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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  December 18, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST

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happy saturday. thanks for joining me. we begin this hour with the reality of saa surge in covid cases as the holidays are approaching. the list of curfews and event cancellations are growing. the rocketts calling after their christmas spectacular. ireland is starting an 8:00 p.m. curfew. rio and paris cancelling new year's fireworks shows and health officials are sounding the warning over the threat of the highly transmissable omicron variant. in the u.s., covid hospitalizations are at levels not seen since september which was at the end of the summer surge. today a stunning add mission from kamala harris telling the l.a. times this. we didn't see delta coming. i think most scientists didn't see it. she goes onto say we didn't see omicron coming. that is the nature of what this
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awful virus has been which as it turns out has mutations and variants. cnn is in new york. state seeing case counts breaking records. tell us more about what officials are doing there to slow the spread. >> reporter: you know just a little while ago, we did see a massive line outside of an urgent care clinic here in midtown manhattan. a lot of people were anxious to secure a spot to come back later for a covid test. we saw people taking similar steps just before the thanksgiving holiday when health authorities were recommending folks that if you're going to gather to celebrate the holidays to have that extra piece of mind and have that negative test result before they come together. this is happening as health authorities are recommending for the remainder of the population that hasn't been vaccinated to get that shot. if they did, to get boosted.
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even then to make sure they take that covid test they gather. this is comingalone, experiencef the largest covid counts in a single day. about 21,000 cases confirmed on thursday. that' to make sure they are well aware before they are sick before they see the loved ones and coming as your hearing from health officials and state officials, the governor of the state basically recommending that people do not take this lightly. this winter surge. when you hear from the nation's top infectious disease expert, dr. anthony fauci, he is echoing a similar message for the rest of the country. >> we can't give in. we will win this war with this virus but we will win it only because we apply the things that we have. the intervengs. we're so fortunate that we have
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a highly effective and safe vaccine. we know what public health mitigations work. we have just got to hang in there. we can't give up. we're at a war. >> reporter: there are two key ones that have seen a 40% increase over the last month. that's the daily average now about 120,000 and hospitalizations are lightly up. that's what's speaking to the other big concern here for health facilities across the country of doctors and nurses and other hospital staff that are at a point where they are beginning to see that influngs -- influx of covid patients. they do say there's a sense of gravity they were experiencing a year ago without the vaccine and that's why a lot of people aren't necessarily worried. they just wapnt to make sure thy
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are safe and whether they have been exposed before they celebrate. >> the difference this year is we have a vaccine to help prevent transmission or severe illness. thank you for your reporting. some health experts are calling the current situation a perfect forstorm for the virus. the new omicron variant spreading fast and all happening at the worst possible time, just a week before christmas day and during the winter when most people try to stay indoors. in michigan, it has covid hospitalizations hovering around a new peak. cnn jason carol went inside one michigan hospital to see how they are handling it. >> it's been a lot worse but we do what we can. i'm in the a super hero. i'm just a nurse. >> reporter: she's a covid nurse working on 8th north team.
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8th floor, north tower at beaumont hospital in dearborn, michigan. she's worked here since she graduated from nursing school about a year and a half ago. lately the covid unit is seeing more and more patients all while there are fewer nurses to care for them. >> there's been days i'm like i don't know how much longer i can do this and i'm brand flu. it's very rewarding what we do. >> reporter: the new wave is flooding michigan's health care system overwhelming doctors and nurses. admission to hospitals statewide have risen 43% over the past month. currently, there's more than 100 people being treated for covid hospital. by comparison in july, hospitalized covid patients were only in the single digits. the influx of pashtients has tad this hospital to so much so the department of defense has
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launlaunch ed support unit to help. >> the pace is very fast fp need is constant. >> reporter: she's part of a mobile team that included 14 critical care nurses for doctors. now work at beaumont. the team has worked at hospitals in 13 state since august. the situation so critical here. staff had to rush in to help a distressed patient. >> can you tell us what's happen behind us here? >> there's a patient that needs acute care. maybe a change in heart rate, a change in respiratory rate then a care comes that have critical care experience. they come in and help with care for that patient. i've been in almost 17 years and ask you asked me five years ago if i would be embedding in civilian hospital to provide
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care, i would have been like no, you've got to be kidding me. >> reporter: what is not surprising to the strike team or staff, people needing critical care are overwhelmingly unvaccinated. 443 out of the 583 covid patients its caring for statewide unvaccinated. the vast majority in the icu and on vent larts unvaccinated. sarah is a recovering covid patient. she says her vaccination status is private. she and her father who also has covid were admitte ted on sunda. >> i hope he's okay. i'm not allowed to see him because of the quarantining. it's been a roller coaster. sorry. it's been a roller coaster but i feel a lot better. >> reporter: she needed oxygen when she arrived but no longer.
