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Source: Idaho Suspect Cleaned Car, Wore Surgical Gloves Before Arrest; Top WH COVID Doctor: "Stunning Increase" In Omicron Subvariant; Ukraine Dismisses Putin's Call For 36-Hour Ceasefire As "Hypocrisy." Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired January 06, 2023 - 11:30   ET



MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: I think if there's one part of this that doesn't look like Goldilocks, it's the unemployment rate.


EGAN: It actually ticked down to 3.5 percent. That is tied for the lowest since 1969 which is pretty amazing. I do think that if you take a step back, the big picture it does look like the jobs market is going in the direction the Fed wants to. The question is if it's getting there fast enough to persuade the Fed to stop raising interest rates --


EGAN: Before they actually can cause a recession.

BOLDUAN: So, we continue -- we continue to need more data. But real quick, can you just put this now that we have the final jobs report of the year, put it -- put it this year in context so we just wrapped.

EGAN: Well, Kate, I mean that's a crazy thing, right? Despite this year of recession fears --


EGAN: This was a historically strong year for the jobs market. We saw 4.5 million jobs added in 2022. That is the second-most-ever topping -- the only one that was ever better was 2021 which was 6.7 million. So, it's just another reminder of how historically strong the jobs market is. The question is, of course, how long will it last?

BOLDUAN: Yes, and also -- I mean, I'll just say how historically complicated this entire picture is.

EGAN: It is so complicated.

BOLDUAN: As we continue to talk about it. It's good to see you.

EGAN: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for coming in. I really appreciate it. All right. So, we are learning more also about the night that four college students were killed -- murdered in Idaho. And we're also hearing much more as well about the strange behavior that helped lead investigators to the man that is now charged with their deaths, including cleaning his car. Veronica Miracle is joining us now from Moscow, Idaho with the very latest on this. Veronica, tell us more about what you are learning about this.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, in addition to cleaning that car, the source telling CNN that apparently, Bryan Kohberger was seen around outside of the family home wearing surgical gloves and also, at one time, at around four in the morning taking garbage and placing it in other garbage bins around the neighbor's yard. And that's information apparently because police were surveilling that family home for a time while they were watching him.

We also understand from the affidavit that released a ton of information that a knife sheath was found near one of the victim's bed and the DNA found on that knife sheath was similar enough to his father's DNA that was recovered from one of those trash bins. The document also states that one of the surviving roommates may have seen the victim in that house.

It was around four in the morning, that surviving roommate was woken up by some kind of noise. She also heard a voice apparently saying something to the effect of, it's OK, I'm going to help you. She had heard crying from another room. And the affidavit states that when she opened the door, she saw a figure in black, walk past her and walk out the sliding glass door.

One of the biggest questions that so many have is that if this all happened around 4:00 a.m., that roommates saw the suspect leave the house, why wasn't there a 911 phone call until eight hours later? The -- one of the surviving -- one of the victims' fathers telling CNN that he doesn't hold it against her, there may have been a medical issue, but more details should be coming in the weeks to come, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We will wait for those details for sure. Thank you, Veronica.

So, the top White House COVID Doctor, he is seeing what he is calling a stunning increase in a new -- in the new COVID subvariant. What has him so concerned? Our conversation is next.



BOLDUAN: Top health officials in the United States are growing more concerned about a big increase in the new COVID strain, a subvariant of Omicron. It's spreading remarkably fast across the United States. And the Biden White House is now working to get a handle on what this all could mean.


BOLDUAN: And joining me now is Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID- 19 Response Coordinator. It's good to see you, Dr. Jha. You've described the increase over the past month of this Omicron subvariants as stunning. I saw you describe it as. What are you seeing that has concerned you?

DR. ASHISH JHA, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Yes. So, Kate, first of all, thanks for having me back. A couple of things. First of all, this is a new emerging subvariant and it has risen very quickly across the country. It's gone from being almost non-existent a month ago to now making up a large portion of all the infections. And that increases very, very fast.

Now, of course, what we really care about is what's happening to people. Are people getting sick a lot more often? Are people getting into the hospital or dying more frequently? So far, that data suggests that if you've been vaccinated, if you've gotten that updated bivalent booster, you're still going to do -- you're still going to have a good amount of protection. But we're just tracking this very, very closely because it is rising quickly.

BOLDUAN: And, of course, one of the questions still out there in the top of mind for everyone, as you're kind of alluding to, is at the end of the day, is this one more dangerous?

JHA: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Do you have a sense of that yet?

JHA: We don't have much data on that yet. It takes us a while to really nail that down, the very preliminary look at how do you assess that. You look to see if it's causing a huge wave of hospitalizations, for instance. We're not seeing that yet, but it's still early and infections are still rising. So, we don't know for sure. Obviously, we're going to keep a close eye on that.

But you know, Kate, what we are seeing, and again, I want to emphasize, people who have gotten that updated bivalent booster, all the evidence so far suggest that they're still protected against even this XBB.1.5.

