tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN December 23, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST
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 will
move on. same goes for the national championship game january 10th in indianapolis. the committee does say the title game could be pushed back to no later than january 14th if needed. all right. finally, check this out. misfits forever a hero after that shot. she promised them all hot chocolate if she made it. nothing but net. all-time great schoolyard moment. the kids will remember that forever. they will be at high school graduation and say, remember the time ms. fitz made that shot and we got hot chocolate. >> erp this had he cheering so well. teachers are awesome. >> that, they are. . >> chefs had he even jumping up and down. >> you make a shot like that, you should jump up and down. >> she had great form. >> she knew it right out of her hands.
>> i do like the high school graduation imitations where they look like 68 years old, smoked four packs a day. that's not how high schoolers sound these days? >> totally how it was when i graduated. "new day" continues right now. ♪ welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. it is thursday, december 23rd. i'm john berman. brianna is off. aoeurbg qaa hill joins me. i am wearing my christmas tie. there's the candy canes. one of the busiest days during this travel period. it comes as the wildly contagious omicron variant is spreading in ways that other covid strains have not.
y uft thrit is now in all 50 std accounts for 90% of the country's new cases. covid testing lines are still very long nationwide. president biden, in an interview with abc news, denied the shortage of covid testsis a failure but admits the administration has struggled to meet the demand. >> no, i don't think it's a failure. i think you could argue we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago. >> month you did you get it wrong? >> how did we get it wrong? nobody saw it coming. i mean, the whole world. who saw it coming? >> there are several positive developments to report. a new pill to fight covid-19. the fda authorizing pfizer's anti viral pill. this is a five-day course that could treat covid and significantly cut hospitalization or death for
high-risk americans from the age of 12. and vice president kamala harris we're learning tested negative after close contact with an aide who contracted covid. in all, nine members of congress as of this morning tested positive. the latest is 81-year-old james clyburn. the house majority whip is 2fuly vaccinated, boosted. no symptoms. it took the democratic leader 56 hours to get his test results. let's bring in elizabeth cohen, cnn senior medical correspondent. president biden says testing isn't a failure but is acknowledging nothing has been good enough. these shortages are really something. can those two both be true at the same time? >> reporter: you know, testing has just been a problem really since the beginning. and let's be clear, we're not going to test our way out of
this pandemic. but, wow, it sure could help. the president said we didn't see omicron coming. one could say, well, but even without omicron testing was important. and really we should have seen a variant was going to come our way that would throw us for a loop. now, in order for test to go rell help, you need a lot of tests. let's take a listen to admiral dr. giroir, head of testing under the trump administration. >> unless we have a billion or two a month, we will have to be selective to make sure we keep people who can die from the disease from dying from the disease. . >> erica, testing sort of took a back seat during the summer and fall when delta was raging. now they really need to gear things back up. erica. >> let's talk a little bit about this pill from pfizer that would treat covid-19. how well does this work?
>> reporter: it works really well. but you have to take it really quite quickly, within five days of having symptoms. that means, and here we're going to talk about testing again. you have to recognize you have the symptoms, you have to find a place to get tested, which we have seen is tough you to call your doctor, they have to call in a preparation. but if all that works, here's how well it works. in the clinical trials where people did get it within five days, they did a clinical trial, half the people got a placebo. 66 ended up in the hospital and 12 tied. and with the drug, only eight ended up in the hospital and none of them died. let's look at distribution. drugs for covid-19, distributed by the government, not always as quickly as we would like. so the white house says they have purchased 10 million courses of treatment. in other words, enough to treat 10 million people. and then in january, 265,000
courses will be available. by late summer, the head of the covid effort for the biden administration says the full amount will be available. utah put out a press release saying they expect 440 courses of treatment in the initial allocation. that's how small it looks like the initial allocations will be. that's just enough for 440 people. we don't know had that initial allocation will be. we don't know when the next allocation will be exactly. erica. . >> as we keep hearing, it's great and works really well. it's not a replacement for a vaccine. lastly, for kids who are under 5, obviously not yet eligible to be vaccinated. we know pfizer said they need to work on a different dose in some of their trials they said last week. so it could be a bit longer before we see a vaccine for them. how much concern is there during the holidays for this group of kids? >> reporter: you know, thank goodness children represent a small percentage of covid cases and even smaller percentage of
