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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  December 23, 2021 2:59am-4:00am PST

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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.
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♪ good morning to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. it is thursday, december 23rd. and it's getaway day for millions of holiday travelers. expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the entire year. this despite the alarming rise of a new variant which is now everywhere. in the three weeks since omicron was first identified in the united states, the variant is now in all 50 states, washington, d.c., and puerto rico. it accounts for 90% of new coronavirus cases nationwide. president biden last night addressing criticism of his administration's fight against covid, specifically that they didn't see the omicron variant coming. >> how did you get it wrong? >> how did we get it wrong? nobody saw it coming. nobody in the whole world.
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who saw it coming? >> did the administration expect a highly transmissible variant. >> sure, it's possible. it's possible there could be other variants coming along. what do you plan for? you respond to it. and i think that that's exactly what we've done. and, for example, omicron is spreading rapidly. but the death rates are much, much lower than they were. this is not march of 2020. >> much more from that interview in just a moment. there are several positive developments to report this morning. the fda authorized first anti viral pill given within the first five days of symptoms. it can reduce hospitalization or death by 88%. also, three international
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studies, england, scotland, south africa, all suggest a reduce of risk from omicron versus the first delta variant. and health officials believe they have passed the peak just weeks after it began. >> kamala harris has tested negative after a close aide tested positive for covid. at least nine members of congress tested positive. the latest james clyburn. the 81-year-old said he is fully vaccinated and boosted is asymptomatic. lawmakers just like us category, clyburn said it took 56 hours to receive his test results. joe johns is live at the white house. joe, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, erica. starting with that interview last night, at times the president struggled to get command of the message, but he also offered a blunt assessment of the struggle to contain the pandemic as well as the counter measures.
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ahead of busy holiday travel and family gatherings, president joe biden acknowledged his administration's stprruggle to contain the largest spikes. >> there's a lot we don't know. i'm sure you're going to ask me when is this going to end? how are we going to do this? >> reporter: president biden's simple answer to abc news david muir is we don't know for certain. uncertainty, as americans are eager to get tested, and thousands having to wait for long hours, and even longer waiting for those test results. >> more testing, including new federal sites and a half billion tests will be free to all americans. and more capacity to get shots in arms, including new mobile clinics. >> reporter: over the last couple days, president biden has touted his administration's efforts to provide americans with tools to protect themselves. on wednesday night, reacting to
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omicron, now the dominant variant of coronavirus in the country, biden said this. >> no, i don't think it's a failure. you could argue that six months ago, two months ago. >> reporter: as for the high demand for covid-19 testing, the president made this promise to merges. >> 500 million test kits that are going to be available to be sent to every home in america if anybody wants them. >> reporter: but the biggest issue for at-home test kits will be access. >> the plan to acquire half a billion tests and allowing folks to order them online is great. it's just not enough. these tests need to be available everywhere you look. drug stores, gas stations, libraries, bank. they need to be free and easy to get. >> reporter: across the nation, covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have been climbing back up. as of wednesday, according to
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the cdc, the seven-day daily average of cases are up 25% over the previous week. while hospitalizations have increased by about 3.5%. despite the uptick in covid-19 cases and growing concerns from health officials, millions of americans are going on with their holiday plans. >> have you considered requiring passengers in this country to be vaccinated to get on flights? >> reporter: it's been considered. but the recommendation i've gotten, it's not necessary. >> even with omicron? >> even with omicron. that's the recommendation i got so far from the team. >> reporter: according to tsa, 2 million travelers flew each of the past five days. the agency is expecting even more travelers on thursday, one of the busiest travel days of the season. and for all of those travelers and people at home, the white house covid-19 response team is echoing the same prevention strategies. >> get vaccinated. get boosted. wear a mask in public indoor
