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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 30, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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♪ ♪ a warm welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm paula newton. ahead here on "cnn newsroom," the cdc is defending itself decision to reduce isolation time amid record high case counts in the united states. ghislaine maxwell found guilty on five counts, including sex trafficking of a minor for her long-time associate jeffrey epstein. mourningers are gathering in
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south africa to pay their respects to the late archbishop desmond tutu, whose body is now lying in state. ♪ ♪ so medical experts call 2021 the year of the vaccine, a chance for people to protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic. but the year is coming to a close with an average of more than a million new infections a day right around the globe. that is an all-time high. the u.s. is also breaking records for the first time, averaging more than 300,000 new cases a day. johns hopkins reports as well that close to 490,000 cases were reported on wednesday alone. we should point out, of course,
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that number is the result of a lag in reporting over the christmas holidays, but it is a staggering toll nonetheless. the centers for disease control and prevention is now forecasting 44,000 new covid deaths over the next month. now, the cdc also projects those fatalities will rise most quickly in early january, then tapering off later in the 3407b89. -- month. more u.s. states are employing the national guard to support health care workers, especially with testing and vaccination efforts. tom foreman has the day's other headlines from washington. >> reporter: schools in d.c. will require all students and staff to have negative covid tests to come back to class. new york city will require rigorous testing, too. all that as the white house says it expects to sign a contract for 500 billion at-home covid tests next week. >> it really had a lot to do
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with what we thought people would be able to tolerate. >> reporter: the recommendation of five instead of ten isolation days for those testing positive with no symptoms, then five days of masking is aimed at keeping people working. >> there is no data that i'm aware of with the omicron variant that supports people coming out of isolation five days after they were first diagnosed with the virus. >> reporter: nothing in the guidelines mandates testing for these people, and the administration has been harshly criticized for the current shortage of tests. so the lack of testing and the new recommendations is drawing fire, even as top health officials push back. >> we don't know how our rapid tests perform and whether they predict whether you're transmissible during the end of disease. >> reporter: at in the effectiveness of some at-home
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tests in predicting the omicron, it is all becoming muddled. >> we're seeing more cases at any point during the pandemic. >> reporter: and infections among children are rising rapidly. >> here in new jersey, we're seeing a four fold increase in pediatric hospitalizations. daily case rates are skyrocketing. >> reporter: in connecticut, the national guard has been called up to help in testing. in washington, the pentagon is tightening its covid safety protocols. and all along the coast, authorities are now investigating at least 86 cruise ships for covid outbreaks. simply put, the pandemic is raging all around causing confuse and concern everywhere. but the cdc wants you to be clear about this, especially if you have children heading back towards school. if they're 5 or older, they can and should get vaccinated, and
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the fda is considering booster shots for 12 to 15-year-olds. so stay tuned. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> joining me now from new england is lawrence young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology. thank you for joining us. these numbers are breathtaking. in four short weeks, they are just so much higher than anyone could have imagined. what do you see in the data in terms of how and when this could start to turn around for us? >> well, as you say, this is the most transmissible variant of coronavirus we have seen. it is spreading like wildfire all over the place. we're seeing record levels in europe and across the uk at the moment. i think we're still in that steep rise. if we look to south africa, and if we can extrapolate from what we have seen in south africa, there was a sharp rise, and then precip toitous fall. in europe, we're still on the
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rising side of the graph. the hope is we'll peak very soon and see a fall in cases. the important thing, of course, is to see what impact all this infection is having on hospitalizations and severe disease. >> i know the data has been mixed on that. what do you take from the data we have so far? >> yeah, i'm just looking at what's happening in the uk. i think the general consensus is, of course, the infection with omicron is milder than de delta. but wen you have such high levels of infections, you are going to get a small but significant proportion of people severely ill. so what we are seeing is a slight increase in the number of cases in the uk being hospitalized. that's increasing day by day. the big concern we have now is the spread of omicron from younger people where there was a concentration of infection a few weeks ago into the older populations, particularly during sort of mixing of populations into generational mixing like
