tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN December 28, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
management and budget. right now we just aren't getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. it's nothing short of my view of irresponsibility. >> president-elect biden went onto accuse the trump administration of hollowing out the key u.s. agencies responsible for keeping the u.s. safe. let's go straight to cnn's mj live for us in wilmington, delaware. it's clear he's frustrated. >> that's right, jake. frustrated and concerned. historically the process is such that the incoming administration gets a lot of cooperation and transparency from the incoming government. and that has been delayed to begin with because the gsa has
would not offer the official aser entertainment for a number of weeks. so these review teams working for the biden transition, they were already late getting their access to some of this critical information. and now biden today after he was briefed by these teams saying yes from some parts of the government the cooperation has been just as it should be, getting all the information we need. but from other parts of government this has simply been obstruction. here's what he said. >> for some agencies our teams are seeing exemplary cooperation. from others most notably the department of defense we encountered obstruction from the political leadership of that department. and the truth is many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage. many of them have been hollowed in personnel, capacity and in
morale. >> and just more broadly speaking about foreign policy and national security biden really emphasizing that these international alliances with other countries have really been weakened under president trump and that rebuilding foreign policy is going to be one of the biggest and most important challenges for him and vice president-elect kamala harris. jake. >> speaking of vice president-elect kamala harris we have some news about her. she's going to get the coronavirus vaccine tomorrow. >> that's right. she's going to be receiving the coronavirus vaccine tomorrow in washington, d.c., and importantly she's going to be doing it in a public setting. this is, of course, the same as what we saw president-elect joe biden do last week, receiving his vaccine in front of the cameras. you know, one of the reasons they're pushing to do this in a public setting is so they can start to build the public trust with the vaccine as the vaccination distribution process continues. i should note this is particularly noteworthy coming from senator kamala harris, vice
president-elect kamala harris because she has talked pretty openly including in an interview with u. j., how importantly it is going to be for people of color to start knowing the vaccines are safe. they know the transition team that building that trust is going to be very important in this vaccination distribution process and it's going to be unfolding over the next couple of months. >> appreciate it. meanwhile, president trump's obstructive and erratic behavior continues to harm the american people. the president waited until the unemployment benefits expired for millions of americans before he sipgned the covid relief. >> reporter: hours after finally signing a coronavirus relief package, president trump back on the links despite his public
schedule claiming he is working tirelessly for the american people. trump waking up to a scathing headline in one of his hometown papers. the conservative leading new york post which endorsed him for president calling on trump to stop the insanity. in an op-ed "the post" editorial board writing it's time to end this dark charade, saying trump is cheering an undemocratic coup with his claims of election rigging. adding, quote, if you insist on spending your final days in office threatening to burn it all down that is how you will be remembered. the most recent example of that insanity, trump's handling of the bipartisan coronavirus relief package. >> i'm asking congress to amend this bill. >> reporter: sources telling cnn there were plans in place for trump to sign the bill into law on christmas eve, but he declined. then after delaying for days, allowing unemployment benefits for millions of americans to expire, trump finally relenting
sunday night without any of his demands met. though the president vowed to send back to congress a list oaf red line spending items he deems unnecessary, there's no requirement for lawmakers to even consider his requests. a frustrated senior white house aide telling cnn, quote, why should any supporter fight for him when he quit on trying to get them more than a meseasly $600. democrats on the hill taking up that fight instead. house speaker nancy pelosi putting up $2,000 stimulus checks up for a vote today, though it may die in the senate where there's no sign yet republican senators will get onboard. >> donald trump talked about it, but now he's got to act. the house will vote for this tonight and pass a law for $2,000 per person for relief check. but it's up to the senate. >> reporter: and jake, lawmakers are also focused on overturning
that veto of the defense spending act that president trump vetoed last week. within the next hour the house is expected to take that up. the senate side will likely pick it up later this week, jake. >> let's discuss. jackie, president trump ultimately he gave in and signed this covid relief bill but only after nearly forcing the government shutdown. he allowed unemployment benefits to expire for millions of americans. republicans told me all this push back by president trump was about entirely lashing out against senior republicans like mcconnell and thune because they acknowledged joe biden won. what are your sources telling you? >> well, he sure showed them. you also saw pat toomey, a republican senator from pennsylvania, i think he said on fox news that, you know, i know that the president wants to be seen fighting for these $2,000 checks but enough is enough.