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she credits those working the covid unit here pboth civilian and military helping to save her life. as for urgent pleas for those in the medical field to get vaccinated, she says this. >> what do you see as the right thing and the wrong thing? >> i really like to stay neutral. >> reporter: nurses know the stress for the 8th north team may just be beginning again. >> will i break in three months? will i break in a year? will i break in ten? i don't have that answer for you. right now i'm battling this with my patients and i don't see a stop any time soon. >> reporter: the doctors and nurses here express how grateful they are to have the military team here at beaumont hospital in terms of how long they're going to be at beaumont, we're told that the military team could be here for a month, possibly longer depending upon the need. after that, they will then move
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onto another hospital where there is more need. jason carol, cnn, dearborn, michigan. >> it's incredible what they are going through there in midwest. let's talk about all of this. doctor, welcome to you. it seems like a lot of us ar experiencing the pandemic depending where we live. some are experiencing a delay when it comes to a surge. you're in new york. what's the overall feeling among your colleagues about this current surge and where it might be headed? >> tit's feeling like deja vu. we were the first to get lit and we feel we're experiencing a similar surge where things are playing out in new york and the
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rest to have country is watching and seeing what will happen in new york city. somehow new variant will play out and what precautions do we need to take. i hope we have learned the rest of the country has learn and with us and that we prevent the worse of the surge. time will tell. >> i'm curious to know what your conversations with parents have been sounding like. what are they asking you? what are they most concerned about? are a lot of them anticipating and anxious about getting their children vaccinated under five? >> it's very interesting. i think there was a surge of patients and parents who were ready to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine was available for kids over five. unfortunately, since we saw that surge of parents that were ready to go, things have slowed down a little bit and it's been harder to convince those parents that were hesitant. we're really, really hard to reassure them to give them whatever da that they need and whatever questions they need answers so they feel ready vaccinate their kids. i hope they understand the
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urgency of the current moment. i think more more every day parents are seeing the news, watching what's happening and thinking about things and doing their risk benefit calculation differently. i hope the parents that listen and parents still have questions have the opportunity to have those answered and feel confident in vaccinated their kids soon. it includes many, many kids still. >> absolutely. as we saw it's the majority unvaccinate thad are suffering the brunts. let's focus on those vaccinate and boosted. we're seeing this rise in cases and hospitalizations. surges in the midwest and the northeast where you are here in the south right as the holiday season is beginning. what is your advice to those who are boosted. >> should those who are boosted
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have to worry about masking up or indoor group gatherings? >> i would say, you know i'll tell you what i'm doing myself and what i'm telling my family and my friends to do. it is time right now to use every tool we have. we are still lerpi learning abo omicron variant. every piece of information coming in is not good. i think at the beginning of this talk of omicron there was false sense of reassurance this might be more mild. i would love to see that but we just don't have the data yet. i would say let's use every tool we have. the most important is getting your two doses and your booster. also if you don't have to be i door at a restaurant, if you can skill a holiday gathering because maybe they're not your closest group of friends or your family, what can we do? what can we skip so we don't contribute to the spread of omicron so we don't bring it home to people who may have
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compromising immune systems. we heard of these people who don't have the immunity. what can you do and what do you have to do and what precautions can you take when doing the things that you want to do and have to do? >> as i'm sure you were on top of this, we just learned that pfizer will test a third dose of its vaccine for children between the age group of two and five years old because they realized it didn't provide the im[ music playing ] -- immunity they expected. are you disappointed to hear that or are you encouraged by that because it shows these are very caution researchers who want to make sure the vaccines are very young are effective and safe? >> i'm both. i'm disappointed the data isn't showing what we were hoping. i'm reassured and i hope parents
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at home are reassured by be process. there's so much transparency here. this is the data and the dose we tried. it didn't show what we wanted. we're trying a third dose. they will try a booster and see how children respond to that. i feel both. >> i share the same feelings. i was a little bummed because my kids are too young to be vaccinated right now. it's a little reassuring as well as a parent. appreciate all you do in educating us with the facts. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. still ahead, a vague and non-credible tik tok warn about school violence prompts closures and increase law enforcement presence in schools across the u.s. a cnn exclusive. january 6th investigators believe a text pushing a
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strategy to undermine the 2020 election came from rick perry. the details, next. plap ever had medullary thyroid cancer,
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♪ . fear of copy cats is the major concern after noncredible threats of violence an tik tok forced several schools to close down on friday. we have the story. >> reporter: in california, parents and students on edge over social media school violence. >> it feels like an evolution of a current problem. it feels like a virus that's evolving and growing. i grew up through columbine and all that. it feels like it's getting worse. >> reporter: their responding to a trend on tik tok. first seen thursday that's gone viral. rumors warning of violence. none of this has been deemed
