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Democrats Edge Closer Too Control Of Senate; Ballot Counting Continues, Senate Control Hangs In The Balance; Stocks Soar In Best Day Since 2020 Amid Easing Inflation; Fed Reserve Likely To Increase Rates Again In December. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 12, 2022 - 07:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning. And welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Boris. I'm Amara Walker.

Democrats are edging closer to control of the Senate, with the key victory in Arizona last night. Now, votes are still being counted in another very tight race with razor-thin -- razor-thin margins.

What that means for the balance of power as both parties look to the future.

SANCHEZ (voice over): Plus, President Biden is meeting with world leaders at this hour at the ASEAN summit. The major agenda items they will tackle and a preview of his high stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

WALKER (voice over): And the federal judge in Texas strikes down President Biden's student loan forgiveness program. Why he says the program should not go forward, and how about White House is expected to respond?

SANCHEZ: And as RSV cases continue to strain pediatric hospitals across the country, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a look at the signs parents should watch out for.

SANCHEZ: Good morning and welcome to CNN this morning. It is Saturday, November 12th. We are grateful to have you with us. Amara, good morning.

WALKER: Good morning. I feel like I should say breaking news, because it's going to be your birthday in three days.

So, we got to celebrate you this weekend. Happy early, birthday.

SANCHEZ: I didn't want to -- didn't want that to be known on the air. I didn't really want to put that out there. But that's all right. Thanks, Amara. I appreciate it.

WALKER: Sorry. Well, my birthday is coming up too. So, just --

We'll be -- we begin this morning with a question everyone's been trying to answer since Tuesday. Who will control Congress?

WALKER (voice over): The state of play shifted overnight when CNN and other major outlets called the Arizona Senate race for incumbent Mark Kelly, a big boost for Democrats.

And overnight, Kelly acknowledged the call, tweeting out this picture with a simple message, "Thank you, Arizona."

SANCHEZ (voice over): Results, so far, show Democrats and Republicans will have 49 seats each in the chamber, leaving two races to determine who controls the U.S. Senate.

In Nevada, the Senate race between Republican Adam Laxalt and Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is virtually tied. A win in Nevada, which secure democratic control of the upper chamber, and that would make the Senate race in Georgia that runoff between Herschel Walker and incumbent Raphael Warnock, it would make it less important, but neither of them received more than 50 percent of the vote.

So, Georgia could potentially, again, become the center of the political universe.

WALKER: All right, joining me now is Larry Sabato, director of the Center for politics at the University of Virginia. Good to see you again, Larry.

So, first, I want to get your reaction to the very latest in Arizona. Right? Democratic Senator Mark Kelly will hold a seat as CNN is projecting. So, that marks yet another rejection of a Trump-backed candidate.

And now, that seems control the Senate could come down to Nevada. The race there, incredibly close at this time, although, there is about 50,000 outstanding votes to be counted. This is a huge reversal of fortunes for the Democrats.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It really is. And I would say people on both sides expected the Republicans to do better, particularly in the House and they did.

The Senate was always the focus of democratic hopes. And the Mark Kelly win means that Democrats only have to win one of the remaining two races, either Nevada or Georgia to get to 50-50, which is the same thing they've had for the last two years.

If they win both though, which is a live possibility. Then, they would have an absolute majority, 51.


Why does that matter? Because when you have 50-50, the committees are divided between the two parties.

If you have 51, it means you're going to get a majority on the Senate Committees, things will move a bit faster for the Democrats and for President Biden.

So, it's very significant if that happens. At this point, Republicans have to win both, just to -- just to do what minimally they had hoped to do.

WALKER: So, when we were talking last weekend, we were talking about how most of the polls were showing the voters -- the voters were very much focused on the economy and inflation, which meant as we thought that the Democrats would get punished at the polls.

That didn't quite happen. So, how do you characterize Larry, what has been unfolding since election night? Because this wasn't a referendum on Biden's party as it should have been historically.

SABATO: Yes, historically, you would have expected that. I've told people for many, many years, polls are not votes. They are two very different things.

And so, what you think, you know, before Election Day, from polls, you find often is not true. On Election Day, because the people have their own say.

We found that abortion, abortion rights were just as important essentially as inflation. They are wrong.


WALKER: And the president say that. Right?

I mean -- I mean, it show that it was low, much lower on the totem pole.