it was all an exercise in futility, jake. the president is enraged. he's not going to stop being enraged. and apparently he seems to as boris pointed out, he's on the golf course. he was absent during the negotiations over this bill and only seemed to snap to after republicans started saying things he didn't like. and he seems to be reiterating why a lot of people voted him out just a month ago. >> and ron, a senior white house official who was frustrated president trump gave in told cnn, quote, what's particularly hilarious is watching trump quit on his coronavirus relief push while complaining about everyone quitting on his re-election. why should any supporter fight for him when he quit on trying to get them more than a measly $600? what do you think? >> look, he already has quit fundamentally on the most important aspect of his job in these months which is responding to the terrifying surge of cases. we are living through as you report every day, a 9/11 or a
pearl harbor a day. hospitals and cities all over the country are being overrun. they're talking about rationing care in los angeles where i am. and the president is fundamentally awol from that entire crisis just as he was from negotiations over this bill. him coming in at 11:59 and trying to undo the agreement that was reach clearly the fact he was silent for so long before makes it clear this was about his personal peek at the way he believes republicans should be responding to his unfounded charges of fraud. and the other thing that seems to be pretty obvious, the fact that he tweeted that he was going to georgia to campaign for perdue for loeffler right before he tweeted he was going to sign the bill probably shows you the motivation here, the fear that the level of chaos that would have ensued if he sat on the bill would have endangered the two republicans in georgia. >> and then speaking of chaos, jackie, on january 6 we're
expecting, you know, the house and the senate to vote on ratifying the election for republican senator-elect tommy tupperville of alabama, he's left open the door to joining some house republicans in this last ditch futile deranged effort to overturn election results when congress meet to finalize the vote. obviously this is something senate majority leader mcconnell does not want to have happen, but trump's encouraging it. who do you think ultimately republican senators are going to side with? i kind of think that a bunch of republican senators especially those who have 2024 hopes might join with tupperville. >> you know, we've been watching to see if someone from the senate would end up doing this. and tupperville is someone the reason he has that seat in a lot of ways is because of president trump. he was running against jeff sessions, the president's former attorney general who he obviously did not like and did not want to be back in office.
so he owes a lot to him, and he said he's not going to turn his back on the president. to not be the senator to stand up and do that, i think a lot of these 2024 folks trying to prove their loyalty and prove they are the next trump may sign-on because it wasn't them. however, they will have mitch mcconnell to deal with, someone they will have to deal with day in and day out who doesn't want this vote to happen because it will require republican senators to make the choice between loyaltiy to president trump and the will of the american people. it'll be a vote to watch if it ends up happening. >> ron, i look at the 126 members of the house republicans who signed onto that crazy texas lawsuit that would have disenfranchised 20 million voters from four states because they voted for biden. look, i just think that is -- that's just a notch against them forever whether house minority leader mccarthy or steve scalise or whoever. if you signed onto that madness,
you've made a really bad decision that i think should stick with you. what will you think about senate republicans who vote with house republicans to fail to, you know, overturn the election when that happens next week assuming any of them do so? >> look, it is part of the process that we are experiencing throughout the trump presidency but especially since the election. we send people from the united states all over the world trying to instruct countries how to stand up democracy. now we have a president who is in so many ways trying to teardown our democracy with the active support or at least tacit support of much of his party in congress. if you look at all the pieces we're watching since the election, these repeated efforts to subvert the clear will of the voters, the lawsuits, the threats of congressional action, the pardons that we've seen for his cronies and confederates in the campaign, his open demands on the justice department to
launch special prosecutors about the election or about joe biden, the 11:59 torpedoing of this bill. as you put all this together this is what you would see in the final hours of some tin pot dictatorship in the third world where you have a strong man who knows the walls are closing in who's addled, angry, vengeful, and leaving a permanent stain on democracy. and the fact so many republicans have been okay with this may be a critical fact here. donald trump behaving this way is not a terrible surprise. the fact so much of his party is going along with him may be the surprise. >> i think a lot of people are writing some sorry chapters in their legacies just these last few week and for what? for a guy who lost and is going to exit on january 20th, period. it's such a squandering of reputations. ron and jackie, thanks so much.
really appreciate it. >> the hunt for a motive behind the nashville bombing intensifies as the bomber's mother cooperates with investigators. and then december is the deadliest month of the pandemic but dr. fauci has a grim warning about january and beyond. stay with us. new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a short list of quality candidates from our resume database. claim your seventy five dollar credit, when you post your first job at indeed.com/home.
