tv Early Start With Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett CNN December 23, 2021 2:00am-2:59am PST
xxxx good morning. it is thursday, december 23rd. two more shopping days until christmas, everybody. it is 5:00 a.m. exactly here in new york. thanks for getting an early start with us. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm paula reid in for laura jarrett. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. >> nice to see you again, paula. let's begin with something americans desperately need this morning, right? hope. three new early studies suggesting there is a lower risk of hospitalization for those infected with the omicron variant than delta.
the fda authorized the covid pill patients can take at home before they're sick enough to be hospitalized. >> here's where i think it can be very helpful. first is there are a lot of people who are remaining unvaccinated. i wish they were going to get vaccinated, but we know that there are some people who are just not going to do it. somehow these people are ready to take treatments if they get infected even if they won't get the vaccine which is not understandable. but still these people are the ones who are most likely to get ill, to overwhelm our hospitals. and if they can get a pill that removes them from the hospital, that will help to save their life, but also will help to remove the strain on our health care system. >> omicron is wildly contagious compared to earlier strains. just three weeks after it was first identified in the u.s., it now accounts for 90% of the country's cases. there have been outbreaks on land and sea. the "miami herald" reports royal caribbean of the seas was denied
entry into curacao and aruba after 55 fully vaccinated travelers and crew members were positive. >> it is the second outbreak in a week for royal caribbean. new york state broke its cases. nearly 50% of the cases are in new york city. >> 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 be smart. if you're not feeling well, stay home for sure. if you might have been exposed, get a test and act accordingly depending on the result, of course. if you're a vulnerable person, older with preexisting conditions, limit the kinds of things you go to. but we're not telling vaccinated people to stop living their lives. >> we've got no room. >> broadway shows have canceled performances due to covid outbreaks. two of them, american you taupe i can't, and come from away,
canceled their wednesday shows just hours before curtain. and three universities, george washington, temple and syracuse, the latest to adjust their classroom plans because of the covid surge. >> for k through 12, 85 school districts are adopting some kind of hybrid or fully remote option. in red leaning states, there is still evident resistance to public health measures. nurses working with covid health patients say things might be different if everyone could see what they see. >> i genuinely wish that they could come and follow me for just an hour and so they can see how much their feet hurt and see how many people are trying to hold back tears just day to day, and they can see the trauma that these patients are going through, because ultimately numbers are numbers, and opinions are opinions. but these people, these patients are people. >> house majority whip jim
clyburn has tested positive. he says he has been vaccinated and boosted. he has no symptoms, and he has been quarantining since sunday. his experience speaks to a larger issue. it took three days -- three days for the democratic leader to get a test result. just like everybody else. amazon and walmart joining cv zss and walgreens limiting the number of covid tests you can buy. president biden addressing the covid test last night. cnn's jeff zeleny has more from the white house. >> reporter: christine and paula, president biden bluntly acknowledged that he struggled to contain this covid-19 surge in the winter. he said nothing has been good enough. he acknowledged that testing has been a problem. he said he wishes he could have dunmore. but also struck a very defensive tone in that new abc news interview taped on wednesday here at the white house. the president defended his administration's response when he said this. >> no, i don't think it's a
failure. i think you could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago. i've ordered half a billion of the pills, 500 million pills -- i mean, excuse me, 500 million test kits that are going to be available to be sent to every home in america if anybody wants them. but the answer is, yeah, i wish i had thought about ordering half a billion pills two months ago before covid hit here. >> reporter: so the president seemed to struggle to really articulate the difference between pills and tests. of course, he is sending about a half billion tests to people's homes in the month of january. but unclear when exactly those will be produced. now, some experts believe that this administration should have used the defense production act. that is a mechanism where the government can essentially order more private companies to produce more tests. would that have alleviated this big demand for tests here in the days before the holidays. now, going forward there is no question, the president said
this is a different moment than christmas last year, and certainly the beginning of the pandemic because of the vaccinations, because of the booster. so he did stress the need for that as well. this is a deep challenge that you can see from the president there and it is one that is going to have this white house on edge throughout the holidays. christine and paula? >> all right, jeff, thank you. a winter run of covid just as most of the emergency covid relief has run out. and some programs have expired. nearly $5.7 trillion in government rescue since the start of the pandemic to cushion the economic blow. member stimulus ppp, bailouts, most of that money, 86%, has been obligated or spent. all of that might have been enough if everyone had been vaccinated on schedule. of course that's not what happened. now we're faced with the omicron variant spreading like wildfire, wreaking havoc again on small business. >> i think omicron is already doing significant damage to the economy. you can see it in spending, on
