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tv   America Reports With John Roberts Sandra Smith  FOX News  November 29, 2021 10:00am-12:00pm PST

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>> kayleigh: and this vein, i would love for every shop owner and small business owner to have their plate full of bounty and abundance and that everyone feels true holiday cheer. carley, funny point to your diamonds. i told my knees and she said, "diamonds!" >> harris: "america reports" now. >> john: fox news alert to take off "america reports," the new omicron variant. the potential of new lockdowns and mask mandates. i'm john roberts in washington. sandra, hope you had a good thanksgiving. good to be back with you. >> sandra: i certainly did. great to see you come as well. president biden now encouraging everyone to now wear your mask indoors again regardless of your vaccination status. travel restrictions to the u.s. are also now in effect for eight
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countries in southern africa, leaving some passengers stranded at various airports. >> john: although the administers and concedes that the travel ban will not stop the spread of the fast-moving omicron variant, the president says it'll buy them more time to respond to it. here is the president addressing the nation earlier telling americans to remain calm. >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. we have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we are learning more every single day. >> sandra: that was just a couple minutes ago. we've got reaction, sox coverage begins now kicking off a brand-new hour for us. dr. nicole saphier is here. she will join us in moments. but first let's get to the white house and david spunt. >> and president biden became president almost one year ago he said we would go through a dark winter. certainly different words today
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in the roosevelt room. he said we could do this as a country and he said that they would not be mandating lockdowns or shutdowns. however, he says the way to get through this vaccination. listen. >> i expect this not to be the new normal. i expect the new normal to be everyone ends up getting vaccinated with a booster shot so we reduce the number of people who are protected. >> sandra, these are the countries of confirmed cases and where experts expect to see more cases, expect to see the united states added to that list. for officials, the most concern right now, the transmissibility of this particular strain, omicron. according to early data, omicron seems to be contagious. 30% of those eligible in the united states have not been vaccinated. medical experts are hoping this is a wake-up call, and you flip those numbers around, around 30% have been vaccinated in south africa where omicron is originating. the travel ban announced by the president kicked in today, and
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to be clear, it does not apply to american citizens in south africa who want to come home. sandra, another big challenge for this white house, dr. fauci and other top medical is experts, advises to the president and his team, they said it'll be about 14 days or two weeks before they can truly get their arms around omicron to see really how contagious it is. sandra? >> sandra: as we have learned through this pandemic process, more information is better. rather than jumping to any conclusions, we plan to learn more in the coming days and weeks. thank you very much, david spunt at the white house. john? >> john: let's bring in dr. nicole saphier. what do you think of what the president had to say earlier today? >> i always like to see the president getting in front of cameras and i like what he said in the sense that he said, listen, this is a variant of concern but not panic. i want to encourage americans again not to panic. it is something we so easily did at the beginning of this pandemic. while we don't have a lot of
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information right now, we do have some information. it's like it that this variant, on the ground, is more widespread than we initially thought. that's because there has been more under sequencing of the virus. back in march, the united states was only sequencing less than 1% of all positive cases. we were behind about 30 other countries. so i hope that the united states has increased their sequences, especially as we have dealt with the delta wave and are now dealing with omicron. canada has reported travel-associated cases so we know the variant is already in north america and it's likely already in the united states. some good news out of south africa, these are preliminary studies in it will be a few weeks before we have concrete evidence, but it's been reported as mild. they are mostly in younger adults, circulating around college campuses. we know that mild symptoms go along with the younger age. but it wasn't an increase in disease severity or death raising alarms. it might just be that is more transmissible. lots more questions to come. will it escape immunity
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treatments? it probably won't render them null but maybe damp and their effects. >> john: i wanted to ask about that. particularly in the united states and elsewhere around the world, with very little information about the virus, our colleague marty makary was on saying, what are the laboratory tests to see if these things bind to antibodies connect whether it could be vulnerable to the vaccine or whether the vaccine might not work. >> john, marty makes a very good point right now. they need to be looking at this variant, specifically at what it does with the vaccine-induced immunity. what about the natural immunity connect what about the antibody therapy? these mrna vaccines are very tolerant to the spike protein. we know that the omicron variant has about 32 mutations in that state protein so it is possible that they will be less effective. but you have to remember, it's not just about those antibody responses that come after the vaccinations. there is more long-term
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cell-mediated immunity that can come from vaccines and natural immunity. so a lot of testing needs to be done. we need to start looking at, are you seeing more breakthrough cases and people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from infection? are you seeing more severe illness? likely these are not going to be the case. but i can tell you, john, the big thing they will have to look at is mixing and matching the vaccines. because i have a feeling that once you do a dna vaccine, like the j&j, astrazeneca, followed by an mrna vaccine, that's going to cause the most universal immunogenicity. there's been a lot of data that shows that. u.k., spain, germany, they all show that mixing and matching those vaccines may really provide the best protection. when we are talking about boosters, maybe we should be mixing them. >> john: across the river from you, dr. saphier, new york governor kathy hochul is suggesting that we may have to hold elective surgeries or at least some of them, postpone them.
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we have people in washington, d.c., screaming to re-institute the mask mandate which has only been lifted for a week. are we at risk of overreacting to this before we have any good information about omicron? >> we are at a very severe risk at overreacting right now. especially when it comes to the halting of medical procedures and medical care because of this. as we saw in early 2020, we had a lot of big fallout from that. we had unintended consequences, including more severe medical comorbiditis and even deaths because people were not getting their routine care and those "elective cases." we really need to be looking at this. right now hospital systems are functioning just fine. they are not overwhelmed, specifically in the northeast. they have to take this locality by locality. it can't be one-size-fits-all. >> john: dr. nicole saphier, we are going to get the medical dictionary out and discern some of the words you use. heterologous among them. but we appreciate it. >> sandra: she is always so
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good taking us through that and answering key questions. adding to all of this, obviously, the fact that we go through this inflation, the supply chain crisis, and the ripple effect of the fear from the omicron variant. they ripple through the markets on friday, even though most of us were still enjoying our holiday after thanksgiving the markets were open friday and reacting to all this uncertainty, john. the dow sold off 900 points, more than a 2% drops. >> john: things seem to be looking better today. >> sandra: we've got our econ panel next to talk about how to navigate the uncertainty on what's ahead. so we'll talk to them. >> john: looking forward to that. >> sandra: one of the recent smash and grab robberies in that area, they are accused of stealing sledgehammers, crowbars, and other tools from a home depot on friday night. they also stormed a high end boutique the same evening. william la jeunesse's live in los angeles. william, what are police doing to deal with all this? >> they have increased patrols
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because of these roving bands, and it's mostly l.a. and san francisco. the common thread you have here, these soft-on-crown prosecutors who oppose jail time for most property crimes. friday, a dozen thieves in ski masks ransacked a home depot with carbs and sledgehammers, overwhelming one customer who tried to stop them. >> we tried to stop them, we closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up. whoever got in their way, they were going to hurt them. >> thieves also hit stores on melrose. louis vuitton and saks on beverly hills, a cvs, and several stores in midtown. >> i think it's a manifestation of weak leadership, some really bad decisions that our leaders made, a manifestation of deciding we are going to defund the cops. >> in the bay area, thieves hit a nordstrom, apple, lululemon, and several stores in union square.
