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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  December 21, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST

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first lady told me, i spoke to her after champ died, she said champ would follow us to every room, and so i think he's looking for a companion again and german shepherds provide that for him. >> they're such good dogs and those ears, they're adorabdorab >> they're cute. >> thank you. >> mm-hmm. berman, i'm sure kate will let you know as soon as the cat arrives. >> i'm sure. >> cnn's coverage continues right now. very good tuesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. the omicron variant is now already the dominant strain of coronavirus here in the u.s. and it is only been 21 days since the first case of it was detected. take a look at this chart, it shows it visually. the yellow bar shows how delta accounted for nearly 100% of cases, four months until a couple of weeks ago and just in the last two weeks you see omicron shoot up from just a small percentage to now 73%.
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three-quarters of new infections. it is important to note this, this is the big question, how severe of illness does omicron cause? we still don't have complete data on that. have a listen. >> you obviously want to pay attention to the number of infections because they could be the forerunner of severity. but if you have a lot of infections, and less severity, it is much more important to focus on hospitalizations. >> and that's where the jury is still out. fauci also emphasized that getting vaccinated and boosted remains a strong defense from severe illness for all of the variants. u.s. has now confirmed its first death from omicron, notably an unvaccinated texas man with underlying health issues died after contracting the virus for a second time. again, note, unvaccinated. right now, cases are surging across the country, forcing some event cancellations, the nhl has
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suspended all of its games for the next several days over the christmas weekend, in an attempt to slow the spread. right here in the nation's cap capital, the mayor, muriel bowser, announced the reinstatement of an indoor mask mandate, that starts today. in new york, which has seen a threefold increase in covid infections in the past week, new york city mayor bill de blasio says the city is testing more people than ever. and that contributes to some degree to the number of new infections we're seeing. officials say omicron is increasing the demand for testing. the supply chain can't yet keep up. hours from now, president biden will address the nation on the issue. he is expected to announce the purchase by the government of half a billion at home rapid tests, which will be sent, for free, to anyone who requests one. let's begin at the white house, jeremy diamond is on the north lawn. jeremy, notably this, president is not going to come out today and say we're going to shut down the country or parts of the country again today. he's talking about targeted
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steps here, testing, what else do we expect? >> reporter: that's right, jim. it is going to be a very different message from the one you might have expected a year ago during that last winter surge. instead, what you're going to see here is the president delivering two clear messages, one to the unvaccinated, warning them of the risk of serious illness and hospitalization if they do not go ahead and get vaccinated. and then another to the vaccinated, perhaps anxious americans, telling ing them then continue with their holiday travel plans as long as they continue to practice common sense public health measures. and also making clear that they are at low risk of serious illness because of the protection they have from vaccination, particularly if they are boosted. as far as the new steps, half a billion free at home rapid tests who will be sent to any american who requests one. the first tranche will go next month. that is a change in approach from this administration after the white house press secretary just a couple of weeks ago essentially dismissed the idea of sending free at-home tests to
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every single american. a different plan here, but a change. and you're going to see additional support to hospitals that are overwhelmed as we see these cases tick up over the coming weeks with a thousand military service members being mobilized and ready to be deployed beginning next month. >> we have been talking about a lot of hospitals already overwhelmed. thanks so much. right now the northeast feeling the brunt of the fast moving omicron variant or positive tests of it. new york and new jersey seeing a record number of new infections, officials in new york city said they are working to increase covid-19 testing capacity. look at those lines as omicron has dramatically driven up demand. long waits there for those tests. jason carroll following all of this from new york. jason, the good side of this is that folks are being responsible, they're going out, getting tested, so they can protect themselves, react, protect their family members. is there any improvement to those lines we have been talking about the last couple of days?
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>> reporter: well, let's be clear, they're going out and trying to get tested, right, jim. if you look at what happened here, earlier this morning folks came out here, there was a long line of people out here. turns out that was the line for the wait list. there are 158 people on the wait list at this location alone. they're no longer taking new appointments. that gives you a sense of the need at this one location where we are. mayor de blasio says the city is going to open new test sites by the end of the week. in addition to that, what we're seeing in the state and the city are the numbers continuing to rise. if you look at what just happened in new york state, they broke another record for the fourth consecutive day of new infections, more than 23,000 new cases reported yesterday. most of those right here in new york city at 15,245 new infections. again, not seeing a spike in the number of hospitalizations.