credit cards through travel and restaurants. gdp growth before delta, you know, expectations, including my own, were for a very strong quarter, 5, 6% growth. it ended up being about 2. so delta did a lot of damage to the economy back in the summer. and i think at this point i think we can at least expect omicron to do as much damage. >> so there is virtually no money left to rescue restaurants and other small businesses. as we pointed out, restaurants were dependings on christmas traffic to get back on their feet. one trade industry spokesman calls the holidays our black friday. the new covid surge will be the last straw for restaurants and bars. they are monitoring the economic recovery and will work with congress on how best to support business owners including restaurants going forward, which could include targeted money. so, what happens over the next few weeks, paula, i think is going to be just critical for expectations on the u.s. economy. i know a lot of people are still
moving forward in traveling, right? they're still traveling, making dinner reservations. open 0 table is seeing a lot of cancellations. we know the restaurant industry has been very difficult over the past couple years. >> so hard on the restaurant industry. you just really feel for people. as you just reported, holidays is their black friday to help makeup some of their loss. here's a possible scientific that americans are willing to live with the virus and not hide from it. air travel. before christmas appears to be pretty much back to pre-pandemic levels. cnn's pete muntean reports from regan national airport. >> reporter: christine, paula, these numbers are really close to what we saw back in 2019. in fact, the tsa screened 1.98 million people at airports across the country on tuesday. that number 99% of the same day back in 2019, shy by only about 2300 people. this just barely ends a five-day streak of numbers higher than 2 million people a day at airports across the country. we could see even bigger numbers soon. the tsa says thursday will be
one of the busiest days, and that really kicks off this really busy streak between thursday and january 3rd, the tsa anticipates screening 20 million people in total. aaa reminds us the vast majority of people will drive 100 million people it projects driving 50 miles or more by car. that number off only about 7% from what we saw back before the pandemic. airlines insist that flying is safe because of the heavily filtered air on board and the federal transportation mask mandate in place until march 18, 2022. and now the tsa and faa have announced a new partnership where if you defy that rule, you could lose your tsa pre-check for good. christine, paula? >> lose pre-check. they are removing the bypass to hear coronavirus vaccine mandate for large employers and certain health care workers. the court set oral arguments for january 7. for now the court is leaving in
place the status quo around the requirements. the employer mandate isn't set to be enforced until january 10th, and the government won't implement the health care worker mandate while the legal challenges are playing out. the white house says it is confident in the legal authority for both policies. all right. just about ten minutes past the hour. republicans on the january 6 committee, they want to speak with congressman jim jordan. what he could uncover about donald trump's actions during the riot. e where cancers can be cured. strokes s can be reversed. joints can be 3-d printed. and there isn't one definition of what well feels like.e. there are millions. we're using our world to make your world a world of well. ♪ ♪
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voluntarily. jordan's communications with trump on the day of the insurrection could mean he has significant knowledge of the events leading up to the attack. now, you might remember republican leaders picked jordan to be on the committee, but he was rejected by democrats. late last night he responded to the panel's request to talk. cnn's jessica schneider reports. >> reporter: paula and christine, a lot unfolding from the january 6th committee. they have actually sent out another letter requesting a voluntary interview with a republican lawmaker. this time it's jim jordan, one of trump's top congressional allies. the committee is telling jordan they want to hear from him about his communications with the former president on january 6th. they say that jordan had at least one and possibly multiple chats with trump that day. and now they want jordan to sit for a voluntary interview as soon as january 3rd. but from what we've seen, that is highly unlikely that jordan will cooperate here. he's already warned the committee that targeting gop lawmakers in any capacity will be met with political
retribution if republicans re-take the house after the midterms. but the committee, in their letter to him, is trying to throw jordan's words back at him by writing that he said back in august that he, quote, had nothing to hide. >> we're going to review the letter, but i've got to be honest with you, i've got real concerns about any committee that will take a document and alter it and present it to the american people completely mislead the american people like they did last week. >> reporter: congressman jordan does have at least one text message of note. his spokesperson had previously confirmed that jordan forwarded a text to former chief of staff mark meadows on january 5th, outlining a legal theory of how vice president pence could block the certification of the election. now, his spokesperson said the text was actually written by a former defense department inspector jen, ageneral, and he forwarding it on to meadows. this committee wants to know
