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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  December 22, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PST

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i call on the per veighers of these lies and misinformation to stop it, stop it now. >> strong words from the president there yesterday, but as you might predict, they're having no effect among those who have been promoting vaccine misinformation. for instance, tucker carlson last night, first few moments of the program he was trafficking in a bunch of anti-vaccine rhetoric. >> interesting, donald trump talking about the efficacy of the boosters and the vaccines and how people should take them. oliver darcy, thank you very much. >> thank you. "new day" continues right now. good morning to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. it is wednesday, december 22nd. i'm john berman. brianna is off. erica hill with me. great to have you here all week.
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>> nice to be with you, my friend. >> president biden says if you are vaccinated, and boosted, go ahead, spend the holidays with family and friends. the president says the rapidly spreading omicron variant is cause for concern, but not panic. the country is much better prepared now to tackle a covid resurgence than in the early prevaccine days. for the millions who remain unvaccinated, there was this stark warning. >> almost everyone who has died from covid-19 in the past many months has been unvaccinated. i honest to god believe it is your patriotic duty, the choice can be the difference between life or death. please get vaccinated. >> the biden administration's response to skyrocketing omicron cases includes expanding test sites across the country, distributing at-home tests to those who request them, deploying a thousand service military members to help overburdened hospitals and adding new vaccination sites.
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elizabeth cohen joining us now. elizabeth, good morning. a lot of focus on these efforts and what they'll do. >> that's right, erica. the reason why, we're seeing numbers going in the wrong direction. hospitalizations up 4% from the week before. and we're expecting those to go up because as we see cases go up, we're going to see hospitalizations go up or at least that's been the trend. so let's take a look at some numbers. so cases, if we look past week over previous week, up 23%, deaths up 11%. this number, really hurts, vaccine doses administered, down 19%. and so what you have here, if you look at the map of the united states, almost half of the country is in the red. red is bad. red means that cases are going up. yellow means stable. and green means going down. so as i said, numbers going in the wrong direction. erica? >> the cdc also just released a
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new report on life expectancy in the u.s. it is frankly depressing. >> it is really a punch to the gut. it shows, you know, we talk about covid every day. but it shows the actual result over a year, what happened. it just reversed course, you know, our country is really -- was before covid, was doing pretty well, was doing quite well, taking care of people, at lowering mortality rates, now look what happened because of covid. so the life expectancy in 2020 was 77 years. that's down 1.8 years from 2019. that is the largest annual drop since world war ii. the three leading causes of death in this order, heart disease, cancer, and covid-19. and when we look at covid-19, it was responsible for 10% of all deaths in 2020. and unfortunately, it hit certain communities more than others. the death rate increase, it was 1.7 times higher for black males than for the population in
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general. and 2.5 times higher for latino males than for the population in general. erica? >> sobering. that's for sure. elizabeth, appreciate it, thank you. >> want to bring in d dr. rashina burkain from houston. thank you so much for being with us. we talked to your colleague peter hotez all the time and he says it looks like houston is going to be the tip of the omicron spear in texas. what are you seeing in texas right now in terms of cases in omicron? >> well, what we're seeing in texas is mirroring what we're seeing elsewhere in the country. we're seeing a spike in cases, cases in texas are up over 113% over the last two weeks. currently we're averaging about 7500 cases per day. we're also seeing similar trends, our icus are at 94% capacity. we're hospitalizing over 100 people per day compared to 60 something people per day last week. so numbers are spiking.
