tv The Electoral College Vote CNN Special Coverage CNN December 14, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
states, bill barr, is leaving the administration on december 23rd. president trump tweeted out barr's resignation letter which notes the two discussed allegations of voter fraud today over at the white house. barr, who has been a trump loyalist, notably disputed trump's claims of widespread election fraud earlier this month. president trump's tweet announcing the news came just minutes after president-elect biden's win was officially formally confirmed by the u.s. electoral college, another step in confirming president-elect biden will soon become president joe biden, and donald trump will become former president donald trump. also today, a major step in the fight against the coronavirus. vaccinations are happening now in the united states. we're following all of these developments right now. let's go to jake for more. jake? >> thanks, wolf. let's go right to cnn chief correspondent jim acosta. jim, president trump was probably trying to change the subject from joe biden's
electoral college win. so, let us humor him for a couple of minutes, because he did actually make some news. what have you got? >> reporter: yes, he is still the president, jake. you're right, this announcement came minutes after california put joe biden over the top. but, yes, we're hearing in just the last several minutes from a white house official, jake, that attorney general william barr was not fired by this president, he was not pushed out by this president, according to the official -- i talked to an official just about this a few minutes ago. this official said it was an amicable meeting, that attorney general william barr had with president trump in the oefbl office earlier this afternoon. the other thing we should point out, and we just spotted this video from our fence cam, as you know the term shall jake, a short while ago at 3:55 p.m. we could see attorney general william barr leaving the west wing, getting into a car on west executive drive just outside the west wing, and he gave the governor of texas, greg abbott,
a fist bump as he was departing the west wing. the governor of texas, greg abbott, is also here this afternoon. the president is having meetings. he is still, as we've been talking about throughout the day, trying to figure out a way to overturn the results of this election, but no question about it, this president trying to seize the limelight from joe biden, i think to some extent, in announcing this departure of william barr. now, when i talked to this white house official about all of this a short time ago, this official noted, yes, president trump has been frustrated with the attorney general in recent weeks. we know that bill barr has openly contradicted the president when it comes to these claims that mr. trump has made about widespread voter fraud, resulting in him being cheated out of a second term. that frustration has been building and there may have been conversations about bill barr being fired by this president. we understand talking from multiple sources that those conversations have been going on. the president has talked about
th this, sounded this idea out with advisers in recent weeks. the official i spoke with a short time ago said no, this was not a firing of bill barr. they're trying to draw a line of delineation between the departure of this cabinet secretary and other cabinet secretaries we've seen like mark esper who was, essentially, forced out when the president lost this election. and so, yes, no question about it, jake. this is a big move the president is seeing take place while he's spending these last few weeks in office, but they're trying to make the case over here, jake, because we've seen this so many times before that in this instance, bill barr was not fired by the president. jake? >> jim acosta, thanks so much. wolf? >> let's not forget one thing. the attorney general of the united states not only said that the justice department investigated these allegations of widespread fraud and found no evidence of widespread fraud but the department of homeland
security, he said, investigated the fbi investigated and they, too, found no evidence of widespread fraud. this is a major moment we're watching all of this breaking news unfolding within minutes. >> clearly the president is trying to change the subject. so, let's actually not. let's go back to the other big story, which is the new president, president-elect biden, getting now enough electoral votes. the electors have voted. david axlerod, we expect to hear from president-elect biden tonight, talking about turning a page, saying essentially this was a test of democracy and democracy prevailed. how important do you think it is for him to increasingly try to take the attention sort of away from the current president and transition to, you know, him being the president? >> yeah, yeah. no, look, part of his mission is
to try and normalize things again, and get back to regular order, as they say in washington, to stand up for these institutions. i think he will probably and should celebrate the fact that against maximum pressure the institutions helped in this case, and that is a tribute to, you know, hundreds of years of histo history. i will say this. he owes one debt of gratitude to donald trump because no one has ever given as many victory speeches as joe biden. he just keeps getting another opportunity. and this is one. but it's an important one. i mean, it is remarkable that we are -- that the electoral college became an event when it was proforma until this moment. but because of -- for the reasons that it became an event, it's important that he stand up
