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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  December 30, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST

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disease from the omicron variant and greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization, but despite that encouraging news the pandemic is escalating to a whole new level. records smashed, hospitals on the brink, and growing questions this morning about new year's celebrations set to take place tomorrow night. dr. anthony fauci suggests skipping big new year's parties with infections skyrocketing. >> if your plans are to go to a 40 to 50-person new year's eve party with all the bells and whistles and everybody hugging and kissing and wishing each other a happy new year, i would strongly recommend that this year we do not do that. >> it's all because of the surge, in just the past 24 hours the seven-day average in the u.s. reached nearly 300,000 a day. as the u.s. broke its single-day record with almost 500,000 cases yesterday alone. in the northeast covid staffing shortages causing new jersey
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transit cancellations, in new york city three subway lines completely suspended because so many workers are calling out sick. the new york city police department canceling days off for any officer healthy enough to work. nearly one in three paramedics are out and the fire department is now pleading with new yorkers not to call 911 unless it's a true emergency. and, of course, it's not just new york obliterating covid records, in ohio the number of people hospitalized with covid reaching a pandemic high. the governor ordering more members of the state national guard into hospitals to help with the surge. in florida, meantime, that state breaking its daily case record, reporting nearly 50,000 covid infections yesterday. out west california reporting a 25% jump in covid hospitalizations in just the past week. so a lot to talk about. our stellar team has all the information you need to know. sam brock is in miami, jacob ward in san francisco, gary
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grumbach in washington, d.c. and ann ramoid is a prefer at ucla fielding school of public health. it's good to have all of you here. first to that breaking news about the j&j booster providing strong protection against severe disease and hospitalization. what's that mean for the big picture in fighting covid? >> reporter: well, for the big picture this is really terrific news. we are always looking to see what benefit do we have from the vaccine and from boosters. we've always known that these vaccines are going to be improved with additional shots, the mrna vaccines really a three-dose vaccine. we've always known that this is the case, and it makes sense that the j&j vaccine is also going to have measurable difference. although here in the united states we aren't using the j&j vaccine as much as we are globally, we need to have all vaccines available to us and to be able to have this be useful globally. of course, we have talked about this before, an infection
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anywhere is an infection everywhere. we need to get vaccines in arms. so the more vaccines we have available, the better off we're going to be. >> so, again, they're talking about using it for a booster and, you know, we were talking a lot about boosters a few weeks ago but today given the huge surge in case numbers do you think the federal government needs to quickly pivot for people who were in that first round of boosters and had that four, five months ago and approve a fourth shot, an additional booster? >> well, what we know about the vaccines at this point is that the vaccines are doing a good job of what we really need them to do, which is preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death, a fourth dose, you know, it may end up being useful in the long-term, but i'm not sure that we're really thinking about what we want these vaccines to do. we want these vaccines to keep us out of the hospitals. we need to keep our health system intact. it may not protect us over the long term from mild disease. so i think that the bottom line is we have to be very thoughtful
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about what we're using these vaccines for, watch the data, have the information. we're going to see what happens in israel and we will have more information at that point. >> you know, ann, there is this new "washington post" article and it talks about, i think, what a lot of people are talking about and that is the increasing number of cases of folks who have been very careful but they are now catching covid. safety precautions, masking up, avoiding large indoor gatherings seem not to be enough under the virulence of omicron. for a lot of folks that begs the question at what point do health officials pivot from aggressive measures to avoid getting covid to, do you know what, we're going to encourage vaccines, we're going to encourage boosters, we're going to put all of our resources into that and the rest of us just have to learn to live with the virus? >> well, this is a reasonable question and i think a lot of people are starting to ask that question but i would say we are not there yet. what we need to make sure we're
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doing is to protect the health system. while this variant may be less severe, we may be seeing evidence it's not going to result in as many hospitalizations per person, with the shear number of cases we are going out there we need to do everything we can to drive the rates down. we need to be able to protect our hospitals because just with the small percentage of people needing hospital care, you're still going to see hospitals overwhelmed and that's where we're heading in the next several -- the next several weeks. i think at this point we need to do everything we can. every person that can do something to avoid getting this virus by getting boosted, by getting vaccinated, by avoiding crowds, by wearing high quality masks, we have to do it. the hospital system is important not only for covid, but if you end up with a hospital system that's overwhelmed, if you have a stroke, heart attack, if you have a car accident, you need urgent care, you're not going to be able to get it. so that's really the name of the game right now.
