tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 15, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
good sunday afternoon from new york. we begin with a nation in crisis. you are likely seeing this where you live. cases are surging, hospitalizations on the rice, and there are new concerns about increases in deaths. there's no national plan nine months in. despite the fact that this viral is spiraling out of control, on saturday johns hopkins reported another 166,000 new cases. that continues this devastating trend. the president touting important vaccine news last week. that's so important, yet he didn't address the rapid acceleration in new cases. today he's not talking about it,
either, instead focusing on disinformations. today members of the coronavirus task force confirmed to cnn that president trump hasn't tanneded a meeting with them in months. >> you know, it was months ago, but, you know when we have our task force meeting, it's run by vice president pence, and that translate to the president himself. the last time the president was physically at a task force meeting was several months ago. >> "the washington post" is reporting that the president has not attended a task force meeting in at least five months. is that accurate? >> um, that's true. >> states meantime are grappling with the new surge, announcing new restrictions as they try to contain the spread. washington state announcing
strict new measures. no gatherings of more than five peoples churches and grocery stores now limited to 25% capacity. oregon and new mexico also ordering new shutdowns on businesses beginning this week. jeremy, dr. fauci and others confirming a report that president trump hasn't been at a task force meeting in months. what more do we know about, is the president even talking about it? >> it really just adds detail to what we have already known, that president trump for months has disengaged from this coronavirus pandemic. of course, part of it was during while he was campaigning for the job. he preferred to focus on the economics aspect and getting the economy started again. now the question is, what is the excuse for the president to continue to ignore what an alarming growth in terms of cases, in terms of
hospitalization hospitalizations but that is the administration as mindset. last month they were talking about a pandemic that we cannot control. at the same time the president is reattitudesing to take some decisive action. he's also preventing the transition to the biden administration. >> of course it would be better if we could start working with them. this period is really important in handing a smooth handing over. it's like a baton in a race. you don't want to stop and give it to somebody. you want to essential keep going. that's what a transition is. it certainly would make things more smoothly. >> of course president-elect biden and his task force have begun laying out what they will do. they've talked about increasing
testing. they talked about improving a national cabs tracing force, and perhaps some kind of national warning system to give states and localities more guidance on what they should be doing. the one thing they cannot do is get under the hood of what is happening inside the federal government right now and meeting with those coronavirus advisers inside the federal government right now, to actually discuss the path forward as this passengers continuing to worsen. >> jeremy dime, thank you. tonight the governor the michigan is expected to provide an update. the governor of washington just brought in sweeping restrictions. paul, what did governor inslee just announce? >> reporter: a record number of cases above 2200, and among these measures, as he says, no gatherings indoors of five or
more people. also they're going to shut down again bowling allies, movie theaters, gymnasiums and the rest. let's get right to the governor's comments. >> left unchecked it will assuredly result in grossly over-burdened hospitals. it will keep people from receiving routine but necessary medical treatment because of the stresses our hospitals will be under. left unchecked, the devastation long term is it lil be proamonged. and if unchecked, we will continue to see untold number of deaths. we will not allow these things to happen. >> reporter: in washington, oregon and california, a travel advisory. they do not want people going in between all these states and
saying people arriving in the states are being advised to quarantine for 14 days. all along the rest coast, you can see behind me aggressive testing campaigns. here in the city of los angeles, they have broken a record, 128,000 people this week. this is a pop-up test. another concern in california is blood supply. both whole blood and plasma donors supply. part of a problem is there's been a misconception that you can get the virus from donating. that's not true. they have also lost another way to get people to donate. that's with all of these school closures. >> a lot of our blood drives in the fall happen to be an schools. with high schools and colleges down, we can't have those blood drives. that's about 20% in some parts of our country. we're trying to schedule additional blood drives at other locations and make up for that.
>> reporter: so here on the west coast, they are say donate your whole blood, donate your plasma some you've had covid and get yourself tested. >> paul vercammen, thank you. doctor, first i want your reaction to the sweeping restrictions that have been put in place around the country. are you expecting to see more moves like this? i'm curious what you make of this timing? cases are rising, but we're two weeks out from thanksgiving. >> i'm expecting more decisions to come down like this. this is what happens when you allow the data to drive your decisions. washington state just recently reported a record number of cases since the pandemic began, so i think the governor's hand was forced a bit. you have to do something to protect your constituents and protect those that live in your state.
