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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  December 12, 2021 8:30am-9:00am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> i'm margaret brennan on "face the nation." . as covid cases continue to spike in the colder temperatures. dozens of devastating tornadoes tore through the nation's mid-section late friday. the death toll continues to rise as the affected states scramble to find the missing and to help those who have lost everything. >> biden: this is likely one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history. it is profound. >> brennan: we'll get the latest from two governors from the affected states, arkansas governor asa hutchinson and kentucky governor andy beshear. >> it is unlike anything any
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of us have ever seen. >> brennan: what caused the extreme weather conditions that triggered these deadly tornadoes. we'll have meteorologist. new hampshire governor chris sununu will be here. his state is now the nation's top hot spot. and we'll also talk with tulio de oliveira, the researcher who discovered the omicron variant in south africa. and dr. scott gottlieb will also be here. finally, inflation is now at near a 40-year high, and price increases continue to hit consumers hard. communist mohamed el-baradei will joining us for analysis. it is all just ahead on "face the nation." . ♪♪ >> brennan: good morning. and welcome to "face the
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nation." ining ansas,ay with theailtes, missouri, mississippi, tennessee, illinois, and kentucky. cbs news has confirmed 25 deaths at this point, and that number will go higher, especially in kentucky. our david begnaud reports from the devastated town of mayfield. >> reporter: good morning, margaret. as the mural reads, welcome to mayfield, more than a memory. memories are what some people are left. devastating destruction, as six tornadoes rip through the states. hardest hit appears to be kentucky. one long-track tornado ran 227 miles from arkansas right into his state. >> this event is the worst, most devastating, most deadly tornado event in
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kentucky's history. >> reporter: the tornado that hit the city of mayfield, kentucky, sent debris six miles into the air. it could be one of the most intense and longest tornadoes ever recorded. entire blocks are nothing but rubble now. >> i can't believe that our town is gone now. >> reporter: barbara tate was inside the now flattened candle factory here in may field. she was one of 100 people inside working on holiday orders. >> people crying, help me, hip me. you can't because you're trying to help yourself. >> reporter: so far about 40 people have made it out safe, but the governor said it will be a miracle if they find anybody else alive. in arkansas, a nursing home saw its roof ripped right off. beds thrown right into the parking lot. one resident died, the others were safely evacuated. >> what struck me the most is there was not more that
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lost their life. >> reporter: the governor of tennessee credited evacuations for limiting the state's death toll to four. in illinois, the roof of an amazon plant collapsed with the workers still inside. at least six people were killed. rescue workers worked from unup to sundown, desperately looking for any signs of life. it is still unclear how many people are missing. >> there are no words to assuage the pain of losing a loved one. >> reporter: that is a pain kentucky's governor says he almost felt himself. >> it is really hard and really painful. i spent eight hours wondering if one of my cousins was still alive. dn farm fields, withivings monie no buildings for miles, there are trucks and dumpsters and pieces of homes. you realize these were whipped into the air like toys and tossed all over the
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state of kentucky. >> brennan: david begnaud, thank you. we go to climate specialist jeff berardelli, who joins us from new york. these tornadoes appear to be destroying in strength and devastation. what can you tell us? >> it is extraordinarily rare for december, december is usually the quiet month. as in any tornado outbreak, you have a huge contrast between cold to the north and warm to the south. what was unusual is how warm it was. memphis hit a high of 80°. that's why we think that climate change is beginning to factor in. but i think the bigger f factor is la niña. we see an increase in tornado activity, right where we had the tornado outbreak on friday night, in the mid-mississippi valley area. so climate change, let's talk about that. i should first say there is no trend in tornado numbers
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due to climate change. however, it may be making the environment more favorable, especially on outbreak days, because you add more warmth, more energy. it is like storms on steroids, and more moisture, that is a more favorable environment for super cell thunderstorms and tornadoes. the latest research shows a shift in the actual location of the increase in tornadoes across the mississippi valley into the mid-south area. that is a more densely populated area, and they tend to happen at night, which makes these tornadoes more dangerous. margaret? >> brennan: important context. thank you, jeff. we go now to the governor of kentucky, andy beshear. good morning to you, governor, and our deepest condolences. >> governor: thank you. it is a tough morning. it is devastation like none of us have ever seen before. we know -- i know that we've lost now more than 80 people, but it will exceed
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100. but we're digging out. we're tough. we're going to grieve and then we're going to rebuild. >> brennan: the president said you told him this looked like a war zone but worse. so where are you in the se search-and-rescue or search and recovery? >> governor: well, the search continues, both at the candle factory, which will be the largest loss of life, throughout the city of mayfield, which is leveled and gone. half of my dad's town doesn't exist anymore. i know our emergency management people are out there going door to door, but there aren't any doors. a lot of this is going through the blocks and the rubble, if you can reach it, and trying to see if there are people there dead or alive. >> brennan: before the tornado hit, you said kentucky was short on nurses. i have read you're not short on housing as well.