and mark this occasion and tell us we shouldn't take this for granted and then talk about the future. >> and, gloria, you pointed this out before, gloria. the fact that, yes, it became an event. on the flip side of that, they actually became targets and security concerns and police escorts to and from vehicles. it's kind of stunning that this is now the situation we are living in. it's not as if this is threats coming from some terrorist group overseas. this is stuff generated in the united states and frankly encouraged by and allowed by the president. certainly not condemned wholeheartedly by the president. >> and yet under threat, they performed. they did their jobs. they became, in a way, the first responders of the election. they did what they were supposed to do. and they did it well. and some of them had to meet secretly, as we know, because
their lives were threatened. and so we have to applaud these people. what the president is trying to do now -- we have the barr resignation. it's a side show. donald trump is a side show now. the main stage is the president-elect. the main stage is the future. yes, donald trump has 40-odd days left, maybe less than that, but the president is on center stage and president-elect is on center stage, and that's what the country needs to start paying attention to, because if donald trump doesn't know how to leave the stage, that's fine. we all get that. he's not going to concede, whatever. he may not know how to leave the stage, but he has to, and the country is moving on without him. and try as he might to get back in the center, he's not going to be there. and he has to kind of recognize it. so he tried today. it's not going to work. >> van, what do you expect from
vice president biden tonight, president-elect biden tonight? >> i expect a boring speech. and i'm so happy. boring is the new thrilling. boring is great. he's just going to talk about america and how much he loves america and how much he wants everybody to get along. he's going to sound like a kindergarten teacher and that's what we need. that's going to be classic, joe biden stuff. he keeps getting opportunities to do more and more victory laps and they're victory laps for democracy, which i love. what was so cool all day long was all these regular folks that looked like folks from the pta, up there doing the work of democracy, and having all the power put in their hands to then raise their hand and push the process forward. i thought that was great. and then to end the day with, you know, somebody like joe biden, who loves this process
talking, i think, is going to be great. and it's just going to be just boring. it's going to be just normal. it's just going to be awesome. >> rick, in turn, what happens on capitol hill now, moving forward? obviously there's still a fight over aid to people and businesses, stimulus response and, obviously, the ongoing issues over president and whether or not -- what other shoe there is to fall. >> well, i mean, trying to get some sort of relief package passed, that's something that everybody is focused on between now and christmas. i think there's actually a sense of -- a lot of sense of relief on capitol hill because of the vaccine. i think if i were the president, you know, this actually -- as odd as it's been, it's been a great couple of weeks for this
president and what he did with operation warp speed, the team he put together and what they were able to accomplish. it's quite remarkable. and contrary to what the fact checkers said, that there's no way the vaccine will be delivered before the end of the year, the president delivered that. the irony is that he could be going out on a high note because he delivered things that he said he was going to do and maybe in a way that other presidents couldn't have done. republicans are saying let's get this. we have good news on the horizon that maybe this pandemic will start to get curbed as a result of this vaccine and we can get back to normal and being a party that stands for the principles that we care about. >> i know you weren't there at the end, but how long does it take to get movers to the white house? when do you actually have to book the movers?
at some point doesn't that have to get under way? >> maybe they're delivering vaccine. i don't know. no, look, i think that these arrangements, i'm sure, are being made. there was some suggestion that the president wouldn't come back after the holiday. so no one knows quite what his plans are. part of his plan may be a bunch of pardons, which could be one of the reasons that barr decided this was a good time to get off the train. i just want to say one thing. we should talk about people like the speaker of the house in michigan, who said today that he could not take the steps that the president wanted him to take relative to the legislature because he said, i fear we would lose our country forever. i fought hard for president trump. nobody wanted him to win more than me. i think he has done an incredible job, but i love our republic, too.