hospitalizations and deaths. having said that, you know, i think there is a reason, particularly if your child has any kind of, you know, medical issue or underlying immune problem, that you do want to protect your children. they are still vulnerable to covid-19. unfortunately the clinical trials for this group, there were issues with the dosing. it's unclear what dose needs to be given exactly at what age. so we're not expect to go see resul results submitted to the fda until well into next year. . >> elizabeth cohen, as always, appreciate it. thank you. in ohio, people with the delta variant they are banning together to place this full-page ad in a local paper. it sums it up, "help." we need your help. we now have more covid-19 patients in our hospitals than ever before. and the overwhelming majority
are unvaccinated. joining me now is dr. couley, cleveland clinic. one of the hospitals that placed this add. it is so powerful in its simplicity as we see the stark page with the word "help." i'm wondering, do you feel it is triggering the response you were hoping for? is it getting people to pay attention? >> good morning. thank you very much for including me today on your program. we do need the help. we need a lot of help from your communities. and i believe this is across the nation, too. we are overwhelmed. our icus, our hospitals are overwhelmed. and i will share with you some of the numbers. and our emergency rooms are really being overcrowded because of the recent surge that we have seen with covid-19 hospitalizations there. and this is preventable. this is what's important. this is why this ad, and we're
all pleaing with everybody to go and get vaccinated, to get boosted if you have been vaccinated, too. we know booster will be more effective with this omicron variant. to put this in context, as of yesterday, we had over 870 hospitalized patients in northeast ohio in our cleveland clinic hospitals. with covid-19 infections. about a quarter of these patients, 26% of them, are hospitalized in our intensive care units. these are the sickest patients there. you know, and these patients, when you look at their outcomes, about two out of ten of them, 18%, will not make it out of this intensive care unit alive. and this is the sad story here. if they're on a ventilator, about three to four out of ten are not going to make it out of the intensive care unit, out of the hospital alive, too. these may be numbers, but these are really human lives. these are the brothers, the sisters, the mothers, the sons,
the daughters of many people, you know, around us. some are caregivers caring for these patients. and for that, and the fact that this is really preventable illness, we don't have to be in this situation. if the majority of our people are there. one last data on share with you. 90 plus percent of the patients we see are unvaccinated. mechanically ventilated patients, the sickest one, the number is even slightly higher. it is close to 92% are actually unvaccinated. vaccines are the way to do it. >> they are. as you point out, this is all preventable in most cases, right, just by getting the shots. we know the vaccine numbers are low. we know how difficult it has been to counter some of that misinformation. but another point you're making is this is today. but there is more coming. how concerned are you about your
hospitals and others in the area about your ability to handle what you have referred to as a tsunami that's coming? >> we're quite concerned. we're already overwhelmed with the numbers i mentioned. just think about the situation that can continue to get worse and overwhelm our caregivers who have been exhausted. thief h been under emotional and physical stress supporting families during this pandemic. so with more numbers, we spend every minute, every hour, we have a team of people who are actually trying to figure out a way where we place patients, where we move patients from one hospital to another, how we can uncrowd our emergency departments to care for these patients. and at the same time our staffing is being stretched to be able to care for the people coming in. even a small increase in the
number of patients, unless we do things to prevent that, and that is vaccination, social distancing, and masking up, we're very concerned. >> quickly, before we let you go, i know you said morale is low. there are staffing shortages, as we have heard about across the country. you said in 2020 there was hope at this point. do you have hope at this point in 2021 that things are going to perhaps turn around in 2022? >> we did not expect this situation a year ago. messaging our teams, my team, about the vaccines and how we are all going to be vaccinated, our communities, where we are going to be. we are not in that situation in ohio. we are still about 50%, 55% of eligible populations being vaccinated there. we have hope. we have hope that our communities, people who really live in this area and beyond will hear this message and will go get vaccinated and boosted
too and be responsible during the holidays too. there is absolutely hope if we listen to this message and do the right thing here. >> dr. khouli, thank you for everything you and your colleagues are doing as well and happy holidays. >> thank you. same to you. well, joe biden said he will run for president again if, if -- what's the if? i'm going to make you stick around it. and revealing new satellite images that could upend the strategy in the middle east. that is a cnn exclusive ahead. a congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint. there was a break in the case overnight. last minute gift sale. get up to 40% off storewide. ( ♪ ) this is how we shine. at zales. the diamond store.