through jordan what trump was up to in the white house on january 6. they want to know if he had one or multiple conversations with trump. it is unlikely he will sit for a voluntary interview and if the committee would go so far as to subpoena the gop lawmakers. we saw republican congressman scott perry lash out at the legitimacy this week, eagerly rebuffing their request to interview him. paula and christine? >> all right, jessica, thank you so much for that. it is time for three questions in three minutes. and for that let's bring in former federal prosecutor michael zeldin. so nice to see you this morning. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. >> timing is really key here for the committee. republicans are looking to take the house in 2020 which means democrats are running out of time. what is the best move if jim jordan doesn't cooperate? >> jim jordan is a shiny object. he's a nice to have testimony, but he's not critical piece of
testimony. the committee has to understand who matters and who is peripheral, and they have to just keep forging ahead as they are doing, acquiring documents, talking to witnesses, drawing lines to connect those witnesses' testimony to the white house and other surrogates of the white house. and they just have to keep their head down and keep moving forward. >> and we have over half a dozen lawsuits filed against the committee challenging various aspects of its investigation. yesterday we saw a judge throw out a lawsuit by mike flynn on procedural grounds. but looking at these challenges, do you see anything that could actually stop or thwart the committee, or are they just trying to throw things at the wall to see if anything will stick? >> i think these are delay tactics. i think that all these litigants, like flynn, are going to get their cases thrown out. they really are not raising substantive legal challenges that a court will find meritorious. and so it's about delay, as has been the case with trump and his
orbit since his presidency began. and i think, again, the committee has to move forward, keep its head down, and not be distracted by these efforts. they have to litigate them, of course, but they can't let it slow them down. >> michael, the committee is also looking at records from organizers of that rally. the rally that preceded the riot, including a text with republican lawmakers. you say this really matters. why? >> well, i think that what the committee is trying to find out at its core is what did the white house know, when did they know it, what did they do or what did they fail to do. and so these rally organizers who had, from the documents that we've seen in the public already, direct communications with the white house or the close inner circle of the white house, can start answering those who, what, when, where, why type of questions. it is a spoke in the hub of this wheel that we've talked about that i think is very important
for the committee to really flesh out. >> michael zeldin, former federal prosecutor. so nice to see you this morning. thank you. >> thank you. hidden in history, a time capsule, what is inside and some are asking if another capsule is out there. ♪ this is how we shine. ♪ find the perfect gift at zales. the diamond store. the best things america makes are the things america makes out here. the history she writes in her clear blue skies. the legends she births on hometown fields. and the future she promises. when we made grand wagoneer, proudly assembled in america, we knew no object would ever rank with the best things in this country. but we believed we could make something worthy of their spirit. with age comes more...
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melissa, putin just addressed the ukraine issue. what did he say? >> reporter: christine, we've been listening to vladimir putin's press conference. vladimir putin talking in that press conference just a moment ago about what's happening in ukraine. we've been waiting for him to address that particular issue, and that's what we've just been hearing. vladimir putin going back over events back in 2014, defending the annexation of cry mia explaining russia wouldn't have intervened except russian speaking people in the east of the country needed defending. vladimir putin also speaking to what's happening now, and the fact he said that that eastward expansion of nato, and this is something he warned about a couple days ago, again in a press conference this time in front of the russian defense ministry, would be a direct threat to russia and that russia could not allow that to get unchecked. also mentioning the idea that they feared in moscow a renewed assault on the donbas region
within ukraine. also speaking to what's been coming out the last few days about these possible talks between russia, the united states and nato that could happen as quickly as january, christine, but vladimir putin explaining that whilst those fears were there, he was noting the positive noises coming out of washington and looking forward to those talks, christine. >> all right, melissa bell for us. we'll continue to monitor that. we know you will, too. thanks so much. paula? and a quick programming note. friends, collaborators, legends. carole king and james taylor, an unforgettable concert film "just call out my name" sunday, january 2nd, at 9:00 p.m. only on cnn. get up to 40% off storewide. ( ♪ ) this is how we shine. at zales. the diamond store.