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what kind of assistance do you need? >> gor >> governor: what we're doing is opening up our state parks and helping any people who need help. and we've opened 11 shelters, and there are only six still open because in times of difficulty, we open our doors to family and sometimes even to strangers. it is amazing to see the outpouring of support from other kentucky communities and communities around. what we're going to need as we move forward, though -- this is massive damage. rebuilding of entire communities. we're going to have lost thousands of homes. when this tornado hit, it didn't just rip a roof off, it obliterated houses. kentucky needs to know we're going to be with them, and the country is going to be
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with them, not just this week, but in the months and even the years to come. >> brennan: as you rebuild, how do you account for what seems to be extraordinarily extreme weather? >> governor: well, as of today, a day after, we're worried about finding other kentuckians. we're worried about providing shelter for them. we're grieving with so many families. we'll worry about or think about the cause once we have everybody stabilized. >> brennan: i have read that the youngest fatality was a five-month-old. >> governor: i know we've lost a number of kids. we lost a 3-year-old in graves county, too, and i think we lost a 5-year-old in nullenburg county. this tornado didn't discriminate anybody in its
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path. it is like nothing we've ever seen before. >> brennan: i know the country's heart goes out to you. is there anything people listening at home can do to help the people of kentucky. >> governor: we'll continue to get every prayer we can get. we're hoping for a miracle. this is day two of trying to find people. we have set up a fund specifically connected to the state that will go solely to the families in western kentucky. i want to thank the entire country. you have been there with us. we appreciate the love and the support. we're tough people. we're going to get through it, but it is not going to be easy. i'm still emotional after a
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couple of days, just learning that my uncle lost a couple of cousins. but we're going to make it. we're going to see the other side, and we're going to rebuild. brermd >> brennan: i know you well, and i know the country will be pulling for you, and my condolences to your family as well. >> governor: thank you. >> brennan: and we're going to go to arkansas and their governor, asa hutchinson, who joins us from rogers. good morning to you, governor. >> governor: good morning, margaret. >> brennan: i know you lost at least two people in your state. and we are sorry for your losses. >> governor: well, thank you, and our heart goes out to kentucky as well. they clearly got hit in a more severe manner, probably the same tornado. we're looking forward to having more information. but we lost one, which is a miracle that we only lost one, at a nursing home in
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monette, arkansas. there the staff did an incredible job of using their own body to shield some of the residents. and the fact that there was a warning system in place helped them to move them into the hallway that saved lives and really emphasized the importance of the early warning system, the sirens, and taking action whenever you hear that. >> brennan: absolutely. i read that you have about 20,000 people without power. what is recovery and cleanup like for you right now. what do you need? >> governor: well, first of all, i did declare an emergency that allowed our emergency workers to move and to work extra hours and to take the steps that are necessary in the recovery. we did have over 20,000 out of power. that has been reduced significantly. our power companies are doing an extraordinary job of restoring electricity. but what happens now is this is a very unusual event. it is almost like the
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tornado going through arkansas picked cities along the path. many times they are more rural areas. and here we hit multiple towns, causing enormous loss of homes and businesses. so the recovery is going to be longer. i would encourage people to lok at their american red cross, the church groups that help us in providing immediate housing, but also water. and that's a way that everybody can help, through those type of organizations that are on the scene. we have got to assess the damage. we've got to first, of course, get everybody in shelter that they need, and we're quickly taking action on that. >> brennan: i know these are early days, but do you have any kind of cost estimate for the level of damage? i know there is a big infrastructure package and money coming your way. do you know if any of it
