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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

CDC's New Isolation Guidelines; Colorado Shooting Rampage Leaves Several Dead; LAPD Released Bodycam of Incident That Killed Teenage Girl. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired December 28, 2021 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: New advice from the CDC on what to do if you get COVID. Can it keep America running during this omicron surge?

PAULA REID, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking overnight, five dead, including the shooter as a gunman goes on a rampage through several locations in the Denver area.

JARRETT: And new bodycam video from the LAPD raising questions about use of force after a teenager is killed by an officer pursuing a suspect.

Good morning, everyone. It is Tuesday, December 28th. It is 5:00 a.m. here in New York.

Thanks so much for getting an EARLY START with us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

REID: And I'm Paula Reid, in for Christine Romans.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We have reports from Los Angeles, Moscow, Beijing, Delaware, Rome and Mexico City.

JARRETT: Basically everywhere, as only EARLY START and CNN.

Paula, so nice to have you again today.

We begin this morning with a major change when it comes to how we all live with this virus and frankly each other. The CDC has officially shortened its recommendation time -- its isolation time for people who test positive for COVID. Instead of staying away from each other for ten days, the CDC now says stay home for just five days if -- and this is key here -- if you are asymptomatic by day five.

The agency now says this change is driven by data that shows most COVID transmission is actually happening one to two days before someone has symptoms and in the two to three days after. It also comes as businesses across the country face the strain of employees at home in isolation as omicron surges.


DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL PUBLIC HEALTH: I don't think this is going to contribute to more spread. I do think it's going to create an incentive for more people to get tested. And obviously for people who need to get back to their families, get back to their kids, get back to their jobs, it lets them do that as well. So, overall, I think this is the right policy. It's a good balancing act.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIV., VANDERBILT UNIV. MEDICAL CENTER: The CDC's new recommendations will permit us to cope with all of this disturbance and to trim it down to allow people to come back to work earlier and safely at very low risk. I would like to emphasize the latter. And that will help us in the New Year begin to get our gears back into operation, and to function better.


REID: Overwhelmed hospitals are issuing disaster declarations. Some have called in the National Guard because they don't have enough staff. And another change from the CDC for people exposed to COVID, if you are unvaccinated or received your last shot over six months ago, you should stay home for five days.

But if you're boosted, you don't need to stay home at all. Just another reason to get that booster.

JARRETT: Exactly. And now, the shorter isolation times could help ease the mess that we are seeing at airports across the country and all those beleaguered air travelers dealing with the hustle of flight cancellations and all these delays. Another 600 U.S. flights already canceled today.

Meantime, Dr. Anthony Fauci is clarifying whether vaccine mandates are on the way for domestic flyers.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has the latest from LaGuardia.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Laura and Paula, more than 1,300 flights canceled on Monday and hundreds more expected on Tuesday as airlines try to keep up with crew members and pilots calling out sick because of the coronavirus. They are moving crews around trying to get passengers home after the holiday weekend, which saw thousands more cancellations.

Of course, all this coming as the omicron virus continues to spread through the country, the big question that was asked of Dr. Fauci, if passengers should be vaccinated. Should there be a mandate for passengers to be vaccinated? Here's what he said.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISESASES: Everything that comes up as a possibility, we put it on the table and we consider it. That does not mean that it is going to be likely to happen. Right now, I don't think people should expect that we're going to have a requirement in domestic flights for people to be vaccinated. When I was asked that question, I gave an honest answer. It's on the table.

PROKUPECZ: With the new CDC guidelines shortening the time of isolation from ten days to five days, it could help with staffing shortages airlines are seeing -- Laura, Paula.


JARRETT: Shimon, thank you for that.

Now, one critical factor, something significant to watch here is the number of children with COVID. Pediatric hospitalizations took a slight dip at the beginning of this month, but the numbers have been rising since then and are getting close to the peak that we saw in early September.


REID: In New York City, the number of kids in hospital with COVID increased five-fold over a three-week period, according to state data. And a doctor in Chicago said the number of young patients at children's hospitals has quadrupled. And this is all; happening as the education department stresses the importance of safe in-person learning.


