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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  December 2, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST

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consequences for the upcoming winter olympics in china as well. thanks to all of you for joining us today. a lot of news today. i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. we begin with hour with breaking news on the pandemic. the second confirmed case of the omicron variant in the united states has just been confirmed, this one in minnesota. we don't know much about the patient yet except that they had only travelled domestically. this announcement comes less than 24 hours after the first case was confirmed in california. all of this information important, but we must remember that these discoveries of confirmed cases of omicron are expected and the numbers of confirmed cases are expected also to continue to grow. this comes as president biden is
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about to announce his new strategy for tackling the pandemic in his speech at the national institutes of health. the white house white house says that the nine-point plan includes an extension of the existing mask mandates for air travel and other public transportation through at least march. and the biden administration will be announcing a new requirement that should offer every american free at-home testing. the white house says the plan they're rolling out will help battle against both the delta and omicron covid variants this winter. more on that plan in just a moment. let's start with natasha chen with the news of this new case of the over the counter. what are you learning? >> reporter: this latest case we're talking about is a man who is from the minneapolis area, the minnesota department of health saying that he traveled to new york for anime nyc at the javits center from november 19th
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to 21st, and this man had felt symptoms around the 22nd. we're talking about potentially this person being around a lot of other people. right now, of course, still just identifying this particular case as well as the case identified yesterday in san francisco. we sought a test on november 24th. it came back positive, and the state said they have a robust system of testing variants. so again, what you're seeing on the screen there, this patient traveled domestically to new york. the california patient, however, had traveled to south africa. that is a resident of san francisco. arrived in san francisco on november 22nd. started feeling sick around thanksgiving. tested positive on november 29th. now, both of these people the local health departments say were fully vaccinated. now, the san francisco resident we know had not got an booster
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because it had not been six months yet since the second shot. not sure about the minnesota case. but that press release did say that person was vaccinated as well. luckily, we're hearing the symptoms in both cases have been mild. >> natasha, thank you so much. we'll get more detail on all of this. back to president biden's new plan for tackling the pandemic this winter. he's going to be making this announcement during a speech at the national institutes of health this afternoon. cnn's jeremy diamond is live at the white house. jeremy, what more are you learning about this plan that the white house is laying out? >> reporter: this afternoon president biden will announce a slate of new actions to combat the coronavirus heading into the winter months to combat both the omicron variant as well as the delta variant, which has been circulating in the united states for months already. this will be a mixed of increased screening for international travel, ramped up efforts to get americans vaccinated and increasing testing in the united states. on the international travel front, inbound travelers
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traveling to the united states from abroad will have to provide proof of a negative test taken one day before travel. on theesting front, expanded availability with a requirement for private insurers to reimburse the cost of those at-home test kits. vaccines, more family focused clinks, providing doses for children and adults. also outreach to seniors in particular to encourage them to get their booster shots. one thing that is not happening right now is a vaccine requirement for domestic travel. that is something that the administration is not contemplating, but jeff zients, the white house coronavirus coordinator, said everything is still on the table and they are considering additional actions particularly as they wait to learn more about omicron, and if they realize more actions are needed to combat what could potentially be a more serious variant. kate? >> so much unknown. thank you so much, jeremy.