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about the bomber's motive? >> reporter: there are a lot of clues that authorities have been receiving, but as far as any official information that they are giving out as to what may have been the motivation, that is still -- they're very tight-lipped on all of that. i should point out they're talking to just about everybody. and the interesting thing is aside from very close family -- and they've been talking to warner's mother, and she has been cooperating with authorities. but that's the only thing authorities will say about those conversations. they aren't revealing anything about gist of what is being said, but that's it. we've talked to people who are connected as far as he worked as a freelance i.t. guy for a reality company and they say he was the nicest guy and everything he did was on a professional level. they talk to his neighbors and they say he wasn't the most talkative person, and they knew him for years. and the might you get out of him
is a brief conversation about his pets or maybe a wave, but they didn't seem to know that much about him. he was a very reclusive kind of individual. the authorities are doing a much deeper dive into all of this, but they were quick to identify who the bomber was here, but it could take them a lot longer to figure out the why. and it's the why everyone wants to know. >> and it's the reason why they've not called this domestic terrorism because they haven't discerned whether it's a political or ideological motive. >> reporter: the damage is extensive. there's been already imagery, and i think we have some new imagery we can show you that is of the blast site itself. and this was a massive blast. we knew that already of course because of the eyewitnesses and the police officers that were there that literally risked their lives to get people out of the way, but it had a tremendous impact. over 40 buildings damaged and
then of course the at&t telephone facility heavily damaged and that knocked out a lot of service in this region. the price tag is still being added up, and right now what they're trying to say is it clearly was meant to damage not meant to kill with the exception of the bomber himself. a coronavirus record that could mean deadly trouble down the road. stay with us. get ready - our most popular battery is now even more powerful. the stronger, lasts-longer energizer max.
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in our health lead today the great hope of a covid vaccine coming quite a bit slower than expected at the worst possible moment. december now marking the deadliest month of the pandemic in the u.s. and the month of course is not even over. cnn's athena jones reports for us now the u.s. is bracing for a surge upon a surge after a spike in holiday travel.
>> reporter: as holiday travel hits new highs, this weekend saw the busiest day at u.s. airports since midmarch. the tsa reporting nearly 1.3 million people passed through security check points on sunday alone. >> i got my face shield, my n-95 and cloth mask on top of that. so definitely trying to take all precautions that i can. now health officials are bracing for a post-holiday surge in new coronavirus infections like just after thanksgiving. >> we're always concerned and we always see a bit of a bump after holidays and sometimes a large bump. we need to remain vigilant now. >> reporter: concerns mounting as hospitals nationwide report more than 100,000 covid-19 patients for the 26th day in a row. >> i described it as a surge upon a surge because if you look at the slope, the incline of cases we've experienced as we've gone into the late fall and soon to be early winter, it is really quite troubling that it might actually get worse. >> reporter: meanwhile
vaccinations continue to be rolled out nationwide. residents and staff at the kirkland washington nursing home that was an early epicenter of the pandemic began getting shots today. along with nursing home residents in new jersey like 103-year-old mill dread clemmants who survived the 1918 flu pandemic. >> today she represents the resiliency and fighting spirit of new jersey. >> reporter: so far about 2 million doses of vaccine have been administered out of the roughly 10 million delivered. >> the 2 million number is probably an underestimate. >> reporter: still it's a far cry from the 20 million people operation warp speed estimated would be inoculated this month. >> the idea we're going to get to 20 million vaccinations by the end of year that's probably unrealistic at this point. >> reporter: that's partly because vaccine shipping is complicated. >> you have to have states that
get vaccines into arms and that's where the investment really hadn't been made. >> reporter: more vaccine candidates are making their way through the pipeline. as 2020 comes to a close, a sobering statistic. december marking the deadliest month of the pandemic in the u.s. nearly 65,000 lives lost to the virus, and there are still a few days left. and to put this all into perspective more than 5.5 million people have been diagnosed with covid-19 in the u.s. this month. that's more new cases than france and the united kingdom combined have reported during the entire pandemic and likely an undercount since half the states didn't report new case or death numbers on christmas day. 2.1 million doses of vaccine have now been administered. that's an update we got in the last few minutes. >> athena jones, thanks so much. executive vice president of the robert wood johnson foundation and a member of president-elect
