tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN December 20, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST
ball. he said the swing and quality of his contact, the quality of his actual shots is already pga tour ready. for him to be at this point less than 10 months still after that accident, when it looked like he might lose his leg and golf was the furthest thing from anyone's mind, the guy seems to have nine lives. he finds a way to piece a body together, and to hit truly incredible golf shots. this guy is a golfing genius. if he has any sort of body to stand on, he will be good enough to play on the pga tour. some people just have it. and tiger woods, with a golf club in his hand, is magic, even after all of these injuries. . >> nice to see him smile. he loves practice ig with his son. dan rappaport, thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> if "new day" continues right now. ♪
welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. it is monday, december 20th. i'm john berman. brianna is off. erica hill joins me this morning. we do begin with breaking news. moderna released new preliminary data about its covid-19 booster. it says it does increase antibody levels against the omicron variant. what that means for youroverall protection may be clear. it comes as one expert warns as a viral blizzard this winter fueled by omicron. dr. fauci said americans should brace for a tough few months. >> this virus is extraordinary. it has a doubling time of anywhere from two to three days. right now, in certain regions of the country, 50% of the isolates are omicron, which means it is going to take over. it will be a tough few weeks and
months as we get deeper into the winter. >>st right now the average number of new daily cases in the u.s. is 130,000, up from an average of 70,000 new cases at the beginning of november. >> in new york, it appears to be the epicenter of the new surge. the state averaging 16,000 new cases daily. that is an increase of 154% in less than a week. that spread also putting new year's eve in jeopardy in new york city. mayor de blasio said haven't made a decision on that yet. they will soon in terms of what happens with that celebration for the times square ball drop. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joining us with this news just released by moderna. what more do we know about the booster shots? >> reporter: erica, moderna's press release was really in many ways quite cryptic. bhatt line is they say, a booster helps boost antibodies, but it's unclear if that would
help you fight omicron, or how much it would help you fight omicron. let's look at basic results. moderna is saying their current booster, which is 50 micro grams, that it boosted antibodies. they said 100 micrograms, double the dose, boosted antibodies even higher which brings into question, should they have made it 100 micro grams. but the effectiveness is unclear. just because it boosted antibodies does not necessarily mean that it's going to help you in your fight against omicron. but i think the bottom line, the sort of take-home message for all of us stays the same. get vaccinated of course. and get boosted. it did boost antibodies. it's not going to hurt you. and it could help you. bottom line is the same. get vaccinated and get boosted if you're more than six months past your second shot. also this morning, dr. anthony
fauci and others talking about the need for better testing. dr. fauci saying we need to flood the country with tests. right now the testing is not great in all parts of the country. >> the reason it's not clear about omicron, is that because they weren't testing against omicron when they started to do these trials? >> reporter: right. of course. when they did the clinical trials back in 2020, omicron didn't exist. delta didn't exist. they were testing it against the original form of coronavirus. sometimes called the wild type. people didn't even know omicron was around. so that is part of the reason, erica. >> elizabeth cohen, appreciate it. thank you. >> reporter: thanks. former baltimore city health commissioner dr. lena wen. we are seeing a huge rise in cases, particularly around where erica and i are sitting in new york city. a dramatic increase in cases but
not all be awful news. what is your main takeaway this morning? >> i think there's a lot that's unknown at the moment, john, about what's coming our way. and the reason is the past with other waves we have seen a rise in infection immediately is followed by overwhelming our hospitals. there is hope that maybe we can avoid this, at least in parts of the country with high vaccination rates. it seems people are still question protected against hospitalization, severe disease due to omicron. we haven't tested this. we don't know about parts of the country already overwhelmed because of delta. and they have large pockets of unvaccinated individuals. what is their health system going to look like? i hope we don't get into another situation where people are coming in for other problems with covid where they can't find a bed and be aadmitted into the hospital. this is why it is a call to
