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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 31, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> that is indeed at least something to strive for. thanks to all of our guests, and thanks to you for watching. for the entire team at anderson cooper 360 and cnn worldwide, i'm tom foreman wishing you all the best and none of the worst in 2022. and 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," new year, same pandemic. as countries prepare to ring in 2022, coronavirus cases surge, putting a damper on festivities. we are live in beijing and paris. new details about president biden's phone call with vladimir putin. the warning biden gave the russian president. plus thousands of colorado
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residents forced out of their homes because of wildfires. when the state can expect a reprieve. cities right around the globe are getting ready to ring in the new year. but for many, the crowds and confetti have been pushed aside as an explosion of new covid infections takes hold on several continents. preparations are, though, under way at this hour for the balloon drop in new york's times square just as the state announced a new record 74,000 cases. celebrations have already been scaled back with masks and vaccinations required. now, the seven-day average of cases right around the world has broken yet another record at nearly 1.2 million infections.
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the u.s. has set a third straight record meantime with average daily cases topping 355,000. but here's the thing. johns hopkins reports close to 650,000 cases on thursday alone, and we do want to point out that of course that number could be inflated somewhat because of the lag in reporting over this holiday season. now, this map right here gives you a sense of how fast it's spreading. most states now are showing a 50% increase or more in cases in the past week compared to the previous week. all but five -- you see them there -- are reporting some type of an increase. and meantime, another troubling development. more children are spending time in the hospital with covid than at any other time since the start of the pandemic. close to 400 now admitted every day. cnn's tom foreman begins our coverage.
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>> reporter: with the pandemic clocking unprecedented numbers of infections, the fda is expected to okay booster shots of the pfizer vaccine soon for 12 to 15-year-olds. the cdc has intensified its warning against cruise ship travel amid dozens of outbreaks. and health officials are advising caution onshore too. >> i would not eat in a restaurant now without a mask. i would absolutely not go into a bar. if you go into a bar now, you are very likely to get covid whether you're vaccinated or not. if you're unvaccinated and you go into a bar, you will come out of it infected. >> reporter: as predicted, the surge is not hitting everyone equally. >> if you are unvaccinated, you are ten times more likely to be a case and 20 times more likely to be a fatality. >> we're still getting the data, but what we're hearing from hospitals really across the nation -- and this is very consistent -- is that the vast majority of the children who are being admitted are unvaccinated. >> reporter: so many people are
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being affected, many states are reporting near-record highs. maryland hospital officials are calling for a limited emergency declaration. in new york city, the fire department has so many out sick, they are reminding people to call 911 only in true emergencies. and everywhere the drumbeat for more testing is growing louder, especially with schools reopening next week. >> testing, testing, testing, testing all the time. so this is what i think we have to do, and you're seeing this in new york. you're seeing this in d.c. you're seeing this in as many places as we can. >> reporter: in the meantime, two new reports indicate a booster shot of the johnson & johnson vaccine significantly lowers the risk of severe illness from the omicron variant. and health officials are pleading no matter which vaccine you choose, make sure you follow through with all the recommended doses and then get a booster too. >> that's where, you know, so many of us are echoing make sure you get vaccinated and getting
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your booster dose. that's really what's going to protect you right now. >> reporter: many health experts say the majority of americans that have received their vaccinations are the very reason there aren't more hospitalizations during this gigantic surge, and they've been relatively low. but there are still plenty of them, and that's a big burden on hospital staffs everywhere that have already been fighting this pandemic for a very long time. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> in the meantime, canada's most populous province, ontario, will start offering a fourth covid vaccine dose to its most vulnerable residents. health officials say it will come just three months -- and that's significant -- after the third dose, and it will include people in long-term care homes and retirement homes. now, ontario is also stopping free tests for all residents, reserving them instead for symptomatic, high-risk residents only. and now we turn to europe, where a growing list of european countries are reporting their highest daily covid case counts
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ever. cnn's jim bittermann is standing by live for us in paris, but we begin with steven jiang in beijing with new details about the 13 million people under lockdown in the chinese city of xi'an. steve, you've been telling us about this for several days, and now apparently the strict lockdown is really getting too restrictive in the sense that they apparently have problems even with food supplies? >> reporter: that's right. this is what the authorities have acknowledged, at least tacitly, in terms of the severe impact of their increasingly harsh lockdown measures on the daily survival of the city's population. remember for days we've been talking about there is this growing sense of frustration, anger from local residents about the lack of access to groceries and medicines. there's also this growing problem of people's inability to seek medical attention for all non-covid-related issues, including pregnant women, for example, who need to go to the hospital. that's why increasingly we are
