tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN January 8, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
it's at 9:00 p.m. tonight. don't miss it. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." in washington, the sudden covid surge in weekend getting in the way of those who need medical help for other reasons. 40 hospitals are stopping all non-urgent surgeries for the next two weeks as bed space is running low. many people who are filling up hospital beds across the nation are too young to get vaccinate. a record number of kids under 5 years old are in hospitals infected with the coronavirus or kids under age 18, new hospital admissions are at a record level. averaging nearly 800 a day. it's fuelling school safety concerns. in chicago, a stand off after the teacher's union voted to teach remotely and the school district wants in-person learning. today, chicago's mayor has rejected a new proposal, but as they battle it out, classes have
been canceled since wednesday meaning kids are stuck at home learning nothing. in georgia, public school teachers and staff who test positive for covid no longer have to isolate before returning to work if they are asymptomatic and wearing a mask. no contract tracing is required. why that may seem counterintuitive, official guidance from the cdc hasn't been clear. white house aides and sicientiss are frus ttrated by the directo. nadia, this latest omicron surge is reaching all corners of society and you have different parts of the country responding differently right now. that's just the way it is. >> you're right, jim. we're seeing issues with school districts in new york city all the way to the bay area. san francisco and oakland. here in atlanta, they were back to remote learning all last week. they're hoping to head back to the classroom on monday and that will mean mandatory testing for
teachers at least twice a week and students in the atlanta public schools district can also undergo testing as long as they have parental consent. if we move over to the midwest in chicago, it's really just a mess there between the city of chicago's mayor and the teachers union there. now, they have been at a standstill on how to get back to in-person learning safely. now the teachers union came out with a statement today saying listen, we'll go back to the classroom. we will virtually teach from our classrooms and the kids will be at home until we can get all of the resources that we need to be able to do this safely and while the mayor of chicago responded in a very brief, but curt statement today, she said ctu leadership, so ctu is chicago teachers union. ctu leadership, you're not listening. the best, safest way for kids to be is in school. students need to be back in person as soon as possible. that's what parents want. that's what the science supports.
we will not relent. so really, no movement there when you look at the city's standpoint and what the teachers union wants and that means 340,000 kids in the chicago school district are left in li limbo as to when they may return to the classroom. whether it's remote or back in person. now, there's also confusion from the very top. as you mentioned, from the cdc. and the director tried to clear up some things that the cdc has said about guidance. their guidelines about returning to the classroom has changed over the past couple of years as we've been dealing with the p pandemic. listen to the new guidelines anned why she believes this is the most effective route right now. >> so we know that the vast majority of your contagiousness by day five is really behind you. so in this moment where we're evaluating the science and looking at the epidemiology of the disease, we said five days of isolation then are you
feeling better? is your cough gone? if your symptoms are gone, we say come, you're okay to come out of that isolation, but you need to wear a mask all of the time. >> yes, so that is not the guidelines that we had at the start of this pandemic and they've changed quite a few times, which makes things confusing. jim, i mentioned the bay area having issues there. teachers formed a sick out where they called in sick to protest what was going on in their school districts, demanding masks, testing and for the districts to do something about the critical staffing shortages they're seeing there. >> thank you very much for that. as covid cases surge, the cdc is dealing with another problem. a series of confusing guidelines ledding to some mistrust in the agency and its leader. she is turning to a media consultant for help. arlette saenz joins me from the