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will be enough? >> governor: it's too early to tell on that. but we have hundreds and hundreds of homes that have been lost, businesses that have been totally destroyed. there is going to be, of course, the shelter and other costs associated with it. and there is a lot of public infrastructure that has been damaged through this, from fire stations to otherwise. i talked to president biden yesterday, and he assured they would cut through any red tape that was necessary. they want to help in the response. that helps build confidence. we have to make the assessment and determine exactly what those dollar amounts are. it is too early at this pint. >> brennan: you started the year with some extreme weather events, and now you're here. how do you prepare for these kind of dramatic weather events now that you
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rebuild. do you approach things differently? >> governor: well, we do. i mean, first, you look back in my administration, we've had the historic 500-year flood. we've had, of course, tornadoes. we've had, of course, the winter freezing event that caused us to lose power. and so these extreme weather events, we're having to spend more time in preparing for. we're trying to build a resiliency. we're trying to build our recovery efforts. you know, the infrastructure bill that was passed in congress will help us to address some of these needs, particularly in our water infrastructure, but also our levee system and omr irrigation systems that are part of our infrastructure that are damaged by these severe weather events, particularly the flooding. >> brennan: i know, governor, the country is watching and prayers will be sent your way by so many who
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are listening to you right now. thank you very much, and good luck. we'll be back. >> governor: thank you. >> brennan: we'll be back in just one minute. are working together to help bring hope. to the streets of our communities and beyond. ♪♪ it starts with a mother's determination to treat her baby's eczema. and grows into a family business that helps thousands more. it starts with an army vet's dream of studying the stars. and grows into a new career as an astrophysicist. it starts with an engineer's desire to start over. and grows into an award-winning restaurant that creates local jobs.
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they learned how on youtube. what will you learn? >> brennan: cbs news senior national correspondent mark strassmann reports. >> reporter: call it thanksgiving c covid hang over. deaths up almost 30%. by next weekend, the c.d.c. predicts up to another million americans could be infected with december's biggest covid worry still ahead: christmas. a cbs news poll says over the holiday season, despite the threat from both strains, two-thirds of americans still plan to gather with friends and families. more than half will travel
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by car or dine in a restaurant. just one in five say they have canceled plans because of omicron. this is grand rapids, one of the nation's hotspots last holiday season. michigan is now seeing an even higher number of cases, and that number is rising. the state's chief medical officer calls the situation critical. >> cases are surging, hospitals are full, and we have a new variant. >> reporter: military medics have jumped in the covid frontlines, in five states. other reenforcements in this fight: people getting booster shots. a new record average, more than 900,000 a day. starting tomorrow, new york state has an indoor mask mandate for anywhere without a vaccination requirement. >> i have to protect people but also the economy. >> reporter: an economy that suddenly feels vulnerable. the inflation rate is up almost 7% from this time
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last year, the highest annual increase in almost 40 years. everything is up since last year. home prices, groceries, gas, which leaves covid america coming to terms with a different kind of sticker shock. >> brennan: that's mark strassmann in michigan. we'll be right back with dr. dr. scott gottlieb. he is standing by. ions and treas that may help your eyes— and protect against vision loss. visit and take control of your sight. ♪ ♪ cases of anxiety in young adults are rising as experts warn of the effects on well-being caused by the pandemic.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [upbeat acoustic music throughout] [upbeat acoustic music throughout] ♪ ♪ (judith) in this market, you'll find fisher investments is different than other money managers. (other money manager) different how? don't you just ride the wave? (judith) no - we actively manage client portfolios based on