BOLDUAN: So, there is that. And I'm kind of -- I was kind of thinking about this in the context of what we're seeing across the world. When you look at the explosion of cases in China, and also now what you're seeing in this increase of this subvariant in the United States, do you think we are moving towards the need for the broader public health mitigation measures to be reinstated once again, like mask requirements? Where's your thinking on that?


JHA: Yes. So, first of all, China is a very -- this has unique case --


JHA: Because obviously, they had the zero-COVID policy that they have just emitted, like sort of turn completely 180. And that is what's driving that. When I look at things globally, here's what I see. I see a lot of immunity. I see that when people get vaccinated, we have access to treatments. All of that is keeping serious illness low which is our number one goal.

Obviously, things like masking and testing are important mitigation efforts. But I do think we're at a very different point where mandates and requirements are going to be a lot less necessary. And what's going to be really important is for people to keep up on their vaccines and treatments.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Now, that we have these vaccines readily available, now that we have the very effective treatments readily available, it does -- it does change the game on how we're talking about what this -- what the pandemic -- what COVID means in our lives. But on the issue of China, the EU is now recommending all passengers wear masks on flights from China, also recommending that all members -- to member states of the EU that once again require a negative COVID test for people traveling from China. Do you think the U.S. should recommend or require masks on a plane from China or anywhere at this point?

JHA: Yes. So, here's how we thought about the China policy. It's a comprehensive approach. Obviously, one of the things that got the most attention is having a negative test before you get on an airplane from China to the United States. And that applies whether you're an American in China or a Chinese person in China. That applies to everybody.

But we're also doing a lot of increasing surveillance of -- genomic surveillance of travelers to identify those variants, you know. And then there is a recommendation now. If you're on a long flight, wearing a mask makes a lot of sense. And so, I think that recommendation is still out there by the CDC. And that combination of testing, mask recommendation, genomic sequencing, I think is that comprehensive approach that's going to keep Americans safe as that travel from China ramps up.

BOLDUAN: When you're looking to travel, are you still wearing -- are you wearing a mask when you travel? How are you feeling about it?

JHA: You know -- yes, I do -- I do. And I'll tell you why, Kate. I do it because I travel a lot, I go back and forth, you know, a lot over on weekends. And for me, I just don't want to get sick. I want to avoid flu. I want to avoid RSV. It's -- obviously, I would avoid COVID So I still wear a mask on airplanes. And I think -- I think it's just a good thing for people to be doing right now when there's so much virus out of the community.

BOLDUAN: It's a good point. And I actually get something I was wanting to ask you about. There have been a lot of viruses hitting hard this winter season, are you -- would you say -- which are you more concerned or are you more concerned about this COVID subvariant or just this nasty wave of flu that we know so many people are dealing with within the United States?

JHA: Yes. We're tracking them all very closely, right? And here's what we know. RSV is down. That's good. Flu looks like it has peaked and has started turning down in most parts of the country. That's good. So, we've been tracking those very closely. And now COVID looks like it's on its way out.

So, in the short to medium run, obviously, I'm most concerned about COVID because it's increasing still across the country. But we're looking at all of these viruses and thinking about all the things that we can do to prevent people from getting sick, ending up in the hospital, or worse. So, that's -- it's really a comprehensive approach but obviously right, now COVID is the thing that is increasing that we need to pay close attention to.

BOLDUAN: You know I'm glad you're paying attention to all of it for us, Dr. Jha. Thank you so much for coming on.

JHA: Thank you.


BOLDUAN: Still ahead for us. Vladimir Putin ordered a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine to coincide with the Orthodox Christmas, but Ukraine says Putin only wants a pause to rearm and re-equip his troops. So is a ceasefire actually happening? A live report is next.



BOLDUAN: A 36-hour ceasefire proposed by Vladimir Putin is supposed to be in effect right now in Ukraine. The Russian leader claims it will allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas services. But Ukraine is dismissing it as hypocrisy. Scott McLean is in Kyiv for us. He's joining us now. Scott, is the ceasefire real?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The short answer is no, Kate. It's certainly not holding if that's your question. The Ukrainians have reported strikes in Kramatorsk in the east and Kherson in the south, that one with deadly consequences as well. This ceasefire, though, was really doomed from the get-go and that is because the Ukrainians never agreed to it. So, the Russians are blaming the Ukrainians for violence today that we have seen, but the Ukrainians thought that this was a cynical attempt by the Russians to try to use the opportunity to resupply the frontlines, get troops to the frontlines, and so shortly after this ceasefire -- supposed ceasefire, went into effect.

My colleagues were in eastern Ukraine near the front lines, reported incoming and outgoing fire. And then not long after that, the air raid sirens went off here in Kyiv and across the country. That doesn't necessarily mean that there was any incoming.