we have seen new restrictions in oregon and new mexico as well. >> as we look at what we learned this week, there's encouraging vaccine news. that is great to know that it is coming down the pipe. dr. fauci giving us a reality, check, too. i want to play some of that for you. >> i think if we get most of the country vaccinated in the second, third quarter, and the vaccine continue to say improve its efficacy, i think we -- it's not going to be a light switch, jake. we're not going to turn it on and off, going from where we are to completely normal. it will be a gradual accrual the more normality as the weeks and months go by.
do you this is that not only do we need to buckle down right neu, but that this is the reality for the coming months? >> i think -- i wish it was more of the conversation. >> i think people are getting tired of the pandemic, but they don't realize they measures coming into play, like vaccines, for example, will not save us right this minute it's remarkable that pfizer has come up with a vaccine that data is showing is over 90% effective, but there are other things that go into play with that. the funding needed to create the million of units of the vaccine. transportation and storage issues, because this particular vaccine needs to be stored at subzero temperatures. even if we have a vaccine that's released this year, it is definitely going to be up into
2021 when we start seeing a large proportion of americans get vaccinate d president-elect biden's chief of staff ron klain talked recently about the struggles at this point when it comes to preparing for that vaccine. take a listen. >> vaccines don't save lives. vaccinations save lives. that means you have to get that vaccine into people's arms all over this country. it's a giant logistical project. >> in terms of that project how do you think the lack of cooperation between the two administrations is hampering -- >> it could significantly hamper the efforts. we heard so much talk of the vaccine in the days and week leading up to the election.
it just so happened pfizer released their data a few days after. president trump appeared his son take to social media slamming the company, accusing them of holding that data until purposely after the -- so are they purposefully hindering the effort as some kind of get-back, because they think the company hampered the reelection campaign. we have a lot to thing about and a lot to consider here. >> one would certainly hope not when there are american lives. pfizer has said the reason they put that information out is bad received the results the day before. doctor, i appreciate you being with us today. thank you. >> thank you for having me. just ahead, we continue to talk about vaccinations. how about the fight potentially brewing here in the state of new york? governor cuomo considering legal action if the federal government
doesn't change its distribution plan. plus georgia's largest county finishes its hand recount in, quote, record time. will republican challenges, though, will there be more? >> then later, will we see more empty shelves over the holiday season, perhaps into the winter? the major changes grocery stores are making as the pandemic reach es a new dangerous phase, and as we're all told to stay home. sto. well, actually now, new and existing customers can get our best smartphone deal. it's historic. that is historic. which means... i'm making history, right? yea, i don't know if i'd exactly sa- wow. me, dave brown. existing customer who got the greatest deal in history. just like every other customer gets... oh that's cool too. it's not complicated. at&t is making history. everyone gets our best smartphone deals. >> tech: every customer has their own safelite story. this couple was on a camping trip...
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>> reporter: he's saying the plan from back in september leaves out a lot of the communities that were the hardest hit by the coronavirus. in a -- the without plan says that hospitals and pharmacies and medical facilities will be the places where the vaccine is distributed and administered. what the naacp has said, that leaves areas where those places aren't as common out of the loop on the vaccine. in a fiery speech today at a church here in manhattan, governor cuomo echoed those concerns and said he'll sue the federal government in he needs to to make sure whatever plan emerges in new york is equitable. >> let me be clear. the black and brown communities that were first on the list of who died cannot be last on the
list of who receives the vaccine, period. >> reporter: so what cuomo wants to do and what other groups want to do is, in part, distribute the vaccine through community organizations like churches and other groups they say are bert at getting into some of the hardest-hit areas. it's once again the story of the virus in new york becomes the story of the virus in the country. whatever andrew cuomo is able to get done about this distribution plan in new york could reverberate across the entire country, erica. >> for sure. there's also been a focus on the positivity rate in new york city specifically and what that could mean for schools tomorrow. what's the latest on that front, evan? >> reporter: so for the past week, everybody in new york who has a child in a public school has been watching one number, the infection rate. if that rate crosses 3%, the
plan was that schools would automatically close down again to students. everyone would go back to school remotely only. all weekend we were waiting to see what could happen. today the number of that infection rate number tun are turned out to be 2.57%. so it's high, getting close, but not yet hit that number. this is another story where what happens in the city has implications across the entire country. back when the schools reopened back in early october, it was the first major school district to really try that. now with the virus surging all across the country, people are looking at that new york number and see if new york can keep the number low enough. right now they can, but parents will be stressed out to see if that stays true. >> that's for sure. s every day my kids been able to
go to school is a win. we consider ourselves lucky. thank you, evan. president-elect biden is expected to make comments tomorrow on the economy. then later a new era in space exploration begins tonight. four astronauts blasting off just hours from now, and this one is historic for several reasons. hi, i'm pat and i'm 75 years old. we live in the mountains so i like to walk.
