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tv   America Reports With John Roberts Sandra Smith  FOX News  January 4, 2022 10:00am-12:00pm PST

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but it's a flip phone you can set up and do the viral dances and it will sit straight up. joe, i wish i had known you on myspace, i bet you could really dance. like pretiktok, the jams on myspace. >> wow. >> the end of an era indeed. all right, guys. thanks to everyone, and now here is "america reports." >> emily, i think of the gore campaign in 2000. in virginia, hundreds of drivers were stranded for hours following a tractor-trailer pile-up. some is starting to move now, albeit slowly. >> you can see the trucks starting to fas through to your point, slowly, but moving. traffic literally was frozen in place after it was impossible to move on the interstate and drivers were forced to end the night in their cars in freezing
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temperatures. we'll have much or on this developing story coming up. >> but first, another alert to kick off "america reports," millions of children across the country are returning to classrooms following the holiday break. but in chicago the powerful teachers' union says the city has not done enough to keep schools safe amid a huge covid surge and remote learning, yes, remote learning could be back as soon as tomorrow. hello, i'm john roberts in washington, good tuesday to you, sandra. >> sandra: you as well, john. we'll talk about how hard it is on the children coming up. sandra smith in new york. the chicago mayor says schools are the safest place for students and the city spent $100 million on protective measures, but union leaders are not satisfied, and will hold a vote later today on whether to return to full remote learning. it is a critical decision that will impact the lives of more
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than 300,000 students and their families in the windy city. >> john: fox news coverage, dr. mark segal in moments. >> sandra: garrett, any indication at this point how likely the vote is to pass? >> well, sandra, the most recent data point is a vote the union took at a virtual town hall sunday night, 80% of its members said they did not want to work in-person under the current conditions. the union wants chicago to have all of its schools, all more than 330,000 students move online for the next two weeks to limit any potential exposure to covid after the holiday break and want more testing, better masks and clear plan when the schools will be closed in the case of an outbreak. but at least so far, city officials are not backing down and say schools will stay open,
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noting 91% of the staff is vaccinated, over 100,000 students are vaccinated, and the growing evidence that shutting down schools can do more harm than good for students. >> it's that we have to do risk benefit analysis here and at least among children we have to think of this as similar to flu. you add vaccination on top of that, the risk is even lower, and that is what we are seeing right now. we need kids to get vaccinated, but i remain extremely comfortable with children continuing in-person education. >> caught in the middle of the standoff of the 330,000 public school students and parents. some of whom argue the teachers' union is not following the science and is not actually looking out for what's best for their children. >> they continue to come up with long lists of demands relating to public health issues, testing, vaccinations, they want
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the school district to become a health clinic and again, that is not a core competency of our public schools. public schools should focus on education and providing social, emotional help for young children in the city that is sorely needed. >> the union will vote tonight on whether or not they'll show up for work tomorrow and if they don't, the city will be forced to decide whether to give into their demands and move completely online for the next two weeks or to shut down the schools completely until a deal is reached. sandra. >> sandra: huge decisions that matter to so many. garrett, thank you. john. >> john: bring in dr. mark segal for more context and perspective, a study by the c.d.c. released last spring, yeah, last spring, found profound mental effects on children as a result of remote learning. one in four parents talked about
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worsened emotional health, and now the chicago teachers' union may put the children back in that position again. your take. >> john, actually the governor of illinois pointed to that study and she wants the schools to remain open, and she pointed out that not only is there mental health issues involved, also learning issues are involved. delayed learning has been shown over the pandemic and socialization issues and developmental delay, just on the mental side. physical side, the issue of immunizations, proper screenings, developmental delays that are missed. all of that factors in and illinois has another plan which would be something called adaptive pauses, i actually like. that means that if you had a huge outbreak in the school, you would then go remote briefly. a hybrid situation while you figured out what you were doing wrong or maybe to get more testing in place, but the point that was made by garrett,
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garrett's report is if they are vaccinated, and even more so if they are boosted, the chances of any significant spread occurring in the school is very low but you know what's not low, if you put kids out into the community, it's been shown in multiple studies from north carolina to wisconsin to massachusetts to utah, that actually you increase spread when you do that. >> john: "new york times" had an excellent article about what we have done as a society, "no way to grow up," he writes for the past two years many communities have not grappled with the trade he have i don't. rather than minimizing the damage that covid does to society, they have accepted more harm to children in exchange for less harm to adults. basically saying as a nation we have made a decision the people least affected by covid are going to pay a high price for the rest of us. your thoughts. >> yeah, and that's actually, i
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agree with that. and what are teachers' unions doing, looking after teachers, not students. pretending to look after students but actually they are protecting their own teachers who may be nervous to go in or rather work remotely, it's easier for them. if they are fully vaccinated and boosted themselves, the risks are very, very low. if everybody is vaccinated and boosted, risks are very, very low. i agree we have put way too much on the backs of our children and i don't include in that, by the way, john, the risks of vaccination. i want to be very clear here. i think more and more data is coming out showing that these vaccines are safe for kids, they are safe for teens, there's a very, very low risk and that group benefits. it's not because we are vaccinating teens so they don't spread it to adults, doing it because of long covid, risks. even if a kid does not get very sick they'll have brain fog or long-term complication. rather than have the vaccine than covid. >> we heard from a doctor from
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the chicago department of public health, with vaccinated children we need to treat covid like it's the flu. as omicron begins to be the dominant variant in the united states, obviously cases are going up. let's put it up on the screen to see where we are as a nation. cases seven-day age december 15th to 29, up 160%. deaths nationwide down 7%, the situation in new york city where you are a little different. cases up 579% and deaths up 155%. but with omicron causing for the most part it seems less severe disease than previous variants, do we need to change our perspective how we deal with coronavirus now? >> we are almost there, john. let me put it this way. we have a million cases today and over 100,000 hospitalizations in the united states. we are not out of the woods yet because even if the rate of hospitalization is only one fifth of delta, we are getting
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five times to ten times more cases, but here is the good side of that. this is going to burn out. i'm not the only one predicting that. if we are listing a million cases, more like 5 to 10 million cases. the next 3, 4 weeks we'll have a lot more omicron, mostly mild, and it is going to burn out like it did in south africa. in the meantime, everybody out there do what's responsible, if you have not had the booster yet, get the booster, get vaccinated. biden administration, where are the therapeutics, we need the drugs, the monoclonal antibodies. all of that is what we have to be doing right now. looks like the milder omicron will burn out to a large extent by the end of this month. >> all right. your lips to god's ears. thanks, doc, for your expertise. appreciate it. >> great to be on, john. >> john: we'll take this on in a bigger way next hour, president biden is going to come out during his meeting with his covid response team and we have
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more context and perspective. >> sandra: people want to know the schools, what's happening with businesses, unanswered questions. listen to what the president and the team have to say at the top of the next hour. traffic is starting to move again, although slowly. we have been watching i-95 after stranded cars stretched as far as the eye could see on virginia's interstate. pile-up and snowstorm forced hundreds of drivers to hunker down overnight with temperatures in the 20s. live in washington on this. rich, thankfully the situation seems to be improving, albeit slightly. cars are starting to move on the interstate. >> they are, sandra. although still a block closed near fredericksburg in both directions, crews have the frozen trucks trying to get out of the way so some of the cars can begin to move down the highway.