action, which is continue to get vaccinated if you're unvaccinated but those individuals who have not yet had your booster shots? what more are you waiting for before getting the booster. >> here we are in christmas week. people are planning what to do. we got this question from fran who says, i'm 81. my son is 61. we're fully vaccinated. if he visits his adult daughter and her husband who are unvaccinated, could he get the virus and give it to me? >> yes. we know that breakthrough infections are happening. it doesn't mean the vaccines don't work. it means there is so much virus around us, even vaccinated people are getting the spillover effect. if somebody vaccinated getting unvaccinated family members, everybody should get tested at the day of the visit. if they will visit somebody who is older or immunocompromised,
ideally leave three days, essentially quarantine in that period, and get tested again before seeing that individual. >> it's time for your two out of three rule. explain to people what that is. >> for people who are gathering indoors over the holidays, i would recommend at this point when there's so much virus around us that you have two out of the three things. vaccination, testing, or masking. so if you are fully vaccinated and ideally boosted, you want to see other people indoors without a mask, meaning maybe you want to have dinner with them. ideally, everybody also gets tested that same day with a rapid test. i know tests are hard to come by in parts of the country. that is the ideal, that you get tested. but if nobody is vaccinated or people or in a unvaccinated, if you are getting together, you should be masked and tested. you should have two of three
things at this point with that much virus around us. >> quickly, in terms of testing, as you said, it needs to be done that same day. so if you took a test christmas eve and you 34meet up with peop on christmas day, it doesn't mean you are negative. >> that's right. the closer your test is when gathering with people the better. this is something the biden administration needs to work on. they have done so well when it comes to vaccinations. they now need to put the same amount of effort into testing. why not test every american, use the uk or germany or so many other approaches from around the world where everybody is able to get tests. testing should not be the limiting factor. >> right now, very limiting. they're just not available when you need them and want them if you go out and search for them. dr. wen, stand by, if you will. we will speak to someone in the middle of the country we have been watching perhaps the most
closely the last few weeks. south africa, where we first detected the omicron variant. joining me now is dr. angelique, one of the first doctors to treat omicron patients. doctor, we're thrilled to have you. because i think in the united states we can learn a lot about your experience over the last month. you've been dealing with this now for quite a long time. we're just beginning to deal with it now. i just want to start with cases. what are you seeing in terms of the number of cases at this point, up, down, stable, what? >> good afternoon. yes, it is a very interesting question. what we currently see is our cases, we are over the curve. it is sort of coming down. the epicenter, the number is much lower. however, it is still spreading
to the western cape because of the holidays. in total, if you look at our numbers, it's going down. our positivity rate is still high, around about 30%. the reason is that people go and test. there's a lot of testing done. incidentally, since the 9th of december, it seems there are more people going for tests than going to get their vaccines. it's very interesting to look at the behavior of people. so our icu cases, if we look at the cases yesterday, we always look back one day, so the admissions of the 18th of december, across 676 facilities in south africa was 87. currently, in all our icus and all of this, 666 facilities, we currently have 534 in icu.
and 212. i need to also make you aware if we say there are 535 cases in icu, not all of them has been aadmitted for covid. some were admitted for something else and broken down to covid. >> in the province where it all started, you're past weak there, cases are going down. two, three weeks and then cases start to go down. number two, hospitalizations. when you are talking about more severe illnesses, was there a direct coral -- how much severe illness was there with this case surge versus other variants previously? >> much, much. when we look at delta, it was 400, 500 people were per day
aadmitted. i said yesterday, the numbers are more or less the whole time around this. you know, if i look at -- i don't have yesterday's list, numbers with me. but if we look at our numbers, the 9th of december, 22, 36, 11. one day we had 54. and that's more or less our death rate that we do have. we don't see a high death rate with omicron. and we presume most of the people most probably has omicron in icu. again, we're not sure, because in icu, we don't distinguish between delta and omicron. that still needs to be addressed. >> you saw a huge spike in cases, not a rise in
hospitalizations, not a corresponding rise in deaths, which leads to the question, do you now have a sense of the relative severity of people infected with the omicron? and the uk, they're saying they're not convinced it is less severe cases. but i think you're getting a different story in south africa. explain. >> yeah. in south africa, we see mild cases with mostly unvaccinated people admitted in icu. if we look at 9 out of 10 people with covid, most likely unvaccinated. in europe, they see severe, severe, severe cases. i can't understand for the life of me why south africa will see mostly mild cases. we are not that much vaccinated in our country. about 40%, 42% of all adults has been vaccinated.