white house. arlette, how is the white house dealing with this criticism? a lot of it coming in for dr. walinski. they've been talking about getting a clean message out of the white house, but part of the problem in this country is that people are not getting the message. >> and it's really a tricky situation for this white house as so many americans are just trying to get their hands around what the clear and concise messaging is when it comes to the coronavirus from this administration. now, dr. walinski told reporters yesterday that she is committed to continuing to improve the cdc's communications as there have been frustration within the white house and cdc about some of the messaging missteps that have come from her. now, walinski made those comments yesterday. in the first independent media briefing that she's conducted since the summer with sources saying she wanted to hold that briefing in order to answer
questions head on. she has been working with a democratic media consultant to improve her communication patterns, but it's not just the communication that is coming under scrutiny. it's also the crafting of some of this policy. there's a scientist within the cdc who told cnn they were frustrated with how some of these policy decisions are made. that often walinski is working and consulting with just a small group of advisers rather than going through a more scientific, thorough vetting, but right now, the latest misstep that the cdc is really dealing with, when it comes to that guidance relating to the isolation period for the people who test positive for covid-19. originally, that was a ten-day period. then she came out and announced it would be a five-day period. that sparked criticism from outside experts who believe there needed to be a testing component to that. it was nearly a week later they
further offered more clarity on that guidance. still not requiring tests, but it offered some muddled messages for americans who are going through covid-19 at this moment. one thing with the white house, they've always tried to stress its independence from the cdc, but the tricky part in this is that what the cdc does is still going to reflect on president biden an the way he approaches this pandemic. >> all right, arlette saenz. thank you for that. president biden on thursday gave the most impassioned speech of his presidency, marking the one-year anniversary of the insurrection and calling out his predecessors role. on tuesday, he'll deliver another consequential speech on the ongoing threat to american democracy. this will highlight beefing up voting legislation to counter gop election restrictions. james, great to see you. appreciate you taking time for
us. it can be hard to get people to grasp the stakes here. i think the president went a long way in laying out what the stakes are though. is that what we wyou wanted to from president biden? did he need to do it sooner? does he need to keep doing it? >> i think the january 6th speech, gave us a lot of history, but we got to move on. one of the things i like about you, you speak plain english and at the core of this was a massive crime. these fools and tools they sentencing now as the 14 days are a minor part of it. they had people case the joint. had people planned it. we have to move forward and get to the bottom of what i think is one of the great crimes in american myshistory. i think the president did a good job in putting perspective and also looking forward to getting to the bottom of all of this. it's very important.
>> you think it's taking too long? you know, you're talking about plain spokedness. just look at what happened. it's obvious that crimes were committed at a very high level. you know, he's, trump is on the phone with the secretary of state of georgia. find me 11,000 votes. he's leaning on the vice president to you know, do something that's just completely unconstitutional. not in the constitution. then it's been a year now and we haven't seen anybody who even resembles a big fish being held accountable. it's outrageous, isn't it? >> it is and it's frustrating. the attorney general tried to say we're really working on this. you've got to get the button man before you get to don. but we've got enough button men now. we've got to get the people that were really behind this and the real true criminals. these are fools that breached the capitol. they should be in jail.
they committed a crime, but that's like you know, prosecuting a -- nurm berg. that's not what they were going after. we don't need to go after the car pools. we've got to go after the general officers here. i hope and i pray the attorney generals ask the you know, some patience here. i'm willing to have some patience, but i really hope that they're getting to the bottom of this fast. i know that january 6th commission, i think is going to rock and shock people what they're going to find out, be u i'm interested in people who are behind this going to the penitentiary. >> and tuesday's speech for the president, it comes ahead of a senate vote on this stalled voting rights bill. this whole issue you know, whether or not there's a carve out for the fill bibuster and s on. what do you think the senate needs to do? do you advise your fellow democrats in the senate like joe manchin that okay, time's up.
