tv CNN Newsroom With Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez CNN January 1, 2022 7:00am-8:01am PST
you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm paula reid in washington. happy new year. the u.s. is now, though, in its third calendar year of the coronavirus pandemic, and last night's champagne-filled new year's eve parties came with a sobering warning from health officials. mass gatherings could bring a tidal wave of hospital admissions as omicron surges. the u.s. has already smashed
another exactly case count record, nearly everyone seems to know at least one person with this virus. right now more kids are in hospitals being treated for covid than ever before at a time when they should be enjoying the holidays. schools once again are grappling with how to balance education with health and safety. massachusetts denied a teacher's union request to close schools monday for covid testing. but in washington, d.c., students must produce a negative test result to return to school. meanwhile, holiday travel, headaches persist. the faa warns it may be forced to delay flights as crew members call in sick. that's on top of more than 11,000 flight cancellations since christmas eve. adding to travel implications, the cdc has increased its risk for cruise ship travel to the highest level. the federal agency says you should avoid cruises regardless of your vaccination status. cnn's polo sandoval joins me now from new york city. polo, times square looked pretty
full with people celebrating last night. how is the city dealing with this latest surge in covid cases? >> it was, paula. i was there covering the event and officials were trying to obviously allow for social distancing but obviously when you have 15,000 people cramming into times square, that's certainly not very easy. now, they were requiring that everybody there be fully vaccinated and even wear masks, even though it was an outdoor vaccinated event. nonetheless, that has done little to calm the concerns of many health officials that worry that these kinds of large gatherings can certainly lied to another increase on top of what we're already seeing. new york has continued to stay on that trend of basically breaking its own record with another 76,000 people testing positive yesterday. look at hospitalizations, paula. this is certainly concerning here where roughly 7,900 people in the hospital right now. you can see that this is why officials are worried right now since technically many of those people who are vaccinated would potentially have to seek some medical attention and that is
what could add more strain to those hospitals, not to mention infections among hospital staff could mean they have to quarantine at home. that's why the federal government announced recently they're going to be sending reinforcements and assistance to places like the city of new york with more medical resources to try to help with that surge as we continue breaking records. four times this week overall reaching an all-time high of 386,000 cases this week. so this is why those lines will continue to be seen throughout parts of the country. we definitely have been seeing that here in new york. in fact, i saw many new yorkers, paula, spending their last few hours of 2021 standing in line making sure they're not a potential threat to family and friends, that they would be potentially gathering with later that day. this is certainly going to continue into this year. >> a noble way to spend the last few hours of 2021. polo sandoval, thank you for
your reporting. >> thanks, paula. with me now are dr. amish adull gentleman, senior scholar at johns hopkins university. all right. doctor, i want to start with you. we know the u.s. is averaging more than 386,000 cases a day. hospitalizations haven't risen as much. we know those numbers usually lag case counts. so from what you were seeing, do you think the health care system could be overwhelmed in the next few weeks? >> i certainly think that there are certain regions of the country where there are high risk people that are not vaccinated where you're going to see capacity compromised. they're being crushed with delta patients. that's been going on for the past couple months, and they have staffing shortages and they have staff out sick. so what we'll likely see are regional parts of the country having difficulties with
maintaining hospital operations and that's where the federal government assets may come in very handy. systemically, i don't think we'll see what we saw like last year because so many have been vaccinated. we have more tools. it's not the beginning of the pandemic. it's sort of a new phase because over 200 million people, 61% of the population are fully vaccinated. >> dr. o'neal, louisiana is one of a few states where hospitalizations have risen by at least 50% compared to last week. that is nowhere near the peak the state saw in the fall. what are you seeing right now in your facility? >> we're seeing in our facility today a tripling of admissions over the last week, and a tripling of e.d. visits. the combination caused us to be scare in our number of tests we're able to provide to patients as they come in to seek care. when you come into the doors of the hospital, we're seeing our vaccinated patients aren't getting sick and our frail vaccinated patients need admission, but their admission
is shorter and they're able to leave in days. unvaccinated patients are more likely to be on the ventilator. we're seeing those admissions increase this week as well. >> are you concerned you could reach peak hospitalization levels again? if that happens, are you prepared? >> we're concerned that we may not be able to take care of patients the way we want to take care of them by tomorrow. so we're running out of tests and room. we're inundated in the e.r. and we're waiting through people who have flu-like illnesses that are very concerned and feel terrible with omicron to try to find the sickest patients. in the meantime, just like you see around the country, we have lots of people out with omicron, with other flu-like illnesses. we have a lot of flu here right now, and so that ability to staff the hospital is one of the things that we've consistently said through the pandemic is an issue with offering great care and we're seeing that come to a head now. whether our admission rate hits