i can't fathom risking our norms, institutions to pass a resolution retroactively changing electors for trump simply because some think there may have been some widespread fraud, to give him the win. we should note that there are people like this. you know, when the president attacks the governor of georgia, when he attacks the governor of arizona, these are people who campaigned vigorously for him. they would have liked nothing better than to deliver a win for trump, but they also had a responsibility, and they saw their responsibility through. and now they are in hot water. he is threatening, hinting menacing primary challenges. so, i think those people who did stand up deserve to be held up to -- people say they were just doing their jobs. but they were doing their jobs under tremendous pressure. >> yeah. let's go back to wolf. >> thanks very much. i want to go back to our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta. you're speaking to sources. >> yeah. >> getting a new sense as to how
the president is reacting to this historic moment, the all-important electoral college voting ziesively that biden will become the president of the united states on january 20th. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. not a huge shocker. i talked to a source close to the white house, someone who speaks regularly with the president who said no, the president is not moving in the direction of accepting that joe biden will be the next president, despite the electoral college putting biden over the top today. i did talk to a separate white house adviser who said, listen, the president privately acknowledges that he is is not going to have a second consecutive term as president, that he lost this election to joe biden, even though he's out there, publicly claiming that he was cheated out of a second term and fund-raising and siphoning money. that duality is going to continue to exist. in addition to that, wolf. i should note this adviser also scoffed at the notion and we heard this he cechoed earlier t
by the domestic policy adviser to the president, stephen miller, that the president and his team would somehow -- republicans would somehow send a, quote, alternate slate of electors to the house of representatives to be counted on january 6th. this adviser said, quote, unquote, whatever, to that idea. and so there are people inside the president's team of allies and advisers who are really scoffing at these ideas that are still floating around in trump world that somehow the president has a way of overturning these election results after they go to the house of representatives on january 6th to be tallied up. the other thing i should note, this adviser went on to say -- this gets to the notion of the president not accepting the reality of the situation. this adviser said no, donald trump is not expected to be at joe biden's inauguration. you should not bet on president trump, outgoing president trump attending the inauguration of incoming president joe biden, wolf. this is not really hugely surprising here. we've known this for some time.
the president is acting like a sore loser. he can't accept that he lost this election to joe biden and he's still behaving that way both publicly and privately. >> the worst thing, he has always been told his whole life, going back to his dad, always told him the worst thing you can be is a loser. clearly right now he's a loser. he lost this election. biden won the election. 37 days from now biden becomes president, trump, as i said, will become former truch of the united states and trump right now can't acknowledge, can't admit he lost this election. jim acosta, we know you're working your sources. we'll get back to you for more. >> more reaction from republicans as the electoral college confirms president-elect biden's victory.
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welcome back to our special live coverage. a short time ago the electoral college confirmed joe biden's win as president trump refuses to accept the democratic process and reality frankly. manu raju, has the electoral college vote moved any more republicans to acknowledge reality and joe biden as president elect? >> reporter: some are. i just spoke with senator lin lindsey graham, one of the president's closest allies, someone who has fought alongside the president since election day, even as the results were clear that biden has won.
he just said to me, quote, there's a very, very narrow path for the president. i don't see how he gets it from here. he also revealed to me for the first time that he, in fact, has already spoken with joe biden. he said it happened a little while ago, after the election. he said they had a very pleasant conversation. he's already talking about some of joe biden's nominees that they would consider in the new congress. he has refused to do that so far as he has battled with the president alongside him to fight these election results. he spoke positively about president trump's nominee for defense secretary lloyd austin and tony blanken, the president-elect's nominee for secretary of state. other top republicans are also sounding open, acknowledging reality as well, like jon thune, the number two republican. roy blunt also told me yes, joe biden is the president-elect. by and large, jake acres lot of republican senators are still refusing to acknowledge the reality of the situation here, will not comment one way or another. steve danes of montana told me