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settings in areas of substantial and high-risk community transmission. and take a test before you gather. >> reporter: meanwhile, the legal struggle over some of the president's pandemic policies continues in the courts. the supreme court has scheduled oral arguments on january 7th for the president's vaccine mandates. erica, back to you. >> we will be watching for that one. noted on the calendar. joe johns, thank you. here in new york, another record day of covid cases. the new daily average, nearly 22,000. those cases, though, it's important to note, are not leading to record hospitalization numbers. the majority of the cases, right here in new york city where a decision on whether the new year's eve celebration in times square will happen. that is expected soon. cnn's shimon prokupecz is live in times square. shimon, good morning. >> reporter: yeah. good morning, erica. we are live outside a testing site here in times square which
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has been seeing a large number of people show up. a lot going on across the city today as at-home test kits are the focus of several officials. across the city they will hand out the test kits. it will be a cold day. we will see how the cold and weather plays into the lines that we have been seeing for the last several days across the city. the thing is what we are seeing in the city is truly staggering numbers. the governors's releasing the latest data showing 29,000 people have tested positive for covid. more than half of those here in new york city in the five boroughs of new york city. certainly there is a lot of concern here as the demand for testing ramps up and continues to go up, more people showing up at lines. so the city is trying to get the at home test kits into people's arms so they can do the tests in their homes. as you said, hospitalization,
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erica, that is the key thing. and the man who runs city hospitals here said that what they are seeing is about 50 or so people in covid icus across the city-run hospitals, 11 of the city-run hospitals. that is much less than what they saw during the march 2020 peak, where there were 900 covid icu hospitalizations. so the city is looking at those numbers and saying, okay, we seem to be doing okay. that is why right now for them they are focusing on vaccinations. they want more people vaccinated and boosters. that is why they are giving people 100 bucks when they come into some of these city sites to get boosted, erica. . >> shimon broke peck, appreciate it. thank you. more on pfizer's newly approved pill to treat covid. an emergency room physician in michigan. doctor, thanks so much for being with us. thank you for everything you're doing. this newly approved pill from
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pfizer, this anti viral that can reduce hospitalizations by nearly 90%, how much promise do you think this holds for you? i suppose in the long term and in the short-term. >> i think in the short-term it will be a challenge because of supplies. and in the long term i think it's a challenge because of just the inequity in our system that is built in. 30 million americans still don't have insurance. and this bill requires a prescription from a doctor. it requires a positive test. and i don't have the exact guide answer, but i don't think that is a positive at-home test. i believe it will be a test in either a pharmacy or health care facility. it will require people getting to those places, getting an order from their doctor perhaps at a hospital or a clinic. so i think there's going to be logistic challenges for people. i know where i practice it's rural, high uninsured rate. we have to say even though the 89% number is so amazing, having
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a vaccine and booster reduces your risk of getting into the hospital by just as much. and that is continually what i've been talking about. you know, to much a pill with this much investment by the government that can do the same thing as a vaccine that's been around almost a year now, we need to keep pushing this vaccine and pushing against the disinformation around the vaccine to get more people vaccinated. >> which i know you have been working tirelessly to do, to push back against the misinformation. when you look at the numbers in michigan, and you have been clear about how difficult it's been, starting to slip a little bit. but record-high hospitalizations. i'm curious, where you are, because it is rural, because i know there is a much lower vaccination rate, is that same trend what you're seeing as what's being reported elsewhere in the state? >> yeah. the trend line on test positivesis down. we're still at 18% test positive rate. compared to 30% where we were three or four weeks ago is
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great. compared to 5% where we would like to be, it's still a big number. i worked a shift yesterday. still had three unvaccinated people who required hospitalization from covid-19. they were still sitting in the air waiting to find a bed somewhere because we're full and everywhere is extremely full. we are seeing influenza now and people having that. you know, this is the perfect storm. hopefully omicron will be less deadly, less risky. that will give us a bit of reprieve. >> i want to make sure one thing i have read is true. you have reported zero boosted patients to the hospital? >> i personally have admitted zero boosted patients. and i think the numbers across our system are less than 2% of people in intensive care are people -- who have ever had a vaccine at all.