our younger generation has not really been starting to get themselves vaccinated. we have a high burden of hiv and tb in our country. and people will say, yes, but we've got a lot of people, because of the delta, that we saw that already had delta and that got immunity. so i want to say if we look at our stats regarding unvaccinated people, now i'm talking about health care, half of them are unvaccinated. and with no previous history of any covid disease. so it either means we get asymptomatic being infected with previous variants or we can't distinguish when we are sick, which i very much doubt in south africa. >> dr. angelique coetzee, thank you so much. this is really instructive for us here based on your longer
experience dealing with omicron. it gives us a sense of what we might see here in the united states. so thank you so much for being with us. stkphrp thank you so much. and please stay safe. >> you too. back with us now cnn medical analyst, dr. leana wen. dr. wen, as john just pointed out, what we heard is the doctor said they're now on the other side of this curve, coming down in the epicenter where this started in south africa. so that means potentially -- or i guess does it mean potentially we could be looking at a similar trajectory here in the united states? >> that is the best part of the news based on what dr. coetzee just said. in the province where johannesburg is, they were looking at a trajectory of three to four weeks of omicron driving the number of infections, and
now it's trending down again. in the u.s., there are issues with extrapolation. first, we have a lot of different parts of the country, including some that are not well vaccinated. other parts where it might take a little bit of time for omicron to get to. so i don't think we could say the u.s. as a whole will be out of this in three to four weeks. it may be a case of rolling cases where there are large numbers of infection in parts of the country that then cycle to others. the other part of the extrapolation is they are very different. south africa has a much younger population. the initial people infected were younger people. the chance of them being se severely infected is low. here in the u.s. it rips through nursing homes, for example. i would be hesitant to say it is not going to be severe in the u.s. >> new york city hospitalization
numbers, and we're running out of time. i want people to see this. this is the most recent data in new york city. you can see the gray line in the middle, they are ticking up a little. what you do see is hospitalizations among unvaccinated people are shooting up. so, you know, a figure like this should provide, i would think, some hope, dr. wen, here where things are bad. . >> absolutely. if you are vaccinated and you're boosted and generally healthy, you're probably going to have very mild symptoms, if any symptoms at all. that's really reassuring. the issue is if you are unvaccinated, you are not making making -- >> and passing onto people who
are perhaps too young. dr. wen always good to have you. thank you. >> thank you. senator joe manchin dealing what could be a fatal blow to the president's signature domestic legislation. on this monday morning of the holiday week, where do key parts of build back better go from here? overnight, israel banning travel from the united states as the prime minister warns the wave is coming. we have the latest on the global response just ahead. and swinging into theaters and into the history books. spider-man becoming the biggest box office hero of the pandemic era.