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joining me is dr. peter hotez, the co-director for the center for vaccine development. good to see you. start with the second confirmed case of the omicron variant, this person in minnesota. the health department says that he recently returned from -- had recently travels to new york city for a big conference at the javits center. what do you make of this with the catch yacht, of course, that we're going to see more cases as they continue to test more to find more cases of this omicron variant? >> yes. i think, kate, the difference is that this one was likely acquired locally within the united states either within minnesota or this traveler picked it up during a visit to new york city. so potentially now it's on both coasts and that means we'll continue to see the number of cases rise. in terms of what we're dealing with, therefore, we should consider the possibility that now we've got to fight covid on go fronts, one, the existing
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delta variant, which is still highly transmissible, and probably this omicron variant as well as the cases pick up. one of the big questions is will omicron overtake delta so that this becomes the dominant one just like delta overtook the alpha variant this year. i don't think so. i think we'll wind up having both variants potentially affecting different populations. i still think we'll see a lot of delta cases, especially among the unvaccinated. the advantage of the omicron variant is that it has, because of its immune escape properties, i think particularly those who are partially immune, either because they've been infected and recovered and chosen not to get vaccinated after that, or because individuals have gotten two doses of the vaccines and have had waning immunity. what that means also is i think we'll have to change the definition of what full immunization means to three doses, because that's what's
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going to give you that rise in virus-neutralizing antibodies and other properties and could potentially help you fight off delta but alleges potentially this omicron variant as well. >> as jeremy diamond was laying out, we'll hear later today about the new measures the administration is putting in place to take on covid this winter, including acquiring -- i was reading with interest the fact they were going to include a requirement that privaten shurns companies reimburse the costs of at-home tests for people. so free at-home testing is going to be much more widely available very soon, at least it would seem. how significant is that? >> i think it's important. i wish the measure would have been taken earlier. the question is that, is that as efficient as simply making the kit available for a dollar or $2 a dose at the local pharmacy. one of the things we learned, kate, is our health system cannot tolerate any complexity. the minute things get the least bit fussy or complicated, it all
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breaks down. that's been the history the last two years. so the less fussy, easy breezy we can make it, the better. i think the other really impactful aspect of the plan is you can see the biden administration straining and pulling and pushing every lever possible to employ the full force of the federal government to get people vaccinated with three doses of mrna or two of the j&j vaccine. the problem is, you know, it can only get us so far. we still have going to need cooperation from the governors and local officials to make this happen. to me, i think, this is going to be the toughest part. even after all this time we have only 59% of the country vaccinated and of that 59% only a small proportion have gotten three doses. so we have a long way to go. ultimately, that's the only way aside obviously from the masks and things like that, but our major tool is vaccination. so, you know, the biden administration is doing
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everything it can within the power of the federal government. the problem is by constitutional design the way madison and jefferson did this, there are limits to the reach of the federal government that we'll need the cooperation of the states. >> dr. anthony fauci joined cnn's town hall last night. he was asked on the conversation about vaccines, was asked if he thought the covid vaccine will become a yearly necessity. a booster every year, if you will. let me play what he said. >> the honest answer is we don't know what's going to be required. i hope we get a durability of protection from the boosts that we won't have to be chasing all the time against the new variant. that just remains to be seen. >> you know, a lot of people have started thinking that this could become something like the flu shot, right, that you get it every year. what do you think about this? what's the science behind it? >> well, the science was that this was always a three-dose vaccine. when we gave this -- i've said
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this since the beginning, since january, february, that when you gave those first two doses so close together, you guaranteed that immunity would wane and would require a third immunization in order to give you that 30-fold rise in virus neutralizing antibodies and provide immune responses. that's not what's happening. it should have been messaged from the beginning it was a three-dose vaccine. i'm not convinced we'll need bosters every year. it could be three and done. as dr. fauci points out, we won't know till we know. but i have some optimism that three doses may be adequate for this right now. >> interesting. good to see you, dr. hotez. thanks. >> thank you. coming up for us, russia warning of a return to military confrontation over ukraine as the united states tells moscow that there will be serious consequences if they move the invade ukraine again. the very latest from the region