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>> are you able to tell yet what you're seeing in terms of symptoms, what might be this omicron surge and how they differ from other parts of the pandemic? >> i'm not sure i can tell specifically in my emergency department. i am seeing people with milder symptoms, but a good portion of those who have milder symptoms are also vaccinated. so i don't know if the mild symptoms are because the omicron variant itself or because these are people who have already previously been vaccinated. we are, however, getting reports from researchers in the uk that have done studies and said that omicron is less able to infect lung cell lung cells when they studied it in the lab. >> that would be good news. certainly if people are presenting with milder symptoms, for whatever the reason. that is also good news. what about kids? what are you seeing in terms of children? >> children are not immune from covid. i've been saying this since the very beginning of the pandemic. if there are high case levels in
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the community, children are going to be affected. for the 19th week in a row, we have seen over 100,000 pediatric cases. pediatric cases are actually up 28% compared to numbers last week. and children are making up a disproportionate amount of covid cases in the united states. >> the president announced a plan to get 500 million instant tests available to the american people. sometime later in january. and also to put up some testing sites in cities around the country. but how are you right now? how are you today in terms of your testing capacity and demand? is it there? >> you know, john, that's kind of what the issue is. i applaud the president for taking this pandemic serious isly ais and trying to do what is right to combat covid-19, but we're seeing limitations on testing right now there have been reports, places like new york, ohio, florida, there are long lines, people who can't get home tests, major retailers like cvs
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and walgreens are putting limits on the amount of home tests you can buy. so while it is great that we'll have access to more tests in january, we need that access now. >> if i can ask you to predict, that's hard to do in this pandemic, where are we going to be in three weeks? >> no one can say, but i'm pretty worried that the surge that we're going to see in the coming weeks is going to be worse than the surge we saw last winter. tsa reported last weekend that they screened over 2 million passengers per day for three consecutive days in a row. that level of travel is similar to where it was before the pandemic. so we have people moving around, we have millions of americans who are eligible for vaccine boosters that have not gotten their boosters, and we have a more transmissible covid variant. that is a recipe for disaster. >> dr. richina mccain, thank you for what you do. have a wonderful holiday. >> you as well. let's look at where things are now in the uk.
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several weeks typically ahead of what we're seeing in the u.s. in a covid surge there on tuesday, the uk reported more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases. and 172 deaths. the country also reported more than 15,000 additional confirmed cases of the omicron variant. joining us now infectious disease and global health expert at the university of oxford, dr. peter drobak. good to have you with us. i want to pick up, i hope you can hear dr. mccain at the end there, she said she's worried this surge in the u.s. and where she is in texas could be worse than what we saw last winter. she calls it a recipe for disaster. based on what you're seeing, do you think that's coming at us? >> yeah, i share those concerns. thank you for having me, by the way. there is so much uncertainty about what's going to happen. there are a lot of reasons to be concerned. we know for sure about this variant, it is incredibly transmissible. each infected person infects five other people, which is much
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more than with previous variants. we're seeing in the uk, omicron cases doubling about every two to two and a half days. so even if it turns out that it causes milder symptoms or this overall the numbers of people that it puts in hospital are lower than with previous variants, we're looking at potential case numbers that could still overwhelm health systems and cause huge disruptions to workplaces and schools. >> as you lay out all that information, specifically the transmissibility even, it makes me wonder because, you know, as you know, the prime minister in the uk there says there is not enough evidence right now to justify tougher covid measures before christmas. i know you don't agree with that. what would you like to see happen today even in the uk and why do you think it would be effective? >> yeah there is one thing we learned throughout this pandemic, every time we hope for best and underestimate the virus, you know, it comes back to bite us. i worry that's what's happening here. again, there is some uncertainty, but if we wait
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until there is hard evidence of what is going to happen, in the face of a virus growing exponentially, there isn't enough time. and so what i and others in the scientific community have been advocating for, since even before the rise of this variant, but certainly over the past few weeks is that we do everything que we can now to reduce transmission and the number of cases so we can be in better position for the inevitable rise we're starting to see. some steps we're taking here, there has been a terrific booster campaign, we're vaccinating about 800,000 people per day here in the uk. getting people their third doses and that's going to go a long ways. one thing we do know about this variant, by the way, is that two doses are probably not enough to give real protection as that third dose that gets your antibody levels and your immunity to a threshold that can overcome omicron. that's number one. but we need to be doing more of is limiting mixing and contact to people. and that means potentially closing hospitality for a temporary period of time, while supporting those businesses. and giving clear guidance to
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people about how to manage the holidays. so that there can be limited mixing between households, people can be safe, can be testing using masks, meeting outdoors where possible. we should have had some kind of circuit break over the last couple of weeks. and i worry we're going to be after the holidays. >> do you think this approach by the prime minister saying there is not enough evidence to do anything before christmas, i don't know if this is an attempt to preserve the holiday, quote, unquote, but is this going to lead to potentially some sort of a post christmas surge? >> i think it is likely. we certainly saw a big surge last year. there is a lot of mixing that happens over the holidays. i think the scientific consensus here is that more should be done. politically it is complicated. nobody wants to quote, unquote cancel christmas or the holidays and the prime minister is also facing a revolt from his own party who are, you know, strongly against any kind of
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restr restrictions. that said, leaders have to make tough decisions, sometimes unpopular decisions in order to protect the population. i think that's what we're facing here. >> what are you doing this holiday? have you changed your plans at all? >> yes, we were going to travel to the u.s. actually to visit family. or considering that. and we scrapped those travel plans. so we have already returned to working from home for those of us who are able, and we're going to have a fairly quiet family christmas here, we're trying to do lots of things outside and unfortunately for us it will mean, you know, meeting with lots of our loved ones who are abroad online one more year unfortunately. and that's tough. that's tough to handle. at the same time, we don't want to take any risks now that will just make the winter a longer one for all of us. >> yeah, that's for sure. dr. peter drobac, thank you, happy holidays. long lines for covid testing in new york. and other big cities. so if you are traveling, can you
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even get that trip, that test, rather, before your holiday trip? mayor bill de blasio joins us live just ahead. jurors in kim potter's trial for killing daunte wright struggling to reach a consensus. what they're asking the judge. and president biden insisting he'll cut a deal with joe manchin on his agenda. how realistic is that? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list event.