i just can't. i've tried everything humanly possible. i can't get there. >> you're done? this is a no? >> this is a no. on this legislation. i have tried everything i know to do. >> sources say president biden, who learned of manchin's plan just minutes before that appearance, was furious. white house press secretary jen psaki fired off a scathing statement saying manchin promised to continue speaking with the white house, adding, if his comments on fox and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and in ex accompliceable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator's colleagues in the house and senate. s.e. cupp and david gregory. good to see you both this morning. whoa, talk about comments that got a lot of pickup after a sunday morning here. as we look at what the fallout
has been, david, we had a letter from nancy pelosi, dear colleague letter saying it's going to be okay, trying to smooth things over. senator schumer this morning making it clear he wants a vote in the senate come the new year. i wonder how much do you think democrats are sort of hanging their hopes on manchin saying this legislation, david. >> reporter: yeah. well, they may be doing that. but the reality is this is a big blow. this build back better plan is not happening. and this has been the white house pushing this rock up the hill. they can't get it done. they go into the holidays and the new year with a key piece of the president's agenda not getting done. that's the bottom line. now, can they revive it somehow, scale back the program? sure. all of that is possible. it's a 50/50 senate. manchin is a per cural person to be dealing with, from people i have talked to in the white house. we know this to be true. and he may want to be a king
maker in ways when it comes to this legislation. but we don't know that. what we know is what is today, which is a president who is reeling from a resurgence of covid, low approval numbers, and now a key piece of his legislation that for today is done even if it could be revived down the road. >> s.e., the white house basically accused joe manchin of breaking his word, which you do not hear too often in washington. they indicated they were e surprised. isn't their job tot to be surprised by something like that? >> indeed. this didn't happen mysteriously in the bermuda triangle. it happened in washington and in west virginia where joe biden lost by 40 points. there's no mystery as to why joe manchin wasn't into this. because his constituents are not into in. that has been known for a real long time. so i understand the white house feeling a little blind-sided by joe manchin going on, you know,
fox news and saying, i'm done, before effectively letting them know. this is always how it was going to go, i think. what democrats don't foresee very well traditionally is the value of incrementalism. getting the small wins where you can. and no one understood that better than barack obama. in fact, he was often sort of criticized by the far left flanks of his party for not going bigger or farther. but he got small wins. even to this day he defends incrementalism by talking about how you build momentum off the smaller wins. democrats could have a number of smaller wins right now. instead, you know, they're really disappointed of not getting this big spending bill passed. and there isn't a clear path forward on how to do that. >> david, is there any chance they could salvage some small wins, to s.e.'s point, by
breaking it into small pieces, or has that ship sailed too? >> reporter: i agree with s.e. they had the mistake in view, in coming into office, that this was a bigger political moment than it actually was. and that joe biden was going to pull off fdr-likor lbj-like legislation. and i just don't think that was going to happen. especially after the government overextended itself in covid relief. and then he gets an infrastructure bill. i don't think the climate is right to get this build back better bill, all the pressure from the progressive left. now, to your question, yes, i suppose. i think the details are going to escape a lot of americans who are just looking up and saying, well, he didn't get it done. but, you know, do they fund fewer problems for longer, do they bring down the price tag? it's very difficult to follow the ins and outs of this as we go forward.
and to go from something really big to something more scaled down, i don't think that is a good look for the white house. i will point out this. this has been complicated by the nature of a 50/50 senate. again, somebody like a joe manchin, who has been empowered the way he has, it's not clear to me. we know what the politics of west virginia are. this is legislation that could have done a lot of good for his constituents in west virginia. and that's been made clear. it doesn't mean that that was enough to sway his vote or to deal with the kind of larger politics right now, which there are economic head winds. there is inflation. there's covid. people are not feeling great about the heading of the country. and it's not a time for government to pull off something really big, especially something they have been promising for months. >> there is covid, which david gregory just said, s.e. it might be the understatement of the century where we are right now in new york.