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so that is some good news when looking at all of this in terms of trying to keep this in perspective. in terms of all the numbers that we're looking at and the waits to get testing, everything that new york city is dealing with, the mayor says despite all of that he says he is committed to having the city stay open. >> got to avoid shutdowns, we got to avoid restrictions, we got to keep moving forward, vaccination is the key. >> reporter: again, we keep hearing this message over and over again. vaccination is the key. mayor de blasio also warning new yorkers that it is his estimation based on all the research that he is seeing, jim that the worst of this wave is ahead of new yorkers, not behind them. jim? >> jason carroll, thanks so much. let's speak to dr. megan ranney, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of public health at brown university. good to have you back. let's begin with the president's plan today.
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half a billion rapid at home tests sent out for free to those who request them. will this make a difference? i suppose the real question is here, what is the gauarantee tht most at risk people ask for the test? you have a disparity over how much people test themselves. >> there are a number of questions. first, do people know how to use these? are they going to be motivated to do it? i'll say my own parents when i said i wanted to rapid test for thanksgiving, my mom's question was, if i'm positive, who is going to cook the turkey. i had to explain if she was positive, we shouldn't be going over. those kind of discussions have to be part of rapid testing. and then, yes, getting people to ask for them is part of this. the last part is will distributing half a billion rapid tests a month from now be sufficient to stem this tide of omicron? we're seeing how quickly it is overtaking the united states now. i worry in a month, it will be a nice to have, but it won't be able to prevent the damage that we're currently undergoing. >> right.
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amazing the speed that this has burned through or is burning through the country. we are seeing the biggest spikes in new york and new jersey, not unusual, where we saw the pandemic start, big urban areas. but it is also places where people are testing more. and i wonder what is the likelihood that omicron is actually spreading broadly as well, but in other places where folks just aren't testing as much. >> it is certainly spreading below the surface across the united states. if you actually look at the projections on the cdc's web page, which is how they're estimating that omicron is now the dominant var yiant across t united states, you see higher percentages of omicron, in fact, in some areas with less testing than is being done in the northeast. so that's certainly possible and based on what we know about omicron, you know, a plane flight from one region to another of the country is enough to see it in a new area. truly this is going to be the strain across the united states, but here's an important caveat,
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jim, i expect delta to still stick around and still make people super sick. that's what we're seeing in england, omicron is rising, but delta is holding strong as well. >> are we seeing, i know it is early, are we seeing a commensurate jump in hospitalizations already as we're seeing this jump in new infections? is there a possible silver lining here that we're not hearing about some of these infections because they're not as serious? >> i love that question. and it re-emphasizes the point that thanks to vaccines in particular, there is now a break between cases and hospitalizations. in my own state of rhode island, hospitalizations are about half of what they were last year at this time, despite the fact that our cases are the same or higher. that's largely thanks to vaccines. now, whether omicron is actually more mild, or whether it is more mild because of vaccines and
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prior infection, it is still up for debate. i would be thrilled if this ends up being mild if this just ends up being a major disruption to our economy for a short month, but far, far too early to say. >> okay. i want to talk about a bigger picture question here. dr. fauci was on cnn earlier this morning and he said the nih is actually considering shortening the quarantine period. has been ten days. but particularly for health workers, something around five days, particularly if you're asymptomatic. i wonder, do you think that's the right approach and is it something we might want to apply to students in terms of going to school or employees of private companys? >> this is one of those places where as science accumulates we should change our practice. and there is growing evidence that with our rapid negative test you -- after you had covid, you can be pretty sure that you're not infectious, particularly if you are asymptomatic. i will tell you my healthcare system, my group of emergency
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physicians, we are so short staffed for the holidays, because of people getting sick. they're not horribly ill. but they caught, you know, covid and now they can't come to work. if we could shorten the quarantine -- the isolation period, usinge ing rapid tests, would be wonderful for our healthcare system. the caveat, we can't have workplaces use this to force people back to work when they are still symptomatic. i worry in healthcare, we have a culture of working through illness, we work ourselves to the bone, especially for the last two years, we need to give people adequate time to recuperate if they are actually feeling sick. >> i guess this raises a bigger picture question. is this a model for a whole host of pandemic measures? we are not in march 2020 because large portions of the population are vaccinated and have some protection -- a lot of protection against severe illness. should we be relaxing other measures too? you do see some schools going remote, right?