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president biden sounding optimistic that he and senator joe manchin will be able to work something out, despite the west virginia democrat saying he would not vote for the build back better bill containing much of the president's agenda. watch this. >> did senator manchin break his commitment to you? >> senator manchin and i are going to get something done. thank you. >> joining us now, cnn contributor and staff writer for "the new yorker ," evan osnos.
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i should note you profiled joe manchin in the spring, you worked in west virginia. i sort of like how the universe always aligns into areas of your expertise. thanks for being with us this morning, evan. you know both these guys. what do you hear in their comments now and what does that lead you to believe about whether some kind of a deal is possible? >> yeah, john, you know what's really interesting, you heard joe manchin over the last couple of days give us a lot of reasons for why he torpedo ed this bill concerned about inflation, debt, problems at the staff level at the white house, irritated by how he was being handled. one thing he hasn't done is blame this on the president of the united states. that's not an accident. it is important. these are two people who are trying to preserve a pathway to get back to conversation again. you heard the president yesterday talk about they're going to do something, joe manchin when he went on local radio in west virginia this
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week, making it clear he has no problem with the president. so in some ways, the optimistic reading here is that this is a throat clearing part of the process, where they have now more or less put their cards on the table, shown what they're willing to accept and not accept and they can sit down and hash something out. >> manchin says he has to be able to explain this to people in west virginia, this is one of his common refrains here. i don't -- does he feel any pressure or where is the pressure that he genuinely feels? >> yeah, it is interesting, i think we sometimes make a mistake by assuming that west virginia is a monolithic pro trump territory. it is not. no place is monolithic. in west virginia, there are people today, i've been hearing from them this week, who are concerned about losing this child tax credit. there are about 300,000 kids in west virginia, who got that child tax credit this month, estimates are that about half of them would slip into poverty in january if the tax credit drys up. so joe manchin is getting some pressure at home to make sure
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that he's looking out for people who are vulnerable, in need. it is not a simple matter of him leaning to the right. he's also got to be responsive to what people need in their daily lives right now. >> and then there is what pressure joe biden feels on this. and questions about whether or not he was behaving or trying to govern in a way that he had a mandate that maybe he didn't have. what do you think about that? did he want to be fdr? >> well, in a way i think he came into this moment, john, he felt this was a grave period in american politics and also a period of opportunity, where you had democrats in control of the congress and the white house, getting a lot of pressure from his own party for this to be a transformative moment and as joe manchin said, he's governing as if he has not -- biden specifically, but the leadership is governing as if they have a 55 or 60-seat advantage in the congress. they don't. this is very tight. so this is a bit of a humbling moment. for both of them. and i think it is a possibility
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that that may be the kind of breakthrough you can begin to now say what can we really get done, because politically speaking, the period of talking about it, of hoping for it, of wishing the best that you can get, that's over. they have to get something here, voters are counting on it. >> so there was a really interesting back and forth and back again on the issue of vaccines and boosters between the former president, the current president, and the former president. it all started when donald trump admitted he was boosted, and talked about the benefit of the vaccines and talked about how much credit he thinks that he should get for helping streamline the vaccine approval process, then president biden in his remarks yesterday gave credit to the previous administration for developing the vaccines and noted that the former president was boosted and then, if you're following the play by play here, donald trump did an interview last night, where he praised joe biden's tone and said it was nice to be thanked like that, and hesitated about saying anything negative about joe biden on vaccines and vaccinations. i'm not sure i've seen this
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before and i'm trying to figure out what it all means. >> peace is breaking out all over the place. i think the truth is that this is a moment in which the former president did come out and say that he had gotten a booster. he received pushback as we know from some of his own supporters who booed him in that moment. i think this is time, though, where the president of the united states today, joe biden, is saying we need to recognize that the previous administration played a role in this, there are a lot of americans out there who are still in many ways consider themselves part of the trump movement and they are hesitating and that hesitation to get the vaccine is the single greatest obstacle right now to the united states getting through it. joe biden's political future and the public health of the united states rests on getting more americans vaccinated and boosted. so you heard him saying, praising a person with whom he has very little in common, praising him for doing that, and let's hope that message gets through. it is the essential message. >> if it saves lives, if it
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saves one life, then it may be worth whatever political, you know, eating it has to take here. evan, great to see you. everything is in your area of expertise. i always learn something. have a wonderful holiday. >> great to be with you, john. politicians taking aim at state courts for the potentially chilling effect. more on how and why next. some new rules at major drugstores, where home covid tests are flying off the shelves. that's if you can even find one on the shelf. ♪ when love finds us..... this is how we shine. ♪ ♪ you found the one, now find the ring. ask about special financing with the diamond credit card. at zales. the diamond store.
