tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN December 8, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST
good morning everyone. i'm kate bolduan. we begin with breaking news on the pandemic. pfizer announcing this morning that two doses of its vaccine may not provide sufficient protection against the omicron variant, but also importantly announcing a booster dose neutralizes the fast-spreading new strain. listen.
>> so, yes, you could say to be protected of omicron you really need a three-dose series. that's the way we should look at it, three doses is what you need. >> even with all the attention on the omicron variant it is still the delta variant that is leading to a new surge in america right now. right now the united states is averaging 118,000 new cases per day. that's up 61% in the last month. here are the important metrics. more than 62,000 americans are hospitalized with covid, an increase of 36% in the last month, and 1,500 americans are dying each day from the virus still. the u.s. death toll now approaching 800,000. joining me right now for more on this news coming from pfizer is cnn medical analyst dr. jonathan reiner. thank you for being here. the two-dose regimen of pfizer
may not hold up against omicron. but adding a booster improves efficacy dramatically according to the company, the antibody level rising 25-fold. what's your reaction to this? >> cautiously very optimistic. this is very good news. the question that we had once we understood how many mutations omicron had was whether or not the existing vaccines would be effective or whether we would need to rapidly develop mutation-specific vaccines to deal with this variant. so the good news, at least this preliminary data from pfizer suggests that when given in a three-dose, it will neutralize the variant. the mrna vaccines are three-dose vaccines. in order to effectively treat delta, you need three doses of this vaccine. and in order to effectively
neutralize omicron, you also need three doses. so i find this overall very, very optimistic. >> do you think when it comes to the three-dose question, do you see it as settled at this point with the reporting this morning from pfizer? >> well, i don't know if it's settled. this is laboratory data. they create what's called a pseudovirus, and then they had sera from people who have received vaccines, and they look to see how dilute you can make the sera and have it still neutralize this virus that they've created. in the laboratory this suggests that the boosted sera will neutralize -- effectively neutralize this virus. the proof is in the pudding. the proof will be when we start to see what happens in the community, how effective is this in actually preventing boosted people from getting sick. the other data that pfizer
announced this morning was that the t cell response which is the cellular immunity -- which is really part of the immune package that prevents you from getting seriously ill or dying from this virus is very well maintained. so i think we have a lot to be grateful for. having said all this, i think it's very reasonable for the american people to understand that going forward, we're almost certainly going to have boosters coming in the next several months that are tailored to whatever the specific variant is circulating around the world. we're going to have to just become accustomed to getting vaccinated for covid the way we're vaccinated for influenza where the vaccine is changed every year to tailor to whatever new strain is circulating around the world. this is the new reality. i'm grateful we have technology, this mrna technology can be changed very rapidly. pfizer has announced they can
have a new booster, if they needed to have a new booster specifically tailored to this variant ready in 95 days which is unimaginably fast. >> they said they can and likely will have it ready in march, is what i heard the scientific officer say this morning. thank you dr. reiner. coming up in just a moment, president biden's chief medical adviser, dr. anthony fauci, is going to be joining us live to talk about this news and much more about the pandemic. stand by for that. we also have more breaking news we want to get to. the chairman of the house committee investigating the january 6th insurrection has just notified the attorney for mark meadows that he has no choice but to move ahead with contempt proceedings against meadows. donald trump's former chief of staff, of course, indicated that at first he would cooperate with the investigation and then abruptly stopped. let's get over to cnn's paula reid who is live in washington with all of this. paula, what is the chairman laying out here?
>> reporter: kate, the chairman in this letter released this morning, he tells mark meadows, the former chief of staff, that the committee has no choice but to advance criminal contempt proceedings against him given that he's decided to no longer cooperate with the committee. he's going to recommend that the body in which meadows once served must refer him for criminal prosecution. interestingly, kate, the letter reveals new details about the previous correspondence between meadows and the committee. for the first time they go integrator detail about what exactly he's voluntarily turned over to the committee. it includes an email discussing the appointment of an alternate slate of electors as part of a, quote, direct and collateral attack after the election. another email references a 38-page powerpoint briefing entitled "election fraud, foreign interference and options for january 6th" that was to be provided on the hill.