last winter orb not, we're wondering if we can offer great care over the next week. that's our biggest concern. >> great question. doctor, many experts are warning that the wave is going to get worse before it gets better. when they say that, what exactly do they mean? how much worse could this get? >> over the next couple of weeks we're going to see increases in cases, probably record-breaking because omicron is something that can get around the immunity provided by prior infection, the immunity provided by vaccination. so cases are going to go up and they're going to be disruptive as people have to take five days off and call off from work. that's going to be very disruptive. we will see hospitalizations increase. as i said earlier, it's going to be regional where we see problems. it's probably not going to be systemic, but it's going to take simon time to get through this omicron wave and for testing to get into place. it's going to take time for people to have access to the antiviral. the next couple of weeks to months are probably going to be rough, not as rough as last
year, but rough. and i think it's frustrating because what's happening is it's largely preventable because it's really the unvaccinated that are causing the hospitals to have capacity problems. that makes it much more tragic that this could have been prevented if more people would have been vaccinated. >> dr. o'neal, the cdc's updated guidance, they're saying that they have this new isolation guidance for people that have tested positive for covid, saying that people can stop isolation after five days if they don't have symptoms or if their symptoms are resolving as long as they wear a mask the next five days. do you agree with this? because much of us seems to be in response to staffing shortages, not just in hospitals, but in other sectors. are we sacrificing good health practices to make sure there are enough people out there to keep the country running? >> absolutely agree with shortening isolation. we know there are many, many
people who don't shed for ten full days, and those people tend to be vaccinated people, greater than 90% of our health care employees at our hospital are vaccinated. many of them got to test asymptomatic to see their family. we know those groups of people shed less and are safer to come back after five days. when you look across the country, you have to ask yourself what is your motivation to get out of isolation at five days? if you're motivation is because you feel truly well, you're vaccinated and less likely to shed and you can come back to work with a mask and keep that mask on, then that's the right thing to do. if your motivation is to go back to work without a mask, to see lots of people, to go to a gathering, that's not the right motivation to get out of isolation early. and so we put this back to the public to say we really need to do the right thing. if you're not feeling well, you need to continue to isolate for ten days. >> don social media people are having a field day with this change in guidance. so what's your take? >> we've always known that the
ten-day isolation period is not a one-size-fits-all solution. while we see lots of breakthrough infections that are mild and we reassure people this is a mild illness, the fact is having to take ten days out of work is very disruptive to people's lives. this isn't something that is going to pose a danger to others, so i think that this was the right decision by the cdc. you can actually couple it with testing to even be even more precision guided. but you also have to remember that many people weren't even following the ten-day isolation period. so you also have to keep in mind they're not going to do it, so there is an element of harm reduction here. we're trying to reduce the harm the virus causes. if we can get people to isolated for five days, that's better than people not complying with the ten-day isolation period. this is the right move and it's part of normalizing this virus because it's something we're going to be dealing with for decades into the future and we have to have a sustainable approach to this because we can't really avoid it anymore because this is an endemic
respiratory virus. >> absolutely. here for its third calendar year. dr. o'neal, let's take a listener to what the world health organization said about what this year could look like. >> we have two faces of the pandemic. the pandemic that's associated with the tragedy of death and hospitalizations, that can end in 2022. the virus itself is very unlikely to go away completely. we'll probably settle down into a pattern of transformation, low level, causing occasional outbreaks in undervaccinated populations. we hope that that is the end game here. but we're certainly not there yet. >> how exactly do we get there, to the end game? what do you see happening over the next few months? >> the end game has always been very clear, and maybe we haven't been clear about it, but to get to the point -- that's a very hopeful message that we have endemic spread only, that this
virus turns into a pattern that is somewhat controllable means that people are vaccinated, that we have testing available, and that when somebody becomes sick, we mitigate through masking and making sure less people get it each time. the first part is vaccination, which we've had for a year and we're still not well vaccinated enough. that's why we continue to see surges that cripple our health care system of the i think we can get there. we have to do our part by vaccinating people, having enough testing, and mitigating those who are sick. >> doctors, thank you so much for joining us with your expertise. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. this just in to cnn, airlines have been forced to cancel more than 2,300 flights just today. the cancellations, a mix of covid infections among airline crew and a winter storm that's sweeping much of the nation. more than 1,000 flights have been canceled every day since last weekend, a week that's one of the busiest travel times of
the year. coming up, rising tensions with russia. president biden sends another warning to vladimir putin about what will happen if he makes a move on ukraine. we'll go live to moscow next. i always dreamed of having kids of my own. ♪ ♪ now i'm ready for someone to call me mom. at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. feeling sluggish or weighed down? it could be a sign that your digestive system isn't working at it's best taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health.