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is that an overreaction now given where we are with vaccines? >> i would strongly argue against schools going remote. to me, i have said this since the beginning of the pandemic, schools should be the last thing to close. we should not have bars and restaurants open when schools are closed. we need to protect our kids. we need to get them in person learning. we can support our businesses financially in other ways. i think right now in the midst of the omicron surge, now is the time to put in place indoor masks to consider making workplaces remote. and putting some of those other measures in place, but, yes, this is not 2020. and i hope that coming back in january we're going to find ways to get back to normal and continue to adjust our protocols in light of the emerging science. >> yeah. dr. megan ranney, good to have you on. >> thank you. same. still ahead, we will hear from a michigan doctor who says his hospital is worse off now than it was a year ago. what they need to do now to stem
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that tide. plus, new developments on the investigation into the capitol insurrection, the january 6th panel has now asked a sitting republican lawmaker to sit for a deposition. and i'll speak to texas congressman rubin gallego, what he says the u.s. must do now to prevent a russian invasion of ukraine. is struggling to managage your type 2 diabetes knocking you out t of your zone? lowering your a1c with once-weekly ozempic® can help you get back in it. oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! my zone... lowering my a1c, cv risk, and losing some weight... now, back to the game! ozempic® is proven to lower a1c. most people who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. and you may lose weight. adults lost on average up to 12 pounds.
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sentenced to prison for assaulting a police officer during the violent insurrection. devlin thompson of washington state was sentenced to 46 months after pleading guilty to hitting an officer on the head with a metal baton. he also tried to throw a speaker at law enforcement. he ended up hitting and injuring the fellow rioter. more than 140 other rioters face the same charge thompson faced. the house committee investigating the insurrection is asking for the first time to question a sitting member of congress. the january 6th panel requested that pennsylvania republican scott perry voluntarily sit down for an interview. perry was just chosen to be the next leader of the house freedom caucus. the panel says it wants to discuss his effort to install former justice department official jeffrey clark as acting
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attorney general. clark expressing willingness it seemed to go along with the president's plan to undermine the election. paula reed has been following. paula, this is an important step. they are summoning one of their own to testify here, albeit voluntarily, do we expect perry to comply? >> it is unclear, jim if they're going to get any new information from perry. but to your point, yes, this significant. it shows the committee is zeroing in on trump allies, even if they're fellow lawmakers. what is unique, this is not a subpoena. this is a letter requesting that their colleague come in and voluntarily cooperate with their investigation. now, in the letter, it is revealed they are specifically interested in efforts to install former justice department official jeffrey clark as acting attorney general. now, clark, during his time at the justice department, he was very open to using that agency to push the big lie. and perry actually connected
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trump and clark at a time when trump was pressuring the justice department to find some evidence that the election was stolen. but, again, it is not clear how much new information they're going to be able to get from perry, especially with just a letter. we're seeing more and more lawsuits trying to block the committee from obtaining evidence. the most recent coming from far right wing media figure alex jones, who sued the committee to block their subpoena, trying to compel his testimony. now, in his lawsuit, he also reveals that he is going to follow this trend of trump associates saying they will invoke their fifth amendment right and not provide any documents. now, his is just the latest, we're up to over half a dozen lawsuits by various trump allies and even trump himself trying to block subpoenas and requests from the committee. we have seen these from the former chief of staff mark meadows, conservative attorney john eastman and trump himself also sued, though twice now, he has lost in federal court these