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is next for them, with the pandemic surging and millions out of work, rarely in u.s. history has americans been in need of transition more than this year. in a tweet president trump admitted biden won the election, while insisting he's not conceding. jason, what is on the agenda there today? >> reporter: well, look, the president-elect and his task force, as well as advisory board, they've been working behind the scenes regardless of what the president has been tweeting and regardless of the roadblocks. there's still a lot of questions how this team is proceeding, given the roadblocks thatted trump administration has given up. the president-elect for his part last week was reaching out. he plans to do the same again
this week, though it's unclear which leaders he spoke to last we're, unclear again which republican leaders he's going to speak to this week. he one lead her we know he has not spoken to yesterday is mitch mcconnell. >> we're hoping that senator mcconnell will accept the reality that this is just the reality, joe biden won this election, kamala harris won this election. i think it's time for leaders in both parties to get to big of working together, to start to plan out a legislative agenda for next year. >> reporter: so looking at the business ahead, tomorrow the president-elect as well as the vice preside vice president-elect will give remarks, and president-elect biden plans to do some campaigning down in georgia.
as for the recount just alternates this afternoon, on a press call with the biden team, they talked about how the recount was going. they said it's been progressing, on pace, and said as of so far, they say in terms of how the count has been going, the recount, they say no significant change in the count there. erica? >> thank you, jason. that hand recount that jason just mentioned is actually expected to be completed there this afternoon. we've got a live look for you at the process unfolding in atlanta. the republican secretary of state said he's hoping this live look, this access and transparency will help built conference. this as some call for his resignation. joining me congresswoman --
congresswoman-elect, once this is done, do you think we can put this behind us? >> we're just waiting for everything to be said and done. we're watching the process, monitoring it, but i am confident once the recount is concluded, we'll see the same that we saw in the aftermath of the election that joe biden won georgia. >> so to that end, so much of the conversation in the last couple weeks have centered around election integrity. americans need to know their votes are counted. as the chairwoman of the georgia state democratic party, you served in the georgia state senate, have you had any contact, are there any plans to maybe put out a bipartisan statement expressing safe in the election systems and also in this outcome? >> i have not had any conversations of my republican counterparts, but i have seen
the same thing you have seen on social media and statements where there's one faction of the party, to think that they're doing, following donald trump, and pretending they didn't see the same results that the rest of the country saw. i literally went to jail standing with my states demanding every vote to be counted in 2018. however, they're being recounted and we need to accept the election results as they stand, support our democracy. that is the beauty of this country. we have an election, the people's voices are heard and we move forward with a peaceful transfer of power. >> do you think a bipartisan statement, though, in the state of georgia could help? >> i am not sure it would help when we have a president who is not willing to accept defeat. he needs to accept that the voters have spoken. >> as we look, your state is going to be front and center
through jan war 5th, as we no. jon ossoff and rafael warnock were involved in a runoff. they have a joint campaign event, i believe in the next hour or so. there's a lot going on here. we node joe biden is planning to make its way to georgia this week. it's also about bringing in new voices. are you confident there's a plan in place to bring enough people out, and perhaps even bring folks from the other side to yours? >> i'm confident we had a plan in place to get both or candidates to 50% by january 5th. now voters who did not turn out to vote on november 3rd, they understand the power of their vote. sometimes it is making the impossible possible, and here we are in georgia. nobody ever thought we would be flipping florida for the first time in 1992.
we are ready, and we're going to deliver for the entire country. >> this is the last effort, the last hope for keeping a check on democrats in washington. that could be a powerful message for voters. where do you think you need to target? which areas do you need to tweak your message a bit, so you're lighting a fire? >> erica, we're not ceding any part of this state. we are engaged in all counties and our voters are going to turn out. voters turned out and voted for joe biden and his agenda, and we have to have a u.s. senate to pass it. >> a lot was made friday night of the dinner that was to be for incoming lawmakers t nancy pelosi was pushing back on some of the pictures she got. ultimately i know meal boxes were made available for pickup.