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>> we're already seeing that in some parts of the country. sam, let's talk testing. you are at a testing site in florida. that state shattering records for new daily case. give us a sense of what it's like on the ground there. >> reporter: what it's like on the ground right now, chris, is everybody has covid. i mean, i'm not trying to be hyperbolic, but that's not a huge exaggeration. we have seen 47,000 cases reported yesterday. you used the word obliteration a second ago. in the united states nearly a half million infections yesterday, easily the highest number since the start of the pandemic. florida was responsible for 10% of all of those cases. you look over my shoulder right now there are still testing lines here, it is not at the fever pitch levels that we saw last week when there were cars going down the street for miles just to get into this testing site, but clearly testing availability also an issue right now. in miami-dade county where i am the positivity rate for the last seven days 25%. so that is escalating, but to this ongoing conversation about
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what the net impact will be on hospitals and their workforces that are so depleted, jackson health is a primary public health system in miami and i use them as a bellwether for where things stand. right now there's 297 patients in jackson health with covid-19. that number a week and a half ago was 98. so it has tripled over the course of ten days. if you look at the who is in the hospital right now, 250 roughly of that 300-person census are people for unvaccinated. another 25 or 30 are people who are vaccinated but were transplant recipients which is so say they are hyper aminu compromised and a small traction is boosted healthy people. to dr. rimoin's point, this is going to hit a crescendo. hospital health care systems cannot handle this at this level even if it's milder systems for omicron because the net number
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is so huge that eventually it's going to hit a breaking point. >> that number is so huge and the number of staff calling out sick because they have tested positive continues to go up. gary, you are at a testing site in d.c. the mayor announced an ambitious new plan to allow testing to keep schools open. case right side climbing there. huge issue all around the country. what's the plan where you are? >> reporter: chris, first i want to show you this line, this testing site behind me opened up an hour ago. it is old out here, it is raining out here and yet we're seeing a line like we have across d.c., across the country. people i have talked to in this line are getting tested for a variety of reasons, some of them they say they're symptomatic, others say they are just getting tested as a precaution, some are traveling internationally and they need that negative pcr test. now they have one more reason to believe that test. as you mentioned, d.c. mayor muriel bowser instituting what she called the single largest
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data collection effort that d.c. has done since the pandemic began. next week 90,000 d.c. public school students will have to pick up rapid tests on monday or tuesday from their school, take that test on tuesday, report that test to a portal on tuesday before they can even walk in the school building on wednesday. this is 90,000 students, staff as well will have to do this. folks i talked to out here, whether or not they have kids, they're frustrated about this testing system. here is what they had to say. >> like everyone else, get a negative covid test. i want to get it before the new year's eve to have a good time with my family and friends since we can't go out and about. hopefully it will be a negative result. >> quite confusing. the opening hours are not clear. i came here yesterday and it was already closed so it's kind of -- should be more public or better announced i would say. >> reporter: now, when it comes to d.c. rapid tests, the city is actually handing out rapid tests to people across the city,
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108,000 tests have been handed out so far, but only 17,000 results have been returned and reported back to the city leading to what is likely a massive undercount in these already high positive cases. chris? >> i think that's a problem worldwide, obviously. jacob, i want to go to you. san francisco obviously a huge foodie town, restaurants usually ring in the new year as a kind of financial finish line. i know omicron is having a major impact yet again. what are you hearing from restaurant owners and employees? >> reporter: chris, the life and death stakes we've been describing so far this hour of course also have economic effects that ripple out across our country. i'm standing here at the water bar, it's a famous san francisco fish house where typically tomorrow night you would have hundreds of people enjoying fireworks on the san francisco waterfront. chefs are just beginning to arrive here this morning to begin preparing that menu.