SABATO: Much, much lower. Often single digit interest in abortion rights, versus 30s, 40s percentile for inflation. And it was just wrong. That wasn't true. And part of it was because the polling averages and a lot of individual polls were poorly structured and ended up favoring the Republicans.

Well, again, Election Day matters more than pre-election polls, another lesson in the basics.

WALKER: Lastly, before we go. I found this really interesting just looking at the state of Florida. Right? Because what we saw there with --and the state was really a landslide for Republicans with Republican Ron DeSantis, you know, being reelected by a whopping 20 points.

And, of course, Senator Marco Rubio also by a very large margin. But we didn't see that replicated across the country. Right? Such a Republican, landslide.

How do you explain what happened in Florida? And are we seeing Trumpism dying in general? SABATO: Well, what happened in Florida was a very special case, mainly because of Ron DeSantis. But also, because of demographic changes that are making a big difference and making Democrats much less competitive in Florida.

You know, the Republicans talked about a tsunami, a red tsunami. There was one for Florida and Texas. Both on the water, but the rest of the country didn't get wet at all. They were dry as a bone.

For Trumpism, it was an absolute disaster. This could, is it possible? Could be the beginning of the end of his influence.

WALKER: We will see as he is expected in a few days to make his announcement for a potential run in 2024.

Larry Sabato, appreciate your time. Thank you.

SABATO: Thank you, Amara.

SANCHEZ: As the election drama plays out here in the United States, President Biden is in Cambodia for a meeting of ASEAN leaders.

SANCHEZ (voice over): It is the latest stop on his high-stakes week- long trip overseas.

WALKER (voice over): President Biden arrived in Cambodia after attending the COP 27 climate crisis summit in Egypt. The president told other leaders that the U.S. will meet its emissions targets by 2030.

The next stop on the president's schedule after ASEAN is the G20 summit in Indonesia, where he will hold his first face to face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office.

SANCHEZ: Let's take you to Cambodia now with CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly, who is traveling with the President.

SANCHEZ: Phil, what are we hearing from Joe Biden on this trip?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Boris, I think everything about this trip needs to be viewed through the lens of that very high-stakes meeting in Bali in a couple of days.

The president meeting with ASEAN leaders here, making clear that the ASEAN kind of coalition is central to the U.S. strategy in the Indo Pacific region.

But implicit in the president's remarks earlier tonight. When it came to the gathering of those leaders at this summit, was the idea that whether it was economic integration, technological integration, kind of across the board.

Everything was driven around the idea of competing with China, trying to maintain alliances, or perhaps, boost alliances in the very, very real competition in the region between the U.S. and China. Now, as you noted, this summit here in Cambodia is just the lead up to that very high stakes G20 summit, where the U.S. and European leaders will be focused centrally on Ukraine, to some degree, continuing the efforts and the support that they've had over the course of the last eight or nine months as it pertains to Russia's invasion of the country.

But when you talk to us officials, they make clear just how central that meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping is.


MATTINGLY: The issue of China, the competition with China has been such an animating central feature of President Biden's entire administration.

Really, how he approaches everything from the domestic and foreign policy fronts. They've spoken by phone five times over the course of the administration. But the tense nature of the relations have -- really at this point, not really been at a lower point over the course of the last two years.

That is what officials say, makes this meeting so critical. There is not an expectation that this meeting will create some large-scale compromises or dramatically change what has been kind of a low point for this relationship.

What it is instead, according to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, is an opportunity for each leader to really sharpen their senses of the other's red lines, their perspectives, and where, perhaps, there are areas that they can work going forward.

Obviously, the president has a couple of days -- before that sit down, a lot of briefings behind the scenes, very cognizant, I should note of what's going on in the domestic political front, as well.

But really focus on pushing towards that here in Cambodia, and all the way into Bali, guys.

SANCHEZ: So much on the table for those two leaders to discuss between the South China Sea, climate change, North Korea. All eyes will be on that meeting on Monday.

Phil Mattingly from Cambodia. Thanks so much.

SANCHEZ (voice over): Still ahead, some good news for the U.S. economy. Experts predicting inflation is finally cooling off. What that could mean for your wallet?

WALKER: Plus, Georgia is headed to a runoff election in December. How this key Senate race can impact the balance of power in the Senate?

Plus, Nicole weakens, but not before leaving a trail of damage with rain and wind. Ahead, we're going to tell you what to expect the rest of the weekend.



SANCHEZ: U.S. stocks rallied, posting their best day since 2020. On Thursday, after there was new government data showing that price increases started to ease in October.