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several of these jurisdictions are led by d.a.s from the progressive alliance. l.a.'s calls being arrested "dehumanizing." another blames wealth and inequality for criminal behavior. both come along with gavin newsom, save or downgrading theft from a felony to a misdemeanor. >> it was what started the crime spree but got picked up by having soft-on-crime d.a.s in los angeles and our own here in san francisco. they have effectively created a welcome wagon for criminals. >> so it's not just dollar value. but when people don't feel safe just going to the story, sandra, and they see a correlation between this rampant theft and the policies of the mayor and the governor and the d.a., voters feel duped and they can pay a price. back to you. >> sandra: wow, it is serious and growing problem they are dealing with that. william la jeunesse on that, thank you. john? >> john: nucleotides between
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the united states and iran today looking like deanna. he wants to continue the argument president trump abandoned in 2018, but tehran has taken a hard line. joining us more for the diplomatic and political hurdles coming up later on this hour. and iran is not even letting the u.s. participate. the u.s. wanted to but iran said, "no, you are not a direct party to the talks, so you stay in the other room and we will send the europeans to brief you on what we talked about." see it as those talks resume in vienna, the press briefing is about to be underway. we've got it at a short time ago. jen psaki will get questions on this, but of course the top news of the day, the spreading of omicron variant. so we will be listening for it jen psaki to begin and we'll go to the white house when she begins taking questions. meanwhile, a new book out with some bombshell allegations. hunter it biden's previous
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dealings, could they have implications for the president? >> john: and the market rebounded today after its worst trading day of the year following news of the omicron variant spreading. but will the global economy be able to withstand further measures like travel ban 's and lockdowns? steve moore and robert wolf weigh in on that, coming in next. news of the musical ome. now make another one and turn your equity into cash. with the newday 100 va loan you can take out up to $60,000 or more. veteran homeowners- with home values at all-time highs and rates at near all-time lows now's the time to do more with your home equity. veterans are calling newday at a record pace to take advantage of the newday 100 va loan. you can borrow up to 100% of your home's value to upgrade the kitchen, add a pool for the grandkids, or have the security of cash in the bank. with an average cash out amount of $60,000, you can do more.
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>> sandra: white house press secretary jen psaki, as we just mentioned, is holding a briefing on taking questions on the omicron variant that is spreading right now. and the possible shutdowns the president was just asked about. we will go live to the white house as she takes questions. >> as we see any cases come up,
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dr. fauci and other medical experts have pointed to the possibility that that will end could happen. we will be transparent with the public and check that closely. let's go back to how that process works. these experts, they are medical experts, and they are primed to do the work around the clock. when you want to test a virus, you need to isolate it and purify it and make sure it is a live virus and the various you intend to study. this takes days. then you need to grow a stock of it to test. once it is grown, you have to sequence it and make sure it has mutated again while it grew. again, days. finally you need to test the virus with antibodies from vaccinated people. again, days. the last step needs to be repeated because we want to make sure we've gotten this right. so that is the process that our medical team is undergoing now, because they want to be able to report back some of the important questions and unknowns at this point in time. the efficacy of the vaccine, if
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any additional steps are needed to take it, and we are prepared to do this. with the american people, what they should know is that the president is going to do everything he is going to alwayf protecting the american people. did i miss a question? oh, boosters, whether we are going to promote these further. i would say you had the president say this earlier today. we have had medical experts, dr. fauci and others, across the airwaves and out there in the public over recent days to convey clearly that we know the streets can strengthen antibodies in the american people. there are still tens of millions of people out there who have not gotten their booster. if people feel they don't know what to do right now, they are not sure which step they could take, even as their unknowns, and we acknowledge there are unknowns, we are looking to get to the bottom of them, there is no question that getting a
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booster will help us strengthen people and protect them and we will continue to project that out publicly. >> reporter: [inaudible] iran is trying to "end sanctions in exchange for almost nothing." how much time is the administration going before president biden moves to other options? >> secretary psaki: unquestionably our best approach here is their diplomacy. that is the preferable approach. i'm not going to get a timeline for when that would end. that is when we will continue to press forward. in terms of rumors out there, reports about what is going to be negotiated, obviously i'm not going to negotiate from here or not they are asking you to do that. but our objective is not changed. it remains a mutual return to full compliance with the jcpoa. this is the best available option to restrict iran's nuclear program and provide a platform to address iran's
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destabilizing conduct. that is what we are discussing. rob malley is obviously the lead negotiator and we are working with our european partners in lockstep. of course we will continue to press our diplomatic approach. >> reporter: two questions. there is more work to do in terms of how dangerous it is, knowing how it spreads. i'm wondering if you could elaborate on some specifics in terms of, what is in place now? how is this going to be tracked and traced domestically in local communities across the country? whether you are working with governors, states, or is this an area where there is still work being done? >> secretary psaki: i think with the president was trying to convey is there are several layers of work right now. i just outlined for all of you the work that is being done, the scientific data analysis that is being done. that i can assure you that our public health officials here are in very close touch with all state health officials and public health partners. calls were held throughout the
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weekend of serious public health officials at the state and local level. these calls included state, county, city health officials, state of a geologist, laboratory partners and public health organizations. so that is something that was started over the last several days. and we are continuing around the clock to coordinate, as well. the cdc is also a meeting today with state labs and throughout the week we will engage the state health association in order to make sure we are and continued close contact. >> reporter: in terms of states and local municipalities, the president was asked and maybe you can elaborate on whether he thinks these areas that have done away with mask mandates should reverse that even this. he hasn't really answered that. as he believes that these places to go back to where they were with the mask mandates? >> secretary psaki: at the guidance from the cdc has not changed, which d.c. is abiding by, and other localities are abiding by. our advice continues to be to follow the advice and counsel of
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national public health experts from the cdc and others. of course they are continuing to assess, as he sought by the announcement over the weekend, our health officials are. any additional steps that need to be taken. our advice and recommendations continue to be to watch that closely and follow that to protect your community. go ahead. >> reporter: thank you. i wanted to ask you if the white house was reconsidering the decision to release strategic reserves given that oil prices have already gone down with the emergence of the omicron variant. >> secretary psaki: we are not reconsidering that. >> reporter: i was wondering if there was concern on the part of the u.s. government about beijing and its unreserved releases. >> secretary psaki: again, we are always encouraging any country or on the, including china, to be as transparent as possible. in any of their policy maneuvers. i don't have additional concerns to express today.