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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 against donald trump? >> you're trying to tempt me
now. sure. why would i not run against donald trump? that may increase the prospect of running. >> president biden answering a question that many have been wondering what he sees for himself in 2024. joining me cnn jonathan martin, national correspondent with the "new york times". i want a clinical dissection. what do you see there? >> as we would say himself, god love him. the president said out loud what had been widely talked about privately in democratic circles, which is, yeah, it's not a sure bet that he runs again. but he is probably more likely to go if trump himself is going to run. because he sees himself on a mission. and first to beat trump and keep him out of office and then to keep him out of office.
what's the old kinsly line about a washington gaffe is telling the truth. >> exactly. >> there you go. >> is there -- and you have reported on this, jonathan, before. if there is any if not him, who, out there in democratic circles? >> absolutely. i mean, look, there is i think in public an amount of deference to this president in part because he hasn't even finished his first year yet. and he's still fairly popular among activists. there is no governor or senator who will openly say if joe doesn't go, i'm in. if president biden does not go, there is a lot of senators, governors, potentially who would look at it. and you have to look at the folks who have run before. obviously, the vice president. secretary buttigieg, amy
klobuchar, elizabeth wear republican. if you have run for president once, you are probably tempted to run again. >> it is interesting because joe biden does -- you could think who could span the different factions. it hasn't been easy for them. but he does it in ways that a lot of other people. it's hard to think of anyone else who could do it in any other way. i want to move on to jim jordan who has been asked nicely to testify before the january 6th committee. he hasn't given an answer yet. what do you think is going to happen here and that is the significance of him admit to go a, having a conversation with president trump and sending messages to mark meadows talking about ways to approximate get around the electoral college? >> he basically is trump defacto liaison in the house that day. it's hard to think of somebody
other than kevin mccarthy in trying to overturn election results, who was more central than jim jordan. i think this is going to the heart of the matter trying to get some kind of insight from jordan. it puts the members of the committee in a difficult spot, john. if jordan doesn't cooperate, what do you do? do you hold your own colleague in contempt? that creates all kinds of challenges inside the body itself. >> so, john, we have been getting a lot of viewer mail particularly from the dakotas. what is going to happen with john thune, the republican senator from south dakota, the number two republican in the senate right now. everyone asking is he going to run for re-election. explain to us why this question is important and what the outcome will be. . >> sure. why it is important is two reasons.
one, the pure matter of succession. obviously, mitch mcconnell will turn 80 in february. it is widely assumed he will not be in that spot more than the next couple of years. who is going to take over for mcconnell? mainstream conservatives like john thune, do they still want to serve in the congress with president trump as defacto leader of the gop. john, if he does not run again and retires at the age of 60, on the precipice of potentially being a leader, that's an extraordinary choice and would say a lot about the quality of life of serving in congress. and serving in congress with president trump constantly in the shadows. if you just look at recent history, you can go back to 2018. there's now a long roster of mainstream conservatives who have retired rather than faced trump-backed primary. bob corker and jeff flake in 2018 through a longer list
today. it would effectively put an exclamation point on that list of folks and the gop who said, you know what, it's not worth it. i want to call it a i career. . >> i secretly think you know what he is going to do or at least have a strong suspicion about what he is going to do. . >> you know, i've gone back and forth on this myself over the course of this year based on reporting in conversations. he is slightly more likely to run than not run. just the pocket of being a leader for any politician in a legislative body is so tempting it is hard to walk away from that prospect. but i think he has tugged home for a lot of reasons. i think it's really unclear. even senator mcconnell himself has told associates, john, that he is not totally clear on what thune is going to do. this is a live question going into the holidays. >> a christmas mystery. jonathan martin, thank you so
much for being with us this morning. happy holidays. >> thanks, john. you too, man. a new vaccine mandate announced in the nation's capitol. >> joe biden and jimmy carter, the new members that tie the two presidents together. with downy infusions, let the scent set the mood. feel the differencnce with down. ♪"you are the reason" by calum scott♪ to all the kisses... ...that led... ...to this one. celebrate every kiss, with k. ♪ ♪ ♪