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unfortunately, the new year's eve fireworks show has been canceled and of course we're seeing restaurants all across the country decimated by covid. not only by shutdowns according to public health orders but also the great resignation, the walking away from skills that everyone has had to do. we've seen a little bit of a rebound. since 2020 numbers are up about 19.7%, but that's not a full rebound. we are still down about 8% from prior -- before the pandemic. so we are seeing really an industry that was really hit hard. we spoke to the owner of the water bar to ask him what does new year's eve represent financially and emotionally and here is how he described it. >> from a financial standpoint, a new year's eve can actually be about two days' worth of revenue packed into one night. so it does have a significance
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to it. >> reporter: there's really a secular country like ours, chris, restaurants are one of the few public gathering places we have. to see all of these restaurants struggling so hard and they were hoping so much that new year's eve would be the turn around psychologically and financially and it looks like omicron is of course making that much more difficult, chris. >> jacob ward, sam brock, gary grumbach and anne, thanks to all of you. coming up, we will stay on this story and colleges and universities grapple with the surge in cases. we will talk to one university president about his decision to go back to remote learning. plus, ghislaine maxwell found guilty on five counts including sex trafficking of a minor. the journalist whose reporting first reopened this case will be here next. se reporting first reopened this case will be here next.
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this morning former jeffrey epstein associate ghislaine maxwell is facing a long prison sentence after a jury in new york found her guilty on five of six counts for the luring and grooming of underaged girls for epstein to abuse. joining me now julie k. brown, a pulitzer prize winning journalist with the "miami herald." her reporting exposed epstein's pattern of abuse and is credited with reopening the case. she is author of "perversion of justice: the jeffrey epstein story." i'm also joined by a former prosecutor known for her role in the bill cosby trial and a civil
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rights attorney and msnbc legal analyst. i can't imagine two better guests to have on the morning after this verdict. julie, but spent years, literally years, investigating epstein now we finally have a verdict. >> well, you know, it's bittersweet. you know, you feel happy that there's justice on one hand but on the other hand i think that the victims feel like it has taken too long, they suffered a lot over the years, they were treated as problems could you tell us initially, even though they were quite young, 14 years old. so it's a little bit bittersweet. we also know that there are still people out there who were helping him who haven't been held accountable. so it's sort of, you know, as i said, you feel happy on one hand, but also hopeful that maybe more answers will come in
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time. >> i think there's two aspects of this, obviously looking forward is there something else to come, but, kristen, also, what's going to happen now to ghislaine maxwell. one of those counts alone, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors could mean decades in prison. what are you expecting from sentencing? >> it's interesting, chris, because in this case, you know, we look at the standard guidelines for these federal offenses and that's when you look at the severity of the offense, which these are very severe offenses because it involves sex trafficking of minors, but then you also look at her prior criminal history which is nothing, so when you put those two together and hold the charges concurrently she could face as little as ten years, but, again, looking at the severity of the offense, looking at the fact that she played such a large role, knowing that these are not the only victims out there and knowing that these victims will, if they want to, give an impact statement about how this has affected them, she could, as you
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mentioned, face up to 40 years, which would for her be almost like a life sentence. keep in mind, chris, she also has the perjury counts she has to face, the trial doesn't have a date yet but she also stands another ten years on those charges. >> not the only victims, julie, but to your point not the only perpetrators. what does this verdict mean for the other people in epstein's orbit? what are your sources telling you? what could come next? >> i think a lot of people were a little bit worried, you know, waiting to see if she's going to try to provide the government with the names of other people who were involved in order to maybe shave off some time of her sentence or even, quite frankly, get out of her sentence. i don't think that's going to happen because of the fact that i think it's going to be very hard to prove other cases. this case was very challenging for prosecutors because, remember, these events happened 15, 20 years ago, and, you know, part of the defense argument was
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that these witnesses and these victims had sort of faded memories, they didn't have times and dates and other things quite lined up correctly all the time. so that poses a challenge for any future prosecutions. >> yeah, i think, kristen, obviously you have the time factor, that a lot of people thought argued against a successful prosecution. you also have who the people who are being accused are and their status and their money and one epstein accuser not involved in this trial said that's essentially what she was told. take a listen. >> we were told constantly, you knew, these people will never go to jail, they are too powerful, they are too rich, and we live in a kay that it just goes to show that, you know, this is not the end, this is just the beginning. >> kristen, do you think this verdict signals a change in the