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a new study by the brennan center for justice says 2021 was a big year for threats to american democracy. the study finds state lawmakers across the country considered more than 150 bills that would either politicize or diminish the independence of state courts, particularly when it comes to the fairness and security of elections. joining us now, michael walidman, president of the brennan center. good to have you here this mor morning. give us an example if you could. these state laws would diminish a court's ability to protect elections. walk us through how some of that would work. >> well, you're exactly right. first of all, we all care enormously about the independence of courts. judges have to be able to follow the law and follow their state constitutions, even if it makes one political party or another mad. and that's certainly true when it comes to elections. as part of the push for laws to
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do restrict the vote, or respond to the big lie of the stolen election last year, we're now seeing something new, which is laws targeted at judges around elections. so that in georgia, for example, when they pass their big law restricting the vote and a number of ways, they made it harder for judges to extend to polling place hours in places where there are long lines, which tends to frequently be in black communities. and places like texas, and kentucky, you see other laws that restrict the ability of judges to enforce the law. you even see proposals in a number of states saying that courts cannot enforce their own state constitution, that only partisan legislators, without any oversight from the courts, can touch elections and election laws. that's a very dangerous recipe going forward. >> it is, that should give, i
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would hope, everyone pause no matter where your political affiliations lie and yet it seems to be in some areas having the opposite effect, seeing a lot of support. is this something you see, a trend you see, continuing into 2022? >> as you know, all throughout this year we have seen a wave of new laws in states across the country make it harder for people to vote. and then at the same time for the first time we have seen on top of these voter suppression laws kind of election sabotage laws changing who counts the votes. how it is decided who wins an election, removing the secretary of state of georgia, for example, from determining the winner of an election. and knocking aside independent judges who have the power to uphold the law is part of that effort. it is important to remember, of course, we're talking in late december the state legislatures come back into action next month. so there is going to be a second
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wave of these voting and judicial laws that we have to watch out for. >> there are plenty of americans who hopefully are disturbed by this, right? they look and say what can i do? oftentimes the answer is, well, you make your voice heard at the ballot box, but the reality is, a, those elections are sort of far off depending what we're talking about and, b, if people have perhaps even less access to vote, is there anything practically speaking that concerned citizens can do at this point? >> well, i think people can do two things. one is to say that there are all kind of laws people like and don't like, but going after judges, and going after the courts, that's un-american. that draws a real -- that crosses a real line. the other thing is on much of this, though not all of it, there is a chance for federal action to stop so many of the assaults on voting that we see across the country. as states have moved forward
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with these laws, congress is considering the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act. these are two key pieces of legislation that have passed the house, that have a majority of support in the senate, including senator manchin, that are being blocked by a republican filibuster right now. and senator schumer and the senate leadership said this is the first thing they're going to turn their attention to in the beginning of the year. if congress does not act, they're giving a green light to states to pass laws restricting the vote. >> to that end, this pivot to focus again on voting rights is a little late. should there have been more of a continued focus over the last several months and, if so, do you think it would have, a, changed any minds, on the right side of the chamber, off r, b, brought up a discussion about
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the impact of the filibuster on these specific issues? >> well, i certainly would have been happier if congress had dealt with this earlier. i do think it is something of a crisis for our democracy in so many places. a look at the issue of redistricting, states are drawing their legislative maps as they do every ten years after the census. 18 states have already drawn their legislative maps. and in eight of them, it is severely gerrymandered. seven of those states benefiting the republicans and one benefiting the democrats. these federal laws would actually make those maps illegal because they require fair districting that represents everybody and they will be enforceable in the court. but time is running out. i think the senators know this. this isn't something that they can dillydally around with and expect to really save the vote and save representation and save the constitutional vision that we all have. >> you know, there has been a