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seeing officials and state media as well really emphasizing authorities redoubling their efforts to improve the supply and distribution of this kind of daily necessity items by deploying shipments from other provinces, but also coordinating delivery within xi'an. and they have dedicated hundreds of local officials to these tasks. also they have set up more than 1,600 chat groups on social media platforms to improve communication between local officials and citizens, again to ensure availability and distribution of these groceries and medicines. but still we've also seen people who had previously aired their grievances online being targeted or attacked by trolls, who say they should have not really made their personal suffering public because that could smear china's image. so really there is this effort to contain the virus but also to control the narrative, probably not surprisingly, both intensifying in the city of xi'an. paula. >> yeah, and it bears repeating
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that few of us can really imagine the kind of strict lockdown that those chinese cities have been under on and off for the last two years now. jim, to you now in paris. we are ending 2021 on a somber note. i'll remind you that is the way we ended 2020 as well although we did have the euphoria of the vaccines. all of that seems to be gone now, and if you look at one european country, the one you're in, france, more restrictions, right? and now even masks outdoors in paris. how is everyone responding to this? >> reporter: well, i'll tell you, i guess one of the best summaries was a newspaper headline this morning which said this year's celebration rhymes with resignation. basically people are resigned to this. i checked out the streets this morning, just looking out and about. i would say about two out of three people are respecting that mask mandate, which is now required. it means that people have to wear masks in public and can be stopped by the police if they're not. a good number of people plan,
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according to a harris survey, staying at home tonight, about 63%. that's because celebrations have been canceled. fireworks have been kanscancele. a good deal of europe is also under those kinds of restrictions and people have to be resigned to gather in small numbers. perhaps the most severe lockdown is taking place in austria where they're going to close down bars and restaurants two hours before midnight. paula. >> yeah. certainly as we said, a stark reminder that this pandemic is not over. jim bittermann for us in paris, steven jiang in beijing, appreciate you both. now, raging wildfires have forced thousands of people from their homes in the u.s. state of colorado. the fast-moving marshall fire has burned at least 1,600 acres in boulder county. authorities say more than 500 homes have already been destroyed so far. at least six people are injured. now, two hospitals in the area
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are already transferring patients. inmates in one jail had to be moved as well. and residents throughout the state are now experiencing rolling blackouts to try and preserve the gas supply because of those fires. dry conditions and hurricane-force winds are fueling the flames. we want to get the latest now from cnn meteorologist gene norman. i appreciate you being here to try and update us on this. i mean the pictures i've seen are terrifying. why were people so caught off guard by all this? >> well, paula, these winds whipped up very quickly. now, the area has been dry as you mentioned. in fact, all of the state of colorado has been under drought conditions. that's the entire state, and the areas where these fires broke out, near boulder, as you see highlighted in the red here, these are in the extreme category of drought. so you had dry conditions. denver hadn't had measurable snowfall since december 10th. that's the latest ever that they've had any kind of
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snowfall. then you had these strong winds, in some cases gusting to category 3 hurricane strength of 115 miles an hour. now, those winds have died down. so why were people caught off guard? because the winds whipped up quickly. i understand power lines were knocked down, and that's what sparked some of these fires. then it was like a bellows, fueling those fires and making them move so quickly. thankfully the winds have died down considerably. the forecast as we head into the overnight, keep your eyes on the areas of red here. they disappear very quickly, but that's because there's an approaching weather system that's going to bring snow to the area tomorrow. we're already starting to pick up a couple flakes off to the west of the boulder/denver area, but that entire area is under a winter storm warning. they could see 4 to 10 inches of snow. here's that system coming out of the rockies. it winds up and head their way. they'll start to see the snow falling from the sky in the mid
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morning and will continue on into saturday. that's not really good news because now they're going to see bitter cold temperatures. again, snowfall anywhere from 4 to 10 inches, in some cases over a foot. >> yeah. even though, gene, it is gratifying to see those wind speeds come down significantly from what they were just about six or seven hours ago. gene norman, appreciate that update. joe biden and vladimir putin lay out their positions in a high-stakes phone call just weeks before both sides hold diplomatic talks over the crisis in ukraine. details just ahead. and get back to your rhythm. ♪ the relief you need. the cash you want.