had you been planning to attend the dinner? did you have any concerns at all on both of optics and your own health and safety? >> i've been taking lots of precautions, much more so than my colleagues on the other side of theite. one thing i know is i've always said we should for the the data and the science. we've been following the orders of the attending physician, making shush we're keeping people safe. >> do you have any concerns when you head to washington in january, again, as this virus is raging, to your point making sure everyone is foolillowing te protocols? >> i do have concerns. and my family -- now i want to make sure i don't put anyone else through what i lived there. we have a new administration coming in. jobe jobe has already cementibled his task force, so i
am confident we will have a national plan in place in january when joe biden is sworn in. >> congresswoman-elect, great to have you with us today. thank you. >> thank you. just ahead the navajo nation sounding the alamerm again abou coronavirus. already a hot spot back in may, so what is different this time around as officials try once again to bring the virus under control. (upbeat music)
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point. moving forward with this three-week lockdown, there's other measures you have in place. how do you enforce those? >> we're hopefully having our local officials in leadership and also or community members holding each other accountable. there's only so many resources the navajo nation has to enforce these public health emergency orders. we have done it before. this united states of america now is going through its third wave. here on the navajo nation, we're just announced we're going through our sect wave. we have managed to not go through one of the waves that we went through -- that this country has gone through. it's because of the navajo people adhering to these very tough public health emergency orders that have been put in place. so right now we're in a curfew.
starting tomorrow we'll by in full lockout for the next three weeks. just skyrocketing numbers all around the navajo nation in the four states, in order for us to be precautious, you know, we have to do these very tough measures for our people. now is not the time to come and visit your relatives here on the navajo nation, or even visitors to come and sightsee. >> there's also a major concern around the country about hospitals, and about resources for hospitals, but staffing. this has always been a concern, too. where do you stand now in terms of health care, what's available for folks, and what are you most concerned about? >> well, during the first wave here on the navajo nation, the states around us were not going through big waves. so we are able to send our citizens off to the surrounding
hospitals to get their care. now that many of these hospitals around the navajo nation are seeing an increase in hospital usage, our fear is that we might not be able to send some of our citizens that need immediate emergency care off the nation. so we're building up here the limited resources we have. we also are reactivating or alternate care sights a mentioned in previous segments, you know, i think this time around there have been a lot of lessons learn here as well. we just pray that our cases don't beat the first wave. we haven't beat the first wave yet, but here in this country the third wave has surpassed the first and second waves. >> like someone on our team said, it feels more like a tsunami at this point.
there was a lot of talk about the power of the navajo nation as voters in the election, specifically in arizona. i'm wondering if you've had any contact with the biden transition team, specifically when it comes to the issue of coronavirus. there's a lot being made of lack of resources and information being given to the biden/harris transition team. if you talked to them, tell you what you have said to them. >> president-elect biden and vice president-elect harris said navajo americans would have a seat at the table, and they have kept that promise. we've been having update from the transition team, and there's even talk about possibly having one of our own public health experts to be a part of the covid-19 team as well.
you know, dr. anthony fauci did say there's a lot of lessons learned from the navajo nation, what we have done to keep the numbers down. maybe that type of lessons could be used in local communities or regional approach. you know, we are open to that, but now our focus is on the second wave, and we appreciate the navajo people for adhering to the public health emergency orders that are in place, and for the next three weeks, we're going to do our very best to bring the numbers down. >> we wish you the best in all of that. we hope to see the numbers decline. president jonathan nez, always appreciate you joining us. >> thank you, erica. concerns about empty shelves like this like we saw in the spring. what are some of the changes you can expect? especially with the holidays upon us, and how are frontline
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demand, grocery stores starting to limit some purchases so they can keep the shelves stocked. you are based in connecticut and new york. great to have you with us. i'm starting to see this in my local grocery stores, more signs limiting purchases. >> are you having to do that, too? >> well, first of all, hello. no, we're not doing any limits. you know, we find we can get plenty of supplies. >> so that's good news. i know you were telling me briefly during the break, it may not be all the brands that perhaps shoppers are used to buying, but they can still get toilet paper. >> and that's like the poster child of the pandemic. just an example here. sharm charmin is the biggest seller,
but here's another premium brand. same with cleaning supplies. i would say to everybody, don't panic, there's plenty of product there. people are a little nervous, because they saw what happened back in april and march when the shelves, it was real tough to get product, but the industry has taken care of that. there will be plenty for your thanksgiving. >> when we talk about thanksgiving, we're hearing this important americas that thanksgiving needs to be small. that would impact obviously what ear selling. how is that changing things for you this year? >> well, you know what? this thanksgiving is about smaller we would normally do a big 25-pound turkey. this year it's going to be like