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push by martin luther king iii to make mlk day this year more of a day of action. do you think efforts like that, and specifically to deal with the erosion of voting rights and to push, right, lawmakers to act in washington, do you think those kind of efforts will have an impact? >> i hope so. and i think so. i think it is a terrific thing. there has been so much going on, so much activity, there are hunger strikers right now or have been in recent weeks demanding action. there is a real democracy movement, all across the country, recognizing that if you care about racial justice, if you care about our democracy, then it is time to act, time not to just to talk, but to act. i have not seen a broad push for voting rights legislation like this in decades. and it is really urgently needed. so i think that what the king family is urging is really terrific. >> michael, appreciate you
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joining us this morning and appreciate all of the work you're doing as well. thank you. >> thank you. >> and happy holidays. here is a look at what else to watch throughout the day. the new crackdown targeting unruly plane passengers. and what not to buy for your holiday dinner. a new recall to tell you about just ahead.
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time now for 5 things to know for your "new day." president biden telling americans who are vaccinated and boosted to go ahead with their holiday plans, despite the covid resurgence. he says the country is better prepared now to fight and contain the komicron variant. he said the unvaccinated americans have a patriotic duty to get the shot. cvs and walgreens limiting the number of at-home coronavirus tests you can buy, due to huge demand. walgreens imposing a limit of four at-home tests per purchase. at cvs, you can buy six.
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those limits aply instore as well as online. day three of jury deliberations in the trial of ex-minnesota police officer kimberly potter charged with manslaughter in the killing of daunte wright. jurors met for 14 hours so far, without reaching a verdict. on tuesday they asked the judge for guidance if they cannot reach a consensus. the judge told them to keep at it. the fda is investigating a listeria outbreak in eight states, linked to packaged salads made by fresh express. one person has died. ten others have been hospitalized in the outbreak. the company is recalling salad products made at its facility in illinois. they were sold in the northeast, the midwest and canada. the faa and tsa teaming up against unruly airline passengers under the new partnership passengers behaving badly could lose their tsa precheck privileges. the agencies will share information on passengers who face fines for belligerent and often violent behavior on flights. that seems to make sense. >> i think it does, yeah.
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i don't want to lose mine. i'll continue to behave well. that's the 5 things to know for your "new day." find more on these stories all day on cnn and and don't forget to download the 5 things podcast every morning, you can do that at >> i can't imagine what an unruly erica hill would look like. >> oh, berman, you do not want to know. it is not pretty. >> all right. will covid force new york to cancel new year's eve? mayor bill de blasio joins us live next. plus, one of our favorite stories of the week, a surprise marriage proposal on a basketball court with a dance routine. would she say yes? and that's just basic wavy guy maintenance, right? next up, carvana. oh, boy. carvana just doesn't seem
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manage my customer list? can do. will do. high thryv! post on social media? hash-tag high thryv my friend! get a free demo at ♪3, 4♪ ♪ ♪hey♪ ♪ ♪are you ready for me♪ ♪are you ready♪ ♪are you ready♪ a sweet surprise, midgame proposal stunned a dancer for the utah jazz. that moment going viral. midway through the routine, danielle noticed the music changed. her teammates were performing a routine she didn't know and then her boyfriend, then he was her boyfriend, stepped on to the court, dropped to one knee and
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proposed. as you can guess, perhaps, by those images, danielle said yes. danielle bush and her fiance joining us now. congratulations, you guys. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> you got two major things happening. you have hi, you're engaged, this is super exciting, and oh, my god, the entire world saw that moment and watching it over and over again. has either one of those sunk in yet, danielle? >> it still hasn't. i'm still getting texts multiple times for the video. and it is really going viral. it is overwhelming, but it is also really exciting at the same time. >> so, danielle, here is the thing, when i watch, i can't get enough of this video, i think it is amazing, and kudos to you for coming up with this devious plot. but the part that i can't get past is all of a sudden you're doing this dance, you know, with your colleagues, and you don't know what's going on because they're doing a dance you've
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never seen before and the music changed. for that split second, i'm going, like, that must be the worst feeling in the world. as if you've gone into the bizarro universe for everything changed with no one telling you. what was that second like? >> the moment that the music changed, i thought to myself, okay, keep on going, but it was really, really slow the music change, and everyone else just started to go in different directions. so i was, like, okay, i'm going to catch on, but my first thought was, my coach is going to be so upset with me. i may lose my job. this is going to be really bad. i thought i would try catching on by following our captain lexi, and i could not pick up the choreography. >> well, little did you know your coach was in on the whole thing, thanks to brandon. when you first contacted the coach, what was the reaction? >> so she told me, she's, like,