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the kremlin says it is satisfied with thursday's high-stakes phone call between vladimir putin and joe biden. the white house describes the conversation meantime as serious and substantive with president biden again warning of dire economic consequences if russia invades ukraine. president putin apparently replied that sanctions would be, quote, a colossal mistake. for now, both sides have, in fact, agreed to keep talking. we get the latest now from cnn's jeremy diamond. >> reporter: for the second time in a matter of weeks, president biden and russian president vladimir putin getting on the phone together for a one-on-one
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conversation focused particularly on those rising tensions between russia and ukraine. the prospect, of course, of a war between those two countries looming over the 50-minute conversation between the two leaders that took place on thursday. president biden phoning in from his wilmington, delaware, home. a senior administration official telling us that the tone of the conversation was substantive and serious, and the white house press secretary jen psaki making clear that president biden urged russia to de-escalate tensions with ukraine. quote, he made clear that the united states and its allies and partners will respond decisively if russia further invades ukraine. she goes on to say that president biden reiterated that substantive progress in these dialogues can occur only in an environment of de-escalation rather than escalation. ultimately president biden's main objective here in this call was to once again make clear the stark choice that russian president vladimir putin faces. that is to say that if he
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decides to massiveove forward w this invasion, the u.s. will impose serious costs, serious economic, financial ramifications but also a stepped up nato presence and increased u.s. assistance to allies at russia's doorstep. on the other hand, the u.s. making clear and the president doing so in this conversation that the u.s. is committed to meaningful diplomacy. talks are set to take place between u.s. and russian officials beginning on january 10th. and lastly, one thing that that senior official was not able to say was what vladimir putin's intentions are following this call. instead, the u.s., rather than listening to those words and trying to judge his intentions, focused on russian actions. that's why we've seen stepped up u.s. surveillance missions. two u.s. spy planes flying over eastern ukraine this week in just a matter of days. jeremy diamond, cnn, traveling with the president in
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wilmington, delaware. >> joining us from moscow is director at the carnegie moscow center. really good to have your insights on this. you say that putin is looking for two things, a moratorium on nato expansion as jeremy was just saying in russia's near abroad, what it considers its near abroad, and a commitment to not station intermediate range missiles in europe. yet you and i both know he's unlikely to get that in a formal declaration, and so what is the endgame, do you believe, for putin now? he is calling the shots, right? his troops are in russian territory. he really is in no hurry to return them to base. >> well, i think that mr. putin said that himself very recently, that he has nowhere to retreat. so for him, the most important thing is to get some kind of a
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commitment from the united states president that nato enlargement, to include ukraine or for that matter, georgia, or any part of the former soviet union is off the table, is not going to happen. and, second, that the united states will not move nato's military infrastructure, particularly the missiles that can target moscow from close distance, to new territories close to russia. how this will be formalized is an issue for negotiations. putin was talking about legally binding guarantees of n non-expansion and non-membership. however, he also said that even treaties can be withdrawn from. so basically we're talking about some form of a commitment, official commitment by the united states not to do those two most important things from the russian standpoint. >> and yet we are probably far
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aways away from that happening. you articulate what i hope the u.s. and nato realize, right? you say it directly. ukraine is putin's last stand. in his view, he's tolerated nato enlargement now for two decades. it is his red line. do you think the biden administration and nato are working on that premise now? >> well, i think that they are. i also believe that the united states does not intend to include ukraine into nato because the united states does not intend to defend ukraine with force in case of a conflict, of a war with russia. and that's very much in the u.s. national security interest. i also do not believe that the united states has the intention of actually moving its medium-range missiles all the way to the russian border to threaten russia. that would be suicidal. and it was stated by a putin