it's not exactly kwleeclear wha these emails mean. they'll help to illustrate why the committee is so interested in talking to meadows. meadows will be referred to the justice department for criminal contempt. it will be up to the justice department and the attorney general whether they want to proceed with formal charges. they have charged steve bannon with contempt. that kes was different for a couple reasons. first of all, he was not a white house official on january 6th. he also didn't engage at all with the committee. meadows, he has shared some documents, signaled a willingness to cooperate but then did an about-face. it's unclear this set of facts will be enough for the justice department to pursue criminal charges. kate, really importantly, we're waiting for on going litigation about executive privilege and what rights the former privilege has related to this investigation. the resolution of that case
really could have some implications potentially for meadows. so it may be a while before we learn if there will be any criminal charges filed. kate? >> paula, thank you. really appreciate it. we're also learning more this morning about what happened during that two-hour meeting between president biden and russian president vladimir putin yesterday. in a speech in moscow moments ago, putin says his talks with biden were open and constructive, and breaking just now, president biden just spoke about that meeting as well as he was leaving the white house. the president in part insisting that putting u.s. troops on the ground in ukraine, not on the table still. joining me is william taylor, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine. it's good to have you back. thank you. i wanted you to translate for me or translate putin speak if you could. if vladimir putin is saying today the talks were open and constructive, what does that tell you about how this high-stakes meeting went? >> kate, it sounds like mr.
putin may have had greater expectations going into the conversation than he had coming out. it sounds like he didn't get any response from president biden to mr. putin's request or demand or red line about what ukraine could or couldn't do, about what kind of sanctions would be put on. i think mr. putin is putting the best face on, saying it was constructive, which is a good thing. it's good for the two leaders to be talking. indeed, that might be what has come out of this conversation, that is, a way forward that mr. putin can express his concerns in the dialogue that has to do with european security, a conversation that clearly has to take place with europeans including ukrainians and americans. if mr. putin wants to make the case for his security in that context, that may be a good thing coming out of those discussions yesterday. >> so then what then are you
looking for specifically now to see if president biden is actually successful in warning putin off? what would be the first sign? >> the first sign has to be a demobilization of significant numbers of troops, russian troops on the border, several borders of ukraine. as we know, the russians have moved forces up close to the border in crimea that they illegally occupy on ukraine's western border and on the northeast, to the northeast towards belarus. so the first sign, and indeed a precondition really, for any kind of useful, constructive conversation, negotiation on european security has to be a demobilization, a deescalation -- president putin has to pull back his troops. as we recall, he did that as a response to president biden's phone call in april, when
president biden said pull back your troops and he did. he needs to do that again. >> we know putin made clear once again that he wants to keep ukraine from becoming a member of nato. that's one of his major motivating factors, his intention there. in 2008 that country, ukraine, was promised membership eventually into nato. i want to play for you what admiral james staff rid dishad to say. >> we have 30 countries in nato today, we've added several in the last few years in the balkans. 30 is a pretty good number, but that does not mean we cannot have close partner. zblt the admiral suggesting that now is not the time to bring ukraine into nato. do you agree? >> kate, i think no one is
pushing to have ukraine come in to nato now. it was not an issue of now or even the next year. the prospect for joining nato needs to be out there. as you indicated, the alliances said some day you will be in nato. but the time is not immediately. the time may be in the future. there's a lot of work that needs to be done. actually, there are other ways that the united states and ukraine could interact. there could be some other agreements between the united states and ukraine that would not require other nato allies to be on board, to agree. right now for ukraine to join nato, which again is not on the table immediately, but as it stands now, all other nato allies would have to agree, whereas, if the united states were to have a relationship,
some kind of a stronger relationship with ukraine that addresses their security, we could do that ourselves. >> ambassador, thank you so much. i'm just getting a couple more notes from the control room on what president biden was saying as he was leaving the white house just now, saying the united states would not unilaterally use force against russia for invading ukraine. president biden also saying he is confident that putin got the message. so much more to come on that. ambassador, thank you as always, really appreciate it. >> thank you, kate. still ahead for us, much more on the breaking news from pfizer saying its coronavirus booster will protect against the omicron variant. dr. anthony fauci joins me live next.
