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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  December 13, 2021 3:00am-3:30am PST

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♪♪ >> brennan: welcome back to "face the nation." we turn now to new hampshire, where covid cases are on the rise as temperatures drop. governor chris sununu joins us from newfield. good morning to you, governor. >> governor: good morning. >> brennan: it is stunning to see hospitalizations in your state, they've jumped about 25% over the last two weeks. i know you've asked for help from the national guard and help from fema. why do you think you're seeing such a dramatic spike? >> governor: it's winter, it really is. we've been planning for this winter surge since july. we saw numbers increasing
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all across the southern part of the country, and we had teams visiting other states to see how they were managing so we could prepare. what you see all across new england, maine, new hampshire, is a rise, and new you're seeing in the mid-atlantic states, like new ha new jersey and new york. but we're prepared, and we're trying a lot of different, innovative things to flex the bed space and whatnot within the hospital system. it is really important that the health care system is preserved. >> brennan: you said 20% of the hospitalized and vaccinated. are they also boosted? >> gordon: 20% are vaccinated. i can't tell you if that 20% in the hospital is boosted. i can tell you very likely not. the booster really minimizes to the point of fractions of the percent of a chance in
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terms of severity. when the booster was first made available, in the first couple of weeks people really weren't taking it. now they're seeing the hospitalizations rise and seeing, unfortunately, their friends and co-workers coming down with this delta variant, and we have a lot more folks going after the booster. which is hugely important inin terms of not just preventing covid-19, but the variants of it. >> brennan: you got boosted yesterday. why did you wait so long? >> governor: we did a booster blitz. we put in 12,000 needles in arms. we'll do it again. you can only do those every once in a while. because you don't want to draw off of the hospital systems and the frontline workers who have to do that. it was the promotion of it, but it was a great day, hugely successful, and we're going to do it again. >> brennan: you heard dr.
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scott gottlieb say one of the lightest health precautions you could possibly do is put in place a mask mandate. why are you choosing not to do so? >> governor: masks are incredibly important, there is no doubt about it. schools can do it. localities can do it, if they want to. but when you look at all of the different mandates you can and cannot put in place, there is always a downside. we talked about the swiss cheese effect, social distancing, masks, get vaccinated, get your boosters, quick access to testing, and these are all pieces of the puzzle to reduce the transmission of the virus. a lot of these cases are received over the holidays, when you're spending time with family or you're at the workplace, and a mask is not necessarily going to stop the family spread we see here a lot. it is not that it is not important, but when you do a mandate to a state of emergency, that takes on a whole different level. one of the most important things is home testing.
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we're really aggressive. we're the first state in the country to allow home testing. anyone in the state can click a button, and in a few days, we put about a million tests in people's homes. if folks have access to a test in their home and they can find out if their positive or negative, it saves one or two days from getting your results back, it can drastically reduce the spread. so we're going to continue doing programs like that. >> brennan: you talked about mask mandates not necessarily being a light lift. i know you, last year, canceled your public ceremony for your own inauguration because of armed protestors who objected to some of your health restrictions. is that a kind of physical backlash, that kind of security risk, why you're not putting in place a mask mandate? >> governor: oh, no. no. no. no. >> brennan: it is not a
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factor? >> governor: it is not a factor at all. that is a very small contingency. if i do a mask mandate as a governor -- no state has mask mandates right now, as a governor, if you were to do that, every district, whether you have high transmission levels -- it covers everybody. what you're saying thank you for getting the vaccine and getting the boosters, but you're still in the perspenalty box. >> brennan: it is not being in a penalty box. for people who are immunocompromised or people with children, it is just putting on a mask. >> governor: when do i undo it. covid-19 is not going to go away. >> brennan: how about for the winter? >> governor: you mean at the end of the winter? then it comes back again -- >> brennan: you said
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winter was the biggest factor, so keep the mask on for winter, and take it off in the warm weather? goverr: we strongly encourage people to wear masks. if schools want to do it, absolutely. i think we're having a lot of success. but that is just one small piece of the equation here. is about vaccines. it is about boosters. it is about dog doing all of the other things. we're one of the most vaccinated states in the country, so is vermont, and it is not an end-all, be-all. you have to put all of these pieces into the pie. communities are different, schools are different, how we treat our holiday gatherings might be different. at the end of the day, it is about personal responsibility, getting that vaccine, getting that booster, getting tested early. all of these are pieces of the puzzle to make sure we push back on covid. >> brennan: understood. you are very clearly encouraging people to go get a vaccine and to get a
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booster, but your state is also suing the biden administration over the vaccine or test mandate for businesses and health workers. isn't that a mixed message? aren't you concerned some of your constituents might misunderstand what you're communicating? >> governor: no, not at all. it is very clear. if a business, or someone wants to put a mandate in place, that's one thing. but when the govoi individuals, that's a whole different ballgame. you shouldn't have mandates that impose -- in new hampshire, we're the number one state for freedom, and we've also been able to balance the safety of covid through all of these different surges better than most. we're at the front lines, but that's because we're at the front lines of winter. we want to kind of lead by example, and put some of these innovative pieces in
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places, hopefully home testing, and hopefully people will follow along and understand we're in this for the long haul. we're going to be dealing with covid probably for the next couple of years. >> brennan: governor, good luck to you with this surge, and thank you for your time today. >> governor: you bet. thank you. >> brennan: we'll be right back. ♪♪ this... is the planning effect. this is how it feels to know you have a wealth plan that covers everything that's important to you. this is what it's like to have a dedicated fidelity advisor
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my work gives people hope. ♪ i work at fedex. ♪ take your career to the next level with one of our many open positions. ♪ >> brennan: the omicron variant has been detected in at least 57 countries around the world, but the delta variant remains dominant. elizabeth palmer reports from seoul, south korea. >> reporter: good morning. the world is now in the middle of a fourth wave of this persistent virus, and with winter coming on, the biggest spikes are in the united states, russia, and in northern europe. germany has been hit hard, especially the variant, where there has been a stubborn core of vaccine resistance. these patients are most likely sick with delta, which is still the dominant
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variant worldwide. european governments have been trying hard to salvage a festive season for citizens who have had enough oflockdowns. hungary allowed it's traditional christmas markets to open as long as shoppers had valid vaccine passports. britain's health security agency warned omicron's infections may be neck-in-neck with delta in the u.k. by the end of next week. but in encouraging news, a british study showed a pfizer booster on top of pfizer or af astrazeneca showed protection. in west africa, a musical summit to get vaccinated. there and everywhere around the world, health workers are rushing to get doses into arms.