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over christmas. the worry is we'll start to see more of -- more infections. what we are seeing is less people in intensive care, less people requiring ventilation. but the majority of people who require ventilation have no booster jabs. so this testifies to the importance of vaccination. >> yeah. that would aggressive booster campaign that's on right now in the uk. now, i have to ask you, i'll lean on your expertise as a virologist. does omicron from a possibility of taking over delta, and is that a good thing? >> well, there's lots of speculation, particularly amongst virologist, about this idea that a virus becomes more transm transmissible, could be signs of the coronavirus weakening. but omicron is taking over from
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delta, and we're seeing that across the uk. there are reports now, but the majority of infections are omicron, not delta. although we still have significant levels of delta, i have to say. but there is this interesting competition going on at the moment. it is likely that omicron will shortly become the dominant virus. whether that's useful or not, i don't know. with such high levels of infections with all the uncertainty what this means with disease in the elderly and vulnerable, there are so many uncertainties at the moment that i don't think we can be complacent. >> complacency is not something that has served us well. i want to talk to you about something called project 2022, that's trying to stop the next variant. when we have the virus
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replicating so often around the world, what are the dangers of that? >> omicron has been a real wakeup call, because i think we were complacent, and i think i have to say with some of the restrictions that vary around the world in terms of human behavior, we're still being complacent about this virus. the big lesson is, as long as the virus continues to spread around the world and is not suppressed by vaccination, the more chance it has of throwing out variants. and it comes back to that mantra, that slogan we keep hearing, which is nobody is safe until we're all safe. it's in ourself interest and in countries like the u.s. and the uk to make sure that vaccines are being distributed all around the world. omicron has taught us that, and it's a tough lesson but one we'll have to learn. >> yeah. and as well as trying to get
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that access to vaccine and trying to convince people to get the vaccine. but we'll hope for better things in the year coming and hope that there's more coordination across that goal. lawrence young for us, appreciate it. >> thank you. several european countries are seeing unprecedented numbers of covid infections as the omicron variant continues its rapid spread. france reported 208,000 cases in just 24 hours. that's the highest number of daily infections for any country in europe since the pandemic began. the uk set a record with more than 183,000 new daily cases. the omicron variant accounts for more than 90% of all infections in england. and for the first time, spain surpassed 100,000 covid-19 cases in a single day, and despite that surge, the spanish government decided to reduce the quarantine period from ten to seven days for those that test
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positive. melissa bell is live for us in paris now. we just heard from dr. young, melissa, just talking to us about the dangers by allowing this virus to continue to replicate. i was really struck by the health minister there in france. he seemed panicked by the surge in france. do they believe that will be accompanied by severe disease, by increased hospitalizations? >> reporter: they certainly believe, paula, this is what we heard yesterday at the national assembly, that the pressure on the hospitals will k0789 continue to go. here in france, delta remains the main problem, and that's causing pressure on the hospital system. you're seeing operations being canceled, patients being turned away in order to keep the crucial icu beds available. when you look at the french figures, that record that was set yesterday, more than 208,000
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new contaminations in a single day. that is astonishing. on the previous day, or the record that was set on christmas day when we reached 100,000 contaminations for the first time since the pandemic began, that's how fast this is changing andprogressing. omicron is already in the majority and said this is going to happen in france, as well. he said even if omicron is three times less dangerous than previous variants, it is contaminating six to seven times more people, bringing a natural pressure to bear on the hospital system. so the massive rises that we're seeing at the moment in european countries follow a similar trajectory, also seeing records smashed day after day, leading to huge pressure on health care systems. europe is heading towards
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another scenario where their health care systems are going to be threatened. this time by the omicron variant that is not as dangerous but contaminating a lot more people and a lot faster. >> it is really difficult to fathom the rate of infek ctions right now on so many continents. with russian forces keeping up military pressure on ukraine, presidents putin and biden are hours away from their second high-stakes phone call in less than a month. details ahead. jurors at a sex trafficking trial reach a verdict. what's ahead for ghislaine maxwell? here. aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme.