WALKER: And markets finished the week higher with big tech stocks leading the rally. CNN's Matt Egan has more.

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS LEAD WRITER: Boris and Amara, Wall Street is betting inflation is finally cooling off. And that trigger the stock market's best day since 2020.

We learned on Thursday that the consumer price index rose 7.7 percent from last October. Normally, that would not be a reason to cheer, but this was much better than expected. It was actually the coolest annual inflation reading in nine months.

EGAN (voice over): Stock surge on Thursday on the news with the NASDAQ skyrocketing more than seven percent. And for the week, markets finished sharply higher.

Investors hope that this inflation report is a sign that the Federal Reserve's medicine is working, and that the Fed may finally be able to start dialing back on its interest rate hikes.

And aggressive Fed has weighed on markets this year, especially tech. The NASDAQ is still down nearly 30 percent this year. But the Fed may need to see further evidence that inflation is really cooling off before it backs off on the supersize interest rate hikes.

Remember, economists, investors, and even the Fed had been fooled by just how stubborn inflation has been. And we do get another inflation reading on Tuesday with the October producer price index, and that measures what companies pay.

Despite hint of a slowdown, overall inflation is still near 40-year highs, and that is making it tough for both businesses and everyday Americans.

We just learned that consumer sentiment in early November took a surprise hit falling back and near record lows. That is in large part because of this high cost of living and surging borrowing costs.

With mortgage rates spiking to 20-year highs and credit card rates hitting record highs.

EGAN: And we do get another check on the health of the U.S. consumer on Wednesday with October retail sales. Now, the American shopper has been surprisingly resilient. Still spending despite sky high prices, for now at least. Boris and Amara?

WALKER: All right, appreciate it. Thank you very much, Matt Egan.

So, although inflation eased a bit in October to 7.7 percent, Americans, of course, are still facing rising costs for basic needs, gas prices are up 17.5 percent over the past year. Rent is up nearly seven percent, and, of course, food prices have climbed nearly to 11 percent.

So, when will the Federal Reserve decide to cut back on interest rate increases? I don't know that I'd hold my breath for that, but we'll talk to Jeanna Smialek on that. Federal Reserve and economy reporter for the New York Times.

Jeanna, good to see you. So, we're seeing that inflation is slowing just a bit. Are we turning a corner soon?

JEANNA SMIALEK, FEDERAL RESERVE AND ECONOMICS REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Hopefully. You know, I think this is the first report. By the underlying details of the data, actually, give you some reasons to believe that this might last and even, you know, potentially get better with time.

There are a lot of hopeful signs in this report, we're seeing a lot of cooling at some indexes that really matter. We're finally seeing supply chain healing showing up.

And so, it does seem like good prices, in particular, have quite a walk -- quite a ways to fall here.

WALKER: So, speaking of those positive signs, does that include the used cars prices going down as well?

SMIALEK: Exactly. So, it's taken quite a while for us to see a supply chain healing that we know has taken place, actually flow through to consumers.

We've been seeing the companies that serve as intermediaries. Those companies that sort of buy from other businesses and then sell to consumers facing lower costs.

But they haven't been passing those along yet, or at least hadn't been showing up in the inflation data. And an important categories like use cars and apparel, it finally did this month.

And so, I think those are trends that we can hope and expect might continue. And that should help to pull down inflation over the next coming month -- next couple of months, and hopefully into 2023.


WALKER: You will not probably have the answer to this. But I mean, everyone is wondering, you know, how long before things get back to normal, at least, in terms of inflation? And is it going to take the Fed to continually raise the interest rate, even when it meets next in December?

SMIALEK: Right. From consumers' perspective, obviously, price is still going up by 7.7 percent on a year. Your over year basis is not a good outcome, prices are still rising very rapidly.

I think there are a lot of open questions about how quickly we can get back to sort of the two percent rate that's more normal in America.

I think most economists you talk to will tell you probably not 2023, hopefully 2024. But it is -- it is an open question. And a lot of it is going to be contingent, like you said, on what the Federal Reserve does.

As the Fed raises interest rates, it theoretically should be slowing down demand. And that should help those inflation rates to cool off. We really haven't seen that sharp pullback in demand yet, though.

And so, it does look like we've got a little bit more of a path forward here with the Fed. They're probably going to continue raising rates into next year. It's an open question how far they're going to go.

