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tv   Early Start With Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett  CNN  November 18, 2020 2:00am-2:59am PST

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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "early start." i'm laura jarrett. christine romans is off today. it's wednesday, november 18th. 5 a.m. here in new york. nine weeks until joe biden's inauguration as the 46th president in the united states. this morning signs of a stress test for american democracy are on multiple fronts. in an active revenge, president trump fired his administration's most senior cyber security official who declared the election the most secure in u.s. history. that official, chris krebs, had been aggressively pushing back against president trump's false claims of voter fraud. the firing also comes as the
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president and his allies continue their efforts to discredit an election that trump lost, efforts that are failing one by one in michigan. michigan, pennsylvania, georgia, other key states. our coverage begins this morning with senior national correspondent alex marquardt in washington. >> reporter: chris krebs might not be a name that most american voters know, but he played the biggest role in making sure americans could go to the polls and cast their votes safely and security as the head of the cyber arm, krebs has been pushing back more and more agrees civil 4ri6 in the days following the election against claims that the vote was rigged, that votes changed and were fraudulent and that voting machines were manipulated. on the last count on tuesday krebs tweeted a letter from top election officials saying in part these claims have been either unsubstantiated or
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technically incoherent. perhaps the biggest crime in the president's eyes that led to krebs getting fired by a tweet was his agency known as cesa put out with other federal, state, private election officials in which they said the 2020 election in the united states was the most secure in american history. they went on to say there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised. after krebs was fired we learned that his number two, matt travis, also resigned after learning that he would not be taking over cesa after krebs' termination. krebs for his part on his personal twitter now responded to his firing, which was not entirely unexpected because of the push back that he had been giving the president since the election. krebs writing, honored to serve. we did it right. defend today, secure tomorrow was krebs' motto in the leadup
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to the 2020 election. cnn, washington. >> alex, thank you for that. in a major reversal overnight, michigan's wayne county voted unanimously to certify detroit's election results after two members initially tried to block it. now at first the two members had pointed to dubious claims of voting irregularities there, but after an outcry from the city's voters and state officials, the two republican members relented joining the democrats to certify joe biden's win. jocelyn benson, michigan secretary of state, said the discrepancies cited were minor and routine. >> there was no evidence of irregularities. no evidence of widespread fraud that had become evident at any point in this process nor were there any presented to the wayne board of canvassers. it showed less errors than before. >> so partisan politics is one
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thing, but the situation in detroit is perhaps the starkest example yet of how the voting systems are being tested by the president's misguided effort to challenge his defeat. president trump applauded the initial vote by the republicans to stop the vote. praising them for their, quote, courage. he's been silent on their final vote to certify. now to pennsylvania where another one of the president's legal challenges in the state that biden won is falling apart. this time in the pennsylvania supreme court. the keystone state top bench ruled that there was nothing that required ballot observers to stand within six feet has been argued. this undercuts what the president was saying on twitter, that they were being unfairly discriminated against and in pennsylvania where biden won by thousands of votes should be invalidated. now to senator lindsey graham who has found himself
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embroiled in controversy after an apparent intent to cast doubt on the election or to overturn it. the south carolina republican and trump loyalist says he called election officials in nevada, arizona, about procedures of mail-in ballots. listen to brad raffensperger talk about how the call from senator graham unfolded. >> just an implication to look hard and see how many ballots you can throw out. i think they're looking at that as part of the court case. >> senator graham calls raffensperger's statement ridiculous. a staffer who was on that call confirmed raffensperger's version to cnn yesterday. graham said he was trying to learn how the three states validate signatures insisting it was part of an effort to determine whether any changes
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needed to be made. >> what i'm very concerned about is that if you want to continue to vote by mail, that we need to know what systems work and what don't. it's up to the people of georgia. i have every right in the world to reach out and say, how does it work? >> the audit of the state's presidential ee vote is supposed to be in bed spot dead on. georgia is required to secure its votes by friday. president-elect biden is moving full speed ahead with national security planning despite being blocked of classified briefings. jessica, nice to see you this morning. a slew of appointments from the