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for the second time in just weeks, joe biden and russian president vladamir putin will speak by phone today, presumably about ukraine and apparently at the russian leader's request. relations between the two global powers have reached a new low, and are just getting worse over russia's military buildup along ukraine's eastern border. what the white house warns could be a prelude to an invasion. today's call is expected to set the stage for next month's senior negotiations in geneva,
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aimed at trying to defuse the ukraine crisis. here's the latest from cnn's jeremy diamond. >> reporter: weeks after joe biden and russian president vladamir putin sat down for a videoconference, the two set to speak once again on thursday afternoon, eastern time here in the united states. the two leaders will get on the phone to talk in particular about the tense situation at the russian/ukrainian border. we're told this call came at the russian president's request and it comes less than two weeks before u.s. and russian officials are set to meet for security talks january 10. so the question is, what can joe biden accomplish with this? we're told u.s. officials saw no reason to decline the invitation from the russian president, see nothing -- seeing no downside. the focus of the call expected to be the tensions at the
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russian/ukrainian border and biden is going to try to make clear to putin that the u.s. is committed to meaningful diplomacy to try to deescalate tensions in that region. but also to make clear what the cost for russia will be if, indeed, the russian president decides to move forward with an invasion of ukraine. u.s. officials have made very clear that those costs will be severe financial and economic sanctions that will go much further than anything the u.s. did in 2014 when russia annexed crimea from ukraine. ultimately, this phone conversation will be about trying to determine what exactly can be accomplished during those security talks on january 10. the clear goal from u.s. officials from their perspective is dees a calating and having russia draw down forces. jeremy diamond, cnn, delaware.
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ghislaine maxwell now faces the rest of her life in prison. a jury in new york convicted her of recruiting and grooming teenage girls for her late associate and former boyfriend, jeffrey epstein, so he could sexually abuse them. her family had no comment as they left the courthouse but said they firmly believe in her innocence. here is reaction to the verdict. >> reporter: it was a momentous day for survivors of abuse by jeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell, after she was found guilty of five of the six months she faced, including sex trafficking a minor. many of these survivors felt a devastating blow after jeffrey epstein died in 2019, shortly after he was arrested on those federal sex trafficking charges. and this trial was a second chance for them to try to seek some sort of justice. one woman who testified at the trial against maxwell named annie farmer said she was
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relieved and grateful to the jurors for finding her guilty of five of these counts, saying in a statement "she has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who testified in the courtroom. i hope this verdict brings sol e else to all who need it and demonstrates no one is above the law." maxwell's family released a statement of their own saying they're already working on an appeal and believe that she will be vindicated. her attorneys spoke to journalists outside of court after the verdict. >> we believe in her innocence. obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal, and we are confident she will be vindicated. >> reporter: maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison for these counts and will be sentenced at a later date.
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she faces two perjury charges in a separate case. >> we're joined now from new jersey. and you worked in the office that prosecuted this case. why is this verdict significant do you think? >> i did work there, and i'm proud of the work that the southern district of new york has done here, because justice is far too long coming in this case. it took over a decade. let's remember, over a decade ago, other federal prosecutors down in n, they had a case against jeffrey epstein. they had a very strong case against jeffrey epstein, but they decided to basically give him a free pass, that came back to light when the prosecutor became one of donald trump's cabinet members and resigned over this. so dozens of victims have waited well over a victim. today is the first moment where they got to feel some true sense of justice. >> i'm glad that you mentioned the victims, because you have to
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think about how difficult it was for them to come forward. this case will be appealed. in terms of the time that the jury took with this verdict, and the fact that she was not convicted on all charges, how might that impact the appeal do you think? >> as a prosecutor, you love that for appeal. one thing you want to say to your three judges who will hear the appeal is, this jury was not overly inflamed. they just didn't rule in the heat of passion. they were careful and spent dozens of hours, days deliberating, and they were careful with this verdict. they said guilty of five of the six count, but not the sixth. juries can be really unpredictable. i've had juries come back with one hour. i've had juries out for two weeks. here we fell in the middle, but i like that if i'm a prosecutor, because it helping me on appeal. >> some have suggested perhaps
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ghislaine maxwell was a scapegoat for jeffrey epstein, who was the real person who should have been prosecuted here. >> yeah, i think that's hard to swallow, really hard to believe. a person can be a co-conspirator, a susubordinate the summer two, but that doesn't mean they're a scape got. to buy that argument, you would have to disbelieve all the evidence that the prosecution put on, including testimony from four different victims. and you would have to disbelieve your own common sense. jurors are allowed to use common sense here in our system. every judge tells every jury to use their common sense. i don't know how believable it would be that a person in ghislaine maxwell's position had no idea what jeffrey epstein was doing right in front of her face. >> a very deliberative jury decided she was guilty on most of the charges. many are disappointed that there were many rich and powerful people who perhaps enabled
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epstein, right? they will face no consequences. how difficult would it be for prosecutors to try and continue to pursue this case in any scope, given that perhaps what some of these people did may have been despicable, immoral, but the prosecutors have to prove that it was illegal. >> exactly. i understand the frustrations for a lot of people. this was more than a two-person operation. this was more than jeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell. now, in order to bring other people to justice, you would need a couple of things. first of all, a how that you could charge under. federal law in the united states generally doesn't cover simply sexual assault. you need some interstate transportation or interstate enticement aspect of it. that was present for maxwell, but not for men who had sex with underage women. you need to make sure the state laws that have not expired.