But I was at a prayer service at the church just behind me for military leaders with the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and I spoke to the leader of the church who said look, the air raid sirens are proof that you cannot trust the Russians. That this ceasefire was never real. The former president of Russia said that Ukraine has rejected the Christian hand of mercy, but you're -- you'll be hard- pressed to find anyone in this country who thinks that what Russia has done is merciful. [11:50:06]

And one of the things to quickly point out. There were two American senators here. I just got back from a press conference with Jack Reed and Angus King. They told reporters, American and Ukrainian reporters, that they are inspired to go back to the United States to quickly expedite the sending of equipment and weapons to this country so that the war can end sooner, Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's great to hear that. It's great to see them there. Thanks, Scott. I really appreciate it. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: CNN' new original series. Giuliani: What happened -- what happened to America's mayor, it premieres this weekend. It offers a new look at the rise and fall of Rudy Giuliani, the man who became a national hero in the aftermath of the 911 attacks, a man who is now facing a litany of legal trouble for his role in spreading Donald Trump's election conspiracies. Here's a preview.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Forget Paris and forget London and forget everything else, New York City, is where it's at.

MICHAEL TOMASKY, CHIEF POLITICAL COLUMNIST, NEW YORK MAGAZINE (1995- 2003): I don't know how close Giuliani and Trump were personally in the 1980s, but I do know they occupied similar spaces.

DOMINIC CARTER, FORMER POLITICAL ANCHOR, NY1: They're out of the borough guys. One thing that they have inherited from their fathers is a certain kind of fall and resentment of Manhattan, and those rich people.

NANCY COLLINS, TV & PRINT REPORTER: Rudy represented the kind of every guy who came from the boroughs and came to New York and made it big.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (2017): If you or a person that's looking at a snow globe, if you will, from the outside even if you end up inside the snow globe, you always feel like an outsider.

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR: Giuliani didn't come from the upper-crust establishment that may have fueled his ambition. But it also contributed to some deep sense of insecurity that he was an outsider, and then that maybe he does identify with Trump.


BOLDUAN: And joining me now is someone who knows a lot about that man, journalist Dominic Carter, he covered Rudy Giuliani -- he's covered Rudy Giuliani for decades. It's good to see you, Dominic. Thank you for coming in.

CARTER: Kate, it's good to be here with you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. You're in the series -- you appear in the series as well. And this go -- the series goes through have multiple theories and factors that could have contributed to the rise and dramatic fall of Rudy Giuliani. What do you think happened with him during the Trump years?

CARTER: That's a great question. So, I understand Rudy Giuliani of today, and it's so ironic to me that I'm here discussing this because he will tell you that we had quite a contentious relationship when he was mayor. And every day, Mayor Giuliani and I would go at it. But to understand, Kate, the Rudy Giuliani of today, in my opinion, you have to look at the Rudy Giuliani historically going back. Meaning, keep in mind, a Republican that was successful in running for mayor in New York City, a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic city.

Rudy Giuliani is used to swimming upstream constantly. And with the political noise, the critics, he takes them on. He takes them on, he does not know how to back down. He's full speed ahead no matter what. And if you understand that about Rudy Giuliani, then -- and he's been quite successful, there's no denying. When you look at his record as mayor of New York City, Kate, he was quite successful at turning New York City around.

I contend as someone who was a severe critic, to begin with, and now all these years later, that history as far as mayor will judge him as perhaps the best mayor of New York City ever. But that's just as mayor.

BOLDUAN: And that's just one chapter of Rudy Giuliani's life.

CARTER: One chapter.

BOLDUAN: And legacy.


BOLDUAN: You're still -- you still speak to him fairly regularly. Does he believe the lies and conspiracies that he has pushed -- that he has told on behalf of Donald Trump about the election? Does he think he has done the right thing in sticking with him?

CARTER: When I talked to Mayor Giuliani, and we're friendly -- we're friendly when you consider that we -- again, we're contentious -- very contentious. He never discusses that with me. The only thing that he has put on the record is that he is adamant in terms of continuing to fight for what he says is his innocence, Kate. And that's the only thing that he talks about.

He's very upbeat, very upbeat, extremely upbeat. And, you know, it is what it is, Kate. We'll see how history is going to turn out as it relates to this.

BOLDUAN: I mean, it absolutely is what it is. And he is as we -- as we -- you know he's upbeat, but he is facing a litany and a slew of legal fallout from this latest chapter of his life. And we will say this is a fascinating series. It's really great to have you as part of it as you know him so well. And it's great to have you here to speak with us about it today. Thank you so much for coming in.

CARTER: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: I really, really appreciate it.

And thank you all so much for being with us. You can watch Giuliani: What Happened To America's Mayor? That premieres Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, and Pacific. Much more than that ahead. We have a lot going on today as you well know.

Thank you so much for watching us AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. All eyes on the floor of the House of Representatives. There's a live look inside the chamber right now. Our special coverage of the vote for speaker begins right now.