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pfizer saying when combined, the booster shot neutralizing the omicron variant. the company reporting today the third dose shows a 25-fold increase in antibody levels compared to just two doses when it comes to omicron. joining me for more on what this means is dr. anthony fauci, director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases and chief medical adviser to president biden. thank you, dr. fauci, for being here. what's your read on the news from pfizer? >> the news is encouraging.
with the new omicron variant the initial study shows that for people with two doses of the mrna vaccine, the protection against infection -- at least laboratory data, we don't have clinical data yet -- diminishes significantly. however, as people from pfizer pointed out, when you get that third shot boost, it dramatically increases the level of laboratory projected protection. in other words, if you look at the level of antibodies and very likely other immune parameters, that you still stay within the level of protection, which is really very encouraging news because everyone obviously is concerned about the appearance of this new marntd which has mutations that are somewhat concerning. this is good news about the booster protection. >> one key question with omicron has been are current vaccines sufficient, do they hold up? so now with this lab data, are you now confident and
comfortable that the answer is yes with three shots of pfizer? >> i believe so. we should remember that the vaccines that we've all received were against the original ancestral wuhan strain yet they protect very well against alpha, beta and delta when you get the level of response high enough. that's what we're seeing now with omicron. so one can project that, if you get a high enough level of protection induced by the current vaccines, they will hold strong. however, having said that, kate, we are still, together with the pharmaceutical companies, going ahead to make a variant-specific boost just in case it turns out that the boost with the current vaccine doesn't give that kind of durable response. but from the preliminary data that you just mentioned, we have every reason to believe that the booster with the standard vaccine should hold us well. >> you said this is good news.
are you breathing a little easier this morning with this news? >> quite frankly, i am, kate. when you're entering into an arena of a new variant with very many unknown aspects about it, you always have a degree of anxiety about how it's going to turn out. so there were three major unknowns. is it much more transmissible than delta? does it's lewd or evade the immune response and is it clinically more severe? as the days and weeks go by in realtime we're learning more and more. the news we got last night and this morning about the effect of boosters does make me breathe a little better. i'd like to learn a little more, as we will, over the next few days to weeks about the degree of transmissibility and severity of disease. >> pfizer's chief scientific officer said this morning on cnn that he thinks fully vaccinated against omicron, it means three
doses. do you think the definition of fully vaccinated should now change? >> well, you know, as you say, it's a technical, almost semantic definition. and it is the definition for requirements, if someone says, are you fully vaccinated to be able to attend class in a university or college or be able to work in a workplace. right now, kate, i don't see that changing tomorrow or this week or next week. but when you want to talk about optimal protection, i don't think anyone would argue that optimal protection is with a third shot. whether or not it officially gets changed in the definition, i think that will be considered literally on a daily basis. that's always on the table. >> and this discussion has been going on for a bit. with this data coming in this morning, i'm kind of stuck with is it a matter now of when, not if, the definition of fully vaccinated changes? >> my own personal opinion,
kate, is what you said is correct. it's going to be a matter of when, not if. >> does timing of that matter? >> well, timing of that matters, kate, with regard to the lawsuits that are now about osha and whether or not a fully vaccinated person -- as you know, that point that was made by the president that private businesses with 100 or more people either should be fully vaccinated or get tested regularly. the federal workers, as you know, are required to be vaccinated. certain people who come under the medicare/medicaid. it has implications for that, and that's the reason why it matters. >> because there are -- there's broad implications for who and when and how -- but for you, is it sooner rather than later that
you'd like to see the definition change if this is just what the data is showing us? >> you know, kate, for me as a public health person, i just say get your third shot. forget about what the definition is. i just want to see people be optimally protected. that's what i'm concerned about. for me that's unequivocally and unquestionably getting a third shot boost. >> you mentioned that pfizer -- you said that the government is also working with moderna on continuing to still produce a variant-specific booster for omicron. why is that necessary if we're seeing that this -- that these original vaccines with a booster shot are holding up? >> kate, you always want to stay ahead of the game. you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. it looks like a boost with the current vaccine will work, but you never know what happens if the durability might actually fall off very rapidly. that's one of the things you