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credible. tik tok said it's not found any original, specific threats of violence that may have prompted the warn. the department of homeland security says it has no evidence to suggest the claims are credible. school districts from minnesota to texas shut schools down on friday as a result. other district wrs were on high alert with every police officers sent to guard schools. all added to the stress of teachers and administrators. >> given the state we're in now, there's heightened anxiety and concern. we have made sure that our crisis teams are meeting and that we are prepared should the worse happen. >> reporter: this photo is from a teacher in maine who told us the school wanted to make sure teachers had these restraints for their classroom doors if needed. one school psychologist says actual school shootings spawn
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traffic like this on social media. >> we know there appears to be a contagion effect when something like the michigan school shooting happens there tends to be more threat. >> reporter: tik tok begun removing the warnings saying they were misinformation. former chief charles ramsey says this doesn't put more stress on schools but police as well. >> you already have police officers assigned to many of the shopping locations as so forth. this just not a time to stretch resources further. >> reporter: what also worries ramsey as well as officials at tik tok is this social media narrative without any credible threat might inspire a lone wolf to carry out a real attack. >> we have a lot of people that are influenced by what they see online. they're mentally unbalanced and there's no telling what they might do. >> reporter: while some school
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districts shut down completely, others took unique precautions. within large district near houston tell students and parents it was enforcing a one day policy to make students leave their backpacks at home. cnn, washington. >> it's duisturbing. thank you for your report. after the break, cnn is learning members of the january 6th committee leave trump energy secretary rick perry was the author of a text message sent to mark meadows pushing for an aggressive strategy to undermine the 2020 election. we'll have details in our exclusive reporting, next. refresh! here's how they line up. we got the new chicken & bacon ranch, new baja steak & jack, and the new baja chicken & bacon, aka “the smokeshow”" save big. order through the app.
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a cnn exclusive reporting reveals new information about a text message sent to mark meadows pushing a strategy to undermine the 2020 election. members of the january 6th committee believe former texas governor and trump energy secretary, rick perry, sent that text. cnn's whitney wild joining us. tell us more about this message. >> it appears in documents handed over to house select committee. documents that mark meadows will not testify about despite him handing over to the select committee. this is a key document because it shows there was an effort within washington and throughout the republican party to try to
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utilize ef avenue they thought was available to try to over turn the results of the election. here is what this text message said. it was read aloud by a representative and here's what it said. here is an aagreesive strategy. why can't the states of ga, nc, penn declare this is bs and send their own electors to vote and go the the scotus. this is another key piece of information that the house select committee has revealed to the public and highlights the wealth of information that they have that shows there was an effort throughout the republican party to try to convince washington, specifically people within trump's orbit to try to over turn the election.
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>> got it. appreciate it. thank you very much. let's talk more about this. kim is a law professor at the university of baltimore and a former assistant u.s. attorney. kim, great to see you. le let's start with this text message. it was pushing for the white house to ignore the votes that were cast the day after the election and that means the votes weren't even legally counted yet. as you heard a spokesperson for rick perry is denying he was the author. i want to get your reaction to the content in there and if there are any legal implications. >> liz cheney gave a shot across the bow in connection with president trump but she named the federal felony that is in play across all of these narratives and these stories.
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that is obstruction of an ini official proceeding. that's illegal. if jim jordan, whoever was behind the text, if it was rick perry, presumably, the congress and then perhaps the justice department will look into it. if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that was an attempt to interfere with the counting of the electoral votes then they could be facing up to 20 years from prison. now, this is a novel fact pattern but i should say one trump appointee just last week, a judge, held that that statue does apply to an insurrectionist in connection with the january 6th carnage on that particular day. this is very, very serious stuff. particularly given we know trump's own attorney general, bill barr had declared the election valid. these texts are being sent even though the trump government in multiple levels chris krebbs
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said this is one of the safest election s in the history of america and we still have members of congress trying to thwart it at a last minute. >> let's talk about mark meadows because it seems like all roads lead to him when it comes to these communication trails. we also heard from jim jordan this week that he had forwarded a text message from the department of defense inspector general to mark meadows about claiming a coup would be constitutionally supported. what do you make of that? >> well, we're in this bizarre area time of life where it's gaslighting right and left. it happens a lot with the law. just because one concocted a rick ob surd legal argument doesn't make it legitimate or valid. that's why we saw 60 attempts through the courts in december
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to challenge the electoral results in various states all fail. you claim stuff but it didn't mean it has any legitimacy. of course vice president pence doesn't have the authority to thwart the will of the voters. neither does the united states congress. that's what we're talk about here. we're talk about taking an election away from the people. taking democracy away from voters and giving it to republicans already in office. what's so serious about this is that we have to worry about it moving forward. this isn't just looking back backwards. this is still a serious threat to americans. the next election could be the last one we see that's free and fair if we don't get to bottom of this. this seems to be the clearinghouse for the kplu communications. he did say he was in communication with donald trump.