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>> reporter: thank you. >> one on omicron and one on a domestic matter. the president said the travel ban on south africa doesn't punish them and neighboring countries, but south africa's leaders say it does. how long does the white house envisioned that ban taking place? >> secretary psaki: we will continue to assess it. i will say the objective here is not to punish, it is to protect the american people. as you destroy the president say, this is not going to prevent, it is going to delay. and that delay is going to help us have necessary time to do the research by our health and medical teams to get more people vaccinated and get more people boosted. he is always going to err on the side of protecting the american people to it i will note that the difference between these countries is there's hundreds if not thousands of cases of the new variant in south africa and not as many, a much lower number, in europe. but we will continue to assess what steps we need to take to
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protect the american people. >> reporter: are you imposing any new testing or tracing on americans or green card holders who come from those southern african countries? once they get here? >> secretary psaki: we already have stringent requirements in place, as you know. requirements of vaccination, a vaccination requirement, and individuals need to be tested within three days of traveling. i don't have any additional requirements or restrictions to preview aside from the current restrictions on travel from certain countries. >> reporter: this trip to minnesota tomorrow by the president, he said you will continue aggressively traveling and selling the infrastructure plan. is there any talk of restricting his travel or his movements at all in the coming weeks? >> secretary psaki: there is none planned at this point and obviously we can continue to assess, but we had every intention of moving forward with our plan to sell the president's "build back better" agenda and obviously he is a pivotal player
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in that. >> reporter: given that congress is back, what is the plan this week with the congress and the senate? for republicans to say this is something that will contribute to inflation -- i think one senate republican called him the mad hatter for pushing this at a time when inflation is up. what would you say that? >> secretary psaki: on the first piece, i would tell you that our team, senior white house officials have been in close touch already over the last several days on moving our agenda forward. we have some of the senior officials meeting with the budget committee over the last several days. i think they had two meetings over the last several days. we had a number of senior white house officials meeting with leader schumer's team last night. i sure we are moving forward full speed to get this done and we expect action on it in the coming weeks. we will continue to press for that. for anyone who is criticizing, i would say that the way -- and we saw, i would say, in recent
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weeks even with the votes of every republican the house, they went on the record voting against steps that many economists have said would ease inflation. they voted to raise taxes, essentially, a middle class families. voted for higher child care, prescription drug, and elder care costs despite claiming they agree that inflation and costs are a problem. so we are out there, democrats in congress are out there, many of them. we welcome republican support, i will continue to say. continuing to lower costs. we know that build back better will cut the costs in half in 2020. 2020. donate preschool free for many families, lead to the construction of additional housing units. what is the republican plan for lowering costs, for addressing inflation? something they are very concerned about but they don't have any solutions for. i don't know what the mad hatter references, but that feels more applicable. >> thank you. before joe biden was president
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he said that covid travel restrictions on foreign countries were hysterical xenophobia and fearmongering. so what changed? >> secretary psaki: i would say first, to pull it in full context, that with the president was critical of was the way the former president put out a xenophobic tweet, what he called the coronavirus, and who he directed it at. the president has not been critical of travel restrictions. we put those in place ourselves, we put them in place in the spring. but now, he does not believe that she believes he should follow the advice of health and medical experts. that is exactly what he did. putting in place these estrogens over the weekend. >> reporter: we saw the president shopping indoors on saturday behind glass that says face coverings acquired, that is was uncovered. why? >> secretary psaki: the president follows the recommendations and the advice of the cdc. i don't know what the circumstances were of that particular moment. >> reporter: he was shopping in a store and on the glass it
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outside it said "face coverings acquired," we could see him inside and his face was uncovered. >> secretary psaki: again, our recommendation and advice continues to be for people to wear masks when they are required in establishments. i don't know what this establishment was. the president obviously follows the advice of his team. >> reporter: is the concern that when the president says to please wear your mask indoors and in public settings around other people, and he doesn't do that, but it's going to make it harder to get people to follow him? >> secretary psaki: i think you see the american people and all of you see the president wear a mask any time he's at an event, when he is sitting in meetings, and he will continue to model this behavior that he hopes the american people will follow. not for his benefit, but to save their own lives and the lives of their friends and neighbors. >> reporter: on immigration, joe biden once described they remain in mexico policy is dangerous, inhumane, going against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants. so i see keeping it? >> secretary psaki: he continues to stand behind those comments and statements.
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the secretary of homeland security put out a memorandum conveying that we want to end this program. but we also believe in following the law and that is exactly what we are doing. there was a ruling that required moving forward with implementation. >> reporter: and last one, since the president said this administration is monitoring the situation in waukesha, that the assailants worked side to side to run over as many people as possible. people are dead, some children remain hospitalized. why has the president visited the members of this christmas parade attack? >> secretary psaki: i would say first, as you saw the president convey last week, our hearts go out to this community and the people in waukesha. we have been in touch, obviously, with officials they are. we are all watching as people are recovering. this is such a difficult time of year for this to happen. it's difficult any time. obviously any president going to visit a community requires a lot of assets, taking their
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resources, and it is not something that i have previewed at this point in time. but we remain in touch with local officials and certainly our hearts are with the community as they have gone to such a difficult time. go ahead. >> reporter: for the american public that knows there has been a rise in covid in their communities that may be related to the delta variant, part of this winter surge -- >> sandra: we will continue that briefing at the white house and monitor for any news that continues to come from there. the president was obviously just questioned -- jen psaki was asked about the president over the weekend and his travels. inside that store, maskless while telling the american people to mask up everywhere. john, i am kind of surprised that jen psaki didn't know the story because it has been headlined many places, and the sign clearly says on the door of the retail shop he is in that masks are required. he is seen not wearing one. another big question about those
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flights that have been banned from southern africa, the white house was just ask whether or not or when they plan to undo those band play or less and she says they'll continue to assess the situation there. >> john: sometimes there's a difference between not knowing the story and not really wanting to talk about it and feigning ignorance. which may be the latter or the former, not sure. let's bring back dr. nicole saphier. one of the things that we saw there was an inherent contradiction between what the president recommended regarding mask wearing indoors versus, a, what he did, and what the centers for disease control has been recommending, which is why we saw the mask mandate come off here in the district of columbia a week ago. what do you make of all of this? >> well, this is something we talked about in length for the trump administration. it really is all about optics. when you return people there is a new variant of concern and your recommending that people start wearing masks indoors again, you need to lead by example.
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whether or not it's necessary is hard to say. if you have the president in a single shop with not a lot of patrons around then and only surrounded by people who are constantly tested and are also masked up, he was not posing a risk to himself or others around him. but again, it's all about optics. in a time where we are so politicized and everything is so heated, it is important to lead by example. if the formal recommendation, again, is to mask up indoors in public places, eve that he believe he better lead by example. >> sandra: banning these flights from southern africa, her response was that they would continue to assess the situation there. but dr. saphier, one wonders how much longer they can do that considering many people are stranded at airports not able to get where they need to go. >> as a whole, travel restrictions really do not do anything in the long run when it comes to containing public health issues. it does give us a little bit of time to delay the influx of that variant, but the truth is it is
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probably already in the united states and we haven't recognized it yet because we are under sequencing are positive cases. so we need to make sure that there is not chaos at those airports. guess what's going to happen when you have people congregating indoors together? they are going to actually transmit the virus even more and it may go undetected, and we may have more sick people. so you have to make sure it gets streamlined, get people here safely as possible. >> john: i was wondering the same thing myself. canada just confirmed that it has three cases identified. it's got to wonder, maybe we didn't find it before because we weren't really looking. lots of time to talk about this in the future. dr. saphier, thanks again for being with us. >> sandra: let's bring in our panel, robert welch, former obama economic advisor and fox news contributor, and steve moore, former times economic advisor. thank you for staying with us as he took the baking is from white house. as we have taken many sides of this, the questions we have about where this variant goes next and how severe it gets, if
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there will be additional shutdowns, the markets are trying to navigate. as he also on friday, when so many people were off work, the markets were open and the dow sold off 900 points. there are feelers about additional lock downs but they seem to be -- some of those fears seem to be not so much today with the dow coming back 341 points. robert, what should we make of all this? >> i thought the president's comments, reiterated by nicole, was quite pragmatic. i think it is why friday seems like it was an impulse move on the markets, and today you see a decent rebound. i think the couple things i took out of the last hour or so, between your conversations and the white house conference, is one, don't panic. number two, is not going to be lockdowns. i think number three, for us, we have to look at it as business as usual in this new environment. the supply chain second better, you heard from walmart and
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target. we have 30% less issues at the shipping areas. so we are in a better situation than we were and we need to continue to be in that better situation for getting our logistics in hand. you'll see the stories, all the shelves are back and failed. so a lot of the big concerns we had, we have less concerns today but we have to continue the momentum. i'm glad the president said don't panic and i thought nicole -- dr. saphier's comments are quite enlightening. >> sandra: she is always so good. why many of those store shelves have been replenished, at least for now, it doesn't mean the supply chain crisis is healed by any stretch even though the white house says will go well into 2022. on fox to send it over the weekend, they talked to trace gallagher and he said something he has been telling me throughout. very important point. listen. >> inflation is not transitory. it is really important for the
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fed to realize this. they destabilize our expectations and we change behavior even faster. companies increase prices faster, wage earners insist on higher wages. next thing you know, you get a cycle of inflation. it'll go on well into next year. >> sandra: it seems that, steve, democrats want to keep placing the blame for these higher prices on everyone but themselves. and the democratic policies coming out of this current administration, "the wall street journal" editorial board writes about the "stupid inflation tricks" this morning the paper. "democrats keep coming up with new culprits to blame for these prices. biden claimed the opec cartel for producing too little oil, and gas producers of mitigation. elizabeth warren blaming the poultry cartel. you know they are desperate when they have to invent a new example of business collusion for the soaring price of meat."
