding from his audience? because he has an audience of millions of people who rely on him, trust in him, believe him, even though he's given them many reasons. it's not a subpoena. it's not a situation where we'll be talking about dramatic first amendment debate. it could escalate to that point there could be questions of the
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responsibility of a media responsibility. this is just a voluntary request. and let's also remember that sean hannity has repeatedly and loudly for the last 11 or 12 years said journalism is dead in america. he says journalism is dead but as soon as there's a request from a legal committee he doesn't like, he wraps himself in the first amendment flag and says this would breach the first amendment. so it really comes down to the key question. what's he hiding? what does he know over the past year that he hasn't told his viewers or told the public? is he in on it in some way? we're learning about this vast conspiracy. was he in on it in some fashion? if not, i'm sure he'll want to share that as well. >> when you say what is he hiding. you mean if he refuses to show up. at the moment, what makes you think that he's hiding anything? >> i think for the past year he's defended donald trump and promoted trumpism, even though he was text messaging on january
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6th trying to stop what was going on just like so many others at fox and elsewhere. as i reported on fox over the years, people have always singled out hannity as the single biggest trump sycophant and the most important adviser to the then president mean was on the phone with trump before and after his shows in primetime. they essentially produced each other's shows and he produced trump's presidency. and so he certainly knows more than he has shared about what happened between election day and the insurrection. i think that's absolutely true because he was on the phone. he was texting and all of this, of course, alisyn, goes to the bigger issue. the pro-trump media set the stage for the riot. that's something the 1/6 committee wants to explore. >> thank you very much. former president trump has been vocal about the benefits of getting vaccinated against covid-19 and most americans, even republicans, agree with him and have gotten the shot. >> but there's still a largely republican-leaning group of
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holdouts who do not want to hear trump preach about vaccines. cnn's tom foreman has more. >> i recommend take the vaccines. i did it. it's good. take the vaccines. but you got -- no, no, that's okay. >> reporter: boos from his own crowd scorned from his dedicated fans. >> both the president and i are vaxxed, and did you get the booster? >> yes. >> i got it, too. okay. so -- >> no, don't, don't, don't. >> reporter: donald trump is increasingly talking up the vaccine and getting heat for it. ridiculed in cartoons, secured in right wing media p. i'm going to dish it all on trump. >> reporter: where alex jones told his followers trump is getting and giving bad advice on the vaccine. >> it's so people can know how pathetic he is when you think he's playing 40 chess going to save you and it's not. >> reporter: vaccine resistance is so high among republicans 4 in 10 were unvaccinated going into the holidays compared to about 1 in 10 democrats.
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so never mind the former president steadily rejects the idea of mandates, when he talks up voluntary vaccination, some slap him down. >> i was stunned by that. i mean, given the fact of how popular he is with that group. >> the vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. >> reporter: in a chat with conservative talk host candice owens, trump rightfully took credit for fast-tracking the life-saving science that is leading the fight against covid. >> look, the results of the vaccine are very good. and if you do get it, it's a very minor form. people aren't dying when they take the vaccine. >> reporter: her snap response, a tangled video suggesting trump is out of touch with the truth. >> you oftentimes forget like how old trump is. i believe also that he only reads the mainstream media news. believe it or not. >> reporter: it all has trump facing rare skepticism from his party's faithful and praise from outside those ranks. >> i think that his continuing
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to say that people should get vaccinated and articulating that to them, in my mind, is a good thing. i hope he keeps it up. >> reporter: maybe he's doing this because he really believes it. but more cynical, political analysts say maybe it's because he wants to run again. he knows he needs to expand his base and most of america believes in vaccines. >> okay. tom foreman, thank you. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now after the break. we were sharing an experience. >> thanks.
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the commute from a snowy hell. 24 hours in a car barely moving 24 feet. "the lead" starts right now. thousands stuck and stranded on a busy virginia interstate. some with babies and dogs. no food or water. and quickly running out of gas. if they haven't already. how did this happen? music to the ears of a lot of parents. president biden today proclaiming that schools should be open as the cdc is about to make yet another change to its isolation guidance. and, the zoom call to stop a possible war. we'll take you inside a pending global alliance meeting hoping to stop vladimir putin's invasion itch. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we start with the health lead. a powerful message this afternoon from president joe biden, an ally of teachers


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