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our forward-looking views of the market. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions, right? (judith) no, we don't sell commission products. we're a fiduciary, obligated to act in our client's best interest. (other money manager) so when do you make more money? only when your clients make more money? (judith) yep, we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different. >> brennan: we go now to former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb who sits on the board of pfizer. good morning to you. >> doctor: good morning. >> brennan: we see certainly here in the northeast delta infections are picking up in new york. in new york they're going to start requiring masks tomorrow indoors if vaccines aren't required for entry in the first place. do you think other governors should follow suit and start requiring masks? >> doctor: look, we've seen the delta wave coarse through most parts of this country. we're about at 36 cases per
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100,000. six weeks ago, we were at 20. germany is about 50 cases per 100,000 people a day. most of the cases are being driven by the dense epidemics in the great lakes and new england. i think in those parts of the country, it is prudent to take steps to try to control the outbreak. there are states where the health systems are starting to get compressed, and mask mandates is the easiest thing to do to put some downward pressure on the ree a tepo measure to try e health ce systhe reason why yg cases go up right now is driven by the dense epidemics in these very populated states. are moving indoors because of the colder weather and the holidays. >> brennan: we looked at the data, and only one in four adults is vaccinated.
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can we blame the unvaccinated for the spread? or is something else driving this? >> doctor: well, the unvaccinated is certainly the individuals showing up in the health care system requiring advanced care. and there is spread among the vaccinated individuals, too, particularly those who only have two shots. if we look at this time last year, when we were dealing with a far less transmissible strain, we had about 120,000 hospitalizations. now with a far more transmissible train and slightly more virulent, we have 60,000 hospitalizations. it is the thesis that we held out for these vaccines all along. >> brennan: you were talking about another variant there, omicron, which we've been speaking about over the past few weeks. there are projections in the u.k. it will very soontoe here n
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question. we can't really transfer the experience from one country to another because there are different levels of immunity and different populations. the u.k. does look a lot like the u.s. in terms of having a lot of vaccine induced immunity and immunity from prior infection, and from people who have been boosted and infected and subsequently vaccinated. what we're seeing in south africa right now is the potential, the indication, that this may be peeking in the hard hit province, in joejohannesburg and victoria. it might have been spreading fervently, and it went unnoticed initially, and we caught the peak of an epidemic, rather than the very beginning of an epidemic. that might change some of
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the impressions about the trans transmissibility of this virus. and it may be that people had have delta induced immunity are sus spe susceptible to this variant. >> brennan: we're going to look at that later on in the program, doctor. thank you. pfizer said a fourth dose of the mrna may be needed against omicron sooner rather than later. there are so many vaccine skeptics out there. for those who say this is just big pharma trying to push vaccines, what is your explanation of the science here? >> doctor: he talked about the fourth dose specifically in reference to immunocompromised individuals. we know that organ transplant patients, for
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example, doctors are prescribing multiple doses because they don't get a good responses initially. what he also talked about was the possibility that this is going to become an annual vaccine. i do think this is going to be for a period of time, something we have to get revearevaccinated over time. >> brennan: doctor, i've got to take a quick break. thank you. we'll be back in a moment. adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. in adults also with known heart disease, ozempic® lowers the risk
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♪ have a good time 'cause it's all right ♪ ♪ now listen to the beat ♪ ♪ kinda pat your feet ♪ ♪ it's all right ♪ ♪ have a good time 'cause it's all right ♪ ♪ oh, it's all right ♪ >> brennan: we'll be right back with the governor of new hampshire, chris sununu, and a leading scientist from south africa on that new vaant. ♪♪
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♪ ♪ >> james: hello, everyone. welcome to "the nfl today." i'm james brown. the entire nfl community is mourning after the passing of demaryius thomas at the age of 33. a five-time pro bowl receiver, thomas led


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