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matthew chance is live in kyiv with much more. you have good reporting on this. what are you hearing about where things stand? is the situation getting better or worse as the secretary of state has been having these meetings? >> reporter: there's clearly some tension behind closed doors because that took place at a dinner last night ahead of the meetings between secretary of state blinken and his russian and ukrainian counterpart. they were all having an informal dinner the night before with other foreign ministers. they had a harsh exchange of words. what russia says it wants is legal agreements for nato and the united states and its military allies not to expand any further towards the east, towards russia's borders. they say, have been saying for a
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while and reiterating it now, they say that affects negatively russia's national security and they want a binding, ironclad agreement to have it stopped. the united states have essentially, you know, ruled that out. in fact, u.s. secretary blinken called that perplexing, and he's warned moscow again there will be consequences if they continue to adopt this aggressive military stance towards ukraine. take a listen. >> in my meeting with prime minister lav roch, i made very clear our deep concerns and our resolve to hold russia responsible for its actions, including our commitment to work with european allies, to pose severe consequences on russia if it takes further aggressive action against ukraine. >> in temples of stopping nato or ukraine joining nato, the ukrainians have acted angrily saying frankly it's none of russia's business if they speak to the western military alliance
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about the possibility of joining. >> matthew, thank you for continued great reporting. in the meantime, joining me is former ambassador to ukraine, john herbst. good to see you again, ambassador. thanks for being here. how serious do you think this moment is in terms of russia's military moves and the posture we're hearing from the secretary of state blinken? >> moscow has positioned itself, having 100,000 troops on ukraine's borders in various places, to launch a major invasion of ukraine. they're positioning this way because their covert secret war, not so secret, has failed. they want to have something else to push ukraine away from the west. so the possibility of russia striking large is there. i don't think, however, it will happen. i think it's bluff. in part i think it's bluff because there was reaction by the biden administration very strong. blinken has more than earned his pay in the past couple weekss i
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sending a clear message to putin if they strike, there will be very real economic sanctions and military support for weapons for the ukraine. the fact the u.s. has taken such a strong position and coordinated that position with our european allies and partners makes the risk for moscow much larger. therefore, i think putin will not strike. >> so interesting, because getting to blinken's forceful language on this, because i wanted to ask you about, that because part of his warning is that the response to further russian aggression in ukraine, as he put it, is the u.s. would respond with high-impact economic measures that we've refrained from using in the past. ambassador, what would those sanctions look like? blinken has not laid that out so far. do you think that is convincing enough to deter russia?
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>> he has not laid it out, which is actually smart. but the things we're discussing, i think the russians know this, and certainly we've been doing real coordination with the eu, so they know this, would be, for example, going after major russia banks, which are not affected right now. it could be going after a new sector such as minerals. it could be going after russia's secondary debt, which would have a major impact on moscow's economy. the sanctions we have in place right now already cost the russia economy 1% of gdp or more. these sanctions would at a minimum double that and perhaps more. so this is a serious disensign tif to the kremlin. >> this issue -- look, after 2014 i'm kind of wondering, like, how far does the united states let russia go and what does -- before the united states would do more. i'm wondering, do you think it can move past anything more than
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very tense words that we're seeing right now? because right now, as you've said, russia is amassing troops at the border. how far do you think the united states lets russia go before taking these major steps? >> well, again, the sanctions i've just described will be if moscow, in fact, sends its convention of military forces in ukraine in a major fashion. that, again, is a serious deterrent. also we've begun to provide additional military equipment to ukraine to make sure that russia will have a harder time if it does, in fact, go large into ukraine. to my mind, this is probably sufficient. i wish, in fact, we provided more military involvement. i think we've been hesitant in the past to do that. we need to do more. but what we're doing already now is pretty good. and don't forget, if you look back on the pattern of russian aggression going back to a march into georgia in 2008, when it
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seized crimea, the western reaction in those instances, and the u.s. reaction was in fact weak and late. after the russian military operation began in april of '14, the reaction was a little bit late but reasonably strong. in this instance, with the threat of a major invasion, the threat from washington and the west has been fast and strong. that's why i think this will probably work. i give the biden administration high marks on this and generally the policy against russia, except for the disastrous decision by biden on waiving sanctions, which was a huge gift for putin. >> thank you for your time. your perspectives are so interesting. coming up for us, thrive capitol hill where congress is facing down a possible government shutdown. the top senate republican is weighing in. we'll go there next.