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in 2019, roja ag wuilar a said e brakes failed and led to a pile up on i-270 in denver that left four people dead. he was convicted of vehicular homicide. >> the judge said he was bound by the sentencing laws. the family rallied to ask the governor to reduce his sentence. >> it created a system where a judge at their own discretion who doesn't want to issue a sentence has had to issue that sentence. what we hope to achieve is reforms. that's really what this is all about. we have to reform the system that is creating a situation where we are creating more victims of our justice system. we have to do that now. >> governor's office told cnn they are reviewing the clemency application. the d.a. is asking for a expedited hearing in the matter
set for monday. five suspects are in custody this morning in connection with the carjacking of a pennsylvania congresswoman. mary gay scanlon. police say she was car jacked at gunpoint in philadelphia. the car was later recovered in delaware. scanlon's office said she was not physically harmed. no information about the suspects or potential charges. a utah college student missing for five days has been found alive and reunited with her family. a police say 19-year-old madelein allen was discovered in the base many of a suspect's home covered in coal dust. he was arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape. "early start" continues right now. ♪ good thursday morning. this is "early start." i'm christine romans. >> and i'm paula reid. it is 29 minutes past the hour. >> nice to have you in a couple days on this holiday week, paula. nice to see you again. as the u.s. readjusts to the
now dominant omicron variant, there are possible signs of hope. three new preliminary studies suggest omicron is less likely to cause severe disease. >> in fact, it appears that in the context of south africa, there is a decrease in the severity compared to delta. literally yesterday, there was another paper that came out from scotland which appears to validate and verify the data that are in south africa. this is good news. however, we must wait to see what happens in our own population which has its own demographic considerations. >> the south african data that dr. fauci mentioned is encouraging. we'll have more on that in a live report coming up. and another scientific of hope you could soon be able to take a pill to treat covid. the biden administration has bought 10 million courses of the newly authorized pfizer pill. more than a quarter million of those could be available next month. it might be a game changer, but
with some caveats. cnn's elizabeth cohen explains. >> christine, paula, on wednesday the food and drug administration gave emergency use authorization to paxlovid, an antiviral pill made by pfizer. here's why it's important. in the early stages of covid there hasn't been much that people can do. there are monoclonal antibodies, but you have to get an infusion or shots which means you have to find a place to get those and that's been tough. this is a pill. theoretically once we have this drug in abundance, you should be able to call your doctor and be able to get a prescription. there are two important points here. one, the u.s. government is going to be distrinitying this d -- distributing this drug. that's what they've done with all the drugs. it hasn't gone smoothly. we'll have to see how quickly they can get the drug distributed across the country so doctors can call in prescriptions for patients. the other thing, this is important to remember, people in the clinical trial where they
got those results, they took paxlovid within five days of feeling the symptoms of covid-19. that's quick. you have to recognize you have the symptoms, you have to get yourself tested, calm the doctor, get a prescription called in, and really testing in and of itself has been an issue in the united states. so we'll see how this pill actually works out in real life. christine, paula? >> all right, thanks so much for that, elizabeth. joining us now, dr. elizabeth murray, a pediatric emergency physician and she has joined us several times on the program. we always love to have you and get your insight, doctor. there are two new reasons for hope this morning. studies showing omicron less deadly than delta, and the pill elizabeth just covered for us. how should we, how should we process these two new developments? >> i think it's critical to acknowledge everybody's fatigue and desire for this to be done, but this information means we are not back to square one with the development of omicron. you know, with regards to the
studies, i think a key point here is these are preprints, and preprints are studies that have not yet been fully published. so it's easy to say, these studies are out here, but they still need to go through a vetting process, but i do think they look very encouraging. key point is they were looking at people who are doubly vaccinated. the message is not we don't have to worry about omicron. the message is for those people who are fully vaccinated even better for those who are boosted. omicron does not appear to be as deadly of a disease. with regards to the pill, it is a great new tool in our tool belt, but a fair bit of the population still not going to be able to take it. it is only approved for those 12 years and older, and there are a lot of medications that people take such as for high bloods pressure, migraines, even herbal medications that can go out of whack a little bit. we'll need some extra monitoring if you need to take this medication. so it is a medication that can be beneficial for some, but not