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is that what they are up to, more inflation tactics? >> first, let me say i know robert will fall off his chair when i say this, but i agree with him. i thought joe biden statement that he made on this new covid variant was spot on. don't panic, and i was so reassured when he said -- and we will hold him to this, right, sandra? no lockdowns in the economy. they were ineffective. we have solid evidence that it helps stop the spread of this virus. but i've got to say, because you guys made me sit through that, the press conference, when jen psaki said the reason the travel ban was bad back then was because of something trump said, no. i just reread his tweet. what joe biden said last year is that donald trump is imposing this travel ban on africa because he doesn't want brown and black people to come into
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this country. and now this is exactly the policy that biden has put in place and it is a real act of hypocrisy. on the inflation front, i do think that inflation is getting worse, not better. robert and i have kind of agreed on that. but all of this attack on american energy and the massive increase in the debt spending i think is really making the inflation problem worse. >> sandra: which means not panicking right now would be key, right? if we start grabbing all the toilet paper again, bottled water, it's going to make the prices go higher and the store shelves will be left in fear. sorry about the abbreviated panel. a lot of breaking news. thanks, guys. john? >> john: it is day one of the high-profile sex trafficking trial for it ghislaine maxwell, the late madame for jeffrey epstein. details on who we expect to testify coming up. >> sandra: and is jazz rotation
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coventry direct, redefining insurance. >> john: talks to revive the iran nuclear deal resuming in vienna but is not looking good with the united states and iran in separate rooms. chief national security advisor in fox news contributor, this is the seventh round of talks. the first in six months. if you are in that room, and actually in the room with the iranians, not in a separate room, what would you be telling them? >> i would be telling them the consequences they are heading to would be rather extreme. we're almost talking -- we have gone beyond the diplomatic response because it's the only way they will stop. a breakout means you're at a 90 percent level enriching uranium to build a bomb paid we know they are at 60 percent right now. the original deal was at 5% so they are heading toward a breakout. i think it's a matter of time. the consequences are pretty
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significant out there because it's going to totally destabilize the middle east. i think the time for negotiations is done. this is a state-sponsored terrorism, iran is. you have the president, they are both hard-liners. they are not jeffersonian democrats and they are going to keep pushing. they are going to try that if you're going to try to develop that weapon, and i think they already are, they are developing in a facility, where you look at the chief, they said they are not even allowing us in there to inspect so we don't really know what they are doing. >> john: so you save the time for negotiations is over, but jen psaki says it's our best option. listen to what she said a few minutes ago. >> unquestionably our best approach years through diplomacy. that is the preferable approach. i'm not going to give a timeline for when that would end. this is the best available option to restrict the program and provide a platform to
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address the destabilizing conduct. that is what we are discussing. >> john: a second ago you mentioned the new hard-line president. he says, you've got this all wrong, this is nuclear talks. this should be sanctions talk. they are just thinking about getting out of the sanctions and they want to cut a deal with our european allies and have it shoved down our throats. >> we have to accept the fact with his administration that they are going to have to go towards a nuclear breakout. they will break out within the new year and have a nuclear weapon within the year and we have to address this consequences from there, because the destabilization in the middle east. john, the time for discussions as well past but we are going to do that. like a lot of things this administration has done, they are whistling past the graveyard. they just kind of ignore it and when that happens, gee, there's nothing we can do about it. we have to understand there's going be consequences and it is destabilization of the middle east.
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>> john: during the trump administration the president said, look, i'm happy to get back into a deal with iran. but it can't just be about nukes, it has to be about ballistic missiles and terrorism and the maligned activities in the region including backing the rebels. iran is saying, wait a minute, those are nonstarters here. so the biden administration is just negotiating nuclear and not all these other things? >> they are letting them do it. that is the reason i made the comment of whistling past the graveyard. they are ignoring a lot of things happening in iran. iran has the largest ballistic missile fleet in the middle east. when you look at iran, now you've got afghanistan to the east and you have got nuclear pakistan. the saudis aren't going to tolerate this, the israelis are not going to tolerate this. i think you have to step back and go to extreme levels. i call it super escalation. you have to tell the iranians this is not acceptable out there. if we don't do that, i think we are going to see a breakout in a very short period of time. >> john: that language is not
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expected to come from anybody in the biden administration. great to get your take on that. good to see you, too. >> sandra: great to see the general. our company spying on their employees working from home cannot lie some privacy advocates are sounding the alarm over brand-new software being used. a live report on that coming up. >> john: and a bombshell new book detailing how hunter biden allegedly tried to leverage the family name for business dealings in china. stay with us. ♪ ♪ as someone who resembles someone else, i appreciate that liberty mutual knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ what makes salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient. it's clinically proven, reduces inflammation and comes in original prescription strength. salonpas. it's good medicine.
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>> john: "new york post" columnist miranda devine's new book, "laptop from hell," exposing hunter biden's alleged web of corruption, a recently released excerpt details and attempt to cozy up to an energy conglomerate to broker and acquisitions deal, and the lavish rewards he was offered in a process, from a $30 million payout to a 3--carat diamond. she will join us tomorrow on "america reports" to talk about the book and these latest revelations from the laptop. >> sandra: of course, are pieced in "the new york post" yesterday, "how the media help joe biden by censoring hunter's stories," she will come to
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explain. >> john: looking forward to it. >> sandra: transportation secretary is not typically a golden ticket to the white house, but buzz around pete buttigieg is joining, and does around whether president biden will run for another term. josh kraushaar is with us, whether we should believe all the buzz. is there anything to this? is pete buttigieg looking at a white house run? >> i wouldn't buy all the hype, sandra. the subtext around this buzz is the struggle that this current biting white house is experiencing. the reality is that president biden is going to be 82 years old by the time he runs for reelection. i think the widespread expectation is that he may not decide to pursue a second term. and that his vice president, kamala harris, has a record low approval ratings and isn't seen as a really credible successor of her own. so democrats are trying to find who is next in line if it's not biden or vice president harris,
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and buttigieg comes to mind because he ran last time and a sort of a household name in washington. but you said it, sandra, transportation secretary and former mayors of south bend, indiana? that's typically not the pathway to the presidency. there's a lot of hype. i don't know if the reality will back that up. >> sandra: especially someone who has received criticism for his job, considering he is transportation secretary in the middle of a supply chain crisis. politico is reporting that the buttigieg presidential buzz has had the white house, saying that while he says he is not contemplating the race to be biden's successor in the west wing, others are imagining it for him. his name sometimes is discussed by aids as a natural democratic presidential nominee in 2028 ors not to run. there are questions over whether or not he would be seeking a second term in the white house. jen psaki seem to put all the talk about that to rest last
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week. listen. >> reporter: president biden was telling allies he would run for reelection in 2024. can you confirm? >> that's his intention. >> sandra: "that's his intention." clearly the white house doesn't want anybody to believe he is not running for a second term. so even if he's not but they say he is, what would be the strategy area? >> look, no white house wants to be a lame duck, for the president to be a lame duck in the first year in office. they are obviously going to say that joe biden is running for reelection until they actually make a decision. buttigieg doesn't really fit the role of the type of candidate the democrats need for their future. he is certainly young and ran an impressive campaign last time around but he is sort of the candidate of the brainy democrats, the most intellectual democrats. that doesn't add up to a majority in the party, and buttigieg learned even though he ran on an impressive campaign for president that he did really badly with a lot of the more reliable democratic voters.
