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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 3, 2022 2:30am-3:00am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington. and this week on "face the nation," we begin our third year of covid-19 with a massive spike in omicron cases, and a still democracy as we near the first anniversary of the january 6 capitol attack. america is kicking off 2022 with conaviruisis tings yea better. the omicron variant, fueled by holiday gatherings and spreading with breathtaking speed,
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particularly among younger americans, is frustrating and worrisome to a nation that has had enough. >> we have to do more. we have to do better. and we will. >> brennan: but what else can be done with nearly 15% of eligible adults still refusing to get vaccinated. we'll talk with former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb. and as students head back to school, what is being done to keep them safe. education secretary miguel cardona will weigh in. and we're coming up on a year, the anniversary of the january 6 insurrection. is the capitol still as much of a target now as it was then? capitol police chief tom major says yes, even more so. >> the threat level is much higher than it was a year ago. it is exponentially higher than it was five years ago. >> brennan: wyoming republican liz cheney shares few views with
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adam schiff, but they are working together on the committee tasked with investigating the january 6 attack. we'll hear from both of them. plus, americans weigh in on our democracy in a new cbs news pol. and we'll talk with university of chicago professor robert pape. his latest study has surprising findings about those arrested for their role in the insurrection. it is all just ahead on "face the nation." ♪♪ >> brennan: good morning, and welcome to "face the nation." two years and two days ago the w.h.o. received the first formal word from china about a mysterious new virus circulated in wuhan. we made a lot of progress fighting that virus since those terrifying early days of the global pandemic, and we are learning to live with masks and restrictions designed to protect our health. but we're starting a third year
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of covid, with new concerns and confusion about the omicron variant. micmark strassmann begins our covid coverage from atlanta. >> reporter: a new year in our covid chronicles, welcomed by maskless floridians. risky behavior, even reckless, like many new year's resolution, covid records get broken incredibly. a new average of 356,000 new cases a day. that is four more cases every second. on thursday, 16 states reported their highest total ever. >> the numbers we're seeing, put that mask on and keep it on through january, honestly. >> reporter: more honestly, those numbers could be fractional. driving this pandemic, people who are unvaccinated. >> the places are so busy and so
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packed. we have pat patients coming in all of the time. >> reporter: hospitals overwhelmed by sick patients and sick staff. >> the majority of these people are unvaccinated. i can't get them out of the frickin' waiting room, to get them away from people in covid. >> reporter: many doctors say avoid going to the e.r., often a covid hotbed, especially for children. >> if you have people getting together and you have children who are unvaccinated, they will be the bull's eye for omicron. >> reporter: across covid america last week, almost 400 children a day were hospitalized for the virus. that's a 66% increase from the week before. >> we're probably seeing fou fiveesber children whore currently in my i.c.u.. >> reporter: schools, another worry. millions of children head back to class tomorrow. parents spend hours in line for testing, often confused by school guidance and protocols that vary district to district,
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even school to school. many parents also worry their kids are soft targets. >> they have to use the same bathroom, the same lunch room. you're still exposing everybody to covid. >> reporter: more than 2,000 "k" through 12 schools have already closed and will offer remote learning. but many will resume by teaching in person, while they can. >> if the teachers we have are coming down with the virus, who is going to teach the students? >> reporter: here in georgia, testing shows the positivity rates now pushes 40%. it is so high that the atlanta public schools decided to hold virtual schools this week when the kids come back on tuesday. margaret? >> brennan: mark strassmann, thank you. we go to former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb, who also sits on the board of pfizer. good morning and happy new year. >> good morning. >> brennan: this is not how we wanted to start the new year, of
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course. doctor, how far out are we from the omicron peak, and do we need to focus on the infection rate or the hospitalization rate? >> doctor: we clearly need to focus on the hospitalization rate and how many people are becoming severely ill. there is a coupling between cases and i.c.u. admissions. it seems to be a milder case. i think the places hard hit, like the mid-atlantic, new england, florida, may be two weeks away from peaking, but the rest of the country faces a hard month ahead of us. i don't think we'll see a national peak until we get into february, and the virus will spread around the country. there is a clear coupling between cases and hospitalizations. and it does appear based on a lot of experimental evidence we've got tten in the last two weeks, it is a milder form of the coronavirus. the one group it may be a pr