you've given this one enough. harry reid, i would assume, would probably be behind something along these lines. >> well, i'm right now, into the praying game. i just pray they'll do something. if it's another assault just like what happened in the capitol on january 6th was an assault on democracy, these are assault on democracy. we started out with only white property owning males could vote. then the reconstruction amendment. the 19th amendment. now it's all about contracting the franchise. and this legislation at least in terms of federal elections stops this democratic erosion that we're seeing around the country. so you know, in some ways, the voting rights bill is tied to january 6th. and you know, enough people talk to senator manchin. i'm praying now that we can get this thing through because if we
don't, the consequences we have now where one political party has won six out of the last seven popular votes and we literally has you know, in complete control by the republicans and barely have a majority in the congress. so there's a lot at stake here for the united states. it really is. it's not a trivial thing. if there was ever anything that shouts for a carve out, it's this. because you know, real fundamental thing at stake here. like i say, i'm praying left and right if senator manchin comes along and gets this thing passed because the consequences of it not passing are going to be pret pretty dog gone bad, i promise you. >> i guess one of the things we might see this year is republicans taking back both the house and the senate. what do you think will be the ramifications of that for the remaining months and years of
the biden presidency? >> almost unspeakable, but i don't think it has to happen. i think that you know, we had a terrific year for the economy in 2021. created six million jobs. we have a favorable senate map and democrats need to stop whining and complaining and get to work and drive home what's at stake in this election. we're doing a lot better than people thought in redistricting and it looks, doesn't look encouraging right now, but i think it's going to get more encouraging and i think as this january 6th thing unfolds, the public's going to be shocked at the depth and breadth of the crime that took place not just on january 6th, but the days leading up to it and it's very important that happen. >> and that can have an impact on the midterms, you think. that sounds like what you're saying. >> i think it could. i think the depth of this crime, it is something that people will look at and you know, not a hard core 40%, but you know, you can,
62% of the people that support these investigations and i think at the conclusion of this, they're going to find out a lot. i hope the justice department, which has enormous power to do this, is using it. they ask us to stand back a little bit, so i'm willing to stand back, but like anybody else, you've got all of this power in the justice department. all of these u.s. attorneys. all these assistant u.s. attorneys. the fbi. you've got everything. come on. let's get this thing rolling. we in trouble here. >> all right, james carville, thanks very much. appreciate it. good seeing you. >> all right, jim. good to see you. happy new year. >> you, too. you're looking live at the flag at half-staff at the u.s. capitol in memory of harry reid. in las vegas, current lawmakers, family, friends paid tribute to harry reid. he served as the senator from nevada for many years. current nevada senator jackie
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president biden informed president obama among the political heavyweights at the funeral for senate majority leader, harry reid, who died last month after a year's long battle with pancreatic cancer. former amateur boxer was remembered for his ability to take a punch when it mattered the most. also as a true friend who always kept his word. >> you wanted harry in the fox hole with you. his willingness to fight by my side, to stick with me even when things weren't going our way. my poll numbers had gone down. some democrats thought it might be prudent to maintain a healthy distance from me. his willingness to be there,
fight, would last throughout my presidency. it's a debt to him that i could never fully repay. >> like every great leader, he led the democratic caucus just not by speaking, but by listening. by hearing all points of view. finding a common ground. harry cared so much about his fellow americans and so little about what anybody thought of him. it was all search light. no spotlight. >> and senator jackie rosen of nevada joins me now. senator, thanks so much for being with us. what do you want the country to remember about harry reid? you just heard those beautiful remarks there from two presidents. what would you like to add? >> well, first of all, thank you for having me and what i would really like to add is this.
on behalf of his wife, landra, 62 years they were married. high school sweethearts. raised five children. 19 grandchildren. i think he has at least one great grandchild. it's a life well lived. he had friends, family, the team that worked for him. he had purpose. and i do think that when he was eulogized and people said he was all search light and no spotlight, i think that was true. he never forget where he came from. no matter how tough he could be, when he was negotiating, working, he was a kind, kind person and anyone who ever knew him or worked with him really understood that he was both tough and kind. a very rare combination. >> absolutely. and senator, one thing that came across is that harry reid cared about his fellow americans more than he cared about what people
thought of him. that comment was made a couple of times today. considering the times we're living in right now, do you think we need more of that or do you think that is sort of a character trait of the past? >> well i think we do need more of that because it's important that whether you're an elected leader like i am or senator reid was or just a leader in your community or a member in your community, we all need to stand up for what we believe is kind and good and right and take care of each other. harry reid never forget how can be contract. y he took time for his family, his friends, and he worked hard and had a life of purpose. he changed the lives for so many. one of the lessons i was thinking today, one of the lessons he taught me, one thing he told me when i was running for senate and first for the house of representatives, was that constituent services.