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president biden heading into the new year with a sharp warning to russian president vladimir putin not to invade ukraine. >> i made it clear to president putin that if he makes any more moves and goes into ukraine, we will have severe sanctions. we will increase our presence in europe with our nato allies and it'll be a heavy price to pay for it. >> cnn's nic robertson is live in moscow for us. this warning comes days before u.s. and russian officials are set to meet in person in geneva to address the military activity along ukraine's border. so what more are you learning? >> reporter: you know, i think what we heard from president biden is much more of a framing around the military costs. the one thing president putin
doesn't want is to see more nato troops coming towards his border. after all, the reason he pushed and escalated this whole situation, attention over ukraine with russian troops close to the border is because he is concerned about what he sees as nato's expansion east, the possibility ukraine could be included into nato brought in as a member and allies could put troops and military equipment inside of ukraine. so that's what's on putin's mind. so when we hear president biden just yesterday making the issue of increasing nato's troop presence there a bigger issue -- and i say a bigger issue because earlier on the narrative has been more about the economic sanctions. this is sort of raising the stakes, if you will, with president putin, certainly publicly. now we're getting to hear it publicly, and the russians are getting that message. the readout from the kremlin about that phone call was putin heard clearly that there would not only be economic, financial sanctions, but military sanctions as well.
this really stiffens and hardens the positions of both sides, but i think for those analysts who thought what putin really needed to hear was that there could be a military escalation from nato and the united states who are very clearly saying they're not going to put troops inside korean to face up against russian forces. this raises the stakes somewhat. >> president biden is expected to speak with ukrainian president zelensky tomorrow. what do we expect in that call? >> reporter: president biden's been really assiduous and careful to court and keep the support of all his allies, his european partners. the message for ukraine all along has been nothing about you without you. he is not going to get into discussion with president putin and his negotiating in geneva
january 10th are not going to get into detailed discussions about the future of ukraine and nato without ukraine being in the room. so i think there will be a message with that and keeping them up to speed with his conversation with president putin and also making sure that there's no false steps in ukraine that could potentially escalate tensions with russia at this time. >> we'll be watching. nic robertson, thank you for your reporting on that. coming up, we remember the iconic betty white. >> what are you doing with that heavy coat on inside the house? [ laughter ] >> you tell me, rose. >> dorothy, was sophia naked just now or does her dress really need ironing? [ laughter ] some of my best memories growing up, were cooking with mom. she always said, “food is love.” so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan.
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. today we are remembering a true entertainment legend. betty white has died at the age of 99 just weeks before her 100th birthday. her seven decades in show business brought countless laughs. >> betty white and i were on a series called "boston legal." and she said to me how many did they hire you for? i said five. she said me too. i'm going to kill you or you're going to kill me.
so the fifth episode, sure enough, she was supposed to kill me. she was supposed to hit me with a skillet. she came in that had and said, mr. jordan, i don't want to hit you with this skillet. i said, come in, it's not real, it's a trick skillet. i showed her that it was made of rubber, but it was hard rubber. she walloped me. if you ever see the episode, i fly through the air. they had to take me to the chiropractic. she knocked the bejesus out of me, and every time i see her after that, she'd say i'm sorry, i'm sorry. ain't she precious? he's going to be so missed. >> cnn's stefan ealuminum has more on white's legendary life and career. ♪ it's a good day how can anything go wrong ♪ ♪ it's a good day from morning till night ♪ >> betty white's career began in her teens, and by her 20s, she
was a fixture with her own daily talk show. she cofounded her own production company in 1952. she worked on a variety of television and film projects before turning a 1973 guest appearance on "the mary tyler moore show" into a permanent role. white was a scene-stealer as sue ann nichbz. >> a man should be wreaking with masculinity. >> reporter: her second signature role was on the beloved series "the golden girls" as the comical rose nimind. >> and they attack chickens. >> she didn't call me chicken, she called me peacock. >> you look like a chicken when you're angry. your neck sticks out. >> when the "golden girls," i got to play with those silly ladies every week. and i love rose nylund. she was positive and she was -- she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she wasn't dumb.