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problem for is very young kids. you're seeing more crup-like infections among children. and we're seeing rising hospitalizations among that pediatric segment. >> brennan: obviously, a huge point for parents of young children, like me. i've been looking at hospitalizations at a record high, and am concerned about sending my son back to a pre-school even with a mask on. what do you tell parents? are cloth masks just not good? >> doctor: cloth masks are not going to provide a lot of protection. a cloth mask is not going to protect against an airborne virus. not something like this coronavirus. this is not a benign disease in young children. there is a perception that young
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children have not been hit hard to date from coronavirus. that is just not true. we've reported over 600 deaths from covid. so over a period of time, we've done a very good job protecting children generally from respiratory infections. we've reported 600 deaths from covid against three deaths from flu. this is affecting children, and particularly young children. it could have a predilection for the upper air wave because of the way it binds to the air wave cells. in terms of going back to school. i think the prerogative is to clearly try to get schoolsreopen but ere wilbe situatio where we have reactive school closures when there are large outbreaks. >> brennan: and we also know there are staff sh shortages because people are getting sick. people can't go to work, teachers, or kids have to stay
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home from school. given the test to stay policies now, can we be confident that antigen tests are catching the virus, and if your kid takes one they can safely go to school? >> doctor: look, the manufacturers feel very confident that their tests -- the major market tests are detecting this virus. there was some experimental evidence that the f.d.a. put out a week ago showing that in laboratory studies, there appeared to be decreased sensitivity in terms of the test's ability to detect this virus. but that doesn't correlate really well with tests per se. we don't know if it is suggestive these tests may not be as sensitive at picking up the virus. but they appear to be picking up the omicron at a high rate. if you're using the antigen test, the best approach is to do serial testing over a period of time. if you're doing serial testing, you're liking to pick it up.
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we need to get tests into schools, so they can use the tests to prevent large quarantines when there are cases diagnosed in the classroom. >> brennan: we have seen even some universities move to remote learning for like a month or so. should people plan to be back in the office and university settings in a month? is that a clear timeframe? >> doctor: i think certainly the february timeframe is appropriate in terms of when we're going to pass through this omicron wave across the united states. it is a big country and it will affect different parts of the country at different points in time. if the u.k. is any guide, london is already peaking. and south africa is peaking. so parts of the country that were affected earlier, like new york, will peak in the next few weeks, and other parts in the next four weeks. certainly by the end of february we should be through this. in terms of school, i think the
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theimperative needs to be open schools. what you're saying about closing schools that you can't possibly control outbreaks in that setting, and i just don't think that is the case. i think with the tools we have and the knowledge of how to control these settings, you can do a pretty good job of trying to control large outbreaks, certainly within the classroom. >> brennan: to button up what you said earlier, your teachers and kids need to be wearing high-quality masks, not cloth ones. >> doctor: that's the bottom line. the question is: do people have the tools they need? and the answer is: in many cases they still don't. >> brennan: some cases, like connecticut, are sending out n-95s. the f.d.a. is expected to greenlight these booster shots
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for 12 to 15-year-olds. should schools mandate them? do you recommend them? >> doctor: i certainly don't think schools should be mandating boosters. it should be left up to the discretion of parents and their physicians. it will depend on the individual circumstances. what is the individual circumstances? do they have some underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of bad outcome comes? we've seen the durability in children, between 12 to 16, they are more durable. it is likely because kids are getting a more robust response for the vaccine. and they're at left risk overall from the infection. >> brennan: right. so talk to your doctor. dr. gottlieb, thank you very much. "face the nation" will be back in a minute. stay with
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mariden, connecticut. good morning and happy new year. >> good morning, margaret. happy new year to you as well. >> brennan: you told me back in november there is no excuse for schools to be anything but in person. do you stand by that statement now? >> i know we've had an omicron surge, but i still believe very firmly and very passionately, not only as an educator, but as a parent, that our students belong in the classroom. and we can do it safely. we know what works. and i believe even with omicron, our default should be in-person learning for all students across the country. >> brennan: but then you are seeing school districts already go through closures, more than 2,000 so far, according to berbio. teachers' unions, inc including in your home state of connecticut, they want a delayed concern because they don't have access to testing. they are concerned about