take every call. listen to every person and the work you do here in the state will touch people's lives, will make a difference. and you can take those stories and they will inform what you do in washington and i think that that is so very true and i learn from nevadans in our state every day and it's my honor to do so. i think about senator reid's word a lot. >> and senator, harry reid famously changed the senate's filibuster rules back in 2013 because he was so trfrustrated how republicans were blocking all of president obama's nominees with trump later benefitting from that with three picks to the supreme court. reid once told me he had no regrets about that. he also made this prediction. >> filibuster is on its way out. it's not a question. it's a question of when. you cannot have a democracy that takes 60% of the vote and so it's only a question of time
till the filibuster goes away. >> what do you think about that, senator? there are plenty of democrats who want to see the filibuster abolished and in particular, a carve out for votes on civil rights and voting rights legislation that have been stalled in the is that the. what are your thoughts on that? is it time ifor a carve out of votin voting rights vote to take p place. >> as i think about the anniversary of january 6th this week, we understand how fragile our democracy is and how important it is that we have a peaceful transition of power. how important it is that every eligible citizen has the right to vote and that they know that their vote will be counted. and so it's really important. these are two hallmarks, foundations of our democracy, that we have to preserve. it's what the rest of the world respects us and looks to us for. so if it takes reforming the senate rules to do that, i think
that we do have to do that in order to protect what we hold so dear, a free, fair, open elections open to everyone who's eligible to vote. >> all right. sounds like a yes on your part. thanks so much for joining us and remembering harry reid. we appreciate it very much. welcome to the next level. this is the all-new lexus nx. with intuitive tech... (car sfx: beep beep) (car sfx: watch for traffic) ...and our most advanced safety system—ever. ♪
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now combined to a detention hotel and facing deportation because he's unvaccinated. he's fighting to stay in the country in order to compete in the australian open with his lawyers saying he traveled to melbourne on the premise he had a letter. it tells unvaccinated players they can receive a medical exception as long as they confirm a covid case within the previous sixth months and a doctor's note. all despite they sent a letter saying tald not suffice. djokovic tested positive for covid three weeks ago. even received a letter from the chief medical officer nine days ago saying he had the exception, but when he arrived wednesday, his visa was canceled. he's been confine today a hotel that houses refugees ever since and despite repeated requests to
be moved to a more suitable location where he can train, he's been denied. a court decision is expected to come on monday. let's bring in bob costas. bob, i had trouble following this and i was just reading the latest in the twists and turns. what is going on and is he going to be able to play in this tournament? >> well, you laid it all out. i would think that the opinion of the chief medical officer of tennis australia does not supersede the rules and regulations of the australian government. as you know, they have some of the strictest covid rules and protocols in the entire world and they've worked very well up until now, but the omicron variant, while programs the symptoms for the vaccinated are much less serious, nonetheless, the number of cases has jumped up so that's a concern.
so i don't see them. obviously we're commenting on this from a distance, but i would think that the nation's regulations certainly supersede the tennis association's desires. one thing we have to keep in mind as we talk about djokovic, aaron rodgers, teams want to win. organizers of events want star power. both venus and serena are not competing in the australian open for the first time in the 21st century. last time they were absent was in the late 1990s. federer is out with a knee injury. having djokovic there matters. to attendance. to the amount of interest there. just as aaron rodgers, all things considered, probably the most important player, the mvp of the league, matters to the green bay packers. they've done extremely well. they could be on the super bowl track and most fans are willing to forgive him, whatever his stance is regarding vaccinations as long as he throws touchdown passes. >> as for djokovic, he says he
tested positive on december 16th, but 24 hours after that, he appeared in belgrade the next day handing out awards. everyone was unmasked and cnn reached out to his team for a comment but haven't heard back. i mean, that is not going to sit well with the australians as they're trying to deal with this. >> no, it's not going to sit well, but being a star, as we know, whether in sports or outside sports, confers certain advantages, which some people are willing to take advantage of and push to a breaking point. we're talking about an individual sport, not a team sport, in the case of tennis. djokovic is the greatest in the world. if it only affected him, that's one thing, but in this case, it affects the tournament. the organizers. it affects i guess the tennis world in some sense.