this moment is extraordinary. i don't know that it's worse. you know, compared to moments we have been in before. it is extraordinary with these case numbers rising. and i think it is curious that the president is going to address the nation on this. but tomorrow. i wonder why not today? is there a rationality behind it? >> i don't know the answer to that. it could be very simply he doesn't have complete data today, and he will have it tomorrow. maybe he's waiting to hear from health officials or folks in the administration, scientists, doctors. i don't know the answer to that. i'm glad he is going to talk about it. because i think as fatigued as we all are about more covid, and another crappy holiday season, it is important for the president of the united states to get up and tell us what he knows. so rather than, you know, worry about the day he does that, i'm glad he is. and it seems like joe biden
speaks when he has something to say and not just because he owns the bully pulpit. i think that's a about thing. >> we'll be watching. s.e. cupp, david gregory, thank you so much. coming up, the major global city canceling new year's eve party because of covid. and a stake in president biden's agenda. let's ask a democrat from the hill directly, next. ♪ get groceries, gifts, & more fast and easy. so last minute guests are the only thing you'll be waiting on. ♪ joy. fully. ♪
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manchin sent shock waves through the democratic party by announcing his opposition to president biden's build back better legislation. so joining me is tim ryan from ohio. congressman, thanks for being with us. how do you feel about senator manchin this morning? >> well, i think we're all pretty frustrated. this is essential for our
people. this was the greatest investment in a generation to rebuild the middleclass, the great american middleclass. really straightforward. i don't think it's hard to explain to anybody about, you know, cutting taxes for working people, universal preschool, helping seniors with hearing aids and glasses. this is a very frustrating moment. we have to come back in january and get some of this done. >> in the white house put out a scathing statement on manchin. if his comments recommend an end, it is a breach of his commitments. i mean, do you think senator joe manchin is a liar? >> well, all i know is the president in our house caucus said we would get this done in the senate. so that was the extent of our access to that conversation. but, look, we've got to extend these tax cuts. we have tax cuts for working
people, first time we're actually cutting taxes for families as opposed to the top 1% or the people who made all the money the last 30 or 40 years. we cannot let that tax cut expire here in january. w 6th to make sure we extend it. if we talk about making anything permanent, it should be to rebalance the economic system for working people. what better investment than universal preschool. if we are going to outcompete china, we have to reinvest into our people, rebuild this middleclass, put money in people's pockets. this is d.c. we understand it. we have to get something done and get it done in january. by the 15th of january, the tax cuts will expire for working people, lifted millions of people out of poverty. we just can't let that happen. . >> you are talking about the tax credits, reducing people's tax burden so it feels like a tax cut. you are talking to me from youngstown, ohio, not dissimilar from west virginia and where joe
manchin is. talk to the people of west virginia. what are they, in your mind, losing out on because of their senator? . >> it's just across the river. the cultures are very similar in many parts of ohio as west virginia. the economic challenges are the same. this is straightforward, right. this is a tax cut for working families. this is about expanding medicare so our seniors won't have to come out of pocket for hearing aids, glasses and maybe dental work. this is about universal preschool, one year less of child care people have to pay. so that is money in their pockets as well. family and medical leave, which doesn't look like it would be in there anyway. that is money in people's pockets. capping child care expenses at 7% of your income is a significant reduction in expenditures for a family. this is huge, john.
a huge investment to rebuild the middleclass. i'm pretty sick of the last 30 years. two tax cuts by george bush for the top 1%, crumbs to places like youngstown. outsourcing jobs to china and mexico. this is an opportunity to rebalance the system. we have got to get this done. that is why i'm running for the senate. if people think we need another vote to rebuild the middleclass, go and chip in a few bucks for the campaign. we've got to get this done. tax cuts for the rich over 40 years, bad trade deals have decimated many parts of the country. definitely in ohio. i'm sure west virginia. got to rebalance the system. we have to get this done in january. >>? so you don't think it's dead? >> i don't. i've been in d.c. enough to know that nothing is ever dead. i think we resuscitate it, get
it back on the agenda in january. i think we figure out definitely the tax cuts, what else can we put in there that senator sinema and manchin can live with. this is not going to raise taxes on anybody making less than $400,000 a year. this is what the middleclass and working people have been screaming for for 40 years. ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more, reinvest it into our families and our communities. this is not complicated. i think we get it back to the agenda in january, figure out what pieces we can push, and then fight like hell to get it done for working people. whether you're white, black or brown, this is going to help working people. . >>? i've got to let you run, congressman. but, in your mind, could the white house have handled this better? should they have been surprised that manchin bolted when he did? >> well, i wasn't involved in those internal conversations. i do have a level of frustration
that the american people don't understand what's in this bill. because this is a no-brainer. i've lived in ohio for 48 years. i know the people of ohio. if they hear what's in this bill they will support it 1,000%. i'm frustrated that the essence of this bill, the things that are going to help working people, whether you're white, black or brown, if you're out there busting your rear end, doing everything right, this bill is for you and your family. the fact that that did not penetrate the consciousness of the country is very frustrating and we have to take responsibility. but, let me just say quickly, no republican came to the table to try to help. so we can talk about manchin, sinema and the democrat, not one republican stepped up on child care, helping seniors with their hearing aids and glasses. not one republican.