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infections among young children. so it seems some of the educators disagree with you? >> right. the goal is to have students and staff be safe in their classrooms with the mitigation of strategies, with a whole host of strategies we didn't have when we were having in these conversations 2020. we have access to vaccinations for students ages five and up. we have testing that is a different pool of tests than what we're seeing now, where we see people scrambling for tests. when the american rescue plan passed, there was $10 million for surveillance ti we're seeing districts doing surveillance testing to ensure classes are safe. there may be bumps in the road tomorrow. superintendents today are getting phone calls learning that some of their schools may have 5% to 10% of their staff not available due to covid-19. >> brennan: how widespread is
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that? >> it is the expectation that through the use of american rescue plan funds we address some of the shortages in staffing for the long-term benefit of our students and our families. >> brennan: i understand the $10 billion that was allocated in the american rescue plan, that was months ago. but today school districts are saying they don't have the tests. whose fault is that if the money was allocated? >> right. we know the omicron came quickly. we are working closely with the systems. we're partnered with the rockefeller foundation. and we're seeing in many districts across the country that they do have them. that coupled with what we know is going to help: having a shorter quarantine period. we do remain our schools can remain open. we have to stay focused on the mitigation strategies that work and we have to continue to work together to give our students a chance to work together in the classroom. >> brennan: you're saying now the testing is being tet up.
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are you saying that the federal reserve can ensure every school district has an adequate supply this week? >> what i'm saying is we're working with districts to make sure they're set up. we're working really hard to make sure they have access to tests and that they have resources to provide testing. >> brennan: we know remote learning has hurt children, emotionally we are seeing the impacts of that as well. but you have teacher shortages also due to a hit to morale. people don't want to go into that classroom, many of them. have you gotten on the phone and asked the teachers' unions to still show up in person? >> since the beginning of the pandemic, even before i was secretary of education, when i was serving as commissioner here in connecticut, we worked together and we had to communicate the persons of in-person learning, but also making sure our educators are
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safe and have the support that they need. that is why it was critically important, with the american rescue plan, to have funds available to provide that safety they needed. the president announced it, and i believe it was in march, and we had over 90% of our educators vaccinated by the summer. that shouldn't stop. our educators, it doesn't take a pandemic for us to appreciate what teachers can do. we need to continue to support them, not only during the pandemic, but beyond. >> brennan: right. thatthat's why i'm asking have you asked the teachers -- they are saying they don't feel safe. >> the message doesn't change. we're providing a safe learning environment, and we're providing vaccinations for our students as young as five so the whole community is safe, and we're providing testing to make sure if someone is sick, they stay home. we need to double down now, now that omicron is higher, to make
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sure we're doing that. but it works. we went from 47% of our schools open in person in january of last year, to 99% in december. we know what works. we have to stick to it. we have to support our educators, our families, and most importantly we have to support our students. >> brennan: the white house said that the unvaccinated face a severe winter of death. children under five cannot be vaccinated. what is your message to the parents of a kindergartener or pre-schooler when they send their child into the classroom? >> right. and i think about those parents regularly. i remember having to reopen schools before we had vaccines for any children and before we had the science that we have now -- >> brennan: right. but i'm talking about now and the white house language about now. >> right. so my message to those parents is the same message -- and this is why i was mentioning that -- it is the same message for the past year and a half, mitigation strategies work. when we have masks, and when
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we're ensuring that when students are sick, they stay home, when we ensure that the people around them are vaccinated, we are protecting those children and staff as well. >> brennan: thank you, mr. secretary. stay safe. we'll be back with a lot more "face the nation." stay with us. i'm having anxie. obviously it's normal with everything that's going on right now. i think i'm going to take a break for a while. you can get through it. and if you can get through it, there's a greater reward on the other side. just like anybody else, you know, i'm just trying to do my little part to try and save my community. ta-da! i'm just really excited we're back open. and i am smiling under my mask! incredible scenes on the day the fans came back. welcome back to the theater!