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namely, african-americans, voters of color. he really struggled with those demographic groups. so biden has got time to make a decision. buttigieg may be trying to prepare for the future. but he has this roadblock that it's going to be really hard to overcome, and connecting with a larger group of democrats that didn't vote for him last time around. >> sandra: really interesting analysis on that, josh. thank you. >> john: sandra, how serious is the threat from the omicron variant really connect public health officials say it will be several weeks before we know if the vaccines will hold up against it. but pfizer and moderna are not waiting. we will have a live report on that. >> sandra: plus, the story that captivated the nation. the prosecutors say it was all a hoax. now jussie smollett is heading to trial for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself. jonathan turley will take that up. he is our guest next hour.
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>> because if people are vaccinated, and wear their masks, there is no need to. >> sandra: lockdowns, biden says, are off the table just so long as you wear your mask. after close to two years of masking up, are we headed back to the beginning? >> john: and if you listen to the feds' top doc there could be more in store for all of us. >> sandra: the new york democratic governor wasting no time. >> john: she is declaring a state of emergency and opening the door for a big power grab. >> we are at a very severe risk of overacting right now, especially when it comes to the halting of medical procedures
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and medical care because of this. >> sandra: we have fox team coverage as we kick off a brand-new hour of "america reports." thanks for joining us. i am sandra smith in new york. >> john: and i'm john roberts in washington. good to spend another hour with you post-thanksgiving, sandra. it all starts with a fox news alert. public health officials say it'll be several weeks before we know if the vaccines hold up against the omicron variant. just one of many things that are not clear just yet, but the virus first reported in southern african nations, scientists are concerned it could be more contagious than the variant player unless they have seen so far. the key word there being "could." the fact is we just don't know. >> sandra: pfizer and moderna are not wasting time. both of those drugmakers are already at work, they say, developing a new vaccine just in case this variant lives up to the fears. scientists were hard at work in their labs at the same time the rest of us were eating our thanksgiving turkey. steve harrigan has more from
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atlanta, the cdc's home base. >> that's right, sandra, the work has already begun by sizer and moderna trying to develop vaccines specifically targeted to this omicron variant. they expect to have results ready for use within the next three months. this, despite the fact that so much is still unknown about this variance. how effective, for example, current vaccines are against it, and how serious an illness this new variant can cause. >> i think the initial cases are mostly young people who tend to have mild infections anyway. we need more data there before we can say confidently that this is not a severe version of the virus. we should find that out in the next couple weeks. >> health officials say they expect that in the next two weeks they will have a much clearer idea of just how contagious this new variant is. the u.s. has already been traveled from eight african countries. israel and japan have taken that a step further, banning all foreign travel. the variant has been found in
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much of europe and in canada. no reported cases yet in the u.s. sandra, back to you. >> sandra: steve harrigan from cdc headquarters in atlanta, thank you. john? >> john: president biden's travel ban on eight african nations went into effect today to help slow the variant spread. but critics say it is too little, too late since they are already confirmed cases, as steve was mentioning, in europe, asia, canada, and beyond. senator tom cotton says the ban is worse than useless since it didn't go into effect until three days after it was announced. >> if you want to implement a travel ban needs to go into effect immediately. that is what most european nations did that implement a debt travel ban. if you don't want to implement a travel ban because you think the virus is already here or it's counterproductive, you shouldn't do so. this is yet another incompetent half-measure. >> john: benjamin hall is live at the state department with the latest on all of this. that benjamin? >> john, this travel ban has
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been slammed by the countries affected by the w.h.o., the u.n., and numerous politicians, as you heard senator cotton saying it was worse than useless. nevertheless, president biden's travel ban went into effect at midnight last night and affected eight african countries. it is not, however, apply to americans. but there is worldwide condemnation. south africa's president saying this. >> these are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern african sister countries. >> among the other criticisms, if the variant was of such concern, why didn't the travel ban take effect immediately, not 48 hours later? president biden said that was dr. fauci's decision, saying that at this moment we need more vaccinations. speak of the delta variant and now the omicron variant all emerged elsewhere in the world. so we can't let up until the world is vaccinated. >> the secretary of state spoke
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to his south african counterpart over the weekend and praised the country for their transparency, but there are real concerns now that this travel ban will discourage other countries from sharing information in the future. and of course the issue of travel ban's was one highly debated during the campaign by then-candidate biden who said this would not stop the coronavirus. and called president trump's travel ban xenophobic what he is doing the same. this global unity is going to have a real effect on those countries who have not kept up. as we have been hearing all day, this variant is now being discovered in almost every region of the world. john? >> john: benjamin hall for us from the state department. by the way, my first opportunity to say welcome stateside. good to have you here. >> thank you, sir. thank you, john. >> john: sandra? >> sandra: geneva and the world health organization just a few minutes ago hitting the wires of the early evidence showing that the global risk of the omicron variant is "very high." this just coming in, john.
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in that future surges may have "severe consequences." you are reminded listening to the president in that clip a moment to go from when he spoke, just a short time ago, he referenced it as "omnicron." many of us are struggling to say it, it's a bit different as pronunciation is concerned. so early on, many of us have to figure out how to say it let alone the president saying it within n. it's early on, you had the president saying let's not panic. we are reporting the news as it comes in and that was just out of geneva hitting the wires. >> john: i'm quite surprised at this. clearly if it comes out of geneva from the u.n., that would be the w.h.o., because that is where they are headquartered and they are the u.n.'s health care organization. to say that the global risk is very high in the future surges may have severe consequences, we really don't know a whole lot about this. so far the evidence out of the southern part of africa is that this is milder in some ways in the previous delta variant. people tend to not get the same
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sort of lung involvement we heard so far from early evidence, as with delta and previous iterations of the coronavirus. as well, they don't lose their sense of taste or smell. so for this alert to go out, this is certainly going to raise a lot of eyebrows and may potentially cause some knee-jerk reactions, as well. which is why it has been great to hear from nicole saphier and marty makary earlier today to say that, look, we need to be very careful about this, because there is a big risk for overreacting. we need more information before we take stringent precautionary measures here. obviously you want to be prudent but you don't want to overreact, either. >> sandra: right pay let's bring in dr. janette nesheiwat, joining us now. dr. nesheiwat, you've taken us through this pandemic. we are getting that breaking news coming out of geneva. i sit here with us, dr. nesheiwat? okay, we are waiting to connect with her. john, we are also waiting on the
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governor of new york, kathy hochul. she is signing this sweeping disaster or emergency order is going to give her broad powers over how she is able, as the governor of new york state, to respond to this latest variant and the spread of it, potentially. it is not that she is in preventing these decisions, but she wants to be allowed to make those decisions. it allows the state government to delay nonessential surgeries. we will remember that from the beginning of the pandemic, when governor cuomo was in power. and also get the state involved if she feels that local governments are not up to the task. so we are waiting to hear from her, flexing his medical contributor dr. janette nesheiwat is with us now. dr. nesheiwat, a lot to dig into here first. but first, this idea that, as this new variant possibly spreads, there is a report that it is already -- dr. saphier was joining us, dr. fauci, they believe that the variant is
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already in this country. there are reported cases in canada, as well. assuming that is the case, and that this does further spread, governor hochul, does she have a point declaring this emergency so that she can have vast powers if needed? >> well, sandra, i understand the need to be prepared. i live and i work in new york. i am seeing more cases, for example, if influenza a then i am of covid right now. but i understand her wanting to be prepared because new york was once the epicenter of the world and it was chaotic at that time. what she is doing, if we drop below 10% of hospital bed capacity and staffing, then she wants to pause elective surgeries, for example. but right now that's not the way to go. we don't want to pause, for example, skin biopsies and breast biopsies, colonoscopies, mammograms, those things that we
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need. because we see an increased rate in cancer and heart disease because people haven't been able to catch up with a preventative streaming measures for their health. >> sandra: let me run by you, then, the breaking news that we just brought to you at the top of the hour out of geneva. that the world health organization is now saying that there is early evidence showing the global risk of this new variant is very high, and that future surges may have severe consequences. as president biden tells the country not to panic. >> yes, correct. we should not panic. again, we just need to prepare. how do we prepare? get vaccinated. if you are eligible for a booster, the over the age of 18, and your six months out, you need to get a booster. having the booster skyrockets or protection. not just antibody production, but sell protection. it doesn't matter that is not specific, if the vaccine isn't specific for the omicron variant. it can still help you.