so they're mia in this whole process, which the voters are going to certainly know about next year. but we've got to get this thing done and let people know we're not giving up on this. we will never stop fighting for them. get it back to the agenda. >> congressman, stay healthy. have a wonderful holiday. . >> thanks. you too. covid just landed the united states on israel's no-fly list. plus, a chinese tennis star speaking out on the explosive allegations that led to serious questions about her safety and her whereabouts. as i observe investors balance risk and reward, i see one element securing portfolios, time after time. gold.
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denmark was already on the list as omicron positives are doubling there nearly every two days. cnn has reporters covering the pandemic all around the world. >> reporter: i'm scott mclean. denmark is already seeing a spike in new covid infections twice as high as the previous peak. but now thanks to the omicron variant, danish scientists predict they could be 10 times as high as the previous record. danes are questioningly finding out two shots of vaccine is not very effective against omicron. more than three-quarters of the population had two doses but only a quarter have had their boosters. scientists are predicting that hospital admissions could hit record highs by christmas. the one point of uncertainty is just how severe an illness actually causes. denmark shut down theaters and
museums and put restrictions on night life to try to get the virus under control. >> reporter: everyone here is asking will there be a lockdown before christmas. over the weekend, british scientific advisers warning tougher measures are needed to slow a potential wave of hospitalizations due to the omicron variant. the london mayor declaring a major incident in the city over the weekend and saying further restrictions were inevitable. and the deputy prime minister saying there's no hard and fast guarantees that tougher rules won't come into force before the end of the holiday season. england's booster program is in full swing. it broke records on saturday. >> reporter: i'm cyril vanier in paris. you won't be seeing fireworks at the eiffel tower on new year's eve. they have been canceled because of covid.
the increase in omicron. the prime minister is calling to avoid big parties and gatherings at the end of the year. the consumption of alcohol in public spaces will be banned. towns and cities are asked to cancel large public events, fireworks, and concerts. >> reporter: i'm david mckenzie in johannesburg. south africa is at a staggering 30-odd percent. there is still plenty of room in the hospitals. there is more of a disconnect between severity and cases. because of the mildness of this wave. whether it's because of prior infection or vaccination giving some level of immunity, it's just not as bad several weeks after this variant was discovered. >> thanks to all of our reporters there. so what should you do with all of this information? let's bring in physician dr. james hamlin who wrote a piece in the newspaper "the body"
titled ", yes, you will get the virus." you need we are all pretty likely to get infected but getting infected at some point is not the same as severe illness or sickness. so how do you differentiate between, okay, i'm going to get it, i'm going to find peace with that but not throw up your hands and say, all right, i'm going on get it so i'm not going to bother taking any protective measures? >> yeah. i realize it's a difficult distinction. i'm certainly not advocating fatalism here. i think analogies to cars tend to work very well for a lot of aspects in this page, but especially this. we are all likely to get into car accidents at some point. that doesn't mean we close our eyes and let go of the wheel. theres a very big difference in the course of this disease, depending how prepared your body is. if you vaccinated yourself and you have taken precautions and
the exposure you have is low, you're as prepared as possible. you have your seat belt on, your air bags, you're paying attention. hopefully it's as minimal as can be if and when you do encounter this i think it's safe toast expect that you will and prepare accordingly but into the to throw your hands up and think i shouldn't do anything. >> i have toe say in the new york area that certainly seems to be especially over the course of this past weekend people i've spoken with in my own circles it feels like it's inevitable. what sticks out, too, the white house covid briefing on friday said this is not a time to panic and i think people are having a hard time balancing the two. i get that it's out there but i am concerned. what's different this time around? how concerned should people be? >> well, it's never a time to panic. i don't think in any emergency, you know, panic is useful. just remember that we have the tools and we know how to use them. we know what to do.