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efforts to try to block the committee from obtaining white house records. he's expected to appeal that case to the supreme court this week. >> well, sometimes he sues to delay as well, not necessarily to win. paula reed, thank you very much. a second member of the january 6th committee will not seek re-election next year. florida congresswoman stephanie murphy announced monday she will retire after serving four terms in her seat. the latest in a growing wave of democratic departures from the house, signaling the upcoming midterms, tough fight for the party. here with me now, cnn political reporter dan merica. specifically set aside the party for a moment what does it mean for the committee going forward? with kinzinger and now murphy, you know, two members not running for re-election. >> really hints that the committee is on the clock. there is an assumption that because there is such an even split in congress, and because democrats are facing such long odds to keep the majority in 2022, that once republicans, if they are able to win the
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majority in 2022, they'll end the committee's work and therefore the committee will cease to exist. murphy cited a number of issues for leaving congress including the stress that this has put on her family. but it is hard and political watchers watching these retirements, there are 22 in the house among democrats, watching the retirements, there seems to be more at play and something you doo see ahead of when a party takes power, ahead of a tough midterm election, but murphy is noteworthy because of her role on the january 6th committee. >> no question. this is not just happening on the january 6th committee. a lot of democratic retirements. you often see that prior to difficult election cycles. we did see this in 2020 lead up to 2020 with republicans and republicans did better, you know in that election than expected. is this purely about them reading the tea leaves on where things are going in the midterms? >> it is more complicated than that. people will tell you it is one thing and that one thing alone. it is more complicated than that. you have the feeling among
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democrats that there is a sense they'll lose control of the house in 2022. you have a lot of committee chairs who don't want to be ranking members. they like the power they had, the control, they want to leave congress before they're a ranking member. you have the redistricting issue. across the country, dates are redrawn, the lines, and some of those members who have enjoyed pretty easy seats are being drawn out of their district and they may not want to face a tough re election fight. the third issue and the most noteworthy is low morale in the house. people you talk to in private, they'll say, house members, they'll say they're not having a good time, there is not camaraderie in the house. they don't respect the people they serve with and that leaves people saying why am i doing this, why am i commuting back and forth from my home state, why am i putting in these long hours for something i seem to not be enjoying. that is a new issue. that is a new issue that has really risen with this hyperpartisan nature of the house and really lack of relationship between members of
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congress. >> outright personal attacks between members of the house. dan merica, thanks so much. >> thank you. on january 6th, one out of every ten people who stormed the capitol had ties to the u.s. military. up next, new steps the pentagon is now taking to curb what it says is extremism within the ranks. just minutes from now, the opening bell on wall street, stock futures are all up this morning after a disappointing start to the week. investors worried about soaring covid cases, the potential impact on the economy, some con context, though, it is up 21% this year, u.s. oil prices fell on monday. down 3.7%, around $68 a barrel. global slowdown could dent demand for fuel. might see that the at the gas pump.
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the pentagon is now sharpening and clarifying the definition of extremist behavior, part of a broader effort to root out what it says is an extremism problem within the u.s. military. the new guidance comes nearly a year after the january 6th insurrection in which several active service members, as well as veterans, participated. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr has been following this. barbara, this is an issue that for months austin has been
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looking into. they devoted a lot of effort here. how serious a problem does the pentagon view this and what steps are they taking? >> the pentagon still feels it is a relatively small percentage of the active duty or national g guard reserve force involved in extremist activity. most of those arrested, charged in the january 6th incident, were veterans out of the service at this time. but still, they have had these ongoing problems for many years with some members being part of extremist groups and they were having trouble really focusing in on how to define the problem so they could go after these people, they say. what they have done is sharpen it all up. right now, given the new rules, very sharp focus on limiting, restricting, forbidding active participation in extremist actions. not naming any groups per se, but limiting the actions.