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aide just after this most recent call that russia would respond to those threat, should they happen, the way the united states would have responded to them, with clear references to the 1962 cuban missile crisis. >> yeah. it's funny. we all go to that point in history whenever we think of what's going on here. i don't have a lot of time left, and i'm going to put you on the spot because i know you don't mind at all. would you put money on the fact that there is absolutely no way that vladimir putin will invade ukraine? that this is a good negotiating stand, and that's what it is, and that's what it will continue to be? >> i don't think that for putin, this is about ukraine. ukraine is the last stand, but it's not the stand between moscow and kiev. this is -- this is where putin wants to stop nato's enlargement and the movement of u.s. military infrastructure to russia. i don't think that the invasion just for the sake of invading
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the country, annexing the country, is in putin's plan. >> and i know that the biden administration is thinking, look, let's make some quick work of what is a crisis, and sometimes there are breakthroughs that can happen with this kind of brinksmanship. we have to leave it there for now. dmitri trenin, thank you so much. right now at this hour, the body of late south african archbishop desmond tutu is lying in state for a second day, and mourners are paying their respects a day before his funeral is held in cape town. that's where we now find our david mckenzie. these are really momentous days for so many in south africa. despite covid and desmond tutu's own wishes, from what i've seen, david, people are really feeling a powerful pull to be able to come there and pay their respects. >> reporter: that's right, paula. you can see behind me this wall of remembrance. many personal notes left on
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notepads and cards, flowers and photographs of the late archbishop desmond tutu. a very long line near me stretching out through the gardens in cape town. people coming for the second day of lying in state. earlier, his coffin was brought, a simple pine coffin with a group -- a line of priests and sisters from the anglican church, paying their respects as well. and family members. his widow shedding a tear as the coffin was brought into this cathedral known as the people's cathedral. many people i'm speaking to today are thinking of how south africa has lost this moral voice, this leader in terms of the direction of this country. never a politician but deeply involved in politics and ethics in this country. and that's a question i posed to the dean of the cathedral.
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>> the archbishop always was striving for a better south africa. has his wish been fulfilled? >> no, you know. goodness is never complete. it's always a work in progress. he had moments of great disappointment, and he expressed it on various platforms including in our cathedral many times. but he also died at peace to know that he's not the last of the prophets. >> reporter: certainly south africa has lost a prophet. i spoke to a woman who came some 50 kilometers away. woke up early this morning. she said she had to be here to pay her respects. she worries that south africa, in losing desmond tutu, has lost one of the great last icons of the anti-apartheid struggle. only really can be compared to nelson mandela in terms of his importance, at least in the public's eye. here in this cathedral behind
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me, he would do sermons during the anti-apartheid struggle, railing against the police. famously in one case, pouring purple dye on all the protesters and then rounding them up and putting them in jails across the city. and you've had the mountain here, table mountain, bathed in purple every night because of the vestments that archbishop desmond tutu used to wear as he went out and fought the fight against apartheid. now, it's the final good-byes from a grateful nation. paula. >> yeah, and it's important to remember the courage of him and his work in those early days. david mckenzie for us in cape town, appreciate it. i am paula newton. for our international voters, "defining moments" is next. for everyone else, stay where you are. there's more news in a moment.
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returning now to our top story, the unprecedented surge of covid-19 infections right around the world. now, several countries across europe have reported another day of record-high covid-19 cases. portugal, ireland, greece, spain, italy, and the uk are among the nations that saw their highest daily case count ever on thursday. and in the united states, meantime, average daily infections have set another record with more than 355,000. meanwhile, about ten states are currently experiencing some of the highest hospitalization numbers of this entire pandemic.