biden's covid-19 advisory board. watching video of all these travelers rushing through the airport, it's hard not to be afraid of what might come as a result of all this holiday travel. we know mass holiday travel could likely lead to more hospitalizations, more death. if biden were president right now would you have recommended that he take any action to prevent holiday travel, or would it be just more of a public campaign about discouraging it? >> hi, jake. thanks for having me again. as you pointed out this last month has been a very difficult month for the united states in terms of record numbers of cases and hospitalizations and deaths. and so i think the challenge is really the strong recommendations to discourage people from traveling is really important. and encouraging people to not congregate because we know when we have travel, when we have da da congregation and groups of people that's when disease
spreads. right now when there's so much disease spreading throughout the nation, we really would recommend discouraging travel. i think another thing that can be done and also making recommendations if people are going to take the risk of traveling they do it safely, they continue to wear their mask, they continue to wash their hands. they try to maintain the 6 feet distance so we can actually try to travel safely if people are going to do that. but really discouraging travel is the best thing that can be done. and if people decide to travel they do it safely. >> we heard dr. fauci predict the worst is yet to come. do you agree? is there any way to turn things around from here beyond the vaccine? >> i think it's not too late for people to make their changes and plans if they haven't traveled or thinking about traveling, they still can make that decision not to travel. again, it is really important to think about discouraging inappropriate behaviors like congregating in groups or not wearing your mask, or not
washing your hands or not maintaining the distance. the simple measures that can make a big difference that people are going to be doing things over the holiday season, and it's really tempting. but it's really important to adhere to this, to not let our guard down. as much as we'd like to celebrate we can't do it. it's too early. >> it's hard to see the videos and selfies of front line health care workers and seniors vulnerable of getting this vaccine. but why do you think the numbers are falling so short of expectations the trump administration operation warp speed projecting 20 million doses administered by the end of the year. now it's actually 2.1 million doses according to the cdc in the last few minutes. that's hardly 20 million. >> i think it's really important to get the vaccines out quickly, but it's also important to get them out safely and carefully and done well. and local and state health departments and the cdc have lacked federal support in
dollars and funding to actually assure they have the systems in place to roll the vaccine out as efficiently as possible. so with the approval of the covid relief bill and it passage, there are additional resources that will be made available to the cdc, to the state and local health departments so they can actually roll this vaccine out and make sure it not omgets out quickly but safely and effectively and reaches the populations that need it the most. we know there are populations disproportionately affected by covid and additional support needs to go to those communities. i was relieved to see the passage of the covid relief bill will happen and make this start flowing and happen quickly. >> a lot of students right now in winter break, christmas break. but i'm wondering what you think about the fact so many health officials, so many health experts say the schools should be the last thing to close whereas in so many parts of the country they were the first places to close.
as you know president-elect biden has suggested a goal of opening as many schools as possible within the first hundred days of taking office. can it be done quicker? what's your guidance going to be for him? >> i think a key thing to keep in mind related to school opening is that we are recognizing it's important for our children to be in the school environment, to learn the best. and so the president has committed to actually making sure schools be open in the first 100 days, but he also wants to make sure they open safely with adequate resources. so there were some additional resources made available for schools in the relief package and we're also prioritizing teachers and educators and those that work within schools to get the vaccine in the second wave of vaccines so that we can actually assure that when the schools are ready, when they can open they can be done safely because we don't want the schools opening and for children to get sick or to spread the disease to their teachers.