What about the real estate market? Are we seeing things slowing down there a bit, especially with mortgage rates jumping back to above seven percent?

SMIALEK: That is, I would say the one place where we are very clearly seeing the effects of the Feds interest rate increases play out. We've seen, you know, new purchasers really step away from that market, we're finally seeing some cool down in prices in some big markets.

And, you know, that's actually good news from the feds perspective, because as the housing market slows down, as painful as that is for people in the housing market, the sort of knock on effects, there are fewer people buy new washers, fewer people do home renovations, and that helps to sort of ease demand for all of those products and services that are attached, and it can help, you know, supply and demand come back into balance in the economy.

WALKER: All right, we're all just trying to survive. Jeanna Smialek, appreciate your time, as always. Thank you very much.

SMIALEK: Thank you very much.

WALKER (voice over): All right. Still ahead, the campaign trail is still hot in Georgia, as Raphael, Warnock and Herschel Walker get ready to face off once again in the Senate runoff election in December.



WALKER: President Biden's student loan forgiveness program is on hold indefinitely. And that leaves millions of applicants for the program in limbo as legal challenges make their way through the courts.

SANCHEZ: The latest legal setback was a judge's decision that declared the program illegal. CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has details.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a federal judge out of Texas who was actually nominated by President Trump is now saying President Biden just does not have the power to forgive these student loans by executive order.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): And instead, President Biden would need clear congressional authorization to forgive these loans. And he would have had to go through more of a process rather than just simply issuing an executive order.

SCHNEIDER: However, we will see an appeal of this decision.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): The Justice Department has already noticed that it will appeal and this is ultimately a decision that could be determined by the Supreme Court.

SCHNEIDER: Of course, President Biden issued this executive order in August. It's estimated that if it goes through, it would ultimately cost about $400 billion.

The program though now in doubt.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): And it's also been on hold for the past month, because of another court decision out of a circuit court that put the loan forgiveness rollout on hold, while all these legal challenges play out.

You know, we know that about 26 million borrowers are ready have applied for this debt relief, the government had already approved 16 million of those applications.

SCHNEIDER: But no debt at all will be canceled for the foreseeable future here because of these court challenges.

The White House press secretary did, however, say that the Department of Education will hold on to the information of all of these applicants. So, it could be processed pretty quickly if the program is ultimately given the green light in court.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): But we'll have to see how the courts decide this. If it does go all the way to the Supreme Court, it's possible that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court could nix this program as well.

You know, this has been a majority that's often skeptical of wide- ranging executive and agency action. So, this debt forgiveness program could ultimately be deemed unconstitutional.

SCHNEIDER: And if that happens, none of these millions of people would get any debt relief. But for now, this program is also on hold. Boris and Amara?

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Jessica Schneider for that report. It is deja vu in Georgia for the second time in less than two years, control of the U.S. Senate could come down to a runoff election in the Peach State.

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are set to face off again next month after both candidates failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote during this week's midterms. Let's dig deeper now on that potentially all important race. With us to share her insights, Atlanta Journal Constitution politics reporter Shannon McCaffrey.

Shannon, thanks so much for getting up early with us this morning. What are you hearing from both campaigns over how this runoff is going to be different than the general election?

SHANNON MCCAFFREY, POLITICS REPORTER, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Well, you know, you use the word, the phrase deja vu, and that is certainly how we feel in Georgia. We've been here before less than two years ago.

So, the both the campaigns are gearing up, they are gearing up very quickly. Unlike the runoff last time, which was nine weeks. This is only four weeks. The runoff will be held December 6th, so there is very little time to regroup.

I think both of these campaigns are really staying on the same messages. You know that we aren't seeing a change in message or a change in strategy.

What we're really seeing is just an all-out effort to get voters out. This is a turnout game, 100 percent.


SANCHEZ: And Shannon, I spoke with strategist Frank Luntz yesterday and asked him about the potential for President Trump to come down to Georgia, to campaign for Herschel Walker. Something that has gotten a bit more complicated following Tuesday's disappointment for Republicans. Many of them blaming Trump for sinking their potential for a red wave.

Have you gotten any impression from the Walker campaign, if they would welcome Trump and where?

MCCAFFREY: I think that there is a little bit of a split opinion within the Walker camp on this because there is a feeling that, you know, the President Trump is polarizing, he's very polarizing, he could turn off independent voters.

At the same time. What the Walker camp needs is those very, very loyal GOP base voters to get back out. And President Trump is still very popular with that slice of the electorate.