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dr. michael mena is the chief science officer for e-med. really good to have you here. you have been speaking to us for several months, in fact the better part of two years. last november, you wrote -- and i quote -- in "time" magazine, we need a multi-pronged public health strategy that includes a national testing plan that utilizes widespread, frequent, rapid tests to stop the spread of the virus. nothing's changed, has it, d dr. mina? why didn't this happen when people like you were calling for it? >> it's a great question, and we certainly took a vaccine-only approach for must of this year. to give credit where credit's due, the last administration actually did do quite a good job at getting a head start on these tests. by the time that administration was leaving, there were almost 200 million rapid tests that had
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been distributed. but then everything stalled, and, you know, why? i think there was this consistent feeling that if too much energy was placed onto tests or if people felt like they could test and know whether they were infectious in real time, that that would somehow cause them not to choose to also get vaccinated. and that's a very dangerous thing when you start pitting two very protective and useful public health tools against each other. it causes a lot of confusion. >> yeah, especially when we've learned time and again that with this virus, we need multiple layers, and that's how we get to safety. in that same article, you called these rapid tests contagiousness tests, and that makes a lot of sense to a layperson like me. yet we had dr. walensky from the cdc backed up by dr. fauci in the last couple days basically suggest that these tests are not effective and not accurate in
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telling people when they are infectious. so give it to me straight, doctor. do these tests work, or don't they? >> they certainly do. they both -- you know, they work very well. they work to tell you and answer the question, am i infectious? they're very good at doing that. when they're positive, you should absolutely assume that you are infectious, and you should continue isolating. it was difficult to watch the two of them because they have been two of the greatest advocates for rapid testing, especially dr. fauci has come out and said, you know, we should flood the streets with these tests. he said that very proudly for over a year now, and i'm disheartened to see that when -- when the u.s. doesn't have the tests, that the response is to throw them under the bus rather than to own up to it and say, we're doing better. and, in fact, the biden administration is doing better now. so i've been a little bit surprised by the response. >> there was some data that they
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were pointing to, some of it from the fda, although as i understand it, more research has to be done. when you have seen the research done so far, specifically on omicron, is it still effective in telling us if we have that variant or not? >> yes. these tests are still very effective at identifying omicron just as they were the other variants. it's still working very well, and the nih is currently investigating this. all different nations are also investigating it, and the uk, for example, came out with their report, which showed unequivocally, yes, that these tests are still identifying and detecting omicron quite well. >> okay. and another round more than a year later, doctor. spell it out again. what would you like to see in the next few months, especially that as we understand it, this new variant means that reinfection, even for those vaccinated and boosted, is still
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an issue? how would you like to see tests used? >> what i would like to see tests used for now -- we've kind of passed the point where we can ask all americans to test themselves twice a week, you know, every american, and really use it as an outbreak mitigation strategy in that way. so what we have to do now that we are faced with a position where we do have a limited supply of tests, at least over the next few months, we need to use the tests very strategically. put them in the places where they will have the most benefit. use them to take people out of isolation because people who are currently in isolation are the highest risk people in our society for transmitting onwards. it's a great use for the test. pre-position these tests in people's homes who are at risk for severe disease. so at the moment they start to feel a scratchy throat or some symptoms, they can use a test, have it done reliably in a reported way so they can then get one of the pfizer or merck
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drugs, for example, delivered to their home and start on therapy, very effective therapy, that same day. these are very strategic and useful approaches to how we can be using these tests as we move into 2022. >> yeah, and i'm so glad that you pointed out the issue of therapeutics, right, because that's what's been heartbreaking as well. if you don't know immediately whether or not you have covid, you certainly can't ask your doctor for the therapeutics. we'll leave it there for now. we will be speaking to you again in 2022 and onwards, and happy new year to you and yours. >> thank you very much. now, the pandemic has cast an uncomfortable spotlight on the u.s. dependence of foreign imports and it relies on overseas supply for everything from masks to medical gowns and hospital gloves. you remember the scramble to try and get some of this stuff. but a factory in illinois is among those hoping to change that. scott mclean has been reporting on this. there has been quite an effort