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deal to avoid just that. that might be reassuring, but how they get this over the finish line is still not clear. both chambers of congress need to pass a bill to continue funding government operations by friday. manu raju live on capitol hill with all the breaking details. manu, in the press conference with speaker pelosi. what did she have to say? >> she expects the vote to happen today on this short-term funding bill to keep the government open until mid-february, but that is virtually assured it will pass the house. the democrats have a majority in the house. the rules allow them to pass it pretty quickly. in the senate, it is an open question about whether they can actually pass this before the deadline, 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night is when they have to pass the bill in order to avoid a brief government shutdown that could potentially last into early next week if they do not get some sort of resolution. the reason why there's a question about why there might not ultimately be a quick vote is because of a separate debate
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over defunding vaccine mandates. so something that two republican senators in particular have been demanding to be added as part of this bill, those two senators roger marshall and mike lee. marshall said this morning he would object to any effort to have a quick vote to keep the government open unless he gets a separate amendment voted on to defund the vaccine mandate on businesses. now the key point here is he wants the threshold to be set on passage as a simple majority. that means it could potentially pass if they get one democrat to vote yes. the one who could is joe manchin, who told us this morning he is not ruling out backing that amendment. democrats don't want to be added to this and they're not going to allow this to pass at a simple majority, which raises the questions about how this can be resolved. but the larger issue is the leadership has just released this deal, has cut this deal to keep the government open on the brink of the shutdown deadline. in order the get anything passed in the senate, they need all 100
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senators to agree to a quick vote. otherwise it could be pushed to next week and there could be last-minute drama for a brief government shutdown if any of the republican senators insist on that. >> good to see you, manu. see what happens in next few hours. i want to turn to michigan where the 15-year-old student accused of opening fire on his classmates in oxford, michigan, is now facing murder and terrorism charges. more charges could be coming potentially against his parents. a fourth student at oxford high school has died now from that shooting, and authorities say there is no question in their mind that the attack was premeditated. cnn's shimon prokupecz is live in oxford, michigan, with much more on this. what is the latest you're hearing, shimon? >> reporter: kate, certainly the investigators here and prosecutors indicating yesterday that they are working towards bringing charges against the parents, potentially. that is something that they are
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working on, and that would be extremely significant. this morning, the sheriff revealing new information, key details about meetings that a teacher had with the parent, also some new details about some of the concerns the teachers had. take a listen. >> the day of the shooting, a different teacher in a different classroom saw some behavior that they felt was concerning, and they brought the child down to an office, had a meeting with school officials, called in the parents, and ultimately it was determined that he could go back in to class. and so that's obviously part of our investigation. >> reporter: so the question, obviously, is why did the school allow him to go back to class? what did the parents know? that is something that investigators are working on. we also don't have much more
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information about what the behavioral issues were, what the teachers were concerned about. investigators say they need to save that information for the trial, and they do not want that information getting out. but obviously a lot of questions that parents here certainly are going to be asking, kate. >> absolutely. thank you, shimon. really appreciate it. coming up for us, it could be a battle royale for the governor's mansion in georgia as stacey abrams announces she's launching her second bid for governor of georgia. we'll go there next. [uplifting music playing]
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now to a political story with national implications. democratic powerhouse stacey abrams has launched another run for governor of georgia. she could face a rematch with incumbent governor brian kemp but he needs to get through a real battle in the republican primary. the 2018 contest between kemp and abrams was one of the most expensive in u.s. history. it was also a nail-biter and got ugly. abrams lost by less than 2% of the vote and she never formally conceded the race and sued over allegations of voter suppression. joining me for more on what this could look like, patricia
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murphy, political reporter for "the atlanta journal constitution." good to see you. what will this rematch look like if it becomes one? >> well, we don't know exactly what it will look like because, as you said, former senator david perdue is actively considering a challenge to governor brian kemp. that is because donald trump has seemed to have made it his life's work to defeat brian kemp here in georgia, even though he is a sitting republican governor. we would have typically a rematch that would look like the battle of the titans, hundreds of millions of dollars spent against the campaigns by each campaign. i think it would be the highest profile governor's race in the country regardless of what happens because stacey abrams has had her own profile race enormously. georgia has become a battleground state with the flips in 2020 and the white house in 202 as well. then we've got governor kemp, otherwise popular republican governor, but with donald trump out there saying that stacey abrams would be a better
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governor than brian kemp, we've got a really hot race on our hands, and we don't know who exactly is going to end up in it. >> i think what you're perfectly describing is we really can't state how much things have changed since the 2018 contest between kemp and abrams, right? because georgia is really becoming the center of the political universe this cycle, one reason being what you pointed out, which is the trump factor in all of this and how trump's completely soured on governor kemp. now you have on top of that add in the new voting law that's been put in place giving the republican-controlled legislature more control over elections. >> that's exactly right. republicans had a fabulous story to tell after the virginia election because glen youngkin was able to really stay at arm's length with donald trump. he could get those trump supporters without really having to do that.
