tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN December 15, 2020 7:00am-8:00am PST
reporting. i'm sure we'll have you back before january 5th. thank you so much. >> thank you. morning, everyone. top of the hour i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. the nation now potentially one giant step closer to a second covid-19 vaccine. the fda released its analysis of moderna's vaccine just days before a major meeting to consider emergency use authorization for that vaccine. the agency saying it has, quote, no safety concerns for that new vaccine. and that is good news. >> it's great news. the positive news comes as we're watching doses of pfizer's covid vaccine arriving at hundreds of sites across the country. the rollout in full swing and front line health care workers are first in line, important as we're seeing covid-19 hospitalizations also at an all-time high nationwide.
we're live where these vaccinations are taking place. let's begin with jacqueline howard. that's a big headline this morning from the fda on moderna's vaccine. tell us what it means ahead of the thursday meeting on it. >> it is a big headline. and this briefing document, it's 54 pages. it's going to be a main point of discussion in the advisory committee meeting happening this thursday. what the document tells us, it gives a summary of the safety and efficacy when it comes to moderna's covid-19 vaccine. when it comes to the safety profile it does say there are no specific safety concerns that would identify or preclude issues of an eua. then it does confirm that the efficacy appears to be 94.5%, which is what moderna announced previously. when we look at the data here's how the moderna vaccine compares
with pfizer's vaccine, which was authorized just last week. key differences, moderna is administered as two doses, 28 days apart. whereas pfizer is two doses, 21 days apart. the storage is another key difference, moderna stored negative 25 to negative 15 degrees celsius. pfizer requires negative 80 to negative 60. ef case efficacy is similar. moderna is being considered for authorization in ages 18 and older, whereas pfizer is authorized for 16 and older. so pfizer includes the 16 and 17-year-olds. but after reviewing this fda briefing document, there's no reason to think one vaccine is necessarily better than the other. they're both mrna vaccines. it's just the main takeaway here
is that if this emergency use authorization does get issued this week we'll have two covid-19 vaccines? >> that means more availability, we hope. thanks very much. so these scenes are happening across the country. these first folks getting the vaccines. miguel marquez is in new jersey. i'm curious how quickly it rolls out and how quickly they get this to a large number of health care workers there? r. >> reporter: in this first trench they're getting 76,000 doses across new jersey, 6 different locations to roll those out. three phases of people getting vaccines. this facility behind us can do 600 shots a day and they have five other locations they'll do that. as they get more vaccines, they'll increase the number of
hospitals one can get the vaccine and beyond that they increase it to community health centers where the vast majority of the population can git it. but they think it'll be months and months before you get that critical mass in the population getting the vaccine. in the first phase there are 650,000 individuals who need the vaccine, the health care workers, those who deal with covid directly. we spoke to an er nurse, a registered nurse who has been at this facility since the deepest, darkest days of the pandemic. >> it is -- it's almost hard to put in words, right. to tell you what my -- what my deepest soul feels having received this shot. this is to me is a lifeline. this to me, i don't have to be
afraid. i know that in another month and a half i will not have to be afraid to touch people. >> reporter: so she was the very first here in new jersey to receive the shot. in 21 days she has to get a second shot before she's fully vaccinated and then she said i'll probably have to wait two weeks after that before i know for sure i'm fully vaccinated. what she and others are concerned with, people will see people getting the shots think i can take the mask off, it's done. it's not. there's a long road to go before this thing is over, but it's hope. >> patient and hope. thank you. the first doses of the pfizer vaccine being administ administered in newark, new jersey. with me is dr. sharief, president and chief executive of the facility. good to have you on this morning. >> thank you so much.