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president-elect, i should say, yesterday some very high level appointments for his next white house. >> reporter: that's right, laura. that is just one example of the biden transition team will point to to say, look, we're doing what we can to move forward even while we're being belonged from the formal transition process. we did see a number of senior level staffers that are being named. among them congressman cedric richmond, co-chair of the campaign. he'll be going in. jen o'malley dillon who was the campaign manager, she'll be going in and deputy chief of staff, mike donnellin and mike br bruchetti. but they are still barred from getting those daily intelligence briefings. they are still not allowed to
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talk to the covid-19 task force, the people planning for the covid plans and congressman richmond was on our air last night talking a little bit about the transition process in general and also the firing of chris krebs. take a listen. >> it's dangerous. the entire transition, trump's whole behavior right now should frighten the american public. so when you look at all of the things he's doing, especially with krebs. >> reporter: so, again, the transition team moving forward best they can. biden continues to take calls from world leaders without the support of the state department, which again would be the typical thing, and it's important to underscore here, laura, this is very abnormal. by this point in the process the president-elect should be getting all of these things. that would be the traditional way this has been done for years
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and years and years and years. very to forge ahead. talking with front line workers later today in a roundtable as they try to make all of their public messaging centered around three things this week, covid, the economy and national security. >> jessica, thank you some. see you back soon. while biden is meeting with health care workers, president trump's schedule has remained the same. according to the white house scene, he's in a bunkered in. he's going to forego his annual trip to mar-a-lago as the viewing stand is being built on the front lawn there. the president has answered no questions for reporters. invited cameras into the oval office and ventured no further than his golf course in virginia
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and get the same fast relief in a delightful chew with pepto bismol chews. coronavirus deaths in the united states just reached the highest level in six months. more than 1700 american lives lost reported yesterday. nearly 77,000 americans are sick in the hospital today and more states are imposing new restrictions now. cnn's alexandra field has more. >> reporter: nine months into the u.s.'s covid crisis hospitalizations are soaring across the country. in some rural areas the strain is almost too much to bear. >> when you look at utah or montana or the dakotas, they have a fewer number of icu beds and specialists that when they get at capacity, it's going to be a breaking point for them in
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a way it wasn't for us in the coastal cities and states. >> reporter: the alarm bells sounding nationwide with several u.s. governors that resisted course. in iowa republican governor kim davis is one of the latest to have a statewide mask mandate. >> i'm asking all iowans to step up and stop the spread of the virus together. >> reporter: inate reaves is requiring masks in 22 of the state's 82 counties. they haven't seen hospitalizations this high since august and in west virginia -- >> how do i feel about the masks? i don't like them. i don't want to wear them. more than anything, i want us to get more control. more control over this eating u alive. i want us to absolutely wear a mask. >> reporter: mobile war trucks are throughout the parking lot of the el paso medical
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examiner's office and more rolling into amarillo, texas, in preparation for things to get even worse, which dr. anthony fauci says will happen. >> help is on the way but help is not here yet. the fact that we have a vaccine coming means we should double down and hang in there. >> reporter: pfizer announced it has enough data to apply for emergency use authorization from the fda after reporting last in with new restrictions announced every day. in pennsylvania, philadelphia has new limits for indoor gatherings, dining, gyms. >> there's no doubt the changes are necessary. we need to act to reduce the rate of increase and to flatten the curve again. >> reporter: to massachusetts home to several universities and colleges. the mayor of boston telling them not to come back. >> if you go home for thanksgiving, you should not be returning to boston this