SCHAFFNER: This is such an extraordinarily contagious virus, it's getting not only adults, but it's getting down into children, spreading among them. And even if the proportion of children who get serious illness is small, if you infect a very large number of children, there will be an increase in the number of cases of children who need hospitalization.

DR. OFER LEVY, DIR. OF PRECISION VACCINES PROGRAM BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: In terms of transmissibility it's high including to children. I have a colleague who was on service last night at Boston children's hospital emergency department, and saw multiple children with omicron -- well, they don't know omicron for sure, but with coronavirus possibly or even likely omicron, although most of the cases are not very severe.


JARRETT: So that's why there is this growing concern about hospitals getting overwhelmed with patients again. In Illinois, advocate or health took out a full-page ad saying we can't stop COVID without you. Hospitals in Ohio and Minnesota have made similar pleas. One ER doctor in Michigan said the spread hasn't peaked in the Midwest.


DR. ROB DAVIDSON, WEST MICHIGAN EMERGNECY ROOM PHYSICIAN & EXECUTIVE DIR., COMMITTEE TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE: As far as state numbers go, omicron as they are seeing on the coast and as you're reporting on, we still have a full ICUs across the entirety of West Michigan. You know, the capacity is well over 100 percent still. It's probably 130 percent or so simply because they had to expand into different areas of the hospital to provide ICU care. People with COVID stay an extremely long time.


JARRETT: The most coveted gift to the holiday could be a COVID test kit. There are long lines and short supplies.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's pretty crazy. I've been in line for an hour and 15 minutes just to get two blocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was out of town Monday, and II started to feel bad. I probably got it in Chicago. I want to make sure I'm clear and go back and be around kids and my wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All I can do is wait, I've been to several places it's the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last night, I was out till 9:00 and couldn't find a test.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems like everywhere there's lines, lines, like crazy like this.


REID: And the CDC is actively investigating or monitoring 68 cruise ships with COVID outbreaks on board. The cruise industry was an epicenter of outbreaks during the early days of the pandemic. It staged a comeback in September with several preventive measures in place to curb the spread of the virus. The affected cruise lines include Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.

JARRETT: And another sign of the times. COVID is forcing Apple to close all of its stores in New York City. The locations will be closed just to browsing. They will still be open for pickup orders. Apple says a wave of COVID cases among employees left stores unsafe and under-staffed.

And Goldman Sachs telling its employees they will be required to show proof of a vaccination booster shot before entering any U.S. offices. This new booster policy takes effect February 1st and applies to both staff and visitors.

REID: And breaking overnight, at least four people were killed and three others were injured, including a police officer after a shooting rampage in the Denver area. The suspect opened fire across four different locations before an exchange of gunfire with police in the city of Lakewood. Police say the suspect was fatally shot, unclear if by police.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just inside the store and heard, like, one gunshot, and then it sounded like they hit the side of the building and then obviously a bunch of cop cars. I came out, and slipped us into the back.

POLICE OFFICER: This is the holiday season. To have this type of spree take place is not normal for our community. We cannot lose sight of the victims in this, the people that are still fighting for their lives.

I also want to commend both the Lakewood Police Department and the Denver Police Department for putting themselves in harms way to bring this person in custody or stop this spree from continuing.


JARRETT: Now, the motive of the shooting is unknown and the investigation, as you can hear, is clearly ongoing. There have been 686 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2021. And the year is obviously not over yet. That's more than double the number from just a few years ago.

REID: Unbelievable.

Also breaking overnight, authorities are at the he scene much a of a plane crash near San Diego. The small plane went down Monday night in a neighborhood between El Cajon and Lakeside.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We felt like this giant boom shake up our whole entire house. I thought it was an earthquake or boulder from the hill come down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A plane actually landed on this road, Pepper Drive, in the middle of the road. It took out some power lines, but did not impact any homes.


REID: The San Diego County sheriff's office said road closures are in effect and residents are being asked to avoid the area. Firefighters found no survivors, and no word yet on what caused the crash.