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the governor told "washington post" he hopes 95 will be ready to go by tonight at some point. drivers say they have been stuck in their cars since yesterday. freezing temperatures, trucks jackknifed and blocked traffic in both directions. drivers had been tweeting some were running out of gas, no food or water, some had pets and kids in the car. local emergency workers are running blankets and supplies to the frozen highway. >> it's been horrible, man, especially the people in the car. they have no water, no food, they have been there more than 24 hours sitting there. >> it's really hard, you are trying to stay warm but you are running out of gas. it's freezing out here. freezing out here and total standstill, and that's where we are right now. >> virginia's department of transportation said it closed 95 in both directions for 50-mile stretch around fredericksburg. crews are working to clear trucks frozen along the highway.
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one truck driver, senator tim kane of virginia, wrote i started my normal 2-hour drive to d.c. at 1:00 p.m. yesterday. 19 hours later i'm still not near the capitol, my office is in touch with virginia department of transportation to see how we can help other virginians in this situation. please stay safe, everyone. part of the issue and problem is the storm began as rain, so they tried to sand and salt the roads, the water and the rain washed it away and that is when the snow hit, sandra. >> sandra: sending our best to the stranded passengers, hoping the trucks and cars start moving again as it looks like they are very slowly. rich, thank you. john. >> john: more delays, cancellations and angry passengers as americans desperately try to get home
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following the holiday. how covid and bad weather are still impacting things in the air. a live report on that coming up. >> sandra: nothing worse than seeing canceled on the flight board. beef companies are bracing for what is to come in the new year. this as biden takes on the industry and a new plan to ease high prices. but who is really to blame for this high price mess? our panel will take that up next. >> i've said it before and say it again, capitalism without competition is not capitalism, it's exploitation. that's what we are seeing in meat and poultry. you're a one-man stitchwork master. but your staffing plan needs to go up a size. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do.
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>> sandra: elizabeth holmes found guilty on 4 of 11 counts,
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one charge of conspiracy and three of fraud. jury acquitted her on four other charges and deadlocked on the three remaining counts. prosecutors said she lied to investors and patients about the company's failed blood testing technology. faces up to 20 years in prison for each count. john. >> john: sandra, fox news alert four days into the new year, thousands of americans are still trying to get home from their holiday trips after thousands of flight delays and cancellations. casey is live at the dallas-fort worth airport with the latest. folks went on vacation over the holiday and are still there, casey. >> i want to brag, i had no issues on my flights but not the same for tens of thousands of people still as you said trying to get back to home base just as we were going on the air checking the latest data out of flight aware at this hour, about
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3500 cancellations globally. more than 7500 delays globally. out of those, 2400 of the delays in the united states and then about 1300 of the cancellations involve flights to and from the united states and other countries. add to that a major winter storm hitting parts of the country as you know, mixed with thousands and thousands of cancellations that started around christmas and we know things mount and only got worse in 2022. cue the frustration, listen. >> my flight got canceled three times already and it was due to lack of crew. i'm hoping that today's flight does not cancel on me, but there's already been a text saying they are 45 minutes delayed. >> industry analysts say also blame covid-19. surprise, surprise. the air carriers, the f.a.a. even the t.s.a. reporting high
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numbers of their own employees have contracted the virus meaning they cannot work for a period of time and that is only stretching an already thin staff, john, and you know when you are delayed or canceled, an hour feels like a day. airport floors are not comfortable, it's just a nightmare all together. >> john: you cannot get a good night sleep on a bench in an airport, i can attest to that. casey, glad your travel worked out well. >> sandra: president biden beefing with the meat industry, meeting with farmers and ranchers yesterday at the white house to sell his $1 billion plan to lower prices. but as inflation hits almost every kitchen table across america, critics are questioning whether his policies are actually at the root of the problem. let's bring in steven moore, and robert wolf. welcome to you both.
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first off, robert, can i ask you about this happy new year as well. i've missed you guys. let me ask you first about this moment where president biden shared with the public how he learned of higher meat prices, watch. >> my wife was there with her sister and a good friend named mary anne and she was saying do you realize over $5 for a pound of hamburger meat? $5? >> sandra: first off, robert, struck me as odd because this has been a problem for the american family for quite some time, higher prices going to any grocery store, granted the president is not stepping into a grocery but certainly should be on his radar that meat prices are sky high. >> yeah, well, i mean, sandra, i don't think that it is not on his radar that meat prices are sky high. i mean, the idea that he didn't know the exact pound of burger,
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my guess is you know, going back to the bush days when he didn't know the price of milk. so, those are meaningless with respect to the american people. what the american people want to know is what he's doing about it. and i actually think his comments yesterday like capitalism without competition is not capitalism, as a capitalist it's spot on and i think it's ok to have a check and balance on the private industry when four companies have 85% market share. it is four companies, and i think steve would agree with that comment. let's be clear. 1980s, ronald reagan went after at&t for their competition and their monopoly. at the end of the day in a post-pandemic world, having a check and balance on a few industries that are driving pricing is ok, and let me just finish. >> sandra: doesn't sound like a check and balance, but placing
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blame. >> ten seconds. you have the american farm bureau, probably 85% trump voters supporting what biden is doing. so, this is not a blue or red thing, this is not political, this is actually a way to make sure we have the right check and balance. and this is a capitalist. >> sandra: hold on, i have to get steve in here. placing blame squarely on the meat companies, and some say perhaps joe biden should look what is driving prices higher. >> if it's not driving prices higher, it's not a problem for consumers. what we should be focussed on, other factors driving inflation. demand increases produced by the pandemic, inflationary policies from the federal reserve, and from the biden administration, this is an attempt to shift blame. we don't have a problem with concentration in this industry.