want to be prepared for. i hate to be caught short and find out that, even though temporarily that boost works but then it falls off rapidly, and you might need a variant-specific boost. you want to always try to stay a step or two ahead of the virus. that's what preparing to make a variant-specific booster does. >> absolutely. separate from the pfizer announcement, you said yesterday it appears that with the case of omicron confirmed so far, you're not seeing a very severe profile of disease. and i'm wondering if, from the data that you've seen so far, is that among both vaccinated and unvaccinated? >> well, that's a great question. the overwhelming majority of clinical data -- we don't have any clinical data yet in our own country because we don't have enough people with omicron infection. but in south africa they have a very interesting demographic breakdown. they have people that are
vaccinated, but their level of vaccination is about 30%, way below us and most other countries. they have many more people percentagewise that have hiv infection, which would put them at a greater risk of severity of disease. they have a lot of people infected with beta and even with delta. but in specific answer to your question it appears the level of severity between number of infections and requirements for hospitalization, duration of hospital stay, it looks like at least it's not more severe and likely might be less severe. overwhelming unvaccinated are always more vulnerable to all aspects of disease. if you look at what we can gather from the entire cohort in south africa, the indiitial suggestion is that it can be less severe. but we've always got to be careful, kate, don't make an extrapolation based on data
that's five days old. you've really got to get it confirmed over a longer period and with many more people. >> when you're talking about the vaccination rate, it made me remember, i think the cdc put out new data just this morning that only a quarter of americans right now eligible are actually boosted. a quarter of those eligible for a booster shot are actually boosted. and now in this -- i'm going to call it the new world of what we're learning of what omicron requires, what does that mean? it means a lot of people are a far way off from being fully protected from omicron. >> you're absolutely correct. that's the reason why we're out here, i'm out here with you telling the public if ever there was yet another spur and another incentive and another reason to get a booster shot, please do it. we have about 35 to 40 million people who have received their booster. but we have 100 million people who are eligible to be boosted
who haven't gotten boosted. not only do we have to get the v people unvaccinated vaccinate, but we've got to get people vaccinated boosted. i hope the news that's now spreading about the omicron variant and the vaccinations are going to get people to re-evaluate the need and get on there and go get boosted if you're vaccinated and go get vaccinated if you're not. before you go, the return to office continues to be a big issue for -- across the country and for many countries. google and uber just announced they're pushing back the full return to office date again in the midst of the uncertainty about omicron. from a public health perspective, is it safe to go back to the office? >> yes, it is. that's one of the reasons why we have requirements in many, many of these venues of people getting vaccinated. here in my own place where i work, at the nih, we have 99%
come compliant and 97% vaccinated. that's the reason why we're pushing hard to get people back to work. it's an order of how many and what percentage of people are vaccinated. that makes it safe and allows people to get back to where they should be, namely at the workplace. >> dr. fauci, thank you for your time today. i really appreciate it. >> good to be with you, kate. breaking news we need to get to. president biden just spoke with reporters moments ago as he was leaving the white house about the pfizer news as well as his phone call with vladimir putin. let's listen in together. >> i have good news this morning that pfizer lab report came back saying that the expectation is that the existing vaccines protect against omicron, but if you get the boosted, you're really in good shape. so that's very encouraging news. that's the lab report. there's more study going on.
that's very, very encouraging. >> -- by talking with putin yesterday? >> he talked about you a lot. >> -- >> can you answer my question first? >> the meeting with putin, i was very straightforward. there was no minced words. it was polite but i made it very clear. if, in fact, he invades ukraine, there will be severe consequences, severe consequences, economic consequences like none he's ever seen or ever has been seen in terms of being imposed. his immediate response was he understood that. i indicated i knew he would respond. beyond that if, in fact, we would also be required to reenforce our presence in nato
countries to reassure particularly those in the eastern front. in addition to that, i made it clear that we would provide the defensive capability to the ukrainians as well. the good news is -- the positive news is thus far our teams have been in constant contact. we hope by friday we're going to be able to announce to you that we're having meetings at a higher level, not just with us but with at least four of our major nato allies and russia to discuss the future of russia's concerns relative to nato writ large and whether or not we have worked out any accommodation as relates to bringing down the temperature along the eastern front. >> -- >> yes. in terms of in ukraine? >> -- will you rule that out or
is that on the table? >> that is not on the table. we have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our nato allies if they were to attack under article 5, it's a sacred obligation. that obligation does not extend to nato -- i mean to ukraine. but it would depend upon what the rest of the nato countries were willing to do as well. but the idea that the united states is going to junilaterall use force to confront russia invading ukraine is not in the cards right now. but what will happen is, there will be severe consequences that will -- >> you've known vladimir putin for years. are you confident he got the message and knows this is different? >> i am absolutely confident he got the message. >> president biden just moments ago. let me bring in cnn's john harwood for more on what we just learned and heard from the