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way america looks at sex abuse cases, or would it be a mistake to extrapolate too much from this one case? >> i think we have to. i think we have to always look hopefully at the future. you know, i think that this verdict, and this is from speaking with survivors, this verdict was very meaningful because, yes, jeffrey epstein was the direct offender, but maxwell played such a large role not only in the recruiting and enactment of the sex abuse but also in the concealment. we talk about how long ago this happened but it was not because of these young ladies, it was because of all of the concealment, all of the embarrassment, all of the shame that these rich and powerful people had over these young minor victims. so, yes, i think we have to look hopefully for this, and i think what i hope is that enablers will stop. there is a lot of platforms, social media platforms, that are enabling sex trafficking to continue and to thrive. so the fact that an enabler was convicted, i think sends a very big message to society as a
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whole. >> kristen gibbons and julie brown, thank you for being here and thank you for all you have done over the years to bring these predators to justice. we appreciate it. coming up, a high stakes call between joe biden and vladimir putin now just hours away. what prompted the russian leader to request the chat? that's next. russian leader to request the chat? that's next. out customization. that's why i love liberty mutual. they customize my car insurance, so i only pay for what i need. how about a throwback? ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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president biden will hold another high-stakes discussion with russian president vladimir putin today as tensions continue to mount between russia and ukraine. satellite images show tens of thousands of russian troops along the border with ukraine, raising fears of an invasion. the call comes weeks before the u.s. and russia are set to told extesive diplomatic and security talks. joining us mime memory in wilmington, delaware, richard engel and retired admiral james stavridis, a former nato supreme allied commander. he is also author of "the sailor's bookshelf: 50 books to know the sea." it's good to see all of you. mike, what are white house officials say this morning about president biden's message to putin this afternoon?
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>> reporter: well, chris, white house officials are emphasizing that this is a phone call that president putin requested. they can't speak to what his motivations were in requesting this conversation, but they say that president biden is never going to pass up an opportunity for having this kind of leader to leader to conversation, especially with the situation as precarious as what we're seeing with ukraine. three weeks ago when they had the virtual sit-down president biden delivered a message which was if you escalate this situation any further, the white house has defined that as an invasion of oouk that the u.s. and allies were ready for severe economic sanctions. even as conversations have been happening at a lower level between u.s. and russian officials there hasn't been enough deescalation from the perspective of the white house and of our allies. that's a message that president biden expects to convey to president putin today, that they want to see a diplomatic resolution to this, but that they want to see president putin
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step back before that can happen. the white house is emphasizing while there will be conversations obviously focused on ukraine, there will be a range of other issues discussed as well, particularly the iran nuclear program, but that this is also going to be a precursor for a series of talks scheduled to happen in january, january 10th between u.s. and russian officials, then two days later between the broader nato alliance and russia and a further group the day after. clearly president putin wants president biden's attention and they're willing to give it to him today. >> richard, not enough attention as far as the white house is concerned to deescalating the situation by putin. you were recently in ukraine. give us a sense of the level of tense in that part of the world. >> the tension is high and ukraine is very worried that vladimir putin could invade, but they don't expect necessarily that it would be some sort of
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blitzkrieg invasion, even though he has around 100,000 troops stationed more or less along the border. russia already holds three pieces of ukraine, the crimean peninsula and then two pockets in eastern ukraine, and those pockets in eastern ukraine are controlled by separatists that are supported by russia and there are some russian military advisers also in that -- in those pockets. and what ukrainian officials are most concerned about is that russia could send more troops into those separatist areas, trying to annex those kpar 'tis territories, trying to connect those separatist-held pockets with crimea. so they're worried that this bar that apparently has been set, no russian invasion, that putin might somehow try to slip under that bar by strengthening areas
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that he already controls or connecting areas that he already controls. it would involve russian -- russia taking more control over ukraine, but it would not be in the overt manner that people might be expecting to see thousands of russian troops pouring over the border and rolling over ukrainian trenches in tanks. so ukraine is very concerned about this, ukrainian officials have been concerned about this, they are openly saying that the ukrainian military while strong, and gotten -- and has gotten stronger over the last several years, would not be able to resist very long a full-on russian invasion, or a more surreptitious military buildup in those separatist-held pockets or in crimea. >> admiral, help us understand what we're seeing. when most of us look at those pictures from above we see the troops massing, we see the equipment that's being brought in, but from a military standpoint, what do you see? >> i see a distinct possibility
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of an actual invasion, probably late january. the ground will freeze, it will make it easier to move big armored columns. i see equipment upon which russian troops with "military expression here" fall in on and get into play. and i see vladimir putin not only rattling a saber but actually taking it out and waving it around. so the question is what are the real chances of an attack here? i think it's probably one in five, which is relatively low, but in my view unacceptably high. so what should we be doing about it? i think the biden administration has it about right, which is to let vladimir putin know that there will be high cost here in both blood and treasure, meaning this will not be a military layup. ukrainians will fight. they're a well-armed society. a lot of military training.