everyone is exhausted and concerns about pandemic fatigue are very real and legitimate. this is a moment to be especially cautious. we are learning more day by day about omicron, but at the same time we have the tools now. last winter we didn't. this time last year, you couldn't get the vaccines that you can get right now and so get vaccinated, get boosted, take precautions as best you can and minimize exposure. a tiny exposure to this virus is likely to be safer than exposing yourself to an enormous dose so just because you decided you're going to hang out with someone or have a gathering, that doesn't mean that you should throw caution to the wind and forget about any approaches to minimizing exposure. >> there's so much focus and rightfully so on testing right now. how much could more testing,
better access to those tests, how much could that change the trajectory, do you think? >> well, i think in an ideal world, yes, we would all have easy access to rapid tests and be able to use them frequently and that would give people a lot more confidence in being able to gather, see people over the holidays, which they're probably going to do anyway. so you know, it's impossible -- there are a million possible futures right now but really, we don't have better access to tests so you're seeing people waiting in enormous lines or deciding to cancel gatherings to play it safe because they don't know. >> well, as you note in this piece, there's reason to care to keep doing your best, there is purpose in these efforts, they matter. doctor, appreciate it, thank
you. >> thank you. so is president biden's build back better plan now dead? we're going to speak with one of the bill's sponsors. a chinese tennis star backtracking at least publicly on the allegations she made that led to an international controversy, it all raises questions about whether this new statement was coerced and if she's safe. [laughing and giggling] (woman) hey dad. miss us? (vo) reflect on the past, celebrate the future. season's greetings from audi. ♪ this holiday, let them shine like never before. ♪ this is how we shine. ♪
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. chinese tennis star peng shuai denying she ever accused a top chinese leader of sexual assault amid growing concern about her well-being. she claims there's a misunderstanding. will pipley is live in hong kong with more. what is more of that misunderstanding? >> look, she's had weeks to be coached by whomever might have been stage managing those videos that were released shortly after her explosive november 2nd post. we have to keep that context in mind. the new video released about the closest that you can get to the chinese media, the singaporean newspaper, the only foreign newspaper that you can buy in the mainland access without a vpn. they have pro-beijing coverage. what peng shuai told this reporter who supposed just casually went up to her as she was at a cross-country ski tournament sunday he asked her about her sexual assault claim and she says she never claimed
sexual assault. some of the quotes she gave this reporter "i have never spoken or written about anyone sexually asalting me. eight my personal privacy. there possibly has been a lot of misunderstanding, therefore there should not be such distorted information here." her post emotionally and graphically laid out by any outside analyst would look at and say this was sexual assault, a communist party leader, older man retired accused of abusing his power to have sex with a younger woman but she's claiming now that's not what she meant when she made that post, erased within to minutes and still censored inside china, still blocked by government censors. she said she's free to move around the country, always free and she was home when she made the two video calls with the international olympic committee widely criticized as bolstering the chinese government's narrative silencing and
censoring peng shuai. she said she was grateful to the ioc, happy to have the calls and doing fine. the women's tennis association which threatened to pull its billion-dollar business out of china are not convinced she is speaking freely and openly without censorship and calling for a full, fair and transparent investigation. >> certainly not the end of this story. will ripley, appreciate it, thank you. "new day" continues right now. ♪♪ good morning to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. it is monday, december 20th. i'm john berman. brianna is off. erica hill is with me this morning. great to have you here. >> good morning. >> we have a wave of new covid cases in the united states this morning, particularly here in the northeast. mountain-like spikes, but new questions about what that mean