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to so-called onshore this critical ppe in the last year and a half. has there been much progress? >> reporter: hey, paula. yeah, i've actually been really surprised to see just how many companies think they can make money making something as simple as a medical glove, which is worth literally only pennies but requires some extremely expensive machinery and some complex chemistry to actually get right. right now there are at least a dozen night row glove factories popping up across the united states and all but one are starting from scratch. these companies are short on experience, but they are not lacking in ambition. literally hot off the production line, the very first hand molds being dipped in nitro. the result, a reliable stream of medical grade gloves made in america. this is a big deal because for decades the u.s. has imported these gloves from cheap
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suppliers almost entirely in asia. it took a pandemic to start to change that. this businessman said he felt compelled to act. >> we've just watched more than half a million americans die and many of them for no reason. i think bad decisions have been made in american manufacturing, specifically for critical assets like class one medical devices. the decision has been made to make sure that never happens again. >> reporter: when the pandemic exploded, the nitroglove industry was plagued by scams. a cnn investigation found count counterfeit, substandard, or even dirty used medical gloves being imported to the u.s. by the tens of millions. pre-pandemic there was only one nitroglove producer in the u.s., in fayetteville, alabama, but the company says it struggled to get even the u.s. government to buy its gloves because they cost around twice the price. around 10% of the world's medical gloves are made in china, 20% in thailand, and 65%
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in malaysia. how do you compete with slave labor? >> the technology allows me to do it in a way that i can compete with even the dirtiest user of slave labor. you want to be a customer of a slave labor company? i don't. >> and you couldn't do it 30 years ago? >> you could never have done this 30 years ago because the technology didn't exist. >> reporter: rhattigan is a former cable news anchor and now ceo of the u.s. medical glove company, committed to paying workers at least $25 per hour plus health care coverage and plans for free on-site child care. there are currently about 100 of them now assembling new lines in ovens using all american-made parts. >> that is a critical distinction between this company and others. >> reporter: the startup housed in a sprawling former caterpillar factory is backed by
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a $63 million advance purchase order from the u.s. government. all told, washington is spending $1.7 billion to help american companies manufacture ppe at home after the pandemic exposed how dependent the u.s. is on foreign sources, which is a vulnerability in public health emergencies. another american startup, usa gloves outside houston, was created by former importers who found it almost impossible to buy gloves from abroad. they don't have any government investment yet, but once the machines are finally up and running next month, they hope to turn a profit from private sales. even with higher prices than asian brands. >> hospitals and clinics and even end users are willing to pay that slight premium so that, you know, we're prepared for a future pandemic. >> reporter: it's still early days, but experts say it is essential for the u.s. to make more of its ppe at home. the question is -- >> whether people will remember
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this and be willing to pay that premium in the medium term, or is this just a very short-term memory, and soon people will go back to thinking about who is my lowest-cost supplier? >> reporter: that may ultimately be what determines the success or failure of these new enterprises, whether they're expensive experiments or the beginning of a new era that reduces america's dependence on factories on the other side of the world. at a time like this, no one is complaining about u.s. government investment in domestic ppe production, but no one we interviewed for this story thinks that is a viable long-term solution either. the medical supply chain expert you just heard from says that the government instead ought to be negotiating better trade deals so that wages and standards in places like china or thailand or malaysia are comparable with wages and standards in the united states so that american producers can actually compete on a level playing field, paula. >> a lot of issues at work, and it does get quite complicated.
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thanks for checking that out for us. now, police say he wrote all about it, even before this week's deadly shooting spree in the denver area. before the suspect went on his rampage, apparently he wrote books about it. we'll explain ahead. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. tony here from creditrepair.com taking to the streets to talk about credit. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane? what's a good credit score? go. 600. maybe if you're trying to pay thousands extra in interest rates. cut the confusion, get started with a free credit evaluation at creditrepair.com.
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in colorado, investigators say the suspect in monday's shooting rampage in denver left clear red flags. they say lyndon mcleod gunned down five people and wounded several others before police killed him. but according to investigators, he dropped clear hints about what he was going to do in books he had written. omar jimenez explains. >> reporter: days after a deadly shooting spree across the denver area monday, the ongoing investigation moves from what happened to why. >> this individual was known to law enforcement. he was on our radar.