>> is it the real risk of opening schools, aren't they closed mainly because of the risk to the teachers and the faculty plot to the kids? at this point isn't that where the science it? >> the science tells us children are less likely to get seriously ill because of covid. so the risk does lie with the teachers who are older, many of whom have underlying health conditions. making sure the teachers and educators and people that work within the schools are vaccinated early is really posht and also making sure the systems are in place to ensure there isn't transmission within the school setting, working with city and state departments they can isolate and quarantine the appropriate people so the disease doesn't spread within schools. but all that work spreads with resources. >> it's great there will be resources made available because of the relief package. >> thank you so much for your time today. we appreciate it. coming up, new developments on the vaccine front. another shot moves a step
with more. elizabeth, tell us with what we know about the trial right now. >> this is a very interesting company. it's very small. i think a lot of people didn't expect it to get this far, but they have. so let's take a look at what we know. this trial is going to have 30,000 participants very similar to the other ones. in their trial participants they want 25% to be over age 65, 15% to be black, and 10% to 20% to be latino because those are the groups at highest risk for covid-19. the vaccine will be given in two doses three weeks apart similar to what we've world seen. this is different. it requires refrigeration only. that is a big advantage. it does not require freezing temperatures like moderna and pfizer. so that's a big advantage. that could set this vaccine apart, much easier to get to more remote areas of the u.s. >> how soon do you think novavax's vaccine could get fda thoer
authorization, emergency use authorization? >> if we go by what happened with moderna and pfizer it would be 4 1/2 months. unfortunately with the skyrocketing rates of covid, their vaccine could potentially go faster the more disease that's out there, in some ways the faster these clinical trials can go. >> where do we stand with the other vaccines still on the testing pipeline? >> you had just noted this is the fifth. so we know moderna and pfizer both already received their emergency use authorization earlier this month. johnson & johnson is currently in phase three trials, started in august. astrazeneca in phase three trials started -- i'm sorry johnson & johnson is september, astrazeneca started in august. and novavax as we know just today is beginning its phase three trials. there's another company also gotten operation warp speed funding. they're not yet in phase three. they're expecting that in the months to come. >> now we know there's these
variants, mutations of the virus. are they testing to make sure they'll work against these new variants in places like the u.k.? >> so moderna, pfizer anovavax say they're in their labs testing to make sure it works against this virus that seems to more infectious. all three are in the process of testing to find out and all three have expressed some degree of optimism it will work against this you can variant. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you so much. appreciate it. a milestone for a washington state nursing home which was the site of one of the nation's first deadly covid outbreaks. you might recall i was telling you about the more than three dozen residents at the life care center in kirkland, washington, who died from coronavirus in the first weeks of the pandemic in the u.s. and now more than nine months later some health care providers there are being vaccinated.
cnn's sarah snyder is live for us at the nursing home where vaccinations are happening right now. sarah, you've been talking to nurses there. what have they been telling you about this milestone? >> reporter: nurses, a doctor, a physicians assistant all of them getting vaccinated. and as we speak the residents are also getting vaccinated here at life care center of kirkland. you remember this was really the first major epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak here in the united states, 39 people who were residents here died within the first month of this outbreak here. and we have talked to the nurses in particular one of whom broke out in tears talking about the fact that getting this vaccine is going to make their lives better. it gives them hope of having something to fight this, really the most powerful thing to fight this finally after ten months. they have been in such a statement after what happened here back in march.
we also heard from a physician's assistant who also broke out in tears. she talked about why she was getting it not only for herself, her family and the staff and residents here but because one of the patients last week had been asking her over and over again can i get the vaccine, will i get the vaccine, will you promise me to get me the vaccine? she was paying attention to what was happening in the news, and the physicians assistant said, yes, you will get the vaccine. but unfortunately she revealed to us today that patient who had survived covid but had other issues ended up dying before she was able to get the vaccine, and the physician's assistant told us she was getting it for her today, jake. >> it's heart breaking. sarah snyder, thank you so much. what happened inside the white house, the very first time one of the white house employees wore a mask in the west wing. that story next. that's why the new myww+ is our most holistic weight loss program ever. the app helps you take the foods you have and gives you creative ideas for meals.