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semester. you should do the rest of your learning remotely. >> alexandra field, cnn. the most senior republican in the senate chuck grassley has now tested positive for coronavirus. the 87-year-old senator tweeted the news of his positive test just after saying he would self-isolate after a possible exposure. he hasn't missed a floor vote there since 1993. well, the defense department announced tuesday the u.s. will withdraw thousands more troops from afghanistan and iraq by january 15th. less than a week before president-elect biden takes office. defense officials say the move is not a change in u.s. policy about refused to answer questions or provide more details during a pentagon briefing yesterday. for more let's bring in senior international in dubai. sam, what more are you learning? >> reporter: laura, there are
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two areas where the troop drawdown is going to occur on january 15th. iraq where the numbers will go down from around 3,000 to about 2500. that's a significant reduction. compared to what's going to happen in afghanistan where the numbers will go down from 4500 to 2,000. it's that environment where military commanders had been advising via mark esper the trump administration not to dial down the numbers of troops there before the taliban had signed up to an agreement which ended their relationship with al qaeda. now they have not signed up to that. that was one of the preconditions for troop reduction, but the troop reduction is going to go ahead in any case. azariah afghan any, the afghan president, has not criticized the move but he looked forward
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to what he called meaningful experien experience, he said there are an awful lot of special forces, very dependent on the structures and air support that the americans bring to it. and the reduction in this level of troops will be causing jitters not only among afghan allies but among international allies. >> sam kiley, thank you so much for all of your reporting as usual. well, the nba reveals what the upcoming season will look like. how coronavirus is changing the game. that's next. (burke) deep-sea driving, i see...
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all right. some new nba season set to tip off in five weeks. it will have a much different look. andy scholes has this morning's bleacher report. hey, andy. >> hey, laura. always tons of drama with trades and signing. we have the draft coming up tonight and we now know what next season is going to look like. the shortened 72-game season, it's going to start just three days before christmas and includes the new concept of a play-in tournament to determine the seventh and eighth playoff seed in each conference. the tournament will take place after the regular season ends and the first round of the playoffs. they set aside an all-star break in early march. no all-star game next year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. they will release the first half of the schedule to start and the
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second half of the schedule will come at a later date in case changes need to be made due to covid postponements. the draft is tonight. for the first time, it will be virtual. minnesota timberwolves have the first pick. anthony edward, james weissman and lamello ball, they are expected to be the top three. 30 draft prospects receiving these draft lockers with everything they need to broadcast what they've been picked. they also got 30 different hats in that locker. one, of course, for each team that could take them tonight in the draft. despite the rising number of catess around the country, cowboys owner jerry jones says he wants to have even more fans in the stands at his home games. more than 30,000 people attended the cowboys game. jones told a dallas radio station they can increase that number safely and smartly.
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>> my plan was to increase our fans as we went through the season and move our fans -- and move the numbers up, and we fooled that plan. our stadium is particularly suited for air riness, openness, air circulation. >> you have the ravens and eagles changing course and they will not be allowing fans for the foreseeable future. on the other hand you have the dallas cowboys increasing the number of fans they will have. always a tradition, thanksgiving day hosting the washington football team. >> tricky time to do this as this virus is surging across the country. andy, thank you some. good to see you as always. still ahead, one by one the trump campaign's election fraud claims keep crumbling in court. we have the latest for you. that's next. hese beautiful idaho recipes are just side dishes,
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good morning. this is "early start." i'm laura jarrett. 31 minutes past the hour here in new york. this morning there are signs american democracy is undergoing a stress test on multiple fronts. the official who says the election was the most secure in u.s. history, fired. republicans in michigan trying to block the certification in a democratic strong hold county,
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then forced to reverse themselves. all of this as the president and his allies continue their efforts to discredit an election that are lost. efforts failing one by one in michigan, pennsylvania, and georgia. our coverage begins this half hour with senior national correspondent alex marquartd. >> reporter: chris krebs might not be a name american voters don't know, but he played the biggest role in making sure people could go vote samely and securely. as the head of the cyber arm at homeland security, krebs has been pushing back more and more aggressively in the days following the election against claims, lies, conspiracy theories that the vote was rigged, that votes changed, were fraudulent, that voting machines were manipulated. on that last count on tuesday krebs tweeted part of a letter from some top election security officials saying in part these claims have either been unsubstantiated or are