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there were two previous investigations, and neither of these investigations resulted in state or federal filings. >> reporter: the shooter was lyndon james mcleod, who police say targeted some of his victims, and in a series of books, foreshadowed parts of what happened. he wrote under a pseudonym but used the real names and places for some of his victims. in one book, mcleod wrote about a character named lyndon mcleod, specifically mentioning a condo building overlooking cheeseman park in denver and how, in his police gear, he would crash a man named michael swin yard's poker night and execute michael for his betrayal and take everyone's cash. 67-year-old michael swin yard was killed in monday's shooting at that same address. according to a memo from the building manager obtained by cnn, the shooter arrived at the building impersonating a police officer. in another book, one character says, look, i killed alicia
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cardenas as well. 44-year-old alicia cardenas was among the first to be killed monday. she was the owner of a tattoo shop. >> she was a real leader in her community. a lot of people looked to her for advice and information about tattooing. it's -- the world we're living in, it's just horrible. >> reporter: in total, five people were killed in about an hour monday. three of them worked at tattoo shopped. starting in denver before police tracked the gunman to nearby lakewood where he entered a hotel, shooting and killing 28-year-old sarah stack, who was working at the front desk. not long after, more shots fired, this time hitting lakewood police agent ashley ferris. while on the ground wounded, she was able to return fire and kill the shooter. >> she was able to not only save others from this terrible
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tragedy, but also neutralize the threat. and i can't say enough about the courage and bravery shown by that lakewood police agent. >> reporter: that police agent, ashley ferris, is expected to be okay and has been recovering at a local hospital. as for the investigation into why the shooter carried this out, police will also likely be looking at his social media, which included a wide array of extremist views on the roles of women, war, guns, and more. omar jimenez, cnn. the governor of colorado, meantime, has reduced the prison sentence of a truck driver by literally a full century. from 110 years to 10. that truck driver was found guilty of multiple charges after an accident in 2019 led to a fiery 28-vehicle pileup that left four people dead. he told investigators the brakes of his tractor-trailer failed while traveling 85 miles per hour. the case drew national attention with celebrities calling for a
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lesser penalty and millions signing a petition asking the governor to reduce the sentence. and we will be right back with more news in a moment.
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♪ a sea goddess reigned supreme around new year's in brazil. hundreds of worshippers gather on the beach to pay tribute to the afro brazilian sea queen yamana. they offer the deity flowers, letters and alcohol, hoping she will bless them. even in the face of the rapid spread of the omicron variant, some cities, including rio de janeiro, are planning to have some kind of new year's eve celebrations. cnn's hala ga or annie has moren how different cities around the world plan to celebrate 2022. >> reporter: the quick spread of the omicron variant is putting a damper on new year's eve celebrations around the world. while some smaller events are still taking place, it will be a grim start to another year of the coronavirus pandemic. london mayor sadiq khan announced in a tweet last week that the annual event in trafalgar square is canceled,
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saying the safety of londoners must come first. some 6,500 people were expected to attend. british prime minister boris johnson decided against tougher covid restrictions but cautioned that people should be smart about how they ring in the new year. >> i think everybody should enjoy new year but in a cautious and sensible way. take a test. ventilation. think about others. but above all, get a booster. >> reporter: in paris, the traditional fireworks display over the champs-elysees has been called off, and officials have implemented a mask-wearing policy in outdoor public spaces starting friday. and in atlanta, the new year's eve's peach drop has been canceled for the third year in a row as positive cases are on the rise in georgia's capital city. but to the delight of many, the fireworks in sydney will go on
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as scheduled. attendees are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted and an indoor mask mandate is also in effect in new south wales for those over the age of 12. in new york, workers are preparing the traditional waterford crystal ball that will drop over times square. this year's event will be scaled back to 15,000 people. there's usually about 60,000 revelers taking part. after canceling its new year's eve celebrations earlier this month, rio de janeiro reversed course. there will be no outdoor concert this year, but the world-famous fireworks on copacabana beach will go on. the city also announced precautionary measures to avoid mass gatherings. and dr. anthony fauci has some strong advice for those who do plan to attend large celebrations. >> if your plans are to go to a 40 to 50-person new year's eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each
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other a happy new year, i would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that. >> reporter: many were hoping for a return to normalcy as we ring in the new year, but thanks to covid, we will have to wait a little bit longer. hala gorani, cnn. >> cnn will have a safe party for you. you'll want to stay with cnn as the world rings in 2022. anderson cooper and co-host andy cohen are live from new york's times square. coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. in new york. that's 9:00 a.m. new year's day in hong kong. i am paula newton. i want to thank you for your company. i will be back with more "cnn newsroom" in just a moment.
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hello and a warm welcome to viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm paula newton. coming up on "cnn newsroom," we're seeing pandemic records ahead of the new year in the u.s. and parts of europe as hospitalizations for children soar. i'll speak with a professor this hour. plus -- >> it's devastating to see this in this time of year, and just never imagined having this happen in december. >> a wildfire emergency unfolding at this hour in

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