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>> sandra: he says they are shifting blame, but steve, the president tried to pitch his solution to the problem and he says that is to increase competition. could that work? >> well, look, i'm disappointed with the president and robert, frankly, disappointed with you. the one lesson we should have learned over the last 40 or 50 years is that government price controls are, and regulations are not a way to reduce prices. in fact, when we deregulated all the industries, whether it was the electric power industry, trucking industry, airline industry, prices fell. we are not the soviet union. we don't want the government and the central planners telling us what the prices are. robert, if you were right that there was some kind of monopoly in meat prices why is the meat prices just rising under biden? they did not rise under donald trump, you had the same kind of situation. and incidentally, don't forget, sandra, joe biden also blamed the high oil prices on the oil companies. i mean, he just keeps blaming
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the industry for the higher prices when in fact what we have is inflation in virtually every industry because we have too much borrowing, too much government spending and too much money printing. you know this, robert, you were a banker. you can't flood with the cheap money and not expect prices to rise. >> sandra: i'll let robert respond to that. you know who does disagree with the president's plan? larry summers, a former economic of the obama era, saying the emerging claim that antitrust can combat inflation reflects science denial, he says. many areas like transitory inflation where they differ. robert. >> a lot to unpack and not the first time steve was disappointed in me, and no guess that i've been disappointed in him, trickle down has not worked
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for 40 years. that being said, just be clear that when you compare today versus the trump presidency, during the trum presidency the pandemic closed the economy. we are reopening the economy. that's why prices are going up. it has nothing to do with -- nothing to do can with -- >> sandra: a lot to unpack there. we are out of time, though. >> robert -- inflation was 2% under trump and 6% under biden. you got to explain that one. >> 6 million jobs in one year, we lost jobs under trump. we can go back and forth all day. >> sandra: oh, robert, oh, boy, we have a lot -- we are going to continue the conversation. we'll have you back soon. i'm out of time. >> look at the data, look at the data. >> sandra: i do, every day, all day. thank you very much, robert. steve. >> thanks, sandra. >> john: sandra, i hope i never disappoint you. president biden set to meet with
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his covid-19 task force as over a million americans tested positive yesterday. we'll have that for you live just as soon as it begins. >> sandra: and senator schumer and the filibuster. does it go nowhere if schumer cannot even convince members of his own party to support it? [ joe ] my teeth were a mess. i had a lot of pain. as far as my physical health, my body was telling me you got to do something. and so i came to clearchoice. your mouth is the gateway to your body. joe's treatment plan was replacing the teeth with dental implants from clearchoice. [ joe ] clearchoice has changed my life for the better. it's given me my health back. there's an amazing life out there if you do something for your health now. age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein
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>> sandra: happy to see finally moving there. midterm elections are this year, we can now say, but some on the left are already looking ahead to 2024. bernie sanders, telling politico he predicts a progressive will challenge president biden for the democratic nomination. that's big news, alexandria is live in washington. can you tell us what's happening in the democratic party right now, what are we hearing? >> progressives may be scrolling through some names. his former campaign manager added that chatter over a primary challenger got louder in the wake of senator manchin killing the president's social spending bill. a lot of back and forth if president biden was going to run again and if so, would vice president harris be on the ticket. the white house remained adamant, yes to both. despite they told the wall street journal they had not talked about it.
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president biden, 47% approval rating but even his supporters are concerned about his age. here is what the president had to say on that. >> if i'm in the health i'm in now, if i'm in good health, then in fact i would run again. >> it's no secret, though, that the far left has lost some admiration. the congressional progressive caucus released a statement urging the president to deliver on the promises of his now stalled agenda. reads in part "president biden has shown he is not afraid to use the power of the pen to fight monopoly power. now use the same bold creative strategy to deliver the agenda more than 81 million people voted for." for progressives to put forth a primary challenger, it could force the president to move farther to the left. modern u.s. history, incumbent president has never lost a primary nomination but sitting president lost in the general. sandra. >> sandra: and here we go, on to
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midterm election year. alex, thank you. >> john: chuck schumer says the senate will soon vote on a carve out to the filibuster in order to get a vote on the democrat's election overhaul bill. "wall street journal" editorial board saying the majority leader will try again to blow up the senate, blow up valid election laws. and let's just rewind the clock back to 2005, james, if we could, starting out here and what chuck schumer said about the necessity to hang on to the filibuster. listen here. >> the idealogues want to what the founding fathers saw the cooling sauce of democracy into the dictatorship. they can't get their way on every judge to change the rules
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in midstream. to wash away 200 years of history, it will be a doomsday for democracy if we do. >> john: doomsday for democracy if we do, the filibuster, he said today on the senate floor, times have changed. have they changed? >> yeah, that's for sure, based on that clip you just ran, he's now on the side of dictatorship, i suppose, according to the standard he used to apply. now he's claiming that our democracy is in peril and it can only be saved by trashing senate rules and overriding state election laws, creating massive new federal power over our elections, and i think there's a reason that there's all this rhetoric is because they don't want people to focus on the underlying reality, which is a lot of changes people don't want. if he manages to trash senate rules and get rid of the filibuster and drive this
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election law through, a lot of what it's doing is destroying what people like about elections. they want people to have to present a valid i.d. that is a broadly bipartisan popular position, and this seeks to override that among other changes in our elections that are not going to be popular, and so that's why i think he wants to keep it at the level of some threat to our democracy in terms of his rhetoric. >> john: no question that nuking the filibuster would turn the cooling saucer of democracy as he put it into a hot volcano of partisanship and in fact, chuck schumer is using the upcoming anniversary of january 6th to sell the need to do this. listen to what he said this morning. >> so as we remember january 6th this week and as voter suppress we must be clear efforts to de isolated developments but the
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same poison of donald trump's big lie. senate must advance legislation to protect our democracy and safeguard the right to vote. >> john: does this, james, have anything to do with january 6th or is january 6th just a convenient way for schumer to try to sell this? >> it's a pretext, obviously these are -- these changes he's seeking include a lot of provisions that the progressive left has been seeking for a long time. long before last january 6th. and a lot of it again is something people are not going to want. forget whether if you believed that we ought to change the rules of the senate and that the state laws ought to be overridden, and the idea that, for example, states ought to be required by the federal government to accept ballots after election day arriving late without even a postmark, this is a recipe if this ever got
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through for constant warfare over elections and endless lawsuits over the results of our elections. so this is really a terrible underlying product that he's got beyond the issues of do people really want revolutionary change in how the senate operates and relates to voting laws. >> and joe manchin and kirsten sinema are saying it's game over if the republicans get back in control in november they may, you'll see them use this item. james freeman, good to talk to you, appreciate it. >> you too. >> sandra: iran warning the u.s. to hold the trump administration accountable for the killing of soleimani or else. what does this threat mean for
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tossed out the lawsuit of nirvana, the man that appeared on the cover as a baby, with the little parts covered up, sued nirvana's estate said he was the victim of child exploitation, and sex abuse. and the legal team had to respond in deadline, but now eldon has to january 13th to file a new complaint. more than 30 million copies of "never mind" have been sold
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worldwide. i thought it was a nuisance lawsuit, sandra, and you are much more dialed in on this than i. >> sandra: i mean, i had to prep to talk music with you, john roberts, and it turns out that they made the case against eldon that not only has he profited for decades off of that album cover and had no problem doing so, but also apparently has the album name tattooed on his chest. >> john: and he has, as an adult, recreated that iconic photo with him with the never mind tattoo in a pool. so -- it seems as though he was not very upset about it for a long time, and then suddenly became so. >> sandra: yeah, doesn't look so good for eldon and the case he's making. all right, john. meanwhile, iran sharpening rhetoric against the united states as that nation marks the second year since the assassination of general qassem
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soleimani. the president saying the then president of america, which is the main aggressor, murderer and a criminal must be prosecuted and killed if trump and former secretary of state mike pompeo are not tried in a court, muslims will take revenge. we the co-chairman for american security at first policy institute. first reaction to that, sir. >> hi, sandra, thank you for having me, it's just words. whether we killed qassem soleimani, that was a strategic decision by president trump to reset the battlefield in the middle east and designed to do it and it worked. prime minister benjamin netanyahu later told us we ate the arm off the tiger and for a year things were quiet after we
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eliminated soleimani. and what he's doing, and i think with the deliberate passion to influence the talks currently going on, the nuclear talks to try to get ran back into the joint comprehensive plan of action. he's going to use trump as a reason why they are going to fail and they are going to fail. we are in the eighth round, we are not really part of it, remember, just kind of sitting on the sidelines and the spanish are feeding this information of things that are happening in vienna, and i think they are heading towards a failure. iranians are heading to a nuclear breakout, enough to create a weapon in a year and fall back on it's all because of trump, because trump killed soleimani. that was one of the best things that happened to the united states and peace in the middle east when we eliminated soleimani and the period of quiet we had proved that. >> former second of state mike
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pompeo went on last night defending the decision. listen. >> i would not change a thing about what we recommended to the president. we were defending the united states of america, keeping the american people safe. qassem soleimani was actively engaged in plotting against america, and we talk lawful action to make sure no americans were killed. it was a good decision and now we have the responsibility, the american leadership has the responsibility to keep every american safe. >> yeah. >> sandra: and also defended the decision -- go ahead. >> sandra, attorney general barr said it was a legal decision by the president of the united states and good decision. a very deliberate decision, strategic decision to reduce the threat on the battlefield. remember, on new year's eve, iranian surrogates attacked the u.s. embassy, drove us to the
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decision, drove president trump to the decision. and it was a tough decision, the director of the c.i.a. told everybody to buckle up because she knew that we might have tremendous fallout, and what happened, it was a very weak response from the iranians, said we are going to shoot at you one time and then done, and did and it was done, a right decision at the time. secretary pompeo is correct. >> sandra: and backed it up saying soleimani was actively plotting against america, and american leadership now has the responsibility to keep every american safe against the threat from iran. what does all this mean big picture finally, general, we know a new nuclear deal is trying to be hashed out. >> i think what it means is when we were operating, president trump was operating, operating from strength and he knew the iranian government, supreme
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leader knew he was next on the list, super escalated. not just tit for tat, we went up very high and that means america has to understand that when we work in the middle east, especially with the iranians, we have to come from a period, a position of strength and force. i don't think this administration gets it. and i think they are going to use that, they, the iranians, to push down the road, they are not going to come back into it, they are going to do a nuclear breakout in this year and nuclear middle east, and all the implications of iran eventually having a nuclear weapon. >> sandra: a lot of big statements there, general. we'll have you back on that, i'm sure, as we follow all of this. thank you very much for your time, sir. thank you. >> john: sandra, new data showing americans are leaving blue states and moving to red ones. a closer look at what's driving this mass migration. that's coming up next.