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that won't be the case in georgia. while republicans would love to be running against joe biden, they are thrilled to be running against stacey abrams, but they may not be able to have the conversation until they figure out who will be the nominee for governor. it's an extraordinary situation and one we did not expect to find ourselves in, but that's where we are. >> no kidding. one thing that abrams is already going to be facing is -- well, the republican governors' association is laying the groundwork as well as the republican secretary of state calling abrams out for never formally conceding her loss to kemp in 2018. the secretary of state of georgia was just on cnn this morning and definitely made a point to say this. listen to this, patricia. >> well, after the 2018 race, she never conceded and we ended up with nine lawsuits in my first day of office from her allied groups. i would hope this time, whatever the results are, that she'd have the common grace to accept the
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results. >> look, as you've laid out, there is a million factors that will be going into this race no matter how it shapes out. but how do you think that -- how much of a factor do you think that issue is going to play into this race? >> it's definitely going to be a republican talking point. it's true that stacey abrams never did concede that race. she said she's not going to concede a race she doesn't have full confidence in. one thing that's different from what donald trump did in 2020 in georgia is she never did seek to overturn those election results. she moved on. she said the governor is the governor. donald trump, on the other hand, has never stopped since 2020 saying this was a rigged election, that he won in georgia. he said it last night at a fund-raiser for her shl schel w who will be running in georgia as a u.s. senate candidate. i wouldn't say they tear same situations. they're not. but it will be a republican talking point and more trump inserting himself in this
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election as he already has. >> it's going to be something to watch for sure, just this race in general. good to see you. thank you. >> thanks. as overdose deaths soar to record highs in the united states, the data points to one culprit above all -- fentanyl. there is a new trend among some users as they fight to stay alive. that's next. ♪ the one desire ♪ ♪ you are, you are, ♪ ♪ don't wanna hear you say... ♪ ♪ ♪ i want it that way ♪ ♪ ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark.
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a provocative question. should the country be helping to make illegal drug use safer? dr. sanjay gupta takes a closer look at users who are starting to test their drugs to try and avoid deadly overdoses. >> kenya has been using heroin off and on for more than 20 years. lately she says each time feels like a real gamble. >> put it in the cup, yes. and you just pour it onto that. i use the end to stir it. >> what you're watching is tanya testing for the presence of the deadliest drug in america. >> and it just takes a small amount, and just dip it in. >> between may of 2020 and april of 2021, more than 100,000
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people died from drug overdoses in the united states. that's the most ever for a 12-month period. dig deeper, and you will see that this tragic story is almost entirely about fentanyl. >> people dying. what's scary is it's the smallest amount of fentanyl. it's such a tiny amount that we have seen people go out. >> when you say "go out," is that -- >> overdose. >> the reason? fentanyl is faster acting and more powerful than heroin and not just a little bit, up to 50 times more potent. and because it's significantly cheaper to produce it's an attractive cutting agent. that means dealers mix it in, giving a small amount of heroin a bigger punch, juicing up fake prescription pills. nowadays fentanyl is mixed with just about any drug. the problem is this -- if
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someone isn't expecting fe fentanyl, they can easily overdose. >> it's instant. i mean, as soon as they hit, most of the time it's still in their arm. it's not they're tied of or something. it happens fast. >> from live to dead within seconds. louise vincent has heard too many of these stories as well. she's executive director of the north carolina urban survivors union and has dedicated her life to harm reduction, trying to make the use of drugs safer, like naloxone or narcan, which can rescue someone from an overdose. as you're watching in this extraordinary video. even better, though, preventing the overdose in the first place. >> why are they using them? >> drug users care about their