china is admitting that the beijing winter olympics may result in coronavirus outbreaks, but the country says it is fully prepared. this as millions of people in a major chinese city are under strict stay-at-home order weeks before the games. cnn has reporters covering the pandemic all around the world. >> reporter: i'm serena wing in tokyo. the chinese city and 13 million residents have been put in lockdown. residents are largely banned from leaving their homes. one designated person from each household can leave once every two days to get groceries. this is the fourth major chinese city to go under strict lockdown. the first in early 2020 when wuhan, ground zero, went into
strict lockdown. with the olympics less than 45 days away, they are zeroing down on its covid strategy. >> reporter: i'm anna stewart in london. today is usually one of the busiest days of the year for international travel as much of the world takes off work and takes to the skies in time for christmas. it is still expected to be busy. despite travel bans for some countries and new restrictions for others. measures introduced to limit the spread of the omicron variant. for those who are still going ahead with travel plans, well, you can add face masks, vaccine passports, tests and covid travel to your holiday checklist this year. >> reporter: i'm larry madowo watching the omicron wave slow down in south africa. south africa has surpassed the peak of this wave largely driven by significant slowdown in new infections in huateng, including
johan else berg. this could be because of population immunity. more people have been infected and vaccinations have increased. this is a clue that it might be less severe. fewer people in the hospital and fewer people dead. coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise in washington, d.c. as the omicron variant continues to spread there. and that is one of the reasons the city's mayor just announced a new set of vaccine mandates. as of january 15th, anyone 12 and older must show proof of at least one dose of a vaccine before entering a restaurant, gym or other establishment. bijan 15th, it becomes february 15th, do doses will be required. and religious institutions are exempt for now from the mandates. joining me is the mayor of washington, d.c., muriel bowser. madam mayor, nice to have you
with us this morning. >> my pleasure. >> we see the difference measures prompting action. you just brought back the indoor mask mandate. now the vaccines. they don't start until january 15th. are you concerned about what will happen in the next couple of weeks? >> we're very focused with all of our residents on getting tested, vaccinated and boosted and also limiting their activities and being careful about the level of exposure that they have, especially if they have vulnerable family members. our vaccine mandates will apply to high gathering places, where we know transmission of the virus was already high risk. and with omicron it is certainly high risk. it will affect largely residents in our community who are getting omicron, who are 24 to 35 years
old. we want businesses to ramp up and comply and people to get their first shot, second shot or get fully boosted. >> so that is why you are giving a two-week window. it is my understanding some colleagues in washington, d.c., there is frustration whether there could be an app similar to new york city to make it easier for those establishments as they need to police people coming in. is that being considered? >> well, yes. the businesses will be able to look at a cdc card. or they'll be able to look at a number of electronic apps to a person can demonstrate their vaccines. >> but are there plans for a d.c.-specific one? >> we won't have a d.c.-specific one because people can use their cards or any electronic app. >> you mentioned specifically 25
to 34-year-olds. i believe cases nearly doubled in that age group. as we look at the mandates that target bars, restaurants, indoor spaces, how much is that age group fueling case numbers in washington, d.c.? >> we think it is a quarter from last week's data. we will see what this week's data shows. while it can be disruptive to their lives and can be disruptive to any of our societal institutions, we also know these are healthier individuals. this omicron is not sending them to the hospital, which is a good sign. >> you mentioned testing that is going to be key moving forward here. do you feel there's adequate testing and adequate access to that testing as of in d.c.? >> we ordered 6 million tests yesterday. we have about a quarter million on hand.
just yesterday we started giving out 15-minute antigen tests to residents. we gave out 20,000 yesterday. we will keep doing that all the way up to the holiday. we also offer test yourself kits for our residents. increasing numbers are going to libraries. they get a swab, do their test, drop the test off at the library, and get results in three to five days. actually, it's been less than three days recently. in january, we will open up permanent d.c. health sites throughout the city where people know they can go for testing and vaccination. we know through this experience with omicron that this need to test will be very important for how we keep our schools open and how we keep people at work. >> ideally the goal is to increase vaccination numbers obviously within the city.
as we look at the milestones there, it starts off with one shot. two required by mid-february. do you envision adding a booster requirement? >> we, for our d.c. government employees, we have teachers, firefighters, police officers, regulators, you name it. we have already strengthened our mandate requirement for them to include a booster. we are working with our deadlines to get that accomplished. i expect we will have that discussion nationally as if a fully vaccinated includes a third shot. >> so you would perhaps change the mandate for entering businesses that go into effect the new year? >> there our approach has always been to dial up interventions as the virus dictates.
