tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 1, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PST
on-demand glucose monitoring. because they're always on. another life-changing technology from abbott. so you don't wait for life. you live it. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. thank you for joining me this hour. there's a lot going on we're tracking this hour. president-elect joe biden is about to formally announce keep members of his economic team. a team tasked with tackling a historic economic crisis brought on by the pandemic that forced millions of americans to lose their jobs, struggle to put food on their tables and lose their homes. we're also watching the cdc set to hold a critical meeting this afternoon in determining who
will be first in line to get the coronavirus vaccine this as vaccines from pfizer and moderna await emergency use authorization from the fda this could happen in weeks. but the timetable apparently still isn't fast enough for president trump. fda chief dr. stephen hahn was summoned to the white house to meet with chief of staff mark meadows and sources tell cnn that the president is demanding to know why pfizer hasn't been given the green light for the vaccine. we'll have more on that in a second. first, let's get to the latest troubling sign of how the surge of the virus right now is only getting worse, not better. hospitals being pushed to the brink as the number of americans requiring hospital care because of covid continues to shatter records, now on a daily basis.
cnn's stephanie elam is live in los angeles. she's tracking the latest from there. the numbers where you are worse every day. how are hospitals coping? >> reporter: we're looking at these numbers rising here, kate, as we're looking at the hospitalizations coming close to record numbers in california. if you look at the country overall, 34 states and puerto rico all had at least one record day for hospitalizations in november according to johns hopkins university and that bodes for a dark winter ahead for the united states. the coronavirus pandemic not abating. at least 43 states are over the crucial 5% test positivity threshold. more than 96,000 americans hospitalized with the coronavirus, another high for the country. >> we have to do everything we can during this very serious time when our hospitals are really being hit to slow down the transmission. >> reporter: governor mike dewine said more than 5,000
people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in ohio. the most for the state throughout the entire pandemic. >> our numbers have just risen so quickly and so drastically. we're seeing healthy individuals come in and they just -- they decline so quickly. >> reporter: this field hospital in rhode island is starting to receive patients after hospitals in the state surpassed their capacity. >> we're expecting to be taking care of a lot of folks here. we didn't have to be here knowing had we as a population come together and all stayed safe and distance and stayed home and masks we could have avoided this. >> reporter: in california, the recent surge of new cases forcing los angeles county last weekend to implement another stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents. the governor warning new restrictions could be coming as the state predicts some hospitals could be near capacity by christmas without interventi intervention. >> people want to be done with
it but it doesn't take a break because we're tired of it. we need to recalibrate for a short period of time what we do to keep the transmission down. >> reporter: as experts warn thanksgiving travel and gatherings will cause a worsening surge in weeks the cdc advisory committee expecting to make recommendations later today on who will receive the vaccines first when they're available. >> what's important to note is the number of doses, the amount of vaccine we have is still limited in comparison to the needs. so it's going to take a while for all americans who need it on a priority level to get it. >> reporter: drug makers pfizer and moderna have submitted their vaccines to the fda for emergency use authorization. the fda will consider pfizer's vaccine on december 10th and moderna's one week later on december 17th. dr. anthony fauci urging americans to get a vaccine. >> if you want to be part of the solution, get vaccinated.
>> reporter: it's really worth noting here in los angeles county how quickly things can change. right now, according to the los angeles county health department the test positive rate 9.4% yesterday of that data they revealed to us. a month ago it was 3.7%. this is why we are in a stay-at-home order here in los angeles county and why other counties within california could see a similar move made there as well. kate? >> stephanie, thank you very much. to the white house and the president's pressure campaign on fda to authorize pfizer's vaccine. let's get to john harwood at the white house tracking all this. stephen hahn called over to meet with the president's chief of staff. what is going on here? what's going on behind the scenes? >> reporter: what's going on, kate, is an effort to satisfy or respond to the president's child like impatience with the normal
process of approval of this vaccine. remember, president trump has been hectoring the drug companies after they announced their positive results for not having done so until after the election when he was defeated by joe biden. that was, of course, according to scientific protocol, they were following the phase 3 trials when they got the data, they reported it. that set in motion the process of approving the emergency use authorization, which is something that will take place probably next week, on december 10th, when the fda meets. but the president is demanding why hasn't that happened already? of course, that's not a decision that the fda commissioner makes individually. it's career scientists at the fda, in consultation with outside advisers that they talk to. the president isn't satisfied with that so mark meadows, the
white house chief of staff, called in stephen hahn. hahn wanted to have the meeting by phone but meadows insisted it be in person. don't know what transpired at the meeting whether the president joined it and added more pressure but that's what's going on. >> when confidence in the vaccine is paramount, calling someone over, the head of the fda, to pressure them about this, that doesn't help. thank you very much. joining me for more on this is ruth karen. she's previously served on the cdc advisory panel that we talked about that is meeting today. your expertise is so important right now. on the meeting that will be happening today, what are you expecting to come from -- look, it is now a highly anticipated cdc advisory board meeting today. everyone is waiting to see what could come out. what do you think will? >> so good morning, kate.