>> let me ask you this, i want to ask what a difference it makes for health care workers to be receiving this protection now? because they have been at the tip of the spear of this from the beginning, facing undo risk or out sized risk and therefore many of them paying with their lives. you mentioned 11 employees from your hospital have died with the coronavirus. tell us how you feel today seeing these vaccines happening? >> i tell you, it is so inspiring and we are so proud of maria, who you just heard from. she is a proud latina american nurse hero, in her words. and that's how we view her here and we're so grateful because she not only delivered her remarks in english, she did so in spanish. we are seeing latin americans come through at higher rates than any other demographic in the city of newark. what she did for this community
is heroic. and by the way she's been doing that every day since the pandemic. she's been thrusting herself into patients' rooms, doing chest compressions when needed. she told all of us she doesn't have to be afraid to do that life saving work. she and so many others in the hospital have been doing it anyway despite being afraid and we're proud of her. >> tell us about the timeline, in new jersey, as a measure of this, to have most or all front line health care workers vaccinated? >> we are tasked with getting all of our front line health care workers here at university hospital vaccinated first and then we will open it up to the community. it will take a few weeks to get everybody here on campus done, that's almost 5,000 people. it's not just physicians and nurses but environmental service workers, food service workers, clerks, folks who interact with
patients on a daily basis and put themselves at risk by doing so. medical students, residents, people in medical school, all of that needs taken care of and then we open our doors for health care pro vieweders across the country. >> secretary azar said he sees the general population receiving vaccinations in march. earlier than dr. fauci and others saying summer. is that a rosie outlook or can you see it happening? >> i can see it happening if everything goes well. one of the things that the federal government and the state government here is doing in new jersey, we're testing out models for being able to efficiently deliver these vaccines. we estimate we'll do just over 600 vaks naticcinations a day,
you scale that up, we do think we'll be able to get there by march. all of that has to go well, though. >> let me ask you, just give you an opportunity here to speak to folks listening at home, to tell them why, even as these vaccinations are happening and when they, you and i and others get this why it's important to practice the other mitigation measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, et cetera. why is that important even as people get vaccinated? p. >> it's absolutely important to do so. while the vaccines are very effective, they're not perfect. remember that 5% of people who got the pfizer vaccine got covid-19. so it's still possible to get covid-19. that's a lower percentage than we expected, which is fantastic. but you can still get covid-19 and transmit covid-19, even if
you get a vaccine. no vaccine is perfect. so for that reason until we get to 70 or 80% of the population socially distance, avoid indoor gatherings and follow all the precautions health officials are calling for. >> we appreciate your help in explaining this to people but we also wish you, all the folks working at the hospital there the best of luck as they get this protection. >> thank you so much. >> poppy? soon the first vaccine in illinois will be given, omar jimenez joins us with more. good morning, what are we going to see? >> reporter: good morning, poppy. right now it's a waiting game. as we saw vaccinations happen in other parts of the country yesterday we expect chicago's first vaccination to happen later this morning at loretto hospital. it's going to go to front line
health care workers, those in that 1a group, the ones most at risk as we've seen not just here but places across the country. it was yesterday that that vaccine stock arrived here in illinois. about 43,000 doses got to illinois's stock pile and then the city of chicago got its own doses, about 20,000. this vaccination is going to have happening at 11:30 local time. it's situated in the city's austin neighborhood on the west side, a predominantly black neighborhood that has the highest death rate from covid-19 in the city. that's part of why this hospital was chosen for the first vaccination as a symbol to the next chapter that hopefully this will provide a ray of hope for that they wanted to go to a place where they were serving greatly impacted communities. and we look at next steps. after the first vaccination it's
expected to be pushed to all hospitals in the city with at least two of them telling me they plan to get through their 1,000 initial doses combined by christmas to keep this moving and by the second to third week of vaccinations they plan to move to the long-term care facilities and by the end of december they plan to have totalled around 100 to 150,000 doses assuming the emergency use authorization goes through for the moderna vaccine, which will add to the amount of supply they get. beginning of a new chapter that officially starts later this morning here in chicago. poppy. >> so glad to see it happening there. one of the hardest hit spots of the city. thank you for the reporting. so far only a small number of americans know what it's like to receive the vaccine. we'll speak to a new york doctor on the front lines of this who's one of the first to get the vaccine in the country.
the electoral says joe biden will be the next president. we knew that. even vladimir putin is offering his congratulations. many key sitting republicans won't utter the words. a few days left for congress to reach two important deals, fund the government and help millions of americans with economic relief. will they get the job done? up, the north pole has to be feeling the heat. it's okay santa... let's workflow it. workflow it...? with the now platform, we can catch problems, before customers even know they're problems. wait... a hose? what kid wants a hose?! fireman? says "hose". -it says "horse"! not a hose! cedric! get over here! now our people can collaborate across silos, from across the globe. so how's the new place? it's a 4 bed, 2.5 bath igloo... it's great!