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technically incoherent. perhaps the biggest crime in the president's eyes that led to krebs getting fired on tuesday night by tweet was a statement that his agency, known as cesa, put out along with other federal, state, private officials in which they said the 2020 election was the most secure in american history. they went on to say there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised. after krebs was fired we learned that his number two, matt travis, also resigned after learning that he would not be taking over cesa after krebs's termination. krebs on his personal twitter responded to his firing which was not entirely unexpected because of the pushback that he had been giving the president since the election. krebs writing, honored to serve. we did it right. defend today, secure tomorrow is
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krebs' motto in a lead up to the 2020 election. cnn, washington. >> alex, thank you for that. in another legal set back for the trump campaign tuesday, the pennsylvania supreme court said there is nothing requiring ballot observers to stand within six feet of election workers counting ballots. in another courtroom in pennsylvania, rudy giuliani is at the helm after not having argued a case in decades. he's saying that the state supreme court issue that they just ruled on is wrong. cnn's tom foreman has more. >> reporter: disgraceful. living in some fantasy world. that is how an attorney for election officials characterized the president's lawyer in a pennsylvania court as rudy giuliani claimed election irregularities. >> wow! >> reporter: trump's man echoed some of the same issues he raise the before. >> i know this city has a sad history of voter fraud.
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>> reporter: but when a judge asked giuliani how he could possibly justify throwing out millions of votes, the former new york mayor dodged and just kept pushing his story, and that is pretty much how it's going in trump's quest for a legal solution to his lost election. >> there's tremendous litigation going on and this is a case where they're trying to steal an election. >> reporter: in hotly contested arizona, team trump has abandoned legal action now that it's clear it can't help him win there. in wisconsin a recount would cost trump almost $8 million up front and any hope for that appears to be dying. in michigan, an appeals court has rejected the president's claim of fraud for lack of proof. ever since the votes trump has howeled that the election was rigged, ballots were altered, signatures not checked and voting machines full of glitches but he has produced no evidence for any of that. his department of homeland security says this election was the most secure in american history and long-time lawyer for
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republican election interests ben ginsberg says looking over the cases the utter lack of proof is just part of the problem. >> whether or not there are any valid charges in what the trump team has filed, what is clear from the pleadings is that there are not enough votes in question to change the outcome of the election in any of the states they're trying to contest. >> reporter: what happened to giuliani was by some counts humiliating and to many a sure sign that the president's desperate legal bid for victory is coming to a painful, final, and failed conclusion with joe biden still the winner. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> tom, thank you so much. president-elect biden is set to speak with front line health care workers later today. they're moving ahead with national security planning despite being blocked from classified briefings. cnn's jessica dean is live in
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wilmington, delaware, with more on this. jessica, seems like biden's team is moving full speed ahead announcing high level appointments despite not getting any help on the transition, obviously being blocked by the trump administration. >> yeah, you're exactly right, laura. that is precisely what they're doing. they are moving ahead in the ways th ways that they can. filling out senior staff appointments. they made a number of announce becomes what advisers will be going to the white house with joe biden, the president-elect. it's a lot of familiar faces from the campaign. they include congressman cedric richmond who will come in as a senior advisor. it includes the campaign manager, jen o'malley dillon. mike donnolen, steve bruschetti. that's one of the things they can do and continue to do, build up their staff in the white
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house. that's not hampered by the blocking of the transition. what is hampered by the blocking of the transition process is a lot of official business that the biden transition team wants to get started on and that includes the daily intelligence briefings. we saw president-elect biden holding his own security briefings, his own intelligence briefings yesterday with a panel of experts. notably they were not the current officials. it includes the covid vaccine. they're not allowed to talk to the white house coronavirus task force or health and human services. they know distributing the ultimate vaccine or vaccines is going to be quite a project. its he a going to be a logistical project of a very high magnitude. they know they want to get started on that right now. all of this is happening, as you mentioned, the trump administration is blocking the transitions. here with cedric richmond on our air last night. take a listen. >> it's dangerous. the entire transition, trump's whole behavior right now should