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we have statutes of limitations which say prosecutors only have a certain amount of time to try cases. and the third thing, and the most important thing you would need is prosecutors who are committed and willing to do this. you know, you would need a commitment from state prosecutors, federal prosecutors that we are going to go after these people and hold them accountable. could maxwell flip? maybe. she could try. it's hard now that she's been convicted. but i worked at the southern district of new york, but it has to go both ways. she has to come clean and the southern district of new york has to believe that she's come fully clean and to cut her a deal. >> so interesting, especially considering that she is facing a lot of time in jail after this. still to come on "cnn newsroom," rule breakers could face embarrassing punishment in china if they're caught not towing the line when it comes to
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covid protocols. and in cametown, you are looking at live pictures. mourners have gathering to honor desmond tutu, whose body is now lying in state. we'll have live report, coming up.
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the body of revered south african archbishop desmond tutu is lying in state. and you are seeing live pictures there from st. george's cathedral in capetown where mourners are being allowed to pay their respects. tutu's coffin was brought inside just a short time ago, and his
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foundation says he asked for the simplest of coffins. and he also wanted that donations be made to charities in lieu of flowers. the public viewing will be held today and friday. cnn is following all of the events, and larry, obviously quite a dignified look there at the cathedral. what kind of outpouring has there been for desmond tutu? >> reporter: paula, i've seen such diversity in the people coming to pay their respects to the arch, as he was known. you see black, white, brown people, indians, people of every age, race, and creed all coming. some are observing a moment of silence, others sobbing as they come. and walk past that coffin. he, according to his foundation, wanted the cheapest available
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coffin, and he caasked only a bouquet of carnations be on his casket. he would be proud of the people who came by to pay respects for him. he came up with a term, the rainbow nation, his way of describing post apartheid africa, where the different races get along. you see that in the people coming to pay respects to him. he was an icon for all south africans, and revered well beyond the country, the continent, and around the world. and that's why you see even though the cathedral, the foundation, the government of south africa encouraged people not to travel to capetown because of covid, i am sure people who traveled from across the nation to be there to say goodbye to this anti-apartheid hero. >> i'm sure some feel compelled and think they have to be there. just as you were thinking about
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the diversity of the mourners, we can see it in the people that have crossed in front of the coffin. can you give us insight as to what we would have wanted for post apartheid south africa? it's not been an easy few years in south africa, and all been exacerbated by the pandemic, which might give rise to really some pessimism there in the country, despite the message of desmond tutu, which woas to really be hopeful. >> he never stopped talking, even after apartheid fell in south africa. he was critical at times, even of his friend nelson mandela. he criticized them for having this gravy train mentality. and he was critical of the administration of jacob zuma. at the time, i remember him saying one day we will be praying for you to fail the way we prayed for apartheid to fail.