she was just terminally naive. >> off screen, white married three times. she called her third husband, tv host allen ludden, the love of her life. they were together almost 20 years before ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981. >> and you never remarried? >> nope. when you had the best, who needs the rest? >> reporter: a devoted pet lover, white was a longtime advocate for animal warfelfare. her talents as an actress and comedienne were in demand well into her senior years. following a grassroots facebook campaign in 2010, white became the oldest person ever to host "saturday night live" at the age of 88. >> you know what's an accomplishment? staying awake on the toilet. >> reporter: the show earned huge ratings and white, her seventh emmy award. she took on another role on ""hot in cleveland"." >> i thought you weren't coming. >> i ran out of vodka and i
thought i'd come over and freshen up my drunk. >> reporter: had her 90s, white was as popular as ever, with several ongoing film and television projects. >> how lucky can a 90-year-old broad be? i have no idea. and i'm still working, that's the thing. >> reporter: her warmth smile, wit, and off-color humor, she didn't miss a beat when asked if there were hollywood projects she would like to do still. >> i usually answer that question with robert redford. >> great. >> no, i think i've been lucky enough to do just about so much that if i start complaining about anything under the sun, throw me out of the business.
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and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. take a stand and start a new day with trelegy. ask your doctor about once-daily trelegy, and save at trelegy.com. some of my best memories growing up were cooking with mom. so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan. ♪ ♪ find a northwestern mutual advisor at nm.com 2021 brought us countless high-profile legal cases and
trials. and this year promises to be no different. so what's on deck? joining us now is cnn's senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, allen honing. thank you so much for being with us on the first day of 2022. with the top five legal stories to follow in the new year, coming in for you at number five is the case against three former officers charged in the death of george floyd. >> yeah, paula. so i think the number one legal moment of last year, 2021, was the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd. of course the jury up in minnesota convicted derek chauvin and then they pled guilty to federal charges and now he's going to be behind bars for at least the next two decades or so. but this is not over yet. the three other police officers who were on the scene with derek chauvin, they're now looking at two trials. first a federal trial for depriving george floyd of his sits there, and continue state
trial after that. there's real risk both ways. this is going to be a tougher case for prosecutors on the one hand, but these defendants are looking at a long time behind bars if convicted. we looked see plea talks in the next few weeks but where is trials are right around the corner. >> next, you have a series of ongoing doj investigations. tell us about your picks. >> yeah, three big ones still going on at doj. florida get some matt gaetz under investigation for potential sex trafficking charges. that case has been going on for nearly a year now. we've still not seen whether doj is going to indict or not. hunter biden announced he was under federal investigation for tax fraud violations. if he does get charged, we'll have the son of a sitting president indicted by doj. and then finally, rudy giuliani under investigation by the southern district of new york, his old office, my old office, for potential foreign lobbying violations.
all three of these we'll be watching closely, paula, to see what doj does in 2022. >> absolutely. for number three, we got really an evergreen story. former president trump and all of his legal troubles. >> yeah, evergreen is exactly right. look, it's time for new york prosecutors, the ag and d.a. to put up or shut up. they've been working on this case for three years now and they've produced nothing. they had one individual on a tax fraud case, now they're shifting focus to this valuation of assets issue. there's no indication at this point that they have a direct line on indicting donald trump himself. you never know what prosecutors have behind closed doors, but i've seen nothing in the public record to indicate that. brand-new d.a. in manhattan, allen bragg, he will inherit this case and we'll get clarity one way or the other in 2022. >> and counting down to number two, you're looking at a major case coming down from the u.s. supreme court. >> yeah, we're going to get this ruling by mid-year, paula.