moments ago that he wouldn't go there. he said i'm not going to talk about that until january, when the house and senate meet in a joint session of congress to consider the electoral results. other republican senators like john kennedy of louisiana said i don't have a comment for you when asked if joe biden is president-elect and marcia blackburn, josh hawley also would not say if joe biden is president-elect. it all speaks to how this party is aligning itself, by and large, with president trump, even though they see the reality here, most republican senators are not speaking out yet, including the senator majority there, mitch mcconnell, who was asked today as he was entering the senate whether or not he would acknowledge that joe biden, in fact, won this election. he didn't say anything. for weeks, he has not said anything, simply saying this process will play out. so, slow to acknowledge reality, jake. some are beginning to do that, but at the moment republicans are saying that this race may be over, but some are not calling
on the president to concede and some are not going as far as saying that joe biden did win. jake? >> it's just a continued affront to the more than 80 million americans who voted for the president-elect. it's frankly embarrassing. manu raju, thank you so much. joined by republican governor larry hogan. governor hogan, you have long acknowledged the reality of what happened on election day. we just heard that several of your fellow republicans on capitol hill continue to deny this reality. is anything going to change after the electoral college? will we see senate majority leader mitch mcconnell at least acknowledge that this is over, according to the electoral college? >> well, i would sure hope so, jake. i mean, it's just getting ridiculous at this point. i would agree with you that it's somewhat of an embarrassment for the party. look, this election is over. and i know that the president
had every opportunity to provide some kind of evidence of widespread voter fraud. we haven't seen any. all the court cases are done. the supreme court refused to hear the case because there wasn't any factual evidence. and now the states all across america, the electoral college has voted. i signed the ascertainments of the vote here in our state and we're forwarding them, you know, to the president of the senate. the vice president, who will have to read these across -- before a joint session of congress on january 6th. there is no there there. and, you know, we have to start moving forward and recognize the fact that whether you like it or not, you know, no man is above the law, not even the president of the united states. and, you know, we count the votes. the election is over. >> is that your message to your fellow republicans on capitol hill, who continue to deny this reality? >> well, i've been saying this since right after the election. i think i was the first
republican in america, first elected republican to come out and recognize the fact that, you know, joe biden was the president-elect. you would think at this point -- i understand at the beginning maybe some people had some concerns about some of the allegations, but now we're several steps down the road and, you know, they're out of runway. this is -- we just have to acknowledge, this is embarrassing us. it's an affront to our democratic process and is dimmin issuing the presidency. i think it's bad for our party, bad for the country and weakens our position in the world. >> and you heard congressman paul mitchell, former republican of michigan, ask the clerk of the house to change his registration today to independent, he's so disgusted with how the republican party in washington is treating president-elect biden and the election results. biden will be speaking from delaware soon. what do you think he needs to say to the country, what do you think he needs to say to your
fellow republicans? >> well, i think so far his message has been one of reaching out and saying he wants to work in a bipartisan way, regardless of whether you voted for him or not. he has reached out to us, leadership and the governor's association, republicans and democrats. and, you know, i think he has to continue to move forward and take the high ground. and i think, you know, we've got to somehow convince republican leaders in congress to recognize reality. and we've got to get more profiles in courage with people willing to at least tell the president the truth and not continue to try to cover for him. >> governor, this is dana bash. you said that you spoke today when maryland was part of the electoral college process. you ascertained the votes there. specifically, you spoke about the importance of the peaceful transition of power in this country. and you said that today say reminder that despite our differences, we are united as
americans who will honor the will of the people through the great sbest moest and most endu process that the world has ever known. what went in to crafting that message that you clearly wanted to send? >> well, you know, our state house, where we ascertain the votes and where the electoral college voted, we were the first peacetime capital of the united states after the revolutionary war. it's where george washington resigned his commission as commander in chief. our very first president. we actually have done this, we're one of six states in the country who have done this 59 times and never have we had a situation like this, where we were not respecting the will of the people. and i just thought that the historical perspective was important. this is a cornerstone of our democratic process, and it's critically important that regardless of whether you're happy with the results or not, you know, at this point it's not about personal affections or party loyalty.