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there were some within the party that he should not be saying that. in fact, one head of the police at the time said desmond tutu should remember he's not jesus christ. the fact that somebody who fought against apartheid but speaking out against any injustice he saw beyond apartheid, spoke to the character and the moral clarity that this man had. that is why so many people are devastated by his death. he's the last of a generation of nelson mandela, those who really fought apartheid. >> yeah, he was the platitudes, everything that's been said about him, certainly rings true, even in those comments that you just explained for us there. larry, i appreciate you updating us with those mourners coming to pay their respects there in capetown. now, the chinese city of
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xi'an is in its eight day of lockdown. china reported 156 new locally transmitted infections on wednesday, and those are significant, because they are locally reported and not from travel. despite everything been ordered to stay home, all by one infections were from xi'an. we want to bring in steven jang who has been following all this for us. we have been tracking disturbing video that shows authorities shaming people who arebreaking those quarantine rules. >> that's right, paula. these disturbing videos depict an incident on tuesday in that a border town in southern china, where four people in full haz/mat suits being paraded, being marched through the streets for allegedly helping others crossing borders into
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china from vietnam. now, that is considered to be a heinous crime by local place buzz of china's border closure, and increasingly tightened covid rules. there were some recent local outbreaks blamed on illegal immigrants. so officials are facing counting pressure from beijing, especially ahead of the winter olympics. still, these kind of images have stirred strong public reactions, because people say it reminded them of one of the most repressive periods in chinese history, that is the culture revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. so the local officials so far have very much defended their decision, saying they need to do this to act as a deterrent, but others, including state media outlets, said this is in serious violation of the rule of law and
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should they have happen again, where critics are pointing out this is exposing the dark and repress save side of china's the zero covid policy at the local level. >> and that video interesting to see that state media has a different take on it. political fighting. still ahead, anger gets the better of some lawmakers and a legislative debate turns into a slugfest. nothing kills more viruses, including the covid-19 virus, on more surfaces than lysol disinfectant spray. lysol. what it takes to protect. what makes febreze air effects different? while cheaper aerosols rely on artificial propellants... febreze uses a 100% natural propellant. check it out! pressure created by what's in your air makes the bottle spray. which means freshness everyone will love. febreze.
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2021 has been a year that many brazilians would have liked to have skipped. the pandemic took a heavy toll on the nation, which also saw fires devastate parts of the amazon, and many critics are blaming the president for mismanaging the situation. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: she was born this january in brazil, in the midst of a pandemic.
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but even an abundance of love wasn't enough to stop her daughter from contracting covid-19. and despite her pleas, little sarah died. she was only 5 months old. >> translator: when she died, when they gave us the news, i was able to hold her and feel her one last time. >> reporter: loss and grief like the one experienced became all too common across brazil. and in other countries. >> children have been dying more in brazil since the original variant was here. >> reporter: one misconception about covid's impact on children, as well as inequality and access to health care, made brazil a covid hot spot for the young. but other age groups suffered, as well. almost two years since matthew lost his son to the virus, the pain continues to bring him to his knees.
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[ speaking foreign language ] his 25-year-old son, one in a sea of more than 600,000 lives lost in brazil. his anger became harrowing:. one of many witnesses informing a parliamentary report on how the brazilian government handled the pandemic. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: the parliamentary committee blamed the president directly, for brazil's massive death toll and recommended he be charged with crimes against humanity. though he dismissed the report as politically motivated and having no credibility. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: throughout the pandemic, the brazilian president continued to promote alternative treatments, refusing the vaccine, and forging ahead. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> reporter: he was also criticized for his alleged attacks on the amazon rainforest. cnn flew over some of this year's hardest hit areas to see the devastation for ourselves. our captain meras captured the of these fires. there have been 30,000 fires in the same area, roughly a 50% increase from 2020 to 2021. now, compare these images with these over a five-year period. [ speaking foreign language ] this man is a spokesman for
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greenpeace, brazil. he and others say the blame falls squarely on the brazilian president. anna thought he would be brazil's savior. but 2 1/2 years after he swept to power, she's full of regret. >> translator: it was a mistake. it was the biggest mistake of my life. >> reporter: she's one of many to lose faith in the country's leader, putting pressure ahead of presidential elections in 2022. with less than a year until the presidential election, he got a re-election boost from trump himself. donald trump calls him a great president, who will they have let the people of his great country down. and taking a cue from the trump playbook -- >> he will win unless it's stolen by guess what?
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the machine. >> reporter: he has been sewing doubt on the integrity of brazil's entire electronic voting system, calling for printed ballots to supplement electronically cast votes. and in doing so, he had his eyes on the presidential prize. >> translator: i have three alternatives for my future. being arrested, killed, or victory. >> reporter: a fight for political survival, it may indeed continue into the new year. lawmakers took trading blows into a whole new level, getting into a fistfight on the parliament floor. the brawl broke out during a debate over constitutional reforms tuesday that would give more rights to women. with one conservative lawmaker calling the proposed changing as going against morality and
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motherhood. now, fists also did the talking in kenya, where one lawmaker suffered an eye injury during this brawl. he was attacked by the minority leader, who was suspended for five days. each after that, other mps continued to skroem and pound on table tops while they were voting on a law that regulates political party conduct. the u.s. is seeing another surge in covid cases fueled by skron. what that could mean for plans to return to offices in 2022. that's next.