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i don't know if we collected the number on boosted. but i haven't seen any people boosted requiring hospitalization. >> that's amazing. at home, though, your daughter has tested possible >> yeah. my college-aged daughter who goes to school in new york came home for her planned return from christmas break, you know, had exposure, found out after she got home that she had exposure, tested several times and eventually had a positive test and is now isolating in your basement. i tested negative yesterday. i'm going to test again today. she is vaccinated, boosted, healthy individual. i'm sure she will do fine. it is probably omicron because it came from new york city because this is the epicenter of the country. it underscores we are all trying to navigate how to alter holiday plans, how to figure out how to get tested, when to get tested. it is hard for a two-doctor family like mine. it has to be so tough for the
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average american family out there. >> what are you hearing from people coming in in terms of getting a test where you are? it's not easy, as you point out. >> it is a challenge. especially now with requiring a test that is not an at-home test. they can make decisions about getting together, travel, work. but a lot of people resort to the e.r. people come in and we'll do the test in the waiting room. many will get their result on an app and cut out of the e.r. before we get them back. we're so full unfortunately they are waiting several hours. i don't blame people for doing that. i wish the system were better able to handle. i wish more people had insurance and primary care doctors they could go to to get the tests or assessments. i don't blame people for trying to use the system any way they can, but that's just the reality. >> dr. rob davidson, listen, i
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hope you have a wonderful holiday. pest of health to you and your family. thank you again for everything you're doing >> thank you so much. same to you. coming up, what president biden said about the prospect of facing donald trump again at the ballot box. and mitch mcconnell's public pitch to joe manchin to difficulty ditch his party. and a major industrial accident at an exxon refinery. we'll bring you the very latest on this developing story. like this with hydration that beats the $100 cream in every jar of regenerist retinol24 collagen peptide new vitamin c and the iconic red jar can't top this skin shop now at
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all right. new this morning, president biden did that interview overnight with abc's david muir, made a lot of news in it, including when asked what his plans are for 2024. listen. >> do you plan to run for re-election? >> yes. but, look, i'm a great respecter of fate. fate has intervened in my life many, many times. if i'm in the health i'm in now, if i'm in good health, then in fact, i would run again >> if that means a rematch with donald trump? >> you're trying to tempt me now. sure. why would i not run against donald trump? maybe that would increase the prospect of running. >> joining me is senior editor
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for the atlantic ron brown stein. it was that smile that creeped across his face. he has given the answer about fate determining what happened before. but that answer on donald trump was really interesting. >> yeah. i take him at his word. i think his inclination clearly is to run. you can look at economic dynamics that encourages exactly the rematch that he's talking about. midterm elections is almost always tough for the party holding the white house. republicans only need five seats to pick up the house. just four midterms since the civil war when the party out of the white house didn't win five seats. if the republicans have a good day next november, you can make certain trump will make credit for it, making it easier for him to run, clear the field. then if the economy improves the second half of biden's first term, his position could
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solidify making him more likely to run. by the way, that's the trajectory we saw with reagan, clinton and obama. they came in in a moment of economic temperatures lens. they had a very bad first midterm. then when the trend lines started pointing up in years three and four, their position improved and they all ultimately won re-election. it is spwaoeurpl possible six or eight months after the midterm he will look significantly stronger. . >> the happiest he looked in that interview, which was a tough interview for him last night is when david asked about the prospect of running against trump. ron, it aired overnight. this was on voting rights. it is what president biden would support doing in order to get a voting rights bill passed. listen to this. >> do whatever it takes. change the senate rules to
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accommodate a major piece of legislation without requiring 60 votes. the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is a filibuster. i support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster. >> so this is a man of the senate saying ditch the filibuster for voting rights. >> well, look, he opened than door in his townhall with anderson cooper in his answer then. now he has just kicked it open completely and put the focus where it should be. joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. we have seen republicans in the red states are passing these voter suppression laws on a party line majority basis in state after state. there is no bipartisan ship in the construction of these laws in the states that are making it harder to vote. sinema and manchin in essence are giving republicans in the senate a veto over whether washington responds to this
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entirely party line offensive in the states. and now i think with biden making that statement by far the clearest he's made on this front, it really puts the focus where it should be. are they willing to protect minority rights in the senate at the expense of voting rights in so many states moving more aggressive to curtail the right to vote. >> the calculation is getting this passed, is it worth what the republicans might do to them if and when they get control of the senate which, look, could be sooner rather than later. on that note, ron, mitch mcconnell has consistently now been talking in public about trying to get joe manchin to switch parties. listen. >> i've suggested a good solution to his problem would be to come across the aisle and join us where he would be treated with respect. you recall the white house basically called him a liar
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sunday, treated him with respect, and find himself in agreement with the party he was caucusing with most of the time. he would be a lot more comfortable on our side. that is a better question for you to ask him. >> first of all, every time mcconnell talks about this he gets an impish look on his face. every time he talks about it he says i don't think it's going to happen. >> yeah. somebody should do a mashup of darth vader beckoning luke in one of these mcconnell appeals to manchin. anything can happen. we have certainly seen senators switch parties before. there isn't a lot of logic in this. switching to the republican party would put manchin in a position of less leverage and more risk. mcconnell said he would be more comfortable there. joe manchin basically is a conservative democrat. they're not republicans.