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he used to have gum problems. now, he uses therabreath healthy gums oral rinse with clinically-proven ingredients and his gum problems have vanished. (crowd applauding) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores. today i want top congratulate president-elect joe biden. the president-elect is no stranger to the senate. he's devoted himself to public service for a number of years. i want to congratulate the vice
president-elect, our colleague from california senator kamala harris. our nation can take pride we have a female president-elect for the very first time. >> just a moment ago, on the senate floor, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, a very powerful republican acknowledging what the majority of sitting republican lawmakers have not yet done that joe biden is the president-elect, kamala harris is the vice president-elect. it took several weeks but the day after the electoral college spoke we now hear from the majority leader. >> let's go to our colleague, manu raju. as jim said it's a big moment. but only to follow vladimir putin, i mean, that says a lot that putin acknowledged it first, no? >> reporter: a lot of republicans had not been willing to defy the president as he's been making baseless claim and launching conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory about the election.
most don't stray from the president, rarely do they break party lines here, but this is a significant moment and likely will lead to a floodgate of other republicans who will acknowledge reality here that they all see, if they're not willing to acknowledge it publically that joe biden is, in fact, the winner here of the election. mitch mcconnell also signaling that there was going to be no appetite at all among senate republicans or little appetite to do anything to overturn the elections when a joint session of congress meets on january 6th to count the votes we know how conservatives there are some that want to object and are looking for senate partners. they're not going to succeed in that effort. mitch mcconnell clearly acknowledging this is over. i had asked him for weeks will you acknowledge joe biden is president-elect, why won't you say anything, why won't you
speak out against the president? he side stepped those questions time and again and raised no issues about the president going after the integrity of the election, we have not heard mitch mcconnell criticize the president one bit. instead just now on the floor he went out through a laundry list of what he viewed as major accomplishments by the president, praising everything from his national security policy to confirming judges to the supreme court. and then he pivoted to say, the electoral college spoke, it is time to congratulate joe biden. now time to congratulate kamala harris and make clear they will, in fact, assume power come january 20th. now the question, of course, is how will president trump react at a critical time here on capitol hill where they're trying to get so much done, including a major economic rescue package, will the president be upset about this in
any way, we don't know what the president will do, sign a deal if they get one together. but the republican leader acknowledging the reality here. we'll see if other republicans decide to join him. >> reporter: >> you know you only need one senator to sign off challenging the results on the floor, we'll see if the whole caucus listens to the senate majority leader. manu raju, thanks much. let's bring in john harwood. john, moments before the senate majority leader made the comments on the floor, the president continued to tweet out baseless conspiracy theory attacks about the stolen election. any reaction from the white house yet and if not, how do you think the president handles this? >> reporter: this is going to be a fascinating moment. i just checked twitter before coming on the air and the last thing i saw was him retweeting this tweet from lynn wood, an
atlanta lawyer that seems deranged and suggested in his tweet that governor brian kemp and secretary of state brad a fenceberger of georgia will be going to jail for having refused to overturn the will of the voters. but mitch mcconnell has been holding this back to avoid antagonizing president trump perhaps for some reason but more importantly because of these two runoff elections in georgia on january 5th. president trump has the power to sink those two incumbents if he wanted to, by telling his people not to support them. we have seen in the last few days that bill barr, the attorney general, when he recognized the reality that there was no election fraud, he's now out of a job. he resigned rather than take any more abuse from the president.