this is case of dobbs versus jackson women's health. this is case that will pose a direct challenge to roe v. wade. roe v. wade has been the law of the land since 1973. this is a challenge. this case was already argued back in december. listening to the argument, paula, it seems clear to me that at least five of the six conservative justices do want to uphold the mississippi statute here. will they completely strike down roe or will they find some middle ground? in all likelihood they will change the law around the country regarding abortion rights. we're going to get this ruling by the end of the term, which is june of 2022. >> finally, what is your number one legal story to watch in 2022? >> paula, you and i will be kept busy this year as last year covering all of the legal fallout from the january 6th insurrection. so much going on. we have civil suits, we have a case pending in the supreme court now about the committee's ability to get documents from the archives. we have a criminal prosecution of steve bannon for contempt. we have doj considering whether
to charge mark meadows and maybe others who may come down the line. we have 700 of the rioters being prosecuted by doj, but paula, my number one question is, where is doj when it comes to donald trump? where is doj when it comes to other people who were behind the big lie, behind the effort to steal the election, behind the coup attempt, and behind the attempt to obstruct congress from counting the electoral votes? will merrick garland take a serious look at donald trump or any other power players here? that's the biggest question to watch. >> you got me pumped for 2022. i feel good about our job security going into this year. >> big year, let's do it, paula. meanwhile, some trump allies who continue to defy the january 6th committee a have decided better to risk criminal prosecution than standing with trump, especially as he teases another run for president. cnn's sara murray has more.
>> reporter: defying congress, evading questions and praising the former president, a consistent strategy emerging among some trump loyalists when it comes to january 6th. as house select committee struggled in october to serve former trump false narrative of me trying to avoid or evade a subpoena is a disgrace. not one attempt was made to contact to serve me when i was at mar-a-lago for six days. scavino quietly engaged with the committee and still hasn't testified. his status as a witness in limbo, his allegiance to trump is on full display. in a december jaunt to mar-a-lago, in game four of the world series in atlanta, and at an october rally in iowa. >> hello, iowa. i'm thrilled to be back. >> reporter: where trump railed against the committee. >> the left's new obsession is the unselect committee. they have an unselect committee. >> reporter: as the committee seeks information about roles trump allies played up to or during the events of january
6th, some loyalists like scavino are slow-walking, stonewalling, or snubbing the committee while doubling down on their allegiance to trump. >> that is 100% of the calculation. what is the death grip on the republican party right now is the idea of donald trump running again in 2024 and mpeople not wanting to lose their stature with him. >> reporter: a longtime adviser pleaded the fifth. >> i responded as required by law. >> reporter: after stone's last appearance before lawmakers in 2017 during the russia probe -- >> the truth the whole truth is & nothing but the truth -- >> reporter: he was convicted of witness tampering. trump pardoned him. recently stone popped up in a mar-a-lago event and posted about chatting with donald trump. donald trump is my first, second, and third choice for 2024. for some would-be witnesses, their fealty to trump comes at a higher price.
the house recommend charges for mark meadows who is now suing the committee. >> this is about donald trump and about actually going after him once again. >> reporter: despite meadows' work to curry favor with trump, a source tells cnn their relationship has been strained, both from embarrassing revelations in his book and fallout from documents he gave the select committee before he stopped cooperating. >> if you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. >> reporter: trump ally steve bannon was charged with criminal kentucky congress after defying a committee subpoena. he pleaded not guilty and appears to be wearing his resistance as a badge of owner. >> i have a previous engagement that i can't get out of. peter -- >> that's an understatement. >> you'll hear me talking about -- >> reporter: his relationship with trump runs hot and cold, bannon is still clear about his loyalty. >> we're going to hit the beach. you have the landing teams and the beach teams, the
nomenclature they use when president trump wins again in 2024 or before. >> just to give you a sense of the extent of the pushback on the committee, roughly a dozen folks have filed lawsuits so far challenging the committee's legitimacy. a spokesperson for the committee says they're trying to investigate a violent attack on american democracy. they also point out hundreds of witnesses have cooperated either voluntarily off or a subpoena and provided testimony to the committee. sara murray, cnn, washington. coming up, former first lady melania trump embraces a encryp craze in her first move since leaving the white house. that's why i use the freestyle libre 2 system. with a painless, one-second scan i know my glucose numbers without fingersticks. now i'm managing my diabetes better and i've lowered my a1c from 8.2 to 6.7. take the mystery out of managing your diabetes
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after months of rest of it public silence, former first lady melania trump is stepping back into the public eye with a new project a digital closeup of her eyes that gets in on the latest crypto craze. cnn's kate bennett reports. >> reporter: since leaving the white house almost one year ago. >> being your first lady was my greatest honor. thank you for your love and your support. >> reporter: melania trump retreated into her standard comfort zone, privacy. only recently emerging promoting her new nft business on an almost-daily basis since its announcement, and tweeting with slightly more frequency than her normal silence about national anniversaries, tragedies, and a holiday visit with the florida coast guard. but the release of her non-fungible token, or nft, that
has been unexpected. nfts are blockchain digital wors purchased through cryptocurrency. there is a closeup of her eyes drawn by a french artist. the title of her nft includes the drawing as well as a brief audio clip. >> my vision is look forward with inspiration, strength, and courage. >> reporter: plenty of celebrities have embraced the nft craze mostly because they can be super lucrative, into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in profit via the world of cryptocurrency. releasing limited-edition pieces that fans can buy has already lured not only melania trump, tom brady has one. so does snoop dogg. the singer grimes is a fan, as are lindsay lohan and mark cuban, and what is the a "a" pop culture trend if it doesn't include paris hilton. >> that's hot. that's hot. >> reporter: she counts herself as a collector.