you have to put the country above your personal feelings or above party loyalty. >> and i want to get your reaction to what we learned tonight, which is that president trump's attorney general, william barr, has resigned. >> well, you know, it wasn't a huge surprise. we were actually on a call with vice president pence and all the governors, the coronavirus task force about an hour and a half. i missed a lot of reporting about this before i just heard about it before going on the air with you. it's one more step in a long process of people being fired or resigning because maybe they wouldn't do what the president wanted them to do. i don't have any inside information. i wasn't there. i don't know what exactly transpired, but it's just another indication of the president, you know, purging people who won't do what he wants. >> governor hogan, it's abby philip. you know, we're talking about the electors today, but today is a big day for vaccinations in
this country. you know, your state famously -- my state also famously had some issues with the logistics around ppe early on in this pandemic. i'm wondering as you see these vaccinations going out, are you confident that your state will have what it needs to carry out the vaccinations and for the next step of this process, getting more doses of this vaccine and getting them out to the populations you need to vaccinate? >> well, this is a really exciting day from that standpoint. while all this kind of politics is going on, the realities on the ground are really encouraging. i thanked the vice president today on the call, and the team that was working on operation warp speed. we got our first deliveries of vaccines here in my state of maryland today. we vaccinated our first candidates, which were front line health care workers at the university of maryland medical center, and we've had a lot of negative news and a lot of -- we've been through a lot all of
2020 just about. this is not going to instantly get better but this really is a very positive step. there is a light at the end of the tunnel and i'll take my -- i was first to criticize the administration when i didn't think they were doing a good job early on. this is one success story, and i think it's a great way for them to try to get this done and move forward, and i'm hopeful that we'll continue to have success. so far, it's been very well organized, ahead of schedule, and the logistics seem to be going very well. >> there's the getting of the vaccines, then there's the taking of the vaccines and we know that there are many populations who are hesitant to take any kind of vaccine. what are you planning to do in your state in terms of outreach to populations, black and hispanic and other groups that have vaccine hesitancy and may not want to get vaccinated? >> well, we started with our first step on that today, and the very first people that were vaccinated at the university of maryland were front line health
care workers of color. so we had both black and latino hospital workers who got the first vaccinations and we worked really hard to get that out to the media, to show and have them talk about the importance and safety of the vaccine. we're going to continue to do that. we'll do some -- lots of community outreach and have people in those communities. i'm going to work together with black caucus and our legislature, who has expressed an interest in working with us on the messaging. we're going to go into all of those communities to try to get role models, to take the vaccine and to show people and talk about. we understand the concerns in certain segments of the population, but it's critically important that we convince people that we need to get vaccinated to stop this virus. >> all right. governor larry hogan, republican of maryland, thank you so much for your time today. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> wolf? >> thank you. >> thanks. there's other major developments unfolding in the battle of coronavirus with
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the very first coronavirus vaccines are also happening in the united states right now. all 50 states have now received doses of the new coronavirus vaccine. cnn's alexandra field is joining us from new york right now. alexandra, you had a chance to speak to one of the first health care workers to be vaccinated in new york city. what did you hear? >> just a handful of hospitals and a number of health care workers are lining up here, wolf. these are the people who have been working the most closely with the men and women who have become the most severely ill as a result of covid overall of these many mountains. they've lined up today, coming in to sit for these appointments. mayor bill diblasio was here, calling it a beautiful moment, a shot of hope. tara easter, icu nurse, was the first woman to roll up her sleeve. for her, it brings some relief.
>> a lot of mixed feelings. i think staff, there's many staff like me that are excited for the opportunity, happy to be able to get it, to protect themselves, protect their families, protect patients that they're taking care of that may not have covid. there's some reluctance, of course. this is very new. but we have so much information here and so many resources for people to be informed, and i think those people that are reluctant will definitely, eventually take the opportunity to have the vaccine. and they'll feel more secure and comfortable moving forward. >> to put scale of this massive operation really into perspective, we are hearing from the city of new york that essentially just a handful of front line workers will have been vaccinated by morning, but by the end of next week, they're expecting that number to jump to the tens of thousands. dozens of hospitals in new york city will be receiving their first doses of the vaccine as
soon as tomorrow. and i'm being told from the city's health commissioner that hospitals are starting slowly, with maybe a few dozen people, because they want to make sure that the procedures and protocols are perfect, then they'll ramp up quickly and, wolf, we can already look ahead, because we're learning that as soon as next week, you could see some doses of the vaccine arriving at nursing homes. >> very important, indeed. an historic moment on this front. alexandra, thank you very much. joining us now, the u.s. surgeon general, dr. jerome adams. dr. adams, thank you so much for joining us. less than a year after this deadly virus emerged, the first americans have now been vaccinated today. you were on hand, i understand, for some of those vaccinations over at the george washington university hospital here in d.c. how historic is this accomplishment? >> well, this is just tremendous. and i'm smiling bigger than i smiled in a long time, because it has been a hard year for so many people out there, including me personally.