So, I don't know. I mean, I still think it's an open question whether or not he'll come. But, you know, if -- what you're looking at is to get those hardcore Republican voters who are still, you know, supportive of President Trump out.

You know, he could be good for the Walker campaign on that front.

You know, independent voters are less likely to come out simply to support Herschel Walker. So, he may not be losing much on that front if President Trump comes. SANCHEZ: Shannon, someone who performed very well on Tuesday night is the incumbent Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp.

In 2018, he only defeated Stacey Abrams by about 50,000 votes. This time, it was a much more convincing victory. And it's expected that he might get closer to the Warnock campaign around.

He kind of kept his distance a little bit before in the -- in the general run, now in the runoff. Do you get the impression that he is going to get more involved?

MCCAFFREY: Well, I know that there have been talks about using Kemps' sort of apparatus. Right? He has got a very strong, get out the vote operation. He's got, you know, a very large machine and army of support behind him.

So, it's a question about whether Brian Kemp will actually appear on the campaign trail, but I think you will see, you know, his, his people get behind him.

You know, his -- he is get out the vote operation, et cetera. So, that is, you know, whether Brian Kemp and Herschel Walker do a rally together, where they're both, you know, holding up class pans is a silly question.

But I think what Herschel Walker needs more than anything now is his get out the vote operation.

And one more question. So, last week, I spoke with libertarian Senate candidate Chase Oliver. I asked him who he might support in a runoff. Listen to what he said.


CHASE OLIVER (LP-GA), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I don't feel like I owe it to the voters to tell them who I'm going to be voting for, and trying to sway one way or the other.

I haven't even decided if I'm going to vote in this runoff, because I really don't see which candidate really speaks to me the most.


SANCHEZ: Notably, Oliver got, I think it was just over two percent of the vote, or so. If he hadn't been on the ballot --

MCCAFFREY: That's right. Yes.

SANCHEZ: Yes. If he hadn't been on the ballot, this may not have gone to a runoff. Do you think if he endorses one of these candidates it could make a difference?

MCCAFFREY: I don't know that, that would matter. I mean, it is a small percentage of the vote. I think that there are at least some people who voted for Oliver as a protest vote. You know. So, I doubt those folks would be coming back out to the -- to the -- to the polling places again. But, you know, Chase Oliver had I think raised about $7,000 $8,000. And here he has played this incredibly outsized role in this campaign, you know, forcing it to a runoff.

I interviewed him early on, you know, in the -- in the campaign, and I asked him how he felt about playing spoiler. And he said, you know, I'm not playing spoiler. If neither of these candidates gets above 50 percent of the vote, then they don't deserve to go to the Senate.

So, you know, but I just don't know if his endorsement would have much of an influence going forward.

SANCHEZ: Shannon McCaffrey, we got to leave the conversation there. Appreciate your insight and reporting. Thanks.

SANCHEZ (voice over): Still ahead, multiple respiratory viruses are circulating across the country. We're going to have a look at why RSV cases are surging among kids.


We'll be right back.


WALKER: Video from a police body cam shows just how frightening RSV respiratory illness can be in children.

SANCHEZ: Yes. This is what happened when to Kansas City officers responded to a call about a 1-month-old who stopped breathing. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, come on. Come on. Come on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holding up, let's see if --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can -- I can -- she is breathing now/.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is breathing.


SANCHEZ: And fortunately, Baby Kamiya is doing well this morning.

SANCHEZ: But she's just one of many infants who've had scary run-ins during this unprecedented surge of RSV over the last several weeks.

WALKER: Frightening to say the least to see that.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta share us the latest on this active respiratory season. DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is really incredible video to watch that and to see that baby be revived like that.


And thankfully, you know, look, situations like that are going to be rare. But there's no question that we're seeing a lot of respiratory illness out there right now.

And sometimes it can be challenging for parents, especially of young babies, to know, when a child is starting to develop some sort of respiratory distress. The signals can be subtle.

GUPTA (voice over): So, here is a few of them that you should look for. And keep in mind that you know your child better than anyone. So, if breathing is different, sounds different, looks different, you know, pay attention to that.

The breathing is faster, shorter, quick breaths, that's of concern, if they're making unusual noises, as you see there.

Obviously, if there's any signs of blue or purple around the lips that means not getting enough oxygen. But again, it can be subtle.