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health because people don't want to die. people don't want to be sick. contrary to what everybody says, people who use drugs are human beings, and they want the same thing every other human being wants. >> giving them a chance to use safely has a long history of controversy. is it saving lives or enabling even more drug usage? in the '80s and '90s, it was a debate about usage or consumption sites or safe places to use like this bathroom in new york. and lately it's about fentanyl test strips. researchers will tell you that the evidence shows that harm reduction works. >> the question that will always come up is does this actually save lives? does this prevent deaths? do we know that? >> we don't know that yet, but what we are seeing is that people are using more safely. they're more aware of what's
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going on. >> john studies the impact of fentanyl test strips. >> what we found is people with a positive test result were five times more likely to change their behavior. >> like using less of the drug, doing a test shot ahead of time, or maybe using with someone else who can watch them. tania credits the fentanyl strips in keeping her from overdosing as the drug supply has become progressively more and more dangerous. >> i think i use it more now than i did two years ago. we're at a greater risk of having unknown substances put into the drugs. >> with covid came a treacherous, treacherous drug supply. >> and with that, technology has had to keep up as well. it's why louise and her team are now working with this man from the university of north carolina to utilize infrared petroscopy.
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it can help distinguish components in the drug. >> we may call it heroin, refer to it as heroin, but it usually isn't. sometimes other cutting agents and then sometimes very dangerous chemicals. >> what we've seen more recently, especially during covid, is big supply chain disruptions of established cartels, so you have a lot more experimentation, a lot more -- a lot of new chemicals, synthesis methods being used to manufacture the same end product that's all being called heroin or fentanyl, but what's actually in them is being changed. >> these machines may represent the future, but for now they are costly. just a handful of groups like louise's around the country even have access to them, which is
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why fentanyl test strips are so important right now. >> what do you see. >> that's your one line. you see where it's threaded in purple? >> so what does one line mean. >> it's positive. if another one is there, it's negative. >> this has fentanyl in it. >> absolutely. this is fentanyl. >> i can tell you these strips, they only cost about a dollar apiece. you can even buy them on amazon. here's the thing. some states still consider them drug paraphernalia. so even though you can buy them quite openly, they're considered illegal in some places. that's the issue of harm reduction, kate. over 100,000 die of drugs. this is one way to save lives. >> it's fascinating, really, really eye-opening, sanjay. such great performing.
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an important note, everyone. sanjay is launching a new series called "chasing life" with real and tangible strategies to lead a healthy life. this will be a regular feature on the show. we're very excited on that. sanjay starts with a focus today on anger. >> i'm dr. sanjay gupta, host o. over time anger can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, even insomnia. how do we deal with anger? personally i like to go for a run. some experts tell me that's not really a great idea. why? because you should think of anger as a flame, and the goal is to turn down that flame.
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something like running can keep arousal levels high. even venting to a friend can also feed that flame. instead think about trying one of these things. take a deep breath. change your body language. distract yourself or do something that produces positive emotions like giving someone a hug. dealing with anger isn't easy, but we can all practice turning down the heat when that feeling strikes. you can hear more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcasts. >> "chasing life." sanjay, thank you so much for that. it's great to see you all. thanks so much for being here. i'm kate bolduan. inside politics with john king begins after a break.
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such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines, don't change or stop them without talking to your doctor. when you help heal your skin from within, you can show more with less eczema. talk to your child's eczema specialist about dupixent, a breakthrough eczema treatment.
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hello and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing your day with us. another covid reset. today the president outline as new plarngs getting insurance to pay for them and convincing companies to give you time off so you can get boosted. mark meadows repeatedly peddled bogus things about the election fraud. democrat alexandria ocasio-cortez says that makes him leader of e,


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