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>> brennan: a year after the violent attack on the capitol by hundreds of americans determined to stop the cerbs n finds that day still has a lingering effect on the national psyche. 68% think it is a sign of more violence to come. and two-thirds think democracy itself is threatened. joining us now is cbs news director of elections and surveys, anthony salvanto. anthony, good morning to you. this is an incredible number. 68% of americans believe the country is at risk of violence? >> good morning, margaret. it is. let's try to understand what is driving that a little bit. first, look back on that day at the capitol.
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and i should start by saying there is overwhelming disapproval of what happened, but there are 17% now that do approve of what happened. over the course of the year, we've seen some movement among republicans within those who disapprove a little bit of softening of that from the strongly disapprove a little more into the somewhat disapprove category. and let's move forward because what is so important isn't just what people anticipate. it is that democracy depends on not just folks following the norms, but thinking that other people will. well, in future presidential elctions do you expect there to be more violence byhe losing side, and you get 62% who say yes, that could happen. >> brennan: who are these americans. >> what we want to emphasize is not that people say they themselves would undertake it, but whether they might be okay with it if other people did.
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let's start by looking back at what people think happened that day. well, there is a lot of folks on the republican side, four in 10, who think that rather than trump supporters who entered the capitol, it was left-wing groups pretending to be trump supporters. then you look at people who believe in conspiracy theories, in q-anon, and they are much more likely than americans overall to approve. so it all starts, perhaps, with what they believe to be the case. now, we tackled this head-on. we asked, okay, what do you want former president trump to be doing now? there is 12% of the country who say he should be fighting right now to get back into office before the next election. now, you take a sub-set of them who say that if necessary, force could be used to do that. now, that is 4% of the country. we don't often talk about numbers that small, but what
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we've seen here is that it doesn't take large numbers ofopn that, in turn, leads to that lessening confidence of the anticipation that more violence might arise because they know that those folks are out there, margaret. >> brennan: an important point. but we're seeing radicalized politics outside of the united states, too. from what you see here at home, is all of this about the former president, or is something else driving it? >> yeah. we asked about a range of issues, not just elections. and we asked are these important enough that violence could be justified, again if undertaken perhaps by others? and you get a range from civil rights to gun policies to labor issues, where you get 20 odd percent or 30 odd percent who say it might be justified. and then you look at is it justifiable for candidates or elected officials to do things
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like call for violence, and that is 14%. again, not an overwhelming number, but it is some. now, one of the things you want to look at, margaret, is why they think that might be justified. it is not so much that people think that violence can itself be acceptable, but they fear that their opponents might do that or worse. so it is a sign of that underlying mistrust. however, it's a new year. i want to show you something besides these very sobering things. you look at whether people think in the abstraction that the u.s. should divide into red and blue states, and there are not many people who feel that way. the overwhelming number of people would like the country to stay together. >> brennan: a note of optimism. anthony, thank you. we'll be right back.
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>> brennan: we'll be back in a moment with a lot more "face the nation." . stay with us.
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>> brennan: welcome back to "face the nation." we now turn to the congressional committee investigating january 6. republican liz cheney of wyoming is the vice chair of the committee and she joins us now from capitol hill. good morning to you. >> good morning, margaret. thank you for having me. >> brennan: we know democrats are planning a vigil. we know the former president is planning a news conference. are you concerned about the country being at risk of political violence this week and in the years ahead? >> look, i think if what he has been saying since he left office is any indication, former


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