JARRETT: Still ahead for you, use of deadly force by the LAPD under scrutiny this morning. Bodycam video shows the moments leading up to an accidental shooting death of a teenage girl and an officer repeatedly told to slow down.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

Los Angeles police have released body cam and surveillance video of what led up to that tragic shooting death of a 14-year-old girl last week. Officers, you will remember, were pursuing a suspect in a Burlington coat factory store in north Hollywood last week and fired several shots. One of the bullets went through the wall of a dressing room and struck the girl in the chest. Her parents will speak publicly today.

CNN's Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Laura and Paula, this is video of the perspective of the police department. The LAPD released bodycam footage, 911 calls, as well as store surveillance video.

I want to warn you the video you are about to watch may be disturbing. In the store surveillance video, you see a man acting erratically. He is carrying a solid bike lock. He is attacking three random women. One of the women, he strikes her, pulling her by her hair, strikes her again until she is bloody.

Officers entering the store were arriving to multiple calls of a possible shooting in progress. They saw the victim as well as the attacker, and then they fired.


POLICE OFFICER: Hey, back up.

POLICE OFFICER: Get out. Out, out, out.

POLICE OFFICER: He's got -- he's got a tube.

POLICE OFFICER: Hey, get her out, get her out.

POLICE OFFICER: Okay, on you.

POLICE OFFICER: He's hitting her now on the right-hand side.

POLICE OFFICER: Slow it down, slow it down.

POLICE OFFICER: Hey, she's bleeding! She's bleeding!

POLICE OFFICER: Hold up, hold up Jones. Hold up, hold up.



POLICE OFFICER: Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired.

POLICE OFFICER: Unbeknownst to the officers, a 14-year-old girl was in the changing room behind the wall that was behind the suspect and out of the officer's view. She was in the changing area with her mother when the shooting occurred. LAH: One of the bullets from the police department skipped off the

floor and went through the drywall into the dressing room where 14- year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was hiding with her mother. She was in her mother's arms, according to her family, and they were praying. The LAPD did not recover a gun. Valentina, just aged 14, died from a gunshot wound to the chest -- Paula, Laura.


REID: Kyung Lah, thank you for that report.

And Russian troops pulling back from the border with Ukraine ahead of talks with the U.S. a show of goodwill, or a ploy? CNN is live in Moscow.


JARRETT: With more talks between Russia and the U.S. set for next month, the White House is tracking reports that thousands of Russian troops have finished their drills near the Ukrainian border, and that are back at their permanent bases.

CNN's Nic Robertson joins us from Moscow this morning.

Nic, good morning. Why would troops leave now after ratcheting up tensions with Ukraine?


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Russia's perspective on this is that all of those troops are not there to ratchet up tensions with Ukraine. They've been there for regular routine military exercises on Russia's territory, which they say is their prerogative, and is not designed to send, you know, a threatening message to Ukraine.

So what Russia is saying right now is that 10,000 of those estimated 70,000 to 100,000 troops have now done their military exercises, have trained out in the winter and now returning to their normal bases. This was mechanized infantry units, combat units, special forces units back at their base.

So, that does leave a question about -- well, what about the other remaining 60,000 to 90,000 estimated Russian troops that are there? What's going to remaining? Are they going to wrap up their drills and follow back to base? The diplomatic track does seem to be open right now while the United States is observing and trying to figure out has Russia really moves these troops back to base and does it appear to be permanent, has equipment gone with them?

All of those are key military questions. And the diplomatic channel is opening. The Russians are looking at January 10 for a meeting with U.S. officials. They are implying there is an upcoming meeting with NATO a few days after that, and other European security organizations in the days that follow that. So Russia's on this diplomatic track right now. But we heard from

their deputy foreign minister today saying that he believes that these talks won't come to a quick conclusion. He's concerned about some of the issues that they say United States is also putting on the table as well as Russia's concerns about an expansion of NATO into Ukraine.