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and so he could, putin, get bogged down the way he did in chechnya, the way the russians in afghanistan, something we know a bit about. and then treasure. big sanctions. cut him off from the swift system, go after the oligarchs, perhaps even putin and lavrov personally. use the nor stream 2 pipeline as leverage. i'm sure the president will be doing so today. let's hope vladimir putin gets the message. >> in our closing minute, general, why do you think he asked for this call and why is vladimir putin doing this now? is it because he thinks president biden is in a weak position politically as he is focused on problems ranging from the pandemic to inflation, is he looking for an opening? what's your assessment? >> i think he is -- i think he is following an old russian proverb, which is when you probe
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with a bayonet, if you encounter mush, keep going. if you hit steel, withdraw. he wants to take the temperature. he wants to see what the president puts on the table in terms of costs and he wants to see if there's any kind of benefit to russia here. so i'd say it's a probing call. i wouldn't look for any resolution at all. and as mike said a moment ago, watch those talks in the coming weeks. u.s./russia, nato/russia, osce. that's where the real deal will be done. >> admiral stavridis, great to have your insights and expect tease, mike memoli and richard engel, thanks to you as well. colleges faced with tough decisions amid a surge in covid cases with folks returning to remote learning to start the semester. we will talk to one university chancellor about his decision next. to one university chancellor about his decision next um, she's eating the rocket.
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country are home for winter break, but with the new year and spring semester approaching the future for in-person classes is looking unclear. the soaring number of covid cases presents a big problem for colleges and universities. the university of miami is the latest big school to say they will start classes remotely for a couple of weeks in january. and at least ten more say they will also switch to remote learning with that number expected to grow. this headline kind of says it all, colleges go back to the drawing board again to fight covid. joining me now michael amaridis. chancellor, good to see you. your school has decided to do two weeks of remote learning after winter break. obviously you want to stop the spread, but give us a little more insight into the calculation here and will you just reassess in a couple of weeks? >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to be with you. we are very fortunate that at
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the university of illinois chicago some of the best physicians in the area of infectious diseases that they have been informing our decisions from the very beginning. they are among the best in the country in this area. they were following the south africa and united kingdom data from the beginning of omicron. so i meet with them regularly and when we met for the -- three weeks ago for our regular meeting they made the point that it was clear to them at that time that they were going to have a large wave of infections, but they were not sure how -- how big it's going to be, how big the peak is going to be and when is the peak going to reach its maximum point. their best estimate to me at the time was for chicago and for illinois maybe middle of january or towards the end of january, that's exactly when the time our first couple of weeks are.