my family, the people who i love. and today we really did get a shot of hope. i got to be at george washington medical center and see front line health care workers get vaccinated. we're not talking about development. we're not talking about, again, the approval process. actually vaccines going into arms. we got a long way to go, make no mistake about it. we still need to be appropriately cautious. we still need to be -- still need to understand how severe this virus is and the surge that is still going in the wrong direction, but we've got some hope finally, wolf. and i'm excited. i really am. i hope america is, too. i hope they'll embrace this. i hope they'll go out and get vaccinated when it's available to them. >> i hope so as well. it will save lives. the incredible milestone unfortunately, though, dr. adams, comes as the death toll in the united states surpassed 300,000, 300,000 americans have died from covid since january.
the cdc director says that for the next few months, and this is awful, we'll see more deaths every day than we saw on 9/11 until the vaccines become widely available, what's your message to americans, dr. adams, right now? >> well, i was in montana over the last several days, and i talked to hospitals around the state. they're over capacity in those hospitals. you've got hundreds of health care workers who were either on isolation or quarantine. my message to america is the finish line is is in sight. the last couple of miles are the hardest but we've got to keep running because even if you aren't worried about covid, your loved one who is in labor may not have a hospital bed. your loved one, who is having a heart attack or who gets in a car accident may not have a bed. that's why we need to continue to follow the three w's. wear a mask. wash your hands and watch your distance. that's why it's incredibly important you get your flu shot. and that's why if you have the
ability to give convalescent plasma because you're one of the 10 million people who recovered from covid-19 that we encourage you to give convalescent plasma. these are the things we can do right now. ask your health care provider now if you have questions about the covid-19 vaccine. it's okay to have those questions. it's not okay to let misinformation let you make decisions that will hurt you or your community. >> sadly, though, dr. adams, a lot of things could poe tngsly go wrong in this vaccine rollout. the head of operation warp speed says accidental loss of temperature control. this vaccine requires people to return also for a second dose. what do you see as the biggest potential roadblocks ahead? >> i do think that temperature control is going to be a concern. i think that sheer numbers are going to be a concern. again, when i was in montana, they're trying to get smaller numbers of doses out to remote
areas, for instance, on indian health service facilities. that's a challenge when you have coolers that send out 900 doses at a time. one of the best people in the world on logistics. you have career people who have been doing this their entire lives working to make this a success. there will be bumps in the road. be patient with us. this will be the hardest vaccine distribution in history, but you've got top-notch people working 24/7 to make it successful. >> surgeon general adams, this is jake tapper here. >> hi, jake. >> how are you doing, dr. adams? your colleague, alex azar told me the plan is to use trusted voices to reach out to any american who is skeptical. especially in the african-american community. we now because of the history of racism in medicine, especially the tuskgeehee experiment, there's a lot of skepticism
among black americans over things such as vaccines. how concerned are you about anybody in this country refusing to get vaccinated? what are some of the trusted voices you might be turning to, to help convince people in the black community to trust the vaccine? >> jake, thank you so much for that incredibly important question. nothing has been on my heart more than this issue over the past several weeks to months. i've been working with pfizer, with moderna, with astrazeneca, with johnson & johnson, to make sure we have appropriate numbers of minorities enrolled in these vaccine trials so that people can understand that they are safe. i just want to highlight something. we talk a lot about skepticism. the number of people polled who say they will get this vaccine went from 30% about three, four weeks ago to 60% last week. an abc poll came out today that said it's up to 80%. i think the message is getting out there that there were no safety corners cut, that this
vaccine is actually using a platform that's been around for over a decade and it's going to be the way we end this pandemic. we do need to work with trusted resources. i'm working with the faith community. after i get off this interview, i'm actually going to be talking to african-american fra transits and sororities. we're working celebrity influencers. we'll work with anybody who wants to learn more about the vaccine and use their megaphone to share the appropriate information with people, because vaccine hesitancy is one of the greatest social injustices out there. there are tens of thousands of black and brown people dying every year because they are distrustful of the system. in many cases, rightly so, but also because they're not getting the facts to help restore their trust in the system. we've got so many protections in place now, the office of human resource protections, independent review boards to make sure something like tuskgeehee never happens again. i want people to know i'm going to get the vaccine as soon as i