So, all of that is still all in play. And I think it remains unclear what Putin, President Putin's final intentions should be. Have 10,000 troops gone back to base? It seems to be so. What does it really mean? That's an open question.

JARRETT: All right. Nic, always great to have your analysis. Thank you.

REID: In China, a city of 13 million people is under lockdown purporting the most daily COVID cases in the city of China since the pandemic's original epicenter in Wuhan in 2020.

CNN's Steven Jiang is in Beijing with more.

Steven, what are you learning?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Paula, just to put things in perspective, the record breaking was 175 locally reported cases in Xi'an Monday. Obviously, a small number in any other country. But here in this country, it's a huge deal because of their continued insistence on a zero COVID policy especially ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics which is less than 40 days away.

That's why authorities in Xi'an are doubling down on their strategy of mass testing and mass quarantine. But they say the kind of alarming numbers is only to be expected as they continue to conduct citywide testing for 13 million residents and a lot of the new infections are close contacts with previously confirmed patients. So these numbers will stabilize and start decreasing.

And they say this whole outbreak could be over in a month or so with the spread of the virus being stopped as a citywide lockdown remains firmly in place, along with other stringent policies, such as the cancellation of all domestic flights since last week from the city's airport, which is one of the country's busiest aviation hubs, 31 million passengers passed through the terminal last year, but now almost completely abandoned.

So, the city's top official saying that's what the city needs now to come to a complete stand still for the government to focus on its containment efforts. Something obviously only possible in a political system like China's -- Paula.

REID: Not clear it's working. Thank you so much, Steven, for that report.

JARRETT: Now to this. The U.N. is calling for an investigation into a reported Christmas day massacre in Myanmar that killed at least 35 people. That is according to the humanitarian group save the children. Two of their workers remain missing. Photos of the charred remains of victims in torched vehicles are

circulating on social media. Activists say more than 1,300 people have died since the military government seized power on February 1st.

REID: And more outrageous behavior in the skies. A woman caught on video punching and spitting at a man when she couldn't get to her seat.



REID: The legendary military commander known for creating SEAL Team Six has died at the age of 81. Richard Marcinko was the first commanding officer of SEAL Team Six, the unit formed in 1980 that would later carry out the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan ten years ago.

Here he is talking about military tactics on CNN back in 2012.


RICHARD MARCINKO, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER, SEAL TEAM SIX: We've come just light years in technology in how we fight wars these days. And just as important is the fact that now we have integral intelligence built into the units that support and target things like Bin Laden.


REID: Marcinko's family says he died of a heart attack. He was 81.

JARRETT: A country divided it seems even on the weather. Some areas seeing record heat while others face bitter cold.

Here's meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Laura and Paula.

What an incredible way to wrap up 2021 here with the warmth widespread across the eastern U.S. But you'll notice, that cold air has been place around the western U.S., it does gradually shift farther and farther towards the east, and it's essentially one-third of the U.S. remains above average by the time we get to New Year's Day.

But around the West, the snow depth is incredible as it gets across the Sierra, the Wasatch, it will work its way through the cascades. 11 states under winter weather advisories. And you'll notice, when you look at the Sierras in particular, almost 200 feet of snow in the month of December, previous record 179 feet.

Of course, a lot of this translates to drinking water for folks across California when it comes to snow melt in the spring. So, great news there. But how about these temperatures? Maybe not so great news in parts of Montana and Wyoming, 10 to 20 degrees below zero. And then you look at what's happened across portions of the East Coast

into the Southeast, parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, 70s and 80s widespread. All of these are getting into record territory as well. And upwards of 200, almost 200 records possible through the end of this week, and maybe some severe weather later in the week as well -- guys.


JARRETT: Pedram, thank you.

EARLY START continues right now.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

REID: And I'm Paula Reid, in for Christine Romans. It is 29 minutes past the hour.

JARRETT: Paula, so nice to have you again. It's time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

The CDC has cut the recommended isolation time for people who test positive for COVID in half. If you are asymptomatic, you now need to isolate for only five days instead of ten days. This likely welcome news for businesses across the country facing the strain of employees at home while omicron surges.