the president has the capacity to take away mitch mcconnell's job if he sinks those two. is he willing to do it? >> it's a great point. he's checking the books to see if he can fire the majority leader he cannot but he has influence over that. >> sabrina, kevin mccarthy hasn't acknowledged this. doesn't this put pressure on house leadership there for the minority leader? >> i think the expectation is now that mitch mcconnell has acknowledged president-elect biden's victory a lot of other republicans in congress will likely follow but there's perhaps no greater reflection of the kind of climate president trump and republicans have created in the fact that it's news for the senate majority leader to acknowledge the outcome of the election. the electoral college only confirmed what we've known for
more than a month, that joe biden will be the next president of the united states. you are going to see more republicans express an appetite to move on, but the impact of the efforts to undermine confidence -- public confidence in the election and its results means there's now a faction of republican voters who don't believe that president-elect biden's victory is legitimate. that's, of course, the consequence of what we heard from president trump with the backing of many republicans in congress over the past few weeks. and that is going to, i think, be a challenge moving forward. when you have a party that has effectively tried to delegitimize the outcome of the election now perhaps signaling they'll work with president-elect biden. i think it's wishful thinking to suggest we're going to suddenly turn the page and see republican leaders in congress cooperating with the new administration. >> i was writing down a list of
folks that would have to be in on this great steal for it to be true, the attorney general, who denied widespread fraud, the majority leader, the courts in many states as well as the supreme court, election officials in all these contested states of both parties, it just underlines the ridiculousness of the charge. but i wonder as a way to undermine biden's win, soften trump's loss and raise money for trump, this also foreshadows effort around the country to restrict voting, restrict drop boxes, et cetera, that's part of the plan, is it not? >> reporter: no question republican politicians, as a general matter, look at the way the united states population has changed demographically, see the fact that the white voters that
they represent are losing the center of gravity in american politics and their response to that is to try to make it harder for other people to vote. we've seen that consistently with voter id laws, efforts to restrict early voting, on the president's attack on mail-in voting, which was a response to the particular circumstances of the pandemic. yes, they are going to try. that doesn't mean they are going to succeed however, and some of the states that were most closely contested, they have democratic governors who can veto legislation of that kind but we're in for a period of time of republicans are going to try to hold back history and do it by whatever tools and levers they have available. and they'll do it even though their tools and leverage have proven inadequate to save president trump and give him a second term. >> thank you both. big news. we'll be right back. y memory supplements-
york city has just administered 73 first dose vaccines already and they expect nearly 41,000 more to be available by the end of today. let's talk with someone who was among the first to get the vaccine in the country. the chair of emergency medicine at lenox hill hospital here in new york. he was the second in line in the country, you see him getting the first dose of the vaccine yesterday on live television. joins me live now. great to see, great to have you, how are you feeling? what was it like? >> thank you, poppy. i'm feeling great. i wanted to do it, be able to attest, as a physician, that really there's nothing to fear and truly it's been almost 24 hours and i feel great. >> i know you also did it on live television to send a message. who were you talking to mostly there just by being on tv and what's your message to them?
mnchts spe >> speaking to several people, as a leader i think it's important to be a role model. as a physician that's been on the front lines taking care of patients seeing the mortality, the morbidity, that was an important message and also to communities who maybe are reluctant to take the vaccination. there are communities that have suffered disproportionately and it's important that they also realized the need to take the vaccination. >> among those communities, black americans. we know from the new numbers out from kaiser this morning that 35% of black adults in america still say that they will not take the vaccine at this time. you have to take that number and understand the mistrust given the history of this country, tuskegee and many more examples. what is incumbent on leaders like you to do to help them understand this is different, this is safe. >> i think that's the key thing.
we're looking for some silver linings and i think, poppy, we have to acknowledge the history, but i think this is the first time we're having meaningful open dialogue about these issues. and i think with the rollout of the vaccination there has been, quite frankly, message that we have to be ethical about this, we have to be fair, we have to protect the vulnerable and we have to reach out to, you know, not just minorities but rural areas. we have to make sure that everyone is included and we're talking about health care disparities in ways we've never spoken about them. so that's a silver lining for me in this whole situation. >> i was very sorry to read that you lost your own uncle to covid, someone you were very close to and that you, i believe, currently have a family member in the hospital with covid. so i mean, for you this just goes so far beyond being a medical professional and setting an example for others.