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so that is really helpful, taking those necessary common-sense precautions. but i don't think we should panic. in other cases out of south africa are breakthrough infections, they are mild. some of the symptoms are the same. cough, headache, shortness of breath, wheezing sometimes can happen. a sore arm, fatigue. but they tend to be mild. we did not see an increase in the number of deaths and hospitalizations. we have to also point out that the level of vaccination in south africa is extremely low, less than 30% are vaccinated. here in the united states, we have almost 80% of americans who have had at least one shot. so we are really in a better position. i think we just need to continue our mitigation safety measures that we have been doing for the past year and a half. >> sandra: two more quick questions paid on the omicron variant and the fact that the drug companies, sizer and moderna, as we reported, actively preparing a new vaccine that would be able to fight off this new variant, can you envision a scenario where so
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many of us who have had our booster shots now, three shots, where three months from now if they have it ready we will have to go out and get a fourth shot to protect from that? because think of it, you know how with our flu shots every year it is a different shot? it is slightly modified to make sure that we are covering the latest strains and variants that are circulating. so it may be where we need to get that one time specific booster variant shot, for example, for omicron. but we are still early in this entire process. it may be that it's three shots, booster, and we are done for life, or a dearly every ten years. but it's better to get that vaccine than to suffer the consequences of covid. >> sandra: really quick question, because i'm out of time, her 5-12, parents with kids and those age gaps right now are taking their kids, many of them come out to get vaccinated. some not, but some are. they have to make a decision.
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do they wait now for the omicron variant vaccine that they are working on, to get their first or second? or should they just get it now? real quick. >> that's a great question. no, don't wait. it could be two or three months before the new updated vaccines are available, and we are approaching christmas, new year's, the holidays. get the vaccine now and protect yourself. >> sandra: always appreciated, dr. nesheiwat. thank you so much. john? >> john: just across the hudson from new york, new jersey governor's speaking. >> sandra: what we heard from president biden, everyone still needs to socially distance and wear masks indoors when they cannot. he said the big fear isn't just omicron but also the delta variant which governor murphy says is still an emergent situation. >> john: we will talk to the man who once held his job, chris christie come alive to react to the news coming out of his state. and on the national level from the white house. that's coming up. >> sandra: also, if you're one of the many people working at home because of the pandemic,
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you might want to think twice about shopping online or even sneaking in again or two. it turns out there's a good chance your boss is watching every move you make. details on that growing trend, surveillance of staffers working at home. >> john: plus, it was only a matter of time until the property crimes plaguing california's bay area and stomach ended in bloodshed. the cost of stolen louis vuitton can't compare to the cost of a life lost forever. next, stay with us. with their two and a quarter refi. that's 2.25%, with an apr of 2.48. this is their lowest rate in history. the newday two and a quarter refi can cut thousands of dollars off your mortgage payments. there's no money out of pocket and no up front costs. lock in your rate.
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- during our best wireless deal of the year... the xfinity black friday sales event. click, call or visit a store today. ♪ ♪ >> john: smash and grab robberies continue to plague california and are now happening elsewhere across the country as large groups of people target high-end luxury stores as well
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as pharmacies, even hardware stories. it might be a matter of time for the robberies escalated into murder. that has now happened. a security guard he was hired to protect the local news station, in san francisco, was shot and killed when a robbery went wrong. let's bring in rough ailment ra. good to see this afternoon. retired police officer kevin nishita was protecting a news crew from kron tv. they were reporting on a robbery occurring at a clothing store when somebody tried to steal their television equipment. you seem in this picture here, he tried to intervene and was shot in the abdomen and later died. these robberies are brazen but now there is a blatant disregard for life that has now appeared. >> that's exactly right. this story highlights two really important realities that i think have gone on.