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he voted twice to convict and remove donald trump from office. he voted against amy coney barrett. he voted against the trump tax consult. he voted for preserving the aca. would you want to take that record into a republican senate primary in west virginia? the odds of him losing a republican primary to a challenger to his right is far greater than losing a democratic primary to a challenger to his left in west virginia. in terms of his leverage, he is now the 50th vote on everything. he basically is all roads lead to joe manchin in this version of the 50/50 senate. he would be the 51st republican. if he said no, you would have a tie. and kamala harris could break it in favor of the democrats. each time he said no on republican priority, he would increase the risk of point number one in a republican primary. so i think becoming a republican, more risk, less leverage. yes, you can imagine him doing what joe leishman did and lisa
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murkowski did, becoming an independent before the 2024 election but still caucusing with his party. i don't see what the gain is for him in either switching to the republicans themselves or making them the majority. >> on darth vader, i will make a donation to charity if he ever says, joe, i am your father. >> exactly. >> you're in with me on that. happy holiday. the jury is still deliberating in the case of former police officer kim potter who said she mistook her gun for a taser. what experts are saying about what that might mean. >> the january 6th committee wants to talk to congressman jim jo jordan. if that happens, would he give a straight answer about conversations with president trump on that day? >> i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i would have to go back. i mean, i don't -- i don't know that -- when those conversations happened.
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we remain on verdict watch. jury deliberations resuming to or a fourth day. today in the manslaughter trial
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of former minnesota police officer kimberly potter. potter confused her firearm for her taser when she shot daunte wright last april. cnn legal analyst joey jackson and legal analyst and former new york city prosecutor paul callen back with us. joey, let's start with you this morning. when we look at where we're at, the fact that we are about to enter day four, we know the jury is sequestered. the holidays are looming. is there anything that we should be zeroing in on at this point to give us some sort of clue as to where they may be leaning? >> yeah, erica. i think you called it in that with the holidays pressing up against us. good morning to you. good morning, paul. that's always a relevant consideration. but if you juxta pose that to what i'm talking about now, ghislaine maxwell trial, we know
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they are on recess until monday. the jury wants to get it right. i have to say it is a very difficult thing when you look at the process of our system, you're looking at 12 people trying to get something right. we know the jury consists of six men, six women. we know that it has, what is it, two asians. it has eight whites and one woman. i think that's the math that comes to 12. african american woman, that is. you have different perspectives. whenever you ask 12 people to get into a room to come to accord, it's a very difficult thing. people on the one side very low to convict police officers. she testified very compelling. she was crying. she was contrite. the defense basically saying jury nullification. she admits to the essential elements of everything she did. i think at the end of the day,
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you have competing factions. one says you don't want to convict. let's just move on. and another faction that says hold her accountable. she told you she was reckless. she told you she was at least negligent. i'm not going home until you agree with me that she is convicted. i think that's what it comes down to. final thing, we didn't get one note yesterday. so that means they're in the room trying to hammer it out. and i think that's a favorable thing. . >> so good they are trying to hammer it out. paul, what do you think the chances are of a hung jury? >> oh, i think that's still a possibility in this case. just harkening back to what joey was talking about and the questions the jury has asked, they have only put in two questions. one, which i think was on tuesday was, judge, what happens if we can't reach a consensus. so they are worried about not reaching a consensus. that means hung jury. but they followed that with a question about looking at the actual weapons in question. they were zip tied in a box. and the jury wanted to handle
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the pistol that officer potter handled and also the taser. now that says to me this is a hard-working, diligent jury that has gone back and said we are going to go through all the facts again to see if we can get everybody on the same page here. so they're struggling to reach a verdict in this case. and i think you have to give them a lot of credit to do that. and i think it's a tough time on a jury to be deliberating. the holiday season, everybody wants to get home and be with their families, especially in this time with, you know, with the virus spreading throughout the country. yet they're diligently working. i think in the end they're probably going to reach a verdict. >> all right. we'll be watching for that. paul, let's kick off ghislaine maxwell with you. the jurors sent home for the holiday. they will be back on monday. they did request more transcripts from the accusers, from the alleged victims there. paul, you also noted they requested a binder. why did that stick out to you? why is that important? . >> there's just something about it.