what was that moment like for you personally sitting in that chair, getting the vaccine, knowing what you had lost from this pandemic? >> yes, i have lost and an accountable amount of people have lost, it's unfortunate that some folks will not benefit from this vaccination. so looking forward and trying to look forward to a bright future. that's what i was thinking about that we could get ourselves away from this horrible situation that we've been facing and still currently face. it shouldn't be lost on us that we're still seeing almost 3,000 people die a day and so, moving forward, while there's hope, we have to remain vigilant in terms of the masking, washing our hands, social distancing and refrain from gathering. >> why give up now? we're so close to so many having vaccinations.
thank you, doctor, for being with us. we're excited and happy for you. >> thank you. thank you for this opportunity, poppy, and stay safe. >> of course. so good to see doctors getting vaccinated. time is critical if lawmakers are going to reach a deal for another stimulus before leaving for the holidays. joe manship said they won't leave without a deal. plus the government is running out of money wp. we're live on capitol hill with the developments. when i was laid off... ...it was absolutely terrifying. i felt like i was just fighting an uphill battle in my career. as a little kid i knew that i wanted to work with computers. ♪ so when i heard about the applied digital skills courses,
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running out on friday night, lawmakers can release a massive $1.4 trillion package as soon as today but we'll see. >> we will see. house and senate leaders still want to tyie covid relief provisions to the deal. here's what west virginia senator joe manchin told us about getting at least parts of the deal done before the holiday. >> it's been positive messages coming from both of them, both speaker pelosi and majority leader mcconnell. they've been very positive about this. we're not going home until it's done. >> let's go back to manu raju, he's back on capitol hill with us this morning. right there he's talking about the $748 billion package with small business loans, money for vaccine distribution, et cetera. i asked him, you're not going to go home, also, until you get the
$160 billion bill, which is liability protection, state and local aid passed. he said, i'm in support of both of them. it didn't seem clear to me at all that they have leadership support in both chambers for both of these. >> reporter: it's unlikely at this moment they'll get the $160 billion package for state and local funding and liability protections because there's so much disagreement about that. democrats will almost certainly be forced to abandon that amount of money for state and local aids. republicans saying they're willing to put aside their demand from protections for a deal. but can they agree on a compromise that is clearly within reach. you mentioned a number of proposals outlined in that bipartisan proposal, that includes money for small businesses, vaccine distribution money, that includes extension of jobless benefits as well as
rental assistance, deferring student loan payments something both sides believe is essential to getting done. can they agree to that and put aside things they disagree on and punt that until the next year. democrats -- initially the democratic leaders rejected what mcconnell was talking about but it appears that's the only path forward at the moment. why today is so critical because they do want to tie those provisions onto a must pass government funding bill. you mentioned a bill to keep all federal agencies funded past this friday when government would shutdown. they want to include the covid rebrief provisions on that. so we would have to see the text today if they want to get it done by the end of the week which is when we'll know if they can finally get a deal here. >> it strikes me to your point
this is in effect what the senate majority leader was holding for for weeks now, right. just a trimmed down deal and state and local protections left out. it was my understanding that democrats were holding on liability relief to ensure they could get the state and local money. without that, i just wonder, you've covered this congress for a long time, is that where we end up with the trimmed down pacca package that mcconnell wanted? >> reporter: i asked nancy pelosi yesterday is it state and local money which she has been demanding for some time, is that a red line, she would not say. she said it is in the negotiations right now. another sign they may have to put that aside. as you know, there was a bigger deal they were talking about before the elections but both sides could not agree to a bigger deal. the republicans push back, the administration couldn't get a deal with pelosi and at the end of the day we're left where we are now, there's a smaller deal
and they have to come back next year in the biden administration to see if they can get that done. >> i wonder is there any recognition for members of the both parties of the pain their four months of bickering over this has caused? they're doing their job now but they literally haven't been doing it for four months. >> absolutely. the thing is, as you know, no one takes the blame here. the blame is always passed to the other side. a few people might take the blame but for the most part they're saying it's the other side's fault. this is a democratic controlled house, republican controlled senate, republican in the white house. there has to be comic-con census on what can get through and at this point there's none. and people realize there's no way nay can go home without getting something passed. so there's finally a sense something will get accomplished here. >> finally.