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the vaccinations that we are achieved and on our campus 96% of our faculty staff and students are vaccinated, but our vaccines are extremely important in preventing hospitalizations and serious complications from covid, but they may not be as effective in terms of preventing infections. that we are going to see transmission. >> i was going to say we've seen -- we've seen so many of those breakthrough infections and i know that has raised the anxiety level not just for college students but all across the country. i want to play for you, chancellor, what a college sophomore from a different school told us this week. take a listen. >> freshman year was really tough. it was my first year of college, obviously and i didn't really get to experience what it was all about. i didn't really get to know any of thigh classmates. >> your school has lots of logistical concerns, but the students are struggling with
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mental health. there, all across the country. by one estimate mental health issues doubled for students during the pandemic. does that make you at all hesitant to introduce the stress of online classes and that uncertainty? did you weigh the actual physical health benefits against the mental health concerns? >> absolutely. and the students -- i saw this student from the university of michigan -- our students and students across the country feel the same way. we had a great semester, everybody was happy to be here in the fall, the faculty were happy to be here in the fall as well. keep in mind that we are not talking about the spring semester right now, we are talking about the first two weeks of the spring semester. so i think that this is -- i'm confident that this is a good time to stay at home so we can avoid starting in the peak of the pandemic and we can just our
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probables because the conditions have changed, the numbers have changed. we have a robust testing program at uac and we want to make sure that we utilize it in the right way to address this type of variant. so we need more information. we're buying time recently, two weeks in order to prepare the safe return to campus. >> such complicated decisions. chancellor, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us this morning. and coming up, the capitol attack, a vaccine rollout, a new president. trials that gripped the nation and billionaires blasting into space. 2021 was a wild, as well as historic year. we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments next. illo of the biggest moments next. ♪ ♪ hey, tam-tam! i was thinking maybe... your mom's car? ♪ ♪
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adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. emerge tremfyant® with tremfya®... ask you doctor about tremfya® today. as we head into 2022 i think it's important to acknowledge what we've been through this past year. 2021 actually began on a hopeful note, but then it took a series of dramatic turns. nbc's joe fryer has the year in review. >> five, four, three, two, one. >> reporter: in the closing moments of 2020, as the ball dropped above a
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sparsely-populated times square, a weary nation cautiously hoped for better times. dreams that were quickly dampened. 2021 was just six days old when a mob of trump supporters stormed the u.s. capitol hoping to overturn the presidential election. the images from that day captured in the capitol rotunda, speaker pelosi's office, in the senate chamber, their indelible portraits of a deadly uprising that stunned the world, yet failed to stop lawmakers from certifying the election results. >> joe certificate r. biden jr. of the state of delaware has received 306 votes. >> reporter: in the days that followed the streets of washington looked more like a war zone as the nation's focus shifted from insurrection to inauguration. at the scaled-down ceremony president biden was sworn in as
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america's 46th president. >> i joseph robinette biden jr. do solemnly swear. >> reporter: kamala harris became the country's first female vp. in the audience bernie sanders made a meme-worthy fashion statement. the outgoing president refused to stick around for the festivities, but could not escape another impeachment. >> the president of the united states incited this insurrection. >> reporter: accused of inciting the riots donald trump became the first american president to be impeached twice. he was later acquitted by the senate. >> donald john trump former president of the united states is not guilty. >> reporter: it was a dramatic start to a year still dominated by covid. >> we learned this morning that the pandemic has now taken 400,000 lives in the u.s. >> reporter: as the country emerged from a deadly winter, vaccines became more available, first to the most vulnerable, then to all adults, and eventually to most kids.
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>> how bad was it? >> not bad at all. >> reporter: despite the welcomed shot in the arm more americans died from covid this year than last as the more contagious delta variant surged and hospitals filled again, treating mostly unvaccinated parents. >> now we are treating patients in the hallways. >> reporter: mask mandates sparked rage. at school board meetings. >> let the parents make the decisions. let the kids breathe. >> reporter: as classrooms cautiously returned to in-person learning. >> i'd rather wear it because i don't want to get covid. >> reporter: and in a way all of us were students this year as our vocabularies expanded to include new terms, breakthrough cases, boosters and by year's end, omicron. as the pandemic raged, so did nature's fury. >> we are huddled under all the blankets that we have. >> reporter: in february a
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deadly ice storm paralyzed texas leaving millions without power. wildfires continued to ravage the west and hurricane ida carved a path of destruction that stretched from louisiana to new york. and this month more than 100 were killed by a series series rare december tornadoes in kentucky, and surrounding states. one twister cutting a path more than 200 miles long. it was a year of fatal tragedies, the astro world concert in houston, the christmas parade in waukesha, wisconsin and condo building in surfside, florida. >> it felt like an earthquake. who ever thinks a building is going to collapse. never. >> reporter: the tower partially collapsed killing nearly 100 people while many slept. tragedy reached a movie set in new mexico where actor alec baldwin was handed a gun that fired a real round, killing the
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film's cinematographer. some of last year's biggest stories led to this year's biggest trials. >> we the jury in the above-entitld matter as to count one find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: a jury found former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin guilty of murdering george floyd, a verdict celebrated outside the courthouse and beyond. in georgia, three white men were convicted of murdering ahmaud arbery. >> we the jury find the defendant kyle rittenhouse not guilty. >> reporter: a wisconsin teenager kyle rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges after shooting three men during protests last year. exacerbating the growing political chasm in america filled with partisan tensions and pointed debates for controversial issues including abortion and transgender rights.