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and we have a list of some of the prohibited activities now. such as recruiting, training, fund-raising, organizing, demonstrating at a rally, displaying paraphernalia or words or symbols in support of extremist groups. very specific things for commanders to be aware of, to look at, when they believe there are troops involved in extremist activity. and for the first time, this now does extend to social media. the pentagon says it is not monitoring the social media of troops. they are responsible for what they post, but if it reflects active participation in extremist activities, then that also is prohibited. so for the first time, looking at social media, and really trying to put a much sharper focus on what is prohibited in the u.s. military. jim? >> 45 out of 450 overall defendants from january 6th, ties to the u.s. military. barbara starr, thank you very
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much. i'm joined by arizona congressman ruben gallego, he serves on the house armed services committee, a veteran himself. congressman, thank you for taking the time this morning. >> thank you for having me. >> you served in iraq. you are aware of the pentagon's efforts here in response to extremism. does the u.s. military have an extremism problem in your view today? >> i don't think it is a severe problem, but we can't deny there is a lot of veterans coming out, becoming more extreme through one area or another. it is a reflection of the overall society. however, more importantly, you know, when we were in the marine corps, we were trained to become good marines and good citizens. there is a good first step. i want to make sure we have guidelines here because we don't want to also impede people's first amendment rights. i think as more directive comes out, it will be more fine tuned. >> you led u.s. delegation to ukraine amidst growing russian threats to invade as well as
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buildup of force s along the border there. the white house is still allowing time for diplomacy, even as russia continues to send more forces to the border. they're delaying sending some military assistance that ukrainians and others have been pushing for. is that delay endangering ukraine? >> well, yes. i think the idea that we can't do diplomacy and the same time reinforce ukraine and give the ability for them to fight for themselves is a mistake. russia doesn't use diplomacy for the sake of trying to avoid war. they try to use it as a time trick so that -- to deploy their force and gain leverage. i hope that's not what's happening. some communications i've had, there is more urgency than being able to help ukraine. we certainly should not be afraid of quote, unquote provoking russia by helping a democracy protect itself.
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it is a ridiculous thought. but i know that's how russia thinks and that's how they operate. we shouldn't play into that game. >> i wonder if you worry that the administration is allowing itself to get duped here. russia played this game prior with ukraine, going back to 2014, but also georgia, they have invaded other countries before. they're still there and now coming up with an idea that the u.s. has some chemical attack plans there. the propaganda preamble to possible military action. why isn't biden acting today? >> i will say that the fact that they have moved and they have gotten the whole coalition together to understand the severity of this problem, especially when most european partners did not actually believe that russia was willing to do it, so they -- it was the united states government that rallied the country to the world to understand what the serious threat is. so in that regard, they're doing well. again, i do agree that we need to be doing more and faster and this is not an issue of us
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putting troops in ukraine this is about giving ukraine the opportunity to fight and fend for themselves. every day we don't send them the lethal aid we leave, even small things such as ammunition, is another day that the russians get to put more leverage on ukraine, and just reinforce the border. >> you were a different kind of russian threat, a lawmaker who told state media you should be an abducted and imprisoned. you can take that as a joke, but let's be frank. russia attacked and murdered opponents abroad. should this be taken seriously? how should the u.s. respond? >> in some regards it should be taken seriously. this guy kind of seems luke a joke of a politician from all the research and intel that we have got. he's kind of a nobody, just run his mouth on tv. but, what it does show you it is the russian attitude, right, they feel they can do this to any other country, especially any other democracy.
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killing citizens on foreign soil, you know, when it comes to the skripal killing in the uk, downing an airliner full of citizens, they may continue to go on and on. this aggression, this cannot continue. we need to really put a wall together, a dogmatic wall to push russia back to compliance and stop acting like a bully. >> you follow this issue very closely. today afghanistan is in a real humanitarian crisis. and our own anna coren went there and spoke to folks suffering right now. i want to play you for a moment an account of a father struggling simply to feed his family. have a listen. >> translator: there is no work, no income, no food to bring her. sometimes we have nothing to eat. every time i see her, i get upset. >> u.s. withdrew from