but a former first lady, not exactly what most do after leaving the white house. laura bush has committed to helping others on a global scale. >> free people around the world must stand with afghan women. >> reporter: michelle obama has used her platform and popularity to push various projects, including voting rights. >> the truth is is that registering to vote just isn't hard. it doesn't take long. >> reporter: melania trump has yet to establish a post-white house foundation or outline an agenda of work. she did say in her nft announcement that a portion of the proceeds would go to help foster children, but questions from cnn as to how much and which programs have gone unanswered. one person in her corner on the venture, her husband and crypto critic, donald trump. >> i never loved it because i like the dollar. the currency should be the dollar so i was never a big fan. >> reporter: now embracing his wife's latest and what unusual project. >> she's going to do great. she has great imagination.
>> joining me now is cnn white house correspondent kate bennett. she's also the author of the book "free melania." happy new year. thank you so much for joining me. >> happy new year, thanks for having me. >> critics are saying this is nothing but a crash grab, not to mention highly unusual for a former first lady. as someone who has covered melania sensibilextensively, is surprising this was her first move? >> i literally wrote the book on melania trump and everything she does is still surprising. i think she is unpredictable. you know, i didn't see an nft coming, i have to say, but i knew she probably wasn't going to do the traditional writing her memoirs or setting up a foundation and using that platform the o way other first ladies have. so test surprising that it's this cryptocurrency she's doing something that's going to profit
herself. but it's not surprising in that everything she's done previously as first lady has been sort of nontraditional and unexpected, let's gist put it that way. but an nft is definitely something that celebrities do it to make money. they do it for fans so they can have a connection with people that are inspired by them. the question is will melania trump's fan base buy enough of her nft, which, by the way, end the sales last night at midnight, to make it profitable? and where is the money going? that's another question she hasn't zblans a portion of the proceeds will go to charity. but aside from this, what has melania been up to and how does shelf about all these reports her husband plans to run again? >> my reporting shows that she hasn't been doing all that much. she moved to mar-a-lago and now baron, their son, is a teenager.
he goes to school down there full time, and that's really her focus. like i said, she hasn't -- first ladies usually establish some part of on office of their husband's office and they continue the platforms and initiatives they started digger their tenure at the white house. that's very typical. they still have a global platform, but she hasn't done any of that. she keeps to herself. she's private. she never had a brig group of friends. she's a traveler and sticks to the mar-a-lago grounds and enjoys the life of leisure that she enjoyed before her time in the white house. i don't really see that changing. she was a reluctant campaigner during her husband's first go-around with the presidential campaign trail. she only did a handful of events. when he ran for re-election, she really didn't participate in any campaign events at all until the very, very end. so i don't see her appro approximating -- being a
full-throated backer of her husband. we may or may not see him run for president, i don't think she's going to be all of a sudden a political spouse and seeing her all over. i don't predict that and my reporting doesn't show that either. >> interesting. let's take a look at dr. jill biden with her first year in the white house. what stands out to you about how she's approached the role of first lady? >> it's so interesting these two women are so different, you know, neither good or bad but extremely different in their approaches to first lady. jill biden is a seasoned political spouse, so he's almost going overboard in doing what she wants to do. she hasn't pegged down one specific platform like some first ladies do. instead she's picked a bunch of different things, including military families, education, the cancer project that she and the president are involved in. but she's sort of been tasked with spreading the word about vaccination and being safe and covid rules and how to behave in
a pandemic world. that's really been the priority for her as a messenger for the administration. i'm with her. i travel with her as much as i can reporting on her. she has been to 35 states this year alone, far more than the president, more than the vice president, more than any senior official in the administration to talk about the importance of getting vaccinated, to talk about the spread of covid, to push the american rescue plan. so certainly she's the most vocal member of this administration that the president relies on to get the message out. >> thank you so much for your incredible reporting. such a fascinating beat, first ladies. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks, paula. a royal year in review filled with highs, lows, and that unforgettable oprah interview. way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate
for the british royals, 2021 was one of the most dramatic years in recent history. there was scandal, loss, and that bombshell oprah interview, and the family troubles kept on coming, changing their lives forever. cnn's max foster has more. >> reporter: for the royal family, 2021 was punctuated by loss. >> in the months since the death of my beloved philip, i have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work. >> reporter: husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, the man she described as her strength and stay, no longer by her side after 73 years of personal and professional partnership. >> fire! >> reporter: one image lingers from his funeral, that spoke not just to her loss, but to that of so many others who are left on their own because of covid.