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>> john: mass migration from blue states to red ones could continue through 2022. 18 states plus d.c. lost population from june of 2020 to
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july 2021. the trend may in the be over. fox business is live in chicago. grady, what are you finding? >> hey, john, just like in 2020, last year it was the high taxes, high cost of living and a desire for more space and closer to family that drove people out of states like new jersey, california, new york and illinois. so, where is everybody going? well, you can probably guess, but united van lines survey found number one, vermont, followed by south dakota, south carolina, west virginia and the sunshine state in florida. you'll notice that most of those are red states and they are mostly states with less restrictive covid measures, and i don't know if the ambulances are as loud there as they are here in downtown chicago. the survey found in illinois and in the northeast a lot of the people moving were retirement age but in california it was a wider age range of people who are getting out because it has just gotten too expensive.
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the company expects much of the same in the new year. >> many companies have not solidified their permanent move forward plans when it comes to back to the office, hybrid or work from anywhere. so we really expect the trends from 2021 to continue from a migration standpoint into 2022. >> u-haul had a list of the specific cities people are moving to and they found ten of the top 25 most move-to states in 2021 were, you guessed it, florida, i have not looked up the forecast john but i don't believe they are wearing parkas in the sunshine state today. >> john: some places they are, like coeur d'alene, idaho, they have ambulances but do not reverberate off the big buildings. >> sandra: president biden is
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set to meet with his covid response team moments away. we expect the president will deliver remarks on his administration's latest plan to fight the record number of covid cases in this country. we will take you to the white house when he begins speaking. plus, we will be joined with more on the omicron surge and what it means for the future of this pandemic, schools, children and shutdowns. we'll be right back.
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>> sandra: fox news alert, president biden is set to speak live at the white house any moment now, the president promised to conquer covid gets more than a million new reminders the crisis is raging out of control. as far as confirmed cases across the country. welcome back as "america reports" rolls into a second hour now on this tuesday afternoon. sandra smith in new york. >> john: john roberts, president
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biden set to speak following word of a stunning new milestone. more than 1 million new cases recorded yesterday as counting catches up with the holiday backlog. sets a worldwide record for the most cases reported on any single day by any country since covid-19 was first discovered. >> sandra: a third year since the virus entered the country, millions of americans are not only fed up with the pandemic but also the policies that critics say have not solved the problem. in some places, hospitals are now reversing their vaccine mandates just to keep enough nurses on hand. others telling nurses who test positive for the virus they still need to come to work. >> john: what a change that is. many parents suddenly forced to rearrange their lives because of interruptions to schools. backing forced vaccines even for kids in kindergarten. teachers in one major american city threaten a walkout if they
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don't get what they want. lots to cover with our team of correspondents, starting with edward lawrence live at the white house. >> set to hear how federal teams are being placed to handle the surge in omicron cases. the white house here behind the curve on getting those testing kits available to americans, also on therapeutic drugs. senior white house official telling us the white house is able to move up the date actually of 10 million doses from pfizer from september to june, but that is still over the summer. the president also expected to announce he will double that order. now, on testing, no confirmation that a contract has been signed to get more testing kits. i asked this morning several times and was told it's not really how the process works. in any event, we will hear more about how 500 million tests the president wants to give to americans early this month will be rolled out. he's using the defense production act to make sure the testing companies have the materials they need and adding pop-up testing sites in high
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demand areas. the republicans adding the white house should have known the demand was coming. >> and worst of all, go to the rapid tests, the bottom line is we don't have enough of them, they had all this time to make sure they knew this was coming up, but it's still a failed policy again even if they have them tomorrow, people waiting in long lines. >> that may be why there is no testing guidance at the end of the five-day quarantine recommended by the c.d.c. according to former surgeon general jerome adams. president biden dodged questions whether testing should be part of that. and dr. anthony fauci is admitting they will talk about possibly putting testing in as the c.d.c. requires. all of this as the cases in the u.s. hit levels we have never seen before, record levels. live to my colleague in atlanta. >> hi there, more than 1 million people were diagnosed with covid-19 on monday alone, nearly
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doubling a record set last week at 590,000 cases. the highly contagious omicron variant is driving most of these new infections that's causing some public health experts to recommend people use higher grade face protection such as n95 masks. many americans continue to wait in long lines at covid test sites. federal health officials say the c.d.c. is likely to offer further testing as part of the isolation and quarantine periods. commonly used p.c.r. tests can show a positive result for weeks, referable for determining whether someone is highly infectious. >> get a rapid test if you can. the problem is the administration has not yet delivered the rapid test, they don't want to have a policy telling you to do something which reflected blame on them. >> in boston, waiting in long
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testing lines for the return to school, more than 1,000 teachers and staff were out. the teachers' union president telling the boston globe telling them most are covid related. number of cases have driven up covid hospitalizations 31% from last week, rates sharply increasing in florida, georgia, louisiana and maryland. new york city hospitalizations are surpassing peak numbers set last winter and with staffing shortages there is concern that some hospitals could be overrun and with more on that, my colleague, jeff flock is in philadelphia, jeff. >> that's right, jonathan. we are now at 100,000 americans now in the hospital because of covid-19 and we are starting to get short of healthcare workers to take care of those folks and staff those hospitals. some people think that is largely because of the vaccine mandates that have come into
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play in terms of healthcare workers across the country. like, for example, in new york city, or new york state, where more than 30,000 healthcare workers now have been out of a job because of refusal to get the covid vaccine. the other side, some institutions doing well, like here in philadelphia, the penn medicine group, one of the first hospital groups to employ a vaccine mandate without any government interference, that took place in may. they have 30,000 employees, 760 of them got an exemption for religious or medical reasons. they only had to fire, furlough or force out 380 workers. so they say they are doing fine. other places not so much, like in rhode island where they are now saying if you are a healthcare worker and you are positive for covid but if you don't have symptoms, come back to work. new regulations, we are in a
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crisis mode. no restrictions with prioritization considerations for asymptomatic or mildly asymptomatic employees. that means, sandra, essentially we fired folks that don't have covid but that have not got a vaccination and we are bringing back to work people with covid but who have got a vaccination. to you. >> sandra: that is -- that's an unbelievable moment in this pandemic, jeff. so, how are they justifying firing unvaccinated workers who don't have covid but then they are using those testing positive but are vaccinated? >> well, you may not agree with it, here is the thinking. thinking is that the earlier you are in to having gotten the virus, the more likely you are to shed it and pass it on to someone else. so, someone who has been vaccinated and is asymptomatic, they are not as likely to transfer it as someone who may
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not have the virus but then goes into the hospital and goes to work, catches it from somebody, has it early and then begins to shed it and spread it. you can disagree with that, but they say that's the science, unfortunately i guess it's not an exact science. sandra. >> sandra: and we are just here to report on it. jeff flock, thank you. more on that coming up. >> john: staffing also a big problem in the nation's airports as airlines continue to cancel thousands of flights each and every day. fox business live at newark international airport in new jersey. what's the situation there, olivia? >> hi there, john, a lot of travel headaches await passengers taking to the skies. flight aware shows just under 1400 flights canceled across the country, delays clocking in at more than 2600. if we compare it to yesterday when there was major winter weather that swept through the