and good to be with you. i think that today we will be hearing clearly from the cdc what the prioritization is. what their recommendations are for priority groups to receive covid-19 vaccines. as we've all heard we hope that eventually everyone will get vaccinated but initially there won't be enough vaccine for everybody. so it's important for us to think through and be clear and transparent about how we prioritize and move through our population offering vaccines. >> absolutely. we also just heard from the head of operation warp speed saying clearly that, as you well know, the need far outpaces the initial supply of the vaccine, even amongst the high risk group, the priority group that we've been talking and hearing so much about from front line workers to 65 and older to people with preexisting -- with
co-morbidities and so on. how does the advisory panel balance these demands? >> well, what i would say, so a number of people have weighed in on these demands. the national academy of medicine put out their own guidance earlier this year. and the advisory committee on immunization practices, acip, very clearly uses an ethics framework to look at risks and benefits. in allocating what initially will be a small supply of vaccine that will grow every month. >> what about even more simple questions that i know folks have. like, will americans have a choice which vaccine they eventually take? is there a group of americans that should not get the vaccine? what about simple questions -- i don't know if they're simple
questions, i guess there isn't one when it comes to vaccine distribution. do you expect that to come out from the panel today as well? >> i don't expect to hear that information specifically from the panel. we have two vaccines, as you know, that are going to the fda in very short order. the pfizer vaccine will be discussed by the fda on december 10th. the moderna vaccine will be discussed on december 17th. the data that we have -- we will see much more data during those two meetings, which are live streamed and open to the public. there are not data that i'm aware of that suggests different benefit for different populations. so far the benefit actually seems to be spectacular across the board and it's important to emphasize for both of those vaccines, not only 94 to 95% efficacy against all covid-19
disease, but 100% efficacy against severe disease, which is really a remarkable achievement. so i don't anticipate that there will be, given the two vaccines that we have now, any sort of preferential recommendation. there are other vaccines in the pipeline still being evaluated. whether we have preferential recommendations down the road for those vaccines remains to be seen. >> doctor, i want to get your reaction because a big part of the process from now and going forward is building trust amongst the public to -- surrounding the vaccine. when you hear the reporting we have as john harwood was talking about that the fda commissioner was summoned to the white house to meet with the president's chief of staff because the president has been demanding to know why the fda hasn't already granted emergency use approval
for the pfizer vaccine, when you hear that, as someone who has a lot of experience in the vaccine approval process, what's your reaction to this? >> well, my reaction is that i absolutely trust in the judgment of the fda career scientists and of the independent advisory panel in making eua determinations. i'd like to say that building public trust doesn't come once you have a vaccine out in the community. it starts at the very beginning. and i any that the fda vaccine groups should be congratulated on their rigor and transparency how they pursued it. they put out guidance in general about vaccines, they came out with guidance this fall, specifically around euas and
vaccines that were absolutely, as i said, rigorous and transparent, and their processes are transparent. it's not required that they include the advisory committee in their deliberations. but they are, and in doing so, the deliberations are public. and i think you can't have trust, particularly in these times without that kind of deliberate transparent, process. >> dr. karron thank you. >> you're welcome. coming up, what does joe biden's picks for his economic team tell you about how he's going to try to rescue the battered economy. one doctor's warning. we are watching a system break in front of us and we're helpless to stop it. we'll take you to nebraska.