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afghanistan, left many afghans who work for the u.s. behind. now facing threats. and now people can't feed themselves. is the biden administration, in your view, is the u.s. failing afghanistan here? >> well, i think a lot of us are doing our best. i just signed a letter with a couple of other veterans to try to get aid to afghanistan in an appropriate way. the last thing you want to do, usually what happens when you have warlordism occurring, when you send aid, the actual warlords, use that for control and end up lining their pockets. we want to work with ngos and other organizations that will actually feed these kids, make sure it is -- women can go to school. and lastly we have to make sure that taliban still lives up to its requirements. we did leave a lot of people behind. if they want us to help support their government, they have to give us assurances, number one, they won't be a al qaeda safe haven and they'll stop hunting all our allies that helped us during the war. this is a balancing act, a very
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difficult balancing act. a lot of us want to find a way to help the people of afghanistan while at the same time not helping the taliban. >> congressman ruben gallego, thank you so much. we wish you and your family a merry christmas. >> merry christmas. still ahead this hour, in michigan, hospitals are warning thing already the worst they have ever been in the pandemic. those warnings, also the request for help, ahead of the omicron wave. ♪ singing and driving ♪ ♪ playing the drums ♪ ♪ what could be better ♪ ♪ taking a nap ♪ ♪ drive a friend home ♪ ♪ stop for a snack ♪ ♪ things you can't do ♪ ♪ using an app ♪ ♪ don't send emojis ♪ ♪ go hug your mom ♪ ♪ drive to the airport ♪ ♪ show him some love ♪ ♪ now grab a taco ♪ ♪ because it's late ♪ ♪ and tomorrow is ♪ ♪ a brand new day ♪
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already mired in red, the state has one of the highest rates of hospitalizations already. 38% of michigan's icu beds are occupied by covid patients. this is really before the full brunt of omicron felt here. joining me now to discuss, dr. mucara, chief clinical officer of the henry ford health system in detroit. good to have you on this morning. >> good morning. >> i think folks have a tendency out of sight, out of mind. if they're not seeing it, movie theaters are open, sports stadiums are full, you know, they can kind of put blinders on to what's happening in hospitals. so describe to folks watching right now who may not have seen it, what it looks like to be in the middle of one of the waves. >> honestly, we are very concerned about where we are at the present time. we are at the fourth surge now in michigan.
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the number of hospital san diegos hospitalizations are seeing what we saw in the spring of 2021. and the problem these numbers are not only in specific areas in michigan, but throughout the state. and it is taxing our healthcare systems, our hospitals, our staff significantly. and it is honestly takinge ing from the capacity delivered care. >> what you're seeing now, the hospitalizations, this is pre-omicron, the bulk of the folks now crowding icus, is that from the delta surge? you haven't seen the worst of omicron? >> you're absolutely correct. and this is why we are very concerned. because this is a result of what we have seen with the -- that started with us in fact in august. i was looking at our numbers and we started seeing this in august. and it has peaked last week. but you're very concerned
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because as our test positivity rate, the number of people testing positive in our hospital, in the past few days, throughout our system, we have been running now about 25% positivity rate. compared to a number of about 3% to 4% earlier in the summer. we know that despite the fact that our hospitalization rate is plateauing at the present time, we are very concerned that we are going to see another spike related to omicron. >> what happens when healthcare workers test positive? we had dr. fauci on cnn earlier today saying, hey, we might have to relax or shorten the quarantine period from ten days to perhaps five days, particularly for healthcare workers because of potential shortages. are you seeing folks who can't come to work and what is your plan if you run into that kind of crunch? >> absolutely. this is why we're one of the first healthcare systems in the state to mandate the vaccine for
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healthcare workers, we felt we need to protect healthcare workers in our community. despite that, we know that breakthrough infections do happen. and we know they will happen more with omicron as we are facing a new variant at the present time. we have not changed our guidelines with respect to having people quarantine when they test positive. we just want to make sure they are protected, they are protecting the community, we are not contributing to the spread. however, with that said, we are very concerned also with the workforce shortage that we are facing. and in prior surges we were able to rely on other healthcare systems that had some capacity. both within state and outside the state, around the nation. now we are seeing across -- it is very concerning. >> now, the biden administration has been deploying emergency response teams to michigan, other states often composed of military members of the military to help. are the hospitals in your state,
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is yours getting the kind of help it needs? >> we have not got any before we know a couple of hospitals in the past couple of weeks did get some help. but we are watching very closely and we might definitely dip into that resource as we need to because we are very concerned with the holidays we have seen the spike after thanksgiving, and we are very concerned what will happen after christmas and new year's. >> hang in there. we wish you the best of luck. we know it is going to be tough. dr. munkarah, thank you. >> thank you. still ahead, how senator joe manchin's no to build back better and concerns about the spreading omicron variant could leave a mark on the u.s. economic forecast, economic growth. that's coming up. ♪ ♪ ♪