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i tried cases for a lot of years. probably over 30 years, including a lot of murder cases. i never had a jury ask for a binder. to me, if you're going to find somebody innocent, you don't need a binder to do that. you just have to have doubts about the truth of the charges. however, calling for the binder really sounds like they're being very, very meticulous in putting together the evidence that i suspect will result in a guilty verdict ultimately. such an odd request. the second thing of course that happened yesterday was they asked for the testimony of the butler in this case. there's actually a butler in this case. can you imagine? and he characterizes miss maxwell coming in, being the lady of the house, and taking over. he says things that really crab rate jane, the victim, one of the people going into that binder probably. because he said she was 14 and
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she was giving massages to epstein. there were sex toys actually found in maxwell's bathroom, which would indicate an awareness that there were sexual activities going on in the massage room. tough stuff to talk about this early in the morning. they are working hard. and after the christmas holiday, you might see a verdict in that case. >> when you are sending the jury home over the holidays for a number of days, what could potentially happen when they come back on monday? . >> yeah. you know, i think they're really struggling. just to take the adverse position to my esteemed colleague, paul callan, the defense hammered away on the particular memories of these victims. they spent a lot of time on cross-examination of not only memories but also motivation with respect to money, et
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cetera. if you're asking for read-back, you have issues with respect to what the victims are saying and whether it's credible and whether or not their memories are indeed faulty. remember, the defense also got a psychologist to speak to that very issue. to your question as to what could be happen, you're looking for victim's testimony, you want transcripts read back to you. with respect to the butler, housekeeper, property manager, however we want to phrase him, yes, he mentioned, i'm sorry, the sex toys issue. but you can have things like that and not necessarily applying them to minors. i don't mean to muddy up and confuse the issues, but that's exactly what the jury is doing. they're confused. and they're kind of unsure. when it harkens back to things that happened in 1994, 2004, they want to get it right. so as they go home, i think the confusion sticks with them. i think they are trying to focus
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on whether we can really add credit to the victims and if they can, conviction. if there's doubt -- >> hey, joey, one question before we break for the holidays here. when is the last time a jury asked for a binder in one of your criminal cases? >> i concede to the distinguished gentleman in new york. very good point. >> we'll leave on a happy note. great to see you both. >> thanks, erica. >> enjoy your holidays. there will be much more to talk about coming monday, so get ready. thanks. . >> thanks. >> appreciate you. >> somebody needs to put binders in callan's stocking. the house january 6th committee wants to interview jim jordan. the panel is hoping for him to meet voluntarily so he can provide information on his communications with former president trump regarding the deadly capitol insurrection. cnn's paula reid live in
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washington. >> reporter: good morning. this is a significant move by the committee and one that could in flame partisan tensions. the committee did not issue a subpoena. instead it asked jordan to voluntarily cooperate into january 6th. jordan was originally asked to serve on the committee but it was rejected by house democrats. the committee has several reasons for wanting to talk to him. first, he was in touch with former president trump on january 6th, perhaps multiple times. and jordan was reportedly involved in efforts to challenge the 2020 election outcome. the committee previously reskwraoeld january 5th jordan texted matthews. that forwarded text message said in part that pence should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional
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that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all. if the investigation were to target gop lawmakersings he is the second gop lawmaker and trump ally to receive a letter like this. one was sent to scott perry requesting his cooperation, a request he declined. jordan said he is reviewing the letter. but the committee used his own words against him, reminding him he previously said, quote, he has nothing to hide. paula, a proud boys member pleaded guilty to the january 6th attack on the capitol. this is the first time this has happened? >> reporter: that's right. matthew green of syracuse, new york, is the first proud boy charged in alleged conspiracy to plead guilty. he admitted to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction. he is the first member to potentially give prosecutors information about his organization. on january 6th, green and two others pushed through police
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barriers on the capitol grounds and took direction from proud boys leaders over the radio during the riot. he could face 51 months in prison. he has agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage done to the capitol building. >> paula reid, thanks so much. so if it didn't already feel like 2020, a second covid outbreak on a cruise ship this week. public outcry after a colorado truck driver is sentenced to 110 years after a fatal car accident. why the governor is now reviewing the case. ok, let's talk about those changes to your financial plan. bill, mary? hey... it's our former broker carl. carl, say hi to nina, our schwab financial consultant. hm... i know how difficult these calls can be. not with schwab. nina made it easier to set up our financial plan. we can check in on it anytime. it changes when our goals change. planning can't be that easy. actually, it can be, carl. look forward to planning with schwab. schwab!