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we usually don't do this sort of thing, but we will -- i'll talk to my superiors and she talked to peyton and they were able to get it done. and really all i did was just ask, ashley did everything, it was pretty amazing all the strings she pulled and how the dancers kept the secret to danny for almost a whole month. so she has some severe trust issues with her dance partners now. >> i love them. my goodness, wow. >> were you convinced after everything you just did to her that when you got down on that knee, were you convinced what the answer would be? >> yeah, we have talked about this for a while now. it was not, like, i'm going in their blind, like, she's going to say yes, she's going to say no. she's going to say yes. i told her, like, last week, hey, this would be a good time to get your nails done. she knew it was coming. and so it was -- it was awesome
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and i just can't believe how much it blew up. i never would have expected this, you know, three days ago. >> quickly, when he said to you it is a good time to get your nails done, did a little alarm go off in your head, like, maybe it's coming, holidays are here, this could be it? >> a little bit, yes. so i was thinking that he was going to do it in texas because that's where my family is from. and we were going to go there for the christmas break. and nails last, you know, two and a half weeks to three weeks tops, so i didn't think that it was going to happen before we left at all. yeah. i was completely speechless. >> so, danielle what is that next dance going to be like with your fellow dancers? >> it will be the way we rehearsed it last night in practice. it will be exactly the way it is supposed to be. there is no tricks to it at all. i promise.
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>> danielle and brandon, congratulations to the two of you. we wish you a long happy life together, with a lot of fun surprises. and a lot of laughter. thanks for bringing us all some much needed joy this week. it is so great to see and so great to see just, you know, how thrilled the two of you are as well. >> thank you for having us. >> thank you. >> happy holidays. here's to your new year. i think it's going to be a good one. >> yes, it will. happy holidays. >> thank you. >> good luck to them. i love this story. put the biggest smile on my face. thanks so much for that. so other news, new york city will be getting help from the federal government to address shortages of covid tests that have caused long lines and wait times ahead of the christmas holiday. this as the city announced an incentive for residents to get booster shots before new year's eve. new york city mayor bill de blasio joins me now. mayor, any sense on how successful the $100 incentive has been so far? >> well, john, every time we
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issued an incentive, people puck up on it quickly. this is going to be a big difference. you see tens of thousands of new yorkers get out, get the booster shot before the end of the month. and we need them to. omicron is here, coming on like a freight train. what we know from our healthcare leaders is the booster makes a huge difference in minimizing the effects of omicron. so i think this incentive is going to help. on monday, we put in place our mandate for all private sector employees to get vaccinated, and that is the differencemaker we're looking forward to, having everyone vaccinated. >> omicron is coming on like a freight train. how do you feel? about people coming to new york city, to shop, to celebrate the holidays, to eat in restaurants, while this freight train is barreling through. >> i feel great about people who are vaccinated. that's just the bottom line. we have had strong vaccine mandates here in this city, including for indoor dining and
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entertainment. it is one of the reasons this city has been one of the healthiest places in the country. we're all feeling the effects, the sudden surge from omicron, our doctors say it will be a brief, very tough few weeks, but a brief few weeks. so the key is to keep getting folks vaccinated and getting people to get those boosters. because that's what gives us freedom. vaccination equals freedom at this point. and we got to get past this period, but the only way to do it is to really deeply expand vaccination. >> i get that. we're talking about people getting shots that have an effect two weeks from now. the booster as well. i want to know about today, tomorrow, friday. what kind of behavioral changes are you calling for among vaccinated and/or boosted people? >> john, it is important to say this clearly. we are not telling people to hide or hunker down or surrender to this situation. we're telling people to be smart. if you're not feeling well, stay home for sure. if you might have been exposed, get a test and act accordingly