that is how we kept our cities safe. that's how we are approaching this winter surge as well. >> do you anticipate extending the mask mandate? . >> we have a mask mandate that runs through january 31st. at that time we will evaluate the need for it. as you look at the planning, this variant spreads so quickly. the growth we have seen in just three weeks in this country is remarkable. d.c. and new york getting hit hard by omicron. how much is that influencing future planning for the city if there is another variant that spreads this quickly? >> i think our team have done an amazing job making sure the city is prepared to deal with this virus. i'm very proud of the work we have done collectively with our community to crush the initial
waves. we see testing, along with increased vaccination. and we have challenged ourselves to make sure that our critical institutions remain open, even in the face of this virus. and that starts with schools. it's been interesting to see people pivoting on a dime. have you changed in i of your holiday plans based on the science and new requirements you're putting in place for the city? >> well, i've changed them because i'm the mayor. my city experienced an emergency, so i will be here. i have a 3-year-old daughter who is unvaccinated. i would hope to be able to take her to the beach, but we're going to have to postpone that. and it's just very important that we keep our vulnerable folks safe. >> mayor muriel bowser, thank
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five suspects in custody this morning in connection with the carjacking of congresswoman mary gay scanlon. the car was recovered in delaware. she was not physically harmed. no information yet about the suspects or any potential charges. so recent polling is showing president biden is struggling to instill confidence for the american public in key issues. one of the most notable is the economy. joining us now cnn senior data
reporter harry enten. when talking about joe biden and the economy and the polling on it, how bad is it? >> terrible. terrible. look, historically, look, we can look at the net approval ratings on the economy since 1977 at this point in a presidency. that's the approval mean us disapproval in the economy. look at joe biden in 2021. minus 15 points. he's well under water. that is even lower than jimmy carter was in a cbs news "new york times" poll the beginning of january 1978 when he was at minus 8 points. biden is even worse than trump and obama were at minus 4 points. when it comes to the economy, there is pretty much nothing good that can be said about joe biden's numbers when it comes to the american public. >> you brought up the carter comparison. what more do you have on that? >> yeah. you know, look, here's the deal. why were both of them so down in the trenches?
if you ask folks about inflation, inflation is a serious problem or concern. 84% of americans say, yes, it is right now. back in december of 1977 under jimmy carter, it was 79%. inflation is something that can sink a presidency because it is something felt by everybody. it sunk jimmy carter. at this particular point, although joe biden has time to make it up, it's one of the big things that's keeping him right now in the gutter. >> it is worth noting, by the way, the inflation is nothing compared to the inflation of the '70s and '8 0s. the idea that he is doing worse than carter. how bad are numbers specifically? >> when you look and ask folks do you approve of the joe biden handling inflation? look at this. 28%, 28% of americans say that they approve of the job. and i think the biggest number in this table that sort of gives
it away is just 54% of democrats approve of the job he's doing on inflation. in this era of polarization, it's not surprising to see only 6% of republicans approve. but the fact that only 54% of democrats approve, look, they are looking at the numbers, historically if you look at the actual economic measures, perhaps it shouldn't be comparable to carter. when it comes to how folks are feeling, it clearly is. . >> 54% amongst democrats is a problem. >> just a little bit. just a little bit of a problem. >> what biden and the white house are trying to do, you pass build back better and it helps inflation. are people buying it? >> no, they're not buying it. and this is the problem. you basically ask folks, would build back better help fight inflation? just 35% of americans are optimistic it will. 3 51% are pessimistic. essentially they are offering
plans they think will help the american public, and the american public is looking at the plans and they don't believe they will. they think joe biden's eye is not on the ball. and this has been a consistent problem in his presidency the last few months where he is offering solutions and the folks are not buying they are they are actually solutions. . >> i'm wearing my holiday tie. . >> yes. >> which i think is fun. however, i'm a little stressed out because i don't think my holiday tie matches my everyday jacket that i'm wearing right now. when you look at the polling about the christmas holiday inn general, as people head into the holidays saying it's more stressful or more fun? . >> first off, i'll note one way you can enjoy if your tie and jacket are not matching, is to not wear a tie. that's how i get around the problem. more fun is 52% to more stressful, 43%. i myself am not sure. i feel it can be fun at times.
shopping for folks makes it more stressful. making sure family get-togethers are happy-go-lucky. i like santa. the a&w cream soda. that can make it more fun. i'm not saying you should logon to amazon right now and buy me the diet a and w cream soda, but perhaps you should. >> if one showed up on your desk, you wouldn't refuse it? >> it's a quick way to my heart. it is hard to get in new york city, at least in manhattan, a 12-pack of diet a&w cream soda. if you do it, whenever you want me, i will be in your pocket. >> the important thing is you can be bought. >> i can be. >> happy holidays. >> thank you. you too.