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frighten the american public. so when you look at all of the things he's doing, especially with krebs. >> reporter: again, richmond coming in as the senior advisor to biden within the white house. biden also continuing to take calls from foreign leaders but, again, without the support of the state department, which would be typical at this point. typically at this point the president-elect would have access to all of these things but, laura, that is just simply not the case right now. the biden transition team, ron klain calling on the office of general services to go ahead and sign off as soon as possible. we'll see if that happens. in the meantime, biden will meet in a virtual roundtable today with front line health care workers that continue to keep the focus on three things this week, covid, the economy and national security, laura. >> jessica, thank you so much for that. 63 days until joe biden's
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inauguration as president. time for three questions in three minutes. let's bring in cnn's political analyst john avlon. >> hi, laura. >> i want to start with what's happening in wayne county. i find this extraordinary. home of detroit, strong hold for democrats. two republicans on the elections board try to block certification of the election results for biden last night citing some voter irregularities, dubious at best. then they reverse themselves. why? because they actually heard from the voters who say this is disenfranchisement, in some cases racist given the african-american population there. this is a micro example of a macro stress test for the country right now? >> reporter: yeah. it was an extraordinary series of events. they were trying to disenfranchise the voters. then they got to public comment and they thelt the fury of the
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voters who didn't want to be disenfranchised. i'll certify wayne county except for detroit. hard to read that without any racial implications. what they said president trump and more importantly his lawyer from the campaign celebrating the idea that you had an unprecedented deadlock that could kick the election, they hope, publicly to the republican. that was their strategy. that is undemocratic, little d, in the extreme. that is a sign of what they hope will happen and there's no american voter who should be proud to say that we live in a democracy and can be fine with the president of the united states and his campaign team hoping for that kind of overturning of the popular vote. >> it's undemocratic, but it's pointless. he has enough electoral college
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votes. it was such a fool's errand to do this. the voters blocked them. i want to continue with my stress test theme here because last night on twitter the president fires the official who says it's the most secure election in history. krebs knew his days were numbered reportedly telling people he thought he might be fired, but apparently you get fired for telling the truth. >> yeah. just because he accepted his days were numbered doesn't mean we should think this is normal. in this administration doing your job is a firing offense, and we can add to that telling the truth because what donald trump essentially fired krebs for is not backing up his lie, that is attempting to be advanced in court, that the election was fundamentally fraud on a mass scale. that has national security implications. it's a reminder for republicans coddling donald trump in this context that he is insisting
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that government officials lie on his behalf. that is nothing short of insane. don't mistake this for anything resembling normal. >> it has national security implications considering he was the top cyber security official. what kind of a message does it send. >> yes. >> doing their job, trying to tell the truth and this is what happens to the person at the head of it. >> that's right. >> before i let you go, i can't help but focus on obviously all of the gop senators yesterday. we've been looking for signs of the truth and the reality facing them obviously with the president's defeat. you see them sort of making nice, congratulating senator harris on her win yesterday. is this a sign that they are, in fact, facing reality or is this what i might just call washington nice. >> washington nice. if you want a friend in washington, get a dog said harry truman.
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this is some evidence that a lot of this outrage motivating people in the streets and dark corners online is pro formative. you want to see a degree of civility. it doesn't change what they say and do when they have a microphone. for people who bought into this, at the senate, the highest levels, they recognize this is over. >> senator graham, the top member on the senate judiciary committee is trying to work back channels overturning the votes. >> got busted. >> got busted big time. john avlon, thank you so much, see you tomorrow. broad new restrictions set to take effect in illinois as coronavirus spreads. cnn is covering this coast to coast. >> i'm adrian broad in chicago. activities illinois residents love will be put on hold.