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we are back with our health lead. the month of december has been the deadliest month of the pandemic so far in the u.s. a new 40-page report in "the new yorker" magazine breaks down why and how things got so bad. it's called the plague year and it appears in the next issue of "the new yorker" out on january 4th. the entire issue will be devoted to covid-19. the author and staff writer who wrote this momentous piece joins me now. let me start with the line you
wrote. you write a pandemic lays bear a society's frailties, unquote. what did you learn about how frail the u.s. is as you reported this story? >> so many things. and i think that it's been a revelation i think for a lot of americans just how bad off we are because we -- you know, it's a statistic everybody's heard where 4% of the world's population and more than 20% of the fatalities, how did that happen in such an advanced country sphand a lot of it has to do with the disunity, the political incompetence of this administration. and it's something about the american character that causes us to turn what should have been an event that brought us together into one that made us even more divided. >> there's so much i could ask you about. it's a great piece and i recommend for everyone to read it. you can find it on "the new
yorker" website right now. you write about the behind scene arguments of the so-called travel ban. president trump restricted travel from china in early february. in your piece you called it a bold gesture but incomplete. explain why. >> it was bold in that trump is correct there was a lot of resistance inside his administration from the beginning. public health authorities were naturally resistant to travel bans. their thinking was doctors need to come and go, we need to continue trade, we -- it's probably too late by the time you discover it. and it's just a fruitless gesture. and the money people, the omb and the treasury department, didn't want to do anything drastic that would cripple the economy. so there were very few advocates for this except pat potinger,
the national security advisor who was very, well, jake, i have to say he was a reporter and he called upon some skills that people outside our profession maybe don't appreciate. he was in china as a wall street journal reporter during the sars outbreak, and he wuss able to figure out that, you know, if we cut off travel we might be able to give our silos a little time to block the advance of this. and we did buy time but unfortunately unfortunate unfortunately we squandered it. >> i immediately didn't believe what the chinese government was saying immediately. and he seemed to have that skepticism. early on i talked to a senior administration official and this is in february i think and i said something like that, well,
you know, you can't trust what they're telling you. and he said something, oh, no, no, they're good. they're really being open. i was surprised at how credulous people were, not mad though, apparently. >> well, you know in 2003 when sars broke out, they hid the outbreak even when world health authorities went to china, they took people out of the hospital and put them in ambulances and checked them in hotels to hide them from the health authorities. and new rules were set in place, but this time around they persecuted the doctors that exposed it. they locked up reporters that said anything about it. and, you know, they hid the ball not just from the u.s. but from all the world. you know, saying there was no human to human transmission, for instance, when it was obvious
there was. and one of the sad parts of it is we didn't find out about asymptomatic transmission, which was a critical failing. and dr. redfield at cdc's had tried to get an american team over there. and he's convinced that had that happened we would have known early on that this was a disease spread asymptomatically. >> although remember trump did say to woodward he knew about the asymptomatic spread back at the end of january even though he was claiming otherwise publicly. and there's been such mismanagement of this pandemic. i want to read from your piece. nobody in the white house wore a mask until matt potinger donned one. he said i don't want to be the guy who knocked off the president with covid, unquote. were you surprised to learn how
personally irresponsible they were just about their own workplace even though they all knew how deadly this was? >> yeah, even go to the rose garden, jake. you know, that was -- what you're quoting is early on in the outbreak. they never learned the lesson. they never learned it in the white house. and that disease is still stalking the white house. i'm at a loss, honestly. the resistance -- president trump gave in march a speech about how masks will help and we should be wearing masks, but of course he says i'm not going to be wearing one, it's voluntary. he undermined his own -- you know, sabotaged really and politicized the one last chance we had to make a difference in curbing this contagion. >> larry, it's a great piece. congratulations. i wish that it wasn't so depressing about how incompetent
the response has been, but it's great reporting. really appreciate it. >> thank you, jake. we're just moments away from the house of representatives voting on increasing the stimulus check from $600 to $2,000. but there are already plans to mail out the $600 checks. that story's next. new projects means new project managers.
the $ $600 coronavirus relief checks are expected to start going out this week. that's according to a trump official who warns the timing is not set in stone. the house expected to vote any minute on a deal to raise the amount in those checks from $600 to $2,000. that's what president trump has been calling for even though he's not been involved in negotiations and that does not have support from house or senate republicans who are all expected to vote it down. finally today we would like to take the time to remember an elementary schoolteacher who lost his life to the coronavirus pandemic on christmas day. patrick key was 53 years old. he was a 23-year veteran of the cobb county school system in georgia where he most recently taught art. patrick and his wife priscilla both cobb county teachers came down with covid in november. his wife said in a statement, quote, the world has lost one of the kindest gentle loving men, and
our family has lost our world. his niece heather said, quote, if you're spending time with your family today i hope that you cherish it, but i also hope you're safe and smart to protect yourself and others. may his memory and the memories of all of those we lost to this pandemic way too early, may it be a blessing. our covering on cnn continues right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta in the situation room, and we're following breaking news. we're standing by two key house votes. one vote on the president's demand to increase stimulus checks to $2,000. after his 11th hour signing of the pandemic relief bill and another vote to override his veto of a defense spending bill that could see many republicans breaking w