but his past hesistory tells s he's not going to yield. he'll go home or not play. but he's not going to get vaccinated and it's too late for the vaccination to take effect anyway for him to play in the australian open. >> kyrie irving is back playing with the nets after he refused the vaccine. that prompted this from charles barkley. let's watch. >> if you want to make a political point, which is silly and stupid and not get vaccinated. fine. kyrie is a heck of a player, but to only play in road games, i don't think it's fair to the game. but more importantly, i don't think it's fair to the team. >> what do you think, bob? you agree? >> yeah, i agree with him 100%. in new york, there's a mandate. you can't enter an arena, you
can't enter an indoor facility, basketball, if you're not vaccinated. so he can't play the home games in brooklyn. he also can't play in toronto in games against the raptors, but he can play road games. now at first, the nets position was look, if he can't practice with the team, only play half the games, this is disruptive. we're not going to do it. but then the competitive reality set in. they may feel like they need the guy and he came back and he looked good. couple of nights ago against the pacers. first game back in indianapolis, he scored 22 points an if you watch the highlights, looked like he hadn't missed a step. that's the odd thing or complicating thing about this. athletic greatness, regardless of how we feel about a person's stance on this or that, athletic greatness conquers a lot in the minds of people who run teams and people who pay for tigts and watch games. >> last night, the packers
quarterback went on twit r and denied he would boycott the super bowl over the nfl's covid protocols. he also called a long time chicago sports writer a bum for saying he wouldn't vote for rodgers as most valuable player because of his off the field ideas on covid. if you're their teammates, why in the world would you comply with these covid policies and these guidelines if the aaron rodgers of the world, the kyrie irvings of the world, the djokovics of the world can flautt this stuff and get special treatment. why should any of them play by the rules? >> i think the primary reason is that it makes sense. it makes overwhelming sense to be vaccinated and boosted so for your own good and the good of your family and the rest of your teammates, it makes sense. then there are others, the rank and file players, they're not
kyrie irving. aaron rodgers. different situation. although there was an issue with antonio brown. why did he get chance after chance? because he's a model citizen? no. he's an outstanding talent. not every athlete, on a few fall into that category, but here's what you need to know about aaron rodgers. because he tested positive in november, under the existing rules, he got a 90-day exception from being tested again. that as it happens runs out two days after the nfc championship game. the packers are the number one seed. they get a first round bye. they have all home games. pretty good chance to get to the super bowl. now, two days after the nfc championship, 12, 13 days, whatever it is before the super bowl. if he tests positive, because he's unvaccinated, he'll be tested every day. hasn't been tested during the 90 days. he'll be tested every day leading up to the super bowl if the packers are in it. if he tests positive, he's out
for five days. so the best scenario for him and the packers if he's going to test positive, have it happen prior to five days before the super bowl. if theory, if he tested positive on the wednesday or thursday before the super bowl, jordan love is your packers quarterback on super bowl sunday. a bad look for the packers and for the nfl. >> i don't mean to laugh, but that would just be a devastating development for the super bowl and all over not getting a shot. i don't get it. i'll never get it. this just doesn't make any sense. >> and if you're a packer, as much you love your quarterback, look at the touchdown totals and small interception totals, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. as much you love playing with him. if that were the happen, what has he done to your season? to all the sweat and toil? all the protocols you followed and he didn't? chances are, it doesn't happen, but it could. >> no ring is what happens.