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soon president-elect joe biden will be introducing his team picked to confront the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. so far he has named three women who would make history if confirmed by the senate, janet yellen and neera tanden and cecelia rouse. both neera and cecelia, both of whom would be the first women of color in high profile roles in confirmed. but what do the hires say about biden's focus for the economy coming in. joining me is cnn's global economic analyst and columnist and editor for the financial times along with abby phillips. you just wrote about this, rona
saying janet yellen is a home run. why is that? >> she hits to all fields. she's a labor economists. someone who thought about unemployment and working people for her entire career. many of her policies have been about trying to get to full employment. she's willing to run the economy, traditionally a little hot to do that. as fed chair she kept rates low but that said she's also concerned about debt. she's voiced concern about longer term fiscal positions in the u.s. i think that appeals to progressives that want someone focused on employment and also more moderate democrats and conservatives worried about debt. >> i smile someone concerned about debt, she's the only person in washington that would be concerned about debt at this point after what we've seen. let's be honest. abby, when you look at the backgrounds and bios of biden's top picks here, you see long-time champions of organized
labor, workers' rights and unemployment and full employment. some things that are very clearly in contrast, in terms of background and biography from president trump's economic team. what do you think that means for the biden economic agenda, what policies they're going to be pushing and promoting early on? >> one of the big things i know they are focused on is the income inequality that has been accelerating in this country and made worse by the pandemic. and the reality is, that not only is the country in a terrible situation in terms of unemployment, but there is this incredible divide that we see every day when we look at those food lines and see thousands of americans lining up to go to food pantries and then you see the wealthyiest people getting richer and the biden campaign is focused on that, believing that tackling that issue is a short term and long term priority for them, it is a messaging issue,
in terms of their ability to message to working class voters and a practical issue because this is a consumer economy by and large and if americans don't have money to spend on things, the economy can't get back up and running. so i do see kind of a pivot to that kind of focus. and in some ways, that's something that actually can have a lot of appeal to both sides of the democratic party. we've talked a lot about maybe appealing on the republican side, but biden also has to deal with progressives and the bernie sanders wing of the democratic party and they are very focused on issues of inquestiequality, of labor and working class americans. i think by biden signaling to those people he's focused on that too it will help him as he moves some of the people along and gets the backing in the house for some of his economic pol policies as well. >> good point. one of the challenges the country is facing right now, and
the biden team is up against right is just congress. let's not call it a stimulus package anymore. it's relief and aid, which is what the country needs. you talk to small businesses, people standing in those food lines, this is relief that they need, they're begging for from congress. they all say, both of you can answer this. that congress needs to do something to help the country get back on its feet, help people stay in their homes, extend unemployment benefits but they cannot get to yes, would you venture to guess if they ever will? >> it's a great question. i think some of the candidates we're seeing on biden economic team are meant to be the sort of people that can reach across the aisle. mitch mcconnell is doing a lot to poison the waters here, but there are a certain number of republicans, i would put marco rubio, rob portman, josh holly in the game we're going to need
stimulus not just relief now but a longer term plan to have more resiliency in the economy. i think there is still a possibility you could get a bigger package but the good news is the treasury secretary as chairman of the financial stability oversight council still has a lot of levers to pull to reconnect main street and wall street. i think you'll see janet yellen, if she's concerned as well as others on the team, i think you're going to see those folks coming in and thinking about ways to curb wall street. thinking about ways that, okay, if we are going to have to keep interest rates low, if we have to run the economy, how can we make sure that we don't brew up these enormous financial bubbles in -- while we're trying to keep people employed. so i think that will be something that can happen. >> first and foremost it's past
the point of disappointment in congress, both republicans and democrats, they can both hit me on it if they want, but it's both sides. still ahead, florida is about to become the third state to hit 1 million coronavirus infections. what's happening there? we'll take you there to find out. and eligible transfer credits. because your experience matters. see how much you can save on your degree at phoenix.edu.
when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, help is on the way. pfizer and moderna filing for emergency use authorization for their vaccines. and it could come in a matter of weeks. but here is the other side of reality right now. 96,000 that is the number that should hit you like a ton of bricks. it's not the number of people who have covid but are asymptomatic. it's not the number of people who have the sniffles. it is the number of people who are so sick with covid in america they need hospital care. so sick with covid they can't recover at home. that is a number that isn't up for interpretation. that is cold, hard data that should hit home and hit hard. it's a number that is straining hospitals, doctors, and nurses nationwide. and it could collapse the system
if people don't change behavior and just continue to give in to covid fatigue. help is on the way. but it is not here. until it is here. cnn's rosa flores is at a testing site in miami beach, florida with the reality of today. it was one of the hot spots during the beginning of the pandemic and the virus is surging there once again. >> reporter: you know, kate, it is. let me show you around. like you said, i'm in miami beach, this is a testing site. and the line is bumper to bumper and curls around the block. this as the state of florida is about to surpass the 1 million confirmed covid-19 case mark. that is a grim reality here in the state of florida. now about 20% of those cases happened just in the month of november. so if you take a look at the numbers, you can clearly see there was a surge in the summer, a dip in the numbers and then a resurgence.