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some cities that rarely get the chance at a white house christmas could see one this year. as for much of the rest of the country, we will have to keep dreaming. cnn meteorologist chad myers joins us with the latest forecast. i feel i'm in the dreaming camp. >> you are. and so is dallas, texas. dallas will be 83 degrees on christmas day. . >> oh, my goodness. >> not going to see anything there. it is the west that will see all of this snow. this weather is brought to you by servpro. the number one choice in cleanup and restoration.
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so, yes, west coast, you are going to see some significant rain and obviously mountain snow. this is the big story of the weekend really because you need the snow out there so, so badly to try to break this drought. record warmth across the south and the snow and the rain across parts of the west. 1,000 feet for so. it is all going to be rain. if you get into the sierra, we will take feet of snow. it could be four to six feet in spots. this is only the first storm. there is another one to come next week to put more snow down. we will have impacts. likely chains will be required. going to be difficult trying to get to your ski resort. plan ahead, plan early. take all the things that are necessary. there will be fog across parts of the south because the morning fog will hang around. so much humidity in the air out there. the milder air is here. we will break over the southern plains and parts of chicago, we will break 140 record highs in the next three days alone.
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erica. >> 140 record highs? that is nuts. >> yeah. in different cities. >> all right. bit of a mixed bag there. appreciate it, chad. thank you. so it's beginning to look a lot like 2019 at the airport. new tsa numbers show holiday air travel is about where it was before the pandemic. and today could be one of the busiest days of the season. the mayor of reagan national airport, cnn's pete muntean, joins us now with what he is seeing in his constituency. give us a sense of what's going on. >> reporter: john, things are getting busier by the moment. you mentioned the incomes are so close to what they were in 2019 before the pandemic. the tsa screened 1 phone 98 million people across the country on tuesday. that number is 9 9% of the same day back in 2019 before the pandemic, shy by only about 2,300 people. this just barely ends a five-day
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streak where we saw numbers at airports higher than 2 million each day. fear not, the busiest days are ahead. today will be one of the busiest. january 3rd will be one of the busiest. travelers say they feel pretty confident right now despite the omicron variant. here's what they're telling us. >> you can only do what you can do for yourself, you know. what everybody else is doing, you have no control over. so that's the scary part. but just want to go have fun and be safe and mask up. >> reporter: you know, the tsa says in total 20 million people will travel between today and january 3rd. airlines continue to insist that flying is safe because of the heavily filtered air on board and the federal transportation mask mandates still in place until march 18th, 2022. by the way, a new partnership between the faa and tsa.
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if you defy the mask rule, you could lose precheck status for good. >> mr. mayor, thank you very much. i want to know, people on twitter always ask why i call you the mayor of reagan national airport or the world's most interesting well. it's because you cover your beat so well. it really is astounding. thank you for everything you do. i hope you have a wonderful holiday, pete. >> reporter: merry christmas, john. >> might i also add pete muntean will answer any question you have about aviation quickly. and i feel the smile in the email. royal caribbean announcing a covid outbreak on the cruise ship, the second in less than a week. the "miami herald" reporting 55 have the virus. the ship has been denied entry since leaving florida on saturday. the ship will stay at sea until it's planned return sunday.