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fuel prices sparked protests and a harsh government crackdown. president putin spoke with kazakhstan's leader in the hopes of restoring order. matthew chance is live in moscow. matthew, what is the status in kazakhstan right now? do we have a lot of visibility in there and what has the presence of russian troops done to the situation there? >> yeah, no t a lot of visibility. the internet's been patchy. we haven't got any reporters there. in fact, the international community has been kept out. i spoke to a contact on the ground today and she told me that look, you know, the protest had died down. there are check points on the streets. it's still very tense. there are gun shots echoing throughout the sort of abandoned city streets. still signs of dead bodies in various places as well, but there's a relative calm compared to the violence that we witnessed there, that was witnessed there over the past
week. that's descended on this to tense environment where the protesters dispersing but that's come at a high price because there have been dozens killed. not just protestors, but security forces as well. attack attacked by the rampages mobs. nearly 4,000 detained and taken into custody. we don't know what's happening with them. there's also been this invitation extended and taken up by foreign forces. particularly the russian paratroopers that have moved in. around 2,500 have been brought in to help the security forces establish some kind of control on the ground. it's not clear exactly what the role of the russia paratroopers is or how long they're going to
stay. although it's said to be a temporary assignment with they've been given. and it's not quite clear why the government actually asked for russian forces to come in. to me, it indicates the president of kazakhstan may not have had complete trust in his own security forces to be on his side. >> sounds like a very precarious situation. m matthew chance, thank you very much for that. this is all happening at putin stacks his forces on the ukrainian border causing the biden administration to game plan a response. "the new york times" is now reporting the white house is quote assembling a punishing set of financial and technology sanctions against russia that they say would go into effect within hours of invasion of ukraine, hoping to make clear to putin the high cost he would pay if he sends troops across the border. i'm joined by one of the reporters on that story, david
sanger. great to see you. what type of sanctions are we talking about? you know, you hear the word sanctions. we've seen u.s. administrations do this time and again with putin, hoping for some kind of you know, response in the nature of healing, you know and cooling his heels to some extent, but doesn't always seem to work out. what are you reporting at this point? >> well, it doesn't always work out. you remember the united states put sanctions on russia after it seized crimea in 2014 and began to support an uprising in parts of the eastern part of the country. we put sanctions again on russia for the election interference in 2016 and then again last year for the solar wind cyber attack. and as you know from your time at the white house and i certainly seen, no one really
thinks that has been a deterrent. so they're trying something different this time. they're telegraphing ahead of any invasion what the penalties would be. some are familiar. trying to cut off the biggest banks from being able to deal with financial transactions on international markets, but some are new. including the threat of a technology cutoff of semiconductors, software, and maybe even the consumer electronics that contain american material as well. >> and what is your concern, david, as you're reporting this out, what are you looking at in terms of concerns in the administration? is there a fear that this will become a boy who cried wolf situation? i mean, you lay out the prospect of sanctions ahead of time. what the putin decides, okay, i'm going to do it anyway. >> then they've got to go ahead
and you know, they wouldn't really have a choice, but the trick with sanctions is they're only effective if you get broad agreement on them. they've been running around with the europeans trying to make sure everybody's on board with this. a big player would be china. the bank of chiena is a member f a financial group that russia set up recently because the russians and the chinese have both been trying to sanctions proof their economies. so that would be a big issue. there's one other big element, too, jim, which is that we're reporting that the u.s. is also preparing to help arm a ukrainian insurgency if the russians roll over the ukrainian military and try to occupy parts of the country. and that means very 1970ish proxy war and of course we're gotten ourselves into all kinds of different conflicts that way
in the past. it wouldn't be american troops, but there could be missiles. >> and it sounds like they're trying to warn putin and the kremlin that you could get yourself bogged in a quagmire. we'll be >> great to be with you. >> we'll be right back. [bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ [bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ woo! (music) ♪ i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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deploying its mirror, and it's not just any mirror -- it's the largest mirror that nasa has ever built. it is so big that it would not fit inside the rocket and had to be folded origami style, if you can believe that. but there's still work to be done. nasa it will take five month of alignment and calibration before the telescope can start transmitting some images. science, fascinating stuff. that's the news. reporting from washington, i'm jim acosta. i'll see you tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern. phil mattingly takes over after a quick break. good night, everybody.
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