that's exactly where we are right now. when you see an increase in cases you also usually see an increase in hospitalizations and that is what we're seeing. hospitalizations across the state have increased 28% in the past two weeks with more than 410 people hospitalized in florida. nearly 20% are here in miami-dade county where i am. where hospitalizations have increased by 37% in the past two weeks, icus by 35% and ventilator use by 46%. now governor ron desantis had a press conference yesterday for the first time in 26 days and the governor doubling down saying he is not requiring masks to be worn in his state. kate, he pointed to states in the midwest and saying that masks do not work. and we, of course, know the contrary from experts. kate. >> i'm stunned into silence that he would say that right now. rosa thank you very much for
continuing your great reporting on the ground in florida. with hospitals straining under the weight of the pandemic, the government's congressional watchdog agency is issuing a new report. the medical supply shortages that plagued the response to covid early on, they still remain persistent. the gao reporting one third of states are greatly concerned about having enough vaccine related supplies to administer a covid-19 vaccine when they get it. that's despite efforts by federal agencies to expand supply chains. what does this mean? joining me now is an infectious disease and critical care physician at the university of nebraska medical center. thank you for being here. i was struck, doctor, what you said to the atlantic a couple weeks back when you said we're watching a system breaking in front of us and we're helpless to stop it. what are you seeing in your hospital and beyond right now?
what do you mean by that? >> in our hospital, at the time of the article and what we're seeing across the midwest is our health care system breaking both with the number of patients coming into the hospital, our ability to have enough health care staff to take care of those patients and as you mentioned, the supply line to ensure you have adequate protective equipment, adequate resources for testing, all of those things as we see the surges in the midwest and in different hot spots throughout the country comeback into play and will we have the capacity to truly take care of these patients. and the reality is we're seeing numbers that suggest we will not be able to do that. and people will die who otherwise should not have had to die in the pandemic. >> doctor, when you look at the numbers, what is -- what's the breaking point that you're seeing when you're looking at the system collapsing? in what are you watching for, where are the cracks that you
see, where you're seeing this already start to give? >> i think the biggest crack that we're seeing right now is really in our health care workers. we are seeing areas like north dakota where they are stretched beyond the capacity for their health care workers to staff patient beds and have even talked about bringing in covid positive health care workers to take care of covid positive patients because they can't maintain that safe environment without bringing those staff back. here at our institution we have really pushed up against our bed capacity. we've added additional teams to take care of covid patients. we're already stretching our staff to take care of more patients, to do more medical care than we would do routinely. and human resources are limited. there's only so much we can stretch to do. >> yeah, you will run out of hands to actually save lives at some point. that's something that people
don't seem to grasp. i think it's worth noting. your hospital, the university of nebraska medical center, is a world class medical facility you're uniquely qualified to handle diseases like covid, large capacities. you have systems, you guys are top notch yet you're still, as you're noting, your medical system is being stretched thin by this disease. what does that tell you? >> we are absolutely prepared to take care of highly contagious diseases and we have been preparing for something like this to a point. but when you have to stop surgical procedures that are elective to open more beds when you have to stretch your physician teams and your nursing teams and our respiratory therapy teams so far that we are starting to have that capacity to see a degre designation of standard of care, and even as much as you can prepare, you can't replace people when you
get overrun with a number of patients that's just not sustainable for that level of care. despite the preparation, the expertise and skills, we are so fortunate to have here and we have worked to maintain, we can only handle so much of a surge. the system is only made with so much capacity. >> that's right. 96,000. that is a number that i'm sure keeps the doctor up at night, as well as so many physicians around the country who are trying their best and everyone should take note. thank you of your warnings. thank you doctor. coming up for us, the pandemic has killed more than 268,000 americans. one nurse out of oklahoma, she lost her mother and her husband to the virus, three days apart. today, she has a message. she joins us next. i felt like... ...i was just fighting an uphill battle in my career. so when i heard about the applied digital skills courses, i'm thinking i can become more marketable.
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but these are not just numbers. as we've all said so many times, every number that we talk about is a husband or wife, mother, father, daughter, or son. and one icu nurse knows this too well. she not only treated covid patients she is now grieving the loss of her husband and her mother. her mother lynda died from covid on november 20th. three days later her husband, dennis, passed away from the virus as well. joining me now is luzane and her son, braydon. thank you both so much. we were talking in the break but our hearts break. how are you doing? >> it's just so wrong. sometimes i'm grieving for my husband and then i realize my mom is gone and i'm grieving for my mom. i just think how -- i have to
tell dennis but then i think dennis is gone. they're both gone. it's my son and i, my older son. i feel like we're both drowning but as we go down we're trying to push the other one back up to take a breath. it didn't have to be this way. it didn't have to be this way. our family didn't have to go through this. everybody talks about it's 0.1%, it's 40% of my family is gone. >> it's -- and a reminder to everyone. this is -- you guys are in the thro tloes of his, your husband, your dad braydon just died a couple weeks ago, and you were sick with covid as well. you've recovered and now you -- and now what you and your mother are dealing with collectively and what your -- just what you're going through.