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president trump about the cyber attack blamed on russia. in the past not only has he downplayed the dangers of cyber russian espionage, he also discussed joining a group with russia to prevent hacking. remarkable. vivian has been covering the story. timing notable here because this hack took place as or after the president fired the person in charge of the agency to look out for this kind of thing. >> reporter: that's right, jim. a lot of unknowns so far as far as the timing and circumstances surrounding this attack. but definitely we have confirmed that the cyber security and infrastructure security agency headed by a guy named chris krebs who the president fired a few weeks ago. that was one of the agencies that's been attacked here. so obviously raises a lot of questions about the integrity of the agencies when there's this
shuffling going on. but still they're trying to determine the scope to which the military, the intelligence community and even critical u.s. infrastructure was impacted by this breach. now what happened was over the weekend, cyber security firm called fire eye alerted u.s. intelligence to the fact that several layers of defenses in the software that protects the government were breached and since then we've managed to discover that the commerce department, agriculture department and the cyber security agency were among the ages that had been breached. the government is also looking into possible breaches at the treasury department, department of defense and the u.s. postal service. many of these agencies in the government rely on one software company called solar winds and they came out a few days ago and said they believe that 18,000 private and government users downloaded a russian tainted software that gave the hackers a
foothold into these systems. so obviously a lot of fingers pointing at russia, u.s. government officials privately telling us that russia or russian-linked actors responsible but publicly the government has yet to point fingers or make statements to comfort people out there. >> remarkable it didn't know. the u.s. government did not know this was happening, had to be pointed out to them by fire eye, a private service. thanks for being on top of this important story. this week secretary of state mike pompeo will meet with the man picked to replace him. >> kayleigh atwood joins us now. this is an important meeting between a member of trump's cabinet and a biden nominee. not to men what pompeo said about a second term for trump. >> on thursday secretary of state mike pompeo is expected to
meet with president-elect joe biden's selected secretary of state, tony blinken. this will be the first meeting between these two officials. it's note worthy because as you said, just after the election, secretary pompeo refused to acknowledge biden's victory, he also made comments about there being a successful smooth transition to a second trump administration. and we have seen just this morning senate majority leader recognizing and congratulating biden's victory but what's significant about this meeting on thursday is the fact that pompeo is a member of president trump's cabinet and he is going to be officially recognizing that he will have a successor who will pick up the reins on american foreign policy for the biden administration. i want to note, guys that tony blinken has not been waiting with baited breath for this meeting. he has been preparing for a nomination hearing, there's tremendous amount of work being done here at the state department. just last week, 25 briefings
every day took place between the transition team and the career folks here at the state department. >> it's big, it's significant and it's progress forward. kylie, we appreciate your reporting at the state department. thanks so much. and thanks to all of you for joining us. we'll see you back here tomorrow morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. quite a morning of news. "newsroom" with kate bolduan will start after a short break.
i'm kate bolduan. thank you so much for joining us this hour. we're continuing to follow the breaking news this morning, fda scientists are giving a big boost to a second covid-19 vaccine that could get the green light later this week. this one we're talking about is from moderna. fda briefing documents were just released this morning and they confirm that the -- they confirm the surprisingly good efficacy of this vaccine. almost 95% effective. and also, safe. also today we have learned that the majority of pfizer's initial vaccine shipment will be delivered with 425 sites across the country expected to receive the doses. health care workers from coast-to-coast rolling up their sleeves, getting the shots in hopes of finally putting this pandemic behind