am able to and told i can get it. >> and, obviously, surgeon general adams, let us know how we can help get that message out as members of the news media. dr. fauci says discussions are under way on when president-elect biden can get vaccinated. i assume you think it's in the national security interest to vaccinate both him and president trump as soon as possible. >> well, i'll let the white house talk about what they're going to do in terms of vaccinations. we want to immunize for impact. broadly, i think it's appropriate for the leaders of the world to be vaccinated from a continuity of operations perspective, but we're focused on getting older people, people in long-term care facilities, .4% of the population but 40% of the deaths, health care workers, african-american anesthesiologist who i saw and met today at gw get vaccinated. if we can do that, we can help protect everyone as we wait for more and more of these doses to
come out. 20 million people vaccinated in december. we'll be up to 50 million by january and 100 million by february. >> before a doctor or nurse or nurse practitioner, whomever, gives a patient this vaccine, what questions should they ask? what risks are there that you want to guard against? >> well, one of the big things that you heard about in the england distribution was two people who had an anaphylactic reaction. now there are recommendations that if you have an anaphylactic reaction previous to a vaccine, you should have a very intense conversation with your health provider about whether r not you should get it. that's why we administer vaccines in medical environments where you can respond. this is perfectly normal. you're going to have, potentially, a sore arm. you might even have a mild fever for a little bit or a little bit of a headache. that means the vaccine is
working, that your body is building antibodies to the virus. that is normal. but ask those questions. ask about how we have been working on the platform for this vaccine for over ten years. i really quickly want people to know this is platform technology. it's christmas season. if you get an x box, you want to change games, you don't throw out the entire game. you change the game you're playing and keep the console. we kept the console and we changed out the piece that made it recognize covid-19. that's how we were able to develop this vks even so quickly. not by cutting any safety or scientific corners whatsoever. >> surgeon general, dr. jerome adams, thank you so much for joining us. thank you for everything you are doing. we are appreciative, very much so. >> thank you. >> we'll have more of this major, major development. all 50 states have doses of the new coronavirus vaccine. we'll assess what's going on with dr. sanjay dpupta whgupta come back.
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i'm proud to be a part of aag. i trust 'em. i think you can too. call now! we're back with our special live coverage. we're following multiple historic stories this evening. president-elect joe biden's win was affirmed by the u.s. electoral college. another major step in the democratic process. but president trump so far unfortunately has refused to accept. minutes after joe biden's win was affirmed by the electoral college president trump announced his attorney general, bill barr, is leaving the administration. earlier this month barr publicly disputed president trump's false claims that there was widespread voter fraud. and history in the fight against the coronavirus right now. it's a day we've all been waiting for with the first
coronavirus vaccines being administered in the united states. doses have now been delivered to all 50 states. it's certainly a much-needed sign of hope. the pandemic has never been worse here in the united states than it is right now. just this afternoon the u.s. surpassed 300,000, 300,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus since january. let's bring our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. so 300,000 deaths. but now there is this vaccine. and there might be a second vaccine approved later this week. the pfizer vaccine approved. but moderna's vaccine could be approved later this week as well, right sanjay? >> yeah. that's right, wolf. the same process that we sort of went through this past week. an advisory committee met this past thursday, you'll remember, wolf. and then they recommended to the fda that the pfizer biontech vaccine be authorized. we're going to see that same sort of cycle this week. so on thursday the fda advisory committee's going to meet. they're going to review the
data. it's been looked at for some time now by these fda data scientists. then we'll probably hear just as we did friday likely, maybe even thursday night, that whether or not the vaccine's been authorized. hear from the cdc. and possibly if it gets authorized see doses of that vaccine go out as well. incidentally, wolf, i spoke to the ceo of pfizer this morning. he said that by the end of the year he anticipates 25 million doses of the pfizer vaccine being available here in the united states. you've often heard the number 40 million doses in total. that's sort of counting on moderna getting authorized and having -- making up that shortfall, wolf. >> do we know, sanjay, i keep getting this question asked, if this is a vaccine like the pellio vaccine, you just need it once or is it like the flu vaccine, you need it let's say every year? >> no, wolf, we really don't know. this gets at the question of the durability of the antibodies and stuff. we've had evidence now that