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the cruise liner symphony of the seas had 50 people test positive earlier this week. breaking overnight, texas authorities are responding to a major industrial accident at the exxonmobil plant in baytown, 30 miles east of houston. look at that. sheriff's office received reports of an explosion inside. four are injured, three of whom have been rushed to the hospital. authorities are urging people to avoid the area. exxonmobil is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. a colorado district attorney is asking the court to reconsider a former truck driver's 110-year prison sentence. the governor's office is reviewing the sentence as well. he was driving his truck at 85 miles per hour when he says the brakes failed. that led to a 28-car pileup on i-70 near denver that left four people dead. he was found guilty in october of vehicular homicide and two
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dozen other charges. the judge said he was bound by the state's mandatory minimum sentencing laws. his family and supporters rallied at the state capitol on wednesday. . >> our system here at this building has created a situation 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 wor creating more victims of our justice system. we have to do that now. >> a status hearing is set for monday. 35 million families just lost their enhanced child tax credit for next year. we'll show you the real-life impact or the failure of build back better. >> a pennsylvania woman carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight. the troubling new details we're learning ahead.
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35 million families just lost their child tax credit payments with the sinking of president biden's build back better act. the plan would have extended benefits through next year. many parents are worried again about how to make ends meet. i know you have been following this. there is so much concern about
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what will happen come january. >> reporter: erica, families were hoping for a christmas miracle that build back better would be passed before next year. now these families will not get thyssen handsed child tax credits. families telling us they have to re-do their foreman plans right away. one single mother telling us she's probably going to have to pick up a second job. >> i see you. >> reporter: a window into the lopez families reveals christmas cheer. >> i feel like the chocolate is gone. i wonder where it went. >> reporter: come new year's, they will face a tough reality, along with 35 million other families. >> we were at a tight budget already. and with this being removed, it's going to be an even tighter budget. >> reporter: mom gentleman net viruet referring to the child tax credit. up to $3,600 per child.
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the lopez viruet family was receiving $800 a month for their three children under 9. what does it mean to you? . >> it's enough to get us by just because the price of food went up. gas went up. so i feel that that has helped us a lot. and we look forward to that. and we try to stretch it as much as we can. >> how far does it get you? >> just a couple of days before the next one. >> reporter: checks were coming monthly, giving families income they could count on. last month's checks kept 3.8 million children out of poverty. what is the plan? >> at this point i don't know. >> reporter: single mom catherine kern will likely have to take a second job to support her teenage son and daughter, something she did when they were had he younger. >> even when i had two jobs, to not be able to watch games because on the weekend i was working.
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to not be there for him, that was sometimes a little difficult. >> reporter: she's also getting a master in psychology, just months away from graduating this spring. hoping it will further her career and increase her salary. >> it's going to be really difficult to do that. and then also possibly take on a second job. >> reporter: the $500 a month they get in child tax credits help with rising costs, making it easier to drive her daughter to routine doctor visits for her complex heart condition. >> we had to spend time getting there, getting back, and all the extras like taking time off from work. it sort of adds up. >> reporter: the child tax credit is popular across party lines. 75% of democrats support it. so did 41% of republicans, which makes its failure in congress even more puzzling for these families. >> i fear if they were put in our shoes for a couple of days, their decisions would be different just because we don't
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have that freedom to spend our money the way we want to. we have to spend our money planned paycheck by paycheck. >> reporter: and so many american families spend their money that way. they live paycheck to paycheck. and thyssen handsed child tax credits, erica, they were had he helping people cover simple bills, helping people with rising costs, helping people dig out from the financial hole they were had he in from the pandemic. these families are watching. president biden says that he believes he can pass build back better next year. but they have been watching these last five or so months of negotiations with the white house and west virginia senator joe manchin and they are not hopeful they will see thyssen happensed child tax benefits any time soon. >> it is a reality, as you point out, for so many families in this country. it's important their stories and their voices be told. vanessa, thank you. the finale of the college football season is in jeopardy
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this morning. get this, the national champion could actually be chosen by forfeit this year. we'll explain in "bleacher report". ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th ♪ this holiday, let them shine like never before. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is how we shine.
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texas a&m forced to pull out of the bowl next week because of covid issues. >> john, you can add the gator bowl to a long list of events affected by covid this month. aggies head coach said he doesn't have enough players to field the team dow to covid. and the team down 38 scholarship players right now because of the virus. a.m.'s opponent, wake forest, is working with officials to find another team to play. rutgers and illinois are possible replacements. the game is a week from tomorrow. now, the college football playoffs management committee making plans to cover potential issues caused by covid-19. and this year's national champion could be decided without playing a game. alabama set to take on cincinnati in the cotton bowl. if any of the four teams can't play new year's eve, they will forfeit, and the other team


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