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currently, more than 35 million doses of the vaccine are being administered every day. it is impressive, but it is still not enough to end the pandemic. margaret? >> brennan: elizabeth palmer, thank you. we want to go now to dr. tulio de oliveira, who leads the team of south african scientists that first reported omicron to the world health organization. he joins us from stellen bash, south africa. good morning. >> doctor: good morning. >> brennan: you're seeing the impact of omicron firsthand. who is getting sick. and is this mild or severe illness? >> the omicron is only a few weeks old. we detected that very, very quick here. we estimate the date of origin of this variant is either end of october or beginning of november. normally it takes a few weeks between infection and the need for hospitalization.
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so what we saw in the last few days is increasing that transmission, and it is something that we're really looking very carefully at the data in south africa. >> brennan: is it too early to say if the illness is mild? >> the responsible way to say it is that it is a little bit early to say that it is mild. what we're going to have to take apart if it is a mild case, or if young people get infected, or if the previous population are immune to infection -- for increasing the number of hospitalized individuals. >> brennan: is omicron affecting small children differently. were seeing numbers of hospitalized children under the age of five in south africa. what's going on? >> so one thing that we know from the omicron is it generates very high viral
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loads. what that means is that the infection, because it is a very transmissible variant, tends to have a higher level of replication. so what we have seen in the beginning is a large number of young children being hospitalized. but these numbers are being decreased as the variant starts spreading in the older population. >> brennan: so does it affect children differently? >> because it is a very highly transmissible variant, yeah, it tends to cause a high number of infection in children. at the moment, it is difficult to tell if the rate of hospitalization of children in the beginning is due to the shear number of infection in the younger population, or if it is because (indiscernable). one thing that we see is that the younger population presenting to the hospital is decreasing over time,
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especially in the last few days. >> brennan: do you believe that you are past the peak of infection in south africa? because recent trends are suggesting there is a slowing. >> we do not know. and one should always be very careful to look at individual daily tests. what one has to do is to look at the general trend over seven or 14 days. what we know is that the last week we were at the highest number of infections from omicron. and what we're going to be doing is looking very carefully at the data. potentially in johannesburg it may have peaked, but we have seen that this has spread for the other eight provinces. south africa as nine provinces. the numbers are increasing
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and increasing fast. >> brennan: at least nine countries have restrictions -- dr. fauci said america would like to lift the travel ban as soon as it can be done safely. do you believe the travel ban should be lifted now? >> yes, of course. what we learned is that the travel ban does not work. you remember the previous administration administered the travel ban. and not only do travel bans not work, it also encourages scientists like us, who have been brave enough to identify a variant that has emerged like a week or two after it emerged -- i personally have talked to dr. fauci many times in the past few weeks, and we both agree that not only should the travel bans be released because they're not
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affective, but it will encourage the rest of the world, and that can help the response to the pandemic. >> brennan: doctor, good luck with your research. thank you for your time today. we'll be right back.
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when you humble yourself under the mighty hand of god, in due time he will exalt you. hi, i'm joel osteen. i'm excited about being with you every week. i hope you'll tune in. you'll be inspired, you'll be encouraged. i'm looking forward to seeing you right here. you are fully loaded and completely equipped for the race that's been designed for you.