people who have been naturally infected, they may have sort of a tapering off of their antibodies over time. is that going to happen with the vaccine as well? we just don't know. you have to really learn these things in part with the passage of time. they're going to be doing these studies that are ongoing on these trial participants, studying their antibody levels and seeing if they still have protection. but we don't know. it could be something that is yearly or every couple of years or you need a booster shot from time to time. we will see, wolf. >> the other thing that a lot of people ask me, this first tier, the highest priority of those who will be getting this vaccine, health care workers and folks living in retirement homes, nursing homes, but who comes second after that? >> that is a great question. so you know, it's probably going to differ a little bit state to state. but within that second tier is going to be probably essential workers, people who are at high risk of contracting covid because of their jobs, and also
people over the age of 65. and with some sort of pre-existing conditions. people who are at higher risk. it may vary state to state, wolf, and i think this is in part some of the confusion. you could be in one state and fall within a certain number in terms of your number in line cross the border into another state and if may be different there. partially that's based on how the states are triaging the vaccines in each state based on their needs. >> you heard dr. jerome adams the surgeon general of the united states say that he believes for continuity of government both the current president, president trump, and the president-elect joe biden should both get the shot, both get vaccinated right now. do you agree with that? >> yeah. i do, wolf. i've been thinking about this a lot, and i've talked to some ethicists about this. first of all, they're both over the age of 70. so they would qualify based on their age, at least probably in that second group or one of the higher groups. the other thing is that it's in part a national security issue
to some extent, just like you wanted to try and protect the president as much as you can from covid. unfortunately, he did get covid still. but in order to protect the president and maybe some of the people who are the highest levels of government, getting vaccinated might be a good option. >> what about pregnant women? should they get the shot? >> this is interesting, wolf. here's the bottom line, is that you really -- pregnant women were not really part of the trial. there was 23 women who became pregnant during the trial. so there's a little bit of data there. but they weren't part of the trial. where this seems to have landed is they're not saying pregnant women shouldn't get vaccinated. they're saying they should be educated that they weren't part of the trial but there's no reason to believe that it would be unsafe for them to get vaccinated and it's going to be really a decision between a pregnant woman and herr doctor or their health care provider and the real question is what's your risk? if you're a pregnant woman who's at high risk, lets say you're
working as a respiratory therapist and you're exposed to covid quite a bit, then you may lean on the side of going ahead and getting the vaccine. other people who are very low risk may not just until there's more data available. but it's not contra indicated, meaning they're not going to say you can't have it. >> despite the fact that these vaccines are now being made available dr. fauci suggests you know, what we're going to be wearing masks for quite a while. even if you get the vaccine. what's your assessment? >> yeah, so you know, the way to think about this is i think what does the vaccine really do? what do we know that this vaccine really does? and what we can say is the thing we were studying is it does prevent people from developing symptoms of covid-19. prevents people from getting sick essentially. which is really important obviously. but if the second question is does it also prevent them from becoming infected, carrying the virus and possibly transmitting the virus, we can't say that for sure. so could you be in a position where you're vaccinated, far less likely to get sick now as a
result of getting vaccinated, but still potentially someone who could transmit the virus to somebody else? and the answer is possibly. we don't know. we'll get more data. i'll tell you, i think that it's quite likely that the vaccine does lower your virus counts a lot but we're just not sure about that yet. >> we don't know. lots we do know. but get the vaccine if you can. it's really important. sanjay, thank you so much. lots of breaking news today. a historic day here in the united states. and our breaking news coverage continues with erin burnett "outfront." "outfront" next, the breaking news, president-elect joe biden about to speak to the nation after the electical college affirms his win. biden about to confront the attack on democracy as sources say trump is now looking to take this fight to the house floor in january. plus as the u.s. hits the grim milestone of 300,000 american lives gone because of coronavirus, the first vaccinations under