for all. so i think we still need to default back to what we know works, which is really high-quality masks and getting your vaccination, getting boostered and being smart about your travel decisions in the holiday season. >> even if omicron is less severe, though, doctor, we are already seeing significant strains on hospitals. that is, of course, partly because so many people including hospital staff are testing positive, and then have to isolate. so should we be reconsidering the isolation time for asymptomatic cases, especially among those who are vaccinated? >> i think we need a lot more data on that. it's definitely a good question to ask. we are learning more and more every day. and if we can get people back to their normal lives as quickly as possible in a safe way, then we should do that. certainly vaccination appears to offer decrease of a viral load in people who do get sick. so if we can get them out of isolation faster, we should do that. but i think we need to have the data first and foremost to
support a decision like that, and we are looking at that now. and i think that's a good thing. >> it's been almost four weeks since the president announced a travel ban from south african countries. yet today omicron is all over the country in all 50 states. what does that say about that approach to the virus travel bans? >> yeah, i've not been a fan of the travel ban concept just because, you know, by the time we know about it somewhere in the world, it's already far greater places in the world. and, you know, i think that perhaps maybe early on it could have bought a little bit of time on the order of days. and so i think it's time for the most part for those travel bans to be lifted. it's not going to be beneficial when you have such a infectious disease out there spreading. >> and, doctor, before we go, i am told that you also had a seasonal reminder about the flu for us. what should we know? >> yeah, definitely. in new york state we have already far surpassed. we've actually seen twice the number of flu cases compared to
all of last season. of course, last season was a record breaker for almost no cases, but in new york state our trajectory puts us up at a earlier and higher peak than during normal years. so, you know, flu has always overwhelmed or gotten close to overwhelming many, many hospitals during normal years. so if flu is back and we have covid, it could certainly be very problematic. so please don't forget to get your flu vaccination. that's including everybody six months and older who can be vaccinated against the flu should. >> yeah, great advice. dr. elizabeth murray, pediatric emergency physician. thank you so much. >> thank you. and there are signs of hope coming from overseas as well. south africa's huge omicron wave appears to be subsiding as quickly as it grew. cnn's larry madowo is live in kenya. larry, do experts know why infections are suddenly falling? >> reporter: well, they think it is because of two key factors.
one, population immunity. that is because it spread so fast within the population, some developed natural infection. two, numbers have been inching up in south africa. those two reasons. many scientists in south africa feel confident enough they think south africa has surpassed the peak of the omicron wave. that is largely because of the precipitous drop in daily case numbers in the epicenter. that is in the province of haoteng. this is a positive scientific they have warned. there is a caveat here. it is still too early to tell. they might need a bit more time. we have a month's worth of data to work with and it looks promising. there is a clue for the rest of the world. it does appear if the south african example is anything to go by, the omicron wave might be less severe. so fewer people in hospital and fewer people dying. but the efficacy has warned we should not extrapolate this data from south africa to the rest of
the world. for instance, there are inconsistencies in the severity rates in the uk which is a cause for concern. even though it looks super promising, there is a lot more we need to learn to saydee finis -- say definitively the omicron will be less severe. >> thank you for that report. important information. if you have student loan debt for your about, they are prompting president biden to extend the pause until may 1st of next year. payments have been paused since the beginning of the pandemic. they were set to restart february 1. no payments have been required on most federal student loans since march 2020. democrats have been calling on president biden for an extension of pandemic relief benefits. meanwhile, new data show record scientific-ups for obamacare after congressional democrats acted to lower premiums and some employers dropped coverage. and still no verdict in the trial of a former minnesota
police officer kim potter. the jury will return this morning for the fourth day of deliberations. the jurors who are sequestered had deliberated for more than 24 hours in total over the last three days. earlier this week they asked the judge what happens if they can't reach a consensus. potter is facing two manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of daunte wright back in april. she mistook her gun for a taser while trying to help arrest wright during a traffic stop. >> it could be a rare white christmas in a couple of major u.s. cities. here's meteorologist tyler malden. >> christine and paula, today is an extremely busy travel day because christmas is right around the corner. if we see any weather-related travel delays, it's going to be out west, as an area of low pressure continues to impact the west coast. so from the pacific northwest all the way down to california, do expect impacts to both ground and air travel because of that area of low pressure which will
drop appreciable amounts of rain, and extremely heavy snowfall to the parts west. meanwhile, as we get into christmas eve, it's not going to be feeling much like christmas in the eastern third of the country as record heat builds up from the south. meanwhile, out west that area of low pressure producing the snow continues to push to the east and also causes the winds to pickup over the plains. we see more in the way of travel impacts across the west and the central portion of the u.s. as that system pushes to the east. what about that heat? it's not going to feel much like christmas this year. more than 100 records are in jeopardy this upcoming weekend. temperatures are going to be about 20 degrees above average by the time we get to christmas day. >> that's something. tyler malden, thank you so much. we'll be right back.