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>> brennan: we learned last week that inflation is rising at the fastest rate in nearly four decades. we go to mohamed el-baradei, chief adviser for allianz financial services. good to have you here. >> thank you for having me. bre >> brennan: the white house says this number we just got, the 6.8 inflation -- that gas prices are coming down now. do you think we have peaked? >> it is a backward-looking number, but i don't think we have peaked inflation. and that's despite all of the efforts that the white house is put putting in to limit inflation. i think we'll see inflation stay around that level for a while. >> brennan: how long? >> a few months. we've seen a very
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interesting transition. the original driver of inflation, supply disruptions and labor sources -- the driver is there, but less powerful. but the driver has planted all these other seeds for other inflation. and that's not a problem because of what the white house is or is not doing. this is a problem because of what the federal reserve is failing to do. >> brennan: well, the federal reserve chair, jay powell, has said he will retire that word "transitory," and it sounds like you're saying that word should not be used at all, period. >> yeah. i've been saying this for months. the characterization of inflation is tr transitory is probably the worst call in the history of the federal reserve. so the fed must quickly, starting this week, regain control of the inflation narrative and regain its own credibility. otherwise it will become a
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driver of higher inflation expectation that feed onto themselves. >> brennan: that's an incredible thing to say not just about the fed chair, but the former secretary is a former fed chair herself. why do you think they're both fundamentally wrong? >> the fed never expected inflation to be at 6.8%. if you look at all of the projections they made, they were way below this. they fundamentally misanalyzed the inflation. that is not a problem if they catch up now. if they're honest about their mistake be take steps now, they can still take control of it. >> brennan: as you know, they've been undertaking these emergency programs because of the pandemic. buying something like $100 million in bonds. are you saying they need to
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hit the brakes right now in order to get control? >> no. i'm saying in order to avoid hitting the brakes hard, because if you hit the brakes hard, you risk sending the economy into a recession. what they need to do is ease their foot off the accelerator. there is no reason why they should be injecting so much liquidity. there is no reason why they should be boosting the housing market at a time when house prices are pricing americans out of buying homes. they should ease their foot off of the accelerator in order to avoid slamming on the brakes later on. >> brennan: and raising rates, when do we talk about that? >> oh, we should be starting to talk about that now. there is a possibility that they may have to raise rates. look, it is important to stop inflation being embedded into the system. because two things happen when inflation gets embedded: one, you lose purchasing power and the poor suffer the most.
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second, you get a fed overreaction and then you get a recession, and then you get income losses. so you really want to navigate this process in a timely and orderly way. >> brennan: so if i look at what is happening around the country right now, we've talk about devastation that just happened in the mid section of this country, due to these incredible tornadoes. then i look at the northeast, and i see covid spiking and all of the uncertainty it brings with that. how much are these crises going to impact the growth that the white house tells us again and again irimately showing a healthy economy? >> it is certainly a risk, but it is not the base line. the underlying strength of the economy is undeniable. you see this in the labor market. you see this in what companies are doing. so the underlying strength of this economy is absolutely undeniable. but you want to be careful
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that you don't create more head winds through policy mistakes. so we can deal with these really unfortunate shocks, and we still have enough momentum, but we don't have enough momentum to overcome a policy mistake. >> brennan: when you listen to the business community, which has been warning about inflation for some time, you also hear people say this nightmare scenario of 1970s inflation. are people overreacting when they make that comparison or is it fair? >> i'm going to give you a mixed answer. they're not overreacting in terms of the dynamics, which is a supply shock, supply disruptions and labor shortages. in the '70s, it was the oil ocng oth drs to double-digit inflation. we're not going to get to double-digit inflation. we risk staying high
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inflation in the five to six level, and that's much higher than what the economy and the financial markets are priced for, so we have to be really careful. >> brennan: when it comes to fiscal policy and what the president is doing, you're saying that inflation is global, so it os not all on president biden's shoulders. but you have at least one senator saying we can't increase the budget because inflation is a risk. >> what is on the term of fiscal fundamentally addresses the two problems we have. one is labor and forced paticipation. if you look at what is in the bill, that encourages more people to participate in the labor force. and that addresses labor shortages and productivity over the longer term. and the second one is climate. so, no, we should not step back from that bill. we should go forward
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because, actually, that bill is part of the solution, and it is not part of the problem. >> brennan: all right. thank you so much for your analysis. and we will all be watching that fed meeting later this week. we'll be right back. to start over. and grows into an award-winning restaurant that creates local jobs. they learned how on youtube. what will you learn? huh. is that true? geico's been saving folks money for 85 years? yeah, that's right. wait — so if geico's 85, that makes you — are you asking if i'm 85 years old? i mean sea turtles live to 150, so...nn — i — i was not. do i look 85? what! no! you, you look young,, you look young
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>> brennan: before we go, we want to note the passing of kansas republican senator bob dole who passed away last sunday. we thank him for his service to the nation and for the many times he appeared on this broadcast to talk politics or policy. until next week, for "face the nation," i'm margaret brennan. ♪♪
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♪ >> announcer: this is the "cbs overnight news." >> good evening. we begin tonight with this. scores of people remain unaccounted for tonight with dwindling hope of finding them alive after tornadoes cut a swath of destruction across at least six states, the vicious centerpiece was a monstrous supercell that carved an hours' long 250-mile path from eastern arkansas to western kentucky. over 100 people are feared dead, at least 80 of them from kentucky. cbs' david begnaud is in the devastated town of mayfield. i know that a lot of times the pictures and the video just


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