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east we had more than 3200 cancellations and more than three and a half times as many delays amid the weather. but john, when asked the airlines and the unions, they did not provide clarity how much the omicron variant is reducing staff and how that's impacting flight schedules as compared to the weather. but if we take a look at t.s.a. employee data we get some indication. you can see yesterday 2,864 t.s.a. employees were sick with active cases of covid infections, up more than 1,000 from just sunday, when more than 1700 employees had active cases of covid. still the t.s.a. tells fox business it has enough officers to screen the passenger volume that the airports are seeing so clearly these numbers are an indication that covid is as much responsible for the long lines, the delays and the cancellations that we are seeing across the
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airports and across the skies as the weather is. john. >> and another potential crisis averted at least a couple weeks here? >> yeah, that's right. late last night telecom giant at&t, verizon, as well as representatives from the airlines and the federal government agreed to delay the roll-out of the 5g network that was prompting concerns about connectivity issues between planes that was a concern that it would interfere with their ability to take off and land. that has now been delayed from tomorrow to two weeks from tomorrow, to january 19th, to get them some extra time to develop accommodations. that is a move that president biden is applauding today, john. >> john: we'll see if that actually works, if the f.a.a. can make the changes or not. lydia hu for us at newark liberty airport. >> sandra: dr. janette nesheiwat, bear with us, we believe, we are inside the
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two-minute warning to joe biden, but it might be 30 seconds. what do you want to hear from the white house? >> well, i want to hear our president tell us we are going to have soon an increase in the number of testing, medications, antiviral pills, monoclonal antibodies, more medical relief teams to help the hospitals struggling right now and then also we want to make sure that we hear that there will be no school closures and that we are going to do everything we can to keep our schools open, keep our kids in the classroom. i think that's one of the biggest issues we need to focus on right now and learn how to co-exist and live with covid. but do it safely. >> john: dr. nesheiwat, as we wait for president biden to arrive here, to address the nation, what we are looking at here with omicron. obviously it's quickly the dominant variant here in the united states but delta is still out there. are we at a point now where we could begin to change the
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paradigm, the lens through which -- and here comes the president, so let's just listen in here. we'll get back to you on the flip side of this, dr. nesheiwat, there will be plenty to talk about here as we face this winter. let's listen in to the president. >> since we are more than ten feet apart while we are speaking we are going to take our masks off, and let me begin by saying good afternoon, to my team, good afternoon to the press, good afternoon anyone who may be listening. i'm about to receive a briefing from our covid-19 team. before i begin i know there is a concern and some considerable confusion about the rising cases, so let me provide a quick update and talk about three specific topics, i'll give it to you straight as i promised you i always would. we are going to see as you have all been hearing continued rise
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in cases. omicron is very transmissible, transmissible variant, but much different than anything we have seen before, but you can protect yourself, and you should protect yourself, frankly. get vaccinated, get boosted. there's plenty of booster shots, wear a mask while you are in public. what we know is this. the impact from the rising cases depends on the effect on a person based on whether that person, what their vaccination status is. you can control how big an impact omicron is going to have on your health if you get omicron. you know, those are fully vaccinated, especially those with a booster shots, and by the way, we have booster shots for the whole nation, ok. you can still get covid, but it's highly unlikely, very unlikely you'll become seriously ill. and we are seeing covid-19 cases
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among vaccinated and workplaces across america including here at the white house but if you are vaccinated and boosted you are highly protected. you know, be concerned about omicron but don't be alarmed. if you are unvaccinated, you have some reason to be alarmed. many of you will, you know, you'll experience severe illness in many cases if you get covid if you are not vaccinated. some will die needlessly die. unvaccinated are taking up hospital beds and crowding emergency rooms and intensive care units. that's displacing other people that need access to those hospitals. so please, please, please get vaccinated now. we have reduced the number of american adults without any shots from 90 million to about 35 million in the past six months. still 35 million people not
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vaccinated. and let me be absolutely clear. we have in hand all the vaccines we need to get every american fully vaccinated, including the booster shot. there's no excuse. no excuse for anyone being unvaccinated. this continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. so we have to make more progress, and for patients who still have not gotten their kids vaccinated, please get them vaccinated. look out for their interest here. it's the best way to protect them. and for parents with kids too young to be vaccinated, surround your kids with people who are vaccinated. and make sure you are masking in public so you don't get covid and give it to your kids. look, we have no reason to think at this point that omicron is worse for children than previous variants. we know our kids can be safe in
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school, by the way. i believe schools should remain open. they have what they need. because of the american rescue plan, the first or second month we were in office i signed in march, we provided the states with 130 billion, with a b, billion dollars to specifically keep our students safe and schools open. funding for ventilation, ventilation systems in the schools, social distancing in classrooms, even larger classrooms. on busses, everything from bus drivers to busses, the actual bus. additional -- and all this process, we also included additional $10 billion for testing for schools. that money went out to the states and the states and the school districts have spent this money well, many of them. but unfortunately some haven't. so i encourage the states and
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school districts to use the funding that you still have to protect your children and keep the schools open. countries across the world are seeing rising cases. here in the united states our team have been working around the clock during the holiday weeks and the last two weeks we have developed hundreds of military -- we have deployed, i should say, hundreds of military doctors and nurses to staff the hospitals in our states that are overrun and overworked because of unvaccinated covid-19 patients, primarily. the federal emergency management association -- agency, fema, is also working at our direction and every state and hospital capacity, including whether they need beds. i've directed fema to be ready to provide emergency hospital beds wherever and whenever they are needed. the federal government will be there. we have shipped nearly 2.4 million pieces of protective equipment to hospitals from
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gowns to gloves and we are doing whatever we can to protect communities from the surge of hospital cases that are likely to see from un -- from the unvaccinated population. look, now let me address three specific updates before i get my full brief from my team. first, booster shots. i know dr. fauci, like an echo chamber here, i know it, but repeating myself what dr. fauci said it very clearly, booster shots work. significantly increase the protection provide the highest level of protection against omicron. americans, we have given out over 70 million booster shots. importantly, two out of three eligible seniors have received their booster shots. booster shots are free, they are safe, and available. over 90 -- over 90,000
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vaccination sites, let me say that again. free, available, and over 90,000 sites. we have added sites, added hours, added appointments, added walk-in capacity. booster shots, easier than ever to get a booster shot and more importantly than ever it has been. the f.d.a. has authorized booster shots for children ages 12 to 15. so, with the final approval from the centers for disease control and prevention, the c.d.c., young people, when that occurs, young people ages 12 to 15 will be able to get booster shots later this week. second on testing, i know this remains frustrating, believe me, it's frustrating to me. but we are making improvements. in the last two weeks we have stood up federal testing sites all over the country. we are adding more each and every day.