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this is to slow the spread of covid-19. casinos, banquet halls and cultural institutions will shut down starting friday. grocery stores will remain open but can only operate at 50% capacity. the same is true for retail stores, gyms, other personal care services like the salon, but there is one caveat, no indoor group fitness classes will be allowed. >> reporter: i'm brian todd in washington. maryland governor larry hogan is acknowledging that his state is going through a pretty tough round with coronavirus right now and the governor has announced new restrictions. bars and restaurants in maryland will have to be closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except for carry out and delivery. retail establishments and retail facilities are limited to 50% capacity and no fans are now allowed in racetracks or stadiums. the governor says we're in a war right now and the virus is winning. he's pleading with people in his
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state to stand together a while longer. i'm jean ka saar ras in new york. because of the ongoing pandemic, the mayor of boston marty walsh is telling students, if you go home for the holidays, don't come back. normally they travel home and come back. he says if you do that, the rest of your classes are going to have to be remote. he believes college students are one of the highest risk groups, especially those that don't live at home. >> reporter: i'm dan simon. a wedding earlier this month in washington state has led to at least 17 people testing positive and is exactly why authorities around the country have imposed strict limits on large gatherings. this event on november 7th in the small town of ritzville had more than 300 people in attendance when the rules only allowed for 30 people. authorities are saying anyone who attended this should
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france has just become the first country in europe to reach 2 million coronavirus cases. the daily number of new cases in france has declined in the past week, but infection rates remain high in the rest of europe. that's stressing the health care systems in several major cities. let's go live to paris and bring in cnn's melissa bell. melissa, nice to see you this morning. obviously europe really struggling to contain this virus, and that's despite the strict lockdown measures that were brought back.
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>> reporter: that's right, laura. as you said, the headline here from paris is that partial lockdown we're in has been working. that drop in the number of covid-19 patients who are in hospital, drop also the number of covid-19 patients in icu. the number of new cases yesterday was less than 10,000. just to put that in context, laura, ten days that number was more than 60,000. that's how well the lockdown is working here in france. elsewhere, it's more of a mixed picture. we know in germany lang merkel is extremely concerned the partial lockdown hasn't gone far enough. we understand she would like to see a tightening of restrictions this week but that's been pushed back to next week to see how the figures go. elsewhere as well the figures continue to worsen. austria has issued its own lockdown. sweden so long spared by some of the worst figures in europe has announced it will bring in fresh restrictions from next tuesday. overall the partial lockdowns
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appear to be working. here in france where we've just passed the grim milestone of more than 2 million cases recorded. one of those countries worst hit by the second wave. elsewhere those partial lockdowns and restrictions not quite seeing the results that leaders are hoping to see and in some parts of europe figures continuing to worsen, laura. >> melissa, thank you for that. appreciate it. walmart is once again reporting empty shelves with shortages of toilet paper and cleaning supplies in areas of the u.s. hard hit by coronavirus. the nation's largest retailer says those supplies have been harder to stock consistently as supply chains have not kept up with rising demands and sharp spikes in new virus cases. walmart has not implemented a company wide policy but says managers do have the authority to implement limits. the retailer recently resumed counting the number of customers inside its stores as a safety precaution. finally break through on the
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self-testing front. the fda has issued an emergency use authorization for the very first test for coronavirus that provides rapid results at home. this all in one test kit is available for self-diagnosis. uses self collected nasal swab samples and is approved for people 14 and older. thanks so much for joining me today. i'm laura jarrett. "new day" is next. if you have risk factors like heart disease, diabetes and raised triglycerides,... ...vascepa can give you something to celebrate. ♪ vascepa, when added to your statin,... clinically proven to provide 25% lower risk from heart attack and stroke.
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the president fired one of the most senior officials involved with keeping our elections safe. >> chris krebs was telling the president what he did not want to hear about the election. >> there was no evidence of irregularities, no evidence of widespread fraud presented today to the wayne board of canvassers. nationwide, average daily case counts are now double the peak of the summer surge. >> this is simply the fastest increase california has seen since the beginning of this pandemic. >> we've got a few months before the vaccines come to the rescue. we want to save as many lives as we can. >> announcer: this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day." it's wednesday, november 18


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