GUPTA: Let me show you a couple of things here. And sometimes these videos are really instructive, but not meant to frighten you at all.

But if you take a look at this baby here breathing using abdominal muscles.

GUPTA (voice over): That sort of abdominal breathing, that's usually a sign that the baby is starting to have difficulty breathing, actually, using those accessory muscles.

GUPTA: Also, here, you see the head bopping.

GUPTA (voice over): That's of concern. Again, it means that the baby, maybe having a little struggles, looks very comfortable, but starting to use additional muscles to actually be able to breathe. So, these are the sorts of things pay attention, especially during a respiratory virus season.

GUPTA: And again, you have RSV, you have flu, you have COVID. All these things sort of happening at the same time.

We know, in Boston, one of the children's hospitals, the situation there has been described as severe and escalating. And at the University of Michigan, Mott Children's Hospital, we know that the hospital is basically 100 percent full.

So, elective cases are getting canceled. It's tough to obviously admit new patients for unrelated things. So, that's the situation.

Flu, a big concern as well. GUPTA (voice over): About half the country now experiencing very high levels of flu. And if you get a sense of how things are changing over the past few weeks, you look to the numbers here, October 22nd week, you had as close to 900,000 cases of flu.

A week later, it almost doubled. And then, this most recent week, about a million -- more than a million new cases. So, that's the real concern.

GUPTA: One thing to point out when it comes to flu, and trying to figure out who's most affected if you take a look at this graph.

GUPTA (voice over): Older people, people over the age of 65, that's the red line. But the line just below that is young, kids, zero to four.

GUPTA: So, unlike with COVID, obviously with flu, you're going to affect the very old and the very young.

Now, we don't know how this is all going to play out if there's going to be a significant number of cases over the next few weeks, and then it comes down or what.

But sometimes we look to the southern hemisphere to get some sort of clue as to what's going on there. Their flu season is earlier than ours. It's typically from April to October. Ours obviously comes after that.

GUPTA (voice over): But take a look, we picked on Australia here and sort of compare that to the last five years. The red line this year is Australia.

You can see flu season happened at a higher peak and much earlier than in years past. That could be a sign of what's going to be happening here as well.

GUPTA: So, as we get more of these numbers in, find out what's going to the children's hospitals around the country. We'll certainly bring that information to you.

WALKER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, really appreciate you showing us the video of how what it looks like when some children are struggling to breathe. That is very helpful.

All right. Still ahead, fans gathered in Atlanta to celebrate the life of rapper Takeoff from Migos, who was killed earlier this month.



SANCHEZ: 1000s of people packed into an Atlanta area arena to celebrate the life of rapper Migos -- of rather rapper Takeoff from the group Migos.

WALKER: The 20-year-old was shot and killed in November in Houston some of music's biggest names performed at the three hours service honoring him.

CNN's Ryan Young was there.


JESUS CASTANEDA, ATTENDED TAKEOFF'S FUNERAL: You see the whole Atlanta out here for this man. This man is icon. God bless this brother man. RIP Takeoff.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 1000s of fans lined up outside State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia for a sold out public memorial service for beloved Georgia rapper Takeoff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gunshot and people screaming.

YOUNG: He was shot and killed November 1st, outside of the Houston bowling alley, following a private party. Now, his fans are mourning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That definitely hurts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we came all the way from South Carolina.

YOUNG: Cameras and the media weren't allowed in the massive celebration of life service at the family's request. Takeoff had a sound and skill unlike any other rapper.

He was known for his rapid delivery of full triplet at his music. Meaning, rhyming and double time, and squeezing in more syllables into every beat, like in his 2014 hit, Fight Night.

In 2013, the Migos cut through the airwaves with their debut single, Versace. The Atlanta rap trio sooner became known worldwide for the unique flow and sound like in songs like Stir Fry, which really demonstrates their energy and cadence fans love.

Takeoff was known as the glue that held the trio together. And often described as the quiet one of the group, and a master in his lyrical precision.

Takeoff born Kirshnik Khari Bal, was just 28 years old, and the youngest member of the Migos. The trios other members, his uncle Quavo, and his cousin Offset.

Offset, often the headline grabber because of his marriage to rapper Cardi B.

Their star power exploding over the last few years. This video, the group appearing in carpool karaoke with James Corden three years ago, going viral with some 62 million views, giving you a sense of just how popular this trio was.


The group had six hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Two of those, Takeoff solos. And Migos have been nominated twice for Grammys, won two BET Award in 2017. TAKEOFF, FORMER AMERICAN RAPPER: Yes, sir!