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political harmony was not totally elusive. >> bravo. >> reporter: capitol hill lawmakers passed a bipart stand infrastructure bill and voted to make juneteenth a federal holiday. >> war knock 83.2%. >> reporter: if you thought our politics would settle down after the last election, think again. the year started with democrats whipping two senate seats in georgia and ended with republicans whipping the governor's seat in virginia. overseas, america ended the 20-year war in afghanistan, pulling the last remaining u.s. troops out of the country. world watched as the taliban rapidly regained control and desperate afghans tried to flee. >> kabul is falling now. >> reporter: the chaotic final days a suicide bomber killed 13 servicemembers, all of it sparking international criticism for how the withdrawal was
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handled. president biden stood by his decision. >> after 20 years of war in afghanistan, i refuse to send another generation of america's sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago. >> reporter: in october, world leaders gathered once again in person in rome for the g20 conference and in glasgow for the u.n. climate conference. notably missing queen elizabeth forced to bow out over health concerns. it was a challenging year for the royal family, starting in march, prince harry and meghan markle sat down for an interview with oprah winfrey. >> there was a conversation with you doctrine -- >> with harry. >> reporter: about how dark your baby is going to be? >> potentially, and what that would mean or look like. >> the conversation i'm never going to share. ♪♪ >> reporter: the royals also said good-bye to the queen's
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husband of more than 70 years, prince philip, who died at the age of 99. his one of many notable deaths this year, former secretary of indicate colin powell, senator bob dole, actress cesily tyson, steven sondheim, christopher plummer. ♪ edelweiss, edelweiss ♪ ♪ "jeopardy!" host and britney freed from her conservativorship and friends reunited and blockbusters made their long-awaited return along with broadway and adele. ♪ go easy on me baby ♪ >> reporter: the olympic flame
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belatedly burned one year later than planned as tokyo hosted the 2020 games in 2021. gymnast simone biles traded high scores for high praise when she withdrew from several events to focus on her mental health. >> i had to focus on my mental health well-being. >> reporter: tiger woods serious car crash in california, and billionaires' race to space, captain kirk even took a trip to the final frontier. >> i'm so filled with emotion. i just -- i just, it's extraordinary. >> reporter: an inspiring reminder of what the future holds. >> i did it, america! >> reporter: we reflect on a year dominated by vaccines and hope 2022 offers a shot at something even better.
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>> joe fryer, thank you for reminding us what a slow year it was this year. coming up next hour a record number of covid cases causing staffing shortages, travel chaos and pushing local officials to declare a state of emergency, that is on the other side of the break, so don't go anywhere. find your breaking point. then break it. every emergen-c gives you a potent blend of nutrients so you can emerge your best with emergen-c.
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it's 10:00 a.m. eastern/7:00 pacific, i'm chris jansing in for jose diaz-balart and we have a lot to get to, starting with covid records smashed yet again. in just the last day, the seven-day case average reached nearly 300,000 daily u.s. cases. the u.s. also breaking its single day record, almost 500,000 cases on wednesday alone. the current surge is having a real impact on law enforcement staffing, transportation systems, emergency responders, all across the country, and a real life impact on travelers on airlines, with flights still being canceled. here are just a few of the headlines this morning from coast to coast. out west, cases reaching record highs in l.a. county. in dallas parkland's er is seeing a record number of patients. georgia will send national guard troops to overstressed hospitals and testing sites in that site and pennsylvania federal strike teams on their way to help a crowos


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