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but the first of those realities is that the bay area crime problems have extended far beyond just mere shoplifting. i know that's got a lot of attention in the popular media in the last couple of years, but if you look at 2020 and 2021 you look at two years of double-digit percentage increases in homicides, particularly in oakland. that is a real problem. the second thing it highlights is that criminals don't specialize. you have heard a lot of talk about how we need to functionally decriminalize things like shoplifting and smash and grab kind of robberies. the rationale has been that these are nonviolent offenses committed by nonviolent offenders, but what we see is that there's actually quite a bit of overlap between the sorts of offenders who commit these brazen so-called nonviolent property crimes, and people who commit more serious violent crimes. one of the reasons we haven't seen more violence is because people haven't been intervening. the unfortunate and tragic fatal shooting of kevin nishita shows
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that our assumptions have been misapprehensions all along. >> john: we had this incident at a home depot last week were a bunch of smash and grab robberies came in wielding sledgehammers, went and grab some more sledgehammers and crowbars. the theory was so they could use those in more robberies. they were quite threatening, holding up sledgehammers, threaten people to say, "if you come anywhere near us, you're going to suffer the consequences." now these smash and grabs have gotten way out of control in walnut creek, about 20 miles outside of san francisco. a flash mob of 80 people stormed through a nordstrom, ripping off anything they could find. what is behind all of this, rafael? >> i think think what's behind this is there's a systematic program put into place where we have functionally decriminalize these kinds of shopping offenses by raising the threshold for prosecution and certainly for
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felony prosecution for people who are accused of these crimes. the rationale for this kind of approach has been that these laws previously decriminalize poverty. that i am really happy that these kinds of events are getting a lot of attention because what we see is a trend. the trend is at the place is being targeted these gangs of robberies are high end luxury stores and pharmacies. what they are stealing is not food or any kind of life necessity but rather they are stealing things that they can flip on the secondary market to make a quick buck. that undermines this rationale the idea that we are decriminalizing poverty. what we were doing was criminalizing bad behavior often committed by people who also commit violent offenses. now we are losing out on the potential incapacitation benefits we would have realized if he had prosecuted them in the first place. >> john: not long ago the district attorney said that being arrested did is
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dehumanizing. in "the washington times," "action is certainly warranted, but without addressing the root causes to problems that we have come it will persist. the problem is the democrats, the political party that has massaged violent due-as-you-will standards of moral behavior for years." real quick, is it going to be a backlash because of all of this next year? >> i think that is certainly on the table. and it is something that i personally think is long past due. but it is not exactly clear where that backlash is going to happen. we will also see signs of it in suburbs outside american cities, but a lot of american cities have chosen to remain at the status quo. the savvy reelection in philadelphia despite record homicide numbers this year, we w progressive d.a. so it remains to be seen just how far the backlash will reach and whether it'll get into american cities, which is where it's needed most. >> john: will watch it closely. rafael mangual, as always,
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thanks for being with us. sandra? >> sandra: thanks, john. just because you are working out of the office doesn't mean you're out of the workplace. there's a chance your boss is watching your every move using software to spy on what you are doing in your own home. sounds terrifying! gillian turner joining us live from washington on these children give elements. gillian, i have not formally welcome you back. congratulations again on the new baby. >> thank you so much, sandra. i appreciate it. >> sandra: on to this chilling story. tell us about it. >> now for something complete different from babies, cybersecurity efforts are telling fox news that american companies' use of this software is exploding during the pandemic. why it's not something you've necessarily heard about, experts say that if you still work from home the odds are your company is using at least one program to track you every single day. it is now standard practice for employers to track the websites you visit, the apps you use, including social media, emails, the time you spend on your computer, the keystrokes you
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enter, and they can even grab screenshots of your computer at any moment in time. the most invasive method that employers are using is activating webcams on your work laptop or your desktop while you're at home. this means that they can view you and whoever is in your home either lives or they can record video and audio to watch whenever they feel like it. cybersecurity experts say this new normal is completely unacceptable. >> the first time i found out and a player was turning on a webcam at home without my consent, without my permission, personally i would quit. i would say, "you don't have a right to do that." >> employers insist they track workers for security reasons and to make sure everyone stays productive while working from home. they also claim, since they install monitoring software on company computers which they own, they have recourse if they feel that privacy is being violated. cyber experts say it is early days now and a reckoning for companies using this monitoring
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software is a-coming. >> this is where i think you see litigation pay to go through three phases: litigation, regulation, and legislation. if your company is so bad from a leadership standpoint that you have to micromanage what your employees do, maybe the employees at the problem. maybe it's the leadership. >> said here is the important part for our viewers. sources tell us the best thing you could do to protect yourself and your home if you are worried is unplug your laptop or your desktop from the network when you aren't working. they say, one, turn it off. two, power it down. three, unplug all the cameras. write it down, memorize it, it should be a new mantra. sandra? >> sandra: i remember the former head of the fbi one time saying he would put a piece of tape over the camera on his laptop. >> that's right. >> sandra: because somebody is always able to watch. kind of terrifying. >> they might be watching us right now. >> sandra: i think a few people are, gillian. [laughs] great to see you and welcome
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back again. john? >> john: or wrap it in foil and put in the freezer. first, china surprise the world with its hypersonic missile test, no another. the missile even hit its intended target. details on this developing story just ahead. >> sandra: plus, governor chris christie is here to react to all of the news of the day. we will get his thoughts and the growing fears over this new coronavirus strain and whether he thinks politicians are going overboard on omicron. just ahead. he's a good musical ♪ ♪
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news of the test launch comes only days after the president of ukraine said his country's intelligence service uncovered plans for russia to attempt a coup in ukraine sometime this week. moscow denies that even as it appears to be amassing troops along its border with ukraine. sandra? >> sandra: china's decision to o to play a fueling aircraft into taiwan's defense zone is raising concerns about the steps china could be taking to expand its reach in the region. taiwan says 27 chinese planes entered its air defense zone over the weekend, including nuclear capable bombers. alex hogan is in london with the latest on that for us. hi. >> hi it, sandra. that's right. taiwan says the 27 aircraft entered its air defense identification zone. now, this is not exactly its own territory, it is the airspace that the military monitors. taiwan said that it had to quickly scramble to get ready for this just yesterday, seeing,
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again, 150 aircraft over this four-day period. a drastic increase of incursions recently. yesterday taiwan says it chased 18 fighter jets, 5h-bombers which again have nuclear capability, and a y20 aerial refueling plane near the southern stretch of the island. taiwan scramble to react with its own aircraft and by deploying missile systems to monitor the movement. now, this comes as chinese president xi jinping concluded a three-day military conference. he met with top generals, calling to bolster the country's armed forces. china claims that taiwan is its own territory and it rejects the territory's attempt to solicit any foreign support. despite that, the taiwanese government held talks yesterday -- or today, i should say -- with latvia, lithuania,
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and estonia, china's foreign ministry condemning that visit. it also slapped the u.s. with a harsh warning of its own. take a listen to this. interpreter >> interpreter: we advisedthem , otherwise they will get burned and reap what they sell. >> china has said this is a measure to protect this country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. a completely different perspective from taiwan who has called this gray zone "warfare," saying this is only wearing out an exhausting its own military. sandra? >> sandra: alex hogan reporting live from london. thank you. >> john: sandra, jury selection began today in the jussie smollett trial, from the hit tv show "empire," who infamously reported that he was beat up in a racist attack on the streets of chicago more than two years ago. >> sandra: however, chicago
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police have alleged that smollett lied about that incident and in fact hired the perpetrators to attack him. david lee miller is live in our newsroom with a story that many of us followed for quite some time. >> sandra, as you enter the courthouse today, actor jussie smollett remains silent. he is on trial for lying to police about the attack that really shocked the country. an alleged assault in january of 2019. he said he was assaulted on the deserted chicago street by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slayers and yelled, "this is maga country," referencing president trump. he said they had placed a noose around his neck. two brothers who worked as xers on his show said they were paid by the actor to stage the assault. smollett has denied it was a hoax. >> i'm an advocate. i respect too much the people, and i'm not one of those people,
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who have been attacked in any way. you do such a disservice when you lie about things like this. >> initial criminal charges against smollett were dropped, forfeited $10,000 bond. the following public outrage, a special prosecutor was appointed and he was indicted on multiple accounts of does to misconduct. they asked a number of very specific questions. he wanted to know if they have ever watched tmz, the tv show "empire," and if they are members of pro-police or defund the police organizations. he told the jury that during the trial race and sexual orientation are going to be mentioned. it is not clear now if smollett is going to take the stand in his own defense, but even if he does, very few people have been watching them. the judge has ruled that the child cannot be televised. sandra? >> sandra: david the merely
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reporting for my newsroom. john? >> john: let's bring in jonathan turley. this was delayed for three years. charges were filed and then dropped and then they were brought again. he is facing six counts of disorderly conduct in total for allegedly lying about the incident. what do you think is going to happen? >> well, the case is a disgrace and how it was handled. the district attorney, fox, had conflicts of interest in the case. they were rather late in acknowledging that. but then the case was dropped after the initial charges were brought. there was no real expedition why they were dropped. notably, he was not required to admit guilt, to take responsibility. all of that led to a cause of celebrity justice. often, celebrity justice is misrepresented. celebrities often get harsher justice because of their position. in this case, it really did seem like he got a rather special
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treatment from chicago prosecutors. so when the special prosecutor came in, he had no problem finding the evidence needed to bring these charges. what is really going to be interesting is if he takes the stand. i would bet against it. i can't imagine how he would get through that type of withering cross-examination. the evidence here is just too damning to take that risk. >> john: in the early going of this case, what we saw, and other cases, kyle rittenhouse among them -- kamala harris kamala harris who was then sent her to eat out, "jussie spinach and is one of the kindest and gentlest human beings i know. this was an attempt in modern-day lynching. no one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality where the color of their skin. we must disrupt this hate." that tweet did not age well. >> it's like collin kyle
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rittenhouse a white supremacist before any investigation was done. these types of reactions often do come back to haunt politicians who are rushing to join the mob and calling for one result or another. from the beginning, there was a lot about the allegation that didn't make sense. i am from chicago and i think this was the first time anyone suggested anyone saying this was maga country. putting that aside, it was odd from beginning to end the details. ultimately these two individuals came forward, the videotapes in the stores, and despite the evidence he wasn't required to take responsibility when those initial charges were dropped. he still doesn't. that leads to this really horrible aspect of the case. if someone is accused of capitalizing on our racial division, to sort of monetize rage? that makes this more than your typical false police report case. this was an injury to us all if he indeed made this up.