YOUNG: And 2018 for Best Group and Best Collaboration.

Back in Houston, the investigation in Takeoff's death is still ongoing. Medical examiner's listing the cause of his death as penetrating gunshot wounds to both his head and his torso. Police still don't have a suspect.

TROY FINNER, POLICE CHIEF, HOUSTON: Please step up. Get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family who's hurting right now.

YOUNG: His death adding to a list of other high-profile hip hop artists killed by gun violence in the last few years.

Every year since 2018, gun violence has killed at least one rapper who was already famous or on the cusp of fame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough is enough.

YOUNG: And now fans are feeling the immense loss of this young innovator, who they say was revolutionizing the sound of rap music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to see someone like that man, you know, a successful black brothers grow up, and get killed for nothing, man, it's just -- it don't make no damn sense.

YOUNG: Ryan Young, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia.


SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Ryan for that report.

Still ahead, how communities are coping after Nicole barreled through the region leaving destruction behind? We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: Welcome back. After days of damaging winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Nicole, many states are starting to see some relief.

WALKER: And for some parts of the country, this weekend will usher in a new round of winter weather. Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar with more. Hi, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And good morning, guys. Yes, we're taking a look still at the remnants of Nicole into portions of the Northeast.

We have a secondary system, the right on the heels. And behind all of that. You're talking pretty intense cold temperatures that are going to be here for a while. Let's talk about the short term. We've still got some of those rain showers lingering from the remnants of that storm up across the Northeast. States like Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, all looking at rain showers this morning. Those should finally push out by the end of the day today.

The secondary system, this is over areas of the Southeast. You're talking states like Kentucky, Tennessee, stretching down into Alabama, Mississippi, and yes, even some snow showers on the backside of that.

There across portions of Indiana and Illinois. And it's because those cold temperatures are already in place. That snow will continue across areas of the Midwest. Even as that system slides off to the east in the come next 24 to 48 hours.

Here is a look at all of that cold air. Take a look at the entire map. No matter where you look, you're talking about temperatures either at or below normal, and it's going to stay that way for at least the next week.

The big drop for the Northeast comes after today. So, New York, a high of 71 today, dropping back to only 50 by the time we get to Monday.

But a place like Chicago, it's already begun, and you're going to keep those temperatures well below normal, like I said for at least the next five to seven days.

And it's not even just northern states. Even areas down south are going to be looking at cool temperatures. Take Atlanta, for example.

The average high this time of year is 65. We will be above that for today with a high of about 68. But get out, enjoy it while it lasts because it's not going to be there for the remainder of the upcoming week.

In fact, take a look Sunday morning, the temperature barely above the freezing mark, Boris and Amara. And the rest of the week, those temperatures remain below normal for an extended period of time.

SANCHEZ: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much for the update.

WALKER: History Channel divers, searching for World War II artifacts in the Atlantic, instead, found a 20-foot-long piece of debris from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Yes.

SANCHEZ: Yes, back in 1986, The Challenger broke apart just after launch, killing all seven crew members, including a teacher who was set to become the first civilian in space.

Now, NASA is trying to find a way to use the newly discovered piece of debris to honor those astronauts.

CNN's space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher has more.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris and Amara, it was the Space Shuttle's very distinctive heat shield tiles that really gave these divers their first clue that perhaps they had found a piece of NASA's old Space Shuttle Challenger.

FISHER (voice over): And you can see in the video, these white square tiles that are, you know, partially covered by sand now on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, and those white tiles would have been used to protect the underbelly of the space shuttle from the very high temperatures that it would encounter as it reentered the Earth's atmosphere.

So, the lead team member on this expedition, a guy by the name of Mike Barnette, he had a friend who was a former NASA astronaut, he showed him this video. And that made them convinced that this is indeed what they had found.

They brought it to NASA, and NASA confirmed it, announcing the findings just this week. And so, the big question now is what does NASA do with this? By law, any piece of a space shuttle is NASA property.

FISHER: So, NASA is trying to find a way to do something with this 20 feet section to do something that would really honor the memory of the seven astronauts that were killed back in January of 1986, including Christa McAuliffe, who of course, would have been the very first teacher in space.


Boris and Amara.

WALKER: I'm sure they'll find a meaningful way to use that piece.

Kristin Fisher, a fascinating story. Thank you.

The next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts now.