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the question will be to show whether donald trump acted corruptly or we'll see if he says that was people beneath me. mark meadows is pivotal because he'll have nchgs about what donald trump's state of mind is. >> what's the strategy? why would he vol tuntarily turn over 6,000 documents text messages and e-mails he denies it. why would he do that? why wouldn't he cooperate or speak or the deposed by the committee? >> i thought about this a lot. from a legal perspective it makes more sense for him to continue to sort of comply or have heartedly comply or agree
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to testify just as to certain topics. the fact he did, as you indicate, cooperate substantial st ly and then just put a red line exposes lhim to more criminal liability than if he halfheartedly continued to cooperate. i can only guess he's getting political pressure from behind the scenes even though it doesn't appear to be in his interest. he's in a very different posture than steve bannon who just refused to do anything. very easy to show willingly refusing to comply where mr. hmed dose has complied and he's made a eft to comply. that helps him in the criminal case. we'll have to see if the justice department thinks there's enough to prosecute him. it is really odd. it doesn't seem it's consistent with mr. meadows criminal best interest to just draw the line and stone wall at this late
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date. >> lastly, do you think lit be difficult for the department of justice to indiect limb on cop te contempt compared to steve bannon who was indicted but mark meadows could exert executive impressive let me. >> i think that's a loser more mark meadows. he was in the white house but he's talked about that day and reportedly in his book about his communications with donald trump. that's called waiver. secondly, he's -- donald trump is no longer president. joe biden is president. joe biden has not not claimed executive privilege. the supreme court says there has to been an official claim. if donald trump had say in that, he hasn't even officially claimed executive privilege. the last piece is we never had -- courts never had occasion to look at this but in parallel
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circumstance, attorney-client privilege goes by the wayside if you're talking about crime. even best case scenario we didn't have those other problems with executive privilege just as what happened with president nixon when he tried to claim executive privilege regard the oval office tapes fp betapes. the supreme court said no. when it comes to criminal investigation, that goes by the wayside. i don't think that's the argument. i think the stronger argument is he did comply. we'll have to see what appetite the justice department has for a slightly weaker case than mr. bannon. doesn't mean they don't have case. i would have to think the u.s. congress wouldn't have taken this step if they didn't have a sense that the justice department might be willing to carry the ball across the finish line in is so serious. there has to be accountability for this or democracy is in its twilight in america which is a tragedy for not just democrats but republicans and independents
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as well. >> it's scary thought. the threat to our democracy is far from over. it's continuing. we really have to keep our eye on the ball there. thank you so much. >> thank you. still ahead, the emotional testimony of the former police officer who fatally shot dante right. we'll have her testimony, next. of information. because the nfl is connected. and at any moment, the fate of the season can come down to this. billions of secure connections, per second. when the game is on the line and the game is always on the line touchdown! the nfl relies on cisco. with mucinex nightshift you've got powerful relief from your worst nighttime cold and flu symptoms. so grab nightshift to fight your symptoms, get your zzz's... and get back to your rhythm. ♪
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> . she faces manslaughter charges after shooting duante wright after a routine traffic stop. we have the latest from minneapolis. >> i'm sorry about this. >> you didn't plan to use deadly force that day, did you? >> no. >> you knew that deadly force was unreasonable and unwarranted in those circumstances? >> i didn't want to hurt anybody. >> reporter: under cross examine nation by the prosecution, former minnesota police officer kim potter wept. >> you stopped doing your job completely? you didn't commune wait what happened over the radio, right? >> no. >> you didn't make sure any officers knew what you had just done, right?