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the world health organization is reacting to the cdc's decision to shorten the isolation period for people infected with covid-19, and it's a move, of course, that's drawn criticism from some in the united states, where cases right now are surging. w.h.o. leaders say shortened isolation periods show the need to take the science of transmission seriously, while also balancing the needs of society and the workforce required to keep it moving. we bring in a cnn national
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security analyst, and a harvard professor. and she joins me now from cambridge, massachusetts. okay, we're going to go way back now, 2020, do you even remember in may, the headline was never go back to the office. and you posed the question, you said you might be thinking you need to go back, but you pose the question when should you go back to the office? you shouldn't. so we are here, the end of 2021. we have this terrible variant, this virus just rampaging through the world essentially. what is your take now for 2022 and what does it look like, that return to work? >> i feel like in 2020 i was like 17 years old. it feels like a lifetime ago. so the way i think about 2022, in particular for countries that are having success with vaccination rates, it may not be perfect, but they can manage the worst consequences of covid. remember, that success, we don't
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need to get to covid zero, just to a place where you get it or i get it it may be like a little flu or something. so we're in a much better place now. so if you view it that way, 2022 is somewhat i call our adaptive recovery year. so that should be good. in other words, we have the tools to recover. but it's going to be different every day. it's ghog to depend on what is out there in the world. are you having high infection r rate? does your entire workforce get sick? so what is happening is first, the delays and the return that we are anticipated to work in 2020 are getting extended out a little bit. and you're likely to see openings and closings, depending on what's happening with the workforce. we have to be very adaptive in 2022, but that's towards a food finish line. it's going to be dark days ahead, but part of that is
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because basically we are now learning to live with a virus, hard to imagine, and not die by it, which is the only option we had in 2020. >> i hear in your voice a lot of optimism. i think there was a lot of yo-yo, we are going back to the office, not going back to the office. we're going back to the office, but not just yet. there has been a lost to that corporate culture and we have to talk about learning loss. you're a mother, you're also an instructor. at what point do we have to make that critical shift? and i know the way you analyze these things to say look, it's now worth the risk. we need to get back to a more normal life. >> exactly. that is right. the idea that people still talk about risk elimination is ridiculous, because it just assumes there's no consequences for deciding to have the most aggressive public health policy. i think what you're seeing now in a number of country is also a recognition that they're making
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a risk calculation, and because getting covid does not necessarily mean death any more. it was a lot worse in 2020, so you're making those tradeoffs. just trying to minimize the risks, and the tradeoff in closing schools are too great. we need to treat schools and education like critical infrastructure. you don't turn off the water or electricity. you do not close down the school as a first measure. maybe as a last measure if things are bad at that school. but the sweeping school district closures are not necessary. >> and a good way to put it that schools are critical infrastructure. before i let you go, the cdc, of course, shortening the time for isolation and quarantine. there is going to be some hefty disruption in many, many different spheres in work and life over the next few weeks. do you fear there could be risk
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to critical infrastructure if so many essential employees are kept home too long? >> i do. and i applaud the cdc decision. i think it's important that we do not view the tools that we had in 2020 and 2021 relevant for the future. we know that vaccinated and boosted people that get infected are only having flu-like symptoms. so we snead to push the envelope to not focus on what is the best public health advice, but what is the best public helded eadv in a society that needs to move forward? i realize things are dark now but it will be better next year. >> on that optimistic note, we'll leave it there. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> good to get her perspective. california's sierra mountains are seeing record snows. oh, my gosh, look at that.
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the area around lake tahoe has gotten more than 17 feet of snow, making it the snowiest december on record. officials hope the snow continues. the region has been suffering from drought and melting snow will simply help. check out these remarkable images from utah. a series oh of small but intense storms known as snow squalls, hit the city, featuring strong wind gusts. the snow squalls are beautiful and dangerous. being canadian, you don't have to remind me of that. i'm paula newton. thanks for your company. max foster picks things up from here with "cnn newsroom." he'll be here in just a moment. look,
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hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster in london. just ahead on "cnn newsroom." >> we're really struggling to maintain our work force, particularly with nurses right now. >> indoor new year's eve celebrations should be out. u.s. health system facing immense pressure as cases hit record peaks. officials say omicron may be milder, spreading across the country like wildfire. we're just hours away from more talks between vladimir putin and u.s. president biden.

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