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the dow is up after three days of losses. the economy raised concerns about the highly transmissible omicron variant. christine romans joins me now. a double blow, the economic forecast, concerns about omicron, still cloudy but also the apparent end for now of build back better. >> yeah. a lot of economists had that built into their forecasts for the economy into the early part of next year, so without build back better, that takes some juice out of the economy, so you have goldman sachs downgrading its expectations for the first quarter to about 2%, moody's saying they'll go to the drawing board and probably lower expectations a little bit as well here because that was expected to be a boost. you know, the extension of the
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child tax credit, all these investments into preke-k and health care and eldercare were meant to support the working class and get needed investments into working families. that has them sharpening their pencils here. reverting to the big picture, tomorrow we'll get a gdp number for the third quarter, probably down 2%, down from the summer with a strong economy. but big picture, jim, this is still likely to be the strongest year of u.s. economic growth since ronald reagan was president. think of that for a minute. if you have 5.6% economic growth for the year, that's going to be very good in terms of annual growth. next year, between 4% and 5%, that surpasses anything we've seen in a long time. this isn't a recovering economy. that's why the fed will start talking about raising interest rates. big picture. gas prices are ticking lower, $3.30, down 12 cents from the peak a few weeks ago. all the big picture here, we'll
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go back and forth in the stock market until the end of the year. people can take money off the table. don't worry about the day to day. big picture is important. >> christine, thanks very much. >> you're welcome. still ahead, at the beginning of the pandemic, professional sports were in a canary's coal mine of coming lockdowns. the nhl is halting its season for a few days. things are not the same this time. how are leagues pushing on despite outbreaks? that's coming up. this is how we shine. at zales. the diamond store. ♪ ♪ you are my fire ♪ ♪ the one desire ♪ ♪ you are, you are, ♪ ♪ don't wanna hear you say... ♪
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the nhl is the first pro sports league in north america to put its season on ice due to the surge in covid cases. andy scholes joins us now. andy, how long will this be, and what's the goal here? >> reporter: it will be a matter of days, jim, to try to slow down all of these outbreaks.
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the nhl is going to have two more games tonight, but after that, they shut down through christmas due to the rise in the cases they've seen over the past few weeks. team facilities, they'll reopen sunday and daily covid testing for players will resume then. nine nhl teams already had their seasons put on pause before this announcement due to outbreaks. the league had also shut down travel to and from canada through christmas. games are scheduled to resume on monday. there have been 49 games postponed in the league so far this season. the nhl and the players association also actively discussing the matter of player participation in the 2022 winter olympics in beijing. they expect to be in a position to announce a final determination in the coming days. nhl players were set to participate in the games for the first time since 2014. in the nfl, meanwhile, they added 51 players to their reserve covid-19 list yesterday, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. among the big names on the list
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are chiefs tight end travis kelce and the chargers' joey bosa. this comes as the nfl moved away from weekly testing of vaccinated players. going forward, the league says they'll only test vaccinated individuals slowing symptoms and random groups each week. since the start of last week, jim, 213 players have reportedly tested positive for the virus, nearly 10% of the league. as we see the leagues make these adjustments for players and staff, for fans, it's remained the same. we have packed stadiums and arenas across the country. >> no question. it's interesting to see them tweak their rules there. it will be interesting if other sports leagues and organizations follow their lead. thanks so much. a very good tuesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. this morning dr. anthony fauci is telling us to focus on hospitalizations, not so much new infections, as omicron
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becomes the dominant variant of coronavirus in this country. that is because we still don't have complete data on the severity of cases here in the u.s. what we do know is getting vaccinated and boosted still a very strong defense against severe illness and death. right now the cdc says omicron accounts for more than 73% of new infections. look how quickly that happened. all that orange there, that was delta. just in the last couple weeks, the purple of omicron rising from a fraction to now three-quarters of cases. the cdc predicts we will see more overall cases than we have in previous peaks. overnight, texas confirmed the first death from omicron here in the u.s. a man we should note was unvaccinated, also had underlying health issues, also previously had covid-19, died after contracting omicron. in new york city, mayor bill de blasio says the city is testing more people than ever at any point in the pandemic, but


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