how do you describe what the last few weeks have been like for you? >> kind of like we're broken. but we're continuing to break. my -- when i was diagnosed it was from running in to try to help my father whenever he called hauled away in the ambulance. and at that time when i got that positive result, that took away her support system. they were both in the hospital, and i couldn't come help my mom because i couldn't get her sick. luckily i recovered well. but we weren't able to be together because of covid, and she was alone and grieving while they were both just gone. >> gone. you shared some photos with us that you took -- that were taken
in the hospital that you wanted to share with us. that you took of you and dennis before he passed. your private moments together. can you tell us about those final moments? what you were able to say to him? anything you'd like to share with us about those moments? >> you know, even one person, my husband was working up until this happened. he had a push up contest with our son and he won, and braydon said, oh are you done? i can keep going. he was -- >> full of life. >> -- full of life. they don't let you in there. i'm an icu nurse, i would call but i didn't want to bother them. i finally got in there, i was going to let him go because of so many discussions. i got in there, he was laying on
his stomach, bipap going 100%. his chest had shifted. this isn't fair. i told my mom that he was fine when she passed and then i leaned down to him and i said, baby, i'm here. i said, you remember our talks and he said, uh-huh. i said, are you ready to be at peace? he said, uh-huh. and i said, okay. i said, mom's fine she's back at the house. she's going to stay with me because i knew he would keep fighting if i told him my mom had died. so i started giving him morphine and at van and i turned him over and rubbed his back and i said, i love you. he said i love you. i said you're going to go now. okay. you can finally be at peace. and he took his last breath about 30 minutes later. and i bathed him and cut his hair and put clothes on him.
and then i left him. there's nothing else. i couldn't save either one of them if people don't wear masks, they don't want to wear a mask. we finished putting him through law school and i have a 2,500 square foot house with a mother-in-law suite and everything he wanted, i'm alone. i have three dogs, four cars, two households and i just -- i just got -- you know, wear a mask. this got brought into our home, my mom never left the house, my husband was so careful. stop being selfish. that's all. >> stop being selfish. i know you wanted to come on and you really want to -- in your grief which is remarkable how crushing it is. you really have a message you
want to make sure you get out, you know this from both perspectives of the grief you're facing and also as a medical professional yourself. what do you want to make sure that people are left with that people know about what your family has gone through, and what you'd like them to take from this? >> well, you know, in march, i knew it was going to get bad, i saw new york and some other countries. i went upstairs to my husband and i said, hey, you know, i want to talk to you. he's like, yeah. i'm like, no, look at me. this is going to get bad. this is going to get so bad. i told our friends and our families, i said one of us could die and i need you to hear that and i need you to wear your mask and i need you to hand sanitize. and so he did. for eight and a half months. and so you have people that are going everything right and we
didn't get to hug my mom and we didn't go anywhere. and we still lost them. it doesn't matter how strong you are. people are like, dennis is so strong he's going to make it. that puts all the pressure on him, like if he was a little stronger he could have made it. >> it happens no matter what. the virus keeps winning. >> do you not think i want a memorial service? i can't think of memorial services. if we had active leadership, and the lack of accountability from our governor to the president, nobody cares. so you have to care. >> i know this comes -- no words come of any comfort, especially coming through a tv screen, but please know we do and we hear you, and thank you.
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bring a lot of people through to be vaccinated. the way it works, first of all people come into this room where they're first of all going to talk to a doctor, to see if there are prior medical conditions. then they'll go through one of these four rooms. this is where people will get the actual vaccine jab. you can see there are four rooms because there might be a person taking off his or her shirt, another may be putting stuff back on, so they can get more people through the vaccination rooms. germans say they can vaccinate 1,000 every day. >> a thousand people every day. fred pleitgen from germany. thank you very much for that. up next for us, joe biden is moments away from introducing his senior economic team. live in delaware for the announcement. we're back. ♪ irresistibly smooth chocolate.
hello to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am dana bash in washington. it is december 1st. we just finished the worst pandemic month so far. and november saw the u.s. grow its case count by more than 4.4 million. 47 states failed to push down the coronavirus curves, and this hour the biden transition team will hold a big event to debut its economic team. they face a desperate task of guiding america out of the deep pandemic recession. how lo w
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