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the university of hong kong tearing down a statue from its campus that has commemorated pro-democracy protesters killed during china's tiananmen crackdown for two decades. the statue of a contorted human torso known as the pillar of shame was one of the last iconic memorials in hong kong to victims of the bloody 1989
crackdown, which is to baboo in mainland china. the university's governing body says it will be kept in storage. a small town police chief is on unpaid leave after he told officers how to get covid vaccination cards without getting a vaccination. in north carolina near charlotte say chief t.j. smith told officers about a clinic where they could get the bogus cards. an independent probe determined smith violated police and town policy. he issued a statement to the local paper admitting he made a mistake. a utah billionaire thought to be the richest man in the state is cutting ties with the mormon church. he requested letters to the lds president. he is donating $600,000 to equality utah, an lgbtq civil rights group. in a letter green said the church for generations has not done nearly as much as it could. given you claim to act as the will of god and witness of jesus, the church should do more to help the world and its members with its wealth.
i believe the church has hindered progress in women's rights, racial equality and lgbtq plus rights. a recent history discovered in virginia. a time capsule buried in the robert e. lee statue is opened. what was inside and what wasn't. cnn's randi kaye has the surprising reveal. >> reporter: it's delicate and tedious work, and yes, opening a 134--year-old time capsule is time consuming, too. the task was shared among conservators from virginia's department of historic resources. for more than a century, this time capsule sat buried in the base of the statue of confederate general robert e. lee in richmond, virginia. it was discovered months after the historic moment in september. crews dismantling the statue's base found what appeared to be a copper box.
as described in the richmond dispatch back in 1887. the list of articles in the copper box was said to include dozens of items, including a battle flag, compass, 12 copper coins, even a picture of former president lincoln lying in his coffin. but it turns out this capsule was made of lead, heavily corroded, and partly covered in mortar. the box itself is an artifact, so they had to take care to preserve that, too, using tiny spatulas, tongue depressors and -- >> a very controlled tool that vibrates and has a hard metal tip that is much more easily controlled. it's good for getting the mortar separated from the lead. >> reporter: finally, the time capsule was unlocked. [ applause ] inside, three books, a cloth envelope, and a single coin. >> i saw one book that's an almanac from 1875.
there was another book, i saw the word love on it, and the author. i'll let historians take a look at that and figure out why that's in there. >> reporter: in the end, there was no picture of abraham lincoln in his coffin. and even more puzzling, along with the 1887 almanac was a book that appeared to be published in 1889, two years after the time capsule was apparently sealed. >> the original time capsule was supposed to be put in there closer to 1887, and so something published in 1889, that is obviously -- we have questions and that's where the historians come in to help us. >> reporter: the big question is, is this the right capsule? because they were expecting to find 60 items in there and they certainly didn't find that. that was what the newspaper had recorded back in 1887 that there would be about 60 items inside. so where are they, where is that picture of abraham lincoln lying
in his coffin. that certainly was not in there. is there another time capsule that exists? or was that one moved? still so many questions because of what they found and really didn't find inside that capsule. so they are going to try and preserve these items. they were pretty wet. they weren't in great shape. the coin was stuck to one of the books. one of the books was stuck to the base of the time capsule. so they are actually going to freeze them, they said, so they can prevent mold from forming on them and prevent any further deterioration, but we should have more information about these items in the weeks ahead. back to you. >> all right, a little bit of history through the ages. let's get a check on cnn business this thursday morning. markets around the world, gains in asian shares, they closed for the day, stock index futures leaning up. strong economic data boosted stocks again wednesday. the dow up, both the s&p and nasdaq up 1%. it was better than expected, consumer confidence, americans are worried less about inflation
it seems thanks to paychecks rising at the fastest pace in years. we saw third quarter gdp raised. an annualized rate of 3.2%, stronger consumer spending and inventory investment there the reason. at a meeting with his supply chain task force, the president highlighting shorter backlogs and progress untangling the supply chain snarled by the pandemic. >> earlier this fall we heard a lot of dire warnings about supply chain problems leading to a crisis around the holidays. so we acted. we brought together business and labor leaders to solve problems. and the much-predicted crisis didn't occur. packages are moving. gifts are being delivered. shelves are not empty. >> it looks like 2021 will have been a strong year for wall street. all three major indices are on track for double-digit gains. companies operated well through the pandemic and making an awful lot of money.