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depending on result, of course. if you're a vulnerable person, older, with serious pre-existing conditions, limit the things you go to. we're not telling vaccinated people to stop living their lives. we're saying take -- climb that ladder of vaccination, if you haven't done the full vaccination course, go do it, keep living because we're not going to shut down. i want to be very clear. i do not believe in shutdowns. shutdowns are counterproductive at this point. vaccination is the key and there is still plenty more people who could get vaccinated or get that booster. >> so cvs and walgreens announced they're going to limit the number of rapid tests that you can buy. i know the president announced he's going to try to flood the zone with 500 million tests. that won't come until january. the bottom line is, i keep saying this, we need tests yesterday, mayor. how much of a shortage is there now between demand and need? >> we really need those at-home tests. it is a problem we don't have them. i think the president should
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take the defense production act and take it to the maximum because we're going to need billions over the next few months. billions of at-home tests. for now, thank god, john, we have 112 test centers open that are city run, in addition to many, many more that are private. sure, there is lines, but you can get a test for sure. you can get a test in new york city. and you can definitely get vaccinated. you can definitely get a booster. places all over the city for free, even go to your home. we'll go to your home in new york city, vaccinate any family member who needs it first, second, shot or booster, and give each one 1$100 incentive fr getting vaccinated. >> you said you're against lockdowns and people shouldn't hide from this. the mayor-elect canceled his inauguration ceremony. given the fact that you say we shouldn't lock down or change our behavior for vaccinations, is that a mistake? >> we talked about each of the steps we're taking. we're working closely in
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transition here. his was going to be an indoor event and he felt it did not make sense in this environment. i understood that. what i can say is what we're finding, first of all, all the outdoor events, obviously that's preferable. but, second, when you have a vaccinated only setting and a lot of other health and safety measures put in place, that's how we get through the tough few weeks of omicron. we have the tools. we have to use them very consistently, vaccinated only settings are so important at this point. >> let's talk about new year's eve. the new year's eve celebration was always going to be a vaccinated only ceremony and it was going to -- it is, i guess, or was, i don't know, going to be outdoors. you said you'll make a decision about whether to allow this mass celebration in times square, you're going to make that decision by christmas. where are you in your thinking this morning? >> working with the sponsors of the event, working with the healthcare leaders, right now, all vaccinated audience and
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outdoors, we're looking to add additional measures to make it even safer. we're still in discussion. the goal, of course, is to keep it going because it is such an important event for new yorkers and for the whole world. but if we're able to figure out the right formula, to keep people safe, that's what we're working on right now. >> what additional measures are being discussed? >> i don't want to go into the details because they're under discussion, but there is always additional things we can do in any setting and the important thing is, of course, to listen to our healthcare leaders about what tools will work, but what i feel is this is just one example of so many other things, we should not assume the answer to omicron is shutdown. we should assume the answer to omicron is find the measures that work to keep things moving. >> sounds like you're telling me it is going to happen one way or another. >> i'm hopeful. we got more work to do. and jury is not back yet, but i'm hopeful. >> let me ask you, you talked about the vaccine requirement on december 27th. that's for two doses or one dose of j&j.
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you're not going to be mayor in a few weeks anymore. if you were, would you make that requirement include booster shots as well? >> well, john, the way we structured the requirement is if you haven't had any vaccination at all, get that first one. and get the second one when the timeline is appropriate, a month later or so. but i think there is a great argument for boosters being part of such a plan. we're talking about that right now. we're talking with the new administration coming in. we'll have more to say on that. i think the bottom line is we have seen the power of vaccine mandates. there is 90% plus of adults in new york city have had at least one dose and mandates were a big part of that. we want to make sure, it is full protection and boosters obviously are making a big difference particularly against omicron. >> mayor bill de blasio, we appreciate you being with us this morning. merry christmas if we don't see you. happy new year, thank you for your time. >> merry christmas and happy new year to you, john. president biden's message for americans who are vaccinated
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very good wednesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. no lockdowns, no shutdowns. president biden being very clear, reassuring americans he will not close down the country. this as the u.s. does see a significant increase in new covid infections. largely driven and very quickly by the omicron variant. and at the same time, a major surge in demand for testing. >> we should all be concerned about omicron. but not panicked. this is not march of 2020. 200 million people are fully vaccinated. we're prepared. we know more. j


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