president. i'm absolutely confident that putin got the message, john. what else did you hear? >> reporter: confident he got the message, not confident he's going to respond to the message in the way president biden wants him to. i think mostly president biden was repeating what we heard from jake sullivan yesterday, which was this was a very direct and straightforward conversation that put the idea squarely before putin that there would be severe economic consequences if he innovated ukraine. i think the news from what president biden just said was the possibility of that diplomatic off-ramp. we hadn't gotten many details about that, but he said he hoped to announce by friday higher-level talks between united states officials and russians as well azure company allies about how to deal on russian security. russia made the case it's not merely threatening ukraine, that it itself is being threatened by
nato, the potential expansion of nato in ukraine, the military buildup that the nato sees as in defense of ukraine. so there are two sides to that discussion, and providing some sort of way of reassuring putin might be a way of avoiding both the invasion and those severe economic consequences which, of course, would affect not just russia but countries that want to do business with russia, kate. >> so interesting. thanks, john for jumping on. i appreciate it. now to capitol hill, the head of instagram will be in the hot seat, testifying before congress for the first time. the popular social media platform owned by facebook is battling scathing reports from a whistle-blower and allegations that the platform creates an unhealthy, even dangerous environment for kids online. >> cnn's donie oh vul l'sulliva
joining us. instagram chief adam azari, what's he likely to face today? >> as you mentioned, it is his first time testifying before congress. he is one of mark zuckerberg's top lieutenants, but although zuckerberg has had a lot of bad press over the past few years, not a great reputation right now and in some ways ostracized. mazari earlier this year was the co-chair of the met gala. we saw him there on the red carpet at that event. he hasn't got the public scrutiny that zuckerberg has despite running this huge platform. yesterday ahead of the hearing facebook and instagram announced some new features. i think we have a list of them, that would put parents in control of more safety measures for young users on the platform, including a prompt telling people to take a break.
some people say that's a good step. others say it's just to give mazari a talking point on capitol hill today. of course, people will say it isn't really addressing the more fundamentals of the algorithm, speaking of which, new reporting overnight, investigation research done by a tech advocacy group, called the tech transparency project. they set up accounts that were accounts belonging to 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, accounts belonging to teenagers, to kids. they quickly found these kids were seeing accounts advertising the sales of drugs, even being reached out from a purported drug dealer on the platform. you see there that is what the tech transparency project found. it's really, really troubling. so mazari will have to answer to that, kate. >> unbelievable. again, people should be outraged. if you have the platform, you
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his store inflation is once again threatening to derail a huge piece of president biden's economic agenda. senator manchin on the social spending bill. >> we had people at that time saying inflation will be transitory. we had 17 nobel laureates saying it's going to be no problem. well, 17 nobel laureates were wrong. the unknown we're facing today is much greater than people believe in this aspirational bill we're looking at. >> this is what he told cnn's manu raju on monday. >> i don't know how you control inflation when the first year of spending is going to be quite large. that's an awful lot more of federal dollars going into a time when we have uncertainty. >> uncertainty.
but there are also some protections this morning that things are looking up and some prices are going down. joining me right now is mark sandy, the chief economist for moody's analytics. it's very clear the white house has had this big spending bill will help control inflation. it's also clear joe manchin doesn't agree. who is right? >> i would say neither. it's neither here nor there when it comes to inflation, kate. this is about long-term economic growth. all else being equal, this should take the edge off, improve labor productivity, that's the infrastructure part of the bill. it should help to grow labor force participation. inflation is really not the issue when it comes to this piece of legislation. >> which is why i wanted to ask you, because it's interesting it's come so much into the conversation about this legislation of recent.
>> i think there's strong feelings about the legislation. it is a big package, $1.75 trillion over ten years. strong feelings and people are going to use arguments to help support their perspectives on this. i really don't think the argument here is around inflation. in fact, i'd go so far to say in tow at that time, the inflationary impacts are really not significant, but for lower income households, low and middle-income households, the beneficiaries of the package through child and elder care, through housing, through health care, their inflation rate -- the rate of increase in prices for the things they face will likely be lower. for higher income households, it very likely will be higher. in aggregate across the entire package, i don't see -- it's not a reason to vote for or against this piece of legislation. >> part of the reason for inflation is high energy costs.