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>> no. >> you deparidn't run down the street and try to save his life, did you? >> no. >> you didn't check on the other car that had been hit, did you? >> no. >> you were focussed on what you had done because you had just killed somebody? >> i'm sorry about that. >> reporter: breaking down on the stand while testifying in her own defense about the day she shot and killed duante wright. >> we were struggling. we were trying to keep him from driving away. it just chaotic. i remember yelling taser, tazse, taser and nothing happened. h then he told me i shot him. >> taser, taser, taser. >> reporter: back in april life shifted in seconds. >> i just shot him. >> you remember what you said is
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my question? not with help from a video. >> i don't remember what i said. >> reporter: an officer's body cam ral showed. >> reporter: she said she never fired her gun. >> you have drawn your taser and not fired it in your 26-year career? >> yes. >> reporter: the prosecution continuing to challenge sdplp you never saw a weapon on mr. wright, did you? >> no. >> never saw a gun? >> no. >> he never flew a punch? >> no. >> reporter: the prosecutor focusing in on her taser training and decades of experience. >> these items look different, don't they? >> yes. sdplp the taser is yellow, right? >> yes. >> the firearm is black, correct? >> yes. >> you've been trained on tasers since 2002, correct? >> yes. >> reporter: her defense attorney asking about the aftermath of the shooting. potter testified she told her
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family home and moved out of the state. >> have you been in therapy? >> yes. >> do you still work as a police officer there? >> no. >> why did you quit? >> there was so much bad things happening, i didn't want my co-workers and anything bad to happen to the city. >> reporter: potter is facing first and second-degree manslaughter charges. she's pleaded not guilty to all charges. after the testimony, daunte wright's family called the killing preventible as they prepare to spend their first christmas without duante. potter in agony as she watched that body camera video following the traffic stop. she said she never would have initiated had she been working alone that day. potter testified it was a car freshener, a lot like this one in the shape of the tree that led to the stop by the rookie officer she was training.
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here in minnesota social security illegal for a driver to have anything ob s obstruct the view. closing arguments start monday. cnn, minneapolis. sd >> what day in court. thank you. join dr. sanjay gupta for a look at how some families with autistic kids are finding hope in cannibas. for some hope comes at a great risk. this special record weed 6, marijuana and autism begins tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. the guest bedroom slash music studio. the daybed slash dog bed. the living room slash yoga shanti slash regional office slash classroom. and this is the basement slash panic room. maybe what your family needs is a vacation home slash vacation home. find yours on the vrbo app. ♪ this...
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tielgeger woods is back pla golf ten months after a car crash. i know a lot of people are ex excited to see him back. >> reporter: a lot of people are around him. host here ten months after the car crash. tiger saying still a long ways away from being able to compete in a big time tournament. he still has his hands. it's his endurance is biggest
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thing that's keeping him from able to compete in a big time tournament. n that makes this weekend a perfect opportunity to come back. he gets to use a golf cart to get around the course and he gets to play with his 12-year-old son. tiger says he can't hit the ball like he used to. he doesn't hit as far and joked they will probably have to use some of charlie shots off the tee because of that. tiger also spoke about what the future looks like for him. >> i'm a long way away from playing tournament golf. this is hit and hop in a cart and moving about my business like i would back home. playing tournament golf and being able to recover, practice and train and hit balls after a round to be at a high level, i'm a long way away from that. >> reporter: tiger and charlie
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have so much of the same mannerism, the way they swing. the way they celebrate after they hit a big shot and they bir birdies hole number one. he tempered expectations but what a weekend this will be if they are able to put a low number on the board. >> i think a lot of people are excited to see them together. if their mannerisms are the same, how adorable is that. appreciate you joining us. thanks so much. we'll have much more on the next hour. first, in the season of giving, we want to show you how you can help our 2021 top cnn heroes continue their important work and have your donations matched dollar for dollar. here is anderson cooper. >> eh of this year's top ten cnn heroes proves one person can make a difference. this year we're making it easy
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for you to support their great work. click donate beneath any 2021 top ten cnn hero to make a direct contribution to that hero's fund-raiser on go fund me. you'll receive an e-mail confirming your donation which is tax deductible in the yiet. y united states. right now through january 3rd, your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $500,000. c nrks cnn is proud to offer you this way to help the cause. you donate from your laptop, tablet or your phone. your donation will help them help others, thank you. >> such great people who can use our help. if you know someone great who deserves to be a cnn hero, tell us about them. nominations for 2022 are open and we're waiting to hear if
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a mountain of toys to fulfill many wishes must be carried across all roads and all bridges. it's not magic that makes more holiday deliveries to homes in the us than anyone else, it's the hardworking people of the united states postal service.
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hi, every one. thanks for joining me. we start with a new surge in covid cases with the holiday season under way and with it, new safety measures being


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