a 15-pound turkey, so we've actually decreased the order on our larger turkeys and increased the ones on smaller. downsizing. same with shrimp platters. if you can look down here, we've got a shrimp platter. this is the one we sold a lot of last year right here. and this is two pounds. now what we've done, we've actually made a smaller one like this, which is only a pound. and my family's a good example, because what happened was last year i had one thanksgiving, and i have a brother and two sisters. so the four of us all spent thanksgiving together. this year they're all doing their own. so, in the leonard family, it's not one thanksgiving, it's four smaller ones. when we find the trend is the same with all our customers. >> i think that's what it is for the hill family this year, too. before i let you go, i think it's important to talk about your employees there. everybody in the grocery stores, whether they're stocking the
shelves or the produce, whether they're ringing you up at the register, these are our front-line communities. and they took the brunt of it at the height of it in the spring. how are they holding up? do they have new concerns based on the surge in cases? >> first of all, thank you for mentioning. it makes me feel so proud of our family at stew leonards. what we've done is we've just had these shots of appreciation pay. we were giving them $2 an hour. we're starting that again through the holidays for our people. you know, we want to reward them. we feel good. we've been able to supply food for our community here in the metro new york area. it's really because of our great people at stew leonard. >> stew leonard, appreciate you joining us. thank you for taking the time to join us. if anybody is in the area, check out the talking butter. you won't regret it. happy thanksgiving.
stay safe. >> thank you. just ahead, countdown to lift-off. we are now less than four hours away from the first fully operational spacex dragon launch. what astronauts have to say about this historic moment next. ♪ (children laughing) ♪ (music swells) ♪ ♪ (music fades) (exhales) experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment.
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few hours. this will be the first time the company has sent its spacecraft on a fully operational center. they are launching from merritt, island, and rachel joins us from there live. are we still on track for lift-off this evening? >> reporter: at this point, all systems are a go and, you know, the real variable here is weather. is mother nature going to be on our side? right now the 45th weather squadron putting those odds at 50-50. everybody here at kennedy space center and space enthusiasts around the globe crossing their fingers that the weather cooperates. it's important to remember that they're not just monitoring the weather here at kennedy space center, it's all across the assent path because "crew dragon," the spacecraft, has a unique abort capability. they have to monitor the weather across the atlantic, off the shore of ireland. right now, you know, as i said, it's really a tossup, 50/50 odds their saying.
the astronauts, mike glover -- i'm sorry, mike hopkins, victory glover, shannon walker and jaxa soy which i noguchi just suited up. they're proceeding as if this is a go. wearing their space suits as we expect to see them walk out and say good-bye to their families shortly. i had the opportunity to speak to mike hopkins and victor glover before the launch. what does it mean to you to be a black man and an astronaut at this moment in our country's history? >> you know, i'm not immune to the things going on in the world right now, from the ifle insecurity that many people are feeling to the economic insecurity. i will say this. the overriding feeling that i have is that i want to go up there and do my job well. >> i think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year. global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation.
>>. >> reporter: we're just a little over three hours from the expect the lift-off, 7:27 this evening. as i said, everybody crossing their fingers and then toes that all systems keep cooperating and mother nature is on our side. >> crossing all extremities, you're right. this is a big step forward for spacex as a company, but also when we look at the future of space travel in general, real quickly, why is that so important right now? >> well, you know, having this capability, having a homegrown way of getting to and from the international space station, relying on the commercial sector to do that, that frees us up from russia. we paid russia over $4 billion over the years to ferry our astronauts back and forth to the international space station because we haven't had a way to get there since the end of the shuttle program. this allows nasa to focus on the exciting missions like going back to the moon and one day, hopefully, going to mars. >> thanks for joining us from kennedy space center. thanks to all of you for joining
us. now more than ever, we all could use a hero. this year's cnn heroes isn't just saluting everyday heroes, we're also taking a look at the larger moments that define the stories of the year. you can vote for the most inspiring moments by loggingon to cnnheroes.com. "cnn newsroom" continues right now with ana cabrera. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ana cabrera in new york. for president trump, it was another day on the golf course and another day of denial. the president insisting again that the results of a fair and free election are wrong, that he was cheated by what he calls the fake news media and faulty voting machines, but without any evidence. trump tweeted he, meaning biden, won because, and then a string of lies we won't bother to repeat. he then followed that up with this message --