the u.s. housing market is booming. homes sold in november at their fastist pace in ten months. sales on track for the best year since 2006 driven by strong job market and byers rushing to take advantage of low interest rates. meanwhile, home prices soaring here. that's pushing the share of first-time byers in the market to historic lowes. you just priced out. one reason the median price is rising is the homes sold are more expensive. sales of homes priced over a million dollars are up 50% over last year, over a million. sales between $250,000 were down 12% because, flankly, inventory there is scarce, paula. >> wow. so, texas a & m has been forced to pull out of next week's gator bowl due to covid-19 issues. andy scholes has this morning's bleacher report. >> you can add the gator bowl to the long list of covid events. this is the first college football bowl game in jeopardy because of the virus.
aggies head coach fisher says it doesn't have enough players to field a team due to covid. texas a & m saying they are down 36 scholarship players because of the virus. a&m's opponent wake forest is working with officials to find another team to play in next friday's game. rutgers and illinois are possible replacements. the game, again, a week from tomorrow. the college football playoffs management committee, meanwhile, making plans to cover potential issues caused by covid. in this year's national champion, it could be decided without playing a game at all. alabama is set to take on cincinnati in the cotton bowl. michigan is going to face georgia in the orange bowl. if any of the four teams can't play on new year's eve, they're going to forfeit, and the other team will move on. same goes for the national championship game on january 10th in indianapolis. but the committee says the title game could be pushed back to no later than january 14th if needed. the nba schedule continues to be affected by the spike in covid cases.
last night's raptors/bulls game and blazers game was postponed. brooklyn and toronto don't have the required eight players available. the nba has currently more than 80 players in the health and safety protocols, and that now includes mavericks superstar luka doncic, 22-year-old missed dallas's five games with an ankle injury. he was hoping to return to action this week. the nba's christmas daiesho case now likely going to be missing quite a bit of star power. luca, trae young, kevin durant, giannis all now in the protocols. and with so many players out, lots of team signing replacements, players in the celtics going back in time and bringing back 40-year-old seven-time all-star joe johnson. he hasn't played in the league since 2018. he got in for two minutes last night against the cavs. made a jumper. get this. johnson is the only current nba player who played against michael jordan. johnson letting us hold onto that era just a little bit
longer. finally. miss fits, forever a hero after that shot. she promised the third grade all hot chocolate if she made it. nothing but net. i can imagine those kids are going to remember that moment for the rest of their lives. they're going to be graduating from high school and be like, remember that time miss fits made that shot and we got hot chocolate? >> i needed that today so much, andy. no one will ever remember our names. everybody remembers their third grade teacher. >> good for her. everybody wins, the kids get hot chocolate and she gets that glory. thanks so much for that bleacher report. now, this is a scandal. puzzled "wheel of fortune" fans say it is time for a rule change after a contestant lost a new
car on a technicality. >> you have ten seconds to talk it out. good luck. >> choosing the right card? >> no. >> choosing the right word. >> you know, this one's tough because you said all the right words, including the word "word." as you know, it's got to be more or less continuous. wee allow her a little pause, but not four or five seconds. i'm sorry. you did a goods job in getting it, but we can't give you the prize. it was the audi. oh, man. >> pat say jack, a stickler for the pause rule. fans, though, sure didn't pause for ten seconds. they had lots of words on social media. some calling the show the grinch. >> he said, you have ten seconds. sound it out. i mean, in ten seconds, i think she sounded it out. >> yes, she did. she deserves that car. it would be a nice p.r. move if audi would give her that car. that would be nice. >> that would be lovely.
>> thanks for joining us, everybody. nice to see you again, paula. i'm christine romans. >> i'm paula reid. "new day" is next. to all the kisses... ...that led... ...to this one. celebrate every kiss, with kay. ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2, now he knows his glucose levels when he needs to. and... when he wants to. so ray... can be ray. take the mystery out of your glucose levels, and lower your a1c. now you know. try it for free. visit freestylelibre.us
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i'm john berman. brianna is off today. erica hill joins me. on this "new day", no one saw this coming. president biden defending his administration's response to the rapid onslaught of omicron. but there are several new reasons to be optimistic this morning. plus, what the president said about running for re-election and a possible rematch with donald trump. delay of game. several of college football's biggest bowls in jeopardy this morning. why a national champion could be crowned via forfeit. and with great power comes great responsibility. spider-man keeping his promise to a young hero.