the dire prediction of sky high home heating is down 48%, gas prices at a seven-week low and seem to be heading lower. why is this happening? >> well, supply and demand in the energy markets. we've seen demand come back very quickly with the improving economy, the vaccinations. the supply side of the market, oil producers have been slow to ramp up, which is not atypical. generally demand picks up a lot faster than supply. at these higher prices producers can make money and they increase production. now we're seeing production start to meet demand. the result is we're seeing some moderation in pricing. this is a big deal. if you go back four to six weeks ago, the price of a barrel of oil is about $85. today it's closer to 70. that means when that translates through to gasoline prices, we'll go from $3.50 a gallon which was the peak a few weeks ag goal to less than $3.00. that's going to make a big difference in terms of
inflation. on friday we'll get the consumer price inflation release from the bureau of labor statistics. that's going to be ugly because that's going to reflect the higher energy prices and other prices that prevailed through november. i think that's the worst of it. >> that's interesting. jpmorgan just released its outlook for 2022 this morning. i want to read part of the prediction. our view is that 2022 will be the year of full global recovery, an end of the pandemic and a return to normal economic and market conditions we had prior to the covid-19 outbreak. how bold is that prediction? >> well, i like it. i actually agree with it. i think there's good reasons to be optimistic here. we're creating a lot of jobs, distracting from the ups and downs in the data, probably half million every month. at that pace unemployment is coming in very quickly, already at 4.2%. it's going to be below four in
the next few months. as we just discussed, i think inflation -- the peak of that is at hand and it's going to moderate going forward. if you invite me back a year from now kate and we're talking,i think we're all going to feel better about the economy. having said all that, the key is that the pandemic continues -- we'll have more waves. each wave that we suffer is going to be less disruptive to the health care system and the economy than the previous wave. if that's the case and we with get this pandemic under control, we'll feel better about the economy. >> coming up, the trial of actor jesse smollett now in closing arguments. jurors will soon decide if he staged a hate crime attack. details in a live report next. they give 'em their money back. wait, they take the car back?
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developing right now, closing arguments are under way in the trial of former "empire" star jussie smollett. he's accused of stage could a racist homophobic attack against himself. cnn's omar jimenez has been following this from chicago. what are you hearing? >> reporter: closing arguments are ongoing right now. the special prosecutor dan webb just told jurors that this is when all of the testimony and evidence gets tied together. he told them that they need to prove two things -- simply that
jussie smollett created a plan to carry out a fake hate crime, and that he falsely reported the fake hate crime as a real hate crime to the chicago police department. now specifically, webb has honed in on some bottom lines for jurors saying that the osendero brothers carried out the attack, smollett orchestrated it. he spoke about the testimony specifically saying he was providing false testimony on critical issues. his testimony lacks any credibility whatsoever. he went on to pointblank accuse jussie smollett of lying under oath. now that, as i mentioned, these arguments are ongoing. smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false police reports in regards to a hate crime here. he's maintained his innocence throughout as he's pleaded not guilty. but after these closing arguments, it will then get sent to the jury, and that's where the final word will come from. >> absolutely. omar, thank you so much for your
reporting throughout this. we'll be back to you when the news breaks. before we go, patience in this world is short supply today, these days, from something as important as wanting to get past the pandemic to something as seemingly small as waiting in line for coffee. dr. sanjay gupta now on why practicing patience is important in today's "chasing life." >> reporter: i'm dr. sanjay gupta, host of cnn's "chasing life" podcast. we've all been there -- standing in line at the grocery store, being put on hold when calling your credit card company, or counting down to a vacation, waiting. it can feel like torture. whether you like it or not, waiting is part of our daily lives, and the stress of it can actually be bad for our health. how do we learn to practice more patience? one way is to distract yourself. this allows you to create what psychology professor kate sweeney calls a state of flow. she says once you engage in another activity, whether it be
something like a puzzle or gardening, it reduces your ability to think about anything except what you're doing. if you've ever been to disney world, you know that they are the masters at this technology. they go through elaborate efforts to distract visitors from the fact that they are waiting hours in line. >> for example if you go to space mountain, if you have the app loaded up, it's going to allow you to build a spaceship. and once your spaceship is built, you get to race it with other people in the line around you. >> reporter: for longer periods of waiting like, say, for the results of a big medical test, you don't want it to feel like you're putting your life on hold. so sweeney suggests planning ahead. if you prepare for the possible outcome, this can give you back a sense of control. instead of feeling like you're just waiting around for bad news. you can hear more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcasts.
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hello, and welcome to "inside politics," i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing your day with us. omicron now in 21 states. pfizer, though, says three vaccine shots do provide a robust defense against this new variant. and a reminder, delta is still very much with us. hospitalizations in the midwest surging to pandemic highs. plus, the january 6th committee arrives at a new crossroads. the former white house chief of staff no-shows his deposition. the panel will now seek a criminal contempt charge. and blunt talk from president biden. just moments ago saying he sent a direct but polite message to vladimir putin -- don't invade ukraine. >> the idea that the united states is going to unilaterally use force to confront russia invading