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google covid test near me, go there, google, excuse me, covid test near me on google to find the nearest site where you can get a test most often and free. look, with more capacity for in-person tests we should see waiting lines shortened and more appointments freed up. look, if you want to test yourself at home we have three options. one, drug stores and online websites are re-stocking. two, you know, actually, so the more tests are available we are going to continue to become available. next week our requirement that your insurance company reimburse you for at home tests takes effect, so you can get reimbursed. so if you are insured you can buy the test and get paid for it. the second thing i want to mention is many states and local governments and healthcare
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providers are passing out free at-home tests you can pick up, find out where they are and finally, announced recently, the federal government is launching a website this month where you can get tests shipped to your home for free upon your request. the third point i would like to speak about is also on treatments. for those at high risk who do get covid-19, we now have a new pfizer pill that greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death. i'm pleased to say that on christmas eve we shipped out the first batch of these pills we received, purchased and received, and more will be shipped this week. we are -- they are already saving lives but due to complex chemistry of the pill to make the pill, it takes months literally to make a pill. production is in full swing. united states has more pills
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than any other country in the world and the supply will ramp up over the coming months as more pills are manufactured. today i'm directing my team to work with pfizer to double our order from 10 million to 20 million treatment courses to be delivered a month ahead. we may need even more. that's the estimate we need right now. we have already placed the largest order in the world. now i'm doubling that order. and these pills are going to dramatically decrease hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19. they are a game changer and have the potential to dramatically alter the impact of covid-19, the impact on this country and our people. look, let me conclude with a quick recap. if you are vaccinated and boosted, you may get covid but you are highly protected against severe illness. schools can and should be open
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this winter, we have all the tools to keep kids safe. unvaccinated kids are at risk yet the vaccinated are going to have a way to protect them, get vaccinated. if you are vaccinated, get boosted. folks, i know we are all tired and frustrated about the pandemic. these coming weeks are going to be challenging. please wear your mask in public to protect yourself and others. we are going to get through this. we are going to get through it together. we have the tools to protect people from severe illness due to omicron if people choose to use the tools. we have the medicines coming along that can save so many lives and dramatically reduce the impact covid has had on our country. there's a lot of reason to be hopeful in 2020. for god sake, please take advantage of what's available.
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please. you are going to save lives, maybe yours, maybe your child's. please take advantage of what we already have, ok? thank you, now i'm going to get this briefing started, thank you very much. >> john: looks like the president is not going to take questions here as he gets his covid briefing underway, but the president with an important message to the nation saying there will be a rise in cases. sandra, but we have the tools to deal with it. most importantly i think he said kids should remain in school and school should stay open, and he talked about the government buying more doses of paxlovid, this new pfizer pill, which has been shown to be in testing very effective at preventing serious disease. >> sandra: i also went to the covid test near me. it appears there is a website covid test near me but it's
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a .com, he said to google it. i'm not sure if it's supposed to point you to federal testing areas set up, he said they have set up additional federal testing areas. but to your point, john, we were texting, trying it out, it pops up c.v.s. and pharmacies in the area, so i think there is some clarity needed on that. >> john: i googled what the president said, covid test near me, came up on google as testing, and that's what it directed me to c.v.s. and various other pharmacies around the fox news washington bureau. but maybe the white house will need to clarify this a bit. >> sandra: we might need some further details on that. back to dr. janette nesheiwat. i went straight to that, i think we know someone trying to get a test that cannot get a test, trying to travel or symptoms,
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close contact. it is tough to get one. so, part of what the president just said they need to do better on testing, we are making improvements, adding federal sites for testing. did you hear what you wanted to hear or what you needed to hear from the president? >> yes, i sure did. i would have loved to hear it a month ago before omicron came out, but i actually also googled covid testing near me, and click on hhh.gov, you can put in the zip code. so important to have testing, easy access and availability, but i also think it's available we don't solely focus on testing. the president also talked about boosters and vaccines but did not talk about the fact we need to ensure other countries, third world countries, india, asia, they need vaccinations as well. even if everyone in the united states is vaccinated, if another variant emerges in another
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country, it's going to come to the united states. it's not just a matter of testing in the united states, but also vaccination globally as well, sandra. >> john: dr. nesheiwat, hhh.gov, and points me to the same c.v.s. and walgreens as i googled it. use it wisely. just before we went to the president, i was asking you about whether or not we need to change the paradigm here when it comes to coronavirus because obviously delta is still circulating out there, omicron quickly becoming the dominant variant and it's not causing severe disease for the most part, and there was a discussion by the head of the chicago department of public health when it comes to vaccinated children we need to start treating covid like it's the flu. do we as a nation start, need to start changing our perspective on this? still the dread disease that it always was, or is it mutating into something that's close to the flu?