but it didn't slow her down. the queen back at her desk while she was still officially in mourning. until doctors advised her to rest in october following a hospital stay and preliminary investigations into an undisclosed condition. later compounded by a back sprain. >> it's an extremely punishing schedule for someone who is 95, and no one would criticize her at all and everyone would support her in stepping back and doing a bit less. >> reporter: she gave up international travel some years ago, so prince charles represented her in barbados in november for a ceremony to replace her as head of state by a locally appointed president. it marked the end of 396 years of british rule and a long-awaited reconciliation with the island's colonial past. >> the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with
extraordinary fortitude. >> reporter: it wasn't the first time that race came up as an issue for the family in 2021. >> concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born. >> reporter: prince harry and meghan, the duchess of sussex, went rogue, telling all to oprah winfrey on why they felt the need to get out. >> it raised very serious allegations of racism, but also of rifts within the family, difficulties between prince harry and his father, the differences between him and his brother. it really was a very, warts and all, opening up of things that have traditionally been kept private by the royal family. >> reporter: the queen issued a statement acknowledging the allegations and committing to address them, whilst also pointedly noting that recollections may vary. the rest of the family characteristically kept calm and
carried on until william was fired an unsolicited question. >> are you a racist family, sir? >> very much not a racist family. >> reporter: the queen's youngest son, prince edward, spoke to cnn but wouldn't be drawn on the sussex saga. >> we've all had attention in our lives and we've all dealt with it in different ways. listen, we wish them the very best. >> reporter: the palace has continued to distance itself from prince andrew publicly, pursued by the fbi in recent years for sexual abuse allegations. accused of virginia roberts giuffre claiming he assaulted her when she was 17. prince andrew has repeated denied wrongdoing. regardless how the pending trial unfolds, royal commentators expect the constitution to survive intact. >> i think they have taken a
battering from all sides. we had the fallout from the oprah interview, we had prince andrew's ongoing legal issues. these are all things that, you know, really should have dented the monarchy. but i think the key players have just quite simply kept calm and carried on and done good things. >> reporter: in february 2022, the queen will celebrate her platinum jubilee, the only british monarch to do so, having first ascended the throne 70 years ago in 1952. the firm is keen to focus on that, and the success was the convene's entire reign rather than a tumultuous 12 months. max foster, cnn, london. >> thank you, max. friends, collaborators, legends, in an exclusive joint interview for a new cnn film, james taylor and carol king share what it was like the first time they played together.
>> when we first met, we sat down to play, i don't remember what song. i don't think it was either of our songs. we started playing and it was like we'd had played together our entire lives. we had a musical language and we had listened to a lot of the say things and apparently i didn't know this, but you had been listening to my songs, which i had written. so it was just an amazing connection. >> yeah, it was. it was immediate, immediate thing. >> i just want to add, to this day, we could not have played together for years, and if we were to sit down right now, we could play together and just have that same thing. >> i think that you and i probably just have the same musical dna, musical sources. we're probably the same and a lot of that comes from what
people were listening to in those days, and of course of what i had been listening to is you because you were like a child prodigy and started so early. we had ten years and beautiful stuff by everyone. so at any given point there were probably two or three carol king songs playing on the radio. >> credit where due, but that's true. >> the cnn film carol king and james taylor "just call out my name" premieres tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern and pacific. i know i'll be watching. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm paula reid in washington. happy new year. omicron's rapid spread is leaving every aspect of normal life up in the air with the exception of the very things that should be in the air, like planes. airlines began 2022 by canceling more than 2,400 flights today. that's
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