nfl legend has made it his business to help single parents turn their houses into homes. here this week's impact your world. >> everyone deserves a home. home is where the heart is. i just remember sitting in a locker room with dungee talking about you guys want to get involved and give back and all those things. then it just came up my mom. they opened fire on a police car. she lost her life and wasn't able to realize her dream of home ownership. i saw how she cared about people and wanted her community to be better. homes for the holidays, we go and assist a single-parent family. we give a $5,000 down payment and fully turn with food, computers, furniture, all the way down to the the more i learned, we wanted
to get into the business of giving people the potential to break their cycle of poverty and with that is financial literacy, health and wellness, education attainment and work force development, entrepreneurship. >> it set the foundation for me, up until that point, survival was my thinking process. >> the goal is, i hope we can go out of business. when i say that, no one else needs housing. >> he works so hard at this. it's so wonderful to see. how are supply chain issues affecting the christmas shopping rush right now? maybe not how you think. maybe not as much as people once predicted. the commerce secretary will join us coming up. but first, secret satellite pictures of ballistic missiles being built by one of america's allies with the help of one of this country's rivals.
across the middle east and into the white house. natasha bertrand has this new reporting for us. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence sources are telling us that saudi arabia is developing its own ballistic missiles with the help of china and is actively manufacturing these missiles in at least one location in saudi arabia. that's according to satellite images provided to cnn. this is an escalation from what cnn previously reported in 2019 which is that saudi arabia was buying ballistic missiles from china and was kind of, you know, getting these large scale transfers of ballistic missiles directly from beijing. this indicates they're actively producing their own missiles. they're still getting this technology from china and building it at a site that china helped them build as well. this could have ripple effects across the middle east. it could spark an arms race or dramatically impact the biden administration's ability to get iran, saudi arabia's bitter
rival to curb its ballistic missiles program knowing that saudi arabia is producing its own missiles. will iran pull back its own program? big questions for the biden administration as it tries to balance and calibrate its approach to getting saudi arabia to perhaps pull back the production of its missiles as well as iran to feel comfortable not producing its own missiles as its rival produces them with the help of china. the administration is trying to figure out how to respond to this. >> what are they doing? what are they thinking about how to respond? >> so, they're weighing sanctions on the entities involved in producing these ballistic missiles and transferring this technology to saudi arabia. but many in congress don't feel that the administration is going to act strongly enough, particularly because the relationship with saudi arabia is so delicate. the relationship with china, of course, very delicate at this moment as well because the administration is trying to reengage with beijing on issues like trade and climate and, of course, the pandemic.
so they're going to have to act delicately here as they try to pull back this program. but they're emphasizing that this began under the trump administration. the trump administration, of course, very unwilling to criticize saudi arabia to try to get it to act in accordance with international norms, and they're saying now that the country and the world is reaping the consequences of that. >> natasha bertrand, thank you very much for that reporting. >> thank you. vladimir putin holding his annual end of year news conference amid tensions of a military build up near ukraine. putin denied any plans to attack, but is also demanding the u.s. and nato provide russia with security guarantees. melissa bell is live in moscow with more on what we're hearing in that address. good morning. >> there's been so much interest, so many questions the last few weeks as that military build up has taken place around
ukraine about what vladimir putin's intentions were. the point of this news conference is you get a direct insight into that. his fears and impression that ukraine may be preparing another war on the dombass region. he says his fear was that as the west threatens sanctions. it could be an all-out war that is being prepared. he also spoke to those talks that are due to take place in january that may be mediated by italy between the united states, nato and russia over ukraine, warning that his intention with regard to an invasion or not of ukraine -- and he was asked directly that question -- would not be a function of how those negotiations went but more whether or not he secured from the west those security guarantees namely that nato would not seek further expansion
eastwards. one thing we heard from him was a deep distrust speaking of the lies that nato told. saying back in the 1990s, russia received assurances they would not move a single inch eastward, but now there are five expansions in countries like romania and poland. this speaks to his fear about ukraine going forward and that's what we'll have to look at when it comes to those talks, whether or not he gets those guarantees. the u.s.'s top diplomat spoke to this a couple days ago saying some of russia's demands, notably that one, that nato should commit to no expansion. that gives an example that the talks are important but also extremely difficult when it comes to finding an undersunderstand i ing. vladimir putin saying how would the united states feel if missiles were placed in mexico
or canada. "new day" continues right now. good morning to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. it is thursday, december 23rd. we're getting very much closer to christmas morning. i'm john berman. erica hill joins me this morning. great to see you. >> good morning. >> no one saw it coming, that's president biden defending his administration's response to the rapid onslaught of the omicron variant. it is now in all 50 states and accounts for 90% of the country's new cases. the president in a new interview says the nationwide shortage of covid test kits is not a failure by the white house. >> how did you get
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