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>> you know, fortunately it is looking like omicron is less virulent, meaning it's less dangerous, less harmful. we hear that we have a million cases a day. to be honest, that number is not surprising to me, it's not alarming. it's actually probably much, much higher, maybe triple or quadruple the amount. what's striking to me is the fact that the mortality, the death rate is down by 12%. that's what's incredible, that's what's phenomenal, probably a result of the fact we have great vaccines to use now, thanks to operation warp speed and the fact that omicron is less dangerous. but yes, the landscape is constantly evolving. i think it's at the point now we need to just learn to continue managing safely society in a proper way, a safe way, knowing that we should never have closed, shut down school closures, that we shouldn't shut down broadway shows or sporting events unless, for example, you don't have the staff. you know, if we see that for
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example in hospitals, one of the issues, sometimes a shortage of hospital staff, x-ray techs, doctors and nurses, but the isolation and quarantine period has been put down. the c.d.c. effort to reduce the economic damage and help preserve the workforce. ultimately despite the number of high cases i think we are moving in the right direction. we are in a better place now than we were last year. we have just a third of the deaths now that we had last year. even though the cases are going up, and even the hospitalizations, they are higher now but still much less than what we saw last year this time. >> sandra: the new york governor talking about the hospitalizations in the state yesterday, listen. >> is that person in the hospital because of covid or show up there and are routinely tested and showing positive and they may have been asymptomatic or even just had the sniffles. someone is in a car accident,
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they go to the emergency room, test positive for covid while there, they are not there being treated for covid. >> sandra: an important point how we look at hospitalizations, dr. nesheiwat, quickly, we are limited on time because we have the president here. going back to the president's words a few minutes ago, and the optics of that room where he had his covid team, including dr. anthony fauci at his side, and the president came out talking about how much he talks to dr. fauci, and he said get vaccinated. this has been his strategy from go. get vaccinated, he started out his speech and the same way he has often times. people are questioning why there is not a change in strategy as far as getting those unvaccinated to come around and get vaccinated because you know, you can make the point that he has told them to do that quite often and that's not changed. he then said be concerned, don't
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be alarmed. what about the optics of a group of people all boosted, three shots of the covid vaccine and they walk in wearing n95 masks. dr. fauci did not even remove his in the room. what does that do as far as messaging when the president is saying don't be alarmed. >> yeah, i see how it can cause some confusion and frustration. i think what we need to focus on is the fact that whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, you can, number one, still pick up covid. if you are vaccinated your symptoms and risk of severe complications are much, much less, less chance of death and hospitalizations, but we need to focus on the fact it's important to know and understand your risk to protect yourself and know we have to learn to live with coronavirus. it's going to be a part of our lives like we managed influenza if you are sick, stay home until you get better, take some
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medicine, zinc, vitamin d, but be open and honest whether you need a mask or not a mask, a booster or not a booster, can you catch it or not catch it, it's important to ramp up the treatments, pills, the monoclonal antibodies and the testing. >> hey, doc, hang with us. we have a lot more to talk about on the flip side, a quick break here. president biden said it seems omicron is not a major threat to children but in a lot of places children could be bearing the brunt of the serious horrible effects even if they never contract the virus. school districts already ending in-person learning taking kids out of the classroom despite what the president says, and one major city, teachers and their unions threatening to walk out of class tomorrow if their demands are not met. what's that all about?
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>> sandra: a leading teachers' union boss is pushing new vaccine mandates, not talking about teachers, but for children of ages all the way down to kindergarten. five years old. we are going to look at all of this and get down to the bottom line for parents, what's best to keep children, to keep them healthy and safe. we'll have all that for you next.
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>> john: millions of children are returning to classrooms after the holidays but a growing number of them it's back to learning from home as classes go remote again. we are now less than three hours until teachers in chicago hold a vote deciding their next move after threatening a walkout tomorrow. garrett tenney live in chicago. >> we have gotten word negotiations are ongoing but depending how the negotiations go, school may be canceled
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tomorrow if the teachers' union votes not to show up for class. city officials are adamant that schools are the safest places for children to be and health officials continue to agree as well, especially now that we have the vaccine. 91% of chicago public school staff is vaccinated and more than 100,000 students in chicago have received at least one dose. after the holiday break the union has a long list of safety demands, including moving all classes online for the next two weeks, schools provide better mask, more testing and clear plans for when schools will be closed in case of an outbreak. this past hour the head of chicago public schools is frustrated by the amount of misinformation out there about the safety of schools and the data shows children are not at a significant risk of contracting or spreading covid in the classroom. >> there was no evidence in our schools to the whole semester, the whole entire semester with
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the complaints that existed what we didn't have, the misinformation of any significant level of any transmission, we just didn't see it. >> martinez said the city has agreed to some of the union demands, providing masks, health screeners and laying out clear metrics for when schools will shift to remote learning. but right now negotiators from both sides are scheduled to meet to see if they can strike any kind of deal to avoid schools shutting down tomorrow. john. >> john: garrett tenney in chicago, thank you. sandra. >> sandra: back to dr. janette nesheiwat joining us now. tied this in together with keeping the kids in schools, watching what's happening in chicago and the piece that our team took in this morning from the "new york times," no way to grow up, it really moved all of us. he writes for the past two years americans have accepted more
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harm to children in exchange for less harm to adults. and yet he points out that for the past two years, however, many communities in the u.s. have not really grappled with the tradeoff. he says rather than minimizing the damage that covid does to society, they have accepted more harm to children in exchange for less harm to adults. and you know, point taken on what we just heard from the white house a moment ago. we know the infectious disease doctor, dr. fauci was in the room and he says he stays in his lane, addresses the virus itself. but at what point do we look bigger picture on the harm this virus and the way we have handled it is inflicting on our nation's children and their future? >> yeah, we knew this many, many months ago. we knew that schools should never have been shut down in the first place. i'm heart broken to see what's happening in chicago. shame on those teachers' union. that is a massive failure to our students and to our children. the growth, the development, the
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social engagement and interaction that children need to succeed, to function, to learn, we are depriving them of that. we see our president enforcing mask mandates and vaccine mandates. how about a mandate to keep our schools open. children should be our top priority. we have hurt them so much already in the past two years by keeping them out of schools, so really now is the time, this is the year to put our feet down and do what's best and right for our children. >> i didn't know if it was a shot across the bow the president was firing there to the chicago teachers' unions, but he said there's no way that schools should be closed, that kids are safe, and that the schools should remain open. dr. nesheiwat, let me ask you about omicron and how long we might be in this. i don't have a fancy graphic, i'll draw one with my hand. in south africa the curve for omicron went from way down here on november 20th, spiked way up like that, and now it's coming down to about here.
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that peak looks likes it's burning itself out over the course of about six weeks, maybe seven weeks' time. what can we expect here in the united states? >> yeah, that's great to see. a rapid peak in the number of cases followed by a rapid decline. we tend to follow the u.k., large numbers of patients are testing positive and need to be seen, it has not peaked quite yet. another 2 or 3 weeks we may hit the peak and then hopefully by february we'll start to see that decline but you know, as, during the cold winter months we tend to see more infections, more flu, more covid, r.s.v. but as we approach the spring hopefully the numbers will be down and follow in south africa africa's footsteps. >> going back to what we just heard from the president on schools, he says we have the test, we have the tools needed for the current case surge, to i don't know's point whether or not he was sending a direct message to the teachers in
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chicago. you know, and i always say when we talk about teachers and keeping the schools open, you know, so many of us have teachers in our lives and teachers we love and so many of them want the absolute best for the kids and we hope that's the case. to watch what is happening in chicago just breaks your heart, dr. nesheiwat, it really does. >> it does, and that's why we need to put our foot down and take a stand. i love what our mayor here, new york, eric adams is doing. insists all schools are open. i was happy to see students at the bus stop on the way to work, yes, keep them in school and protect them and our teachers, we know are 95% vaccinated which will protect them. >> john: we'll get it back open in the washington, d.c. area but need a snow shuffle to do that. dr. nesheiwat, thank you so much. appreciate your time. >> thank you, happy new year. >> sandra: happy new year, you too. john, you know what. >> john: the word coming down
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from the top at the white house is keep the schools open, which really leads you to wonder, what is the chicago teachers' union on about? >> john: and there are so many different angles to the story. we were talking about it as a team this morning, john. but you go to all the things that are left out of the covid conversation when you hear the covid health task force talking at the white house, why are they also leaving out obesity, and the problem that we have seen in our nation's children with those school shutdowns, with the pandemic closures. the weight gain we have seen in our nation's children, the lack of physical activity. these should all be playing a part in the minds of the health professionals, at least a few minutes ago from the white house we did not hear about that. but john, hope the kids can stay in school. >> john: obesity, mental health issues, anxiety, a myriad of issues the parents are reporting the children are suffering from because of remote learning. one bright spot this afternoon,
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things are finally getting better on i-95 in virginia just south of washington, d.c., after being closed for the better part of an entire day. things are beginning to move again. we have a report on that coming up. stay with us.