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the evidence suggests that he did. >> john: it could also be an injury to legitimate hate crimes cases because kamala harris walked back her tweet, tweeting after it was discovered that he allegedly lied about this she tweeted, "like most of you, i've seen the reports about jussie smollett and i'm sad, frustrated, and disappointed. at the same time we must speak the truth, hate crimes are on the rise in america." they're obviously a terrible thing and i agree with her initial sentiment that no one should have to fear for their life because of sexuality or the color of their skin, but to use an alleged false attack to talk about these legitimate issues, does it diminish the legitimate issue? >> it does. i call this retroactive ethics. it's when these people come back and say, well, we really shouldn't reach that conclusion, in the media does the same thing. they are constantly acknowledging that they as your present stories, from rittenhouse to the russian
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collusion. and this retroactive ethics. when it doesn't count as much, they finally acknowledge what the truth is. well, the injury was done when you fueled the rage in a society that has an overabundance of rage. >> john: yeah, and again, maybe taking the focus off of legitimate rage that putting it on something that appears to be, according to the prosecutor, illegitimate. as always, good to talk to you. i wish we could follow this on television. that would be dramatic, to say the least. sandra? >> sandra: another trial a long time in the making, jeffrey epstein's alleged partner in crime going on trial today. ghislaine maxwell set to face a judge and jury after epstein escaped justice by taking his own life. we are live on that story. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> john: more than a year after indictment, ghislaine maxwell's trial kicks off in new york. maxwell is accused of running an elaborate sex trafficking ring involving minors for a former boyfriend, the late to financing. bryan llenas lives with the very latest for us. bryan? >> john, good afternoon. for the victims and accuses of jeffrey epstein, billionaire sex offender, they view this trial against his former
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girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, as a chance to get justice when it was rough and then when epstein killed himself awaiting trial in 2019. one of those accuses arrive to court this morning and says she thought this day would never come. that she recruited them as minors as young as 14 years old. she was sexually abused by epstein and her. the women claimed that maxwell manipulated them to give massages and to do sex acts. maxwell faces six federal sex trafficking charges and up to 70 years in prison. prosecutors say from '94 to 2004, maxwell traffic the girls between epstein's mansion in new york, palm beach, and new mexico. the 59-year-old pled not guilty to all charges. jury selection was finalized this morning and opening statements are underway. this is expected to be a 6-week trial. lots of questions on how this british socialite, the daughter of the disgrace tycoon robert
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maxwell, allegedly found herself operating this operation. maxwell's attorneys claim she has been treated inhumanely in a new york jail cell where she has been sitting there for 17 months. here she is with a black eye from jail. she has been denied bail six times. maxwell's brother believes that she is a scapegoat for u.s. prosecutors. >> nonetheless, it has been cobbled together so that ghislaine is made to face the charges that epstein never faced in place of him. and she is paying a heavy price, a blood price, for that. she is treated as guilty. >> at least four accusers are expected to testify against maxwell. the question is, will she testify as well? john? >> john: i wonder if she will. i highly doubt it.
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bryan, outside the courthouse for us. bryan, thank you. sandra? state inflation, the second crisis the president will address for the cameras today. earlier the president outlined the response to the omicron variant of the coronavirus urging americans not to panic. saying for now that more lock downs are not on the table. as long as people continue to social distance and wear masks indoors. former governor of new jersey new jersey, chris christie. great to have you. was looking forward to this. there's a lot of news to dig into here including the president saying don't panic. but now his expectation is, and his guidance is, from the white house, that everyone should be masking up again at a time when so many of us vaccinated and thought we were done with it. do you agree with it? >> look, i don't. i will tell you that i think this is why we have had such trouble getting people to become vaccinated. because initially the promise was that you get vaccinated, that you're able to get back to
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your life as normal. we have every indication that, while there are some breakthrough cases, those cases are very, very mild for people who are vaccinated. so now we have people taking not only two but a third vaccination shot and he is telling them they have to mask up again? this is completely inconsistent, mixed signals from the white house and a lack of leadership. the president is once again running scared like he has often done in his ten months in office, and people are tired of it. >> sandra: and the south african president was presenting the travel ban saying it hurts people who trying to get where they need to go. that they can't get home in some cases. jen psaki took a question on that in the white house briefing room just a short time ago and she gave the white house explanation for that ban, despite criticizing donald trump for it. listen. >> i would say that the objective here is not to punish, it is to protect the american
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people. as you just heard the president say, this is not going to prevent, it's going to delay, and that delay is going to help us have the necessary time to help us do the research by the health and medical teams to get more people vaccinated and get more people boosted. >> so the response was this is to protect the american people, to stop those flights from coming into the country. but governor come at the same time, many in your party or highlighting the fact that we have thousands of people pouring over our southern border at this very moment who we don't know their vaccination status, they are not being tested before they come in. is the white house ever going to acknowledge the fact that we've got so many people pouring over our borders that could be carrying the virus right in? >> no, because it's an awful crisis that they and they alone created. by the language they use during the campaign, and by the policies that they are following at the border. they are allowing these folks to come in if there legislation
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pays them for family for them to come in. and not ask them about the vaccination status while in new york. as you know, everybody has to show that a vaccine card if they want to walk in someplace. what they are getting is inconsistent leadership depending on where you stand politically on something. that's the reason i wrote the book and why we think it is so important to have the republican party be a party that is out front and laying out a vision for tomorrow, because we've got to stop these policies. >> sandra: i've got about 20 seconds left, governor paid we had a lot of technical difficulty getting on today, that you are here. your political future, sir? >> look, i want to continue to be a voice for the party to stop joe biden and kamala harris and their awful policies. i am helping a public and governors and the redistricting effort with mike pompeo. everything i can to enact big in
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2022. >> sandra: to the ap writing about your aim to shape the future about the g.o.p. and yourself pete here's her book, "republican rescue." sorry we are short on time, will have you on very soon. we'll have a quick break and be right back. ♪ ♪ starting sunday night. don't miss out on walmart's deals for days. ♪ ♪
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>> sandra: just like that, that does it for us. i'm sandra smith. >> john: and i'm john roberts. a busy day after thanksgiving. "the story" with martha starts right now. >> martha: thanks. good afternoon. i'm martha maccallum in new york. "the story" as the president calls omicron a cause for concern, but he says it's not a cause important panic. he doubled down on dr. fauci's assertion that it's inevitable that this strain will reach the united states when you look at how it's moved so far. we have three cases confirmed in north america in ontario at this point. the president says he's not recommending lock downs and took time to defend his travel restrictions on eight


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