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>> john: people have been stranded for more than 24 hours on a major stretch of virginia's i-95 after yesterday's snowstorm. the winter blast is responsible for at least five deaths. thousands of power outages. our senior national correspondent rich edson is live in washington. it can be a nightmare at the best of times, but elevated beyond that. >> a dry summer day problems down there. today it's a complete mess. state crews are trying to dislodge cars and trucks from the stretch of i-95 where they have been stuck, some sleeping in their cars overnight. virginia department of transportation says they have been sending refueling trucks wherever they can up and down to try to help out motorists who have run out of gas running their heat. local first responders have been bringing blankets and water. the state says it's working to provide warming huts in some
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areas. virginia closed about a 50-mile stretch of 95. work crews are trying to free frozen trucks that have been blocking both directions of the highway. >> just trying to get home from washington, d.c., spending the new year's over there. we took off about 3:00 p.m. yesterday and on the way over here we obviously noticed the snowstorm and we are from texas, so never experienced snow the first time, so yesterday was the first time driving on ice and clearly bumper to bumper since then. >> drivers had been tweeting about running out of food with their pets and kids in the car. some stuck in the area are u.s. area senators trying to get to the capitol. instead they spent their night in the car. >> i left yesterday right at lunch time because he had a meeting last night that i wanted to do in-person and it's turned into kind of a survival thing. thank goodness i have a warm
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coat and full tank of gas. >> the virginia governor hopes he can get it cleared up and 95 up and running by this evening. john. >> john: i-95, the great equalizer. sandra. >> sandra: just brutal. our next guest says she was trapped on i-95 for 24 hours and moved only 75 miles. anne joins by phone and thank you for calling in. can you tell us what happened and your experience on the interstate? >> well, i grew up in iowa, so i know how to drive in snow and i was driving back yesterday from richmond, i was driving from there to new york city and i got stuck in the snow a little bit but all of a sudden traffic just came to a halt and at one point we were outside of fredericksburg and we were at a standstill for seven and a half
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hours. people were getting out of their cars, introducing themselves to each other, i was walking my dogs on the side of the road, it was just like -- it was just at a standstill and then we went another 50 miles today and a standstill, just a parking lot. i didn't see any department of transpo people. >> sandra: anne, we are showing your pictures on the screen right now, absolute chaos. so scary, too, for so many that had pets and babies and family members, elderly. obviously this was all happening during frigid temperatures. what did you do to survive this? >> well, i had my two dogs with me, so i had my big dog and my little dog and they were in the back and you know, i just kept running my car and then i would turn it off to save gas, but you know, at about 2:00 in the morning the temperatures started
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plummeting to the low 20s and what i was worried about, i was seeing elderly people, and what if you did not fill up. so we kind of checked in on each other and the surrounding area, you do see the best of people in times like this. >> john: anne, it's john roberts here with sandra. and i heard you say that there was nobody from the d.o.t., nobody from the state came out. typically in an episode like this you would see salt trucks, you would come out, see snowplows, you would see department of transport send emergency vehicles out, tend to people who might need help. you didn't see any of that the entire time you were out? >> no, no, sir, nobody from virginia department of transportation. there were several of us that tried to call, you know,
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fredericksburg and staffers, and we couldn't get anybody. and we didn't want to call 911 because that's a true, true emergency line. about 4:00 this morning i did see an ambulance that was about maybe a mile down the road, i could see the lights. but, and i saw one snowplow going south, but nothing on our side and to your reporter's point, that's what we were driving on. we were driving on that ice that gets craters in it, so even when we could go you could only go 5 to 6 miles an hour at any given time last night. >> sandra: anne, what -- what happened where you were able to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel? obviously you turned around, is that correct? >> i did, i did. i got to stafford and saw a turnoff for highway 1 and what we saw was they were diverting us all off that exit and i again
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what your reporter said, i-95 north was completely closed off and so i thought ok, i'll just go back to richmond and stay for a couple days and do my work here because i have friends here, so i did, yes, ma'am, i turned around and took highway 1 and got back down here and we are all safe and sound now. but it was a long night. >> john: you know, you are from iowa, you say you know how to drive in the snow. i grew up in canada. so something you have to contend with there, it's very much the same in iowa. but you know, you might have known how to drive in the snow but what about all the folks around you, and i guess nobody was really driving anyway because things were pretty much at a standstill. >> john, you bring up a really good point. even this morning when the sun was coming up it was still really, really cold, like 17°. so there's this glassy glaze of ice and at night we call it black ice, and you know,
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people's tires were spinning and you know, they would try and go over on the shoulder and get, you know, their back tires would spin, and so i bet probably 50% of the people knew how to drive in snow and ice and maybe not as skilled the other 50%. but i saw a lot of tires spinning. you have to go real slow as you know. >> john: yeah. >> sandra: anne, what was the first thing you did when you got to safety and warmth? hot cup of cocoa or tea? what did you do when you got to where you were going. >> i got the dogs in my room and got myself a diet coke and i'm telling you, nothing tasted so good. and just sat in the chair and looked out the window and thought i'm so glad i'm not in my car. >> john: you know, anne, let me ask the obvious question travelling here, because inevitably, any time i put my kids in the car, the first thing they have to do is go pee. there were a lot of people stuck on the highway what were probably in need.
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what did they do about that? >> you really want me to tell you? [laughter] about 2:00 in the morning everybody's inhibitions were gone. like 7, 8:00, people go off into the, you know, where there was cover, and by about 2:30, people were just walking to, you know, down the embankment and just doing what they needed to do. [laughter] don't eat the yellow snow. don't eat the yellow snow ever. >> john: let's cue up frank zappa right now. thanks for sharing your ordeal with us. >> sandra: anne is a good sport. >> be safe. >> john: hopefully everybody will get home safe. safe travels to you, too. >> sandra: she sounds like she's in good spirits now. last night was a different story.
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>> john: i got stuck on i-25 outside of tuscaloosa, a truck caught fire, and i was there 2, 2 and a half hours, and felt like four days. >> sandra: the diet coke must have tasted good. i'm >> martha: thanks very much. good afternoon. i'm martha maccallum. fox news head quarters in new york. right now, breaking on "the story," president biden spoke just moments ago with his covid task force. the president facing backlash over the 70-plus billion dollars in u.s. taxpayer money that was allocated to the covid relief plans supposed to make sure that there was ample testing in this country. so where did that money go? why isn't there ample testing? what about the schools and the universities? also recipients

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